Attorney General pick Barr expresses confidence in Mueller

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White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said President Donald Trump isn't trying to push out Rosenstein, adding that he is probably "making room" for Trump's attorney general nominee William Barr.

Still, Rosenstein's departure is noteworthy given his high-profile role overseeing the Mueller probe and the tenuous relationship he had with Trump, who has repeatedly decried Rosenstein's decision to appoint the special counsel.

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein speaks as FBI Director Christopher Wray listens during a news conference to announce a China related national security law enforcement action December 20, 2018 at the Justice Department in Washington, D.C. Rosenstein is reportedly expected to depart from the White House in coming weeks. Also, Rosenstein told senators during his 2017 confirmation hearing that he would not remain in his post if he believed that he was being pressured to influence any investigations.

Rosenstein, the person said, was not being forced out and had always thought he would be in the high-octane position of deputy attorney general for about two years.

She says he wants to help with the transition to a new attorney general. His interim successor, acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, consulted with Justice Department officials but ultimately decided not to recuse himself.

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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the United States official overseeing the Russian Federation probe, is expected to resign from his post in the coming weeks, ABC News reported on Wednesday.

His former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, also pleaded guilty to a range of crime, including paying a pair of women alleging affairs with the President to keep quiet while Trump was running for office.

Barr will also "air on the side of transparency" in providing Mueller's final Russian Federation report to Congress and the public, Graham told reporters after a meeting with Barr. Barr, Graham said, told him he didn't think Mueller was on a "witch hunt", as Trump has branded the Mueller probe.

Trump also shared a photo on Twitter in November showing Rosenstein and others criticized by the president behind bars, calling for them to be tried for "treason".

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said last month that Barr's memo should disqualify him from serving as attorney general. But Democrats will use the hearing as an opportunity to extract commitments from the nominee about his approach to the Mueller investigation.