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tv   Shepard Smith Reporting  FOX News  June 18, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT

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devin nunes received highly sensitive leaks. leaks to the field office maybe contributed to director comey's to sent the infamous october 28 letter a letter that couldn't have come at a worse time, likely impacted the election. last year i asked director comey specifically about leaks to mr. guliani. he acknowledged for the first time that internal investigation was ongoing. director wray, was mr. comey telling the truth in that? he said here that there was an internal investigation about the leaks to mr. guliani. was he correct? >> senator, i can't speak to what director comey -- >> was he correct that there is an an internal investigation john going to the leak to guliani? >> for reasons that i'm sure you
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can appreciate, i can't confirm or deny the existence of an ongoing investigation, whether there is one or isn't one. >> the only reason i raised it, it was an open hearing. former director said there was such an internal investigation. >> well, there are a number of things that i probably would have done differently. >> mr. horowitz? you want to take a stab at that? >> i'm not going to comment on whether or not there's an open or ongoing investigation one way or the other. we have over the years refused to do that and i'm not going to change the policy now. >> you and i have know each other a long time. i assume that's the answer you give. but here we know about mr. strzok's private life. we know about his text messages. we know nothing about the leaks from fbi personnel who are actively taking steps to sway the election to mr. trump.
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you didn't include an investigation in those reports, is that correct? >> that's correct. we were not able to speak to work we have ongoing. >> i would hope the investigation is i don't know going at some point. you report to us. because it was generally accepted around here that leaks were going to mr. guliani during the campaign. in fact, mr. guliani based so on tv. the president says this report totally exonerates him and says there's no collusion with the russians. inspector general horowitz, did your report even consider the question of collusion? >> our report is focused on the fbi and department's handling of the clinton e-mail investigation. it touched on the russia investigation as we laid out here when we found the text messages in the july-august time period and the decision that was made in october about whether to
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proceed or not proceed with the wiener laptop. that was the sum total of our -- >> nothing in the report that says it exonerates the president from any question of collusion with the russians. says nothing one way or the other, is that correct? >> we did not look into collusion questions. >> i note the president says it totally exonerates him even though there's no conclusion one way or the other. >> now, director wray, after learning that the fbi utilized a confidential source during the early stages of the russia investigation, the president described that as a scandal bigger than watergate.
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a few people here were in the senate and remembers watergate. i tend to disagree with it. i'd say the confidential sources are a routine investigative tool. i have a document that is publicly available. the fbi's online library. it's redacted interview from the clinton investigation. it shows that the fbi used a confidential human source in september 2015, well into secretary clinton's campaign for president. so director, is the possible use of confidential sources in either the clinton or russia investigation show wrong doing by the fbi? >> as you alluded to, we use n
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confidential sources covering the waterfront and it's a very important tool in that mission. >> as a prosecutor, you probably know you don't have a significant prosecution without confidential sources. director wray, the president said the mueller investigation has been totally discredited by the inspector general's report. i asked you last month before the appropriations committee about the russia investigation. you confirmed at that time you do not believe it's a witch hunt. the special counsel investigation has had three russian companies and indicted 20 individuals. do you have any reason to believe this investigation has been discredited? >> as i said to you last month, i don't believe special counsel mueller is on a witch hunt. >> thank you. i appreciate that.
