Skip to main content

tv   House Judiciary Meets to Discuss Barr in Contempt Resolution Part 2  CSPAN  May 9, 2019 4:48am-6:40am EDT

4:48 am
document issue, which is the main thing of contention. those were not his documents to decide on. there will be later discussions if he is going to testify. we'll see how that goes. >> thank you so much. >> thank you. appreciate it. >> the house judiciary committee voted 24 to 16 to recommend that attorney general william barr be held in contempt of congress. the resolution heads to the house floor where leaders will schedule went to take action. next we will show you the afternoon portion of the committee's meeting and the vote on the resolution. house judiciary committee is led by gerald nadler. this is under two hours. >> the committee will come back to order.
4:49 am
the meeting will come back to order. are there any further amendments? the gentleman from -- what purposes does the gentleman from colorado seek recognition. >> mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. >> the clerk will report the amendment. >> amendment to the amendment in the nature of a substitute to the committee report for the resolution recommending that the house of representatives, william p. barr attorney general, u.s. department of justice, in contempt of congress, for refusal to comply with a subpoena dually issued by the committee on the judiciary offered by mr. buck of colorado. >> the gentleman will, is recognized to explain his amendment. >> thank you, mr. chairman. congress does its work mindful of house and committee
4:50 am
precedents. what members have done and said in past instances involving the investigation of a sitting president, appointment of a special and independent counsel, review of a report of an office of an independent or special counsel and how we review and consider obstruction of justice and ultimately impeachment are all relevant to our work today. mr. chairman, as you are well aware, referral of the starr report to congress in 1998, and this committee's consideration of that report in 1998 and 1999, are very relevant to us today. the purpose of today's markup is to ostensibly to conduct oversight and the insistence of the attorney general to refuse to violate the law by surrendering an unredacted copy of the special counsel's report has led us to consider a contempt of congress resolution. what is a special counsel report? is it definitive in its conclusions? does it reflect one size views? is it potentially biased? mr. chairman, you said in 1998 that a report of this kind is quote a prosecutor's report. by its nature, it is a one-sided report. end of quote. why then is it so important for
4:51 am
this committee to see the unredacted report if it only tells one side of the story? wouldn't this committee be better off doing our investigation so we can see information that is not one-sided, but instead, balanced? is it critical for congress or this committee to review material, there was a time 20 years ago where you suggested grand jury materials were unverified and may not be true and could be salacious. you said their release would be unfair. why are we interested now in untrue and salacious materials? you said certain grand jury materials must not be seen at all. given your position, i offered an amendment several weeks ago to protect those material, and the democrats on this committee objected and voted against my amendment. should this committee see the materials on the floor of the house in 1998, you said it would be quote grossly unfair to allow members of the judiciary committee to see the materials in relation to a report involving obstruction of justice by a democratic president. in 1998, you criticize members of the judiciary committee, suggesting members of the this committee would leak the
4:52 am
materials. i would note that during the nixon impeachment proceedings, this committee adopted rules of procedure to protect against leaks. we could do that today. but i would note for the record we have not. mr. chairman, in 1999, "the new york times" wrote a glowing piece on your opposition to the clinton impeachment matter. in that article, they wrote that quote, mr. nadler said he was not convinced that mr. clinton committed perjury or obstructed justice but if the president did, the offenses, meaning perjury, and obstruction, would not be impeachable. end of quote. so there, we have it. mr. mueller said no collusion. no provable obstruction. and even now, we have issues that would not be impeachable, if they were found to be verified. and mr. chairman, i would note that you did suggest in 1999, an impeachment was a quote partisan coup d'etat. i believe it is important for this committee to understand and be mindful of its history as we
4:53 am
consider today's business. your past statements related to these issues are as important today as they were in 1998 and 1999. i urge the committee to adopt the amendment to ensure that the report accurately reflects our past positions. i yield back my time. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding. i yield myself five minutes to, in opposition of the amendment. the amendment incompletely and incorrectly, incompletely, i should say, mischaracterizes my position of 20 years ago. it mischaracterizes and is incomplete also my position of today. i in any event reserve the right to learn, over a 20-year period. i am not going to waste time debating my view in 1998. and i have already stated my views on this matter today. we ought to be focused now on getting the unredacted mueller report, and the underlying evidence for the committee and for the american people, and
4:54 am
they are of great moment. i will simply say one thing. with respect to what the gentleman said a moment ago. yes, a prosecutor's report is a prosecutor's report. and is not necessarily totally objective. and yes, we should look at other evidence, too. but that's where you start. you have to start by looking at the mueller report and the underlying evidence for it. it is not where we should finish. no one is suggesting that that's the only evidence before us. but it is the start of the evidence. it is the start of the evidence. and as i said i am not going to debate my views of 20 years ago. not now. i will be happy to do it in other forums. i have already stated my position today. i oppose the amendment. i urge my colleagues to vote against it. and i urge my colleagues to do what we can to get the unredacted mueller report, and the underlying evidence for the committee, and for the american people, so that we can do our job, of holding the administration accountable. i yield back.
4:55 am
the question occurs -- oh, for what purposes does the gentle lady from florida seek recognition. >> move to strike the last word recognized for five minutes. >> mr. chairman, i wish to speak in opposition from the gentleman of colorado's amendment. as a former law enforcement officer, i frequently make statements and comments about law enforcement and the department of justice. and overwhelmingly, most of my comments are filled with pride and appreciation for the men and women of a profession that i have loved. but attorney general barr has betrayed his oath to uphold the law and defend the constitution, and today, we are voting to hold him accountable for refusing to respond to a lawful subpoena. and mr. chairman, we have more than enough reason to be here,
4:56 am
and to take this action. the special counsel's report documents a pattern of criminal and and makes it clear that it is not -- if it were not for the department of justice rule, had the subject of this investigation been any other person, any other man or woman, he or she would have been charged. and shockingly the report shows the president tried to limit the investigation, fire the investigators and hide conclusions. let us also remember that several of the president's associates who were closely related to either the administration or the campaign are guilty of federal crimes. the president of the united states encouraged his associates to hide the truth, illegally
4:57 am
suggested that he would pardon witnesses and threatened them with retribution if they didn't protect him. in short, the special counsel's report tells a shocking story of corruption and obstruction. the mueller report shows motive and means. it documents statements, events and evidence. however, 48 short hours after receiving the 448-page report from the special counsel, attorney general barr rushed to release a letter designed to mislead the nation knowing that the american people are just busy. trying to make a living, take care of their families, trying to stay healthy and be safe. the attorney general's letter, in fact, was so misleading that the special counsel wrote to the attorney general saying that the letter did not fully capture the
4:58 am
context, nature and substance of the report, and, in fact, threatened to undermine, undermine the investigation. as a former police chief, a law enforcement officer, someone who worked as a detective and a detective sergeant, i am not angry, i am not ticked off or afraid, but i am deeply disappointed by the top cops of this nation's behavior. too often the powerful exploit our system and take advantage of the system and everyone else, but, mr. chairman, not today. so i do not support the gentleman from colorado's amendment, but i do fully support the underlying resolution to hold the attorney general, like we would anybody else, excludeing the president,
4:59 am
accountable and hold him in contempt. thank you, mr. chairman. and with that i yield back. >> gentleman from california. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i move to strike last word. >> gentleman is recognized. >> thank you. first of all, i want to welcome my constituents who have come all the way from orange county to be here to witness democracy, to witness the judiciary committee. good debate on the law. good debate on policy. and i wanted to take a few moments just to let you know what this is all about today. a lot of debate, a lot of discussion, but this is really about that concept that no one is above the law. and we in congress have the responsibility on behalf of the american people to hold each and every person accountable for their actions and wrongdoing. congressional oversight. congressional oversight is what this is about today. our democratic constitutional
5:00 am
systems of checks and balances says that we have to have meaningful, significant congressional oversight, and today we're debating simply one important thing, which is access by congress of the mueller report. full mueller report and all the underlying evidence. we're congress people. every day we are subject, we review top secret documents. believe it or not, we can keep secrets, and today is one of those days when we have to make sure that we have access to all the information. the mueller report, mr. mueller, everybody seems to have an opinion about what the mueller report is about, including mr. mueller, who came back and said that mr. barr's four-page statement was not correct. so here we are today asking to
5:01 am
see the full mueller report, and it's just not about what happened in 2016, and it's not about who did what, when and how. sadly, it's about something equally important, which is the 2020 election. i also sit on homeland security. the former head of homeland security, secretary nielsen, before she resigned she tried to tell the president that the russians were at it again. and the president did not want to listen. if we are to have significant democracy in this country, we have to make sure that we protect it from foreign interference, and today getting to the bottom of that mueller report is the first step in the direction of protecting america, protecting our democracy and making sure that people in this country are assured that their votes and their elections are sacred. mr. chairman, i yield.
