tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC May 8, 2019 8:00am-9:01am PDT
and getting a court order so that we can get the grand jury proceedings in evidence, then we will just regard 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 contempt for failing to produce what would be illegal to produce without a court order. you'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 when 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's expired. the committee's has, too. >> thank, the gentle lady. the gentle lady from pennsylvania, for what purpose
does the gentle lady seek recognition? >> i move to strike the last word. >> the gentle lady is recognized. >> thank you. you know, it's easy to lose focus when the white house and our colleagues across the aisle engage in whataboutism or what is the distraction of the day or even misleading legal arguments. nobody's asking the attorney general to disobey 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 for a couple of months now. and that the american people have been awaiting for two years. why is this important? well, if you think there's no collusion and no obstruction, you haven't read the mueller report. i admit, it's not an easy read, but it clearly states that there was coordination, there's evidence of coordination, it clearly states there are multiple instances of 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's in 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 stonewalling, yes, even acting in contempt of, not just congress, not just the rule of law, but the american people. and that, i yield back. >> mr. chairman? >> who seeks recognition? >> mr. chairman --
>> for what purposes -- >> strike the last word. >> the gentlemen is recognized. >> bill barr's following the law, and what's his reward? democrats are going to hold him in contempt. i don't think today's actually about getting information. i don't think it's about getting the unredacted mueller report. i don't think last week's hearing was actually about having staff question the attorney general. i think it's as my colleagues said earlier, 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. never forget what bill barr said a few weeks ago, three and a half weeks ago when he testified in front of the senate finance committee. he said, a lot of important things, but he said three -- excuse me, four very interesting things. first, he said there was a failure of leadership at the upper echelon, a term he used, the upper echelon of the fbi. we all know that's the case. director comey's been fired, deputy director mccabe, fired, lied three times under oath, according to the inspector general, fbi counsel jim baker, demoted and left currently under investigation by the justice
department. lisa page, demoted and left. peter strzok, deputy head of counterintelligence, demoted and fire. there was certainly a failure of leadership at tupper echelons of the fbi. 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, that 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've got to go back to january 3rd, 2017, senator schumer, on the rachel maddow show, talking about 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 fbi went after president trump in six ways, baa i sure know they went after him in two ways. and the first one is the now-famous dossier. on october 21st, 2016, the fbi 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 of the national committee, the clinton campaign, paid perkins coie law firm who then hired a foreigner, chris fooer stee fer 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. and 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 already told the fbi and the justice department that he was, quote, desperate to stop trump, and they didn't tell the court that christopher steele has been
fired by the fbi because he was out talking to the press, they did that. and second, just last thursday, just last thursday, "new york times" story, fbi sent investigator posing as an assistant to meet with the trump aide in 2016. fbi 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? it's called spying. they did it. they did it. they did it twice. and who knows how much more. and what i know is bill barr has said he's going to get to the bottom of it. and think about the term he used again. this is important. political surveillance. >> would the gentlemen yield -- >> i will not yield. think about that term. he said he's going to put a team together, going to investigate all of this. this is critical. 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 0. we need an insurance policy. told lisa page, don't worry, lisa, we'll stop trump. this is what bill barr wants to investigate. and 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. document emmet flood 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 around. this is not a democrat or a republican issue, it's a matter of having a government responsible to the people. to we, the people. in 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 doing that today. i yield back. >> i would simply observe that, to his credit, mr. jordan has been second to none in asking for access to the materials we're asking for for the -- and i would simply ask him, does he still think -- is he still supporting his own request for -- that the committee and the congress be given access to the entire report and the underlying information? >> consistent with the law. and i would ask the chairman, my understanding is mr. mueller is going to be here next week. why are we doing it -- you're going to get to ask the guy who wrote the whole darned document. why don't you hold off on this contempt until at least the guy who spent 22 months and $35
