tv Americas Newsroom With Bill Hemmer and Sandra Smith FOX News June 28, 2018 6:00am-9:00am PDT
>> bill: good morning. >> f.b.i. agent peter strzok was on capitol hill answering questions for 11 hours the last 90 minutes in the classified section. he was giving a transcribed interview. there are the same penalties if you lie to lawmakers and congressional investigators. republicans remain convinced that bias were in the russia and email investigations. a lawyer advised strzok not to answer questions about an ongoing investigation. >> probably more times that they didn't want to talk about an john going investigation than i would find appropriate. >> it is not acceptable. it is not in statute. certainly not something that the american people would find acceptable and i certainly don't find it acceptable,
either. >> throughout the 11-hour deposition yesterday we had the impromptu briefings from republicans and democrats. democrats believe the interviews and the requests for records are really an effort to taint the mueller russia investigations. >> basically what we have here, a republican spending quite a bit of time reinvestigating what the i.g. has already investigated. >> one thing to emphasize is that we do expect f.b.i. agent peter strzok, based on the statements of the committee chairman bob goodlatte, to appear in a public session in the very near future. >> bill: rosenstein will be on the hill today ahead of a big vote regarding records request from d.o.j. and f.b.i. >> later today there will be a
vote on a house resolution. it is not a binding resolution but calls on the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein to provide remaining records specifically the section of records relating to the alleged use of confidential human sources by the f.b.i. running them against members of the trump campaign in 2016. when they discussed it yesterday it divided along political lines. >> all this resolution says is simple. we want the weight of the full house of representatives to go on record saying just give us what we're entitled to have to do our job. >> i want you to get all the documents you're entitled to but i don't want you to screw up an investigation that i think is a legitimate investigation. >> one thing to remember is that this resolution is not binding in the sense that it will force the deputy attorney general to provide the records. but it is seen as an important political preliminary step to move forward on contempt or
impeachment which is what some republicans are advocating, bill. >> bill: thank you, we await that 26 minutes from now. >> sandra: the supreme court showdown is already underway after president trump said he plans to nominate a replacement for retiring supreme court justice anthony kennedy very soon. first other breaking news out of the white house this morning. john roberts is live from the north lawn. john, good morning. >> good morning to you. we've learned we'll be traveling to helsinki, finland where putin and trump will sit down with a summit after the nato summit in brussels as well as a u.k. visit to see theresa may. mark that on your calendars, july 16th for the trump/putin summit. now on to justice anthony kennedy long considered the center of the supreme court, a crucial swing vote.
sometimes siding with conservatives and sometimes siding with the liberal side of the court and known as the five in 5-4 decisions. now the president has the opportunity to solidify a conservative majority in the court for years to come. last night paying tribute to kennedy at a rally in fargo, north dakota, listen here. >> president trump: great man. and i'm very honored that he chose to do it during my term in office because he felt confident in me to make the right choice and carry on his great legacy. >> now comes the difficult work of choosing a nominee to replace justice kennedy. the president promised he will choose a candidate from his published list from 25 conservative judges. the frontrunners are all appellate judges, kavanaugh, barrett, hardiman, parr and sixth circuit. with so much at stake now again really sort of cementing in a
conservative majority the president will run into a buzz saw of opposition from democrats in congress. the next vacancy after this one is more difficult. it could make the court 6-3. the president last night saying senate control will be a huge issue in the november election. >> president trump: democrats want judges who will rewrite the constitution any way they want to do it and take away your second amendment, erase your borders, throw open the jail house doors, and destroy your freedoms. we must elect more republicans. we have to do that. >> the president very active on twitter this morning talking about the russia investigation and peter strzok. we won't hear from him in person until this afternoon. he is in wisconsin giving remarks to the opening of a new foxconn plant in mark pleasant.
they'll build your iphones right here in the u.s. >> back to the hearing now. first on the hearing, what will we learn starting at 9:30, sir? >> we'll talk a lot about what happened yesterday with agent strzok. as you know, his lawyer said his goal in appearing before our committee was to clear his good name. he didn't. if his goal was to provide plausible explanations for how his hateful text messages didn't impact his actions and decisions, he failed. and if his goal was to bring legitimacy to the f.b.i. and the department of justice in the two highest profile investigations in recent times, he failed miserably. in short, peter strzok didn't help himself, he didn't help the f.b.i. and he didn't help the department of justice. most importantly he didn't help bob mueller. his testimony yesterday in many respects raises and in other
respects confirms there are real questions about the validity and credibility of bob mueller's foundational evidence and so what you are going to hear from me today is questions to the deputy attorney general and the f.b.i. director about how that evidence is not fatally flawed and give them an opportunity to explain. >> bill: wow, that's commentary. as a former federal prosecutor yourself bob goodlatte the attorney interjected numerous times on the question and answer yesterday and the explanations he provided were not believable and you feel the same way. >> i think chairman goodlatte understated it. it was certainly dozens and dozens of times that the f.b.i. counsel there advised agent strzok not to answer. we were in a classified setting reviewing supposed to be reviewing classified documents that certain members of congress, including me, have already seen. we simply wanted to have the
opportunity to ask the f.b.i. about their conduct related to those documents that we've already seen and the f.b.i. counsel repeatedly instructed agent strzok not to answer the question. that's the hard way for us to conduct our oversight and as you said, bill, i'm a former terrorism prosecutor and former united states attorney and the last guy on capitol hill who doesn't believe the f.b.i. and department of justice typically do the right things for the right reasons, but they're convincing me here through testimony like that from agent strzok and what happened yesterday that that's not happening in this instance. >> bill: that's extraordinary stuff. we'll see how the hearing gets underway based on your questions on some of the testimony in the interview you heard yesterday. quickly on justice kennedy. a surprise to all of us and i assume a surprise to you. what does it mean for the country, sir? >> well, it wasn't that much of a surprise in the sense that we had heard rumors he may be stepping down at the end of
this term. i had certainly heard that. i think what it means for the country, bill, is that donald trump is going to have the opportunity to appoint another profound conservative to the court. and to stand up for many of the things that the american people gave donald trump the opportunity to do in his administration. so i think president trump is going to have an opportunity to build on a legacy that can last for decades to come if he chooses the right person. >> bill: sir, thank you for your time and we await that hearing. john ratcliffe, thank you from the hill. 11 past. >> sandra: as we mentioned anti-trump f.b.i. agent peter strzok getting drilled for 11 hours with top republican lawmakers yesterday. congressman jim jordan was one of the questioners in that room and he joins us with the inside scoop next. and there is also this.
>> nobody's district is representative of somebody else's str*ikt. we're not a rubber stop. >> bill: the loss of a 10-term democrat to a socialist is not indicative of her party according to nancy pelosi. we'll talk to pete aguilar next. with tripadvisor, finding your perfect hotel at the lowest price... is as easy as dates, deals, done! simply enter your destination and dates...
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>> bill: we're 20 minutes away from the committee hearing room with christopher wray the f.b.i. director and rod rosenstein. they'll be in there a day after the anti-trump agent peter strzok faced 11 hours of questions from republicans. jim jordan was in that room and one of six doing the questioning. good morning to you before you head to the hearing room. i was surprised by john ratcliffe's commentary a moment ago. he said peter strzok did not help himself and did not help bob mueller. what happened there? >> very true. well, we can't get into all the details until the transcript is
released but when mr. ratcliffe was questioning mr. strzok yesterday about the day he was kicked off the mueller team, about the day he was fired, frankly, and what took place in that very short meeting i think john is right. it doesn't help peter strzok or bob mueller. >> bill: does it make you wonder? >> i can't get into the details until we release the transcript. >> we'll be patient on that. we have a hearing coming up and the story will take on a new flavor in 15 minutes. do you wonder if peter strzok will testify publicly now? members of the committee say it will happen within two weeks. i'm wondering whether or not that happens now. >> yeah, i think so. i think a subpoena is needed. he said it dozens of times yesterday when he said on advice of f.b.i. counsel i can't answer that question. i'm ask mr. rosenstein today why did you and tell mr. strzok not to answer our questions. we asked questions that were totally in the scope of the
russia investigation when the f.b.i. was doing it before may when bob mueller was named special counsel and mr. strzok refused to answer the question on the advice of f.b.i. counsel i can't answer that question. he can answer it, some rule the f.b.i. has they won't let congress get in that information while there is an investigation going on. >> bill: slow it down just a second. what do you think you conclude right now from 11 hours of questions and answers? >> the conclusion is simple. there is a resolution on the floor today telling mr. rosenstein seven days to turn over to congress what we asked for. it was a continuation of the justice department not giving congress a separate and equal branch of government the information we're entitled to get to get answers for you, press and more importantly the american people. that's the problem and what mr. rosenstein will have to answer for and mr. wray today in our hearing.
>> bill: they may comply with your documents within a week. let's see what happens there. >> they better. >> bill: one hour ago this is what he said about peter strzok. he worked as the leader of the rigged witch hunt for a long period of time. he got it started, was only fired because the gig was up. he took orders from comey and mccabe and they took their orders from you know who, mueller/comey best friends. you see the implication there. is he right about that? >> peter strzok was the lead agent on the clinton and russia investigation. went on mueller's team, kicked off, would not answer our questions. department of justice won't give us the documents requested and sub aoeniad. that's what mr. rosenstein and wray will have to answer to. we need to get the information to get answers and find out exactly what took place. >> bill: do you believe the mueller case has been blown up by what you've heard in the last 24 hours, yes or no? >> i think you have to question
it. look, i've always said let him finish his investigation and go from there. i want the information. there is nothing that this congress can't do an investigation and can't get the information at the same time mr. mueller is doing his. this is just a rule the f.b.i. has and the d.o.j. has. let us do our investigation, too. ours is the constitutional duty to get answers for the american people. allow us to do that, mr. rosenstein. we'll be asking those questions. >> bill: thank you for taking a moment with us. jim jordan, the republican from ohio. the hearing begins in moment. >> sandra: it is debate night in florida as the stage is getting ready as the two candidates in the race for governor gear up for the big event happening right here on fox. be sure to tune in tonight for bret and martha. ( ♪ ) your heart doesn't only belong to you. child: bye, grandpa! and if you have heart failure,
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>> president trump: democrats want open borders and crime, crime, crime happens automatically when you have those open borders. everybody comes in, including the vile gang ms-13, which nancy pelosi has gone out and wants to protect. >> sandra: president trump taking aim at democrats after the gop immigration bill fails in the house. that bill overwhelmingly rejected yesterday by not only democrats but many republicans as well. joining us california democrat congressman pete aguilar. thanks for joining us this morning. where did you fall on this vote first of all? >> thanks for having me, sandra. i was a no on the bill and i joined i think it was 300 of my colleagues democrats and republicans who rejected this assault on ending legal immigration. as well the bill also put $7
billion into additional detention facilities. it was the wrong bill, didn't have a path to citizenship and why we rejected it. >> sandra: only 121 republicans voted yes. what is the future of getting something done on immigration in the house? >> i think if we want to get something done it has to be bipartisan. the votes over the last week have shown that there is not a republican bill that can get 218 votes. the so-called compromise bill was only a compromise between the right and far right. what we need to do is a bipartisan bill. democrats and republicans similar to the bill that i have with republican will heard from texas. 29 republicans and democrats are on the bill. >> sandra: what about the idea of a more narrow measure introduced that just deals with the family separations that has been floated about? >> well, depends on what it looks like. we haven't seen any language. if it's the same language in the goodlatte bill all that did
was codify into law indefinite family detention and that's a non-starter for us. having kids with their parents continuing to be detained in cages indefinitely is not the solution. if republicans genuinely want to solve this issue they can come to the table and work with democrats to address this. we have a bill that does this. we'll continue to work. this is something that needs to be fixed without a doubt. the american public agrees with us. and we're looking to solve it as well. >> sandra: i want to get your reaction to nancy pelosi addressing joe crowley's loss to a democratic socialist in new york. she seems to be down playing that a bit. listen to this. >> nobody's district is representative of someone else's district. we're not a rubber stamp. >> first thing i want to say to
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>> sandra: moments away, f.b.i. director christopher wray and deputy attorney general rod rosenstein will be in the hot seat. rod rosenstein entered the room. a live shot on capitol hill where the house judiciary committee will grill them about what was happening in the f.b.i. and justice department leading up to the 2016 election. let's bring in the "america's newsroom" a-team thomas did you preformer deputy assistant attorney general under george w. bush. jessica tarlov and noah rothman associated tore at commentary magazine. the hearing room is filling up at the moment. tom, your expectations for what is shaping up to be a fiery hearing. >> that's what it is going to be. these are the guys that congress wants in the cross hairs. they have a lot of unanswered questions. a violent dispute over document
destruction. i'll be watching this to see if there is any possibility or room for compromise. i keep hoping they will. so far we've been disappointed. today is the day when they'll get answers to the questions or if house republicans are serious when they say there will be serious consequences to pay if they don't get the information they want. >> sandra: the american will be listening to find out anything they can. chairman goodlatte there as we heard not a lot about what peter strzok said in that meeting yesterday. still waiting to hear that. it was a closed-door session there. this is a public hearing. >> i'll be curious to see where we see political positioning. an effort to characterize the mueller probe, which is everybody's fear is that this is an effort not to get to the bottom of what happened in the f.b.i. in 2016 but mischaracterize the mueller probe as fruit of the poisoned tree and serve the president's
interest politically but not the american people. they want to know what happened in the f.b.i. with regards to hillary clinton investigation and the russia probe in 2016 and we draw broader conclusions are supported and i don't think charles grassley would support those. he doesn't see evidence for a conspiracy. we don't know all the facts yet. it's what we want to know. >> sandra: jessica, they sent out a statement saying wray and rosenstein will testify about ig's report. what are your expectations? >> i'm hopeful it won't be too defensive so congressmen and women won't be too aggressive and wray and rosenstein will feel comfortable answering in i wouldn't -- not being too defensive what came out in the i.g. report. we know there were bits and pieces for each side. it certainly has put the f.b.i. and d.o.j. on notice as it were
saying there were mistakes that were made and that some of these firings were certainly what was supposed to happen. so i think the tone will be really interesting to see how defensive it is rather than as tom pointed out. we want to get to the bottom what was going on in the 2016 election instead of more political posturing. >> sandra: christopher wray has entered the room. your thoughts on the line of questioning? >> i think we'll see two lines. one line will be basically when are we getting the documents? he we've asked for them. will you cooperate or continue to stone wall. that's one line of questioning. the other line of questioning is there are open questions from the inspector general's report. i think there was a lot in it for both sides and i think the inspector general raised several questions that will provide fertile ground for follow-up by members of congress. i expect we'll see follow-up questions the i.g. noted this, this and this.
