tv A Higher Loyalty Roundtable Discussion CSPAN April 21, 2018 8:01am-9:01am EDT
live coverage begins at 1:00 eastern time, 10:00 on the pacific coast. for complete schedule visit booktv.org. a reminder to get behind-the-scenes videos and pictures follow us on social media, facebook, instagram and twitter@booktv. booktv on c-span2, 48 hours of nonfiction authors and books every weekend, television for serious readers. now on booktv a discussion on james comey's book "a higher loyalty". to dissect what is in this book are two people very experienced in washington and washington politics. victoria toensing was an official in the deponent of justice and is a high-profile lawyer in washington. representative jamie raskin is a democrat from maryland and member of the judiciary
committee. before we get into the book, what are your overall impressions of james comey? >> james comey the man, i never met him, i don't really know him. in the book he comes off as someone who is very boy scout like in terms of his respect for rules and rule of law. the first several chapters involve his hatred of police, indicating he wasn't big, wasn't tall. you can see how there would be a coming character clash and collusion between him and donald trump, who affects the style of a bully quickly and comey doesn't like bullies.
comey's key personality flaw perhaps, may not be of law but a sanctimonious in this that he is aware of that he writes about. he likes to be a little bit holier than thou and is very much by the book. can review the wrong way when you see him making certain decisions that are questionable, as when he decided to go public with the idea that there were more emails failed and he was going to reopen the investigation into hillary clinton two weeks before the election and that created a storm of protest among democrats. we could get into the legality of that but he strikes me as a decent person is one who is flabbergasted and dumbfounded by the trump presidency and donald trump as a man. he calls it a forest fire. there are some very funny parts in the book where he reports
different things donald trump says. he clearly has no respect for the man's intellect and less respect for his character and his virtue. the running theme is trump wanted to make sure that first, he wasn't going to pursue the investigation into michael flynn about lying about his connection with the russians but then even more obsessively was trump's concern that the reports in the infamous dossier would come out about trump's alleged contacts with russian prostitutes and various lurid activities. entice them into engaging in and so i think comey and trump are opposites of each other and he sets up the book in a way to frame it as a contrast. >> do you find the book convincing? >> in terms of the facts, he is somebody who is zealous about trying to tell the truth but
kind of a thin book. there is not a lot of analytical or theoretical depth. there are a few points where he tries to show more self reflection and clearly about the hillary stuff he is extremely nervous. essentially what he says is he felt he had an obligation to reveal that they were going to go after anthony weiner's laptop and to go after those emails and make it public despite the fact that there were doj regulations disfavoring complicity during the election. going because nothing had been found anyway but he thought it was clear hillary clinton was going to become president, he didn't want to be responsible for that and felt he needed to tell the world they were reopening the investigation, there might be more emails the changed the outcome of what he announced earlier, the end of investigation.
i have questions about that too. usually when prosecutors decide there is not grounds for prosecution they just say we don't prosecute. they don't launch into an hour-long dissection of the motives of the person and how they showed bad judgment and recklessness and carelessness. that struck me as bizarre, speaking as a constitutional law professor that he would engage such an in-depth dissection of hillary clinton. the basic point was he seems not to once to be responsible for hillary clinton and by paying so much attention to politics he may have become partly responsible for a trump win. and that is the underlying impulse of the book, to
exculpate himself and say i didn't do any of this deliberately to make trump president, it is as if he wants to blow the whistle on trump now that he feels implicated on the presidency. >> i want to react to your last point so people don't miss it, the nuance, comey didn't want to be responsible for whoever was president, he said i thought hillary was going to be president and wanted to make sure it was legitimate and people found out about this investigation afterward it would be a problem. in the craw of comey's personality, he hates bullies, he hates bullies but in college he bullied somebody with a really neat room and went along with the gang, just wanted to be part of the game because i wasn't.
