tv Rep. Goodlatte and Nadler Opening Statements CSPAN June 28, 2018 3:07pm-3:30pm EDT
the first time mr. rosenstein has answered questions about the report. and fbi director chris wray appeared last week before the senate judiciary committee. earlier today the house passed a resolution ordering the justice department to furnish documents related to the investigation. you can find this hearing, along with the fbi director's testimony, on c-span.org as well as using our radio app. we'll also show the hearing tonight 8:00 eastern over on c-span. the economy wrapping up its work, but here's some of the testimony from earlier today. >> good morning. the judiciary committee will come to order. and without objection, the chair is authorized to declare recesses flt committee at any time. before we begin our hearing this morning, we need to vote to wave the committee's seven-day hearing assignment. ruling to 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 notice ds. those in favor will say aye. >> aye. >> those opposed no. >> no. >> according to the chair the ayes have it. >> i ask for a recorded vote. >> a recorded vote has been requested and mr. call the vote. >> mr. goodlatte. aye. mr. smith. mr. smith votes aye. mr. chap bot societies aye. mr. isa voits aye. mr. kipg votes aye. mr. goe ameritech votes aye. mr. jordan votes yes. mr. poe yes yes. mr. moreno votes yes. mr. gowdy votes yes. mr. labrador? mr. collins? mr. desantas votes yes. mr. buck? mr. ratcliffe votes yes. miss robbie?
mr. gates? mr. johnson of louisiana? mr. biggs votes aye. mr. fof fort votes aye. miss handle votes yes. mr. rothfus votes aye. mr. ladler? miss laugh green? miss jackson lee votes no. mr. cohen votes yes. mr. johnson of georgia? >> don't understand russian yes. mr. cohen votes no. mr. johnson of georgia? mr. johnson votes no. mr. duties votes no. mr. gutierrez votes no. miss bass? mr. ri mr. rich man? mr. jeffries? mr. cyst lynn ee votes no.
no. >> we are 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 luis is not recorded. >> yes. >> mr. johnson votes yes. >> mr. chairman. >> gentleman from california. >> no. >> mr. swalwell votes no. >> chairman, may i make a parliamentary inquiry? >> state your 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. >> it's not an emergency. it's good cause. the gentleman from maryland. >> how am i recorded? >> not recorded. >> no. >> mr. raskin votes no. >> good guess. mr. chairman, continue with your guess osity, can you state for the record what the good cause is? >> the fact that we've 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 would you finish your
sentence? >> i'm going to first declare that the vote is approved. and the notice requirement is it waived. now, i'm going to recognize 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 perch tiapprecia 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 lawyer shall the united states attorney for the northern district of illinois that was 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 that we'll address here today as well. so i'll continue my opening statement. the church committee was established on a bipartisan basis and chaired by democratic senator frank church in 1975 to review cia, fbi and 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 findings ruthed in passage three years later of the foreign intelligence surveillance act. fisa attempts to balance the need for sec restcy 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 phish and other intelligence agencies violated their oaths to uphold and defend the constitution of the united states. in monitoring sit stens political activity the agencies exercised their responsibilities in a manner unworthy of u.s. officials. the abuses of that buy goner an and really of any era often happen because of power, power to influence political currents, power to collect sensitive information, and power to yield 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 election. it revealed that fbi akts, 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 pred lick shuns 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 manners 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 inimmunity to people who had 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 are 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 emails over personal servers and unsecured emails and setting up server for explicit purpose of doing this. these actions led to exposing one classified email 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 not only reviewed abuses by individuals, including the fbi director himself, but focused in on surveillance abuses. here we now face the same allegations, yet in manner that goes to the heart of our democracy. it is right out of a novel with salacious unverified dossiers, reports of informants that appear more like spies for the u.s. government, and application of after for mentioned surveillance powers to collect on u.s. person once 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 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 phish and t fbi and doj documents we need to hold the agency accountable. while this has improved recen y recentlily, it felt like pulling teeth to obtain relevant documents. moreover, we just recently some documents that the inspector general received to conduct his investigation of the 2016 election has been in terp tate bd i the department of justice to fall outside the first subpoena i ever issued as
chairman of this committee. shockingly, emails and communications of doj officials have not been produced at all. therefore, we have not received any emails between prosecutors working the clinton case. said differently, we are not receiving and have not received 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 the obama white house. this is unacceptable. particularly by requesting the subpoena to the inspector general other than certain ones pertaining to grand jury material. the department of justice and the 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 constitutional mandate.
