Skip to main content

tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  March 22, 2019 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

2:00 pm
unpleasant experience. thank you so much. only talk to rosenstein but also our coverage on cnn continues mueller to see what other information that he believes he right now. called to testify if you don't get it here. breaking news, i'm wolf it is a relace hearing. blitzer. i'm going to try. as the weekends all of washington is waiting and the white house is clearly worrying what it play contain. it is to the extent. president trump is trying to torpedo the special counsel's it is a comp hence ifr report work again calling it a witch and doj saying it is a hunt insisting there was no collusion and no obstruction and comprehensive report. warning if mueller finds otherwise people will not stand it is transparency. for it. sit principle conclusions.
2:01 pm
>> he is doing his best to undermine the investigation. what is the mood at the white house right now as we brace potentially for the eminent release? >> that's right. i have been speaking to i can. officials today and i spoke with a white house official a few you know, it sort of begs the moments ago. they are bracing for the mueller question. it is a certain respect. report to drop this afternoon and thissen evening so we are it is that. the judiciary. waiting to find out what the and he said the bedrock pins special counsel robert mueller ends up delivering in terms of pal. he never disclosed information. if they honor that and the what he 457bds ovhands over. amount of information would be very small. it appears to be saying to it creates sort of a window for president or perhaps somebody release more information. with the administration to come he is taking with one hand and
2:02 pm
out and say something to reporters later on this evening taking with the other but i think we just have to wait and presumably in response to see how much he actually does whatever happens with the mueller report in the next disclose. more importantly how much he does not disclose. several minutes it does not necessarily mean it's a done deal that the president would come out. the white house press secretary it does create that kind of and we don't have enough time to opening for him. get a graphic ready. we should point out if it comes it says the next steps are up to down as we are all expecting the attorney general barr. president was asked about this earlier this morning as he was we look forward to the process. heading out the door where he they have not been briefed on special counsel's report. will be for the weekend he was we know this, you know, leading asked about his anticipation and up to this moment that the white what he expects to hear and what he knows right now. he said he didn't know much house has sort of been in the dark on a lot of this up until right now. he was waiting for himself. the moment of the special counsel's report over the justice department. that is the tweet from sander a few moments ago. giuliani and jay the president's >> can i interrupt you? outside legal team they have also put out a statement also evan perez has the breaks news we have been waiting for. coming in. >> that's right. it says we are pleased the the wore is in. office of special counsel
2:03 pm
the justice department telling delivered the report pursuant us bill barr has we sooreceived and it will determine the appropriate next steps. report. it is now over. so obviously it is a big moment for this white house. it is an investigation that has hung over the presidency of donald trump since is beginning it was apply kated. obviously. the question is what is in that or anything like that. report. they are we are viewing what he found in their investigation and will tell congress. it will be a bill barr report the special counsel report. and something that will be much less than what robert mueller provided in his investigation it was at the white house. let's step back a little bit. as ho how they are going to respond. i thought it was. if you compare it to just an and sources close to the white average justice department house, people inside the white investigation. let's go through that. house, inside the legal team all starting to sound much more 37 defendants including six trump associates that have been positive about this mueller
2:04 pm
charged with crimes as a result of this investigation. we have five people sentenced to prison so far. 16 trump associates at least report. they have been telling us have been shown to have contacts privately they are starting to feel better and better about with russians as a result during the campaign or during the this. as pam brown was saying we don't flow what it is that exists in the universe of possibilities coming out of this mueller report. so when it goes up to capitol hill democrats may have a very different take in terms of the positioning right now. >> as the attorney general says transition. the big question is whether or the principal conclusions may be not there was any evidence of released as early as this collusion between people weekend. you were over there at the associated with russians, whether the president was aware of any of that, whether there justice department. what are folks telling you? wasful any conspiracy to throw >> quite the frenzy over here. we are learning that the report election. so far robert mueller has not is very comprehensive i'm told charged that in any of the cases for justice officials we have that have been made public. been asking for almost 10 15 is there something related to collusion in the report that
2:05 pm
mueller has turned into barr? minutes now. all we are told is that it is is there any proof or evidence comprehensive and only a few select people have seen it. of obstruction of justice? any proof of crimes that he was you plimagine the attorney genel not able to bring charges on. and very small clutch over here that's the big question. of course big barr is going to who have been privy to it. review this report before he reports to congress on exactly our understanding is that the white house was notified around what robert mueller phone. 4:35 p.m. that the report has been delivered. it was delivered by a special counsel security official over >> i want to be previce. have they said the mueller investigation has been completed to the attorney general and immediately within minutes i'm and his report has been handed told transmitted to the attorney over to the new attorney general general's office to give you a and have they done that with flavor of how quickly it transpired over here. what they call a paper as for what comes next our understanding he will be reviewing the findings. as he says in his letter to congress he will be discussing with special counsel and deputy attorney general about what statement? we were just told this was just exactly can be made public but reiterating as he has said in told this by justice department officials that this the past that transparency is investigation is now complete. something that is important to him.
