Rosenstein has informed President Donald Trump and the White House that he intends to step down whenever William Barr, Trump's nominee for the position of attorney general, takes office after being confirmed by the Senate, ABC News reported, citing multiple officials familiar with the matter.
Confirmation hearings are set for next week, after which (presuming he is confirmed as expected) Rosenstein will leave the Department of Justice and Barr will ostensibly oversee the Mueller investigation that is nearing its second year looking into alleged malfeasance by the Trump campaign.
When exactly Rosenstein leaves could shift depending on the timing of Barr's confirmation and the naming of a new deputy attorney general.
After ousting Sessions, Trump installed Whitaker, chief of staff at the Justice Department, as acting attorney general, which put him in charge of the Russian Federation probe. Rosenstein and his chief deputy have continued to maintain day-to-day oversight over the probe, a senior Justice Department official told reporters last month.
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Rosenstein took charge of overseeing Mueller's Russian Federation probe after former Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation. "My guess is he is making room for the new attorney general to build a team that he wants around him".
In May 2017, shortly after the president dumped Federal Bureau of Investigation chief James Comey, Rosenstein appointed Mueller to take over the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe of Russia's meddling in the 2016 election and possible ties between Russians and Trump associates. An official briefed on the discussions said Rosenstein wants to ensure a smooth transition, which includes the Mueller investigation.
ABC News also reported that there is no indication that Trump is attempting to force out Rosenstein, despite their rocky past.