Deputy US Attorney General Rod Rosenstein submits resignation letter

Deputy US Attorney General Rod Rosenstein submits resignation letter

However, he also appointed the special counsel, and quickly became a foil for Republicans, including for Trump himself, as they sought to smear the Department over the coarse of the investigation.

Yet in the end, he was largely in Trump's corner.

The deputy AG's role in overseeing the Mueller probe has made him a controversial figure in Washington.

Rosenstein's letter went on to say that the nation's elections are safer, the country is more secure and the Justice Department worked to combat fraud, cyberattacks and illegal leaks. The White House had no immediate comment, but noted that Trump had already nominated Deputy Transportation Secretary Jeffrey Rosen to replace him.

In his resignation letter, Mr Rosenstein said most deputies stay in their post for about 16 months; Mr Rosenstein will have served about two years.

After Comey was sacked, Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel to lead the investigation.

In Monday's letter, which came on the heels of an event last week where the outgoing official took a combative tone with the press, Rosenstein fashioned the Department above the fray that was a constant for most of the time he spent leading it.

In his resignation letter, Rosenstein praised the Justice Department's efforts under the Trump administration, while vaguely alluding to some of the more controversial issues of his tenure as the Department's No. 2 - from the Russian Federation investigation to the attacks on the Justice Department for pursuing the probe. But it's largely an anonymous, behind-the-scenes position.

Mr Rosenstein, who appointed Mr Mueller in 2017 following the recusal of attorney-general Jeff Sessions, had overseen his team's work for much of the last two years and has defended his investigation.

Rosenstein often found himself the target President Donald Trump, especially after hiring Mueller in 2017.

His departure ends a almost two-year run defined by his appointment Mueller.

"Productivity rose, and crime fell", Rosenstein stated. "The Department of Justice pursues those goals while operating in accordance with the rule of law". A source told Politico Rosenstein had said something like this at the meeting but that it was obviously sarcastic.

The Justice Department issued statements challenging the reporting, but former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe - who was in the room - has said he got the sense that Mr Rosenstein was "counting votes" about which Cabinet members he could enlist in the effort. Rosenstein denied the reports, and was allowed to stay in office. Despite stoking Trump's ire, he remained on the job.

Trump lashed out the following April after the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the office of his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, and months later retweeted the image that showed Rosenstein, Comey and other investigators behind bars.

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