tv Inspector General Report on Clinton Email Probe CSPAN June 20, 2018 3:58am-6:59am EDT
>> later this week on the house toor, members may take up border security and immigration bills. also possible, a vote on the 2018 farm bill which failed to pass last month on a margin of 15 vot4es. c-span loss is in alaska this week for the next stop on our 50 capitals tour in juneau. bill walker will be our guest on board the bus starting at 9:50 eastern. >> yesterday morning, the justice department's inspector general briefed lawmakers on a report his office released this week examining how the fbi and justice department handled the hillary clinton email program in
2016. next, we will show you about three hours of the joint committee hearing that lasted more than six hours. good morning. the committee on judiciary will come to order without objection the presiding members authorize to declare a recess at any time. i'm pleased to see interest in today's hearing. as a reminder, the rules prohibits any disruption or manifestation of approval or disapproval of the proceedings such as shouting. disrupting the proceedings is a violation of d.c. on will not be tolerated. this will be your only warning. welcome inspector general horwitz. >> mr. chairman, before we hear from the inspector general i feel compelled to say something about a topic that is a more immediate priority. we've seen the pictures of immigrant children ripped apart
at the border. these are not orders or bargaining chips, they are not there to help president trump built his wall. every day they are separated is a dave we do irreparable harm to the health and well-being. the united states should be better than this. we should not put children in cages. the minute this hearing adjourned sooner if we can we need to work together. >> the gentleman from new york has been given more time that would've been afforded. henry pulled something like that. with that, we will welcome you mr. horwitz for what i think is a hearing on your inspector general report and decisions made and not made in 2016. >> we will be in recess until the capital please restore order.
and ranking members were given opening statement then you will be introducing recognize. >> what were doing today does not happen everywhere. were taking institutions with long histories and institutions we need and we rely upon and are applying scrutiny, review and inspection. were testing, probing and even criticizing or doing it because we need these institutions to be above report. we need them to be inspected and we need them to be above biased. we need them to be fair, just, even handed an immune from the vagaries of politics. that's what we expect and demand from the department of justice and the fbi. the power we give prosecutors of law-enforcement is an awesome power. the power to prosecute, power to indict is the power to deprive people of their liberty.
it is the power in some instances to try to take the very life of a citizen. we give police tremendous powers and it's a corresponding expectation of fairness. this inspector general's report should culture anger, disappointment and sadness and everyone who reads it. this report lays bare the biased of prejudging a fax by senior fbi agents and senior attorneys. in attempts to minimize and litigate this bias are so antithetical to what we want and deserve in our law-enforcement officers. it is dangerous to the broader community. mc media efforts and efforts from some of my democratic colleagues to shift the burden of bias onto those impacted by the bias. that somehow the responsibility of those affected by bites to
show how it negatively impacted them. what it dangerous shifting. it is not the public's job to prove. the bias shall by the fbi did not influence the decision-making. it is the fbi's job to show that the bias -- and bias and fairness cannot coexist. no lawyer seated appeared today would ever allow a biased or to sit on his or her jury. no citizen would ever allow a biased police officer judged to work on any matter of significance. there's a prejob presumption that biases bad. and that we should accept in nearly every single facet of life. as we read the report were reminding of jim comey's decision to appropriate the product charging decision away
from -- ironically, this inspector general has been accused of softening or watering down his report when the reality is, it was jim comey who softened and watered down his press release announcing no charges against secretary clinton. we see jim comey and jim camilo deciding which doj policies to ignore. we see jim comey alone to decide if there's sufficient evidence to support each and every element. we see jim comey and him alone deciding whether to send a letter to congress. there is justification for this he did not have confidence in will rental lunch. whether it was her asking to refer to this case as a matter rather than investigation meeting with bill clinton hillary was under investigation
with a matter he was alluded to but cannot discuss publicly. clearly he lost confidence in the doj to handle case where there public trust. that leaves us one thing we saw him not to. that was to take any steps for counseling hillary clinton investigation. he memorialized conversations and admitted he did so to spread special counsel because he didn't trust the career prosecutors. when he lost confidence in the obama department he didn't make special moments to share them with law professor friends. he didn't lift a finger to get special prosecutor. he appointed himself fbi director, special counsel, lead investigator in the general orbiter of what is good and right in the world according to
him. one of the last times i spoke with him was in a committee hearing. we had an exchange on what i thought was the fbi making decisions based on politics. he and his sanctimonious way say that he disagreed is said the men and women of the fbi don't give a hoot about politics. unfortunately, he was dead wrong. there were agents and attorneys who gave a lot more than a hoot about politics. mccabe, the former deputy director, an agency which investigates and charges others for making false statements himself accused of making false statements. i think i recall some of my democrat colleagues falling over themselves when he was let go for making false statements. for lack of candor the same
colleagues were not hiring. they didn't have openings when others in a related investigation called russia were charged with the same offense. there fbi agents and attorneys who decided to prejudge the case before it ended. they prejudge the outcome of the hillary clinton investigation before it ended. the same agents and attorneys prejudge the outcome of the rush investigation before it began. there prejudging this before it ends this is not evidence of outcome determined of bias. i don't know what would be. that is textbook bias is the definition of bias. allowing something other than the facts to determine your
decision. these agents were calling her president before she was interview. there were calling for the end of the trump campaign before the investigation began. they were calling for impeachment because he happened to be elected. that is bias. with all due respect, it's the fbi's job not my to prove that it bias can never be harmless. i think it is always harmful. we will spend the day on a small but significant leadership group of officials, those who had supervisory roles in the clinton and rush investigation and who failed to meet the basic expectations of fundamental fairness. there are tens of thousands of fbi agents and employees who meet our expectations. we will not be calling their names today because we don't do investigations on those who do
their jobs with character and professionalism. to those agents who do the right thing, for the right way and for the right reasons, we will get through it. it will be tough and difficult but we will emerge with a stronger fbi and department of justice because we have to. we can have a justice to system that bases their decisions on anything but facts. to those at home be unrelenting of your expectations of our justice system. never lower the expectations. respect for the rule of laws the thread that holds the tapestry of this country together. it depends on you having confidence on un power to force the law. don't ever accept the notion that those victims were negatively impacted have any burden of proving harm. bias is intrinsically harmful.
it is the making up of your mind based on anything other than the facts. we use a blindfolded woman holding a set of scales to symbolize what we want in the justice system. there's nothing more antithetical than lowering the blindfold and making up your mind then who is standing in front of you. that is not who we are or who we should become. there is a saying in the courtroom that justice be done until the heavens fall. you will not hear that saying in politics. you are more likely to hear let's win at all costs, the heavens be damned. we can survive with politicians we do not trust. we cannot survive with the justice system we do not trust. i recognize the gentleman from maryland. >> thank you mr. chairman when we look back to the presidential campaign in 2016, there is one
extremely troubling image we remember well, that is the image of donald trump and other republicans chanting, locker. locker. lock her up. if were talking about hillary clinton using personal e-mails and they demanded over and over that she be jailed. but the justice department had already investigated. they had interviewed witnesses, review documents, analyze the long, examined past decisions. at the conclusion of the investigation the department disagreed with the republicans. they did not charge with hillary clinton with any crime at all.
the entire doj and fbi team agreed with that conclusion. of course, the republicans refuse to accept that conclusion. they wanted hillary clinton to be guilty. so, they attacked the investigation. they said there must have been collusion with hillary clinton. they called emergency hearings, over and over again. they insisted on reviewing documents and re- interviewing witnesses. they demanded the inspector general conduct his own independent investigation of the fbi. last week, the inspector general issued his report. it finds the same thing. it says, we found no evidence
that the conclusions by the department of the prosecutors were affected by bias or other improper considerations. the report goes on. rather we determined they were based on the prosecutors assessment of the facts, the law, and pass department practice. so, the republicans were wrong again. either all hollering about locker up, was bogus. it was faceless. it was unsubstantiated. now, we have a report saying so. again, and again, the republicans refuse to accept this conclusion. they still want hillary clinton to be guilty.
even today. now, they're going after the investigation of the investigation. they're going after the inspector general's report issued last week. they want to re- review documents of the inspector general already reviewed. and reinterview witnesses the inspector general already interview. some republicans want to investigate whether anyone tampered with the report are watered it down. they simply refuse to accept the inspector general's findings. republicans point to individual expressions of bias, these are fat the inspector general already revealed. instead, republicans are
trickling down, threatening to impeach rod rosenstein and christopher ray for somehow obstructing their efforts to get to the bottom of this. they had a meeting on friday, friday night was speaker paul ryan. no democrats were invited, of course. but this weekend chairman county described some of it during the press appearance. apparently after reading the conclusions, house republicans decided," the house of representatives is going to use its full arsenal constitutional weapons to gain compliance with their never-ending demands regarding hillary clinton.
at this point it's crystal clear the only answer republicans will accept is that hillary clinton must be guilty. they will keep going on until they get that answer. even if the facts will never support it. even if multiple independent reviews come to the opposite conclusion. republicans in congress are only willing to use their full arsenal of constitutional to attack hillary clinton or protect donald trump. neither the oversight committee nor the judiciary committee has issued a single subpoena to investigate president donald trump or any other topic related to the administration.
that's including the key moral and ethical issue of the day, which is the president's new policy to separate children from their families. i asked the question, it is a simple question, are we going to sit here, 70 members of the congress of the united states of america 2018 and have a hearing that just repeats the hearings of the senate of yesterday? we sent letter after letter asking these committees to investigate the trump administration policy which is the resulting in child internment camps.
we have gotten no response. even if you believe people in it are in our country illegally, even if you believe they have no valid asylum claims in their own country, even if you believe immigration should be halted entirely, we all should be able to agree that in the united states of america, we will not intentionally separate children from their parents. we will not do that, we are better than that. we are so much better. we should be able to agree that we will not keep kids in child internment camps indefinitely and hidden away from public view. what countries that? this is the united states of america. we now have reports that parents
are being deported at the trump administration is keeping the children here. 2018. in america. we do not need legislation, this is a policy, this was a policy invented, implemented and executed by president donald trump. and so, in conclusion mr. chairman we need you. those children need to. i talking directly to my republican colleagues, we need you to stand up to president trump. we need you to join us and telling him that we reject this mean policy.
