It looks as though things might really be about to change at the Justice Department. As Attorney General nominee Bill Barr awaits his Senate confirmation, deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is now expected to leave his job soon.
FOX News says that according to their sources, Rosenstein plans to “transition out of his job” in the coming weeks.
That is welcome and long-awaited news. Given his huge conflicts of interest, Rosenstein was the last person who should have been in the position to oversee the special counsel. As he refused to acknowledge that, he needed to be fired or “induced” to step down. And the fact that Trump couldn’t fire him without being accused of obstruction –- even after Trump learned that he’d talked about secretly recording him and possibly even working with Cabinet members to unseat him under the 25th Amendment –- shows how twisted this whole Russia “investigation” is.
I would add that Rosenstein’s “transition” out of the DOJ absolutely must include a very special “exit interview,” under oath, with the Senate Judiciary Committee. Chairman Lindsay Graham is surely working on that now, because once Rosenstein is out of his job and back in the private sector, he will also be out of reach of the Inspector General, who is limited to interviewing current government staff. We can't possibly know all the factors that might have contributed to his decision to depart, but if I were a betting man, I'd bet that avoiding more questioning is one big reason for his imminent leave-taking. He managed to run out the clock to avoid testifying before House committees, he’s stonewalled the Senate, and now he may be timing his departure to avoid any future confrontation with internal investigators (and, of course, the Senate if Sen. Graham doesn't lock it up).
He shouldn’t let the screen door hit him on the way out, but before he goes, he’s got to testify before the Senate. We’re sick of watching as slippery government lawyers grease their own way out of legal jeopardy. Do whatever it takes to put him in the hot seat that he’s been so tenaciously avoiding.
UPDATE: Investigative reporter John Solomon said Wednesday afternoon on Sean Hannity's radio show that according to his sources, one reason Rosenstein is leaving is that Bill Barr, in negotiating with the President, said he would accept the AG position if he could choose his own deputy. Rosenstein must have seen the writing on the wall, because Barr, presumably being of sound mind, would never choose him to continue in that job.