tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN June 28, 2018 9:00pm-9:36pm EDT
answer questions that we direct to the fbi and have them -- you're there now, right? -- >> you're there now, right? have you asked these questions of anyone? >> we have conveyed the questions that chairman nunes has raised. >> you could understand why that if the department of justice represented to a court that this investigation began on july 31 and the fact that you can't tell me definitively that before july 31 there was not intelligence collected on the trump campaign that that's something of great interest to us. >> congressman, i think you should understand there's nobody more commuted to rooting out abuse and misconduct than i. we talk with the fbi, take those seriously and if we find it we'll produce that to chairman nunes. >> thank you, let's do that quickly. let's get to your determination . i asked when you became aware that nellie orr, the wife of your associate deputy attorney general bruce orr was working for fusion gps and was actively
assigned to the dossier that said all these nasty things about president trump. as you sit here today, do you know when you became first aware of that? >> i believe it would of been sometime in the fall of 2017. as i told you last time, mr. orr was never working to my knowledge on that russia investigation. >> but his wife was, right? he's your associate deputy attorney general and his wife gets hired for that. i asked you this question on the 13th of wrote you a letter on december, december 18, nine months ago, you have not responded to it. we need a date when you found out that the wife of your deputy was working for people who are trying to undermine president trump. don't you think that's an important date for you to know about the spouse of your own associate deputy attorney general? >> yes, i think it's important for you to understand, congressman, mr. orr is a career employee of the department. he was there when i arrived. to my knowledge he wasn't working on the russia matter. i don't think --
> it's important for you to know when we learned of the information, we transferred them to a different office. >> i have to reclaim my time. the fisa renewal you signed list for me the people who briefed you on the substance of that fisa renewal to spy on people. >> mr. gates, i think this is one thing for you to understand. people can make all kinds of allegations publicly. i am quite confident about my conduct throughout this investigation. that matter is under review by the inspector general. we'll see what the inspector general finds. >> did you read the fisa application before you signed it? >> i won't comment about any fisa application. >> you won't say about whether or not you read the document you signed that authorized spying on people associated with the trump campaign? >> i dispute your characterization of what that fisa is about, sir. >> did you read it or not? >> i'll be happy to discuss details with her. -- with you. >> did peter strzok brief you on it?
>> no. >> did lisa page brief you on it? >> no. >> did sally moyer brief you on. -- on it? >> let me explain the process if i may. >> did trisha anderson brief you on it? >> no one from the fbi briefed me on it. the process, sir, that's that these fisa applications or renewals come up through the fbi chain of command. they are sworn under oath by a career federal agent. i'm not the after yant. >> you signed it. >> did you explain -- >> the time of the gentleman has expired. the witness will be permitted to answer the question. >> i'd like to explain the process. director wray can explain it, too, sir. my responsibility at that time was to approve filing of fisa applications. the attorney general, the deputy and the assistant attorney general. at the time, that position was they can. it's my responsibility do that. i had been relieved of that responsibility. director wray still does it everyday and i don't know what his process is, sir, but we sit
down with a team of attorneys from the department of justice. all of whom reviewed that provide a briefing for us and , i've reviewed that one. the information that is public about that does not match with my understanding of the one that i signed but i think it's , appropriate to let that inspector general complete that investigation. these are serious investigations. i'm reviewing the finish product, sir. if the inspector general finds i did something wrong i'll respect that judgment but it's highly, highly unlikely sir given the way the process works. >> yield back. >> chair recognizes the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson-lee, for five minutes. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much. let me thank the ranking member who remains on the floor, i know he's enroute. i'm almost believing that i've just attended or am in the midst of a monster ball and we're looking for monsters wherever we can find them.
as i was on the floor, as i was on the floor i heard someone , say, mr. deputy attorney general, that they're interested in holding you in contempt. maybe they may be mollified by resolution that has no real point to it but this is the absurdity that we are dealing with. in an investigation that has preceded and, i believe, has concluded. so let me ask you. two investigations that were ongoing in 2016, could you just very briefly say what they were? two investigations regarding presidential candidates. what were those investigations? what was the investigation? >> i won't comment on any investigation that may have been ongoing. i know there's publicity but i won't comment about it. >> can you comment on the ig report? what is the ig report about?
