tv Christopher Wray Pledges Strict Independence at FBI Helm CSPAN July 14, 2017 3:38pm-6:37pm EDT
jason brown discusses his book false black power and his argument that lacks are disadvantaged economically by political capital. >> most groups in america and elsewhere have risen economically have done so with a little or no political influence. groups that have enjoyed only political success have tended to rise more slowly fix what's not that you can't take the political root, you can, but chances are you're going to rise more slowly than you would taking other routes. >> for more of this weekend schedule go to booktv.org. >> just two days ago christopher wray president trump's picked to replace james comey as fbi director appeared before the senate judiciary committee for his confirmation hearing. both republicans and democrats asked whether he'll maintain the bureaus independence. this is about four and a half
hours. [inaudible conversations] >> today, forcible i should i should say welcome to everybody, particularly of former colleague and our nominee, and all the families and friends and other citizens here for a very important nominee hearing. you're welcome. the committee is considering, as you know, the nomination of christopher wray to be the eighth director of the federal bureau of investigation. mr. wray, congratulations to you and your family on yourigation. nomination. this is an important day for
you, your family and most importantly this is an important day for the country, considering ththe boards of the fbi and law enforcement in america. so i welcome you, mr. wray, and your from the committee. the ranking member and i willer give opening statements, and senator nunn will introduce thei nominee. mr. wray will then give his opening statement and introducee anybody that he wants to that is here to support him and people that are not here, supporting him as well. and then after his opening statement we will turn to questions. as an accommodation to the minorities request, we will have ten minute rounds for questions during the first round rather than the normal seven. the director of the federal bureau of investigation is charged with running a vast
agency with tremendous power. agis power, if used appropriately, could threaten the civil liberties of every american, if it choose inappropriate i said. however, when used appropriately and subject to rigorousif oversight by congress, it protects the nation from terrorism, from spies and fromgh hardened criminals. the attorney general is commonly referred to as the top law enforcement officer in our country.nl the fbi director serves the attorney general as the top cop on the street. it is a very demanding job that requires keen understanding of requlaw, sound management skills, calm, calmness under l significant pressure, and a very levelheaded. from what i've seen so far from meetings with mr. wray and from looking at his record, he
appears to possess these qualifications. he has an oppressive legal career, graduating from yale university and the yale law school, and clerks for a judgen of the fourth circuit. also spending many years as an assistant u.s. attorney and was on the front lines in cases involving violent crime, drug trafficking, public corruption and fraud. during his time as a prosecutorp he often worked closely with the fbi. while there in deposition, mr. wray received the department highest award for public service and leadership. in 23 -- 2003 he was unanimous confirmed by the senate to leave the criminal division of the department of justice as the assistant attorney general. in that role he led and managed over 400 prosecutors and 900 si
total employees in nearly all areas of federal criminal law. there, too, he worked closely with federal law enforcementri partners and key seniorke officials at the fbi.n of course, it's vitally important for the fbi director to be independent. in reviewing his record i've seen his commitment to this independence. he prosecuted little guys and bithey guys as we can to separae people in our society. including a major league baseball player, gun traffickers and rico violators. he prosecuted folks on both sides of the political spectrum, including folks working on a republican campaign. while at the department of justice he oversaw the task force that investigated enron. this investigation led to convictions to several of our,
several enron executives. mr. wray has earned a strong bipartisan support of over 100 former u.s. attorneys across the country, including former attorney general eric holder and other appointees of president clinton and president obama. and i will enter at the end of my statement, without objection, letters of support for mr. wray. te the top priority at the fbi is to protect the national security of the united states. the director of the fbi needs to be effective, needs to be accountable when practicing protecting our nation frome terrorism against foreign intelligence threats and against cyber attacks and high-technology crimes.hreats the gravity of this responsibility is clear when we remember the scores americans
and others killed or wounded in many tears events on u.s. soil following the tragic event september 11, 2001. isis and other international terror groups have directed or inspired terrorist attacks in fort hood, boston, san bernardino, orlando, st. cloud, new york city, columbus, and i i suppose other places that we tend and shouldn't forget, tend to forget but shouldn't forget. uniform only, these attacks on united states soil show the fbi most of the tools it needs to protect against and investigate terrorism and other serious violent crimes in the homeland. and these tools must preserve civil liberties while being adapted to changing threat streams and advances in whi technology.
chief among these tools is section 702 authority. this authority provides the government the ability to collect the electronic communications of approved foreign intelligence targets outside united states with a compelled assistance of american companies.at section 702 receives the strong support of bush, obama and other trump administration, and it's up for reauthorization at the end of the year. many federal courts, the federap intelligence surveillance court and the privacy and civil liberties oversight board have founded, have found section 72 constitutional and consistent with the fourth amendment, but the fbi does face questions about its queries of section 702 information, and the impact on privacy and civil liberties. in addition the fbi must also c have the tools needs to navigate the growing dark problem as more and more terrorists and
criminals use encryption. i look forward to hearing how mr. wray plans to handle these national security issues and protect the american people and uphold the constitution of the united states in keeping with the fbi's mission.up of course, everyone here knows that i care about whistleblowers and whistleblower protections. in december president obama signed the fbi whistleblower protection bill that senator leahy and i worked together to pass. the law clarifies that fbi employees who make disclosures to supervisors are protected. unfortunately, there is still a lot of problems with the whistleblower protection process. unlike other law enforcement agencies, the justice department does allow fbi agents to get an independent judicial review of retaliation claims. it concerns me that the department and the fbi hasn't worked with us on the legislation to fix that. fbi whistleblowers need the
support of their leadership to ensure that there is a speedy and effective way to resolve their cases.s. i'd like the assurance from mr. wray that whistleblowers will not face retaliation. some of his predecessors have done a poor job of protectingg whistleblowers.ot face at the fbi oversight hearing on may 3 i said a cloud of doubt hangs over the fbi objectivity. the previous director, james comey, said that the people at the fbi don't give a rip about politics. but mr. comey installed as his deputy director a man whose wife ran for the virginia state senate and accept almost $1 million from the virginia governor terry mcauliffe political machine. that's a lot of money for one state senate seat. governor mcauliffe is a longtime friend and fundraiser for the clintons and the democratic party.e deputy director andrew mccabe met in person with governorr mcauliffe about his wife's
political plans. his official fbi biography was used in setting up a meeting and the goals, and the goal was forl mccollum to close the deal and get his wife to run for office. the office of special counsel is reviewing whether thathe coordination was a violation of the act which prohibits partisan political coordination by fbi w officials. inspector general is using whether vista mccabe should've been recused from the clinton investigation based upon his financial ties to the clinton s the political network. mr. mccabe was also named in a sex discrimination lawsuit by a female fbi agent who alleged retaliation. just last week it was reported that lieutenant general michael flynn wrote a letter in support of the female agent. that means lieutenant general plan isn't adverse witness to mr. mccabe any pending proceeding.
yet mr. mccabe supervised the criminal investigation of flint and allegedly wanted it pursued very aggressively. according to press reports three fbi employees personally witnessed mccabe making disparaging remarks about flynn before entering the russian investigation. yet mr. mccabe never refused himself from the flint investigation. his failure to do so calls into question whether he is handled that investigation fairly and objectively. i've asked inspector general to add this to the ongoing review. the director of the fbi is entrusted with tremendous amount of power.ns that power is subject to appropriate checks against the abuse of our civil liberties. the director is accountable to his leadership and to the people elected representatives. that's why the fbi director has a ten year term limit and why there are no restrictions on the
ability of any president to firi any director as president trump did former director james comey. the term limit is a ceiling not a floor. and while independence from partisan influence is critical and this committee intends too close examine the circumstances of mr. comey's pyrene, history shows that the ten year term limit isn't there to protect the fbi director from politicians or politics, it's there to protect, to prevent the fbi director from overreaching or abusing power. for more than 50 years the fbi was run by j. edgar hoover, arguably the most independent fbi director in history. the very people charged with constraining his power were targets of his secret files. so with the americans whose civil liberties were trampled by the co-intel program and fil hoover's own illegal abuses. yet the fbi building still bear
his name just as the bureauu bears the weight of his ugly legacy. but in america the people rule,, not the police or the military. vigorous oversight by elected officials as both the executive and, both the executive and legislative branches essential to protect that liberty. i've been doing vigorous oversight work of the fbi for my entire career on this committee. as long as i'm sure but i willor to ask important questions and this expect honest answers on behalf of the american people. just yesterday we had hearing in the crime subcommittee thatan illustrated the long history of congress exercising its constitutional authority to do oversight, including ongoingng criminal and intelligence matters. sometimes we cannot talk public about all the details of our work, although we strive to be as open as possible. some people argue oversight of
ongoing investigations is somehow interference. this ignores the important work of comity importance of our work to ensure transparency and accountability and, of course, it ignores history. this committee has received detailed information about ongoing criminal matters and foreign intelligence c surveillance activity in the past, and will continue to seek that information. that's what oversight and accountabilities are all about. in the past the fbi has resisted accountability to congress and has been unresponsive to our letters. and i know for sure about my letters. mr. wray, you and i spoken about this problem and i expect you to change this practice at the fbi. i would like an assurance from you that you will be responsive to my oversight work and that ma questions and documents requests will be taken seriously and answered in a timely and complete manner, and some of myy questions with you in my ten minutes were pursue this point.
so what to get i think mr. wray for his willingness to reach them return to public service and i look forward to a full and candid conversation with him today. now center to find to. >> thanks very much mr. chairman.fu i'd like to get also bynow welcoming the nominees family to this hearing. i want them to enjoy the day. this is probably as good as it gets so enjoy it. [inaudible] [laughing] >> i would also like to recognize my former colleague and present good friend sam nunn. it's great to welcome you back, sam. you are a beacon of integrity and scrutiny and could logic and strong positions while you serve in the senate. it was a great treat for those of us that were able to work with you. to do so. so welcome back. the position of fbi director is currently vacant because of the situation, and i want to speak
about that. on may 9 of this year, president trump fired james comey. although we are still sorting out all of the circumstances and details surrounding the presidents of decision, it does not appear that mr. comey was fired because the bureau was a mess as originally stated. nor is there evidence that mr. comey was dismissed because rank-and-file fbi agents have either lost confidence in him or because of his handling of the clinton administration, investigation. rather, we find that rank-and-file agents of the fbi did and continue to overwhelmingly support james comey. in addition, deputy attorney general rosenstein told membersy of congress that when he wrote his memo, president trump had already decided to remove mr. comey as fbi director.ha based on press reports and the
president's own words, the reason mr. comey was dismissed was because he would not pledge his loyalty to the president and he would not lift the cloud of the russian investigation. president trump said in a televised interview, for example, i was going to fire comey regardless ofid in a recommendation. end quote, when i decided to just do it, i said to myself, you know, this russia thing with trump and russia is a made-up story, end quote. as the fbi's investigation into russian election interference and possible coordination with the trump campaign progressed, it appears the president became more and more concerned with director comey's unwillingness to cooperate. in the flint matter as well as the russian matter. all of this raises important questions for the next fbi had,
and particularly for his independence. first and foremost, the fbi is and must remain and independent law enforcement organization, free from political influence,an and his starts at the very top. the fbi director does not serve the president. he served the constitution, the law, and the american people. pi as such, the director of the fbi must be a leader who has the integrity and strength that will enable him to withstand any attempts at political interference. today, the judiciary committee will fully examine the qualifications, integrity, and independence of the nominee before us. will mr. wray and the fbi pursuo investigations with independence and vigor, regardless of who may be implicated?
