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tv   At This Hour With Kate Bolduan  CNN  May 8, 2019 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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and getting a court order so that we can get the grand jury proceedings in evidence, then we will disregard the contempt. well, that's evidence of a state of mind by the majority that at least somebody over there knows you cannot be in 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 is expired. the committee's has, too. >> the gentle lady from
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pennsylvania, for what purpose is the gentle lady seek recognition? >> i move to strike the last word. >> gentle lady is recognized. >> thank you. it's easy to lose focus when the white house and our colleagues across the aisle engage in what aboutism or what is the distraction of the day or even misleading legal arguments. nobody is asking the attorney general to disobey the law. we're asking the attorney general to obey the law, produce the mueller report and supporting documentation, underlying evidence that we've been requesting for a couple of months now and that the american people have been waiting for two years. why is this important? 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.
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over 700 federal prosecutors have now reviewed that evidence. just the redacted evidence, not even the underlying evidence, and stated unequivocally, that it shows multiple instances that would be felonies if it was anyone other than a sitting president and that's the reason why mueller didn't charge. he says in his report, it was a sitting president under the rule 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 with that, i yield back. >> mr. chairman? >> who seeks recognition?
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>> mr. chairman? >> for what purpose? >> to strike the last word. >> bill barr is following the law. what's his reward? democrats are going to hold him in contempt. i don't think today is about getting information. i don't think it's about getting the unredacted mueller report. i don't think last week's hearing was about having staff question the attorney general. as my colleague said earlier taerks all about trying to destroy bill barr because democrats are nervous he's going to get to the bottom of everything. he is going to find out how and why this investigation started in the first place. never forget what bill barr said 3 1/2 weeks ago when he testified in front of the senate finance committee. he said a lot of important things but said three -- excuse me, four very interesting things. first he said there was a failure of leadership at the upper echelon, term he used, upper echelon of the fbi. we all know that's the case. director comey has been fired, deputy mccabe, fired, lied three times under oath, according to the inspector general, jim bakker demoted and left
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currently under investigation by the justice department. lisa paige, demoated and left. peter strzok, demoated and fired, who ran the clinton investigation and the russian investigation. there was certainly a failure of leadership at the upper echelon of the fbi. second thing the attorney general said 3 1/2 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. he said in his judgment he thinks there may have been unauthorized surveillance and political surveillance. scar terms. we have to go back to january 3rd, 2017. senator schumer on the rachel maddow show said this, if you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways
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from sunday at getting back at you. i don't know if the fbi went after president trump in six ways, but i sure know they went after him in two ways. and the first one is the now famous dossier. 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 national committee, clinton campaign paid the law firm who hired fusion gps, who then hired a foreigner, christopher steele who did what? talked to russians and put together this salacious, unverified document, and that was the basis to get a warrant to spy on the trump campaign. when they went to the court they didn't tell them important things like who paid for t they didn't tell them christopher steele already told the fbi and justice department that he was, quote, desperate to stop trump and they didn't tell the court that christopher steele had been fired by the fbi because he was
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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 with the trump campaign. down what they call that? do you know what they call that? it's called spying. they did it. they did it. they did it twice. who knows how much more. what i know is bill barr has said he will get to the bottom of it. and think about the term he used again. this is important. political surveillance. >> will the gentleman 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
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investigation and launched and ran the trump investigation. never forget what he said. trump should lose 100 million to zero. we need an insurance policy. told lisa paige, don't worry, lisa, we'll stop trump. this is what bill barr wants to investigate. as my colleagues have said, this is the house judiciary committee. with the history this house has in protecting the liberties and constitution. >> under our system of government, unelected executive branch supposed to answer by the president and not the other way around. this is not a democrat and republican issue, it's a matter of having a government responsible to the people. to we, the people. and partisan commotion.
