Skip to main content

tv   Deputy A.G. Rosenstein FBI Director Wray Testify on Clinton Email Probe  CSPAN  June 28, 2018 9:36am-11:40am EDT

9:36 am
if members of the media would retreat, we're going to start this hearing.
9:37 am
[ banging gavel ] good morning. the judiciary committee will come to order, and without objection, the chair is authorized to declare recesses of the committee at any time. before we begin our hearing this morning, we need to vote to waive the committee's seven-day hearing notice requirement. pursuant to clause a of rule 3 of the committee rules, the question is whether there is good cause to begin today's hearing, less than seven days after it was noticed. those in favor will say aye. those opposed no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. >> mr. chair, may i ask for a
9:38 am
record vote? >> the clerk will call the roll. >> mr. goodlatte. >> aye. >> mr. sensenbrenner? mr. smith. >> aye. >> mr. issa. >> aye. mr. king. >> aye. >> mr. gomert. >> aye. >> mr. jordan. >> yes. >> mr. poe. >> yes. >> mr. moreno. >> yes. >> mr. gowdy. >> yes. >> mr. labrador? mr. collins? mr. desantis. >> yes. >> mr. buck? mr. ratcliff? >> yes. >> ms. roby? mr. gates? mr. johnson of louisiana? mr. biggs? >> aye. >> mr. rutherford. >> aye. >> miss handle.
9:39 am
>> yes. >> mr. nadler? ms. lofgren? ms. jackson-lee? >> no. >> mr. cohen? >> yes. >> mr. johnson of georgia? >> mr. cohen votes no. mr. johnson of georgia? >> no. >> mr. deutsche? >> no. >> mr. gutierrez? >> no. >> ms. bass? mr. richmond? mr. jeffries? mr. cicilline? >> no. >> mr. swalwell? mr. lieu? >> no. >> mr. raskin? >> ms. jayapal? >> no. >> mr. schneider?
9:40 am
>> no. >> ms. demings? >> no. >> has every member voted who wishes to vote? >> mr. chairman? >> the gentle woman is recorded as no. >> we're going to wait another minute or two for the ranking member. so are you recorded? the gentleman is recorded. >> mr. chairman? how am i recorded? >> the gentleman from louisiana is not recorded. >> yes. >> mr. johnson votes yes.
9:41 am
>> mr. chairman? >> the gentleman from california. >> no. >> mr. swalwell votes no. >> chairman, may i make a parliamentary inquiry? >> the gentle woman will state her parliamentary inquiry? >> mr. chairman, i'm trying to inquire of the basis of the emergency and the cause that has generated this resolution to ignore the regular order of the seven-day notice of the notice. >> it's not an emergency. it's good cause. the gentleman from maryland. >> how am i recorded? >> not recorded.
9:42 am
>> no. >> mr. raskin votes no. >> good guess. >> mr. chairman, continuing your generosity, could you state for the record what the good cause is? >> the fact that we worked very hard with these two gentlemen who i very much appreciate adjusting their schedules to be here. i know that they both -- the gentleman from new york. >> no. >> mr. nadler votes no. >> the clerk will report. >> mr. chairman, 17 members voted aye. 13 members voted no. >> and the -- >> mr. chairman, would you continue your -- finish your sentence? >> i'm going to first declare that the vote is approved and the notice requirement is waived. now i'm going to recognize
9:43 am
myself for an opening statement, and i'll begin that opening statement by saying to both deputy attorney general rosenstein and director wray that i am very appreciative of the fact that they have changed their schedules to be here so that we could have this hearing today and in a reasonable amount of time after the inspector general's report and testimony before the committee. and i would also like to acknowledge the presence of john losh, united states attorney, appointed by the attorney general and deputy attorney general to facilitate the production of documents, which were not being produced in a timely fashion. we still have complaints, but the situation, in my opinion, has improved considerably. but we will have new issues we will address here today, as well. so i'll continue my opening statement. the church committee was
9:44 am
established on a bipartisan basis and chaired by democratic senator frank church in 1975 to review cia, fbi and nsa surveillance abuses, including the improper surveillance of an american icon, martin luther king jr., and other prominent individuals. the committee also conducted a review of the insidious monitoring of political activities of citizens exercising their first amendment rights. the church committee's findings resulted in passage three years later of the foreign intelligence surveillance act. fisa attempts to balance the need for secrecy in conducting surveillance against foreign agents with the protection of americans' time-honored civil liberties. this history shows we have already found ourselves once before in a situation where the fbi and other intelligence agencies violated their oath to uphold and defend the constitution of the united states. in monitoring citizens' political activity, the agencies exercised their responsibilities
9:45 am
in a manner unworthy of u.s. officials. the abuses of that bygone era and really of any era often happen because of power. power to influence political currents, power to collect sensitive information and power to wield surveillance tools in improper ways to achieve improper purposes. that power can and has been abused in the past by individuals at the highest and lowest levels of our government. fortunately, the power of our intelligence agencies is overwhelmingly used to protect us from those wishing to do our country harm. that is the conundrum. we need our intelligence agencies to have the necessary tools and techniques to safeguard our nation, and we have to be constantly vigilant to ensure these tools are not manipulated by unscrupulous actors. the recent inspector general's report revealed bias in the top echelons of the fbi during a hotly contested presidential
9:46 am
election. it revealed that fbi agents, lawyers and analysts held profound biases against then candidate donald trump and in favor of his opponent, hillary clinton. while those on the other side of the aisle continue to exclaim that these biases are only personal political predilections that had no effect on the operation of one of the biggest investigations in our nation's history, i wonder whether these same members would say the same if text messages had turned up to the tune of hillary is a disaster, or we'll stop her. or cursing her with all manner of expletives or smugly stating that particular parts of the country smell of hillary supporters. these types of comments were originating from people who were the fact-finders in the investigation. these profoundly inappropriate comments were coming from the individuals who were making decisions on whether to provide immunity to people who had
9:47 am
already lied to investigators and whether subjects of an investigation could sit in on interviews with other subjects of the same investigation. these were individuals who were plainly in positions of great power with the opportunity to place greater, lesser or even no emphasis on certain facts or interpretations of law. these actions led to complete legal exoneration of everyone involved in sending top secret e-mails over personal servers and unsecured e-mails and setting up a server for the explicit purpose of doing this. these actions even led to exposing at least one classified e-mail to a foreign party that risked serious damage to our national security. amazingly, considering their overwhelming biases, these people were also the very same people who were assigned to investigate the man that they hated, then candidate donald trump. my reference to the church committee is apropos, because it
9:48 am
not only reviewed abuses by individuals, including the fbi director himself, but focused in on surveillance abuses. here we now face the samacies, yet in manner that goes to the heart of our democracy. it is right out of a novel with salacious, be unverified dossiers, reports of informants that appear more like spies for the u.s. government and application of the aforementioned surveillance powers to collect on a u.s. person once a associated with president trump's political campaign. but it's not a novel. it's real life. and we are here today to understand a little bit more about why now -- why we now must review how our intelligence and law enforcement agencies engage in activity that appears not only wrong, but potentially illegal. all of which brings me to this body's constitutional oversight, mandate and responsibilities. our responsibility to the american people is to conduct robust oversight of agencies
9:49 am
within this committee's jurisdiction to ensure that taxpayer-funded agencies operate lawfully. our oversight, though, is only as good as the information we are provided. this committee's oversight has been hampered by both the fbi and doj's lack of consistent and vigorous production of the documents we need to hold the agencies accountable. while this production has significantly improved recently, it has felt like pulling teeth much of the time to obtain and review relevant documents. moreover, we just recently learned that some documents the inspector general received to conduct his investigation of the 2016 election have been interpreted by department of justice to fall outside the first subpoena i ever issued as chairman of this committee. shockingly, e-mails and communications of doj officials have not been produced at all. therefore, we have not received any e-mails between prosecutors working the clinton case. said differently, we are not receiving and have not received
9:50 am
potentially enlightening communications between prosecutors themselves, between prosecutors and doj management, including former attorney general lynch, or even communications between doj officials and those with commun officials and those of the obama white house. when we had long before issued in the subpoena requested all documents provided to the inspector general, other than ones pertaining to grand jury material. the department of justice and fbi are not mentioned in the united states constitution. the president and congress are. our constitutional oversight necessitates that institutions like the fbi and doj yield to congress's constitutional mandate. this is nonnegotiable because we must assure the american people that the agencies under our jurisdiction operate fairly, treating all equally under the law. this emphasises the importance of trarns parnsy in helping to
9:51 am
regain the perception and reality and impartiality of our law enforcement system. damage is not something any of us desire. now that both agencies have been on the front pages for so long, we must all work to ensure those stories are able to focus once again on the great men and women performing admirable and heroic jobs to protect our country. i expect to hear how the fbi and doj will hold people accountable. thank you. and i look forward to hearing from deputy attorney rosenstein and ray. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the events that have led up to this hearing are totally unacceptable. on monday this week you notified us without the seven-day notice required by the rules. on tuesday you started more than an hour late again, again
9:52 am
without notice to the minority. then you allowed mr. jordan to offer an amendment that was patently nongermane. and then you stood out of the view of the cameras while the majority voted to overturn the ruling of their own chair that the amendment was not germane. on wednesday you dropped all committee business to interview mr. struck. today we need so that the majority can criticize the deputy attorney general to his face. we will take a break so that we can go to the floor and vote on a so-called resolution of insistence based on the amendment from earlier this week, a measure without precedent, without the force of law and clearly a pretext move. what is the great emergency? why has the majority abandoned
9:53 am
the rules that govern kricivili in the house? when president trump and his administration were activity separating families at the border, ripping children out of the hands of their parents, that did not merit an emergency hearing by this committee. now that thousands of children are still separated from their parents with no clear plan for reuniting these families, where is the emergency hearing on that issue? we know that russia, after successfully interfering with our 2016 elections, is working to disrupt the upcoming elections as well. we are told this by all of our intelligence agencies. our intelligence agencies despite this have received no instructions from the white house to protect the integrity of our election system.
