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tv   U.S. House of Representatives Atty. Gen. Barr Don Mc Gahn Subpoenas  CSPAN  June 11, 2019 11:28pm-1:04am EDT

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eastern on c-span's q1 day. -- q&a. announcer: by a partyline vote, the house approved a resolution authorizing the house judiciary committee to take legal action against attorney general william barr and former white house counsel don began for access to the mueller report and other materials related to ongoing investigations. next, a at the 90 minute floor debate starting with massachusetts representative jim mcgovern. d. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, this is a dark time. this congress is being tested, in this case, not by a foreign adversary, but by our own president, a president who is undertaking a relentless campaign to obstruction and stonewalling. we have never seen anything like this, never before, mr. speaker, has a president of either party so flagrantly ignored congress' constitutional oversight
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authority and our nation's separation of powers. you don't have to take my own word for it. donald trump has declared, quote, we are fighting all subpoenas, and i don't want people testifying, end quote. these words make richard nixon look like an eagle scout. his attorney general, william barr, is apparently more than willing to follow the president's command. he's refused to release the full unredacted mueller report and the underlying evidence until a compromise was finally reached yesterday. that's after the judiciary committee had already voted to hold him in contempt of congress. apparently, the attorney general went from being america's lawyer to being the defense counsel for the president of the united states. i hope the justice department acts in good faith on this new agreement. these are documents that congress needs to see in response to special counsel mueller's findings, but if they do not and if the attorney general holds back key information, then all options need to be on the table, including enforcing these
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subpoenas. that's in addition to the fact some documents and testimony we deserve to obtain could very well fall outside the bounds of this agreement. and the mueller report is just the tip of the iceberg. the president is using every trick in the book, including false claims of executive privilege, absolute immunity and lack of legitimate purpose, all to obstruct legitimate inquiries into impacts on americans' daily lives. that includes health care coverage for millions of americans, including those with pre-existing conditions. his family's separation policy that's torn apart vulnerable immigrant policies. his missed appropriation of military funds for his offensive border wall. and his decision to roll back landmark civil rights protections. this is exactly the sort of concentrated powers in the hands of the few that the founders intentional prevented through the three separate but co-equal branches of
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government. each branch with unique powers and responsibilities and each branch expected to act as a check on the power of the others. but the president is trying to take his balance of power and centralize it in one place -- 1600 pennsylvania avenue. he's acting as though the law applies to every american except himself. the president's strategy is simple, tweet by tweet, quote by quote, he's laid it all bare to see. the question is whether this congress has the courage to take a stand against it, whether we will confront for what it is -- an attack on congress as a co-equal branch of government. i can't speak for my friends on the other side of the aisle, but this democratic majority will not allow this president to turn a blind eye to the rule of law. and that's why i introduced this measure, h.res. 430. it is a civil enforcement resolution that will strengthen our hand in court as congress tries to get the documents this administration is currently trying to hide.
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so if we can uncover the truth and follow the facts wherever they may lead. the first part of this resolution follows past president used by democratic and republican majorities. this time to allow the judiciary committee to go to court to enforce subpoenas issued by -- issued to the attorney general and former white house general counsel don mcgahn. the second part reaffirms key language in house rules, making clear that every committee chair retains the ability to go to federal court to seek several enforcement subpoenas when authorized by the bipartisan legal advisory group. that includes those already issued as well as any future subpoenas. now, i know some of my colleagues on the other side will be quick to claim this resolution is unprecedented. to them i would ask this -- what is the precedent for an administration refusing to comply with any congressional oversight? no documents, no information, nothing. there isn't one. there isn't one.
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we have never seen anything like this before. so we need an appropriate response like this because of this administration's constant obstruction. i'm proud my fellow committee -- judiciary committee chairman nadler, ways and means committee chairman neal, intelligence committee chairman schiff and financial services chairwoman waters joined us. this deserves support from both sides of the aisle. now, i know this sounds from some of my republican friends to what this president is doing has been deafening, but this moment demands you finally speak up and say enough is enough. this resolution is not about politics or partisanship. it is about defending the rule of law and the very notion of separation of powers. because the challenge here is so great that if we don't stand up to president trump today, then we risk losing the power to stand up to any president in
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the future. so i strongly urge my colleagues, let's make clear that the law still matters even in donald trump's america. we can do that by voting yes on this resolution and making clear that no one is above the law, not even the president of the united states. let's do right by the american people. let's restore the dignity of this institution, and let's pass this resolution. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. members are reminded to refrain friend gauging in personalities toward the president. the gentlelady from arizona is now recognized. mrs. lesko: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. lesko: thank you. i rise today in opposition of house resolution 430. it is disappointing that we are here again debating a measure that will have absolutely no impact on the lives of our constituents. instead of fixing pressing issues, like the security and
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humanitarian crisis at our southern border, the democrats continue their focus on influencing the 2020 election at taxpayer expense. americans are tired of this witch-hunt. for nearly two years, democrats claimed that the president colluded with the russians to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. after 22 months, 2,800 subpoenas, 500 warrants, 40 f.b.i. agents, and spending $35 million, special counsel mueller concluded there was no collusion between president trump and russia and did not charge him with obstruction. yet, my democrat colleagues continue to attempt to undermine the president of the all i states, because,
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can think of, they can't accept the fact he won the election. it is clear to me that the democrats are trying to influence the 2020 presidential lection at taxpayer expense. americans have real problems. we can and should be tackling instead. in may, the u.s. border patrol apprehended a jaw-dropping 133,000 people at our southern border, and that's only the people they caught. yet, we are here debating subpoenas, targeting the president, probably because it will provide democrats free air time. this unprecedented resolution should not even be on the house floor today. it has never been done before in the entire history of the united states. the house has only sued for documents twice before, and in
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both cases, the individuals in question were first found in contempt of congress at both the committee level and by the full house. this has not happened here. on top of that, the relevant subpoenas seek material including grand jury materials that by law cannot be made public. the democrats are asking attorney general barr to violate the law. when my colleagues and i tried to improve this resolution, the democrats blocked us at every turn. i offered an amendment that would let the marn people know how much money this resolution would cost taxpayers. democrats blocked it. republicans offered amendments to prevent taxpayer money from going to lobbyists, to disclose contracts with lawyers and to disclose where this taxpayer money was coming from to fund
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this witch-hunt. democrats blocked each and in y one, but one amendment particular highlights the b tisan, political media gra and motive to this resolution. it would require the judiciary chairman to certify he made a good-faith effort to negotiate with the attorney general, but the democrats blocked that amendment too. the attorney general has been transparent, and the department of justice has attempted numerous accommodations, including just yesterday when the department of justice agreed to let members of the committee view an unredacted eport excluding grand jury material, which by law cannot be released. but even as the attorney general has attempted to work with judiciary chairman nadler, he has moved at -- chairman
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nadler has moved at unprecedented speed. moving from a demand for an unredacted report to subpoena to this resolution in a matter of mere weeks. from the democrats' actions and prior statements, it is difficult not to view the purpose of this resolution and this debate as anything but political. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, i'm happy to yield two minutes to the gentlewoman from california, the distinguished chairwoman of the financial services committee, ms. waters. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. waters: thank you, chairman mcgovern. i strongly support h.res. 430, which authorizes litigation to compel attorney general barr to provide key evidence underlying the mueller report and the unredacted report itself, authorizes a civil suit to compel don mcgahn to provide the judiciary committee with
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documents and testimony and perspectively allows committee chairs to bring civil actions on behalf of their committees to enforce their subpoenas without a subsequent full house vote when authorized by the bipartisan legal advisory group. h.res. 430 is key to ensuring that congress is able to efficiently exercise its constitutional responsibilities in light of the unprecedented stonewalling by the trump administration and a president who has openly said such things as, as i quote, we are fighting all subpoenas, and i don't want people testifying. who does he think he is? a dictator? the committees have requested information that we are constitutionally entitled to as co-equal branch of government, and that we need to fulfill our legislative and oversight responsibilities in the
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financial services committee, for example, we have suspend documents from -- subpoenaed documents from deutsche bank and capital one as part of our investigation into the integrity of the united states financial system. bank safety and loan practices and anti-money laundering policies, including as they are applied to and involve the accounts of president trump and family members. . so, ladies and gentlemen, in another display of stonewalling, president trump sued to prevent the banks from complying with the committee's valid subpoenas. i will continue to support efforts to ensure that our critical oversight is not impeded. who does he think he is? i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. members are again reminded to refrain from engaging in personalities towards the president. the gentlelady from arizona is recognized. mrs. lesko: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield seven minutes to the
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representative from georgia, ranking member of the judiciary committee, mr. collins. the speaker pro tempore: the ranking member is recognized. mr. collins: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in strong opposition to h. resolution 430, a resolution authorizing the committee on judiciary to intervene in judicial proceedings to enforce certain he seena, and for other purposes. this resolution is an assault on this body's constitutional oversight authorities. by proceeding in this unprecedented manner, the house spugget the judicial branch in an unfortunate position. never before has the house authorized the general counsel to sue without first exhausting all our constitutional recommend des to gain compliance with our -- remedies to gain compliance with with our demands. this weakens our ability to carry out our oversight responsibilities. on may 8 the judiciary committee voted 24-16 to hold attorney general barr in criminal contempt of congress. the committee did not pursue contempt against donald mcgahn. his case is unique and i will address it in more detail later.
