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tv   Washington Journal Representative Steve Cohen Discusses the Russia...  CSPAN  June 21, 2017 7:31pm-8:01pm EDT

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." -- booktv. >> "washington journal" continues. host: the judiciary committee
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has not begun a formal probe in the 2016 election, but democrats are in the committee want one in light of what's come out of the course of the investigation. what would be different if the house judiciary committee got involved? we have encouraged, i have encouraged the chairman to take up these issues. the judiciary committee is the proper forum for discussions of the f guy director, the issues around his firing, the issue around morale at the f guy and what's going on. fbi reports to our jurisdiction. the people that we have there, the firing that was said to be because the fbi was demoralized in people weren't happy with director comey, that's something we haven't heard anywhere except for from the trump team on that day, we should have a hearing. we should also have a hearing on the impeachment process.
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in thef people leadership on my side of the aisle think it's too early to talk about it. yet, and are not there that's what special counsel will or will not produce. the procedure is something that we can look at, or at least some of the issues concerning the statements that have been made about the judiciary. my sub committee that i'm the ranking member on. the constitution and the courts, the president has been disparaging of the courts with so-called judges, getting rid of the ninth circuit and other calls about judges and when he had the trump university lawsuit he complained about the judge because of his ethnic heritage, that his family couldn't get a fair trial if someone was a hispanic american. these are issues we should have gone into and i think they will be discussed host: at the judiciary committee hearing. host:what has the chairman -- discussed at the judiciary committee. host: what has the chairman told you? ofst: that they are taking
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certain matters dealing with russia and the election and the had atuation again dismissal of the purview. the rational response is nevertheless a co-jurisdiction with the special counsel in the committee. the senate judiciary committee is looking at these issues. along with the house intelligence committee in their investigation. host: focusing on robert mueller, do you believe that he can conduct an investigation fairly? >> probably the best person in united states of america to be chosen for this position. i wanted to refresh my recall on robert mueller when he was -- was appointed. i went back to some the times and i had interchanged on the committee over the years.
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a gentleman, always on top of the case, new his facts down to the line. good, outstanding fbi director. former special, counsel for george h.w. bush, writing today in a column that the former fbi director, james comey, and robert mueller, have been friends for years. defined his professional persona more than any other in public service, it would be surprising if they hadn't formed a bond together. for less is there a way mueller to be expected to evaluate credibility with the fresh neutrality and objective sharp eye it demands." guest: i don't think you need -- i think he has an objective sharp eye. i think he has objectivity about all the things that he needs to have, but the fact is, and i
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guess it is in fact my opinion, i was not thrilled with james comey's decisions on hillary clinton, but i thought those decisions were errors in judgment, but not errors in integrity or honesty. he felt that he had a duty after he had told the committee that the investigation was over to the back and have investigation continued. he felt that was his responsibility. high degree of rectitude like none i have ever seen in government. that anybody can honestly say that james comey is an honest and forthright and anybody who doesn't, the administration is just putting up falsehoods to defame a fine gentleman, to a man who served our country well in justice and fbi and there's no -- i don't .gree with any criticism mr. mueller couldn't judge them because there's nothing to judge. there are other people, you have to have a team that says our einstein's race mark.
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will of the investigation into hillary clinton you called for james comey to be fired. do you think he should delete fbi director? i do think he should today. the mistakes he made were mistakes of political judgment to violet the justice department policy and he got into it with loretta lynch. there was probably an error with her having such a longest rushing with that long discussion with president clinton on the tarmac. comey felt that he had to take certain actions in leadership positions to show that the fbi was independent of any collusion that might have existed between clinton and lynch. i don't know that there was, but i think he did what he did because he thought it was necessary and his up ringing of doing the right thing. i thought it was wrong
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politically and i think it cost of the election, i think it through the election. there were questions about secretary clinton's character from the clinton foundation and the way that money was raised and action was taken, some of which interface with the state department. the possibility that she could being underictment, investigation all-time, indicted, locker up, those things turned a lot of people on the cusp over and said we can't have that. they voted for what they thought was the lesser of evils. of comey had not done that hillary clinton would have been president. he was wrong. once he got into the investigation of president trump in the russian interference it was important to continue on that thread because there was not going to be a political judgment to come down the pie. was our democracy in jeopardy? is there a question about treason on the part of any people or collusion?
