tv Jason Chaffetz Power Grab CSPAN October 2, 2019 9:59pm-10:55pm EDT
good afternoon, everybody. welcome to heritage. we are going to have a fun discussion today about the book's power grab. to introduce him as a senator, a great friend of heritage and best friend of the constitution. it is a pleasure to be with you. this merges several of my interests. the constitution, conservative
politics, books about those things, the heritage foundation and my friends julie and jason chase at. i first came to know the name over 30 years ago when he became a placekicker at byu. to this day he holds records including the most successful point after touchdown scored in a single game, and i think in a single season. ..
we hit it off and ended up working together for go and then i became his chauffeur. [laughter] he and i live closer together than any two members of the senior staff and even broke his foot. >> actually was quite serious but he fell and broke his foot and had to be in a cast and had to be elevated several months at a time. >> and then to sit in the backseat of the car to keep his foot elevated i asked him if he wanted me to get a chauffeur's hat and i didn't charge him anything.
and then to be subjected to my lengthy rants on constitutional issues. who wouldn't want to do that? [laughter] but i digress. we are not here to talk about any of that but he is a hero when it comes to defending individual liberty and big government and somebody who's willing to call out the left both those who identify themselves as part of the left and those who want to build big government and somebody who understands the fact that there is something of a zero-sum game to defend liberty if you are a government as you get bigger and become more powerful you do so at the expense of individual liberty. he understands government itself is not and never can be or will be omnipotent
benevolent work. the government itself with the use of collective force, and it is run by fallible moral individuals. consequently we have to constrain its power to make sure it's not abused. in his latest book, power grab, grab, jason explains how those levers of power have been orchestrated in a way to effectively weaponize the threatening power of government in a way to enhance the political agenda of the left or of those who would expand government at the expense of individual liberty. he blows the whistle on how they weaponize the use of criminal investigations to
achieve political outcome. to be clear as he makes clear in power grab, it isn't a simple question of red team versus blue team. this is a question of liberty versus centralized government power. we fought a war over that and we won that war. we should not be eager to go back to a system in which government knows best and holds all the power. we as the people are the sovereigns and we cannot go back to a time when that is not the case. that's why jason chief it's book power grab is such an important tool for those who want to live in a land where they are free. if you call yourself a conservative or liberal or libertarian or something els else, it should not matter
what should matter is the concept of liberty that government exist so that we are secure and to make sure that we have an enterprise that uses collective force for defending life liberty and property. the more we deviate from tha that, the more that we run into a real risk of power grab where we become less free and less secure with their lives and property. there's not a day that goes by i don't miss having jason chaffetz serving in the house of representatives. he was someone, in addition to being a trusted friend and colleague in the office, someone i came to trust and love working with when he was serving in the house of
representatives and during my time in office in the senate , it's hard to remember an issue if we took opposing viewpoints. we work together on countless issues that i take comfort in the fact is able to do an enormous amount of good where he is to inform the people of the risks of big government and keep them informed of what's going on in washington. he is exercising influence by writing books like power grab which i highly recommend so i'll with that please join me to welcome jason chaffetz. [applause] >> thank you. thank you for having me also thank you he had a vote now he
has another vote on the floor. is probably the best that he does that snow i can tell stories about him. [laughter] i first met him this is amazing to me because we were at the utah county convention literally thousands of people at this event and this gentleman comes up and we start talking and he introduces himself as mike. i said you the card? what is your full name? he said mike lee because i knew he was the spitting image of the previous president of brigham young i said any relation to rex lee? and i said yes. that's my dad i could already tell he was related before i even asked that he was the solicitor general for ronald reagan and had argued over 100 cases before the supreme
court. so as chief of staff and i'm the general counsel one of the best things i did when i was chief of staff it is true i broke my foot i broke my right foot so i could not use the accelerator tried to drive my wife i could drive left-footed and he would drive me to and from every day. what he didn't tell you is he had a cassette tape player in his car and he would like to listen to his dad argue the supreme court cases that he would literally put the cassette tape in their that's how much he loves the law and we would listen to the oral presentations before the supreme court. i learned a lot. [laughter] but he's not listening to music or something like that. you've gotta love a guy who is
that committed. i want to acknowledge my wife julie who was here with me. i appreciate all of you being here and the heritage foundation for making this possible the good tt heritage does in terms of informing people or being a resource while i was in congress or after it is such a great resources and great minds thinking through tough issues. it so helpful. why i wrote the book, stephen covey who is from our congressional district, highly effective people seek to understand and then be understood and i wholeheartedly believe that. i also believe what margit - - margaret thatcher said first you have to win the argument then you win the votes. i always said when i was in
