tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 2, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT
justice kagan: contacting other officials to influence virginia state researchers to initiate clinical studies. so that's the one that seems to one -- justice kennedy: they're at page 60 of the -- justice kagan: the 6091. justice kennedy: middle of the appendix. justice kagan: contacting other officials to influence virginia state researchers to initiate clinical studies. so that's the one that seems to me to really fall within your own definition. do you disagree with that? mr. francisco: your honor, i don't. and if they had actually proved what was said in the indictment in the case, i think that this would be a we'd be making a different argument here. but the problem is, they didn't prove that governor mcdonnell tried to encourage anybody. the one -- justice kagan: so on something like that, your argument is a sufficiency argument? mr. francisco: yes, your honor. justice kagan: rather than this was this is not an "official act"? mr. francisco: and, yes, your honor. to be clear, we have two separate arguments here. one is on the jury instructions where our argument is that even if they agreed with all of our view of the facts, they still would have been required to convict, given these erroneous jury instructions. and secondly, our second
argument is the sufficiency argument. even a properly instructed jury, in our view, could not have concluded that governor mcdonnell crossed that line. justice kennedy: well, just to be clear, you said at the outset you don't think any of these are "official acts," but then i thought i heard you say that, third, contacting other government officials as part of an effort to encourage state research is not an "official act"? mr. francisco: that's the indictment, your honor. if they had actually proved what was -- justice kennedy: what was justice kagan is asking, is that an "official act"? mr. francisco: if it actually -- justice kagan: if it's true, but -- mr. francisco: if he had tried to encouraged them to do it, yes. if they had proved that he had tried to encourage them to do that, that would have been an "official act." our argument is that, first, the jury was never properly instructed on that question, and second, he never did in fact urge university researchers to do anything. and if i could just conclude, before reserving the remainder of my time for rebuttal, at the one event where he actually had direct contact with the university researchers, justice kagan, this was the luncheon held at the mansion. the all of the witnesses who were there actually testified as to two things with respect to
the governor. first, he simply asked neutral questions that didn't try to push the researchers' decisions one way or another. and secondly, the one time jonnie williams asked him for something, support before tobacco commission funding, he gave jonnie williams a very polite no. mr. chief justice, if i could reserve my time. justice roberts: thank you, counsel. mr. dreeben. mr. dreeben: thank you, mr. chief justice, and may it please the court, petitioner seeks a categorical carveout from the concept of an "official act" for things like meetings, phone calls, events, that, in his view, do not further or advance or attempt to influence a particular government action, but simply provide somebody with access to the government. justice roberts: well, he's not the only one. one there's an extraordinary document in this case, and that's the amicus brief filed by former white house counsel to president obama, former white house counsel to president george w. bush, former white house counsel to president clinton, former white house counsel to george h.w. bush, former white house counsel to president reagan. and they say, quoting their brief, that "if this decision is upheld, it will cripple the ability of elected officials to fulfill their role in our representative democracy." now, i think it's extraordinary that those people agree on anything. [laughter] justice roberts: but to agree on something as sensitive as this and to be willing to put their names on something that says
this cannot be prosecuted conduct. i think is extraordinary. mr. dreeben: it may be extraordinary, mr. chief justice, but that doesn't make it correct. i think it rests on several fundamental misconceptions about what government actually does. and i think it's important to pause and look at the implications of what petitioner's pay-to-play theory of government really is, that people can pay for access, that they can be charged to have a meeting or have a direction made to another government official to take the meeting. it would mean, in effect, that if somebody came to me and said, you know, i know you're having a lot of college tuition issues. we can help you with that. the criminal division is not giving us a meeting on whether to appeal a case. just call them and see if you can get them to take the meeting. and i don't know -- justice roberts: you're -- justice kennedy: i don't know -- justice roberts: it's somebody in the government whose client comes to them and says, we'd really like the solicitor general's office to file a brief in our case. and then that person calls you up and says, can you meet with so and so?
all he wants to do is sit down with you and persuade you why you should file a brief supporting his case. mr. dreeben: but getting in the door, mr. chief justice, is one of the absolutely critical things. justice roberts: so is your answer, yes, that that's a felony? mr. dreeben: if somebody pays me -- justice roberts: no, no. that's the quid that's the quid side of it. mr. dreeben: yes. justice roberts: i'm talking about the pro side in the quid pro quo. mr. dreeben: taking a meeting, yes, i think taking a meeting is absolutely government action. justice kennedy: so if so if the president gives special access to high-dollar donors to have meetings with government officials, that is a felony?
mr. dreeben: certainly not, justice kennedy. and i -- justice kennedy: why certainly not? mr. dreeben: because the critical issue there is whether the government can prove a quid pro quo. and now we're moving into the realm of campaign contributions, where this court has given very strict guidance about when a jury -- justice breyer: it's not a campaign contribution. what it is, is he takes him to lunch, and an expensive lunch at that, ok? because the quid side is not limited. the government has argued continuously that in for a penny, in for a pound, ok? so we don't have the limitation on the quid side. we have a possible limitation in frame of mind. and now we're looking to the quo side. and you want to remove any limitation there, ok? now, why do i think that's a problem? two very fundamental reasons. and it's not because i'm in favor of dishonest behavior. i'm against it. and we have just listed some that is dishonest.