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complicity? fire theresident to man who was directing the investigation after he to gettly asked several him to drop the investigation on flynn, we always hear about michael flynn more and more, incredulous and unbelievable as it is that they allowed him into sensitive and classified hearings when he obviously had working forosed, the russian government and the turkish government. yes, i think that comey should not have been fired and after he was in the trump administration if trump had wanted to fire him, he should have fired him and they won. once the investigation went on, you're talking obstruction of justice. guest: congressman steve cohen -- host: congressman steve cohen, with us for another 20 minutes. caller: good morning, representative. i have a major concern in that i truly believe that the russians
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were involved, that they did penetrate the voting system to cyber attacks. my concern is that for these recent elections, i hope that mr. mueller is actually going to send some people in. especially into the atlanta area to verify that the russians did not impact that election by cyber attack. i want to cyber people involved. make sure that we maintain the integrity of our voting system from this point moving forward. and that there are resources make sure that voting is fair and honorable route the nation. otherwise the russians and trump and his people always run this country. your job is in jeopardy. everybody's job is in jeopardy. our republic democracy is in true jeopardy. guest: very well said, sir. i couldn't agree with you more. the system in georgia, the voting system, i don't really
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have questions about it, but i have questions in general about voting systems. i know that they don't have a paper trail. one of my constituents wrote to me about the company this morning. a lot of people are concerned about voting irregularities and the possibility of it in fear -- interfered with by some outside group. it's possible that there was interference in some of the -- there definitely was an attempt by the russians to find out the roles in certain states, certain information by election commissions in certain states. they weren't doing that for sport. host: on this topic, the senate intelligence committee holding a hearing on the cyber efforts against u.s. election systems in 2016. that is starting in about 15 minutes after we finish up with congressman cohen here. guest: the senate is bumping me
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once again? [laughter] host: we won't, we've got another 15 minutes left with congressman. eric, go ahead. good morning, america. good morning, c-span. it would be great, because i'm an independent, it would be great for you to be honest about this last election and just be done with it. we know, most common sense and reasonable people know that what happened was was that you and your party spent $1,000,000,003 and you lost. in the middle of that your servers were hacked and expose the fact that there was collusion between the media, cnn , specifically, donna brazil and many other people and that that withsion led to a fracture bernie sanders, the socialist side of your party. had a lot of disgruntled
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employees inside the dnc. that's what happened. now this is all a distraction so that you can's -- stop the trump agenda. guest: first of all, you're not an independent, you are obviously a republican. that was as partisan a call as i can imagine. there were several reason for losing the elections. didn't get enough votes in pennsylvania and wisconsin. it was a mistake for hillary clinton not to go back to wisconsin and not to have as good a policy on issues that appeal to young people in ann arbor, university of wisconsin, madison to bring the vote out. the interference in the election by the russians, bringing out a bunch of stuff that was unnecessary and caused people to have questions, they had fake news out there to make hillary clinton look at. in my minduestion whatsoever and i don't think a reasonable or common sense is and would either that the russian influence was considerable and, in my opinion,
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it did, i don't think anyone else could say that great will might have contributed to the election of donald trump and that is why john lewis called it legitimate. asll -- we will deal with it long as he is the president. we will resist this as long as it is harmful to common sense and the people. are doing isthey giving tax breaks to the richest and upper 1%. the word on health care is to give insurance companies and medical device companies and the wealthiest 1% and 2% in the country egg, big tax breaks. hundreds of thousands in terms of medical devices. millions in tax breaks. putting 23 million people off of insurance and away from health-care and killing medicaid, a program set up to help the disabled. seniors, and mothers who are pregnant or poor. that is unconscionable.
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this is unconscionable and the american people won't stand for it. posts: line for republicans, good morning. caller: good morning, john, good morning, representative. my question is quite simply this. how did the russians influence the election? from what i understood from the news and all of the stuff, all of the voting was off-line. there was no way that they were able to get into the voting booths or the voting machines. and also, on the clinton situation there, which one is it that the democrats are saying they lost? they either lose by the investigation on clinton, or is it the russian influence? personally i feel that really exist. other than the fact that they may have got into the dnc.