congress that republican conservatives were very pathetic in our communications first of all the national media is not a conduit to get the message out with the platform or the time to do that. so it was compounded by that but i always felt that we as conservatives have the right message we just didn't say it very well or enough. i remember when i was first in congress eric can tour had a senior position at the time because i was invited to be on fox news i couldn't believe it. i called up eric and said are you all right if i go on fox news? these are you kidding me? you need to go out as much as you can to get out our message and every other network to
talk about why you believe what you believe. that was the right answer and good advice and i would argue we need more people who can get in front of those cameras to go to all the networks to talk about what it is we believe to give that perspective. i don't buy into the idea you just have to sit back and say they won't give us a fair shake. i did more interviews on msnbc and cnn not that many people saw them. [laughter] than i did on fox news. a half years in congress then i left i'm glad to have a contributor relationship with fox but i always fell i can contribute in the public square because now more than ever i can get out and talk about issues that matter for our country from a
conservative standpoint. very blessed to have this relationship with harpercollins who did my first book called the deep state new york times bestseller now we just launched this book literally seven days ago power grab which bifurcate's into how the democrats are using the levers of power they currently have to do things you wouldn't necessarily see unless you've been in congress are really paying attention but you need somebody to draw your attention to them and what about outside of congress to change the dynamic in the narrative? those of the first two chapters of the book that should scare the living daylights out of you because they are doing things on the left that will affect us if you realize it or not democrats are always on offense. that is what i think i
articulate but we will do some q&a. >> we can up on the and fold exposure i worked for him when he was house oversight committee chairman. this brings back some memories of the good times when he was running the committee. but i like to start off with a final town hall right after trump was elected things got ugly. that's a good table setter for the environment now. tell us about that. >> i write about this in the foreword. i had one my fifth term and got 73 percent of the vote for five weeks after donald trump was sworn in. in the heart of winter in utah
and now i'm having town hall meetings i don't know how many. love them usually a group this size i learned a lot it's a good format. democrats got a hold of this and they had a group called indivisible utah had a national presence but a specific manual how to take over a town hall meeting. so it blew up into over a thousand people showing up to create an illusion like it's a recurrg theme that a conservative republican in a safe district who just happened to be the chairman over the oversight committee with donald trump as president that his voters were mad for co. he needed to do his job and hold the president
accountable. do this and do that there was a long list of demands they wanted me to do. much of which i didn't think was in the purview of the united states congress. so much so it got out of control you have to be the account but there is 30 police officers people openly carrying weapons with masks in the parking lot. swat teams. it turned into a fiasco. the highlight is there were two members of the national media who had shown up. i don't ever remember having national media show up to my town hall after i win my fifth election was 73 percent of the vote. we are weeks into the 115th congress. really? this one reporter insisted she interview me i said let me talk to her on the phone first. why are you here?
we have a source in san francisco that says there is going to be a riot and perhaps a fire. i said really? did you ever think to tell law enforcement about that? did you call my office about that? you are only telling me this because i asked you why you are here and she said no. i said you will literally put a thousand people in danger if you think there will be a riot and a fire and potentially people could die you don't leave - - you believe there's enough credibility a that's why you are here and these people were doing live shots from my town hall meeting. that's the last one i ended up doing but this is how they play. there is a recurring theme
that they really do believe on the radical far left with these labels like fascist and all these negative terms but what i see them doing is exactly what they say the president is doing that in order to protect our freedom they have to take it away. to make sure the first amendment is there we have to take our rights under the first amendment and it is a recurring theme. i could go on and on about this particular town meeting that they paid people to come in people from all over that they wanted to create this media like it was organic phenomenon and then they would run all the stories to say look, much trouble donald trump is creating for everyone which is not true. >> you gave samples of double
standards or hypocrisy now it's when republicans were referred to as the party of no and obstructionist but now now they call the left the resistance that mythological name. what do you make of that? >> how often have you heard the republicans the party of no? because somehow we are opposed to a public policy position that the democrats were championing but we were the party of no? but now all of a sudden you don't wear those credentials so now no matter what position he takes they will take the opposite. i did that when i was in third grade. yes you did know you didn't. and it's very true.
