During the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday, CNN quickly cut away when Sen. Lindsey Graham pointed out that a former Clinton Foundation attorney has been hired by Special Counsel Robert Mueller to help with the investigation into the Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election.
Even though no evidence has been provided, Democrats have long thought that the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia. There is also reason to believe that Special Counsel Mueller will investigate the allegations of obstruction of justice against the president.
It was recently discovered that Mueller had hired attorneys to help who have also supported Hillary Clinton in the past, including one attorney who worked for the Clinton Foundation.
Graham: Is giving political donations a reason to disqualify somebody for serving in the Special Counsel’s office?
Rosenstein: No, Senator, it is not a disqualification. It is not.
Graham: As a matter of fact, many states, the judges and prosecutors are actually elected. Donations are a part of that system, is that correct?
Rosenstein: Yes, that’s true.
Graham: Would it be a disqualification for somebody in the Special Counsel’s office who had represented Mrs. Clinton in the past to serve?
Rosenstein: You know, Senator, it would depend on facts and circumstances. As a general matter, I think the answer is no.
Graham: Isn’t that much closer to a conflict of interest?
Rosenstein: I don’t want to answer a hypothetical, Senator. Everybody needs to make a determination based on the facts and circumstances of the individual case.
Graham: How would you get it before the Special Counsel? What process could a member of the Senate use to inform the Special Counsel that you’d have a concern about hiring someone that represented Clinton?
Rosenstein: We have a process within the Department of Justice, Senator, so I would encourage you, if you have those concerns, to raise them with [former] Director Mueller or to raise them with me, and I’ll make sure —
Graham: So should I do it to you or to him?
Rosenstein: Well, you could do it to both.
Graham: Okay. That’s fair enough.
Rosenstein: And we have career —
Graham: And I don’t know if I’ll do that, but I’ve read some things that were — I don’t think donations are disqualifying at all, but if you represented the Clinton Foundation or Clinton herself, that would be disturbing to me, but I’ll take care of that.