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contrumpcarerry to press reports, mr. speaker, we are not acting today on the contempt citation reported by the judiciary committee. we are authorizing the house to sue the attorney general, mr. mcgahn, and any other official or private citizen any committee chair deems contemptuous in the future. this is a novel, untested, and risky proposition. i'll give it to you this way, mr. speaker, the majority is definitely awe dishes in their request. the media and the democrats routinely rail against the president being quick to sue. mr. speaker, that's exactly what the majority is doing. having rushed to contempt, we are now bypassing that remedy all together and going straight to court. constitutional kohl lar jonathan turley recently wrote, democrats' litigation strategy is clearly driven more by political than legal calculations. this is the problem i have, mr. speaker. these tactics weaken the house. they aggrandize the executive branch and cede decision making to the judicial branch. this is a problem.
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the majority can mess up oversight however they want to. the majority can can rush to judgment whenever they want to. my chairman has subpoenaed most everything that moves and it seems other committees are wanting to as well. here's the problem, when you are rushing to this and taking it on grounds that are not legally sound, which, by the way, at this same hearing where mr. turley was at, all three of the democrat witnesses also agreed that the subpoena of the attorney general was not legal and asking him to do something illegal. the issue is yes when practiced proper oversight we are getting documents on election results. we are also getting documents on immigration and others from this administration. where the rub has come is an overbroad, illegal subpoenas from these committees. they may want to screw it up now for this purpose, but i don't want it in the future going forward where this house oversight ability has been tampered by a rush to judgment. let's think about this institution more than our next headline.
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this is a problem because it is uncertain here, mr. speaker. the house granted standing in court since we declined our constitutional remedies, mainly contempt in its many forms. this is not the only impediment facing democrats, at every turn as we have discussed in our minority views of the committee contempt report, the majority refused to engage in d.o.j. in the requisition negotiations and accommodation processes. during the markup of the contempt resolution, the chairman made several damaging admission. first he conceded the attorney general cannot lawfully comply with his subpoena demanding grand jury material. second, he stated the subpoena was the beginning of a dialogue. i am a' not sure what first-year law student would believe a subpoena is the beginning of a dialogue. the third, he admitted the subpoena was intentionally broad to cliff the committee clout in court. not sure what we are looking up, but that's not part of it. all along the goal has been to
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court. not get information and conduct legitimate oversight of russian interference or secure our elections. if democrats were interested in these good government issues, they would have accepted d.o.j.'s a offer to review the nearly unredacted report. today, mr. speaker, the chairman has not o done so. the goal is to clearly haul the administration in court in an attempt for impeachment. the congress must take advantage of every offer of information from the other branch. it is disingenuous to decline free information democrats so strongly claim to want. it shows the majority does not want the information. you want to fight. in addition to the seen yag being overly broad and require the attorney general to violate the law to comply, the chairman failed to establish a validated purpose for his demands. other avenues the chairman could seek to get the information he wants. congress could pass a law granting it self an exception to grand jury secrecy rules. the majority has not brought that up. the most alarming aspect of this action is the unprecedented speed, a mere 44 days passed
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between the chairman's first request to the attorney general and the date the committee held him in contempt n stark contrast 464 days passed from the date chairman issa requested information from attorney general holder on fast and furious. and the date oversight committee held him in contempt. 138 days for harriet myers before held in contempt. the action of the majority is authorizing today against don mcgahn, however, mr. speaker, is far more egregious for many reasons. mr. mcgahn is not the custodian of the documents the committee and chairman demands. the white house s yet we are smearing a private citizen's reputation and dragging him into court at taxpayer expense in an effort to redo the mueller investigation because the majority in the media didn't like the outcome. democrats again have failed to lay a foundation for any action against mr. mcgahn. chairman nadler has never formally objected to the president's assertion to executive privilege or other common law privileges asserted by mr. mcgahn. under supreme court precedent the chairman must take this important procedure step to
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pursue further action. the witness should be given a clear-cut choice between compliance and noncompliance between answering the question and risking the prosecution for contempt. here the witness is being hauled into court without proper notice evidence of this glaring error is in the record. on may 31 chairman nadler wrote mr. mcgahn's counsel and stated he did not agree with the white house or mr. mcgahn and offered to continue negotiating. the chairman also gave mr. mcgahn a deadline of june 7. this past friday, to respond. meanwhile the rules committee notice add markup of this resolution on june 6. one day before the deadline. i think we are seeing the pattern here. this revealing error -- this is a veeling error, butterest roars acan could he when you are pushing action at light speed a a court will decide whether the house has standing and the case is right and whether the congress is entitled to the information. as also been said the proposition is a gamble. here, mr. speaker, we are gambling with the power of a co-equal branch.
