By Umar Farooq
WASHINGTON (AA) - Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is expected to leave his post as soon as a new department head is chosen, multiple reports said Wednesday.
Officials close to the matter told ABC News that Rosenstein had long been expected to serve in his position for two years of U.S. President Donald Trump's term in office, and he was not being forced out by the White House.
Rosenstein told Trump and White House officials his intentions, and plans to leave once William Barr, the president's nominee for Attorney General, is approved by the Senate.
Barr will go through a Senate confirmation hearing Jan. 15, and if confirmed, will become the new Attorney General.
The Department of Justice did not respond to comment on the matter.
Once former Attorney General Jeff Sessions was fired, there was speculation that Rosenstein would follow suit, however, he remained in the position under Matthew Whitaker, who took Session's job in an acting capacity since November.
Rosenstein oversaw Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election for more than a year, after Sessions stepped back from the probe due to his role in Trump's campaign.
After Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey in May 2017, Rosenstein appointed Mueller to lead the investigation, a move that was heavily criticized by the president and his Republican base.
The Justice Department's second-in-command's support in Congress wavered due to the role he played in the firing of Comey, sending a letter to Trump outlining why the decision was warranted.
"I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt," Trump tweeted after Rosenstein appointed Mueller to head the Russia probe.