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you were direct on both occasions. the mistakes made by comey in the hillary clinton investigation didn't exist in a vacuum. republicans in congress pressured the fbi to release details concerning the clinton investigation. i'm deeply concerned we're repeating the mistakes today. the white houseworking with allies in congress have been aggressively demanding information from the russian investigation and director wray and the deputy attorney general have pushed back with impeachment. it's outrageous. obviously something that will never happen. some accommodations have been made. members of congress eager to politicize any details have review add fisa application and learn the identity of a
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confidential source. are you sure that won't damage the fbi in the future? >> senator, we have two competing interests to balance. we have an obligation to be spobl to -- responsible for congressional oversight and we have to protect grand jersey jury secrecsecrecy. >> thanks very much. >> general horowitz, i believe your report summarizes as regards to former director comey that he concealed from the attorney general his intention to make a unilateral
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declinenation to nation inappropriate charges on secretary clinton. he erred when he said that no reasonable prosecutor would bring charges under the facts. and he violated a number of department of justice policies of norms. is that correct? >> that's correct. >> i think your opinion was reinforced by op-ed pieces by former attorney general holder when he wrote an op-ed in "the washington post" written by larry thompson, an assistant attorney gel raleigh, in an article that they wrote "james comey is damaging our democracy." the rosenstein memo that was written by the deputy attorney general forwarded to the attorney general and attached i think to a letter whereby the president informed mr. coney
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that his services as director of the fbi were being terminated substantially similar to what you found in your report. correct? >> i haven't gone back and read the letter. i think it's straightforward comparison that could be made about that i'll leave it at that. >> looks like you validated what deputy attorney general rosenstein said in his memorandum. would you dispute it? >> i wouldn't dispute. i haven't reread it. >> what is so disturbing about this era in the fbi leadership is that it just seemed to be a culture of impunity where the rules did not apply director and his leadership team but applied to everybody else. i agree with director ray when he talks about fbi
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professionals. we're not talking about them. we're talking about a group that somehow went terribly awry in the leadership team of director come comey. general horowitz, you mentioned that you found no evidence of bias in the investigation. but you qualify that in talking about documentary and testimonial evidence. are you discounting the text messages from mr. strzok and miss page, for example? >> what we were trying to do is be clear that we were focused on the specific investigative decisions we looked at and what was significant about -- i'm talking about the pre-july 5 announcements. they were team decisions and in
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many cases prosecutor's decisions as opposed to the individuals. we made clear that we were saying that to every decision as you know from doing these kinds of cases. there's hundreds of decisions being made. in fact, we did not find no bias with regard to the october events. >> well, director comey was clear that he expected hillary clinton to be the next president of the united states, correct? >> he described that with regard to, yes, the october events, the wiener laptop. >> in the spring of 2016, he already decided that there would be no recommendation to prosecute hillary clinton, correct? >> yes, he started drafting his statement on may 2. >> it wasn't until july 5 when he made his initial press conference where he said that the evidence did not rise to the point where any reasonable prosecutor would prosecute mrs. clinton, correct? >> that's correct.
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>> you think it's possible or -- let me ask you, is it a fair inference to draw that director comey expecting mrs. clinton to win the presidency was thinking about his future as the fbi director? >> that is something that we had to think about. we have testimony that indicated that when he explained why -- when he explained through his chief of the staff why he did what he did open october 28, he was concerned about his survivability. >> when he used the word "grossly negligent" which are the words of the statute in describing mrs. clinton's conduct, it was changed to "extremely careless", do you feel like he was writing towards a preordained result or that this was a genuine process to think through what the ed was and apply the applicable law? >> it would be hard to say and probably speculation in terms of
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what he thought at the time. we try to lay out in great detail various places, how it changed and how it evolved and why. i'm not sure i can sit here hand say what was his thinking on the time. >> were you shocked to learn that director comey had his own private g-mail account at the time when he was accusing mrs. clintons of using a private e-mail server? >> it surprised us that he was sending e-mails, they were unclassified but yes, using a personal g-mail account. >> director wray, director comey has talked about higher loyalty to his own sense of justice and his belief that that was required in order to protect the reputation of the fbi rather than to follow established policies and guidelines and the law. i believe that that hubrous that
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director comey talked about has brought this firestorm down on the fbi. do you think it's appropriate for any director of the fbi to a tribute their actions to a higher loyalty to some other cause other than the rule of law? >> senator, i don't want to speak to what director comey may or may not have been throughing but the rules, the policies, the guidelines of the inspector general's record, those things are there for a reason and important that we track those and that's why when i'm going around from field office to field office doing town halls with over 30 offices, the point i make everywhere, it's not enough to say you're going to do the right thing for the right
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reason that can quickly become the ends justify the means. what we need to do is do the right thing in the right way. to not let the end justify the means but let our means justify the end. >> general horowitz, i believe your report is comprehensive as it was and i commend you on the great care that you have just undertaken, i don't necessarily agree with every word including no finding of no bias, but i think your findings call into question the credibility of the whole clinton e-mail investigation and cast a cloud over the russia investigation because the same people that led the clinton e-mail investigation were leading the russian investigation until at least such time as director mueller, the special counsel terminated their services because of conflict of interest. do you share those concerns? >> i share those concerns. i wrote here it did cast a cloud
