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tv   Acting FBI Director Questioned on Meetings with President Budget Request  CSPAN  June 25, 2017 11:50am-12:59pm EDT

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>> senate republicans release a discussion draft of their health care law replacing on thursday, the congressional budget office will score the bill this week when senate floor debate is excited to begin. we posted the bill at . follow live coverage on c-span and onne at, the free c-span radio app. >> andrew mccabe testified on the bureaus 2018 budget request. this is just over one hour. >> the committee will come to
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order. we are >> the committee will come to order. we are honored to welcome andrew mccabe to present the ledger request. the fbi often makes headlines, whether the headlines are espionage or international crime. the fbi leads international security efforts while combating gangs, fraud, and public corruption. it is the indispensable partner to state and local law enforcement agencies and our liaison with federal law enforcement partners. we're grateful that the fbi is leading the investigation into the wednesday morning shooting at the congressional baseball practice. we are deeply grateful for the work that your officers do every day and for looking into this terrible tragedy. we're very, very grateful for the work of courageous work of the capital police. the law enforcement officers of alexandria who saved a lot of lives that morning and for all
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the first responders who came out to help. our thoughts and prayers are with our whip majority whip steve scalise. zachary bart, pat micah, special agent david bailey and special agent crystal greiner. we pray for their quick recovery. the threats that face our country, director and the safety of all americans appear to be grow and range from terrorist groups such as al qaeda and isis, espionage, cybercrime, international organizations, who traffic in both humans and drugs and violent crime. particularly concerned about the terrible epidemic of human trafficking which unfortunately , houston, texas interstate 10, has been a hub for far too much of that. there's too many young women whose lives have been destroyed in this terrible traffic. i look forward to visiting with you about what the fbi can do, is doing and what the subcommittee can do to help support your work to fight human trafficking and exploitation of young women. above all, the men and women of
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the fbi to know how immensely proud of this subcommittee is and the congress in their work and we will work together, mr. sharano and i, arm in arm to support you, to help you with the resources that you need to continue your important work to protect this great nation. we are however facing a difficult budget situation. mr. director, as unrelenting pressure to trim budgets, we have also to insure our constituents that their hard-earned tax dollars are being spent wisely and frugally and effectively. we're grateful to you, sir for your service to the nation and pleased to have you with us today. before we proceed i'd like to recognize the ranking member of the subcommittee, the gentleman from new york, mr. sharano. >> i would like to join you in welcoming acting director mccabe. this is a turbulent time for the federal bureau of investigation.
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for reasons not of the making, i think it is important, however that we take a moment today to thank the rank and file of the fbi for their hard work and service to our nation. please, mr. director, pass along our gratitude to the fbi agents and professional staff around the nation and abroad. as a career fbi employee, i'm glad that the acting director has a chance to testify before us this afternoon. i believe that your insights into the agency in the wake of the director comey's firing are vitally important in helping us to understand the impact of that action and subsequent statements by the president on agency morale. the fbi's fiscal year 2018 budget request includes a slight reduction of $had 44.6 billion from the amount in fy 2017. this is somewhat ironic, given the fact that a majority of the fbi budget falls under the
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defense spending side of the ledger, where the president has proposed a $54 billion increase. apparently none of that increase is for the fbi. given your important role in protecting our nation, this is very troubling. i'm also concerned that the justice department is in the process of giving less priority for critical civil rights, voting rights protections that have long been upheld by the department. the fbi plays a crucial role in investigating violations of our federal civil rights laws, including under the voting rights act, civil rights act, and the color of law violations. and it is important that your ability to maintain these important roles is maintained. i hope we can discuss your ongoing efforts today. in the context of the policy changes being put forward by the attorney general. additionally i'm interested in
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discussing your execution of the nits system, which conducts criminal background checks, and firearm purchases. you have requested 136 fewer personnel to conduct background checks in 2018. this is problematic. because this reduction will increase delays, allow more sales to go forward after three days. without the necessary check. and likely increase overtime when already-overworked staff. this proposed cut seems like an unwise decision. that will harm public safety. lastly, i think it is important to discuss the ongoing investigation into russia's interference in last year's election. i am curious about how your work in this area dovetails with the ongoing investigation by the special prosecutor. and whether any fbi personnel or resources have been detailed to director mueller. thank you for your service, sir. as acting director and in other
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parts of the department, i look forward to your testimony. thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for being with us today. >> your written statement will be entered into the record in its entirety without objection. if you keep your remarks to five minutes. thank you for being with us. >> sorry about that. is that better? again, thank you for your support to the men and women of the fbi. we could have all the money in the world, all the best technology, without the amazing people of the fbi we won't be able to keep the american people safe. i'm proud of these individuals and i'm grateful for their
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dedication and their hard work. we are all grateful for your continued support to our mission. as you know, the fbi is in a time of transition. and it has not been easy on any of us. director comey was a thoughtful and inspiring leader. he fostered a number of priorities to make the fbi better and stronger. improvements in the way we collect and use and share intelligence, our cyberprograms, to leadership and diversity issues. we're going to do our best to make sure we continue to make progress in all of those areas. the threats we face are constantly evolving. we, too, must continuously examine the way we can do business to insure that we are doing everything we can in the best way that we can. i firmly believe that the fbi maintains a sacred trust with the american people. to protect them and uphold the constitution. we do that with the precious resources that those people and this committee give us.
