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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testifoes before a House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Photo: Andrew Harnik / AP

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday that he does not believe members of the special counsel or FBI involved in the Russia investigation give off the appearance of impropriety for having donated to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Where things got heated: GOP members on the committee argued that several FBI agents investigating Russian collusion are biased, as seen through the anti-Trump texts sent by Peter Strzok. Rosenstein responded by stating that the DOJ recognizes they have employees with political opinions, and work to ensure they "are not in any way a factor in how they conduct themselves in office."

  • Backlash from Committee members: Multiple panel members slammed Rosenstein's response, arguing that the text messages show clear bias among investigators against Trump, which they feel will impact the Russia probe. Note that Mueller fired Strzok after learning of the text exchange.
  • Go deeper: Trump's lawyers want a second special counsel appointed to investigate the DOJ and FBI.

More from Rosenstein's testimony:

  • Rosenstein says he doesn't believe Special Counsel Robert Mueller or his team are operating outside of the scope of the Russia investigation.
  • He doesn't believe there is "good cause" to fire Mueller: I know what he's doing. If I thought he was doing something inappropriate I would take action."
  • Rosenstein said he doesn't regret hiring Mueller: "I believe based on his reputation, his service, his patriotism, and his experience with the department and with the FBI, I believe he was an ideal choice for this task."
  • Flashback: This hearing is reminiscent of Rosenstein's June testimony, when he stated that he is the only person who could fire Mueller — not even Trump. He also said there was "no secret plan" to remove Mueller, or at least, "no secret plan that involves me."

Go deeper

Updated 48 mins ago - Politics & Policy

House passes George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

Photo: Stephen Maturen via Getty Images

The House voted 220 to 212 on Wednesday evening to pass a policing bill named for George Floyd, the Black man whose death in Minneapolis last year led to nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Why it matters: The legislation overhauls qualified immunity for police officers, bans chokeholds at the federal level, prohibits no-knock warrants in federal drug cases and outlaws racial profiling.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Republicans plan to exact pain before COVID relief vote

Sen. Ron Johnson. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Republicans are demanding a full, 600-page bill reading — and painful, multi-hour "vote-a-rama" — as Democrats forge ahead with their plan to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

Why it matters: The procedural war is aimed at forcing Democrats to defend several parts the GOP considers unnecessary and partisan. While the process won't substantially impact the final version of the mammoth bill, it'll provide plenty of ammunition for future campaign messaging.

The new grifters: outrage profiteers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As Republicans lost the Senate and narrowly missed retaking the House, millions of dollars in grassroots donations were diverted to a handful of 2020 congressional campaigns challenging high-profile Democrats that, realistically, were never going to succeed.

Why it matters: Call it the outrage-industrial complex. Slick fundraising consultants market candidates contesting some of their party’s most reviled opponents. Well-meaning donors pour money into dead-end campaigns instead of competitive contests. The only winner is the consultants.