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tv   House Judiciary Meets to Discuss Barr in Contempt Resolution  CSPAN  May 8, 2019 12:48pm-1:31pm EDT

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the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, madam. pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate a.m. 8, 2019, at 11:00 appointment, congressional executive commission on the people's republic of china. commission on security and cooperation in europe, helsinki. signed, sincerely, cheryl l. johnson. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess subject to the call n,
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c-span.org or the free c-span radio app. host: representative ralph norman serves the state of south carolina. he is a member of the budget and oversight committee. also a member of the newly minted anti-socialism caucus. good morning to you. guest: good morning. host: how did that caucus come about? guest: it started in february officially. the otherewart was representative with me. our motive, since the discussion is all over the country with democratic candidates, socialism and those who embrace it, is to spread and talk about it, what it is, give people more of an understanding of free markets versus what socialism is and
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basically just education for people all over the country. when i speak to jr. high schools, the number one topic i get is why not socialism, so it is more of a communication opportunity and i think we will see more congressman joining in. host: is this from the influx of freshman congress men -- congressmen coming in? guest: i don't think in the history of this country, we have had a number of candidates coming in who were openly promoting socialism as a change from capitalism. a combination of them being --cted to congress and also i am a small business person. i did not start out making a career in politics.
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i made it in the private sector which is capitalism at its best. it is highlighted now where in the past it has not been. host: if you see this as an issue, what is the work of the caucus? is it more education or pushing back against legislation you may deem socialist in nature? guest: what we are about and the opportunity we have is related to that family in rural america where the father goes to work in the construction field or whatever his line of work is. that is how he brings home a paycheck and as a contrast, the socialistic model which is more government and government control, and our message to tell that family is the way to get ahead is to incentivize people to go to work and do their best and recognize their talent is
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through the capitalist system and it is a fun topic to talk about but at the same time it is a scary topic when you have so many people who don't understand it and they use countries that really are not socialistic in a true sense, norway, sweden or denmark. we've got venezuela and cuba and russia. it is part of my job as a congressman to educate people and i am a product of the capitalist free enterprise system. host: (202)-748-8000 four democrats. republicans, (202)-748-8001. an independents, (202)-748-8002 if you want to talk to the representative about these issues. democrats who accept the socialistic label are few and far between, the republican party has conducted itself irresponsibly in this capitalism whens socialism debate
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republicans do not like a government program, they flagrantly call it socialism. what do you think about that argument? guest: it is not as small as it used to be in the fact is it is so vocal now. look at aoc, omar who are pretty saying socialism works. look at bernie sanders. the way i explain it to that high school sophomore is just government intervention. the government taking more of all of us are in politics. if you don't believe it look at the top party paycheck and the net party paycheck. not going toney
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you, but to government and that is what we are about and that is what we want -- it is our duty as it comes up, i bring it up because i think it is a real you getnd the only way that young person to understand it is to relate it to how it affects their life and most young people have had jobs, most young people have seen the net amount of a check. host: we have some calls lined up. the first one comes from new jersey, richard on the democrats line. you're on with representative ralph norman. caller: i would like you to talk to -- talk about socialism as it relates to western society. in europe, they consider themselves socialist in a lot of the opposing has been
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fascism, on the extremes. socialism and fascism. we don't understand socialism but we never talk about fascism in this country and trust me, there are plenty of fascists here. established by a group of stiffs and basically fascism, as he said could -- could also be called corporatism, where corporations and only those who are well-connected run the country. thatpeople would believe the corporations and well-connected do run the country here. we are a lot closer to fascism here and we are to socialism. we have a couple socialist programs such as social security and medicare and welfare, but sweden and denmark and norway, they consider themselves socialist countries and they are
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nothing like venezuela, give me a break. guest: i would agree that corporate america has been at the table of government subsidies and have played a big part in the cost of politics. whether it isow getting a contract or getting some type of a payout from the government, that is where the private individual comes in that hopefully will be elected to congress to say no. inrepresent that mom and pop rule america who are supporting a family. big corporations provide jobs and are huge in this country. most big corporations started off small but where they have controlled congress and control dollars that come to them, i would agree, it has gotten out of control.