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so a fundamental element of that sacred trust is making sure that we are always good stewards of the taxpayers' money. we have tried to be good stewards of the funding provided and we've been conservative in our budget requests. we ask for what we need, and when we need extra in certain areas, we don't hesitate to tell you. yes i have a few of those extras to talk to you about today. the fbi's budget request this year proposes a total of $8.7 billion for salaries and expenses. this will support 33,533 positions. 12,484 of which are special agents. 2,950 of which are intelligence analysts, and 18,099 are professional staff. we need every single one of those people. they are the lifeblood of the fbi. they are over and beyond everything else, our best and most impactful resource.
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now to be clear, the fy 2018 budget represents a decrease of more than $400 million from the this will result in a net reduction of over 1600 positions and more than $44 million for salaries and expenses. let me shift briefly to program enhancements. i would like to highlight what we have requested. first and foremost is cyber. we have asked for $41.5 million to build on our cyber capabilities. investigative capabilities, collection capabilities and analytic capacity. the frequency and impact of cyber attacks on our network has increased dramatically. we need to shift from reacting after the fact to preventing such attacks before they occur. we've got to collect the best intelligence and we have to share it with our partners, with law enforcement, and the private sector in real time.
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to do that, we have to develop the best cyber talent. area, counterintelligence we are asking for $19.7 million to counter threats from foreign intelligence services. we will use these resources to focus on insider threats from trusted employees and contractors. in the area we referred to as going dark, we ask for $21.6 million to address this problem. and i can tell you this is more than just getting into locked , which or communications is certainly part of the issue, but it is not the entirety of it. going dark is impacting our ability to execute lawful court orders on electronic devices across the spectrum and that is a growing problem. we still have our priority of violent crime. it remains one of our highest priorities for good reason and is one of the things that challenges our partners at the state, local and tribal level every single day.
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we are asking for 33 positions to three point $4 million implement recommendations from the attorney general's task force for crime reduction and public safety. in a surveillance area, we have asked for an additional $8.2 million to sustain our surveillance capabilities. period ofw, that time within which a counterterrorism target proceeds from merely being radicalized to deciding to operationalize their intent has condensed over the last several years. are mosthen you concerned with modalities that include vehicles and bladed we have some of which seen earlier today in michigan, that will further compress that time that we refer to as from flash to bang. one our best tools against that threat is lawful surveillance. in if you will give me just a minute, i will talk about one of our highest legislative diaries
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for this year, truly are most important legislative priority, and that is the reauthorization section 702. it gives us the authority to collect foreign intelligence ,rom foreign persons outside reasonably believed to be outside the united states. this is important to us. it is a tool the entire u.s. government benefits from and it is one that, if we lose it, this country will be less safe. without it, we don't have a window into the activities of terrorists, spies, weapons proliferators, and other adversaries that may be coming after us. we don't know what they are planning and we might not know what might be coming our way. the program undergoes the grist oversight from the legislative and judicial branches and that is the way we wanted to be. asking for resources
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to disrupt transnational syndicates, the process for increased number checks every year. andnow these are important we can always count on the resources we need to keep the country safe. as i said, we are grateful for that. in conclusion, our leadership has changed but the fundamental things about the fbi will not ever change. our commitment to keeping the american people safe, our fidelity to the constitution and the rule of law, and are or values, respect, passion, fairness, integrity, accountability, leadership and diversity, and of course, adherence to the constitution. these are the values that have made the fbi what it is today. we will stay focused on the mission. keep doing great work with your support because the american people deserve no less and i am happy to take your questions. >> thank you, director mccabe. your salaries and expenses request is 45 million dollars below the enacted 2017 appropriation.
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i know this is the result of the assumption that the omb made under awould be continuing resolution, which fortunately did not happen, it's -- i don't want to get you crosswise with omb but the request appears to leave the fbi with a hole to fill and help us assist you with that. would this reduction affect the fbi's ability to address terrorism and homegrown violent extremism? how would it impact priority investigations? >> sure. it will certainly impact us in many ways. it is a broad enough reduction that it will touch every program. it will touch headquarters and our field offices. it is a reduction that is not possible to take entirely against vacancies. it is a reduction that will touch every description of employees within the fbi so we will lose agent positions, analyst positions and professional staff.
