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tv   Deputy A.G. Rosenstein FBI Director Wray Testify on Clinton Email Probe...  CSPAN  June 29, 2018 3:45am-4:49am EDT

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announcer: when the hearing resumed, deputy director general rod rosenstein and fbi director christopher wray gave their opening statements. then they took questions from committee members. this portion of the hearing is just over an hour. >> the committee will reconvene.
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we welcome our distinguished witnesses. you will please rise, i will begin by swearing u.n.. sorry to make you keep standing up, director. to each of you swear the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you god? >> they have answered in the affirmative. rod rosenstein is the deputy internal -- attorney general of the united states. served as the united
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states district attorney for the state of maryland before being nominated by president trump to be deputy attorney general. eighth andy is the the federal bureau of investigation. in 1997 ins career georgia. he served in the office of the deputy attorney general and was nominated by president bush to serve as the assistant attorney general for the criminal division. president trump nominated him to lead the bureau in august of 2017. your entire written statement will be entered into the record. we ask that you summarize your testimony within five minutes. when you have one minute left, the light will turn yellow and one minute later, to read. -- red.
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then we will open it up for questions. you.stein: thank i welcome the opportunity to appear before you. today is not a happy occasion. based on my 30 years of experience, federal law enforcement working with the men ,nd women of law enforcement there is nobody who would be more commuted -- committed. conducted aneral thorough investigation and found some employees deviated from important principles. everyone knew about some of the departures when they occurred, such as discussing criminal investigations. we learn about others through the internal investigation. such as leaking of the news
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media. people to hold these accountable and deter future violations. talk abouty will what the fbi is doing. we're considering other recommendations. we already revised the departments confidentiality policies and emphasized the sensitive information is protected from disclosure. we intend to enforce that principle on our employees and we need to demonstrate respect for it ourselves. a congressional oversight is final to -- vital to democracy.
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the fbi is managing an extraordinary volume of congressional oversight requests. result of president trump's to transparency, the fbi is making an president lee disclosures to congress, including granting access to hundreds of thousands of pages of investigative information and classified documents. the real work is not done in television and it is not all done by me. trump administration officials are talking with your staff every day. they are working overtime with teams of fbi employees to accommodate requests and produce relevant information to this committee. requestsittee production of all documents
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relevant to the inspector general's review. as you know, the fbi normally declines these requests. this time, the department agreed to produce all relevant documents. i understand the universe of potentially relevant documents was in the range of 1.2 millions . only one fraction are relevant. we began production even before the inspector general finished confirmed, after we the investigation was substantially complete. timebi struggled for some with the scope and volume of production. some of your colleagues brought to my attention that the , thation policies relevant information was being concealed. i looked into it and understood. attorney inthe u.s.
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chicago to take charge of the project. he is with me today. he brings experience at handling large document productions in the private sector. arranged a production process that seems to be working well. i understand people still have concerns about the speed of production. those concerns are mistaken. i have devoted almost 30 years to the service of my country. my line of work, we keep an open mind. underlegations are made oath and supported by credible evidence. respect.everyone with you and i are the beneficiaries and temporary trustees of a
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remarkable experiment in self-government. we represent the people of the united states. president trump appointed us. the senate confirmed our nominations and we sworn oath and accepted responsibility for helping run the department of justice. that oath requires us to make controversial decisions. so here is the advice i give the department of justice employees -- faithfully pursue the departments law enforcement mission and the administration's goals in a manner consistent with laws and policies. be prepared to face criticism. it is part of the job. but ignore the tyranny of the news cycle and make honest alwaysns that will withstand fair and objective review. our departments employees work diligently every day to keep
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america safe. is neverheir good work the subject of any congressional hearing. tois a tremendous privilege work in an organization that seeks the truth and serves the law. the doj is not perfect. we will keep working to make it better. we welcome your constructive assistance. thank you. >> thank you. i want to thank you both for getting here. director wray: good morning. toppreciate this opportunity discuss the fbi's response.
