tv A Higher Loyalty Roundtable Discussion CSPAN April 22, 2018 7:00am-8:01am EDT
large part of this aspect of the hysteria over populism, over donald trump, is a matter, i said ascetic. maybe a better word would be snobbery. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. >> now on booktv a discussion on james comey's book "a higher loyalty." joining us to dissect what's in this book are two people very experienced inside washington and washington politics, victoria toensing was an official in the reagan department of justice, and she's also a high-profile lawyer in washington and representative jamie raskin is a democrat from maryland and a member of the judiciary committee. before we get into the book, congressman raskin, what are
your overall impressions of james comey and his public service? >> let's start with james comey the man because that was interesting to me. i never met him, i don't really know him, and in the book he comes off as someone who is very boy scout like in terms of his respect for rules and the rule of law if the first several chapters involve is hatred of bullies and how he was bullied as a kid. he wasn't big, he wasn't home till he got out of high school he reports. you can see how that would be a coming characters clash and collision between emma donald trump, of course who affects the style of the bully quickly and comey doesn't like bullies. his key personality flaw perhaps there may not be a flaw but
there's a certain sanctimonious that he's aware that he writes about that he likes to be a little bit holier than thou and is very much by the book, and that can rub you the wrong way when you see him making certain decisions that are very questionable, as when he decided to go public with the ideas that there were more e-mails found and is going to reopen the investigation into hillary clinton two weeks before the election and that was what caused such a storm of protest among democrats. we could get into the legality of that but he strikes me as a decent person and one who is clearly flabbergasted and dumbfounded by the trump presidency and by donald trump is man. he basically called the presidency a forest fire. there are some funny parts in the book where he reports a different things that 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 investigation into michael flynn about his lying about his connection with the russians but then, even more obsessively was trumped concern that the reports in the infamous dossier would come out about trump's contacts with russian prostitutes and various lowered activities that he had enticed them into engaging in. and so i think comey and trump are sort of opposites of each other and he sets up the book and away to frame it as a contrast. >> do you find the book convincing? >> entirely convincing in terms of the facts, i think if somebody who is zealous about trying to tell the truth. kind of a thin book. there's not a lot of analytical or theoretical depth to it. there are a few points when he
tries to show more self reflection, and clearly about the hillary stuff i think is extremely nervous. essentially what he says is he felt he had an obligation to reveal that they're going to go after congressman anthony weiner is laptop and huma abedin and collectivist e-mails and make it public despite the fact that there were doj's regulations disfavoring publicity strongly during that election and chile because nothing has been found anyway but he said he thought it was clear that hillary clinton would become president and the subtext there is he didn't want to be responsible for that. because you did want to be responsible for he felt he needed to tell the world they were reopening the investigation, there might be more e-mails that could change the outcome of what he had announced earlier in july, was the end of the investigation. i have questions about that. usually prosecutors decide there
is not grounds for prosecution they just say we are not prosecuting. they don't launch into an hour-long dissection of the motives of the person and how they showed bad judgment and extreme recklessness and covetousness and so on. that struck me as bizarre. this is speaking as a constitutional law professor that he would entertain such an in-depth dissection of hillary clinton. the basic point was he seemed not to want to be responsible for hillary clinton winning and in in the process by paying so much attention to politics he may have become responsible or partly responsible for a trump win. i think that's the underlying impulse of the book is to try to exculpate himself and say i didn't do any of this deliberately to make trump president and it's almost as if he wants to blow the whistle on trump now that he feels implicated in the presidency.
>> counseling, your opening statement. >> i does one track react to your last point so people don't miss it. and that is the nuance. comey didn't say you want to be responsible for whoever was president picky set i thought hillary is going to be president and i wanted to make sure it would be legitimate and people found out about this investigation afterwards there may be a problem if i had not brought it forth. here is, this sits right in the craw of comey's personality. he hates bullies, they're so bad come so bad. what does he do in college? he bullies somebody who has a really neat room and went along with the gang come with everybody come maybe i just want to be part of the game because it was a place in high school. and bullied and trashed somebody's room. that to me is the theme of all of what he says in here because
he says i'm not political, it is all kinds of think that a political. i'm not a bully. i hate bullies. he became a bully when it suited his interest. that is the central theme that i see in the book. also you said he was just a little bit holier than thou? no, no. there's a reason he has the nickname cardinal comey and that is because when he was at the justice department and would lawyers would disagree with him, lawyers disagree all the time, he would look at the disagree here and say your moral compass is a skewed. people around there did not appreciate that kind of attitude. >> do you know james comey in your circle? >> i have met him but i've not worked with him. i knew the stories in your because i have read some of them but i only met him and not worked with him. >> is the book convincing to
you? >> well, no. some of it is but there's a whole segment on scooter libby and i am scooters lawyer and i know the facts and he did not do the facts well in that version and it could've been carelessness, i don't know but he didn't really know what the facts were. >> victoria toensing and want to read this quote from you and get your impressions since you worked were to adjust his apartment, want to hear from you as well, congressman. but there is a tension in having political leaders atop the justice department because the administration of justice must be evenhanded. >> yes, that's true. william french smith in one of the most underrated and best attorney generals that there ever was, and i remember once when smith was out to go to a luncheon at somebody he had already known one of the staff people said that, during that luncheon, he was asked to do something for somebody who is under investigation.
