Skip to main content

tv   House Judiciary Meets to Discuss Barr in Contempt Resolution  CSPAN  May 8, 2019 8:17pm-1:30am EDT

8:17 pm
announcer: the house judiciary committee voted 24-16 to recommend the household attorney general william barr in contempt of congress. according to a report in the times,"k the vote taken after hours of debate that featured ominous lang which about the future of american democracy was the first time the house took official action to punish a government official amid a standoff between the legislative and executive branches. the justice department denounced it as an unnecessary and overwrought reaction to stoke a fight. the article goes on to say, " representative jerrold nadler of new york, the judiciary committee chairman, said our fight is about defending the rights of congress as an independent branch to hold the president, any president, accountable." we will show you the entire meeting starting with the opening gavel this morning. judiciary committee will
8:18 pm
please come to order. without objection. the chair is authorized to declare recess at any time. pursuant to committee rule two at house rule 11 clause two, the chair may postpone further proceedings approving any matter or adopting an amendment to record the vote. i now call up the committee report for a resolution recommending the house of representatives find william barr, attorney general of the refusal tontempt for comply with a subpoena for purposes of markup and move the committee report favorably to the house. mr. chairman, i demand a question of consideration. >> before we read the bill? >> i believe this is when the
8:19 pm
motion lies. >> the question of consideration is not debatable. the question is shall the theittee considered committee report. all those in favor, say aye. the ayes have it. >> roll call please. >> mr. nadler. >> miss jackson lee? boats aye. ye. coven votes a
8:20 pm
mr. richmond? mr. richmond votes yes. mr. jeffrey? mr. cicilline? votes aye. mr. swallow? mr. ted lieu? votes aye. ms. demings votes aye. ms. scanlan? aye. ms. garcia votes aye. mcbeth? .iss mcbath votes aye
8:21 pm
ms. escobar votes aye. mr. collins votes no. mr. jordan votes no. mr. buck? mr. ratcliffe? mr. ratcliffe votes no. mr. gates? mr. johnson of louisiana. mr. johnson of louisiana votes no. mr. biggs. mr. biggs voestes no. mr. mcclintock. ms. lessco votes no. mr. klein. mr. klein votes no. mr. armstrong votes no. mr. stuby.
8:22 pm
mr. gates, you are not recorded. mr. gates votes no. >> gentleman from georgia? >> yes. >> mr. johnson of georgia votes yes. >> gentle lady from florida? is there any member of the committee who wishes to vote who hasn't voted? clerk will report. mr. chairman, there are 22 ayes and 12 noes. >> the motion for consideration is adopted. the clerk will report the committee report.
8:23 pm
>> resolution recommending that the house of representatives find william p. barr, attorney general u.s. department of justice, in contempt of congress for refusal to comply with a subpoena duly issued by the committee on the judiciary. >> without objection, the committee report is considered as read and open for amendment at any point. i will begin by recognizing myself for an opening statement. today we consider a report recommending that the house of representatives hold attorney general william barr in contempt of congress for defying a valid subpoena issued by this committee. this is not a step we take lightly. it is the culmination of nearly three months of requests, discussions, and negotiations with the department of justice for the complete unredacted report by special counsel mueller into russian interference in the 2016 election along with the underlying evidence. i appreciate the fact that the department responded to the offer we made to them last week and met with us yesterday in a
8:24 pm
last-minute effort to reach an accommodation. we heard the department out. we responded to them in good faith and after all was said and done, we unfortunately were still unable to reach agreement and we proceeded with our markup today. as i have said before, we remain ready and willing to consider any reasonable offer made by the department even after today's vote. but if a letter i received late last night from the department is any indication, i am concerned that the department is heading in the wrong direction. in response to our latest good faith offer, the department abruptly announced that if we move forward today, it would ask president trump to invoke what it refers to as a protective assertion of executive privilege on all of the materials subject to our subpoena. just minutes ago, it took that dramatic step. besides misapplying the doctrine of executive privilege, since the white house waived these privileges long ago and the department seemed open to
8:25 pm
sharing these materials with us just yesterday, this decision represents a clear escalation in the trump administration's blanket defiance of congress's constitutionally mandated duty passenger. -- duties. i hope the department will think better of this last-minute outburst and return to negotiations. as a coequal branch of government, we must have access to the materials that we need to fulfill our constitutional responsibilities in a manner consistent with past precedent. this is information we are legally entitled to receive and we are constitutionally obligated to review. and i would remind the members that the mueller report is no ordinary document. it details significant misconduct of the president including his campaign's willingness and eagerness to accept help from a hostile goran foreign government, numerous misstatements and if not lies concerning those acts, and 11 separate incidents of
8:26 pm
obstruction of justice by the president. if congress is not entitled to the full unredacted mueller report, one must wonder what document we would be entitled to. our exhaustive negotiations with the department of justice have unfortunately left us back where we began with unprecedented , obstruction by an administration that has now announced its intention to block all attempts at congressional oversight of the executive branch. it is our constitutional duty to respond. let me be clear. the information we are requesting is entirely within our legal rights to receive and is no different from what has been provided to congress on numerous occasions going back nearly a century. we do not need to go back that far to find a precedent. as recently as the last congress under republican control the department produced more than 880,000 pages of sensitive investigative materials pertaining to its investigation of hillary clinton as well as
8:27 pm
voluminous other material relating to the russia investigation and other ongoing investigations. that production included highly classified material, notes from fbi interviews, internal text messages, and law enforcement memoranda memoranda. . with respect to grand jury information, in past cases involving allegations of presidential misconduct or misconduct by other high-ranking public officials, the department of justice as a matter of course has sought the permission of the court to release relevant information to congress, if not to the public. this includes the investigation into former agriculture secretary mike espy and the iran contra investigations as well as other investigations that were not governed by the independent counsel law. no matter the fact that the law and history clearly support the release to congress of this kind of information, the trump administration has taken obstruction of congress to new heights.
8:28 pm
unfortunately, the attorney general has been all too willing to support the president in this endeavor. i would also like to respond to two of the concerns often raised by my good friend the ranking member. he asks, how can the committee hold the attorney general in contempt for merely complying with the laws on the books? and how can we hold him in contempt when i have refused an offer to allow me to see certain redacted portions of the report? the answers are simple. first, we issued a valid subpoena for the full report and all of the underlying evidence. the department has come nowhere close to satisfying its obligations under that subpoena. the department has never cited a legal basis for withholding the underlying evidence, including last night's threat to invoke executive privilege, which was utterly without credibility, merit or legal or factual basis, as is of course the statement that they will assert executive privilege by the white house this morning. to the extent we have asked for access to grand jury
8:29 pm
information, which is protected by federal law, all we have ever asked is that the department join us in petitioning the court to determine if it is proper for us to have access to this material. the department has done this on many occasions in the past. we ask for a commitment to join us in that effort last night and as it has done in many previous cases, and the department refused. second, with respect to the offer to lift some of the redactions for me and a handful of my colleagues, the department has placed unacceptable limitations on access to that information. their offer would block the members of this committee from reading those sections of the report for themselves. it would require me to leave my notes behind at the department of justice. it would prevent me from speaking with my with other members of the committee, about what i might see. what good is it, of what use can this committee make of information that i have but can't discuss with any other member of the committee? i have consistently stated that
8:30 pm
if we are to do our jobs as members of the house judiciary committee, all of the members require meaningful access to the report and the underlying documents. we need to be able to confer with each other about what we have seen. we need to be able to take official action on what we have seen, if warranted. and if necessary, we need to be able to inform a court of law of what we have learned, even if perhaps under seal. if we can find an accommodation that satisfies those basic principles, i would be happy to continue negotiating with the department of justice. but now by invoking executive privilege on all of the materials subject to our subpoena, that process has come to a screeching halt. the administration has announced loud and clear that it does not recognize congress as a co-equal branch of government with independent constitutional oversight authority and it will continue to wage its campaign of obstruction. when the administration says it will oppose all subpoenas, presumably regardless of its merits, it is saying that it does not recognize congress
8:31 pm
having a constitutional oversight authority over the executive branch. and to those who consider the matter case-closed in the words of some of our leaders, and who urge us to simply move on, i would say that to do so is to announce loud and clear that such a course of action has the effect of aiding and abetting in the administration's campaign of total blanket and unprecedented obstruction. the trump administration and its enablers may brazenly try to cover up the misdeeds uncovered by the special counsel. but in this committee we will represent the american people and ensure the truth is known. i urge my colleagues to think about how the department's latest position and their insistence on ignoring our subpoena effect ours committee over time. our fight is not just about the mueller report, although we must have access to the mueller report. our fight is about defending rights of congress as an independent branch to hold the president, any president, accountable. every day we learn of new
8:32 pm
efforts by this administration to stonewall congress. and through congress to stonewall the american people. the ways and means committee has been denied the president's tax returns when the law states clearly that they're entitled to them upon request. the chairman of the oversight and reform committee has been sued in his personal capacity to prevent him from acquiring certain financial records from the trump organization. the president has stated that his administration will oppose all subpoenas and in fact virtually all document requests are going unsatisfied. witnesses are refusing to show up at hearings. this is unprecedented. if allowed to go unchecked, this obstruction means the end of congressional oversight. as a co-equal branch of government, we should not and cannot allow this to continue or we will not be a co-equal branch of government. i urge my colleagues, whether or not you care to see the full mueller report, and we should all want to see the complete report, to stand up for the
8:33 pm
institution we are proud to serve. i expect we'll have a full vote -- full debate on the measure before us. i hope that at the end of it we will do what is right. no person and certainly not the top law enforcement officer in the country can be permitted to flout the will of congress and to defy us a valid subpoena. no person, not the attorney general, not the president, can be permitted to be above the law. that is what is at stake today. i urge all of my colleagues to support this report. i now recognize the ranking member of the judiciary committee, the gentleman from georgia, mr. collins, for his opening statement. mr. collins: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, this, and to the folks watching here, this continues. last week i urged you and my fellow members of the judiciary committee, democrats, to respect the history and conditions of this committee and conduct its business accordingly. we still have a crisis on our southern border, china is
8:34 pm
stealing our intellectual property, yet here we are wasting another valuable week of legislating calendar against the majority's war against the administration. today we are meeting to consider a resolution to hold attorney general bill barr in contempt of congress. so let's take just a few moments and go through this. what is the justification for holding attorney general barr in contempt of congress? perhaps that he failed to abide by the special counsel regulation? no. he went above and beyond what the regulations required by transmitting the full report to congress with limited redactions. could it be that the attorney general failed to accommodate the chairman's demands for information? no. he offered to let the chairman and five other democrat leaders review the less redacted at the department of justice, including a 99.9% unredacted volume on obstruction. in an odd move for anyone demanding access to information, the chairman and the other elected democrats given access have declined to view that report. the attorney general also volunteered to testify before this committee about the report's conclusions and his role in sharing the report and as we all witnessed, the
8:35 pm
democratic gamesmanship forced scheduled hearing last week. on monday the justice department offered to meet to discuss accommodations. yesterday they made a reasonable offer to avert this spectacle and once again they were rebuffed and the chairman declined. perhaps then the democrats believed that there has been an unreasonable delay in the justice department's response to their subpoena. no. that's not true either. the chairman is moving this contempt resolution at lightning speed. it has been less than 20 days since the chairman subpoena documents from the justice department. when the oversight committee held attorney general ella called her in contempt, more than 20 -- more than 250 days had passed between the subpoena and the committee's vote to hold him in contempt. more than 450 days passed between the committee's initial
8:36 pm
request to the justice department and the committee's contempt vote. judiciary democrats are moving more than 10 times faster than oversight did with holder. they have moved from request to contempt vote in only 43 days. and yet the justice department is still at the negotiating table waiting for the democrats to arrive in good faith. why this rush? without any valid legislative or administrative reason, we can only assume the democrats that are led by the chairman have resolved to sully bill barr's good name and reputation to accomplish two goals. first, democrats are angry that the special counsel's report did not produce the material or collusion they expected to pave their path toward impeaching the president. i feel compelled to remind everyone the report found, despite offers to do so, no one from the trump campaign knowingly conspired with the russian government. and you can't help notice the phrase russian collusion has vanished from the democratic talking points and left a void in the narrative. since the special counsel did not make a prosecutorial determination of obstruction, which was his job, the attorney general and the deputy attorney general did so according to their mandates as law enforcement officials while
8:37 pm
giving no credence to the office of legal counsel's opinion regarding that of the sitting president. as a result, they are angry. they are angry our nation's chief law enforcement officer and his deputy had the audacity to decide the evidence didn't support charges of obstruction. second, democrats are afraid of what the attorney general will find when he completes his ongoing review of fisa abuses at the justice department, including how the russia investigation began. multiple news reports have suggested those conclusions could be explosive, could end careers and could even lead to criminal prosecution. rather than face that, the democrats are resolved to neutralize bill barr by attacking him and the office and his integrity and career. this is the first step. what a cynical, mean-spirited, counterproductive, irresponsible step it is. meanwhile, our economy is surging, unemployment among several minority groups is at a historic low, a recent poll shows cratering support for impeachment, but democrats have no plans, no purpose, and no viable legislative agenda beyond attacking this administration. the house is more than four months into a democratic majority.
8:38 pm
how many bills passed by this committee have been signed into law? mr. chairman, i implore you to see reason. i ask that you recognize the craven, insincere politics yielding no benefits for the american people. talked on multiple occasions about pharmaceuticals. i stand ready to work with you to promote solutions. i will not, though, become a bystander as we assail the attorney general in this committee. our democracy deserves better. finally, mr. chairman, i'd like to quote a fellow member of congress. as a member of congress, i treat assertions of executive privilege very seriously. i believe they should be used only sparingly. in this case, it seems it's clear the administration was forced into a position by the committee's insistence on pushing forward with contempt. despite the attorney general's good faith offer, mr. chairman, it did not have to be this postponed today's vote and accepted the attorney general's
8:39 pm
offer. instead the prestige of this , committee has been diminished. as a result that should concern us all. i quote elijah cummings. in that case, of course, the committee did seek accommodations. in this case, this committee did not. and in just a difference of opinion between me and the chairman, there has been no escalation of this, except on the side of the majority. you have to have both sides at the table for accommodations. that's the way this process works. that is what i just laid out. 10 times faster than even eric holder. and when we get into the other issues that have been decided here, again, how we deal with this is going forward with what will be the precedent for the future and will be the precedent for what we have. with, that i yield back. mr. nadler: thank you, mr. collins. without objection, all other opening statements will be included in the record. i now recognize myself for purposes of offering an amendment in the nature of a substitute. the clerk will report the amendment.
8:40 pm
clerk: amendment in the nature of a substitute to the committee report for the resolution recommending that the house of representatives find william p. barr -- >> objection. considered based text for purposes of amendment. i will recognize myself to explain the amendment. the amendment in the nature of a substitute contains a technical change to page 2 of the committee report. it simply changes the reference on that page to judiciary committee to the committee on the judiciary. with this modest change, i urge the committee to support the amendment. i now recognize the ranking member, mr. collins, for any comments he may have on the amendment. ms. collins: on the amendment itself, i thank you, mr. chairman, i don't have any. i will make one comment that was not made in your previous opening statement. the chairman of now the oversight committee was not sued in this personal class, he was in his official capacity in that committee and just a clarification for the record there as we go forward with, that i have no objection to it. mr. nadler: any amendments to
8:41 pm
the amendment in the nature of a substitute? who seeks recognition? >> mr. chairman. >> for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio seek recognition? >> i move to strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. our democratic colleagues seem to be on a mission. they're determined to destroy attorney general barr or at least discredit him in the eyes of the american people. the attorney general agreed to appear before this committee last week and was ready to answer any and all questions about the mueller report. however, mr. chairman, you and your democratic colleagues on this committee decided that instead of just answering questions from members of the committee, we unprecedentedly were also going to require him to be grilled by lawyers. the attorney general said no way and now you're determined to find him in contempt. in my view, as somebody who served on this committee for 23 years, i think this is disgraceful. last week when the attorney general refused to show up for
8:42 pm
this committee's kangaroo court, the majority set up an empty chair, ate chicken and pretty much made a mockery of this committee. a committee that was once led by the likes of daniel webster. it's worth noting the attorney general did appear before the senate judiciary committee before he came here, where the unreasonable demand that he be queried by staff was not made, -- staff attorneys was not made. senators did the questioning themselves as is normal. the same should have been the case here instead of chickengate . it wasn't a day at the beach in the senate for the attorney general. the senators themselves were perfectly capable of being rude, abusive, and arrogant all by themselves. they didn't need their staff to do it for them. so why this passion to tear into william barr, an attorney general at least up to this point in his career considered a person of upstanding, in fact, outstanding character?
8:43 pm
first, our democratic colleagues are apparently really ticked off about the mueller report, that it found the russian collusion thing was a big fat zero. and even though the obstruction of justice allegation was not as clear-cut, special counsel mueller found that there was insufficient evidence to pursue a charge against president trump or against anyone else for that matter, excuse me, william barr did that. democrats are mad about that. but what i think is more important is that our democratic colleagues are afraid. they are afraid that unlike attorney general sessions who recused himself from anything related to the mueller investigation, bill barr will dig into the origins of the bogus russian collusion allegation itself. the clinton campaign funding of the steele dossier was the actual collusion between the russians and the political campaign. is that something that's finally going to be looked into? that was the real political collusion with the russians.
8:44 pm
the f.b.i.'s involvement in trying to tape presidential -- tip a presidential election in favor of one candidate over another, the whole peter strzok, lisa paige, all of that. the idea that trump may have been right, that his campaign really was spied on by elements of the obama administration, despite the fact that this accusation was met with such derision by most of the mainstream press at the time. the bottom line is, many democrats on this committee and in fact many democrats in both the house and the senate apparently believe that finding out the truth in these matters may not be help to feel them in -- may not be helpful to them in the upcoming election cycle. and the best way to undermine the results of the investigation, the true investigation, which is really about to happen, might just be to destroy the credibility of a guy who is doing the investigation. the attorney general, william barr. and let's begin that process, apparently, according to the folks on the other side of the
8:45 pm
aisle, the chairman included, by finding him in contempt. that's a way we can easily discredit him. at least that's the way i see it. i yield back. mr. nadler: before i proceed to the next statement, let me clarify a point of apparent confusion. we are not proposing to hold the attorney general in contempt for not showing up last week. he didn't show up last week, but that has nothing to do with this motion for contempt. we are proposing to hold him in contempt for ignoring -- for not satisfying the subpoena for the production of documents, namely the unredacted mueller report and underlying evidence. who seeks recognition? >> mr. chairman. texas,gentlelady from for what purpose does the gentlelady from texas seek recognition? ms. jackson lee: strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentlelady is
8:46 pm
recognized. >> i am pausing because i do think this is a moment in history. i appreciate my good friends on the other side of the aisle, but having received a letter both from -- a copy of the letter to the president of the united states by attorney general barr and a letter from the department of justice indicating after their purposeful collapse of the negotiations, well intentioned by the staff and house judiciary committee, i can only conclude that the president now seeks to take a wrecking ball to the constitution of the united states of america. for the first time in the history of the united states, a president is exerting executive privilege over every aspect of life that the american people desire to have information. whether or not the affordable care act is dissolving the pre-existing conditions children
8:47 pm
, whether or not children are being separated if their parents, whether or not the environment is now being destroyed. anything that the congress wants to do is being alleged to be under the jurisdiction of privilege. then of course we have to surmise that this is absolute lawless behavior by this administration. the attorney general's actions are contemptuous and insulting to congress, but we're simply the tool. it is to the american people. to broaden the executive privilege and ignore the constant accommodations that chairman nadler has made and our staff in working to work out three simple points, give us all of the documents, unredacted mueller report. work with us on grand jury materials, not to undermine, if
8:48 pm
you will, any ongoing investigation, and work with us to list the documents by priority. that is very simple. to recount facts of yesteryear does not even speak to the fact of the hundreds of friendsations a good when president trump in the republican house and senate existed. they never ceased. they never ceased going after secretary clinton, getting 880,000 documents in a benghazi hearing that went forever and never found anything. i happen to believe several former prosecutors who indicated that the mueller report described several acts to satisfy elements of an obstruction charge conduct. congressman jackson lee didn't say this. chairman nadler did not say this precise statement as a former federal prosecutor.
8:49 pm
it's 700 who have indicated that the actions of this president warrant an obstruction charge. in addition, we have a right to understand the underlying reasons regarding the collusion report. but the very fact that the collusion part of the mueller report recounts the constant interaction of trump operatives with russian adversaries, the american people should be wary and they should ask us why and we should write legislation as i've introduced h.r. 2353 that says if you interact with a russian operative or foreign adversary as a campaign committee or candidate, you must report it to the f.b.i. this is part of our legislative work. i would argue the case that our friends on the other side of the aisle should not be noted in history of standing at the door of justice in this room and putting up a stop sign that we
8:50 pm
cannot pursue the truth on behalf of the american people. we have gone over and over and over again that there are allegations of obstruction of justice that need to be heard in front of this committee. i say this. mr. mueller, a former marine, a man of integrity, i will say to him in the open proceeding, we welcome you to come. and explain your position on how disturbed you were that the attorney general characterized your report as an exoneration of this administration. secondarily, i want to say to mr. mcgahn, you are a private citizen. you have every right to present yourself to this body. and also that the conduct of president trump described in special counsel mueller's report would in the case of any other person, not having the office of legal counsel policy against
8:51 pm
indicting a sitting president, would result in charges. there are people incarcerated right now because of lesser charges. i don't want to target the president, mr. chairman. i simply want to find the truth for the american people and that's why we're here today, to vote on this citation for lacking a producing of documents. i yield back. >> mr. chairman. mr. chairman. mr. nadler: for what purpose does the gentleman from wisconsin seek recognition? >> move to strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentleman is recognized. >> i think we ought to step back from the political rhetoric and ask exactly what this contempt citation deals with. i'm going to try to use my time to do that. first and foremost and most concerning to every american or at least it should be is the fact that they want an unredacted report that includes information on grand jury testimony. the committee by making this insistence is el telling them to
8:52 pm
-- is telling the attorney general of the united states to commit a crime. because it's a crime for anyone to disclose jury material to anybody else. that includes the attorney general, it includes the prosecutors in the justice department, it includes the witnesses who have been subpoenaed and have testified before the grand jury. it means everybody. if the grand jury system is to work, and remember witnesses can't even bring their attorneys into a grand jury, then the secrecy is going to have to be maintained. now all of us know that it's really impossible for the people who work on this capitol hill to keep a secret. if there's an unredacted version, completely unredacted version, including the grand jury testimony which is
8:53 pm
unredacted, it'll bonn the front page of every newspaper in the country within eight hours area i think it is shocking the majority of this committee is going to ask the chief law enforcement officer of the united states to commit a crime. shocking. and there are no exceptions to what is to be disclosed in this unredacted version. that includes the grand jury testimony. and by citing the attorney general of the united states for contempt of congress, we're saying i'm standing up for the law, i am not going to break the law by complying with that part of your subpoena, shows an overreach on the part of the majority. if we are to be a government of laws and not of men or people,
8:54 pm
then we have to obey the law on this end of pennsylvania avenue as well as on the other end of pennsylvania avenue. and we are not doing that. what else has been redacted? there's been redactions relative to ongoing investigations. now do we want to let the people at the justice department -- the people that the justice department is investigating know all about the ongoing investigations? i don't think the public interest is served by that , whether somebody is guilty or not should be determined by the jury in a trial. that's what the american system is. that's what a lot of the bill of rights protects. you also have a protection against people who are prefer -- peripherally involved in that. they were just on the edges of this. they were interviewed and nothing came of the interview because they didn't have any evidence on what was being investigated. but there's a character assassination squad running
8:55 pm
around this town that even if you are on the periphery and went and voluntarily talked to the f.b.i. or whether mueller's -- mr. mueller's team, you know, you're going to end up having your good name and your reputation smeared even though you didn't do anything. so this is definitely an overreach. those reactions, redactions, excuse me, ended up being justified redactions. and i can understand the reluctance on the part of the attorney general or anybody else that watches the way this institution and the people who work here operate, that anything that is supposed to not get out in the public realm will get out in the public realm with a leak. and if this place weren't as leaky as a sieve, i would not be opposed to what the chairman is doing because i stood up for
8:56 pm
oversight during my entire career. in this body. but it is leaky as a sieve. and i think what we're doing here is forcing the attorney general to break the law, to place in jeopardy innocent people, you know, who are not involved in any of the things that mr. mueller ended up investigating and shaming ourselves in the process. my time is up. mr. nadler: for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee seek recognition? >> strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the attorney general has been contemptous of this committee and of the congress. he was contemptous last week when we he didn't come, couldn't dictate the terms of the hearing. he's contemptous this week when he won't bring forth papers. mr. cohen: the chairman tried to reach accommodation with the justice department.
