tv A Higher Loyalty Roundtable Discussion CSPAN May 6, 2018 8:21am-9:31am EDT
thank c-span, and as we say goodbye, what is on your bucket list? what is one thing you've dreamed of doing and now you can? >> i ask a think there's anything on that list. i mean, i am a happy person. maybe that explains why this doesn't bother me more but i am married to my best friend. i have five amazing children. i actually don't have a bucket list. >> director comey, thanks for great conversation. [applause] >> thank you, all. [applause] >> and now on booktv a discussion on james comey's book "a higher loyalty." joining us to dissect within this book are two people very experienced inside washington
and washington politics, victoria toensing was an official in the reagan department of justice, which is also a high-profile lawyer here in washington. and representative jamie raskin is a democrat from marilyn and a member of the judiciary committee. before we get into the book, congressman raskin, what are your overall impressions of james comey and his public service? >> let's start with james comey the man. that was interesting to me. i never met him. i don't really know him, and in the book he comes off as someone who is very boy scout like in terms of his respect for rules and the rule of law. the first several chapters involve his hatred of bullies and how he was bullied. as a kid he was a big-time he wasn't open until he got out of high school, he reports. so you could see how that would
be a coming character clash and collision between them and donald trump of course affects the style of the bullied frequently and comey doesn't like bullies. his key personality flaw, perhaps, it may not be a a flop but there's a certain kind of sanctimonious that he's aware of any rights about but he likes to be a little holier than thou and is very much by the book, and that can rub you the wrong way when you see them making certain decisions that are very questionable, as when he decided to go public with the idea that there were more emails down and he is going to reopen the investigation into hillary clinton two weeks before the election, and that was of course what caused a storm of protest among democrats. we could get into the legality of that, but he strikes me as a
decent person and one who was clearly flabbergasted and dumbfounded by the trump presidency and by donald trump is a major evasively calls the presidency of forest fire. there's some very funny parts of the book where he reports different things, that donald trump says and the court has no respect for the man's intellect and less respect for his character and his virtue. the running thing is that trump wanted to make sure first, that he wasn't going to pursue the investigation into michael flynn about his lying about his connections with russians, but then and even more excessively was trump's concern that the reports in the infamous dossier would come out about trump's contacts with, alleging context with russian prostitutes and various lord activities that he had entice them into engaging in -- learned. i think, and trump are sort of opposites of each other any clue
sets up the book in such a way to frame it as a contrast between the two. >> define the book convincing? >> in terms of the facts, i think if somebody was zealous about trying to tell the truth. it's the kind of thin book. there's not a lot of analytical or theoretical depth to. there are a few points where he tries to show more self reflection, and clearly about the hillary stuff i think is externally nervous. essentially what he says is he felt he had an obligation to reveal that there were going to go after congressman weiner's laptop and huma abedin, to go after those emails, and to make it public despite the fact there were doj regulations is saving publicity strongly during that election and gender because nothing had been done anyway. but he said he thought it was clear that hillary clinton was going to become president and the subtext is he didn't want to
be responsible for that. because he didn't want to be responsible for it he felt like he needed to tell the world we were reopening the investigation, there might be more e-mails that could change the outcome of what it announced earlier in july was the end of the investigation. i've got some questions but what he did there because usually prosecutors decide there is not grounds for prosecution, they just say we are not prosecuting. they don't launch into an hour-long dissection of the motives of the person and how they showed that judgment and extreme recklessness and covetousness and so on. that struck me as bizarre. this is speaking as a constitutional law professor, that he would entertain such an in-depth dissection of hillary clinton. but the basic point was he seemed not to want to be responsible for a hillary clinton when and in the process by paying so much attention to politics he may become responsible partners partly responsible for a trump win.
i think that's the underlying impulse of the book is to try to kind of exculpate himself and say, well, i didn't do any of this deliberately to make trump president. it's almost as if he wants to blow the whistle and trump now did he feels implicated presidency. >> counselor, your opening statement. >> i want to react to last point so people who are listening to visit, that is it was a nuance. call me didn't say he didn't want to be responsible for what was president ricky said i thought hillary was going to be president and a wanted to make sure it was legitimate and if people found out about this investigation afterwards the immediate ball problem if i hadn't brought it forward. let me go back, here is, this sits right in the craw of comey's personality. he hates bullies, he hates bullies, , they're so bad. what does he do in college?
he bullies somebody who has a really neat row and went along with the gang, with everybody as he admits, maybe i just wanted to be part of the gang because i wasn't in high school. bullied and trashed somebody through. that to me is the theme of all of what he says in here, because he says i'm not political yet he does all kinds of things that are political. i'm not a bully. i hate bullies. he became a bully when it suited his interest. that is the central theme that i see in the book. also you said he was just a little bit holier than thou. oh, no, no. there's a reason he had that name cargo comey, and that is because when he was at the justice department, when lawyers would disagree with them, and lawyers to squeeze all the time, he would look at the disagree here and say your moral compass is askew. people around there did not appreciate that kind of attitud
attitude. >> do you know james comey in your circles? >> i have met him but i've not worked with him. i know the stories in here because i lived some of them but i've only met him and not worked with him. >> is the book convincing to you? >> some of it is, but there's a whole segment on scooter libby and i am his lawyer and i know the facts and he did not do the facts well. it could've been carelessness. >> victoria toensing, i want to read this quote from book to you and get impression since you were in the justice department. want to hear from you as well, congressman. but there's a tension in having political leaders atop the justice department because the administration of justice must be evenhanded. >> yes, that's true. william french smith, one of the
more underrated and best attorney generals that forever was, and i remember good ones when smith was asked to go to lunch and, somebody had only known and established said epic he went to the luncheon and during that luncheon he was asked to do something for somebody who is under investigation. he got up, let the lunch in québec and boy, there were whole bunch of people who were in trouble or even sitting at this luncheon without knowing what it was about. you can be a political person. he was ronald reagan's personal lawyer, but when you get in the justice department you better be straight. i have never seen a justice department, when i was there, that when after anything but issues. we all rolled our eyes a lot when ed meese set up -- like, it was issues.
