Rod Rosenstein: US deputy attorney general could be fired after 'criticising Trump'

Clay Curtis
September 25, 2018

The deputy attorney general was reported as having discussed possibly secretly recording the president and invoking the Constitution to have the Cabinet remove him from office.

A New York Times headline, meanwhile, migrated from "Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General, Is Expected to Leave Job" to "Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General, Is Considering Resigning" to "Rod Rosenstein Will Meet With Trump to Discuss His Fate". As we went to publish this, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Rosenstein will meet with Trump on Thursday.

As of early Monday afternoon, it was still unclear whether Rosenstein would be fired, resign or remain in his position.

Mr Rosenstein verbally resigned to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, Axios reported, citing an unidentified source with knowledge of the matter.

Mr Rosenstein oversees special counsel Robert Mueller's Trump-Russia inquiry. If Rosenstein were to leave office, U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco would be in line to oversee the Russian Federation probe. That report and an unsigned opinion piece by a senior official in the Republican administration played to some of the president's concerns about a secret "Deep State" trying to undermine him from within the government.

On Friday, The New York Times published a bombshell report alleging Rosenstein raised the prospect during a meeting with multiple Federal Bureau of Investigation officials of taping President Trump without his knowledge "to expose the chaos consuming the administration".

Likewise, some of Trump's advisers at Fox News, including Sean Hannity, have warned him it's a trap.

Sessions withdrew from the Russian Federation inquiry soon after he took office, to Trump's dismay, and Rosenstein later appointed Mueller.

Mattis to Iran: Don't Even Think About Taking Us On
The Islamic State group also claimed responsibility for the attack, but offered no clear evidence it carried out the assault. Hossein Salami, deputy head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, blasted the United States , promising "devastating" revenge.

And on Saturday, another Trump cable favourite, Jeanine Pirro, took to Twitter to wonder if Rosenstein himself leaked the story "to force" Trump to fire him.

Here, we'll answer a few questions about what might happen if Rosenstein leaves the Justice Department.

Francisco represented the USA as solicitor general in a case before the Supreme Court in April that delved into whether the president has constitutional power to fire " all officers of the United States", the Los Angeles Times reported.

"The New York Times' story is inaccurate and factually incorrect", Rosenstein said. But let me clear about this: "Based on my personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment".

The turn of events sparked renewed calls from some for Congress to take up pending legislation to protect the Mueller investigation.

Shortly after the Times story, Trump told supporters at a rally in Missouri that there is "a lingering stench" at the Justice Department and that "we're going to get rid of that, too". "Michael Cohen should turn over any and all evidence to Special Counsel Mueller".

"He was hired by Jeff Sessions", Trump said in the interview, which was aired on Fox & Friends. "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director!" he has written.

The possibility of Rosenstein's ouster drew parallels to President Richard Nixon's "Saturday Night Massacre". And they have said the president risks sparking a constitutional crisis if he tries to derail the special counsel investigation.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER