tv Inspector General Report on Clinton Email Probe CSPAN June 19, 2018 10:59pm-12:41am EDT
>> plenty of time. >> why don't we reconvene at 1:45. >> great. >> with that, we're in recess. [ inaudible conversations>> why [ inaudible conversations ][ >> [ inaudible conversations ][ in. come to order. miss coleman is recognized for five minutes of questions. >> good afternoon. thank you for your testimony. thank you for the work you've done. thank you for the investigation that you've overseen here today and thank you for the report
that you've made. i'm very struck by a report that you made 500 pages. 17 months of investigative work. 1.2 million documents, including over 100,000 texts and instant messages, and interviewed more than 100 witnesses, many on multiple occasions. am i correct that your findings as it relates to this clinton e-mail investigation is that the decisions that were made, the findings that were made, the investigations that were conducted were not negatively -- the outcomes were not negatively impacted by the biases of any individuals? >> correct. the decision -- our conclusion was that the decision of the prosecutor was not the result of political bias based on the evidence we reviewed. >> thank you. and i am very disturbed about the behavior of many people in
the fbi starting with mr. comey. i find his ego exceeded his ability to discern right from wrong. i'm very concerned about those individuals that had negative things to say about either one of the candidates. and i am very concerned about what i think was the failure of the leadership in the justice department who seems to me to have been intimidated by mr. comey and not pushing back on him and not holding him accountable. having said that, i'm tired of this discussion. i thank you for your findings. i would like for my committee, the oversite committee, as well as the judiciary committee of which i get to sit today to look at the issues that are impacting the safety and security of our nation. our reputation and whether or not we should be using tax dollars to try to figure out why the president of the united states of america, his
administration are doing things that are so unamerican as to rip children and babies from the hands and the hearts of their parents. and putting them in cages. we have seen in our history two times in particular that we should be so offended by first with slavery when we ripped families apart and wouldn't let parents be parents to their children or wives to their husbands. . . . >> is nation sitting silently by while we consistently
observe this un-american activity on behalf of this administration coming from this administration and the complicit medicine their silence. i want to know why we haven't used our taxpayer dollars to look at the constant violations of the claws of this president and how they consistently are intermingling their desires with our safety and security i want to understand why my colleagues in this room and in this committee in the judiciary committee or even in congress are silent as we become enemies to our friends and friends to dictators? who are we. we are better than that. if we were going to utilize
our communication to the nation, our exploration of what is right and what is wrong we have a lot of opportunity from the air again dismissive secretary of homeland security who doesn't have a heart in her to a president before so i am feeling very discouraged by where this committee has taken us all day long. i'm very discouraged by what my colleague refers to as a cover-up process we are people for whom this government has been organized. bias and for us in the people must have the final word. pay attention. i yield back. >> i'm sorry you had to hear the ranting and raving we
could bring up abortion and oh my god how is not that not the ultimate hypocrisy? but i will take a little different tact. foreign access to the clinton e-mails. so with the fbi intrusion analysis process for the servers? >> what they were trying to do is understand it was to get them themselves to re-create on the servers but also the fact of foreign emissaries if they did attack to the server. >> so that we me to my next question how does it square the lack of the complete data
with a definitive statement? >> one of the issues was trying to understand the statement in his july 5 statement to indicate there wasn't evidence that they income of long -- uncovered evidence of the intrusion but they wouldn't necessarily know that either and that was the question that we had that they explained to us the steps that they took and we questioned the individuals. >> so that gets me back to the point. why wouldn't you ask any and all sources like the military special ops if they hacked into the server? because nobody really realizes what this was we could ask a
number of questions in regards to that opportunity and the reason i say that is when i asked the question last thursday, i was told it was an individual from the fbi so that is bothersome because then you see the oppression lawn with problems so there was meta- data abnormality so my point is why wouldn't they look at the servers? there would be contact with other agencies. >> my understanding is in that
regard is different different from the findings you are showing. who told director comey that was a way to explain the results of the intrusion analysis? >> i would have to go back and take a look. >> you know that you go into that issue deep enough to have a thorough conversation? this is what the fbi did as opposed to the intrusion analysis as the inspector general's office we look at what the fbi did. >> so now i go back to mr. strauch my understanding is he did did he not? >> 's of that common thread is
not just in the parsing of words but in the made ed data -- metadata looking within the data, is that a clear example where the bias is not publicly sound? not too harsh on clinton to change the public perception? >> that is where he had an effect on the statement and had an impact on ultimately what was said publicly by director comey whether or not there was evidence of intrusion. >> and then to have these devices looked at why other groups to really look at this because there is more to this
than meets the eye. to make thinking mr. horowitz. >> for purposes? >> a moment ago referring to ranting and raving i asked of those words be taken down. >> mr. chairman it would do was all good to make sure we have personalities that are not involved for the importance of this issue to bring personalities and whether with other members or others in the administration it is important a general reminder would be appropriate. >> i would assist that those
words be taken down or there is an apologies back i will not instruct him to apologize or other members who have said things that came precipitously close to the line but if i may you may continue. >> i will ask him if he wishes to rephrase or restate his comments in any way. >> but the other side has been ranting and raving to issues that have nothing to do with the hearing. >> it was general as opposed to specifically directed at the individual quality -- colleen long -- colleague mac as long as it is clear he is talking in general. >> and think that's pretty clear.
now we will recognize the gentleman from texas. >> thank you mr. horowitz you thank you are in the lion's den but i don't thank you are handling the questions quite well. as the chairman alluded to as a former prosecutor the justice system we strive whether prosecutor defense attorney or judge we strive for the goal of fairness. whatever happens at hearing on search warrant we strive for fairness things must not only be fair in the justice system
if they don't look for -- look fair that looks just as bad as if it were not there. prosecutors and i had to rule that they must seek justice, not fictions. to try a lot of cases lawyers always want to know from the perspective if they are biased if they are it is happy trails they cannot serve on the jury. so in this case maybe not exact but here we have a jury taking place and we find out
five of the jurors are biased neither side would tolerate that. they could not be involved in that proceeding we are proceeding with the trial and the jury is biased that there is a mistrial you can try again or be dismissed with prejudice but in this case we got to name the individuals we know who they are and what they have done but there are three other unnamed based on your investigation. what are their names?
>> the request has come in to give the names raising a concern on counterintelligence matters we are working with the committee for the information you have asked for. >> the fbi does not want their names released so they make the decision as to who those other people are and they say we are not telling you because of the internal reason counterintelligence whatever that means. my point is we let the fbi determined not tell us who the other three biased people were in this 500 page investigation.
does that seem a little odd to you? >> there is a legitimate request and i don't think it is a final decision at this point from the fbi it is something i am looking forward to work with the committee to get the answers because i completely understand the interest to get that information. >> it seems to me in the name of fairness we ought to know the names of these three people you determined were biased that has taken place and i think the american public and to know who they are. but in this issue he has done
a great disservice to the reputation of the fbi. the jury wanted to stand up they trusted what they would say that now those days are over because the investigation not only has to be fair it has to look fair and it no longer looks fair. >> the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. >> how many years have you known director comey? be my was the u.s. attorney's office when i started so sometime after i started. >> how many years did you work in the same area? >> i think he left within one or two years of mine. i would have to go back.
>> but he was at fbi with your department of justice. >> maybe a year later he became the director. >> you know his reputation for truth and veracity with the justice department? he had a strong reputation. >> in your report do you ever say that director comey lied? >> we do not. >> do you know any time where mr. dumbacher -- director comey has lied? >> so when president trump said nobody has told more lies in the world you would disagree with that? >> i will not answer other views i can only speak to my interaction my capacity.
>> i know your report basically said that director comey was exceedingly careless in coming forward before the election with the renewal of the investigation of hillary clinton and the laptop but there was no malicious intent. is that accurate? >> we did not find any malicious intent. >> what he did could have affected the election you don't know if it did or didn't but it could have. >> and he could have went into the trump russian investigation but he didn't is that correct? >> let the public know there was an investigation? >> no. that was consistent with policy. >> some of these attacks were
not to prosecute secretary clinton with the statute of negligent to have deliberate intent and accepted no evidence in the clinton case to state that we found this interpretation was consistent with the historical approach in prior cases between the 2008 decision not to prosecute former attorney general albano gonzales so did you find that it was both the case law and the previous decision to apply the prosecution to mr. gonzalez? yes you may can you explain and how that was similar to or parallel to secretary clinton?
>> but in that gonzalez case the fact that it wasn't to a third-party the classified information and some of those other factors overlapped in this matter. >> the fbi has been referred to in your report find the bank and file were at all guilty of bias? >> not at all they work hard to create a strong reputation and conduct like this creates such a harmful reputation that is why it is so important to avoid having this actively occurs.
>> to say the confidence in our system of law enforcement and public prosecution is important with the rule of law and i agree with you. you say they were the den of thieves and to reading to the sour climate with rule of law? >> i will stick to it we have concluded and others can assess. >> is there a den of thieves at the fbi? >> with this investigation or any others we have not identified. >> i yield back the balance of my time. [inaudible]
>> can i get ten more second. [laughter] >> is it true regarding the investigation of the e-mail servers you have no evidence that the conclusions from the department of justice prosecutors were affected by bias or improper configuration? >> correct didn't find that those decisions made by the campaign were based on the prosecutors assessment of the fact of the law and past department practice? >> correct. so now turning to agent peter strzok it is true that your report said your actions brought discredit. >> however it is also true that you did not find documentary or testimonial evidence directly connecting these political views with those instant messages with
those decisions that you reviewed. >> so how could it be these two individuals that they say bad things about donald trump thing to me they would say that things about me i'm sure so how is that these these two individuals who are team provided political bias could have done what they did that then you say the ultimate decision made by the prosecutors were not tainted by political bias? >> how we got to our conclusions is by looking at all the records of those decisions that we looked at as well as fields in the decision and to go through those records the question was what
that translated into actio action. >> other people were involved? so it wasn't just peter strzok who calls the shots on this investigation? >> surely to those decisions that we did pre-july separating out those events because the night of the one -- instant he was the key decision-maker. >> there is more than two people involved in investigating the hillary clinton there was somewhere over a dozen may be in the range of 15 but certainly not ten or 15 or 20 range. >> as many as 20 people that have been involved to make
decisions? so what you say is these two people personally may have been tainted by political bias did not railroad the other 20 into making a decision politically tainted? >> looking at those decisions we are talking about precisely the case. it was the prosecutors not the agent. >> got it. now to another point. you would agree that director comey although he did announce it was an investigation into hillary clinton did not announce any investigation to donald trump? correct? >> in that. he did not announce the ongoing russian investigation. >> now if peter strzok really wanted to paint donald trump
in the way they wanted to do could have wreaked this investigation was happening if you have not uncovered the evidence they have done not? >> we did not uncover evidence that was one of the arguments the lawyers made to their conduct. >> there is no evidence in your report to anybody leaked evidence of the ongoing investigation? correct? >> we did not touch on the russian investigation this was focused obviously we are looking at the lead questions mac. >> that is what i thought. thank you so much. >> the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. >> thank you mr. horwitz for your testimony.
you did determined there was political bias against president trump. >> correct. >> the same agents assigned to the clinton investigation also assigned to the russian probe? be my correct do you think the russian probe could potentially could have been intended by the same political bias? be a congressman we focused on the investigation we have the ongoing work we are doing so i will defer. >> but it is reasonable if you found a political bias against the president now assigned to the russian probe that certainly that needs to be looked at the market is a reasonable question that we're looking at on our own. >> i assume you watch the news? >> i tried not to. >> do you believe there is anti- trump bias.