8:57 pm
all cases in the past where such issues have been raised about grand jury testimony, the attorney general has gone with the majority party, the chairman, to the district court and asked that that information be released to the committee for its purposes. this attorney general has not done that. if he would have done that and tried to make reasonable accommodation to join us with going to judge howell we might not be in this situation but there's been nothing reasonable from this attorney general. mr. sensenbrenner talks about people on the periphery. we don't know who those people were but we know that bill barr decided who was -- which testimony would be redacted because people were on the periphery and to protect their reputations. this is the same person who gave a three and a half page summary of the mueller report that did not, according to special counsel mueller who knew it better than anyone else, reflect the character and spirit of the report and he knew mr. mueller objected to it for not being an
8:58 pm
accurate representation of his work and yet he did it and when asked about it by mr. kris in committee, he had no -- mr. crist in committee, he had no idea that mr. mueller or anybody in the special counsel investigation would have objected. that is not true. he lied when mr. crist asked him that question. that's beyond contempt, that's a lie. so we're depending on mr. barr's determining who was on the periphery. we're talking about the opportunity for congress to do its proper oversight as described in article 1 of the constitution, which is being trampled upon. the trump administration refuses to respond to any subpoenas. destroying article 1 and congress' prerogatives. now, we had a question, i think it was maybe the ranking member said, we should be doing legislation and how many signatures, how many bills have been signed into law by this committee? well, ask mitch mcconnell, who
8:59 pm
has declared that the senate is a graveyard for all legislation that comes from the house. we have passed outstanding legislation out of this committee, it's gone to the graveyard, where mitch mcconnell , who killed supreme court first nominees of the last president of the united states in his one-year before and frustrates the constitutional prerogative of the president to nominate members to the supreme court but now frustrates the other house by not having hearings whatsoever. somebody said we're afraid. yes, we're afraid. we're afraid of the loss of the rule of law. we're afraid of the loss of the power of congress to be an independent and co-equal branch of government. and we face that today if we don't stand up. somebody else said that russia, there are no connections, nothing with russian collusion, well the mueller report said there was sweeping and systematic efforts by the russians to influence our election and they were done so
9:00 pm
to help trump. and the mueller report showed lots of connections between the. and the mueller report showed lots of connections between the trump campaign and russia, lots of contacts and didn't -- but didn't show that he had all of the elements to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they conspired together. there is a big difference between not having connections and guilt beyond reasonable doubt. when mr. trump gets on the telephone with mr. putin and has whereinute conversation we can see on a phone call he smiled at him and gets flattered and never broaches the subject of russian interference in our next election or russian interference whatsoever. that was one of the prime parts of the mueller report the and that ourrfered intelligence officials told us in the fbi has told us and they do it in 2018 and they will
9:01 pm
more in 2020. our president didn't mention it to mr. putin. that is scary. we are afraid of interference in the 2020 elections and we need to be. we have got a man who has been suggested might be financially dependent on the russians. why would he be? he lost over $1 billion in the 1980's and 1990's. no bank would loan him anything. if it were not for him being president he would be in prison with michael cohen today as individual one and unstructured to justice, we are in danger, we need to respond and ask for the united states of america. i yield back the balance of my time. for what purpose does the gentleman of texas seek recognition? >> to strike the last word. >> the gentleman is recognized.
9:02 pm
>> i am really hearing warning from a once great judiciary committee. 2006, i sawm, 2005, chairman as a privacy rights champion, for civil rights, for fourth amendment rights, fifth somethingrights, and dramatically has changed over the years. there was concern back then about too much power through the fisa courts, through the patriot act, and we shared a number of those concerns. and now this committee, majority, is on the wrong side of a very important historic time. historic time. we've never had the intelligence community, the f.b.i., people at he top of the d.o.j., abugse
9:03 pm
their powers to create a case against a president where there was none. where assets were actually used to try to set up members of the trump campaign when there was no case. to try to create a case. we ought to be all over that. we ought to be demanding answers from the fisa judge or judges who were either a, con tent to have fraud committed against their courts, or were complicit. maybe it was peter strzok's buddy that he bragged about in his texts that was going to be e fisa judge that signed warrants where there was no probable cause of anything. this was an attempted coup and
9:04 pm
history is bringing that into focus more and more clearly. and what does this committee do about the abuses, the attempted coup? it comes in and decides, we're going to go after the attorney general who is trying to clean up the mess. christopher way sure hasn't. instead of asking from the intel community, let us see the 100% certain proof you have that hillary clinton's personal server was hacked by china, no, he covers it up, we still haven't seen it. they didn't ask to see it. there is a disaster that has occurred in our justice system and this committee has oversight responsibilities and we are abusing those. this motion for contempt is not
9:05 pm
eing done in good faith. i'm not going to call anybody on this committee the names that my colleague from tennessee just did in violation of our rules of decorum. , we know that this committee majority is not acting in good faith. how? because they're moving for contempt for an attorney general failing to turn over material that this majority, at least some, maybe it's just the staff, but some people know that you can't hold someone in contempt, you can vote to do that, but you can't be in contempt for failing to produce things that are illegal for you to produce. how do we know? somebody over there knows that this is wrong -- how do we know
9:06 pm
somebody other there knows this is wrong? there was an offer, look, attorney general barr if you'll join us in going to court and getting a court order so that we can get the grand jury proceedings in evidence, when we'll disregard the contempt. well, that's evidence of a state of mind by the majority that at least somebody over there knows, you cannot be in con tempt for failing to produce what -- in contempt for failing to produce what would be illegal to produce without a court order. they're on the wrong side of history. and there is no joy here in seeing the abuses. i hope and pray literally for the day we can join forces and quit trying to push this idea of an attempted coup and uncover the abuses that have truly gone on. my time has expired.
9:07 pm
the committee's has too. mr. nadler: the gentlelady from pennsylvania, for what purpose does the gentlelady seek recognition? >> i move to strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentlelady is recognized. >> thank you. it's easy to lose focus when the white house and our colleagues across the aisle engage in what-aboutism or what is the distraction of the day or even misleading legal arguments. nobody is asking the attorney general to december obey the law. we're asking the attorney general to obey the law and produce the mueller report and the supporting documentation. the underlying evidence. that we've been requesting far couple of months now and that the american people have been awaiting for two years. why is this important? if you think there's no collusion and no obstruction you haven't read the mueller report. ms. scanlon: i admit it's not an easy read but it clearly states there was coordination, there's evidence of coordination, it clearly states there are multiple instances of
9:08 pm
obstruction of justice and it clearly refers that over to congress to deal with. over 700 federal prosecutors have now reviewed that evidence, just the redacted evidence, not even the underlying evidence, and stated unequivocally that it shows multiple instances that would be felonies if it was anyone other than a sitting president. and that's the reason why mueller didn't charge. he says in his report it was a sitting president under the rules i'm operating under, i couldn't file charges. that's why it's congress' job to do something about it. and that's why we're staying focused on our job. i'm not joyful about this i'm not afraid of where it takes us. what i am is profoundly saddened. that we're in a position where we have an administration that is stone walling, yes, even acting in contempt of not just congress, not just the rule of law, but the american people.
9:09 pm
and with that, i yield back. >> mr. chairman. mr. nadler: who seeks recognition? for what purpose does the gentleman -- >> move to strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentleman is recognized. >> bill barr is following the law and what's his reward? democrats will hold him in contempt. i don't think today is about getting information. i don't think it's about getting the unredacted mueller report. i don't think last week's hearing was about having the staff question the attorney general. i think it's all about trying to destroy bill barr because democrats are nervous he's going to get to the bottom of everything. he's going to find out how and why this investigation started in the first place. mr. junior dan: never forget what bill barr said a few weeks ago, 3 1/2 weeks ago when he testified in front of the senate finance committee he said a lot of important things but he said four very interesting things. first he said there was a failure of leadership at the upper echelon, term he used, upper echelon of the f.b.i. we all know that's the case. director comey has been fired, deputy director mccabe fired, lied three times under oath
9:10 pm
according to the inspector general. f.b.i. counsel jim baker demoted, left under investigation by the justice department. lisa paige demoted and left. peter strzok, deputy head of counterintelligence, demote and fired. peter strzok, the guy who ran the clinton investigation and the russia investigation. there was certainly a failure of leadership at the upper echelon of the f.b.i. second thing the attorney general said three and a half weeks ago in front of the senate finance committee. spying did occur. said it twice. yes, spying did occur. third, he said, there's a basis for my concern about the spying that took place. and maybe the most interesting thing, two terms he used, frankly i find frightening, he said there was in his judgment, he thinks there may have been unauthorized surveillance and political surveillance. scary terms. we got to go back to january 3, 2017, senator schumer on the rachel ma dow show talking about
9:11 pm
then-president elect trump says. this if you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from sunday at getting back at you. now i don't know if the f.b.i. went after president trump in six ways, but i sure know they went after him in two ways. the first one is the new-famous dossier. on october 21, 2016, the f.b.i. used one party's opposition research document as the basis to go to a secret court to get a warrant to spy on the other party's campaign. that happened. democrat national committee, the clinton campaign paid a law firm who hired fusion g.p.s. who hired a foreigner, christopher steele who did what, talked to russians and put together this salacious, unverified document that became the basis to get a warrant to spy on the trump campaign. they did it. when they went to the court, they didn't tell them important things like who paid for it. they didn't tell them that christopher steele had told the f.b.i. and justice department that he was, quote, desperate to
9:12 pm
stop trump. and they didn't tell the court that triffer steele had been fired by the f.b.i. because he's out talking to the press. they did that. and second, just last thursday, just last thursday, "new york times" story, f.b.i. sent investigator posing as an assistance to meet with the trump aide in 2016. f.b.i. sent someone in, pretending to be somebody else, to talk with george papadopoulos who was with the trump campaign. you know what they call that? you know what they call that? called spying. they did it. they did it, they did it twice. who knows how much more. and what i know is bill barr said he's going to get to the bottom of it and think about the term he used again. this is important. political surveillance. the united states of america. i will not yield. think about that term. he's going to get to the bottom -- he said he's going to put a team together and investigate all of. this this is critical.
9:13 pm
and never forget the guy who ran this investigation, peter strzok, ran the clinton investigation, and then launched and ran the trump-russia investigation, never forget what he said. trump should lose 100 million to zero. we need an insurance policy. told lisa paige, don't worry, lee, is a we'll stop trump. this is what bill barr wants to investigate. as my colleagues have said, this is the house judiciary committee, with the history this committee has in protecting fundamental liberties and protecting the constitution. last week there was another important document. sent to the attorney general. i want to read a couple of sentences. under our system of government, unelected executive branch officers and intelligence agency personnel are supposed to answer to the person elected by the people. the president and not the other way. -- not the other way around. this is not a democrat or republican issue it's a matter of having a government responsible to the people, to we the people. in a partisan -- and the -- in
9:14 pm
the partisan commotion surrounding the mueller report it would be well to remember that what can be done to a president can be done to any of us. and this committee is supposed to look out for that fundamental fact more than anything else and we are not do that today. i yield back. mr. nadler: i would simply observe that to his credit, mr. jordan has been second to none to the g for access materials we're asking for for the -- simply asking, does he still supporting his own request for -- that the committee and congress be given access to the entire report and the underlying information? mr. jordan: consistent with the law. i would ask the chairman, my understanding is mr. mueller is going to be here next week. you're going to get to ask the guy who wrote the whole
9:15 pm
document, why don't you hold off on this contempt until we meet the guy who wrote the thing, spend 22 months and $35 million, a whole bunch of democrat lawyers putting it together. why don'tuate to ask him next week before we do this contempt resolution? mr. nadler: essentially because it would be useful to read the material before we have him in front of us. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? >> i move to strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentleman is recognized. mr. bishop: thank you, mr. chairman. for most people in america the end of the mueller investigation did not equal the end of the story. the american people want to see and hear the full story and they deserve to -- mr. johnson: the american people want to see and hear the full story and they deserve to -- deserve to do so. mr. mueller intended the people
9:16 pm
to have the full story he did so in his unredacted summaries for the obstruction and russian influence investigations and what happened when he issued his did , william barr something unprecedented. he put together his own four-page summary which was misleading, which failed to properly and adequately and accurately characterize the conclusions of the mueller investigators. he did that, he waited for about a month while that narrative marinated among the american people, and it was reduced down four words no collusion, no obstruction. and they ran with that for a month before finally the
9:17 pm
redacted report was issued. by bob barr. but before he issued the report, two hours before he issued the report he had a press conference to again summarize the mueller report findings. again he failed to accurately portray and represent those results. and so finally the redacted report was revealed to congress and to the american people and the american people and congress saw clearly that bob barr was a part of the president's ongoing obstruction. obstructed the russia investigation. he obstructed all matters that mueller was investigating. and now he's trying to obstruct congress and the american people in finding out what's in that
9:18 pm
report and what is very troublesome, as my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are aiding and abetting them in their coverup. so still, the full results of the mueller investigation are not known. congress, the house of representatives, the judiciary committee, has demanded an unredacted report that should be available to all of the members judiciary the house committee. the attorney general barr has stonewalled as he has been instructed to do by the president. and he's a willing participant in this, mind you. they are obstructing the american people's ability to understand what happened. they're hiding behind rule 60 of the federal rules of evidence which make grand jury
9:19 pm
proceedings secret. but as my colleague from wisconsin should know, there are ive exceptions listed in 6-e disclosure of grand jury information he knows that. there's no reason for the american people to be misled about that and bob barr -- william barr knows that also and he also knows that previous attorneys general in his situation have gone to congress -- have begun to the courts with the house of representatives and obtained grand jury materials when necessary. and so this is all part of a coverup. and it is up to this committee to ensure that we get that report because we have lawful responsibilities, constitutional
9:20 pm
responsibilities, to engage in, one of which is possibly impeachment. how can we impeach without getting the documents? so we must get this document, the american people expect us to do it. hearings cant, our continue and lead to whatever they may lead to, including impeachment. so i ask my colleagues on the other side to stop obfuscating and start working with us to carry out your constitutional responsibilities and with that, i yield back. mr. nadler: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> move to strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. glad to see the microphone is working this week. my good friend from georgia just asked the operative question, how can we impeach if we don't get the documents? how can we impeach if we don't
9:21 pm
get the documents. ladies and gentlemen, this hearing is not about the attorney general, it's not about the mueller report, 92% of which everyone in america has had the opportunity to read. mr. gets: it's not about the fact that even the portions the american people haven't been able to read, the chairman has been able to read, had he chosen. this is all about impeaching the president. why don't they just say it. why don't they just jump to the impeachment proceedings like their media overlords are telling them to do? the reason is that the american people don't support impeachment. and it's easy to understand why. they went and elected donald trump. president of the united states. and i don't think people are going to support impeaching a president who is doing so well. i mean you've got 3.2% growth in the economy, the trump economy is hot. and the reason we're doing so well is a consequence of the president's policies. so at a time when my democrat colleagues are focused on the next election and not solutions to the problems facing americans, they can't attack the president's policies.
9:22 pm
people are doing well. so typically they roll next to identify -- identity politics, based on what you look like, who you pray to or who you love you can't support republicans. but african-americans are doing better. hispanics are doing better. women are doing better. we are seeing a rising tide that's lifting all boats in this country. so now we have this effort, not to argue with policies, not to typically go to the identity politics that functions as the organizing principle of today's democratic party. they have to delegitimize the guy that won, delegitimize the guy people voted for. but they don't have the guts to do it directly so they're going after the attorney general. the gentleman from georgia in his last remark said we are hiding behind the rules. hiding behind the rules. these are federal laws that dictate what the attorney general can and cannot do. we're not hiding behind the rules, we just like to follow them. by the way, not -- it's not following the rules that got us in trouble in the first place. when the inspector general
9:23 pm
testified before us he said it's during the informations of hillary clinton and donald trump, you saw a one-off there, a vigse of protocol there. he attorney general said never before had he seen a circumstance where he same team investigating hillary clinton would also investigate the other person involved in the 2016 presidential contest. about a month ago in this committee i laid out the stages of grief. denial. anger. bargaining. depression. acceptance. i think folks watching at home can probably follow along and see where we're headed first my democratic cheeks were in denial. when they saw there was no collusion after saying for 202 -- for 22 months that the president was an agent of the russian government, after saying for 22 month there was actual evidence of collusion, they were in defile when they saw the conclusion that there wasn't. then there was anger. it had to be the attorney general's fault. mueller didn't make a decision
9:24 pm
on obstruction, somebody had to. the attorney general did so they got mad at him. had this whole kerfluffle of anger. now we know the third step. bargaining. well, mr. attorney general, you've given us 92% of the mueller report. but we have to bargain for the remaining 8% because that's where we think the action is. well, mr. attorney general, you spent five hours before the senate judiciary committee, three of our presidential candidates got to question you, you offered to come before the house judiciary committee, you offered to come for an additional hour of questioning but we have to bargain so our staff lawyers can ask you questions. now, i don't think it's a good sign that the next sign after bargaining is depression. so i feel for my democrat cliges but after that we get to acceptance and that's something i'm looking forward to. because there are some really good ideas that my democratic colleagues have once they get to acceptance on the no russia collusion thing my friend the gentleman from rhode island has excellent ideas about how to
9:25 pm
change the way consumers interface with big tech companies. my colleague from the state of new york is right, that if the first step act is the only step act, then there's -- then that would be a bad thing. we need to do more on criminal justice reform. my colleague who is not with us from california, mr. swalwell, he's got great ideas to unlock potential cures with medical cannabis reform. but we're not doing any of those things. by the way i bet a bunch of my friends on the other side of the aisle low-key wish their actual bills that would impact the lives of americans would get garbage.tead of this the obama administration ran an intel against the trump campaign. now the democrats need to get over it. i yield back. >> mr. chairman. mr. chairman. i move to strike the last word. . nadler: the gentleman from florida -- for what purpose does
9:26 pm
the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> move to strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentleman is recognized. >> we're here today because we're witnessing the breakdown of the foundation of our nation's constitutional order. that's why we're here today. in 1974, u.s. v. nixon, the supreme court warned of moments like this when they said once executive privilege is asserted, co-equal branches of the government are set on a collision course. the court went on to explain that such a collision and i quote, places courts in the awkward position of evaluating the executives' claims of confidentiality and autonomy and pushes to the fore difficult questions of separation of power and checks and balances. these occasions for constitutional confrontation between the two branches are likely to be avoided whenever possible. why are we on this collision course today? because the attorney general of the united states refused to provide information that is not privileged and is subject to the committee's subpoena. mr. deutch: the committee issued
9:27 pm
a subpoena for information gathered by the special counsel. there's no privilege for this information. executive privilege is not a cloak of secrecy that drapes across our nation's capitol from the white house to the justice department. yet last night the attorney general threatened a blanket privilege claim over material that he knows are not privileged. as retribution for the markup we're holding right now. and this morning he asked the president to do just that. it's striking how empty that gesture is. chairman nadler pointed this out last night. the attorney general's request of a blanket privilege claim is empty of any credibility. it's empty of merit. it's empty of any legal or factual support. the attorney general ordered his staff to send what he would define as a sn timbings y letter last night but those -- a snity letter last night but those wrds
9:28 pm
were empty. to make sure the president gets good advice and can make decisions without interference from congress but that's not at stake here. we're asking for information that is no longer held in confidence among the president and his closest advisors. we're just asking for the truth. the truth that many already know but is being with held from the public. investigators know the truth. private attorneys know the truth. the ranking member of this committee has seen it, the privilege no longer applies. what does apply is the american people's interest in the truth and the need for this committee to do its job. to protect our elections. to protect our national security. to hold the president accountable. and to draft legislation to ensure that no one, not the attorney general, not the president, is above the law. yet the attorney general continues to mislead the american people. and after being caught in a lie in his testimony to congress he has now joined the president in
9:29 pm
this ongoing obstruction of the house. congressional hearings and document requests are normal. they're normal. this committee holds an oversight hearing with the attorney general every year. that is normal. but this? this collision course the president and attorney general set us on is not normal. this collision is the definition of a constitutional crisis. and the breadth of this obstruction is beyond anything in our nation's history. the president has said that mueller should not testify here. he has ordered without authority don mcgann to refuse to testify here. he has ordered in violation of the law that the treasury secretary continue to hide his tax rurps. he has blocked or delayed more than 30 requests from congress. he has blocked testimony about the security clearances granted to his family members. he has blocked testimony about
9:30 pm
the humanitarian disaster caused by the trump family separation policy at our southern border. this sweep regular pudeuation of congress and congressional investigations is unprecedented and it is unconstitutional. this is a government of, by, and for the people. the attorney general of the united states is stonewalling the people. he is misleading the people. and he is working, actively working to suppress the truth. i don't understand, still, every time we have one of these hearings, how it is that none of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle seem at all concerned about russia's attack on our democracy and their desire to do it again. i close with this. the mueller report finishes by reminding us that the protection of the criminal justice system from corrupt acts by any person including the president accords with the fundamental principle of our government that no person in this country is so high that
9:31 pm
he is above the law. we will continue to assert our oversight authority out of a duty to maintain the checks and balances that preserve the powers of separation and co-equal branches of government, failure to do so would be a failure of our constitutional system of government. i yield back. mr. nadler: for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado seek recognition? >> i have an amendment at the desk. mr. nadler: the clerk will eport the amendment. >> mr. chairman, i reserve a point of order. mr. nadler: the gentleman reserves a point of order.
