tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 30, 2016 2:00am-6:01am EDT
some aspire to have more established links with daesh in iraq and syria. there are a mix of individuals and groups at different stages of development, but the agencies are keeping an eye on them all. strategye to nip them in the bud. to get problems before they expand. >> is there an affiliate sort of directly to the united kingdom?
clearly, it can happen very rapidly and we need to be aware that.ctly i don't want to go further on that. >> they are not the only threat that we face on iran and syria. suggestshe evidence [indiscernible]. i wonder what preparations we have taking place. know they are already attacking the allies we are supporting, what additional support are we offering? well, this is one of those
most extreme hard-line groups and it emerged in syria in 2011 and it is probably the strongest a cube franchise globally. a has its stronghold in province and it is certainly a spoiler in the political process in syria and it might represent -- it -- which becomes might represent a petri dish. significantt, a portion are syrian focused that provide a wider wrapping to those much more specifically a q-a aligned forces that might 48. -- a qition
aligned forces that might harbor ambition. small --a potentially a potentially small element of british foreign fighters associated with it, the specifics are unclear. to strategy is to continue provide the political and operational space and communication platforms that have been used in the past and to encourage the allies not to regarded as a tool that can be used and manipulated in syria but to regarded as a wider threat. we are not the civic lady targeting -- we are not specifically targeting but if we were to determine there was a very specific direct and imminent threat to the u.k.
national security, we would legally be able to do so. it has been said, we did get some strong testimony to the ,act that in the longer-term tim marshall said it is much daesh inside the opposition movement and is a isis andthread the in would be a far longer-term entity in syria. so it is that the danger we face has been unusual in seizing territory, that is making it more visible? once the campaign succeeds in taking that territory back, we
will then face a longer-term more typical international terrorist threat without the advantage of being able to see a lot morepening and could depend upon the nature of the government and syria as to whether or not this major al qaeda affiliate in syria is allowed to form a new springboard for worldwide terrorism. and think it will remain abscess in the system. >> nothing more than that? >> much more than that is to speculate as to what the end game really looks like. in scenario where there is and during and enforceable cease-fire except the conditions for a political conversation in transition.
the assumption is that a political framework, supported by security operations, is sufficientd given capacity to target that specific threat. it would only survive if it was left with the space to do so. >> in the back of my mind here is that we end up with the h/isilsful removal of daes but with an islamist government in place. such as the brotherhood would be ill-equipped to contain a lasting threat from effectively al qaeda and syria and we know what al qaeda can do when it has the space. >> yes, but we also know what the international community is able to do with respect to new
during the senior leadership threat. scenario istake the potentially as dramatic as you might have thought. >> that is very clear and intelligent. >> thank you. that ender to achieve politicalse-fire and protest the general just described, we have got to do something that is very difficult. we have got to appease russia. groundrategically on the and in order to achieve that, we might even have to row back on some of our stance against russia for their act committees in places like crimea. what do you say about that? >> i think we touched on this on
tuesday. it is perfectly possible in proper for us to engage with russia where we have interest in common while maintaining our very sharp disagreement and condemnation about what russia has been doing it in thy crime and -- in the crimea ukraine. now it is getting involved in the libyan talks as well. so we would continue to urge russia to play a role in and use its influence constructively towards a future settlement in that they need to do. it is within their gift to do it. it's certain to lee -- it certainly needn't be linked anywhere else. is that what you mean? >> yes. i think some people suggest we
out to be going much further in -- aps examining >> the sanctions are not there as a punishment, they are there as a condition and will continue to apply until the mensa agreements are respected. there are not there for any other purpose. are very specific and russia can have those sanctions minsd if it encourages the k agreements. crack specifically on the ground, it might be confusing. -- specifically on the ground, it might be confusing. i know there are discussions that try and match areas of activity. it must be very confusing when a country like russia moves than
and starts operating with relatively little cooperation with the coalition. >> there are more with the discussions. to de-conflict the space to make sure there are sufficient gaps between aircraft and so on. but we are very clear on targeting. russia is not hard of the coalition effort. >> should we be pleased or sorry withthe syrian government russia and other outsiders have kdaesh. -- from >> well, i mean, i would say that if it, you know, and means
that, what remains on the historic site is preserved, then that is probably a net benefit. fornk the strategic daesh would be it is important that does not fall into their hands. it is a choice of the lesser of two evils and in this case, if either is one to remain under aesh or bel of deas seized by russian actors, it could be a mixed benefit for the syrian government. cracks pretty certain the it is a net benefit to those who continue to survive in palmyra today.
>> i am pretty certain it is a net benefit to those who continue to survive in palmyra today. think it is possible to stand up strongly against russia in one theater such as central europe and eastern hardheaded tactical reasons, finding ways in which we can cooperate with russia when that is the only alternative sometimes to the continuing control of territory aesh territories? >> broadly i do. not just for hardheaded but for humanitarian reasons. to bring this indiscriminate killing to an end. constructively and
respect the cease-fire we thought we had organized back in february. it is within russia's gift to do that and we will encourage them to do that while taking hardheaded nests on the other they the approach to what have been doing in europe. >> you mentioned a cease-fire. the cease-fire of course did not apply to daesh. everyone is allowed to continue fighting daesh. and that means with the syrian forces under lesh's -- less pressure of fighting anyone other than daesh. they have been able to go on the defensive more than they have in the past against daesh. department of defense
spokesman had this to say on the 20th of april, when the russians came and they claimed they wanted to fight isis and in reality only a small faction that of airstrikes were against isil. they were against the opposition. since the cessation of hostilities was declared, we have seen that shift. at one point in the last week or so the russians, we estimated, more than 70% of their strikes were against isil. so doesn't this suggest that if there could be some thought of hardheaded this to operation of russia, it would be easier to get rid of the isil members rather than trying to have a touation where we want isil
lose and the syrian forces to lose as well. >> it would leave a forces at mercy of the regime and you have seen me indiscriminate nature of the regime attacks, not respecting the laws. hundreds of civilians have been killed. perhaps general martin could give you a better military answer. martin: i expect when they we apportion the their assets from attacking the opposition to daesh it is where competing for the strategic national resources of the company and where the resources have been threatened by daesh. not as a net contributor to the wider international effort to defeat daesh.
theo we come back to question of what sort of regime will be left at the end of this. a question of how moderate the forces are but this seems to be key as to whether we and the with either a little dictatorship once again or and islamist regime which might be unhelpful in the global war against terrorism. >> i am not sure if the choice ought to be as stark as that and that is why we are working for international syrian some part to bring about a better alternative. syria has had elections before. iran has had elections. afghanistan has had elections. there is no reason we could not leave syria after the fullness of time where it has a wide
plural democratic government that iraq has. >> and we think russia might the allowed -- willing to allow that? >> i hope so. there have been certain signs. >> thank you. john: thank you, chairman. i want to come back to the order. , i know thery much challenges are humbling. the scale and threat that you are as a team facing. two general mark, and do you -- it is difficult to grasp what this is. do you feel the men and women who are serving, and do they really get the bigger picture? do they get what we are going after?
do they feel an entirely unencumbered? do they feel entirely unencumbered in this fight to degrade, to set up conditions for success, whatever that success might look like? >> it you recognize more than most the professional satisfaction that those engaged in the struggle draw from this and you have already heard the extent to which the regiment found it professionally stimulating and challenging in terms. i do not think the british army per se feels that it lacks for public support, materials, or indeed a clear sense of what the object of the goals and effort is. they have a clear recognition
now of the wider threat that daesh represents and they are working in support of an international effort to end sovereign government that needs to survive. >> thank you. i think we're coming to the end now or towards the end. but, people like me who, you know, have, you know, the sort of low-level understanding of engagement, these things we have made from two fundamental errors after 15 years of engagement, one of those is the failure to recognize the corruption and things like that. and, you know, and the second one really is the credibility to -- so have the summit
what we have seen, you know, we the often seem -- seen --discernible closed record [indiscernible] -- fundamentally look at how we go about these things and we need to have the stomach and the will to see these things through. how do you think we can do that ander both in parliament nationally? do we need to have a rethinking of how we see these operations as we tackle these threats and corruption. .ou know, counterinsurgency >> these are big questions.
[laughter] best.ill do my maybe the reports will give us further guidance. on corruption, you happen to be right. we have to do far more to deal with the degree of corruption in these countries and the prime minister's has had a anti-corruption summit and gone for more transparency on how our aid is direct did and the pressure that me and others are putting to bear on these regimes to root out corruption in their countries. questions, do we have the stomach for it? are we doing it in the right way? i think we have learned these are very long-term ways to try ,o establish some of the values
not necessarily western values but the values we take for granted, values of freedom and ability to get rid of a regime that you don't like. to on property. freedom of expression. to get these values rooted in areas where they have not previously grown is an undertaking that is long-term. years and millions of pounds and dollars. we have learned that in the and when you are dealing with the, this has to be done by local forces. simply putting western boots or british boots on the ground, as we have learned painfully, success in afghanistan is not the total answer. >> from my have, i mean, you have spoken as to -- from my
perspective, i mean, you have spoken to what we have to endure. to have a sustained commitment, then there is something about more strategic communications publicly as to the purpose and degree of commitment be nation could expect and whether it is prepared to meet that with the resources and political stomach, as you turned it, to see this through. perspective,tary we learned that a campaign is of finite duration even if the problem and doors. and there -- anders. even if the -- problem endures. need to use our time to the best effect. in afghanistan, we reflected on our inputs rather than worrying about our out puts.
we also determined to get to the root of the problem we had insufficient boots on the ground and therefore the key metric was mass. the men discovered mass was actually subordinate to legitimacy. and if there were reservations locally about one's very presence, one was not actually a -- contributor. which toate element in engage and it is easier in those countries where that exists and of course it is that much more -- in those countries where one has to create it. >> we are back to where we started about the whole of government approach to these problems. in the 20 years i was here, 20 years ago, they felt like military problems were for the ministry of defense with. it is different now.
probably because of the way the machine works underneath that. there are interagency problems and we approach them that way. that is a necessaryesson we have learned over the years. your formermmittee, colleague used a striking phrase. he said that british governments could be criticized for intervening in countries or regions where we did not understand. we have been trying to achieve what he calls cultural change on a management consultant timeline. what i take that to mean is the cases,at in many countries can be at a state of beelopment which might even 100 years or several hundred years away from a point of being able to make democratic institutions work.
we havell feel that sufficiently understood that, because if we have not been we ought to think about what politics in this country would have been like 500 years ago and how well that would have worked when we were building up the state for heresy. have we absorbed that lesson case ofntly in the countries like syria, for example? the degree of humility needed in these things, when i do travel abroad i told the governments when they talk tout democracy, i am quick remind them it is leslie and 100 years since women have voted in this country and it has only been recently.
i am struck, too, by the change that took place in west germany and in japan after the second world war which was a collective of years and west as i said earlier, billions of dollars and a very large standing force that a colossal, as mr. mercer said, over certain in electorate's. the gentleman may be on to something there. >> the point as then shall he as that these things take time and -- saysthink where he actually it is the wrong political soil and we try to politicize tribal societies.
butably unduly pessimistic it depends. >> thank you. that might be a good question. obviously, this is something different to and one of the we arery evils is that recently in support of people who are under -- unaccountable to this parliament. however we going to deal with the future consequences? it sets a new standard. it is a breakdown of the system. in the long-term, how are we going to deal with the fact we ?re invading individuals >> are you referring to in the right now, in our
battle against isis it seems we are providing resources in atypical typical international framework different than what we have done previously. have we started thinking about long-term and what they're going to be and how we are going to build them? nots a general rule, we do racketthe model in a with a sovereign government usually applies. a -- we touched on some of that today. you need to think very hard about that. think very hard about who you are providing support to, the nature of those individuals. the consequences longer-term of doing that. the processntially we apply to any kind of support
of a force. >> [indiscernible] >> fundamentally we are. it is within the law of what we expect and the support we give. >> well, we are giving support to groups. i think that is what we are trying to yet at. we have to look at them very carefully. >> we are not giving them legal support. we are being very careful about that. and when we do train them we are very careful about the groups we train. careful anda system respectful as i said. this would be a nice endpoint anyway.
