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tv   Washington This Week  CSPAN  May 14, 2016 2:46pm-3:29pm EDT

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and with that, i got to go. thank you. >> who is the russian leader? >> i probably shouldn't have said that, should i? [laughter]
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instead it becomes three rings of horror. we're sofa teeinged by the time the mud is slung, skeletons have come out of the closet, and election day is over go to for the complete weekend schedule. >> now a discussion on the status on the investigation into e-mails of then secretary of state hillary clinton. thank you so much for being here. >> thank you for having me. >> tell us a little bit more about your organization judicial watch and what it does.
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>> we're an anticorruption group that tries to figure out what the government is up to. we use the freedom of information act which is a federal law allowing access to government records and the courts if the government doesn't give you those records. we have many many lawsuits against did obama administration which is terribly secretive and in violation of law. benghazi hillary clinton's conflicts of office. things that we've run into and covered really in many ways the clinton e-mail scandal. >> and go back and remind our viewers how you all initially became involved and what got you through it. >> we were asked in the documents about benghazi and in 2014 your viewers may recall that we uncovered it was the
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white house pushing out the false talking points that benghazi the attack on the benghazi facility was the result of a spontaneous demonstration on the internet. turned out talking points were by mitt echo out of the white house. it was a completely politicalpolitico out of the white house. it was a completely political document. where was hillary clinton's e-mails? i was thinking maybe she didn't send e-mails. wouldn't be unusual for someone
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in that position not to use e-mails. and then we pushed. we got the documents in response to that lawsuit and we've gotten them in this other one i've talked about and our lawyers pushed back and said where did you look? and they started saying things like there are other documents we need to review. they told the court that in february of 2015. and that they gave us all the documents. all bets were off then. >> what is the status of our request for information now? >> well, we have the requests are out there. now the argument is -- because we think we were gamed, the courts were gamed. we were told they did a reasonable search of her offices and they didn't find anything. we were never told about the
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e-mails. two have been reopened. the court in that case was upset by the evident lack of good faith at handling our request and they granted us discovery which means that we're going to be able to gather evidence and testimony from if i believes at the state department. that testimony is going to take
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place by june 30th. >> we want to let our viewers know that they can call in and join the conversation as well. we have traditional phone lines for this segment. democrats, (202) 748-800{202}748-8000{202}748-8000. republicans, 8001. independents 8002. we are also on let's hear from beverly from wilmington delaware. caller: >> this is nothing more but a witch hunt. host: is this a witch hunt? guest: no. an investigation into handlinge --
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discovery. the first judge i referenced was an appointee of president clinton. so if it's an alleged witch hunt, it's one involving a vast conspiracy of -- including an agency run by political appointees of president obama. it just doesn't bear scrutiny. the problem judicial watch has been facing, when there's a democrat and we're going after democrats rally around the person of interest. if it's a republican we're going after, republicans gather around. if you have corruption in your political party and politicians that are corrupt, you need to make it clear you want no part of that. you want the truth to come out. because it's so harmful to have
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crooks being your standard bearer. ask al gore how that worked out for him dealing with the clinton era. george w. bush i don't think he was personally corrupt but his lack of transparency is something we ran into in a significant way. it was serious. people didn't like it. that's why obama ran the most transparent -- that was a scam too -- he would be the most trans transparent administration in history. it's a major issue for voters. we should recognize it and if you're a smart party activist, the party should see that as a key issue for you to handle
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directly. host: i want to ask you about an article in the national review that criticized your group's involvement in the investigation of hillary clinton. here's a little bit more from that article. judicial watch is being accused of drafting in the wake of the committee and then claiming credit. the two key instigators in the investigation are at each other's throats. the latter hopes to deal benghazi a stake through the
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heart of hillary clinton's presidential bid guest: we seek the truth. this just shows you how effective judicial watch is. since then we've had disclosures that only judicial watch has made possible. the committee has either not been able to get it or may have been forth right with the american people. we've been critical when asked about what the benghazi committee is up to. this to me is an extraordinary abuse of tax resources to have congress going around attacking a transparency group for doing