9:32 pm
>> mr. chairman. mr. nadler: for what purpose does the gentleman from louisiana seek recognition? >> move to strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentleman -- >> i withdraw my amendment. it's not ready at this point. mr. nadler: appreciate that. the gentleman from louisiana is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we have heard some extraordinary claims this morning. i've been taking notes as my colleagues have commented on all of this congresswoman sheila jackson lee said the executive branch is, quote, taking a wrecking ball to the
9:33 pm
constitution. and mr. chairman, you said that the d.o.j. doesn't recognize congress as a co-equal branch of government or acknowledge our oversight responsibility. mr. johnson: mr. cohen said we're trampling upon article 1. anyone who looks at these facts objectively knows the truth is exactly the opposite. the attorney general and d.o.j. are objecting to this charade based upon the rule of law. they are trying to protect the integrity of our institutions. mr. chairman, you said that the preliminary protective assertion of executive privilege this morning buzz a last-minute outburst. exactly the subpoena out of -- o-- the opposite of that in fact the d.o.j. letter sent to you this morning says to you, and i quote, regrettably, you, mr. chairman, have made this assertion necessary by your insistence upon scheduling a premature contempt vote. the letter said you've terminated our ongoing negotiations and abandoned the accommodation process. as we have repeatedly explained, the attorney general could not
9:34 pm
comply with your subpoena in its current form without violating the law. court rules and court orders and without threatening the independence of the department of justice's prosecutorial authority. that's a quote from the letter . the letter the attorney general sent to the president this morning says, quote, the committee demands all the investigator's files, which consist of millions of pages of classified and unclassified documents, bearing upon more than two dozen criminal cases and investigations, many of which are ongoing. these materials include law enforcement information, information about sensitive intelligence srses -- sources and meths, and grand jury information the department is prohibited from disclose big law. that's the letter the attorney general sent to the president explaining all this. look, we're attorneys on here, most of us are attorneys on this committee. what does the law say? the courts have repeatedly anirmed rules on all. this april 5, just last month,
9:35 pm
the u.s. court of appeals for the d.c. circuit ruled in mckeever vs. barr, the district court mace disclose grand jury materials only where they have positive authority to do so, particularly through the exceptions of grand jury secrecy listed in rule 6-e. the court of appeals explained the vital interests, they said, that the rule of grand jury secrecy seeks to protect, include preserving the candor of witnesses called tpwhever grand jury. not alerting the target of investigation who might flee or interfere with the grand jury and preserving the rights of a suspect who might later be exonerated. these are critically important principles and traditions for us to uphold and it is again the law. the chairman can file suit for access to the 6-e material but instead he blasts the attorney general for not joining him in doing. so why hasn't the chairman taken that step? i think i know why. perhaps because he knows that his rationale for demanding the unredacted report is wholly
9:36 pm
insufficient. this brears peting. the chairman claim he is needs the full unredacted report as part of the march 4, 2019, information into the 81 individuals and organizations related in some way to president trump. let's make a couple of facts clear. the investigation, we don't know if it's still ongoing. we haven't heard much about it lately. the lack of activity surrounding the investigation makes clear, the majority is not interested in sur pew -- in pursuing for for legislative purpose, this is about scoring political points. the chairman's public comments surrounding the need for the full report are almost exclusively focused on obstruction but another important fact, 99.9% of the obstruction volume is available for the chairman to view but he hasn't done that only six lines in over 182 pamplees -- pages is redacted in the obstruction volume. this is not about seeking the truth. it's about raw partisan politics. our democratic colleagues have weaponized our critical oversight responsibility. and moving today to hold the a.g. in contempt is not only
9:37 pm
premature, unprecedented and unwarranted, frackly it is shameful. i think we believe the american people deserve better. i hope that they'll review the facts. i hope they'll look at the correspondence. i hope they'll get beyond the cloud of partisan politics and understand why we are taking the stand today that we are. yield back. mr. nadler: for what purpose does the gentleman from louisiana seek recognition? >> mr. chairman, i would move to strike the last word. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman -- mr. nadler: the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. chairman, i would just say that today is a very serious day. today is a very regrettable day. unfortunately, we have an administration that is choosing to have a temper tantrum that is designed to accomplish one thing. mr. richmond: and that one thing is to never let the real facts of the mueller report come to light.
9:38 pm
to never let the american people hear the whole story. the other side would have us congratulate them for telling 92% of the story. i wish when i was a child i could get away with telling 92% of the story to my mother. i would always tell the same good 92%. and i would leave all the bad deeds, lies, and crimes in the 8% that i don't tell. so you get no profile in courage. you don't get the nobel peace prize and you certainly don't get any award for honesty for giving out 92% of the whole tory to the american people. but the real story of what we're doing today is that the president needed something to hang his hat on to prevent anyone who had anything to do with compiling the report from
9:39 pm
putting their hand on a bible and taking an oath to tell the truth. and that's what we're going to ultimately have, is the president obstructing the testimony of everyone involved in the mueller report. while he tells the national people and continues to promote and articulate and push and offer lies and fake news about the contents of the report without ever letting the american people see the whole truth and nothing but the truth, i will tell the american people that are watching today, that we have a solemn obligation to the constitution. we have a solemn obligation to defend our democracy. to protect the homeland. to protect the right of the
9:40 pm
american citizens to have a free, open, fair election without the interference of any foreign countries, especially russia. the bad news is that this is -- this will never be neat, this will never be clean. this will never be easy. this will never be convenient. this will be messy. but the one thing that the american people should know is that we're here at the right time to protect our democracy. and that the democrats are not going to give up on our constitutional duty. we're not going to run or abandon this country or our citizens. we will never run. we will never retreat when we're fighting to save our country. for the messiness, it will be
9:41 pm
that way sometimes. but the fight is necessary to protect this great country and to continue to move it toward being a more perfect union. there are too many people in this country's history that have given their live -- their life, blood, sweat, and tears, to get us to be the great country that we are today. we will not let one administration, certainly not one person, we will not let one party be enablers to the criminal acts we see over and over again. so just so that i can deal and speak in facts so people won't just think that, there the democrats go again, there have been 199 criminal acts that have come out of the investigation. there have 37, 34 individuals charged with crimes. there have been three companies
9:42 pm
charged with crimes. so let's just look at the orbit around this administration and see how fake this is. the former campaign manager, in jail. former national security advisor, in jail. the president's personal lawyer, in jail. this is not a witch hunt. if it if it looks like obstruction, sounds like obstruction, smells like obstruction, it's obstruction. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. mr. nadler: who seeks recognition? for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? >> move to strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. last week we saw an attempt to change the rules of this committee that defied the historical precedent by applying
9:43 pm
only impeachment proceedings to attorney general william barr. mr. biggs: today we're zipping right along and we know that my colleagues on the other side have the vote, they're going to try to hold this attorney general in contempt. look erested to see the on the judge's face when my colleagues from the other side present these facts. the court's going to say, what did you do? were you in negotiations? well, we were, but we kind of scuttled that. because we refuse to hear from the attorney general because we changed the rules, judge, we changed the rules so the attorney general didn't come in. he offered to let us view the less redacted report, but i didn't do that. i didn't even bother to go down there and look at that report.
9:44 pm
he offered to have staff members view the less redacted report with me. no, i said no, we're not going to do that either. he permitted us to take notes on the less redacted report and we rejected that as well. he asked us to continue to negotiate, see if we could work out our differences. but i rejected that as well. we attempted to compel him to respond in spite of federal law on rule 6-e, the grand jury material we've heard so much about today. we knew that there were some other witnesses that were important that might have shed light on this as well. but we didn't hold a hearing with d.a.g. rosenstein. we didn't hold a hearing on mueller before we issued our contempt citation. we didn't seek closed-door confidential classified hearings
9:45 pm
with any of these individuals. in fact, you know what we did? we undercut our whole argument by making the argument to mr. barr saying, look, mr. barr, why don't you just join us, why don't you just join us in asking the court to authorize release of 6-e material? what does that do? it says quite frankly that the folks that will be sitting there before a court, propounding execution of a contempt citation, they're going to have the great privilege of saying, yeah, we put a sort of dam close over william barr. we created a hobson choice. we said, guess what, you either get held in contempt or you violate federal law. because that's just the way we do things in judiciary committee these days. that's just the way it is.
9:46 pm
that is unprecedented and will hold this committee up to drishes. as my colleague, mr. johnson, from louisiana, said, there was a case that just came out last month which said, and this gets to my colleague from georgia who said, you can't be misled. there are exceptions. that's right. and the court said you must fit within one of those exceptions before you can release rule 6-e aterial. nothing we're doing here today fits into the rule 6-e exceptions. there's not an authorization under the 6-e provisions right now. so there's going to be a problem and i can't wait to see the judge, the look on the judge's face when these guys try to explain, we're trying to pigeon hole into something that's 6-e. then i'll close in this area.
9:47 pm
when i hear that the wrecking ball is being taken to the onstitution, that it's being , that a tnd breakdown of constitutional order, these kind of arguments made over and over again, i can't help but say, if you think this administration, this president ptsd, is so dangerous -- president, is so dangerous, why aren't you acting on the many resolutions for impeachment you've already introduced? mr. johnson was pretty clear this whole thing is about impeachment. well, take it to the american people, take it -- file a resolution, you've already filed them. act on them. with that, my time is up. thank you. mr. nadler: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> i to move strike the last word.
9:48 pm
the chair: the gentleman -- mr. nadler: the gentleman is recognized. >> i expect that when the court does hear this challenge, if it comes to, that i expect that she will rule in favor of the constitutional separation and checks and balances and our oversight function. mr. jeffries: i really don't understand the arguments that have been articulated by my colleagues. as i understand it, there have been three different reasons that have been suggested for opposing our effort to simply uphold our article one responsibility as a separate and co-equal branch of government. one, that this whole thing is a politically inspired witch hunt. nonsense. two, they want all of a sudden to protect the reputational interests of innocent americans. nonsense. three, this blanket assertion of executive privilege, nonsense. let's take all three. first of all, 17 different intelligence agencies have
9:49 pm
concluded that russia interfered with our election, attacked our democracy for the sole purpose of artificially placing someone at 1600 pennsylvania avenue, they were successful. and that's also what the mueller report shows. this is not a politically inspired witch hunt. i'm confused. every single person at the helm of this investigation is a republican. the person who initiated the investigation, former f.b.i. director james comey, republican. the f.b.i. director who replaced him and presided over the investigation, christopher wray, republican. the person who decided to appoint a special counsel to preside over the investigation and then monitored it at the helm of the department of justice, the deputy attorney general, rod rosenstein, republican.
9:50 pm
the person who actually conducted the investigation, a war hero, a law enforcement professional, bob mueller, lifetime republican. who is the attorney general going to investigate? the republican party? the notion that it's a politically inspired witch hunt is just one of 10,000 or more misrepresentations that have been spun out of 1600 pennsylvania avenue. it's a shame that you tchuse adopt it and parrot it. second thing, reputational interest? really? many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle actually perpetrated a witch hunt as it relates to securing more than 800,000 documents from this very same department of justice without regard to the reputational interest of americans who have served this country. you weren't concerned with the reputational interest of hillary clinton. in fact, the top republican said that the sole objective was to
9:51 pm
undermine her. the former first lady and secretary of state. you weren't concerned with the reputational interest of peter strzok and lisa paige. in fact, you embarrassed those two. they made mistakes but you embarrassed those two. you weren't concerned with the reputational interest of andy mccabe. phony argumentat to us. this very same department of justice turned over 800,000 pages of documents but they won't turn over a single page pursuant to a legitimately issued subpoena? and then you want to assert executive privilege, are you kidding me? you can't exert executive privilege after the fact. when the closest advisors to the president have already spoken to team mueller. wait a second.
9:52 pm
let's try to go through this. white house council don mccann talked to mueller. there's no assertion of executive privilege. white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders talked to mueller. no assertion of executive privilege. white house communications director, hope hicks, talked to mueller. there was no assertion of executive privilege. it's a phony argument. the house is a separate and co-equal branch of government. we're not a wholly owned subsidiary of the trump administration. we don't work for donald trump. we work for the american people. we have a constitutional responsibility to serve as a check and balance on an out-of-control executive branch. the attorney general is totally out of control. he will be held in contempt of congress. yield back.
9:53 pm
mr. nadler: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you. mr. chairman, this subpoena puts the attorney general in a legal catch 22. to comply with the subpoena he must break the law. if he obeys the law, he must disobey the subpoena. every person on this committee knows that the law for bids release of grand -- forbids release of grand jury testimony. mr. mcclintock: congress is the law making barrage branch of government. this committee feels it's so important to see the grand jury testimony, can change the law. -- it can change the law. but it cannot order the highest ranking law enforcement official in our country to break that law. the american people can plainly see what's going on here. for 2 1/2 years they have been force-fed a brazen and monstrous lie that the president of the united states is a traitor who's loyal to a foreign and hostile
9:54 pm
power. robert mueller was given extraordinary powers to investigate this. he appointed one of the most partisan and biased teams of investigators that has ever been appointed to substantiate these charge. they spent 22 months and $25 million in direct and component costs doing so. they employed some of the most abusive tactics. among them perjury traps and threatening family members in order to turn up some shred of evidence could confirm this narrative. the trump administration gave them every document they requested and even waived attorney-client privilege to make the president's personal attorney available for 30 hours of testimony. though the president had the clear constitutional authority to terminate or interfere with the investigation, he did not. after all that, they were forced to admit that there's not a shred of evidence to support this lie. we're now learning it was predicated on a fake dossier fabricated by the clinton campaign and was used by the
9:55 pm
highest ranking officials of the department of justice, the f.b.i., our intelligence agencies and perhaps even the white house. first to try to influence the outcome of our election, and after failing that, to undermine the duly elected president of the united states and tear this country apart. now that lie is laid bare for all to see. the left now has to think up a new lie and think it up quick. thus in a heartbeat the lie changed from collusion to obstruction. even though the administration did nothing to interfere or impede the investigation, the president is guilty of obstruction just because he complained about the injustice of it all behind closed doors in words that amounted to no action whatsoever. they know this lie won't hold up under scrutiny either. so what to do? well the answer to that question is before us right now. even though there was no legal requirement for the mueller report to be released publicly, the attorney general has released it with the sole
9:56 pm
exception of material he is legally forbidden to release. 92% of the document. he's offered the chairman and ranking member of this committee the opportunity to review the additional redactions that can be reviewed in a classified setting. leaving only about six lines out of 182 pages. but instead of reviewing that information or changing the law to allow for its public release, they order the attorney general to do what he legally cannot do and then charge there's a coverup. they imply the smoking gun is now in that six lines and over 182 pages that cannot be legally shared, safe in the knowledge they'll never be called out on it. and they hope that there will be enough of a smoke screen to cover the perversion of our justice and intelligence agencies for political purposes under the obama administration. one other point. last week the democrats voted to change the rules of the
9:57 pm
committee to allow members to hide behind committee council to challenge the attorney general. mr. chairman, we don't hire people to speak for us on the house floor and we shouldn't hire people to speak for us in committee. only members of the house should speak in house proceedings and there's a reason for that. we're responsible and accountable for what we say in public forums, in this public forum, hired help is not. the only rightful exception is when we sit as a tribunal on impeachment because then we're sithing as a jury to hear evidence. any exceptions from this makes a mockery of representative democracy based on the direct accountability that representatives of the people must have to those who elected them. i yield back. mr. nadler: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. who seeks recognition? for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island seek recognition? mr. cicilline: i move to strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentleman is recognized. mr. cicilline: thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank you, chairman nadler, for your extraordinary
9:58 pm
patience and determination and respectful manner in which you have sought to obtain the information that the subpoena requires. i think we all recognize that you have extended yourself above and beyond to try to accommodate the attorney general. but we are here for one very important reason and i think people should recognize that this is a deadly serious moment. the rule of law and our basic institutions that have made our democracy the envy of the world are being tested. the american people are watching and freedom-speaking -- freedom-seeking people around the world are watching. they're seeing whether or not our commitment to the rule of law, to the notion that we are a country of laws, not of men, and women, and that no one is above the law, including the president of the united states, that it reminds us that we fought our independence to be free from a monarchy so kyo live in a democracy -- so we could live in a democracy. we see a president who is attempting to destroy basic institutions of government by
9:59 pm
directing his attorney general and others in administration to stonewall the american people. this is a crisis. now, it's sad today that attorney general barr who has refused to comply with a subpoena, that behavior is unfortunately consistent with his overcampaign to protect the president of the united states. president trump wanted his roy cohen and he got his roy cohen. the attorney general has demonstrated he understands loyalty to the president rather than the oath to the constitution. the attorney general tried to shape the narrative of the russia investigation from day one when he wrote a four-page document which was grossly misleading, where he took four pieces of four different sentences to capture a 400-page report. the report also directly contradicts several statements of the attorney general during his press conference which he had before a single person was allowed to read the report. he said the president fully cooperated. we know the president refused to be interview and his associates
10:00 pm
destroyed evidence relative to the investigation. he also publicly cleared the trump campaign of coordinating with russia while entirely leaving out the critical finding in the mueller report that the trump campaign was fully aware and expected to benefit electoraly from information stolen and released through the russian campaign. since mr. barr has -- since mr. mueller has completed the investigation, mr. barr has refused to release the full report to congress, even after the issuance of a lawful subpoena. he's also refused to provide any of the underlying evidence. he's refuse to do anything other than provide political cover to the president. in fact, when he was asked directly about his four-page summary, he even said that he wasn't aware what have mr. mueller's position was on his summary and we learned later that mr. mueller had written a letter criticizing his characterization and had a 15-minute phone call doing the same and mr. barr never shared that as well. so we see an attorney general
10:01 pm
who has set out to protect the president at all costs and now we learn this morning in a letter from mr. barr that he's working with the president of the united states to try to provide a legal strategy to further obstruct justice and stonewall the american people by invoking executive privilege retroactively in a context where he knows it is not applicable. really in an effort to say, can we work together to try to prevent the american people from learning the full truth. and you know, it's kind of curious as the president said, complete exoneration. you think he would be rushing to get this report released. if it really was a complete exoneration. but we know it's not. and so this is a question for us to decide as a committee. are we going to allow the executive branch to decide for us what we will get to see in order to conduct congressional oversight? if it is up to the executive branch and they decide what witnesses we can call, what documents can be produced, they will have effectively
10:02 pm
extinguished the right of congressional oversight. we cannot allow that to happen. we are in fact here on behalf of the american people to get to the truth, to gather the facts so we can make informed judgments on how to proceed next and what action to take next. we have a responsibility to ensure that people who are served with a subpoena comply with it. whoever you are. no matter how important you think you are. we live in a democracy and everyone must be treated the same. this is a search for the truth to demonstrate no one is above the law, including the president of the united states and the attorney general of the united states. and that individuals must be held accountable for their misconduct. and so we have to gather up that evidence. i am saddened to hear my republican colleagues who think this is anything but that. this is our responsibility. we took an oath, our constituents and the american people are watching us, and the world is watching us. we must do the right thing, we must compel mr. barr to comply with a lawfully issued subpoena by committee and get to the work of oversight.
10:03 pm
finding the truth wherever it leads us and demonstrating most of all in this country, no one is above the law. including the president of the united states. with, that i yield back. -- with that, i yield back. mr. nadler: for what purpose does the gentlelady from alabama seek recognition? mrs. roby: i to move strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. roby: mr. chairman, we've heard over and over again how the attorney general has not accommodated this committee's demands. let's walk through the timeline. i ask unanimous consent that the full timeline be included in the record. mr. nadler: without objection. mrs. roby: on march 22, 2019, the attorney general immediately notified the chairman and ranking members of the house and senate committees on judiciary that he had received the confidential report from the special counsel. on march 24, 2019, two days later, the attorney janine formed congress of the special counsel's principle conclusions. on march 29, 2019, five days later, the attorney general updated congress on the department's review and outlined
10:04 pm
the four categories of redactions that the department with the special counsel's assistance intended to make prior to the public release of the confidential report. on april 18, 2019, less than a month after receiving the confidential report, the attorney general made the redacted version available to congress and the public. however, on april 18, 2019, the same day the attorney general released the confidential report and made the minimally redacted version of the confidential report available for review, chairman nadler issued a subpoena to the attorney general. on april 19, 2019, those house and senate democrats invited to review the minimally redacted confidential report wrote the department to refuse the attorney general's offer. to date not a single democrat, including chairman nadler, has reviewed the minimally redacted report. on may 1, 2019, the attorney general voluntarily appeared before the senate committee on judiciary providing more than
10:05 pm
five hours of testimony regarding the special counsel's investigation and confidential report. the attorney general had previously volunteered to appear before both the senate and house judiciary committees. on may 2, 2019, chairman nadler's extraordinary and unreasonable demand that congressional staffers question the attorney general, a cabinet secretary, in an oversight hearing, forced the attorney general to forego the hearing. on may 6, 2019, less than three weeks after issuing the subpoena, chairman nadler introduced a resolution to hold the attorney general in contempt. also on may 16, 2019, in an effort to accommodate the committee's interest, the department wrote chairman nadler emphasizing, quote, the department of justice continued willingness to engage in good faith with the committee on these issues consistent with his obligations under the law. end quote. the department offered to meet to, quote, negotiate an accommodation that meets the
10:06 pm
legitimate interest of each of our co-equal branches of the government, end quote. on may 7, 2019, the department met with the committee staff to offer additional accommodations in exchange for the committee postponing the scheduled contempt vote, including d.o.j. which significantly -- would significantly ease restrictions on the review of the less redacted report to allow designated members and staff to more easily review the report and confer with each other. d.o.j. would expeditiously bring the minimally redacted version of the confidential report to the house of representatives to facilitate the chairman's review. d.o.j. would meet next week to discuss the remainder of the committee's request, including prioritize requests for documents. d.o.j. also signaled it was open to further discussions and accommodations. this was done by d.o.j. in good faith. just hours later, democrats inexplicitly and unreasonably rejected these additional offers . committee democrats left d.o.j. ith no choice in this marlt.
