tv Washington This Week CSPAN April 10, 2016 2:51pm-3:31pm EDT
somebody very different. it will shape the court for the next 30 years. it's bound to be the debate and the argument on both sides. obama will argue his point of view. the republicans will argue their point of view. i'm not surprised there is controversy there. >> it's interesting to notice that this issue first came up in my recollection during the george w. bush's last term. chuck schumer, joe biden, and harry reid all are very vociferous that should there be a vacancy on the supreme court they would never confirm anyone during that last year when he was in office. i think we just look at this as the schumer ruled that the republicans are now following. >> i suspect that are folks out there that would call it a bipartisan direction that they
will not go in. the cost as we all know to the other branch is the cost being paid in the past. there has been a vacancy that should be awarded in the interest of justice. it's been a wonderful discussion and i think of 70 clips about the vice president. one that comes to mind is thomas marshall, vice president the woodrow wilson -- two woodrow wilson told the story of two brothers. 112 -- one went to sea and one became vice president and neither were heard from again. [laughter] thank you both.
>> also trying to chronologically think about what was medicine encountering at the time and keeping those two america's straight was quite tricky for a while. on q&a, boston college law school professor discusses her book, madison's hand, which takes a critical look at the notes madison wrote during and after the convention of 1787. >> he took those sheets of paper and folded those in half right across in the middle and on two pages on the backside. at some point, little piece of paper together into a manuscript. one of the wonderful things we notice when we were down there is that the last quarter of the manuscript, and the holes he had
sewn did not match with the earlier one. it confirms my suspicion that the end of the manuscript had been written later. it is a really wonderful thing to get to see that in person. >> sunday night at 8:00 :00 eastern on c-span's q&a. >> david cameron is making his financial affairs public by filing seven years of income tax returns. a response to a growing movement , calls for the prime minister to resign. by hise investment funds father. the prime minister is part of several politicians and businessmen from around the world who have been linked to offshore accounts. we spoke more about the topic and its impact here in the u.s. on today's washington journal.
host: at the table now, gerard ryle, who is director of the international consortium of investigative journalism. thank you for joining us this morning. guest: pleasure to be here. host: to talk about the so-called panama papers, which has exploded into the news the last week or so. before we get started, explain what your organization does, who may set up, how is it funded? u? guest: we are based in washington, d.c., and what we do is find stories and that parlay them to try to get collaborations with major media around the world. we have been working out for 17 years. i have been there for five years. we are funded mostly out of europe by nonprofit foundations and individuals. host: having your organization get a hold of these panama papers? guest: we got them from the server journalists in germany. we have been working with them in previous investigations. once they got a hold of the materials, they came to us to build the
international collaboration. host: to we know who leaked to the information and why they did it? guest: it was a totally an ominous source -- totally anonymous source. a long-term offered material and it started to trickle and it eventually turned into a complete torrent. we ended up with 1.5 billion follows and 40 years of this law clients,cords, everything for 40 years up until the end of 2015. host: for those catching up to this story, remind us of what this information said. what do the panama papers reveal? guest: what it does is set up offshore accounts for clients all around the world, and they are major law firms, major firms.major penalty firm we focus a lot on the public
interest of this because we were conscious of the fact that it was an anonymous source. we went outside the documents themselves to make sure these companies were real. but in the end, we ended up with 12 current and former world leaders and 140 populations around the world and hundreds more of their associates. host: i have a phone numbers at the bottom of the screen for our guest. gerard ryle, the director of the organization the international consortium of investigative journalism. we are talking about a so-called panama papers that everybody it seems is talking about now. phone numbers are on the screen. . about some more of the detail as to some of the bigger guest: at the moment, there is a big crisis in britain because we named the british prime
minister. has been admitted that the benefited from this offshore structure that was set up, which has prompted the crisis and has now forced him to review six years of his tax returns. of icelandinister resigned this week as a result of the revelations. he had a secret offshore account when he entered parliament. what was significant was that that offshore company owned millions of dollars of bonds in iceland, which suffered a financial collapse a couple years ago and he was elected to sort that out. the fact that he did not disclose that caused an issue. we had people from fifa, the international soccer body, committee members that we revealed it was actually an accountant from us the people indicted by the fbi and he resigned this week. we had the president of the