will you look into those or answer those remaining open questions. >> the timing will be at odds here. the issue revolving the carter page fisa application, did that start before the investigation began, what's the timing there? there hasn't been a clearance from them thus far as to when that kicked off. partisans would say it started with george papadopoulos. on the democrats. republicans would say it is what happened with carter page and hopefully we'll get an answer here. >> sandra: mark meadows, a leading conservative from north carolina said it's all about getting to the heart of any matter and transparency. rod rosenstein just shaking trey gowdy's hands there. out of what could be a pretty fierce, pretty heated hearing on capitol hill. of course, this is the second trip to congress for christopher wray this month. what will be different about what we're about to see, noah, in this hearing room versus the last time we heard from wray? >> what i find most remarkable
here is extent to which we're seeing this fight between a republican-led congress and republican-administration. many members are flirting with the prospect of holding the deputy attorney general in contempt or possibly even impeaching somebody of that stature. this isn't impeaching eric holder with the relationship between the house and democratic administration. this is the president's d.o.j. he can say these documents have to be provided and the extent to which you have not provided them is a violation of our understanding with our colleagues in the house. why that has not happened is open to a lot of interpretation. >> sandra: there is chairman goodlatte. thomas, bring you if here in regards to yesterday and what we saw come out of that. rod rosenstein and christopher wray exchanging some words ahead of this. the house judiciary and oversight committee questioned peter strzok, the f.b.i. agent for more than 11 hours behind
closed doors. it was a big day leading into this. >> i suspect at some point they'll get strzok up to testify publicly. it seems unimaginable he could go through this process without being held to account in a public forum. we saw the president gave him bad reviews. i suspect many people on the hill who still want to get answers that only he can provide. i don't think we've heard the last from peter strzok. >> sandra: as far as this resolution demanding the justice department, jessica, comply with document requests and subpoenas from the house intel and judiciary committees, the house will be voting on that resolution. they have been stonewalling turning over those documents, multiple requests for them. >> they are now putting a july 6 deadline on this. it would be a non-binding resolution if it passes anyway. judge napolitano pointed out there are a number of documents they want access to they can't legally have because they're under seal because used in the grand jury investigation. putting those aside we need to see how many documents will be
turned over that aren't completely redacted where you can only see one word per page. that has been the norm. national security concerns are paramount and we want to make sure we aren't revealing secrets we shouldn't be. it probably is in the best interest of the f.b.i. and d.o.j. to turn over as much as possible to get president trump off the twitter account for 20 minutes. >> sandra: you look back yesterday with the interview yesterday and peter strzok the anti-trump f.b.i. agent. he got out of that answering a lot of the questions he was asked there behind closed doors to tom's point, noah, we could still see him publicly testify, which could eventually be a game change in all of this? >> we learned from that i.g. report at least one text was withheld from house investigators. i don't think we know the extent how and why that happened and what were the motives behind that. that's a very serious potential breach of the public trust and
that should be litigated thoroughly. i'm curious to see the extent to which the house republicans in particular stick to that line of questioning and again try not to sprawl because that's a very sensitive and concerning issue. if we begin to make political statements about the mueller probe again i think that would be getting off track. >> sandra: you are looking live on capitol hill. we're expecting the beginning of this hearing. the house judiciary committee holding a hearing with christopher wray and rod rosenstein. it could get fiery in that room. we'll see. but the american people deserve answers here, tom. there are still a lot of questions about what happened leading up to the 2016 election and these two that we're looking at in the hearing room now have a big job to do in restoring the confidence in the f.b.i. and the d.o.j. in the minds of the american people. >> you said it. i respect the fact that d.o.j. does have legitimate interests
in secrecy and protecting methods and sources. those are legitimate interests. at the same time congress has legitimate interests in oversight and normally in regular occurrence in washington, d.c. this is classically the sort of dispute that would get resolved and there would be a compromise. reasonable people would work it out. it pains me to see a republican deputy attorney general sparring with republicans on the hill. this shouldn't be happening. as rodney king said i hope we can all get along. i hope someone will step in and resolve this and we can get back to business as usual. >> sandra: the president weighed in earlier tweeting about all this. he said peter strzok worked as a leader of the rigged witch hunt for a long period of time. he got it started and was only fired because the gig was up. but remember, he took his orders from comey and mccabe and they took their orders from you know who. mueller/comey best friends. the president continued to weigh in a couple tweets on that this morning.
>> i would think that he would focus more on the empty supreme court seat that he has instead of going down this rabbit hole and just play out. this is something support for the mueller probe has gone down over time. it is still something the american people are in favor of. there are still high ranking republicans or democrats certainly who said that mueller is not doing his job well and as has been pointed out these are people trump wanted in those jobs and i don't think those tweets help anybody and they create an air of partisanship that maybe doesn't have to be here for a day. >> sandra: he is looking for transparency in all this. >> one of the things that sort of been lost in the partisan fray here is the extent to which we learned a long time ago that peter strzok was instrumental the helping draft's comey's statement and he replaced a key phrase with
gross negligence, i believe it was. >> sandra: it was a matter. >> just shy of legality. we understand from the i.g. report the probe did not violate any particular regulations and guidelines it was botched and not thoroughly executed and i would be curious to see republicans hopefully tug on that thread because that is a very serious breach of the public trust and while not politically valuable because it's retrospective something that needs to be litigated. >> sandra: we're waiting for the hearing to get started. we'll be right back. let's take a look at some numbers:
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>> we understand jerry nadler, the democrat from new york isn't in the room. when he appears they'll get underway with the opening statement and the question and answers will follow. christopher wray, and rod rosenstein in the room. we'll get underway in a matter of moments. at the heart of this hearing
the decision the department of justice and f.b.i. made regarding the hillary clinton email investigation and then dove tailing off that is the russia matter that surrounds the trump campaign of 2016. we will jump in now. it will go on for hours to our audience so you know. this could be very interesting based on some of the statements we've heard already. john ratcliffe on the committee talked about the 11-hour interview yesterday with peter strzok. ratcliffe says he did not help himself, meaning strzok. he did not help bob mueller. so we'll see where we go. chairman of the committee, bob goodlatte, the republican from virginia now with his opening commentary as we go in live on the hill. >> insure these tools are not manipulated by unscrupulous actors. the i.g. noted bias in a presidential election and revealed f.b.i. agents, lawyers and analysts held profound
biases against then-candidate donald trump and in favor of his opponent, hillary clinton, while those on the other side of the aisle continue to exclaim these biases are only personal political presented licks that had no effect on the operation of one of the biggest investigations in our nation's history, i wonder whether these same members would stay the same if the text messages had turned up to the tune hillary is a disaster or we'll stop her or cursing her with all manner of expletives or stating that particular parts of the country smell of hillary supporters. these types of comments were originating from people who were the fact finders in the investigation. these inappropriate comments were coming from the individuals who were making decisions on whether to provide immunity to people who had already lied to investigators and whether subjects of an investigation could sit in on
interviews with other subjects of the same investigation. these were individuals who were plainly in positions of great power with the opportunity to place greater, lesser or even no emphasis on certain facts or interpretations of law. these actions led to complete legal exoneration of everyone involved in sending top secret emails over personal servers and unsecured emails and setting up a server for the explicit purpose of doing this. these actions even led to exposing at least one classified email to a foreign party that risked serious damage to our national security. amazingly, considering their overwhelming biases, these people were also the very same people who were assigned to investigate the man that they hated, then candidate donald trump. my reference to the church committee is appear row poe because it not only reviews abuses by individuals including the f.b.i. director himself, but focused in on surveillance
abuses. here we now face the same allegations yet in manner that goes to the heart of our democracy. it is right out of a novel with salacious, unverified dossiers, reports of informants that appear more like spies for the u.s. government and surveillance powers to collect on a u.s. person once associated with president trump's political campaign. but it's not a novel, it is real life and we're here today to understand a little bit more about why now, why we now must review how our intelligence and law enforcement agencies engaged in activity that appears not only wrong, but potentially illegal. all of which brings me to this body's constitutional oversight mandate and responsibilities. our responsibility to the american people is to conduct robust oversight of agencies within this committee's jurisdiction to ensure that taxpayer funded agencies operate lawfully. our oversight is only as good
as the information we are provided. this committee's oversight has been hampered by both the f.b.i. and d.o.j.'s lack of consistent and vigorous production of the documents we need to hold the agencies accountable. while this production has improved recent lip it has felt like pulling teeth much of the time to obtain and review relevant documents. moreover, we just recently learned that some documents the inspector general received to conduct his investigation of the 2016 election have been interpreted by the department of justice to fall outside the first subpoena i ever issued as chairman of this committee. shockingly, emails and communications of d.o.j. officials have not been produced at all. therefore, we have not received any emails between prosecutors working the clinton case. said differently we are not receiving and have not received potentially enlightening communications between prosecutors themselves and
between prosecutors and d.o.j. management including former attorney general lynch or communications between d.o.j. officials and the obama white house. this is unacceptable particularly when we had long before issuing the subpoena requested all documents provided to the inspector general other than certain ones pertaining to grand jury material. the department of justice and the f.b.i. are not mentioned in the united states constitution. the president and congress are. our constitutional oversight necessitates that institutions like the f.b.i. and d.o.j. yield to congress's constitutional mandate. this is non-negotiable because we must assure the american people that the agencies under our jurisdiction operate fairly, treating all equally under the law. this hearing emphasizes the importance of transparency to regain the perception and reality of impartiality of our law enforcement system. damage to the d.o.j. and
f.b.i.'s reputations is not something any of us desire but now that both agencies have been on the front pages for so long, we must all work to ensure those stories are able to focus once again on the great men and women performing jobs to protect our country. we expect to hear how the f.b.i. and the d.o.j. will hold people accountable and prevent this from happening again. thank you and i look forward to hearing from both deputy attorney general rosenstein and director wray. i now recognize the ranking member of the committee the gentleman from new york mr. nadler. >> the events that led up to this hearing are totally unacceptable. on monday you notified of this hearing without the seven day notice required by the rules. on tuesday you started our committee mark-up more than an hour late again. again without notice to the minority. then you allowed mr. jordan to offer an amendment to a resolution of inquiry that was patently non-germane and then