2:06 pm
the report from robert mueller how far he is willing to go on has been received by the that is the next battle on the attorney general and so, look, again, this is an important moment for the trump presidency. it is something they have been horizon. >> you have been waiting tfor anticipating the day they could this report as all of us have. finally say that the investigation has been completed. they can now move onto what is essentially going to be what they believe is going to be a political process. it will be a fight over what are the contents of robert mueller's this was a letter to congress. report, whether members of congress will be able to see all along he has probably made i anything that mueller found in think most clear that he thinks his nearly two-year that he can't share the actual investigation. that will be something that will report. be a political and perhaps even that's a confidential report a legal fight whether or not they will be able to see that. from the special counsel's officer that comes directly to for the moment bill barr will bill barr but he wanted to share review this and he will decide as much as possible. how much of it he can make public and how much of it he can our understanding is he the distill it in whatever ways he turn over to members of congress to review. that's something we are going to thinks is appropriate. be waiting in the coming days to he will provide principle see exactly what that is. >> i want you to standby. conclusions. it means we could sit tight. >> will they be -- submits it to what are you hearing? congress will be submitting pub
2:07 pm
>> this is now over. luckily or on a confidential basis to congress. >> i think you should assume if he will submit it it means everybody will find out about there will be no more it. if he understands that just as indictments from mueller. well as all of us do. when he submits it to congress he will submit it to all of us. >> you're getting more information as well. >> yeah. we are told that she here with it is people they still want to members of the white house question and they an open grand counsel's office. they report the counsel's jury investigation. officer intends according to we saw his team that's outside this letter from barr it was special counsel's office. we saw people leaving the office about this weekend and the early today. we did not see mueller going in. question will the president and we believe he was at work today. his lawyers be included in this the big news here is this is now over. now it's about what will we see? what will be the next steps in all of this? process? the president has publicly said let the people said see the
2:08 pm
reporter. white house lawyers have been working up a legal strategy. >> we don't have any information democrats have already said may about this report, how many pages, what's in it, those details will come at some point not see the full report early but the big news. on. robert mueller, all of his work, it is certainly a long fight and the investigation is over. his team's work now they are done. they are moving on and we will >> it is this information that's see what the department of in this report. justice does and what the next if he is willing, if the steps will be in this investigation. attorney general is willing to >> and we just have received the review it this weekend. attorney ge leadership in the it is to release information. house and the senate. let me read from this letter for our viewers. this is william p. barr, the it is things they can't release. attorney general directs this they would be a little more letter to the respective hesitant and maybe waiting a chairman of these various little more before doing it. it could be why we have seen this delay. we have been reporting this for weeks now that this was going to happen. it could be they were going committees. he has concluded the through it for weeks now and finally determine what can we put together? the other thing i want to make a
2:09 pm
point about you can understand investigation the special why the president is optimistic counsel investigation require that i provide you with a description and explanation of about that. instances in which the attorney so far when you look at the general or acting attorney general concluded that a people who have been indicted no one has been incited for proposed action by special counsel was so inappropriate or unwarranted under departmental practices that it should not be collusion. it was indicted for financial crimes, tax crimes, no one in pursued. there were no such instances. the special counsel submitted to this investigation up to now and now that this is over we don't me a confidential report explaining the prosecution or i expect anyone else. >> and the other investigation is they did not do a sit down am reviewing the report and anticipate i may be in a interview. position to advise you of it isn't inclined to talk about principal condition collusions people they decided not to take as soon as this weekend. charges about. it is not someone they felt they separately i intend to consult could bring charges against. with special counsel mueller to determine what other information from the report can be released to congress and the public it was meant to be like that not consistent with the law including the special counsel to proceed in an indictment