we need you to tell him to abandon this policy. we need you to remind him that this is the united states of america, it is a great country and we need you to stand up for those children. with that mr. chairman, i yield back. >> gentleman from virginia is recognized. >> we are here to shed light on decisions that have tarnished the reputation of our law enforcement and undermined the justice system. today, we examined the irregularities in the fbi and doj's handling of two of the most sensitive investigations of the history of our country. it began with the mishandling of classified e-mails. the ig report has found more
questions and theories about the handling of the clinton investigation. it confirms that mrs. clinton receive special treatment from the obama department and the fbi during the investigation. the american people get tired of fighting in washington, d.c. so i ask, why should americans care about what were talking about? i propose this answer, because our constitution guarantees equality under the law. americans expect that those with power and influence will not receive special treatment. as the ig report shows they did not treat mrs. clinton like any other criminal suspect and did not follow procedures and exonerated her. they found many issues with this investigation and serious institutional issues. while only telling half the
story we are waiting conclusions with respect to surveillance abuse inside the fbi. the ig identified various actions including recommending five employees for further review. in a nutshell, the report details unusual actions taken by officials were sworn to uphold the constitution. they failed. why should americans care? the department of justice and the fbi are not mentioned in the u.s. constitution. who is mentioned? the president and congress. yet, handful of individuals in these institutions placed the constitution institution of the presidency under attack during a heated election and mocked congresses legitimate constitutionally mandated
oversight. equality under the laws a core value. our laws are to be administers and enforce with partiality. the report confirms this was not the case in the clinton case. we look at certain individuals assigned, we found that the conduct of these five fbi employees brought discredit themselves and no doubt about the handling of the midyear investigation and impacted. the damage caused by their actions extend far beyond the scope of the midyear investigation and goes to the heart of the fbi's reputation for fact-finding independence. am only repeating what the ig found. improprieties cause such far-reaching damage going to the heart of what is expected from agencies whose responsibility
was to remain fair administrators of justice. this hearing in the report underscores the importance of the ongoing joint investigation by the house committee on the house oversight committee into decisions made by the doj in 2016. today the committees have interviewed several key witnesses and interviewed tens of thousands of documents. we appreciate the staff are very detailed investigation it's critical for the public to hear what was not included in the report due to the refusal to question whether a particular decision was the most effective choice. here is what has been observed. questionable interpretation by doj and the a of the law surrounding mishandling of classified information. foreign actors who has access to
the e-mail lease when classified as secret. comey had pre-determined the exoneration of mrs. clinton at least two months before concluded. the departmt of justice was reading an intense standard into the law that does not exist. grotesque statements against the candidate donald trump were made by top fbi officials and they went to say we will stop trump from becoming president. indiscretions were not handled appropriately. at the time the fbi management learned of them resulting in the continued assignment as key players on the clinton investigation and mueller rush investigation. mccabe appears not to have been forthright during an interview conducted by the committees concerning knowledge of meetings
and actions taken by mr. mccabe and his team. the top official was unaware of possible evidence indicating mrs. clinton's private e-mail server had been penetrated and unaware of the legal process obtain. documents show significant criticism of mr. comey expressed by multiple current and former fbi agents. the fbi intentionally obscure the fact that president obama communicated with mrs. clinton's private e-mail address by looking at the press statement and replacing the president with the euphemism senior government official. top officials whose wives had close ties to democrats should had seemingly been recused from the clinton investigation. public confidence in the
impartiality of our law-enforcement system is critical to ensure all are treated equally under the law. fallout gives the impression those with money and influence are given lighter treatment than the common person. short-term damage to the doj's reputation as a parent. however, the ig investigation will help to understand why certain deficiencies occur during one of the most high profile investigations. this is a crucial step to repairing the reputation as an impartial factfinder and seeker of truth. i look forward to the testimony today. >> thank you mr. chairman thank you for being here today. since he released a report i
have been struck by the disconnect between the republican party line in your actual findings. the report does not find that the fbi cited against the selection. the report does not exonerate the president on the russian matter. it does not give reason to conclude that in -- and mueller should be suspended or that the attorney general should violate the recusal. nor does it suggest as chairman gaudi insist that hillary clinton receive special treatment from the fbi. the key findings are simple. the inspector general found no evidence that conclusion were affected by buyers or other
improper considerations. rather we determine there based on facts, the law past practice. that sums up what we are talking about. the report criticizes the fbi's former leadership of virtually every action criticized ultimately harm the candidacy of secretary clinton unendorsed the candidacy of donald trump. the report has nothing to say about the ongoing work of the special counsel. president trump, rudy giuliani and others are desperate to make that leap. who wouldn't be with 23 indictments in the president's campaign manager in jail. the argument is based on innuendo not facts certainly [inaudible] this report. i'm not shy about my criticism
of jim comey. when he testified before the judiciary committee last year i told him he was wrong to have applied the double standard to the presidential campaign. speaking publicly at length about the clinton investigation are refusing to acknowledge the investigation into the trump campaign. i also told them he was wrong to criticize secretary clinton after announcing he would not charge her with a crime. not because of the content but issuing that statement was not his job the report finds. it's also wrong because the agency to criticize the subject of investigation for uncharged conduct. it was unnecessary and wrong. the reports analysis reads in part quote in our criminal justice system the functions are
intentionally kept separate as a check on the government's power to bring criminal charges. comey assumed an authority that's not blind to the office of the fbi. i'm grateful for this analysis. unfortunately your key finding that the decision not to charge secretary clinton was based on the assessment of the facts along is not had improper consideration it's now subject to the treatment that president trump and some of my republican colleagues will give it. there is total bias on the lawn last week. what are we to make of this disconnect between what the report says what the allies say says. why is it that no matter how may tend to litigate, house
republicans can think of nothing better to do than to investigate hillary clinton for the same conduct. whereafter they find no wrongdoing in benghazi the majority spent millions of dollars on the committee. when they found no wrongdoing why did the majority move on to conspiracy theories? why is it after the department of justice or the fbi concluded that should not charge secretary clinton with the current color rather than just accepting them the oversight majorities lunch investigation into the department of justice and the fbi why is it that after you release this report some of my colleagues seriously suggest that we open an investigation into your investigation of the investigation. why is it now in june of 2018 were still talking about her e-mails at all?
i suspect it has something to do with the way republicans have squandered their ability to govern. house republicans has done little to nothing to protect or to push back on unprecedented refusal or to address immigration crisis with anything other than a cruel and reactionary proposal that will never become law and persecuting children at the border. they don't make credible arguments about hillary clinton's e-mail. the majority were motivated by the sensitivity of the information they would've said something about the sensitivities really operation revealed to russian about president trump or about how he handles classified documents that mar-a-lago or about how things were exposed or about the
total and appropriate if not outright unlawful dangling apartments by the president and his attorney to those accused of participating in a conspiracy against the united states. too many of my colleagues seem stuck in a campaign rally shouting locker up hoping the public won't notice how little they've accomplished. i look forward to your testimony. i hope our conversation can be the beginning of the period we have so many more important things to do. i go back. >> i yield back. >> we will welcome mr. horwitz.
all witnesses will be sworn in before they testify. please stand up and raise your right hand. do you swear or affirm the testimony about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth, so help you god? the witness answered in the affirmative. you are recognize for your opening statement. >> thank you chairman gaudi and ricky members and members of the committee. thank you for inviting me to testify today. regarding the report we released last week. our 500 page plus report provides a thorough comprehensive and objective relation of the facts related to the fbi handling of the clinton e-mail investigation. it was the product of 17 months of investigative work of a team that reviewed documents and interviewed more than 100 witnesses, many of multiple
locations. the team followed the evidence wherever it led. through their efforts we identified the inappropriate messages in the report. the oig is looking at forensic examinations recovered thousands of text messages that would've been lost on disclose. as detailed in the report the inappropriate messages we uncovered cast a cloud over the investigation. doubt about the fbi's handling of it impacted the fbi. we found that senior employees would be willing to take official action to impact electoral prospects to be deeply troubling to the core values of the fbi and the justice department. with regard to the decision to close the investigation we found
no evidence that the conclusions by the prosecutors were the result of improper considerations including political bias, rather they are exercises of those prosecutorial discretion based on their assessment of the facts, the law past apartment practice. our review included a fact-based detail decisions that were the subject of controversy. it is necessary to select decisions because it would have been possible to re-create and analyze all the decisions made in a year-long investigation. examination we considered whether particular decision was an effective choice or whether the evidence indicated it was
based on improper consideration including political bias. this is consistent with handling surpassed reviews and recognizes and respects initial oversight role of the oig. the report provides a comprehensive decision details factual evidence to the public, congress and other stakeholders can conduct their own assessment of them. within the framework we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper consideration including political bias directly affected those specific decisions. in part because the decisions were made by the larger midyear team or the prosecutors. this determination does not mean
that we endorse those decisions will conclude they were the most effective that the findings should or could be extrapolated to cover other decisions and during the course of the investigation by the fbi employees who sent the inappropriate text messages. conversely, we found that explanations for the failures to take immediate action after discovering the weiner laptop in 2016 to be unpersuasive. we did not have confidence that the deputy assistant director struck to prioritize was free from bias in light of text messages. we found that fbi director comey
clearly departed from norms and the decisions negatively impacted by the department is for administrators of justice. director comey concealed from the attorney general's intention to make a unilateral announcement in july 2016 about the reasons for his recommendation not to prosecute secretary clinton. included inappropriate commentary about on church conduct announces use of what it would do. in late october, he acted without adequately consulting department leadership and contrary to department norms
there many lessons to be learned from the departments of the fbi's handling of the clinton e-mail investigation. among the most important is the need to respect institutions hierarchy and structure even in the highest profile and most challenging investigation. no rule policy or practice is perfect. neither is any individual's ability to make judgments under pressure or in what may seem unique circumstances. when leaders adhere to values the public has greater confidence in the fairness of rightness of their decisions and those leaders better protect the interests of federal law enforcement the dedicated professionals who service.
by contrast, the public's trust is negatively impacted when officials make statements reflecting bias. leaders -- with norms on the leadership of the department of justice and the fbi are unable to speak directly with one another for the good of the institution. a report and recommendations which can be tied together for common theme. they remain true to their foundation principles and values and all their work. that concludes my prepared statement. >> there is a text exchange between struck and -- august 8, 2016. lisa page wrote that trump is not ever going to become
president, right? and then an! in case anyone may have missed the point purposes. peter struck responded no, no he is not, we will stop it. do i have that right? >> you do. >> lisa was an fbi lawyer that worked on the clinton investigation, did she also work on the russian investigation and the mueller team. >> she did for all three. >> so we are three for three of her working on the most important investigations in 2016 and to be on. is this a sanely said page that andy mccabe used a leak information to a news outlet. >> she was in a special counsel. she was the individual to whom he provided the information. >> wasn't there a text about an insurance policy in case trump
one in a meeting in andy's office? she was part of that too wasn't she? >> crack, that was august 15. >> so this august 8 text is not the only time she was able to use the text feature on her phone. the same lisa page who admonished the agent of hillary clinton not to go in because clint might be the next president. it's the same lisa page that says he was looking son, the man cannot become president and that trump should go -- himself. most of the comments were before the clinton investigation was over. were some how supposed to believe that she did not prejudge the outcome and sharon had hillary clinton winning. know how you will win the
records to be indicted or convicted of a felony. i think we understand the first half of it. now for the response, senior fbi agent peter struck wrote, no he's not, we will stop and the same peter struck that worked in the e-mail investigation. he not only worked on the investigation when it began but he was a lead investigator at the inception of the russian pro- >> is at the same peter struck who is put on the mueller special counsel team? this is not the only time he is the text feature on his phone either. he said trump is an idiot, he
should win 100,000,020. that's interesting because he supposed to be inviting her on the espionage act. he is supposed to be investigating her for violations of the espionage act i cannot think of a single american that would not vote for her for president. can you see her skepticism. this fbi agent not only had her running, he had her winning 100 million to nothing. what if they had found evidence sufficient to indict her? what if they had indicted her? he was a part of the interview secretary clinton was he? >> he was present in.