[indiscernible] >> that is the key criteria. for the new government of syria to make clear exactly what security assistance it required. the new government in libya is very clear, they do not want foreign troops on the ground because they feel it is undermining their authority from the beginning and obviously we andoffer them training material assistance and that kind of thing, but we are not deploying troops there. so i think it would depend what the demand was from the syrian government, but we have a strong record of us assisting in
peacekeeping as you know. sent peacekeepers to somalia and southern sudan in addition to peacekeeping in places like cyprus and so on. >> thank you very much. and only remains for me to say we have covered a huge amount of grounding and it has been particularly impressive. thank you, mr. wilson, thank you secretary of state, thank you general mark, and the hearing is concluded will stop -- the hearing is concluded. announcer: c-span's washington journal, live every day with news and policy issues that affect do. coming up on memorial day, we will talk to members of congress and talk about the experience of those who served in vietnam. we will be joined by three of the current members of congress
who served in the military during the vietnam war. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal beginning at 7:00 a.m. on monday. join the discussion. >> the libertarian party has selected former new mexico governor gary johnson to be their 2016 presidential nominee. he was also the party nominee in 2012. the selection was made during the convention held in orlando, florida. we will show you governor johnson's speech. this is about 35 minutes. [applause]
governor johnson: thank you very much. you have no idea what just happened means to me. i have always said that it is your hard work, every one of your work over the years that has gotten us to this point, and i recognize that. and i will work as hard as i can to represent everybody in this room. [applause] gov. johnson: look, for those who were not supportive, i want to reiterate a couple of things. i tell the truth. i am not a liar. [cheers and applause] governor johnson: and i make plenty of mistakes, but what i
say at this convention is what i say everywhere, wherever i go, and i believe it is a really libertarian message wherever i go. [applause] gov. johnson: and right now, leaving this convention, i think that millions of people are going to be trying to understand what it is to be a libertarian and it's going to be my voice describing that to the best of my ability. and i realize -- i realize the confidence that you put in me to be that spokesperson and i am very, very grateful of that. [applause] governor johnson: now that said, we are going to the vice president, and i understand you get to choose the vice president, but i just want you
to know, it if it's not bill weld, i don't think we have the opportunity of being elected president of the united states, and that is not to take anything away from any of the candidates here on stage. jim gray in 2012 did not make one national media appearance, and don't think we didn't try to have jim gray be on the national media. since bill weld announced he is seeking the vice presidential nomination, i would say at a minimum, he has made 25 national media appearances, and going -- [applause] governor johnson: and not to take anything away from any of the candidates. nothing away from any of the candidates, but bill weld was my role model. bill weld was libertarian republican.
bill weld was denied the nomination by jesse helms to be ambassador to mexico because jesse described him as pro-gay, pro-choice, and pro-medical marijuana at a time when nobody else was talking about this. [applause] governor johnson: it's your choice. we can go out there and we can make -- you kind of sort of made a choice here already, and that is we do have the opportunity to reach millions and millions of americans. talk about fund-raising. the total amount of funds since
i have been in politics, directly or indirectly, that i have raised is probably about $8 million. if you make that comparison with bill weld, the number is closer to a quarter of a billion dollars. it's a reality. it is a reality, and i'm asking you all to recognize that reality, and i'm asking you to recognize that you did nominate me for president. and i'm hopefully going to get elected president of the united states. the first -- [applause] governor johnson: the first consideration that people are going to look at when they look at a vice president, the first consideration, maybe the only consideration is, can that person step in and be vice president of the united states? i'm going to ask you to make
that decision with those on stage. i trust all of you, moving forward -- i hope you can see the wisdom of this libertarian party exploding at a minimum -- let's not say -- at a minimum, i think we are in the presidential debates. [cheers and applause] gov. johnson: if it is not bill weld, then i do not think that happens. if it is bill weld, and not to take anything away from anybody else that is on this stage, but if it is bill weld, there is a real possibility we can achieve major party status in this country, and who would have dreamed that was possible 4 years ago? [applause] johnson: i would never
this if i didn't think we would win. in 2012, people would ask, gee, why did you never catch on? i have caught on big. when they do not poll you, when they do not recognize you go from zero to 1,300,000 votes, it's hard to make that pitch. at 10% of the vote, that is 18 million people being represented right now. understand the opportunity. please. [applause] gov. johnson: i am laying it in your hands, and i know that you are going to make -- i know you're going to make the right decision. they get to all of you. you have no -- you have worked so hard, every single one of you has worked so hard, and so much money has been spent over so many years for valid access, and here we are.
i mean, at some point -- did anybody get involved with the libertarian party hoping that this might someday happen? was it going to be perfect? no, it was not going to be perfect, but it is here and it is now. [applause] gov. johnson: thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. [applause] ♪ chair sarwark: i know you guys have been loud, but one more round of applause for the next nominee for the next president
of the united states of america, governor gary johnson! [applause] chair sarwark: it is now 20 minutes after 1:00. the deadline has passed for vice presidential signature tokens to be turned in. they will not be accepted after this time. there will be a press conference in ballroom a in 10 minutes. so, at 1:30 p.m. we will resume business 45 minutes after now, which by my lawyer math is five minutes after 2:00. at 2:05, we will resume and we will have nominations for the office of vice president. thank you.
[indiscernible] governor johnson: we can go forward without taking our best step forward, but in my estimation, that is bill weld. without to bill weld that i don't think i can get elected president. i think he brings credibility. [inaudible] [crowd chatter] governor johnson: this is not just the libertarian party. it is unique to every party. americans right now have no idea
what libertarianism is. no idea. i think we have the opportunity to exponentially grow the it libertarian party which i think has been the goal of the party from day one. i think it is here now. let me participate in the debates. you are not going to hear a negative word from me. i certainly have words regarding their policy but congratulations to them and their success. thank you. >> any more questions? governor johnson: anyway, thank you, thank you, thank you. governor johnson: yes. yes. >> here we go! [laughter] governor johnson: this is the culmination of a lot of hard work, and that hard work really
started in 2012. in 2012, so many people ask me regardless of what happened in 2012, what i continue to try and grow the party and i tried to do that. now, it was not me that at this about. it is the work of 1000 people working really hard to grow the party. and here it is. i do get another crack at this. we did not arrive here by mistake. people have really an appetite for something different. and something different, really encompasses the best of what it is to be a republican and the best of what it is to be a democrat. >> [indiscernible] governor johnson: i will tell the truth. i've always told the truth. i think the unforgivable in life is hypocrisy. i am not a hypocrite. >> [indiscernible]
governor johnson: great. thank you. thank you. thank you. >> congratulation. governor johnson: thank you. >> gary johnson, right here. so, if you all do not know this, 2012, michigan booted us off the ballot. but the libertarian party was on the ballot, so gary e. johnson, me, substituted gary e. johnson, austin, texas on the ballot, which i thought was a stroke of genius. and they ended up kicking us both off. [indiscernible] [cheers and applause] [indiscernible]
>> ladies and gentlemen, this has been one exciting libertarian nominating convention. i am the political director or. it is my pleasure to welcome the chair of our nominating committee nicholas sarwark. chair sarwark: good afternoon. on our second ballot, gary johnson received 55.8 percent of the vote. that was a majority and the us he is our nominee for president of the united states. i'm ready to take questions. yes, ma'am. >> [indiscernible] chair sarwark: we are going to do everything we can to operate with the johnson campaign. our general counsel is here. we are going to get together, strategize, move forward to present our agenda to the american people. >> why does the libertarian
party and have a separate ballot for vice president? separate ballot for vice president? >> it is in the bylaws since i think the founding of the party 45 years ago. it is our tradition and it is a bylaws rule. would you like to know the candidates for vice president who have submitted a token for the nomination arm. all right. as of right now, and they are still tabulating, mr. will coley of tennessee, mr. weitz, from new york, governor william weld, currently of massachusetts still , i think. either massachusetts or new york. derek, and alicia dearn i believe of california. >> can you talk about what happened on the floor of the race residential with special
roles? >> i am happy to. historically with the libertarian convention, you have had to get signatures to replace the nomination. it has traditionally been our practice to suspend the rules to count presidential tokens turned in by a presidential candidate as vice presidential tokens for purposes of vice president nomination for anyone who had run for president. a motion was made to suspend the rules in that manner so the only candidates who will be eligible to be nominated for the office of vice president are those able to submit vice presidential tokens by the deadline of 1:16 p.m. [inaudible] >> so does that mean that none of the -- [inaudible] nicholas: at present, that is the case.
those tokens have all been turned in but there are still being tabulated. so someone may cross the 30 token threshold in the interim. in the back. what is the question? >> i thought there were now out -- [indiscernible] >> vice presidential tokens? vice presidential is what we are talking about. i do not know how many were outstanding or how many delegates did not turn them in at all. at this time, the names i listed are the only ones who met the threshold. >> the party and the johnson campaign will be collaborated on? ballot access seems to be assured if we are understanding correctly in all 50 states and what actions does the libertarian party take in regards to the debate, how will coordination take place between the party and the johnson campaign? >> the coordination will take
place according to whatever between the party and the campaign. we hope we have that finished very soon. we have our lawyer present at the convention to make that happen. as you can see on the map, we are on in 32 of them and we anticipate being in all 50 and we will be cooperating on fundraising, messaging, making sure most people in the country here the positive vision of a party that stands for the idea that every american has the right to pursue happiness long as they do not hurt people or take their stuff. that is such a positive, good the mostve to two of hated candidates of modern politics that the two old parties have tried to stick the american people with. >> early targets of what you will need to get the message across in the campaign? nicholas: we have not come up with hard targets and probably would not share them with you anyway because it is hard strategy. next question. >> [inaudible]
>> there is back channel communication to suggest to the koch brothers that the return on their political investment would be a lot higher in the libertarian party and we align better with their values the in the republican party were donors through 166 million dollars into a hole and lydon on fire in order to try to nominate jeb bush. [inaudible] nicholas: i am and where the -- i am aware that the koch brothers issued a denial that in talks about funding governor johnson's run, but that was a pre-nomination denial and unrelated to whether or not the parties reached out to them. >> do you expect him to respond favorably now? >> i would hope so. if they want to have a political investment in this country to advance libertarian ends, in
1983, they shifted strategy and went to fund the republican party to fix it. it is not fixable. they have not gotten with a wanted out of it. any party that could encompass donald trump and rand paul stands for nothing. i think being successful businessmen, that they understand the nature of return on investment and i think it is time for them to come home. >> [inaudible] >> are you guys talking? nicholas: there are back channel communications to try to reach out for them. other questions or would you like to speak to governor johnson? >> i want to speak to governor johnson, but staying with this for just a minute, are there other major super pac's out there being formed? besides the koch brothers, because there are a lot of them out there that have 10 million or $15 million to throw around.
nicholas: i have talked to three others currently lacking candidates to support. i will not name them. i will name one because it is public, matt kibbe, formerly of freedom works is here. to my knowledge he does not have a candidate to support with the super pac at this time. before wequestions turn it over to governor johnson? we will give you 10 minutes. thank you very much. >> you keep playing the hamilton musical. alexander hamilton started the first central bank. and you said yesterday you signed legislation to end it. a mixed metaphor here. gary: you caught me on that one. guilty. i had nothing to do with it. even if i did, i would like the music. that is libertarian.
[laughter] libertarian. lighten up a little bit. >> we were discussing that the super pac's in the last few years change to the political landscape out there. do you expect to run a different kind of campaign, seeking your support from organizations and you did in 2012? governor johnson: one of the >> aegon have any control over it whatsoever. the stuff that they put out, my brother called me up and said you have -- what are you thinking? i don't know. five minutes later, he calls back, he says "was that a super pac?" >> do you expect to get support from the tea party, because i know a lot of people say they would not vote for tom. mr. sarwark: when the tea party
was initially formed, identified myself but the tea party, as a eight t partier, it was all about dollars and cents. co-opted.n it is further to the right. based on what i am witnessing from the tea party, hopefully, if they are -- hopefully, they are still about small government. >> [indiscernible] you're taking more support from hillary clinton than donald trump? do you think by running, you can ensure donald trump [indiscernible] mr. sarwark: i have been in three national polls. there have been 40 other polls without my name in it, really key for us is being in these polls. at the end of the day, we pull from both sides.
this is another voice at the table. it is arguably combining the best of what is to be a democrat in the best of what it is to be a republican, neither of which do very good at what they are supposed to be good. to people to post that most people are fiscally conservative, socially liberal, wars, theand then the interventions, how about some skeptic at the table when it comes to these military interventions? how about involving congress? did you know we have 69 treaties haveother countries that been presidentially authorized and we have to defend their borders? congress is not involved in any of those trees. that does not seem right. >> will you continue on with your candidacy? mr. sarwark: we will have to cross a road when it comes. if weld do believe that
is not my vice president, i will not be elected president. that is not to take away from any other presidents on the stage. don't we all look at the vice foremost torst and see if this was someone who could take the role if something happened to the president? gov. johnson: i think disaffected republicans are andly smaller government, , that's how you do that if you're fiscally conservative? we did that because we also care about the social side of life. we care about people's freedom and liberty and the ability for people to make their own decisions in their own lives as long as those decisions don't
adversely affect others. you going to reach out to the lgbt community? gov. johnson: it has never been my talked to reach out to anybody. the message i have is the same message in a matter, i am addressing, and the most effective reach out is just saying the things that should be said in that context. lgbt communities should embrace what we are saying. >> [indiscernible] our allies if you become president and americans go back to isolationism? i'm abouton: diplomacy to the hilt. military intervention, i cannot think of an example where any of our military interventions, boots on the ground, flying drones that killed thousands of innocent people, i cannot think of any of those interventions
that made things better. --www.c-span.org [indiscernible] 2012, at the in end of the day, gary, you never really caught on. going from zero in that 2012 cycle, 1.3 million votes, here is the trajectory. it has not stopped since. polls in 2012.y none. the media would say that he is not showing any interest whatsoever. , much lesser polls polls, actually, there was quite a level of interest. right now, leaving this convention, if will weld is the vice presidential nominee, i just find it difficult to be excluded from these polls. i would just ask all of you to report on that fact. it is a fact. i could see the presidential
debate commission in the fall saying, they just were not pulling that well, -- polling that well, when the reality is, we were not in any polls. the presidential debate commission is made up of republicans and democrats. believe me, they have no interest whatsoever to see anyone else on stage. 50% of americans right now are registering themselves as independent. voters are registering themselves as independent. where is that representation? i happen to think it is libertarian. i think most people in this country are libertarian, they just don't know it. here is the great opportunity leaving here today. >> you said you did not want to comment on trump, but you'd went on to list a number of things from his policy that you think are wrong. what can we expect from you in terms of taking him on? portjohnson: he wanted to
11 million illegal immigrants, taking him on that he wants to nce, it is incendiary. of thencendiary to 50% population of new mexico that he is talking about hispanics and mexicans in this way, when the absolute opposite is true. absolutely. call him out on what is really racist. it is just racist. to the idea --ak could you speak to the idea of getting another entity besides the presidential debate commission to post the debate? what are some of the challenges with getting a news entity, fox news -- gov. johnson:. the challenge. the democrats and republicans find documents, this is part of our lawsuit against them, they signed documents agreeing ahead of time that they will debate no one other than a democrat or republican. it is a rigged game. they will have no part of a
third party unless it is decreed by the presidential debate commission. look, there is a legitimate thing to having my name in the polls. i am going to be the only third-party candidate on the ballot in all 50 states. nobody else is going to lay claim to that. nobody else is going to come close. >> donald trump like to challenge people to debate one-on-one. would you challenge them to a debate? gov. johnson: that is a possibility. i will just reiterate. there is no advantage to him whatsoever to do that. i would not expect them to do that. the presidential debate commission, they sign documents, they sign documents that they we will only debate democrats, republicans. >> [indiscernible] gov. johnson: again, that would be terrific. those kinds of bombs. libertarians have been during those bombs forever, since the start of this party. nothing has resulted from those bombs. look, why would it change this
time? the only reason it would change this time is that this is a big alternative, and arguably, we are talking about the two most polarizing figures in american politics. this is our choice for president. --we reach out to ted cruz would you be tempted ted cruz? gov. johnson: my pack is not reaching out to anybody. my touch is that it's ted cruz people want to reach out to me, every group has a reason to reach out to us. i think we are representative of every group. that is the effective way to actually have support, as opposed to going on but did me, if you will, because there is nothing bended me about it. knee about it. susana martinez, governor of new mexico, she took me on an innovative -- made a name for herself.