ukraine, associates of vladimir putin in russia, and it went on and on. host: here's more of the cameron story. releases his tax records after the panama papers storm. it says that the prime minister publishes tax records on sunday in an attempt to draw lines under questions about his personal finances. revelations have led to demands for his resignation and handed resignation -- ammunition to lawmakers who? -- lawmakers who question why he did not release that. you think you could get in trouble? was firstn he confronted, he gave one answer and changed his answer. in the end, he changed it five times, so he was changing every day which is prompting the crisis. it was more of his reluctance to come clean with the truth of the always leads to
the reaction rather than the revelation. host: we have seen a number of headlines that suggest there are either no or very few american names involved in the paper. a, is that true? b, and why would that be the case? were quite a few american names and we were keen to get public interest, so we focused on public figures. amongst the ones in america were retirees, places like miami, florida, and it were no elected officials, so as journalists, you cannot make up the story but you have to go with what you are seeing and we were led right by documents. believe me, we searched very hard. host: why do think there were no american political figures? guest: i don't think americans
use penama, even though this firm had offices in wyoming and nevada. i think they also worked on the miami. there were not a lot of americans. it is not really a goal to hide their money. from let's hear from fred ohio on the republican line. good morning. caller: thank you. thatu find it curious there is a nexus between the many comments of donald trump's comments regarding money leaving the united states and the corruption within the western political system and trying to bring money back to the united states, and that even though you stated that they were few americans involved, but this pattern is systemic and it seems at an historic nexus here by the disclosures and the panama papers in relation to the issues donald trump tries to raise?
guest: i think we see clear evidence of the documents that people in america are trying to get money out the legally. one case i remember where they offered a very wealthy person from florida various options to get her money out of the country, including setting up a fake charity in panama. up rioso offered to set invoices from a real firm in the u.k., and at one point, they were talking about covering up the money, so there's no doubt that there is money flow around the world that is being held offshore to pervade taxes, but america is probably one of the biggest tax havens in the world. they are jurisdictions is a must caribbean islands. they talked with reporters the other day about the administration's efforts to deal with tax evasion. here's what he had to say. [video clip]
stepsre are some specific that the administration has succeeded in implementing that has been effective in countering some of the international tax avoidance schemes that were revealed in the context of this document. many of you wrote recall, and some of the world were called in 2010, the president signed into law the foreign account tax defined act. that was a piece of legislation that this administration aggressively pushed congress to pass. this was legislation that was targeted at countering tax evasion by u.s. taxpayers using offshore accounts. the benefits of this legislation was significant. in a variety of ways. the first, the law actually prompted countries around the world to begin reciprocal financial information sharing agreements. that is beneficial because there
are now 112 countries that exchange information with united states about financial transactions that are occurring in the country that were initiated or involved the other countries citizens, so this is helpful in getting and providing greater transparency into the details of these financial transactions. 150,000ult, more than foreign financial institutions have now registered under affect. foreign financial institutions that the u.s. government now has greater clarity into as a result of the implementation of the tax legislation. host: any thoughts? guest: there's no doubt that americans are leading the fight against tax evasion, but we are seeing another level as well. it is money laundering as well as tax evasion. one of the reasons why weise also so few american names of
these papers is because of the crackdown in the u.s., but there is no point in one country doing this. before he became president, president obama was talking very heavily about the kinds of shell companies and how stock basically struck people in charge of the companies. when he came to power, nothing happened. in reality, unless there is a global effort to stop this, it will never be stopped. you cannot have america be the only place in the world. post"in "the washington they had this headline -- panama papers, couldn't it be called something is? the law firm letters? tax free files? "it should be named the offshore papers as panama prime minister of finance." from a banking perspective undoubtedly, it should not be called the panama papers, yet,
it is. deedee writes that twitter is a firm revealed in the papers, just one, so elaborate. guest: very good question. it is one of the top five for doing this, but we have found from previous investigations that there were about 800 other firms doing this, so we are looking at the tip of an iceberg. host: moving on to shelton in louisiana, independent caller. i think my question was answered about u.s. theseals names on part of panama papers, but one of the things i want to find out is where you can find more information about it, and if there are specific areas of places where the royalty can hide their money and do these
schemes in other places other than panama? start by saying that the money is not in panama. the money is in the united states, britain and other first world countries. the major banks and financial institutions are the ones doing this. the drug dealers and the politicians that we saw, they as far asnes, but others are concerned, they did not know who these people were but they were just aiding the banks. the money is not sitting on some caribbean island but it is sitting here. it is the reason light real estate prices are so high in the western world. found aish counterparts street in london that were owned by the offshore companies we were looking at. host: diana, new jersey, democrat. welcome. caller: good morning. i went to ask icij who could be
