Apparently, Trump's finally had enough and he wants Rosenstein gone.
Trump announced his nomination of Rod Rosenstein to be deputy attorney general in January 2017, but now he's forcing Rosenstein, who's in charge of overseeing special counsel Robert Muller's investigation, out of the job.
"He's expecting to be fired," Axios reported Monday. Rosenstein is reportedly heading to the White House Monday, while Trump is in New York to address the United Nations. NBC reports that Rosenstein is refusing to resign; if Trump really does want him gone, he'll have to fire him.
Trump has hinted for months that he wants to get rid of anyone and everyone in the Justice Department, including Rosenstein, whom he deems insufficiently loyal to him.
But the conversation about firing Rosenstein picked up steam in recent days, after the New York Times reported Friday that the number two at the Justice Department "discussed recruiting cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Mr. Trump from office for being unfit."
Trump spent the weekend polling his advisers about whether to fire the deputy attorney general, as his unofficial but highly influential advisers at Fox News sent him conflicting messages. Laura Ingraham said Trump should fire him, while Sean Hannity warned that "it is all a setup" and Trump shouldn't take the bait.
Now it seems Trump is indeed taking the bait.
With Rosenstein out, oversight of the Mueller probe now falls to Solicitor General Noel Francisco, a prominent conservative who clerked for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and worked at the Justice Department under George W. Bush.
It is unknown whether Francisco would allow the Mueller probe to continue — or whether he would give Trump what he wants, shutting down the investigation before Mueller can indict and convict any more members of Trump's campaign and inner circle.
Update: On Monday afternoon, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders released a statement saying that Rosenstein had requested a conversation with Trump and that the two men would meet Thursday. While reporting remains unclear about whether Rosenstein will be fired, has offered to resign, or none of the above, it appears he has his job at least until Thursday.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.