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that is part of the reason it cost so much to run for office and for the campaigns to fund what they are doing. andmentioned sweden denmark. those are smaller countries. they make a product. norway and denmark are oil-producing countries. sweden has 10 million people. we hmorning. it is regrettable that this unfounded claim disrupted negotiations that had finally begun after the committee's many requests. the attorney general and the department of justice ignored our repeated attempts at accommodation and compromise for well over a month. only in the face of a contempt resolution did the department begin to engage in a discussion of accommodation without producing a single page of the underlying evidence or materials. when that effort failed, the attorney general took the extraordinary step of asking the president to assert executive privilege in order to conceal the entire special counsel report and all the evidence and materials underlying it.
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there is no legal right to stonewall or to obstruct legitimate oversight. that is what we have been seeing as a result of the president's declaration that he is, quote, fighting all the subpoenas, end quote, issued by congress. the attorney general may believe he is merely following orders and seeking to prevent congress from carrying out its constitutional responsibilities. but history has shown time and time again that the first line of defense against undemocratic rule is for those individuals asked to carry out indefensible orders to show that courage and belief to just say no as don mcgahn did on a number of occasions. we are disappointed that the attorney general has again shown, with his actions here today, that he is not that person. he has left the committee no choice but to object the blanket assertion of executive privilege and pass this resolution holding him in contempt. i'm proud to take this action
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due to checks and balances which make no mistake is clearly under attack. i thank this panel for standing up to democratic constitutions and principles we hold so dear. >> i yield back the balance of my time. >> i seek recognition. thank you. i think we're interested now into going into this and trying to come up with something -- let's go to some grounded points. the waivers must be under constitution. chairman, you say that because the report is public, executive privilege has been waived. you rely on the spk referred to
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as the ny sealed case. in the sp case, the white house conducted an investigation and made the resulting report public. in fact, the court said since executive privilege existed to aid in the process, a waiver should not be lightly inferred. quoting from the very decision that you're relying upon for this motion, the courts have said release of a document only waives privilege raised but not materials. this is a balancing test where a crime has occurred in the nixon case. here there is no crime committed as the mueller report demonstrated. the court also said it should not expand to the staff outside the white house. instead the privilege sudden apply to only the communications officer or solicitor and were
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seen by the white house staff who brought in and investigated and formulated advice to be brought to the president on a cumulative manner in which information was laid. when we had our markup in the subpoenas that were issued, and amy donaldson, don mcgahn, and prietus. just getting around this because we don't like the amendment doesn't get us around it. coupled of the fact we had discussions here of rushing into this, not having an accommodation process, and as you folks know, it does take -- there's not an impasse here. i think that's the interesting part about this. there is always talk about being in contempt.
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it's even from what the department of justice offered yesterday, to say, if we go to this step, we'll go back next week and discuss some more. maybe there was the by president obama in the eric holder case but. the case that you're relying upon even for a gentle reader is so much less than what you're trying to do here. that's generous reading. it is not 50-50. as we go down this line, i understand the chairman's argument, but it has been pointed out that you have the ability to go to court to try to
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make this happen. also, before i quit here, the starr case is not precedent. we keep bringing this up. the starr case is not precedent. one of the statutes is defunct. we have the clinton era special counsel regulations which is what bill barr is actually operating under. so if we want to go back and discuss, again, pril sorks iu. that's not what has counseled under the spshl adviser case. if we count this case from a strictly legal reading, at best it's a 50-50 jump ball to say physical. this case actually slides and this case should not apply and your memo should not be well
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taken, it should be voted down. we have a lot more to go here. there is a lot more to this other than the executive action. by the time you get in front of a judge and he says, what dud escalation the t. encourages all other readers to read t reed the case. with that i yield back. >> having used less than. when we prepared this, i neglected to describe what the amendment actually does. i yield 13450is seconds for that purpose. >> he is exerting executive privilege over the redacted portions of the report and all underlying materials. the amendment then explains some of the many reasons why we
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believe that assertion of privilege lacks any solid base. >> then we'll ta take the floor. the gentlelady is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chair, and thank you for offering this amendment which i support. i was puzzled, maybe like many of you, i received it here in hampden about 10:00 this morning, a letter dated today, may 8, 2018, addressed to the president, the white house, washington, d.c. dear mr. president, i am writing to make sure you ask for a proactive assertion with the executive privilege with respect to documents conceded to the house of representatives. that is signed by wil yak with
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something i w written with john dowd to robert mueller, asking for the president to come in and testify, to interview with the president and discuss concerns regarding the report and the investigation. there is a list of some 15 areas of concern that the special counsel asked for the president to come on in and discuss. and guess what his personal attorney john o'dowd said in this long letter. it is abundantly clear to the und undersigned that all your answers are in the exhibits that have been provided to you, all showing there was no collusion
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with russia nor that any fbi investigation could have even been constructed. we remain in agreement with the documents requested by the white house. it goes on further to say, in an effort to provide complete transparency, the president waived the obviously applicable privileges where appropriate in order to show both the congress and the special counsel to seek all relevant documents. his personal attorney more than a year ago waived privilege. he said everybody came in, they had the right to testify, they had the right to meet. they spoke for hours. whether it was mcgahn or any others, hope hicks and others, and yet this morning, the attorney general asked the president, please claim. put a big drape over this thing. please claim privilege.