she made a name for herself being anti-marijuana and she does to this very day. >> thank you, governor johnson. gov. johnson: thank you. thank you all very much. >> libertarian party convention delegates have selected william weld to be the vice presidential nominee. here is his nominating speech, followed by his acceptance remarks. [applause] >> that was quite the endorsement. thank you, doctor. [laughter] >> it has been 14 days since i and joined the libertarian party. i feel the better for it. [applause] honestly, i thought i was a libertarian through and through because i always called myself back.
learningen a experience. every day, i become a better libertarian and a better educated libertarian. i appreciate the advice i have received both elsewhere and here in the last four days, and i remain open to suggestions. one of those was to read and study the party platform, which i have now done. [laughter] [applause] the way, it is excellent. it is not like the republican and democratic parties which are appeasing 900 50 interest groups. it is five pages long and beautiful. -- 950lmost like interest groups. it is a five pages long and beautiful. it is almost like the declaration of independence. financially, i have joined the libertarian national party as a life member. if you're nothing else from me today, hear this. i pledge to you that i will stay with the libertarian party for life. [applause]
gov. weld: frankly, it is a relief not to have to carry the anti-choice,rty's anti-marriage equality, and antisocial freedom positions around on my back as i have had to do for the last 30 years. [applause] is how we should all feel. free, free at last. [applause] now, if gary johnson and i are fortunate enough to be a will to run together in the fall, we look forward -- this is about the party as a whole -- to helping down ballot candidates for senate and u.s. house, statewide and state legislative races both in campaigning and with funds for ballot access. we have already raised $80,000
for that purpose. i pledge to you -- [applause] anotherd: we will raise $100,000. this is openers, not tops, to help governor johnson and me get on the ballot in pennsylvania, delaware, and ohio, so we will have saturation coverage. [applause] i would hope also that there would be votes, downmarket streaming, upmarket streaming from the local races in terms of votes. if we all hang together, we will do better. it will help, i think, to have a strong libertarian ticket at the top. the more there are running for the local races, the better for us at the top as well. [applause] so, as i look around the political landscape nationally, it is not a pretty picture. oversized government, two
in a death spiral embrace assessed with slandering each other more than doing people's business. i are going to have to take strong positions and stick with them. it is what i have done all my life both when i was in the justice department and as governor. mentioned gay and lesbian issues where i was a pioneer. i hope, as you get to know me better, you will understand that like gary johnson, i am an impact player and we are going to deliver for you not as republican light, but as libertarian heavyweights. thank you. [applause] ♪
>> thank you, everyone. thank you very much. thank you. thank you, everybody, i am truly humbled by this. this is a national tickets. governor johnson and i are going to do our level best to make sure that we represent all of the very best ideas and ideals of the libertarian party of the united states. gov. weld: i believe that in doing that, we can offer something meaningful and tolistic for the country, the entire country. that will be a third way, for want of a better word. our platform of the libertarian
party's economic and fiscal responsibility and social and personal freedom. [applause] gov. weld: that combination does not happen to match the current approach of either the republican or democratic party of the united states. [applause] waiving a so, without bloody sure, let me close by saying, we are going to have a lot to talk about in the fall. thank you very much. [applause] [indistinct chatter] >> good evening, everyone. wow.
what a convention. i can take a few questions. i may not be able to answer all of your questions. does anyone have any for me? i am carla howell. do you want us to bring up the gentleman here? i am happy to do that. let us go. gov. johnson: you know, i could not feel any better. i don't think i have ever felt more nervous in my whole life. really. there was ever, i thought it was collapsing, but this is maybe equal to that. i am so elated. get to move forward here. with the two of us, we have a real shot at shaking politics up in this country. for the better. >> [indiscernible] i feel full of hope and optimism for the fall
campaign and what can fly behind it. i remember what i said in there. i don't think anybody is advancing the mix of policy the side of- freedom on social and personal issues. that is certainly not the republican party. the emphasis on economic and fiscal responsibility, even conservatives him, -- rated thesm, we were most in the 1990's. that is not the democratic party of today. that is what i meant when i said we have a lot to talk about in the fall. we will make it our business also to speak truth to power if we think power is strained from the straight and narrow. thank you. >> governor johnson, you have been speaking about this as a hypothetical. now that it is a real thing, can you talk about what this means
for the libertarian party in 2015? outside of this building, there are tens of millions of americans that want to understand what libertarian is and means, and in my opinion, this is the best message team going forward to a process that. -- 2:00 push that. accomplish that. gov. weld: those of you who have any familiarity with massachusetts in the 90's will remember that paul cellucci and . ran as a unified team he became the governor right after me. it was a totally unified administration. the lieutenant governor did not have separate staff. there was no issues. everything was done together. very and i talked about this. i think it we are successful, the best way to organize the white house would be for the vice president to have no staff,
so there could me notes 19 of of staffiping against each other. it does help that gary and i see the issues the same way. the campaign having viability and resources to compete is money. i going to be embarking on a fundraising effort and can you talk to is a little bit about what that would look like? gov. weld: i consider that one of my response abilities here. i want to have a web-based berniesing effort a la sanders. that could be a productive line. i read that half of the major republican donors have not yet lined up to donate to mr. trump, and i was the wilson's national finance chairman when he ran for president in 1995.
i was mitt romney's co-financial chair in new york in both 2008 and 2012. i have met a certain number of the major republican donors. there are some democrats would libertarian sympathies as well. i am not going to let any stone go unturned there. we will do a traditional fundraising in the states as well, but i want to make sure we have all three major donors, web-based and traditional party fund-raising. i thought it would be a little out of order until nominated. i will wait for the funeral needs to be cold. >> went to the next few weeks look like? when you going to be focusing on aside from fundraising? gov. johnson: i'm heading to new york for the next three days, and really, i am headed to new york for the next three days, of this wasall
incumbent on actually getting the nomination. that now has happened, and i imagine it will be a pretty full schedule. you know, never the whole notion of, look, not expecting things, hoping, but now, it is actually reality. so, i expect it will be pretty darn full. libertarianism to people, do you support all parts? or are you going to be introducing a tailored message? gov. weld: i think we're going to articulate the goal, if you pragmatists, we will always sign onto anything that makes things better. part of theot every form then? -- a platform then?
gov. weld: you need to articulate the goals, if you will, but also recognize reality. reaching that goal may not be accomplished-- accomplishable. gov. johnson: here's what might be able to be accomplished tomorrow. that is what i think we bring to this. -- we are dogmatic dogmatic on libertarian principles, but the degree to which you can accomplish those, isl, getting from a to d much better than just sticking at a. a messageu received of congratulations from either donald or hillary clinton? gov. johnson: i think trump was tweeting all afternoon congratulations. that is what i heard. >> any response to the insult my calling governor weld and alcoholic?
gov. johnson: maybe i will have my first drink in 29 years. gov. weld: don't do that. [laughter] gov. johnson: i'm not, i am not. no alcoholic here. i quit drinking because of rock climbing. i was not drinking and rock climbing, by the way, it was just the notion of being as good as i could be all the time. >> governor johnson, do you have any criminal justice reform proposals for when you are elected? gov. johnson: we are going to , ifess mandatory minimums elected, addressing those nonviolent criminals that are in fact behind bars because of our that is thend that most part the majority makeup of federal prisons today, those that are there on mandatory sentencing that have been convicted on numerous occasions for small amounts of drugs, selling those small amounts of drugs.
there are tens of millions of americans in this country outside of prison who are foricted felons that, but our drug laws, would be taxpaying, law-abiding citizens. i used to have a different emphasis on a number of these criminal justice issues when i was a prosecutor for seven years back in the 80's, although even then, we emphasized the demand side of narcotics uses as well as the supply side. i do think there is something happening in the country right now, kicked up by republican governors in the south, which is a realization that we are not getting too far by treating narcotics problems, alcohol , as ams, as addiction status crime, as opposed to a national health care emergency. if you study the economics of
the impact on the economy of narcotics and drug addiction, lost hours at work, etc., it is enormous. i think an increasing percentage of the population wants to treat those issues as public health opposed to status crimes. that has an impact on the prison population. it has an impact on the ability of people who have been involved with these minor drug offenses to get fully reintegrated into society and become more productive members of society. >> [indiscernible] this has been an interesting political event. we thought that gentleman on stage in his underwear. we saw anime characters on stage. does the party have an image problem? do some of the be willing aspects of the convention show the party has a ways to go to get taken seriously? gov. weld: i don't think -- gov. johnson: i don't think
freewheeling crazy, if you will, is unique to libertarian. i think that republicans and democrats have got them. we are a family. it is the way it is. it is ok. sure, whoof you, i am have gone to the democratic national convention are the republican national convention, you can attest to what i have just said. will you be conducting a 50 state campaign or will you be focusing on particular states where you hope to get an electorate vote or two or three? gov. johnson: it depends on resources. the modern-day campaign is social media, and taking advantage of free media. ,he focus will be on free media new york, the next three days, might be the two of us in front of 50 million people as opposed to getting out on the ground and reaching several thousand. >> governor, do you see any
reason that the two of you are nominated, [indiscernible] journalists, as how about a pitch? how about an open headline questionnaire? why should these two guys get included in the polls?? that is what i would like the headline to be. why not include these guys, what is there to fear? that they would actually be a part of the debate? who should fear that? we are just the party of nuts, right? i'm kidding. [laughter] how you have about both republicans and democrats. could you speak to what it is that is going to draw a republican disaffected with donald trump or democrat disaffected with hillary clinton to consider you two as the president's for candidate
? gov. weld: i don't think we are entering this with the mindset that we are against donald trump or against hillary clinton. trump" joined the "never movement in massachusetts. odthink he did a lot of go for the republican party. someone does not have to be disaffected with mrs. clinton to think we have a good story. people have not heard our story get. they don't have to be "never talk" to like our combination of having been the two most fiscally conservative government in the united states, and we can prove it. baggage thatng the the socially conservative movement, conservatives --conservatism, championed by causes. the republican party any prior
to 1994, there were a lot of people who held that makes of views. they could like donald and still like us better. >> [indiscernible] authoritarian tendencies to mr. trump? gov. johnson: [laughter] i kind of do. i think that is a legitimate difference. under .11ll him out million illegal immigrants. i would call him out on building a fence across the border. i would call him out on the fact that he is calling mexicans murderers and rapists, when in fact, they are really the cream of the crop. they are just people looking to grant themselves and their families and to work hard and to achieve the american dream. it is just grossly misunderstood. statistically, immigrants committing far less crime than u.s. citizens. they are not taking jobs that u.s. citizens want.
thank you all very much. gov. weld: thank you. thank you. [laughter] you are probably all worn out. anyway. thank you for hanging in there the whole time. >> it was great. >> you all wanted to cover the convention. libertarian party presidential nominee gary johnson will be a guest on washington journal, tuesday morning. he will take your calls and questions then. at 9:15ve, tuesday, eastern here on c-span. internal revenue service commissioner did not appear at a house june -- judiciary committee. house oversight committee chair
congressman jason chaffetz of utah did testify on his on theee's investigation targeting of groups applying for tax-exempt status. he introduced the house resolution to impeach the irs commissioner. this is 2.5 hours. we welcome everyone to this morning's hearing on examining the allegations of misconduct against irs commissioner john caucus and, part one. the cockapoo should forth a system of checks and balances which grant each branch of government will to ensure that no branch of government attained too much power. branch, 12tive include powers to write the laws, power of the purse, the impeachment power, and the power to censure, among our -- among others.
the duty to serve as a check on the other branches including against corruption and abuse is a solemn one and congress does not and must not take this responsibility lately. that is why this committee has scheduled a hearing today. in 2013, the american people first learned that their own government had been singling out conservative groups frightened review by the irs as they apply for tax-exempt status. this iris targeting scandal was nothing short of shocking. towas a political plan silence the voices of groups representing millions of americans, conservative groups across the nation were impacted by this targeting, resulting in lengthy paperwork requirements, overly burdensome information requests, and long, unwarranted
delays in their applications. in the wake of this scandal, then irs official lois lerner stepped down from her position but questions remain about the scope of the abuses iv rs. -- by the irs. the allegations are serious and include the following. on his watch, volumes of information crucial to the investigation into the irs targeting were destroyed. before the tapes were destroyed, congressional demands including subpoenas for information about the irs targeting scandal went unanswered. john koskinen provided misleading testimony before the irs effortsncerning to provide information to congress. these are very serious allegations of misconduct. this committee has taken these allegations seriously. over the past several months, this committee has meticulously poured through thousands of pages of information, resulting
in this hearing today which will give the house oversight and government reform committee the opportunity to formally present its findings and evidence to be members of this committee. we will hear from jason jacobs, the chairman of the house oversight and government reform as theee, as well chairman of the subcommittee on national security. they will each have 10 minutes to discuss the evidence the committee investigation has it is worth noting that he was also invited to the hearing, but he has declined the -- theionvita invitation. my pleasure to recognize a conyers, forr, mr. his opening statement. mr. conyers: before i begin my
unanimousi asked consent to enter into the record the statements of irs commissioner john andrea constand and, and the gentleman from marilyn, elijah cummings. -- maryland, elijah cummings. >> i reserve the right to object. >> gentlemen, i object. >> you wish to be recognized question >--recognized? >> i object. >> point of inquiry related to my objection. >> the witness was invited to come and has delivered us instead a self-serving written statement while telling us in the statement he respects the committee he is refusing to be here for his own impeachment inquiry. on what basis would we allow us one testimony for what should have been a sworn witness under
penalty of perjury? >> mantell my colleague that first of all, -- may i tell my colleagues that, first of all, the gentleman who is the subject of this, this is not an impeachment inquiry. i think you used that phrase and it is incorrect. it is an inquiry into the recommendation for impeachment. it is a the allegations of misconduct against irs commissioner john koskinen part one. >> i appreciate that. he is in fact the subject of a referral from another committee with specificity and was called as a witness to have an opportunity under oath to clear that up. i guess, my question is, where would we normally except from a witness who declined an unsworn
statement, one that would be self-serving, and to be candid, , this isember conyers sort of lois lerner revisited. the opportunity to say what you want to say and not be cross examined by a witness who declined being here. he can say whatever you want and he will be at ways and means tomorrow saying what he wants to. an inquiry into allegations of his misconduct. it is pursuant to a referral from another committee of a serious referral, one that -- >> absolutely. i don't quarrel with that whatsoever, sir. all i am saying is that he is not here. he was not given the customary two weeks notice. he just came back from china last week.
