tv Justice Inspector General Testifies on Report CSPAN June 19, 2018 4:50am-7:00am EDT
a federal spending package. at 10:00 a.m. on c-span3, a joint hearing with the house oversight and judiciary committees to hear testimony from the justice department inspector general on the clinton probe leading up to the 2016 election. and the senate commerce committee holds a meeting on data holocene risks -- policy risks. department'se inspector general testified on a report about how the justice department and a he i handled investigations before the elections. this is a portion of monday's hearing. >> welcome, everybody.
today's committee will examine the justice department inspector general report on decisions presidential 2016 election. this is only part one. part once focuses on the clinton email investigation, the investigation and other controversies involved many of the same players in the same timeframe, but that report will come later. i also want to thank director wray for moving his schedule around so that he could be with us today. the committee has yet to receive the two nonpublic sections of the report. one is classified.
the other is described as "law enforcement sensitive." i would appreciate, if both of the witnesses here today, would work to ensure the committee receives these as soon as possible. former fbi director comey and former deputy director mckay did -- mccabe. mr. mccabe's lawyer wrote his client would rely on his fifth amendment right on self-incrimination to avoid answering any questions here today. mr. comey's attorney tells us he is out of the country, although i saw he was in iowa over the weekend. [laughter] his twitter feed, he seems to be having a wonderful time. time that heecond was fired that mr. comey refused an invitation to testify here voluntarily.
he has time for book tours and television interviews, but apparently has no time to assist this committee, which has primary jurisdiction over the justice department. miss lynch also chose not to show up. the need for transparency does not end when senior officials are fired or quit. okwe changed our rules at the -- at the beginning of this congress to ensure the chairman and ranking member could compel hearing testimony from important witnesses like these. unfortunately the ranking member refused to agree to compel any of them to be here today. that's a shame, because we should be asking them how all of this happened on their watch. there was some shocking news in the spec or general's report. thanks to his work, we already the fbi agents and their anti-trans messages. in this report, we learned that
anti-trump text messages. in this report, we learned that at least three others at the fbi did the same thing. i need to turn off my phone here. the inspector general referred all five of them for violations of the fbi code of conduct. -- four of these five fbi employees were on the team investigating hillary clinton. that's more than 25% of that team. three of these five employees later ended up on the special counsel mueller's team. if the inspector general had not discovered their anti-trump texts, they would still be with robert mueller's team. they would still be investigating the trump campaign. they would still be texting about how they despise president trump and everyone who voted for him.
they would still be plotting about how to use their official position to stop him. we just wouldn't know about it. facts every time you hear the press are my friends on the other side of the aisle claiming this report found no bias. you may hear that talking point a lot today, but don't be fooled. removed these people from his team. why did he do that? obviously, because this kind of political bias has no place in law enforcement. when it was exposed so clearly, mr. mueller had no choice. most of the time, evidence of political bias is not so explicit. the details in this report confirm what american people have suspected for a long time.
hillary clinton got the kid glove treatment. the contrast with the russia probe is very stark. the biggest difference is the appointment of special counsel. attorney general lynch refused to appoint one. the first justice had a personal financial interest in the clinton victory to keep their jobs. the second, president obama and his press secretary publicly signaled in april 2016 that secretary clinton's actions only amounted to simply this -- carelessness. director comey and the fbi took their cue from president obama and picked up the theme. in may, he started drafting his public exoneration, which ultimately called her conduct "extremely careless."
she was a partner in a law firm that represented both president and secretary clinton. bill clinton also pointed her to be the u.s. attorney for the eastern district of new york. miss lynch met privately with president clinton days before she agreed with the fbi to close the investigation without any charges. if there were ever a time for a special counsel, it would be this time. attorney general sessions recused himself in the rod rosenstein -- himself when rod rosenstein appointed special counsel. the difference is between night
and day. draftednch, james comey a public exoneration before 17 key witnesses were interviewed. under rosenstein, nobody seriously thinks robert mueller would plan a press conference to exonerate trump before his investigators' work is done. under lynch, a low level i.t. worker flies to the fbi twice about destroying records under subpoena and got immunity. under rosenstein, a low-level trump campaign associate provided the wrong date for conversation with a professor and got charged with lying to the fbi. under lynch, clinton's lawyers and aides who improperly held classified information got carefully crafted agreements to limit searches of their computers by consent. under rosenstein, trumps lawyers
and former aides got raided before the grand jury's. the justice department faces a serious credibility problem because millions of americans suspect there is a double standard. they see a story of kid glove treatment for one side, and bareknuckle tactics for the other. they see politics in that story. but this inspector general report is only about the first part of that story. the report has more shocking details. it wasn't just hillary clinton using private email for business. it was also james comey. it was not just andy mccabe talking to the press. so where others at all levels of the fbi. many officials had unauthorized contact with the media that the inspector general could not figure out who was leaking.
writing --ere playing their fbi sources with tickets to sporting events, meals, and golf outings. the fbi has managed to perform a culture that winks at unauthorized disclosures to the press, but punishes legally protected whistleblowing. it stiff arms congressional oversight highlighting embarrassing facts, while the leaks serve friendly tidbits to varying reporters, bearing gifts. hasctor christopher wray quite a mess to clean up. i think he knows that. the department has serious accountability issues. in scandal after scandal, accountability is the exception, rather than the rule. nearly a decade ago, the department went after the late senator ted stevens. many suspected politics was a motivation to cut corners.
judicial investigators found to federal prosecutors committed intentional misconduct, but the department's office of professional responsibility watered it down to "reckless misconduct." andr years of appeals administrative proceedings, guess what? these folks are still federal prosecutors. i would like to enter, without objection, the staff memo into the record at this point. now we have the senior fbi officials caught red-handed. i just want to remind everyone that former director comey said , he saidle occasions his people at the fbi did not give a rip about politics. he said sometimes they didn't give a hoot about it. hoot,r it was a rip or a
either way, he was flat wrong. presidential politics was a major preoccupation for those at the heart of both cases related to the 2016 election, including director comey. his subordinates said they were under enormous pressure to wrap it up before the political conventions. he was concerned about how it would look if clinton won, and he had not reopened the case in october to examine new evidence. director comey testified on may 3 of last year that he had never been an anonymous source or authorized anyone to be one in any story on these controversies. i'm starting to wonder about that. the inspector general recently concluded in another report that former deputy director mccabe improperly authorized media leaks to make himself look good.
then he lied about it multiple times, both under both and to mr. comey. mr. mccabe denies that, and his lawyers claim that there are emails with mr. comey that would vindicate him. the fbi hasn't provided any such emails, and the inspector general's report doesn't mention any. neither man could agree to come here and explain it to the committee. whatever happened, it is a sad state of affairs for the former top two employees and officials in the fbi to be in a swearing contest over press leaks. justice should be blind. law enforcement needs to ignore politics, follow the facts and embrace oversight as a way to improve. the inspector general's report on to be a step, really step one in the right direction.
but consequences must follow. senator feinstein? sen. feinstein: thank you, mr. chairman, for holding this hearing. horowitz,general thank you for the hard work you and your staff have done. this is a very big report. i think the largest i've seen in at least two decades. we look forward to hearing from you and from director ray -- wray. after an 18 month investigation that included review of more than 1.2 million documents and interviews with more than 100 witnesses, the inspector general found no evidence of political bias in the fbi's investigation of secretary clinton or in the decision not to pursue criminal charges. as the report says, the ig "did not find documentary or
testimonial evidence of political bias. the ig also found no evidence that the conclusions by the prosecutors were affected by bias or improper considerations. the ig also found no evidence that the conclusions of the rather that we determined they were based on the prosecutors' assessment of the fact, the law, the practice." the inspector general also concluded that director comey violated department of justice policies when he spoke publicly and informed congress about the investigation. on july 5, 2016, four months before the election, mr. comey held a press conference and announced the fbi would not recommend criminal charges. yet, director comey also
personally criticized secretary clinton in the middle of her presidential campaign. the ig found that director "was contraryism, to long-standing department ," for " and protocol essentially trashing the subject of an investigation with comey,ed misconduct that every agent, and every prosecutor agreed did not warrant prosecution." divisive this announcement, mr. comey testified before congress numerous times and spoke at length about the clinton investigation, and that this would remain in the press during the final months of the presidential election. then on october 28, 2016, mr. comey informed congress that he had reopened the investigation
. it had finally performed its due diligence, the fbi determined that there was nothing new or significant. the inspector general also specifically criticized the october 28 notification to congress as also violating "long-standing department and fbi policies." as explained in the report, "the department and the fbi consistently declined to comment publicly or to congress regarding ongoing investigative activities." however, while the report is highly critical of director comey, it did not find he was biased against president trump, or in favor of secretary clinton, as some have alleged.
