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tv   Deputy A.G. Rosenstein FBI Director Wray Testify on Clinton Email Probe  CSPAN  June 28, 2018 3:29pm-4:32pm EDT

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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 the testimony that you are about to give shall be the
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truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you god? thank you let the record show that 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 division of the department of justice and notably united states attorney for district of maryland from 2005 to 2017 before being nominated by president trump to be deputy attorney general. director wray is the 8th director of the federal bureau of investigation. mr. wray began his department of justice career in 1997 as an assistant united states attorney for the northern district of georgia. he then served as the office of deputy attorney general and was nominated by president george bush to serve as assays tant in the criminal division. he worked in private before before prum nominated had imto lead the bureau in 2017.
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your teen written statement entered into the record and we ask that you summarize your testimony in five minutes. and to help you stay within that time, there sa timing light at the table. when you have one minute left, it will turn to yellow. and then a minute later to read. so we hope you'll keep your time within that limit. and then we'll open it up for questions. so we'll start with deputy attorney general rosenstein. welcome. >> thank you chairman goodlatte and members of the committee. i always welcome the committee to appear before this distinguished body but today is not a happy occasion. based 0en my 30 years of experience, federal law enforcement working with the out standing men hand women of law enforcement, federal, state and local in many your districts, there is nobody who would be more committed to routing out abuse and misconduct when there is credible evidence that it occurred. inspector general conducted a thorough investigation and found that some federal bureau of
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investigation employees deviated from important principles in 2016 and 2017. everyone knew about some of those depart tours when they occurred. such as discussing criminal investigations and encroaching on prosecutorial decisions. we learned about others through the internal investigation, such as leaking to the news media, and exhibiting political bias. we need to detur future violations. director wray will describe what the fbi is doing to accomplish those goals. at the department of justice, our mandatory annual training will include lessons from the inspector general tease report. and we are considering other recommendations. we already revised the department's confidential policies to emphasize that nonpublic sensitive information obtained in connection with our work is protected from disclosure. we intend to enforce that
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princip principle on our employees and we need to demonstrate respect ourselves by protecting sensitive information to the fbi. a congressional oversight is vital to democracy. my june 27 letter which i'll smith for your consideration explains how the executive branch handles oefrp site requests for law enforcement and intelligence information. the fbi is managing an extraorally volume of congressional oversight requests, some of which seek details of criminal investigations and intelligence sources. 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's not all done by me.
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trump administration officials are meeting and talking with your staff every day. they are 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. as 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 agreed to produce all relevant fbi documents. i understand that the universe of potentially relevant documents was in the range of 1.2 million. although 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
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for sometime with the scope and volume of the production. some of your colleagues brought to my attention at that time fbi's re-dac shun 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 us attorney john laush from chicago to take charge flt project. mr. laush is with me today and i know he's talked with some of you in recent days. he's been working on this project for sometime. he brings his experience in working on large documents in private sector. worked with committee and staff and arranged a 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. and other document productions are in progress, for this committee and other committees. i've devoted almost 30 years to the service of my country. in my line of work we keep an
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open mind and we complete our investigations before we allege wrongdoing by anybody. our allegations are made under oath. and supported by credible evidence. and 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, the fbi director, and other department officials represent the people of the united states. president trump appointed us. senate confirmed our nominations. and we swore an oath and we accepted responsibility for helping to run the department of justice. that oath requires us to make controversial decisions. so here's the advice that i give the department of justice employees. faithfully pursue the agency mission and administration goals in a manner consistent with laws, regulations, policies and
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principles. be prepared to face criticism. that's part of the job. but ignore the tyranny of the news cycle. stick to the rule of law. and make honest decisions that will always with stand fair and objective review. our department is 115,000 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 seeks the truth and serves the law. but the department of justice is not perfect. we will keep working to make it better. and we welcome your constructive assistance. thank you. >> thank you, deputy attorney general. director wray, welcome. >> thank you. >> and i want to thank you both for getting here. i know how far come a long way