you stood out of view of the cameras in the hallway off the hearing room while the majority voted to overturn the ruling of their own chair if the amendment was not germane. wednesday you dropped all committee business to interview peter strzok who had already volunteered to come into an interview before you threatened him with a subpoena. today we meet so the majority can criticize the deputy attorney general on his failure to produce documents you know he cannot produce. we'll take a break so we can go to the floor and vote on a so-called resolution of insistence based on the jordan amendment from earlier this week. a measure that is without precedent, without the force of law, and clearly a pre-text for a move against mr. rosenstein that the majority has already planned. what is the great emergency that justifies this last-minute hearing? why is the majority abandoned the rules and traditions that govern civility in the house. the tired story of hillary clinton's emails plus a few
conspiracy theories about the special counsel. when president trump and his administration were actively separating families at the border, ripping children out of the arms of their parents and causing untold suffering for thousands of families, that did not merit an emergency hearing by this committee. now that thousands of children are still separated from their parents with no clear plan from this administration for reuniting the families where is the emergency hearing on that issue? we know that russia, after successfully interfering with our 2016 elections, is actively working to disrupt the upcoming elections as well. we are told this by all our intelligence agencies. the former national security advisor testified our intelligence agencies despite this have received no instructions from the white house to protect the integrity of our election system. that we scheduled an emergency hearing on that matter? for that matter, have we conducted any oversight at all
on election security, on the family separation crisis, on the administration's failures to po tekt dreamers and the justice department not to defend the affordable care act in court. supreme court's recent decision to undermine voters and workers rights on the president's ongoing conflicts of interest and violations of the clause in the constitution or myriad pressing issues within our committee's jurisdiction, no. this committee stays silent. on hillary clinton's emails sound the alarms. despite an inspector general's report that in more than 500 exhaustive pages demonstrates that the outcome of the clinton investigation was not affected by any improper bias we are weighting appreciate yourself committee time to chase hillary clinton yet again. the republicans seem desperate to prove there was some sort of pro clinton and anti-trump conspiracy within the f.b.i. when in fact the overwhelming
evidence shows exactly the opposite. virtually every action criticizing the inspector general's report director comey's july announcement, public comments on the clinton investigation and refusal to confirm the existence of the trump investigations and his october decision to announce publicly the reopening of the clinton email investigation ultimately harmed the candidacy of secretary clinton and inured to the benefit of donald trump and no one denies that fact. we shouldn't let facts stand in the way of a good manufactured emergency. according to the republican memo for today's hearing today is also an opportunity for members to consider quote the justice department's compliance with the committee's march 22 subpoena. close quote. a subpoena that was not issued in compliance with house rules and therefore cannot be enforced. even if it were a properly issued subpoena the fight over document production seems to have boiled down to certain documents that the republicans know the department of justice
cannot turn over. much of it evidence relating to an ongoing criminal investigation. the scoping documents outlining specific lines of inquiry in an ongoing criminal investigation. and the identities of confidential human sources still working undercover in the field. that's the whole point. as part of their coordinated effort to undermine the special counsel's investigation republicans are requesting documents they know they cannot have. if they somehow find themselves in possession of sensitive documents they go to the core of the special counsel's investigation and if past practice holds those documents end up in the hands of the subject of the investigation, namely president trump and shortly thereafter on fox news. as the majority is rightly denied, they will do their best to undermine the credibility of the department of justice, the credibility of the deputy attorney general and by extension the credibility of the special counsel. they will try to hold mr.
rosenstein in contempt. some have even threatened him with impeachment and may argue he must be removed from his oversight role over the special counsel's investigation. this is an investigation i might remind my colleagues that has already yielded five guilty pleas and led to the indictment of 20 people so far. the president and some of his closest advisors are under investigation for having participated in a criminal conspiracy with a foreign power against the united states. that is an emergency. the president practically confessed to lester holt on television he obstructed the conspiracy when he said he fired former f.b.i. director comey because of this russia stuff with trump and russia, close quote. that is an emergency. but is that the subject of today's emergency hearing? no, any emergency hearing? no, it is not. i know this has been a hard week for the majority. i know that it must be tempting to change the subject and rally
the base with cries of lock her up. we do not have the luxe -- we cannot hide from our responsibilities. we cannot hide from our obligation to conduct oversight of a corrupt administration. we cannot hide from our constitutional duty to protect our elections from foreign interference or stand up for the rules and domestic institutions and for the rule of law. and we cannot hide from our responsibility not to interfere with a proper investigation. i ask my colleagues to consider this question as we proceed, when the special counsel's work is complete, when the en enormity of what he finds is laid bare how will the public respond? >> we will be in recess and then hear the opening statements of the deputy attorney general and the director.
>> bill: we're anticipating opening comments and they will be put on hold for the moment. you can see the political battle lines being drawn there. they're calling the hillary clinton email matter a tired investigation. we have our panel on the wing and get commentary from them. since we come up at 10:00 in the morning and take a break we'll squeeze in a break as well and we will be back momentarily. the hearing will go for hours. if you think about chairman goodlatte's commentary yesterday after the interview with peter strzok. he put out a statement and the f.b.i. -- we intend to hold a public hearing soon and see how much they get into that today. but house lawmakers on this committee on the republican side are expecting strzok to be on the hill. based on some of the commentary we're getting already about that interview from yesterday, you might wonder whether or not
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only personal political -- that had no effect on one of the bigs investigation in our nation's history. i wonder if the members would say the same if text messages said hillary is a disaster or we'll stop her? >> sandra: this hearing is looking into the handling of the hillary clinton email investigation leading up to the 2016 election. we'll bring back in our a-team panel. they've been standing by and watching this hearing begin with all of us. thomas, your thoughts so far as you've been watching and listening on. >> it doesn't surprise me in any respect. we're seeing the battle lines being drawn. we have the point the chairman was making this hearing raises important questions that are still a lot of unanswered questions arising from the inspector general's report how deep did the political bias penetrate within the f.b.i. the other side of the aisle we saw congressman nadler is saying this is a witch hunt and
also is objecting to various inside baseball procedural aspects of the hearing whether they complied with the rules for notice and followed procedures for a subpoena. i don't think those arguments will resonate with the american public. that's the line of attack the democrats are taking. >> sandra: goodlatte taking the opportunity during his opening statement to challenge democrats on the political bias, the bias that showed up in the anti-trump text messages exchanged by peter strzok and lisa page that we've seen thanks to the inspector general. >> if the shoe were on the other foot the response would be much different not talking about the mark-up in the hearing. they would be focusing on substance and they should. the notion that there is a conspiracy between the agents talking about sabotaging a presidential election on their cell phones is the work of a
supremely incompetent conspiracy. that being said the notion now that we have this individual who had a clear bias was on both hillary clinton's investigation and the mueller probe briefly and the text suggesting there was something afoot were withheld from congress but not robert mueller don't reflect on the f.b.i. and the probe. to the extent democrats want to deny that or not investigate that thoroughly and air those concerns only makes them more serious and significant. >> bill: we'll get opening statements in a matter of moments here. catherine herridge outside the hearing room. let's go to you live. what is expected next? >> so we're in a bit of a pause right now, bill. sort of a procedural issue that has to do with the house resolution. this is not a binding resolution but they are calling on the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein to provide these remaining records and there is really a cache of specific records that house republicans want.
it has to do with the investigative steps taken by the f.b.i. prior to july 31, 2016 which is when the russia collusion investigation officially opened and they want specific records about the alleged use by the f.b.i. of confidential sources that were run up against members of the trump campaign to collect information. so if this goes forward it sets the table, if you will, politically for some republicans who feel that a lack of providing the records really warrants something even more serious for the deputy attorney general, contempt or impeachment proceedings. when they come back from the break what we're expecting are open statements from christopher wray as well as the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. we'll expect remarks about the clinton email investigation and what they will follow through
and adopt. i'm looking for today has to do with yesterday's deposition of f.b.i. agent peter strzok. like a lot of these situations based on my experience covering this topic for about 17 years now, it's often the questions that are not answered that can be the most important and what i've heard from lawmakers privately is that there were a number of questions about the russia investigation and peter strzok's contacts with individuals during that period that he declined to comment on on the advice of an f.b.i. lawyer. so that is what i'll be looking out for today, bill. >> bill: if that's the case, catherine, if his lawyer forbids him to answer so many questions yesterday, what's the chance christopher wray the head of the f.b.i. does something similar today? is that likely? >> well, i guess what i would give it to you in this context, lawmakers said to me yesterday is that the refusal to answer these questions was not really
based on a classified or national security issue. this is an open unclassified setting and we heard from republican mark meadows yesterday that he felt that in this very open setting the deputy attorney general and f.b.i. director were well within their right to lay out some of the timeline issues in the russia investigation. specifically how early they began gathering intelligence about members of the trump campaign and how long did it proceed this official start date to the russia collusion probe of july 31, 2016. your point is very well taken. let's see whether those answers will be forthcoming or not. >> bill: it goes to the heart of it all. back with our panel in new york. tom, if you listen to chairman goodlatte talk about the interview with peter strzok and john ratcliffe who you will hear from in a matter of moments here, they expect strzok to come and testify within two weeks. if he refuses to answer
numerous questions yesterday, what is the chance he answers questions under oath or do we see him appear forced by subpoena and he raises his right hand, sworn in and takes the fifth amendment? >> i would be very surprised if strzok comes to a public hearing and testifying publicly under oath about everything he did. there is too many dangers here. putting aside the question whether f.b.i. lawyers would put a stop to the questioning from strzok's personal perspective he would be exposing himself to legal jeopardy as best we can tell if he would testify publicly. does that mean that a public hearing with strzok will not occur? absolutely not. i could see the house calling him to testify, making him go through this exercise of sitting in front of the committee, refusing to answer questions as congressmen hammer him. that may well be the way it plays out. >> sandra: noah, right now to remind everybody we're in the middle of this hearing with the house judiciary committee, rod
rosenstein and christopher wray, d.o.j., f.b.i. actions leading up to the 2016 election. they decided to take a brief vote and we'll hear opening statements but the house voting on the resolution to hold the deputy a.g. in contempt if he doesn't turn over these documents in one week, noah. they have not been willing to do so and we're left wondering what happens next with that. >> yeah, that's a serious shot across this bow. there is a political context here. i suspect a lot of this is about good governance and everybody acting in good faith. at the same time, however, there are reasons to be concerned that because the attorney general has recused himself from the russia probe and rod rosenstein is the agent who can dissolve this probe that if he is held in contempt and there is a pretext to remove him from office that people will be considering that a run at the mueller probe and that will be five-alarm fire in the political world.