he got up, left and came back and there were whole bunch of people that were in trouble for even setting up this luncheon without knowing what it was about. you can be a political person. he was ronald reagan's personal lawyer, but when you get in that justice department you better be straight. i have never seen a justice department when i was there that went after anything but issues. we all rolled our eyes a lot when ed meese set up a pornography -- like oh, my. but it was issues. antitrust cases. it was issues, it wasn't about personality, it wasn't going after somebody. >> we can back to j. edgar hoover because that figures highly in mr. comey's book. maybe we should engage on this point about bullying because
your right to identify this which comey himself tells, where, this is in the style of with those confessions where he says i've always hated bullies and i let myself down the most when i was in college and i was part of the scene where we were basically ridiculing and harassing a kid on our floor, a kid in dorm. he raises that himself to say this is something that i hate and i'm ashamed about that i was ever part of it. i assume you don't present that as like a revelation of the summer your puncturing his hypocrisy. he did raise that himself to say that all of us can be drawn into bullying and what we need to counter is whole political systems or bureaucracies or presidencies that are based on a bullying principle. he does successfully advanced that and he strikes me as
someone who really is an anti-bully. he is a bit impressed by his own moral stature, and i think -- >> more than that. >> as much as you'd like him he's very invested in is more readily. it's not the worst thing you can say that somebody. i prefer some sanctimonious to criminality or to viciousness or cruelty or betrayal of your wife. there are lots of other sins or vices that are worse than sanctimony. >> you have to understand, i am a product of the department of justice and when i hear that comey's as well, loretta lynch the attorney general called it a matter and not a criminal investigation. it wasn't worth a fight. i can't ever imagine accepting that. i cannot when i was there ever, ever. >> yes. >> because of not political but then he does all these political -- >> i agree with that, that he
was still himself to a nonpolitical standard but there are a lot of points where he makes concessions politics. one of them was during the whole anthony weiner episode where he decided he had to go public two weeks before the election with the idea that there might be other e-mails them that would be relevant and then there were not. >> backup. back up to july. >> that was part of the reason trump claim to have fired him as we don't to disagree about that. republicans were all over him for that. trump debunked of that by saying i fight them over the investigation. >> june 27 when bill clinton had a chance meeting with loretta lynch like days before hillary was supposed to be interviewed, i don't know, you were never at the justice department. i know you were a fine constitutionally but that's appalling to me. in the book he says i didn't think much of it until the phone calls coming in. are you kidding?
if i were the direct of the fbi at that time i would've called in that detail and say tell me how this happened, his chance meeting and why. why fbi, geico, redirecting people not to take any photographs? that sets up the july 5 press conference and again i am appalled as a former justice department eagle. he's not a lawyer even though he is a law degree. he's the investigator, chief investigator. no chief investigator decide who was to be prosecuted and who isn't to be prosecuted. i assume that position was contrary. any rule i know -- >> we agree he went way overboard in length out his whole condonation of hillary clinton when all he needed to say is we are not preceding. >> didn't say that. >> at most they could at -- >> he really screwed up the justice department. loretta lynch saying iqs myself, sign the papers and
direct sally yates to do it. but if comey was all upset about that all you do is say a making a recommendation to the deputy attorney general sally yates because loretta lynch is wishy-washy. he didn't do it. he didn't follow procedures because he thought only he could save the world. that set up the october because if he had not done the first one he would never had to do the seguin. >> he didn't have to do the second one because at most you could at said go head into the investigation of the extra e-mails that were found and if there were some reason to believe that the whole investigation needed to be reopened and there was some problem then he could go to congress and say i miss spoke before. there may be reason to go ahead and opened a criminal investigation or to indict ms. clinton but, in fact, they came back and the anthony weiner emails showed nothing a kid than
this big press conference and all other polling showed that it derailed the clinton campaign for nine or ten days, the last few weeks of the campaign and that's for the democrats are so outraged. >> the way he conducted investigation is like nothing i've ever heard in the justice department. this is not how you do an investigation. he opened it in july 2015 and says later i didn't open a grand jury because i was in such tight. july 2015 was a a whole year of investigation. you open a grand jury. i've done many of them. when you don't open a grand jury, then you don't have subpoena power. the prosecutor negotiating with witnesses, with people, we will give you a community if you will just give up your computer. he allowed hillary clinton to come out and say i deleted 30,000 of my e-mails.