10:07 pm
-- on this matter. the attorney general elected to follow the law. i yield back. mr. nadler: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> speak out of order for five minutes. strike the last word for five minutes. thank you, mr. chairman. mr. nadler: the last word is dual struck. the gentleman is recognized -- duly struck. the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. chairman, i want to remind everyone why we are here. we are here because a report chronicled an attack on america. we were attacked. mr. swalwell: by a foreign adversary. and we have an attorney general who refuses to give us the details of that attack. so what do you do when you have an attorney general who
10:08 pm
prejudged the investigation before he took the job, who refused to recuse himself once he took the job, who falsely accused the f.b.i. of spying on the trump campaign, who lied to congress, and failed to comply with a lawful subpoena, what do you do when someone conducts themselves that way? mr. chairman, you hold them in contempt. and i would go so far to say then you move to impeach him. and you do the same thing to anyone else who doesn't want to follow the law. and i'm not a fortune teller. but what this lawless -- but with this lawless administration, i imagine we're also going to see characters like steve mnuchin, who is also not following the law when it comes to the president's tax returns. and on this issue of executive privilege, mr. chairman, once it's waived, it is gone. it is gone forever. it was waived by don mcgann when he spilled the number of instances when donald trump obstructed justice. obstructed justice. that's a legal he's term for
10:09 pm
acted guilty -- league lease term for acted guilty a lot. this isn't about executive privilege. it's about burying the evidence, mr. chairman. if it was about executive privilege, the attorney general would not have offered you to be able to view the documents and then tell you that you can't tell anyone what you saw. i thank you for not taking the latest trump hush offer. we were attacked. we are in an information war with a foreign adversary. and i read the 200 pages of links between the trump campaign and the russians and i also notice what had i didn't read. not once did it say, by the way, all these contacts have ceased. by the way, all these people in the trump family, the trump business, the trump campaign, the trump administration, the trump transition, they even managed to work with the russians during the very narrow transition period. you give them 10 seconds,
10:10 pm
they'll find a way to find a russian. that's how it worked. nowhere in that report did it say, oh, by the way, these contacts ceased. no where in the report did it say, there is no longer an ongoing threat from russia. nowhere in the report did it say the russians have no further interest in interfering in america. that's why we need this report. i ask my colleagues, look at the person that you're going to such great lengths to protect. look at this pathetic person who stood at a press conference as our country was being attacked and said, russia, if you're listening, you'll be rewarded if you keep attacking. that's the person you want to protect? that's the person you want to break the law for? that individual? and what does this person do after a 400-page report comes out? he calls the leader of the country that attacked us, at his request. president trump called putin.
10:11 pm
they talked for 90 minutes. president trump described it as putin was smiling. that's your leader. the commander in cheat. he called the guy that attacked us. when we were attacked by japan, franklin roosevelt did not call the emperor of japan. when we were aaye tacked by al qaeda on september -- september 11, george bush did not call saddam hussein. and the president of the united states -- osama bin laden. and the president of the united states should only call vladimir putin for one reason, to tell him this will never be tolerated and he's going to unite the country to make sure that's true. the most basic function of a government is to protect its people from a foreign attack. if our president or the attorney general or his allies in congress are unable or unwilling to do that, then we don't have a government. fortunately we're not powerless anymore. the american people voted to put a balance of power on all of these abuses of power.
10:12 pm
and this committee is going to protect and defend america and it's going to start withholding this lawless attorney general -- with holding this lawless attorney general in contempt. and i yield back. mr. nadler: for what purpose does the gentlelady from arizona seek recognition? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i move to strike the last word. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. lesko: thank you. members and audience, you know, i ran for congress to make a difference and get things done. we have a lot of big issues that are problems that are going on in our nation. we have a border crisis. i'm from arizona. we have lots of humanitarian and border crisis going on. we need to work to improve the education system in our country. we need to work to improve our health care system. it's too expensive. and, you know, when i served nine years in the arizona state house and senate, we actually got big things done. i worked with my democrat
10:13 pm
colleagues and my republican colleagues and we got issues done and that's what the american people want us to do. they want us to work together to get things done. and this hearing today does nothing, nothing at all, to further that cause. in fact, you know, i think that my democrat colleagues are still in denial that the president was actually elected. i saw it on election night, i stayed up late in arizona. and saw the meltdown of some of the, you know, my democrat colleagues and the media. and then for two years, even before the election of president trump, for two years now there's been this nonstop saying by my democrat colleagues and others that, you know, somehow the trump campaign was colluding with russia. they even said they had evidence
10:14 pm
of it. they said it on tv over and over and over again it. turned out to not be true. so two years later you have the mueller report, says no collusion. no collusion. so instead of talking about that, which they've done for the last two years, now they're changing their tune. and so now it's all about obstruction of justice. well, let's review. and some of my colleagues have already gone through this. but attorney general barr released the mueller report. he didn't have to do that. it wasn't the law to do it. but he did it because he did it for the public interest, to release the mueller report. again, no collusion. then the department of justice offered for chairman nadler to review a less redacted version of the mueller report. chairman nadler refused. he has not gone. and in fact i think in the
10:15 pm
volume two, which is the obstruction of justice part, only .1%, .1% of the report is actually redacted. then attorney general barr agreed to testify right here in judiciary committee on may 2. and what happened? instead of us being able to hear from him and ask him questions, chairman nadler insisted that the staff, the staff should question the attorney general barr. which is unprecedented in this committee. you know, i believe, i don't know, i can't read his heart, but i believe this was done for headlines. i mean, here we had right there a blank chair, an open chair, ttorney ame tag of the a general barr and then we had a member from this committee eat chicken and pose with a ceramic chicken. i mean, this is all political theater and political show that makes for, you know, good tv.
10:16 pm
but are we getting things done? , no we are not getting things done -- no, we are not getting things done. and now the democrats and chairman nadler and this committee are asking the attorney general to break the law. break the law. by releasing grand jury information to congress. so now we're here today, and there's been a movement, a motion to hold attorney general barr in contempt of congress, an increditably -- at an incredibly fast pace. from the subpoena to the contempt, 19 days. let's compare that to eric holder. it was 255 days. and we still don't have all the documents from fast and furious, where a border patrol agent was killed. so, all i can say is, let's work together and get things done. let's stop this political theater week after week after
10:17 pm
week, we're just having this theater. the american people want to us work together to work on the big issues. let's secure the border. let's improve education. let's improve health care. let's stop this political theater. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time -- mr. nadler: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> i move to strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chair. i'm going to ask three questions today. first, what is the trump administration hiding from the american people? because the administration's not just stonewalling this committee, they're stonewalling every committee's request for information on behalf of the american people. that's in direct violation of the constitution. under the necessary and proper qualities of the constitution, congress has the absolute right to conduct oversight and investigations on behalf of the american people. mr. lieu: in fact, in federalist paper 51, james madison stated
10:18 pm
that in a republican form of government, quote, the legislative authority necessary predominate, end quote. we are article one of the constitution and we will act that way. madison further says the three branches of government were set up, quote, in such a manner as that each may be a check on the other. today's vote is more than just about the credibility of bill barr. it's about the credibility of our entire system of government. and the democrats on this committee intend to honor our oaths to the constitution and to the american people. second question i want to ask -- why are republicans on this committee reversing the very vote they took earlier this year to get the full mueller report? the house voted 420-0 to get the full report, including most of the members of the republicans on this committee. i'll tell you why. they have now realized that bill barr misled the american people, because the mueller report turp turns out to be bad, bad, bad
10:19 pm
for the president and his enablers. the report shows that trump campaign engaged in numerous contacts with russian agents, that they knew the russians were going to interfere in american election, they welcomed it, they embraced it and they knew it was going help the president win the election. that is immoral, that is wrong, that is unpatriotic. and that's just volume one of the report. volume two of the report lays out 10 instances at least of obstruction of justice. over 500 former prosecutors have now written a letter saying any ordinary american faced with this amount of evidence, it would have resulted in multiple felony charges. that's why it's so important we get the full unredacted report and the underlying evidence behind these charges. especially because bill barr admitted under oath he didn't even read the underlying evidence before he wrote his misleading summary. i'd like to also now correct a misleading talking point of my republican colleagues. where they say somehow bill barr is complying with the law. no, no, no.
10:20 pm
the congressional subpoena is the law. how do we know that? that's what the court upheld during watergate. the special prosecutor issued a report. then chief of staff moved to suppress the report, relying on the same rule 6-e that bill barr's relying on and the d.c. circuit court of appeals held squarely for congress and said that under this congressional subpoena, the members of the house judiciary committee get the grand jury secrecy materials. bill barr is violating the law right now. he's not complying with it. the congressional subpoena is the law. that's what the courts upheld. that's what they're going to do. then the final question i want to ask is, why is bill barr suing right now in federal court to eliminate pre-existing conditions health care coverage for millions of americans? you know, i don't know. i do know that democrats are going to pass off before this week, legislation, to protect pre-existing conditions and to protect the health care coverage for millions of americans.
10:21 pm
because it turns out we are doing two things. we have passed and will continue to pass legislation to move americans and the american family forward. and we're also going to conduct oversight as required by united states constitution. it is donald trump and the republicans who are stonewalling. i hope they stop doing that. and i yield back. mr. nadler: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. who seeks recognition? for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> i move to strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. to say that i'm disappointed in the direction of this committee, i'd say would be an understatement. echoing what my colleague, mrs. lesko said. i was sent here to get things done and feel like my colleagues across the aisle have been just chasing a ghost for the last two years. during that time we suffered from an opioid pandemic. i saipan democratic because it's everywhere in the united states. it's killing thousands of
10:22 pm
individuals. we have real problems to address. immigration. we could be moving to a merit-based system that brings us in step with the rest of the industrialized world. and i have two bills with democrat co-prime sponsors that could really make a difference. but instead we're here engaging in political theater, bringing in props. again, just chasing this ghost for the last two years. i have a bill called the stoic act with my colleague, ms. dean, it would increase grants to local law enforcement for suicide prevention, for ptsd treatment. law enforcement and first responders need this. mr. reschenthaler: we could get this done. this would be productive if we weren't wasting our time. i have another bill with my colleagues across the aisle, ms. blunt rochester, called clean slate. it would seal the records of anybody convicted of a nonviolent criminal offense, give these individual as chance to have a fresh start, be
10:23 pm
productive members in society. and move on once they've paid their debt to society. this is something that thousands of people in need across the united states, it's something that would help the work force development in the united states. but again, instead we're here for two years chasing ghosts. again, to say i'm disappointed in the direction of this committee is an understatement. especially when we have real work that we could be focused on. with that, i would yield the balance of my time to ranking member doug collins. ms. collins: thank you. i appreciate the gentleman yielding. as we're coming, a lot of discussions, a lot of things have been pointed out that i want to sum up. it's very interesting to me, in this country we talk about manufacturing and manufacturing jobs and the need for our economy. we now have our committee pitching in because we're merchandize -- manufacturing a crisis. we're manufacturing something that doesn't need to exist and doesn't need to happen. the reason i know it's a mfed crisis, i go back to the very words of many on the other side a few years ago and even my chairman when they joined the walkoff of the house floor
10:24 pm
chamber to protest the in his words shameful and political motivated g.o.p. vote holding eric holder, attorney general, in contempt. walked off. upset. tore up. because we were holding eric holder in contempt. after almost over a years, 400-plus days in which accommodations back and forth were made, discussions were made back and forth. so really we're just manufacturing a crisis because, number one, we didn't get what we want. number two, we don't like what we got. and there's nothing being hidden here. the attorney general is following the regulation. don't be deceived. he is. it's interesting that we go along and also some of the interesting things have been talked about, we talk about nixon impeachment and article three and this has been thrown out by my colleagues. all the subpoenas issued to president nixon, a whole different inquiry, an impeachment inquiry, were issued after the impeachment inquiry was already started. these were not before the inpeachment inquiry, they were after. that's what we found. it was opened on october 30,
10:25 pm
1973. all the subpoenas were from april to june of 1974. so let's at least get our facts straight. we've had issues all day today that we've had this sort of correct. number one being that the chairman now of the oversight committee was not sued in perm capacity. mr. flynn is not jail. he's pled guilty, still in that process. but he's not in jail. and also, though i think we've come to the conclusion that i think we've all been waiting for and it was really something interesting to come, and that was that my friend from georgia actually gave us. and it was really sort of summed up this entire thing, it's what i talked about last week and now. nye mayorga friend from georgia said, he brought down the curtain on this entire qing when he said, no document, how do we impeach? if we don't have the documents, how do we impeach? by that very statement he's making the claim that they don't have enough to impeach because mueller didn't give it. the report did not show
10:26 pm
collusion and did not charge obstruction. there's nothing to impeach. so now we have to dig deeper. my question is this. an investigation of a very -- and i'll agree with my friends across the aisle. a top notch investigator, top notch attorneys who had unlimited access to a greath and jury and subpoenas and investigators and over 30 million at least in budget which is larger than any house committee, and we think we're going to find out something more than he found out? come on. we're manufacturing a crisis. that's why we're here. i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. does any member seek recognition? the gentleman from maryland is recognized. >> thank you, madam chair. ove to strike the last word. rassrass tom payne said in the monarch -- mr. raskin: tom payne said in the monarchies the king is law. but in democracy, the law is king. that's the principle at stake in america today. the president of the united states and all of us who seek to
10:27 pm
attain public office are nothing but the servants of the people and the servants of the law. and the moment that we forget that and we begin to act like the masters of the people, and the masters of the law, then we put our jobs at risk. if the gentleman from florida is so convinced that the mueller report offers complete and total exoneration of the president, why doesn't he want the congress and the american people to see it? well, he says the attorney general is only -- has only redacted 8% of the report. you could redact 8% of the constitution of the united states and get rid of freedom of speech, freedom of press, religious freedom, equal protection and due process. you wouldn't have enough room to get rid of article one of the constitution, which is -- i know what some would like to do today. but article one is the provision of the constitution that establishes the powers of congress, the law making branch, the branch of the people.
10:28 pm
the president's sole job, primary job, after being commander in chief, is to take care that the laws are faithfully executed. not circumvented, not defied and ot violated. i think we need to remark how far this president has lowered our country. first, they destroyed the norms and the values of society. things that we'd always taken for granted. you don't mock people with disabilities. men don't mock women's bodies on television. you don't ridicule people and give them obnoxious nicknames, at least after you graduate from the third grade. you don't falsely accuse other political leaders of treason. you don't accuse other political leaders' parents of assassinating president kennedy. you don't use disgusting profane language to disparage other countries. and you don't call neo-nazis and
10:29 pm
klansmen very fine people. you don't give aid and comfort to the dictators of the world like kim jong un and vladimir putin, by flattering them and being their sycophants. but then you destroy the thunderstorms and values of your office. you -- destroy the norms and values of your office. you call true facts fake us in and you call fake news true facts. you vilify and you deemonize the hardworking employees of the department of justice and the f.b.i. you accuse them of being part of a factsy -- fantasy deep state conspiracy, just for doing their jobs. you falsely claim that millions of people voted illegally while you deny and dismiss the finding of special counsel mueller that there was a sweeping and systemic campaign to disrupt our elections in 2016. you refuse to divest yourself of your business interests or to put them in a blind trust as other presidents have done. you traveled to your own business properties and hotels
10:30 pm
on government expense. you double initiation fees to mar-a-lago, you turn the government of the united states into a money making operation for your family, for your business, and for yourself. and then you violate and undermine the laws of the united states. you sabotage the affordable care act to try to deny millions of people access to their health care. you separate children from their parents at the border. you pull out of the paris climate agreement, making our country an international environmental pariah and outlaw state. you lie about what science has shown about climate change, you call it a chinese hoax. you collect millions of dollars from foreign princes and kings and governments in violation of article one, section nine, clause eight of the constitution. and now the president aided and abetted by the attorney general tears at the very fabric of our constitution. he orders that a curtain be pulled down over the executive branch.
10:31 pm
he says there will be no cooperation with the lawful demands of congress for information. congress shouldn't be looking any more, the president king declares, this is all, it is done. no tax returns, no mueller report, no witnesses, not don mcgann. the president declares himself above and beyond the law. the supreme court has repeatedly stated that it is an essential and integral aspect of our power under article one to do fact finding investigations for the people. james madison said, knowledge will forever govern ignorance. and those who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power that knowledge gives. the people through the constitution gave us that power. we must exercise it. if you act with contempt for the people and congress, we will find you in contempt of the people and of congress. and i support the resolution. i yield back, mr. chairman. mr. nadler: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time.
10:32 pm
for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? >> move to strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as i've sat here and listened, it's getting more and more frustrating to me, and i am sure to people watching at home, how distracted this committee is getting from the issues that truly matter to the american people. mr. cline: we heard congresswoman lesko speak to those. when i get home, my constituents want to know if we're addressing the availability of health care and the accessibility of health care after the skyrocketing premiums that came into place from obamacare. are we taking action to reform and renew our highway and infrastructure system to keep up with our booming economy? are we working to stop the wave of illiam immigration flowing as i -- illegal immigration flowing across our boarders? these are just a handful of
10:33 pm
issues we should be working on. we should be looking at ways to reduce government regulations and find ways to put more money into americans' pockets. my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are calling for more and more investigation, pursuit of documents, even those they're not entitled to receive, and without a judicial proceeding, my colleague from california argues that we are entitled to receive it, not without a judicial proceeding. they're in search of a smoking gun of collusion, conspiracy, with russia, that does not exist. volume one of the mueller report shows clearly it does not exist. some of my colleagues are running for president on that ghost. on that very ghost. that somehow collusion with russia still exists somewhere. this report proves there was no conspiracy. i was interviewed a while back and i said, i hope that as much
10:34 pm
as possible is released to the american people because whatever is redacted, they're going to point to and say, ah-ha, that's where the smoking gun is. and sure enough, my colleagues on this committee just five minutes ago said, ah-ha, that's where important information must be. well, without a court order, that grand jury testimony is not allowed to be released. that is the law. and we talk about the rule of law, we talk past each other about the rule of law. but the law is the law. and a subpoena is not the law. when it comes to grand jury testimony. and whether that can be lease -- released the law prohibiting grand jury testimony from being released is the law. so we cannot see the full mueller report without judicial action. the chairman can go to court and ask the judge to allow disclosure of 6-e grand jury testimony. they don't need the administration to join. they want the administration to join. they say, work with us. but has the chairman, has the
10:35 pm
committee worked with the administration when it comes to the attorney general appearing before this committee and getting questioned by staff members recently hired on to the committee? no. apparently not. in fact, the chairman hasn't even reviewed the unredacted version that's been provided. i listened with interest as the chairman mentioned in his remarks how important it is that we all read the report. but he hasn't gone down to read the report. this is a charade. and i have never seen anything like it. 225 days progressed from subpoena of eric holder to a contempt vote. this circus, 19 days. it's clear that this is just a game for the majority. and now that they have a bad hand, they're bluffing. give us the unredacted report. bill barr is biased. don't worry about what the law
10:36 pm
says. the only bias is the blind hatred of this president and disdain for the rules of this house. and the rule of law that is in this constitution. and the views and actions of the majority, the drive for impeachment trumps all, and yes, if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it's a duck. so they're trying to itch people the duck. -- impeach the duck. it trums the truth. it trumps the historic precedence of this committee, and it apparently trumps the laws of the this nation. i am honored to be a member of this house of representatives. i am honored to be a member of this committee. but that honor has been tarnished by the blatantly partisan actions of this committee today. and the willful ignorance of this committee to the rule of law. yield back. mr. nadler: who seeks recognition?
10:37 pm
for what purpose does the gentlelady from washington seek -- >> to move trike the -- strike the last word. mr. nadler: jalte the gentlelady is recognized. ms. jayapal: thank you, mr. chairman. this is definitely not a game. this is one of the most serious moments our democracy has faced. and it is a test. it is a test against an administration that is continually disregarding congress. an administration that seems to have no regard for checks and balances. it is unprecedented for a president to say that he will provide no cooperation with authorized subpoenas from congress, no cooperation with witnesses coming to testify before congress, and now just as we've seen in this letter, an unprecedented effort to exert executive privilege. sweeping executive privilege over the entire mueller report. mr. president, mr. chairman, this is a lawless
10:38 pm
administration. and why is this important? i think we have to talk about this in a way that hopefully anybody who is watching can understand. our system is based on checks and balances. that is part of our democracy. it is part of what our constitution was geared to do. our constitution said, we will get our power as members of congress from you, from the middle eastern people who vote us in as members of -- the american people who vote us in as members of congress. then you give us the power to write the laws of this democracy. then the constitution says, and the president is there to faithfully execute those laws. and by the way, when the founders framed this constitution, what they were afraid of is that there would be power concentrated in the hands of very few people. or in the hands of one person. and so what they did is they framed the constitution so that they included checks and balances with three co-equal branches of government. at least co-equal. we are article one.
10:39 pm
but at least co-equal. and that was in order for each branch to have jurisdiction and authority over making sure another branch was not abusing their power. not obstructing justice. not using power for their own purpose instead of for the american people. and so now if we have one branch saying we are not going to respect the authority of a co-equal branch, that puts us in a very, very dangerous position. and why is it that we want these materials? 100% of the materials, not 92%, not just the chairman with one staff member and then he's not allowed to talk about it to anybody else, but everybody, and we -- the chairman has been very generous. he conceded that it would just be the members of the judiciary committee and the intelligence committee that would look at the full report. not just the unredacted report but the underlying evidence. why is that important? because we need to see everything that was in the report. and frankly the attorney general
10:40 pm
has misrepresented what is in the report. just look at these articles. the discrepancy between the mueller report and barr's summary. how barr's excerpts compare to the mueller report's findings. you know why these articles were written? they were written because attorney general barr misrepresented what was in the mueller report. here are the words of mr. mueller himself. barr's summary letter did not fully capture the context, nature and substance of this office's work and conclusions. this threatens to undermine essential purpose for which the department appointed special counsel. to assure full public confidence in the outcome of these investigations. so that is why we must see the full report. so that we can understand exactly what was in it, we can do our constitutional obligations. and i want to be clear that if the president refuses this request, refuses all subpoenas,
10:41 pm
refuses all witnesses, that affects every aspect of the american people's lives. it means there is no oversight when the president seeks to strip health care away from millions of americans. it means there is no oversight when this administration rips children away from their parents at the border. it means there is no oversight over the utilization of public power in the white house for personal gain. that is why it is incredibly important. and i just want to take on one quick thing, my colleagues keep talking about how crazy it was that we wanted to have staff counsel question the attorney general for 30 minutes. let me just read a quote from a member of congress. the goal of attorneys is to depoliticize the process and get to the truth instead of grandstanding. you know who said that? senator grassley. during the kavanaugh hearings. and did any of my colleagues object at that time to senator grassley using an attorney to
10:42 pm
question the witnesss? no, they did not. i don't see anyone on record having said that. so, mr. chairman, let's be clear. we are at a brink of importance between democracy and dictatorship. if we ignore checks and balances. and i fully support holding this attorney general in contempt for refusing to comply with constitutional foundations. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield mr. nadler: for what purpose does the gentleman from seek recognition? the clerk: amendment to the amendment in the nature of a substitute, the committee reports that a resolution that the house of representatives find william p. barr, u.s. department of justice for refusing to comply with the subpoena issued by the committee of the judiciary issued by mr. gates of florida. hall gaetz of florida.