9:54 am
have we scheduled an emergency hearing on that matter? for that matter, have we conducted any oversight at all on election security, family, protecting dreamers, on the justice's decision not to defend the affordable care act in court, on the president's ongoing conflicts of interests and clear violations of the constitution or other issues? no. as with so many issues, this committee stays silent. but on hillary clinton's e-mails, sound the e laralarms. the outcome of the clinton administration was not affected by any improper bias, political or otherwise, and we are wasting precious committee time to chase hillary clinton yet again.
9:55 am
the republicans seem desperate to prove there was a pro-clinton and anti-trump conspiracy with the fbi when the evidence shows exactly the opposite. every action criticized, director comey's july announcement, his public comments on the clinton investigation and refusal to confirm the trump investigations and his october decision to announce publically the reopening of the clinton e-mail investigation ultimately harmed the candidacy of hillary clinton and to the benefit of donald trump. i guess we shouldn't let facts stand in the way of a manufactured emergency. today is also an opportunity for members to consider the justice departme department's quote compliance with the subpoena. a subpoena not issued in compliance with house rules and therefore cannot be enforced. even if it were a properly issued subpoena, the fight over
9:56 am
document production seems to have boiled down to documents that the republicans know the department of justice cannot turn over. much of it evidence relating to an ongoing criminal investigation. the scoping documents outlining specific lines of inquiry in an ongoing criminal investigation and the identities of confidential human sources still working undercover in the field. that, of course s the whole point. as part of their coordinated and determined effort to undermine the special council's investigation, republicans are requesting documents they know they cannot have. if they somehow find themselves in possession of sensitive documents that go to the core of the special council's investigation and if past practice holds, they will end up in the subject of the investigation, namely president trump, and shortly there after on fox news. as the majority is rightly denied, they will do their best to undermine the credibility of the department of justice, the
9:57 am
credibility of the deputy attorney general and by extension, the credibility of the special counsel. they will try to hold mr. rosenstein in contempt. some have even threatened him with impeachment. they may argue he must be removed from his oversight role. this is an investigation i might remind my colleagues that has already yielded five guilty pleas and led to the indictment of 20 people so far. the president and some of his closest advisors are under close investigation for having participated in a criminal conspiracy with a foreign power against the united states. that is an emergency. the president practically confessed to -- the president practically confessed to lester holt on television that he obstructed that conspiracy when he said he fired former fbi director comey because of, quote, this russia stuff with trump and russia, close quote. that is an emergency. is that the subject of today's
9:58 am
emergency's hearing? no. this has been a hard week for the majority. i know it must be tempting to change the subject. but we do not have the luxury of hiding or voting present at this critical juncture. we cannot hide from our responsibilities. we cannot hide from our obligation to conduct oversight of a corrupt obligation. we cannot hide to protect our elections other stand up for the rules and for our domestic institutions and for the rule of law. we cannot hide from our responsibility not to interfere with a proper investigation. i ask my colleagues to consider this question as we proceed. when the special council's work is complete, when the enormity of what he finds has been laid bare, how will the american people judge your actions today? i yield back the balance of my time. >> we will stand in recess and return immediately after this
9:59 am
vote to hear the opening statements of the deputy attorney general and the director.
10:00 am
10:01 am
10:02 am
we're live on capitol hill this morning for the house committee hearing on the clinton e-mail investigation. deputy attorney general rod rosenstein and fbi director christopher ray appearing here. they are expected to refer to the inspector general's report. we have heard opening statements from the chair and opening members now interrupted so members can get over to the house chamber for votes. you can see the house consider and vote in that legislation this morning on your companion network c-span. while we wait for this hearing to resume, a discussion where we talk with the member of the house committee conducting this hearing about what he expects to see. >> the republican congressman is a member of the house judiciary
10:03 am
committee. while you won't get a chance to vote on the next supreme court nominee, i wonder what you think of democrats' call to put off confirmation process until after the american public has weighed in via the november elections. >> i don't think there is any need to do that. we have a majority rule in our country. we have a senate that functions. we have a president that is going to make a nomination, and i think they should go ahead and have hearings and have a vote this fall. >> do you think the supreme court nomination becomes a new focus of the 2018 elections? republicans had been planning on running on the tax cuts. >> i think it is an issue people will be talking about. i talked to a lot of voters who weren't too happy with the choices of clinton versus trump, but they voted for president trump because they knew the supreme court was going to be an issue. >> what do you say to voters when they bring up the supreme court and this fight to come? >> it takes a look at the -- how has the supreme court gotten to this point where it is so powerful?
10:04 am
i think you can take a step back and look at how the court has ruled over the decades and taken more and more power. you see it begins to act like a super legislature and everything becomes a major battle. you look at all these decisions that are 5-4, fundamental liberties, freedom of speech by a 5-4 vote. these are very important issues and the country is engaged on it. >> you know one of the supreme court nominees or one of the one's that's on the president's list, thomas hardiman. >> i know him from pittsburgh. he's a pits gtsburgh guy. last time he was the runner-up when gorsich got the call. i made a few calls to tom checking in seeing what is going to happen. there was that mysterious day where tom was spotted driving east and everybody thought he
10:05 am
might get the nomination. it is a very intriguing process they go through as the president reviews candidates. >> what are your thoughts on his judicial style? what would your recommendation be to the president? >> i actually offered some advice before the last one. i saw the president for a second and said tom is a good man. this decision, the president is going to be taking very serious. it is a very serious responsibility that the president has, and we'll look forward to his pick. >> we're talking with a republican joining us. until the top of the hour you can call in if you want to join in. having this discussion during a very busy week in washington, besides what happened yesterday at the supreme court on the floor of the house yesterday, republicans failed to move forward an immigration overhaul bill for the second time.
10:06 am
how did you vote on that bill yesterday? >> i did not vote for the bill yesterday. there is some very good things in that bill. i am a cospop sor of the measure we had last week. we got 193 votes on the bill last year. we got 121 yes votes yesterday. if you take a look at the two vote totals, i think there are 18 or 19 republicans that did not vote for either measure. somewhere in that mix is a working majority that we could come up with some legislation. my hope is we're going back to the drawing board and seeing what it's going to take to get to 218. >> going worse than the one last week. should republican leaders have even put this on the floor? >> it is a confusing process. there was talk of adding a couple measures on e-verify. that was dropped at the last minute. whether that had a role, i'll let the prognosticators have a say on that.