during the election, director comey, the fbi, and the justice department spoke publicly about the clinton investigation, but remained silent on the investigation into the trump campaign's ties to russia. while there were multiple leaks to the press about the clinton investigation, there was not a single leak about the investigation of the trump campaign. ongoingestigations were during the presidential elections, but only the clinton investigation was discussed publicly. this unquestionably harmed candidate clinton and helped candidate trump. the president is now citing the inspector general's report to justify his decision to fire director comey. however, at the time, candidates a plot at the october announcement, declaring at a
rally in grand rapids, michigan, and i cloaked, "director comey ," ande right thing ." he told russian officials that firing comey relieved the pressure from the russian investigation. and two days after the firing, president trump himself told lester holt he fired director comey for, "the russia thing." this is under investigation by special counsel mueller. the ig report provides no support for the claim mr. comey was fired because of his handling of the clinton investigation. that some also finds employees expressed personal political views through text messages on workplace devices.
many messages criticized donald trump, but there were also some that criticized hillary clinton and others. importantly, the report found no evidence that these political views tainted workplace decisions. in fact, two of the employees who exchanged messages were also identified in the report as advocating some of the most aggressive action in the clinton investigation. for example, mr. strzok wrote the initial draft of the 2018 letter announcing the reopening of the clinton investigation. the ig and his office spent a year and a half examining this. they have reviewed all of these
text messages. they have interviewed these employees. they found no evidence that political views influenced the clinton investigation. the overwhelming lesson to be taken from this report is the danger of public discussion and ongoing investigations. throughout the clinton investigation, republicans in congress demanded information from director comey. and the justice department under subpoena and threat of content. -- contempt. today, they are doing the same thing with special counsel mueller's investigation. it was wrong then and it is wrong now. the inspector general report the stay silent principle exists to protect the privacy and reputational interest of the subjects of the investigation. the right to a fair trial for
those subsequently accused of crimes, the integrity of an ongoing investigation, or pending litigation, and the department's ability to effectively administer justice without political or other undue outside influences." disclosuredemanding of information about special mueller's ongoing investigation, congress should protect the in equity -- integrity and investigation of that work. let me say in closing, while i disagree with his actions, i have seen no evidence that mr. arey acted in bad faith that he lied about any of his actions. as we consider this report, let's not lose sight of the fact that the ig found no evidence that the fbi and justice department are politicizing
investigations, and nothing warrants the attacks that we are seeing on the fbi, the justice department, or special counsel specialnvestigation -- counsel robert mueller's investigation. thank you. chair grassley: thank you, senator feinstein. i will give a short introduction of the witnesses and then i will administer a note before they testify. michael horowitz, inspector general for the justice department, was confirmed april 2012 and oversees a workforce of over 800 employees. immediately preceding this post, he was in private practice and previously worked for the justice department's criminal division. the inspector general's mission is to detect and determine waste , fraud, abuse, and misconduct. its mission is also to promote economy and efficiency in the department's operation.
christopher wray is the director of the fbi, confirmed august of last year. he is in charge of the bureaus day-to-day operations and overseeing the performance of field offices and branches nationwide. from two dozen three through 2005, director wray served as assistant attorney general for the criminal division at doj. he also served as an associate deputy general and then principal associate deputy attorney general, prior to his promotion in 2003. and i know, as well, he was in private practice for a while before he became fbi director. if you would stand, i would like to administer the oath. you affirm that the testimony you are about to give before the committee will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you god? thank you both for that affirmation.
we will start with general horowitz. i.g. horowitz: thank you mr. chairman, ranking member feinstein, members of the committee. thank you for inviting me to testify today. our 500 plus page report provides a thorough, comprehensive, and objective recitation to the facts related to the departments and fbi's handling of the clinton email investigation. it was the product of 17 months of investigative work by a dedicated oig team that reviewed 1.2 million documents and interviewed more than 100 witnesses many on multiple , occasions. the review team followed the evidence wherever it led, and through their evidence, we were able to identify inappropriate texts and messages discussed in the report. additionally the oig's , painstaking for an sick investigations discovered texts that would have been lost or undisclosed.
as detailed in our report, we inappropriate political messages we uncovered cast a cloud over the midyear investigation, sowed doubts about the credibility of the fbi's handling of it, and impacting the reputation of the fbi. we found the implication that senior fbi employees would be willing to take official action to impact a presidential candidate electoral process to be deeply troubling and antithetical to the core values of the fbi and the justice department. with regard to the decision to close the investigation without prosecution, we found no evidence that the conclusions by the prosecutors were the result of improper considerations, , butding political bias whether were exercises in prosecutorial discretion by the prosecutors based on their assessment of the facts, the law, and passed department practice.
the review also included a fact-based detail assessment of certain specific investigative and prosecutorial decisions that were the subject of controversy. it was necessary to select particular investigative decisions, because it would not have been possible to re-create and analyze every decision made in a year-long investigation. in examining these decisions, the question we examined was not whether it was the most effective choice, but whether the decision was based on improper considerations, including political bias. this approach is consistent with the oig's handling of questions in past reviews when assessing discretionary judgment calls and recognizes and respects the is -- institutional oversight role of the oig. our report provides a comprehensive assessment of these decisions and the midyear thestigation, and details
factual evidence so that the public, congress, and other stakeholders can conduct their own assessment of them. within this framework, we did find documentary or improperal evidence of considerations, including political bias, directly affected those specific decisions, in part because the decisions were made by the larger midyear team or the prosecutor spared this determination by the oig does not mean we necessarily endorse the decisions or conclude they were the most effective options among those considers or that our findings should or can be extrapolated to cover other decisions made during the course of the investigation by the fbi employees who sent these inappropriate text messages. conversely, we found the fbi's explanations for its failures to take immediate action after discovering the wiener laptop to
an october 2016 to be unpersuasive, and we did not have confidence that the assistantf the deputy director to prioritize the russia investigation over following up on the laptop was free from bias in light of his text messages. keylso found that in moments, then fbi director comey clearly departed from fbi and department norms in his decisions negatively impacted the perception of the fbi and the justice department as fair administrators of justice. director comey concealed from the attorney general and the deputy attorney general his intention to make a unilateral announcement in july 2016 about the reasons for his recommendation not to prosecute former secretary clinton. his july 5 statement included inappropriate commentary about uncharged conduct, and announced
his views on what a "reasonable prosecutor" would do in late , and served to confuse rather his recommendation. in late october, he again acted without adequately consulting the department leadership in contrary to department norms when he sent a letter to congress announcing renewed investigative activity days before the election. there are many lessons to be learned from the department and the fbi's handling of the investigation. among the most important is the need to respect the institutions, hierarchy, and structures, and to follow the established policies, procedures, and norms, even in the highest profile and most challenging investigations. rule -- no rule, policy, or practice is perfect, of course. but at the same time, neither is any individual's ability to make judgments under pressure or in what may seem like unique circumstances. and officials adhere to bedrock principles and
values, the public has greater confidence in the fairness and rightness of their decisions, and those institutions' leaders that are protecting interests of federal law enforcement and the dedicated professionals who serve us all. trust isst, the public negatively impacted when law enforcement officials make statements reflecting bias, when leaders abandon institutional norms and the organizational hierarchy in favor of their own ad hoc judgments, and when the leadership in the department of the fbi are unable to speak directly with one another for the good of the institutions. our report makes nine recommendations, most of which can be tied together through a common theme, that the of the -- fbi and the justice department remain true to their foundational principles and values in all their work. that concludes my prepared statement. i would be pleased to answer the committee's questions.