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as you know, sir, we went through a. -- a period of sequestration a few years ago where we reduced by 3000 positions and it has taken us time to hire our way back. we are on target to be a close to four strength -- to full strength by the end of the year and the reductions that you have described will take us backwards a step. those recommendations, the subcommittee will have the final word on that. >> we will do our very best to help you deal with that. make sure you don't have any adverse impact. the fbi requested an $8 million increase for surveillance of high-priority targets. how is the fbi meeting your current surveillance needs? >> we are in good shape and $8 million -- $8 billion is all personnel funding. it enables us to protect about 78 positions that would likely have been added to the reduction that we have discussed.
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surveillance, the man's we place on our surveillance team over the last several years has just been enormous. as the number of homegrown violent extremists, the number of counterintelligence targets rose, those folks we need to keep a close eye on, sometimes on 24 hour basis, those resources become all the more important. the reduction is particularly tough. >> we have, as i mentioned in my opening statement, a real concern. it affects the whole country. unfortunately, because of itn's location, the terrible problem of women being exploited and sold into slavery and this catastrophic situation, can you talk about the work the fbi is doing to help fight human trafficking? dir. mccabe: particularly in the southwest border area, we have five field officers and they addressed border issues. they made a significant address
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in terms of the work we do with our partners in the dea, dhs, and others. frequently, we find ourselves looking at the same transnational organized crime groups that have engaged in narcotics trafficking and human trafficking. the combined work we do in the task force is to be as productive and effective as we can. we recognize that as a growing threat and it is an area where we want to keep focused of sleep and make sure we have the right folks doing that work. is the budget request satisfactory in this regard? what can the committee were -- what can the committee do to make your resources work for this academic that this epidemic? dir. mccabe: the most valuable thing for us is to try to restore those reductions that we were likely to sustain. >> what are the main challenges? what are the main challenges the fbi is encountering regarding to
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supply chain, particularly with the concern we have on backdoors or trojan horses being built into hardware? dir. mccabe: incredibly important area right now and one that we have tried to expand the amount of outreach we are doing across the government and the private actor. we are in a unique position to see those threats coming in from the work we do on the counterintelligence side, particularly, so we have tried to spread that word, utilizing things like the best practices doctrine to let folks know that these are the threats they need to be aware of, particularly across the government as they acquire high-tech infrastructure for the systems. important, it has been great to see in the last several, the administration has a deep interest in addressing some of the things that we have program. the sifius in a lot of areas we can be more effective in terms of monitoring foreign investment, particularly
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in our high-tech industries. thank you, director. >> i am concerned that the special counsel you appointed to investigate the ties between the administration and russia will not have adequate resources. it is a special being provided with full access to all fbi resources in the investigation. >> he is. i can assure you of that. i have had many interactions with the special counsel and his representatives. we are meeting in the next 24 hours to discuss exactly that. we have a great number of folks who have already been detailed to that team and i have a short director mueller that we will do everything necessary to deliver the resources and to meet the needs of the network. >> is the fbi investigation continuing concurrently with the special counsel investigation? or have all resources and necessary personnel been transferred to director
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mueller's office? dir. mccabe: all the resources necessary to conduct the investigation that director mueller is responsible for has been assigned to that effort under director mueller. it is important to note that the fbi continues to maintain response ability for counterintelligence issues writ large against all of the foreign adversaries, including our russian adversaries. we still do work in the russia counterintelligence space but we are careful to leave what is the special counsel's to the special counsel's. >> to make the lead in as short as possible for my question, director comey had felt uncomfortable, he said, and told general sessions about meeting with the president. my question for you is, have you met president trump? how many times and when were those meetings?
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would you feel uncomfortable meeting along with the president? dir. mccabe: i have met with president trump on very few occasions and those involved occasions where there were many other people present. i have not felt uncomfortable in those meetings. the rest of your question? if you would feel accountable meeting with the president alone. >> as you know, we have a long knownped and white house contact policy between the department of justice, the fbi, and the white house. i am aware of what that policy is and i do everything i can to ensure that my contact with the white house, president trump or anywhere else, i have talked to the deputy attorney general about that and any contact that i have of whether the president would be approved by the deputy attorney general first. these are questions that have to be asked because we need to know. have you been asked for a
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loyalty oath by the president? if not, what would you do if you were? dir. mccabe: i will answer the second part first if that is ok. i have taken an oath already to the united states of america to protect and defend the constitution. that is the only oath i will take so that is not really an issue for me. regarding specific conversations that i have had with the president, i don't think it would be appropriate for me to discuss in this form. >> i want to ask a question. something came up the other day. kentucky, he was the ranking member after 9/11. we give a lot of my to the fbi. i went along with it and it was a lot of money. later, i asked director mueller, do you think -- i have to were this properly because terrorism is our main focus -- did we
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blame more heavily on the terrorism part and give a pass to white-collar criminals come to drug dealers, to public corruption and someone? at that time, he says there had been an over emphasis on the part of terrorism. we knew what he meant, but a week back, the situation where you could handle, the guys selling drugs in my community were supplying the drugs to my community and getting away with it. dir. mccabe: i think i can best answer your question by saying, "i think we are in the right place now in terms of the emphasis of resources that we have put on those divergent programs." there is no question that our criminal threats continue to bedevil this country in the same way. -- we exercise constant .igilance against those threats
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we are constantly reprioritizing where we need to put our precious resources and our personnel. could we do more with more? sure but we understand that resources are finite in the committee has different agencies and programs may have to support. at the same time, i think that period you referred to after 9/11, we were standing up our capability as an intelligence organization and our response to a terrorism threat that really required a very broad and deep evolutionary approach. i feel comfortable to say that we have done that hard work. we are in a very different place today than we were about terrorism 15 years ago. >> rest assured, i will support the chairman in making sure that you continue to have the resources to do both, and they are both important. dir. mccabe: they are, sir. >> we recognize the former chairman of the committee, the
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general and from kentucky. mr. rogers? mr. director, welcome. i want to talk to you briefly about transnational criminal organizations and the impact of those groups on the flood of narcotics coming into our country by way of mexico, primarily. what can you tell us about what you are doing? to try to disrupt those criminal organizations and the finances y to is generated thereb allow them to do criminal things. >> we see it the same way that you do. can you use your microphone? >> is that better? >> i can hear you. >> it is not working. dir. mccabe: hello?
