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tv   House Judiciary Meets to Discuss Barr in Contempt Resolution Part 1  CSPAN  May 8, 2019 4:35pm-7:58pm EDT

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>> in a party line vote of 24-16 the house judiciary committee today voted to hold attorney general william barr in contempt of congress. the resolution is likely to now go to the house rules committee and then possibly to the house floor. t a time to be determined by house democratic leadership. if you missed any of today's live broadcast, we'll re-air this meeting again tonight in its entirety at 8:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. now we'll show you how the day began in the house judiciary committee. mr. nadler: the judiciary committee will please come to
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order. pursuant to committee rule 2 and house rule 11, clause 2, the chair may postpone further proceedings today on the question of approving any measure or matter or adopting an amendment for which a recorded vote or the yeas and nays are ordered. for purposes of markup and move that the committee report it favorably to the house. >> mr. chairman, i demand the question of consideration. mr. nadler: before we read the bill? >> i believe this is when the motion lies.
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mr. nadler: the question of consideration is not debatable. the question is shall the the committeeider report. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. >> roll call please. mr. nadler: roll can call is requested. clerk will call the roll. [roll call]
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mr. nadler: the gentleman from georgia. he gentleman from florida. is there any member of the committee who wishes to vote who hasn't voted? the clerk will report. the clerk: mr. chairman, there are 22 ayes and 12 noes. mr. nadler: the motion for consideration is adopted. the clerk will report the committee report. the clerk: resolution recommending that the house of representatives find william p. barr, attorney general, u.s.
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department of justice, in contempt of congress for refusal to comply with the subpoena duly issued by the committee on the judiciary. mr. nadler: without objection. the committee report is considered as read. and open for amendment at any point. i will begin by recognizing myself for an opening statement. today we consider a report recommending that the house of representatives hold attorney general william barr in contempt of congress for defying a valid subpoena issued by this committee. this is not a step we take lightly. it is the culmination of nearly three months of requests, discussions and negotiations with the department of justice, with a complete unredacted report by special counsel mueller into russian interference in the 2016 election, along with the underlying evidence. i appreciate the fact that the department responded to the offer we made to them last week and met with us yesterday in a last-minute effort to reach an accommodation. we heard the department out, we responded to them in good faith.
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and after all was said and done, we unfortunately were still unable to reach agreement and we proceeded with our markup today. as i have said before, we remain ready and willing to consider any reasonable offer made by the department even after today's vote. but if a letter i received late last night from the department is any indication, i am concerned that the department is heading in the wrong direction. in response to our latest good faith offer, the department abruptly announced that if we move forward today it would ask president trump to invoke what it refers to as a protective assertion of executive privilege on all of the materials subject to our subpoena. just minutes ago it took that dramatic step. since the white house waived these privileges long ago and the department seemed open to sharing these materials with us just yesterday, this decision represents a clear escalation in the trump administration's
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blanket defines of congress' constitutionally mandated duties. i hope the department will think better of this last-minute outburst and return to negotiations. as a co-equal branch of government, we must have access to the materials that we need to fulfill our constitutional responsibilities in a manner consistent with past precedent. this is information we are legally entitled to receive and we are constitutionally obligated to review. i would remind the members that the mueller report is no ordinary run of the mill document. it details significant misconduct involving the president, including his campaign's willingness and eagerness to accept help from a hostile foreign government, numerous misstatements, if not outright lies concerning those acts, and 11 separate incidents of obstructive behavior by the president that more than 700 former prosecutors told us warrant criminal indictment. if congress is not entitled to the full redacted mueller
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report, one must wonder what document we would be entitled to. our exhaustive negotiations with the department of justice have unfortunately left us back where we began. with unprecedented obstruction by the administration that has now announced its intention to block all attempts at congressional oversight of the executive branch. it is our constitutional duty to respond. let me be clear. information we are requesting is entirely within our legal rights to receive and is no different from what has been provided to congress on numerous occasions going back nearly a century. but we do not need to go back that far to find a precedent. as recently as the last congress, under republican control, the department produced more than 880,000 pages of sensitive investigative materials pertains to its investigation of hillary clinton, as well as other material relating to the russia investigation and other ongoing investigations. that production included highly
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classified material, notes from f.b.i. interviews, internal text messages, and law enforcement memoranda. with respect to grand jury information, in past cases involving allegations of presidential misconduct, or misconduct by other high ranking public officials, the department of justice is a matter of course has sought the permission of a court through -- to release relevant information to the congress, if not the public. noticeably this includes several cases that were not impeachment inquiries, including the investigation into former agriculture secretary mike espy, and the iran contra investigations. as well as other investigations that were not governed by the independent counsel law. but no matter the fact that the law and history clearly support the release to congress of this kind of information, the trump administration has taken obstruction of congress to new heights. unfortunately the attorney general has been all too willing to support the president in this endeavor. i would also like to respond to two of the concerns often raised
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by my good friend, the ranking member. he asks, how can the committee hold the attorney general in contempt for merely complying with the laws on the books? and how can we hold him in contempt when i have refused an offer to allow me to see certain redacted portions of the report? the answers are simple. first, we issued a valid subpoena for the full report and all of the underlying evidence. the department has come nowhere close to satisfying its obligations under that subpoena. the department has never cited a legal basis for withholding the underlying evidence, including last night's threat to invoke executive privilege, which was utterly without credibility, merit or legal or factual basis. as is, of course, the assertion or the statement that they will assert executive privilege by the white house this morning. to the extent that we have asked for access to grand jury information, which is protected by federal law, all we have ever asked is that the department join us in petitioning the court to determine if it is proper for us to have access to this
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material. the department, as i said, has done this on many occasions in the past. we asked for a commitment to join us in that effort again last night, as it has done in many previous cases, and the department refused. second, with respect to the offer to limit -- to lift some of the redactions for me and a handful of my colleagues, the department has placed unacceptable limitations on access to that information. their offer would block the members of this committee from reading those sections of the report for themselves. it would require know leave my notes behind at the department of justice. it would prevent me from speaking with my colleagues, with other members of the committee, about what i might see. what good is it, of what use can this committee make of information that i have but can't discuss with any other member of the committee? i have consistently stated that if we are to do our jobs as members of the house judiciary committee, all of the members require meaningful access to the
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report and the underlying documents. we need to be able to confer with each other about what we have seen. we need to be able to take official action on what we have seen, if warranted. and if necessary, we need to be able to inform a court of law of what we have learned, even if perhaps under seal. if we can find an accommodation that satisfies those basic principles, i would be halfpy to continue negotiating with the department of justice. but now by invoking executive privilege on all of the materials subject to our subpoena, that process has come to a screeching halt. the administration has announced loud and clear that it does not recognize congress as a co-equal branch of government with independent constitutional oversight authority and it will continue to wage its campaign of obstruction. when the administration says it will oppose all subpoenas, presumably regardless of its merits, it is saying that it does not recognize congress having a constitutional oversight authority over the executive branch. and to those who consider the
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matter case-closed in the words of some of our leaders, and who urge us to simply move on, i would say that to do so is to announce loud and clear that such a course of action has the effect of aiding and abetting in the administration's campaign of total blanket and unprecedented obstruction. the trump administration and its enablers may brazenly try to cover up the misdeeds uncovered by the special counsel. but in this committee we will represent the american people and ensure the truth is known. i urge my colleagues to think about how the department's latest position and their insistence on ignoring our subpoena effect ours committee over time. our fight is not just about the mueller report, although we must have access to the mueller report. our fight is about defending rights of congress as an independent branch to hold the president, any president, accountable. every day we learn of new efforts by this administration to stonewall congress. and through congress to stonewall the meernl. the ways and means committee has
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been denied the president's tax returns when the law states clearly that they're entitled to them upon request. the chairman of the oversight and reform committee has been sued in his personal capacity to prevent him from acquiring certain financial records from the trump organization. the president has stated that his administration will oppose all subpoenas and in fact virtually all document requests are going unsatisfied. witnesses are refusing to show up at hearings. this is unprecedented. if allowed to go unchecked, this obstruction means the end of congressional oversight. as a co-equal branch of government, we should not and cannot allow this to continue or we will not be a co-equal branch of government. i urge my colleagues, whether or not you care to see the full mueller report, and we should all want to see the complete report, to stand up for the institution we are proud to serve. i expect we'll have a full vote
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on the measure before us. no person and certainly not the top law enforcement officer in the country can be permitted to flout the will of congress and to defy us a valid subpoena. no person, not the attorney general, not the president, can be permitted to be above the law. that is what is at stake today. i urge all of my colleagues to support this report. i now recognize the ranking member of the judiciary committee, the gentleman from georgia, mr. collins, for his opening statement. ms. collins: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, this, and to the folks watching here, this continues. last week i urged you and my fellow members of the judiciary committee, democrats, to respect the history and conditions of this committee and conduct its business accordingly of we still have a crisis on our southern border, china is stealing our intellectual property, yet here we are wasting another valuable week of legislating calendar against the majority's war against the administration. today we are meeting to consider
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a resolution to hold attorney general bill barr in contempt of congress. so let's take just a few moments and go through this. what is the justification for holding attorney general barr in contempt of congress? perhaps that he failed to abide by the special counsel regulation? no. he went above and beyond what the regulations required by transmitting the full report to congress with limited redactions. could it be that the attorney general failed to accommodate the chairman's demands for information? no. he offered to let the chairman and five other democrat leaders review the less redacted at the department of justice, including a 99.9% unredacted volume on obstruction. in an odd move for anyone demanding access to information, the chairman and the other elected democrats given access have declined to view that report. the attorney general also volunteered to testify before this committee about the report's conclusions and his role in sharing the report and as we all witnessed, the democratic gamesmanship forced the attorney general to forego the scheduled hearing last week. on monday the justice department
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offered to meet to discuss accommodations. yesterday they made a reasonable offer to avert this spectacle and once again they were rebuffed and the chairman declined. perhaps then the democrats believed that there has been an unreasonable delay in the justice department's response to their subpoena. no. that's not true either. in fact, the chairman is moving to this contempt resolution at lightning speed. it has been less than 20 days since the chairman nadler subpoenaed documents from the justice department. when the oversight committee held eric -- attorney generic holder in contempt, mo, more than 250 days had passed between the subpoena and the committee's vote to hold him in contempt. more than 450 days passed between the committee's initial request to the justice department and the committee's contempt vote. judiciary democrats are moving more than 10 times faster than oversight did withholder. they have moved from request to contempt vote in only 43 days. and yet the justice department
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is still at the negotiating table waiting for the democrats to arrive in good faith. why this rush? without any valid legislative or administrative reason, we can only assume the democrats that are led by the chairman have resolved to sully bill barr's name and accomplish two goals. first, democrats are angry that special counsel's report did not produce the material or collusion they expected to pave their path toward impeaching the president. i feel compelled to remind everyone the report found, despite offers to do so, no one from the trump campaign knowingly conspired with the russian government. and you can't help notice the phrase russian collusion has vanished from the democratic talking points and left a void in the narrative. since the special counsel did not make a prosecutorial determination of obstruction, which was his job, the attorney general and the deputy attorney general did so according to their mandates as law enforcement officials while giving no credence to the office of legal counsel's opinion regarding that of sitting president. as a result, they're angry. they're angry our nation's chief law enforcement officer and his deputy had the audacity to
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decide the evidence didn't support charges of obstruction. second, democrats are afraid of what the attorney general will find when he completes his ongoing review of fisa abuses at the justice department, including how the russia investigation began. multiple news reports have suggested those conclusions could be explosive, could end careers and could even lead to criminal prosecution. rather than face that, the democrats are resolved to neutralize bill barr by attacking him and the office and his integrity and career. this is the first step. what a cynical, mean-spirited, counterproductive, irresponsible step it is. meanwhile, our economy is surging, unemployment among several minority groups is at a historic low, a recent poll shows cratering support for impeachment, but democrats have no plans, no purpose, and no viable legislative agenda beyond attacking this administration. the house is more than four months into a democratic majority. how many bills passed by this committee have been signed into law? mr. chairman, i implore you to see rfpblet i ask that you
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recognize the -- reason. i ask you to recognize -- we've talked on multiple occasions, i stand ready to work with you to promote solutions. i will not, though, become a bystander as we asail the attorney general in this committee. i urge democracy -- our democracy deserves better. finally, mr. chairman, i'd like to quote a fellow member of congress. as a member of congress, i treat assertions of executive privilege very seriously. i believe they should be used only sparingly. in this case, it seems it's clear the administration was forced into a position by the committee's insistence on pushing forward with contempt. despite the attorney general's good faith offer, mr. chairman, it did not have to be this way. we could have postponed today's vote and accepted the attorney general's offer. instead by not own honoring the constitution's charge to seek accommodations when possible, the prestige of this committee has been diminished. as a result that should concern us all. i quote elijah cummings.