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and then we later got a letter from the attorney general saying, he's claimed privilege. so i guess there was a conversation there. imagine that, an attorney general sworn to tell the truth, the highest in the land, with destruction over this incredible investigation. mr. chairman, we are at a grave moment. i thank you for holding this very important hearing on contempt. our constitutional system of government is in jeopardy. we have to make sure that we protect the rule of law. we are up against an administration that cares nothing for the rule of law, cares only for self. and we need to see the entire mueller report. mr. barr has given away his credibility here. we know that. his letters have no meaning because they do not reflect the
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truth. so i stand in support of your amendment and, of course, in support of the underlying contempt report. thank you, mr. chairman. >> the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from north dakota. >> move to strike the last word. i think we have some signals crossed. until about 30 seconds ago, or five minutes ago or 10 minutes ago, this subpoena was for a full unredacted version of the mueller report. my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have given speeches, have cited cases -- now, i don't think they're entirely relevant -- about releasing 6e material. we just had a speech saying we get the entire report. now we're hearing conversations about 6e isn't necessarily in it, but it's in the subpoena. the subpoena is simple. it is fully to have the unredacted mueller report.
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just in the way that words matter, the letter didn't say a proactive assertion of privilege, it said a protective assertion of privilege. i think we can reasonably argue that one of the reasons they're doing a protective assertion of privilege is that in order to comply with the subpoena, they would have to violate the law. we talk about asking the attorney general to go to court to release grand jury evidence. we talk about how that has happened in the past. first of all, in the case that it happened in in the past was actually the halderman case, and the reason the court ruled in favor of releasing information was because they ruled it was a legal proceeding because it was an impeachment proceeding. secondly, the attorney general has no obligation to go to court. and by issuing a subpoena, this committee cannot compel him to go to court. this committee can go to court on its own to try and release that information -- and by the way, i'll be offering an amendment later -- there is no
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guarantee that is going to happen, either. so when we're gifving speeches, when we're going on cnn, when we're going on msnbc, it was about getting the full mueller report. despite the debate we're having about that very information, that's what the subpoena says. when you issue a protective assertion of privilege, you have the right to do that, particularly, i think, if you're the attorney general and you think you'll have to violate the law in order to comply with the subpoena. secondly, and it becomes interesting and more important when we discuss how this has moved forward and where we're at. and by that i mean we're saying the spks, we're saying nobody has had these issues, but none of the redacted version has been shared. none of the information has been
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shared. to say there isn't an executive privilege on that information, i agree with the ranking member, it's a junk ball at best. >> does the gentleman yield? >> yeah, i yield. >> the question may be to ranking member collins. you said that executive privilege has not been waived with respect to the redacted portions of the report. i'm not talking about the grand jury piece. i'm talking about the other pieces. my understanding is that the ranking member has seen that unredacted material. am i mistaken? >> i haven't seen it. >> i know you haven't seen it, mr. armstrong, that's why we're here. the central intelligence committee can see the redaction of the reports so we can do our jobs. i just to want clarify that piece. >> the answer, i think, becomes when you go through a contempt proceeding as you're working through this, i'm concerned now
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whether 6e material is part of the subpoena. actually, i'm not. i know it is part of the subpoena, but it's part of the conversation that's gone on. so asserting protective assertion of privilege, they have the right to do that. what the ranking member has seen and hasn't seen under those settings, i think, is a completely different conversation. i yield down. >> the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady -- for what purpose does the gentlelady from texas seek permission? >> i would like to thank the clarity for the basis of this hearing and the markup which is to illuminate on the unredacted entirety of the document, unredacted. but i'd like to add just a point or two of clarification. i just want to rhetorically ask
