LIVE: Acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker testifies before the House Judiciary Committee

LIVE: Acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker testifies before the House Judiciary Committee


>>>THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL IS EXPECTED TO APPEAR BEFORE THE
HOUSE JUDICIARY AT 9:30 A.M. THIS IS LIFE COVERAGE. DEMOCRATS
ARE USING THEIR NEW POWER AND PROGRESS TO GROW THE ACTING
ATTORNEY GENERAL AND THEY WANT ANSWERS ABOUT HIS DECISION AND
CONS OF SAFE CONVERSATIONS HE MAY HAVE HAD ABOUT THE SPECIAL
COUNSEL INVESTIGATION I’M JOINED BY MATT AND AARON FOR THE FIX
AND WE WILL HEAR THIS HEAR THIS LIVE AN
UNINTERRUPTED STACK. >>>15 HOURS AGO WE WERE SURE WE
WOULD HAVE A HEARING BECAUSE MATTHEW WHITAKER SAID HE DID NOT
PLAN TO SHOW UP AND THIS IS A BATTLE ON HOW FAR DEMOCRATS CAN
PUSH THEIR POWER AND GETTING ANSWERS. SO WHY IS MATTHEW
WHITAKER DECIDING TO COME TODAY AND AS FAR AS WE KNOW AT THIS
POINT? >>HE DID NOT SAY I’M NOT GOING
TO SHOW UP. END OF STORY, DEMOCRATS WERE HOLDING THIS
THREAT OF A SUBPOENA TO ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT CONVERSATIONS
WITH THE PRESIDENT AND WHITAKER IS CONCERNED THAT COULD
IMPLICATE CONCERNS ABOUT EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE AND YOU
CANNOT SAY WHAT THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF TOLD HIM
PRIVATELY. AT THE 11TH HOUR HE SAYS LOOK. AS LONG AS THIS
THREAD IS OVER MY HEAD IF YOU SUBPOENA ME THEN I’M PROBABLY
NOT GOING TO COME. >>HE PUSH THIS BECAUSE THE
CHAIRMAN HAD A VOTE AND SAID WE WILL ISSUE A SUBPOENA IF
TOMORROW THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL SHOWS UP AND WON’T
ANSWER QUESTIONS AND WE CAN SHOW OUR SUBPOENA POWER AND THAT PUSH
THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL TO SAY AND I DON’T FEEL COMFORTABLE
WITH THAT SCENARIO. THEY WERE ABLE TO HASH THINGS OUT
>>THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL WAS SAYING THIS IS BAD FAITH IN
YOU DON’T DO THIS TO CABINET SECRETARIES AND UNDER THIS
THREAT AND NOT APPEARING AND THEN THE DEMOCRATS RESPONDED
SAYING WE WON’T ISSUE A SUBPOENA TODAY OR TOMORROW. HE WANTED
SAYING YOU CAN NEVER SUBPOENA ME HE’S SAYING DON’T DO IT THE
RIGHT AFTER. THE CYNICAL VIEW IS HE’S
NOT GOING TO BE ATTORNEY GENERAL NEXT WEEK AND ONCE HE’S OUT WHO
CARES ABOUT HIM SO THE DEMOCRATS TOOK THAT OFF THE TABLE AND
THERE WAS NEGOTIATIONS AND AT LEAST AS OF 9:02 A.M. HE SHOWING UP.
>>THE SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES IS UNUSUAL IN THE HOUSE COMMITTEE
CHAIRMAN IS THREATENING SOMEONE WHO IS VOLUNTARILY AGREED TO
TESTIFY AND HANGING IT OVER BEFORE THE HEARING IS UNUSUAL.
GENERALLY SPEAKING THIS IS SOMETHING THAT HAS BEEN PART OF
NEGOTIATIONS BEFORE HAND BUT IT DOESN’T SAY I WILL SUBPOENA YOU
IF YOU DON’T SAY CERTAIN THINGS AND JERRY NADLER HAS SAID
BASICALLY DURING THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION THERE WERE A
SERIES OF CABINET OFFICIALS COME TO CAPITOL HILL AND TESTIFY. AND
NOT INVOKE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE AND HE SAID PRESIDENT MIGHT
INVOKE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE AND GIVEN WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN THE
LAST TWO YEARS THIS WAS A STEP REQUIRED IN SETTING THE STAGE
FOR WHAT COULD BE A SERIES OF SUBPOENAS AND FIGHTS OVER
EXACTLY WHAT THESE CABINET SECRETARIES CAN SAY IN THESE
THEORIES UNDER UNDER A DEMOCRAT-CONTROLLED HOUSE. DEMOCRATS WANT ANSWERS AND
REPUBLICS TOO AND THERE ARE INVESTIGATIONS THEY
WANT TO PURSUE AND LET’S LOOK AT THE LITMUS TEST IS AT A FIRST
RUN OUT OF THE GATE FOR DEMOCRATS TO? THEIR MUSCLES AS
THE NEW POWER IN THE HOUSE. AARON, HOUSE OF KNOWLEDGE AND
HOW SIGNIFICANT IS THE SEARING? >>IT WILL SET THE TONE AND
THERE ARE A SERIES OF COMMITTEES HANDLING VARIOUS OBLIGATIONS OF
THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION. JUDICIARY AND THAT’S THE ONE
THAT WOULD BE CHARGED WITH IMPEACHMENT AND JERRY NADLER
WILL BE A SIGNIFICANT FIGURE AND HE’S A GUY WHO HAS CREDIBILITY
WITH LEADERSHIP AND MAYBE DEMOCRATS HAVE BEEN RELUCTANT AND ASKING HIM DO YOU WANT TO
INVOKE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGES AND HE SETS IT AND PREPARES FOR A
SUBPOENA FIGHT .
>>>OUR REPORTER ROUNDER IS LIVE AND LET’S GO TO HER. RHONDA?
>>THANKS. YES. I AM HERE IN THE BUILDING THIS IS WHERE THE
COMMITTEE WILL HEAR FROM ACTING AG WHITAKER SOON AND LESS THAN
HALF AN HOUR. AS YOU MENTIONED THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF SUSPENSE
BUILDING. HE SAID HE WILL NOT TESTIFY IF THE SUBPOENA BROUGHT
IS NOT TAKEN AWAY IN THE CHAIRMAN, JERRY NADLER, SENT HIM
A LETTER IN RESPONSE SAYING IF YOU ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS
TOMORROW THERE WILL BE NO NEED FOR A SUBPOENA AND WE ARE
EXPECTING HOUSE MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE TO PASS BY US SHORTLY
TO GET INTO THE HEARING ROOM AND WE HAVE STRUCK THAT THERE ARE
MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC WHO ARE HERE AND THEY ARE CURIOUS TO SEE
HOW THIS WILL GO DOWN TODAY. WE WERE HERE AROUND 6:30 A.M. OR
7:30 A.M. AND WE MET A WOMAN WHO WANTED TO COME IN TO SEE WHAT
HAPPENS. THERE IS A LOT OF SUSPENSE. THERE IS SUSPENSE AND
WHAT HE MIGHT SAY OR REVEAL THAT WE DO NOT KNOW YET AND THAT’S
WHAT’S HAPPENING HERE ON CAPITOL HILL RIGHT NOW. YOU SEE PEOPLE
BEHIND ME ARE LINED UP AND THERE IS A SECURITY PRESENCE AS WELL.
WE WILL SECURE UNTIL WE SEE WHAT’S GOING ON AND BACK TO YOU.
>>LET’S TALK ABOUT SUBPOENA POWER. MATTHEW WHITAKER CAN SAY
I’M NOT GOING TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION BECAUSE OF EXECUTIVE
PRIVILEGE, HE DOESN’T HAVE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. IT’S THE
PRESIDENT’S PRIVILEGE SO WE CAN SHUT DOWN THE LINE OF INQUIRY
AND SAYING THAT CONVERSATION I HAD WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE
UNITED STATES. >>IT’S SUPER COMPLICATED AND
WHY NADLER WAS TRYING TO GET AHEAD OF IT. THE PRESIDENT CAN
SAY I DO NOT WANT YOU TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION BECAUSE OF
EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. >>OR I MIGHT NOT WANT YOU TO
ASK YOU THAT. >>THAT’S WHAT NADLER WANTED TO
GET AROUND AND JEFF SESSIONS DID THE SAME THING. THE PRESIDENT
MIGHT WANT TO EVOKE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE AND I WANT TO
PREEMPTIVELY NOT AND TO THAT AND THE ISSUE GOES AWAY BECAUSE
CONGRESS DOESN’T SUPPOSE GET A SUBPOENA AND THESE ARE THE
QUESTIONS I’M GOING TO ASK AND YOU GO TO THE PRESIDENT AND YOU
FIGURE OUT WHICH HE WANTS TO INVOKE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE ON
AND THAT’S FINE AND WE CAN FIGHT ABOUT THOSE AND ASK THE OTHERS
IN PUBLIC >>WHITAKER DODGE THAT BY
WAITING UNTIL THE LAST MAIN MINUTE AND SAYING I’M NOT GOING
TO SHOW UP WITH THIS SUBPOENA THREAT. HIS OPENING STATEMENT IS
OUT AND HE IS REITERATING THERE ARE TOPICS COVERED BY EXECUTIVE
PRIVILEGE. I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT MY CONVERSATIONS WITH THE
PRESIDENT. WHAT DEMOCRATS COULD DO AS THEY LOOK. WE WANT A
SPECIFIC DETERMINATION FROM THE PRESIDENT AND YOU CAN’T ANSWER
IT AND YOU CANNOT INVOKE THIS GENERAL NOTION AND THAT WOULD
REQUIRE A SUBPOENA THAT COULD BE TIED UP IN COURT FOR A LONG TIME
AND I’M NOT SURE IT WOULD MATTER ONCE WHITAKER IS GONE OR HOW THE
DEMOCRATS WOULD FORCE THE ISSUE BUT THAT’S WHY NADLER TRIED TO
GET AHEAD OF THINGS. HE WANTED WHITAKER TO GET IN THERE IN
ADVANCE BECAUSE THE PRESIDENT STOPPED ME AND THEY COULD
LITIGATE THOSE. >>THE FACT THAT NADLER GAVE HIM
THOSE QUESTIONS TWO WEEKS BEFORE HAND AND THE FACT THAT WHITAKER
DID NOT RESPOND BY THE DEADLINE TWO DAYS AGO, THAT COULD
POTENTIALLY PLAY INTO A COURT FIGHT OVER THE SUBPOENA
BASICALLY NADLER CAN SAY I GAVE HIM EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO TELL
HIM WHAT HE WOULD NOT TALK ABOUT AND THEN HE DID NOT TELL ME SO I
WOULD DO THE SUBPOENA. >>THE LETTER YOU ARE TALKING
ABOUT AND THE COPIES HAVE BEEN DISTRIBUTED DATED JANUARY 22ND
SENT TO THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL FROM CHAIRMAN NADLER
OUTLINING SPECIFIC AND TO SOME DEGREE QUESTIONS HE HAD ABOUT
CONVERSATIONS HE MIGHT HAVE HAD WITH THE PRESIDENT OR THE
PRESIDENT’S PRIVATE ATTORNEY. SOME OF THE BACK STORY OF HOW
THEY WERE TREATING THE SPECIAL COUNSEL INVESTIGATION AND, AS
YOU POINT TO POINT OUT, ASKED IF WHITAKER PLAN TO AND HE WOULD’VE
HAD TO HAVE 48 HOURS NOTICE AND CHAIRMAN NADLER DECIDED TO
PUSH FOR SUBPOENA POWER YESTERDAY
>>CHAIRMAN NADLER DID NOT SEEK A SUBPOENA BUT GOT THE ABILITY
TO SEEK A SUBPOENA BUT MATT WHITAKER WAS SAYING EVEN THAT
AND OPERATING WITH THE THREAT OF THAT IS BACK FACE. YOU DON’T DO
THAT TO CABINET SECRETARIES AND LET’S HOUSE THE HEARING AND WE
CAN AFTER THE FACT LITIGATE AND I DON’T MEAN LITIGATE IN COURT
AND NEGOTIATE AND I CAN ANSWER THIS AND I CAN’T ANSWER THIS AND
WHITAKER KNOWS HE’S OUT OF THE JOB AND IT’S THE IMPORTANT
FACTOR HERE. WHITAKER KNOWS WILLIAM BARR WILL BE CONFIRMED
AS THE NEXT ATTORNEY GENERAL AND IT WILL BE HIS JOB ANYMORE.
>>ARE CLEARED AND WE EXPECT HIS NOMINATION TO GO TO THE SENATE
NEXT WEEK. WE ALREADY SEE ONE DEMOCRAT DOUG JONES WILLING TO
SUPPORT HIM. HOW RELEVANT IS MATTHEW WHITAKER?
>>I THINK HE IS MOST RELATIVE AND POTENTIALLY TWO WAYS AND ONE
IS WHAT WE BEEN TALKING ABOUT IN THE PRESIDENT THIS WILL SET FOR
FUTURE SUBPOENAS AND CABINET SECRETARIES WHO ARE TESTIFYING
AND THEY KEEP PURSUING THIS IF THEY NEED TO JUST TO SET THE
PRECEDENT AND FIGURE OUT EXACTLY WHAT THE COURTS WILL SAY ABOUT
WHAT THEY CAN SAY TO COMPEL THESE CABINET SECRETARIES TO
SAY. THE OTHER THING IS I THINK THIS IS A SITUATION IN WHICH
MATTHEW WHITAKER, WE DON’T REALLY KNOW A WHOLE LOT OF ABOUT
HIM BECAUSE HE DOES NOT SPEAK PUBLICLY VERY OFTEN. HE WAS A
CABLE PUNDIT ON CNN BUT HE HAS NOT BEEN GIVING INTERVIEWS. HE
GAVE A PRESS CONFERENCE A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO AND HE STUMBLED
INTO TALKING ABOUT HOW THE MUELLER PROBE WAS ALMOST OVER
AND GAVE AN UNCERTAIN ANSWER ABOUT THAT AND THIS IS NOT THE
GUY WITH YOUR TRADITIONAL PEDIGREE FOR AN ATTORNEY GENERAL
AND THERE IS A REAL QUESTION OF WHETHER HE BRINGS GRAVITAS OR IF
HE IS PREPARED AND THIS COULD BE BIG IF HE SHOWS THE UNCERTAINTY
WE SEEN IN THAT APPEARANCE FOR FROM A COUPLE WEEKS AGO AND SOME
PEOPLE EXPECT BASED ON THE BACKGROUND
>>THE PRESS BRIEFING THAT HE GAVE, IT ENDED UP REVEALING
QUITE A BIT ABOUT BOTH HIS ABILITY TO FACE THE PRESS AND
ALSO ABOUT SOME OF HIS THOUGHTS ON THE MOLAR INVESTIGATION.
>>HAD BEEN FULLY BRIEFED ON THE INVESTIGATION. I LOOK FORWARD TO
DIRECTOR MUELLER DELIVERING THE FINAL REPORT AND I REALLY WON’T
TALK ABOUT AND AN OPTION ON INVESTIGATION AND THE STATEMENTS
I MADE AS A PRIVATE CITIZEN ONLY WITH PUBLICLY AVAILABLE
INFORMATION AND I AM COMFORTABLE THAT THE DECISIONS THAT WERE
MADE ARE GOING TO BE REVIEWED , YOU KNOW EITHER THROUGH THE
VARIOUS MEANS WE HAVE BUT RIGHT NOW THE ONLY INVESTIGATION IS I
THINK CLOSE TO BEING COMPLETED AND I HOPE WE CAN GET THE REPORT
FROM DIRECTOR MUELLER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
>>YOU CAN ALMOST IMAGINE SOME OF THE OTHER MEMBERS OF HIS TEAM
SAYING STOP TALKING. PEOPLE MIGHT SAY THEY WOULD NOT COMMENT
AND HE KEPT TALKING. HE DIDN’T SAY A LOT BUT HE SAID
SOME IMPORTANT THINGS >>SOMETIMES YOU CAN SEE THEIR
ANSWER AND YOU CAN SEE THEM PAUSING FOR 2ND AND SAY THIS
NEXT THING I’M ABOUT TO SAY AND THAT’S WHAT IT LOOKED LIKE WHEN
HE WAS SAYING THIS MUELLER PROBE WAS ALMOST OVER AND HE SAID 30
SECONDS BEFORE I CAN’T TALK ABOUT THE MUELLER PROBE AND WHY
IS THAT SIGNIFICANT? >>IT COULD BE GUESSWORK AND HE
COULD ACTUALLY KNOW SOMETHING. I DON’T KNOW HOW SIGNIFICANT IT IS
BEYOND THE FACT THAT IT SEEMED LIKE HE KIND OF STUMBLED THROUGH
THAT ANSWER AND IT IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR HIM TODAY TO KNOW
EXACTLY WHAT HE WANTS TO SAY WHEN HE’S ASKED QUESTIONS AND
HE’S UP THERE FOR A WHILE AND THESE DEMOCRATS COULD MAKE A
POINT AND MAKE THIS A SHOW AND THEY WILL TRY AND BREAK HIM DOWN
AND GET HIM TO SAY SOMETHING THAT HE SHOULD NOT SAY. I AM NOT
SO CERTAIN THAT THAT WAS THE BIGGEST GAFFE IN THE WORLD BUT
IF HE IS NOT GOING TO BE STUDIED OR CONSISTENT AND STICK TO THE
SCRIPT HE HAS BEEN APPARENTLY PRACTICING BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
FOR THIS HEARING, THAT’S WHERE HE COULD WANDER INTO TROUBLE
>>WHY IS IT SO SIGNIFICANT THAT THE PROBE COME TO A CONCLUSION?
>>HE IS THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES AND HE’S IN
CHARGE OF THAT PROGRAM AND IN THE BEGINNING HE SAID I’VE BEEN
FULLY BRIEFED SO HE CERTAINLY KNOWS AND WHAT EXACTLY CLOSE
MEANS IS THAT WEEKS AND MONTHS AND THAT A YEAR, THAT’S UNCLEAR.
IT IS AT HIS IMPRESSION OR DID SOMEONE USE THAT WORD WITH HIM
IN OTHER WORDS WHEN HE WAS BRIEFED DID HE GET A SENSE THAT
WE WERE NEARING THE END AND KNOWING WE ARE NEARING THE END
OF THE MOLAR INVESTIGATION IS A SIGNIFICANT THING AND THIS IS A
GUY WHO WOULD KNOW AND IS FULLY BRIEFED AND IS SUPERVISING THE
CASE BECAUSE HE IS DECLINING TO RECUSE HIMSELF DESPITE HIS PAST
PUBLIC CRITICISM AND I THOUGHT IT WAS SIGNIFICANT AND I KNOW
FROM REPORTING HE DID NOT MEAN TO SAY THAT AND IT’S NOT AS IF
HE SET OUT ABOUT A TOTALLY UNRELATED THING AND HE SAYS I’M
GOING TO OVERSHADOW THIS CRIMINAL INDICTMENT WE HAVE AND
IN A DIFFERENT WAY REVEALING WE ARE NEAR THE END OF THE MUELLER
PROBE. I KNOW HE DID NOT MEAN TO SAY THAT AND I AGREE WITH AARON
AND I DON’T BELIEVE IT’S THE BIGGEST GAP IN THE WORLD BUT
WHAT DOES CLOSED MEAN? >>IT WHAT THEIR APPETITES TO
GET THEM BEFORE A COMMITTEE SO THEY COULD ASK QUESTIONS AND
EXTRACT ANY MORE INFORMATION FROM HIM AND LET’S TALK ABOUT
WHO SITS ON THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE AND MORE DEMOCRATS
HOLD THE MAJORITY WE TALKED ABOUT JERRY NADLER WHO
WILL GUIDE THIS WHOLE THING AND IT WILL BE ITS HIS PUBLIC DEBUT
AND HE IS A SIGNIFICANT FIGURE MOVING FORWARD. NOT JUST IN THIS
HEARING BUT IN GENERAL. TED LU OF CALIFORNIA, ERIC SWALLOW AND
PEOPLE WHO ARE PURSUING BIGGER PROFILES AND ARE VERY SHARP ON
ISSUES. HAKEEM JEFFRIES IS MOVING UP THE LADDER IN THE
HOUSE DEMOCRATIC PARTY WILL BE SOMEONE I’M LOOKING AT. TED
DEUTCH A DEMOCRAT FROM FLORIDA WILL ALSO BE SIGNIFICANT AND ON
THE REPUBLICAN SIDE THE RANKING MEMBER DOUG COLLINS INTERESTING.
HE’S PUSHING BACK AGAINST THE SUBPOENA EFFORT. IT’S
INTERESTING TO SEE THE TWO RESPECTFUL LEADERS CLASHING SO
EARLY IN THEIR NEW REALITY IN A DEMOCRATIC-CONTROLLED WASHINGTON
AND I WOULD IMAGINE DOUG COLLINS, THE RANKING MEMBER WILL
BE READY TO PUSH BACK. IF AND WHEN NADLER DOES AND I EXPECT AT
SOME POINT WHEN WHITAKER SAYS I’M NOT GOING TO ASK THAT
QUESTION AND NADLER SAYS WE WILL SUBPOENA YOU LATER, COLLINS
COULD JUMP IN AND PUSH BACK ON THAT.
>>WHAT WILL YOU BE WATCHING FOR?
>>THE DEMOCRATS I THINK YOU COVERED PRETTY WELL AND ONE
INTERESTING REPUBLICAN IS JIM JORDAN AND HE WANTED TO SUBPOENA
ROD ROSEN TOM STEIN AND HE’S ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE.
SOME REPUBLICANS HERE THOUGHT WE COULD GET ROSENSTEIN WHILE WE
ARE AT IT. WE HAVE ALL THE QUALMS ABOUT THE WAY HE’S
HANDLED THE MUELLER PROBE AND I WILL BE CURIOUS TO SEE HOW HE
WALKS THIS LINE AND THIS IS A GUY WHO SAYS HE WANTS TO HOLD IT
AND THIS IS A GUY WHO’S MUCH MORE ALIGNED AND MATT TUCKER,
WHAT DID HE DO WITH MATT WHITAKER
>>HE SAID YOU WANT TO START THE SUBPOENA GAME? BACK AND THEY
HAVE LONG BEEN WANTING TO SUBPOENA ROD ROSENSTEIN AND
THAT’S A WAY TO EXPOSE HIM AND PROTECTING MUELLER AND FORCING
WHITAKER TO ANSWER QUESTIONS. >>YOU MENTIONED WE HAVE A SENSE
OF WHAT MATTHEW WHITAKER PLANS TO SAY IN HIS OPENING STATEMENT
AND THIS IS AN EXPERT. WE ARE ANTICIPATING HE SAYS ALTHOUGH I
CAN’T SPEAK ABOUT MY COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE
PRESIDENT I DO WANT TO MAKE SURE I AM COMMITTED TO THE INTEGRITY
OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND NO CHANGE IN THE OVERALL
MANAGEMENT OF THE SPECIAL COUNSEL INVESTIGATION.
>>I THINK WHAT HE IS REFERRING TO THERE AS ROD ROSENSTEIN IS
STILL AROUND. THE NUMBER TWO OFFICIAL IN THE JUSTICE
DEPARTMENT BECAUSE JEFF SESSIONS HAS REFUSED AND HE IS THE GUY
THAT APPOINTED MUELLER AND THE GUY WHO SUPERVISED MUELLER FOR
THE WHOLE TIME JUST SESSION WAS ATTORNEY GENERAL AND THEN MATT
WHITAKER STEPS UP AND THERE’S THIS GREAT QUESTION AND WHAT
BECOMES OF ROD ROSENSTEIN. DOES HE STAY IN HIS SUPERVISORY ROLE
IN THE DEPUTY JOURNEYED ATTORNEY GENERAL RUNS THE DAY TODAY OR IS
MATT WHITAKER TOTALLY TAKE THAT OVER AND IT’S A SENSITIVE
INVESTIGATION AND YOU DON’T WANT TOO MANY COOKS IN THE KITCHEN
AND THAT WOULD’VE ALARMED DEMOCRATS MORE BECAUSE MATT
WHITAKER HAS BEEN PUBLICLY CRITICAL AND MORE ALIGNED WITH TRUMP AS A TRUMP APPOINTEE AND I
THINK THAT’S WHAT HE’S REFERRING TO AS THE MANAGEMENT HASN’T
CHANGED AND HE HAS NOT TAKEN ANY STEPS TO IMPEDE MUELLER’S WORK I
THINK IS WHAT HE’S GETTING AT THAT DEMOCRATS HAD GREAT FEAR
THAT HIM BEING TRUMP SKY AND HE WOULD SAY GET IN HIS WAY AND
MATT WHITAKER SAYS THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN AND I DON’T THINK IT WILL
SATISFY DEMOCRATS. DOES THE PRESIDENT TELL YOU TO DO
ANYTHING AND WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE.
>>WE DO GET A SENSE FROM THE LETTER THAT THE CHAIRMAN NADLER
SENT A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO TO MATTHEW WHITAKER, WHAT’S ON HIS
MIND. >>A LOT OF IT HAS TO DO WITH
CONVERSATIONS THAT WHITAKER MAY HAVE HAD WITH THE PRESIDENT,
MEMBERS OF THE WHITE HOUSE STAFF OR THE PRESIDENT’S PRIVATE LEGAL
COUNSEL. AARON, CAN YOU POINT OUT SOME OF THE QUESTIONS YOU
FOUND TO BE STRIKING AND WHETHER IT COMES TO DIGGING INTO THE
MUELLER PROBE AND EVEN BRINGING UP THE BUZZFEED NEWS STORY ABOUT
THE COHEN CASE AND ABOUT WHETHER THE PRESIDENT ASKED COHEN NOT TO
TELL THE TRUTH TO CONGRESS. IT’S NOT LIKE WE ARE GETTING A SENSE
OF WHAT’S ON HIS MIND. >>IF I LOOK AT THOSE QUESTIONS
THEY RUN THE GAMUT OF ALL THE DIFFERENT THINGS THAT MIGHT BE
OF INTEREST HERE AND I THINK ONE OF THE BIG THINGS WILL BE THE
RECUSAL. WHITAKER HAS TALKED ABOUT THIS TO SOME DEGREE AND I
BELIEVE AND MATT CAN CORRECTLY IF I’M WRONG. HE SAID TRUMP HAS
SAID RATHER THAT HE WAS NOT AWARE OF WHAT MATT WHITAKER SAID
BEFORE. WERTHER CONVERSATIONS. TRUMP HAS KIND OF PLAYED OFF THE
IDEA THAT HE KNEW MATTHEW WHITAKER BEFORE HE APPOINTED HIM
AND I THINK THERE WILL BE IT’S NOT JUST GOING TO BE ABOUT WHAT
MATTHEW WHITAKER SAYS BUT WHETHER WHAT HE SAYS SQUARES
WITH THE PRESIDENT AND HIS ELEVATION TO THE ACTING ATTORNEY
GENERAL AND BY THE WAY AN INTERESTING COMMENT FROM THE
PRESIDENT, WHAT HE SAID A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO IN AN INTERVIEW
ABOUT HOW HE LIKES HAVING ACTING CABINET OFFICIALS BECAUSE HE CAN
MOVE PEOPLE IN AND OUT MORE QUICKLY DEMOCRATS WILL DRIVE THAT HOME
IN SOME FASHION BECAUSE WHITAKER IS THE EMBLEM OF APPOINTING
UNQUALIFIED OR UNSAVORY OFFICIALS TO FILL THESE JOBS FOR
A FEW MONTHS. >>THIS QUESTION A RESEARCHABLE
RECUSAL. DOJ RECOMMENDED WE CAN RECUSE HIMSELF AND HE ELECTED
NOT TO. DO YOU EXPECT THAT TO BE A BIG LINE OF INQUIRY
>>I THOUGHT I HAD THESE PRESIDENT QUESTIONS AND WHITAKER
WILL DEFLECT. HE SAID HE IS WILLING TO ANSWER QUESTIONS AND
THERE’S SO MANY QUESTIONS IN THE ACTUAL ETHICS DECISION AND WE WOULD PROBABLY ADVISE
THAT MATT WHITAKER STEP ASIDE AND HE DID THIS WEIRD THING
OUTSIDE OF ANYTHING I EVER DID SOME AND HE ASSEMBLED PERSONAL
TEAM ETHICS ADVISORY AND THEY ARE WITH THE WHITAKER ETHICS
PROFESSIONALS AND THEY SAID YOU DON’T NEED TO STEP ASIDE AND
IT’S A WEIRD PROCESS OUTSIDE OF JUSTICE DEPARTMENT NORMS HE HAS
TOUGH QUESTIONS TO ANSWER AND HE HAS INDICATED HE IS WILLING TO
ANSWER IT>>FOLLOWING UP THE LETTER FROM
CHAIRMAN NADLER ALSO WHEN WHITAKER DECIDED NOT TO
RECUSE HIMSELF DID HE CONSULT WITH THE WHITE HOUSE AS HE MADE
THAT DECISION? DID HIS TEAM OF ADVISORS CONSULT WITH THE WHITE
HOUSE OR HAVE CONVERSATIONS WITH THE WHITE HOUSE?
>>THE BIG AND WE SAW IN WILLIAMS FAR
CONFIRMATION HEARINGS HE MADE NO PROMISES NOR DID THE PRESIDENT
ASK FOR ANYTHING AS FAR AS ASSURANCES THAT WOULD ASSUMING
AND WE WOULD ASSUME THAT WOULD INCLUDE A POTENTIAL RECUSAL
DEMAND AND I THINK WITH WHITAKER DEMOCRATS TRY TO FIGURE OUT
WHETHER THERE WAS ONE IN THE CONVERSATION ABOUT IT BEFORE
HAND AND WHETHER THERE WAS ANYTHING UNSPOKEN OR WHETHER HE
PROACTIVELY OFFERED SOME KIND OF ASSURANCE AND OBVIOUSLY IF
MATTHEW WHITAKER COMES TO THE JOB AND RECUSE HIMSELF HE IS
LINING HIMSELF UP FOR A LOT OF HEAT FROM THE PRESIDENT. IF
ANYTHING LAST YEAR HAS SHOWN US THAT.
>>IT WOULD BE A GUARANTEE THAT HE WOULD NOT BEEN CHOSEN. HE WAS
NOT CHOSEN AS THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. TALK TO US ABOUT
MATTHEW WHITAKER AND HOW DID HE GET TO WHERE HE IS AND WHY WAS
HE NOT CHOSEN? >>MATTHEW WHITAKER, A FORMER
U.S. ATTORNEY IN IOWA AND BEFORE HE CAME INTO THE JUST AND
DEPARTMENTS SPACE AS MOST REASONABLE JEFF SESSIONS CHIEF
OF STAFF AND HE WAS A CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR AND HE
SAID A LOT OF THINGS RIGHT IN LINE WITH WHAT PRESIDENT TRUMP
WOULD WANT. PARTICULARLY ON THE MUELLER PROBE. AT ONE POINT HE
SUGGESTED AN ACT DURING ATTORNEY GENERAL COULD CHOKE OFF
MUELLER’S FUNDING SOURCE AND JUST GRIND THE INVESTIGATION TO
A HALT THAT WAY. SO HE IS IN CONSERVATIVE LEGAL SERVICES
CIRCLES. JEFF SESSIONS IS LOSING CHIEF OF STAFF AND SOME INTERNAL
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT DRAMA AND ALSO GUYS THAT WANT TO LEAD THE
CIVIL POSITION WHICH MAY BE A MORE HIGH-PROFILE JOB THAN
ATTORNEY GENERAL AND CHIEF OF STAFF. HE WAS RECOMMENDED BY
LEONARD LEO, A WASHINGTON POWER BROKER SUPER CLOSE TO THE WHITE
HOUSE AND INTERVIEWS WITH SESSIONS AND SESSIONS LIKE
SYMPTOMS AND SESSIONS BECOMES HIS CHIEF OF STAFF AND HE ENDS
UP GETTING CLOSER TO THE WHITE HOUSE THAN SESSIONS BECAUSE
PRESIDENT TRUMP HATES SETH JEFF SESSIONS. HE DOESN’T WANT TO SEE
OR TALK TO HIM BUT HE LIKES MATT WHITAKER. A BIG HULKING GUY,
PRESIDENT FOOTBALL PLAYER. THIS GUY LOOKS LIKE A BIG COP, YOU
KNOW? PRESIDENT TRUMP APPROACHES HIM LATE AND JEFF SESSIONS LIFE
AS ATTORNEY GENERAL AND SAYS HEY, WOULD YOU WANT TO TAKE OVER
AS ATTORNEY GENERAL? IT IS SUCH A HUMILIATING THING FOR THE
PRESIDENT TO BE ASKING HIS TOP AIDE WOULD YOU POTENTIALLY LIKE
TO TAKE YOUR BOSSES JOB? WHITAKER WOULD SAY I DIDN’T
BACKSTAB ANYONE. WHAT WILL I DO. HE GETS ALONG WITH THE PRESIDENT
AFTER JEFF SESSIONS IS FIRED AND HE TAPS MATT WHITAKER TO BE THE
ACTING AG. >>CHAIRMAN NADLER WILL HAVE
QUESTIONS ABOUT WHAT THOSE CONVERSATIONS WERE LIKE BEFORE
SESSIONS LEFT THE JOB. HE WAS PUSHED OUT OF THE JOB AND LEFT
IN A MUCH MORE GRACEFUL WAY AND HIS TIME WAS OVER AT THE WHITE
HOUSE. >>I’M CURIOUS TO KNOW IF MATT
WOULD KNOW IT BETTER. WITH THOSE CONVERSATIONS THAT TAKE PLACE HE
WAS ACTUALLY THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL AND COULD THEY CHECK TO
ASSERT EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE BEFORE HE WAS IN THE JOB.
>>I THINK HE COULD BECAUSE PRESIDENT TRUMP IS STILL THE
PRESIDENT AND HE IS A JUSTICE DEPARTMENT DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL.
I EXPECT HE WILL TOO AND IS THERE OLD LEGITIMATE REASON?
>>THIS IS SO NUANCED BUT IT’S A REALLY IMPORTANT QUESTION. DOES
YOUR ABILITY TO CHANGE WHEN YOU ARE ELEVATED TO ASSISTANT AG AND
WHEN YOU GO FROM THAT JOB AND YOUR POSITION IS ELEVATING AND
CHANGING BUT THERE ARE STILLS CONVERSATIONS WITH THE PRESIDENT
AND WE ARE TRYING TO UNTANGLE THIS.
>>IF I WAS WORRIED WAS WILLING TO TALK ABOUT HIS CONVERSATIONS
WITH TRUMP AND YOU CAN VIEW THIS IN A SIMILAR WAY. THE
DISAPPEARANCE BEING OUTSIDE OF GOVERNMENT AND IF BILL BARR CAN, WHY CAN’T YOU. 4:00 THERE
IS THIS JEFF SESSIONS CHIEF OF STAFF AND I AM ASTOUNDED THE
PRESIDENT WOULD GO AROUND QUESTIONS NADLER LAID OUT A
COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO AND WHETHER OR NOT PRESIDENT TRUMP FIRES OR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT
OF NEW YORK AND SOME COURTS HAVE BEEN INVESTIGATING
TRUMP FAMILY BUSINESSES AND SUCH. THERE ARE TENTACLES
REACHING OUT MORE ON THE MUELLER PROBE AND OTHER QUESTIONS,
WHETHER OR NOT JEFF SESSIONS HAD TASKED ANOTHER U.S. ATTORNEY TO
REVIEW HILLARY CLINTON’S ISSUES. SO WE MAY SEE OTHER PARTS OF
THIS BEARHUG OF INVESTIGATIONS COME UP.
>>BEING THE ATTORNEY GENERAL YOU SUPERVISE A LOT AND THE
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK IS THE MOST INTERESTING. CNN HAS
SOME REPORTING THAT TRUMP WAS UPSET OVER THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT
OF NEW YORK INVESTIGATIONS INTO THE TRUMP WORLD AND THEY ARE
INVESTIGATING THINGS TO THE INAUGURATION AND THERE WAS
REPORT ON A SUBPOENA AND DATA RELATED TO SOME OF THOSE TOPICS.
CNN REPORTED PRESIDENT TRUMP RAGED AT WHITAKER OVER THAT AND
WE HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO CONFIRM THAT BUT I WILL BE CURIOUS DOES
THE ANSWER WHETHER THAT IS TRUE OR NOT AND IS THAT COVERED BY
EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE BECAUSE IT’S THE CONVERSATION BETWEEN TRUMP
AND WHITAKER ON THE INVESTIGATIONS OF CLINTON AND WE
KNOW HE PASSED THE U.S. ATTORNEY OUT WEST TO SUPERVISE AND
REINVESTIGATE A WHOLE BUNCH OF THINGS THAT CONSERVATIVES ARE WORRIED
ABOUT. MATT WHITAKER INDICATED IN HIS LETTER YESTERDAY HE MIGHT
BE WILLING TO TALK ABOUT SOME OF THOSE THINGS AND IF THEY ARE
ONGOING INVESTIGATIONS I CANNOT SAY MUCH ABOUT IT BUT HE MIGHT
REVEAL SOMETHING ABOUT THOSE AND THOSE ARE POLITICALLY CHARGED
TOPICS. POLICE WILL SEE THOSE AS POLITICALLY VINDICTIVE.
>>YOU SEE MEMBERS GATHERING AND WE SAW CONGRESSMAN LUCY WENT
FAST. SO MANY FRESHMAN RISING STARS IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY
ARE ON THIS COMMITTEE. JUST SPRINKLED THROUGHOUT AND WE WILL
SEE PEOPLE LIKE CONGRESSMAN VERONICA ESCOBAR OF TEXAS AND
DEBBIE POWELL OF FLORIDA. MATH WHITAKER, MATTHEW WHITAKER AND
SO MANY CAMERAS WAITING TO CAPTURE THIS MOMENT. IN THE DAIS
IS LIKE A TWO FULL DAIS BECAUSE THERE ARE 40 MEMBERS OF THIS
HOUSE COMMITTEE. MATTHEW WHITAKER THE ACTING AG TAKING
HIS SEAT NOW AND YOU CAN SEE JERRY NADLER THE CHAIRMAN IN THE
BACKGROUND OF THAT SHOT. LET’S GO NOW LIVE TO THE HEARING OF
THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE HEARING AND WE WILL BRING WILL
BRING YOU LIVE UNINTERRUPTED COVERAGE AND I AM HERE WITH
BLAKE AND WE APPRECIATE YOUR TIME. LET’S GO TO THE HEARING
NOW. >>>THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE WILL
COME TO ORDER. THE CHECK AND CALL RECESS AT ANY TIME. WE
WELCOME EVERYONE TO THIS MORNING’S HEARING ON OVERSIGHT
OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND WE WELCOME OUR WITNESS THE
ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES, MATTHEW WHITAKER.
BEFORE WE TURN TO THE BUSINESS AT HAND, WE WANT TO TAKE A
MOMENT TO REMEMBER JOHN DINGELL OF MICHIGAN. HE WAS ELECTED TO
CONGRESS IN 1955 AND WENT ON TO BECOME THE LONGEST SERVING
MEMBER OF CONGRESS IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES AND
BY VIRTUE OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS ONE OF THE GREATEST. HE WAS A
PRESENCE IN THE HEARING ROOM AND IN A GERMAN INVESTIGATOR AND
TRUE BELIEVER AND CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT. HE LOVES THE HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES AND WE REMEMBER HIM FOR HIS HUMOR, CHARM, HIS
UNSHAKABLE INTEGRITY AND, OF COURSE, HIS FANTASTIC
TWITTER ACCOUNT. OUR THOUGHTS ARE WITH OUR COLLEAGUE DEBBIE
DINGELL AND THE ENTIRE FAMILY. GERMAN DINGELL WILL BE MISSED.