10:43 pm
>> no provision -- mr. nadler: without objection, the amendment is considered as read. mr. gaetz: the gentlelady from pennsylvania, the vice chair of the committee said, and i quote, nobody is asking the attorney general to break the law. nobody is asking the attorney general to break the law, closed quote. that comment inspired me to write this amendment. to test the sincerity of that reflection by the majority. my amendment merely says that no element of the resolution or the report that's currently before the committee would be construed to require the attorney general of the united states to break any law or break any rules of federal criminal procedure
10:44 pm
expressly but not limited to the rule that has the force of law that says the attorney germ is not able to provide specific grand jury testimony. i hope my colleagues were sincere and not putting the attorney general in a catch-22. that may not be the case. if the chairman wanted to, you would be able to read the remaining 8% and take notes and share his those and conclusions on the house floor. we have seen circumstances where the ranking member in an effort to facilitate greater context and understanding and transparency about the work of this committee has gone to the floor utilizing the privileges of the house to release transcripts and testimony that shed light on the true origins, the true bias that the senior levels of the department of
10:45 pm
justice and the f.b.i. that was really about, my friend from maryland, 8%, that could be the whole deal and the freedom of speech and freedom of press and we could find things that reshape our understanding of the mueller probe.
10:46 pm
the attorney general to break the law in order to serve the rule of law. my friend from washington said this is one of the greatest tests of the committee. these tests are a muster and merit these tests are a muster and merit to see if we will continue this per suit of the truth. it is my expectation that this ectation that this is, in fact, on purpose. what the majority has tried to do is put the attorney general in a situation where they can generate conflict and need that conflict because they have the narrative of impeachment. with the democratic party, you have one group of people who control the leverage of power, the speaker pelosis and the senior leadership and you have this whole other batch of people .ho control the party they have to generate these
10:47 pm
skirmishes to keep the hamp steers on the hamp steers on the wheel. and if that is why we are doing this. you are using the attorney germ of the united states as a do the rule and his of law a favor, provide substantive legislation that reflects on the words your own committee leadership has used that you will not use this process to impair the rule of law and ask the attorney general of the united states to break the law. if there is nothing in your report or resolution that demands that the attorney general break the law, vote for it. vote for my amendment. but you won't, because you know the real purpose of this is to distract the country and create
10:48 pm
a conflict and divide us further fter you were proven to not be telling the truth. i think this amendment clarifies your words, but you won't vote for it because it's not really what you are doing. mr. nadler: i yield myself five minutes on the amendment. the gentleman's theories about motives and witch hunts which i don't agree with, although i appreciate his colorful imagery of the hamp steer and hamp steer wheel. it has never been our intention to ask the attorney germ to violate the law. we made it clear we wanted him to come to court with us to ask for an exemption to rule 6-e. but having said that, the amendment restates our intent and therefore, i accept the
10:49 pm
amendment and i urge my colleagues to support the amendment. any further discussion? hearing none -- for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? >> i do appreciate your willingness to support the demrasm florida's amendment. i appreciate that. i'm going to support and vote for that. mr. biggs: as i it rated before and goes to what the chairman just said. it gets to the heart of this thing. and that is, if really, if really, one were to believe that the underlying contempt citation was issued irrespective -- and not put in -- designed to put mr. barr into a box where he has
10:50 pm
a bine ari choice saying i will either violate the federal law or i will be held in contempt, i find it somewhat odd and awkward that he was invited to go to court and appeal to the court and say, give me permission to reveal this redacted information for sent ral rule 6-e. that is interesting. nobody would say we need to go to court if you didn't believe hat you didn't have authority. and it's obvious to me that maybe people don't believe they have the authority. they feel they need to go to court. so i think this amendment -- and i'm glad the a chairman supports
10:51 pm
it. this amendment clarifies nor does mr. barr, is he objectly depated to violate the federal rules. mr. nadler: would the gentleman yield? the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? love ms. lofgren: we september it. and i hope we can agree to this and go to on to further discussions we may have. as i listen to the debate and i listened to carefully the concept that it would be reasonable for mr. collins and mr. nadler to be the only one among our members to review this material is astonishing to me. mr. sense senbrener has been a member of congress since 199 and would not have something to offer is not correct.
10:52 pm
i have been a member since 1995, i would have to something to offer. what is can get past an acceptable outcome and i yield to the chairman of the committee. mr. nadler: i want to comment what was said a moment ago by mr. buck. as i said -- mr. biggs. as i said repeatedly and that is the record will bear out, the subpoena was never intended to cover rule 6-e. we understand that it is unlawful to ask to get grand jury information. that's why we asked the attorney germ to petition the court to
10:53 pm
get that grand jury material. that is the practice in the every similar situation in which we have gone to the court and gotten the court's permings to get the 6-e material. citation iscontempt for his ignoring the subpoena in effect. it was never to put him in jeopardy that says you have to give us 6-e material. we are perfectly happy to accept it and no contradiction between saying you have to obey a subpoena which doesn't -- which e not intended to include 6- material. so let's ask the court. i hope that clarifies things. and i urge a yes vote on the
10:54 pm
amendment. and i yield back. for what purpose does the gentleman from -- >> mr. collins: i'm glad that the chairman is accepting this. but this motion is for the report and this contempt. we actually offered an amendment during the subpoena which you referenced and you said it didn't require 6-e when we offered an amendment to exclude 6-e, you rejected that amendment. if you are saying it doesn't include that but when we offered an amendment that excluded 6-e, you rejected that amendment. as a contradiction. i'm not going to belabor the point and lot of things but i will yield to the gentleman from colorado. >> i appreciate the chairman accepting this amendment.
10:55 pm
i'm confused. i'm not trying to make a political point. my understanding is that the attorney general's report as redacted clarified information and grand jury information. i'm confused what we are arguing about. mr. nadler: would the gentleman yield? >> the four category, grand jury material which we are not concerned with here as this amendment makes clear. what else? >> things that impact other criminal investigations, things . at may cast aspersions classified information. all the underlying material. talking about those three
10:56 pm
categories of materials. not including the grand jury material, the other three and the underlying evidence. that's what we are talking about. that's what we have been talking about. >> reclaiming my time. we have had access to classified material in a scif. mr. nadler: we have not been accorded that. that's part of the request or subpoena, i should say. >> may i yield to the the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: this is exactly why we are too far in the process. and i appreciate the chairman bringing that. because that is the art of working with the d.o.j. on accommodations and what we should be doing here and not rushing to contempt. and i go to back to my original point. if it wasn't part of the
10:57 pm
subpoena, why are we rejecting an amendment that says that. that is the curiosity. that is not a criticism. but this is why again, for those of us -- this is why this contempt is too quick. you can -- mr. nadler: will the gentleman yield? the attempt to negotiate with the department of justice for like two months, two months and refused to talk to us, timely only under the threat of this contempt proceeding were they willing to talk about accommodations in the last two days. nd my opinion is their so-called accommodation is not an accommodation at all. and they refused to talk. mr. collins: reclaiming my time. you are exactly right. two months, we were in the beginning of a report that just
10:58 pm
came out. i think this is a healthy debate on what we are talking about. this is the reason that we are concerned and i'm concerned and concerned about the actual move to contempt here is two months when looked at in the prism in the congress and previous congresses, the timing here is what we are talking about. and i didn't say this earlier when some commented, when we get to court -- were when you go to court on a civil contempt, the judge will look at what process has been made. if we have cases indirect discussion here in which over 400 days -- mr. nadler: would the gentleman yield? mr. collins: i want toll yield back to mr. buck. mr. nadler: would the gentleman yield? i would point out that two
10:59 pm
months of refusal to talk us to negotiate is not trivial, i yield back. mr. collins: it's not trivial, but not enough either. and you, yourself, were very critical of holding mr. holder in the contempt. and my time is over and i yield back. >> mr. chairman.
11:00 pm
>> that is not true. a were operating under
11:01 pm
different set of rules passed by congress. also in the question of the yes, we were operating under a different set of rules. power forl grant of the special prosecutor and special counsel differs, but they don't differ in any way with respect to the ability to theinformation or seek attorney general's assistance. >> the law that was passed specifically granted congress to give grand jury material. >> i am told that is not true. granted at the discretion of the court. >> i would recommend that we
11:02 pm
hold a vote that this committee authorized staff to ask for grand jury -- >> we intend to do that. >> ok. i think that results a portion of -- >> we intended to do that. >> high-yield back. amendment.vor of the all opposed. the amendment is adopted. >> i have an amendment at the desk. >> we are doing your amendment now. i recognize myself purpose of offering an amendment. substituteature of a to the committee report for the resolution recommending william
11:03 pm
t bar, attorney general of the u.s. department of justice in contempt of congress. , thethout objection amendment is considered as read. i recognize myself with the purpose of explaining the amendment. i am introducing this amendment to interest the purported claim of executive privilege. this is a development it just occurred this morning. it is regrettable this claim interrupted negotiations that had the gun after -- begun after request. the department of justice ignored our attempts at accommodation. contempthe face of resolution that the department engaged in discussion without discussing the underlying evidence or materials. failed, the attorney general asked the president to
11:04 pm
assert executive privilege to conceal the special counsel report in the evidence and materials underlying it. there is no legal right to obstruct oversight. that is what we have been seeing as a result of the president's declaration that he is fighting all the subpoenas. may believe general he is falling orders to prevent congress from caring, it's constitutional responsibilities come but first line of defense is for those individuals asked to carry a indefensible orders to just say no, as the presidents former counsel to on a number of occasions. we are disappointed the attorney is not thatshown he person. he has left this committee no choice but to reject a blanket assertion of executive privilege
11:05 pm
and pass this resolution holding him in content. i am proud to take this action in defense of our constitution, which is under attack. i am proud of this committee percent in the for our principles and incredibles 2 tensions we hold so dear. and institutions we hold so dear. this person seek recognition? >> thank you. going into this and trying to come up with something. executive privilege is for the privileges and waivers must be intentional. what we are trying to argue is this is a waiver of executive privilege. you say because the report his case,, you rely to the
11:06 pm
the court that had waivers must be intentional. the white house counsel's office conducted an investigation and make the results public. the court says since executive privilege exists to assist process, a waiver should not be inferred. you're from the decision relying upon for this motion, the court said the release of a document only is not for related material. here the underlying materials not made public or privileged. this is a test where a crime occurred in one case. here no crime occurred. in the case. the court said the privilege should not extend to staff outside the white house. instead, only to the
11:07 pm
communications author and those received by the white house advisor staff for investigating and formulating the advice to be given to the president on a particular matter on which the communications relay. pointed out.e , theubpoenas we had issued highest ranking officials in this white house. they held it should have executive privilege. when we look at this in the mueller report, just hitting around it because you don't like it is not getting around this. as you will know, and folks who have been here a while, it takes those. there is not an impasse.
11:08 pm
what is the impasse. there is no impasse. there are still negotiations. department of justice said we will be back necessary week. maybe there is a discussion that didn't like it this was the same thing that was done by president obama in the eric holder case, but not those closest to the president himself. actually for lesser officials. in looking at this, this is not new in the assertion of executive privilege. even in the most generous reading, it is a 50-50 tossup. and that is the most generous of readings. what i would say it's a factual reading is not 50-50, so as we go down this line, i understand the chairman's frustration and i disagree with the chairman's frustration on the fact you're not getting the information you want and not in the way you want
11:09 pm
it, but it has been pointed out you have the ability to go to court to make this happen. also before i quit here, the case is not precedent. we keep ringing this out. the star case is not precedent. also, today, we have the clinton-era special couple regulations, which is bill barr is operating under. so if we want to discuss non-applicable precedent, the report was made for the purpose of giving recommendations for impeachment. that is not what has happened under the special counsel's and if i survey. if we count this case from a strictly legal reading, again at best, it is a 50-50 jump ball. to say this is actually, but if you get into it and what your subpoenas asked for, those closest to the president, this case signs and lands to which is
11:10 pm
not apply in your amendment should be voted down. we have a lot left to go here. there is more problems with this than just the executive privilege issue. there is the problem of once you get before a judge what did you do. no accommodation has been made. and i would encourage all members to read the case, read the underlying cases that this is based on and reject this motion. and with that, i yield back. mr. nadler: having used my less than five minutes and having just realized in the haste we prepared this, i neglected to describe with the amendment does. i yield myself 15 seconds for that purpose. the amendment supplements the report to address the attorney general statement hand the fact he is asserting executive privilege over the redacted
11:11 pm
portion of the report and underlying materials. the and explain some of the many reasons we believe assertion of privilege lacks any basis. i yield back. who seeks recognition? we'll take the vote? the gentlelady from pennsylvania. is recognized. for what purpose does gentlelady from pennsylvania seeks recognition? the gentlelady is recognized. chairman, andmr. for from this amendment. i was puzzled like many of you . we received this morning and it happened at 10:00 this morning, a letter dated today may 8, 2019 addressed to the president, the white house, washington, d.c. dear mr. president, i'm writing to request you make a proactive assertion with respect to the documents recently subpoenaed by the committee, the house of representatives.
11:12 pm
that is signed by william barr, attorney general, not personal attorney to the president. high contrast that with something data january 20 9, 2018. it was written by personal attorney for president to rep. moore:. -- robert mueller. in response for robert mueller asking the president to interview with the president and concerns regarding the report and the investigation. there is a list of some 15 areas of concern that the special count asked for the president to come on in and discuss. and guess what? his personal attorney said during this long letter, "after reviewing the list of topics you presented, it is clear that all of the answers to your inquiries are contained in the exhibits and testimony that have already been voluntary provided to you by the white house and
11:13 pm
witnesses, all of which clearly show there was no collusion with russia and no fbi investigation even could have been obstructed. further down in the letter, "we all remain in agreement that your office has received unprecedented access and voluntary collection in documents requested by the white house." it goes on to further say, "in an effort to provide complete transparency, the president waived the applicable privileges where appropriate in order to show both the congress and the special counsel to see all relevant documents. personal attorney, more than a year ago, waived privilege, that everybody came in and had the right to testify and right to meet and spoke for hours, whether it was mcgahn, hope hicks and others, and yet this morning, the attorney general asked the president, please
11:14 pm
claim, put a big drape over this thing. please claim privilege and we got a letter from the attorney general he claimed privilege, so i guess there was a conversation he -- they are. imagine that? an attorney general sworn to be an independent highest voice of the law of the land having a -- hanging hate heavy drapery of distortion, distraction, and deception with this incredible important investigation. mr. chairman, we are at a grave moment. i thank you for holding this very important hearing on contempt. our constitutional system of government is in jeopardy. we have to make sure we protect the rule of law. we are up against an administration that cares nothing for the rule of law, carriers only for self, and we need to see the entire mueller report.
11:15 pm
mr. william barr has given away his credibility here. we know that. his letters have no meaning because they do not reflect the truth. and so i stand in support of your amendment and in support of the underlying contempt report. thank you, mr. chairman. mr. nadler: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from north dakota seek recognition? recognized. >> i think we have some signals crossed. until 30 seconds ago or five minutes ago or 10 minutes ago, this subpoena was for a full unredacted version of the report. my colleagues have given speeches and cited cases. entirelyhink they are relevant. we just had a witness or speech saying we get the entire report. we hearing conversations that it isn't necessary, but it is in
11:16 pm
this subpoena. it is to have the fully unredacted report. , thee way the words matter letter did not say a proactive assertion which. it said a protective assertion of privilege. one of the reasons they are doing a protective assertion of privileges that to comply with the subpoena, they would have to violate the law. are we asking the attorney general to go to court to ask grand jury evidence? we talk about how that has happened in the past. in the case it has happened in the past, it happened in the halderman case and they heard, they ruled it was a an illegal -- a legal proceeding because it was an impeachment proceeding. second, the attorney general has no obligation to go to court and , thisuing a subpoena committee can't compel him to go to court. this committee can go to court
11:17 pm
to release that information. there is no cure and teeth that will happen either. when we are having this conversation, giving speeches, cnn, msnbc, it was to release the july unredacted report and regardless of the report we are having on this dais about this very information. that's what this subpoena says. when you issue a protective assertion of privilege, you have the right to do that. particularly if you are the attorney general and you have to violate the law to comply with the subpoena. , it becomes interesting and more importantly we discuss how this has moved forward and where we are at. and by that, we are citing the case and saying we had these issues, but nothing that has been redacted has been shared.
11:18 pm
it has only been shared executive to executive. none of the underlying information has been shared. privilege,xecutive it is a jump ball at this. >> does the general menu back? >> yeah, i yield. >> the question may be to ranking member collins. you said that executive privilege has not been waived with respect to the redacted portions of the report. i'm not talking about the grand jury piece. i'm talking about the others. i understanding is the ranking member report has seen that. am i mistaken? >> i haven't seen. >> i know you haven't seen it. which is why we are here. fundamentally it is so the members of this committee and the members of the intelligence committee can have access to unredacted portions of the report. i want to clarify that piece. >> the answer as you are working
11:19 pm
through this, i have confused as to whether this is part of the subpoena. i know it is not, but it is part of the conversation that has gone on. asserting privilege, they have the right to do it. what the ranking member has seen and has not seen under the settings is a completely different conversation. i yield back. the gentleman you back. who seeks recognition? for what purpose does gentlelady texas seek recognition? the gentlelady is recognized. >> i would like to thank this person for a moment of clarity for the basis of his hearing and this markup, which is to illuminate on the unredacted integrity of the document unredacted, but i would like to
11:20 pm
add a point over two -- or two of clarification. i want to rhetorically asked the question, if the document was timeframe of the 2012 22016, a previous president -- to 2016, the previous president, what my friends on the other side of the aisle would be engaged in. there is no doubt in my mind they would be raging for the entire report. they might even use inherent to incarceratept some of the administration officials under the obama administration. basis are working on the workedchairman having
11:21 pm
extensively on accommodation. that terminology means we have been reaching out to the doj to work with her lawyers to find a common ground to provide the documents we ask, to clarify the pointman, mr. armstrong's -- we understand the law over here. we understand the 6-e materials are materials that deal with matters that will have to be reviewed by the courts. we don't intend to utilize materials randomly. and so we have asked the attorney general to come to court with us. of course these documents are important because they go to the full understanding of the american people. we know that many of those documents may be held in a classified or confidential manner. we would intend to do that if that was necessary by the court. so to act as if you are
11:22 pm
confused, the resolution speaks for itself. the unredacted document in its entirety, the supporting materials, documents, that mr. mueller utilized and appropriate six-ee has dictated by a court proceeding, which we hope with move expeditiously. the reason why this is so important for the court to look at this seriously is whether you use the word protected or proactive, it is the request for a blanket use of executive privilege, which as i said earlier is historic. today on this day in 2019, you are seeing a request on may 8 for something that has never been requested by any president of the united states no matter how much review, investigation and trouble they might be in.
11:23 pm
so this is historic. and i believe for the very infrastructure of the constitution, there is no way we -- ceded or seed to pay to a blanket request for executive privilege. and i ask the rhetorical questions if the same doult came out between 2012 and 2016 and what the american people would have asked us to do. and so i believe we should move on the underlying resolution because we have seen actions that have never been utilized. we have sought an accommodation. we received letters on may 8, today, both the letter to us indicating that we had breached the accommodation and the breach came from the attorney general, not from this committee. we were negotiating late into the night, and as well the seeking of a proactive of the executive privilege.
11:24 pm
i would offer to say to you and executive privilege that has been waived. let's get on to our work and finding out the truth, and let's clarify what mr. nadler is asking for. i think he has been very clear. i certainly think he has been measured in his attempt to work through this with the attorney general. and i would hope that we would rise to support the resolution. of which i support. i yield back. mr. nadler: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado seek recognition? >> move to strike the last word. >> the gentleman his recognized. >> i yield such time as the gentleman from georgia to size. >> thank you. i agree. this is one of the things i have thought about for a while. i think we have a lot of good attorneys on this committee. if my friend from texan were in a courtroom together, my
11:25 pm
immediate thought would be, objection, calls for speculation. you are asking what speculation. i don't have to have speculation. i have faxed. what did happen during the previous administration when a contempt proceeding was going on? they actually made the preempttive assertion for the privilege. my friends across the aisle actually disagreed with this. didn't want to happen. in fact, walked out, made a big production and said it was political. the interesting part, i will go back to this, that was over 400 days. we are still under, even if the generous, 200 level here. i want to go back to the interesting issue that was brought up, which is a valid point. it also strengthen my argument that we are are going too quickly. there were accommodations made. the department of justice was
11:26 pm
making accommodations. they made that from the original intent of letting members go. i never saw a definitive statement that said that is all we will do. i did go see it. that was public record and i did go see it. mr. nadler: would the gentleman yield? mr. collins: i will. member, with all the respect in the world, while i appreciate that, seems to me, it has been clear that the doj will only you and the chairman of this committee and a few other members of this congress of this house to see the materials you have. our point is that the republican members of the judiciary committee and the democratic members of this committee ought to be able to review these materials to perform their critical constitutional duties, and that's why the ranking member of the intelligence committee devin nunes joined with adam schiff in making the same request this committee has made. mr. collins: reclaiming my time. i appreciate the gentleman there. i think this is the exact thing.
11:27 pm
this is never an definitive. we have never seen an offer made yesterday that was rejected and that is why we are here today here at that is part of negotiations. he may not like the timing. , itn, in less than 40 days is interesting when we had 400 days in over 300 days. we are conflating the issues here. we don't need to go over that. don't cross over the fact that we previously in this committee the majority rejected an amendment that said the information will not be part of this. now we are looking at this information and it has been said several times what is relevant, what is speculation. i go to a statement i made the other day. we vote on words on paper, not intent.
11:28 pm
what words on paper say matter, and intent, it may intend, what they intend, but that's not what we vote on in this congress. >> will the gentleman yield? >> i will yield. >> i think the gentleman. we could certainly be in a courtroom. i want to clarify that mr. holder's activities were far more distinctive for the actual acts of the president of the united states. we are dealing with the actual acts of a president of the united states. what i was saying, if that occurred between 2012 and 2016, you would be, my good friends, rushing toward a particular procedure. this has to do with actual acts of the presidency. i yield back. mr. collins: i reclaim my time. that is what i believe my friends have said. i also kobach to this amendment to the gentlelady. this amendment is based on a case. i late that out very clearly. this case is when you look at from the holder perspective
11:29 pm
wouldn't apply there. again, i think this goes into why thisus assumptions is rushed. that is why we have set this all along. and it goes back to the court. if taken to the court, if this is contempt to court, they are going to look at the record that was laid. and right now that record is bare. i you back to the children from colorado. >> mr. chairman. >> i yield back. mr. nadler: for what purpose does the gentleman from -- the gentlelady -- for what purpose does gentlelady texas seek recognition? ms. escobar: i move to strike the last word. >> the gentlelady is recognized. >> i think it is important for us to come back to why we are here and to understand why there is so many efforts to prevent us from getting to the full truth. let's remember what we all know. we all know that russia, a
11:30 pm
foreign adversary, attacked our country and did that by meddling in our election. we know that a campaign, the president's campaign knew about that attack. we know they welcomed that attack. we know that they tried to prevent others from knowing about that attack. we know that they made false statements about the attack. and after everyone knew the president then tried to obstruct the investigation about that attack. and the other thing we know and and this is what we have to remember as americans, they are still at it. they were wildly successful in trying to get inside of our elections, wildly successful.
