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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  June 12, 2012 10:00am-1:00pm EDT

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how you gauge success at your agency? guest: i am very proud. insuring that they have a lower risk. host: gary gensler joining us for a discussion this week. cftc.gov is the website. do not forget, if you want to watch this or any of the series so far, you can go to our web site, c-span.org. with the former head of [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] host: we are momentarily going to go to the house. hearingll go off to the
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on oversight with eric holder. c-span.org and c-span video library available to you. that's it for "washington journal."
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the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's rooms, washington, d.c. june 12, 2012, i hereby appoint the honorable mac thornberry to act speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, john a. boehner, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: the prayer will be offered by the guest chaplain, reverend dr. allen karenen, office of the united states senate chaplain, washington, d.c. the chaplain: let us pray, lord god almighty in the midst of challenging times you give us wisdom from your words saying be still and know that i am god. i will be honored by every nation, i will be honored throughout the world. today, please give the members of this house and their staffs the resilience to weather all controversy with grace and to
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do to others as they would have done to them. may civility and mutual respect be the hallmarks of this and every future congress and may your great name be lifted high in this nation. allow us all to give you honor through our service to america and its citizens. commission yours -- us to do your will daily so you will receive all honor, glory, and praise. and lord, please bless all the military members and their families with your abiding presence. surround our military members in harm's way with your great favor. we ask this in the name of the one who was, who is, and who is coming again, amen. the speaker pro tempore: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved. the chair will lead the house in the pledge of allegiance. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under
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god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the chair lays before the house an enrolled bill. the clerk: senate 3261, an act to allow the chief of the forest service to award certain contracts for large air tankers. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the house stands adjourned until 10:00 a.m. on friday, june 15, 2012. >> eric holder on fast and .urious, whether he will likely be asked about the decision to appoint two
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attorneys general, this is just starting here on c-span. >> and protect it. while remaining focused on national security, the department has had success in keeping our community safe from crime. a time of economic crisis and shrinking state law enforcement budgets, many expected of violent crime to explode. crime rates across the country continue to decline. a bright light in our country. to continue federal assistance to state and local law enforcement has been critical.
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low.ep crime wrates to help women victimized by sexual assaults was crucial for us to craft a bipartisan violence against women act that detects all victims. it would help victims of trafficking. reauthorized the traveling victims and a second chest aance act. of work and fraud prevention and enforcement -- we have worked in fraud prevention and enforcement. i appreciate the civil-rights division has been restored and transformed.
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protecting the rights of our men and women in uniform against abuse and wrongful foreclosures. i know the restoration of the civil rights division has been a tall order. it has been a crown jewel in the past of both parties. i pause in effor t to ensure that americans do not have their constitutional right to vote taken away. such barriers recall a dark time in our history and one we do not want to return to. americans were attacked by dogs surrounded by attempting to register to vote. we remember a time when there
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were discriminatory devices, grandfather clauses. we cannot backslide in the weekend due to protect everybody's right to vote. there may be a temptation this political year in to score points. protect americans and safeguard their rights. i thank the man and woman in the department of justice. i thank the attorney general and the yield to senator grassley. >> thank you. i trust you'll be able to provide us with accurate and candid responses. three whistle-blowers testified about the use of a practice called gun walking, operation
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fast and furious. guns and up at the scene of brian terry. here we are one year later and the terry family is still waiting for justice. the fbi does not have the shooter in custody. since last year, a lot has happened. the united states attorney for arizona resigned after leaking information to the press. refuse to testify. then he resigned. lanny breuer admitted he knew about gun walking. he stayed silent for eight
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months. senior people at justice were familiar with the details of the case. the house committee obtained affidavits in fast and furious. we cannot discuss them in open session because they are under court seal. there is a public dispute as to what the contents show that know. doj knew or didn't anyone reviewing them would have to have known that guns were being allowed to be transferred in traffic across the border. the attorney general said he recently reviewed them and doesn't believe they show evidence of a gun walking. the atf director told us something very different.
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he read affidavits for the first time on a plane last year after this controversy had arisen. he said that he was alarmed after he read the affidavits. "i was surprised at the number of guns being purchased and not being interdicted because of the number of guns that could land in mexico." he drafted an e-mail warning " you better back off the statement to senator grassley because i didn't believe we can say it in light of the information our agents were swearing to before a court judge to get a wiretap." we have been seeking that e-mail since last summer to corroborate the testimony. the justice department has not produced the e-mail.
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that should lead them to withdraw their initial letter instead of december, 2011. we still did not have a decent explanation as to why it took so long to and acknowledge the truth. i asked the attorney general to -- i receivedts's no reply to my request. i have had a chance to review some of the details. mr. nelson was right and the attorney general was wrong. anyone reading this affidavit should have been alarmed. we learned that the department gathered 140,000 pages of documents for their own internal
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review. they have produced a mere 7000 or so pages of documents. that is a spit in the ocean. this is why the house committee is forced to move forward with contempt proceedings. i think the american people deserve a better explanation than they have received so far. there has been a number of damaging classified national security leaks to the media. every leak is damaging. the most damaging ones risked the lives of men and women that are working abroad. the attorney general says one thing and -- the it was reported last year that the
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department had dropped the prosecution of a former department of justice person who admitted he had leaked information to the "new york times." the anthrax attacks. leaks were made to the press involving dr. stephen hatfield. there was a settlement of near $6 million. i'm concerned about the decision to appoint two political appointees to investigate the recent matter. the attorney general decision traced the national security matter like a regular criminal investigation. the national security division at the department has been recused from involvement leaked
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investigations, a signal they could be involved as a source of the leak. the past failures of the just part to prosecute their own classified leaks and the tepid response to past questions about leaks. the only to get to the bomber is to appoint an independent special prosecutor. given the past failures that we have seen, i want to hear from the attorney general why he assigned this matter to two u.s. attorneys as a regular investigation. thank you. >> ok, mr. attorney general.
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one is most familiar with the anthrax -- senator grassley speaks about that, on ee of the deadly anthrax letters. i am aware of the investigation of the last administration and what happened. fendole lot ask you to depen the actions of the last administration that senator grassley has criticized. >> thank you. i appreciate the chance to appear before you today to highlight some of the accomplishments that have distinguished the department's work.
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i am proud of all that has been achieved by all who participate. they are dedicated at every level and have allowed me to the fulfill the commitments that have made. we will work tirelessly to protect people and to ensure that every decision will be guarded exclusively by the law, to move aggressively in combating violent crime, to seek ms.tice for victimes and the department has made extraordinary and historic progress in each of these areas. this is more clear in our national security efforts. the department has secured
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convictions against scores of dangerous terrorists in our article 3 courts. we have uncovered various plots and we gathered surveillance capabilities in a manner that it is consistent with the rules law but with the most sacred values. we secured our seventh conviction in a suicide bomb attacks. we obtained a guilty verdict in the case of a former service member who plant a bomb attack against american soldiers in a restaurant in texas. a texas man was sentenced for attempted to join al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. i would like to discuss the steps the department has taken with regards to classified
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information. these allegations are of great concern to me and i know the concern all of you. assigned two attorneys. these u.s. attorneys are fully authorized to consult with members of the intelligence community and to follow all appropriate leads and to prosecute criminal violations to the fullest extent of the law. they will do an independent and a thorough job. unauthorized disclosures could jeopardize the security of our nation. they will not be tolerated. the department will continue to take any such disclosures seriously. i will provide information as
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appropriate. the department has taken decisive action to combat a wide range of financial and health- care fraud crimes. this work is paying dividends across the country. the consumer protection branch secured more than $900 million in criminal and civil bfines and penalties against more than 30 individuals. we cheat the largest federal- state settlement in history totaling $25 billion with five of the top five mortgage servicers. we have obtained sentences of up to 60 years in a wide range of fraud cases.
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investigating misconduct by institutions that contributed to the financial crisis. we have made tremendous gains efforts to fight health care fraud. over the last fiscal year, we have recovered nearly four pie $1 billion in cases involving fraud and health-care programs -- $4.1 billion. we have returned on average $7 to medicare trust funds on average. our resolve has never been stronger. through innovative programs, we
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have developed a comprehensive approaches for addressing fraud. we have a strain of workinghips and we're more effectively than ever confront r beforto violence. we have crdinated strikes and seize billions of dollars in assets. we're addressing the shocking rates of violence that affect indian and alaskan women. we are using every tool to protect our law enforcement community. as the brother of a retired police officer, i am proud the department has taken robust
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action. i have met frequently with law enforcement leaders to ensure the department understands their concerns. this has led to the enhancement of a host of important programs from the valor initiative, to the bulletproof vest partnership program, which has helped more than 13,000 jurisdictions purchased equipment. we have advanced important legislation from the import hate .rime bill to to our ongoing efforts to ensure the reauthorization of the violence against women act and our strong support for the renewal of its central authority.
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the department is taking essentials steps to uphold civil-rights protections. we have filed more civil-rights cases than ever before including record numbers of human trafficking cases. in our work places and in our military bases and are voting booths and our schools and places of worship, the rights of all americans are protected. we are grateful for your continued support. we're eager to move forward together and i would be glad to answer any questions that you might have. >> thank you very much. later this year in the surveillance provision of the act are set to expire.
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this is of concern to many of us. we of the chair the senate intelligence committee and the stools give the intelligence committee the ability to acquire important intelligence information about non-u.s. targets overseas. the statutes forbids targeting people. applaud the administration's efforts to police itself but i think we can do more. i watch it very carefully. an independent audit -- the activities of our government. would you agree that the
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independent audits can be an important part of assuring compliance, especially if the audits are made public? >> we think we authorization is very important. our hope would be that we could do the reauthorization in a way that this happens before the expiration of these tax. --of these acts. with regard to the use of inspectors general, i do think they can play a role in helping sure that these authorities are being used in inappropriate way. >> one thing we've done in the past is to have provisions on various aspects of of it, which
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worries the the administration as well as congress to review it again. heard, thiet i've sunset provision has been a good carrot stick to making sure there is good compliance. >> i think that is right. we hope we get a long period of time. we do think an extension of about five years would be appropriate. >> in 2006, we wanted to reaffirm our commitment to achieving full democratic participation by reauthorized the voting rights act and legislation.
