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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 29, 2014 8:00pm-10:01pm EST

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attorney general eric holder testified before a senate panel on a number of topics including the nsa data collection program, sex trafficking around the super bowl, and the ongoing investigation of the irs. he was also asked about the legalization of marijuana in several states. the senate judiciary committee hearing is chaired by patrick leahy. [inaudible conversations] before we start, the hearing
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deal with a serious issue i know the public will act accordingly. i appreciate the members of the public coming in here. we try to have the hearings as open as possible, senator grassley and i make sure they are streamed live and anybody can watch. but i would note the outset prohibit any outburst or clapping or demonstration of any kind. of course blocking the view of people around you, and please be behindful of the rule. and of course, the -- [inaudible] restoring america's faith in the department is the core mission.
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it's interesting the judiciary act of 1789, and senator grassley and i were here that -- but the office of attorney general has carried since the inception the responsibility to perk american and the safe guard the right and liberty to make our country great. it's why the attorney general of the united states, not the secretary of justice or anybody else. but the attorney general of the united states re-representing all of they face many challenges combating violent crime, fraud, and corruption, enforcing our nation's laws. several decades of mission department expands include protective civil rights for americans, we have to continue this today years after the jim crow rows of poll taxes that's
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why we recently joined with representative to introduce the bipartisan voting rights amendment rights act. we face more complex threat to the national security for fist skate -- sophisticated. respond to the threats but along with these rapid challenges it remains true 0 our core values of liberty, privacy, government response to the people. we live in a digital age. we know that. challenges are even more acute. every day americans generate a anonymous amount of information about their lives of simple routine tasks like using a credit card and sending a text message, calming a friend, and searching for directions on the web. the technology improves our life. it creates --
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revealing vulnerable to excellent exemploy station. i ask at some point is there anything in the u.s. constitution that gives authority to the congress to pass a law that enables and empowers the executive agency such as the nsa or bureau of land and management, for that matter, to open, to listen, or seize either the mail, the phone conversations, or electronic communications of u.s. citizens simply by a law. in vermont we treasure our privacy and it makes me weary of government overreach or lax protection for consumers in these laws. i think it's the change show a need for congress and the department to act. we need to set appropriate limits how the government can
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-- assuming we have the power to allow and pass a law to allow any agency, any agency to do this. i'll continue to push for u.s. of freedom act as well as legislation report electronic communications privacy act. i thank the senators who joined on similar legislation. i have to ensure the huge amount of data that are collected whether assuming they have the right to collect them which is a big assumption, that they're collected and shared and by businesses the growing data breaches and identity theft that we're going to exam this issue details the hearing next week. it's important the department
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continues the criminal justice mission i know the attorney general and i shared a commitment to keeping americans safe, and supporting the men and women of front line and law enforcement and help victims rebuild their lives. we work closely last year, and i appreciate that, to reauthorize the violence against women act. the trafficking victims protection act. the critical improvement protect all victims. the president signed in to law the public safety office benefit improvement act. make significant improvement to -- benefit. it's important to our first responders. i appreciate the attorney general strong support for the goal of the justice are reauthorization act. the second chance reauthorization act, and forensic reform legislation. each of which are going to improve the effectivenesses or criminal justice system. i would like to see them enacted
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this year. i know, a lot of people in law enforcement like to see them enacted. i appreciate the bipartisan effort currently underway in the committee to address the unsustainable growth of our prison population. the time of shrinking budget all level of government if you do nothing and allow the prison population and consume more than a quarter of the department's budget eventually even more than that it makes us less safe. incremental changes to mandatory minimum is a good place.
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i want to thank them who work hard every day to keep us safe. i met with a lot of them. you're the face of the department of justice, you know there are thousand of people whose faces will never be in the news but are out there every day throughout the country, abroad keeping us safe. we pray for their safety. we appreciate what they do. it is our respect. senator grassley. >> before i read my statement, i would like to say to general holder, obviously you and i were bitten by a different political bug, but and we have policy differences we have more agreement than what you and i might realize a particular time. but i think the policy differences are legitimate and
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we can live with them. in my statement, i'm going make some comments about some administrative action where i think there's no excuse for and congress isn't being respected by your department, and whether it is your people within your department. within the least we ought to have responses to things where there should be no political differences. just wanting information. so i hope you appreciate the fact that if we disagree on policy issues and country carry over to things that when congress simply wants some administrative action an your part. i think you, chairman leahy, for the hearing. it's ab important hearing. oversight is very important. i thank the attorney general for coming here. you take some beating by coming here. at least you are fulfilling a constitutional responsibility of
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giving us information we need if public. i have so start by pointing out to the chairman we still haven't received answers to our questions for the record from the last oversight hearing with the attorney general when was over 11 months ago. it the department should show sufficient respect for the committee to answer the questions at least prior to the next oversight hearing. now 11 months elapse. we also haven't received replies to questions directed other department officials who testified at various hearings over the past year. this hearing also affords me the opportunity to call to your attention, general holder, the many letters that the department has yet answered. it's unfortunate we always have to start a department oversight hearing with a same request to respond to unanswered questions
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from the congress. for instance, back in early november, i wrote you about the justice department consult to health and human services on the affordable care act. hhs says that in consultation with your department it decided not to apply the antikickback statute to the affordable care act this is a clear violation of congress' move to strengthen antifraud laws. you have helped us strengthen a lot of antifraud laws. since i haven't received an answer to my letter. i'm going ask you about that today. i've also written to you about the department's hands of cases in which the national security agencies employees abuse their signals intelligence authority. in august after news reports about the cases, i wrote to the nsa inspector general about them. in response the inspector
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general indicated that since 2003, there were 12 documented instances of nsa employees abusing these authorities, in many cases, by spying on loved ones. it's good the number of cases was very small. but even one case too many according to the inspector general. six of these cases were referred to your department for prosecution. in october i wrote to you to request information about how the department handled these cases. i asked for a response by december 1st. i haven't received one. it's important for the public to know whether the department is taking these cases seriously. we need to deter this kind of behavior in the future gavin nsa's powerful capabilities. in addition, this committee has spent a considerable amount of time over the past six months
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considering various reforms to nsa. in a speech on this a few weeks ago, the president directed you as attorney general to the collection of telephone meta data. i'll be interested in hearing how it is proceeding. the president has also asked you to do a review of the fbi whistle-blower protection and recommend changes on how to improve them the assignment was contained in presidential policy directive 19, which claimed to create protection for whistle blowers with access to classified information. the president gave the 180 days to complete the review, and it's 10 month overdue. there's a lot of service to whistle-blower protection. but there is another example of how the actions don't match rhetoric. i'm concerned about the
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president's districtive. i recently had a whistle-blower from the cia contact my office. he was seeking to report alleged violations of the whistle-blower protections in the president's directive 19 false statements to congress and concerns related to legislation. he tried to get permission to share the classified detail with me, yet a cia lawyer wrote a letter denying permission claiming judiciary committee members aren't authorized to receive classified information from the cia, which is, of course, false. but it scares whistle blowers and intimidates them in to silence inspect is one of several things that suggests to me that even with the president's directive, we need stronger legislative protection for national security whistle blowers. another topic discussed is the department's nonenforcement of
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control substance act. in august the department announced it wouldn't challenge laws in colorado and washington legalizing trafficking marijuana. the department apparently believes that so long as these states create effective regulatory schemes, key federal enforcement priority wouldn't be undermined. those priorities include the diversion of marijuana in to other states, increase use among minorrers, and more drug-driving fatalities. however, i'm concerned in many ways, this policy is based on willful ignorance of the realities in these states: example, result of failure to adequately regulate medical marijuana, colorado has been a sharp -- has seen a sharp increase in public health and law enforcement problems related to the federal priorities in a few years.
