tv MSNBC Live With Katy Tur MSNBC February 8, 2019 11:00am-12:00pm PST
character. >> in your capacity as an attorney general, have you asked to request of any action taken boo i the special counsel. >> mr. chairman, i see that your five minutes is up. >> mr. attorney general, we are not joking here. you are humor is not acceptable. i need to have my time restored so you can behave appropriately. i will behave appropriately as a member of the judiciary committee. >> joining me now chuck ros rosenburg, also an msnbc contributor, you and i have been watching this from the very start. what have we learn of substance here? >> the word you used a moment ago, chris, is so well described. we learned a few things. we learned that the acting attorney general at least said
he's not into fear of the investigation. he's following procedures and protoco protocols. that's to be be expected and hoped for is the bare minimum which we should expect from the attorney general of the united states. in terms of the investigation, i would not expect any attorney general to share those details publicly in that setting. that would not be proper. >> he said he would not interfere in any way and there is a key question about the question he would not answer. he tried to make it very clear that i am not invoking executive prejudice. he gave the indication on several different points that he did not feel he could answer the question. >> the white house have set this up, chuck, earlier. it put on a statement from sarah sanders and it is all about
politics and they should not ask him to talk about private conference in a public saving. what do they leave wolf owl these? >> it is a value aversion of privile privilege. that was the famous nixon's case where he was ordered to turn over the tapes. he said i can't do it. it was litigated and the supreme court 8-0, president nixon you lose. >> it is a real thing, not a fake thing. it does not apply to every conversation and the law recognizes there are system
personneli personal ex . >> one of the things that stood out to me, hair great haake, in exchange of whether or no not -- the man who likely to you can seed him. he was asked from steve cohen. he says it would be inappropriate for me to talk about an ongoing investigation. >> yeah, that was extraordinary. >> cohen came back to him and say you would not overseas a witch hunt would you? >> and he took to that line. >> he's a place holder and he was not confirmed. they don't feel this confidence that he has the best interest of the department and first with the trump donald trump.
no other members, anyone who has been brought to congress has dismissed that witch haunt line, sometimes they do it as presidents have a way to. >> we are back into the hearing, congressman ted louis now asking questions. >> let's listen in. >> i believe so but i don't know what the standard deal jay-forms are. the only thing you can do was pick an oath of the united states constitutions. >> i am going to ask you a series of questions o f the u.s. cons fusion, you can ayes no. >> there is no accidence in the constitution that states national security of the
president's can't be denig -- >> she's asking a simple question. there is no sentence in the u.s. constitution. campaign chairman can't be invited. >> same answer to your previously. >> there is no sentence in the constitutional that says the parents children can be indicted, correct? >> i don't think man, you can gif me t-- congressman, you can give me the whole list. >> that's correct. there is no sentence in the u.s. constitution, this is my last one, there is no sense in the u.s. constitution that says the sitting president of the united states can't be indicted.
>> congressman, because that's the opinion of the office. >> i don't care what the justice mattis policy is. >> mr. whitaker, it is a yes or no question. after this hearing, you can fin the constitution all that you want. you have to answer a yes or no question. there is no sentence in the constitution that says "quote, the city of the united states can't be undieted," unquote. correct? >> yes or no. >> i have it for you right here. >> i have a copy myself. >> this collusion. i am not trying to pick you. >> is that accidence in this constitution. >> congressman, you and i both know that the way that the opinions are britain.
>> i'm just asking about the constitution. >> i am going to submit for the record, no, that's something that was not talked about. i am going to move on. >> earlier today, you testified that you did not communicate to donald trump or seen more wh. did you communicate to donald trump or any wet house advisers about investigation of the southern district of new york. michael cohen. >> congressman, i mentioned that, i said other investigation in my opening statement. i really don't have anything further to add to that answer. >> when you said other investigation, you mean you communicated with the press? >> no, i did not. >> did you communicate with the
president of the investigation of the southern district related to trump's entities again. >> again, i was very explicit in my opening statement as to not only about my communications and regarding special counsel office, other investigation, southern district of new york would be included in other in classified informations c. >> we'll move to another subject. >> the president talked about natural -- it is correct that vai leapt crime has crossed the united states have gone down. >> property prize is going down as well, is that right? >> as i sate here right noi. i believe all tlidown on the tlt three years. >> last year, he tweeted out 4500 costings at a 45 years low.