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i was proud to stand with president bush when he signed that. but having done that, having had this strong bipartisan support, we now have restrictive voting laws across the country. recent acts in florida and states across the country pose a threat to our attempts to have a national, there, and open elections -- national, fair, and open elections. last year voter id legislation advanced in 44 states.
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some states did not consider voter id legislation last year. we have had the most honest elections in the country. according to one study, more than 5 billion voters to cast ballots -- it affects 21 million citizens who don't have access to a government-issued i.d. the majority are young people, african-americans, and elderly. my own parents would not have had a government-issued i.d. make sure that americans are not denied what is probably the greatest right we have as
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citizens, the right to vote. >> the right to vote is the lifeblood of our democracy. it is what makes this nation exceptional. the work that i've been doing -- i am not advocating for a party. i am advocating for a principale -- the right to vote. do we want to be the first generation to restrict the ability of american citizens to vote? we have a bad history in that regard. we have the most important civil-rights legislation that has been passed. we see an ability by people that have been excluded from our democracy, the opportunity to do just that and we are a better
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country for it. we will be strong in our defense of the voting rights act. we will examine on a case by case basis the statues that our past and those that contravene in 1965 voting rights act. >> some of us are old enough to remember those dark days. one member who nearly died during those dark days. i did not think anyone of us want to go back to that time. in april, the senate passed legislation to reauthorize the violence against women act, 68- 31. the bill is based on years of work. we had judges, law enforcement officers, those at the department of justice, survivors
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of domestic and sexual assaults over the country. we had 1000 state, local, and national organizations supporting it. when it went to the house, they took a different approach. they've left many victims more vulnerable to these devastating crimes. a victim is a victim is a victim. with me to urge to rewrite its approach and a sure we can reach all victims, not just some victims of these horrific crimes. >> we support the senate
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version. every time -- it is a logical extension. all victims can come within its protections. it makes for the society we say we want to have. and the expansions was to include are the most vulnerable, women who are immigrants, alaska and native immigrants -- these are the people who need to have the protections extended to them. we support the senate version of that bill. >> i want to follow-up on fisa.
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i agree with you. whether any changes to enhance intelligence gathering capabilities or to protect rights of u.s. citizens? isn't it true that the current faa authorizes the inspector general to conduct oversight of the program? >> it is true there is that component. itere's an annual report -- might be every six months that the inspector general does report. as we look at the bill and the potential will authorization that we are essentially in a good place. we want to work with this committee to look any concerns that might be raised in terms of new tools.
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our hope would be that this work would begin as soon as possible and conclude well before the expiration of the act in december. >> on fast and furious, i had a chance to review some of the details of wiretap. i happen to disagree with your claim that they didn't have details of the tactics of fast and furious. the acting director described reading those affidavits in march of last year. he said he was alarmed that the information contradicted the public denials to congress. he sent an e-mail warning others -- "back off." the department did not withdraw the letter to me until december, 2011. in july, 2011, we ask for that e-mail from the acting director.
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we need to see it to corporate his testimony. the department is withholding that e-mail along with all the other documents. on what legal ground are you withholding the e-mail? the present cannot claim executive privilege -- the president cannot claim executive privilege. >> we have reached out to chairman issa to try to work our way through these issues. contacts andradic we're prepared -- i am prepared to make compromises with regard to the documents that could be made available. there is a basis for the withholding of the documents if they deal with -- >> not on executive privilege. >> the tradition has been by
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members of the justice department to withhold. in spite of that, i am offering to sit down with the speaker, the chairman, with you to try to work our way through this in an attempt to avoid and come up with creative ways in which we can make this material available. i have to have a willing partner. i have extended my hand and i'm waiting to hear back. >> when did you -- when the affidavits were reviewed, the acting director claimed he was alarmed about the number of guns being purchased. when did you decide to read the affidavits for yourself and why did you decide to do that? >> i read the affidavits in the summary memos after the last
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house hearing-- not the one last week, but the one before it. i had not known what was contained in them. i had my staff pull them together and i spent time reading those affidavits and the summaries. >> how is it you cannot get the details in those affidavits -- how is it you can look at the details when others saw major problems? >> i cannot talk about the contents. i will align myself with what ranking member cummings said and reaching the same conclusions. you reach conclusions on the basis of hindsight and i tried to put myself in the place of
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the people who are looking at that material at the time it was given to them. i think congressman cummings is correct. >> debate over the wiretap applications has become a matter of "he said, she said" because they are sealed and not available. i asked to share the affidavit with congress and i have not received any substantive reply. we release the affidavits so people can read them and decide for themselves what they mean? if there is any problem with something sensitive, could a judge make an independent decision and remove any sensitive information before release? if you have any concerns, would that address your concerns? >> that would be an
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extraordinary act. it is not happen very frequently. there have been a number of cases where -- i will put that on the table as something to consider. if we share that information, we do not want to live and impact on ongoing investigations. i'm willing to consider that as a possibility to try to avoid what i think is an impending constitutional crisis. >> have the wiretap applications been produced? if so, why shouldn't congress get to see what the and that it gun smugglers get to see? >> i do not know where we are in terms of what has been provided to the defense. >> it has been reported the
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national security division has been recused for a least one investigation stemming from the national security leaks. is this correct? however not a conflict of interest on the justice department? -- how is the not a conflict of interest on the justice department? >> well, i think that this committee and the american people can have great faith in the two people that i have asked to leave the investigation. rod rosenstein and ronald machen are both familiar with these kinds of cases. ronald machen is doing a lot of work right now with the d.c. government. president obama asked rod rosenstein to stay on as
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attorney general for a maryland. they have shown an ability to be thorough and to have the guts to ask the tough questions, and to follow the leads, wherever they are. i have great faith in their abilities. >> in the anthrax leak, you relied upon prosecutors to dismiss the cases. what did you assign political appointees as opposed to career prosecutors in this investigation? >> the people who left to leave these investigations have to be sufficiently high in the department to be able to command high people and the launch of people are united states attorney's. this has been done on many occasions when pat fitzgerald
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has been asked to this. we have moved away from the independent counsel model which proved to be not particularly successful. u.s.l see the use of a attorneys. >> thank you. >> we discussed the plans to close four of the seven field offices. the chiefs in six of the offices wrote to you and asked that this decision be reversed. "it will be difficult to continue in the states and territories served by the field offices." i wrote you to reconsider this decision.
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they reported $97 million in fines in the last five years. those in these offices will result in no presence in the southern half of the country. $6 million of the $8 million will result from the expected reduction of half of the attorneys and staff now working in these offices, which would seem to show a lessening in our priority. what is your response in six of the seven offices? will you agree to reexamine its decision? >> the antitrust division has been a priority for this justice department.
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we can see that that's true. whichlooking for ways in we can be efficient and effective and that is why we decided to implement this plan. we have seen that these cases become more complex and complicated. they can best be handled by the reduced number of offices with larger teams. the people who are members of these offices are going to be offered jobs within the justice department. people can move to other places. so, i think there is a budgetary reason for this and there will be no loss in our desire to be as aggressive as we have been with regard to the enforcement of the antitrust laws.
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>> almost all the money saved would be any reduction in staff believes that those people will be given opportunities to relocate. it doesn't look as though we're looking at any appreciable reduction in cost and fewer offices. i am asking you to reconsider this decision so we can be clear about the efficacy of doing this. >> there are rents that we don't have to pay. there are ways we can use people worry currently have vacancies, so it has eight budgetary impact that is positive for us. >> we have been working on the -- to allow nursing home
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residents access to drugs to manage crippling pain. there are still a few outstanding differences that we continue to work through. i am very much aware and appreciate the gravity of the problem we are seeking to address and appreciate your personal attention over the past year. the longer this remains unresolved, the more nursing home residents will continue to suffer. >> i thought we worked pretty effectively in dealing with some of the concerns that you raised earlier. we want to get a handle around any issue that remain. i know that you'll be leaving the senate and out hope we'll have an opportunity to conclude
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an be in a good place before that happens. >> thank you. well, many ask you about your future plans -- letm me ask you about your future plans. do commend you for your outstanding service. can you tell us, we want to continue to serve as attorney general in a second term? >> i think you have to ask president obama the question. i have enjoyed my time as attorney-general. it's been a tough job. some raise concerns about whether i was tough enough for this job. i have done a job that is consistent with my values. i stuck by my guns.
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i have lost some. i am proud of the work i've done. i'm proud of the people in the department of justice. this is been the highlight of my career, to work with you all and to serve this president. >> thank you. minibus were troubled when the conviction was overturned of a former goldman sachs programmer ho stolel code -- w h code from the company. is this truly a major setback for prosecutors ability to go after the theft of trade secrets under the economic espionage act? does it give a free pass to
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anybody who was to steal computer codes? do believe this requires a statutory fixed? >> there is no question that was a setback. we need to assess that case and get back to this committee to see if there is a fix that we to dealput in place with that issue. i have to respect the decision of the court. there is a potential free negative impact. i think you're right to raise that concern -- there is a potential for 8 negative impact. >> thank you, mr. attorney general. >> thank you. senator kyl.
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i'm going by the list given to me by rank-and-file order. senator kyl will be next and senator feinstein. >> thank you. i like to ask you questions in four eareas. what exactly are you investigating? the potential to get evidence from reporters? why two prosecutors? let me go back. we have all read about four specific areas of leaks. i wonder if there are others. the killing of bin laden.
