tv Inspector General Report on Clinton Email Probe CSPAN June 19, 2018 10:03am-1:07pm EDT
we will come to horder. without objection, the presiding member is authorized to declare a recess at any time. i am pleased, as i know my colleagues are, to see so much interest in today's hearing. as a reminder to our guests, the rules of the house of representatives prohibit any disruption or manifestation of approval or disapproval of the proceedings, such as shouting. disrupting the proceedings is a violation of d.c. law and house rules, and it will not be tolerated and this will be your only warning. welcome, inspector general horowitz. >> mr. chairman, before we hear from the inspector general, i feel something to say something that is a more immediate priority. we have all see the pictures of immigrant children ripped apart from their parents at the border. these children are not animals. >> order. >> they are children who have been forcibly removed from their parents in our name.
every day they are separated from their parents is a day we do harm to their health and well-being. the united states should be better than this. we should not put children in cages. the minute this hearing adjourns, sooner if we can -- >> mr. chairman, regular order. the gentleman from virginia has requested regular order. so with that, we will welcome you, mr. horowitz for what i think is a hearing on your inspector general report. we will be in recess until the capital police restore order.
this meeting will come to order. inspector general horowitz horowitz, just for your knowledge of the chairs and ranking members will be opening statements and then you will introduced fur your opening statement. what we're doing today does not happen everywhere. we're taking institutions with long and distinguished histories, institutions we need, institutions we rely upon and we're applying scrutiny, review
and inspection. we're testing. we're probing. we're changing. we're even criticizing. and we're doing this because we need these institutions to be above reproach. we need them to be inspected and trusted. we need them to be above bias, taint and prejudice. we need these institutions to be fair, just, even handed, proportional and wholly immune from the vagaries of politics. that's what we expect and demand and need from the department of justice and the fbi, and those expectations should be consistently exacting because the power we give prosecutors in law enforcement is an awesome power. the power to prosecute, the power to charge, the power to indict is the power to impact reputations. it is the power to deprive people of their liberty. it is the power, in some instances, to even try to take the very life of a citizen. and we give police and prosecutors tremendous powers. and with those powers comes a
corresponding expectation of fairness and just dealing. this inspector general report should congress jury anger, disappointment and sadness in everyone who reads it. this ig report lays bare the bias, the anonymous, the rejudging of facts. and attempts to minimize and mitigate this is so an thet cal to what we want and deserve in our law enforcement officers and it is dangerous to the broader community. i have seen efforts from some, not all, but some of my democratic colleagues to shift the burden of bias on to those impacted by that bias. that it is somehow the responsibility of those effected by bias to show how that bias negatively impacted them. what a dangerous shifting of the burden. it is not the public's job to prove the bias shown by the fbi did not influence
decision-making. it is the fbi's job to prove to the public that this manifest bias was not outcome determine tative. and bias and fairness cannot koe exist. that is why no lawyer seated up here today would ever allow a bias juror to sit on his or her jury. and no citizen would ever allow a bias police officer or judge to work on any matter of any significance. there is a presumption that bias is bad. and that is a presumption we should accept in nearly every single facet of life. as we read this report, we're reminding of jim comey's report to appropriate the charging decision away from the prosecutors. we see jim comey drafting a memo before important witnesses like the target were even interviewed. this inspector general has been accused of softening or watering down his report, when the reality is it was jim comey who
softened and watered down his press release, announcing no charges against secretary clinton. we see jim comey and jim comey alone deciding which doj policies to follow and which to ignore, to decide whether there is sufficient evidence to support each and every element of an offense. we see jim comey and jim comey alone deciding whether to send a letter to congress in the throws of a looming election. now, his justification for this is that he did not have confidence in the objectivity of the attorney general loretta lynch. whether it was her asking him to refer to this case as a matter, rather than an investigation or her meeting with bill clinton while hillary clinton was under investigation or the matter he has eluded to but claims he cannot discuss publically clearly jim comey had lost confidence in the doj to handle a case in a way worthy of public
trust. that leads us to the one thing we did not see jim comey do, which was take any steps to spur the appointment of special council in the hillary clinton investigation. when he lost confidence in the trump justice department, he memorialized private conversations, he leaked them and he admitted he did so to spur the appointment of special council because he didn't trust the department of justice. when he lost confidence in the obama department, he didn't make special memos. he didn't share them with his law professor friends. he didn't haec the information. he didn't lift a finger against special prosecutors. instead he appointed himself. now, one of the last times i spoke with director comey was in a committee hearing. we had a pointed exchange on what i thought was the fbi making decisions based, in part, on politics.
and he in his typically sang moanous way told me that he disagreed. he said the men and women of the fbi do not, quote, give a hoot about politics. unfortunately and i use that word intentionally, unfortunately he was dead wrong. there were agents and attorneys at the fbi who gave a lot more than a hoot about politics. there is andy mccabe, the acting director of the fbi, an agency which investigating and charges others for making a false statement himself accused of making false statements and showing a lack of candor. i think i recall, perhaps someone can correct me, but i think i can recall some of my democrat colleagues falling over themselves getting a job with andy mccabe. but they didn't have any openings when others in a related investigation called russia were charged with the same offense. there were fbi agents and
attorneys who decided to prejudge the outcome of the hillary clinton case before the investigation ended. i want you to let that sink in for a second. they prejudged before the investigation ended, and these exact same fbi agents and attorneys prejudged the outcome of the russia investigation before it even began. if prejudging the outcome of an investigation before it ends and prejudging the outcome of an investigation before it begins is not evidence of outcome determinetive bias, for the life of me, i don't know what would be. but that is textbook bias. it is quite literally the definition of bias. allowing something other than the facts to determine your decision. these agents were calling her president before she was even interviewed. they were calling for the end of the trump campaign before the investigation even began. they were calling for impeachment simply because he
happened to be elected. that is bias. and with all due respect, it is the fbi's job, not mine, to prove that bias could ever be harmless because i don't agree. i think bias is always harmful. so we'll spend a day on the small in number but significant in leadership fbi and doj officials, officials who had leadership in supervisory goals in the clinton and russia investigations and who failed to meet the basic expectations of fundamental fairness. but there are tens of thousands of fbi agents and doj employees who do meet our exacting expectations and we are not be calling their names today unfortunately because we don't do ig investigations on agents and prosecutors who do their jobs with character and professioni professionali professionalism. to those agents and fbi agents, we'll get through this. it will be tough and it will be
difficult but we will emerge on the other side with a stronger fbi and a stronger department of justice because we have to. we cannot have a justice system that bases decisions on anything other than facts. to our fellow citizens watching at home, be unrelenting in your expectations of our justice system. never lower those expectations. respect for the rule of law is the thread that holds the tapestry of this country together. and it depends upon you having confidence in those you empower to enforce the law. and importantly do not ever accept the notion that those victimized or impacted or negatively treated because of bias or prejudgment have any burden of proving harm. bias is harmful. it is the making up of your mind based on anything other than the facts. we use a blindfolded woman holding a set of scales to symbolize what we want in a justice system.
and there is nothing more an thet cal to justice than lowering that blindfold and making up your mind based on who is standing in front of you. that is not who we are. that is not who we should ever become. there is a saying in the courtroom may justice be done until the heavens fall. you won't hear that saying in politics. you're more likely to hear, let's win at all costs. the heavens be damned. we can survive with politicians we don't trust. we can't survive with a justice system we don't trust. with that, i would recognize the gentleman from maryland. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. when we look back to the presidential campaign in 2016, there is one extremely troubling image we all remember very well. that is the image of donald trump and other republicans
chanting, lock her up. lock her up. lock her up! they were talking about hillary clinton using personal e-mails. and they demanded over and over again that she be jailed. but the justice department had already investigated. they had interviewed sb eed wit reviewed documents, analyzed the law and examined past charges decisions. at the conclusion of its investigation, the department disagreed with the republicans. they did not charge hillary clinton with any crime at all. and the entire doj and fbi team on the investigation agreed with that conclusion. of course, the republicans refused to accept that
conclusion. they wanted hillary clinton to be guilty. so they attacked the investigation. they said there must have been collusion with hillary clinton. they called emergency hearings over and over and over again. they insisted on reviewing documents and reinterviewing witnesses, and they demanded that their inspector general conducts his own independent investigation of the fbi. last week the inspector general issued his report. but it finds the same thing. it says, and i quote, we found no evidence that the conclusions by the department prosecutors were affected by bias or other improper consideration. the report goes on, and i quote,
rather we determine that they were based on the prosecutor's assessment of the facts, the law and past department practice, end of quote. so the republicans were wrong again. all their howling about lock her up was bogus. it was baseless. it was unsubstantiated. and now we have another report saying so. but again and again the republicans refuse to accept this conclusion. they still want hillary clinton to be guilty even today. now they're going after the investigation of the investigation. they're going after the
inspector general's report issued last week. they want to re-review documents the inspector general already reviewed and re-interview witnesses the inspector general already interviewed. some republicans even want to investigate whether anyone tampered with the inspector general's report or watered it down. they simply refuse to accept the inspector general's findings. the republicans point to some individual inspections of bias and these are facts the inspector general already reviewed. instead, the republicans are now tripling down, threatening to impoai impeach rod rosenstein and christopher rey for somehow obstructing their efforts to get
to the bottom of all of this. they had a big meeting on friday, by the way. friday night with speakers paul ryan. no democrats were invited, of course. but this weekend chairman gowdy described some of it during a press appearance. apparently after reading the inspector general's conclusions, house republicans all decided that, and i quote, the house of representatives is going to use its full arsenal of constitutional weapons to gain compliance, end of quote, with their never-ending demands regarding hillary clinton. at this point, i think it is crystal clear that the only answer republicans will accept is that hillary clinton must be guilty. they will keep going on and
going until they get that answer, even if the facts will never support it and even if multiple independent reviews come to exactly the opposite conclusion. republicans in congress are only willing to use their full arsenal of constitutional weapons to attack hillary clinton or protect donald trump. neither the oversight committee, nor the judiciary committee has issued a single subpoena to investigate president donald trump or any other topic related to his administration, including the key moral and ethical issue of the day which is the president's new policy to separate children from their
families. and, so, i ask the question, and it is a simple question, are we really going to sit here, 70 members of a congress of the united states of america in 2018 and have a hearing that just repeats the hearings the senate had yesterday on hillary clinton's e-mails? we sent letter after letter, letter after letter asking these committees to investigate the trump administration's policy, which is now resulting in child intournament camps. that's what i said, child even tournament camps. even if you believe people entered our country illegally, even if you believe they have no valid asylum claims in their own
country, even if you believe immigration should be altered entirely, we all should be able to agree that in the united states of america we will not intentionally separate children from their parents. we will not do that. we are better than that. we are so much better. we should be able to agree that we will not keep kids in child even tournament camps indefinitely and hidden away from public view. what country is that? this is the united states of america. we now have reports that parents are being deported. pu the trump administration is keeping their children here.