will he stand up for what is right and lawful? will he tell the president know if improperly directed to pursue certain or in certainimprop investigations? these are not abstract questions or hypotheticals, and the community must consider how mr. wray has handled such situations in the past. according to one press account, for example, mr. wray expressed his readiness to resign alongside been deputy attorney general comey, and fbi director mueller in the standoff with the bush white house about the legality of the nsa warrantless surveillance program. yet john jo, has testified thato just a year earlier mr. wray was part of the senior leadership in the justice department that mayy have refused and office of legaa
counsel memo -- reviewed and office of legal counsel memo justifying the use of enhanced interrogation techniques. this is significant not only because of what it says about mr. wray's of use and independence at the time, -- views -- that we know there's a post would bring back torture if they could. and so how he will handle this as the fbi director is important.ure, in 2009 this committee heard important testimony stating that fbi interrogators have traditionally used the informed interrogation approach. an fbi agent who was a key fbi interrogator for several major terrorism investigations testified to us directly aboutat the contrast between the fbi's
techniques and the enhanced interrogation techniques used by the cia during the bush administration. specifically, he testified that these enhanced techniques were operationally ineffective, slow, and unreliable, and ultimately harmful to counterterrorism efforts. in fact, we learned that back in 2002, then fbi director bob mueller ended the fbi's participation in the interrogation of jill biden and other cia detainees because of a the harsh torture methods beingt used and because they were undermining the investigation.se in fact, he told his people out. this is important picky issue of interrogation techniques is not just something of the past. in february this past year, then candidate trump claimed that pas torture works, and is said that
he would quote immediately come end quote, bring back waterboarding and, quote, much worse come end quote. so i am particularly interested in hearing more about the nominees knowledge of the justice department's legal justification for the cia use of torture during the bush administration, as well as his knowledge of detainee abuse by the military in iraq. i have said before that the cia's use of torture as part of its detention and interrogation program are a stain on our nation's value and our nation's history. the senate intelligence committees torture report was issued in december of 2014 when i was chairman of that committee. it outlined in specific the horrific abuses of detainees, as well as the flimsy legal in s
reasoning used to justify such practices. mr. wray was the principal associate deputy attorney general at the justice department when the office of legal counsel issued the so-called torture memos. in 2002 and 2003. one of the authors of these memos, john yoo, testified that llc what not issued such opinions without the approval of the office of the attorney general or the office of deputy attorney general. in fact, in his testimony john you specifically referenced mr. wray as one of the individuals who would have received drafts of olc memos. so this raises the question of what exactly was mr. wray's role in reviewing and approving these memos. and i'd like mr. wray to clear this up this morning. i've had an opportunity to talka with him.
i think this should go on the record, and i think that he should respond directly to the full committee. i'm also concerned by reports that mr. wray was alerted early on to the abuse of detainees at the abu ghraib prism in iraq. i'd like to know more about what the nominee new and when and what he did in response. this committee is charged with considering mr. wray's qualifications and experience with criminal and counterterrorism investigations. but we must also expand, examine his independence, his integrity and his willingness to stand up in the face of political pressure. because it will most certainly. trent u thank you for holding this hearing and i look forward to hearing from the nominee. >> thank you. we now go to former colleague of ours, senator from georgia, sam
nunn, for an introduction of our nominee. nunn senator feinstein use a lot of adjectives about you that i would associate myself with, but i also have the privilege of serving you for at least more than a decade and a half, and maybe two decades. and i know well how you were a determined senator to get things done and represent your people well. so welcome to the committee, and you may proceed. >> thank you very much, chairman grassley and senator feinstein and my former colleagues, senator hatch and senator leahy and other members of the judiciary committee. it's a great honor to appear before this committee today for the purpose of introducing christopher wray, the presidents of nominee to be the director of the federal bureau of investigation. t history does seem to ryan. in 1977 i introduced judge griffin bell to this committee. .. seem to rhyme. in 1977 i introduced judge bell
to this committee and strongly recommending him to be confirmed as attorney general. like today, it was a challenging time for the department of justice as well as for the fbi. i described judge bell then as a man noted for his quick mind, his candor and his integrity and his independence. years later in may 2003, judge bell contacted me and they suggested i recommend him to my colleagues as a terrific choice to be confirmed to head the criminal division of the department of justice. since that time, i've followed his career in in out o government and i've satisfied myself fully that my support for chris in 2003 was well-placed. i can assure this committee that chris embodies the same traits that enable rivendell to rebuild public confidencett in the department of justice, quiquickness of mind, candor,
integrity and independence.ando, a couple of questions, what is the basis of my confidence in chris? ms. feinstein i hope to address some of your questions. in answering that question i pose.de from his service as assistant in atlanta 1997 where chris worked with the fbi in the trenches of federal criminal investigations and prosecutions.eral, until 2001 when he served as then deputy attorney larry thompson principal deputy. chris has been a leader in helping guide the department of justice including the fbi. after the september 11, 2001 terrorist attack, chris worked tirelessly with the justice department your ship. newly appointed fbi director muller and other officials to respond to the attack and restructure the department to
prevent future acts of terrorism. chris also helped oversee other department of justice priorities including the project safe neighborhoods initiative. he was instrumental informing th building the task force. in 2003, at age 36, as i mentioned chris was nominated by president bush to lead the justice department criminal division. the senate unanimously confirmed chris for this position. chris demonstrated that the senate's confidence in him was justified by overseeing what are now two critically important divisions at the department. the criminal division and the national security division.s ath in recent years, i have observed chris close up in his leadership role at spalding where he heads the special matters team. incidentally he also started
by judge bell. in private practice, chris came to be regarded very quickly as one of the most skillful investigative lawyers in the country. mr. chairman and senator feinstein and other members of the committee, he possesses an unwavering commitment to thein rule of law party is a proven track record of following the facts and the law independent of favor or influence. chris commands the respect and admiration of lawyers and judges and all who observed his conduct and his record.ho he he understands the fbi, the department of justice, the loyalty to the constitutionn our laws and nation and not too any particular officeholder. he has demonstrated his commitment to these fundamental principles be upheld at the department of justice.e. no one is better able to attest to that and former deputy attorney general larryy thompson who worked directly with chris at the department.
i would like to read one paragraph from a recent letter endorsing chris's nomination thu that larry thompson sent to chairman grassley and ranking member feinstein. i quote, i have had the chance during my career to work with men and women who have served at the department of justice in democratic and republican administrations alike. i have witnessed them handling the most sensitive investigations in matters a matte imaginable. i can tell firsthand that i have not worked with racine and davi individual with a keener sense of the department's mission and the need for the departments business to be conducted free from favor, influence orde fromisanship. my second question, why is his timely confirmation so important to the fbi throughout our nation? if confirmed i have complete confidence that chris will
follow the facts and the law with fairness, thoroughness, intelligence and objectivity. where ever that path may lead.erever t every member of this committee knows how important the job ofev fbi director is to our nation, particularly during challenging times. history tells us that among its many other important tasks we rely on the department of justice in the fbi to serve as a powerful check on the executive branch.s including the president and even on occasion they check on itself. this has been made clear in the 1972 watergate investigation, the 1986 he iran contrary investigation, the 1990 whitewater investigation and the early 2000 and say domestic surveillance episode. chairman grassley, as you0, pointed out in all of these challenges sustained thorough congressional oversight is absolutely essential for our nation.ou
what we ask of the men and women of the fbi is enormous. keeping our nation safe, upholding our laws, investigating and yes, acting as a check on the most powerful and the most connected. the fbi deserves a permanent director so they can accomplish these tax with ourr nations full confidence.can there's too much at stake to allow this nomination to stand idle.on chris is the leader ofll integrity in the back that the bureau needs at this critical moment. thank you, mr. chairman, senator feinstein and members of this committee for moving forward expeditiously on this nomination.expediti my bottom line, i am confident that in meeting day-to-day pressures, as well as in periods of enormous consequence, chris ray will devote every ounce of his intellect, his skills and sound judgment to protecting
the american people and s upholding our constitutional principles. mr. chairman and members of the committee, i strongly urge the committee and the senate to confirm chris ray as u director of the federal bureau of investigation and i thank you for letting me appear today with these words. thank you very much. >> we thank you for your appearance and for what you have said about our nominee. and in particularly, to get it done quickly. thank you very much. >> mr. chairman, i remember very well the testimony infa favor of griffin bell. i have served here with 379 individual u.s. senators. sam nunn is one of the absolute best i've ever served with. we been dear friends. we sat near each other on the senate floor, we learned a lot. every experience was great except for the one time we
were in a darkened room and the swat team came in firing live ammunition around us. that's a different story, but it's an honor to have you here. i'm delighted to see you and please give my best to colleen. >> thank you senator leahy before you are seated, i think we can save you two or three seconds, i would like to give the oath now. do you affirm that the testimony you are about to give before the committee will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you god. >> i do. >> thank you very much. i think i'm more or less introduced you in my opening comments so i think now whatever time you take for a
statement but it's also quite usual that any introduction you want to make, you can appropriately make those. that's your decision. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, senator feinstein, members of the committee, i thank you for theat privilege of appearing before you today. i also want to thank senator dunn for that kind introduction. there is no way i could contemplate undertaking an endeavor like this without the love and support of my family. with me here today is my wife helen, both of our kids caroline and tripp, my parents, my sister, my niece, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law and to their children.ce maggie. a commitment like this affectsan the whole family.
i have no words to adequately express my gratitude to all of them. i am honored to be nominated to lead the fbi and i am humbled by the prospect of working alongside the outstanding men and women of the bureau. time and time again, oftenre when the stakes are the highest they have proven their unshakable commitment to protecting americans, upholding our constitution and our laws and demonstrating the virtues of the fbi model, fidelity, bravery and integrity. former attorney general judge griffin bell who you heard invoked several times and who i had the great pleasure to work with early in my career often used to say that it's amazing what you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit.