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the drone assassinations and the computer worm activity. you said you would commit to follow the evidence where it leads. i presume that means leaving no stone unturned. this that include journalist to reveal their sources? the think your own guidelines in dealing with members of the media are adequate -- do you think your own guidelines are adequate? where the circumstances that warrant testimony from the media -- what are the circumstances that warrant testimony from the media? could you describe the circumstances that would cause recusals?
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the refusal of the department of justice's entire national security division. there is a reference to the cfr's. the leaks came from participates in situation room meetings. that boils down to a small and specific group of people, all from work directly with the president. we have seen photographs of the day that bin laden was killed. we recognize people in that photograph. the evidence points to one are more of those people. would it be a conflict of interest -- i presume the president and jay carney and david axelrod are not part of
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your investigative team. how could they say this case does not present a conflict of interest? how could they know that? why two prosecutors? do the two of them have to agree on everything? >> you packed a lot into that question? the refusal is not of the entire division. it is that portion of the division that might have had exposure to the subject matter of the investigation. this is something that happens as a matter of routine. it doesn't mean they have done something wrong. they might have had -- these career people not in that category can be a part of the
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ongoing investigation. with regard to the question of the press, we have in place regulations that have to be followed within the departments and i think those are adequate. we have to exhaust all the alternative means before we seek testimony from members of the press and that has to be signed off and i think that is a corporate. we have tried more leaky cases during the course of this administration than any other administration. i was getting hammered by the left only two weeks ago, and now i'm getting hammered by the right. it makes for an interesting dynamic. the mechanisms we have in place are good ones.
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we have shown no hesitancy to employ them. >> can you expand and be more precise on what you are investigating? >> i do not want to go into that which we are investigating. some of the programs are extremely sensitive. to its knowledge an investigation of a particular item would necessarily -- could necessarily be seen as an existence of that program or that effort. i did nothing to it is an appropriate thing to do. i pledge to make sure i keep the intelligence committee as well as the judiciary committee abreast of what it is that we're doing. >> about the conflict of interest matter -- participates in the situation room meetings.
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pretty small group of people. does not present a conflict of interest? >> i read that article by mr. sanger. he talked about information coming from sources other than the white house. let me be clear. our investigation will follow leads wherever they take us. mr. machen, mr. rosenstein have the ability and the moxie -- >> does not present an inherent conflict of interest? the national security adviser, for example.
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doesn't that present a conflict of interest because date my fat interests? -- because they might have had a conflict of interest? >> we want to look at the evidence as it develops. look at the alternative. that would necessarily mean having to find somebody and have it to staff them up and to find office space. the need is to operate with some degree of speed and as what i picked these two really good u.s. attorneys to handle this issue. >> my time is up. i presume j kearney and david axelrod are not involved -- i presume jay carney and david
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axelrod are not involved. what are the rules with respect to a division of responsibility or the looking at the same thing? could you tell us whether they have a valid basis for reaching the conclusion conflict of inte? >> i would say on the basis of what i know at this early stage of the investigation, there is not a basis for conflict determination, but something we're monitoring on an ongoing basis. we have set up in place as the justice department and fbi and mechanism so we can be advised on the possibility of conflict, and if at some point the people who have been given the responsibility indicate to us that we are at a conflict situation, we will act
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appropriately. >> anything on the last point? >> about to prosecutors rather than one? -- two prosecutors rather than one? >> i am not going into the last point because i would be talking about things that i do not think should of ever been weak and have been confirmed in this study, but i will be very honest. i will be more fulsome in my intelligence committee, and the judiciary committee in a different form. >> i do appreciate you giving me a heads up before you pointed this out, because i think they are tough, honest prosecutors. one for the bush administration.
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both are the epitome of professional prosecutors, and i think it is a good choice. canada -- senator feinstein. >> thank you very much. welcome, general. good to see you. i am aware that around noon since the senate resolution will be introduced to set up a and i want tol,, an say at this time i would oppose the legislation. the attorney-general called me on friday and indicated he was assigning to the united states attorney's to investigate these leaks, so i looked up the credentials of these to the
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united states attorneys, and i would like for the purposes of the record just review some of the credentials. one of them is the united states attorney for maryland. he is a republican, but he served in republican and democratic administrations. he served in that ashcroft justice department as principled that pd assistant for the tax division from 2001-2005 period from 95-97 he worked as an associate independent counsel. he supervised the investigation that found no basis for criminal prosecution who had obtained fbi background reports. in 2005 he was nominated by president bush and unanimously voted in. the president said rod
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rosenstein is widely praised by jury -- by judges and lawyers alike for his fairness. roger maystream has served as united states attorney for the districts of february 2010 and was favorably reported by this committee by voice vote and confirmed by unanimous consent. he served as an assistant united states attorney from 1997-2001. he was a partner before becoming a u.s. attorney. he is a graduate of stanford university and harvard law school. the reason why i oppose special counsel is special counsel takes a long time. if you look at the special
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with thein the scooter libr years libby case, it took four to complete. we have heard they are already conducting interviews to find out who leaked the bomb plot. now the united states attorneys have announced to leave the leaked cases. i really think this is the appropriate way to go. i am going to support it. i am hopeful members of the intelligence committee in this committee will support these leaks being investigated in this way. i say to have a fight over how we do this now will set back any investigation. these are too scrupulous men. they are both independent, and i have no reason to believe why they cannot work with the fbi
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and assemble a very strong prosecution team where warranted. i am very pleased to support that. on the subject as to why fbi agents were recused, and you pointed this out, mr. attorney general, this was an abundance of caution, so that no one who had anything to do with the investigation, a surgically of the bomb as it left yemen, will be involved in the investigation, and is that a correct analysis? >> i do not believe anyone from the fbi has been reduced. i will also say in an abundance of caution, both the director and i have already been interviewed in connection with
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the knowledge that we have a of those matters. at least of that matter. >> all right. i mentioned to the ranking member as he left, on the subjects of i.g. reports, i very much agree with what he said, and the committee has extensive language in the report and the bill that we are now about to put together on this subject. there are an abundance of requirements on your department to produce various reports. it is twice yearly. let me just read a couple of things. section 700 to require semi- annual assessments by the attorney general and dni provided to congress and the intelligence report. in addition, the attorney
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general and certain elements of the intelligence community are authorized to review the implementation of section 102 and must provide copies of any such review to the attorney general, dni and congressional committees of the jurisdiction. it goes on with more. i can tell you this, in the last meeting we had a binder this fall of the reviews. we have also just recently had the attorney inspector general before us, and i can tell you i found them very forward-leaning, and really felt they are capable of exercising a strong investigations and making conclusions, regardless of where the conclusions may fall. i think that is good.
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let me talk to you about something -- senator grassley and i had something called the senate caucus for international drug control. it has been very interesting, because in the course of so doing, we have had the opportunity to look at mexico, caribbean islands, guatemala, the caribbean islands. a number of different places with respect to drugs. the senate passed a bill that senator grassley and i did called the targeting transnational drug-trafficking act of 2011, and the bill lowers the threshold from current law, which says drug traffickers must know illegal drugs will be traffic into the united states, so instead require reasonable cause to believe illegal drugs will be traffic into the united
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states. under current law,, our ability to prosecute source nations traffickers from south america is limited since there is often no direct evidence of knowledge that drugs were intended for the united states. our legislation changes this, and i hope the house passes it and sends it to the president for his signature. could you please tell us how this bill could enhance your ability to extradite drug king pins to the united states? >> i am not totally familiar with the bill, but i like the portion you have just described, because you point out a problem we have in getting out the drug kingpins. there's a certain knowledge we have to be able to prove to get them back into the country.
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fifth we have the greatest capacity to incapacitate these people. i think your emphasis on nations other than mexico is really important, and something we have not necessarily done as good a job as we could have. i have been in the caribbean and talk to my counterparts. the mexican government becomes more successful. the cartels are looking for other ways to get drugs into the united states, and i think the focus on the other places and the mechanism can both be extremely useful. i look forward to working with you in regards to that bill. >> it has passed the senate. we need to get it passed the house. >> i agree. senator gramm is next. >> think you for coming. -- thank you. the national security
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adviser part of the white house in your view? >> every time i see him, that is where he is. >> as you read the review of the book about the program and the kill list and the other things we're talking about? he says, and throughout this he has enjoyed great access to senior white house officials, most notably the national security adviser, tom donovan. tondo mullin is the hero of the book. and -- tom donovan is the hero of the book. according to this review, and from my reading of excerpts of the book, someone at the highest level of government has been talking about programs that i think are incredibly sensitive. on a scale of 1-10, how serious do you think these leaks are? >> i think they are extremely
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serious. i am not sure what 10 would be, but i would put them up there. >> i cannot imagine -- if there is something worse, i would hate to see it. my point is i think our concern on this side of the i/o is there are clearly people around -- iss side of the aisle there are clearly stories of people leaking highly- classified information. you have one program called fast and furious that has been an embarrassment to the of fenestration and has been like pulling teeth to get information about that. when you have programs on the national security front that seemed to show the president as a strong leader, you can read about it in the paper. my concern, i think, is a lot of us believe if there was ever a need for outside special
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counsel, it is allownow. >> the people appointed to look into the matter is our first- rate prosecutors who will do a great job. as we look at the history of what u.s. attorneys who have been appointed in these kinds of cases -- ." >> do you believe it was a good thing to have a special the valerie about reclain teh plame case? >> sure. >> the chief of staff ended up being prosecuted. the you think it was a good thing to have a special counsel in the jack a bbroff case? >> we can get -- >> do you think it was a good
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idea in this case? >> the plame case involved a person that was the united states attorney, same thing i have done here. that was the person who got the designation. these people are appointed as u.s. attorneys, because it is possible some of these acts occurred. if we have proof that things happened outside the district, i can appoint them under section 515 as special counsels. >> you are fighting the very concept that senator obama wrote a letter to the bush administration. vice president biden was on tv morning, noon, and night urging the bush and ministration to appoint a special counsel in the valerie plame case. senator obama wrote a letter to the white house urging the attorney general gonzales to appoint a special counsel in the jack abramoff case.