million with a whole bunch of democrat lawyers putting it together, why don't you wait and ask him next week before we do this contempt resolution. >> well, essentially because it would be useful to read the material before we have him in front of us. the gentlemen -- for what purposes does the gentlemen from georgia seek recognition? >> i move to strike the last word. >> the gentlemen is recognized. >> 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 do so. and in fact, investigator mueller intended for the american people and for congress to have the full story. he did so in his redacted summaries for both the obstruction and the russian
influence investigations and what happened when he issued his repo report, william barr did something unprecedented. he put together his own four-page summary, which was misleading, which failed to properly and quality and accurate accurately categorize 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 to four words, no collusion, no obstruction. and they ran with that for a month before finally the 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's findings. and 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. he 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 report. and what is very troublesome is my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are aiding and
abetting them in their cover-up. 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 of at least the house judiciary committee. 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 6e of the federal rules of evidence, which make grand jury proceedings secret. but as my colleague from wisconsin should know, there are five exceptions listed in 6e
that enable the disclosure of grand jury information. he knows that. there's no reason for the american people to be misled about that. and bob -- william barr knows that, also. and he also knows that previous attorneys general in his situation have gone to the courts with the house of representatives and obtained grand jury materials when necessary. so this is all part of a cover-up. and it is up to this committee to ensure that we get that report because we have lawful responsibilities, constitutional responsibilities to engage in. one of which is possibly impeachment. how can we impeachment without
getting the documents. so we must get the document. the american people expect us to do it. once we get it, our hearings can 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. >> for what purposes does the gentlemen from florida seek recognition? >> i want to strike the last word. >> the gentlemen is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. glad to see that the mic phone 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 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. it's not about the fact that even the portions that the american people hasn't been able to read, the chairman has been able to go read had he has chosen, this is all about impeaching the president. now, why don't they just say it? why don't they just jump to the impeachment proceedings like their liberal 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 actually went and elected donald trump, president of the united states. and i don't think people are going to support impeaching a president who's doing so well. you've got 3.2% growth in the economy. the trump economy is hot. and the reason we're doing so well is as a consequence of the president's policies. so at a time when my democratic colleagues are focused on the next election and not solutions to the problems facing americans, they can't attack the president's policies. because people are doing well. so typically, they roll next to identity politics that based on what you look like, who you pray
to or who you love, you can't possibly support republicans. but african-americans are doing better, hispanics are doing better, women are doing better. we are seeing a rising tide that is truly 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 de-legitimatize the guy that won, de-legitimatize the guy that people voted for, but they don't have the guts to do it directly and so they're going after the attorney general. now, the gentlemen from georgia in his last remarks 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, it's not following the rules that got us in this trouble in the first place. when the inspector general testified before us, he said that it's the fundamental fact that during the investigations of hillary clinton and donald trump, you saw continuous examples of a one-off here, a
violation of protocol there. the inspector general said never before had he seen a circumstance where the very same tame that was investigating hillary clinton would then go and investigate the other person that was involved in the 2016 presidential test. about a month ago, in this committee, i laid out the stages of grief. denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. and i think that folks watching at home can probably follow along and see where we're headed. first, my democratic colleagues were in denial. when they saw that there was no collusion, after saying for 22 months that the president was an agent of the russian government, after saying for 22 months that there was actual evidence of collusion, they were in denial 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 on obstruction, somebody had to. the attorney general did. so they got mad at him. and this whole kerfuffle 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 really 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 that 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 democratic colleagues, but after that we get to acceptance, and that's sure something that i'm looking forward to, because there is some really good ideas that my democratic colleagues have, once they kind of get to acceptance on the no russia collusion thing. my friend, the gentlemen from rhode island has excellent ideas about how to change the way that 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, that would be a bad thing. we need to do more on criminal justice reform. my colleague who's 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. and by the way, i bet a bunch of my friends on the other side of the aisle low-key wish that their actual bills that would impact the lives of americans would get heard instead of this garbage. the obama administration ran an intel operation against the trump campaign. peter strzok opened it up, the dossier kept it going, and now the democrats need to get over it. i yield back. >> mr. chairman? mr. chairman? i move to strike the last word? >> the gentlemen from florida, what purpose is the gentlemen from -- >> move to strike the last word. >> the gentlemen is recognized. >> mr. chairman, we're here today because we're witnessing
