Rosenstein unaware of ‘disqualifying’ conflict of interest for Mueller

Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinTrump: Appointing Sessions was my biggest mistake Trump blasts Mueller, decries 'witch hunt' at 2020 launch Trump: I didn't fire Mueller since firings 'didn't work out too well' for Nixon MORE told lawmakers Thursday that he is unaware of any conflicts of interest that would disqualify Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump Schiff says Intel panel will hold 'series' of hearings on Mueller report MORE for leading the federal investigation into Russian interference.

Rosenstein’s answer came in response to questioning during a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on the Justice Department’s actions leading up to the 2016 presidential election. Hours earlier, President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials' powers to reject FOIA requests Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question MORE wrote on Twitter that Mueller should “list his conflicts of interest.”

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“Does Bob Mueller have any conflicts of interest?” Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellRules for first Democratic primary debates announced What do millennials want? 2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the first Democratic showdown MORE (D-Calif.) asked Rosenstein, the Justice Department official overseeing the Russia investigation, during the hours-long hearing Thursday.

“If there were any conflicts of interest that were brought to our attention, I would discuss it with Mr. Mueller and then there could be review within the department if there were a credible allegation of a conflict of interest,” Rosenstein said. “I am not aware of any disqualifying conflict of interest.”

Some have alleged that Mueller’s friendship with former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyBiden is the least electable candidate — here's why Top Mueller prosecutor Andrew Weissmann lands book deal Trump to appear on 'Meet the Press' for first time as president MORE, with whom he worked at the FBI, represents a conflict that should disqualify Mueller from the probe.

Trump tweeted Thursday morning in advance of the hearing, “When is Bob Mueller going to list his Conflicts of Interest? Why has it taken so long? Will they be listed at the top of his $22,000,000 Report.”

“And what about the 13 Angry Democrats, will they list their conflicts with Crooked H? How many people will be sent to jail and … persecuted on old and/or totally unrelated charges (there was no collusion and there was no obstruction of the no collusion)...And what is going on in the FBI & DOJ with Crooked Hillary, the DNC and all of the lies? A disgraceful situation!” Trump wrote.

Thursday’s oversight hearing centered on a bombshell Justice Department inspector general report that chastised Comey for his decisions while he served as director of the FBI in 2016 regarding the investigation into former Sectary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden to debate for first time as front-runner Top Trump ally says potential Amash presidential bid could be problematic in Michigan Chaotic Trump transition leaks: Debates must tackle how Democrats will govern differently MORE's email use.

The investigation also revealed FBI agents exchanging text messages negatively characterizing Trump before the election. Republicans have seized on the messages as proof of bias against the president within the bureau.