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tv   Sen. Judiciary Cmte. Chair Lindsey Graham on the Mueller Report  CSPAN  March 25, 2019 11:12am-11:33am EDT

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as a result she found herself keeping her emotional distance to protect her child from a second trauma of separation. therefore she was able to provide the safety necessary for her son to feel safe venturing to the world and develop. in some from my observations in well documented research findings, attachment must be protect and preserved. health care is critical to ensure that both adult and child survivors -- >> we are going to leave this hearing for a few moments to hear from senate judiciary committee chair lindsey graham. he is holding a news briefing to talk about the mueller investigation and we join it in progress. >> going forward, hopefully in a bipartisan fashion, we'll begin to unpack the other side of the story. with that i'll take questions. >> nor graham.
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>> the special counsel on the issue of obstruction of justice mueller has declined to fully exonerate the. >> the lawyers are not in the exoneration business. the lawyer is in to making cases or not making cases business. all i can tell you when it comes to obstruction of justice mr. barr and rosenstein concluded that the facts did not justify a charge. not the idea you can't indict a sitting president. and his memo, mr. barr was about a statute. it's very problematic to bring an obstruction case in my view from making a personnel decision. if he fired as u.s. attorney somewhere, does that lead to an obstruction argument because you have a political difference with that attorney general who is not serving your agenda. what mr. barr said at the hearing was that nobody, including the president, can get a witness to lie. nobody including the president can conceal information from a
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court. those are classic obstruction activities. mr. mueller apparently could not find sufficient evidence to conclude on his own that the president obstructed justice in a classic sense and mr. barr said, along with mr. rosenstein, having looked at the evidence, we do not believe there is evidence to support a charge of obstruction of justice and it is important, but not dispositive, that the underlying crime did not exist. you can actually obstruct justice even if there's not a crime, but the intent really does go to whether or not the somebody is trying to protect themselves. if they did nothing wrong to begin with, it's pretty hard to prove obstruction of justice. >> senator graham, was it appropriate for bob mueller to essentially punt on the issue of obstruction and leave it to the president's two top political appointees of the justice department to make this
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determination? >> as far as i'm concerned, mr. mueller's report gave the attorney general both sides of the equation. he decided, not mr. barr, to give that decision over to the attorney general. you can ask him. from my point of view, i think what mr. barr and mr. rosenstein did was very appropriate, somebody has to decide and the attorney general is not conflicted, he was not part of a campaign, so the big thing for me, guys, has always been, did trump work with the russians? and i told him to his face, almost two years ago, if you did, that's it between me and you and anything that follows you deserve. i will say that about any politician of any party.
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here's what we know two years later. after an exhausted examination of the facts in this case, by somebody that every american should trust, mr. mueller, the answer is no. >> what about, though, is there any daylight as democrats are suggesting between what the mueller report may say and what barr's memo says, and secondly, isn't there a question, though, because of the change in the statute in 1999, the purview that mueller had, that he may have been restricted in how far he could go and thus have to defer to barr because the special counsel is under the egus of the department of justice, unlike the independent council statute when ken starr had more leeway? >> all i can say about mr. mueller's report that he looked at obstruction of justice, he didn't say anything that i know of about i can't get there from here because of legal bars. here's the pot of evidence on one side, here's the pot of