10:07 am
we have to go back and take a look at it. it is a very serious issue where we get the border secured. we know we have to do a better job at our ports of entry. we have a horrific heroin problem in this country, coming from mexico. if that's not a reason to secure the border, i don't know what is. there is good language on bolstering ports of entry and what we're doing down there. so this is something we have to get back to. >> was it a mistake for the president to weigh in on this bill yesterday and encourage republicans to support it? >> i think it's been a little frustrating because last friday the president put out a tweet saying maybe we should wait until the election and yesterday he comes out in support of this bill. i hope we can get back there. >> do these two votes shake your confidence in this republican leadership team? >> no, it doesn't.
10:08 am
i think, if i were to criticize anything, it was the order in which this process was conducted. we have a judiciary committee, a homeland security committee. it would be better if these things were being put through the committee. you had an ad hoc committee set up with different factions going on. i think there are better ways to do it. i think we had a very good conference last thursday night. a lot of ideas got put forth. but it was really the first full engagement of the rank and file on what would become a good piece of legislation. >> was there a plan given to you on what happens if this compromised bill doesn't pass? is there going to be a narrow bill on the house floor that would address the family separation issue? >> that's under consideration. i would be supporting that bill. my hope is we would move forward on that. there is no reason why you have to do them separately. i think you can get it over to
10:09 am
the senate. >> plenty to talk about. he's with us for about the next 15 minutes. jack in scottsdale, arizona, a line for republicans. go ahead. >> good morning. thanks for taking my call. first off, on the immigration issues that the gentleman just spoke about, i appreciate that. but we have to get to a point where we deal with the facts in this country, okay? i'm from a tenth generation american. now, 99% came through the port in new york. they became american, but they made sure their children were americans. they became known as the greatest generation, okay? now, these ones have been coming in from mexico, it is not two million or eleven million, between chinese, mexican, there
10:10 am
is probably 25, 30 million immigrants in this country. not all of them are bad. but here is the bottom line. it has cost this country billions of dollars between schools, hospitals and everything else. now, the second point he didn't make was that he talked about the drugs. but here is the deal. okay? we need to declare a big problem with mexico because they let this happen. they're letting this happen through the cartels. this is a third world country. this isn't even like germany. we need to put our foot down and tell them you either straighten this out or not just a wall will go up but no trade, nothing. you stop them dead in their tracks. >> congressman? >> yeah. i'm glad you raised the issue of the cartels. this is a horrific problem on the southern side of the border.
10:11 am
130,000 people have been killed over the last ten years with impunity. i think only 5% of the murders in mexico are actually prosecuted. the cartels are running the show in a good part of the country. we have an election coming up this week in mexico. the leader is going to be on. he might have more insights because he is right down there on the border seeing what's happening. i think we have to have a much more aggressive possession vis-a-vis the cartels. i have a bill that's out there called the border protection fund act which calls for us to be going after the cartels and taking the assets that we can find and put them into a fund that would fund drug border programs. there is a program called the american initiative which began
10:12 am
10, 15 years ago. i think it is a program we have to take a look at, how can we improve it and help foster the rule of how in mexico. i appreciate the caller bringing up this very serious issue. >> a line for democrats in littlestown. go ahead. >> yes. i'm in favor of controlling the borders. no doubt. but when the man gets up there, known as our president, and says, who is going to pay for it? mexico. this man has lied so much. you know, as far as my association with you people, the republicans, come on. and this is ridiculous. i like what you're saying. something has got to be done. we've got opoids and everything else. but when you got a liar up there, you better -- impeach the
10:13 am
man. that's all i got to say. god bless america. >> wayne, thank you for the call. i think part of the negotiation with nafta i think the president might be trying to find a way through whatever means to find a better deal for america. and whatever, whether it is going to be tariffs or something, that would go into help to pay our bills. i like my ideas of the border protection fund. we will go after mexican cartels and try to seize some assets. there are billions of dollars that these cartels have. i think that's a way that you can try to get some funding into that wall. but, wayne, i just want to challenge you a little bit as we go into the fourth of july week. there is a little quote you had, you people. and this ties into kind of the state that we find ourselves in in the division in our country. you know, we members of
10:14 am
congress, we're out working our districts, talking to people all the time and we see a lot of that division. and it is really important that we try to have conversations with each other. i think it helps to take the edge off. i think we live in a time now where people seem to demonize each other. you can't just have a policy difference any more, you are evil for having that policy position. not to say that wayne was suggesting that. but as we enter into the 4th of july week, it is a good time for us to focus on what does unite us. you go back to the funding of this country, that declaration of independence where we hold certain truths to be self-evident that were endowed by our creator with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. this is a time to reflect on all this country has been, all this country can be and i look forward to talking to folks next
10:15 am
week during the 4th of july recess. >> do you think the president has been helpful in what you're asking for? >> the president kind of reflects where the country is at. you know, we're talking about justice kennedy. we talk about the division in the country. there is a remarkable book out now called scalia speaks. they were able to have a good relationship. you go back to the modern -- i think it to a vitriol that we see out here. you can -- we just keep on seeing things out there in the body of politic. i think that set us down a different kind of path. >> mary, line for republicans, go ahead. >> okay. i'm going to start out to say i am a woman. and this is to all males and all
10:16 am
females of the united states of america. we are killing innocent babies all the time and even wants to talk about immigration. it is murder. when you take the life of a baby. and you could call it a fetus. you can call it anything you want, but once that baby is in your womb, you have no right. wake up, america. it is murder. murder. >> again, i think the caller reflects the passion a lot of folks feel about this issue. and again you go to the supreme court. you go back to 1973 and you take a look at the 77-2 decision in justice white, president kennedy's appointment there that talked about what the majority had done in an exercise in raw, judicial power. and you see continually states
10:17 am
trying to respond to that, and you come up with even modest restrictions. we passed legislation out of the house of representatives dealing with pain capable unborn children. the united states is one of only seven countries that allow electric abortions after 20 weeks. this is fact checked by the washington post and they were surprised by that fact because it was i think mentioned during the presidential campaign. this is a time in which unborn children can feel pain. and when the supreme court steps in as the super legislature and puts together one test or another test that really does not reflect what the people can try to arrive at through their elected representatives, that's where you get a lot of the division in this country. >> do you think row v. wade will be overturned? >> i'm not going to make any predictions on that. it was justice o'connor that talked about it being on a
10:18 am
collision course with itself as the age of viability became earlier and earlier. that made an issue for the trimester frame work because you have unborn children who can be born at 27 weeks and survive. >> five minutes left with congressman keith roth. i did want to ask you about that hearing today with rod rosenstein. chris wray, it is happening starting at 9:30 this morning. if you have a chance to ask a question, what are you going to ask? >> i want to see what the plan is going forward. the inspector general put out a very troubling report talking about bias that infected the upper echelons at the fbi and decisions that director comey was making. you know, if there was ever a case that called for a special council, it would have been a e-mail investigation. you go back and take a look at
10:19 am
who he freed back in the 1990s where he was recommending a special counsel investigation. comey found himself in this very difficult position that would not have happened had there been a special council. and you saw director comey making decisions that were politically driven. you can be political without being partisan. he repeatedly made decisions on what he was doing because he was concerned about how the fbi would be conceived or with a legitimacy of the clinton -- of a hillary clinton presidency. and therefore he had to take that action on july 5th with the press conference without the blessing of the attorney general and same with the october 28th letter in 2016 where he notified congress. and then you have agents page or attorney page, very troubling text back and forth.
10:20 am
and we're still waiting for documents from the fbi, from the department of justice. and we have legitimate oversight responsibilities. so i think we will try to get into when we will see the documents we have been asking for. >> 9:30 a.m. you can also go to to watch it as well. time for one or two more callers. willy has been waiting in savannah. a line for democrats. go ahead. >> good morning. i want to ask the representative this question here, and the question i want to ask the representative is what rules are we playing by now? are we playing by the mcconnell rule? are we playing by the rule that said president barack obama, a true statement in the white house, who tried to put up a judge that the republicans said wait until after the election. let's not be distracted with all of the callers from arizona and
10:21 am
the wall. right now we're talking about chief justice kennedy stepping down in a critical time before the november election. let's stay with that focus. let's don't talk about all the issues this mornmorning. >> go ahead, congressman. again, take a look at what was going on back at the time that the government was nominated. you had a situation where president obama would be doing things like saying 20 or 21 times that he did not have the authority to do the deferred action program. and then he did the deferred action program. he was repeatedly reversed at the supreme court 9-0, and i had questions at the time about if the president nominates someone. you have to have a nomination. the senate chose not to confirm.