the breakdown of the foundations of our nation's constitutional order. that's why we're here today. in 1974, in u.s. v. nixon, the supreme court warned of moments just 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 executive's 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 wherever 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. the committee issued a subpoena for information gathered by the special counsel. there's no privilege for in
information. executive privilege is not a cloak of secrecy that drapes across our nation's capital from the white house to the justice department. yet last night, the attorney general threatened a blanket privilege claim over materials that he knows are not privileged, as retribution for the markup that 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 snitty letter last night. but those words were empty. executive privilege exists to help the presidency function. to make sure the president can
get good advice without any interference from congress. but that's not at stake here. we're asking for information that is no longer meheld in confidence among the president and his closest adviser. we're just asking for the truth. the truth that many already know, but is being withheld from the public. private investigators know the truth, the ranking member of this member 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. toe 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 his 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 the 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 mcgahn to refuse to testify here. he has ordered in violation of the law that the treasury secretary continue to hide his tax returns. 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 the humanitarian disaster caused by the trump family separation
policy at our border. this sweeping repudiation 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 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. and i close with this, the mueller report finishes by reminding us that the protection of the criminal justice system by corrupt acts from any person including the president accords with the fundamental principle of our government that no person in this country is so high that 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. a failure to do so would be a failure of our constitutional system of government. i yield back. >> what purpose does the gentlemen from colorado seek recognition? >> i have amendment at the desk. >> the clerk will report the amendmen amendment. >> mr. chairman, i reserve a point of order. >> gentlemen reserves a point of order is there an amendment at the desk?
>> mr. chairman? mr. chairman? >> what purpose does the gentlemen from louisiana seek recognition? >> move to strike the last word? >> the -- >> i'll withdraw my amendment, because it's not ready at this point. >> i appreciate that. the gentlemen 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 shelia jackson lee said, quote, the executive branch is taking a wrecking ball to the constitution. and mr. chairman, you said that the doj doesn't recognize congress as a co-equal branch of
government or acknowledge our oversight responsibility. mr. cohen said we're trampling upon article i. anyone who looks at these facts objectively knows the truth is exactly the opposite. the attorney general and the doj are objecting to this charade based upon the rule of law. they are trying to protect the integrity of our institutions. and mr. chairman, you said that the preliminary protective assertion of executive privilege this morning was a last-minute outburst. it's exactly the opposite of this. in fact, the letter that the doj sent to you this morning says, and i quote, you, mr. chairman, have made this assertion necessary by your assistance -- insistence upon scheduling a premature contempt vote. the letter goes on to say, you've terminated our ongoing investigations and abandoned the accommodation process. and as we have repeatedly explained, the attorney general could not 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 functions. that's a quoting from the letter. the facts matter. the letter that the attorney general sent to the president this morning that accompanies all of this says, quote, the committee demands all of the special counsel's investigative files, which consist of, everybody listen, 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 sources and methods, and grand jury information that the debate is prohibited from disclosing by law. that's the letter of the attorney general sent to the president explaining all of this. look, we're attorneys on here. most of us are attorneys. what do the laws say. the courts have repeatedly affirmed the rules. just last month, the u.s. court of appeals for the d.c. circuit ruled in mckeever versus barr, the district court made us