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>> what can be done to the president can be done to any of us. more than anything else and we are not doing that today. i yield back. >> mr. jordan has been second to none in asking for access to the materials we're asking for access to the entire report and ongoing information? >> consistent with the law. 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 document. why don't we hold off until at
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least the guy who spent two years writing this before doing this resolution? >> essentially because of the tld be useful to read the material before we have him in front of us. >> for what purpose does the gentleman seek recognition? >> to move to strike the last word. >> the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the end of the mueller investigation did not equal the end of the story. the american people want to. >> in fact, investigate a mueller intended for the american people and for congress to have the full story. he did so in his unredacted summaries for both the
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obstruction and the russian influence investigations and what happened when he issued his report, william barr did something unprecedented. he put together his own four-page summary, which was misleading, which failed to properly and adequately and accurately characterize the conclusions of the mueller investigators. he did that. he waited for about a month while that narrative marinated among the american people and it was reduced down 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,
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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 instruct -- obstructed all matters that mueller was investigating and now he is trying to obstruct congress and the american people in finding out what is in that report. and what is very troublesome is my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are aiding and
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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. the attorney general barr has stonewalled, as he has been instructed to do by the president and he's a willing participant in this, mind you. they are obstructing the american people's ability to understand what happened. they are 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
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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 barr -- william barr knows that also. and he also knows that previous attorney generals in his situation have gone to congress -- have gone to the courts with the house of representatives and obtained grand jury materials when necessary. and 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,
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one of which is possibly impeachment. how can we impeach without getting the documents? so we must get this document. the american people expect us to do it. 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 stopobfuscating a yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. glad to see that the microphones are 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.
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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 haven't been able to read, the chairman has been able to go read, had he chosen. this all about impeaching the president. now why don't they just say it, just jump to the impeachment proceedings like their liberal media overlords are telling them to? the reason is the american people don't support impeach. 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 is doing so well. you've got 3.2% growth in the economy. the trump economy is hot. the reason we're doing so well is a consequence of the president's policies. 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. typically, they roll next to identity politics that based on
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what you look like, who you pray to, who you love, you can't possibly support republicans, but african-americans are doing better, hispanics are doing better. women are doing better. we're seeing a rising tide that truly lifting all boats in this country. now we have this effort, not to argue with policies, no the to typically go to the identity politics that functions as the organizing principle of today's democratic party they have to delegitimize the guy that, one, people voted for, but they don't the guts to do it directly and so they're going after the attorney general. the gentleman from georgia said we are hiding behind the rule. 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 trouble in the first place. inspector general testified before us, fundamental fact during the vegs of hillary clinton and donald trump, you saw continuous examples of a
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one-off here, a violation of protocol there. the inspector general said never before had he seen a circumstance where the very same team that was investigating hillary clinton would then go and investigate the other person that was involved in the 2016 presidential contest. about a month ago in this committee i laid out the stages of grief. denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. folks watching at home can probably follow along and see where we're headed. first, my democratic colleagues were in denial when they saw there was no collusion after saying for 22 months that the presses 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 collusion 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.
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this whole kerfluffel of anger. now we know the third step, bargaining. well, mr. attorney general, you've given us 92% of the mueller report. we have to bargain for the remaining 8%. that's where we think the action is. well, mr. attorney general, you spent five hours before the senate judiciary committee, three of our presidential candidates got to question you. you offered to come before the house judiciary committee, you offered to come for an additional hour of questioning but we have to bargain so our staff lawyers can ask you questions. now, i don't think it's a good sign that the next sign after bargaining is depression. so i feel for my democrat colleagues, but after that, we get to acceptance and that's sure something i'm looking forward to. there are 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 gentleman from rhode island has excellence ideas about how to change the way that consumers interface with big companies. my colleague from the state of
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new york right. if the first step act is the only step act, then that would be a bad thing. we need to do more on criminal justice reform. my colleague who is not with us from california, mr. swalwell, he has great ideas to unlock potential cures with medical cannabis reform. 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 gentleman from florida. what purpose is the gentleman from florida recognized? >> move to strike the last word, mr. chair. >> gentleman is recognized. >> mr. chairman, we're here
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today because we're witnessing the breakdown. 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 it places courts in arguing confidentiality, autonomy and separation of power and and checks and balances. these occasions for constitutional confrontation between the two branches are likely to be avoided whenever possible. why are we on this collision course today? because the attorney general of the united states refused to provide information that is not privilege 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 this
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information. executive privilege is not a cloak of secrecy that drapes across our nation's capital from a white house to the justice department. yet last night the attorney general threatened a blanket privilege claim over materials he know are not privileged as retribution for the mark-up we're holding right now. this morning he asked the president to do just that. it's striking how empty that gesture is. attorney general's request for a blanket prifl claim is empty of merit, 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. it helps the presidency function, to get good advice
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without interference from congress. that's not at stake here. we're asking for information that is no longer held in confidence among the president and his closest advisers. we're just asking for the truth. the truth many already know but is being when would from the public. investigators know the truth. private attorneys know the truth. the ranking member of this committee has seen it. the privilege no longer applies. the american people's interest in the truth and the need for this committee to do its job, to protect our elections, our national security, to hold the president accountable and to draft legislation to ensure that no one is above the law. yet the attorney general continues to mislead the american people. he has now joined the president in his ongoing obstruction of the house. congressional hearings and
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document requests are normal. they're normal. this committee holds an oversight committee hearing with the attorney general every year. that's normal. this? this course that the president and attorney general set us on is not normal. this collision is the definition of a constitutional crisis. and the breadth of this obstruction is beyond anything in our nation's history. the president has said 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 the our southern border.