10:22 am
that's the constitutional frame work we have. this president will make a nomination. this senate will make a decision on to confirm or whether or not confirm. that's the process we have in our constitution. >> rod is a republican. go ahead. >> yes, gentlemen. my question is, you know, i think our president is doing a heck of a good job, and i wish the democrats could quit trying to sabotage his whole political gain and try to straighten this country out. and if we work with the president and the democrats decide to work with us instead of fighting us, we'd get a lot done. i'm so sick of hearing these democrats and msnbc putting him down and all this. i think they're running scared because they know exactly when all this comes out with comey and all this they are going to find out the democrats are behind the whole political gain of this. >> i appreciate the call. and actually i appreciate
10:23 am
c-span. i appreciate the opportunity that callers have to dial in. you know, we do have three branches of government. you have the legislative branch that is conducting oversight right now and agencies there. so we will be getting to the truth on these matters. >> i'll let you get your day started with the judiciary committee hearing starting at 9:30. keith roth, the republican from pennsylvania, thank you. >> we are back with live coverage on the clinton e-mail investigation this morning. ross rosenstein and fbi director christopher wray. they are expected to reference the inspector general's report on this investigation. we heard opening statements from the chair and ranking members. but then there was a break so members could go over to the house chamber for votes.
10:24 am
the house just wrapping up those votes, so we expect the hearing to get back into order here. one of the items, the item they vote on was the rules for debating resolution, ordering the attorney general to furnish documents. by the way, you will be able to watch general debate on that resolution on our companion network c-span this morning.
10:25 am
10:26 am
10:27 am
as committee members begin to filter back in the room, very quickly want to tell you about some of the other programs we have coming up on the c-span networks. this hearing will reair tonight at 8:00 eastern on our companion network c-span. you will be able to watch it on line at any time. this morning president trump's pick to head the internal revenue service will be testifying before the senate finance committee. you can see the entire hearing tonight at 10:00 eastern on c-span 2. and wednesday the head of t-mobile and sprint testifying before a senate panel to discuss
10:28 am
their proposed $26 billion merger and you can see that entire hearing tonight starting at 8:00 eastern right here on c-span 3. coming up friday, john roberts will be sitting down for an interview at the federal judiciary conference in west virginia. live coverage starts at 3:30 eastern on c-span. also on line at and you can listen to the free c-span radio app.
10:29 am
10:30 am
10:31 am
10:32 am
10:33 am
10:34 am
the committee will reconvene. we'd ask the media to at least
10:35 am
settle down. we welcome our distinguished witnesses. as is the practice of this committee, if you would please rise, i'll begin by swearing you in. sorry to keep making you stand up, director. do you swear that the testimony you are about to give shall be the truth so help you god. let the record show the witnesses answered in the affirmative. mr. rod rosenstein is the deputy attorney general of the united states. throughout his distinguished career in public service he has served in several divisions of the department of justice and as the united states attorney for the district of maryland from 2005 until 2017 before being nominated by president trump to be deputy attorney general. director wray is the eighth director of the federal bureau
10:36 am
of investigation. mr. wray began his department of justice career in georgia. he then served in the office of the deputy attorney general and was nominated by george w. bush to serve as assistant attorney general for the criminal division. he worked in private practice before president trump nominated him in lead the bureau in 2017. your written statement will be entered into the record and we ask you summarize your testimony within five minutes. there is a timing light at the table. when you have one minute left it will turn to yellow and then a minute later to red. so we hope you will keep your time within that limit and then we h opwill open it up for questions. we start with deputy attorney rosenstein. >> thank you. i always welcome the opportunity to appear before this distinguished body. but today is not a happy
10:37 am
occasion. based on my 30 years of experience, federal law enforcement, working with the outstanding men and women in many of your districts, there is nobody who would be more committed to rooting out abuse and misconduct when there is credible evidence that it occurred. inspector general conducted a thorough investigation, found that some federal bureau employees deviated from important principals in 2016 and 2017. everyone knew about some of those departures when they occurred, such as discussing criminal investigations and prosecutorial decisions. we learned about others through the internal investigation, such as leaking to the news media and exhibits political bias. we need to hold wrong doers accountab accountable. director wray will describe what the fbi is doing to accomplish
10:38 am
those goals. at the department of justice, training will include lessons from the inspector general's report and we are considering other recommendations. we already revised the department's confidentiality policies to emphasize that information is protected from disclosure. we intend to enforce that principal on our employees, and we need to demonstrate respect for it ourselves by protecting sensitive information entrusted to the fbi. congressional oversight is vital to democracy. my june 26th letter explains how the executive branch handles executive oversight requests for law enforcement and intelligence information. the fbi is managing an extraordinary volume of requests, some of which seek details about criminal investigations and intelligence sources.
10:39 am
as a result of president trump's commitment to transparency, the fbi is making unprecedented disclosures to the congress, including granting access to hundreds of thousands of pages of investigative information and thousands of pages of classified documents. as with most things in washington, the real work is not done on television, and it is not all done by me. trump administration officials are meeting and talking with your staff every day. they're working overtime with teams of fbi employees to accommodate requests and produce relevant information to this committee, other house committees and several senate committees. this committee requested the production of all documents relevant to the inspector general's review. you well know the fbi normally declines such requests. because of the circumstances of this case and concerns that we developed during the investigation, the department
10:40 am
agreed to produce all relevant fbi documents. i understand that the universe potential relevant documents was in the range of 1.2 million, though only a fraction are actually relevant. we began the production even before the inspector general finished his report after we confirmed that the investigation was substantially complete and production at that time would not interfere with it. as you know, the fbi struggled for some time the scope and volume of the production. some of your colleagues brought to my attention the redaction policies created the appearance that relevant information was being concealed. i looked into the issue and i understood their concern. as a result, i called on u.s. attorney john walsh from smachio to take charge of the project. he's been working on this project for some time. he brings experience in handling large documents productions in
10:41 am
the private sector. he arranged a production process that seems to be working very well. i understand that some people still state concerns about the speed of the production. but those concerns are mistaken. most requests have been fulfilled. another document production process is in progress. i have devoted almost 30 years to the service of my country. my line of work, we keep an open mind. we complete our investigations before we allege wrongdoing by anybody. our allegations are made under oath and supported by credible evidence. we treat everyone with respect and deal with one another in good faith. you and i are the beneficiaries and the temporary trustees of a remarkable experiment in self-government. like each member of congress, the deputy attorney general, fbi director and other department officials represent the people of the united states. president trump appointed us.
