tv Newsmakers Rep Jerrold Nadler CSPAN June 17, 2018 6:00pm-6:32pm EDT
monday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span2. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. and today we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events and washington, d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. susan: welcome to c-span's newsmakers. our guest joining us from capitol hill is congressman jerrold nadler of new york. he is in his 14th term of the house of representatives and he is the lead democrat on the house judiciary committee. let me introduce the reporters who will be asking questions this week. kate irving covers congress for mcclatchy newspapers. and stephen dina and covers
politics and congress for the washington times. kate you are up first. , go ahead with your question please. kate: we have had a lot of discussion on immigration this week. do you support this bill? if you don't what is keeping you , from supporting it? rep. nadler: i certainly don't support the bill. it does very little in return for a lot of restrictions. first of all it does grant , permanent status to the dreamers. but they will have to wait as much as 23 years to get on a path to citizenship because it establishes 78,400 slots per year, about 1.8 million eligible people. that works out to 23 years. that is not very much. number two, in return for this, it eliminates the ability to
-- a permanent u.s. citizens to sponsor mary children and brothers and sisters. even after the 23 years, that that would be a permanent elimination. ,400 fewer slots per year and eliminates the diversity visa program. that is 50,000 slots per year. it was used in several parts of the world. africa could have almost no immigrants to this country. it cuts immigration by a huge number. it also makes it harder for people to get asylum by raising the bar to establish credible fear of persecutio it doesn't even stop family separations. they claim it does but it does not. the family separation is decreed
by the trump administration. they could and it tomorrow morning. tomorrow morning. the bill makes things worse by saying that families that come to the border who are not separated will be kept in detention. the whole family, including the kids will be kept in detention. if they have a credible fear of violence from gangs or whatever, they have been threatened -- we've seen several cases of women who came to the country because two of their kids were murdered by gangs. they gang said if you're still here next week, we will murder your third kid. because net the best because of the -- because of the sin that the kid is not want to join the gang. they asked for political asylum here and our tradition is that someone who establishes a credible fear at the interview
is released on their own recognizance and eventually goes before a judge to decide asylum. under the new policy, everybody who claims asylum is put in jail. right now the kids are removed. that is nothing to say in this bill the kids will not still be removed. it is an inhuman policy. the bill makes it worse by saying we will put the whole family in jail if we do not separate them. stephen: congressman, i want to follow up on several points. first, the president blamed democrats for the family separation issue. i am curious as to your reaction and if democrats do bear some blame for what we are but that policy? rep. nadler: that is another one of the president's egregious lies. the president or the attorney forral decided on their own the zero tolerance policy. everybody who comes to the border will be arrested. for the crime of the illegal
entry. illegal entry is a misdemeanor. usually, until now, someone would be held for a day or two and then released, pending a trial, released on their own cognizance. but now they are arresting everybody and everybody goes to jail and all the kids are taken away. that is a new policy. there was some family separation beforehand but this is a brand-new policy decreed by the president of the attorney general. they could stop it immediately if they wanted to. they should. senator feinstein has introduced a bill to stop it. i am introducing but a lot of democratic cosponsors a somewhat different but similar bill next week. democrats have nothing to do with this. we don't control the house or the senate. the republicans the , administration controls the presidency and as we see, the
-- we see slavers loyalty. they can do what they want. i do not understand the logic and how they are bringing the democrats into this. stephen: you talked about things that you would not accept. in terms of enhanced enforcent, asylum. there is obviously some issue with the time it takes to go through immigration proceedings in the backlog in the fact that folks are released during that time and the numbers vary but a large number of them never bothered to show up for their removal proceedings at all. what enforcement measures are you prepared to support? rep. nadler: it is not terribly difficult. if you wanted to, to make sure people are released because -- especially if they are only charged with a misdemeanor. it is not terribly difficult to keep track and make sure that they show up. there has not been the energy and resources devoted to that and it probably should be.
instead, everybody is being thrown in jail and kids get taken away. they will set up tent cities. this is abus this is human abuse on a large level. someone who is legitimate or a credible claim of political asylum should not be incarcerated or detained at all. it is not illegal to come to this country tclaim political asylum. stephen: let me press you on specifics. what would that look like? i think we might be talking about both the criminal system where folks are being jailed, but also the immigration detention system with the president asked for more detention beds to keep folks. what are you willing to accept on that immigration detention side? rep. nadler: i don't see why we should be detaining -- i don't all, someonet of
who cups of this country and claims political asylum ought to have a credible fear interview within a day. within a day. if they establish credible fear, if the credible fear or immigration officer saou have made a case, they ought to be released. if they say you have not established credible fear, then they can be detained pending a full asylum interview. that i would support that. i cannot speak for anybody else but i would support that. susan: i'm guessing we will come back with more immigration questions. let me turn to another story in the news. rep. nadler: let me say one other thing on immigration. the administration is breaking his word, which they do all the time. the dreamers, kids brought to this country by their parents or someone else when they were kids. two years old, five months old, 10 years old.