you never ever do that when you say you want evidence, you get the evidence. if there's a question, you have the person who's getting the documents over, give them all to a court or some neutral party to say we don't think she get them all. she deleted them so nobody could see them or test whether there were verifiably personal stuff. and you say nothing was on the weiner e-mails. there were e-mails on that laptop or what everything was that showed should not turn over everything that was work related. they may not of been classified but she did not turn over everything work related. i cannot recognize this as an investigation. >> when james comey writes about that in "a higher loyalty" does he present a strong argument to you? did you take the apart that paf the book as a lawyer?
>> just like a former justice department person, former prosecutor, he doesn't ever come he says this is what i did. i taught english before which a law school so i can say the writing is well done. it is literate and it flows and maybe he had a good editor, i don't know how it all worked out but that's the best thing i can say about this book because he doesn't explain or go into this is a compelling reason not to the grand jury. you do have investigations without grand juries. look how the trunk people are being treated. you just going to our lawyers offices and take documents. paul manafort salm was broken into by law enforcement and his wife was pulled out of bed naked. very different standard going on. comey we disagree. it was not the factual etiquette to launch granger at that point. fit all of the evidence -- >> the fact of the problem of
e-mail server, that is the actual predicate. >> i'm not following that. you need a factual predicate. you don't just impanel a grand jury whenever there's a accusation that something has happened. >> you mean like russian interference? >> must be specific. collusion is not a crime. mine is a crime. >> when she had e-mails in her basement on unclassified ms. shaheen become whatever it all was, say from, whatever. that's 794 right there. >> on the third we should be launching grand jury investigations into a a dozen members of the truck administration who abuse their private servers also to engage in -- >> for classified information. >> we don't know until we launch investigation. you seem to be saying let's go out and impanel a grand jury to look at -- >> it was classified.
>> old news to me. >> james comey has been on a media tour and he recently appeared on the view. make a mccain some questions for him. >> i want to believe you're not a political person. you're the head of the fbi but you're right about how you would to president obama and you on the verge of tears saying you're going to miss him. you you are dreading the next fr years of trump to very insincere things about my party this morning. it transactional, ego driven, i'm a republican as many issues with trump. he is not reflective of a party as hell. i don't want to my politics and a lot of the things you're saying and doing or highly political and a just don't understand what you can trying to bring things like this. >> i don't think of it as my politics. i think of it as my values. >> you talked to george stephanopoulos a a wife was vey sad on election night. why bring up politics now? no disrespect but what your take
on the current republican party is, i'm more interested in what you know about national security. >> i asked about it. [laughing] [applause] >> i did that. the republicans are thinking that but in the book i'm telling a story about the decisions that include speedy talk about your interview this morning. i'm ego driven and service to trump spiegel doesn't reflect values. i don't understand why, you sound like a political commentator to me. >> i don't care whether people support a republican or democrat because i'm not either. i don't care who they support. i hope the conversation will start with values and come to policy second-period we will always fight about guns and taxes and immigration a collection of values and that's what unites republicans and democrats. [applause] i hope that's not a political statement. >> what did you think of what he had to say? >> he had a good answer.
there's a growing division within the republican party. you've got the boy scout when other public and party which bleeds role of law. despite what mr. comer just said that he's not political the comes out in the bookies been republican almost all of his life up until these close encounters with donald trump. now he says he's independent or what have you. he was very clear he had not voted for barack obama ever but he was more impressed over time with barack obama's leadership and his intellect and his character. the first administration in history that produced nobody going to jail. there were no criminal -- you cannot name i can't remember who went to jail. >> let me say something about that. thank you, eric old l loretta lynch because it didn't prosecute people. [talking over each other] i want to stick with comey.
