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tv   Christopher Wray Pledges Strict Independence at FBI Helm  CSPAN  July 14, 2017 6:36pm-8:01pm EDT

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>> madam chair, madam ranking member, i was handed a note. and i'm supposed to say, you can save if you like, we will stand in recess for ten minutes. i if i had a gavel i would bang it. [inaudible conversation] [inaudible conversation] [inaudible conversation]
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[inaudible conversation] [inaudible conversation] [inaudible conversation] >> we're calling back to order the confirmation hearing of the nominee of the fbi director of christopher rankin will begin with senator kearns. >> thank you for the opportunities to question the witness. mr. ray, thank you for your prior service in your continued
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willingness to serve our country, particularly at this important a difficult time. i know this may not need repeating. let us not forget why we are having this hearing. your predecessor, james comey was not even at the halfway point of his ten year term of fbi director and president trump abruptly fired him, without cause and without warning. president trump said when he fired director, that he was thinking about the fbi's investigation of russian interference in our election, and investigation that director comey was overseen. now, more than ever i believe it to be crucial the next fbi director be prepared to be steadfastly independent. as we had a chance to discuss before the searing it falls on you today, not only to clearly demonstrate to the committee that you have the legal skills required for the position you been nominated but you have a fierce commitment to maintaining the integrity of deputy is an independent agency and you'll conduct yourself as fbi director in a way that is about partisanship. let's move to it if we might. first, how will you ensure that the fbi provides all the resources and special counsel
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mueller needs to thoroughly conduct and complete the investigation he's currently in charge of? >> the first thing i would've confirmed is to reach out to former director mueller and elicit his advice about what it is he needs and whether he is getting it from the fbi. knowing former director mueller and knowing what a straight talker and plane talker he is, i've no doubt that if he is second in what he needs he would let me know. >> i agree. attorney general sessions priest your selection as fbi nominee, did you interview with him? >> i interviewed with rosenstein
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in sessions together at the same time. >> ended either ask about the conduct of the russian investigation during your interview? >> no. >> attorney general sessions, as we have discussed and you know is recused from and i quote, any existing or future investigations of any matters relating in any way to the campaigns for president of the united states, clinton investigation into russian interference. as i said before, i'm concerned that attorney general sessions hasn't fully complied with the scope of his recusal. is it appropriate for the attorney general to make public comments on the ongoing investigation, to engage in decisions about its resourcing funding or staffing? is that an appropriate part of his management role of the agency is attorney general question. >> center, i'm not sure it's for me to speak for the attorney general's decision-making about his own public. i would say that if he is recused from an investigation, to me that means he should not be participating in decision-making about the investigation. of course, the attorney general's the head of the entire
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justice department. as important as this investigation is, and it is extremely important in my view, there are many other things the fbi and the department responsible for. i think that the appropriate role for the attorney general as its leader. >> i agree that is not appropriate for the attorney general to participate in investigations related to the trump campaign. and as the person in charge of the operations of the department of justice, he is involved in making at the highest level management decisions. it's those decisions about the access to resources, the scope and trajectory of the investigation that i want to make sure i got to. will you commit to studying the scope of attorney general sessions recusal and ensuring appropriate procedures are placed honoring it and reporting any violations to this congress?
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>> i'm not sure and the authority over his recusal scope. what i would commit to use that i will take a close look, shortly upon being confirmed, if confirmed to making sure the former director mueller, now special counsel mueller has all the appropriate resources here to have. my expectation is i would remain committed to that support regardless of any decisions by anybody else in the department. >> so, if a directive came down from the attorney general about privatization or resources the you thought inappropriately interfered in any way with the resources requested by special counsel mueller, he would act to prevent that from hindering the investigation. >> i would not tolerate any inappropriate influence of special counsel mueller's investigation.
