tv Newsmakers Rep Mark Meadows CSPAN May 11, 2018 9:34pm-10:08pm EDT
is #landmarkcases. more at c-span.org/landma rkcases. >> great to have you with us. .e have our reporters with us thank you both. go ahead with the first question. being with us today. you are in the middle of a lot of stories happening on capitol hill. of the start with one biggest, you have been one of the biggest critics of the department of justice and how they have handled many aspects
of their business recently. and you have gone so far as to suggest that the deputy attorney general should be impeached. nuñez have been asking for more information on their surveillance activities and investigatory activities. can you start up by explaining what is your issue with the way that the doj has conducted itself, mr. rosenstein and particular and where do those issues stand at this moment? in some of these meetings and treaties that have been entered into the last two days. >> i think probably the issue to answer your question as we get more rhetoric then we get action. for us, it is all about getting the documents, making sure that we get the documents that we have a constitutional right to have.
oversight so to do many ofbeen requesting these documents since last november. here we are six or seven months into the process of a little over 12,000 documents have been delivered to our office. out of 1.2 million. wayhis rate, we will be into president trump's second term before we get even the majority of the documents. >> what are you seeking? >> the documents, our with thetion deal department of justice and the interactions we have two the 2016 election. the investigations they did into -- hillary you mail scandal email scandal. they were doing that at that
time with candidate trump. many of the documents that we suggest there are some bias that was going on, some improper activity going on. the stonewalling of those documents coming to congress with a legitimate request even highlights further the fact that is there something to hide? i can tell you we now and it has been reported a number of times that information starts to come out and it comes out in drips and dribbles. the department of justice knew all along that director commies allege professor friend was special government employee. we had to find that out. the department of justice knew all along that director call me shared his memos, classified
than with people other just that particular friend. we had to find that out. when we were digging and finding out new information that has not been voluntarily given to congress, it makes us dig deeper and we are finding more information. and hist chairman nunez efforts to get information that some of that information i am not even privy to because i am not on the intel committee. i do not need to see it. that becauseect to it is his committee. the other part of that is there is nothing an statute that would suggest that the actions that the department of justice is taking are appropriate. and so and you may get a counter narrative. you have covered the stuff and
you get one side of the story from me and one from another. let's make a little news on newsmakers. i would suggest i am willing to come back and join rob rosenstein m a we will sit together, he can bring his talking points, i will bring my facts and he will be able us we will be able to debate it and you can moderate that. we will be glad to do that. that is, i am so sure of the mannere we have and the in which we have gone about this, there is no good excuse for the department of justice to continue to delay. >> have you spoken directly to the deputy attorney general and we report they have concerns an intelligence source of theirs that could be compromised. has that objection been presented and what is your response?
>> i have spoken to the deputy attorney general not on that manner -- matter. that is a common reoccurring theme. these are national security secrets, we need to protect our assets. they are right. that is the reason why we have an intel committee. it is the reason why we set that committee up so they can -- could see this types of documents, not all of congress, we have given that authority to some of our colleagues and so there is no plausible reason. -- no plausible reason for doj to not share it with the intel committee. and i cannot speak to specifics because i do not know them. i'm not part of that. they talk about they do not want this to bulge. most of the reasons they have documents asng us
they do not want to be embarrassed. they have admitted that. they do not want to embarrass their employees. the last thing i want to do is embarrass federal employees. most of which are hard-working public servants. i have seen documents and read things that if they did get out, it would be embarrassing. they have not gotten out. i have not shared those. it is about getting to the truth and making sure that we have lady justice with a blindfold but not her peeking out from one part of it behind the blindfold. >> the public, their eyes glaze over and there's people watching now going does this have to do with the russia collusion? what is the compelling reason why you guys are pursuing these documents, what do you think the public needs to know, what are you trying to produce? >> that is a great point. even with me and i've been in the middle of this, there are
times when i say which are you talking about, which request? is there really three different buckets? there is a bucket that would be an oversight and judiciary bucket which says, ok, all the investigations with the hillary clinton emails, some of the russia stuff leading up to the wasidential election, everything done properly? that is one bucket. there is the intel bucket which it getsman nunes, deeper into the russia probe. those overlap and they would because we are getting documents that overlap. they are not necessarily mutually exclusive of each other. i would say that that is a more classified bucket with intel. and then there is even the third