disclose grand jury materials only where they have positive authority to do so, particularly through the objections to grand jury secrecy listed in rule 6e. the court of appeals explained the vital interest, they said, that the rule of grand jury secrecy seeks to protect, including preserving the willingness and candor of witnesses called before the grand jury. not alerting the target of an investigation, who might otherwise flee or interfere with a grand jury, and preserving the rights of a suspect who might later be exonerated. these critically important traditions for us to uphold and it is, again, the law. the chairman can file suit for access to the 6e 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 his rationale for demanding unredacted report is wholly insufficient. look, this bears repeating. the chairman claims he needs the full unredacted report as part of the march 4th, 2015,
investigation into the 81 individuals and organizations related in some way to president trump. but litz 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 here is not interested in pursuing this for any legitimate legislative purpose. this is about scoring political points. the chairman's public comments surrounding his need for the full report are almost exclusively focused on obstruction, but another important fact here, 99.99% of the obstruction volume is available right now for the chairman to view, but he hasn't done that. only six line s in over 182 pags is redacteded in the obstruction volume. this is not about seeking the truth, it's about raw partisan politics. our democrat colleagues have weaponized our critical oversight responsibilities. and moving today to hold the ag in contempt is not only premature, unprecedented, and unwarranted, frankly, it is
shameful. i think we believe the american people deserve better. i hope thaey'll review the fact, get beyond this cloud of partisan politics skpuns why we are taking the stand today that we are. i yield back. >> for what purpose does the gentlemen from louisiana seek recognition? >> mr. mr. chairman, i would move to strike the last word. >> the gentlemen 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. and that one thing is to never let the real facts of the mueller report come to light. 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 story 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 the report from 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 promote and push and offer fake news about the contents of the report, without ever letting the american people see the whole truth and nothing but the truth. but i will tell the american people that are watching today that we have a solemn only obligation to the constitution. we have a solemn obligation to defend our democracy, to protect the homeland, to protect the right of the 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. >> and for the messiness, it will be that way, sometimes. but the fight is necessary to
protect this great country and to continue to move it towards being a more perfect union. there are too many people in this country's history, that have given their life, blood, sweat, and tears to get us to be the great country 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 that we see over and over again. so just that i can deal and speak in facts, so that 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 been 37, 34 individuals charged with crimes. there have been three companies 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 adviser, in jail. the president's personal lawyer, in jail. this is not a witch hunt. if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's a duck. and if it looks like obstruction, sounds like obstruction, smells like obstruction, it's obstruction. thank you, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> mr. chairman? >> who seeks recognition? the gentlemen -- if what purposes does the gentlemen from arizona seek recognition? >> move to strike the last word. >> the gentlemen is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> last week we, we saw an attempt to change the rules of this committee that defied the historical precedent of, by applying only impeachment proceedings to attorney general william barr.
and today we're zipping right along and i know my colleagues on the other side have the votes, they're going to try to hold this attorney general in contempt. but i'm, i'm interested to see the look on the judge's face when my colleagues from the other side present these facts. of course, are going to say, what'd you do? were you in negotiations? well, we were, but we scuttled that, because we refused to hear from the attorney general, because, we changed the rules, judge, 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. >> he offered to have staff members view the less-redacted
report with me, 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, to 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 6e, 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 doj rosenstein. we didn't hold a hearing on mueller before we issued our contempt citation. weapon didn't seek closed door confidential, classified hearings with any of these individuals. in fact, judge, you know what we
did? we undercut our whole argument by making the argument to mr. barr saying, hey, you know, 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 6e 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'll have the great privilege of saying, yeah, we put a sword of damocles over william barr. we created a hobson choice. we said, guess what, mr. barr. you either get held in contempt or you violate federal law. because that's just the way we do things in the judiciary committee these days. that's just the way it is. that is unprecedented and will
hold this committee up to derision. and 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 6e material. but don't be misled, because nothing we're doing here today fits in to the rule 6e exceptions. there's not an organization under the 6e provisions right now. so there's going to be a problem, and i can't wait to see the luck on the judge's face when these guys try to explain, well, we were trying to pigeon hole into something that was 6e. and i'll just close in this area. when i hear that the wrecking ball is being taken to the