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in that case, of course, the committee did seek accommodations. in this case, this committee did not. and in just a difference of opinion between me and the chairman, there has been no escalation of this, except on the side of the majority. you have to have both sides at the table for accommodations. that's the way this process works. that is what i just laid out. 10 times faster than even eric holder. and when we get into the other issues to have been decided here, again, how we deal with this is going forward with what will be the precedent for the future and will be the precedent for what we have. with, that i yield back. mr. nadler: thank you, mr. collins. without objection, all other opening statements will be included in the record. i now recognize myself for purposes of offering an amendment in the nature of a substitute. the. the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: amendment in the nature of a substitute to the committee report for the resolution recommending that the house of representatives find william p. barr -- mr. nadler: without objection,
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the amendment in the nature of a substitute will be considered as read and shall be considered as base text for purposes of amendment. i will recognize myself to explain the amendment. the amendment in the nature of a substitute contains a technical change to page 2 of the committee report. simply changes the reference on that page to judiciary committee, to the committee on the judiciary. with this modest change, i urge the committee to support the amendment. i now recognize the ranking member, mr. collins, for any comments he may have on the amendment. ms. collins: on the amendment itself, i thank you, mr. chairman, i don't have any. as far as the nature, i will make one comment that was made in your previous opening statement. the chairman of now the oversight committee was not sued in this personal class, he was asserted in his official capacity in that committee and just a clarification for the record there as we go forward with, that i have no objection to it. mr. nadler: any amendments to the amendment in the nature of a substitute? who seeks recognition? for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio seek
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recognition? >> i move to strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. our democratic colleagues seem to be on a mission. they're determined to destroy attorney general barr or at least discredit him in the eyes of the american people. mr. chabot: the attorney general agreed to appear before this committee last week and was ready to answer any and all questions about the mueller report. however, mr. chairman, you and your democratic colleagues on this committee decided that instead of just answering questions from members of the committee, we unpresent dently were also going to require -- unprecedently were also going to require him to be grilled by lawyers. the attorney general said no way and now you're determined to find him in contempt. in my view, as somebody who served on this committee for 2323 years, i think this is disgraceful. last week when the attorney general refused to show up for this committee's kangaroo court, the majority set up an empty chair, ate chicken and pretty much made a mockery of this
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committee. a committee that was once led by the likes of daniel webbster. it's worth it's worth noting the attorney general did appear before the senate judiciary committee before he came here, where the unreasonable demand that he be queried by staff was not made, the senators questioned him themselves. it wasn't a day at the beach in the senate for the attorney general. the senators themselves were perfectly capable of being rude, abusive and arrogant all by them, they didn't need their staff to do it for them. so why this passion to tear into william barr, an attorney eneral at least up to this point of upstanding, outstanding character. first our democratic colleagues are apparently really ticked off about the mueller report, that it found the russian collusion
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thing was a big fat zero. even the though -- even though the obstruction of justice allegation wasn't as clear cut, special counsel mueller found that there was insufficient evidence to pursue a charge against president trump or against anyone else for that matter, excuse me, william barr did that. democrats are mad about that. what i think is more important is that our democratic colleagues are afraid. they are afraid that unlike attorney general sessions who recused himself from anything related to the mueller investigation, bill barr will dig into the origins of the bogus russian collusion allegation itself. the clinton campaign funding of the steele dossier was the actual collusion between the russians and the political campaign, is that something that's finally going to be looked into? that was the real political collusion with the russians. the f.b.i.'s involvement in trying to tape presidential election in favor of one
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candidate over another, the whole peter strzok, lisa paige, all of that. the idea that trump may have been right, that his campaign really was spied on by elements of though ba ma administration, despite the fact that this accusation was met with such derision by most of the mainstream press at the time. the bottom line is, many democrats on this committee and in fact many democrats in both the house and the senate apparently believe that finding out the truth in these matters may not be help to feel them in the upcoming election cycle. and the best way to undermine the results of the investigation, the true investigation, which is really about to happen, might just be to destroy the credibility of a guy who is doing the investigation, the attorney general, william barr. and let's begin that process, appointly, according to the folks on the other side of the aisle, the chairman included, by finding him in contempt. that's a way we can ealy
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discrept him. at least that's the way i see it. i yield back. mr. nadler: before i proceed to the next statement, let me clarify a point of apparent confusion. we are not proposing to hold the attorney general in contempt for not showing up last week he didn't show up last week, but that has nothing to do with this motion for contempt. we are proposing to hold him in contempt for ignoring -- for not satisfying the subpoena for the production of documents, namely the unredakotaed mueller report and underlying evidence. who seeks recognition? mr. nadler: for what purpose does the gentlelady from texas seek recognition? ms. jackson lee: strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentlelady is recognized.
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ms. jackson lee: i appreciate my good friends on the other side of the aisle but having received a letter both from, a copy of the letter to the president of the united states by attorney general barr and a letter from the department of justice indicating after their purposeful collapse of the negotiations, well intentioned by the staff and house judiciary committee, i can only conclude that the president now seeks to take a wrecking ball to the constitution of the united states of america. for the first time in the history of the united states, a president is exerting executive privilege over every aspect of life that the american people esire to have information. whether or not it's absolving pre-existing conditions, whether or not children are being separated if their parents, whether or not the environment
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is now being destroyed. anything that the congress wants to do is being alleged to be under the jurisdiction of privilege. then we have to surmise that this is a lawless behavior by this administration. the attorney general's actions are contempts you and insulting to congress, but we're simply the tool, it is to the american people. to broaden the executive privilege and ignore the constant accommodations that chairman nadler has made and our staff in working to work out three simple points, give us all f the documents, unredakotaed, unredacted t -- mueller report. don't undermine any ongoing investigation. and work with us to list the
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documents by priority. that is very simple. they never cease going after secretary clip to the -- clinton, getting 880,000 documents in a benghazi hearing that -- hearing that went forever and never found anything. i happen to believe several former prosecutors who indicated that the mueller report described several acts to satisfy elements of an obstruction charge conduct. congressman jackson lee didn't say. this chairman nadler did not say this precise statement as a former federal prosecutor. it's 700 who have indicated that the actions of this president warrant an obstruction charge.
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in addition, we have a right to understand the underlying reasons regarding the collusion report. but the very fact that the collusion part of the mueller report recounts the constant interaction of trump operatives with russian adversaries, the american people should be wary and they should ask us why and we should write legislation as i've introduced h.r. 2353 that says if you interact with a russian operative or foreign adversary as a campaign committee or candidate, you must eport it to the f.b.i. our friends on the other side of the aisle should not be noted in history of standing at the door of justice in this room and putting up a stop sign that we cannot pursue the truth on behalf of the american people. we have gone over and over and
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over again that there are allegations of obstruction of justice that need to be heard in front of this committee. i say this. mr. mueller, a former marine, a man of integrity, i will say to him in the open proceeding, we welcome you to come. and explain your position on how disturbed you were that the attorney general characterized your report as an exoneration of this administration. secondaryry -- secondaryly, i want to say to mr. mcgann, you are a private citizen. you have every right to present yourself to this body. and also that the conduct of president trump described in special counsel mueller's report would in the case of any other person, not having the office of legal counsel policy against indicting a sitting president, would result in charges. there are people incarcerated right now because of lesser charges. i don't want to target the
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president, mr. chairman. i simply want to find the truth for the american people and that's why we're here today, to vote on this citation for lacking a producing of documents. i yield back. >> mr. chairman. mr. chairman mr. nadler: for what purpose does the gentleman from wisconsin seek recognition? >> move to strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentleman is recognized. >> i think we ought to step back from the political rhetoric and ask exactly what is -- what this contempt citation deals with. i'm going to try to use my time to do that. first and foremost and most concerning to every american or at least it should be is the fact that they want an unredacted report that includes information on grand jury testimony. by making this
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insistence is el telling them to commit a crime. because it's a crime for anyone to disclose jury material to anybody else that includes the attorney general, it includes the prosecutors in the justice department, it includes the witnesses who have been subpoenaed and have testified before the grand jury. it means everybody. if the grand jury system is to work, and remember witnesses can't even bring their attorneys into a grand jury, then the secrecy is going to have to be maintained. now all of us know that it's really impossible for the people who work on this capitol hill to keep a secret. if there's an unredacted version, completely unredacted version, including the grand jury testimony which is unredacted, it'll bonn the front page of every newspaper in the country within 48 hours. talked about incessantly on the cable news shows. whether you watch fox news or
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whether you watch msnbc. now i think it is absolutely shocking that the majority of this committee is going to ask the chief law enforcement officer of the united states to commit a crime. shocking. and there are no exceptions to what is to be disclosed in this unredacted version. that includes the grand jury testimony. and by citing the attorney general of the united states for contempt of congress, we're saying i'm standing up for the law, i am not going to break the law by complying with that part of your subpoena, shows an overreach on the part of the majority. if we are to be a government of laws and not of men or people, then we have to obey the law on this end of pennsylvania avenue as well as on the other end of
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pennsylvania avenue. and we are not doing that. what else has been redacted? there's been redaxes relative to ongoing investigations. now do we want to let the people at the justice department -- the people that the justice department is investigating know all about the ongoing investigations? i don't think the public interest is served by that whether somebody is guilty or not should be determined by the jury in a trial. that's what the american system is. that's what a lot of the bill of right prospects. you also have a protection against people who are prefer rally involved in that. they were just on the edges of this. they are interviewed. and nothing came of the interview because they didn't have any evidence on what was being investigated. but there's a character assassination squad running around this town that even if you are on the preferry and went
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and voluntarily talked to the f.b.i. or whether mueller's team, you know, you're going to end up having your good name and your reputation smeared even though you didn't do anything. so this is definitely an overreach. those reactions, redaxes, excuse me, ended up being justified redaxes. and i can understand the reluctance on the part of the attorney general or anybody else that watches the way this institution and the people who work here operate, that anything that is supposed to not get out in the public realm will get out in the public realm with a leak. and if this place weren't as leaky as a sieve, i would not be opposed to what the chairman is doing because i stood up for oversight during my entire career. in this body.
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but it is leaky as a sieve. and i think what we're doing here is forcing the attorney general to break the law, to place in jeopardy innocent people, you know, who are not involved in any of the things that mr. mueller ended up investigating and shaming ourselves in the process. my time is up. mr. nadler: for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee seek recognition? >> strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the attorney general has been contempts you of this committee and of the -- contemptous of this committee and of the congress. he was contemptous last week when we he didn't come, couldn't dictate the terms of the hearing. he's contemptous this week when he won't bring forth papers. mr. cohen: the chairman tried to reach accommodation with the justice department. all issues in the past raised,
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the attorney general has gone with the majority party, the chairman, to the district court and asked that this -- asked that that information be released. this attorney general has not done that. if he had done that and tried to make reasonable accommodation to join us with going to judge howell we might not be in -- be in this situation but there's been nothing reasonable from this attorney general. mr. sensenbrenner talks about people on the preferry. we don't know who those people were but we know that bill barr decided who was -- which testimony would be redacted because people were on the preferry and to protect their reputations. this is the same person who gave a 3 1/2 page summary of the mueller report that did not, according to special counsel mueller who knew it better than anyone else, reflect the character and spirit of the report and he knew mr. mueller objected to it for not being an accurate representation of his work and yet he did it and when asked about it by mr. kris in
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committee, he had no -- mr. crist in committee, he had no idea that mr. mueller or anybody in the special counsel investigation would have objected. that's not true he lied when mr. crist asked him that question. that's beyond contempt, that's a lie. so we're depending on mr. barr's decision of who was on the preferry. we're talkinging about the opportunity for congress to do its proper oversight as described in article 1 of the constitution which is being trampled upon. the trump administration refuses to respond to any subpoenas. destroying article 1 and congress' prerogatives. now, we had a question, i think it was maybe the ranking member said, we should be doing legislation and how many signatures, how many bills have been signed into law by this committee? well, ask mitch mcconnell, who has declared that the senate is a graveyard for all legislation that comes from the house.
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we have passed outstanding legislation out of this committee, it's gone to the graveyard, where mitch mcconnell who first killed supreme court nominees of the last novet united states in his one-year before and frustrates the constitutional prerogative of the president to nominate members to the supreme court but now frustrates the other house by not having hearings whatsoever. somebody said we're afraid. yes, we're afraid. we're afraid of the loss of the rule of law. we're afraid of the loss of the power of congress to be an independent and co-equal branch of government. and we face that today if we don't stand up. somebody else said that russia, there are no connections, nothing with russian collusion, well the mueller report said there was sweeping and systematic efforts by the russians to influence our election and they were done so to help trump. and the mueller report showed lots of connections between the trump campaign and russia, lots
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of contacts, and didn't bush duh didn't show he had all the elements to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they conspired together. there's a big difference between not having connections and having guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. then mr. trump gets on the telephone with mr. putin and has a 90-minute conversation or something like that, where he can see on a phone call that he smiled at him he gets flattered. and never broaches the subject of russian interference in our next election or russian interference whatsoever. that was one of the prime parts of the muller report that the russians interfered and our intelligence officials had confirmed and told us and our f.b.i. has told us and that we know they did it in 2018 and they're going to do it more in 2020. our president did not even mention it to mr. putin. that is scary. we are afraid of interference in the 2020 elections and we need
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to be. and we need to be because we've got a man who has been suggested might be financially dependent on the russians. why would he be financially dependent on the russians? we now know he lost over $1 billion in a decade in the 1980's and 1990's. he was broke no bank would loan him a penny. he was broke. and if it weren't for him being president he'd be in prison with michael cohen today as individual 1 and he obstructed justice as the mueller report says so, we are in danger, we need to respond and we need to ask for the people of the united states of america. i yield back the balance of my time. mr. nadler: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentleman is recognized. mr. gohmert: thank you. i'm really hearing a warning for a once-great judiciary
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committee. i know my first term, 2005-2006, i saw our current chairman as a chairman for privacy rights, for civil rightsing for fourth amendment rights, fifth mendment rights, and something dramatically has changed over the years. there was concern back then about too much power through the fisa courts, through the patriot act and we shared a number of those concerns. and now this committee, majority, is on the wrong side of a very important historic time. we've never had the intelligence community, the f.b.i., people at he top of the d.o.j., abugse their powers to create a case
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against a president where there was none. where assets were actually used to try to set up members of the trump campaign when there was no case. to try to create a case. we ought to be all over that. we ought to be demanding answers from the fisa judge or judges who were either a, con tent to have fraud committed against their courts, or were complicit. maybe it was peter strzok's buddy that he bragged about in his texts that was going to be e fisa judge that signed warrants where there was no probable cause of anything. this was an attempted coup and history is bringing that into focus more and more clearly. and what does this committee do
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about the abuses, the attempted coup? it comes in and decides, we're going to go after the attorney general who is trying to clean up the mess. christopher way sure hasn't. instead of asking from the intel community, let us see the 100% certain proof you have that hillary clinton's personal server was hacked by china, no, he covers it up, we still haven't seen it. they didn't ask to see it. there is a disaster that has occurred in our justice system and this committee has oversight responsibilities and we are abusing those. this motion for contempt is not eing done in good faith.
