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Report: Rod Rosenstein — who currently oversees Mueller probe — plans to leave DOJ after William Barr gets confirmed


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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — who is overseeing the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller — is reportedly planning to leave the Justice Department once a new attorney general is confirmed, which could come within a matter of weeks.

What are the details?

On Wednesday, ABC News and CNN reported that Rosenstein told President Donald Trump that he intends to leave the department after attorney general nominee William Barr is confirmed.

Barr's confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee is set to begin Jan. 15, and The Washington Post reported that Rosenstein does not have a definitive timeline for departure.

Rosenstein took charge of overseeing Mueller's Russia probe after former Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation.

Rosenstein also reportedly once discussed secretly monitoring the president without his knowledge, but a source familiar with the situation said that Rosenstein was being sarcastic when he made the purported remarks.

If confirmed, Barr would replace appointed acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and would assume oversight of the Mueller investigation.

ABC News also reported that there is no indication that Trump is attempting to force out Rosenstein, despite their rocky past. 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.

What else?

On Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued remarks about the reports of Rosenstein's purported departure.

"I know the deputy attorney general has always planned to roughly stay around two years," Sanders told "Fox & Friends" co-hosts. "My guess is that he is making room for the new attorney general to build a team that he wants around him.

"I haven't spoken to the deputy attorney general myself, so I'll leave any announcements for him or the president to make when they want to do that, but certainly I don't think there's any willingness by the President or the White House to push him out," she noted.

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