>> i will not reply on that. >> you don't have an opinion. >> i do as a private citizen. >> would it surprise you to know 90% of median mom -- mainstream media coverage is anti- trump? >> i don't have an opinion on that. >> would be safe to assume fbi agents watch the mainstream new. >> i assume the public at large does. >> so wouldn't be fair to conclude that some of the bias coverage has impacted their ability to impact their investigation. >> i could not draw that conclusion congressman. >> while your report highlights the most blatant sentiments that confer concerns me with this is more pervasive than we think the fbi is supposed to remain neutral how can we accomplish this when the agents are biased against our sitting
president? >> congressman i have worked with agents, tremendous agents at the fbi and other agencies the one thing i thought we all understood was that you are entitled, you should be a part of the democracy that we live in but when you get to work and your office you leave your views outside and you focus on your work and the law and the evidence and that is what you focus on. >> but knowing what you know if you are the subject of the investigation and the people investigating were doing the work would you not be concerned? >> again it goes to what i just said. i was a public corruption prosecutor. and the most important thing to supervise the unit people who were working on those cases needed to leave their views outside of the office
and come into be focused. >> but that didn't happen in this case with multiple agent. >> survey with regard in october we were concerned. >> thank you for your time i yield the balance of my time. >> mr. horwitz i am trying to understand so perhaps the memos indicated that missing element was a failure to expose the material to the hostile actors then going back to the press conference that says the missing element was intent. so put on your old hat. it's rare to have the defendant or substance -- suspect that says to whom it may concern i would like to admit that i had the intent to commit a violation of each and every essential element of the offense hard beyond a reasonable doubt.
i have never had that happen. have you? >> i cannot recall that. >> usually it is circumstantial evidence rarely do you have direct evidence of intent is that fair? >> sometimes people do things on camera or a wiretap is pretty good evidence. >> sometimes does plead out but if you were going to trial best you can have is some circumstantial evidence such as false exculpatory statements and sealed and or destruction of evidence. notice of wrongdoing, i cannot think of a better source for that potential circumstantial evidence then the defendant of himself that is usually where you find your best evidence. >> i am out of time if any of my colleagues would give me
any more of their time i want to prove the loop in this missing element an effort was made when they did interview the target. >> this microphone is working. between the republican-led committees no hearing from atop the hillary clinton's e-mails she was the gift republicans not cannot get enough of with the run-up to the 2016 presidential election they have held numerous hearings about the candidate clinton and we remember what house majority leader mccarthy admitted with each reporter
everybody thought hillary clinton was unbeatable, right? ? but we put together a special committee a select committee and today her numbers are dropping. why? because she is on trust ball. while mr. chairman we are now mired in another hearing about her e-mails and instead of holding hearings today we are holding a hearing hoping that the american people are distracted from important issues of today as the chance of lock her up fade from our memory the conscience is disturbed as we hear the pro- public footage of the little children crying. i want my mother i want my daddy. and as i prepared for this hearing last night all i could hear was the cries of those children held in private
for-profit jails crying out for their parents. mr. chairman, i think we should have hearings held the trump administration is deporting. as the children remain words of this country and we also can be looking into issues like what was reported last week with the new york attorney general investigation and criminal referral to the department of justice. the same day the oig report came out new york attorney general's office or her office sued the trump administration with alarming allegations about flagrant violations of the law and potentially criminal acts. the new york attorney general found in sound the investigation revealed the foundation was a little more than a checkbook for payments to nonprofits for the trump organization this resulted in
multiple violations of state and federal law because payments were made using foundation money regardless of the purpose of the payment and to use charitable assets with the legal obligations to have hotels or personal items or to support the presidential election campaign. the complaint included images of e-mails from campaign staff putting the director from the foundations that count and it included a note in the president's own handwriting directing foundation money to be used to settle a lawsuit against his country club estate for the ultrarich the new york attorney general alleges that there were multiple violations of state and federal law.
the new york attorney general sent the official criminal letter to election law violations the letter copied an official from the public integrity section from the department of justice. now more than never we need strong oversight to see federal law enforcement and prosecutors can do their job free of political pressure based on the presidents past statements and actions i have serious concerns he or his political allies were -- will attempt to make this case go away. so i think once again we need to rely on your office for that oversight. can you commit today your office will look into this criminal referral to ensure
that there is no improper outside influence? including any attempt from the president or his staff to shut down the investigation? >> so within our jurisdiction we are prepared to conduct appropriate oversight. and it really depends ultimately what comes to us in terms of a referral. if and when one does come. and then to take any referrals. and in the investigation.