constitution, that it's being trampled upon, that we have a continued 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 is so dangerous, why aren't you acting on the many resolutions for impeachment you've already introduced? i mean, mr. johnson was pretty clear, this whole thing is about impeachment. well, take it to the american people, take it, file your resolution. you've already filed them, act on them. with that, my time is up. thank you. >> for what purposes does the gentlemen from new york seek recognition? >> i move to strike the last word? >> the gentlemen is recognized. >> let me first just say that i expect that when the court does hear this collage, if it comes to that, i expect that she will
rule in favor of the constitutional separation and checks and balances in our oversight function. i really don't understand the arguments that have been articulated by my colleagues. and as i understand it, there have been three different reasons that have been suggested for opposing our effort to simply uphold our article i 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 to all of a sudden 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 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 fbi director, james comey, republican. the fbi director who replaced him and to appoint a special counsel to preside over the investigation and then monitor it at the helm of the department of justice. the deputy attorney general, rod rosenstein, republican. the person who actually conducted the investigation, a war hero, a law enforcement
professional, bob mueller, lifetime republican. who's the attorney general going to investigate? the republican party? the notion it's a politically inspired witch hunt is just one of 10,000 or more suggestions that have been spun out of 1600 pennsylvania avenue. it's a shame you chose to adopt it and parody it. second thing, reputational interests? 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 reputat n reputational interests of americans who served this country. you weren't concerned with the reputational interests of hillary clinton. in fact, the top republican said that the sole objective was to undermine her. the former first lady and secretary of state. you weren't concerned with the
reputational interests of peter strzok and lisa page. in fact, you embarrassed those two. they made mistakes, but you embarrassed those two. you weren't concerned with the reputational interests of andy mccabe. so don't pedal that phony argument 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 assert executive privilege after the fact. when the closest advisers to the president have already spoken to team mueller. wait a second, let's try to go through this. white house counsel, don mcgahn, talked to mueller.
there is no assertion of executive privilege. white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders talked to mueller. no assertion of executive privileg 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 coequal 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 privilege, the attorney general is totally out of control. he will be held in contempt of congress. i yield back. >> what purpose does the gentlemen from california seek
recognition? >> strike the last word? >> the gentlemen 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 forbids release of grand jury testimony. congress is the law-making branch of government. if this committee fesees it so important to see the grand jury testimony, 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 two and a half years, they have been force fed a brazen and monstrous lie, that the president of the united states is a traitor whose loyal to a foreign and hostile power. robert mueller was given extraordinary powers to investigate this. he appointed one of the most
partisan and biased team of investigators that has ever been appointed to substantiate these charges. 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 to confirm this narrative. the trump administration gave them every document they requested and even waived attorney general/client privilege to make the president's personal attorney available for 30 thouhours of testimony. though the president had the clear constitutional authority to terminate or interfere with the investigation, he did not. well, after all of 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 highest ranking officials in the department of justice, the fbi, 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 dl duly elected president o the united states and tear this country apart. now that lie is laid bare for all to see. the left is now left to think up a new lie and think it up in quick. thus in a heartbeat, the lie changed from collusion to obstruction. and 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 exception of material he is legally forbidden release,
amounting to 92% of the document. he offered the chairman and the ranking member of this committee the opportunity to review the additional redactions, that could be reviewed in a classifi classifi classified only about six linet of 182 pages. instead of revoog information they order the attorney general to do what he legally cannot do and then charge there's a coffer up. safe in the knowledge they'll never be called out on it. they hope that there will be enough of a smoke screen to cover the proversion of our justice and intelligence agencies for political purposes under the obama administration. last week the democrats voted to change rules to allow members to hide behind committee council to challenge the attorney general.
