tv Deputy A.G. Rosenstein FBI Director Wray Testify on Clinton Email Probe CSPAN June 28, 2018 5:24pm-6:42pm EDT
full house of representatives. >> and the i.g. report that was prepared, what was the subject of that report. >> i think the report speaks for itself. the focus is on the handling of the clinton email investigation. >> did that report address the independent counsel's investigation relating to russia interference in coordination with the trump campaign? would it be correct, the president made a statement after receiving the ig report. quote, this report totally ex-on rates me. there's no collusion, there's no obstruction. referring to obstruction of justice. is that an accurate statement of the conclusions of that 500-page report director ray? >> the time of the gentleman has expired, the director can answer the question. >> i'll let the report speak for itself. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from iowa, mr. king for five minutes. >> my first question to mr. rosenstein. >> mr. rosenstein, i know that
you're a constitutionalist and i think about the framework we're dealing here in this article 1, asking questions of article 2. and and i would ask you in our role of oversight, article 1 role of oversight. any information that's housed in the executive branch. anywhere in the executive branch that would be perm fently and forever, unavailable to the oversight of the united states congress in. >> i don't know that. the answer to that, with regard to the information of the justice department there are certain categories of information as director wray said that we typically wouldn't release and my experience is that congress doesn't want to know the identities of confidential sources. director wray and i don't know the names of the confidential source, to the extent we ever hear them, they're masked. >> what i'm trying to get at here is the public is never going to have confidence in this broader issue that we've been
talking about for so long until as much information as possible can have sunlight on it and congress is not going to have confidence until we get information that we don't have to pull and try to fill in the blanks and fill in the blanks of redactions, et cetera. i would submit there's no information that's housed within the executive branch and whatever form, even just institutional knowledge. or forever foreclosed to access to the united states economy. >> forever is a long time. i'm sympathetic and i understand the concern. >> mr. attorney general do you agree with me on that statement? >> there are certain types of information that protocols with the intelligence committee, intelligence agencies will provide briefings, at least at the high level for information that's not further distributed. i know this is a challenging issue. >> i'm aware of that, i'm not going to take you down into the specifics. i want to get to this point.
under the right format, whether it's in a skiff whether it's the people that are appropriate members of the committee's jurisdiction, congress must have access to all information that's housed within the executive broonch of government. or it empowers the economic branch to be beyond oversight. would you agree with that? >> there isn't an executive privilege, and we don't have a constitutional debate. >> what if the president of the united states issued an order that all information relevant here that congress is asking for, is now declassified and directed you to release that to the united states congress. whether it be selecting money here or oversight. would you abide by such an order, what i regret you're not seeing is director and i have been in regular contact with director coats and with the c.i.a. regarding some of those
requests and our goal is to provide as much information as we can to the oversight committees. >> i'm not hearing the answer to my question. which is if the president declassified and gave a direct order to simply come clean with all things of interest to congress's oversight on these topics, would you abide by such an order? >> yes. but we'd have to talk about when you say all information, i think director wray and director coats would presumably consult with the president. >> i'll yield to the caveats, i want to get to the point. >> then there is a way it may be the only way that congress is going to get to put the whole mess went on. but just to move on. you gave the director, to robert mueller. and can you, can you paraphrase to us the directive he has for that mission? >> i want to paraphrase it, sir, i have it in front of me. a copy of the order, which assigns him to conduct a full
and thorough investigation. of the russian governments to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. >> directly from the order? >> yes, sir. >> now that is available to the public and i thank you for that. how many fisa judges are there. >> pardon me? >> how many fisa judges are out there? >> i do not know. do you know how many different judges. >> it was my understanding there was information that was declassified and i believe that the information declassified indicated one application renewed three times for a total of four, but i don't know that for a fact. >> would their names be public? >> names of the judges? >> yes. >> i don't know the answer to that question. >> who was in the room with hillary clinton on july 2, 2016? we know peter strzok was one of them. who else was in that room?
>> i only know from whatever is in the report. i have no personal knowledge. >> do you have a way of finding that information out? >> that's the point that i've tried to make to several of your colleagues, something that happened before i got there and i didn't have personal involvement. i would rely on people to tell me the information. >> may i respond briefly, i recognize your time is limited. we do things for the american people to know of any wrongdoing that occurred. it's difficult for us to articulate that publicly we have very little time to respond publicly. chairman nunes, i respect what he's trying to do. director wray and i have worked with him and provided classified briefings and we're making an effort to get him all the information that we can. and i believe he knows as much as i know about these questions that he's trying to answer and if there's anything else that he
believes we don't know, should be known by him, we're going to look for it. so dr. ray and i are not trying to conceal any wrongdoing from you and the the people. >> let me begin by thanking both of you for your service to this country. we often have this phrase here in congress that we associate ourselves with the comments and questions of colleagues, but i'd like to dissociate myself with the manner in which i believe you two have been treated. and i believe that your service has not been respected. i've talked to both of you before about a subject matter that i'm critical of at the depart. i'm critical of the department in con the context of respecting your service and the service of your officers. if you do remember me, we've had
a couple of conversations about black identity extremists. and about that report. and i've asked both of you at ditch times if you would look into the matter further. i didn't specifically hear back. i i want to ask you questions that i've asked before. we had a meeting, a classified meeting with your departments. and i'm still in search of answers, and the answers i'm in search of is that if you have identified who drafted the report and way more important than the individual, the department and what was the basis for the report. i'd like to ask both of you to respond to that. >> you're talking specifically about the report regarding black identity extremists. >> likely motivated to target law enforcement officers is the long-winded name of that report. >> as to who drafted it, i don't have that information. with me, certainly.