>> the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. >> did you work? >> do they work on the russian investigation when she asked if she is her fbi phone for personal purposes what did she tell you was the predominant reason as she indicated she and mr. peter strzok were having a relationship. >> to cover-up the affair? >> yes. this is april 1 tell me why she said she sent the text. you say we text on that phone because it can't be traced now you feel bad you are gone so
much but that cannot be helped right now. what did she tell you was the recent long desk the reason she sent that? >> i'm looking at the report here that is the phone to keep this from their spouses and this is an example of that. >> and she said she was coaching peter strzok on what to tell his wife? so she was telling him how to lie using a government phone to tell how to cover-up an affair coaching him how to lie and using the pretext of the investigation to carry out this affair with her coworker. she coached her lover how to lie to his wife and use government resources to do it and then to conceal what they knew was immoral behavior does
that give you any reason to doubt her testimony you in the interviews? >> frankly to all individuals we come in with a healthy skepticism. we treated her no differently than others. and as you can see here we expressed our skepticism with some of the explanations. >> you are good at uncovering bias with these conservative candidates. he said that article is in answering how we could end up with trump as president and just went to southern virginia walmart.
august 29 i would rather have brunch with trump sent his supporters like the ones from ohio that are retarded. october 28, 2016, to say the things he is sick of and he lists the average american public and then november 9, unnamed fbi employee says trump supporters are uneducated the z pos that they will grant them jobs for doing nothing they probably didn't watch the debates. this is bias from the fbi at the top level and then and this terrifies the average worker who pays their salary with the tax dollars.
and i remain that time off. >> the deputy director chief of staff general counsel are these important people at the fbi? these are key players. >> has a 12 then fired? >> yes a 12 then fired? >> yes did mr. mccabe lie under oath. >> according to our point of view yes. >> is there consequences? >> has baker left to the fbi? was he removed prior? >> i'm not sure. >> and peter strzok has been removed of his position? remake yes.
>> you have been at the doj ten years inspector general six years have you ever ever seen anything like this and any other federal agency and your time in the federal government? six of the top people fired demoted reassigned or left? >> i cannot speak to other areas but. >> i have been in this town 11 and half years even irs handle did not come close this is not any type of a reflection of the rank and file agents. >> your time is expired. the gentleman from maryland. my constituents are baffled
while the government is separating thousands of parents and children at the border the judiciary committee is doing nothing about the scandalous policy but to be stuck in a time warp into the investigation into the investigation of hillary clinton's e-mails. in your report was perfectly clear that we found no evidence rather to be on the prosecutors assessment and indeed you seem to the what took place at the expense of secretary clinton while they seek with the investigation of the trump campaign involvement with russian agents throughout the campaign he ignored department policy to release information about the clinton
email investigation. mr. horwitz did you make a finding why director comay violated doj policy in the clinton case law steadfastly refusing to talk about trump and russia? this could cost the election and director comey was a lifelong republican. >> we did not find that peter strzok -- director comey decisions were political via. >> is that because he was a republican? >> we did not see evidence of political via one -- bias this is the text between peter strzok this couple now than
they are very snarky they call him and idiot chelsea clinton and bernie sanders. they don't like him of course not but it is not to diagnose but the character of their public actions. and to have those investigators because of the private biases. and with the public bias or for policy? >> it is fair to say if you are involved in a democracy whether a federal prosecutor or agent or a citizen, your
political views you vote and have positions that is what you want people to do to engage in democracy. when you are a law enforcement agent or a federal prosecutor you have to understand and appreciate that whatever your views are as a citizen keep them outside the office and away from your decision-making and what was troubling here is him and i understand the explanations provided by ms. page and peter strzok they thought they were private but they were not they were fbi devices sometimes that work sometimes not speak about individuals they were investigating. they were not just speaking about a generic election it just so happened the people they were speaking about had a connection to the investigation they were working on and they tied that
discussion and that is what's concerning. >> wendy's text messages came out it turns out that representative of the department of justice actually convenes a select group of reporters in advance to show them the text it was a great mystery why that happened have you made any progress in investigating why this was leaked in advance by the department of justice? >> we have not undertaken at full but we made clear to the committee that we were unaware of that until after it happened and we got in front of that we were told it was considered by the department and by the lawyers. so as you know the ig doesn't have the authority over
lawyers those go to the department congressional responsibility so they have to be compelled we don't have jurisdiction because what we first learned right away was what once they were consulted or given advice although they supported giving us that jurisdiction we don't have it. >> i yield back. >> the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. >> mr. horowitz thank you for your team that is republican or democrat or unaffiliated or in the unbiased way to have a comprehensive report and for the rest of the team at large back at doj watching this. to get to the heart of the matter one of the concerns that i have in the analysis is
it is incumbent to do the investigation without bias and it is clear that lisa page and peter strzok has some bias. >> correct. >> if you were to learn they had a disproportionate role in the investigation and the russian investigation that would mean their bias would have a disproportionate contribution to that decision? >> i will stick to this review at this point but yes. >> i will go further. >> you actually discover the text message. your forensic team. >> correct so why couldn't the fbi find that? >> the first batch recovered in 2017 we found because we asked for text messages. >> they produced them. >> so those that you found forensically why did they not
find them? >> if you don't do the forensic work on the phone. >> so they really didn't look is what you are saying. >> you looked but they did not was not a lack of curiosity? >> you have to talk to the fbi on that. >> but if they were serious about oversight or the confines of these text messages i think an investigator would want to know if they had bias in their own agency? >> yes he have had those phones in our custody probably about a year now. so just to be clear we have had them. >> you have done more with them than they did i will give you that. so to focus on what is not in the report. what is not in the report is the intelligence community ig was part of the predication of
this investigation. they were so concerned there could be for an that they went immediately to the fbi to let them know about that? >> i talked to the ig and he indicated he literally went that day got in the car and went over and met so he was concerned there were some anomalies in the metadata as they were getting copies of potential e-mails are you aware? >> im. >> if they are that concerned do you not find it curious that he fbi investigators peter strzok and his team did not ever talk to them other than that initial meeting where they did that? don't you think they would go back to the very people that brought up the accusation.