chairman grassley: dir. wray -- director ray. dir. wray: thank you i . appreciate this opportunity to discuss the fbi reports about the doj and the fbi's activities in the run-up to the 2016 election. i take this report very seriously, and we accept its findings and recommendations. we are already addressing these recommendations in a number of ways and are determined to emerge from this experience better and wiser. our mission at the fbi is to protect the american people and uphold the constitution. to carry out that mission, we are entrusted with significant authority. our actions are subject to close oversight by the congress, by the courts, and by independent entities like the inspector general.
that oversight makes the fbi stronger as an organization and makes the public more safe. i appreciate the inspector general's work in conducting this important review. although the report did not find any evidence of political bias or improper considerations, the report did identify errors of judgment, violations of or disregard for policy, and decisions that, at least in them benefit of hindsight, were certainly not the best choices. brieflylike to summarize what we are doing to respond to those recommendations. first, we are going to hold accountable any employee for potential misconduct. we have already referred conduct highlighted in the report to our office of professional responsibility, opr, which is the fbi's independent disciplinary office.
we are going to adhere to the disciplinary process that office has fairly, but without delay. process isat complete, we will not hesitate to hold people accountable. second, we are going to make sure that every fbi employee understands the lessons of this through in-depth focused training, starting first at the top with all of our senior executives from around the world, and every fbi employee to make sure we do not repeat the mistakes identified in this report. third, we will make sure we have the policies, procedures, and training needed for everyone to understand and remember what is expected of all of us. that includes things like drilling home the importance of objectivity and avoiding even the appearance of potential bias or conflicts of interest in our
work, ensuring that recusal's are handled appropriately and correctly, and are clearly communicated to the right people, making all employees fully aware of our new policy on contacts with the news media, which i issued last november, and making clear we will not tolerate noncompliance with that ensuring we follow all doj policies about public statements on ongoing investigations and uncharged conduct, and ensuring our employees i'd hear to the policies and procedures on the use of fbi systems, networks, and devices. i have also directed our associate to lead a focus review on how the fbi handles particularly sensitive investigations, how they are structured, staffed, and supervised so every investigation can be conducted to the highest standards. makes clearports
that we have significant work to do. as i said, we will learn from the report and be better as a result. at the same time, i want to emphasize this is focused on a in 2016 set of events and a small number of fbi employees connected with that event. mistakes do not define those 37,000 men and women and the great work they did every day. nothing in the report impudence the integrity of the fbi as a whole or the institution. i want to be very clear that i have been able to see up close every day and in the 10 months since my confirmation hearing before you all. i have been meeting with employees from over 30 of our field offices, offices overseas, from every headquarters. over and over again, i hear incredible stories, remarkable stories about the work the men
and women are doing to protect americans. this year alone, we have rescued 1300 children from child predators. we have arrested more than 4600 violent gang members in the past several months. in the past several months, we distracted -- disrupted terrorist attacks ranging from francisco, to a crowded mall in miami. they are doing this work with the unfailing fidelity to our constitution and law that it demands, the bravery that it deserves, and the integrity that the american people rightly expects. as i have been trying to say since my confirmation hearing, i am committed to doing this job by the book, and i expect our employees to do the same. i'm a huge believer in the importance of process, and i
believe strongly that the fbi's brand is based more on the way we accomplish our success than the successes themselves. that means following our rules, following our laws, following our guidelines. we have to stay faithful to our values and best traditions. there will inevitably be times when we feel extraordinary pressure to not follow our but thosed policies, are precisely the times when it's most important to adhere to the. we are trying to make sure we are not just doing the right thing, but that we are doing it pursuingght way, and the facts independently and objectively, no matter who likes it. that, in my view, is the only way to maintain the trust and credibility of the american people we serve. mr. chairman, ranking member feinstein, members of the committee, thank you again for the opportunity to address the report, i look forward to answering the committee's questions. chair grassley: thank you.
i believe staff has probably informed each member of the committee that we will have eight minute rounds. because of the three votes on the floor of the united states senate at five: 30, we will probably only end of having one round. to mr. horowitz. the i.t. worker who managed the clinton server light to the fbi repeatedly. deleting the clinton emails and denied the clinton staff had ever asked him to delete the emails and denied knowing the emails were under a preservation order. he had a call, with clinton's lawyers. deleted thehe clinton emails, invoked the fifth amendment to avoid questions about that call, sent an mail saying he was part of "hillary coverup operation," and later claimed it
was only a joke. he later claims that was only a there was no search warrant or subpoena for the laptops to know what he did. he did not get the mueller treatment, no charges to lying to the fbi repeatedly, no pressure to flip or testify against clinton lawyers. quite the opposite, he got immunity. this is a good example of the double standard in these investigations, and why more and more people are starting to believe the mueller investigation lacks fairness. the report noted that director comey pressured the team to close the case before the party convention and he had already made up his mind to close it before all the work was done. question number one, is it improper to set a deadline to close a case based upon the political calendar? i.g. horowitz: if that's the only basis, that would be an area of concern. that was something we did ask
about in connection to our report, given the various areas where director comey raised concern about the political calendar. we had some information from some folks indicating that he separately suggested that in addition to concern about the political calendar, that they all also should follow up as need be for their work. that was the evidence we had before us. chair grassley: is it a fair inference for people to think that the time pressure and predetermined decision not to charge clinton explains the lack of interest in trying to charge and flip the witness? i.g. horowitz: as we have laid out here, it is certainly one of the reasons given by the prosecutors with regard to certain decisions. they felt it would have dragged on the investigation for too long, and that was a factor in their consideration on how to resolve certain issues. chair grassley a second point : would involve you and the director of the fbi.
the report notes that the department of prosecutors did not believe there was a substantial federal interest to charge the i.t. clinton's deleted emails was obstruction and false statements. however, it was clear he lied to the fbi twice about deleting clinton's archived emails. the emails had been subpoenaed and were subject to criminal -- congressional preservation notice. the technician knew that when he deleted them. question to both of you, is granting immunity the only way to obtain truthful testimony from a witness, and is it a substantial federal interest in determining obstruction of congressional investigations? i.g. horowitz: it isn't the only way to get testimony from individuals. and asnds on the facts, we laid out in the report, we found the conduct to be serious. chair grassley: director wray? dir. wray: likewise, i think
there are a number of ways to secure testimony from witnesses. my own view is that efforts to obstruct investigations are something we need to take extremely seriously at the federal level. chuck grassley: thank you. to mr. horowitz, did the official specifically tell you that obstructing congress was not a matter of substantial federal interest? not horowitz: they did specifically say that to us. we asked for their reasons, and they explained other reasons that we layout in the report. check grassley former director, he said on television that the inspector general interviewed him about the handling of his memos, of conversations with president trump. some of those memos contained classified information. comey said he did not expect a
report on his handling of classified information because "that's frivolous." i don't happen to think it is frivolous. are you investigating comey's handling of his memos? and is that include the classification issues? should mr. comey expect a report when it is complete? i.g. horowitz: we received a referral on that from the fbi. we are handling the referral and we will issue a report when the matter is current fleet consistent with the law and rules in a report that is consistent and takes this into account. chair grassley: in the fbi's response to the inspector general report, the fbi said "there is no indication that any classified material ever transcended former director comey's pages or personal devices or accounts. i thought neither the inspector general nor the fbi actually looked at their personal devices.