>> yes. it's about a variety of occurred in the fbi in 2016 and 2017. >> relating to? >> it is primarily focused on the hillary clinton e-mails but the inspector general addressed a few issues about that as well. >> did the investigation come to a conclusion in 2016 to your knowledge? >> the hillary clinton e-mail investigation? it did based upon public reports. >> and based upon public reports was the department of justice satisfied with those -- the end of that investigation? >> congresswoman, i have the same response i have to mr. gates. i wasn't there and i'm not the one to comment on whether or not people were satisfied with the result. we know what it was. >> director wray, your agents were involved in the fbi investigation of the clinton e-mails, is that accurate? >> yes, obviously i was not there at the time but absolutely. >> you've had a chance to review the inspector general's report. >> i have. >> and saw the fractions that were cited to the fbi. >> the fractions?
>> infractions. >> oh, the infractions, yes. yes. >> have you corrected or do you have a comment on any of the infractions which you corrected, i.e. director speaking about an investigation without the presence or yielding to one of the prosecutors of the doj such as what director comey did? >> well, congresswoman, i'm not going add my personal opinion on top of the inspector general's thorough report, but, as i said earlier we accept the findings , that are in the report and the recommendations in it. >> and what have you done with respect to the recommendation about the idea of a director of an fbi making such statements going forward? >> we've done a couple things. one is we have issued a new media policy that is much more clear so that we ensure people follow our policies. we have also directed people to
make sure that they're adhering to doj policies about commenting on ongoing investigations and specifically uncharged conduct. >> from the law enforcement perspective, which is what your arm is? >> correct, we're not the prosecutors. >> thank you. do you have any comment on the suggestion that one of your offices delayed in investigating the weiner laptop? do you think that was done to undermine the investigation? >> well, congresswoman, again, i think rather than substitute my characterization for the inspector general's, which is very detailed, i would just say that my read of the inspector general's report is that he found that there were delays as a result of a number of factors. we are taking steps to make sure that going forward, as i said in my opening comments, that we structured staff, and supervise sensitive investigations in an
appropriate way so we don't we -- mistakes. we don't repeat >> and looking back, do you think that impeded or impacted on the final conclusion of the clinton e-mail investigation? >> well again, i would defer to the inspector general's own characterization. my understanding is it that he found there was no political bias ultimately impacting the investigation that he reviewed. >> the mr. attorney general, do you believe as donald trump indicated that the investigation of which you have read, the inspector general's report, has vindicated mr. trump as it relates to collusion with russian agents as he indicated or is the investigation ongoing? >> there is an ongoing investigation. yes. >> and it is not concluded? >> correct. >> and no conclusion has been made? >> several charges have been filed and so you're familiar with those. >> correct. >> the time of the gentlewoman
has expired. >> i yield back. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from south carolina, mr. goudeywdy, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the russia investigation has been going on for almost two years now. special counsel's investigation has been going on for over a year now. for most americans it's important to know what russia did to our country in 2016 and with whom, if anyone, they did it. when a foreign state interferes with our democratic electoral process it should be the chance of a lifetime for a law enforcement investigation to investigate that, except the one that was picked to investigate it. that was peter strzok. fbi peter strzok was picked to lead the fbi's investigation into what russia did in july of 2016. it was a counterintelligence investigation begun in late july, 2016, and he was leading it and about the exact same time he was picked to lead it this
dispassionate and fair fbi agent was calling trump a disaster, destabilizing for the country. i'll leave out all of the "f" adjectives he used. i'll go with disaster and destabilized. same time, his fbi lawyer or girlfriend lisa page was telling him he was meant to protect the country. this neutral dispassionate fbi agent said i can protect the country on my levels. -- at many levels. at the same time, peter struck was picked to neutrally look into the russia investigation and he was talking about an insurance policy with andy mccabe and lisa page in the event donald trump became the president. all of this came at the same time that strzok said he could smell the trump support in southern virginia. all of this was at the same time that this fbi agent said it
would be fing terrifying. and that it would never happen. no, no, we'll stop it. so while investigating russia ourtheir attempt to subvert democracy, we go to 2017 where we find peter strzok again, this same supposed to be dispassionate neutral fair fbi agent, you would think he'd be really excited about investigating what a foreign power tried to do to this country, but you would be wrong again for peter strzok and precisely the same time that bob mueller was appointed, precisely the same time peter strzok was talking about his unfinished business and how he needed to fix and finish it so donald trump did not become president. he was talking about impeachment