their antitrust cases, but it was issues. it wasn't about personality. it wasn't going after somebody. this was back in the hoover days. >> we can get back to j. edgar hoover because that also figures highly in mr. comey's book. maybe we should engage from him on this point about bullying, because your right to identify this story which comey himself tells. where, this is in the style of russo's confessions where he says i've always hated bullies and i let myself down the most when i was in college and i was part of a scene where we were basically ridiculing and harassing a kid on our floor, a kid in the dorm. he raises that himself to say this is something that i hate and i'm ashamed about that i was ever part of it. i simply don't present that as a
revelation, but some of your puncturing his hypocrisy. he did raise that himself to save all of us can be drawn into bullying and what we need to counter is whole political systems or bureaucracies or presidencies that are based on a bullying principle. he's a bit impressed by his own moral stature, and i think space more than that? >> as much as you like, he's very invested in his morality. it's not the was thinking say about somebody. i prefer some sanctimonious to criminality of the viciousness or to cruelty or betrayal of your wife or lots of other sins are devices vices that are worn sanctimony. >> but you have to understand i am the product of the department of justice, and when i hear that comey says well, when loretta
lynch the attorney general called the matter and not a criminal investigation, it wasn't worth the fight. i can ever imagine saying, accepting that. i cannot when i was there ever, ever. he says i'm not political but he does all these political -- >> that's the next one. i agree that he once told himself to non-political standard but there are a lot of points where he makes concessions politics. one of them was during the whole anthony weiner episode where he decided he had to go public two weeks before the election with the idea that there might be other e-mails found that would be relevant, when there were not. >> backup. back up to july. >> that was part of the reason trump claim to have fired him so we to disagree that. republicans were all over him for that, too. trump debunked that rational by saying a really fighting over the russian investigation. >> june 27 when bill clinton had
a chance meeting with loretta lynch like days before hillary was supposed to be interviewed, i don't know, you were never at the justice department. i know you are a fine constitutionally but that is appalling to me. and in his book he said i didn't think of it until phone call stored start coming in. are you getting? if i were the direct of the fbi at the time i would've called in that detail, the fbi detail and say tell me how this happened, this chance meeting and why, why, fbi detail, were you directing people not to take any photographs? that sets up the july 5 press conference, and again i am appalled as a former justice department people, he's not a lawyer, even though he is a law degree, he said he investigated. he's the chief investigator. no chief investigator decide who was to be prosecuted and who isn't to be prosecuted. that was contrary to any rule i
know. >> you and i agree he went way overboard and laying out his whole combination of filler elot when all you need to say is we are not -- >> he can't even say that. >> he said that, at most -- >> it's a really screwed up department. loretta lynch said i am accusing myself but she didn't do a check to do, sign the papers and direct sally yates, then the deputy ag to do it. but if, was all upset about all that all the to do a site of making a recommendation to the deputy attorney general sally yates because loretta lynch is wishy-washy. he didn't do it. he didn't follow procedures because he thought only he could save the world. >> again i -- >> that set up the october such because if he had not done the first one he wouldn't have had to do the cycling. >> he didn't have to do the second one because at most you could've said going into the investigation of the extra
e-mails that were found and if s there some reason to believe that whole investigate and need to be reopened and there was some problem, then he could go to congress and say i misspoke before, there may be a reason to go ahead and opened a criminal investigation or to indict ms. clinton. but, in fact, they came back and the anthony weiner e-mail should nothing and get it done this take press conference and all of the polling showed it derailed the clinton campaign for nine or ten days at the last few weeks of the campaign and that's what the democrats were so outraged. >> they shouldn't be too outraged because of the weight he conducted the investigation is nothing like i've ever heard in the justice department. this is not how you do an investigation. he opened it in july of 2015 and he says later i didn't open a grand jury because i was in such, time. no, july 2015 was a whole whole year of an investigation. you open a grand jury. i've done many of them. when you don't open a grand
jury, you don't have subpoena power. the prosecutor negotiating with witnesses, with people like we will give you community if you are just give up your computer. he allowed hillary clinton to come out and say i deleted 30,000 of my e-mails. you never ever do that. when you see what evidence, you get the evidence. if there's a question, you have the person who's getting the documents over, give them all to a court or some new to party to say we don't think she gave them all. she got to delete them so nobody could test to see whether they were verifiably personal stuff. using nothing was on the weiner e-mails. there were e-mails on anthony weiner's laptop or whatever the thing was that showed ship not turn over everything that was work related. they might not even classified
but should not turn over everything work related. i cannot recognize this as investigation. >> when james comey writes about that in "a higher loyalty," that the present a strong argument to you? did you take apart that part of the book? >> just like former justice department person, former prosecutor, he doesn't ever -- he says this is what i did. i taught english before it went to law school so i can see the writing is well done. it's literate and it flows and maybe get a good editor, i don't know how it all worked out, but that's the best thing i can say about this book because he doesn't explain, he doesn't go into i did this really compelling reason not to the grand jury. you don't have investigations without grand juries. look now have trump people are being treated. you just go into a lawyers office and take documents. paul manafort's home was broken into by the law enforcement and