letter to you, director wray, this morning on the topic. i want to ask, how can the fbi conclude no classified material was on their personal devices if you didn't even look at their devices? mr. chairman, first to your letter, i have not obviously seen your letter today, but i'm happy to take a look at it and make sure we see a response for that. on the second part of your question, on the words and the response in the inspector general's report, i don't think we are characterizing another investigation of our own but rather the language in the inspector general's report and to clarify that the findings we notreacting to did themselves identify any passage of classified information. chair grassley: ok. ,uring the course of the review you found that several of the people investigating secretary
clinton for using personal email were doing the same thing themselves. each agency and every employee has an obligation to comply with the federal records act. question number one to mr. horowitz, in light of the laws recordkeeping requirements, how did you try to get access to their personal devices or accounts? i.g. horowitz: one of the challenges we had, as we noted in the report, is that to gain access to personal emails would have required a grand jury subpoena or a search warrant, given the facts of this case, and we were limited because our administrative subpoena doesn't already cover this to ask for voluntary cooperation. we were given oral representations, we were not given access to the mail accounts. chair grassley: i will reserve my 24 seconds, senator feinstein? sen. feinstein: thank you very
much, mr. chairman. during the 2016 presidential election, in addition to investigating hillary clinton's use of a private email server, the fbi was actively investigating whether the trump campaign was coordinating with russian officials to influence the election. although the fbi revealed the existence of the clinton investigation to the public, it kept the existence of the trump campaign investigation secret. director comey made several public statements about the clinton investigation during the election. was there any information about anyone making public statements about the trump campaign investigation during the election? i.g. horowitz: i'm not aware of any and we laid out the discussion of whether or not to speak to that issue. sen. feinstein: there were
several leaks to the press about the clinton investigation. were there any evidence about leaks to the press about the trump campaign investigation? i.g. horowitz: i don't know, as i said here. sen. feinstein: is there any reason for this disparity in treatment between the two investigations? ,.g. horowitz: we are focused and this review was on the clinton email review. we laid out clearly why we thought erector comey should not have been making public statements he made -- director, he should not have been making public statements that he made when he made them. i guess what you are saying is that the better approach is not to make public statements, and that goes to everybody, but you did not specifically criticize or find criticism? i.g. horowitz: correct. we look at this one decision. we laid out what the decision was with regard to other investigations, both russia, and the clinton foundation investigation, where a decision
was made also not to speak about it. sen. feinstein: on october 25, trump surrogate rudy giuliani. bragged that the trump campaign had "a surprise or two in the next two days. i'm talking about pretty good surprises, and i think all these revelations about hillary clinton are beginning to have an impact." three days later, director comey announced that the fbi would be reopening its investigation into hillary clinton's use of a private email server. on november 4, when asked whether he had heard about the fbi's reopening of the email investigation, giuliani said "did i hear about it? your john wright -- you are darn right i heard about it." he went on to say this. "it's how you the truth, i thought it was going to be three or four weeks ago." were you able to determine how mr. giuliani received this information?
i.g. horowitz: senator, i'm not going to speak to any of the investigative steps we may or may not have made for the very reasons we describe in here about what is appropriate to do in terms of following policy. sen. feinstein: what actions , if any, have been taken against any of the individuals responsible for disclosing this information to mr. giuliani? i.g. horowitz: as we noted in the report, our investigative work is still ongoing. we put this in here so that the readers and the public could see the concerns about the number of contacts with the media and the problem systemically, but i'm not into a position to speak about any of the investigative outcomes. sen. feinstein: you believe the disclosures of this sort, especially during an election, are inappropriate? are they lawful? i.g. horowitz: i don't believe
disclosures of this sort are appropriate at any time. i was a federal prosecutor, worked extensively with fbi agents in my prior capacity, and all of us would have thought that was entirely inappropriate. sen. feinstein: the report says that you "will separately report on those investigations as they are concluded." does this mean that this leak investigation is ongoing? our work remains ongoing, and when we can do that consistent with the ig act and the law policy, we will do so. sen. feinstein: republicans in congress have pressured the department of justice to reveal details about special counsel mueller's investigation into russian interference in the 16 and possible, obstruction of justice. as a result, sensitive information about this ongoing investigation is now in the public domain. for example, a possible confidential informant has been identified.
is disclosure of the identity of a possible source in an ongoing investigation consistent with the stay silent principle identified in the report? i.g. horowitz: senator, i cannot speak to specific factual circumstances beyond what's in the report. generally, just because of my prior answer as well, if there is an ongoing investigation, disclosing information related to that or leaks, is inappropriate. sen. feinstein: thank you, mr. chairman. chairman grassley: senator hatch. sen. hatch: listening to some of these findings in the inspector general's report on the handling of the clinton investigation, error of judgment, serious error of judgment, extremely poor judgment, and a gross lack of professionalism. these are conclusions that were drawn respectively about the conduct of the attorney general of the united states.
the former director of the federal in dear -- bureau of the investigation, and fbi special agents assigned to one of the highest profile investigations in the bureau's history. in my opinion, this is appalling. and the significance of these findings cannot be overstated. the report identifies missteps at every level of the department of justice from our nation's , chief federal law-enforcement officer, to special agents in the field. director wray, i have to say i was disappointed by your response last week to the inspector general report. while you admitted the report found errors of judgment, you took pains to emphasize that the report focused on "a small number of fbi employees." let's remember who that small number of employees was, the director of the fbi, the deputy director of the fbi, the leader of both the clinton team
email investigation, and the russia investigation. these were not junior field agents. these were senior agency officials. they were running two of the most important investigations in the bureau's history. they were insubordinate, grossly unprofessional in their communications, and even untruthful. so let's not pretend that this was some one-off problem. there is a serious problem with the culture at fbi headquarters. your statement seems to suggest we shouldn't worry too much about the events detailed in the inspector general report, because the report focuses on a small group of individuals and events. i think that is exactly backwards. if you look at only one or two investigations and find this much bias and unprofessionalism, i can only imagine what is out
there and what the inspector general found about the conduct of senior bureau leadership. i would have to say he find out things that, in my opinion, would be damning. how can you assure the congress and american people that you are taking seriously the problems identified in the inspector general report, when you're first response to the report was to downplay its significance? senator, i don't intend in any way to downplay the significance of the report. sen. hatch: i would like to know why. i.g. horowitz: i think the fact that the very first press conference i have held in my 10 months as fbi director on this was a measure of how important i think this is. we can start with that. second, the steps i have outlined we will be taking are very significant, including, just as an example, convening every single employee in the
entire fbi to come to a full day of training specifically focused on this, as a measure of how seriously i take this. we will have people whose conduct is highlighted in the report handled through our disciplinary process and held accountable as appropriate. but my comments the other day are a measure of my view of the fbi -- i don't have to imagine what happens in the fbi. i see the fbi up close every day , investigation after investigation after investigation, including in utah, including the states of every state represented on this dais. i can tell you the conduct, the character, the principle that i see in those people every day is extraordinary and would be an inspiration to the members of this committee. that was my point. sen. hatch: there is no doubt that the fbi errors casting a cloud over the handling of the investigation and the
investigation credibility. even more troubling is the irreparable harm to the fbi's reputation for neutral fact-finding and political independence. where do we go from here? you kind of indicated that. dir. wray: i think we start by reminding everyone in the fbi, which i said, i think the vast , vast majority of people working there already know this. but i'm not going to leave that to doubt -- that objectivity and the appearance of objectivity have to permeate everything we do. that starts with much of the lessons that have been described in this report that starts with , being focused not just on the result, but on the way you get to that result. following our processes, following guidelines, following our long-established norms. sen. hatch: i want to thank inspector general horwitz and you, fbi director wray for today to helpre answer that question.
i want to focus on two issues identified in the report. the first is improper disclosures to the media. the second is the political bias of evidence in text messages between fbi employees. the fbi has a policy that strictly limits the employees who are authorized to speak to the media. this is appropriate for any organization that quietly investigates with an eye toward prosecution in a court of law, rather than the court of public opinion. thatnspector general found this policy was widely ignored by employees at all levels of the fbi. the report goes so far to describe a culture of unauthorized media contacts, including instances where fbi employees improperly received tickets, golf outings, drinks, and other benefits from reporters. this is totally inappropriate. director wray attachments to the
report identified more than 50 fbi employees who apparently had unauthorized contact with members of the media. if the inspector general identified 50 employees in connection with his review of this one investigation, a counterintelligence investigation no less, i'm afraid that the number of employees engaged in such unauthorized conduct across the bureau is likely to be far greater. clearly, additional action is needed to identify other personnel engaged in leaks and unauthorized media contacts. i'm not interested in hearing about additional training, which is certainly necessary, but not sufficient. you doing: what are to identify those who violate the fbi's policy, and what consequences will those employees face? ast: couple -- dir. wray: couple of things.