within three days of special counsel mueller being appointed. three days. that's even quicker than msnbc and the democrats were talking about impeaching. within three days, the lead fbi agent is talking about impeaching the president. so this is where we are. we are two years in to the investigation, we're a year and a half into presidency, over a year into the special counsel. you have a counterintelligence investigation become public, a criminal investigation that's become political, you have more bias than i have ever seen manifest in a law enforcement officer in the 20 years i used to do it for a living and four other doj employees who had manifest animus toward the person they were supposed to be neutrally and detachably investigating. democrats are using this as an presumption of guilt. i would encourage democrats to go back to the presumption of
innocence that we used to hold sacred. there's a presumption of guilty, -- guilt, there is a desire by democrat senators to fund raise off of your investigation. more than 60 democrats have voted to proceed with impeachment before bob mueller has found a single solitary damn thing. moved forwardave with impeachment and he hasn't presented his first finding. so i'll say this mr. raye and mr. rosenstein, i realize none of you were there when this happened but you're there now. russia attacked this country, they should be the target but russia isn't being hurt by this investigation, we are. this country is being hurt by it. we are being divided. we've seen the bias. we've seen the the bias. -- we've seen the bias. we need to see the evidence. if you have evidence, present it to the damn grand jury.
if you have evidence that this president acted inappropriately, present it to the american people. there's an old saying that justice delayed is justice denied. i think right now all of us are being denied. whatever you got finish it the hell up because this country is being torn apart. i would yield back, mr. chairman. >> do either of the witnesses care to respond? >> i would simply respond, mr. gowdy. i certainly share your views about those text messages. nobody is more offended than i about what's reflected in those messages. with regard to the investigation, i've heard suggestions that we should just close the investigation. i think the best thing we can do is finish it appropriate lyly. -- appropriately and reach a conclusion. i certainly agree with you, sir, people should not be jumping to conclusions without seeing evidence. i've been the victim of that
myself so i understand it. i agree with you sir, there's been no allegation made by the department of justice and the special counsel, nobody should draw conclusions beyond those charges. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from tennessee for five minutes. >> thank you. director wray, mr. rosenstein, was peter strzok the head of any of those investigations? well, congressman, i don't know that i would characterize him as the head of any of the investigations. certainly he played a significant role in the investigations that are described in the inspector general's report but there was a supervisory chain and then as the inspector general found there were a number of people , involved in that chain above him. and i know you've spoken already about the inspector general's report, it was very thorough and you accepted it. it came to the conclusion that
while he may have had biases, none of his biases played a role in their actions or conclusions. is that correct? >> well, again, i would defer to the inspector general's own characterization of his very thorough investigation but my understanding of it is that he found no evidence of political bias actually impacting the investigation he reviewed. >> so all we had was some talk between friends, maybe lovers and it was just talk but not policy and no action to bring about or effectuate any of their beliefs, correct? >> again, i don't know that i want to characterize their text messages. i expect our folks to conduct themselves professionally at all times and the other reason i want to be careful about straying too far is that we have -- is that i've said in my opening, we have referred a number of individuals whose conduct is highlighted in our report to our office of professional responsibility and
my commitment to doing things by the book includes making sure our disciplinary process is done by the book and having their conduct talked about is probably not conducive. >> thank you, sir. am i correct that each of you were appointed by trump? is that correct? >> yes, sir. >> yes, sir. >> who appointed the special counsel? >> i did. >> and you were appointed by president trump? >> correct. >> now president trump talks about 13 democrats running this investigation. do you know who he is speaking about and if there's any way the justice department or president trump knows if these people are democrats, republicans, libertarians, bolsheviks. >> i think you'd have to ask him, sir. i don't know. >> you don't know if they're democrats? >> i do not know their political registration, no, sir. >> director wray, do you know their political registrations? >> i'm not familiar, no. >> thank you.