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its job. i just can't belief it. i don't believe the obama administration spends time proactively calling reporters and attacking our work. it's just incredible. >> let's hear from larry from washington d.c. caller: good morning. i support judicial watch and you correcting your statement that because of the lack of a spine of congress to do their job, the legislative branch gets to check mate the executive branch. for hillary clinton, this goes back 36 years with her and her husband. from the white house to the secretary of state, and now she's campaigning for president. she just has contempt. she's a pathological liar mass
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murderer. her day is coming. that's the statement i want to make. to the people who want to apologize for her, she's a forked tongue crook. host: all right. now we have bill from northwest illinois. go ahead, bill caller: thank you for taking my call. going beyond the benghazi, the entire e-mail controversy, i'd like you to answer what's wrong with my statement that how can it be that it takes virtually a year with 50 fbi agents investigate investigating -- this strikes me as our government must be inept if we cannot conclude this
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investigation regardless of what it shows. to me, it's appalling that this has taken so long to come to some answer or to get the information that's needed to make a decision. host: that's bill from illinois. tom fenton, you called in the washington post the benghazi panel as conducting a secretive and bungled investigation. why is that? >> it's been going on for more than two years. the american people don't know what's going on. there have been no public hearings to educate the american people about the benghazi outrage. i believe that benghazi was a serious abuse. we had lies from the president and mrs. clinton to keep them in office that placed lives in jeopardy. i think because of the lack of accountability lies continue to
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be placed jeopardy and people are at risk. they refused to disclose to the american people information they've had for years it looks like if the.
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>> hillary clinton defending herself in terms of the status of her e-mail investigation. she was on face the nation last week. >> no one has reached out to me yet but i think last august i made it clear i'm more than ready to talk to anybody any time and i've encouraged all of my assistants to be very forthcoming and i hope that this is close to being wrapped up. >> so nobody said we'd like to talk to you? >> not at this point. >> if there is a moment where voters are now looking in a general election context you versus donald trump. what's your answer to those people who think, gee, fbi inquiry. that's a big deal. what do you say to them? >> i say what i've said now for
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many, many months. it's a security inquiry. i always took classified materials seriously. there was never any material marked classified sent or received by me and i look forward to this being wrapped up. >> what have you learned from this? >> that was a mistake. i have said that and i will say it as often as i need to. it seemed like a convenient idea at the time butt it certainly wasn't. i always take classified materials seriously. there's no argument about that, that i'm aware of. i will continue to do so and within whatever parameters are required for the president which i know a little bit about having served with president obama. >> we're talking with tom fenton of judicial watch now. let's hear from william from quincy, massachusetts. what's your question or comment? >> thank you for taking my call.
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i was just watching and tom said at the beginning that his watch group discovered the benghazi scandal. i would just like to say i don't think you discovered it. it was more the work -- more appropriate would be created. we have the chairman of the benghazi committee come out on national television and state that this committee was put together for the sole purpose of destroying her reputation. he didn't get the speakership of the house as he was supposed to the next day because of that, he destroyed the entire benghazi committee. i think the taxpayers should be repaid by the republican party for all the costs of the benghazi committee. >> all right. tom? >> i didn't say we uncovered the scandal.
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we highlighted a key piece of information. everyone knew the obama and clinton team lied about benghazi but we have the documentary
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proof. not interested in the truth and justice. they're interested in spinning this one way or the other. you know, they've got a special place in the constitution that they're supposed to inform the public about wrong doing, and they don't do it. i mean, at least during the watergate investigations, there were some republicans on board who wanted to know the truth about what happened. i can't see any democrats who are condemning mrs. clinton. she is guilty of gross negligence. that's just a fact. you know, they just keep spinning this thing. i think trey goudy and his organization are inept. i think they're only interested in embarrassing mrs. clinton and not bringing her to justice. by the way, i know your brother
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michael and i talk to him all the time and i've said i'd love to meet tom and shake his hand. >> small world. you know, the media -- including well known media outlets in judicial march. they're kind of envious in a positive way, wow, i wish we could get the documents you can get. i wish we could try to force the administration to be more forgot
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coming. >> it's why speaker boehner is no longer speaker in some part. >> how is judicial watch funded? >> voluntary contributions. we have over 400,000 supporters who write us checks every day. so this is a widely supported organization. that's an indication to me at least and should be to the public that the american people are terribly concerned about government corruption. >> this man is another scam about hillary.