10:42 am
the senate confirmed our nominations and we swore an oath and accepted responsible for helping run the department of justice. that oath requires us to make controversial decisions. so here is the advice that i give the department of justice employees who faithfully pursue the department's law enforcement mission and the administration's goals in a manner consistent with laws, regulations, policies and principals. i'm here to face criticism. that's part of the job. but ignore the tyranny of the new cycle and always withstand fair and objective review. our department's employees work diligently every day to keep america safe. most of their good work is never the subject of any congressional hearing. it is a tremendous privilege to work in an organization that
10:43 am
seeks the truth and serves the law. the department of justice is not perfect. we will keep working to make it better. we welcome your constructive assistance. thank you. >> thank you, deputy attorney general. director wray, welcome. >> thank you. >> i want to thank you both for getting here. i know you have come a long way to get here and under different circumstances with an injury. >> thank you. good morning, mr. chairman, members of the committee. i appreciate this opportunity to discuss the fbi's response to the inspector general's report on doj and fbi activities in the run up to the 2016 election. we take that report very seriously, and we accept its findings and its recommendations. we are already doing a whole number of things to address those recommendations and we are
10:44 am
determined to emerge from this experience better and wiser. the fbi is entrusted with a lot of authority and our actions are appropriate, therefore, subject to close oversight. that oversight can make the fbi stronger and the public safer. part of that oversight includes fulsome responses to legitimate oversight requests for documents and information. for months, we have been working with your committees to make witnesses available, answer questions and produce or make available to you and your staff over now 880,000 pages. although we have substantially complied with a majority of the committee's subpoena, we are determined to get through the outstanding items, and we have increased staffing on this project even further. in the past week we have had approximately 100 employees working day and night dedicated
10:45 am
to this project through the weekend to collect, review, process and produce thousands of additional pages. turning to the ig's report, although the ig report did not find any evidence of political bias or improper consideration actually impacting the investigation under review, that report did identify errors of judgment, violations of or disregard for policy and decisions that certainly in the benefit of hindsight were not the best choices. i would like to briefly summarize the steps we're taking to address the report's recommendations. first, we're going to be holding employees accountable for misconduct. we have already referred conduct highlighted in the report to the office of professional responsibility, which is the fbi's independent disciplinary arm. and once the necessary process is complete, we will not hesitate to hold people strictly accountable. second, we're making sure that every employee understands the
10:46 am
le lessons of the ig's report with in depth training so we don't repeat mistakes identified in that report. third, we're making sure that we have the policies, the procedures and the training needed for everyone to understand and remember what is expected of all of us. that includes drilling home the importance of objectivity and of avoiding even the appearance of personal conflicts or political bias, ensuring that recusals are handled correctly. making all employees aware of our new media policy and making clear we will not tolerate noncompliance. ensuring we follow doj policies about public statements on ongoing investigations and uncharged conduct and ensuring we adhere strictly to all policies and procedures on the use of fbi systems, networks and devices. i have also directed our new
10:47 am
associate deputy director, the number three official in the fbi, to lead a review of how we staff, structure and supervise sensitive investigations so that we can make sure that each one is conducted to our highest standards. the ig report makes clear that we have got important work to do. but i do want to emphasize that this report is focussed on a specific set of events in 2016 and a small number of employees connected with those events. nothing in this report impugns the integrity of our workforce as a whole or the fbi as an institution. i want to be very clear about the fbi i have gotten to see in the ten months since i have taken on this job. as i meet with our offices all over the world, offices represented by every one of the members up here, i encounter really remarkable, inspiring stories about the work our
10:48 am
37,000 men and women are doing every single day. we have rescued more than 1,300 kids from child predators this year alone. we have arrested more than 4,600 violent gang members in just the past few months. we have disrupted recently terrorist plots ranging from places like fisherman's wharf to a crowded shopping mall in miami. i can go on and on. our men and women are doing all that great work with the unfailing fidelity to our constitution and the laws that it demands, the bravely that it deserves and the integrity that the american people rightly expect. that means we're going to do this job by the book. i am committed to doing that. i would not be here if i wasn't committed to making sure we do it that way, and i expect all our employees to do the same. that means following our rules, following our policies, following our long-standing
10:49 am
forms. there will be times when we feel extraordinary pressure not to follow our process and policies. but in my view, those are precisely the times that we need to adhere to them the most. we've got to stay faithful to our best traditions and our core values, making sure we are not only doing the right thing, but doing it in the right way and pursuing the facts independently and objectively no matter who likes it. that, in my view, is the only way we can maintain the trust and credibility of the people we serve. mr. chairman and members of the committee, thank you again for the opportunity to address the inspector general's report and i look forward to answering the committee questions. >> we will proceed under the five minute rule with questions and i will begin by recognizing the gentleman from florida. >> thank you, mr. chairman. welcome to the witnesses. august 8th, 2016, text message in the ig report from lisa page
10:50 am
to peter struck. trump is not ever going to be president, right, right? peter struck response no, no, he's not. we'll stop it. the justice department provided previous text messages from that date. that included all of the messages except messages we have accept. why didn't the justice department produce that to congress when we asked? >> mr. desantis, i spoke with our inspector general michael horowitz yesterday and he told me when he testified he didn't have a full opportunity to explain the technological details that are pretty complicated but he assured me he had had a long telephone conversation with mr. jordan after the hearing and explained it. he's much better positioned than i. what i can assure you -- >> let me just ask you -- >> if i could just explain, sir. i want to ensure the american people. we're not withholding anything embarrassing. the message was not in the original material that the inspector general -- he found these messages -- z >> so you didn't find it and he
10:51 am
did. we're expecting a good faith effort, you didn't find it and maybe somebody else deleted or something happened before you guys but he was able to find it and you didn't so it was very disappointing to see a text message there because you would agree. think of the timeline peter strzok opens up the counterintelligence investigation against trump's campaign the end of july then a week later this text message, he ain't gonna be president, we'll stop it. then the infamous insurance policy text message where he says we can't take the risk of a trump presidency, you need an insurance policy. the american people see. that doesn't that undermine the whole integrity of the actions of people like peter strzok? >> yes, congressman, that's a highly inappropriate -- >> it's more than that. the inspector general did find the bias affected. he didn't say it affected the decision about hillary when you
10:52 am
had the huma abedin e-mails, he was concerned about this. he testified on the record that it was reasonable to say that the bias not only existed but affected what he did. let me ask you this -- what did the doj or fbi do in terms of collecting information, spying, or surveillance on the trump campaign be it via stefan halper or anybody else working on behalf of the agencies? >> as you know, congressman, i'm not permitted to discuss classified information in an open setting but i can assure you we are working with oversight committees and producing all relevant evidence to allow them to answer those questions. >> let me ask you this, then, did the obama administration, anybody in the administration direct anybody, halper or anybody else, to make contact with anyone associated with the trump campaign. >> as i said, congressman, appreciate the -- i understand your interest, i'm not permitted to discuss classified information. >> we want the documents, we're going to back and forth on that but the american people need to
10:53 am
know were the counterintelligence powers unleashed from t eed on the tru. they talk about the mueller investigation. it's really the rosenstein investigation. you appointed mueller, you're supervising mueller and it's supposedly about collusion between trump's campaign and russia and obstruction of justice but you wrote the memo saying that comey should be fired. and you signed the fisa extension for carter page so my question is seems like you should be recused more than jeff sessions because you were involved in making decisions in both prongs of this investigation. why haven't you done this? >> congressman, i can assure you that that if it were appropriate for me to recuse, i would be more than happy to do so. but it's my responsibility to do i it. >> how do you have obstruction of justice possibility for a president exercising his powers to fire an fbi director that you said should be fired and, oh, by the way, ig report makes it clear james comey should have been fired so why are we still
10:54 am
doing with with the mural proel sfloeb. >> s-- probe. i'm not commenting about that and neither does mr. mueller. >> do you accept what ig horowitz said regarding peter strzok and the fall campaign with huma abedin e-mails, how he slow-walked that versus how he was so gung-ho about the trump russia collusion? hillary mattered because we didn't want to mess it up but this matters because it matters. that's what he wanted to do. horowitz said his bias is appropriate explanation for his conduct, do you agree? >> i certainly agree with the findings of the inspector general report and the messages indicate bias. >> you have work to do because if the bias is affecting official action that is a big, big problem, i yield back the balance of my time. >> the chair recognizes the
10:55 am
gentlewoman from california, ms. lofgren, for five minutes. >> deputy attorney general rosenstein and director wray, this may be an appropriate time to make what is kind of an easy request but could you state for the record what is the department of justice in federal bureau of investigation's policy on commenting on any matter related to an ongoing criminal or counterintelligence investigation and does this policy apply to document production even when requested by congress? >> yes, congresswoman, director wray may able to speak more to the reasons why the fbi doesn't comment but we do not discuss counterintelligence investigations or criminal investigations while they're on goin
10:56 am
going. >> we don't comment. there are a number of reasons that go back to that from the days when i was a line prosecutor and long before that. they have to do with protecting the reputations and the privacy of the people subject to the investigation. they have to do it protecting the integrity of the ongoing investigation. they have to do it protecting the rights to fair trial. and there are a number of reasons and when you add the counterintelligence dimension, there's the need to protect sources and methods. >> so this applies to all members of the doj and fbi as well as the powell is? >> that is correct. >> thank you.