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as a result, high-ranking republicans ended up being compromised or going to jail. my point is the political intrigues are around this is of no greater than it is here. we are talking about people surrounding the president and the national-security apparatus at the highest level, and you are resisting doing what senator obama and senator biden suggested was in the public interest. why is that? i look at controversies in make a decision based on what i think is necessary for a successful investigation. >> you know i'd like you. we have a good relationship, but you are being subpoenaed.
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you may be held in contempt by the house. 39 democrats have asked for more information. are you suggesting giving your problems in the house and the political intrigues around the case and giving past behavior of senator obama in senator obama, you would be doing the country a great service to appoint someone to we could all bite into. i am sure these people are fine folks, but i am very disturbed about the inability to get information regarding programs that are embarrassing and the tendency of is administration to tell the whole world about things that are good. i just think you would be doing the country a great service if you followed the advice and counsel of senator biden and obama. >> i think what is most
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constructive is to follow the vice of the past that has worked. >> those investigations work? >> certainly the -- theseebody knew other two people. you are missing the fact of this is a very big deal. all i am asking for is for you to find a lawyer in this country that all of us can say that is the right person to do this job, rather than you picking people and telling us about how great these people are. there are lots of lawyers in this country that will follow the evidence wherever it leads. i am asking you for your legacy of the good of the country, reappoint someone that all of us have confidence in.
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i am asking no more of you and senator biden asked and investigations that are no worse than this. >> i do know these people. they are good lawyers, tough prosecutors. >> the answer is you are not going to change your mind? take know what you are missing here in terms of the special counsel was a sitting u.s. attorney where nothing was done differently than what i have done with regards to these people. >> what you are missing is the biggest double standard in recent times that the very people that are in charge of the white house, but i believe have compromised national security unlike any time in recent memory, when they were in this body with investigations no worse were advocating to the bush administration appoint someone to come appoint a
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special prosecutor that we could all have confidence in and suggest the bush administration was trying to conceal by not doing what they were urging. the shoe is on the other foot, and you are not willing to embrace the idea you would be better off for the country if you would pick someone we could all bite into from the get go, rather than picking to people you think are great that i did not know anything about. at the end of the day i cannot believe this is even a debate give it the national security implications of these leaks. >> i let him go way over his time so i could kick his speech in, but i would note with the time of that request for special counsel, that was when the attorney consol was testified that he really considered
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himself a part of the president's staff, and not an independent attorney general. and to go if i may respond, mr. chairman, there is no doubt in my mind that if the shoe were on the other foot, you and everyone else would be screaming to appoint a special prosecutor that all of us could buy into. given the record of the way you have -- >> [unintelligible] >> this cries out for corrective action. >> i have seen the talking points that the republican candidates have, if you have probably use them better than anybody else. if i could just correct the
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record. >> specially appointed with powers and protections outside the systems we're all concerned about. you have a chance to leave the country in a new direction, and the fact that you are not going to do this disturbs all of us on on our side of the ideal. >> let's see what the u.s. attorney will do. if they are not going forward with adequate prosecution. let's see how they do. if they are not doing their job, i will be among the first to say so. >> let me say, we agree on so many things.
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i do take exception about this administration compromising national security more than any administration. i think that was over the line. i would like to remind those that are following us that we have listened to speech after speech from the minority leader and other members of this panel about how impossible it is to prosecute would-be terrorists in article 3 courts and should be referred to military tribunals. i believe the track record at this moment under this administration is that over 400 would-be terrorists have been stopped and article 3 courts, and six in military tribunals. that our country is sick today because of the administration when appropriate to send cases to article 3 courts and to suggest that this particular of ministration somehow compromise national security is not borne by the evidence. i would ask the attorney general to respond. >> in terms of the article 3
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system, it has proven to be effective in this administration and prior administration. we have proven the ability to get intelligence out of people. we have had successful prosecution. we have been able to conduct these cases safely without putting anyone at minsk -- at risk in the immediate area. we need to have faith in what we called the jegreatest judicial system in the world. those who lost faith and the ability went head-long into the facts. >> if i could return to this specific instance here, i recall very well when patrick fitzgerald was chosen, a sitting u.s. attorneys from the northern district of illinois, who conducted a lengthy investigation of the bower valee plame situation.
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it started with the premise that someone had outed valerie plame -- [unintelligible]
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that has in fact been vacant for 10 years. our state has tried to negotiate an agreement with the bureau prisons, which faces its own overcrowding challenges to come up with appropriate purchase
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price, and they agreed on one that has been approved through the state government. one of the contentious issues related to whether or not guantanamo detainees would be transferred to the thompson prison. you sent a letter that suggested -- did not suggest, as stated consistent state law, we will not transfer detainees or otherwise house them at thompson. that letter was sent several years ago. i want to ask this question as to whether or not there is a vacation and that statement. i would like to ask you, and i am sorry to say this, under oath as you are as testimony before this committee, i would like to ask you as attorney general, but will you pledge under no circumstances will be obama administration seek to transfer detainees from guantanamo to thompson regardless of what the law permits? take of that is an accurate
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statement of our position. we want to acquire the thompson facility. it would be a welcome addition to the bureau of prisons and increase the capacity we need for those kinds of prisoners, and we will not move people from guantanamo, regardless of the state of the law for thompson. that is my pledge. for the record, this matter has been debated for over a year. at has been approved on the senate side. it has been held up by one republican congressman. i hope your testimony under oath will satisfy whatever questions remind -- remain in his mind. but me ask you about another issue. i would ask ari u.s. ambassador, what is the first thing i should raise on behalf of the united states when meeting with the president of this country.
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he would say without fail, elections. make it clear that it there want to be a clear democracy they have to have clear and fair elections, given the opposition and opportunity, making people that are eligible to vote able to vote. i have held hearings in two states as part of the subcommittee in florida and ohio. over recent the laws that limit the opportunities of the residents of those states to vote in the november election. i have called the election officials and ask them point- blank, what was the evidence of that led state legislatures to put of the requirements of the law to restrict opportunity to vote? without fail, they said there was no evidence that led to the state decision. this group, alec american
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legislative campaign counsel has been campaigning to change state laws. this comes into a voting rights question, which you are well aware of. i might add that some of the evidence that is coming out now makes it clear, for example, in the state of florida, they launched a controversial project that made this franchise voters. they are purging them of non- citizens. only eligible american citizens should be able to vote, but florida's process is the leading people from the registration list has been so careless, it has been wracked with errors. of the two house -- 2780 names on the list, many were majorities. the overwhelming were registered independents, democrats, and republicans. more to the point, all the
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people of the state's list of non-citizens are actually american citizens. i raise this point because as we preach to the world the requirements of democracy when it comes to elections, the question is whether we're practicing them in the states of florida, ohio, and so many other places. in light of the department of justice conclusion, what steps is your department taking were prepared to take a florida's governor and the secretary of state continue to ignore the department of justice ordered to stop urging the registration list? >> we sent two letters to the state of florida. i have given authorization to the civil-rights division to go into court and sue the state of florida to stop these purchase, which are inconsistent with the national registration boater at. clearly in violation, which requires there be a quiet period, 90 days between any
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action you might want to take in the holding of an election or primary. my expectation is that will be filed within the next 24-48 hours. we have done all we can and try to reason with people in florida through the provision of these letters. we're not prepared to go to court. >> i hope that is not necessary, but what is at stake is critical. if we are going to preach to the world the requirements of democracy in our practice them at home, we will flunk our own human rights scorecard in the part of state. i think we have to stand up for those that have political power and tried to restrict the rights of the american citizen -- american citizens the right to vote. >> would you agree with me that given the gravity of the national security leaks that it is important the investigation be non-partisan and independent? take your shirt, and we can do that with the people i have appointed.
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-- >> sure, and we can do that with the people i have appointed. >> the report to you, correct? >> they report to me as they have in the past. >> the acting attorney general delegated all investigative authority of the attorney general through the special counsel. it operated independent of the control of any officer at the department of justice, correct? >> he was a good deputy attorney general. the regulations in place make very clear that someone appointed pursuant to those regulations is supposed to act within the chain and followed justice department rules. it is in contrast to the independent counsel act that was led to expire towards the end of the clinton of frustration. to go you hired him first in
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1997, correct? -- >> you hired him as an assistant deputy counsel in 1997, correct? >> yes, i am not sure of the date, but i did hire him. >i am confident he has the ability, capacity to investigate this case and an on-partisan independent, the road, and aggressive way. >> the question that raises by your answer is whether you have the independence and ability to conduct the investigation, if in fact all of this comes back through you, and given your track record. i just want to go over -- >> my track record is consistent -- my record i think it will stand on. i have shown the capacity to investigate people within the administration. we have brought -- let's focus
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on those. >> let's not filibuster the time. but the talk about your record. you misled congress in february 2011 and claimed there had never been a gun walking program and had to retract that in november 2011. you missed lead rep issa in may, 2011. then you had to a bit to senator grassley you learned about the tactics in january of 2011. you claimed in a press conference of september 2011 you had no knowledge of the last entry is done walking program, while it was clear your inner circle employees received briefings and memos, including inler andor work, green wher others. you claim that fast and furious wiretap did not detail walking tactics. i have read them.