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this approach is untested and can do significant harm to congress' article 1 authority. lastly, mr. speaker, i must make mention the authorization of the general counsel to seek probono legal services circumvents the house ethics rules. mrs. lesko: i yield another minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman allowed an additional minute. mr. collins: circumvents house ethics rules. they provide an ention exception for members to bring civil action an action of a federal official taken in official capacity provided the action concerns the matter of public interest rather than a matter that is impersonal in nature. this resolution contravenes ethics rules by giving the general counsel the authority in mr. mcgahn's case to so hits a gift, probono legal services. not sure that was the intent but inconsistencies result when democrats aim to rush resolutions through the oust house outside regular order. the majority may wish to change the rules. the majority may wish to get to the finish line wicker. the majority may wish to
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circumvent everything that's a a precedent in this house and we have seen a lot of it over the past 5 1/2 months. wish they may take into the account they may not be in the majority forever hopefully. if they mess up oversight of a co-equal branch it is on their hands. that's what the vote for yes on this resolution. that is why a member of this body should vote no for the integrity of this house. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: let me assure the gentleman from georgia that there is nothing novel about this legislation. it's not novel because everything in this bill goes through the bipartisan legal advisory group. that's been the case in the past. what a novel, however s. a president of the united states who says that ignore subpoenas and we will not cooperate and tells people not to testify. that's not only novel, it is shocking. i would just say to my friends on the other side, are you going to have a choice today to either vote for this resolution and stand up for this institution,
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and support the rule of law, or you are going to vote in a way that's going to be complicit with this president's obstruction and disrespect for this institution and disrespect for the rule of law. i urge you to vote with us. mr. speaker, i yield four minutes to the gentleman from maryland, the distinguished chairman of the committee on oversight and reform, mr. cummings. the speaker pro tempore: before recognizing mr. cummings members are reminded to refrain from engaging in personalities toward the president. the gentleman from maryland, chairman cummings, is recognized. mr. cummings: i rise in strong support of this resolution. ladies and gentlemen, the trump administration is engaged in one of the most unprecedented cover-ups since watergate. it is not just about russia. it is so much broader than that. this cover-up spans across numerous investigations and it extends from the white house to multiple federal agencies of government to completely
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separate outside parties. the administration officials now question the fundamental basis of congress to conduct oversight. they object to committee rules and precedent that have been in place for decades under both republican and democratic leaders. and they make baseless legal arguments to avoid producing documents and testimony. the trump administration is challenging the very constitutionality of congressional oversight and it's happening in broad daylight. several weeks ago president trump vowed and i quote, we are fighting all the subpoenas, end of quote. since then he has refused it o work on legislative priorities such as infrastructure until
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congress halts oversight and investigations of his administration. he wants us to forgo our responsibilities under the constitution as a condition of passing laws to help our constituents and his constituents. the president's arguments are baseless. he suggests that all subpoenas that congress puts out are partisan and somehow related to the russia probe. but that is simply not correct. in the oversight committee we have issued eight subpoenas. six of them are bipartisan. and none of them is about russia. they involve issues like the census, immigrant children being locked in cages, and separated from their families, and the president's finances. this entire year the white house has not produced one document to
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the oversight committee. let me say that again. in all of our investigations the white house has not produced one singlele shred of paper in response to our requests. the hurricanes in puerto rico, the white house has produced nothing. security clearances abuse, the white house has produced nothing. efforts to transfer nuclear technology to saudi arabia, the white house has produced nothing. hush money payments, the house has produced not a thing. even on issues like spending taxpayer dollars to pay for private jets, the white house has produced absolutely nothing. over and over again. it does not matter what the topic is. the tactics are the same. and this begs the question, what are we covering up? tomorrow our committee will vote on whether to hold the attorney
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general and the secretary of commerce in contempt. of -- contempt of congress for refusing to produce documents relating to o congress. this issue has nothing to do with russia. yet, the trump administration has delayed, stonewalled, obstructed and challenged the authority of congress on even these questions. i support today's resolution because it makes clear that in addition to seeking criminal contempt on the house floor, committees may seek authority to enforce their subpoenas directly in civil court actions. nobody is above the law. i need 30 seconds. mr. mcgovern: i yield the gentleman 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is allowed 30 seconds. mr. cummings: nobody is above the law, even the president of the united states. today's resolution reaffirms that congress has the independent authority under the
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constitution to investigate waste, fraud, and abuse and wrongdoing so we can pass laws that are effective and efficient on behalf of all of our constituents. and with that i urge my colleagues to support the resolution and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. before proceeding, members are again reminded to refrain from engaging in personalities toward the president. the gentlelady from arizona is recognized. mrs. lesko: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield two minutes to the representative from arizona, my friend, mr. biggs. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. biggs: thank you, mr. chairman. i thank the gentlelady. i oppose this resolution. the subpoena for attorney general barr is unenforceable on its face. it demands the full and unredacted mueller report, including grand jury material that the attorney general can't lawfully show. chairman nadler said attorney general barr could not lawfully release grand jury material. he therefore admitted that the attorney general could not lawfully comply with the
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subpoena. instead, the chairman suggested that the subpoena is a starting point in negotiations. rarely have i ever heard that term used with regards to a subpoena. in the -- in fact, i never heard it before that time. in the judiciary committee on executive privilege last month one of the majority's witnesses said it appears so broad as to put the executive branch to a nearly impossible task. the committee cannot in good faith expect compliance. accordingly, it is on the burden of the committee to narrowly ask this aspect. they talk about the rule of law. the democrats admitted in the judiciary committee that the subpoena was overly broad and that objects of the subpoena that are prohibited from disclosure, such as such material, were not subject to the subpoena. but they didn't fix their subpoena. they didn't issue a new subpoena. they didn't amend the subpoena. they just attempted to amend
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their contempt citation. defendant's confusion what is subject to the subpoena is adequate evidence that the subpoena itself is legally deficient as being confusing and overly broad. and a court will not be able to read the collective minds of our democratic colleagues and will not expect such clairvoyance from the attorney general, nor from the former white house counsel. the administration is currently negotiating in good faith. we see an agreement was reached just yesterday. the same democrat when discussing the assertion of executive privilege by the administration stated, quote, these developments do not relieve the committee of its obligation to continue to negotiate. if i might have 15 more seconds. mrs. lesko: mr. speaker, i yield 15 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is allowed 15 additional skeds. mr. biggs: just as the subpoena is overly broad and deficient, this resolution is overly broad
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n the annals of american history. this resolution provides unique authority -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, at this moment i'm proud to yield one minute to the distinguished speaker of the house of representatives, nancy pelosi. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california, the speaker of the house, is recognized. the speaker: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding, and i thank him for giving us this opportunity to protect and defend the constitution of the united states, which is our oath of office. let me salute the chairs of the committee of jurisdiction who have led us down this path of great respect for law, precedent, and the oath we take . congresswoman maxine waters, congressman cummings,