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at the end of the day it's his investigation. >> we had another conversation last week's that's been raised about an episode about your time in the department of justice when you are prepared to resign. this was over an ongoing but on authorized by congress surveillance program. he testified previously that you had not been privy to all the details on it seemed that you are following people who you knew the practice closely with said admired. in hindsight, have had time to better understand what is going on a was the context and issues. in hindsight, where you write to be willing to throw your career side and be willing to join these folks in resigning and would you do that again? >> the first part of your question, i have not for any minute ever regretted my willingness to resign as i explained it to deputy attorney
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comey at that time. my decision was not based solely on got. it was based on knowledge very close working knowledge with a range of people who were read in and knowing they were not as i said, not shrinking violets. they're very tough on terror, very thoughtful, intellectually honest people and people who, by the way did not agree with each other all of the time. so when i put all that together, with how they think, how they, on war and terror issues annoyed they felt strongly enough they were willing to resign over much greater knowledge of the program that i had at the time. i was confident then that resigning with them if necessary was the right decision. later, having learned many more of the facts that were not available to them or to me then, i'm even more confident it would
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have been the right decision. >> thank you. former attorney general you a quota before saying that you should be willing to resign if necessary over conduct if you're press that is either ethical, illegal, or unconstitutional. could you export me for a few more minutes what were the values you brought to that decision and what values among those three others would you bring to having to make a similar decision in the future if you get press to do something that meets one of those three. >> the values i brought a particular decision with the knowledge that it was the appropriate parts of the justice department and the fbi were doing their job, doing their duty to evaluate the legality of the program in question. i thought knowing the confidence i had in them and their
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commitment to duty that needed to be respected even to the point of me having to re-sign teresa support them in it. i'm not sure if i got all of your questions. i might need you to refresh me. >> that's more than satisfactory, thank you. acting attorney general, ciliates was fired after she refused to enforce a travel ban. if you are fired or resigned to refusing for carrying out presidential order, we commit to come to congress to testify about that decision and what drove you to make that decision? >> certainly if i legally and appropriately can. i need to know the circumstances of any particular situation. i would want to comply with the law and rules first and foremost. if i can i would comply with any lawful requests from congress. when he returned to a last question raised earlier. i want to make sure we've gone
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this clearly. senator graham asked about an e-mail to donald trump junior, offering the trump campaign very high level and sensitive information and this is a quote for an e-mail as part of government support for mr. trump. chief ethics lawyer for george w. bush and president obama have said, we worked on political campaigns for decades and have never heard of an offer like this one. if we had, we would assistant upon immediate notification of the fbi. and so it any normal campaign lawyer official or senior volunteer. russian interference in our election happened i may have very well happen again. if a campaign staffer or senator someone working around them gets an offer for government assistance to defeat its opponent, do you agree the right thing to do is to probably notify the fbi?
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>> senator, i would hope that anyone who is aware of an effort or an attempt to interfere with our election would report that to the up corporate authority. whether somebody on the campaign or anywhere else, especially in the context of cyber type intrusions the fbi and others in the intelligence committee depend on people were receiving contacts for reaching out and coordinating with the intelligence community. that's an important part of the messaging on that effort. i'd hope anyone in that situation would want to bring the issue to the appropriate authorities, assuming they think something inappropriate has occurred. >> kinney reach any other conclusion from that e-mail, other than something
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inappropriate is being offered? >> i've not read the e-mail or any of the newspaper coverage. it's happened at a time when i've spent going and meeting with all of your colleagues. i don't know the details of it. >> to have if you are minutes? understand waiting for senator who may be on the subway. >> i will conclude. >> let me simply say to your family, i am grateful for your willingness to undertake this into personally i'm grateful for your willingness to undertake this. i think were had an essential moment for the future rule of law and respect for institutions and traditions in this country. a few have heard from senators both republican and democrat, this is essential confirmation
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hearing. because of the pace at which things are moving, because of the challenges and issues and allegations in front of us, because of the central the fbi place in counterintelligence of enforcing our laws and i'm confident that you have the skills, expense, value to be a great fbi director. i appreciate your testimony today. >> thank you. that is what. >> i like to associate myself with the comments from the senator of delaware as well. this is a critically important time in political life that just for the role of law but the norms around it. i appreciate the thoughts and sentiments from the delaware senator. want to return to something he said in your opening statement. while the fbi has justly earned its reputation as the finest law enforcement agency in the world, special agents, agents and staff operate largely to public view. the toilet great risk to