i think in my experience the men and women of the fbi demonstrate the limitless potential of that same day after day in the way they tackle the mission. while the fbi has justly earned its reputation as the finest law enforcement agency in the world, it's special agents, analysts and support staff, more often than not, operate largely out of public view. they toil at great risk to themselves and at great sacrifice by their families. they happily defer individual recognition because they believe the principles they serve are much larger than themselves. i feel very fortunate to have been able to witness that kind of selfless and inspiring commitment firsthand throughout my career in public service.everythi
as a prosecutor, i learned a great deal from working with brave fbi agents on everything from bank robberies to public corruption, kidnapping and financial fraud. those agents are my friends to this day and they taught me a lot about what it means to play it straight and to follow the facts wherever they mayw lead. i continued my career in public service in the summerin of 2001 by moving to washington to work with the justice department with my friend and mentor deputy general larry thompson who you also heard the senator reference. after 911, i witnessed again firsthand the fbi's extraordinary capabilities as the people there worked around the clock and moved heaven and earth to try to ensure that horrific attacks like those that occurred on september 11 never happen again.in. i know from up close, and i sleep better because i know,
that the horror of 911 has ho never faded from the fbi's collective memory.au has n the bureau has never grown complacent and continues to work tirelessly every day to protect all americans. as head of the justice department criminal division, i again saw countless examples of the fbi's unflagging pursuit of justice, free and independent of any favor or influence. from counterterrorism and counterespionage to the vanun rapidly escalating threat ofof cybercrime, from human trafficking to public corruption and financial fraud , i worked with and learned from the men and women of the fbi who put it all on the line to make our streets safer and our lives better. if i am given the honor of leading this agency, i will never allow the fbi's work to
be driven by anything other than the facts, the law and the impartial pursuit ofth justice. full. my loyalty is to thety constitution and the rule of law. those have been my guidepost throughout my career and i will continue to adhere to them no matter the test. there is no doubt that this committee knows our country faces grave threats. has lots of other people have noticed, america's law enforcement and intelligence agencies have essentially have to pitch a perfect game every day while those who would inflict harm on us just have to hit once to advance their aims. i consider the fbi director's most important duty to ensure that nothing distracts selfless patriots of the fbi from the mission. in conclusion, i pledge to be
the leader the fbi deserves and to lead an independent era that will make everyone proud. >> i look forward to answering your questions.rd >> before my first ten minutes starts, we are going to have ten minute rounds just in case they didn't hear what i said about that. there are two votes scheduled at 1230. senator feinstein and i had a short conversation before the meeting and i asked if she thought we could get done by 1230. she said we hope so but obviously we are going to let people go as long on their questions as they want too. i would ask people to think in terms of people chairing the committee so we don't lose the whole 45 minutes while we are having these votes.
keep that in mind. my first series of questionsgoio will seem softball and they probably are softball, but i think they are very important to every member of this importa committee, particularly when they have an administration that says democrats can't gett answers to their questions when they do their oversight work, or even 30 republicans that are chairman of the committee that can't gets answers to their questions and things like the role of whistleblowers. that may not sound like the stuff that is basic to your job, but it's basic to the constitutional principle we have with the separation of powers and the constitutional role of congress. the first one, we've heard a lot about the need for an fbi to show independence. you just heard what senator feinstein said about that and also, for the fbi to make decisions free of political pressure or influence. i will just ask a very broad
question and let you share your thoughts on this subject am a what is your view on the independence of the fbi generally, but more importantly, as he was director head up that organization. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i believe to my core that there's only one right way to do this job and that is with t strict independence by the book, playing it straight, faithful to the constitution, faithful to our laws and faithful to the best practices of the institution. without fear, without favoritism, and certainly without regard to any partisan political influence. that is the commitment that i brought to my years, to duty is aligned prosecutor, that's the commitment that brought my time as head of the criminal division, that's the
commitment i think the american people rightly expect of the fbi director and that's the commitment i would make to this committee and to the country if confirmed. i have way too much respect and affection for the men and women of the fbi to do anything less than that. i would just say, anybody who thanks that i would be pulling punches as the fbi directorr sure doesn't know me very well. >> in my opening statement, i emphasize the statement of oversight and helping to rank government more transparent and more accountable and hopefully more effective. do i have your assurance that if you are confirmed you will assist me and members of this committee because of our jurisdiction but maybe i ought to speak for a hundred members of congress who share this view, to assist us with our
oversight activities, be responsive to our request and help make the fbi more accountable to the american people. i und >> mr. chairman, i understand completely what you are getting at. i think the role of this committee is special with respect to the fbi and i would do everything i could to ensure that we are being appropriately responsive and prompt in dealing with all the members of the senate but especially this committee. >> and then along the same line, but not just your involvement personally, but would you pla pledge to provide information to comeed for us in a timely manner and foster open communication between the fbi in this committee regarding our oversight requests. >> mr. chairman, i would do everything in my power to try to ensure the fbi is being responsive and prompt in responding to oversight
request requests. >> i now go to whistleblowers. i don't know whether i use this exact language in my office, private conversation with you, and it doesn't matter if i did or not, but i have a feeling not just the fbi but most agencies treat whistleblowers like they are a skunk at a picnic. i think it's a little different from the standpoint that there isn't the exact protection for whistleblowers and the fbi is different from most agencies. when we met, i gave you a list of fbi whistleblower cases. that list shows it has taken two or ten years to get cases resolved by the department of justice internal process. you may not have any control over the internal process, but the extent to which you do is how i'm asking this question. fbi whistleblowers also have no access to independent review and the fbi rarely
disciplines anyone for retaliating against whistleblower. tone is set at the top. that's why it's so important how you feel about this. how will you protect whistleblowers in the fbi and hold retaliate or's accountable not just with your words but with your actions. i'm sorry to say your predecessors did a poor job in this respect even though they may have been very effective in running a law enforcement agency and seeing that everybody got the criminalization's they should get. >> mr. chairman, your reputation for looking out for whistleblowers is unparalleled and i know it's a topic that's very important to you.s i would say, first off, retaliation against whistleblowers is just wrong. i'm not familiar yet with the bureau's internal processes, but there needs to be a process that allows for
appropriate concerns to benc raised and whistleblowers, in my experience, having seen them in a lot of different organizations, can play a very important role in ensuring accountability. it's not just oversight frommm congressional committees and courts, but a form of accountability that comes from within and often times whistleblowers can be a veryry important part. >> i appreciate your words, i think if i remember right whistleblowers should not be retaliated against. i want to assure you that at least two of your predecessors told me exactly the same thing so i think it's how you interpret your own words that whistleblowers shouldn't be retaliated against, but you can understand why i don't expect that you are misleading me in any way, but your good intentions may not be carried out and so i think it's important that you know that.
i'm not going to ask you the last question, but i want you to be aware of the fact that fbi whistleblowers are the only federal law enforcement officers who have no access to an independent judicial review and members of this committee, along with me are pursuing legislation along that line, and i would hope we could get, as you think about it, get some support from you to your law-enforcement people are treated differently than other in the federal government. now i want to go to national security. i've got three minutes left. there's no doubt you are extremely qualified individual with a diverse array of work experience, particularly in investigating fraud, but the top priorities of the fbi are focused on national security with the ultimate goal to protect and defend the united states against terrorism and foreign intelligence threats. any fbi director needs to
effectively lead the fbi national security mission. so to that effect, please explain how you have the relevant background, skills, knowledge and experience necessary to lead the fbi inty combating national security threats, particularly in the area of counterintelligencend and counterterrorism. >> mr. chairman, most of my four years in the leadership of the department both as associate debbie general and assistant attorney general in criminal division were focused on those issues, counterterrorism and counterespionage. importantly, during that time, before 2005 or 2006 both the counterterrorism section and the counterespionage system were part of the criminalization.we my oversight responsibilities in the criminal division
itself and to some extent as associate deputy general focus on the criminal division and those sections were particularly high priority. well over 50% of my time in those four years was focused on these very kinds of issues. >> thank you. now i want to go, this will probably be my last question for my ten minutes. this is in regard to the electronic medications transaction records. we call that for short, your predecessor to the fbi, director role spoke repeatedly about the need for law-enforcement to have the tools it needs to research threats to national security and have cooperation from electronic medication service providers. when doing so, in that regard, please explain to us whether you will advocate for any legislative fixes that congress can put in place to
help the fbi get electronic transaction records, especially for national security investigations. >> mr. chairman there's obviously a tricky balance to be struck in that territoryybal but, it's my experience that access to electronic information is paramount, lawfully pursued. i haven't studied the different legislative ideasie out there but i do now we are going to have to, as a society , both the fbi and the justice department, this committee andom others, industry, our form partners, we have to find solutions to these problems because the role of technology is overtaking us all. i'm committed to try to work with everyone to try to find a solution. >> thank you. senator feinstein. >> thank you very much.. just a couple quick questions before i get to the substance of my questions.of did you discuss mr. comey or his firing with anyone in the
white house? the justice department or the fbi? if so, who, when and what was discussed? >> senator feinstein, i did not discuss those topics at all with anyone in the white house.ny my only discussion was deputy general rosenstein making the observation to me that at the time i was first contacted about this position by him was that now special counsel muller had been appointed to deal with that issue and that in effect made for a better landscape for me to consider taking on this position. >> and that was it. >> that was it okay, let me go to the thing we discussed in my office. my understanding is you served as the deputy attorney general most senior advisor when the office of legal counsel issued a so-called torture memo in 2002 and 2003.
