US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller in May 2017 to investigate links between the Russian government and President Donald Trump’s campaign, said on Monday he was resigning from his post.
In a letter to Trump, Rosenstein echoed two of Trump’s signature phrases, writing that he helped staff the department with officials “devoted to the values that make America great” and adding that “we always put America first”.
According to the letter he will leave his post on May 11.
His departure ends a nearly two-year run defined by his appointment Mueller. The departure had been expected since the confirmation of William Barr as attorney general.
Rosenstein intended to leave in mid-March but stayed on a little longer for the completion of Mueller’s Russia investigation. Mueller submitted his report to the Justice Department last month. Although it stopped short of concluding Trump had committed a crime, it did not exonerate him. Rosenstein and Barr concluded that Trump did not obstruct justice.
Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller in 2017 following the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, had overseen his team’s work for much of the last two years and defended his investigation.
Trump repeatedly called the investigation a “witch-hunt”.
Barr said in a statement on Monday that Rosenstein’s “devotion to the Department and its professionals is unparalleled”.
“Over the course of his distinguished government career, he has navigated many challenging situations with strength, grace, and good humour,” Barr said. “Rod has been an invaluable partner to me during my return to the Department, and I have relied heavily on his leadership and judgment over the past several months.”
Al Jazeera and news agencies
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