10:57 am
i mention this the other day when that we are pursuing release of information that in my experience on this committee, 24 years on this committee and nine years as a member of this staff of one of the members of the committee that i've never seen this happen before. and i read the entire application on the carter page -- the fisa application along with the accompanying documents, took me all day. i mean, i canceled all my appointme appointments. it's very obvious why that material should not be in the public arena. there are people, i think, who would certainly could lose their lives if their identities were made known and it's an example of the requirement that you labor under but also that the
10:58 am
committee labors under. i want to mention -- and mr. jordan is here so he'll correct me if my understanding is incorrect. but i understand mr. jordan accused you, mr. rosenstein, on the floor during the debate, of threatening the hpsci staff if they attempt to hold you in contempt for failing to comply with document requests. it's important to put this on the record. have you, mr. rosenstein, ever threatened congressional staff including but not limited to house intelligence committee staff as it relates to request for your -- for you to produce documents or any other matter? >> congresswoman, people make all kinds of allegations and in my business we ask who's the witness, are they credible? and if somebody swears under oath that i threatened them, i'll be happy with responsibility. all i can tell you with regard to that matter. all i can tell you is that in
10:59 am
the room at the time were three officials appointed by president trump and confirmed by the united states senate, director wray, assistant attorney general boyd and me. two former republican u.s. attorneys were also in the room with us, greg braugher who add the time was serving as the legislative liaison -- >> so your answer is no? >> my answer is no. >> i would like to close with this as my time is running out. it just seems to me that we are asking you two to violate the policies that you labor under and we've been doing that repeatedly. we got the 500 page ig report. you've acknowledged the needs to improve areas. last week we held a six-hour hearing. yesterday 11 hours trying to get the fbi to violate the same policies that you are upholding today. and i think it's not what this committee should be doing. i do not believe that it is the best interest of this country and certainly it does not uphold
11:00 am
and elevate the rule of law which is what this committee should be doing and has been doing for the quarter century that i've served on it and i yield back, mr. chairman. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. gates, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman, i am in violent agreement with the statements you made after this report was published that nothing in the report impugns the patriotic work of the fbi employees who are serving in my district and around the world and this mess in washington has nothing to do with them and i want to make that very clear. deputy director, the democratic memo the president declassified says the department of justice accurately informed the court that the fbi initiated its counterintelligence investigation on july 31, 2016. did any investigative activity regarding the trump campaign and russia occur? >> we're dealing with the intelligence committee on that
11:01 am
issue and chairman nunes met with director wray and me. i received the same briefing he received so i don't know any information beyond that and i can't produce any beyond what the fbi told me. >> are you aware as you sit here today of any payments made to any person to collect intelligence on the trump campaign prior to july 31, 2016? >> no, but keep in mind i wasn't there. i only know what information we've obtained from the fbi records. >> are you as you sit here today aware of know efforts to contact roger stone? >> i don't have personal knowledge but we are seeking to respond to chairman nunes' question. >> how about as it regards to michael caputo? >> i wasn't there so i can only answer questions that we direct to the fbi and have them -- >> you're there now, right? have you asked these questions of anyone? >> we have conveyed the questions that chairman nunes
11:02 am
has raised. >> you could understand why that if the department of justice represented to a court that this investigation began on july 31 and the fact that you can't tell me definitively that before july 31 there was not intelligence collected on the trump campaign that that's something of great interest to us. >> congressman, i think you should understand there's nobody more commuted to rooting out abuse and misconduct than i. we talk with the fbi take those seriously and if we find it we'll produce that to chairman nunes. >> let's get to your determinati determination. i asked when you became aware that nellie orr, the wife of your associate deputy attorney general bruce orr was working for fusion gps and was actively assigned to the dossier that
11:03 am
said nasty things about president trump. as you sit here today, do you know when you became first aware of that ch. >> as i told you last time, mr. orr was never working to my knowledge on that russia investigation. >> but his wife was, right? he's your associate deputy attorney general and his wife gets hired for that. i asked you this question on the 13th of december. i wrote you a letter on december 18, nine months ago, you have not responded to it. we need a date when you found out that the wife of your deputy was working for people who are trying to undermine president trump. don't you think that's an important date for you to know about the spouse of your own associate deputy attorney general. >> yes, i think it's important for you to understand, congressman, mr. orr is a career employee of the department. he was there when i arrived. to my knowledge he wasn't
11:04 am
working on the russia matter. >> i don't think -- >> it's important for you to know when we learned of the information, we transferred them to a different office. >> the fisa renewal you signed list for me the people who briefed you on the substance of that fisa renewal to spy on people. >> people can make all kinds of allegations publicly. i am quite confident about my conduct throughout this information. that matter is under review by the inspector general. we'll see what the inspector general finds. >> did you read the fisa application before you signed it. >> i won't comment about any fisa application. >> you won't say about whether or not you read the document you signed that authorized spying on people associated with the trump campaign. >> i dispute your characterization of what that fisa is about, sir. >> did you read it or not? >> i'll be happy to discuss details with her. >> did peter strzok brief you on it. >> did lisa page brief you on it? >> no. >> did sally moyer brief you on.
11:05 am
>> it let me explain the process if i may. >> did trisha anderson brief you on it? >> the process, sir, that s that these fisa applications or renewals come up through the fbi chain of command. they are sworn under oath by a career federal agent. i'm not the after yant. >> you signed it. >> did you explain -- >> the time of the gentleman has expired. the witness will be permitted to answer the question. >> i'd like to explain the process. >> director wray can explain it, too, sir. my responsibility at that time was to approve filing of fisa application applications. the attorney general, the deputy and the assistant attorney general. it's my responsibility do that. i had been relieved of that responsibility. director wray still does it everyday and i don't know what his process is, sir, but we sit down with a team of attorneys from the department of justice. provide a briefing for us and
11:06 am
i've reviewed that one. and the information about that doesn't match with my understanding of the one that i signed but i think it's appropriate to let that inspector general complete that investigation. these are serious investigations. i'm reviewing the finish product, sir. if the inspector general finds i did something wrong i'll respect that judgment but it's highly, highly unlikely sir given the way the process works. >> yield back. >> chair recognizes the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson-lee, for five minutes. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much. let me thank the ranking member who remains on the floor, i know he's enroute. i'm almost believing that i've just attended or am in the midst of a monster ball and we're looking for monsters wherever we can find them. as i was on the floor i heard
11:07 am
someone say, mr. deputy attorney general, that they're interested in holding you in contempt. maybe they may be mollified by resolution that has no real point to it but this is the absurdity that we are dealing with. so let me ask you. two investigations that were ongoing in 2016, could you just very briefly say what they were? two investigations regarding presidential candidates. what were those investigations? what was the investigation? >> i won't comment on any investigation that may have been ongoing. i know there's publicity but i won' won't. >> what is the ig report about? >> it's about a variety of
11:08 am
misdhaukt occurred in tmi misconduct that occurred in the fbi in 2016 and 2017. >> relating to? >> primarily focused on the hillary clinton e-mails but the inspector general addressed a few issues about that as well. >> did the investigation come to a conclusion in 2016 to your knowledge? >> the hillary clinton e-mail investigation? it did based upon public reports. >> and based upon public reports was the department of justice satisfied with those -- the end of that investigation? >> congresswoman, i have the same response i have to mr. gates. i wasn't there and i'm not the one to comment on whether or not people were satisfied with the result. we know what it was. >> director wray, your agents were involved in the fbi investigation of the clinton e-mails, is that accurate? >> yes, obviously i was not there at the time but absolutely. >> you've had a chance to review the inspector general's report. >> i have. >> and saw the fractions that were cited to the fbi. >> the fractions? >> infractions. >> oh, the infractions, yes.
11:09 am
>> have you corrected or do you have a comment on any of the infraction which is you corrected, i.e. director speaking about an investigation without the presence or yielding to one of the prosecutors of the doj such as what director comey did? >> well, congresswoman, i'm not going add my personal opinion on top of the inspector general's thorough report but we accept the findings that are in the report and the recommendations in it. >> and what have you done with respect to the recommendation about the idea of a director of an fbi making such statements going forward? >> we've done a couple things. one is we have a new media policy that is much more clear so that we ensure people follow our policies. we've directed people to make sure that they're adhering to doj policies about commenting on
11:10 am
ongoing investigations and specifically uncharged conduct. >> from the law enforcement perspective, which is what your arm is? >> correct, we're not the prosecutors. >> thank you. do you have any comment on the suggestion that one of your offices delayed in investigating the weiner laptop? do you think that was done to undermine the investigation? >> well, congresswoman, again, i think rather than substitute my characterization for the inspector general's, which is very detailed i would just say that my read of the inspector general's report is that he found that there were delays as a result of a number of factors. they structure, staff, and supervise sensitive investigations in an appropriate way so we don't we pete mistakes. >> and looking back, do you think that impeded or impacted
11:11 am
on the final conclusion of the clinton e-mail investigation? >> well, again i would defer to that. my understanding is it that he found there was no political bias ultimately impacting the investigation. >> the mr. attorney general, do you believe as donald trump indicated that the investigation of which you have read, the inspector general's report, has vindicated mr. trump as it relates to collusion with russian agentings as he indicated or is the investigation ongoing? >>. >> there is an ongoing investigation. >> and it's not concluded. >> correct. >> and no conclusion has been made? >> several charges have been filed and so you're familiar with those. >> correct. >> the time of the gentlewoman has expired. >> i yield back. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from south carolina,
11:12 am
mr. goudwdy, for five minutes. >> the russia investigation has been going on for almost two years now. special counsel's investigation has been going on for over a year now. for most americans it's important to know what russia did to our country in 2016 and with whom, if anyone, they did it. when a foreign state interferes with our democratic electoral process it should be the chapts of a lifetime for a law enforcement investigation to investigate that, except the one that was picked to investigate it. that was peter strzok. fbi peter strzok was picked to lead the fbi's investigation into what russia did in july of 2016. it was a counterintelligence investigation begun in late july, 2016, and he was leading it and about the exact same time he was picked to lead it this dispassionate and fair fbi agent
11:13 am
was calling trump a disaster, destabilizing for the country. i'll leave out all of the "f" adjectives he used. i'll go with disaster and destabilized. same time, his fbi lawyer or girlfriend lisa page was telling him he was meant to protect the countr country. this neutral dispassionate fbi agent said i can protect the country on my levels. he was talking about an insurance policy with andy mccabe and lisa age in the event donald trump became the president. all of this came at the same time that strzok said he could smell the trump support in southern virginia. all of this was at the same time that this fbi agent said it would be fing terrifying.