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.. you will soon announce additional guidance that will prevent marijuana distributed in the states to use the banking system to engage in what is under federal law to money laundering. i'm also concerned that this administration hasn't been faithful to the constitution in a number of areas by
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unilaterally changing or ignoring laws passed by congress. in my view many of these actions are inconsistent with the constitution's requirement that the president quote take care to faithfully that the laws be faithfully executed end of quote however, your department -- your department's office of legal counsel is involved with this because they provided an independent check on executive action. the office of legal console is responsible or advising the executive branch on constitutional crisis. moreover the constitutionality of all proposed executive orders. last night during the state of during "the state of the union address" the president signaled that he will use executive orders aggressively to advancing his agenda this year. transparency should be brought to the office of legal console analysis of proposed executive order so that the american people can see whether they are
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subject to a rigorous constitutional review. thank you very much general holder for listening. >> please go ahead. >> chairman leahy, ranking member grassley and members of the committee i want to thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the recent achievements and ongoing priorities of the united states department of justice. i would like to thank the members of congress for coming together earlier this month to pass a bipartisan budget agreement that restores the department's funding to decrease sequestration levels. we are reviewing this legislation to determine its impact on sis pacific programs and components but we anticipate that it will provide for the hiring of additional federal agents prosecutors and other essential staff. this will allow us to adjust innovative programs to keep supporting state and local law enforcement agencies and to continue building upon the outstanding work that my colleagues have made possible
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over the past year. as i have often said that the department's top priority must always be the protection of the american people from terrorism and other national security threats. since i last appeared before this committee we have continued to strengthen key intelligence gathering capabilities, refine our ability to identify and to disrupt potential terrorist plots and to ensure that those charged with terrorism related offenses can be held accountable to the highest extent of the law. as president obama noted that his speech two weeks ago in carrying out this work it is imperative that we continue striving to protect our national security while upholding the civil liberties that all of us hold dear. on monday we took a significant step forward in this regard when the department acted to allow more detailed disclosures about the number of national security orders and requests that are issued to communications providers, the number of customer accounts targeted under those requests and the
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underlying legal authorities. through these new reporting methods communications providers will be permitted to disclose more information than ever before to their customers allowing disclosure of this aggregated data will resolve an important area of concern to communications providers as well as to the public. in the weeks ahead as we move forward with the timing and limitation of this and other directives by the president my colleagues and i will work closely with members of this committee and other congressional leaders to determine the best path forward. we also will continue enforcing essential privacy protections and other safeguards concerning data possessed by the government as well as by the private sector. the department of justice takes very seriously reports of any data breach particularly those involving financial information and looks into allegations that are brought to its attention.
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now while we generally do not discuss specific matters under investigation by can confirm that the department is investigating the breach involving the united states retailer target and we are committed to working to find not only a -- the perpetrators of these sorts of data breaches but also any individuals and groups which exploit that data by credit car fraud. beyond this important work the department will continue to build on the progress we have seen and confronted, a wide variety of other threats and challenges from combating drug and human trafficking to addressing cyberattacks, protecting americans from violent crime and taking commonsense steps to reduce gun violence. earlier this month the department strengthened federal background check system by clarifying federal rules concerning mental health-based prohibitions for firearm purchases. under the leadership of our civil rights division we are working diligently with our
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federal agency partners to implement the supreme court's ruling in the united states versus windsor to make real the promise of equal protection under the law for all an american families and to extend applicable federal benefits to married same-sex couples. and we are vigorously enforcing federal voting protectioprotectio ns and working with congressional leaders for both hardees to refine and to strengthen the proposals that congress is currently considering to help ensure that every eligible american has access to the franchise. in addition last year as part of our ongoing efforts to hold accountable those whose conduct conduct -- the mortgage crisis the department filed suit against bank of america and ratings firm s&p. in november the department reached a $13 billion settlement with jpmorgan chase and company. this is the largest settlement of any single entity in american history to resolve federal and state civil claims related to the companies mortgage
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securitization process. i think that these results demonstrate that no firm, no matter how profitable, is above the law and they reinforce our commitment to integrity and equal justice in every case, every circumstance and in every community. this commitment is reflected in the smart crime initiatives that i announced this past august to strengthen our federal criminal justice system to increase our emphasis on improving diversion, rehabilitation and re-entry program and to reduce unnecessary collateral consequences for those who are seeking to rejoin their communities. as part of the crime approach a mandated a significant change to the justice department's charging policies to ensure that people accused of certain low-level federal drug crimes will face of -- and sentences will be reserved for the most serious criminals. alongside other important reforms this change will make
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our criminal justice system not only fair but also more efficient and it will complement proposals like the bipartisan smarter sentencing act introduced by senator durbin which would give judges more discretion in determining appropriate sentences for people convicted of certain federal drug crimes. i look forward to working with chairman leahy and the chairman of this committee and other leaders who have shown a commitment under senator rand paul to help advance legislation. thank you once again for your continued support of the united states department of justice and i would be happy to answer any questions that you might have. thank you mr. chair. >> thank you. we are all working together to try to get something that not only makes sense but that can
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pass the old one-size-fits-all and one that makes us safer and deters crime but it means we are spending a huge amount of money on things that don't make us better and has to take money away from good long enforcement that we need. last week the privacy and civil liberties oversight committee included a phone records program and i agree with that. for the recommendations you as the director of national intelligence has developed in the coming months executive actions. i think congress has to act to ensure that this legal theory as what i consider legal theory is not used by any administration to spy indiscriminately on its citizens.
