(CNSNews.com) - In response to two specific questions--did the Department of Justice or the FBI spy on the Trump campaign, and did anyone in the Obama administration direct confidential informants to make contact with the campaign--Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday he was "not permitted to discuss any classified information."
"Let me ask you this," Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) asked Rosenstein.
"What did the DOJ or FBI do in terms of collecting information, spying or surveillance on the Trump campaign, be it via (FBI informant) Stefan Halper, or anybody else working on behalf of the agencies?" DeSantis asked Rosenstein.
"As you know, Congressman, I'm not permitted to discuss any classified information in an open setting, but I can assure you, we're working with oversight committees and we're producing all relevant evidence to allow them to answer this question," Rosenstein replied.
DeSantis again: "Let me ask you this then: Did the Obama administration, anybody in the administration, direct anybody -- Halper or anybody else -- to make contact with anyone associated with the Trump campaign?
"As I said, Congressman, I appreciate, obviously, the -- I understand your interest, but I'm not permitted to discuss classified information," Rosenstein said again.
"Well, we want the documents, and I know we're in a back and forth on that," DeSantis said. "But the American people need to know, were the counterintelligence powers of the Obama administration unleashed against Trump's campaign -- if that was done, was it done inappropriate?"
Strzok text message: 'We'll stop it'
One of the most incriminating text messages sent by FBI agent Peter Strzok to his lover Lisa Page was not made public until the Justice Department's inspector general released his report on June 14.
But Rosenstein told the committee, "I want to assure you and the American people, we're not withholding anything embarrassing."
The FBI did not find the message, but the inspector general did, Rep. DeSantis noted.
"And so we're asking you to produce stuff, and obviously we're expecting a good faith effort," DeSantis told Rosenstein. "You guys didn't find it, and maybe someone else deleted it or something happened before you guys, but he was able to find it, you didn't. So it was very disappointing to see that text message there."
The text message was a response to FBI attorney Lisa Page, who wanted reassurance that Trump would never become president. Strzok replied, "No. No, he's not. We'll stop it."