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over the e-mail investigation. >> and the russian investigation? >> we haven't reached a conclusion on that we laid out a concern that when the choice was made in october, whether to work on -- in terms of mr. strzok in particular, the russia investigation versus the wiener laptop matter, the russia matter was a higher priority over the clinton matter and we were not convinced that that was not a bias decision. >> senator durbin. >> thanks for your testimony. the communication which you go into detail describing between peter strzok and lisa page includes some damning statements. you make that very clear in your conclusion about their possibly using their government authority to achieve a political result. is that correct? >> that's correct. i thought that was very serious error. >> that should not be down
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played by -- >> shouldn't be down played by anybody. i can't think of something more concerning than a law enforcement officer suggesting that they would use their powers to affect an election. >> what did special counsel mueller do when he learned about these statements by mr. strzok? >> we informed him on july 27 of last year of our first findings of these texts. we gained more, but my understanding is within a week or two of that, he had been removed from the investigation. which was the right thing to do. >> i want to make it clear based on previous questions here. nobody is making an excuse. mr. strzok said something that was inappropriate or unacceptable for a person in his position. mr. mueller terminated him as soon as he learned that. i hope that is on the record and clear. you spent a lot of time and i want to echo the comments made
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earlier in this work reviewing all of these documents, texts and interviews these witnesses. i know you, i've heard your testimony and there's no doubt that you know this inspector general's report in detail. lots of people reacted to it. politicians, individuals, news commentators and others. i'm going to ask you for the report specifically, your thoughts on one reaction. last friday president trump said, and i quote, i think that the report yesterday may be more importantly than anything it totally exonerates me, there was no collusion, there was no obstruction and if you read the report you'll see that, the president said. he went on to say "i did nothing wrong, there was no collusion, there was no obstruction. the i.g. report went a long way to show that." general horowitz, does your
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report totally exonerate president trump? >> i'm going to stake, senator, to what our report does speak to, which is the handling of the clinton e-mail investigation and to the extent it touches on the russia investigation, it does lay out here when the wiener laptop comes up in october and i can't speak beyond that to how this report might impact the russia investigation or what individuals think how it may impact the russian investigation. >> ask you to clarify. you can't speak to whether your report exonerates because it does or doesn't? >> we did not -- when we saw the texts, many of which are in that time period, we made it clear this very view does not touch on the russia investigation with the exception of what occurred in october with the wiener laptop. >> does it say anything as to the issues of collusion and
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obstruction in that russian investigation? >> we don't go into any issues related to the russia investigation beyond what i mentioned. >> the president said the special investigation by robert mueller has been totally discredited. mr. horowitz, does your report show any reason to doubt robert mueller's integrity of discredit any decisions that he's made? >> i'm not going to make judgment on robert mueller's investigation. >> i want to stay in the four corners of your report. did you discuss the credibility of the special counsel's investigation? >> no. we laid out what occurred and we laid out what individuals did in october where it touches russia investigation. >> last thursday mitch mcconnell said in an interview with "the washington examiner," he wanted
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the mueller investigation to conclude. he said if the i.g. is through, why can't the mueller investigation wrap up? was there any connection in substance or connection with what you were tasked in doing and what robert mueller is tasked in doing? >> again, other than the issues we talked about where we identified text messages and brought them to his attention. we do not have any connections, interactions in that regard. >> director wray, my colleague senator leahy and others have raised the question about the new york field office and leaks in that field office and the quotes in the report relative to mr. comey's concern that new york field office would leak information and that's one of the reasons why he made certain decisions. as senator leahy said, former major guliani has bragged publicly a about information that he received from that
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office. what are we to make hoff this? is this being investigated? is there a problem that is knowledge that is acknowledged and accepted. >> no. leaks affect us from retaining relationships, damage the privacy of individuals. i could go on and on. i have a very strong view about it and we're doing a number of things -- >> that's what i want to get into. what are we doing about it? >> i can't comment on any specific investigation. as i mentioned earlier, we have a dedicated you any specifically focused on unique investigations. we have a policy that makes the rule crystal clear so there's no ambiguity for any employees in any office about what their obligations are and when there are misconduct found, we will refer them to our opr for
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appropriate action. if we find one that is criminal, we will pursue it criminally. >> i just have 1 1/2 minutes left and one last question. there was a question raised earlier about mr. comey having separate personal phone that he was using and whether or not that was unusual thing for a person in his position. there's been reportedly -- the president uses two white house issued one house phone. one is for his calls and the second is for his twitter habit. the president has resisted his aides to swap out the twitter phone monthly because it's too inconvenient. he's given kim jong-un his direct phone number. if he was referring to his cell phone, this would raise some interesting security concerns. are you aware of these records about various phones that are
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being used by the president and are you concerned whether or not sensitive information from those devices may be intercepted by our adversaries? >> i'm not aware of the particulars of the president's phone usage. >> would it be a matter of concern if anyone who has access to such information was using a device that could be intercepted by our enemies? >> it's important to recognize that device security is a particularly important part of our security and it's something that we emphasize heavily in the intelligence community. >> of course we've gone to great lengths when it comes to hillary clinton to make that point. thanks very much. >> senator lee. >> thanks for being here. i want to point out one clarifying matter at the outset. if report did in fact find bias.