2018 in america. we do not need legislation. this is a policy -- and understand this. this was a policy invented and executed by president donald trump. so, in conclusion, mr. chairman, we need you. those children need you. and i'm talking directly to my republican colleagues. we need you to stand up to president trump. we need you to join us in telling him that we reject this mean policy. we need you to tell him to abandon his policy. we need you to remind him that this is the united states of
america and it is a great country. and we need you to stand up for those children. and with that, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> the chairman yields back. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. >> we are here to shed light on decisions that have terribly tarnished the reputation of our chief law enforcement institutions and undermined americans confidence in their justice system. today we will examine irregularities in the fbi and doj's handling of two of the most sensitive investigations in the history of our country, and it all began with hillary clinton's mishandling of classified e-mails. the ig report has spawned for questions and more theories about the fbi and doj's handling of the clinton investigation. it confirms that mrs. clinton did in fact receive special treatment from the obama justice department and fbi during their
investigation. the american people often get tired of political infighting in washington, d.c. so i want to ask a simple question. why should americans care about what we are talking about here today? i propose this answer: because our constitution guarantees equality under the law. americans expect that those with power and influence will not receive special treatment. but as the ig report describes, doj and fbi did not treat mrs. clinton like any other criminal suspect and did not follow standard investigative procedures in exonerating her. the ig found many issues with this particular investigation, as well as serious institutional issues. and while only telling half the story, we are still awaiting conclusions with respect to the allegations of surveillance abuse inside the fbi. the ig identified various corrective actions, including recommending five additional fbi
employees for further review and possible disciplinary consideration. in a nutshell, the ig report details unusual actions taken by law enforcement officials who were sworn to uphold the constitution impartially and fairly. they failed in that duty. again, why should americans care? the department of justice and the fbi are not mentioned in the u.s. constitution. who is mentioned in the constitution? the president and congress. yet, a handful of individuals in these law enforcement institutions placed the constitutional institution of the presidency under attack during a heated election and mocked congress's legitimate constitutionally mandated oversight. equality under the law is a core american value. our laws are to with administered and enforced with impartiality. the ig report confirms that this was not the case in the clinton
investigation. to quote from the report concerning certain individuals assigned to the investigation, we found that the conduct of these five fbi employees brought discredit to themselves, sewed doubt about the fbi's handling of the mid-year investigation and impacted the reputation of the fbi. more over, the damage caused by their actions extends far beyond the scope of the mid-year investigation and goes to the heart of the fbi's reputation for neutral fact finding and political independence, end quote. i am only repeating what the ig found. improprieties by the fbi and doj caused such far-reaching damage going to the heart of what is expected from agencies whose responsibility was to remain fair administrators of justice. this hearing and the ig's report underscores the importance of the ongoing joint investigation by the house judiciary committee
and the house oversight committee. it is a decision made by the doj and fbi in 2016. to date, the committees have interviewed several key witnesses and reviewed tens of thousands of documents. while we appreciate the ig and his staff for a very detailed investigation, it is critical for the public to also hear what was not included in the report due to the ig's refusal to question, quote, whether a particular decision by the fbi and doj was the most effective choice, end quote. here is what has been observed by these exit t committees. foreign actors obtained access to some of mrs. clinton's e-mails, including at least one e-mail classified secret. comey predetermined the exoneration of mrs. clinton at least two months before the investigation concluded. the department of justice
determined any charge of gross negligence was off the table, reading an intent standard into the law that does not exist. grotesque statements against then candidate donald trump were made by top fbi officials, and they went so far as to say we'll stop trump from becoming president. indecessions involving mr. struck and mrs. page were not handled appropriately. at the time the fbi management learned of them, resulting in their continued assignment as key players on the clinton investigation and the mueller-russia investigation. mr. mccabe appears to have not been forth wright with congress during an interview conducted with the committees concerning his knowledge of meetings and actions taken by mr. mccabe and his team. the fbi's top counter intelligence official was unaware of possible evidence indicating mrs. clinton's private e-mail server had been penetrated by a foreign
adversary and unaware of relevant legal process obtained during the investigation. documents show significant criticism of mr. comey expressed by multiple current and former fbi agents. the fbi intentionally obscured the fact that president obama had communicated with mrs. clinton's private e-mail address by editing mr. comey's final press statement, replacing "the president" with the euphemism senior government official. top fbi officials including mr. mccabe through their wives had close ties to democrat and clinton affiliated entities and should have seemingly been recused from the clinton investigation. public confidence in the imparablety is critical. fallout gives the impression those with money and influence are given lighter treatment than
the so-called common person. short-term damage to the fbi and doj is apparent. however, the ig and congress's investigations will help to understand why certain deficiencies occurred during one of the most high profile investigations in this nation's history. this hearing is a crucial step toward repairing the law enforcement's reputation as an impartial fact finder and seeker of truth, and i look forward to the inspector general's testimony today. >> the gentleman from virginia yields back. the gentleman from new york is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman and that morning you inspector general horowitz for being here today. the days since you released your report, mr. inspector general, i have been struck by the total disconnect between the republican party line and your actual findings. the report does not find, as president trump continues to compla
complain, that the fbi quote plotted against his election. it does not totally exonerate the president on the russian matter no matter how you read it. it does not give any reason to conclude, as the president's increasingly untethered attorney rudy giuliani argues that mueller should be suspended and honest people should be brought in or that the attorney general should end the investigation altogether. nor does it suggest as chairman insist that hillary clinton received special treatment from the fbi. the key findings in the report are quite simple. the inspector general, quote, found no evidence that the conclusions by the prosecutors were affected by bias or other improper considerations. rather, we determined that they were based on the prosecutor's assessment of the facts, the law and past department practice, close quote. that sums up everything we're
talking about. the key -- the report criticizes the fbi and its former leadership. but virtually every action criticized ultimately harmed the candidacy of secretary clinton and went to the benefit of the candidacy of donald trump. the report has nothing to say about the ongoing work of the special council. president trump, rudy giuliani and some of my republican colleagues are desperate to make that leap. who wouldn't be in their position with 23 indictments and the president's campaign manager in jail? but their argument is based on innuendo and not on the facts and certainly not on this report. now, i am not shy about my criticism of the former fbi director. when james comey testified before the judiciary committee last year, i told him that he was wrong to have applied a double standard to the presidential campaigns. speaking publically and at length about the clinton
investigation but refusing even to acknowledge the investigation into the trump campaign. i also told mr. comey that he was wrong to have criticized secretary clinton after announcing he would not charge her with a crime, not because of the content of the criticism but because issuing that statement was simply not his job, as the report finds. it is also wrong, as well as against department of justice guide guidelines, for the investigative agency to criticize uncharged conduct. it was totally unnecessary and wrong. inspector general's report describes both of these failings in detail. the analysis reads in pertinent part, quote, in our criminal justice system the investigative and pros cuetive functions are intentionally kept separate as a check on the government's power to bring criminal charges. the report concludes that mr. comey's statement assumed an authority that did not belong to
the office of the fbi. i am grateful for this important analysis, mr. horowitz. unfortunately, sir, your key finding that the decision not to charge secretary clinton was based on an assessment of the law and past department practice has not unbias or improper consideration is now subject to the treatment that president trump and some of my republican colleagues will give it. i mean there was total bias the president argued on the white house lawn just last week. what are we to make of this disconnect between what the report says and what the president and his allies say it says? why is it that no matter how many times we litigate this question, house republicans can think of nothing better to do than to endlessly investigate hillary clinton for the same conduct. why is it that after half a dozen investigations found no wrongdoing at benghazi the majority spent millions of
dollars on their select committee. when that body found no wrongdoing either, why is it the authority moved on to legitimize conspiracy theories about the clinton foundation. why is it after the department of justice and the fbi concluded they should not charge secretary clinton with a crime, rather than accepting the conclusion as we would in most criminal cases, the judiciary and oversight majorities launched an investigation into the department of justice and the fbi? why is it that after you released this report, mr. horowitz, some of my colleagues seriously suggested that we open an investigation into your investigation of the investigation? why is it that here and now in june of 2018 we are still talking about hillary clinton's e-mails at all? i suspect it has something to do with the way republicans have skaunderred their opportunity to govern and the consequences of abdicating that responsibility. house republicans have done little or nothing to protect us
from foreign attack or push back against the attorney general refusal to defend in court t affordable care act or address an immigration crisis with anything other than a cruel and reactionary policy proposal that will never become law and with persecuting children at the border. they don't even make credible about hillary clinton's e-mails. i suspect if the majority were actually motivated by the sensitivity of classified information in the clinton case, they would have also said something by now about the highly sensitive israeli operation revealed to russian officials by president trump or about the way the president handles classified documents at mar-a-lago or about the confidential human sources identity was exposed recently while our colleagues tried to force the deputy attorney general to reveal his identity or about the totally inappropriate, if not outright unlawful, dangling of pardons by the president and his attorney to those accused of
participating in a conspiracy against the united states. no, too many of my republican colleagues instead seem stuck at a perpetual trump campaign rally shouting lock her up with the rest of the crowd hoping the public won't notice how little they have accomplished with their time in the major tichlt i look forward to your testimony today, mr. inspector gern rnera. i hope this can be the beginning of the end with your preoccupation with secretary clinton. we have so many other important things to do. >> the gentleman yields back. we are pleased to introduce our witness today, the honorable michael horowitz, inspector general to the department of justice. pursuant to committee rules, all witness wills be sworn in before they testify, so i would ask you to do what you just did. stand up, raise your right hand. do you swear or affirm the system you are about to give shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
the witness answered in the affirmative. mr. horowitz you are recognized for your opening statement. >> thank you, chairman and thank you ranking members and members of the committee. thank you for inviting me to testify today regarding the report we released last week. our 500 page plus report provides a thorough, comprehensive and objective recitation of the facts related to the department's and fbi's handling of the clinton e-mail investigation. it was the product of 17 months of investigative work by a dedicated oig team that reviewed well over 1.2 million documents and interviewed more than 100 witnesses, many on multiple occasions. the review team followed the evidence wherever it led. and through their efforts we identified the inappropriate text and instant messages discussed in the report. additionally, the oig's pain staking forensic examinations
recovered thousands of text messages that otherwise would have been lost or been undisclosed. as detailed in our report, we found that the inappropriate political messages that we uncovered cast a cloud over the mid-year investigation, sewed doubt about the credibility of the fbi's handling of it and impact the reputation of the fbi. we found the implication that senior fbi employees would be willing to take official action to impact a presidential candidate's electoral prospects to be deeply troubling to the core values of the fbi and the justice department. with regard to the decision to close the investigation without prosecution, we found no evidence that the conclusions by the prosecutors were the result of improper considerations, including political bias but rather were exercises of those prosecutors prosecutorial
discretion and exercise of their prosecutorial discretion based on their assessment of the facts, the law and past department practice. our review also included a fact based detail assessment of certain specific investigative and prosecutorial decisions that were the subject of controversy. it was necessary to select particular investigative decisions because it would not have been possible to recreate and analyze every decision made in a yearlong investigation. in examining these decisions, we considered -- the question we considered was not whether a particular decision was the most effective choice, but rather whether the documentary and testimonial evidence indicated the decision was based on improper considerations, including political bias. this approach is consistent with the oig's handling of such questions in past reviews when assessing discretionary judgment calls and recognizes and
respects the institutional oversight role of the oig. our report provides a comprehensive assessment of these decisions and noft mid-year investigation and details the factual evidence so that the public, congress and other stakeholders can conduct their own assessment of them. within this frame work, as to the specific decision we reviewed, we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias directly affected those specific investigative decisions in part because the decisions were made by the mid year term -- by the larger mid year term or by the prosecutors. this determination by the oig does not mean that we necessarily endorse those decisions or concluded they were the most effective among the options considered or that our findings should or can be
extrapolated to cover other decisions made during the course of the investigation by the fbi employees who sent those inappropriate text messages. conversely, we found the fbi's explanations for its failures to take immediate action after discovering the weiner laptop in 2016 to be unpersuasive, and we did not have confidence that the decision of deputy assistant director struck to prioritize the russia investigation over following up on the weiner laptop was free from bias in light of his text messages. we also found that in key moments then fbi director comey clearly departed from fbi and department norms and his decisions negatively impacted the perception of the fbi and the department as fair administrators of justice. director comey concealed from
the attorney general and the deputy attorney general his intention to make a unilateral announcement in july 2016 about the reasons for his recommendation not to prosecute former secretary clinton. his july 5th statement included inappropriate commentary about uncharged conduct, announced his views on what a quote, unquote reasonable prosecutor would do and served to confuse, rather than clarify, public understanding of his recommendation or what the prosecutors had assessed in terms of the evidence. in late october, he again acted without adequately consulting department leadership and contrary to important department norms when he sent a letter to congress announcing renewed investigative activities -- activity days before the election. there are many lessons to be learned from the department's and the fbi's handling of the clinton e-mail investigation. but among the most important is
the need to respect the institution's hierarchy and structure and to follow established policies, procedures and norms, even in the highest profile and most challenging investigations. no rule, policy or practice is perfect, of course, but at the same time, neither is any individual's ability to make judgments under pressure or in what may seem like unique circumstances. when leaders and officials adhere to bedrock principles and values, the public has greater confidence in the fairness and rightness of their decisions, and those institutions' leaders better protect the interests of federal law enforcement and the dedicated professionals who serve us all. by contrast, the public's trust is negatively impacted when law enforcement officials make statements reflecting bias, when leaders abandon institutional norms in the organizational
hierarchy in favor of their own ad hoc judgments and when the leadership of the department of justice and the fbi are unable to speak directly to one another for the good of the institutions. our report makes nine recommendations, most of which can be tied together through a common theme. but the fbi and the justice department remain true to their foundational principles and values in all of their work. that concludes my prepared statement. i would be pleased to answer any questions the committee may have. >> thank you. there is a text exchange from august the 8th of 2016. in that text exchange she wrote trump is not ever going to become president, right, with a question mark and then right with a question mark and an exclamation point incase anybody reading it may have missed the point of her emphasis. peter struck responded no, no, he's not.
we'll stop it. do i have that text exchange right? >> you do. >> now, lisa page was an fbi lawyer who worked on the clinton e-mail investigation? >> that's correct. >> did she also work on the russia investigation? >> she did. >> how about the mueller special council team? >> she did for a period of time. >> all right. so we're three for three on her working on the two most important bureau investigations in 2016 and beyond. now, is this the same lisa page that andy mccabe used to leak information to a news outlet. >> she was the individual through him he provided that information. >> wasn't there also text about an insurance policy in case trump won in a meeting in andy's office? she was part of that text strain, too, wasn't she? >> correct. that was on august 15th. >> all right. so this august 8 text was not the only time fbi lawyer lisa
page was able to use the text feature on her phone. this is the same lisa page who admonished the agent interviewing hillary clinton not to go into that interview loaded for bear because forebear because clinton might be the next president and the same lisa page who said trump was loathsome, awful, the man cannot become president, clinton just has to win it. and that trump should go "f" himself. now most of those comments were before the clinton investigation was over and we are somehow supposed to believe that she did not prejudge the outcome of that investigation before it was over? she already had hillary clinton winning. i don't know how you can win if you're going to wind up getting indicted and/or plead guilty or be convicted of a felony. . i think we understand the first half of that text pretty well. she didn't want trump to win and wanted clinton to win. now for the response.
senior fbi agent peter strzok wrote no, he's not, we'll stop it. now i think this is the same peter strzok who worked on the clinton e-mail investigation do i have that right? >> that's correct. >> same peter strzok who not only worked on the russia investigation when it began but was one of the lead investigators at the inception of the russia probe, do i have the right peter strzok? >> that's my understanding. >> is it the same peter strzok who was put on the palestinimue special counsel team? >> yes. >> this is not the only time he managed to find the text feature on his phone either. this is the same peter strzok who said trump is an idiot, hillary should win, 100 million to 0. mr. inspector general, that one is interesting to me because he's supposed to be investigating her for violations of the espionage act at the time he wrote that in march of 2016.