5:02 am
>> for what purpose does the gentlelady from texas seek recognition? >> to say the last word. >> gentlelady's recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and, dpraul,first of all, i wan thank you for your patience and your judicious demeanor throughout these proceedings and in working with the department of justice to reach an accomodation. i, you know, i find it very difficult to even bring to words what i need to say today because as a lawyer, a former judge and an officer of the court, i'm astoundly and profoundly disturbed that the attorney general of the united states is refusing to comply with a congressional subpoena. never in my dreams growing up working hard to get an education with a belief in truth, justice and the american dream, never would i have believed that i'd be sitting here today talking about an attorney general of the united states, the top law
5:03 am
enforcement officer, refusing to comply with a subpoena of the united states congress. and what's this fight really all about? you know, this is the report itself. for those watching from tv. and it may sound like it's not a lot when they keep saying that it's only 8% of a report, but wouldn't all of us like to hide 8% of our lives? you know, as stated earlier, what about the truth we tell? i'm catholic. when i go to confession, do i just not tell 8% of the things that i really should confess about? no, you confess about the whole thing. this is -- this is what it looks like. if you're the reader, you really do kind of feel cheated because you're reading and then all of a sudden there is just dark spaces. and that really how i do feel. i feel like i'm being cheated. i feel like the american people are being cheated.
5:04 am
so it's important, mr. chairman, and my colleagues, that we tell the american people exactly why we are here. we're not here because we enjoy yelling at each other or fighting with each other or, frankly, sometimes because we enjoy being with each other. we're here convened today to fulfill our constitutional oversight responsibilities. that, i might add, in addition to our legislative responsibilities. the constitution establishes congress and the executive as co-equal branches designed to check each other. that system relies on each branch respecting, and i'm going to underscore respecting, the powers of the other two. this committee has issued a subpoena directed to the attorney general to produce an unredacted copy of the mueller report so that we can see, frankly, what they're trying to hide. we need the full report, but the
5:05 am
attorney general has refused to comply and now belatedly has urged the president to exert executive privilege. in texas we say he's a day late and a dollar short. that refusal undermines our constitutional order and its system of checks and balances and if we do not -- if we do note hold the attorney general in contempt for this refusal, it diminishes congress as an institution and continues to disrespect the american people. congress is constitutionally entitled to the full mueller report and it requires this evidence so that we can fulfill our legislative oversight and constitutional responsibilities. mr. barr may need reminding that no one, not myself, not the president and not the attorney general is above the law. so i therefore think that, mr. chairman, that we have no choice
5:06 am
but to hold mr. barr accountable, and the way we do that is through contempt. i don't support this amendment. i think we need to move on. i don't think it adds anything. and i intend to vote for your motion and your report. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> mr. chairman? >> mr. chairman? >> for what purpose does the gentleman from wisconsin seek recognition? >> mr. chairman, i move to strike the last word. >> gentleman is recognized. >> mr. chairman, we've had a number of speakers in a row on the other side of the aisle and every one of them has forgotten the background of attorney general barr, former deputy attorney general rosenstein and also mr. mueller. all of them are prosecutors. all of them are trained to spot where there is enough evidence to obtain a conviction should they go to the grand jury and bring a defendant to trial.
5:07 am
in terms of the alleged russian collusion, there is extensive evidence in the mueller report that, yes, the russians did attempt to influence the election, but there was no collusion or no conspiracy. you know, they did things like paying facebook to have pop-up ads on people's cell phones and other types of things, including getting the voter registration rolls in the state of illinois and perhaps elsewhere. but there wasn't the tie that they concluded with the trump campaign or for that matter anybody else to do that. now, in regards to volume ii of the mueller report, again, mueller is a trained prosecutor. many of the indictments that he brought were for federal crimes of people who were involved in the trump campaign, like mr. manafort, but for offenses that
5:08 am
they committed before mr. trump even announced his candidacy for president of the united states. so we're not talking about corruption during the campaign, we're talking about corrupt individuals doing corrupt things before trump announced and before the campaign started. we hear an awful lot about the summary of the mueller report that attorney general barr made public a couple days after the report was delivered. now, first of all, you can read that report in a couple of days. it's 400 pages long. so having a reaction to the report within two days is not simply blowing off what may have been contained in there, but mr. barr is entitled to his opinions. and what was contained in that letter are the opinions of the attorney general of the united states.
5:09 am
no more, no less, on what he had read in the mueller report. now, if mr. mueller has a different opinion, and apparently he does, from my reading of the press, maybe he should have made that part of the report a little bit more specific so that there would be no ambiguity involved in what mr. mueller was driving at. now, we talk about separation of powers here, and i've heard that repeatedly today on the other side of the aisle. one of the things in separation of powers is that the legislative branch does not prosecute anybody. that was specifically prohibited in the constitution simply because of the excesses of the british parliament that occurred before the constitution was written and before the independence of our country.
5:10 am
so we don't prosecute anybody. sure, we do oversight, but i can see there is a way not to do oversight, and that's what we're seeing on the other side of the aisle. i was the chairman of this committee for six years in the last decade, and before that i was the chairman of the science committee. we did very vigorous oversight on the patriot act, as the chairman, the gentleman from new york, recognized. i did vigorous oversight of our involvement with the russians in terms of the space station, as those who were around here at that time recognized, but in ten years as a committee chairman, i never issued a subpoena. and the reason i never issued a subpoena is that i was able to get the information the committee needed to do its oversight simply by negotiating, by writing letters to the agency heads, some of which i admit used some very tart language, but at least i was able to get
5:11 am
the information that the committee needed to make the agencies operate better without issuing a subpoena. what we're seeing here is subpoena first and then figure out, you know, what we can do to make people embarrassed because they cannot comply with all parts of the subpoena. mr. barr can't do that under rule 6e. so the chairman has put the attorney general between a rock and a hard place. comply with the subpoena, he'll violate the law on grand jury secrecy, blow off the subpoena and you end up being found in contempt. that's not fair and it doesn't do this committee any good in getting to the bottom of this. i yield back. >> mr. chairman? >> for what purpose does the gentlelady from georgia seek recognition? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to move to strike the last word. >> gentlelady's recognized. >> thank you. on the heels of my esteemed
5:12 am
colleague from texas, i'd kind of like to take a few moments and just bring these discussions back to our broader problem. today the house judiciary committee is holding a vote on whether to hold mr. barr in contempt. and, trust me, i take no joy in doing this whatsoever, and i'm disappointed that it's come to this, but compliance with congressional oversight is simply not an option. the american people should be able to know if the government is working for the people. my constituents in my district, they deserve to know the truth. and this committee, we deserve to know the truth, and we should do whatever it takes to ensure that our government is by the people and for the people. this administration has announced a dangerous blanket policy of refusing to comply with congressional -- critical congressional oversight. this makes it impossible for us
5:13 am
and this committee to fulfill our constitutional responsibilities. and lastly, i'd like to say this. if this committee with every fiber of their being is not fighting for the american people then who are we fighting for? and i yield back the balance of my time. >> mr. chairman? >> mr. chairman? >> for what purpose does the gentleman from -- >> louisiana. >> -- louisiana seek recognition? >> i move to strike the last word. >> the last word is duly struck and the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i have a point of clarification. it's pretty technical but i do believe it's important for the proceedings today. before reassessed, the committee voted unanimously to adopt an amendment by mr. gates that nothing in the resolution should compel the attorney general to violate the law to comply with the subpoena. your intent was not to force the attorney general to disclose 6e material which would, of course,
5:14 am