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so in so far has anyone is suggesting there's no bias here, that's not true. there was in fact bias found. what was out in found is any spoking gun indicating that that bias translated to and was admitted to a translated to or translated to how anybody did their job. the absence of evidence on that point is not the same as evidence of absence. so i think we need to keep that in mind as we have this discussion. mr. wray, let's assume that these text messages between strzok and page, let's assume that these came about earlier in the discussion and that you just swap out the name "trump" for "hillary." such that the text messages said she's not going to become president, is she? no no, no, we'll stop it.
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what if that was the exchange early in the investigation in that circumstance, in that hypothetical? could she as a practical matter been prosecuted assuming that the facts warranted it? assuming that people making the charging decisions concluded there was good cause to charge here? or would the bias displayed in that exchange make it to difficult to proceed? >> senator, i'm reluctant to engage in hypotheticals. >> that's what we do we're lawyers. >> but i'm no longer practicing as a lawyer now. now i get to blame the lawyers. it's a wonderful experience. so i'm not going to try to engage in specific hypotheticals. what i would tell you, i expect all of our employees, all of our employees to engage in professional conduct includin including -- >> i get that. that didn't happen here. so let's make it more of a
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hypothetical then. could that be a complicating factor if you had texts between agents involved in a case indicating bias against the target of that investigation? can that be a complicating factor in deciding whether to bring charges? >> any time agents conduct themselves in a way that doesn't have not just objectivity but the appearance of objectivity that can have an impact on the viability of the case. >> thank you. was it easy to get the texts, mr. horowitz? >> the initial batch was easy. they were with the fbi. we requested them. the latter part of challenging. >> when you say challenging, tell me what you mean. >> when they were produced by the fbi, it turned out there was a period during which four to six months where there were no texts produced to us.
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turns out there was a flaw in their collection software. we then out and seized and obtained their two phones voluntarily. i shouldn't say seized. obtained their phones from the fbi. these are now fbi devices we're talking about. and our cyber forensic material extracted the missing texts from the phones. we first used our own tools to do that. that was step one. we went to a contractor that we used, a vendor that we used to see whether there were additional tools. we did a second extraction and gained more. we went to the department of defense to see if they had additional tools. they said yes and we used them and extracted more texts. we went to the fbi and said
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okay, here's the step we've taken. would you do anything different through? they said they wouldn't. we did a quality control check following the rules. our forensic examiners and they discovered in that last search which occurred last month in may that the phone had a database on it that was also doing a collection of text messages. they extracted those messages from the phone and found the second part of the august 8 text, no, no, we'll stop it. that was found in early may. because of that fourth effort to extract information from the phone, it turns out that the fbi wasn't aware that that database on there was that supposed to be an operating function was collecting data. >> they weren't pa wear of that. but had they gone through the
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same steps that you went there, thaw might have found it? >> correct. >> does that cause you to have a lock of confidence about whether you have evidence you need? >> clearly. we're going to issue separate report about the technological effortses we undertook. i'll be careful how i describe them. i'm also a lawyer, not a cyber expert. the concern is now we now believe a we are not only 100% we have the information in this black you'd, four to six months, but even when the software was collecting texts -- the august 8 period, we have the incoming page to strzok text. we didn't have the response. it's clear even outside this blackout period were it not convinced the fbi was collecting
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them. >> that's of concern. we can all agree that mr. comey should not have made his july 6 announcement and press conference. i assume you don't disagree. would you have made a charging recommendation at all or would you have left that to the department of justice? ed. >> senator, as i said, we accept the findings and recommendations in the report. my own view is that the policies about public disclosure as you alluded to are clear about what we should or shouldn't do. as far as making charge and recommendations privately, i think my view -- >> i'm not talking about recommendations. i'm talking about charging decisions. >> the fbi doesn't make charging decisions. >> it's not done. okay. mr. horowitz, the report says mr. comey's macinations said it