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is it working? good. i will try to stick a little louder. it is late in the day, maybe that's it. i am a little hoarse. we see at the same way you do. we think that is the place for resources to focus. there is a lot of work being done across the country by our state and local colleagues but the place where we can add the most value is by bringing our enterprise theory of investigation to those sorts of transnational organized crime groups. we have done that by doubling the number of tax -- of task forces we had at work, and we have done that by bringing our white-collar experts into this havingy looking at agents specifically addressing the abuse of prescription opioids and how that leads to heroin abuse and overdoses that are plaguing so many of our cities. we have done that by activating
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our -- in other parts of the border to help identify where some of these groups are emanating from. >> it is not working. yes, sir. >> it is estimated that these illegal profits from transnational criminals is $322 billion a year. and growing. the narcoticsw problem is exploding. practically all of which is coming through mexico. and including fentanyl from china, coming through the same gangs in mexico. what can you tell us that would encourage us to believe that we were going to get control of this thing?
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dir. mccabe: sir, what i can tell you is this is a problem and an issue that we will not police our way out of. it is going to require a whole of government effort. i can tell you what the fbi has to contribute to that and it is investigative experience. it is the connections with foreign partners and the ability to bring our federal law enforcement and state and local law enforcement together for the fight. security border issues, diplomatic issues and a lot tied up in the problem right now and that is how we's the our part of it. >> well, you are correct, you are only part of the solution. we've got the dea and the state department and numerous other agencies that are working out pieces of the problem but it is a bad problem. dir. mccabe: yes, sir. >> it is eating this country alive and we got to redouble our efforts. let me quickly switch to another topic and that is cyber. attacks.
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according to cnbc, cybercrime costs the global economy $450 in 2016,nnually and over 2 billion personal records .ere stolen over 100 million americans had their medical records stolen. five out of every six large american companies were targeted by cyber attackers in 2014. a 40% increase over that your before. at the same time, 60% of all targeted attacks strike small and medium-size businesses which typically have fewer resources to invest in cyber security. problem, cybercrime in the public and private sectors continues to pose and enormous risk to our economy and
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not to mention our national security. forbes reports that cybercrime costs the economy quadrupled from 2013 to 2015 and many again will cut drupal -- will quadruple by 2019. as the lead federal agency in this space, what are you doing to get in front of these were -- these threats. dir. mccabe: that is a great question. cyber is the issue that challenges us the most deeply. it hits every program we are in and changes everyday. we are the lead for a threat. we have the lead designation for threat response. we are the folks that will go in with our partners to figure out who did it and where it came from. to do that, i need the right people with the right background to put on that problem set and we are doing that now to ensure that we have the tools they need .