11:31 pm
and they are still at it. that's why we are here. that's why we are trying to get to the truth. that's why we are fighting so hard for the american public to have access to everything. it's not that complicated. it's actually pretty simple. but i'll tell you, i'm new here. and earlier, one of my colleague said, ms. scanlon, also new, how the whole thing saddens her. and it saddens me too. i can't believe this. i cannot believe this. something that should be unifying, republicans and democrats alike fighting for this country, fighting for the integrity of our democracy, fighting for our elections, fighting for the american people. but instead, this is what we get.
11:32 pm
we get different ways and avenues and strategies to obstruct getting to the full truth. i want to remind everyone here and i want to remind the american public about the oath that we took. oath the day we were sworn in to support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies and foreign and domestic. further, that we will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. i remember my oath. i take my oath seriously and all of these efforts to create obstacles and roadblocks to getting to the full truth, shame, shame, shame. mr. chairman, i support your amendment. i support this resolution and
11:33 pm
it is about time that everyone units and fight for the american public. mr. nadler: the gentlelady yield? >> i do. i yield. >> yes, we simply do not have 400 days to wait before making sure that we are protected in the 2020 election. we know that in 2016, the russians interfered with our election so they could help get donald trump elected. donald trump will stand for re-election again and we don't have 400 days to wait to determine whether or not we are in shape to withstand any additional attempts for the russians to interfere to help trump get re-elected. and i don't want the public to be confused. 6-e is not the issue here.
11:34 pm
we have to get with the courts in order to obtain grand jury information. we know that. and we're prepared to do that. ordinarily, the attorney general would go to court to do that. but he doesn't want to do that. they are redacting the mueller report for ongoing matters. they don't say ongoing investigations. ongoing matters. what does that mean? national security. sources and methods. we can deal with that. the third thing, embarrassing information on peripheral third parties not charged. those are things we need to be negotiating about and this administration has refused to do so, and that is what this contempt proceeding is all about. and with that i yield back. ms. escobar: i yield back my time.
11:35 pm
>> mr. nadler. aye. ms. jackson lee votes aye. mr. cohen? mr. johnson of georgia votes aye. mr. deutsche votes aye. ms. bass. mr. richmond. mr. jeffries. mr. cicilline. mr. swalwell. mr. swalwell votes aye. mr. liu votes aye. mr. raskin votes aye. ms. jayapal. ms. demmings votes aye.
11:36 pm
mr. correa votes aye. ms. scanlon votes aye. ms. garcia votes aye. miss mcbeth votes aye. mr. stanton votes aye. ms. escobar votes aye. mr. collins votes no. mr. sensenbrenner. mr. chabot votes no. mr. jordan votes no. mr. buck votes no.
11:37 pm
mr. ratcliffe votes no. mrs. roby. mr. gaetz. mr. johnson of louisiana. mr. biggs votes no. mr. mcclintock votes no. ms. lesko. mr. klein votes no. mr. armstrong votes no. mr. steube votes no. >> has every member who wish to vote voted? the gentlelady from washington. the clerk: ms. jayapal votes aye. >> the gentleman from tennessee. >> mr. collins votes aye. mr. nadler: the gentlelady from arizona. the clerk: ms. lesko you are not recorded. she votes no. >> are there any other members
11:38 pm
of committee who have not been recorded who wish to be recorded? the clerk will report. the clerk: there are 20 ayes and 12 noes. mr. nadler: the amendment is agreed to. there are votes about to be called on the floor. they should be called momentarily. the committee is in recess until 2:30. that should give members time to get lunch. the committee stand in recess until 2:30. >> the committee will come back to order. arthur any further amendments? colorado?man from
11:39 pm
>> i have an amendment. >> clerk will report. >> amendment to the amendment to the committee report for the resolution recognizing the house of representatives declare william barr in contempt of congress for failure to comply with the subpoena. offered by mr. buck of colorado. >> the gentleman is recognized to explain. >> thank you. mindful does his work of precedents. what members have done and said in the past in investigation of the president, a special counsel
11:40 pm
, and how we review and consider obstruction of justice and impeachment are relevant today. referral of the star report to congress in 1998 and this committee's consideration of the lord were very -- report were very relevant today. the purpose of the markup is to conduct oversight and the refusal of the attorney general has led us to the resolution. reflect one-sided views, biased? you said in 1998 report this kind is a prosecutor's report, a one-sided report. why then is it important to see the unprotected report? wouldn't this committee be better off doing an investigation to see information that is balanced.
11:41 pm
is it critical for this congress are committee to review materials. suggesta time where you grand jury materials or unverified and may be salacious. you said the release may be unfair. why are we interested now. he said certain grand jury materials must not be seen it all. i offered an amendment to protect his materials and the democrats voted against my amendment. should this committee see the materials on the floor of the house in 1998, you said it would be grossly unfair to see the materials in relation to report involving the extraction of trust by democratic president. you criticize members of the judiciary committee. i would note during the nixon , thishment proceedings committee adopted rules to protect against leaks. we could do that today, but we
11:42 pm
have not. in 1999, the new york times mr.e a glowing piece, that nadler said he was not convinced that mr. clinton committed perjury or obstruction of justice. if the president did, the offenses would not the teachable. -- in teachable. there we have it. no collusion no provable extraction. thatnow we have issues would not be impeachable. not be impeachable, if they were found to be verified. and mr. chairman, i would note that you did suggest in 1999, an impeachment was a quote partisan coup d'etat. i believe it is important for this committee to understand and be mindful of its history as we consider today's business. your past statements related to these issues are as important today as they were in 1998 and
11:43 pm
1999. i urge the committee to adopt the amendment to ensure that the report accurately reflects our past positions. i yield back my time. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding. i yield myself five minutes to, in opposition of the amendment. the amendment incompletely and incorrectly, incompletely, i should say, mischaracterizes my position of 20 years ago. it mischaracterizes and is incomplete also my position of today. i in any event reserve the right to learn, over a 20-year period. i am not going to waste time debating my view in 1998. and i have already stated my views on this matter today. we ought to be focused now on getting the unredacted mueller report, and the underlying evidence for the committee and for the american people, and they are of great moment. i will simply say one thing. with respect to what the gentleman said a moment ago.
11:44 pm
yes, a prosecutor's report is a prosecutor's report. and is not necessarily totally objective. and yes, we should look at other evidence, too. but that's where you start. you have to start by looking at the mueller report and the underlying evidence for it. it is not where we should finish. no one is suggesting that that's the only evidence before us. but it is the start of the evidence. it is the start of the evidence. and as i said i am not going to debate my views of 20 years ago. not now. i will be happy to do it in other forums. i have already stated my position today. i oppose the amendment. i urge my colleagues to vote against it. and i urge my colleagues to do what we can to get the unredacted mueller report, and the underlying evidence for the committee, and for the american people, so that we can do our job, of holding the administration accountable. i yield back. the question occurs -- oh, for what purposes does the gentle
11:45 pm
lady from florida seek recognition. >> move to strike the last word recognized for five minutes. >> mr. chairman, i wish to speak in opposition from the gentleman of colorado's amendment. as a former law enforcement officer, i frequently make statements and comments about law enforcement and the department of justice. and overwhelmingly, most of my comments are filled with pride and appreciation for the men and women of a profession that i have loved. but attorney general barr has betrayed his oath to uphold the law and defend the constitution, and today, we are voting to hold him accountable for refusing to respond to a lawful subpoena. and mr. chairman, we have more than enough reason to be here, and to take this action. the special counsel's report documents a pattern of criminal
11:46 pm
and and makes it clear that it is not -- if it were not for the department of justice rule, had the subject of this investigation been any other person, any other man or woman, he or she would have been charged. and shockingly the report shows the president tried to limit the investigation, fire the investigators and hide conclusions. let us also remember that several of the president's associates who were closely related to either the administration or the campaign are guilty of federal crimes. the president of the united states encouraged his associates to hide the truth, illegally suggested that he would pardon witnesses and threatened them with retribution if they didn't
11:47 pm
protect him. in short, the special counsel's report tells a shocking story of corruption and obstruction. the mueller report shows motive and means. it documents statements, events and evidence. however, 48 short hours after receiving the 448-page report from the special counsel, attorney general barr rushed to release a letter designed to mislead the nation knowing that the american people are just busy. trying to make a living, take care of their families, trying to stay healthy and be safe. the attorney general's letter, in fact, was so misleading that the special counsel wrote to the attorney general saying that the letter did not fully capture the context, nature and substance of the report, and, in fact,
11:48 pm
threatened to undermine, undermine the investigation. as a former police chief, a law enforcement officer, someone who worked as a detective and a detective sergeant, i am not angry, i am not ticked off or afraid, but i am deeply disappointed by the top cops of this nation's behavior. too often the powerful exploit our system and take advantage of the system and everyone else, but, mr. chairman, not today. so i do not support the gentleman from colorado's amendment, but i do fully support the underlying resolution to hold the attorney general, like we would anybody else, excludeing the president, accountable and hold him in contempt. thank you, mr. chairman. and with that i yield back.
11:49 pm
>> gentleman from california. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i move to strike last word. >> gentleman is recognized. >> thank you. first of all, i want to welcome my constituents who have come all the way from orange county to be here to witness democracy, to witness the judiciary committee. good debate on the law. good debate on policy. and i wanted to take a few moments just to let you know what this is all about today. a lot of debate, a lot of discussion, but this is really about that concept that no one is above the law. and we in congress have the responsibility on behalf of the american people to hold each and every person accountable for their actions and wrongdoing. congressional oversight. congressional oversight is what this is about today. our democratic constitutional systems of checks and balances says that we have to have
11:50 pm
meaningful, significant congressional oversight, and today we're debating simply one important thing, which is access by congress of the mueller report. full mueller report and all the underlying evidence. we're congress people. every day we are subject, we review top secret documents. believe it or not, we can keep secrets, and today is one of those days when we have to make sure that we have access to all the information. the mueller report, mr. mueller, everybody seems to have an opinion about what the mueller report is about, including mr. mueller, who came back and said that mr. barr's four-page statement was not correct. so here we are today asking to see the full mueller report, and it's just not about what happened in 2016, and it's not
11:51 pm
about who did what, when and how. sadly, it's about something equally important, which is the 2020 election. i also sit on homeland security. the former head of homeland security, secretary nielsen, before she resigned she tried to tell the president that the russians were at it again. and the president did not want to listen. if we are to have significant democracy in this country, we have to make sure that we protect it from foreign interference, and today getting to the bottom of that mueller report is the first step in the direction of protecting america, protecting our democracy and making sure that people in this country are assured that their votes and their elections are sacred. mr. chairman, i yield. >> for what purpose does the gentlelady from texas seek recognition?
11:52 pm
>> to say the last word. >> gentlelady's recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and, dpraul,first of all, i wan thank you for your patience and your judicious demeanor throughout these proceedings and in working with the department of justice to reach an accomodation. i, you know, i find it very difficult to even bring to words what i need to say today because as a lawyer, a former judge and an officer of the court, i'm astoundly and profoundly disturbed that the attorney general of the united states is refusing to comply with a congressional subpoena. never in my dreams growing up working hard to get an education with a belief in truth, justice and the american dream, never would i have believed that i'd be sitting here today talking about an attorney general of the united states, the top law enforcement officer, refusing to comply with a subpoena of the
11:53 pm
united states congress. and what's this fight really all about? you know, this is the report itself. for those watching from tv. and it may sound like it's not a lot when they keep saying that it's only 8% of a report, but wouldn't all of us like to hide 8% of our lives? you know, as stated earlier, what about the truth we tell? i'm catholic. when i go to confession, do i just not tell 8% of the things that i really should confess about? no, you confess about the whole thing. this is -- this is what it looks like. if you're the reader, you really do kind of feel cheated because you're reading and then all of a sudden there is just dark spaces. and that really how i do feel. i feel like i'm being cheated. i feel like the american people are being cheated. so it's important, mr. chairman, and my colleagues, that we tell the american people exactly why
11:54 pm
we are here. we're not here because we enjoy yelling at each other or fighting with each other or, frankly, sometimes because we enjoy being with each other. we're here convened today to fulfill our constitutional oversight responsibilities. that, i might add, in addition to our legislative responsibilities. the constitution establishes congress and the executive as co-equal branches designed to check each other. that system relies on each branch respecting, and i'm going to underscore respecting, the powers of the other two. this committee has issued a subpoena directed to the attorney general to produce an unredacted copy of the mueller report so that we can see, frankly, what they're trying to hide. we need the full report, but the attorney general has refused to comply and now belatedly has urged the president to exert
11:55 pm
executive privilege. in texas we say he's a day late and a dollar short. that refusal undermines our constitutional order and its system of checks and balances and if we do not -- if we do note hold the attorney general in contempt for this refusal, it diminishes congress as an institution and continues to disrespect the american people. congress is constitutionally entitled to the full mueller report and it requires this evidence so that we can fulfill our legislative oversight and constitutional responsibilities. mr. barr may need reminding that no one, not myself, not the president and not the attorney general is above the law. so i therefore think that, mr. chairman, that we have no choice but to hold mr. barr accountable, and the way we do that is through contempt.
11:56 pm
i don't support this amendment. i think we need to move on. i don't think it adds anything. and i intend to vote for your motion and your report. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> mr. chairman? >> mr. chairman? >> for what purpose does the gentleman from wisconsin seek recognition? >> mr. chairman, i move to strike the last word. >> gentleman is recognized. >> mr. chairman, we've had a number of speakers in a row on the other side of the aisle and every one of them has forgotten the background of attorney general barr, former deputy attorney general rosenstein and also mr. mueller. all of them are prosecutors. all of them are trained to spot where there is enough evidence to obtain a conviction should they go to the grand jury and bring a defendant to trial. in terms of the alleged russian collusion, there is extensive
11:57 pm
evidence in the mueller report that, yes, the russians did attempt to influence the election, but there was no collusion or no conspiracy. you know, they did things like paying facebook to have pop-up ads on people's cell phones and other types of things, including getting the voter registration rolls in the state of illinois and perhaps elsewhere. but there wasn't the tie that they concluded with the trump campaign or for that matter anybody else to do that. now, in regards to volume ii of the mueller report, again, mueller is a trained prosecutor. many of the indictments that he brought were for federal crimes of people who were involved in the trump campaign, like mr. manafort, but for offenses that they committed before mr. trump even announced his candidacy for president of the united states.
11:58 pm
so we're not talking about corruption during the campaign, we're talking about corrupt individuals doing corrupt things before trump announced and before the campaign started. we hear an awful lot about the summary of the mueller report that attorney general barr made public a couple days after the report was delivered. now, first of all, you can read that report in a couple of days. it's 400 pages long. so having a reaction to the report within two days is not simply blowing off what may have been contained in there, but mr. barr is entitled to his opinions. and what was contained in that letter are the opinions of the attorney general of the united states. no more, no less, on what he had read in the mueller report. now, if mr. mueller has a
11:59 pm
different opinion, and apparently he does, from my reading of the press, maybe he should have made that part of the report a little bit more specific so that there would be no ambiguity involved in what mr. mueller was driving at. now, we talk about separation of powers here, and i've heard that repeatedly today on the other side of the aisle. one of the things in separation of powers is that the legislative branch does not prosecute anybody. that was specifically prohibited in the constitution simply because of the excesses of the british parliament that occurred before the constitution was written and before the independence of our country. so we don't prosecute anybody. sure, we do oversight, but i can see there is a way not to do oversight, and that's what we're
12:00 am
seeing on the other side of the aisle. i was the chairman of this committee for six years in the last decade, and before that i was the chairman of the science committee. we did very vigorous oversight on the patriot act, as the chairman, the gentleman from new york, recognized. i did vigorous oversight of our involvement with the russians in terms of the space station, as those who were around here at that time recognized, but in ten years as a committee chairman, i never issued a subpoena. and the reason i never issued a subpoena is that i was able to get the information the committee needed to do its oversight simply by negotiating, by writing letters to the agency heads, some of which i admit used some very tart language, but at least i was able to get the information that the committee needed to make the agencies operate better without issuing a subpoena.
12:01 am
what we're seeing here is subpoena first and then figure out, you know, what we can do to make people embarrassed because they cannot comply with all parts of the subpoena. mr. barr can't do that under rule 6e. so the chairman has put the attorney general between a rock and a hard place. comply with the subpoena, he'll violate the law on grand jury secrecy, blow off the subpoena and you end up being found in contempt. that's not fair and it doesn't do this committee any good in getting to the bottom of this. i yield back. >> mr. chairman? >> for what purpose does the gentlelady from georgia seek recognition? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to move to strike the last word. >> gentlelady's recognized. >> thank you. on the heels of my esteemed colleague from texas, i'd kind of like to take a few moments and just bring these discussions back to our broader problem.
12:02 am
today the house judiciary committee is holding a vote on whether to hold mr. barr in contempt. and, trust me, i take no joy in doing this whatsoever, and i'm disappointed that it's come to this, but compliance with congressional oversight is simply not an option. the american people should be able to know if the government is working for the people. my constituents in my district, they deserve to know the truth. and this committee, we deserve to know the truth, and we should do whatever it takes to ensure that our government is by the people and for the people. this administration has announced a dangerous blanket policy of refusing to comply with congressional -- critical congressional oversight. this makes it impossible for us and this committee to fulfill our constitutional responsibilities.
12:03 am
and lastly, i'd like to say this. if this committee with every fiber of their being is not fighting for the american people then who are we fighting for? and i yield back the balance of my time. >> mr. chairman? >> mr. chairman? >> for what purpose does the gentleman from -- >> louisiana. >> -- louisiana seek recognition? >> i move to strike the last word. >> the last word is duly struck and the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i have a point of clarification. it's pretty technical but i do believe it's important for the proceedings today. before reassessed, the committee voted unanimously to adopt an amendment by mr. gates that nothing in the resolution should compel the attorney general to violate the law to comply with the subpoena. your intent was not to force the attorney general to disclose 6e material which would, of course, be in violation of the law. >> without a court order. >> without a court order. so on april 3rd, this is the
12:04 am
question. mr. b i'd ask unanimous consent to include that in the record. >> without objection. >> every democrat voted against that amendment and i have the vote tally right here as well and i'd ask to include that in the record as well. >> without objection. >> the amendment failed by a party line vote, 16 republican yeas and 24 democrat nays. this morning's vote changes nothing about the subpoena and the demands that are put on the attorney general. the subpoena as it stands today requires the attorney general to break the law to be fully compliant. if you look at it on its dpas, that's beyond dispute. i know that and you know that and nonetheless you're rushing to hold him in contempt. so despite your intent that the subpoena not require 6e material without a court order, that's what the subpoena you issued actually demands if you read it on its face. you and every single democrat member on this dais voted for that and that's the danger we're talking today about moving forward so quickly on these
12:05 am
things. so here's the thing. i ask my good friends and colleagues on the other side, how explain today's sudden change of heart? is it true it is not your intent to force the a.g. to break the law to disclose 6e material, and if that is your intent, that proves what every republican on this dais has been saying all day. if it's not, the subpoena you've issued is dangerously overbroad and the question is are you going to reissue a new subpoena? it's a change of heart -- >> will the gentleman yield? >> i'll yield. >> no, we're not going to issue a new subpoena. we have no intention and never had any intention of enforcing -- of trying to force the attorney general or anyone else to give us 6e material without going to court. we did want to and we still do want to follow the procedure that has been done in every similar case in the past, of going to court, which we will do, to ask for 6e material and having the attorney general go with us. the reason that was in the
12:06 am
subpoena was to -- was to increase our clout in court in getting the 6e material, hopefully with the attorney general's support, but it in no way meant to force him to give that support. >> mr. chairman, reclaiming my time. the way i understand it, the attorney general would be required to go to court to avoid the -- the way the subpoena is written right now. he would be required to go to court. >> if the gentleman will yield? >> i will yield. yes, sir. >> the subpoena is written as the beginning of a dialogue process, the beginning of a process to talk to the attorney general and to the department of justice, and ultimately to go to court, but it's designed to be the foundation of a dialogue and is not designed to force our hand in what we insist on in court. >> mr. chairman, the beginning of a dialogue -- let me yield to mr. bog, if i may. >> let me just point out, we
12:07 am
have accepted the amendment today. we've stated the intent. i think that should take care of the matter. go ahead. >> this is a contempt proceeding. let me yield to mr. buck. >> i've issued many subpoenas on behalf of prosecutors offices i've worked in. i've never considered it the beginning of a dialogue, i've considered it a command by the court to produce documents. we are now in a contempt proceeding and i'm not sure whether you consider this the middle of a dialogue or the mid beginning of a dialogue, but i consider this a pretty serious matter. as is ordering -- issuing a subpoena from the judiciary committee. if it was a dialogue that you were interested in, and i understand that it's your position that you had attempted a dialogue two months before the department of justice came to the table, but if it's a dialogue you're interested in, i believe there are other methods of going about that than a command from congress to the
12:08 am
administration to supply documents, and this is a far, far cry from anything other than one of the most serious matters that we will handle in the judiciary committee in the year 2019. so i would ask -- and i thank the gentleman for yielding to me, but i would ask you to clarify exactly what we're doing here in contempt if this is part of a dialogue with the attorney general. >> mr. chairman, reclaiming my six second that i have left. in the letter the attorney general says to you you've terminated our accommodations and abandoned the ongoing process. that's a dialogue. why did you do that and why are we here if this is part of a dialogue? >> we didn't terminate, they did by refusing to make any offer in good faith. the gentlelady from florida is recognized. for what purpose does the gentlelady from florida seek recognition? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i move to strike the last word. >> gentlelady's recognized. >> i think we need to regroup for just one second, and i'd
12:09 am
like to share my story. i have -- i did not have the privilege of being born into this country. i became an american citizen when i was 20 years old, and both when i became a citizen and when i was sworn in to congress, i took an oath to protect and defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. and just last month i spoke to a group of new citizens in my district in miami who took that same oath. the room was in tears at the significance of becoming members of our shining example of democracy. attorney general barr took that same oath but now he shows us that the only oath he's following is to protect and defend this president. who right now is threatening the strength of our democracy. having come from south america, i understand very well what it means when authoritarian leaders believe that they are above the law. they start circumventing other branches of government and
12:10 am
consolidate their own power to the detriment of the democratic ideals and freedoms of this country, and we cannot allow this to happen in the united states of america. we have a crisis on our hands. on the one hand, we have a report that details a systematic attack on our election system by a foreign adversary. on the other, we have an administration that refuses to acknowledge these attacks and fails to recognize the article i powers of a co-equal branch of government. and we have an attorney general who refuses to comply with a duly issued legitimate congressional subpoena. now, just for one moment i'd like to bring up some facts. the mueller report concludes that the russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion. the report states that the russians attacked our election systems, at least in part to support the trump campaign. the russians targeted our state
12:11 am
and local governments. in fact, my own state of florida, including my very own district, florida 26, was a victim of russian attacks. the report says that the russian government sent spear phishing emails to over 120 email accounts used by florida county officials responsible for administering the 2016 election, and despite this clear threat to our democracy, the attorney general has seemingly relinquish the duties he owes to the american people. he has chosen to work as the president's personal defense counsel, seeking to bury mueller's very detailed accounts of the president's attempts to obstruct justice. since mueller issued his report, mr. barr's conduct has been misleading and effective and deceptive. he's tarnished his own reputation, despite numerous reasonable requests from the house and this committee, the attorney general has refused to put the interests of the american people first.