>>MR. CHAIRMAN CAN I ECHO THAT AS WELL? FOR THE MR. DINGELL’S
SERVICE AND WITH OUR COLLEAGUE DURING THIS TIME AND HAVE SOME
PRAYERS WITH HIM IN THE SERVICE HE RENDERED I WILL AGREE WITH
YOU ON THAT. >>THANK YOU. I WANT TO
RECOGNIZE MYSELF FOR AN OPENING STATEMENT. MR. WHITAKER, I WILL
HAVE TO BEGIN BY REMARKS BY COMMENDING THE JUDICIAL LAW
ENFORCEMENT AT THE DOJ. IT IS THE CAREER OFFICIALS AT THE
DEPARTMENT, FBI AND U.S. ATTORNEY’S OFFICES WHOSE
COMMITMENT TO THE RULE OF LAW PROTECTS OUR DEMOCRACY. GIVEN THE FOCUS I FEEL COMPELLED
TO SINGLE OUT CAREER ETHICS PROFESSIONALS WHO HELP TO
TRANSITION INTO ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL. ON DECEMBER 20TH AND A
LETTER TO TESTIFY SOME OF THE DECISIONS WE WILL EXAMINE TODAY
CONGRESS LEARNED THE FOLLOWING. IN THE MEETING WITH THE ACTING
ATTORNEY GENERAL AND IF THE RECOMMENDATION WERE SOUGHT IT
WOULD ADVISE THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL SHOULD RECUSE HIMSELF
FROM SUPERVISION OF THE SPECIAL COUNSEL INVESTIGATION BECAUSE IT
WAS THEIR VIEW THAT A REASONABLE PERSON WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE
RELEVANT FACTS LIKELY WOULD QUESTION THE IMPARTIALITY OF THE
ATTORNEY GENERAL. EVEN THOUGH YOU APPARENTLY DID NOT ASK FOR
THEIR ADVICE ON THIS TOPIC, THESE CAREER OFFICIALS WENT OUT
OF THEIR WAY TO TELL YOU THAT THE MANY PUBLIC PAST CRITICISMS
OF THE SPECIAL COUNSEL INVESTIGATION WERE GROUNDS FOR
YOU TO STEP ASIDE AND INSISTED YOUR RECUSAL WOULD’VE BEEN RIGHT
FOR THE COUNTRY AND GOOD FOR THE COUNTRY. THEY GAVE YOU THIS
ADVICE WITH NO GUARANTEE THAT THEIR JOBS WOULD BE PROTECTED
AND TWO YEARS INTO AN ADMINISTRATION DISTINGUISHED FOR
FIRING OFFICIALS IN THE DEPARTMENT AND THE FBI WHO
OFFEND THE PRESIDENT AND THEY DID SO KNOWING ATTORNEY GENERAL
SESSIONS WAS REMOVED FOR ALL NO REASON OTHER THAN FOLLOWING
THEIR GUIDANCE. THEIR ADVICE IS AN ACT OF BRAVERY AND WORRY AND
IT’S THE BEST WITNESS OF INTEGRITY AND IN MY VIEW YOUR
CONDUCT INCLUDING YOUR DECISION TO INFORM ETHICS DEVICE WHEN YOU
BECAME ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL FALLS WELL SHORT OF THE MARK. BEFORE YOU JOIN THE DEPARTMENT
OF JUSTICE AS CHIEF OF STAFF YOU ARE THE SOLE FULL-TIME EMPLOYEE
OF THE EMPLOYEE FOR ACCOUNTABILITY AND CIVIC TRUST
AND YOUR ORGANIZATION HAS BEEN DESCRIBED AS A CHOP SHOP OF FAKE
ETHICS COMPLAINTS AGAINST DEMOCRATIC POLITICIANS. IT ALSO
FUNDED YOUR APPEARANCES ON PRINT AND TABLE IN YOUR YEARS LEADING
UP TO YOUR TENURE. THESE MEDIA APPEARANCES AND THIS IS WHY IT’S
RELEVANT HAVE BEEN CAUSE FOR MUCH CONCERN. ONE MONTH BEFORE
YOU JOIN THE ADMINISTRATION YOU WROTE THAT MUELLER’S
INVESTIGATION OF TRUMP IS GOING TOO FAR AND YOU STATED THE
INVESTIGATION WAS ON LYNCH MOB. YOU WANTED THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S BUDGET TO
BE SQUEEZED UNTIL THE INVESTIGATION GRINDS TO A HALT
.” LIKE EVERYONE ELSE AT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE YOU ARE
ENTITLED TO YOUR OWN POLITICAL OPINIONS AND THIS COMMITTEE IS
NOT IN THE POSITION OF VILIFYING GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL
PARTICULARLY WHEN THE DEPARTMENT TAKE STEPS TO MITIGATE A
CONFERENCE OF INTEREST IN AN ONGOING INVESTIGATION. WHEN
CAREER OFFICIALS RECOMMENDED YOU TAKE STEPS AND THEY TOLD YOU
YOUR PUBLIC CRITICISM OF THE SPECIAL COUNSEL WITH BREAD FOR
THE DEPARTMENT AND BACK FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE, YOU
IGNORE THEM. YOU DECIDED THAT YOUR PRIVATE INTEREST IN
OVERSEEING THIS PARTICULAR INVESTIGATION AND PERHAPS OTHERS
FROM WHICH YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN RECUSED IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN
THE INTEGRITY OF THE DEPARTMENT AND THE QUESTION THIS COMMITTEE
MUST NOW ASK IS WHY. WHY DID PRESIDENT TRUMP REPLACE
PRESIDENT SESSIONS WITH AN OUTSPOKEN CRITIC OF THE SPECIAL
COUNSEL INSTEAD WITH ANY NUMBER OF QUALIFIED OFFICIALS WHO HAVE
ALREADY RECEIVED SENATE CONFIRMATION AND WHY DID YOU GO
TO AND IGNORE THAT YOUR WORK WOULD UNDERMINE THE
CREDIBILITY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO
COMMENT AT LENGTH ON THE SUBSTANCE OF THE SPECIAL
COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION AT A JANUARY 29TH CAN’T PRESS
CONFERENCE. IS IT TRUE YOU HAVE BEEN FULLY BRIEFED ON QUOTE ON
THE INVESTIGATION AND THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S WORK IS QUOTE
CLOSE TO BEING COMPLETED. AND WHY DID PRESIDENT TRUMP LEAVE
YOU DEPARTING IN THE ACTING CAPACITY AS LONG AS HE DID AND
WHAT DID HE HOPE TO GET OUT OF IT AND WHAT DID HE PROVIDE
>>THE COMMITTEE IS DETERMINED TO FIND ANSWERS TO THESE
QUESTIONS AND TO THAT END WE’VE TAKEN CERTAIN STEPS TO ENSURE
YOUR COOPERATION WITH MEMBERS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE. FIRST
ALTHOUGH I AM PLEASED THAT YOU EVENTUALLY AGREE TO APPEAR
VOLUNTARILY THE COMMITTEE HAS AUTHORIZED ME TO ISSUE A
SUBPOENA TO GET YOU TO SPEAK. THE SUBPOENA THREAT, I GAVE YOU
NO ASSURANCES AFTER YOU AGREED TODAY. GIVEN OUR CONCERNS ABOUT
YOUR ATTENDANCE UNTIL LATE LAST NIGHT OF TAKING STEPS TO ENSURE
YOUR APPEARANCE IS APPROPRIATE AND NOW THAT YOU ARE HERE AND
PREPARED TO TESTIFY THERE IS NO NEED FOR US TO RESORT TO THAT
MEASURE FOR NOW. AND I AM NONETHELESS CONCERNED ABOUT THE
ARGUMENTS THE DEPARTMENT RAISED IN A LIKELY LETTER WE RECEIVED
LATE YESTERDAY AND I DOUBT FOR EXAMPLE THAT ANY PRIVILEGES
ATTACHED TO COMMUNICATIONS ABOUT CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS WHERE
THE PRESIDENT HAS CAMPAIGNED HIS BUSINESS AND CLOSE ASSOCIATES
THE SUBJECTS AND IN SOME CASES TARGETS OF THE INVESTIGATION AND
I TAKE ISSUE WITH THE WRITTEN TESTIMONY WHICH WE DID NOT
RECEIVE UNTIL MIDNIGHT LAST NIGHT AND YOU SUGGEST THAT YOU
QUOTE WILL CONTINUE THE LONG-STANDING EXECUTIVE BRANCH
POLICY OF NOT DISCLOSING INFORMATION THAT MAY BE SUBJECT
TO EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE .” IN OTHER WORDS YOU RESERVE THE
RIGHT TO REFUSE TO ANSWER THE QUESTION FOREVER. THAT IS NOT
HOW IT WORKS. NEARLY THREE WEEKS AGO I PROVIDED YOU WITH A LIST
OF QUESTIONS RELATED TO COMMUNICATIONS YOU MAY HAVE HAD
WITH THE WHITE HOUSE. ABOUT THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF YOUR HIRING,
TERMINATION OF SESSIONS AND ANY INSIGHT YOU MAY HAVE AND TO THE
SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION AMONG OTHER TOPICS. I GAVE YOU
THOSE QUESTIONS IN ADVANCE THAT YOU WOULD HAVE TIME TO CONSULT
WITH THE WHITE HOUSE AND ANY EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. YOU MAY
DISAGREE ABOUT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO UNDERTAKE THAT
REVIEW AND YOU MAY RESPOND TO EVERY QUESTION WE ASK TODAY. AS
WE DISCUSSED I AM WHIRLING TO WORK WITH THE DEPARTMENT IN
THOSE AGREEMENTS ON A CASE-BY-CASE BASIS. I TAKE YOUR
RELUCTANT STANCE AS A DEEPLY TROUBLING SIGN. ONE OF OUR
MEMBERS ASKED IF YOU CONVEYED SENSITIVE INFORMATION TO THE
PRESIDENT OR IGNORED ETHICS ADVICE OR WORK WITH THE WHITE
HOUSE TO ORCHESTRATE THE FIRING OF YOUR PREDECESSOR, THE ANSWER
SHOULD BE NO. YOUR FAILURE TO RESPOND FULLY TO OUR QUESTIONS
TODAY AND NO WAY LIMITS THE ABILITY TO GET THE ANSWERS IN
THE LONGER RUN. EVEN IF YOU ARE A PRIVATE CITIZEN WHEN WE
FINALLY LEARNED THE TRUTH AND WHILE I’M WORKING WITH THE
APARTMENT TO OBTAIN THIS INFORMATION I WILL NOT ALLOW THE
PROCESS TO DRAG OUT FOR WEEKS AND MONTHS. THE TIME IS TO
POSTPONE ACCOUNTABILITY IS OVER AND IT IS MY INTENT THERE BE NO
SURPRISES TODAY. WE PLAYED ALL THE GROUNDWORK FOR THIS HEARING
OUT IN THE OPEN. WE HAVE GIVEN YOU MONTHS TO PREPARE AND WE ARE
PUBLICLY DOCUMENTED EVERY REQUEST WE MADE AND PROVIDED OUR
REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES WITH A MEANINGFUL CALL MEANINGFUL EVIDENCE. YOU ASSISTED IN
REMAINING IN THE SPECIAL COUNSEL AND IT COMES TO PROTECTING HIM
AND YOUR TESTIMONY HERE TODAY IS VITAL TO THAT RESPONSIBILITY AND
TO OUR SHARED RESPONSIBILITY TO FIND THE TRUTH, PROTECT THE
DEPARTMENT AND FOLLOW THE FACTS AND THE LAW TO THEIR CONCLUSION.
THANK YOU. IT IS NOW MY PLEASURE TO RECOGNIZE THE RANKING MEMBER
OF THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE, MR. JORDAN AND MR. COLLINS FOR HIS
OPENING STATEMENT. >>THANK YOU, MR. CHAIRMAN AND
THANK YOU ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR BEING HERE. I WOULD
START OFF WITH THIS AND I WANT TO TOUCH THANK THE CHAIRMAN FOR
A SHOW OF HONESTY. WE NOW HAVE THE REASON FOR THIS HEARING AND
IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE OVERSIGHT OF DOJ AND EVERYTHING
TO DO AS WE FOUND OUT IN A DOCUMENT DUMP FROM THE
DEMOCRATIC SIDE FROM THE COMMITTEE AND ALSO ANOTHER
COMMITTEE THAT THIS IS MORE — NOTHING MORE THAN A CHARACTER
EXAM ASSASSINATION AND WE WILL SEE IF WE CAN DO SOMETHING AND
GET AT THE PRESIDENT WHILE WE HAVE THE CHANCE. YESTERDAY I
WANT TO TELL YOU STORY. MY KIDS ARE NOW GROWN. 26 AND DOWN TO 20
AND I USED TO ALWAYS LOVED THE EASTER SEASON AND ESPECIALLY
HIDE AND SEEK GOING TO TO FIND EGGS AND THAT LOOK ON THEIR FACE
WHEN THEY FOUND THAT LAST EGG THEY WERE LOOKING FOR AND
YESTERDAY WAS THAT FOR ME AGAIN. I WAS BACK BEING A FATHER AGAIN.
YESTERDAY WAS NOTHING BUT PURE POLITICAL THEATER AND IT WAS
WONDERFUL AND A TIME FOR HIDE AND SEEK. THE CHAIRMAN HAD A
HEARING AND LET’S DO A SUBPOENA AND WE WILL STAND TOUGH. LET’S
DO THE TIMELINE REAL QUICK. WE GET THROUGH WITH IT AND AS I HAD
WARNED THIS COMMITTEE A PREEMPTIVE SUBPOENA WAS NOT A
GOOD IDEA AND IT SHOWS ALL OTHER WITNESSES AND THEY WILL HAVE A
DETRIMENTAL EFFECT TO THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL. BUT I’M THE
MINORITY AND WHO CARES. SO WE DO IT. AND THE ACTING AG’S OFFICE
RESPONDED AT ABOUT 5:00 P.M. THE CHAIRMAN SENT A LETTER SAYING WE
WILL EXAMINE IT ON A CASE-BY-CASE BASIS. THE ATTORNEY
GENERAL WANTS TO KNOW IF YOU WILL ISSUE A SUBPOENA TODAY OR
YESTERDAY OR TODAY. WE ARE BACK AND FORTH AND THE DOJ SAID
THAT’S NOT ENOUGH ASSURANCE AND WE WERE FORMED AT 7:00 P.M. THAT
AN AGREEMENT HAD BEEN MADE AND IT WAS A FULL K BY THE COMMITTEE
CHAIRMAN AND NO SUBPOENAS TODAY. EVERYTHING WE DID EARLY IN THE
DAY WAS A COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME. NOW, WHAT WAS EVEN WORSE
ABOUT THIS AND LET’S TALK ABOUT TWITTER ACCOUNTS. LAST NIGHT
AROUND 8:00 P.M. THE CHAIRMAN’S TWITTER ACCOUNT SAID ACTING
ATTORNEY GENERAL IS GOING TO SHOW UP TODAY AT 9:30. THE
INTERESTING THING ABOUT THAT IS THAT THEY LINK TO THE 5:00
LETTER, NOT THIS LETTER WHICH I ASKED NOW TO BE ADMITTED AND I
WAS CCED ON BUT I GUESS WE NEED TO PUT THIS INTO THE RECORD NOW.
THE LETTER TO THE AG IN WHICH THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE
SAYS THERE WILL BE NO SUBPOENA TOMORROW AND ANY DIFFERENCES WE
HAVE WE WILL WORK ON LATER AND I ASK YOU THAT TO BE ENTERED INTO
THE RECORD. >>WITHOUT OBJECTION.
>>WE SEND OUT A TWEET AND MANY OF THE MEDIA PICKED UP ON RANDOM
STORIES AND SAID THE REASON THE JUDICIARY CHAIRMAN WINDS AS THE
ATTORNEY GENERAL IS COMING AND HE DOESN’T HAVE ASSURANCES. HE
DOES RIGHT HERE. THERE IS NO SUBPOENA TODAY AND WE TALK ABOUT
TRANSPARENCY NOW WE GET TO THE MEET OF THE ISSUE. IT IS ALSO
AMAZING TO ME, AS I SAID YESTERDAY, WHEN YOU COME HERE
AND PUT AN ISSUE OF THIS HEARING ON THURSDAY BILL BARTH WAS
APPROVED OUT OF THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE AND BY NEXT
THURSDAY HE WILL BE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. THIS GENTLEMAN HERE IS
FINISHING UP THE LAST TERM OF ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL AND WAS
WILLING TO COME BUT WE HAVE THIS CHARADE YESTERDAY. THIS HEARING
IS POINTLESS AND MADE MORE POINTLESS BY THE CHAIRMAN’S
OPENING STATEMENT. THIS IS NOT WHAT THE GOOD MEN AND WOMEN ARE
DOING OR FBI AGENTS DOING THEIR JOB. IT COULD BE THE FBI TALKING
ABOUT THEY DID NOT DO THEIR JOB AND WE WILL HEAR A LOT ABOUT
THAT TODAY. PLENTY OF ISSUES OF DOJ OVERSIGHT. BUT, SIR, I AM
NOT SURE THAT THE OVERSIGHT OF YOUR FINANCIAL SITUATION FROM
2014-2016 HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH THIS HEARING. IT IS BEYOND
THE SCOPE OF THIS HEARING. SO IF THIS IS WHERE WE ARE GOING THEN
I WANT TO REMIND EVERYONE THAT THIS IS NOT THE SENATE. IF
MY FRIENDS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE OWL ON THIS COMMITTEE WANTED
TO DO A CONFIRMATION HEARING THEY SHOULD JUST DO IT UPFRONT
AND IF THEY WANT TO DO IT CONFIRMATION NATION ON SENATORS
PRESENTED. THIS IS NOT CONFIRMATION HEARING AND IT’S A
JUSTICE OVERSIGHT HEARING AND SUPPOSEDLY, BACK TO THEATRICS.
THE CURTAIN OPENED UP AND WE FOUND OUT WHAT WAS REALLY GOING
ON. NO, WE WANT TO DAMAGE THE PRESIDENT AND TALK ABOUT YOUR
PRIVATE CONVERSATIONS AND THE MOST AMAZING QUOTE. WE WANT TO
KNOW WHY THE PRESIDENT MAY HAVE PUT YOU THERE. THAT IS
OFFENSIVE. WHEN WE LOOK AT THIS AND WE GO THROUGH THIS, MR.
WHITAKER, THERE ARE A LOT OF ISSUES THAT WE DISCUSSED
PERSONALLY AND AS FAR AS KNOWING THIS AND DISCUSSING THIS AND
FRANKLY ON OUR SIDE WE ARE FRUSTRATED AND THAT WILL COME
OUT TODAY. BUT FOR THE CHAIRMAN TO DO WHAT WE DID YESTERDAY AND
HAVE THIS HIDE AND SEEK GAME TO PLAY IN A LONG AND WILLINGLY
MISLEAD THE PRESIDENT AND EVERYONE ELSE TO THINK YOU ARE
COMING HERE TODAY BECAUSE OF A PARTIAL ASSURANCE, NOT A
FULL-BLOWN CAVE WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS LETTER
WHICH IS A TRAGEDY TO THIS COMMITTEE AND THE PEOPLE
WATCHING AND THE REPORTERS WHO THOUGHT IT WAS REAL. WHEN WE
LOOK FORWARD INTO THIS HEARING TODAY, IT IS TIME. IF THIS IS
THE WAY WE ARE GOING TO GO THEN WE WILL HAVE PLENTY OF STONES
AND THEATRICS. BRING YOUR POPCORN AND MAYBE WE JUST SHUT
SET UP A POPCORN MACHINE IN THE BACK BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT THIS
HAS BECOME. IT IS A SHOW. WHEN YOUR PRESENCE WAS HERE YOU CAME
VOLUNTARILY. YOU ALWAYS SAID YOU CAME MOMENTARILY. SO WE HAD THE
SHOW YESTERDAY AND NOW WE HAVE A CURTAIN DROPPED DOWN AND MR.
WHITAKER I GUESS YOU’RE CONFIRMATION HEARING IS HERE.
ONLY FIVE OR SIX DAYS LEFT ON THE JOB. WE COULD JOIN TOGETHER
WITH THE CHAIRMAN AND SAY MR. BARR COME IN HERE BECAUSE YOU
HAVE BEEN A AG AND HE’S BEEN BEFORE THIS COMMITTEE AND WE
COULD HAVE HAD SUBSTANTIVE HEARINGS BUT NO, WE WILL HAVE A
DOG AND JONI POE. LET’S GET IT OUT. THIS IS THE MOST AMAZING
THING. I GO BACK TO SOMETHING AND SOMETIMES AS A FATHER I
STARTED AS A FATHER I WILL AND AS A FATHER. I GIVE MY KIDS
ADVICE AND THEY LOOK AT ME LIKE DAD I LOVE YOU BUT THEN THEY
GIVE ME THAT DOLL LOOK. LIKE I DON’T BELIEVE YOU. YOU KNOW THE
SAD PART ABOUT THIS IS? WE PREDICTED IT ALL YESTERDAY. WE
KNEW WHAT WAS COMING. THE SAD PART OF IT IS IS THAT THE
CHAIRMAN SHOULD HOST AND PLAY HIDE AND SEEK. HE CHOSE TO CAVE
AT THE END AND BY THE WAY STILL NOT HAVE OPEN TRANSPARENCY. I’M
GLAD WE DID AND I’M GLAD WE GOT IT NOW. BUT THIS IS NO WAY TO
RUN THE RAILROAD AND NO WAY TO RUN ONE OF THEM MOST PROCEDURES
COMMITTEES IN THIS HOUSE. AND THIS IS SOMETHING THAT EVERYONE
SHOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT. THERE IS ANOTHER DOJ FOR US TO DO
OVERSIGHT ON AND MR. LOOK WHITAKER THIS IS YOUR LIFE LIKE
THE OLD TV SHOW. THEY JUST WANT A PIECE OF YOU AND WHAT THAT I
DO NOW MOVED TO ADJOURN. ACCORDING TO ROYAL RULE 416.
>>MOTION TO ADJOURN HAS BEEN MADE AND THE MOTION TO ADJOURN
IS NOT DEBATABLE. ALL IN FAVOR SAY I AND OPPOSED. THE NOSE
HABIT . ROLL CALL HAS BEEN REQUESTED.
WHERE IS THE CLERK? >>THE CLERK IS HERE SHE WILL
CALL THE ROLE. WE WILL WAIT A MOMENT FOR THE
CLERK. WHERE IS THE CLERK? HE’S COMING.
>>MR. CHAIR, THE ROLLCALL IS IN PROGRESS. >>>THE CLERK IS PREPARED AND
WE’LL CALL THE ROLE. >>MR. CHAIRMAN. NO. MR. CHAIRMAN BOTH SNOW. MS.
LOFGREN? NO MS. LOFGREN GOALS BOTH SNOW. MS. JACKSON LEE? MISS
JACKSON WE BOTH SNOW AND MR. COHEN, MR. COHEN BOTH SNOW AND
MR. JOHNSON? JOHNSON BOTH SNOW AND MR. DEUTSCH BOTH SNOW AND
THIS FAST VOTES NO. RICHMOND BOTH SNOW AND JEFFREY’S VOTES NO
AND MR. CELLINI. >>WE MAY CONTINUE TO PURSUE THE
PROOF I VOTE NO. MR. SMALL WELL. NO. MR. SWALLOW BOTH SNOW MR.
LOU VOTES NO AND MR. RASKIN BOTH SNOW. MS. DEMING VOTES NO AND
MR. CRAY ASKED BOTH SNOW MS. SCANLAN VOTES NO. MR. SEE A
VOTES NO MAKE THAT BOTH SNOW, SUTTON
VOTES NO. LACOSSE WILL FOLLOW NO SNOW.
MISS ESCOBAR. MS. ESCOBAR VOTES NO. MR. COLLINS THOSE YES AND
MR. MR. JAVITS, MR. GOMER VOTES I. MR. GOMER VOTES I AND MR.
JORDAN MR. JORDAN VOTES YES. MR. RATCLIFFE MR. BIG VOTES I. WHEN TALK LOCI MR. RENTSCHLER MR. CLINES. MR. KLEIN VOTES I.
MS. ARMSTRONG. MS. ARMSTRONG VOTES I. ARE THERE ANY OTHER MEMBERS
WISHING TO VOTE? HAVE NOT VOTED.>>GENTLEMAN FROM TEXAS?
>>YES. ARE THERE ANY OTHER MEMBERS WHO WISH TO VOTE WHO
HAVE NOT VOTED. >>MR. RATCLIFFE VOTES I.
>>YES. POLITICAL REPORT. MR. CHAIRMAN 24 NOSE AND 10
EYES. >>THE MOTION TO ADJOURN IS NOT
APPROVED AND I WILL INTRODUCE TODAY’S WITNESS. MATTHEW G
WHITAKER IS THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES.
PREVIOUSLY MR. WHITAKER SERVED AS CHIEF OF STAFF TO ATTORNEY
GENERAL JEFF SESSIONS AND APPOINTED FOR THE U.S. ATTORNEY
IN THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF IOWA ON JUNE 13TH 2004 BY PRESIDENT
GEORGE W. BUSH AND BEFORE THAT HE WAS A MANAGING PARTNER OF THE
DES MOINES BASED LAW FIRM AND ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FOR FACT AND
BETWEEN 2014 AND 2017. MR. WHITAKER GRADUATED WITH AN MBA
JURIS DOCTOR AND BACHELOR OF ARTS FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF
IOWA. WE WELCOME MR. WHITAKER AND WE
THANK YOU FOR PARTICIPATING IN TODAY’S HEARING. IF YOU WOULD
PLEASE RISE I WILL SPARE YOU IN. RAISE YOUR RIGHT ARM. DO YOU
SWEAR AND AFFIRM UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY THAT THE TESTIMONY
YOU ARE ABOUT TO GIVE IS TRUE AND CORRECT THROUGH THE BEST OF
YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND BELIEFS SO HELP YOU GOD. THANK YOU. LET THE
WET LET THE RECORD SHOW THE WITNESS ANSWERED IN THE
AFFIRMATIVE AND PLEASE BE SEATED. PLEASE NOTE THAT YOUR
WRITTEN TESTIMONY WILL BE ENTERED INTO THE RECORD AND IT’S
ENTIRELY AND ACCORDINGLY I ASK YOU SUMMARIZE TESTIMONY IN 5
MINUTES AND HELP YOU STAY WITHIN THAT TIME THERE IS A TIMING
LIGHT ON YOUR TABLE AND WHEN THE LIGHT SWITCHES YOU HAVE ONE
MINUTE TO CONCLUDE TESTIMONY AND WHEN IT TURNS RED IT SIGNALS THE
TIME HAS EXPIRED. >>THANK YOU, MR. CHAIRMAN AND
RANKING MEMBER COLLINS FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO TESTIFY BEFORE
THE COMMITTEE TODAY. I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO DISCUSSING
WITH YOU SOME OF THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND PRIORITIES
OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. BEFORE I START I WOULD LIKE TO
ACKNOWLEDGE THE PASSING OF FORMER CHAIRMAN FINKEL HE WAS A
STATESMAN AND LEADER AND IT IS A SAD DAY IN THIS COMMITTEE I AM
SURE. FIRST OF ALL I AM SAY LET ME SAY IT’S AN HONOR TO
REPRESENT PEOPLE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND THE
APARTMENT IS BLESSED WITH TALENTED HIGHLY PRINCIPLED
PUBLIC SERVANTS WHO ARE DEDICATED TO HOLDING OUR GREAT
CONSTITUTION AND THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES. I SAW THAT UP
CLOSE DURING MY 5.5 YEARS AS U.S. ATTORNEY FOR THE SOUTHERN
DISTRICT OF IOWA. OUR OFFICE PUT CRIMINALS BEHIND BARS AND KEPT
THE PEOPLE OF IOWA SAFE. I PROSECUTED SEVERAL IMPORTANT
CRIMINAL CASES AND WORKED WITH THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE ATF,
BEA, FCI AND U.S. MARSHALS SERVICE OR OUR STATE LOCAL AND
FEDERAL PARTNERS AND IT WAS A PRIVILEGE. IN 2017 I RETURNED TO
THE DEPARTMENT AND SERVED FOR 13 MONTHS AS CHIEF OF STAFF AS
FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL OR JEFF SESSIONS AND A MAN FOR WHOM I
HAVE GREAT SUCCESS AND HE LED THE DEPARTMENT WITH INTEGRITY
AND DEDICATION TO THE RULE OF LAW AND WITH A COMMITMENT TO
CARRY OUT POLICIES WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
AND I’M DEEPLY HONORED THE PRESIDENT SELECTED ME TO
CONTINUE THIS WORK AT THE DEPARTMENT. THE SENATE WILL SOON
CONSIDER PRESIDENT’S NOMINATION FOR OUR NEXT ATTORNEY GENERAL
AND LET ME JUST SAY THIS. NO ONE IS MORE QUALIFIED THAN BILL
BARR. I’M WORKING TO ENSURE HE WILL INHERIT A SMALL CONFIDENCE
AND AFFECTED DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND I BELIEVE HE WILL.
FOR THE LAST THREE MONTHS I HAVE HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF SERVING AS
ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL AND I AM IMPRESSED EVERY SINGLE DAY BY
THE DEDICATION AND HARD WORK OF OUR AGENTS, OUR ATTORNEYS AND
OUR SUPPORT STAFF. OVER THIS TIME, I HAVE VISITED A NUMBER OF
OUR OFFICES AND MET WITH FEDERAL PROSECUTORS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.
FOR EXAMPLE IN DECEMBER WE HELD OUR PROJECT SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD
WHERE EMPLOYEES FROM THE U.S. ATTORNEY’S OFFICE AND HUNDREDS
OF STATE AND LOCAL PARTNERS CELEBRATED SUCCESSES AND
REDUCTION IN VIOLENT CRIME. OUR HARD WORK IS PAYING OFF AND I
FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT YOUR CONSTITUENTS ARE SAFER BECAUSE
OF THE WORK WE HAVE DONE OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS. UNDER THIS
ADMINISTRATION CRIME IS DOWN AND POLICE MORALE IS UP. IN FISCAL
YEAR 2017 THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT CHARGED THE LARGEST NUMBER OF
VIOLENT CRIME DEFENDED SINCE WE STARTED TO TRACK IT BACK WHEN
BILL BARR WAS ATTORNEY GENERAL THE LAST TIME. IN FISCAL YEAR
2018 WE BROKE THE RECORD AGAIN BY A MARGIN OF NEARLY 15
PERCENT. WE ALSO CHARGE MORE DEFENDANTS WITH GUN CRIMES THAN
EVER BEFORE AND IN FACT WE BROKE THAT RECORD BY A MARGIN OF 17
PERCENT. THE DEPARTMENT IS BANNING BOTH STOCKS AND APPROVE
OTHER WORK. IN 2017 AFTER TWO YEARS OF
INCREASES UNDER THE PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATION VIOLENT CRIMES
AND HOMICIDE RATES WENT DOWN NATIONWIDE. WE DO NOT HAVE
OFFICIAL NUMBERS HAD FOR 2018 BUT ONE ESTIMATE PROJECTS THE
MURDER RATE IN OUR 29 BIGGEST CITIES WERE DROPPED BY 7.6
PERCENT. THOSE ARE REAL LIVES BEING SAVED. MUCH OF THE CRIME
IN THIS COUNTRY IS RELATED TO DRUG ABUSE AND DRUG TRAFFICKING.
UNDER THIS ADMINISTRATION’S PRESCRIPTIONS FOR THE SEVEN MOST
OVERUSED PRESCRIPTION DRUGS ARE DOWN BY 27 PERCENT. AT THE SAME
TIME THE D.E.A. LOWERED THE LOCAL LIMITS OF THE PRODUCTION
AND THE ACTIVE INGREDIENTS OF THESE PRESCRIPTION OPIOIDS BY
FOUR BY 7% SINCE 2016 AND THERE IS NO DOUBT IN THE LAW
ENFORCEMENT COMMUNITY THAT THE LACK VAST MAJORITY OF ILLEGAL
DRUGS ARE COMING THROUGH OUR SOUTHERN BORDER. THERE’S ALSO NO
DOUBT THAT CRIMINALS AND CARTELS SEEK TO EXPLOIT WEAKNESSES IN
OUR SOUTHERN BORDER FOR THEIR OWN PROFITS AND SERVICES
INCLUDING BY SUBJECTING WOMEN AND CHILDREN TOO DANGEROUS AND
UNSPEAKABLE DECISIONS CONDITIONS IN AN ATTEMPT TO SMUGGLE THEM
INTO THE U.S. AND THE DANGERS OF OUR POOREST SOUTHERN BORDER
BECOME MORE APPARENT EVERY TIME AN ILLEGAL ALIEN CAUSES HARM OR
DEATH TO AN INNOCENT AMERICAN ACROSS THIS COUNTRY, SUCH AS
WHAT HAPPENED TO AN OUTSTANDING YOUNG WOMAN FROM MY HOME STATE
SARAH RUTH. WE CONTINUE OUR EFFORTS TO RESTORE THE RULE OF
LAW AT THE BORDER AND IN OUR IMMIGRATION SYSTEM. FISCAL YEAR
2018 WE CHARGE MORE DEFENDANTS WITH ILLEGAL ENTRY THAN ANY
OTHER YEAR IN AMERICAN HISTORY AND WE CHARGE 85% MORE THAN WE
DID THE PREVIOUS YEAR. AT THE SAME TIME WE INCREASED THE
NUMBER OF FELONY REENTRY PROSECUTIONS BY MORE THAN 38
PERCENT. WHATEVER OUR VIEWS ON IMMIGRATION POLICY WE SHOULD ALL
BE OPPOSED TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION AND SUPPORT THESE
EFFORTS. THE DEPARTMENT IS ALSO TAKING DECISIVE ACTION AGAINST
HUMAN TRAFFICKING BOTH DOMESTICALLY AND
INTERNATIONALLY. HUMAN TRAFFICKERS LIKE OTHER CRIMINAL
ENTERPRISES TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR SOUTHERN PORTS BORDER TO
SMUGGLE WOMEN AND CHILDREN TO THE U.S. TO EXPLOIT THEM. WE ARE
BRINGING PROSECUTIONS TO DISMANTLE TRANS NETWORKING AND LAST YEAR THE DEPARTMENT OF
JUSTICE SECURED A RECORD OF 526 HUMAN TRAFFICKING CONDITIONS
WITH A 5% INCREASE FROM THE PREVIOUS YEAR. THE DEPARTMENT IS
DOING ITS PART TO AGGRESSIVELY PROSECUTE HATE CRIMES AND UNDER
THIS ADMINISTRATION WE INVITED INDICTED 15 DEFENDANTS AND
CONVEY HAD 30 CONVICTION IN 2018. IN NOVEMBER THEY PROVIDED
ELECTION MONITORS AND OUR CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION PERFORMED AT 35 EDITIONS AND 19 STATES TO
MONITOR FOR COMPLIANCE WITH THE FEDERAL VOTING LOT RIGHTS LAW
AND OUR PROSECUTORS SERVED AS SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS AND FOR
FEDERAL PROSECUTORS AND INVESTIGATORS NATIONWIDE WHILE
WORKING WITH THE FBI AT THE STRATEGIC INFORMATION AND
OPERATIONS CENTER. OVER MY TIME IS ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL I
HAVE DONE EVERYTHING AND MY POWER TO CONTINUE REGULAR ORDER
AT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. THE DEPARTMENT HAS CONTINUED TO
MAKE ITS LAW ENFORCEMENT DECISIONS BASED ON THE FACTS AND
LAW OF EACH INDIVIDUAL CASE IN ACCORDANCE WITH ESTABLISHED
APARTMENT PRACTICES AND INDEPENDENT OF ANY OUTSIDE
INTERFERENCE. AT NO TIME HAS THE WHITE HOUSE ASKED FOR NOR HAVE I
PROVIDED ANY PROMISES OR COMMITMENTS CONCERNING THE
SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION OR ANY OTHER INVESTIGATION SINCE
BECOMING ACTING AG I HAVE RUN THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WITH
FIDELITY TO THE LAW AND THE CONSTITUTION. DURING MY TIME AS
LEADER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE THE DEPARTMENT HAS
COMPLIED WITH THE SPECIAL COUNSEL REGULATIONS AND THERE’S
BEEN NO CHANGE IN HOW THE DEPARTMENTS WORK WITH THE
SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE. OVER THE PAST DAY THE DEPARTMENT AND
THE COMMITTEE OF EXCHANGE LETTERS CONCERNING THE
RESPECTIVE PREROGATIVES OF THE LEGISLATIVE AND EXECUTIVE
BRANCHES AND I’M PLEASED WE CAN REACH AN AGREEMENT THAT ALLOWS
ME TO APPEAR HERE VOLUNTARILY AND I AM PLEASED ALSO THAT WE
AGREED THAT EACH BRANCH WOULD SEEK TO ACCOMMODATE EACH OTHER
AND THAT IF WE HAVE DIFFERENCES WE WILL WORK THEM OUT IN GOOD
FAITH BEFORE RESORTING TO SUBPOENAS OR OTHER FORMAL LEGAL
PROCESSES. I WILL ANSWER THE COMMITTEE’S QUESTIONS AS BEST I
CAN AND I WILL CONTINUE THE LONG-STANDING EXECUTIVE BRANCH
PRACTICE OF NOT DISCLOSING INFORMATION THAT MAY BE SUBJECT
TO EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE SUCH AS THE CONTENTS OF CONVERSATIONS
WITH THE PRESIDENT. THE SUPREME COURT HAS RECOGNIZED THIS
EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE IS FUNDAMENTAL TO THE OPERATION OF
GOVERNMENT AND INEXTRICABLY ROOTED IN THE SEPARATION OF
POWERS UNDER THE CONSTITUTION. I HAVE SPENT NEARLY ONE THIRD OF
MY PROFESSIONAL CAREER AT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND I’M
PERSONALLY COMMITTED TO ITS SUCCESS AND INTEGRITY. I HOPE
TODAY’S HEARING WILL BE CONSTRUCTIVE AND HELP US PARTNER
TOGETHER TO ADDRESS THE PRIORITIES OF THE AMERICAN
PEOPLE. THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THIS DEPARTMENT ARE PROUD OF OUR
ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND WE KNOW CONGRESS CAN HELP US TO ACHIEVE
EVEN MORE. AND AS OUR AGENTS AND PROSECUTORS HAVE SHOWN YOU AGAIN
AND AGAIN THEY DESERVE YOUR SUPPORT. THANK
YOU ONCE AGAIN FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO TESTIFY TODAY AND
FOR YOUR ATTENTION TO THE MATTERS FACING THE DEPARTMENT OF
JUSTICE. >>THANK YOU FOR YOUR TESTIMONY
AND WE WILL PROCEED NOW WITH A FIVE MINUTE RULE OF QUESTIONS. I
WILL RECOGNIZE MYSELF FOR 5 MINUTES. NOW WE FULLY INTEND TO
EXAMINE SUBSTANTIVE QUESTIONS OF DEPARTMENT POLICY BUT PART OF
OUR JOB IS TO MAKE SURE THAT THE CORE INVESTIGATION AT THE
DEPARTMENT HAVE NOT BEEN COMPROMISED. SO AT A PRESS
CONFERENCE LAST WEEK, SIR. YOU SAID YOU HAD BEEN FULLY BRIEFED
ON THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION. I WOULD LIKE TO
READ OR UNDERSTAND THAT COMMENT. YES OR NO. SINCE YOUR
APPOINTMENT AS ACTING AG HAVE YOU BEEN BRIEFED ON CRIMINAL OR
COUNSEL COUNTER INVESTIGATIVE MATTERS WITHIN THE SPECIAL
COUNSEL’S PREVIEW? >>CHAIRMAN, THANK YOU FOR THAT
QUESTION. AS YOU KNOW I CANNOT TALK ABOUT ONGOING
INVESTIGATIONS. >>YOU CAN SAY WHETHER YOU HAVE
BEEN BRIEFED OR NOT. >>AS YOU COMMENTED ABOUT MY
RECENT PRESS CONFERENCE AS IT RELATES TO THE SPECIAL COUNSEL
INVESTIGATION. I HAVE BEEN BRIEFED.
>>THE ANSWER IS YES. >>WHERE YOU BRIEFED AT ANY
POINT WHEN YOU WERE SERVING AS CHIEF OF STAFF TO ATTORNEY
GENERAL SESSIONS. >>CHAIRMAN I KNOW YOU ARE VERY
INTERESTED IN THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION AND I
WANT TO BE VERY CLEAR ABOUT THIS BECAUSE GENERAL SESSIONS WAS
RECUSED FROM THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION I HAD NO
INVOLVEMENT. >>OF THE ANSWER IS NO. THANK
YOU. >>HOW MANY TIMES WE BRIEFED
ABOUT THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S WORK AND WHEN DID THE BRIEFINGS TAKE
PLACE >>MR. CHAIRMAN I HAVE SAID ALL
I PLAN ON SAYING ABOUT THE NUMBER OF TIMES AND BRIEFINGS ON
SPECIAL COUNSEL INVESTIGATIONS IT’S A SUBJECT MATTER OF AN
ONGOING INVESTIGATION AND IT WOULD BE IMPROPER OF ME TO TALK
MORE ABOUT IT >>WHETHER YOU AGREE OR EXPECT
NOTE THE NUMBER OF TIMES I’VE BEEN BRIEFED IN THE INVOLVEMENT
IN THE INVESTIGATIONS, SIR. >>IT IS OUR UNDERSTANDING THAT
AT LEAST ONE BRIEFING OCCURRED IN DECEMBER BEFORE YOUR DECISION
NOT TO EXCUSE YOURSELF DECEMBER 19TH ON CHRISTMAS DAY.
>>WHAT IS THE BASIS OF THAT QUESTION, SIR?
>>YES OR NO. >>E-MINI —
>>IT IS NOW OUR UNDERSTANDING THAT ONE BRIEFING OCCURRED
BETWEEN YOUR DECISION NOT TO RECUSE YOURSELF IN SIX DAYS
LATER CHRISTMAS DAY. IS THAT CORRECT? SIMPLE ENOUGH QUESTION,
YES OR NO. MR. CHAIRMAN WHAT IS THE BASIS OF YOUR QUESTION?
>>I AM ASKING THE QUESTIONS AND I ONLY HAVE 5 MINUTES.
>>NO, MR. CHAIRMAN. YOU ARE ASKING ME A QUESTION AND IT IS
YOUR UNDERSTANDING. >>I WON’T TELL YOU THAT AND I’M
JUST ASKING YOU IF THAT IS CORRECT OR NOT. IS IT CORRECT?
WERE YOU BRIEFED IN THAT TIME PERIOD BETWEEN DECEMBER 19TH AND
CHRISTMAS DAY? A SIMPLE QUESTION. YES OR NO.
>>CONGRESSMAN IF I REMEMBER HERE TODAY AND ASK QUESTIONS
BASED ON THEIR MERE SPECULATION.>>NEVER MIND. AT ANY POINT
>>IT MAKES IT VERY DIFFICULT TO ANSWER.
>>AT ANY POINT HAVE YOU COMMUNICATED ANY INFORMATION YOU
LEARNED IN THE BRIEFING TO PRESIDENT TRUMP? >>MR. CHAIRMAN I KNOW THERE IS
A UNIQUE SPECIAL INTEREST>>I’M SORRY.
>>HAVE YOU COMMUNICATED ANYTHING YOU LEARNED IN THE
BRIEFING ABOUT THE INVESTIGATION TO PRESIDENT TRUMP. YES OR NO.
>>MR. CHAIRMAN. AS I HAVE SAID EARLIER TODAY IN MY OPENING
REMARKS, I DO NOT INTEND TODAY TO TALK ABOUT MY PRIVATE
CONVERSATIONS WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. TO ANSWER
YOUR QUESTION I HAVE NOT TALKED TO THE UNITED STATES PRESIDENT
ABOUT IT. >>THE ANSWER IS NO. THANK YOU.
20 OTHER WHITE HOUSE PEOPLE? >>I DO NOT INTEND TO TALK ABOUT
MY PRIVATE CONVERSATIONS WITH THE PRESIDENT NOR WHITE HOUSE
OFFICIALS BUT I WILL TELL YOU CONSISTENT WITH WHAT I HAVE
ALREADY SAID I HAVE NOT TALKED ABOUT THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S
INVESTIGATION WITH SENIOR WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS.
>>ANY THIRD PARTY NOT ALREADY BRIEFED ABOUT THE SPECIAL
COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION WHO MAY HAVE CONVEYED THAT PRESENT THAT
INFORMATION TO THE TEAM? >>WHO DO YOU CONSIDER
THIRD-PARTY INDIVIDUALS? >>IT IS REALLY FOR YOUR
CONSIDERATION. DO ANY THIRD PARTY NOT ALREADY BRIEFED ABOUT
THAT INVESTIGATION WHO MIGHT HAVE CONVEYED INFORMATION TO
PRESIDENT TRUMP OR HIS LEGAL TEAM.
>>THIRD PERSON’S WHO I THINK MAY HAVE CONVEYED INFORMATION?
>>YES. >>AS I SIT HERE IN THIS CHAIR
RIGHT NOW, MR. CHAIRMAN. IT’S AN IMPOSSIBLE QUESTION FOR ME. I DO
NOT BELIEVE THAT I BRIEFED THIRD-PARTY INDIVIDUALS OUTSIDE
THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. I HAVE RECEIVED BRIEFINGS MYSELF
AND I AM USUALLY THE ENDPOINT OF THAT INFORMATION.
>>BUT YOU WILL NOT ANSWER THE QUESTION.
>>I JUST DID ANSWER YOUR QUESTION.
>>I DO NOT THINK YOU DID BUT LET ME JUST SAY THIS. YOUR
ITERATION OF THE LONG-STANDING POLICY APPEARS DESIGNED TO DELAY
ANSWERING THESE QUESTIONS FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE AND I FIND IT
UNACCEPTABLE. I UNDERSTAND THE ROLL OF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE AND
EXPECT AND WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO
CONDUCT OVERSIGHT AND A RESPONSIBILITY WE TAKE
SERIOUSLY. I REPEATEDLY TRIED TO WORK WITH YOUR OFFICE FIRST IN
DELAYING THE HEARING UNTIL FEBRUARY AND THEN AND PROVIDING
OUR QUESTIONS IN ADVANCE AND I DID THIS BECAUSE THE EXECUTIVE
BRANCH OWN RULES REGARDING ASSERTION OF PRIVILEGE ISSUED BY
PRESIDENT REAGAN HAVE FOLLOWED EVER SINCE. ULTIMATELY IT’S UP
TO THE PRESIDENT WHETHER HE WANTS TO ASSERT EXECUTIVE
PRIVILEGE. I HAVE GIVEN YOU A FAIR OPPORTUNITY TO PREPARE AND
SPEAK WITH THE WHITE HOUSE IN ADVANCE SO THAT WE COULD AVOID
THIS FIGHT IN THE FIRST PLACE, BUT YOU DO NOT APPEAR TO HAVE
DONE ANY THAT. THE PART — THE DEPARTMENTS FAILURE TO DO DUE
DILIGENCE IS REALLY TROUBLING. I WILL GIVE YOU THE OPPORTUNITY TO
RECTIFY THE SITUATION. AFTER TODAY’S HEARING WE WILL ATTEMPT
TO REACH AN ACCOMMODATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT TO OBTAIN ANSWERS
TO THESE QUESTIONS. AS PART OF THAT PROCESS I ASK FOR YOUR
COMMITMENT TO RETURN FOR A DEPOSITION BEFORE THIS COMMITTEE
IN THE COMING WEEKS, UNDER OATH WITH AN UNDERSTANDING THAT THE
TRANSCRIPT WILL BE RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC AS SOON AS
PRACTICABLE AND WHERE THEREAFTER. ANY OTHER QUESTIONS
UNANSWERED TODAY REQUIRE CONSULTATION WITH THE WHITE
HOUSE WILL BE ASKED AGAIN AT THAT PROCEEDING AND I EXPECT AND
EITHER A CLEAN ANSWER OR A PROPER ASSERTION OF PRIVILEGE
CLAIMED BY THE PRESIDENT. I WOULD ASK MEMBERS OF BOTH SIDES
OF THE AISLE TO MAKE THOSE QUESTIONS CLEAR FOR THE RECORD
SO WE KNOW WHAT MUST BE ADDRESSED AT THIS FUTURE
PROCEEDING. NOW, IN YOUR CAPACITY AS ACTING AG, HAVE YOU
EVER BEEN ASKED TO APPROVE ANY REQUESTS OR ACTION TO BE TAKEN
BY THE SPECIAL COUNSEL? >>MR. CHAIRMAN. I SEE THAT YOUR
5 MINUTES IS UP. I AM HERE VOLUNTARILY. WE HAVE
AGREED TO A FIVE MINUTE ROUND. >>COMMITTEE.
>>I THINK THAT’S A FINE PLACE TO END THE FIVE MINUTE RULE
>>THE COMMITTEE WILL COME AND I WILL POINT OUT WE DID NOT
ENFORCE IT ON ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL WHITAKER
>>I UNDERSTAND. IT MIGHT BE A GOOD BREAKING POINT FOR YOU.
