US Deputy Attorney General Who Wanted To Tape Trump Faces Big Decision

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WASHINGTON-President Donald Trump will meet later this week with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the White House said Monday amid indications that Rosenstein was about to lose his job.

Axios, citing an unidentified source with knowledge of the matter, reported that Rosenstein verbally resigned to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.

It was Rosenstein, to Trump's frustration, who appointed Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller after Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey in the spring of 2017.

Moments after the Axios headline hit the tape, CNN followed it up with a report that Rosenstein expects to be fired, and NBC reported that Rosenstein is on his way to the White House in the expectation that he will be fired.

The rancor between Trump and his own law enforcement officials took an extraordinary turn with reports that in May 2017 Rosenstein suggested secretly recording Trump for evidence of White House dysfunction - and using that to remove him from power.

"Because of the New York Times article, President Trump can plausibly argue that someone who suggested wearing a wire and potentially invoking the 25th Amendment constitute grounds for his firing".

Spending the weekend at his New Jersey golf course, Trump continued to ask allies about the reports and fumed about the involvement of McCabe, whom the president has long believed conspired against him. You can read it to see why it's important for him to stay on as Deputy Attorney General, what would happen if he were to be fired, and why it would be politically foolish for Trump to fire Rosenstein ahead of the midterms.

Rosenstein appointed Mueller in May of previous year after Sessions, who ordinarily would have overseen the investigation, recused himself because of his close involvement in the Trump campaign.

Rosenstein appointed Mueller in May of a year ago after Sessions, who ordinarily would have overseen the investigation, recused himself because of his close involvement in the Trump campaign.

Thompson did not immediately reply to a request on Monday for comment on Cummings' latest request.

The allegation about Rosenstein detailed in last week's New York Times story was included in contemporaneous memos kept by ousted Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

If Rosenstein is indeed leaving the Justice Department - either by resigning or being fired, who takes over to ensure that the Robert Mueller probe goes on? He reportedly also whispered to Cabinet officials about invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office.

Since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself, Rosenstein has overseen Special Counsel Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Congressional Republicans, Democrats and some Trump aides have warned for months that the president shouldn't fire Rosenstein, saying such a move could lead to impeachment proceedings if the Democrats retake the House in the upcoming mid-terms.

Trump has repeatedly dismissed the Mueller probe as a "witch hunt" created to delegitimize his election victory and undermine his presidency. In that way, Mueller may be able to protect the investigation itself and the cases he's pursued, even if Trump does his best to intervene.

Rosenstein oversees the special counsel's Russian Federation investigation.

Shortly after the Times story, Trump told supporters at a rally in Missouri that there is "a lingering stench" at the Justice Department and that "we're going to get rid of that, too". "Don't put this country through a constitutional crisis".