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themselves and great sacrifice for them so families. they happily deserv different recognition. it is beautifully crafted and someone has worked with and around the borough before, 36000 employees of the bureau. >> i think it's about that, some really thoughtful and selfless agents do it without a lot of recognition and oftentimes in danger and at threats of life and limb and time away from home. thank you for representing that in a way that you talk about the mission and the culture of the bureau. obviously there been dark times of the borough in the past, we spoke in a bit today about director hoover of the way he mismanaged that agency 45 and 50 years ago. but also, politicization of the barrel by the white house administration across both
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parties. the kennedy administration in the nixon administration all regularly tried to the politicizing weapon eyes the fbi against the rights activist and lots of other people were not able to fight back against that big overreaching state. one of the reasons why you have heard so much support for the way you conceive of this mission and calling today is because of the ways you make clear how you think this calling in both obligate you to work for the constitution on behalf of the american people [inaudible] behalf of either political party. as you have reiterated your willingness to resign if ever forced to politicize and that's why think you have so much bipartisan support for your confirmation today. would you also pledged to this committee that if ever directed by the white house to shut down or curtail an investigation,
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that you would report that back to this committee, not necessarily in a public setting, will you commit today that any white house direction that you would curtail would and an investigation is something you would report back? >> i was really report it wherever it is appropriate. i would need to make sure comply with my legal obligations in doing so. but if i can appropriately do it i would want to make sure i can bring it to the appropriate committee's attention in an appropriate way. >> i appreciate the chain of command issues inside an agency like tears i recognize that is complicated. but wouldn't you also agree that the senate's constitutional obligation to oversight mean that we are one of the destination to which you should be reporting not just the executive director department chain of command? >> i was really grew this committee and others with oversight responsibility over
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the fbi have an enormously critical role as part of our system. i think it needs to be respected and all the appropriate ways. i would make every effort within the chain of command that you are referring to to urge that we be as forthcoming as we legally and appropriately can be with all the right members of the senate in the house. >> this is obviously a very politicized lif time in the liff -- and filling in for the chairman, chuck grassley of iowa who has lots of bipartisan respect. he's doing it as an article one branch of article two of the constitution that it either he is or is aligned with the his party affiliation. so i think on behalf of the chairman there is a lot of
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robust support for you to make sure to recognize that this is a committee that you like to hear these details your predecessor, assuming your confirmation famously referred to wikileaks as intelligence born it. he said the bedrock of our democracy requires public trust and that wikileaks is regularly acting on behalf of other government against the interest of the u.s. public. can you briefly explain to this committee and the american people how you believe that wikileaks came to be an outlet of foreign and specifically russian propaganda. >> i do not have access to that information. i don't know how that came to occur. i certainly share former director comey's concern about the. i have no reason to doubt his description, but that is something i need to learn more
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about once i have access to classified information. wikileaks was not a thing when i was in government before. so my observations of it have been solely through like any american watching the news media in bits and pieces. >> i recommend you been in the private sector so you not up to speed with all these issues yet. is it your senses you are arriving to lead a critical agency that is a part of the intelligence committee probably law-enforcement agency but it has the national security division and many other relationships, is it your view that we are currently adequately investing in the cyber challenges were time? >> i don't think i know enough to make a responsible evaluation of resources. what i can tell you is my senses as much is everybody's talking about the threats of the sort that you are describing, i have
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a sense that we are just scratching the surface of how great the threats are or at least how great they are about to be before we blink and wake up. that is really based on what limited information and conversations i've had with people but my sense is one of the biggest change so seen from being in law-enforcement for number of years of them being out and now getting reintroduced again is that where a cyber was a discreet topic and 2005 that of a lot of attention cyber in many ways permeates every type of criminal conduct that would deal with has become part of the fabric of our security and
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threat to our security. hard to me to imagine that were doing nearly enough. we can always do better. >> when you're in the classified bunker getting briefings on these topics, i'm one of five people in the u.s. senate was there been a politician before. i've been here for about 30 minutes of my time interviewing people it stunning about how when you ac * to questions about cyber doctrine, when you ask who is responsible for cyber doctrine inside the executive branch, the last administration in the current administration the main thing happened as people start looking sideways to figure out who else they can point to. how do you conceive of the fbi's responsibility in the larger institutional framework cyber responsibilities? what is their role? >> the fbi probably is multiple roles. criminal investigative when
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there are ways in which the criminal investigative tools can be used to prevent, detect, disrupt threats. but the there is an intelligence role where partners with our partners in the intelligence community and overseas partners in trying to defend our system center infrastructure from attacks, just a slightly different kind of role. the two things work hand-in-hand. i would think that there is an analogy that could be drawn to the terrorism arena in terms of awareness. i remember listening to a counterterrorism expert in a room full of prosecutors from all around the world. it was a very jovial meeting until this guy got up and spoke.