praised for their tremendous work. 2011, ifout this in not earlier, and why has it taken so long to come out and did it get them a chance to have their money before it came out? second, we are hypocrites. we are the biggest -- we moved up from six to number three to being the biggest tax haven with states like nevada where you can set up shell companies, and for another 50, have this guy put it on his name, so it just hides it. and american companies, which are not really american anymore, they have different schemes like pricing,ance, transfer and putting actresses on the cayman islands. it is only a small company and if you go there, there are no companies, so how can we, especially the american media mainstream doesn't report on this, how can we get the result and stop this corrupt and how
the foreign aid is money laundered, like the american public takes everybody on, how can we get the reaction? maybe the only one to tame it is bernie sanders, maybe? i would like a reaction to my questions and answers. guest: i think the only way to get transparency is by doing what we are doing, by whoever personker is, the brave who came forward and gave the information to the german journalist, which is around the world. to radicalto be done transparency. you are absolutely right. everyone has known about this or years. we at icn j where the past four years have been reporting on this. you mentioned that around this time last year, we were reporting on the internal files that we got from the switch branch company which exploded around the world. prior to that, we did a story in luxembourg about how it was
being used by the terms, including american firms, to avoid taxes in the u.s. host: she mentioned bernie sanders and the year 2011. here is the senator talking about this issue back then. [video clip] bernie sanders: it turns out panama is a world leader when it comes to allowing wealthy americans and large corporations to evade u.s. taxes by stashing their cash and offshore havens. the panama free-trade agreement will make this bad situation much worse. each and every year, the wealthiest people in our country and the largest corporations evade about $100 billion in u.s. taxes through abuses and illegal tax shore havens in panama and other countries. a tax haven has one of three characteristics, it has no income tax for a very low rate income tax, it has thanked
secrecy laws, and it has a history of noncooperation with other countries on exchanging information about tax matters." panama has all three of those. they are probably the worst. host: let's hear from our guest. is one of many different tax havens around the world, so i go back to my original point that this needs placed global and globally. we saw in the papers some interesting things. every time authorities tried to crack down on tax havens, they became more clever. we saw the oecd, evidence in the european union, and they are starting to test it in europe. host: newinvented ways of doing it. "the washington post" with the lead editorial -- mr. sanders,
contrary to his prediction, it shows that tax evasion has fallen in the lake of the free trade deal. here is a little detail. it was presented in several it showsgroups and that the panamanian-based law firm that specializes in training are setting us up for shell companies to what the people and has been steadily reducing its activity in panama for about a decade. host: the post goes on to say that in response to the sanders campaign, they did not address the data but they missed an opportunity to completely eradicate the panama packed. host: let's hear from amy in florida. thank you for waiting.
caller: i completely disagree should be able to say, "i told you so." wasn't she secretary of state when the panama trade act was pushed through? also, i am on the republican myd and i changed affiliation during the primary and i have switched to bernie sanders. in 2012.r ron paul i always try to vote for who i perceived to be an honest candidate with integrity. bernie did say, i told you so. ,anama is such a small country and they had very little industries, any to speak of, correct? that is one question i would put forward. why would we have a trade agreement with such a small country with very little
industry? also, even the very few american names surfaced in these panama papers, could you speculate that perhaps -- this was just one law withthat was associated that, isn't there more hidden money in panama with american names written on it? host: thank you, amy. guest: one point we need to make, even though we call this the panama papers, this law firm is quartered in panama, but they aren't china, the u.k., branch offices in the u.s., new zealand and other places. i go back to the point that this is global. make theot going to problem go away. you have got to go into this sort of shadow and parallel world of offshore, which basically -- by the way, it is
largely legal which makes for a much more interesting story and if it was illegal. but we are seeing -- the legality in the documents. host: the couple of tweets, sharon says that if no american politicians are involved in the panama papers, why should we care? isst: i would say that it the individual that you are looking at that are of interest. there are wealthy people in the documents that were evading taxes and if they are evading taxes, it means you pay more taxes, so that is one good reason to care. -- if younot have don't care about that, what do you care about? host: he published a chart on your website. what is the web address? guest: icij.org. www.icij.org. host: someone posts on twitter, why not post the entire list?