i thought that the meeting that i had with you all and your colleagues, i think it was about two hours, i thought was very constructive i appreciate hearing your concerns, i hope you understood how we went about it the way it did. that conversation has prompted us to go back and take a very hard look at how we are bucketing the different categories of domestic terrorism. and i think it's been a useful learning experience for us and i expect we will see some changes in we do things going forward. >> i appreciate that. thank you very much. deputy? rosenstein? i believe you asked me questions about in december when i was here. and i have no further, based on what i've seen the fbi during my tenure there, when they use the term extremists, the fbi is focused on violence and violations of the law. not focused on people who are exercising their first amendment
rights. >> you know what, when we did meet i also asked both of you if you were aware of any cases. at that point you said you didn't know of any investigations. but since then you might be familiar with a case in dallas. where there was a young man who put some in my opinion. crazy stuff on his facebook page. but had no history of violence. and wound up incarcerated for several months and the black identity extremist document was the basis in which he was arrested. are either of you familiar with that case? >> i'm not. >> how about you? >> i'm not familiar with it. and the fbi's report would not be the basis for prosecuting or -- >> not prosecuting, it was the basis from which they, they labeled him that. and -- >> not familiar with it. >> i would ask again, follow-up. i would appreciate it. because my concern that i raised to you then and i still have that concern. is that until this report is
retracted and clarification is made to thousands of police agencies around the country, that that report can be used especially if you have when my concern is young african-american activists who might protest police, police violence. you no he whether it's a police shooting like the one that just happened in pittsburgh, the guy running, was shot in his back or in sacramento because these shootings continue to occur and they continue to be videotaped. we're continuing to look at the information we used for that report and the manner in which we described it. as we said to you back when we spoke last. we have very strict guidelines, not just in this area but any domestic extremism situation. we only investigate when we have those three things, credible evidence of a violation of criminal law. credible evidence of violence or a threat of violence, or third,
if we don't have those things, our folks are not allowed to open up an investigation. >> i would in wrapping up, would ask if you, would follow up. i'm encouraged to hear that it's caused maybe some reconsideration. what worries me, though, is if that reconsideration takes place within the department is great. those 2,000 law enforcement agencies if there's not correction, clarification, i still worry that it could be used. so perhaps we could follow up that. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. mr. gomer for five minutes. >> deputy attorney general it seems many of your responses has been basically, gee, i wasn't here then. it wasn't me. i didn't personally do that i didn't redact judge contreras' name from the documents so congress couldn't see that he was friends with peter strzok, that was someone else.
>> you have added quite pointedly to mr. jordan that i am the deputy attorney general. and you certainly are. but the actions of your subordinates which are all employees of the department of justice, aren't you vouching for those? don't those people respond to you? >> those people all ultimately report to me, yes, sir. >> that would include when bruce orr's office was directly next to yours, i believe, isn't that correct? and he worked for you? >> he worked in the deputy attorney general's office, think it was a couple of doors down, but yes. >> a couple of doors down. >> well, we're aware of some of the events that occurred before your confirmation as the deputy attorney general. however some of your team members certainly were involved. so i want to ask was tashina,
trisha anderson involved in any stage of drafting, editing or approving the four fisa applications to spy on carter page? >> congressman, i don't, sitting here right now, i don't know exactly who was involved in drafting what fisa application. >> so just to be clear, apparently director wray, you have to answer for the deputy attorney general, about fisa applications he signed? >> you were asking -- >> the four applications to spy on carter page. and i think you have been a bit vague on whether you even signed. >> let me try to clarify for me. >> did you sign the fourth fisa application? >> i approved the filing of a -- >> okay, you say you approved that application.
now, that's going -- >> that's my job, sir. >> that's your job, okay. you approved it. when you approve of fisa application in your mind, does that mean you should read it and understand what's part of it? >> you should certainly understand what's part of it, sir. >> you're parsing words, that doesn't mean you need to read it, in your opinion, is that correct? >> it depends on the circumstances, sir. and -- >> well being a former felony state judge, if i had somebody like you come before me and now it was -- revealed later that the guy that signed and approved an application for a warrant had not even read the application that would allow spying on somebody, i would look at -- >> that would be atrocious. >> i would look at everything he signed from then on with a jaundiced eye. and i'm telling you i was a little -- >> you mean asked to explain, sir? >> you have. >> no, i have not. i did approve it --
>> i didn't ask that question because you said you approved it. but you took out the words that you read it. >> the gentleman from texas will suspend. i just want to make it clear, deputy attorney general, you will be afforded a full tonight to respond once his time has expired. >> my time continued to run while the chairman took up some of my time. so -- >> you'll have that time. >> and actually i was being interrupted, i did not have a question, i was taking the words that the deputy attorney general himself said. so well let me ask you about this. you said earlier, bruce orr was not working on the russia investigation. let me ask you -- >> not to my knowledge. >> to your knowledge. >> did you not know that bruce orr was meeting with christopher steele, getting the information about the dossier and supplying that information to the fbi at the same time his wife, nellie, was working for fusion gps that
was helping hillary clinton? did you not know he was doing that for the fbi? >> correct. >> you did not know that? >> correct. >> okay, so he office a couple of doors down, but you had no idea that he was actually the go-between to get that information? so when did you find out about that? >> so, as i said, sir, the inspector general is refusing these files and i hope i have the opportunity to explain. i understand why you -- >> look at the summary, the mr. horowitz said we did not have confidence that strzok's decision to prioritize russian investigation over following up on the mid-year related investigations led, lead discovered on the -- wiener laptop was free from bias. pretty clear to most of us, his bias did affect that decision. and it -- >> the time of the gentleman has
expired. the deputy attorney general may respond. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i apologize, i thought you were asking me questions, sir. i completely understand your concern. and this fisa process is being reviewed by the inspector general. if he finds some problem with it i respect that. now we don't talk about fisas, it's illegal for us to talk about fisas, in this particular example as a result of the intelligence committee certain information was declassified and so i'm comfortable talking about that. you have to understand in context, sir, that the department had made the decision to disclose the existence of a fisa to the house and senate before i got there. before i got there. now what i signed is what's called a renewal application, been approved three different times by a federal judge. signed under oath by an fbi agent who testified it was true and correct. if he's wrong, let's hold him accountable. let's allow the process to conclude before we jump to conclusions about that i assure you, i'll be just as offended by
you if i find there was some incorrect information in that application. >> mr. chairman, since we've learned that he relies helply on people that were part of his team to do these applications, i don't think we can get to the truth until we question tashina gahar and trisha anderson. that would also include why she slow-walks the notices of nsc meetings to the attorney general. when she's working for the d.a.g. just to make him look bad. we need to get those two people in here and question them. >> if there's any evidence of wrongdoing by anyone on my staff or anyone in the department, i would expect to you give them fair process. bring the information my attention or the inspector general's attention. let's hear both sides and then let's reach the conclusion. i think what's important to understand and i understand the fisa process is very obscure to most people. these are essentially search warrant affidavits.