2:10 pm
regulations and department's fashion. congress does in some sense have long standing practices and a right to this investigation as policies. i remain committed to as much they decide to make transparency as possible. investigation whether they think i will keep you informed as to the status of your review. something that was impeachment finally that he provide that the worthy. the white house certainly will. so i think it will be the attorney general may determine the public release of this difficult position we see all of these players going forward. notification would be in the public interest. >> i think we are going to see a i have so determined and i will lot more than we think. disclose this letter after i think the fact that they are delivering it to you. pamela, you have been covering doing this this weekend and this from the very beginning. doing it as quickly as they are a pretty specific letter he has doing it this line in this sent to the various chairman letter to congress i may be in a position to advise as soon as lindsay graham. this weekend that's a big >> and that's lot of news in shocker for all of us. >> it may have to go through this letter. the big question is were some kind of declassification process. they may have already scrubbed therefully there it. any requests that were denied? mueller wasn't born yesterday. he is saying that there were no such instances during the he knows that whatever he is submitting, no matter how special counsel investigation. the reporters covering this comprehensive is some day going to be out there. wondered was there ever a point he has got to -- i'm sure that's where mueller wanted to subpoena what was going on with scrubbing the sit-down with the president? things and making sure there are
2:11 pm
he never had that sit-down with no privilege issues that the president trump. white house could object to. you know they are not going to according to this letter that did not happen apparently. tell us about deck lynn nations. he is saying he will brief the committees on the principle c n conclusions is significant. what would he provide the committees? i think mueller has been around he had wide discretion under the washington long enough to know special counsel regulations to this is going to get out and he determine what he wanted to is going to brief the committees and maybe, you know, maybe the share. he is saying the committees could learn about the principle attorney general won't have to conclusions of the this issue a summary. investigator. we don't have any idea at this our request we is will it answer point. if it is going to happen this the principal question of this investigation, the collusion, quickly i agree. was there collusion of any type it may be that he is handing of individuals associated with them over a comp hence ifr the trump campaign and document that the american obstruction of justice. public can actually read. the president and his team have that's how we do that. called this a witch hunt. you will likely see them say there were no charges related to collusion or obstruction of >> we may see an executive justice. my question is was there any conduct that was unindictable
2:12 pm
that could be concerning and of summary. >> it is a boiled down version interest to congress? news coming from this letter. of all of that. dp you know, it also says that >> you know, what he has done in he may be in a position to these indictments is he told the advise you of the special story of how this occurred and counsel's principle conclusion as soon as this weekend. what happened and he may tell >> a very quick turn around. i think if the attorney general understands that the faster you make this information public we are getting word that they let the white house know at 4:35 p.m. the american public a story they it wasn't long they put the letter out to the public. have been waiting to hear for two years. >> he is getting reaction to this letter that was just sent he knows if he will do anything to the respective chairman and else the best thing he can do is ranking members of the house and handle this as fast as possible. senate judiciary committee. >> it is interesting they are what are you learning? saying the report is comprehensive. i think it is important to know >> yeah. the house chairman just we did not expect the department responded confirms he has been of justice to move so quickly in informed that mueller investigation is completed and terms of revealing some of their findings. they are saying we may be able to do that this weekend. saying that barr completed the that is much faster as pam was investigation. pointing out.