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now, doj's current interpretation of relevance in section 258 could allow the government to -- any database that might someday down the road for some reason, somehow find useful. first, is there anything in the constitution that allows us to pass such an overbroad law to allow us to search anywhere we want and is there any meaningful limiting principle for the government's interpretation of section 215? >> i think you can look at what the government has been able to do in terms of surveillance whether it is wiretaps, and there a number of statutes that congress has passed that allows the government to engage in that kind of surveillance activity. i think the difference between those kinds of i think universally recognized programs in what we have seen under section 215 of the metadata
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program is that these other materials, the other programs are predicate-based. the metadata program is really the accumulation of material without necessarily a predicate the y will say clearing the database there has to be a predicate in that and is consistent with what has been passed by congress before and constitutionally upheld by the courts. >> well apparently we can pass something but we could also pasw for example that would allow any police officer to seize anybody and lock them up incommunicado for five years. you are a former judge and attorney general of the united states and i think you would agree with me that would not pass constitutional tests at all. so i ask again the question does
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the constitution give us the right to pass a law to allow the nsa for the bureau of land management or anyone else to collect such untraveled metadata from american citizens? >> i would say the 15 judges in the fisa court, to judge is one in california and one in new york, have looked at this question and made the determination that the 215 program is in fact constitutional. one judge from washington d.c. has decided it is not that i think that only deals with 1/2 of the question. i believe that they are correct that it is constitutional. it is an appropriate use in a constitutional sense of the governments power but the question is as to what the president has posed to us just because we can do something, should we do it? that is what director clapper and i have been wrestling with over the last 60 to 90 days to
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modify the program in the way the president has indicated it. >> you anticipated another question i was going to ask. does that result in the privacy of the civil liberties oversight board? >> we will be touching base with them. obviously there is a report that you can look at but i think we want to make this pretty wide-ranging interaction with those people that have been critical of section 215 and the other other surveillance program so that we have as much information both pro and con before we make recommendations back to the president. >> there were reports in the past week that the nsa and british intelligence agency are working together on personal information for smartphone apps. i have some questions and i will ask you in a classified form but what protections are in place to ensure the nsa doesn't do in end run around u.s. surveillance including the fourth amendment obviously and going to another
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foreign agency and saying hey we are collecting this information on americans. would you do it for us? >> under executive orders 12333 the intelligence community is not permitted to ask a foreign government to collect information that we ourselves would not be allowed to collect. so any attempt to have a foreign government acquire information that we could gather ourselves would be inappropriate and a violation of that executive order. >> the nsa proposed the use of unmanned aerial system, drums. the faa develop plans for operating in a commercial airspace by next year. we have also heard on this committee that drones or already being used for a number of areas in homeland security, law enforcement purposes. that raises a privacy concern.
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i can almost feel what my reaction would be if i saw a drone flying around over my farmhouse in vermont and what i would be inclined to do not knowing where it's coming from or what it was. what plans does the justice department have to use drones within the u.s. for law enforcement purposes and what kind of state guards are being developed? the orwellian aspect i find very chilling. >> with regard to the use of these unmanned aerial systems at this point the only component within the department that is using them in an operational way is the fbi. and i think we have to
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understand that if used appropriately they can serve a useful purpose. i don't think you remember the young child who was held hostage in a tunnel i think in georgia or alabama someplace. use was made of a drone in that case that proved decisive in resolving that situation and a good way. the inspector general of the justice department has recommended that we come up with a uniform system of rules and regulations within the department to control how these devices are used. i think that is something that i supported something that will be available. >> that i would like to work with you on development and i think other members of the committee on both sides of the aisle. simply the fact that we have the technology i can see in the hands of some, this is the latest and greatest whizbang. let's just go spy on everybody's backyard and everything else.
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i think that is a reaction the american public would make gritty significant as compared to the very specific targeted law enforcement the missing child thing that you mentioned. and lastly i apologize senator grassley but you talked about a federal prison population. this is a concern to many of us here. it's grown by more than 500% in the last 30 years and that is money, being up -- eating up money that can be used in providing assistance to state and local law enforcement. in fact the inspector general said the bureau of public, bureau of prisons budget is at the top of its list of management challenges, the top of the list. what is this increasing prison population doing to your other priorities? >> the bureau prisons budget
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takes up roughly a third of the justice department's entire budget and it precludes us from doing a variety of other things on this committee are interested in. those are the interest that i share. our ability to help our state and local partners with regard to grants is impacted. our ability to hire more prosecutors, more agents and more support personnel is impacted. we have to fund the prison system to make sure that the people within those systems are safe, that we provide constitutional care to people who are incarcerated but unless we take a think a fundamental look that has been suggested by use senator durbin senator lee and senator paul unless we take that fundamental look we will have the prison system that impedes their ability to do the kinds of things the american people expect the justice department to do. i'm very concerned about that and that is why i announced an
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initiative back in august. i think what i announced is consistent with what the members of this committee have suggested as well and that is why i want to work with you to get a handle on what is i think a growing and potentially very dangerous problem. >> please do because you have brought bipartisan support across the spectrum to find her way out of this. senator grassley. >> before my time starts can i follow up? i have the same concern you do about privacy being violated by drones but i want to point out that the airplanes in iowa and nebraska, the epa has some authority to spy on certain animal feeding operations but they were spying on people they didn't have the right to regulate with the airplanes. we
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would misuse them but i think you are right when you stab using them for a essentially personal to spy on people with whom they had relationships is totally inappropriate. we will get you a full response to indicate how those cases were dealt with by the justice department. but i share the concerns expressed. >> is a possibly can do that send. >> yes, we will do that soon. >> i have referred to presidential policy of 19 released 15 months ago. this follows up on my interest in making sure whistleblowers have protection. it mandated that you deliver a report to the president with one hot -- within 180 days and that would be april of last year to assist the effectiveness of the f. the
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eye procedure of handling whistleblowers. why i raise this issue is because we have had whistleblowers rights violated like robert cole this, jane turner getting the runaround for years even after the inspector general has found in their faith. however today there has been no public announcement that you review has been completed. why have you not issued the report every 10 months after the deadline and what have you learned from your review? will you provide a copy to the committee of the review? >> i will have to check on the status of that review. i'm not sure what shape it is in and whether it is ready for dissemination but i will look at that. again i share the concerns that you have about whistleblowers. i think that the people who have concerns about the way government is conducting itself have to have the feeling that
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they have places that they can go. and to report these things in a way that does not do damage to the government itself. and so if there is not that failing that they have mechanisms, establish a means to share those concerns we then end up with people sharing things in an emperor for a way perhaps with newspapers and other media and so the concern you have is a very legitimate one. this is another thing i will have to get back to you on to make sure where we stand. >> you mention concerns of the government i appreciate that because government has certain responsibilities but when you have one individual against the government, it seems to me it's pretty easy to see how that one individual is going to be run over if we don't see that they get their constitutional rights protect it. i had a question on drones but i
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think you have answered that. i will go to the office of legal consul review of the executive order that i spoke about. i mentioned my concern that the president has been using executive orders to circumvent the will of congress and the american people. i'm sure he does not feel that way. he probably really hasn't either but i will tell you it's a big concern for people who come to my town meetings. it appears that he may continue to do this. he said so last night. in the interest of transparency and wind transparency comes accountability. would you disclose to the public public -- so we can see whether they are subjected to rigorous constitutional review klaxon seems to me that would be one of your responsibilities. it seems to me you would want the president to only do those things that are legal and constitutional and if you would make these available --
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the what the president has talked about is a desire to work with congress to pass legislation and in the absence of that to use the power that he has as president in a way that he described. what he is described as consistent with what other presidents have done over the years. i think if one looks at a number of studies i have seen this president has given far fewer executive orders than his predecesspredecess ors. >> i'm not questioning whether or not he can do it. i might have some question about the constitutionality of it and if he has got the constitutional authority and he's got the legal authority we can do it. we are just trying to determine whether or not he has exceeded that authority and your people are making that determination. is there anything wrong with the public saying what the basis of it is? >> i think we can certainly look at the requests made and we will have to see exactly how the president proposed executive authority and to the extent that we can share the determinations.