>> so for months before that interview when he was president he's got her running in winning 100,000,020. zero transit disaster he wrote after trump, trump is an idiot on the prospects of him winning he wrote this is a terrifying in addition to liking the word think we had the same fbi agent of lisa page peter struck working on a clinton e-mail investigation. the russia probe and on mueller's team. we have the right texan people, july 5 they say no charges for secretary clinton. july 28 the fbi initiates an
intelligence investigation into russia in the trump campaign. enough ones that team, he's leaving it. that's three weeks after clinton is exonerated by combing, struck is leading an investigation into russia possible connections of the trump campaign. that's on the 28th of july, on the 31st, three days after the russian investigation began he said this feels momentous. the other wanted to but this was to ensure we didn't mess it up. if you happen to not know how important it is, he put matters in all capital letters in case you didn't focus on why this matters. her investigation was just to make sure they did not mess
things up. were three days into an investigation but this one really matters. i wonder what he meant by saying the purpose of the investigation reviewed and wrestling sought. but the russian investigation was different. that would matter. it almost sounds like they were going through the motions with the clinton investigation. they were excited about the russian one. on august 6, less than ten days page says you are meant to protect the country from that menace then we get to august a, less than two weeks after the russian investigation began the leads agent says he will stop trump from becoming president is
already prejudge the outcome. were somehow supposed to believe that bias was not outcome determined. i can't think of anything more outcome determined of if this investigation with only two weeks i have already concluded he should not be the president of the united states. then august 15 they said i want to believe the path you throughout. it's like an insurance policy that is two weeks and he is talking about taking on insurance policy because he can't fathom the target of his investigation possibly becoming the president.
so, let's go back to he's not going to be president, we will stop it, what you think the it is in that phrase? >> i think it's clear that we are going to stop him from becoming president. >> that's what i thought too. i wonder who the wii is in we will stop it? who do you think that we as? >> i think that is subject to multiple interpretations. they saved them or the broader beyond. >> it's hard to fathom a definition of the word we that doesn't include him. so he's part of it. you could assume the person he is talking with an fbi attorney who might be working on the russia investigation might be part of the week. did you find any other fbi agents or attorneys who manifest any biased against president
trump? >> we did. >> how many? we found three additional agents in the report. >> were any working on the russia investigation? >> two agents in one attorney. >> were they working on either the investigation or mueller probe? >> i think two of the three were. i would have to double check. >> bob mueller was named special counsel on may 2017, 2017. one day later. peter struck his back on his phone texting. for me in this case, i personally have a sense of unfinished business. i unleashed it with the clinton e-mail investigation, now i need to fix it and finish it. fix what? >> well, there is outlined in
the report what mr. structs explanation. >> i know what he says, i'm asking the guy who had a distinguished career in the southern district of new york and a distinguished career at the department of justice. did you cross-examine him on that or would you rather direct the examination. >> probably cross-examine. >> that's what i thought. i'm not finished yet. when he said, i unleashed it, now we need to fix it and finish it come out what you think you meant by finish it? >> in the context of the e-mails on the prior august that you outlined, i think a reasonable explanation or reasonable inference is that he believed he would use or potentially use his official authority to take action. >> this is 24 hours of him being put on the mueller probe.
there is no way he possibly could've prejudge the outcome of the investigation. maybe he did. maybe that's the outcome determined bias that my democrat friends have such a hard time finding. if one of your investigators talked about lisa page and peter struck the way they talk about donald trump, would you have left them on the ig investigation? >> no. >> did you ever have an agent with this level of bias? >> as i have laid out i thought this was antithetical to the core values of the department. and extremely serious. >> my view of this was this was extremely serious, completely antithetical to the core values and my personal view of having been a prosecutor, i cannot
imagine fbi agent suggesting that they might use their powers to investigate, any candidate for any office. >> i can't either. in conclusion, you laid out in your opening that peter struck's obsession with donald trump in the russian investigation may have led him to take his eyes off of the weiner laptop. in a notably ironic way he calls jim coming to be later in sending the letters to congress. that's one example of outcome determined bias. you used to be in a courtroom, you were on the department of justice, if someone is prejudging the outcome of an investigation before it ends someone is prejudging the outcome of an investigation before it even begins, what is
more textbook bias than prejudging this investigation before it's over on this one before it begins. i'm struggling to find a better example than that. one of my missing? >> with regard to the russian investigation we are looking at that an ongoing way with regard to the clinton e-mail investigation as we lay out here we looked at text messages, e-mails, documents to try to assess whether the decisions were asked to look at and the ultimate decision were impacted by struck page and the other swedes. what we found to the prosecutor's decision was that was a decision they made
exercising their discretion on the policy, the law and facts that were found. we laid there that out. the folks who want to take a look at those issues can assess them themselves i hope my colleagues will explore that. the explanation i heard was that there is not sufficient evidence of intent on her behalf. i don't know where the hell you ago to find better evidence of intent then interviewing the person who is doing the intending. when you make up your mind you're not going to charge
someone and that you may not to go unloaded and then you read the 302 others not a single question on intent, it's hard for those of us who use to do this as a living to not conclude that they've made up their mind on intent before they looked at the single repository of evidence. >> mr. chairman, man make an inquiry? in order to prepare questions, could i have your guidance on how much time each members to be allowed? >> five minutes. mr. cummings can have the amount of time he thinks is necessary, the other can have five minutes. >> thank you very much mr. chairman. first i want to thank you for your work and all of the ig's. both sides of the aisle have been impressed with their
efforts, to staff, i thank you. i want you to focus on whether secretary clinton received a some of my colleagues put it, special treatment from the fbi and the doj? >> on the decision not to prosecute secretary clayton yuri court found that you found no evidence by the conclusion of the prosecutors were affected by biased or other improper considerations. rather, we determined they were based on the prosecutors assessment of the facts, the law, and past apartment practice. we want the justice department officials to make their decisions based on the facts, the law in the past apartment practices.
practices. they interpreted the law to secretary clinton that was consistent with the departments approach including leadership in the 2008 decision not to prosecute former attorney general alberto gonzales. is that correct? >> that's correct. >> that director, he did apply a a double standard to secretary clinton in a way that hurt secretary clinton. director comey follows the department policy and kept secret from the american people
the fbi's investigation of the trump campaign russia but repeatedly ignored the department policy and release of information about secretary clinton. regarding directed comey's july 5, 2016 statement about his recommendation not to charge secretary clinton, your review found that come his unilateral announcement was inconsistent with department policy and violated long-standing protocol by among other things criticizing clinton's uncharged conduct. can you explain why the department has a policy against criticizing the uncharged conduct of an individual? >> certainly, one of the things that was interesting as we found
the norm and accepted but there is not a policy that states that. that is one of our recommendations. as we talk about the issue, the reason you do not speak about uncharged conduct, there are many, but his fairness to the individual. if an individual isn't going to be charged with criminal conduct or wrongdoing, you don't speak about it. you speak in court. that's how we been trained as prosecutors. doing that publicly not only tarnishes an individual, but raises questions of the fairness of justice and applications of various principles. as we point out, while there is not an explicit policy of the department about not speaking on uncharged conduct in a case where you don't church any
criminal activity, there is language that prohibits department prosecutors speaking about uncharged conduct of co-conspirators. in other words, when there is criminal wrongdoing a conspiracy and some individuals are charged and some are not charged, that can happen because their stronger evidence against some than others, policy says that you cannot speak about the uncharged individual, even though you believe they committed a crime. yet, there is no corresponding policy on whether there are no charges. >> you also found that director comey's october 28 and 2016 letter to congress and i quote, originated with comey's elevation of the maximum transparency as a value
overriding for this case only. the principles of staying silent take no action that the fbi has consistently applied to other cases one of those investigations were director comey followed practice and keep silent was the russian investigation into allegations of collusion with the trump campaign. is that accurate? >> it is. you also have that the clinton foundation. >> say that again. >> there are two investigations he declined to speak about. one was the russian investigation and one was the clinton nation investigation. that was the basis for mccabe's misconduct that we released a few months ago.
>> to believe secretary clinton received some favorable action? >> i'm not going to judge whether it was favorable, to whom or what. it was not consistent with public policy practice and should not have been done. >> as president trump and his allies are trying to use here information to disregard mueller's investigation let me read this report. trump allies season doj report to undercut the mueller pro. juliana calls for doj to in the mueller probe after the ig report. trump claims vindication on a report that was not about him. republicans want to set mueller
down about a report that is not even about him. president trump stated last friday, if you read the ig report, i have been totally exonerated. my copy of your report must be missing the page. did yo your investigation examid whether president trumps campaign colluded with russia to impact the election? or whether the president obstructed an fbi investigation - our report was focused on the clinton e-mail investigation. the only point it touches the russian matter is in regard to those text messages and about the weiner laptop. >> it also president trump also says the mall investigation has been totally discredited. i don't see that in your report.
does your report reach conclusions about the validity or credibility of special counsel mueller's investigation? >> as noted in the report, it relates to the clinton e-mail investigation and the russian matter was not part of the review other than the exception i mentioned earlier. >> rudy giuliani, president trumps personal attorney said and i quote, tomorrow, mueller should suspend his investigation. does your report recommended the special counsel suspend his investigation? >> we don't address issues regarding the special counsel's giuliani also said the ig report basically tells you that both prongs of the mueller investigation are either corrupts are answered.