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they do please read tea -- raise plenty of red flags about the tactic. you have defied oversight responsibilities to the house of representatives in the senate. you resisted producing documents. and you failed to respond to my letter of august 2011 were i asked to about gun walking tactics that occurred in my state. after ryan terry lost his life in service to his country at the hands of a drug cartel member who shot him using a weapon that was allowed to walk under this program, there has been zero accountability to the department of justice. you will not appoint a special prosecutor in the face of a potential conflict of interest. you will not tell the truth about what you know and when you knew it fast and furious. he will not cooperate with a
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legitimate investigation. you will not answer my questions about gun walking in texas. you will not take responsibility of your inner failures circle and will not hold anyone accountable. i am afraid we come to an impasse, the leaking of classified information represents a major threat to national security, and your office faces a clear conflict of interest, yet you will not appoint a special counsel. he will not take the threat seriously. meanwhile, you still resist coming clean about what you knew and when you do it with regard to operation fast and furious. you will not cooperate with the legitimate investigation, and you will not hold anyone accountable. your department blocks fixed from implementing the thames to combat voter fraud, and you have violated the public trust in my refusedd by failing to reduc
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the duties of your office. it is more with sorrow than anger that i would say you leave me no alternative but to join those who call upon you to resign your office. americans deserve -- deserve an attorney general that will be honest with them. you have proven time and time again, sadly, you are unwilling to do so. the american people deserve better and deserve an attorney general that is accountable and independent and puts justice before politics. it is my severe hope president obama will replace you with someone that is up to the challenge. >> you certainly have the right to respond to that. the attorney general from texas has accused you of perjury, a criminal offense. i remember his strong support for one of your predecessors,
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attorney general gonzales. i have a different view of that. i felt you are a more appropriate person to be attorney general, so feel free to respond. >> with all due respect, there is so much factually wrong with the premises you started your statement with. it is almost breathtaking in the inaccuracy, but i will simply leave it at that. we want to talk about fast and furious. this is now the ninth time i have answered questions before a congressional committee about fast and furious. i am the attorney general but put an end to the misguided tactics. was briefed general' on these tactics and did nothing
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to stop them. 300 guns at least walked in that instance. i am the attorney general called on an inspector general to look into the matter and investigate. i am also the one that made personnel changes that was involved in overseeing the changes of prophecies and procedures to make sure that this does not happen ever again, so i do not have any intention of resigning. i heard the white house press officer said yesterday that the president has absolute confidence in me. i do not have any reason to believe that is not the case. in terms of what it is that we have turned over to congress in this regard, let's put something on the record. we have collected data from -- this is part of fast and furious. we collected data from 240 custodians. we process millions of
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electronic records. turned over 7600 pages over the course of 46 separate productions. we have made available people from the department at the highest levels to be interviewed, and i have also indicated earlier in my testimony to the extent that all of that is not enough to satisfy the concerns that have been raised in the house committee. i am willing to sit down and talk about the provision of more materials. i have sent letters in that regard. i have not had responses, which leads me to believe that the desire here is not for accommodation, but for a political point making. that is the kind of thing that that you and your side i guess have the ability to do. it is the thing that turns people off about washington. >> mr. attorney general, the problem we have is you will not
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allow congress to do its job when it comes to our site and you fort a legitimate investigation like fast and furious. you send a letter in february 2011 to this committee in response to senator grassley's increasing nothing like that existed. it took until november 2011 to apologize for misleading congress. finally, you refuse to produce any documents that post-date the false letter of february 2011 to either the house or senate. i am happy to have a conversation about what the facts show at another time and place, but i stand on the record. >> with regards to the letter, .et's talk about that whe i made available all the material that went into the creation of the letter, which is
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unheard of. that is something the justice department always tries to protect. we made that available. as i said in will say it again, to the extent there are issues that remain unresolved, materials that people want to get, i am willing to subject myself to the process to listen to those requests and make available to things yet today we have not decided would be appropriate. i want to avoid a constitutional crisis. i will not compromise the integrity of on going prosecutions or put at risk witnesses or people we are working with. aside from those concerns, i am willing to work with congress in this regard. to go out of fairness to the other we should go forth. -- >> out of the fairness to the others, we should go forth.
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i do appreciate that you stop it. >> welcome, attorney general. i wanted to make one point, and then ask a couple of questions. the point i would like to make is that it is my belief as a former united states attorney of someone who has been involved with the department of justice, that it should be our baseline expectation that every attorney general, and every united states attorney should be willing and able to follow evidence in the criminal prosecution were ever leaves, and in that regard the department of justice is a somewhat different entity than the other elements of the administration in which political control of the department of agriculture might
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be more appropriate, but that within the department of justice, we behaved differently. i worry that where this discussion is going is setting the bar to low with a presumption that then will become the standard that the united states attorneys are not capable of investigating the executive branch of government, which i think is factually wrong and runs against the history of the apartment, and the department has put a lot of effort into building a safeguard of checks and balances to make sure those pressures stay out of the department. i cannot remember that for a long time there was actually a role based on the letter from senator hatch that only very few members were allowed to contact anyone in the department of justice, and it was a very small number on either side.
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during the bush administration hundreds of people could have direct access to the department of justice folks on criminal investigations, and after i pointed that out, i think they've retreated on that, but there have been all of these senses build overtime to protect the unique role. there have been high point of low points. when the acting attorney general went all the way to the oval office to stand up for the department of justice independent view that the war was wireless -- wiretapping program was be conducted illegally, and if the white house did not back down, he and a considerable number of senior members were all going to resign. faced with that pressure from the department of justice, the white house blinks and reconstituted the program. a less happy event is when the
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inspector general investigation into the politicization the attorneys actually lead into the white house, and the attorney general refused to conduct an investigation once it touch the white house, even though there is no executive privilege between the white house and the united states department of justice, that may have been the first time that i am aware of that the department of justice back down on pursuing evidence reluctant -- relevant to an investigation because it touched on the white house. i think that was an unhappy and not representative of the best traditions. i stand with you that not only should the department not do these investigations. if not, we have our real problem on our hands. it should be the default position that the attorney general's have the ability to do that. if we do not think they do, we should not confirmed that a
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rim them. cyber. let's change to that topic. if we are looking at trying to do something serious in terms of legislation to help protect the nation from the cyber attacks that are increasingly prevalent and sophisticated and increasingly dangerous. the core target for foreign and terrorist elements is the critical infrastructure, the electric grid, servers, financial transactions for the financial sector, communications network, which are privately owned, but provide essential critical infrastructure. on june 6, we have a letter to majority leader read and mcconnell that describes the cyber threat as imminent, and
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that represents one of the most serious challenges to the national security threat. in the letter continues the critical infrastructure is essential in order to essentially protect economic security from the growing cyber threat. it continues further, not only in italics but bold italics, we do feel strongly that critical infrastructure protection needs to be addressed in any cyber security legislation. it concludes and bold italicized text, any legislation passed by congresshould allow the public and private sectors to harness the capabilities to protect our critical infrastructure. they say at the end, we have the burden of knowing 9/11 might have been averted with the intelligence that existed at the time. we do not want to be the same
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position when cyber 911 hits. it is not a question of whether it happens, but when. it is signed by michael chertoff, director of security for president bush. michael conway. general michael hayden, in charge of the central intelligence agency and the deputy secretary of defense. what is your position on whether or not the legislation that we are working on should address or should not address the problem of america's critical infrastructure? >> i think it must address that. there is a bill that has been working through the senate. there are four senators behind it. it looks at the problem comprehensively. if one looks at the threat that we monitor and the use by state actors, as well as groups to try
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to get at our nation's infrastructure, i do not want to alarm the american people, but i think the passage you read from the letter actively states the concerns we have within the administration. >> may i ask unanimous consent of the full record be made part of the record? take of this is the problem we must address. -- >> this is a problem we must address. our nation is otherwise a risk. to ignore this problem runs head-long into the problems. this problem will get worse instead of getting better. there are more countries getting more adept in the use of the tools. there are groups that are getting more adept in the use of the tools. the harm they want to do to the united states and infrastructure and through the means is extremely real. >> everyone else has gone
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several minutes over their time. i will not, but i wish to do it in a question for the record. i want you to know i am not satisfied with answer i got from the department with respect to the margolis memo that holds the office of legal counsel to a lower standard in terms of duty of candor and a regular trial lawyer, a regular guy with three files under his arm going in in providence, rhode island is held to. i think that is wrong, and i will pursue the question again. i think the answer that was prepared for the department in response to my question sidesteps the issues in a way that does not address it, and i am determined to get it addressed. >> i will look at that response. >> thank you. next two senators sessions and then schumer. >> thank you.
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i do believe we have voter fraud in america. i do believe states and cities, counties, have a duty to maintain voting rolls of integrity and courage in the roles as a way to say you are going through this to make sure dead people are not on it. people who have moved to other states do not remain on it. people that are not citizens are not on it, and if you do not have voter i.d., i would observe that someone can walk into a voting place where they know there is a registered person on the rolls who was not a citizen, not alive or in another state and just say they are john jones and vote for that person. that is a danger to the integrity of the ballot, and civil-rights required that people be able to vote, but only vote once. i am disturbed at really about
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the approach your taken on that. i think florida has ever right, and in fact, a duty, to maintain a clear roles that have integrity to them. mr. attorney general, in the patrick fitzgerald appointment as independent counsel, he was united states attorney, but the letter from the attack -- the acting attorney general told that you investigate this, and you exercise that authority as special independent counsel of the supervision -- without the supervision or control of any officer of the department. in other words, every united states attorney serves at the present pleasure. they are under your supervision. if they are going to investigate cases that reach certain levels of, any person in that position needs protection of independence.
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i think you can abuse the independent counsel statute. i do not think it should be used every time some matter comes up, but let me point out a few things about this case. first of all, these leaks could very well be criminal. there were leaks dealing with the fact that we had informants inside terrorist organizations. there were a lot of things that go beyond any reasonable standard, far more serious than the valerie plame case because she was sitting in an office in the cia and not somewhere out in the field at risk presumably. look at this. "the new york times" article. it quotes mr. daily, chief of staff, former chief of staff.