and all of what he said here, i am not political, all kinds of things that are political, i hate boules and he became a bully when it suited his interest. that is the central theme that i see. just a little bit holier than thou, no. there is a reason, when he was at the justice department, disagree all the time, he would look at the disagree or and say your moral compass is askew. people did not appreciate that attitude. >> host: do you know james comey? >> i have not worked with him. i have only met him and not
worked with him. >> host: is the book convincing to you? >> i am scooter's lawyer and i know the facts, he did not do the facts well. he didn't know what the facts were. >> host: i want to get your impression since you worked in the justice department. there is a tension in having political leaders atop the justice department because the administration of justice must be -- >> that is true. one of the most underrated atty. gen.'s there ever was, i remember going to a luncheon, went to the luncheon and during
that luncheon, was asked to do something for somebody under investigation and came back and there were a bunch of people that were in trouble for setting up the luncheon without knowing what it was about. you can be a political person, ronald reagan's personal lawyer but you get to the justice department you better be straight. i have never seen a justice department when i was there that went after anything at issue. they rolled their eyes when you set up something, and antitrust cases. it is not about personality, going after somebody. >> back to j edgar hoover, that features in mr. comey's book,
we should engage on this point about bullying, this is in the style of russo's confession that i always hated boules, i let myself down the most when i was in college and was part of a scene where we were basically ridiculing and harassing a kid on the floor. he raises that himself, to say this is something i hate and ashamed about, you don't present that is a revelation that you are puncturing his hypocrisy. he did raise that himself that all of us can be thrown into bullying and what we need to counter his political systems or bureaucracy that are based
on a bullying principle. he does advance that point and strikes me as someone who is an anti-bully. he is impressed by his own moral stature. and invested in his morality, not the worst thing you can say about somebody. i prefer sanctimonious in this to criminality or viciousness or cruelty or betrayal of your wife, it is worse than sanctimony. >> i'm a product of the department of justice and when i hear comey say loretto lynch in that area and not a criminal investigation, i can't ever imagine accepting that. he does all these political --
>> he wants to hold himself to a nonpolitical standard but a lot of points, the anthony weiner episode, with the idea that there might be other emails -- and that was part of the reason trump claimed to have fired him. trump debunked that. >> june 27th, bill clinton had a chance meeting with loretto lynch, days before hillary was supposed to be interviewed. you were a fine constitutional lawyer but that is appalling.
i didn't -- i am director of the fbi and say tell me how this happened and why when you are directing people not to take any photographs. we don't know. that sets up the july 5th press conference and i am appalled as a former justice department eagle, he is an investigator. none of them decide who is to be prosecuted, it was contrary. >> he went way overboard in laying out his condemnation of hillary clinton -- the most
they could -- >> loretto lynch saying i accuse myself, and sign the papers and the deputy ag. and i am making a recommendation to sally yates because loretto lynch -- didn't do it, didn't follow procedures because only he would save the world. that set up the october -- if he hadn't done the first one. >> he didn't have to do the first one. the most you could have said, with extra emails that were found and if there was a reason to believe the whole investigation needed to be reopened, you go to congress and say i misspoke, there may be reason to go ahead and open a criminal investigation but
they came back and the anthony weiner email showed nothing and all of the polling showed that it derailed the clinton campaign for 9 or 10 days and that is why democrats were so outraged. >> they shouldn't be too outraged because the way he and conducted the investigation is like nothing i ever heard of in the justice department. he opened it in july 2015 and then says i didn't open grand jury because there was no time, july 2015 was a whole year of an investigation. i have done many of them. when you don't open a grand jury you have subpoena power. the prosecutor, negotiating with witnesses, people with immunity if you just gave up your computer. he allowed hillary clinton to
say i deleted 30,000 emails, never do that and you say you want evidence, you get the evidence and if there's a question, you have a person looking documents over giving them all to a report or some neutral party to say we don't think -- he deleted them so nobody can see them to test whether they were verifiably personal stuff and you say nothing was in the weiner emails. there were on anthony weiner's laptop the tell that she had not -- it may not be classified but not turned over everything. i cannot recognize this as an investigation. >> when james comey writes about that in "a higher loyalty"
i taught english before going to law school, it flows and i don't know how it all worked out but that is the best i can say about this book. he doesn't explain or go into a compelling reason not to have a grand jury, don't have investigations without grand jury. they go into a lawyer's office and take documents. paul manafort's home was broken into, his wife was pulled out of bed naked. very different standard going on. >> comey says there was not affect for predicate to launch a grand jury at that point and had all the evidence.