my problem is the criminal law as the weapon to cure it. and if the criminal law is the weapon that goes as far as you want, there are two serious problems. one, political figures will not know what they're supposed to do and what they're not supposed to do, and that's a general vagueness problem. and the second is, i'd call it a separation of powers problem. the department of justice in the executive branch becomes the ultimate arbiter of how public officials are behaving in the united states, state, local, and national. and as you describe it, for better or for worse, it puts at risk behavior that is common, particularly when the quid is a lunch or a baseball ticket, throughout this country. now, suddenly, to give that kind of power to a criminal prosecutor, who is virtually
uncontrollable, is dangerous in the separation of powers since. so in my mind right in this case, nothing to do with this petitioner, nothing to do with him, but in this case, is a as fundamental a real separation of powers problem as i've seen. and i'm not quite certain what the words are. they won't be perfect. they will leave some dishonest conduct unprosecuted. they won't be perfect. they will put some politicians at risk. but i'm searching for those words because, as i said, this is a very basic separation of powers problem for me. mr. dreeben: so -- justice breyer: i appreciate your help on what the right words are, and i'll tell you right now if those words are going to say when a person has lunch and then writes over to the antitrust division and says, i'd like you to meet with my constituent who has just been
evicted from her house, you know, if that's going to criminalize that behavior, i'm not buying into that, i don't think. so i want some words that will help with what i see as knotty and complicated and difficult and basic a problem as i can think of. mr. dreeben: justice breyer, let me first argue the position that i came here to argue, which is that "official action" is not limited by some arbitrary litmus test that was proposed by petitioner that would exclude things that he calls "access." i don't think that that's the right way to look at it. i think that the right way to look at this statute is to recognize that it has multiple elements. we're talking about multiple statutes. but the bribery offense has very similar elements. you first have to decide whether someone is engaging in an "official act." merely going to lunch is not engaging in an "official act." there are opportunities to engage -- justice breyer: no, no one said it is. the lunch with the chateau lafite wine happens to be the
quid, and that's worth, like, a thousand dollars, or 500, anyway. i don't go to those restaurants anymore. [laughter] mr. dreeben: justice breyer -- justice breyer: but you understand that -- mr. dreeben: i don't i don't go -- justice breyer: side. it's the other side of the equation. mr. dreeben: i understand, justice breyer. but what i would think it would be helpful for the court if i could lay out the multiple elements that are at issue here because "official act" does not have to do all the work. you do have to have somebody engaged in their official capacity. you then have to have something that they do within their range of official duties, which going to lunch is not going to be. third, you need a quid pro quo, which means that the government is going to have to show that the person allowed themselves to be influenced in their conduct by the thing of value that they received, which is to say that somebody is basically saying, i'm going to make a referral over to another agency for you only if you buy me lunch. that is not honorable behavior, and there are -- justice breyer: of course, it isn't. mr. dreeben: many regulations that carve out permissible gift situations and create the fourth
element issue that i think is an important protection, which is mens rea. justice kennedy: but the problem is, and as you set forth in your brief correctly, you can imply an agreement over time. you can imply a contract over time. and if the lunch takes place first and there's no precondition on the lunch, but after the lunch there is wink, wink, nod, nod, and the contact takes place, it's clear in the standard criminal law that there is a conspiracy there. mr. dreeben: so i agree with you -- justice kennedy: we're in agreement. mr. dreeben: i do agree with you, justice kennedy. i think that's exactly the position that your honor's opinion in evans, the separate concurrence, explained as a proper means of administering the quid 36 pro quo requirement as an intent to issue in a criminal case. there is a very critical protection here. it's a requirement of showing something beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury. and if you have ordinary conduct that's fully disclosed and in accordance with regulations which do strictly limit when people can receive lunches --
justice alito: i don't see what the relevance of those regulations is. you say you say there were certain safe harbors created by federal regulations. those apply to federal employees and federal officers. what do they have to do with a governor of a state or a state employee? mr. dreeben: well, they don't, justice alito. this case has been litigated on the submission that section 201 informed the meeting of "official action" for purposes of the hobbs act and the honest services statute. and as a result, the parties have engaged very heavily on the effect on federal officials. and i think that justice breyer's question was primarily directed at them. i do think that there are different issues that arise with respect to state officials, but the mens rea requirements that i've been talking about are going to be fully applicable -- justice breyer: yeah, but how but you're asking -- justice kennedy: but then this doesn't answer justice breyer's basic question and ours. you're going to tell the senators, the officials with the lunches, that, don't worry. the jury has to be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt, and that's tough. [laughter] mr. dreeben: well --
justice kennedy: that was your answer. that was your answer. mr. dreeben: justice kennedy, i do think that the requirements of the criminal law in proving something by beyond a reasonable doubt are a substantial -- justice breyer: what is it they're trying to prove? now, of course, this is a state case, not a federal case. it's a state official it's a federal law but a state official. i don't know. i've only been peripherally involved in political campaigns, but my peripheral convinces me that a candidate will go out and he'll have lunch with hundreds of people, hundreds. everybody wants to give him lunch. great. and he wants to meet as many people as possible. he wants to be friendly. he might receive a raincoat. he might receive all kinds of things. anat some point, it becomes very dishonest. mr. dreeben: so -- justice breyer: but that's a matter for campaign laws. wait. now, i've also been involved in the justice department. and we would receive many, many letters in the antitrust division.
have you looked into such and such? i know perfectly well that that senator just wants to go back to the constituent and say, see, i did my best. that's all. now, you're saying to the jury, take those facts i just gave you, and you look into the state of mind the state of mind of which the amounts being given will be somewhat indicative, of which the nature of the letter will be somewhat indicative, of whether he writes in personal writing at the bottom will be somewhat indicative, and we're going to let you people work out what was really in that senator's mind. i say that is a recipe for giving the department of justice and the prosecutors enormous power over elected officials who are not necessarily behaving honestly. and i am looking for the line. i am looking for the line that will control the shift of power
that i fear without allowing too much honesty through this law. you know, other laws exist on the other side. mr. dreeben: well, justice -- justice breyer: that that's what i want your view on. mr. dreeben: justice breyer, i'm going to push back, because i think that the line that petitioner has urged is one that is a recipe for corruption, not a recipe for drawing a safe harbor for public officials. what he has basically urged the court to hold is that paying for access, if somebody does not put a thumb on the scale of decision if i, for example, tell the criminal division, take the meeting, make whatever recommendation is in your best judgment, just take the meeting, i can take money for that. and i think the message that would be sent, if this court put its imprimatur on a scheme of government in which public officials were not committing bribery when all they did was arrange meetings with other governmental officials, without putting, in his metaphorical way, a thumb on the scales of the ultimate decision, would send a terrible message to citizens.
what -- justice alito: well, what i think we're looking for is some limiting principle. now, you started to say something about campaign contributions -- mr. dreeben: correct. justice alito: and i know that this case doesn't involve campaign contributions. but certainly a campaign contribution can be the quid, can it not? mr. dreeben: certainly. justice alito: all right. well, gaining access by making campaign contributions is an everyday occurrence. and maybe it's a bad thing, but it's very widespread. how does it how does that play out? mr. dreeben: so, justice alito, gaining access and ingratiation and gratitude as a result of campaign contributions is not a crime. when it's done as a quid pro quo, it is. and that is not the -- justice breyer: that's -- mr. dreeben: that is not the -- justice breyer: that's what i want, your view. mr. dreeben: that is not my view, justice breyer. justice breyer: but, i mean -- justice alito: mr. dreeben, if i could just follow up on that. if a senator writes to a federal agency and says, this union or this company is, you know,
critical to the economy of my state, and, by the way, he doesn't say this, but, by the way, they are the 41 biggest contributors to his campaign would you please meet with them? what would not make that a crime? the fact that the jury might not find beyond a reasonable doubt that the reason why he was urging this meeting was because these people, this entity, happened to be a very big supporter? that would be the only thing separating lawful from unlawful conduct there? mr. dreeben: well, let me say two things in response to that. first, this court has addressed that very issue in the mccormick case. and it is established that merely taking favorable action at or around the time of the receipt of campaign contributions is not sufficient to show a quid pro quo and is not a crime. nobody doubts that if there's a quid pro quo for a vote, something that i think mr. francisco is prepared to concede is "official action," although i'm not sure why since it doesn't personally exercise
sovereign power if a legislator casts vote as a dissenting vote from a majority action. but nobody disputes that that is a crime. therefore, this court has already carved out evidentiary and instructional safeguards that prevent against a jury inferring a quid pro quo merely from the coincidence of timing. but i want to come back to something that is even more fundamental, and that is the role of the first amendment in this case. because petitioner has sought to wrap himself in the mantle of the first amendment, probably because the gifts that he received have nothing to do with the first amendment, they have to do with personal loans and luxury goods. this is not a case about campaign contributions. but when campaign contributions are at issue, he relies very heavily on citizens united while ignoring a critical piece of citizens united. this court, in citizens united, looked back to the circumstances that prompted the federal election campaign act in 1972, and those involve circumstances that were delineated in the buckley decision in the court of appeals. and the court specifically cited to those practices.