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the question, if the document was issued during the time frame of 2012 to 2016, so the previous president, what my friends on the other side of the aisle would be engaged in. there would be no doubt in my mind that they would be raging for the entire report. they would not only subpoena, they might even use inherent powers to attempt to incarcerate some of the administration officials under the obama administration. we now are working on the basis of our chairman having worked extensively on accommodation. that terminology means we've been reaching out to the department of justice to work
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with their lawyers to find a common ground to provide the documents that we ask. to clarify the gentleman, mr. armstrong's point, we understand the law over here. we understand that the 6e materials are materials that deal with matters that will have to be reviewed by the court. we don't intend to utilize materials randomly. so we've asked the attorney general to come to court with us. of course these documents are important because they go to the full understanding of the american people. we knew that many of those documents may be held in a classified or confidential manner. we would intend to do that if that's necessary by the court. so to act as if you are confused, the resolution speaks
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for itself. the unredacted document in its entirety, the supporting documents that mr. mueller utilized and the court proceeding which we hope would move along expeditially. when you use the word protective or proactive, it is a blanket use of the word privilege which, as i said, is historic. on this day in 2019, you are seeing a request on may 8 for something that has never been requested by any president of the united states, no matter how much review, investigation and trouble they might be in. so this is historic. and i believe for the very
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infrastructure of the constitution, there is no way that we can yield or see to a blanket request for executive privilege. and i ask a rhetorical question as to what my friends would have done if this document had come out between 2012 and 2016 and what the american people would have asked us to do. i believe we should move on the underlying resolution because we have seen actions that have never been utilized, we have sought an accommodation, we have received letters on may 8, today, both the letter to us indicating that we had reached the accommodation and the breach came from the attorney general, not this committee. we were still negotiating late into the night, that should be very clear, and as well the seeking of a practioactive, protective assertion of the executive privilege. i would also say to you an executive privilege that has been waived.
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let's get on with our work in finding out the truth, and let's clarify what mr. nadler is asking for. i think he's been very clear, and i certainly think he has been measured in his attempt to work through this with the attorney general. and i would hope that we would rise and support the resolution of which i support. i yield back. >> the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose is the gentleman from colorado? >> i strike my last word. >> i agree, and this is something i thought about for a while. i think we have a lot of good attorneys on this committee, and that's why we're asking questions. if my executive from texas and i were in court together, you're asking for speculation on what
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we would say. i don't have speculation, i have facts. what did happen during the previous administration when a contempt proceeding was going on? they actually made an assertion for the privilege. my friends across the aisle actually disagreed with this, didn't want it to happen, in fact, walked out, made a big production saying it was all political and they never should have held eric holder in contempt. i go back to what has been repeated and repeated and repeated is that was over 400 days. we're still at the generous two-month level here. i want to go back to the interesting issue that was brought up which was a valid point and something to bring up, but it also strengthened my argument that we're going too quickly. there were accommodations made. the justice department were in the process of making accommodations and they did it
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with the intent of letting members go. i did go see it. that was public record. i did go see it. the chairman has not seen it. >> does the gentleman yield? ranking member, with all the respect in the world, while i appreciate that, it seems to me it's been pretty clear from the department of justice that they will only allow you and the chairman of this committee, as well as a few other members of this congress, of this house, to see the materials that you have. our point is that the republican members cht jrof the judiciary committee, as well as the democratic members of this committee ought to be able to review these materials to perform their critical confirmation duties, and that's why the ranking member of the intelligence committee, debra nunez, joined with the chairman of the intelligence committee, adam schiff, in making the same request this chairman has made. >> i appreciate the gentleman there, but i think this is actually that we'll have this request.