one of the authors of those memos testified in 2008 before a house judiciary committee on june 26 that you are one of the justice department officials who would have received drafts of the memos and those memos would not have been issued without the approval of the deputy attorney general office. you said he believed you provided comments on the 2003ou olc memo which concluded that interrogation tactics don't qualify as torture unless they are intended to cause the kind of severe pain associated with organ failure or death. what was your role in reviewing or proving that memo or any of the other memos issued by the office of legal counsel regarding the treatment? you should know there were
those of us at that time that were trying to get a hold of these memos to look at them. we couldn't, as a member of the judiciary committee or member of the intelligence committee, we couldn't even see the memos. this looms big in my mind so i would appreciate if you could answer the question. >> thank you senator feinstein. i recognize and respect how important this issue is. first, let me say, my view is that torture is wrong. it's unacceptable, it's illegal, and i think it's ineffective. second. >> good beginning. >> second, both of my predecessors, director comeyng and director muller had a policy which i think is the right policy that the fbi is going to play no part in the use of any techniques of that t sort. third, when i was assistant attorney general for the
criminal division, one of the things we did that i was most proud of was that we investigated, and in one case i can remember, successfully prosecuted a cia contractor who had gone overboard and abused a detainee that he was interrogating. this was not in iraq but it was an afghan detainee. that was a case i'm very proud of.. >> and that was the case, it was a homicide. >> yes, his abuse. >> the case was in salt pit. >> i do remember the exact location, but i think it was an assault pit.s i do know it was an afghan detainee that the in terror gators last name was passaro. we prosecuted him in the middle district of north carolina is my recollection. he was convicted and sentenced. i think that was not only an important case in its own
right, but i think it's sent an important message of the criminal division's for that kind of misconduct. as for the rest your question, we talked about this in our meeting, i can tell you during my time as deputy general, to my nec recollection i never reviewed much less provided comments on her input on or approved any memo from john you on this topic. i understand he thanks it's possible he might have, i can only tell this committee i have no recollection whatsoever of that and it's the kind of thing i think i would remember. now my portfolio as principal associate deputy a attorney general was focused on the criminal division on the u.s. attorney's office.n the us the office of legal counsel was not part of my pop portfolio.tf it's not to say i never had
any interaction but that wasbut within my wheelhouse that was already pretty full, to be honest. later, as assistant attorney general, we did provide input on the general meeting of the statute, but not as to any particular technique. the reason for that is because i wanted to preserve for the criminal division the proper role of prosecutors which is not to provide legal advice or forward-looking but rather to be able to investigate prosecute cases including cases against people who go beyond the bounds of the law. >> could you speak to your connections to the case of the prison? you received a memo stating they were investigating the abusive detainees at thatus present and the memo discusses
a suspected homicide and concluded, i am referring this matter to you concurrent with the release of the final autopsy report". so when were you first informed of allegations of detainee abuse at this prison or elsewhere. who informed you and what actions did you take?lear >> senator, i don't have a clear record collection in my head about when i firstea learned about the abuse there. i know we were getting referrals from the cia on various detainee matters and investigating those. i believe at some point some of those referrals began to include not just places like in afghanistan but also in iraq. we opened any number ofnu investigations in response to those referrals.
a lot of those investigations took a while i think a lot of them may have come to fruition after i had left the department in the very beginning of ma may 2005. >> so you have no specific recollection? i have a little bit more time. let me ask you about civil injunction authority related to terrorism. as you know, there is a relentless and growing iso recruitment efforts through social media. recruitment is identified in nearly all of the 100 plus criminal indictments brought by federal authorities during the past two years relating to iso. the civil injunction authority as i understand it exists for the attorney general to obtain orders against those who provide material support to foreign terrorist organizations as well as to shut down websites from distributing software for
spying on people. how do you feel about the use of this civil injunction and what commitment to explore and possibly use it would you be prepared to make? >> senator, i'm not overly familiar with this particular tool in the arsenal that the fbi has, but i would be interested in learning more about it and seeing how it could be used more effectively. i will say from my experience in combating terrorism back in the early 2000's that material support, legal remedies are particularly important. one of the things we used to say to people that i feel very strongly about is if america is counting on people to catch the terrorist with their finger on the switch of a bomb , that is way overly optimistic about the ability. you have to look at the
terrorist plot by looking at the whole continuum, where it begins. somewhere on that continuum we might catch a terrorist with a hands on his check rather than a's hands on a bomb. anytime of material support remedy available is important to try to prevent attacks as opposed to trying to play catch-up after attacks have already occurred. >> one last question.ha will you commit to informing this committee if you witness or learn of any efforts to interfere with the work of special counsel muller? >> assuming that i can do it legally and appropriately, absolutely.ga i am very committed to supporting director muller in this investigation in whateverig way is appropriate for me to do that.t. i've worked closely with him in my past government service, i view him as a straight shooter and someone i have enormous respect for and i would be pleased to do what i can to support him in his mission.
>> what i'm asking is if you learn about any machinations to tamper with that that you let this committee know. >> understood. >> thank you. >> senator, i would consult with the appropriate officials to make sure i'm not jeopardizing investigation or anything like that, but i would consider an effort to tamper with director muller's investigation to be unacceptable and inappropriate and would need to be out with very sternly and appropriately indeed. >> thank you. >> welcome to the committee. i couldn't be more pleased to have you in this position. i'm very grateful that you are u willing to take it because you have a nice life outside government and frankly this is going to be an interesting life but i'm not sure it's
going to be a nice life. let me begin with the issue of encryption. i've long been a proponent of encryption technology. such technology is essential to protecting consumer privacy and keeping america's tech sector of the fourth front of global innovation. as the chairman of the senate republican task force, i have had conversations with a number of tech leaders such as tim coo cook, just to mention one on the importance ofnc encryption. proposals to mandate so-called backdoors into encrypted devices are not the answer. i have tremendous respect for former director comey, but in candor, this is an issue i don't think he got quite right. what we need, in my view, is a public-private partnership in which congress and law-enforcement and industry stakeholders work together to find a path forward.
we you commit to work with congress and with industry stakeholders in a collaborative manner on the issue so we can find a solution that is workable for all sides?'s bee >> senator, i know this is an issue that's been very important you for long time.ng we discussed it in our meeting. as we discussed then, i think this is one of the most difficult issues ace in the country.y. there is a balance that has to be struck between the importance of encryption, which i think we can allon respect when there are so many threats to our system, and the importance of giving law enforcement the tools they lawfully need to keep us safe. so, i don't know, sitting here today as an outsider and a nominee, what the solution is, but i do know we have to find a solution. my experience in trying to find solutions is that it's more productive for people to work together then to be pointing fingers and blaming each other and that's the approach of try to take to most every problem i'vee
tackled and that's the approach i would want to take here and working with this committee and working with the private sector. one advantage having been in the private sector is that in think i know how to talk tol the private sector and i would look for ways to try to see ifwo i could get the private sector more on board to understand why this issue is so important to keeping us all safe. >> that's all you can ask for. by to turned to the issue of child predators but i recently joined with senator franken to introduce a bipartisan actss to that would provide access to fbi background checks to youth serving organizations to ensure that child predators are not able to obtain employment with such organizations. the bill passed the house of representatives early this year end want think the fbik th for providing very constructive support and technical assistance on this important bill. we you commit to continue working with congress to
ensure that these organizations have access to the background checks for their employees and volunteers. >> i know this is an importantow issue and one that you raise and senator franken also raised. i can commit to something i'm interested in trying to figure out how to support those efforts and work with both of you and others on. the child exploitation an was in the criminal division when i oversaw and brought some of the most important cases. i'm keenly aware on a personalit level of the threat that predators face to the most vulnerable population in this country and i want to work with everybody to try to find better solutions. >> thank you. we will work together. your agency has strongly supported my rapid dna legislation which passed earlier this year in may. current law restricts access to the fbi combined index system to dna records
generated and accredited in the crime lab.in recent developments in rapid dna technology offers great promise in speeding up the timetable for dna analysis. using rapid dna technology, law-enforcement officers can no within two hours whether an individual was wanted for an outstanding crime or has a connection to evidence from a crime. my bill expands access for rapid dna instruments that will help law-enforcement more l quickly solve crime and exonerate the innocent. i would like you to commit if you can to continue the fbi long-standing tradition of working with congress to improve the way dna analysis is used in our criminal justice system and to reduce inefficiencies and backlog of
dna sample analysis. will you help us on that. >> senator i would look forward to working with youer and others on the committee on this important issue. i'm not up to speed on the latest advances in dna technology but when i served in law enforcement before, it was already clear what a valuable tool it is both to ensure that the right people are caught and prosecuted but also to make sure that the wrong people aren't unfairly accused. sense it strikes me as good sense law-enforcement to try to come up with ways to make that tool more readily available. >> thank you. 2015 the fbi investigated secretary clinton's unclassified server system and determined that 81 e-mail chains contained classified information ranging from confidential to top-secret special access program levels have the time they were sent. as someone who served 20 years in the senate intelligence committee, longer than any
other member of the senate has ever served, i have deep respect for the intelligencei d committee and for the need to protect and properly handle classified information. i was very troubled by the fact that secretary clinton was so careless about how she handled classified medications when she was secretary of state.et what is your perspective on how the fbi should handle cases in the future when individuals do not properly handle classified documents and information. >> senator this is an issue that's very important to me. in my prior government service, because ofction hasd counterespionage section that had jurisdiction over those kinds of investigation and they reported up to me, we investigated the number of cases involving unauthorized and inappropriate disclosure of classified information.or one of the real eye-opening things for me coming into the leadership of the department from having been aligned prosecutor was just how much
of our sources and methods come from our overseas partners. i think most americans have no idea just how important that is. if we can't protect classified information, it's not just that information that gets jeopardized that can lead to risk to lives of intelligence community personnel on all sorts of other compromising situations, but more importantly it causes our allies to lose confidence in us in their willingness to share information with us. if that drives up we are in a world of hurt. i do think they need to be treated severely and investigated aggressively. >> thank you. i'm very concerned about th crime trends we are seeing throughout the u.s. statistics show violent crimes increased by nearly 4% over the year before and murders increased by nearly 11%. can you explain what you would
do as fbi director to work with state and local partners to curb this disturbing trend. >> senator, as you mentioned in his introduction, dealing with the scourge of violent crime, in particular gun violence is something i've spent a lot of time on in my prior law-enforcement service. i think the fbi has a lot on his plate but it needs to look for ways to contribute. state and local partners are essential to that effort. i think the approach should be for the fbi to see what it cana do where it uniquely provides value. that might be things like organizin organized gang activity, places where the fbi has particular expertise that it can support and supplement and augment and complement the efforts of state and local law enforcement. the old saying about the whole
being greater than the sum of the parts approach and that's the approach i would take. >> thank you. serve a i thank you for being willing to serve and to take on this awesome responsibility. i want to thank your family. we know many times you will be away from the family and working hard. thank you for your willingness to serve. i intend to fully support you and i hope everyone on this committee and in the senate will do likewise. >> senator leahy. >> thank you. it's good to see you again. thank you for coming by yesterday and welcome back to the committee. they mentioned griffin bell and i enjoyed our talk about
judge bell. i wish you were here under different circumstances because i am troubled by the abrupt firing of your predecessor, director call me. the president or the white house initially misled the public about why director comey was fired and then the president admitted his intentions and he said he fired him because of the russian thing. of course the russian thing was the fbi's investigation into potential collusion between the kremlin and the president campaign and administration. now there are multiplele investigations about russia and their interference is similar to other interference we see in other countries.
just yesterday we learned a number of members of the trump campaign were eager to work and talk with members of the russian organization even though there an adversary of ours about the campaign. i talk about this not so muchh as history although we do need to know exactly what happened because we have to make sure it doesn't happen again. i don't care if it's republican or democrat, no country, especially in enemy like russia should be able to interfere with our country. now the fbi is one of the most powerful tools available to the president and, from what we see from the white house, they may be expecting loyalty
as the president did with director comey. you told me yesterday there has been no question by anyone in the white house asking you for a pledge of loyalty. is that correct. >> that's correct.t. my loyalty is to the mission of the fbi. no one has asked me for a loyalty oath during this process and i did not offer one. >> i also assume what you told me yesterday, you would not give one if asked. >> correct. >> the reason i ask this, i remember when senator jeff sessions had questioning with sally yates at the confirmation hearing and he said that the views thed president want to execute our unlawful should the attorney general, the deputy attorney general say no. you have served with sally yates and you can imagine her answer was she would say no.