i saw somebody today on the street wearing black shirt with white letters saying resistance like they were part one - - proud to be a part of that movement so now let's be adult and talk about issue by issue and if we disagree we do but i do believe conservatives have the debate we win and then i tell people around the country and i want to share this message with you, i really do believe we cannot be afraid of having that discussion. but let's also talk from our hearts i'm tired of conceding the compassion card to the democrats they are not the more compassionate and caring group. what i worry about sometimes only have this debate we want to smother people with statistics with the numbers and the study.
and then to talk about why we believe what we believe. i think we talk about principle principles. some i guess if you are here you have a set of principles that you believe in but i think a lot of conservatives get to step one so let's talk about why you believe what you believe in then we can talk about how to get there the democrats want to shut down the debate to create this appearance of how dare you. that's why we do this polling day after day it's hogwash. they will vote for donald trump as opposed to hillary clinton their neighbors will beat them over the head with it. so that is the strategy they want to embarrass people. >> my favorite part is when
you dig through that tax returns of big nonprofits on the left. what you discovered of how they are finance and those shady insurance and full disclosure i'm glad i learned about them for the first time in this book. >> this is what i think people would understand if you look at the priorities they have put forward in congress and you look through any poll that is out there about the most important issues you will hear about healthcare, the econom economy, immigration, why is it nancy pelosi has hr one, what is her first bill? is that the top 20 are top 50? no. hr one is how to reconfigure elections.
she wants to reconstitute how we do elections in this country. because it is their calculus they have to reconfigure how we do voting in this country in order for them to win long-term. one of the weapons of war guessing 90 percent of never heard they have learned to weaponize not for profits southern poverty law center, aclu, planned parenthood, there is a laundry list 990 is a form they need to fill out essentially the top line tax return for a not-for-profit. then consistently what you will see is a for-profit entity called grassroots campaign inc. therar100 different types
of organizations this douglas phelps has been involved with has done fundraisers for joe biden, barack obama he worked for this organization and credited this organization teaching him all he needed to know how to win campaigns. believe him. believe barack obama this is how they learned this. this is the way it works. a title i c-3 which is a not-for-profit if you make a donation then the 501(c)4 can engage in more politics but have a dad - - a different tax treatment how you can write off your taxes. but the 501(c)3 organizations he could make a 10 million-dollar donation and
get a tax benefit from doing so. but my nonprofit hires a for-profit to do fundraising. they will put on t-shirts the aclu, southern poverty law center, and then they will start knocking doors and say we are raising money for planned parenthood. are you with us or against us? what does that tell you about that person? will they vote for democrat or republican. you hate planned parenthood? you think they're awful ding ding ding now we have identified a voter we don't want so because the for-profit entity has gathered this
information then they go work for the dnc in those swing states and they could target individuals bypassing all the campaign-finance rules that this gentleman would participate his individual campaign contribution there are things you can and cannot do with that money. but the problem is if you look at the charts like planned parenthood over the ear. come every single year they hired grassroots campaign inc. to do fundraising they lost money. they did not raise as much as they spent so that they hire them again. th lost $11 million over eight years. why would they do that? raise it as a question because if you have the irs do an audit this is where they should do an audit.
they are strictly prohibited from engaging in this type of campaign but yet theyre blatant about it. the second part moving quickly they address it later not in the first few chapters but later hr one about vote harvesting now you may have heard about this term but basically democrats in legislation have supported the idea to make this law everywhere you go you do not have to be present to vote allow somebody to go around action there's an l.a. times story of a woman who is undocumented here illegally, illegally, going out and collecting ballots from all of you and said i know you didn't get to the polls know you
don't want to throw that out so just give me about it fill it out and i will turn it in for you. could anything go wrong in that scenario? yes. a lot. the eighth see that the republicans lost in the last election there were thousands and thousands of ballots that showed up after the deadline that came in oh my gosh miraculously in favor of the democrats in proportions that were totally different. why are we having a special election in north carolina? because it's illegal to vote harvesting in north carolina ironically joe kennedy complained about it republicans are cheating. you just voted on legislation to make this legal everywhere in the country.