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he needs to do some witch hunt on donald trump. he is the least qualified to be president of the united states. there's a lot to be said about donald trump. hillary is the most qualified person to be president of the united states. and republicans are very jealous and they do all these witch hunts. he's a republican. you can tell that's what he's doing. he needs to be honest and forget about these judicial watch whatever he's talking about. it's all about making money on lies. >> i'm not sure how to respond to that. i mean, donald trump is going to come under judicial watch scrutiny the way any other politician would. he doesn't have a lot of records like hillary clinton.
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>> he is nothing but a republican hack job. talk about the investigation of one woman who he has more issues with -- he will not be investigating donald trump. >> all right. we hear you this morning as well. we're speaking with tom physician on the from judicial watch. there are several investigations into hillary clinton.
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it's not a security investigation. the fbi director told me he's never heard of a security investigation. that's just a made up term. it is an investigation. it's a criminal investigation into her conduct and the conduct of her colleagues there at the state department and the handling of classified information. now, there are other reports showing that the fbi is also looking into the clinton foundation and her conflicts of interest and her basically the clinton cash machine that was in full bore while she was in office as secretary of state. one of the other litigation cases that we believed pressured the release of this information as well was about her conflict of interest when all this hit the fan.
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the state department began getting nervous about this. we were getting and publicizing key documents showing that the clinton's ethics process wasn't all that ethical. that president clinton sought approval for 250 speeches and approval for all of them and earned $48 million from people in the chinese government, people in the united states, other foreign connected entities. the state department didn't care. so mrs. clinton was benefitting from that too as they're married and that's her money as well. as far as her getting six figured speaking fees after she was secretary of state, i would call attention to the fact that she was being paid through her husband while she was secretary of state with six-figure speaking fees. >> and there's also some question about her relationship
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relationship -- >> rick aberdeen and her use of the foundation and the use of her position to take care of donors and supporters of hers. you you know, she promised there would be a line between her and this organization. the very careful ethical requirements of making sure there's no mixing of the two. the e-mails show she was regularly getting and seeking advice from cindy bloomenthal who was advising her on libya while she was secretary of state. that's not what she promised.
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she promised the clinton foundation would have no role at the state department. in fact, one of their top officials was a key cabinet advisor for mrs. clinton. >> now up on the phone lines is sue from kentucky on the independent line. sue, good morning. caller: good morning. host: what's your question? guest: good morning caller: i would just love to know if anyone is looking at donald trump and looking into his background. he doesn't seem to me to be -- i just don't -- he doesn't seem to me to be president material. host: all right. that's sue from kentucky. let's hear from one more caller and then we'll go back to tom physician on the from judicial
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watch. let's hear from dave from jacksonville north carolina. go ahead dave. caller: good morning. i just wanted to highlight if you could -- one piece of information was a piece of imagery from north korea. it was classified as top secret tk. here's one thing i do know. someone moved that data from a classified network to an unclassified network number one. number two, when you look at the foia release on the state department's website, the two people that would send stuff to mrs. clinton are ms. abedene and mrs. mills.