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 this public forum. hired help is not. the only rightful exception is when we sit as a try tribuna. i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. >> i move to strike the last word. >> i want to thank you chairman nadler for your patience and determination and respectful manner in which you have ought to obtain the information that
the subpoena requires. i think we all recognize you have extended yourself above and beyond to try to accommodate the attorney general. we're here for one very important reason. 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 seeking people around the world are watching. seeing whether or not our commitment to the rule of law to the notion we're a country of laws and not of men and women and no one is above the law, including the president of united states. it reminds us we fought our independence to be free from a monarchy to live in a democracy. we suh the president who is attempting to destroy basic institutions of government by directing his attorney general and others to stone wall the american people. this is a crisis.
it's sad today that attorney general barr who has refused to comply with a lawfully subpoena and that is consistent with his overt campaign to protect the president of the united states. president trump wanted his roy cohn and he got his roy cohn. the attorney general 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 which he wrote a document that was grossly misleading. the report also directly contradicts several statements the attorney general made 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 eed and his associates destroyed evidence. he cleared the trump campaign of
coordinating with russia while leaving out the critical finding in the mueller report that the trump campaign was fully ware and expected to benefit electorally from information stolen and released through the russian campaign. since mr. mueller has completed the investigation mr. barr has refused to issue the report to congress. he's refused to provide any underlying evidence. he's refused 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 of what 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 thing and mr. barr never shared that as well. we see an attorney general who has set out to protect the president at all costs and now we learn this morning in a
letter the mr. barr he's working with the president of the united states to try to provide a legal strategy to further obstruct justice and stone wall the american people by invoking executive privilege retro actively in a context where he knows it is not applicable. really an effort to say can we work together to try to prevent the american people from learning the full truth. it's kind of curious 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. 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's up to the executive branch and they decide what witnesses we can call, what documents can be produced, they will have effectively extinguished the right of congressional oversight. we cannot allow that to happen. we are here on behalf of the
american people to get to the truth. gather the facts to 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 every one 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. that individuals must be held accountable for their misconduct. we have to gather up that evidence. i am saddened to hear my republican colleague who is think this is anything but that. this is our spojresponsibility. 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 and get to the work of oversight. finding the truth where ever it leads us and demonstrating in this country, no one is above
the law, including the president of the united states. with that i yield back. >> mr. chairman. for what purpose does the gentle lady seek recognition? >> to strike the last word. >> we heard over and over again how the attorney general has not accommodated this committee's demand. let's walk through the time line. the full time line be included in the record. >> without objection. >> on march 2 2nd, 2019, the house committee was notified he receive the report. two days later the attorney general informed congress of the special counsel's principal conclusions. on march 29th, 2019, the attorney general updated congress on the department's review and out lined 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 18th, 2019, less than a month after receiving the confidential report, the attorney general made the redacted version available to congress in the public. however, on april 18th, 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 19th, 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 has reviewed the minimally redacted report. on may 1, 2019, the attorney general voluntarily appeared before the senate committee on judiciary providing more than five hours of testimony regarding the special counsel's
investigation and confidential report. the attorney general previously volunteered to appear before the senate and house judiciary committees. on may 2nd, 2019, chairman nadler 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 6th, 2019, less than three weeks after issuing the subpoena, chairman nadler introduced a resolution to hold the attorney general in contempt. also on may 16th, 2019 in an effort to accommodate the committee's interest the department wrote chairman nadler emphasizing the department of justice continued willingness to engage in good faith on a the issues consistent with his obligations under the law. the department offered to meet to quote negotiate an accommodation that meets the legitimate interest of each of our co-equal branches of the government. on may 7th, 2019, the department
met with the committee staff to offer additional accommodations in exchange for the committee postponing the scheduled contempt vote including doj which significantly ease restrictions on the review of the last redacted report to allow designated members and staff to more easily we view the report and confer with each other. doj would bring the minimally redacted version of the confidential report to the house of representatives to facilitate the chairman's review. doj would meet next week to discuss the remainder of the committee's request including prioritized requests for documents. doj also signalled it was open to further discussions and accommodations. this was done by doj in good faith. just hours later democrats rejected these additional offers. they left doj with no choice in this matter. they left doj with the choice of complying with democratic