WASHINGTON — The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, implored Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to remain in his post following reports that said Rosenstein offered his resignation in expectation of being fired.
Under no circumstances should Rod Rosenstein resign. This would place the Mueller investigation in even greater jeopardy. Rosenstein should continue to do his job, protect the independence of the DOJ, and if the President intends to obstruct justice, force Trump to fire him.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) September 24, 2018
Axios reported Monday that Rosenstein had discussed the possibility of stepping down in recent conversations with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.
Kelly and Rosenstein met at the White House soon after the report was published.
Following the meeting White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that Trump will meet with Rosenstein on Thursday. The president is in New York for meetings with world leaders as part of United Nations General Assembly week.
The New York Times reported Friday that Rosenstein floated the idea of wearing a wire to secretly record Trump and discussed the possibility of trying to get momentum behind an effort to use the 25th amendment to remove Trump from office. Under that amendment, the president can be discharged of his duties if the vice president and a majority of the cabinet decide he is unable to effectively serve.
Rosenstein said Friday that the Times report is “inaccurate and factually incorrect.”
The friction between Rosenstein and Trump began in May 2017 after Rosenstein appointed Robert S. Mueller III special counsel in the investigation into potential collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials.
Rosenstein was tasked with overseeing the probe following the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Sessions recusal was preceded by reports that he had twice met with the Russian ambassador during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump has vehemently denied collusion and has called Mueller’s investigation a “witch-hunt.”
The probe has led to indictments or guilty pleas from 32 people.