to making a new policy to make it clear so no one has an excuse that they do not know what the rules are, i put a new policy and for november. we created a dedicated investigation unit inside the focusedpacific league to ensure those investigations have priority. we have an insider threat that we elevated to the assistant director level that is focused on pulling together all these kinds of issues which raise concerns, from my view. i also asked the head of our opr to report back to me promptly about whether or not there are additional things that she would need to make sure the penalties , and we more severe won't hesitate to throw the book at people that violate our rules on this. sen. hatch: thank you. >> senator leahy. leahy: irony does not even begin to describe president trump and his allies exploiting
this report for partisan gain. text messages are inappropriate. thefbi are trying to throw election to hillary clinton and could not have done a worse job. the front page of every news people are leading up to the election, every single misstep hillarybi damaged clinton, helped donald trump. all fbi personnel including mr. stark kept quiet about the russian investigation, as they should. the same cannot be said about the clinton investigation. rudy giuliani, james carlstrom, devon north, received highly sensitive leaks. that contributed to director comey's decision to send the now infamous october 28 letter. could not have come at a worse time and likely impacted the election. last year, i asked director comey specifically about leaks
to mr. giuliani. he acknowledged for the first time that an internal investigation was ongoing. mr. comeyay, was telling the truth in that? there was anthat internal investigation ongoing about the least mr. giuliani. was he correct? dir. wray: i cannot speak to that. was he correct that there is an internal investigation ongoing on the leaks to mr. giuliani? dir. wray: senator, for reasons i'm sure you can appreciate, i cannot confirm or deny the existence of an ongoing investigation, whether there is one or is not one. one of the main lessons -- sen. leahy: it's an open hearing. comey saidctor there was an internal investigation. dir. wray: there are a number of things i probably would have
done. sen. leahy: do you want to take a stab at that? >> i am certainly not going to comment on whether or not there is an open or ongoing investigation one way or the other. we have over the years refused to do that and i will not change the policy now. ir. wray: -- sen. leahy: assume that's the answer we give. we know about his private life, his text messages. but we know nothing about the leaks from fbi personnel. steps totively taking sway the election to mr. trump. you did not include an investigation of those leaks in your report, is that correct? >> that is correct for the reasons we noted. we are not able to speak to work we might have ongoing. sen. leahy: i would hope the investigation is ongoing and at some point, you report to us because it was generally accepted around here that leaks
were going to mr. giuliani during the campaign. now, the president says that this report totally exonerates him and says there is no collusion with the russians. inspector general horowitz, does your report include collusion? gen. horowitz: it was the handling of the clinton email investigation. it touched on the russian investigation when we found text messages in that july/august time period, and the decision that was made in october about whether to proceed or not proceed. that was the sum total. sen. leahy: there's nothing in the report that says it exonerates the president from any question of collusion with the russians. it says nothing one way or the other, is that correct? gen. horowitz: we did not
looking to collusion questions. president says it totally exonerates him even though there is no conclusion one way or the other. about the question of collusion with the russians. after learning aat the fbi utilized confidential source during the early stages of the russia investigation, the president described that as a scandal bigger than watergate. here,ne of the few people the only person in the senate that remembers directly knowledge of watergate. i have to disagree with him. i would say the confidential sources are a routine investigative tool. i have a document that is
publicly available in the fbi's online library. shows that the fbi used a confidential human source in september 2015 well into secretary clinton's campaign for president. director, there is a possible use of confidential sources in either the clinton or russia investigation but does not show any wrongdoing by the fbi? >> we use confidential informants in all manner of investigations covering the waterfront and it's very, very, very important tool in that mission. sen. leahy: you probably don't have a significant prosecution for confidential sources. the president investigationr has been totally discredited by
the inspector general report. i asked you last month about the russian investigation. you confirmed you do not believe it's a witchhunt. now, the special counsel investigation already resulted in an indictment of 20 individuals and three russian companies. do you have any reason to believe that this investigation has been discredited? dir. wray: senator, as i said to you last month, and as i said before, i don't believe special counsel mother is on a witchhunt. sen. leahy: thank you. i appreciate that. you were very direct in both of those. the mistake made by director comey in the hillary clinton investigation did not exist in a vacuum. republicans in congress relentlessly pressured the fbi to release details concerning the clinton investigation, and i am deeply concerned that we are repeating these mistakes today.
the white house working with allies in congress have been aggressively demanding information from the russian invest edition and director wray -- russia investigation and director wray, they have been threatened with impeachment. that's outrageous, something that would obviously never happened. some accommodations has been made. members of congress eager to politicize any details have reviewed the application to learn the identity of a confidential source. are you confident that kind of pressure won't influence the fbi in the future? dir. wray: we have to bring two competingave interests. we want to be responsive to congressional oversight and an obligation to protect sources and methods, ongoing
criminal investigations, secrecy, and it is a challenge at times to do both, but i am confident we can do both as long as both sides are willing to work together on it. sen. leahy: thank you very much. >> senator cornyn. horowitz, i believe your report summarizes that he concealed his intention to ofe a unilateral declaration intent to pursue charges against secretary clinton. he made inappropriate comments on uncharged conduct. he erred when he said -- he said nothe role when he reasonable prosecutor would bring charges under the facts and that he violated a number of department of justice policies and norms. is that correct?
dir. wray: that is correct. sen. cornyn: i think your opinion was -- gen. horowitz: that is correct. sen. cornyn: i think your opinion was informed by op-ed andes by general holder others. james comey is damaging our democracy. memo that was written by the deputy attorney general, forwarded to the attorney general, and attached to a letter, whereby the president informed mr. comey that his director of the fbi were being terminated. substantially, they are similar to what you found in your report, correct? gen. horowitz: i have not gone back recently and read the letter. i think it is a straightforward comparison that could be made about it. i will leave it at that.
sen. cornyn: it looks to me like you validated what deputy attorney general rosenstein said in his memorandum. would you dispute that? gen. horowitz: i have not gone back and reread it. sen. cornyn: what is so disturbing about this era in the fbi leadership is it seemed to whereulture of impunity the rules did not apply to the director and his leadership team , but obviously, were designed to apply to everybody else. by the way, i agree with director wray when he talks about rank and file fbi professionals. we are not talking about them. we are talking about a group that somehow went terribly awry in the leadership team of director comey. horowitz, you mentioned you found no evidence of bias in the investigation, but you
qualify that in talking about documentary and testimonial evidence. are you discounting text messages from others? gen. horowitz: what we were trying to do is be clear that we were focused on the very specific investigative decisions we looked at, and what was significant about the pre-july 5 announcement decisions was that they were not the salt decision-makers. they were team decisions, and in many cases, prosecutors' decisions. we made very clear we were not saying that as to every single decision, as you know from doing these kind of cases. there are hundreds of decisions being made and in fact we did not find no bias with regard to the october events. director comey was
pretty clear that he expected hillary clinton to be the next president of the united states, correct? gen. horowitz: he described that with regard to the october events. sen. cornyn: sometime in the spring of 2016, he already decided there would be no recommendation to prosecute hillary clinton, correct? gen. horowitz: yes, he started drafting his statement on may 2. sen. cornyn: it was not until july 5 when he made his additional press conference where he said that the evidence did not rise to the point where any reasonable prosecutor basically would prosecute miss clinton, correct? caller: that is correct. -- gen. horowitz: that is correct. sen. cornyn: is it a fair inference to draw that director comey, expecting miss clinton to win the presidency, was inking about his future as the fbi director? gen. horowitz: i think that was a concern we had, certainly, where it is even clearer in that october time forever, because we
had testimony that indicated when he explained through his chief of staff why he was going to do what he did on october 28, he was concerned about his survivability. sen. cornyn: and when for example he used the word "grossly negligent," which are the words of the statute in describing miss clinton's conduct, it was changed to "extremely careless." do you feel like he was writing towards a preordained result or that this was a genuine process to think through what the evidence was and to try to apply the applicable law? gen. horowitz: i think that would be hard to say and probably it would be speculation in terms of what he would be thinking at the time. we tried to lay out in great detail how it changed and evolved and wife. but i am not sure i can sit here and say precisely what was his thinking on the time. sen. cornyn: were you shocked to learn that director comey had his own private gmail account at the time he was investigating the potential prosecution for
recklessly using a private gmail server? gen. horowitz: it surprised us he would have been sending enough, although they were unclassified, but nevertheless, using a personal gmail account. sen. cornyn: that that was required to establish guidelines in the law. that he risked that director comey was demonstrating and suggesting that the rules did not apply to him that applied to everybody else brought this firestorm down on the fbi. do you think it is appropriate for any director of the fbi to attribute their actions to a higher loyalty to some other
cause other than the rule of law and the policies and guidelines of the department of justice? gen. horowitz: senator, i don't want to speak to what director comey may or may not have been thinking, but my own view is that the rules, the policies, the guidelines, the long-established norms as the inspector general's report refers to them, those things are there for a reason, and it is important that we track those. that is why, when i am going around from field office to field office, the point i keep making everywhere is that it is not enough to say that you are going to do the right thing for the right reason. that pretty quickly can become the ends justify the means. what we need to be doing is doing the right thing in the ends way, not that the justify the means, but let our means justify our ends. sen. cornyn: general horowitz, i asieve your report, comprehensive as it was, and i
commend you on the great care you have undertaken. i don't necessarily agree with every word, especially the finding of no bias. but i think your findings: to question the kralev -- bring credibilityn the and cast a cloud over the russia investigation through the same group are leading the until atvestigation least such time as director mueller, the special counsel, terminated their services because of the appearance of conflict of interest. do you share their concerns? gen. horowitz: i share their concerns. it did cast a cloud over the entire clinton email investigation. sen. cornyn: and the russian investigation? gen. horowitz: we have not reached a conclusion. when this choice was made in theber, whether to work on russia investigation versus the wiener laptop matter, the choice was to make that a higher
priority, and we were not convinced that that was not a biased decision. .> sen. durbin: senato the detail your describing include some damage statements, and you make that very clear in your conclusion. they are possibly using the government's authority to achieve a political result. is that correct? >> that's correct. i thought that was a very serious error. sen. durbin: that should not be downplayed by anyone. >> that should not be downplayed by anybody. i cannot think of anything more concerning than a law enforcement officer suggesting they may use their powers to affect an election. sen. durbin: what did special counsel mueller do when he learned about these statements? on july 27 of him
last year of our first findings of these texts. we subsequently gained more. my understanding is within a week or two of that date, he had been removed from the investigation. sen. durbin: which was the right thing to do. i want to make it clear based on previous questioning here -- no one is making excuses for these things. said something that was inappropriate, unacceptable, for a person in his position. mr. mueller responded efficiently and terminated him as soon as he learned that. i hope that is on the record and clear. you spend a lot of time -- i want to echo the comments made earlier in this work reviewing all these documents and interviewing all these witnesses. i know you -- i have heard your testimony. there is no doubt that you know the inspector general's report in detail. reacted to it.
