On Wednesday, ABC News and CNN reported that Rosenstein told President Donald Trump that he intends to leave the department after attorney general nominee William Barr is confirmed. Speculation has swirled for months and months that Trump would fire Rosenstein, who has overseen the special counsel's Russian Federation investigation since Robert Mueller's appointment on May 17, 2017.
After an embattled turn in that role, Sessions stepped down at the end of previous year and was replaced temporarily by Matthew Whitaker as Acting Attorney General.More news: Kevin Hart Won't Host The Oscars And Says He Won't Apologize Again
"I know the deputy attorney general has always planned to roughly stay around two years".
Rosenstein has had oversight of the U.S. Special Counsel's probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible connections to Trump's campaign.
William Barr, Trump's pick to replace Sessions who was sacked soon after the November midterm congressional elections, is set to appear for a confirmation hearing next week before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which must weigh his nomination before the full Senate considers his approval.More news: Toni Kroos facing one month out with muscle injury
The president has repeatedly decried the DOJ and FBI's efforts to obtain that surveillance warrant, while blasting the Mueller probe Rosenstein previously oversaw as a "witch hunt". "My guess is that he is making room for the new attorney general to build a team that he wants around him", Sanders said.
The transition to Barr would come with critical steps in the Mueller investigation expected to unfold in the weeks and months ahead, when the special counsel's office is expected to report its findings to the Justice Department.
ABC News was the first to report on Rosenstein's departure.More news: BCCI announces cash awards for triumphant Team India members
If confirmed, Barr would be in charge of Mueller, unless he too recused himself. But Trump opted not to replace him.