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evidence on the other side. it's complicated legally. it's complicated statutorily. this is our view of what happened. we'll defer you to make that decision and i'm absolutely okay with that. mr. barr, hopefully, will come before the committee and we can ask him questions. >> you brought up jeff sessions clear conflict of interest and yet you delivered a rousing speech at mar-a-lago over the weekend. is that public closeness to the president appropriate? does that not give an appearance of conflict of interest in your role of chairing the judiciary committee? >> you got to be kidding. did anybody ever asking during the clinton impeachment that a democrat was conflicted in speaking out on behalf of the president? i am an elected political official. i am a republican. i am going all over the country to speak to the republican party. i want trump to win. i'm chairman of the judiciary committee. i do my job very responsibly. this committee is going to allow
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mr. barr to come forward and tell us and answer some of the questions you've asked. i'm asking him to lay it all out. i stood by mr. mueller because i believe in the rule of law. there's politics and there's the rule of law. so to suggest that if you're a republican and that you want trump to win, somehow you can't do your job, is absurd. >> you also golfed with him, though, right this weekend? >> yes. i played terribly. >> you were involved in the clinton impeachment. >> right. >> saga back in the '90s. your party later suffered at the polls for its focus on that and other investigations. you know across the building democrats are mulling what to do next. what would be your advice from them? >> learn from our mistakes. so let's go back to that, to the '90s. it started out about financial misdeeds and basically enriching
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one's self. it wound up being about an improper relationship. sexual harassment lawsuits are always about sex. the question was did the president in a sexual harassment lawsuit basically bend the rules of the court to help himself? he was suspended for five years for inappropriate conduct as a lawyer. he was chastised for lying under oath. having said that, looking back, the public sort of knew what they were getting with bill clinton. i think the public sort of knows what they're getting with donald trump. and here's my advice to the democratic party. pursue what you think is important to the public, but if you keep going after mueller spoke, people are going to think you're just out to get him, that there is no right answer other
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than donald trump must be removed from office, and you'll probably suffer the same fate we did as having gone too far. >> just to clarify, you said you want attorney general barr to testify. >> yes. >> how about mr. mueller? >> i'll leave that up to mr. barr as to whether or not he thinks that would be helpful. i don't know the answer about the special counsel himself. let's start with mr. barr who is in charge of the department of justice. the truth is i want you to know as much as you possibly can know. this is a very big deal. from my point of view it was a great day for the president in terms of the underlying allegation. but now, i'm hoping some of you will be interested in the other side of the story. >> just a quick follow to ed's question, you said -- what is the public getting with donald trump? if you can clarify. you once called pardoning someone like paul manafort a political disaster but said essentially the political winds might change, have they changed,
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are pardons now on the table? >> i think president trump pardoning anybody in his orbit it would not play well. >> what -- >> as to what people are getting with donald trump? i think it's pretty clear that like bill clinton, donald trump is a larger than life character. people are focused on what he's doing for them. i think people would be legitimately concerned if he did, in fact, his campaign, worked with the russians. i'll say this, if mr. barr reached a different conclusion and reported there's evidence of trump coordination with the russians, i would have believed it, i would have listened to the president, but that would have been a bad day for the country. i just end with this and take a couple more questions. to those wanting an outcome of removing trump, you got to be disappointed. to those who wanted somebody to
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look at trump without interferes, you got to be pleased. to those that are happy that your president has been cleared of working with a foreign power, i think you're a good american. >> just to clarify you want barr -- is that a public hearing? >> yes. as public as possible. >> and when you say see you s n soon to james comey are you calling him for a committee? >> yeah. so what i'll do and just real quickly, i'll start and work backward. the fisa warrant application, four different occasions, what role did the dossier play? was it the primary source of the information given to the court? was it supplemental? was it outcome determinative? i want to hear from mr. orr why he warned people you may not want to rely on christopher steele. i want to know the role that comey played in this process.