>> i assume that. >> that is not in your report and they did not do that. >> i have to double check that. >> the last time they talk to them is when they did the referral don't you find that curious? >> if they did not yes. >> so if they did not login we don't have that information your staff indicated the e-mails with some classified information did go to a third party? >> yes. one of the individuals on staff it e-mail account was hacked. >> let me look at for other things that need clarification there are some text messages the
was a text message that said you want us to reach out? and they said why? because we want to see if he has the names that we already have. i am troubled because that apply to the hillary clinton investigation? >> it is already closed i have to check. >> i'm curious why would they be checking with someone whose specialty is quote, fbi advanced electronic surveillance. before the investigation is open who specializes in monitoring to find out anything going on? why would that have happened?
>> i don't know. >> i will go little further. the text message that says the white house is running this. was that in reference to russia or hillary clinton? >> our assumption is not hillary clinton because that was closed. >> that is my assumption as well. >> the president wants to know everything that happened on september 2 was that hillary or the russian? >> our understanding is not hillary but the russians. >> so looking at the difference between the way the hillary clinton investigation was research versus the way that it appears the russian investigation, did the previous administration taken abnormal interest in all of that. >> the gentlemen's time is expired you may answer. >> a don't know the answer at this time because that was not part of this review but certainly it is something is
will look at the matters referred to us will be considering. >> thank you i yield back into the gentleman from california is recognized. >> mr. horowitz, i want to summarize your findings. do you agree hillary clinton committed no crimes? >> our finding is that prosecutors said she should not be charged. >> to you agree that page and peter strzok acted inappropriately. >> yes. >> and removed? >> bob mueller was removed this page or the returned to special counsel. >> to you agree that director comey did not leak the
existenc existence. >> not at the time. we looked at. >> there is no evidence that director comey lied to you? back we did not make any findings. >> do you think it is time to move on past the hillary clinton e-mails? >> we have put forward our report congress has separate oversight authority and i won't say what congress should or should not do. >> i appreciate your work and your findings all around but the only text messages that i really care about right now are the hundreds of people at home and across the country who are asking me what the hell is the judiciary committee doing right now? i know of my colleagues are checking your voicemails or e-mails but people are not talking about the guardian e-mails. they are not.
they are type i kids separating from their moms and dad on the southern border. let me say congressmen which committee is responsible for that? i tell them it is the judiciary committee. great so when you get back to congress on tuesday you immediately will look at why this is happening. right? no. we are having a hearing i tell them but it is on the hillary clinton e-mails. do you know how upsetting that is? people do not give a rip. this is important people should be held accountable for inappropriate behavior and i appreciate your doing that. but our responsibility is to act on behalf of the american people we are not helpless we are one committee in congress that is not helpless to act when families are ripped apart. so i asked the chairman please
interrupt me if you intend when we conclude today to hold a hearing on how we will prevent future families from being separated and reunite those who have already been torn apart? again interrupt me if you have a plan for what we will do next i can tell my constituents the only thing they care about right now is the united states that they know. >> will yield? from a gentleman may be pleased to know that on the floor on thursday there will be a bill to address the very problem that it has nothing to do it the importance of making sure the fbi does not repeat what it did in 2016. . . . .
>> let's work on that. my constituents, all of our constituents want to make sure we show compassion, that we show heart that congress acts. there is consensus on this issue. it is maddening that the people have the responsibility to do something is focused on this. i yield back. >> the gentleman from florida is recognized. >> thank you. with the weiner laptop issue i
think you had said that peter's explanation for his conduct was not persuasive. it would be reasonable for somebody to infer that his actions, at least with the weiner thing was motivated by bias. >> that was our concern. >> july 31 it opens up a counterintelligence investigation against trump campaign. why, were trying to get the reason. so he opens up investigation. his, trump cannot be president, no, he can't, we will stop it. why was that text message not originally produced to you? what did the fbi tell you. >> what appears is that the collection mechanism, the program it used was not collecting all the text messages. >> but you had all the others that day, correct? >> i thought i did, but i'm not sure. >> when he went back recently
got this one was at the only one from that day that you found that was new? >> i would have to check there were several others relevant to our review that we had not seen before that we found as we went back through it. >> so their explanation was that it was not human agency but some type of glitch. >> this is the most damning one of all, theoretically possible i need an explanation for that. the 16th of august the there's a scenario thrown out that trump can't win and they say we can take that risk we need an insurance policy. they say we don't know or remember the meeting. was this persuasive or credible how they explain the text message? >> it was not persuasive to us. >> so this is what i get with the insurance policy, if the investigation was valid in the
trump campaign, who cares if who's going to win? if it's investigation you should want to do it. this tells me that they say if the guy wins will have to do it who open this up on the 31st of july based on an errant comment in the bar. this stinks. the three other fbi agents who you are not naming because their baltic counterintelligence. >> the fbi. >> why do we get peter's name? >> when we prepared the report we do an analysis under the privacy act of federal law. our determination was that because of the level he was set at the agency the privacy act balance weight against him and we would make it public. the others are lower down. and the balance went the other way.
>> two of the three work from mueller? do they still work for him? >> my understanding is no. did they get removed because of biased? >> at least one and i can double check after we alerted the special counsel to the text messages it may have been both, but i think it was one. >> is it fair to say your investigation identified a culture of leaking in the fbi? >> that is what we say and it is a big concern. >> let me ask you about the clinton lynch tarmac meeting. is that plane monitored either audio or visual? >> i do not believe there is audio monitoring. >> you are never given any document that memorialized in a conversation. >> not at all. >> what was the report of you of lynch's explanation for the meeting? is about it 20 minute meeting about grandkids. i don't think she has grandkids. how did you view that?