this is non-negotiable. because we must assure the american people that the agencies under our jurisdiction operate fairly, treating all equally under the law. this hearing emphasizes the importance of transparency in helping to regain both the perception and reality of impartiality of our law enforcement system. damage to the fbi and doj's representations is not something any of us desire. but 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 often heroic jobs to protect our country. we expect to hear today how the fbi and the doj will hold people accountable and prevent this from happening again. thank you, and i look forward to hearing from both deputy attorney general rosenstein and director wray. i now recognize ranking member
for his statement. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the events led up to this hearing are totally unacceptable. on monday of this week you notified of us this hearing without the seven days required by the rules. on tuesday you started our committee make up more than an hour again, again without notice to the minority. then you allowed mr. jordan to allow an amendment that was nongermane. then you stood outside of the cameras while the majority overturned to overrule the hearing of the own chair that the amendment was not germane. on wednesday you dropped all committee to interview peter strzok who had already interviewed to come in for inter voo you before you threatened him with a subpoena. today we meet so the majority can criticize him to his face largely about his failure to produce documents that you know he cannot produce. we will take a break so we can go to the floor and vote on a so-called resolution of insistence. based on the jordan amendment from efrler this week. a measure that is without
precedent, without the force of law, and clearly a pretext to remove mr. rosenstein that the majority has already planned. pan what is the great emergency that justifies this last minute hearing? why is the majority abandoned the rules and traditions that govern civil internation govern civility of course. when president trump and his administration were actively separating families at the border, ripping children out of the arms of their parents and causing untold suffering for thousands of families, 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 from this administration with reuniting these families, where is the emergency hearing on that issue? n nadler. we know russia after successfully interfering with our 2016 elections is actively working to disrupt the upcoming
elections as well. we are told this by all of our intelligence agencies. former national security adviser testified that our intelligence agencies despite this have received no instruction frs the white house to protect the integrity of our election system. have we schedule an emergency hearing on that matter? for that matter have we conducted any oversight at all on election security, on the family separation crisis, on the administration's failure to protect dreamers, on the justice department's radical decision not to defend the affordable care act in court? on the supreme court decision voting rights and workers rights? on the president's ongoing conflict of interest and clear violations of the emollient clause of the constitution or other pressing issues within our committee jurisdiction? no. as with so many issues, this committee stays silent. but on historic's emails, sound the alarms. despite inspector general report that in more than 500 exhaustive
pages demonstrates conclusively that the outcome of the hillary clinton investigation was not affected by any bias, political or otherwise, we are waiting precious committee time to chase hik yet again. desperate to prove there is some pro clinton and anti-trump conspiracy within the fbi when in fact the overwhelming evidence shows exactly the opposite. virtually every action criticized in the inspector general report, director comey july announcement, public comments on the clinton investigation, and refusal to confirm the existence of the trump investigations. in his october decision reopen the clinton email investigation ultimately harmed the candidacy of secretary clinton and to the benefit of donald trump. and no one will deny that fact. but i guess we shouldn't let facts stand in the way of a good manufactured emergency. according to the republican memo for today's hearing, today is
also an opportunity for members to consider, quote, justice department compliance with the committee's march 22 subpoena. close quote. a subpoena that was not issued in compliance with the rules and therefore it cannot be enforced. even if it was a properly issued subpoena, the final document production seems to have boiled down to certain documents that the republicans know the department of justice cannot turn over. much of it evidence relating to 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 under cover in the field. and that of course is the whole point. as part of the coordinated and determined effort to undermine the special counsel's investigation, republicans are requesting documents they know they cannot have. if they somehow find themselves in position of sensitive documents, that go to the core of the special counsel investigation, and if past practice holds, those documents
will end up in the possession of the subject of the investigation, namely president trump, and shortly thereafter on fox news. and if the majority is rightly denied, they will do their best to undermine the credibility of the department of justice, credibility of the deputy attorney general, and by extension the credibility of the special counsel. they will try to hold mr. rosenstein in come tempt. some have threatened him with impeachment. they may argue that he must be removed oversight role over the investigation. this is it an investigation ha has already yielded five gyte i employees and led to the in indictment of 20 people so far. the president and some of his closest advisers are under investigation for having participated in a criminal conspiracy tw a foreign power against the united states. that is an emergency. the president practically confessed to lester holt on television that he obstructed
the investigation into that conspiracy when he said that he fired former fbi director comey because of, quote, this russia stuff with trump and russia, close quote. that is an emergency. but is that the subject of today's emergency hearing? no. or of any emergency hearing? no, it is not. i know that this has been a hard week for the majority. i no he that it must be tempting to change the subject tan rally the base with cries of lock her up. but we do not have the luxury of hiding or voting present at this critical juncture for our democracy. we cannot hide from our responsibilities. we cannot hide from our obligation to conduct oversight of a corrupt administration. we cannot hide from our constitutional duty to protect our elections from foreign interference or to stand up for the rules and for our domestic institutions and fort rule of law. and we cannot hide from our responsibility not to interfere with a proper investigation. i ask my colleges to consider this question as we proceed. when the special counsel's work
is complete, when the enormity of what he finds has been laid bear, 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 vote series to hear the opening statements of the deputy attorney general and the director. >> we welcome our distinguished witnesses. and as is the practice of this committee, if you would please rise i'll begin by swearing you in. sorry to make you keep standing up director. do you and each of you swear that theti