she stays true to her word. of course as soon as she said no, when she refused to defend president trumps discriminatory muslim ban, she got fired. now, i'm going to ask you the same question that just session asked of sally yates and she kept her word and got fired for it. if the president asked you to do something unlawful or unless i ethical, what you say. >> first i would try to talk him out of it. if that fails i would resign. >> thank you. why did the president fire director comey? >> senator, i don't know. i'm not familiar with all of the information that the president may or may not have had some really not in a position to speak to that.
i do know there's a special counsel investigation underway with my former colleague leading that and i think that issue falls within his investigation. >> of course former director muller is looking at whether crimes took place. what i worry about when the president said, face great pressure because of russia and that pressure was taken off by firing director comey, does that explanation trouble you? >> senator, i really don't know all the circumstances surrounding that statement, i can tell you during my time at the department, working withe been deputy attorney general comay, 12 years ago and is for that, in all my dealings with james comey, he was a triptych
lawyer, a dedicated publicat servant and a wonderful colleague. i haven't been in touch with him for a number of years. >> will you work and pledge to keep the fbi from any political interference ortical influence? >> absolutely. >> i never want us to see us go back to the era of edgar hoover but the fbi director did things that we now know as illegal and improper and done for his own political motivation.va i know senator grassley made some comment about that too. the intelligence community, and this has now been public including the fbi and cia concluded with high confidence that russia intervened in thect election in order to denigrate secretary clinton.
you have any doubt that they interfered with our elections. >> senator, the only thing i've been able to review on that at the moment is that the public form of the intelligence community's assessment so i don't have access to all the classified information, but i will tell you, from what i reviewed have no reason whatsoever to doubt the assessment of the intelligence committee.irst thi >> we read the classified sections if you are confirmed. >> definitely. it would be one of the firstha things i would want to see. >> thank you. you see the actions of russia in europe and a number of other parts around the world trying to expand their influence. you see them wanting to influence other people's collections. the last thing in the world we want them to be able to do iss interfere with ours. i don't want any other country too, but especially country that is as adversarial to the
interest of the united states has russia. now, during a federalist society events on original is him and criminal procedures and thousand five, you discuss the extent to which foreigners were protected by the fourth amendment so you brought the case of u.s. in which the supreme court held that a citizen of mexico was not proted by the fourth amendment because it is not a member ofto the people th amendment because not a member of the people. you then said you think that might be a good way of handling undocumented aliens. to what extent do you believe protections apply to undocumented aliens in the united states? >> well, senator, i haven't studied the fourth amendment
jurisprudence in a long time. >> you spoke about it. >>bout >> how those who'd criticized ritualism with jurisprudence need to come up with an explanation if not to ritualism then what? was trying to make the point that there is some logic to looking at originalist and in that context i have not looked at those remarks. >> do you think as the fbi director have any protection whatsoever or can they just breaking into the buildings where ever they want?.t >> i think we need to be mindful of the civil liberties of all. >> do you agree water boarding is torture?. >> yes.>> tha
>> that is the same answer director comey gave. i worked for years with chairman grassley there are things that we do on a bipartisan basis and senator grassley and i have been concerned about the fbi and the analysis testimony. i asked director call me and water redoing going afterwe the 3,000 cases with the analysis by the fbi so with those cases come up as day missing transcript would you
have those in person visits if it is necessary to find out what happened? i say that because of the fiber analysis. >> sova to have that forensic science doesn't and we cannot have innocent people convicted i've not familiar with the particular problems that occurred in this particular arena of that sum they want to be briefed on early to see whether proprioception needsac to be taken. >> and i have a question about the questions where it's -- raised for the mayor guiliani influence on the fbi 40 investigation and
others and i ask your commitment to respond to those questions. >> absolutely. i will respond to the members of the committee youou whichever way inappropriate. >> i think he will be an outstanding director mr. wray and looking at what is going on in this hearing and looking at the top cop in the land very familiar with an article from "politico", a january 11, iticoa 2017 entitled17, titl ukraine efforts to sabotagetrum a trumpet backfire? i will read a portion trumbull's of the only candidate the campaign was boosted by officials from this former soviet bloc country. they tried to help clinton and undermined from by publicly questioning his
that is for office also having documents indicating corruption is adjusted they were investigating thehe matter to back away after the election and helped clinton's allies research damaging information on trump and his advisers the "politico" investigation found a the operative who was consulted with the dnc met with top officials in washington in the effort to expose ties to the campaign made in russia according toma people with direct knowledge of the situation. have we ever heard the allegations before?. >> i a have not. >> at zero of the archer bill would you agree it is wrong for the ukraine to be i involved in reflections?. >> yes. >> will you look into this?. >> would be happy. >> are you familiar with the
e-mail problems we had with donald junior the last few days?. >> i have not. i have heard there is an issue. >> i will read this. this is an e-mail june 3, 2016, by someone connected to the miss universe pageant and to donald, jr., just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting the crown prosecutor rockne -- russia met with his father they would give the trump campaign with official documents and information to incriminate hillary with her dealings with russia and would be very useful to your father. this is obviously very high level and sensitive information but as part is russia's support for trump so what do think is the best
way to handle this. information? and could do speak directly? aicher also send this info to your father but it is ultrasensitive so i wanted to send it to you first. seventeen minutes later donald, jr. replied, things come i appreciate that i am on the road at the moment but perhaps just speak to them first is seems that we have some time in if it is what you say, i love it especially later in the summer. could we do a call first thing next week and i am back? should he have taken a meeting?. >> i'm hearing for the first time your description so i'm not in a position to speak but i gather special counsel will. >> if i got a call saying re-e will help get elected
should i take the meeting?.on >> i would think you would want to consult with good the live visor's before you do that. >> should i call the fbi?. >> i'd think it would be wise. >> this is what i want you to tell every politician if you get a call from somebody suggesting a foreign government wants to help you by disparaging your opponent tell them to call the fbi. >> to the members of this committee any threat or effort to interfere with our election from any nation state or non stage actor is the kind of thing the fbi would want to know. >> i'll take that as we should call you and that is a gradients are. this is what don, jr. said saturday before the mail came out.
about what i just read, it was a short introductory meeting i asked him to stop by the prime rarely discuss a program of the adoption of russian children that was popular with american families years ago but it was not a campaign issue at that time with no follow-up i attended that meeting of an acquaintance but was not told the name of the person i would be meeting with before hand so is that a fair summary of the contact between the two?. >> i don't know what is a fair summary. >> would you agree that is very misleading?. >> again i don't have the full context. >> look at that and get back with the committee and let us know if it is misleading. is russia our friend and enemy?. >> i think russia is aru foreign nation we have to
deal with. >> are they an adversary to the united states?. >> in some situations. >> trying to compromise our elections?. >> yes. >> do you believe the russians did that when it came to the packing and dnc and that the conclusions?. >> as i said to your colleague i have no reasone to doubt those conclusions. >> does that make you a good candidate to be the enemy of the united states?. >> in effort to interfere is an adversarial act. >> to do is to the press conference director comey gave july of last year?. >> not live but yes. >> would you have done that? >> there is the inspector general. >> i'm not asking about the investigation would you have done that?.
>> i can tell you in my experience as a prosecutor and as head of the criminal division i industry and their is department policycy that governs public comments on those individuals and they are therefore reasonable follow those. >> he talked about somebody that was never charged in a disparaging fashion. do you agree?. >> also he took over thee prosecutor's job to say there is no case?.no >> again there is an investigation. >> you would not have done either one of those?. >> i cannot imagine a situation where i would be giving a press conference on the line charge individual. >> usa director mueller is a good guy. >> that is my experience. >> do anything necessary to be interfered with doing his
job?. his job >> absolutely. >> to believe it might of this e-mail and allegations of donald, jr. with the tramp -- trump campaign is a witch hunt? is that a fairfa description?. >> i cannot speak to the base but my experience. >> as the future fbi director is this a witch hunt?. >> i do not consider director mueller to be on a witch hunt. >> can the president fire director mueller does he have the authority?. >> i don't know the law that. >> can you give back to us?.?. >> i am happy to take a look at it. >> do you realize you're stepping in to the role of the fbi director at one of the most contentious times in american politics?.
>> there has been a lot of times but this definitely ranks up there. >> you understand the challenge for you becausepo institutions in the eyes of the people are suffering and che last thing we want too happen is for the fbi to fatah favor with the american people?. >> as i said in a meeting of flanders than this is not aa job for the faintheart the guy can assure the committee i am not faintheart. >> and i said i wanted to be an fbi agent into the credit of the fbi never let me become one. [laughter] i never actually applied but i admirer the men and women as the unsung heroes to work morning and noon and night with child pornography they are out there doing it and
you are their voice. this is a big honor for good you agree?. >> yes i'm doing it for those people during the time when my name was first released to the media butri before i was asked, i got calls from all the agencies to work with and prosecutors for and against with different administration iso in the outpouring of support and encouragement was humbling and gratifying and i want to do this for those people and the victims and also to prevent those in the future. >> you are the right guy at the right time in my viewpoint. >> thanks to those family and friends who have joined here today a few words about fam director comey you hadd experience working with at the department of justice he characterized him as a perfect colleagues so we're
in the unusual moment in american history where director comey was fired and characterize the president of the united states as a nut job because the president believed it was a cloud of his presidency but director comey told this with his dealings with the president of united states and to things stood out thatin may be unique that on one hand having been caught alone in the oval office with the president of united states and said the one that to happen again.said that is an extraordinary statement by the head of the fbi.ne if you were asked to meet privately as director what would be your approach?. >> my first up is to call
the attorney general rose's time there is a policy that applies to contact between the white house in the department going in both directions and in particularar to any contact with respect to a particular case there are situations the fbi director needs to communicate on national-security matterss but in my experience it would be unusual to be any one on one meeting within the fbi director or president. >> unusual but happened and director comey decided he was uncomfortable so as no onepras it may we would you meet in the oval office with the president?. >> it depends on the circumstances i think it would be highly unlikely but i could imagine the situation of the nationaler
security matter but my preference and resumption would be there should be people from the department thrking through the office of the deputy attorney general so it isn't one onrelatn one the relationship between any fbi director gates to be professional and not social and certainly should not be any discussion between one on one discussions with the director and any president power to conduct a particular investigation or case. >> and an off there is any precedent that was the decision after meeting with the president and discussions to of a contemporary is written record that has evidentiary value. so tell me your reaction. do you feel bound or that
recommendation of contemporary written recordscono if you become director of the fbi?. >> at a minimum and it is to memorialize that on the case by case basis. with that contemporaneously report to have evidentiary value was that true?. >> absolutely. >> not to pull it words in your mouth but that should be memorialized in then to
memorialize the conversation th >> that is irresponsibility when a man you respected was fired and called a nut job and the president said we're putting an end to this investigation. this is not ordinary course of business. i this is the highest elected official in united states of america trying to stop the investigation to put mr.in comey out of business said think it is a little different. >> certainly i want to distinguish with a significant and important conversation to make sure there is the appropriate record. >> talking about russia and
now we have statements from the president's suggesting with fat penetrable cyber security unit to be guarded in safe so now we start with the promise to be involved in changing the s election so now we have the president saying we will get together on the issues ofen cybersecurity if it is proposed by the administration to create this unit and share information with the russians coming to cyberru security would assure reaction we need to learn
more of the cybersecurity differences to evaluate them responsibly as opposed to greater protection but there should be a cautionarybu suggestion lsi averred capability is security so any threat to interfere with the election system from the non state actor to be taken very seriously and it would be wise for all of us to proceed with great caution in the wake of that.