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i'm not going to call anybody on this committee the names that my colleague from tennessee just did in violation of our rules of decorum. , we know that this committee majority is not acting in good faith. how? because they're moving for contempt for an attorney general failing to turn over material that this majority, at least some, maybe it's just the staff, but some people know that you can't hold someone in contempt, you can vote to do that, but you can't be in contempt for failing to produce things that are illegal for you to produce. how do we know? somebody over there knows that this is wrong -- how do we know somebody other there knows this is wrong? there was an offer, look, attorney general barr if you'll join us in going to court and
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getting a court order so that we can get the grand jury proceedings in evidence, when we'll disregard the contempt. well, that's evidence of a state of mind by the majority that at least somebody over there knows, you cannot be in con tempt for failing to produce what -- in contempt for failing to produce what would be illegal to produce without a court order. they're on the wrong side of history. and there is no joy here in seeing the abuses. i hope and pray literally for the day we can join forces and quit trying to push this idea of an attempted coup and uncover the abuses that have truly gone on. my time has expired. the committee's has too. mr. nadler: the gentlelady from pennsylvania, for what purpose does the gentlelady seek
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recognition? >> i move to strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentlelady is recognized. >> thank you. it's easy to lose focus when the white house and our colleagues across the aisle engage in what-aboutism or what is the distraction of the day or even misleading legal arguments. nobody is asking the attorney general to december obey the law. we're asking the attorney general to obey the law and produce the mueller report and the supporting documentation. the underlying evidence. that we've been requesting far couple of months now and that the american people have been awaiting for two years. why is this important? if you think there's no collusion and no obstruction you haven't read the mueller report. ms. scanlon: i admit it's not an easy read but it clearly states there was coordination, there's evidence of coordination, it clearly states there are multiple instances of obstruction of justice and it clearly refers that over to congress to deal with. over 700 federal prosecutors
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have now reviewed that evidence, just the redacted evidence, not even the underlying evidence, and stated unequivocally that it shows multiple instances that would be felonies if it was anyone other than a sitting president. and that's the reason why mueller didn't charge. he says in his report it was a sitting president under the rules i'm operating under, i couldn't file charges. that's why it's congress' job to do something about it. and that's why we're staying focused on our job. i'm not joyful about this i'm not afraid of where it takes us. what i am is profoundly saddened. that we're in a position where we have an administration that is stone walling, yes, even acting in contempt of not just congress, not just the rule of law, but the american people. and with that, i yield back. >> mr. chairman. mr. nadler: who seeks recognition? for what purpose does the
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gentleman -- >> move to strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentleman is recognized. >> bill barr is following the law and what's his reward? democrats will hold him in contempt. i don't think today is about getting information. i don't think it's about getting the unredacted mueller report. i don't think last week's hearing was about having the staff question the attorney general. i think it's all about trying to destroy bill barr because democrats are nervous he's going to get to the bottom of everything. he's going to find out how and why this investigation started in the first place. mr. junior dan: never forget what bill barr said a few weeks ago, 3 1/2 weeks ago when he testified in front of the senate finance committee he said a lot of important things but he said four very interesting things. first he said there was a failure of leadership at the upper echelon, term he used, upper echelon of the f.b.i. we all know that's the case. director comey has been fired, deputy director mccabe fired, lied three times under oath according to the inspector general. f.b.i. counsel jim baker demoted, left under investigation by the justice
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department. lisa paige demoted and left. peter strzok, deputy head of counterintelligence, demote and fired. peter strzok, the guy who ran the clinton investigation and the russia investigation. there was certainly a failure of leadership at the upper echelon of the f.b.i. second thing the attorney general said three and a half weeks ago in front of the senate finance committee. spying did occur. said it twice. yes, spying did occur. third, he said, there's a basis for my concern about the spying that took place. and maybe the most interesting thing, two terms he used, frankly i find frightening, he said there was in his judgment, he thinks there may have been unauthorized surveillance and political surveillance. scary terms. we got to go back to january 3, 2017, senator schumer on the rachel ma dow show talking about then-president elect trump says. this if you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from sunday at getting back at you.
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now i don't know if the f.b.i. went after president trump in six ways, but i sure know they went after him in two ways. the first one is the new-famous dossier. on october 21, 2016, the f.b.i. used one party's opposition research document as the basis to go to a secret court to get a warrant to spy on the other party's campaign. that happened. democrat national committee, the clinton campaign paid a law firm who hired fusion g.p.s. who hired a foreigner, christopher steele who did what, talked to russians and put together this salacious, unverified document that became the basis to get a warrant to spy on the trump campaign. they did it. when they went to the court, they didn't tell them important things like who paid for it. they didn't tell them that christopher steele had told the f.b.i. and justice department that he was, quote, desperate to stop trump. and they didn't tell the court that triffer steele had been fired by the f.b.i. because he's out talking to the press. they did that.
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and second, just last thursday, just last thursday, "new york times" story, f.b.i. sent investigator posing as an assistance to meet with the trump aide in 2016. f.b.i. sent someone in, pretending to be somebody else, to talk with george papadopoulos who was with the trump campaign. you know what they call that? you know what they call that? called spying. they did it. they did it, they did it twice. who knows how much more. and what i know is bill barr said he's going to get to the bottom of it and think about the term he used again. this is important. political surveillance. the united states of america. i will not yield. think about that term. he's going to get to the bottom -- he said he's going to put a team together and investigate all of. this this is critical. and never forget the guy who ran this investigation, peter strzok, ran the clinton investigation, and then launched
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and ran the trump-russia investigation, never forget what he said. trump should lose 100 million to zero. we need an insurance policy. told lisa paige, don't worry, lee, is a we'll stop trump. this is what bill barr wants to investigate. as my colleagues have said, this is the house judiciary committee, with the history this committee has in protecting fundamental liberties and protecting the constitution. last week there was another important document. sent to the attorney general. i want to read a couple of sentences. under our system of government, unelected executive branch officers and intelligence agency personnel are supposed to answer to the person elected by the people. the president and not the other way. -- not the other way around. this is not a democrat or republican issue it's a matter of having a government responsible to the people, to we the people. in a partisan -- and the -- in the partisan commotion surrounding the mueller report it would be well to remember that what can be done to a
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president can be done to any of us. and this committee is supposed to look out for that fundamental fact more than anything else and we are not do that today. i yield back. mr. nadler: i would simply observe that to his credit, mr. jordan has been second to none to the g for access materials we're asking for for the -- simply asking, does he still supporting his own request for -- that the committee and congress be given access to the entire report and the underlying information? mr. jordan: consistent with the law. i would ask the chairman, my understanding is mr. mueller is going to be here next week. you're going to get to ask the guy who wrote the whole document, why don't you hold off on this contempt until we meet the guy who wrote the thing, spend 22 months and $35 million, a whole bunch of democrat
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lawyers putting it together. why don'tuate to ask him next week before we do this contempt resolution? mr. nadler: essentially because it would be useful to read the material before we have him in front of us. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? >> i move to strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentleman is recognized. mr. bishop: thank you, mr. chairman. for most people in america the end of the mueller investigation did not equal the end of the story. the american people want to see and hear the full story and they deserve to -- mr. johnson: the american people want to see and hear the full story and they deserve to -- deserve to do so. mr. mueller intended the people to have the full story he did so in his unredacted summaries for
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the obstruction and russian influence investigations and what happened when he issued his did , william barr something unprecedented. he put together his own four-page summary which was misleading, which failed to properly and adequately and accurately characterize the conclusions of the mueller investigators. he did that, he waited for about a month while that narrative marinated among the american people, and it was reduced down four words no collusion, no obstruction. and they ran with that for a month before finally the redacted report was issued. by bob barr. but before he issued the report, two hours before he issued the
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report he had a press conference to again summarize the mueller report findings. again he failed to accurately portray and represent those results. and so finally the redacted report was revealed to congress and to the american people and the american people and congress saw clearly that bob barr was a part of the president's ongoing obstruction. obstructed the russia investigation. he obstructed all matters that mueller was investigating. and now he's trying to obstruct congress and the american people in finding out what's in that report and what is very troublesome, as my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are aiding and abetting them in
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their coverup. so still, the full results of the mueller investigation are not known. congress, the house of representatives, the judiciary committee, has demanded an unredacted report that should be available to all of the members judiciary the house committee. the attorney general barr has stonewalled as he has been instructed to do by the president. and he's a willing participant in this, mind you. they are obstructing the american people's ability to understand what happened. they're hiding behind rule 60 of the federal rules of evidence which make grand jury proceedings secret. but as my colleague from wisconsin should know, there are ive exceptions listed in 6-e
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disclosure of grand jury information he knows that. there's no reason for the american people to be misled about that and bob barr -- william barr knows that also and he also knows that previous attorneys general in his situation have gone to congress -- have begun to the courts with the house of representatives and obtained grand jury materials when necessary. and so this is all part of a coverup. and it is up to this committee to ensure that we get that report because we have lawful responsibilities, constitutional responsibilities, to engage in, one of which is possibly impeachment. how can we impeach without
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getting the documents? so we must get this document, the american people expect us to do it. hearings cant, our continue and lead to whatever they may lead to, including impeachment. so i ask my colleagues on the other side to stop obfuscating and start working with us to carry out your constitutional responsibilities and with that, i yield back. mr. nadler: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> move to strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. glad to see the microphone is working this week. my good friend from georgia just asked the operative question, how can we impeach if we don't get the documents? how can we impeach if we don't get the documents. ladies and gentlemen, this hearing is not about the attorney general, it's not about the mueller report, 92% of which
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everyone in america has had the opportunity to read. mr. gets: it's not about the fact that even the portions the american people haven't been able to read, the chairman has been able to read, had he chosen. this is all about impeaching the president. why don't they just say it. why don't they just jump to the impeachment proceedings like their media overlords are telling them to do? the reason is that the american people don't support impeachment. and it's easy to understand why. they went and elected donald trump. president of the united states. and i don't think people are going to support impeaching a president who is doing so well. i mean you've got 3.2% growth in the economy, the trump economy is hot. and the reason we're doing so well is a consequence of the president's policies. so at a time when my democrat colleagues are focused on the next election and not solutions to the problems facing americans, they can't attack the president's policies. people are doing well. so typically they roll next to identify -- identity politics,
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based on what you look like, who you pray to or who you love you can't support republicans. but african-americans are doing better. hispanics are doing better. women are doing better. we are seeing a rising tide that's lifting all boats in this country. so now we have this effort, not to argue with policies, not to typically go to the identity politics that functions as the organizing principle of today's democratic party. they have to delegitimize the guy that won, delegitimize the guy people voted for. but they don't have the guts to do it directly so they're going after the attorney general. the gentleman from georgia in his last remark said we are hiding behind the rules. hiding behind the rules. these are federal laws that dictate what the attorney general can and cannot do. we're not hiding behind the rules, we just like to follow them. by the way, not -- it's not following the rules that got us in trouble in the first place. when the inspector general testified before us he said it's during the informations of hillary clinton and donald
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trump, you saw a one-off there, a vigse of protocol there. he attorney general said never before had he seen a circumstance where he same team investigating hillary clinton would also investigate the other person involved in the 2016 presidential contest. about a month ago in this committee i laid out the stages of grief. denial. anger. bargaining. depression. acceptance. i think folks watching at home can probably follow along and see where we're headed first my democratic cheeks were in denial. when they saw there was no collusion after saying for 202 -- for 22 months that the president was an agent of the russian government, after saying for 22 month there was actual evidence of collusion, they were in defile when they saw the conclusion that there wasn't. then there was anger. it had to be the attorney general's fault. mueller didn't make a decision on obstruction, somebody had to. the attorney general did so they got mad at him. had this whole kerfluffle of
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anger. now we know the third step. bargaining. well, mr. attorney general, you've given us 92% of the mueller report. but we have to bargain for the remaining 8% because that's where we think the action is. well, mr. attorney general, you spent five hours before the senate judiciary committee, three of our presidential candidates got to question you, you offered to come before the house judiciary committee, you offered to come for an additional hour of questioning but we have to bargain so our staff lawyers can ask you questions. now, i don't think it's a good sign that the next sign after bargaining is depression. so i feel for my democrat cliges but after that we get to acceptance and that's something i'm looking forward to. because there are some really good ideas that my democratic colleagues have once they get to acceptance on the no russia collusion thing my friend the gentleman from rhode island has excellent ideas about how to change the way consumers interface with big tech companies. my colleague from the state of new york is right, that if the
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first step act is the only step act, then there's -- then that would be a bad thing. we need to do more on criminal justice reform. my colleague who is not with us from california, mr. swalwell, he's got great ideas to unlock potential cures with medical cannabis reform. but we're not doing any of those things. by the way i bet a bunch of my friends on the other side of the aisle low-key wish their actual bills that would impact the lives of americans would get garbage.tead of this the obama administration ran an intel against the trump campaign. now the democrats need to get over it. i yield back. >> mr. chairman. mr. chairman. i move to strike the last word. . nadler: the gentleman from florida -- for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> move to strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentleman is recognized. >> we're here today because
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we're witnessing the breakdown of the foundation of our nation's constitutional order. that's why we're here today. in 1974, u.s. v. nixon, the supreme court warned of moments like this when they said once executive privilege is asserted, co-equal branches of the government are set on a collision course. the court went on to explain that such a collision and i quote, places courts in the awkward position of evaluating the executives' claims of confidentiality and autonomy and pushes to the fore difficult questions of separation of power and checks and balances. these occasions for constitutional confrontation between the two branches are likely to be avoided whenever possible. why are we on this collision course today? because the attorney general of the united states refused to provide information that is not privileged and is subject to the committee's subpoena. mr. deutch: the committee issued a subpoena for information gathered by the special counsel. there's no privilege for this information.