a federal agent has to swear under oath that everything in that application is true and then there are review processes within the fbi. within the department ultimately. decision is made by a federal judge. there can be mistakes. it's not a matter of just slapping a document and signing it. it's a very thorough process and in that particular case, four different federal judges found probable cause. the inspector general reviewed it and i'll await those conclusions, but i would encourage you not to jump to any conclusions that i or anybody else did anything wrong until we have all the information. >> the gentleman from new york? >> mr. chairman earlier i referenced a january 27, 2000 letter to a john linder. who was then the chairman of the rules committee, subcommittee on rules and organization, the house committee on rules from the then-deputy assistant attorney general robert craven. i would like to submit this for the record. >> it will be made part of the record. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr.
swallow for five minutes. >> and mr. rosenstein, mr. wray, thank you both for your service and i hope you pass along my thanks to the men and women who serve the department of justice and the bureau. this morning donald trump, our president, tweeted when is bob mueller going to list his conflicts of interest? mr. rosenstein, does bob mueller have any conflicts of interest? >> mr. chairman, if there were any conflicts of interest that were brought to our attention, i would discuss with mr. mueller and then there could be review wb the department. if there were credible allegation of a conflict of interest. and so i'm not aware of any disqualifying conflict of interest. >> in your experience of the department, are you aware ever in your experience, of the department's history of an unindicted subject of an investigation being given evidence that exists with that person being the subject? i wouldn't want to comment has it ever happened.
but generally that would not be our practice. >> do you intend to change that with the request that rudy giuliani, the president's counsel has made that unindicted information would be given over to the president as it relates to the russian investigation zblrks i'm not aware of any request that mr. giuliani has made to me. >> mr. wray, you agree that the fbi is responsibility is to prevent attacks on america? >> that's one of many of our responsibilities, yes. >> would you agree that in 2016, russia electronically, through weaponizing social media and hacking emails, attacked our democracy? >> i think that's a shorthand for what was in the intelligence community. which i have every reason to accept. >> this morning, mr. wray, the president tweeted, russia continues to say they had nothing to do with meddling. do you believe that russia had something to do with the meddling that occurred in the last election? >> as i think indicated, i think the intelligence community's assessment, which i agree with,
is that russia attempted to sew discord in our country in an effort to influence the last election. as the deputy attorney general mentioned, there's also now an indictment through the special counsel's office that speaks to much the same subject. >> mr. wray, has president trump personally told you to use your resources at the fbi to counterfuture election meddling by the russians? >> we did as i think the white house has reported and disclosed, we did have a meeting not just with the fbi, but with deputy attorney general, the homeland security secretary, i think director coats may have been there the attorney general also, where the focus was on making sure we're doing what we should be doing collectively. and the president shared the -- chaired the meeting. >> did he express that he wanted the fbi to devote resources to counter russian meddling? >> i don't remember the exact words in the meeting but the gist to it is make sure we're
doing all the parts of the government that have responsibility for protecting our country, against foreign influence that we're all doing what we should be doing if there's more that we should be doing that we're doing that. >> mr. rosenstein has president trump contacted you either personally by phone or in writing with respect to the russian investigation? >> sir, in my capacity as deputy attorney general, i do have meetings with the president, i don't discuss my conversations with the president other than to say i have not received any improper order from the president, to do something that i believe was wrong. >> what would you do if the president did give you an improper order? >> i wouldn't follow any improper orders. >> i've read the inspector general report about mr. strzok and i've heard how he's been characterized today and i, too, share your belief that he acted inappropriately. and we shouldn't allow opinions to get in the way of law enforcement duties and the inspector general found that he had opinions that were distasteful. especially toward our president.
candidate trump, but that there was no finding that that influenced the investigation. he want to ask are you aware of mr. strzok setting up a june 9 meeting at trump tower where the president's son, son-in-law and campaign chairman met with individuals seeking to offer dirt from the russians on hillary clinton? did he set that up? or was he involved in that in any way? >> i have no personal knowledge about that. >> did mr. strzok ask candidate trump or write a speech for candidate trump in the summer of 2016 to invite the russians to do further hacking, was that part of any finding that you had? >> not to my knowledge. >> do you find it, director wray, unhelpful that the president would tweet in the manner that he did this morning and the public comments he's made where he doesn't acknowledge that russia interfered in our election. yet you're tasked with trying to counter russian interference in our election? >> congressman there are a lot of opinions out there about a
lot of things including on twitter. i'm not a twitter guy. and our folks aren't really, either. we're focused on trying to make sure we get our work done. >> and the country is counting on you as we go into the midmid. >> the councilman from georgia is recognized for five minutes. >> it's amazing how this whole win, we went into making crap up, it's an interesting process here, one of the problems goes back to before you got there, and this is the problem that this committee saw in the previous attorney general, in the previous fbi director, and the previous two attorney generals to be honest with you. not disclosing it, these are the things that led to some distrust as we go forward, i have a few specific questions, these can be without commenting on an ongoing investigation at all, of any kind. is there in your opinion, a constitutional standard that guides your department in investigating any president?