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would be -- is it the idea that lynch and yates were overstepping their authority? that it would look like political interference? what is that about? >> couple things. they were responding to the fact that director comey rather than speaking to them directly went through his chief of staff to one of their aides to them to relay his view on what he was going to do. when they told us their assessment at that point was based on their prior dealings with director comey was first of all the they went to him directly and said don't do it, it would look like strong arming and they weren't sure if he would supply or not with the instruction. they concluded that it would be
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more effective or they would have a better chance of changing the decision if they went back the same way to him with their message, which was to their principal associate ag to him. they reported back that they objected or recommended or -- clarify. they told him that they did not believe he should do it. he testified to us that he took that as a recommendation because they didn't call him directly he decided they were leaving the decision to him, so he decided to go forward. >> before i call on the next senator, i need a quick clarification. you said earliner reply to senator cordon that comey used g mail for work but only for unclassified information. how can you know that if you kind get access to that acc
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couldn't? >> let me correct that. based on the e-mails that we saw, which we observed by looking at the fbi's server and what ended up going back to the fbi, you're correct, i can't it is a here today i don't know what we looked at and decide had with purposes he used it for. >> senator clovechar. >> thank you. i wasn't going to start with this but i think it's going to continue that discussion. and that is that i was as will school classmate of director comey. director wray knows this. i've worked with him over the years. he's done some good work. but reading this report this weekend, i continue to disagree with his decision no how hi handles the announcements. the more of read of your report, which i thought was thorough, the more i began to focus on the
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ad hoc decision making based on his personal views even if it meant rejecting longstanding policy. i guess i would start with you, mr. wray. the way i have described my job in the past, it's lake the show "law and order." the first half the police do the investigation. the second half of the show the prosecutors make a decision. would you agree with that summary? >> i think so. i think we do an investigation, we determine whether or not we think there are sufficient facts to go forward and we present the facts to the prosecutors who then make the decisions and exercise prosecutorial discretion. i don't think prosecutorial description is something the agency decides. >> the end, they make the decision. >> yes. >> so if you had been in that
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place at that moment in time as the fbi director, would you have been called up in the july decision and the october decision, would you have been called up either the attorney general or the deputy attorney general to ask them to make a decision? >> well, i don't know that i can speculate about what i would have done. i can not imagine the situation in which i would unilaterally assume from myself as the fbi director a charging decision and then announce it in a news conference. >> thank you. so that leads me to where i wanted to begin. that is that when law enforcement officers act improperly, mays mistakes, one of the great things about our democracy we have a inspector general and we get that information out. that shouldn't be confused with
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attacking the fbi workers investigations that are not part of this report like the russia investigation and attacking the integrity of 35,000 fbi agents, analysts and other public servants. it's very important that we defend them. i note in your memo you did recently to the fbi after the nunes memo was released over the objections of the fbi, you said director ray, talk the cheap. the work you do is what you will endure. you urged your employees to stay laser focused. can you elaborate on that? >> senator, i'm a big believer in the idea that what really matters for the fbi is the work. when i go to office after office, the opinions that i care about the most, the brand, is
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the -- are the opinions of the prosecutors that we work with in the field, the law enforcement officers, the judges that we interact with out in the field, the juries that we interact with in the field, the victims that are making decisions about who they trust to get their loved ones back. i think i visited the field officeses of almost every senator up here. and recovering kids that are exploded, disrupting terrorist plots, i can go on and on. to me those are people that experience the fbi through the work, those are the people that get to see the professionalism, the character, the integrity of fbi people up close. we're a 37,000 person organization and been around 110 years and do thousands of investigations a year, this is one. >> thank you.