2:13 pm
it also -- they reck cog fliezed we look forward to getting how serious it is and maybe they transparency and nothing less. the need for public faith in the will release more than we think. rule of law must be the we understand the public interest. priority. >> our chief legal analyst is now, what you'll hear from democrats, the top democrat on with us. the senate intelligence saying it is a pretty specific letter nothing is short of providing to ranking members of house and you dish area committees. au all of the materials. >> it is. i believe as pam said there's a he said in his statement exactly lot of news in this letter. that. he said this needs to be swiftly the fact that mueller was never declassified so nothing short of that will suffice. th during this investigation. he never said i want to do x. they have been pushing for not just the report to be released i want to subpoena this person. but also the underlying everyide i want to incite this person. i want to travel to this country and he was never told no. so that is a very significant of the report, the decisions about what to prosecute and not development with regard to his to prosecute, they want that but relationship with rosenstein who also to the public. was his supervisor for the vast they asking for perhaps a lot more than the white house may be majority of his tenure. the idea that we will learn willing to go forperhaps more something about the conclusions than bill bar may be willir mayo of the mueller report as early
2:14 pm
as this weekend is very go for. significant and very they did give word from the interesting. i don't know what it means justice department today just exactly. i don't know what a conclusion moments ago that this is. investigation was completed. does that mean he is going to they have not been told of any say there was no collusion? is he going to say we could have of the findings so far. the discussions have been indicted president trump if we were allowed to? i don't know. relatively brief. conclusions can mean a lot of it goes back to the leaders of different things, but, you know, this process is going to move some what faster at least the key judiciary committee may initially than you would think. learn about principal one other point which is if it is true that this report is comp conclusions. the moment democrats say provide the full report and preserve any hence ifr hencive as we are being advised documents and if they don't it is going to take a while to that's when we can expect a evaluate whether there isfully subpoena fight going forward. classified information in it. >> there could be a significant you can't just send it to the court challenge. classified information doctor. you have to give it to the cia to the national security agency, ba based on this letter we have read multiple times to these any organization whose work was respective chairman and ranking used should be allowed to weigh in on whether it can be members judiciary committees can declassified. so i would think the process we draw conclusions about the
2:15 pm
can't go that quickly but there principle focus of what the robert mueller special counsel investigation was all about? is -- it is certainly moving he was charged nearly two years faster than i expected. ago with authorization to >> there is also the possibility that this has already been investigate any links or scrubbed to a great degree. coordination between russia and the trump campaign, in other that is why barr said he i to n words so called collusion. can we draw any conclusions yet? >> yeah. we can draw the conclusion that he is going to tell congress what he found. you know, it is true as gloria and others have been pointing out that in the legal papers, in the indictments that mueller has told a story. he has told an incomplete story. he has not said whether the trump campaign was involved. he has not said one way or the other. he to on lijed to answer.
2:16 pm
and remember too the whole reason that mueller was appointed by rosenstein was the firingov firing of james comey. mueller has not said whether he believes that the president obstruct obstructed justice by firing james comey and all of the related activities. i think he owes congress an answer on those questions. >> i get it. >> i think the principle conclusions is was there any sort of conclusion? we don't flow the answers to that yes. >> they have told a story and have been very complete. there were in addition to this question of whether the president obstructed justice big questions that remain understand unanswered. they never said whether they actually believe that stone was successfully or got any information from him. they haven't charged him. they suggested he was colluding
2:17 pm
in various courtroom instances. they didn't charge him with any of these things. they never fully on whether they believe. it is with russians. they sort of dropped these bread crumbs. it will be very interesting. congress has every right no deplan the answers to those questions. >> i don't know that mueller will even reach those conclusions. this is a criminal investigation. the point was investigating crimes, whether or not i can bring charges, whether or not i can indict people, whether or not there is more steps i need to take for criminal reasons. what the president may have done here. who roger stone was with. that may be a political issue here. that is not for 3450u8mueller t decide. we play see some of that here. we may see instances where there