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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. i close with this. the mueller report finishes by reminding us that the protection of the criminal justice system from corrupt acts by any person, including the president accords with the fundamental principle of our government that no person in this country is so high that he is above the law. we will continue to assert our
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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 gentleman from colorado seek recognition? >> amendment at the desk. >> the clerk will report the amendmen amendment. >> mr. chairman, i reserve a point of order. >> gentleman reserves a point of order. is there an amendment?
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>> mr. chairman? >> what purpose does the gentleman from louisiana seek recognition? >> move to strike the last word. >> the gentleman from -- >> i'll withdrawal my amendment. it's not ready at this point. >> i appreciate that. the gentleman from louisiana is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we've heard some extraordinary claims this morning. i've been taking notes, as my colleagues have commented on all of this. congresswoman sheila jackson lee said, quote, the administration is taking a wrecking ball to the
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constitution. and you said that it doesn't recognize us as a co-equal branch of the government. anyone who looks at these facts objectively know it's the exact opposite. the attorney general and doj is objecting to this charade based on the rule of law. they're trying to protect the integrity of our institutions. mr. chairman you said the preliminary protective assertion of executive privilege this morning was a last-minute outburst. that's exactly the opposite of that. in fact, the letter that the doj sent to you this morning says, and i quote, regrettably, you, mr. chairman, have made this assertion necessary by your insistence upon scheduling a premature contempt vote. letter goes on to say you've terminated our ongoing negotiations 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
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without threatening the independence of the department of justice's prosecutorial functions. that's a quoting from the letter. facts matter. the letter that the attorney general sent to the president this morning that accompanies all this says, quote, the committee demands all the special counsel's investigative files which consists of -- everybody listen, consists of millions of pages of classified and unclassified documents, more than two dozen criminal cases and investigations, many of which are ongoing, law enforcement information, information about sensitive intelligence sources and methods and grand jury information that the department is prohibited from disclosing, by law. that's the letter that the attorney general sent to the president, explaining all of this. we're attorneys on. most of us are committee lawyers on this committee. what does the law say? april 5th, last month, u.s. court of appeals for the d.c. circuit ruled in mckiever versus
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barr, disclose grand jury materials only where they have positive authority to do so, particularly through the exceptions to grand jury secrecy, listed in rule 6e. 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 lettering the target of an investigation, who might otherwise flee or interfere with the grand jury and preserving the rights of a suspect who might later be exonerated. these are critically important principles and traditions for us to uphold. it is, again, the law. that 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. because he knows that his rationale for demanding the unredacted report is wholly insufficient. this bears repeating. the chairman claims he needs the full unredacted report as part
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of the march organization into 81 individuals and organizations related in some way to president trump. let's make a couple of facts clear. the investigation, we don't even know if it's still ongoing. we haven't heard much about it lately. lack of activity around the investigation makes it clear the mantle here is not interested in pursuing this for legislative purpose. this is about scoring political points. the chairman's public comments are fully focused on obstruction but another important fact here, 99.9% of the obstruction volume is available right now for the chairman to view, but he hasn't done that. only six lines in over 182 pages is redacted in the obstruction volume. this is not about seeking the trug, as we heard this morning. it's about raw partisan politics. our democratic 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
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people deserve better. i hope that they will review the facts. i hope they'll look at all this correspondence and get beyond this cloud of partisan politics and understand why we are taking the stand today that we are. i yield back. >> mr. chairman, i would move to strike the last word. >> gentleman is recognized. >> mr. chairman, i would just say that today is a very serious day. today is a very regrettable day. unfortunately, we have an administration that is choosing to have a temper tantrum that is designed to accomplish one thing, 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.