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have we actual we saw an offer made yesterday which was rejected and that's why we're here today. if anybody has gone through the negotiation process, that's part of the negotiation. you may not like the timing, but again, in less than 40 days, it's pretty interesting when we had 400 days and over 300 days with holder and also meyers and bolton. again, i think we're conflating the issues here. the 6-c information, we don't need to gloss over that. if you're watching and you're seeing this, don't gloss over the fact that we previously, in this committee, the majority rejected an amendment that said 6e information is not going to be a part of this. because now we're looking at this information and it's been said several times, what is relevant, what is speculation and where do we go from? i go back to a statement i made the other day when the chairman and i were talking about another amendment, and it's true. we vote on words on paper and not intent. intent is one that it may intend we don't want to do that, but
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that's not what we vote on in this congress. >> will the gentleman yield? >> i yield to the gentlelady. >> i think we could be in a courtroom. i just want to clarify that mr. holder's activities were far more distinctive for the actual acts of the president of the united states. we are dealing with the actual acts of a president of the united states. and what i was saying, if that occurred between 2012 and 2016, you would be, my good friends, rushing toward a particular procedure. this has to do with actual acts of the presidency. i yield back. >> i'll reclaim my time. that is exactly what i believe my friends have said, you are rushing for it, but i also go back to a gentleman. this case is -- when you look at it from the holder perspective t
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all stores there. i think that all goes to the fact that if my friends continue to take this to court, they go to the record and right now that record is bare. i yield to the gentleman from colorado. >> the gentleman yields back. what purpose does the gentleman from -- oh. the gentlelady from -- for what purpose does the gentlelady from texas seek recognition? >> mr. chairman, i move to strike the last word. >> the gentlelady is recognized. >> i think it's so important for us to come back to why we're here. and to understand why there is so many efforts to prevent us from getting to the full truth.
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let's get back to what we all know. we all know that a foreign adversary attacked our country, and they did that by meddling in our elections. we know that the president's campaign knew about that attack. we know that they welcomed that attack. we know that they tried to prevent others from knowing about that attack. we know that they made false statements about the attack. and after everyone knew, the president then tried to obstruct the investigation about that attack. and the other thing that we know, and this is what we have to remember as americans, they are still at it. they were wildly successful in trying to get inside of our elections. wildly successful. and they are still at it. that's why we are here. that's why we are trying to get
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to the truth. that's why we are fighting so hard for the american public to have access to everything. it's not that complicated. it's actually pretty simple. but i'll tell you, i'm new here, and earlier one of my colleagues, miss scanlon, said she's also new, how this whole thing really saddens her. and mary gay, it saddens me, too. i can't believe this. i can't believe this. something that should be eun u y unifying republicans and democrats alike. fighting for this country, fighting for the integrity of our democracy, fighting for our elections, fighting for the american people. but instead this is what we get. we get different ways and avenues and strategies to obstruct getting to the full
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truth. i want to remind everyone here and i want to remind the american public about the oath that we took. we took an oath the day we were sworn in to support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic. further, that we will bear truth and allegiance to the same. i remember my oath. i take my oath seriously. and all of these efforts to create obstacles and roadblocks to getting to the full truth, shame. shame, shame, shame. mr. chairman, i support your amendment, i support this resolution, and it's about time that everyone unite and fight for the american public.
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>> does the gentlelady yield? >> i do. i yield. >> we simply do not have 400 days to wait before making sure that we are protected in the 2020 election. we know that in 2016 the russians interfered with our election so that they could help donald trump get elected. donald trump will stand for reelection again in a very short period of time, and we don't have 400 days to wait to determine whether or not we are in shape to withstand any additional attempts for the russians to try to interfere to help trump get reelected. and i don't want the public to be confused. 6e is not the issue here. we know that we have to get with the courts in order to obtain
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grand jury information. we know that and we're prepared to do that. normally the attorney general would go with us to court to do that, but he doesn't want to do that. the other things today, they are redacting the mueller report for ongoing matters. they don't say ongoing investigations or prosecutions. ongoing matters, what does that mean? national security sources and methods. we can deal with that. and then a third thing, embarrassing information on peripheral third parties' net charge. those are things we need to be negotiating about, and this administration has refused to do so and that's what this contempt proceeding is all about. with that i yield back. >> i yield back my time.
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>> mr. nadler? mr. nadler votes aye. miss loughgren votes aye. miss jackson-lee votes aye. mr. cohen? mr. johnson of georgia. >> aye. >> mr. johnson of georgia votes aye. mr. deutsch? mr. deutsch votes aye. mr. bass? mr. richmond? mr. jeffries? mr. sissilini? mr. swallow? mr. swallow votes aye. mr. liu? mr. liu votes aye. mr. raskin? >> aye. >> mr. raskin votes aye? miss jayapajayapal?
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miss jayapal votes aye. miss scanlon votes aye. miss gar? >> aye. >> miss garcia votes aye. mr. goose votes aye. mr. bath? mr. bath votes aye. mr. stanton? mr. stanton votes aye. miss dean votes aye. miss mccarsell powell votes aye. miss escobar votes aye. mr. collins? mr. collins votes no. mr. sitsenbrenner? mr. chavez votes no. mr. jordan votes no. mr. buck votes no. mr. ratcliffe? mr. ratcliffe

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