>>THE ATTORNEY GENERAL WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF SAYING SOMETHING.
ANSWER THE QUESTION PLEASE. >>REGULAR ORDER.
>>IN YOUR CAPACITY. >>PLEASE ASK THE QUESTION.
>>LET ME REPEAT THE QUESTION SO PEOPLE REMEMBER WHAT WE ARE
TALKING ABOUT. IN YOUR CAPACITY HAVE YOU EVER BEEN ASKED TO
APPROVE ANY ACTION TO BE TAKEN BY THE SPECIAL COUNSEL?
>>MR. CHAIRMAN, I, AS THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL I AM
UNDER THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S RULES. I AM THE PERSON
ULTIMATELY IN CHARGE OF THE INVESTIGATION AND I HAVE
EXERCISED THAT AUTHORITY UNDER THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OF
REGULATIONS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.
>>REGULAR ORDER. >>I ASSUME THE ANSWER IS YES
AND YOU SAID YES OR NO? >>MR. CHAIRMAN I WANT TO BE
VERY CLEAR ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE ASKING ME. ARE YOU ASKING ME IF
I ASKED THE SPECIAL COUNSEL TO DO SOMETHING?
>>REGULAR ORDER, — >>I THINK MY WORDS WERE CLEAR.
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN ASKED TO APPROVE AN ACTION TAKEN BY THE
SPECIAL COUNSEL? LAST WEEK YOU COMMENTED ON THE STATUS OF THE
INVESTIGATION STATING IT WAS CLOSE TO BEING COMPLETED, .”
THIS WAS SENT DESPITE THE FACT YOU RECOGNIZE MOMENTS BEFORE IT
WAS ONGOING AND STATING I’M NOT GOING TO TALK ABOUT AN OPEN AND
ONGOING INVESTIGATION OTHERWISE. SO ALL I AM ASKING YOU IS HAVE
YOU BEEN ASKED TO APPROVE OR DISAPPROVE A REQUEST OR ACTION
TO BE TAKEN BY THE SPECIAL COUNSEL?
>>POINT OF ORDER, MR. CHAIRMAN.>>POINT OF ORDER.
>>A POINT OF ORDER IS NOT IN QUESTION.
>>WE ARE NOT OPERATING UNDER THE FIVE MINUTE RULE ANYMORE
THAN? >>THE WITNESS MAY ANSWER THE
QUESTION. >>I WANT TO BE VERY SPECIFIC
ABOUT THIS MR. CHAIRMAN BECAUSE I THINK IT WILL ALLY A LOT OF
FEARS THAT HAVE EXISTED AMONG THIS COMMITTEE AND AMONG THE
LEGISLATIVE BRANCH LARGELY AND MAYBE AMONGST SOME AMERICAN
PEOPLE. WE HAVE FOLLOWED THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S REGULATIONS TO
A TEE. THERE HAS BEEN NO EVENT OR DECISION AS THAT HAS REQUIRED
ME TO TAKE ANY ACTION AND I HAVE NOT INTERFERED IN ANY WAY WITH
THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION.
>>VERY GOOD. MY TIME IS EXPIRED AND I RECOGNIZE THE RANKING
MEMBER, THE GENTLEMAN FROM GEORGIA.
>>THANK YOU, MR. CHAIRMAN. IT’S LAYING OUT EXACTLY AS WE
THOUGHT. THIS IS MY COLLEAGUES ACROSS THE OUT WHEN WE HAD
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE FBI’S OPERATION AND INVESTIGATIONS IT
WAS STAY AWAY, WE DON’T WANT TO GET CLOSE TO MUELLER IN THE
CHAIRMAN EVEN SAID IT’S NO LONGER OKAY TO WAIT FOR ROBERT
MUELLER AND NOW WE HAVE YOU. THIS IS ALL THIS IS GOING TO BE
IN DOJ OVERSIGHT. >>I WANT TO SAY FOR SECOND
THERE ARE THINGS INTERESTING HERE THAT YOU THROW OUT THAT DO
NEED ADDRESSING AND I THINK WHETHER IT’S VOTING RIGHT ISSUES
OR CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUES AND I GET THAT. I ALSO WILL DEAL WITH
SOMETHING DIRECTLY UNDER YOUR OVERSIGHT MR. ACTING ATTORNEY
GENERAL AND WE WILL TALK ABOUT SOMETHING I’VE WRITTEN IN THE
LETTER ABOUT AND I BELIEVE THAT BEFORE THIS BODY LYING IS NOT
THE ISSUE BUT THE ISSUE IS TACTICS AND MY QUESTION IS WERE
YOU AWARE OF ROGER STONE’S INDICTMENT BEFORE IT BECAME
PUBLIC? >>CONGRESSMAN, AS YOU KNOW,
IT’S AN IMPORTANT QUESTION, IT IS ALSO MR. STONE BEING A PART OF AN
ONGOING INVESTIGATION BUT I HAVE AGAIN BEEN BRIEFED ON THE
SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION. THAT WOULD’VE BEEN CONSIDERED A
DEVELOPMENT THAT I WOULD HAVE BEEN BRIEFED ON AND I WAS
BRIEFED. >>ARE YOU FAMILIAR FROM PUBLIC
COURTS OR OTHERWISE THAT THEY WERE CAMPED OUT OF STONE’S HOUSE
WHEN THE FBI ARRESTED HIM? >>THIS IS NOT PART OF THE
INVESTIGATION. >>I AM VERY AWARE OF THAT AND
IT WAS DEEPLY CONCERNING TO ME TO HOW CNN FOUND OUT ABOUT THAT.
>>SOMEONE FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE SHARE A DRAFT OR
PRIOR TO A GRAND JURY’S FINDING OF A TRUE BILL? >>RANKING MEMBER COLLINS. THE COURT HAD AFTER MR. STONE’S
ARREST WAS UNSEALED, CONSISTENT WITH ITS PRIOR DEPARTMENTS, IT’S
DOJ VERY POLICY IS THE INDICTMENT IS POSTED ON THE DOJ
WEBPAGE PROBABLY AFTER IT IS UNSEALED AND MEDIA OUTLETS WERE
NOTIFIED. WE DO NOT KNOW OF ANY AND I DO NOT KNOW OF ANY OTHER
SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE NOTICE OR DOJ NOTICE FOR IMMEDIATE
OUTLETS REGARDING MR. STONE’S INDICTMENT OR ARREST. AS I SIT HERE TODAY I HAVE NO
OTHER INFORMATION I CAN TALK ABOUT.
>>GIVEN YOUR ANSWER JUST THEN, IT DOES SEEM CONCERNING GIVING
THE TIMING OF THIS REPORTER’S KNOWLEDGE AND OTHER THINGS THAT
THERE SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN A GAP IN THAT DISCOVERY. AND JUST
ANOTHER QUESTION IS, IF ANYONE WAS OUTSIDE OF THIS WOULD YOU
VIEW THIS AS A PROBLEM? THIS JUST LOOKS LIKE SOMETHING IN
YOUR FINAL DAYS HERE WITH THIS BE A PROBLEM FOR LOOKING AT THE
TIMING DOES NOT MATCH UP. IT SEEMS TO APPEAR THIS WAS GIVEN
FREE OR PRIOR KNOWLEDGE NOT GOING TO THE NORMAL CHANNELS. IF
IT WAS GIVEN THROUGH THE NORMAL OUTLETS EVERYONE WOULD’VE BEEN
THERE. >>MR. COLLINS I SHARE YOUR
CONCERN WITH THE POSSIBILITY THAT THE MEDIA OUTLET WAS TIPPED
OFF TO THE INDICTMENT OR ARREST BEFORE THAT INFORMATION WAS MADE
AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC. >>ONE OF THE OTHER ISSUES AND
SINCE WE GO DOWN THIS MR. CHAIRMAN, THIS IS ONE THAT IS
NOT UNFAMILIAR AND IT SHOULD NOT BE. IS BRUCE OR STILL EMPLOYED
WITH THE DOJ? >>TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION
DIRECTLY DIRECTLY, MR. COLLINS, BRUCE OR IS CURRENTLY EMPLOYED
WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. >>OKAY.
>>IS THERE ANY PROCESS AT THIS POINT THAT YOU COULD COMMENT ON
AND I UNDERSTAND PERSONNEL ISSUES, ARE YOU AWARE OF
DISCUSSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS FROM CONGRESS AND OTHERS
SURROUNDING BRUNO SOARES INVOLVEMENT AND MANY OF THE
INVESTIGATIVE PROBLEMS WE SEEN >>MR. COLLINS, I AM GENERALLY
AWARE OF MR. OR IN QUESTIONS BEING RAISED ABOUT HIS BEHAVIOR.
>>KNOWING WHAT YOU KNOW AND SEEING WHAT YOU HAVE SEEN AND
USING YOUR PAST EXPERIENCE. DO YOU BELIEVE MR. ORR WAS AND IT IS BEING REVIEWED BY JOHN
WHO WAS ASKED BY SESSIONS TO CONDUCT A REVIEW OF CERTAIN
MATTERS AT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. TOGETHER WITH THE FACT
THAT ANY SITUATION REGARDING MR. ORR’S EMPLOYMENT WOULD BE PART
OF A CONFIDENTIAL HUMAN RESOURCES PROCESS. I AM UNABLE
TO TALK ANYMORE ABOUT MR. ORR, HIS INVOLVEMENT IN ANY MATTERS
THAT COULD BE SUBJECT TO AN INSPECTOR GENERAL INVESTIGATION
OR HUMAN RESOURCE MATTER. >>ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL
WHITAKER, BARRING ANOTHER PLAY AND NOW FINDING OUT THAT YOU MAY
BE SUBPOENAED FOR A DEPOSITION AND AS WE CONTINUE DOWN THIS
LINE IS THERE ANY WAY AROUND THIS? THIS IS AGAIN JUST
AMAZING. I JUST WANT TO SAY IN YOUR LAST FEW DAYS, DO YOUR BEST
AND DO YOUR JOB AND CONTINUE TO DO THAT BUT AT A CERTAIN POINT
IN TIME MANY IN THIS COMMITTEE ON BOTH SIDES THAT HAVE BEEN
VERY CONCERNED WITH WHAT WE HAVE SEEN AT THE DEPARTMENT OF
JUSTICE ESPECIALLY IN THE FBI AND OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS AND
IT SHOULD CONCERN EVERY CITIZEN. WHEN THERE IS EVER A PERCEPTION
AND I SHARE THIS WITH OTHERS WHO CAME BEFORE YOU TO TESTIFY AND
WHEN THERE IS A PERCEPTION THERE IS NOT EQUAL TREATMENT ON EITHER
SIDE THAT IS A PROBLEM AND NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED AND I’M HOPING
WHEN BILL BARR COMES AND IT’S ONE OF THE FIRST STEPS WE CAN
CONTINUE WITH AND THIS WILL BE A LONG DAY AND A DAY IN WHICH WE
CHASE A LOT OF RABBITS. UNFORTUNATELY, WHEN WE GET TO
THE END OF THE DATE THE GOOD MEN AND WOMEN AT THE DEPARTMENT OF
JUSTICE AND THIS WILL NOT BE AN OVERSIGHT HEARING IT’S GOING TO
BE MORE OF A RABBIT CHASE DOWN A LOT OF HOLES AND WITH THAT I
YIELD BACK. >>MR. CHAIRMAN MAY I ANSWER.
>>YOU MAY. >>I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT AS WE
SIT HERE TODAY THAT WE UNDERSTAND THIS IS NOT A
CONFIRMATION HEARING. THAT I WILL BE REPLACED BY BILL BARR IN
THE NEXT WEEK. IT’S AN OVERSIGHT HEARING FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF
JUSTICE AND I’M SURPRISE THAT WE BOTH HAD THE CHAIRMAN AND
RANKING MEMBER TALK ABOUT WHAT THEY WANT TO TALK ABOUT AND WE
HAVEN’T TALKED ANYTHING ABOUT THE WORK REGARDING VIOLENT CRIME
OR THE OPIOID CRISIS AND WE HAVE NOT TALK ABOUT RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
OR FREE SPEECH ON OUR COLLEGE CAMPUSES AND A WHOLE HOST OF
OTHER ISSUES THAT I KNOW ARE VERY IMPORTANT TO YOU AND I LOOK
FORWARD TO TALKING ABOUT THE SUBSTANCE OF THE WORK AT THE
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. IT IS YOUR 5 MINUTES AND YOU CAN ASK
THE QUESTIONS THAT ARE MOST OF INTEREST TO YOU BUT AS I SIT
HERE TODAY WOULD LIKE TO TALK ABOUT THE INCREDIBLE WORK WE’VE
BEEN DOING AT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE SINCE I WAS CHIEF OF
STAFF AND NOW ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL.
>>IF YOU HAD BEEN GLUED TO A TV YESTERDAY MORNING YOU WOULD’VE
FOUND OUT THIS IS NOT WHAT THIS IS ABOUT MR. TURNEY.
>>11 MINUTES LEFT AND WE ARE STRICTLY ENFORCING THE 15
MINUTES RULE AND WE WILL SEE IF IT’S TRUE BUT WE WILL NOT RISK
IT SO THE COMMITTEE WILL STAND IN RECESS UNTIL IMMEDIATELY OF
THE LAST OF THE SERIES OF VOTES.>>A BRIEF PAUSE. THE HOUSE
JUDICIARY MEETING WITH THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL MATTHEW
WHITAKER AND HAS WHAT HAS BECOME A CONTENTIOUS EXCHANGE. THE
ACTING AG CLEARLY PREPPED AND STRUGGLED AT TIMES WITH STARTING
OFF ANSWERS SAYING I’M NOT GOING TO ANSWER THAT OR THAT IS
OUTSIDE OF THE LINE OF THINGS I CAN TALK ABOUT BUT ULTIMATELY
ANSWERING MANY OF THE QUESTIONS PUT TO HIM. THE MOST SIGNIFICANT
SAYING THAT HE BASICALLY HAS NOT CHANGED THE COURSE OF
THE DIRECTION OF THE SPECIAL COUNSEL INVESTIGATION. ONE OF
THE MOST SHOCKING MOMENTS THAT LED TO A LOT OF GUFFAWS AND
SURPRISE THERE IN THE CHAMBER WAS WHEN ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL
TOLD JERRY NADLER THAT HIS 5 MINUTES WERE UP. THIS COMMITTEE
HAS AGREED THAT EACH MEMBER GETS 5 MINUTES TO ANSWER QUESTIONS
BUT THE CHAIRMAN HAS THE SAY. THE CHAIRMAN CAN GO ON AS LONG
AS HE WISHES AND ALLOW OTHER PEOPLE TO GO ON LONGER AND SO I
HAVE NEVER PERSONALLY HEARD ANYONE IN THE WITNESS SEAT
TELLING A MEMBER OF CONGRESS THAT THEIR TIME WAS UP. AND
THAT’S WHY YOU HEARD PEOPLE EXPRESS SHOCK AND SURPRISE
THERE. CHAIRMAN CONTINUING ON WITH THIS LINE OF QUESTIONING
NONETHELESS. YOU CAN HEAR ALREADY THE SET UP HAPPENING
HERE WHERE CHAIRMAN NADLER IS TEEING UP FOR SOME SORT OF
SUBPOENA OR SOME SORT OF EFFORT TO GET MORE QUESTIONS ANSWERED
ON THE RECORD ASKING THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL IF YOU WOULD
COME BACK FOR A DEPOSITION THAT WOULD THEN LATER BE RELEASED TO
THE PUBLIC AND ADDRESS SOME OF THESE VERY SPECIFIC QUESTIONS
ABOUT EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE AND CONVERSATIONS WITH THE PRESIDENT
OF THE UNITED STATES. AS YOU ARE HEARING THE ACTING AG WILL NOT
ANSWER QUESTIONS BECAUSE OF THE POTENTIAL FOR EXECUTIVE
PRIVILEGE. PERHAPS THESE ARE CONVERSATIONS THE PRESIDENT DOES
NOT WANT HIM TALKING ABOUT PUBLICLY. CHAIRMAN NADLER WOULD
LIKE IT TO GO MUCH MORE SPECIFIC THAN THAT. HE WANTS TO KNOW WHAT
DOES THE PRESIDENT NOT WANT THIS CONVERSATION RELEASED AND YOU
CAN SEE THIS PUSH POLL. THE TOP REPUBLICAN DOUG COLLINS SAYING
IT’S A SCHEID SHOW ESSENTIALLY AND IT’S NOT ABOUT GETTING TO
THE HEART OF ISSUES. YOU ARE WATCHING LIVE COVERAGE FROM THE
WASHINGTON POST I AM LINDY CASEY JOINED BY MATT IN THE STUDIO.
MATT, ARE WE GETTING ANY ANSWERS YET?
>>WE HAVE SOME ANSWERS. HE SAID HE WAS NEVER ASKED BY
PRESIDENT TRUMP TO DO ANYTHING. AND HE NEVER HAD CONVERSATIONS
AT ALL WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP ABOUT THE MUELLER PROBE? I
THOUGHT THAT WAS INTERESTING. THE MOST INTERESTING IS THE
CHIPPING US. AT ONE POINT HE REMINDED THE COMMITTEE OF THEIR
OWN RULE ABOUT HOW LONG YOU CAN ASK QUESTIONS. I’VE NEVER SEEN
ANYTHING LIKE THAT. >>I GOT THAT.
>>I GOT THAT. YEAH. >>IT IS INTERESTING BECAUSE THE
WAY THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL BEGINS ANSWERING A QUESTION IS I
SAID I’M NOT GOING TO ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT CONVERSATIONS
I’VE HAD WITH THE PRESIDENT. I’M NOT GOING TO ANSWER QUESTIONS
ABOUT CONVERSATIONS WITH WHITE HOUSE STAFF BUT I DID NOT TALK
ABOUT THAT. >>IT’S ALMOST LIKE HE’S GOING
THROUGH A REHEARSED WINE HE WAS PREPPED TO SAY AND HE REALIZES
IF I DIDN’T TALK ABOUT IT I GUESS I CAN SAY I DID NOT TALK
ABOUT IT. >>IF IT IS FAVORABLE TO HIM
THAN HE CAN SAY NO I DID NOT TALK ABOUT THAT AND THAT IS WHAT
HE’S DONE SO FAR. THE RISK IS IF THERE IS A QUESTION HE WON’T
ANSWER PEOPLE WILL ASSUME THE WORST OR AND I DON’T THINK THEY
ASKED HIM ANYTHING ABOUT CONVERSATIONS ABOUT THE FDNY
INVESTIGATION WHICH I AM CURIOUS TO HEAR ABOUT BUT WITH MUELLER
HE WAS CLEAR HE DID NOT HAVE THAT CONVERSATION. >>YOU RAISE A REALLY GOOD
POINT. IF HE SAYS I CANNOT TALK ABOUT THIS BUT I DID NOT HAVE
THAT CONVERSATION AND I CANNOT TALK ABOUT THIS BECAUSE I CANNOT
HAVE THAT CONVERSATION AND THE IMPLICATION WILL BE I CAN’T
TALK. AND THAT’S A CONVERSATION THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN.
>>IF LAWMAKERS GO IN WHEN HE COMES BACK AND SAID SO WE’VE
ADDRESSED MUELLER AND YOU NEVER TALKED WITH THE PRESIDENT ABOUT
MUELLER AND HAVE YOU TALK TO THE PRESIDENT ABOUT INVESTIGATIONS
INTO THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF THE NEW YORK. IF IT DOESN’T
MATTER WHY CAN’T YOU SAY YOU DID NOT HAVE ANY CONVERSATIONS.
>>WE’VE HAD TWO PEOPLE ASK QUESTIONS. THE CHAIRMAN,
CHAIRMAN AMSLER AND THE TOP WEEK REPUBLICAN DOUG COLLINS. IN THE
LINE OF QUESTIONING, A FRIENDLY LINE OF QUESTIONING AND YOU
HEARD MILLER GIVE A BIT OF A SPEECH SAY I’M NOT HERE FOR
CONFIRMATION OR THE NEXT AG. THE OTHER GUY IS THE NEXT AG IN A
WEEK AND WHY ARE YOU ASKING MEANS THESE OVERSIGHT QUESTIONS
ABOUT CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND ALL THESE BIG WEIGHTY TOPICS. THEY
HAVE NOT HAD A MINUTE TO DIG INTO IT AND THAT IS THE
DIRECTION HE’S TRYING TO GO AND THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE AN
OVERSIGHT HEARING NOT ALL ABOUT ME.
>>HE IS RIGHT IT’S AN OVERSIGHT HEARING. AND MORE BORING TIMES
THE ACTING AG WOULD TALK ABOUT WHAT THEY ARE DOING A VIOLENT
CRIME AND TALK ABOUT WHETHER THEY ARE DOING ON THREATS ABROAD
AND TERROR. WE DO NOT LIVE IN THAT WORLD ANYMORE AND HE IS NOT
THE FIRST TOP LAW ENFORCEMENT WHETHER IT’S THE FBI DIRECTOR OR
ATTORNEY GENERAL TO COME IN IN A POLITICALLY CHARGED TIME AND BE
FORCED TO ADDRESS THE POLITICALLY HOT TOPICS. HE SAID
IN YOUR 5 MINUTES YOU CAN ASK WHAT YOU WANT BUT IT’S CLEAR HE
DOES NOT LIKE THE WAY IT’S GOING>>NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER
JOINS US WITH ROGER WHO IS A REPORTER FOCUSED ON POLITICAL
ENTERPRISE STORIES AND INVESTIGATIONS AND YOU’VE BEEN
WATCHING THE MUELLER PROBE, RODS AND FOLLOWING THE INVESTIGATION
IS GOAL. WHAT ARE YOU EXPECTING FROM MATTHEW WHITAKER TODAY?
SOMEONE WHO’S WATCHED HIS CAREER AT THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT,
WATCHED HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH THE SPECIAL COUNSEL. DO YOU
EXPECT TO GET ANYTHING OUT OF THIS TODAY?
>>HE WILL TRY HARD TO ENSURE WE DON’T GET ANYTHING. IT’S BEEN
UNPREDICTABLE BECAUSE HE HAS NOT WORKED AT THIS LEVEL FOR VERY
LONG AND WE HAVE SEEN HIM IN THE RECENT PAST SORT OF GIVE
OFF-THE-CUFF REMARKS THAT SEEM POTENTIALLY UNPLANNED. THERE WAS
A PRESS CONFERENCE THAT I BELIEVE MATT COVERED A COUPLE OF
WEEKS AGO WHERE HE WAS SORT OF ASK A QUESTION BY A REPORTER
THAT WOULD’VE BEEN VERY EASY TO SLAP DOWN AND INSTEAD HE MUMBLED
SOMETHING ABOUT HE’S BEEN TOLD THE SPECIAL COUNSEL
INVESTIGATION IS WRAPPING UP AND THAT WAS THE MOST SUBSTANTIVE
THING WE WERE TOLD FROM ANYONE ABOUT THE INVESTIGATION SINCE IT
BEGAN IN MAY OF 2017 AND A DOWNED NOT UP HERE PLANNED OR
LIKE SOMETHING HE REALLY WANTED TO BE DOING AND I THINK OUR
EXPECTATION HAS BEEN THAT WHO KNOWS WHAT HE MIGHT SAY UNDER
TOUGH QUESTIONING AND I THINK MATT HAS REPORTING ABOUT HOW
MUCH PREP HE’S BEEN DOING IN ADVANCE OF THIS TO ENSURE THIS
DOES NOT HAPPEN. >>YOU CAN TELL PREPPED WHEN
INTO THIS AND THOUGH I WILL SAY AT TIMES IN A NONJUDGMENTAL WAY.
A WORD SALAD COMING OUT OF THEIR MOUTHS AND HE SAYS HE WON’T TALK
ABOUT THAT OR HE CAN’T COMMENT ON IT BUT ACTUALLY HERE IS MY
ANSWER. IT SEEMS TO BE CONVOLUTED IN THE WAY HE HAS
TRIED TO SHUT DOWN QUESTIONS AND YET ULTIMATELY ANSWER THEM AT
THE SAME TIME. >>YOU CAN PREP ALL YOU WANT AND
HE IS WHO HE IS AND HE’S A ROOKIE AG AND HE PROBABLY HAD A
CONFIRMATION HEARING OR WENT THROUGH THE CONFIRMATION PROCESS
WHEN HE WAS UNDER U.S. ATTORNEY BUT HE’S NEVER BEEN UNDER THIS
STAGE. HE HAS NOT REALLY DONE INTERVIEWS WITH BIG MAINSTREAM
OUTLETS. HE HAD A PRESS CONFERENCE AND THAT WAS THE
FIRST TIME HE SPOKE PUBLICLY. HE APPEARS ADD EVENTS AND GIVES
PREPARED SPEECHES. YOU CAN ONLY SORT OF PREPPED SO MUCH AND HE’S
COMING OUT FIERY. I WOULD’VE THOUGHT HIS PROPERS WOULD’VE
SAID TO BE CALM AND ANSWER THE QUESTIONS VERY COOLLY. THE
DEMOCRATS ARE TRYING TO GET YOU RILED UP AND YOU CAN SEE HE IS
SORT OF GETTING RILED UP. THE FIVE-MINUTE THING WAS JUST
REMARKABLE. >>I WAS STRUCK ABOUT THE THINGS
HE SAID AT THE VERY END AND HE’S SO SURPRISED THEY HAVE NOT HAD
QUESTIONS AND IT SEEMS LIKE AN ATTACK HE HAD PLANNED TO
UNDERCUT THE DEMOCRATS OR INSISTING ON TALKING >>>THAT WAS A SHOCKING MOMENT
FOR FORMER TRANCE PARENT ROUT. HE HAD A
DETAILED RECITATION OF THE FACTS THAT THEY FOUND UNFORTUNATELY
THAT PRECEDENT WENT EXTREMELY POORLY, EARN ON BOTH SIDES OF
THE AISLE AGREES THAT WAS THE WRONG THING TO DO, IF YOU LOOK
AT THAT IN THE CONTEXT OF ROBERT MUELLER, RECALL ROD ROSENSTEIN
WHO APPOINTED ROBERT MUELLER SAID FORMER FBI DIRECTOR JAMES
COMEY HAD TO LEAVE THE FBI BECAUSE OF THAT DECISION, IF YOU
LOOK AT IT FROM THAT LENS, MAYBE HE WILL SAY WE CANNOT REVEAL
THINGS THAT ARE INTERESTING TO THE PUBLIC BUT NOT RELEVANT TO
THE CRIME >>>I COULD SEE A WORLD WHERE
HIS REPORT IS ONE PAGE, WE DECIDED TO CHARGE THE FOLLOWING
34 INDIVIDUALS, WE DECLINED TO CHARGE ANYONE ELSE, WE
APPRECIATE YOUR TIME. THAT WOULD BE VERY DISAPPOINTING TO THE
PUBLIC, I THINK THAT YOU WOULD GET SOME TRANSPARENCY NO MATTER
WHAT BECAUSE AS IN THE HILLARY CLINTON CASE, CONGRESS IS GOING
TO BE GOING AFTER IT, THEY ARE GOING TO BE LOOKING FOR 302S
WHICH WERE RELEASED IN THE HILLARY CLINTON CASE, CONGRESS IS GOING TO
DOINGEDLY PURSUE THIS. >>IS THERE A WORLD WHERE WE SEE
HIM GOING BEFORE CONGRESS. >>YES.
>>AFTER THE REPORT IS RELEASED?>>POTENTIALLY, AS I RECALL,
FORMER FBI DIRECTOR JAMES COMEY, NOT A GREAT PRECEDENT, HE WAS ON
THE HILL REPEATEDLY TALKING ABOUT THE SCEPS THAT HIS FBI
UNDERTOOK IN THAT INVESTIGATION, I THINK THAT THERE IS A WORLD
WHERE THE REPORT IS VERY BARE BONES BUT THE INTENTION IS TO
PROVIDE SOME MORE DETAIL TO A CONGRESSIONAL PROCESS WITH THE
UNDERSTANDING THAT HE IS A PROSECUTOR, HIS JOB IS TO
PROSECUTE CRIMES BUT CONGRESS HAS A DIFFERENT ROLE IN
OUR SYSTEM. AN OVERSIGHT ROLE. IT’S REALLY CONGRESS’ JOB TO
KIND OF FIND ANSWERS ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED, THAT IS NOT CRIMINAL
BEHAVIOR, IT MAY BE THAT THERE IS SOME PURPOSEFUL EFFORT TO
HAVE THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE ASSIST CONGRESS IN THAT
JOB BY TESTIFYING AND PROVIDING DOCUMENTS BEYOND THE FINAL
REPORT BUT I MEAN, THE TRUTH IS THAT FOR RECALL THAT GETS
DISCUSSED, WE DO NOT KNOW AT ALL. WHICH IS KIND OF UNUSUAL IN
WASHINGTON AND MAYBE A LITTLE FUN.
>>IT’S CONTRASTED WITH THE STARR REPORT, THERE ARE SO MANY
LEAKS, SO MANY WAYS THAT REPORTERS WERE LEARNING ABOUT
IT, SUCH A DIFFERENT SCENARIO. >>THAT’S JUST A GREAT CONTRAST.
PEOPLE ARE EXPECTING THIS WILL WRAP UP THE WAY THAT DID WITH A
THICK REPORT THAT GOES TO CONGRESS AND BE MADE PUBLIC BUT
WHAT SOME PEOPLE MAY NOT KNOW IS THAT KEN STARR WORKED UNDER THIS
INDEPENDENT COUNSEL LAW, THAT LAW EXPIRED AND THERE WAS A
FEELING THAT THE PROCESS HAD NOT WORKED WELL. SO ROBERT MUELLER
WORKS UNDER THESE GUIDELINES ABOUT HOW THINGS OPERATE WITH
THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR, THOSE GUIDELINES WERE WRITTEN
PURPOSELY TO CORRECT THE ERRORS OF THE STARR ERA AND THE STARR
REPORT AND HOW MUCH DETAIL IT CONTAINED ABOUT PEOPLE WHO WERE
NOT CHARGED WITH CRIMES, IT WAS CONSIDERED A REAL MISSTEP. WHEN
THE LANGUAGE WAS WRITTEN ABOUT WHAT THE SPECIAL COUNSEL IS
SUPPOSED TO DO AT THE END OF THE PROBE, WRITE A CONFIDENTIAL
REPORT TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND VAI WHO WAS CHARGED AND NOT,
THAT WAS INTENDED TO PREVENT A STARR REPORT NOT FACILITATE
ONE. >>WE ARE HEAR WITH ROSLYN AND
MATT WE ARE STANDING BY FOR THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
HEARING TO BEGIN, THE TACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL MATT WHITAKER
IS FACING THE MUSIC IN SOME OF HIS LAST DAYS AS THE ACTING
ATTORNEY GENERAL, THAT’S THE ANTS PACE BECAUSE BILL BARR GOT
PUSHED THROUGH THE JUSH COMMITTEE AND WE EXPECTED HIM TO
GO THROUGH THE FULL SENATE NEXT WEEK, WE ONLY HAD TWO PEOPLE
ASKING QUESTIONS AND WE HAVE 40 MORE TO GO, I DO NOT KNOW HOW
LONG THIS FRIDAY MAY GO FOR SOME OF THESE MEMBERS OF THE HEARING,
IT’S ALL BY SENIORITY, IF YOU ARE A NEW FRESHMAN EAGER TO ASK
YOUR QUESTIONS YOU ARE AT THE BACK OF THE LINE, THAT’S THE WAY
THE COMMITTEES WORK AND THE PROCESS WORKS, THE GOAL IS FOR
EACH MEMBER TO ACT THE QUESTIONS BUT ITS UP TO THE CHAIRMAN TO
ENFORCE THE RULE. CONTRARY TO WHAT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
THOUGHT, YOU WOULD HAVE SEEN A SURPRISE
MOMENT WHEN MATT WHITAKER TOLD THE ACTING CHAIRMAN YOUR FIVE MINUTES ARE UP. IT’S USUALLY NOT
THE WITNESS THAT ATTACKS THE CHAIRMAN. LETS LOOK AT WHAT WE
HAVE SEEN AT THIS POINT IN THE HEARING.
>>IN YOUR CAPACITY AS ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL HAVE YOU EVER
BEEN ASKED TO APPROVE ANY ACTION TAKEN BY THE SPECIAL COUNSEL.
>>MR. CHAIRMAN, I SEE THAT YOUR FIVE MINUTES IS UP. I AM HERE
VOLUNTARILY, WE HAVE AGREED TO FIVE MINUTE ROUNDS.
>>COMMITTEE. >>I THINK THAT IS A FINE PLACE
TO END THE FIVE MINUTE RULE. >>THE COMMITTEE WILL COME TO
ORDER, I WILL POINT OUT THAT WE DID NOT ENFORCE THE FIVE MINUTE
RULE ON ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL MATT WHITAKER.
>>I UNDERSTAND MR. CHAIRMAN BUT THAT MIGHT BE A GOOD BREAKING
POINT. >>NO.
>>THE ATTORNEY GENERAL WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF SAYING SOMETHING,
ANSWER THE QUESTION, PLEASE. >>REGULAR ORDER.
>>SHOULD I ASK THE QUESTION AGAIN. LET ME JUST REPEAT THE
QUESTION. SO PEOPLE REMEMBER WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT. IN
YOUR CAPACITY AS ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL HAVE YOU EVER BEEN ASKED
TO APPROVE ANY REQUESTS OR ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN BY THE
SPECIAL COUNSEL. >>MR. CHAIRMAN, AS THE ACTING
ATTORNEY GENERAL, I AM UNDER THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S RULES, I AM
THE PERSON THAT IS ULTIMATELY IN CHARGE OF THE INVESTIGATION AND
I HAVE EXERCISED THAT AUTHORITY UNDER THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S
REGULATIONS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.
>>REGULAR ORDER. >>I ASSUME THAT YES, YOU HAVE
BEEN ASKED TO APPROVE AN ACTION AND YOU HAVE SAID YES OR NO.
>>MR. CHAIRMAN, I WANT TO BE VERY CLEAR ABOUT WHAT YOU HAVE
ASKED ME, ARE YOU ASKING IF I ASKED
THE SPECIAL COUNSEL TO DO SOMETHING.
>>I THINK THAT MY WORDS WERE CLEAR ENOUGH. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN
ASKED TO APPROVE ANY REQUESTS OR ACTIONS TAKEN BY THE SPECIAL
COUNSEL, LAST WEEK YOU COMMENTED ON THE STATUS OF THE
INVESTIGATION SAYING IT WAS CLOSE TO BE COMPLETED. THIS WAS
JUST AFTER YOU SAID I AM NOT GOING TO TALK ABOUT AN ONGOING
INVESTIGATION, ALL I AM ASKING IS, HAVE YOU BEEN ASKED TO
APPROVE OR DISAPPROVE A REQUEST OR ACTION TAKEN BY THE SPECIAL
COUNSEL. >>POINT OF ORDER MR. CHAIRMAN.
>>I HAVE ASKED THE CHAIRMAN. >>POINT OF ORDER.
>>POINT OF ORDER MR. CHAIRMAN. >>YOU ARE NOT OPERATING UNDER
THE FIVE MINUTE RULE. >>JUST ANSWER THE QUESTION.
>>I WANT TO BE VERY SPECIFIC ABOUT THIS MR. CHAIRMAN, I THINK
THAT IT IS GOING TO ALLAY A LOT OF FEARS THAT HAVE EXISTED AMONG
THE COMMITTEE, AMONG THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH AND AMONG
AMERICAN PEOPLE. WE HAVE FOLLOWED THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S
REGULATIONS TO A TEE, THERE HAS BEEN NO EVENT OR DECISION THAT
HAS REQUIRED ME TO TAKE ACTION SOME AND I HAVE NOT INTERFERED.
>>PERHAPS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING HE SAID SO FAR, WHAT HE
SAID AT THE END. >>WE ARE SO EARLY IN THE
HEARING, I FEEL LIKE WE HAVE ANALYZED AT LENGTH WHAT HE SAID
AND THERE HAVE ONLY BEEN TWO QUESTIONS BUT SAYING THAT THERE
WAS NO CONVERSATION WITH PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, ANY
WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS, TO ME THAT WAS A STAND OUT MOMENT,
CHIPPINESS WAS A STAND OUT MOMENT, THE FIVE MINUTES, SAYING
YOUR FIVE MINUTES IS UP. HE IS A FORMER FOOTBALL PLAYER, I GUESS
HE WATCHES THE CLOCKS. >>YOU ARE WONDERING WHY THIS IS
PAUSED SO EARLY IN THE PROCESS, THIS IS NOT BECAUSE OF THINGS
HAPPENING BEHIND THE SCENES THIS IS JUST PROTOCOL. GETTING
BUSINESS DOWN IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, THEY WERE DOING
A SERIES OF VOTES AND TAKING A MOMENT OF SILENCE TO HONOR THE
PASSING OF REPRESENT EF JOHN DINGELL, HE WAS A MEMBER OF
CONGRESS, THAT IS HAPPENING SIMULTANEOUSLY, EVERYONE IS
EXPECTED BACK SHORTLY, STAY TUNED IF YOU ARE WONDERING WHEN
THIS IS GOING TO GET ROLLING AGAIN.
>>IT’S NOT SURPRISING THAT IT’S TAKING THIS LONG, I USED TO
COVER CONGRESS, I CAN TELL YOU THAT THE TIME LIMITS FOR VOTES
IS A VERY ELASTIC THING, YOU WILL OFTEN HAVE A SERIES OF
VOTES, I DO NOT KNOW WHAT THIS SERIOUS IT BUT IT’S OFTEN A 15
MINUTE VOTE, A FIVE MINUTE VOTE AND A FIVE MINUTE VOTE AND THAT
OFTEN TAKES LIKE AN HOUR. IN FACT THERE WAS ACTUALLY A LITTLE
BIT OF JOKING ABOUT THAT AT THE END OF THE HEARING WHERE NADLER
MENTIONED THAT HE HAD BEEN TOLD THAT THEY ARE GOING TO KEEP THE
FIN MINUTE TIME LINE STRICTLY AND MATT WHITAKER SAT BACK AND
SAID THEY ARE DOING THAT, THAT’S A NEW
THING. LIKE WHY WOULD THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL CARE ABOUT HOW
CONGRESS STRUCTURES VOTES THEN THEY HAVE TO RECORAL THE MEMBERS
GET THEM BACK IN THE ROOM, GET EVERYONE BACK IN THEIR SEATS,
HAVE A WITNESS RETURN TO THE TABLE, THIS IS NOT AN
EXTRAORDINARILY LONG TIME FOR THE BREAK.
>>IS THIS A GOOD RESET FOR THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL.
>>I THINK HE IS PROBABLY CONVENING WITH ADVISERS
SCROLLING THROUGH TWITTER HOW THIS IS PLAYING AND THEY MIGHT
BE TELLING HIM CALM IT TOWN A BIT.
>>OR MAYBE NOT DEPENDING ON WHAT THEY WANT FROM THIS.
>>THAT’S VERY TRUE, I HAD THAT THOUGHT EVEN AS WE ARE SITTING
HERE, HE MIGHT LIKE MAKING THIS INTO A CIRCUS AND FIGHTING BACK
SAYING YOU ARE NOT HERE TO ASK QUESTIONS, YOU ARE DOING THIS TO
EMBARRASS MATT WHITAKER. HE WILL NOT HAVE TO WORK WITH THESE
LAWMAKERS AGAIN UNLESS HE COMES BACK INTO GOVERNMENT.
>>AS WE WATCHED BRETT KAVANAUGH AND HIS HEARING, THERE WERE
QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS AGGRESSIVE TONE AND IF IT WAS HELPING OR HURTING HIM BUT
REGARDLESS, IT SEEMED STRATEGIC.>>HE CAME IN HOT AND THERE WAS
A BREAK AND WAS CALMER, EVEN APOLOGIZING
TO A AMY Y KLOBUCHAR, THIS IS A DIFFERENT
KIND OF HEARING, AS CHIPPY AS THIS
HAS BEEN, IT WAS NOTHING LIKE THAT.
>>ALSO BRETT KAVANAUGH NEEDED SOMETHING, MATT WHITAKER DOES
NOT NEED ANYTHING FROM THE COMMITTEE, I WOULD NOT BE
SURPRISED TO HEAR HIM BEING SIMILAR TO HOW HE WAS IN THE
FIRST BIT. HE TESTED OUT THAT LINE SAYING HOW HE DID NOT THINK
THAT THEY WERE ASKING ABOUT THE RIGHT THINGS, WHERE ARE YOUR
QUESTIONS ABOUT CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM.
>>IT FELT EARLY TO PULL THAT LINE OUT. HE IS
PROBABLY GOING TO BE WANTING TO USE THAT AGAIN.
>>I WANTED TO TALK ABOUT THE WORK THAT YOU HAVE BEEN DOING ON
THE RUSSIA PROBE AND WHERE THINGS ARE AT. THE LATEST STORY
THAT YOU HAVE TODAY IS ABOUT PAUL MANAFORT AND HOW THE
PROSECUTORS ARE SAYING NOW THAT HE CONTINUED
DOING WORK REAMENTED TO, RELATED TO UKRAINE AS LAWSUIT AS 2018 AS
THE INVESTIGATIONS WERE ROLLING ON.
>>WE HAVE CONTINUED TO SEE THE MUELLER TEAM DO TWO THINGS IN
COURT, RELEVANT TO HOW MUCH THEY RELEASE, ONE IS THAT THEY
CONTINUE TO MAKE NEW REVELATIONS, THERE IS OBVIOUSLY
MORE MATERIAL AND THEY HAVE LEARNED THAT THEY HAVE NOT YET
TOLD THE PUBLIC ABOUT IT. WE CAN TALK MORE AS THE BREAK CONTINUES
ABOUT SOME OF THE THINGS WE HAVE LEARNED IN RECENT WEEKS ABOUT
PAUL MANAFORT AND WHAT HE WAS DOING BEFORE THE CAMPAIGN,
DURING THE CAMPAIGN AND AFTER THE CAMPAIGN, THE OTHER NING
THAT THEY HAVE ALSO CONTINUED TO DO IS BE VERY VIGILANT ABOUT
REQUESTING THAT MATERIAL BE REDACTED SO ITS NOT FULLY
AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC VIEW, WE GET THESE HYPOTHETICALS BUT A
LOT IS BEING HELD BACK, I CANNOT QUITE READ WHY THAT IS, IS IT
BECAUSE THERE IS SOME ONGOING INVESTIGATION AND THEY WANT TO
GIVE THIS MATERIAL TO THE PUBLIC ALL AT ONCE, WITH A BOW, THEY DO
NOT WANT IT TO DRIP IN THE WAY IT WOULD BE DRIPPED IN THE PAUL
MANAFORT PROCESS OR IF ITS THAT THEY HAVE DECIDED THAT IT DOES
NOT REALLY, THE CRIMES ARE BEING CHARGED, THEY DO NOT THINK THAT
THE PUBLIC SHOULD KNOW ABOUT IT. IT SHOULD REMAIN SECRET
POTENTIALLY FOREVER >>>PAUL MANAFORT CHALKS IT UP
BROADLY TO MISSTATEMENTS, GETTING CONFUSED IN INTERVIEWS,
WHAT IS AT STAKE FOR HIM IS A MUCH LONGER SENTENCE, THEY HAD
THIS HEARING, IT WAS ALL UNDER SEAL. THEY UNSEALED IT
YESTERDAY. WHAT IS AT STAKE FOR HIM IS IF A JOURNAL WHO AT THIS
HEARING WAS TRYING TO DETERMINE THIS, IF SHE DECIDED HE DID
INTENTIONALLY LIE HE COULD FACE MORE YEARS IN PRISON THAN HE
WOULD HAVE IF HE CONTINUED TO COOPERATE WITH THE SPECIAL
COUNSEL’S OFFICE, THE JUDGE WAS HEARING FROM HIS SIDE AND THE
ROBERT MUELLER TEAM ABOUT WHAT THE LIES WERE AND THE EVIDENCE
THAT THEY HAD AND THAT THESE WERE INTENTIONAL LIES AND NOT
MISSTATEMENTS AND WHY THEY WERE IMPORTANT, AN IMPORTANT
COMPONENT IS THAT THE LIE HAS TO BE TEEBL OR RELEVANT TO THE
SUBJECT THAT THEY ARE ASKING ABOUT, IF I SAT WITH THE FBI AND
THEY WERE ASKING ABOUT MY WASHINGTON POST WORK AND I SAID
THE SKY IS YELLOW, THAT’S A LIE BUT ITS NOT RELEVANT TO THEIR
WORK. THERE WERE THESE BIG REDACTIONS ON THAT SUBJECT THAT
ARE SO TANTALIZING BUT WE CAN JUST NOT MAKE SENSE IT. WE WERE
TALKING ABOUT KALIMNICK AND THEN THEY BLACKED IT OUT. I HOPE ONE
DAY AT LEAST THAT DOCUMENT WILL BE UNSEALED AND THERE ARE LIKELY
MANY MORE LIKE THAT WHICH ARE TOTALLY SEALED. THERE ARE TAPT
LIESING HYPOTHETICALS, WE DO NOT KNOW IF THERE IS AN EXPLOSIVE
REVELATION OR IF ITS JUST BORING MUNDANE STUFF THAT WE WILL NEVER DESERVE TO KNOW.