his wife was pulled out of bed naked. there's very different standard going on. >> comey would certainly disagree. that was not a factual predicate to launch grand jury at that point. they all the evidence -- >> you don't need a factual predicate. the fact of the problem with e-mail server, i've open many a grand juries. >> i'm not following that. you need factual predicate. you don't just impanel a grand jury whenever there is an accusation something seven. >> you mean like russian collusion? >> for example, let's be specific. collusion is not a crime. line to the fbi is a crime. >> but when she had e-mails in her basement on unclassified machinery, whatever it all was, that's a 794 right there. >> on the 30 three we should be
launching grand jury investigations into a dozen members of the trump administration who abuse their private service also to engage in -- >> for classified information. >> but we don't know until we launched an investigation. using the distinct let's that squatting have grand jury in order to look at all this -- [talking over each other] >> it feels like old news to me. >> as you both know james comey has been on a media tour and he recently appeared on the view. meghan mccain had some questions for him. >> i want to believe you're not a political person. you are the head of the fbi but you write about how he went to president present bomb and you on the verge of tears saying you're going to miss him. he sidgwick dreading the next for use from. i'm a a republican whisman isss with trump that is not reflected my part as a whole. the big issue is i don't want to know your politics. a lot of the things you're saying and doing or highly
political and i just don't understand what you gain trying to clear the deck by bringing things like this. >> that's a good question. i don't think but as my politics. i think of it as my values. what i miss -- >> you talk how your wife is at the women's march and issues vy sad on election night and, a why bring up politics now? no disrespect but what your take on the current republican party is, i'm interested in what you know about national security. >> because us asked about it. [applause] >> that's a good question. i get that, the republicans are thinking that can but in the book i'm telling a story about the decisions and including speedy ontology budget interview this morning. i'm an ego driven and service to trump's ego, i just understand, you sound like a clinical commentator to me. >> i don't care whether people support a republican or a democrat because i'm not easy. i don't care who they support. i hope the conversation will
start with values and come to policy second because will always fight about guns and taxes and immigration. but all we are in this country is a collection of values and that's what unites republicans and democrats. [applause] >> i hope that's not a political statement. >> congressman raskin, what did you think of what he had to say? >> he had a good answer. there's a growing division within the republican party. you've got the boy scout wing of the republican party which believes in the rule of law. despite what mr. mr. comer jusd that he is not political, it comes out in the book he is been a republican almost all of his life up until his close encounters with donald trump. now he says he's independent or what have you. he was very clear yet not voted for barack obama ever but he grew more impressed over time with barack obama's leadership and his intellect and his character. the first administration history that produce nobody going to jail. there were no criminal prosecutions. you can name a cabinet member in
the obama administration who went to jail i was under a cloud of -- >> i see something about that? thank you eric called a loretta lynch because they didn't prosecute people. [talking over each other] >> let's talk about another time. i do want to stick with comey. so call me i think has been drawn into politics precise because president trump tried to demand a personal loyalty and that's what the book is about. trump said i need loyalty. i expect loyalty. i want your loyalty, to which comey in classic fashions and i will give you honesty, and then he said what i want loyalty. he said okay, i will give you honest loyalty, which is ambiguous, targe and what that means. he should just said i don't owe you loyalty. i own loyalty to the constitution of the united states. i owe loyalty to the rule of law. i'm going to say the doll trump
presidency is threat to america which is how he ends the book. he said this is a forest fire. this is an assault on the rule of law and constitution. it's an assault on the way the fbi and law enforcement have always govern themselves in our history. that's what he's trying to say now no and is not doing it for partisan reasons. obviously he, like attorney general sessions and the vast majority of people at the fbi, are republicans. it's not some kind of partisan plot. >> well, it seems to me that you do to look at some of the things that that comey did, a lack of investigation in politics. and they bring the irs investigation, lois lerner picked that investigation, i can tell you, the lawyer for most, many, many other victims, they were never interviewed. never interviewed by the fbi. how is that an investigation? of course, i give a much loretta lynch. maybe it was eric holder i
forget. it was 2013 so would've been loretta lynch. and the only time that cleta mitchell was contacted by the fbi to interview a victim was after she been on the hill testifying the investigation a sham and the cauldron said we will do it, but he insisted on bringing some of their who had been harassing the victim from the irs and so she had to call it off. we are talking about, as i look at his investigation, i don't see this honesty there, except where it's convenient for james comey. you talk about the conversation at the white house. you don't know what said. you were not there. >> would you concede this isn'tn accurate report that was improper the president to demand personal loyalty from the fbi director to the present. >> was that's all donald trump talks. it's not -- [talking over each other] >> this is clear how he talks constantly but what i'm saying is there is now a growing
division within the republican party. there are those people, like mccabe, like comey who actually in the rule of law and you believe in a facial neutrality or aspire to that, and there's the roy cohn donald trump wing which, describes in this book as a kind of mafia family which is usually absolute loyalty to the boss. anybody can lie -- [talking over each other] i thought kennedy -- >> we don't need to -- [talking over each other] >> who the ig found lied. >> just like your client, right? he was convicted of lying, was any? >> would you like to about the case? would you like to about the case? i will tell you because comey doesn't get it right. >> he writes about james comey, writes about scooter libby.