domi i think has been drawn into politics because president trump tried to demand a personal loyalty testament and that's what the book is about. trump says i need loyalty. i expect loyalty. i want to loyalty, to which comey said i will give you honesty. he said but i wirelessly. he said okay, i will give you honest loyalty, which is ambiguous. you should just said i don't owe you all loyalty. i owe loyalty to the constitution of the united states. i owe loyalty to the rule of law. natalie scrum to say i will stand up for the rule of law and say that all trump presidency is a threat to american which is how he ends the book, this is a force fire, and assault on the rule of law, an assault on the constitution, an assault on the way the fbi law enforcement have always govern themselves in our history. that's what is try to say now and he's not doing it for partisan reasons. he, like attorney general
sessions and the vast majority of the people at the fbi, are republicans. it's not a partisan plot. >> it seems to me that you do have to look at some of the things that comey did, a lack of investigation in politics, and they bring up the irs investigation, lois lerner. that investigation i can tell you the lawyer for most of, many, many of the victims, they were never interviewed. never interviewed by the fbi. how is that an investigation? thank you very much loretta lynch, maybe was eric holder, 2013 so would've been loretta lynch. the only time mitchell was contacted by the fbi to interview a victim was after should that on the hill testifying investigation was a sham and they called her and said we will do it but insisted on bring somebody who'd been harassing the victim from the
irs and so they had to call it off. we are talking as a at his investigations, i don't see this honesty except when it's convenient for james comey. you talk about the conversation at the white house. you don't know what was said, you weren't there. >> would you can see this as an act report that was an improper, the president demand personal loyalty from the fbi director? >> that's how donald trump talks. >> do we agree this is could howett talks constantly. what i'm saying is there's now a growing division within the republican party. there are those people like mccabe, like comey who believe in the rule of law who believe in official neutrality and to us by to that and then there's the donald trump wing which comey described in this book as a mafia family which is usually
absolute loyalty to the boss. anybody can lie within the circle. [inaudible] >> we don't need to -- >> who the ig found lying. >> just like your client, write? he was convicted of lying, wasn't he? >> would you like to her about the case? [talking over each other] i'd like to tell you because comey doesn't get it right. >> they play a part in this book. he writes about scooter libby. if you like to switch speedy first of all there was no underlying crime. i negotiated every single clause and chatted been -- there was no underlying crime whatsoever in the person who leaked her name was richard arma taj, and comey and fitzgerald, prosecutor do
that from day one. and yet they pursued the criminal system for almost five years of karl rove in scooter libby. to reporter said he talked to them about -- two, , matt cooper and judith miller. matt cooper notes did not support him. judith miller recounted. why? because patrick fitzgerald had misled her about valerie plumes undercover and she didn't understand her own notes until she saw they had been at the bureau undercover and, therefore, she recanted and said -- this is that some who committed a crime. this is ideally what pardons are for. >> victoria toensing, , we learn and develop "a higher loyalty" that scooter libby at one point
was mark which is attorney. >> and that's what the prosecution was all about because james comey and patrick fitzgerald were together in the seventh district of new york when marc rich got his pardon from that other than bill clinton, by the way, after getting lots and lots of money from mark rich former wife. actually comey opened up an investigation and has a constitutional i think that would give you pause because of us have the position that an unfettered authority. >> could you bribe the president for a pardon? do you think that there would t least -- >> she did. she gave hundreds of thousands of dollars. i know because i represented jack in the case. >> then i do not think it is an unfettered authority. you cannot achieve a pardon by corrupt means. >> no, no, no. >> james comey tells us about scooter libby in his book, you
agree with what he was writing? >> look, victoria knows a lot more about the case and i do but everything i've seen suggest he absolutely perjured himself. he absolutely lied but he he's being pardoned four. he went to the criminal process and the sound by a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that he lied it. isn't that right? >> matt cooper and judith miller has since recanted which was the other charge. you've got a problem there. >> did the reverse the verdict? >> she recanted. you don't do that. the d.c. court of appeals reversed. they gave him back is law license. >> the criminal conviction was reversed? >> he had his law license taken away. >> in any event all this seems to me to be -- you know the facts of the case because you working for a convicted perjurer and so you -- >> no.