did your investigation determined that the investigation was corrupt? >> i report was concerning the clinton e-mail investigation. >> did they look at the special counsel mueller's pro? >> the same answer. >> the conclusion in your report say that i will finish with this, due to the collective efforts of fbi employees, the fbi has developed and earned a reputation as one of the worlds premier law enforcement agencies. the fbi has gained this reputation in significant part because of the professionalism the nonpolitical enforcement of the law and adherence to detail policy practices and norms. did you find the fbi as an institution's corrupts, biased
or untrustworthy? >> we did not look at how probably affected the fbi beyond noting that in fact, this conduct undermines the credibility and impacts people's perceptions of the fbi and away you should have never happened. it's concerning for all of the reasons everybody cares about in the administration. >> listen very carefully to chairman counties questions. and the clout that you talked about with regard to this page and struck and the others that you mentioned, how do you get, the method that you use to figure out that their opinions
did not have a negative impact or inappropriate impact on the investigation. >> what. >> that is a crucial question. in fairness to all, it's important that be addressed. >> it is very important because as we have talked about, the language and messages, the appearance implication with any law enforcement officer would be willing to use their authority to impact any election or any individual, whatever side that person is running on are from is so antithetical to the core values of justice and the fbi. the question we'd like to was
with the comments of the five individuals we identified in looking at their messages, how did those impact to the specific decisions with the data in the prosecutor's decision. the prosecutors, despite what come is a publicly were responsible for making that ultimate decision. we question witnesses closely and look for the evidence that we could. we looked at the decisions that we outlined in the report, they were either the result of larger team decisions not within the domain of individuals or prosecutors decisions. not the decisions of these individuals. we also noted that for some of
the decisions that individuals are seeking more aggressive approaches than the prosecutors were in some regards. we looked at the evidence and reassess whether on that record we can make a finding that bias turned into action by the other individuals. we did not believe there is evidence to reach that conclusion. as the prosecutor's decision it was the prosecutors decision. folks can debate and discuss on whether the precedent in the assessment here on the application of the gross negligence provision was an appropriate application of it. that is a decision prosecutors made based on the judgment. >> in coming to that conclusion that you just talked about,
because it seems like were having an investigation of an investigation, but i ask you this, your staff and the people you work with them your ig assistants, where you all solid behind what you just said? or did you have some people say no like a jury half of them. >> the great thing about having a large team like we had is much like i have done another repor reports, we sit in a room to hash it out and exchange ideas. but i am comfortable saying this is the conclusion of all of us in the ig. i am the one issuing this. but i hasten to add, we understand and recognize and
status on how serious the conduct was and how to cast a cloud over the investigation. >> the dohmen from virginia's recognize the department of justice at high levels sought to determine the information between secretary clinton and obama. during your investigation did you seek access from communication from the department of justice? >> what about former obama white house officials? >> we saw department records and department information in the
past when we saw it this is from administrations going way back. we would look for them at their incoming to the department and those would be records that we would seek and obtain but we don't have authority over any other agency outside the government. >> did you seek to interview any officials at the white house? the obama white house? >> i would have to go back and ask the team whether we sought interviews. >> i don't believe so. >> how about the president himself. neither the department of
justice would've you like that information neither the department of justice or the fbi are mentioned in the constitution. however each institution has engaged in repeated stonewalling of the constitutionally mandated oversight. we will stop president trump from taking office which we received on the day of your reports releases a prime example. this text was revealed late in your interview as well. do you believe this text shows political bias? >> it clearly shows a biased state of mind. >> to believe the political bias shown by this text had an effect on the initiation of the russian
investigation? >> that is a matter we have under review and are looking at. >> more to be determined on the. >> the time proximity as mr. gaddy pointed out is significant. >> correct. in fact there were other text messages in the same time. >> you are an assistant united states attorney for eight years, and that time did you ever charge any espionage case. >> i did not. >> i'm trying to understand more about the seeming need for intensive the statute. some have noted that people never intend the bad things that happened due to gross negligen negligence. >> correct. >> some have stated the willful blindness satisfies the requirement of knowledge. this happens in cases where defendant is transporting a
package containing narcotics. courts have never allowed the defendant to claim you didn't know what was in the package, because he should have known and's are sized criminal recklessness by failing to determine what was in the package. in your opinion, isn't a similar analysis appropriate here? >> i'm going to look at what i would've done as a prosecutor. i will say what was explained to us in terms of intent was actually really knowledge. the focus was largely in the fact that these documents that were classified were not clearly marked as classified. >> mrs. clinton as secretary of state having the authority to not only read all the levels of classified documents but classified the documents, did she have a duty to determine if
the unclassified servers she used to transact her business was moving classified information? >> there's a responsibility and senior officials to know what classified information might be present. >> wasn't that the least amount of care we should have expected the information that could have cause serious harm to national security? >> i will rely on the evidence we had here in the review which was to look at the prosecutors made as an assessment. their view was, unless it was marked and clear knowledge, they believed it would be inconsistent with the past practice and how they would look at this provision and therefore not charger. >> following the 2016 election many my democratic colleagues call for the resignation or termination of former fbi director, james comey for his mishandling of the clinton
investigation. the same colleagues cried fall when president trump, upon the recommendation of the department of justice and deputy attorney general rosenstein did in fact terminate comey. on november 14, 2161 of our colleagues told chris cuomo that comey should be fired immediately and that president trump on to initiate an investigation into his actions. conversely, on may 9, 2017 the same democrat made a complete u-turn and stated quote the firing of fbi comey is a terrifying signal of this administrations terrifying abuse of power on so many levels. additionally, another colleague insisted that comey should pack his things and go. a year later, the same person system that, james comes firing
in an effort to cover up wrongdoing. lastly on october 31, 2016, comey's actions make it clear that he should resign immediately for the good of the fbi and the justice department. fast-forward a year, the same democrat is advocating for director, to receive the profiles in courage award following his termination. to clear up the apparent confusion, do you believe the termination of james comey was justified following your recent findings that describe comey as insubordinate in handling the hillary clinton e-mails? >> my responsibilities to get the evidence and facts, it is then up to others to decide what the appropriate penalty or
adjudication should be. the reasons we found here that people should stay in roles and responsibilities understand those. >> you would agree that insubordination and the matters you outlined in your report is a serious matter. >> i agree. >> on page 147 of your report, there is a text exchange that i'm curious about, halfway down the page agent one stated he could not recall any specific to add to the exchange. on another exchange on february 4, 2016 asia 42016 ages the interview with someone who assisted the plans and their new york residents. part of it is this.
fbi employee -- agent one, awesome, lied his off, went from never inside the skiff that residents to look to him when it was being constructed, to remove the trash twice to troubleshot the secure fax with hrc, to every time there is a secure fax i did it with hrc. ridiculous. >> the fbi employee said it would be funny if it was the only guy charged in the steel. agent one-i know. even if he said the truth didn't have a clearance when handling the secure fax, eight know it going to do blank -- we asked
agent one about this and that no one would be charged irrespective of what the team found. agent one stated, yeah, i don't think i can say there is a specific person that i worked with in the case that would not charge him for that. i think it's a general complaint of fbi agents that are kind of being emotional and complaining that no one is going to do something about something. but there's nothing specific that i can tell you. now, this individual, agent one expressed the opinion that was a circumstance in under which charging someone would be appropriate. >> that's what he's suggesting. >> what his title 18 section 1001. >> that's making a false statement to a government official under review. >> is that not exactly the same
statute under which mr. papadopoulos and mr. flynn were charged? >> i don't know specifically but i assume so. >> thank you. those are all my questions. >> and the gentleman from new york is now recognized. >> thank you mr. chairman. let me state before i ask questions, the president told us why he fired mr. comey and it wasn't for those mentioned in the report, it's because of the russian investigation. he told that on an nbc interview to mr. holt. the special counsel investigation resulted in five guilty pleas and 23 indictment so far. to any of your reports finding look at serious criminal indictments? >> a report focused on the
clinton e-mails it has nothing to do with it. >> so users know. >> the only place we touch on russia is october. >> on may 2, 2017 president trump tweeted, fbi director comey was the best thing that happened to hillary and he gave her pass. over the course of your investigation did you find that the fbi gave hillary clinton a free pass for any bad deeds? did you find that they gave her free pass for many bad deeds. >> we have laid out quite clearly what investigative steps were and how the decision was made. 500 pages worth of information. >> in fact, he found that the specific investigative decisions were based on the prosecutors assessment of the fact, the law,
>> did you encounter any evidence with the assumption that there was that outcome of the investigation was rigged? >> i will rely on what is here. >> let me rephrase. did you report no to any evidence of that? with the may drafting of the statement which some people raise concerns about i will not extrapolate beyond but i do think with that information of drafting of the statement. >> so to show that resisted acknowledging the existence in october 2016 because he wanted to avoid taking action to influence the election? >> that's correct. >> he wanted to be fair to candidate trunks. >> i don't know.
>> if the fbi acknowledges that investigation and to trumps benefit. >> i understand that he explained the rationale. >> the president tweeted after two years of mr. comey reputation is in tatters, worse in history did your investigation uncover any evidence with the clinton investigation was phony or dishonest? >> again we found the prosecutors made the judgment that they made based on the evidence we had concerns about the text messages. >> i will take that as a no. >> to fifth the president tweeted what is taking so long?
numerous delays. i hope not made weaker deed you weaken this for mr. comey to put them in a better light? >> no we did not. >> last week the president said the fbi has your report showing total bias against the president in favor of secretary clinton. did it uncover evidence against the president's election? >> i think those august text messages reflect what is suggesting they could take action based on their beliefs. >> also they said those decisions were not influenced by that. >> with the clinton
investigation that is correct. >> did your investigation find totally bias against president trump? >> for certain individuals we have concerns. >> your report concludes that was based on the facts and not based on political bias. do you stand by that? >> we do. >> we looked at the decision to decline prosecution we look at their notes and their e-mails and the documentary evidence and as a result of that we do not see evidence of evidence or by sme political bias and look at this past
president as their reasons for what they did and based on all of that information included there was not evidence of political bias and we described how they reach that decision. >> during the rollout the office confirmed it continues to investigate the improper disclosure to the trump campaign so can you confirm this was ongoing? >> as we indicate investigative work continues i will not be one -- speak what those might be until it's under review. >> i will take that as a confirmation according to
mr. giuliani's comments. i will not say anything that is inappropriate to what has occurred. much like this review and follow the evidence and when it is completed and issued the report. >> page 387 he said it is clear to me attorney general lynch quoting fbi director that it is clear to me that there are senior people in new york and he said it is deep and he said it was surprising to him or stunning to him". is there evidence there were people in the fbi office in new york who had a hatred of
secretary clinton. >> we were not looking at every single those that had no role in the midyear investigation. >> i want to get back what appears to be the most troubling you would agree there is a crucial distinction on part of the fbi agent and if any investigative action is taken as a result of political bias? >> that is two different issues. by the way you keep using the word bias is that synonymous with political opinion? >> know. we are using it in the context of political bias. you are using your personal
views to impact your decisions in a way that is not investigatory. >> so he has bias but it did not impact investigative action if it didn't how is that different from a political opinion? >> we found he had exhibited bias that decisions that were made by others were not affected by that bias. we had an sermons what we thought was the state of mind impacted that decision. >> you could not say? >> we could not rule it out that is pretty significant. >> so what appears to be the most troubling exchange on august 8 and to become
president. many of you use this but peter did not have that kind of power. not that this old decision-maker is that correct? >> it is important to keep it separate. making with the russia investigation and to publicly disclose that information it might prevent him from being elected. but your investigation did not disclose those details before the election? >> no. that despite the appearance i
hear the word know what you found evidence that you have more investigative measures. with the use of grand jury subpoenas. so i think it is fair to say the evidence does not show that for those that did not bring it to the office and does not show one way or the other? >> i wouldn't go that far but as the investigation the bias
and as we know there are lots under investigation. and you say he made this decision because of bias? >> that's correct. for those officials had negative opinions of hillary clinton we have the text messages we laid out here. and to imply that attorneys have made that argument. almost everything by the other three agents. but you didn't look at other agents. >> we did not look beyond
midyear investigation team. >> i would simply observe an organization as large as the fbi. and with the office in both cases it is pretty amazing for those that are holding those political opinions as long as they didn't let those impact do you agree with that statement? with their personal view? >> i will say one other thing, if it is true that if they did not impact any decision based on a political opinion than
expressing that to his girlfriend was wrong only he used fbi funds? >> i think it is very troubling because it undercuts the investigation and i cannot say definitively the actions i only can speak to the ones that we look at. i have very concerned what happened. frankly anybody should be concerned any officer expressing these kinds of views while investigating i don't care whether a presidential race or election locally should not happen.