and what were those practices? they involved the american milk producers paying $2 million in campaign contributions, spread out among a variety of committees, to get a meeting at the white house. that's all they did. they said, in order to gain a meeting with white house officials on price supports, they paid that money. other corporate executives testified that paying money was a calling card, something that would get us in the door and make our point of view heard. and this court said, on page 356 of the citizens united opinion, "the practices buckley noted would be covered by the bribery laws, ceg 18 u.s.c. 201, if a quid pro quo arrangement were proved." now, of course, it's very difficult to prove a quid pro quo arrangement, and that's why there are campaign finance limitations on contributions to candidates. but the court had no doubt that paying for access was a criminal violation. and so --
justice roberts: so -- mr. dreeben: and that's what -- justice roberts: if you have a governor whose priority is jobs for his state, and there's a ceo who's thinking about locating a plant in his state, but he can only do it, he says, if he gets tax credits from the state. so the governor is talking to him, and he says, look, why don't you come down to my, you know, trout stream and we'll go fishing and we'll talk about this. and the governor does that. he has a nice day fishing for trout, and they talk about whether they can get tax credits, deferred taxes if the ceo opens his plant in the state. now, is that a felony, because he's -- mr. dreeben: i -- justice roberts: accepted an afternoon of trout fishing, and he discussed official business at that time? mr. dreeben: i don't think so, mr. chief justice, but if you change the hypothetical and said instead of an afternoon of trout fitting fishing, i'll fly you out to hawaii and you and your family can have a vacation, and during that time we can go over my policy -- justice roberts: but i thought i didn't think the government put any weight on the amount of the quid, in other words, you know ok. i don't know how much an afternoon of trout fishing is worth, but i gather you get you
can be charged for that and pay for it. i thought that didn't matter. i thought it was whether he was engaged in an "official act" under circumstances in which a jury could find he did it because of the gift. mr. dreeben: yes. justice roberts: and so if all he's doing is talking about ways to get jobs for virginia, and he's talking with the person who's going to make that decision from the private sector, based in part on whether or not he gets, you know, tax credits, it would seem to me that under your definition, that governor is guilty of a felony. mr. dreeben: i'm not sure that he is guilty of a felony. but the reason why i changed the hypothetical to involve a larger quid is because the implications of carving something out from "official action" mean that it can be sold, and that it's lawful to be sold. and when you change the trout fishing to a trip to hawaii, it becomes more nefarious, and the message that it sends to
citizens is -- justice breyer: but that's the point. you see, what exactly what the chief justice asked. what's the lower limit, in the government's opinion, on the quid? what? tell me right now. what if you're going to say $10,000, ok, i feel quite differently about this. if you will say an afternoon of trout fishing or etc., then i feel quite differently. it's pretty hard to see the conduct being honest if you exempt the campaign contributions and put it up somewhere. but i didn't think that was the government's position. mr. dreeben: it's not the government's -- justice breyer: what is the government's position what you tell me i'm wrong, in for a penny, in for a pound. you tell me right now it is not the government's position that the trout fishing afternoon is sufficient to be a quid. if you say that, i'll feel differently about the case. [laughter] mr. dreeben: it's tempting, justice breyer, but i'm not going to -- justice breyer: exactly. mr. dreeben: exempt from the corruption laws --
justice breyer: ok. mr. dreeben: certain types of quids, but -- justice breyer: but now -- mr. dreeben: justice breyer, you do need to run this through all the elements of the offense. i think what petitioner is saying, and i think some of the court's hypotheticals are suggesting the only thing that really you could possibly do to remedy this issue is to shrink the definition of "official action" with no textual basis in 201, nor really, i think, any common sense basis in the way that government actually operates -- justice breyer: you tell me that's why i asked you at the beginning. and you in order to be you say you're going to push back, and then you complained about their definition. if i thought their definition was so perfect, i wouldn't have asked you. and it's exactly you do you tell me how to do this. and i'm not you say it sends a terrible message. i'm not in the business of sending messages in a case like this. i'm in the business of trying to figure out the structure of the government. and that's part of separation of powers, and i expressed my concern. mr. dreeben: so i think -- justice breyer: i dissented in citizens united, so whatever that said there, but -- [laughter] justice breyer: but the point is the one i raised at the beginning that every single one of us has raised. we're worried about because like
any other organization, the prosecutors too can be overly zealous. that can happen. and so we need some protection on both sides, even though the line won't be perfect. and it will fail to catch some crooks. and it will i mean, i understand that. and i want to know your view. and it doesn't even it helps a little, but not a lot, to say, well, meetings. mr. dreeben: so -- justice breyer: that's too specific. i want to know what your view is as to the language we write in discussing the line. mr. dreeben: well, i don't think you and i agree on where the line should be, justice breyer. so i can't write language that is going to satisfy you. you weren't even satisfied with petitioner's language, which requires that there be influence on some other governmental decision. you suggested you thought that
was too broad. justice breyer: no, no, no. well, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. mr. dreeben: you did suggest it. justice breyer: i did -- [laughter] mr. dreeben: i think that it's too narrow. i think that if the court is going to reject the government's submission, which is that when the governor calls his secretary of health and says, take the meeting with my benefactor, he doesn't disclose it's his benefactor. take the meeting so that that person can have the preferential opportunity that other citizens who do not pay will have to make his case before you. i think that is "official action." petitioner says it's not "official action" unless he further sends the message, which i think on the facts of this case was sent, he's trying to influence the ultimate outcome. if the court is going to reject the government's position in this case, then i think that a fallback position for the government is when you have an indisputed "official action," such as will the universities of virginia study a particular product, or will the tobacco commission fund it, then when a public official takes action to direct that decision, to influence that decision, or to advance his benefactor's interests with respect to that decision, that constitutes the crime of bribery.
justice roberts: there is -- mr. dreeben: now -- justice roberts: given the difficulty that we're having in settling on what these words in the statute mean, there is a an argument in the petitioner's brief that you have responded to in yours that the statute is unconstitutionally vague. mr. dreeben: i do not think it is unconstitutionally vague. first of all, we're talking here about multiple statutes. we're talking about hobbs act extortion, which this court previously construed in both mccormick and evans to be perfectly valid upon the proof of a quid pro quo when the official asserts that his action will be controlled by a thing of value that he has received. and now we're talking about the question of what constitutes "official action" for the purposes of a common law crime that goes back centuries and was incorporated into the hobbs act. we're also talking about the honest services statute, which this court in skilling just six years ago determined could be construed -- justice roberts: well, yeah, "could be construed."
i mean, there were, what, three votes to find it unconstitutional? and the others say, well, no, because you can narrow it in this way to the core definition of bribery. and now maybe the experience we've had here, and the difficulty of coming up with clear enough instructions suggests that the caution the court showed at that point was ill advised. mr. dreeben: well, i think it would be absolutely stunning if this court said that bribery and corruption laws, which have been on the books since the beginning of this nation, and have been consistently enacted by congress to combat both federal, state, and local corruption -- justice kennedy: would it be -- justice roberts: and -- justice kennedy: absolutely stunning to say that the government has given us no workable standard? mr. dreeben: well, we have given you a workable standard. it's the standard that comes from this court's 1914 decision in birdsall, where the court said that things that government officials do under a bribery statute much like this are covered as official action, and they're not limited to things that -- justice kennedy: perhaps what you're talking about is how evil the conspiracy is.
