Rod Rosenstein. Photo: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has formally submitted his resignation to President Trump, effective May 11.

Why it matters: Rosenstein was expected to leave the Justice Department after seeing the Mueller investigation through to its conclusion. His successor Jeffrey Rosen has already been named by President Trump and is now awaiting confirmation in the Senate.

The big picture: Rosenstein's rocky 2-year tenure as deputy attorney general made him one of the most intriguing and puzzling players in the Mueller saga.

Timeline
  • In May 2017, Rosenstein wrote a letter that Trump used as a basis to fire then-FBI director James Comey.
  • Later that month, after Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recusal, Rosenstein appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, as well as possible obstruction of justice by Trump himself.
  • A now-famous New York Times report alleges that after firing Comey, Rosenstein became so concerned with Trump's behavior that he considered rallying cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office. He also reportedly suggested secretly recording Trump by wearing a wire in the Oval Office.
  • In September 2018, Rosenstein offered to resign in discussions with White House chief of staff John Kelly, but ultimately stayed on. The Justice Department drafted an exit statement announcing Rosenstein's resignation that was never released publicly.
  • With Attorney General Bill Barr's appointment in November 2018, Rosenstein transferred oversight of the Mueller investigation. Rosenstein's defense of Barr's controversial rollout of Mueller's report, which Democrats have blasted as a partisan ploy to protect Trump, has prompted new questions about his loyalties.
  • The Washington Post reported last week that when Rosenstein spoke to Trump after offering his resignation to Kelly, he assured the president he was on his side. "I give the investigation credibility," Rosenstein reportedly said. "I can land the plane."

Rosenstein's resignation letter:

Go deeper

Updated 11 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Americans feel Trump's sickness makes him harder to trustFlorida breaks record for in-person early voting — McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election — Republican senators defend Fauci as Trump escalates attacks.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — University of Michigan students ordered to shelter-in-place.
  4. World: Ireland moving back into lockdown — Argentina becomes 5th country to report 1 million infections.

Trump threatens to post "60 Minutes" interview early after reportedly walking out

Trump speaks to reporters aboard Air Force One, Oct. 19. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Tuesday that he was considering posting his interview with CBS' "60 Minutes" prior to airtime in order to show "what a FAKE and BIASED interview" it was, following reports that he abruptly ended the interview after 45 minutes of taping.

Why it matters: Trump has escalated his war on the media in the final stretch of his re-election campaign, calling a Reuters reporter a "criminal" this week for not reporting on corruption allegations about Hunter Biden and disparaging CNN as "dumb b*stards" for the network's ongoing coronavirus coverage.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has urged White House negotiators not to cut a deal with Democrats on new coronavirus stimulus before the election.

Driving the news: McConnell informed Senate Republicans of the move at a closed-door lunch on Tuesday, two people familiar with his remarks tell Axios. McConnell's remarks were first reported by the Washington Post.