>> the email server, that is the actual predicate. >> i'm not following that point. you need a factual predicate. you don't based on an accusation. >> let's be specific, collusion is not a crime. lying to the fbi is a crime. >> she had emails in her basement on unclassified machinery, that is a 794 right there. >> on that theory we should be launching grand jury investigations into a dozen members of the trump administration who used their private servers -- >> is classified information. >> we don't know it is classified into we launch an investigation. you say let's have a grand jury to look at --
>> it was. >> it feels like old news to me. >> james comey has been on a media tour and he appeared on the view. megan mccain had some questions. >> i want to believe you are not a political person, you are head of the fbi but you write about on the verge of tears that you were going to miss pres. obama and dreading the next week for years of trump, very incendiary things about my party this morning, it is transactional and ego driven, a republican who has many issues with trump, not reflective of my party as a whole. i don't want to know your politics and a lot of things you're saying and doing are highly political and i don't understand what you gain trying to clear the deck by bringing things like this up. >> i don't think of it as my politics. it is my values. >> you talk about the women's
march, she was very sad on election night. why bring up politics? your take on the current republican party, i'm interested in what you know about national security. >> i was asked about it. [applause] >> i get that the republicans are thinking that but in the book i'm telling a story about decisions. >> your interview this morning, ego driven, service to trump's ego, you sound like a political commentator. >> i don't care whether people support a republican or democrat because i am not either. i don't care who they support. i hope the conversation will start with values and come to policy second, we will always talk about guns and a collection of values and that unites republicans and
democrats. >> host: what do you think of what he had to say? >> there is a growing division in the republican party. the boy scout win of the republican party which believes in the rule of law. he has been and intellect and character. the first administration in history that produce nobody going to jail. you can't name a cabinet member in the obama administration who went to jail. >> may i say something about that? thank you eric holder and loretta lynch. >> let's talk about it another
time. i want to stick with comey. comey had been drawn into politics because donald trump tried to demand personal loyalty and that is what the book is about. trump said i need loyalty, i expect loyalty, i want your loyalty to which comey said i will give you honesty. he said i want loyalty. he said i will give you honest loyalty which is ambiguous. should have just said i don't owe you loyalty. i/o loyalty to the constitution of the united states, the rule of law. now he is scrambling to say i will stand up for rule of law, the donald trump presidency is a threat to america which is how we end the book, this is a forest fire, and assault on the rule of law, and assault on the
constitution, on the way the fbi and law enforcement have always governed themselves in our history. that is what he is trying to say, not for partisan reasons. obviously he, like atty. gen. sessions and the vast majority of people at the fbi are republicans. it is not a partisan plot. >> it seems to me you do have to look at some of the things comey did, lack of investigation in politics and i bring up the irs investigation, lois lerner, a lawyer -- many of the victims were never interviewed, never interviewed by the fbi. how is that an investigation? thank you, loretta lynch, 2013, would have been loretta lynch and only time mitchell was contacted by the fbi to interview a victim was on the hill testifying the investigation was a sham and
they said -- bringing somebody who had been harassing the victim from the irs and to call it off. we are talking as i look at his investigation i don't see honesty there except where it is convenient for james comey. you don't know what was said. you weren't there. >> would you concede it is an accurate import, improper of the pres. to demand personal loyalty from the fbi director? >> that is how donald trump talks. >> this is how he talks constantly. there is now a growing division in the republican party, there are those people like mccabe and comey who believe in rule of law, official neutrality and
the donald trump wing which comey describes as a mafia family, show absolute loyalty to the boss, anybody can lie. >> the ig found lied. >> dislike your client and the plaintiff. he was convicted of lying. >> would you like to hear about the case? comey doesn't get it right. >> host: play a part in this book, he writes about scooter libby. >> there is no underlying crime. did everything to be covered within 5 years, no underlying crime whatsoever and the person who leaked the name was richard
armitage and comey and fitzgerald, special prosecutor, new that from day one and pursued the criminal system for almost five years of karl rove and scooter libby but two reported said he talked to them about matt cooper and judith miller. and why did she recast? patrick fitzgerald said they misled her and she didn't understand her own notes because undercover, she recanted and helped convict an innocent man and she came out and applauded. if it is not somebody who committed a crime, this -- it is essential. >> host: we learn in the book
"a higher loyalty" that scooter libby at one point was mark rich's attorney. >> they were together in the southern district of the war when mark rich got his pardon from bill clinton and got lots of running and actually it was comey who opened an investigation and as a constitutional lawyer that would give you pause. that is unfettered authority. >> you bribe the pres. for a pardon, that would be -- >> she gave hundreds of thousands of dollars but in that case i know the case very well. >> you cannot achieve a pardon by other means. >> you can.