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and put out what was basically the emails in the dnc. host: sir, i tend to agree with you on the election apparatus. i have seen questions about the integrity of the vote counts for the voting machines, but i'm not one of those people. i think we lost the numbers in the states that came the electoral victory. but i think that the russian interference affected the mood of the public and a lot of people on the edge that made a difference. it wouldn't have done that if the fact that she was being investigated, which was the comey angle, not the russian angle, donald trump would not have -- he spent the last 10 days of investigation -- of the election saying that she's under investigation and she's a criminal. worse than watergate. he knew that from polling that that would move a certain number of voters his way. and he was right. some people would say that it may not have been polling, it was his got. his gut was right and he's pretty good and that's what he's good at, using his got to know
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what gets those people motivated. he use that information and use the russians. he went on television and said if the russians are listening, find those 30,000 emails. the man played everything right on his sleeve. he knew that the russians were listening and i think he gave himself away. just like he said -- i said to myself, this investigation isn't going so well, let's get rid of comey. and then he calls him a nut job? to me that's un-american. no matter what you think about james comey, and i have questions about what he did, he's a fine, upstanding, decent, honest american patriot. host: alan is a democrat from brooklyn, new york. good morning. bush versus gore in 2000, the reason the courts thought they could stay the election immediately or stay the vote count was they felt it might be irreparable harm to the
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presidency of george w. bush. compared to the situation we have now it seems that we have a far greater likelihood of irreparable harm being done to the country from permanent or lasting actions of a president whose legitimacy may be determined to be void after the fact. a lifelong tenure is given to supreme court justices and lower court justices. changes to the paris crime -- paris climate treaty. irreversible changes in the condition of the environment that cannot be turned back. given this and the slowness of the investigative process in the impeachment process as it exists, do we need to tweak the 25th amendment to allow another condition aside from the illness or impairment of a president where he is under a sufficient cloud that the legitimacy of his act would be impossible to reverse? if found to be illegitimate after the fact, certain actions
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would be impossible to reverse and would therefore there would be another avenue to put in some kind of temporary power while the investigation is being completed? other ways there is no way of unhooking this as trump is cooking to find out that he's holding office legitimately. it's an interesting proposal. it would give congress or whoever you gave the power to too much over the election. it's somewhat akin to impeachment. it's a political proceeding and if a person gets the point, hopefully, where even the republicans understand it is damaging the brand, they will come to take action. it certainly reminds me of that about the domestics in the south, the african-american woman that worked constantly serving the white folks and what they put in the cakes sometimes.
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by are you calling for an investigation into the president's son, eric trump? jude's is doing great research to cure pediatric cancer. to $16ump has raised up million after a pledge of $20 million for saint jude. there is no question that through some sources he will raise that money through others helping. but i do think that it's wrong to charge expenses for the golf tournament at his father's which were given free. for the first four or five years everything was free. the fees of the golf courses, the food, the drink, you name it. all three.
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donald trump saw all of this money and said don't give it away, charge it. last year it was $350,000. i know a lot of people that know a lot about golf tournaments and charity golf tournaments and they say there is no way that that tournament should cost anywhere near that. it was an amount of money that trump got to his coffers, donald trump, i don't think that eric trump was involved, he listened to his father. he transferred $100,000 from his foundation to the eric trump cap foundation to cover expenses. out of the pocket of saint jude, but the $100,000 that donald trump got was from other people that gave him money and we have seen where he has taken improper funds to make contributions to the secretary of state of florida who was about to investigate him and now she was in and she got a $10,000 or $20,000 check in.
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he violated the law. when he took money out of his pocket and gave it to eric, it was basically washing money. money that he got from one source and gave to eric to free up as it came to his pockets as revenue. that is illegal and i think it should be investigated. host: the justice department, of a showing interest in starting an investigation? guest: no, they haven't. they have said it should go to the local jurisdiction and the fact is that saint jude is appreciative of the money they've gotten. i'm sure they wish the charges were not made. they have not expressed that to me but i'm sure they wish that is if it was they would have another billion dollars but they appreciate what eric trump has done and i would like to make it clear that he has done a lot for saint jude and i commend him for that but i don't think that giving the money to his father was the right thing to do. host: freddie, good morning. caller: i want to introduce myself.