be in violation of the law. >> without a court order. >> without a court order. so on april 3rd, this is the question. mr. b i'd ask unanimous consent to include that in the record. >> without objection. >> every democrat voted against that amendment and i have the vote tally right here as well and i'd ask to include that in the record as well. >> without objection. >> the amendment failed by a party line vote, 16 republican yeas and 24 democrat nays. this morning's vote changes nothing about the subpoena and the demands that are put on the attorney general. the subpoena as it stands today requires the attorney general to break the law to be fully compliant. if you look at it on its dpas, that's beyond dispute. i know that and you know that and nonetheless you're rushing to hold him in contempt. so despite your intent that the subpoena not require 6e material without a court order, that's what the subpoena you issued actually demands if you read it on its face. you and every single democrat
5:15 am
member on this dais voted for that and that's the danger we're talking today about moving forward so quickly on these things. so here's the thing. i ask my good friends and colleagues on the other side, how explain today's sudden change of heart? is it true it is not your intent to force the a.g. to break the law to disclose 6e material, and if that is your intent, that proves what every republican on this dais has been saying all day. if it's not, the subpoena you've issued is dangerously overbroad and the question is are you going to reissue a new subpoena? it's a change of heart -- >> will the gentleman yield? >> i'll yield. >> no, we're not going to issue a new subpoena. we have no intention and never had any intention of enforcing -- of trying to force the attorney general or anyone else to give us 6e material without going to court. we did want to and we still do want to follow the procedure that has been done in every similar case in the past, of
5:16 am
going to court, which we will do, to ask for 6e material and having the attorney general go with us. the reason that was in the subpoena was to -- was to increase our clout in court in getting the 6e material, hopefully with the attorney general's support, but it in no way meant to force him to give that support. >> mr. chairman, reclaiming my time. the way i understand it, the attorney general would be required to go to court to avoid the -- the way the subpoena is written right now. he would be required to go to court. >> if the gentleman will yield? >> i will yield. yes, sir. >> the subpoena is written as the beginning of a dialogue process, the beginning of a process to talk to the attorney general and to the department of justice, and ultimately to go to court, but it's designed to be the foundation of a dialogue and is not designed to force our hand in what we insist on in court. >> mr. chairman, the beginning
5:17 am
of a dialogue -- let me yield to mr. bog, if i may. >> let me just point out, we have accepted the amendment today. we've stated the intent. i think that should take care of the matter. go ahead. >> this is a contempt proceeding. let me yield to mr. buck. >> i've issued many subpoenas on behalf of prosecutors offices i've worked in. i've never considered it the beginning of a dialogue, i've considered it a command by the court to produce documents. we are now in a contempt proceeding and i'm not sure whether you consider this the middle of a dialogue or the mid beginning of a dialogue, but i consider this a pretty serious matter. as is ordering -- issuing a subpoena from the judiciary committee. if it was a dialogue that you were interested in, and i understand that it's your position that you had attempted a dialogue two months before the department of justice came to the table, but if it's a dialogue you're interested in, i
5:18 am
believe there are other methods of going about that than a command from congress to the administration to supply documents, and this is a far, far cry from anything other than one of the most serious matters that we will handle in the judiciary committee in the year 2019. so i would ask -- and i thank the gentleman for yielding to me, but i would ask you to clarify exactly what we're doing here in contempt if this is part of a dialogue with the attorney general. >> mr. chairman, reclaiming my six second that i have left. in the letter the attorney general says to you you've terminated our accommodations and abandoned the ongoing process. that's a dialogue. why did you do that and why are we here if this is part of a dialogue? >> we didn't terminate, they did by refusing to make any offer in good faith. the gentlelady from florida is recognized. for what purpose does the gentlelady from florida seek recognition? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i move to strike the last word. >> gentlelady's recognized.
5:19 am
>> i think we need to regroup for just one second, and i'd like to share my story. i have -- i did not have the privilege of being born into this country. i became an american citizen when i was 20 years old, and both when i became a citizen and when i was sworn in to congress, i took an oath to protect and defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. and just last month i spoke to a group of new citizens in my district in miami who took that same oath. the room was in tears at the significance of becoming members of our shining example of democracy. attorney general barr took that same oath but now he shows us that the only oath he's following is to protect and defend this president. who right now is threatening the strength of our democracy. having come from south america, i understand very well what it means when authoritarian leaders believe that they are above the
5:20 am
law. they start circumventing other branches of government and consolidate their own power to the detriment of the democratic ideals and freedoms of this country, and we cannot allow this to happen in the united states of america. we have a crisis on our hands. on the one hand, we have a report that details a systematic attack on our election system by a foreign adversary. on the other, we have an administration that refuses to acknowledge these attacks and fails to recognize the article i powers of a co-equal branch of government. and we have an attorney general who refuses to comply with a duly issued legitimate congressional subpoena. now, just for one moment i'd like to bring up some facts. the mueller report concludes that the russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion. the report states that the
5:21 am
russians attacked our election systems, at least in part to support the trump campaign. the russians targeted our state and local governments. in fact, my own state of florida, including my very own district, florida 26, was a victim of russian attacks. the report says that the russian government sent spear phishing emails to over 120 email accounts used by florida county officials responsible for administering the 2016 election, and despite this clear threat to our democracy, the attorney general has seemingly relinquish the duties he owes to the american people. he has chosen to work as the president's personal defense counsel, seeking to bury mueller's very detailed accounts of the president's attempts to obstruct justice. since mueller issued his report, mr. barr's conduct has been misleading and effective and deceptive. he's tarnished his own reputation, despite numerous
5:22 am
reasonable requests from the house and this committee, the attorney general has refused to put the interests of the american people first. he has refused to allow congress to view the full report and the evidence on which it is based. and now, just this morning, he's pleading the president to assert executive privilege only when the possibility of contempt is on the table. i was elected into office to lower health care costs, fix a broken immigration system, pass common sense gun reform laws, but i was also elected to take an oath to defend the constitution of the united states. i take my job very seriously. and being a mom i can assure you that i can do more than one thing at a time. in addition to passing legislation for the people, congress also has a duty to perform our oversight function to make sure that this administration is taking adequate steps to protect our elections from future attacks, and we can't do that job with an
5:23 am
administration that obstructs our constitutional responsibility at every single turn. this contempt citation is necessary to ensure that the attorney general does not violate his oath to uphold the constitution and is held accountable to congress and to the american people. i ask my republican colleagues across the aisle, who speak so strongly against the violations of democratic values and freedoms in venezuela, in cuba, to not abdicate their article i powers to this president. our constitution, the separation of powers and our very democracy depend upon us to support and defend the constitution of the united states and faithfully discharge the duties of our office. i yield the rest of my time. >> mr. chairman? >> that was --
5:24 am
>> for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? >> to strike the last word. >> gentleman's recognized. >> okay. continuing this out. and i know that i'll yield to some of our members as well. it's not an empty point, and i think this is the concern that has been brought up because i've said it before on this committee, that we don't vote on intent, we don't vote on what we say, we vote on words on paper. a judge, anybody else votes on what's presented to them in court. and the subpoena i have before me says that the honorable william p. barr, attorney general, will appear and identify certain things to produce. those things that he was supposed to produce are, number one, the complete and unredacted version of the report submitted on or about march 22nd, 2019. all documents obtained -- there is no qualification there. it says you will produce everything that we just said with no qualifications of 6e.