>>YOU BRING UP THE KALIMNIK, THIS COULD BE SIGNIFICANT IN THE
CAMPAIGN AND TRUMP WORLD. >>THIS GUY WAS A RUSSIAN
EMPLOYEE OF PAUL MANAFORT’S CONSULTING BUSINESS BEFORE HE
JOINED THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN, FROM RUSSIA, WAS LIVING IN KIEV,
UKRAINE AND HELPING PAUL MANAFORT BE A POLITICAL
CONSULTANT ABROAD. WE HAVE BEEN TOLD THROUGH PREVIOUS COURT
FILINGS THAT THE FBI HAS ASSESSED THAT KALIMNIK IS
ALLEGED TO BE INVOLVED WITH THE RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE SERVICES.
WE KNOW THROUGH REPORT AND THROUGH THE PROBE THAT PAUL
MANAFORT WAS IN CONTACT WITH HIM DURING THE CAMPAIGN. THE
WASHINGTON POST WAS THE FIRST TO REPORT THAT HE CAME TO THE
UNITED STATES FROM KIEV TO MEET WITH PAUL MANAFORT TWICE WHILE
HE WAS SERVING AS THE HEAD OF TRUMP’S CAMPAIGN, THEY HAVE A
MEETING A FEW BLOCKS FROM TUM TOWER IN NEW YORK CITY. HE COMES
FROM ABROAD TO MEET WITH PAUL MANAFORT, HE LEARNED SOME NEW
DETAILS ABOUT THIS HEARING, RICK GATES WHO ALSO PLED GUILTY TO
VARIOUS CRIMES, FOR SOME REASON, THE THREE MEN FELT LIKE THEY
HAVE TO LEAVE THE MEETING SEPARATELY, THEY APPEARED TO BE
NERVOUS ABOUT HAVING BEEN OPENED ATTENDING THIS MEETING TOGETHER.
WE KNOW FROM PREVIOUS COURT DOCUMENTS THAT IT LOOKS LIKE
PAUL MANAFORT AT SOME POINT IN TIME PASSED POLLING DATA FROM THE PRESIDENT DEM
CAMPAIGN ALONG TO KALIMNIK, WE KNOW FROM E-MAILS, WE AT THE
WASHINGTON POST WERE THE FIRST TO REPORT THAT PAUL MANAFORT
ASKED THIS MAN TO GET IN TOUCH WITH A PARTICULAR,
EXTREMELY CLOSE TO PUTIN OLIGARCH, OLEG DERIPASKA
TO PASS ON INFORMATION, THERE WAS A FACT PATTERN THAT PAUL
MANAFORT WAS HAVING WITH THE MAN THAT PAUL MANAFORT WAS ALLEGED
TO HAVE TIES WITH DURING THE CAMPAIGN BUT INTERESTINGLY,
MUELLER HAS NOT CHARGED ANYONE WITH THAT. WHERE THAT IS HEADING
IT’S HARD TO KNOW. THEY SAID THAT THEY BELIEVE THAT THE
SECOND MEETING WAS AT THE HARD OF THE INVESTIGATION BUT IT HAS
NOT SHOWN UP IN CRIMINAL CHARGES, WE ARE WAITING TO FIND
OUT. >>WE ARE EXPECTING THE HOUSE
JUDICIARY COMMITTEE TO GET UNDERWAY AND TO GET THE ACTING
ATTORNEY GENERAL BACK IN THE HOT SEAT ANSWERING QUESTIONS FROM
DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE, WE GOT A SENSE
OF WHAT THE CHAIRMAN JERROLD NADLER WANTS TO ASK, HE GAVE AN
OUTLINE OF HIS QUESTIONS, IT HAS QUESTIONS ABOUT JUST HOW MUCH
THE PRESIDENT MAY HAVE WANTED TO TALK TO MATT WHITAKER ABOUT THE
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK, THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW
YORK FOCUS IS VERY SIGNIFICANT BECAUSE THEY ARE DOING A LOT OF
THE DIGGING AND THE INDICTMENTS AND THE INVESTIGATING IN OTHER
ASPECTS THAT ULTIMATELY DO EFFECT TRUMP WORLD AND YOU HAVE
BEEN REPORTING ON THAT, MOST RECENTLY RELATED TO THE
INAUGURATION. >>THERE ARE A COUPLE OF
INVESTIGATIONS IN NEW YORK AND I MIGHT ACTUALLY SUGGEST THAT WE
START WITH THE ONE THAT REALLY PERMANENTLY IMAPPLICANTED DONALD
TRUMP, THE MICHAEL COHEN INVESTIGATION, HE PLED GUILTY TO
VIOLATING CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAW WITH REGARDS TO TWO PAYMENTS TO
WOMEN WHO SAID THEY HAD EXTRA EXTRAMARITAL AFFAIRS WITH DONALD
TRUMP, MICHAEL COHEN, DID THAT AND SAID IT WAS A CRIME. THE
NATIONAL ENCHOIRER DID THAT, THEY DPREED IT WAS A CRIME AS
PART OF AN IMMUNITY AGREEMENT. THEY AGREED IT WAS A CRIME AND BOTH AMI AND MICHAEL
COHEN IMAPPLICANTED DONALD TRUMP.
THERE ARE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT GUIDELINES THAT SUGGEST THAT THE
PRESIDENT CANNOT BE INDICTED WHILE IN OFFICE BUT THAT’S A
VERY SIGNIFICANT ISSUE WITH DONALD TRUMP’S PROSECUTORS HAVE
BASICALLY SAID IN COURT THAT THEY BELIEVE THAT THE PRESIDENT
WAS INVOLVED IN THE COMMISSION OF CRIMES >>>THE INAUGURAL COMMITTEE HAS
BEEN BREAKING OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS, NOT ONLY
BECAUSE OF WHAT IS SAYS BUT BECAUSE THERE ARE CLOSE PERSONAL
PEOPLE IN DONALD TRUMP’S LIFE, LIKE IVANKA TRUMP AND MELANIA
TRUMP COULD BE INVOLVED. I DO NOT WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE NEAMS
BUT THEY ARE INTEGRAL IN THE PLANNING AND PROCESS IT WOULD
MAKE ANYONE NERVOUS. >>ONE INTERESTING SIGNIFICANT
THING, WE SAW A SUBPOENA THAT WAS ISSUED FROM THE SOUTHERN
DISTRICT OF NEW YORK TO THE PRESIDENT AS INAUGURAL COMMITTEE
REQUESTING AN INCREDIBLY WIDE ARRAY OF DOCUMENTS RELATED TO
THE INAUGURAL. EVERYTHING ABOUT WHO GAVE AND HOW THEY GAVE AND
WHAT THEY GOT FOR THEIR DONATIONS AND EVERYTHING ABOUT
THE SPENDING OF THE COMMITTEE, THE VENDORS, THE CONTRACTORS,
IT’S HARD TO KNOW WHAT THEY ARE LOOKING AT. THEY SEEM TO HAVE
CAST SUCH A WIDE NET. IT’S AN INTERESTING REMINDER THAT MATT
WHITAKER SAID THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S PROBE IS WRAPPING UP
BUT ITS NOT LIKE ONCE THAT ENDS, THE PRESIDENT’S LEGAL TROUBLES
ARE OVER, YOU HAVE ALL OF THESE SPIN OFF INVESTIGATIONS THAT ARE
LIKELY TO CONTINUE, WHO KNOWS WHAT ELSE MIGHT POP UP.
>>A QUESTION THAT CHAIRMAN NADLER WANTS TO ASK, ABOUT THE
FIRING OF PEOPLE IN THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK.
>>MAT WIT HAS NOW ANSWERED THE QUESTION OF, DID THE PRESIDENT
DISCUSS THE MUELLER PROBE WITH YOU, HE HAS NOT ANSWERED THIS
OTHER QUESTION WHICH I EXPECT SOME DEMOCRAT WILL ASK, WHAT
ABOUT SDNY, THOSE PROWBS, JUST LIKE ROBERT MUELLER ARE GOING
INTO THE PRESIDENT’S ORBIT. IN SOME WAYS, THE SDNY PROBE IS
MORE BUSINESS PROBE, THE PRESIDENT HAS SAID THAT’S A NO
FLY ZONE FOR ROBERT MUELLER BUT THAT COULD BE FOR ALL
PROSECUTORS, THE DEMOCRATS MAY WANT TO KNOW, DID YOU AND THE
PRESIDENT AND OTHER WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS TALK ABOUT THIS. HOW
ARE YOU KEEPING SDNY SOMETIMES REFERRED
TO AS THE SOVEREIGN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK,
HOW HAVE YOU KEPT THEM FROM POLITICAL INFLUENCE.
>>WE ALREADY HEARD FRUSTRATION FROM THE CHAIRMAN ABOUT
EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE AND WHETHER OR NOT MATT WHITAKER WILL INVOKE
EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE AT A HYPOTHETICAL OR SOMETHING HE
ALREADY KNOWS, LIKE I AM NOT GOING TO TALK ABOUT THAT BECAUSE
OF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE OR BECAUSE THE PRESIDENT MAY CALL
IT EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. >>THEY WILL TYPICALLY GO IN AND
SAY I CANNOT TALK ABOUT MY CONVERSATIONS WITH THE PRESIDENT
BECAUSE IT IS POSSIBLE HE MIGHT INVOKE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE, IT’S
NOT THEIR PRIVILEGE TO STATE, IT’S THE PRESIDENT’S, SO WHAT
HAPPENS IF THE HOUSE WANTS TO PUSH THIS ISSUE, THEY WILL SAY
YOU NEED TO GO TO THE PRESIDENT AND SAY, ARE YOU
EXERTING EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. IF YOU DO NOT, WE WILL SERVE YOU
WITH A SUBPOENA. THAT WAS THE DRAMA, IT’S A THORNY AND
COMPLICATED ISSUE AND THERE IS NO CLEAR GUIDANCE ON WHAT HE CAN
AND CANNOT ANSWER, IS JUST SUCH A MURKY ISSUE.
>>THE VOTES ARE OVER IN THE HOUSE WE ARE SEEING MEMBERS
STARTING TO FILTER IN. I WANTED TO GET BACK TO THE QUESTION OF
THE SUBPOENA POWER THAT THE CHAIRMAN HAS OR DOES NOT HAVE.
WE SAW IT OUT THERE YESTERDAY THAT THEY COULD SUBPOENA MATT
WHITAKER WHO SAID THAT THREAT LOOMING OVER THE HEARING, I AM
NOT GOING TO COME IF THAT’S THE WAY YOU ARE GOING TO PLAY, THEY
NEGOTIATED THINGS LAST NIGHT. WE WE THINK ABOUT SUBPOENAS SH WE
THINK ABOUT SLAPPING YOU WITH IT. CAN YOU TALK US THROUGH HOW
THIS WORK WORK IN THE CASE OF A COMMITTEE TRYING TO SUBPOENA A MEMBER OF THE
TRUMP ADMINISTRATION. >>IT HAS HAPPENED BEFORE,
ISSUED AND WRAWNG BUT WITH ROD ROSENSTEIN WHEN REPUBLICANS
CONTROLLED THE HOUSE, IT’S NOT AS IF THEY SEND SOME PROCESS
SERVER OVER THERE TO. >>I WAS PICTURING A BIKE
MESSENGER. >>I DO NOT KNOW WHAT IS GOING
ON BEHIND THE SCENES IN THE IT WAS TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BUT
THEY SAY, WE SUBPOENAED HIM, THEY RELEASE THE SUBPOENA, MOST
OF THE TIME YOU SEE THAT NEGOTIATED AWAY,
SOMETIMES YOU DO NOT. THEY SAY, I WAS GOING TO APPEAR ANY WAY,
BUT MATT WHITAKER CHOSE TO SAY I AM NOT APPEARING UNLESS YOU
WITHDRAW THIS, IT HAS REAL FORCE, THIS IS NOT JUST A SHOW,
YOU HAVE TO APPEAR OR ELSE YOU ARE HELD IN CONTEMPT, IS A REAL
THING, THIS IS A STRANGE SITUATION WHERE HE DOES
NOT LIKE THE BAD FAITH. >>THIS IS AN TRAG DISIPTION
BETWEEN THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE WHEN IT COMES TO SUBPOENAS. IN
THE SENATE YOUR COMMITTEE CAN ONLY ISSUE A SMEEN ON A VOTE OF
THE COMMITTEE, I FORGET WHAT THE VOTE COUNT IS BUT IT ENDS UP
BEING BIPARTISAN, WHEN YOU SEE A SUBPOENA ITS A SIGNIFICANT
ACTION BECAUSE IT MEANS THAT THE TWO PARTIES HAVE GOTTEN TOGETHER
AND AGREED TO TAKE THIS ACTION, IN THE HOUSE, BY CONTRAST I
BELIEVE THAT THE CHAIRMAN CAN ISSUE A SUBPOENA. IT’S MORE
COMMON TO SEE THESE PARTISAN SUBPOENAS THAT THE OTHER SIDE
DRAMATICALLY AGREES WITH AND SOMETIMES THEY HAVE SQUABBLES
MR. WHETHER OR NOT THE OTHER SIDE WAS INFORMED. POLITICALLY
ITS EASIER TO FIGHT IT. OR TO SAY ITS A POLITICAL CIRCUS, I AM
TRYING TO REMEMBER IF WE KNOW WHETHER OR NOT THE SENATE
INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE AS PART OF THE RUSSIA INVESTIGATION HAS
ISSUED SOME SUBPOENAS, I THINK THAT THEY HAVE BUT ITS RARE
BECAUSE ITS NOT EASY TO DO, IT REQUIRES THE TWO PARTIES TO
AGREE. >>IN THIS CASE, THE THREAT OF
THE SUBPOENA COMING TODAY WAS ON THE TABLE BUT BECAUSE THAT SEEMS
TO HAVE BEEN MOVED OFF THE TABLE FOR TODAY AND TOMORROW. THAT’S
NOT A GET OUT OF SUBPOENA FREE CARD FOR THE REST OF EVEN MATT
WHITAKER’S TIME SERVING AS THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL.
>>THEY HAVE NOT AGREED TO TAKE IT OFF THE TABLE PERMANENTLY, IT
WOULD BE HARD TO ENVISION A WORLD WHERE THEY WOULD OR ELSE
HE MAY NEVER ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS, THEY MAY
LOSE THEIR POLITICAL APPETITE BUT THEY COULD ISSUE IT AND GET
EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. >>YOU SAW CHAIRMAN NADLER
COMING INTO THE COMMITTEE ROOM. THE TABLES ON THE SIDE ARE THE
REPORTERS AND JOURNALISTS AND THEIR LAPTOPS THEN THE PUBLIC,
IT’S BEEN A PACKED HEARING ROOM, A LOT OF PUBLIC INTERESTED IN
THIS HEARING TODAY. IT REALLY IS A POTENTIAL HARBINGER OF WHAT IS
TO COME OVER THE NEXT WEEKS AND MONTHS AS THE DEMOCRATS FLEX
THEIR MUSCLES, IS THERE A DANGER OF HOUSE DEMOCRATS GOING TOO FAR
IN EITHER THEIR LINE OF QUESTIONING OR HOW AGGRESSIVE
THEY ARE. >>THAT SPEAKS TO YOUR POINT
EARLIER, HOW REPUBLICANS ARE GOING TO SAY YOU ARE NOT YECTLY
EXERCISING YOUR OVERSIGHT FUNCTION >>>AND THAT THE COMMITTEE WILL
SUFFER AND NOTHING ELSE IS GOING TO HAPPEN. WE WILL HAVE WAR AND
DESTRUCTION, SO YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT THE PRESIDENT WAS
TRYING TO SET THAT TONE THAT, YOU KNOW, KIND OF CONGRESS ON A
VENDETTA TO GET HIM IS NOT IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE
COUNTRY, I WOULD NOT EXPECT US TO HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING OF HOW
THAT IS GOING TO POLITICALLY SHAKE OUT JUST TODAY BUT I
EXPECT THOSE TO BE THE ARGUMENTS RAISED BY BOTH SIDES GOING
FORWARD. >>SOME MORE COMMITTEE MEMBERS
AND THERE IS THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL MATT WHITAKER. WE WILL
SEE IF THE TONE CHANGES AS EVERYONE TAKES THEIR SEATS
AGAIN, WE DO NOT EXPECT THE TONE TO CHANGE FROM DEMOCRATS AND
REPUBLICANS BUT THE QUESTION IS WILL MATT WHITAKER HAVE A
DIFFERENT TONE, THERE ARE 40 MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE, MOST
HAVE NOT GOTTEN A CHANCE TO ASK ANYTHING, WE ARE GOING BACK TO
THE ROOM. WE ARE WAITING FOR THE CHAIRMAN TO TAKE HIS SEAT. WE
WILL TALK FOR A MOMENT MORE, I AM JUST SO CURIOUS TO HEAR, NOT
JUST THE TONE BUT IF DEMOCRATS CAN CHIP AWAY AT MATT WHITAKER’S
RESOLVE TO NOT SAY ANYTHING OF SUBSTANCE, BEFORE IT WAS I AM
NOT GOING TO ANSWER, YET HERE’S MY ANSWER.
>>HE DOES PROVIDE THAT. I DO NOT THINK THEY HAVE TO
BREAKTHROUGH THE ICE TOO FAR, THIS IS A GUY WHO ENDED IT WITH
I CANNOT TALK ABOUT OPEN INVESTIGATIONS, THEN HE TALKED
MORE. THE LONGER THEY CHIP THE MORE CHANCE HE IS RELEASE SAB
SUBSTANTIVE. PEOPLE SEE THIS SYNONOMOUS OF BENGAZI WITH, THIS
IS A WASTE OF MONEY, REPUBLICANS ARE NOW SAYING, THIS IS A WASTE
YOU ARE JUST TRYING TO EMBARRASS THE PRESIDENT.
>>YET YOU HAVE DEMOCRATS THAT ARE VERY EAGER FOR ANSWERS. ALL
RIGHT THE CHAIRMAN HAS REENTERED THE HEARING ROOM. LETS GO BACK
TO THE HEARING, LIVE >>>COMMITTEE WILL COME TO ORDER
AGAIN, WE WILL NOW RESUME QUESTIONING AGAIN UNDER THE FIVE
MINUTE RULE. MISS LOFGREN. >>THANK YOU MR. CHAIRMAN, THANK
YOU FOR BEING HERE TODAY. ON JANUARY 28TH YOU MADE A
STATEMENT, I AM TRYING TO UNDERSTAND MORE ABOUT THAT. YOU
MENTIONED, THIS IS A DIRECT QUOTE. RIGHT NOW, REFERRING TO
THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION, RIGHT NOW THE INVESTIGATION IS CLOSE
TO BEING COMPLETED. WHAT WAS THE BASIS FOR THAT STATEMENT THAT
YOU MADE? >>THANK YOU FOR THAT QUESTION,
CONGRESSWOMAN. I HAD A PRESS CONFERENCE ANNOUNCING AN
IMPORTANT INDICTMENT RELATED TO HUAWEI AND THEIR STEALING OF I
WANT ELECT YAL PROPERTY OF AMERICAN COMPANIES, DURING THE
COURSE OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE I WAS ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE
SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION, I PREFACED THAT ANSWER BY SAYING
I CANNOT TALK ABOUT ONGOING INVESTIGATIONS LIKE THE SPECIAL
COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION, AS I SIT HERE TODAY I DO NOT HAVE
ANYTHING TO ADD TO WHAT I SAID. >>IT SEEMS TO ME THAT YOU DID
TALK ABOUT AN ONGOING INVESTIGATION AND THERE
THEREFORE YOU CAN UNDERSTAND, I AM SURE, WE WOULD LIKE TO KNOW
WHAT YOU MEANT BY WHAT YOU SAID. IN THAT SAME STATEMENT, YOU SAID
YOU WERE QUOTE, COMFORTABLE THAT THE DIRECTIONS THAT WERE MADE
WILL BE REVIEWED THROUGH THE VARIOUS MEANS WE HAVE, UNQUOTE.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? >>CONGRESSWOMAN, THANK YOU FOR
THAT QUESTION, I WOULD REFER YOU TO THE SPECIAL COUNSEL
REGULATIONS THAT AGAIN, THE QUESTION THAT I WAS, THE ANSWER
THAT I GAVE TO THE INQUIRY WAS REGARDING THE TIMING OF THE
SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION, I HAVE NOTHING, AS I SIT HERE,
TO ADD TO THAT BUT I DO WANT TO MENTION THAT THE SPECIAL
COUNSEL’S REGULATION BY THEIR VERY NATURE SAY THAT THE
ATTORNEY GENERAL WILL RECEIVE A REPORT, THAT WILL BE A
CONFIDENTIAL REPORT, AND THAT WILL, THAT REPORT WILL COVER THE
DECISIONS AND SO I WAS TALKING ABOUT, AS ATTORNEY GENERAL, AS
ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL, IF AND WHEN I RECEIVE THAT REPORT,
AGAIN I HAVE ONLY LESS THAN A WEEK BEFORE MR. BARR COMES
ONBOARD, I WOULD REVIEW THE DECISION.
>>SO IS IT FAIR TO SAY THAT THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S
INVESTIGATION IS PROCEEDING WNG THE, WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE
ATTORNEY GENERAL GEM’S MAY 2017 ORDER.
>>I THINK THAT WHAT I JUST EXPLAINED TO YOU IS THAT THE
SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION IS PROCEEDING CONSISTENT WITH
THE REGULATIONS THAT OUTLINE WHY THE APPOINTMENT HAPPENED AND
CONSISTENT WITH ROD ROSENSTEIN’S APPOINTMENT.
>>THANK YOU FOR THAT CLARIFICATION, I WOULD JUST LIKE
TO NOTE THAT TO SOME EXTENT IT’S HARD TO IGNORE THAT THE
WILLINGNESS TO DISCUSS ONGOING INVESTIGATIONS HAS NOT BEEN
APPLIED EVENLY. I MEAN YOU JUST MENTIONED TODAY, THE ROGER STONE
INDICTMENT AND THAT’S AN ONGOING MATTER BUT, LET ME GET BACK TO
AN OPPORTUNITY YOU HAVE TO CLEAR THE AIR, MANY HAVE SPECULATED
THAT YOUR APPOINTMENT WAS BASED ON YOUR PUBLIC APPEARANCES THAT
HARSHLY CRITICIZED THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION, PRIOR
TO YOUR HIRING AS CHIEF OF STAFF TO THEN ATTORNEY GENERAL JEFF
SESSION, I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW, DID YOU DISCUSS OUR SHARE YOUR
PRIVATE OPINIONS OF THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION WITH
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP OR OTHER WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS SUCH AS
MR. KELLY OR TRUMP’S FAMILY MEMBERS OR
PUBLIC SURROGATES LIKE MR. GIULIANI I WILL NOTE THAT THIS
IS NOT COVERED BY EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE BECAUSE AT THAT TIME
YOU WERE A PRIVATE CITIZEN. >>CONGRESSWOMAN THANK YOU FOR
THAT QUESTION, I CAME TO WASHINGTON, DC IN OCTOBER OF
2017 TO BE ATTORNEY GENERAL SESSION’S CHIEF OF STAFF. I HAVE
THE GREATEST RESPECT AS YOU KNOW FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL SESSIONS, I
AM REALLY HONORED TO CARRY OUT THE ROLE.
>>IF I MAY, THAT’S VERY NICE BUT THAT WAS NOT THE QUESTION
THAT I ASKED. >>AS YOU KNOW, I AM, AS I
MENTIONED HONORED TO SERVE AS ATTORNEY GENERAL AND I AM
HONORED THAT THE PRESIDENT SELECTED ME. I CAN ASSURE YOU
THAT THE PRESIDENT DID NOT ASK FOR AND I DID NOT PROVIDE ANY
PROMISES REGARDING THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION AND ANY
OTHER INVESTIGATION. >>I SEE THAT MY TIME IS ABOUT
TO EXPIRE, MR. CHAIRMAN I WOULD LIKE TO ADD I KNOW WE ARE GOING
TO HAVE A FOLLOW-UP DEPOSITION. >>I WILL ALLOW YOU TO ASK THE
QUESTION AGAIN MORE SPECIFICALLY AND ASK THE WITNESS TO ANSWER
SPECIFICALLY AND NOT TO CONTINUE TO FILIBUSTER.
>>THE QUESTION IS WHETHER YOU SHARED YOUR PRIVATE OPINIONS OF
THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION WITH PRESIDENT
DONALD TRUMP, OTHER WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS SUCH AS JOHN KELLY, TRUMP’S FAMILY
MEMBERS, OR PUBLIC SURROGATES AT THE TIME THAT I AM REFERENCING,
IT WAS WHEN YOU WERE A PRIVATE CITIZEN, BEFORE YOU WERE HIRED
SO ITS NOT COVERED BY EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE.
>>YOU ARE ASKING WHETHER OR NOT I SPOKE WITH ANYBODY IN THE
PRESIDENT’S CIRCLE WHEN I WAS A PRIVATE CITIZEN NOT AT THE ADAPT
OF JUSTICE? >>CORRECT.
>>NO, I DID NOT. >>ALL RIGHT.
>> THANK YOU.
>>THANK YOU MR. CHAIRMAN. MR. ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL, AS YOU
MENTIONED THERE ARE OTHER IMPORTANT MATTERS WITHIN THE
PURVIEW OF THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AND THE OVERSIGHT
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THIS COMMITTEE BESIDE A FISHING
EXPEDITION TO TRY TO GET THE GOODS ON THIS PRESIDENT IN AN
APPARENT EFFORT TO IMPEACH HIM, FOR EXAMPLE, 70,000 AMERICANS
DIED FROM DRUG OVERDOSES IN 2017, I AM OLD ENOUGH TO
REMEMBER, BACK IN THE MID 1980s WHEN PRESIDENT RONALD REGAN AND
HIS WIFE FELT SO COMPELLED TO DO
SOMETHING ABOUT THE SCOURGE OF DRUGS IN THIS COUNTRY THAT THE
EFFORT TO JUST SAY NO HAPPENED. THAT WAS BECAUSE BACK AT THAT
TIME WE HAD 10,000 DEATHS A YEAR STEW TO DRUG OVERDOSES, WE NOW
HAVE OVER 70,000 DEATHS, IT HAS GOTTEN UNFORTUNATELY OVER TIME
WORSE NOT BETTER. AND MOST OF THE QUEE IN DEATHS IN 2017 WERE
DUE TO SYNTHETIC DRUGS, SYNTHETIC
OPIOIDS SPECIFICALLY LIKE FEN FENTANYL, THIS IS QULEERL AN
EPIDEMIC, THERE HAS BEEN A DECLARED STATE OF EMERGENCY BY
THE PRESIDENT AND IT HAS DEEPLY EFFECTED FAMILIES IN MY HOME
STATE OF OHIO AND ACROSS THE NATION, WHAT EFFORTS AND
RESOURCES HAS OR DOES THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT INTEND TO USE
TO COMBAT THIS GROWING EPIDEMIC AND WHAT HELP CAN CONGRESS
PROVIDE TO ASSIST YOU IN YOUR EFFORTS.
>>CONGRESSMAN, I APPRECIATE THAT QUESTION AND I KNOW HOW
OHIO HAS BEEN DRAMATICALLY EFFECTED BY THE OPIOID CRISIS,
WE HAVE DONE A LOT AT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND I
WOULD LIKE TO PRN WITH THIS COMMITTEE AND I AM SURE GENERAL
BARR WOULD AS WELL, TO HAVE ADDITIONAL TOOLS TO COMBAT THE
OPIOID CRISIS BUT SOME OF THE THINGS WE HAVE DONE, WE SET UP
THE OPIOID FRAUD AND DETECTION UNIT WHICH IS A WAY THAT THE
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT CAN UTILIZE DATA TO HELP COMBAT THE
DEVASTATING OPIOID CRISIS, WE DID THE LARGEST HEALTHCARE FRAUD
TAKE DOWN, IN JUNE OF 2018 WE SET UP THE PRESCRIPTION AND
LITIGATION TASK FORCE, WE SET UP A REALLY INNOVATIVE WAY CALLED
OPERATION SOS, SYNTHETIC OPIOID SURGE, GENERAL
SESSION AND I WENT DOWN TO TAMPA FLORIDA, WE SAW IN MANATEE
COUNTY AND WE SAW HOW THE SHERIFFS OFFICES REDUCED THE
NUMBERS OF OPIOID DEATHS, WE TOOK THAT MODEL AND APPLIED IT
TO THE MOST EFFECTED STATES AND DISTRICTS THAT WOULD REALLY MAKE
A DRAMATIC DIFFERENCE IN SAVING LIVES.
>>LET ME JUST STOP YOU THERE, I JUST HAVE A FOLLOW-UP QUESTION,
AND THE PRESIDENT ADDRESSED THIS TO CONSIDERABLE DEGREE IN THE
STATE OF THE UNION THE OTHER NIGHT. IN YOUR OPINION THERE THERE ARE A RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN ENHANCING BORDER SECURITY PARTICULARLY THIS OUR
SOUTHERN BORDER AND THE DRUG ADDICTION IN THIS COUNTRY.
>>THERE IS A QUEKS BETWEEN THE DRUGS BEING BROUGHT IN THROUGH
THE SOUTHERN BORDER. I WEPT TO CHINA IN AUGUST AS CHIEF OF
STAFF FOR THEN GENERAL SESSIONS, HE ASKED ME TO GO TO TALK ABOUT
WHAT THEY COULD DO TO REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF FENTANYL BEING
PRODUCED IN CHINA. THE PRESIDENT AS YOU KNOW HAS AGREED WITH
GENERAL XI TO REDUCE AND ELIMINATE PRODUCTION IN CHINA,
ONE OF THE WAYS THAT CHINA AGREED TO DO THAT WAS BY
SCHEDULING THE ANALOGS OF FENTANYL.
>>LET ME JUST TOUCH ON ONE THING, I KNOW YOU HAVE ONLY A
WEEK LEFT. >>LESS THAN A WEEK ACTUALLY.
>>>YESTERDAY THIS COMMITTEE THIS A BIPARTISAN MANNER PASSED
THE NO OIL PRODUCING AND EXPORTING CARTELS ACT OF 2019,
THIS IS SOMETHING I HAVE INTRODUCED ALMOST 20 YEARS AGO ALONG WITH MY
DEMOCRATIC COLLEAGUE JOHN CONYERS WHO WAS CHAIR OF THIS
COMMITTEE OVER THE YEARS THAT WOULD GIVE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
THE POWER TO BRING SUIT AGAINST OIL CARTELS WHEN THEY MANIPULATE
PRICES AT THE GAS PUMP. I KNOW WE HAVE BEEN IN CONTACT WITH THE
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SOME AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH
YOUR SUCCESS OR IN THAT EFFORT. >>I AM FULLY AWARE OF THAT
BILL. AND I LOOK FORWARD TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WORKING
WITH YOU TO SUCCESSFULLY, NOT ONLY PASS IT BUT IMPLEMENT IT.
>>I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE MR. NADLER AND OUR DEMOCRATIC
COLLEAGUE A LOT OF QUET FOR THAT, SO THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I
YIELD BACK. >>I THANK THE CHAIRMAN VERY
MUCH, THESE ARE EXTRA ORDINARY TIMES MR. ATTORNEY GENERAL. WE
KNOW THAT THE FORMER DIRECTOR OF THE FBI TESTIFIED TO THE HOUSE
INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE IN OPENING HEARING THAT THERE WAS
AN ACTIVE INVESTIGATION INTO THE ASSOCIATES OF THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN
AND HE WAS FIRED FIRED SUBSEQUENTLY, MUELLER WAS THEN
HIRED AND THERE WERE INVESTIGATION THAT SECURED
NUMEROUS INDICTMENTS AND GUILTY PLEAS THEY DEAL WITH OBSTRUCTION
OF JUSTICE, PERJURY AND FALSE STATEMENTS, AT THE CURRENT RATE
WE ARE SEEING SO MANY OF THE TRUMP ORGANIZATIONS BEING
INDICTED. WITH THE SHORT TIME THAT I HAVE I WANT TO MAKE SURE
THAT YOUR QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED THIS A YES OR NO MATTER. THIS IS
THE FIRST OVERSIGHT HEARING WE HAVE HAD WITH THE JUSTICE
DEPARTMENT IN ALMOST 15 MONTHS, YOU DID NOT HAVE A CONFIRMATION
HEARING AND YOU HAVE NOT YET APPEARED FOR AN OVERSIGHT
HEARING, YES OR NO? >>YES OR NO.
>>>CONGRESSWOMAN I AM THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL.
>>HAVE YOU APPEARED FOR AN OVERSIGHT HERE.
>>>HERE. >>WITNESS WILL ANSWER THE
QUESTION AS ASKED. >>MR. CHAIRMAN.
>>MR. CHAIRMAN, IF HE FEELS THAT A YES OR NO IS APPROPRIATE
HE WILL ANSWER IN YES OR NO, IF NOT, AS MANY DEMOCRAT FECIALS
HAVE DONE IN THIS COMMITTEE BEFORE.
>>THE MEMBER HAS FIVE MINUTES IF SHE WANTS A YES OR NO ANSWER
SHE IS INTIERD TO IT. I WILL NOT ALLOW THE WITNESS TO TAKE THE
MEMBERS TIME. MAY I HAVE MY FIVE MINUTES.
>>MR. ATTORNEY GENERAL, DID YOU HAVE A CONFIRMATION HEARING AND
HAS IT BEEN MORE THAN 10 YEARS SINCE YOU HAVE TESTIFIED BEFORE
CONGRESS. >>CAN THE CLOCK BE RESTORED.
>>IT WAS. >>>I TO NOT KNOW IF YOUR TIME
HAS BEEN RESTORED OR NOT. >>MR. ATTORNEY GENERAL WE ARE
NOT JOKING HERE, YOUR HUMOR IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. NOW YOU ARE HERE
BECAUSE WE HAVE A CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY TO ASK QUESTIONS AND THE
CONGRESS HAS THE RIGHT TO ESTABLISH GOVERNMENT RULES, THE
RULES ARE THAT YOU ARE HERE, I NEED TO ASK THE QUESTION AND I
NEED TO HAVE MY TIME RESTORED SO YOU CAN BEHAVE APPROPRIATELY, I
WILL BEHAVE APPROPRIATELY AS THE MEMBER OF THE JUDICIARY
COMMITTEE, DID YOU HAVE A CONFIRMATION HEARING AND HAVE
YOU NOT YET APPEARED FOR AN OVERSIGHT HEARING?
>>CONGRESSWOMAN, I AM AN ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL, I HAVE BEEN
APPOINTED ACCORDING TO THE VACANCIES REFORM ACT, I HAVE
NEVER APPEARED IN FRONT OF CONGRESS FOR ANY HEARING EVEN
WHEN I WAS UNITED STATES ATTORNEY.
>>I ASKED FOR A YES OR NO ANSWER. LET ME, SO YOU HAVE
NEVER APPEARED, LET ME QUICKLY ASK A QUESTION, PRIOR TO THE
FIRING OF FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL JEFF SESSIONS, DID YOU
DISCUSS YOUR OPINIONS WITH PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S CHIEF
OF STAFF OR OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS.
>>AS I HAVE PREVIOUS ANSWERED, CONGRESSWOMAN.
>>AS I PREVIOUSLY ANSWERED CONGRESSWOMAN.
>>YES OR NO. >>AS YOU PREVIOUSLY ANSWERED
CONGRESSWOMAN, I HAVE NOT DISCUSSED.
>>SINCE YOU WERE APPOINTED ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL DID YOU
DISCUSS YOUR OPINIONS WITH THE SPOASH COUNSEL.
>>AGAIN, THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION IS AN ONGOING
INVESTIGATION AND I HAVE NOTHING MORE TO SAY.
>>YOU ARE DENYING REPORTS THAT YOU SHARED MANY ONE OR ON ONE
CALLS WITH CHIEF OF STAFF KELLY.>>IS THERE SOMEONE THAT
PROVIDES YOU THE QUESTION. >>I AM ASKING THE QUESTIONS,
SIR, ANSWER THE QUESTION, YES OR NO.
>>COULD YOU >>REPEAT THE QUESTION, SO YOU
ARE PLEASE? DENYING >>REPORTS THAT ARE YOU DENYING
LTS REPORTS THAT YOU SHARED MANY ONE ON ONE CALLS WITH PRESIDENT
DONALD TRUMP AND HIS THEN CHIEF OF STAFF COMMENTATOR, AND NOT AS THE
ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES. I’M VERY FAMILIAR
WITH THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF MY OFFICE AS ACTING ATTORNEY
GENERAL AND WE MAKE OUR DECISIONS BASED ON THE LAW AND
THE FACT ON A CASE-BY-CASE BASIS.
>>SO THAT’S NO LONGER OPINION. IT’S NOT CROSSING THE REDLINE
FOR HIM TO LOOK INTO THE FINANCES IF THEY MIGHT HAVE
INTERFERED WITH THIS OBJECTIVE JUDGMENT OF THE PRESIDENT REGARDING HIS DUTY
OF TRUST OF UNITED STATES OF AMERICA NOT HIS PERSONAL FINAL
FINANCIAL INTEREST AND NOT HIS FAMILY.
>>CONGRESSMAN AS I MENTIONED, AS LONG AS I’M ATTORNEY GENERAL
WE WILL FOLLOW THE LAWS AND THE FACTS AS WHEREVER THEY MAY LEAD
AND WE WILL DO THE JOB.
>>LET ME ASK YOU THIS, THERE’S BEEN A CONVICTION IN A SPECIAL
COUNSEL INVESTIGATION OF MR. MANAFORT. JURY TRIAL,
CONVICTION THERE’S BEEN GUILTY PLEAS FROM FLYNN, MANAFORT,
GATES, PAPADOPOULOS AND MICHAEL COHEN, AND DOESN’T OF
INDICTMENTS INCLUDING 13 RUSSIAN NATIONAL AND ROGER STONE. WOULD
YOU SAY SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION IS A WITCHHUNT? ARE YOU OVERSEEING
A WITCHHUNT? CONGRESSMAN AS I HAVE MENTIONED PREVIOUSLY
>>THE SPECIAL COUNSEL INVESTIGATION IS AN ONGOING
INVESTIGATION SO I THINK IT WOULD BE INAPPROPRIATE
>>SMITH YOU WOULDN’T OVERSEE A WITCHHUNT, HE WOULD STOP A
WITCHHUNT, WOULD YOU?
>>CONGRESSMAN IT WOULD BE INAPPROPRIATE FOR ME TO TALK
ABOUT AN ONGOING INVESTIGATION. >>YOU SAID YOU ARE NOT
INTERFERING WITH THE SPECIAL COUNSEL INVESTIGATION HAVE YOU
DENIED HIM ANY FUNDS HE HAS REQUESTED AT ALL?
>>CONGRESSMAN I CAN TELL THIS IS AN IMPORTANT ISSUE FOR YOU.,
>>THIS IS AN IMPORTANT QUESTION FOR THE WHOLE WORLD.
>>CONGRESSMAN TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION TO DIRECTLY I HAVE NOT DENIED ANY FUNDS TO THE SPECIAL
COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION. >>HAVE YOU DENIED HIM TO GO
INTO ANY AREAS? >>CONGRESSMAN AS I PREVIOUSLY
TESTIFIED, I HAVE NOT INTERFERED WITH THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION.
>>I YIELD BACK THE BALANCE OF MY TIME.
>>INC. YOU GENTLEMEN, MR. GOHMERT?
>>INC. YOU ACTING GENERAL ATTORNEY THANK
YOU FOR BEING HERE TODAY. >>GOOD TO SEE YOU HERE TODAY.
>>I’M AMAZED THAT YOU WOULD BE COMING SINCE HER SUCCESSOR IS
GOING TO BE CONFIRMED NEXT WEEK, APPARENTLY AND YOU WILL NO
LONGER BE ACTING DIRECTOR, SO UM, I DON’T KNOW
WHAT KIND OF SUICIDE WISH YOU HAD OR WHATEVER, BUT, IT’S GOOD
TO SEE YOU. ONE THING I WANTED TO HIT FIRST WAS, UM, A STATEMENT THAT YOU
HAD MADE, AND I WANT TO CONFIRM THAT THESE ARE YOUR WORDS. AND I
QUOTE, THERE IS NO DOUBT IN THE LAW ENFORCEMENT
COMMUNITY THAT THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE ILLEGAL DRUGS IN THIS
COUNTRY IS COMING OVER OUR SOUTHERN BORDER. A PATTERN THAT
IS TRUE FOR ALL CRIMES GENERALLY, AND THERE IS NO DOUBT
THAT CRIMINALS AND CARTELS SEEK TO EXPLOIT WEAK IT IS IN OUR
SOUTHERN BORDERS. ARE THOSE YOUR WORDS?
>>WELL, I DON’T KNOW WHICH SPEECH OR STATEMENT YOU’RE
QUOTING, IT SOUNDS LIKE SOMETHING I WOULD’VE SAID YES.
>>AND YOU WOULD HAVE SAID THAT IF YOU BELIEVE THAT?
>>I BELIEVE WHAT YOU JUST SAID. THE DRUGS AND THE GENERAL ILLEGALITY THAT’S
POURING ACROSS OUR SOUTHERN BORDER IS HAVING A NEGATIVE
EFFECT ON OUR COUNTRY. >>NOW I WANT TO GET TO THIS
ISSUE OF CAREER OFFICIALS SINCE COLLEAGUES ON THE OTHER SIDE OF
THE AISLE, HAVE MADE SUCH A BIG DEAL ABOUT IT, THAT YOU HAVE
NOT, THEY ACCUSE YOU OF NOT FOLLOWING THE ADVICE OF CAREER
OFFICIALS. DO YOU KNOW THE BACKGROUNDS OF THE PEOPLE THAT
ARE WORKING DIRECTLY UNDER YOU, AND DIRECTLY UNDER ROB
ROSENSTEIN? >>CONGRESSMAN ICE SET ON TOP OF
AN ORGANIZATION THAT HAS A 115, >>I’M TALKING BUT THE PEOPLE
DIRECTLY TO YOU AND TO DEPUTY ROSENSTEIN.