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to get here. and under difficult situations 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 recommendations. we are already doing a whole number of things to address those recommendations. and we are determined to emerge from this experience better and wiser. the fbi is entrusted with a lot of authority and our actions are appropriately, therefore, subject to close oversight. that oversight can make the fbi stronger and the public safer. part of that oversight includes whole some responses to legitimate oversight requests for documents and information. for months, we have been working
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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 now 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 just the past week, for example, we have had approximately 100 employees working day and night, dedicated 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 identifier ors of judgment, violations of or disregard for policy, and decisions that certainly in the
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benefit of hindsight were not the best choices. so i would like to briefly summarize the steps we are taking to draels the reports recommendations. first, we are 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 discipline nary arm, and once the necessary process is complete, we will not hesitate to hold people strictly accountable. second, we are making sure that every employee understands the lessons of the ig's report through in-depth training, starting at the top, starting with the executives, so we don't repeat the mistakes in that report. third, we want to make sure we have the procedures policies and training needed for everyone to understand and remember what is expected of all of us. that includes drilling home the importance of objectivity and avoiding even the appearance of
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personal conflicts or political bias. ensuring that recusals are handled correctly. making all employees aware of our new media policy, which i issued last november, and making clear that we will not tolerate noncompliance with that policy. ensuring that we follow doj policies about public statements on ongoing investigations and uncharged conduct. and ensuring that we adhere strictly to all policies and procedures on the use of fbi systems, networks, and devices. i've also directed our new associate deputy director, the number three official in the fbi, to lead a review of how we staff, structure, and supervisor 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 important work to do. but i do want to emphasize that this report is focused on a specific set of events, in 2016,
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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 with this committee about the fbi that i've gotten to see up close and personal in the ten months since i've taken on this job. as i meet with our offices all over the world, offices represented by every one of the members up here on the diaz, i encounter really remarkable inspiring stories about the work our 37,000 men and women are doing every single day. we have rescued more than 1300 kids from child predators so far this year alone. we have arrested 4500 gang members in the past few months. we've disrupted terrorist plots ranging from places like fisherman's wharp in san francisco, to crowded shopping
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mall in miami. i can go on and on. our men are doing that work and much more to unflailing to what we deserve and what the american people expect. that means we are going to do this job by the book. i'm committed to doing that. i wouldn't be here if i wasn'ted committed to doing that. le and i expect all our employees doing the same. that means following our rules and our policies and long standing norms. there will be times when we feel extraordinary pressure not to follow our process and policies. but in my view those are precisely the tiemsz that we need to adhere to them the most. we have 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.
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that, in my view is the only way we can maintain the trust and credibility of the people we serve. so mr. chairman, and members of the committee, thank you again for the opportunity to address the inspector general tease report. and i look forward to answering the committee's questions. >> thank you, directs tor wray. we'll now proceed under the five minute rule with questions. and i'll begin by recognizing the gentleman from florida, mr. desantas. >> thank you, mr. chairman. welcome to the witnesses. mr. rosenstein, august 8, 2016, text message in the. >> julie: g report to lisa paige to peter strzok. trump is not every going to become president, right, right snt peter strzok responds no we'll stop it. now the justice department previously provided text messages from that date, they included all the messages we now have september the we'll stop it text message. why didn't the justice department produce that to congress when we asked? >> mr. desantas i spoke with our inspector general yesterday and