5:25 am
if everything is involved there, there is 6e information in there. so this is something when you look at the -- when the court will look at this, and if you even look to the back on 15 under -- i think it's -- report number 15 on definitions. 15 says the report means the complete and unredacted version of the report submitted on or about march 22nd, 2019. we offered an amendment that would have excluded 6e information from this report and from this subpoena. this is not in this subpoena. the four corners of the subpoena simply say give us the whole report. it does say nothing that's not against the law and it can't be assumed when you put this in here. when we look at this, this is an important point and also there's been a couple of cases where it says as in other cases. mr. chairman, you've said this and others, as in other cases where we go with the attorney general to make this happen. there is no other cases. the independent counsel case that you cite and others done under the independent counsel statute which the independent counsel went to court to get the
5:26 am
information, not the attorney general. so as we look at this, mr. johnson brings up a very valid point, and when we rejected the 6e amendment to the subpoena, this is now what we are left with with a subpoena that truly does on any valid reading of this that says if you read this subpoena, any attorney, any judge, it says give me the whole report. i don't care -- even classified. i mean, it's all -- you got to have everything here. so this is just the four-corner document of what a judge would look at when enforcing this subpoena. so it does matter. it's not ill relevanrrelevant. it is a valid question. if we rejected on 6e how do you say it's not except take your word for it? around this place neither side take our word for it. you go what's on the paper. i yield to the gentleman from arizona. >> thank you, mr. collins. i appreciate that. the point i wanted to make is
5:27 am
real simple. getting back to what's going to happen when the court gets there. the court will look at documents. the court is going to look first at the document which talks about a full and complete unredacted -- excuse me. it's going to look at the subpoena which has a full and complete unredacted report. and the point has been made by mr. johnson, it's also been made by mr. buck and mr. collins, that is what will be questioned. mr. barr, did you -- did you submit to that report -- to that subpoena? and there is no way he can comply with this subpoena because we have not qualified it. which puts him back to what i kept saying this morning, is that you've placed him by the terms of the subpoena in an untenable position. it's either be held in contempt or violate the federal law. and so when we move there, the judge is going to say, and since we've now basically qualified the contempt motion that we're
5:28 am
here marking up, the judge is going to say the subpoena you have is now invalid. your contempt citation is premature. you did not give mr. barr an opportunity to respond to the modifications that you made in your contempt hearing. that's what this is about. so when people start talking about rule of law and we need to do that. i am all for the rule of law. by modifying today, say what mr. barr has to comply with, you have inalterably changed this subpoena. you're premature on the subpoena that is outstanding. there is no subpoena that has been modified. it is only your motion that has been modified. how in the world will the court rule in favor of you? it's a legalistic argument, but the reality is that's exactly what a judge is going to be asking you, and i yield back to mr. collins. >> i thank the gentleman from arizona. again, this goes back to the whole argument we've had on why
5:29 am
we're here today. is it too quick? have we come to this point too quick? have we reached an impasse. today in essence, i don't think it could be construed too broadly here, we've actually made an offer here at the contempt hearing. with that, i yield back. thank you, mr. chairman. >> for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado rise? >> i move to strike the last word. >> gentleman's recognized. >> mr. chair, i'm happy to recognize you for a moment if you'd like to respond to the ranking member. >> let me just -- i thank the gentleman for yielding. i just want to say the following. we've been beating a dead horse. we've made clear -- two comments. the constitution requires that the two branches of government engage in an accommodations process when one wants information from the other. i asked the department to begin that dialogue with us long before the report was released in anticipation of our needs. long before the mueller report was released.
5:30 am
i issued a subpoena only when the attorney general made it clear he would not provide it to us in any meaningful way. i asked to negotiate with the department at least five times over six weeks. they provided us with nothing. when we moved to contempt only after the a.g. blew through our may 1st deadline, i am still willing to reach an accomodation. late last night we were still negotiating with the department pulled the plug and declared its intent to declare privilege over all of the material that we wanted. over all the material from the grand jury -- both the grand jury material and other redactions and all of the underlying evidence and, yes, absent an accomodation, the attorney general must comply with a lawful subpoena. that is the general thing. yeah, i heard that with holder they negotiated -- it took 400 days. but holder supplied many documents through that period. in the end there was an impasse. here they refused to negotiate with us or to deal with us in
5:31 am
any way or to give us a single piece of paper. secondly, we keep talking about the 6e material. we've made clear the 6e material was not included for purposes of the subpoena. if that was not clear enough, when we accepted mr. gates' amendment, that was made super clear. we hope to continue negotiations anyway, but you're beating a dead horse that is not relevant because, "a," no one's going to insist on it, and, "b," the amendment to the contempt motion makes that very clear. i thank the gentlemen. i yield back. >> will the gentleman yield? >> it's his time. >> i know. that's why i'm asking. >> i'll yield a moment to the ranking member. >> thank you. again, i get it. they were wanting to discuss this, but there's no -- how many lawyers walk into a court today and have a -- present a four-corner document to a judge and then you try to argue, well, that's not what we meant, mr. -- your honor. i meant to include this -- i've lost cases that way because i
5:32 am
didn't put what i wanted in there. we can't say it doesn't matter. i appreciate the gentleman yielding just to make that clarification. it does matter what's in the subpoena. it does matter. my question is really from a legal perspective, by adding this to contempt today, did the majority and us make an offer to the department of justice? i yield back to the gentleman. thank you. >> thank you. mr. chair, i just again want to -- i imagine we're getting fairly close to the end of this hearing. kind of circle back to why we're here. and i think representative escobar, the gentlewoman of texas did a world job saying our democracy was attacked by a foreign power in we know what and the mueller report makes abundantly clear that that was the case. i would refer the american public to page 3 of the contempt report, and i'll quote. "the redacted mueller report contains numerous findings,
5:33 am
including that the russian government attack the 2016 u.s. presidential election in sweeping and stystematic fashio in a social media campaign, and, two, that russian intelligence services focused on state and local databases of registered voters affiliated with voter registration. for example, quote, the gru compromised the computer network of the illinois state board of elections then gained access to a database containing information -- >> will the gentleman yield? >> i will not. on millions of registered voters and extracted data before the malicious activity was identified. here's the point. if i can leave the american people with one thing, it is this, it will happen again. that is why it is so fundamentally important for us to discharge our constitutional duties by reviewing the mueller report and the underlying
5:34 am
evidence. and, by the way, this is why i'm particularly frustrated today because this is not an unreasonable request. as i referenced earlier in this hearing. i'll read a letter. april 25th to the attorney general of the united states that says in our prior letter we made clear for the committee to discharge its unique constitutional and statutory responsibilities, the committee requires full visibility into the special counsel's office unredacted report, findings and underlying evidence and information. that letter is signed by congressman adam schiff and congressman devin nunes of the intelligence committee. i am at a loss for understanding who my colleagues on the other side of the aisle who i respect greatly would not join in our efforts to be able to ensure that this committee and its distinguished members have access to the special counsel's report so that we can ultimately do our jobs, and given the attorney general's unwillingness to allow us to do so. and this administration's
5:35 am
engaging and wholesale obstruction of congress to be able to engage in its oversight duties, we have no choice but to move forward with a contempt citation. that's why i'll be voting no on my colleague's amendment and voting yes in favor of the citation. and with that i yield. >> for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek re recognition? >> mr. chairman, i move to strike the last word. >> the gentleman is recognized. >> i yield the balance of my time to my colleague from louisiana. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. chairman, i just want to make sure that we get something straight for the record because if there is a court proceeding about this, this will be very relevant to the judge in that matter. you said in your own words, i think just a few moments ago in response to my inquiry, that the subpoena you shouissued, that t committee issued to the attorney general is just the next step in the dialogue. we're here on an extraordinary contempt citation. this is not a game. your subpoena is issued to the
5:36 am
attorney general of the united states of america and it reads in its first line "you are hereby commanded." that is not an invitation to a dialogue, unless we're going to construe it that way. if that is the view of the chair, we need to make it crystal clear for the record right now so we can dispense of the court hearing that many of us anticipate to come out of this. this record will make that court hearing moot and unnecessary. this is i dialogue and not intended by the -- by the sender of the subpoena to be an actual subpoena, apparently. look, the authority that we have in the congress to issue subpoenas is a heavy one. we should not weaponize this. we can't be using this stuff for political purposes and that's what's happening in this committee right now. many of the legal rights usually associated with a judicial subpoena don't apply to a congressional subpoena. we have a huge weight of authority and i just feel like it's being abused here and i think the admission that you made just a few moments ago is extraordinary and it makes much of what we have done here today a total waste of the american taxpayers' time.
5:37 am
i'll yield back. >> yield back? >> mr. chairman? >> for what purpose does the gentleman from -- >> mr. chairman? >> i'm sorry. >> mr. chairman, i yield the balance of my time to my colleague, mr. biggs. >> thank you. thank you. i just want to make two quick points that i think have to be said. when i listen to some of my colleagues on the other side and they talk about the russian meddling, which is one of the findings in the mueller report, there is nobody on this side of the aisle that is minimizing that. there is no one over here who doesn't think something has to be done. in fact, it was the obama administration under which that took place. that's when that took place, but we need to -- both side are culpable. both sides need to fix that. but it has nothing to do with whether mr. barr has complied with the subpoena. that's why we're here, to see if he should be held in contempt.