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we are hiring the right people, we are able to keep them on board and on target. the second thing we are focused on is taking the cyber investigative skills and that capability and making sure we are pushing that out across our other operational programs. need my criminal investigators to look at social media, network analysis understanding cyber threats and my ct folks to do the same thing and my ci folks as well. we are constantly rethinking how we are approaching the cyber target set. strategy that has been deriving for the last year or so. butave bright people on it this is a threat that continues to change so we have to stay out in front of it. >> nice to speak to you. dir. mccabe: thank you, sir. >> mrs. lloyd? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i am very concerned about the wake off the fbi in the
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the proposed budget cuts and the disparaging comments made by president trump. in your opinion, was the fbi "in disarray" as the president claimed prior to firing director comey? if you have the support of leadership and workforce prior to his dismissal? >> he did, ma'am>>. it is not my opinion that the fbi was in a state of disarray. has been mynion and observation over the last several years that director comey enjoyed a deep and positive relationship with the men and women of the fbi. >> in june 2015, we saw the lethal consequences of incomplete background checks when critical information was not discovered within the three day limit and the firearm was purchased by dylann roof. he went on to kill mine people during a prayer service at the emmanuel african methodist episcopal church in charleston,
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south carolina. he should never have had that gun. your budget proposes reductions to the staffing for background checks at the fbi. and the bipartisan omnibus spending bill, we provided an increase in funding, part of which went to hiring 136 additional workers to conduct background checks. this budget would cut those additional staff. this is inconsistent with this administration's claims to prioritize violent crime reduction. how would this budget impact the ability to complete act round checks within the three-day limit. does this jeopardize the ability confidently identify any disqualifying records? the short answer is yes. dir. mccabe: having few people to do these checks will be
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harder to get them done in the three-day up requirement. the numbers for 2018 are significantly behind where we were input thousand 17. -- in 2017. expect every reason to that will continue, so fewer resources will hurt our folks there. the increases in work by extending large amounts of overtime and things of that nature but that is not a sustainable way to keep the workforce on target. it hasng up on that, concerned me for quite a while and i would like your opinion as an experienced person at the fbi. what percentage of cases, background checks, you wish you had more than three days, four days, five days, i've heard some experts say they would even include the number nine days. could you comment to us on this? dir. mccabe: i don't know if i could give you that percentage
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of the top of my head but i will take that back and get back to you. know, it is just i think folks don't understand that the logistical challenge of corresponding with many different jurisdictions we have to reach out to to confirm arrest histories and conviction histories and dispositions of criminal charges and things of that nature. it just takes longer than three days to get a response. so by definition, some percentage of that work lapses past the period >> i appreciate that. and if could you get back to us, i think it's important, when we're making policy, to understand the hard work that the fbi does, and it was my understanding in a previous hearing, that, in many cases, three days just isn't adequate. hearing, that in many cases three days just isn't adequate. so you're agreeing that three
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days may not be adequate and you'll get back to us, what percentage of the cases you need more time. and more staff to do the work. >> yes, ma'am. 00:331 >> the cuts aren't going to help us. when it comes to background checks. >> that's right. >> thank you mr. the individual's name stays in the system. if something pops up after you read the check and they have a problem, atf is directed to go after them and get the weapon, correct? >> they are, sir, i think it's 88 days, is that right? >> 88 days to continue to look at those files. that go past the three-day mark. if we get a response during that period. and the gun has been delivered. we have 88 days to recover the gun. >> we're all humans. judge carter? acting director mccabe. we're glad to have you here.
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homeland security has developed the southern border approach campaign, concentration resources on the transnational crimes along the border. in this request funding for hybrid squads to bring a threat-based domain due to these dynamic passed criminal enterprises. how do these squads operate? and are you working together with homeland security on this? and in addition, the border liaison officers along the border, what has been the most effective means to combat transnational criminal organizations on the border, and what can this committee do to help you on that issue? >> yes, sir. you know in that vein we've asked for $6.8 million in this budget, all repersonnel restored
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to do that work. the hybrid squads, i don't know that i can describe it much better than you already have. an ability to bring our intelligence folks together with our case officers, our special agents, and our task force partners. which is invariably include many different elements from the department of homeland security, state and local officers, all those for whom the criminal issues at the border have an impact on their communities, on the folks that they protect. the work we do in the counterterrorism area, we are stronger through partnership having the right folks in those places to link up with our partners and do that work. that's the way forward for us. so to have the people to do that is really the biggest way that you can help. and i cannot overstate the importance of having a robust
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well-trained stable population in our legat office, particularly in mexico city. you can't work transnational organized crime just from within the borders of the united states. you've got to be able to build relationships and work those issues with your partners overseas. >> i agree with that. i agree with my colleague quillar, on homeland security we need to push deeper and deeper from the border. so i agree with that. any resources -- your role is coordinating these groups. you all work together and you're the coordinating agent? >> that's right. it is and of course, we think that we're well positioned with the resources we have. which is why you know, cuts that will touch our field offices, our headquarters elements, in the way that the 1600 for 2018 are likely to do. that's where the things start to get tough for us.