2:18 pm
was not enough to prove this. there was not enough to prove that. we didn't pursue charges here. we don't want to see a repeat. certainly the attorney general does not want to see a repeat whether he stood up and went through everything that hillary clinton did bad. this attorney general, this department of justice, this fbi does not want to go through it. >> he has not -- during his confirmation hearing he did not answer the question of what he would do. he wasn't asked what he would do with any impeachable information. if there was conduct in the report that he couldn't bring charges for whatever reason but that's concerning or derogatory. we don't know what he is going to do, if there is that kind of information in the report. they just said special counsel's
2:19 pm
report must be provided. nothing short of that will sufficient. so we are in for a fight. >> we are in for a fight. >> getting more information. evan, what else are you learning? >> i think one of the things we want to step back and talk about is as jeffrey and some of the others have talked about the special counsel has not proved the one thing that everybody has been expecting which is whether or not there was any collusion or something that looking like collusion or something that looks like a conspiracy. of the 199 counts that the special counsel has charged. if you look at some 37 people and entities charged, severen people pleaded guilty and the most important one of those is the chairman of the campaign who was facing charges and tried in
2:20 pm
alexander virginia. he was found guilty there. one of the most curious things in that case was the fact that the special counsel said that at the center of this investigation was this curious etssentially ties had with the special counsel said was a russian operative. they never explained at this point whether this the questions on whether the fbi will keep for the counter terrorism mission it is to see whether return shans or anyone else or what was that
2:21 pm
about. special counsel has not answered and at least not in public. so we are going to be waiting to see whether or not that is answered in his report. there were all of these curious connections. as many as 16 of them people associated with the trump campaign had contacts with russians. it made the fbi suspicious. it is one reason this investigation has gone on. we don't flow what happenknow w. >> hovering over all of this william barr, the attorney general has been precise during the confirmation hearing that he will deal with all of this. he wachbs as much as possible within justice department
2:22 pm
guidelineses. the second guideline is if you're not going to formally charge someone criminally you can't release a lot of damaging with private american citizen. that will be hovering over the decision how much to release publicly, right? >> if you believe both of those, you know, principles that you just described donald trump is the kind of heads i win and tails you lose situation. you can't indict me and you can't say anything bad about me either. i find it hard to believe that that will be the principle that governs the release of these documents. it does underline the challenge that barr will face in add dr s addressing these issues. we saw from the statement from sflart warner and even republicans will be saying
2:23 pm
similar things, let's see what the conclusions are. mueller, the idea that we are going to simply learn nothing about donald trump's behavior seems incon sooeceivable to me. he was appointed immediately after james comey was fired. >> i'm sorry. >> let me ask you a question. remember when afterdonald trump was referred to as individual one at one point and his legal team went ballistic about it. is the president in any way shape or form even going to be mentioned in these documents? >> it is inconceivable to me. there was a conflict of interest
2:24 pm
with the president of the united states. he has to be mentioned but that tension between not disparaging non-charged people which was of course i believe i believe evan said the issue with james comey an hillary clinton indicting her but not denouncing her, how you release information about an uncharged person is a challenge here. the idea that we will simply have him ignored. the report is inconceivable. >> i agree with you. >> laura is at the justice department. she is speaking to officials over there. what else are you learning? >> one of the issues is whether those principle conclusions that
2:25 pm
bill barr is planning to put together would be made public. i know you asked about that so i asked about it. that will be made public. the expectation is it will be made public knowing that congress is going to see it. the public will see it as well. that is to answer one of the looming questions out there. the other one that we had and i'm told at this hour the white house has not seen the report however the attorney general's chief of staff called over and spoke to the top lawyer over there who has been running the russia flfrgs and he was informed about everything that was happening but that the white house does not have the report at this hour, wolf.