it's not evil to fish or to have a bottle of wine, but it is evil if you up the ante. is that is that what you're saying? mr. dreeben: i think what i'm trying to say, justice kennedy, is that it's going to be extremely difficult for anyone to really believe that you could buy a governor's position on a multimillion-dollar tax support for an afternoon of trout fishing. and that's why those cases don't get brought. no one thinks about them. it's not really even clear there is a quid pro quo for -- justice kagan: can i ask you a narrower question, mr. dreeben? so one of the "official acts" here i'll just read it to you. it's allowing jonnie williams to invite individuals important to star scientific's business to exclusive events at the governor's mansion. mr. dreeben: yes. justice kagan: so that's essentially hosting a party and allowing mr. williams to invite some people. and why does that why is that an "official act," in your view? mr. dreeben: so, justice kagan, it wasn't hosting an official party. we're talking about here two events.
one was a product launch hosted at the governor's mansion where the governor is basically giving his credibility to a brand-new product. and the invitations were critical to jonnie williams' plan to sign up the universities to do the studies. he got to pick -- justice kagan: so here's, i guess i mean, i guess, my question is this -- \ the "official act," the statute, the definition, i mean, requires that there be some particular matter, cause, suit, proceeding, or controversy, correct? mr. dreeben: yes. justice kagan: and if i understand the theory of this case, the matter, suit, cause, proceeding, or controversy here is the attempt to get the university of virginia to do clinical studies of this product, is that correct? mr. dreeben: it's narrower than our whole scope of the charge, but it's essentially correct. justice kagan: that's the gravamen of the thing? mr. dreeben: correct. justice kagan: so if you had just if the indictment, and then the instructions that were based on the indictment, had said the "official act" is getting the
university of virginia to do clinical studies, right, that reads very differently from the way this indictment was structured. because what this indictment does is it takes a lot of different pieces of evidence that might relate to that "official act" and charges them as "official acts" themselves, so that the party becomes an "official act" or calling somebody just to talk about the product becomes an "official act." do you see what i mean? i mean, you know, this might have been perfectly chargeable and instructable, but i guess i'm troubled by these particular charges and instructions, which seems to make every piece of evidence that you had an "official act," rather than just saying the "official act" was the was the attempt to get the
university of virginia to do something that they wouldn't have done otherwise. mr. dreeben: so, justice kagan, what the crime was here was the governor accepting things of value in return for being influenced and taking "official actions" to legitimize, promote, and secure research studies for anatabloc and star's products. that's at supplemental ja 14. it then alleges that he would do this as opportunities arose in the course of his official actions. and because he's the governor and he has a tremendous amount of influence throughout the government, he appoints all the board of visitors of vcu and uva. he sets the budget. they know that he's an important guy. he has lots of opportunities to do this in different ways over time. and if you look at the pattern of what he did, directing people to meet with star's representatives, arranging events at the mansion in which star could bring together its chosen guest list, the doctors who it wanted to influence with the star people who were trying
to influence it, the governor is taking every step he can do short of saying to uva, do the studies, which his chief counsel told him would be inappropriate and wasn't going to do. so i think that if you look at the indictment the way that it's actually structured, it talks about a person who, as opportunities arose, was going to engage in "official acts." this is a theory of corruption that justice sotomayor's opinion in ganim in the second circuit validated, and it was cited in skilling as a perfectly valid theory of corruption. and, therefore, the individual "official acts" really form a composite window into petitioner's mind. did he intend to allow his official conduct to be controlled by the things of value that he received? and taking them all together, even if the court has trouble with any individual one, they allowed a rational jury to inference that, indeed, he did. and the only way that petitioner could win, if you agree with me on the sufficiency issue, is if you conclude that jury instructions must exempt certain types of official actions, like directing your secretary of
health to take a meeting, which is a very kind of significant event in the life of a cabinet member and a governor, or hostinan event at the mansion, can't possibly count, because it somehow should be viewed as social, when, in fact, what the governor is doing is allowing his benefactor to get all the people in the room who he wants to influence to do the studies. so in my view, there was nothing wrong if i can complete the sentence in the way that the indictment structured the crime in this case. the "official acts" were exemplary. they were proved, and the jury could properly find them. thank you. justice roberts: thank you, counsel. mr. francisco, five minutes remaining. mr. francisco: thank you, mr. chief justice. i have three basic points i would like to make. first, i'd like to start out with the government's argument that a lot of the problems with its theory are solved by the quid pro quo requirement. well, in fact, the gratuity statute, the federal gratuity statute, has the exact same "official act" requirement, but no quid pro quo requirement at all. so what that means is that if
you take somebody to a fancy lunch with a i can't remember the name of the bottle of wine you mentioned, justice breyer, but if you took them to that fancy lunch to 1 thank them for referring you to a meeting with a midlevel staffer, even if there was no suggestion at all that you were going to do anything other than call that staffer and say, hey, can you take a meeting with this guy, hear him out, and exercise your independent judgment, that would be a violation of the federal gratuity statute. and, indeed, under the government's broad theory that anything within the range of official duties counts, that means that if you took the person out to that lunch as thanks for giving you a tour of the capitol building, you would likewise have violated the federal gratuity statute, because there, there is no quid pro quo requirement at all. point two, justice breyer -- justice sotomayor: there is a difference between someone saying, thank you for a decision
you made independent of the gift that's the sun growers case and someone buying you an expensive lunch and saying, i'm paying for this lunch, but make sure i get a tour. you don't see the difference? mr. francisco: not under the federal gratuity statute, your honor, because the federal gratuity statute is meant to prohibit thanking somebody for giving you an "official act." and so if an "official act" is, in fact, a tour of the capitol building or a meeting with a staffer, then you have, in fact, violated the federal gratuity statute when you take them to lunch as a thanks for that particular act. second point, justice breyer, in trying to figure out the right verbal formulation, the first point i'd like to make is, if we can't figure out a proper verbal formulation, then i think there are some very serious vagueness problems with the statute -- justice breyer: it's birdsall. justice sotomayor: you -- justice breyer: it's birdsall. look, i can i've read the brown commission report. i've read the model penal code. i've read all these efforts to get language. and i've looked at the present statute. and i think i can limit that because the statute, itself, seems to cover things like
voting and contracts, et cetera. but it's also true that a person who tries to influence those things has committed bribery. i think that's correct. mr. francisco: and -- justice breyer: now, my problem is with birdsall and how do we write those words so that they do catch people who are doing this dishonest thing without, as i've said five times, allowing the government the freedom to go and do these ridiculous cases. mr. francisco: and i think the d.c. circuit's en banc decision -- justice breyer: not saying this is a ridiculous one, by the way. mr. francisco: understood, your honor. i think that the right answer, you start out with the d.c. circuit's decision in valdes. you look at that listing of words -- justice breyer: uh-huh. mr. francisco: question, matter, suit, cause proceeding. and those are actual decisions that the government makes, the government as a whole, as a sovereign. and then you say, are you making a decision on that, if you're the final decision maker, or if you're not the final decision maker, but because of your official power, you have the ability and the authority to influence other decision makers, then you're are you doing that? here are two fundamental -- justice ginsburg: what do you say to mr. dreeben's argument that if we read this statute as
you are urging, then every government official can say, you want to have a meeting? pay me a thousand dollars. the corruption that's inherent in the position that says it's ok to facilitate a meeting, it's ok to say, i'll do it for you if you pay me a thousand dollars. that's your view, that that would be ok? mr. francisco: your honor, and, frankly, this was leading to my third point, which is, if there is absolutely no way that if there's no indicia that you're actually trying to influence the outcome, and it really is just a meeting, yes. but that reflects the fact that these broad and vague statutes are not comprehensive codes of ethical conduct. there are lots of other statutes that would prohibit precisely what you are suggesting, justice o'connor, and you don't have to interpret -- justice ginsburg: that hasn't happened in quite some time. [laughter] mr. francisco: justice ginsburg. i am very, very, very sorry. [laughter] mr. francisco: justice ginsburg,
my apologies. there are lots of other statutes that would prohibit that precise conduct, and you don't need to take statutes like the hobbs act and honest services statute. justice kagan: well, what would -- mr. francisco, just take mr. dreeben's own example, which is the example of somebody he's running a business, and he's taking $5,000 at a pop every time he arranges a meeting with the criminal division for somebody. mr. francisco: sure. there is a statute that prohibits supplementing your public salary with private money. so if you're essentially taking outside money for the performance of your official duties, that's illegal.
