Yet other legal experts said the New York Times report claiming that Rosenstein sought to record or remove Trump gives the president ample reason to fire him without it bearing on an obstruction case.
Rod Rosenstein, the seniormost official in the US Justice Department now overseeing the Robert Mueller probe into Russia's alleged meddling in the US 2016 elections is said to have verbally offered his resignation to Donald Trump's chief of staff John Kelly Monday.
The deputy attorney general was reported as having discussed possibly secretly recording the president and invoking the Constitution to have the Cabinet remove him from office.
A second source told Axios, "He's expecting to be fired", which is the main reason for why he has reportedly chosen to resign at this time.
Mr Rosenstein was due to attend a meeting in the White House on Monday.
The news comes days after The New York Times reported that Rosenstein suggested past year that he secretly record Trump to "expose the chaos consuming the administration" and discussed "recruiting cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Mr. Trump from office for being unfit". The Justice Department issued two statements from Rosenstein denying the remarks and released a separate statement from someone who said he recalled the recording comment but insisted that it was meant sarcastically.
Upon arrival, the deputy attorney general was "emotional" and wanted to part amicably with Trump to avoid "an angry Twitter tirade", the report continued.
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Trump has faced mounting pressure from the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is looking into Russia's role in the 2016 presidential election.
A Justice Department spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. This is clearly a story that is going to unfold throughout the day, so we'll keep you posted as it develops. Some urged him to fire Rosenstein.
In a highly unusual move for a U.S. president, Trump has repeatedly attacked the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, claiming that they are biased against him.
The revelation that Rosenstein past year had broached the idea of taping the president touched off a dramatic weekend of conversations with the White House in which he offered to one official to resign and confided to another that he was considering doing so, according to two people familiar with the discussions who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations. "I will not further comment on a story based on anonymous sources who are obviously biased against the department and are advancing their own personal agenda". "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director!" he has written. Mr. Trump blames Sessions for recusing himself in the Russian Federation investigation, which is why Rosenstein is in charge of the probe.
Rosenstein has spent much of the last 18 months trying to walk a fine line between keeping the Trump administration happy and facilitating the Russian Federation investigation without appearing to be biased.
While his White House has been marked with unprecedented staff turnover, Trump has often left the task to deputies, including Kelly.
Trump has repeatedly dismissed the Mueller probe as a "witch hunt" created to delegitimize his election victory and undermine his presidency. "It might even trigger a constitutional crisis".