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congressman nadler, congresswoman -- congressman richie neal, congressman eliot engel. one more. all whom have been fighting the fight, gathering the facts to protect and defend our constitution. the oath of office that we take is why we are on the floor today -- to hold the attorney general of the united states barr and former white house counsel mcgahn in civil contempt for their refusal to comply with congress' subpoenas. uncover the and truth for the american people. at the birth of our drox, amid war and revolution, thomas payne said, the times have found us. we are here today because the times have found us. while we do not place ourselves in the same category of greatness as our founders, we
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do recognize the urgency of the threat to our nation we face today. this body has a solemn duty, mr. speaker, a solemn duty to protect and defend our democracy, honoring the oath we take, and the constitution that is the foundation of our freedom. that constitution which begins with our beautiful preamble, we, the people. immediately following those words of the preamble is article 1, establishing a congress in which, quote, all legislative powers herein granted are vested. the founders conferred upon the first branch, responsibilities that are sweeping in scope. we set an agenda, we hold the power of the purse, we write the laws, laws that all of us are bound by, including the president of the united states and those who surround him. fundamental to those responsibilities is oversight of the executive branch and all of the areas essential to the well-being of the american pele. oversight is our institutional
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duty to ensure against the abuse of power, protect the rule of law, and expose the truth for the people who are the, quote, only legitimate fountain of power, end of quote, in the words of james madison. to conduct that oversight, the congress is both constitutionally obligated and legally entitled to access and review materials from the executive branch, which it can subpoena. yet, the president and the administration have shown an unprecedented and unjustifiable refusal to furnish congress with that information. president trump himself has said, we are fighting all subpoenas. i don't want people testifying. no doovers. his administration has employed every tool it can find to obstruct legitimate committee oversight. everything from witness intimidation to blanket stonewalling to spurious claims of executive privilege,
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absolute immunity and lack of legislative purpose. this obstruction violates decades of established legal precedent. throughout our history, the courts have made absolutely clear that the house has the authority to follow the facts, to uncover the truth for the american people, and that the power of congress to conduct investigations is inherent in the legislative process. those are all in quotes. our oversight responsibility continues to be resoundingly affirmed in the courts again and again. last month, the district court in the district of columbia ruled in a court decision, quote, there can be little doubt that congress' interest in the accuracy of the president's financial disclosures fall within the legislative sphere, end of quote. the judge ruled in the deutsche bank case that congress' subpoenas are all in service of facially legitimate
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investigative purposes. the administration's obstruction not only violates long-established precedent, it endangers our very democracy. we need answers on many questions left unanswered by the mueller report, which made clear that the russians waged an all-out attack on our democracy and documented the mule -- the mueller report did document 11 incidents of obstruction from the white house itself. this is a grave threat to our democracy, but the president calls it a hoax and refuses to protect our democracy. why is that? we take an oath to protect our constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic, and what the white house and administration are doing is a danger and threat to our democracy. at the same time, the administration's campaign of stonewalling extends far beyond the mueller report. the administration is obscuring the truth behind the disastrous policy decision from attacking
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the affordable care act coverage for millions of americans, including those with pre-existing conditions, and taking it to court to overturn while saying to the american people we support pre-existing conditions and the rest. for tearing apart vulnerable immigration families at the border. for stealing military funds for anineffective wasteful border wall. for rolling back civil rights for women, lgbtq americans and people of color. the list goes on and on. also, in court, to try to defend their abusive power when it comes to the census, which the constitution is very clear about, that every 10 years the people of the country will be enumerated. and they want to put a citizenship phrase in there to put a filling effect on us getting an accurate count. the well-being of the american people and integrity of our democracy are imperiled by this brazeon behavior. senator mcconnell declares case
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closed, enabling this campaign of blanket, unprecedented obstruction. why aren't the senators see the obstruction in this house for our trying to uphold our proceedings but we have the votes to proceed, but the united states senate has a responsibility to protect and defend the constitution, and they are ignoring that. as members of congress, we have a responsibility to honor our oath of office, strengthen the institution in which we serve for the people. we have a responsibility under the vision of our founders and the text of the constitution and ensure that the truth is known. no one is above the law. everyone will be held accountable, including the president of the united states. the people's house will continue to fight to make the truth known for the american people and will defend congress' role under article 1. i urge a strong bipartisan vote for this resolution to hold
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attorney general barr and former white house counsel mcgahn in civil contempt for their refusal to comply with congress' subpoenas and honor the oath of office that they take. with that i urge an aye vote and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the speaker yields back her time. the gentlewoman from arizona is now recognized. mrs. lesko: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield two minutes to the representative from california, mr. mcclintock. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mcclintock: thank you, mr. speaker. you know, there's a reason for the abuse -- abusive rhetoric from the left. for 2 1/2 years they peddled a monstrous lie that donald trump is a traitor, colluding with a hostile foreign government. they concocted with it a phony dossier commissioned by the clinton campaign and promoted by the highest officials in the f.b.i., our intelligence agencies, and the justice department, first, in a failed attempt to interfere with the 2016 presidential election and then to undermine the
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constitutionally elected president of the united states. despite spending $25 million on an outrageously biased team of partisan zealots assembled by mr. mueller which initially included peter strzok and lisa paige, and using some of the most abusive prosecutorial tactics in this country, they could not find evidence to think of a law. what did they do? they had to think of another lie and think of it quick. we hear of cover-up. cover-up of a crime that never happened, obstruction by turning over every document mueller requested and even waiving executive privilege to provide the white house counsel to testify. now, you compare that to hillary clinton's willful destruction of 30,000 emails under subpoena and you get a sense of the double standard involved here. this is a desperate scaffinger hunt. and the time and the nation's patience are running out.
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the other shoe is about to drop. investigations are under way and will reveal how this lie was perpetrated and promoted. two governments interfered in our elections. through propaganda and the obama administration by turning the most powers turning against our political process. the reckoning is coming. the wheels of the gods grind slow, but they grind exceedingly fine. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from tennessee, mr. cohen. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. cohen: thank you, mr. chair. mr. speaker, this is an opportunity for congress to reassert itself as an equal branch of government, and the fact it's supposed to be three equal branches of government, not totally accurate. you know, when we came up with
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the constitution, we decided that we didn't want to have an autocratic king rule us. that's why we had a revolution. . and when the men met to write our constitution, they made ongress article one. there's a reason. because the congress represents the people. it's not a king, not an autocrat, not a despotful. it's the representatives of the people to make the laws. we are supposed to really be the embodiment of and we are the embodiment of the american people. and this president has thumbed his nose at the representatives of the people. not complying with lawful requests for documentation and lawful requests for testimony for congress to do its constitutional delegated purpose of oversight of the executive and laws that are necessary for the betterment of this nation. this is about -- it is about