he's supposed to be investigating her for violations of the espionage act and he can't think of a single solitary american that wouldn't vote for her for president. i mean, can you see our skepticism? this senior fbi agent not only had her running, he had her winning 100 million to nothing. so what if they had found evidence sufficient to indict her? what if they had indicted her? is this the same peter -- he wasn't part of the interview of secretary clinton, was he? >> he was present for the interview. >> huh. four months before that interview he has her running winning 100 million to 0, he wrote the bigoted nonsense of trump, trump is a disaster, i
have no idea how destabilizing his presidency would be, "f" trump, trump is an f'ing idiot, on the prospects of trump winning this is an f'ing terrifying. in addition to like the "f" word i think we have the same fbi agent, lisa page, and the same finish agent peter strzok working on the clinton e-mail investigation, the russia probe, and on mueller's team. so we have the right text and we have the right people and i want to make sure we have the chronology right. comey announces no charges for secretary clinton, right? >> correct. >> july 28th, 2016, the fbi initiates a counterintelligence investigation into russia and the trump campaign. and strzok is not only on that russia investigator to team, he's actually leading it. that's three weeks after clinton is exonerated by comey, strzok
is leading an investigation into russia and possible connections with the trump campaign. that's on the 28th of july. on the 31st of july, three days after the russia investigation began, strzok wrote, dam, this feels momentous. the other one did too, but this was to ensure we didn't "f" things up. this one matters because it matters. and if you happen to not know now important it is, he went ahead and put matters in all caps, in case you happen to not focus on the importance of why this matters. now her investigation was just to make sure they didn't "f" things up. this one, we're three days into it, inspector general horowitz, three days into an investigation, but this one really matters. i wonder what he meant by saying the purpose of the clinton investigation was to make sure they didn't "f" things up.
but the russia investigation, no, that one was different. that one really mattered. it almost sounds, inspector general horowitz, like they were going through the motions with the clinton investigation. but boy, they sure were excited about the russia one. then we get to august 6th, less than ten days after the russia investigation begins and page says, you are meant to protect the country from that menace. and then we get to august 8th, 2016, less than two weeks after the russia investigation even began, the lead fbi agent says, he will stop trump from becoming president. this is two weeks into an investigation and he's already prejudged the outcome and we're somehow supposed to believe that that bias was not outcome derm native. i can't think of anything more outcome determinative than my bias against this person i'm
investigating with only two weeks worth of investigating. i have already concluded he should not be the president of the united states. then we get to august 15th, just over two weeks into the russia investigation, strzok says i want to believe the path you threw out, that there's no way he gets elected but i'm afraid we can't take that risk. it's like an insurance policy. mr. inspector general, that is two weeks into an investigation and he is talking about taking out an insurance policy because he can't phantom the target of his investigation possibly becoming the president. so i want to go back to the no, no he's not going to be president, we'll stop it. what do you think the "it" is in that phrase "we'll stop it". >> i think it's clear from the context we're going to stop him from becoming president.
>> that's what i thought too. i wonder who the "we" is in the "we'll stop it," who do you think the we is? >> that's subject to multiple interpretations. >> see if we can go through a couple of them. >> them or a broader group beyond that. >> it's hard to phantom a definition of "we" that doesn't include him. he's part of "we." you could assume that the person he's talking with is fbi attorney who also happens to be working on the russia investigation, she may be part of the "we" but i wonder, inspector general, did you find any other fbi agents or fbi attorneys who manifest any animus or bias against president trump? >> we did. >> how many? >> we found three additional fbi agents as we detail in the report. >> and were any of them working on the russia investigation? >> i'm sorry. let me -- two agents and one attorney. >> two other agents, one other
attorney, were they working on either the russia investigation or the mueller probe? >> i believe two of the three were, but i would have to just double check on that. >> okay. now bob mueller was named special counsel on may 17th, 2017. one day later, mr. horowitz, one day later. peter strzok is back on his phone texting some more. for me and this case, i personally have a sense of unfinished business. i unleashed it with the clinton e-mail investigation, now i need to fix it and finish it. fix what? >> well, there is outlined in the report what mr. strzok's explanation for -- >> oh, i know what he says. i'm asking the -- >> our view is -- >> i'm asking the guy who had a distinguished career in southern district of new york and
distinguished kreesh career at the department of justice. would you rather cross-examination peter strzok or direct the examination on that? >> probably cross exam. >> that's what i thought. how about "finish it" when he said, i unleashed it and now i need to fix it and finish it. >> i think in the context of the e-mails that occurred in august and the prior august that you outlined, i think a reasonable explanation of it or reasonable inference of that is, that he believed he would use or potentially use his official authority to take action. >> but this is 24 hours into him being put on the mueller probe. >> there's no way he possibly could have prejudged the outcome of the investigation 24 -- maybe he did. maybe that's the outcome
determinative bias that my democrat friends have such a hard time finding. if one of your investigators talked about lisa page and peter strzok the way they talked about donald trump would you left them on the investigation? >> no. >> did you have an agent when you were a prosecutor with this level of bias? >> as i've laid out here i thought this this was to the core values of the department and extremely serious. >> speak up, please. >> i'm sorry. >> i heard you, but you can say it where mr. madher can hear you too. >> my view of this was that this was extremely serious, completely em pa theatrical to the core values and my personal view having been a prosecutor and worked with fbi agents i can't imagine fbi agents suggesting even that they might use their powers to investigate frankly any candidate for any
office. >> i can't either and let me ask you this in conclusion. i think you've already -- you laid out in your opening that peter strzok's obsession with donald trump and the russia investigation may have led him to take his eyes off of the weiner laptop and notably ironic way, calls jim comey to be a little bit later in sending those letters to congress, so that is one example of outcome determinative bias, but i have to ask you, you used to be in a courtroom, you were on the side of the united states and you worked for the department of justice. if someone is prejudging the outcome of an investigation before it ends and someone is prejudging the outcome of an investigation before it even begins, what is more textbook bias than prejudging this investigation before it's over and this one before it begins?
i am struggling to find a better example of outcome determinative bias than that. so what am i missing? >> well, i think certainly with regard to the russia investigation you mentioned as you know, we are looking at that in an ongoing way. with regard to the clinton e-mail investigation, i think as we lay out here and go through it, we looked at text messages, e-mails, documents, to try and assess whether the specific decisions that we were asked to look at and then the ultimate prosecutorial decision were impacted by strzok, page and the others' views and what we ended up finding particularly as to the prosecutor's decision was, that that was a decision they made exercising their discretion on their view of the policy, the law, and the facts as it was found. we've laid that out. and in our view, we didn't find
or see evidence that the prosecutors were impacted by that bias. the idea was to put out the facts for the public, members of congress to see, and so the folks that want to take a look at those issues can assess them themselves. >> my time is up. i hope one of my other colleagues will explore that because the explanation i've heard is that the failure to prosecute was predicated upon their belief that there was not sufficient evidence of intent on her behalf and i don't know where in the hell you would go to find better evidence of sbents than interviewing the person who actually was doing the intending and when you make up your mind that you're not going to charge someone and you make up your mind you need to not go in loaded and read the 302 and not a single dam question on intent it is really hard for those of us who used to do this for a living to not conclude they had made up their mind on intent before they
bothered to talk to the single best repository of intent evidence which would be her. with that i would -- >> mr. chairman, may i make an inquiry, mr. chairman. in order to prepare our questions, could i have your guidance on how much time each member is to be allowed? >> five minutes and mr. cummings can have the amount of time he thinks is necessary, the other members will have five minutes. gentleman from maryland. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. first of all i want to thank you, mr. horowitz for your work and i want to thank all of the i.g.s. we have always been both sides of the aisle impressed with your efforts and i -- and to your staff i thank you. mr. horowitz, i want to focus on whether secretary clinton received as some of my colleagues put it, special
treatment, from the fbi and the doj. on the decision not to prosecute secretary clinton, your report found and i, quote, we found no evidence that the conclusions by the prosecutors were affected by bias or other improper considerations, rather we determined that they were based on the prosecutor's assessment of the facts, the law, and past department practice. we want justice department officials to make their decisions based on the facts, the law, and the past department practices. isn't that a correct -- is that accurate? >> that's correct. >> and your report also concluded that the fbi team interpreted and applied the law to secretary clinton in a way that was, and i quote,
consistent with the department's historical approach in prior cases under different leadership, including in the 2008 decision not to prosecute former attorney general alberto gonzales for mishandling classified documents, is that correct? >> that's correct. >> but director comey did apply a double standard to secretary clinton in a way that helped donald trump and severely hurt secretary clinton. director comey followed the department policy and kept secret from the american people the fbi's investigations of the trump campaign and russia, but repeatedly ignored department policy and released information about secretary clinton. regarding director comey's july
5th, 2016 public statement about his recommendation not to charge secretary clinton, your review found, and i quote, comey's unilateral announcement was inconsistent with the department policy and violated long-standing department practice and protocol by among other things, criticizing clinton's uncharged conduct. can you explain why the department has a policy against criticizing the uncharged conduct of an individual. >> certainly. the department -- actually one of the things that was interesting in the report is we found that it's a norm that's accepted but there actually isn't a policy that explicitly states that. that is one of our recommendations. and i would -- as we talk about this issue, the reason you don't
speak about uncharged conduct, there are many, but it is fairness to the individual. if an individual isn't going to be charged with criminal conduct or wrongdoing you don't speak about it. you speak in court. that's what we've been trained from day one as prosecutors and anybody who has worked in the justice department. doing that publicly not only tarnishes an individual, but raises questions of the fairness of justice and applications of various principles as you indicated. indeed, as we point out here, while there isn't an explicit policy at the department about not speaking on uncharged conduct in a case where you don't charge any criminal activity, there actually is language that pro hibtsz department prosecutors from speaking about uncharged conduct of co-conspirators. so in other words, where there
is, in fact, a charge of criminal wrongdoing and a conspiracy, and some individuals in the conspiracy are charged and some individuals aren't charged, then that can happen because there is stronger evidence against some than others. the department policy says you can't speak about the uncharged individuals even though you believe they committed a crime and yet there is no corresponding policy where there are no charges which is why we make that recommendation in this report. >> you also found that director comey's october 28th, 2016, letter to congress about secretary clinton and i quote, originated with comey's elevation of maximum transparency as a value overriding for this case only. the principles of stay silent and take no action that the fbi has consistently applied to other cases.
mr. horowitz, one of those investigations where director comey decided to follow department policy and practice and keep silent was the russia investigation into allegations of collusion with the trump campaign. is that accurate? >> it is. i'll add he also had that policy with regard to the clinton foundation. >> and so -- and so say that again, explain that. >> there were two investigations he declined as we lay out here to speak about. one was the russia investigation and one was then an ongoing clinton investigation. in fact, that was the basis for the report about deputy director mccabe's misconduct that we released a few months ago. >> so do you believe that secretary clinton received some favorable action? >> i'm not going to sort of judge whether it was favorable to whom or what.
i would say it was not consistent with department policy practice and it shouldn't have been done. >> now mr. horowitz, president trump and his republican allies are trying to use your report to discredit special counsel mueller's investigation. let me read a few headlines from the press about your report. i'm sure you've seen them. trump allies, quote, seize on doj report as they seek to undercut mueller's probe. giuliani called for doj to end mueller probe after ig report. quote, trump claims vindication. in report on fbi that wasn't about him. quote, republicans want to shut mueller down over a report that isn't even about him end of quote. president trump stated last friday and i quote, if you read the ig report, i've been totally
exonerated, end of quote. mr. horowitz, my copy of your report must be missing a page, a few pages. did you -- did your investigation examine whether president trump's campaign colluded with russia to impact the election or whether the president obstructed an fbi investigation? >> our report was focused on the clinton e-mail investigation and the own place where it touches the russia matter is with regard to the text messages and then the october decision about the weiner laptop. >> the president also said the mueller investigation has been totally discredited, end of quote. i couldndon't see that in your . maybe i missed it. does your report reach conclusions about the validity or credibility of special counsel mueller's investigation? >> as we noted in the report, it relates to the clinton e-mail
investigation and the russia matter was not part of this review, other than with the exception i mentioned earlier. >> now rudy giuliani, president trump's personal attorney, said and i quote, tomorrow mueller should suspend his investigation, end of quote. does your report recommend that the special counsel suspend his investigation? >> we don't address issues with regard to the special counsel. >> mr. giuliani also said and i, quote, the ig report basically tells you that both prongs of the mueller investigation are either corrupt or answered end of quote. did your investigation determine that the special counsel's investigation is corrupt? >> as i said, our report was concerning the clinton e-mail investigation. >> did your investigation answer the questions being considered in special counsel mueller's probe? >> same answer.