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he said when he testified he didn't have a full opportunity to explain the technological details are pretty complicated but he assured me he had a long telephone conversation with mr. jordan after the hearing and explained it. he's much better position than i. what i can assure you. >> so let me ask this then. >> if i can explain sir. i want to show you and the american people. we are not withholding anything embarrassing. the message was not in the original material that inspector general. he found these messages. >> right. so you guys didn't find it, and he did. and so we are asking you to produce stuff. and obviously we are expecting good faith effort. you guys didn't find t 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 disappoints go to see that text message there. because i think you would agree, just think of the time line here, you have peter strzok, he opens up the counter intelligence investigation against trump campaign end of july, then a week later this text message he won't be president we'll stop t then the
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next week infamous text message where 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 obviously is highly inappropriate. >> it's more than that though. i mean, inspector general did find that the bias affected. he didn't say it affected the decision about hillary. but he said once we got into the fall, when you had the huma emails and slow walking by peter strzok he was really concerned with pursuing this collusion investigation. and he testified on the record that it was absolutely reasonable to say that the bias not hoenl 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 itself and helper or anybody else working on behalf of the agencies? >> as you know congressman i'm
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not permitted to discuss any classified information in an open setting. but i can assure you that we are, would go with oversight committees and producing all relevant evidence that will allow them to answer those questions. >> let me ask you this then, did the obama administration, anybody in the administration direct anybody, help or anybody else to make contact with anyone associated with the trump campaign? >> as i said congressman, i'd appreciate obviously, i understand your interest. but i'm not permitted to discuss classified information. >> well, we want the documents. so i know we are in a back and forth on that. but the american people need to know where the counter intelligence powers of the obama administration unleashed against trump's campaign if it was done f it was done inappropriate. let me ask you this, they talk about the mueller investigation. it's really the rosenstein advocacy. you appointed mueller. you are supervising mueller. and 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 to you, it seems
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like you should be recused from this more so than jeff sessions just because you were involved in making decisions feblgting both prongs of this investigation. why haven't you done that 1234. >> congressman, i can assure you that appropriate for me to recuse, i would be more than happy to do so. and let somebody else handle this. but it's my responsibility to do it. and all i can tell you -- >> then how do you have obstruction of justice possibility for a president exercising his powers to fire a fbi director that you said should be fired and oh by the way the ig report makes it clear comey should have been fired. why are we doing this? >> sir, i'm not commenting on the mueller probe and either is mr. mueller. i know there is a lot of speculation in the media but that doesn't relieve me of my objection not to discuss the subject matter of the investigation. >> do you agree with how he slow
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walked that versus so gung-ho about that? remember he texted lisa page. the other thing hillary mattered because we didn't want to mess up. that's where he was focusing his energy on. 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 i think those messages clearly do indicate bias. >> you guys have some 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 gentle woman from california miss love gre love green for five minutes. >> deputy attorney general rosenstein and direct tor wray, this may be 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
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investigation's policy on commenting on any matter related to an ongoing criminal or counter intelligence investigation? and does this policy apply to document to document production even when requested by congress? >> yes, congresswoman. director wray may be able to speak more specifically to the reasons why the fbi doesn't comment on counter intelligence investigatio investigations, but we do not discuss them while they're ongoing. >> it's always been my experience that the fbi does not comment on ongoing investigations. there are a number of reasons for that that have to do with protecting the reputations and the privacy of the people who are subjects of the investigation. they have to do with protecting the integrity of the ongoing investigation. they have to do with protecting
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the rights to fail trial when that's relevant. there are a whole number of reasons. when you add the counter intelligence dimension, there's a need to protect sources and methods. >> these policies apply to all current and former personnel at doj and the fbi as well as to the special counsel investigation, correct? >> that is correct. >> thank you. it seems to me -- i mentioned this the other day -- that we are here pursuing release of information that in my experience on this committee 24 hours on this committee and nine years as a member of the staff of one of the members of the committee, i've never seen this happen before. having been given the opportunity along with just mr. nadler mr. goodlatte and mr.
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gowdy to read the fisa application and the accompanying documents. took me all day. i cancelled all my appointments. it's very obvious why that material should not be in the public arena. there are people, i think, who 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 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 debate of threatening the hipsy staff if they attempt to hold you in contempt for failing to comply with document requests.