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time congress did act. i'm proud of congress for bringing these bills and i'm shocked at the opposition for not wanting the people's house, their house, their legislative body, to stand up for future congresses, as well as this congress, for the rightful power that it deserves, to do oversight and perform its functions with the best possible witnesses and testimony and materials that could aid it in its efforts. so i support the contempt citations. i condemn the parties that have thumbed their noses at us. subpoena under law, they're supposed to arrive with documentation and appear to testify. and if they object, they can object there and then. not just disregard congress' subpoenas that are lawful. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlelady from arizona. mrs. lesko: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield 2 1/2 minutes to the representative from georgia, representative woodall.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. woodall: i thank my friend on the rules committee for yielding. mr. speaker, i've been listening to this debate intently. i don't disagree with much what have my friend from tennessee ad to say. it is a bad habit that both parties have gotten into over the decades of my lifetime, putting party above article in terms of judicial oversight, executive branch oversight, and even our responsibilities here, such as declaring war. but what you have not heard here today, mr. speaker, and what you will not hear is why the passage of this resolution advantages us in any way. there is not one piece of information that the speaker of our house, our speaker, just came and asked for that we are not empowered to request today. the difference, mr. speaker, is
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if we pass this resolution, rather than the house requesting this information, as has historically been true, we would begin to request information one committee chairman at a time. does that advantage us in article one, going to court one committee chairman at the time? or are we advantaged when the speaker speaks on behalf of us all? i don't know the answer, mr. speaker. i'm not a legal scholar and in the rules committee where we had original jurisdiction on this, we did not call any legal scholars to help us answer that question. in the judiciary committee, they did not call any legal scholars to help to answer this question. mr. speaker, i tell you, there is not a member of this institution on either side of the aisle that cares more about article 1 and us exerting the responsibilities the constitution gives to us and our constituents expect us to do than i do. perhaps there is someone in here who cares as much, but there is
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no one who cares more. are we disadvantaging the institution for life by taking what has traditionally been the responsibility of our speaker to do on behalf of all of us and putting it in the hand committee chairmen? -- hands of committee chairmen? we don't know and anyone who tells you that they do isn't telling you the truth. we're going to continue to argue about the white house and what they turned over, what they didn't turn over, what they ought to turn over. mr. speaker, that is not what this bill does today. there is not one piece of information that's requested that we do not have the authority to request today. let's not move in ways that could disadvantage us for generations to come. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, i'm proud to yield one minute to the gentleman from maryland, a distinguished majority -- the distinguished majority leader, mr. hoyer.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland, the majority leader, is recognized. mr. hoyer: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm pleased to follow the gentleman from georgia. i have a card in my hand. this is a member's identification. there is no designation of party on this card. this card designates 435 of us, when we're at full complement, as members of the congress, the people's representatives. and i urge all my colleagues to use this card in a few minutes on behalf of the people and on ehalf of this institution. mr. speaker, when democrats won the majority in this house, we
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did so on a promise to the merican people to hold the executive department accountable. that is our responsibility. the constitution gives us that responsibility. and we swear an oath to uphold the constitution. that is what the committees have been doing and it is when the whole house -- what the whole house is doing today. now, the previous speaker said we have the right to ask for any information. that's accurate. what he did not then say is, we have asked and we have been refused. not only have we been refused in the particular, we've been refused in the general. because the president of the united states has directed his people not to give us any
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information. not to respond to any subpoenas. whatever the rationale may be. why? because he believes the house of representatives is not acting properly. my colleagues, can't you imagine anybody who doesn't want to give us any information would say, i'm not going to give it to you because you're not asking properly. of course that's what they'd do. and the house on behalf of the american people would be unable to perform its constitutional duty. this is not political. it's constitutional. it's about separation of powers. it's about responsibility. it's about accountability. the house is exercising its
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responsibility to uncover all the facts and discover the truth on behalf of the american people. we represent, each of us, about 750,000 people. we're not asking in our own -- on our own behalf. we're asking for the people. so that the people have the information they need in a democracy to make the decisions that they are called upon to make in a very solemn exercise we call voting. attorney general barr and former white house down -- counsel mcgahn have both refused to respond to subpoenas to testify before the house. and the attorney general refuses to allow congress to see the full and unredacted report by the special counsel, mr. mueller. you can see entire pages blacked out.
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the attorney general's efforts to prejudge the conclusions of that report before its release, as he did, and his public mischaracterization of its , nclusions are, in my opinion evidence of the contempt with which he refuses to answer questions. and respond to subpoenas. it seems con temp white house as contemptuous as well of the basic checks and balances. the american people deserve to know the full extent of russia's efforts to interfere in our elections and subvert our democracy. you didn't have to listen too closely to bob mueller to
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understand that he believed that there was much more to be found or to miss the fact that he said congress, do your duty. make sure the american people now the facts. the american people deserve to know whether the president or anyone in his administration or inner circle of confidence were involved in trying to cover it up. we've been accused of doing awful things, but i remember watching conventions where they . id, lock her up, lock her up flynn, general flynn, who was the national security advisor, said, lock her up. well, the fact is they locked him up. , who ny others associated
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lied about their involvement with the russian government. and, yes, with other foreign countries. so there is reason for the congress to want to get to the invasion this serious of our election process. i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to stand up for our constitution and vote for this resolution. i thank the chairman of the rules committee, mr. mcgovern. i thank chairman nadler. chairman schiff. chairman cummings. chairman neil. chairman engel -- neal. chairman engel. chairwoman waters. all who have jurisdiction over various facets of the information that is needed. and i thank the members of their committees for their hard work to conduct necessary oversight on behalf of the american people. mr. speaker, that's what this
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vote is about. i presented that card, it has no party designation on it. it just has a designation of us, each of us, as representatives of the people. let us make sure that today we vote for the people. stand up for our constitution and for this house and for the rule of law. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlelady from arizona is recognized. mrs. lesko: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield 2 1/2 minutes to the representative from ohio and my fellow judiciary committee member, mr. chabot. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. chabot: i thank the gentleman for yielding -- the gentlelady for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise in opposition to this resolution. it seeks to allow democrats on the judiciary committee to go to
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essentially whatever court they want to get a court order to get whatever documents they want, even grand jury documents and those that relate to our national security, all because they don't want to or are afraid to, really, hold attorney general barr or former white house counsel don mcgahn in contempt of congress. just as they're afraid to initiate impeachment proceedings against president trump. or accept the fact that the mueller investigation found that there was no collusion and attorney general barr found no obstruction. they just can't get it through their heads that that's the case. and they don't want to focus on the real issue threatening our democracy, which is that russia actually attempted to interfere in our national elections back in 2016, while barack obama, not
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donald trump, barack obama was president and the obama administration did absolutely nothing about that. they don't want to -- they really don't seem too concerned that the russians or another foreign entity might attempt to do so again in 2020. that's what they ought to be using their oversight powers, very powerful things, the power that the majority has, they ought to be using it about that, not this charade. how many documents have the democrats requested that relate to russian interference in our elections? none. how many hearings? zip. how many obama administration officials and others connected to russia's efforts have they subpoenaed to testify before the judiciary committee? zero. by continuing with this fake impeachment, the democrats are doing the american public a disservice. my democratic colleagues ought to be embarrassed. i yield back my time.