for somebody who respects the constitution, shame on you for saying that. >> he was convicted of perjury. you did a great job. >> the chief witness against him recanted. that should be wonderful. >> your guy was convicted. he them a fair break. letting them due process of the law. >> back to "a higher loyalty," this is page 66, james comey writes, washington is a city where everyone seemed to question of the people's loyalties and motivations. most often when they were not in the room. is that a true statement about washington? >> washington is all different. i'm not in the political scene. i work for barry goldwater on the hill. i would go over to the justice department and i practice law ever since then so my world is
lawyering. >> bided his third figure active in conservative circles, isn't it? >> i have a conservative philosophy i don't go to national conventions or things like that. >> what about washington being o see where everyone seems to question other peoples loyalty, especially when they're not in the room? >> for still have to distinguish official washington from local washington. of course there's a big city of hundreds of thousands of people who are the last population of people living in a capital city for not represented in the own legislature, which is something of a scandal and something that should be addressed. if what you say is the power elite turns on each other and goes after them, that seems to be a pretty fair assessment of the way they treat -- these guys are republicans they are attacking. james comey has spent his life as a republican. he has been a devoted u.s.
attorney. he's given his whole life to law enforcement and they're trying to trash his career. the same thing with robert mueller, a war hero and a lifelong republican but because he is outside of the mafia family of the trump administration they're trying to destroy them. >> what you think of james comey's take on several different elected officials and different presidents? he's quite critical dick cheney, of alberto gonzales, jeff sessions, george w. bush, a lot of elected officials don't add up for him. >> i sympathize a bit with his interlocutor in the last segment who said you're a law enforcement guy can we don't want to hear your reflections
and reactions on all the politicians and what they're doing. i do think it aside for the times how donald trump is dragged everybody down into this tabloid reality where people are making fun of each other's looks and the way they dress in making personal comments about people. it's 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 he gets it and threw a lot of sort of humorous bullet episodes. there's one scene in the book where he is invited for a one-on-one dinner with the president and he talks about, he got to see president obama over many years with trump within a few weeks he would have four owe five calls because trump was so concerned about the so-called p tapes, the russian prostitute, seconds coming at to make sure the fbi was going to whatever the can to stop the leak
although comey had exploited it wasn't elite because it was a public document, it was a private document being circulated. they had been together and then it's kind of a funny story because they have little nameplate there that had been on drama -- andron and the present sits down and you showing off to comey saying look, these are hand drawn, then comey says yes, calligraphy. the president looked at him puzzled and said hand-drawn, as if he didn't understand the word calligraphy. the gets a lot of swipes in the rat trump who irritated him a lot. what you got a somebody who and perhaps sanctimonious way tried to devote his life to stop was in some who doesn't have much respect for rule of law and likes to bully and intimidate people which is like there's a seed litigation engulfing the president from stars and playboy models as well as people in the political spectrum, the monument
closet. >> you bring out the p tapes about the prostitutes. another example for me of his tortured thinking. kim and i don't know if it's in the book or in interviews talked about, you would be upset as a husband, my husband would be upset if someone came and sat with allegations of prostitutes and so forth. and didn't tell him the source of it. trump said if there is 1% chance my wife believes this i need to have straightened out. comey comes out and criticizes him for saying what if my wife what it said if there's a 1% chance? i thought as a what i thought that was a caring a comment about a what my wife to hear these things. but comey's tortured thinking process is, well, there's a 1% chance. that must be weird.
>> let me read that passage because it struck me, too, page 241, for all my flaws there's a 0% chance literally absolute zero that patrice would credit an allegation i was with hookers peening on each other in moscow. what he was commenting about there wasn't the president kept calling him up to say we've got to get to the bottom of this golden showers thing and the leak document, the dossier, comey us to play to it was not leaked. it was not a government document. it came from a former british intelligence officer. >> and from hillary rodham clintons campaign. >> it was a conservative newspaper. >> no, no, no. that's not correct. they pay for office the research on donald trump but when the dossier came in a the been taken over by the dnc and hillary clinton campaign. >> so that's the same thing. >> it's not the same thing. >> you to don't think those conservative opposition research on the president?