i am not making excuses for his absence. all i am saying is that since he is not here, and he has a statement, i would like to put it in the record, and if you something he does not deserve, i am bound by your objection. >> mr. chairman, i would ask that that opening statement he place in the record with a provision alongside it for the record that he was invited, he declined, and that the letter has to be taken as not witness evidence and self-serving of his not being here. as long as we can agree to language that effectively makes it clear that this is a self-serving statement by somebody who chose not to be here, tomorrow will be in front of another committee, i am fine
with it being there. i don't want it to be seen as an opening statement because it, quite frankly, is written statement should not have the same credibility. >> the gentleman has the right to object to be statement being made a part of the record. the gentleman can ask and have consent to withdraw his objection subject to the limitations that the gentleman the outlined regarding how matter would appear in the record. that would itself be subject to -- consentld ask unanimous of the pairing be placed in so it can be placed in the record at the wishes of the drinking member -- of the ranking member. >> mr. chairman, i object to the unanimous consent that john koskinen's statement be placed in the record at all. the banking member also asked unanimous consent to have the conyers and the
record. i do not object to that being a part of the record. only the statement of the irs commissioner, without any provisions as to what should be attached or not attached, i statement.he entire he had a chance to be here, he is not. >> the chair will ask if there is unanimous -- objecting to the unanimous consent request that the german from michigan -- the gentleman from michigan place it in the record. there is objection heard regarding placing the statement of the commissioner in the record, and therefore it will not be placed in the record if there are further discussions regarding under what conditions mib made a part of the record, the chair will be happy to entertain that anytime in the course of the hearing, but at this point, the objection is heard and will not be made part of the record. the gentleman may continue with his opening statement. >> thank you.
the history of our republic, the house of representatives has voted to impeach a federal official only 19 times. i have the honor of having served on this committee to consider six of those 19 resolutions, and as a matter of note, i voted in favor of five of them. i helped to draft articles of impeachment against then sitting president richard nixon, and joined with 20 democrats and six republicans to send three of those articles to the house floor. lessons i draw from the security our hard-earned, -- are hard earned. to begin with the power of
impeachment is a solemn responsibility entrusted to the house of representatives by the constitution and to this committee by our peers. the formal impeachment process is not to be joined lightly. we do not rush into it for short-term political gain, i am sure. improve any such resolution, it is our responsibility to prove the underlying allegations yawned a suspect,e doubt, and i that is why this hearing is titled the way it is, and is moving in the best direction to examine the allegations of misconduct, which i think is not unfair. now, it is our responsibility to prove underlying allegations
even of misconduct with great , and i think, beyond a reasonable doubt. once the house authorizes us to we must carefully and independently reviewed the evidence even if it has already been analyzed by our colleagues on other committees. allegationsaddress that are actually supported by the record. we cannot infer wrongdoing from the facts. we have to prove it. process a successful must transcend party lines. the framers of the constitution -- k this. article one of the constitution requiresnew two thirds of the
articleo convict on any suggesting impeachment. many in the public know this too. when this committee comes toether, and they decide examine or remove a federal knower, our constituents that we take the job seriously. vote such as this is divided on party lines, as it was on one occasion in my service on this committee, we undermine our credibility and make it all but impossible to secure conviction in the senate. mr. chairman, we are here today members, aroup of small group of members, wanted
to take up house resolution 494, a resolution to impeach irs commissioner john koskinen. this resolution fails by every ofsure that i have learned in the course of the hearings in vein over the years. it arises, sad to say, from the worst partisan instincts. .t is not based in the facts it has virtually no chance of success, in my view, in the senate. , from whatr koskinen i can determine, is a good and
decent civil servant. he took months, he took office month after the so-called targeting scandal. he then undertook a massive effort to respond to each of the investigations into the matter. to considertoday the allegations that the commissioner deliberately misled thosess as a part of efforts. the claim is not that we disagree with his decisions or that we question the speed and completeness with which his agency provided answers, but that he knowingly and intentionally supplied us with false information. mr. chairman and my colleagues, the record simply does not support this charge.
the treasury inspector general for tax administration investigated these allegations. he concluded, and i quote "no evidence was in covered that any irs employee had been directed -- uncovered that any irs employee had been directed to destroy information from congress, the department of justice, or the inspector general." in addition, career investigators at the department of justice also looked into these claims. they also found, and i quote again, "no evidence that any official involved in the handling of the tax exempt leadership,, or irs attempted to obstruct justice." that we wonder, then, have read reports of speaker ryan doing his best to make
certain this measure never reaches the floor of the house as speaker boehner did before him. it is also not a surprise that many in the republican ofference have been critical the tactics that forced this hearing. ,epresentative koskinen chairman for the committee on policy, agree that this hearing is a waste of time and potentially damaging to our priorities. he told reporters last week, if we do this, it is going to further delay the investigation. i think it is time to move on. and quotation. hatch, the chairman of the finance committee, has said that there is simply no interest in an impeachment activity in
the united states senate. where a two thirds vote would be --uired for any convention. conviction. we had a very different experience with him. we can have our disagreements with him, but that does not mean that there is an impeachable offense. part, he for the most has been very cooperative with us. chairman, themr. proposed articles have been debunked. , byinvestigation itself independent investigators, the resolution faces stiff bipartisan opposition in the house, and even worse odds in the united states senate.
there are precious few working days left in this congress. disappointedly that we plan to spend not just today, but an additional day in june, discussing these unsubstantiated claims. if it is at all possible, chairman, please consider returning the second day to the substantive work of the committee. in any event, i urge you to lead us past this distraction quickly and back to the work of some actual benefit to the american people, and i thank you for the time, and i yield back. >> thanks. with that objection, all other member's opening statements will be made a part of the record. --welcome our distinguished today. if he would both please rise, we will begin by swearing you in.
do you and each of you swear that the testimony you are about to give toby the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so hope you god? -- so help you god? both responded in the affirmative. today's by introducing witnesses. hepresentative take -- represents the third district of utah. he is a member of the judiciary subcommittee on intellectual property and the internet and crime, terrorism, homeland security and investigations. -- tickets has served our next witness is the honorable ron desantis. he is being elected to the u.s. house in 2012. he has served on the judiciary, foreign affairs and oversight and government reform committee. he is currently the chairman of ittee.ersight comm
both,. to you you stay within that time, there is a timing life on your table -- timing light on your table. when the light turns red, it signaled that your time has expired. this, we importance of have a lot it additional time to each of you and for the video that the chairman has brought with him as well. mr. chaffetz: i enjoy a good working relationship with you. i enjoy your friendship and i expect that to continue in the future. i appreciate the discussion today. i want to note and think the chairman -- thank the chairman.
through his good work, and tenacious approach to this, it was an important step, and we would not be here today without the good work and leadership of darrell issa. this is a simple case in my mind. when congress asks you a question, you are expected to give a truthful answer. when congress issued a subpoena, compliance is not optional. imagine if a taxpayer failed to comply with an irs summons or subpoena. what would they do to you? if the ask you for those materials, you are expected to produce those materials. if you don't, they are going to take you to court and probably win. the irs targeting scandal was un-american. feared is the most agency in the united states. the rights of the people were trampled on. the commissioner was not there for the initial targeting. he was brought in by president obama as a turnaround artist, somebody who worked hand-in-hand
with congress to fix the problem. from my perspective, he did not fix a problem, he made it worse. innumerableeen subpoenas issued by a variety of committees. the irs is no standard to a summons or subpoena. they know exactly how this works. in fact, on average, they issue about 66,000 summons and subpoenas per year, and they have since 2010. failure to ok is a violation -- failure to obey is a violation. if you don't comply, the irs is going to come after you. they do prosecute. the irs failed in 95% of those cases. again, compliance with a subpoena is not optional. beforeng false testimony congress comes with a consequence, at least, it should. it is a crime. mr. koskinen did not tell the
truth to congress. he failed to comply with a subpoena. he could have prevented evidence from being destroyed, and he did not, and he did not tell the truth about it. americans are frustrated about the targeting scandal and the lack of accountability. the case before us is about mr. koskinen and what he did and did not do which permanently deprived the american people from understanding what went wrong with their government. it prevents us, congress, from fully fixing the problem and holding people accountable. there cannot be full accountability because the evidence was destroyed on mr. koskinen's watch. designednt is a remedy for congress as a cool people voice. the senate gives its advice. our founders in that constitution also gave us an opportunity to remove somebody if they are not serving the best interests of the united states of america.
the senate has the opportunity to have a coequal voice. the safety valve is impeachment. stand up forst ourselves. i'm going to show a video, about 10 minutes, and then and going to go into the specifics. with scandal involving iris targeting of conservative groups. >> where is lois lerner? >> targeting conservative groups. >> this was orchestrated. this was planned. >> let the record indicates that the witness did answer in the affirmative. -- irespectively respectfully decline to answer that question. >> something we have only received over the years in bits and pieces. what does it look like altogether? let us three wine.
admitted -- irs this is lois lerner. she was the irs employee with the most knowledge. when called to testify, she refused. with a key witness unwilling to testify, congress had to obtain and review documents. sequence ofd was a obfuscation, obstruction of evidence by the irs, which left the american people with no answer as to why their first amendment rights were violated. with rumors of targeting percolating, in june 2011, ways and means chairman dave camp says the first letter to the iris related to the allegations treatment ofs conservative groups. mistreatment of conservative groups.
by may, 2013, the irs admits to targeting. he sent another letter to the information.g the president acknowledges wrongdoing and pledges cooperation. >> it is inexcusable and americans are right to be angry about it. our administration has to make sure we are working hand-in-hand with congress to get this thing fixed. >> by august, the oversight committee issues its first subpoena. it sent a letter to the treasury secretary, reminding him of the duty to preserve e-mails. inspector general and the doj all have investigations underway. fast-forward nine-months. after he condemns the parkin -- the targeting, he says there is not a smidgen of corruption. all of these investigations are still open. even the investigation he ordered with our complete.