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. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: thank you, mr. speaker. let me just say to the gentleman from ohio, let me correct the record. the russians didn't attempt to interfere in our election. they did interfere in our election, and if my friends read the mueller report, they realized they interfered in the election to help donald trump get elected. mr. speaker, i'd like to yield three minutes to the gentleman rom new york, the chair of the committee on the judiciary, mr. nadler. mr. nadler: compliance is not option when issued a subpoena. we expect witnesses to testify when summoned. we expect the administration to comply with subpoenas and to provide us with the materials we require to do our jobs. of course, there may be differences between the congress and the executive branch as to what information can be produced on a timely basis. when those differences arise, we are required to seek reasonable accommodation. we first requested access to the full mueller report and the underlying evidence on february
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22. after refusing for almost four months, the department of justice in the last few days has finally agreed to permit us to view the special counsel's most important files. we are hopeful this will provide us with key evidence regarding allegations of obstruction of justice and to other misconduct. given this potential breakthrough, we will hold the criminal contempt process for in ney general barr abayans for now. but president trump blocked other key witnesses from testifying before the judiciary committee, including his former white house counsel don mcgahn whose account of the president's actions was featured in the mueller report. the president has invoked executive privilege to prevent us from seeing documents that stopped being privileged long ago, if they were ever privileged to begin with. and ordered same
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agencies not cooperate with our most basic oversight requests. this unprecedented stonewalling by the administration is unacceptable. the committees have a constitutional responsibility to conduct oversight, to make recommendations to the house, if necessary, and craft legislation that will curb the abuse of power on full display in the trump administration. this is why it is important that the judiciary committee be able to act in such matters using all of our article 1 powers as contemplated in this resolution and described in both the rules committee report and the house judiciary committee's contempt report. i heard what the gentleman from georgia, mr. woodall, said a few minutes ago and he's exactly right. this resolution gives committee chairs the power with the approval of the bipartisan legal advisory group to go to court on behalf of the house to enforce our subpoenas. this has not been done before, but neither have we ever seen blanket stonewalling by the administration of all information requests by the
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house. we have never faced such blanket stonewalling. the president has said they will oppose all of our subpoenas. we must go to court to enforce the subpoenas without a separate floor vote each time if we are going to enforce our subpoenas and reject the arrogant assumption of power by the administration and denegation of the power of the house and of the congress. we cannot afford to waste all the floor time for every single time the administration rejects one of our subpoenas, which is every time we issue a subpoena. that's why we must do this resolution. i urge my colleagues to support this resolution so we can get into court and break the stonewall without delay. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. mrs. lesko: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield one minute to the representative from california, our republican leader, mr. mccarthy. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california, the republican leader, is recognized. mr. mccarthy: i thank the gentlelady for yielding. mr. speaker, special counsel
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mueller officially ended his investigation several weeks ago. is office is closed. because of attorney general barr, his report is public, and his findings are very clear. no collusion and no obstruction. this is the bottom line of the mueller report. but, mr. speaker, democrats refuse to accept it. mr. speaker, even the chairman of the committee refuses to go read the portion that he's allowed to read, only six lines. he refuses to read it but he wants to come here today. they continue to believe their worst conspiracy theories about the president. despite all the evidence to the contrary. mr. speaker, it's even reported campaign rs, in the to become chairman of the judiciary, one said he campaigned for the position
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because he would be the best with impeachment. mr. speaker, even on this floor this house, there were more than 60 members of the house who voted for impeachment before the mueller report was presented to the public. 440 is re, house res. just a desperate attempt to relitigate the mueller investigation. that's why i urge colleagues oppose -- to oppose this resolution. it doesn't strengthen congress' oversight powers, contrary to what you may hear from the other side, mr. speaker. fundamentally, it's an impeachment effort in everything but name. mr. speaker, just look at the unnecessary contempt citation against attorney general barr. less than a month after barr received the mueller report, mr. speaker, chairman nadler issued a subpoena that would
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have required the attorney general of the united states of america to break the law. that's not my opinion. let's be very clear whose words those are. jonathan turley. mr. speaker, probably everybody in this body not only knows who jonathan turley is, he has probably the utmost respect. he's one of the most respected legal scholars in this country. now, he told the committee, mr. speaker, and i quote, you have to tie your request carefully to your authority to demand information. if bill barr are actually complied with the subpoena, as written, he would have violated federal law. if he would have complied, he would have violated federal law. mr. speaker, that's why we're here. not only, mr. speaker, does the chairman of that committee ask the attorney general to break
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the law or he'll try to hold him in contempt, he won't even go read the report. on may 8, only a few weeks after the first subpoena was issued, house judiciary democrats voted to hold a.g. barr in contempt, the attorney general of the united states in contempt. why would they vote to hold him in contempt? because they were so angry that the attorney general wouldn't break the law. they wanted him to break the law. in a may 24 letter to the attorney general, chairman nadler offered for the first time to negotiate and narrow the scope of his subpoena request, but then you know what, he changed his mind. yesterday, the department of justice reached an agreement with the judiciary committee to turn over documents related to the mueller report. now, if the public's watching, this just looks so disorganized. you wonder from that committee,
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mr. speaker, wouldn't they know better than to ask the attorney eneral to break the law? mr. speaker, wouldn't you know that when you get to this point in a career that you wouldn't be so upset that someone doesn't do exactly what you want and ask you to break the law, that you'd vote to hold them in contempt and force your side of the aisle just to vote that way? that's not how it's happened in this body before. if the public wants to see a good example of congressional oversight, then, let's look at something that's comparable. the house's contempt vote against attorney general holder in 2012. the house oversight committee took two important actions before suing in federal court. first, it negotiated with attorney general holder in good faith for 15 months. not a few days. never asked him to break the
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law either. narrowing the scope of its original subpoena, only extensive back and forth negotiations failed did it vote to hold him in contempt. second, it got the full house to vote on it and prove, you know what, a bipartisan contempt. w, i'm not sure why this committee of the judiciary, mr. speaker, would not know this, but did i a little research, because i was here during that time. you know why they didn't realize it was the best way to do it and it was bipartisan? because, mr. speaker, a lot of them stormed outside of the chambers. yep. you heard me right. even though 17 democrats voted in favor of the criminal contempt resolution against holder, 21 voted to enforce civil citation, a number of them stormed outside and
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protested. took their ball and ran home. mr. speaker, i guess the public looked at it just throwing another fit. and that's pretty significant. as many of you remember, it was contentious. i remember, mr. speaker, watching then minority leader pelosi, minority whip hoyer and congressman nadler lead 100 democrats off the house floor to protest the vote. mr. speaker, you won't see that on our side. we believe in the rule of law. mr. speaker, we would have done the exact same thing the attorney general did that jonathan turley said you would have to break the law to try to ppease somebody's own personal vendetta. the idea that, mr. speaker, that someone would run for a position to say they'd be best to impeach somebody and even vote to impeach without even having a report and then when you get a report and you could
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go down and read just those six lines that you want to complain about but you won't, the same person, mr. speaker, that would run outside and say, i got elected to congress but i'm going to pout and i'm going to go outside. mr. speaker, that might be the same person that wants to bring this to the floor today. what is different about today than all the others? well, we're doing something we've never done before. we're doing something that's of g to take the power away every member in this body and give it to a select few. mr. speaker, if this vote passes today, members of this body are going to say, don't bring it here and let me represent my own people and vote about going to court, let's just give it, really, to three people. let's give it to speaker nancy pelosi, majority leader whip
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hoyer -- i mean, majority leader hoyer, and to the majority whip, because that's what blag is. i know the courts are going to sit there and say, that's not what congress is supposed to do. congress has never done that before. but you know what, if this new majority thinks all they want to do is make an attorney general break the law, i guess they could break every rule, every history, every point of representation there is with inside this body. we wonder if this would happen? do we wonder why you wouldn't take months and come to a bipartisan conclusion? i think the plan was already written. i don't know if people can talk about the word patient because, mr. speaker, i remember congressman hank johnson of the rules committee, this is the speaker's committee, so
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everybody understands correctly, that's just appointed by the speaker on the majority side. and he said, mr. speaker, donald trump will stand for re-election again in a very short period of time, and we don't have 400 days to wait. so don't care about the rule of law. don't care about asking him to break the law. just break every historical trend and try to take the power away from millions of americans of the members of congress who represent them here. i didn't know today would come. mr. speaker, i didn't know that someone would go this far. i didn't know just because someone, mr. speaker, despieses somebody else, -- despices somebody else, that the election didn't turn out the way of the desire -- mr. speaker, i've been on losing
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sides before, but i never think i'd break the law just because you lost an election. i would never think of asking somebody as high as office as the attorney general of the united states of america to not give due process, to come to the floor and strip the power of 430 members and put it in a select few. mr. speaker, i have to be honest. i don't put anything past what this new desire's about. mr. speaker, democrats say we're on a constitutional -- in a constitutional crisis, and they're right, but not because of attorney general barr. the true constitutional crisis is this -- when democrats can't win, they change the rules. i just heard it on the floor,
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mr. speaker, that, yes, from the other side of the aisle said, this has never been done before and, yes, this is nothing this house has ever desired to do, but it's also no way to govern. the american people deserve a majority that is serious about coming up with solutions, not subpoenas. there are plenty important challenges that we can be working on to solve. just yesterday, mr. speaker, i opened "the new york times", it's a paper i don't always agree with, but they had an editorial not for the first time but the second time and it was talking about the crisis on the border and as i read this editorial i saw myself agreeing with it greatly. . it talked about the border, it talked about washington should stop dithering and do something about it. i looked to wonder what committee would be most responsible for this challenge. lo and behold, it was the judiciary.