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the other side would have us congratulate them for telling 92% of the story i wishy when i was a child i could get away with telling 92% of the story to my mother i would always tell the good 92% and leave all the bad deeds, lies and crimes in the 8% that i don't tell. so you get no 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 compiling the report from putting their hand on a bible
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and taking an oath to tell the truth. that's what we're going to ultimately have, the president obstructing the testimony of the mueller report. while he continues to promote, articulate, offer lies and fake news of 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 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.
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without the interference of any foreign debrises, 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 are 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.
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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 that we are today. we will not let one administration, certainly one person, we will not let one party be enablers to the criminal alcohols we see over and over again. so just so i can dole and speak in facts so people don't think there the democrats go again, there have been 199 criminal alcohols that have come out of the administration, 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.
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the former campaign manager in jail, former national security adviser, in jail. the president's personal lawyer, in jail. it's 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? >> for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? >> strike the last word. >> the swra is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we saw last week an attempt to change the rule of this committee by applying only impeachment proceedings to
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attorney general william barr and today we're zipping right along. we now my colleagues on the other side have the votes and will try to hold this attorney general in contempt. i'm interested to see the look on the judge's face when my my colleagues from the other side present these facts. the court is going to say, what did you do? were you in negotiatings? well, we were, but we scuttled that. we refused to hear from the attorney general because we changed the rules so the attorney general didn't come in. he offered to let us view the less redacted report but i didn't do that. i didn't bother to go down there and look at that report. he offered to have staff members view the lesser redacted report with me.
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no. i said no, we're not going to do that either. he permitted us to take notes on the lesser 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 was some other witnesses that were important that might have shed light on this as well but we didn't hold a hearing with daj rosenstein. we didn't hold a hearing on mueller before we issued our contempt citation. we didn't seek closed-door, confidential, classified hearings with any of these individuals. in fact, judge, do you know what
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we did? we undercut our whole argument by making the argument to mr. barr saying, mr. barr, 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're going to have the great privilege of saying, yeah, we put over william barr. 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 judiciary committee these days. that's just the way it is. that is unprecedented and will hold this committee up to
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derision. 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 authorization under the 6e provisions right now. so there's going to be a problem, and i can't wait to see the judge, the look on the judge's face when these guys try to explain we were trying to pigeon hole something into 6e. i'll close in this area. when i hear that the wrecking ball is being taken to the
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constitution, that it's being trampled upon, that continued breakdown of the constitutional order, these kinds of arguments made over and over again, i can't help but say if you think this administration, this president is so dangerous, where -- why aren't you acting on the many resolutions for impeachment you already introduced? mr. johnson was pretty clear. this whole thing is about impeachment. take to the american people. file the resolution. you already filed them. act on them. with that, my time is up. thank you. >> for what purposes does the gentleman from new york move to seek recognition? >> strike the last word. >> the gentleman is recognized.
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>> i expect when the court does hear this challenge, i expect that she will rule in favor of the constitutional separation and checks and balances in our oversight function. >> as identity understand it, three different discussion sugss for opposing our effort to simply uphold our constitution, one this is a politically inspired witch hunt. nonsense. two, they want to protect the reputational interest 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
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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 a republican. the person who initiated the investigation, former fbi director james comey, republican. the fbi director who replaced him and preside d over, christopher wray, republican. the person who decided to appoint a special counsel to preside over the investigation and then monitored it at the helm of the department of justice, the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein, republican. the person who actually conducted the investigation, a war hero.