a president or any president? >> is there a constitutional standard? >> do you think there is or is not? >> i'm not aware of any provision in the constitution that addresses that. >> is there an offensive legal council opinion that informs the department in this area. and if so are you directing special council mueller to follow it? >> you're referring to whether the president can be indicted? >> not just that about but a lot of the conversations we've had around this subject. >> there are two list torical opinions, but very not read them. >> i probably have seen them at some point. but i'm not in a position to comment on the details of them. i don't recall whether it's a constitutional issue or not. >> it goes to that issue as well. has there been any issue of that? of the president. >> i have not, congressman, commented on anything, about who may or may not be indicted.
>> and that's fine, and that's why you're answering the questions, and i appreciate that. >> let's go back to something you and i had a conversation about a few months ago, that was mr. struck's issue. did he have a security clearance. you said you would check. it appears the security clearance has been revoked. the concern i have is process, inside the department of justice on what happens when you have someone of his cowher. this is someone who's been around who's had very sensitive information. on january 13th, 2016, an official e-mailed mr. struck that their polygraphs were out of scope. i asked you about that, and asked if you he had been polygraphed the the polygraph raised flags. my yes about this would be. would the topic of the extra
marital affair have come up in that polygraph or possibility of that come up that could have put it out of scope? >> i don't know the answer -- >> i have no idea what would have been raised in any specific person's polygraph at this moment. >> could he have passed the polygraph of the text we see now, before continuing and very sensitive areas such as the investigation, the mueller investigation, the hiller -- knowing the vice we have seen, that we've commented on today, if those are taken into account, would he or could he have passed a polygraph if he -- in his own ability denying an affair with lisa page. >> i'm not going to engage in hypotheticals, especially hypotheticals when as i've said before, we have referred a number of individuals mentioned prominently in the report, to our office of professional responsibility for the appropriate disciplinary
process, and my doing things by the book includes the fbi director commenting on them. >> if they're out of scope, do you think it's interesting you would have someone of an investigation who basically had a failed polygraph or an out of scope polygraph test, to which they had to go back and reanswer or complete sensitive compartmentalized information on this. would they stay in that investigation. if so, were they treated differently. because of his position or who he was? >> again, i'm not going to engauge in hypotheticals about individuals that may have been referred for our disciplinary process. >> does it not strike you as strange that i was not going here, but now you've led me here. does it not strike you strange that someone who has had an issue with a polygraph during the investigation in which you have. in which we've now seen the text and other things, they can flunk a polygraph and you keep them on? do you keep them on sensitive
information because of that? not particularly mr. struck here, i'm talking an overall policy. is your policy just to keep people around that lie? >> of course not. >> okay, then why would we have an issue here in which in is at least an assumption that something is not right? how did this individual stay on investigations? we know that one of those employers were in a relationship and later got married. how is this individual kept in an investigative role of possibly lying or now we know bias? >> the time of the gentleman has expired. >> i would like to respond. >> as i have said repeatedly, we're going to hold people accountable and make sure we follow our policies strictly. that does not include me commenting on pending matters involving people. i want to make sure it's done right, and by the book, i'm not going to do it any other way. >> i understand that, but i also
say this, you've made this comment, i appreciate the comment. we need to finish appropriately. >> our question is, i'll finish with this, what time is appropriately, and what does it look like. >> the time has expired. mr. rosenstein can answer the question. >> i think i misunderstood, you asked me about department policies. if you're asking whether you can issue a subpoena, that may be what you have in mind in terms prof ses, if those issues arose, we would do an appropriate review as to what the facts and the law are. and we make an appropriate decision. and my answer was simply focused on your original question. i don't think anything in the constitution addresses that. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. snyder for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman, i want to thank my colleagues for allowing me to jump ahead, and having an opportunity to question -- i want to thank
director ray. general rosenstein for your patience here, but more importantly for your resilience and as you said publicly, deputy attorney general's refusal to be intimidated. i think it's critical the investigations be allowed to go to the end. and we follow them to their conclusion, and follow our responsibilities to the constitution. deputy attorney general, as my colleague from florida was speaking to you earlier, about the importance of the mueller investigation. especially in the context of protecting our elections. i'm going to paraphrase what you said, i think it's important to reiterate, the investigation is tremendously important, it's important to understand what's happening now, what happened in the past election, but also what's likely to happen in the future. we have to be certain to do everything we can to protect the american people on our elections. is that a fair paraphrase? >> yes. >> we have to ensure that every american has the integrity and confidence of their own vote.