>> the conclusion in your report states and i quote, and i will finish with this, mr. chairman, though the collective efforts of generations of fbi employees, the fbi has developed and earned a reputation as one of the world's premier law enforcement agencies. the fbi has gained this reputation in significant part because of its professionalism, impartiality, nonpolitical enforcement of the law, and adherens to detailed policies, practices, and norms. did you find that the fbi, as an institution, is corrupt, politically biased or untrustworthy? >> we didn't reach the larger question of, you know, how this broadly affected the fbi beyond noting that, in fact, this kind of conduct undermines that
credibility, impacts people's perceptions of the fbi in a way that should never have happened and is very concerning for all the reasons i think everybody cares about, the fair administration of justice. >> the -- and i listen very carefully to chairman gowdy's questions which were excellent, and the cloud that you talked about with regard to miss page and strzok and the others that you mentioned. how do you get -- how did you -- the method that you used to figure out that there was -- that their opinions did not have a negative impact, you know, or inappropriate impact on this investigation? >> so what we did was -- >> because that is a crucial
question. i mean, in fairness to all, i think it's important that that be addressed. go ahead. >> yeah. absolutely, congressman. i think it is very important because as we've talked about, the language, the messages, the appearance, the implication, that any law enforcement officer would be willing to use their authority to impact any election any individual, whatever side that person is running on or running from, is so antitheatrical to the core values of justice and the fbi and so the question we looked at was, with the comments of the five individuals we identified here in looking at their various message, how did those -- how did those impact the specific decisions we looked at and then the prosecutor's decision ultimately because, obviously,
the prosecutors are the one, despite what director comey said publicly, were responsible for making the ultimate decision on whether to charge or not charge. we questioned witnesses closely, looked for all the documentary evidence we could, we looked at the specific decisions as to the specific decisions we outlined here in the report. they were either the result of larger team decisions that were not exclusively within the domain of the individuals who had very troubling messages, or were prosecutor's decisions. and not the decisions of these individuals. and we also noted that at least for some of these decisions the individuals are actually seeking more aggressive approaches than the prosecutors were in some regards. so we looked at all of that evidence and we assessed whether
on that record we could make a finding that bias turned into action by those other individuals. and we didn't believe there was evidence to reach that conclusion and as to the prosecutor's decision it was the prosecutor's decision and folks can debate and discuss and there's been a fair amount of it on whether the precedent and the current assessment here on the application of the gross negligence provision, was an appropriate application of that provision, but that's a decision that the prosecutors made on their judgment. >> let me ask you this, in coming to that conclusion that you just talked about, was there -- because it seems like we're having an investigation of investigation of investigation. but -- so i ask you this, your staff, the people that you work
with, your ig assistants, were you all solid behind what you just said? or did you have a lot of -- have people saying no, like a jury half of them -- >> you know the great thing about having a large team like we had working on this is, like we've done in other reports, we sit in a room, sort of hash it out, exchange ideas, but i'm comfortable saying this is the conclusion of all of us in the ig. i, obviously, am the one who has to and is the one responsible for issuing this but that was our team conclusion of it, but it -- you know, i hasten to add, we understand and recognize and state explicitly on how serious the conduct was and cast a cloud over the whole investigation. i don't think that can be lost either. >> thank you very much.
>> the gentleman from maryland yields back. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. >> mr. horowitz, welcome. we know from the reports surrounding former deputy director mccabe's termination that the department of justice at high levels sought to terminate the clinton foundation investigation. we also know that you found communication between secretary clinton and president obama. during your investigation did you seek access to communications from the department of justice? >> yes, we did. >> what about former obama white house officials? >> we saw department records and department information. we have in the past when we've sought white house records, and this is true of administrations going way back, it's been made clear to us that the executive
office of the president does not provide records to inspectors generals of agencies. we would look for them if they were incoming to the department and those would be records we would seek and obtain, but we don't have authority over any other agency outside government -- outside the justice department. >> did you seek to interview any officials at the white house? the obama white house? >> i would have to go back and ask the team whether we sought interviews. >> dennis mcdonough? >> i don't believe so. >> valerie jarrett? >>
>> how about the president himself? >> no, we did not. >> all right. >> neither the department of justice -- would you have liked to have that information if you could get access to it? >> i would have to think about that and talk with the team about that and how they would view that. >> neither the department of justice nor the fbi are mentioned in the constitution, however each institution has engaged in repeated stonewalling of congress's oversight, the text from peter strzok saying we will stop president trump from taking office which we received was a prime example. this report was revealed late in do you believe the political bias shown by this text. >> to be determined. >> but the time proximity as mr.
gowdy pointed out is significant. >> correct. >> in fact, there are these other text messages roughly the same time period. more about the seeming need for intent in this statute. of course as some have noted people never intend the bad things that happen due to gross negligence. right? >> correct. >> so some courts have stated that willful blindness satisfies the requirement of knowledge, for example, this happens in a cases where a defendant is transporting a package containing narcotics, courts have never allowed the defendant to claim he didn't know what was in the package because he should have known and exercised criminal recklessness by failing to determine what was in the
package. in your opinion as a former prosecutor, isn't a similar analysis appropriate here? >> i'm going to demure on what i would have done as a prosecutor or views as a former prosecutor. i will say what was explained to us in terms of intent, was actually really knowledge. the focus was largely on the fact that these documents that were classified weren't clearly marked as classified. >> didn't mrs. clinton as secretary of state, having the authority to read not only all levels of classified documents but to classify documents herself didn't she have a duty to determine whether the unclassified server she used to transact all her official business was moving classified information? >> i think it's fair to say there's a responsibility on senior officials to understand and know what classified information may be present.
>> wasn't that the least amount of care we should have expected from her with information that could cause serious harm to our national security? >> i think i'm going to rely on the evidence that we had here and our review, which was to look at what the prosecutors made as an assessment and as we describe here their view was, unless it was marked, unless it was clear knowledge, they believed that that would -- it would be inconsistent with past practice and how they would look at this provision and therefore not charge her. >> following the 2016 election, many of my democratic colleagues called for the resignation or termination of former fbi director james comey for his mishandling of the clinton investigation. curiously, these same colleagues cried foul when president trump, upon the recommendation of department of justice, deputy attorney general rosenstein, did, in fact, terminate comey. for instance, on november 14,
2016, one of our democratic judiciary committee colleagues told cnn's chris cuomo that comey should be fired immediately and the president -- president trump ought to initiate an investigation into his actions. conversely on may 9, 2017, that same democrat made a complete u-turn and stated that, quote, the firing of fbi director comey by president trump is a terrifying signal of this administration's continued abuse of power on so many levels. end quote. additionally following the 2016 election, another of our democratic colleagues insisted that comey should pack his things and go. however a year later the same person insisted that james comey's firing suggests an attempt to schedule much an investigation. a third judiciary committee democrat stated comey's actions make it clear he should resign
immediately for the good of the fbi and the justice department. fast forward a year and the same democrat is then advocating for director comey to receive, get this, the profiles in courage award following his termination. so to clear up the apparent confusion among my colleagues, do you believe the termination of former fbi director james comey was justified following your recent findings that describe comey as insubordinate in his handling of hillary clinton's e-mail investigation? >> mr. chairman, as inspector general, my responsibility is to get the evidence and the facts and it is then up to others to decide what the appropriate penalty or adjudication should be of that. so i'm going to -- for the reasons that we found here that people should stay in their roles and responsibilities and understand those, i'm going to -- >> you would agree, however,
that insubordination in the matters that you outlined in your report is a serious matter? >> oh, i agree. it's a serious matter. >> so, on page 147 of your report, there is a text exchange that i'm curious about. about halfway down the page, agent one stated he could not recall anything specific to add to this exchange. in another exchange on february 4, 2016, agent one and an fbi employee who was not assigned to the mid--year investigation discussed agent one's interview with a witness who assisted the clintons at their chappaqua, new york, residence, part of this exchange follows. fbi employee, boom. how did the witness go? agent one. awesome. lied his ass off. went from never inside the scif, sensitive compartmented facility
at residence to looked in when it was being constructed to remove the trash twice to trouble shoot the secure facts with hrc a couple times to every time there was a secure facts i did it with hrc. ridic. end quote. fbi employee would be funny if he was the only guy charged in this deal. agent one. i know. for one oo one. 18 usc 1001, is it not? >> that's correct. >> even if he said the truth and didn't have a clearance when handling the secure facts, ain't no one going to do s blank blank blank. now, we asked agent one about the implication in this message. this is your report. that no one would be charged, irrespective of what the team found. and agent one stated, yeah, i don't think i can say there's a specific person that i worked with in this case that wouldn't charge him for that.
wouldn't charge him for that. i think it's a general complaint of, you know, of fbi agents that are kind of, kind of being emotional and complaining that no one is going to do something about something, but there's something specific that i can tell you. now, this individual agent one is expressing an opinion that that was a circumstance under which charging somebody would be appropriate, is that correct? >> that's certainly what he's suggesting here. >> all right. now what is title 18 section 1001? >> that is making a false statement to a government official in the course of a review or an investigation. >> so is that not exactly the same statute under which mr. papadopoulos and mr. flynn were charged? >> i don't know but i assume so. >> all right. thank you. those are all the questions i
have. >> gentleman from virginia yields back. the gentleman from new york is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. yes. first of all let me state before i ask questions of mr. horowitz, the president told us why he fired mr. comey and it wasn't for any of the things mentioned in the report. it was because of the russia investigation. he told that to us on nbc news interview with lester holt. i believe the president. unless there's evidence he was lying but i haven't heard any suggestions of that. now mr. horowitz, the special counsel's investigation has resulted in five guilty pleas and 23 indictments so far. do any of your reports findings call into question any of these serious criminal indictments? >> our report focused on the clinton e-mail investigation. >> it has nothing to do with it. >> so the answer is no. >> the only place we touch on russia is that october time period. >> thank you. on may 2nd, 2017, president trump tweeted, fbi director
comey was the best thing that ever happened to hillary and that he gave her a free pass for many bad deeds, unquote. over the course of your investigation, did you find that the fbi gave hillary clinton, quote, a free pass from any bad deeds unquote? >> i'm sorry. could you restate that? >> did you find that the fbi gave hillary clinton, quote, a free pass for many bad deeds, unquote? >> i think we've laid out here quite clearly what the investigative steps were and how the decision was made, so 500 pages worth of information to make that assessment. >> in fact, you found, did you not, that the specific investigative decisions that you reviewed, quote, were based on the prosecutor's assessments of the fact, the law and department practice, closed quote? >> correct. >> on july 22nd, 2017, the president tweeted, quote, so many people are asking why isn't the ag or special counsel
looking at the many hillary clinton or comey crimes, closed quote. did you uncover evidence of any crimes committed by james comey? >> i'm going to, again, rely on this report. >> rephrase the question, was the report -- does the report discuss any alleged crimes committed by james comey? >> the report does not discuss. >> it does not. although you found reason to question mr. comey's judgment, you found no evidence that his actions were, quote, the result of bias or effort to influence the election, is that correct? >> that's correct. >> it's correct? >> that's correct. >> thank you. on september 1st, 2017, the president tweeted, quote, wow, looks like james comey exonerated hillary clinton long before the investigation was over and so much more. a rigged system. closed quote. did you uncover any evidence supporting president trump's assertion that mr. comey prejudged or, quote, rigged the outcome of the investigation? >> again, i'm going to rely on
what's here. i can only speak what we have -- >> let me rephrase the question. did the report note any evidence of that? >> we've got the may drafting of the statement which some people have raised concerns about. i'm not going to sort of extrapolate beyond the facts here but i think there is that information about the drafting of the statement back in may. >> your office reviewed evidence that showed director comey resisted acknowledging existence of the russia investigation in october 2016 because he wanted to avoid taking action that might influence the election, that is correct? >> that's correct. >> and he wanted to be fair to then candidate trump? >> i don't know what his -- >> well, i think it can be fairly stated if the fbi acknowledged an investigation into the trump campaign, there might not have been -- to trump's benefit and being fair to trump may not -- >> i understand. i'm just saying we -- he explains in her what his
rationale was. >> on december 3th, 2017, the president tweeted, quote, after years of comey with the phony and dishonest clinton investigation and more, running the fbi, its reputation is in tatters, worse in history. close quote. did your investigation uncover any evidence that the clinton investigation was, quote, phony and dishonest? >> again, i'm going to rely here. we found that the prosecutors made the judgments they made based on the facts, law and the evidence they uncovered. we had concerns about the text messages and the implications for the investigation. >> i'll take that as a no. on june 5th 2018, the president tweeted, quote, what is taking so long with the inspector general's report on crooked hillary and james comey. hope report is not changed and made weaker. did you omit horrible things from this report or weaken it to paint hillary clinton, james comey or any other department official in a better light?