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he said there two types of countries. those have been hit by terrorist attacks and get it, those who have not yet. you could have hit a pin drop because that's really cut a lot of joy in the room. there is a degree to which the cyber threats we face, the same kind of statement could be made there, my strong suspicion is that their countries have been hit and started to wake up, companies that have been hit and started to wake up and many who have not realized it yet, the key word being yet, because it is coming. >> assuming you're confirmed, can you tell us a little bit about your first 90 days or first 100 a plan to how you will assess issues like our cyber capabilities that are cyber threats and the counterterrorism space and places you have work
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worked, tried to get back up to speed with where we might be under investing and how you risk rank and prioritize among those? . . >> >>. >> i have the number of
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cyberquestions and so i will turn the gavel back to the chairman if you are ready to go. >> thank you for being here and just following up on that discussion you have been announced a lot of times already but the obligatory do you feel you can exhibit independence as director of the fbi as necessary for that decision? >> i am my own man and i intend to be governed by the constitution and to do things by the book strictly independently without fear or favor or regard to partisan politics that is the only way to do this job. >> from those challenges of
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the fbi with technology and cyberit seems so can you talk about that process to insure that we have a proper balance between privacy and security?. >> that just isn't a privacy interest but the protection of the infrastructure but they do believe your print - - very strongly that technology private sector is a beyonce get such a rapid pace than historically
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they're not as nimble somehow we have to figure out a way to get one step ahead of the bad guys to do us harm as opposed to constantly chasing that last technological levant's to work with congress and also working out to industry. >> so turning to an issue this important about arizona eliminating public corruption and then to identify the key trend with the frequency of those activities do you agree this remains an issue for those border states?. >> i strongly agree it is an
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important priority for the fbi all throughout the country and my experience with public corruption goes all the way back as the most meaningful cases that i have worked on and that public integrity section played be incredibly important role so my experience historically has been that has been the best agents to gravitate toward the public corruption because of the skill level and sophistication in my view without parallel in these are extremely difficult to pursue and requires the best and brightest agents watching a public correction case would
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inspire any american as it did me when i saw it. >> as you may or may not know all applicants for the customs and border protection are congressionally mandated to pass a polygraph test condition of employment so the problem is they experience significantly higher failure rates around 65% of any other federal law-enforcement agencies. these high failure rates per cent from hiring enough staff i think that it is problematic to turn away qualified applicants because of those potentially flawed those are reluctant to submit themselves that it may impact the state or
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local law enforcement job in the future given the fbi success will you provide guidance to better conduct the polygraph examination?. >> this is something of a look forward to learn more about and how we at the bureau could be helpful in that regard. >> so to be a much better program is a significant to deal with the attrition as border patrol agents so after the past three years
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we have witnessed the breaches including omb often caused by a technological vulnerability i asked your predecessor but i want to hear your thoughts as well with the data held by the fbi and doj generally what steps will you take to ensure the data is secure from technological weaknesses and hackers?. >> at the moment i don't know much about the security status but that is something i would need to focus on early on to be briefed by the right experts natalie what we have done what they see as a threat and how they can be confident to correctly identify those threats to pressure test and
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reality check to make sure the systems are not -- not more vulnerable. >> i would like to defer to my colleague?. >> thanks for letting me go first biggie for your willingness to serve a and with your family i want to ask a couple of questions and i hope you'll give me answers better straightforward with the limitations of your position is a serious crime?. >> absolutely is it your view lying to the fbi is a serious crime. >> both should be investigated vigorously?. >> p.s..