5:38 am
the subpoena in and of itself, as we've now discovered, was apparently the words within the subpoena were not what was intended by this party. by the chairman. that is a problem when you're going to find someone in contempt. contempt says there was a specific order of performance to be made. you didn't make it. we're going to hold you in contempt. that has nothing to do with whether we all think something should be done about russian interference in the most sacred right of being in a democratic republic, which is voting. but what it does have to do with is whether we follow the rule of law. and what i'm seeing today is we will issue a subpoena, but when it comes time to enforce the subpoena through something called a contempt citation, we will start modifying what we really intended. that cannot stand, and with that i'll yield my time to the
5:39 am
gentleman from colorado. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding. i just wanted to respond to my friend from colorado rather than doing this on the plane ride back on friday, we can do it right here in public. i don't think anybody on this side of the aisle disagrees that the russians meddled, interfered, tried to influence the outcome of our election, and if this is what this is about, i'm absolutely in favor of proceeding and finding out more information and doing our job as oversight. i -- a number of the folks on this side of the aisle were very adamant outbound our article i powers when president obama was in office and a number of them are very adamant right now about our powers of oversight and take this very seriously. the issue before us is whether the president colluded, conspired with the russians, and it's clear from the mueller report that he did not. and so i think we need to move on and not attack the attorney general in this way. i understand from the chairman that we are not after 6e
5:40 am
material until we get an order from the court, that we are willing to only look at classified material in a secured setting. i think both of those things make a lot of sense. then the other two categories of documents, i really don't know enough about. i can't support the underlying motion in this case because i just don't know what the negotiations were, and i think this is premature. >> gentleman's time is expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? >> i move to strike the last word. >> gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i've been amused over the last half hour or so listening to the sweet talk coming from the other side of the aisle. it reminds me of when i was courting my wife and trying to get her to agree to mary ry me, and i just wouldn't let her leave until she committed, and i
5:41 am
just kept talking and talking and bringing up 6e and 6g and everything that i could, and so finally 39 years ago she agreed to marry me. so i won. but we can't let the republicans win today, trying to sweet talk us and trying to sweet talk the american people. the issue is not about 6e. don't get it twisted. the issue is about whether or not the republicans on this panel will be consistent with the vote that they took on the floor of the house on march 14th, and they voted unanimously, in a rare form of bipartisan unity, we all voted 420-0 for a full release of the full mueller report. what happened to change their minds about it? because now they're trying to sweet talk us into not getting
5:42 am
the report. what changed? i believe what happened was on april 22nd my colleague from georgia was able to go and view the unredacted report. he went by himself and he agreed that he wouldn't say anything to anybody about it, but now we have the republicans in locks p lockstlockste lockstep, all of them agreeing to obstruct our ability to get the report. they have rescinded their support of march the 14th, and i wonder why. is it because -- >> would the gentleman yield and i'll explain? >> is it because they understand they have seen the full report and now they don't want us to see the report? because they are afraid that it implicates the president. what is the reason why they have changed their minds from march 14th to today? and with that i will yield to the -- to the gentleman from
5:43 am
colorado. i would like to have an answer to that question. it's more than a rhetorical one. >> yes, sir. >> will the gentleman yield? >> i appreciate the gentleman from georgia yielding. i will just be brief not to belabor the point with respect to 6e, but i think this is an important clarification. the amendment we adopted from mr. gates simply -- for the attorney general to violate federal law or rules, including but not limited to rule 6 of the rules of criminal procedure. the attorney general, there are a variety of ways in which he could have complied with this subpoena and complied with rule 6. one of the ways, as has been discussed during this hearing, was to simply tell this committee that he believed he could not produce the grand jury materials but that he would join us in a request in a court of law to ultimately produce those materials. i will also say the members of the intelligence committee make a compelling case that there is another exception under rule 6e that very well could apply. if you look to footnote three in
5:44 am
their letter to the attorney general where they state to the extent any such information relates to grand jury matters, rule 6e of the federal rules of criminal procedure impose no bar to this committee. subparagraph 3, subparagraph "d." i'm new to congress, but many of you were here when the amendments to rule 6e were made in twup. this relates specifically to information involving intelligence, counterintelligence, grand jury matters involving grave hostile acts of a foreign power and so forth. so the point being that there are a variety of different ways in which the rule can be complied with and the subpoena could be complied with. in this case the attorney general, clearly after much, much negotiation by the chairman of this committee, who showed great patience throughout this entire process, chose not to do so. with that i yield back to the gentleman from georgia. >> thank you. and i yield to the gentleman from new york. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding. i fully agree with the gentleman from colorado, obviously, but i
5:45 am
want to say that we're making a big mountain out of a small part of this. and, remember, the main thing we're talking about is not rule 6e. the main thing we're talking about is the absolute stonewalling by the justice department, the attorney general and the president, not only of the unredacted mueller report and the -- and the underlying evidence, but of everything. the president said we will reject all house subpoenas. what we are dealing with here, and we should not lose sight of the main fact, is, one, a total stonewalling of congress from all oversight activity. which is unprecedented in the history of the country. and, two, the refusal to let the congress see the mueller report -- the unredacted mueller report and the underlying evidence, and i would point out that the comparisons made to 20 years ago are completely off base because 20 years ago the entire starr
5:46 am
report, 445 pages and 17 boxes of documents were handed to the judiciary committee, and we saw all of it. and the debate was whether -- how much of that or all of it should be made public or not. public. no one is urging that the entire -- that the -- all the -- the redacted version of the mueller report and the underlying evidence be made public. obviously there are parts that cannot be made public, but obviously the judiciary committee should make that decision, not the attorney general of the united states, who is acting -- who has misled the public, deliberately misled the public and apparently misled the congress as to contents of the report, and obviously has a motive other than -- a motive to protect the president. he shouldn't make that decision. the judiciary committee should make that decision, as has been the case in every previous case. that's what's at stake today. i yield back. >> mr. chairman? >> mr. chairman? >> mr. chairman, down here. >> for what purpose does the
5:47 am
gentleman from ohio seek recognition? >> to strike the last word. >> gentleman's recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. before yielding to the ranking member, i just want to say a couple of things. first of all, most of us, as well as being on this committee are on other committees. i happen to be on the foreign affairs committee, and we've looked over the years very closely at some of the abuses of the russians, putin in particular, all across the globe and in his own country as well. for example, killing his political opponents literally. usually through other people but it happened. jailing reporters. basically suppressing any true form of democracy in russia. in other parts of the world, we saw what he did in ukraine. basically using his so-called little green men to take over crimea, and then to brutally attack the people of eastern ukraine. shooting down a civilian airliner. basically propping up bashar al
5:48 am
assad and bombing innocent civilians, killing -- being responsible for killing thousands and thousands of innocents. so it's not a surprise that in the mueller report we saw that there's confirmation that he was trying to affect us here, affect in probably the most significant democracy on the globe, trying to adversely impact our elections as well. we saw him do it in other parts of the world as well. not surprising he was doing it here. but, again, i just want to mention, and the gentleman from arizona said this and others have as well, that this happened not when donald trump was president, this happened under president obama's watch. that's when it happened. and basically a blind eye was turned on most of those occasions. we saw, you know, the famous red line in syria, where action was promised and didn't happen, and investigations were talked
5:49 am
about. it was talked about doing something about the russians, but ultimately nothing was done by the obama administration to stop this. and a lot of times we wonder why i think perhaps it's because most people expected hillary to win the election and i don't think he wanted to think that there was russian hanky-panky involved in her winning, but that didn't happen. donald trump won and so therefore it became a huge issue. but let's not ever forget that this happened under president oba obama's watch. that's where action didn't take place. if you want to study and go into dealing with the russians and stopping them from doing this kind of stuff, that ought to be bipartisan. we'll work with you on that, but this is nothing about politics. this saab tis about the next el. this is about trying to demonize the attorney general. that's what this is all about. the mueller report didn't come out the way you thought it was going to come out, you're really disappointed about that and now
5:50 am
you're fearful that this attorney general is going to look into what the mueller report should have been about, and that was trying to influence an election, trying to tip an election into one party's favor over the other. that's what is going to be looked into now, and i think a lot of my colleagues don't like that. i'd like to yield my additional time to the ranking member. >> thank you. i appreciate that. and, look, real quick, i'm glad my friend from georgia, we've talked about many things. he is a sweet talker and i'm glad his wife actually agreed. the problem is we're not sweet talking here. we're talking about a subpoena to the attorney general. this is not sweet talking. this is a subpoena to the attorney general and we have been consistent. how have we been consistent? i stood on the floor and debated this resolution. the resolution says all of this will be released unless a portion is expressly prohibited by law. nothing changed. don't fool the american people here. don't try to tell them something changed. nothing changed in that process. you can read the resolution.