>> of course was but it had nothing to do with the dossier. people go into campaigns or opposition research all the time. >> the theologian is referenced quite a bit in this book and the quote by martin luther, here i stand, i can do no other as well. did you see that? did that make any impression on you? >> none of his quotes made impression on you whatsoever because he blathers one thing and he does another when it suits him. i like the quote for me but i didn't follow along with him. >> he wrote his senior thesis at william and mary we graduate in 1982 about jerry falwell and he talked about two types of religions one is a religion philosophy that calls people to moral imperatives and he tried act morally the best they can in an imperfect world, versus the
exploitation a manipulation of religion which is what he said jerry falwell did and thought it was a fraudulent exploitation of religion. he sided himself in the other direction and i think you can see almost from his college thesis the growing split within the republican party. those who would basically say and do anything just to win, two other team on top, those who did want to appear to a moral fashion idea of the rule of law. >> you saying only republicans going out and fight, fight like hell to win. please don't do that. there are a lot of really good republicans and the democrats who are out there and doing an honest job. let's not cast a dispersion. >> i agree with that. talk about the conflict comey's it's a between what he saw as an old-fashioned kind of republican principle and what he described as the mafia family model. >> let's go back to the view. here is a question that was asked of james comey. >> president trump told last to
hold that he had the russia think on his mind in making the decision to fire you. he recently tweeted this morning that actually the russia think wasn't a factor. he was not fired because of the phony rush investigation. but he said it. he did say it. we have it on tape. >> he changed his mind. >> why do believe you were fired? >> i don't know. i took him at his word when he told that you left a hold and i read in the media that he also said that private to the russians the next day in the oval office i took him at his word. i don't -- today's tweet which a scene, i don't follow on twitter. twitter. that illustrates the to bring up that it matters the president is not committed to the truth of the central american value. i don't know what to make of it. >> victoria, what did you hear?
>> i can tell you this. there are those of us in washington who were beating on the white house door, figuratively, saying get rid of comey because he should not be fbi director. we did not trust him. from day one. my criticism of the president is he did not fire him on day one. someone who would live more in the swamp as we have, in fact, i called him a different of mine who had to work with comey and his job and i said watch her back because he is continuing. we would never support him. basic because what he did with the hillary investigation. not having one and coming out and violating all the justice department rules which was already gone over. i thought it was a disgrace the way he handled the whole thing. but he was working for us a working for you. >> when you're working for the fbi you were you are not workir democrats or republicans.
you hopefully are working for the american people and for the government. that is the cabalistic partisan attitude that comey is rightfully reacting against there were a lot of problems but i think he's trying to react against the idea that if you're the fbi director when there's republican president you owe your personal belief to the united states instead of the rule of law and the constitution. >> personal loyalty, you owe that to the president? you are faulting donald trump are asking loyalty. you owe your loyalty to the united states of america. that's where you owe it. i've been there. i've been standing up in front of a jury saying i represent the united states of america and it always gives me letters to do that. >> does it help, i'm not facing this very well, but did james comey come across to you as a pretty good bureaucratic inviter, and is that important in this city? >> that's important in the city. i do know that he was.
rod rosenstein is a very good bureaucratic insider but but ir looked at comey that way. i thought he had poor judgment. i thought he had tortured reasoning and i thought of several of those instances today. i just didn't think he was a good fbi director and nobody who worked with him trusted him. people at the justice department thought he was a drama queen. very dramatic things that didn't have to be. >> this is a quote from james comey talking about president obama. i can't believe someone with such a simple might axa got elected president. president obama is about the only person who doesn't get criticized in "a higher loyalty loyalty." >> he talks about harry had very
little interaction with the present and that's what should operate. the fbi director is not on the white house staff, not an intern for the white house who can be told that he owes 100% loyalty to the president because he's got an law-enforcement job to do. that's a difference between authoritarian state and a liberal democratic state. in an authoritarian state all justices corrupted by the whim of the dictator, the autocrat, the crypto crap, the bully who's in charge. in a liberal democratic state we have due process and we law-enforcement that is trying to uphold the values of the society, the rule of law at the same time it pursues justice. credit where credit is due. he says he didn't vote for obama. he's a a republican but he thot obama ran i think a very honest administration from the perspective. within a few days of trumping president he was already caught
in the meatgrinder of what is such a discount answer trump clan family. that's republican speaking. >> do you agree with victoria toensing that president trump should've fired james comey on day one? >> i mean no. it's a ten year appointment. i think they're only been one removal ever before in the middle of a ten year term and that -- >> the fbi had to build a fence or something. >> otherwise, , we should stick with that idea. a ten year term means fbi director goes beyond the longest the president could serve which is eight years and helped to uphold the nonpolitical nature. one thing victorious at which i think is unfair is people at the department of justice didn't respect comey. i think is very well respected. if you speak to fbi agents why