>> i had a good conversation yesterday about president george w. bush after 9/11 coming to the muslim american population of the united states with the president's conduct in your own personal feelings about the patriotism of muslim americans and the role they play to keep america safe. >> there is something we talked about yesterday and the fbi director needs to be the director for all americans. the conversation you are referring to what i was struck by a in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 the dust had barely settled was thatath f he took great pains if peace and though i remember it was a mosque but he made a special point to speak out
to save this is not a situation unwary we in the war on terror were not at war with muslim americans in made it out of reach at theh to time would that have been politically expedient to do that and i remember thinking at the time that was a remarkably courageous and a noble gesture on his part and i admired him for doing that especially at that time and in that environment. >> i said to you was my eighth impression reading with muslim americans with families and individuals they are at the same state of mind as the japanese americans headed to the internment camps. so what can you say on the record know if chosen as director about your relationship working with patriotic god-fearing muslim americans in every nation?.
>> i think the fbi director and the fbi needs to be the director for all americansns including muslim americans and my experience has been d some of the best leads we ever got were from membersm of that community and muslim americans and having conversations with the u.s. attorney from your state so while certainly we do face threats from radical ideologies it is also true that those americans are people we need to get information from to protect the homeland. >> congratulations to you and your family on this nomination i appreciate your willingness to come back at
a time when the nation's confidence in the public institution has been shaken and it is very important to have somebody of your character and background and experience service the nextar director because public confidence of the fbi has been shaken over recent i events. when we met in my office about the memo, i understand there is the inspector general investigation i want ask specifically but in response to senator graham you r they wouldn't see a program to hold a criminal investigation is held think
it is on an director -- teeeighteen decision as a line prosecutor with the special appropriation i cannot think of the time much less the fbi directorrector on the uncharged individual. >> so the reports go to the attorney general?. >> correct. >> it cannot prosecute cases on its own?. >> also correct. >> the fbi is a premier law enforcement agency in the world but not a
prosecutorial body?. >> correct. >> added is exclusively to the attorney general and department of justice?. r >> yes. >> so the fbi director believes the attorney general has a conflict of interest so they don't trust them to conduct their business what is the director or anybody else supposed to do? what is the part that would provide recourse? is special counsel the best suited to take over those investigations if the prosecution was appropriate?
>> if it was a special counsel in place that would be the natural place to bring those concerns. the department has a chain of command to work your way down also the inspector general that could be an appropriate outlet you have to evaluate each based on the facts and circumstances.. >> but mr. comey said when the attorney general will read l. lynch had a meeting on the tarmac with president clinton knowing that mrs. clinton was the subject of the ongoing investigation that was the cap and he decided not to refer the of matter to the attorney general but take it upon himself to say no reasonable prosecutor would prosecute a case like that under the circumstances.
ion to stand your hesitation to talk about this matter under investigation by the inspector general, but insp the memo opinion is laid out over the last year he said the fbi reputation and credibility has suffered substantial damage and it has affected the entire department of justice. you have read the memo i a trust so as a result the fbi is unlikely to regain trust until it has a directive and understand the gravity of the mistakes it promises never to repeat them. i want to be respectful of the line you're trying to draw but the committee needs to know whether yout understand the gravity of the mistakes made by the previous director and he pledged never to repeat themkesd >> as we discussed when we
met the attorney general deputy memo, the way hewa describes the policies and practices is consistent with minor standing and the way i would approach those policies and practices. it has never been my practice to blur the line between fbi investigator or department of justice prosecutor or to speak publicly has an official of and charge individuals those are in place for a reason and i would expect to comply >> my statements to mr. comey is a believe you're a good man has been dealt a difficult hand and he was but even good people make mistakes so i think this
lays out a pretty compelling rationale why he refuses to recognize those mistakes and confidence could not be restored and tell a directorc would knowledge to those of a pledge not to repeat them.l that is the purpose of my questions so why is it important to have separation between the fbi and department of justice with a decision to prosecute?. >> a system that has been in place since time immemorialtell. the difference between the's police and the district attorney's office. >> is headed checked on abuse of power?. >> the theory is the prosecutors can evaluate the
legal compliance of constitutional protections exercise prosecutorial discretion and if you collapse prosecutor and investigator into one role that is one step away from judge and jury and executioner in one step. >> on the fourth of july if you haven't had a great chance to read it i recommend it hellhound on the trail. from j. edgar hoover and then okay assassination and the manhunt following that event but it lays out the case that j. edgar hoover while responsible for modernizing the fbi to make sure it was equipped to do the job, at the same time he
had so much power people were worried about his p unchecked abuse potential so it is important to have the separation and as you point out that independent prosecutorial discretion with the department of justice was a mistake that mr. comey although a good man, made it to you justifyfy his termination.t, so with project safe neighborhood the reason why i am so interested to learn from the richmond attorneyir pre to my mind it was one of the most innovative and successful ways toys discourage people from using guns or carrying them
particularly felons using a the power of federal law so they could not be plea-bargain the way that with your experience of project safe neighborhood is that the enhanced role for the federal law enforcement authorities is warranted?. >> it is an important part quite a number of those in the gun trafficking cases even mentioning project safe neighborhoods so the model to have that coordination in which cases could be done more effectively federallyfectiv is a powerful deterrent effect so that was a very
effective program and ay model going forward i think atf would play a bigger role with the gun issues but the fbi does have an important role to play. >> that is a conversation i'd like to continue once you are confirmed. >> cry a.m. delighted you're here mr. wray i would like to ask that you provided the committee with a complete description of what you know how it is you came to be selected. if you could lay that out we had a similar question and woswer from judge gore such but let me ask a specific question coming to the table
today you mentioned you owe your duty of loyalty to the rule of law and if anybody asks you otherwise. >> no buddy has asked me for a loyalty oath i would not offer one my loyalty is to the constitution isn't the fbi. >> when should they unilaterally take over the role of attorney general of the united states? the answer should be never. [laughter] if you are presented with you don't have confidence inn' a particular matter because of a conflict of interest or perception in issues you have lost confidence on that matter so not just unilaterally taking over as
if you were what is plan me? ul the you go anyway to say and have a problem to work something out? what is though way to face that problem. >> i think the attorney deputy general is the proper place to go. >> i agree and when should they disclose information about the and charged subject is also never. but the protocol against disclosing derogatory information is there for a reason. could you state that?. >> that if the departmentnegatie has negative information to s
share their is a way to manifest that because then the person who was accused as an opportunity to defend themselves and to befe resolved by a judge or jury. there is a place for the accused to vindicate or failed those charges against him so where do i go?. >> and as a corollary and cannot disclose investigative information of the subjects even when charged you limit yourself to the conduct that is charged in the charging documents or subsequent court filings. >> exactly. >> to stay within those four quarters.
>> even when you have a charge filled withf derogatory investigative e information. >> if it is there to share it should be in a document. >> and maybe going over ground but i want to make sure i got this right. in my view the infamous view by a the 2002 torture memo that gave the department's approval to water boarding that memo omitted a number of things, the fifth circuit decision upholding a conviction by the department of justice by the texas sheriff to water board criminal suspects a big thing to overlook in my opinion and the court martial of u.s. soldiers in the philippines and out of
the directly the of criminal prosecution and also the goal counseled to figure that out and to overlook the military tribunal of the prosecuted japanese soldiers for the war crime of water boarding u.s. prisoners of that was a horrifying low to point in the legal scholarship in the department of justice your name came up in testimony with respect to a 2003 memo. what role did you have to sign off on any of those tortured memos? so what was your role?.