2:26 pm
the full report and provide underlining documentation. attorney general barr must not give his lawyers or his staff any sfleek preview of the special counsel. mueller's findings or evidence and the white house must not be allowed about what parts of those are made public. the statement adds the special counsel's investigation focused on questions that go to the integrity of the democracy itself. >> i think we are going to get that here. he is smart enough to know we will be questioned about his interactions. >> i still go back to this. >> saying do not give a sneak
2:27 pm
preview to the president or his staff. the president and his staff are expecting a sneak preview. >> that's right. >> he didn't get it. >> as he reported before anything is -- >> let me get back to laura. i want to be precise. when you expected it to be made public, all of the information that pelosi and schumer -- >> it is not even close to all of the information they are deplanning. they want to see the report and underlying facts and juicy details. as we have been reporting the expectation has been that he will distill it and he will figure out what he thinks is able to be transmitted to congress and by extension the public and there will be a fight about it is enough to go to to
2:28 pm
courts. when i say the expectation is that it will be made public it is only the part that he is promising to give kons here. >> go ahead. >> the real controversy here is the sneak preview. the white house lawyers will want to say we want to be able to assert executive privilege. we have to see it before it is released. you know for a fact that the minute that goes to the white house the president will start tweeting about what a vindication it is. the president will see this thing before anyone else and be able to shake public perceptions before anyone else gets to see it. i think that's something that the democrats may be concerned about but i don't know that they
2:29 pm
can do anything about it. >> well, i think the minute barr decides to do what he wants to do it becomes a political document. the democrats will say if it is jus a summary. we want to know the whole story. he can read it any time he wants. i wonder if the principle conclusions are that the president did nothing wrong. is that something that the attorney general puts out the r? if the attorney says no collusion he will see that as a huge vindication. >> i don't think he will use the
2:30 pm
word. >> right. but i think from the president's standpoint i think you'll hear no collusion pretty quickly, wolf, no matter what simply because we flow there's not been any charges -- >> but a sitting president can't be charged. >> when he talks about no collusion he means about anything. that's one of the questions that's been hanging over him. from now on he will be able to say see, i told you so. >> remember, what the president's lawyer said there was no collusion between the president and the russians. >> exactly. >> i'm not talking about the campaign. he suggested there may have been. >> i think he has done a good job of trying to cover all of the bases. here is the deal. one of the things i think we have talked to officials about is the fact that they have set a prin precedent of some kind by releasing a lot of underlying
2:31 pm
information in the health caill clinton e-mail investigation. there is a lot of concern they created a precedent that some judge is going to apply when it comes time to get some of the underlying product of this investigation. i think that's one of the concerns that they have. bill barr can do his bill barr report. he can try to produce a version of this he believes should be made public. the question is the urn underlying parts, how much of that goes to congress and becomes public? >> we are getting a lot more information. everybody is working their sources right now. i want to get reaction to the dramatic developments. eric of california is joining us. he is on the intelligence and judiciary committees. thanks so much for joining us. tell us what you're looking for plab as early as this weekend when you're going to get what the attorney general says the principle conclusions of this
2:32 pm
report. >> good evening, wolf. we want to full report. we want it now and we want it before the president is going to get it or able to make any edits. >> let me interrupt. why should congress get it through the legislative branch get it before the executive before the president of the dwrie united states himself? >> he is a subject. there is an honor code that presidents when they are subject to investigations back off but they followed the rule of law. it is inappropriate he would even touch this. if he didn't do anything wrong he would keep his hands off of it and say the public could read every word, every sentence. he is not going to do that. i think it will taint its release. >> do you full confidence that he will give you, members congress, as much information from this report as he possibly can within legal guidelines? >> i'll trust but we have to
2:33 pm
verify. so we will ultimately see the full report because the president is outnumbered. we have the subpoena power and judiciary that will uphold from the nixon era. i think we will probably have to hear from bob mueller himself. i don't know how we could accept at mr. barr's word without telling us whether there were lines he wanted to pursue and was not able to. i think the american people will need to hear from mueller. >> what will democrats do if the attorney general declines to make everything, all of the documentation, all of the backgrounds, everything in his nearly two-year investigation available to congress? >> we'll fight and we'll win. the moern peopamerican people v have the subpoena power now and we have the courts that will back us up. i want to say this. i do not want to hear from a president that was unwilling to go under oath as a subject of
2:34 pm
this investigation, attack a report where others so willingly did go under oath. he has no credibility. the state of the evidence will not include his testimony. so anything he says about it i think >> will democrats subpoena robert mueller? >> that's a decision for chairman nadler. it's my view that the report will not be fully accepted by the american people until we hear from bob mueller. >> were you surprised that additional indictments weren't handed down as this nearly two-year investigation has now concluded? >> i haven't been surprised by anything in this investigation. there have been dozens of indictments. people have gone to jail. people are on their way to jail. i don't know if other work has been farmed off to other offices like the southern district of new york with respect to michael cohen. i will accept the mueller report if i hear it from mr. mueller. i have respect for the rule of law. i know my colleagues do.