guest: we are not going to publish all of the papers, and the reason for that is among the documents, they are private. you have passport details amongst other things, but we do intend to do a redacted version, which would list the names and the companies. on the basis that we think this is the kind of information that should be made public. politicians have gone on the record saying that these should be record, including david cameron. he did a press conference at the white house three years ago or he said this is a sick information that should be out there. -- this is basic information that should be out there. host: when did you organization come into being? eight we started about years -- 18 years ago. i started their five years ago. host: let's go to new york, republican, good morning.
caller: good morning. thank you for having me. there areke to know many charitable foundations, many millionaires and billionaires set them up, and i think it is a way to evade taxes as well. that means that if we cannot tax these people's incomes because "hey are in "so-called charities like george soros, hillary clinton, and she was taken at the charity navigator because they could not determine how much went to charity and how .uch went to administration i think that should be investigated also because that means other people's taxes have to go up because you cannot tax them because they are in charities. see what very much. guest: i think if you are wealthy, they could create problems and those are problems
they would not like to have, but it is something i probably should not address because in the panama papers, we do see a lot of preferences of people leaving their money to international organizations like the red cross. when we contacted the red cross, they were not aware, so their name, and the names of other may major organizations like debbie bws, are being misused. they are doing that for a reason because it was a tax scam if you pretended the money was going to go somewhere else and you did not have to pay taxes on it. that was a new poll that allow due to use the money anyway you it is basically well-known scam in the offshore world. host: norma is coming from england. welcome. caller: can you hear me? host: perfectly. caller: he mentioned great britain and london and is there
anyway i can find out about that company? i have never heard it mentioned on the british media. guest: they were researchers that we are working with "the guardian" newspaper and i think they are still working on this story. it was about property and prices were going through the roof. in the panama papers, a lot of people from china and russia were buying properties in london and using offshore companies. once we were looking at the papers, we did not know who these people really were. host: norma, anything else? that is victory to write very much. if i could ask another brief question. about two months ago, america was curious about something related to our financial companies and china. any information on what that is? guest: no, i would not know. i am sorry. carol once to know by
twitter, more about americans and where they might be hiding their money. didn't switzerland used to be a haven? guest: we found the previous investigation that in fact switzerland was hiding or money, but switzerland has also, because of crackdowns, has had to get clever about what they do then you have these days is singapore. that is where a lot of the money is going. host: also, does panama have personal relationships with high wealth? had a taxama has haven based on delaware, so all the rules basically apply there. that is where a lot of drug money was going through. a lot involved major drug figures in the documents, including massive figures and accident drug cartels. host: how many people do you have on this case right now?
about 300 70e reporters working in 70 countries working on this story. getwe work is we basically the story and we don't interfere editorially and their plans for all we demand at the beginning is we decide the timing, and we like to do a global story while they do their countries specific stories. host: what is the base behind your organization? we rely entirely on foundations and individuals to give us support. host: robert from new york, republican. good morning. caller: good morning. i have two questions. one, saudi arabia, china, contactia have had due to fund. is there a link of this
[indiscernible] and since she was acting like a double agent, meaning that the american government did not know what she was doing with the and [indiscernible] what does the link have to do with the panama papers? question, does president clinton not know anything about [indiscernible] guest: we did look very closely and donors.ns in fact, we set up a system where we could back search for documents with names. we had spreadsheets. we have found donors in there. we had found people who have donated to both parties and we
are still working on that in terms of getting stories out. we also need to be sure that there is a public interest argument for bringing the stories out. we did mention in a lot of our stories a major donor to the republicans and the democrats, and this person was also linked to other things as well. may be an interesting story, and there is a question of stories s. the spies and spy world host: some of the names we have read about, china, a lot about the russian leader vladimir putin, tell us more about those two entities. guest: the most interesting one the one wherely, we found a lot of people close to vladimir putin. it seems like the companies were being used to basically take money from getting loans from public entities in russia and
being routed through offshore havens. some of that money came through the united states. we are talking about $2 billion. one of the people involved was the godfather of vladimir putin's child. we found the owner of a ski prudence child got married two years or three years ago. child got married two years or three years ago. we have known that this is the pardon. a lot of money is coming out of china and are sure. that money is falling. host: what about elsewhere in europe? guest: in europe, we found the president of ukraine. i am tried to think of other politicians. remember some of the name straight sort of a blur at this point. are: some of the names we reading around the world, the president of argentina, the icelandic prime minister.