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so i turned it on in hopes that i would see a hearing, maybe even i'd see a markup. no, mr. speaker. who did i see? i saw john dean. john dean who pleaded guilty in watergate, the same individual that put more than 900 tweets out against the president, many before any mueller report came forth, he was the expert witness. the same individual who is paid by cnn, the same individual who said the presidency of george bush was worse than watergate. i guess this new majority will go to no end. it doesn't matter if the facts don't go where you want, just change the rules. i wonder, all these new freshmen democrats, mr. speaker, when they swore in to uphold the constitution, does that mean trying to make the attorney
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general break the law? does that mean giving your power way to a select few? there is a crisis on the border. "the new york times" knows it. he country of mexico knows it. i think almost everybody in america knows it. except, mr. speaker, i guess this majority. the committee of responsibility is more concerned about bringing somebody in who pleaded guilty in watergate, who makes their money off, mr. speaker, writing books claiming every republican president there is is worse than watergate. and then asking the attorney general to break the law. that's not a legacy i would be proud of. it's not a legacy i'd want to be a part of. mr. speaker, i will stay on this floor. i will vote against taking the power away, even the power away from people on the other side of the aisle. i won't lead a protest and i won't go outside and won't take
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my ball and i won't run home. i believe in the rule of law. mr. speaker, i had the responsibility and the opportunity that i could go read the redacted portions of the mueller report. just as some on the other side of the aisle could. it's just six lines. not did i think it was just my responsibility, but as an elected official, i thought it was a responsibility. so i went. but, mr. speaker, the people leading this today, they have not. they think they know better. i don't know if they know better, but one thing i do know, they're changing the rules of the house. simply because they cannot win. that's not the american way. those are the reasons why we stand up. those are the things that america unites behind. the rule of law. this will not be a day that's proud. this will not be a day that when
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you look back in history, the individuals who vote for this will talk about. it's one when they get asked the question later in life, mr. speaker, is there something they regret, they'll regret the emotion overtook them. they'll regret their own personal dislike drove them. i'm not sure if they're proud of the day when they storm out of the building, even though there's a bipartisan vote here. but i guess that same emotion, the same, mr. speaker, lack of ability to actually look at the rule of law and work towards something instead of just changing the rules because you can't have your way, that's what today's about. but the worst part of it all is removing the power of individual members and putting it in a select three. but then again, mr. speaker, when you study history and forms of government, that's what socialism is all about. i yield back.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, the distinguished minority leader began by saying that the mueller report makes it clear that there was no collusion and no obstruction. maybe that's what you would conclude if you just read the barr summary, which tried to cover up what the mueller report said. but i would urge the distinguished minority leader to read the report. i'm happy to lend him my bifocals if he has trouble reading it. but the report doesn't say that. it says -- it doesn't clear -- it doesn't say no collusion. on the issue of obstruction of justice, it says, if we were convinced that he, the president, did not commit a crime, we would have said so. that's what the report says. and i would remind my colleagues that obstruction of justice is a crime. at this point i'd like to yield two minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. lieu. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. lieu: thank you, mr. speaker. the issue today is very simple. it's simply about the right of the american people and congress to get information. that's it.
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all this resolution does is it allows us to enforce congressional subpoenas. these are documents and witnesses we want. and it allows us to go to federal court to enforce it. that's all this resolution does. and why are republicans so scared of this resolution? because they know we're going win in court. we've won three times against the trump administration. but why do we even have to go to court to do this? because the trump administration is engaging in unprecedented obstruction. it's not just about the mueller report. it's about all areas. so, for example, right now the trump administration is suing to eliminate health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. we want to know more about that. we can't get it. we want to know about a lot of areas that we cannot get. so we want to go to federal court to get this enforced. and what are republicans doing? they're making stuff up. they're saying somehow we're asking attorney general to do things that would make him violate the law.
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that is wrong, wrong, wrong. and i'm going to end with this simple example. the attorney general of the united states gave the republican ranking member of the judiciary committee the right to see the unredacted mueller report. was that illegal? no. but i can't see it. that is wrong, there's no basis for that. we're going to litigate it, we're going to win. all this resolution does is allow us to enforce congressional subpoenas in federal court. it's about not allowing the trump administration to cover things up. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlelady from arizona. mrs. lesko: yes, mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the representative from texas, mr. gohmert. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. gohmert: thank you, mr. speaker. this is about harassing the president. and it's about delaying the inevitable. i would have hoped that my friends across the aisle, especially in the judiciary committee, that had concerns in
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2005 and 2006 about the overreach that was possible , ough the fisa procedures would have seen that there was no collusion that the russians did -- collusion, that the russians did try, but nobody with the trump campaign bought. so we're left with the fact that the real collusion here was between the clinton campaign, with fusion g.p.s., hiring a foreign agent, christopher steele, who talked to people he now admits could well have been agents of vladimir putin who gave false information about trump, the candidate, that was used in a dossier that was used to manipulate the fisa court into giving a warrant to start spying on the trump campaign. that's what this was about. and what people are calling
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obstruction of justice is exactly what you have when you have somebody falsely accused of colluding, conspiring with the russians, and he knows he didn't do that and he sees his family being harassed and everybody that worked with the campaign that can be pushed and shoved and blackmailed, as happened, and bankrupted. you want to bring it to an end. you want to see justice done. but instead of my friends in judiciary coming together with us that have been concerned about the abuses of the fisa system so that it doesn't happen to other americans, instead they come with this resolution to push the matter down the road a little further to the 2020 election. it's got to stop. let's stop now. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, i'm delighted to yield two minutes to the gentlewoman from texas,
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ms. jackson lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from texas, ms. jackson lee, is recognized. ms. jackson lee: i thank the gentleman. i think it is appropriate to correct a number of statements that have been made on the floor. first of all, this is not the end. director mueller made in the beginning. when he concluded the report, he left a very large direction to the united states congress. he recognized that he could not follow up because of policies at the d.o.j. regarding indictment in the process of the administration. and so the congress, in its due diligence, took the responsibility. not to target anyone, but to simply uphold the rule of law. in upholding the rule of law, we had an empty seat by attorney general barr, an empty seat by mr. mcgahn, an empty seat by ms. hicks, ms. donaldson, and we hope not an empty seat of the
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author of the report. so all this resolution does is authorizes the committee to seek civil enforcement of its subpoenas against attorney general -- attorney general barr, requiring him to provide congress with the key evidence underlined in the mueller report, as well as the unredacted report itself. and former white house counsel donald f. mcgahn, requiring him to provide documents and appear for testimony. he's not covered by executive privilege. in fact, executive privilege does not cover his duty -- cover -- his duty is to the white house office of the general counsel, the white house counsel's office, not to the individual office holder, the president. he has personal lawyers. and we didn't break the law. 6-e, which is grand jury materials, our committee diligently said, let's work with the department of justice go to court and decide what we can see. we are simply following this little book that many have died for and that is the constitution of the united states. and those words in the