>> i yield back. >> if you need to take a break let me know. i'm acutely aware that all four chairpersons went over the time limit and how unfair that would be for me not to allow you to do the same. but i cannot allot everybody the same amount of time but i will try to do better job. in the past if you asked the question after five minutes i will say the witness may answer but no more questions i appreciate your attendance and i'm trying to get us out of here before friday. with that the gentleman from ohio was recognized.
[inaudible] >> there are not positive comments. >> so he said trump is abysmal and an idiot hillary should win when hundred million 20. >> his text messages with the that. >> so on a daily basis is that accurate? >> correct and peter said he was a lead investigator on the russian investigation. >> that is my understanding. >> so the guy ran the clinton investigation runs a russian investigation hates the president but you said i cast a cloud but did not impact the final decision? the prosecutors final decision. >> look at also peter had to say on may 4, 2016 the day after president trump secures the republican nomination he says now that press start to finish the investigation.
i'm not sure why the pressure is more or less. by july 31 the fbi opens the russian investigation. one week later peter says i will protect my country and many levels and has we will stop trump one week after that he says no way he gets elected is like an insurance policy. peter opens a russian investigation july 31, 2016 peter is the lead investigator within the next 15 days he says i can protect my country on many levels if he gets elected we will stop him we have an insurance policy. now that seems like more than just casting a cloud on what the fbi ultimately did. >> it is one thing to say trump is an idiot but not to say we have an insurance policy are one thing to say he
is an awful but another to say we will stop it especially when they are made within 15 days after you launch the investigation into that individual. would you agree? >> the important thing here is the time. because those messages that we found extremely concerning and antithetical concerned the russian investigation as you noted and we had so much concern that led through september and october. >> would peter be put on the special counsel? >> he was. >> so the guy who hates the president running the investigation and the russian investigation then gets assigned to the special counsel team? >> do you know what date the
special counsel was named? >> i believe it was around may 17. >> 2017. mr. horowitz to remember what peter said on may 18? >> i do it is in our report. >> now i need to fix it and finish it there is unfinished business this could be an investigation leading to impeachment. that is what he said that after. >> correct mike don't you think that looks a little more than just casting a cloud on the overall investigation? >> i go back to the report of the clinton e-mail investigation which was concluded about one year earlier with mr. comey announcement precisely why we were concerned about september and october when peter had the
choice working on the russian investigation or on the laptop investigation. >> i will finish with this. this is what bothers me more than everything, what bothers me the most is peter's attitude. i think as it bothers americans the most. back in that august time. august 26, 2016 peter says just went to a southern virginia walmart i can smell the trump supporters. this is says anything else i am convinced about all of this investigation is the idea that there are two sets of rules or two standards one set for the regular folks who shop at walmart but a different set if your name is clinton or mr.
comey or peter struck and the arrogance and the condescension and that elitist attitude is what chicks people often as they look at this to see what struck said throughout the investigation that is why their confidences so shaken shaken and why they are so mad. that's why we have to get some answers about this whole ordeal and with that i yield back. >> the gentlelady from new york is recognized. >> thank you mr. horwitz for your service the chairman and others have mentioned the very troubling e-mails that were very critical of president trump so my question to you is none of these were made public during the election.
>> i don't think these text messages were out there in 2016. now the fbi conducted related to both presidential candidates only about secretary clinton with the investigation related to the trump campaign. >> he followed the rules on the clinton foundation matter that seems troubling he did not follow protocol.
but one of the colleagues from the other side of the aisle that only confirms that got treatment from the fbi like to say the opposite is true to say that is total malarkey. that the reverse is true that there is that element of the fbi that was biased against secretary clinton with that executive summary one of the reasons cited are mr. comey extraordinary october 20 letter to congress about the discovery of additional e-mails on a laptop was the fear that the information would leak if the fbi failed to disclose it.
and to me that is very troubling. then went on to say was seriouerrors in judgment with the unprecedented action that the director of the fbi in the final weeks of the presidential race with the protocol that you mentioned and i would say this all worked in one direction it may have determined and so my question to you is what are you doing? to make sure it doesn't happen
again. >> bed is a very important question because we made nine recommendations that is precisely to that issue the department needs to consider putting lace some guidance to memorialize it with that time. during the election. to make sure collusion is overlooked and that main question with the russian investigation there is a standard with the protocol but
in that clinton era there were press conferences and testimony before congress why was there that should standards you have a standard it was not enforced it was violated. >> so as we describe explaining his rationale. but with the russian investigation clinton foundation even the intelligence community put out a statement. and i think what has to happen because director coleman -- mr. comey did what he did for
guidance because the bottom line is that the leadership of the department has rules and policies in place to consider this and they should be able to talk to one another. >> and you violated protocol with one candidate and then with the other hurting the candidacy of clinton. >> your time is expired. >> mr. chairman and thinks you to the gentlelady for making the case of firing director comey why both democrats and republicans had valid reasons we wanted the president to know was unprofessional and insubordinate and yet want the president did it somehow he was wrong. in your report and then to bring out the fact it was
unprofessional. >> we have a reason to fire somebody and to just make the case in resounding ways in which he believes to be true is true he should have been fired immediately and would be fired by president clinton if she had become president. but i have two other points. the standard for bias. in the year that i was manufacturing, the definition for most of us for a bias if reviewing text or e-mails or anything close occurred and we were at eeoc or complaint we would be held clearly for this to meet the requirement for
any action whatsoever that was less than favorable for an employee such as a termination. we would be held as having a bias in fact every member here had to go through 90 minutes of training to give us examples for a fraction of what peter had done with any adverse action whatsoever so how is it you can say you found no evidence of bias how was the standard different for the department of justice? >> let me be clear we did not say that with these text and messages were not indicative of bias. the likelihood in the office
that evidence of the conspiracy of action. isn't that separate from what you might do? into blowup the federal building you don't have to succeed for there to be a crime. >> you don't actually have to carry it out at all. i agree that concern. >> then they have the conspiracy to do something. but we do think wyatt is reflected in august translated directly for us translated into september. >> i see the bias and conspiracy and that came out clearly in your report there
was a reason to fire former fbi director combing a bipartisan effort i would say republicans would have objected if president clinton had fired him that going back to mr. cole me last thursday when you issued your report basically four hours before that was issued the op-ed came out showing he clearly read the report how does he get to see that before it was public? >> as with all the reviews to all former employees get this? >> so the process is with fast imperious one -- fast and.
. >> the lady of texas is recognized. >> hello. thank you for your service. let me apologize. i'm going to be wanting yes, no answers. i think some of these you have already. but because of the nature of the time. let pe just repeat your report does not vindicate the president or conclude that the trump campaign did not conclude with the russians, is that accurate? >> our report doesn't address rur shah. >> and your report doesn't have anything to do with the numbers of individuals that were -- the numbers of individuals that were connected to the trump administration -- trump campaign with russia? you didn't deal with any of these, including the picture of popadopolis who was invited. >> it was on the trump investigation. >> donald trump was the first sitting president whose campaign chairman spent time behind bars during his own presidential
campaign. but none of these issues were investigated by your investigation, is that correct? >> our review includes the clinton e-mail investigation. >> and then let me quickly, your report does not -- excuse me. i am interested to know about chapter 7, pages 260, 262. you cite all of the reasons for concluding that secretary clinton did not break the law or have any basis to conclude that she broke the law for her use of a private serverserver; is that accurate still? >> that is a prosecutor's excuse. >> and you didn't counter that in your report? >> correct. >> did you say it was applicable to the president? >> based on the evidence is what we found. >> and her campaign was not subject of a federal counter intelligence investigation by nation's law enforcement to your knowledge, or at least you didn't investigate that? >> there was a review on that
issue. and i could talk a little bit more about it. i would need to tease that out just a little. >> but it did not impact the original or the basis of your report? >> the finding was that there was no intrusion. >> in light of what you saw, would you think it was reasonable for americans to conclude that secretary clinton was a victim of a double standard in light of the information that the fbi had about the trump administration -- excuse me, campaign and its opening of the investigation that was not leaked? >> i'm going to focus on what our conclusion was as opposed to publics. our conclusion was the standard that should have applied was the same one that the director applied to the russian investigation and the clinton foundation investigation. >> and it was not the same standard? >> it was not the same standard. >> i want to show these documents which show the leaks from the southern district and others from the fbi. do you find that troubling that leaks in your report went out? >> just to be clear, we do not say where those are from. we simply put in there the
individual's titles. but we're very concerned, as we explained in here, we're asked to look at leaks all of the time. and this matter, other matters. and if there are, as you know, multiple people who have had disclosures or contacts. it makes it very hard to figure out. >> do you think they were biassed towards mrs. clinton. >> i have no idea one way or the other. >> let me move towards questioning that i have. on november 2016, the day after the presidential election, a quote are you going to give out your calendar? some seems kind of depressing. maybe it should be the first meeting of the secret society. are you familiar with that text? >> i am. >> on january 24th, 2018, ron johnson went to fox news and indicated shouting further evidence of corruption. more bias corruption at the highest level. secret society. we have an in for manhattan that was talk o -- informant that was talking. there's so much smoke and suspension.
did your report find any evidence of secret society. >> we did not find. >> did it find any there was a group of the fbi holding secret meetings off site? >> i'm not sure we looked for that. but certainly in the midterm investigation, we didn't find one. >> in fact, the counter reference was funny and snarky of russian president such as holding up a kitten. page instruct both told your investigator that secret society was used as a joke, is that correct? >> that's what they told us. >> on august 15th, a text that stated, "i want to pass you throughout consideration in andy's office and there's no way he gets elected, but i'm afraid we can't take that risk. it's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40 "requests. in your report, he explains a reference in his text to an insurance policy" reflected his conclusion the fbi should investigate the allegations thoroughly right away as if trump was going to win"; stharkt? >> that is his explanation.