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>> mr. horowitz, i want to go to your report now. director wray said there's ongoing internal investigations and decisions will be made and training will occur. i don't want to lose the forest for the trees in terms of you remember report. first of all, the president upon the release of the report tweeted that he "hoped the i.g. report is not being changed and made weaker." can you confirm that your office followed all appropriate processes in the course of the review and your report was not changed? >> we followed normal processes, we took comments and made decisions on issuing the final report. it was not made weaker or softer in any regard. >> in particular, the report states on page 263 that it did not find evidence of the justice
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department's decision to not pursue prosecution was politically motivated. is that an accurate summary? >> we did not find that it was a charge of political bias. >> and you found the relevant decisions were paid on the prosecutor's assessment of the facts in the law as well as department practices. is that correct? >> as to the prosecutor's decision about whether to charge, that's correct. >> to be clear, did you or your staff speak to a witness allowing political considerations to affect their decisions on how to obtain evidence? >> as i sit here, i don't recall anybody indicates that. >> do you our your staff review any documents indicating a particulars investigative decision was made for political reasons? >> well, we had concerns about the october time period in
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mr. strzok's decision. >> did you in your talking here in part about the -- you mentioned the russia one. the comey decisions to go public? is that -- >> i'm sorry. i'm talking about in terms of -- maybe i misunderstood the question. in terms of were there any decisions, we had concerns about mr. strzok's handling of the choice in october between russia and the wiener laptop. >> did you determine that -- senator durbin has gotten the information out there about inspector mueller i investigation and that is continuing and that he's no longter personal -- no longer involved in that investigation. >> that's correct. >> did you determine any investigative at was the result of any political bias or any other consideration besides what we just talked about? >> prior to july 5, the specific investigation we looked at. we did not find evidence,
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testimony or documentary that they were political bias. >> did your report include general lynch and deputy attorney general yates had a limited role in the investigation and instead appropriately relied on career staff rather than political appointees? >> we do described their limited operations in the day-to-day operations. >> senator graham? >> did you find that the department's decision making was consistent with its approach in other circumstances in terms of the investigation. >> we found the prosecutor's described that process and in fact that is what they based their decisions on. >> thank you. >> senator graham. >> would you say this investigation was done by the book? >> hard to say what by the book
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is. >> i think there's reasons to raise questions on certain of these steps. >> i don't want you to think the fbi does this day in and day out, this is not normal. i think that's what you tried to find. do you believe it's pretty clear to everybody in the country by july 5 that donald trutrumdonale presumptive nominee of the party? >> that's my -- >> and it was -- >> and the texts reflect that as well. >> i'm going to read this text from page to strzok. after he got the nomination, she says "trump is not ever going to become president, right? right? strzok responded" no, no, he's not. we'll stop it." i don't know how you feel about that, that's pretty unnerving. strzok wouldn't lead the
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investigation. >> so the head guy looking at clinton on august says we have to stop trump. a week later, here's what they say to each other. strzok text message to lisa page. "i want to believe the path you threw out for consideration that there's no way he gets elected, i'm afraid we can't take that risk. it's like an insurance policy and the unlikely event you die before you're 40." that's a weak later. who is andy? >> our understanding, it was andy mccabe, the deputy director. >> so you have the deputy director meeting with the lead investigator of the clinton e-mail investigation and mrs. page meeting in andy's office discussing taking out an insurance policy to make sure that donald trump doesn't mcpresident. is that what you're telling us?
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>> i'll be clear. i can't speak to whether mccabe was there or not. >> did you ask him? >> we did. he said he didn't recall. >> so one of them is lying. so i want you to reopen this investigation and come back and tell us, do you believe strzok or do you believe mccabe? you told me the deputy director of the fbi says he's not the andy. >> just to be clear, they're talking about what -- a conversation in his office. he's claiming he's saving, he's doesn't recall if he's there or not. neither of those individuals -- >> all i'm saying is the andy's office where in occurred, he wasn't there. what does strzok say? does he say he was? >> strzok says he's there somebody is lying. we'll figure that out later. norm of this is normal, folks. let's look at the actual interview itself. how many people were involved in the clinton interview on july 2?