i don't even realize they are not americans until he graduated high school and find they can go to college or get a job. they are americans a everything but the paperwork. the president says he is a great deal of sympathy for them and by margins of 86% to 90%, the american people say they ought to have a path to citizenship and stay here. the president says it is the democrats fault because he and republicans are establishing conditions on legislation to do that. let's have a clean bill that will allow people brought to this country as youngsters to have a path to citizenship and be able to go to school and college, serve in the military. i do not know why that should be linked to eliminating diversity, citizenship or stopping people are changing the laws so that you cannot bring your brothers, sisters and children into the
country if you are an illegal immigrant or various other things. it is the president who is putting conditions and -- conditions that are unacceptable oto what we supposedly agree upon. notice that the republicans try to prevent a reasonable bill to come to the floor. the repetition to discharge, which needs to hundred 18 people to sign it because they say we cannot permit a bill to pass if it would pass with mostly democratic and a lot of republican votes. only a bill that can get 218 republican votes can pass, and they cannot agree. i do not think any bill can get all those republican votes just from the republicans. kate: congressman you signed on , to the discharge petition. i'm curious that these bills go to a vote and kill the current discharge petition would you , sign another or have you lost faith in your republican colleagues? rep. nadler: there is always hope while you live. i would certainly sign another petition to discharge.
again the fact that they are , unwilling -- remember what the discharge does. if we got 218 signatures, and it has 216 -- the speaker has moved heaven and earth to make sure they don't get the final two, it would set up a queen of the help procedure were bills would come to the floor, a bill written by the leadership that we were just talking about and two versions of the dreamer bill. the more liberal bill that without thing in the used the countyputting in conian quid pro quos were take care of the dreamer problem. they know. whatever bill gets the most votes, assuming it gets the majority, whatever bill gets the most votes prevails. they do not want to risk that because they know that possibly
all the democrats and a lot of republicans would vote for the more liberal bill without putting restrictions on immigration. they do not want the democracy to work in the house. susan: let me move on to yesterday's release of the inspector general's report on the fbi actions during the election. the democrat leadership held across conference to express your reaction to it on friday morning. if resident held an impromptu press conference on the grounds of the white house and said two things. that the report exonerates him first, and he called comey's actions during the campaign criminal. rep. nadler: as usual the president is not telling the truth here the report does not exonerate him. it does not have anything to do with him. it does not talk about the trunk -- trump for the russians or
collisions or anything the special prosecutor is presumably investigating. it has nothing to do with trump. the conduct ofon the fbi in 2016, most of which was related to the investigation of hil clinton. 's conclusions are very stark and not in favor of the president. the report says that the decision not to charge hillary clinton with any crime was made without any bias. normoal procedures -- by normal procedures of the department and no bias in the investigation at all. it says there were three improper things that were done. two of them were done by james comey. the former director of the fbi in that after announcing that no charges be brought against hillary clinton, he gave his
opinion that which it was terrible that violates the department's absolute rule you don't not comment and characterizing give your opinion on the conduct of someone you are not charging with a crime. this certainly hurt hillary's campaign. trump quoted and repeated that any number of times times during the summer. in october, comey announced that they were reopening the investigation because they found new emails on a laptop. two days before the election, they announced they found nothing and it did not matter. for a week, it was all about hillary's emails. violates the fbi and department of justice rules that says you do not make any announcements with regards to the investigation that might affect an election 90 days before the election.
both breaches helped trump, not hillary. no one disputes that. the third, i do not know if it is a violation, but peter struck , a key fbi agent involved in investigations in emails and text messages to his then lover, another fbi agent he expressed , his opinion that trump was terrible and he did not like hillary either. he expressed that but trump was terrible. we have got to prevent this election. the conclusion of the report is that he and lisa page did nothing in terms of the investigation. they did not take action. yes, he did not like trump. that is his personal opinion. he expressed that to his girlfriend, another fbi agent. the only thing he did wrong was using his fbi cell phone to do so.