if you like to switch topics speedy first of all there thero underlying crime. i negotiate every single clause in jeopardy covert within five years, she was not. so there was no underlying crime whatsoever. the person who leaked the name was richard, targe, and comey and fitzgerald, official prosecutor, knew that from day one -- armor taj. yet they pursue the criminal system for almost five years of karl rove and scooter libby. i i do what you get to forget in which but to report said that he talked to them about, too, max cooper and judith miller. matt cooper his notes did not support them in the jury acquitted scooter on that. the only one left, judith miller, she recounted and why? because patrick fitzgerald had missed letter about the boundaries under cover and she understand her own notes until she saw that valerie had been at
the bureau undercover and, therefore, she recanted and said i helped convict an innocent man on that last night and applauded. this estimate who committed a crime. this is idea what pardons are for, that is essential. >> victoria toensing of women in the book "a higher loyalty" that scooter libby at one point was mark rich is attorney. >> that's what that was all about. they were together in the southern district of new york when mark rich got his part from none other than bill clinton, by the way, after gave him lots and lots of money. actually comey opened up an investigation and as a constitutional i think that would give you pause. i posted the position that an unfettered authority, that is an unfettered -- >> could you pay the president $1 million? do to think that would be --
>> she did. she gave hundreds of thousands of dollars. i know because i represented jack any case so i know the very well. >> i do not think it is unfettered authority. you cannot achieve a pardon by corrupt means. >> no, no, no. you can. >> when james comey tells the story about scooter libby in his book, do you agree with what he was writing? >> look, victorino is a lot more about the case that i do but everything that i've seen suggest he absently perjured himself he absently lied that he is being pardon to four. he went through the, process and was found by jury of his peers beyond a reasonable doubt that he had lied, isn't that right? >> he was acquitted. matt cooper and just know that since recanted. you have a problem there. >> did they go to the court reversed the verdict? >> no. she recanted and when she did,, you don't do that. [talking over each other]
>> they gave him back his law license based on her recantation. >> the criminal conviction was reversed? >> he had his law license taken away. >> you know the facts of the case because you're working for a convicted perjurer and so you've got -- >> for some respects the constitution, shame on you for saying that. >> why would you be shame at that? he was convicted of perjury. you did a great job. >> achieve witness against him recanted. that should be wonderful. >> my own response -- not convicted of anything. your guy was convicted. he wasn't so give them a a fair break. let him have due process. >> back to "a higher loyalty," this is page 66, james comey writes, washington is a city where everyone seemed to question of the people's loyalties and motivations. most often when they weren't in
the room. is that a true statement about washington? >> washington is all different. i'm not really in the political scene. i work for barry goldwater on the hill a little bit, but i went over to the justice department and i practice will ever since then. my world is lawyering. >> but it is fair to say your active in concert circles? >> i had a conservative philosophy but i don't go to national conventions or things like that. >> what about washington beat the city where it would seem to of the people's loyalty? especially when you're not in the room. >> first of all you to distinguish official washington from local washington. of course there's a a big cityf hundreds of thousands of people who are the last population of people living in the capital city were not represented in the own legislature, which is something of a scandal and something that should be
addressed. if if you are saying the power elite turned on each other and goes after them, that seems to be a pretty fair assessment of the way -- look, these guys are republicans that are attacking. james comey has spent his life as republican. he has been a devoted u.s. attorney. is given his whole life to law enforcement and are trying to trash his career. the same thing. and with robert mueller was a war hero and a lifelong republican but because he's outside of the mafia family as comey describes it as a top administration there trying to destroy them. i put in a weird position at attending the rule of law republicans simply because they're trying to destroy them. >> you are somebody who is stood in the rain for election both in maryland, now in congress, what you think of james comey's take on several different elected officials in several different presidencies quite critical of
dick cheney, of alberto gonzales, of jeff sessions, of george w. bush? a lot of elected officials don't add up for them? >> i sent with isil that with his interlocutors in the last segment there who said you're a law enforcement guy, we don't want to hear your reflections and reactions and all the politicians of what you're doing. i think it's a sign of the times aldol trump as drag everybody get into this tabloid reality where people are making fun of each other as looks and making fun of the way they dress and in making personal comments about people. it's kind of embarrassing for the country where we've gone. i don't think you need to go there. he clearly is angry with donald trump and he gets it in to a lot of humorous episodes. there is one scene in the book where he's invited for a one-on-one dinner with the president. he talks about he got to see
president obama like twice over the time of many years but with trump within a few weeks he was at four owe five calls because trump was so concern about the so-called pee tapes, the russian prostitute segments coming out and you want to make sure the fbi was going to do whatever they can to stop the leak, although comey explained it was elite because it wasn't a public document. it was a private document the missing circulate. they had dinner together and then it's kind of a funny story because they have little nameplates that had been hand-drawn, and the president sits down and he was sort of showing off to comey and he says look, these are hand-drawn. comey says to yes, calligraphy. the present look at him puzzled and said, hand-drawn, as if he didn't understand the word calligraphy. he gets a lot of swipes in there at trump who irritate him a lot. what you've got a somebody who
