Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller, to leave DOJ soon

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

Evan Vucci Associated Press/2018 Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

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.

The confirmation hearings for William Barr, President Trump's pick for attorney general, begin January 15th, and once Barr is confirmed, likely sometime in February, Rosenstein will step down, according to ABC News.

William Barr, Trump's pick to replace Sessions who was sacked soon after the November midterm congressional elections, is set to appear for a confirmation hearing next week before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which must weigh his nomination before the full Senate considers his approval.

Early this morning ABC News broke the story that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would soon resign as the second in command at the Department of Justice.

Graham told reporters Barr assured him the investigation would continue.

Barr's confirmation as attorney general ― a position now occupied on an acting basis by Matthew Whitaker following the forced resignation of Jeff Sessions ― would ensure a smooth transition, the person said.

There is no indication that Rosenstein, who has been deputy for nearly two years, was forced out.

The Mueller investigation into alleged Russian interference in the November 2016 election has been going on for nearly two years. Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday Rosenstein had always planned to stay around two years and wants to help with the transition to a new attorney general.

The White House cast Rosenstein's departure as his choice.

In that memo, he criticized Mueller's Russian Federation probe - writing that his investigation into possible obstruction of justice related to Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey was 'fatally misconceived'.

Trump has labeled the probe a "witch hunt" and denies any wrongdoing. "I trust his judgement to find a worthy successor to Mr. Rosenstein".

He has accused the investigation of being led by "Democrat loyalists".

In November, the president said Rosenstein "should have never picked a special counsel" to investigate the Russian Federation matter and retweeted an image depicting Rosenstein and several other current and former officials in a prison cell.

On Wednesday, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said Barr would permit Mueller to complete the investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 presidential election.

"As attorney general, his job will be to receive Mr. Mueller's report and determine what to do with it", Graham said.

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