i think it's fair to say we had concerns about what his intentions were there. >> did any of what you came across suggest that they had a plan to undermine the election of donald trump? >> we did not. we did not investigate, as we said here, the russia matter. we have ongoing work in that regard. >> and was there, in your opening statement, i think you said the director, director comey, clearly departed from the norms and undermined the perception of fairness of the fbi. those are my paraphrasing words. is that in relation to his handle of former secretary clinton's e-mails which you found that she did not break the law based upon their report? >> the time is expired but you may answer the question. >> yes, comey violated the norms, as you said. we didn't find she didn't break the law. we found what the prosecutor's assessment of and it was based on the law. >> that's what she did not break
the law. >> that was their conclusion. >> thank you. ohio is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. miss chairman, having spent the last two years down the old executive office building along with our colleague, mr. is, didn't get an opportunity to hear all of the other questions and answers to those questions. so rather than repeat what a lot of others may have said, i'd like to yield to my colleague from ohio mr. jordan on my time. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding. how many text messages were exchanged between peter struck and lisa page? >> i don't have an exact number but tens of thousands. >> ten o-- tens of thousands. we got to see several of these but there was one that we didn't get to see. one text message we didn't get to see until last week when the report came out. >> yes. >> and it happened to be the most scomploefs one. one that says we'll stop trump. how come we didn't see that beforehand? >> let me explain how we ended up finding that. because i think it's important
to also appreciate the -- >> i guess i'm more interested in if someone was trying to hide it. >> well, we uncovered it in may, so last month. we uncovered it in our fourth round of work on their personal -- on their fbi devices --. >> that's my question. if you uncovered it a month ago, why did we not see it until last thursday? >> i can't answer that question. we provided the -- >> but who made the decision? was it mr. ray? mr. rosenstein? mr. sessions? who made the decision? >> what we have done as we found these texts send them to the department. and for them to produce it to congress. and that's what we did in may. >> and who at the department dealt with them? >> we sent them to the office of attorney general. >> so mr. rosenstein? >> in his office. >> mr. rosenstein made a decision that instead of us
seeing the most explosive text message between these two key agents on the clinton team, the russian team and on the special council team, he made a decision to wait a month for us to see that text message? >> i can't speak to whether anyone made a conscious decision. i would just say we had a -- there was in that fourth recovery that we made in may, tr was 100,000 plus lines of text to go through. most all of them we found before. this one was one we hadn't. we didn't see it or pick it up until june. >> and did you not see it, or was it hidden from you? because we have the text message right before it and the one that happened right after that, but somehow that one, the most explosive one, is missing from the pages from months ago. >> i can explain how we ended up finding it because we did not have it either. we recovered it. >> the department didn't give it to you either? >> i don't think the department had it. and i explained why i don't think they had it. these text messages were
retained by the fbi pursuant to a data collection where they were pulling text messages. i'm in the a tech person. i'll -- not a tech person i'll do my best here. they had their own fbi phones. they were pulling them. as we got these texts and found these problems -- these concerning messages in 2017, we then asked the fbi for all their text messages. when we got all of their text messages, as you know, we found a window, a period of several months. >> right. >> that there was zero. we then went and got their phones and said, okay, the fbi isn't collecting. we're going to try to extract them from the phones. we did a first run for using our cyber friends and collected materials. we then went to our outside vendor what we use to see what else that contractor had. we did another go round with some additional tools and found more. we then went to the defense department. >> okay. >> and the same thing. >> yeah. i'm thankful he yielded me time.
i got the gist of it. you jumped through all kinds of hoops to retrieve it. the point is when you did get it, mr. rosenstein said he can't get it until the report k078s out. >> i can't speak to how they -- >> it's not the first time mr. rosenstein kept us from getting information. he redacted all kinds of important conversations between struck and page. he redacted that from us. we had to go over to the justice department and find it. this wouldn't be the first time he wouldn't give us information we're entitled to. i have 30 seconds. i don't have time to get into another subject area here. i appreciate that. but i do think it's interesting that you had it, you discovered it and we couldn't get it right away like all the other text messages. we had to wait until the final report. with that, i yield back, mr. chairman. >> the district of columbia is recognized. >> thank you. mr. chairman. mr. harwits, there's a bottom
line to your report. it appears to be while there were mistakes made, mistakes that have been discussed. that the -- that the e-mail -- that the investigation itself was not politically motivated. is that fair rendition? >> i think what i would say about the final decision by the prosecutors is that we found their decision was not based on political bias but on their assessment of the facts of law and the precedent. >> now, and that, of course, in spite of what has been made at this hearing by some of my colleagues about mr. struck's testimony. you know, one hears that testimony, it could sound like a
textbook example of bias. so could you explain why notwithstanding the renditions we've heard of his virtual on the record because it's been quoted bias. nevertheless, the investigation itself was not biassed given the leegd -- leading role he played in the investigation. >> what we found was with regard to the specific decisions we looked at prejuly 5th, that there were other team members involved. and some of those he and miss page took a more aggressive view than the prosecutors and some of those instances or many of those instances as the prosecutors were making the decisions. not the agents. and so when we looked at notes, e-mails, the other evidence we could find and the testimony we got, we concluded that there wasn't evidence of bias in how
those decisions were actually made or carried out. the specific ones we looked at. >> notwithstanding struck's involvement, there were sufficient number of other investigators so that the bottom line here of no political motivation stands as far as you're concerned. >> as to the specific decisions we looked at, correct. and as to the prosecutor decision for the reasons i indicated. >> now, there's a lot of concern about mr. comey's speaking out. he used words like extremely ca careless. and he has been criticized for actively -- after the case was closed speaking out. yet your report -- and here i'm quoting, the problem originated with comey's elevation of
maximal transparency. i tell you, sir, if someone said eleanor to me, you're being maximally transparent, especially as a member of congress, i would take that as a complement. i need to understand your word perhaps rather than a critical use of language. >> that was mr. comey's explanation to us as to why he did it. i will say as instructor general -- >> no. i'm talking about the oig report when it was comey's elevation of maximal transparency overriding this case. >> right. that is to say overriding the principle that you have to stay silent. >> correct. >> if you're the fbi. >> correct. look, i'm -- we are, as igs for government transparency in all ways possible. but there are places where there are other rules like classified material, like ongoing criminal investigations for the reason we
said. individuals reputation should not be tarnished if they're not going to be charged with a crime. that's a rule oh o-- >> so he went beyond. this is not what you're recommending to members of congress. >> correct. >> thank you very much. >> yield back to gentleman from iowa is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thanks for your testimony. it's been a busy week for you this week. and first i'd like to turn to the question of how many e-mails were exchanged on the unsecured server between hillary rodham clinton and president barack obama? >> i don't know the exact number. we can go back and look. we understood he was one of 13 individuals in that. >> do you have any sense of the volume that was exchanged between the secretary of state and the president? >> i can go back and look. >> at this sense you don't have
a recollection? >> i just don't. >> and then do you have the information or a sense of were those e-mails secret, top secret, classified? >> my recollection is, as i sit here, that they were not among the classified material. but i'm not certain of that. so i need to go back and double-check. >> and i want to ask you formally that you produce those records for us. i think it's essential this committee understand those facts surrounding that and i'll get to that in hopefully a moment. could you point out to us your first encounter with the replacement of the words from the statute in 793 gross negligence with the words extreme carelessness. the first encounter with the switch. >> that was back in may the comey statement as the drafts were involving into june. >> and were the fingerprints of peter struck on that exchange?
>> yes. >> anyone else's fingerprints on that explainichange? >> i believe miss struck as well. >> and james comey? >> the three of them were in communication in drafting that, so it would be hard to identify who inserted the first time. is that a fair analysis? >> i think we actually do have some idea of how it got changed and who put it in, but not because it was their decision as opposed to who was the skrooib on it as opposed to the decision maker. >> i would like a little more information on that too, if you could. >> yes. >> and so while we're searching back for the genesis of the extreme carelessness as a replacement for the staurt -- statutory language, can you inform the committee as the genesis of content as it found its way into this dialogue. >> so it looks like in a variety of discussion with the team and the prosecutors, the investigative team and the prosecutors that the focus was on in a significant way there
was other factors as well here, but in a significant way the focus was on the fact that the classified material that was transiting through the e-mail server was not clearly marked as you're supposed to have it marked with banners saying it is classified. >> and let me clarify my question, actually the insertion of the word intent as a condition to a violation of 793, when did that word first find itself in the dialogue that you looked at? >> that is in the dialogue months earlier well before the investigation reached -- >> about when would you guess that is the months earlier? >> i'd have -- >> in 2016? >> it's in 2016. >> not in 2015? >> no. i'm not sure whether it went back that far. although, frankly, it could have. because there's some indication that early on people thought that it was -- >> let me assert that the evidence i'm looking at suggests
that president barack obama spoke that word into law and that a taped program october 10th of 2015, they said hillary clinton was careless but not intejs. that -- intentional. that program was aired on october 11th, cbs 60 minutes. and i have the article printed in the new york times. that's dated the 16th of october. the article that references the october 11th where it says in this article "mr. obama said he had no impression that mrs. clinton had purposely tried "to hide something or to squirrel away information". continuing in doing so, mr. obama spoke directly to a core component of the law used against mr. patrias intent and said he did not think it applied in mrs. clinton's case. so i'm going to suggest that the president suggested that language through the open media and spoke the word into the law that require intent which shows up throughout in the following
months in particular in james comey's july 5th, 2016 exxon ration -- well, let's say, a summary of the prosecution/exxon ration statement. six times that word intent. and i find it no place else. would you have any comments on your thoughts of how that might have been -- the genesis might have gone back to the president of the united states. >> i don't know about the genesis. but we do have in here as noted references to the statements made by president obama and by his press secretary and the concerns that those raised and the issues that -- and how it was viewed and perceived by the team. by the investigative team. >> my time has expired. thank you. >> iowa yields back. california. >> thank you, mr. chair. mr. horowitz, thank you for this report. it lays out in clear and unequivocal terms a conclusion
that republicans have resisted for years. the investigation into secretary clinton's e-mails and the decision to decline prosecution were both done properly without bias. in this report, you concluded "we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper consideration, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative decisions or that the justification offered for these decisions were pretext all, is that right? >> that's correct. >> they have questioned many aspects of that investigation from a justice department's use to the timing of james comey drafting process. did you investigate these allegations? >> the questions -- i'm sorry. could you say that again. >> republican members repeatedly declared that the investigation was illegitimate and questioned many aspects of the investigation from the justice department's use of immunity
agreements to the timing of james comey drafting process. did you investigate these allegations? >> yes. >> in response to your report, chairman wrote "this report confirms investigative decisions made by the fbi during this investigation were unpress denteded and deviated from traditional investigative procedures in favor of a much more permissive and voluntary approa approach". the justice department didn't treat her like any other criminal suspect and didn't follow standard procedures. this doesn't seem to reflect the report's findings for me. in fact, your report states, and i quote, "contrary to public perception, the mid year team used compulsory process in the mid year investigation. the report also stated, we found during these specific decisions were the result of discretionary judgments made during the course of an investigation by the mid year agents and prosecutors and that these judgment calls were
not unreasonable. is that right? >> that's correct. >> the report also concluded, we found no evident that the conclusions by the department prosecutors were affected by bias or other improper considerations. rather, we determined that they were based on the prosecutor's assessment of the facts, the law and past department practice. is that correct? >> as to the decision, yes, that's correct. >> mr. horowitz, i appreciate you being here today. i do want to ask you a couple of other questions. on june 29th, democrats on this committee and the house judiciary committee sent you a letter raising concerns that attorney general sessions may have violated his recusal when he participated directly and personally in president trump's decision to fire fbi director james comey. you testified last november that you had not made a decision but that you were holding off while special prosecutor mueller has an ongoing investigation. but you also said you would revisit your decision if new information came to light. is that an accurate description?