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have you, mr. rosenstein, ever threaten eed congressional staf including but not limited to house intelligence committee staff as it relates to requests for you to produce documents or any other matter? >> people make all kinds of allegations. in my business, we ask is the witness credible. and if somebody comes forward and swears under oath that i threatened them, i'll be happy to respond. all i can tell you with regard to that matter is in the room at the time were three officials appointed by president trump, director wray, assistant attorney general boyd and me, two former republican u.s. attorneys were also in the room with us, greg brower who was the legislative liaison for the fbi and scott schools. >> so your answer is no?
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>> my answer is no. >> it seems to me we're asking you two to violate the policies that we labor under. we got the 500-page i.g. report. you've acknowledged the needs to improve areas. 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 really not what this committee should be doing. i do not believe it is in the best interests of this country and certainly it does not uphold and elevate the rule of law, which is what this committee is doing and has been doing for the quarter century that i've served on it. >> the chairman recognizes t ss gentleman from florida. >> i am in violent agreement that nothing in the report impugns the patriotic work of
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the fbi employees who are serving in my direct and around the world and this mess in washington has nothing to do with them. i want to make that very clear. i appreciate your statements on that subject. deputy director, the democratic memo that the president declassified says the doj -- did any investigative activity regarding the trump campaign and russia occur before july 31st, 2016? >> we are dealing with the intelligence committee on that issue. chairman nunes met with director wray and me. i received the same briefing that he received, so i don't know any additional information beyond what he knows about that and i'm not able to produce any information beyond what the fbi has told me. >> are you aware of any payments that were made to any person to collect intelligence on the trump campaign prior to july
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31st, 2016? >> no. but keep in mind i wasn't there. i only know what information we've obtained from the fbi records. >> are you aware of any efforts to contact roger stone that occurred prior to july 31st, 2016. >> i don't have any personal knowledge but i know we are seeking to respond to chairman nunes's request. >> same question with regard to michael kaputo? have you asked these questions of anyone? >> we have conveyed all the questions that chairman nunes has raised and i'm optimistic we'll be able to respond. >> you could understand why it would be of tremendous importance to the country that if the doj has represented to a court that this investigation began on july 31st and the fact that you cannot tell me definitively that before that there was not intelligence collected on the trump campaign, that that is something of great
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interest to us. >> there's nobody more committed to rooting out abuse and misconduct than i. we talk with the fbi, we take those allegations seriously and we look to find any credible evidence. if we find it we're going to produce that to chairman nunes. >> let's get into your determination to find out that activity which is occurring in your department. at the last hearing i asked you when you first became aware that nelly orr was working for fusion gps and was active hi assigned to the dossier that said all these nasty things about president trump. do you know when you became first aware of that? >> i believe it would have been sometime in the fall of 2017. as i think 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
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gets hired for that. i asked you this question on the 13th of december. 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 were actively trying to undermine president trump. don't you think that's a really important date for you to know? >> yes. i think it's important for you to understand that mr. orr is a career employ of the department. he was there when i arrived. to my knowledge, he wasn't working on the russia matter. when we learned the relevant information, we arranged to transfer mr. orr to a different office. >> i've got to reclaim my the time. the fisa rule lists the people who briefed you on the renewal of that rule to go and spy on? >> people can make all kind of allegations publicly. i am quite confident about my conduct throughout this
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investigation. that matter is under review by the inspector general. >> did you read the. application? >> i'm not going to comment about the application. >> you won't say to this committee whether or not you even read the document you signed that authorized spying on people associated with the trump campaign. >> i dispute your characterization of what that is about. as i told you -- >> did peter strzok brief you on it? >> no. >> did lisa page brief you on it? >> no. >> did tricia anderson brief you on it? >> no fbi personnel briefed me on it. these rules first come up through the fbi chain of command. they are sworn under oath by a career federal agent. i'm not the aftfiant. >> did you sign it?
