Axios, after being somewhat shamed yesterday for jumping the gun on the Rosenstein resignation scoop, got their hands on the draft announcement from the Department of Justice:
Rod Rosenstein has served the Department of Justice with dedication and skill for 28 years. His contributions are many and significant. We all appreciate his service and sincerely wish him well.
Matt Whitaker, my Chief of Staff for the last year, will instill confidence and uphold the integrity of the Department as the second highest law enforcement officer in the Nation.
Finally, I am confident that Noel Francisco will oversee the special counsel with a commitment to justice as Acting Attorney General for this matter. As I have said before, the American people deserve an expeditious resolution of this investigation consistent with the rule of law.
They note that its “veracity has been confirmed by three sources close to the White House with direct knowledge.”
That said, Axios’ Swan writes:
What I don’t yet know: How exactly the conversation between Rosenstein and Kelly changed on Monday. I don’t know what terms he had demanded and how, if at all, his demands changed from Friday to Monday. As of now, it’s possible that he remains Deputy Attorney General for the foreseeable future. He meets with President Trump on Thursday.
There’s some arcane policies about quitting versus being Your Fired’ed which could make a difference. Employees who resign can be replaced by other employees who have already gone through a confirmation; employees who are fired can only be replaced by employees that then go through a new confirmation.
So, in theory, Comrade Prznint could appoint someone to his liking if Rosenstein quits, and this someone could shut down the Little Kremlin-on-the-Potomac investigation.
That someone is clearly Noel Francisco, who you can see is ready and willing to be the bagman.
So once again, NYTimes, thanks a lot. Somewhere, Judith Miller is smiling.