>> when james comey tells the story of scooter libby in the book to you agree with what he was writing? >> victoria knows more than i do about the case but he perjured himself, absolutely lied but went to the criminal process, beyond a reasonable doubt that he lied. isn't that right? >> matt cooper and judith miller, you have a problem. >> to reverse the verdict? >> she recanted and when she did you don't do that. that is what they reserve. based on her recantation. >> the criminal conviction was reversed? >> he had his own life taken away. >> all that seems to me -- you that the facts of the case, you're working for convicted
perjure. >> for somebody who respects the constitution shame on you for saying that. >> why? he was convicted of perjury, wasn't he? you did a great job. >> achieve witness, that should be wonderful. >> to be convicted of anything. he wasn't, give him a fair break, let him have due process. >> host: "a higher loyalty," page 66 james comey writes washington is a city where everyone seemed to question other people's loyalties and motivations, most often when they weren't in the room. is that a true statement about washington? >> i'm not really in the political scene. i worked for barry goldwater on the hill. but i go to the justice
department and practice law. >> you are active in conservative circles. >> i have a conservative philosophy but don't go to national conventions or things like that. >> what about washington being a city where everyone questions other people loyalty especially when they are not in the room? >> you have to distinguish official washington from local washington. a big city of hundreds of thousands of people, the last population of people living in the capital city, not represented in their own legislature which is something that is a scandal and should be addressed but the power elite turn on each other and go after them, that is a pretty fair assessment of the way -- these guys are republicans they are attacking. james comey is a republican,
devoted us attorney, and they are trying to trash his career. the same with robert mueller, a war hero and lifelong republican but because he is outside the mafia family as comey describes it, the trump administration, they tried to destroy him. we are in the position of defending rule of law republican simply because they are trying to destroy them. >> host: used it in the arena for election in maryland and congress, what do you think of james comey's take on several elected officials and several different presidencies quite critical of dick cheney, alberto gonzales, george w. bush, a lot of elected officials don't add up for him. >> i sympathize with his interlocutor in the last segment is that you are a law
enforcement guy, we don't want to hear your reflections on politicians and it is a sign of the times that donald trump dragged everybody down into this tabloid reality where people are making fun of each other's looks and the way they dress and making personal comments about people, kind of embarrassing for the country where we have gone. i don't think he needed to go there. he is clearly angry with donald trump and get it in through a lot of humorous episodes. there is one scene in the book where he is invited on a 1-on-1 dinner with the president and talks about he got to see pres. obama over many years but with trump in a few weeks he had 4 or 5 calls, trump was so concerned about the so-called pt tapes, the russian prostitute segment coming out and wanted to make sure the fbi
would do what they can to stop the leaks but it wasn't a leak because it wasn't a public documents. a private document was being circulated and kind of a funny story because they have little nameplates, hand-drawn and the president sits down and showing off to comey saying these are hand-drawn and calligraphy and the president looked at him puzzled and said hand-drawn, so he gets a lot of swipes, trump irritated him a lot and somebody who in a perhaps sanctimonious try to stop bullies and people who trample the rule of law, someone who doesn't have much respect for rule of law and likes to believe and intimidate people, there's a sea of litigation,
from porn stars and playboy models as well as people in the political spectrum. >> you are bringing up the tapes about the prostitutes, another example for me of comey is torturous speaking, don't know if it was in the book, you would be upset as her husband, my would be upset if we had allegations, prostitutes and so forth and didn't tell him the source of it. and trump said there's a 1% chance my wife believes this i need to have it straightened out and comey criticizes him. my wife would have had a 1% chance, as a wife i thought that was a caring comments, i don't want my wife to hear these things but comey's tortured thinking about this, the 1% chance is weird.