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>> director wray can explain it too, sir. my responsibility at that time was to approve the filing of fisa applications because only three people in the department authorized to be the final signoff, the attorney, the deputy and the assistant attorney general for national security. at the time that position was vacant. it was my possibility to do that. sir, i've reviewed that one in some detail. i can tell you that the information that's public about that doesn't match with my understanding of the one that i signed. but i think it's appropriate to let the inspector general complete that investigation. these are serious allegations. i don't do the investigation. i'm not the affiant. i'm reviewing the finished product. if the inspector general finds i
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did something wrong, then i'll respect that judgment, but i think it's highly, highly unlikely. >> the chair recognizes ms. jackson-lee for five minutes. >> thank you very much. let me thank the ranking member who remains on the floor. i know he's in route. i'm almost believing that i'm in the midst of a monster ball and we're looking for monsters where we can find them. as i was on the floor, i heard someone say that they're interested in holding you in contempt. maybe they may be mollified by a resolution that really has no point to it, but there is is t b absurdity we are dealing with in an investigation that has proceeded and i believe has
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concluded. 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? >> i'm not going to comment on any investigation that may have been ongoing. i know there was a lot of publicity about it but i'm not going to comment on it. >> what was the i.g. report about? >> it's about a variety of misconduct that occurred in the fbi in 2016 and 2017. >> relating to? >> relating to -- well, it's primarily focused on the hillary clinton e-mail investigation, but the inspector general actually addressed a few issues in that report as well. >> did that investigation come to a conclusion in 2016, to your knowledge? >> the hillary clinton e-mail investigation? >> yes. >> it did based on public reports. >> based on mipublic reports, w
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the department of justice satisfied with that investigation? >> i wasn't there and i'm not the one to comment on whether or not people were satisfied with the result. we all know what the result was. >> director wray, your agents were involved in the fbi investigation of the clinton e-mails, is that accurate? >> 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 -- >> i'm sorry the -- >> infractions. >> yes. >> do you have a comment on any of the infractions which you corrected ie 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 to add my own pers
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person -- personal opinion. we do accept the findings that are in the report and the recommendations in it. >> what have you done with respect to the recommendation about the idea of a director of the fbi making such statements going forward? >> we've done a couple things. one is we've issued a new media poels that policy that is much more clear. we've also directed people to make sure they're adhering to doj policies about commenting on ongoing investigations and specifically about 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 officers delayed in investigating the weiner laptop? do you think that was done to undermine the investigation? >> well, again, i think rather
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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. and we are taking steps to make sure that going forward, as i said in my opening comments, that we structure staff and supervise sensitive investigations in an appropriate way so we don't repeat any of the mistakes. >> do you think that impeded or impacted on the final conclusion of the clinton e-mail investigation? >> i would defer to the inspector general's own characterization of his investigation. my understanding of it is he found that there was no political bias ultimately impacting the investigation that he reviewed. >> do you believe as donald trump indicated that the investigation, which you have read, the inspector general's
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report, has vindicated mr. trump as it relates to collusion with russian agents, as he indicated? or is the investigation ongoing? >> there is an ongoing investigation, yes. >> it's not concluded? >> correct. >> no conclusion has been made on any aspect of the investigation? >> several charges have been filed, so you're familiar with those. >> it's ongoing. thank you. i yield back. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from south carolina mr. gowdy for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. 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 they did it. when a foreign state interferes with our democratic lelectoral
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process, it should be the chance of a lifetime for a law enforcement agency to investigate that, except apparently the one that was actually picked to investigate it. that was peter strzok. fbi agent peter strzok was picked to lead the fbi's investigation into what russia did in july of 2016. it was a counter intelligence 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 was calling trump a disaster, destabilizing for the country. i'll leave out all of the f adjectives he used to describe that. i'll just go with disaster and destabilizing. same time his fbi lawyer girlfriend lisa page was telling hem he was meant to protect the country. this neutral dispassionate fbi agent said, i can protect the