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a law enforcement professional, bob mueller, lifetime republican. who is the attorney general going to investigate? the republican party? the notion that it's a politically inspired witch hunt is just one of 10,000 or more misrepresentations that have been spun out of 1600 pennsylvania avenue. it's a shame that you choose to adopt it and parrot 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 reputational interests of americans who have served this country. you weren't concerned with the reputational interests of hillary clinton. in fact, the top republicans said the sole objective was to undermine her, the former first lady and secretary of state. you weren't concerned with the
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reputational interests of peter strzok and lisa paige. in fact, you embarrassed those two. they made mistakes, but you embarrassed those two. you weren't concerned with the reputational interests of andy mccabe. so don't peddle 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
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talked to mueller. there's no assertion of executive privilege. white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders, talked to mueller. no assertion of executive privilege. white house communications director hope hicks, talked to mueller. there was no assertion of executive privilege. it's a phony argument. the house is a separate and co-equal branch of government. we're not a wholly owned subsidiary of the trump administration. we don't work for donald trump. we work for the american people. we have a constitutional responsibility to serve as a check and balance on an out-of-control executive branch. the attorney general is totally out of control. he will be held in contempt of congress. i yield back.
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>> what purpose does the gentleman from california sec recognition? >> strike the last word. >> 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. this committee feels 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 with plainly see what's going on here. for 2 1/2 years, they have been force fed a brazen and monstrous lie that the president of the united states is a traitor whose loyal to a foreign and hostile power. robert mueller was given extraordinary powers to investigate this. he appointed one of the most
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partisan and biased teams 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 asking family members in order to some narrative. even waived attorney client privilege to make the president's personal attorney available for 30 hours of testimony. the president did not interfere with the investigation. after all that, they were forced to admit 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 used by the highest ravenging officials in the department of justice, fbi,
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intelligence agencies and perhaps even the white house. first to try to influence the outcome of our election and after failing that, to undermine the duly elected president of the united states and tear this country apart. now that lie is laid bare for all to see. the lie changed from collusion to obstruction. even though the administration did nothing to interfere or impede the investigation, the president is guilty of obstruction just because he complained about the injustice of it all behind closed doors in words that amounted to no action whatsoever. they know this lie won't hold up under scrutiny either. so what to do? the answer to that question is before us right now. even though there was no legal requirement for the mueller report to be reloesed publicly, the attorney general has released it with the sole exception of material he is legally forbidden to release,
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amounting to 92% of the document. the chairman of the ranking member of this committee has been offered to review the additional redactions that can be viewed in a classified setting, leaving only about six lines out of 182 pages. but instead of reviewing that information or changing the law to they ordered the attorney general to do what he legally cannot do and then charged there is a cover up. they imply the smoking gun is in the six lines in over 182 pages that cannot be legally shared, safe in the knowledge they will never be called out on it. and thigh hope that there will be enough of a smoke screen to cover the perversion of our justice and intelligence agencies for political purposes under the obama administration. one other point. last week, the democrats voted to change the rules of the committee to allow members to hide behind committee counsel to challenge the attorney general.
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mr. chairman, we don't hire people to speak for us on the house floor and shouldn't hire people to speak for us in committee. only members of the house should speak in house proceedings. we are responsible and accountable for what we say in public forums. hired help is not. the only rightful exception is when we sit as a tribunal in impeachment because then we are sitting as a jury to hear evidence. any exception of this makes a mockery based on the direct accountability that representatives of the people must have to those who elected them. >> gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island -- >> i move to strike the last word. >> i want to begin by thanking you for your extraordinary patience and determination and respectful manner in which you have sought to obtain the
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information that the subpoena requires. i think we all recognize that you have extended yourself above and beyond to try to accommodate the attorney general. we are here for one very important reason. i think people should recognize that this is a deadly serious moment. the rule of law in 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 that we are a country of laws and not of men and women and that no one is above the law including the president of the united states. it reminds us that we fought our independence to be free from a monarchy so that we could live in a democracy. so we see the president who is attempting to destroy basic institutions of government by directing his attorney general and others in the administration to stone wall the american
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people. this is a crisis. now, it's sad today that attorney general barr who refused to comply with a lawfully issued subpoena consistent with his overcampaign to protect the president of the united states. president trump wanted his roy cohen and he got it. had attorney general demonstr e demonstrated he has oath to the president. he wrote a four page document where he took four pieces of four different sentences to capture a 400-page report. the report also directly contradicts several statement that the attorney general made during his press conference which he had before a single person was allowed to read the report. we know the president refused to be interviewed and associates destroyed evidence. he publicly cleared the trump campaign of coordinating with
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russia while leaving out the critical finding in the mueller report that the trump campaign was fully aware and expected to benefit lectorally from information stolen and released. since mr. mueller has completed the investigation, mr. barr has refused to release the full report to congress. he has refused to provide any underlying evidence. he 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 said he wasn't aware of what mr. mueller's position was on the summary. we learned later that mr. mueller had written a letter criticizing his characterization and then had a 15-minute phone call doing the same and mr. barr never shared that, as well. so we see an attorney general who has set out to protect the president at all costs.