get at the judiciary committee, they love the guy and the thought that he was upheld the basic values of -- >> the assistant director after another calling out comey's conduct pickets in the book. one of the biggest witticisms, a former assistant director why is coming writing a book when you're still an investigation going on? he supposed to be speedy he says there's no classified information in there. >> look, the trump administration and their the less people should be saying public officials or former public officials should be speaking up. we are speaking of the present here who says one date -- [talking over each other] >> the point i'm making is he's got first amendment rights as a private citizen never donald
trump made him a private citizen. he interrupted -- he fired him and he's got the right to speak and he's mad. those who say we've got to step for the rule of law, "a higher loyalty", the name of his book versus those is a you give 100% of your loyalty to the president of the united states no matter what he's done and what he believes in. i get that. those are two different body systems. >> no one is complaining he doesn't have human rights. >> do you have an issue with the former director of the fbi writing essentially a tell all book? >> no. keeping on the timing, what he's talking about. there are still investigations going on and that's why the former assistant directors are criticizing him for. >> i think it's unbecoming for law enforcement to do it but again this is a political culture we live entering the
trumpcare. everything is comedically dragged into this celebrity culture. [talking over each other] >> out wouldn't run away from that. trump seems to have driven him crazy with anger about the way that he is maligning public officials and trashing the rule of law. he's mad. there's no doubt about it. people who want to read and nursing book by a guy who is mad at us for a boss, check this one out. >> when he went after stephen hatfield to call-in and anthrax terrorist and it was all false. that made people really upset picky went after a guy in new york and was reviewed by the court of appeals. so there are things, things are not mentioned in the book by the way. there are a lot of things that he did and that were wrong. >> i don't know if these were,
many of the problems, many problems we've seen in the department of justice, one of the things i like about the book was he said we got to be realistic about what the real history of the department of justice and the fbi have been. he said he kept on his desk copy of the fbi memo which allowed for the totally outrageous wiretapping of dr. martin luther king. he said every day i would force myself to look at it to remember that there's a lot of power here and it can be used in speeders that have to allow he allowed the fisa applications based on the dossier? would have to say unverified dossier which allowed to spy on americans. >> okay. it is really getting into the weeds but i'm going to challenge your telling of the facts here. for one thing it goes to a fisa court and you got to demonstrate to a judge that there is recent
issue a fisa warrant. you are well aware that so don't leave the impression that that some are some kind of -- >> and don't tell the court that -- [talking over each other] >> in any event, all of the investigation about russian begin before there was any evidence coming from the dossier. the dossier is just extra, it is icing on the cake. nobody is relying on the dossier. you got criminal convictions, please, lots of investigations a sense of the people's confessions of dozens and dozens of contacts between people and the trump campaign and then putin's -- how about michael flynn? you accept that one? convicted. >> yes. mccabe sent -- >> look, this is why we can't get into fights because even if you've got a conviction if they disagree they say so-and-so lied.
they never accept anybody on their side -- >> we will leave michael flynn because i think you will find things that come out about that. [talking over each other] there are financial crimes, all committed before the met donald trump. that's what i am pooh-poohing the stuff. >> before you run out of time on make sure we get this quote in. this is from page 172. i don't know if -- actually our producer pointed this out because i missed it completely. this is about loretta lynch. at that time we were alerted to some materials that had come into possession of the united states government that came from a classified source. the source and content of that material remains classified as i write this. had it become public, the unfair
it might -- unverified which are undoubtedly would've been used by opponents to cast serious doubt on the attorney generals independence in connection with the clinton -- >> i'm glad you brought that up because it makes one mypoints. i i was just appalled and i'm nt a great fan of loretta lynch but if i were to stick up for her, how can you sit there and say i've got information about you, jamie, and it's classified. i think that was appalling that that was in the book. >> that piques my interest but there's so little detail that that you don't know exactly -- >> exactly. loretta lynch is not happy. >> he clearly doesn't like loretta lynch. and he didn't want to be hugged by the president either. >> she's talking about "a higher loyalty" as well as attorney general. >> if the atomic over that one scene, after did all the stuff that she, opening in october,
opening investigation again, that she called into her office and she gave him a a big hug wh user and comfortable with. and said congratulations or that was a great job, or praised him for going to the soul up-and-down with the hillary thing. then we left she said pretend like you just got chewed out. i thought that was bizarre. fi were loretta lynch i would be out there blasting him. >> any comment? >> well, there's clearly this performative dimension to public office that comes through where different people are putting forth a pretense and doing something when you do something else behind the scenes. the fair criticism of him is that he is sanctimonious and he is overly convinced of his own rightness. when he decided to tell the world two weeks before the