unfortunately, we have not been able to retain those gains and we see those dramatic surge in family units. >> thank you. >> time of the gentleman has expired. >> mr. whitaker, before you took the talk from donald trump, you had a fascinating career, sailor sales, u.s. attorney who unsuccessfully on charges that were dismissed by the jury in about an hour. senate kands dacandidate, there c scandal here. >> veterans says i spent the money on the dream, i lost everything. >> the newspaper say you struck gold when you arrive in washington which the president calls it the sam p. it tells the story of obscure
roots and in disaccused funder, by the way matthew whitaker $1.2 million. >> threer yoat's a pretty good . what was the name of the charity that you ran whether whitaker? >> congressman. you mentioned a lot spbt-- >> no, i am asking you a question. i control this time mr. whita r whitaker. this is my time. >> mr. whitaker, you don't run this committee. you don't run the congress of the united states and the jush dishl county. >> gentlemen, we'll continue, we'll resiume. >> what was the title of the
not-profit you ran? >> what time period, sir? >> with the last type. it changed its anyway three different times already. when i was employed, it was called the found occasion and accountabilitity. and specific trust. let's talk about it. >> mr. whitaker, i got a fe f question for you. the gentleman controls the time and if he herbs as many members have done equationally. he wishes to see another question. >> i do not feel the answer is completely on the record. >> the question he asked. >> tell us where the fun came
from that you were paid of the $102 million. >> mr. trump -- we'll go down many more times, if he want wants -- thwants -- wants -- this is not a confirmati confirmation. >> the gentlemen from maryland has a discretion to ask questions. the gentleman will proceed. the ruling of the chair. the gentle lady has moved the table or in favor of the motion to table, the appealing of the ruling o f the chair will vote aye, oppose nays. >> the motion is tabled.
>> we are in the middle of -- >> is the ranking man going to interwupt whrupt when he does n the flow of the question. >> flow is a point of order. >> everyone please suspend. the gentleman made a opponent of order, it was ruled out of order. the gentleman has the time if if -- >> this was reported publicly that was one donor and as we understand it, i think you are testifying today ta you are the soul employees of the dprup. there was one donor and one employee. do you know who that donor is that sold your country for $300 million. >> the donor was another nonprofit 503-3 c.
now, that was the pass through vehicle. who reached into their pockets to break your tricks to do that. >> as you know, you look at these issues, the donor's trust is big issue and raises millions of dollars eefr year. >> i actually as i -- >> thank you. >> well, i got a theory that i want to flow with you. it goes to something very strange that's going to happen at the justice readily. >> michelle hates online breathing. he wants to know people on the see keo and not on ride. >> the wiegter act prohibits only sports cam pipaigning in t
united states. a lot of states have built important businesses for themselves online. congress would not change the law cording to demands. he decided to get the department of justice to change the interpretation of the law. he throw ifs into the campaign and get the office of council to perform a rehearsal saying the white republicans -- everyone though its language plainly prover it is sports spreading. wh >> it talks specifically about sports betting. >> now, were you involved in that decision? >> congressman, the general
session was recused at the time the decision came out. >> were you reaccused, too? >> did you talk to sheldon alideson about it? >> no. >> did you talk to charles cooper about it? >> no. you can ask the chairman for time, we only have five minutes. >> the gentleman control the time at the conclusion of his five minutes, i will afford a witness sometimes. the gentleman controls the time. >> january of february 2018, the chairman of wild road casinos and resorts in iowa, each donated $2,006 to your senate campaign which was over four years before when you lost that campaign. how did these omnivore raters come to donate your campaign
several years after you lost? did you talk to them? >> time of the gentle hahn has expired, the witness may answer your question. >> to go back to the other point i would like to make is the first orc, we just issued the one in november was done and the state of illinois provided a white paper regarding the position on the wierm acre act. it is consistent and your infant was how that process was corrupted and it is absolutely wrong. >> i reject our crimson. >> young lady from washington. >> thank you for being with us mr. whitaker and the chairman. >> our country is rearing at family separations. i was the first to tun to hundreds of millions and men who