that was discussed in the sun-diamond case. there is another statute that that prohibits you from doing any taking anything from anybody whose interests could be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of your duties. so that's another one. it would prohibit that would prohibit it. there is another provision of this bribery statute that prohibits you from taking any action, not just "official action" but any action in violation of your official duties. so i think that might -- justice sotomayor: why aren't they any less vague? mr. francisco: excuse me? justice sotomayor: why aren't they any less vague? and what you're saying is that holding a meeting, taking a phone call, having a party is not illegal, that that is something that you're entitled to do. so why would all those statutes be any less -- mr. francisco: they may well be in certain circumstances, but i think that the ones that are simply saying for example, the civil service statutes that simply say, you can't take anything from anybody who is a covered person. that's not vague. it just says that you can't take anything from anybody who is in your job. most federal government officials are very familiar with that. that's why you really just don't take gifts from anyone. the problem here is that we had a state regime that was much less stringent than the federal regime, and the government wanted to use the open-ended hobbs act and honest services statute to fill that gap in what
they perceived is the state law. i would respectfully submit that that is an inappropriate use of federal power. thank you, mr. chief justice. justice roberts: thank you, counsel. mr. dreeben, could i invite you to return to the lectern? our records reflect that this was your 100th oral argument before the court. you are the second person to reach that rare milestone this century. i distinctly recall your first argument in january of 1989. throughout your career, you have consistently advocated positions on behalf of the united states in an exemplary manner. on behalf of the court, i extend to you our appreciation for the many years of advocacy and dedicated service during your tenure in the solicitor general's office and as an officer of this court. we look forward to hearing from you many more times. thank you. the case is submitted. mr. dreeben: thank you. as nd we're live now diplomatic officials and the japan have korea and
the range of problems from human rights abuses in south korea. progress. in years ago, ry, two he report of the commission of inquiry and human rights in the democracy of people, the korea was released regarding human rights korea.ions in north it's a state in that report the of ity, scale and nature these reveal a state that in the have any part contemporary world. abduction are well formed
committed by north korea. issue of the the abduction of japanese is part with the case enforce ions and disappearance from the republic countries.nd other it's categorized into the item air force and disappearance from the other countries. also concluded in the bio racial consisted of crimes against humanity. japanese government identified 17 abductions, those who returned ome and there are numerous to be precise under
investigation. under minds the nation's overeignsy of japan and the japanese people. at the same time the issue is a matter in terms of human abductees concern as and irreplaceable families has r been taken away. bductees and families have grown old in the 40 years since by north aptured korea. ome of the members were unable to see the abductees and pass
away. here is no time to waste to escuing the abductees and issues.nding of the he government some take responsibility for it, one that given the highest priority. to as been taking steps people. it under the irrespective of whether they are abductees, the abduction of north korea were conducted in the 1970's and 1980s.
however, north korea formerly admitted to the be an for the first time prime the visit of the as sters in september 2002 meeting. japan case chairman of the national defense ommission of north korea abduct japan the only survived and re eight had died. t that time the two leaders signed the japanese declaration describes the manner of the obligations between japan and north korea. the correlation states, both shared confirm the recognition that establishment economic relationship between
japan and the d.p.r.k. hrough the settlement and understanding the issues of concern it would be consistent the fundamental interest of both sides. it would greatly contribute to he peace and stability of the region. it also states and both sides that that they would cooperate with each other in to maintain athe peace and stability. that they confirmed would comprise with all related nternational agreements and oth sides also confirm
reserving security programs missile issues by dialogue between the countries. north korea will work and build its understanding of the as the abduction and issues. they provide economic with north korea fter the normalization of diplomatic relations. a huge gap between the in the scribed of preparing it in which north korea makes no to take an honest
eclaration instead of responding responding. to be more specific in the meetings, north korea admitted japanese uction of people and apologized according the decision of kim john ill, returned of survivors home. owever, north korea found remains as proof. remains of ied the the other person, therefore response to japan
has been sorely lacking in good faith. meanwhile the japanese side has ong continued to strongly demand that north korea abducteesy return all abductions ate the and expedite those responsible out abductions to japanese authorities. in may 2014, at the apan north korea enter gov mental consultation in stockholm, both sides reached an greement according to their agreement mental consultation i stockholm, both sides reached an agreement according to their north has a special conduct a full scale investigation on all apanese nationals including
ago. they had missile launching and decided to take better measures against north a comprehensible volution of outstanding issues namely the abduction and missile issues. responding to our decision, that this insisted declaration of the sto agreement and the investigation into all the would be stopped. nd the investigation committee deserves it. against north kor korea's claim. orth korea must conduct comprehensive and full scale
-- in the united states 2016orth korea policies of was enacted this february n this act, while the requirement for that ding the sanction is the government of korea has made progress towards accounting of the tudents all over country abducted by the government of north korea, also of the requirements for is ination of that sanction that the government of north korea has made significant fully s towards for astudents abducted
relationship in the future with north korea ncluding the settlement of the unfortunate pass between them and the involvement of with ational community north korea. on that assumption, japan cooperate with the u.s. and public of korea and the so that north the works on resolving issues. korea, they decided to
korea in order to seek a which can dialogue lead to a comprehensive resolution of the issues. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, minister. adding at ss in not the beginning that this the teral presentation by hree senior officials was actually proposed by the minister so we're greatful for that initiative. we'll hear next from ambassador lee. received lee having masters. from tuft and center for korean studies taken on weighty post in in
addition which is the public of korea's ambassador for human rights. stage welcome to the ambassador li. for the you michael introduction. distinguished guests, participants and honorable members of the media and civic ociety and government and academia. i'm greatly honored to have that a few nity to stay remarks to address the ontinuing problem of human rights violations taking place of the kiregime. i'm grateful for putting meaningful s very
gathering. korean human orth rights provides a common the united states, korea nd the republic of to work together in a significant way. nd today's event is an opportunity to strengthen the ry lateral stance and i thank the csis for its vision and effort. it's been two years since the commission of requirery roduced the report concluding totalitarian state and crimes are tantamount to against humanity. he report identified forced executions, c
bar tions among other bearties. violations y, such continue followed up.en aving said that, the good througnews is the international community s not only taking the issue much more seriously but also embracing the idea of human rights as an effective a distraction in korea's security threat and increasing the communication. to the north's missile clear test and
launch, also addressed in an to rect way, the failure respond to the grave hardship that the people are subjected is a step in the right direction. situation is the and e handle treaties institutions and regimes. he question is, can the world finally draw a line and combat atrocities in north korea. i believe there are reasons to be optimistic. thing, the international pportunity's tolerance is increasingly growing thin. during its 2015 session, the u.n.'s general assembly once again overwhelmingly voted to support the conclusions and to consider e unsc