>>I AM FAMILIAR WITH THE PEOPLE THAT REPORT TO BOTH. ALTHOUGH I
WILL TELL YOU I THINK ROB ROSENSTEIN AS DEPUTY ATTORNEY
GENERAL HAS OVER 100 DIRECT REPORTS AS DIRECT DEPUTY
ATTORNEY GENERAL. >>WILL THAT WAS SOMETHING I
RECOMMENDED TO ATTORNEY GENERAL SESSIONS THAT HE NEEDED TO
REORGANIZE AND HAVE SOME OF THOSE PEOPLE REPORTING DIRECTLY
TO HIM. BUT ONE OF THE MISTAKES I THINK MY DEAR FRIEND JEFF
SESSIONS FOR WHOM I HAVE IMMENSE RESPECT, ONE OF THE MISTAKES
THAT I SAW HIM MAKING, HE WAS LISTENING TO PEOPLE WHO
LOVED SALLY YATES, LOVE HER EFFORTS TO DISRUPT ANYTHING THAT
PRESIDENT TRUMP TRIED TO DO. THEY LOVED WHAT PRESIDENT OBAMA
DID THROUGH THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT, AND, UM, AND IN
FACT, I HAD INFORMED JEFF THAT HIS CONTACT AT THE, WITH THE
IN SC WAS SITTING ON HIS NOTICES SO EITHER DEVELOP
CONFLICTS OR EITHER WASN’T PROPERLY PREPARED
AND THAT WAS GINA THE HEART. AND SHE REPORTED DIRECTLY TO
ROSENSTEIN, THE AG SHOULD HAVE SOMEBODY THAT WILL LIAISON WITH
THE NSC THAT WOULD DIRECT THE REPORT TO THE AG AND NOT GO
THROUGH ROB ROSENSTEIN AND ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY WERE
SETTING THE ATTORNEY GENERAL UP TO BE HARMED. BUT THIS, UM, AND
THEN ANTHONY BRONTË, I KNOW CURRENTLY, CURRENTLY HE’S A
SENIOR MANAGING DIRECTOR OF FTI CONSULTING, HE WAS ANOTHER ONE
THAT SOME CONSIDERED A CAREER POSITION AT THE DOJ. LET’S
SEE, UM, HE HAD JORDAN KELLY BEAR, HE’S CURRENTLY DIRECTOR OF
CYBER SECURITY POLICY AT THE NSC WITH THE WHITE HOUSE. THERE
WERE REPORTS THAT SHE MET ROUTINELY WITH THE MUELLER
INVESTIGATORS . YOU KNOW, BETWEEN THESE PEOPLE, UM, WHO,
LIKE CHRISTINA DeHART, WHO JUST THOUGHT YATES WAS WONDERFUL. I WOULD HOPE THAT
WISDOM AND YOU AS ACTING DIRECTOR THEIR, WISDOM IN THE
INCOMING INCOMING GENERAL WILL BE TO LOOK AT THE BACKGROUNDS,
LOOK AT THE PEOPLE WHO ARE POLITICAL HACKS AND FIGURE OUT,
OH, THEY’RE GIVING ME ADVICE ON THIS. THIS IS NOT FOR MY
WELL-BEING, THIS IS TO HURT THEIR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES. AND I KNOW YOU MAY JUST HAVE ANOTHER WEEK, BUT I WOULD
ENCOURAGE YOU THAT AS PEOPLE MAKE UP BIG DEAL ABOUT CAREER,
LOOK BEYOND CAREER, LOOK WHERE THEIR LOYALTIES ARE, BECAUSE EVEN THOUGH THEY MAY BE
IN A CAREER POSITION, THAT THEIR LOYALTIES ARE NOT TO THE
ATTORNEY GENERAL, AND NOT TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
AND ARE MORE POLITICAL THAN THEY ARE CONSTITUTIONAL. [ GAVEL ]
>>THE TIME OF THE GENTLEMAN HAS EXPIRED. MR. JOHNSON .
>>THANK YOU GENERAL WHITAKER DO YOU AGREE WITH THE PRESIDENT’S
STATEMENT THAT THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION IS A WITCHHUNT?
>>AS I MENTIONED PREVIOUSLY, CONGRESSMAN. I THINK
IT WOULD BE INAPPROPRIATE FOR ME TO COME IN ABOUT AN ONGOING
INVESTIGATION. THE MAC WILL COME YOU COMMENTED ABOUT THE ROGER
STONE AND VACANT INVESTIGATION WHICH IS ONGOING, DID YOU NOT?
>>CONGRESSMAN JUST TO BE CLEAR.>>YOU DID COMMENT ON THE ROGER STONE
INVESTIGATION, WHY WOULD YOU COMMENT ON THE ROGER STONE
INVESTIGATION, BUT YOU ARE RELUCTANT TO ANSWER OUR
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION?
>> IT’S A GOOD CONGRESSMAN CONGRESSMAN AND
MY COMMENTS ABOUT THE ROGER STONE INVESTIGATION WERE MERELY
TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT I WAS AWARE THAT CNN HAD APPEARED TO RECEIVE,
>>I DON’T KNOW WHETHER OR NOT THE CNN REPORTER WAS CAMPED OUT
WITH NO ADVANCED KNOWLEDGE, OR WHETHER HE WAS TIPPED OFF OR
NOT. >>THAT IS TRUE.
>>LET ME MOVE ON, HOLD ON, LET ME MOVE ON. I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE
A MOMENT TO BETTER UNDERSTAND YOUR DECISION NOT TO RECUSE
YOURSELF FROM THE SUPERVISION OF THE SPECIAL COUNSEL
INVESTIGATION. ISN’T IT A FACT, SIR THAT YOU RECEIVED YOUR FINAL
ETHICS GUIDANCE ON THIS MATTER ON DECEMBER 19th 2018?
>>I APPRECIATE THIS QUESTION AND I’M GLAD TO HAVE THE
OPPORTUNITY. >>DID YOU RECEIVE YOUR FINAL
GUIDANCE ON THAT QUESTION?
>>AS YOU KNOW I HAVE COMMUNICATED WITH CONGRESS THE
ENTIRE PROCESS THAT I WENT THROUGH TO ADDRESS ANY RECUSAL
QUESTIONS THAT I MIGHT HAVE. AND I HAVE NO CONFLICT OF INTEREST
INTEREST.? I UNDERSTAND YOU TAKE THAT POSITION, BUT MY SIMPLE QUESTION IS, ISN’T IT A FACT
THAT YOU RECEIVED YOUR FINAL ETHICS GUIDANCE ON THAT QUESTION
ON DECEMBER 19, 2018?
>>CONGRESSMAN WE LAID OUT VERY EXPLICITLY THE PROCESS WE WENT
THROUGH AND ULTIMATELY THE DECISION WHETHER OR NOT TO
RECUSE WAS MY DECISION. >>MR. WHITAKER, YOU WERE ASKED
TO DIRECT, MR. WHITAKER YOU ASKED A DIRECT QUESTION AND IT’S
GETTING A LITTLE TIRESOME HEARING YOU STALL AND WEIGHT TO
THE MEMBERS TIME. HE ASKED YOU A SPECIFIC QUESTION, DID YOU LAST
RECEIVED ADVICE ON THAT ON DECEMBER 18? THE ANSWER WOULD BE
YES OR NO OR SOME OTHER THING, OR I DON’T REMEMBER. WE DON’T
NEED A SPEECH. THE GENTLEMAN REMY PETE, NO, THE GENTLEMAN MAY
REPEAT. >>IF WE’RE GOING TO CANCEL THEIR WITNESS AND ACT
AS HIS ATTORNEY ARE YOU GOING TO ANSWER THE QUESTION OR IS THE
WITNESS GOING TO ANSWER THE QUESTION.
>>>>I’M ASKING THE WITNESS NOT TO
STALL. >>POINT OF ORDER. THE GENTLEMAN
IS OUT OF ORDER, MR. JOHNSON HAS THE FLOOR. THIS TIME WILL BE
RESTORED. >>THANK YOU, SIR. SIR ISN’T IT
A FACT THAT CAREER OFFICIALS AT DOJ RECOMMENDED TO YOU THAT YOU
RECUSE YOURSELF TO AVOID AN APPEARANCE OF A CONFLICT OF
INTEREST OR BIAS? THAT WAS THE GUIDANCE THAT YOU GOT FROM
CAREER DOJ OFFICIALS ABOUT YOUR PARTICIPATION OR OVERSIGHT
OF THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION, ISN’T THAT CORRECT?
>> CONGRESSMAN I MADE MY DECISION BY MYSELF.
>>THERE WERE DOJ OFFICIALS WHO ADVISED YOU THAT YOU SHOULD NOT
TOUCH THAT INVESTIGATION, IS THAT CORRECT?
>>CONGRESSMAN. >>YES OR NO.
>>IKE CONSULTED WITH CAREER OFFICIALS I CONSULTED WITH MY
STAFF I CONSULTED WITH THE OFFICE OF
LEGAL COUNSEL. IT WAS MY DECISION TO MAKE I DECIDED NOT
TO RECUSE, I’M HAPPY TO WALK BE STEP BY STATE STEP ADVICE I
RECEIVED. >>THERE WERE FOUR INDIVIDUALS
WHO YOU CONSULTED, ADVISED YOU THAT YOU HAD THE ABILITY TO NOT RECUSE
YOURSELF FROM THIS INVESTIGATION, ISN’T THAT
CORRECT? >>CONGRESSMAN THE REGULATIONS ACTUALLY SAY,
>>FOUR INDIVIDUALS ADVISED YOU THAT YOU DID NOT HAVE TO RECUSE
YOURSELF IS THAT CORRECT? >>CONGRESSMAN, LET ME BE CLEAR.
>>OTHER THAN YOUR OBSTRUCTION AND REFUSAL TO ANSWER,
>>I’M NOT OBSTRUCTING ANYTHING. I CONSULTED, BUT YOU’RE NOT
TELLING ME WHO IT WAS. YOU SPOKE WITH?
>>AS ICE AS I MENTIONED, NICKNAMED ME SOME
NAMES. >>I CONSULTED WITH MY SENIOR
STAFF AND I CONSULTED WITH THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL.
>>NAME ME SOME NAMES. >>01 PERSON WOULD BE THE
ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL, STEEP ANGLE.
>>WHO ELSE DID YOU CONSULT WITH?
>>I ALSO CONSULT WITH HIS PRINCIPAL DEPUTY IN THAT
PERSON’S NAME IS CURTIS GANNON. >>AND WHO ELSE DID YOU CONSULT
WITH SIR? >>CONGRESSMAN,
>>WHO ELSE DID YOU CONSULT WITH WHETHER OR NOT YOU SHOULD RECUSE
YOURSELF FROM THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION? >>GENERALLY WHO DID I CONSULT
WITH? >>I WANT TO KNOW SPECIFICALLY
WHO DID YOU TALK TO? >>I SPOKE WITH BRAD WEINSTEIN
WHO IS THE SENIOR CAREER OFFICIAL AT THE DEPARTMENT OF
JUSTICE, AND HE
>>AND HE ADVISED YOU THAT YOUR RECUSAL WAS UNNECESSARY OR HE
ADVISED YOU TO RICK’S? >>HE COULDN’T IDENTIFY ANY
RESIDENT FOR ME TO READ RECUSE, HE SAID IT WAS A CLOSE CALL. I’M
SORRY DID YOU HAVE A QUESTION? HE SAID THAT MY OTHER PUBLIC STATEMENTS DID RECOGNIZE
THE PROFESSIONALISM AND COMPETENCE OF THE SPECIAL
COUNSEL. HE SAID THAT OUT OF AN ABUNDANCE OF CAUTION, THAT IF
ASKED HE WOULD RECOMMEND A CERTAIN COURSE BUT AGAIN,
>>TIME OF THE GENTLEMAN HAS EXPIRED.
>>AND I FINISHED? >>THE WITNESS MAY FINISHES ANSWER.
>>HE ALSO SAID THE DECISION WAS MINE TO MAKE BASED ON THE REGULATION
OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND I MADE THAT DECISION AND I STAND
BY THAT DECISION. >>MR. RADCLIFFE?
>>MR. ATTORNEY GENERAL I HAVE LITERALLY HUNDREDS OF FRIENDS
AT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE RIGHT NOW AND RIGHT NOW IT’S
COMPONENT AGENCIES, LIKE THE FBI, FOLKS THAT I HAVE
TREMENDOUS RESPECT FOR, AND SO I APPRECIATE YOUR STATED DESIRE
EARLIER TODAY TO WANT TO HIGHLIGHT THEIR GOOD WORK. AND FOR THE NEW
MEMBERS OF THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE, AND OVERSIGHT HEARING
IS TYPICALLY WHERE THAT WOULD TAKE LACE, WHERE AN ATTORNEY
GENERAL WOULD GIVE AN ACCOUNTING OF THE WORK OF 115,000 MEN AND
WOMEN IN THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AND PROVIDE SOME IDEA OF THE
VISION WITH RESPECT TO THE DEPARTMENTS PRIORITIES.
PRIORITIES LIKE DRUG AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING, PREVENTING
TERRORISM, REDUCING GUN AND GANG VIOLENCE. NOW EARLIER THIS WEEK,
MY COLLEAGUES ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE ON, INDICATED THAT
THEY HAD A GREAT DESIRE TO REDUCE GUN VIOLENCE IN THIS
COUNTRY. IN FACT, WE HADN’T 8-HOUR HEARING WITH WITNESSES WHO TALK
ABOUT THE NEED TO REDUCE GUN VIOLENCE IN THIS COUNTRY. WE
STARTED THIS HEARING AT 9:30 THIS MORNING SNOUT 1230 IN THE
AFTERNOON, AND I HAVEN’T SEEN YOU FIELD A SINGLE QUESTION FROM
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE ABOUT ANY OF THE ENFORCEMENT
PRIORITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. DESPITE THE FACT
THAT YOU ARE THE HEAD OF AN ORGANIZATION THAT HAS A GREATER
ABILITY TO IMPACT AND REDUCE GUN VIOLENCE THAN ANYONE OR ANYTHING
IN THE COUNTRY. SO I MAY BE THE ONLY PERSON TODAY THAT WANT TO
ASK YOU A QUESTION ABOUT THAT. I’M GOING TO USE THE REMAINDER
OF MY TIME FOR THAT PURPOSE. WHEN I WAS AT THE DEPARTMENT
OF JUSTICE WE HAD A VERY SUCCESSFUL INITIATIVE CALLED
PROJECT SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD. IT WAS A PROGRAM THAT TOOK GUNS OUT
OF THE HANDS OF CRIMINAL OFFENDERS. IT WAS A SUCCESSFUL
PROGRAM THAT WAS KILLED BY THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION. THE OBAMA
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ENDED IT. I UNDERSTAND THAT IT HAS BEEN
REINSTATED DURING THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION. I WOULD LIKE YOU
TO INFORM US ABOUT ITS PROGRESS AS WELL AS ANY OTHER MEASURES OR
PROGRAMS OR ENFORCEMENT PRIORITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF
JUSTICE WITH RESPECT TO REDUCING GUN VIOLENCE IN THIS COUNTRY. HE
MET TAKE YOU CONGRESSMAN, AS YOU KNOW, WE SERVED AS UNITED STATES
ATTORNEYS TOGETHER UNTIL YOU WENT INTO POLITICS AND I WENT
INTO PRIVATE PRACTICE. I WANT TO TALK SPECIFICALLY, IT’S A REALLY
GOOD WASTE QUESTION ABOUT PROJECT SAFE NEIGHBORHOODS.
ATTORNEY SESSIONS ANNOUNCE THE EXPANSION OF PROJECT SAFE
NEIGHBORHOODS, WHICH ENCOURAGES US ATTORNEYS OFFICES TO WORK
SPECIFICALLY WITH YOUR UNIQUE COMMUNITIES THEY SERVE TO
DEVELOP A CUSTOMIZED CRIME REDUCTION STRATEGY. ONE STUDY
SHOWED THAT WHEN YOU AND I WERE DOING PSN, WE REDUCED CRIME
OVERALL AND WITH CASE STUDY SHOWING REDUCTIONS UP TO 42
PERCENT OF VIOLENT CRIMES. WE HAD THE PROJECT SAFE NEIGHBORHOODS NATIONAL
CONFERENCE AS I MENTIONED IN MY OPENING STATEMENT, AND I CAN
TELL YOU THAT ESPECIALLY IN OUR LARGEST CITIES, OUR 29 MAJOR
CITIES, WE ARE SEEING A REDUCTION OF VIOLENT CRIME
BECAUSE OF US ATTORNEYS WHO ARE SPECIFICALLY WORKING WITH THE
SHERIFF’S AND POLICE CHIEFS AND FEDERAL AND STATE AND LOCAL
PARTNERS IN REDUCING GUN BUYING IT. SOME OTHER THINGS WE HAVE
DONE IS THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IS ONE OF THE FOUR CABINET
POSITIONS THAT WERE PART OF THE SCHOOL SAFETY COMMISSION THAT
CAME OUT WITH A REPORT IN THE LAST SEVERAL MONTHS THAT GAVE A
PRACTICAL OUTLINE AS TO HOW STATES COULD WORK TO REDUCE GUN
VIOLENCE, INCLUDING THE IDEA OF YOUR PO’S AND CONGRESSMAN, I
APPRECIATE YOUR TONE THAT THIS OVERSIGHT HEARING IS NOT A
HEARING ABOUT THE TYPES OF THINGS WE’RE TALKING ABOUT BUT
THIS CHAIRMAN SENT ME A LETTER SPECIFICALLY OUTLINING THINGS HE
WANTED TO TALK ABOUT AND I DON’T LIKE WE HAVE TALKED ABOUT MANY
OF THOSE THINGS. SO I’M GLAD YOU HAVE OFFERED THAT OPPORTUNITY TO
TALK ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ‘S EFFORT TO REDUCE
GUN VIOLENCE. THANK YOU ATTORNEY GENERAL, I WOULD LIKE TO YIELD THE RATE REMAINDER
OF MY TIME TO CONGRESSMAN JORDAN.
>>I APPRECIATE THE GENTLEMAN YIELDING. MR. WHITAKER, ARE
THERE ANY OTHER MEMOS, ANY OTHER MEMOS THAT MR. ROSENSTEIN HAS
SENT TO MR. MOELLER THAT WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT, AND IF WE DID
WOULD BE REDACTED LIKE THE ONE THAT HAPPENED ON AUGUST 22nd
2017? >>CONGRESSMAN AS YOU KNOW THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S
INVESTIGATION IS ONGOING AND IT WOULD BE INAPPROPRIATE FOR ME TO
TALK ABOUT ANY OTHER MEMOS RELATED TO THAT. B WE ALREADY
KNOW THAT THERE HAS BEEN SOME MODIFICATION OF THE BROADEST
ORDER, I THINK YOU COULD HAVE WITH THIS AUGUST SECOND 2017
MEMO. ALL I’M ASKING IS ARE THERE ANY
MODIFICATIONS, ANY OTHER CHANGES TO THE PARAMETERS OF AN
INVESTIGATION OF IN THE INVESTIGATION OF THE PRESIDENT
OF THE UNITED STATES? >>CONGRESSMAN JUST TO BE CLEAR,
THE SPECIAL COUNSEL UNDERSTANDS THE SCOPE OF THIS INVESTIGATION
AND IS COMPLYING WITH ALL OF THE REGULATIONS IN ORDER RELATED TO
THAT. THANK YOU MR. CHAIRMAN, GENERAL WHITAKER YOU AND I ARE
BOTH BOYS, DURING OUR FIRST DAY OF CRIMINAL LAW, OUR PROFESSOR
CAME IN AND SAID IF SOMEONE ASKS YOU A YES OR NO QUESTION AND IF
YOU REPEAT THE QUESTION PEOPLE WILL THINK YOU’RE NOT A GOOD
LAWYER. BUT GOING FORWARD, IN NOVEMBER 2018, WE DID IT HEED
THE ADVICE NO LESS. IN NOVEMBER 2018, CHRIS WALLACE ASKED THE
PRESIDENT A QUESTION THAT HE SAID YOU KNOW BEFORE YOU
APPOINTED HIM THAT HE, MEANING YOU, HAD BEEN SO CRITICAL OF THE
INVESTIGATION. >>AND HE SAID I DO KNOW THAT,
>>DO YOU BELIEVE PRESIDENT TRUMP WHEN HE SAID HE DID NOT
KNOW THAT YOUR CRITICAL BEFORE YOUR POINT?
>>I UNDERSTAND HOW IT ALL WORKS.
>>I’M JUST ASKING DID YOU BELIEVE HIM WHEN HE SAID YOU HAD
BEEN CRITICAL OF ROBERT MULLER BEFORE MAKING YOUR POINT?
>>CONGRESSMAN I HAVE NO REASONABLY WHEN I’M SITTING HERE
TODAY THAT THE PRESIDENT WASN’T SING WITH THE BELIEF.
>>WHO DID YOU INTERVIEW WITH? FOR THE CHIEF OF STAFF JOB? NOT
FOR THIS JOB FOR THE CHIEF OF STAFF JOB. V IT WAS GENERAL
SESSIONS’ TO MAKE A UNIT WITH HIM AND HE
OFFERED ME THE JOB. >>AND BEFORE YOU GOT THE JOB,
DID YOU EVER, BEFORE YOU TOOK THIS JOB, DID YOU EVER SPEAK
WITH THE PRESIDENT ABOUT THE MOELLER PROBE FROM MAY 17 27 TO
DECEMBER 2017? >>ARE YOU SAYING BEFORE I WAS
ACTUALLY THE CHIEF OF STAFF? >>I’M SAYING BETWEEN MAY 17,
>>CONGRESSMAN I HAD NEVER MET THE PRESIDENT UNTIL AFTER I
JOINED THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. LET ME JUST ASK YOU
ANOTHER QUESTION, YOU DIDN’T COMMUNICATE, DID YOU COMMUNICATE
WITH ANYONE AT THE WHITE HOUSE ABOUT THE SPECIAL COUNSEL
INVESTIGATION BEFORE SEPTEMBER 22, 2018?
>>I ASSUME YOU’RE EXCLUDING MY APPEARANCES ON CNN. BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW IF
THE WHITE HOUSE WAS WATCHING.
>>YOU TOLD ME THAT THE PRESIDENT WASN’T WATCHING
OTHERWISE HE WOULD’VE BEEN AWARE OF YOUR POSITION. SO I ASSUME
THE PRESIDENT WASN’T WATCHING. DID YOU TALK ABOUT THESE
APPEARANCES WITH ANYONE AT THE WHITE HOUSE?
>>I DID NOT TALK ABOUT MY APPEARANCES ON CNN.
>>YOU DID YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR VIEWS OF THE MOELLER
INVESTIGATION WITH ANYONE AT THE WHITE HOUSE?
>>I DID NOT TALK ABOUT MY VIEWS OF THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION
WITH ANYONE AT THE WHITE HOUSE, DURING THIS TIMEFRAME
ESSENTIALLY MAY 2017 UNTIL I JOINED THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
IN OCTOBER 2017. >>AND THROUGHOUT THAT PROCESS,
DID YOU EVER COMMUNICATE WITH ANYONE, HERE’S THE QUESTION, WHY MY ACCOUNT YOU
MADE SIX COMMENTS AND OPERAS, TALK RADIO OR IN CRITICAL CABLE
NEWS CRITICAL OF THE INVESTIGATION. DID YOU EVER USE
ANY INTERMEDIARIES, DID YOU HAVE ANYONE SINCE THE PRESIDENT DID
KNOW, DID YOU HAVE ANYONE COMMUNICATE WITH THE WHITE HOUSE
OR ANYONE AT THE WHITE HOUSE EITHER BEST FRIENDS ARE MEMBERS
OR OTHERWISE TO LET THEM KNOW EXACTLY WHERE YOU STOOD AS EXPRESSED IN AT LEAST THOSE
SIX PUBLIC STATEMENTS? >>CONGRESSMAN, I HAD, AT THE
TIME YOU DESCRIBE MAY OF 17 UNTIL I JOINED THE STAFF, I DID
HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE WHITE HOUSE.
>>DID YOU, DID YOU TALK TO ANY WHITE HOUSE PERSONNEL BEFORE YOU
WERE HIRED? ANYONE AT THE WHITE HOUSE? >>CONGRESSMAN,
>>THAT’S AN EASY ONE, DID YOU TALK TO ANYONE AT THE WHITE
HOUSE? >>CONGRESSMAN I HAD PREVIOUSLY
BEEN AT THE WHITE HOUSE WHEN I WAS A PRIVATE CITIZEN, TO TALK ABOUT A
DIFFERENT POSITION. >>I UNDERSTAND BUT DID YOU TALK
TO ANYONE AT THE WHITE HOUSE ON YOUR VIEWS AT THEM MUELLER
INVESTIGATION, ANYONE BEFORE YOU ASSUME THE POSITION. LET ME
JUST GO FORWARD. HERE IS THE ISSUE. WHEN YOU BECAME THE
ATTORNEY GENERAL, SINCE BECOMING ATTORNEY GENERAL YOU SAID THAT
YOU HAVE HAD COME YOU HAVE BEEN BRIEFED ON THE SPECIAL COUNSEL,
DID YOU USE ANYONE ELSE TO HAVE COMMUNICATIONS, DID YOU DO
ANYTHING TO MAKE SURE THAT THE WHITE HOUSE MIGHT HAVE LEARNED
SOME OF WHAT YOU LEARNED IN THOSE BRIEFINGS? COULD IT BE
THAT SOMEONE ELSE ON YOUR STAFF MIGHT’VE SPOKEN TO SOMEONE AT
THE WHITE HOUSE SINCE YOU TOLD US YOU DIDN’T?
>>CONGRESSMAN I’M NOT AWARE OF THAT HAPPENING.
>>HOW MANY PEOPLE WERE IN THOSE BRIEFINGS WITH YOU WHEN YOU WERE
BRIEFED ABOUT THE MOELLER INVESTIGATION?
>>CONGRESSMAN, I’M NOT GOING TO GO INTO SPECIFICS OF THE
BRIEFING BUT IT WAS A VERY LIMITED GROUP. THERE WAS ONLY
ONE MEMBER OF MY STAFF WHO WAS PRESENT WITH ME.
>>AND, HAVE YOU EVER ATTEMPTED TO USE ANY INTERMEDIARIES TO TRY TO GET
INFORMATION TO THE PRESIDENT OR OTHERS ON HIS STAFF?? NO, I HAVE
NOT ATTEMPTED TO USE ANY INTERMEDIARIES TO GET
INFORMATION TO THE PRESIDENT OR HIS DEPUTY I’LL CLOSE JUST BY
SAYING, THIS IS GOING TO BE A LONG HEARING AND WE ARE GOING TO
GO ON FOR A WHILE. THE CONCERN THAT WE HAVE MR. WHITAKER IS
THAT THERE WAS NO SENATE CONFIRMATION HERE. WE ARE NOT
THE SENATE, BUT THE ADMINISTRATION JUSTIFIED THEIR
DECISION IN PICKING YOU UNDER THE VACANCIES REFORM ACT. THEIR
WAS A LAW ON THE BOOKS FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S SUCCESSION.
AND THE AUTHORITY TO OVERSEE THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S WORK. IT GOES
FROM ONE SENATE CONFIRMED OFFICIAL TO ANOTHER FROM THE AG,
DEPUTY ASSOCIATE, SOLICITOR GENERAL, ATTORNEY
GENERAL IN CHARGE OF THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL, ASSISTANT AG
FOR NATIONAL SECURITY, ASSISTANT AG IN CHARGE
OF THE CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION, AND ON AND ON. NONE OF THEM ARE
THE CHIEF OF STAFF OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. I THINK WHAT
WE ARE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT IS WHY IS IT EXACTLY THAT YOU CHOSE
TO GO BEYOND THE STATUTE AND CHOOSE YOU. I HOPE OVER THE
BALANCE OF THE HEARING THIS WILL BECOME CLEAR.
>>THANK YOU, CONGRESSMAN. I BELIEVE THE
PRESIDENT CHOSE ME TO BE THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR A
COUPLE REASONS. FIRST, I SERVED
PREVIOUSLY IN THE DEPARTMENT AS THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY,
WHICH IS A VERY IMPORTANT POSITION AS MR. RADCLIFFE
PREVIOUSLY STATED AND IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE. AND
FOR 13 MONTHS, I WAS THE CHIEF OF STAFF, FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL
SESSIONS. AND I HAD DONE THE WHOLE YEAR WITH HIM, SIDE-BY-SIDE,
OBVIOUSLY HE MADE THE DECISION BUT I GAVE HIM ADVICE AND
COUNSEL. AND I WAS AWARE OF EVERYTHING THAT WAS GOING ON AT
THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE THAT I OBVIOUSLY, GENERAL SESSIONS
WASN’T RECUSED FROM. AND SO I THINK THE PRESIDENT WAS
COMFORTABLE THAT TO CONTINUE THE MOMENTUM AT THE DEPARTMENT OF
JUSTICE THAT WE HAD ESTABLISHED IN ADDRESSING THESE IMPORTANT PRIORITY ISSUES
LIKE REDUCING VIOLENT CRIME, COMBATING THE OPIOID CRISIS AND
OTHERS THAT THE PRESIDENT COULD TELL I WAS BEST TO DO THE DUTIES
OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. >>THANK YOU MR. CHAIRMAN, I’LL
JUST SAY TO MR. WHITAKER MY QUESTIONS, IN A NORMAL OVERSIGHT
COMMITTEE WOULD BE VASTLY DIFFERENT THAN THE DURATION I’M
GOING TO GO BECAUSE WE’VE KIND OF WANDERED INTO THIS OTHER
STREAM OVER HERE. SO I’M GOING TO ASK YOU SOME QUESTIONS, THE
LONG-STANDING CONSTITUTIONALLY BASED APARTMENT OF JUST SAYS A
PRESIDENT CAN’T BE INDICTED. AND THAT’S BASED ON
THE LAST REVIEW WHICH IS HELD UNDER THE CLINTON
ADMINISTRATION. IS THAT STILL IN EFFECT OR HAS IT CHANGED?
>>THAT IS STILL THE POLICY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE .
>>HAVE YOU SPOKEN TO DEPUTY RIGHT ROSENSTEIN ABOUT
WIRETAPPING AND THE 14th AMENDMENT?
>>I HAVE SEEN THE STATEMENTS BY
DEPUTY ROSENSTEIN THAT HE MADE TO THE PRESS REGARDING THE
STATEMENTS. AND I HAVE NO REASON TO BELIEVE THAT HE DID NOT, THAT
THOSE STATEMENTS WERE CONSISTENT WITH WHAT HE BELIEVED AT THE
TIME. >>OKAY YOU SAID THAT YOU HAVE
NO REASON TO BELIEVE THAT THEY WERE NOT CONSISTENT, THERE WERE
A COUPLE OF NEGATIVES THERE, YOU SAID YOU WOULD NOT CONSISTENT
WITH WHAT HE BELIEVED AT THE TIME U
>>I BELIEVE WHAT DEPUTY ATTORNEY ROSENSTEIN SAID TO THE
PRESS WHEN IT WAS FIRST REPORTED ABOUT,
>>YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT HIS COMMENTS TO THE PRESS, NOT THE
ONES ABOUT HIM WEARING A WIRE? >>I’M TALKING THAT DEPUTY
ATTORNEY ROSENSTEIN’S COMMENTS TO BE PRESSED AFTER IT WAS REPORTED AFTER HE WAS INVOKING
THE 25th AMENDMENT. >>I’M SORRY TO INTERRUPT. SO
DID YOU TALK TO HIM ABOUT THIS ISSUE AT ALL?
>>AGAIN, I’M NOT HERE TO TALK ABOUT THE INTERNAL DISCUSSIONS
THAT I HAD.
>>WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, THIS IS NOT AN ONGOING, THIS HAS NOTHING
TO DO WITH AN ONGOING INVESTIGATION. BUT WHAT IT HAS
TO DO WITH HIS MR. ROSENSTEIN AND HIS, IN HIS ROLE AS AN
UNBIASED OVERSEER OF THE MOELLER INVESTIGATION. SO IT’S NOT
LIKELY DEALING WITH THE INVESTIGATION. HE DEALS WITH HIS
CAPACITY TO BE UNBIASED. SO I’M NOT ASKING WHETHER, I’M NOT TRYING
TO GET INTO THE SUBSTANCE OR EVEN THE PERIPHERY. I WANT TO
KNOW DID YOU HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH MR. ROSENSTEIN ABOUT HIS
COMMENTS AS REPORTED? >>CONGRESSMAN, THIS IS AN
IMPORTANT QUESTION TO YOU BUT I’M NOT GOING TO ANSWER MY
CONVERSATIONS WITH ATTORNEY GENERAL ROSENSTEIN. I BELIEVE
THEY ARE DELIBERATIVE, OBVIOUSLY I’M EXERCISING THE FULL RESPONSIBILITY OF THE
ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL. >>I NOTE THAT ANSWERS IMPORTANT
TO YOU. ANSWERING IN A WAY THAT WE AS AN AMERICAN PEOPLE CAN UNDERSTAND. SO LET’S GET TO JUNE
21 2017 WHERE YOU SAID THE TRUTH IS, THERE WAS NO COLLUSION WITH
THE RUSSIANS AND THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN. THERE WAS INTERFERENCE
WITH THE CAMPAIGN BUT THERE WAS NOT COLLUSION WITH THE CAMPAIGN. THAT’S WHERE WE
SEEM TO BE COMBINING THESE TWO ISSUES. WHAT WE WANT IS THE
TRUTH THE COME OUT. AND THE FACT THAT THERE’S NOT A SINGLE PIECE
OF INFORMATION THAT THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN HAD ANY ILLEGAL OR
IMPROPER RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE RUSSIANS. DO YOU STILL ADHERE TO
THAT STATEMENT? IS THAT STILL TRUE IN YOUR MIND TODAY U
>>CONGRESSMAN AS I MENTIONED BEFORE PREVIOUS QUESTIONS ABOUT
MY STATEMENTS AS A PRIVATE CITIZEN BEFORE HE JOINED THE
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. BULLS WERE MADE BASED ON PUBLICLY AVAILABLE INFORMATION AND I HAD
NO INSIDE INFORMATION. I DID NOT KNOW THE DETAILS OF THE
INVESTIGATION. I OBVIOUSLY KNOW THE TRADITIONS
OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, RULES AND REGULATIONS AND I FOLLOW
THOSE AS I EXERCISE MY DUTIES. >>I REMEMBER THE ANSWER YOU
GAVE TO A SIMILAR QUESTION BUT NOT THIS QUESTION HERE. SO,
THAT’S NOT WHAT I’M ASKING. WHAT I’M ASKING IS, AS WE SIT HERE
TODAY, A YEAR AND A HALF LATER, HAS YOUR OPINION CHANGED FROM WHAT YOU
STATED JUNE 21, 2017? HAS IT CHANGED? THAT SIMPLE A QUESTION
IS NOT HARD.
>>THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION IS AN ONGOING
INVESTIGATION I’M NOT GOING TO CARE CHARACTERIZED THAT
INVESTIGATION OR GIVE YOU MY OPINION OF THAT INVESTIGATION.
>>SO THE SCOPE MEMO INDICATES THAT THE SCOPE OF THE MOELLER
INVESTIGATION AND ANY CORRELATION BETWEEN RUSSIAN
INDIVIDUALS REGARDING THE CAMPAIGN BETWEEN PRESIDENT FROM
ANY MATTERS THAT MIGHT ARISE FROM THAT INVESTIGATION, AS THAT
SCOPE BEEN EXPANDED IN ANY WAY? >>CONGRESSMAN, AS I WAS
DISCUSSING WITH REPRESENTATIVE JORDAN, I AM NOT
GOING TO TALK ABOUT THE SCOPE OF THE SPECIAL COUNSEL.
>>ALL RIGHT THEN I’LL GO FORWARD AND SAVE THE INDICTMENTS
AND THE RELATION OF SCOPE WHEN PAPADOPOULOS FIRST ALL
STATEMENTS AFTER MOELLER WAS APPOINTMENT WERE UNRELATED TO
THE ELECTION CAMPAIGN, GAIT, UNRELATED TO THE CAMPAIGN. FLYNN, PAUL
STATEMENTS ABOUT POSTELECTION CONVERSATION, RICHARD, COLIN,
REFERRED BY MUELLER TO THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
BECAUSE IT WAS OUT OF HIS SCOPE. SAM PATTON NOT RELATED TO THE
2016 CAMPAIGN AND STONE WERE FALSE STATEMENTS COMMITTED AFTER
MOELLER WAS APPOINTED. NOT ONE ALLEGED ILLEGAL RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN THE CAMPAIGN IN RUSSIA. THAT’S CONSISTENT WITH WHAT
WE’VE SEEN SO FAR. THANK YOU MR. CHAIRMAN.
>>THANK YOU MR. CHAIR. MR. ACTING AG. I ACTUALLY
WANTED TO ASK YOU SOME QUESTIONS REGARDING WHAT YOU DID PRIOR TO
BEING ACTING AG. IT IS MY UNDERSTANDING THAT BEFORE YOU
MOVED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, YOU ARE THE EXECUTIVE
DIRECTOR OF THE FOUNDATION FOR, >>MR. CHAMBERLAIN, MR.
CHAIRMAN, I HAVE A POINT OF ORDER. MR. CHAIRMAN.
>>THE FACT THAT YOU HAVE A CONSERVATIVE WATCH.
>>MR. CHAIRMAN I HAVE A POINT OF ORDER.
>>MY POINT OF ORDER THE COMET OF THE GENERAL
LADY IS OUTSIDE OF THE SCOPE OF THE INVESTIGATION.
>>IT IS NOT AND YOU NEED TO LET ME FINISH MY QUESTION THAT I WAS ASKING.? THAT IS NOT A VALID
POINT OF ORDER, THE GENERAL LADY WILL CONTINUE.
>>THANK YOU. >>THE HOUSE RULES INDICATE THAT
IS OUTSIDE OF THE SCOPE, >>MR. CHAIRMAN ARE YOU GOING TO
OVERRULE A POINT OF ORDER? >>THE GENERAL LADY WILL
SUSPEND. I RULED THAT IT WAS NOT A VALID POINT OF ORDER AND THE GENTLE LADY HAS
THE FLOOR. THE GENERAL LADY WILL CONTINUE.
>>THANK YOU. >>I WAS NOT THROUGH WITH MY
POINT OF ORDER. >>THE GENTLE LADY WILL CONTINUE.
>>MOVE TO TABLE. >>MOTION, MOTION TO TABLE THE
APPEAL OF THE RULING OF THE CHAIR IS BEFORE THE COMMITTEE.
MOTION TO TABLE IS NOT DEBATABLE THE CLERK WILL
CALL THE ROLE. ONE MOMENT WHILE WE SET UP CLERK.
>>WAIT, WAIT, SLOW DOWN.
>>MR. KAMAN CHAIRMAN MAY I MAKE AN UNANIMOUS CONSENT BEAT WHILE
WE ARE WAITING THIS BOAT?>>SINCE ONE IS THE BIAS OF A WITNESS [ INAUDIBLE ]
>>MR. CHAIRMAN. MR. CHAIRMAN BOATS AYE
>>MS. JACKSON-LEE BOATS AYE. MR. JOHNSON, MR.
DEUTCH U MR. DEUTSCH AYE BOATS
>>MR. RICHMOND BOATS AYE MR. CELLINI?
AYE MR. SWALWELL. MR. ROTH? AYE MISS DEMING? MR. CORREA BOATS I. MS. GARCIA VOTE AYE MR. STANTON VOTES AYE. MS. ESCOBAR. MR.
ESCOBAR VOTES VOTES AYE. MR. COLLINS VOTE NO.
MR. TRAVIS? MR. GOHMERT? MR. JORDAN? MR. BUCK? MR. RADCLIFFE?
MS. ROBY? MS. ROBY BOATS NAY. MR. JOHNSON? MR.
BIGGS? MR. BIGGS VOTE NO. MR. McCLINTOCK? MR. McCLINTOCK
NO. MS. LEFT GO. MS. LESKO VOTES NO. MR. KLEIN? MR. KLEIN
VOTES NO. MR. ARMSTRONG? MR. ARMSTRONG VOTES NO. MR. STEVIE?
>>IS THERE ANY MEMBER OF THE COMMITTEE WHO HASN’T VOTED? MS. LOFGREN?
>>MS. LOFGREN BOATS AYE
>>THE CLERK WILL REPORT.
>>MR. CHAIRMAN, THE AYES ARE 21
>>IN THAT CASE THE MOTION TO TABLE IS ADOPTED. WE RETURNED TO
MS. BASS. >>INC. YOU MR. CHAIRMAN, DURING
THE TIME YOU WERE CHAIRMAN OF THE FOUNDATION, YOU RECOMMENDED
THAT FAX CALLED FOR ETHICS INVESTIGATIONS INTO OR FILED
COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE WALLOWING DEMOCRATIC POLITICIANS OFFICIALS
AND ORGANIZATIONS FOR THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE,
HILLARY CLINTON, JOHN KERRY, SPEAKER PELOSI, REPRESENTATIVE
ONLY BEER HUFFMAN LEWIS, IN FACT, THE ORGANIZATION ACTUALLY
CALLED FOR AN INVESTIGATION INTO A MEMBER OF THIS COMMITTEE,
REPRESENTATIVE HANK JOHNSON. SO THAT’S A TOTAL OF ABOUT 46
INDIVIDUALS OF ORGANIZATIONS THAT OVER THE TIME. WHEN YOU ARE
THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF FACT THAT YOU CALLED FOR EITHER
ETHICS INVESTIGATIONS OR FILED COMPLAINTS. SO SINCE YOU HAVE
JOINED THE AG’S OFFICE, I WANT TO KNOW WHETHER OR NOT ANY
INVESTIGATIONS HAVE BEEN INITIATED INTO THOSE PEOPLE? JUST ANSWER THAT
YES OR NO. HAVE THERE BEEN INVESTIGATIONS INITIATED INTO
THE PEOPLE THAT YOU SUGGESTED BE INVESTIGATED DURING THE TIME YOU
WERE THE ED OF FACT? >>CONGRESSWOMAN, I WAS THE
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE FOUNDATION FOR ACCOUNTABILITY
AND TRUST. WE WERE AN INDEPENDENT NONPARTISAN WATCHDOG
GROUP. WE DID FILE NUMEROUS COMPLAINTS AGAINST MEMBERS OF BOTH PARTIES. BIOETHICS
COMPLAINTS AGAINST REPUBLICANS? CAN YOU TELL ME WHICH REPUBLICAN
MEMBERS YOU FILED ETHICS COMPLAINTS AGAINST?? I’M HERE
FOR AN OVERSIGHT. >>YES YOU ARE, AND MY QUESTIONS
LEADING TO THAT. WHICH THE REPUBLICANS DID YOU FILE
INVESTIGATIONS OR AT ETHICS INVESTIGATIONS OF?
>>THE NICE THINGS ABOUT BEING A ETHICS WATCHDOG GROUP, BECAUSE WE FILED ITS COMPLAINT ON HIS
WEBSITE AND I WOULD REFER YOU TO THAT.
>>I DON’T HAVE TIME TO LOOK TO THE WEBSITE I’M ASKING YOU NOW
YOU WERE THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. WHICH REPUBLICANS DID YOU FILE
AGAINST? >>CONGRESSWOMAN ALL I’M DOING
IS I CAN REFER YOU, >>SINCE YOU HAVE BEEN IN THE
DOT HAVE ANY COMPLAINTS BEEN INITIATED AGAINST THE 46
DEMOCRATS EITHER INDIVIDUALS OR ORGANIZATIONS AND THE TIME THAT
YOU HAVE BEEN THE ACT AG? >>CONGRESSWOMAN, AS I SIT HERE
TODAY, I AM NOT AWARE OF ANY, BUT OBVIOUSLY IF I HAD
RECOMMENDED AT THAT THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF FACT THAT
SOMEONE BE INVESTIGATED, AND IT WAS IN
MY RECOMMENDATION WAS ADOPTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, I’M
CERTAIN THAT I COULD NOT BE INVOLVED IN THAT INVESTIGATION.
>>YOU ARE CERTAIN BUT YOU DON’T KNOW WHETHER OR NOT, DID YOU
RECUSE YOURSELF? >>I THINK IT’S IMPORTANT FOR
EVERYONE TO UNDERSTAND, RECUSAL DECISIONS ARE MADE BASED ON A
MATTER, >>LET ME MOVE ON, I WANTED TO
ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT ETHICS GUIDANCE THAT YOU RECEIVED IN
DECEMBER. DID THEY RECOMMEND THAT YOU RECUSE YOURSELF FROM
ANY INVOLVEMENT IN A CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION INTO THE WORLD
PATTON MARKETING, THE FRAUDULENTLY PROMOTION SCAM TO
WHICH YOU STILL OWE ALMOST $10,000 TO THE COURT? DID THEY
PROVIDE AN ETHICS OPINION, OR DID YOU NOT SEEK ONE RELATED TO
THE WORLD PATTON MARKETING MATTER?
>>JUST TO BE CLEAR CONGRESSWOMAN, WHAT YOU MEAN BY
THEY? YOU MEAN THE ETHICS OFFICIALS?
>>I’M ASKING YOU WHAT GUIDANCE DID THEY RECOMMEND THAT YOU
RECUSE YOURSELF, THAT’S A QUESTION TO YOU. DID THEY
RECOMMEND THAT YOU RECUSE YOURSELF FROM ANY INVOLVEMENT IN
THE CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION INTO THE WORLD PATTON MARKETING?
>>I AM RECUSED FROM THE INVESTIGATION INTO THAT COMPANY.
>>WHAT ABOUT ANY MATTER INVOLVING HILLARY CLINTON? IT’S
BEEN WELL-DOCUMENTED OF YOUR PUBLIC CALLS FOR RENEWED
INVESTIGATION INTO MATTERS RELATED TO MRS. CLINTON.