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>> well let us know what you need. >> thank you, sir. >> ok. >> another issue that you mentioned in your opening statement, going dark. in this budget you've requested $21.6 million in funding for operational technology investments to counter what is called going dark, as i understand it, that encryption, dealing with encryptions. >> in large part, yes. >> i understand the fbi has limited access to 3,000 mobile devices linked to various crimes that you are unable to search, even though you have court-ordered legal authority to do so. could you elaborate on how the fbi plans to reduce these barriers, how these barriers affect your ability to conduct counterterrorism investigations? and how can this committee help you on that? and please tell me more about
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the 80 new positions you plan to create to combat going dark. on the going dark issue. these individuals specifically support intelligence analysis to combat the problem. yes, sir, they will. let me touch on the going dark issues to clarify some of the facts you've referred to. so far in fiscal '17 we have the approximately 7,000 devices with court authorization and the request most times of our partners to help them open up those devices that they need, primarily for their criminal cases, in cities and towns across this country. we are currently able to get into about 48% of those devices. so a little less than half. as incredibly effective encryption becomes more well known, easier to get and easier to use that number, that 48%, will continue to decline, that's probably the best example of that piece of the going dark problem. the resources that we've asked
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for will be folks that are specifically addressed who will specifically face those challenges. so we're talking about some special agents, we're talking about electronic engineers, we're talking about computer scientists and we're talking about what we refer to as carte agents, folks out in the field that have the ability, the toolgs and the training to try to get into those things and assist our partners on site. it is also go to help us maintain systems that we now depend upon to allow our investigators to conduct the work they need to do on the internet in a way that's not attributable to the fbi. because obviously we have to be, we have to be as good as our adversaries. we have to be on the dark web we have to be in all of those dark places where we're going to find the threats that face us. so -- going dark is a multifaceted problem. it's one that will call for kind of pretty tough choices across society in terms of balancing security and privacy.
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it will call for pretty substantial work i think ultimately here. from congress addressing some of the legal frameworks we have to work with. but day to day, it impacts my investigators and analysts in that way. >> it sounds like you have a real challenge. >> it is, sir. >> thank you, chairman and thanks for being with us and many thanks to the men and women who work for the bureau. >> thank you, sir. >> in recent months we've seen unprecedented rise in hate crimes. according to one report we saw 1800 hate crimes in the u.s. between november of last year and march of this year. i notice that the fbi budget request doesn't explicitly mention any additional funding on this front.
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i also would point out may, i received a letter from the department of justice, dating that the attorney generals directed the formation of a hate crimes subcommittee of the violent crimes task force to highlight the importance of these efforts. so my questions for you are one, what funds are or resources will the fbi allocate to combat the rise in hate crimes? does the fbi have a role in that hate crime subcommittee? and if you can give me any indication of the status of how the fbi is engaging with affected communities, that are dealing with this proliferation of hate crime. >> yeah. so our folks do enormous amount of work dealing with the communities that are touched by hate crimes. it is one of the requirements that i put on all of our special agents in charge. to build those sorts of relationships into the communities that are going to put us in a position to be able to help them. in many ways, but certainly in that one. hate crimes are, are a very big
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part of our civil rights approach. to include color of law issues, clinic access issues and you know many others, so it's a vital and ongoing effort that we remain completely committed to. with respect to the doj subcommittee that one i'll have it take you back to get you the exact details of our participation in it. i would expect we're playing a key role. but i'll have to get back to you with those details. >> if the civil rights division, is that what where the funds lie to address this issue? or? i notice there wasn't any sort of specific language on this in the budget request. i was curious. whether there's any funds specifically dedicated to combat this. 00:458 >> we don't, we don't rely on funding from the civil rights division, but obviously we work the cases with the civil rights division and the doj. our fund something part of our overall criminal program. and how we divide those, those funds up within the criminal program. assistant director, the criminal
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program is responsible for keeping that moving forward. and it's in the base resources request. >> ok. i want to follow up on the question from chairman rodgers, around cybersecurity. we certainly hear about that a bunch. congress passed the cybersecurity act in 2015 and you know, a big focus of that was on information-sharing between industry and law enforcement. i think one of the pieces of feedback that we get from industry large and small, the comment around small businesses i agree with. is a concern that that sometimes feels like more of a one-way street, where industry may feedback what they're doing, but don't necessarily get a lot back from the governm back from the government. i would love to get your sense of how you assess the progress of that law in bringing industry stakeholders to the table with information that could prevent cyber attacks from happening and then in the other direction, what's the fbi doing to strengthen the flow of information to industry stakeholders? 00:422 >> yeah. it's a great question, and it's one that we get very often, as well.
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i think in summary, i would say we are better than we've been, but we're clearly not good enough. we have all of the traditional challenges that we always face, and particularly when it comes to us from classified channels and it's hard and slow to call out which we can share to be effective and so often our sharing is not in the private sector and it moves at a much quicker pace and that's really where we need to work. i think the interactions that we have with the private sector are more productive today than they were two or three years ago, but we still have a long way to go. there are many reasons why our private sector partners don't wish to share with the fbi or anyone else for obvious economic productivity and reputational reasons, but it's been a slow chipping away at some of that resistance and also adapting our own approaches to be able to get on site, to help them handle a crisis or an issue in a way that's as discreet as we can possibly be.