i would be curious to see the extent to which a resolution that passed out of the senate judicial committee protecting bob mueller probe from actions by this president, which has not hit the floor of the senate, whether that has new life to it in that event because this is starting to get very serious. >> bill: stand by on all of that. while we have you here, there was -- yesterday was a news shattering day. it was one after the other after the other, including the announced resignation of justice kennedy from the u.s. supreme court. the court adjourned after issuing its decision 5-4 ruling on union dues and we were told no announcements on the future of the justices. we had a bombshell in the afternoon. justice kennedy went to the white house and informed the president about his impending resignation and now we have the search for a u.s. supreme court pick. i want to get your thoughts on this in a moment. first here is president trump
on the timing of this retirement, sound number one. watch here. >> president trump: a great man. and i'm very honored that he chose to do it during my term in office because he felt confident in me to make the right choice and carry on his great legacy. >> bill: you have republicans still in control in the majority of the senate. jessica you wonder if democrats can do anything to stop this. my guess is no. and it comes during an election year. what's the impact of that do you think? >> the impact is tremendous not just on the election but for the next 30 or 40 years in the country overall. the president is right -- half right there that justice kennedy was retiring when a republican was in office. i think having neil gorsuch who was his law clerk and favorite clerk as the first selection by president trump made him feel safer in making this decision. the impact is tremendous, justice kennedy is a swing vote in gay rights cases. a lot of talk now versus roe v
wade. we have two pro-choice republican senators in susan collins and lisa mer kowski and jeff flake. it will be interesting to see if chuck schumer can keep his caucus in line. heidi heitkamp said she would meet with a nominee. you look at joe manchin and joe donnelly, 10 democrat senators up for reelection in red states. they are oef in a tricky position. if democrats can hold the line it is possible you could have a few republicans who won't support a nominee not because it's an election year, though i do think that matters. >> bill: you can see a few democrats voting for this? >> i think it will be very difficult for them to deny at
least the meetings. that's what chuck schumer would want. they said i will not meet with anyone. that would be ideal for chuck schumer bust i -- but i don't know if you'll get that for the senators who have voted a few times like a joe manchin. >> sandra: has the breakup continues for the hearing, chris stirewalt is with us down in florida and joins us remotely. he wants to jump in on the conversation. take your pick. talking about the f.b.i. and d.o.j. and the retirement of a supreme court justice. why don't we stick on this matter for the moment. on the retirement. we heard from the president yesterday weighing in on the timing of this but here is the president in sound number two talking about why it is important that we elect more republicans when it comes to this. listen. >> president trump: democrats want judges who will rewrite the constitution any way they want to do it and take away
your second amendment, erase your borders, throw open the jail house doors, and destroy your freedoms. we must elect more republicans. we have to do that. >> sandra: chris. weigh in on that. >> it's a very nuanced argument the president makes. look, as an electoral issue for republicans, almost nothing trumps the supreme court. most republicans are pro-life. and all republicans generally speaking favor constitutionally narrowly limited government. that's kind of their jam. we saw in 2016 how effective a motivator this was even for republicans skeptical of donald trump that open seat on the supreme court was potent. democrats have an interesting conundrum and chuck schumer has a difficult choice to make.
do you do maximum resistance? do you impede to the greatest degree possible and create a scenario under which mitch mcconnell says okay, cool. here is what we're going to do. we'll hold it open until after the election. we'll give you more time and we won't jam it through in three months and let it lay out for five and hold it open during the election and have a referendum on it. democrats' experience in 2016 republicans vote for supreme court justices. they can get out and vote. that's a big gamble for democrats. it would be a considerable gamble for republicans, too. but that's what mitch mcconnell has in his back pocket. they say you want a delay? we'll delay until the second week of november. >> sandra: regardless we have some time to hear the debate over who is on the short list to fill that spot. what are you hearing? >> well, look, as long as the president -- the federalist society, the leading conservative organization, the
federalist society has come up with this list, i think it has to be somebody -- i don't know who it will be but it has to be somebody off these lists and it has to be somebody that there is the first threshold test. susan collins and lisa me koskie. first thing mcconnell has to do is get this nominee to all republicans minus one are on board. once you get to that point you will probably pick up four or five democrats. i think it is quite likely you see the nominee get through with 55, 56 votes because, just as you guys were talking about before, the pressure on red state democrats is enormous to show they're willing to work with the president and heidi heitkamp who voted for neil gorsuch will be there. i bet joe manchin will be there.
he is a pro-lifer. you will see a handful of democrats willing to come in. the first thing mcconnell has to do is get somebody past his caucus. >> sandra: good stuff. it's raining in new york ste, rubbing it in with the palm trees back there. soak it all in. >> it feels so good. >> bill: we'll get a break here. tom, what is your short list? >> there are some fantastic judges on the short list. >> bill: give us one at the top. >> ray kevledge. social conservative. i have a lot more. >> bill: we'll get a quick break and take you inside the hearing. come on back.
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from rod rosenstein and christopher wray. it is social hour for rod rosenstein. he is talking to a lot of folks inside. no signs that house republicans will de-escalate the fight for answers and the call for documents. they say they'll give him a week and that's the deadline. catherine herridge with more on that. what is the latest on that? >> these records at issue have to do with these pre-july 2016 intelligence activities by the f.b.i. and these records have been under subpoena since april. earlier this week the house intelligence committee sent a new demand to the justice department so they are escalating this conflict over the records. they are specifically asking for all records that have to do with f.b.i. informants or the use of confidential human sources or undercover agents and any of their contacts with over a dozen members of the trump campaign. they range from michael caputo,
sam clovis, mike flinn, donald trump junior and carter page. they're asking for records about individuals. based on my experience with this issue, this is the kind of letter they send when they are shooting darts at a target. not shooting darts in the dark if you get my drift on that. the justice department and the f.b.i.'s position is that this is an ongoing investigation and have to protect sources and methods. they're like the lifeblood of the f.b.i. operation, this would be an obstacle even if it wasn't so political and part of the russia campaign, bill. >> bill: take us through the heart of that matter. do the documents hold all the answers? is that what republicans are essentially saying? >> well, right. this is the situation where they've had a handful of classified briefings about this
pre-july 2016 time period and intelligence activities by the f.b.i. about the russia collusion investigation. the lawmakers want to see the raw data and the documents themselves. so the intelligence reporting were confidential human sources used and who directed them or lock-ins, people coming to the bureau, justice department. foreign intelligence agency and offering information that they think is important about contacts between members of the trump campaign and russian officials. so republican lawmakers on the house committee want to see the raw data and make their own judgment about what exactly happened. so far they have not been able to see those raw documents and the key thing for folks at home is that if this pre-july 31, 2016 time period. july 31 is when the f.b.i.
officially opened the russia collusion investigation. peter strzok was the individual who drafted the memo that opened that investigation on july 31, 2016. he was the one who drafted the document for the entire russia probe. republicans feel very strongly because of his anti-trump text messages he was very forward leaning on the russia case. democrats as you heard again this morning from the ranking democrat on the house judiciary committee believe that these were personal, intimate conversations. there is nothing to indicate that infected the f.b.i. investigations and most importantly, altered the decision making in these cases, bill. >> bill: stand by yet again. we can hear heels in the hallway behind you. i think the point that catherine makes is critical again. what the i.g. report showed peter strzok was the heart of the russia matter for about a year. he knows a lot about the
decisions the agency made. >> clearly. and as a result of his position on that probe and then his four weeks worth of work on the mueller probe republicans have every reason to suspect that a bias was involved in the prioritization of what the f.b.i. went after, what they looked at instead of hillary clinton's emails, for example, and the investigation into her server and why they were so interested in carter page which had everything to do with not just his trip to moscow around this time in april of 2016, but also his contact with russian assets in 2013, an f.b.i. allegation earlier. there is a lot we don't know. but to the extent that democrats seem interested in this hearing in accusing republicans of pulling on threads and inventing conspiracy theories i think they are doing a disservice to what the actual investigation
alleges here. nobody should be comfortable with the allegation that federal officials used their power to investigate a private citizen toward a political end. that's the allegation. to the extent we can shed light on that it does everybody a service. >> sandra: here is the ranking democrat in the room jerry nadler talking specifically on hillary clinton. listen to this. >> as with so many issues this committee stays silent but on hillary clinton's emails, sound the alarms. despite an inspector general's report that in more than 500 pages demonstrates conclusively that the outcome of the clinton invest was not infected by any improper bias political or otherwise we're wasting precious committee time to chase hillary clinton yet again. >> sandra: what do you think? >> that's the democrat line on this. i think there are points here that aren't a waste of time and i wish congressman nadler had brought up one of the open questions, which is why the f.b.i. decided to say that they
were investigating hillary clinton, reopening that but never mentioned publicly that they were investigating the trump campaign. and that's definitely something that democrats refuse to take on the nose as it were. as for the peter strzok issue, the i.g. report made it clear he was not the one who believed in the mueller probe when it started and his communications with lisa page he made it clear he didn't think it would go anywhere. it doesn't mean that i don't think we should hear more from him but it is important to consider that at the start of all of this he was not one of the conspiracy theorists or a true believer in this and just going about it and doing his job. >> bill: bob goodlatte said earlier today that the answers from peter strzok, tom, you can take this one, were not believable. this is the chairman of the committee who has been on this for two years now and he has the lead witness there for 11 hours and through repeated questioning the answers are not
believable. i don't know where the hearing goes today but i think you will see some heat and fire in that room, sir. >> i agree with that. look, the fact that the chairman said his answers were not believable is the biggest red signal possible that this isn't the end of the matter. we'll see strzok called back to testify in a public setting. if i were in strzok's shoes or his lawyers i think i would see the chairman's warning for what it is. the chairman is saying either strzok is lying or otherwise not being honest with the committee. and if you are in a position where you are about to testify under oath and the chairman of that committee is saying sir, i do not think you're telling the truth. you better heed that warning and either adjust your testimony to tell the truth or if you must take the fifth amendment, go that route. >> bill: okay. so the bias that was found in the text messages, tom. that's been explained and admitted to based on the language that we've seen. but what the i.g. report concluded is that there was not
a bias that led toward decisions toward the investigation itself. does christopher wray and rod rosenstein explain that away today? >> it's hard to see how they would do this. they weren't present for a lot of this and they would be relying on what other people testified or what other people had said. the fact that the i.g. found no evidence of political bias is based on the i.g.'s own assessment that strzok's personal, political predilections didn't infect the larger f.b.i. enterprise. it was contained. that's the i.g.'s conclusion. we're seeing house republicans pushing back a also bit to say he was politically biased and in a critical role in these investigations. how on earth can you draw the conclusion based on the evidence that your own investigation uncovered that his political bias was contained. that's the route they'll pursue. >> bill: we know you didn't
like the guy and you didn't vote for the guy, you didn't want him to be president but it did not influence the decisions you made on behalf of the f.b.i. in that investigation for close to a year that he led. >> that's right. the related point is strzok's political bias somehow didn't seep out to infect other decision makers at the f.b.i. >> sandra: meanwhile, we're awaiting that hearing. it should be getting back underway any moment now. rod rosenstein looks to be taking his seat. you saw the chairman, bob goodlatte seated in the room. we'll get back to that when it begins. meanwhile the announcement from the white house that the trump/putin summit will take place, noah, this is big news and now we have a date and place, july 16th in finland. this, of course, coming a couple weeks after the north korean summit in singapore. if you could give us the significance of this meeting both as far as diplomacy and politics? >> the significance of it i
think is a little muted. not the first time the president has had a bilateral meeting with vladimir putin nor is it especially noteworthy. it's the first time the president has met with his russian counterpart in the wake of very well-supported allegations that the russia government executed an attack on british soil using a nerve agent in order to assassinate a dissident on the heels of a similar summit with a similar autocratic despot accused of a very similar thing using the nerve agent to assassinate his brother on malaysian soil. you're sending a consistent signal using weapons of mass destruction of meeting with the leader of the free world. we should be very concerned about that. that's not a good signal. on the heels of his meeting with nato, first nato, then russia, where we suspect he will litigate his grievances with nato. lack of defense spending,
frustrations with germany will send a bad signal to american allies and good one to american adversaries. >> sandra: the white house saying the two leaders discuss the relations between the u.s. russia and a range of national security issues. meantime we have to get back to this hearing. we do know that rod rosenstein is now seated. the chairman bob goodlatte is seated now and in his opening remarks, bill, he said history shows we've found ourselves in a situation where the f.b.i. and other intelligence agencies violated their oaths to uphold and defend the constitution of the united states saying the agency's exercised their responsibilities in a manner unworthy of u.s. officials. that, of course, will be the line of questioning. >> bill: the two principal characters, rosenstein and wray. rosenstein to the left and wray to his right. both appointed by president trump.