12:12 am
he has refused to allow congress to view the full report and the evidence on which it is based. and now, just this morning, he's pleading the president to assert executive privilege only when the possibility of contempt is on the table. i was elected into office to lower health care costs, fix a broken immigration system, pass common sense gun reform laws, but i was also elected to take an oath to defend the constitution of the united states. i take my job very seriously. and being a mom i can assure you that i can do more than one thing at a time. in addition to passing legislation for the people, congress also has a duty to perform our oversight function to make sure that this administration is taking adequate steps to protect our elections from future attacks, and we can't do that job with an administration that obstructs our constitutional responsibility at every single turn.
12:13 am
this contempt citation is necessary to ensure that the attorney general does not violate his oath to uphold the constitution and is held accountable to congress and to the american people. i ask my republican colleagues across the aisle, who speak so strongly against the violations of democratic values and freedoms in venezuela, in cuba, to not abdicate their article i powers to this president. our constitution, the separation of powers and our very democracy depend upon us to support and defend the constitution of the united states and faithfully discharge the duties of our office. i yield the rest of my time. >> mr. chairman? >> that was -- >> for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? >> to strike the last word. >> gentleman's recognized.
12:14 am
>> okay. continuing this out. and i know that i'll yield to some of our members as well. it's not an empty point, and i think this is the concern that has been brought up because i've said it before on this committee, that we don't vote on intent, we don't vote on what we say, we vote on words on paper. a judge, anybody else votes on what's presented to them in court. and the subpoena i have before me says that the honorable william p. barr, attorney general, will appear and identify certain things to produce. those things that he was supposed to produce are, number one, the complete and unredacted version of the report submitted on or about march 22nd, 2019. all documents obtained -- there is no qualification there. it says you will produce everything that we just said with no qualifications of 6e. if everything is involved there, there is 6e information in there. so this is something when you look at the -- when the court
12:15 am
will look at this, and if you even look to the back on 15 under -- i think it's -- report number 15 on definitions. 15 says the report means the complete and unredacted version of the report submitted on or about march 22nd, 2019. we offered an amendment that would have excluded 6e information from this report and from this subpoena. this is not in this subpoena. the four corners of the subpoena simply say give us the whole report. it does say nothing that's not against the law and it can't be assumed when you put this in here. when we look at this, this is an important point and also there's been a couple of cases where it says as in other cases. mr. chairman, you've said this and others, as in other cases where we go with the attorney general to make this happen. there is no other cases. the independent counsel case that you cite and others done under the independent counsel statute which the independent counsel went to court to get the information, not the attorney general. so as we look at this, mr. johnson brings up a very valid
12:16 am
point, and when we rejected the 6e amendment to the subpoena, this is now what we are left with with a subpoena that truly does on any valid reading of this that says if you read this subpoena, any attorney, any judge, it says give me the whole report. i don't care -- even classified. i mean, it's all -- you got to have everything here. so this is just the four-corner document of what a judge would look at when enforcing this subpoena. so it does matter. it's not ill relevanrrelevant. it is a valid question. if we rejected on 6e how do you say it's not except take your word for it? around this place neither side take our word for it. you go what's on the paper. i yield to the gentleman from arizona. >> thank you, mr. collins. i appreciate that. the point i wanted to make is real simple. getting back to what's going to happen when the court gets there. the court will look at
12:17 am
documents. the court is going to look first at the document which talks about a full and complete unredacted -- excuse me. it's going to look at the subpoena which has a full and complete unredacted report. and the point has been made by mr. johnson, it's also been made by mr. buck and mr. collins, that is what will be questioned. mr. barr, did you -- did you submit to that report -- to that subpoena? and there is no way he can comply with this subpoena because we have not qualified it. which puts him back to what i kept saying this morning, is that you've placed him by the terms of the subpoena in an untenable position. it's either be held in contempt or violate the federal law. and so when we move there, the judge is going to say, and since we've now basically qualified the contempt motion that we're here marking up, the judge is going to say the subpoena you have is now invalid.
12:18 am
your contempt citation is premature. you did not give mr. barr an opportunity to respond to the modifications that you made in your contempt hearing. that's what this is about. so when people start talking about rule of law and we need to do that. i am all for the rule of law. by modifying today, say what mr. barr has to comply with, you have inalterably changed this subpoena. you're premature on the subpoena that is outstanding. there is no subpoena that has been modified. it is only your motion that has been modified. how in the world will the court rule in favor of you? it's a legalistic argument, but the reality is that's exactly what a judge is going to be asking you, and i yield back to mr. collins. >> i thank the gentleman from arizona. again, this goes back to the whole argument we've had on why we're here today. is it too quick? have we come to this point too quick?
12:19 am
have we reached an impasse. today in essence, i don't think it could be construed too broadly here, we've actually made an offer here at the contempt hearing. with that, i yield back. thank you, mr. chairman. >> for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado rise? >> i move to strike the last word. >> gentleman's recognized. >> mr. chair, i'm happy to recognize you for a moment if you'd like to respond to the ranking member. >> let me just -- i thank the gentleman for yielding. i just want to say the following. we've been beating a dead horse. we've made clear -- two comments. the constitution requires that the two branches of government engage in an accommodations process when one wants information from the other. i asked the department to begin that dialogue with us long before the report was released in anticipation of our needs. long before the mueller report was released. i issued a subpoena only when the attorney general made it clear he would not provide it to
12:20 am
us in any meaningful way. i asked to negotiate with the department at least five times over six weeks. they provided us with nothing. when we moved to contempt only after the a.g. blew through our may 1st deadline, i am still willing to reach an accomodation. late last night we were still negotiating with the department pulled the plug and declared its intent to declare privilege over all of the material that we wanted. over all the material from the grand jury -- both the grand jury material and other redactions and all of the underlying evidence and, yes, absent an accomodation, the attorney general must comply with a lawful subpoena. that is the general thing. yeah, i heard that with holder they negotiated -- it took 400 days. but holder supplied many documents through that period. in the end there was an impasse. here they refused to negotiate with us or to deal with us in any way or to give us a single piece of paper. secondly, we keep talking about
12:21 am
the 6e material. we've made clear the 6e material was not included for purposes of the subpoena. if that was not clear enough, when we accepted mr. gates' amendment, that was made super clear. we hope to continue negotiations anyway, but you're beating a dead horse that is not relevant because, "a," no one's going to insist on it, and, "b," the amendment to the contempt motion makes that very clear. i thank the gentlemen. i yield back. >> will the gentleman yield? >> it's his time. >> i know. that's why i'm asking. >> i'll yield a moment to the ranking member. >> thank you. again, i get it. they were wanting to discuss this, but there's no -- how many lawyers walk into a court today and have a -- present a four-corner document to a judge and then you try to argue, well, that's not what we meant, mr. -- your honor. i meant to include this -- i've lost cases that way because i didn't put what i wanted in there. we can't say it doesn't matter. i appreciate the gentleman yielding just to make that
12:22 am
clarification. it does matter what's in the subpoena. it does matter. my question is really from a legal perspective, by adding this to contempt today, did the majority and us make an offer to the department of justice? i yield back to the gentleman. thank you. >> thank you. mr. chair, i just again want to -- i imagine we're getting fairly close to the end of this hearing. kind of circle back to why we're here. and i think representative escobar, the gentlewoman of texas did a world job saying our democracy was attacked by a foreign power in we know what and the mueller report makes abundantly clear that that was the case. i would refer the american public to page 3 of the contempt report, and i'll quote. "the redacted mueller report contains numerous findings, including that the russian government attack the 2016 u.s. presidential election in
12:23 am
sweeping and stystematic fashio in a social media campaign, and, two, that russian intelligence services focused on state and local databases of registered voters affiliated with voter registration. for example, quote, the gru compromised the computer network of the illinois state board of elections then gained access to a database containing information -- >> will the gentleman yield? >> i will not. on millions of registered voters and extracted data before the malicious activity was identified. here's the point. if i can leave the american people with one thing, it is this, it will happen again. that is why it is so fundamentally important for us to discharge our constitutional duties by reviewing the mueller report and the underlying evidence. and, by the way, this is why i'm particularly frustrated today because this is not an
12:24 am
unreasonable request. as i referenced earlier in this hearing. i'll read a letter. april 25th to the attorney general of the united states that says in our prior letter we made clear for the committee to discharge its unique constitutional and statutory responsibilities, the committee requires full visibility into the special counsel's office unredacted report, findings and underlying evidence and information. that letter is signed by congressman adam schiff and congressman devin nunes of the intelligence committee. i am at a loss for understanding who my colleagues on the other side of the aisle who i respect greatly would not join in our efforts to be able to ensure that this committee and its distinguished members have access to the special counsel's report so that we can ultimately do our jobs, and given the attorney general's unwillingness to allow us to do so. and this administration's engaging and wholesale obstruction of congress to be able to engage in its oversight duties, we have no choice but to
12:25 am
move forward with a contempt citation. that's why i'll be voting no on my colleague's amendment and voting yes in favor of the citation. and with that i yield. >> for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek re recognition? >> mr. chairman, i move to strike the last word. >> the gentleman is recognized. >> i yield the balance of my time to my colleague from louisiana. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. chairman, i just want to make sure that we get something straight for the record because if there is a court proceeding about this, this will be very relevant to the judge in that matter. you said in your own words, i think just a few moments ago in response to my inquiry, that the subpoena you shouissued, that t committee issued to the attorney general is just the next step in the dialogue. we're here on an extraordinary contempt citation. this is not a game. your subpoena is issued to the attorney general of the united states of america and it reads in its first line "you are hereby commanded."
12:26 am
that is not an invitation to a dialogue, unless we're going to construe it that way. if that is the view of the chair, we need to make it crystal clear for the record right now so we can dispense of the court hearing that many of us anticipate to come out of this. this record will make that court hearing moot and unnecessary. this is i dialogue and not intended by the -- by the sender of the subpoena to be an actual subpoena, apparently. look, the authority that we have in the congress to issue subpoenas is a heavy one. we should not weaponize this. we can't be using this stuff for political purposes and that's what's happening in this committee right now. many of the legal rights usually associated with a judicial subpoena don't apply to a congressional subpoena. we have a huge weight of authority and i just feel like it's being abused here and i think the admission that you made just a few moments ago is extraordinary and it makes much of what we have done here today a total waste of the american taxpayers' time. i'll yield back. >> yield back? >> mr. chairman?
12:27 am
>> for what purpose does the gentleman from -- >> mr. chairman? >> i'm sorry. >> mr. chairman, i yield the balance of my time to my colleague, mr. biggs. >> thank you. thank you. i just want to make two quick points that i think have to be said. when i listen to some of my colleagues on the other side and they talk about the russian meddling, which is one of the findings in the mueller report, there is nobody on this side of the aisle that is minimizing that. there is no one over here who doesn't think something has to be done. in fact, it was the obama administration under which that took place. that's when that took place, but we need to -- both side are culpable. both sides need to fix that. but it has nothing to do with whether mr. barr has complied with the subpoena. that's why we're here, to see if he should be held in contempt. the subpoena in and of itself, as we've now discovered, was apparently the words within the
12:28 am
subpoena were not what was intended by this party. by the chairman. that is a problem when you're going to find someone in contempt. contempt says there was a specific order of performance to be made. you didn't make it. we're going to hold you in contempt. that has nothing to do with whether we all think something should be done about russian interference in the most sacred right of being in a democratic republic, which is voting. but what it does have to do with is whether we follow the rule of law. and what i'm seeing today is we will issue a subpoena, but when it comes time to enforce the subpoena through something called a contempt citation, we will start modifying what we really intended. that cannot stand, and with that i'll yield my time to the gentleman from colorado. >> i thank the gentleman for
12:29 am
yielding. i just wanted to respond to my friend from colorado rather than doing this on the plane ride back on friday, we can do it right here in public. i don't think anybody on this side of the aisle disagrees that the russians meddled, interfered, tried to influence the outcome of our election, and if this is what this is about, i'm absolutely in favor of proceeding and finding out more information and doing our job as oversight. i -- a number of the folks on this side of the aisle were very adamant outbound our article i powers when president obama was in office and a number of them are very adamant right now about our powers of oversight and take this very seriously. the issue before us is whether the president colluded, conspired with the russians, and it's clear from the mueller report that he did not. and so i think we need to move on and not attack the attorney general in this way. i understand from the chairman that we are not after 6e material until we get an order from the court, that we are
12:30 am
willing to only look at classified material in a secured setting. i think both of those things make a lot of sense. then the other two categories of documents, i really don't know enough about. i can't support the underlying motion in this case because i just don't know what the negotiations were, and i think this is premature. >> gentleman's time is expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? >> i move to strike the last word. >> gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i've been amused over the last half hour or so listening to the sweet talk coming from the other side of the aisle. it reminds me of when i was courting my wife and trying to get her to agree to mary ry me, and i just wouldn't let her leave until she committed, and i just kept talking and talking and bringing up 6e and 6g and
12:31 am
everything that i could, and so finally 39 years ago she agreed to marry me. so i won. but we can't let the republicans win today, trying to sweet talk us and trying to sweet talk the american people. the issue is not about 6e. don't get it twisted. the issue is about whether or not the republicans on this panel will be consistent with the vote that they took on the floor of the house on march 14th, and they voted unanimously, in a rare form of bipartisan unity, we all voted 420-0 for a full release of the full mueller report. what happened to change their minds about it? because now they're trying to sweet talk us into not getting the report. what changed? i believe what happened was on april 22nd my colleague from
12:32 am
georgia was able to go and view the unredacted report. he went by himself and he agreed that he wouldn't say anything to anybody about it, but now we have the republicans in locks p lockstlockste lockstep, all of them agreeing to obstruct our ability to get the report. they have rescinded their support of march the 14th, and i wonder why. is it because -- >> would the gentleman yield and i'll explain? >> is it because they understand they have seen the full report and now they don't want us to see the report? because they are afraid that it implicates the president. what is the reason why they have changed their minds from march 14th to today? and with that i will yield to the -- to the gentleman from colorado. i would like to have an answer to that question. it's more than a rhetorical one.
12:33 am
>> yes, sir. >> will the gentleman yield? >> i appreciate the gentleman from georgia yielding. i will just be brief not to belabor the point with respect to 6e, but i think this is an important clarification. the amendment we adopted from mr. gates simply -- for the attorney general to violate federal law or rules, including but not limited to rule 6 of the rules of criminal procedure. the attorney general, there are a variety of ways in which he could have complied with this subpoena and complied with rule 6. one of the ways, as has been discussed during this hearing, was to simply tell this committee that he believed he could not produce the grand jury materials but that he would join us in a request in a court of law to ultimately produce those materials. i will also say the members of the intelligence committee make a compelling case that there is another exception under rule 6e that very well could apply. if you look to footnote three in their letter to the attorney general where they state to the extent any such information relates to grand jury matters, rule 6e of the federal rules of
12:34 am
criminal procedure impose no bar to this committee. subparagraph 3, subparagraph "d." i'm new to congress, but many of you were here when the amendments to rule 6e were made in twup. this relates specifically to information involving intelligence, counterintelligence, grand jury matters involving grave hostile acts of a foreign power and so forth. so the point being that there are a variety of different ways in which the rule can be complied with and the subpoena could be complied with. in this case the attorney general, clearly after much, much negotiation by the chairman of this committee, who showed great patience throughout this entire process, chose not to do so. with that i yield back to the gentleman from georgia. >> thank you. and i yield to the gentleman from new york. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding. i fully agree with the gentleman from colorado, obviously, but i want to say that we're making a big mountain out of a small part of this.
