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tv   Fox News Reporting  FOX News  December 11, 2019 12:00pm-1:00pm PST

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the fisa warrants? >> the concern grows out of the fact the failures in information that should have been given wasn't given and the question being what was the intent? what was the motivation and what we have determined was we could not definitively say what the motivation was. >> are these pretty smart people come up fairly well educated? >> well, well educated. >> i was going to say. >> they have law degrees, right? at least some of them do. >> so for people at this level of the organization? >> to be clear, the stuff that didn't happen on the view was basic staff. you didn't need to be deeply experienced fbi agent to be able to do with the right way. >> that is my point. wouldn't you say that would be muscle memory for people going through this process to know that they have an obligation to go through that? >> they clearly should have.
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>> so wouldn't it be reasonable if they didn't call you can't answer this question but to me, it seems have something a standard at that process for you go to fisa court, to not do it with something they intended not to do. they didn't want to go through it. it seems to be a logical conclusion. then you ask yourself, why? because we don't ever want this guy to get elected president. and if he does, it sounds like they want to impeach him. i can't understand anybody working in this organization, understanding the scrutiny that we have placed under the fisa records and by the way, lee, count me in. we have seen the abuses that you want us about and you can spark again because you warned us. but it just seems to me that this organization, this closely held organization of highly educated, highly experienced people come i have to believe were handpicked for this proces, they were picked because they had the best reputations in there. they had to know that this was
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going to come to that spirit that it was going to be scrutinized. regardless of who the subject of the investigation was, if the names were changed and the parties were changed, we would still be here. and it looks like they were trying to skate along the edges and get away with something to me. and i can't imagine they did it for any other reason than a political motivation. i don't expect you to respond to that because you are doing a great job of holding to the start of your report. but nobody can tell me the people of this caliber with a record of partisan vitriolic profanity about this president to say, we just forgot to do a standard procedural review, that you would probably expect one of the staff two or three levels down to know that you need to do it. it just doesn't make sense to me. i want to ask another question. you've gotten a lot of questions today that had nothing to do with your report. and i think you've done a very good job of saying i'm here to talk about my report.
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you did not do a russian collusion investigation did you? >> we did not. >> you did not do special counsel report? and a lot of questions to date here to do with what you talked about today? >> certainly. >> i wonder if that was politically motivated. what i found interesting was that we do have people who are using this as a platform on the other side of the aisle that says, now we need to revise and look at the fisa process. i don't know why you would use this as a platform to do that unless you thought this was a clear case where the fisa process was abused. and then if you look at this information, this ecosystem of smart people, who i think, turned a blind eye to damning evidence to serve as a basis for renewing the fisa reports, it is beyond my comprehension. the weight of this evidence, in your report, i think is pretty strong.
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i hope that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle when we take up impeachment next month have that same standard for the weight of evidence that we will be asked to look at. thank you, mr. chair. >> thank you. you identified significant issues with the fisa application process for surveillance and before this investigation, were you aware of problems with fbi's use of the fisa process? i was not personally although we have done reports, senator, since 9/11 in my office. >> well, you can't sit here and tell us there is only occurred with regard to this fisa application process. >> we have identified problems in the past. i will say we have never done a dive into one as deep as as this. >> a number of us, by the way, senator lee and us understand that there are issues and the fisa process and in fact come after you pointed out the
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errors, et cetera, the director acknowledged your findings. in fact, he is moving ahead to make improvements to the fisa process and make the fbi and much stronger institution. >> that is correct. >> would you agree that it is a major decision to seek authority from a fisa court to conduct surveillance on america? >> i agree. >> if fbi officials were politically motivated and wanting to conduct surveillance on a particular american, wouldn't the decision to seek fisa approval be a point where political bias could affect the process? >> it could. >> yes. >> yes. >> actually, that would be a pretty good time for any political bias manifest itself. but here you found no evidence of political bias in deciding to seek fisa approval. >> we did not find such evidence. >> when you released your report on monday, both the attorney general and john durham immediately issued a public
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statement that challenge the findings in your report. attorney general barr stated "the attorney general report makes clear the fbi launched an intrusive investigation of a u.s. presidential campaign on suspicion in my few words to justify the steps taken." can you point to the page or pages in the report that found that the fbi launched an intrusive investigation on the soundness of suspicions that were insufficient to justify the fbi's actions? >> we conclude there was predication. >> would you consider words like suspicion intrusive investigation neutral words? >> you know what, i'm going to let others answer for it. and stick to what we have. >> you said everybody is entitled to characterize your investigation, but you know what we all know what characterizes peer constitution.
