Mr Rosenstein’s departure follows shortly after Robert Muller’s report on Russian meddling in the 2016 election was made public.
Deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein has submitted a letter of resignation to Donald Trump, with an effective date of 11 May. Mr Rosenstein’s resignation comes two weeks after the Justice Department released special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian meddling in the 2016 election, and the Trump campaign’s connection to those efforts.
Mr. Rosenstein says:
In his letter, Mr Rosenstein thanked the president for the opportunity to serve in the Justice Department over the past 16 months, and noted that most individuals in his position did not last much longer than two years in the post. In his letter, Mr Rosenstein praises some of what he calls the Department of Justice’s achievements and its employees’ “devotion to duty”. “The Department of Justice pursues those goals while operating in accordance with the rule of law. The rule of law is the foundation of America. It secures our freedom, allows our citizens to flourish, and enables our nation to serve as a model of liberty and justice for all.”“Our nation is safer, our elections more secure, and our citizens are better informed about covert foreign influence efforts and schemes to commit fraud, steal intellectual property and launch cyberattacks,” Mr Rosenstein wrote.
Rosenstein’s position had seemed perilous at times
Mr Rosenstein endured in the job beyond Mr Sessions, but there were moments when his position appeared in the balance. Mr Trump lamented to The New York Times in July 2017 that “there are very few Republicans in Baltimore,” a reference to Mr Rosenstein’s prior job as the US attorney in Maryland. Mr Rosenstein was appointed to that position by Republican President George W Bush and remained for the entire Obama administration. Mr Trump lashed out the following April after the FBI raided the office of his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, and months later retweeted the image that showed Mr Rosenstein, Mr Comey and other investigators behind bars. In September, The New York Times reported that after Mr Comey’s firing, Mr Rosenstein and other top law enforcement officials had discussed secretly recording the president to expose chaos inside the White House and invoking the 25th Amendment, which allows the Cabinet to seek the removal of a president deemed unfit for office. Mr Rosenstein arrived at the White House days after the report that he was expecting to be fired, but he was instead allowed to stay on after private conversations with Mr Trump’s then-chief of staff, John Kelly, and the president himself.