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>> is their knowledge there has been perjury or obstruction of justice with the investigation into russian interference?. >> i don't have knowledge that they would have jurisdiction after that. >> and there is sufficient evidence to warrant a special counsel so i view this investigation with the utmost seriousness with the obstruction of justice with of defrauding of the government with a conspiracy to violate the computer fraud and abuse act and you and i have talked about the need for the fbi to be as is
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independent and immune from political interference as possible because i foresee a firestorm brewing that will threaten the fbi and i will support you because i do believe you provide that integrity the fbi needs through records and i am trusting we will trust you to take the most solemn and historically significant obligation and seriously as you do as perjury and obstruction of justice those crimes betrayed the rule of law to impede vigorous and independent investigation we count on you to protect the fbi of professional excellence and integrity
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that is worth any person's career to defend so if you foresee a threat to that independence and integrity raising to the level of political interference will you commit to taking appropriate action?. >> one of the lessons i got from the attorney general from former deputy attorney general you cannot take on a position with this without resolving in in france the you have to be willing to be quit or be fired at a moment's notice to stand firm to that and those to persuade that illegal action
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whether it is the president of the united states with that officials to change course. >> correct. my whole career public and private has consisted of a lot of times telling people the things they don't want to hear. in my view the firing of your predecessor warrants investigation as a potential obstruction of justice we have no proof beyond a reasonable doubt in the are sure to of evidence so if that kind of crime has been committed to investigate seriously.
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>> and with the fbi role of the support to do a thorough investigation if that would occur at some context with the perjury and false statements is the integrity of the up process and the response to your questions is the integrity of the up process that is the american people confidence the outcome of the investigation is right. >> you are a partner in that investigation and with those resources that are needed and when we worked together before to be always terrific
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and i am confident he would be professional and will make appropriate request. >> will you commit to report to this committee and he attends attempts to deny him by others in the administration?. >> if there was the inappropriate request to deny prepare resources i would try to evaluate the circumstances and take all appropriate actions. >> will you be making records of your conversations as mr. comey did?. >> as you recall he contemporaneously made memorandums to reflect his conversations with the president and others. would you do the same?. >> i think it depends on the situation.
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and that is a most important thing if a conversation suggested to me i ought to create a record i would hesitate to do that and i have done that in various stages of my private practice but i would evaluate each situation on its zero. >> a conversation with the president of united states would be significant. >> director. >> it depends what it would be about. how is your family? i would not create a record. >> if he said i want loyalty from you mr. wray?. >> i would consider that a significant i was not asked to take a loyalty oath but i would refuse that. >> i heard your testimony
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about that in the past so as a pledge of loyalty and that is a conversation worth reporting to this committee. >> the conversation like that i would take very seriously with all the right people. >> you have been announced about the emails from donald trump, jr. that have come to light recently. in in your view could be evidence of criminal intent intent?. >> and hasn't had a chance to read these newspaper
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coverage i cannot responsibly answer that question. to you to be in a number of them? including universal background check. >> i will look at any specific legislative proposal and give back to you but i do support efforts to deal with gun violence and with the leadership is consistent with that but with the universal
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background checks i would not rule out any common-sense ghana reform legislation but i have to review that based on the circumstances as that would i want her to be as director of the fbi. >>, as question so between 1977 there have been hundreds of crimes committed against reproductive health care of facilities and clinics in 185. and in 1998 attorney-general janet reno made the task force and violence so to
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coordinate investigation and prosecution i hope you continue to support the effort. >> i gather there is a specific statute that took place in the with zealously investigate all criminal violations and to reshape your commitment now senator senator, finally. >> you saved the best for last. thanks for your patience it is good to see you again. also working with chairman grassley with the interference of the elections and in light of this is more important to
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hear from the attorney general sessions as the -- as they have an important role to play with those lot enforcement investigations so clearly there has been concern why this vacancy of the fbi director occurred with the independence of the fbi if confirmed. so i want to return to use some questions about russia is interference and to take seriously of damage to our country and to testify that you accepted of conclusion the russia attempted to interfere with our elections >> i have only been able to