this report of the special counsel has gone on for a long time. could that be because there are is so much information and so many issues arisen from his investigation that it's impossible to turn it off? is that possible? >> i don't think you should draw any inference -- i don't think as these investigations go that it's been going on for a long time and i can assure you director mueller understands that i want him to conclude it as expeditiously as possible and do it right. has anybody ever accused special -- >> has anybody ever accused special counsel robert mueller of being dilatory, lazy, slow? >> i certainly haven't, sir, i don't know what other allegations people make but i do not view that as accurate. >> director ray do you know , special counsel mueller's
reputation for promptly doing his work and proceeding in a diligent passion -- path? >> my own experience and familiarity with is that none of those adjectives would describe much of anything he's done for this country. >> director mueller, as i remember, volunteered to join the marines in vietnam, got a purple heart. and he had other commendations. is that what you understand too? ,>> yes, sir. >> and when he came back he went to law school and went to work for wall street. -- he came to work for justice. he could have gone to wall street. he went into private practice for a while but didn't like it and he wanted to prosecute criminals, is that correct? >> i don't know his motivation but he's devoted much of his , career to public service and has foregone more lucrative opportunities. >> and he prosecuted manuel noriega, did he not? >> congressman, i think he was
in a management position. i don't know if he prosecuted it. >> and john gotti? >> i don't know the answer to that, sir. >> he's gone after big fish. let me ask you to promise me something. will you promise me and the american people that no matter what pressure is brought about and brought on you by whomever that you will stay in your position and finish the job and do what you were appointed to do and what the american people need you to do? >> congressman, in the department of justice we're accustomed to criticism and it doesn't affect our work. saidngressman, i have repeatedly, i am committed to doing this job by the book in all respects and there is no amount of political pressure that will dissuade me by either side. >> thank you, and i find you and each of you and special counsel mueller as paragons as people who should be revered and not torn down and people who tear them down tear down the flag and the constitution.
failed back and hope the constitution is respected. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from ohio mr. jordan. >> mr. rosenstein, why are you keeping information from congress? >> congressman, i am not keeping any information from congress that is appropriate for -- >> in a few minutes, mr. rosenstein, i think the house of representatives is going to say something different. >> i don't agree with you, i don't believe if that's what they'll say and they will be mistaken. >> i think in a few minutes the house of representatives is going to go on record saying you haven't complied with requests from a separate and equal branch of government, that you haven't complied with subpoenas and you got seven days to get your act together. i think that's what's going to happen. and that's not jim jordan, i think that's a majority of the house of representatives. in just a few minutes i think that will happen and i want to know why you won't give us what we've asked for. >> sir, i certainly hope your colleagues are not under that impression. it's not accurate, sir. >> it is accurate. we have caught you hiding information. >> mr. chairman, can we allow the witness to answer.
