This post was last updated on September 12th, 2019 at 01:46 pm
One of the crucial characters in the Russian meddling investigation, the deputy attorney general announced his decision to step down on Monday. In a resignation letter sent to President Donald Trump, Rod J Rosenstein stated that he would leave the Justice Department in mid-May, bringing the turbulent two-year tenure close to its end.
“As I submit my resignation effective on May 11, I am grateful to you for the opportunity to serve,” he wrote. The 54-year-old also thanked the President for “the courtesy and humor” that he displayed in their conversations together and for advocating “patriotism, unity, safety, education and prosperity” in his inaugural address.
Rosenstein’s departure from the Trump administration was expected as he had earlier mentioned about resigning after the conclusion of the Robert Mueller investigation. The reports had surfaced after the appointment of new Attorney General William Barr, which was confirmed on February 14.
The deputy attorney general has served for around 30 years at the Justice Department. However, he came under the spotlight for his role in the special counsel Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Rod Rosenstein assumed the loopholes of the investigation, after the former Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescued himself from the role, following the allegations of not disclosing meetings with Russian officials during his Senate confirmation hearing. Besides, when President Trump ousted the former director James Comey, Rod Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel for continuing the probe.
Consequently, the deputy attorney general has long been the target of Trump and his allies, who considered the investigation a “witch hunt”. Rod Rosenstein was also accused of secretly recording the President, following which he was summoned for a meeting with Trump’s then chief of staff, John Kelly, at the White House. “I can go. I’m ready to go,” Rosenstein reportedly told Kelly. “I can resign. But I don’t want to go out with a tweet.”
The resignation letter came days after Mueller investigation concluded and a redacted version was released to the public. While Rosenstein praised the integrity and independence of the justice department, he also defended his decisions while in office.
As per the reports, nominee to succeed him, Jeffrey Rosen is still awaiting confirmation by the Senate.
Although expected, Rod Rosenstein’s resignation came as a disappointment to many. Moreover, it is uncertain how much justice the successor would do to the position. Besides, the way Rod Rosenstein has stood strong and has waited for the investigation to conclude amidst all the accusations remains a point of appreciation and respect towards him.