in perhaps second most west try to devote his life to stop bolts of people traveled the road law, and someone who does that much respect for rule of law and likes to bully and attended people which is why this legacy of litigation engulfing the president now from stars and playboy models as well as people in the political spectrum, the emoluments clause of the trouble don't. >> your bring up the pee tapes about the prostitute, is another example for me of comey's tortured speech. i can't member i do not fit in the book or an interview talked about. you would be upset as has been, my husband be upset if someone came and in so with allegationu with prostitutes and so forth, and didn't tell them the source of it. didn't enter his mind to do so. trump said that if there is a % chance my believes this i really need to get it straightened out. and comey comes at a criticizing and says my wife would've had
even 1% chance, i thought that as what i thought that was a caring comment about i don't want my wife to hear these things. and so, but comey's tortured thinking process is, well, 1% chance, then why is that? that must be weird. >> it also struck me, too, on page 241, for all my flaws there's a 0% chance literally absolute zero that patrice would credit an allegation i was with hookers peen on each other in moscow. what he was commenting about was the president kept calling them up to say we got to get to the bottom of this golden showers thing, and the leaked documents, the dossier. comey has to .2 it was not leaked. it was not a government document. they came from other sources, it came from a former british intelligence officer. >> and some hillary's campaign. >> it was a conservative newspaper that originally paid
for the production -- >> no. that's not correct. they paid for opposition research on donald trump but when they came and it'd been taken by the dnc and hillary clinton campaign. >> that's the same thing. >> no. >> you don't think there was conservative opposition research on the president? >> of course there was. it had nothing to do with the dossier. people who go into campaigns for opposition research all the time as people know. >> reinhold niebuhr, the theologian is reference quite a bit in this book and the quote by martin luther, here i stand, i can do no other, as well. did you see that? does that make any impression on you? >> none of his quotes made much impression on the whatsoever because they blathers one thing and does another when it suits him. i like the quote but i didn't follow along with him. >> he wrote his senior thesis edwin and mary where he
graduated in 1982 about reinhold niebuhr and about jerry falwell and talked about basically two different kinds of religions and one is a religious philosophy that calls people to moral imperatives and to try to act morally the best they can in an imperfect world, versus the exportation of manipulation of religion which is what he said jerry falwell did. he thought it was a fraudulent exploitation of religion, and he cited in so many other direction. we can see almost from his college of thesis the growing split within the republican party, those would basically say and do anything just to win, have the team on top try politically, those who did want to adhere to a moral fashion idea of the rule of law. >> jamie, you're saying on the republicans go out there and fight, fight like hell to win. i mean, please don't do that. there's a lot of really good republican think the democrats were out there.
let's not discount -- cast the dispersion. >> i agree to talk about the conflict that comey sets up between what he saw as an old-fashioned kind of republican principle and what he describes as the mafia family model. >> let's go back to the view. here is a question that was asked of james comey. >> president trump told lester holt that he had the russia thing on his mind in making the decision to fire you. he recently tweeted this morning that actually the russia thing wasn't a factor. james comey, the worst fbi director and history was not fired because of the . russian investigation. >> but he said it. >> he did say it. >> we have it on tape. he changed his mind, , joy, ande sit. >> why do you believe you were fired? >> i don't know. i took him at his word when he told that to lester holt and i read in the media that he also said that privately to the russians the next in the oval
office. such took him at his word. i don't, today's tweet, which i seem to i don't follow on twitter but both thinks can be true. that illustrate the to bring up that it matters the president is not committed to the truth of the south american value. i don't know what to make of it. >> victoria toensing, what did you hear? .. in fact i called a dear friend of mine who had to work with comey in his job and i saidwatch your back . so we had never supported him
basically because of what he did with the hillary investigation. not having one and coming out and violating all these justice department rules. i thought it was a disgrace the way he handled the whole thing whether it was working for us or working for you >> what you have to say about that, yes, sir when you work for the fbi you're not working for democrats or republicans, you're working for the government and that is the tribalist attitude that i think comey is reacting against. >> he did there are a lot of problems but he's trying to react against the idea that if you are the fbi director when there's a republican president you all your loyalty to the president instead of the rule of the constitution. >> your personal lawyer goes back to the president? you're asking donald trump about raskin's loyalty. you all your loyalty to the united states of america.
standing up in front of ajury saying i represent the united states of america, there's always going to be flutters . >> does it help or did this, i'm not freezing this well but did james comey, cross to you as a pretty good bureaucratic in fighter and is that important in this community? >> that's important in this city. i don't know that he was. rod rosenstein is a very good bureaucratic insider but i never thought of comey that way. i thought he had poor judgment. i just thought of several of those instances today. he was a good fbi director and nobody trusted him. peopleat the justice department thought he was a drama queen . he said these very dramatic things that didn't have to be and i see him continue to do that.