and it's important to understand what's happening and we defend against it. >> are you confident that we are where we need to be to prevent interference when americans go to the polls in four months? >> i only know what we know. and as director ray said, he has established a task force, i met with that task force, and we're continuing to do what we can. along with the department of homeland security. i can assure you that we are taking a lot of steps to protect against election interference, both with regard to the protection of the ballot itself, and with other efforts to interfe interfere. >> last year each of you came before this committee, i had the opportunity to ask you, the attorney general when he was here, about what we were doing. this was back in the fall, i was particularly concerned about the attorney general's answer to my question of are we doing what we need to do, his response essentially was, that we're not where we need to be. i've not followed through to see where we are on that, he said he would personally take action to
do so. and i asked at that time if he would brief this committee. despite the commitment to brief us and let us know what's being done, we've been unable to schedule a briefing to let them know what's happening. we can better understand where we are prepared and what actions we have to take. my question to you, will you commit to sending the appropriate recpresentatives to brief this committee on what's being done on the department of justice and the fbi? >> a couple things, first, i'm not sure if you were at the -- we did a full house of representatives briefing. >> i was there. >> and so i'm happy to do additional briefings on top of that. we are doing a number of things to brief committees and members of congress on all the things we're doing. i guess the second thing i would say, you referenced the attorney general's earlier testimony on the subject. and i think it was a question to
me, when i testified in front of this committee in december. as i said, there are a whole lot of things that we're doing. and that's on me for not having the time. he's now gotten much more extensively briefed. that's on me for not having briefed the attorney general on all the new things the fbi is doing on that subject. >> i appreciate that, i had the chance chance to meet with the clerks of the two counties i represent. understand what they're doing, there's a report that there was a meeting last month in silicon valley between eight tech companies and representatives of the doj and the fbi. are you aware of that meeting? >> there have been a number of meetings, we are working closely with them in appropriate ways to try to enlist in ways that are appropriate. they're assistance in trying to better protect the country from improper maligned influence. >> i want to correct the record, similar reports that came from that meeting is that there was a
sense of an unwillingness to corroborate, collaborate with tech companies to make sure they are aware of any efforts that may be undertaken by entities. has your agency provided to these companies what they need to make sure they are able to put up the defenses and respond to any threats? >> i will say, this is the first time i've heard any complaints about what information we're providing, again, under the new efforts that we're making, we've actually provided all sorts of information to those companies in an effort to make them more espe espective. we're looking to see what they come back to us with, in a joint coordinated effort to protect -- they have to protect their own platforms. we're providing them information to help them do that. my own experience including having gone out to silicon valley and met with some of these companies myself, is that queer doing a lot of things that weren't boeing done before the
2016 election. >> these were reports, so i don't want to make any claims, but i do want to make the request that we work in partnership with the tech companies to do everything we can to ensure that every american's vote is counted fairly, and every american has confidence in their vote, the american people are counting on you both with, that, i yield back. >> thank you. >> the chair recognizes gentleman from arizona, mr. biggs for five minutes. >> the inspector general testified that peter struck led the e-mail investigation and the russia investigation. >> i wasn't there. i think it's fair to say that mr. struck played a lead role in both investigations fp how it was structured and who super sized whom.
that's subject to a little more context and explanation by others. i don't think that's far off. >> fair enough. what's been characterized today is that the finding of the inspector general is that there was none of the bias that has brought mr. struck into such -- under a micro scope. than the decisions made in the hillary rodham clinton investigation. >> under questioning, and let's just go there, you probably have the book right there, if you go to page 211 i think it is. page 149, what you'll find, and this is one thing the inspector general testified as well about is that the -- he did not find document or testimony of improper considerations directly affected the specific investigative decisions. but when we explored it, he
admitted that those biases that mr. struck had, and not just mr. struck, but the others listed that i think have been referred for discipline. probably indirectly affected not only the information the decision makers had, but the decisions that were made. would that be accurate? i know neither one of you were there, but would that be accurate? >> i think i'm going to let the inspector general's report speak for itself. >> i'm talking about his testimony, not his -- >> i wasn't here when he testified. >> as riveting as it was, i didn't expect you to -- >> a series of questions to what's going on here, and we move into the last investigation, the ongoing investigation. the scope letter, who wrote the scope letter for mr. muellers -- the scope of his duties would be. >> i don't know who wrote it, but i'm responsible for it.
>> you signed off on it probably? >> correct. >> have you turned that over to any congressional committee? >> not as far as i know? >> why is that? >> i really appreciate that question, i understand why there's some confusion about this, i wrote in my letter dated yesterday, the history and why it is wrong for the department of justice to publicly identify people who are subjects of the investigation. i hope the letter will speak for itself in explaining why it is our policy not to do that. people have deev vated from that in the past. my commitment is to follow the rules, i recognize it's confusing, because people have departed from the rules in the past. >> we're talking specifically the scope letter -- >> yes, sir. >> okay, so that's -- >> we do not identify persons as is disclosed in the portion that's made public.
we don't identify persons publicly unless they're charged. and we explain that in the letter. >> let's go to -- i sent you a letter, and i don't know if you got, because it's just a couple days old. asking if you were going to provide us with the names of everyone who served past and present -- as you might guess, we're curious what vetting has gone, in and the inspector general found at least in his testimony, there was probably one person still on that investigative team that he found to have untore id bias, and so are you incleaned to release that, or is this something you and i need to talk about offline. >> when i took this job, i committed i was going to read every letter personally. >> good luck. >> mr. boyd pointed out that's not practical, i haven't been able to do that. i k34r50completely understand t question. our administration is reluctant
to attack people on the front lines. because of what that might invite. by people who are ill motivated. i think you raise an important question. i have talked with mr. mueller on several occasions about the importance of making sure people on his team -- >> we'll get back to that maybe offline or something. this is important, september 2nd, 2016, lisa page wrote a letter to mr. struck saying she had talking points for director comey, because potus wants to know everything we're doing. please identify potus and what you think she meant by -- >> i don't want to speculate on what miss page meant. i do want to say if i may i completely understand the president's frustration with what's reflected in this report. nobody would be happy to know that people were sending those text messages and they had those kind of views. i completely understand his frustration. my commitment is to make sure everything we do accords with the facts of the law, and we do