politicians, news commentators, and others. i will ask you for the record specifically your thoughts on one reaction. last friday, president trump said, and i quote, "i think the report yesterday may be more -- it totally exonerates me. there was no collusion. there was no obstruction, and if you read the report, you will see that," the president said. he went on to say, "i did nothing wrong. there was no collusion. there was no obstruction. the ig report yesterday went on long way to show that." general horowitz, does your report only exonerate president trump? gen. horowitz: i will stick to what our report does speak to, which is the handling of the clinton email investigation and to the extent it touches on the russian investigation, when the inner laptop comes up
october, and i cannot speak beyond that to what -- how this report might impact what individuals think, how it may impact the russian investigation. sen. durbin: clarify that. you cannot speak to whether your report exonerates because it does or doesn't? gen. horowitz: we did not investigate, as we laid out here. when we saw this text messages, many of which are in that july /august time period, we made it clear that this review does not touch on the russian investigation with the exception of what occurred in october with the wiener laptop. same issues in the to collusion and obstruction in the russia investigation? gen. horowitz: we don't going to any issues related to the russia investigation beyond what i mentioned. sen. durbin: last friday, president trump said the special counsel investigation led by robert mueller, "has been totally discredited."
mr. horowitz, does your report show any reason to doubt robert mueller's integrity or discredit any decisions he made? an. horowitz: i will not make judgment on special counsel robert mueller's investigation. sen. durbin: i want to stay within the four corners of your report. will you address the credibility of the investigation of robert mueller? gen. horowitz: we did not address the credibility of the special counsel investigation. we laid out what occurred and we ind out what individuals did october, where it touches the russian investigation. as thursday, mitch mcconnell said in an interview with the washington examiner he wanted the mother investigation concluded. he said "if the ig is through, why can't the mother investigation finally wrap up?" was there any connection between what you were tasked in doing and what robert mueller has been cast in doing? -- tasked in doing? gen. horowitz: other than text
messages, we do not have any connections, interactions, in that regard. sen. durbin: my colleague and others have raised a question about the new york field office and leaks in that field office, and there are quotes in the report relative to mr. comey's fieldn that the new york office would leak information, and that is one of the reasons he made certain decisions, as senator leahy said. former mayor giuliani bragged thatcly about information he received from that office. what are we to make of this? is this being investigated? is this a problem that is acknowledged and accepted? gen. horowitz: senator, i think leaks are unacceptable. i think they have a pernicious effect on our ability to conduct investigations, to protect sources and methods, to retain liaison partner
relationships. they damage the privacy of individuals under investigation. i could go on and on. i have a very strong you about it, and i am doing a number of things to make sure we crackdown on it. sen. durbin: what are we doing? gen. horowitz: i cannot comment on any specific investigation, but as i mentioned, we have a dedicated unit specifically focused on leak investigation. we have a policy that we issued in november that makes the rules to -- crystal clear so there cannot be ambiguity for any employees in any office about what their obligations are and when there are misconduct found, we will refer them for appropriate action and if we find one that is criminal, we will pursue it criminally. sen. durbin: i just have 1.5 minutes left and i would like to ask one last question, please. there was a question raised earlier about mr. comey having a separate personal phone that he was using and whether or not that was an unusual thing for a
person in his position. thee has reportedly -- president uses two white house issued iphones. according to politico, the president "resisted swapping out the phone because it is too inconvenient." supposedly, the president has given kim jong-un his direct phone number. if he was referring to his cell phone, this would raise interesting security concerns. are you aware of these reports about various phones that are being used by the president? are you concerned about whether or not sensitive information from those devices may be intercepted? i am not aware of the particular's of the president's phone usage. sen. durbin: would it be a matter of concern if anyone who has access to such information
was using a device that could be intercepted by our enemies? gen. horowitz: i think it is important for all of us to recognize that device security is a particularly important part and it isurity, something that we emphasize heavily in the intelligence community. sen. durbin: have gone to great lengths when it comes to hillary clinton to make that point. thank you very much. >> sen. lee: at senator lee -- senator lee. lee: the report did in fact find bias. anyone is suggesting there was no bias, that is just not true. there was bias found. what was not found was any smoking gun indicating that that bias translated to and was admitted to how anybody did their job. but the absence of evidence on
that point is not the same as evidence of absence, so i think we need to keep that in mind as we have this discussion. i would like to start with you on this point. let's assume for a minute that these text messages between came aboutpaige earlier in the discussion and that you just swap out the name as such thatlary the text messages said she was not ever going to become president, is she? no, no. we will stop it. what if that had been the exchange occurring earlier in the investigation? in that circumstance, in that hypothetical, could she as a practical matter, have been prosecuted, assuming the facts warranted it and that people making the charging decision concluded that there was good cause to charge her?
or would the bias displayed in that exchange make it too difficult to proceed? senator, i am reluctant to engage in discussions of hypotheticals. sen. lee: but we do. we are lawyers. gen. horowitz: i am no longer practicing as a lawyer. [laughter] gen. horowitz: now, i get to blame the lawyers. it's a wonderful experience. [laughter] gen. horowitz: so i am not going to engage in specific hypotheticals. what i would tell you is i allct all of our employees, of our employees to engage in professional conduct, including in how they communicate with each other by text message. sen. lee: i get that, and that did not happen here. let us make it more of a hypothetical. let's take a step back. could that be a complicating factor if you had text messages between agents involved in a case indicating bias against the target of that investigation? can that a couple getting factor in deciding to bring charges? gen. horowitz: anytime agents conduct themselves in a way that does not have not just
objectivity but the appearance of objectivity, that can have an impact on the viability of the case. sen. lee: thank you. mr. berlitz, let's talk -- mr. horowitz, let's talk about this. gen. horowitz: the initial batch was easy. they were with the fbi. we requested them. the latter part of this over the last six months or so was challenging. sen. lee: when you say challenging, tell me what you mean by that. gen. horowitz: when they were produced by the fbi, it turned out there was a period during which about four months to six months, where there were no text messages produced to us. it turned out there was a flaw in their collection software or a failure in their collection software. we went out and seized and obtained their two phones voluntarily from the fbi. these are fbi devices.