>>AGAIN, ANY INVESTIGATIONS INTO FORMER SECRETARY CLINTON,
UM, IF THEY ARE OPEN, CONFIRMATION OR DENIAL FUELS
USERS WOULD INDICATE THERE IS OR THERE IS NOT AN INVESTIGATION,
>>YOU KNOW I ACTUALLY I HAVE MORE TIME ON THE CLOCK SINCE I
WAS INTERRUPTED. >>I AM INFORMED WE BLOGGED THE
TIME. >>OKAY, GO AHEAD, CONTINUE.
>>WHAT I’M SAYING IS YOUR INQUIRY ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT I’M
FUSED FROM ANY MATTER FORMER SECRETARY CLINTON WOULD BY ITS
VERY NATURE SUGGEST THAT THERE IS AN OPEN MATTER REGARDING
SECRETARY CLINTON. ANY RECUSAL DECISION THAT I WOULD MAKE WOULD
BE BASED ON WHAT THE MATTER WAS, AND WE WOULD GO TO THE EXACT
SAME ANALYSIS THAT I WENT THROUGH IN THE CASE OF THE
SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION.>>THANK YOU.
>> AT THE REQUEST OF A NUMBER OF PEOPLE THE COMMITTEE WILL
STAND IN RECESS FOR FIVE MINUTES.
>>WE GET FIVE MINUTES FOR LUNCH?>>BRIEF PAUSE IN THIS HEARING
AS THEY CONTINUE TO QUESTION THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL. >>YOU’RE WATCHING LIVE COVERAGE
FROM THE WASHINGTON POST AS THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL MATTHEW
WHITAKER TAKES QUESTIONS FROM THE HOUSE JUDICIARY. A LOT OF
PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO PACK A LOT IN DURING THE FIVE MINUTES. THIS
SHOULD BE A SHORT BREAK DESPITE MATTHEW WHITAKER’S THAT HE WOULD
ONLY HAVE ABOUT FIVE MINUTES FOR LUNCH. HE JUST HAD AN HOUR PLUS
RECESS AND THE HOUSE WENT TO VOTE. SO WE’LL SEE HOW LONG THEY
PAUSE. I’M LIZZIE CASEY AND I’M WITH ERIN BLAKE AND A WRITER FOR
THE PICS. AARON, I’M SENSING FRUSTRATION AS THEY START A LINE
OF QUESTIONING, THEY HAVE ACCUSED HIM OF FILIBUSTERING AND
THEY ARE HAVING A HARD TIME HITTING THEIR PUNCH, ACTUALLY
LANDING THE PUNCH TO GET THE POINT THEY’RE TRYING TO MAKE.
>>IT’S ALWAYS DIFFICULT WHEN YOU ONLY HAVE FIVE MINUTES.
THESE HEARINGS ARE EVEN MORE DIFFICULT THAN YOU WOULD SEE IN
A SENATE CONFIRMATION BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY MORE MEMBERS
THAN THEY REALLY NEED TO GET THERE ARE 40 MEMBERS HERE AS
OPPOSED TO 15 OR 20 IN THE SENATE HEARING. AND SO, MATTHEW
WHITAKER KNOWS THAT. HE HAS CLEARLY BEEN COACHED ON THAT
FACT. AND SO THERE WAS A MOMENT, ABOUT AN HOUR AGO
WHERE HE BEGAN STARTING HIS RESPONSES, IT WAS SHORTLY AFTER
HE CAME BACK FROM THAT FIRST BREAK HE STARTED ANSWERING THESE
QUESTIONS BY STARTING OUT AND SAYING, CONGRESSMAN, THANK YOU
MUCH FOR THE IMPORTANT QUESTION. THANK YOU FOR THIS CHANCE TO
CLARIFY. HE DID THAT FIVE TIMES IN THE SPAN OF SIX QUESTIONS AT
ONE POINT. HE CLEARLY IS TRYING TO GIVE HIMSELF SOME TIME, ONE,
TO THINK, TWO TO PHILIP SOME TIME SO THAT THESE MEMBERS CAN’T
GET MOMENTUM BEHIND THEIR LINES OF QUESTIONING. AND ACTUALLY, I
THINK HE HAS FRUSTRATED THEM TO SOME DEGREE. THE MORE THAT YOU
CAN PREVENT THEM FROM ASKING YOU KNOW 15 QUESTIONS, AS OPPOSED TO
FIVE, THE LESS LIKELY THEY ARE TO ACTUALLY GET TO THE POINT
THAT THEY WANT TO GET TO. AND SO, IT HAS CERTAINLY BEEN A
SHAKY PERFORMANCE FROM MATTHEW WHITAKER, BUT AT THE SAME TIME
HE SEEMS TO HAVE AVOIDED REVEALING ANYTHING THAT HE
DOESN’T WANT TO, AND A LOT OF THAT IS BECAUSE HE DOES SEEM TO
BE IN A LOT OF WAYS, IGNORING THE QUESTIONS, DEFLECTING THEM,
ARGUING OVER PROCESS, THINGS LIKE THAT.
>>AND RUNNING OUT THE CLOCK. WE SAW HANK JOHNSON DEMOCRAT FROM
GEORGIA TRYING TO ASK HIM SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT GETTING ADVICE
ON WHETHER TO RECUSE HIMSELF IN THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION AND
WHITAKER WAS DEFLECTING AND GOING INTO SOME OTHER LONGER
EXPLANATIONS AND IT FRUSTRATED JOHNSON AND IT FRUSTRATED THE
CHAIRMAN, JERRY NADLER WHO BASICALLY SAID YOU DON’T HAVE TO
GIVE A SPEECH, YOU KNOW AND ANSWER THE QUESTION.
>>WILL A LOT OF THE QUESTIONS WERE EXTREMELY SIMPLE QUESTIONS,
THEY WERE DATE AND TIME QUESTIONS. WAS THE LAST TIME
THAT YOU CONSULTED ETHICS OFFICIALS ON DECEMBER 19?
>>YES OR NO. >>THERE ARE REASONS FOR
WITNESSES TO AVOID YES AND NO QUESTIONS. A LOT OF TIMES THOSE
QUESTIONS WILL BE POSED IN VERY LEADING WAYS THAT YOU WANT TO
CAN COMMIT TO A FIRM YES OR NO. BUT WHEN YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT
DATES, TIMES THERE ARE ESTABLISHED FACTS, IF YOU CAN
SAY YES OR NO RATHER EASILY IN THE FACT THAT WHITAKER WAS
AVOIDING THOSE KINDS OF QUESTIONS, I THINK KIND OF YOU
KNOW SHOWS EXACTLY WHAT HE IS UP TO HERE.
>>THIS IS NOTHING NEW. WE HAVE SEEN DEMOCRATS AND MINORITIES
FRUSTRATED AS THEY ASKED QUESTIONS OF REPUBLICANS IN THE
MAJORITY AND THEY ARE FRUSTRATED WHEN THEY ASK QUESTIONS. BUT ONE
CHALLENGE OF HEARINGS IS THAT IT’S HARD TO GET MOMENTUM GOING BECAUSE IT
GOES REPUBLICAN, DEMOCRAT, REPUBLICAN, DEMOCRAT. SO YOU CAN
SEE THE DEMOCRATS WOULD LIKE TO FOLLOW ON A LINE OF QUESTIONING
BURNING HARD TO KEEP THAT MOMENTUM GOING. ONE THING THEY
HAVE BEEN ABLE TO GET A LITTLE MORE DETAIL ON IS JUST TO
WHITAKER WENT TO TO FIGURE OUT THIS QUESTION OF REFUSAL. WE
KNOW THAT DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE IS THE ETHIC OFFICIAL ADVISED HIM
RECUSE HIMSELF. HE CHOSE NOT TO. ONE QUESTION THAT WE EXPECTED
WAS DEMOCRATS WHO ELSE WAS INVITING HIM. WHO ELSE
SPECIFICALLY WAS ADVISING HIM. WE DID HEAR A COUPLE OF NAMES
LISTED. BUT THEN, WHITAKER SORT OF DEFERRED ON THE REST AND SAID
THAT HE WAS CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR PUBLIC EXPOSURE.
>>YEAH, SO HE NAMED TWO PEOPLE THE FIRST ONE WITH STEVE ENGEL,
THE SECOND ONE WAS CURTIS GANNON WHOSE EXACT JOB TITLES I’M NOT
GOING TO CLAIM TO KNOW RIGHT OFF HAND.
>>ONE WAS LIKE A PRINCIPAL DEPUTY.
>>YET, SO HE RESISTED AT FIRST, HE TRIED TO SAY SENIOR STAFF, HE
SAID I CONSULTED WITH SEVERAL PEOPLE AND HANK JOHNSON SAID NO,
NAME SOME NAMES HERE. AND SO ENABLES FIRST TWO NAMES AND HE
RESISTED, HE SAID HE WAS WORRIED ABOUT PUBLIC EXPOSURE. THEN, HE
NAME ONE MORE PERSON WHICH WAS BRAD WEINSTEIN. THESE ARE ALL
POLITICAL APPOINTED PEOPLE THESE ARE NOT LOW-LEVEL STAFFERS WHO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE
HAVE NEVER HEARD OF, THESE ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE ACCOUNTABLE TO
THE VERY COMMITTEES THAT HE’S TALKING TO RIGHT NOW. SO I
THOUGHT IT WAS PRETTY REMARKABLE THAT HE WAS TRYING TO PROTECT
THEM FROM GETTING DRAGGED IN, GIVEN THEY DO SERVE AT THE
PRESIDENT’S PLEASURE, THEY DO SERVE FOR THE CONFIRMATION AND
THE APPROVAL OF THE SENATE. >>THAT’S LIKE A DUBIOUS EXCUSE,
AND AS THEY WERE LAYING INTO JUST WHAT ADVICE DID THEY GIVE
HIM, THAT WAS ALSO LITTLE BIT UNCLEAR.
>>EMPHASIZE OVER AND OVER AGAIN THAT THESE OF VISUALS HAD TOLD
THEM THAT IT WAS ULTIMATELY HIS DECISION. THAT’S FOCUSING,
THAT’S BEING VERY NARROWING YOUR FOCUS. OF COURSE IT WOULD
HAVE TOLD HIM THAT BECAUSE THAT IS, IN FACT HOW THINGS WORK. IF
YOU ARE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FINAL DECISIONS ARE MADE BY YOU,
BUT THAT WASN’T THE QUESTION. THERE WAS AND WAS WAS WHAT WAS
THEIR ADVICE TO YOU? A CAREER OFFICIAL SAID THAT IT WAS A
CLOSE CALL BUT SAID THAT THIS WAS SOMETHING THEY WOULD
RECOMMEND THAT HE RECUSE HIMSELF ON.
>>THE WAY THAT WHITAKER TALK ABOUT IT, I BELIEVE IT WAS
RELATED TO BRAD WEINSHEIMER SPECIFICALLY, THERE
WERE A LOT OF THE OTHER NAMES THROWN OUT THERE. THAT WAS A
CLOSE CALL, AS YOU POINT OUT, WE HAVE ALREADY REPORTED THAT WE
KNEW THAT. AND THAT PUBLIC STATEMENTS WHITAKER HAD MAKE
MADE DID ACKNOWLEDGE THE PROFESSIONALISM AND CONFIDENCE
OF THE SPECIAL COUNSEL. BUT THEN WHITAKER SAYS OUT OF ABUNDANCE
OF CAUTION HE WOULD RECOMMEND A CERTAIN COURSE. AND THEN HE GOT
UP SORT OF TALKED OVER AND WE NEVER HEARD WHAT THAT CERTAIN
COURSE WOULD BE. THE IMPLICATION BEING THAT IT WAS PROBABLY TO
RECUSE YOURSELF. RIGHT. >>WITH THE DECISION ULTIMATELY
ENDED WITH WHITAKER.? IT WAS
REMARKABLE THAT HE DIDN’T SEEM TO WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE THINGS
THAT HAD BEEN IN THE PUBLIC RECORD, THAT HAD BEEN REPORTED VERY WIDELY, BECAUSE HE FEELS
LIKE IT’S ALMOST CONCEDING A POINT AND LEADING TO A LARGER
DISCUSSION ABOUT RECUSAL THAT HE CLEARLY DOESN’T WANT. THAT’S WHY
HE KEEPS GOING BACK TO THE IDEA THAT THIS IS NOT A CONFIRMATION
HEARING, IS AN OVER SITE HEARING AND THIS IS SOMETHING THE
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SHOULD BE DOING. AND THAT’S GENERALLY WHAT
THIS SORT OF MEETING IS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT BUT THEY ALSO HAVE
TO BE CONFIRMED IN AN IMPORTANT POSITION. AND I WENT ADD THAT A
LOT OF QUESTIONS ABOUT THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION THOSE ARE
OVERSIGHT QUESTIONS. SO WHEN HE, RIGHT AFTER THAT YOU CAN RUN THE
QUESTIONS CAME OUT AND SAID THIS IS THE CONFIRMATION HEARING,
BILL BARR IS GOING TO BE HERE NEXT WEEK, THIS SHOULD BE AN OVERSIGHT HEARING. UM, THAT KIND
OF RANG HOLLOW FOR ME A LITTLE BIT. BECAUSE THE QUESTIONS THAT
HE WOULD’VE AT THAT POINT WERE ABOUT OVERSIGHT. WHICH MAY BE
HIS MOST IMPORTANT JOB RIGHT NOW.
>>LET’S GO TO OUR COLLEAGUE RHONDA COLEMAN WHO IS ON CAPITOL HILL, RHONDA?
>>THERE IS A LINE OF PUBLICANS REPUBLICANS ARE KIND BUILD THIS IS WE
SHOULDN’T BE GRILLING THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL OVER THE
MUELLER INVESTIGATION AND IT’S AN OVERSIGHT HEARING. I’M GRANT
GLAD HERE THAT YOU POINT OUT THAT THIS IS WHAT OVERSIGHT
INVOLVES. BUT WE HAVE HEARD FROM REPUBLICANS TRYING TO TALK ABOUT
OTHER PROGRAMS OTHER DRUG PROBLEMS, PROJECT SAFE
NEIGHBORHOODS. THEN IT GOES BACK TO THE DEMOCRAT AND THEY TIE TO
PICK UP THE THREAD, LARGELY OF A SIMILAR INVESTIGATION. B IT IS
WHAT MATTHEW WHITAKER AND THE REPUBLICANS WANT THEM TO DO.
THESE ARE THE THINGS THEY WANT TO TALK ABOUT. THEY KIND OF WANT
TO TALK ABOUT THESE ARE VERY IMPORTANT THINGS, THESE ARE
THINGS THAT NORMAL OVERSIGHT HEARING WITH A CONFIRMED
ATTORNEY GENERAL PROBABLY WOULD BE THE FOCUS. WE SAW LAST WEEK
THE CASE THAT CAME UP TO THE CAPITAL AND THEY WERE GENERALLY
AS VERY SUBSTANTIVE QUESTIONS ABOUT WHAT THEIR DEPARTMENTS
WERE UP TO. BUT THE BACKDROP OF THIS IS YOU CAN’T IGNORE, THEY
HAVE BEEN WAITING TO TALK TO THE SKY, THEY HAVE NOT HAD A CHANCE
TO CONFIRM HIM HE IS IN A POSITION OF GREAT POWER AND SO
THEY’RE GOING TO TAKE THE CHANCE TO ASK HIM THE QUESTIONS THAT
THEY WANT TO BECAUSE IT’S THEIR PREROGATIVE AS MEMBERS OF THIS
COMMITTEE. THEY HAVE AN OVERSIGHT RESPONSIBILITY, BUT
THAT’S PRETTY BROADLY DEFINED. THEY DON’T HAVE TO KEEP THEIR
QUESTIONS NARROWLY DEFINED ON ONE THING OR ANOTHER.
>> LET’S CHECK BACK IN WITH RHONDA
COLEMAN, BACK ON CAPITOL HILL, HI, RHONDA.? HI LIZZIE, THAT’S
RIGHT, I’M STILL OUTSIDE OF THE HEARING ROOM. I WAS INSIDE
DURING THAT EXCHANGE WITH REPRESENTATIVE SHIELA
JACKSON-LEE. AND MOMENTS AFTER THAT EXCHANGE THAT EXTEND YOU
MIGHT’VE SEEN, SHE CAME OUT SHE SPOKE TO US, AND WE SAID DID YOU EXPECT
THAT? AND SHE SAID NO SHE DIDN’T SHE SAID SHE CAME IN HERE
OPTIMISTIC THAT HE WOULD ANSWER QUESTIONS AND THAT HE WOULDN’T
CHALLENGE THE COMMITTEE. BECAUSE THEY HAVE BEEN FORTHCOMING WITH
HIM ON WHAT TYPE OF QUESTIONING THAT THEY WANT TO ACT TODAY. AND
THEY HAVE NOT BEEN RECEIVING THAT SAME RESPECT FROM HIM. SO
SHE SAID SHE HOPES THAT THE DURATION OF THIS WE’LL SEE MORE
ANSWERS FROM HIM. BUT SHE SAID SHE IS DISAPPOINTED IN HOW HE
ANSWERED HIM. SHE ADMONISHED HIM, IF YOU RECALL SCENE, WHEN
HE WOULD NOT ANSWER ONE OF HER QUESTIONS. SO, I HOPE WE WILL
HAVE THAT SHORTLY TO SHOW YOU OUR INTERVIEW WITH HER. BUT AS
IT STANDS NOW, SHE SAID AS A MEMBER OF THIS COMMITTEE, THEY
STILL HAVE THE RIGHT TO GO AFTER HIM AND IF HE IS NOT ANSWERING
SPECIFIC QUESTIONS AND GET HIM TO ANSWER THOSE QUESTIONS. SO,
THAT’S PROBABLY WHAT STOOD OUT TO ME IN THIS LAST PART OF THE
HEARING. LIBBY? >>RHONDA THAT’S RIGHT,
CONGRESSMAN CONGRESSWOMAN SHIELA JACKSON-LEE TELLING WHITAKER
THAT SHE WAS NOT FOR HIS HERE FOR HIS SENSE OF HUMOR.
>>YEAH. >>SHE IS NOT PLEASED.
>>WHEN I SAW THAT BASICALLY TO RECAP WHAT HAPPENED, THERE WAS A
POINT OF ORDER RAISED BY THE REPUBLICANS, SHIELA JACKSON-LEE
ASKED FOR HER TIME BACK, THEN SHE ASKED THE CHAIRMAN HOW MUCH
TIME SHE HAD LEFT. AND MATTHEW WHITAKER KIND OF VOLUNTEERED THAT HE DID KNOW
HOW MUCH TIME SHE HAD LEFT. IT WASN’T CLEAR TO ME THAT HE WAS
TRYING TO MAKE A JOKE ABOUT IT OR SOMETHING, OR MAYBE HE WAS
BEING A LITTLE BIT SMART ABOUT IT. BUT FROM THAT POINT ON SHE
WAS FOCUSED LIKE A LASER ON HIM. SHE KINDA POINTED AT HIM AND I
THOUGHT IT WAS A REALLY TENSE EXCHANGE. ANOTHER REALLY
INTERESTING ONE WAS I THINK AROUND THAT SAME POINT,
CONGRESSMAN D:FROM TENNESSEE ASKED MATTHEW WHITAKER THE
QUESTION THAT GETS ASKED OF ALL THESE WITNESSES WHO COME UP ON
THE HILL WHO HAVE SOME RELATIONSHIP TO THE MUELLER
PROBE. HE SAID IS THIS A WITCHHUNT? ARE YOU OVERSEEING A
WITCHHUNT? MATTHEW WHITAKER WOULD NOT ANSWER THAT QUESTION.
HE SAID THAT THAT WAS OUT OF THE PURVIEW OF ANSWERING QUESTIONS
ABOUT AN ONGOING INVESTIGATION. WELL, I LOOK BACK, PEOPLE WHO
HAVE ASKED THIS QUESTION AND SAID IT’S NOT A WITCHHUNT
INCLUDE ROB ROSENSTEIN AND FBI DIRECTOR CHRIS RAY WHO IS ALSO
OF COURSE INVOLVED IN THIS TO SOME DEGREE. SO THE FACT THAT
THOSE TWO ARE WILLING TO SAY NO, NOT A WITCHHUNT AND THEN WE SEE
MATTHEW WHITAKER COME UP HERE AND NOT BE ABLE TO ANSWER THE
WEST AND I THINK IS VERY TELLING THAT HE DOESN’T WANT TO RIP
APART TOO MUCH FROM PRESIDENT TRUMPS TALKING POINTS ON THIS.
>>OPEN AND BY THE WAY BILL BARR SAID IN HIS CONFIRMATION THIS IS
NOT A WITCHHUNT. HE’S NOT RELATED TO THE INVESTIGATION
RIGHT NOW, BUT THE FACT THAT ALL THESE PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO SAY
THAT AND HE IS NOT IS PRETTY REMARKABLE. THERE AND WE POINTED
OUT EARLIER THAT HE IS KEEPING ALL HIS OPTIONS OPEN. IT MAY NOT
BE IN HIS BEST INTEREST TO BE PINNED DOWN ON THAT BECAUSE HE’S
NOT LOOKING FOR CAREER IN THIS POSITION. HE THINKING ABOUT WHAT
ROLE HE MAY PLAY NEXT WHETHER IT’S AT THE TV COMMENTOR, WHO
KNOWS WHAT COMES NEXT? >>YEAH, CERTAINLY, THAT HAS GOT
TO FACTOR IN FOR ANYBODY IN THIS POSITION. THEY WANT TO LOOK UP
FOR THE NEXT JOB THAT THEY MIGHT BE ABLE TO GET. BUT THIS IS A
REALLY LOW BAR THAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT. THE IDEA THAT THE
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT IS NOT ENGAGED IN A VAST, BASICALLY
CONSPIRACY TO TAKE ON THE PRESIDENT.
>>AND HE IS THE HEAD OF THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT THESE ARE MEN
AND WOMEN WHO WORK FOR HIM. RIGHT NOW.
>>HE COULD VARIOUSLY EASILY ANSWER THAT QUESTION WITHOUT
GIVING AWAY ANY DETAILS OF THE INVESTIGATION. I CAN’T IMAGINE
THAT HE WAS NOT PREPPED THAT HE WOULD BE ASKED THAT QUESTION AT
SOME POINT. THE FACT THAT HE DECIDED NOT TO ANSWER IT SAYS IT
ALL.? THE CHAIRMAN HAS RESUMED HIS SEAT SO WE KEEP AN EYE ON
THIS HEARING. I DO WANT TO POINT OUT QUESTIONS BY CONGRESS BEEN
CONGRESSWOMAN LOFGREN FROM CALIFORNIA, SHE WAS ASKING AS WE
EXPECTED IT TO COME UP ABOUT CONVERSATIONS THAT HE MIGHT HAVE
HAD WITH TEAM TRUMP. AS A PRIVATE CITIZEN, SO BEFORE HE
WAS THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL. THERE WAS ALSO CONVERSATIONS HE MAY
HAVE HAD AS THE CHIEF OF STAFF OF JEFF SESSIONS WHICH IS A
LITTLE BIT OF A GREATER AREA. BUT SHE WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT
CONVERSATIONS THEY MAY HAVE HAD ABOUT THE MUELLER PROBE OR
THINGS LIKE THAT. AND WE STILL DID NOT, IT TOOK US LONG TIME TO
GET AT ANY SORT OF ANSWER TO EVEN THAT QUESTION.
>>YA, HIS STRATEGY SEEMS TO GET THE QUESTIONS, ARGUE OVER THE
PROCESS OF THE QUESTION AND THEN EVENTUALLY GIVE SOME SORT OF AN
ANSWER. AND USUALLY HE GETS AROUND TO OFFERING SOME SORT OF
AN ANSWER. BUT THAT ONE, WAS STILL KIND OF FUZZY ON, I WOULDN’T BE
SURPRISED TO SEE DEMOCRATS COME BACK ON THAT QUESTION. BECAUSE
HE ALSO RECUSED HIMSELF AS SESSIONS CHIEF OF STAFF SO HE
WOULD HAVE NO REASON TO TALK ABOUT IT.
>>ALL RIGHT I GIVING THE WRAP, LET’S GO BACK TO THE HEARING.
>>MR. WHITAKER, I’M SURE YOU AGREE THAT THE APPEARANCE OF
FAVORITISM OR PARTISANSHIP BY LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES IS
ABSOLUTELY DEADLY TO A NATION THAT’S FOUNDED ON THE PRINCIPLE
OF EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER THE LAW. IF LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES ARE
PERCEIVED TO BE BIASED OR PARTISAN AND WE HAVE FAITH IN
THEM AND OUR SISTERS SYSTEM OF JUSTICE COULD QUICKLY COLLAPSE. I’M CONCERNED
ABOUT MANY ALARMING DEVELOPMENTS IN THE CONDUCT OF THE FBI AND
THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE THAT CALL ITS IMPARTIALITY INTO
QUESTION. I HAVE BEEN READING GREG JARRETT BOOK ON THE COMEY
INVESTIGATION INTO THE CLINTON EMAILS AND THE URANIUM 1 DEAL
AND THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION INTO THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN. AND IN
IT, TO MR. JARRETT, METICULOUSLY DOCUMENTED CASE
AFTER CASE OF POLITICAL BIAS BY THE FBI AND ILLEGAL CONDUCT AT
THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.
DESTRUCTION OF EVIDENCE, POSSIBLE DESTRUCTION OF JUSTICE
BY MR. COMEY HIMSELF. PERJURY BY TOP DOJ OFFICIALS, PROSECUTE,
PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT AND POLITICAL BIAS THROUGHOUT
MUELLER STEAM. NOW IF THE RUSH INVESTIGATION WAS INITIATED
BECAUSE OF A PATENTLY FALSE DOSSIER, WHY AREN’T WE SEEING AN
EQUALLY AGGRESSIVE INVESTIGATION INTO THESE VERY METICULOUSLY
DOCUMENTED CHARGES? WE MET CONGRESSMAN AS YOU MENTIONED AT
THE BEGINNING, WE DO CONDUCT OUR INVESTIGATIONS INDEPENDENT OF
POLITICAL INTERFERENCE AT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.
>>THAT’S NOT WHAT, THE PREPONDERANCE OF EVIDENCE IS
TELLING ME FROM SOURCES SUCH AS THIS ONE.
>>WELL, AND SPECIFICALLY RELATED TO THE DOCUMENT YOU JUST
DESCRIBED, THAT IS THE SUBJECT OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL’S
REVIEW INVESTIGATION. TOGETHER WITH THE US ATTORNEY FROM THE
DISTRICT OF UTAH WHO WAS APPOINTED BY GENERAL SESSIONS TO
LOOK INTO AND REVIEW CERTAIN MATTERS THAT THIS COMMITTEE HAD
ASKED BE REVIEWED. >>CAN WE EXPECT A FULL COMPLETE
AND AGGRESSIVE INVESTIGATION OF CHARGES OF WRONGDOING BY
OFFICIALS IN THE FBI AND THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ON THESE
MATTERS?? CONGRESSMAN I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT ANY ALLEGATION
OF MISCONDUCT BY AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WILL
BE LOOKED INTO THOROUGHLY. >>WELL, I THINK BACK TO THE
LOWEST LEARNER SCANNELL AND THAT NEVER WAS ADDRESSED. WHY SHOULD
I BE MORE CONFIDENT IN YOUR ASSURANCES NOW?
>>CONGRESSMAN I WAS A PRIVATE CITIZEN AT THE LOWEST LEARNER
SITUATION AND IT OCCURRED UNDER THE PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATION I
KNOW THE GENERAL MATTERS OF THAT AREA AND I WAS CHIEF OF STAFF SO
I DON’T HAVE ANY VISIBILITY AS I SIT HERE TODAY AS ACTING
ATTORNEY GENERAL AS TO WHAT HAPPENED WITH THAT SITUATION.
>>LET ME TALK ABOUT THE APPARENT DOUBLE STANDARD IN
DISPROPORTIONATE TO SHOW HORSE LIKE THE ARREST OF ROGER STONE.
AS I UNDERSTAND IT STONES CON ATTORNEYS WERE IN CONSTANT
CONTACT WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, HE IS 66 YEARS OLD AND
DOESN’T OWN ANY FIREARMS, AND YET HE WAS THE SUBJECT OF A
PREDAWN RATE OF COMBAT PEOPLE. AND IT WAS OBVIOUS THAT THAT CNN
WAS TIPPED OFF THEY WERE ALLOWED TO STAY TO THEM THE ENTIRE
SPECTACLE DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE FBI WAS SO CONCERNED OF
VIOLENCE BY THE 66-YEAR-OLD IN THIS PREDAWN RATE. YOU COMPARE
THAT TO CASES LIKE BOB MENENDEZ WHO WAS ALLOWED TO QUIETLY TURN
HIMSELF IN. THE OBVIOUS EXPLANATION IS THAT THIS WAS A POLITICAL ACT, WHOSE PURPOSE WAS
TO TERRIFY ANYONE TAKING OF WORKING IN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN IN
THE FUTURE AND AGAIN HARKENS BACK TO THE CONDUCT OF THE RS
TERRIFYING RANK-AND-FILE TEA PARTY MEMBERS. HOW DO YOU
EXPLAIN THIS AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABOUT IT?
>>CONGRESSMAN, THIS IS A VERY SUCH SERIOUS SITUATION THAT YOU
MAKE, BUT JUST KNOW THAT THE FBI MAKES RAIDS IN THE BEST INTEREST
IN THE SAFETY OF THEIR AGENTS. >>HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THE
DISCREPANCY BETWEEN THE WAY ROGER STONE WAS TREATED AND THE
WAY BOB MENENDEZ WAS TREATED? >>AGAIN THE TEAM HAS TO FACTOR
NUMEROUS FACTORS IN MAKING THE JUDGMENT ON HOW TO CONDUCT THE,
>>IT UNDERMINES THE FAITH THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE IN
THEIR JUSTICE SYSTEMS AND IN ITS DETACHMENT FROM POLITICS.
>>CONGRESSMAN, I CANNOT PROVIDE THE DETAILS IN THIS OPEN
HEARING WITHOUT REVEALING WHAT FACTORS THE FBI CONSIDERS THOSE
DECISIONS AND OBVIOUSLY THAT INFORMATION CAN BE USED TO PUT
OTHER FBI AGENTS CONDUCTING OTHER OPERATIONS IN HARMS WAY.
WHAT I CAN ASSURE YOU, CONGRESSMAN, IS THAT THE FBI IS
PREPARED TO REAP THIS MATTER ON THE DECISIONS THAT WERE MADE IN
THAT PARTICULAR ARREST IN A CLOSED SESSION OF THIS
COMMITTEE. >>INC. YOU MR. CHAIRMAN. MR.
WHITAKER, THE DOJ WAS CREATED IN 1957 UNDER THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT,
CORRECT? >> UM, CONGRESSMAN, I BELIEVE A GRANT SIGNED,
>>YEAH, NO IT WAS, WE ARE NOT GOING TO DO ALL THIS DELAY. IT
WAS CREATED TO PROTECT AGAINST DISCRIMINATION BASED ON RACE,
COLOR, SEX, RELIGIOUS, FAMILIAR STATUS, WOULDN’T YOU AGREE?
>>ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT THE CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION
SPECIFICALLY? >>THE DOD.
>>YOU KNOW WHAT, NEVERMIND, LET’S KEEP GOING. YOU WERE CHIEF
OF STAFF WHEN JEFF SESSIONS TESTIFIED IN THIS COMMITTEE IN 2017, CORRECT, NOVEMBER?
>>I WAS IN FACT I SAT RIGHT BEHIND HIM.
>>IT’S EXACTLY WHERE I’M GOING. BECAUSE DO YOU REMEMBER ME
ASKING HIM A QUESTION ABOUT DIVERSITY AND LEADERSHIP AT
DOJ AND THE FACT THAT THEY HAD NO AFRICAN-AMERICANS IN
LEADERSHIP AT DOJ. DO YOU HAVE ANY EVER MET AFRICAN-AMERICANS
AND LEADERSHIP IN THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE?
>>IF THE SENATE CONFIRMS MY FRIEND DON WASHINGTON TO BE HEAD
OF THE US MARSHALS WHICH I BELIEVE HE IS PENDING ON THE
FLOOR OF THE SENATE CURRENTLY, THEN THE ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION
WOULD BE YES. BUT AS WE SIT HERE TODAY I DO NOT BELIEVE, WHAT WOULD YOU
CONSIDER THE LEADERSHIP OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.
>>THE HIERARCHY OF PEOPLE RESPONDING TO THEM, HEAD OF THE
DIVISION, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL’S. IF YOU LOOK AT THE
FLOWCHART AND UPPER ECHELON. SO THINK ABOUT THE IMAGE TO ME. DOJ
CREATED TO PROTECT CIVIL RIGHTS AND ADVOCATE FOR ALL. WE HAVE
HAD THE LAST TWO ATTORNEY GENERALS COME HERE, NOT ONE OF
THEM THOUGHT THEY COULD FIND OR DID FIND AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN AT
DOJ TO BRING WITH THEM. AND YOU ARE CHARGED WITH ENFORCING CIVIL
RIGHTS AND MAKING PEOPLE FEEL THAT YOU ARE FIGHTING FOR
EQUALITY. YOU MENTIONED CHARLOTTESVILLE AND CHARGING THE
PERSON WITH 30 COUNT, AND I APPLAUD YOU FOR THAT. YOU
BELIEVE IN CHARLOTTESVILLE THERE WERE GOOD PEOPLE ON BOTH SIDES?
>>CONGRESSMAN, I THINK THE ACT WHILE, AGAIN IT’S PART OF AN
ONGOING PROSECUTION, THE ACT WAS CHARGED AS A HATE CRIME.
>>I AGREE WITH YOU AND I APPLAUD YOU FOR THAT. BUT THAT’S
ONE INDIVIDUAL. I’M ASKING YOU IN GENERAL, DO YOU BELIEVE THAT
THERE WERE GOOD PEOPLE THAT WERE PROTESTING AND THERE WERE GOOD
PEOPLE THAT WERE ANTI-PROTESTERS? SO I’M TALKING
ABOUT THE PEOPLE LIKE THE PEOPLE WITH THE TIKI TORCHES AND THE
CHANCE TO THINK THAT SOME OF THEM WERE GOOD PEOPLE IS THE
SHORT QUESTION? >>CONGRESSMAN THERE IS NO PLACE
IN A CIVIL SOCIETY FOR HATE, FOR WHITE SUPREMACY, AND FOR WHITE
NATIONALISM. >>THANK YOU. ALSO OUT OF THE
100 18,000 EMPLOYEES THAT YOU HAVE AT DOJ, OR ANY OF THEM TRANSGENDER?? CONGRESSMAN,
AS I SIT HERE TODAY I DON’T KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT, I CAN GUESS
BASED ON THE, POPULATION THAT WE WOULD. I WOULD ALSO BE HAPPY TO
GET BACK WITH YOU WITH THAT ANSWER FOR PEOPLE TO IDENTIFY
THAT WAY. >>WOULD YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH
A TRANSGENDER PERSON BEING FROM A CLERK TO AN AGENT IN THE FIELD
FOR ANY OF YOUR LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES?
>>NO. >>THANK YOU. YOU MENTION ALSO
THAT VOTER FRAUD IS A SERIOUS CONCERN. HOW MANY VOTER CASES
HAVE YOU ALL INITIATED?
>>CONGRESSMAN AS I MENTIONED IN PREVIOUS QUESTIONING I’LL BE
HAPPY TO GIVE YOU THOSE SPECIFIC DETAILS BACK TO YOU. AS I SIT
HERE TODAY, I DON’T KNOW OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD.
>>IS A LOT? IS IT OF YOU? ARE WE
TALKING ABOUT A SERIOUS CONCERN OF THE UNITED DAYS OF AMERICA
ARE WE TALKING OVER 100? ARE WE TALKING LESS THAN 25? IF YOU
DON’T KNOW BALLPARK, I’M FINE WITH THAT. WHAT ABOUT NORTH
CAROLINA BECAUSE THAT IS THE ONLY CONGRESSIONAL SEAT THAT HAS
NOT BEEN DETERMINED BECAUSE OF WIDESPREAD VOTER SUPPRESSION IN
THAT RACE. HAS THE DOJ OPENED AN INVESTIGATION INTO THAT? AND IF
THEY HAVE I GUESS YOU CAN TALK ABOUT IT. ARE YOU LOOKING INTO
THAT? >>WELL, I CAN’T TALK ABOUT OPEN
INVESTIGATIONS AND I APPRECIATE YOUR ACKNOWLEDGING THAT IT MIGHT
BE AN OPEN INVESTIGATION. WE HAVE PREVIOUSLY DONE VOTING
RIGHTS CASES IN NORTH CAROLINA AND WE ARE WATCHING THAT
SITUATION VERY CAREFULLY. >>WELL, I DON’T WANT TO GO OVER
MY TIME AND I GUESS IN THE LAST 12 SECONDS I WOULD IMPLORE YOU
TO IMPLORE NOW THE THIRD AND ATTORNEY GENERAL DURING THIS
TERM THAT AFTER TWO YEARS, WE SHOULD BE DOING BETTER WITH
DIVERSITY IN THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND I’M TALKING MORE
SPECIFICALLY BLACK AND BROWN PEOPLE AND WOMEN. I APPLAUD YOU
FOR HAVING ONE WOMAN WITH YOU. BUT THE DOJ SHOULD LOOK LIKE THE
COUNTRY. AND YOU ALL HAVE BEEN HERE TWICE AND IT IS NOT A FAIR
REPRESENTATION OF WHAT MAKES THIS COUNTRY GREAT. WITH THAT, I
YIELD BACK THE BALANCE OF MY TIME.
>> THINK GENTLEMEN, I’M SORRY, MS.
LESKO. >>INC. YOU. YOU KNOW I HAVE TO
SAY I’M VERY DISAPPOINTED IN THIS HEARING. I RAN FOR CONGRESS
TO GET THINGS DONE. AND AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS, WE WERE TOLD
THAT THIS IS ABOUT ASKING ABOUT DOJ OVERSIGHT AND SOME
LEGITIMATE QUESTIONS. AND HERE WE ARE, IS NOTHING BUT CHARACTER
ASSASSINATION, HARASSMENT OF OUR WITNESS AND, IT’S REALLY
DISAPPOINTING. AT FIRST I WAS MAD, I HAVE TO TELL YOU WHEN
THIS THING STARTED HOURS AGO, I WENT OUTSIDE AND REPORTER ASKED
ME WHAT YOU THINK OF THE HEARING, AND I SAID IT’S A JOKE.
BUT NOW, I’M JUST SAD. I’M SAD, BECAUSE WE WERE ON THE FLOOR
JUST A LITTLE WHILE AGO TALKING ABOUT HIM, HOW WE ARE HONORING
OUR LATE REPRESENTATIVE JINGLE AND TALKING ABOUT BIPARTISANSHIP
AND HOW WE NEED TO GET THINGS DONE. AND YET HERE WE ARE WITH
BLATANT POLITICAL SHOW THAT DOESN’T HELP ANYTHING. I IMAGINE
IF AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE WATCHING THIS RIGHT NOW, THEY WOULD BE
SHAKING THEIR HEADS LIKE WHAT ARE YOU DOING THERE? WE NEED TO
WORK TOGETHER TO GET IT DONE. AND SO, THAT’S MY STATEMENT BUT
I DO HAVE A QUESTION FOR MR. WHITAKER. ABOUT DOJ OVERSIGHT.
FOLLOWING THE NEW YORK GOVERNOR, SUPPORT OF ABORTION UP TO THE
MOMENT OF BIRTH, AND WE HAVE GOVERNOR NORTH ROOM OF VIRGINIA
AND HIS COMMENTS SUPPORTING AN ACTION WHICH IN MY OPINION,
RELATES TO INTENSIVE INTENT TO SIDE, ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT
SOME OF THESE ACTIONS OF LATE THAT IMPLICATE FEDERAL PARTIAL
BIRTH ATTACK THAT CRIMINALIZES GRUESOME
PROCEDURES? I’M GETTING REALLY CONCERNED THAT THIS IS VIOLATING
THE LAW AND HAS DOJ LOOKED INTO THIS?
>>YES, AS AN AMERICAN CITIZEN I’M VERY CONCERNED WITH THIS.
>>AND CAN YOU TELL ME ALSO, I READ RECENTLY A WALL STREET
JOURNAL OPINION PIECE IT WAS FROM 2018, AND IN THAT IT SAID
NEW YORK CITY, IN NEW YORK CITY THOUSANDS OF MORE BLACK BABIES
ARE ABORTED THEN BORN ALIVE EACH YEAR. AND MY GRANDKIDS ARE
AFRICAN-AMERICAN. AND SO, IF THERE WAS A CRIME OCCURRING IN
THIS COUNTRY THAT EXCEEDED THE NUMBER OF DEATH FROM CANCER,
HEART DISEASE, AIDS, ACCIDENTS COMBINED, WHICH ABORTIONS DO, IS
THAT SOMETHING THAT THE DOJ WOULD GET INVOLVED IN AND BE
CONCERNED ABOUT AND TRY TO STOP?>>CONGRESSWOMAN EVERY LIFE IS
VALUABLE. AND WHILE I CAN’T WAIT INTO THE POLITICAL ISSUE THAT
YOU RAISED, MEMBERS OF THIS COMMITTEE HAVE A LOT OF POWER AS
TO HOW WE VALUE LIFE, AND HOW WE ENFORCE THE LAWS OF THE
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. AND THIS IS AN ISSUE THAT I KNOW THERE IS
A LOT OF PASSION ABOUT AND I APPRECIATE YOUR BEING THAT WE
ACTUALLY LOOK AT MY STATEMENTS PREVIOUS TO JOINING THE
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ESPECIALLY DURING THE 2014 CAMPAIGN FOR THE
U.S. SENATE I WAS OUTSPOKEN IN THIS REGARD. BUT AS I SIT HERE
AS ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL IT WOULD BE INAPPROPRIATE FOR ME TO
COME IN MORE FULSOME LIGHT ON THIS ISSUE. WE ARE GOING TO HOLD
THOSE ACCOUNTABLE I LIKE THE LAW.
>>THANK YOU, I YIELD BACK MY TIME. THANK YOU MR. WHITTAKER
TODAY. BECAUSE THERE ANY APPARENT AMERICANS THROUGHOUT
THE COUNTRY CONFUSED. I’M WE FIGURE OUT ROME, DID YOU BE
JUSTICE? HELP ME WORK THROUGH. >>CONGRESSMAN,
>>MR. WHITAKER THAT WAS A STATEMENT NOT A QUESTION I
ASSUME YOU THE INVESTOR TRUMP COLLUSION IS RESULTED IN 37
INDICTMENTS, IS THAT CORRECT? >>, BUT MOST OF THOSE FOLKS WERE
RUSSIAN CITIZENS. >>34 INDIVIDUALS HAVE BEEN IN
DIRECT WELL, I HAVEN’T AS I PREPARE FOR MY HERE PARISHIONER
THE NUMBERS. >>THREE ENTITIES HAVE BEEN
INDICTED, CORRECT?? I BELIEVE SO.
>>199 DIFFERENT CRIMINAL ACTS HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED, TRUE?
>>I HAVEN’T COUNTED EVERY INDICTMENT, BUT THAT SOUNDS SPECIFIC.
>>THERE HAVE BEEN SEVEN GUILTY PLEAS, CORRECT?? YES. SO PEOPLE HAVE
ALREADY BEEN SINCE THE PRISON? TO THE EXTENT THAT I DISAGREE
WITH YOU, IT’S BECAUSE THESE ARE FACTS.
>> INC. YOU, TRUMPS TEST FRIEND
ROGER STONE WAS RECENTLY INDICTED FOR LYING TO CONGRESS
IN CONNECTION WITH HIS POSSIBLE INVOLVEMENT WITH WIKILEAKS AND RUSSIAN INTERVENTION PARENTS IN
THE 2016 ELECTION, CORRECT?? YES AND I MENTIONED MR. STONE’S
INDICTMENT AND ARREST. >>PAUL MANAFORT HAS PLED GUILTY
TO CONSPIRACY TO DEFRAUD THE UNITED STATES, TRUE?
>>MR. METAPHOR DID PLEAD GUILTY, YES.
>>TRUMPS DEPUTY CAMPAIGN MANAGER RICK GATES HAS PLED
GUILTY TO LYING TO THE INDICTMENT IN FRONT OF ME I
DECIDED DISAGREE WITH YOU. >>TRUMPS FORMER NATIONAL
SECURITY MICHAEL FLYNN HAS PLED GUILTY TO THE FBI, CORRECT?