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review the public summary but i have no reason to doubt. >> probably those nonpublic portions would be more confirming that public information. there is also a testimony natalie from former director mr. comey or expected them to continue with elections so what would you do to prevent this kind of interference?. >> are want to be briefed by the professionals that the fbi and other parts of the intelligence community on what we know on how many nations state has attempted to interfere how can we be confident are their sources of information of the
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affirmation to get access to?. >> and did my meeting with you with any foreign countries a chance is the adversary to rise and it is an attack on the premises of democracy so you would take this kind of conclusion to as is the very serious of the priority?. >> there are a number of 101 conversations i would characterize as improper in to testify to those concerns and should that occur
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between you and president trump and not to the attorney general and with that testimony today what about attorney general sessions?. >> i would not rule out talking to the attorney general but with the fbi reports to the deputy attorney general number one into number two contact that the policies -- a policy the government has and the justice department that those contacts should appear through the attorney general that is inappropriate place to start. >> and so in this instance and leading to those investigations?.
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>>. >> with the deputy attorney general and there was a letter attached from jeff sessions that comey be fired . is that appropriate?. >> i don't know those circumstances surrounded the firing in that special counselor director mueller is investigating that so i cannot speculate but the attorney general of the united states has authority of the justice department and also the whole
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institution if he's recused he cannot participate in a particular investigation. >> i would say the firing of comey was part and parcel that attorney general sessions was to recuse himself. so with those ongoing investigations so if getting briefings after he recused himself on the investigation?. >> anyone who has recused himself as the attorney-general or somebody else should not be getting briefed on that specific investigation. >>.
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>> and i have no reason to believe. >> i think when you were first asked meeting with president trump regarding that nomination but later you said you were first contacted about the nomination with the deputy director rosa stein than a subsequent meeting with jeffrey sessions and another meeting so when you have an initial meeting there is a subject did you go in with any type of reassurance that if you take this position you are free to do your job. >> i did a when to my
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meeting with a number of questions in my mind i wanted to be sure i knew i was getting myself into and was very comfortable with what i've heard on a story that there is not a discussion of his firing other then other than the effect that now that special counsel has been appointed there is the investigation it is what i was coming into at that point so do you come to the conclusion that you
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would be having won a one in discussions with of president had occurred because director mueller was there with the investigation ?. >> so you were a sure gore reassured you could do your job?. >> after that meeting yes. >> at the time you had the meeting with jeff sessions did you indicate to them that you could support the director mueller investigation?. >> i did not discuss the russian investigation with them. as i said to make that comment it would make it easier to do my job but what i did say to them was the
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way to approach this job is by the book. >> considering that russian investigation and hoping that it would go away i am not sure exactly who was there but this question question, that all?. >>. >> was that all i'd?. >> i would read described as a pleasant conversation and did not think to raise a the conduct i would not expect them to do that. >> we are running at a time. >> we will start the second
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round right now. >> you will have another opportunity. >> to provide the authority communications of foreigners outside of the united states for the assistance the authority used only for counter terrorism ever counterintelligence this is the authority that privacy and civil liberties oversight board a lot of people say it is the central so i go to as the fbi director one of the key responsibilities is to oversee the responsibility to national security to reaffirm the support so
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justin a very general way could you tell us if the reauthorization remains important under your leadership to make sure uses the national security authority with oversight to comply with a lot to protect the for the mentor rights?. >> it has been a number of years since i had anything to do with fisa and of course, section seven '02 was after left government but seven '02 is a vital tool that we need to put a high priority to seek reauthorization with minor understanding is the second part of your question there are a number of
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oversight mechanisms built into the statutory framework with multiple levels of the oversight with the legislative branch and the fis a court itself looking at ways it is used appropriately. >> talking about weeks but then the same information is leaked to the media with the freedom of information act is inappropriate for this committee to provide the same information into the media if not what will you dude to ensure? with that last oversight before he left the directorship how du