him to seek to extract the missing text messages. additional told provided us with a second extraction and gained more text messages. we then went to the department of defense and asked if they had additional tools. and we usedey did that and it extracted more text messages. we then went to the fbi. we asked if they did anything differently and they said they didn't. we then did a quality check. orf -- forensic examiners
discovered there was also a collection of text messages. they extracted those text the secondd found part of the august 8 text, no no, we will stop it. that was found early may because of that fourth effort to extract information from the phones. --turned out the fbi >> did they gone through the same steps you went through, that you might have found that? >> correct. does that cause you to have a lack of -- lack of confidence as to whether you have all the evidence you need? there were technological efforts we undertook.
lawyer, not a cyber expert, so i will have to be careful as to how i describe them. only arew believe that we unsure, but we have a hundred clear to ust is now that even when these text hadages were collected, we the response. it is now clear to us that even there weres lockout, a hundred percent of the text messages. thatthink we can all agree james komi should have not made his july 6 announcement in the press conference. would you have made the charging recommendation at all? that to you have left
the department of justice. >> we accept the findings and recommendations in the report. public discoabout -- disclosure you alluded to our pretty clear, as far as making recommendations privately -- wray: my view is that the fbi does not make charging decisions. it is not done. sen. lee: the report says that y, it would mr. come be counterproductive to speak with the fbi director. help me understand what that means. that lynch and gates were afraid of exercising their _- yates -- yates were
afraid of exercising their authority? comey went to relate his view on what he was going to do. with their assessment of that point was, based on their prior dealings of director komi, -- director comey, if they went to him and said, don't do it, they weren't sure whether he would comply with instruction. there would be more a chance of changing the decision if it went back the same way to him with their to his chief of staff, to him. this was reported back through that means that they objected or
recommended -- they told him that he should not do it and he testified to us he took that recommendation because he didn't -- we didn't call them directly, so that was decided to leave the decision to him and he decided to go forward. >> you replied that mr. comey used gmail for work, but only for unclassified information. how did you know that if you didn't get access to that account? mr. horowitz: based on the emails we saw, which we observed i looking at the fbi servers, can't say precisely what other purpose he may have used it for.
start with going to this, but since senator lee is finishing the set, it is good to continue the discussion. i was a classmate of mr. comey. i've worked with him over the years and i know he has done some good work. but reading this report, i continue to disagree with his position and how he handled those announcements. the more i read of your report, which is very thorough, the more i begin to focus on what you call the ad hoc decision-making based on his personal views, even if it meant rejecting long-standing department policy. describe myve to job as a prosecutor in the past, i would always say, it is like the show "law and order."
show, thehalf of the investigation, the second half of the show, the prosecutors make a decision. would you agree with that? i think so. consider whether there are sufficient facts to go forward with the case, and we look at whether there can be discretion by definition. i don't think this is something be investigative agency exercises. but in the end, they make the decision. >> yes. >> if you were fbi director at that moment in time, would you -- would youled up have called up the attorney general or the deputy attorney ask them to make a decision?
mr. horowitz: i cannot imagine a situation in which i would ailaterally assume for myself charging decision and announce it at a news conference. think you'll.: when law enforcement acts improperly and when you make a mistake, we have the inspector general and we try to get that information out, and our democracy depends on it. but i don't think -- think that theld be confused testing integrity of thousands of investigations that the fbi manages every year. and there is the integrity of 35,000 fbi agents, analysts, and other public servants. it is important we defend them.
i know in your memo you did nunesly, after the devin memo was released over the said,ions of the fbi, you to the director of the fbi, the work you do is watch will endure and you urged employees to stay laser focused even though it was not easy. can you elaborate? mr. horowitz: what really matters for the fbi is the work. when i go around office after caree, the opinions i about most, the brand, if you of there the opinions prosecutors we work within the field, the law enforcement juriess, the judges and we interact with, the victims making decisions about who they trust to get their loved ones back, and i think i have visited
the field offices of almost every senator here, and i tell you that the work they do, taking down gain members, , irupting terrorist plots can go on and on. to me, those are people who experience the fbi through the work and to get to see the professionalism and character into integrity of fbi people up close. we do thousands of investigations every year. this is one. sen. klobuchar: think you know. lawrence, i want to go on to your report. owitz, i want to go onto your report. there is ongoing investigation about this.
but i don't want to lose the forest through the trees in terms of what your report found. the president, upon the release of the report, tweeted he hoped the report was not being changed and made weaker. confirm you have followed all appropriate processes in the course of this changedf this has not and made a susceptible to political influence? >> this was not made weaker or soft in any regard. sen. klobuchar: the report states on page 263 it did not find evidence the justice department -- in the justice department's decision not to pursue prosecution was politically motivated. is that accurate? mr. horowitz: we did not find it was a result of political bias. . you foundobuchar:
this was based on the facts and the law and department practices. mr. horowitz: that is correct. sen. klobuchar: did you or your -- find a any witness witness who would point to anyone in the investigation to allow political considerations to affect their decisions on how to obtain evidence? mr. horowitz: i don't recall anyone indicating that. sen. klobuchar: did you review any documents indicating a particular investigative decision was made for political reasons? mr. horowitz: we had concerns about october. sen. klobuchar: ok. -- therealking in part was a decision to go public, is that what you were talking about? mr. horowitz: in terms of whether there were any decisions, if we had concerns
about the handling of the choice in october -- , the personetermine involved is no longer in that investigation. >> yes. sen. klobuchar: did you determine any political investigation was the result of political bias? to july 5,z: prior the specific investigative did nots like that, we find evidence, testimony, or evidence that there were improper considerations, including political bias. did you findr: that the attorney general and deputy attorney general had a limited role in the investigation, and relied on career staff rather than political appointees?
we did find that in the day-to-day operations. sen. klobuchar: did you find the department was consistent with its approach in other circumstances in terms of investigating? mr. horowitz: that is what they base their decisions on. sen. klobuchar: thank you. aham: would you say this investigation was done by the book? mr. horowitz: hard to say what i the book -- >> who owns this? reasonsham: there are to raise questions. there arerowitz: reasons to raise questions.
this is not normal. that is what you tried to find. did you agree with everyone that obama and trump was the presumptive nominee of the republican party? mr. horowitz: yes. the texts reflect that. sen. graham: i will read this. on august 8, after he got the nomination, she says, trump is not ever going to become president, right? there was the response -- no, no. he is not. we. it. that is pretty unnerving. did he lead the leaders in the clinton emails? mr. horowitz: he was. sen. graham: he says on august 8 we have to stop trump. was that idle talk? one week later -- "i want to believe the path you threw out
that there is no way he gets elected. i am afraid we can't take that risk. in the unlikely event you die before you are 40." who is andy? mr. horowitz: indie mccabe, the deputy director. you have the lead investigator in the clinton taking outtigation, an insurance policy, making donald trump does not become president? horowitz: i cannot speak to whether he was there or not. -- wray: did you ask him sen. graham: did you ask and go -- did you ask him? mr. horowitz: he said he did not
recall. the deputy: you said director of the fbi is not the andy. says he does he not recall whether he was there or not and neither are those individuals are putting him in the middle of the conversation. sen. graham: he wasn't there. someone is lying. we will figure that out, later. let's look at the actual interview itself. were involved in the clinton interview on july the second? six or eight people present. two agents conducting the interview. senator graham: this was the
mail sent in 2016. -- an email send in 2016. a conversation between our two prosecutors, she might be our next president. how did you feel? mr. horowitz: we were concerned. sen. graham: one of the fbi agents said in an interview on you should know her.i am with her was hillary clinton, right? mr. horowitz: right. sen. graham: how do you feel about that? mr. horowitz: concerned. her. sen. graham: concerned gets to be enough already. don't text and email. have you ever proved a case by circumstantial evidence? mr. horowitz: yes. sen. graham: i am going to write
you a letter and talk about why you should reconsider your findings. here's what was said on march the fourth, 2016. trump is the most un-human. she is entitled to her opinion. mr. horowitz: we laid out why we were concerned. sen. graham: as early as march, these people hated trump and at the endigation -- of the day, what carbon did just blew me away. i cannot believe this happened i cannot believe this happened to my fbi. i told you the story, director wray, that wanting to be a part
of the organization and you were smart enough not to take me. this really does hit you hard. we can't just write it off. biasnk there was a lot of that affected an investigation that to me is a most impossible to explain using any standards i go up with as a prosecutor, or even as a defense attorney. r s is from october 20, trump is an f-ing idiot. i am glad you found what you found. i am not buying the fact that this investigation is on the up and up. the lead investigator did not want to see donald trump become president of the united states. do you agree with me that criminally liable
would be inconsistent with stopping donald trump? if they found hillary clinton was criminally liable, that would pave the way for donald trump. mr. horowitz: it would depend when, but you could, it could conceivably -- >> that is exactly what is happening. you cannot hold her criminally liable and stop him. as to the law, why did they change gross negligence in the original statement, director wray, to reckless disregard? wray: i would prefer that to the inspector general. that to the inspector general. sen. graham: gross negligence is liableis a family standard.