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yesterday attorney general barr went on tv to challenge the validity of the findings have your report and suggest that its own fbi agents acted "in bad faith or improper motive and it was premature to conclude otherwise." these insinuations are inconsistent with your report. and one justification that he gave for disregarding the key finding in your report was that unlike the investigator he handpicked, mr. durham, you cannot tell testimony. you interviewed 100 witnesses for your investigation and in your report you were unable to compel testimony from two peop people, jonathan. were these the only two people who you couldn't compel testimony or wouldn't testify or talk to you? >> those with only two people that we asked to interview that turned us down. >> do you think that is a fact you did not interview these two
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witnesses undermined the conclusions in your report that you found no documentary or testimony evidence of political bias in opening the investigation were seeking fisa authority for carter page? >> i don't think they undermine conclusions but it would be good to have their evidence like normally. >> do you think the findings in your reports are inaccurate because you lacked the authority to compel witnesses? >> not in this instance, no. >> on april 2019 attorney general barr told congress "i think spring did occur." talking about the trump campaign ties with the russian government in the 2016 election. yesterday, attorney general barr reiterated the trump campaign was clearly, i'm quoting him, clearly spied upon. he claimed the fbi's investigative actions which you discuss in your report constitutes buying. and the word spying carries, i
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would say negative connotations, don't you think? it sounds like law enforcement is doing something they are not authorized to do. and they would spy on us. >> and that is why we use the only word in the law which is surveillance. >> and yet, we have the highest law enforcement person in our entire country using the word, not just once but twice, he uses the word spying. so clearly your report found the fbi's investigation was for an authorized and within adequate predicate and you would not characterize that as spying. you would not use such a word in your report. >> we do not use that word in our report. >> do you think questioning the motive of your staff is possibly involving bad faith or accusing them of spying would be demoralizing to your people? >> let me put it -- i would not speak to my folks about in that
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manner. i haven't seen that either. >> what you will do in your professional capacity, i think that is a rhetorical question. you know, so -- >> point taken though. >> the staff, the investigations as intrusive and the suspicion also cast aspersions on the professionalism of your people. and i think that is probably also not terribly edifying or supportive. does the attorney general provide you with any evidence to support his claim that the fbi agents were spying? >> in terms of evidence, we didn't get any evidence from the attorney general. we didn't stomach we did meet with mr. durham and had a discussion with him from but weg by our conclusions. >> does it bother you do have
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the attorney general using words like spying to characterize what the fbi did under unauthorized process? >> you know, inspector general, i'm going to stick to what we do and what we said and not trying to guess the motives or ideas or thoughts of anyone else out there. >> i don't see you jumping up and down in the use of this word. let me go on. on november 21st, dr. fiona hill the national security council senior director for russia warned that had folks geared up to repeat interference in the 2020 election. even as we speak, that is what rush is doing. she also warned congress against promoting the fictional narrative that ukraine rather than russia interfered in the 2016 u.s. elections. these conspiracy theories, she said, clearly advanced russia interests. fbi director stated on monday that the fbi has no information that would indicate that ukraine tried to interfere in the 2016
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presidential election. when we talk about interfere, we are talking about the kind of systemic, government sanctioned interference with our election process that rush engaged in. and i know there is no way ukraine engaged in that kind of systematic interference. and so in all of the documents that you reviewed, 100 witnesses, did you find any evidence that contradicts fbi director statement and that the fbi has no information ukraine tried to interfere in the 2016 election? >> we didn't see any such evidence, but i emphasized that was not purposely. >> but you would think you are looking through a million documents. >> fortunately not me, but the team. >> there would have been something there that reference that maybe ukraine was engaging in systematic interference that russia did. i know the senator amy klobuchar
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asked you about this, but i want to make it clear. is there anything in your report that the conclusion that the mueller report the interfering of the 2016 election and sweeping systematic fashion? >> nope. >> and of course you all know the mueller investigation resulted in 37 indictments and six convictions of trump associates. is there anything in your report that caused to push special counsel euler's conclusion that the trump campaign not only knew about russia's election interference, but they encouraged it and expected to benefit electorally from it? >> nope. i know you receive a lot of requests from republican and democratic members of congress to do certain investigations. and i have been among those. i realize you have to take certain factors into consideration because you only have so many resources to conduct all of these investigations. one of the request i, my
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colleague, asked you to investigate whether attorney general barr's handling of the mueller report was misleading and whether he demonstrated bias in dealing with the mueller investigation. in light of the fact of that, i'm sure you would consider, would you take another look at the request that i am my colleague sent you to see whether you are able to investigate any of them? >> so on that, senator, first of all, i would happy to come up and meet with you in person. let me say i've had conversation with members of the committee about this issue. the letters asked us not to look at the conduct of senior lorries at the department. directly implicate section 80 of the inspector general act which prohibits me at looking at conduct of lawyers and their capacity as lawyers. senator lee has sponsored the bill. they passed the house unanimously bipartisan, full support, and several members of