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executive privilege is not a cloak of secrecy that drapes across our nation's capitol from the white house to the justice department. yet last night the attorney general threatened a blanket privilege claim over material that he knows are not privileged. as retribution for the markup we're holding right now. and this morning he asked the president to do just that. it's striking how empty that gesture is. chairman nadler pointed this out last night. the attorney general's request of a blanket privilege claim is empty of any credibility. it's empty of merit. it's empty of any legal or factual support. the attorney general ordered his staff to send what he would define as a sn timbings y letter last night but those -- a snity letter last night but those wrds were empty. to make sure the president gets good advice and can make decisions without interference
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from congress but that's not at stake here. we're asking for information that is no longer held in confidence among the president and his closest advisors. we're just asking for the truth. the truth that many already know but is being with held from the public. investigators know the truth. private attorneys know the truth. the ranking member of this committee has seen it, the privilege no longer applies. what does apply is the american people's interest in the truth and the need for this committee to do its job. to protect our elections. to protect our national security. to hold the president accountable. and to draft legislation to ensure that no one, not the attorney general, not the president, is above the law. yet the attorney general continues to mislead the american people. and after being caught in a lie in his testimony to congress he has now joined the president in this ongoing obstruction of the house. congressional hearings and document requests are normal.
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they're normal. this committee holds an oversight hearing with the attorney general every year. that is normal. but this? this collision course the president and attorney general set us on is not normal. this collision is the definition of a constitutional crisis. and the breadth of this obstruction is beyond anything in our nation's history. the president has said that mueller should not testify here. he has ordered without authority don mcgann to refuse to testify here. he has ordered in violation of the law that the treasury secretary continue to hide his tax rurps. he has blocked or delayed more than 30 requests from congress. he has blocked testimony about the security clearances granted to his family members. he has blocked testimony about the humanitarian disaster caused by the trump family separation policy at our southern border.
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this sweep regular pudeuation of congress and congressional investigations is unprecedented and it is unconstitutional. this is a government of, by, and for the people. the attorney general of the united states is stonewalling the people. he is misleading the people. and he is working, actively working to suppress the truth. i don't understand, still, every time we have one of these hearings, how it is that none of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle seem at all concerned about russia's attack on our democracy and their desire to do it again. i close with this. the mueller report finishes by reminding us that the protection of the criminal justice system from corrupt acts by any person including the president accords with the fundamental principle of our government that no person in this country is so high that he is above the law. we will continue to assert our oversight authority out of a
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duty to maintain the checks and balances that preserve the powers of separation and co-equal branches of government, failure to do so would be a failure of our constitutional system of government. i yield back. mr. nadler: for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado seek recognition? >> i have an amendment at the desk. mr. nadler: the clerk will eport the amendment. >> mr. chairman, i reserve a point of order. mr. nadler: the gentleman reserves a point of order.
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>> mr. chairman. mr. nadler: for what purpose does the gentleman from louisiana seek recognition? >> move to strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentleman -- >> i withdraw my amendment. it's not ready at this point. mr. nadler: appreciate that. the gentleman from louisiana is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we have heard some extraordinary claims this morning. i've been taking notes as my colleagues have commented on all of this congresswoman sheila jackson lee said the executive branch is, quote, taking a wrecking ball to the constitution. and mr. chairman, you said that the d.o.j. doesn't recognize congress as a co-equal branch of government or acknowledge our
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oversight responsibility. mr. johnson: mr. cohen said we're trampling upon article 1. anyone who looks at these facts objectively knows the truth is exactly the opposite. the attorney general and d.o.j. are objecting to this charade based upon the rule of law. they are trying to protect the integrity of our institutions. mr. chairman, you said that the preliminary protective assertion of executive privilege this morning buzz a last-minute outburst. exactly the subpoena out of -- o-- the opposite of that in fact the d.o.j. letter sent to you this morning says to you, and i quote, regrettably, you, mr. chairman, have made this assertion necessary by your insistence upon scheduling a premature contempt vote. the letter said you've terminated our ongoing negotiations and abandoned the accommodation process. as we have repeatedly explained, the attorney general could not comply with your subpoena in its current form without violating the law. court rules and court orders and
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without threatening the independence of the department of justice's prosecutorial authority. that's a quote from the letter . the letter the attorney general sent to the president this morning says, quote, the committee demands all the investigator's files, which consist of millions of pages of classified and unclassified documents, bearing upon more than two dozen criminal cases and investigations, many of which are ongoing. these materials include law enforcement information, information about sensitive intelligence srses -- sources and meths, and grand jury information the department is prohibited from disclose big law. that's the letter the attorney general sent to the president explaining all this. look, we're attorneys on here, most of us are attorneys on this committee. what does the law say? the courts have repeatedly anirmed rules on all. this april 5, just last month, the u.s. court of appeals for the d.c. circuit ruled in mckeever vs. barr, the district court mace disclose grand jury
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materials only where they have positive authority to do so, particularly through the exceptions of grand jury secrecy listed in rule 6-e. the court of appeals explained the vital interests, they said, that the rule of grand jury secrecy seeks to protect, include preserving the candor of witnesses called tpwhever grand jury. not alerting the target of investigation who might flee or interfere with the grand jury and preserving the rights of a suspect who might later be exonerated. these are critically important principles and traditions for us to uphold and it is again the law. the chairman can file suit for access to the 6-e material but instead he blasts the attorney general for not joining him in doing. so why hasn't the chairman taken that step? i think i know why. perhaps because he knows that his rationale for demanding the unredacted report is wholly insufficient. this brears peting. the chairman claim he is needs the full unredacted report as part of the march 4, 2019,
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information into the 81 individuals and organizations related in some way to president trump. let's make a couple of facts clear. the investigation, we don't know if it's still ongoing. we haven't heard much about it lately. the lack of activity surrounding the investigation makes clear, the majority is not interested in sur pew -- in pursuing for for legislative purpose, this is about scoring political points. the chairman's public comments surrounding the need for the full report are almost exclusively focused on obstruction but another important fact, 99.9% of the obstruction volume is available for the chairman to view but he hasn't done that only six lines in over 182 pamplees -- pages is redacted in the obstruction volume. this is not about seeking the truth. it's about raw partisan politics. our democratic colleagues have weaponized our critical oversight responsibility. and moving today to hold the a.g. in contempt is not only premature, unprecedented and unwarranted, frackly it is shameful. i think we believe the american
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people deserve better. i hope that they'll review the facts. i hope they'll look at the correspondence. i hope they'll get beyond the cloud of partisan politics and understand why we are taking the stand today that we are. yield back. mr. nadler: for what purpose does the gentleman from louisiana seek recognition? >> mr. chairman, i would move to strike the last word. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman -- mr. nadler: the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. chairman, i would just say that today is a very serious day. today is a very regrettable day. unfortunately, we have an administration that is choosing to have a temper tantrum that is designed to accomplish one thing. mr. richmond: and that one thing is to never let the real facts of the mueller report come to light. to never let the american people hear the whole story. the other side would have us
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congratulate them for telling 92% of the story. i wish when i was a child i could get away with telling 92% of the story to my mother. i would always tell the same good 92%. and i would leave all the bad deeds, lies, and crimes in the 8% that i don't tell. so you get no profile in courage. you don't get the nobel peace prize and you certainly don't get any award for honesty for giving out 92% of the whole tory to the american people. but the real story of what we're doing today is that the president needed something to hang his hat on to prevent anyone who had anything to do with compiling the report from putting their hand on a bible and taking an oath to tell the truth.
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and that's what we're going to ultimately have, is the president obstructing the testimony of everyone involved in the mueller report. while he tells the national people and continues to promote and articulate and push and offer lies and fake news about the contents of the report without ever letting the american people see the whole truth and nothing but the truth, i will tell the american people that are watching today, that we have a solemn obligation to the constitution. we have a solemn obligation to defend our democracy. to protect the homeland. to protect the right of the american citizens to have a free, open, fair election without the interference of any foreign countries, especially
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russia. the bad news is that this is -- this will never be neat, this will never be clean. this will never be easy. this will never be convenient. this will be messy. but the one thing that the american people should know is that we're here at the right time to protect our democracy. and that the democrats are not going to give up on our constitutional duty. we're not going to run or abandon this country or our citizens. we will never run. we will never retreat when we're fighting to save our country. for the messiness, it will be that way sometimes. but the fight is necessary to
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protect this great country and to continue to move it toward being a more perfect union. there are too many people in this country's history that have given their live -- their life, blood, sweat, and tears, to get us to be the great country that we are today. we will not let one administration, certainly not one person, we will not let one party be enablers to the criminal acts we see over and over again. so just so that i can deal and speak in facts so people won't just think that, there the democrats go again, there have been 199 criminal acts that have come out of the investigation. there have 37, 34 individuals charged with crimes. there have been three companies charged with crimes. so let's just look at the orbit around this administration and see how fake this is.
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the former campaign manager, in jail. former national security advisor, in jail. the president's personal lawyer, in jail. this is not a witch hunt. if it if it looks like obstruction, sounds like obstruction, smells like obstruction, it's obstruction. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. mr. nadler: who seeks recognition? for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? >> move to strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. last week we saw an attempt to change the rules of this committee that defied the historical precedent by applying only impeachment proceedings to attorney general william barr.
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mr. biggs: today we're zipping right along and we know that my colleagues on the other side have the vote, they're going to try to hold this attorney general in contempt. look erested to see the on the judge's face when my colleagues from the other side present these facts. the court's going to say, what did you do? were you in negotiations? well, we were, but we kind of scuttled that. because we refuse to hear from the attorney general because we changed the rules, judge, we changed the rules so the attorney general didn't come in. he offered to let us view the less redacted report, but i didn't do that. i didn't even bother to go down there and look at that report. he offered to have staff members view the less redacted report with me. no, i said no, we're not going to do that either.
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he permitted us to take notes on the less redacted report and we rejected that as well. he asked us to continue to negotiate, see if we could work out our differences. but i rejected that as well. we attempted to compel him to respond in spite of federal law on rule 6-e, the grand jury material we've heard so much about today. we knew that there were some other witnesses that were important that might have shed light on this as well. but we didn't hold a hearing with d.a.g. rosenstein. we didn't hold a hearing on mueller before we issued our contempt citation. we didn't seek closed-door confidential classified hearings with any of these individuals. in fact, you know what we did? we undercut our whole argument
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by making the argument to mr. barr saying, look, mr. barr, why don't you just join us, why don't you just join us in asking the court to authorize release of 6-e material? what does that do? it says quite frankly that the folks that will be sitting there before a court, propounding execution of a contempt citation, they're going to have the great privilege of saying, yeah, we put a sort of dam close over william barr. we created a hobson choice. we said, guess what, you either get held in contempt or you violate federal law. because that's just the way we do things in judiciary committee these days. that's just the way it is. that is unprecedented and will hold this committee up to
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drishes. as my colleague, mr. johnson, from louisiana, said, there was a case that just came out last month which said, and this gets to my colleague from georgia who said, you can't be misled. there are exceptions. that's right. and the court said you must fit within one of those exceptions before you can release rule 6-e aterial. nothing we're doing here today fits into the rule 6-e exceptions. there's not an authorization under the 6-e provisions right now. so there's going to be a problem and i can't wait to see the judge, the look on the judge's face when these guys try to explain, we're trying to pigeon hole into something that's 6-e. then i'll close in this area. when i hear that the wrecking ball is being taken to the onstitution, that it's being
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, that a tnd breakdown of constitutional order, these kind of arguments made over and over again, i can't help but say, if you think this administration, this president ptsd, is so dangerous -- president, is so dangerous, why aren't you acting on the many resolutions for impeachment you've already introduced? mr. johnson was pretty clear this whole thing is about impeachment. well, take it to the american people, take it -- file a resolution, you've already filed them. act on them. with that, my time is up. thank you. mr. nadler: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> i to move strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman -- mr. nadler: the gentleman is recognized. >> i expect that when the court does hear this challenge, if it comes to, that i expect that she
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will rule in favor of the constitutional separation and checks and balances and our oversight function. mr. jeffries: i really don't understand the arguments that have been articulated by my colleagues. as i understand it, there have been three different reasons that have been suggested for opposing our effort to simply uphold our article one responsibility as a separate and co-equal branch of government. one, that this whole thing is a politically inspired witch hunt. nonsense. two, they want all of a sudden to protect the reputational interests of innocent americans. nonsense. three, this blanket assertion of executive privilege, nonsense. let's take all three. first of all, 17 different intelligence agencies have concluded that russia interfered with our election, attacked our democracy for the sole purpose
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of artificially placing someone at 1600 pennsylvania avenue, they were successful. and that's also what the mueller report shows. this is not a politically inspired witch hunt. i'm confused. every single person at the helm of this investigation is a republican. the person who initiated the investigation, former f.b.i. director james comey, republican. the f.b.i. director who replaced him and presided over the investigation, christopher wray, republican. the person who decided to appoint a special counsel to preside over the investigation and then monitored it at the helm of the department of justice, the deputy attorney general, rod rosenstein, republican. the person who actually conducted the investigation, a war hero, a law enforcement professional, bob mueller,
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lifetime republican. who is the attorney general going to investigate? the republican party? the notion that it's a politically inspired witch hunt is just one of 10,000 or more misrepresentations that have been spun out of 1600 pennsylvania avenue. it's a shame that you tchuse adopt it and parrot it. second thing, reputational interest? really? many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle actually perpetrated a witch hunt as it relates to securing more than 800,000 documents from this very same department of justice without regard to the reputational interest of americans who have served this country. you weren't concerned with the reputational interest of hillary clinton. in fact, the top republican said that the sole objective was to undermine her. the former first lady and secretary of state. you weren't concerned with the reputational interest of peter
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strzok and lisa paige. in fact, you embarrassed those two. they made mistakes but you embarrassed those two. you weren't concerned with the reputational interest of andy mccabe. phony argumentat to us. this very same department of justice turned over 800,000 pages of documents but they won't turn over a single page pursuant to a legitimately issued subpoena? and then you want to assert executive privilege, are you kidding me? you can't exert executive privilege after the fact. when the closest advisors to the president have already spoken to team mueller. wait a second. let's try to go through this. white house council don mccann talked to mueller. there's no assertion of
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executive privilege. white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders talked to mueller. no assertion of executive privilege. white house communications director, hope hicks, talked to mueller. there was no assertion of executive privilege. it's a phony argument. the house is a separate and co-equal branch of government. we're not a wholly owned subsidiary of the trump administration. we don't work for donald trump. we work for the american people. we have a constitutional responsibility to serve as a check and balance on an out-of-control executive branch. the attorney general is totally out of control. he will be held in contempt of congress. yield back. mr. nadler: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> strike the last word.
