Sen. Kamala Harris questioned Attorney General William Barr about Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's dual roles as both witness in and supervisor of the Robert Mueller investigation.
First, some background: Mueller's report disclosed a previously unknown episode in which Rosenstein resisted Trump's efforts to get him to take the blame for the firing of FBI Director James Comey.
That event was examined as a key piece of Mueller's investigation of Trump's possible obstruction of justice — meaning Rosenstein was an important witness in the probe. Rosenstein also oversaw the probe beginning in early 2017.
Here's how the exchange between Harris and Barr played out:
Harris: Did the ethics officials in your office in the Department of Justice review the appropriateness of Rod Rosenstein being a part of making the charging decision on an investigation which he is also a witness in?
Barr: So, as I said, my understanding was he had been cleared and he had been cleared before I arrived.
Harris: In making a decision on the Mueller report?
Harris: And the findings of whether or not the case would be charged on obstruction of justice? He had been cleared on that?
Barr: He was the acting attorney general on the Mueller investigation.
Harris: Had he been cleared to make —
Barr: I'm informed that before I arrived, he had been cleared by the ethics officials.
Harris: Of what?
Barr: Of serving as acting attorney general on the Mueller case.
Harris: How about making a charging decision on obstruction of justice, the underlying offices which include him as a witness?
Barr: That is what the acting attorney general's job is.
Harris: To be a witness and to make the decision about being prosecuted?
Barr: Well, no. But to make charging decisions.
Harris: I have nothing else. My time has run out.