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the committee cosponsored it. that provision prevents me from undertaking investigations of misconduct by senior department lawyers were actually in a department large years. >> well, this is one time i actually agree with senator leahy that we need to make that kind of change to enable you to make the kind of investigation we are asking you. >> and again i would be happy to come up and talk with you further. >> thank you. >> i will keep doing this and i apologize. has anyone been a convicted of the crime of working with the russian government associated with the trump campaign that you know what? >> not that i know what. >> well, they haven't. so whatever convictions have been the thing, have got nothing to do with colluding with the russians. that is what got us here. and about what happened here. if the government is surveilling an american citizen, pursuant to
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a fisa warrant and the government comes into information given to the government that questions the foundation of the warrant, is there an obligation to tell the court? >> absolutely. >> they did not do that here, correct? >> correct. >> in fact they lied about this exculpatory page? they gave misleading, inaccurate information. >> at one point can a surveillance that started lawfully become illegal? >> it can become unauthorized, inappropriate, illegal depending on the facts. >> would you apply those terms to what happen in this case? >> i'm going to let others who have the ability to address some of these issues decide what the precise level of intent was. >> here is what i'm going to say. and it may have started lawfully. it got off of the rails quick. it became a criminal conspiracy to defraud the fisa court, to put mr. page through health and
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to continue to surveilled president trump after he got elected. and i hope somebody pays a price for that. you have certainly done your part, mr. horowitz. >> thank you, mr. chair. thank you very much inspector general for being here today and presenting this information. and i know a couple of others have focused on this, and i would like to dive back in. but first, there is a lot of respect out there or there has been for the fbi. and i remember as a kid, you know, watching movies or show that portrayed the fbi. wow, those are the good guys. and i think what we have seen through the past number of years a number of months, it is that a few bad actors have really squandered that away. and i think the american people look at the fbi and they think, wow, if they are doing this to a presidential candidate, what would they do to me? it is a normal american citizen.
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are they really they are? and so i'm sorry that this has led to this, again a few bad actors. i heard somebody earlier saying, oh, the mistakes made at the fbi. the mistakes. it's not like, oops i accidentally filed a fisa application, that accidentally happened. that is not a mistake. that just reeks of ill wishes to do harm. so again, i just think the fbi, we have always thought of it as a great institution. now, i'm looking at all this information. we have all reviewed the report and for god's sakes, what is going on here? you know, so thank you for doing this work. i think it is just really important that we take a look at what is going on, why it happened, and i would like to
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focus a little bit more on the discipline aspect of it. because the mistakes were made by people who really wanted to do battle form to an individual. illegally. so peter strzok was fired from the fbi, is that correct? >> that is correct. >> okay. so he still has a merit system protection board that is not yet adjudicated, is that right? >> that is what i understand. >> is that final or not? >> i will give you my opinion. >> thank you. >> there was one individual for prosecution. based on the review. >> that was not for us but for
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another agency. and so, the fisa court, the accuracy, can you explain why there were no more criminal referrals? >> what we ultimately decided was the conduct here warranted sending the entire report to the fbi and the department for review. for review from the line age and all the way to the top of people who were still at the fbi. and as we said, we didn't see documentary or testimonial evidence as intent, but we also didn't hear good explanations which left us with an open question what the motive was and
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what the sacred mind was and the adjudicative process of the fbi. the up don't make the department will assess that. >> so we don't know with anyone else that has been fired or reassigned? >> i don't know as i sit here. that would have to come from the fbi or the department. >> so with that, how many, how many case agents involved with fisa applications in your report are still active case agents today? >> as i sit here come i cannot tell you the precise number. there are several that still are. >> that are active agents? >> that are still active agents but whether they are still in certain roles or not i don't know. >> okay, because you don't know specifically if they are working as case agents, do you believe, if they were working as case agents that the information contained in your report as it
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relates to those case agents should be released to other criminal defendants under the department's policy? i think these raises those kind of issues for the department to review and consider what they have to do to remedy anything here. >> for those folks watching this back at home in iowa, can you talk about the giglio policy? so in criminal cases, for example, when an agent is found to engage in misconduct, whether by a judge or by the department of justice, there is an obligation under spring court case called the giglio case to notify the defendant of the wrongdoing or harm or misconduct, impeachable evidence, those sorts of things. that obligation is taken seriously, has to be taken seriously. and i have done law enforcement corruptions asa and one of the first things we do including now
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as ig when we find issues is notify prosecutors and the department and law enforcement to ensure that they take appropriate steps in a timely way. to make sure those agents or if it is prosecutors, the agents that we are talking about are not continuing to pursue cases are not allowed to stay on those positions if they have violated the trust they have been given. >> now, i think that is important. the reason we are talking a little bit about this. discipline policy and procedure is because the american people, again, when they look at an institution like the fbi, they want to know they are good guys. if they are not good guys, they need to go. i think the american public is tired of seeing bad actors with no repercussions. >> very important from our standpoint as the inspector general's office that there be accountability for all conduct across the board but certainly misconduct. and performance failures.