>> we handle this report like any others. no, we didn't. >> thank you. last week, the president said that the fbi, quote, plotted against his election closed quote and that your report shows total bias at the fbi against the president and favors secretary clinton. did your investigation uncover evidence of an fbi plot against the president's election? >> i think the -- those august text messages reflect individuals suggesting that are they could take action based on their beliefs. >> but your report also said that they did not -- that the fbi's decisions were not influenced by that. >> if we're focused on mid-year on the clinton investigation that's correct. that's what we found as to the decision to decline back in july. >> did your investigation find that fbi's totally biased against president trump? >> we lay out here what we found
on bias, what we did and at least to certain individuals we had concerns about what their text indicated. >> your report concludes that the outcome of the clinton investigation was based on the facts and the law and not on political bias. do you stand by that conclusion? >> we stand by that conclusion nis report. >> can you explain why you reached that conclusion? >> we looked at the decision to decline prosecution, we interviewed the prosecutors, we looked at their notes, their e-mails, the documentary evidence, and as a result of that, we did not see evidence of bias by the prosecutors, political bias i'm talking about which is what we were looking at and for, and looked at the past precedence they cited as their reasons for what they did and based on all of that information, we concluded that there wasn't evidence of political bias infecting that
decision and we describe here how they reached the decision they reached. >> thank you. now during the roll out of the report, your office confirmed that it continues to investigate the improper disclosure of information about the clinton investigation to trump campaign surrogates like rudy giuliani. can you confirm that this work is ongoing? >> the only thing i'll say about that is that as we indicate here, our investigative work continues. i'm not going to speak to what particular leak, matter, individuals might be part of that ongoing review. >> so you can confirm -- i will take that as a confirmation of the existence of a specific investigation into mr. giuliani's comments -- >> you shouldn't take that as any specific confirmation of anything. i'm not going to do the same thing we lay out here was inappropriate as to what occurred in -- >> when is the timeline for this
report? >> much like with this review, we will follow the evidence where it leads and when it's completed, we will issue our report. >> thank you. on page 387 of the report, i'm going to read, it said, he said it's clear to me, this is attorney general lynch, quoting fbi director comey, he said it's clear to me that there is a cadre of senior people in new york who have a deep and visceral hatred of secretary clinton and he said it is deep. it's, and he said, he said it was surprising to him or stunning to him. closed quote. is there evidence and, in fact there were people in the fbi office in new york who were very -- who had a hatred of secretary clinton? >> we looked at individuals connected to the mid-year review and we were not out there looking at every single fbi agent's personal devices, text
messages who had no role in the mid-year investigation. >> okay. now, i want to get back to the peter strzok matter. i would like to discuss what appears to be the most troubling -- well let me ask first. you would agree, i take it, there's a crucial distinction between the appearance of political bias on the part of an fbi agent or whoever and whether any investigative actions are actually taken as a result of political biases. >> they are two different issues. >> i would like to discuss -- let me ask a different question. we keep using the word bias. is the word bias synonymous with political opinion or used in a different sense? >> we used it and i'm using it in the context of political bias. in other words, you're using your personal views to impact your decisions in a way that's noninvestigator to, in other words for other reasons. >> you found strzok had this bias but it didn't impact the investigative action. so is that a --s what way is
that bias, if it didn't impact the investigation different from a political opinion or the same thing. >> we found he exhibited bias, we found decisions that were made by others, were not infected by that bias. we did have concerns about how his -- what we thought was a bias state of mind impacted his october decision regarding the weiner laptop. >> you couldn't say that it did or didn't on that one? >> we could not say one way or the other, but we couldn't rule it out. that's a pretty significant -- >> i would like to discuss what appears to be the most troubling text exchange where -- which has already been talked about. august 8th, 2016, page asks, quote, trump -- didn't use the word trump but clear he's referring to him, not ever going to become president. right, right. strzok reports no, no, he won't we'll stop it. many views this text as proof that strzok intended to use his position at the fbi to stop
donald trump from becoming president of the united states, but peter strzok did not have that kind of power. your report found that strzok was not the sole decisionmaker for any of the specific mid-year investigative decisions is that correct? >> pre-july 5th. preclosing. it's important to keep it separate from where he could have been a decisionmaker in october with regard to the weiner laptop. >> peter strzok new about the russia investigation before the election and if he publicly disclosed that information, he might have prevented mr. trump from being elected. but your investigation did not find that mr. strzok disclosed the destruction of the russia investigation to the press before the election, did it? >> no, we don't. >> okay. your report goes on to point out that despite the appearance created by his texts, you, quote, found no evidence that in some instances strzok and page advocated for more aggressive -- i'm sorry, quote, found evidence, i had the word no.
you found evidence that in some stances they advocated for more investigative measures such as the use of grand jury subpoenas and search warrants to obtain evidence, that is correct? >> that's correct. so in general it's fair to say that the evidence does not show that -- well, it shows pre-july 5th, strzok left his bias or political opinions at home and didn't bring it to the office and after july 5th doesn't know one way or the other is that correct? >> i wouldn't go that far in terms of what our finding is pre-july 5. i would say the investigations we looked at, his bias we didn't find caused those decisions. >> but you found no -- you could
not point a finger and say he made this decision or influenced this decision because of his bias? >> that's correct. >> okay. and were there fbi agents to your knowledge or officials who had negative opinions of hillary clinton? >> we have the text messages. we laid out here. there are some that you could i think imply that. certainly peter strzok's attorneys have made that argument. we did almost everything we found was the other way, was anti-trump. >> by strzok and page? >> by strzok and page and the other three agents that we -- >> the other three agents. >> or two agents and lawyer. >> you didn't look at other agents like in the new york office? >> we did not look at agents beyond the mid-year team, the clinton e-mail investigation team. i am not here to tell you what -- >> i will simply observe in conclusion that an organization as large as the fbi, in a country that was pretty closely divided where half the american people thought trump was a great
guy and half thought hillary was wonderful, and half thought the opposite in both cases, it would be pretty amazing if there weren't lots of people in the fbi who loved donald trump, and lots of people who couldn't stand him, and that there's nothing wrong with people holding their political opinions as long as they didn't let those opinions impact their jobs. would you agree with that statement? >> people are free to have their personal views and their job is to check them at the door when they walk into work. >> and i'll say one other thing, if it is true that strzok did not impact any decision based on his personal political opinion, then expressing his political opinion to his girlfriend was wrong only because he used the fbi phones? >> i think it is very troubling
because it undercut confidence in the investigation as we laid out here and as i said, i can't say definitively that his actions didn't result in action. i can only speak to the ones we looked at and the ultimate decision by the prosecutors. >> they did -- >> there's no evidence to those pre-july 5 ones they did. i'm concerned about what occurred in october. and i -- you know, again i go back to what i said earlier, anybody should be concerned about any law enforcement officer expressing these views while they're investigating those very individuals i don't care whether it's a presidential race or a local election, it just shouldn't happen. >> okay. thank you very much. i yield back. >> chairman yields back. two housekeeping matters. inspector horowitz if you need to take a break for any reason or no reason, let me know. to my colleagues i am acutely
aware that all four chairpersons went over the time limit and i'm acutely aware of how manifestly unfair it would be for me not to allow you to do the same. nevertheless, i will not be able to allow everyone the same amount of time because some people have july 4th plans. so i'm going to try to do a better job, what i've done in the past is if you ask a question after five minutes, i'll say the witness may answer but no more questions and i apologize. i appreciate your attendance but i'm trying to get us out of here before friday. the gentleman from ohio, mr. jordan, is recognized. >> mr. horowitz, does peter strzok like the president? >> i can only speak to what his text messages say and they're obviously not positive comments about the president. >> february and march of 2016 peter strzok said trump is abysmal, an idiot, hillary should win 100 million to 0, sound likes he hates the
president. >> his text messages would leave that as the implication. >> your report says strzok ran the clinton investigation on a daily basis, is that accurate? >> that's correct. >> peter strzok he was the lead investigator on the russia investigation, that is true? >> that's my understanding for the time period he was on it. >> he ran the clinton investigation, runs the russia investigation, hates the president but your report says while his bias casts a cloud it didn't impact final decisions. >> it didn't impact the prosecutors' final decisions. >> let's look at a few other things peter strzok had to say. may 4th, 2016, the day after president trump secures the republican nomination, mr. strzok says now the pressure really starts to finish the clinton investigation. i'm not sure why the pressure would be more or less the day after. seems you would want to do the investigation. on july 31st as we mentioned earlier the fbi opens the russia investigation. one week later peter strzok says
i can protect my country on many levels. two days after that he says we will stop trump, one week after that he says no way he gets elected it's like an insurance policy. think about this, mr. horowitz. peter strzok opens -- the fbi opens the russia investigation july 31st, 2016. peter strzok is the lead investigator within the next 15 days, he says, i can protect my country on many levels, no way he gets elected. we will stop him. we have an insurance policy. now that seems like at least i think a lot of regular folks would interpret that as more than just casting a cloud on what the fbi ultimately did. i mean it's one thing to say trump's an idiot, it's another thing to say we have an insurance policy. it's one thing to say, trump's awful, it's another thing to say we're going to stop him. especially when those statements are made within 15 days, just days after you've launched an investigation into that individual. would you agree?
>> and i think the important thing here is the time period we're talking about because those messages in the july/august period which we found extremely concerning and antitheatricalo antitheatrical to the core values october. >> exactly. was peter struck put on special counsel mueller's team? >> he was. >> so again, the guy who hates the president, the guy who ran the clinton investigation, the guy who ran the russia investigation then gets assigned to the special counsel team. do you know what date the special counsel was named? >> i believe it was around may 17th. >> may 17th, 2017. may 17th, 2017. do you remember what peter
struck said on may 18th, 2017? >> i do. it's in our report on page 405. >> i unleashed it on the mid year examine. this one? >> yes. >> now i need to fix it and finish it. there's unfinished business, and this could be an investigation leading to impeachment. that's what he said the day after. >> correct. >> again, don't you think that sounds and looks like more than casting a cloud on the overall investigation? >> again, i'd go back to what the report concerned, which was the clinton e-mail investigation, which was concluded about a year earlier with director comey's announcement, but it's precisely why we were concerned about what occurred in late september and october when mr. struck had the choice between working on the russia investigation or on the weiner laptop/clinton investigation. >> he was prioritizing one over the other. let me just finish with this, and this is probably what bothers me more than all we just
went through. more than that, probably what bothers me the most is peter struck's attitude. i think it's what bothers americans most about this whole ordeal. i want to go to one more text message, one more thing mr. struck said. had is ba this is back in that august time period again. august 26th, 2016, peter struck says, just went to a southern virginia walmart, i can smell the trump supporters. this is what ticks americans off more than anything else, i'm convinced. this idea that there are two sets of rules or two standards. one set of rules for us regular folk who shop at walmart, but a different set if your name is clinton, comey, lynch, mccabe, or if your name is peter struck. the arrogance and condescension and the elitist attitude, that's what ticks people off. as they look at all this and see what struck said throughout
these investigations, that's why their confidence is so shaken. frankly, that's why they're so mad. that's why we got to get some answers from mr. rosenstein and mr. wray about this whole ordeal. >> the gentle lady from new york is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. horowitz, for your service. chairman gowdy and others have mentioned the very troubling e-mails that were very critical of president trump. so my question to you, none of these e-mails were made public during the election, correct? that's what i read. >> no, they were not. the text messages were not. >> they were not made public during the election. so therefore, it's fair to say that these e-mails did not influence the election, correct? they weren't made public, so they did not influence the election. >> yeah, i don't think these text messages were at all out there in 2016. we uncovered them in 2017. >> okay. they did not influence the
election. now, the fbi conducted investigations related to both presidential candidates, but director comey publicly released information only about secretary clinton while he kept secret information about the investigation related to the trump campaign and the russian government, correct? >> he follows the rules on the trump/russia matter. he followed the rules on the clinton foundation matter. he didn't follow the department's practices on -- >> that was very troubling to me he did not follow protocol. >> i just worry when people say kept secret, he actually followed the rules. >> a senate judiciary hearing the other day, one of our colleagues from the other side of the aisle, he said that your report only confirms that
hillary clinton got kid love treatment from the fbi. i would say the opposite is true. as my good friend joe biden would say, that's total malarky. i think your report makes clear that the reverse is true and there was an element in the fbi that was biased against secretary clinton. for example, according to your executive summary, one of the reasons cited for mr. comey's extraordinary october 28th letter to congress about the discovery of additional e-mails on a laptop was, quote, the fear that the information would leak if the fbi failed to disclose it. that, to me, is very troubling. and then it went on to say that there were selective leaks throughout the investigation on
clinton, serious errors in judgment -- i quote, serious errors in judgment in the unprecedented action by the director of the fbi in the final weeks right up next to the election of 2016 presidential race in violation of protocol, as you mentioned. and i would say that this all worked in one direction to the detriment of candidate clinton and to the benefit of candidate trump. i would say it may well have determined the outcome of the 2016 election. so my question to you is what are you doing to make sure this doesn't happen again, that it does not become politicized, that it can't influence another election? >> it's a very important question, congresswoman. what we've done is we've made nine recommendations in this report, one of which is
precisely to that issue, that the department needs to consider putting in place guidance and rules and policies, practices to memorialize what it believes prosecutors and agents should be doing in those -- in the time period before the election. >> well, i think that's very, very important to make sure that in no future election is swayed and no collusion is overlooked because of politics pure and simple. and the main question that remains that i'd like to see a report on is why was there a different standard on the russian investigation, which followed protocol, but on the clinton area there were press conferences, there were testimony before congress, there were statements about e-mails that he hadn't even read. why was there such a difference
in standards, and how can you enforce a standard? you had a standard. it wasn't enforced. it was violated. so how would you enforce the standard in the future? >> so you know, as we describe in here, director comey explained what his rationale for treating the clinton e-mail/weiner laptop issue differently than the russia investigation, the clinton foundation investigation, even the request the intelligence community put out a statement about it, which is described in here. i think what has to happen going forward and one of the most concerning parts, among many concerning parts of this, is director comey, rather than speaking with the attorney general about it or consulting directly with them, did what he did in terms of his guidance. i think the bottom line here is the leadership of the department needs to have rules in place, policies in place, norms in place, practices in place to consider this, and when an issue like this arises, they should be
able to talk to one another. >> well, he violated protocol with one candidate and followed it with the other, helping president trump and hurting the candidacy of secretary clinton. >> gentlelady's time is expired. the gentleman from california is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to thank the gentlelady from new york for making the case for firing comey, making the case for why both democrats and republicans had very valid reasons that we wanted the president to let him go for his unp unprofessional and insubordinate activity. yet once the president did it, somehow he was wrong. in your report, mr. horowitz, you bring up the fact that the former director was, in fact, at times unprofessional, didn't follow rules, and even insubordinate. kre correct? >> that's correct. >> so we have a reason to fire someone. the gentlelady from new york just made the case in resounding
ways, if what she believes to be true is true, that he should have been fired and fired immediately and probably would have been fired by president clinton had she become president. but i want to go on to two other points, and one of them is the standard for bias -- now, i'm a former -- i guess i'm an employer now, but in the years that i was manufacturer and so on, the definition for most of us for a bias, if reviewing text or e-mails and anything close to what struck and page were saying and others occurred and we were in an eeoc or some other kind of complaint, we'd be held clearly for this to have met the requirement for any action whatsoever that was less than favorable for an employee, a termination and so on. we would be held as having a bias. as a matter of fact, every member up here on the dais had to go through 90 minutes of
training in which they gave us examples that for a fraction of what paige and struck had done, if there were any adverse action whatsoever, we'd be held as biased. how is it you can say you found no evidence of bias? what makes the standard different for the department of justice? >> let me be clear. we did not say that their words and texts and these messages were not indicative of bias. in fact, we were very concerned with them because that kind of bias and those kind of -- >> so you found bias, but the actions -- >> that's the question. >> the famous insurance policy, the likelihood that they were in, quote, andy's office, and were plotting, conspireing to figure out a way to either keep the president from winning or hurt him, that conspiracy, that evidence of that conspiracy is not enough to be an action? isn't a conspiracy an action separate from what you might do?