>> point of order, we can go to mr. jordan's press conference and listen to him but we came to hear from the witness. >> the time belongs to the gentleman. >> will you allow him to answer. >> he will be permitted to answer when mr. jordan -- >> why do we have them here if they're not allowed to answer. why are they not allowed to answer? >> the gentleman from ohio is recognized. >> i'll let you answer. >> i'd like to answer your question, sir. why did you hide the fact that peter strzok and judge contraryeras were friends? fisa court judge, more importantly, just as importantly, the judge that heard michael flynn's case. why did you try to hide that from us? appreciate you giving me the opportunity to respond. i've heard you make those allegations publicly on tv. >> i got them right here. and if you'd let me respond, sir. >> mr. chairman, he should be given the opportunity to answer. >> mr. jordan, i am the deputy attorney general of the united states. okay? i'm not the person doing the
redacting. i'm responsible for responding to your concerns as i have. i have a team with me, sir, just a fraction of the team doing this work and whenever you brought issues to my attention i have taken appropriate steps to remedy them so your statement that i am keeping information from you, trying to conceal information -- >> you're the boss, mr. rosenstein. >> that's correct. and my job is to make sure we respond to your concerns. we have, sir, now i have appointed mr. loesch who is managing that production and my understanding is it's going very well, sir. so i appreciate your concerns -- >> again, i think the house of representatives is going to say otherwise. >> your use of this to attack me personally and that's deeply wrong. >> point of order, mr. chairman, may the witness be permitted to answer the question. >> the gentleman will suspend. >> the witness will have an opportunity to say whatever he wants at the end of mr. jordan's five minutes. those five minutes are his time. i appreciate your service. it's not personal. we just want the information. why did you tell peter strzok -- >> it's not personal. we want the information. why did you tell peter strzok not to answer our questions yesterday, when i asked peter strzok if he ever communicated
with glen simpson he gave us the answer he gave dozens of times, on the advice of fbi counsel, i cannot answer that question. why couldn't he answer the question? >> mr. jordan, i appreciate your sincere concerns but i didn't give peter strong any instructions. if there was problem -- >> that's not what his lawyer said. >> when you find some problem with a production or with questions, it doesn't mean i'm personally trying to conceal something from you. it means we're running an organization that's trying to follow the rules. and, -- >> when i asked him if he ever talked to bruce orr, he said he had three times in 2016 and 2017. then i asked him have you ever talked to nellie orr and i said no, i haven't. i said why can you answer that question? because nellie orr worked for glen simpson, worked for fusion, he could answer that question but he couldn't answer it because fbi counsel told him that he couldn't. he couldn't answer whether he'd ever talked to glen simpson, a journalist. why couldn't he answer that question? >> i appreciate you saying it isn't personal. sometimes it feels that way. how do i know, sir? you interviewed mr. strzok, i didn't.
>> works for you. doesn't work for us. >> there are 115,000 people who work for me, sir. >> mr. rosenstein, did you threaten staffers on the house intelligence committee? media reports indicate you did. >> media reports are mistaken. >> sometimes. but this is what they said. "having the nation's number one law enforcement officer threaten to subpoena your calls and e-mails is down right chilling." did you threat on the subpoena their calls and e-mails? >> no, sir, and there's no way to subpoena phone calls. [laughter] >> i'm reading what the press said. >> i would suggest you not rely on what the press says, sir. >> i didn't ask if there's no way to do it, i asked if you said it. >> i said what? >> what i just read you. >> no, i do not. >> who are we supposed to believe? staff members who we worked with who never misled us or you guys who we caught hiding information from us, who tell a witness not to answer our questions, who are we supposed to believe. >> thank you for making clear it's not personal, mr. jordan. >> i'm saying the department of
justice -- >> you should believe me because i'm telling the truth and i'm under oath. if you want to put someone under oath -- >> i know these staff members. here's my last question. what's so important that you know that you don't want us to know that you won't give us the documents we're asking for that the house of representatives is about ready to go on record saying you should give us. what's so darn important that you will threaten members -- at least according to media reports and staff members -- >> parliamentary inquiry, mr. chairman. >> what is so important, mr. rosenstein? >> parliamentary inquire, mr. chairman. >> this is not an appropriate time for a parliamentary inquiry inquiry. >> point of order. the gentleman keeps representing the house of representatives -- yes, it will be the republicans who continue to -- >> that is not an appropriate point of order. >> he needs to be corrected in his statement. >> the time of the gentleman -- the gentlemen will suspend. the time of the gentleman from ohio will be restored for an additional 15 seconds and the
