US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversaw Mueller probe, resigns | News | DW | 29.04.2019
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US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversaw Mueller probe, resigns

Rod Rosenstein shielded Robert Mueller's investigation against attacks from congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump. In his resignation letter, the veteran prosecutor said "we always put America first."

US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who put special counsel Robert Mueller in charge of the investigation into connections between Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and Russia, announced Monday that he would be resigning from his post. His departure will be effective May 11.

The announcement comes as no surprise to President Donald Trump, who had already nominated Deputy Transportation Secretary Jeffrey Rosen as his replacement.

Rosenstein was expected to resign in March, but he chose to stay on longer to assist Attorney General William Barr with the public release of the Mueller investigation report.

Clearing Trump of obstruction

Following the recusal of then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions in May 2017, Rosenstein appointed Mueller and oversaw much of his work.

Over the past two years, the veteran Republican prosecutor defended Mueller's investigation against attacks from congressional Republicans and Trump, who had dubbed it as a "witch hunt."

Read more: Opinion: We don't need the Mueller report

Ultimately, Mueller concluded that no one with Trump's campaign had conspired to collude with Russia. The report did not reach a conclusion on whether or not the president had committed obstruction of justice.

Rosenstein then joined Attorney General Barr in determining on behalf of the Justice Department that the president had not obstructed justice.

 

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US House subpoenas for Mueller report

'Always put America first'

In his resignation letter, Rosenstein told Trump that he had helped bring officials into the Justice Department that were "devoted to the values that make America great," adding that he and others "always put America first."

Read more: Why the Mueller report will not end Trump's predicament

"I am grateful to you for the opportunity to serve; for the courtesy and humor you often display in our personal conversations; and for the goals you set in your inaugural address: patriotism, unity, safety, education and prosperity, because 'a nation exists to serve its citizens,'" he told the president.

Rosenstein highlighted the positive aspects of the Mueller probe he oversaw, saying the country's elections were now "more secure" and that citizens were "better informed about covert foreign influence efforts."

"We enforce the law without fear or favor because credible evidence is not partisan and truth is not determined by opinion polls," Rosenstein wrote.

The US deputy attorney general position is a top appointee, responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the Justice Department and the work of US attorneys across the country.

jcg/cmk (Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa)

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