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mr. nadler: the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you. mr. chairman, this subpoena puts the attorney general in a legal catch 22. to comply with the subpoena he must break the law. if he obeys the law, he must disobey the subpoena. every person on this committee knows that the law for bids release of grand -- forbids release of grand jury testimony. mr. mcclintock: congress is the law making barrage branch of government. this committee feels it's so important to see the grand jury testimony, can change the law. -- it can change the law. but it cannot order the highest ranking law enforcement official in our country to break that law. the american people can plainly see what's going on here. for 2 1/2 years they have been force-fed a brazen and monstrous lie that the president of the united states is a traitor who's loyal to a foreign and hostile power. robert mueller was given extraordinary powers to investigate this. he appointed one of the most partisan and biased teams of
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investigators that has ever been appointed to substantiate these charge. they spent 22 months and $25 million in direct and component costs doing so. they employed some of the most abusive tactics. among them perjury traps and threatening family members in order to turn up some shred of evidence could confirm this narrative. the trump administration gave them every document they requested and even waived attorney-client privilege to make the president's personal attorney available for 30 hours of testimony. though the president had the clear constitutional authority to terminate or interfere with the investigation, he did not. after all that, they were forced to admit that there's not a shred of evidence to support this lie. we're now learning it was predicated on a fake dossier fabricated by the clinton campaign and was used by the highest ranking officials of the department of justice, the f.b.i., our intelligence agencies and perhaps even the
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white house. first to try to influence the outcome of our election, and after failing that, to undermine the duly elected president of the united states and tear this country apart. now that lie is laid bare for all to see. the left now has to think up a new lie and think it up quick. thus in a heartbeat the lie changed from collusion to obstruction. even though the administration did nothing to interfere or impede the investigation, the president is guilty of obstruction just because he complained about the injustice of it all behind closed doors in words that amounted to no action whatsoever. they know this lie won't hold up under scrutiny either. so what to do? well the answer to that question is before us right now. even though there was no legal requirement for the mueller report to be released publicly, the attorney general has released it with the sole exception of material he is legally forbidden to release. 92% of the document. he's offered the chairman and
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ranking member of this committee the opportunity to review the additional redactions that can be reviewed in a classified setting. leaving only about six lines out of 182 pages. but instead of reviewing that information or changing the law to allow for its public release, they order the attorney general to do what he legally cannot do and then charge there's a coverup. they imply the smoking gun is now in that six lines and over 182 pages that cannot be legally shared, safe in the knowledge they'll never be called out on it. and they hope that there will be enough of a smoke screen to cover the perversion of our justice and intelligence agencies for political purposes under the obama administration. one other point. last week the democrats voted to change the rules of the committee to allow members to hide behind committee council to challenge the attorney general. mr. chairman, we don't hire people to speak for us on the
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house floor and we shouldn't hire people to speak for us in committee. only members of the house should speak in house proceedings and there's a reason for that. we're responsible and accountable for what we say in public forums, in this public forum, hired help is not. the only rightful exception is when we sit as a tribunal on impeachment because then we're sithing as a jury to hear evidence. any exceptions from this makes a mockery of representative democracy based on the direct accountability that representatives of the people must have to those who elected them. i yield back. mr. nadler: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. who seeks recognition? for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island seek recognition? mr. cicilline: i move to strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentleman is recognized. mr. cicilline: thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank you, chairman nadler, for your extraordinary patience and determination and respectful manner in which you have sought to obtain the information that the subpoena
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requires. i think we all recognize that you have extended yourself above and beyond to try to accommodate the attorney general. but we are here for one very important reason and i think people should recognize that this is a deadly serious moment. the rule of law and our basic institutions that have made our democracy the envy of the world are being tested. the american people are watching and freedom-speaking -- freedom-seeking people around the world are watching. they're seeing whether or not our commitment to the rule of law, to the notion that we are a country of laws, not of men, and women, and that no one is above the law, including the president of the united states, that it reminds us that we fought our independence to be free from a monarchy so kyo live in a democracy -- so we could live in a democracy. we see a president who is attempting to destroy basic institutions of government by directing his attorney general and others in administration to stonewall the american people. this is a crisis.
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now, it's sad today that attorney general barr who has refused to comply with a subpoena, that behavior is unfortunately consistent with his overcampaign to protect the president of the united states. president trump wanted his roy cohen and he got his roy cohen. the attorney general has demonstrated he understands loyalty to the president rather than the oath to the constitution. the attorney general tried to shape the narrative of the russia investigation from day one when he wrote a four-page document which was grossly misleading, where he took four pieces of four different sentences to capture a 400-page report. the report also directly contradicts several statements of the attorney general during his press conference which he had before a single person was allowed to read the report. he said the president fully cooperated. we know the president refused to be interview and his associates destroyed evidence relative to the investigation. he also publicly cleared the trump campaign of coordinating with russia while entirely leaving out the critical finding
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in the mueller report that the trump campaign was fully aware and expected to benefit electoraly from information stolen and released through the russian campaign. since mr. barr has -- since mr. mueller has completed the investigation, mr. barr has refused to release the full report to congress, even after the issuance of a lawful subpoena. he's also refused to provide any of the underlying evidence. he's refuse to do anything other than provide political cover to the president. in fact, when he was asked directly about his four-page summary, he even said that he wasn't aware what have mr. mueller's position was on his summary and we learned later that mr. mueller had written a letter criticizing his characterization and had a 15-minute phone call doing the same and mr. barr never shared that as well. so we see an attorney general who has set out to protect the president at all costs and now we learn this morning in a
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letter from mr. barr that he's working with the president of the united states to try to provide a legal strategy to further obstruct justice and stonewall the american people by invoking executive privilege retroactively in a context where he knows it is not applicable. really in an effort to say, can we work together to try to prevent the american people from learning the full truth. and you know, it's kind of curious as the president said, complete exoneration. you think he would be rushing to get this report released. if it really was a complete exoneration. but we know it's not. and so this is a question for us to decide as a committee. are we going to allow the executive branch to decide for us what we will get to see in order to conduct congressional oversight? if it is up to the executive branch and they decide what witnesses we can call, what documents can be produced, they will have effectively extinguished the right of congressional oversight. we cannot allow that to happen. we are in fact here on behalf of
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the american people to get to the truth, to gather the facts so we can make informed judgments on how to proceed next and what action to take next. we have a responsibility to ensure that people who are served with a subpoena comply with it. whoever you are. no matter how important you think you are. we live in a democracy and everyone must be treated the same. this is a search for the truth to demonstrate no one is above the law, including the president of the united states and the attorney general of the united states. and that individuals must be held accountable for their misconduct. and so we have to gather up that evidence. i am saddened to hear my republican colleagues who think this is anything but that. this is our responsibility. we took an oath, our constituents and the american people are watching us, and the world is watching us. we must do the right thing, we must compel mr. barr to comply with a lawfully issued subpoena by committee and get to the work of oversight. finding the truth wherever it leads us and demonstrating most of all in this country, no one is above the law.
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including the president of the united states. with, that i yield back. -- with that, i yield back. mr. nadler: for what purpose does the gentlelady from alabama seek recognition? mrs. roby: i to move strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. roby: mr. chairman, we've heard over and over again how the attorney general has not accommodated this committee's demands. let's walk through the timeline. i ask unanimous consent that the full timeline be included in the record. mr. nadler: without objection. mrs. roby: on march 22, 2019, the attorney general immediately notified the chairman and ranking members of the house and senate committees on judiciary that he had received the confidential report from the special counsel. on march 24, 2019, two days later, the attorney janine formed congress of the special counsel's principle conclusions. on march 29, 2019, five days later, the attorney general updated congress on the department's review and outlined the four categories of redactions that the department with the special counsel's assistance intended to make prior to the public release of
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the confidential report. on april 18, 2019, less than a month after receiving the confidential report, the attorney general made the redacted version available to congress and the public. however, on april 18, 2019, the same day the attorney general released the confidential report and made the minimally redacted version of the confidential report available for review, chairman nadler issued a subpoena to the attorney general. on april 19, 2019, those house and senate democrats invited to review the minimally redacted confidential report wrote the department to refuse the attorney general's offer. to date not a single democrat, including chairman nadler, has reviewed the minimally redacted report. on may 1, 2019, the attorney general voluntarily appeared before the senate committee on judiciary providing more than five hours of testimony regarding the special counsel's investigation and confidential report.
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the attorney general had previously volunteered to appear before both the senate and house judiciary committees. on may 2, 2019, chairman nadler's extraordinary and unreasonable demand that congressional staffers question the attorney general, a cabinet secretary, in an oversight hearing, forced the attorney general to forego the hearing. on may 6, 2019, less than three weeks after issuing the subpoena, chairman nadler introduced a resolution to hold the attorney general in contempt. also on may 16, 2019, in an effort to accommodate the committee's interest, the department wrote chairman nadler emphasizing, quote, the department of justice continued willingness to engage in good faith with the committee on these issues consistent with his obligations under the law. end quote. the department offered to meet to, quote, negotiate an accommodation that meets the legitimate interest of each of our co-equal branches of the government, end quote. on may 7, 2019, the department met with the committee staff to
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offer additional accommodations in exchange for the committee postponing the scheduled contempt vote, including d.o.j. which significantly -- would significantly ease restrictions on the review of the less redacted report to allow designated members and staff to more easily review the report and confer with each other. d.o.j. would expeditiously bring the minimally redacted version of the confidential report to the house of representatives to facilitate the chairman's review. d.o.j. would meet next week to discuss the remainder of the committee's request, including prioritize requests for documents. d.o.j. also signaled it was open to further discussions and accommodations. this was done by d.o.j. in good faith. just hours later, democrats inexplicitly and unreasonably rejected these additional offers . committee democrats left d.o.j. ith no choice in this marlt. -- on this matter.
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the attorney general elected to follow the law. i yield back. mr. nadler: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> speak out of order for five minutes. strike the last word for five minutes. thank you, mr. chairman. mr. nadler: the last word is dual struck. the gentleman is recognized -- duly struck. the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. chairman, i want to remind everyone why we are here. we are here because a report chronicled an attack on america. we were attacked. mr. swalwell: by a foreign adversary. and we have an attorney general who refuses to give us the details of that attack. so what do you do when you have an attorney general who prejudged the investigation before he took the job, who refused to recuse himself once he took the job, who falsely accused the f.b.i. of spying on
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the trump campaign, who lied to congress, and failed to comply with a lawful subpoena, what do you do when someone conducts themselves that way? mr. chairman, you hold them in contempt. and i would go so far to say then you move to impeach him. and you do the same thing to anyone else who doesn't want to follow the law. and i'm not a fortune teller. but what this lawless -- but with this lawless administration, i imagine we're also going to see characters like steve mnuchin, who is also not following the law when it comes to the president's tax returns. and on this issue of executive privilege, mr. chairman, once it's waived, it is gone. it is gone forever. it was waived by don mcgann when he spilled the number of instances when donald trump obstructed justice. obstructed justice. that's a legal he's term for acted guilty -- league lease term for acted guilty a lot. this isn't about executive privilege.
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it's about burying the evidence, mr. chairman. if it was about executive privilege, the attorney general would not have offered you to be able to view the documents and then tell you that you can't tell anyone what you saw. i thank you for not taking the latest trump hush offer. we were attacked. we are in an information war with a foreign adversary. and i read the 200 pages of links between the trump campaign and the russians and i also notice what had i didn't read. not once did it say, by the way, all these contacts have ceased. by the way, all these people in the trump family, the trump business, the trump campaign, the trump administration, the trump transition, they even managed to work with the russians during the very narrow transition period. you give them 10 seconds, they'll find a way to find a russian. that's how it worked. nowhere in that report did it say, oh, by the way, these contacts ceased.
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no where in the report did it say, there is no longer an ongoing threat from russia. nowhere in the report did it say the russians have no further interest in interfering in america. that's why we need this report. i ask my colleagues, look at the person that you're going to such great lengths to protect. look at this pathetic person who stood at a press conference as our country was being attacked and said, russia, if you're listening, you'll be rewarded if you keep attacking. that's the person you want to protect? that's the person you want to break the law for? that individual? and what does this person do after a 400-page report comes out? he calls the leader of the country that attacked us, at his request. president trump called putin. they talked for 90 minutes. president trump described it as putin was smiling. that's your leader. the commander in cheat.
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he called the guy that attacked us. when we were attacked by japan, franklin roosevelt did not call the emperor of japan. when we were aaye tacked by al qaeda on september -- september 11, george bush did not call saddam hussein. and the president of the united states -- osama bin laden. and the president of the united states should only call vladimir putin for one reason, to tell him this will never be tolerated and he's going to unite the country to make sure that's true. the most basic function of a government is to protect its people from a foreign attack. if our president or the attorney general or his allies in congress are unable or unwilling to do that, then we don't have a government. fortunately we're not powerless anymore. the american people voted to put a balance of power on all of these abuses of power. and this committee is going to protect and defend america and it's going to start withholding this lawless attorney general --
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with holding this lawless attorney general in contempt. and i yield back. mr. nadler: for what purpose does the gentlelady from arizona seek recognition? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i move to strike the last word. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. lesko: thank you. members and audience, you know, i ran for congress to make a difference and get things done. we have a lot of big issues that are problems that are going on in our nation. we have a border crisis. i'm from arizona. we have lots of humanitarian and border crisis going on. we need to work to improve the education system in our country. we need to work to improve our health care system. it's too expensive. and, you know, when i served nine years in the arizona state house and senate, we actually got big things done. i worked with my democrat colleagues and my republican colleagues and we got issues done and that's what the american people want us to do.