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i want to find out was the only reason you recused yourself was because of the tarmac meeting with loretta lynch. i want to find out what were the rules about a counterintelligence investigation? what kind of defensive briefing did you give to the candidate, if any at all. so those are the kind of questions i want to know about. >> are you willing to [ inaudible ] to have people come before the committee on the separate areas and have you talked to senator feinstein about that? >> i'll talk with her. i hopefully won't have to -- a lot of these people have testified before. but now the report is behind us. i just think it's important to find out what happened. if it takes a subpoena we'll do that. i hope we won't have to. >> senator graham, where do you see now that this report is behind us, the country going in terms of divisiveness? is it just going to keep going? are you seeing any chance for things improving? how do you see the divisiveness issue? >> i will have a hearing tomorrow about red flag
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legislation, allowing law enforcement tofrsz go to court and get a protective order to take someone's guns they believe is a danger to themselves or others. we still need govern the country. i'm sure they will keep doing things in the house about financial transactions of the president. i guess. i'm going to do the fisa deep dive, the counter intelligence deep dive and try to find common ground on prescription drugs. my advice to the president for whatever it's worth is that you're probably stronger today than you've been any time in your presidency. this cloud has been removed. mr. mueller definitively answered the question in my view about the two things hanging over your head. particularly collusion with the russians. the question for you is, how do you use it? what are you going to do. i can understand being upset. i can understand being put upon and a lot of people in your orbit had their lives turned upside down. my advice, one i don't need your
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advice about what i should do. i'm going to look at the fisa abuse process, the fisa warrant process with democrats, i hope, and if i were you, mr. president, i would i would focus on what's next for the country. >> just to clarify, on the point of obstruction, you were satisfied with the attorney general's review of the evidence. you don't think your ke should look at that -- >> we're not prosecutors. >> the attorneys on your committee. >> right. >> reach a different conclusion than the -- this a remedy for that? >> no. we're political people. all right. we're not prosecutors. there's a good reason you wouldn't want a bunch of politicians prosecuting other politicians. mr. barr was appointed by the president, confirmed by the senate. the judiciary's goal is to provide oversight to watch those who watch us. i'm not into the prosecuting
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business. i'm into the oversight business. i believe that donald trump got scrutiny like nobody else in the history of the presidency since nixon, probably, and he in my view came out of this thing stronger. to those who were abusive of the process in 2016 on the other side you haven't had much scrutiny but that's coming. >> [ inaudible ] and many republicans and the president saying, no collusion with him and his campaign, but i want to get back to the russians. is it your belief the russians were trying to corrupt? >> absolutely. >> individual members of the trump campaign? >> there's things i can't tell you. they were out to get us all.
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the fisa warrant and counterintelligence investigation and am i right to be concerned? seems pretty bad on its face, but somebody like a mr. mueller to look at that so that if nobody else, those who believe that the fbi and the department of justice were playing politics, that they wanted clinton to win and trump to lose, that somebody can satisfy them, that was looked at, there's some people that are never going to accept the mueller report, what i say or what mr. barr does. but by any reasonable standard mr. mueller thoroughly
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investigated the trump campaign. you cannot say that about the other side of the story. and what i hope mr. barr will do, is understand for the country's sake, appoint somebody outside the current system to look into these allegations, somebody we all trust, and let them do what mr. mueller did. >> you were on the golf course with the president. were you there when he got the news? >> i was waiting to get on air force one. when i got it he was at mar-a-lago. i think between the time that our office got it and you got it couldn't have been a couple can of minutes. >> fist pump on the aircraft. >> i saw him on the plane afterwards and, just put -- i don't know how to explain this. you have been under extreme scrutiny, shouting to the mountaintop i didn't do this, a sense of relief, sense of
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frustration, how could this happen, or those who did it going to get away with it, and i hope some new energy that will lead to okay, now, the -- maybe legitimacy to my election that i didn't have before. last question. >> [ inaudible ] people consider a hearing, since this is andrew mccabe, who else would you be looking to -- >> well, [ inaudible ] was still hired, i would like for him to come if he would. establish a record of how much did the democratic party pay fusion gps, how much money did they give to mr. steele, how could bruce orr's wife work for fusion gps when he was like the number four at doj. the question, is the dossier
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verified to this day. it's my belief that information in the dossier is unverified to this very day. mr. cohen did not go to prague. the sew lay shus material in the dossier is a bunch of garbage i think generated by russians trying to undercut our democracy. so i will be doing oversight to try to put this puzzle together and i don't know what mr. barr will do. but i think because of the emotional nature of all this, that somebody like mr. mueller needs to look at the fisa warrant and the other stuff. thank you very much. >> wrapping up with chair
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lindsey graham on the mueller report. we joined it in progress. if you missed any of what he had to say see it on our website and also if you would like to read attorney general william barr's letter go to and we'll go back now to that hearing on migrant family separation policy. we join it in progress. >> come to order. the chair will recognize herself for five minutes for questioning. >> i wanted to start with you, because i wanted to ask you about this point that commander white made, about the court ordering the reunification of the families. and what i wanted to -- and what he said is that because of the different agencies that are involved in that process,


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