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>> there were six or eighth people present and two agents conducting the interview. >> so as i understand it, there were two agents and two prosecutors. >> correct. >> this is an e-mail send in february 2016 from page to mccabe. page: you surely considered this but in my view, the best reason to hold the line at two and two, is she might be our next president. how did you feel about that? >> we were concerned about it and we lay out here why we were concerned. >> let's keep talking about this interview. one of the fbi agents said on election day to another fbi agent, you should know that i'm with her. now "her" was clinton, right? >> yes.
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>> how do you feel about that? >> concerned. >> eventually concerned is enough already. i'm very concerned, you know -- one, i'm glad i don't text and e-mail. that's one thing i'm glad i don't do. circumstance -- have you ever proved a case by circumstantial evidence, director wray? >> yes. >> well, i'm going to write you a letter and talk about why you should reconsider your findings as to whether or not it affected the investigation. here's what the mrs. page said on march 4, 2016. god, trump is a loathsome human. how you feel about that? she's entitled to her opinion. >> i think we laid out why we were so concerned about it. >> when you add it up, as early as march, these people hated trump and this investigation was anything but by the book and at the end of the day, what comey did just blows me as way as much
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as it does ya'll. i can't believe that this happened to my fbi. i told you the story, mr. wray, director wray, about wanting to be part of the organization. ya'll were smart enough not to take me. the bottom line is if you're on our side of the isle, this really does hit you hard. we can't just write it off. i think there was a lot of bias that did affect an investigation that is to me almost impossible to explain using any standard that i grew up with as a prosecutor or even a defense attorney. this is strzok to page on october 20th. trump is an eff-ing idiot.
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the reason i'm know buying the clinton investigation was on the up and up is was the two people were involved, the lead investigator clearly did not want to see donald trump become president of the united states. finally, do you agree with me that finding her liable criminally would be inconsistent with stopping donald trump? if they found hillary clinton was criminally liable, that paves the way for donald trump. can you puts those two things together? >> it would depends when. >> how about if it was before the convention? >> conceivably. >> not only clearly conceivably but that's what's happening here, folks. you cannot hold her criminally liable and stop him. as to the law, why did they change gross negligence in the original statement, director wray, to "reckless disregard?"
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>> i would defer the inspector general that looked into it. >> why did they do that? >> the explanation was that -- >> can i suggest something? gross negligent is a criminally liable standard. >> correct. >> if they said at this time way they originally wrote it, she's guilty of a crime and the reason they changed it is because she's not guilty of a crime and if you want to stop him, it can be gross negligence. what is the difference between reckless disregard and gross negligence? >> not much. >> it's a lot politically. >> right. >> thank you. >> senator koonce is next. we'll go with senator blumenthal. >> thanks, mr. chairman. i can't let this afternoon pass, director wray, without saying to you how grateful we should haul be for the men and women that work for you, who put their lives on the line whose integrity and dedication to our
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nation are in no way affected by anything in this report and i still have on my wall my seal from the department of justice of decades ago when i was a united states attorney and i know that the men and women of the fbi work hard every da to uphold those ideals. i want to thank you for your response, which is make the fbi even better and avoid any repetition of a small number of agents and attorneys casting a cloud over the integrity of the fbi. so thank you for your response so far. >> thank you, senator. director horowitz, if i were president trump and i held up this document to you and i said, sitting here right now this report totally exonerates me, it
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shows no collusion, no obstruction of justice, what would you say to me? >> senator, i'd answer as i did before, which is the report covers the mid year investigation and touches on the russia investigation in connection with the wiener laptop matter and that's what this was concerning. >> i want to thank you for the work on this report. i respect your avoiding my question. i know that you're playing by norms and rules that apply to the department of justice but you're dealing with the president of the united states that has no respect for those norms and rules. he is distorting this report, weaponizing it to decredit the special counsel and to really undermine the rule of law in the united states of america. using your report to do it. so i would just respectfully
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suggest that all of us have a responsibility to state the truth and speak that truth to power, which in this case happens to be one of the most powerful men on earth when he lies about it. it gravely threatening the rule of law. i know you're playing but the rules but he isn't. let me ask you director wray, the effect of these leaks from the new york office to rudolph guliani was the subject of a letter that i wrote to you on may 8. i don't know whether you have seen it or have it in mind. basically it asks you what is being done to assure there are no continuing unauthorized disclosures to rudy guliani who now just to state the elephant in the room is the president's