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i would be inclined to share that in inappropriate ways. >> okay. if you can't share it with me will you tell me why -- or you can share it with? i don't just want to be in a black hole here. >> answer and we generally have is that we want discussions about these matter where llc lawyers write pros and cons about a particular issue. >> i am interested in the outcome, not the debate within your agency. just what is the outcome. >> the memos memo still contain all of the arguments with a conclusory couple of pages or whatever. we will try to find ways in which we can share this information with you so that you and other members and the
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american people feel that the president is acting in an appropriate way. to the extent that it makes use of this authority at all because as i said the primary inclination and desires to work with congress to pass necessary legislation that i think all the american people want to see in. >> i think the chairman if he would give me a couple minutes because he took two and a half minutes. >> i'm not sure about that. [laughter] >> the last question or maybe a half a question after this one would be this simple. this is a discussion i had with the secretary of health and human services in another committee. they announced that it does not consider affordable care act plans to be quote unquote
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federal health care programs. that exempts him from the anti-kick back laws and undermines the congress and health reform law to make any kick backs a violation of the false claims act so you got a interest in the false claims act as well. secretary cavill you said she made this decision after consulting with your department. i asked secretary civilians why these plans are any different than medicare advantage. she claimed advantage plans are different because payments are made directly from the medicare trust fund. so i wrote to you about this last november and i would like to know when i might be able to expect a response but more importantly whether you agree with secretary civilians that the affordable care at plans should be exempt from the anti-kick back laws. he doesn't seem to me like you want to exempt anything from the anti-kickback laws.
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and what is the department's advice to the hhs in writing and if it is that like to have a copy of it. >> i want to sound sound like tabruk and record but that's something i will have to examine what they have there but i will say we have been very aggressive in enforcing the anti-kick back laws and recovered record amounts of money over the last few years. i would have to look at the particulars with regard to the affordable care act for the applicability of this provision. >> this is action according to the secretary of the department has already taken so there ought to be a sheet of paper on there that you can give to us. the half question i was going to ask, you have one more day to decide whether not the boston bombers going to be subject to the death penalty. what is your decision? >> we will be announcing that by the deadline. >> thank you. >> incidentally the money that
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the bureau of justice has set an all-time record high complement you on that. senator durbin. >> mr. grassley's amendment is what brought us into this world in terms of bringing members of congress and their staff into the affordable care act which we are now under and it was not complete when it came to anti-kickback we will certainly make sure that it is. >> i didn't know that. [laughter] >> i think every staff member, every staff member in the congress ended up paying considerably more for their health care know that it is the grassley amendment that did it. >> mr. chairman if i could address the two questions related to the wheels of justice each year when you appear mr. attorney general i ask you the same question in you give me the same answer about racial profiling guidelines and you say
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really soon we are going to work on this. this year i would like to ask you, how quickly can we expect new racial profiling guidelines when it relates to the issues of religion, national origin and whether it applies to national security and border security cases? >> i don't want to repeat the words really soon given what you said so i will say that they are forthcoming and from in the -- forthcoming in sooner than really soon. we are working with those. there has been a review underway. and i'm mean this very since early. we are surely in the final stages of this. the proposal is being circulated for comment within the department and my hope would be that it would be out of the department very soon and obviously there will be white house involvement because we are talking about the 2003 executive order but i would hope we would have inability to talk about the
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modifications that i think are in a forthcoming way. >> we also address question number two. 155 detainees remain at one, mouth. i want to say for the record this has been the subject of a lengthy debate here in congress. the president made his intentions clear when elected to close one, mouth yet resistance of congress has thwarted him from accomplishing that. for those who want establishment record, over 500 people have been convicted terrorism and terrorism related crimes through our judicial process since 9/11 in federal courts. in contrast there have been six conventions and one plea agreement from guantánamo's military commissions. two of those convictions have been overturned. the most dangerous terrorists
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that have been convicted through our traditional system reside in her prison system and the worst of the worst in maximum security. we spend on average $78,000 a year in facilities like florence, colorado maximum security to hold the most dangerous criminals in america including the most dangerous terrorist and there is never ever been an escape were questioned of an escape. we are spending for the 155 detainees at guantánamo on average not $78,000 a year, $2.7 million a year per detainee. it is an outrageous waste of taxpayer dollars. we were going to start a process to start reviewing the 155 detainees in the hopes that we could dispose of some, dismiss some, transfer some. it took a long time to get started. the wheels of justice
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unfortunately went very slowly. the president issued an executive order in march of 2011 the first periodic review board hearing at guantánamo took place in november of last year. earlier this month aboard recommended for transfer transfer of the first detainee in question. the second periodic review board hearing occurred yesterday. i'm glad to hear that progress has been made but with 155 detainees, 71 of whom are eligible for evaluation mr. attorney general we can't let the long enough to go through this process. at $2.7 million a year per guantánamo detainee? can we get this process moving in an orderly and faster way? >> it think we can. the president has indicated from the day he took office that he wanted to close the guantánamo facility and he put me in charge
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of an initial review that was done within a year they categorized all the people in guantánamo, those who could be tried in military commissions and those detained and those who could be released and those who had to be detained. we did that. we did that and i will say with all due respect congressional restrictions that were placed on us thwarted our attempts to close guantánamo any more timely fashion. you are right, we are now in the process of this review board and review board process largely based on what we did in the earlier task force that i was ahead of. we are trying to do all the began to close guantánamo and i'm actually grateful for the loosening of the restrictions of the latest budget act that makes it easier for us to effectuate that closure. but this is something that for the fiscal reasons you talk about but also for national security reasons that the
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continued residence at guantánamo closes that facility simply has to be closed. >> the sooner the better from my point of view and i wish more members of congress felt the same way. you were in chicago in november of last year and at the installation of the u.s. attorney who was a unanimous choice of senator kirk, myself and the bipartisan review panel and you made encouraging statements about commitments that were going to him be made to chicago to deal with the violent crime problem and murder issue. giving credit where it's due the superintendent of police has made extraordinary progress in this regard but when he does help. can you be more specific in terms of the resources and personnel that you will make available to help us fight these problems in fighting crime? >> we are looking at several ways in which we increased the number of federal agencies in
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chicago on either a temporary or permanent basis and also grants that we can make available to the city. i'm going to be speaking speaking to mayor emanuel tomorrow. the purpose of the conversation at least one of the things we will talk about are the specific needs he can identify that he might able to help with. i will also be talking to zach martin to get his perspective on this as well. i think that we want to do as much as we can but i don't think that would obscure the fact that the city administration working with the u.s. attorney i think it's made significant progress and i don't think necessarily they get all the credit they deserve for a pretty somatic -- dramatic decrease in crime in chicago that there is federal assistance we need to talk about. >> my time is up but it up with the new provisions bill you will be able to find u.s. attorneys to help him. thank you mr. chairman.