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they want us to work together to get things done. and this hearing today does nothing, nothing at all, to further that cause. in fact, you know, i think that my democrat colleagues are still in denial that the president was actually elected. i saw it on election night, i stayed up late in arizona. and saw the meltdown of some of the, you know, my democrat colleagues and the media. and then for two years, even before the election of president trump, for two years now there's been this nonstop saying by my democrat colleagues and others that, you know, somehow the trump campaign was colluding with russia. they even said they had evidence of it. they said it on tv over and over and over again it. turned out to not be true. so two years later you have the mueller report, says no
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collusion. no collusion. so instead of talking about that, which they've done for the last two years, now they're changing their tune. and so now it's all about obstruction of justice. well, let's review. and some of my colleagues have already gone through this. but attorney general barr released the mueller report. he didn't have to do that. it wasn't the law to do it. but he did it because he did it for the public interest, to release the mueller report. again, no collusion. then the department of justice offered for chairman nadler to review a less redacted version of the mueller report. chairman nadler refused. he has not gone. and in fact i think in the volume two, which is the obstruction of justice part, only .1%, .1% of the report is
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actually redacted. then attorney general barr agreed to testify right here in judiciary committee on may 2. and what happened? instead of us being able to hear from him and ask him questions, chairman nadler insisted that the staff, the staff should question the attorney general barr. which is unprecedented in this committee. you know, i believe, i don't know, i can't read his heart, but i believe this was done for headlines. i mean, here we had right there a blank chair, an open chair, ttorney ame tag of the a general barr and then we had a member from this committee eat chicken and pose with a ceramic chicken. i mean, this is all political theater and political show that makes for, you know, good tv. but are we getting things done? , no we are not getting things done -- no, we are not getting
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things done. and now the democrats and chairman nadler and this committee are asking the attorney general to break the law. break the law. by releasing grand jury information to congress. so now we're here today, and there's been a movement, a motion to hold attorney general barr in contempt of congress, an increditably -- at an incredibly fast pace. from the subpoena to the contempt, 19 days. let's compare that to eric holder. it was 255 days. and we still don't have all the documents from fast and furious, where a border patrol agent was killed. so, all i can say is, let's work together and get things done. let's stop this political theater week after week after week, we're just having this theater. the american people want to us work together to work on the big issues. let's secure the border.
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let's improve education. let's improve health care. let's stop this political theater. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time -- mr. nadler: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> i move to strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chair. i'm going to ask three questions today. first, what is the trump administration hiding from the american people? because the administration's not just stonewalling this committee, they're stonewalling every committee's request for information on behalf of the american people. that's in direct violation of the constitution. under the necessary and proper qualities of the constitution, congress has the absolute right to conduct oversight and investigations on behalf of the american people. mr. lieu: in fact, in federalist paper 51, james madison stated that in a republican form of government, quote, the legislative authority necessary predominate, end quote.
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we are article one of the constitution and we will act that way. madison further says the three branches of government were set up, quote, in such a manner as that each may be a check on the other. today's vote is more than just about the credibility of bill barr. it's about the credibility of our entire system of government. and the democrats on this committee intend to honor our oaths to the constitution and to the american people. second question i want to ask -- why are republicans on this committee reversing the very vote they took earlier this year to get the full mueller report? the house voted 420-0 to get the full report, including most of the members of the republicans on this committee. i'll tell you why. they have now realized that bill barr misled the american people, because the mueller report turp turns out to be bad, bad, bad for the president and his enablers. the report shows that trump campaign engaged in numerous contacts with russian agents, that they knew the russians were going to interfere in american
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election, they welcomed it, they embraced it and they knew it was going help the president win the election. that is immoral, that is wrong, that is unpatriotic. and that's just volume one of the report. volume two of the report lays out 10 instances at least of obstruction of justice. over 500 former prosecutors have now written a letter saying any ordinary american faced with this amount of evidence, it would have resulted in multiple felony charges. that's why it's so important we get the full unredacted report and the underlying evidence behind these charges. especially because bill barr admitted under oath he didn't even read the underlying evidence before he wrote his misleading summary. i'd like to also now correct a misleading talking point of my republican colleagues. where they say somehow bill barr is complying with the law. no, no, no. the congressional subpoena is the law. how do we know that? that's what the court upheld during watergate.
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the special prosecutor issued a report. then chief of staff moved to suppress the report, relying on the same rule 6-e that bill barr's relying on and the d.c. circuit court of appeals held squarely for congress and said that under this congressional subpoena, the members of the house judiciary committee get the grand jury secrecy materials. bill barr is violating the law right now. he's not complying with it. the congressional subpoena is the law. that's what the courts upheld. that's what they're going to do. then the final question i want to ask is, why is bill barr suing right now in federal court to eliminate pre-existing conditions health care coverage for millions of americans? you know, i don't know. i do know that democrats are going to pass off before this week, legislation, to protect pre-existing conditions and to protect the health care coverage for millions of americans. because it turns out we are doing two things. we have passed and will continue to pass legislation to move
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americans and the american family forward. and we're also going to conduct oversight as required by united states constitution. it is donald trump and the republicans who are stonewalling. i hope they stop doing that. and i yield back. mr. nadler: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. who seeks recognition? for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> i move to strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. to say that i'm disappointed in the direction of this committee, i'd say would be an understatement. echoing what my colleague, mrs. lesko said. i was sent here to get things done and feel like my colleagues across the aisle have been just chasing a ghost for the last two years. during that time we suffered from an opioid pandemic. i saipan democratic because it's everywhere in the united states. it's killing thousands of individuals. we have real problems to address. immigration. we could be moving to a
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merit-based system that brings us in step with the rest of the industrialized world. and i have two bills with democrat co-prime sponsors that could really make a difference. but instead we're here engaging in political theater, bringing in props. again, just chasing this ghost for the last two years. i have a bill called the stoic act with my colleague, ms. dean, it would increase grants to local law enforcement for suicide prevention, for ptsd treatment. law enforcement and first responders need this. mr. reschenthaler: we could get this done. this would be productive if we weren't wasting our time. i have another bill with my colleagues across the aisle, ms. blunt rochester, called clean slate. it would seal the records of anybody convicted of a nonviolent criminal offense, give these individual as chance to have a fresh start, be productive members in society. and move on once they've paid their debt to society. this is something that thousands of people in need across the
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united states, it's something that would help the work force development in the united states. but again, instead we're here for two years chasing ghosts. again, to say i'm disappointed in the direction of this committee is an understatement. especially when we have real work that we could be focused on. with that, i would yield the balance of my time to ranking member doug collins. ms. collins: thank you. i appreciate the gentleman yielding. as we're coming, a lot of discussions, a lot of things have been pointed out that i want to sum up. it's very interesting to me, in this country we talk about manufacturing and manufacturing jobs and the need for our economy. we now have our committee pitching in because we're merchandize -- manufacturing a crisis. we're manufacturing something that doesn't need to exist and doesn't need to happen. the reason i know it's a mfed crisis, i go back to the very words of many on the other side a few years ago and even my chairman when they joined the walkoff of the house floor chamber to protest the in his words shameful and political motivated g.o.p. vote holding eric holder, attorney general,
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in contempt. walked off. upset. tore up. because we were holding eric holder in contempt. after almost over a years, 400-plus days in which accommodations back and forth were made, discussions were made back and forth. so really we're just manufacturing a crisis because, number one, we didn't get what we want. number two, we don't like what we got. and there's nothing being hidden here. the attorney general is following the regulation. don't be deceived. he is. it's interesting that we go along and also some of the interesting things have been talked about, we talk about nixon impeachment and article three and this has been thrown out by my colleagues. all the subpoenas issued to president nixon, a whole different inquiry, an impeachment inquiry, were issued after the impeachment inquiry was already started. these were not before the inpeachment inquiry, they were after. that's what we found. it was opened on october 30, 1973. all the subpoenas were from april to june of 1974. so let's at least get our facts straight. we've had issues all day today
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that we've had this sort of correct. number one being that the chairman now of the oversight committee was not sued in perm capacity. mr. flynn is not jail. he's pled guilty, still in that process. but he's not in jail. and also, though i think we've come to the conclusion that i think we've all been waiting for and it was really something interesting to come, and that was that my friend from georgia actually gave us. and it was really sort of summed up this entire thing, it's what i talked about last week and now. nye mayorga friend from georgia said, he brought down the curtain on this entire qing when he said, no document, how do we impeach? if we don't have the documents, how do we impeach? by that very statement he's making the claim that they don't have enough to impeach because mueller didn't give it. the report did not show collusion and did not charge obstruction. there's nothing to impeach. so now we have to dig deeper. my question is this.
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an investigation of a very -- and i'll agree with my friends across the aisle. a top notch investigator, top notch attorneys who had unlimited access to a greath and jury and subpoenas and investigators and over 30 million at least in budget which is larger than any house committee, and we think we're going to find out something more than he found out? come on. we're manufacturing a crisis. that's why we're here. i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. does any member seek recognition? the gentleman from maryland is recognized. >> thank you, madam chair. ove to strike the last word. rassrass tom payne said in the monarch -- mr. raskin: tom payne said in the monarchies the king is law. but in democracy, the law is king. that's the principle at stake in america today. the president of the united states and all of us who seek to attain public office are nothing but the servants of the people and the servants of the law. and the moment that we forget
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that and we begin to act like the masters of the people, and the masters of the law, then we put our jobs at risk. if the gentleman from florida is so convinced that the mueller report offers complete and total exoneration of the president, why doesn't he want the congress and the american people to see it? well, he says the attorney general is only -- has only redacted 8% of the report. you could redact 8% of the constitution of the united states and get rid of freedom of speech, freedom of press, religious freedom, equal protection and due process. you wouldn't have enough room to get rid of article one of the constitution, which is -- i know what some would like to do today. but article one is the provision of the constitution that establishes the powers of congress, the law making branch, the branch of the people. the president's sole job, primary job, after being commander in chief, is to take care that the laws are
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faithfully executed. not circumvented, not defied and ot violated. i think we need to remark how far this president has lowered our country. first, they destroyed the norms and the values of society. things that we'd always taken for granted. you don't mock people with disabilities. men don't mock women's bodies on television. you don't ridicule people and give them obnoxious nicknames, at least after you graduate from the third grade. you don't falsely accuse other political leaders of treason. you don't accuse other political leaders' parents of assassinating president kennedy. you don't use disgusting profane language to disparage other countries. and you don't call neo-nazis and klansmen very fine people. you don't give aid and comfort to the dictators of the world
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like kim jong un and vladimir putin, by flattering them and being their sycophants. but then you destroy the thunderstorms and values of your office. you -- destroy the norms and values of your office. you call true facts fake us in and you call fake news true facts. you vilify and you deemonize the hardworking employees of the department of justice and the f.b.i. you accuse them of being part of a factsy -- fantasy deep state conspiracy, just for doing their jobs. you falsely claim that millions of people voted illegally while you deny and dismiss the finding of special counsel mueller that there was a sweeping and systemic campaign to disrupt our elections in 2016. you refuse to divest yourself of your business interests or to put them in a blind trust as other presidents have done. you traveled to your own business properties and hotels on government expense. you double initiation fees to mar-a-lago, you turn the government of the united states
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into a money making operation for your family, for your business, and for yourself. and then you violate and undermine the laws of the united states. you sabotage the affordable care act to try to deny millions of people access to their health care. you separate children from their parents at the border. you pull out of the paris climate agreement, making our country an international environmental pariah and outlaw state. you lie about what science has shown about climate change, you call it a chinese hoax. you collect millions of dollars from foreign princes and kings and governments in violation of article one, section nine, clause eight of the constitution. and now the president aided and abetted by the attorney general tears at the very fabric of our constitution. he orders that a curtain be pulled down over the executive branch. he says there will be no cooperation with the lawful demands of congress for information. congress shouldn't be looking
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any more, the president king declares, this is all, it is done. no tax returns, no mueller report, no witnesses, not don mcgann. the president declares himself above and beyond the law. the supreme court has repeatedly stated that it is an essential and integral aspect of our power under article one to do fact finding investigations for the people. james madison said, knowledge will forever govern ignorance. and those who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power that knowledge gives. the people through the constitution gave us that power. we must exercise it. if you act with contempt for the people and congress, we will find you in contempt of the people and of congress. and i support the resolution. i yield back, mr. chairman. mr. nadler: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? >> move to strike the last word. mr. nadler: the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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as i've sat here and listened, it's getting more and more frustrating to me, and i am sure to people watching at home, how distracted this committee is getting from the issues that truly matter to the american people. mr. cline: we heard congresswoman lesko speak to those. when i get home, my constituents want to know if we're addressing the availability of health care and the accessibility of health care after the skyrocketing premiums that came into place from obamacare. are we taking action to reform and renew our highway and infrastructure system to keep up with our booming economy? are we working to stop the wave of illiam immigration flowing as i -- illegal immigration flowing across our boarders? these are just a handful of issues we should be working on. we should be looking at ways to reduce government regulations and find ways to put more money into americans' pockets.
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my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are calling for more and more investigation, pursuit of documents, even those they're not entitled to receive, and without a judicial proceeding, my colleague from california argues that we are entitled to receive it, not without a judicial proceeding. they're in search of a smoking gun of collusion, conspiracy, with russia, that does not exist. volume one of the mueller report shows clearly it does not exist. some of my colleagues are running for president on that ghost. on that very ghost. that somehow collusion with russia still exists somewhere. this report proves there was no conspiracy. i was interviewed a while back and i said, i hope that as much as possible is released to the american people because whatever is redacted, they're going to point to and say, ah-ha, that's
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where the smoking gun is. and sure enough, my colleagues on this committee just five minutes ago said, ah-ha, that's where important information must be. well, without a court order, that grand jury testimony is not allowed to be released. that is the law. and we talk about the rule of law, we talk past each other about the rule of law. but the law is the law. and a subpoena is not the law. when it comes to grand jury testimony. and whether that can be lease -- released the law prohibiting grand jury testimony from being released is the law. so we cannot see the full mueller report without judicial action. the chairman can go to court and ask the judge to allow disclosure of 6-e grand jury testimony. they don't need the administration to join. they want the administration to join. they say, work with us. but has the chairman, has the committee worked with the administration when it comes to the attorney general appearing before this committee and
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getting questioned by staff members recently hired on to the committee? no. apparently not. in fact, the chairman hasn't even reviewed the unredacted version that's been provided. i listened with interest as the chairman mentioned in his remarks how important it is that we all read the report. but he hasn't gone down to read the report. this is a charade. and i have never seen anything like it. 225 days progressed from subpoena of eric holder to a contempt vote. this circus, 19 days. it's clear that this is just a game for the majority. and now that they have a bad hand, they're bluffing. give us the unredacted report. bill barr is biased. don't worry about what the law says. the only bias is the blind hatred of this president and disdain for the rules of this house.