>>IS A TRUE FACT, YES. TRUMP LONGTIME PERSONAL ATTORNEY AND
CONSIGLIO VERY PLED GUILTY TO LYING ABOUT CONGRESS ABOUT
MOSCOW IS THAT TRUE?? I BELIEVE THAT WAS ONE OF THE BASIC OR HIS
PLEA AGREEMENT. WERE SEVERAL OF THE READ THAT MICHAEL COHEN PLED GUILTY
>>PAPADOPOULOS HAS PLED GUILTY TO LYING TO FEDERAL
INVESTIGATORS ABOUT HIS CONTACT WITH RUSSIAN AGENTS DURING THE
2016 CAMPAIGN, TRUE? I’M SURE THERE WERE MANY THAT WOULD
DISAGREE WITH THE TITLE YOU PUT ON MR. PAPADOPOULOS, I WOULD
AGREE, YES.
>>SO DESPITE ALL THE CHARGES OF CRIMINAL WRONGDOING THE MUELLER
INVESTIGATION IS A LIMIT >>CONGRESSMAN, CAN YOU TELL ME
SPECIFICALLY WHERE HE SAID THAT?>>IB TWEET AUGUST 6 OF 2017 YOU
MADE TO LAWYER, DO NOT COOPERATE WITH MUELLER’S LYNCH MOB. DO YOU
RECALL THAT? >>I RICK THAT WAS TITLED THAT,
I DID NOT NECESSARILY AGREE WITH THAT POSITION BUT MY POINT WAS
THAT IT WAS AN INTERESTING READ FOR THOSE THAT WANT TO
UNDERSTAND THE SITUATION. >>ALL RIGHT RECLAIMING MY TIME,
MANAFORT, GATES, BLINN, PAPADOPOULOS, AND STONE, ALL IN
DEEP TROUBLE, THE PRESIDENTS MET IN FLAMES. IT’S OFTEN SAID SMOKE
THERE’S FIRE, THERE’S A LOT OF SMOKE EMANATING FROM 1600
PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE. YET, YOU DECIDED NOT TO
RECUSE YOURSELF IS THAT RIGHT?? CONGRESSMAN, THE DECISION TO
RECUSE WAS MY DECISION TO MAKE, I LOOKED AT ALL OF THE
INFORMATION, I SPOKE WITH MANY PEOPLE THAT I HAVE DISCUSSED
TODAY, AND I DETERMINED THAT IT WAS NOT NECESSARY AND SURREAL,
CORRECT? >>THANK YOU FOR YOUR TESTIMONY
I HAVE NO IDEA AS I SIT HERE TODAY PRESIDENT TRUMP LEAVES ABOUT
THREE >>SO LET ME BE CLEAR, THE
RUSSIAN IS NOT A WITCHHUNT IT’S NOT IT’S NOT A HOAX,, IT’S A IMPERATIVE. THE FACT THAT
PEOPLE SUGGEST OF PROVIDING AID AND COMFORT TO THE ENEMY. IN
YOUR FINAL WEEK, KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF THE MUELLER
INVESTIGATION. I YIELD BACK. >>THANK YOU GENTLEMEN. I NOW
RECOGNIZE THE JOHN VIRGINIA
>>THANK YOU MR. CHAIRMAN, THANK YOU MR. ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL.
I WAS HOPEFUL THAT WE WOULD GET INTO SOME OVERSIGHT OVER THE
ARRAY OF AREAS OF THE THAT ARE SO CRITICAL IN ADDRESSING THE
PROBLEMS THAT ARE FACING MY COMMUNITY, DRUGS, CRIME, ALL OF
THESE ISSUES ARE OF TOP CONCERN TO MY CONSTITUENTS. AND ONE OF
THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS MY GET BACK TO MY DISTRICT IS ARE YOU
GOING TO KEEP? BUT ON IMMIGRATION ISSUES TO SO WHEN WE
TALK ABOUT IMMIGRATION, I CAN ASK YOU A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS
THAT WOULD PROBABLY HELP GET TO AN IMMIGRATION AGREEMENT. UM, A
BACKLOG OF PENDING CASES AND IMMIGRATION COURTS NATIONWIDE
HAVE BEEN GROWING EXPONENTIALLY SINCE 2008, WE HAVE MORE THAN 800,000 BORDER PATROLS,
CURRENTLY APPREHENDING ALMOST 50,000 ALIENS EACH MONTH A
CERTAIN PERCENTAGE OF THAT IN THAT IN THAT PENDING CASE
BACKLOG. WHAT STEPS IS DOJ TAKING TO MAKE SURE IT’S
IMMIGRATION JUDGES CAN EFFICIENTLY AND EFFECTIVELY JUDY
CASES AND ADDRESS THIS BACKLOG OF CASES IN A FAIR AND EFFICIENT
MANNER? >>THANK YOU CONGRESSMAN THIS IS
A IMPORTANT ISSUE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND WE
WORK EVERY HARD TO ADJUDICATE HAVE BEEN OVERWHELMED BY THE
NUMBER ISLAND SEEKERS. OVER 80 PERCENT AND REALLY OVER 90 OF
THOSE THAT ARE ENCOUNTERED AND DETAINED AND ARRESTED CLAIM SOME
FORM OF ASYLUM. ULTIMATELY, THAT CAUSES THOSE FOLKS TO BE PUT IN
THE IMMIGRATION COURT SYSTEM AND THEN REQUIRES THAT A HEARING BE
HELD BY AN IMMIGRATION JUDGE AND MEANWHILE, MOST OF THESE FOLKS
THOSE 800,000 THAT ARE PENDING NOT PART OF THE DETAINED DOCKET,
THEY ARE PART OF THE RELEASED DOCKET. AND THOSE CASES TAKE
LONGER, THE ONES THAT ARE NOT THE DETAINED AND THEY HAVE
PAUSED SINCE 19 2008 FOR THAT NUMBER TO
GO DRAMATICALLY UP. WHAT WE HAVE DONE IN THAT SITUATION IS
GENERAL SESSIONS AND I HAVE, HAVE ISSUED ATTORNEY GENERAL
ORDERS CHANGING SOME OF THE SPECIFICS AS TO HOW THOSE CASES
ARE ADJUDICATED. AND IN ADDITION, TOGETHER WITH THE HELP
OF CONGRESS, WHICH WOULD HAVE AUTHORIZED AND FUNDED MORE
IMMIGRATION JUDGES, WE HAVE PUT A DRAMATIC NUMBER OF MORE
JUDGES, ESPECIALLY TO THE AREAS WHERE IT IS NEEDED, WHICH IS
OFTEN TIMES AT THE BORDER. >>SO YOU HAVE PUT IN PLACE A
PERSON ADDITIONAL PERFORMANCE METRIC TO GAUGE THE PERFORMANCE
OF JUDGES WORKING AND COMPLETING CASES TO REDUCE THE BACKLOG? ARE
THOSE WORKING AND YOU HAVE GOTTEN PUSHBACK GROUPS THAT ARE
CONCERNED THAT THEY AMOUNT TO CASE. IF THEY ARE WORKING, ARE
YOU AWARE OF ANY ORGANIZATION IN WHICH PROFITS WORKERS AS FAST AS
PART OF THE MULTI-DEMOTE DIMENSION? THERE
ARE ADMINISTERED GREED OF LAW JUDGES AND THEY ARE TO PICK
THERE ARE TYPICALLY PERFORMANCE MET ON DON’T YOU VALLEY BUT ALSO
BUDGET AND MANAGE THAT WORKFORCE.
>>AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ENSURE THAT CONTINUANCES IN
IMMIGRATION CASES ARE NOT ABUSED AND ARE GRANTED SOLELY FOR GOOD
CAUSE? >>WE ISSUED AN ATTORNEY GENERAL
ORDER, WHICH SETS THE STANDARD WHICH HAD BEEN
DIFFERENT BASED ON WHAT THE IMMIGRATION APPEALS COURT, WHICH
IS AN INTERNAL UM, BORDER DOJ BODY THAT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
SITS OVER WE PASSED RULES AND REGULATIONS AND A NEW STANDARD
FOR CONTINUANCES FOR GOOD CAUSE, AS YOU MENTIONED.
>>THANK YOU, I YIELD BACK. I THINK YOU GENTLEMEN, AND NOW TO
THE GENTLEMAN FROM RHODE ISLAND.
>>BETTER CHAIRMAN I WOULD ASK THAT THE FOLLOWING ARTICLES BE
PLACED IS AN ARTICLE PLACED EXCLUSIVE COUNSELING THE
WHITE HOUSE ON INVESTIGATING CONTENT. ARTICLE CECILY WHITAKER
CALLED MUELLER’S APPOINTMENT RIDICULOUS AND A LITTLE FISHY.
THIRD ARTICLE ALL THE TIMES, RAILED AGAINST THE NEW RUSSIA
PROBE, TRUMPS REPLACEMENT SET MUELLER INVESTIGATION RISK WHICH
HOT AND THEN FINALLY TRUMPS NEW ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL NEWS
ABOUT DEFENDING ROBERT MILLER. >>WITHOUT OBJECTION THESE
DOCUMENTS WILL BE PLACED IN THE RECORD.
>>MR. WHITAKER I’M GOING TO BE REALLY STRAIGHT WITH YOU UP
FRONT. I’M GOING TO CUT YOU OFF IF YOU MAKE LONG SPEECHES WE
HAVE VERY LIMITED TIME YOU DO NOT NEED THANKED ME FOR ASKING
THE TIME OR COMPLEMENT ME, THEY ARE ALL GOOD QUESTIONS AND
YOU’RE GRATEFUL. ONE YOU WERE BRIEFED ON THE SPECIAL COUNSEL
YOU HAVE ACKNOWLEDGED THAT. DID YOU SHARE THAT INFORMATION WITH
ANY MEMBER OF YOUR STAFF? INFORMATION LEARNED FROM THE
SPECIAL COUNSEL OR HIS TEAM? >>CONGO AS I PREVIOUSLY ANOTHER
INDIVIDUAL IN THAT BRIEFING WELL?
>>WITH THE US ATTORNEY FROM EASTERN DIP OF CALIFORNIA WHO I
BROUGHT ON WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE INDIVIDUAL MR. WHITAKER?
NAME IS GREG SCOTT. YOU COMMUNICATE INTERNET BRIEFING TO
STEP? >>I DON’T BELIEVE SO, NO.
>>DO YOU KNOW WHETHER ANY INFORMATION YOU LEARNED IN THOSE
BRIEFINGS WERE COMMUNICATED TO >>AS I MENTIONED PREVIOUSLY
CONGRESSMAN WE HAVE KEPT A VERY CLOSE,
>>WHITAKER IT’S A YES NO IF IT WAS IMMUNITY TO ANYONE UP AS I
SIT HERE WHETHER IT WAS COMMUNICATED, DID YOU PUT INTO
PLAY ACTIONS OR LIMITATIONS OR STAFF NOT TO SHARE THE SUMMATION
WITH ANYONE AT THE WHITE HOUSE’S LEGAL TEAM?
>>YES TOGETHER WITH THE GENERAL STANDARD THAT INVESTIGATED
INFORMATION AND MATERIAL FOR NEED TO KNOW AND
LAW ENFORCEMENT, >>THANK YOU MR. WHITAKER, THE
PRESIDENT LASHED OUT TO YOU AT YOUR MICHAEL COHEN’S DIALOGUE TO
BUILD A TOWER. >>THE PRESIDENT TWEETED THAT HE
HAD NOT LASHED OUT. >>I’M ASKING YOU I’M NOT ASKING
WHAT HE TWEETED. I DON’T HAVE A LOT OF CONFIDENCE UNDER THE
VERACITY OF HIS TWEETS, I’M ASKING YOU UNDER OATH.
CONGRESSMAN THAT IS BASED, MR. WHITAKER ANSWER THE QUESTION YES
OR NO, BUT AT YOU ABOUT MICHAEL COHEN’S PLAY PLAY?
ANYONE ON THE PRESIDENT YOU? >>MR. WHITAKER DID THE
PRESIDENT LASHED OUT YOU HONORED 2018 THE CASE IN
SOUTHERN NEW YORK BY THIS INDIVIDUAL NUMBER ONE?
>>NO, CONGRESSMAN. >>DID ANYONE ON THE PRESIDENT’S
BEHALF EITHER INSIDE OR OUTSIDE THE WHITE HOUSE CONTACT YOU TO
LASH OUT OR EXPRESS DESENTIS?? DID THEY
CONTACT US? >>YESTERDAY RECHECK YOU IN SOME
WAY TO EXPRESS THE SATISFACTION?>>NO.
>>DID YOU WANT SARAH THE QUESTIONS THAT MR. NADLER
FORWARDED YOU WOULD WHITE HOUSE OR THE PRESIDENT’S LEGAL
COUNSEL? >>CONGRESSMAN I DID NOT.
>>SOLD WHEN YOU CLAIMED EARLIER THAT YOU WERE GOING TO INVOKE A
PRIVILEGE, THE YOU WERE GOING TO INVOKE A PRIVILEGE THE PRESIDENT
>>TO BE CLEAR I’M NOT INVOKING ANY
>>YOU SAID EARLIER IN YOUR WRITTEN THAT YOU WOULD NOT YOUR
WRITTEN CONVERSATIONS WITH THE PRESIDENT OR NOT SITTING HERE’S
INSTRUCTED YOU NOT TO ANSWER, CORRECT?
>>I’M NOT SITTING PRESIDENT, >>SO YOU ARE PREPARED TO ANSWER
ALL THESE QUESTIONS?? I THINK I WAS PRETTY EXPLICIT IN MY
OPENING STATEMENT. >>SO HAD WHITAKER TO THE
PRESENT ABOUT THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION?
>> HAD TESTIFIED I DID NOT TALK TO
THE PRESIDENT ABOUT THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION.
>>HAVE YOU EVER SPOKEN TO THE PARTS OF HIS LEGAL TEAM ABOUT
INFORMATION THAT YOU HAVE AS ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL OR ANY
OTHER CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION REQUESTED IT?
>>CONGRESSMAN, WHILE I HAVE PACIFICALLY BEEN SAYING
THAT I’M MY CONVERSATIONS THE PRESIDENT OR HAVE ALSO PRESENT
ANYTHING, I QUESTION, MY QUESTION WHAT HAVE YOU HAD
CONVERSATIONS, THAT’S A YES OR NO.
>>CONGRESSMAN I SPENT ALL DAY EVERYDAY,’S B MR. WHITAKER MY
QUESTION IS VERY SPECIFIC HAVE YOU SPOKEN TO THE PRESIDENT
ABOUT WHAT YOU LEARNED IN THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION OR THE
RELATED CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION, YES OR NO?
>>CONGRESSMAN AS I SPECIFICALLY EARLY ANSWER.
>>YOU CLEARLY ARE NOT GOING TO ANSWER THE QUESTION SO I’M GOING
TO MOVE ON. YOU KNOW ON BEER, CORRECT? ANYWAY THIS IS A LAW
SCHOOL PROFESSOR WHO TWEETED THAT YOU TOLD HIM IN 2017 FROM
IOWA TO NEW YORK CITY TO BE ON SCENE AND REGULARLY BECAUSE YOU
WERE HOPING TO BE NOTICED AS A TRUMP DEFENDANT AND TRUMP
JUDICIAL APPOINTMENT AND WILL INVESTIGATE THAT THERE IS
NO INSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE CHARGES TO BE HELD AGAINST
PRESIDENT TRUMP, THAT THERE WAS NO COLLUSION WITH THE RUSSIA
TRUMP CAMPAIGN, THAT ANY CANDIDATE WOULD DO THE SAME APPROACH SESSIONS TO SOLO.
YOU SAID ALL THOSE THINGS AND THEY ARE ALL IN PRINT. AND AN
ANSWER TO, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE MR. WHITAKER BECOME ACTING
ATTORNEY GENERAL IN OF STATUES THAT WERE PUT THERE FOR A
PURPOSE. >>THE TIME OF THE GENTLEMAN HAS EXPIRED.
>>THANK YOU MR. WHITAKER FOR BEING HERE TODAY I JUST WANT TO
QUICKLY REFERENCE A LETTER THAT WAS SENT TO YOU FROM THE CHAIR
ON JANUARY 9. IN THIS LETTER THIS “TO CONDUCT OVERSIGHT.” THERE WERE
OTHER DESK IS HERE TODAY LIKE IMMIGRATION, GUN VIOLENCE, THE
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN’S ACT, OBAMACARE, NATIONAL SECURITY.
AND THAT’S NOT EVEN A LIST I KNOW YOU READ IS
EXCITED TO BE HERE I THOUGHT THESE WERE CRITICALLY VITAL
ISSUES TO MY DISTRICT. IN FACT, A LOT OF THESE ISSUES, ARE
IMPORTANT SO I’M REALLY CONFUSED HERE IN THIS HEARING WITH MY
DEMOCRATS FOCUS SOLELY ON ONE TOPIC AND THAT’S THE MUELLER
INVESTIGATION. I REALLY HOPE THAT MY FRIENDS ACROSS THE AISLE
WILL USE THIS OPPORTUNITY OR BIPARTISANSHIP AND LESS SHOWMANSHIP. BUT CLEARLY I
WAS WRONG. WITH THAT SAID, I WANT TO GET TO SOME OF THE
IMPORTANT TOPICS THAT WE WERE SUPPOSED TO OKAY. ONE OF THOSE
CITIES. IN MY HOME STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA, THE SANCTUARY CITY
OF VILLA DELPHIA HAS RELEASED AT LEAST THREE CHILD MOLESTERS ONTO
THE STREET. AND EVERYONE KNOWS THE TRAGEDY OF 32-YEAR-OLD
STANLEY WAS MURDERED BY AN IMMIGRANT WHO WAS CONVICTED OF
SEVEN FELONIES AND DEPORTED FIVE TIMES. NOW THOSE CHILD
MOLESTERS IN PHILADELPHIA, THE MURDER OF KATE STEINLE, THEY
WERE ALL RELEASED TO SOME CITY IN ORDER TO I AM INTERESTED IN
ENDING SANCTUARY CITIES. MR. WHITAKER WHAT STEPS IS THE DOJ
DOING TO STEM. FIRST OF ALL WE ARE
ENDING CONCESSIONS TO SANCTUARIES. IT WILL INCREASE
AIRING BETWEEN ATERAL SO AGENCIES TO ENSURE ONE OF THE
CHALLENGES WE HAVE, JAILS WILL RELEASE CONVICTED CRIMINALS BACK
INTO THE COMMUNITY RATHER THAN NOTIFYING CUSTOMS OFFICIALS THAT
THE PERPETRATOR IS READY TO BE PICKED UP AGAIN. THERE’S NOTHING
WORSE THAN GOING INTO SOMEONE WHO IS GOING TO REST SOMEONE
OFTEN LIKE THE ONES YOU MENTIONED, AND I CANNOT IMAGINE
THE SITUATION WHERE THE MAYOR OR CITY COUNCIL OR COUNTY EXECUTIVE
OR OTHERWISE WOULD PUT LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS IN HARMS
WAY. IT’S QUITE FRANKLY, BAD POLICY AND WE ARE GOING TO WORK
VERY HARD TO END IT AND ONE OF THE WAYS WE ARE ENDING IT’S BY
TAKING AWAY THE RESOURCES TO THOSE JURISDICTIONS THAT HAVE
THE POLICY. >>YOU MR. WHITAKER. MR.
WHITAKER I HAVE ONE MORE QUESTION ABOUT THE OPIOID
CRISIS. THIS CRISIS IS STRIKING OUR COUNTRY HARD, PARTICULARLY
SOUTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA. DATA FROM 2017 SHOWS THAT IT IS MORE
LIKELY NOW THAT SOMEONE IS GOING TO DIE OF A DRUG OVERDOSE THEN A
CAR CRASH. MY DISTRICT HAS BEEN HIT REALLY HARD, PARTICULARLY
FAYETTE COUNTY.’S ON 80 PERCENT INCREASE IN OVERDOSE DEATH IN
2015-2017. WHAT STEPS IS THE DOJ TAKING TO ADDRESS THIS AND YOU
THINK A LOT OF THE PROBLEMS WE ARE SEEING, FROM THE POOREST
SOUTHERN BORDER? PISTON FIRST, I DID ILLEGAL OPIOIDS LIKE
CONVENTIONAL, NONPRESCRIPTION DRUGS LIKE DENTAL MAIL, HEROIN
AND THEIR DERIVATIVES ARE IMPORTED THROUGH OUR SOUTHERN
BORDERS. NOT A MAJORITY, BUT SOME ARE ALSO VIA DALRYMPLE THE DARKNET. I
WENT THROUGH A LIST OF THINGS WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
THAT THEY ARE DOING TO COMBAT THIS OPIOID EPIDEMIC. I HOPE
THAT THIS COMMITTEE, WHILE SOMETHING I HAVE REPAIRED I
APPRECIATE THE QUESTION BUT WILL RESOURCES INTO THE OPIOID
CRISIS. 70,000 PEOPLE AS YOU MAY HAVE DIED OF DRUG OVERDOSES. THE
MAJORITY OF THOSE ARE FROM SOME FORM OF OPIOIDS. AND WE ALSO
QUITE FRANKLY AND I MENTIONED MY TRIP TO TRYING TO LAST AUGUST,
WE HAVE TO WORK TOGETHER WITH THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT TO REDO
LOW OF FENTANYL. AND WE ALSO HAVE TO, YOU KNOW WE HAVE
EMERGENCY ANALOGS AN ACT OF CONGRESS AND I HOPE WE CAN GET
THAT TO MAKE THAT PERMANENT WITH THESE FENTANYL DERIVATIVES AND
CREATED CHEMIST THAT CHANGE THE CHEMICAL MAKEUP OF FENTANYL, DO
NOT CONTINUE TO TRY TO EVOLVE THEIR DRUG TO TRY TO AVOID A
REGULATION. >>THANK YOU MR. WHITAKER I
YIELD BACK MY TIME. >>MR. WHITAKER TATIAN EVER
RECEIVED CONTRIBUTIONS FROM FOREIGN DONORS?
>>MR. CHAIRMAN, POINT OF ORDER.>>THE GENTLEMAN WILL STATE HIS
POINT OF ORDER. >>I’M GOING TO GO BACK TO THIS
AND THE MAJORITY DOES NOT CARE, THIS IS OUTSIDE THE SCOPE OF
THIS HEARING, THIS IS NOT WHY HE WAS HERE, MAKE IN ANY WAY DOES
WITHIN THE SCOPE YOU KNOW LOOK, I’M OUTGUNNED OVER HERE THIS IS
NOT PART OF THE CALL, THERE PLENTY OF THINGS TO DO.
>>WITH A GENTLEMAN YIELD? READY TO
>>YOU CAN GO THEM YOU ARE NOT A LAWYER. ARE DIRECTLY PART OF FOR
PRESIDENT WE CAN GET THIS DONE. >>BOTH GENTLEMEN WILL SUSPEND.
YOU STATED POINT OF ORDER, THE CHAIR WILL RULE THE POINT OF
ORDER IS NOT WELL TAKEN. THE SCOPE OF THE PEOPLE’S
QUESTIONING WIDE LATITUDE AND WE DON’T EVEN KNOW WHERE IT’S GOING
AT THE WOMAN’S POINT OF ORDER IS NOT WELL TAKEN. THE GENTLEMAN
WILL RESUME. APPEAL THE RULE TO THE CHAIR THE GENERAL LADY MOVED
TO TABLE, THEN MOVED TO TABLE IS NOT AVAILABLE, WE WILL QUICKLY
CALL THE ROLE IN A MOTION TO TABLE.
>>MR. CHAIRMAN, CALL THE ROLL, ALL IN FAVOR OF TABLING THE
RESOLUTION, I’M SORROWING ALL IN FAVOR OF TABLING THE RULE OF THE
CHAIR WILL SAY FORTY FORT, AYE HABIT. THE MOTION. THE GENTLEMAN
WILL CONTINUE. >>MR. DOES YOUR ORGANIZATION
HAVE FOREIGN CONTRIBUTIONS? >>YES PERIODIZATION.
>>AN ORGANIZATION CALLED FAX FOREIGN CONTRIBUTIONS WHILE WE
WERE THERE. DON’T BELIEVE IT BUT OUR MAIN DONOR WAS A GROUP THAT
WAS A US ENTITY. >>DID YOU INTERVIEW WITH DON
McGANN IN JULY 2017 TO HAVE THE JOB THAT TY COBB WOULD
ULTIMATELY GET?? I ULTIMATELY DID NOT MEET WITH MR. McGANN SO
I MET WITH, >>DID YOU TALK TO HIM ON THE
PHONE? >>WE ACTUALLY NEVER ENDED UP
TALKING ON THE PHONE EITHER. >>WHO DID YOU MEET WITH HIM IS
THAT?? I TALKED WITH MANNY DONELSON.
>>AND WE TALKED TO MR. McGANN’S CHIEF OF STAFF DID YOU EXPRESS
IN THE CONVERSATION YOUR PRIOR VIEWS ABOUT THE MUELLER
INVESTIGATIONS? ? NO, I DID NOT.>>WASN’T BROUGHT UP BY THE
CHIEF OF STAFF? >> AT THE TIME EVERYONE AT
THE WHITE HOUSE DID NOT WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S
INVESTIGATION. >>BUT YOU WERE INTERVIEWING FOR
A JOB THAT WOULD RESPOND TO THE INVESTIGATION, CORRECT?? AT
THE TIME I WAS INTERVIEWING FOR THE POSITION THAT WAS ULTIMATELY
OCCUPIED BY TY COBB. >>I WANT TO KNOW HOW YOU WERE
INTERVIEWED FOR POSITION REGARDING THE SPECIAL COUNSEL
BUT YOU WERE NOT TO TALK ABOUT THE SPECIAL COUNSEL.
>>I DIDN’T SAY WE DIDN’T TALK ABOUT IT, I SAID THEY DIDN’T
WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT BECAUSE THE FOLKS WERE DEALING WITH THAT
INVESTIGATION THAT’S WHY THEY WANTED TO BRING IN SOMEONE WHO
HAD BEEN UNRELATED TO THE INVESTIGATION IN THE CAMPAIGN.
>>THAT THEY TALK YOU ABOUT YOUR PRIOR OPINIONS?? NO, WE DID NOT
DISCUSS IT WE JUST TALKED ABOUT MY BACKGROUND IS US ATTORNEY IN
MY LEGAL PRACTICE. >>? HAS THERE BEEN DISCUSSION
ABOUT KEEPING THE MUELLER REPORT FROM GOING TO CONGRESS?
>> NO, WE’RE CONTINUING TO FOLLOW THE INVESTIGATION AS IT
RELATES TO THE REPORT. B WOULD THERE HAVE BEEN A DRAFT REPORT?
>>CONGRESSMAN I’M NOT GOING TO TALK ABOUT THE ONGOING SPECIAL COUNSEL.
>>MR. WHITAKER DID DONALD TRUMP YOU IF YOU WOULD RECUSE BEFORE
YOU BECAME ACTING? WHAT YOU WOULD
DO? >>CONGRESSMAN I’VE ALREADY
ANSWERED THAT QUESTION MY OPENING STATEMENT. DO YOU
BELIEVE ATTORNEY GENERAL SESSIONS SHOULD HAVE RECUSED?
>>AS I MENTIONED IN MY ANSWERS PREVIOUSLY THE RECUSAL DECISION,
>>DO YOU BELIEVE YES OR NO THAT HE SHOULD HAVE RECUSED?? AS I
SIT HERE TODAY I DON’T HAVE A AN OPINION. IT WAS THE RIGHT VISION
FOR HIM TO MAKE AND SO I AGREE THAT HE MADE THE RIGHT DECISION
FOR HIM. >>HAS THERE BEEN ANY DISCUSSION
IN THE DEPARTMENT FOR IS FOR PAUL
METAPHOR, ROGER STONE OR PAUL METAPHOR?
>>WE HAVE A VERY STRUCTURED. >>YES OR NO.
>>I HAVE NOT BEEN INVOLVED IN ANY DISCUSSION OF ANY PARDONS
INCLUDING THE ONES WERE DISCUSSING.
>>YOU MADE A PUBLIC STATEMENT LAST WEEK THAT THE INVESTIGATION WAS
COMPLETE. DOCTOR IS PATIENT OR THAT BOB MUELLER’S
CHARACTERIZATION?’S CONGRESSMAN THAT POSITION THAT I MESSED WEEK
IN A PRESS CONFERENCE WAS MY POSITION AS ACTING ATTORNEY
GENERAL. WOULD BOB MUELLER IF HE WAS SITTING BEFORE US AGREE WITH
YOU? >>NO, BOB MUELLER’S GOING TO
FINISH HIS INVESTIGATION WHAT HE WANTS TO FINISH IT.
>>IS MR. MUELLER HONEST? >>CONGRESSMAN I’VE BEEN ON THE
RECORD FOR MY RESPECT FOR BOB MUELLER AND HIS ABILITY TO
CONDUCT THIS INVESTIGATION. >>DO YOU BELIEVE HE’S HONEST,
NO? >>I HAVE NOT HONORS.
>>YOU BELIEVE HE IS CONFLICTED, YES OR NO?
>>CONGRESSMAN AS I MENTIONED REGARDING RECUSAL SORT OF THE
CONFLICT ANALYSIS FOR THE INDIVIDUAL LAWYERS TO MAKE ONCE
A MATTERS BEFORE THEM, AND I’M SURE THAT WHETHER IT’S BOB
MUELLER, WHETHER IT’S ROB ROSENSTEIN, OR THE DEPARTMENT OF
JUSTICE. >>THE PRESIDENT HAS CALLED HIM
CONFLICTED AND YOU OVERSEE THE INVESTIGATION, DO YOU BELIEVE HE
IS IN CONFLICTED. >>I HAVE FOLLOWED REGULAR ORDER
AT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND I’VE EXPECTED THAT THE
LAWYERS AND THE SUPPORT STAFF AND THE PEOPLE THAT WORK FOR ME
ALL FOLLOW ORDER. AND AS I SIT HERE TODAY I DON’T HAVE ANY
REASON TO BELIEVE THAT. >>YOU BELIEVE HE’S HONEST YOU
DON’T BELIEVE HE IS CONFLICTED? CAN YOU SAY RIGHT NOW MR.
PRESIDENT, BOB MUELLER IS HONEST AND NOT CONFLICTED?
>>CONGRESSMAN, I AM NOT A PUPPET TO REPEAT WHAT YOU’RE
SAYING. >>ARE YOU ABLE TO SAY IT, OR DO
YOU NOT BELIEVE IT? C I HAVE ANSWERED YOUR QUESTION AS TO
WHAT I BELIEVE ABOUT THE SPECIAL.
>>CAN USE IT FOR THE PRESIDENT, THOUGH? SPRINT I AM NOT HERE TO
BE A PUPPET WORDS THAT YOU SAY THAT I SHOULD SIT PRESIDENT? MR.
CHAIR HE HAS AN ANSWER THAT QUESTION IF HE WOULD SAY MUELLER
IS HONEST. >>YOUR TIME HAS EXPIRED YOU MAY
ANSWER THE QUESTION. >>I DON’T HAVE ANYTHING FURTHER
TO ADD I BELIEVE I THAT HAVE ANSWER THE CONGRESSMAN’S
QUESTION. INTERMITTENT FROM NORTH DAKOTA, MR.
>>AND ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL TIMES AND WE HAVE HEARD A LOT
ABOUT THAT. BUT I ALSO WANT TO COMMEND THE DEPARTMENT OF
JUSTICE , THE WHITE HOUSE AND THOSE WHO INVOLVED IN THE FIRST
STEP ACT. NOT JUST FOR REPUBLICANS AND NOT JUST FOR DEMOCRATS. AND IT’S THE WAY
GOVERNMENT IS SUPPOSED TO WORK. IT’S SUPPOSED TO SHOW
REDEMPTION, TOUGH ON TRAFFICKERS, ORGANIZED CRIME AND
ALSO WORKED TOWARDS A SMARTER WAY TO DELIVER CRIMINAL JUSTICE.
SO MY ONLY HOPE IS THAT BECAUSE IT IS CALLED THE FIRST STEP ACT
THAT THERE WILL BE A SECOND STEP AND UNFORTUNATELY I HAVE SOME
OTHER QUESTIONS FOR YOU, SO ANY TIME ON YOUR WAY OUT IF YOU HAVE
ANY ADVICE ON SOMETHING CONGRESS CAN DO TO CONTINUE THIS I WOULD
BE VERY APPRECIATIVE. >>WELL, CONGRESSMAN I WAS
INVOLVED ON THE BEHALF OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE IN THE
FIRST STEP ACT AND I JUST WANT TO COMMEND EVERYONE ON THIS
COMMITTEE WHO WORKED ON THE FIRST STEP ACT TO SUCCESSFULLY
GET THAT PASSED. AND TO GET IT THROUGH THE VOTE IN THE SENATE
AND I KNOW HOW DIFFICULT THAT IS. I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS
THAT WE COULD USE YOUR HELP ON IS TO MAKE SURE YOU FUND THE
FIRST STEP ACT AND WHAT YOU HAVE REQUESTED THE DEPARTMENT OF
JUSTICE TO DO, YOU KNOW WE CONTINUE TO IMPLEMENT THE FIRST
STEP ACT CONSISTENT WITH THE LAW THAT YOU PASSED. AND IN FACT,
JUST LAST NIGHT WE SENT OUT GUIDANCE TO OUR US ATTORNEYS
OFFICES ON HOW TO IMPLEMENT THE WORST STEP ACT AND I KNOW BUREAU
OF PRISONS AS WELL IS IMPLEMENTING THE ACT.
>>AND I WOULD HOPE TO WORK TOWARDS HAVING A BETTER LEVEL OF
PRETRIAL RELEASE PROGRAM TO BE AVAILABLE TO EVERY STATE AND
COUNTY, COURTHOUSE ACROSS THE COUNTRY BECAUSE ONE OF THE GREAT
IRONIES I HAVE FOUND ABOUT YOUR PRE-TRIAL RELEASE PROGRAM IS
THAT IT IS A INCREDIBLY EFFECTIVE AND THEN YOU GET A
10-YEAR MINIMUM MANDATORY. SO THE PRETRIAL RELEASE PROGRAM
ACROSS THIS COUNTRY IS PHENOMENAL AND THEY DESERVE TO
BE CREDITED FOR THAT. >>AND AS A FORMER US ATTORNEY
FOR MY YEARS IN DES MOINES IOWA I UNDERSTAND IT UNIQUELY HELPFUL
RELEASE WORKS. AND SO WE WOULD BE INTERESTED IN YOUR PROPOSAL,
LOOK AT THAT AND TO TRY TO IMPLEMENT
>>NOW IN OUR ROLE AS OVERSIGHT I DO ACTUALLY ABOUT SOMETHING IN
THE PAST AND TESTIMONY TODAY PLAY COULD COME UP IN THE FUTURE
AND I THINK OFTEN HAVE NAMES LIKE CLINTON AND CALMLY AND
ROSENSTEIN AND TRUMP AND MUELLER AND RUSSIA, WE FORGET THAT THE
LAW IS THE LAW. YOU TESTIFIED EARLIER THAT REPRESENTATIVE
JORDAN THAT WE PROSECUTE CRIMES, NOT PEOPLE. AND I THINK OFTEN
ACROSS THIS COUNTRY WE THINK LAWS IMPLY DIFFERENT DEPENDING
ON THEIR STATUS. AND ONE OF THE AREAS WHERE THIS CAME UP AND IT
WAS SOMETHING THAT CONCERNED ME BEFORE I WAS INVOLVED IN THIS IS
WHEN WE STARTED TALKING ABOUT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GROSS
NEGLIGENCE AND INTENSE. AND IT WAS IN A VERY PARTICULAR STATUTE
AND WE WERE DEALING WITH IT AND THERE WERE MEMBERS OF THE FBI
AND THE DOT THAT WERE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT VAGUENESS. BUT
AS FAR AS I UNDERSTAND IN THE BED AND THE CRIMINAL CODE GROSS
NEGLIGENCE AS THE SAME DEFINITION WE WERE IN THE
CRIMINAL CODE, RIGHT? CORRECT, YES.
>>SO IT GROSS NEGLIGENCE WOULD BE VAGUE UNDER ONE PARTICULAR
STATUTE OF THE CRIMINAL CODE THEN WE SHOULD BE CONCERNED THAT
IT IS VAGUE UNDER APPLE, OTHER SECTIONS OF A CRIMINAL?
>>THAT IS CORRECT FOR INSTANCE JURY INSTRUCTIONS THAT WOULD
INFORM THE JURY AS TO EVALUATE GROSS NET NEGLIGENCE ENTERED TO
CONVICT SOMEONE OF THE NECK AND ASSUMING THAT WASN’T POLITICAL
IN NATURE AS TO WHY GROSS NEGLIGENCE WASN’T PARTICULAR
CASE, UNDER YOUR LEADERSHIP UNDER THE DOJ HAS ANYBODY
REVIEWED THIS, LOOKED AT IT AND MADE ANY PROPOSALS TO
CONGRESS, PARTICULARLY REGARDING WHETHER OR NOT WE NEED TO
TIGHTEN UP LET’S JUST NOT ONLY STATE IN THE ESPIONAGE CODE BUT
ANY SECTION OF THE CRIMINAL CODE?
>>AS I SIT HERE RIGHT NOW I DON’T KNOW THE ANSWER TO YOUR
LESSON BUT I’D BE HAPPY TO GET BACK TO YOU ON THAT.
>>I’D APPRECIATE THAT, AND AGAIN UNDER NORMAL COURSE OF
ORDER ASSUMING IT WORKS THE SAME AS EVERYWHERE. LAW ENFORCEMENT
AGENTS AND I KNOW A LOT OF FBI AGENTS ACTUALLY DO HAVE LAW
DEGREES. BUT FBI AGENTS INVESTIGATE CRIMES AND THEN IT
GOES UP THE FOOD CHAIN TO THE US ATTORNEY’S OFFICE.
>>REMEMBER YOU NEED A PREDICATION TO EVEN OPEN AN
INVESTIGATION AND THAT’S THE STEP I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE
FORGET. WAY AND WHEN YOU CONDUCT A CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION PURPOSE
YOU HAVE TO PREDICATE THE INVESTIGATION, THEN IT BY THE
SPECIAL AGENTS WHO INVESTIGATE CRIMES. AND TYPICALLY IN AUSA WARRANTS AND THE LIKE
AND THEN ULTIMATE IS DEVELOPED AND THEY PRESENT TO A GRAND JURY
AND IT IS CHARGED. AND THEN AGAIN THERE’S A DISCOVERY
PROCESS AND THE TRIAL PROCESS. IT’S A VERY WORN AND TO GO BACK TO
SOMETHING YOU MENTIONED EARLIER, CONGRESSMAN. ALL OF THAT IS DONE
WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WITHOUT IMPROPER INTERFERENCE BASED ON A
POLITICAL NATURE. >>I’M JUST EVERYBODY KNOWS, AND
OBVIOUSLY THIS IS HYPERTENSION GO BUT I’M VERY CONCERNED MOVING
FORWARD THAT EVERYBODY KNOWS WHAT THE RULES ARE FAR STATUTES
AND THE LAW IS ACTUALLY APPLIED IN A WAY IT SHOULD BE APPLIED.
BECAUSE I DO BELIEVE IN THE PAST IT HAS NOT BEEN. AND OBVIOUSLY
THIS IS CONTINUING TO GO ON. THIS HEARING DATE IS NOTICEABLE
OF THAT SO MAYBE ON YOUR WAY OUT IS A WAY TO AND TIME TO DEAL
WITH IT. THAT’S WHEN WE HAVE THE THIS COULD VERY MUCH COME UP
AGAIN IN THE FUTURE IT >>THE TIME OF THE GENTLEMAN HAS
EXPIRED, THE COMMITTEE WILL STAND IN RECESS FOR 2 MINUTES.
BACK TO YOU HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM?
>>>>AVERAGE FROM THE WASHINGTON
POST THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE TAKES A BRIEF BREAK.
MATTHEW WHITAKER STILL FACES QUESTIONS FROM A NUMBER OF
MEMBERS OF CONGRESS. WE SKIM REPUBLICANS WHO WERE PRESENT
EARLIER. WE WILL SEE IF WE GET A CHECK THEIR QUESTIONS. ABOUT
HALF OF THE DEMOCRATS IN THIS COMMITTEE YET TO ASK QUESTIONS
THIS IS A 40-EXTENSIVE LIST OF PEOPLE WHO WILL GET THERE FIVE
MINUTES. ALTHOUGH, THE FIVE MINUTES ARE GOING FAST AND YOU
CAN CERTAINLY FEEL THE FIRST AND THAT FROM DEMOCRATS IN THE ROOM.
THE RANGE OF OTHER TOPICS IN CLASS AS THEY GO THROUGH THE.
THING EXCHANGES NOTABLY WITH ERIC SWALWELL, DEMOCRAT PUSHING
TO TRY TO GET SOME ANSWERS FROM MATTHEW WHITAKER CLASHING OVER
JUST HOW THEY WERE ASKING, HOW IT WAS GOING. MR. SWALWELL
ASKING WHETHER THE HE WAS HAVING A CONVERSATION WITH THE
PRESIDENT ON WHETHER HE WOULD RECUSE HIMSELF. MR. JEFFRIES
FROM NEW YORK, LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT ONE OF THE EXCHANGES TODAY.
>>LET’S BE CLEAR. THE INTEGRATION INTO RUSSIA’S ATTACK
ON OUR DEMOCRACY IS NOT A WITCHHUNT, IT’S NOT EXPEDITION,
IT’S NOT A HOAX, IT’S MOM, IT’S A NATIONAL SECURITY IMPERATIVE.
THE FACT THAT PEOPLE SUGGEST OTHERWISE COLLIDING AID AND
COMFORT TO THE ENEMY.
>>YOU SAW THERE HAKEEM JEFFRIES TALKING TO MATTHEW WHITAKER.
REALLY DELIVERING QUITE A SPEECH. HE STARTED OFF HIS LINE
OF QUESTIONING BY SAYING WHO ARE YOU, WHERE DID YOU COME FROM?
AND HOW THE HECK DID YOU BECOME THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE? AS MR. WHITAKER
STARTED TO ANSWER HIS QUESTION HE SAID IT’S A QUESTION NOT A
STATEMENT. MR. WHITAKER MR. JEFFRIES BROUGHT UP SOME PAST
STATEMENTS FROM MR. RIKER INCLUDING A TWEET. WE KNOW
PEOPLE DON’T ALWAYS TAKE CREDIT FOR THE HEADLINES THEY TWEET
THIS IS SIGNIFICANT BECAUSE THE TWEET IN QUESTION WAS AN ARTICLE
TALKING ABOUT THE MUELLER PROBE AND DESCRIBING IT AS A LYNCH
MOB. SO ATTORNEY GENERAL WHITAKER TRIED TO DISAVOW THAT
AND STEP BACK FROM IT. BUT IT DOES GIVE YOU A SENSE OF
DEMOCRATS CONCERN OVER HIS PAST STATEMENTS AND THE HISTORY THAT
HE HAS WITH CRITICIZING THE MUELLER PROBE. AS WE WATCH
REPUBLICANS THROUGHOUT THIS HEARING, THEY ARE TRYING TO DO
TWO THINGS. THEY’RE TRYING TO PUSH BACK AT THE NOTION THAT
THIS IS A PROPER HEARING. THAT THIS IS A CHANCE TO HOLD MATTHEW
WHITAKER’S FEET TO THE FIRE IT SHOULD BE ABOUT OVERSIGHT AND BIGGER
ISSUES. AND ALSO TRYING TO GET SOME QUESTIONS OF THEIR OWN,
TALKING ABOUT THINGS LIKE CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM, TALKING
ABOUT THE OPIOID CRISIS. BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT DEMOCRATS WANT
TO GET OUT OF THIS HEARING. GERMAN JERRY NADLER, HE SAID TO TAKE
QUICKLY A BATHROOM BREAK, WHETHER HE HAS A QUESTION HE HAS HE PLANS AS
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. A LOT OF QUESTIONS HAVE BEEN DODGED
AROUND. AND MATTHEW WHITAKER HASN’T BEEN PINNED DOWN YET. THE
PRIMARY QUESTION IS JUST KIND OF WHAT KIND OF CONVERSATIONS HE
HAD WITH THE WHITE HOUSE ABOUT THE MUELLER PROBE. AND WHAT THE
TONE OF THOSE CONVERSATIONS WERE. ONE MEMBER OF CONGRESS ASKING ABOUT RUMORS
AND STORIES THAT THE PRESIDENT HAD LASHED OUT AT HIM OVER
ANCHOR ON ISSUES INCLUDING MICHAEL COHEN’S. WE WILL HEAD
BACK TO THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE. STILL A LOT OF MEMBERS TO GO TO
ASK QUESTIONS AS THEY START THE PROCESS UP AGAIN. STAY TUNED.