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>> welcome mr. attorney general. appreciate your service. i'm going to turn to a series of questions and i will try to couch them so you can answer yes or no. to the extent that you can i would appreciate it but before asking questions about the nsa surveillance matter i would like to express my concern about the department's refusal to fully enforce the controlled substance act. erdogan is now widely available across the utah border and in colorado. federal state and local law enforcement have seen success in going after marijuana growers on public lands in utah. there is a direct link between the u.s. marijuana. and large-scale drug trafficking organizations that threaten the safety and well-being of our country. legalization in colorado threatens the success that we have been seeing in tackling the problem.
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controls on the gold marijuana are unlike way to deter drug cartels from ramping up their operations on public lands in utah and elsewhere. especially since the man -- demand in colorado is wildly exceeding supply. i really think this policy shift sends a mixed and dangerous message to both the law enforcement community and fellow citizens. do you share my concern that legalization in one state can encourage more illegal marijuana production on private lands by drug cartels and others in bordering states? >> i will do it very quickly. i share those concerns than those concerns are expressed in the eight priorities we set out in preventing the diversion of marijuana under state law in some form to another state. growing marijuana in public lands in preventing marijuana possession on the use of federal property and these are three of the eight things that would
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reciprocate federal government action by the tsa. >> okay. general holder a debate about nsa surveillance is in full swing. it was hardly a way to start the debate but here we are. a lot of the attention has been focused on the nsa's collection and analysis of the so-called telephone metadata as you mentioned. it's worth reminding ourselves when -- what that information is somewhat it is not. it includes the telephone number calling, the number they called and the date and time and length of the call. is that correct? >> that is correct. does not include information about the identity of the caller of the content of the call. >> that is correct krusbe the privacy and civil liberties oversight board issued its report last week. excuse me.
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including, i apologize. including the patriot act does not provide legal authority from the nsa metadata program. in an interview last week you noted at least 15 judges in dozens of occasions that is that the program itself is legal. is that correct? >> that is correct. >> to be clear is that your provision that the collection of metadata under section 215 of the patriot act is legal and the oversight or its conclusion on this point is ron? >> that is my view. >> it is mine to matt. someone who is on the intelligence committee. in your judgment has the nsa abused or misused its capability to collect and analyze telephone metadata? >> i think the nsa has acted in a way that is consistent with the law but as i indicated i think that is part 1 of the analysis of them part 2 is whether or not we are getting from the acquisition and
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retention of that data material that is sufficient to deal with the civil liberties privacy concerns that others have expressed. that is what the president has asked us to look at. >> one more question about the oversight board's conclusion on the locality of the metadata program. in creating the board congress authorized it can do two things. first, to ensure that the need for executive branch actions in protecting us from terrorism is balanced with the need to recheck privacy. >> that is true, yes. >> second to ensure that liberty concerns considered in the development of laws and policies in this area. that is true? >> i believe that is true also. >> these responsibilities call for recommendations on conclusions about policy but i don't see how they include opining on legal issues such as the locality of the metadata. did the oversight or exceeded
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statutory mission in addressing this issue? >> i will be honest with you i'm not as familiar as perhaps you are as to what their statutory mission is. i will accept as legitimate the concerns that they expressed no i do not agree with their legal determinations and their legal analysis. >> i think they exceeded the statutory mission. ..