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so i think those are the areas where we have a lot of work to do. >> chairman, i yield back. >> director, thank you for being here. i represent west virginia and like chairman rogers from an latchia, the epidemic has ravaged community. you raised a point about the southern border and you specifically talked about field offices, and i think you were sending the message that we have a footprint and with boots on the ground where it's most needed. 00:412 >> i think four, if i'm accurate, four of the overdose counties in the entire country are in my district. we don't have a field office of the fbi really down deep in the hardest-hit areas of west virginia and through a discussion with special agent john, i understand that there is at least some willingness and
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openness to look at putting a field office in the hardest-hit, impacted areas. can you update me on your assessment of that and is that a possibility because i certainly hope it will be. >> yes, sir, it is certainly a possibility and it is one that we are discussing actively right now. as you know, we formerly had not a field office, but an agency and it's a satellite of a field office and it's satellite out of the pittsburgh field office. we had one in your area, and we went through a process years ago and ended up folding that office. we are back in that process now, and we are actively discussing reopening that ra, and -- once we've made our decision and we communicate that to doj and we work with omb to get that done, and so i can assure you that we will continue to push, but we recognize the significant challenges that your constituents are facing with the opioid epidemic, and we also know there is no presence of other federal agencies and other federal law enforcement agencies in our area and we see that as a
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massive gap. >> i appreciate your interest and the sincerity to attack where it is happening in this tragic opioid epidemic as this ravaged our area. >> i was looking at your going dark testimony, and i was struck by the emphasis on talking about crimes and identities that lay behind our -- behind layers of anonymity relating to online pedophiles, and when i was a state legislator in west virginia, and this was the old days back when really facebook was the existence of social media, we had a sex offender registry like probably every other state, but i led the effort to actually require sex offenders once convicted to turn over to the registry their online screen names, passwords, et cetera, and our state database created a system where
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a parent empowered to try to go in and say here is a user name or a screen name that's communicating with my son or daughter to identify whether or not that was in the database. i'm all about trying to create tools whether it be the state level or federal level to empower parents to help protect their children. we are struggling in this world as you talk about online pedophiles. what at the fbi level, what sort of tools that you can talk about or are in place to take these even convicted sex offenders and make sure we empower parents and try to protect our kids? 00:529
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>> yes, sir. great question. i -- you know, that is a -- that is a threat and a space within which the threat operates that gets more challenging every day with the profusion of anonymity through -- through things like the onion router and the use of encryptic communications and all of the things that challenge us and it is one that impacts us so deeply not only as fbi agent, but as parents ourselves. so we remain absolutely committed to doing everything we can. unfortunately, that has required in the last several years a new, cutting-edge, technical approach to many of those problems. so it gets back to the same challenge that we have in the cyber area, in the ct area, and the cyber area and it's getting the right, talented, computer scientists, very highly skilled folks engageded in that fight and helping us get through the walls of anonymity so we can see who is on the other side interacting with our children in
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damaging ways. so we are absolutely committed to that work, but it's getting tougher and tougher as the ways in which people communicate over the internet become more -- more protected and more remote. >> i look forward to working with you in addition to the investigatory, identification work that you are engaged with. i'm looking for those tools to empower parents to also do what we can as engaged parents to try to help create a safe environment. we know it's a challenging world and we appreciate your commitment to it. yes, sir. >> thank you. >> please recognize the gentle lady from long island. >> thank you, director mccabe. on june 27th, 2016, the doj announced a new departmentwide agents and prosecutored learned how to recognize and address unconscious biases, and those subtle associations that some individuals might make between groups of people and stereotypes
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about certain groups. what is the status of these trainings at the fbi and what percentage of your agents have received these trainings and when can we expect these trainings to be completed? >> i would have to get back to you with the numbers on the xaj percentages and when those are completed. i know we've done a lot of work in the last year in getting that training out to our folks. i know it's been mandatory for all of our folks, and i know that there are executives because i attended it with the entire seventh-floor team a few months ago. so it is out and our folks are getting it and i'll just have to get back to you with the numbers. >> thank you. last september former director comey, while testifying in front of the house and the senate committed to the creation of a niegz nationwide database on police-involved shootings.
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he committed to seeing this project through for the length of his term as fbi director, and he stated that the database should be up and running in a year or two. what is the status of this database and when can we expect it to be up and running? >> so we have continued to do that work with the use of force task force and it is moving along well. we, in fact, just stood up the pilot of the database that you referred to just within the last few weeks, if i have that correct. so our commitment to that effort continues as does our commitment to the nabors incident-based reporting system. we across the law enforcement community need better data. i think most people recognize that now and it's challenging in terms of resources and commitment to get folks to sometimes to do the work that we need to get there, but we're committed to staying on that time line and having this done by 2021.
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>> thank you. i yield back. >> thank you, miss ming. thank you for being here, mr. mccabe. i want to ask a question about the authority and independence of the fbi. >> yes, sir. >> i would be interested in your take on the matter. while the fbi operates as part of the justice department, of course, through the nature of its work it has historically been seen as relatively independent, the fbi director is also considered one of the most independent officials in the federal government, would you agree with that? >> yes, sir. >> mr. mccabe, several measures have
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been put in place to preserve the independence of the fbi including the ten-year term for the director. my first question is do you believe that maintaining a relatively independent fbi is important to the integrity of the work that you conduct? 00:529 >> yes, i do. the constitutional reality is if a government official is appointed within the executive branch. that official serves at the pleasure of the president, but unofficial norms emphasize that law enforcement should be politically neutral. what's your take on how you reconcile those two realities, director? >> well, i think we have a long history of pursuing our work and level of professionalism and then an independence from political influence.