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country at many levels, same time peter strzok who was picked to objectively, fairly, neutrally look into the russia investigation was talking about an insurance policy with andy mccabe and lisa page in the event trump became the president. all of this was happening at the same time peter strzok said he could smell the trump support in southern virginia. all this was at the same time that this fbi agent said a trump presidency would be efing terrifying and that it will never happen. no, no, we'll. sto stop it. while their attem-- for them, i an investigation to stop donald trump, which then brings us to may of 2017 where we find peter strzok again, this same supposed
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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. at precisely the same time that bob mueller was appointed, 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, three days. that's even quicker than msnbc and the democrats were talking about impeaching him, within three days the lead fbi agent is talking about impeaching the president. so this is where we are. we're two years into this investigation. we're a year and a half into the presidency. we're over a year into the special counsel. you have a counter intelligence investigation that's become
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public. you have a criminal investigation that's become political. you have more bias than i have ever seen manifest at a law enforcement officer in the 20 years i used to do it for alyina l living. four other doj employees who had animus toward the person they were investigating -- democrats are using this as a presumption of guilty. there's a presumption of guilty. there's a desire by democrat senators to fund raise off of your investigation. more than 60 democrats have already voted to proceed with impeachment before bob mueller has found a single, solitary damn thing. more than 60 have voted to move forward with impeachment and he hasn't presented his first finding. so i'm going to say this to you, mr. wray and mr. rosenstein, i
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realize neither one of you were there when this happened but you're both there now. russia attacked this country. they should be the target. russia isn't being hurt by this investigation right now. we are. this country is being hurt by it. we are being divided. we've seen the bias. we need to see the evidence. if you have evidence of wrongdoing by any member of the trump campaign, present it to the damn grand jury. if you have evidence that this president acted inappropriately, 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.
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gowdy, i certainly share your views about those text messages and 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 appropriately and reach a conclusion. i certainly agree with you, sir, that people should not jump to conclusions without seeing the evidence. i've been the victim of fake news attacks myself, so i'm sympathetic. i agree there's been no allegation made by the department of justice and the special counsel other than what's reflected in those documents filed publicly of the charged folks and nobody should draw any conclusion beyond those charges. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from tennessee mr. cohen for five minutes. >> thank you. director wray, mr. rosenstein, was peter strzok the head of any of those investigations?
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>> 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. 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 ninspector general's report. it came to the conclusion that while he may have had biases, none of those biases played a role in their conclusions, is that correct? >> i would defer to the inspector general's own characterization but my understanding is he found no evidence of political bias impacting the investigation. >> all we had was some talk between friends, maybe lovers, and it was just talk, but no
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policy and no action to bring about or effectuate any of their beliefs, correct? >> again, i don't know that i want to start characterizing their text messages. i expect all our folks to conduct themselves professionally at all times. we have referred a number of individuals whose conducting is highlighted in the report to our office of professional responsibility. i want to make sure our disciplinary process is done by the book and having the director comment on their conduct in this setting is probably not conducive to that. >> am i correct that each of you were appointed by president trump? that is correct? >> yes, sir. >> yes. >> who appointed the special counsel? >> i did. >> and you were appointed by president trump? >> correct. >> now, president trump talks about 13 democrats running this
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investigation. do you know who he's speaking about and if there's anyway that the justice department or president trump knows if these people are democrats, republicans, libertarians? >> you'd have to ask him, sir. i don't know. >> you don't know if they're democrats? >> i don't know their political registration. >> bri'm not familiar with that political registration, no. >> thank you. this report of the special counsel has gone on for a long time. could that be because there's so much information and so many issues that have arisen from his investigation, that it's impossible to just turn it off? is that possible? >> i do not think you should draw any inference. i can assure you that director mueller understands that i want
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him to conclude it as expeditiously as possible, consistent with his responsibility to do it right. >> has anybody ever accused special counsel mueller of being dilatory, lazy, slow? >> i certainly haven't sir. i don't know what other allegations people make, but i certainly do not view that as accurate. >> director wray, do you know special counsel mueller's reputation for promptly doing his work and proceeding in a diligent path? >> my own experience and familiarity with director mueller is that none of those adjectives would describe anything he's done in his career for this country. >> director mueller, as i remembered, volunteered to join the marines in vietnam, got a purple heart and had other commendations. is that what you understand too?