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>> he said that it was not itself specifically preventing a terrorist attack. must there be presented as president perman in actual a hack in order for to continue? >> we fall into -- i think that we fall into a false scenario. and we judge the validity or the value of the program. there is a mosaic of things that we take into consideration in determining what we are asking in an optimum way. we are talking about the continued need about section 215. i don't think it is the only way you can test the validity or the need for it, whether or not it has presented this many number of attacks. >> in march of 2012, the
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chairman has been a little more time so that i can finish this line of questioning. >> he will be given two more minutes. >> i'm very grateful to him. you disgust oversight of surveillance programs under section 702 of or intelligence surveillance. the justice department and director of national intelligence conducts oversight reviews once every 60 days and reports to congress at least twice a year. i understand the surveillance programs under section 215 of the patriot act and 702 is different. would you say that the metadata program under section 215 in toys oversight to that which he described under section 702? >> i think there is sufficient oversight between what the justice department lawyers are looking at of materials that are presented to us by the fisa
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quarter. >> that is right. >> one of the proposals is for telephone companies rather than the nsa to store the metadata. telephone companies do not support this idea. but suppose they do. today only 22 individuals of the nsa have access to this metadata. twenty-two people. but there are dozens of phone companies of each which would have to maintain these records. and have some number of employees. including some kind of access in addition to the 22 analysts and nsa we still have access to query these databases. how can you possibly provide a comparable level of supervision and accountability statement we
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can come up with an alternative way with information to be stored in the issue that you have raised. or not has to be resolved. and i think we have to answer the question as to how we can maintain and put it in a different place to maintain the integrity and i think the nsa has done a pretty good job of. >> i have additional concerns about the security of the metadata of the phone companies. horizons on data breach reports upon the privileged misuse and abuse by insiders that play a role of data breaches over the past year. the company can only do so much to protect against outside threats to the network. do you believe that the metadata would be more secure in the
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hands of the private sector than the nsa? >> i think that we have to try to figure out if we can do that. we have to find out if we can maintain that whole question of maintenance security and we we can do it in a different setting than we presently do at the nsa. that is one of the tasks that the president has given to me and to the director eric clapton. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate the extra time. >> thank you, senator orin hatch. i yield myself seven minutes. plus whatever else i might need. okay, it is very good to be here and i want to thank you. [laughter] i want to thank the attorney general for the good work that he does. i know that he has aided with great skill by two former chuck schumer employees camellia williams who has been gone for a while and brian fallon we miss very much. and so first on autism spectrum
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disorders. i know you are familiar with the case. he is a child with autism spectrum disorder. and he wandered away from his school this fall without help. 50% of all asd children wander in his remains were found three months later about 11 miles from the school where he vanished from. the heart of new york's win out to his mother and grandmother and i have numbered them and i know that their grief and heartache is big. cheered by many parents with autism. you can imagine it's a very heart-wrenching situation. and so right after he went missing, i call upon the department of justice to expand a current grant program that you have in place, which is provided
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for the use of tracking devices to work with patients diagnosed with alzheimer's and families of those patients. the programs administered by the bureau of justice assistance. we have been doing this for alzheimer's patients at the justice department that funds the program. so it seems that almost it is obvious that hand fits into a glove that we can do this in people with alzheimer's do as well. it seems like just a perfect fit to do the same thing with children with autism. and it is not available for salaries with children of autism and so have you been able to identify any other streams of assistance pursuant to my request? >> i think this concern that you have is a very good one and a legitimate one. it is something that is going to
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help a lot of kids. and these transmitted bracelets, sometimes they have bracelets on the ankle. >> it will be made available for the purchase of the device are meant to localities we can apply immediately and that is great news and i really appreciate that and it's a big step forward. one other question is in order to ensure a permanent adequate stream of money for this, i have introduced legislation and we call it in new york avante's law. named after this lovely boy. it creates a new glance that will be available to local law
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enforcement schools and nonprofits to assist children with autism spec or disorder. it will authorize $10 million and that is how much i think we spend on the alzheimer's. in order to help fund the purchase of voluntary tracking devices. and what you are doing is great. it will solve the problem. and legislation would ensure this. and do you agree with the general principle of trying to enact this in statute? >> i think that given the nature of the unique issues with kids with autism issues face, in
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which our nations responded and they ought to be treated in much the same way. so i can't commit. and i think that it makes a great deal of sense. >> we will go through the long laborious process he has got to 40 different agencies and get their support for this legislation, which we hope will be forthcoming. now i would like to turn to media shield. and i appreciate the administration support with the free flow of information act, which would protect confidential sources by providing clear and reasonable standards. additionally it will advise guidelines governing the obtaining of evidence from members of the news media is a step in the right direction. but that hasn't been finalized once the department sent its report to the president. so when will the revised guidelines be finalized in the
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code of federal regulation when will go into effect? >> i would expect that we would have it available for comment within the next couple of weeks. i hope that we would have them done by this hearing. there was a little glitch towards the end. but i think we will get through that and we will have them available for public review and comment and i will say that in spite of the fact that they are not yet issued, we are working under them as if they were in place and we are also looking to the board that we are putting together. >> has the committee been established? is it officially working or unofficially working? can you give us a status of the review committee. the news media dial up group is
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what you called it. to assess the impact of the department's revised new-media policies. and another one would involve outsiders on a periodic basis. with an update of the reforms we have put in place. mr. fallon has been working to come up with the appropriate people for the outside board. >> how soon do you think? >> i don't want to steal him and his thunder here. >> we expect the first meeting will be at february. >> thank you very much. thank you, mr. general. i will call on senator sessions and turn over the process and engage in the august process of
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turning over the gavel to senator klobuchar. >> antistate within your time. very well. you mentioned gun violence and crime. were statistics and the total prosecution of guns declined 5.2% this year from last year. and i think the prosecution does make a difference. i would continue to keep the numbers up. and having to deal with the mandatory sentences, i would just say that i was there only have the revolving doors in the
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60s and 70s. and the we as a nation created a system. in my college have to be careful and if we go forward until we go for to analyze some areas where the crime and punishment can be reduced. and i think that her position is sound.
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and the percentage of young people are going to the university of their state, 50% plus in the nation energize itself and nancy reagan had the just say no program. the coalition is involved in we created and worked to create. and it is not socially acceptable. and the trend talked about
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starting any other way. less than 25% of high school seniors under that study admitted to using illegal drugs. i invested bituminous amount of my time. including the varied by ability of our educational system and the future of so many and i have to tell you that i am heartbroken to see what the president said just a few days ago. it is just stunning to me. and the headline is that obama on pot legalization, it is an important point to go forward.
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and i view it as a bad habit. not very difficult from the cigarettes i spoke as a young person. i don't think it's more dangerous than alcohol. it has less impact on the individual consumer. and i probably overstated the case. this is just difficult to me, as you can see how the president of the united states should make such a statement.
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>> are prosecuting the same number of people from 2007 through 2013. then we have made that with a number of other cases that are down. do you agree with the? >> i think that i have not read the article yet. and we thought the use of marijuana by young people was not a good thing. >> if there is indication that the marijuana is being distributed this that would require federal involvement.
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>> give us your opinion. and included in that would be alcohol. >> i don't think it is more dangerous than alcohol. do you agree with that? >> i think that any drugs that you use in an inappropriate way can be harmful. in alcohol is among those as well. >> using marijuana, is against the law in a is an appropriate use? >> welcome as i said, for young people to do that, that is something that violates the federal law and something that we said that we would continue to use. >> the president has appointed
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and it is also a benign substance that has no ill effects. >> miners will involve an entailed a very vigorous federal response. and i'm not sure that that is not necessarily true. >> attorney general holder, if marijuana is legalized for adults, it makes it more available for young people? >> i say that only because the
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alcohol, people can't buy alcohol until your age 18 and younger people found ways to get alcohol because adults can. >> to the president conduct any medical or scientific survey before he waltzes then and it is universally prior to that? that marijuana is not -- that it is not come as i have quoted him, did he study any data before he made that? did he consult with you before you made that statement? >> no, he did not. >> what about this study from the american medical association of october 2013.
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and this includes anxiety moods and psychotic thoughts disorder. in this study found that marijuana users have abnormal brain structure and that chronic marijuana use may lead to brain changes resembling schizophrenia, the study also reported in did you discuss or see those reports? spirit i have not read those reports from the ama. they are good reports. that is exactly why one of our eight enforcement minorities is the prevention of marijuana to minors. lady gaga said she is addicted to it and it is not harmless.