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now we learn this morning a letter that he is 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 evoking executive privilege in a context where he knows it is not applicab applicable. can we work together to try to prevent the american people from learning the full truth. it is curious, complete exoneration. you think he would be rushing to get this report released if it really was a complete exoneration. 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 is a 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.
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we are here on behalf of the american people to ghet to the truth so we can make informed judgments. we have a responsibility to ensure that people who are served with a subpoena comply with it, whoever you are. we live in a democracy and everyone must be treated the same. this is a search for the truth to demonstrate no one is above the law including the president of the united states and the attorney general of the united states. and that individuals must be held accountable for their misconduct. so we have to gather up that evidence. i am saddened to hear my republican colleagues when i think this is anything but that. we took an oath. our constituents and the american people are watching us and the world is watching us. we must compel mr. barr to comply with a lawfully-issued subpoena and get to the work of oversight finding the truth and demonstrating in this country no
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one is above the law including the president of the united states. with that, i yield back. >> for what purpose does the gentle lady from alabama seek -- >> move to strike the last word. >> we have heard over and over again how the attorney general has not accommodated this committee's demands. asked unanimous consent that the timeline be included in the record. >> without objection. >> on march 22, 2019 the attorney general immediately notified the chairman and ranking members of the house and senate committees that he received the confidential report from the special counsel. on march 24, 2019, two days later, the attorney general informed congress of the special counsel's principle conclusions. on march 29, 2019, five days later, the attorney general updated congress on the department's review and outlined the four categories of redactions that the department with the special counsel's
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assistance intended to make prior to the public release of the confidential report. on april 18, 2019, less than a month after receiving the confidential report, the attorney general made the redacted version available to congress and the public. however, on april 18, 2019, the same day the attorney general released the confidential report and made the minimally redacted version of the confidential report available for review, chairman nadler issued a subpoena to the attorney general. on april 19, 2019, those house and senate democrats invited to review the minimally redacted confidential report wrote the department to refuse the attorney general's offer. to date, not a single democrat has reviewed the minimally redacted report. on may 1, 2019, the attorney general voluntarily appeared before the senate committee providing more than five hours of testimony regarding the special counsel's investigation
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and confidential report. the attorney general had previously volunteered to appear before both the senate and house judiciary committees. on may 2, 2019, chairman nadler's extraordinary and unreasonable demand that congressional staffers questioned the attorney general, a cabinet secretary in an oversight hearing forced the attorney general to forego the hearing. on may 6, 2019, less than three weeks after issuing the subpoena, chairman nadler introduced a resolution to hold the attorney general in contempt. also on may 16, 2019, in an effort to accommodate the committee's interests the department wrote chairman nadler emphasizing the department of justice continued to engage in good faith consistent with the obligations under the law. the department offered to meet to negotiate an accommodation that meets the legitimate interests of each of our co-equal branches of the government. on may 7, 2019, the department
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met with the committee staff to offer additional accommodations in exchange for the committee postponing the scheduled contempt vote including d.o.j. which significantly eased restrictions on the review of the less redacted report to allow designated members and staff to more easily review the report and confer with each other. d.o.j. would bring the minimally redacted version of the confidential report to the house of representatives to facilitate the chairman's review. welcome to inside politics. we will drop out of live coverage here but continue to keep our eye on this in a packed hour ahead. this is a congressional clash over whether to hold the attorney general of the united states in contempt of congress. also happening this second, the president holding a meeting with his cabinet at the white house. the bigger news this morning, the president as the hearing is underway evoking executive privilege over the entire mueller report.
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