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US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein resigns

US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein resigns

The 448-page redacted Mueller report issued earlier this month stated that there was no evidence that Trump's campaign conspired with the Russian government during the 2016 United States presidential election but didn't conclude if the President had obstructed justice.

The deputy AG's role in overseeing the Mueller probe has made him a controversial figure in Washington.

Rosenstein planned to leave DOJ months ago, but stayed on board until the release of the Special Counsel report about the 2016 presidential election. Mueller submitted his report to the Justice Department last month.

The man nominated to succeed him, Jeffrey Rosen, is now awaiting confirmation by the Senate.

The oversight fell to Rosenstein, and many were angered that he did not dismiss the investigation.

He repeatedly attacked Sessions, Rosenstein and Mueller as running an "illegal witch hunt", demanding it be shut down.

Jeff Sessions, who was attorney general at the time, had already recused himself, meaning that his deputy had to take on the responsibility.

The White House initially cited the memo as justification for the firing, but Trump has said he was thinking of "this Russian Federation thing" when he fired Comey. "The Department of Justice pursues those goals while operating in accordance with the rule of law". His relationship soured further after a New York Times story published last September claiming he had discussed ousting Mr Trump. Trump also attacked Rosenstein, accusing him on Twitter of engaging in a "very illegal act" with former acting Federal Bureau of Investigation director Andrew McCabe.

In the summer of 2017, with Mueller new in his job, Trump tweeted: "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director!"

However, a couple of weeks later, Fox News reported that, according to James Baker's congressional testimony, both McCabe and Lisa Page came to Baker after the meeting and mentioned Rosenstein's suggestion about invoking the 25th Amendment.

The president lashed out the following April after the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the office of his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, and months later retweeted the image that showed Rosenstein, Comey and other investigators behind bars.

He highlighted the importance of the post he is stepping down from in the resignation letter, he wrote: "We enforce the law without fear or favour because credible evidence is not partisan".

In his resignation letter, Rosenstein seemed to defend himself against the controversies that have clouded his tenure. "We ignore fleeting distractions and focus our attention on the things that matter".

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