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00:00:00
>> Your thoughts on the acting->> US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will step down from his post shortly after William Barr, the President's pick for Attorney General is confirmed. A source told Reuters Wednesday that Rosenstein is not being forced out. Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller in 2017 to investigate any coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia after former Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the probe.
00:00:25
He oversaw the special counsel's investigation until Sessions was fired by Trump. And acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker took on oversight of the probe. Reuters Andy Sullivan is gauging reaction on Capitol Hill.>> The Democrats I talked to didn't seem particularly concerned. There's a number of reasons for that.
00:00:43
One is that Rosenstein appears to be leaving on his own terms. He's not being fired by Trump. And another big reason is that Rosenstein is gonna stick around until the new Attorney General gets put in place.>> Like other DOJ officials, Rosenstein became a frequent target of Trump's on Twitter.
00:01:01
Recently, the President retweeted an image of Rosenstein and others behind bars. Democrats fumed after Whitaker's appointment, as he was seen as a Trump loyalist planted in the DOJ to do Trump's bidding. But Barr is apparently not Whitaker.>> So Barr has criticized the Mueller probe at times. He's questioned whether Mueller should be investigating obstruction of justice for the firing of James Comey.
00:01:25
And that's raised alarm bells among some democrats. But Barr has been making rounds on Capitol Hill talking to republicans, and earlier today he apparently sent out a very strong signal that he will respect the independence of the Mueller probe. That he will let Robert Mueller go about his work, finish his report, and that he will err on the side of transparency when deciding to make those findings public or not.
00:01:46
So the fact that this news is coming out now just before Barr's confirmation hearings, I think that can be seen as a signal that Rosenstein is confident in Barr's ability to protect Mueller's independence.>> William Barr's Senate confirmation begins January 15th, meaning the earliest Rosenstein would leave is mid February.