how did the president arrive at this conclusion? what did he become aware of and those nine months? iris commissioner koskinen appears before multiple panels. >> i going to provide the documents of lois lerner? koskinen: yes. we are working very hard to get you the lois lerner e-mails. >> are you are you not going to are you or are you until he starts back tracking and obviss kating. >> we'll redact them. but it's not going to expedite this investigation. >> in june 2014 he tells us they could not be recovered. >> the hard drive was determined it was dysfunctional. no e-mails could be retrieved
was destroyed. >> so was it physically destroyed? >> that's my understanding. >> what could have possibly happened for 2 commissioner o make such a statement? lois learner hard drive crashes just eight days later. what tr odds? truly defies all odds. this hard drive will sit in the bin for nearly eight months until it is destroyed within weeks of an internal investigation commencing. in april 2013 lois wlerner reminds colleagues to be cautious about what we say in e-mails and on that same day asks whether it's archived. learner responds perfect. so back to may 2013 the i.r.s. just admitted to targeting and
the president just promised cooperation. lois learner comes before congress and takes the fifth. and on the exact same day nearly two years after congress started asking questions the i.r.s. finally issues a nondestruct order to all i.r.s. personnel. so with an admission of targeting subpoenas and investigation we return to the president's peculiar comments from february 2014. >> not even a smidgen of corruption. >> while on the same day the president makes those comments the i.r.s. discovered ever covers a problem. thousands of e-mails are missing in the targeting of 2011. remember, her hard drive crashed. staff recognizes the need to collect backup tames that might contain e-mails. good thing for that nondestruct order and the subpoena from congress ordering the preservation of documents. backup 4, 2014, 42 2 tails are destroyed. 30 days after realizing there's
a gap and eight months after the nondestruct order and the subpoena. how does this happen? the i.g. testifies it's an unbelievable set of circumstance. >> how do they destroy 42 2 tapes? >> it's an unbelievable set of circumstance that is would allow that to happen. >> and weavent commissioner cosskn appearing? did the commissioner intentionally mislead congress? testimony suggest that is she knew they had been destroyed at the time of the commissioner's march testimony. remember all the investigations. the i.g. was also investigating. they started looking into lois learner's e-mails in june 2014. ere's their story. in june 2014, the ig opens its investigations into the
e-mails. the commissioner confirms that her e-mails cannot be recovered and described the great lengths trying to find them. >> we spent $18 million responding. we've had over 250 employees at various times involved. we had over 120,000 hours. >> we've gone to great lengths. we've retraced the process. we understand the importance of this investigation. we've gone to great lengths spent a significant amount of money trying to make sure that there is no email that is required that has not been produced. >> they didn't find any. meanwhile they're looking into backup tapes. the i.g. drives and asks for backup tapes used to back up her account. they're handed 744 tapes. >> identified the 744 backup
tapes that met this citen and they took possession of all the identified 744 backup tapes. attendents said no one asked them for the tapes but they've been there all along. >> i.r.s. in testimony and letters stated that it left and i quote no stone unturned to recover the e-mails. was that true? >> we were able to recover e-mails. so it appears that statement >> was not true. >> july 2014 officials testified that confirmed the e-mails were unrecoverable. give than recoverable data still existed was that statement true? >> it would not appear to be true. >> and i quote no way to recover them. was that true? >> that would not appear to be true. >> we have established here today multiple insdenths where the i.r.s. did not tell the truth. >> throughout the course of the investigation the i.g. recovers
1,000 unique e-mails. >> what did they do with these e-mails? >> through the best we can determine they simply didn't look for those. so for the over 1,000 e-mails that we found on the backup tapes we found them because we looked for them. >> they were under subpoena. >> remember those 42 2 tapes destroyed after the i.r.s. knew they were missing e-mails and after the nondestruct order was in place and eight months after the subpoena. if those had been properly preserved an additional 24,000 e-mails would have been recovered. but the american people will never know because the i.r.s. didn't do its job of preserving the information the way it was obligated to do. the ig also concluded that the i.r.s. neglected to search source beesyond her hard drive for e-mails. >> how many potential sources existed for the i.r.s.? >> we believe there were six. the hard drive would have been a source, blackberry, backup tapes, server drives, the
backup tapes for the server drives and then finally the learner lap tops. >> how many did the i.r.s. search? >> we're not aware that they soiched anyone in particular. >> they didn't look for blackup tapes, her blackberry, server, backup server or lap top. so what great lengths did they go to? >> on the advice of my counsel i decline to answer that question. >> the bottom line. >> i.r.s. didn't fulfill its legal obligation to respond to congress. they didn't preserve information. they didn't try to find information. they misled congress for years. their failings leave the american people in the dark about how their first amendment rights were trampled upon. here must be accountability. >> thank you for allowing us to show that video. i want to drill down on the testimony especially some of
the statements made to congress in june and july of the year 2014 when he came to explain why the i.r.s. wouldn't be able to produce thousands of the e-mails. at that point a subpoena had been in place since august of 2013. the subpoena was reissued after he was confirmed. so by then the subpoena had his name on it for more than five months. on february 2, 2014, super bowl sunday they realized there was a problem with her e-mails and some were missing from the production to congress. ms. duvall was counsel to the commissioner and she was managing the subpoena. she told her colleagues at the i.r.s. about the problems. she told the people, she talked to the people in the office of chief counsel. she talked to the deputy associate chief counsel. and by the thesked day february 4th thomas cain had figured out her hard drive had crashed back
in 2011 and that was why many of her e-mails were missing. so the i.r.s. knew in early february there was a problem. and mr. koskinen testified he knew in february. this is his quote. what i was advised and knew in february was that when you look at the e-mails that had already been provided to the committee and other investigations and instead of looking by search terms looked by date it was clear that there were fewer e-mails in the period through 2011 and subsequently. and there was also i was told there had been a problem with ms. learner's computer. so the question is what did mr. koskinen do about it? he had this subpoena had just learned the most crucial evidence was missing. let's start with what he did not do. according to the treasury inspector general he failed to look in five of the six places
ms. learner's e-mails could have existed. in fact, the i.r.s. barely looked for the missing e-mails at all. now, let's talk about what mr. koskinen did do. in april his agency notified the treasury department and the white house that her e-mails were missing. and then he waited. and then he waited some more until june when the i.r.s. finally told congress by burying a couple of sentences in the fifth page of an attachment in a letter to the senate finance committee. that was on june 13, 2014. that triggered a flurry of hearings in congress and mr. koskinen came up to testify to explain what he said. and then he lied. we've got three quotes here i want to share with you among many. but let's look at what he told us on june 20, 2014 seven days
after finally telling congress that her e-mails were missing he said, since the start of the investigation every email has been preserved. nothing has been lost. nothing has been destroyed. that's not true. the investigation began in may of 2012. the inspector general found the i.r.s. destroyed -- destroyed -- evidence, 42 2 backup tapes that contained 24,000 e-mails to and from ms. learner and that happened on march 4, 2014 which was discovered after -- after they discovered there was a problem. we go to the second quote. this is on the same day june 20, 2014. mr. koskinen testified before congress, we confirm that backup tapes from 2011 no longer existed. that wasn't true, either. the backup tapes were intact until march 4, 2014. almost two years after the
congressional investigations began and nearly one month after the i.r.s. knew there was a problem with lois learner's e-mails. at best this is gross intelligence. we go to the third quote. to me this is one of the most troubling. this is july 23, another full month afterwards. he was asked what was meant by the word confirmed? he said confirmed means that somebody went back and looked and made sure that in fact any backup tapes that had existed had been recycled. that was completely and totally false. nobody at the i.r.s. went back and confimpled that the tapes had been destroyed. the inspector general interviewed the people responsible and they said nobody had ever asked for the backup tapes. in fact, all told the inspector general took 15 days start to finish to find these and they did recover 1,000 e-mails. you can take that down.
if they had done so after learning some of the e-mails were missing in early february they could have found the backup tapes before they were destroyed. we know this because the inspector general, its took them 15 days. the deputy director for investigations summed it up by, the best we could determine by the investigation they just simply didn't look for those e-mails. so for the over 1,000 e-mails we found them because we looked for them. we're here today because mr. koskinen provided false testimony, he failed to comply with the subpoena. and when he knew there was a subpoena he failed to inform congress. i would argue that he actively misled congress. nor has mr. koskinen ever made an attempt to clarify any of his prior statements. he continues to stand by all of these statements. they are not true. look at the testimony that wasn't entered into the record. sentence 3 of the testimony
that he put forward tried to put forward here says i stand by ready to cooperate with your committee with regard to any actions it deems appropriate. but i notice he didn't show up at the hearing today. and for him to say, later on page 4, i testified truthfully and to the best of my knowledge in answering questions concerning the search for and production of e-mails related to the investigation, he still doesn't get it because that's thot true. order, hairman, regular sir. >> that was my concluding comment. thank you. >> the chair thanks the chairman of the oversight and government reform committee and is now pleased to recognize and welcome congressman desanttiss. >> thank you, bl chairman, ranking member conyers, my colleagues on the committee. although i didn't know it at the time the first exposure i had occurred long before that day in may 2013 when lois learner publicly revealed the
existance of improper targeting by the i.r.s. she did this by planting a question at a legal conference in order to preempt the forth coming report was clear indication that the i.r.s. mistreated the american citizens. once this news broke i immediately thought back to the previous year. i was not a member of this body i was running for office for the first time and as couplery i made a point to speak to as many groups as i could find. the leaders of one group dedicated to educating their fellow americans on the virtues of constitutional government grew apprehensive. the candidate for office am i speaking for the group that could cause them problems for the i.r.s. an agency that they felt mistreated their group? i was in disbelief. it seemed to me that these folks were being paranoid. why would the i.r.s. care about a small group seeking tax exempt status. it turned out my reaction was wrong and there was good reason
to be concerned. i've always thought about that as we've done this investigation. as a member of the oversight committee i joined my colleagues to seeking to ascertain the truth. the chairman has done a good job outlining the extent to which the i.r.s. has stone waled and obstructed attempts by congress to find out the truth about the conduct of the i.r.s. he pledged to be transparent and to alert congress and the american people about problems with the investigation as soon as he knew about then. yet he failed to alert the congress about the gap discovered for four months. he testified that every email had been preserved since the start of the investigation yet the i.r.s. destroyed over 400 backup tapes containing as many as 24,000 of her e-mails. these of course were the subject of an internal preservation order and two congressional subpoenas. he testified that the backup tapes had been recycled pursuant to normal i.r.s.
policy yet the 400 backup tapes weren't destroyed. moreover the inspector general was able by doing a cursory investigation to identify some that had not been recycled. koskinen testified that the i.r.s. had gone to great lengths to make sure all were produced but as the chairman pointed out it failed to look at her mobile device, backup server, laptop and backup tapes all of which were examined by the inspector general. there's no dispute the i.r.s. destroyed her e-mails. the commissionor made several statements before congress that were false and they failed to due diligence by not looking in places for her e-mails. so this train of false statements represents an thorlt to the authority of this house. the american people had a right to get the fabblingts regarding
the targeting and the i.r.s. had a duty to comply with the investigation. instead they stone waled as thousands had been destroyed the american people may never well get the entire truth as it relates to this scandal. now, it would be unthinkable for a taxpayer to treat an i.r.s. audit the way they have treated the investigation. the taxpayer would be in a world of hurt. if they made false statements in respongs it is safe to say that the taxpayer would not get away with it. if a taxpayer shirked basic compliance, it is a good bet that the i think vestgation would not simply end. so the question is, is it acceptable for the head of one of the most powerful agencies to conduct under a lowor standard? i have no doubt that american taxpayers find such an arrangement to be unacceptable. surely this house should find
it unacceptable. not a single individual has been held accountable. if the commissioner can get away with this conduct then other executive branch agencies will have a blupet of how to stymie a the congress. this will further erode the power of the congress which is arguably at its historical point. it contains mechanisms for self-defense that can be used to check. we should use them. it's a matter of fairness for the american people, accountability for the executive branch and self-respect for this institution. i thank the chairman for the time. >> the report of the vestigation concluded in its 2015 report as follows.
the investigation revealed that the backup tapes were destroyed as a result of i.r.s. management failing to ensure that a may 22, 2013 email directive from i.r.s. chief technology officer concerning the preservation of electronic email media was fully understood and followed by all of the i.r.s. employees responsible for handling and disposing of email backup media. now, my understanding is that commissioner koskinen was brought in, appointed commissioner for the purpose of restoring the credibility of the i.r.s. following this horrific scandal. and that part of restoring that credibility would be coming clean making sure that the investigations conducted by various committees here in the house of representatives were responded to appropriately with the information they requested. and that in doing so one would
follow all the chains of evidence within one's organization that he is now head of to find where that might go and then send people there and say what do you have? because according to the evidence that you brought forward today that was never done. so i would like to hear from each of you your understanding to what extent the commissioner is responsible for the responsible of the i.r.s. and for this failure. > thank you. he has a legal obligation under subpoena to comply and do everything he can in his power to make sure he is doing that. he testified in multiple committees in multiple times in addition to i believe letters saying that he was making every effort. that he had spent $18 million. >> did he ever break that down? i saw those statements as part of the video. did he ever say i did this, i
did this? we spent this money for this and this? >> we can't find based on their report find no proactive evidence that the commissioner did anything proactively to actually recover those tapes from the source of which they ere destroyed. i guess the comparison it took the inspector general 15 days to find them and the commissioner had years and didn't even look at the basic sources. >> what really does it for me is you have these backup tapes in west virginia and the inspector general testified about what he did. he got in his car and he drove to west virginia and he asked for the backup tapes. so when you start talking about spending $18 million what does it cost for gas to get to west virginia and back? $50? and he goes there he is able to recover some of the tapes. of course others were
destroyed. but the people at the backup tape facility said the i.r.s. never even requested any of the backup tapes. and so i think that is he a lot about his leadership and i think it undercuts his claim that they went to great lengths to get the information. >> very specifically, with regard to that very facility, to further quote from the report, although they existed until march 4, 2014, the backup tapes containing her e-mails were destroyed because employees who ship the backup tapes and server hard drives did not understand their responsibility to comply with the may 2013 directive to preserve backup media and the employee whose destroyed the backup tapes on march 4, 2014 misinterpreted the directive. as you understand it, who was responsible for making sure i.r.s. employees understood that may 2013 directive? >> the commissioner of the
i.r.s. that's who we issued the subpoena to. >> i concur. >> thank you very much both of you. i now recognize the gentleman from michigan mr. kwlyers for his questions. >> may i thank my two colleagues for their testimony. and their concern about this matter. that we re any way ould have determined who was on the tape that you asked and received consent to play for 10 minutes? >> i'm sorry the question is who was on the tape? >> yeah. ho was the woman on the tape that was interpreting it? can you tell us anything about? >> a staff member for the oversight and government reform
committee. you mean the voiceover? >> yeah. >> yeah. she was a staff person for the oversight committee. i didn't know that before just now. i am sorry i didn't -- i don't want to raise any more objections than have already been raised here this morning. but it seemed a little bit usual that this was a tape that you didn't identify who it was bmb it started playing. so what i'm concerned with is issues in ng about i.r.s. -- which is under usual
-- the usualityism -- and in these recent circumstances, even more than the normal criticism than they usually receive? re we talking about we don't like the way they're doing business and we think that they made some mistakes and they may have made even misstatements or the present commissioner have made statements that should be -- we should be questioning or challenging as we normally do in this committee and -- that seems to me to be the gist of that. the comments that i've received from my two learned colleagues
on the committee. that have testified here today. we don't like what happened. >> can i -- >> sure. >> put some color on that a little bit. the first part is important to understand the context of why these e-mails are so important because the targeting of americans the suppression of their first amendment rights is something i know we take seriously. the facts before us on the impeachment go solely to what he did and did not do when he was under subpoena. and he provided -- there was a lot of gross intelligence, there were things that he should have done that he could have done. but he also -- >> but is gross intelligence an impeachable offense? >> i think that is part of it. yes. yes, i do. in fact, in 1974 the house judiciary committee came up with a report and it talked about the standard by which an
impeachable offense should be held and i happen to concur with that. >> well, i may too i haven't recalled it but i was there for that and -- >> you're the only one. >> that's rights. and i want to -- >> i was seven. i was playing soccer. not ll, you're excused for knowing about it until much later. , one, whole idea of that 19 impeachment hearings in the almost couple hundred years, is this being a little heavy handed about this matter? i mean, i probably disagree with some of the i.r.s. commissioner's views and
conduct themselves, but we're examining the allegations of misconduct against the i.r.s. commissioner. and i feel that if we're talking about another hearing seems same subject, it to me a little bit overbroad and i think that we ought to move a little bit more carefully on this. i'm going to have to examine all of the statements made here today and -- >> can -- >> and it seems to me that we really ought to move with a little more discretion. there have been statements of ars, of here sea, of
allegations, whether they're proved or -- whether they're proveable or not i just don't know. and i'm trying to find out. and of course i give you the benefit of doubt because of your passion and the great work you've done on it since you were seven in this area. do you see what i'm describing? >> i can understand and respect that we may disagree on the remedy. but i think what we would find is that in fact we were lied to in congress. we were misled in congress. that there was gross intelligence. that there was a duty and obligation that the i.r.s. as much as anybody when they issue 670,000 subpoenas and sumance per year they know how this worked. and that i think we can come to an agreement to. >> well, i agree with you that we ought to look at these much
more carefully. this 's sort of hard at point for me to accept them or say that they're probably right or that mistakes were made and i'm sure that they were made. -- there seems an anti-i.r.s. ommissioner environment here that makes it very difficult without an forward investigation that's been said this morning. and i thank the gentleman. >> the jalts from california mr. icea for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
chairman chaffitz, do you remember the april 7, 2014 staff report? >> yes. >> i ask that be placed in the record. >> without objection it will be made a part of the record. > april 7, 2014, extensive documentation about the not cover up but what we already discovered. and then june 20, 2014. since the start of this investigation, every email has been preserved. that's a quote under oath by the commissioner. correct? >> yes. >> i want to -- you and i are not lawyers so we'll tax each other a little bit on a constitutional question. according to wikipedia at least, the definition of high crimes and misze meanor constitutionally says it covers allegation of misconduct particularly of officials suff as perjury of oath, abuse of authority, bribery,
intimidation, misuse of assets, comma, failure to supervise, dereliction of duty, conduct unbecoming, refusal to obey a lawful order/subpoena. so i just want to go through the last several there. is it your understanding that high crimes and misdemeanors include failure to supervise? >> yes. >> dare licks of duty? >> yes. >> conduct unbecoming? >> yes. >> refusal to obea a lawful ord center >> yes. >> under your chairmanship and my chairmanship did we issue subpoenas that were not in fact obeyed? >> yes. august of 2013 and february 14 of 2014. >> just before leaving office i issued a december 23, 2014 staff report. do you remember that one? >> yes. >> i ask that be placed in the record. >> without objection. >> at that time, hadn't we as a committee already recognized that there had been failure to
preserve in other words failure to obea the subpoena a lawful order. hadn't we already determined that there had been conduct unbecoming by lois learn center hadn't we already figured that the commissioner and his political appointed subordinates had failed to supervise and were guilty of dare licks of duty? >> yes. and in july of last year, didn't you call on the commissioner to resign? >> yes. >> and the ranking member very aptly mentioned that we've only had 19 impeachments in the history of this great republic. and that he had participated in many of them. but the history of impeachment, haven't we threatened impeachment or called on the resignation of cabinet and scomb cabinet officers hundreds of times and on judges hundred and hundreds of times and haven't they in the ordinary course either quit or been fishede by the president?