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and those need to be taken into account. >> performance failures, lying. i mean, there was a lot going on in the department. they were not just mistakes as somebody casually mentioned. these are not just mistakes. this was bad conduct. it was intentional. so i do think that as we see this move on, move forward, anybody involved in those malicious activities is gone. so a little bit about policy and procedures just very quickly. the ig's office previously identified a pattern of lakes and improper contact between fbi employees and the media. part of the decision to work the cross fire hurricane case out of the fbi headquarters, it does seem to be due to the fear of leaks if it were actually worked out in the field. so can you characterize how much
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of a problem leaks are and those unauthorized contacts between the media and members within the fbi? >> so we identified this last year in the clinton election report. the number of contacts, and we have seen it as we have done these reports subsequent to that and finding an appropriate contact between agents and the media. since our report last year, director christopher wray with a new policy and training to deal with that or try to address that and change the culture which is what we talked about a year ago. the culture and the viewpoint in a federal criminal investigation, fairness to the defendant, subject to the investigation, fairness to victims if they are victims, fairness to the process requires people, agents working these cases, to keep their head down, worked the case, and not disclose information to outside
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parties. whether it is the media, friends, relatives, neighbors, whoever appear that information has to stay in the office. >> so there has been a policy change, but what are the repercussions if someone is found guilty of engaging in those unauthorized contacts with media? >> so that is one of the things we will follow-up with the fbi. after the mic as we have done these cases and referred them, what is actually the penalty imposed? what has happened to folks, and how is that message getting out, not just publicly but internally. there will be consequences for that. without the consequences, the deterrent effect goes away. >> right, absolutely. there is no restoration of trust in the agency if there are not repercussions to those that are maliciously pursuing these types of activities. so i appreciate your time. i appreciate your team and the work that they have put into the
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report. and in all fairness, we've got to do better. we've got a long ways to go to restore trust in the fbi and anyone working with the fbi. so again, he appreciated. thank you so much, thank you mr. chair, i yield back. >> harris, welcome back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. gentlemen, thank you for conducting thorough investigation into the origins of department of justice, so your report makes clear the fbi had a legitimate reason to investigate the trump campaign come is that correct? >> there is sufficient predication. >> in addition your office found no evidence they launched a motivated investigation, correct? that is right. another key finding the fbi committed several errors in it applications and their applications to survey all carter page? more than several. >> director christopher wray acknowledged the investigation found fbi misconduct that needs to be addressed and director
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christopher wray said the fbi except your investigation's findings? >> that is correct. on the other hand, attorney general barr has been highly critical of your findings. during the final stage of your investigation, he even embarked on his own personal investigation by meeting with foreign leaders and foreign lands, apparently in search of evidence that contradicts the fact that russia interfered in the 2016 united states presidential election to benefit trump. clearly, his investigation wants to do the bidding of president trump has two objectives, one to undermine the integrity of our intelligence community, the goal, to cast doubt on the finding that russia interfered in the 2016 election in order to benefit the trump campaign and two to intimidate the men and women of the intelligence committee by suggesting that national security professionals will face serious consequences if they investigate wrongdoing on the
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part of this president or his operatives. so general horowitz i appreciate your extensive work and the work your office is devoted to this investigation, but in addition, you have the power and the duty to investigate misconduct committed by the attorney general of the united states who is doing the bidding of the president to undermine our intelligence community. i trust you take that duty seriously. >> i do, and i would just like to add that under the law, the inspector inspector general act, it carves out for my authority to look at misconduct by the department lawyers from the line while you're all the way to the top of the attorney general. >> but history has also shown as inspector general can participate in an investigation of the attorney general and that, in fact happen with general gonzales, do you remember that? that happen and it's worth noting that happened after attorney general said our office
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was not going to get the case. it was going to go to the officer of professional responsibility. the choice of our office was with her to join that or not. that was not initiated through us. that is the important part. the law has to change, senator. >> you are recommending it to change? would you support that? absolutely, senator lee has sponsored several members cosponsored and the house passes unanimously. >> and you would support it? >> absolutely. >> it was recently supported rudy giuliani asked ukrainians to search for dirt of the political rivals of the president in exchange for the help, giuliani helped to fix criminal cases against them and the doj. giuliani and associates two of whom indicted and now in federal custody allegedly reached out to ukrainian energy tycoon who faced legal problems in america. in exchange for helping find dirt on the president's