not allow any bias to influence our watch. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from california for five minutes. >> let me start by saying, it is ridiculous and stupid we're having an emergency hearing into the investigation of hillary clinton's e-mails in 2016. it is now june of 2018. thousands of kids have been ripped away from their parents by the trump administration's policy. they have not yet been reunited and the kids not knowing if they're ever going to see their parents again or where they are is a trauma and horror we can only imagine. but since republicans control the agenda, let's add least try to have this stupid herring based on the facts. and the central fact for this ig investigation, is that no personal views of any fbi or doj employee affected the integrity of the investigation. so director ray, i'm going to read to you, some of the
findings from this ig investigation and ask if you agree with it. the ig found, our review did not find evidence -- to the specific investigative decisions, do you agree with that? >> we accept the finding, yes. >> all right. it further found that the investigative decisions were the result of discretionary judgments made during the course of the investigation by agents and prosecutors and these judgment calls were not unreasonable. do you accept that find something. >> we accept that finding. >> the ig report found that agent struck advocated for more investigative measures against hillary clinton, including the use of grand jury subpoenas and search warrants to obtain evidence. do you accept that finding? >> i accept that finding. >> the reason agent struck did that, we allow people to have personal views. we expect they check their views at the door, that's what we expect of our agents. and in your case, you're a
republican, nominated by a republican president, you have made over $39,000 in donations in republican candidates, i still trust you because you check your beliefs at the door and you're doing your job. when you interview agents to hire, you can't ask them if they're a democrat or republican and whether you should hire them, isn't that right? >> that is correct. i will say, congressman, that i take seriously our obligation to do our jobs aplitly, independently and objectively, no matter who likes it. we don't subject our agents to political litmus tests. we expect our agents to check their opinions at the door, not unlike in this system judges all around the country who have their own political views that range across the spectrum and sometimes hold them deeply. or juries that have all kinds of views or doctors that hold all kinds of views, all of them are
entitled to have those views, but we need them to check those views at the door and honor their oaths and that's what i expect of any agent and staff person in the fbi. >> thank you. i deeply appreciate that. >> i was at the closed hearing of peter struck yesterday. and i just have to say, my republican colleagues have mischaracterized his testimony, a number of his text messages have been misconstrued and mischaracterized. >> it's deeply inappropriate that my republican colleagues are screaming about redacted testimony. peter struck needs to be at an open hearing. i hope they will do that. let me move to something the president said on twitter. we have a deep state. i asked in another hearing, secretary of state mike pompeo, was there a deep state at the state department. he laughed and basically said
no, there is not. is there a deep state at the fbi? >> congressman, i've never completely understood the term deep state. what i can tell you is that we have 37,000 men and women working in field offices all over the country. and in offices all over the world, and they are people of character, of courage, of principal, of selflessness and patriotism, and that's the fbi that i see. >> thank you, i appreciate that, and i hope the president stops attacking the fbi. let me conclude my comments to you, deputy attorney general rosenstein. you have shown immense courage in the face of criticism and overreaching requests. stand your ground. you took an oath to the constitution, not to any political party. do not produce documents that would jeopardize people's lives, that could threaten sources and methods. do not produce methods that will
affect an ongoing investigation. stand your ground. i yield back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the ig report noted there were discussions about whether mr. trump's personal attorney -- lynch did not need to recuse. the ig's team said we found evidence that comey never seriously considered requesting
a special council. do you think that attorney general lynch should have recused herself, especially after meeting with hillary clinton on the tarmac in arizona? >> sir, i -- >> every case is evaluated on the facts and circumstances. i believe she said she consulted with ethics experts, that's what i would do as well. i don't know what the nature of the conversation was. >> i would hope there would be a recusal about. >> these reports were politically driven. i see evidence of them wanting to wrap things up because of an impending investigation. his statement to yates was really to pressure the doj to
induce the department to move more quickly to obtain the laptops and complete the investigation. i see decisions with respect to director comey's statements on july 2nd, october 28th, all driven by politics. and so we just had a conversation about what's going to control the time lines of investigations. that -- again, i -- i see politics driven throughout this. do you not? >> congressman, i do -- if i could address your question, attorney general sessions and director ray and i have an understanding that we're going to have a candid relationship, we recognize 134 of the things that went wrong, may have involved personal actions between the leaders of the department. it's not going to happen on our watch. i wasn't there. the inspector general did a thorough investigation, i would have to respect his conclusions.
how is the power of the special council limited? he has the same powers of the u.s. attorney, correct? >> u.s. attorney can be charged at will for the president? >> we have some nonsenate confirmed u.s. attorneys. >> the regulation that appoints a special council -- >> the u.s. attorney can be fired by the attorney general. >> there's a question about subordinate, and i want to ask you that, the -- there's some in the legal community that have made an argument that mr. mueller's appointment violates the clause of the constitution. he's acting as an independent
officer. are you aware of these arguments and do you have an opinion on them? >> law professors are free to make whatever arguments they like. i'm fairly confident the argument is wrong. >> question about the frustration we've had. i think i've heard you say today that -- what you call legitimate oversight, and provide -- what do you think we need as opposed to us making that decision. >> i don't know that i didn't intend to use legitimate context -- >> whether or not a particular document was withheld for a proper reason many my understanding is that you are
involved in these decisions. we have a fair amount of agreement with regard to -- >> understand where this is all coming from. >> things that are reducted to protect somebody at the fbi. whether it's a relationship, struck with the judge. or the credibility of a witness in the flynn investigation, they're redacted, they vunt have been. it adds to our except six. and documents are withheld and you go on and say something about extortioextortion. >> i'm -- wasn't there an element of money or popular value. as to the environment that's not been helpful, as we look for the investigation as we conduct our legitimate oversite.