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the ambassador to pakistan. dennis blair, the informant director. on one -- more than one occasion it makes reference to "mr. obama's aides say " j. johnson, the defense department counsel. rahm emanuel. john brennan. these were all talking to "the new york times." someone provided information that should not have been provided. these are all the people closest to the president of the united states. it is a dangerous thing. also, i would note in the article that this "still senior officials at the department of justice and pentagon acknowledged they worry about public perception." troubling statement to begin
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with. the point i would make is they are talking to people, senior officials at the department of justice. so can you see how in a manner of the seriousness that it might be that it would be, that people could feel an independent counsel should be appointed? >> well, the extraordinary power that jim colmey gave to patrick fitzgerald was really extraordinary. i am not aware of any other u.s. attorney that was put in that position, and i do not know what his rationale was for that. as i indicated previously, i think we have an ability with these people why of named to follow the evidence wherever it leads us. >> they serve under your
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supervision, and the president's top aides, former top aides, some of your senior officials at the department are people talking to "the new york times" and were interviewed as an independent, aggressive way. someone that could be subject to a criminal charge. i think that is why people believe independent counsel could be appropriate in this matter. i understand you each would have separate responsibilities investigating separate parts of the matters that may come up. >> i do not want to go into the details, but they have separate matters they will be looking into. >> well, my time is about up. i will not belabor it, but i take this as a very serious
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matter, the question of the leaks and how important they are. i believe lives have been placed at risk. i have raised this in the armed services private, closed hearings dealing with these matters and months passed. it has been a pattern now. i do not believe we of seen a greater series of links, and i believe it is time to bring it to a conclusion. i believe an aggressive investigation is required, and i believe members of this administration, previous administration should fully understand they will be held accountable if they violate their oath to protect the legitimate secret of the united states. >> i do not disagree with you, except maybe in regards about who should do this. with regard to the serious makes rigid seriousness of the leaks, the need to hold people accountable, i agree with all of that.
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>> based on article, could it be that you provided the leaks? it said senior department of justice official. could it be your deputy? >> i have been interviewed are ready, and that was not some kind of pro forma take it easy interview. these were serious interviews that was doneserious fbi agents. the same thing happened to the director of the fbi as well. we were people who had knowledge of these matters and we wanted to make sure that with regards to the investigation that began with us. and there were a couple of hundred other interviews that they had already conducted. >> well, thank you. >> senator sessions, now i will recognize myself. first, i want to say this. attorney general holder, i agree with senator feinstein, appointing these two u.s.
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attorneys regarding leaks is the proper way to address these concerns. some of my colleagues brought up plame.e of bell reclavalorie the initial leak talked-about senior administrative officials. what had begun then was just would you had begun. a department of justice investigation. it was not until several months later, when it was clear that the white house was stonewalling rather than giving the information that was asked for, that independent special counsel was called for. an analogy to the plame investigation does not hold. we do not know who leaked it. you can name a lot of people in the book, but who knows who it is. having justice investigate is the right way to go. if we find that some high
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administration officials are not giving proper information or whenever to your investigators, that kind of lack of cooperation might merit a special counsel, but we are not at that point yet. this analogy to plame, when even at the beginning the actual source said that it was senior administration officials, still a special counsel was not called for or appointed. you are handling it correctly and i hope that you will not feel politically pressured into doing something that would go beyond that, because you are doing the right thing. let me move on to three other quick issues, if we can get through them. the first involves the lockerbie bomber. as you know, holding them accountable is of utmost importance. particularly in new york, where we had so many people die, including a whole bunch of students from syracuse university.
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i knew one of the families. it was reported a few weeks ago that the director was in libya to discuss further investigating the bombing. as you know, the only person held accountable has finally passed away, but it is very likely that he did not act alone. to know that other people are living freely when there is a different libyan government now is not fair. i hope that the doj will renew the investigation into lockerbie. i would like to know if you think that they should do that and if you think other individuals can be brought to justice. >> this is still something that we see as an open investigation. you are right that the director went to libya. i met with the prime minister from libya here in the united states. we wanted counting with regards to pan am 103.
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this was a matter that certainly he was involved in. i still think there is a basis to believe that more investigation is warranted. we are pressing the libyan government in that regard. we consider this an open matter. >> glad to hear it. we do not need special counsel or anything else. ok. sex offenders. the adam walsh act mandates that the u.s. marshals service provide assistance to state and local in apprehending sex offenders that to not comply with requirements. one of the national offender -- one of the national regions is the national sex offender investigation and management. as the targeting centers become more successful in tracking down
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sex offenders that fail to register, they have received a growing number of requests for assistance from state and local police to investigate sex crimes. the problem is that in many instances they are being asked for help that is arguably outside the current authority, which is limited to sex offenders that failed to register. they often want federal help to apprehend the suspected sex offenders. in cases where the issue is not failure to register, it is not clear that federal help can be made available. let me quickly point out three cases in my state where the help could have been used by local law enforcement. utica, a serial rapist of children failed to show up for a parole hearing and likely he could have been apprehended much more quickly if the targeting center had been involved in assisting the local police. they were not and he went on to
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commit further horrible crimes. long island, the killer who is believed to have murdered 10 killed -- 10 people associated with the sex trade, dumping their bodies along ocean parkway, the targeting center could have provided more comprehensive assistance. in new york city, a sex offender who committed sexual assaults on over 12 of victims before he was caught by police would likely have been captured earlier had targeting center resources been available. in each of these cases, local officials would have requested assistance, if it were available to them, and the center could have helped with the favorable assessment between crimes and risk assessments to determine where future bonds would occur. i find it wrong that assistance is not available and i wanted to change. i have attempted to introduce
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legislation allowing the targeting center to provide investigative and analytic support in cases where these agencies ask for federal support. would you support such legislation? >> let me say that i want to thank you for raising this issue and appreciate the support that you have given in the department in this regard. we have always been able to count on you. congress has also given us a lot of tools to help in this regard. i have not seen the bill that you are referring to, but i would be glad to work with you on this very real problem. this is an issue that we as a society have focused on too late and too little. >> the basic idea is something that you are sympathetic to. i am not asking you to support legislation you have not seen yet, but you would support the basic idea? >> correct.
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thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator leahy has been waiting patiently. go ahead. >> in our meeting today, use the term constitutional crisis several times. >> i think constitutional conflict would be a better term. >> one way or another, your use of that term reflects a concern that i share, to make sure that government is operated within the confines of what the constitution allows. like many of my constituents, i have concerns with regards to how this president and his administration have reviewed certain restrictions. so many concerns early on in this a ministration with the president's use of expanded the czars, individuals accountable only to the white house, jobs
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that in the past have been performed by cabinet level personnel. in the area of religious liberty you have an unprecedented and fairly radical position taken by the administration which rejected, unanimously, 9-0 by the supreme court, also under the category of religious liberty. you have got a contraception and board mandate that failed to take into account the conscientious objections of religious institutions. reflecting, i think, a somewhat callous disregard for religious liberty. you have the president taking military action in libya without a declaration of war or a congressional authorization. the president's signature legislative achievement, the affordable care act, contains an
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individual mandate that many consider problematic. then there is one issue that i find extraordinarily troubling but has not gotten as much attention, the president's use of the resources -- recess appointment power. every president has done this, to my knowledge, but this president did something different, something no other president has done, to my knowledge. he made appointments at a time when the senate did not consider itself to be in recess. the senate, according to its own rules and procedures, had been adjourned for less than 72 hours. this is a concern to me. the concern is compounded by the fact that in the 23 page single spaced memorandum offered by your office of legal counsel,
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your department seemed to be adopting a rationale that would in effect say that the president may decide, when the president deems the senate to be in recess, regardless of the rules of the senate. in light of this position, are you concerned that in the future appointments historically requiring the advice and consent of the senate may be made simply unilaterally by the presidents of either party? >> i do not think so. if you look at their opinion, i think that the rationale analysis is constitutionally sound. these pro-forma sessions that were put in place where someone would gavel the senate for a couple of minutes, whatever it was, were seen by the llc -- olc opinion has not keeping the
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senate in session. >> even though we enacted appointments two weeks prior? >> from january 3 to january 23, there was a 20 day gap and in that 20 days there was the ability for the president to make those appointments. >> wait a minute, those were made on january 4. only 24 hours or so after the senate had been in recess. was this an act of clairvoyance? >> i may have my date's wrong, but i think that the opinion can speak for itself. the time period in which they existed for a recess to have been said to have occurred, that was constitutional. >> the president commented not long ago that he believed it
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would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law if the supreme court invalidates the affordable care act individual mandate or the law as a whole. in that same statement, he also bemoaned the concept that an unelected group of people would overturn a duly constituted and passed law. is this a change in the administration's position that others have not taken? >> you might remember that i was given a homework assignment by a federal judge, a 3 page paper, single spaced. >> of the grade on that? >> i have not gotten it yet, but i have answered the question, which is that this administration understands the president is a constitutional
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lawyer, understanding marbury vs. madison to be a good law. i explained in that three page, single spaced letter, this administration still believes in that. >> of the professor, who has been a friend to this administration, commented that presidents should generally refrain from commenting on pending cases during the process of general deliberation, adding that even though the comments will not affect the justices, they can contribute to an atmosphere of public cynicism that i know this president laments. do you agree with that statement? quite to the supreme court and the justices are strong-willed people. they do not have to live in a hothouse environment. even while this matter, these matters are considered by the court, the fact we have robust
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conversations amongst ourselves, i think that is fine. there is some deference, so far, with regards to your comments. i will frequently myself say that this is a matter before the courts. his to some degree -- to some degree, having an idea of where you draw the line hit him before the courts or the supreme court's goes a little for -- the supreme court goes a little far. >> i am in no way suggesting the president should say nothing, but i think there is a difference between saying nothing and suggesting that it would be appropriate simply because something was passed by a democratically elected congress that the court is somehow powerless to invalidate that, even if it transgress is
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certain constitutional boundaries. i see that my time has expired. thank you. >> [unintelligible] strom thurmond. [unintelligible] chairman of this, say to the s, remember to avoid arrogance and show the kind of temperament when you should. when i saw what i thought was something i rarely ever saw, such a judicial arrogance as a judge saying you shall respond to this with a 3 page single spaced letter, i am surprised he did not ask what color ink. it was something out of monty python. you wonder, good lord, what
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promethean height does this person live on? judges, lawyers, republicans, democrats, but a childish thing. that is just my view. on recess appointments, i am and would be happy to find in easy way out of this. for the republicans to hold an up or down vote. debate them. nominate them again with an up or down vote. if my friend from utah would agree to an up or down vote, i would be happy to pick up the phone and urge the president to nominate them again. >> if the chairman is talking about filibuster reform, that
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may be something we have to discuss. >> this particular one is what i am talking about, the one concern. i appreciate the concern. he is expressive and has stated very clearly that he has expressed his concern on that basis, coming up, and has not hindered the work of the senate judiciary committee. i think they have been extremely responsible. i would just remind everyone again that we avoid all of this if we had the, in my experience, the president straight through, with an up or down straight through vote. [unintelligible] very patiently.