>> yes. >> it now appears that attorney general's violation of his recusal impacts issues well beyond the scope of the special council's probe. on november 19th, the department of justice stated that the attorney general has been directly involved in decisions regarding the appointment of a special counselor to investigate, and i quote, the sale of uranium one alleged unlawful dealings related to the clinton foundation and other matters. this letter says that the attorney general directed senior federal prosecutors to evaluate whether a special counsel should be appointed and told those prosecutors to report their findings "directly to the attorney general". the representative asked you about that letter, and you said you would receive and review this additional information. on november 30th, ranking member cummings followed up and sent you a letter providing this additional information and again requesting you to conduct this review. on december 12th, you responded with a letter that said your letter asked the oig to conduct
an investigation. do you have any update to provide at this time? >> i don't. and i stand by what i said earlier. i think it's important for us as an oig to consider what other investigative activities ongoing out there and consider that -- keep that in mind as we're deciding when would be an appropriate time to make a determination whether to go forward with a review. >> the report your office issued last week that is the subject of today's hearing discusses text messages sent by fbi employees working on the special council's investigation. can you explain why you were willing to conduct a review on the special council's investigation but you will not review the ongoing violation of his recusal agreement? >> certainly. so when we undertook this review and started finding the problematic text messages back in 2017 and ultimately gathered
the evidence we gathered in july of 2017 and then met with the deputy attorney general and the special council to inform them of what we had found because at the time mr. struck was working for the special council. i also discussed the matter with the special council about what we believed was our need to collect all of the text messages from those individuals, even beyond the clinton e-mail investigation so that we could make an assessment of how their views and their conduct impacted the clinton e-mail. >> okay. thank you. i believe that you could review today whether the attorney general is vielting his recusal when he paerpts in matters that are unrelated to the special council's investigation. i yield back. >> the gentleman from michigan is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i yield to my friend and gentleman from ohio, mr. jordan. >> thank you, gentleman for yielding. mr. horowitz, i want to go back to where we were a few minutes ago. the text message, this
mysterious one that was the most scomploefs one disappeared, refound. but the department sits on it for a month. can we get a copy of the correspondence that you had with mr. rosenstein? was there any type of -- how did you communicate to the justice department that you had found this text message. >> my agent sent it by e-mail. >> so you sent an e-mail. >> the print out. the spread sheets of all of the text. we had 120,000 or so. 100 lines of text. >> so you didn't specify where you found this one that had been missing? >> i then -- when we found it, i specified to the associate depu depu deputy attorney general on june 8th he ought to look at this. >> so you sent it to him but you specifically pointed it out two weeks ago. >> correct. when we identified it and saw it as we were going through these 100,000. >> what response did he give you when you pointed it out? the explosive text message. >> thank you for telling me about it. >> thank you for telling me
about it. well, yeah, i think so. but not like we need to get this to congress like we did all of the others right away? >> i didn't engage him on that. >> do you know if anything ne ferrous that worked. when we got the original pages of the text, it had the prompting questions. he said he's not ever going to become president. we had that one for months. >> as did we. >> as did you. so why didn't we get the response. all of the other time we get the back and forth. this time we didn't. >> i think actually it goes to the technological issue that we think needs to be addressed and fixed frankly. because what happened here is on the fourth go around when we were doing our quality control check on what we had done, we found a -- an operating system program in the phone that was -- >> you think it was technical? you think it was a technical problem? >> to us that's what it appears as to why this wasn't found before may. >> i'm more concerned about why mr. rosenstein didn't give us the information when he first got it. it seems he should have. let me go to something else here. how many different investigations do you have going on right now? are you looking at -- you're
looking at mr. comey. you're looking at the fisa court process. and are you looking at the leak issue with the fbi. have you got three other ones going on? >> we have lots of investigations going on. >> i know you have lots. >> we're looking at the leak issue as well. that's ongoing. >> so all three of those -- >> are ongoing. >> ongoing investigations, right? >> yes. >> do you have any idea when i'm particularly -- i'm interested in all of them but i'm interested in the potential abuse of the fisa process. do you have any idea when that will be complete? >> i don't, congressman. in part, as you know, a few weeks ago we were asked to broaden that and look at some additional information and issues. >> you aepd taking -- anticipated taking 18 months? >> i don't anticipate it. but met me just say if we released this report in january, you would not have most of these text messages. >> i understand. you have to do your work. >> i can't -- >> as important it is, when you look at looking at the fisa
potential abuse of the fisa process, will you be looking at the question of mr. rosenstein threatened staff members on the house intelligence committee? >> i've read about that recently and i'm certainly as in all instances available to take information. i only know at this point --. >> will that be within the parameters of your investigation, that question? >> if i understand a little bit more about it and what occurred and how it might connect to this, if at all. or whether it's something separate. >> will you look at the issue of why when the dos yeah -- dos yeah -- dossier was taken. >> mr. horowitz, when -- >> mr. chairman. >> when you push the investigation, will you look at the question of why when the application was taken to the fisa court they didn't reveal the fact that the author of the document, the author -- >> mr. chairman, i have a
problem with your inquiry. >> gentleman from ohio controls the time. >> well, is it not appropriate to raise the question as to what is the gentleman's line of question and whether or not we're dealing with a report of mr. horowitz or we're dealing with the republicans attempt to undermine the muller investigation and, as well, to fire deputy secretary -- excuse me, attorney general rosenstein c which you're planning on doing on friday. >> the gentleman of ohio controls the time and i would ask that the time be put back on the clock. >> i would just respond, mr. chairman. it's been widely understood that when the dos yeah was taken to the court to get a secret warrant to spy phenomenon a fellow american citizen, they didn't tell the court two important facts. they didn't tell the court who paid for the document and the guy who wrote it had been fired by the fbi. i'm just asking as mr. horowitz under goes this important
investigation if he'll be examining those two questions. >> we'll take under advisement those and other questions that have been raised. and if we find additional issues, we will look at those as well and partly that's why -- >> one less question, if i could, mr. horowitz. may 17th, 2017, rod rosenstein writes a memo outlining the scope and parameters of the special council investigation. on august 2nd, 2017, he writes another memo that in some way alters, amentds, modifies the initial scope of the investigation. and yet we can't see that. the american people can't see that. it seems to me if you're altering the scope of an investigation into the guy that the american people made president of the united states, we, as americans, deserve to know exactly the parameters and scope of that investigation. so will you be able to get ahold of that august 2nd memo and make that available in the course of your investigation?
>> gentleman time has expired but you may answer the question. >> i would have to think about how that connected to our investigation and what connectivity jermaineness it would have to ours. i'm happy to consider it. i've not seen either of those memos myself. like i said, on its face, i'm not sure the connection between that and the fisa. but i'll certainly take it under advisement congressman. >> thank you, gentleman. >> gentleman yields back. we will plan to break at 1:00 if that's okay with the inspector general. >> fine with me. >> with that the gentleman from missouri is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. here is where i see where we are. a presidential candidate was targeted by russia, russian intelligence. members of congress, including myself, were targeted as well. and at least 21 states had their voter information penetrated by
russian intelligence. that information obtained by the russians was weapon isenbargeize clear intention to harm hillary clinton and support the election of donald trump. time will tell when special council mueller issues his report whether or not the president's campaign actively colluded with the russians. now, mr. horowitz, thank you for being here. on february 2nd, 2018, the president tweeted, and i quote, "the top leadership and investigators of the fbi and the justice department have politicized the sacred investigative process in favor of democrats and against republicans republicans, something which would have been unthinkable just a short time ago". this is an accusation that has
been repeated by multiple republican members, including representative jim jordan who stated in an interview about your report, and i quote, "i think one of the big take aways is the exact same people who ran the clinton investigation, who had a bias in favor of clinton, who did all of these things that are not the typical practice when you're doing an investigation, those same people took over and ran the russian investigation". you know these are serious allegations. and i would like to address them head on. mr. horowitz, did you find any evidence that james comey took any investigative actions in the clinton matter based on political bias and "in favor of democrats and against
republicans"? >> we did not find evidence that mr. comey acted out of political bias. >> and your investigation uncovered five fbi employees who had exchanged text or instant messages with strong political views. but you found that even those individuals did not let their personal, political views determine the outcomes of the clinton matter. your report states, and i quote," our review did not find documentary or testimonial evidence directly connecting the political views these employees expressed in their text message and instant messages to the specific investigative decisions reviewed. and you also quote "in some stances they advocated for more investigative measures in the
mid year investigation, such as the use of grand jury subpoenas and search warrants". did you find that there is a pro-democrat or anti-republican conspiracy at the fbi or justice department? >> we didn't reach a question of whether there was a conspiracy or not. we just laid out here what the text messages indicated. and as you noted, the fact that the specific decisions we reviewed we found weren't impacted or affected or resulted from political bias. >> so do you know if the office of professional responsibility is taking any actions on the subjects that you have on the people -- >> director ray testified yesterday that he had referred -- provided our information and report to his fbi's office responsibility. >> i see. thank you so much for your
responses. and at this time i'm going to yield my time to the lady in texas. >> director, did you investigate any questions about mr. rosenstein's actions in your report as relates to inappropriate behavior? >> no. >> i didn't hear you, sir. >> no. >> and did you -- let us finish the question that i had dealing with the fbi agents in the southern district of new york. you did confirm that they leaked, is that not correct? >> we did not say anything at all about whether they leaked or didn't leak. we're not speaking or speak at all to who we are looking at or what we're looking at other than we're looking at the shoissues were asked to look at with investigative leaks. >> so you will continue that investigation? >> we will. >> thank you very much. i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
mr. horowitz, there has been a massive amount of bias documented by you and your investigation. you concluded with recommendations that appear to just be more policies of the same policies with the fbi that the ojr already had. you understood it was already against fbi doj policy to let bias come into play in these investigations, correct? >> absolutely. >> well, now, you made references in your report, even quoted from unnamed numbered prosecutors and agents, have you given us the names of those individuals? >> so we have a request for them. and we are -- >> so you haven't given us the names and now you can't decide whether you're going to give them to us? >> well, let me be clear. we engaged the committee on this. we went out and went to the fbi
and raised the concern. >> the answer is, no, you haven't begin them to us. so let me just tell you we're here because prosecutors and agents at the doj have been biassed and it may have and some of us believe you have laid out a case that bias did affect what was going on and then you come in here and say we're going to number these people. we're not going to let you know who they are. but let me ask you this. have you checked to see what normally wouldn't matter how they voted in a presidential election except when you're investigating a nominee or a president? do you know how they voted? did they donate to money to either of the candidates? >> i have no idea how they voted. and i don't -- >> you're bringing this investigation in here based on or ut liegs -- utilizing opinions and information provided by prosecutors and agents who may be just as
biassed as the people that we're investigating. we just don't know because we haven't seen their texts. we haven't seen their e-mails. normally if i put back on my felony judge hat, if a jury is going to make a decision on guilt or innocence of a felony of, say, a presidential nominee, i'm going to let them ask the jury panel did you vote for this person. did you give money to this person? do you have a bumper sticker for this person? did you put a sign in their yard? did you talk this person up? and yet you're coming in here, you don't know if these people you're relying on actually had any biases like the very ones you were investigating. well, let me ask you this. among the superviegs -- super viegs -- supervising special agents and the prosecutors, do you have any idea of the percentage that may have voted for hillary clinton? >> we did not ask people -- >> well, let me tell you.