>> i have no recollection and i am pretty sure i would recall of every viewing much less providing input to or commenting on or blessing oror proving anything of that sort of any memo on this topic later. 2004 as assistant attorney general there was a surgical role which was not not, underline that word was not to approve any particular technique but merely commenting on the public general interpretation memo about memo the statutory standard and that opinion as you know, was rescinding their prior interpretation that i had not seen. i did not think it was appropriate for the criminalta division to play any role to
weigh in on any particular interrogation techniquesecause because that was to be investigating a prosecuting cases where they go too far. >> just like the case out of the fifth circuit with a texas sheriff was convicteddwher of federal crimes for doing that. there is no point for me to continue on but with the department of justice in the bush white house over the wiretapping program in 2004 acting attorney-general mr. comey and director muellerer both had prominent roles you were in the department at the time for those indicated if it was necessary they
would be a part of the group to resign if the departmento ren was not met by the white house to agree of any recollections of what took place?. >> yes her gore was one of the people who said he would resign. i was not read into the program at the time from acting attorney general all mr. comey to not have classified contents but that there was the ongoing dispute that was constitutional and legal in nature and explain to those who were read into the program with their willingness to resign and having worked side-by-sideth in there were hardly shrinking violets there was
a hesitation and then we will resign with you. >> also to have thatre obligation for very good reason but with the oversight responsibility that they are not being tinct -- tanked so what are those appropriate questions for members of congress to ask about the investigation? so how many? is inappropriate so with any interviews? to consider a
the process with a particular matter so if that actually took place is a legitimate for congress to look at the process of a criminal investigation without assuring itself that a good job has been done but the adequate job had been done as in the case of the murder investigation where a lot was disclosed?. >> i do think the committee has the important oversight role. they need to be sure they're not jeopardize saying information but there are ways to work through these issues but i have to think
through each of those. >> my time is expired. >> thank you for your willingness to serve again so with the crisis of public trust this institution has a 12 percent approval rating with 50 percent public support if you are confirmed there is the important responsibility for cry want to ask you a series of question so why does the fbi director have a 10 year term ?.s >> with the role of the fbi director needs to be one in
with those to contemplate during the course of the tenure and that theory is right the the fbi has a criminal law enforcement and intelligence role to transcend and to be kept above and apart. >> so what type of conditions would it make sense for the fbi director to be fired?. >> that is the situationa situat nobody is above the rule of law and does it comply. >> with this concept of independence it ise, critically important for
that investigative function polt the yes there are three branches of government into the accountable to the of people. >> but is not supposed to be direct accountability. so it is the right question of course, . it is true to have that branch and the fda -- fbi as part executive-branch i think the independence of the fbi is not a structural or organizational they need to follow the facts and the law into whoever they need
that is a difference independence so with your time in the department in the mid 2000's but when you put up your right hand people though deal with matters and the executive branch executes them but the bureau's role is not to be politicized or a political function what are those circumstances they would resign so hard to understand fe politicized the you are
supposed to make as director ?. >> so former attorney general's has come up several times one of the first things he talked about as a public service positions like this is you cannot do job like this without being prepared to quit or be fired at at moment's notice if you are confronted with what is illegal or unconstitutional or morally repugnant in then m just to describe me aske boring or to mistake though low-key demeanor or a compromise on principle to
make a very grave mistake. >> that is to the rule of law to follow the facts reverb and they may need there is not a person on the planet that could convince me to abandon the properly predicated meritorious investigation. >> you have made a differentiation but he hoped the american people understand of the criminal division in where they canep with the decision making andra where that director is involved. >> so if you do a negative
day line prosecutor or the middle level supervisors were level or upperis management, the basic contract is the same the fbi is doing the fact-finding if there was sufficient evidence of a crime to recommend bringing that prosecution but that is made by the prosecutors who are trained as lawyers and mindful of the department's policies and procedures and in my experience that is the best practical examples a partnership working together even though the fbi has though the the prosecutors can be effective to
participate in the investigation and they did not just handed off to the prosecutor at trial even though there was a handoff the best agents that i work with that side-by-side with me so there is a shift of responsibility but it is a team effort and that is the way it should be approached. >> so let some level to make those priority decisionsay it su verses is violent crime or corruption a lot ofor important missions. when you make those privatization decisions when is it appropriate orin inappropriate for justice
and beyond? with the fbi priorities and investments? solo those prosecutorial decisions with the problematic perspective like the budget submitted to congress were effort can be focused on different types of cases where we focus more on in corporate fraud so with the scarcity of resources to prioritize that occurs with input froman law-enforcement and the fbi did at the end of the day that president to be
submitted. >> a think you're offering a particular verses' general distinction? on an annual basis it is never occur before the white house for those officials to provide specific direction. >> that is my view. >> the one specific connection to believe the russians were involved to influence the 2016 election election?.ians wer >> so with that assessment i have no reason to doubt that assessment and have not seen the information but i have reason to doubt that. >> so this is indisputablebt it
and in 2018 or 2020 they will be back and the main tool for those to destroy those institutions to exploit and exacerbate the problems and into the fight against ourselves and to leave the agency this will clear front-line role to restore the public trust in many of us are grateful i your willingness to serve iin will reserve my questions for the next round. >> so with that letter of support from the former urd
doj officials from across the spectrum with the obama administration with the judgment with the commitment to the of rule of law to be the fbi director and we also support and then to serve asup deputy general with that dedication to the country is on paralleled with a strong independent professional. >> thinks mr. chairman.
it is good to see your wife and your kids as well.r and i learn from non and fbi sources your daughter is on the redeye arriving at 4:30 a.m. and his capture eyes open throughout the entire hearing shows of devotion to her dad. i know you to be a decent person so that is a pretty good start thank you for your answers to the recent discussion about that irrefutable evidence in the answer is you have given and i find your opening statement reflected the uc the gravity of this moment in time and those who putut
themselves go on the front line everyday we owe it to them but also to the country to bring back the trust that we talked about with this government in washington.ent i when you ran the criminal division of the justice department you ever receive requests from the president or other high ranking officials to lead the case go?. >> no.ng >> i thank you answered if they ask you to do that that if the president sent the request you would resign?. >> that means potentially having to resign. >> so don't do anything
about that whether a dinner or calling my office to tell my deputy i would not tell the prosecutor working on the case unless they needed to know that. to so i think you know not just with the fbi director but those underneath you. f that is why i never appreciated your answer of the process it isn't just the fbi director. >> q said it very well to meet the process is so important because people need to have confidence in the outcome. if there is a decision to charge somebody with the of fair and impartial and consistent with the of lot. a c
and then the process would have found that.ere, patel and it needs to be set at the top. hg so what is distinct about all of them to follow the facts and the what wherever it takes them that is what makes this such a of a beautiful thing. >> what about local law enforcement our fbi thereenforcm and the special agent in charge to step in with the stabbing of the shopping mall working with our local law enforcement can you briefly comment? imitating c working with state and local law enforcement is hugely important because there's so
much on the plate of the fbipe to be a partnership and the force multiplier with all kinds of support and training with the national academy and they consistently praised and gratified by the support so those threats are way too many much less the fbi to do by itself. >> and having respect with law-enforcement time to time there have been proposalsmey. with the criminal and national security mission to
remove counter terrorism or counter espionage from us jurisdiction. . . >> it would make me think it was a good idea now. one thing we learn from 9/11 is about the danger of walls between criminal law enforcement and intelligence. the idea of now splitting things up and creating new walls strikes me is not right way to go about it.
in my limited understanding in 2017 is the time pass since i left law enforcement that other foreign agencies have started moving more in the direction we have. i have great respect for calyx in the u.k. in their system, but i don't think that is remodel for us. >> thank you. election infrastructure, when you look at t what happened in this last election and what might happen going forward, one of the jobs of the fbi's record it with you election assistant commission of follow-up on cyber attacks. tell me you will make this a party moving for help us pairs we go into this next election. >> i think the integrity of our election has to be a top priority. it is a core of who we are as a country. any threat, whether from a nationstate or nonstate actor needs to be taken very seriously. the fbi has a huge that.the fbi
>> in a broader spectrum when senator graham and i were at senator came the end flesher we heard about this in the baltic, ukraine, georgia. a lot of times there using shell companies as other entities have about homes worth $5 million. would you support efforts of the treasury department, this is a monday laundering questions use existing authority to require more transparency and luxury real estate transaction? were try to figure out where the money is going and how you follow the money. i think it is you said at the beginning that you're more likely to find a terrorist with his hands on a check noticing about. >> i'm not familiar with a particular program you describe but i strongly agree the following the money is to make
him along enforcement 101. whether it is for organized gangs or drug trafficking, or terrorism. none of those things happen without money. following the money and working closely with the treasury department is not commonly effective strategy to use. >> thank you. a few other matters.ti over the pasture we've seen a rise in hate crimes, and our state we've had the thing is aur muslim community, the jewish community, how would you approach this issue is fbiould u director?>> well >> crimes based on bigotry or prejudice cannot be tolerated. i think the fbi has an important role in being an investigator there. one of most moving cases to me as prosecutor was a different kind of a crime with a serial church harshness who went over the country burning churches. ultimately one of the churches uber killed a volunteer firefighter. i think i mentioned this to
senator franken, that meeting with the mother of the dead firefighter of the roughlyhe 7-year-old daughter of the dead firefighter is a memory i will take with me forever. work i have a personal appreciation of the importance of prosecuting the scribes. >> figure. if we have a second round i'll ask about human trafficking which is one of my top priorities. onetr other question on terrorit online recruiting, we've had a number of instances in that minnesota and a former u.s. attorney andy lugar and before that tie jones worked extensively with the fbi on this issue. i met with the fbi in minnesotaf they showed me some of the internet targeting that is designed to be focused on people in our state because of the major somali population that were so proud of in minnesota. could you elaborate on the
threat and what you believe the fbi should be doing to counter these types of online recruiting efforts that are going on around the country. >> i think i need to get briefed up on the fbi's efforts in that area. especially development of the technology. my basically is similar to my answer to senator feinstein, which is, we have to get earlier in the continuum to prevent. that is, recruitment logisticali planning, financing, there is a range of things that terrorist organizations to early on in the continuation. these don't happen overnight. they take a time to germinate. we need to be in a position to find them and stop them early. >> thank you very much.. >> before a turn to senator tillis, and like to give you an update on the schedule. part of this is to give ourparto nominee some kind of a break. three more senators will ask
questions and then the ten minute break will come. i will be leaving for votes but i will be back after that.. senator sass will gavel in the committee after we recess for the nominee to take a break. that will be around 12:40 p.m. so you know even though the vote takes long time will continue here. then senator tillis you are up next. i will step out for my usual to overclock news conference at and i would. i'll be back in ten minutes. >> mr. chairman, what time are we breaking? >> 1230. ask but you'll be asking questions at that time. so you'll be the one that will recess the committee. >> okay. >> what is our boat.
>> 1230.ou >> but you may be just finishing your questions about the timein and then you'll go vote. and then senator sass is already over there. he will come back and hopefully i'll be back before that happens or somebody else will take over. so democrats should plan on. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> senator tillis, go ahead. >> thank you. your dad is doing a great job. actually, i appreciate the way the committee is going and you and i had an opportunity to spend 30 minutes together yesterday and you answered a lot of my questions i will not repeat them there. but i want to drill down on one thing that i think is important to emphasize. tohave a law-enforcement advisory committee the establishment i became senator.