>> yes. that's happened many times. >> so you're here today because lmost a year ago after multiple very lengthy doukments after millions of dollars and countless hours, you had determined that one they had targeted conservatives for their belief at the i.r.s., that the commissioner had come in and that he had been zpwilty of failure to properly super vise, given false statements that either hoe knew were fault false or he was too lazy or negligent to verify? >> yes. >> so if i understand correctly you're here because you've exhausted other remedies? >> providing false testimony is to congress in rather than congress continuing to whine and complain about the lack of inaction in the executive branch, the founders gave us tools and they gave us tools to defend ourselves and take care of ourselves. and to provide a consequence. are you familiar with the
criminal referral against lois learn center >> yes. and the u.s. attorney of the district of columbia shall present to the grand jury those criminal articles against lois learner. what happened to those? >> there was no criminal referral after 10 months of review they decided not to present those to the grand jury. >> so even though the ways and means committee under statute had delivered a document that ordered the u.s. attorney to perform an act under this justice department of this president they chose to not obey that law? >> that's my understanding. >> so if you were to do similarly and refer the i.r.s. commissioner specifically for his false statements, and if you found it for criminal purposes you would expect the same thing to happen, that it would not be presented? difference nd
different members have different views. that's the remedy the founders gave us. >> and you're here today just after the general account yabblet office a nonpartisan part of congress found that conservative groups are still being targeted as we speak. is that correct? >> that is correct. in fact they said could select organizations for examinations in an unfair manner and it goes on to say based on an organization's religious, educational and political views. commissioner has not resolved that problem. it continues today. and based on his most latest comments he doesn't think he's misspoke in any way shape or form. >> so you're here today because you've exhausted other remedies and because the remedy for someone who has lost the confidence of the congress, the american people, failed to fix a problem after more than two years, or if you will failure to supervise, dare licks of duty conduct unbecoming and a refusal to obey lawful orders. that's why you're here? >> sts.
it's important to note that most members erroneously believe that when president obama steps down and we get a new president that the commissioner would naturally do that as well. that's not true. when he was confirmed in december of 2013, his commission being the commissioner continues until november of 2017. so the remedy is i think urgent. we have 90,000 good hard working people at the i.r.s. but they are mismanaged and they are being led by somebody who is lying to congress. kate duvall discovered on super bowl sunday more than a month before the documents or the tapes were destroyed that they had this gap. with you she a nonconfirmed but a political appointee an appointee directly of this commission center >> yes, she was. >> i thank the chairman and yield back. >> the gentlewoman from texas.
>> let me thank my colleagues for their presentation and their service to this nation. i hold the responsibilities, however, of the judiciary committee sack rosaveragete and of great moment and great responsibility. we are the protectors of the constitution. and as the authority given to us this house as the house having the sole authority to impeach though i note very clearly that this is not an impeachment hearing i take the responsibility very seriously. to mr. conyers let me say that i associate myself with your line of reasoning and i promise not to hold your wisdom and experience and legal scholarship against you. so i thank you so very much for all that you have offered to us. bad behavior, inappropriate
answering of questions to my very fine witnesses may be grounds for being in contempt of congress and any other admonition that we want to give. i hold to two points that you've made, and that is that there must be a relationship between witnesses from the administration no matter which administration it is and congress a forthrightness. i also hold to the point that the first amendment freedom of speech and thought are again very high callings of this nation probably why so many try to immigration to this nation because of the freedoms that we give. i also think its responsibility of congress to be factual and tempered. so let me read this letter to you coming from the department of justice. recently. and that is in collaboration with the f.b.i. and treasury inspector general for tax
administration the department's criminal and civil rights division conducted an exhaustive prode, $20 million spent 160,000 hours of staff work. we conducted more than 100 interviews. collected more than 1 million pages of i.r.s. documents analyzed almost 500 tax exemption applications examined the role and potential culpability of scores of i.r.s. employees and considered the applicability of civil rights text administration obstruction stats tutes. our investigation uncovered substanl mismanagement leading to the belief by many tax exempt applicants that the i.r.s. targeted them. but poor management is not a crime. we found no evidence that any official based on corrupt or other inappropriate motive that is will support a criminal prosecution. we found no evidence that any official involved in the handling of the leadership
teemented to obstruct justice. based on the evidence developed a recommendation of the experienced career prosecutors and supervising attorneys at the department we are closing our investigation and will not seek any criminal charges. i realize that is not impeachment but let me say if i could ask no evidence was uncovered that any employees have been directed to hide information from congress. do you want to quarrel with that extensive investigation? >> i think you're conflating two different topic. what we are most concerned about is mr. koskinen's actions under the subpoena. that is not what the f.b.i. -- >> but the premise of the actions are dealing with the whole nitni of issues. i looked at the ten-minute presentation. you had ms. learner. the premise is of course all the information and charges made about discriminating against conservative groups. are they not? >> the underlying concern and
need -- >> came about through that. so the basis on which they investigated they found no evidence to suggest any crime. and so in respect to the commissioner then his answers cannot be part of a crime if they found no basis for such a crime and if he is answering as best of his knowledge then he cannot be -- maybe bad behavior but it cannot be attributable to an impeachable offense. >> i would disagree with that by the way. >> that's why we have that right of disagreement. and this is the impeachment committee. mr. isa asked you if we had threatened the impeachment of cab nets officers hundreds of times. you said yes. if that turns out to be untrue have you given false testimony and should you be removed from office? >> well, i hope i've given everything as accurate but if i find there is something
inaccurate i have a duty and obligation to correct the record. and in this case he still stands by all those statements i showed you. he doesn't believe he's made any misat the same time to date. and i think that's the difference. >> i respect your work. i respect you. and i respect mr. desanttiss as well. i don't want to see any single group conservative or otherwise be discriminated against. as we review these materials i believe even though this is not an impeachment proceeding there's no impeachable process as we define them. but i also say that the i.r.s. commissioner there is no definitive proof about him being connected to the underlying premise and to the best of his ability all the materials that we have including even though the d.o.j. did not point us directly to the subpoena suggest that he answered it as effectively and truthfully as he can. >> would the gentlelady yield?
>> i would be happy to yield. >> the time of the gentlewoman has expired. recognized for an additional minute. >> i thank both of you. s in case of the scooter libby conviction, my understanding is he gave was alleged to have given untruthful statement about what ultimately was determined not to be a crime. he had not part in revealing the valerie plame identity and yet he still was disbarred and couragely indicted. so my understanding -- kirnlly indicted. so my understanding is false testimony or dare licks of duty is still g peachable whether or not the justice department determines there was a crime. i think mr. conyers would confirm that i don't believe that's a question before us as to the commissioner's possibility of being found to have failed to meet his obligations, which is the allegation that underlies the chairman. i yield back.
>> if i may just in a moment's time left over scooter libby had personal knowledge of the fabblingts the underlying facts. this was the point that i was making. i do not see any proof here including the 10-minute presentation to suggest that the commissioner had any personal knowledge of the facts and the occurrences to the best of his ability being the commissioner he directed 160,000 hours, $20 million and could not find or presented what he could find and remented that he presented what he could find and previously the d.o.j. and trembry inspector general found nothing that said that the i.r.s. was discriminating against conservative groups and liberal groups. i stand with the president which says -- >> the time of the gentlewoman has expired. >> but the commissioner is not impeachable at this time. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from iowa. >> i thank the witnesses for
not only your testimony but your deep and diligent effort re on this and also chairman issa. this goes so deep as i listen today and try to make sense of this time lime but i would like to backup and ask chairman what was the first date that the public became aware or you became aware that there was a problem with the i.r.s. potentially targeting conservative organizations? >> i think that goes back to 2011 if i recall. dave camp and the ways and means committee. >> that would be the first formal with his letter to the i.r.s. but it must have been in the public eye prior to that? are we working with a date that's probably a half year ahead of that time? >> i don't recall when the first complaint started to come in but there were groups that were complaining that their applications were being held for unknown reasons. >> and this was under then i.r.s. commissioner? >> there have been a couple of different i.r.s. commissioners through this process. yes.
>> and so i would turn to this. the tapes were destroyed. do we know the exact date that they were destroyed? >> yes, we do. i believe it was march 4th, if i recall, 2014. >> march 4, 2014. if we know the exact date then do we know the name of the individual that physically destroyed them? >> the inspector general did interview some people who worked there. i don't have that name at my fingertips but it is i believe in the report. i would have to confirm that. but we're relying on the inspector general who interviewed these people. >> but we think that we do know the name of that individual? the inspector general knows the name of that individual. would you have any knowledge as to whether the commissioner had confronted that individual to ascertain the truth as you would if you were a manager? >> i believe the inspector general testified as i recall that they saw no evidence that
there was any attempt or communication with them to confirm the existence of these tapes. and again, the inspector general found them in 15 days. >> and so we're dealing with among other allegations here perjury and obstruction of justice. and i would ask if you speculated as to why one would leave themselves vulnerable for such charges? what could be more imposing than such charges and either witness be happy to hear? >> it's hard to understand nor can i definitively identify the motive. but i also think there's an underlying belief in the executive branch that the legislative branch isn't going to stand up for itself. i think that permeates far beyond this. i think they know they can run out the clock. they can provide or not provide
and just ignore. i mean, for this hearing here today, the i.r.s. commissioner was invited to testify. and he just said no. >> i just believe it would be completely possible to impeach him without inviting him back again. and i would just encourage that. and if he were to invite himself we should consider his request. mr. de sanctis, do you have something to add to this -- that i've left out? >> well, i just think that it's frustrating because if a taxpayer treated the i.r.s. the way the i.r.s. has treated the congress, that just wouldn't fly. i think we all know that. you can talk to people who've had dealings with the i.r.s. and the private sector, and they laugh when you say, could you just destroy allowed -- allow evidence to be destroyed that was the subject of a summons? what if you made false statements, is that fine? or what if they ask you to do certain things and you decided not to do it? and i have yet to find somebody that thinks that's acceptable. >> are we addressing the real central point? i think there's another point. and i think it is that there must have been a motive. if the i.r.s. comes to me, and
insists that they have my documents, and i'm going to provide them because it's easier to do so than it is to face the wrath of the i.r.s. and each of you have testified. but when you're appointed to clean up the agency of the i.r.s., as their commissioner, you know there's a problem that you've inherited. and there's 24,000 missing emails in that, is it possible that those emails could trace back and thread to the highest reaches of government at the most famous address in the united states of america perhaps? >> i've seen no evidence of that. but i will tell you that you look at what happened with lois lerner. she pled the fifth. that's her constitutional right and i respect that. but you can also see correspondence where it was "perfect" that they couldn't search her text messages. within days of the dave camp letter going to the i.r.s., her hard drive crashed. i mean, what a coincidence.
but i have seen no direct evidence that i can point to and nor is it central to the impeachment resolution which goes directly to what mr. koskinen did and did not do under a subpoena and his testimony before congress. >> and in brief conclusion, what's the statute of limitations on these charges that have been chronicled here? >> i have no idea. >> thank you, witnesses, thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back the balance of my time of. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i found the video to be very artistic and -- >> well, thank you. i take that as a huge compliment. thank you. both pleased to hear that. >> i would say it was professionally produced. what staffer was it that was responsible for the production of this video? >> we have -- i'll get you the names.
but we have a number of people on our staff. and come with me. and i'll show you and i'll introduce them to you myself. >> who was primarily responsible for the production of that video? >> well, rebecca edgar is the head of the communications group. we have m.j. henshaw who's very involved. we have alex. we have ashton. we have a number of people. and right after this hearing if you want i'll walk back and introduce them to you. >> and those names that you just mentioned, all of those people are on congressional staff, is that correct? >> the question is did we produce it internally? >> no. my question is all of the people who you just named are on congressional staff? >> yes. >> and they were the ones responsible? >> yes. i believe there's one person who worked on it who no longer works for congress. but when he worked on it he did work for congress. >> did anybody work on that video who was not a member of congressional staff? >> i don't believe so. i don't believe so. the voiceover was alex, and
i'll introduce you to her if you like. >> ok. and -- now, was that congressional -- was that video produced by those congressional employees while they were on congressional time or -- >> oh, yes, absolutely. >> ok. was any of it produced outside of congressional time? >> i don't believe so. >> and what equipment was used to produce that video? >> we have a lot of apple products. and i can show them to you. i can't name them off the top of my head. >> were they all congressionally owned? >> yes. >> equipment? >> yeah. >> and how has that video been used outside of congress? >> we have made it public a few months ago. it's available on our website. we tweeted out, facebook, instagram. it's out there pretty far and wide. just over 9,000 hits on it.