bucket witches and an those two have nothing to do with the mueller investigation. they may have aspects that mueller is looking into. those are not impeding on that investigation. there is a third bucket which is where jim jordan and i came and we said the scope memo. it is the third bucket which august 2,osenstein on a memo that says we are investigating, we changed the scope of that investigation. we believe the american people need to know what the scope of the investigation is. someone say you are getting involved in an ongoing criminal investigation. it is an investigation but the scope of that investigation is not part of the investigation. we are going to look at all of this. we believe because we are funding it that we should be able to look at that scope area that is the third bucket and
that is a great question. we will make another dent in this. there will be a request for us to audit the financial resources of this investigation. it used to be part of the statute. it is within the parameters. towill be sending a request the gao, the general accountability office to look at an audit and make sure those funds are put forth properly. that letter will be going out next week. is it from the freedom caucus? >> any member of congress can do that but we have -- i will be doing that in my personal capacity at least but i am the chairman of the subcommittee on government operations. jl and others are under that subcommittee. we will be sending that out. seeing who else will join us. >> to audit the spending for the mueller investigation. >> that comes out of a dedicated
fund that is what we call backdoor appropriations. baseballbe the inside language but making sure that what we are doing is properly spending that. there is 3 million plus dollars that have been spent or potentially not spent in a correct manner. i am not making any conclusion to that because i was want to back up what i have, but we believe we need to look at that closer. >> how much has been spent so far total? >> we do not know. some numbers have been given and that is why we need the audit. it used to be they would audit every six months. when you had a special counsel. out.10, that was pulled it was part of an appropriations language was no law -- no longer required but it
does not mean we cannot ask for it as members of congress. we're looking into that. and looking into that further. >> what is the potential irregularity or violations that you would be sensitive to hear? >> spending on issues outside the scope. there is two things. one is spending on money outside the scope is one of those. the other is what is the scope? for most americans and you were alluding to this, they are saying we want to make sure that president trump did not collude with the russians. that, there beyond gets to be a problem and you start to lose a lot of support by republicans and democrats and unaffiliated were they say there are some who they just want president trump to be guilty no matter what and there are some who want president trump to be innocent in a matter what. there is a large body who says if he colluded, i want to know about it beyond that, have some
special counsel going on this trail or that trail, it is not what congress envisioned and it is not what most americans believe we are doing. in broad termsup to allow the special counsel to investigate forever evidence led him? >> wherever the evidence led. the federal judge eliminated this when he looked at the scope of what it said was we want to any at russia collusion in matters that may drive from that. matters that to are a matter of the investigation and start investigating that to go back the other way. that is what some have suggested. make at know enough to conclusion. i can tell you that it is important. jim jordan and i have look at requesting the scope, we think it is important for members of
congress to know and the american people to know. to close the loop on my part, and the other speak onwere set to friday. do you have a sense of what concerns were met in that meeting? if not, is this notion of the deputy attorney general still a live issue? >> the impeachment of the attorney general or the deputy attorney general is a very -- the very last source of anything. contempt would be the first step in any of that. theyu know, chairman -- put out a statement that related ontheir visit at the doj friday. in that statement, i do not know if there was illuminating in
terms of that statement, but it said in in a direction that what we are going to do is continue to press this issue. we believe we will get the documents we need and if not, contempt andf impeachment are still on the table. there is one that i can handle on my own which is impeachment. contempt would take our leadership getting involved. it is my understanding the speaker is willing to support the american people and the institution of congress and standby and make sure that we get the documents that we deserve. >> does this extend to the attorney general as well, jeff sessions, does he have some answers to give or some people have been talking about contempt for the attorney general. >> that is because the subpoena had to go to the attorney general. in that, it is my understanding