have been riped apart from their children. i went to federal prison to taung to those women. many of them have not been able to say good-bye to their children. they sat in the room next door as they heard their children yelling for them. they were not able to go and speak to their children. for weeks they did not know where their children were. most of these women, most of the men were seeking asylum. your department instead of allowing them the legal right to seek a silence, your department imposed and prosecute them in mass shootings. this is still happening and we may not know how many children were separated from their parents. >> there whitaker, you were attorney general, former jeff of staff at that time, is it
correct? >> soft zero policy being permitted. >> the of the family separation policy. >> there was no family celebration. >> there was tolerance. >> i am going to tell you you're the chaff of staff at the time. >> senator merkel released a leaked draft letter and outline landing policies separating their children from their family. were you aware of this memo at the time? >> no. >> you were not aware of what your boss was doing? >> bus the memory ro. you are talking about a leaked memo? you were the chief of staff, i would think you would know and you would be a senior official if you would know about that
memo. the memo stated a policy criminally prosecuting parents would require close coordination with dhs which was will be taxed for shousing and children separated by mom and dad. >> dhs and hhs were unaware that your former bosses, memo was coming. >> is it correct that the department of justice dwofdedpr no advance notice to those questions. >> it is just a yes or no question. >> did you provide advance notice? >> we conducted a press conference in san diego with customs enforcement when we announce the zero tolerance policy. we'll take all referrals. >> i am going to stop you right there because it is my time.
>> recothe gao reports on famil separation. officials told us the agency did not take the specific plans and steps. it went onto say cdp and i.c.e. and officials stated they are aware of the april 2019 memo when it was announced publicly. before or after the zero and let me go back. are you saying cpp i.c.e. and orr lied to the geo? >> and given an advance notice? no, i am not suggesting anybody will tell the truth. >> it was pursuing to a public event in san diego. >> like to the public event, mr. whitaker, these ice ccp or officials told the gao that they
have not gotten any notice. i am talking about if there is advance notice. after the zero tolerance put in place. did the u.s. attorney track when they were prosecuting apparent or legal guardians who have been separated for their child. >> there is only one answer through this. >> did we track it? >> dade you gram of cocaine when you were prosecuting a parent or legal ard again who have been separated by a child. >> i don't believe we were tracking it. >> that's the correct answer. when parents are prosecuted and sentenced, they are in doj custody, correct? >> correct. >> their custody is transferred to the u.s. more. these parents are in your custody and your department was not tracking parents who were
not separating from children. did you know what kind of damages have been done to families and children across the country, children that never get to see their parents again. do you understand the magnitude of that? >> i understand that the policy of zero tolerance. >> has the justice department started tracking parents and legal guardians who were separated at the border? >> the time of the general lady has expired. >> i appreciate your passion for this issue and i know you have been involved in the front line. >> this is not about my passion, it is about the children's future, please answer mr. whitaker. >> the responsibility for the arrest and the detention and together with the custody of the children was handled by dhs and
hhs before those people were ever transferred to doj custody through the u.s. marshal. >> thank you, the time of the general lady has expired. >> thank you so much mr. sherman. >> mr. whitaker, i spent 27 years in law enforcement and i serve as chief of police and i took an oath just like you did and i took that oath eeseriousl to uphold the constitution and protect this country from all minutes foreign and domestics. i hope you took the oath seriously, today as i have sat through and my colleagues are right. this is painful, i believe that you have worked to make our criminal justice system, to make a mockery out of it. it is painful for me for you to do that and anybody up to and including the president of the
united states. let me ask you this and it is really been painful for someone who has given so much responsibility, representing the men and women who have dedicated their lives to public service, that really means a lot to me. i hope it hopes a lot to you. >> it does. >> if you ever prove it. mr. liu asked you have you ever communicated with president trump about the southern district of new york. instead of answering you referred back to your statement of what was written for you. all you said was you did not make any statement, any promises or commitment to mr. trump. >> i want to know whether you talk to president trump at all of the southern district new york case involving michael cohen. >> i am not going to discuss my private conversations with the president of the united states.