>> all of that is on congressional social media, is that correct? >> i believe so. i would like to get it out more. i'm glad you're talking about it. go to oversight.house.gov and go see it yourself. >> has the video under the direction of congressional employees ever been used for a oncongressional purpose? to your knowledge? >> i couldn't testify about that. i have -- once it's out there in the public, and on the ebsite, there are untold number of people that can cite that link and -- >> was any of the footage that was edited and used in this production derived from congressional sources? or was it solely noncongressional sources that the -- >> there are clips, for instance, at the beginning -- >> yeah.
>> of news media. >> uh-huh. those were obviously not congressional video? > correct. > but were there any video that was used or were there any clips of congressional video that was used in the production of this video that we saw today? >> i'd have to go look. there are an awful lot of clips in there. but i would have to go look. >> let me ask you this question. the senate finance committee investigated this -- this i.r.s. issue, correct? >> yeah. >> and the treasury inspector general, the treasury department, inspector general, also investigated it, isn't hat correct? >> let me amend the previous answer and tell you that what
we looked at was what mr. koskinen did and did not -- you want clarity, i'll give it to you. >> i just want you to answer my question. isn't it a fact that d.o.j., department of justice, investigated this i.r.s. issue? >> what i'm trying to say -- >> yes or no? >> there's two parts to this. >> ok. >> you don't want to answer my question -- >> i do. i want to give you a complete answer -- >> the d.o.j. and treasury inspector general all three of those entities investigated this show called scandal involving the i.r.s. and each one -- >> no. that's not true. >> that's not true. >> each one came to the conclusion that there was no criminal -- >> disagree. >> intent on anyone's part. >> mr. chairman -- isn't that correct? >> can we have regular order? the gentleman is over his time? >> the time of the gentleman has expired. >> i ask the chairman for an additional one minute to finish eliciting responses to the questions that i asked. >> and i would object, mr. hairman.
>> will you let him answer? >> i would love for him to answer the question that i ask. as opposed to filibustering. >> let him talk. >> the gentleman is recognized for an additional minute and the understanding that the gentleman will yield to the witness so they can answer your question. >> i will restate my question. and thank you, mr. chairman. isn't it a fact that the senate finance committee, the department of justice, and the treasury inspector general all investigated this alleged i.r.s. scandal that is the subject of this hearing today and each one of those entities found that there is no evidence whatsoever that anyone acted ith criminal intent? isn't that a fact? >> no. what the senate finance committee said there was "bipartisan agreement that the i.r.s. showed a lack of
candor." >> you didn't answer my question. >> give me time to answer that question. >> that requires a yes or no. >> it requires a complete answer because you're conflating two issues. one issue was the investigation into lois lerner and her actions on her emails. this impeachment resolution that we have put forward deals with mr. koskinen and his actions. his ability to tell the truth and how he misled congress. that is not something the f.b.i. looked at. in fact -- >> you're not answering my question. >> yes, i am. and it would be duly noted that the f.b.i. never interviewed mr. koskinen. never interviewed him. >> i didn't mention the f.b.i. i said the d.o.j. >> you said department of justice. >> d.o.j. >> they're part of the department of justice. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. gohmert, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chair. i appreciate the witnesses being here today.
because this is important since the internal revenue service is the only entity of which i'm aware in the federal government that can ignore the constitution as part of its job. nobody else gets to ignore the constitution. but they can take people's money without due process. they can take their property. they can move in and destroy a business that took a lifetime to build. and they have done that. so it is particularly important that the agents that worked for such an agency, it can ignore the constitution, must itself be completely overwhelmed with integrity. and what we've seen is not the case. i know and have known i.r.s. agents who were as fine and honest of people as walked the worth. i've known i.r.s. faiths furious privately to see the
kind of corruption and ishonesty that has overwhelmed the top of the internal revenue service because as one told me, when she just filed an amended tax return because she had forgotten $600, even though she still had a refund coming back, she was called in and was going to be fired because i.r.s. agents have to be so above board that their integrity could never be questioned until you get to the supervisors and above. and that's where the rot is occurring and the stink is getting overwhelming. one of the judges in tyler, texas, federal judge william wayne justice, he did legislate from the bench was wrong. but that man had such an incredible sense of integrity, had he been listening to
commissioner koskinen, the man would have spent time in jail before he finished his testimony. he had no use for people that would come in and obfuscate as this man has done. now, back under the bush administration, in this committee, we had an attorney general come in here and under questioning about the national security letters, he testified from the very table our witnesses are sitting at that there were no known abuses of the national security letter. they were something like the i.r.s. might use demanding production of documents without going through a judge. he testified similarly in front of chuck schumer's committee. and then it was later found, and i watched replay of the testimony late one night, where he testified oh, well, it turns
out that he had an i.g. report on his desk three days before he testified before the senate that indicated there were thousands of abuses of the national security letter. and that he didn't know that and under very tough questioning from senator schumer, he said look, it was on my desk for three days, that's true, but i never really looked at it so i didn't know i wasn't lying. i was so outraged at the lack of integrity or the incompetence, whichever, of something that important, i called the white house chief of staff and said you got to get rid of this guy. he cannot be defended by republicans again. this is outrageous. and my question, not just to the witnesses, but to all my colleagues across the aisle, is where is the democrat with the righteous indignation for in kind of obfuscation and dishonesty that will call the
white house and say, as i did, the attorney general, this man has to go and within a month that attorney general was gone. i would love to see the democrat that still has that kind of righteous indignation to stand up and call it as it is without regard to party. i yield back. >> the chair thanks the gentleman and recognizes the gentlewoman from ashington. >> thank you, mr. chair. and said the i.r.s. -- of organizations seeking tax exempt status as opposed to whatever you would like to call this grandstanding on impeachment. because let's remember this is
not even an impeachment hearing. and i agree with our colleague from louisiana, you can think whatever you like about commissioner koskinen, but what we're doing today does absolutely nothing to bring truth to light except maybe show that the record our witnesses have presented is thin at best. i think senator hatch summed it up well. he said "we can have our disagreements with him. but that doesn't mean there's an impeachable offense." the real elephant in the room today is that the i.r.s. actually does have significant issues. substantiated ones that congress should be talking about. i regularly hear from constituents who are worried about identity theft after their data the i.r.s. was compromised and others who find it infuriating that they have to pay money to expert just to file their taxes because the tax code is so complicated. and even worse constituents who can't even get through to the i.r.s. by phone for assistance during filing season because the agency has become so underfunded it can barely serve
american tax pairings. if we really want to improve government accountability and efficiency for the benefit of the american people, let's start talking about getting our constituents a good return on their investment. let's commit in earnest to solving some of these issues and let's stop wasting time on circuses like this. when the vast majority of the house and the senate republicans and democrats alike can agree that the evidence to support impeaching commissioner koskinen is not there, i think it's time to move on from these games and do some real work. i yield bark. >> the chair thanks the gentlewoman and recognizes the gentleman from ohio, mr. jordan, for five minutes. >> i thank the chairman and thank chairman goodlatte for having this important hearing. john koskinen had several duties. he reached every single one. he had a duty to preserve documents under subpoena. he had a duty to produce those documents that were under subpoena. he had a duty to disclose to congress if he couldn't preserve and produce those documents that were under subpoena.
he had a duty to do that in a timely fashion. he had a duty to do testify accurately and correct the record if he testified in an inaccurate fashion. he breached every single duty he had and that's what congressman chaffetz and congressman de sanctis have outlined for us all here this morning. no wonder the guy didn't show up. if i had that kind of record i don't think i would have shown up today, either. never forget what happened here. the internal revenue service and the power that it has over american citizens' lives systematically targeted fellow citizens for their political beliefs. they did it for a sustained period of time. and they got caught. and when they got caught, they did what a lot of people do when they get caught they lied about it. may 10. three years ago this month, may 10 lois lerner, bar association speech here in town, trying to get ahead of the story, before the first report and not the
one we're talking about today but the first report, trying to get ahead of the story, the central figure at a bar association meeting has a friend ask a planted question and lois lerner says what? it wasn't me. it wasn't washington. it was those folks in cincinnati. complete lie. 12 days later, may 22, she takes the fifth. interestingly enough the same day that the i.r.s. tells themselves, preserve all documents. same day lois lerner is taking the fifth the i.r.s. said preserve all documents. may 22, of 2013. now, when the central figure lies, and then takes the fifth, it sort of puts a premium on getting the documents and the information and all her communication. right? and so then comes in mr. koskinen. and when he's -- when he is hired, when he's confirmed, here's what the president said. we need "new leadership that can help restore confidence going forward." that's what he was brought in to do. and i would argue based on all
six duties he had he has done nothing to restore confidence. o what happened? he allows 422 backup tapes to be destroyed. when he learns about it he waits four months before he tells us the congress doing an investigation. he doesn't even -- and he doesn't even check on any other backup tapes that exist because he said -- we found out there were 700 others that weren't destroyed that could have helped us. he didn't even check when he told us that some of these had been destroyed. which leads us to the one question i have. and i want to thank the chairman again for this hearing and the second hearing that's coming. but mr. de sanctis, is this standard in your judgment, is this standard for impeachment a criminal intent standard? >> no. i think that's pretty clear. if you look at alexander hamilton and the federalist, he said that impeachment was about the violation of public trust and that those offenses are inherently political as they
relate more to injuries done to the society in the way the government works. and then joseph story, in his commentaries on the constitution several decades later, said that these need to be thought of as political offenses. growing out of misconduct or gross negligence. or usurpation or other disregard for the public interest. and he said that they must be examined on very broad and comprehensive principles of public policy and duty. >> gross negligence, dereliction of duty, breach of public trust, right? >> sure. >> mr. chaffetz, do you think -- do you think mr. koskinen exhibited some gross negligence in his conduct over the last several months in trying to help us get to the bottom of this scandal? >> absolutely. >> do you think there was a dereliction of duty? >> yes. >> it seems to me dereliction of duty when you wait four months to tell congress, right? his chief counsel knew in february of 2014 that there were problems and gap in lerner's emails, and he doesn't tell us until june?
his chief lawyer knew? and he waits four months? the reason he told us he waited four months is he was doing his due diligence to make sure that actually happened and part of that due diligence wasn't checking to make sure if there were backup tapes available? i think that's dereliction of duty. when you look at this and here's the other thing. breach of public trust. oh, my goodness. we just heard the democrats talk about problems at the i.r.s. they said the cyber security breach. we had g.a.o. say the tax gap at i.r.s.'s $385 billion and fundamental duty is to collect revenue due the federal treasury and they can't fulfill that but time to target people and make sure they destroy backup tapes in the course of an investigation? i mean, for goodness' sake this is certainly breach of public trust and dereliction of duty and negligence gross form. i want to thank you for this first hearing. look forward to the second one. we will have some experts, i believe, come in and talk about the standard that has to be met to get rid of somebody who has conducted himself the way mr. koskinen has.
i thank you for this and look forward to the next hearing. i yield back. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr. jefferies, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i've had the opportunity to serve in the congress now for about 3 1/2 years. and to me, i think the greatest evidence of gross negligence, dereliction of duty, breach of public trust was when members of this body in october of 2013 decided for purely political reasons that you were going to shut down the government for 16 days and cost the economy $24 billion in lost economic ctivity. and yet we have to sit here at this hearing and be lectured about alleged gross negligence and breach of trust. people need to look at their own conduct, their own behavior and how that's impacted the american people and their bottom line rather than subject us to this taxpayer-funded fishing expedition.
