Is Rosenstein Resigning or Being Fired? Decision Delayed to Thursday
He apparently quit in anticipation of getting the ax from White House chief of staff John Kelly
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will sit down with President Donald Trump Thursday after the chief executive returns to the nation’s capital from speeches and meetings at the UN in New York.
That news followed a chaotic Monday morning during which it was reported that Rosenstein resigned or was about to be fired by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.
Rosenstein has been in the hot seat ever since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself in March 2017 from any matters related to allegations of collusion between Trump campaign aides and Russian interests during the 2016 campaign.
Rosenstein appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate those allegations after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey in May 2017. Rosenstein may also be implicated in some fashion in that investigation, however, because he signed a warrant seeking approval from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court to continue spying on a former Trump aide.
The New York Times reported Friday that Rosenstein more recently suggested that he secretly recorded the president last year to show the chaos of his administration. He has since denied the claim. Rosenstein reportedly insisted to colleagues that he was being sarcastic in making the remark about wearing a wire to the White House.
But Axios reported Monday that Rosenstein resigned knowing that he could soon be fired.
Rosenstein has also been a major focus of an ongoing joint congressional investigation by the House Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
That probe was launched to review the FBI’s investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to conduct official diplomatic business, and the Trump/Russia collusion allegations.
Rosenstein has defied multiple congressional subpoenas while slow-walking delivery of thousands of documents Congress has requested.