>> it also struck me too, page 241, for all my flaws there is a 0% chance patrice would credit an allegation i was with hookers peeing on each other in moscow. what he was commenting about was the president kept calling him up to say we got to get to the bottom of this golden showers thing and the leaked documents, the dossier, it was nice leaked, was not a government document, came from a former british intelligence officer. >> it was a conservative newspaper. >> that is not. it had been taken over by the dnc. it is not the same thing.
>> you don't think there was conservative opposition research on the president? >> of course there was but nothing to do with the dossier. people go to campaigns for opposition research all the time. >> reinhold nugent the theologian is referenced a lot, the quote by martin luther, here i stand, i can do no other. did that make any impression on you? >> not much impression whatsoever because he does another when it suits them. i like the quote for me but i didn't follow along with him. >> the senior thesis at william and mary, he graduated in 1982 and jerry falwell, talked about two types of religions, when is a philosophy that calls people to moral imperatives and to act
morally the best they can in an imperfect world versus the manipulation of religion which is what he said jerry falwell did which was a fraudulent exploitation of religion and he took himself in the other direction and you can see from his college thesis a growing split in the republican party, those who would say and do anything to win, those who did want to adhere to a fashion idea of the rule of law. >> really republicans go out and fight to win? don't do that. a lot of good republicans and democrats are out there. >> i'm talking about the conflict comey set up as an old-fashioned principal and what he described as the mafia family model.
>> the question that sonny hoskin asked james comey. >> he told lester holt he had the russia thing on his mind in making the decision to fire you. he recently tweet to the that the the russia thing wasn't a factor, he was not fired because of the phony russia investigation. he did say it. we have it on tape. he changed his mind. >> why do you believe you were fired? >> i don't know. i took him at his word when he told that to lester holt and he also said privately to the russians the next day in the oval office so i took him at his word. today's tweet, both of those things can't be true, that illustrates part of the problem i'm trying to bring up that it matters the pres. is not committed to the truth as a
central american value. i don't know what to make of it. >> i can tell you this, there were those of us in washington beating on the white house door figuratively saying get rid of comey because he should not be fbi director. my criticism of the pres.'s he did not fire monday one. someone who lived more in the swamp as he have. a dear friend of mine had to work with comey and said watch your back. this is continuing. basically because of what he did with the hillary investigation and the justice department has gone over. i thought it was a disgrace the way he handled the whole thing.
>> when you are working for the fbi you are not working for democrats or republicans but for the american people. that is the try ballistic part of the attitude that comey is reacting against. there were a lot of problems but he's trying to react against the idea that if you are fbi director when there's a republican president, you owe personal loyalty to the president of the united states instead of the rule of law and the constitution. >> back to the pres. faulting donald trump for asking for loyalty. you owe the loyalty to the united states of america. standing in front of a jury staying i represent the united states of america gives me flutters to do that. >> does it help, i'm not phrasing this very well but did james comey come across to you as a pretty good bureaucrat and
is that important? >> it is important in the city. i don't know that he was. rod rosenstein is a good bureaucratic insider but i never looked comey that way. i thought he had bad judgments, poor choices and several of those today, didn't think he was a good fbi director and nobody who worked with him trusted him. they thought he was a drama queen and very traumatic and didn't have to be. >> this is a quote from james comey talking about pres. obama. i can't believe someone with such a simple mind got elected president. pres. obama is about the only
person who doesn't get criticized in "a higher loyalty". >> he talks about how he had very little interaction with the president which is good tradition in the way to operate. the fbi director is not on the white house staff, not an intern for the white house, to be told that he owes 100% loyalty to the pres. because he has a law enforcement -- that is the difference between an authoritarian state and a liberal democratic state. in an authoritarian state all justice is corrupted by the whim of the dictator, the autocrat, the boolean charge. in a liberal democratic state we have due process and law enforcement trying to uphold the values of society and will of law at the same time it pursues justice. credit where credit is due. he didn't vote for obama, he is the republican but he thought obama ran a very honest administration in that
perspective and in a few days of trump being president he was always that is already caught in the meatgrinder of the trump clan family. that is a republican speaking. >> from your side of the aisle do you agree with victoria toensing that he should have fired james comey on day one? >> no. it is a 10 year appointment. there had only been one removal ever before in the middle of a 10 year term and -- >> the fbi to build a fence or something. >> we should stick with the idea that a 10 year term means that fbi director goes beyond the longest a pres. can serve which is eight years and it helps to uphold the nonpartisan nature of it and what i think is unfair is people at the department of justice didn't respect comey. i think he was very well
respected. you are an inside group, if you speak to the fbi agents i get to know on the judiciary committee, people lower down loved the guy and thought he upheld the basic values. >> one assistant director after another falling out of comey's conduct and one of the biggest criticisms, wise comey writing a book when there's an investigation going on? >> he says there's no classified information. >> the trump administration of the last people who should be saying public officials or former public officials shouldn't be speaking, a pres.