>> federal law enforcement working with federal, state and local law enforcement in many of your districts. there is nobody who would be more committed to rooting out abuse and misconduct when there is credible evidence it occurred. inspector general conducted a thorough investigation and found that some federal bureau investigation employees deviated from important principles in 2016 and 2017. everyone knew about some of those departures when they occurred such as discussing criminal investigations and encroaching on prosecutorial decisions. we learned about others through the internal investigation such as leaking to the news media and exhibiting political bias. we need to correct and hold wrongdoers accountability and deter future violations. director wray will describe what the f.b.i. is doing to accomplish those goals. at the department of justice our mandatory annual training will include lessons from the
inspector general's report and considering other recommendations. we already revised the department's confidentality policies to emphasize that non-public sensitive information obtained in connection with our work is protected from disclosure. we intend to enforce that principle on our employees and we need to demonstrate respect for it ourselves by protecting sensitive information entrusted to the f.b.i. a congressional oversight is vital to democracy. my june 27th letter that i'll submit for your consideration explains how the executive branch handles congressional oversight requests, law enforcement and intelligence information. the f.b.i. is managing an extraordinary volume of congressional oversight requests some of which seek details about criminal investigations and intelligence sources. as a result of president trump's commitment to transparency, the f.b.i. is making unprecedented disclosures to the congress
including granting access to hundreds of thousands of pages of investigative information and thousands of pages of classified documents. as with most things in washington, real work is not done on television and not all done by me. trump administration officials are meeting and talking with your staff every day. they are working overtime with teams of f.b.i. employees to accommodate requests and produce relevant information to this committee, other house committees, and several senate committees. this committee requested the production of all documents relevant to the inspector general's review. as you well know the f.b.i. normally declines such requests because of the circumstances of this case and concerns we developed during the investigation, the department agreed to produce all relevant f.b.i. documents. i understand that the universe potentially relevant documents was in the range of 1.2 million
although only a fraction are actually relevant. we began the production even before the inspector general finished his report. after we confirmed that the investigation was substantially complete and production at that time would not interfere with it. as you know, the f.b.i. struggled for some time with the scope and volume of the production. some of your colleagues brought to my attention that the f.b.i.'s redaction policies created the appearance that relevant information was being concealed. i looked into the issue and i understood their concern. as a result i called on u.s. attorney john lausch from chicago to take charge of the project. he is here with me today and has talked with some of you in recent days and working on this project for some time. he brings experience in handling large document productions in the private sector and worked with committee members and staff and arranged a production process that seems to be working very well. i understand that some people state concerns about the speed
of the production. but those concerns are mistaken. most requests have been fulfilled. another document productions are in progress for this and other committees. i have devoted almost 30 years in the service of my country. my line of work we keep an open mind, we complete our investigations before we allege wrongdoing by anybody. our allegations are made under oath and supported by credible evidence. we treat everyone with respect and deal with one another in good faith. you and i are the beneficiaries and the temporary trustees of a remarkable experiment in self-government. like each member of congress, the deputy attorney general, f.b.i. director and other department officials represent the people of the united states. president trump appointed us, senate confirmed our nominations, and we swore an oath when we accepted responsibility for helping to
run the department of justice, that oath requires us to make controversial decisions. here is the advice that i give the department of justice employees, faithfully pursue the department's law enforcement mission and the administration's goals in a manner consistent with laws, regulations, policies and principles. prepare to face criticism. that's part of the job. but ignore the tyranny of the news cycle. stick to the rule of law and make honest decisions that will always withstand fair and objective review. our department's 115,000 employees work diligently every day to keep america safe. most of their good work is never the subject of any congressional hearing. it is a tremendous privilege to work in an organization that seeks the truth and serves the law. but the department of justice is not perfect.
we will keep working to make it better and we welcome your constructive assistance. thank you. >> thank you, deputy attorney general. director wray, welcome. i want to thank you both for getting here. i know you've come a long way to get here and under difficult circumstances with an injury. >> thank you, good morning, mr. chairman. members of the committee. i appreciate this opportunity to discuss the f.b.i.'s response to the inspector general's report on d.o.j. and f.b.i. activities in the run-up to the 2016 election. we take that report very seriously and we accept its findings and its recommendations. we are already doing a whole number of things to address those recommendations and we are determined to emerge from this experience better and wiser. the f.b.i. is entrusted with a lot of authority and our
actions are appropriately, therefore, subject to close oversight. that oversight can make the f.b.i. stronger and the public safer. part of that oversight includes wholesome responses to legitimate oversight requests for documents and information. for months we've been working with your committees to make witnesses available, answer questions, and produce or make available to you and your staff over now 880,000 pages. although we have now substantially complied with a majority of the committees subpoenaed we are determined to get through the other items and we've increased staffing further. in the past week we've had approximately 100 employees working day and night dedicated to this project through the weekend to collect, review, process and produce thousands of additional pages. turning to the i.g.'s report.
although the i.g. report did not find any evidence of political bias or improper consideration actually impacting the investigation under review, that report did identify errors of judgments. disregard for policy and decisions that were not the best choices. i would like to briefly summarize the steps we're taking to address the report's recommendations. first, we will be holding employees accountable for misconduct. we have already referred conduct highlighted in the report to the office of professional responsibility which is the f.b.i.'s independent disciplinary arm. once the necessary process is complete, we will not hesitate to hold people strictly accountable. second, we're making sure that every employee understands the lessons of the i.g.'s report through in-depth training starting at the top. starting with the executives so we don't repeat mistakes
identified in that report. third, we're making sure that we have the policies, procedures and training needed for everyone to understand and remember what is expected of all of us. that includes drilling home the importance of objectivity and avoiding even the appearance of personal conflicts or political bias. ensuring that recusals are handled correctly. making all employees aware of our new media policy which i issued last november and making clear that we will not tolerate non-compliance with that policy. ensuring we follow d.o.j. policies about public statements on on going investigations and the use of f.b.i. systems, networks, and devices. i've also directed our new associate deputy director the number three official in the f.b.i. to lead a review of how we staff, structure, and
supervise sensitive investigations so that we can make sure that each one is conducted to our highest standards. the i.g. report makes clear that we've got important work to do. but i do want to emphasize that this report is focused on a specific set of events in 2016 and a small number of employees connected with those events. nothing in this report impugns the integrity of our workforce as a whole or the f.b.i. as an institution. i want to be very clear with this committee about the f.b.i. that i've gotten to see up close and personal in the 10 months since i've taken on this job. as i meet with our offices all over the world, offices represented by every one of the members up here, i encounter really remarkable, inspiring stories about the work our 37,000 men and women are doing every single day. we've rescued more than 1300
kids from child predators this year alone. we've arrested more than 4600 violent gang members in just the past few months. we've disrupted recently terrorist plots ranging from places like fisherman's wharf in san francisco to a crowded shopping mall in miami and i could go on and on. our men and women are doing all of that great work and much, much more with the unfailing fidelity to our constitution and the laws that demands the bravery that it deserves and the integrity that the american people rightly expect. that means we're going to do this job by the book. i'm committed to doing that. i would not be here if i wasn't committed to making sure we do it that way and i expect all our employees to do the same. following our rules, our policies and longstanding norms. there will be times when we feel extraordinary pressure not to follow our process and policies but in my view those
are precisely the times that we need to adhere to them the most. we've got to stay faithful to our best traditions and our core values, making sure we are not only doing the right thing but doing it in the right way and pursuing the facts independently and objectively no matter who likes it. that in my view is the only way we can maintain the trust and credibility of the people we serve. mr. chairman and members of the committee, thank you again for the opportunity to address the inspector general's reports and look forward to answering the committee's questions. >> we'll now proceed under the five-minute rule with questions and i'll begin by recognizing the gentleman from florida, mr. desantis. >> welcome to the witnesses. mr. rosenstein, august 8, 2016, text message in the i.g. report from lisa page to peter strzok. trump is not ever going to become president, right? peter strzok responds no, no, he's not.
we'll stop it. the justice department previously provided messages from that date except the we'll stop it message. why didn't the justice department produce it to congress when we asked? >> i spoke with our inspector general michael horowitz yesterday. when he testified he didn't have a full opportunity to explain and the technological details are pretty complicated but assured me he had a long telephone conversation with mr. jordan after the hearing and explained it. he is much better position than i. what i can assure you -- >> i want to assure you and the american people. we aren't withholding anything embarrassing. the message was not in the original material. he found these messages. >> you guys didn't find it, he did. we're asking you to produce stuff and obviously we expect a good faith effort. you guys didn't find it. maybe somebody else deleted or something happened before you guys but he was able to find it
and you didn't. it was disappointing to see that text message there. i think you would agree think of the timeline. you have peter strzok opens up the counter intelligence investigation against trump's campaign the end of july. a week later this text message. he ain't going to be president. we'll stop it. the next week the insurance policy text message saying we can't take the risk of a trump presidency, you need an insurance policy. the american people see that. doesn't it undermine the integrity of people like peter strzok? >> yes, that's highly inappropriate. >> it's more than that, though. it's more than that. the inspector general did find the bias affected. he didn't say it affected the decision about hillary but he said once we got into the fall when you had the huma abiden emails and they were slow walking on that by peter strzok he was concerned with pursuing this collusion investigation and he testified on the record it was reasonable to say that
the bias not only existed but affected what he did. what did the d.o.j. and f.b.i. do spying surveillance on the trump campaign via anybody else working on behalf of the agencies? >> i'm not permitted to discuss any classified information in an open setting but i can assure you we're working with oversight committees and producing all relevant evidence to allow them to answer the questions. >> let me ask this. did the obama administration, anybody in the administration direct anybody to make contact with anyone associated with the trump campaign? >> as i said i appreciate the -- i understand your interest but i'm not per misted to discuss classified information. >> we want the documents. the american people need to know were the counter intelligence powers of the obama administration unleashed against the trump campaign.
you talk about the mueller invest igation. it is the rosenstein investigation. you're supervising mueller between trump's campaign and russia and you wrote the memo saying comey should be fired and you signed the fisa extension for carter page. my question to you is seems like you should be recused from this more so than jeff sessions because you were involved in making decisions affecting both prongs of this investigation. why haven't you done that? >> i can assure you that appropriate for me to recuse i would be more than happy to do so and let somebody else happen this. it's my responsibility to do it and all i can tell you -- >> how do you have obstruction of -- a president firing an f.b.i. director saying you said should be fired. the i.g. report makes it clear comey should have been fired. >> i'm not commenting what is under investigation by the mueller probe. to the best of my knowledge
neither is mr. mueller. there is a lot of speculation in the media but it doesn't relieve me of my investigation not to discuss the investigation. >> do you accept what horowitz said about peter strzok and the fall campaign with abiden emails how he slow walked that but was gung-ho about the trump russia collusion. the other thing hillary mattered we didn't want to mess it up. this matters because it matters. that's what he wanted to do and focusing his energy. horowitz said his bias is an appropriate explanation for his conduct. do you agree? >> i certainly agree with the findings of the inspector general report and the message do indicate bias. >> you guys have work to do. if the bias is affecting official action that's a big problem. i yield back the balance of my time. >> chair recognizes ms. lofgren for five minutes.