>> you're a prosecutor. you know that term is loaded. >> i understand, i don't think anyone thought i was accusing you of a crime. we're not going to respond to any improper demands no matter who makes them. i think i would appreciate if some of you would keep in mind, the reason you know those redactions were inappropriate, when we were asked about it, we turned over the unredacted documents. somebody may have made a mistake in the process. >> i see my time has skmired. the fbi was following protocoled for these actions. i think the folks were dealing with, i meant personally
involved with director ray, and they brought to my attention some specific items which we're addressing. i believe congressman, that we are complying with valid oversight requests, and we're going to provide you everything that's relevant and appropriate for us to provide. >> the chairman said earlier this morning this was like a novel, he didn't say which one it was. i've been experiencing something like alice in wonder land, although the earlier questioners reminded me of the 2 minute hate sessions. i don't know whether either of you wanted to volunteer a literary analogy for us to understand what's taking place today. >> it occurs to you -- >> we'll have to think about that. >> our republican colleagues seem really upset with the department of justice and fbi to the point of rudeness and
incivility. i can't figure out why. starting with personnel, you are a distinguished law enforcement officer of 21 years experience in law enforcement. you were a republican appointed by a representative of the attorney. you're still a republican, appointed by a republican president, president trump to be the deputy attorney general. robert mueller spent 28 years in law enforcement, he was a u.s. attorney in two different states, a decorated war hero, a lifelong republican. and mr. ray, i understand you've spent at least 8 or 9 years. you have been also a republican, lifelong republican. have given tens of thousands of dollars to republicans and your law firm's public action committee.
>> i do not believe special council mueller is on any kind of witch hunt. >> the special council has been remarkably productive in its work. 22 people and businesses have been charged with 75 criminal charges opinion there have been five guilty pleas from michael flynn, alex and richard pinada. can you compare that to the ken starr whitewater investigation which lasted four years and produced nothing, or the seven congressal committees that went after the benghazi holy grail and came back with nothing, including our beloved mr. gaudy, that took more than three years, in less than 2 years, we have 22 people and companies charged, have there been any complaints
about the guilty pleas or any criminal indictments from members of congress that you're aware of? >> if i can just make two corrections, 28 years in law enforcement. i sometimes round up to 30, with regard to the star investigation, i would take issue that it produced nothing, i worked on that investigation, i was involved in a trial that resulted in the conviction of three defendants for fraud. the starr investigation as i discuss in my letter of yesterday. is somewhat different. director mueller understands the goal is to keep the investigation focused and conclude it as expeditiously as possible. >> i appreciate that, the purpose of any criminal investigation is justice ultimately, we need to allow law enforcement to proceed on its own terms, following the rules and procedures of law enforcement in order to arrive at a just result. but the whole suggestion here today is that there's some kind of partisan conspiracy afoot. let me ask you, to be clear
about it, is there a republican partisan conspiracy within the highest ranks of law enforcement, the department of justice against a republican president? >> no. >> do you believe that the complaints that are being directed at you today are because you're not doing your jobs or you are doing your jobs, starting with you, mr. rosenstein. >> i'm reluctant to characterize what people's motivations are, we are doing our jobs and we're doing them properly. >> okay. mr. gaudy said before that america is being torn apart. and, of course, we've seen in the last several weeks thousands of families actually being torn apart in america. and -- but i agree with mr. gaudy, that america is being torn apart by these outrageous and incessant attacks on distinguished law enforcement personnel at the department of justice and law enforcement officers at the fbi for partisan
purposes. all of this presents a huge threat to the rule of law in america. one person controls the house of representatives as you've seen today. the united states senate. the white house and the supreme court obviously after the sandbagging of president obama's nomination of merrick garland to the supreme court. they control the house, the senate, the white house and the supreme court, and they seem to want to control the department of justice and the fbi. i want to ask you, can you restate what you think the role of law enforcement is, in terms of upholding the rule of law against the attempts at partisan interference and manipulation? mr. ray, can i begin with you? >> our mission is to protect the american people and uphold the constitution, that is our only loyalty. >> mr. rosenstein? >> it would have been better.
if russian agents had not. if folks who have acknowledged that they lie to the fbi. people had not made these mistakes. we're in a position where things have happened, the best we can do -- i believe congressman that ultimately the american people will regain -- those who lost will regain confidence, they know they have chris ray running the fbi properly. they flow the folks running the department are making decisions properly. that will be the end result, people have legitimate reasons to be concerned. >> thank you for your service, i yield back, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you both for your service. thank you to the men and women at the fbi and the department, we deeply appreciate it, and i want to start by -- i had
confusion, then i had disgust, outrage. now i'm going to say disend and displeasure that we're having a sham emergency hearing on this topic, when we already held an all day hearing with the oversight committee last week. peter struck was zdeposed for 1 hours. and then again on the floor. i can only conclude that the only emergency really that requires a chairman to break committee rules and schedule a hearing at the last minute appears to be the majority's deep fear of the truth. the truth of what the special council mueller's investigation is yielding and will yield around the trump campaign's collusion with a foreign government and other related matters. that has been the emergency that frankly has transformed a committee that was so excited to
be on, because it was a powerful committee. the judiciary committee is a powerful committee with independent jurisdiction and the profound responsibleability to hold our democracy to its highest ideals, and that has been transformed into a committee. my opinion, with a singular partisan focus, and what i can only describe as a fervor, who continues to show extreme disregard for the institutions that republicans used to defend all the time. the institutions of democracy. the fbi, the department of justice, the media, the courts, the chairman mentioned the story is like a novel, what came to my mind is the handmaid's tale perhaps. a tale that leads up to the rights of citizens, the status of women, the pillars of justice and democracy being destroyed.