12:35 am
and, remember, the main thing we're talking about is not rule 6e. the main thing we're talking about is the absolute stonewalling by the justice department, the attorney general and the president, not only of the unredacted mueller report and the -- and the underlying evidence, but of everything. the president said we will reject all house subpoenas. what we are dealing with here, and we should not lose sight of the main fact, is, one, a total stonewalling of congress from all oversight activity. which is unprecedented in the history of the country. and, two, the refusal to let the congress see the mueller report -- the unredacted mueller report and the underlying evidence, and i would point out that the comparisons made to 20 years ago are completely off base because 20 years ago the entire starr report, 445 pages and 17 boxes of documents were handed to the judiciary committee, and we saw
12:36 am
all of it. and the debate was whether -- how much of that or all of it should be made public or not. public. no one is urging that the entire -- that the -- all the -- the redacted version of the mueller report and the underlying evidence be made public. obviously there are parts that cannot be made public, but obviously the judiciary committee should make that decision, not the attorney general of the united states, who is acting -- who has misled the public, deliberately misled the public and apparently misled the congress as to contents of the report, and obviously has a motive other than -- a motive to protect the president. he shouldn't make that decision. the judiciary committee should make that decision, as has been the case in every previous case. that's what's at stake today. i yield back. >> mr. chairman? >> mr. chairman? >> mr. chairman, down here. >> for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio seek recognition? >> to strike the last word. >> gentleman's recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. before yielding to the ranking
12:37 am
member, i just want to say a couple of things. first of all, most of us, as well as being on this committee are on other committees. i happen to be on the foreign affairs committee, and we've looked over the years very closely at some of the abuses of the russians, putin in particular, all across the globe and in his own country as well. for example, killing his political opponents literally. usually through other people but it happened. jailing reporters. basically suppressing any true form of democracy in russia. in other parts of the world, we saw what he did in ukraine. basically using his so-called little green men to take over crimea, and then to brutally attack the people of eastern ukraine. shooting down a civilian airliner. basically propping up bashar al assad and bombing innocent
12:38 am
civilians, killing -- being responsible for killing thousands and thousands of innocents. so it's not a surprise that in the mueller report we saw that there's confirmation that he was trying to affect us here, affect in probably the most significant democracy on the globe, trying to adversely impact our elections as well. we saw him do it in other parts of the world as well. not surprising he was doing it here. but, again, i just want to mention, and the gentleman from arizona said this and others have as well, that this happened not when donald trump was president, this happened under president obama's watch. that's when it happened. and basically a blind eye was turned on most of those occasions. we saw, you know, the famous red line in syria, where action was promised and didn't happen, and investigations were talked about. it was talked about doing something about the russians, but ultimately nothing was done
12:39 am
by the obama administration to stop this. and a lot of times we wonder why i think perhaps it's because most people expected hillary to win the election and i don't think he wanted to think that there was russian hanky-panky involved in her winning, but that didn't happen. donald trump won and so therefore it became a huge issue. but let's not ever forget that this happened under president oba obama's watch. that's where action didn't take place. if you want to study and go into dealing with the russians and stopping them from doing this kind of stuff, that ought to be bipartisan. we'll work with you on that, but this is nothing about politics. this saab tis about the next el. this is about trying to demonize the attorney general. that's what this is all about. the mueller report didn't come out the way you thought it was going to come out, you're really disappointed about that and now you're fearful that this attorney general is going to look into what the mueller report should have been about, and that was trying to influence
12:40 am
an election, trying to tip an election into one party's favor over the other. that's what is going to be looked into now, and i think a lot of my colleagues don't like that. i'd like to yield my additional time to the ranking member. >> thank you. i appreciate that. and, look, real quick, i'm glad my friend from georgia, we've talked about many things. he is a sweet talker and i'm glad his wife actually agreed. the problem is we're not sweet talking here. we're talking about a subpoena to the attorney general. this is not sweet talking. this is a subpoena to the attorney general and we have been consistent. how have we been consistent? i stood on the floor and debated this resolution. the resolution says all of this will be released unless a portion is expressly prohibited by law. nothing changed. don't fool the american people here. don't try to tell them something changed. nothing changed in that process. you can read the resolution. the resolution says basically what we didn't say in the subpoena. the subpoena says you want everything. this actually said no 6e, no
12:41 am
classified. that's what you can't get. that's what the resolution said. there has been no backup there at all. the main thing that the chairman just said in the intel committee, i want to address this. the intel committee is not on this subpoena. so it doesn't matter -- i don't care what the intel committee says. the intel committee is not on the subpoena issued by this chairman in this committee, and on the point and in the face of this document, it asks for all things. the main thing is not about dialogue. the main thing is not about underlying documents. the main thing is what does the subpoena ask for, and the subpoena asks for everything. one last question before the time runs out. and, mr. chairman, you've cited on several occasions now discussing this, many cases where this has actually happened. where we've had many cases. outside the independent counsel statute, please cite me cases where this has happened where the attorney general goes to the committee to actually go and get this done. outside independent counsel, which independent counsel actually said you're supposed to do that, outside of that, what
12:42 am
are the cases? outside of independent counsel you stated on several occasions from the dais this morning that this is the way we've always done it in previous cases. our side can'tifi find a previo case outside the independent counsel. >> is the gentleman asking a question? will the gentleman yield? >> i yield. >> well, for example, watergate, whitewater, the clinton/gore campaign finance case, iran-contra, appreciate identify. >> reclaiming my time. reclaiming my time. you just answered everything i told you it was not. i said outside npd counsel inde counsel or impeachment. again, the problem comes -- my time is expired and somebody else can take the time. this is ia problem. the subpoena doesn't say that. >> i would remind the gentleman and everybody for that matter that what we are debating
12:43 am
supposedly is an amendment over my changed position 20 years ago and nothing else. we seem to have gotten away from that. for what purpose does the gentlelady from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> i move to strike the last word. >> the gentlelady's recognized. >> mr. chairman, i have to report to you that i over the course of the last 30 minutes am slightly encouraged. i heard at least two, maybe three of the minority members of this committee say they were upset about mueller's finding of the sweeping and systematic interference in our election by russia. i am encouraged. i have to admit, over the course of many months now i have not heard republicans say that. i hope that they share our outrage. i hope that they share our wish and will to protect our system of government and our elections. so it would follow, it seems to me, that they would also be outraged that what happened
12:44 am
during that sweeping and systematic interference with our elections was hundreds of meetings with trump and trump associates. hundreds of contacts. that might have been during the obama administration, but it was during the trump campaign. i hope you share my outrage at that. the campaign welcomed, wallowed, invited publicly that interference by a foreign foe. and so it would also follow that the minority members would be outraged by what the mueller report found in volume ii. which adds hundreds of federal prosecutors have now signed on to a letter this week says each of us believes that the conduct of president trump described in the special counsel mueller's report would, in the case of any other person, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice. where is your outrage on that? that the president's effort to try to fire mueller over and over and then falsify his
12:45 am
efforts to do that. the president's efforts to limit the scope of mueller's investigation so as not to investigate him. there is outrage to be had, and so it would follow -- i'll conclude before yielding the balance of my time with where you took us last week, mr. chairman. you asked an important question. history is watching. our children are watching. our voters, our constituents, americans are watching. where will you be counted? will you be on the side of obstruction? will you be on the side of an administration that simply wants to darken the entire mueller report, try to reclaim privilege that they've already waived? where will you be? will you sit silently? will you argue on behalf of a president who has falsified everything, who cares nothing about the truth, who cares nothing about our system of government, will you sit silently or will you boost him up in his false claims or will you stand up for the rule of
12:46 am
law, will you stand up for the constitution? history will judge us. with that, am delighted. it only took six hours into this hearing for us to finally get to what this is about. and this is about russia's attacks on the united states of america. and so how, knowing again, restating something i stated earlier, knowing they are still at it, knowing they were so wildly successful, how do we prevent that? who did it? who aided and abetted? who hid the truth? we've seen much of that in the mueller report. we have not seen it all. and the reason that we need to see it all and the reason more importantly that the american public needs to see it all. is so that we insure it never happens again. so unless you are willing for it
12:47 am
to happen again, i would hope that our colleagues on other side of the aisle would join us and would actually be demanding with us, to sigh everything, let's see it all. so we can hold those accountable who should be held accountable, and more importantly, prevent this from ever happening again. that is well within our power, it's this committee's obligation and responsibility and we invite our colleagues to join us in that quest for the full truth. ms. dean, i yield back. >> ms. dean, would the gentleman yield behind you? >> i will yield, thank you. the point i believe is who cares if it was president obama who was the president when we were attacked. i don't understand that point at all. it was still the russians attacking us. it's almost as if you're
12:48 am
suggesting we were asking for it because he didn't do enough to counter it and we should have to live with what they've done. i've spoe spoken up against the response. i believe it was inadequate. i think donald trump was in their head when he said that the election was going to be rigged. so they didn't want to counter that and reinforce that claim by donald trump. we were all attacked. that's the point here. it doesn't matter who the president was, the russians attacked us, you should be uniting with us to stop that. i yield back. >> on the amendment, the no's have it the amendment is not agreed to. no other amendments. >> the gentleman from north dakota is recognized. >> for what purposes is the gentleman frommed inned in
12:49 am
recognized. >> he has an amendment at the disk. the clerk will report on the amendment. >> to the committee report for the resolution recommending that the house of representatives find william p. barr, attorney general, u.s. department of justice in contempt of congress for refusal to comply with the subpoena duly issued by the committee on the judish are i offered by mr. armstrong of north dakota. >> the gentleman, will is recognized for five minutes to explain his amendment. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we've done a lot of this today and there's a lot going on back and forth. let's remember what the hearing is about today. this hearing is about holding the attorney general in contempt of violating the subpoena that he would have had to violate the law to comply with. we can talk about speeches, we can talk about interference and we can talk about we didn't really mean that he had to provide grand jury testimony. we spent the last hour and a half looking through any comments that have been made on
12:50 am
news in pront. you know what's interesting? not a single person has mentioned, said, we don't want grand jury testimony, it is the full, unredacted mueller report. that's what the subpoena says, that's what the narrative is. to have this reasonable dialogue after we've already committed to a contempt proceeding seems to be a little -- if we're using phrases, i'll use cart before the horse. different types of issues. what we did find was the chairman on cnn stating that every other a.g. has gone to court. outside of the ranking member making sure that's a misleading statement. it's a political argument and not an adequate reflection of the current status of the law so let's understand what the current status of the law is regarding release of grand jury testimonies. there's no federal code compelling the a.g. to go to court voluntarily to release grand jury testimony. the a.g. has the sole responsibility and prerogative to determine what doj's position
12:51 am
will be on the release of grand jury testimony. there's no law that allows a congressional subpoena to compel the a.g. to go to federal court to release grand jury testimony. the chairman and the majority may want him to release that information. they may think they're entitled to that information, but they have no, by issuing a subpoena, you cannot force the attorney general to go to court to release the information. >> and so we're offering the amendment, which is we've earlier, we have cited several different cases and have brought up for various different reasons. one of them the jaworski case, these are cases regarding impeachment with president nixon. one of the things we haven't done that is talked about a case that was decided a week ago and i think this is the most important thing that's been missed in this hearing. is there seems to be a failure to recognize that there's no
12:52 am
guarantee that the court would require to release this information. and william barr, the same circuit we continue to cite from 1972 held that rule 60 makes it clear that disclosures of matters occurring before the grand jury is the exception and not the rule. and sets fourth in precise terms to whom, under what circumstances or what conditions a grand jury information may be disclosed. rule 6 e restricts that person's bound by grand jury secrecy must not make any discloe yurs. unless these rules provide otherwise, the only provide to provide otherwise is rule 6 b 3. this isn't a fight between congress and the executive branch. this is the fight between the democratic leadership, the president and their base. and though the american people did not want impeachment proceeding if they want to
12:53 am
continue down this rabbit hole. then let's at least be clear about what the status of the law is. >> mr. chairman, point of parliamentary inquiry. >> mr. chairman, point of parliamentary inquiry. >> my inquiry is it appropriate or is the committee permitted to vote on an amendment, which as far as i can tell offer as legal opinion, but doesn't modify the contents of the contempt resolution. >> it's not a proper parliamentary inquiry. >> okay. >> the gentleman yield back? >> yeah, i yield back. >> i recognize myself for five minutes in opposition to the amendment. the amendment does two things. it says that my correspondence does not identify any legal
12:54 am
basis to compel the department to request, does not identify any legal basis to compel the department to request a federal court order. quite correct. it doesn't identify any legal basis to compel the department. because we don't ask the department be compelled to request a federal court order, it has nothing to do with anything. it's completely irrelevant. the second part says that the correspondence does not account to the recent d.c. court decision in mckeever ver us barr, which holds that the mckeever decision does say that, it recognizes that various exceptions, to enable federal courts to release 6 e information, including for judicial proceedings, there's authority that certain congressional proceedings are the equivalent of judicial proceedings. we think that's an adequate
12:55 am
legal basis. beyond that we've debated the this amendment extensively in the last amendment, which is basically exactly the same subject matter. i urge my colleagues to not waste, to oppose this amendment, because it is not accurate as to the correspondence, number one. it is not accurate as to the law, number two and it is completely unnecessary and misleading number three. i yield back. we've -- we'll take a vote on the amendment then. the question occurs on the amendment. >> what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? >> i yield to the gentleman from north dakota. >> and just briefly because i know it's been a long day. but the attorney general thought it was irrelevant, which is why it was issued into a response to the chairman. with that i yield back.
12:56 am
>> i yield back, mr. chairman. >> the question -- for what purpose does the gentleman from louisiana seek recognition. >> strike the last word. >> the gentleman is recognized. >> i want to make a simple point beext have been here a long day. there's been some extraordinary admissions i would submit by the chair and those who have issued the subpoena. but i want to quote, one line from the letter that the department of justice, assistant attorney general steven boyd said to you this morning. it begins we are disappointed that you are rejected the department of justice request to delay the vote of the committee on this contempt filing this morning. you terminated our negotiations and abandoned the accommodation process, as we have repeatedly explained, the attorney general could not comply with your subpoena in its current form without violating the law.
12:57 am
some of our democratic colleagues have conceded, i think, over the course of the last hour, that this 6 e material, that there are ways to get around this. that in its current form and on its face, maybe the subpoena says one thing, but maybe means another. the chairman said this is part of an ongoing dialogue. this entire charade was premature to unwarranted. our democratic colleagues have, effectively acknowledged that on the record. i think this amendment is one we should support. is not a legal opinion, this is a statement of facts. that the facts, the important facts that have, that have transpired over the last couple of weeks in this good-faith negotiation by an attorney general that's been completely transparent and who is limited only by the written rule of law. he is trying to comply with that. mr. nagu said a few moments ago, there are ways to comply, you can get around this and work
12:58 am
with the subpoena. that's exactly what the attorney general has been trying to negotiate. in good faith. >> we jump the gun. we came in here, wasted an entire day. all of these important issues are pending before the country. the tying the hands and the time of how many members on the committee. 40 members of congress are tied up into this and it's only as the chair says at the end of the day. i just repeated because it's so extraordinary that he invented this, in this rare moment of candor, this is really just the next step in an ongoing dialogue. we could have continued that dialogue without this charade. i yield back. >> for what purpose does the gentleman of georgia seek recognition? >> i move to strike the last word. >> all this sweet talk is killing me. i know how my wife must have felled felt. i'm going to get on one knee and apologize to her for putting her through what we're being put through today. the stakes are too high for us
12:59 am
to yield to the sweet talk. will darkness, secrecy and obstruction prevail? or will truth and the rule of justice overcome the sweet talk? that is the question that we are here to answer today whether or not we're going to issue this subpoena to obtain this information that the american people want and that the members of the house judiciary committee need in order to do our work. and with that, i'll yield to the gentleman from new york. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding. i want to point out that the amendment in front of us does two things. it points out that the language in, that my correspondence doesn't provide a legal basis to do something which we are not asking to be done. that is to compel the department to request the federal court, we've asked them to do it. but we do not seek to compel them to do it.
1:00 am
it it doesn't take account the decision on the mckeever case, which, however, does not bar a court from delivering, from ordering the grand jury material, the 6 e materials delivered to the committee under various conditions, which we think we can meet. it's totally irrelevant. more to the point, it's very hard to credit the good faith so-called of the attorney general, when for six weeks, six weeks, starting on -- when he first misstated what was in the barr report, in the mueller report, mislead the people, then for six weeks, refused to talk to us. refused to negotiate with us. at all. about getting access to the unredacted report and the underlying material. only evinced the willingness to negotiate with us for that purpose when we threaten this contempt in the last week wait until the last day basically to make an offer. made a ridiculous offer that a
1:01 am
couple of days earlier, made a ridiculous offer that only the chairman and the ranking member can see the material. and couldn't tell anybody on the committee or congress, so it was useless. rejected our counteroffer which said -- members of the committee should have access to this material. i would remind you in all previous cases members of the committee have had access to the material. the question was whether the public should have access to it, not the committee members, that was a decision for the committee and for congress. we didn't break off negotiations, they broke off negotiations when we said we would go ahead with the contempt proceeding last night if they didn't make us a better offer. and they rejected our counteroffer. other than two people can see it, one extra staff person that was the counteroffer. two members and couldn't discuss
1:02 am
it with other people. that was an insulting offer, they broke off negotiations at least, it leaves us no choice but to vote in contempt in order to enforce the right of the committee and the congress and ultimately the american people, to see this material which very much implicates the preds, his campaign working with the russians. to subvert an american election. very much implicates the president in obstruction of justice. the special prosecutor said he didn't charge that basically because of the legal counsel policy that you can't indict a sitting president, for anything, no matter how much evidence there is. we need to see on behalf of the american people, all the materials, that may be you can cull pa tor exculpatory, so i u my opponents to oppose the amendment. but to keep in sight what's at stake here. what's at stake is the ability of congress to do its job to
1:03 am
protect the american people. i yield back. >> thank you and mr. chairman, again, something bad must have happened from march the 14th, when every republican along with every democrat voted for the release of the full mueller report. and then march 22nd, when the ranking member goes to see, under a gag order by the way, goes and sees the full report. and now everybody on that side doesn't want to release the report. >> will the gentleman yield? i can answer your question. >> it doesn't pass the smell test. and yes, i yield. >> the answer is very simple. we voted unanimously to release the report within the bounds of the law. that's what the attorney general is doing and that's what apparently you keep missing. i don't understand why that's so difficult. >> the sweet talk is obscuring the real issue and we need to stop the sweet talk and get to business of voting on this resolution here and i had hoped that all of my friends and
1:04 am
colleaguesed on the other side would join us in preserving and protecting the rule of law. >> i ask unanimous consent to enter into the record this timeline of negotiations with the doj, beginning march 25th. >> all the letters of reference from me to the department and the other direction from the department to me, referenced in this timeline. without objection this material will be -- >> can i see it? >> is this from you or, is this put together by the staff? >> okay because again, part of the timeline, we offer the timeline on the public negotiations, we have no knowledge of maybe something that i haven't had a chance to read. we've asked. this references i believe you'll
1:05 am
correct me in i'm wrong. this references only letters written by the department to us. >> i didn't want -- without objection then -- the material will be entered into the record. >> what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek the admission. >> the gentleman seek to strike the last word. >> yes. >> the last word is duly struck and the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i agree with the chairman that it seems ridiculous that we have to go to review material that is classified, secret, privileged in some way. and not suitable for public release. we're not allowed to take our cell phones in. we have to leave those outside
1:06 am
the room. we're not allowed to take notes. but if we do take notes, or are some cases are allowed, we have to leave the notes there in the room. we can't take them with us. we can't discuss anything, anywhere, outside the skiff that we saw, heard, or read in the skiff. and the chairman said the attorney general in essence, said we could review the much more unredacted report in the skiff, but we couldn't tell anyone. that's -- it sounds ridiculous, except those are the rules. of the house. for reviewing material that is not subject to public review.
1:07 am
>> it would sound ridiculous, except they're the rules. we have to follow the rules. we get into trouble when we don't follow the rules. again, we're back to where we're going to ultimately vote. you have the votes. to hold attorney general barr in contempt of congress. which will be meaningless because you will never be able to enforce such a vote of contempt. before a court of proper jurisdiction. because you cannot legally for court have someone in contempt for refusing to do what the law says they cannot do. so that admission, is what we got. when the majority offered -- here's the negotiation. you agree to go into court with us, to get a court order saying
1:08 am
you can release the grand jury material. that is an admission of fact. an admission of law. that the attorney general cannot do what he's going to be voted apparently in contempt for failing to do. i applaud having an attorney general that believes that following the law -- i totally understand the skepticism of the majority when anything is redacted. because we found out during the obama years so often, and probably a majority of the team, when anything was redacted, it was making the administration look bad. it wasn't because there was something that was truly classified. so i can understand having seen that, out of the obama administration, you might want to project that on to this administration. but what was clear about attorney general barr, frankly i
1:09 am
didn't know him. i didn't know if he would be a decent attorney general or not. but i'm impressed he's trying to follow the law. he's trying to get to the bottom of things. sand if this were eric holder or loretta lynch, i don't have any doubt they would not have let you have any of the report if it pertained to their administration. so i thought the attorney general bent over backwards to present what he did. and now he's going to be met with a vote of contempt, it just i guess this is the rule. no good deed goes unpunished. the attorney general barr, maybe by a vote of contempt today by this committee, will learn the lesson that my late mama used to just say, there's some folks you can't help. and with that, i will yield back. >> for what purpose does the
1:10 am
gentle lady from texas seek recognition? >> i have a lot of good friends, mr. chairman, including yourself. a lot of good friends on the other side of the aisle and i'm simply trying to clarify the consistency of the false narrative that has continued as a theme of my friends on the other side of the aisle. chairman nadler has been consistent and we've been consistent. we've had three elements to our request. it has been modified to the extent of the two committees, republicans and democrats of the intelligence and judiciary committee. specific documents that we could specify. and 6 e materials is a part of it. operable under the law. even the attorney general and doj walking into court, with us. saying what can be released. or not opposing when we go into
1:11 am
court to get a court order. the false narrative that the whole premise is on trying to get grand jury materials that i'm sure the redundancy of this has strained the imagination of the american people. what is 6 e? it only means that documents used in a grand jury like you would be down in your own back yard you had a grand jury for a criminal case, those materials are typically not seen. in this instance, because of need for the thorough investigation that we have for the american people. we would use the courts. i want to move away from that. that is not the anchor of what we have requested. and then you cannot ignore the series of meetings and engagements that the staff has had. but what occurred in the last 24
1:12 am
hours, was a saturday night massacre of rejection. the doj stopped in its tracks of working with us. and we understand that. they stopped in their tracks. of working with us. and early in the morning we received two letters dated may 8, simultaneously. there was no space to be able to engage in a discussion if you receive a letter of disappointment. saying that we are not moving forward any more. you have terminated our ongoing discussions and abandoned the accommodation. we're still engaged. a saturday night massacre of rejection. simultaneously comes a letter, that says we're going to ask for a blanket executive privilege on everything. what more do you think people who are fact-finders can do?
1:13 am
if our negotiating partner has turned the lights out. and implemented saturday night massacre with letters, rejecting our honest attempt to negotiate. then they want to use the words of mr. nadler, i'm glad he's a gentleman that says he has a right to change his mind or he's been edified and he's always enlightened. and so he's gotten to the light and seen the light or has a different interpretation. that's just and fair. you say it in the open. you have a colleague, chairman cummings, who is not here to defend himself. so he was used to say that he's against subpoenas and he said it seven years ago. so let me just add into the record the words of the chairman of the government oversight committee, mr. elijah cummings. at the time of the republican contempt vote seven years ago, attorney general holder had already produced more than 7,000
1:14 am
pages of documents to our committee. to my knowledge, attorney general barr has refused to turn over any document. he went on to say the night before the contempt vote in 2012, i remember this well, attorney general holder was really trying not to get a contempt vote. he found this particularly sensitive. for his integrity. so he was working with the committee. attorney general holder personally came to meet with chairman issa and me and offered to provide copies of additional internal deliberative documents. here attorney general barr is blocking the production of the very documents that general holder came forward to produce. he was like that in the judiciary committee as well. then attorney general holder made a fair and reasonable offer, to resolve the impasse, by providing thousands of pages of documents and numerous interviews. here, attorney general barr refused to even show up. so in 2012 ranking member
1:15 am
cummings did ask for a short delay to allow the committee to consider an eight-page legal document asserting executive privilege and an offer from general holder to produce additional deliberative documents. let us not establish a false narrative. this apples and oranges from what happened in 2012. i would say to my colleagues, join us in this -- recognition that to do our job, we need the documents, work with general barr. if you cannot do that, vote for the contempt citation, with that i yield back my time. >> those in favor say aye? opposed, no? >> in the opinion of the chair, the nays have it and the amendment is not agreed to. are there any further amendments to the amendment in nature and substantive? the question occurs on the amendment in the nature of a substitute, as amended. oil take the vote in a moment.
1:16 am
i remind members that after the vote on the, on the amendment and the nature of a substitute. there will be a final passage. all those in favor of in the nature of a amendment in the nature of a substitute. in the opinion of the chairman, the ayes have it and the opinion question is on the motion to report the committee report for resolution recommending that the house of representatives, find william p. barr, attorney general of the united states department of justice in contempt. for refusal to comply with the subpoena duly issued by the committee on the judiciary as amended favorably to the house. those in favor respond by saying aye? aye. opposed, no. no. >> the ayes have it. >> roll call, mr. chairman. >> the roll call is requested. the clerk will call the roll. >> mr. nadler? aye. miss lofgren?
1:17 am
miss jks-lee? mrs. jackson lee votes aye. mr. johnson of georgia. mr. johnson of georgia votes aye. mr. deutsche? aye. ms. bass? aye. mr. richmond? mr. jeffreys? aye. mr. sissolini? aye. mr. swalwell aye. >> mr. liu? aye. mr. rasken. aye. ms. shiapoll. miss determination votes aye. mr. correa. mr. correa votes aye.
1:18 am
miss scanlon. aye. ms. garcia. aye. mr. nagoos. aye. ms. macbeth. aye. mr. stanton. aye. ms. dean. aye. ms. mccarsle-powell? aye. miss escobar? aye. mr. collins. no. mr. sensenbrenner. no. mr. shabot. no. >> mr. gomer. no. mr. jordan. no. mr. buck. no. mr. radcliffe.
1:19 am
no. ms. roby. ms. roby votes no. mr. gates? mr. johnson. no. mr. biggs? no. mr. mcclint ok? no. ms. lessco. no. >> mr. rushenthaler. no. >> mr. klein? no. mr. arm strong votes no. mr. stuby votes no. >> has everyone who wishes to be recorded been recorded? has the gentleman from tennessee been recorded? has the gentleman from tennessee wish to be recorded? >> how does the tennessee wish
1:20 am
to be recorded? >> mr. cohen votes aye. >> we have two more people coming in. >> mr. chairman. >> the gentleman from, the gentleman from georgia. after all the eloquent speeches today, i forgot, am i recorded? >> mr. colins, you're recorded as no. >> madam clerk, how am i recorded? >> mr. nadler, you're recorded as aye. >> i wish to be recorded as aye. >> mr. chairman, gentle lady from texas. >> how am i recorded? >> ms. jackson lee you're recorded as aye. >> that's correct, thank you. >> the gentleman from ohio. >> how is the gentleman from ohio recorded? >> mr. shabot. you're recorded as no. >> the gentleman from rhode island. >> mr. chairman is it appropriate for us to enter a colloquy in the vote?
1:21 am
>> no the middle of a vote. >> mr. sis lieni, you're recorded as aye. >> thank you, that is correct. >> mr. chairman. >> the gentleman from louisiana? >> mr. richmond votes aye. >> mr. chairman. the gentleman from maryland? >> account clerk please tell me how i'm recorded? >> mr. rasken you're recorded as aye. >> thank you very much. >> who seeks recognition. that was mr. johnson of louisiana recorded? >> mr. johnson of louisiana, you are recorded as no. >> we for the benefit of members and everyone else present, we have two members coming back from a hearing. and are going to hold the vote
1:22 am
open until they get here momentarily. >> hold the vote open until they get here momentarily. hopefully momentarily. people don't have to keep asking how they're recorded. on this vote everybody should be able to be recorded.
1:23 am
1:24 am
1:25 am
1:26 am
the gentle lady from california? >> miss lofgren? aye. >> ms. chiapol? aye. >> anyone else who wishes to vote not voted yet? the clerk will report. >> there are 24 ayes and 16 nosing. >> the ayes have it and the vote
1:27 am
vo recorded favorably to the house. >> pursuant to calls to a rule 11 i hereby give notice of intent to file dissenting views. >> the notice is duly noted. members will have two days to submit views. committee report will be reported as a single amendment in the nature of a substitute incorporating all adopted amendments and the staff is requested to make technical and conforming changes this concludes our business for today. thanks to all our members for attending, without objection the mark-up is adjourned.
1:28 am
1:29 am
following the vote to hold attorney general barr in contempt of congress, jerald nadler spoke to reporters. he is followed by ranking member doug collins.

40 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on