but the allegation which the president is making an rudy giuliani is making is that the investigation was tainted was found to be completely wrong by the inspector general who said, in effect, those people let their personal opinions behind when they went to the office. they did nothing wrong in the investigation. the investigation was not biased in any way. i assumed personally there are lots of fbi agents who do not like trump. i assumed there are lot of fbi agents that do not like hillary. the fbi is prohibited by law to ask people if they are republican or democrat. do you like trump, do you like hillary? they are not allowed to ask those questions. we do not want politically biased agents. the question was was the , investigation tainted in any way? the answer of the inspector general came up with was no. the only improper things done that in effect things for comies announcements --
ey's announcements that helped trump and hurt hillary. stephen: the report and agent you mentioned, it didn't say that the inspector general could not le out that it did in fact -- did affect decisions at the end of that investigation. rep. nadler: the report said there was no evidence that it did. it is hard to prove a negative. they said there was no evidence , no evidence that his opinions or bias that effective the investigation at all. it pointed out on a couple of crucial things, like should some of hillary's associates be subjected to subpoenas. he said yes and the decision was no. they said there was no evidence that his opinions affected the investigation. that all of the decisions made
were reasonable and well within the scope of what we would expect. stephen: you were part -- i believe you released a statement yesterdaying this report did omey's announcement affected the outcome of the election. rep. nadler: it certainldid. if they could've changed the outcome, that is difficult to say. stephen: you would not say that makes trump's election questionable? rep. nadler: i think it puts an asterisk. intervened twice, in highly improper ways against guidelines and practices. for reasons of comey's arrogance and he thought he knew better. both of those injured hillary and help trump. the proof is that trump kept quoting him. hillary is going to get locked up.
etc. that is very clear. stephen: can i pursue one other tangent from that? if the democrats win a majority in the house, you will be chairman of the committee. with oversight over impeachment. when you won that spot, there were a number of stories written with the headline that this is the man who would oversee impeachment. democratic activists are demoed -- are anticipating that. what are you telling them heading into the election and parent for next year with your stance on impeachment and any plans on this point? rep. nadler: i think it is much too early to determine whether they're all to be impeachment procedures. the first thing is wait for the mueller investigation and see what he finds. was there active -- did the president participate in a criminal conspiracy or did he not? that is certainly one of the key
questions. what about obstruction of justice? much too early for those questions. we have to see what the evidence is in with the special counsel finds. i have also said, and i said this 20 years ago during the clinton administration and i will repeat it now. it would be very harmful to the country to pursue an impeachment if the case were not so overwhelming and the evidence so overwhelming that by the end of the impeachment proceeding an appreciable fraction of the people who voted for the president would agree that you had to do it. because if you did it on a partisan basis for only democrats are supporting impeachment beside the fact that , arithmetic does not work but putting that aside, you would tear the country apart. you have 20 years of recriminations of people saying
we won the election and you stole it. that is not good for the country. you only avoid it if the case is so overwhelming that you get an appreciable fraction of the people who voted for trump to agree that you really have to do that. absent that, you should not do an impeachment. kate: do you think the administration was right to fire mr. mccabe? rep. nadler: i don't know. i certainly think -- i don't know about his lack of candor, etc. the inspector general found that. he denies it i think. him 40 hours fire before his pension would have d after 2025veste
years that was unseemly. , it certainly looks suspicious. this was vengeance by the administration. it certainly looks that way. it is hard to say whether it was or not. they should have let him retire. and whatever proceedings occurred because of the allegations a lack of candor should occur. kate: mr. comey keeps weighing in on this issue. do you think that's helpful to it or not? rep. nadler: which issue kate: on the report. multiple developments he gives weighing in. do you think it is helpful? rep. nadler: one thing is notable from the report. james comey is criticized harshly and validly for substituting his judgment for the guidelines and procedures of the department of justice in giving his opinion of the conduct of someone he was not charged with a crime and making an announcement about that investigation within 90 days
, in this case a week and a half before the election. i would add he is subject to criticism for the fact that although he was talking publicly about the investigation with -- investigation of hillary, we now know there was investigation in the trump campaign going on at the time. my asked him if there was an investigation going on, they kept that totallyecret. he would not admit it. it might have been a different campaign have both sides are being investigated. nothing in this report sheds any doubt whatsoever on the honesty or candor of mr. comey. everything he said was apparently truthful. the criticism is that he was arrogant and made arrogant decisions to overrule department policy because he thought it was the right thing to do. and he did think it was the right thing to do, he was honest about it, but he was arrogant
and should not have done it. no one questioned his honesty and candor. that is what is important should be a tness in any proceedings because of the special prosecutor. kate: the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein has been reportedly looking into investigating some of your republican colleagues. what is your take on that? kate: -- rep. nadler: i am not familiar with him and investigating some of my republican colleagues. i think an fbi informant was out his -- outed. his identification was made know this is very dangerous for the american people. whoever did that should be subject to prosecution. onphen: a brief question comey. the inspector general specifically accused him of being insubordinate to the attorney general. is that not a firing offense in your opinion? rep. nadler: it may be. the key thing is that he was not