this is but one thing out of a list of 30 the democrats are trying to do to grab power to change the way we do things and if we don't open our eyes to be cognizant they will blow through this. i don't know how you win an election in california when democrats play by different rules and engage in vote harvesting. i think there is evidence that happened in arizona there is evidence it has happened in other places and even in utah now there is an issue of thousands of votes turning up after the deadline. democrats elected as the county clerk what do you do? who will be the eyeballs? >> congress has changed quite a bit but unfortunately not for the better some things were balanced but now it seems it's more personal and more vicious and more likely the left will call hearings and
investigations so how has it changed what damage has it done? >> what will make the biggest mark or the biggest philosophical changes the oversight committee was founded in 1814 and is there to oversee any and all government expenditures. it has gyrations of different committee meetings and abraham lincoln when he came on the committee this was his committee assignment when he was in the u.s. congress. he became known as spotty to challenge the president of the mexican american war. there is a great history there of this committee but what's interesting is what changed when i left because the government oversight and reform committee changed now
it's called the committee on oversight and reform democrats don't believe government is a problem they thing as a solution to everything government is all good so now what ucr hearings and a press that goes after individuals and individual corporations. that is not the purview of the united states congress. again this is the widest birth of any sort of jurisdiction there are two supreme court cases we lay out where oversight was clipped back to get on the straight and narrow which is government we had hearings like the epipen situation the farm a boy where we did look at individual corporations but we also call
the fda and hhs to say how does this happen? what elijah cummings is now doing is demanding to send out subpoenas and directives to look under the books without any evidence of wrongdoing by the way, to presuppose the outcome on fishing expeditions to go look into the lives of individuals and if you have proximity to donald trump look out because that is a prime target nobody has seen this the light of day between elijah cummings, jerry nadler and maxine waters, adam schiff and there's a fifth one in there about how they would do investigations and impeachment they planned this all out before the 116th congress
even started. but it's all premised on the idea essentially they would be the campaign research for democrats. there is no justification literally they just want to figure it out it all starts with that premise is scary the congressional branch of government with this power grab the abuse of power. >> and then talk about how choreographed it was from the opening scene even just
writing about the justice kavanaugh situation just the work they were doing in the outlines they had that this would be a narrative of frat boy who had gone awry it's not brand spanking new in my book but it was already written with x x x. and in the chapter of how evil or how bad it was in its humorous they all pledged to vote no then complained about the lack of openness and transparency.
and they ask for things they know cannot be given to them. and they did again. so they asked for information to executive privilege that's what barack obama claimed believe me. and then to testify before the oversight committee and doing public speeches and to do all the media and the public speeches they claimed executive privilege there is a separation of powers issue
they didn't issue a subpoena but nadler will issue a subpoena but they won't comply but if it goes to court they won't win but it doesn't matter because that comes after the next election. they want to create a narrative i guarantee you will hear nadler say 250 subpoenas were issued and they never responded. most of those are wholly bogus and a court would laugh them out the reason jerry now there became the chairman of the judiciary committee as he went before his colleagues on the democratic side and said i'm better suited to pursue impeachment. come with me and that's how he beat out others and became chairman of the committee so that's what he is doing and yielding his power.
>> what's the path forward to rain this and? >> i did this in deep state and empower grab not just all the bad. you come and listen. it's not the feel-good meeting of the year. but this is the greatest country on the face of the planet some how some way they figure this out with the authenticity, they understand these issues but we have to be aware. the fact that people want to dive deeper but i also think it's incumbent so so much of this shouldn't be done at all
we have to neuter the power of the federal government and get them out so much of this business. and a lot of those answers with states rights. but also takes making sure we are engaged as people and then to decide they are part of the solution and not part of the problem. i cannot thank you enough for being here and i hope you enjoyed the book. if you have to go i get it. but if you have a few minutes we can do questions. >> with the conspiracy of the town halls in creating disruption and with the trump rallies that project veritas had that tape that they paid
people to go insight violence. i actually went to the party and asked if they would prosecute. is also a great way to get discovery on the democrats but nothing happened but these people that are inciting violence the last count was 1000 attacks on trump supporters and republicans. we have to lay down the hammer. >> yes. there was one person who was arrested they basically took her out and released her but did not charge her with anything or detain her. she was going a little crazy. there is good and bad. first of all the organic energy between donald trump he could go anywhere and get 100,000 people but joe biden
rallies. [laughter] they could not pay enough people to show up. i agree with the premise in general. overall because you see this everywhere. there is a huge swath of americans that do not believe there is a co- application of justice and its one-sided. and it is unfortunate and my grandfather was a career fbi agent so what i'm trying to say is it happens all across the board. you can take these illegal immigration cases or town hall people yelling and screaming and disrupting carrying
weapons on school grounds for go i have body cam pictures from police officers i trusted their judgment to make the right decision and i think they made all the right calls they learned were the escalation did happen. but then portland. i.c.e. ent for and others and i think that's wrong and conservatives are right to point that out because we have been on the receiving end and it has gone on too long. to that threatening or aggressive behavior. >> you touched on something bigger than my townhall. >>. >> will trump win 2020? >> i think so.