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there are senators, and if there is one on the other side who has not been heard, they can go. >> thank you so much, mr. chairman. thank you, attorney general, for being here, and for answering questions about the security leaks. you may have noticed that there is disagreement on who should be investigating them, but there is clear agreement that these were wrong. we certainly appreciate the fact you are investigating them and we look forward to hearing those results. thank you for moving forward on that. i do not want to lose perspective, from the leaks to the streets, with some of the work you do in the justice department. one thing that i know has been a positive for this country is the work we have been doing with
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drug courts. we have one in our county and as long as it is done right, check- ins and things that are monitored, you can save money because you do not have the incarceration costs. if people can actually kick the habit of drugs. right now we have 2500 drug quotes across the country. the house has approved $45 million for fiscal year 2514 -- 2014. unfortunately, the senate approved $35 million. when it hits the floor, i would think we would have a match between them. can you talk about the way that you actually get the bang for your buck with drug court money and why it is important to continue them? >> i think that the points that you make are good ones.
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there was coordination two or three weeks ago. it is a process that people go through. people have setbacks along the way. once they graduate, the recidivism reflects what you have seen in other parts of the country. it is something that is a great public safety measure and as you pointed out, it is something that helps save us money. we have the proof, now. not just something that we think will work. we can show it statistically. >> i think that the number is 1.2 million people in the criminal justice system, which was identified back in 2008.
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in your testimony, i have been very involved in that. i was a prosecutor. one of the things the bipartisan bill contained was the tribal court allowance for tribal prosecution under narrow sets of circumstances for non-natives in relationships with people on the reservation. could you talk about why you think it is important to keep that in the bill, if you think it is important to keep in the bill? >> i think that what the senate has passed as a whole, the best way was through reauthorize thing. i think that that particular division was an important one, given the rates of violence that we see, in terms of women, girls, and tribal lands. the ability to have those tried in tribal courts will go a long way to serving as a deterrent and preventing rea fending and
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changing the culture from what we have seen on tribal lands. it was something that was extremely shocking. what they will have to expect to deal with in their life, one of the reasons we have focused so much attention. the former attorney general will spend a great deal of time focusing on this issue. as a whole, the bill is a good one and i think that that particular distinction is important. >> i know that they have been working with officers in general, but according to the national law enforcement officers memorial fund report, there were still nine that were killed by firearms, killed while responding to domestic disturbances, including officer
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schneider in lake city, minn., someone who literally put his life on the line for the victim. so, your testimony points at a number of programs. have you seen this one and is there anything you would want to add? >> one of the things that is disturbing is that although we have seen this historic drop in the crime rate, we have seen an increase in the number of officers who have been killed in the line of duty. unfortunately over the last year, we have seen an increase where we have a greater number of officers shop, as opposed to dying in traffic. whether or not to serve a warrant or deal with a domestic violence claim, they tend to shield techniques and come up with bulletproof vests to try to
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protect them. this is an ongoing concern of mine. we have another one coming up in the next two months, where i will be bringing people from state and locals to talk about this ongoing problem. >> the committee just reauthorize the the ball from partnership. the next thing i wanted to ask about was the economic espionage issue. we often think of foreign espionage as being the government and the military. however, there appear to be increasing attempts to target technology and trace secrets of our business, the key to our economic future, and we have to protect those inventions to protect jobs in america. we have seen recent cases involving cargill and minnesota companies with trade secrets, things stolen. can you tell us why corporate
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espionage can be so harmful? are you working to try to address this? >> it is a 21st century problem, one where we are working with our counterparts in the private sector. they gave a speech in hong kong that brought it together. prosecutors from around the world, it was issued, and this is an issue of fact, in its most basic sense, if we have intellectual property that has been stolen and risk -- and under gaunt's -- treatment. public safety can be affected and have a negative impact on our citizenry. it is also a jobs question. as we talk about the need to create jobs, these kinds of
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activities and theft take from the united states the ability to produce the kinds of things that entrepreneurs have created in this country and other countries. >> very good. also on the record, reintroducing that bill this week, as well as the synthetic drug bill, which is making some progress, which is part of the medical device in the fda bill. hopefully we can get it on through the conference committee. i know that we have talked about that before. thank you very much. >> the synthetic drug bill that you played out is a real concern. what we have seen in the last few weeks and all people where those are issues that we need to deal with it as quickly as we can. i applaud the efforts and hope
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that there could be some kind of coming together in passing the legislation. thank you. senator schumer had a different bill that was combined. talking to people who think that they were ordering something, you get the sense that it is a very dangerous thing across the state. thank you. >> well, i am not a chairman. so, i will recognize myself. thank you, mr. chairman. i wanted to take a moment to thank you, attorney-general, for this administration's public support for the student non- discrimination at, which will protect lgbt students from
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discrimination and bullying in the same way that students are currently protected against discrimination on the basis of race, gender, country of national origin, and disability. the last time you were here, i asked why the administration was not publicly supporting the bill. you said you would look into it. and you did. thank you. mr. attorney-general, national police week was last month. i visited with some officers who came to washington from minnesota with the thin blue line vehicles, which had been transformed in their traveling memorial for fallen officers. there are law enforcement officers, like officer schneider, who they referred to,
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making every day, placing themselves in harm's way. i know you share my concern about officer safety, as you replied. i would like to hear from you a little bit about the bauer initiative. my local courthouse safety act, reported out of this committee, could you talk a bit as to why you started the initiative, what it does, and if you think it has been successful so far. i would also like to hear your views as to whether the ballot initiative should exist within federal programs.
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>> we were seeing patterns emerging. there were instances where there were responding to domestic violence complaints and going after fugitives. frequently, the targets resulted in fatalities. we tried -- we tried to glean the incidents from the pattern, so that they would be familiar with these situations as they encounter them, maximizing their chances for survival. this was not a top-down effort. people who have gone through the
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program, we think it has helped to save lives. we would like to have more officers exposed. we have tried to train the trainer. >> thank you. in january, the supreme court, when police used gps devices to track suspects to track them for several weeks, that was considered a search covered by the fourth amendment. the court did not, but experts think that this means that law enforcement will need a warrant to attract suspects in this way. in a letter that i received last week, the department indicated
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what it recommended with warrants and tracking without objection. i wanted to add my letter for the record. in a brief file, they ruled that it is such a limited intrusion that it could be justified based on reasonable intrusion. is this the position of the department of justice? that they do not need a gps, weeks and months at a time? >> i think that the reading indicates that we were dealing with a search under the fourth amendment and that the problem would be the need for warrants in connection with those kinds of devices under the fact of
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jones. i know that one of the things we have argued is that with regards to devices that were used prior, there could be a constitutional cases that need not be thrown out. i do not know if that is one of those cases or not, but going forward i think we are likely to be in a situation where warrants will be needed. >> thank you. i appreciate that. mr. attorney-general, last month i sent a letter to the department highlighting my concern that the comcast decision to exempt its own for broadband service is anti- competitive and will significantly harmed the future of online video auctions for customers, for consumers.
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i am worried that the verizon wireless agreements will make it even harder for consumers to cut the cable court online. this is particularly true if company's stock offering stand alone broadband service, as verizon just announced. companies like comcast imposing data casts, is the department taking a close look at these issues in the agreements? >> i have been accused in the verizon matter, but i can say that looking at the comcast matter, we have tried to do as a result is set in place a
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monitoring mechanism that i hope is working. to the extent that you have concerns, we want to make sure that we are doing all that we thought the agreement would do. as far as the verizon matter itself, we have heard your question and will make sure that we get an answer. >> thank you. i've understand that if you are recused, you are recused. as you know, cable bills in this country are out of control. consumers want to be able to cut the cord and watch television shows and movies online, rather than paying over $100 per month to their cable company to get channels that they never watch and do not want to watch and do not need. we do not need one of those channels.