because there's an addiction that some have, not the distinguished chairman who's sitting before us right now, but there's an addiction that some have in this body to impeachment. now, let me ask mr. de sanctis a question. do you think that president barack obama has committed impeachable offense during his seven plus years in office? >> i've never argued that. and really irrelevant. i think the i.r.s. is within the context of the i.r.s. and that's what we're focusing on. >> ok. now, the chairman of the senate finance committee is orrin hatch, is that correct? >> yes. >> and he's got jurisdiction over the i.r.s. as chairman of the finance committee, is that right? >> yes. >> and he's a well respected member of congress, correct? >> yes. >> man of integrity? >> yes. >> and he stated we can have our disagreements with him, meaning the i.r.s. commissioner. but that doesn't make it an impeachable offense, is that
correct? >> i think what senator hatch and the senate finance committee may be looking at may be different than what we're looking at. many of these statements that i believe were false and misleading happened in the house of representatives. and i would also note that the senate finance committee came to a conclusion that "bipartisan agreement that i.r.s. showed a lack of candor." now, the essence of this controversy as i understand it relates to the possibility destruction of documents, do you believe that destruction was intentional or was it incompetence? >> the i.r.s. would argue that it's accidental. and let's take their word for it for a moment. that's not acceptable. when there's a duly issued subpoena they have a legal obligation to protect and preserve. and they did not do that. >> now, in terms of what the i.r.s. may have said let's put that to the side for a second,
jay russell george is the treasury department inspector general. is that correct? >> yes. >> man of integrity? >> yes. i believe so. well respected inspector general? >> he had previously worked for the government oversight and reform committee at one point. >> republican appointee. now, did the report that he issued uncover any evidence of intentional destruction of evidence by the i.r.s.? > i was very careful in my comments to -- to separate out what had happened with lois lerner and emails and the actions by mr. koskinen himself. the inspector general did not look and investigate what mr. koskinen -- the totality of what's in our resolution. > now, the inspector general's
report concluded "the investigation did not uncover evidence that the i.r.s. and its employees purposely erased the tapes in order to conceal responsive emails from the congress, the d.o.j., or the inspector general." is that correct? that finding in the report, page three? paragraph two? >> i believe you have stated that accurately. >> ok. so what i'm trying to understand is we're here considering an impeachment proceeding. perhaps the most severe remedy available to congress as it relates to a separate but co-equal branch of government, where a republican appointed inspector general concluded that the underlying act that we should all be concerned about was accidental, not intentional. but we then have a theory that even the republican-appointed
inspector general concluded that the underlying act, if anything, was based on incompetence, it wasn't intentional, that the i.r.s. commissioner subsequently came before congress to conceal something that itself while incompetent wasn't criminal according to the republican appointed inspector general. i just think that this is respectfully a remedy in search of a problem. and that we have better things that we could be doing with our taxpayer dollars to put the american people in a better place in terms of their quality of life. and i yield back. >> mr. chairman, can i respond to that? >> the time of the gentleman has expired. but the witness can answer briefly. >> were documents destroyed as a result of the subpoena, yes, whether that was accidental or congressional that will be for
the next hearing next month about what is the standard for impeachment. i don't believe you have to prove intent in order to get there. and to the 60,000 people, constituents of yours and mine and others, that will get a subpoena and that will get a summons from the i.r.s., is it good enough for them to just come back and say, you know, i had those documents, and by golly, it was an accident, i destroyed them all? do you think that's going to fly? heck no. no way. and so that's a fairly weak argument. the question is did they destroy documents that were under subpoena? the answer is yes. did they provide false and misleading testimony to congress? yes. and on more than one occasion. and if that -- that testimony was not accurate, and they wanted to correct it they had a duty and obligation to do it and they never did do it. and i could go on. >> the chair thanks the gentleman and recognizers the gentleman from pennsylvania,
mr. marino, for five minutes. >> thank you, jim. xxx xxx the method by which we can address these matters. under the constitution and the separation of powers congress has no direct role in federal law enforcement nor in triggering or initiating the appointment of any prosecutor for a particular matter. congress has a legislative role in deciding the statutory mechanism for the appointment of independent counsels or special prosecutors. as it did in title vi of the ethics in government act of 1978. the attorney general was directed to go to a special three-judge panel of the court of appeals name independent
counsel upon receipt of credible allegations of criminal misconduct by certain high-level personnel in the executive branch of the federal government. in my give rise to the appearance of a conflict of interest. congress in its infinite wisdom allowed to the independent counsel law to expire. the attorney general retains the authority to designate an individual was a special counsel. the irs and how untruthful they have been. legislation that reenacts the ethics in government act of 1978. so an independent counsel can
they've each conducted their own investigation into the so-called irs targeting scandal. it uncovered various management problems there was no evidence to support allegations of criminal behavior. or that he deliberately misled congress. there is no evidence that the commissioner acted in bad faith. this includes over 78,000 e-mails sent or received by lois lerner. hard to challenge this as an attempt to still rule -- stonewall the investigation.
it began with the two people in ohio. hich was that the irs was to accompany it to construct such a scheme. olice we were equal in our iscrimination they said. the president himself did not personally approve this targeting scheme therefore you don't need to look at it. i know the next hearing is about the process that has been mentioned.
hat the standard of proof? is it clear and convincing evidence? is it beyond a reasonable doubt? do the rules of evidence apply? can you use hearsay? impeachment is a penalty. that's exactly right. what congress really wants his access to the documents. you can't conduct an investigation if you don't have access to the witnesses in the
document since i have two xperts here. id i hear correctly that incompetence is not an impeachable offense? i was believed that malfeasance in office or the failure to perform the duties of your office could be an impeachable offense. is that your understanding? >> it could be a factor. >> how can it confidence be a defense when the allegation is incompetence? it doesn't have to be a crime.
you remember 18 usc 1001. reckless disregard for whether a statement is true. going out of your way to avoid learning the truthfulness or lack of it of the statement. we are in a situation where at best he just simply refuse to avail himself of the proper fact and testified on the roads and made a statement. >> i also have backup tapes from 2011 no longer exists. is that true false? >> that is true. they were unable to find some but not all. learly these documents exist ecently went and found them.
that was their defense. that was what they suggested. they destroyed a lot of saves obviously. there were other tapes of the inspector general just hop in their car and went to west virginia and asked for takes. i think there were 1000 unique -mails the reader five dollars tapes i am looking forward to he next panel. i'm interested to hear how incompetence can be a defense to an allegation of incompetence. i think it will have to be a law professors that explain that one to us. >> one of these incidents with he irs includes a group of olks in texas they filed for
an honest nonprofit status for true the vote. in december 2010 the fbi domestic terrorism unit inquired about one of those meetings. it came back in january of 2011 to the fbi. all of a sudden having never been audited before ever their personal finances were audited by the irs for 2008 2009. true the boat and in may of 2011 the fbi shows up. the irs sends more questions
for the second round. some of these questions were including where have you spoken. hat did you say? and give us a copy of this speech and all your future speeches. irs inquiry. once again the fbi inquiring in november and december. true that will have more questions. losing streak patriots had more questions. in february 2012 the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms shows up to investigate this rganization. in july 2012 osha shows up to investigate their nonprofit
tatus. then the texas commission on environmental quality shows up n november 2012. fourth round of questions from the irs. the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms shows up again. this appears to be an abuse of the irs. political persecution. y the irs. he irs knows how to get things done with their subpoena power.
that's my mother-in-law calling. he has her own ring. get this information. they show up all these different times trying to get information. to your knowledge either one of you as the irs or any agency been held accountable for the abuse of power that they used against this one citizen back in texas. > i am not aware of any. all of the accusation against against the irs in their of the numerous ones.
the abuses that have occurred has anyone in the irs been fired. >> no. he stands by all of his statements. the situation is dire it's bad and still available for targeting. nobody has gone to jail. we had a federal judge three months ago of the d circuit court judge in washington saying that the irs cannot be trusted. be familiar with that statement y federal judge.
mr. farenthold: i get frustrated and sometimes depressed and angry. i don't like the way things are going in washington dc. we passed hundreds of bills just to see them die in the senate. the good stuff that does pass the senate probably gets vetoed by the president. the president regularly bypasses congress with what i consider to be illegal and unconstitutional executive rders. the people of the united states want us to do something. they don't like the gridlock in washington dc.
they don't like the high taxes hey have to pay. and what they like the least is being lied to. if you like your health insurance you can keep it. or his appointees at the irs. we have got to take a stand and say we are not going to be lied to in congress. in texas there is an anti-letter campaign that says don't mess with texas. it has become an unofficial motto of texas. we need to reclaim some of our constitutional authority here in congress. people need to be thinking don't mess with congress. the administration and their officials have learned you can
obfuscate and delay. hat is not the way to supposed to work. that is not aware where founding fathers intended it. not the way the people who sent me to washington wants to see it happen. they want us to do our job and hold the government accountable. you'd shared to the government oversight and reform committee. are you seeing the same pattern? >> yes i am. i know you are passionate about these issues. that is why came to congress as well. they know they can delay and we can't let them get away with that. it is the principle. true on both sides of the aisle. it shouldn't be partisan. >> we saw it with eric holder.
we saw it with fast and furious. you seen it with hillary clinton's e-mails. this is our opportunity. i am a cosponsor of your impeachment legislation. the alphabet soup of executive branch agencies. >> i believe the constitution is an inspired document. they put this mechanism in there for a reason. impeachment is a process by hich we can extract that person if we're not acting in the best interest of the united states of america. >> i am looking forward to hearing from the law professors. my recollection from studying
constitutional law was impeachment clause means high crimes and misdemeanors. congress decides what those are. this is our opportunity to reassert our authority in our prerogatives. it is critical to maintaining the republic that the government officials who are paid by the taxpayers answer truthfully and promptly to the taxpayers representatives. >> with the remaining time there has been a lot said by the gentlemen on the other side of the aisle about how the department of justice has found no crime, no wrongdoing. usage continued where i left off on this committee. do you find that to be inaccurate. is it fair to say that the department of justice failure to see what you see so clearly as continue targeting is in
fact part of a cover-up that continues to this day. not seeing what is in plain sight. >> one of the things that concerned about is that the fbi never interviewed the head of the irs. questions of thoroughness. > this investigation has ielded some very interesting results. he similarities between this and watergate are taggering. this is from wikipedia.
the term watergate has come to cover an array of clandestine nine and often illegal activities. undertaken by people in the next administration. such dirty tricks as bucking the offices of political opponents. they ordered harassments of activist groups. and political figures using the federal bureau of investigation the cia and the irs. evidence mounted against the president staff including testimony by former staff members in investigation conducted by the senate watergate committee. if nixon had a tape recording system in his office he could record many of these conversations.
after a protracted series of bitter court battles the u.s. supreme court unanimously ruled that the president was obligated to release the tapes to government investigators. evealing he had attempted to cover up to deflect the investigation. there is such an eerie similarity. we have government officials that were persecuting their political enemies and going after them using the irs and other agencies. unlike watergate we have lost the tape. we can't prosecute these people because they destroy the
evidence. as far as we know watergate did not include any destruction of evidence. they try to hide the evidence. they didn't destroy it because the supreme court able to figure it out i was able to tell the president to bring the tapes forward. these e-mails are like the watergate tapes. much like the 18 and a half minute gap, the shear speed of the hard drive crash experiencing system crashes on the subsequent erasing of backup data is highly disturbing. many of these e-mails were subject to congressional subpoena. the potential for true cover-up of the undermining of democracy becomes even more apparent. this committee is a critical responsibility.
i hope the members from both sides of the i will give this matter the attention it deserves. eight days after the latter sking for that information. o you believe that the irs followed the proper procedures when addressing this crashed hard drive in 2011? >> no i don't think so. how many of these sources were identified and examined by the
irs? >> the inspector general indicated that five of the six were not sought or otherwise investigated area >> is there evidence that the destruction of these tapes was part of a concerted effort to not comply with the congressional investigation. >> we see nothing that implies direct intent. i want to be very careful with that. the irs will call it an ccident. call it a series of nfortunate coincidences. i think it is outrageous for anyone to think this was not a
deliberate action. i hope we can get to the bottom of this. about what the irs commissioner new and when he knew it. > did they or did they not estroy the evidence? es they did. did they mislead congress? whether it is a democrat or republican it shouldn't atter. you cannot destroy evidence. that is under a duly issued subpoena. there should be a consequence of that. my purpose is to try to bring us back to what this is all about.
ot to become too oundational. but we still hold these truths to be self-evident. that all men are created equal. but they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. life liberty and pursuit of happiness. to secure these rights governments are instituted. i think that this last sentence f that is the most important. deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. whenever we have a government that uses the power of the irs
or the police powers to deliberately coerce some of its citizens for their political views or for the religious views. that is by their very definition. he. this is a very big issue. o the government the obama administration use their powers to intimidate people because they disagreed with them politically. if they did that is profound. it is especially important for this committee who holds itself to be the guardian of the constitution. to respond to that. it is clear to me that coercion getting hurt. damage and impact did occur. on some of these conservative organizations.
it is very clear that evidence was destroyed. uch arrogance and a flippant attitude on the part of the irs chief. whatever these great abiding principles of this country really are they are put aside flippantly for the sake of the political moment. i just want suggest you that i think this is an important thing. i last this question to the witnesses? do you think that in this case
the irs intimidated people based on their political persuasion? >> i told the story that campaigning for office for the first time and asking to speak in front of a group that was in the process of applying for tax-exempt status. they freak out about me being there because i was a political candidate. i absolutely sought example of hat kind of conduct. >> you think it was deliberate intent by the irs to intimidate people? >> yes it does appear to be the case. there was a concerted effort. that was the conclusion of the inspector general.
he said that he never asked to be the irs commissioner in the first place. as harry truman said, the buck tops here. why did he assume the mantle of responsibility if he was not willing to be responsible. when they allow the destruction of the evidence action needs to be taken. whether it is done just through ross negligence. i wish that the commissioner and chosen to be here today. he's indicated he may come back
before the recess i hope that he does. like to ask them why they irs failed to look inside those cases. was that something that was intentional? irs commissioner white in you notify congress about the missing e-mails for several months. he said since the start of this nvestigation of a single e-mail has been destroyed and ike to ask him why he said
koed. she talks about events in senate history and the work done by her office. brian: betty koed, historian of the united states senate -- if you had to choose a character that you have studied over the years in the senate to write a book about, who would it be? betty: it would probably be a tie between charles sumner and everett dirksen, two very different people and two very different eras. but they are people that the more i learn about them, the more interesting they get. charles sumner just seemed to be a bottomless pool of the interesting facts and passions and contradictions. and as i learn more about everett dirksen, i am finding similar things about him, good and bad. both fascinating characters. brian: when was charles sumner in the senate? betty: he came in the 1850's and stayed until he diedn