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>> yes, sir. >> when he came back, he went to law school and went to work for justice. he could have gone to wall street and made a lot of money. in fact, he went into private practice for a while but he came back because he wanted to prosecute criminals, is that correct? >> i know he's devoted much of his career to public service and has foregone more lucrative opportunities. >> he prosecuted manuel noriega and john gotti. >> i don't know the answer to that, sir. >> he's gone after big fish. let me ask each of you to promise me something. will you promise me and the american people that no matter what pressure is 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 need you to do?
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>> congressman, in the department of justice, we're accustomed to criticism and it does not affect our work. >> congressman, as i've said repeatedly, i am committed to doing this job by the book in all respects and there's no amount of political pressure that's going to dissuade me from that by either side. >> thank you. i find you and each of you and special counsel mueller as pair go -- para gogons and people who should be revered. the chair recognizes the gentleman from ohio, mr. jordan. >> why are you keeping information from congress? >> congressman, i am not keeping any information from congress that it's appropriate -- >> in a few minutes i think the house of representatives is going to say something different. >> i don't agree with you. i don't believe that's what they're going to say. if they do, they will be mistaken. >> i think in a few minutes the house of representatives is going to go on record saying you
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haven't complied with requests from a separate and equal branch of government, that you haven't complied with subpoenas and you have seven days to get your act together. i think that's going to happen. >> i certainly hope that your colleagues are not under that impression. that is not accurate. >> it is accurate. we have caught you hiding information. >> mr. chairman, point of order. we can go to mr. jordan's press conference and listen to him but we came here to hear from the witness. >> the time belongs to the gentleman. >> allow him to answer. why are i they not allowed to answer. >> the gentleman is out of order. >> let me make this one point and then you can answer. why did you hide the fact that peter strzok and john contraras
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were friends? why did you try to hide that from us? >> i appreciate you giving me the opportunity to respond. i've heard you make those sort of allegations publicly on tv. >> i got it right here. >> 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. it's just a fraction of the team that's doing this work. whenever you brought issues to my attention, i have taken appropriate steps to remedy them. >> you're the boss, mr. rosenstein. >> that is correct. and my job is to make sure we respond to your concerns. we have. i've appointed mr. loush who's managing that production. my understanding is it's actually going very well.
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>> again, i think the house of representatives is going to say otherwise. >> your use of this to attack me personally -- >> may the witness be allowed to answer the question. >> the witness is going to have an opportunity to say whatever he wants at the end of mr. jordan's five minutes. >> i appreciate your service. it's not personal. we just want the information. why did you tell peter strzok not to answer our questions yesterday? when i asked him if he'd ever communicated with glenn simpson he said on advice of fbi counsel i can't answer that question. why couldn't he answer that question? >> i appreciate your sincere concerns but i didn't give peter strzok any instructions. when you find some problem with a production or with questions, it doesn't mean that 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'd ever talked to bruce orr, he said he
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had, three times. then i asked him have you ever talked to nelly orr and he said no, i haven't. he could answer that question but he couldn't answer whether he'd ever communicated with glenn simpson, a journalist. why couldn't he answer that question? >> i appreciate you saying it isn't personal. how do i know, sir? you interviewed mr. struck. . >> he works for you. >> there are 115,000 people who work for me. >> 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?