>> deputy attorney general rosenstein and director wray, this may be an appropriate time to make what is kind of an easy request but could you state for the record what is the department of justice and federal bureau of investigation's policy on commenting on any matter related to an ongoing criminal or counter intelligence investigation. and does this policy apply to document production even when requested by congress? >> yes, congresswoman. director wray may be able to speak more specifically to the reasons why the f.b.i. doesn't comment on counter intelligence investigations. we do not discuss those or criminal investigations while they're undergoing. >> it has always been my experience the department and the f.b.i. do not comment on on going investigations.
the reasons go back to the days when i was a line prosecutor and long before that. they have to do with protecting the reputations and privacy of the people who are the subject of the investigations and have to do with protecting the integrity of the ongoing investigation and they have to do with protecting the rights to fair trial and a number of reasons. when you add the counter intelligence dimension the need to protect sources and methods. one of the central learnings of the inspector general's report frankly, we're here talking about with this committee is what goes wrong when you do talk about ongoing investigations. >> these policies apply to all current and former personnel at d.o.j. and f.b.i. as well as to the special counsel investigation, correct? >> that's correct. >> thank you. it seems to me i mentioned this the other day, that we are here pursuing release of information that in my experience on this
committee 24 years on this committee and nine years as a member of the staff of one of the members of the committees i've never seen this happen before. and having been given the opportunity, along with just mr. nadler, mr. goodlatte and mr. gowdy actually read the entire application on the carter -- the fisa application along with the accompanying documents took me all day. i canceled all my appointments. it is very obvious why that material should not be in the public arena. there are people i think who would certainly lose their lives if their identities were made known. and it is an example of the requirement that you labor under but also that the committee labors under. i want to mention mr. jordan is here and he'll correct me if my understanding is incorrect, i
understand mr. jordan accused you mr. rosenstein of threatening the hipsy staff if they attempt to hold you in contempt for failing to comply with document requests. i think it's important we put this on the record. have you, mr. rosenstein, ever threatened congressional staff, including but not limited to house intelligence committee staff as it relates to requests for your -- for you to produce documents or any other matter for that? >> people make all kinds of allegations and in my business we ask who is the witness and how credible are they? if somebody comes forward and swears under oath i threatened them i'll be happy to respond. all i can tell you with regard to that matter is in the room at the time were three officials appointed by president trump confirmed by the united states senate. director wray, assistant
attorney general boyd and me. two former attorneys were in the room with us, greg braur serving as the legislative liaison for the f.b.i. and scott schools. the answer is no, i have not threatened anyone. >> i would like to close with this as my time is running out. it just seems to me that we are asking you two to violate the policies that you labor under and we've been doing that repeatedly. we got the 500-page i.g. report and you have acknowledged the need to improve areas. last week we held a six-hour hearing, yesterday 11 hours trying to get the f.b.i. to violate the same policies that you are upholding today. and i think it's really not what this committee should be doing. i do not believe it is in the best interests of this country and certainly it does not uphold and elevate the rule of law, which is what this committee should be doing and
has been doing for the quarter century that i've served on it. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> the chair recognizes mr. gates for five minutes. >> i'm in violent agreement with the statements you made that nothing in the report impugns the patriotic work of the f.b.i. employees who are serving in my district and around the world and the mess in washington has nothing to do with them and i want to make that clear and appreciate your statements on that subject. deputy director, the democratic memo the president declassified d chairman nunes met f justice with director wray and me. i received the same briefing he received. i don't know any additional information beyond what he knows about that and not able to produce any information beyond what the f.b.i. has told me. so -- >> are you aware as you sit here today of any payments that were made to any person to collect intelligence on the trump campaign prior to july
31, 2016? >> no. keep in mind i wasn't there. i only know the information we've obtained from f.b.i. records. >> are you as you sit here today aware of any efforts to contact roger stone that occurred prior to july 31, 2016. >> i don't have any personal knowledge. i know we're seeking to respond to nunes' request. >> same request with regards to michael caputo. >> i can only answer questions that we direct to the f.b.i. >> you're there now. have you asked these questions of anyone? >> we have conveyed all the questions chairman nunes has raised and try to respond to him fairly soon. >> you will understand why it's important to the country from the department of justice represented to a court the investigation began july 31 and the fact you can't tell me that before july 31 this was not intelligence collected on the trump campaign that that is something of great interest to us. >> congressman, i think you
should understand nobody is more interested in rooting out misconduct than i. we take those allegations seriously and look to find any credible evidence. if we find it we'll produce it to chairman nunes. >> lets dough that quickly and get into your determination to find out that activity which is occurring within your department. at the last hearing we had i asked you when you first became aware that nelly ore was working for fusion gps and assigned to the dossier that said all the nasty things about president trump. as you sit here today do you know when you become first aware of that? >> i believe it would have been sometime in the fall of 2017 as i think i told you last time, mr. ohr was never working on that russia investigation to my knowledge. >> but his wife was, right? he is your associate deputy attorney general and his wife gets hired for that. i asked you this question on
the 13th of december and wrote you a letter on the 18th of december nine months ago. you have not responded to it. we need a date when you found out that the wife of your deputy was working for people who were actively trying to undermine president trump. don't you think that's a really important date for you to know about the spouse of your own deputy attorney general. >> yes, it's important to understand mr. ohr is in the department and there when i arrived. he wasn't working on the russia matter. when we learned the relevant information we arranged to transfer mr. ohr to a different office. in addition to that -- >> >> the fisa renewal you signed lists for me the people who briefed you on the substance of that fisa renewal to go and spy on people. >> here is one thing important for you to understand. people can make all kinds of allegations publicly. i am quite confident about my conduct throughout this investigation. that matter is under review by
the inspector general. we'll see what he finds. >> did you read the fisa application before you signed it? you won't say to this committee whether you read the document you signed that authorized spying on people associated with the trump campaign? >> i dispute your characterization of what the fisa is about. i'll be happy to discuss the details with you but as i told you, sir. >> did peter strzok brief you on it or lisa page? >> no. >> did sally moyer or tricia anderson brief you on it. >> no f.b.i. people briefed me on it. the fisa renewals are sworn under oath by a career federal agent. i'm not the affect. i'll explain the process. >> did you thoroughly review it? >> the time of the gentleman has expired. the witness will be permitted to answer the question.
>> i want to explain the process and director wray can explain it too. my responsibility was to approve the filing of fisa applications. three people in the department can do that who at the time the position was vacant. my responsibility to do that. i have fortunately been relieved of that responsibility. mr. wray does it every day. we sit down with a team of attorneys from the department of justice all of whom review that, provide a briefing for us about what's in it and i reviewed that one in some detail and can tell you that the information that is public about that doesn't match with my understanding of the one that i signed. but i think it's appropriate to let the inspector general complete the investigation. these are serious allegations. i'm reviewing the finished product. the inspector general finds i did something wrong i'll respect that judgment.
i think it's highly unlikely given the way the process works. >> yield back. >> chair recognizes miss jackson lee from texas. >> let me thank the ranking member who remains on the floor. i know he is en route. i'm almost believing that i've just a tended or in the midst of a monster ball and we're looking for monsters wherever we can find them. as i was on the floor as i was on the floor, i heard someone say mr. deputy attorney general they are interested in holding you in contempt. maybe they may be mollified by a resolution that really has no real point to it but this is the absurdity we're dealing with in an investigation that has proceeded and i believe has concluded.
so let me ask you, two investigations that were ongoing in 2016. could you briefly say what they were? two investigations regarding presidential candidates. what were those investigations? >> congressman -- >> what was the investigation. >> i won't comment on an investigation that may have been ongoing. >> what was the i.g. report about. >> it is about a variety of misconduct that occurred in the f.b.i. in 2016 and 2017. >> relating to? >> relating to primarily focused on the hillary clinton email investigation but inspector general addressed other issues as well. >> did that investigation come to a conclusion in 2016 to your knowledge? >> the hillary clinton email investigation? it did based upon public reports. >> based upon public reports was the department of justice satisfied with those -- the end
of that investigation. >> the same response, i wasn't there and i'm not the one to comment whether or not people were satisfied with the result. we all know what the result was. >> director wray your investigators were involved in the clinton emails. >> i wasn't there at the time but absolutely. >> you've had a chance to review the inspector general's report. >> i have. >> saw the fractions cited to the f.b.i., the infractions. >> yes, yes. >> have you corrected or do you have comment on any of the infractions which you have corrected that is director speaking about investigation without the presence or yielding to one of the prosecutors of the d.o.j. such as what director comey did? >> well, congresswoman i'm not going to add my personal opinion on top of the inspector
general's thorough report. as i said earlier, we do accept the findings that are in the report and the recommendations in it and i would have -- >> what have you done with respect to the recommendation about the idea of a director of the f.b.i. making such statements going forward? >> so we've done a couple of things. one is we have issued a new media policy that is much more clear so that we ensure that people follow our policies and also directed people to make sure they're adhering to d.o.j. policies about commenting onion going investigations and specifically about uncharged conduct. >> from the law enforcement perspective which is what your arm is. >> we're not the prosecutors. >> do you have any comment on the suggestion that one of your officers delayed in investigating the wiener laptop? do you think that was done to undermine the investigation?
>> congresswoman, rather than substitute my characterization for the inspector general's, which is very detailed i would just say my read of his report is that he found that there were delays as a result of a number of factors. and we are taking steps to make sure that going forward, as i said in my opening comments, that we structure staff and supervise things so we don't repeat the mistakes. >> do you think that impeded or impacted on the final conclusion on the clinton email investigation. >> again, i would defer to the inspector general's own characterization of his investigation. my understanding he found there wos no political bias ultimately impacting the investigation he reviewed. >> mr. attorney general. do you believe as donald trump indicated that the investigation of which you have read the inspector general's
report, has vindicated mr. trump as relates to collusion with russian agents as he indicated? or is the investigation ongoing? >> there is an ongoing investigation, yes. >> and it is not concluded. >> correct. >> there have been several charges filed and so you're familiar with those. >> ongoing. i yield back. >> the chair recognizes the chair from south carolina mr. gowdy. >> the russia investigation has been going on for almost two years now. special counsel's investigation has been going on for over a year now for most americans it's important to know what russia did to our country in 2016 and with whom, if anyone, they did it. when a foreign state interferes with our democratic electoral process, it should be chance of a lifetime for law enforcement
agent to investigate that except apparently the one that was actually picked to investigate it. that was peter strzok. f.b.i. peter strzok was picked to lead the f.b.i.'s investigation into what russia did in july of 2016. it was a counter intelligence investigation begun in late july 2016 and he was leading it. in about the exact same time he was picked to lead it, this dispassionate and fair f.b.i. agent was calling trump a disaster, destabilizing for the country, i'll leave out all the f words he used to describe. i'll go with disaster and destabilizing. the same time his f.b.i. lawyer girlfriend lisa page was telling him he was meant to protect the country. he said i can protect the country at many levels.
same time peter strzok, who was picked to objectively, fairly, neutrally look into the russia investigation, was talking about an insurance policy with andy mccabe and lisa page in the event donald trump became the president. all of this was happening at the same time peter strzok said he could smell the trump support in southern virginia. all this was at the same time that this f.b.i. agent said a trump presidency would be fing terrifying. and that it will never happen, no, no, we'll stop it. so while investigating russia and their attempt to subvert our democracy may have been important to the rest of the country it wasn't that important to a dozen f.b.i. agents and lawyers assigned to the case. for them it was an investigation to stop donald trump which then brings us to may of 2017 and the appointment of special counsel where we find peter strzok again, the
same supposed to be dispassionate, neutral. fair f.b.i. agent. you would think he would be really excited about investigating what a foreign power tried to do to this country, but you would be wrong again for peter strzok as precisely the same time that bob mueller was appointed, precisely the same time, peter strzok was talking about his unfinished business and how he needed to fix and finish it so donald trump did not become president. he was talking about impeachment within three days of special counsel mueller being appointed. three days. that's even quicker than msnbc and the democrats were talking about impeaching. within three days the lead f.b.i. agent is talking about impeaching the president. so this is where we are. we're two years into this investigation, a year and a half into the presidency, we're over a year into special counsel. you have a counter intelligence investigation that's become public.