the real emergency in my mind that we have not had a hearing on is the urgent humanitarian crisis occurring in our country at our border and in cities across the country. that really does demand our immediate attention. as our government risks the long term health, well being of thousands of young children who have been cruelly separated from their parents. who have been put into cages. cages on united states soil. while their parents who are by the way guaranteed the right to seek asylum in this country -- guaranteed that right by our signatory to the international convention of refugees that they have been imprisoned. that's the emergency that we have, and so i would like to start my questioning by asking deputy attorney general
rosenstein, are you aware of the letter written by 72 bipartisan former u.s. attorneys who wrote to attorney general sessions to end the -- this is their quote, tragic and unsustainable family separations, saying that they were again their word, horrified by the policy. are you aware of that letter? >> i believe i read about the letter, i don't believe i read the letter itself. >> i ask unanimous consent to enter that letter into the record. are you aware that the spike in the number of migrant children in u.s. custody today has gone to over 10,000 children in detention centers? >> no, i'm not aware of the number in detention centers. that may include children who have come across on their own. >> it does. >> i'm not aware of the number in detention centers. >> over 2700 children have been
separated from their parents, including children as young as six months old. >> i do not know that for a fact, i'll accept your representation. >> i went to visit women in a prison, they're being held in a federal prison. i'm not exaggerating, when i say they're being imprisoned. asylum seekers who are being imprisoned. i don't believe that the administration knows even where these children are, who they belong to. >> i appreciate you raising that. i met the other day with secretary azar, and he was quite emphatic, that is a faults story, hhs does know exactly where every one of those children -- >> let me stop you for one second to tell you of my personal experience, i was surrounded by the warden of the president as well as a number of employees who can corroborate what i'm saying to you.
a woman gave me a slip of paper that was given to her either by ice or hhs, i'm not sure who gave it to her. it had her name, her spozed children, except they were not her children. please do not believe that somebody tells you that they know where these children are unless you can tell me in 10 days they are going to be reunited with their parents. this is happening on u.s. soil many and i have been disturbed to hear of some of the other consequences on the justice department's ability to prosecute serious crimes due to this zero tolerance, zero humanity prosecution policy. a usa today article said -- >> the time of the gentlemen woman has expired. >> i will turn it over to you, and i would love to hear what is happening to prosecution of drug smuggling cases because prosecutors are being taken away to prosecute these individuals who are coming across seeking
asylum. >> i'd be very interested in that, and i would be shocked that a drug smuggling case were dropped because of an immigration case, but i'll be happy to look into that. >> gentleman, have you given us five and a half hours of your time, and that's short by our standards here lately actually. the inspector general was here for 7 1/2 hours and mr. struck was here for 11 hours yesterday. i want to repeat the concern about the interview with mr. struck. we reached an agreement with him after we had issued a subpoena because of his promise to appear was not materializing, then we agreed to turn it back into a voluntary interview. and he came and as is the prerogative with a voluntary
interview. the fbi was allowed to have council present as well. we went through eye lot of questions about a lot of things for which we got answers, but we also were stymied time and time and time again. because the fbi council instructed him not to answer because it was -- as she called it an ongoing investigation. we have an ongoing investigation here as well, that investigation is based upon that book, sitting between the two of you. it took a long time to get that done, and we have worked very hard for a long time before that, and we continue to work on that mr. struck was expected to answer questions regarding his involvement. in both of these investigations, not from the standpoint of the substance of the investigation, but from the standpoint of what
his role was in a contemporaneous time with some of the most unbelievably outrageously biassed, vulgar texts that he was exchanging at the same time he was being introduced into this investigation. questions regarding his -- has he ever communicated with mr. steele or with glenn simpson who's a journalist, or other matters like this, to find out what his role was in the start of that investigation is critical to our investigation. and we need the answers to those questions, and we are now being blocked again by the fbi. i will say i completely agree with both of you. and commend both of you for the efforts you have made with regard to the document production. i was dismade to find out that someone in the department had made the determination that even
though our correspondents had always set that we wanted all communications, that somehow that would exclude the communications within the department of justice related to these very same matters, i'm understanding that mr. laush is working on that and will help us resolve that. we have the issue with regard to -- this is more the intelligence committee, but the matter of a fisa investigation which the inspector general has now undertaken. very much of interest to the judiciary committee, the fisa court and the fbi are under the oversight of the judiciary committee, we're as interested as others are in the information regarding how that took place. and i don't think the congress should be expected to wait another six months or a year, that report was in the works for a year, year and a half, maybe.
it was many months overzhu from when it was originally -- when we were originally advised they expected to have it done. >> our investigation needs to proceed simultaneously. and i have -- and other members of this committee have. mr. gowdy has said we have no intention of interfering with the substantive investigation of mr. mueller. we've been criticized, in fact from people on both sides of the aisle, who want to dig into that whole matter, and we've stayed clear of that, but looking at the problems cited in that report which involve questions of improper procedures followed by the fbi. and extreme bias demonstrated how the bias affected the actions, not if we can't ask one of the central witnesses about the bias based upon his involvement in the outset of that case.
we need to have that resolved and we will communicate with you further beyond right here to work on that. finally, let me say. >> can i just ask -- have we opened a second round of questions? >> no, i'm not asking questions, and we thank both of you, mr. ray. i think that you have done what a lot of people said needed to be done. in terms of making the necessary personnel changes. i believe there are probably more that need to happen. i think you have -- you like what you have to say following the inspector general's report about the recommendations in the report, and mr. rosenstein, i absolutely agree with you, you are making an effort. a very serious effort to change what was earlier on a very slow process in terms of the production of documents. >> it's been much, much, much, much, better, i completely agree with that this is an ongoing
investigation, we're going do have ongoing problems, we need to keep working on that because of these two new problems that have come up in the last day. >> point of order, is the vice ranking member in the absence of the ranking member, i would hope that our side would be included in the follow-up discussions you have on the russia investigation. >> we will involve the appropriate parties at the appropriate time with regard to how we're going to get the cooperation to make sure that the witnesses are not instructed not to answer questions that are relevant to this investigation. i thank both gentlemen for appearing here today. and this hearing is adjourned. .
here's a look at our prime time schedule on the c-span networks. testimony from deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. and christopher ray, focusing on the clinton e-mail investigation. on c-span 2 at 10:00 p.m. eastern, the confirmation hearing for the next irs commissioner. on c-span 3 at 8:00 a hearing on the promowsed merger between t-mobil and sprint. next, a hearing on u.s. foreign policy in europe. and u.s. military interests. before a senate foreign relations subcommittee.