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political rivals, giuliani's associates reportedly connected ukrainian with lawyers to get a top level meeting at the united states department of justice. in essence, giuliani's scheme was an attempt to trade, get out of jail free card for political favors. as part of giuliani's plan, attorney general barr met with the ukrainians lawyers who asked that the department of justice withdraw evidence in the tycoon's bribery prosecution. earlier today, you said you were not investigating matters with ongoing ukraine issues. does that mean you have decided not to investigate these incidents? no. as i think mentioned in a recent letter, and i've been in touch with fellow ig's and asked by members to look at those issues. we have been in communication with each out there. i think mr. plan, and she wrote to several members of congress, he was foregoing at the time,
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undertaking any work while the house investigation proceeded any matters in the senate. and as i mentioned, we will look accordingly at any action that we have the jurisdiction to review, getting back to earlier section discussion. know whether ig has that limitation, by the way. so they can investigate their secretary, deputy secretary, administrator, who will matter. i point oh mike i point that out because that is important to keep in mind. why are we different than the state department. >> i couldn't agree with you more. do you agree that if true giuliani's scheme is a lemon? i think anything like that would be very concerning. >> and mr. giuliani recently returned to ukraine in search of dirt on the president's political rivals apparently to cook up a dossier of his own. yesterday, he told reporters that president trump asked him
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to brief the justice department and senate republicans on what, if anything, he finds. do you and are you concerned that the justice department would coordinate with the president's personal lawyer on a scheme clearly designed to benefit the president's political campaign? >> i'm going to look at the evidence myself. i have learned before taking any action to not just rely on news reports with their allegations, but to actually spend the time to look at them. so i would ask to take a look at that and again. >> please do that, i would appreciate that. is it appropriate for attorney general or the department of justice to take actions that are slowly solely designed to benefit the president politically? >> i think that would create questions about various rules of the department and practices of the department. >> during
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attorney general barr's last appearance before this committee, i asked him has the president or anyone at the white house ever suggested you open an investigation of anyone? and after pondering the word suggest to him of the general declined to answer. the attorney general's nonresponse suggested too many that he has opened politically motivated investigations. indeed, we know during a call with the president of ukraine, president trump said that attorney general barr would follow regarding "favor" that the president demanded. did the attorney general or anyone at justice follow up with the president's call? i don't know the answer to that question. and again -- >> does anybody in your office knows the answer to that question? >> i don't believe anybody in my office knows and the question of the attorney general led an open investigation or not in most instances, i will not close it completely but we fall squarely within the prohibition of my jurisdiction. >> president trump's phone
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conversation was an apparent effort to solicit foreign interference in the 2020 election. the coal involved officials at multiple agencies including the department of justice, the state department the office of management and budget and others. are you working with the inspector general's and various agencies on that issue? >> as i mentioned, allegations will come in and will talk with fellow ig's. >> on that specific one, are you working with other ig's? >> i don't have any ongoing work at this point. i'm not sure what my legal, if i would have a statutory authority to look at actions by lawyers at the department related to misconduct. >> have you been approached by other ig's to work with him on investigation related to that phone call? i will say we have had discussions generally but i don't know whether other ig's have or do not have ongoing investigations. >> you have had conversations generally about this phone call? >> about generally ukrainian
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related matters and discussions generally. >> how about specifically about this phone call? >> i don't recall come as i sit here, discussions about it but again, i have to refresh my recollection on this issue. i've been spending a fair amount of time preparing to deal with 400 plus page report that we are talking about today. >> involving ukraine. >> sorry, right. this report. >> the american system of justice was founded on the principle of equal justice under the law and that principle means there cannot be one system of justice for one group of people in a different system of justice for others. i have spent my career fighting for equal justice. i will tell you that everybody in the department of justice obviously has a duty to make sure people have a fair shot. unfortunately recent reports suggest the actions taken by the justice department leaders fall far short of obligation to pursue equal and evenhanded
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justice. for example, in 2011 the department of justice office of legal counsel issued an opinion to legalize on line gambling. this opinion was opposed by sheldon adelson and a major donor who spent millions of dollars to support president trump and his lobbyists also sent a memo to tt the opinion be reversed. and of course, then the olc reversed 2011 opinion in januar. has your office investigated whether motivated the department of justice and abrupt reversal of online handling? i'm fairly confident we would be barred from doing that by the statutory prohibition. i don't think we would have legal authority to look at why the office of legal counsel made a decision one way or the other, less there was a criminal allocation connected to it. >> my time is up, thank you. >> senator. >> thank you, mr. chairman. again my joined with everybody else mr. horowitz and thinking