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take the report very seriously and we accept the findings and recommendations. we are doing a whole number of things to adjust the recommendations and we are determined to emerge from this experience better and wiser. is entrusted with a lot of authority and we are subject to close oversight. can make the fbi stronger and the public safety or -- safer. four months we have been working with your committees to answer questions and produce or make available to you and your staff over 880,000 pages. have nowwe substantially complied with the majority of the committee's subpoena, we are determined to
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get through the outstanding items and we have increased staffing on this project even further. in the past week, we have had approximately 100 employees working day and night, dedicated to this project to collect and produce thousands of additional pages. although the ig report did not find any evidence of political bias impacting the investigation , the report did identify errors of judgment. these were not the best choices. i would like to summarize the steps we are taking to address this. we will hold employees accountable for misconduct. we have referred it to the fbi's
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independent disciplinary arm. complete,process is we will not hesitate to hold people accountable. we are making sure every employee understands the lessons , starting atort the top so we don't repeat mistakes identified in that report. third, we're making sure that we have the policies, the procedures and the training needed for everyone to understand and remember what is expected of all of us. that includes drilling home the importance of objectivity and of avoiding even the appearance of personal conflicts or political bias, ensuring that recusals are handled correctly. making all employees aware of our new media policy and making clear we will not tolerate noncompliance. ensuring we follow doj policies about public statements on ongoing investigations and
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uncharged conduct and ensuring we adhere strictly to all policies and procedures on the use of fbi systems, networks and devices. i have also directed our new associate deputy director, the number three official in the fbi, to lead a review of how we staff, structure and supervise sensitive investigations so that we can make sure that each one is conducted to our highest standards. the ig report makes clear that we have got important work to do. but i do want to emphasize that this report is focussed on a specific set of events in 2016 and a small number of employees connected with those events. nothing in this report impugns the integrity of our workforce as a whole or the fbi as an institution. i want to be very clear about the fbi i have gotten to see in the ten months since i have taken on this job.
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as i meet with our offices all over the world, offices represented by every one of the members up here, i encounter really remarkable, inspiring stories about the work our 37,000 men and women are doing every single day. we have rescued more than 1,300 kids from child predators this year alone. we have arrested more than 4,600 violent gang members in just the past few months. we have disrupted recently terrorist plots ranging from places like fisherman's wharf to a crowded shopping mall in miami. i can go on and on. our men and women are doing all that great work with the unfailing fidelity to our constitution and the laws that it demands, the bravery that it deserves and the integrity that the american people rightly expect. that means we're going to do this job by the book. i am committed to doing that. i would not be here if i wasn't
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committed to making sure we do it that way, and i expect all our employees to do the same. that means following our rules, following our policies, following our long-standing norms. there will be times when we feel extraordinary pressure not to follow our process and policies. but in my view, those are precisely the times that we need to adhere to them the most. we've got to stay faithful to our best traditions and our core values, making sure we are not only doing the right thing, but doing it in the right way and pursuing the facts independently and objectively, no matter who likes it. that, in my view, is the only way we can maintain the trust and credibility of the people we serve. mr. chairman and members of the committee, thank you again for the opportunity to address the inspector general's report and i look forward to answering the committee questions. >> thank you. we will now proceed under the five-minute rule with questions.
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mr. rosenstein, august 8, text message in the ig report. trump is not ever going to become president, right? peter responds, no. we will stop it. the justice department had previously provided text messages from that date. they included all of the messages except the we will stop it message. why was that left out? i spoke with michael horvitz yesterday and he said when he testified he did not have an opportunity to explain. he assured me he had a long telephone conversation with mr. jordan after the hearing and explained it. he is in a much better position than i.
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what i can assure you, we are not withholding anything embarrassing. the message was not in the original material. you guys did not find it and he did. we're asking you to produce stuff and we expect a good faith effort. you guys didn't find it. but he was able to find it and you didn't. so it was disappointing to see that text message there. think about the timeline. you have peter who opened the counterintelligence investigation against trump. one week later, this text message. then the next week, the insurance policy text message or he says we cannot take the risk of a trump presidency. ,he american people see that doesn't not undermine the whole integrity of the actions of people like peter struck? >> yes. it is obviously highly
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inappropriate. >> it is more than that. theid not say it affected decision about hillary. concerned with pursuing this collusion investigation. thatstified on the record it was absolutely reasonable to say that the bias not only existed but affected what he did. do --id the drg or fbi ?oj or fbi do >> i am not permitted to discuss any classified information in an open setting, but i can assure you we are working with oversight committees and producing relevant evidence. >> did the obama administration direct anybody to make contact
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with anybody associated with the trump campaign? >> i understand your interest. i am not permitted to discuss this. >> the american people need to know where the counter were thence powers -- counter intelligence powers unleashed inappropriately? we talk about the mueller investigation, it is really the rosenstein investigation. memo saying comey should be fired. you signed a extension for carter page. so it seems like you should be recused from this more than jeff sessions, because you were involved in both decisions. why haven't you done that? you if it wase appropriate for me to recuse, i would be more than happy to do so. and let's unveiled handle this.