deputy attorney general will be allowed to respond. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. rosenstein, mr. wray, i appreciate your work but i'd also appreciate the house of representatives could get the information. mr. gowdy talked about how long there's been a special counsel. we started asking for information in july of last year and some of that is still not given -- still hasn't been give to the congress. still has not been give on the the committee charged with defending the judiciary committee. so, i > appreciate what you do. i want the information and we're so frustrated there's a resolution on the floor of the house that will be voted on. resolutionsave any on what you have to vote on. >> i know you don't. >> the gentleman will suspend. the time is now the attorney general's. >> if you're interested in the truth, mr. jordan, the truth is we have a team of folks that are trump appointees and career folks and they're doing their best to produce these documents. director wray explained the process. he's got hundreds of people
working around the clock trying to satisfy these requests so whether you vote or not is not going to affect it. you're going to get everything that's relevant that we can find and produce to you. i support this report, sir. i'm not trying to hide anything from you. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from georgia mr. johnson for five minutes. >> thank you, gentlemen, i appreciate your service. i've been impressed with your andgence, your honesty, integrity in this very difficult environment that we find ourselves in and, basically, it is a situation where the majority is hurting this country. we're hurting our country with what we're doing today. what we're doing today is holding an emergency hearing, a so-called emergency hearing based on allegations that political influence or political
bias within the fbi and the doj has somehow led to an illegitimate result in the hillary clinton e-mail investigation. that's an investigation that was conducted originally. it was conducted by the fbi and doj. no criminal charges filed. investigation closed. then there was an inspector general's information -- investigation of that investigation. that report was issued last week. it found that there was no wrong doing in the investigation of the investigation. and now today we have an investigation of the investigation of the investigation. and it's an emergency situation. also, a part of this hearing is
an attempt to investigate the ongoing criminal investigation into the allegations and indications of collusion and perhaps conspiracy with russians in the conducting of the 2016 presidential election. and ominously what the , republicans are trying to do is force the fbi and doj to turn over to this committee investigating the investigators information, documents that go to the heart of the criminal investigation. it's been my experience that the criminal investigators never turn over the information, they're never even asked to turn over information in an ongoing criminal investigation. can you both comment on the uniqueness of what's happening today and the danger that it
poses to justice in this country? >> congressman, i don't believe it poses any danger because we are not going to produce documents that will interfere with ongoing investigation. as i said in response to mr. jordan's request, we are producing the documents, it's a large volume of documents, it's taking a lot of time and i said i thought he had a legitimate point about the redactions that made it appear as if the bureau was concealing information so we brought in mr. loesch and changed the process and i think in reality it's working quite well and whatever anybody votes on is beyond my control. >> congressman, we are committed to being responsive to legitimate congressional oversight. we're trying our hardest to produce documents as quickly as we can and as completely as we can. we also have an obligation to protect on going criminal and counterintelligence investigations. we also have an obligation to protect grand jury secrecy, we also have an obligation to protect sources and methods and
we're sworn to do those things just like we are to be responsive to congressional oversight and the inspector general's report, ironically the report we're here to talk about is very pointed on the subject as one of the principle failings that it found was commenting on an ongoing investigation publicly and with congress so we take those lessons seriously. we're trying to learn those lessons. >> director wray, threatening you with a subpoena or contempt of congress with non-compliance with a congressional subpoena puts you in a bad position, doesn't it? >> certainly. when i was minding my own business in private practice in atlanta i didn't think i would be spending the first few months of my job standing down the barrel of a contempt of congress for something that occurred before i was fbi director.
having said that, i'm committed to making sure that we are responsive to these committees and to the extent we can do better, we're trying to do better. at the same time, in my experience, there are two principles that have to be balanced, responsiveness to congressional oversight which is important to me personally but also respecting on going criminal investigations. >> and there's certain information that you cannot provide to this committee based on the ongoing nature of the criminal investigation. is that correct? >> yes. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. the committee will stand in recess for six minutes and 45 minutes remaining in the vote on the floor and we will reconvene as soon as that vote concludes.