from some of the things i have knowing fully what was requested in the subpoena but knowing the general scope of ist i believe chairman nunes asking for. that is something the a terror -- attorney general had to recuse himself from if it relates to the mueller investigation and that would move down one notch to the deputy attorney general. it is however is making the decision would be the one that would be more in the direct line of fire. should talk about congressional legislation. there is so much happening even the we are heading into an election year. lots of interesting deflation touring through the house. -- turning through the house. there is a proposal to cut $50 billion from the federal budget and it is not scheduled for the
four right now. do you your sense, support it and do you think has a chance of winning support on the house floor in its current form? >> it has a chance and for those that are watching that you not follow, i did not even follow it and as a member of congress, the rescission package is a unique unspent, you use those unobligated funds that are left over. it is hard to believe there was $15.4 billion left over. there was war than that. as they start to focus in on that, i believe there is enough support in the house. there is some conservative members who say it should be a lot more than that. you and i have talked before. theuld love to have it in $50 billion or 60 billion mark. we talked about the rescission package and i talked to the
leader in the house. we are seeing this as step one of several processes that may be multiple rescission packages that come over time. directort what mulvaney has relayed, there could be more? >> we have made news for the third time. >> with a be outside the scope of the fiscal past budget? >> right now this rescission package was tailored to say you had for people making an agreement on appropriations and so the rescission package was not designed to touch any of the one point three chilean dollars. i did not vote for that package as you know. i did not have a problem with moving it backwards. there were some concerns that we back on ased and went deal that was made in a bipartisan manner. that is why it was addressed this way, that is why the numbers are where they are.
that does increase the probability that it passes. if you are not dealing with that, there is a good chance you get appropriators on board, there is a good chance you get freedom caucus members on board, and i think the tuesday group, freedom caucus, appropriators, you get to 218 in the house. getting 251 in the senate is a greater challenge. i'm not interested in doing a s cover.at provide if you voted for the omnibus you cannot say i voted for a rescission package so i am a fiscal conservative. it is a start. ofanother big piece legislation, the farm bill will be on the floor this coming week. caucus is keeping its powder dry on this. you guys have been pushing for big reforms to the supplemental nutrition programs.
food stamps,s call trying to put work requirements and some other restrictions on that. has this got into a place where you can see the freedom caucus taking an official position into dot of it or weighing in or you see this path? >> i do not see the freedom caucus taking a position in support. we have kept our powder dry, you ask -- accurately reflect that. we try to be honest brokers and negotiate. we are weighing in with a few amendments. the question is what will those amendments be? if those amendments address some of the concerns and i can tell you for some of it is very different. hasof this farm bill nothing to do with forms. twine for percent of it is about
farms and supporting our farmers. it is a critical thing. i have ag as my number one economy driver in my district so i am a little bit more favorably disposed to voting for this. that being said, there are some other changes that need to be made. >> such as? >> i can give you a couple. gary is a big thing. right now we have a disadvantage toward large stare producers. i have a bunch of small dairy producers. what they are telling me as they would rather see an extension of the current farm bill than to go with the new farm bill that does not address their concerns. i am a representative of the people and so when i hear that from republicans and democrats alike them a that are out there, they are wanting me to weigh in. i will give a shout out to secretary perdue, i met with him yesterday. he is going to make personal
phone calls to some of those dairy farmers. i have never seen that happen in an administration ever at the secretary level. a real shout out to him because we are getting him some names not just in my state but in tennessee and pennsylvania and a few others that are being greatly affected. reach out.ed to assuming that we get a resolution there, the other big item has to do with what you were indicating, on that work requirement for food stamps. the way it is designed right now creates the money that goes back within thes program usda. i have not found a jobs program in the federal government that ever worked. i came from the private sector. when you look at that, i would be more inclined to take that money and saying, how do we make sure that it goes toward job training but not a federal
program that does it. we have a number of sick -- federal programs that are dismal failures. to give more money to a program that has not worked in the past is just creating a full his mistake. those are at that, some of the ongoing negotiations that are happening. th -- the ag and on on one on the nutrition side. the current elections that we am, people are, just like i tired of the talk from the deputy attorney general, they are tired of congress. here is -- it is time that actually do something. having a show boat or just vote on myt a amendment, that does not carry any weight back home with me and that is why i become a little bit more difficult to negotiate with. i want to see results. i was in the private sector. i only got paid for results.