presidential election that there's more potentially damaging information coming out about hillary clinton through this scandal scandalous anthonr affair, it turns out to be nothing. but in the meantime everybody is left to think with this big pregnant pause we're going to learn all of his terrible stuff. hillary clinton blames that single event as the key moment when a big lead in the polls vanished. he should've been thinking about what's going to happen in the election picky said hillary was so far ahead i think she is going to be president. this would put a a cloud over presidency and all that. all that should be irrelevant. as a prosecutor usually look at the facts of the case and whether they merit a prosecution and whether you should be going public. that's an extraordinary and extreme thing to do to become public in telling the story we found some other evidence. i think hillary clinton is rightfully mad about that. a lot of the democrats are rightfully mad. i think as a terrible strategic
misjudgment on his part and allow people to question his legal judgment. i think he believes in the rule of law and he thinks he is right about that, although i think he was wrong. >> he just sort of violated every so often. >> exactly. i will agree with you on that. >> very quickly politically. congressman raskin, are the democrats now that "a higher loyalty" is on the market and being read widely, , bestseller, are they rallying around a bit around james comey? >> i don't think so. a lot of them are still mad about what he did. we do think that donald trump has completely transformed the culture of law enforcement. you have people in law enforcement who come under attack by people in the own political party because you're not towing the line with the president and that to defend themselves. their wife goes to the women's march and suddenly there to defend that and defend what the daughters do. there are millions of people who
went to the women's march but they want to sell polarize and factionalized america that you can't even lead a normal life with the coming under attack for. that's really dangerous point and so to that extent i think people think, look, kobe made some mistakes basic at the expense of the democrats not the republicans. he should not be hounded and vilified because he stood up for the rule of law against donald trump. >> lanny davis is at the blasting all over the place, long time clinton supporter. >> victoria toensing, you are in the legal circles in washington. you have represented both republicans and democrats, is that fair? >> i have. equally vigorously. >> so is lanny davis a friend of yours or an acquaintance of your? >> sure. i've known lanny from way back. >> before we run complete at a time, what is the status of you and your husband working for
donald trump? >> well, there was a really a conflict but the way the press treats a lot of stuff is because we represented three people who had -- as we all discussed it was, could be a distraction. we talked to him. >> if the president and robert mueller plays a pretty large role in "a higher loyalty" as well, if the president fired robert mueller, would that be a mistake in your view? >> he's not going to fire robert mueller. >> a way to be a mistake he did? >> of course. but i get tired of the press saying, making it an issue. is he going to fire him? >> it is coming from things at president trump is saying about robert mueller.
>> i have a question. congress is after him. republicans in congress. [talking over each other] how can rod rosenstein oversee a case where he's a witness? you just don't do that. he wrote the memo for the president and talk to the the president about firing comey and now he is overseeing the investigation that is looking into whatever was behind the firing? i happen to say as a constitutional not scholar but i do argue constitutional issues that that again is unfettered. that the president can fire whoever he wants to and that is not obstruction. but that is being -- how can rod rosenstein overlook that investigation? >> first, i can't resist on this can what they call the unitary executive . the president can buy or anybody in the key we wouldn't have civil service in that case. that can't be right as a
constitutional proposition. i would love to dispute that view. in any event if there's any news make it today perhaps it suggestion that rod rosenstein could be fired because he speeded i didn't say that. don't put words in my mouth that i said rosen site is not in same category as robert mueller because has a conflict, a legal conflict doctor. >> and massive assault on the rule of law and civil justice in america. >> unfortunately without the time. congressman jamie raskin is a democrat from maryland, a member of the judiciary committee, and victoria toensing is a law partner with her husband and a former reagan department of justice official. thank you both for being with us. >> and you so much for having us. >> here's a look at some books being published this week.
watch for many of the authors in the near future on booktv on c-span2. >> taking care of a patient. the patient was a chronic patient, multiple procedures. and when patient up multiple procedures they tend to lose all their veins so it gets difficult and starting ivs to be able to induce these patients in the way that you want to. so this patient comes back to the operating room and people are putting on the monitors and i take a look at the left arm, put a turkey on and i'm looking at it and am looking at it and there is nothing, not one vain. so i said okay, walk around the foot of the bed. but the tourniquet on the other on and on looking at the arm and a look at the patient. after this point this patient has not said a single word. i tried making connections on everything. i even asked what his favorite color was i couldn't get anything. movies, books, news, music.
nothing. zero connections. i'm looking at this arm and i'm thinking -- finally i said okay, i'll bite. what are you bad as? the patient says what? i say, what are you bad as? what? i said your tattoo right down the forum, badas. what are you bad as? the patient for the first time screams out i'm badass. i'm badass. i said you spelled it wrong. [laughing] ..