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lawyer. can you assure the american people that there are no ongoing leaks from any office of the fbi to rudy guliani? >> senator, i'm not aware of any. we're aggressively investigating a number of leaks as we speak. as i mentioned, we have a dedicated unit that i stood up to focus on that. we have a new media policy that makes the rules unclear to everyone in every office. we have a disciplinary arm that is well-regarded as being one of the toughest but fairest out there hand why intend to use all of those things to make sure everybody in every office follows the rules regarding leaks. >> well, if you would, i would appreciate a response to the letter. we have received none yet, that provides some more specific assurance that there are no john doing leaks. these leaks had a very practical
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effect. we state the time line in the letter. rudy guliani said on october 26, 2016, that he expected a surprise in the next few days. two days later, director comey issued his letter. he did it in large part, and i'm quoting his general counsel, because they felt it would leak, those e-mails would leak if he didn't write the letter. and then rudolph guliani said when asked about whether or not he knew about the letter, you're darn right, i did. so the practical effect on director comey's decision to do that letter was very, very tangible. i want to go to another impact of the leaks and ask you about them. we know that mr. guliani was not the only recipient of leaks
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designed to hurt hillary clinton. representative nunes recently admitted that fbi personnel secretly informed him in september of 2016 when clinton e-mails were found on wiener's laptop. he admitted that fact. he did that days after the e-mails were discovered. there was a leak to him. the timing an context strongly suggested that the goal was to give an outspoken trump ally politically sensitive and highly secretive information to use 4 political purposes. representative nunes appears to have recognized this fact because he never told any of his democratic colleagues on the intelligence committee about it. can you assure us there's no leaks for unauthorized disclo
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disclosures to representative nunes or anybody in the house intelligence committee? >> as i said before, i'm not aware of any ongoing leaks to any member of congress or to the media. i would -- if i was aware of a leak, i would take appropriate action. i don't want to cast aspersions on the new york field office, which is one of our best offices, but i don't condone leaks anywhere to anyone and i don't care what the motivation is no matter how altruistic it might be. leaks are wrong and we need to be tough on them. >> and i want to join you in the respect that i share for the new york field office and as i stated for the anybody. gener general horowitz, the comments that are unacceptable and abhorrent from peter strzok and lisa page were not the only inappropriate texts.
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in fact, there were comments that were disparaging about hillary clinton, were there not, that you found in your report? >> we put in there other examples of texts including other individuals -- >> there were slurs by fbi agents against hillary clinton. one saying for example that urged colleagues in the fbi to continue investigating clinton to quote "get that" -- i'm not going to articulate the word here. but there were slurs against her from other fbi agents? >> i think that recounts what the general said he heard. i don'ts think that's from the texts. >> it's not a direct quote but it's something that was heard. >> that was something that the general -- fbi general counsel related to us. >> senator grabel. >> a lot of discussion has gone
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back and forth whether bias has been found and what that bias was. the report has indicated that we have not found documentary or oral testimony or evidence showing bias in the charging decisions. is that correct? how would you put it? as to the charging decisions, that's correct. the texts we were concerned about. in addition as to the specific investigative decisions we looked at. we didn't look at all the decisions in the report and when we got to october, we had concerns there there may be bias impacts the decisions on the russian investigation. >> so what you're talking about is what prosecutors did with the report. you're not talking about whether
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there was bias in the recommendation not to prosecution. >> correct. >> you're not saying you didn't find bias. in the e-mails that we've had a lot of discussion about here. >> i think it's clear from certainly the text messages that we talked about with regard to mr. strzok, he had a bias state of mind. >> as i said from reading the report, not only mr. strzok but a number of those that you found concerning comments expressed remorse, said that they intended for these to be private conversations and then said it didn't have anything to to with the way they did that job. is that correct? >> that was their explanations. >> you said you don't have any different evidence than that. you're not saying you believe it or not. you don't have different evidence. >> correct. >> i think that's a lot difference than