i meet with people in the state on a frequent basis. one of the things i wanted to amplify that the senator said was the importance of working with the local law-enforcement agencies to get the best leverage and resources to support these investigations. one of the things i think it's important, and i think it is curious to see your own view of it, what is foundational to making those work are the equitable sharing programs that provide the local agencies withe resources, do you think that's an effective program that should remain in place? nothi >> i've heard nothing but good things about those arrangements. i'm not and i spurred in that. but certainly the ability for federal law enforcement to abili provide all manner of support weather is partnering on investigation, grants, lots of things that federal government can do again as i said before, to have the state localbefore
law-enforcement the multipliers to protect us all. >> thank you. the support for the program has a and flowed. at one point it acquiesced for a while. cause disruptions and maybe aor handful of cases nationwide. i think we should look at that. there are misconceptions about how the program is wrong, whether not any abuses of it. if those are true we need to work on that. but i think sending uncertainty out there could have a chillingi effect on what local law-enforcement will make and some are better able to work with the agency i'm convincedd you'll be heading up. we talk about going dark, section 215702 and the importance it has for the best in the process. >> yes.f of course it is been years since
i have dealt with -- which i did quite a bit in my past tour of duty in government service. 702 itself was passed after i had left government.el from everything i've heard from the intelligence community just like i said earlier, i have no reason to doubt the intelligence committee's assessment of the efforts by russia to interfere with our election, so too, have no reason to doubt what ts i hear and the intelligence committee's assessment about the importance of section 702 as a vital tool in our efforts to protect america. i look forward to learning more. about that tool and how it can be strengthened, enhance, and used effectively and appropriately. everything i heard suggest to my that's a tool that needs to be t high-priority for the country to make sure it gets renewed county appropriately. >> i think it would be very
important as we discuss it and debate maybe some safety measures to make sure it's not abuse. i think most of them are in place. i think it's important probably little bit of time -- several people will die if we go dark and that's a profound statement from high-ranking official. i think we need to look ahead to make sure we preserve thoset tools for the agencies and other intelligence agencies.goin i guess the only other question that have of you, i will yield back some of my time. i apologize i won't be here for the next round because i'll be presiding.sa i want to echo i think you have been very direct in answer to senator sass' question and other questions about russian meddling. i don't think there's anybody in
the congress that would doubt that russia meddled in the elections. the have for a very long time. the emergence of the cyber domain has amplified their ability to do it more quickly and maybe on a broader basis. do assuming that's beyond what is already under investigation, to have any sense of what more the fbi would to be on the investigation that director molars attached with that you can conceive that you mightas perceive with? >> i think there is more that i don't know them what i do as ann outsider sitting before thise committee. i look forward to making that high-priority. i will say in addition to providing all appropriate support to former director molars the special counsel investigation, there is of course also avestigatiohe counterintelligence function the fbi has to play. i'm sure there are things the
fbi working with its as partners in intelligence committee will need to do to protect going forward which is a different role than what special counselel mueller was doing which is more of a backwards looking type thing. there is synergy before the two. >> thank you. t and again, you should be very proud that you're nominated for this position. you should be very proud of the demeanor and the kinds of questions and insight thatot others on this committee have given to that is a true testament to the quality of your work experience in the quality of u.s. and extractor of the fbi. thank you and congratulations to your family. >> thankyoyo you senator. >> senator franken, i think you are up. >> thank you mr. chair.
thank you for meeting with me yesterday, i enjoyed our meeting. it was a good meeting. actually, center to assess the kind of question i want to task which is what the role going forward of the fbi which is distinct from the mueller's would be. you answer that question i'm glad you answered it say the part of what the fbi will beill doing is working so this does not happen again. think we have to keep our i onn that ball because 2018 will be upon us soon we do not want this to happen again.estions, now, before i turn to my questions i would like to first thank senator hatch for his work on the child protection per minute. i think you for your commitment
to help us get that bill passed in done.ing for this is it helps health organizations and organizations that you mentoring for kids, to get background checks so that vulnerable people also work with seniors or the elderly, they should be able to effectively screen their workers and their volunteers to make sure they are trustworthy. thank you for your commitment on that. this is something we have been trying to get some for a while and i have these groups who are doing unbelievably great work asking for this. unbt i think you for that. for the record on senator graham, i think he would have made a great fbi agent. i'm glad also he is in the senate. that said, do not know about the
article that january political article that suggest someone ine the ukraine wanted to pass some information off to the clinton r campaign. but i think i know the answer to this. did the ukraine or did ukraine rather hack the rnc's database? did they had kellyanne conway? did the clintons want to build a hotel and give? i think there is a big difference here and we know whae russia did and that's a big deal. and thank you for saying that part of your job is making sure does not happen again. we have oversight over the fbi, will you come before us
periodically so we can do our oversight? >> yes, senator. i expect i'll be seen a fair amount of the committee of confirmed. >> likewise, do you think attorney general sessions should come before us periodically so we can exercise our oversight? >> center, don't speak for the attorney general and his appearances, but i'm sure he values this committee having been a member of it i would need to appear before periodically. >> yes, i agree. let me ask you about one director comey was fired, one of the justice justifications made was that director comey had lost the confidence of the rectum file of fbi agents. you have known jim coming for a long time. you have worked alongside and
you know good number of people at the fbi back from your time at the justice department. is that your experience talking to them? >> center, montana scientific sampling of the 36000 men and women of the fbi. >> why not? sorry, go ahead. >> i appreciate your patience with me on that one. people all of the people that i have spoken with on the fbi, from senior people down to rank-and-file people strike me as the same fbi and have always known and loved riches people were mission focused, who believe in what they are doing, who are going to follow the facts and the law wherever it takes them. the have their head down, their spirit up and are charging ahead. if there someone who feels different, that could be but i haven't met them recently. >> you don't think director comey is a nut job, right?ri
>> that is never been my experience. >> i'm glad to hear that. if you are asked some, setting by the president to stop an investigation of somebody, aside from saying no, would you report that to us? >> i would report it to the deputy attorney general, assuming he was not already sitting there with me hearing it. we would have a discussion about what we lawfully and appropriately can share with him. i would want to make sure all the right people in. >> i want to thank you senator for bringing up a crimes. this is what former fbi former
director comey explained about hate crimes, he said they're different from other crimes because they strike at the heart of one's identity. they strike at her sense of self come our sense of belonging, the end result is loss of trust, loss of dignity and in the worst case, loss of life. >> and my you, that loss of dignity is a part of what makes a crime so pernicious. when an act of violence is motivated by hate against a o particular group, properly identifying that act as a hate crime and prosecuting it as such can go a long way to restoring the dignity. but, hey crimes are often underreported. both by victims and state local law enforcement.
in part that's because of federal hate crime law does not require state local police departments to report incidents for the fbi. so there is often little incentive to do that. recently, an investigation by journalists revealed at leastle 120 federal agencies are not uploading agencies about hate crimes that they investigate and prosecute into the fbi's database. in fact, even the fbi is not recording all of the hate crimes it investigates into its own database. that to me is a problem. we need accurate data about the scope of the challenge in order to appropriately directlenge. prevention and enforcement resources.s. we can to that if we don't know how many incidents are over they had taken place. if the federal government isn't even keeping accurate data its own databases, how can we expect state local police departments to step up?
>> center, i share your concern about the need for accurate data.'s somet i'm not familiar with how the reporting system works or is reduced grabbing, maybe doesn't work right now. it is something i would look for to learning more about and drilling down on the figure out aboucan be done better.. >> would you commit to me to help address this problem and work to improve this by state local entities the number of local hate crimes they are doing? >> i would commit to taking a hard look on the issue early in my tenure and working for ways we can work together. >> thank you very much. i've been very impressed with our meeting, been very impressed with your testimony here today. you have come here at a hard time. this is under very extraordinary
circumstances and i thank you for your willingness to take onu this job and i am looking around feeling that you have had a good hearing today. i'm the best of luck to. >> thank you senator, that means a lot. thank >> senator kennedy. >> thank you mr. chairman you have a very impressive resume and i agree with senator franken, think you have done very well today. who interviewed you for this job? >> i was contacted originally by deputy attorney rosenstein, that's the first inkling i had that today was even a gleam in anybody's eye. met i met shortly thereafter with
deputy attorney rosenstein andre general sessions together. then as has been publicly reported, i think it was the day after memorial day i had a brief meeting at the white house that was attended by several people from the white house including the president, as well as several people from the i department. another similar meeting and then i was announced is intended nominee. >> and owes me a second. for my second question i have to lay little bit of a foundation. and so my colleagues have alluded to this today.ded to our country began as a self-reliant likely tax debt averse union of states.
but, our country is changed a lot in a couple of hundred lot years. i don't mean this to be -- immunity be factual. the power of the federal government, the united states government is breathtaking. i do not think there is a single agency that is more symbolic of that power, than the fbi. you could ruin people's lives.un hopefully when that happens they deserve it. at some point, who did what to whom in the last election is going to be a distant memory. at some point, the investigation of russia's interference in the election will be over.
but what will remain is the fbi and its reputation.bi i do not think the fbi is a political body, i don't want to believe that and i don't believe that. but, i worry about theer perception that some americans might have about the fbi. based on some of the testimony that this committee and others have heard in the past. here's what i am looking for. i want you to be a political. i don't want you to exhaust yourself trying to make political friends appear. i want you to be socrates. i want you to be dirty harry
with the bad guys.s. i want you to tell me how you're going to do that in this environment.s, >> senator, first let me say wel that i have i think i hadn't appreciation for the point that you're making about the power of the fbi and what you said about the fbi's ability to ruin people's lives. one of the things i did even as head of the criminal division was that i tried to meet with every new higher, were talking about over 400 lawyers. every time we had a new higher i would spend ten or 15 minutes, one-on-one with that person. one of the points i tried to make is that the decisions that prosecutor would make the same thing would be true for fbi agents, short of their wedding or a death in their family, the public's interaction with law-enforcement is the most meaningful impactful experience those people ever have.rmance
so prosecutors and agents need to conduct themselves in a way that remembers that and remembers that power and remembers how much significance i have. these are just the people they deal with whether it's targets of investigation, witnesses family members, jurors, doesn't matter. all of those people will remember their interaction with law-enforcement in a way that law-enforcement do this everyday may not remember it that vividly. second thing in response to your question, i come back to the point i made which is the importance to process. the process needs to have integrity. the process needs to be independent. the process needs to be freee from paper, free from influence, free from your partisan politics.m the people have confidence in
the process and they can have confidence in the results. sometimes results will be charges and sometimes they will be declinations. >> let me ask about the process. i appreciate your answer. i think history will demonstrate that white houses have been offering their advice to the fbi to director for decades. where do you draw the line? i mean if the white house calls you, i'm anxious to know were curious to know how it works internally. if the white house calls you and says, we were reading about a story on medicaid fraud in a particular state and we think you ought to look at into that, that appropriate?at >> my response to something like that would be to say, same thing i'll say to anything in this
country. if you have evidence of a crimet that you think the fbi needs toe look at, give us the evidence, we'll take a look at it make an assessment, will play it by the book. just like with any witness who is supplying information, i would consider the source. i tried to take into account that there is any other agenda or anything else going on. the white house might have information about a crime that might need to be investigatedee and i would take that seriously. >> suppose the attorney general who i know who has recused himself, i don't want to personalize the snow. the suppose and acting attorneye general called you and said stop
referring to the russian investigation is investigation and refer to it as a matter, what would you do? >> senator, think i would need to understand why they thought the description was inaccurate. attended be someone who listensa with an open mind and to hear what the explanation is. if i disagree with the characterization i will play by the book and call it what it it is. >> suppose the reason you're asked to do that is because matter plays better with theau public the investigation. >> that i would try to persuade the person asked me why the request was ill considered. >> and what if they said, do it anyway.l- >> then i would consult with the appropriate ethics officials i make a judgment about what my next course of action should be. >> and on that going to speculate what the ethics people would say.
we have an extraordinary crime problem in new orleans. we are rapidly becoming the murder and armed robbery capital of the western hemisphere. if you're confirmed, and i believe you will be can i count on you within the limited, scarce resources you have and all resources are scarce can i count on you to give us a little advice and help? we are wrestling with the huge crime problem and we are losing. >> senator, you can count on me to take a hard look at how we can be more effective in new orleans, just like we need to be more effective in every city that is targeted by violent crime. >> okay. thank you. >> thank you senator.