11:14 am
and he said no, no, we'll stop it. so while investigating russia and their attempt to stop donald trump, we go to 2017 where we find peter strzok again, this same supposed to be dispassionate neutral fair fbi agent, you would think he'd be really excited about investigating what a foreign power tried to do to this country but you would be wrong again for peter strzok and precisely the same time that bob mueller was appointed, precisely the same time peter strzok was talking about his unfinished business and how he needed to fix and finish it so donald trump did not become president. he was talking about impeachment within three days of special counsel mueller being appointed.
11:15 am
that's even quicker than msnbc and the democrats were talking about impeaching. within three days, the lead fbi agent is talking about impeaching the president. so we're a year and a half into presidency, over a year into the special counsel. o you have a counterintelligence investigation become public, a criminal investigation that's become political, you have more bias than i have ever seen manifest in a law enforcement officer in the 20 years i used to do it for a living and four other doj employees who had manifest animus toward the person they were supposed to be detachly investigating. democrats are using this as an assumption of guilt. i would encourage democrats to go back to the presumption of innocence that we used to hold sacred. there's a presumption of guilty,
11:16 am
a desire by democrat senators to fund raise off of your investigation. more than 60 democrats have voted to proceed with impeachment before bob mueller has found a single solitary damn thing and he hasn't presented his first finding. so i'll say this mr. raye and rosenstein, i realize none of you were there when this happened but you're there now. russia attacked this country, they should be the target but russia isn't being hurt by this investigation, we are. this country is being hurt by it. we are being divided. we've seen the bias. we've seen the the bias. we need to see the evidence. if you have evidence. if you have evidence, present it to the damn grand jury.
11:17 am
if you have evidence, present it to the american people. there's an old saying that justice delayed is justice denied. i think right now all of us are being denied. whatever you got finish it the hell up because this country is being torn apart. i would yield back, mr. chairman. >> do either of the witnesses care to respond. >> i would simply respond, mr. gowdy. i certainly share your views. nobody is more offended than i about what's reflected in those messages. with regard to the investigation, i've heard suggestions that we should just close the investigation. i think the best thing we can do is finish it appropriate ly. i certainly agree with you, sir, people should not be jumping to conclusions without seeing evidence. i've been the victim of that myself so i understand it.
11:18 am
there's been no allegation made by the department of justice and the special counsel, nobody should draw conclusions beyond those charges. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from tennessee for five minutes. >> thank you. director wray, mr. rosenstein, was st. peter strzok the head of any of those investigations? >> well, congressman, i don't know that i would characterize him as the head of any of the investigations. certainly he played a significant role in the investigations that are described in the inspector general's report but there was a supervisory chain and then as the inspector general found there were a number of people involved in that chain above him. >> and i know you've spoken already about the inspector general's report, it was very thorough and you accepted it. it came to the conclusion that while he may have had biases,
11:19 am
none of his biases played a role in their actions or conclusions. is that correct? >> well, again, i would defer to the inspector general's own characterization of his very thorough investigation but my understanding of it is that he found no evidence of political bias actually impacting the investigation he reviewed. >> so all we had was some talk between friends, maybe lovers and it was just talk but not policy and no action to bring about or effectuate any of their beliefs, correct? >>. >> i don't know that i want to characterize their text messages. i expect our folks to conduct themselves professionally at all times and the other reason i want to be careful about straying too far is that we have referred a number of individuals whose conduct is highlighted in our report to our office of professional responsibility and my commitment to doing things by the book includes making sure our disciplinary process is done
11:20 am
by the book and having their conduct talked about is probably not conducive. >> am i correct that each of you were appointed by trump? is that correct? >> yes, sir. >> yes, sir. >> who appointed the special counsel? >>. >> i did. >> and you were appointed by president trump? >> correct. >> now president trump talks about 13 democrats running this investigation. do you know who he is speaking about and if there's any way the justice department or president trump knows if these people are democrats, republicans, libertarians, bolsheviks. >> i think you'd have to ask him, sir. i don't know. >> you don't know if they're democrats? >> i do not know their political registration, no, sir. >> director wray, do you know their political registrations? >> i'm not familiar, no. >> this report of the special counsel has gone on for a long
11:21 am
time. dmuld be because there are is so much information and investigations arizzen from that that it's impossible to turn it off? is that possible? >> i don't think you should draw any inference, i don't think as these investigations go that it's been going on for a long time and i can assure you director mueller understands that i want him to conclude it and do it right. >> has anybody ever accused special counsel robert mueller of being dilatory, lazy, slow? >> i certainly haven't, sir, i don't know what other allegations people make but i do not view that as accurate. >> do you know special counsel mueller's investigation?
11:22 am
>> my own experience and familiarity with is that none of those adjectives would describe much of anything he's done for this country. >> director mueller, as i remember, volunteered to join the marines in vietnam, got a purple heart. is that what you understand, too? >> yes, sir. >> and when he came back he went to law school and went to work for wall street. he went into private practice for a while but didn't like it and he wanted to prosecute criminals, is that correct? >> i don't know his mow separation but he's devoted much of his career to public service and has foregone more lucrative opportunities. >> and he prosecuted manuel noriega, did he not? >> i think he was in a management position. i don't know if he prosecuted it. >> and john gotti?