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whoa black obama voter switched to voting for donald trump. somebody called earlier and said he was an independent and the congressman chose to set a you are a republican. this says a lot about how politics are with this congressman. i was listening to him and he was talking about president clinton on the tarmac and he called it an error. just imagine if it was a republican. he would be shouting all over. you told him about the relationship between jim comey and the guy we suspected. robert mueller. he didn't find any problem into that. he wants to know why the
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democrats keep losing? this party hurts black people for too long. people are getting smarter and hearing what's going on. to people like this congressman? it has energized us to go out there and support the agenda of this president. there is some truth to the fact that the more that we question and bring out policy on trump that hurts the middle class and poor people without -- with health care and taxes, environmental causes, drinking water, etc., his supporters will instinctively not want to admit that they have made a mistake and that they have been taken advantage of and they will get even more strident. that's something we have to deal with, how to get our message across. a message about jobs, a message about justice, a message about fairness and the collective -- whichch is what the
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is what it is. it winds up hurting private is this a lot and hurting the populace because there are problems with pollutants in the air or in the water. this affects the lives of people and it kills people and it is a problem in the past that we have been generally concerned about be, it'seem not to premature laissez-faire type attitude. by going after trump and his policies we might lose some folks, you know, but until we get a new brand of kool-aid we will have some of those people. joanne is in collierville, tennessee. caller: good morning. host: hi. caller: how are you? how is everybody doing this morning question mark guest: we are good, every day is a good day. caller: thank you. now, about this investigation about russia, remember, people
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are forgetting that trump was the one who invited them to hack the emails while he was running. you all forgot to say that. he's the one that invited russia and sing their praises. , he'sat it's on him throwing at everything he can, distractions, saying the grown-up is supposed to be the leader of our country. to stop. when benghazi was going on, the , benghazis every day benghazi. now in this investigation about russia? they are saying it is a witchhunt? it's not. keep on trucking, keep it up. guest: thank you, ma'am. me and jerry garcia, we will on trucking. agree with you totally. this is a serious to our democracy. of "theor publisher nation" wrote a piece yesterday
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in "the new york times" a lot of the discussion about russia has taken people's interests away from the issues that matter, like climate change. like health care being written behind closed doors and all. this helps trump. all of the talk about his involvement in the russian investigation, it lets him do that voodoo that he does so well. she's right. she was right about the election. i heard her this morning. the gentleman who i a never heard of until yesterday in south carolina what have one. the fact that the man in came within 2% of beating republican with hardly any help at all from the national democratic party, tom perez was down there, but it wasn't a lot of money, that's amazing in a south carolina district that mick mulvaney and trump won by high percentages. even all soft coming in within five or six points was amazing
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in the district when you consider that it's a pretty rural area. he did not live in the district, which is not necessary according to law, but real smart politically. the fact that he didn't do that and kept talking about the fact that he was staying with his girlfriend, in a way that's commendable but i'm sure that in some places in georgia it didn't play well that he was living with his girlfriend and not married to her. i'm sure she's going to be a great doctor and is a wonderful woman and that's cool and fine but that didn't play out there. real, to the district, be you might have one. host: appreciate the setup, we will be spending the last half hour on that topic, the republican special election wins in georgia, specifically south carolina. callers can start calling in on republicans, democrats, and independence. we want to thank you.
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>> c-span's washington journal. light every day with news and policy issues that impact you. california congressman ro khanna on the worker training programs for the tech industry. then, kentucky congressman thomas massie talks about his bill that would allow people with a concealed carry permit from other states to carry in d.c. as well. and director of fiscal policy from the bipartisan policy center on the projection for the u.s. debt limit. live at 7 a.m. eastern thursday morning. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. by public treated service by the public television companies.
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>> jeh johnson testifies about russian attempts to influence the 2016 u.s. election. after that, andrew mccabe on the fiscal year 20 15 budget proposal. congressman steve cohen on the russian investigation and his call for investigating eric trump's charity. former homeland security secretary jeh johnson appeared in a hearing for russian interference in the u.s. 2016 election. russian president vladimir putin -- they also discussed the rational for designating u.s. election systems is critical infrastructure in early january 2017. this hearing is 2.5 hours.

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