When ABC News first broke the story on Wednesday morning that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would be leaving his post after the confirmation of Donald Trump’s newest choice for Attorney General, William Barr, reports conflicted slightly about the timeframe for his departure — until Rosenstein himself clarified that he wanted to stay on as long as was necessary to ensure a “smooth transition.”
There is, of course, plenty that could go wrong. The DOJ has been fraught with inconsistency throughout Trump’s tenure as President, largely due to the ongoing conflict between the President and his first AG, Jeff Sessions, who recused himself from anything dealing with the investigation into Trump’s involvement with Russia since he was similarly compromised by evidence of his own dealings with Russian officials.
But that left Rosenstein in charge of anything in that vein, and subsequently resulted in Rosenstein appointing Robert Mueller to oversee a special investigation. The new Attorney General, should he be confirmed, has publicly been critical of that investigation.
That, of course, worries many who are concerned that Barr (or any Trump-appointed AG) would simply shut down the Mueller probe.
But in a report from NBC News, a source close to the Deputy AG said that he would step down only after Mueller had concluded his investigative work, and the timeframe the source provided indicated it would be at “the beginning of March.”
That would line up with numerous legal scholars’ predictions that Mueller would wrap things up by late February, but it still represents the first time we’ve heard any such thing from someone in a position to actually have news about the probe.
As someone who has been delivering you reports on the probe in this and other outlets since it began, it’s hard for me to understate how important this is to me personally. We have had countless scares, false hopes, and misleading details from unscrupulous leakers, and it all serves to make our job harder than it needs to be: We just want to tell you this is all going to end soon, and that Mueller will have a report, and we want to give you an actual timeframe for that.
Now it looks like Rod Rosenstein has finally done that for us.
Featured image via screen capture