5:51 am
the resolution says basically what we didn't say in the subpoena. the subpoena says you want everything. this actually said no 6e, no classified. that's what you can't get. that's what the resolution said. there has been no backup there at all. the main thing that the chairman just said in the intel committee, i want to address this. the intel committee is not on this subpoena. so it doesn't matter -- i don't care what the intel committee says. the intel committee is not on the subpoena issued by this chairman in this committee, and on the point and in the face of this document, it asks for all things. the main thing is not about dialogue. the main thing is not about underlying documents. the main thing is what does the subpoena ask for, and the subpoena asks for everything. one last question before the time runs out. and, mr. chairman, you've cited on several occasions now discussing this, many cases where this has actually happened. where we've had many cases. outside the independent counsel statute, please cite me cases where this has happened where the attorney general goes to the committee to actually go and get
5:52 am
this done. outside independent counsel, which independent counsel actually said you're supposed to do that, outside of that, what are the cases? outside of independent counsel you stated on several occasions from the dais this morning that this is the way we've always done it in previous cases. our side can'tifi find a previo case outside the independent counsel. >> is the gentleman asking a question? will the gentleman yield? >> i yield. >> well, for example, watergate, whitewater, the clinton/gore campaign finance case, iran-contra, appreciate identify. >> reclaiming my time. reclaiming my time. you just answered everything i told you it was not. i said outside npd counsel inde counsel or impeachment. again, the problem comes -- my time is expired and somebody else can take the time. this is ia problem.
5:53 am
the subpoena doesn't say that. >> i would remind the gentleman and everybody for that matter that what we are debating supposedly is an amendment over my changed position 20 years ago and nothing else. we seem to have gotten away from that. for what purpose does the gentlelady from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> i move to strike the last word. >> the gentlelady's recognized. >> mr. chairman, i have to report to you that i over the course of the last 30 minutes am slightly encouraged. i heard at least two, maybe three of the minority members of this committee say they were upset about mueller's finding of the sweeping and systematic interference in our election by russia. i am encouraged. i have to admit, over the course of many months now i have not heard republicans say that. i hope that they share our outrage. i hope that they share our wish and will to protect our system of government and our elections. so it would follow, it seems to
5:54 am
me, that they would also be outraged that what happened during that sweeping and systematic interference with our elections was hundreds of meetings with trump and trump associates. hundreds of contacts. that might have been during the obama administration, but it was during the trump campaign. i hope you share my outrage at that. the campaign welcomed, wallowed, invited publicly that interference by a foreign foe. and so it would also follow that the minority members would be outraged by what the mueller report found in volume ii. which adds hundreds of federal prosecutors have now signed on to a letter this week says each of us believes that the conduct of president trump described in the special counsel mueller's report would, in the case of any other person, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice. where is your outrage on that?
5:55 am
that the president's effort to try to fire mueller over and over and then falsify his efforts to do that. the president's efforts to limit the scope of mueller's investigation so as not to investigate him. there is outrage to be had, and so it would follow -- i'll conclude before yielding the balance of my time with where you took us last week, mr. chairman. you asked an important question. history is watching. our children are watching. our voters, our constituents, americans are watching. where will you be counted? will you be on the side of obstruction? will you be on the side of an administration that simply wants to darken the entire mueller report, try to reclaim privilege that they've already waived? where will you be? will you sit silently? will you argue on behalf of a president who has falsified everything, who cares nothing about the truth, who cares nothing about our system of
5:56 am
government, will you sit silently or will you boost him up in his false claims or will you stand up for the rule of law, will you stand up for the constitution? history will judge us. with that, am delighted. it only took six hours into this hearing for us to finally get to what this is about. and this is about russia's attacks on the united states of america. and so how, knowing again, restating something i stated earlier, knowing they are still at it, knowing they were so wildly successful, how do we prevent that? who did it? who aided and abetted? who hid the truth? we've seen much of that in the mueller report. we have not seen it all. and the reason that we need to see it all and the reason more importantly that the american public needs to see it all.
5:57 am
is so that we insure it never happens again. so unless you are willing for it to happen again, i would hope that our colleagues on other side of the aisle would join us and would actually be demanding with us, to sigh everything, let's see it all. so we can hold those accountable who should be held accountable, and more importantly, prevent this from ever happening again. that is well within our power, it's this committee's obligation and responsibility and we invite our colleagues to join us in that quest for the full truth. ms. dean, i yield back. >> ms. dean, would the gentleman yield behind you? >> i will yield, thank you. the point i believe is who cares if it was president obama who was the president when we were attacked. i don't understand that point at
5:58 am
all. it was still the russians attacking us. it's almost as if you're suggesting we were asking for it because he didn't do enough to counter it and we should have to live with what they've done. i've spoe spoken up against the response. i believe it was inadequate. i think donald trump was in their head when he said that the election was going to be rigged. so they didn't want to counter that and reinforce that claim by donald trump. we were all attacked. that's the point here. it doesn't matter who the president was, the russians attacked us, you should be uniting with us to stop that. i yield back. >> on the amendment, the no's have it the amendment is not agreed to. no other amendments. >> the gentleman from north
5:59 am
dakota is recognized. >> for what purposes is the gentleman frommed inned in recognized. >> he has an amendment at the disk. the clerk will report on the amendment. >> to the committee report for the resolution recommending that the house of representatives find william p. barr, attorney general, u.s. department of justice in contempt of congress for refusal to comply with the subpoena duly issued by the committee on the judish are i offered by mr. armstrong of north dakota. >> the gentleman, will is recognized for five minutes to explain his amendment. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we've done a lot of this today and there's a lot going on back and forth. let's remember what the hearing is about today. this hearing is about holding the attorney general in contempt of violating the subpoena that he would have had to violate the law to comply with. we can talk about speeches, we can talk about interference and we can talk about we didn't really mean that he had to provide grand jury testimony.
6:00 am
we spent the last hour and a half looking through any comments that have been made on news in pront. you know what's interesting? not a single person has mentioned, said, we don't want grand jury testimony, it is the full, unredacted mueller report. that's what the subpoena says, that's what the narrative is. to have this reasonable dialogue after we've already committed to a contempt proceeding seems to be a little -- if we're using phrases, i'll use cart before the horse. different types of issues. what we did find was the chairman on cnn stating that every other a.g. has gone to court. outside of the ranking member making sure that's a misleading statement. it's a political argument and not an adequate reflection of the current status of the law so let's understand what the current status of the law is regarding release of grand jury testimonies. there's no federal code compelling the a.g. to go to court voluntarily to release
6:01 am
grand jury testimony. the a.g. has the sole responsibility and prerogative to determine what doj's position will be on the release of grand jury testimony. there's no law that allows a congressional subpoena to compel the a.g. to go to federal court to release grand jury testimony. the chairman and the majority may want him to release that information. they may think they're entitled to that information, but they have no, by issuing a subpoena, you cannot force the attorney general to go to court to release the information. >> and so we're offering the amendment, which is we've earlier, we have cited several different cases and have brought up for various different reasons. one of them the jaworski case, these are cases regarding impeachment with president nixon. one of the things we haven't done that is talked about a case that was decided a week ago and i think this is the most
6:02 am
important thing that's been missed in this hearing. is there seems to be a failure to recognize that there's no guarantee that the court would require to release this information. and william barr, the same circuit we continue to cite from 1972 held that rule 60 makes it clear that disclosures of matters occurring before the grand jury is the exception and not the rule. and sets fourth in precise terms to whom, under what circumstances or what conditions a grand jury information may be disclosed. rule 6 e restricts that person's bound by grand jury secrecy must not make any discloe yurs. unless these rules provide otherwise, the only provide to provide otherwise is rule 6 b 3. this isn't a fight between congress and the executive branch. this is the fight between the democratic leadership, the president and their base.
6:03 am
and though the american people did not want impeachment proceeding if they want to continue down this rabbit hole. then let's at least be clear about what the status of the law is. >> mr. chairman, point of parliamentary inquiry. >> mr. chairman, point of parliamentary inquiry. >> my inquiry is it appropriate or is the committee permitted to vote on an amendment, which as far as i can tell offer as legal opinion, but doesn't modify the contents of the contempt resolution. >> it's not a proper parliamentary inquiry. >> okay. >> the gentleman yield back? >> yeah, i yield back. >> i recognize myself for five minutes in opposition to the amendment. the amendment does two things.