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you and your team for the work you have done here. i will go back to an issue talked about by many of my colleagues today. and that is this question bias. actually, i want to start by going back to june 2018 when you were last here before the committee. and when i asked questions of you at that time, i talked about your findings then with regard to bias. the specific focus that i recall was peter strzok and lisa page and the information that has already well presented here of what i consider to be the undeniable bias that they had against the president, president trump. at that time, you made similar statements to those you made today, which is you did not find bias in the decisions that you were evaluating in the report. but as i went through that with you, i think you also confirmed that you were not saying that there was no bias by those who were involved in making
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decisions. rather, you were saying you could not prove that that bias was a factor in their management of the activities they engaged in on behalf of the fbi. as i understood it, you said there was bias, but in fact, you had asked them whether they are a bias influence their work performance. they had told you that it did not. and you had no contrary evidence to dispute the outcome is that correct? >> let me clarify. let me explain. we found that those text messages evidenced by us but we ultimately found other people involved in made many of those decisions, not them. that was the basis, not because we didn't know whether they were bias. the text evidenced by them. the question is are the other individuals who we didn't have text messages for otherwise evidence of bias by those individuals. >> that would be consistent with
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your report here today says. as i'm reading from the executive summary. deputy attorney general, i believe that is his title. >> it is a director deputy, assistant director for that time period. >> he is the one who made the final decision to open each of the four investigations. >> correct. >> he did that in consultation with the number of others including peter strzok. >> correct. >> and you don't necessarily know what advice was given in those conversations, do you? >> i don't. >> but he made the final decision and because you have used the phrase very consistently here today, you did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation includes the decision with foreign investigations. but did you ask him whether he
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had bias? we asked all the witnesses, not just him as to bias or other improper considerations had any impact, but we also looked for emails, text messages, documents that could show what we found, frankly with peter strzok and lisa page. that is how you find by a spirit of that i'm stuck trying to understand what is in his head. >> i just want to make it really clear what you are saying and what you are not saying. >> correct. >> in this case, you are saying you could not find any document or aerie or testimonial evidence to contradict the statements of the investigation not letting bias influence their decision. >> correct. >> do you believe that is an open question? >> i can only speak to the evidence we found. i think the important point here, and i made it earlier it is, all the evidence is here.
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people are free to consider, evaluate what they think ultimate people's motivations were. we don't reach a definitive answer. >> you're not making that decision. >> we are not making a decision on ultimately information evidence that we don't have that somebody may have acted. >> in my opinion, and i think the opinion of most of us on this side of the aisle at least to have talk to you today, i think there is tons of evidence of bias here. in fact, you have referred for further action to the attorney general. one case for criminal prosecution, if i understand it right, and other cases of how many other individuals? >> but i want to be clear. we are talking about the fisa as opposed to the opera. >> there is a distinction because the open conduct of the investigation. >> correct. >> i understand that and i appreciate your clarification.
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because in the conduct of the investigation, it appears to me there has been intense bias. but you are not making that judgment. i understand that. you are referring that to the attorney general, correct? >> and the fbi for adjudication. >> understood. now, i believe in response to joni ernst question, you indicated similarly since you couldn't find any documentary evidence or testimonial evidence to contradict their statements that they were not bias, that that leaves an open question as to what the fbi or the attorney general will find with these referrals. >> there are a significant series failures here on the operation of the connection with the fisas. whether it was sheer gross incompetence that led to this versus intentional misconduct and what the motivation or anything in between and what the motivations are, i cannot tell you. >> you're not making that decision. >> i can't tell you as i sit
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here today because i don't have enough evidence to reach a conclusion. >> but if someone were to characterize to be that what you are telling us is there is no bias here, that is not what you are telling us. >> that is not as to the operation of these fisas is what i'm telling you. >> all right come understood. i did want to get to this question though about the operation of the fisas. again, you may not answer at this and that is fine. it seems to me if we go beyond the bias question to intentional versus grossly negligent, it seems to me the kind of misconduct that has been presented by you and reviewed by the chairman and many others here today is mind numbing to consider that it could just be accidental. can you reach a conclusion like that? >> i would be skeptical, but i understand why people would be skeptical of that. there is such a range of conduct here that is inexplicable, and
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the answers we got were not satisfactory that we are left trying to understand how could all of these errors have occurred over nine months period or so on three teams, handpicked, one of the highest profile or the highest profile case and the fbi going to the very top of the organization involving the presidential campaign. >> i understand that and i appreciate that. i think it is inexplicable. but i understand that you can't, or at least aren't going to make that jump. you are going to refer to these cases. and i appreciate that. his criminal prosecution a possible action in the case has other than the one you specifically referred? >> i wouldn't want to prejudice or prejudge anything. i would leave it to the department to speak to you on that. >> all right. let me go on for just a moment.