>> so yes or no, did you discuss with president trump anything about michael cohen? >> congresswoman as i expressed several times today - >> did you have any conversation with the president about firing or reassigning any personnel or u.s. attorneys or others who work with the southern district of new york, with the president or anybody at all? did you have any conversations with anybody about reassigning or firing any personnel including u.s. attorneys of the seven district new york. >> congressman, i sit on top of the department of justice. >> did you have any conversation of anybody working in the district of virginia. with anybody, not just the president. anybody at all. >> congress, i am not going to talk to you. >> okay, let's talk about the great 115,000 men and women who work for the department of justice because i agree -- as
your words extremely talented and dedicated in holding our great constitutions and the laws of the united states. you keep up at a rally last fall. look at what's being exposed at the department of justice and the fbi. you had some real bad ones. they're all gone at the fbi. there is a lingering stench and we are going to get rid of that, too. do you agree with the president's characterization of the department of justice and the fbi, as the attorney general, please tell me why you would agree or not agree with that statement? >> since i becoming the acting attorney general, i have reestablished a positive relationship. >> before you established that positive relationship, what was your opinion of the 115,000 men and women who dedicate their life to public service before you had your current position, what was your opinion of them?
>> i had a very hig high -- estimation of the men and women at the department of justice. they are the most hardworking people. >> so you disagree with the president characterization because they don't deserve it. mr. whitaker, you are here and you manage them and you don't agree with the president characterization of them. is that correct? >> listen, before congresswoman and all due respect, i feel very strongly that as the acting attorney general of the united states that i have to set the tone for the entire department of justice and what is so important -- >> if i work for you whether whitaker and you thought i was highly principled and talented, that was your answer or how do you view the people who work for you? that's your answer? that's pretty pitiful. you only mejsntion drugs coming
into the second border. >> could you please paint a picture of drugs flowing through the ports of country. it comes through the ports of ent entry, do you agree and if so, yes or no or why not. >> answer the question. >> congresswoman, we both agree, the ports of entries and our southern border are most traffic with drugs and also comes in between. >> overwhelming of drugs coming through the ports of entry. do you agree or disagree with that? >> i believe a tremendous amount of drugs coming into our southern border, yes. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
good afternoon, sir. i want to ask you about your enforcement priorities. one of my jobs in congress is to serve on the department of homeland security. within that job, one of my most important critical job just to make sure our citizens are safe and protect our nations against terrorist threat. a joint fbi dhs will attend, the extensive study between '08 and '16, fights out numbered the threats of islamic extremist, 2-1. >> why are they recuruiting on college campuses. more than a hundred people have been killed since 2014. more than 60 in 2017 alone by
these alt-right groups. >> do you believe that white sut or white group in this country is posting a threat, is it going? >> i have no reason but to disagree with it. >> do you believe the administration is placing enough resources allocated and dedicated to stop being these kinds of home grown terrorist attacks? >> i believe that we are dedicated resources to the appropriate threats that is done obviously below my role, it is done mostly at my line and management of level at the fbi and other agencies and including our partner at dhs. >> as i sit here today, i think we are adequately addressing the threats that we face. we are always reallocating on
all threats. >> adequately addressing the threat and you mentioned of 30 conviction and hate crimes reported. >> usually they are under reported in this country. more than 7,000 hate crimes in 2017 and you have 30 convictions. do you think your allocating adequate resources towards prosecuting hate crimes. if you look at the high profile cases that we have done, charlotte or the pittsburgh situation, we previously discussed or even the case where we sent a prosecutor to my home state of iowa to help prosecute a crime. >> if you look at the number, 7,000 reported. almost 20% increased in 2017
and. >> congressman, we always work to determine where is the best place and most effective way to prosecute the crime. >> i think i am looking at it from relative, we are looking at foreign terrorism and yet, are we ignoring december tick terrori -- >> again, it is a very dynamic, daily valuations of where the threats are. i believe we are resourcing all of the threats including the ones that you described. >> do you think domestic terrorism from white extremist group should under rise. >> congressman, i believe i answered this question but i
want to be clear. i agree with the fbi. >> i am sorry -- i diplomat hear yo didn't hear your statement. >> on a daily basis and dynamically as required by those threats. i have seen it and based in my intelligence briefing that i participated on and daily bases, i know that the fbi and other federal law enforcement agencies are adequately resourcing these threats and all the other threats we face. >> sir, i am running out of time. we got to continue to look at homeland security because i believe that we are missing the ball here in 2017, dhs terminated a grand funding and looking at some of the issues of domestic terrorism. we have to keep addressing the issues, lives, safety of our citizens are at stake.