11:23 am
>>. >> i don't know the answer to that, sir. >> he's gone after big fish. let me ask you to promise me something. will you promise me and the american people that no matter what pressure is brought about and brought on you by whomever that you will stay in your position and finish the job and do what you were appointed to do and what the american people need you to do? >> congressman, in the department of justice we're accustomed to criticism and it doesn't affect our work. >> congressman, no amount of political pressure will dissuade me by either side. >> thank you, and i find you and each of you and special counsel mueller as paragons as people who should be revered and not torn down and people who tear them down tear down the flag and
11:24 am
the constitution. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from ohio mr. jordan. >> mr. rosenstein, why are you keeping information from congress? >> congressman, i am not keeping any information from congress that is appropriate for -- >> in a few minutes, mr. rosenstein, i think the helpive thes is going to say something different. >> i don't agree with you, i don't believe if that's what they'll say and they will be mistaken. >> i think in a few minutes the house of representatives is going to go on record saying you haven't complied with requests from a separate and equal branch of government, that you haven't complied with subpoenas and you got seven days to get your act together. i think that's what's going to happen. and that's not jim jordan, i think that's a majority of the house of representatives. in just a few minutes i think that will happen and i want to know why you won't give us what we've asked for. >> sir, i certainly hope your colleagues are not under that impression. it's not accurate, sir. >> it is accurate. we have caught you hiding information. >> mr. chairman, can we allow the witness to answer. point of order, we can go to mr. jordan's press conference and listen to him but we came to
11:25 am
hear from the witness. >> the time belongs to the gentleman. >> will you allow him to answer. >> he will be permitted to answer when mr. jordan -- >> why do we have them here if they're not allowed to answer. why are they not allowed to answer? >> the gentleman from ohio is recognized. >> i'll let you answer. >> i'd like to answer your question, sir. >> why did you hide the fact that peter strzok and judge contraeras were friends. fisa court judge, more importantly, just as importantly, the judge that heard michael flynn's case. why did you try to hide that from us. >> appreciate you giving me the opportunity to respond. i've heard you make those allegations publicly on tv. >> i got them right here. >> and if you'd let me respond, sir. >> mr. chairman, he should be given the opportunity to answer. >> mr. jordan, i am the deputy attorney general of the united states. okay? i'm not the person doing the redacting. i'm responsible for responding to your concerns as i have. i have a team with me, sir, just
11:26 am
a fraction of the team doing this work and whenever you brought issues to my attention i have taken appropriate steps to remedy them so your statement that i am keeping information from you, trying to conceal information -- >> you're the boss, mr. rosenstein. >> that's correct. and my job is to make sure we respond to your concerns. we have, sir, now i have appointed mr. loesch who is managing that production and my understanding is it's going very well, sir. so appreciate your concerns -- >> again, i think the house of representatives is going to say otherwise. >> you're using this to attack me personally and that's deeply wrong. >> point of order, mr. chairman, may the witness be permitted to answer the question. >> the gentleman will suspend. the witness will have an opportunity to say whatever he wants at the end of mr. jordan's five minutes. those five minutes are his time. >> appreciate your service. it's not personal. we want the information. why did you tell peter strzok not to answer our questions yesterday, when i asked peter strzok if he ever communicated with glen simpson he gave us the answer he gave dozens of times, on the advice of fbi counsel, i
11:27 am
cannot answer that question. >> appreciate your sincere concerns but i didn't give peter strong any instructions. if there was problem -- >> that's not what his lawyer said. >> when you find some problem with a production or with questions, it doesn't mean i'm personally trying to conceal something from you. it means we're running an organization that's trying to follow the rules. >> when i asked him if he ever talked to bruce orr, he said he had three times in 2016 and 2017. then i asked him have you ever talked to nellie orr and i said no, i haven't. i said why can you answer that question? because nellie orr worked for glen simpson, worked for fusion, he answered that question but he couldn't answer it because fbi counsel told him that he couldn't. he couldn't answer whether he'd ever talked to glen simpson, a journalist. why couldn't he answer that question? >> appreciate you saying it isn't personal. sometimes it feels that way. how do i know, sir? you interviewed mr. strzok, i didn't. >> works for you. doesn't work for us. >> there are 115,000 people who
11:28 am
work for me, sir. >> mr. rosenstein, did you threaten staffers on the house intelligence committee? media reports indicate you did. >> media reports are mistaken. >> sometimes. but this is what they said. "having the nation's number one law enforcement officer threaten to subpoena your calls and e-mails is down right chilling." did you threat on the subpoena their calls and e-mails? >> no, sir, and there's no way to subpoena phone calls. [ laughter ] >> i'm reading what the press said. >> i would suggest you not rely on what the press says, sir. >> i didn't ask if there's no way to do it, i asked if you said it. >> i said what? >> what i just read you. >> no, i do not. >> who are we supposed to believe, staff members who we worked with who never misled us or you guys who we caught hiding information from us, who tell a witness not to answer our questions, who are we supposed to believe. >> thank you for making clear it's not personal, mr. jordan. >> i'm saying the department of justice -- >> you should believe me because i'm telling the truth and i'm under oath.
11:29 am
if you want to put someone under oath -- >> i know these staff members. here's my last question. what's so important that you know that you don't want us to know that you won't give us the documents we're asking for that the house of representatives is about ready to go on record saying you should give us. what's so darn important that you will threaten members -- at least according to media reports and staff members -- >> parliamentary inquiry, mr. chairman. >> parliamentary inquire, mr. chairman. >> this is not an appropriate time for a parliamentary inqu y inquiry. >> point of order. the gentleman keeps representing the house of representatives -- yes, it will be the republicans who continue to -- >> that is not an appropriate point of order. >> he needs to be corrected in his statement. >> the time of the gentleman -- the gentlemen will suspend. the time of the gentleman from ohio will be restored for an additional 15 seconds and the deputy attorney general will be allowed to respond. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. rosenstein, mr. wray, appreciate your work but i'd
11:30 am
also appreciate the house of representatives could get the information. mr. gowdy talked about how long there's been a special counsel. we started asking for information in july of last year and some of that is still not given -- still hasn't been give on the the congress. still has not been give on the the committee charged with defending the judiciary committee. so appreciate what you do. i want the information and we're so frustrated there's a resolution on the floor of the house that will be -- >> i don't have any conclusions that you have to vote on. >> i know you don't. >> the gentleman will suspend. the time is now the attorney general's. >> if you're interested in the truth, mr. jordan, the truth is we have a team of folks that are trump appointees and career folks and they're doing their best to produce these documents. director wray explained the process. he's got hundreds of people working around the clock trying to satisfy these requests so whether you vote or not is not going to affect it. you're going to get everything that's relevant that we can find and produce to you.
11:31 am
i support this report, sir. i'm not trying to hide anything from you. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from georgia mr. johnson for five minutes. >> gentlemen, appreciate your service. i've been impressed with your intelligence and honesty and integrity in this very difficult environment that we find ourselves in and it's a situation where the majority is hurting this country. we're hurting our country with what we're doing today. what we're doing today is holding an emergency hearing, a so-called emergency hearing based on allegations that political influence or political bias within the fbi and the doj haas somehow led to an
11:32 am
illegitimate result in the hillary clinton e-mail investigation. that's an investigation that was conducted originally. it was conducted by the fbi and doj. no criminal charges filed. investigation closed. then there was an inner general's informativestigation investigation. those reports -- that report was issued last week. it found that there was no wrong doing in the investigation of the investigation. and now today we have an investigation of the investigation of the investigation. and it's an emergency situation. also a part of this hearing is an attempt to investigate the ongoing criminal investigation
11:33 am
into the allegations and indications of collusion and perhaps conspiracy with russians in the conducting of the 2016 presidential election. and ams nowly what the republicans are trying to do is force the fbi and doj to turn over to this committee investigating the investigators information, documents that go to the heart of the criminal investigation. it's been my experience that the criminal investigators never turn over the information, they're never even asked to turn over information in an ongoing criminal investigation. can you both comment on the uniqueness of what's happening today and the danger that it poses to justice in this country? >> congressman, i don't believe
11:34 am
it poses any danger because we won't produce documents that will interfere with ongoing investigation. as i said in response to mr. jordan's request, we are producing the documents, it's a large volume of documents, it's taking a lot of time and i thought he had a legitimate point about the redactions that made it appear as if the bureau was concealing information so we brought in mr. loesch and changed the process and i think in reality it's working quite well and whatever anybody votes on is beyond my control. >> congressman, we are committed to being responsive to legitimate congressional oversight, we're trying our hardest to produce documents as quickly as we can and as completely as we can. we also have an obligation to protect on going criminal and counterintelligence investigations. we also have an obligation to protect grand jury secrecy, we also have an obligation to protect sources and methods and we're sworn to do those things
11:35 am
just like we're sworn to be responsive to congressional oversight and the inspector general's report, ironically the report we're here to talk about is very pointed on the subject as one of the principle failings it found was comments on an ongoing investigation publicly and with congress so we take those lessons seriously. we're trying to learn those lessons. >> director wray, threatening you with a subpoena or contempt of congress with non-compliance with a congressional subpoena puts you in a bad position, doesn't it? certain. >> certainly when i was minding my own business in private practice in atlanta i didn't think i would be spending the first few months of my job standing down the barrel of a contempt of congress for something that occurred before i was fbi director.
11:36 am
so to the extent we can do better, we're trying to do better. at the same time there are two principles that have to be balanced, responsiveness to congressional oversight which is important to me personally but also respecting on going criminal investigations. >> and there's certain information that you cannot provide to this committee based on the ongoing nature of the criminal investigation. is that correct? >> yes. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. there's six minutes remaining in the vote on the floor and we will reconvene as soon as that vote concludes.
11:37 am
11:38 am
is. >> the house judiciary committee
11:39 am
hearing from deputy attorney general rod rosenstein and fbi director christopher wray on the justice department's inspector general report focused on the clinton e-mail investigation. this is the first time mr. rosenstein is answering questions about that report. the house voting on a resolution ordering the justice department to furnish documents related to the investigation. the committee is in recess for a series of votes on the house floor. until the hearing resumes, we'll show you some of the morning's proceedings. good morning, the judiciary committee will come to order and the chair is authorized to declare recesse o


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on