in washington, d.c., you sometimes get paid for effort. >> we have one minute left. i will ask you about leadership. >> i would be surprised if you did not. >> are you negotiating with who becomes the next speaker, where's the freedom caucus support? >> there is not a race. that is going to disappoint you because everybody says there is a race and there is a race behind the scenes and i would -- it would be disingenuous to support -- suggest otherwise. there are negotiations going on. i am not in it so that puts me in a good place to negotiate. a position. what i do want is to make sure that my members, the freedom caucus members have their fair representation at the leadership table and on committees of jurisdiction and whomever is going to emerge as that leader will be the one who best articulates that. until we get that, there will
not be a new speaker. there is no one who has 218 votes today. we have the sophisticated with operation and i can assure you that no one on the republican side can get to 218 without democratic vote. dozen membershree and you will probably vote as a block, i assume. >> we have 47 people who said they are willing to vote as a block. which means that we have a hard-core 32. those are numbers that are based on real discussion that are out there. some who say they will be here or there. beyond the freedom caucus we have had conversations. there are a lot of people who are frustrated with the way washington, d.c. does work the on the freedom caucus so i am getting moderate members you say we have to change this. the way that we do things and that is what is creating the dynamic. substantialhad a
conversation with kevin carthy that presumed he is the front lot -- runner is ahave talked to leader lot. i have not had any negotiation discussions in terms of that. he knows we need a broad section of representation. we have had a number of conversations relating to that. if you give me this, you get votes, that has not happened. >> thank you for being the newsmaker. >> we are back with our reporters. questioningf the with rod rosenstein.
what did you learn about their role related to the 2016 campaign? >> he has made it clear he wants memo, laying out the precise scope of the investigation. they have gotten a heavily redacted copy. they are looking at every possible option to get that, including now, he says for the gao audit. a the implication is they cannot do the audit unless they know the scope. be required and
forced the document to be released. there are lorries and others who might have different opinions. , whatsets up this battle is going on with the investigation? it started as a probe into trump, 2016. they want to see where it is going. whether it is going in the appropriate direction. they feel they have been stonewalled by the justice department on that as well as other issues. all kinds of issues going on. republicans trying to get more information. they are not getting what they want. they are using these tactics. the cost of the investigation they feel they can get information about the scope. it is not clear whether or not
that will work, but it will help put pressure on the team doing the investigation. that they feel will help yield -- information. -- information. >> explain what this threat, why put that threat out there? >> it is leverage, using all the tools at your disposal to get the outcome you desire. contempt, impeachment, is a rare and serious move. the house did it against the obama administration. across how getting seriously these folks take this matter. letters andy pounding your fist can only get you so far in some cases.
you have the chairman of the intelligence committee, meeting with rod rosenstein, says the message is getting through. they take this saber rattling very seriously. >> more to come on this story. .et's wrap up the future of the republican leadership in the house. is mark meadows? not 218id there are votes for republican speaker. you need almost all republicans to vote for a speaker. you have democrats voting, too. a unified front. not completely but mostly. there are so many people in the house freedom caucus, they have leverage on who becomes speaker.
if republicans maintain their majority, they don't know if that is going to happen. that is when their leverage increases. you will be hearing more from mark meadows about who the next speaker is going to be. it will help them gain more power on committees. that was the main message. >> thank you both, appreciate it. >> if you missed any of our interview, we will be showing it again. 10:00, 6:00 p.m. eastern. you can watch it online. c-span.org. >> c-span's washington journal. live every day. a look at the recent move by housing and urban development
carson toben suspend a fair housing rule. and ethan epstein talking about his cover story on the rise of homelessness in seattle. discusseseremy dylan yucca mountain and the issue of waste storage. be sure to watch sunday morning. join the discussion. sunday night, jerome corsi talks about his book killing the deep state. he is interviewed by an investigative journalist. >> i heard some of these phrases . i did not attach a lot of meeting until may be more recently. maybe can define in your view, that the state, the shadow government.
this long. the same thing or would you differentiate? state, other may call them the shadow government because they are affecting their own bureaucratic wishes. electing donald trump, for instance. donald trump has termed it the swamp. washington was at one point a swamp. the creatures coming out of the swamp are biting and fighting back. >> watch on book tv. >> at the white house, president d health andld in he human services secretary in