2:35 pm
this is a test for the rule of law and our country right now. it's had a wrecking ball taken to it. what we do next will determine whether it stands. >> do you accept the current justice department guideline that a sitting president of the united states cannot be indicted? >> that's their guidelines. i don't accept that a president should escape criminal liability by being re-elected or running out the statute of limitations. we are working on this. we will put in place a law in congress, and hopefully the senate, that would say the statute would not run if a president is not indicted because of doj policy. i don't see how he does not have indictments waiting for him considering he is individual one and the conduct that michael cohen talked about when he came to congress and testified. >> if there's no criminal charge, the other justice department guideline is you don't release negative information about someone who isn't charged. >> right. that's a guideline i think we're going to fight.
2:36 pm
we have the subpoena power for two years when i was on the judiciary committee, we saw the republicans subpoena every single document relating to the clinton investigation where secretary clinton was not charged. they had all of that aired out. we warned them. adam schiff was clear over and over on the intelligence committee, you are setting a precedent you will have to live by. now they have to live by that while we have a president of the united states, a greater figure in our democracy, under investigation. the american people, they will see all of this. it's a matter of when. >> at the time, you strongly condemned -- i'm talking about the democrats -- the then fbi director james comey for releasing all that damaging information about hillary clinton, even though wasn't formally charged. >> others may have done that. i did not condemn comey. i'm a former prosecutor. i understand the reasoning that went in the position that he was in. i was not among those. what i will say is that, what they did later in the house
2:37 pm
judiciary committee in the years after the election was over, that was a private citizen who was not in office and they were going back in time to look at that conduct. we're not dealing with a private citizen. we're dealing with the president who makes national security decisions every day that affect us. the american people want to know whether this president violated conduct, whether he violated not only the law but that honor code that we count on and whether he needs to be held accountable. >> thanks so much for joining us. you will be very, very busy in the coming days, probably as early as this weekend when these conclusions are going to be sent from the attorney general over to congress. thanks very much for joining us. >> of course, my pleasure. >> laura is at the justice department. >> one big piece of news that we received is the special counsel robert mueller is not recommending any further indictments. obviously, that's a significant development as there have been many looming questions out there, many open question marks
2:38 pm
i should say about whether we would see more, any superseding indictments. i'm told no further recommendations of any indictments whatsoever. it's not as if when we see the conclusions that bill barr eventually submits to congress that we will see any mention of any recommendations of any indictments. i'm told that's not happening. we can put to rest that speculation once and for all. >> that doesn't necessarily mean that other u.s. attorneys in the southern district of new york or the u.s. attorney here in washington, d.c. or northern virginia, they can pursue legal action? >> absolutely. we should make that point, there have been spinoffs from much of mueller's work. we have seen him farming out certain cases to the d.c. u.s. attorney's office, also the eastern district of virginia and, of course, the southern district of new york which is handling the michael cohen investigation. we have seen outputs from his investigation. but we are not going to receive
2:39 pm
any further recommendations from mueller about the core work of his mandate, which was russian interference in the election, obstruction of justice, all of those issues were central to what he was put here to do. no further indictments on that front. >> from the special counsel. presumably, some of those who were brought before grand juries, some individuals who have not been indicted, they can't necessarily completely breathe easily because there could be indictments coming from other u.s. attorneys. >> certainly, anybody who has been before a grand jury, anyone who has lied, they are in jeopardy. that's certainly not off the table here. in terms of any fresh indictments, any fresh investigative work, that has been put to rest. >> you have been watching this from day one. you are watching the drama unfold even as we speak. >> yeah. this line that we're getting now from the justice official that laura is talking to is probably
2:40 pm
one of the most significant pieces of information. there's been so much speculation from everywhere. a lot of pundits, certainly. people on both sides, democrats, republicans, all speculating, certainly a lot of people speculating more is coming. robert mueller will indict. that's not happening. that's a very important point. what you said, the fact that this is now -- there are parts of this investigation as we have seen -- evan talked about curious connections. there are a lot of curious connections. the fbi is going to continue to investigate those curious connections. that's not ending any time soon. there's an entire counterintelligence investigation into russia. there are other people certainly that are involved that they are investigating. the investigation itself in terms of other parts of this is not over. it's very important -- it's a very important line. there's a reason why they're saying this. no other indictments from robert mueller. >> can we assume -- i will ask jeffrey. can we assume -- jeffrey -- >> let's be specific.