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do these two women have security clearances and does anyone know who in the state department released this information for it to get moved to ms. clinton's server. i'll take your answer off line. thank you. >> i think the last question, that's one thing the fbi and justice department are now trying to answer. i believe they do have security clearances. mrs. clinton, again sending and receiving classified information is just made up about the requirements of the law in terms of handling it. that story has changed for her. initially she says it was never classified and then she said it was never marked classified and now we have e-mails requested by her with the classified markings removed so they could be faxed to her. it's just devastating. the material is classified and
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the markings recognize this classification. those in a position of authority like mrs. clinton who has what is known as original classification authority, someone responsible for marking things classified and maintaining that nature whether marked or unmarked are obligated to handle that material appropriately. so whether it's marked or not is irrelevant. she should be able to discern whether something is classified or not. and saying it wasn't marked at the time has nothing to do with the way the law is and what the requirements of the law are and the fact that she continues to lie about what that material -- what those laws are, what her obligations are is disturbing and the fact that the obama administration parrots those laws is even more disturbing given their role as guardian of
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information. host: larry from tucson, arizona is on the line next. go ahead, larry. he's on the democratic line. you're on the air. go ahead. caller: yes. i want to know does washington journal c-span have authority in who their guests are? his comments that his thought process is based on his knowledge. i'm not hearing it. how many benghazi investigations have there been? guest: not enough. caller: so you say guest: you have a strong opinion too. this is the typical response to -- unfortunately, you don't like what someone says we should not be on air talking. this is just craziness. we live in a democracy, and i'm just glad folks like that aren't
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able to trample on the first amendment the way they suggest they would like to. host: next talker is james from walker, louisiana on the republican line. james, good morning. caller: good morning. this is an honor, mr. fenton. i watched that first benghazi hearing from kennedy and lamb and the guy said he felt like he was working behind enemy lines to get more security for the ambassador. i've come to the conclusion that if you're going to be the chair of a committee in congress they've got to have some dirt on you and that's why it's going nowhere. gowdy has something in his past and can't follow through with this. guest: i think committee chairmen are there at the
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be-nevada lance of the there's got to be accountability for the failure to make this a more salient public issue and feeling out what went on. instead, we've mentioned earlier that the benghazi is saying it's time to attack judicial watch instead of get the attack out. host: do you have faith in the fbi director? guest: i think the interest is the national security establishment bureaucratically that wants mrs. clinton indicted so the fbi is probably going to be interested in doing that. the fbi is too often immune from criticism here in washington
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d.c. i do not believe that it is immune from criticism. in the irs case it was implicated in that scandal because they were involved with lois lerner. the fbi was not a disinterested party so they're doing the irs investigation and surprise, surprise, no criminal charges arise out of it. in this case, i don't think they've got that conflict, so maybe they'll do a better job. the fbi should be subject to the same scrutiny as any other federal agency. host: all right. we have sue from gothersberg, maryland. caller: i'm not sure people really understand the importance
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of what foia is. >> there are amazing amounts of information that they wouldn't have. i encourage folks to write a check to judicial watch because you're writing a check to save the country. i just can't support the organization enough and i'm proud to be a member. tom, you're doing great work. keep it up. guest: thank you for that. that's an essential point. the freedom of information act
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is somewhat limited. i can't get president obama's phone messages, for instance. at least not yet. it doesn't apply to congress. congress should be held to account for that. it doesn't apply to the federal judiciary. and so it's somewhat limited but it's remarkable given its limitations that we're able to do what we're able to do. it shows a little bit of work can get a long way here in washington. it's not rocket science. it's persistence and the willingness to ask the right questions on that accountability. host: donna from north carolina is our last caller on the democratic line. donna, go ahead. caller: hello. hi. i am just, like fed up with everything. the benghazi -- i watched the whole thing. it's time to put that to rest.
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they should have had someone other than hillary clinton to be accounted for. i don't see anybody else around though. enough is enough. leave her alone. host: all right, donna from north carolina. we have to leave it there. your final thoughts, tom? >> well, you know, this is not going away. people are concerned about benghazi. they're concerned about mrs. clinton, they're concerned about everything else the obama administration is doing. all we're doing is asking questions and getting documents. mrs. clinton is going to have to account for her e-mail scandal and her key officials and aids are going to have to come -- aides are going to have to come in and testify for judicial watch in the next couple of weeks. whether or not she wins, we're not going to stop asking questions about what she did. host: all right. tom fenton from judicial watch, thank you so much for joining us this morning.
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>> a conservative who has become a sharp critic of donald trump and john kasich paired -- kasich. according to several people with knowledge of the situation. we'll have more this story tomorrow morning when robert
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costa will be on washington journal at 8:30 a.m. ♪ >> washington journal, live every day with news and public policy. sunday morning, a health care reporter will be on to discuss legislation moving through congress addressing the opioid congress. congressional leaders hope to merge the bill into a final package that would be combined with the addiction and recovery act. and then james courson, deputy director of public policy for the wilson center will be on. he will talk about the seven party congress. also, washington post national reporter robert costa will join us to discuss donald


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