>> amy raskin, this is a quote from james comey talking about president obama . i can't believe someone with such a supple mind actually got elected president. president obama is about the only person who doesn't get criticized in a higher loyalty. >> he talked about how he had very little interaction with the president which is the tradition and the way it should operate. the fbi director is not on the white house staff. he is not an intern who continues to be told . he has 100 percent loyalty to the president because he's got a law enforcement job to do. the difference between an authoritarian state and the liberal liberal state are our justices corrupted by the whim of the dictator, the autocrat, the bully who was in charge and in a little liberal democratic state we have due process and law
enforcement that is trying to uphold the values of the society and rule of at the same time it pursues justice. credit where credit is due. he didn't for obama. he's a republican but he thought obama ran a very honest administration from that perspective and you can see he was already caught in the meatgrinder of what he essentially described as the trump claim. as a republican speaking, that's not me. >> from your side of the aisle do you agree with victoria toensing that trump should have fired comey on day one. >> no. i think there's only been one removal ever before in the middle of a 10 year term . >> it was up to the fbi to
build a fence or something. >> otherwise we should stick with that idea. but a 10 year term means the fbi director goes beyond the longest one can serve which is eight years and it hopes to uphold the nonpolitical nature. one thing victoria doesn't focus on is that people didn't respect comey. i think he was well respected. you know the inside group and conservative coterie but could you the fbi agents?i get to know the judiciary committee, they loved the guy and they bought he upheld the values of the institution. >> the one assistant director after another calling out comey's conduct in the book and in the tour, one of the biggest criticisms is from this director that why is comey writing a book? why is there an investigation going on about these things he's involved in? >> he says there is no classified information in their . >> from the publication.
>> the trump administration and their champions are the last people who should be saying that public officials or former public officials should be speaking out of school. we're talking about a president who says -- >> but these former director of the fbi. >> the point i'm making is he's got first amendment rights as a private citizen now. trump made him a private citizen. the interrupted his tenure and he's got the right to speak and obviously he's mad. those who say we've got to stand up for the rule of law, "a higher loyalty" is the name of his book versus you give 100 percent of your loyalty to the president of the united states no matter what he believes in and i get that, but those are two different value systems. >> no but he doesn't argue that he doesn't put human rights at stake. what is the policy of not speaking out meaning an investigation is still going on he's involved in . >> do you have an issue with
the former director of the fbi writing essentially a tell-all book? >> i have issue with the timing that he's talking about. an investigation is going on and off with the former assistant directors are criticizing him for . >> i think it's a little unbecoming for law enforcement to do it but this is the political culture we live in during the trump era. everything is dragged into this celebrity culture . >> but trump wrote a book . >> i wouldn't wrote run away from that. trump thinks it's driven him crazy with anger about the way that he is maligning public officials and trashing the rule of law and he's mad. there's no doubt about it. most people want to read a book about aguy who's mad and his former boss, check this one out . >> lots of things comey did made people mad.
call him and ask that seriously, it was all false. that made people really upset , when he went after that controller in new york and is reviewed by the court of appeals for having proceeded so it goes on in the book by the way. so there are a lot of things that he did . >> i don't know if police work for any of the problems we've seen in the department of justice. one of the things i like about the book was that he said we've got to be realistic about what the real history of the department of justice and fbi did . and so he kept on his desk a copy of the fbi memo which allowed for the totally outrageous wiretapping of doctor martin luther king. he said every day i would force myself to look at it to remember there's a lot of power here and it can be used in an abusive fashion. >> i have to wonder how he
allowed the fisa applications based on the dossier. an unverified dossier was allowed to buy on americans. >> this is getting into the weeds but i'm going to challenge your telling of the facts here. for one thing, it goes to a fisa port and you've got to demonstrate with john there is reason to issue. >> so you're more aware of that.don't give me the impression that it was some kind of false response. >> don't teleport. >> in any event, all of the investigation about russia began before there was any evidence from a coming from a dossier.the dossier is extra. it's icing on the cake. knows but he's relying on the documentation. we've got criminal convictions, we please,
investigation going on based on other people's concessions of dozens of contacts between people in the trump campaign and in houston. how about michael flynn? you accept that one? >> looking since. >> this is why we can't get any place, because even if you've got conviction, if they disagree with a conviction a say they never would accept that anybody on their side. >> you believe michael flynn because i think he's done fine things coming out about that. and i don't even know.i don't know him. >> but financial look at the financial crimes, they'reall committed . so that's why i'm pursuing this stuff. >> before we run out of time i want to make sure we get this quote in from page 172. i don't know if it's actually, leona blake yard our producer pointed this out. because i missed it completely.
pardon me, this is about loretta lynch. at that time, we were alerted to some material that had come into the possession of the united states government. came from a classified source . the source and content of that material remained classified as i write this. >> and it become public, the unverified material would undoubtedly have been used opponents against the cast serious doubt on the attorney general's independence in connection with the claim. >> i'm gladyou brought that up because it's one of my points . i was just appalled and i'm not a great fan of loretta lynch if i would stick for her, how can you sit there and say hey, i've got information about you jamie, it's classified but if people heard about itit would be be really bad. that was appalling that that was in the book . >> that keeps my interest that there's so little detail there that you don't know. >> they're not happy.