what is the situation there? has he resigned? guest: he has resigned. the issue was that he had the offshore company when he entered parliament. in argentina, there are public protests against the president because he also had an offshore company linked to his business, and now he is president. host: saudi arabia's king solomont and the former iraqi price resident. anything to say about them? guest: also the family of the pakistan prime minister. their family, the kids, children, using offshore property to buy -- offshore funds to buy property in london. it was really about money flow and financial flows in secrecy. host: is there an overall dollar amount being associated with the leak? data not always handled the money themselves and
it basically stayed in the major financial institutions. what they were doing is a naked banquet come to them and the customer at that banquet once, for some reason, secrecy in the offshore world. they would set up the offshore company and sell that to the bank, which in turn would give it to the customer. you would have situations, for british, where the virgin islands company would be set up to be the owner of a bank account in switzerland, so if the authorities can looking for that person, that person could honestly say, it is not my money and be truthful about it because the money knowingly was owned by the auction company. storydo you see this dying down at some point or do you see the possibility for change? guest: i think it has the potential for massive embarrassment. we know the australian government is going after 800 people in australia. inquiries in multiple countries and rates by police in switzerland and other countries
in south america over the last few days. it is the embarrassment that is going to really prompt change here. the fact also that anyone who has been using offshore funds can never now be safe because they don't know where the next week is going to come from or what information we will find in the future. host: mary in pennsylvania, democrat. caller: hello, i would like to say one thing. maybe two things. first of all, bernie sanders has been talking about this for years. this is a huge problem in our tax system in america, why we are broke and broken. i hate it when conservatives say, if the taxes were not so high, blah, blah. if you do not pay taxes, a go to jail. these people are not only breaking our country and not paying taxes, but they're not going to jail. people in iceland and switzerland are out in the streets complaining and yelling
about this. why don't they do that in america? i don't understand this country. it is likely just step into this and the middle class and the poor suffer and they have to pay more taxes. it is just ridiculous. how do we get the word out of america? i don't understand why more people and not in the streets screaming about this. thank you very much. guest: i do agree, actually. i think we sought an amazing reaction around the world. there were several thousand protesters outside the prime minister britain's house a few days ago after the first day of the story. 22,000 people surrounded the parliament house in iceland and andcally beat pots and pans they finally forced the prime minister to resign. that is the kind of anger that differentmaybe it is coulters, but you seek huge reaction there and in the united
states, we saw it to the major newspapers two days to put it on the front pages. host: one more call from justin in california, democratic caller . caller: i watch your show and like it very much. i would like to ask your guests a question. when you mentioned the american bein in panama that was g put in these plus accounts of people not paying taxes, the amount seemed rather small. compared to switzerland, does that mean panama is smaller or they had not been in it as long? because these are billionaires putting their or hiding their taxes, so that is my first
question. do you think it would be higher? goingly, is switzerland to be changing at any time? host: thank you. guest: sure, i go back to my point about the money. the money does not reside in a panamanian account but it resides in britain and the u.s. and other places. the offshore companies are just routed through panama, or sometimes british virgin islands islandes like a little near new zealand. this is a global issue. they sickly, the money from here -- basically, the money from here doesn't relate leave here under pretense to repair. pretends to leave here. money never actually leaves here and it leaves the corporations that are nowry