2:41 pm
this is really good news for a lot of people around donald trump. donald trump junior, jared kushner, jerome corsi, the writer who had a draft indictment presented to him by mueller's office and they decided not to go forward with this. let's be fair here. there has been a lot of suspicion around certain people. a lot of negative things have been said. mueller has said, i am not proceeding. there is no better news to receive than you are not being indicted by the united states government. >> you once worked as a prosecutor. when the senior justice official tells laura the special counsel is not recommending any further indictments, can we conclude there have been no sealed indictments that would be unsealed at some point down the
2:42 pm
road? >> wolf, you are like a lawyer. that's an interesting question. i think the answer is, we can assume that. that is a very good follow-up question. i think that would be very coy if no further indictments -- in plain english, it means to me that there are no further -- >> let me ask laura that question. it's your reporting that the special counsel is not recommending further indictments. as far as you know, have there been sealed indictments that potentially down the road for whatever reason could be unsealed? >> wolf, i was channelling you. i asked that very same question. i pressed them at length. sealed, unsealed, in any form, you are telling me it's not coming down the pike in any way in the coming weeks and months. i was told, no. it's done. >> also, wolf, you also mentioned about perjury. if robert mueller thought that
2:43 pm
witnesses committed perjury, he would have charged it. he did charge several people with making false statements. the idea -- i know there are democrats out there who want to keep the mueller investigation alive until malia obama is running for president. but it's over. this investigation is over. >> don't forget -- >> the southern district will continue. that's significant. the mueller investigation is over. >> don't forget that this is a president who has been tweeting, talking, whatever about witch hunt. >> 175 times. >> thank you very much. he has been doing that for the last two years. ever since comey almost two years to the day testified before congress that the fbi opened an investigation into potential russian collusion. so if, as jeffrey is saying, they get great news, the great news is there's no more
2:44 pm
indictments, but if suddenly the president has to say those angry democrats who were working with bob mueller were actually just part of a justice department doing its job after he has criticized the justice department -- >> he has been vindicated by them. >> he is now vindicated, exactly. how do you manage that politically? we obviously can't jump the gun here. we have to see what comes out from barr and what's in the report. if i'm at mar-a-lago with the president as pamela has been reporting the lawyers are -- >> feeling good. >> that i would be very happy. >> absolutely. let's not forget -- i know we have said it. but this investigation is over. the president never sat down for an interview with robert mueller. that's huge. that was always the big question and something the lawyers never wanted to happen. they were able to prevent that and a subpoena fight. robb eert mueller never put in
2:45 pm
request that was rejected. >> that's very significant. stay with me. this is cnn breaking news. >> we're following breaking news. very important news here in washington. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." we want to update our viewers here in the united states and around the world on all of the dramatic developments unfolding right now. pamela brown, tell our viewers what we know right now. there's really significant historic information coming from the justice department. >> this is a momentum occasion, wolf. this nearly two-year investigation
2:46 pm
2:47 pm
2:48 pm
2:49 pm
2:50 pm
2:51 pm
2:52 pm
2:53 pm
2:54 pm
2:55 pm
2:56 pm
2:57 pm
2:58 pm
2:59 pm
3:00 pm

69 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on