you have a criminal investigation that's become political, you have more bias than i have ever seen manifest in a law enforcement officer in the 20 years i used to do it for a living and four other d.o.j. employees who had man fest animus toward the person they were supposed to be neutrally investigating. democrats are using this investigation as a presumption of guilt which i find astonishing and i would encourage them to go back to the presumption of innocence we used to hold sacred. there is a presumption of guilt. a desire by democrat senators to fundraise off of your investigation. more than 60 democrats have already voted to proceed with impeach. before bob mueller has found a single solitaire damn thing. more than 60 have voted to move forward with impeachment and he hasn't presented his first finding! i'll say this to you mr. wray and mr. rosenstein. i realize neither one of you
were there when it happened but you are both there now. russia attacked this country. they should be the target. russia isn't being hurt by this investigation now, we are. this country is being hurt by it. we're being divided. we've seen the bias. we've seen the bias. we need to see the evidence. if you have evidence of wrongdoing by any member of the trump campaign, present it to the damn grand jury. if you have evidence that this president acted inappropriately present it to the american people. there is an old saying that justice delayed is justice denied. right now all of us are being denied. whatever you got, finish it the hell up because this country is being torn apart. i would yield back, mr. chairman. >> do either of the witnesses care to respond? >> i would simply respond i
certainly share your views about those text messages and nobody is more offended than i about what is reflected in those messages. with regard to the investigation, i've heard suggestions that we should just close the investigation. i think the best thing we can do is finish it appropriately and reach a conclusion. i certainly agree with you, sir, the people should not jump to conclusions without seeing the evidence. i've been the victim of fake news attacks myself and i'm sympathetic. there has been no allegation made by the department of justice or the special counsel other than what is reflected in the documents that are filed publicly and nobody should draw any conclusions beyond those charges. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from tennessee mr. cohen for five minutes. >> director wray and mr. rosenstein with a mr. strzok the head of any of those
investigations? >> congressman, i don't know i would characterize him as the head of any of the investigations. there was a supervisory chain, as the inspector general found there were a number of people involved in that chain above him. >> i know you've spoken already about the inspector general's report very thorough. it came to the conclusion that while he may have had biases, none of his biases played a role in their actions or conclusions, is that correct? >> well again, i would defer to the inspector general's own characterization of his thorough investigation. my understanding of it is that he found no evidence of political bias actually impacting the investigation that he reviewed. >> all we had was some talk between friends, maybe lovers, and it was just talk but no
policy and no action to bring about or effectuate any of their beliefs, correct? >> again, i don't know i want to start characterizing their text messages. i expect all our folks to conduct themselves professional lil at all times and the other reason i want to be about straying too far we've referred a number of individuals whose conduct is highlighted in the report to my office of professional responsibility and it includes making sure that our disciplinary process is done by the book and having the director comment on their conduct in this setting is probably not conducive to that. >> thank you, sir. am i correct that each of you were appointed by president trump? >> yes, sir. >> yes. >> who appointed the special counsel? >> i did. >> and you were appointed by president trump. >> correct. >> mr. trump talks about 13 democrats running this
investigation. do you know who he is speaking about and if there is any way the justice department or president trump knows that these people are democrats, republicans, libertarians? >> you have to ask him, sir. i don't know. >> you don't know if they're democrats. >> i do not know their political registration, no, sir. >> director wray, do you these people's political registration? >> no. this report special counsel has gone on for a long time. could it be because there is so much information and so many issues that have arisen from his investigation that it's impossible to just turn it off? is that possible? >> i do not think you should draw any inference. i don't think as these investigations go that it has been going on for a long time. director mueller understands that i want him to conclude it
as expeditiously as possible consistent with his responsibility to do it right. >> has anybody ever accused special counsel mueller of being dill tory, lazy, slow? >> i certainly haven't, sir. i don't know what other allegations people make. i don't view that as accurate. >> director wray, do you know feshl counsel mueller's reputation for proceeding in a diligent path? >> my own experience and familiarity is none of those adjectives would describe anything in his career for this country. >> director mueller volunteered to join the marines in vietnam. got a purple heart and had other commendations, is that when you understand, too? >> yes. >> when he came back he went to law school and he went to work
for justice. he could have gone to wall street and made a lot of money. in fact, he went into private practice for a while and didn't like it and came back because he wanted to prosecute criminals, is that correct? >> well, i don't know his motivation but he devoted much of his career to public service and foregone more luck rative opportunities. >> he prosecuted noriega, did he not? >> i'm not certain -- i think he was in a management position. i think that's correct. >> gaddi. he has gone after big fish. let me ask each of you to promise me something. will you promise me and the american people that no matter what pressure is brought about and brought on you by whomever that you will stay in your position and finish the job and do what you were appointed to do and what the american people need you to do?
>> in the department of justice we are accustomed to criticism and it doesn't affect our work. >> as i've said repeatedly i'm committed to doing this job by the book in all respects and there is no amount of political pressure that will dissuade by of that by either side. >> thank you. i find that esch of you and special counsel mueller are -- people who tear down the -- i hope the constitution is respected. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. mr. jordan. >> why are you keeping information from congress mr. rosenstein? >> i'm not keeping any information from congress that it's appropriate. >> in a few minutes the house of representatives will say something different. >> i don't agree with you, congressman and i don't believe that's what they are going to say. >> i think in a few minutes the house of the representatives is going to go on record saying you haven't complied with
requests from a separate and equal branch of government, that you haven't complied with subpoenas and you have seven days to get your act together. that's what is going to happen. that's not jim jordan. i think that's the house of the majority of representatives. i don't know why you won't give us what we've asked for. >> i certainly hope your colleagues aren't under that impression. that is not accurate, sir. >> it is accurate. we have caught you hiding information. >> point of order. we can go to mr. jordan's press conference but we came here to hear from the witness. will you allow him to answer? >> we've caught you hiding information. >> he will be permitted to answer. >> why do we have them here if they aren't allowed to answer. >> the gentleman is out of order. the gentleman from ohio is recognized. >> i would like to -- let me make one point we caught you hiding information and then you can answer. why did you hide the fact that peter strzok and the judge were friends and redact it in the
documents you gave to us. the fisa court judge just as importantly the judge that heard mike flynn's case, why did you try to hide that from us? >> i appreciate you giving me the opportunity to respond. i've heard you make those allegations and let me respond. >> he should be given the opportunity. >> mr. jordan. >> i am the deputy attorney general of the united states, okay? i'm not the person doing the redacting. i'm responsible for responding to your concerns as i have. i have a team with me, sir, just a fraction of the team doing this work. i have taken appropriate steps to remedy them. so your statement that i'm personally keeping information from you trying to conceal information. >> are you the boss, mr. rosenstein. >> that's correct. my job is to make sure we respond to your concerns. we have. i have appointed mr. lausch who is managing that production and my understanding it is going very well. i appreciate your concern. >> i think the house of
representatives will say otherwise. >> your use of this to attack me personal is wrong. >> may the witness be per misted to answer? >> the witness will have an opportunity to say whatever he wants at the end of mr. jordan's five minutes. until it is five minutes it's his time. >> it is not personal. we want the information. why did you tell mr. strzok not to answers our questions yesterday? when i asked peter strzok if he ever communicated with glenn simpson. on the advice of f.b.i. counsel i can't answer that question. why couldn't he answer that >> i didn't give peter strzok any instructions. if there was problem with the instructions he had. mr. jordan, when you find some problem with the production or with questions it doesn't means i'm personally trying to conceal something from you. we're running an organization trying to follow the rules. >> it is interesting when i asked him if he talked to bruce
ohr he said he had three times. i asked have you ever talked to nelly and he said no, i haven't. i said why can you answer that question because knell owe ohr worked for glenn simpson. he couldn't answer because f.b.i. counsel told him he couldn't answer the question whether he ever communicated with glenn simpson, a journalist. why couldn't he answer that question. >> i'm glad you say it's not personal. sometimes it feels that way. how do i know? >> it works for you, doesn't work for us. >> 100,000 people who work for me. >> did you threaten staffers on the house intelligence committee. media reports indicate you did. >> they're mistaken. >> sometimes. this is what they said. having the nation's number one law enforcement officer threaten to subpoena your calls and emails is down right chilling. did you threaten to subpoena their calls and emails. >> no and there is no way to
subpoena phone calls. >> i'm reading what the press said. >> i would suggest you not rely on what the press says. >> i asked if you said it. >> i said what. , no i did not. >> who are we supposed to believe. staff members who we worked with who never misled us or you guys who we've caught hiding information from us who tell a witness not to answer our questions, who are we supposed to believe >> thank you for making clear it is not personal, mr. jordan. i'm telling truth and i'm under oath. if you want to put somebody else under oath they can respond. >> i know the staff members. my last question. what is so important that you know that you don't want us to know that you won't give us the documents we're asking for that the house of representatives is about ready to go on record saying you should give us? what is so darn important that you threaten members according to staff members. what is so important, mr.
rosenstein? >> unappropriate inquiry. >> it is not -- >> point of order. the gentleman keeps saying the house of representatives. >> that is not an appropriate point of order. >> he needs to be corrected. >> the time of the gentleman will be restored. gentleman will suspend. the time of the gentleman from ohio will be restored for an additional 15 seconds and then the deputy attorney general will be allowed to respond. >> mr. wray, i appreciate your work but i would also appreciate if the house of representatives could get the information we have repeatedly -- mr. gowdy talked about how long there has been a special counsel. we started asking for information in july of last year and some of that is still not given -- still has not been given to the congress or this committee. the committee charged with defending the judiciary committee. i appreciate what you do, i want the information and we're so frustrated there is a resolution on the floor of the house in a few minutes that
will be voted on. >> time of the gentleman has expired. mr. rosenstein will be allowed to respond. >> i don't have any control on what resolutions. >> the gentleman would suspend. the time now is the attorney general's. >> if you're interested in the truth. we have a team of folks that are trump appointees and career folks and they're doing their best to produce these documents. director wray explained the process. he has hundreds of people working around the clock trying to satisfy the requests whether you vote or not, you will get everything that's relevant that we can find and produce to you. i support this report, sir. i'm not trying to hide anything from you. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson, for five minutes. >> okay, all right. thank you. gentlemen, i appreciate your service. i've been impressed with your
diligence and honesty and integrity in this very difficult environment that we find ourselves in. basically it's a situation where the majority is hurting this country. we're hurting our country with what we are doing today. what we're doing today is holding an emergency hearing a so-called emergency hearing based on allegations that political influence or political bias within the f.b.i. and the d.o.j. has somehow led to an illegitimate result in the hillary clinton email investigation. that is an investigation that was conducted originally. it was conducted by the f.b.i. and d.o.j. no criminal charges filed. investigation closed. then there was an inspector general's investigation of that
investigation. those reports or that report was issued last week. it found that there was no wrongdoing in the investigation of the investigation. and now today we have an investigation of the investigation of the investigation. and it is an emergency situation. also a part of this hearing is an attempt to investigate the ongoing criminal investigation into the allegations and indications of collusion and perhaps conspiracy with russians in the conducting of the 2016 presidential election. and what the republicans are trying to do is force the f.b.i. and d.o.j. to turn over to this committee investigating
the investigators information, documents that go to the heart of the criminal investigation. it's been my experience that the criminal investigators never turn over information. they are never even asked to turn over information in an ongoing criminal investigation. can you both comment on the uniqueness of what is happening today and the danger that it poses to justice in this country? >> i don't believe it poses any danger. we aren't going to produce any documents that will interfere with an ongoing investigation. as i said in response, we actually are producing the documents. a large volume of documents taking a lot of time. i have thought he had a legitimate point about the redactions that made it appear as if the bureau was concealing information. we changed the process and in reality it's working quite well. whatever anybody votes on is
beyond my control. >> congressman, we're committed to being responsive to legitimate congressional oversight and we're trying our hardest to produce documents as quickly as we possibly can and as completely as we possibly can. we also have an obligation to protect ongoing criminal and counter intelligence investigations and have an obligation to respect grand jury secrecy and an obligation to protect sources and methods. we're sworn to do those things just like we are to protect and be responsive to congressional oversight. the inspector general's report that we're here to talk about is very pointed on the subject as one of the principle failings that it found was commenting on an ongoing investigation publicly and with congress. we take those lessons very seriously and we're trying to learn those lessons.