mr. chairman, i yield. >> good afternoon mr. whitaker, miss scanlon. >> well, i talked about the brands. one of those cities is philadelphia, right? >> i believe so. >> i happen to represent philadelphia. is it true that judge mike -- >> congresswoman, -- >> is it correct that was the ruling of the federal court? >> is it correct that was the ruling of the court. >> congresswoman, i will not discuss ongoing litigation. >> that's a matter of public record, sir. >> is it correct?
>> congresswoman, i don't disagree. >> you may be confused here. this may be appear to be a contact sports but it is not a gridiron and i am not letting you run out of town. is it true that the court let it rule as -- is it true mr. whitaker, i am asking the question. is it also true that the court found that the department of justice have not produced any credible evidence that on undocumented immigrants committed crime at a higher rate than any other group. >> this is a subject of ongoing litigation. >> is it true that the federal court found that in a public opinion? >> congresswoman, i am not going to comment on that. >> okay, i will take that as a yes as well. let's move onto other questions, just to be clear, i am asking over sight questions of your enforcement priorities during your ten-years at the department of justice. >> i want to make sure we are clear when that ten years began.
>> i have a date of september 22nd, 2017 that you became chief of staff, is that correct? >> that's incorrect. >> i started on october 4th of 2017. >> and then you became acting attorney general as of november 7th, 2018? >> the president tweeted that i was going to be the next acting general on november 7th of 2018, the order that i have received from the president was november 8th, 2018. >> okay, do you have a copy of that order? >> i do. can y >> can you provide it to the committee, please. >> yes, i do not have it with me but i would be happy too. >> a former request to the sense us bureau asking additional questions and citizenship
status. >> congresswoman, the department is currently defending senseless bureau. >> are you refusing to answer the question? >> i think it is inappropriate for me to comment about the subject of ongoing litigation. >> mr. chairman, i would like to reflect that mr. whitaker has not answered these questions. let's see -- did you know if the president directed department of justice lawyer to make that request? >> congresswoman, this is a subject of ongoing litigation. >> you are not going to answer that, either. >> thank you. >> was acting attorney general was involve in the draft of that? >> congresswoman, as i stated, this is a subject of ongoing litigati litigation. >> so we'll let the record
reflect that, again, you are refusing to answer the question. >> okay, we can agree one of the functions of department of justice is enforce the voting rights act. >> correct? >> correct. >> is it true that the most recent act was filed on january 2010th, 2017. as i mentioned previously -- >> is it correct that the most voting rights that was filed by your department in january 10, 2017. >> reclaiming my time. >> i am answering your question. >> chairman, if we can enter into the record the department of justice website which reflects when the last voting rights act case was filed. >> that objection is noted on
the website and they'll be entered into the record. >> is it true that under the trump administration of department of justice has reversed his position on at least three important rights act cases? >> may i answer the question? >> i think it is a yes or no. >> the gentlewoman, the time is expired. >> the witness may answer your question. >> the supreme court agreed with our new reading of the statue. thank you mr. chairman. i have about four documents that i would ask and you now. the first one is titled crime and murder in 2018, preliminary analysis. the we could one reads border security and the third one reaps admit kr
admit re admit -- >> last one, mission texas, sheriffs, crimes dropped 7%. >> the gentle lady is now meetimee meeting eyes for five minutes. >> what is it in your mind that you can conclude that the border region is crime written and when these documents enter the record clearly shows del rio and brownsville and el paso and even el paso is listed in the top 29 citying where kiem had gone down that you quoted in your written testimony, it is all of these show so differently, please a
short answer because i only got five minutes. >> i don't renault sthat the border religious on fire. >> illegally immigration, negatively impacting the crime rate in our cities. it would belower if we did not have illegal litigation. >> you are talking about other cities thought they are there in fact of the border areas. >> well, i think would adpree with me that most immigrants coming into our southern border does not resign at the border region if they transit their way there and make sheer world to another country point. >> i heard you said earlier and maybe the word crime written was not the act word you ambiguoused