sanctions.nd targeted this is important because we now north at merely placing korean human rights on the particularly nd the possibility of criminal leader, ion of its rattles the complacency. to very important understand that promoting human security ucing the hreat and improving enter korean relations are mutually reinforcing goals. international n kim nal prosecution of jong-un, for example, could rovide new leverage encountering the ambitions and human rights the violations. prosecution is one
thing but establishing another.tion is he wrong statute does limit an immediate jurisdiction. chinese and , russian vetoes pre sent the biggest problems. the two countries, that is along withrussia went the referral in 2015 and libya some hope that perhaps the same could be done korea.rth china the twin challenges on the one hand and the domestic genuine to become a global leader or a soft power on may turn the tide in china's chance at the counsel. china does hold the key that
the needle in north korea. instead of complaining about we china is not doing should find ways to compel china to do otherwise. meanwhile, it should be noted and the er states court's prosecutor can on their wn target north korea's labor abuses taking place within the member's owns are. o north extra territorial and labor network is estimated to in oy 50 to 100,000 workers 0 countries including in mongolia. the prosecutor with approval of initiate an investigation. security counsel refuses
to the act and they do not gain jurisdiction, the general special could set off a tribunal. there is uniting for peace assembly where the can recommend collective actions they feel mbers once a threat to international peace. korea's human rights present a threat to international peace. ablie the w we're not referral or establish a tribunal are other ways for syria's enforcement. individual states can employ jurisdiction and try north korean officials for humanity.inst
he u.n. sanctions resolutions on march second is a welcome sense.ment in that nding the human rights abuses in north korea will require a .lobal campaign reminiscent anti-apartheid movement. n fact, the one that we 1980s is something be benchmarking. with north korea in retrospect just the e done opposite. sports, cultural and business exchanges have been in fact encourages instead of puig boycotted. stronger responses on
north the recently passed korean human rights act in south that. will change in doing so, we should make a effort to form alliances among international rganizations that deal with gender oppression, religious persecution and drug trafficking. all hallmarks of north korea. he debate over how terrible things are is over. it's now time foreign forcement accountability. since the end of world war ii, has lobal community meticulously built up the toernational judicial system counter human rights violations of all scales. us to defend l of it. in particular, the states, japan, and the
republic of korea should be at forefront of this defense. emphasized be enough. that's why today's conference is very important. democracies defending such as human our s resonates with identity, north korea is a litmus test not only of our and commitment to human dignity but also of who we are and what we stand for. thank you. applause] >> thank you, ambassador, li. for your powerful conclusion on the importance of effort.d of coordinated finally we're going to turn to
ambassador robert to offer comments. he was confirmed by the senate in 2009. e served before that for a quarter of a century on the hill. most of that for one of the human rights in the .s. house of representatives and served as chief of staff and international relations committee. comments.ate your >> thanks very much for the participate in this discussion today. that i want togs make very clear from the outset stands veryd states
much with japan in its effort to issue of the abductees. japanese the government and sought to help nd work with them as they sought the resolution. i met on a number of occasions of the families in tokyo and geneva and new york we continue to impress for a resolution on that issue. tkb aubgtees he which has opinion seen as a is part of the much broader issue of north kor rights record and we had a good discussion this of the about the issues north korean human rights and and omission of inquiry effort gone into publicizing and korean ing the north record in this regard. the japanese government has very important role in
withprocess as co-authored he european union of resolutions with geneva and the general assembly to call korean n to the north efforts. we appreciate the role japan has this regard. point that ambassador li made about the value and the lateral cooh try operation between united states and japan is another point i'd because the size three of us these they countries are all the countries that are in dealing with the problems and the rovocations and the difficult at thes that north korea has created share the same values same ideals in terms of our kphaoeument to rule of huh value and he importance of hugh has an rights. as the three of us have worked co-op operated closely in terms of dealing with
these issues, i think we the effort that we've made in terms of pushing forward on these extremely important issues. the united states is committed continuing to work with japan, with south korea in and ng with the issues efforts in north korea and to push g our effort forward on human rights. you have a loft questions and there are questions from members of the panel. i won't take more of your time. that we e say continuing the effort of the struggle and it's one that we'll continue to press on. thank you very much. applause] >> thank you, bob. want to ask a few questions of panelists.
open with the n minister. and very very clear principaled declaration of the government's position korea.lomacy with north i'm wondering what role there is now.diplomacy clearly the north korean side as done nothing but provocations and has been ishonest and far from forthcoming with respect to the of those isposition abducted. ondiplomacy with north korea hold? is there a point at which direct negotiations make sense? understand why the diplomacy are t moving now, but what the circumstances -- what would diplomatic be for
efforts with north korea in the future. what would the environment have to be like for that possible? >> at that time i guess it will be in japanese. >> the response on the diplomatic front that was the question. nuclear development and missile by north korea is being as well as course the united states and the united have decided on harsh sanctions. it the u.n. resolution, things is the r
northrights violations in korea. north korea ion of with regards to nuclear and has led to the interests with hugh has an rights interests in the community and raising the level momentum with regards to korea. in order to extract specific listen to sincerely these voices will require imposing nd by pull out we need to north korea and have them come for an tkpwoenegotiation.
while we influence pressure we pursue dialogue. abduction, ng to uclear and missile is a rational choice for north korea and we have to do something to make them understand that that choice and that is why we have to impose pressure. international at community must be united in imposing pressure and that is we are placing so much try lateral various measures are being taken and ambassador you made suggestions on the means that we can implement and processes as he well tpwhaowe and collaborate
closely. questions.ask bob two you can answer both or either. we worked for president bush for very his issue was important. that the time and since i thought personally that before any movement from north korea, we probably will have to see movement from china. that for us to see movement from china we're going to have greater consolidation of and we ional opinion have touched on this. australia, the e.u., but the it will be the u.s. so, if we can continue building this international consensus, what some actions we want from china to help improve the lives koreans to maybe get
progress. are there specific things that doing.could be american and korean politics are more interesting. we have an election this year and korea has a presidential next year. what is your sense of the ontinuity of our current approach to this problem and what would you say to the next we nistration to make sure continue with the kind of momentum we've had to date at international opinion and build on that going forward. want to start and then bob.l turn to take the china question first. i think it's the most immediate
problem of course resolves round the north korean defectors because north korean defectors cross the border and cross the lives to border. as you all know, crossing the itself is not the end. once they're successful in border, then they major ugh another -- a truggle to find their way to south korea or elsewhere. not abide by the call, which means that china does not recognize them as refugees. they simply recognize them as they round ns so them up and send them back to north korea knowing fully well they'll be persecuted.