>> he clearly doesn't like loretta lynch. >> he doesn't want to be hung by her. >> he didn't want to be hung by the president, talking about a higher loyalty as well as attorney general. >> that's, if we have time to describe that one scene. after he did all this stuff , that she is opening and in october opening the investigationagain. but she called him into her office and gave him a big hug which was very consequential because he's not hugging guy and said congratulations or that was a great job . basically for going through this whole up and down with the hillary thing and then when he left he said he got you down. i just thought that was a horror. if i were a loretta lynch i be out of there. >>.
>> that means there'sclearly a performative dimension to public office that comes through where different people are putting forth a pretense and doing something when they're doing something else behind-the-scenes . >> i think the fear criticism of him is that he is sanctimonious and he is overly convinced of his own greatness. when he decided to tell the world around two weeks before the presidential election that there's more potentially damning information coming out about hillary clinton through this scandalous anthony weiner affair, it turns out to be nothing but in the meantime everybody's left to think with this pregnant pregnant pause we're going to learn all of this. and certainly hillary clinton blames that single event as the key moment when her people lead in the polls banished. the is made, he shouldn't have been thinking about what's going to happen in the election.
well, hillary was so far ahead i thought she was going to become president. this would put a cloud over her presidency. that stuff should be irrelevant. you should be looking at the facts of the case and whether they merit a prosecution and whether you should be going public. that's a extreme thing to do to be telling stories well we found other evidence and were making forward with it hillary is rightfully mad about that . and i would be rightfully mad about it. i think it was a terrible strategic decision on his part and it led people to question his legal judgment. having said that i think he at least believes in therule along and he thinks he was right about that although i think he was wrong . >> he violated every so often. >> exactly. i would agree with you on that. >> quickly, politically, congressman raskin, now that higher loyalty is on the market, being read widely, are they rallying around a bit? >> i don't think so. a lot of them are still mad about what he did. we do think that donald trump
is completely transformed the culture of law enforcement. so you have people in law enforcement who come under attack by people in their own party because they're not towing the line with the president and they got to defend and their way goes to the women's market and suddenly you've got to defend that and to defend what their daughters did there's millions of people who went to the women's market but they want to still polarized andfactionalized america . you can't even lead a normal life without coming under attack . that's really to that extent, i think people think comey made mistakes. he should not be hounded and vilified. if he stood up for therule along against donald trump . >> davis is out there asking himall over the place . >> victoria, you're in the legal circles here in
washington. you've represented both the republicans and democrats. is that fair to say? >> i have, vociferously. >> is lady gave us a friend of yours or acquaintance of yours? >> oh sure. we know lady from way back. >> what is it before we get run completely out of time, what is the status of you and your husband joe digital, working fordonald trump . >> it isn't really a conflict but the way the press treats a lot of stuff, because he was represented to these people, we had interviewed by miller.it was going to, as we often bought, it could be a distraction. so that's you talk to him and you can counsel him on many matters. >> if the president and robert mueller plays a large role in a higher loyalty, if
the president fired robert mueller, would that be a mistake? >> he's not going to fire robert mueller. >> would it be a mistake if he gave? >> of course, but i just hired the press and i'm not making it an issue. like, is he going to fire him. >> he's not making it up, it is coming from something president trump is saying about mueller area. >> he might fire him then. >> i have a birth certificate. >> the congress is after him, republicans in congress. >> i can't overstate a case where he says we just don't do that. he wrote the memo for the president and talk to the president about hiring comey and now he's overseeing the investigation that is looking into what ever was behind the firing. i happen to say it's a constitutional not a scholar i do argue constitutional issues that that again is unfettered.
the president can fire whoever he wants to. and that's not obstruction, but that's being definitive by mueller and ron rosenstein overlook that investigation. >> we can't resist what they call the unitary executive point, the president can fire anybody in the executive branch. we wouldn't have a civil service in that case. the right is a constitutional proposition and invite us back to talk about that because that led to this interview. if there was any news media today, perhaps he suggested that rosenstein could be fired. >> i didn't say that, don't put words in my mouth. rosenstein is not in the same category as mueller. he has a conflict, a legal conflict. >> to fire mueller or rosenstein would be a massive assault on the rule of justice and law in america. >> we are out of time, congressman jamie raskin is a
member of the judiciary committee and victoria toensing is a law partner with joe degeneva and a justice official. >> thank you. >> book tv takes hundreds of author programs through the country all year long. look at some of the events we will be covering this week. we are headed to the history center where john edward recounts the battle over leadership of the cherokee nation during the trail of tears era. tuesday we are in blue belt pennsylvania to hear leslie crutchfield offer her thoughts on what makes for a special social movement. wednesday at politics and prose, james and debra fallows will recount their travels across america in a single engine prop plane over the course of five years and on thursday we are at columbia university in new york city where the 2018 lucas awards awarded for books on an american topic of
political or social concern . look at some of the events book tv will be covering this week. many of these events are open to the public. but for them air in the near future on tv on c-span. >>. >> so you're probably wondering how this all started. i mean, writing a funny book about the life of the vice president. so charlotte is going to take it from there. >> thank you everyone for coming. this is really cool and really special. it's definitely been a dream of mine since i was very, very small you have out, especially a children's book. especially about an animal and with my dad. it's really fun. so i wanted to talk a little bit about moreland in general because a lot of people ask how long we had them.