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declaration of independence that said we all are created equal, with certain rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. the american people would not want a nation that did not hold -- mr. mcgovern: i yield the gentlelady an additional one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is allocated an additional minute. ms. jackson lee: the american people would not want a congress that turned its back on, frankly, the rule of law. for those of us who had the special privilege of going to normandy this past week, you got a great sense of pride, of the courage of americans. the bravery of those young men. and all i could think of is how important it is for all of us to adhere to those wonderful principles. so again, there is no targeting here. this is not a way to do policy or legislation. we can fight that battle on the floor of the house. but if you read those volumes
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and end it in the last pages of volume 2, you know that director mueller asked us to finish the task of looking into elements that he did not or could not in the underlying issues. let me also say, as we do that, we do it forthrightly. because in 2020 we want to make sure that every american has the right to vote and every american is not undermined by a foreign operative interfering and taking the election away from you. i support the resolution. we must stand for the rule of law. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentlelady from arizona. mrs. lesko: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield two minutes to the representative and fellow judiciary committee from virginia, mr. cline. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. cline: thank you mr. speaker,. i thank the gentlelady for yield -- thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentlelady for yielding time. i want to thank the gentlelady from texas for her remarks. as a fellow member of the judiciary committee, we all stand for the rule of law and too carry a constitution with me and the constitution explicitly creates a system that is
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representative of the people, where the people are elected by their constituents to come up here and represent their views in congress and vote for them. it's not to come here and to hand off control, to hand their vote to the majority leader, to the speaker, and to the majority whip. and to let them vote for them and for the people of their district, whether or not to go to court. the votes to and -- to enforce subpoenas, the votes to hold in contempt should be votes of the representatives of the people. that's why this resolution today is such a travesty. mr. speaker, i've only been a member of this body for a few months and i was proud to be named a member of the judiciary committee. but unfortunately the circus that i've witnessed over the last few months is shocking. as the democratic majority tries to find some reason, any reason, to impeach this president, now that the mueller investigation has wrapped up with no crimes found. if they want to go back and
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repeat the last two years of the investigation, the millions of dollars, the hundreds of subpoenas, they are certainly entitled to do that but i would argue it would be a waste of time for the american taxpayer and the american people. you know, we had a hearing earlier today on the 9/11 victims compensation fund and the chairman did a masterful job of arguing in favor of that legislation, of which i'm a co-sponsor. it's bipartisan legislation. it's going to be marked up tomorrow. that's the way that this judiciary committee should operate. instead we have hearings with empty chairs for the attorney general. we have a hearing with empty chairs for the white house counsel. finally, yesterday, we had a hearing with people in the seats but they were all msnbc and cnn commentators. . mr. speaker, this is a travesty of justice. i urge colleagues to oppose this resolution.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlelady from arizona. mrs. lesko: thank you. the committee on the judiciary's one of the most ven herbal in the house of representatives -- venerable in the house of representatives and i was proud to be selected to join its ranks. jurisdiction over election interference, during a time when we are concerned about russians interfering with our election. it has jurisdiction over immigration issues, during a time of an unprecedented security and humanitarian crisis on our southern border. i am disappointed to see how the democratic majority has chosen to waste this authority. i am disappointed to see that it has chosen to ignore its
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responsibilities to the american people in favor of sound bites and photo ops. instead of legislating, the democratic majority prefers posing with buckets of fried chicken for the national media in crude attempts to undermine our president and his administration. really, it's time to move on and tackle the real issues that americans care about. the american people elected us, they elected me to congress to get things done. let us secure the border. let us improve health care. let us improve education. let us stop this political theater that happens meeting and hearing after hearing in
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multiple committees and what i believe is a blatant attempt to influence the 2020 presidential election using taxpayer resources. mr. speaker, i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves her time. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i have no further speakers if the gentlelady is through, if she yields back her time. mrs. lesko: thank you. i have an inquiry, how much time do i have left? the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady has one minute remaining. mrs. lesko: well, thank you, mr. speaker. i am going to use my one minute to talk about these -- to actually refute these blatant allegations and fantasies, i believe, by my fellow democrats. and that's how somehow the president and the department of justice has been stonewalling them. let me go over the timelines
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real quick. on march 22, the attorney general immediately notified the chairman and the ranking members of the house and senate committees on judiciary that they had received the confidential report from the special counsel. the next day, the attorney general informed congress of the special counsel's principal conclusions. arch 29, you up-- he updated congress what redactions had to be made. april 18, less than a month after receiving it, the attorney general made the redacted confidential report available to congress, and the entire public. the same day, the attorney general released the confidential report and made the minimally redacted version of the confidential report available for review. i, mr. speaker, i would urge a no vote on this resolution, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i yield myself the remaining time, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized.
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mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, my friends on the other side, you know, have responded to this legislation with the same old same old. the circling the wagons around this president and his team. they are deliberately turning a blind eye to the corruption, to ilyou eption, to the -- illegality. we all took an oath when we were sworn in to uphold and defend the constitution. that's our job. none of us were sent here to play defense for the president of the united states. you know, there are some things that are more important than politics, and i hope that even in this day and age there are still some things that are more sacred than partisanship. like the rule of law and the separation of powers. i mean, each of us took the same oath.
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we now have a choice whether or not to uphold it. the choice should be a simple one -- to stand up to president trump and to defend the constitution. you know, i remember when many of my republican friends ran for office claiming to be constitutional conservatives. well, this is your chance to back up your campaign slogan with your vote. you know, we have a president that publicly states, we're fighting all subpoenas, and i don't want people to testify. those are his you words. those are the words of the president, not some mob boss. and as we heard from the chairman of the oversight and reform committee, chairman cummings, the white house hasn't turned over a single document, a single piece of paper that his committee has requested to do their oversight work. not one piece of paper. you know,ty core of this resolution -- you know, at the core of this resolution is congress getting the appropriate documents so we can do the appropriate oversight. that's part of the job. how can anybody, how can
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anybody be against that? to be against that is to be part of the cover-up, is to be complicit with the obstruction that this white house demonstrates each and every day. i remind my colleagues that history will judge how we react to this moment. so i urge all of my colleagues, do not let this moment pass us by. vote yes on this resolution and let's hold the president accountable. nobody is above the law in the united states of america, not even the president of the united states. >> house went on to adopt that food. -- that vote. the measure, which falls short of holding them in contempt of
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congress, also allows committees to issue subpoenas without approval of the full house. >> the house will be in order. years, c-span has been providing coverage of congress, the white house, supreme court, and public policy events. in 1979, c-span is brought to you by your local cable or satellite provider. c-span, your unfiltered view of government. leadershippublican held a news conference to discuss the legislative agenda and how democrats are proceeding with their investigations into president trump and the mueller report. this runs 20 minutes.


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