>> director wray threatening you with a subpoena and contempt of congress without complying with a subpoena puts you in a bad position, doesn't it? >> certainly when i was minding my own business in atlanta i didn't think i would spend the 10 months of my job staring down a contempt sighdation long before i thought about being f.b.i. director. having said that i'm committed to making sure we're responsive to these committees and to the extent that we can do better we're trying to do better. but at the same time my experience there are two principles that have to be balanced. responsiveness to congressional oversight which is important to me personally but also respecting ongoing criminal investigations that is very important. >> there is certain information you cannot provide to this committee based on the ongoing nature of the criminal investigation, is that correct?
>> yes. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. the committee will stand in recess. six minutes 45 seconds remaining in a vote on the floor and reconvene as soon as that vote concludes. >> bill: that was some amazing television and some extraordinary -- well, comments for our country. trey gowdy. we've seen the bias, we need the evidence. if you have the evidence on the trump campaign finish it the hell up. the country is being torn apart. jim jordan. we have caught you hiding information. matt gates from florida, was there prior to july 31st, 2016, an investigation of the trump campaign? that question was not answered. prior to that desantis did not answer the question whether or not the obama administration was pushing for an investigation on behalf of carter page and the fisa report. bill hemmer and sandra smith. we've been watching this for
some time now. it was pointed, heated. we have got some answers but probably at least on the republican side not nearly enough just yet. >> sandra: pressing for answers why the d.o.j. continues to withhold those documents. members of congress pressing the officials on getting more information particularly from rod rosenstein. the house we're being told is voting on a resolution requiring the d.o.j. to provide those documents which have been continually denied to be turned over by july 6th. so debate was happening. now the vote is happening on the house floor right now. as you mentioned jim jordan demanding answers. why won't you give us the documents and hiding information and why do you keep this info from congress? there was a heated exchange that kicked things off with the member from florida ron desantis. of course, ahead of a big debate tonight interesting to see him there. he has limited time to catch a plane soon. this exchange that kicked things off. let's watch this.
>> you wrote the memo saying that comey should be fired and you signed the fisa extension for carter page. my question is to you seems like you should be recused from this more so than jeff sessions because you were involved in making decisions affecting both prongs of this investigation. why haven't you done that? >> i can assure you that if it were appropriate for me to recuse i would be more than happy to do so but it is my responsibility to do it. >> over the past 45 minutes you can pick out nameber of verbal highlights. you've been in the position that rod rosenstein has been in and christopher wray. what's it like? >> wow, it is a long, long day particularly when you get questions of this nature. this is extraordinary. what we just saw was some of the most mesmerizing compelling television i've seen in a long time. i took away two things from it. the house republicans are turning up the volume on the justice department. they are not happy. there is a complete fracture in
trust between the justice department and the republicans on the hill. the second thing that jumped out at me is many of the questions we saw from the republican congressmen were not fishing expeditions targeted questions asking about specific dates and facts and texts and emails. this tells me they know something that we don't yet know. they may have gotten information either off the record, through a leak or classified briefing and they're following it up and want to get more evidence. they think something is out there and they seem to have a good reason to believe that it is. >> what did you think, noah? >> two things struck me most. representative gates line of quig trying to draw out if there was any investigation post or prior to july 31 when the f.b.i. opened the probe into george papadopoulos. we know from public sources that carter page caught the eye of the f.b.i. in 2013 when he was attempting to be recruited by the russian intelligence services. "the new york times" reported in 2017 the f.b.i. was aware of
the trip to moscow in april of 2016 and investigating that. we know from public sources they had informants talking the carter page at the time. paul manafort was under investigation for a separate situation involving his ties to a russian official. there was investigation. it wasn't necessarily the russia probe. >> bill: about what the point not answering the question >> it's interesting to the extent rod rosenstein is being honest. he is under oath. this is part of an ongoing criminal investigation. he may not be at liberty to talk about this in the way that sources talking to "the new york times" on background can talk about this. representative gowdy also probably had the sound bite of the day. i'm not sure or not is sound bite is fair. he said america is being hurt by this and russia is not. that would be news to the 13 russians and three russian entities indicted by the mueller probe and the five guilty pleas.
the burden of proof is on the officials who say the record needs to hurry up. the thing is moving quite fast actually. so to say this is being slow walked in order to harm politically the american president i think is a bridge too far. >> sandra: we want to squeeze more exchange back in here. ron desantis, jim jordan. trey gowdy and jessica, i want to get you to respond to this. trey gowdy in a very heated argument to rod rosenstein talking about the russia probe said this. listen. >> this country is being hurt by it. we're being divided. we've seen the bias. we've seen the bias. we need to see the evidence. if you have evidence of wrongdoing by any member of the trump campaign, present it to the damn grand jury. whatever you got, finish it the
hell up. because this country is being torn apart. >> sandra: visibly frustrated trey gowdy. >> i didn't see him that frustrated during the benghazi investigation. i'm glad he feels calm there and on his way out. he can say whatever he wants here. it seemed clear to me that rod rosenstein and christopher wray were doing their best to remain calm while under assault by republicans here. no reason to assume that they are lying in any way whatsoever. there were multiple republican members who alleged they were lying. >> bill: when he said russia is not hurting because of this investigation and we are. >> i think russia is hurting as the number of people sanctioned by this and we have seen people put away but i would also like to mention that the president tweeted just this morning that russia keeps saying they weren't responsible for the meddling. the president himself needs to get on the same page as everybody else in the intelligence community and to make sure when he goes to that
summit that he -- >> sandra: demanding those documents get turned over. >> that's something he thinks will benefit him. i'm talking about something that will benefit america and democracy. >> sandra: we have to leave it there. >> bill: the one thing is clear how republicans are moving to a centerpiece of their argument. when they come back from a break we take you back to the hearing. we need to take a break. back after this on "america's newsroom." nly belong to you. so if you have heart failure, ask your doctor about entresto. it helped keep people alive and out of the hospital. don't take entresto if pregnant. it can cause harm or death to an unborn baby. don't take entresto with an ace inhibitor or aliskiren, or if you've had angioedema with an ace or arb. the most serious side effects are angioedema, low blood pressure, kidney problems, or high blood potassium. entresto, for heart failure.
>> did you read the fisa application before you signed it? you won't say to this committee whether or not you even read the document you signed that authorized spying on people associated with the trump campaign? >> i dispute your characterization of what that fisa is about. i'll be happy to discuss the details with you. my responsibility was to approve the filing of fisa
applications. i reviewed that one in some detail and i can tell you, sir, the information that's public about that doesn't match with my understanding of the one that i signed. >> bill: that was matt gates representing the panhandle from florida rosenstein saying he won't comment on any fisa application. the hearing broke for a moment. they're taking a floor in the vote of the house, it's a resolution non-binding asking the department of justice, demanding it for more documents and apparently there is a deadline about a week from today of july 6. catherine herridge is geared up on your microphone outside the hearing room. i want to bring you in. tell us what is happening on the floor of the house and how it relates to the ongoing hearing. if it's non-binding what does it matter, catherine? >> well, bill, what this does is politically sets the table and sends a message to the deputy attorney general if it
passes that they are highly dissatisfied with the record production in this specific area which is records about the pre-july 31st, 2016 f.b.i. intelligence activities and how that related to the russia collusion case. you heard throughout the hearing this morning that has really been one of the focal points. when you heard the exchange with congressman desantis with the deputy attorney general he questioned why he could not discuss those pre-july intelligence activities. the house intelligence committee recently sent a letter to the justice department asking for information about informants, confidential human sources as well as undercover agents and any interactions with members of the trump campaign. just last night after f.b.i. agent peter strzok testified behind closed doors in this deposition, mark meadows said he believes the evidence supported more than one confidential human source being
run against trump campaign aides at that time, bill. >> bill: catherine, you can see the arguments republicans are making. just the way that they frame their questions. it will be very interesting when they come back after 12 noon eastern time. catherine, thank you, back with you inside the hearing room in a matter of moments. >> sandra: a fiery debate in the sunshine state. florida agricultural commissioner adam putnam squares off against congressman ron desantis tonight. a preview of that debate with florida g.o.p. chairman next. ik. and just like that we felt a little less alone. but then something happened. we had to deal with spam, fake news, and data misuse. that's going to change. from now on, facebook will do more to keep you safe and protect your privacy.
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polls show agriculture commissioner adam putnam with a double digit lead over congressman ron desantis. he is the chairman of the florida g.o.p., blaise ingoglia. ron desantis is in the hearing room ahead of the debate tonight. how is the energy in that state as we await this exchange by these two? >> the energy is absolutely phenomenal here at the gaylord palms. people are arriving 10 hours early. people are lining up already. ist -it will be a great night and awesome that fox news can broadcast this. >> sandra: recent polling is showing putnam is up by double digits ahead of the debate. what issues is he leading in the polls on? >> i think both of them are running on the platform of how
great our economy here is in the state of florida. we have low unemployment. we're creating jobs and leading the nation in policy. so i think that's resonating with a lot of people here in the state. and will continue to do so. that will be the number one issue from november. republicans have a great record and story here in the state of florida. >> sandra: what role is president donald trump playing in this race? >> well, as of right now the president has endorsed congressman ron desantis. that's been pretty obvious from the tweets and the coverage. but i will tell you that florida voters do listen to their elected official's but they're independent. our voters research the issues and we trust them to make the best decision for the party and the best decision for the people in the state of florida. >> sandra: what are you hearing from residents of your state? the economy number one. florida, jobs the big issue
there. what do you expect to be the areas that these two candidates tonight will likely spar over? >> i think it will be the economy. i think it may be some educational issues. may be some environmental issues but at the end of the day they'll get direct questions from the moderators and a stark contrast what the democrats are offering. they clearly do not know about the issues the way our republican candidates do. >> sandra: tell us what's happening in the rest of the country. what will the race tell us as we head toward november? >> messaging-wise it will say florida is leading and continuing to lead. i like to think we lead the nation on policy, education reform. job creation. we were ahead of the curve for years in terms of creating jobs. as florida goes, the nation goes. in addition what this will do is set up donald trump's next
election. the presidential election in 2020 and another reason why it's important to have a republican in the governor's mansion. >> sandra: thank you. meanwhile catch the debate here on fox news channel. bret baier and martha maccallum will moderate the event. people are lining up for hours. >> bill: we'll be watching. meanwhile the vote in the house is approved and passed a moment ago. the non-binding resolution for the department of justice to comply with the request for documents and failure to do so may result in a possible subpoena. that has passed and that's the reason why the hearing is in a break. now that that's wrapped up we'll get you back inside the hearing when they resume. a quick break here. back in a moment with all of that coming up. with ai that sees threats coming. the ibm cloud. the cloud for smarter business.
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>> melissa: fox news alert, the process is underway as president trump conditions one of the most important decisions of his presidency to date. an opportunity to reshape the nation's highest court for decades to come. and now we are getting new details on the president's selection of a nominee to replace retiring supreme court justice anthony kennedy. this is "outnumbered." i'm melissa francis. here from the fox business network is dagen mcdowell. republican strategist and senior fellow for the independent women's voice lisa boothe. democratic strategist and the fox news contributor jessica tarlov. and joining us on the couch is bill bennett. former secretary