i think he will lose some states with vote harvesting and to be optimistic. this is a local issue. and it's hard to tell who the personalities are on both sides. part of it is a referendum on donald trump you can complain about the tweets then you are looking for an excuse. if he gets the trade deal done with china that will play so well right into that democratic base blue-collar
workers. >>. >> your girlfriend? hanging out with carter? >> i think donald trump earns credit on both sides of the aisle and people are like yes but can't be something be done with them so what really needs to happen is the not-for-profit that is engaging in these tactics need to be audited by the irs
making sure these 300 plus conservative organizations the size and gravity of the irs look at it in two minutes year after year they lose money why? may be a congressional committee should ask that question but more importantly if we find out planned parenthood what they do in africa to allow abortions and let me point out i have to get this statistic right specifically on camera but i believe they spend more and abortions in some of this
country than food and water ai. it is disgusting what they do. >> i don't know if you would agree with me don't you think an educated electorate about the blatant power grab. seek first to understand and then to be understood. but do you think it's right if the not-for-profit charity but you have to engage in that. >> we have one of the largest millennial's coming-of-age i.c.e. collet school for ten
years and you probably know where i'm going with this i would like to see a case for return of the school system to return to entities. locally. >> i signed onto that bill. there should not be a department of education. we had a good education system but history, civics. >> that's what i meant. >> education almost nonexistent. and is pretty pathetic. >> where teachers like me who are conservative i've never stood in front of my students to say i'm a republican before you leave the classroom you will be registered to vote but the union rep came and talked to me and said you cannot be
covered by liability insurance. >> the whole education system would make me stay here another couple hours. >> just a quick question many think we are losing fox if we have been watching for a long time it is changing dramatically and that's a big deal going forward. what do you say? >> i'm glad you asked that question because when i show up and then an author from another network so what do you want from me? they say just to be you. we just want your guts and authenticity you call it. don't thank you have to support the president if you
do great if you don't that's great to. i think fox is finding a niche and what i appreciate that it is the only place that i know that truly opens the debatable sides and i will to you as a conservative we should never ever be worried about hearing from the other side as well. if i can't win that debate so shame on me so i love the fact they give time and opportunity for democrats and liberals to make their point so i say are you kidding me? let me debate that ridiculous and asinine position and let me win the argument. and i hear some people say not just to be the political arm
and with those opportunities of all sides. and then to have that argument conservatives when. >> with the ngo issue has the irs shown any interest? this sounds like a huge negative impact has there been any interest. >> the book is six or seven days old so those who wrote the op-ed they let me on the air to talk about it. doing all i can to draw attention to it. there are some numbers at the house and senate as well but for most people it is brand-new information.
>> you noted the nexus between with the ngo and the media but the emerging power of the social media giants that not only maintained that numerous amounts of information but the flow of information when talking about what the issues are? what is the appropriate respons response? >> you highlight something the chairman of the oversight committee we created a subcommittee on information technology and how the government spends 250 billion i'm sorry $90 billion on 250,000 employees on
technology that's how much we are spending but also look at these dilemmas out there. with a bipartisan group of attorney general that are now filing suit and as a private entity if consumers don't want to go that direction and then just said it's cesspool of negative energy and his parents also try to get on and friend him but i think the court ruling is interesting the rule was they cannot delete followers and i tweeted
back to say does the same hold true with twitter and google? can enable back to see the president account but if i put up a two conservative post it barely goes out to anybody and i have hundreds of thousands of followers maybe goes to 1500 people. you kidding me? why do you think 250,000 people on facebook have alike but this only has 1500? that i test it but there is something in the algorithms is not done in a straightforward manner. so people need to have exposure to content it's fascinating what europe is
doing with the right to be forgotten. there are our issues that have not been dealt with previously they'll law allowed a 13 -year-old to sign up. and what other instance do we have 13 -year-olds agree in a contractual obligation? and if they decided as a 15 -year-old they no longer want their content in europe they have to delete it. it has to be gone to the point they can be sued. there's a lot of issues maybe heritage will have me come back to you highlight what's very important but at the same time as conservatives with the national media they would be fighting against us. there is a reason why trump 130 out of 50 states because i go around talking to american people we are still a conservative nation we still believe in the basic tenets of conservativism that we have to