>> we laid out what the explanation was from former attorney general lynch and president clinton. that was the total of the evidence we had. they both explained that we detailed but they said occurred during the meeting. that is the basis for the evidence at this point he met comey in his statement to you said they were grappling with the hillary stuff and no evidence of willfulness. was there any doubt that hillary intended to create a separate server? that was done willfully correct? >> correct. >> if you take a willful action and there certain consequences that are reasonably foreseeable there's aspects of the law where you would be held liable. you're setting up a parallel system knowing you will conduct the main business of secretary of state, the idea that there is
no willfulness there, i did not find the explanation credible. i know you have looked at it. i am out of time. >> the gentleman yields back. >> thank you for being here. further down the seniority, i have the ability to now ask questions trying to clarify what my other colleagues were discussing with you. in your discussion with mr. meadows there is a question the text set between mr. struck and miss page. you said to assume this text was not referring to the clinton e-mail matter and you assumed it referred to the russian investigation. do you know who the text is referring to? >> the the text that says the white house is running this.
>> my understanding is a general reference to the white house. i don't know that there is a particular person. >> if it were discussed it's not the russia collusion investigation by the special counsel, it's referring to the russia election interference. we have so many investigation. now, in your discussion with mre to be a logical analogy made. as an attorney that something we look at is the logical inferences. i wasn't sure if it was correct. if he is a person who has a disproportionate biased in their personal then you also have to look at their amount of decision-making in determining how that is that how they determine if there biased and if it affects the outcome? >> i understood it as a disproportionate given their role of impact on decisions made in that. >> and if their personal biased
then bled into their work as well. >> correct. terms of answering it did they in fact cause and impact but rather given their role to the have a disproportion of bias in terms of page and struck with president trump was that disproportionate size to their decision-making? >> i don't have precisely which decisions they made. >> let's move on to someone else. my former boss, director, was a republican, was he not? >> i have read that. >> i worked with him in a republican administration when
he was the deputy attorney general of the justice department. would his bias as a republican have affected why he decided not to leak or discuss the russian investigation? >> are concerned about what mr. struck did was not based on political affiliation but rather the text messages. >> do know their political affiliation? >> we do not. >> reporter: we know the political affiliation but mr. comey but you're not going to count that against him. >> you have every right to register with whatever political party. >> were still a democracy but listening to my colleagues if anyone has a personal opinion about someone that should automatically exclude them from working in the fbi or any place else and justices should not be blind anymore. >> i don't think i have suggested that your personal
opinion was for working in the justice department. the concern is the. >> before the election many colleagues had a biased against trump. it appears now that he's the chief executive they following right line of following what he says even though many made public statements against him in his opinion before he became president. you said you looked at 1.2 million documents. >> correct. >> in the documents being subpoenaed by chairman gaudi and chairman goodlad on the documents for the handling of secretary clinton's e-mails, have you had access to the documents the justice department has subpoenaed and received? >> looming congresses subpoena? >> we've had access to make in your office could review those documents in any of others
needed. >> your report concluded that we found no evidence the conclusions by the department prosecutors were affected by biased or improper considerations while they were based on the facts of the law. >> so, i just want you to be careful because now that you have not followed the conclusion that the republicans would like you to come you may be up for a special counsel investigation yourself. i yield back. >> on that sobering note, we will now go to the gentleman from north carolina. >> thank you for your leadership. you have been the voice of justice not just for today but more than seven years. i have no doubt you'll continue to be a voice and i'm proud to serve with you. you previously testified during the investigation you found
additional text between struck and page on devices which the fbi has not analyzed. including text about meeting in andy's office. the closeness of referring to andy bothers me because it says there may have been a relationship. according to your report somebody denies, which one denies that happened. is it andrew mccabe or peter struck? >> the denial is mr. mccabe does not recall being present for the meeting. >> have we investigated that further? that's a pivotal point in this as far as what was said and who is involved, whether there is intent biased. >> we have investigated as far as we can take it. i could find evidence to see
whether he was present. we've laid out what we have found. >> does it concerning the fbi to not further investigate the issue of the discovered text messages? seems like it raises larger questions. does that bother you? >> what has concerned us is the fbi has this imperfect system of collecting records and has known it for some time and needs to get it fixed. once we started looking at the messages we were the ones to keep digging. >> of the calls obstruct action. can you, with certainty expressly hillary clinton investigation without bias or interference. >> i can't speak to every decision that was made. he may have been involved so i cannot speak to the broader point. >> cannot say there wasn't bias. it appears bias may have existed
but not to the place that you can improve that it influence the investigation. >> on the decisions we looked that we made the finding we felt we could make. >> to understand by the american people are having trouble with this? when you talk about there's bias behavior but is it a subject of called swear that biased level may have reached. the amount of time that peter struck spent as the lead investigator. to understand why the people would be upset? >> absolutely. i'm upset with it. it is why it cast a cloud over the investigation. all of those impacts are very serious and significant on a very important investigation. it should never have happened. it happened because of text messages and what the employees
were doing. >> it's one of the reasons he respected on both sides of the aisle. the man been my question that when asked former director james comey as far as why not to bring charges his response that no reasonable prosecutor would bring charges, as good as the job you are doing, if there are other investigations or inspections was you agree with james comey that this would be the same conclusion? or could others find different conclusions? >> as you have seen this was the policy and how we reach the decision. others are free to disagree without. >> when it comes to fbi employees in contact with the journalist, was it the fbi
employee or the reporter who initiated contacts that resulted in the back-and-forth conversation or did they see like long-term relationships? >> some did not seem like looking at the charts you can see these are non- generally speaking one call. >> we are looking at that request. >> does that mean it could were more investigations for some of those? >> there are after investigations ongoing. >> thank you, i yield back. >> the gentleman from rhode island is recognized. >> i want to lament on the fact that we are not having a judiciary oversight hearing to address this barbaric separation policy with children. it's despicable what's happening.