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i have no reason to believe that that approach will discontinue. i believe, as you stated, it's vitally important to have a politically independent fbi, and i have no reason to believe that that won't be the case. are you aware if it's written down anywhere what the conditions would be under which the president would relief the fbi director of his or her duties before the ten-year term is up? >> i don't know where it's written down specifically, but my understanding is it's the president's privilege to relief any political appointee for when he chooses to do so. >> do you have a view about what conditions would be appropriate for the president to relief the fbi director before the ten years is up. 00:508 >> well, again, sir, i don't really have a view on that. i'm not going to weigh in on presidential privilege and how the president decides to remove his appointees. >> you look like a smart man. >> looks can be deceiving. >> i know the dedicated public servants in the fbi will
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continue to do their work regardless of political pressures and the turnover in the director position and whoever it happens to be in the white house, but i want to ask you how has the removal of james comey affected morale of the fbi if you can comment on that. as i said at the beginning of our hearing, director comey shared a great relationship with the men and women at the fbi. his removal took many, many people by surprise. it is a shock, and it is something we've all had to come to terms with. however, as the organization responsible for upholding the constitution and being dedicated to nothing other than the rule of law in protecting the american people, we understand the rules and how they work and we understand that it is the president's privilege to remove the fbi director and any appointee whenever he chooses to do so. he's chosen to do that. we know we are getting a new fbi director. it's been my challenge to keep folks focused on the mission during this time of transition and to prepare -- to prepare the ground for the new director whenever he or she gets there.
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>> other than morale, what other effects do you think that removal have had on the fbi to carry out its crucial functions. 000:56 >> the fbi continues to carry out its crucial functions and we will continue to get that work done. you have my word on that. 0001 >> i'll take it. 0002 >> thank you, director. >> thank you, mr. cartwright. they've called votes and there's been eight minutes left, i want to quickly ask you, director mccabe, the insider threats are very dangerous and leaks could be damaginging to this country
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as we saw with edward snowden, and i was pleased to see an nsa contract reality winner being prosecuted. would you speak to everyone in the federal government and tell everyone out there how serious of a crime is it if you leak information about an ongoing investigation and give us the assurance that the fbi will pursue every one of these lookers and seek their prosecution to the fullest of at the present time of the law. >> leaking classified information is a crime and we have the jurisdiction to investigate and i assure you we will do every single case rfred referred to by the department of justice. it is absolutely vital to the safe functioning and national security of this country to be able to handle classified information in the responsible manner and the way it was designed to be handled and when we have folks who are mishandling or leaking or sharing classified information, and we shall investigate those matters as we should be investigated. >> how many years in prison can people face? >> oh, that's a good one. well, it depends.
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most of the -- most of the cases either come down to mishandling cases or actual espionage cases. espionage, of course, can get you life in prison. mishandling cases, i'm not sure what the sentencing range is. i'll have to check that. >> it's a long time. >> more than you'd like. >> if i could enter this for the log and the record? >> it's taken troubling actions in the past few months, in my opinion, to undermine the civil rights responsibilities of the justice department. this includes consent decrees and limiting the priorities of the civil rights division.
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investigation any into this or voting rights compliance. -- compliance? >> we have not received any direction on that. compare to thes last five years. >> i have to take a look at those numbers and >> we sincerely appreciate your service to the country. to think you and all the men and women to the fbi for what you do to keep this nation safe. we work together to make sure you have the resources you need to continue to do your job. we thank you for being with us today. you for all of the support the committee has given us over the years and we look forward to working with you. >> thank you. this is adjourned. gavel bangs]
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>> tonight on "q&a" -- >> i was a reporter who covered politics. i got interested in medical power. books as see these studies in political power. but i thought when you are a -- i won a couple of
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minor journalistic awards, but you think you know everything. mosesrst time robert started talking to me, i realized i did not know anything about power at all. >> pulitzer prize-winning talkspher robert caro about his audio project "on power," looking at the exercise of political power in america. he shared about the progress on his next volume on lyndon b. johnson. >> he had passion from the beginning. ambition was the overall consideration with him. it was only when compassion and came together in the center, that he realized if he wanted to be president, to sign a civil rights bill, that he turned around. all of his life, he had wanted to help poor people and
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particularly poor people of color. >> tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span's "q&a." senate republicans released the destruction -- discuss in draft of their health care law. the congressional budget office will score a this week. we posted the bill at . you can follow a live set a coverage on c-span 2, online at, and on the free c-span radio app. tomorrow is the final day for the supreme court to release decisions for the current term. there are six remaining cases that were heard this term. watch a c-span for coverage of the court's final day. last week, the supreme court unanimously struck down a north carolina law that banned registered sexist vendors from using social media sites, like facebook and twitter. the court ruled that the law violat


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