-- the point i am making is he has first amendment rights, he is a private citizen now. donald trump made him a private citizen, interrupted his tenure and he has the right to speak and he is obviously mad. there is a split within the republican party. we have to stand up for the rule of law. a higher loyalty, the name of his book, versus those who say give 100% of your loyalty to the pres. of the united states a matter what he has done or what he believes in. those are two different value systems. >> no one is complaining he doesn't have human rights. this is policy, speaking out in the investigation. >> host: do you have an issue with the former director of the fbi writing a tell-all book? >> the timing that he is talking about. there are investigations going on and assistant directors criticizing him for. >> it is unbecoming for law
enforcement to do it but this is the political culture we live in. everything is immediately dragged to this celebrity culture. >> it is trump's felt comey wrote a book? >> i wouldn't run away from it. trump seems to have driven crazy with anger about the way he is maligning public officials and trashing rule of law and he is mad. people want to read an interesting book by a guy who is mad at his former boss. >> after stephen hatfield, it was all soft. that made people really upset, he went after new york, and rebuked by the golden deals so there were things in the book, a lot of things that were
wrong. >> many problems in the department of justice, that the real history of the department of justice kept on his desk a copy of the fbi memo for the totally outrageous wiretapping of martin luther king. to remember there is a lot of power here and can be used this way. >> the pfizer applications based on the dossier and the verified dossier, to spy on americans. >> this is getting into the
weeds. the telling of the facts, for one thing, it goes to a pfizer card and you have to demonstrate to a judge there is reason to issue f i sa warrant. don't give me the impression -- >> don't tell the court -- >> all of the investigation about russia began before there was any evidence from the dossier. it is icing on the cake. no one is relying on the dossier. you have criminal convictions, based on other people's confessions of dozens of contacts between people in the trump campaign. how about michael flynn. do you expect that one?