were not having bills suggest dozens of ideas to reduce gun violence, were not marking up the dream act. were not marking up legislation for special counsel but alas another hearing on the clinton e-mails. your investigation was to focus on the investigation of hillary clinton's e-mail, correct? >> was part of that to examine whether the trump camp pain colluded with russian? >> that was not part of it. >> did you make findings about the trump campaign and the russia? >> no. >> was part of that to review whether the president obstructed justice during the course of the special counsel? >> yes or no was that part of your investigation. >> no. >> you didn't make any findings related to the president's
potential obstruction of justice. >> no so the president claimed that your report makes clear that he's exonerated, no obstruction of justice and no evidence of collusion is a lie. were at least unsupported by your report. >> does your report in any way support the president's claim that he's exonerated and there's no evidence of collusion? >> are investigation focused on the clinton e-mail investigation. >> it does not contain any findings that would support the president's claim that your report authored by you exonerates and fully empress presents no collusion. >> can you say an open of finish my question. will you admitted open session that your report doesn't support the claims for the president that he's completely exonerated
and there's no evidence of collusion and there's no evidence of obstruction of justice. it doesn't make findings on that issue settle. >> that would mean that's not a truthful statement. it's important the american people know the 500 pages you dedicated your career to developing with professionals does not support the claim for the president. >> let me go next, the part of your investigation that focuses, you may have heard the president and allies make statements about your report that was designed to make the american people designed to believe what was opposite that they had an impact on the election and in donald trump's favor. he found no evidence that the fbi's conclusion was politically motivated and that director comey violated policies by
speaking publicly about the close case in july 2006 and by disclosing the reopening of the investigation in 2016, is that correct? >> the latter part. >> the earlier part. >> and it discusses why the justice department and fbi have a policy and practice to refuse to speak publicly about the activity. it talks about protecting the policy and the department's ability to administer justice without political on to outside influence. would you agree that when they speak publicly about ongoing case it risks harming the reputation. >> yes and in this case it was hillary clinton. >> yes when you look at avoiding this perception to help clinton win the election he says his decision to disclose it was to avoid corrosive doubts that you
had engineered a cover-up to protect a candidate. but director comey is not evenhanded. did he ever express fear that it would tip the scale against hillary clinton and favorite donald trump? >> i don't recall him saying that. >> he was afraid if he stayed silent would unfairly be accused of helping hillary clinton. >> that was a concern. >> so when he prays comey's action amid that disclosure that it took guts were coming to make the move and what he did was the right thing, chairman goodlett said he was appreciative that he of the kurds to step forward and got a step forward and said he did the right thing.
is that true includes director comey's notification it was not the right thing. >> yes. >> i hope the justice department and fbi learn your lesson. i do not like the ongoing bowling the president trump instead they must uphold long-standing principles in the rule of law even while facing unfair political attacks. we expect nothing less of you. >> the german yields back. we'll go to the gentleman for texas. we don't live in a binary world. you could notify congress without writing a letter that's publicly disseminate. you have other options of notifying, congress. with that will move on. >> thank you chairman. in your report and in your testimony you said that you are
deeply troubled and concerned that the anti- trump bias reflected in the text message was so great as have pop simply impacted peter structs conduct in the weiner laptop part of the investigation. if the department of justice and fbi zone inspector general is very concerned and deeply troubled about peter structs anti- trump biased affecting his actions as an agent is not reasonable for president trump is the subject of an investigation to likewise be concerned and troubled that mr. struck was put in charge of the trump and rush investigation? >> i will step back on that. and speak to the broader point that that is why we were concerned generally speaking about the election that those messages create the appearance of bias that undercuts
credibility. >> i'm not asking you to make any findings about the trump russia matter. i'm asking about the people you investigated in the report and peoples whose actions you sound found troubling. is it unreasonable for the president to feel the same way? >> were reviewing that. i don't want to see ms. prejudging any outcomes. i don't want to be seen as making judgments on the. >> is an unreasonable for president trump to be concerned or troubled, as you are eight days after peter struck was put in charge of the trump russia investigation he promised another fbi employee, lisa page that trump would never be president because he would stop
it. >> any individual in this country should be concerned about that language. >> the reason you're concerned about the any of said numerous times that struck stated bias and stated willingness to act on that are antithetical to the core values of the fbi. another thing that's antithetical to the fbi and department of justice is putting people in charge of investigating people they hate. the people they are biased against and prejudiced against. >> we don't do that in our justice system. a system where the bedrock principle has to be the fair and impartial administration of justice free from bias and prejudice. >> the point you're making and i agree with is that anyone, you,
me, any member of congress in any american who becomes the subject of an investigation should not be investigated by people who have sent hundreds of hateful text messages before the investigation began and then continue to send them all the investigation was occurring. that is by definition prejudicial isn't it? >> i think that is can the concern. >> that is exactly what happened to president trump. now, to your credit, you revealed the astonishing level, the outrageous level of bias and prejudice and when you did, special counsel mueller removed peter struck from the case. but we are former prosecutors and we know that it's impossible to remove bias and prejudice
from all of the actions taken, all of the decisions made in the investigative plans implemented, all the evidence gathered by peter struck and at least two other trump hating fbi agents and lawyers who were assigned to the investigation. that's hard to do. >> that is the question. >> my colleagues keep pointing out your report doesn't state and a conclusion about the trump russia investigation. it does not state any conclusions. your findings of fact of the people in charge of the trump russia investigation in the case of peter struck bernard modes, the person in charge of the investigation, that leads to all sorts of on tonight will conclusions about pervasive bias