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-- and let somebody else handle this. >> the ig report makes it clear jim gummi should've been fired. why are we still doing this with the mueller probe -- jim comey should have been fired. why are we still doing this with the mueller probe? saidu accept what ig core with the clinton emails. he texted lesa page. hurwitz said his bias is an appropriate explanation for his conduct. do you agree? >> i agree with the findings of
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the ig report and i think they indicate bias. >> you have work to do. if bias is affecting official action, that is a big problem. >> this may be an appropriate time to make what is an easy request. could you state for the record what is the department of justice and fbi policy on commenting on any matter related to an ongoing criminal or counterintelligence investigation, and does this policy apply to document production, even when requested by congress? >> yes. director ray might be able to speak more specifically to the
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reasons why fbi does not commence, that we do not discuss counterintelligence or criminal investigations while they are ongoing. has always been my experience that the department and fbi do not comment on ongoing investigations. there are a number of reasons for that. they go back to the days when i was a line prosecutor and long before that. we have to do with protecting the reputation and privacy of the people who are subject to the investigation. they have to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation of the right to fair trial. to protectneed sources. one of the central learnings of the ig report that we are here goesng about is about what on when you do talk about ongoing investigations. 's of his policies apply to
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all current and former employees apply tose policies all current and former employees? >> that is correct. >> we're here pursuing the that, inf information my experience on this committee, i have never seen this happen before. having been given the to read the entire and documents took me all day. obvious why that material should not be in the public arena.
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there are people who could lose their lives if their identity were made no -- were made known. it is a requirement you labor under but that the committee labors under. mr. jordan, correct me if i am wrong, but i do understand mr. jordan accused you, mr. rosenstein, on the floor of threatening the hits he staff if they threaten to hold you in contempt for refusing to comply with document requests. have you ever threatened includingnal staff, house intelligent -- house intelligence staff? >> people make all kinds of allegations. , if someone comes
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forward and swears under oath that i threatened them, we have to respond. all i can tell you for that matter is that in the room at the time were three officials appointed. there were also two former republican attorneys in the room with us at the time. my answer is no. >> thank you. youeems to me we are asking to violate the policies you labor under. we have been doing that repeatedly. we have the 500 page ig report.
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they're trying to get the fbi to violate the same policies you're holding up today. it is not what the committee should be doing. i do not believe it is in the best interest of this country and certainly it does not uphold and elevate the rule of law, which is what this committee should be doing and has been doing for the quarter-century that i have served on it. i yield back. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. gates, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman, i am in violent agreement with the statements you made after this report was published that nothing in the report impugns the patriotic work of the fbi employees who are serving in my district and around the world and this mess in washington has , nothing to do with them and i want to make that very clear. i appreciate your statements on the subject. deputy director, the democratic memo the president declassified says the department of justice accurately informed the court that the fbi initiated its counterintelligence investigation on july 31, 2016.
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did any investigative activity regarding the trump campaign and russia occur? before july 31, 2016. >> as you know we're dealing , with the intelligence committee on that issue and chairman nunes met with director wray and me. i received the same briefing he received, so i don't know any information beyond that and i can't produce any beyond what the fbi told me. >> are you aware as you sit here today of any payments made to any person to collect intelligence on the trump campaign prior to july 31, 2016? >> no, but keep in mind i wasn't there. i only know what information we've obtained from the fbi records. >> are you as you sit here today aware of any efforts to contact roger stone? >> i don't have personal knowledge, congressman but we , are seeking to respond to chairman nunes'request.
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>> how about as it regards to michael caputo? >> i wasn't there so i can only 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
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. 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
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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?
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>> 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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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>> 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
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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.
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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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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-- 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.
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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
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-- 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.
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>> 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.
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>> 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
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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
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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
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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.
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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
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-- >> 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
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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
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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.
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>> 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.
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>> 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
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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.
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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.
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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
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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
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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.
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