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and patrick kennedy said the president is wrong on the subject. then we begin to pull back from this position will be adverse to the health of america. >> we are doing a lot of soul seeking. we have a lot of those that are observers of the department and i think that we are very appreciative of the fine leadership in the department of justice.
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and we have a cybercommand with two four-star generals, leaving nsa. and on the law enforcement side, our administrative advancement to meet this threat has been, to put it mildly, it has been incremental. and there is a lot of responsibility for cyberthreats within the department of justice which is divided between the criminal division of the national security division.
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and they do a tricky job. in the spending bill, thanks to chairman mikulski is exemplary legislation talents, there is a provision that provides 120 days, within 120 days to put forward a multitier strategic plan. and so they will cripple us if we talk about the budget stuff without their presence and what it will look like with the prerogatives over the budget issue with omb. as we go forward, we are going in a moderate pace.
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requirement will be done within 120 days and i'm expecting that they will actually have a report within 120 days and i'm hoping that you and omb will put suitable effort. at a rapid rate in which this is growing and morphing into more complex and varied threats, all the ways in which it can affect ordinary americans. and it adequately structured with the problem in the long haul. what assurances can you give me about this with a multiyear strategic plan within 120 days. >> i don't want to be alarmist, but i think that this is well-founded.
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>> we have a lot of cybercapabilities that are associated with criminal organizations and nationstates. and we have adequately responded to it. and we have an examination to come up with this multiyear plan. and we will take it within that timeframe and i think that members of congress have expressed an interest. and it will be with us, i
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expect, throughout the duration that will only give orders. and the dangers will only be heightened. >> i spoke to the fbi cyberdivision yesterday morning. and used the example of the united states air force. and it began as a subcomponent of the army signal corps. and the other thing i want to raise with you is that many of us have been shocked by the discrepancy between the filings of political organizations have made and they had spent tens of
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millions of dollars in political activity. and i expect that that will reflect false statements under section 1001. and there have been no cases because the iris hasn't referred anything. and now they have decided to take a look at those rules. and make sure that you are comfortable were the rules are coming out and make sure that if there are open and notorious conflicts by these organizations and get in front of a grand jury and find out if they are, in fact in the problem exists with
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the tax reform act. it is always guarded that exist between the department. and with an open and notorious violation appears to be having in place, there is nothing that prevents the department of justice from saying, why are you not referring this to me? i can see what is happening in the plain light of day. they set $0 filing under oath. someone is lying and we need to look into it. i think that is just defining what extraordinary means. and this is an ideological
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issue. i think it should be held to the full letter of the law. >> senator cornyn? >> i want to introduce you to a constituent of mine and senator cruz. catherine ingle direct of houston, texas. she is dedicated to furthering the ideals and improving the elections of our founding fathers. she leads a coalition of citizen volunteers that work as election monitors that provide resources for voter registration drives and are dedicated to rooting out election fraud.
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and yet the federal government has targeted catherine ingle direct and her organizations with her harassment and discrimination. through the vote of the patriotd for nonprofit status and they wanted to participate in the political process. when the irs failed to respond and a few weeks later, they began a series of gratuitous and inquiries into the situation. the federal government, every facebook and twitter post that ms. englebrecht have ever
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posted. but this kind of abuse of power has been limited to the irs. according to cbs news to arms targeted this. and the fbi made calls to king street patriots and attended some of its meetings. in coincidence? may be. where there's smoke, there's fire. and we now know that it is one of the conservative organizations that was targeted
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for discrimination and harassment. and it is based totally on their political beliefs. in the business that they built, simply because they dare criticize the federal government. this is telling. and it should be acceptable to united states of america. and he called this scandal and intolerable and inexcusable. no one has been accountable for this abuse.
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and i can't imagine how this would be instilling public confidence in the investigation. and it is an important one for his agency. but now it has been publicly reported that the department will not pursue criminal charges against any irs officials. even though the fbi investigation has not been concluded. and shockingly, the department made this decision and she has
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not heard a word from the fbi. so i want to know, general holder, what you have to say to ms. englebrecht. those spending thousands of dollars to defend themselves against the internal revenue service for daring to exercise their constitutional right to participate in the political process. and i would like to ask you whether you agree to make sure that your department consults personally with every victim of this type of intimidation by the federal government. and what count of accountability can expect from abuse of power.
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and you made similar concerns. >> i actually ordered the investigation into these matters. and the treasury inspector general and the fbi indicated that this is a matter that is an open inquiry in the matter is still going on. and what is actually going in in the investigation comes as the blood not been made privy coming to something that is open. it is something that is preceding. >> is there a potential for criminal charges with the investigation. and obviously there has been a determination but it has not
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resulted in the decline of the case. >> if you think it is important to protect the most people the most information about what exactly happened? like this victim of abuse of power like katherine englebrecht? >> i'm not sure who you refer to, but i'm confident that the other investigative agencies to conduct a thorough and conference of investigation and that is why matters like this take as long as they do. >> would you please make your to me and publicly to contact katherine englebrecht and get her side of the story?
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and she seems like a logical person to talk to her. i don't have any independent knowledge as to what the involvement is what the organization is about. that is something about the to the people who are career professionals make determinations as to who needs to be interviewed. >> i hope the department would talk to victims. >> thank you, senator cornyn. senator klobuchar, i'd like to also turn the gavel over to her. and we have had so much available to both sides of the committee whenever we have called you and we appreciate that.
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>> thank you very much, mr. chairman. welcome and thank you for being here. you and i have talked about as many time and i want to make sure that my republican colleagues and the state of minnesota has not had a full-time attorney for 882 days. they were appointed to head up the atf after syria, he did an able job and now through the vote of the senate. during that time for two years he was a part-time u.s. attorney in fact he was at the atf much longer than he was u.s. attorney. and i have had federal judges call repeatedly. we now have a very good candidate who is supported by law enforcement. and now the senate has decided
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not to take up unanimous information is being blocked. we have a situation where people are working 882 days without a full-time box. and i do think that it is actually outrageous. when minnesota became a state and this is the office that prosecuted the second biggest case next to ernie made off and this is the case in the office that dealt with what would have been the additional terms for 9/11 it has handled numerous cases and has been one of the best u.s. attorney offices.
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and i have talked everyone about this, but it has to end. i just asked a republican colleague and my colleagues when we were in iowa and minnesota when senator grassley repeatedly criticized the office in minnesota. with crime numbers and other things that i have mentioned. that we get the u.s. attorney in minnesota and i would like to comment about that. >> i agree with you and the point he made at the end is one that is extremely relevant and hopefully the senate will consider that this is not simply an we also have a united states attorney in iowa needs to be confirmed and we also have other people in the justice department who are waiting confirmation and these are people who are not controversial at all and they are simply waiting to go through the normal senate process, which is usually by unanimous consent.
