Rod Rosenstein, who has overseen Russia investigation, expected to leave

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

Citing anonymous sources, ABC claims that Rosenstein will leave his position as the nation's number two law enforcement officer around the time William Barr, President Trump's nominee for Attorney General, takes office following a Senate confirmation.

Rosenstein, a former United States attorney in Maryland, will have served as deputy for roughly two years by the time he leaves.

"My guess is that he is making room for the new attorney general to build a team that he wants around him", she added.

Russian officials have said the allegations were invented to excuse the election loss of a presidential candidate, as well as deflect public attention from actual instances of election fraud and corruption.

Reuters was unable to immediately verify the reports and representatives for the Justice Department could not be immediately reached for comment.

Barr's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing takes place next week.

He then handed off oversight to his deputy, putting Mr Rosenstein in the spotlight and leading to criticism from Republicans in Congress as well as Mr Trump. Barr is expected to face questioning from Democrats about his views of the Mueller investigation at next week's hearing. Mr Rosenstein continued to help supervise the inquiry.

While a timetable for his departure is not set in stone, Barr could be confirmed as soon as the beginning of February.

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Have Trump and Rosenstein feuded?

ABC News attributed the information to unnamed "multiple sources" in a report posted Wednesday.

The newspaper also reported that he suggested secretly recording Mr Trump to expose White House turmoil and dysfunction.

At a news conference in December, Rosenstein said that Mueller's investigation would be "handled appropriately" no matter who is overseeing it.

In November, Mr Trump retweeted an image of Mr Rosenstein behind prison bars.

Mueller is investigating Russia's meddling in the 2016 election and contacts with the Trump campaign.

Rosenstein himself has sought to allay fears about the effect of any one leader on the workings of the Justice Department generally and the Russian Federation investigation specifically. His interim successor, acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, consulted with Justice Department officials but ultimately decided not to recuse himself.

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