if you conspire to blow up the oklahoma city federal building, you don't have to succeed for there to be a crime. isn't that true? >> yeah, there's a conspiracy you don't have to actually carry it out at all, and i agree with you the concern evident in those texts in august -- >> so they had a bias and they had a conspiracy to do something, we just don't know exactly what that is, is that correct? >> i'm going to put aside what they had a conspiracy to do, but i do think that what was reflected there in august translated translated directly to us what occurred a month later in september. >> okay. so i see it as there's a bias, a conspiracy, and they did do some things wrong and that came out clearly in your report. very clearly, there was a reason to fire the former fbi director comey. and it was a bipartisan effort. i'd say republicans maybe would
have objected if president clinton had fired him, but that isn't the case. i want to ask the question back to mr. comey. last thursday when you issued your report, his op-ed came out showing he had clearly read the report. how did the ghe get to see the t before it was public? >> so as we all of our reviews -- first of all, he did not see the whole report. as with all of our reviews -- >> but he's a former member, a former person. do all former employees get this? >> so the process is -- and we did this from fast and furious on forward to ones that never make headlines -- if individuals whose conduct we criticize in report have testified to us and voluntarily agreed to speak to us -- as you know, this has been an issue you've supported us on, getting testimonial subpoena
authority -- >> right, we want you to have it for former employees. >> without that authority, they have to come in voluntarily, and one of the things we do is if they come in voluntarily and speak to us, we allow them -- >> so quid pro quo, you allowed him to see it. did he sign a nondisclosure? >> he did. >> so when he published before it came out, he effectively breached the nondisclosure, didn't he? >> the gentleman's time is expired, but you may answer the question. >> i'd have to look at the exact timing on that. on when it came out on thursday versus when our report came out. i frankly didn't focus on that question before. >> well, you certainly had disclosed it to the newspaper to get it published in that timing. he must have been disclosing it to newspaper personnel hours or days ahead of time. that would seem to be a violation of that nondisclosure. thank you, mr. chairman. >> gentleman yields back. the gentlelady from texas is recognized. >> mr. horowitz, i thank you for
your service. i'm going to be wanting yes or no answers because of the nature of the time. let me just repeat, your report does not vindicate the president or conclude that the trump campaign did not collude with the russians. is that accurate? >> our report doesn't address the russia investigation. >> and your report doesn't have anything to do with the numbers of individuals that were connected to the trump administration -- trump campaign with russia. you didn't deal with any of these, including the picture of papadopoulos, who was indicted in the meeting in trump tower? >> our review focused on the midyear investigation. >> thank you very much. donald trump is the first sitting president in history whose campaign chairman spent his time behind bars during his own presidential campaign. but none of these issues were investigated by your investigation, is that correct? >> our review concerned the clinton e-mail investigation. >> and then, let me quickly -- your report does not -- excuse
me. i am interested to know about chapter seven, pages 260, 262. you cite all of the reasons for concluding that secretary clinton did not break the law or have any basis to conclude she broke the law for her use of a private server. is that accurate still? >> that are the prosecutor's reasons given to us. >> and you didn't counter that in your report. >> correct. >> did you say it was grounded in the law, facts, and applicable doj precedent? >> based on the evidence we'd reviewed, that's what we found with regard to the prosecutor's decision. >> and her campaign was not subject of a federal counterintelligence investigation by the nation's law enforcement to your norchs or -- knowledge, or at least you didn't investigation that? >> there was a review on that issue. i could talk a little bit more about it. i'd need to tease that out just a little. >> but it did not impact the original or the basis of your report? >> the finding was that there
was no intrusion. >> in light of what you saw, would you think it was reasonable for americans to conclude that secretary clinton was a victim of a double standard in light of the information that the fbi had about the trump administration -- excuse me, campaign, and its opening of the investigation that was not leaked? >> i'm going to focus on what our conclusion was as opposed to the public's. our conclusion was the standard that should have applied was the same one that the director applied to the russia investigation and the clinton foundation investigation. >> and it was not the same standard? >> it was not the same standard. >> i want to show these documents, which show the leaks from the southern district and others from the fbi. do you find that troubling that leaks in your report went out? >> just to be clear, we do not say where those are from. we simply put in there the individu individuals' titles. we're very concerned, as we explained in here, we're asked to look at leaks all the time, in this matter, other matters. there are, as you know, multiple
people who have had disclosures or contact that makes it very hard to figure out. >> you think they were biased towards mrs. clinton? >> i have no idea one way or the other. >> let me move to the struck page questioning i have. on november 2016, the day after the presidential election, lisa page sent a quote to peter struck, are you going to give out your calendar? seems kind of depressing. maybe it should be the first meeting of a secret society. are you familiar? >> i am. >> ron johnson went to fox news and indicated, shouting as further evidence of corruption, more bias, corruption at the highest levels, secret society, we have an informant talking about a group holding secret meetings off-site. there's so much smoke and so much suspicion. did your report find any evidence of a secret society? >> we did not. >> did you find evidence there was a group at the fbi holding secret meetings? >> we didn't see any. >> page explained that the
calendar's reference in this text message was funny and snarky, calendars of russian president vladimir putin. they say it was used as a joke. is that correct? >> that's what they told us? >> struck sent page a text that stated, quote, i want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in andy's office, and there's no way he gets elected but i'm afraid we can't take that risk. it's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40. in your report, struck explains a reference in his text to an insurance policy, quote, reflected his conclusion the fbi should investigate the allegations thoroughly right away, as if trump was going to win. is that correct? >> that was his expla nanation. >> did your report reach any conclusion that contradicted his explanation? >> it's fair to say behwe had concerns about his intentions. >> did any of what you came across suggest that they had a plan to undermine the election
of donald trump? >> we did not investigate, as we said, here the russia matter. we have ongoing work in that regard. >> in your opening statement, i think you said the director, director comey, clearly departed from the norms and undermined the perception of fairness of the fbi. those are my paraphrasing words. is that in relation to his handling of the former secretary clinton's e-mails, of which you found that she did not break the law based upon their report? >> the gentlelady's time is expired, but you may answer the question. >> yes, comey violated the norms, as you said. we didn't find she didn't break the law. we found what the prosecutor's assessment was of it and determined that it was based on the facts on the law. >> and that was that she did not break the law? >> that was their conclusion, correct. >> i thank you. i yield back. >> the gentleman from ohio is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, having spent the last few years down in the old executive office building, along with our colleague mr. issa,
didn't get an opportunity to hear all the other questions and answers to those questions. so rather than repeat what a lot of others may have said, i'd like to yield to my colleague from ohio, mr. jordan, my time. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. horowitz, how many text messages were exchanged between peter struck and lisa page? >> i don't have an exact number, but tens of thousands. >> tens of thousands. we got to see most of these last fall and over the last several months. there was one we didn't get to see. one text message we didn't get to see until last week when your report came out. it just happened to be the most explosive one. the one that says we'll stop trump. how's come we didn't see that beforehand? >> let me explain how we ended up finding that because i think it's important to also appreciate -- >> i guess i'm more interested if someone was trying to hide it. >> well, we uncovered it in may, so last month. we uncovered it in our fourth
round of work on their personal -- on their fbi devices. >> if you uncovered it a month ago, why did we not see it until last thursday? >> i can't answer that question. we provided the materials -- >> but who made the decision? was it mr. wray? it was mr. rosenstein? was it mr. sessions? who made the decision? >> what we have done as we've found these texts is send them to the department for them to produce it to congress. that's what we did in may. >> and who at the department though? >> we sent it to the office of deputy attorney general. >> so mr. rosenstein? >> in his office. >> mr. rosenstein made a decision that instead of us seeing the most explosive text message between these two key agents who were on the clinton team, the russia team, and on the special counsel team, he made a decision to wait a month for us to see that text message. >> i can't speak to whether anyone made a conscious
decision. i would just say we had -- there was in that fourth recovery that we made in may, there was 100,000-plus lines of text to go through, most all of them we'd found before. this one was one we hadn't. we didn't see it or pick it up until june. >> did you not see it, or it was hidden from you? we have the text message right before it and the one that happened right after it, but somehow that one, the most explosive one, was missing from the pages that we got months ago. >> and i can explain how we ended up finding it because it was missing -- we did not have it either. >> the department didn't give it you either. >> i don't think the department had it. >> okay. >> i can explain why i don't think they had it. these text messages were retained by the fbi pursuant to a data collection where they were pulling text messages -- i'm not a tech person. i'll do my best here. they were pulling them off the fbi devices. they each had their own fbi phones.