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and the rule of law that is in this constitution. and the views and actions of the majority, the drive for impeachment trumps all, and yes, if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it's a duck. so they're trying to itch people the duck. -- impeach the duck. it trums the truth. it trumps the historic precedence of this committee, and it apparently trumps the laws of the this nation. i am honored to be a member of this house of representatives. i am honored to be a member of this committee. but that honor has been tarnished by the blatantly partisan actions of this committee today. and the willful ignorance of this committee to the rule of law. yield back. mr. nadler: who seeks recognition? for what purpose does the gentlelady from washington seek -- >> to move trike the -- strike the last word.
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mr. nadler: jalte the gentlelady is recognized. ms. jayapal: thank you, mr. chairman. this is definitely not a game. this is one of the most serious moments our democracy has faced. and it is a test. it is a test against an administration that is continually disregarding congress. an administration that seems to have no regard for checks and balances. it is unprecedented for a president to say that he will provide no cooperation with authorized subpoenas from congress, no cooperation with witnesses coming to testify before congress, and now just as we've seen in this letter, an unprecedented effort to exert executive privilege. sweeping executive privilege over the entire mueller report. mr. president, mr. chairman, this is a lawless administration. and why is this important? i think we have to talk about this in a way that hopefully anybody who is watching can
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understand. our system is based on checks and balances. that is part of our democracy. it is part of what our constitution was geared to do. our constitution said, we will get our power as members of congress from you, from the middle eastern people who vote us in as members of -- the american people who vote us in as members of congress. then you give us the power to write the laws of this democracy. then the constitution says, and the president is there to faithfully execute those laws. and by the way, when the founders framed this constitution, what they were afraid of is that there would be power concentrated in the hands of very few people. or in the hands of one person. and so what they did is they framed the constitution so that they included checks and balances with three co-equal branches of government. at least co-equal. we are article one. but at least co-equal. and that was in order for each branch to have jurisdiction and
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authority over making sure another branch was not abusing their power. not obstructing justice. not using power for their own purpose instead of for the american people. and so now if we have one branch saying we are not going to respect the authority of a co-equal branch, that puts us in a very, very dangerous position. and why is it that we want these materials? 100% of the materials, not 92%, not just the chairman with one staff member and then he's not allowed to talk about it to anybody else, but everybody, and we -- the chairman has been very generous. he conceded that it would just be the members of the judiciary committee and the intelligence committee that would look at the full report. not just the unredacted report but the underlying evidence. why is that important? because we need to see everything that was in the report. and frankly the attorney general has misrepresented what is in the report. just look at these articles. the discrepancy between the mueller report and barr's
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summary. how barr's excerpts compare to the mueller report's findings. you know why these articles were written? they were written because attorney general barr misrepresented what was in the mueller report. here are the words of mr. mueller himself. barr's summary letter did not fully capture the context, nature and substance of this office's work and conclusions. this threatens to undermine essential purpose for which the department appointed special counsel. to assure full public confidence in the outcome of these investigations. so that is why we must see the full report. so that we can understand exactly what was in it, we can do our constitutional obligations. and i want to be clear that if the president refuses this request, refuses all subpoenas, refuses all witnesses, that affects every aspect of the american people's lives. it means there is no oversight
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when the president seeks to strip health care away from millions of americans. it means there is no oversight when this administration rips children away from their parents at the border. it means there is no oversight over the utilization of public power in the white house for personal gain. that is why it is incredibly important. and i just want to take on one quick thing, my colleagues keep talking about how crazy it was that we wanted to have staff counsel question the attorney general for 30 minutes. let me just read a quote from a member of congress. the goal of attorneys is to depoliticize the process and get to the truth instead of grandstanding. you know who said that? senator grassley. during the kavanaugh hearings. and did any of my colleagues object at that time to senator grassley using an attorney to question the witnesss? no, they did not. i don't see anyone on record having said that. so, mr. chairman, let's be
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clear. we are at a brink of importance between democracy and dictatorship. if we ignore checks and balances. and i fully support holding this attorney general in contempt for refusing to comply with constitutional foundations. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield mr. nadler: for what purpose does the gentleman from seek recognition? the clerk: amendment to the amendment in the nature of a substitute, the committee reports that a resolution that the house of representatives find william p. barr, u.s. department of justice for refusing to comply with the subpoena issued by the committee of the judiciary issued by mr. gates of florida. hall gaetz of florida.
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>> no provision -- mr. nadler: without objection, the amendment is considered as read. mr. gaetz: the gentlelady from pennsylvania, the vice chair of the committee said, and i quote, nobody is asking the attorney general to break the law. nobody is asking the attorney general to break the law, closed quote. that comment inspired me to write this amendment. to test the sincerity of that reflection by the majority. my amendment merely says that no element of the resolution or the report that's currently before the committee would be construed to require the attorney general of the united states to break any law or break any rules of federal criminal procedure expressly but not limited to the rule that has the force of law that says the attorney germ is not able to provide specific
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grand jury testimony. i hope my colleagues were sincere and not putting the attorney general in a catch-22. that may not be the case. if the chairman wanted to, you would be able to read the remaining 8% and take notes and share his those and conclusions on the house floor. we have seen circumstances where the ranking member in an effort to facilitate greater context and understanding and transparency about the work of this committee has gone to the floor utilizing the privileges of the house to release transcripts and testimony that shed light on the true origins, the true bias that the senior levels of the department of justice and the f.b.i. that was really about, my friend from maryland, 8%, that
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could be the whole deal and the freedom of speech and freedom of press and we could find things that reshape our understanding of the mueller probe. the attorney general to break the law in order to serve the
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rule of law. my friend from washington said this is one of the greatest tests of the committee. these tests are a muster and merit to see if we will continue this per suit of the truth. it is my expectation that this is, in fact, on purpose. what the majority has tried to do is put the attorney general in a situation where they can generate conflict and need that conflict because they have the narrative of impeachment. with the democratic party, you have one group of people who control the leverage of power, the speaker pelosis and the senior leadership and you have this whole other batch of people .ho control the party they have to generate these skirmishes to keep the hamp steers on the hamp steers on the
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wheel. and if that is why we are doing this. you are using the attorney germ of the united states as a do the rule and his of law a favor, provide substantive legislation that reflects on the words your own committee leadership has used that you will not use this process to impair the rule of law and ask the attorney general of the united states to break the law. if there is nothing in your report or resolution that demands that the attorney general break the law, vote for it. vote for my amendment. but you won't, because you know the real purpose of this is to distract the country and create a conflict and divide us further fter you were proven to not be
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telling the truth. i think this amendment clarifies your words, but you won't vote for it because it's not really what you are doing. mr. nadler: i yield myself five minutes on the amendment. the gentleman's theories about motives and witch hunts which i don't agree with, although i appreciate his colorful imagery of the hamp steer and hamp steer wheel. it has never been our intention to ask the attorney germ to violate the law. we made it clear we wanted him to come to court with us to ask for an exemption to rule 6-e. but having said that, the amendment restates our intent and therefore, i accept the amendment and i urge my colleagues to support the amendment. any further discussion?
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hearing none -- for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? >> i do appreciate your willingness to support the demrasm florida's amendment. i appreciate that. i'm going to support and vote for that. mr. biggs: as i it rated before and goes to what the chairman just said. it gets to the heart of this thing. and that is, if really, if really, one were to believe that the underlying contempt citation was issued irrespective -- and not put in -- designed to put mr. barr into a box where he has a bine ari choice saying i will either violate the federal law
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or i will be held in contempt, i find it somewhat odd and awkward that he was invited to go to court and appeal to the court and say, give me permission to reveal this redacted information for sent ral rule 6-e. that is interesting. nobody would say we need to go to court if you didn't believe hat you didn't have authority. and it's obvious to me that maybe people don't believe they have the authority. they feel they need to go to court. so i think this amendment -- and i'm glad the a chairman supports it. this amendment clarifies nor does mr. barr, is he objectly depated to violate the federal
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rules. mr. nadler: would the gentleman yield? the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? love ms. lofgren: we september it. and i hope we can agree to this and go to on to further discussions we may have. as i listen to the debate and i listened to carefully the concept that it would be reasonable for mr. collins and mr. nadler to be the only one among our members to review this material is astonishing to me. mr. sense senbrener has been a member of congress since 199 and would not have something to offer is not correct. i have been a member since 1995,
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i would have to something to offer. what is can get past an acceptable outcome and i yield to the chairman of the committee. mr. nadler: i want to comment what was said a moment ago by mr. buck. as i said -- mr. biggs. as i said repeatedly and that is the record will bear out, the subpoena was never intended to cover rule 6-e. we understand that it is unlawful to ask to get grand jury information. that's why we asked the attorney germ to petition the court to get that grand jury material. that is the practice in the every similar situation in which
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we have gone to the court and gotten the court's permings to get the 6-e material. citation iscontempt for his ignoring the subpoena in effect. it was never to put him in jeopardy that says you have to give us 6-e material. we are perfectly happy to accept it and no contradiction between saying you have to obey a subpoena which doesn't -- which e not intended to include 6- material. so let's ask the court. i hope that clarifies things. and i urge a yes vote on the amendment. and i yield back. for what purpose does the
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gentleman from -- >> mr. collins: i'm glad that the chairman is accepting this. but this motion is for the report and this contempt. we actually offered an amendment during the subpoena which you referenced and you said it didn't require 6-e when we offered an amendment to exclude 6-e, you rejected that amendment. if you are saying it doesn't include that but when we offered an amendment that excluded 6-e, you rejected that amendment. as a contradiction. i'm not going to belabor the point and lot of things but i will yield to the gentleman from colorado. >> i appreciate the chairman accepting this amendment. i'm confused. i'm not trying to make a political point. my understanding is that the attorney general's report as
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redacted clarified information and grand jury information. i'm confused what we are arguing about. mr. nadler: would the gentleman yield? >> the four category, grand jury material which we are not concerned with here as this amendment makes clear. what else? >> things that impact other criminal investigations, things . at may cast aspersions classified information. all the underlying material. talking about those three categories of materials. not including the grand jury material, the other three and the underlying evidence.
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that's what we are talking about. that's what we have been talking about. >> reclaiming my time. we have had access to classified material in a scif. mr. nadler: we have not been accorded that. that's part of the request or subpoena, i should say. >> may i yield to the the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: this is exactly why we are too far in the process. and i appreciate the chairman bringing that. because that is the art of working with the d.o.j. on accommodations and what we should be doing here and not rushing to contempt. and i go to back to my original point. if it wasn't part of the subpoena, why are we rejecting an amendment that says that. that is the curiosity.
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that is not a criticism. but this is why again, for those of us -- this is why this contempt is too quick. you can -- mr. nadler: will the gentleman yield? the attempt to negotiate with the department of justice for like two months, two months and refused to talk to us, timely only under the threat of this contempt proceeding were they willing to talk about accommodations in the last two days. nd my opinion is their so-called accommodation is not an accommodation at all. and they refused to talk. mr. collins: reclaiming my time. you are exactly right. two months, we were in the beginning of a report that just came out. i think this is a healthy debate on what we are talking about. this is the reason that we are
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concerned and i'm concerned and concerned about the actual move to contempt here is two months when looked at in the prism in the congress and previous congresses, the timing here is what we are talking about. and i didn't say this earlier when some commented, when we get to court -- were when you go to court on a civil contempt, the judge will look at what process has been made. if we have cases indirect discussion here in which over 400 days -- mr. nadler: would the gentleman yield? mr. collins: i want toll yield back to mr. buck. mr. nadler: would the gentleman yield? i would point out that two months of refusal to talk us to negotiate is not trivial, i
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yield back. mr. collins: it's not trivial, but not enough either. and you, yourself, were very critical of holding mr. holder in the contempt. and my time is over and i yield back. >> mr. chairman.
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>> initial grant of power for the special prosecutor and the special counsel differs and some other things do, too. but they don't differ in any way with respect to the ability to get information or with the ability to seek the attorney germ's assistance in order to get grand jury information. >> the law that was passed for the independent counsel statutes granted congress to get the grand jury material. mr. nadler: i'm told that is not true. granted at the discretion of the court. mr. buck: i would recommend and ask if this -- that we hold a vote that this committee authorize the staff to go to the
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court and ask for grand jury -- mr. nadler: we intend to do that. i don't know if we need a vote. if we do, we will hold such a vote. i don't know it's a question. we intend to do that. i yield back. the question occurs on the amendment. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the amendment is adopted. >> mr. nadler: i recognize myself for offering an amendment. the clerk will report. the clerk: the amendment in the amendment to the to the house of representatives find william p. barr in contempt of congress for refusal to comply. mr. nadler: without objection.
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the amendment is considered as read. i recognize myself for the purpose of explaining the amendment. i'm introducing this amendment in order to introduce the last-minute reported claim of executive privilege by the president over the entirety of materials. this is a development that just occurred this morning. it is regrettable this unfounded claim interrupted negotiations. the attorney general and the department of justice ignored our repeated attempt and compromised for well over a month. only in the face of a contempt resolution did the department begin to engage in discussion without producing a single page of the underlying evidence. when efforts failed, the attorney general asked the president to assert executive privilege in order to conceal the entire special counsel report and the evidence and materials.