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say getting more information bin senator grassley can get ? i cannot tell you why the economic get as much information even those letters that we send we read about folia -- foia it added is important to the fbi working with the department to be as responsive as possible to this committee and its chairman. i am not familiar with those particular circumstances around foia productions i agree that just strikes me as an odd situation to put
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that mildly. >> it don't expect you to respond by using him as an example in my opening statement to have that and redacted copy of the recusal memo and it has failed to explain what he is doing with conflict of interest and with a general matter so those in a criminal investigation of the first witness in the proceedings and if not what would you do to be sure that does not happen on your watch?. >> obviously i want to make sure i a understand the facts appropriately and i would want to take stock with the senior leadership
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there is that inspector general investigation of the acting director and your own strong support and i would want to respect that. >> will put some letters in the record for support for you from various law enforcement organizations and that is the community at large and fbi agents association the former agents of the fbi international association of the chief of police those
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investigative agencies and the national fusion center association all without objection. senator?. >> it looks like we're nearing an end but i do want to mention with that letter of support and from all over the country that is impressive former republican appointed u.s. attorney with that recent democratic appointed attorney so just a few follow-up questions with the opioid i know that has come up in the epidemic is a mild way to explain what is
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going on. we went from a superstar like prints from a high school stars winning team. people have died from overdoses more than homicides or car crashes. we talked earlier about the bills that i have to make it easier to go after the synthetic draw up -- drugs and those that we have done and then to set that natural framework but it is time to implement it to better share that data across state lines so on that fbi perspective can you give any view on the epidemic?. >> i strongly agree it is a major problem natalie
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sweeping the country ben getting worse all the time. but the effort and with that da but i do think the fbi to partner with other federal agencies to figure out how that can contribute to the multi disciplinary assault on the problem. >> as you know with sex and human trafficking have been very important to me so we passed the bill that sets out federal efforts in the former attorney general working on these cases have
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been involved with this the fbi is an important part of the efforts with trafficking with the innocence lost initiative and operation cross-country was successful to rescue 82 children in with those of the cycle of last october and you have done some work to help trafficing victims if you tell us more about your work and how you intend to carry this out if you come into the directorship. >> this is something we both feel passionately about in a criminal division one of the things we did toward the end of my tenure was recognize the increase in human trafficking and the multi a disciplinary nature of the
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problem with the alien smuggling side with the game activity side and in response to new questions there is a financial side it is the incredibly full verbal leverage by the bad guys and one of those pro bono's that it is the effort to focus on helping him in trafficking victims who don't get any serious health if i was excited to see young lawyers to get fired up with a different type of
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pro bono work ended is a great thing. >> so the senator will shut down the meeting unless somebody else comes so i will do a news conference that they do every wednesday at 2:00. so we do expect to move this along and get the position filled quickly and this helps us to do that i want to compliment your family and friends and also think you to the senator. >> thank you very much so can you tell us who else was there from the
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administration?. >> i had two meetings the first was the white house counsel then a couple people from the justice department and the second meeting with the president's chief of staff white house counsel. >> where was the first meeting?. >> the day after memorial day it was publicly reported >> so with the russia investigation come up?. >> so what did they say in the first and second meeting?. >> and with my a bio or
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background bin to having been in the department before, it was is more of day get to know you type of conversation. >> no weighing house strongly so did you express that commitment at any these meetings?. >> i may have repeated that line for review moments ago about playing it straight but it really was not in context but i went into
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those meetings listening very carefully to make sure i did not hear something to make me uncomfortable. in the from the deputy attorney general i have known since 2001 and the attorney general sessions so to make sure it wasn't something i would consider problematic or if anything was said to make me uncomfortable live with not sit here today in support of my nomination. >> that would have been a red flag?. >> that was not asked to take any type of loyalty oath. >> that did not happen. >> we have in administration
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in that has talked about a registry so could you go along with something like that? as the fbi director?. >> i don't know enough about the specifics but i would say that my commitment on these issues that is faithful to the law and constitution so in response to ruth senator ben is that we need the cooperation of the muslim american in the community and those that did
