tv Representatives Jackson Lee and Sherman on Special Counsel in Russia... CSPAN May 19, 2017 11:25pm-11:38pm EDT
they won't like it. a democratic definition at times they won't like it. and the president at times will be frustrated. but, you know, again, this is about public confidence. i think most importantly, this will not be a partisan activity +even though partisans will complain one way or the other, but we need to have public confidence. the american people aren't republicans or democrats. they're the american people. they deserve the answers where are those -- that investigation leads. reporter: very quickly on f.b.i. director. what characteristics does the president need to look for in replacement for james comey? mr. issa: i already said job lieberman would work fine for me. it has to be somebody senior enough to understand how the system works and to lead it and with the confidence of the american people and then with enough tenacity and energy to live out a 10-year term if possible. thank you.
reporter: what did you make of the briefing? ms. jackson lee: i don't think i learned much and the confidence in the investigation is very limited. it does not reflect on my respect for director mueller, but i believe there are a number rections given to director mueller. i think it will be very important that all of the congressional committees continue their investigation. i think we are still puzzled about the memorandum. we are still puzzled about who gave the directive to fire mr. comey and the reasoning for that. it may be a criminal case, but it may also be the responsibility of congress to fix the process in which the president has
authority to make these kinds of decisions. i believe this goes to the very constitutional separation of powers. i think questions of abuse of power and public trust are still vital and i don't believe any answers came today, and i think the american people are still puzzled and we're still guided and i think that is a very difficult place for us to be, very hard for us to work because of that and i want to pursue further hearings by the united states congress to get to the bottom of it. i also don't want to be stymied by the special counsel's investigation preventing congress from doing its work. we have a role to do and i want us to do it. ms. jackson lee: the problem is he kept speaking to the special counsel. this is a classified hearing. that's all he was able to say. i don't find much substance in the briefing today. reporter: any thoughts on joe lieberman being f.b.i. director?
ms. jackson lee: we all work with senator lieberman. have great respect for him. i'll wait to see what happens. thank you. reporter: what were your impressions? mr. sherman: i think the deputy attorney general were serious, dedicated, takes his oath of office seriously. i'm reassured from that standpoint. as to the question that keeps getting asked is, why did he write the memo, he opined that a decision is not final until it's final. i think that's all of our experience. many a time i've gone to my staff and said we're going to do this and i made a decision and then somebody says, have you thought of this or have you thought of that or that's a great idea, boss. as a matter of fact, there's some other reasons
to do it as well. so he at least implied that the memo was part of the decisionmaking process or the decision confirming process when it came to the removal of director comey. reporter: senator said he was telling him he knew director comey was going to be fired before? mr. sherman: he knew the decision was going to be made and at the same time he observed a decision is not final until it's final. reporter: did he give the impression that he fully endorsed the decision to fire director comey? mr. sherman: his memo gives additional reasons of sleight or no relevance to the decision the president took. there's some sin tax in there -- sin text in there somewhere. reporter: why did rosenstein write that memo about james comey and who asked him to do it?
mr. sherman: there were fewer than 15 questions on that subject but more than 10. pu more than 10. reporter: what did people want to know and was he responsive? mr. sherman: he was explicitly nonresponsive except with whatever implication there is from the phrase a decision is not final until it's final. so that his -- an implication his memo, while delivered after a decision had been made, could have affected the finalization of the decision. reporter: did he suggest he was pressured in any way to come down far on james comey in that memo? was pressured in any way to come down hard on james comey in that memo? >> he avoided at least 10 times the question that would answer your question. >> are they coming more from democrats or republicans? >> democrats. >> what about pushing back on
comey? >> that he doesn't know that it happened. he's not aware of it. >> at one point there was applause. can you fill us in on that? there were short outbursts of applause maybe two or three occasions but i don't remember exactly. >> were you satisfied with how forthcoming he was or where you left with questions? >> we began this month thinking that the issue was whether there was collusion between the trump campaign and the kremlin. we end this month as we always do in these circumstances saying it is not the possible crime. we have no idea. it's the cover-up.
the question for the second half of this month, was comey fired in a brilliantly unsuccessful effort to derail an investigation into collusion? we'll have to see. >> you feel mr. mueller will have the tools he needs to look into that question? >> he will certainly have the staffing. this is remarkably difficult, both questions. only incompetent collusion is detectable collusion. it's not that hard to collude without it ever being detectable isall, especially when it entirely common for campaigns to talk to foreign leaders and foreign ambassadors. i was shocked when then senator sessions said he was sure he hadn't met with russian officials. it turned out he did.
met with 15 different ambassadors yesterday and i'm not even a senator. are meeting foreign officials all the time. only on rare occasions to the until community have a tape of what was discussed. so only incompetent collusion is detectable. and the issue of what was the motivation for firing comey? was it to derail an investigation. trump's are so erratic and .ontradictory it would be impossible to prove that this president made any decision for any particular purpose because he's never failed to give three contradictory purposes. there could have been collusion.
>> can you describe why so many democrats oppose the nomination of joe lieberman for fbi director even though he's a former member of the team? >> senator lieberman is a former member of the team. former members of teens are sometimes less popular than people who have always been on the other team. >> i'm a red sox fan. analogize this to not yankees and
red sox, it's more angels and a's. >> this went down the timeline. democratic outrage over the last few months is beyond the scale of measuring devices. there are no devices to see if it's gone up or down. and even on a calm day, we are still off the charts. it is very hard to say. yes, there is the collusion issue and the cover-up.
>> have they violated his routine? >> yes. a recusal is not a legally binding criminally prosecutable commitment. there was certainly discussion of that. ifalso begs the question, the reason for firing comey was to derail the russian , then we have a problem. if the reason for firing comey as what was one of many contradictory explanations, he wasn't doing a good job, then sessions would be involved in
that decision. ,f the decision was made focused on stopping or changing the investigation into possible .ollusion thank you. >> next, some of the topics this portion is just over 30 minutes. law, under the buet control act, a budget is supposed to be brought to this floor on april 15. that either democrats nor republicans have met that deadline.