>> mccabe -- >> this is why we can't get any place. even if you get a conviction, they say so and so -- never accept anybody -- >> things come out about that. i don't know him and -- financial crimes were committed -- that is why i am pooh-poohing this stuff. >> host: i want to get this quote in from page 172. leona blakey, our producer pointed this out. i missed it completely. this is about loretta lynch. at that time, we were alerted to some materials that came into possession of the united states government from a classified source. the source and content of that
material remains classified as i write this. had it become publicly unverified material wouldn't deadly have been used by opponents to cast serious doubt on the atty. gen.'s independence. >> glad you brought that up. i was appalled, if i stick up for her, how do you sit there and say i have information about you, it is classified. that was appalling the that was in the book. >> it peaks my interest but there is so little detail that you don't know exactly -- >> loretta lynch is not happy. >> don't want to be hugged by her. >> don't want to be hugged by the president either. >> to go over that one scene
after he did that stuff. in october, into the office, gave a big hug, and said congratulations, that was a great job, going through the whole up and down and pretend you got shoot out. if i were loretta lynch i would be out there blasting him. >> host: any comment? >> there is a performative dimension to public office that comes through where different people are putting forth a pretense and doing something else behind the scenes. the fair criticism of him is he is sanctimonious and overly convinced of his own rightness. when he decided to tell the
world two weeks before the presidential election there is more potentially damning information about hillary clinton through this scandalous anthony weiner affair, turns out to be nothing, but in the meantime everyone is left to think with a pregnant pause we are going to learn all this terrible stuff and hillary clinton blames that single event as the moment her big lead in the polls vanished. he should have been thinking what is going to happen with the election. it was so far ahead i think she will be president, this would put a cloud over the presidency. all that should be irrelevant. as a prosecutor you should be looking at the facts of the case and whether they merit a prosecution and whether you should be going public. that is an extreme area and extreme thing to go public, telling the story of what we found from other evidence. i think hillary clinton is
rightfully mad about that and a lot of democrats are rightfully mad about it. it was a terrible strategic misjudgment that led a lot of people to question his legal judgment. having said that i think he had at least believes in the rule of law and think he was right about that although i think he was wrong. i think -- >> very quickly, politically, jamie raskin, the democrats, now that "a higher loyalty" is on the market, being read widely is a best overcome are they rallying around james comey? >> i don't think so. a lot of them are still mad about what he did. we do think donald trump completely transformed the culture of law enforcement, people in law enforcement come under attack because they are not towing the line with the president, and they have to defend themselves, their wife
goes to the women's march and they have to defend that and defend what their daughters did. millions of people went to the women's march but they went to sell polarized and factionalized america, you can't even lead a normal life without coming under attack. that is really dangerous. to that extent, people think comey made mistakes at the expense of democrats, not republicans. he should not be hounded and vilified because he stood up rule of law against donald trump. >> lanny davis is out there blasting him all over the place. longtime hillary clinton supported. >> host: you have represented republicans and democrats. >> i have, equally vigorously. >> lanny davis a friend or acquaintance of yours? >> sure. i know him from way back. >> before we run out of time,
what is the status of you and your husband working for donald trump? >> wasn't really a conflict but the way the press treats pres. mueller play a large role in "a higher loyalty," if the president fired robert mueller would that be a mistake? >> he is not going to fire robert mueller. >> but would it be a mistake if he did? >> of course. i get tired of press making it an issue. >> it is coming from things
donald trump was saying. he might fire him. >> i have a question. congress is after him, republicans in congress, to oversee a case, you just don't do that. he wrote the memo to the pres. about firing comey and overseeing the investigation, looking into whoever is behind the firing, i say as a constitutional, not scholar but i do argue constitutional issues, that is unfettered, the pres. can fire whoever he wants to and that is not obstruction. but how can rod rosenstein overlook that investigation? >> i can't resist, what they call unitary executive point, the pres. can fire anybody, we
wouldn't have a civil service in that case. that can't be right is a constitutional proposition. i would love to dispute that view. if there was any news here today, the suggestion rosenstein could be fired -- >> don't put words in my mouth. i said he is not in the same category as mueller. he has a legal conflict. >> a massive assault on rule of law and civil justice. >> host: we are out of time. congressman jamie raskin is a democrat from maryland, member of the judiciary committee and victoria toensing is a law partner with her husband, joe did jennifer and former department of justice official, thank you for being with us. >> thanks for having us. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily.
in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. today we continue to bring unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington dc and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. >> today, live coverage on booktv of the 22nd annual la festival of books, starting at 1:00 eastern, with journalist jorge ramos and his book stranger, the challenge of a latino immigrant in a trump era. political reporter sarah kinsey your with the view from flyover country, dispatches from the forgotten america. sunday, live coverage continues at 1:30 p.m. eastern with journalist david corn and his
book russian roulette, the story of vladimir putin's war on america and the election of donald trump. black lives matter's cofounder with her book when they call you a terrorist, a black lives matter memoir. and political commentator roger simon with his book i know best, how narcissism is destroying our republic if it hasn't already. .. [inaudible conversations] >> hello. hi, everyone. thanks for coming out tonight. a quickly meaned -- quick reminder to, please, silence your cell phone or any noise-making devices you might have. we're very happy to welcome c-span booktv here tonight filming this event for later