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and hopefully we can get through that and he is an assistant united states attorney general and it matters. and hopefully it's something that we can work our way through. >> i would like to suggest to my colleagues and no one really allows us to gone go on so long to have a job share. i will never do this again. and i really understand the reasons for it. but because our congress is not able to do simple things like approve people for the atf or approve people who have u.s. attorneys offices that clearly can't take the responsibility to do that job. because we can't handle the responsibility and then we deserve what we get is that
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happens. and i want to turn something over to you, sex trafficking, we have a lot of support among bipartisan support which has been a very good portion and it gets ahead of one of these things. and the super bowl is approaching this weekend, which is a concern and there is a 300% increase with things like super bowl specials, just like what the justice department is doing about this increasing problem due in part to the number of ads and what we are seeing. >> it is something that our country needs to take note of.
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and you see young girls and women brought into these areas for illicit sexual purposes. and at the top priority with the justice department and we need to have an effective program to see young women, the young women who are involved in this with victims and not as criminals and come up with rehabilitative services and we have a proposal that you have made with regard to getting the trafficking experts together to look at this problem and come up with ways in which we are more effective in
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dealing with this issue. and it's one that i fully support and there are certain publications that make it known that young women published and are available for this number of purposes and that is something that we need to deal with as well. >> something that senator schumer and senator grassley and feinstein and i have worked on with others in this round. we have had several people in the united states and i want to thank you for the proper fusion
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and the prosecution in duluth, minnesota. people have been laying in the street died of synthetic drugs and we are waiting that sentencing and the guy in charge, something like $700,000 and i just want to thank you for that work. >> the definitions again, we need to confront. especially among young people. and we are really devoting a lot of time to dealing with these issues and we had a number of significant things and there is an educational component that we really have to focus about the dangers of the synthetic drugs are marketed in such a way to make them think that there are no dangers.
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>> i believe that senator lee is next. >> thank you madam chair and senator holder for joining us today. thank you for the opportunity to work with senator dick durbin on that. and welcome to try to move forward in a way that makes our law enforcement efforts more effective and make sure that we don't continue to escalate our federal prison population for about 10 fold over the last 30 years. i wanted to talk to you about metadata. regardless of whether you think smith versus maryland and its progeny are a constitutional case that can be made for the collection of this data as it relates to american citizens. would you agree that at some
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point when you amass an enormous value and volume of american citizens and retain within the federal government capacity to search that data, targeting, potentially, specific americans. that gives the u.s. government a lot of power to tear into things that are by their nature very private. >> we can only do that through the traditional use of authorizations. and that is what the president is doing unless there's an emergency. and right now what you have is an internal operating procedure.
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>> we want to try to work out what the mechanism idea. this includes the appropriate amount of protection. >> and we have a pretty quick pace is that we are giving up on. i think that there might be willing to records in the metadata including the number of queries that were made in the database which was about 300. >> understand that you and i think for purposes of this discussion even if we were to assume that all of the men and women serving within the nsa are acting in good faith. and there's a great risk of abuse.
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and we have put into place some very specific restrictions. especially with senator grassley, he would like to get congress to agree with with him especially if we can't get congress to act. and he will issue an executive order anytime you get the chance. this brings to mind a concern that we have. and the supreme court has, since
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justice jackson's concurrence with that without the concurrence without the majority of the court. they tended to separate this out into three categories. we have a situation where congress acts and we have a congressional congregation or a congressional prohibition. so it's sort of a twilight zone were just a little unclear in murky. and a lot of times we have congressional command. so i would ask number one, if this analysis undertaken each time that the president issues an executive order.
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number two, when the president, for example announced on july the second 2013, that he would not be enforcing the employer mandate. including through 2014. >> before the president exercises i think it is pretty clear that the president must work with congress on behalf of the american people. in the absence of that kind of activity that was done with regard to raising the minimum wage. and so those kinds of activities are done with the the justice
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department and the now says is done to make sure that the president is acting in an appropriate and constitutional way. and those three categories that we are talking about that we studied in law school about justice jackson, as to where the president's authority is rated. and to which of those three categories would you put the decision to delay the employer mandate? of that category one or two or three? >> i have not seen the analysis and i'm not sure where along the spectrum that would come. >> without this. >> i assume he consulted you?
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>> yes, there have been complications done with the justice department. from my perspective it is category one and it regulates contract and how contracting is done. >> so you're saying there is a federal statute that have authorized them to issue the executive order? >> and it is a constitutional basis given with the responsibility is in running the executive branch. i think there is an inherent power there. >> with regard to the employer mandate? >> as i said to my have not had a chance to look at it for some time exactly what the analysis is there. and again i would think that
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given that we are talking about this, that it delegates the executive branch. >> ice my time has expired. but as i conclude, i would just like to point out that this is very important as my colleague suggested earlier. with legal counsel or whoever is advising the president on these issues.
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and this is part of protecting us against the excessive icky relation of power. i think the president owes it to the american people and you owe it to the president to make sure that when he does talk about this or executive order, that he does so clearly what the basis of authority so that the american people can be aware of what is happening and on what authority. and perhaps you can submit something, especially about the basis for making some of these decisions with regard to some of that away of the employer mandate. >> on me just say that i have great respect for the legal and analytical skills. and the president will not act in way that is inconsistent in a way that other presidents have acted in using their executive
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authority and we have made far less use of executive power at this point in the administration with some of the predecessors. and that is the desire of the president to work with congress. especially this is part of what we are saying. that means that he has made use of it for other presidents. and this is not precedented. and they point to the delay, the
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unilateral delay in the lawless delay, and my reason of the employer mandate as an example. particularly given the fact that it's difficult to imagine who is challenging this and especially in a timely enough manner to avoid a problem in this case. >> we will talk to him about the future desires and what we plan to do. >> thank you. >> thank you, madam chairman. i want to begin. i wanted to begin by respectfully taking issue with my colleagues including senator lee. to say that the use of executive
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orders in the past has been very sparing. in fact, in my view, the number of executive orders which have been far less than any recent president, reflect that very sparing prosecution, in my view, to cautious into scary. and i applaud the apparent determination to use his authority more aggressively and vigorously in areas that matter so much to the well-being of the american people, particularly when it comes to economic opportunities as well as to immigration and veterans issues. the basic concept is that the president is using his authority. ..
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i think your position that in the use of executive power will be in accordance with the law and authority clarifies it and i think what has been missing a lot of the reaction of the president's speech were some of his critics have said that he's going to be legislating or bypassing congress and in fact he is using legislation that granted him authority.

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