Rod Rosenstein; Donald Trump (AP/Salon)

Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general overseeing the Russia probe, remains employed—for now

The news comes after conflicting reports emerged about whether Rosenstein would resign or insist Trump fire him


Shira Tarlo
September 24, 2018 3:05PM (UTC)

Rod Rosenstein will remain a deputy attorney general at the Department of Justice after attending a regularly-scheduled meeting Monday at the White House.

The news comes after conflicting reports emerged about whether the deputy attorney general overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into alleged collusion between President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia would resign or insist that Trump fire him after being summoned to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

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Rosenstein's tenure at the Justice Department was called into question Friday after a report published by the New York Times claimed that the deputy attorney general had discussed an effort to lobby Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Article of the Constitution and suggested that he wear a wire during meetings with the president, without his knowledge, to "expose the chaos consuming the administration." Rosenstein has denied the contents of the report.

The 25th Amendment of the Constitution allows for the removal of the president from office if a commander is deemed unfit to serve.

However, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump and Rosenstein would meet Thursday to discuss the deputy attorney general's future.

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"At the request of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, he and President Trump had an extended conversation to discuss the recent news stories," Sanders said in a statement. "Because the President is at the United Nations General Assembly and has a full schedule with leaders from around the world, they will meet on Thursday when the President returns to Washington, D.C."

Earlier in the day, Axios reported that Rosenstein had "verbally resigned to Chief of Staff John Kelly in anticipation of being fired" by Trump, citing a source with direct knowledge.

"He's expecting to be fired," a second source with direct knowledge told the news outlet.

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Additionally, Justice Department sources told NBC News that Rosenstein had been summoned to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and expected to be fired. They said Rosenstein "won't resign and the White House will have to fire him."

In an interview with radio talk show Geraldo Rivera taped over the weekend, Trump said he had not decided whether or not to fire Rosenstein, saying he wanted to see the "facts" behind claims that the deputy attorney general talked about wiretapping him and possibly seeking to remove him from the Oval Office.

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"I haven't gotten all the facts, but certainly it’s being looked at in terms of what took place – if anything took place," Trump said. "And I'll make a determination sometime later, but I don't have the facts."

In a statement, Andrew McCabe, the former FBI deputy director who was fired in March, said: "There is nothing more important to the integrity of law enforcement and the rule of law than protecting the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller. I sacrificed personally and professionally to help put the investigation on a proper course and subsequently made every effort to protect it."

"To be clear," McCabe continued, "I had no role in providing information of any kind to the rumors of Deputy AG's Rosenstein's departure are true, I am deeply concerning that it puts the investigation at risk."

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Shira Tarlo

Contact Shira Tarlo at shira.tarlo@salon.com. Follow @shiratarlo.

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