how old he is and when we got him. i wanted to introduce you to him a little bit since he is not here tonight. he's resting, he had a lot of press interviews this week. so we thought we let him bust up. but i got moreland when i was being in college at fall university in chicago. and we were studying digital cinema in english as was said. so i wrote a short film. and so i had a short film and it needed a bunny in it. and a lot of people told me to change it. change it to a turtle or something easier tofind. i don't know why ithought the turtle would be easier to find . but i thought know, it really needs to be a bunny . so it was faith that it was going to happen across moreland. i looked online. looked at petstores and i found him on craigslist . he's a craigslist bunny. and he, no price was listed.
so i asked the owner how much for the money and he said make me an offer. and so it became his godfather joke with my friends. where they said we should name him marlon brando and i said we have to name him marlon bundo, got to get that bunny pawn in so that's how marlon came into our family. he lived with me in college in the door for only like a week because that's not actually allowed. but then he was at home with my parents and then was in my apartment in college so now he's a part of our family and he's one of our pets . so then lo and behold, we got kind of thrust into this new role after the elections. and we were moving to dc and
so of course we had all of our pets with us on air force to. we were going to leave them behind and some staff people were helping us unload marlon in his cage. i don't know if some of you saw that picture because it seemed to go viral and all of a sudden the bunny was famous and we didn't really understand why he was so famous, but that kind of started the whole thing going. so right after the inauguration, i think it was on inauguration day, we had moved into the naval observatory which is where marlon lives now and hence my mom and dad lived there too. . >> we were just an afterthought now. >>. >> so we thought, i thought we should get an instagram handle, just get his name. marlon because i think that
twitter was taken. somebody took it when he was all over the news one day. so we got the instagram handle for marlon and i remember the first book he put up was marlon and his little cage on our second floor of the naval observatory where we live . and he hopped out of his cage so i put up a post that said marlins first steps in the naval observatory. and my sister's boyfriend and gets credit for saying he's the botus. so he's botus, bonnie of the united states. so that's his official role and yes. so that's kind of where it all started and it got really popular. his first steps in the naval observatory, that's one thing that we wanted to talk about in the book.
just to let you know, we keep saying naval observatory but a lot of people don't really know what we are talking about when we say that. x in 1974, the first vice president to live in the naval observatory was monday. rockefeller was the first one who could have lived there. but he decided to, he decorated it and entertained there but every vice president's family since mondale's have lived at the naval observatory. and the naval observatory actually is a naval base. there really is a working observatory right across the street from us. the whole property is 72 acres, but then there's 17 acres that are like gated off where the actual house is
where we live. and the naval observatory is kind of like a victorian home is what it looks like. it's on the cover of the book . it has a big wraparound porch. it's very private. it's in the middle of washington dc. because there are no tours at the naval of observatory so the white house, there are tours. people come there all the time. but the naval observatory is a little more private. now, the way the story got started, started years and years ago when charlotte first learned to talk, because from the moment she learned how to talk, she became a storyteller. and she would line up her stuffed animals outside and she would tell him stories and she would regale them with all kinds of adventures. at night she would tell her little sister stories for her to fall asleep.
they shared a room and almost really into high school years. audrey would say tell me a story, charlotte. i can't fall asleep and charlotte would start the story and the next night we would continue that story that we were surprised when she went to college and majored in digital cinema in english as we knew someday this book was going to happen. >> to get to the book, when people ask us how did you come up with the idea, we always say it all started with marlon. it really did. it started with this instagram page. we had no idea anyone would even follow this page about our bunny. >> how many is he up to now? >> 27,000 followers which is way more than me. >> and i don't even have instagram. >> so he's very popular i mean, it makes sense to us.
marlon is so adorable and he's on to take pictures of. he has a very real personality. he will follow us around the house and we let him get his exercise outside. he will kind of pose for pictures when we are taking it. people ask us all the time how do you get him to do that? how do you get him to sit in front of the fire or open a book and he just does that. we don't do anything. he just starts doing it. so he has a personality but it started with an instagram page and we thought we should do a children's book on this. it would be fun and it was always a partnership that i feel like was always going to be, my mom did the watercolors obviously, she's so talented so we decided to do it together and when we wanted to pick a theme for the book, it made a lot of
sense to me to educational. so it wasn't just a story about marlon but it also would teach about the role of the vice president. whoever he or she is, every vice president has very specific official duties and i didn't really even know about a lot of them. until my dad was president. so that's kind of where it all started with that we wanted to help kids and adults and teachers and educators have a way to teach alphabets. >> watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. >> for nearly 20 years, in-depth has featured the nation's best-known nonfiction writer in live conversation about their books. this year a special project is featuring best-selling fiction writers for our monthly program in-depth action edition. join us live today at noon eastern with thriller fiction author david baldacci.
his most recent book is the holland which is number one on the bestseller national fiction list. other novels include endgame, the fix, absolute power which became a major motion picture and over 30 novels. he's written six novels for younger readers which include the finisher, the keeper and with the world. during the program we will take your phone calls, tweets and facebook messages.our special series in-depth action edition with author david baldacci, today live from noon to 3 pm on tv on c-span two. >>. >> welcome to tyler texas, located 100 miles southeast of dallas. tyler is known as the rose capital of america. a population of about 105,000. >> as we traveled around the city, we will visit the university of texas at tyler, where we will hear from author robert sturgeon. here's the story of texas