Update: The White House has said it’s meeting with Rosenstein this Thursday, who is to remain at his post until further notice.
Noel Francisco, a Scalia acolyte who has argued against government overreach in political investigations, is expected to oversee the Mueller probe, taking it over from outgoing Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein.
Francisco, the Solicitor General, is the fourth-ranking official at the Justice Dept. and was confirmed for the position in Sept. 2017 by the Senate, which voted mostly along party lines.
Previously, in 1997 Francisco worked as a clerk for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who he referred to as his “dear mentor.”
Francisco is also a member of the Federalist Society, which was tapped by President Trump to provide recommendations for filling court vacancies during his presidency.
Scalia was likewise a member of the society.
Francisco also worked for a private law firm in which he argued cases before the Supreme Court, including the 2016 case Zubik v. Burwell in which Francisco contended that Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate infringed upon religious freedom.
“Although Mr. Francisco has remained mum on the Mueller probe he now stands to inherit, he has argued against government overreach in political corruption investigations,” reported the Washington Times. “He even blasted frequent Trump sparring partner and ex-FBI Director James Comey for “heavy-handed” tactics in the bureau’s probe of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican.”
“Mr. McDonnell’s conviction was vacated by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016.”