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we need to make sure that those deals do not amount to a bargain that will harm consumers. i hope they you go -- if you are doing so, there will be strong conditions to protect the future of online video. with that i have passed -- i will pass the gavel to the senator from connecticut. mr. bloom and fall? >> i note with regret, and i am sure that you will regret it, in the last person to be asking you questions today. i am sure that you wish it would go on forever. i think i am the last. first of all, i want to say that on a serious note, i join a number of my colleagues in agreeing with you that the appropriate way, the most timely way to investigate these very,
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very unfortunate leaks is through the two united states attorney's the you have appointed. my view is that it represents the quickest and most comprehensive way to begin an investigation that could lead to others, but i think it is perfectly appropriate. i respect views on the other side that there are ways to do this job where i disagree strongly with the suggestion that that fact is a reason for you to even consider resignation, or any of the other reasons suggested here. i would respectfully also suggest that if we were, six months from now, the tone and tenor, even the substance of this inquiry would be defensive of the fact that this is no doubt unfamiliar to you.
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what i regret most is that there is an implicit attack on the department of justice. having served as a united states attorney, having conducted an investigation into a lead that occurred some decades ago, i want to say for the record that i have strong confidence in the department of justice institution. i was not here when you were confirmed, but if i were here again for your confirmation, i would vote for you. for what that is worth, being at this end of the table on seniority, probably not worth a whole lot. >> that means a great deal, senator. i have known you before you became a senator. you were a great prosecutor. >> i want to ask, and i am sure that the view is joined by
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others, i know that it is. i hope that we will take part in this confidence in your service. i want to go to the subject as raised by the senator. do you see that problem as a spreading phenomenon? is it troubling to you, as the head of the department of justice? >> i see that as a significant problem, one that is expanding. the use of these synthetic drugs results in not only young people, but older people as well, it is something that we need to get on top of before it spreads, like other drugs, where we are trying to catch up. we have an opportunity here where if we act smartly and in a
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fast fashion, we can get ahold of this problem before it spreads out even more. but i think we really have to act. >> on another item that is part of the reauthorization bill, dealing with drug shortages, the senator and i have worked on this issue. shortages of drugs that are really the work force medicines of many emergency rooms used for cancer treatments. the president issued an executive order that required the fda to refer to the department of justice any instances of price gouging, fixing, illegal activities that supported raising the prices of these drugs and thereby denying access to them. i wonder if you could comment now or perhaps submit, later, in
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writing, information about whether the fda has referred to cases of drug shortages. >> i would say that maybe the best thing to do would be maybe to respond to the riding. that you have evidence your question in the actions that the president took. we have tried to maximize the availability of what were called workplace drug -- work force drugs regarding the health and safety of the american people, to the extent of the justice department can play a role in that. i will take your question. >> great, thank you. another area that is somewhat related, having to do with investigations of unfortunate
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activities that take a vantage of the public trust, this service organization, it teaches me to great questions about the potential exploiting of these motives. we want to support that kind of service organization. this is the subject of a letter that i have written to you again. you may want to come back to me in writing about it. it seems to me that the question is similar to others that have been asked regarding charitable and well motivated organizations that are less effective than they should be, raising questions about the integrity of those organizations. >> we must make sure that when people choose to make a donation to a charity, they are making a donation to a reputable charity and the money is going towards the purpose for which it is thought.
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we have worked closely with the federal trade commission in issuing civil or criminal actions in that regard. i think there also needs to be an education component in this effort to make people aware of the deceptive practices that are used, the ways that unscrupulous people wrap themselves around. people like veterans. other groups that we want to support, doing so for illicit purposes. >> i was very glad to hear earlier your testimony about the administration's support for it. i hope that it will extend to the divisions of power. i advocated adding that a related to cyber stocking and harassment, which is a new area that i have heard you talk about persuasively. i hope that the administration
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will help to how was and retain those measures in the house, which i hope will be soon. >> the thing at like most about the senate bill is that it is consistent. any time it has been reauthorize, it has been expanded to deal with the possibilities as we confront them. the notion of putting them in over concern and enforcement of capabilities to deal with cyber issues is completely consistent with what we are dealing with now in 2012 and probably did not exist in the 1990's. i think that that provision, and the others the senate has added makes this a good bill for 2012. my hope would be that the house finds a way to support that bill.
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>> finally, on a matter that is closer to home, though perhaps not on your immediate radar, the east haven investigation, which involves inquiry into the performance of local police and the allegations that there have been discriminatory and -- discriminatory and unfair practices. i know that there is an ongoing investigation. i know that we have discussed it before, in this forum and privately, you have noted that it is an ongoing investigation. i would appreciate anything the you can give us. >> i am not sure what it is the you are in the process of doing. i am not sure that i can share much more than that. let me take back what you have and let me see if there is a way
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that i can share more and get it back to you in writing. excellent performance there, and in so many other areas. with that, i will adjourn the hearing and hold the record open for one week. thank you, mr. attorney-general. >> thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
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>> wrapping of the hearing this morning with the attorney
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general. we will send it all to you later this evening at 8:00 p.m. part of the meeting this morning, senator john cornyn called on the attorney-general to resign, saying that it is more with sorrow and regret than anchor that he says he has called upon him to resign the office. this part of questioning and answering back-and-forth, between the senator and the attorney general. >> he misled congress and claimed that there had never been one of these programs, then had to retract that in november 2011. you said you did not learn about fast and furious program until the spring of 2011. then you had to admit to knowing about those tactics in january of 2011. you claimed in a press conference they you had no knowledge of the fast and furious program, while it is
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clear that your high-level justice employees had received briefings and memos, as early as 2010. you claim that the application did not detail the tactics, but i have read them and senator sessions has read them. and they do raise plenty of details that raise red flags over this tactic. there is a lawful and legitimate oversight committee in the house of representatives and the senate. you have produced about 7600 documents out of a pool of 80,000, failing to respond to my letter of august 2011 regarding the gun law tactics in my state. 16 months after fast and furious was uncovered and brian terry
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lost his life in service to his country at the hands of a drug cartel member holding a weapon that was allowed to walk under this program, there has been zero accountability. you will not appoint a special prosecutor. you will not tell the truth about what you know and when you knew it. you will not cooperate with a legitimate congressional investigation. you will not take any responsibility for the failures of your inner circle and you will not acknowledge what your top aides knowingly misled congress about. mr. attorney-general, i am afraid we have come to an impasse. the leaking classified information represents a major threat to national security. we will not support an independent investigation and will not take the threat
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seriously. meanwhile, you still insisted on coming clean about what you knew and when you do it. but you will not cooperate with legitimate and rational investigations and will not hold anyone other than yourself accountable. in short, you violated the public trust, in my view. by failing to perform the duties of your office, mr. attorney- general, it is more with sorrow, rather than regret or anger, that you leave me no alternative but to join those who call on you to resign your office. americans deserve an attorney general who will uphold the basic standards of political accountability. time and again, you have sadly proven that you are unwilling to do so. the american people deserve an accountable attorney-general, one who puts justice before
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politics. it is my hope that the president will replace you with someone up to that challenge. >> mr. attorney-general, you have the right to respond to that. >> i remember his strong support of one of those predecessors, guns of us. i had a different view. i felt that you were a more appropriate person as attorney general. feel free to respond. >> with all due respond -- all due respect, there is so much factually wrong with the premise the started your statement with, it is almost breathtaking in its in accuracy, and i will leave it at that. we want to talk about fast and furious for the ninth time, this is the ninth time i have
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answered questions before a congressional committee about fast and furious. but we want to talk about fast and furious? i am the attorney general that put an end to the fast and furious. the attorney-general that i suppose you held in higher regard, he was briefed on these and did nothing to stop it. nothing. 300 guns walked on that instance. i am the attorney general that called on the inspector general to look into and investigate this matter. i am the one who made personnel changes in the u.s. attorney's office that is still involved in overseeing the changes, processes, and procedures, to make sure that this does not happen again. the white house said yesterday that the president has absolute
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confidence in me. i have no reason to believe that that is not the case. in terms of what it is that we have turned over to congress in this regard, let's put something on the record. we have collected data that has led to fast and furious, collecting data from 200 facilities, looking at over 140,000 documents, with 76,000 pages. we have made available people from the department at the highest levels to be interviewed. to be interviewed earlier in my testimony, all of that is not enough to satisfy the concerns that had been raised in the house committee. i am willing to sit down and talk about the provision of more materials. i have sent letters in that regard. it leads me to believe that the desire is not for accommodation,
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but for political point making. that is the kind of thing that you and your side have the ability to do, if that is what you want. it is what turns people off about washington. while we have serious problems, we are still involved with serious gamesmanship. >> on the house side, congressman beryl isis said that the panel would meet on monday, one week from tomorrow to meet on whether or not to recommend to the full house a contempt of congress citation. in october they approved a subpoena for documents on fast and furious. just a reminder on the hearing the sought today, if you would like to see it today, we will have it again for you tonight and any time in our video library, c-span.org. tomorrow, leon panetta and the
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chairman of the joint chiefs will testify before the joint appropriation subcommittee and their appropriations bill, we will have live coverage of that hearing tomorrow at 10:30 eastern on our companion network, c-span 3. tomorrow, the first of two hearings with the president and ceo of jpmorgan chase. tomorrow he appears to talk about the recent trading laws. he will be back on the other side of the capitol next week before the house financial services committee at 10:00 a.m., on c-span 3. and former british prime minister, john major, testified before a panel today in london.
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the former prime minister admitted that during his time in office, he was "2 sensitive" about media reports about him. he served as british prime minister from 1990 to 1997 and this morning's inquiry is about two and a half hours. >> thank you. [unintelligible] whole truth and nothing but the truth? >> your full name, please? >> john major. >> you kindly provided us with two documents. this is the evidence you are formally sending? >> yes. >> there is one minor correction in paragraph 56 of
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your first statement, page 23, we will come to it in due course. you wish to expand on that? >> i do. >> thank you very much indeed for this statement, which obviously involves an enormous amount of work. i am very grateful to you. >> thank you very much. >> the relationship that you enjoyed with the press, can you explain the reasons for it? is it fair to say that only the mirror group and guardian were not supported? >> i think that that is probably correct. >> what about the nature of her relationship? you did n

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