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it has been obtained so the fbi director needs to be the fbi director for all americans. >> so to raise some concerns this is a foundation of religious freedom with racial profiling. so as fbi director you would be sensitive about moving forward on any type of program to treat different groups in a discriminatory way?. >> discrimination is abhorrent not something you would condone our what you pay close attention if it would raise those types of concerns is the issue with
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religious freedom one of the cases that was more meaningful than i have ever done was a case where churches all around the country were burned down over a particular religion. >> i am over my time. saw your firm has represented individuals with energy interest so i will submit a question if that involves a former law firm if you take this position how you handle conflict issues? and also relating to hate crimes and what the
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fbi can do. >> so now we will be engaged with a little filibuster. >> this question in that i ask quickly about the shell company i just want to explain that it did say very big deal because the treasury department noted a significant rise in the use of shell companies with real-estate transactions it could be from any country so i raise this with director comey des is the anonymity
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associate with the shell company hurt the ability to fight organized crime?. >> those types of maneuvers unfortunately are the all too common way that criminals and others tried to use circumvent so certainly i would think the fbi needs to work with the partners in law enforcement to follow the money and sometimes that is easier said than done but it is a critical step to prevent and disrupt with criminal conduct. >> i know this is an ordeal but it is coming to an end.
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so to nail down the torture memo zero issue with you role of the approval of interrogation techniques you said during your time you don't recall reviewing the one in the memo. also to provide general information regarding the legal standards for interrogation. so there is one specific memo written by daniel levin this dated december 2004 and it says that criminal division of the department of justice so here is the
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key point with a footnote under the new analysis all of those techniques would still we the goal under the new memo and that has the approval of your division do you recall approving that memo?. >> i do not recall reviewing and approving but i do recall that we provided, we drew a line about the appropriate line that the criminal division should be consulted on the general meeting of the statutes how you define what the elements are. what i did not think was appropriate so we did not review and approve is of particular interrogation
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technique because even at the time we were starting to investigate prosecutes is where the techniques went too far i did not think it was a program for the criminal and vision -- to provide legal advice:forward >> the memo does not make that distinction purpose of this says the criminal division reviews this as occurred going into detail so want to give this to you and take a look get to see if you can put into context for me and if i am missing something so of you would respond and let me know that
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>> so working with u.s. attorney chris christie. >> yes. >> you were part of bristol-myers squibb's settlement?. >> that i don't think so i was aware of the investigation is possible the sullivan may have occurred after i left the criminal division. >> the last part relates to the obstruction of justice in the 2004 speech about prosecuting corporate fraud and to obstruct that investigation is one of the surest of the severe consequences do you believe the obstruction of justice?.
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>> a think obstruction of justice was committed by a corporate executive in those cases they are exceptional and executives went to jail and the department of justice lost its stomach and stop sending people to jail. in redwood rectify in the future there are so many people could you comment on that aspect?. >> i feel very strongly when you investigate companies to look at the people or the individuals that it may have
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been engaged in wrongdoing. so with the enron task force set showing that we were willing to follow the facts of the way to the very top end and the enron case in particular it to have the of facts in the evidence so that is the way to follow the fact and law wherever they may lead.
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eight you can finally get some lunch and that you have a lot of support as a number of my colleagues are in the opposition to torture of any kind is important as senator feinstein asked you those questions in the answer is that you gave too many of those senators about the fbi was very compelling and coming in at a time that is unprecedented with the acting attorney general someone that has-been's in in law-enforcement that it
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passed to have people that are in charge and follow the law and believing in democracy is to come into this agency and with that bipartisan nature a lot how you have handled that with your experience but also has a lot to do with the senators to know how important this job is right now. we will leave the of record open until friday and the hearing is injured. -- adjourned. [inaudible conversations]
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and now
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. . .... .... "washington journal" continues. host: we want to welcome back mary agnes carey. she is the senior correspondent at kaiser heal >> thank you for joining us. let's talk about the first republican senate bill and the ne

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