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when -- let's move to the whistle-blower question once more. and i'm shifting topics completely. this came up several times today. i understand your point that whistle-blower is entitled to anonymity. but explain to me how it happens that the person accused when a whistle-blower makes an accusation, can have the right that most americans think they should have two confront those testifying against them? how is that accomplished? >> so i will speak to what we do. we get anonymous allegations frequently. we get people coming forward who are reporting misconduct to onee to be anonymous, stay anonymous and we get them both ways. keep me anonymous and anonymous complaints. we move forward on both if we think they are sufficient to move forward on amp predicated and have support. but we then have to prove the allegations and get cooperation for it because you are right.
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the individual, if there is a finding of misconduct has a right to ultimately challenge the evidence found, but it doesn't necessarily mean that they get all the way back to where the nugget started if that information is cooperated through other means. and the ig act requires us, actually, congressional, the law says, senator grassley obviously has had a role in this, makes it quite clear. we are not coming this we are legally obligated to provide the information, the law requires us to do so, it is our obligation as an ig to keep the information. >> i appreciate that because we may face that here in the senate relatively quickly. one last question and i'm running out of time so i would like a quick answer if you could. i'm trying to find out, who brought the steele dossier to the attention of the fbi for the investigation? was that andrew mccabe or was that russo were? >> so it was steele july 5th,
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2016, going to his handling agent, the agent, there is a dispute whether he was a confidential source or not. we spent a number of pages on this, but the agent that steele had a relationship with is the agent he went to with some of his reports. that agent then put it through a process at the fbi and then it took from july 5th to september 19th to get the information to the cross fire hurricane team. eventually in that meandering over the two what is that, two and half months? there is information that is concluded that mr. mckay was involved in referring it over to the cross fire hurricane team. >> all right, thank you. >> long day, general.
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you have 30 kidneys. [laughter] >> hopefully for 20 more minutes. >> i will try to land this plane early. i believe the fbi is the premier law enforcement agency and all of human history. we do disagree with that? >> i would not. >> and we have some bad apples. i want to thank you. and i want to thank your team for your usual superb job. >> thank you. >> after come i haven't read the entire report. i'm about 7 7070% of the way through. it is tedious. i don't mean that in a pejorative sense. it is supposed to be tedious. >> right.
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after about 15% of the way through, it made me want to heave. after about 25% of the way through, i thought i had dropped acid. it is surreal. i mean, i just couldn't believe it. >> i have read it multiple times. and every time i read it -- it surprises me. >> let me ask you, how many members comprised the misfire hurricane team? >> there were three teams. over that period of time, i would venture to guess, again depending upon how you count them. >> just roughly. >> at least half a dozen to a dozen on each of those iterations. i will turn around and see if i'm somewhat close. >> does that include their
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supervisors? >> generally speaking. >> half dozen to a dozen? >> pretty more if going up throughout the chains of level. >> do your team have a feel how many of these folks are still at the fbi? i know you try to answer that. >> welcome with a higher level people as you know have changed over in the last year so the director deputy, director, et cetera. the assistant director, assistant director, people in the upper levels are no longer. >> but some of the actual agents? some of the agents are still there. >> are they working on fisa applications? >> i would encourage her to speak to the fbi about that. >> i think we will. >> i think they have taken steps in that regard. >> it is easier to divorce your spouse around here than it is to get fired. that is clear. at least with the fbi. is mr. orr at the department of
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justice? >> my understanding is he is still there. >> that is my understanding. how long but then the fbi, i know you just issued your report, but how long within the fbi has this been acknowledged? >> so we sent the draft for classification. >> not in the document, excuse me, just the fact that there was major league screw up here it. >> it evolved over time. they didn't know a lot of this until we found it. >> they know it now. >> they didn't know they altered eat email. >> everybody knows it now, right? >> yes. as of the end of august. >> does your report vindicate mr. comey? >> it doesn't vindicate anybody at the fbi who touches including leadership. >> does it vindicate mr. mccabe? same answer. >> how about mr. page? >> a little different there because as we found here, she