i know mr. friend mr. nassler had referenced and said a big organization like that probably just as many people supported trump. i heard newt gingrich yesterday said the fact is 97% of the people in the doj that donated to democrats. 97%. so there's a good chance that the people that you're relying on did support hillary clinton. we don't know because you haven't asked. it's important to know who the investigators are and the people you're relying on. you mentioned in here in the report about strzok and the relationship that he mentions with judge contreras. do you know why judge contreras was recused and removed from the mike flynn case? >> i don't know why he was recused. >> or is that something you would investigate? >> it's not within the scope of this investigation. >> well, i'm going too reinforce
the request for the identities of the super viegs -- supervising special agents. the prosecutors and agents were only identified by number. and ask who they contributed to, if anyone, in the last two cycles. now, in your report it says ssa told us that the fbi did not consider fagliano as a subject or someone to prosecute in connection. but this guy set up the unsecured servers, as i understood it. this is a guy that you had a lay-down case or the doj did and yet they don't put -- they don't use that leverage. they don't treat them like they did man fort or any of these other people. the doj had leverage, and this is where bias came into play. they didn't go after him. you said the ssa told them they believed they should have been charged with false statements. yet nobody charged him. and why?
because bias played a role. i understand we have an investigation. you like to give a little something to both sides. it makes you feel good. you gave us hundreds of pages of bias. but the conclusion was just, i'm sorry, whether it was subconscious or conscious, you had a little throw away to go to the democrats. but the fact is bias is all the way through this. and i'm sorry that you were not able to see that with what is very obvious from your evidence. i yield back. >> the gentleman from new york, mr. jefferies is ready. would you like to respond? >> i would like to finish on the identity issue just so the record is clear on that. we were asked to -- when we write a report, we obviously comply with the privacy act and the other laws congress has in place. we can speak to and who we can't. that's the first step we do here. much like what we lay out here with criticisms of folks that
don't -- who didn't follow the rules and law, we followed that. we then got the committee's request consistent with our support for trance parents. we -- transparency. we would be supportive of the committee getting that information. the fbi imposed because they have worked on counter intelligence matters that there might be a security or safety issues. that's what we talked to the committee about. we're happy to facilitate that issue with the committee and the fbi. but that's the objection raised tuesday -- monday, i think it was, by the fbi. >> mr. chairman. >> my request. it was not for anything to do with any counter intelligence. i don't want to know anything about that. just who worked on this matter. >> i think the request is clear and the sfons is clear. we're going to go to the gentleman from new york and then the gentleman from montana and then we will break-in inspector
horowitz. >> we live in a democracy, not an authoritarian state, is that correct? >> that's correct. >> is it appropriate to ask how they voted for any election? >> in my view, that's not a question we should be asking. certainly from my standpoint. >> okay. thank you. special council's investigation into possible russian interference with the 2016 election has resulted in 23 indictments, correct. >> i don't know. >> 20 individuals have been indi indicted. >> i accept your representation. >> three separate entities have been indicted in connection with the special counsel's investigation. >> i don't know as i'm sitting here but i'm accept your representation. >> they identified 75 different criminal acts, correct? >> same answer. >> there have been five guilty plaes, true? >> same answer. >> trump's campaign manager has been charged with conspiracy to defraud the united states, correct? >> same answer.
i believe that's correct. >> and paul manafort is now sitting in jail, correct? >> that is correct. >> and that's in connection with alleged witness tampering, true? >> that's what i've read. >> and trump's former national security advisor michael flynn has plaed guilty to lying to the fbi, correct? >> that's my understanding. >> his deputy campaign manager rick gaits has been indicted on conspiracy to defraud the united states. >> i would accept your analysis. >> and national security advisor has bled guilty to employing to the fbi about his contacts with russians during the campaign; correct? >> i believe that's correct. >> now, former fbi director james comey initiated the criminal investigation into possible conclusion between the trump campaign and russia, correct? >> actually i'm not sure who and precisely how it was oem. >> okay. but he was fbi director at the time. >> he was fbi director at the time. >> and james comey is a lifelong republican, correct. >> that i don't know.
>> leading the election. >> special council. >> bob mueller is a well-respected law enforcement. >> i speak for myself, i have respect of him. >> he's a man of integrity. >> that's my opinion. >> and muller is a lifelong republican, is that correct? >> that i don't know. >> the deputy attorney general. >> correct. >> and in that capacity, the deputy attorney general overseas the criminal investigation into the trump campaign, correct? >> that's my understanding. >> now, donald trump, the republican president appointed rod rosenstein to that position of deputy ag, correct? >> true. >> and rod rosenstein is a registered republican, correct? >> that i don't know. >> christopher ray was appointed to his position by donald trump, true? >> that is correct. >> and in that capacity, the fbi director helps lead the investigation into the trump campaign, true? >> i'm actually not sure how
that plays. >> okay. we think he's involved. fbi director christopher wray is a registered republican, correct? >> that i don't know. >> for the last few hours we sat in this hearing and some of my colleagues part of the cover up caucus have attempted to pedal conspiracy theories that the investigation into the trump campaign potential criminality where we were attacked by a hostile foreign power is a witch hunt. there is no evidence that a witch hunt exists right now. in fact, if any individual connected to the 2016 presidential campaign was victimized by misconduct, her name was hillary clinton. the report that you produced 500 plus pages makes clear that the former fbi director violated department of justice protocol
on multiple occasions. most severely in july of 2016 with the public explanation of hillary clinton's conduct recklessly calling it extremely careless, violating doj protocol. and then, of course, again in october of 2016 with 11 days prior to the presidential campaign. what are you guys complaining about? you know what happened. james comey decided to play judge, jury and executioner and on october 28th, he executed the hillary clinton campaign. killed her in pennsylvania. killed her in michigan. killed her in wisconsin. and handed donald trump the presidency. and at the same time, decided to pardon the trump campaign in the court of public opinion by refusing to confirm the pub -- to the public the investigation that was taken place in the trump campaign.
it's a phoney, fraudulent and fake argument. stop pedaling lies about a so-called democratic witch hunt to the american people. i yield back. >> gentleman from york yields back. the gentleman from montana is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. horowitz, over here, sorry. sorry about that. >> i appreciate the work you've done and continue to do on your ongoing investigation. i would like to focus my short time with you on the improper interactions and leaking of information to the media. >> uh-huh. >> on page 19 of your report you state that the fbi policy and regulations forbid the confirmation or denial and any discussion of an active investigation, except in limited, specified circumstances; is that correct? >> that's correct. >> also only the fbi director deputy director, associate deputy director and other limited staff are authorized to speak to the media, that is
correct? >> that's correct. >> so why does the agency have such policy, and could you briefly describe the consequences of not following it. >> the agency has a policy because leaks harm cases. they can terribly damage an ongoing criminal investigation. and they harm people's reputations. no one should want to see anybody tarnished with mud, other allegations that are never charged, never proven. >> so leaks are damaging? >> leaks are damaging to people and investigation. >> okay. so on page 430 of your report, you state that the fbi policy limits employees who are authorized to speak to the media. but you found that that policy was widely ignored and that numerous fbi employees at all levels of the organization were in frequent contact with reporters, is that correct? >> correct. >> further your team identified instances where fbi employees received tickets to sporting events from journalists, went on
golfing outings with media representatives, were treated to drinks and meals after work with reporters and guests of journalists at non-public social events, is that correct? >> correct. >> some might consider such gifts as bribes. at the very minimum, these are serio serious ethics violations. in appendixes g and h, you identify over 50 fbi employees who had over 300 intersections with reporters during the peer yad you looked -- period you looked at, is that correct? >> correct. >> what evidence did you find that these 300 or so interactions and outings and meals and golf tournaments were authorized and in compliance with fbi policy? >> it appears that most, many were not. and that is precisely why i wanted to put this -- make this public.
we had this work ongoing. so i can't speak to any individual matter or issue. but i thought it was critical because of our concern as we do these reports on systemic issues that the public and policy makers and the department of justice and the fbi itself understand what the challenges -- when we have to look at leaks and there's that number of contacts, it makes it very, very, very challenging to figure out how. >> so you noted that this leaking of information to the media was widely known within the organization and even played a role in decision making? >> in addition here, very concerning. correct. >> yes. >> the number of people made decisions based on concerns over what might be leaked. . >> yes. and you note on page 429 "we have profound concerns about the volume and extent of unauthorized media contacts by fbi personnel that have been uncovered during the review". >> correct. >> so given the policy to limit contact with the media was very
clear, knowledge of the practice of leaking was widespread. and the potential consequences great. what evidence did you find of any disciplinary action against violating employees? >> well, when leaks were, in fact, uncovered, there was discipline. our concern was that the contact alone wasn't being addressed effectively and that's what the fbi needs to focus on and that's what they said publicly they'll look at. >> so based on your investigation, how many people have been referred to investigation in possible code conduct violations? >> i'm not sure of that number, but i can assure you that when we find contacts, even when we can't prove it's a leak going forward, when we find contacts, even if we can't prove that somebody actually leaked, but if they contacted the violation of policy, we will refer that for their investigation. >> at this point, how many fbi or doj employees have been fired for violating the leaking policy
or accepting -- >> i will get back to you on that. >> it's very important given the extent of your findings. and, finally, the real issue here is can the american people trust that these individuals will be held accountable? and can we count on you and your organization and your role as inspector general that this type of behavior will still exist. >> i can and say that as the law permits us make the public our finding when we can make them public. >> thank you. and i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. mr. inspector general, how long of a break would you like? >> long enough to get a sandwich or a bite to eat. >> 45 minutes enough? >> plenty of time. >> why don't we reconvene at 1:45. >> great. >> with that, we're in recess. [ inaudible conversations ]
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alaska. c-span.org, or, listen on our free c-span radio app. wednesday, the house returns at 9:00 a.m.. at 10:00 a.m., they will release several bills to combat the u.s. opioid epidemic. a.m., the, at 9:30 u.s. senate continues to debate on a federal spending packet for water projects, military construction, and veterans affairs. on c-span3, commerce secretary testifies on the trump administration's tariffs. the houset 12:30, begins to markup the 2019 budget .esolution coming up in about an hour, sarah pierce from the migration policy institute j