6:04 am
it says that my correspondence does not identify any legal basis to compel the department to request, does not identify any legal basis to compel the department to request a federal court order. quite correct. it doesn't identify any legal basis to compel the department. because we don't ask the department be compelled to request a federal court order, it has nothing to do with anything. it's completely irrelevant. the second part says that the correspondence does not account to the recent d.c. court decision in mckeever ver us barr, which holds that the mckeever decision does say that, it recognizes that various exceptions, to enable federal courts to release 6 e information, including for judicial proceedings, there's
6:05 am
authority that certain congressional proceedings are the equivalent of judicial proceedings. we think that's an adequate legal basis. beyond that we've debated the this amendment extensively in the last amendment, which is basically exactly the same subject matter. i urge my colleagues to not waste, to oppose this amendment, because it is not accurate as to the correspondence, number one. it is not accurate as to the law, number two and it is completely unnecessary and misleading number three. i yield back. we've -- we'll take a vote on the amendment then. the question occurs on the amendment. >> what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? >> i yield to the gentleman from north dakota. >> and just briefly because i know it's been a long day. but the attorney general thought
6:06 am
it was irrelevant, which is why it was issued into a response to the chairman. with that i yield back. >> i yield back, mr. chairman. >> the question -- for what purpose does the gentleman from louisiana seek recognition. >> strike the last word. >> the gentleman is recognized. >> i want to make a simple point beext have been here a long day. there's been some extraordinary admissions i would submit by the chair and those who have issued the subpoena. but i want to quote, one line from the letter that the department of justice, assistant attorney general steven boyd said to you this morning. it begins we are disappointed that you are rejected the department of justice request to delay the vote of the committee on this contempt filing this morning. you terminated our negotiations and abandoned the accommodation process, as we have repeatedly explained, the attorney general
6:07 am
could not comply with your subpoena in its current form without violating the law. some of our democratic colleagues have conceded, i think, over the course of the last hour, that this 6 e material, that there are ways to get around this. that in its current form and on its face, maybe the subpoena says one thing, but maybe means another. the chairman said this is part of an ongoing dialogue. this entire charade was premature to unwarranted. our democratic colleagues have, effectively acknowledged that on the record. i think this amendment is one we should support. is not a legal opinion, this is a statement of facts. that the facts, the important facts that have, that have transpired over the last couple of weeks in this good-faith negotiation by an attorney general that's been completely transparent and who is limited only by the written rule of law. he is trying to comply with
6:08 am
that. mr. nagu said a few moments ago, there are ways to comply, you can get around this and work with the subpoena. that's exactly what the attorney general has been trying to negotiate. in good faith. >> we jump the gun. we came in here, wasted an entire day. all of these important issues are pending before the country. the tying the hands and the time of how many members on the committee. 40 members of congress are tied up into this and it's only as the chair says at the end of the day. i just repeated because it's so extraordinary that he invented this, in this rare moment of candor, this is really just the next step in an ongoing dialogue. we could have continued that dialogue without this charade. i yield back. >> for what purpose does the gentleman of georgia seek recognition? >> i move to strike the last word. >> all this sweet talk is killing me. i know how my wife must have felled felt. i'm going to get on one knee and apologize to her for putting her through what we're being put
6:09 am
through today. the stakes are too high for us to yield to the sweet talk. will darkness, secrecy and obstruction prevail? or will truth and the rule of justice overcome the sweet talk? that is the question that we are here to answer today whether or not we're going to issue this subpoena to obtain this information that the american people want and that the members of the house judiciary committee need in order to do our work. and with that, i'll yield to the gentleman from new york. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding. i want to point out that the amendment in front of us does two things. it points out that the language in, that my correspondence doesn't provide a legal basis to do something which we are not asking to be done. that is to compel the department to request the federal court,
6:10 am
we've asked them to do it. but we do not seek to compel them to do it. it it doesn't take account the decision on the mckeever case, which, however, does not bar a court from delivering, from ordering the grand jury material, the 6 e materials delivered to the committee under various conditions, which we think we can meet. it's totally irrelevant. more to the point, it's very hard to credit the good faith so-called of the attorney general, when for six weeks, six weeks, starting on -- when he first misstated what was in the barr report, in the mueller report, mislead the people, then for six weeks, refused to talk to us. refused to negotiate with us. at all. about getting access to the unredacted report and the underlying material. only evinced the willingness to negotiate with us for that purpose when we threaten this contempt in the last week wait
6:11 am
until the last day basically to make an offer. made a ridiculous offer that a couple of days earlier, made a ridiculous offer that only the chairman and the ranking member can see the material. and couldn't tell anybody on the committee or congress, so it was useless. rejected our counteroffer which said -- members of the committee should have access to this material. i would remind you in all previous cases members of the committee have had access to the material. the question was whether the public should have access to it, not the committee members, that was a decision for the committee and for congress. we didn't break off negotiations, they broke off negotiations when we said we would go ahead with the contempt proceeding last night if they didn't make us a better offer. and they rejected our counteroffer.
6:12 am
other than two people can see it, one extra staff person that was the counteroffer. two members and couldn't discuss it with other people. that was an insulting offer, they broke off negotiations at least, it leaves us no choice but to vote in contempt in order to enforce the right of the committee and the congress and ultimately the american people, to see this material which very much implicates the preds, his campaign working with the russians. to subvert an american election. very much implicates the president in obstruction of justice. the special prosecutor said he didn't charge that basically because of the legal counsel policy that you can't indict a sitting president, for anything, no matter how much evidence there is. we need to see on behalf of the american people, all the materials, that may be you can cull pa tor exculpatory, so i u
6:13 am
my opponents to oppose the amendment. but to keep in sight what's at stake here. what's at stake is the ability of congress to do its job to protect the american people. i yield back. >> thank you and mr. chairman, again, something bad must have happened from march the 14th, when every republican along with every democrat voted for the release of the full mueller report. and then march 22nd, when the ranking member goes to see, under a gag order by the way, goes and sees the full report. and now everybody on that side doesn't want to release the report. >> will the gentleman yield? i can answer your question. >> it doesn't pass the smell test. and yes, i yield. >> the answer is very simple. we voted unanimously to release the report within the bounds of the law. that's what the attorney general is doing and that's what apparently you keep missing. i don't understand why that's so difficult. >> the sweet talk is obscuring the real issue and we need to stop the sweet talk and get to business of voting on this
6:14 am
resolution here and i had hoped that all of my friends and colleaguesed on the other side would join us in preserving and protecting the rule of law. >> i ask unanimous consent to enter into the record this timeline of negotiations with the doj, beginning march 25th. >> all the letters of reference from me to the department and the other direction from the department to me, referenced in this timeline. without objection this material will be -- >> can i see it? >> is this from you or, is this put together by the staff? >> okay because again, part of the timeline, we offer the timeline on the public negotiations, we have no knowledge of maybe something that i haven't had a chance to
6:15 am
read. we've asked. this references i believe you'll correct me in i'm wrong. this references only letters written by the department to us. >> i didn't want -- without objection then -- the material will be entered into the record. >> what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek the admission. >> the gentleman seek to strike the last word. >> yes. >> the last word is duly struck and the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i agree with the chairman that it seems ridiculous that we have to go to review material that is classified, secret, privileged in some way. and not suitable for public
6:16 am
release. we're not allowed to take our cell phones in. we have to leave those outside the room. we're not allowed to take notes. but if we do take notes, or are some cases are allowed, we have to leave the notes there in the room. we can't take them with us. we can't discuss anything, anywhere, outside the skiff that we saw, heard, or read in the skiff. and the chairman said the attorney general in essence, said we could review the much more unredacted report in the skiff, but we couldn't tell anyone. that's -- it sounds ridiculous, except those are the rules.