-- a criminally liable standard. what is the difference between reckless disregard and gross negligence? >> not much. sen. graham: thank you. >> senator coons would be next. we will go with senator blumenthal. sen. blumenthal: we should all be grateful for the men and women who work for you. wall what wasn my given to me from the department of justice when i was the united states attorney.
i want to thank you for your response, to make the fbi even repetitionavoid any of a small number of attorneys casting a cloud on the integrity of the fbi. thank you for your response so far. if i were president trump, and i told up this document to you, and i said, give it here, right , this shows no collusion, no obstruction of justice, what would you say? report touches on the russian investigation in connection with the weiner matter. that is what was concerning.
sen. blumenthal: i want to thank you for the work on this report. i respect you avoiding my question. norms,you're playing by but you are dealing with the president of the united states, that has no respect for those norms and rules, and he is distorting this report and weaponize and it to discredit the special counsel, and to really undermine the rule of law in the united states. respectfully suggest that all of us have a responsibility to speak the regarding the, most powerful men on earth when he lies about it. the rule ofhreatens
law. director, the, of this from the new york office to rudolph giuliani was the subject of a letter i wrote to you on may 8. basically, it asks you what is being done to assure there are no continuing unauthorized .isclosures to rudolph giuliani it's now the elephant in the room is the president's lawyer. can you assure the american people there are no ongoing leaks from the fbi to rudolph giuliani? i am not aware of
any. we are investigating a number of weeks even as we speak -- leaks even as we speak. policy makes the rules unmistakably clear to everyone. is welllinary arm regarded as being one of the toughest but fairest out there and we intend to use all these things to make sure everyone in every office follows the rules abroad. sen. blumenthal: i would appreciate the response to the letter that provides more specific assurance that there are no ongoing leaks. effect, andractical rudolph giuliani said, on october 26, 2016, that he expected a surprise in the next later,s, and two days
carving issued his letter and did so in a large part because he felt it would leak, those emails would leak if he didn't write the letter. about whether he knew about the letter, the reply did. yo you are darn right, i the practical effect of comey's decision whether to do that or not was tangible. we know mr. giuliani was not the of leaks designed to hurt hillary clinton. admitted fbiasily agents informed him in 2016 when emails were found on weiner's
laptop. the timing and contact of this thelosure strongly suggests goal was to give trump politically -- politically sensitive and highly secret information for political purposes. toresentatives appear recognize this fact because he on theold any democrats intelligence committee about it. can you assure us there are no leaks or unauthorized disclosures to devin nunes? i am not aware of any ongoing leaks to any member of congress or the media. i would takee, appropriate action. i don't want to cast
dispersions on the new york field office, which i think is one of our best. anywhere,ndone leaks to anyone, and i don't care what the motivation is. leaks are wrong and we need to be tough on them. sen. blumenthal: i want to join you in the respect that i share for the new york field office. the comments that we have had our unacceptable -- are unac ceptable -- comments from strzok not the only unacceptable ones. there were disparaging comments about hillary clinton. there were slurs by fbi agents , thatt her, one saying
urged colleagues in the fbi to continue investigating clinton to "get that" -- i will not articulate the word, but there were slurs against her. that recounts with the general counsel said he had heard. sen. blumenthal: it is not a direct quote, but something that was hard. >> that was something the fbi general counsel relayed to us. >> thank you, mr. chairman. on,a discussion has gone back -- back and forth, as to whether bias has been found and you have indicated foundeport has not testimony or evidence showing bias in the charging decisions?
mr. horowitz: that is correct. they were made by prosecutors, individuals who were the agents, whose text we were concerned about. addition, as to the specific investigative decisions we looked at, we did not look at all the decisions in the report. when we got to october, we had concerns that there may be bias impacting the decisions regarding the russian investigation. mr. crapo: you are -- are not talking about whether there was bias in the recommendation not to prosecute, and you were not whether you didn't find bias. this is what we are having a discussion about.
>> it is clear that president trump had a biased state of mind. only strzok, but a number of these messages were intended to be private, but did not have anything to do with the way they did their jobs. us, ist you are telling any different evidence. >> correct. sen. crapo: that is different than saying there is no bias. secondly, you said, with regard , youe charging decisions had, canever bias was
you say the director of fbi gave a charging recommendation? mr. horowitz: i would use the same language you did. we did not see evidence of that, the testimony we received. i believed there was plenty of evidence, though it may be circumstantial, that the recommendation made by the director of fbi -- of the fbi was influenced by bias. would you agree? mr. horowitz: speaking of political bias, we did not see from the fbijuly director, in terms of why he made his decision to make the public statement he did. sen. crapo: you are telling us
you found bias. those you found bias among said we didn't -- it didn't bleed into our work performance in you have not found evidence to disprove that. -- and you have not found evidence to disprove that. mr. horowitz: [indiscernible] sen. crapo: let me go back to you. appendix g and h to see graphically what is you are talking about. although i accept what you say, director, this is not a
reflection in thon the entire f.b.i., this is a big deal in terms of numbers and the issues at stake. director, you have adopted a new ruling in november? what is that? the mostwray: important of which is to make clear that only a select number of people within the organization are allowed to talk to the media without permission. mediay contacts from the to anyone else have to get reported. that way, someone does not say, they contacted me and i didn't know. i want to make sure everyone understands the rules are so if we find violations, it makes them much more efficient. sen. crapo: and there will be penalties, which could be
criminal charges. director wray: could well be. sen. crapo: you indicated you leak unit.d -- a director wray: tha tleak -- that sometimes they are criminal and sometimes they are not. which theyways in can most relate to criminal laws is the contact of classified information. i would recommend to you you may want to have a leak investigation unit for nonclassified leaks, because there are serious problems when those happen. with the time i have left, i would like to change topics once more and go back to the meeting
between hillary and bill clinton. and the meeting with lynch on the tarmac in phoenix. you -- how do you know the meeting was unplanned? mr. horowitz: based on the records of the reviewed, at least from the attorney general side, we did not see any evidence as you would expect to see through the attorney general's security that that was about to occur. i will rely what we were told by witnesses. the witnesses you identified who had bias, they said they did not express it. you said you have not got the
evidence as to whether it was planned or not. mr. horowitz: from the attorney general side of it, based on the actions of staff, how it played out, it appeared to us there was no reason to think they would plan for a meeting. sen. crapo: some of this was quite coincidental, that the attorney general and the former president would both end up in the same place on the tarmac in phoenix. my time has run. >> there is a discussion in here. i would encourage folks to look at that. partic tuesday on the c-span network, permanent residents.
at noon, because returns for general speeches, they take up opioid bills at 2 p.m. federal works the on a federal spending package, funding for energy and water projects, the legislative branch, military construction, and affairs. the housearing with oversight and judiciary committees to hear testimony from the justice department inspector general on the clinton email probe and fbi actions leading up to the 2016 election. at 2:30 p.m., the senate commerce committee holds a meeting on data privacy risks, posting on cambridge analytica and other facebook partners. hour, supremen court correspondent lauren turley on the supreme court action yesterday on key partisan gerrymandering cases. watch's chriscial farrell on the department of justice inspector general report