they were pulling them. as we got these texts and found these concerning messages in 2017, we then asked the fbi for all their text messages. when we got all their text messages, as you know, we found a window, a period of several months where there were zero. we then went and got their phones and said, okay, if the fbi isn't collecting, we're going to try and extract them from the phones. we did a first run through using our cyber forensics capabilities, collected material. we then went to our outside vendor that we use to see what else that contractor had. we did another go around with some additional tools, found more. we then went to the defense department. same thing. >> i'm thankful that i was yielded time. i got the gist of it. you had to jump through all kinds of hoops to retrieve it. >> correct. >> the point is, when you did get it, mr. rosenstein decided we couldn't get it until your report came out. he sat on it for a month of time. >> i can't speak to how they -- >> well, it's not the first time
mr. rosenstein has kept us from getting information. he's hid information from us. he redacted all kinds of important conversations between struck and page. he redacted that from us. we had to go to the justice department and find it. this wouldn't be the first time he hasn't ginn us information frankly i think we're entitled to. i got 30 seconds. i don't have time to get into another subject area here. mr. horowitz, i appreciate that, but i think it's interesting that you had it, you discovered it, and we couldn't get it right away like all the other text messages. we had to wait until the final report. with that, i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. gentlelady from the district of columbia is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. horowitz, if there's a bottom line to your report, it appears to be that while there were mistakes made, mistakes that have been discussed, that
the -- that the clinton e-mail -- that the investigation itself was not politically motivated. is that a fair rendition? >> i think what i would say about the final decision by the prosecutors is that we found their decision was not based on political bias but on their assessment of the facts of law in the precedent. >> now -- and that of course, in spite of what has been made at this hearing by some of my colleagues, about mr. struck's testimony, one hears that testimony, it could sound like a textbook example of bias. so could you explain why not withstanding the renditions we've heard of his virtual on
the record, because it's been quoted, bias nevertheless the investigation itself was not bias ginn the leading role he played in the investigation. >> what we found was with regard to the specific decisions we looked at pre-july 5 that there were other team members involved, and some of those, he and miss page, took a more aggressive view than the prosecutor. in many instances, it was the prosecutors making the decision, not the agents. when we looked at the note, the e-mails, the other evidence we could find and the testimony we got, we concluded that there wasn't evidence of bias in how those decisions were actually made or carried out. the specific ones we looked at. >> notwithstanding struck's involvement, there were a sufficient number of other investigators so that the bottom
line here of no political motivation stands as far as you're concerned. >> as to the specific decisions we looked at, correct. and as to the prosecutorial decision for the reasons i indicated. >> there's a lot of concern about mr. comey's speaking out. he used words like extremely careless. and he has been criticized for after the case was closed, speaking out again, yet your report said -- and here i'm quoting, sir. the problem originated with comey's elevation of maximum transparency. if someone said to me, you're being maximally transparent, especially as a member of
congress, i would take that as a compliment. i need to understand your use of that word rather than perhaps a more critical use of language. >> well, that was mr. comey's explanation to us as to why he did it. i will say as inspectors general, as you know -- >> no, i was quoting the oig report, found the problem originated with comey's elevation of maximal transparency as overriding this case. that is to say overriding the principle you've got to stay silent if you're the fbi. >> correct. look, we are, as igs for government transparency in all ways possible, but there are places where there are other rules like classified material, like ongoing criminal investigations for the reason we said. individuals' reputations should not be tarnished if they're not going to be charged with a crime. >> his transparency is not what
you're remmicommending to membe of congress. >> correct. >> thank you very much. >> gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from iowa is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thanks for your testimony, mr. horowitz. it's been a busy week for you this week. i'd first like to turn to the question of how many e-mails were exchanged on the unsecured server between hillary rodham clinton and president barack obama? >> i don't know the exact number. we can go back, and we understand he was one of 13 individuals in that. >> do you have any sense of the volume that was exchanged between the secretary of state and the president? >> i can get back to you on that. i'd have to refresh my recollection on that. >> at this woint you don't have a sense of that volume? >> i just don't. >> do you have the information or a sense of where thoere thoss secret, top secret, classified? >> my recollection is, as i said
here, that they were not among the classified material, but i'm not certain of that. i need to go back and double check. >> i want to ask you formally that you produce those records for us. it's essential this committee understand those facts surrounding that, and i'll get to that hopefully in a moment. could you point out to us your first encounter with the replacement of the words from the statute in 793, gross negligence with the words extreme carelessness, the first encount we are that switch. >> that was back in may as the drafts were -- the comey statement, as the drafts were evolving into june. >> and were the fingerprints of peter struck on that exchange? >> yes. >> anyone else's fingerprints on that exchange? >> i believe miss page as well. >> and what about james comey? >> he was very much in the middle of the drafting that was going on. >> the three of them were in
communication in drafting that. it would be hard to identify exactly who inserted it the first time. is that a fair analysis? >> i think we have some idea of how it got changed and who put it in, but not because it was their decision, as opposed to who was the scribe on it as opposed to the decision maker. >> i would like a little more information on that, too, if you could. >> yes. >> so while we're searching back for the genesis of the extreme carelessness as a replacement for the statutory language of gross negligence, could you inform the committee here as to the genesis of the word intent as it found its way into this dialogue? >> so it looks like in a variety of discussions with the team and the prosecutors, the investigative team, that the focus was on, in a significant way, there were other factors as well here. in a significant way, the focus was on the fact that the classified material that was transiting through the e-mail server was not clearly marked,
as you're supposed to have it marked, with banners saying it is classified and what level. >> more to clarify my question, actually the insertion of the word intent as a condition to a violation of 793, when did that word first find itself in the dialogue that you looked at? >> that is in the dialogue months earlier, well before the investigation reached its conclusion. >> about when would you guess that is? in 2016? >> it's in 2016. >> not in 2015. >> i'm not sure whether it went back that far. although, frankly, it could have because there's some indication that early on people thought it was unlikely. >> mr. horowitz, let me assert that the evidence i'm looking at suggests that president barack obama spoke that word into law. a taped program october 10th of 2015, he said hillary clinton was careless but not
intentional. that program was aired on october 11th, "cbs 60 minutes." i ha i have the article printed in "the new york times" dated the 16th of october. the article that references the october 11th, where it says, quote, mr. obama said he had no impression that mrs. clinton had purposely tried, quote, to hide something or to squirrel away information, close quote. continuing, in doing so, mr. obama spoke directly to a core component of the law used against mr. petraeus' intent and said he didn't think it applied in mrs. clinton's case. so i'm going to suggest that the president suggested that language through the open medium and spoke the word into the law that it required intent, which shows up throughout the following months, in particular in james comey's july 5th, 2016, exoneration -- well, let's say a summary of the prosecution/exoneration
statement, six times, that word intent. i find it no place else. would you have any comments on your thoughts on how that might have been -- the genesis might have gone back to the president of the united states? >> i don't know that was necessarily the genesis. we don't have evidence of that. what we do have in here, as you noted, references to the statements made by president obama and by his press secretary and the concerns that those raised and the issues and how it was viewed and perceived by the team, by the investigative team. >> my time is expired. thank you, mr. horowitz. i yield back the balance. >> gentlelady from california, miss bass. >> thank you, mr. chair. mr. horowitz, thank you for this report. it lays out in clear and unequivocal terms a conclusion that republicans have resisted for years, the investigation into secretary clinton's e-mails and the decision to decline prosecution were both done properly without bias. in this report, you concluded, quote, we did not find
documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative decisions or that the justification offered for these decisions were pretextual. is that right? >> that's correct. >> republican members have repeatedly declared that the investigation was illegitimate and have questioned many aspects of that investigation from the justice department's use of immunity agreements to the timing of james comey drafting process. did you investigate these allegations? >> the questions of -- i'm sorry. could you say that again? >> republican members repeatedly declared that the investigation was illegitimate and questioned m manies many aspects. did you investigate these allegations? >> yes. >> in response to your report, chairman gowdy wrote, quote, this report confirms investigative decisions made by the fbi during this
investigation were unprecedented and deviated from traditional investigative procedures in favor of a much more permissive and voluntary approach. chairman goodlatte similarly wrote, quote, justice department and fbi didn't treat her like any other criminal suspect and didn't follow standard investigative procedures. this doesn't seem to reflect your report's findings to me. in fact, your report explicitly state, and i quote, contrary to public perception, the midyear team used compulsory process in the midyear investigation. your report also stated, quote, we found that during these specific decisions were the result of discretionary judgments made during the course of an investigation by the midyear agents and prosecutors and that these judgment calls were not unreasonable. is that right? >> that's correct. >> the report also concluded, quote, we found no evidence that the conclusions by the department prosecutors were affected by bias or other
improper considerations. rather, we determined they were based on the prosecutor's assessment of the fact, the law, and past department practice. is that correct? >> as to the prosecutorial decision, yes, that's correct. >> mr. horowitz, i appreciate you being here today. i do want to ask you a couple of other questions. on june 29th, democrats on this committee and the house judiciary committee sent you a letter raising concerns that attorney general sessions may have violated his recusal when he participated directly and personally in president trump's decision to fire fbi director james comey. you testified last november that you had not made a decision but that you were holding off while special prosecutor mueller has an ongoing investigation. but you also said you would revisit your decision if new information came to light. is this an accurate description? >> yes. >> it now appears that attorney generals violation of his recusal impacts issues well beyond the scope of the special counsel's probe. on november 13th, the department of justice sent a letter stating that the attorney general has been directly involved in
decisions regarding the appointment of a special counselor to investigate, and i quote, the sale of uranium one, alleged unlawful dealings related to the clinton foundation, and other matters. this letter says the attorney general, and i quote, directed senior federal prosecutors to evaluate whether a special counsel should be appointed and told those prosecutors to report their findings, quote, directly to the attorney general and deputy attorney general. you said you had received and reviewed this decisional information. on november 30th, ranking member cummings sent you a letter providing this additional information and again requesting you to conduct this review. on december 12th, you responded with a letter that said, and i quote, your letters asked the oig to conduct an investigation separate from that of the special counsel. do you have any update to provide at this time? >> i don't, and i stand by what i said earlier. i think it's important for us as an oig to consider what other
investigative activity is ongoing out there and consider that -- keep that in mind as we're deciding when would be an appropriate time to make a determination whether to go forward with the review. >> the report your office issued last week that's the subject of today's hearing discusses text messages seb messages sent by fbi employees who were previously working on the special counsel's investigation. can you explain why you were willing to conduct a review related to the special counsel's investigation but you will not review the attorney general's potentially ongoing violations of his recusal agreement? >> certainly. so when we undertook this review and started finding the problematic text messages back in 2017, and ultimately gathered the evidence we gathered in july of 2017 and then met with the deputy attorney general and the special counsel to inform them of what we had found because at
the time mr. struck was working for the special counsel. i also discussed the matter with the special counsel about what we believed was our need to collect all of the text messages from those individuals, even beyond the clinton e-mail investigation, so that we could make an assessment of how their views and their conduct impacted the clinton e-mail -- >> okay, thank you. i believe you could review today whether the attorney general is violating his recusal when he participates in matters that are unrelated to the special counsel's investigation. i yield back my time. >> the gentlelady from california yields back. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. >> thank you, mr. dhachairman. i yield to my colleague, the gentleman from ohio, mr. jordan. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding. i want to go back to where we were, this text message, this m mysterious one that was the most explosive, disappeared, refound. can we get a copy of the correspondence you had with mr. rosenstein? how did you communicate to the
justice department that you had found this text message? >> my agent sent it by e-mail. >> you sent an e-mail. >> the printout, the spread sheets of all the texts we had. 100,000 lines of text. >> so you didn't specify we found this one that had been missing? >> i then -- when we found it, i specified to the associate deputy attorney general on june 8 that he ought to look at this one. >> so you sent it to him last month but specifically pointed it out two weeks ago. >> correct, when we identified it and saw it. >> what response did he give you when you pointed it out? the most explosive text message. >> thank you for telling me about it. >> well, yeah, i think so. but not like, well, we need to get this to congress like we did all the others right away? >> i didn't engage him on that. >> do you know if there's anything nefarious at work? when we got the original question, it had the prompting
question from miss page. he's never going to become president. we had that for months. why didn't we get the response? >> i think actually it goes to the technological issue we think needs to get addressed and fixed, frankly. what happened here is on the fourth go around when we were doing our quality control check on what we had done, we found an operating system program in the phone that was -- >> so you think it was technical? >> to us, that's what it appeared as to why this wasn't found before may. >> i'm more concerned about why mr. rosenstein didn't give us the information when he first got it. let me go to something else here. how many different investigations do you have going on right now? you're looking at mr. comey. you're looking at fisa, potential abuse of the fisa court process. and are you looking at the leak issue with the fbi? >> we got lots of investigations
going on. >> i know you got lots. >> yes, we're looking at the leak issue as well. that's joongoing. >> so all three of those, ongoing investigations. do you have any idea -- i'm particularly interested in the fisa process. do you have any idea when that will be complete? >> i don't, congressman. in part, as you know, a few weeks ago we were asked to broaden that and look at additional information and issues. >> do you anticipate it taking 18 months like this clinton investigation? >> i don't anticipate it, but let me say if we had released this report in january, you would not have most of these text messages. >> no, i understand. you got to do your work. as important as it is, when you look at the potential abuse of the fisa process, will you be looking at the question of whether mr. rosenstein threatened staff members on the house intelligence committee? >> i've read about that recently. i'm certainly, as in all
instances, available to take information. i only know at this point -- >> but will that be within the parameters of your investigation, that question? >> i'd have to understand a little more about it and what occurred and how it might connect to this, if at all, or if it's something separate. >> will you look at the issue of why, when the dossier was taken to the fisa court, they didn't tell the court who paid for the document? will you look at that question? >> certainly within the fisa review. >> parliamentary inquiry. >> mr. horowitz, during the course of your investigation, will you look at the question of why when the application was taken to the fisa court, they didn't reveal the fact that the author of the document, the author -- >> mr. chairman, i have a parliamentary inquiry. >> gentleman from ohio controls the time. >> is it not appropriate to raise the question as to what is the germaneness of the gentleman's line of questioning
and whether or not we're dealing with the report of mr. horowitz or the republicans' attempt to undermine the mueller investigation and as well to fire deputy attorney general rosenstein, which they're planning to do on friday? >> the gentlelady has not stated a parliamentary inquiry. the gentleman from ohio controls the time. i would ask the time be put back on the clock that was u surped. >> it's been widely understood that when the dossier was taken to the fisa court to get a secret warrant to spy on a fellow more than citizen, they didn't tell the court two important facts. they didn't tell the court who paid for the document, and they didn't tell the court the guy who wrote it had been fired by the fbi. i'm just asking as mr. horowitz undergoes this important investigation if he'll be examining those two fundamental questions. >> we will take under advisement those and other questions that have been raised. as we said with this review, if we find additional issues, we will look at those as well.