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wasn't involved in this, so largely wasn't involved in this. >> she participated. >> and some discussions, but not in the fisa chain. >> who come on that note, who breathed, who briefed the agent that was sent to survey will michael flynn during the meeting with president trump? >> that was discussed up and down the chain at the fbi. >> okay. >> so that was not a hidden fact or hidden information. >> all right. i like the fact that you and your team are very precise in your language. i mean, frankly, i wish i road as well as you and your team d did. and i noticed you were careful to say, i'm going to quote here "we did not find documentary or
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testimonial evidence. the political bias or improper motivation influence the decisions to open the four individual investigations." your words. >> correct. >> no documentary evidence and no testimonial evidence. so you didn't find any documents that said, we did this to get trump. right? >> or text messages like the peter strzok lisa page text messages. >> and nobody who was involved in this circus without a tent look to in the eye and said, yep, i did it to get trump. nobody did that. >> were for example, a whistle-blower comment where other people tell us they had heard something. >> the agent looked you in the eye, yeah, you are right i did it to get trump. >> nobody came through a different means and i have a problem here, what is going on? >> you don't have to qualify as
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material not to do that t to the inspector general, right? yes, the look at some of the text messages we found. so i'm not sure. >> i understand. >> impact that may be a counter narrative to that. >> i don't want to get to epistemological here, but is the absence of evidence always the evidence of absence? >> no, it isn't. >> s so, so can you rule out unequivocally, unconditionally that there was no bias here by the fact that you didn't find anything in writing and none of these chuckle had slipped you in the eye and said yeah, i did it to get trump? >> it is rare that i can tell you at any point in time i can unequivocally say this actually happened. so i get it. but i will say, the difference
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on the opening is we concluded, mr. prestepped opened it. we have not seen in last year's investigation of this investigation through text, emails, et cetera talking to other people any evidence that he did it for an improper purpose. but can i tell you 1000% someone won't walk in and say, aha, you missed this? i'm sorry. >> let's talk about the people involved in the initial fisa application and the renewals. these are experienced people, right? >> in this case, these were experienced people. >> many were professionals and a lot of them have law degrees, right? they knew the law. >> they should not have only known the love but every single policy that they had to deal with.
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>> they were handpicked by mr. mccabe, right? >> they were handpicked. >> this was not their first rodeo. >> it certainly wasn't with maybe an exception or two towards the end of relatively new agents coming on board. >> well -- >> that his not an excuse just to be clear. >> it just seems to me it has to be one of two things. either incompetence or intentional conduct. >> i agree. >> it is either sheer incompetence, intentionality or something perhaps in between. >> which do you think it is? >> we have so many different people here, first of all it would not be fair to lump everybody into one because there are different actors coming in at different times. some people have more touches at this than others. i think it is fair for people to sit there and look at all the 17 events and wonder how it could be purely incompetence.
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>> i want to thank you again. i know this is a tough spot. and i hope you will tell the colleagues back at the fbi that we appreciate their work. >> absolutely. >> but this has got to be fixed. >> at a minimum, somebody has got to be fired. >> i am done, senator. >> senator black. >> thank you, mr. chairman. in general, i know you are happy to see the end of the day is coming at you. we will get out of here. let me pick up where senator kennedy left off because i will tell you the perception by the american people from reading your report. we have all put up links so people can read it. is that this was intentional. that it was deliberate. that it was malicious. it was premeditated and well-thought-out.
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and it is conducted by people who were desperate. in essence, it is the epitome of the swamp. it is murky, muddy. people were not going to get their way. this guy who was going is. it is the surveillance state at work. this is what they do. they took their professional place and those tools that they had at their disposal to go spy on a campaign and on u.s. citizens, which is unbelievable. you have heard it from several today that people can't believe this happened. you can say yes, there sense of omission there, there is also a sense of commission. they were deliberate and intentional and very malicious
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in the way they went about this. i want to talk a little bit about christopher steele. i was looking in appendix a, i think it's page 419. it says in there he was paid $95,000 over a three-year period of time, i believe. believe. >> correct. >> what was that money paid to them for? >> that would have been for various pieces of information that he gave to the fbi after being at the chs in 2013. to be clear, not related to cross fire hurricane. >> he was considered a trusted source and thereby he was paid. >> correct. >> and then he began working with fusion gps in june of 2016. that really should have raised some alarm bells with you all. november comes along that year, you dropped steele


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