fired for that reason. he was not fired for being too harsh on hillary and too nice to trump. he was fired for -- because of the russia iti. he would not go easy on michael flynn. we know there is comes the president told lester holt and nbc. the president also told the russian foreign minister. whether that ia firing offense or not is not terribly relevant. it is not there anymore. what is relevant is that he was fired for the russian investigation and out of the ig report was talking about. lead: congressman nadler, democrat on the judiciary committee, thank you for being our guest on newsmakers this week. rep. nadler: you are quite welcome. susan: kate, start with immigration. it has been a fraud legislative
process to say the least. the president seems to have found a monkeywrench in what seemed to be a process towards a vote next week by tweeting he moderate sign the bill. the republicans are no longer whipping the legislation. things are at something of a standstill right now. where is this going? kate: the president has tweeted that he supports certain parts of the immigration bill but did not say specifically that he supports this particular bill which is an issue for people , pushing it. what they need is for the house freedom caucus and other conservatives to sign on to this and to get them any president trump saying i want you to sign this bill. it is highly confusing. you have white house adviser stephen miller who was lobbying for members to sign it just the other day. members are waiting to hear more specifics from president trump. i expect we will see a lot more
lobbying next week. some members this morning wondering if next week would be good for a vote organization vote should be pushed back even further as they consider where this goes from here. susan: it is very complicated. if this fails there is a , possibility for discharge later down the road. kate: a representative told me he is open to another petition. it is very wonky. if the good that bill goes to a vote on the floor, it kills the other because it uses the bill. if that rule is approved on the floor, it would kill it and they would have to start from scratch. the only other date they could do before the election would be july 23. they have to get all those signatures seven legislative days before july 23.
it gives them a very limited window. if they fail that window, they cannot bring it back up until december because of court in the rules. in the rules. if it does not get past their, i've been told it probably would not go anywhere for a long time. susan: you asked a number of questions about the family policies that the administration is pursuing. the president says it is the democrats' fault, the democrats say it is the trump administration policy they can be changed at notice. there is a lot of emotion around this separation of children and the creation of tents for them so where is this going as it heats up? stephen: you are starting to see republicans break with the administration and forcefully say we should not be separating children from families. there is a provision in the new --promise bill that somewhat
my reading is it doesn't actually solve it. it is far too complicated to explain in a short period of time. suffice it to say there is a large backlash to this. the administration is still standing by it. they argue they don't have much of a choice. they need to do something to change the incentive that has led to the surge of illegal immigration over the last several months. the first three or four month of the administration we saw record drops in the number of those being arrested coming across the border illegally. since then it has returned to obama era levels. the administration needs to figure o something to get the numbers back down again. this was their goal, to change that calculus. if they lose this, all of that gets set back. susan: the emotion on capitol hill, what do you think is going to happen? will there be enough pressure to
change the policy? stephen: i think we will have to wait and see. we don't know if the poly is affected to be blunt. folks were making this journey from central america, you were talking about a 30 or 45 day journey. right about now we are at the 45-day mark since the zero tolerance policy was announced, which means you would actually pursue criminal charges rather than put them into regular immigratiodeportation proceedings here in -- proceedings. if it is successful, i suspect the administration will use it as an argument to stiffen fines. -- stiffen spines. if not, maybe the pressure will get to them. susan: about 30 seconds. his reaction to the ig report. it puts an asterisk on the election but it is not call into question. what did you think? stephen: the democrats see this
a vindication of comey's truthfulness, which will plan is the russian investigation continues. a very important point from the congressman there. the democrats say this is not comments about his interaction with the president. susan: that is it for our time. thank you for being a first timer on our program. we hope to see you again. filmmakerson q&a, discuss their documentary "hit and stay: the history of faith and resistance" about the action of catholic activists who protested the vietnam war. >> the antiwar movement was mostly thought of as scruffy haired, college aged protesters. here were middle-aged clergy. , you made the public think
well, if they are against this war maybe should reconsider it myself. that was a turning point for the antiwar movement. >> their actions did not end the vietnam war, but i don't see how you can argue it did not help end the draft. the head of the selective service said publicly they felt they were under attack. i think it clearly -- you control a line from what they did to the draft ending in 1973. >> tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. >> next, the gop primary debate from new york's 11th congressional district. dan donovan faced michael grimm to discuss health care, transportation infrastructure, and immigration. served as aeviously representative of the 11th district but resigned after pleading guilty to federal tax evasion, later serving a prison sentence. representative donovan