>> just one last question, if i could. may 17th, 2017, rod rosenstein writes a memo outlining the scope and parameters of the special counsel investigation. on august 2nd, 2017, he writes another memo. that in some way alters, amends, modifies the initial scope of the investigation. and we can't see that the american people can't see. seems to me if you're altering the scope of an investigation into the guy that the american people made president of the united states, we as americans deserve to know exactly the parameters and scope of that investigation. so will you be able to get ahold of that august 2nd memo and make that available in the course of your investigation? >> gentleman's time seis expire but you may answer the question. >> i'd have to think about how that connected to our investigation and what
connectivity, germaneness it would have to ours. i'm happy to consider it. i have not seen either of those memos myself. like i said, on its face, i'm not sure the connection between that and the fisa but i'll certainly take it under advisement. >> thank the gentleman. >> gentleman yields back. for planning purposes, we'll plan to break at 1:00, if that's okay with the inspector general. >> fine with me. >> with that, the gentleman from missouri, mr. clay, is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. here's where i see where we are. a presidential candidate was targeted by russian intelligence. members of congress, including myself, were targeted as well. and at least 21 states had their voter information penetrated by russian intelligence. that information obtained by the russians was weaponized with the clear intention to harm hillary clinton and support the election
of donald trump. time will tell when special counsellor mueller issues his report whether or not the president's campaign actively colluded with the russians. mr. horowitz, thank you for being here. on february the 2nd, 2018, the president tweeted, and i quote, the top leadership and investigators of the fbi and the justice department have politicized the sacred investigative process in favor of democrats and against republicans, something which would have been unthinkable just a short time ago, end of quote. this is an accusation that has been repeated by multiple republican members, including representative jim jordan, who stated in an interview about your report, and i quote, i
think one of the big takeaways is the exact same people who ran the clinton investigation who had a bias in favor of clinton, who did all of these things that are not to typical practice when you're doing an investigation, those same people took over and ran the russian investigation. you know these are serious allegations. and i'd like to address them head on. mr. horowitz, did you find any evidence that james comey took any investigative actions in the clinton matter based on political bias, quote, in favor of democrats and against republicans? >> we did not find evidence that mr. comey acted out of political bias. >> your investigation uncovered five fbi employees who had
exchanged texts or instant messages reflecting strong personal political views, but you found that even those individuals did not let their personal political views determine the outcomes of the clinton matter. your report states, and i quote, our review did not find documentary or testimonial evidence directly connecting the political views these employees expressed in their text message and instant messages to the specific investigative decisions reviewed. you also, quote, in some instances advocated for more aggressive investigative measures in the midyear investigation such as the use of grand jury subpoenas and search warrants. did you find that there is a pro-democrat or anti-republican
conspiracy at the fbi or justice department? >> we didn't reach a question of whether there was a conspiracy or not. we've just laid out what the text messages indicated and as you noted the fact that the specific decisions we reviewed, we found weren't impacted or affected or resulted from political bias. >> do you know if the office of professional responsibility is taking any actions on the subjects that you have on the people? >> director wray testified yesterday that he had referred -- provided our information to the fbi's office of professional responsibility. >> i see. thank you so much for your responses. at this time, mr. chairman, i'm going to yield my remaining time to the gentlewoman from texas. >> gentlelady is recognized for 33 seconds. >> mr. horowitz, did you
investigate any questions about mr. rosenstein's actions in your report as it relates to any inappropriate behavior? >> no. >> i didn't hear you, sir. >> no. >> and did you -- let us finish the question i had dealing with the fbi agents in the southern district of new york. you did confirm they leaked, is that not correct? >> we did not say anything at all about whether they leaked or didn't leak. we're not speaking or speak at all to who we are looking at or what we're looking at other than we're looking at the issued we were asked to look at about investigative leaks. >> so you will continue that investigation? >> we will. >> i yield back. >> the gentleman from texas is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. horowitz, there has been a massive amount of bias documented by you and your investigation. you concluded with recommendations that appear to
just be more policies of the same policies with the fbi the doj already had. you understood it was already against fbi/doj policy to let bias come into play in these investigations, correct? >> absolutely. >> well, you made references in your report, even quoted from unnamed but numbered prosecutors and agents. have you given us the names of those individuals? >> so we have a request for them. we are -- >> so you haven't given us the names, and now you can't decide whether you're going to give them to us? >> let me be clear. we engaged the committee on this. we went to the fbi. i raised the concern. >> the answer is no, you haven't given them to us. so let me just tell you, we're here because prosecutors and agents at the doj have been
biased, and some of us believe you've laid out a case that bias did affect what was going on. then you come in here and say we're going to number these people. we're not going to let you know who they are. but let me sask you this. have you checked to see what normally wouldn't matter, how they voted in a presidential election, except when you're investigating a nominee or a president. do you know how they voted? did they donate money to either of the candidates? >> i have no idea how they voted. i don't have an idea -- >> so you're bringing this investigation in here based on and are utilizing opinions and information provided by prosecutors and agents who may be just as biased as the people that we're investigating. we just don't know because we hadn't seen their etexts, hadn' seen their e-mails. putting back on my felony judge hat, if a jury is going to make
a decision on guilt or innocence of a felony of, say, a president nominee, i'm going to let them ask the jury panel, did you vote for this person? did you give money to this person? do you have a bumper sticker for this person? did you put a sign in their yard? did you talk to this person? yet, you're coming in here, you don't know if these people you were relying on actually had any biases like the very ones you were investigating. let me ask you this. among the supervising special agents you referenced and the prosecutors, do you have any idea of the percentage that may have voted for hillary clinton? >> we did not ask people who they voted for. >> let me tell you. i know my friend had referenced it. you know, a big organization like that, probably just as many people supported trump. i heard newt gingrich yesterday said the fact is 97% of the
people in the doj that donated, donated to democrats. 97%. so there's a good chance that the people you're relying on did support hillary clinton. we don't know because you haven't asked. it's important to know who the investigators are and the people you're relying on. you mentioned in here, in the report, about struck and the relationship that he mentions with judge contreras. do you know why judge contreras was recused, removed from the mike flynn case? >> i don't know why he was recused. >> is that something you would investigate? >> it's not within the scope of this investigation. >> well, i'm going to reinforce the request for the identities of the supervising special agent, the prosecutors and agents that were only identified by numbers and ask who they contributed to, if anyone, in
the last two cycles. now, in your report, you said the ssa told us that the fbi did not consider pagliano as a subject or someone to prosecute in connection, but this guy set up the unsecured server, as i understood it. this is a guy that you had a lay-down case, or the doj did, and yet they don't use that leverage. they don't treat him like they did manafort or any of these other people. the doj had leverage, and this is where bias came into play. they didn't go after him. you said the ssa told us he believed he should have been charged with false statements, yet nobody charged him. and why? because bias played a role. i understand when you have an investigation, you like to give a little something to both sides. makes you feel good. you gave us hundreds of pages of bias, but the conclusion was
just -- i'm sorry, whether it was subconscious or conscious, you had a little throwaway to go to the democrats. the fact is bias is all the way through this, and i'm sorry that you were not able to see that with what is very obvious from your evidence. i yield back. >> gentleman's time is expired. the gentleman from new york, mr. jeffries, is recognized. would you like to respond? >> can i just finish on the identity issue? just so the record is clear on that. we were asked to -- when we write a report, we obviously comply with the privacy act and the other laws congress has in place as to who we can speak to and who we can't. that's the first step we do here. much like we lay out here, the criticisms of folks who didn't follow norms. we then got the committee's request, consistent with our support for transparency, we would be supportive of getting
the committee that information. the fbi interposed an objection because these individuals work on and have worked on counterintelligence matters, that there might be a security or safety issue. that's what we've talked to meet about. we're happy to facilitate that issue with that issue with the committee and the fbi, but that's the objections raised, monday, i think it was, by the fbi. >> upon my request, it was not for anything to do with any counterintelligence. don't want to know anything about that, just who worked on this matter. >> but there was -- >> i think the request is clear and his response is clear. we're going to go to the gentleman from new york and then we're going to go to the gentleman from montana, and then we will break. inspector general horowitz, just so people can know what we're doing. my friend from new york, mr. jeffries. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we live in a democracy, not an authoritarian state, is that correct? >> that is correct. >> and in your views, is it generally appropriate to begin to ask american citizens how they voted in a presidential
election or any election, for that matter? >> in my view, that's not a question we should be asking, certainly from my standpoint. >> thank you. special counsel's investigation into possible russian interference with the 2016 election has resulted in 23 indictments, correct? >> i don't know, actually. >> 20 individuals have been indicted in connection with that investigation. >> i'll accept your representation. >> okay. three corporate entities have been indicted in connection with the special counsel's investigation, correct? >> again, i don't know as i'm sitting here, but i'll certainly accept your representation. >> special counsel's investigation into possible russian collusion identified 75 different criminal acts, correct? >> same answer. >> there have been five guilty pleas, true? >> same answer. >> trump's campaign manager, paul manafort, has been charged with conspiracy to defraud the united states, correct? >> same answer. i believe that's correct. >> and paul manafort's now sitting in jail, is that correct? >> that's correct. >> and that's in connection with alleged witness tampering, true? >> that's what i've read. >> and trump's former national security adviser, michael flynn,
has pled guilty to lying to the fbi, correct? >> that's my understanding. >> his deputy campaign manager, rick gates, has been indicted on conspiracy to defraud the united states, true? >> again, i would accept your representation. >> okay, and george papadopoulos, a former trump campaign national security adviser, has pled guilty to lying to the fbi about his contacts with russians during the campaign, correct? >> i believe that's correct. >> now, former fbi director james comey initiated the criminal investigation into possible collusion between the trump campaign and russia, correct? >> actually, i'm not sure who and precisely how it was opened. >> okay, but he was fbi director at the time, true? >> he was the fbi director the at time. >> and james comey's a lifelong republican, correct? >> that i don't know. >> bob mueller is the special counsel leading the criminal investigation into possible collusion between the trump campaign and russia, true? >> he is now the special counsel, correct. >> special counsel bob mueller's a well-respected law enforcement professional, correct? >> i'll speak for myself. i have respect for him. >> he's a man of integrity, true? >> that's my opinion.
>> and special counsel bob mueller's a lifelong republican, correct? >> that i don't know. >> rod rosenstein is the justice department's deputy attorney general, correct? >> correct. >> and in that capacity, the deputy attorney general oversees the special counsel's criminal investigation into the trump campaign, correct? >> that's my understanding. >> now, donald trump, the republican president, appointed rod rosenstein to that position of deputy a.g., true? >> correct. >> and rod rosenstein is a registered republican, correct? >> that i don't know. >> christopher wray is the current fbi director, correct? >> correct. >> he was appointed to that position by donald trump, true? >> correct. >> and in that capacity, the fbi director helps lead the criminal investigation into the trump campaign, correct? >> i'm actually not sure of that with the special counsel how that plays out. >> okay. we think that he's involved. fbi director christopher wray is a registered republican, correct? >> that i don't know. >> for the last few hours, we've sat in this hearing, and some of my colleagues, part of the
cover-up caucus, have attempted to peddle conspiracy theories that the investigation into the trump campaign's potential criminality, where we were attacked by a hostile foreign power, is a witch hunt. there is not a scintilla of evidence that a witch hunt exists right now. in fact, if any individual connected to the 2016 presidential campaign was victimized by prosecutorial misconduct, her name was hillary clinton. the report that you've produced, 500-plus pages, makes clear that the former fbi director violated department of justice protocol on multiple occasions, most severely in july of 2016 with a public explanation of hillary clinton's conduct, recklessly calling it extremely careless,
violating doj protocol, and then, of course, again in october of 2016 with 11 days prior to the presidential campaign. what are you guys complaining about? you know what happened. james comey decided to play judge, jury, and executioner, and on october 28th, he executed the hillary clinton campaign, killed her in pennsylvania, killed her in michigan, killed her in wisconsin, and handed donald trump the presidency, and at the same time decided to pardon the trump campaign in a court of public opinion by refusing to confirm the public -- to the public the investigation that was taking place in the trump campaign. it's a phony, fraudulent, and fake argument. stop peddling lies about a so-called democratic witch hunt to the american people. i yield back. >> gentleman from new york
yields back. the gentleman from montana is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. horowitz -- over here. >> sorry. sorry about that. >> all the way. i appreciate the work you've done and continue to do on your ongoing investigation, so i'd like to focus my short time with you on the improper interactions and leaking of information to the media. on page 19 in your report, you state that the fbi policy and regulations forbid the confirmation or denial and any discussion of an active investigation, except in limited, specified circumstances, is that correct? >> that's correct, yep. >> also, only the fbi director, deputy director, associate deputy director, and other limited staff, are authorized to speak to the media, is that correct? >> yeah. >> so, why does the agency have such a policy, and could you briefly describe the consequences of not following it? >> the agency has a policy, because leaks harm cases, they can terribly damage an ongoing
criminal investigation, and they harm people's reputations. no one should want to see anybody tarnished with mud, other allegations that are never charged, never proven. >> so, leaks are damaging. >> leaks are damaging to people and investigations. >> okay. so, on page 430 of your report, you state that the fbi policy limits employees who are authorized to speak to the media, but you found that that policy was widely ignored and that numerous fbi employees at all levels of the organization were in frequent contact. >> correct. >> further, fbi officials received tickets to sporting events from journalists, went on golfing outings, representatives were treated to drinks and meals after work with reporters and were guests of journalists at nonpublic social events, is that correct? >> correct. >> some might consider such
gifts as bribes. at the very minimum, these are serious ethics violations. in appendixes "g" and "h," you identify over 50 fbi employees who had over 300 interactions with reporters during the period you looked at. is that correct? >> correct. >> what evidence did you find that these 300 or so interactions and outings and meals and golf tournaments were authorized and in compliance with fbi policy? >> it appears that most, many were not. and that is precisely why i wanted to put this, make this public. we have this work ongoing, so i can't speak to any individual matter or issue, but i thought it was critical because of our concern as we do these reports on systemic issues that the public and policymakers and the
department of justice and the fbi itself understand what the challenge is. when we have to look at leaks and there are that number of contacts, it makes it very, very challenging to figure out how -- >> so you noted that this leaking of information to the media was widely known within the organization and even played a role in decision-making. >> and in addition here, very concerning, correct, that a number of people made decisions based on concerns over what might be leaked. >> and you note on page 429, "we have profound concerns about the volume and extent of unauthorized media contacts by fbi personnel that have been uncovered during the review." >> correct. >> so, given the policy to limit contact with the media was very clear. knowledge of the practice of leaking was widespread, and the potential consequences great. what evidence did you find of any disciplinary action against
violating employees? >> well, when leaks were, in fact, uncovered, there was discipline, our concern was that the contact alone wasn't being addressed effectively and that that's where the fbi needs to focus on and that's what director wray has said publicly that he will look at. >> so, based on your investigation, how many people have been referred to investigation in possible code conduct violations? >> i'm not sure that number, but i can assure you that when we find contacts, even when we can't prove the leak, going forward, when we find contacts, even if we can't prove that someone actually leaked, but if they contacted in violation of policy, we will refer that to opr for their investigation. >> okay, and at this point, how many fbi or doj employees have been fired for violating the leaking policy or accepting -- >> i'd have to get back to you on that. i don't know how many we have. >> it's very important given the extent of your findings. and finally, the real issue here is can the american people trust
that these individuals will be held accountable? and can we count on you and your organization in your role as inspector general to assure that this kind of improper behavior does not persist? >> i can and i will say that we will, to the extent the law permits us, make public our findings when we can make them public. >> thank you, and i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. mr. inspector general, how long of a break would you like? >> long enough to get a sandwich or a bite to eat? >> is 45 minutes enough? >> plenty of time. >> why don't we reconvene at 1:45? with that, we're in recess.