b use. let me move onto another topic following up some questions about the family separation policy or these zero tolerance policy. you said earlier and you answered questions about some of your background that you were will be by the justice's for four years. >> i receive as chief of staff for 13 month. and i am familiar with these policies. >> you were with him side by side. when you are in the room when it happens when the actual zero tolerance policy question was hacked? >> i discussed zero tolerance policy. >> who hatched it and where did
it come from? >> we never had it before. >> it is a level that's being ex kutd executing it. >> it was general mistress, he lined the memo. >> a i want to ask this question. >> how many children are still separated from their families a we sit here today. >> that's a number that only would know. the department of justice is net involved in handling the children. >> you have no idea how many poo em may be, you have not seen nil documents on your test or oh or anybody else? >> again, those are different departments within the executive. >> i know that. i know that you are the acting attorney general and you get a lot of reports and data and documents. you are not seeing anything to give us any idea just as how
much children had been torn away in the arms of your mother. >> i have to refer you to hss or ahs again. >> do you know how many have reunited with their families. >> again, you don't have to be the one to break the little tinker stick counting the children. i just want to know if you have seen anything crossing your desk. to america just found this policy to be, you can't tell us that today. >> no, i want have to refer you to hsh. once we only deal with the adults. >> one last time, i am running
out of town. >> at the state of the union the president says he's goin going -- does that mean you will drop all the litigation that you are involved in? >> as you know, congresswoman the affordable care act litigation is ongoing. >> the question is, are you willing to settle it or drop some of that since the president is changing priorities. >> the time of the lady ex peers. the witness can sans the questions. >> we'll follow that policy. >> thank you. >> mr. ma goose. >> thank you for being here and looking forward to working the tip. >> north dakota. >> my apologies.
>> i am looking forward to work with my criminal justice reform. i want to talk another matter which respected cannabis. today more than half the state have legalized the medical use of marijuana. university of colorado which i am proud to represent are working hard to of the elect. in august of 2016, i understand this before even at the department of justice, the dea took an important step on final research. several institutions have submitted submi submittsubmi submitted an application they have yet receive a response. >> do you know the department justice and d.a. support and protect the health of our safety citizens. >> this is an issue that i have been aware of. i have tried to get the
expansion and the applications out. we have run into a very complicated matter regarding a treaty that we are trying to work around. we have international treat treat -- it is something that i am trying to push and very aware. i have six days left at the most. i understand the concern and we are trying to make it work. >> if i can could get your assuran assurance, if you can follow up with our staff or follow up with writing. >> my last team that i found it -- >> thank you. >> you mentioned the public warned, and you were appointed
via that same tweet. when did you learn that mr. sessions was fired or would be faired? >> i learned on november 7th if that's your question. >> it is. >> you learn in that feature of the same tweet. >> mr. sessions resigned and send in this resignation letter. >> did do you have any conversations with folks at the white house prior to november 7 of 2018 about trans sectional being fired. the president is entitled to confidential communications and while i am not confirming, i am not going to talk about my private conversations with the united states. >> we'll follow e up on thup on
front. >> of course, you mentioned earlier in some of your testimonies around the reasoning behind your appointment that one of the reasons you believe in your view was you were appointe attorney general. >> yeah. >> and you also mentioned you believed you were appointed because you have been at the department of justice for the last year or so working as the chief of staff to attorney general sessions. side by side i think you mentioned. >> i knew all of the active matters that we were not reused from. i knew the people and the individuals both inside the department of justice and -- >> i just want to reclaim my time there. i think the question that i have here is i'm sure you're aware that rod rosenstein is also
there and he was next in line in succession to by appointed attorney general in the current -- out indication in which the office was vacant. and so i'm trying to understand why -- were you surprised that you were appointed rather than deputy attorney general rosenstein. >> it has been the honor of a lifetime and i have six days left and i will take full advantage of that including enjoying this hearing, but there are two different statutes that applied to the va ka si that was created by general sessions letter of resignation. one was the succession statute, and the other one is the vacancy reform act that has been passed by congress. my appointment as is outlined in the 20 page olc opinion is