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there is no legal right to stonewall. that is what we have been saying as a result of the president's declaration that he is fighting all the subpoenas issued by congress. the torpe germ may believe he is seeking orders from carrying out his constitutional responsibility. history has shown that the first line of defense against undemocratic rules to carry out undefensible orders and to just say no as the president's former counsel did on a number of occasions. we are disappointed that the attorney germ has shown that he is not that person. he has left this committee no choice but to reject the basis the blanket and pass the resolution and hold him in kelt. i'm taking this action in our nation's checks and balances
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which is clearly under attack. i'm proud for this committee standing up for our constitutional institutions and rinciples we hold so dear. r. collins: i think we are >> and chairman, you say that because the report is public, executive privilege has been waived. you relied on the case. the court had wares. in the case, the white house
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couple's office conducted an investigation and made the report public. the court said, since executive privilege, a waiver should not be lightly inferred. they took an all or nothing approach. quoting from the decision that you are relying upon, the courts have said release of the document but not for related material. here, all the underlying materials not made public are privileged. this is a balancing test where a crime has occurred in the nixon case. there is no crime as the mueller report demonstrated. the court also said the privilege should not stepped to the staff outside the white house ap executive branch agencies. and should only to the those received by those of the immediate white house staff who have broad and formulating the
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advice to be given to the president on which the communications were waived. this should be pointed out because when we had our markup and the subpoenas that were issued and don mcdepain and reince priebus, some of the highest ranking and the very people held that should have executive privilege. even with in the mueller report just getting around it is not getting around this. when coupled with the fact that we have had discussions of rushing to this and many times as you well know and folks who have been here for a while, it does take those determinations. there is not an impasse here. and all we talk about is in contempt. there is no impasse here. because there are negotiations even what the department of
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justice said we will be back necessary week. maybe there is a discussion that didn't like it this was the same thing that was done by president obama in the eric holder case, but not those closest to the president himself. in looking at this, this is not new in the hrl executive privilege. this is a 50-50 tossup. and that is the most generous of reading of the. it is not 50-50 and if we go down this line, i understand the chairman's frustration and i disagree with the chairman's frustration that you are not getting the information in the way you want it but it has been pointed out you have the ability to go to court to make this happen. before i quit here, the case is
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not precedent. the star case is not precedent. and also today, we have what is couple on-era special regulations, which is bill barr is operating on. that is something because the star report was made for the purpose of giving recommendations for impeachment. that is not what is happening under the special counsel's and if we count this case from a strictly legal reading, again at best, it is a 50-50 jump ball. if you get into it and what your subpoenas asked for, those closest to the president, this this case andwhat -- [indiscernible] and should be voted down.
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there is more problems with this than just the executive privilege issue. there is the problem once you get before a judge what did you do. and no accommodations. and i would encourage all members to read the case, read the underlying cases that this is based on and reject this motion. and with that, i yield back. mr. nadler: having used my less haste,ve minutes and the i neglected to describe, i yield myself 158 seconds. the amendment supplements the report to and letter this morning that he is asserting executive privilege over the redacted portion of the report and underlying materials. it explains why we believe assertion of privilege lacks any
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pliffle. who seeks? we'll take the vote? the gentlelady from pennsylvania. for what purpose does gentlelady from pennsylvania seeks recognition? >> thank you for offering this amendment, which i support. i was puzzled like many of you we received this morning and happened the at 10:00 this morning, a letter dated today may 8, 2019 addressed to the president, dear mr. president, i'm writing to request that you make a assertion with respect to the documents. recently subpoenaed by the committee.
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>> there's a list of 15 areas of concern that the special count asked for the president to come in and discussed. and guess what, his personal attorney said during this long letter. after reviewing the list of topics you presented, it is clear that all of the answers to your inquiries are contained in the exhibits that have been provided to you by the white house and witnesses, all of which there was no collusion with russia and no f.b.i.
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investigation even could have been obstructed. we all remain in agreement that your office has received unprecedented access and voluntary collection in documents requested by the white house. and goes on, in an effort to provide complete transparency, the president waived the applicable privileges where appropriate in order to show both the congress and the special counsel to see all relevant documents. personal attorney, more than a year ago, waived privilege, that everybody came in and had the right to testify and right to meet and spoke for hours, whether it was mcgahn, hope hicks and others, and yet this morning, the attorney general asked the president, please claim, put a big drape over this thing, claim privilege and we got a letter from the attorney
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general he claimed privilege, so there was a privilege there. an attorney general sworn to be an independent highest voice of the law of the land having a heavy hand of distraction and discxds difficulties seppings over this important investigation. mr. chairman, we are at a grave moment. i thank you for holding this very important hearing on contempt. our constitutional government is in jeopardy. we have to make sure we protect the rule of law. we are up against an administration that cares nothing for the rule of law, cares only for itself and we need to see the entire mueller report. mr. behavior 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. i stand in support of your amendment and in support of the underlying contempt report. thank you, mr. chairman. mr. nadler: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from norts dakota seek ? cognition -- >> five minutes ago, this subpoena was a full unredacted version of the mueller report. my colleagues have given speeches and cited cases. i don't think they are relevant about releasing 6-e material. now we are hearing conversations about everyone 6-e but it is in the inspect. the subpoena is simple and to have the fully unrecontacted report. the letter didn't say a
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proactive but a protective assertion of privilege. one of the reasons they are oing a protective assertion of privilege, they would have to violate the law. are we asking the attorney general to go to court to ask grand jury evidence and how that has happened in the past. in the case it has happened in the past, it happened in the halderman case and they heard, they ruled it was a an illegal proceeding because it was an impeachment proceeding. the attorney germ has no obligation to go to court and byishing a subpoena. so when we are having this
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speeches and going on c nmpnmp and ms nbc. it was to release the july unredacted report and regardless of the report we are having on this dais about this very information, that's what this subpoena says. when you issue a protective assertion of privilege, you have the right to do that. and you have to violate the law in order toll comply with the subpoena. secondly and it becomes interest ink and more important when we discuss how this has moved forward and where we are at. and all of these different issues. nothing that has been redacted has been shade. none of the underlying information has been shared. -- i there isn't a valid
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agree with the ranking member. >> would the alyield? >> yeah, i yield. >> the question may be to ranking member collins. you said that executive privilege has not been redacted to portions of the report. i'm not talking about the grand jury report. the ranking member report has seen that. am i mistaken? >> i haven't seen. >> i know you haven't seen it. that's why we are here. mr. neguse: they could have access to those unredacted access of the reports. mr. armstrong: when you go into a contempt proceeding. i'm confused whether 6-e is part
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of the subpoena. but as part of the conversation that has gone on. asserting privilege, they have the right to do it. what the ranking member has seen and not under those settings is a completely different conversation. i yield back. nadnaled the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. who seeks recognition? for what purpose does gentlelady exas seek recognition?
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ms. jackson lee: this was issued during the time frame of 2012 five 2016, previous president. what my friend on the other side of the aisle would be engaged in . there would be no doubt in my mind that they would be raging or the entire report, that would not only subpoena but use inherent powers to attempt to incarcerate some of the administration officials under the obama administration. we now are working on the basis f our chairman having worked extensively on owe accommodation. we have worked with the
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department of justice to work with their lawyers to find a common ground. to clarify, mr. arm stron's point, we understand the law over here. we understand that the 6-e materials are materials that deal with matters that will have to be reviewed by the courts. we don't intend to utilize materials randomly. and so we have asked the attorney general to come to court with us. of course these documents are important to us because they go to the full understanding of the american people. many of those documents may be held in a classified or confidential manner. we would intend to do that if that was necessary by the court. o to act as if you are confused, the resolution speaks for itself. the unredacted document in its
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entirety, the supporting materials, documents, that mr. mueller utilized and appropriate 6-e by an appropriate proceeding. the reason why this is so important for the court to look at this seriously is whether you use the word protected or proactive, it is the request for a blanket use of executive privilege, which as i said earlier is historic. today 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 infrastructure of the
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constitution, there is no way we can yield or see to a blanket request for executive privilege. and i ask the rhetorical questions if the same doult came out between 2012 and 2016 and what the american people would have asked us to do. we should move on the underlying resolution because we have seen actions that have never been utilized. we received letters on may 8, today, both the letter to us indicating that we have reached the accommodation and the breach came from the attorney germ, not from this committee. we were negotiating late into the night and the seeking of a proactive of the executive privilege. executive privilege that has been waived. let's get on to our work and
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find out the truth and let's clarify what mr. nadler is asking for. he has been very clear. and i think he has been measured in his attempt to work through this with the attorney general. and i would hope that we would rise to support the resolution. i yield back. mr. nadler: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from com seek recksnigs? >> move to strike the last word. >> i yield such time as the gentleman from georgia seeks. mr. collins: this is one of the things and we have a lot of good attorneys on this committee and i would -- if my friend from texan were in a courtroom. it calls for speculation. you are asking what speculation. but i don't have to have
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speculation. what did happen during the previous administration when a contempt proceeding was going on. they did made the preempttive assertion for the privilege, my friends across the aisle actually disagreed with this. and didn't want to happen. walked out. and said it was political. the interesting part, i will go back to this, that was over 400 days. we are still -- even the 200 days here. i want to go back to the interesting issue that mr. neg use brought up but strengthens my argument that we are are going too quickly. the department of justice was making accommodations. i never saw a definitive
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statement. that was public record and i did go say. mr. nadler: would the gentleman yield? mr. collins: i will. >> while i appreciate that, seems to me, it has been clear that they will only you and the chairman of this committee and a few other members of this congress of this house to see the materials you have. our point is that the republican members of the judiciary committee and the democratic members of this committee ought to be able to review these materials to perform their constitutional duties and that's why the ranking member devin nunes joined with adam schiff in making the same request. mr. collins: reclaiming my time. mr. collins: we have seen a offer made yesterday. that is part of the
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negotiations. anyone who went through the negotiation process. you may not like the timing. but gep in less than 40 days, it is interesting we had 400 days and 00 days withholder and myers and bolden. i think we are concxds con flating the issues. the 6-e information. don't demross over the fact that we have in this committee, the majority rejected an amendment that 6-e information is not going to be part of this. and several times, what is relevant and i go back to a statement that i made the other day when the chairman and i were talking about another amendment. we vote on words on paper and not intent. what words on paper matter and intent, it may intend, what they intend, but that's not what we
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-- >> will the gentleman yield? ms. jackson lee: we could be in the courtroom. i want to clarify that mr. holder's activities were far more distinctive. we are dealing with the actual acts of the president of the united states. and what i was saying that occurred between 2012 and 2016. you would be my good friend, rushing toward a particular procedure. this has to do with actual acts of the presidency. mr. collins: i reclaim my time. and what my friends have said. i go back to this amendment to the gentlelady. this amendment is peaced on a case and i lay that out very clearly. this case is when you look at from the holder perspective wouldn't apply there. again, this goes into the various assumptions why this is
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rushed. and it goes back to the court. if taken to the court, if this is contempt to court, they are going to look at the record that was laid. d right now that record is bare. >> mr. chairman. mr. collins: i yield back. mr. nadler: for what purpose oh --he gentleman from -- for what purpose does gentlelady texas seek recognition? ms. escobar: i move to strike the last word. i think it is important for us to come back to why we are here and to understand why there is so many efforts to prevent us rom getting to the full truth. let's remember what we all know. we all know that russia, a foreign adverse sear, attacked ur country and did that by
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meddling in our election. we know the president's campaign knew about that attack. we know 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 we know and what we have to remember as americans, they are still at it. they were wildly successful in trying to get inside of our elections, wiletly successful. and they are still at it. that's why we are here. that's why we are trying to get to the truth.
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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, my colleague said, . scanlon, also new, how the whole thing saddens her. i can't believe this. i cannot believe this. something that should be 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. get different ways, avenues
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tore obstruct getting to the full truth. i want to remind everyone here and i want to remind the american public about the oath we took. we took the oath we took the day we sworn in to support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies and foreign and domestic. further, that we will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. i remember my oath. i take my oath seriously and all of these efforts to create roadblocks getting to the full truth, shame, shame, shame. mr. chairman, i support your amendment. i support this resolution and it's time that everyone units and fight for the american public.
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mr. nadler: the gentlelady yield? mr. johnson: we do notville 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 they could help get donald trump. he will stand for re-election again 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 interfere to help trump get re-elected. and i don't want the public to get confused. 6-e is not the issue here. we have to get with the courts n order to obtain grand jury information. we know that. and we're prepared to do that.
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ordinarily, the attorney general would go to court to do that. but he doesn't want to do that. they are redacting the mueller report there for ongoing matters, they don't say ongoing investigations. what does that mean? national security. what is the message? we can deal with that? and embarrassing information on peripheral third parties not charged, we need to be negotiating about and this administration has refused to do. and that is what this contempt proceeding is all about. and i yield back. ms. escobar: i yield back my ime.
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mr. nadler. the clerk: mrs. love green. mrs. love green votes aye. ms. jackson lee votes aye. mr. johnson of georgia votes aye. mr. deutsche votes aye. ms. bass. mr. richmond. mr. jeffries. mr. cicilline. mr. swalwell. mr. swalwell votes aye. mr. liu votes aye. mr. raskin votes aye. ms. jayapal. ms. demmings votes aye. r. correa votes aye. ms. scanlon votes aye.
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ms. garcia votes aye. mr. neg use votes aye. ms. mcpath votes aye. r. stanton vothse aye. ms. escobar votes aye. r. collins votes no. mr. sensenbrenner. mr. chabot votes no. mr. depome earth. mr. jordan votes no. mr. buck votes no. r. ratcliffe votes no. mrs. roby.
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mr. gaetz. mr. johnson of louisiana. mr. biggs votes no. mr. mcclintock votes no. ms. lesko. no. lein votes mr. armstrong votes no. mr. steube votes no. mr. nadler: the gentlelady from washington. the clerk: ms. jayapal votes aye. mr. collins votes aye. mr. nadler: the gentlelady from arizona. the clerk: ms. lesko you are not recorded. she votes no. mr. nadler: any member wish to be recorded? the clerk will report.
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the clerk: there are 20 ayes and 12 noes. mr. nadler: the amendment is agreed to. there are votes to be on the floor. they should be called momentarily. the committee is in recess until 2:30. the committee stands. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit >> holding attorney general in contempt of congress by a party-line vote. in a moment we'll show you reaction from lawmakers followed from the beginning to time vote. some members.
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i just voted to hold a.g. barr because he marched and voted and majority of the house that's the power you gave us to give us the power. impeach barr. and ken buck. and refusing to break the law. the a.g. has applied with the laws. he has gone above and beyond. this is all a charade. representative adler and representative collins speaking after the vote. mr. nadler: this was a very grave and moment us step that we are forced to take today


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