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>> there's no way to subpoena phone calls. >> i'm just reading what the press said. >> i would suggest that you not rely on what the press said, sir. >> i asked if you said it. >> if i said what? >> what i just read you. >> no, i did not. >> who are we supposed to believe, staff members who we've worked with who have never mislead us or you guys who have been caught hiding information from us. >> thank you for making clear it's not personal, mr. jordan. i'm telling the truth and i'm under oath. if you want to put something else 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 -- >> mr. chairman --
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>> this is not an appropriate time for a parliamentary inquiry. >> point of order, the gentleman keeps representing it's the house of representatives -- >> that is not an appropriate point of order. >> he need to be corrected. >> the time -- the gentlewoman will suspend. the time of the gentleman for ohio will be restored for an additional 15 seconds. then the deputy attorney general will be allowed to respond. >> thank you. mr. wray, mr. rosenstein, i do appreciate your work, but i'd also appreciate if the house of representatives could get the information we have repeatedly -- mr. gowdy talked about how long this investigation has been going on. we started asking for information in july of last year and some of that still has not been given to the congress, still has not been given to the committee charged. we're so frustrated that there
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is now a resolution on the floor of the house. >> i don't have any control over what resolutions you vote on, sir. >> i know you don't. >> the gentleman will suspend. the time now is the attorney general's. >> we have a team of folks. they're trump appointees and career folks and they're doing their best to produce these documents. director wray explained to you the process. he's got hundreds of people working around the clock trying to satisfy these requests. whether you vote or not is not going to affect it. 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. >> thank you. gentlemen, i appreciate your service. i've been impressed with your
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diligence and honesty and integrity in this very difficult environment that we find ourselves in. basically 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 has somehow led to a illegitimate result in the hillary clinton e-mail investigation. that's an investigation that was conducted originally. it was conducted by the fbi, doj. no criminal charged filed. the investigation closed. then there was a inspector general's investigation of that
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investigation. those reports or that report was issued last week. it found that there was no wrongdoing in the investigation of the investigation. and now today we have an investigation of the investigation of the investigation. it's an emergency situation. also a part of this hearing is an attempt to investigate the ongoing criminal investigation into the allegations and indications of collusion and perhaps conspiracy with russians in the conducting of the 2016 presidential election. and what the republicans are trying to do is force the fbi and doj to turn over to this committee investigating the
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investigators information, documents that go to the heart of the criminal investigation. it's been my experience that the criminal investigators never turn over information -- they're never even asked to turn over investigation in an ongoing criminal investigation. could 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 it poses any danger, because we are not going to produce any documents that will interfere with an ongoing investigation. as i said in response to mr. jordan's question, we actually are producing the documents. it's a large volume of documents. it's taking a lot of time. as i said, i thought he had a legitimate point about the redactions that made it appear as if the bureau was concealing information. we brought in mr. loush and changed process. i think it's working quite well
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and whatever anybody votes on is beyond my control. >> go ahead. >> we are committed to being responsive to legitimate congressional oversight. we're trying our hardest to produce documents as quickly as we possibly can and as quickly as we possibly can. we also have an obligation to protect ongoing criminal and counter intelligence investigations. we also have an obligation to respect grand jury secrecy. we also have an obligation to protect sources and methods. we're sworn to do those things just like we are to protect and be responsive to congressional oversight. the inspector general's report, ironically the report that we're here to talk about, is very pointed on the subject as one of the principle failings that it found was commenting on an ongoing investigation publicly and with congress. we take those lessons very seriously. we're trying to learn those
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lessons. >> director wray, threatening you with a subpoena or contempt of congress for noncompliance with a congressional subpoena puts you in a bad position, doesn't it? >> certainly when i was minding my own business in private practice in atlanta, i didn't think i was going to be spending the first ten months of my job staring down the barrel of a contempt citation for conduct that occurred long before i even thought about being fbi director. having said that, i am committed to making sure we're responsive to these committees. to the extent we can do better, we're trying to do better. at the same time in my experience there are two principles that have to be balanced, responsiveness to congressional oversight and respecting an ongoing criminal investigation. >> there is certain information you cannot provide to this committee based on the ongoing nature of the criminal
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investigation, is that correct? >> yes. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. the committee will stand in resource. there's 6:45 remaining in a vote on the floor and we will reconvene as soon as that vote concludes.


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