i just don't see how this particular issue when it comes north korea and human rights on whoever epending the administration may be. that for some,nk i don't know, there may be on ter efforts to engage north korea. it doesn't turn into some sort of a debate of versus humanitarian assistance. the trend is very clear it's about accountability and the and asking the
responsibility and possibly so i hope that trend is not in any way reversed with administration. in the meanwhile, i mean if ou're able to successfully ngage north korea and sort of like construct engagement and at them on the back and try to convince them to shut down their system, well, you know, good luck to that. that's not going to be easy. easy? it not going to be because for north korea as you human uclear weapon and rights violations, they go hand in hand. very important regime utilizes
for survival. uclear weapons to keep the external forces off. do whatevergo on to they want. violations is needed because north korea needs own population down rom expressing whatever displeasure they might have. here's the tricky question, how convince it to reverse a that may, as far as the regime is concerned, has a detrimental effect. therein lies the difficulty. hat's why there are limits to engaging with north korea and convincing it to do better. excellent advice and artfully done so i couldn't tell next 're advising the
korean president or american president maybe because the advise would apply either way. >> one of the advantages of eing a former government official in a think tank you can ask tough questions and not have them and i think what mike has done today. let me make a couple of comments about china. china plays a very important role in terms of what happens in north korea, both on the nuclear issue and also on the human rights issue. i don't see the glass as either empty or full. i see it sort of half full with regard to china and human rights. yes, we are pressing the chinese to make progress on human rights and we'll continue to press china. but when you look at china and its role in north korea and the human rights issue, there are two points i would make. first of all, the chinese have a
repatriation. they were returning the north oreans that they captured. it is hard to believe in a state like china that could have happened if the chinese. i think the chinese are conflicted, i think the chinese have relations with south korea that are important to them and i think they are frustrated with the north koreans. i think we need to continue to press the chinese to recognize the refugees who are leaving north korea and fleeing through china and to allow them to go to south korea if that's where they want to go. but i wouldn't say the chinese are all on one side or all on
the other. and the second issue that i think is important, the issue of information, yes the net is controlled in china. yes, the chinese will block out cnn on certain issues it may cover. but when you are in north korea, china looks wonderful in terms of the information that you can get. and radio broadcasts in korean for domestic korean audiences in china are listened to very carefully in north korea because in spite of the limitations in north korea, the information in north korea is even more limited. yes. china continues to be an important key to what's going totally 's not a negative picture. the united states and south korea and changes in what's going on in both
countries. one of the american citizens who ago, hetainee two years has a memoir that is coming out tomorrow talking about his experiences. the thing that he described as one of the worst things he had to go through was listening and watching north korean television. that's probably the worst punishment than torture. they didn't physically torture and made him watch north korean television. one of the things i feel sorry for ambassador lee is coming to the united states and having to watch the coverage of our election. i would put it in somewhat the same category.
>> i think we're safe in the united states on that issue. south korea has been trying for years now to pass a human rights law. that human rights law was adopted just before the election. i think it reflects a growing consensus in south korea that the human rights issue is an issue that needs to be dealt
with and it covers the very broad spectrum of differences in south korea on that north korean issue. >> excellent. if you were trying to evade a former government official's question, i couldn't tell -- it was a forthright and rich response. .ast word on this issue mr. kato: [through translator] in relations to the sections that have been recently decided upon, they have to be also coordinating with us in terms of sanction or else the effectiveness will be limited in terms of trade between north korea and china. and we assume that the amount of funds flowing between those two countries is quite significant. in terms of imposing economic
influence to north korea, we have to have china coordinate th ourselves and in the u.n. resolution there was cooperation with the united states and with the leadership of the united states, we were able to get china on our side. so that's what we need to have more of. japan is no position to talk about the administration, for example in the united states, in the united states the north korea sanction and policy was passed. each country as well as the international community must be united and thinking that all consensus is on the rise. regardless of which choice the
americans take on the next administration, i think there is already a strong platform on this issue and i'm sure the u.s. government will continue to uphold its very strong level of interests towards east asian as a backdrop these symposiums are being organized, which helps each and every american citizen to have a better understanding of these issues. >> thank you. i would like to invite two very distinguished and important guests to join us at the podium. grace was born in north korea and almost starved to death as a child. i can't read her c.v. because it is so tragic, it's almost impossible to read. she lost her father, she lost her siblings because of the
her ts they made to save family which were considered criminal which the family was starved, tortured and lost their lives. grace got out and with the help of pastor phillip buck, got to china and u.n. helped her get out of china and enter the united states as a legal refugee. she is one of 180 who have made it to the united states and working in northern virginia as a dental assistant and leading what might be considered an american dream and normal life. but at the same time, she is a powerful spokesperson to those in north korea. and grace, please join us on stage. , vice secretary
general of victims kidnapped by north korea. of thehe oldest son, one abductees. she was 22 years old when she was abducted in 1978. he was a one-year-old baby at the time and out spoken person of the families whose loved ones are missing and confirmed abducted by north korea. i see my friend -- they are twin brothers, he has a twin brother and hard to tell. president bush in the white house with his parents o emerged as very powerful
symbols of determination and perseverance and grace, their daughter was abducted at a very young age in elementary school from the coast and his parents came to the white house and came to the congress and galvanized congressional and administrative interests in finding the fate of the abductees. i think putting a human face on this, was, i can tell you being in the government at the time, a very powerful reason for us to focus on this and build consensus about the importance of human rights. i would like to invite you beginning with grace and give some observations and perhaps hear from the first as well afterwards. lease.
>> it's a privilege to be here in front of tory the great leaders of the world and i feel very honored. i would like to start with a quote from reverend martin luther king junior, human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. every step towards the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering and struggle. the fireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals. i asked myself a lot of questions as i was preparing today's testimony, what are human rights, why do we have to fight for them. the flood of information makes me dizzy. i close my laptop and i think
bout my days in latin america. for school or work. but my relatively normal american life here has never stopped me from thinking of my home country of north korea. when i think about north korea, i remember that in my neighborhood, there were no lights and no electricity for 22 hours out of the day. and families did not have enough to burn. people didn't have toilet tries like they have in the u.s.a. or china. i shared my personal and family history before here, so i won't go into all the details, but my for r was caught, punished illegally buying us rice. my grandmother and two younger brothers died of hunger.