legitimate and i was saying under the vacancies act, the deputy attorney general is the first assistant and would be the aropuation designee to fill that role. >> i just wanted to address that issue quickly. the first assistant together with any other senate confirmed individual, together with anyone that served 90 days in the last 365 days at a senior position is eligible to be -- there is no ranking or hierarchy of the three positions. i'm in the third bucket. i just want to make sure we're clear on that. >> mr. whit ter, i'm aware that
north carolina and georgia are battling voter suppression. was the department remotely interested in securitying the elections in north carolina rather that it's intent was abusing it's subpoena powers and it's mandate to protect elections in a thinly vailed effort to protect populations. . what actions were taken for all of the voting rights to be upheld. you stated earlier. you said you were side by side with attorney general sessions advising him on all aspects of the department yet you don't know, but at this point you're saying you don't appear that you
do not suspect there was any voter sprepgs. >> i don't believe i said that i'm not aware there would be voter suppression. is that something you heard me say? >> no, i'm just asking you. the department of justice, i sit on top of a massive organization, and cases with voter fraud, or any other act, is done by u.s. attorneys and fbi agents in the district doing those cases. so it would be unusual that i would have specific knowledge about any of the evidence in those cases. so obviously we do our cases
free of political interference, if there is evidence of voter suppression that is something we will seriously look at. >> did the department assess the need for election monitors in the 2019 elections? >> i think i mentioned in my opening statement that we sent out 35 civil rights divisions teams to i believe 19 states if i remember right. i might be wrong and i refer you back to my statement but we september out election monitors from the civil rights division. >> okay, because i was in georgia and i can tell you i saw the problems but i didn't see the election monitors. did you send any that you're aware of? >> as i sit here today, i'm not sure if georgia received what i'm describing. the civil rights division would have determined where those assets could be deployed.
i know the civil rights division sent three or four lawyers to my office to monitor the elections in democrat. i would not be surprised if they sent election monitors to georgia. >> i really think that we needed them and i'm very disappointed in the numbers that we received. we needed for more help than we got, but on february 1st, the committee sent you a letter asking again for information on the department's voting rights enforcement. and they were asked by the 115th congress but they were never answered. >> we try to respond to all of the letters that we receive. february 1st was only a week or so ago i think, but we will look at that letter and respond e respond consistent to how we respond to congress. i share your concern about some
of these place where's there is alleged voter suppression. i know we will enforce the voter rights acts robustly. >> thank you for that, if we don't get answers i promise you we'll keep asking. another question that i have is -- let me see here. >> what steps did the department take for the 2018 election, specific efforts? >> are you talking about the voting devices? the responsibility for the voting machine with devices are the responsibility of homeland
security. >> can you tell the committee what those responsibilities were. the steps that were actually taken. i can tell you there was many, many instances in georgia, we saw over and over again people were not allowed to vote. >> thank you, mr. stanton. >> thank you mr. chair, mr. whis k whittaker. your time is near an end. there are, of course, several congressional investigations that involve yourself and i want you to pledge that you answer even after you depart from your
position. >> are you talking about the doj? >> they are considering several questions that involve you. since you will be leaving soon i want you to agree that you will cooperate. >> yeah, he is a fine d.o.j. employee. >> the shut down of the department of justice, the function, is it fair to say the shut down was devastating on the ability of the department to do their work? >> the shut down really employees are law enforcement and are, you know, accepted in their forms of their duties, so
they showed up every day like dedicated public servants and did their job knowing that you here in congress would ultimately pay them and come to some resolution for the shut down. >> i appreciate your recognition of that. i think every person up here in a bipartisan way would agree. the fbi, the other law enforcement officials, seems outstanding. in the time of the shut down, they said that travel would not be allowed, is that accurate? >> that is my understanding of our guidance in that regard. >> in the middle of the government shut down, did you travel to give a speech to the heritage foundation? >> i have 24/7 security detail that d m