and prejudice against president trump by the people who never ever should have been in charge of gathering evidence against him. let me switch topics. did jim comey make the decision not to prosecute hillary clinton before or after her july 2, 2016 interview? >> i will let you answer the question even though he grossly mistress amount of time does not have left. it's 20 seconds over rather than under but you can answer the question. >> as we described here, prior to the july 2 interview either a concession or false statement the decision had been made to close investigation. >> the fact that director comey testified under a to members of congress in response to a
question about whether it was made before after unequivocally stated after, do think it's reasonable for members of congress to think there are misled by that answer? >> i would have to look at the transcript. >> can i take that as a promise to look at that? >> i'll take a look and we can talk further. >> thank you. i appreciate your work. >> the gentleman yields back. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you for being here. i commend you and your team for a very thorough report. you have taken extreme care to make sure you don't jump to conclusions. if indicated with a into between judgment acting in accordance
with protocols and rules of the department. new vindicated the bias to affect or contaminate the decisions being made at the highest levels which is important. when a focus on jim comey and his conduct a point to issues of compliance with department guidelines and norms and standards you think are important. i think that is valid. it's also important to observe that does not in any way get to the question of the credibility or truthfulness of an individual. you can say this person is not adhering to what we think is a departmental standard. that doesn't go to whether there being truthful to their basic
credibility. if i did not comply with the rule on how much time i'm supposed to take in asking the question and i went in the hall and saw someone knock someone else over and run down the hall and i wanted to testify to that you wouldn't say i won't believe you because you didn't follow the clock when you're in here. that's important because it may be the jim comey down the line becomes a witness and there's nothing in your report that icy and i think you said this in response that would suggest you have any reason to think that he has live are misled you, that he was not truthful in the course of conducting this investigation, is that correct. >> reporter: that's correct. >> i want to move to the question, as i step away from this and don't consider
particular individuals but look at the standards you are articulating for what is a good investigation and how to carry it out, you have identified a variety of things. first off, follow the rules that exist, be consistent in following those. that's one of the major concerns you had in terms of the process for taking certain decisions or investigations. be consistent, follow the rules and to talked about the importance of not being legs and have identified issues with the with the fbi. that also goes to the overall legitimacy of the investigation. you talked about the issue of bias. i assume your expectation would
be a good explanation would be if there is evidence of bias that could affect the investigation that steps the to be taken to address that bias. >> for the appearance of bias so, stepping away from the thinking about the standards on how an investigation should proceed, you have left me in a position of being of having a lot of confidence in the way bob mueller is conducting his investigation. if you take the standards you're highlighting and apply them to how they're conducting themselves, he passes with flying colors. wethers evidence of bias he is taken steps. in fact to acknowledge that
ms. paige and mr. struck are not part of that team anymore because he took quick action when there is evidence of bias or even the appearance of bias. there's no suggestion that there had been improperly from this investigation. by all accounts, both bob mueller and rod rosenstein are following to the tease the rules and standards that are to apply to an investigation. i think you and your team for describing a set of standards on how to conduct an investigation. when you take that standard and apply it to the way bob mueller is conducting his investigation you can see he's doing it in a diligent and conscientious way. that's why we need to support that investigation.
>> the gentleman from george's recognize. thank you for being here. in late september of 2016 the fbi came into possession of the laptop that contained thousands of e-mails related to the clinton investigation. would you say that this discovery was rapidly communicated with the midterm clinton team or was it slow walt? >> the new york office promptly reported it. >> it went to peter struck, it he was leading the investigation when was he made aware. >> on september 20. >> so the next day or within days. >> so, this is the same peter struck that has come up in
multiple ways and repeatedly bashed candidate trump at that time and then committed to stop him from becoming president. from the perspective of his superiors was bill at this time committed to the clinton investigation or was this focus more on the russian investigation? >> at september 28 and ninth he was working on the russian investigation. >> his supervisor was working not just on that but a wide variety of matters as we laid out here. >> on page 297% of the weiner laptop is not the top priority at this time due to the involvement in the russian
investigation. he said that he didn't want to say distracted but, yes. my focus was [inaudible] the midyear anymore and struck was assigned to the russia and clinton investigation but he was still the lead in the clinton investigation. is fair to say that superiors were distracted at this time and not focused on the midyear investigation. >> correct. to be clear, he was also talking about the election interference issues more broadly. >> than that adds to the scenario that he was distracted. his focus was [inaudible] the clinton investigation. so he is presented now with the choice, he receives the information from the weiner laptop, hundreds of thousands of e-mails potentially damaging at
least related to the clinton administration. he has the choice now to either follow-up on the leads to the laptop and report them or, knowing his superiors are distracted, he can conveniently place the laptop discovery on the back burner. so, how long did it take struck in the midyear team to get around to the laptop? >> there is activity the next day and then there was discussions back and forth about october 3 or fourth. then, no activity until the new york field office raised a concern on october 21, ultimately resulting in a call on october 21 of the attorneys office to the deputy attorney general's office inquiring why
there was no activity. >> he did not report this in a timely manner. it was only after the new york group pushed in that struck out on board and said we have to do something about it. >> struck and others. >> but that's a timeline in this. so from every appearance he did everything he could to prevent this discovery from becoming public because it may hurt the clinton campaign. you stated that you could not, with any confidence say that struck's political bias did not lead him to delay looking at the laptop, do you still stand by that? >> yes so the whole cycle comes back to me. every appearance and action by struck is that his political by did prevent him from bringing forth this information is it
could hurt the clinton campaign. this is a big thing to me, the elephant in the room where the not only was political bias but action based on that bias to protect one individual over the other, clinton over trump. it's the same struck that is leading the russian investigation which is the foundation of the mueller special counsel. a tremendous concern here. i'll back. >> how about we take a ten minute break and then recess and then reconvene. >> we will reconvene in ten minutes.