my oldest sister disappeared in china and we have no idea where she is right now. it's been 18 years of separation. my mother carried me on her back and with my sister, crossed the river, going to china, learning the language and looking for work to survive and always in hiding. we weren't successful. we were caught and forcefully returned to north korea four times. my mother carries all the scars and injuries to her body with her. my sister and two daughters cannot forget our past. so we have committed to sharing about what happens in north korea. we faced daily challenges as we continue to adapt to this new land and the drive to focus on taking care of my family,
getting a better education and working hard to earn money for my mom and sister. but what keeps me up at night is the thought of my father, my grandmother, my missing sister and my little brothers and so many others in north korea. the government decided it was better to punish us for trying to find work and survive than to lose control over its people even when it couldn't feed us. this is why you started an organization in 2011 called north korean refugees in the united states that helps north korean refugees who like us wanted to escape and find freedom. every day is a challenge to me but i can't be thankful enough for the freedoms i enjoy. i really thank the u.s. government for accepting us as refugees and giving us a chance
to live like the human. i thank the u.n. for helping us gain safe passage to the united states. finally, i wouldn't be here today if it weren't for the prayers and activism of individuals with a big heart for north korea. many of whom are in this room. so thank you. lastly, i wanted to share one st story from my memory from 2002. i remember a cousin told me to put a bulk head under the faucet and asked me to turn it the other way until i see water coming out. she said once the bucket was filled up, i should dump it into the bigger pot and i did that until three pots were filled, one jar filled and one small container filled. there was only one issue.
water didn't come out of the faucet like you have here in the rest rooms. came out one drop every two seconds. i asked what is this for? she said you are going to use that water for three days, maybe longer. e villages had all running water given dripping water. and i was only allowed to drink one cup of water per day so we decided one drop. i believe our efforts for north korea are like those drips of the water. i believe that our efforts like the water faucet, drip by drip, may be insignificant in small doses but it will fill up to ts and ultimately rise
to bring down the walls in north korea. one drop of water is weak but collected over time has the power to pierce stone. but only if we never ever give up. i believe that being able to freely pursue the basic needs to leave our human rights. i believe that living in the u.s., i discovered for myself what human rights looks like. i hope my brothers and sisters in north korea one day can experience the same wherever they are, but you must be persistent until that day comes. thank you. [applause]
when i was just one-year-old i was separated from my mother and that situation still continues. in september of 2002, japan-north korean meeting was held. and north korea admitted for the first time that they had abducted my mother, but north korea said she was killed in a traffic accident. when i heard the news, i was terribly shocked because i thought i would never ever be whose see my mother memory i have none of. ll are no words to express what i felt. but the news was untrue, the information given by north korea that she was dead was not grounded in fact. at that time, they told us she was killed in a traffic accident, but they showed this document that they called as
death certificatetive indicate that was unveiled that it was counterfeited and we discovered that there was no name of her in the traffic accident report that was submitted by north korea. this is misinformation in north korea's explanation on abductee's which was revealed by the japanese government. i believe that north korea made up the story that my mother had already died in order to conceal the fact that she is still alive and i'm sure she is still alive in north korea and i know she is still waiting to be rescued out from north korea. including my mother, there are at least 17 japanese citizens who have been identified officially by the japanese government as victims of abduction by north korea, although five of them have returned to japan. there still remains 12 that
haven't. we have two in the audience when their sister was and duggetted. and in addition to these 12 cases, there are still several hundreds of cases involving japanese citizens of which the possibility of abduction. although north korea told japan of the 12 remaining abductees, eight have died and four have never entered into north korea's territory. but there are so many contradicks. in 2004, north korea presented what they called -- but d.n.a. tests conducted proved that the remains presented by north korea contained d.n.a. from a different person which made it clear that what they call as remains were not those.
furthermore, the target of abduction by north korea is not only limited to japanese citizens in the united states, there are allegations that mr. david snowden might have been abducted and based upon the testimony, there is a possibility that citizens of republicic of korea thailand may have been abducted. mover according to the report issued in february of 2014, there are abductees from malaysia, singapore, france, italy, netherlands and china. which means that the abduction by north korea is human rights issue for the entire international community. presently on the presumption that the abductees are still alive, the japanese government
encourages north korea to release their citizens. the government of countries whose citizens have been abducted by north korea and the family of the victims should ask for the return of their abductees. 30, 40 years have passed since the abductions took place in japan, some parents and siblings of these victims have passed away without being able to reunite with their families, which is tragic. time lost can never be recovered. family members are aching. we don't have the luxury of time as we seek the resolution of the abduction issue. it is important for us to have higher level of interests in the protection of human rights rather than to focus on the nuclear and missile issue. ladies and gentlemen, i would urge you to support in having
all the abductees returned from north korea as soon as possible. in closing, i would like to express my deepest gratitude to my adopted parents who raised me. i hope the day will come soon that i will directly look into the eyes who brought me into this world and call her mother. [applause] >> it's impressive that they ave the perseverance and the courage to speak out. for many, many years, the japanese government and u.s. government would not acknowledge that there had been abductions and now everyone knows that these families were right and deserve our support. we are the center for strategic and international studies. not the center for human rights
or center for human beings. with senior officials focusing on policy and analysis, we hear these voices. ar too often grand strategy is posed as something that involves ignoring human instincts, human rights being dispassionate and calm. when you think about north korea, we spend a lot of time debating how can we assure them with a peace treaty, what kind of diplomatic framework and it's voices like these that the greatest threat to the north korean regime is their own people. when you hear these voices, it puts it in a different context. i promised we would take questions. why don't we take one or two questions and the ministers and ambassadors have the opportunity
as well as our guests. audience member: i thank you for a fascinating and very powerful presentation. y question is to minister cato and ambassador king, the japanese government, the national police agency identified several individuals that north koreans are responsible for some of the abductions and has issued arrest warrants for those individuals names on ssed their to interpol. i'm wondering on the accountability issue, using the u.s. sanctions from february, the legislation, the new human rights legislation that permits individual sanctions to be imposed, whether the japanese government has thought about doing something similar and whether the japanese and
american governments have considered using those individuals whose information is out there to list as individuals responsible for the violation of the human rights of these abductees. >> let me take one more question and have the last word from our panelist. briefly. >> i'm a partner a travel company and one of president bama's partners. you described why nuclear weapons and human rights violations are both necessary for the survival of the north korean regime. so my question, sir, or all of you, is it possible to the international community can put
pressures on north korea where they will come to see that their continued violations are of greater threat to their survival than anything else? >> good question. if i could ask the panel to in one minute each give an answer and wrap up. beginning with bob king. bob. mr. king: with regard to the question on individuals involved sanctions being -- individuals being involved in abductions and sanctions, we are looking at how we might identify individuals in ways that meet our legislative requirements to apply sanctions against individuals and there are a whole range of issues that we're looking at and people involved in abductions would be one we are looking at.
yes, we are looking at it. with regard to the question of the international community pressing the dprk, i think we have done a fairly good job of trying to pri the international community together and press the north koreans and i think the north koreans are feeling the pressure. in terms of looking at human rights. when the commission of inquiry issued its report, the north koreans came back very aggressively. they had a couple of people in new york who made appearances before the council on foreign relations for the first time. they tried to defend the north koreans in light of what the results of the commission of inquiry were on the human rights issue. the north korean foreign minister for the first time in 14 years made an appearance in
new york and spoke at the general assembly session in an effort to defend the north koreans. that continued during 2015 and the north koreans fought back. they attempted on the resolutions that were being adopted in the general assembly and human rights council to call for votes. they had allies -- the countries you would expect, who voted against the resolution. the numbers didn't change that much. the north koreans and the human rights council got maybe eight votes in support of them. those who voted against them were five times that number. so i mean -- the north koreans have tried it. this last year, this year, the north koreans announced in geneva that they weren't going to contest the brutality to which they were being subjected for their awful human rights record and when the issue