6:17 am
of the house. for reviewing material that is not subject to public review. >> it would sound ridiculous, except they're the rules. we have to follow the rules. we get into trouble when we don't follow the rules. again, we're back to where we're going to ultimately vote. you have the votes. to hold attorney general barr in contempt of congress. which will be meaningless because you will never be able to enforce such a vote of contempt. before a court of proper jurisdiction. because you cannot legally for court have someone in contempt for refusing to do what the law says they cannot do. so that admission, is what we got. when the majority offered --
6:18 am
here's the negotiation. you agree to go into court with us, to get a court order saying you can release the grand jury material. that is an admission of fact. an admission of law. that the attorney general cannot do what he's going to be voted apparently in contempt for failing to do. i applaud having an attorney general that believes that following the law -- i totally understand the skepticism of the majority when anything is redacted. because we found out during the obama years so often, and probably a majority of the team, when anything was redacted, it was making the administration look bad. it wasn't because there was something that was truly classified. so i can understand having seen that, out of the obama administration, you might want to project that on to this
6:19 am
administration. but what was clear about attorney general barr, frankly i didn't know him. i didn't know if he would be a decent attorney general or not. but i'm impressed he's trying to follow the law. he's trying to get to the bottom of things. sand if this were eric holder or loretta lynch, i don't have any doubt they would not have let you have any of the report if it pertained to their administration. so i thought the attorney general bent over backwards to present what he did. and now he's going to be met with a vote of contempt, it just i guess this is the rule. no good deed goes unpunished. the attorney general barr, maybe by a vote of contempt today by this committee, will learn the lesson that my late mama used to just say, there's some folks you
6:20 am
can't help. and with that, i will yield back. >> for what purpose does the gentle lady from texas seek recognition? >> i have a lot of good friends, mr. chairman, including yourself. a lot of good friends on the other side of the aisle and i'm simply trying to clarify the consistency of the false narrative that has continued as a theme of my friends on the other side of the aisle. chairman nadler has been consistent and we've been consistent. we've had three elements to our request. it has been modified to the extent of the two committees, republicans and democrats of the intelligence and judiciary committee. specific documents that we could specify. and 6 e materials is a part of it. operable under the law. even the attorney general and doj walking into court, with us.
6:21 am
saying what can be released. or not opposing when we go into court to get a court order. the false narrative that the whole premise is on trying to get grand jury materials that i'm sure the redundancy of this has strained the imagination of the american people. what is 6 e? it only means that documents used in a grand jury like you would be down in your own back yard you had a grand jury for a criminal case, those materials are typically not seen. in this instance, because of need for the thorough investigation that we have for the american people. we would use the courts. i want to move away from that. that is not the anchor of what we have requested. and then you cannot ignore the series of meetings and engagements that the staff has
6:22 am
had. but what occurred in the last 24 hours, was a saturday night massacre of rejection. the doj stopped in its tracks of working with us. and we understand that. they stopped in their tracks. of working with us. and early in the morning we received two letters dated may 8, simultaneously. there was no space to be able to engage in a discussion if you receive a letter of disappointment. saying that we are not moving forward any more. you have terminated our ongoing discussions and abandoned the accommodation. we're still engaged. a saturday night massacre of rejection. simultaneously comes a letter, that says we're going to ask for a blanket executive privilege on everything.
6:23 am
what more do you think people who are fact-finders can do? if our negotiating partner has turned the lights out. and implemented saturday night massacre with letters, rejecting our honest attempt to negotiate. then they want to use the words of mr. nadler, i'm glad he's a gentleman that says he has a right to change his mind or he's been edified and he's always enlightened. and so he's gotten to the light and seen the light or has a different interpretation. that's just and fair. you say it in the open. you have a colleague, chairman cummings, who is not here to defend himself. so he was used to say that he's against subpoenas and he said it seven years ago. so let me just add into the record the words of the chairman of the government oversight committee, mr. elijah cummings. at the time of the republican
6:24 am
contempt vote seven years ago, attorney general holder had already produced more than 7,000 pages of documents to our committee. to my knowledge, attorney general barr has refused to turn over any document. he went on to say the night before the contempt vote in 2012, i remember this well, attorney general holder was really trying not to get a contempt vote. he found this particularly sensitive. for his integrity. so he was working with the committee. attorney general holder personally came to meet with chairman issa and me and offered to provide copies of additional internal deliberative documents. here attorney general barr is blocking the production of the very documents that general holder came forward to produce. he was like that in the judiciary committee as well. then attorney general holder made a fair and reasonable offer, to resolve the impasse, by providing thousands of pages of documents and numerous interviews.
6:25 am
here, attorney general barr refused to even show up. so in 2012 ranking member cummings did ask for a short delay to allow the committee to consider an eight-page legal document asserting executive privilege and an offer from general holder to produce additional deliberative documents. let us not establish a false narrative. this apples and oranges from what happened in 2012. i would say to my colleagues, join us in this -- recognition that to do our job, we need the documents, work with general barr. if you cannot do that, vote for the contempt citation, with that i yield back my time. >> those in favor say aye? opposed, no? >> in the opinion of the chair, the nays have it and the amendment is not agreed to. are there any further amendments to the amendment in nature and substantive? the question occurs on the amendment in the nature of a
6:26 am
substitute, as amended. oil take the vote in a moment. i remind members that after the vote on the, on the amendment and the nature of a substitute. there will be a final passage. all those in favor of in the nature of a amendment in the nature of a substitute. in the opinion of the chairman, the ayes have it and the opinion question is on the motion to report the committee report for resolution recommending that the house of representatives, find william p. barr, attorney general of the united states department of justice in contempt. for refusal to comply with the subpoena duly issued by the committee on the judiciary as amended favorably to the house. those in favor respond by saying aye? aye. opposed, no. no. >> the ayes have it. >> roll call, mr. chairman. >> the roll call is requested. the clerk will call the roll.
6:27 am
>> mr. nadler? aye. miss lofgren? miss jks-lee? mrs. jackson lee votes aye. mr. johnson of georgia. mr. johnson of georgia votes aye. mr. deutsche? aye. ms. bass? aye. mr. richmond? mr. jeffreys? aye. mr. sissolini? aye. mr. swalwell aye. >> mr. liu? aye. mr. rasken. aye. ms. shiapoll. miss determination votes aye. mr. correa.
6:28 am
mr. correa votes aye. miss scanlon. aye. ms. garcia. aye. mr. nagoos. aye. ms. macbeth. aye. mr. stanton. aye. ms. dean. aye. ms. mccarsle-powell? aye. miss escobar? aye. mr. collins. no. mr. sensenbrenner. no. mr. shabot. no. >> mr. gomer. no. mr. jordan. no. mr. buck.
6:29 am
no. mr. radcliffe. no. ms. roby. ms. roby votes no. mr. gates? mr. johnson. no. mr. biggs? no. mr. mcclint ok? no. ms. lessco. no. >> mr. rushenthaler. no. >> mr. klein? no. mr. arm strong votes no. mr. stuby votes no. >> has everyone who wishes to be recorded been recorded? has the gentleman from tennessee been recorded?
6:30 am
has the gentleman from tennessee wish to be recorded? >> how does the tennessee wish to be recorded? >> mr. cohen votes aye. >> we have two more people coming in. >> mr. chairman. >> the gentleman from, the gentleman from georgia. after all the eloquent speeches today, i forgot, am i recorded? >> mr. colins, you're recorded as no. >> madam clerk, how am i recorded? >> mr. nadler, you're recorded as aye. >> i wish to be recorded as aye. >> mr. chairman, gentle lady from texas. >> how am i recorded? >> ms. jackson lee you're recorded as aye. >> that's correct, thank you. >> the gentleman from ohio. >> how is the gentleman from ohio recorded? >> mr. shabot. you're recorded as no.
6:31 am
>> the gentleman from rhode island. >> mr. chairman is it appropriate for us to enter a colloquy in the vote? >> no the middle of a vote. >> mr. sis lieni, you're recorded as aye. >> thank you, that is correct. >> mr. chairman. >> the gentleman from louisiana? >> mr. richmond votes aye. >> mr. chairman. the gentleman from maryland? >> account clerk please tell me how i'm recorded? >> mr. rasken you're recorded as aye. >> thank you very much. >> who seeks recognition. that was mr. johnson of louisiana recorded? >> mr. johnson of louisiana, you are recorded as no. >> we for the benefit of members
6:32 am
and everyone else present, we have two members coming back from a hearing. and are going to hold the vote open until they get here momentarily. >> hold the vote open until they get here momentarily. hopefully momentarily. people don't have to keep asking how they're recorded. on this vote everybody should be able to be recorded.
6:33 am
6:34 am
6:35 am
6:36 am
the gentle lady from california? >> miss lofgren? aye. >> ms. chiapol? aye. >> anyone else who wishes to vote not voted yet? the clerk will report. >> there are 24 ayes and 16 nosing.
6:37 am
>> the ayes have it and the vote vo recorded favorably to the house. >> pursuant to calls to a rule 11 i hereby give notice of intent to file dissenting views. >> the notice is duly noted. members will have two days to submit views. committee report will be reported as a single amendment in the nature of a substitute incorporating all adopted amendments and the staff is requested to make technical and conforming changes this concludes our business for today. thanks to all our members for attending, without objection the mark-up is adjourned.
6:38 am
6:39 am
>> following the 24-16 vote to hold attorney general barr in contempt of congress, jerald nadler spoke to reporters.

29 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on