>>MR. WHITAKER THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE TODAY. LAST YEAR YOU
CAME BEFORE THIS COMMITTEE AND YOU STATED THAT NO ONE IS ABOVE
THE LAW. WOULD YOU AGREE WITH THAT?
>>YOU HAVEN’T MADE ANY SORT OF LOYALTY PLEDGE TO MR. TRUMP,
HAVE YOU?? NO, I HAVEN’T. >>DID YOU SIGN AN ETHICS PLEDGE?? I DON’T BELIEVE
SO, BUT I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE STANDARD DOJ FORMS ARE.
>>IN FACT I ONLY THINK YOU HAD TO DO BEFORE YOU ASSUME YOUR
CURRENT POSITION WAS TAKEN OATH TO THE UNITED STATES CAN’T
ADDITION, IS THAT RIGHT? >>ARE PROBABLY TOOK THE OATH
FOR THE SECOND TIME. >>I’M GOING TO ASK YOU A SERIES
OF QUESTIONS ABOUT THE U.S. CONSTITUTION THAT YOU CAN EASILY
ANSWER YES OR NO. THERE IS NO ASCENSION IN THE CONSTITUTION
THAT SAYS THE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR THE PRESIDENT CAN’T BE
INDICTED? >>CONGRESSMAN AS IS CONSISTENT
WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WE INVESTIGATE CRIMES.
>>I’M ASKING A SIMPLE QUESTION. THERE IS NO
SENTENCE IN THE US CONST TO SEND THAT STATES THE PRESIDENT’S
FORMER CAMPAIGN CHAIRMAN CAN’T BE INDICTED, CORRECT?
>> SAME ANSWER TO THE PREVIOUS
QUESTION. >>DOES THAT SENTENCE EXIST IN
THE CONSTITUTION? >>OF COURSE IT’S NOT, YOU KNOW
THAT, AND I KNOW THAT. BUT THERE IS NO SENTENCE IN THE
CONSTITUTION THAT SAYS THE PRESIDENT’S CHILDREN CAN’T BE
INDICTED, CORRECT? >>YOU CAN GIVE ME THE WHOLE
LIST, SORT OF, >>THEN I’LL GIVE YOU THREE
MORE. >>THERE IS NO SENTENCE IN THE
CONSTITUTION THAT SAYS THE PRESIDENT’S CHILDREN CANNOT BE
INDICTED. >> THERE’S NO STATE SENTENCE IN THE
CONSTITUTION THAT SAYS THE VICE PRESIDENT CAN’T BE INDICTED, CORRECT. CORRECT.
>>THIS IS MY LAST ONE, THERE’S NO SENTENCE IN THE U.S.
CONSTITUTION THAT SAYS THE SITTING PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES CANNOT BE INDICTED, CORRECT?
>>CONGRESSMAN BECAUSE THAT IS THE OPINION OF THE OFFICE
>>>>I DON’T CARE WHAT POLICY IS
I’M ASKING ABOUT THE CONSTITUTION. IT’S A YES OR NO
QUESTION. MR. WHITAKER, AFTER THIS HEARING, YOU CAN SPIN THE
CONSTITUTION ALL YOU WANT. BUT AS YOU SIT HERE TODAY, YOU JUST
HAVE TO ANSWER A FACTUAL YES OR NO WESTON. I’M GONNA MAKE IT
EASIER FOR YOU. THERE IS NO SENTENCE IN THE CONSTITUTION
THAT SAYS “THE SITTING PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES CANNOT BE
INDICTED,”, CORRECT? YES OR NO. >>CONGRESSMAN, I HAVE A COPY
MYSELF. >>IT’S NOT, CORRECT? I’M NOT
TRYING TO TRICK YOU AT ALL. AGAIN, IT’S A FOUNDING
DOCUMENT OF OUR GOVERNMENT. >>CONGRESSMAN YOU AND I BOTH
KNOW THAT THE WAY THAT THE OLC OPINION IS
>>I’M NOT ASKING YOU ABOUT THAT>>I’M JUST GOING TO MR. CHAIR
I’M JUST GOING TO GO AND SUBMIT THE U.S. CONSTITUTION FOR THE
RECORD AND SAY THAT EVIDENCE IS NOT IN THERE. NOW WE WILL MOVE
ON. EARLIER TODAY YOU TESTIFIED THAT YOU DID NOT COMMUNICATE TO
DONALD TRUMP OR SENIOR WHITE HOUSE ADVISORS. ABOUT THE
SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION. LET ME ASK YOU A RELATED
QUESTION. DID YOU COMMUNICATE TO DONALD TRUMP OR ANY WHITE HOUSE
ADVISORS ABOUT INVESTIGATIONS FROM THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF
NEW YORK REGARDING THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION POSITION, THE TRUMP
INAUGURAL COMMITTEE OR POTENTIALLY THE PRESIDENT?
>>CONGRESSMAN, I MENTIONED, I SAID OTHER INVESTIGATIONS IN MY
OPENING STATEMENT I DON’T HAVE ANYTHING FURTHER TO ADD TO THAT
ANSWER. WHEN YOU SET OTHER ORGANIZATIONS DO YOU MEAN YOU
COMMUNICATED TO THE PRESIDENT? >>NO, I SAID MY OPENING
STATEMENT. I’LL REFER YOU BACK TO MY OPENING STATEMENT. I WAS
VERY CLEAR ABOUT THAT. >>DID YOU COMMUNICATE TO ANY
WHITE HOUSE ADVISORS ABOUT TRUMP ENTITIES TO,
>>I WAS VERY EXPLICIT IN MY OPENING STATEMENT THAT NOT ONLY
ABOUT MY COMMUNICATIONS REGARDING THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S
OFFICE AND OTHER INVESTIGATIONS IN THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW
YORK NEW YORK WOULD BE INCLUDED IN OTHER INVESTIGATIONS.
>>THANK YOU. I WANT TO MOVE TO ANOTHER SUBJECT. THE PRESIDENT
HAS TALKED ABOUT NATIONAL EMERGENCY UNDER THE LATEST FBI
DATA IT’S CORRECT ISN’T IT, THAT VIOLENT CRIMES ACROSS THE UNITED
STATES HAS GONE DOWN? >>YES WE CELEBRATE THAT.
>>PROPERTY CRIME HAS GONE DOWN AS WELL, IS THAT RIGHT?
>>AS WE SIT HERE NOW I BELIEVE GENERALLY ALL CRIME IS DOWN THE
LAST TWO YEARS. >>MY LAST QUESTION TO YOU IS
YOU WOULD AGREE WITH DONALD TRUMP WHEN LAST YEAR HE WEEDED OUT THAT BORDER CROSSINGS ARE
AT A 45-YEAR LOW? >>WE SAW PRECIPITOUS DECLINE IN
BORDER CROSSINGS AFTER THE PRESIDENT WAS ELECTED AND SWORN
INTO OFFICE. UNFORTUNATELY WE HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO RETAIN
THOSE GAINS AND WE HAVE SEEN A DRAMATIC SURGE IN FAMILY UNITS.
>>THANK YOU. >>THE TIME OF THE GENTLEMAN HAS
EXPIRED, MR. RASKIN? >>ESTHER WHITAKER BEFORE YOU
TOOK THE CALL FROM THE PRESIDENT YOU HAD A FASCINATING CAREW
RECON YOU OWNED A DAYCARE, ON A CONCRETE COMPANY
GOP ACTIVIST, US ATTORNEY WHO UNSUCCESSFULLY PROSECUTED IOWA’S
FIRST OPENLYSTATE LEGISLATOR ON TRUMPED UP CHARGES THAT WERE
DISMISSED BY THE JURY IN ABOUT AN HOUR. SENATE CANDIDATE, THERE BEEN
SOME SCANDALS, TOO. HERE’S ONE, TRUMPS ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL
INVOLVED IN FIRM THAT SCAMMED VETERANS OUT OF LIFE SAVINGS.
VETERAN SAYS I SPENT THE MONEY ON A DREAM, I LOST EVERYTHING.
BUT THE NEWSPAPERS THAT YOU STRUCK GOLD WHEN YOU ARRIVED IN
WASHINGTON, WHICH THE PRESIDENT CALLS THE SWAMP. HERE’S ONE. IT
TELLS THE STORY. CONSERVATIVE NONPROFIT WITH OBSCURE GROUPS
AND ROOTS IN UNDISCLOSED FUNDERS PAID MATTHEW WHITAKER $1.2
MILLION ACCORDING TO THE WASHINGTON POST WITHIN THREE
YEARS AFTER YOU ARRIVED IN WASHINGTON WHITAKER RECEIVED
MORE THAN ONE POINT TO MEAL DOLLARS AS A LEADER OF A CHARITY
THAT REPORTED HAVING NO OTHER EMPLOYEES. THAT’S A PRETTY GOOD
DEAL. WHAT WAS THE NAME OF THE CHARITY THAT YOU RAN, MR.
WHITAKER?? CONGRESSMAN, YOU HAVE MENTIONED A LOT IN YOUR,
>>BUT WHAT WAS THE NAME, >>YOU HAVE CHALICE MY
CHARACTER, >>I CONTROL THIS TIME, IF YOU
WANT TO HAVE TIME OF YOURS, THIS IS
MY TIME MR. WHITAKER YOU DO NOT RUN THIS COMMITTEE. YOU DON’T RUN THE CONGRESS OF THE
UNITED STATES AND YOU DON’T RUN THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE.
>>THE GENTLEMAN WILL SUSPEND, THE GENTLEMAN WILL ANSWER THE
QUESTION AND IS UP TO THE GENTLEMAN TO DECIDE WHICH
QUESTIONS, THE GENTLEMAN WILL CONTINUE, RESUME.
>>WHAT WAS THE TITLE OF THE NOT FOR PROFIT YOU RAN?
>> AT WHAT TIME PERIOD, SIR?? WHAT WAS THE LAST TITLE, I KNOW
IT CHANGED ITS NAME THREE TIMES, RIGHT? WHAT WAS THE FINAL NAME?
>>WHILE I WAS EMPLOYED AS THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR IT WAS CALLED
THE FOUNDATION FOR ACCOUNTABILITY.
>>DID YOU NAME IT? C I DID.? THOSE ARE LET’S TALK
ABOUT SOME ACCOUNTABILITY MR. WHITAKER I’VE GOT A QUESTION FOR
YOU. >>NO, YOU ASKED ME A QUESTION.
I CONTROL THE FLOOR MR. WHITAKER YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND.
>>THE GENTLEMAN CONTROLS THE TIME AND IF HE WISHES AS MANY
MEMBERS HAVE DONE ON OCCASION, THEY CAN MAKE A STATEMENT, IF HE
WISHES TO PROCEED TO ANOTHER QUESTION IT’S TIME.
>>I FEEL LIKE MY ANSWER WOULD BE COMPLETE ON THE RECORD.
>>MR. WHITAKER SEE IF YOU CAN GET INTO THIS. TELL US WHERE THE
MONEY CAME FROM THAT YOU WERE PAID. THE ONE POINT TO MOVE THE
DOLLARS THAT YOU ARE PAID BEFORE YOU WENT TO THE DEPARTMENT OF
JUSTICE. >>POINT OF ORDER. MR. CHAIRMAN,
POINT OF ORDER WE HAVE OVERRULED YOUR QUESTION.
>>WERE GOING TO GO DOWN THIS PROBABLY A FEW MORE TIMES BUT
AGAIN, IF HE WANTED TO DO A CONFIRMATION HEARING, THIS IS
NOT A CONFIRMATION HERE HEARING.>>THE GENTLEMAN’S POINT OF
ORDER IS NOT WELL TAKEN. THE GENTLEMAN FROM MARYLAND HAS THE
DISCRETION TO ASK THE QUESTIONS. THE GENTLEMAN WILL PROCEED. THE
GENTLEMAN HAS APPEALED A RULING OF THE CHAIR, THEN TO LADY HAS
MOVED TO TABLE, ALL IN FAVOR OF THE MOTION TO TABLE THE APPEAL
OF THE RULING WILL VOTE AYE . OPPOSED, NAY, THE EYES HAVE
IT, THE MOTION IS TABLED. >>CAN WE SUSPEND THE CLOCK?
>>WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE,
>>POINT OF ORDER MR. CHAIRMAN IS A GENTLEMAN GOING TO
INTERRUPT WHEN HE DOESN’T LIKE THE FLOW OF QUESTIONS.
>>I’LL MAKE A POINT OF ORDER WHEN I NEED TO MAKE A POINT OF
ORDER. >>EVERYONE WILL PLEASE SUSPEND.
THE GENTLEMAN MADE A POINT OF ORDER, IT WAS RULED OUT OF
ORDER. RIGHT NOW THE GENTLEMAN HAS THE TIME AS THE RANKING IF THE RANKING
MEMBER WANTS TO MAKE A POINT I WILL RECOGNIZE HIM AFTER THE
GENTLEMAN IS COMPLETED. THE GENTLEMAN WILL RESUME.
>>THANK YOU MR. CHAIRMAN. IT HAS BEEN REPORTED PUBLICLY THAT
THERE WAS ONE DONOR AND AS WE UNDERSTAND
IT I THINK YOU ARE TESTIFYING TODAY THAT YOU WERE THE SOLE
EMPLOYEE OF THE GROUP, SO THERE WAS ONE DONOR AND ONE EMPLOYEE.
DO YOU KNOW WHO THE DONOR WAS? OF THE GROUP THAT FUNDED YOUR
SALARY FOR $1.3 MILLION? >>YES, I DO.
>>WHO WAS THE DONOR? >>THE DONOR WAS ANOTHER
NONPROFIT 501(C)(3) ORGANIZATION CALLED
THE DONOR’S TRUST.
>>ALL RIGHT THAT WAS THE PASTOR VEHICLE BUT WHO REACHED INTO
THEIR POCKET AND WROTE THE CHECKS TO GO TO PAY YOUR SALARY?
>>CONGRESSMAN AS YOU KNOW BECAUSE YOU LOOK AT THIS ISSUE
THE DONOR’S TRUST IS MUCH BIGGER THAN THE FOUNDATION FOR
ACCOUNTABILITY AND RAISES MILLIONS IF NOT HUNDREDS OF
MILLIONS OF DOLLARS EVERY YEAR. I ACTUALLY AS I SIT HERE TODAY
HAVE NO IDEA WHO THE DONORS TO DONOR’S TRUST.
>>OKAY, THANK YOU THEN I GOT A THEORY THAT I WANT TO FLOAT WITH
YOU. AND IT GOES TO SOMETHING VERY STRANGE THAT’S BEEN
HAPPENING IN THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE RECENTLY. A CASINO
BILLIONAIRE AND MAGNET SHELDON ADELSON HATES ONLINE
GAMBLING FOR OBVIOUS REASON IS COMPETITION FOR HIM. HE WANTS
PEOPLE IN THE CASINOS, NOT ONLINE. AND HE SPENT MORE THAN
$1 MILLION LOBBYING CONGRESS TO OVERRIDE 2000 OPINION SAYING
THAT THE WIRE ACT PLAINLY PROHIBITS ONLY SPORTS GAMBLING
ONLINE. NOT GAMBLING IN THE STATES WHICH IS WHY FLORIDA,
PENNSYLVANIA, NEW JERSEY, LOTS OF STATES HAVE BUILT IMPORTANT
BUSINESSES FOR THEMSELVES ONLINE. BUT CONGRESS WOULDN’T
CHANGE THE LAW, ACCORDING TO THE DEMANDS OF MR. ADELSTEIN. SO
RATHER THAN CHANGE LAW HE DECIDED TO TRY TO GET THE
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TO CHANGE THE INTERPRETATION OF THE LAW
AND HE THREW MILLIONS INTO A CAMPAIGN TO REMAKE THE DOJ AND
GET THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL TO PERFORM A COMPLETE REVERSAL
AND SAY THAT THE WIRE ACT BANS THE KINDS OF LOTTERIES THAT
STATES RUN ONLINE, EVEN THOUGH IT’S LANGUAGE PLAINLY PROHIBITS
ONLY SPORTS BETTING. AND WHEN DONALD TRUMP WON AND YOU BECAME CHIEF
OF STAFF, DOJ LEADERSHIP ORDERED A REEVALUATION OF THIS LEGAL
QUESTION AND WHAT YOU KNOW? THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL FOUND
SOME SUBTLE AND INVISIBLE POINTS OF LAW THAT APPARENTLY ESCAPED
THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE BACK IN 2011 AND REVERSED THE PLAIN
READING OF THE READING WHICH TALKS SPECIFICALLY ABOUT SPORTS
BETTING. WERE YOU INVOLVED IN THAT DECISION?
>>CONGRESSMAN, GENERAL SESSIONS WAS RECUSED AT THE
TIME THAT THIS IS AN CAME OUT. I WAS RECUSED AND SO I WAS NOT
INVOLVED IN THAT DECISION. >>DID YOU EVER TALK TO SHELDON
ADELSON ABOUT IT? >>NO I HAVE NEVER MET SHELDON
ABELSON. >>DID YOU TALK TO CHARLES
COOPER ABOUT IT? >>NO, BUT I DO KNOW CHARLES
COOPER. BUT I WILL POINT OUT, ONE OF THE THINGS, MR.
RADCLIFFE.? YOU CAN ASK THE GENTLEMAN FOR TIME BUT I CAN
GIVE YOU MY TIME. >>THE GENTLEMAN CONTROLS THE
TIMES. AT THE CONCLUSION OF HIS STATEMENT, AT THE
CONCLUSION OF HIS FIVE MINUTES, I WILL AFFORD THE WITNESS THE
TIME. BUT THE GENTLEMAN CONTROLS THE TIME. THERE INC. YOU MR.
CHAIRMAN THE CHAIRMAN INVITED THE CHAIRMAN OF WILD ROSE
CASINOS A CASINO IN IOWA EACH DONATE TO YOUR SENATE CAMPAIGN,
WHICH WAS OVER FOUR YEARS BEFORE WHEN YOU LOST THAT CAMPAIGN. HOW
DO THESE CASINO OPERATORS COME TO DONATE TO YOUR CAMPAIGN
SEVERAL YEARS AFTER YOU LOST? DID YOU TALK TO THEM? >>UM,
>>THE TIME OF THE GENTLEMAN HAS EXPIRED YOU MAY ANSWER THE
QUESTION. >>TO GO BACK TO THE OTHER
QUESTION, THE FIRST OLC OPINION THAT PRECEDED THE ONE THAT WE
JUST ISSUED IN NOVEMBER WAS DONE IN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS PROVIDED A WHITE PAPER
REGARDING THE POSITION ON THE WIRE ACT, AND SO I THINK IT’S
VERY CONSISTENT AND YOUR INFERENCE SOMEHOW THAT THAT
PROCESS WAS CORRUPTED OR CORRUPT IS ABSOLUTELY WRONG AND THE
PREMISE OF YOUR QUESTION I REJECT.
>>THE YOUNG LADY FROM WASHINGTON, MS. LOFGREN SEVEN .? THANK YOU FOR BEING
WITH US, OUR COUNTRY IS STILL REELING FROM THE HORRORS OF
FAMILY SEPARATION THAT OCCURRED AT THE BORDER. I WAS THE FIRST
MEMBER OF CONGRESS TO TALK TO HUNDREDS OF WOMEN AND MEN WHO
HAVE BEEN RIPPED APART FROM THEIR CHILDREN. I WENT INTO A
FEDERAL PRISON TO TALK TO THOSE WOMEN. MANY OF THEM HAVE NOT
EVEN BEEN ABLE TO SAY GOODBYE TO THEIR CHILDREN. THEY SAT IN THE
ROOM NEXT DOOR AS THEY HEARD THEIR CHILDREN YELLING FOR THEM.
AND THEY WERE NOT ABLE TO GO AND SPEAK TO THEIR CHILDREN. AND FOR
WEEKS THEY DIDN’T KNOW WHERE THEIR CHILDREN WERE. MOST OF
THESE WOMEN, MOST OF THE MEN WERE SEEKING ASYLUM. AND YOUR
DEPARTMENT, INSTEAD OF ALLOWING THEM THEIR LEGAL RIGHT TO SEEK
ASYLUM, YOUR DEPARTMENT INSTEAD IMPOSED A ZERO HUMANITY POLICY
TO PROSECUTE THEM IN MASS PROCEEDINGS, RESULTING IN THE US
GOVERNMENT TEARING THOUSANDS OF CHILDREN’S FROM THEIR MOMS AND
DADS AND THIS IS STILL HAPPENING. THE TRUTH IS WE MAY
NOT KNOW HOW MANY CHILDREN WERE SEPARATED FROM THEIR PARENTS. SO
MR. WHITAKER, YOU WERE ATTORNEY GENERAL, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL
SESSIONS CHIEF OF STAFF AT THE TIME IS THAT CORRECT?
>>OF THE ZERO TOLERANCE AND POLICY BEING IMPLEMENTED?
>>OF THE FAMILY SEPARATION POLICY.
>>THERE WAS NO FAMILY SEPARATION POLICY. THERE WAS A
INTOLERANCE POLICY. >>THIS HAS BEEN GIVEN FOUR
PINOCCHIO’S MULTIPLE TIMES AND I WILL JUST TELL YOU DOOR YOU WERE
FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL’S CHIEF OF STAFF AT THE TIME. A LEAKED
DRAFT MEMO BY HOMELAND SECURITY OUTLINE POLICY TO SEPARATE
CHILDREN FROM THEIR FAMILIES. WERE YOU AWARE OF THIS MEMO WITH
THE TIME?? >>NO.
>>SO AS THE CHIEF OF STAFF YOU WERE NOT AWARE OF WHAT YOUR BOSS
WAS DOING? >>WAS THE MEMO, I’M SORRY ARE
YOU TALKING ABOUT THE LEAKED MEMO OR THE MEMO THAT GENERAL
SESSIONS ISSUED? >>THERE WAS A LEAKED DRAFT MEMO
BY SENIOR OFFICIALS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. YOU WERE
THE CHIEF OF STAFF I WOULD THINK YOU WOULD KNOW ABOUT THAT MEMO.
THE MEMO STATED THAT A POLICY OF CRIMINALLY POSSIBLE PROSECUTING
PARENTS WOULD REQUIRE CLOSE COORDINATION BETWEEN DHS AND THE
DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES WHICH WOULD SEPARATE RECAST
CHILDREN SEPARATED FROM THEIR MOMS AND DADS. BUT YET A REPORT
RELEASED LAST NOVEMBER SAID THE AGENCIES WERE UNAWARE THAT YOUR
FORMER BOSSES ZERO TOLERANCE PROSECUTION POLICY MEMO WAS
COMING. IS IT CORRECT THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE PROVIDED
NO ADVANCED NOTICE TO THOSE DEPARTMENTS?
>>CONGRESSWOMAN , THE POLICY, >>YES OR NO, DID YOU PROVIDE
ADVANCED NOTICE? >>WE CONDUCTED A PRESS
CONFERENCE IN SAN DIEGO WITH THE HEAD OF THE IMMIGRATIONS CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT WHEN WE
ANNOUNCE THE ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY AND ALL IT DOES IS SAID
THAT WE WILL MAKE ALL REFERRALS TO DHS.
>>I’M JUST GOING TO STOP YOU RIGHT THERE BECAUSE IT’S MY
TIME. ACCORDING TO THE GAO REPORT THE GOVERNMENT
ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE REPORT ON FAMILY SEPARATION, DHS AND HHS OFFICIALS TOLD US THE
AGENCIES DID NOT TAKE SPECIFIC PLANNING STEPS BECAUSE THEY DID
NOT HAVE ADVANCE NOTICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S MEMO. IT WENT
ON TO SAY SPECIFICALLY CBP, ICE AND ARE OUR OFFICIALS STATED
THAT THEY BECAME AWARE OF THE APRIL 2018 MEMO WHEN IT WAS
ANNOUNCED PUBLICLY. SO BEFORE OR AFTER THE ZERO, AND ACTUALLY LET
ME GO BACK. ARE YOU SAYING THAT CBP, ICE AND OR ARE LIED AND
THEY WERE SOMEHOW AWARE AND GIVEN ADVANCE NOTICE?
>>NO I AM NOT GOING TO SUGGEST THAT ANYBODY WAS NOT TELLING THE
TRUTH. WHEN WE PUBLIC ANNOUNCE THE ZERO TOLERANCE TALENT POLICY
IT WAS AT A PUBLIC EVENT IN SAN DIEGO.
>>AND SUE PRYOR, MR. WHITAKER PRIOR TO THE PUBLIC EVENT, THESE
ICE, CBP AND OR OUR OFFICIALS TOLD THE GAO THAT THEY HAD NOT
GOTTEN ANY NOTICE. I’M NOT TALKING ABOUT WHEN IT WAS
PUBLIC. I’M TALKING ABOUT WHETHER THERE WITH ADVANCE
NOTICE. LET ME GO ON. BEFORE OR AFTER THE ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY
WAS PUT INTO PLACE AND I CALL IT THE ZERO HUMANITY POLICY. DID
THEY TRACK WHEN THEY WERE PROSECUTING A LEGAL PARENT THAT
HAD BEEN SEPARATED FROM THEIR CHILD? THERE’S ONLY ONE ANSWER
TO THIS. IT’S GONE THROUGH THE COURTS.
>>YOU KNOW, DID WE TRACK IT? >>DID YOU TRACK WHEN YOU WERE
PROSECUTING A PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN WHO HAD BEEN SEPARATED
FROM A CHILD? I CAN GET. >>YOU ARE NOT TRACKING IT BUT
THAT IS THE CORRECT ANSWER. AND WHEN PARENTS ARE PROSECUTED AND
SENTENCED, THEY ARE IN DOJ CUSTODY, CORRECT?? CORRECT, THERE CUSTODY
IS TRANSFERRED TO THE US MARSHALS.
>>SO THESE PEOPLE WERE IN YOUR CUSTODY, YOUR ATTORNEYS ARE
PROSECUTING THEM AND YOUR DEPARTMENT WAS NOT TRACKING
PARENTS WHO WERE SEPARATED FROM THEIR CHILDREN. DO YOU KNOW WHAT
KIND OF DAMAGE HAS BEEN DONE TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES ACROSS
THIS COUNTRY. CHILDREN WHO WERE NEVER GET TO SEE THEIR PARENTS
AGAIN? DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE MAC>>I UNDERSTAND THAT THE POLICY
OF ZERO TOLERANCE, >>HAS THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT
STARTED TRACKING PARENTS AND LEGAL GUARDIANS WHO WERE
SEPARATED FROM THEIR CHILDREN AT THE BORDER?
>>THE TIME OF THE GENERAL LADY IS EXPIRED THE WITNESS MAY
ANSWER THE QUESTION. >>CONGRESSWOMAN I APPRECIATE
YOUR PASSION FOR THIS ISSUE AND I KNOW THIS HAS BEEN VERY
INVOLVED IN THE FRONT LINES. >>THIS IS ABOUT MORE THAN MY
PASSION, THIS IS ABOUT THE CHILDREN’S TEACHER, MR.
WHITAKER, PLEASE ANSWER. GO AHEAD.
>>THE WITNESS MAY ANSWER. >>CONGRESSWOMAN, THE
RESPONSIBILITY OR THE ARREST, THE ATTENTION 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 US MARSHALS. >>THANK YOU, THE TIME OF THE
GENTLE LADY IS EXPIRED. >>THANK YOU SO MUCH MR.
CHAIRMAN, MR. WHITAKER I SPENT 27 YEARS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT I
SERVED AS A CHIEF OF POLICE I TOOK AN OATH JUST LIKE YOU DID.
AND I TOOK AT BOTH VERY, VERY SERIOUSLY TO UPHOLD THE
CONSTITUTION AND TO PROTECT THIS COUNTRY FROM ALL ENEMIES FOREIGN
AND DOMESTIC. I HOPE YOU, THE OATH THAT YOU TOOK
VERY SERIOUSLY BUT AS I SIT HERE WITH MY COLLEAGUES, THIS HAS
BEEN SHAMEFUL, BECAUSE I BELIEVE THAT YOU WORKED TO MAKE OUR
CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, TO MAKE A MOCKERY OUT OF IT. AND IT’S
PAINFUL FOR ME FOR YOU TO DO THAT AND ANYBODY UP TO AND
INCLUDING THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. BUT LET ME ASK
YOU THIS, IT’S REALLY BEEN PAINFUL FOR SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN
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 MEANS A LOT TO YOU. MR. LIEU
ASKED YOU IF YOU EVER COMMUNICATED WITH PRESIDENT
TRUMP ABOUT INVESTIGATIONS IN THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW
YORK. INSTEAD OF ANSWERING YOU REFERRED HIM BACK TO YOUR
STATEMENT. REFERRED BACK TO WHAT WAS WRITTEN FOR YOU. BUT ALL YOU
SAID WAS THAT YOU DID IN YOUR STATEMENT THAT YOU DID MAKE ANY
COMMITMENT TO MR. TRUMP. I WANT TO KNOW IF YOU TALK TO PRESIDENT
TRUMP AT ALL ABOUT THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK’S
CASE INVOLVING MICHAEL COHEN. >>CONGRESSWOMAN AS I’VE
MENTIONED SEVERAL TIMES TODAY I AM NOT GOING TO DISCUSS MY
PRIVATE CONVERSATIONS WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
>>SO YES OR NO, DID YOU DISCUSS THE PRESIDENT, WITH PRESIDENT
TRUMP ANYTHING ABOUT MICHAEL COHEN?
>>AS I HAVE EXPRESSED SEVERAL TIMES TODAY, I AM NOT,
>>DID YOU EVER HAVE ANY CONVERSATIONS WITH THE PRESIDENT
ABOUT FIRING OR REASSIGNING ANY PERSONNEL, US ATTORNEYS OR
OTHERS WHO WORKED WITH THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK?
WITH THE PRESIDENT OR ANYBODY? ANYBODY AT ALL? DID YOU EVER
HAVE ANY CONVERSATIONS WITH ANYBODY ABOUT REASSIGNING WERE
FIRING ANY PERSONNEL, INCLUDING US ATTORNEYS WITH THE SEVENTH
DISTRICT OF NEW YORK?
>>CONGRESSWOMAN I SIT ON THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AS YOU
MENTIONED. >>DID YOU EVER HAVE ANY
CONVERSATIONS WITH ANYBODY WHO WORKED WITH THE DISTRICT OF
VIRGINIA FIRING OR REASSIGNING, WITH ANYBODY NOT JUST THE
PRESIDENT, ANYBODY AT ALL? >>CONGRESSWOMAN I AM NOT GOING TO,
>>ALL RIGHT LET’S TALK ABOUT THE 115,000 MEN AND WOMEN WHO
WORK FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. BECAUSE I AGREE THAT, IN YOUR WORDS THEY
ARE EXTREMELY TABLET SERVICES WERE DEDICATED TO UPHOLDING OUR
GREAT CONSTITUTION AND THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES. I’M SURE
YOU’RE FAMILIAR WITH THIS BECAUSE YOU SAID AT A RALLY LAST FALL THE POP PRESIDENTS AND
LOOKS WHAT’S BEING EXPOSED AT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND
THE FM REAL BAD ONCE YOU SEE WHAT’S HAPPENING AT THE FBI,
THEY ARE ALL GONE, THEY ARE ALL GONE BUT THERE’S A LINGERING
STENCH AND WE ARE GOING TO GET RID OF THAT, TOO. DO YOU AGREE
WITH THE PRESIDENT’S CHARACTERIZATION WITH THE
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND THE FBI AS THE ATTORNEY GENERAL,
PLEASE TELL ME WHY YOU WOULD AGREE OR WHY YOU WOULD NOT AGREE
WITH THAT STATEMENT. >>CONGRESSWOMAN SINCE I HAVE
BECOME THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL I HAVE REESTABLISHED A
POSITIVE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND THE
WHITE HOUSE. >>BEFORE YOU CAME, 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 HAVE A VERY HIGH ESTIMATION
OF THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE , THEY
ARE THE MOST EXCEPTIONAL HARD-WORKING PEOPLE THAT I HAVE
EVER, >>YOU DISAGREE WITH THE
PRESIDENT’S CHARACTERIZATION BECAUSE THEY DON’T DESERVE IT TO
WHITAKER. AND YOU SUPERVISE, YOU MANAGE THEM. YOU DON’T, THEN YOU
DON’T AGREE WITH THE PRESIDENT’S CHARACTERIZATION OF THEM? IS
THAT CORRECT? >>LISTEN, BEFORE, CONGRESSMAN
IN ALL DUE RESPECT. I FEEL VERY STRONGLY THAT AS 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 AND YOU THOUGHT I WAS HIGHLY PRINCIPLED
AND TALENTED IF THAT WAS YOUR ANSWER WHEN I WAS ASKED OR YOU
ARE ASKED ABOUT HOW DO YOU VIEW THE PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR YOU,
THAT YOUR ANSWER? THAT’S PRETTY PITIFUL. LET ME ASK YOU THIS.
YOU ONLY MENTIONED DRUGS COMING THROUGH THE SOUTHERN BORDER. THE PROBLEM AT
THE SOUTHERN BORDER AS CHARACTERIZED BY YOU AND THE
PRESIDENT. COULD YOU PLEASE PAINT A PICTURE OF DRUGS GOING
THROUGH OUR PORTS OF ENTRY? BECAUSE I’M TOLD THE
OVERWHELMING NUMBER OR PERCENTAGE OF DRUGS THAT FLOW
INTO OUR COUNTRY COME THROUGH THE PORTS OF ENTRY. DO YOU AGREE
OR DISAGREE WITH THAT STATEMENT? AND IF SO, YES OR NO, WHY NOT?
>>THE WITNESS MAY ANSWER THE QUESTION.
>>CONGRESSWOMAN , WE BOTH ACTUALLY BOTH AGREED PORTS OF
ENTRY ARE OUR MOST TRAFFICKED WITH DRUGS AND ILLEGALITY AND IT
ALSO COMES, >>OVERWHELMING PORTS OF ENTRY
DO YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE WITH THAT?
>>I BELIEVE A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF DRUGS COME THROUGHOUT PORTS
OF ENTRY ON THE SOUTHERN BORDER, YES.
>>THANK YOU MR. CHAIRMAN, GOOD AFTERNOON SIR. I WANTED TO ASK
YOU ABOUT YOUR ENFORCEMENT PRIORITIES. ONE OF MY JOBS HERE
CONGRESS IS TO SERVE ON THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
AND WITHIN THAT JOB, ONE OF MY MOST IMPORTANT CRITICAL JOBS IS
TO MAKE SURE OUR CITIZENS ARE SAFE. TO PROTECT OUR NATION
AGAINST TERRORIST THREATS. IN MAY 2017 A JOINT FBI, DHS
BULLETIN WARNED OF THREATS AGAINST WHITE SUPREMACIST,
NEO-NAZIS AND OTHER WHITE NATIONALS GROUPS. AN EXTENSIVE
GROUPS IN ARTANE FOUND THAT ATTACKS BY WHITE NATIONALIST
GROUPS OUTNUMBER THE THREATS BY ISLAMIST EXTREMISTS NUMBER TO-1. WHITE’S APPRENTICE
HAD BEEN AGGRESSIVELY RECRUITED ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES AND
INVOLVEMENT AS MORE THAN TRIPLED AND MORE THAN 100 PEOPLE HAVE
BEEN KILLED OR INJURED SINCE 2014, AND MORE THAN 60 IN 2017
ALONE BY THESE OLD RIGHT GROUPS. SIR, JUST A VERY BASIC QUESTION,
DO YOU BELIEVE THAT WHITE NATIONALISM, WHITE EXTREMIST OR
WHITE RING GROUPS IN THIS COUNTRY POSE A THREAT?
>>YES, I DO. >>IS IT GROWING?
>>BASED ON THAT REPORT ISSUED BY THE FBI I HAVE NO REASON AS I
STATED EARLIER TODAY TO DISAGREE WITH IT.
>>DO YOU BELIEVE THAT THE ADMINISTRATION IS PLACING ENOUGH
AND OF OF AN EMPHASIS ENOUGH RESOURCES ALLOCATED DEDICATED TO
STOPPING THESE KINDS OF HOMEGROWN TERRORIST ATTACKS?
>>I BELIEVE THAT WE ARE DEDICATING RESOURCES TO THE
APPROPRIATE THREATS AND THAT IS DONE OBVIOUSLY BELOW MY ROLE IS
DONE MOSTLY AT THE LINE AND MANAGEMENT LEVEL OF THE FBI OR OTHER AGENCIES INCLUDING
OUR PARTNERS AT DHS AS YOU MENTION. AND AS I SIT HERE TODAY
I THINK THAT WE ARE ADEQUATELY ADDRESSING THE THREATS THAT WE
FACE, BUT WE ARE ALWAYS REALLOCATING BASED ON THE
THREATS OF ALL. >>ADEQUATELY ADDRESSING THE
THREAT AND YOU MENTIONED EARLIER IN YOUR OPENING STATEMENT, 30
CONVICTIONS, HATE CRIME CONVICTIONS. YET, IN 2017 AND
INCREASE OF 17 PERCENT HATE CRIMES REPORTED,
WHICH THEY ARE USUALLY UNDERREPORTED IN THIS COUNTRY.
MORE THAN 7000 HATE CRIMES IN 2017 AND YOU HAVE 30
CONVICTIONS. DO YOU THINK YOU’RE ALLOCATING ADEQUATE RESOURCES
TOWARD PROSECUTING HATE CRIMES?
>>I DO AND IF YOU LOOK AT SOME OF THE HIGH-PROFILE CASES
WE’VE DONE LIKE THE SYNAGOGUE SHOOTING IN PITTSBURGH OR THE
CHARLOTTESVILLE SITUATION WE PREVIOUSLY DISCUSSED, OR EVEN
DENT A POSSIBLE IOWA TO HELP PROSECUTE ANY CRIME.
>>IF YOU LOOK AT THE NUMBERS, 7000 REPORTED, ALMOST 20 PERCENT
INCREASE AND 30 CONVICTIONS. ADEQUATE?
>>CONGRESSMAN WE ALWAYS WORK WITH OUR STATE PARTNERS AND THE
LOCAL POLICE TO DETERMINE WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE IN THE MOST
EFFECTIVE PLACE TO PROSECUTE A CRIME. AND SO TO SUGGEST THAT
SOMEHOW THOSE BIG TIMES DON’T RECEIVE THE PROPERTY COCKING OUT
FROM RELATIVE WE ARE LOOKING AT FOREIGN
TERRORISM AND YET ARE WE IGNORING DOMESTIC TERRORISM?
>>KNOW WE ARE NOT IGNORING THAT.
>>ARE WE ALLOCATING EQUAL OR MORE RESOURCES TO DOMESTIC
VERSUS FOREIGN? YES OR NO?
>>CONGRESSMAN WE ALLOCATE OUR RESOURCES BASED ON THE THREATS
AND WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD DEPLOY THESE RESOURCES.
AGAIN, IT’S A VERY DYNAMIC DAILY EVALUATE THREATS ARE, AND
QUICKLY RESOURCING ALL THE THREATS OF WHAT YOU DESCRIBE. >>MYSTIC TERRORIST GROUPS IS ON
THE RISE AND WE SHOULD ALLOCATE ADDITIONAL RESOURCES EMBEDDING
THESE TYPES OF TERRORIST >>CONGRESS ANSWERED THIS
QUESTION BUT I JUST WANT TO BE CLEAR. I AGREE WITH THE FBI,
>>I DIDN’T HEAR YOUR ANSWER. >>WILL I BELIEVE WITH THE FBI STATEMENT THAT THOSE CRIMES
ARE ON THE RISE. I ALSO BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE ADEQUATELY DEPLOYED
OUR RESOURCES ON A DAILY BASIS, DYNAMICALLY AS REQUIRED BY THOSE
THREATS. AND I HAVE SEEN IT, BASED ON MY INTELLIGENCE
BRIEFINGS THAT I PARTICIPATE ON, ALMOST A DAILY BASIS, AND I KNOW
THAT THE FBI AND THE OTHER FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES ARE ADEQUATELY RESOURCING THESE
THREATS AND ALL THE OTHER THREATS RE-BASE. IT IS A TARGET
RICH ENVIRONMENT WHEN IT COMES TO LAW ENFORCEMENT AND MAKING SURE,
>>>>WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TO
LOOK AT THIS AT HOME SECURITY IS WE’RE MISSING THE
BALL IN 2017, DHS TERMINATED GRANT FUNDING TO LOOK AT SOME
OF THESE ISSUES OF DOMESTIC TERRORISM. WE HAVE TO KEEP
ADDRESSING THIS ISSUE THE LIVES IN THE SAFETY OF OUR CITIZENS IS
AT STAKE. I YIELD. >> MR. CHAIRMAN?
>>GOOD AFTERNOON MR. WHITAKER. IN RESPONSE TO A QUESTION FOR
MY PENNSYLVANIAN COLLEAGUE YOU MENTIONED THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF
JUSTICE HAS BEEN ATTEMPTING TO WITHHOLD FEDERAL DOLLARS FROM
SO-CALLED SANCTUARY CITIES. IS THAT RIGHT?? YES, I TALKED ABOUT,
>>AND ONE OF THOSE CITIES IS PHILADELPHIA, RIGHT?
>>I BELIEVE SO, YES. >>I HAPPEN TO REPRESENT
PHILADELPHIA. ISN’T IT TRUE THAT JUDGE MIKE BILSON OF THE EASTERN
DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA RULED THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE’S
ATTEMPT TO WITHHOLD THIS MONEY WAS ILLEGAL AND
UNCONSTITUTIONAL? ISN’T IT CORRECT THAT THAT WAS THE RULING
OF THE FEDERAL COURT? YOU MAKE I CANNOT DISCUSS ONGOING
LITIGATION. >>ISN’T CORRECT THAT THE
FEDERAL COURT RULED THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE’S CONDUCT WAS
UNCONSTITUTIONAL IT’S A MATTER OF RECORD.
>>I DON’T DISAGREE. >>YOU MIGHT BE CONFUSED HERE. THIS MAY APPEAR TO BE A CONTACT
SPORT BUT IS NOT A GRID AND AND I’M NOT ALLOWING YOU TO RUN UP A
TIME. IS IT TRUE THAT THE FEDERAL COURT RULED THAT THAT
WAS ILLEGAL AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL? OKAY I’LL TAKE
THAT AS YES. >>IT’S ONGOING LITIGATION,
>>MR. WHITAKER I’M ASKING THE QUESTIONS. ISN’T IT ALSO TRUE
THAT THE COURT FOUND THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE HAD NOT
PRODUCED ANY CREDIBLE EVIDENCE THAT UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS
COMMIT CRIME AT A HIGHER RATE THAN ANY OTHER GROUP? HE MET
CONGRESSMAN THIS IS THE SUBJECT OF ONGOING LITIGATION TRUE THAT
OPINION? >>CONGRESSWOMAN I’M NOT GOING
TO COMMENT, >>OKAY I WILL TAKE THAT AS A
YES AS WELL. JUST TO BE CLEAR I AM
ASKING OVERSIGHT QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR ENFORCEMENT PRIORITIES
DURING YOUR TENURE, OKAY? AS THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND WHEN
THAT TENURE BEGAN. I HAVE A DATE OF SEPTEMBER 22 2017 THAT YOU
BECAME CHIEF OF STAFF, IS THAT CORRECT U
>>THAT IS INCORRECT. >>OKAY WHEN WAS YOUR FIRST
WORKING DAY IS CHEAPEST THAT? ON OCTOBER 4, 2017.
>>OKAY. AND THEN YOU BECAME ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL AS OF
NOVEMBER 7 2018?? THE PRESIDENT TWEETED
THAT I WAS GOING TO BE THE NEXT ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL IN
DECEMBER 20 ORDER THAT I RECEIVED FROM THE PRESIDENT HAS
A DATE OF NOVEMBER EIGHTH OF 2018.
>>OKAY TO HAVE A COPY OF THAT ORDER?
>>I DO HAVE A COPY OF THAT ORDER?
>>CAN YOU PRESENT PRODUCED FOR THE COMMITTEE? NOW TO SOME OTHER
LAW ENFORCEMENT PRIORITIES. THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE SENT A
FORMAL REQUEST TO THE CENSUS BUREAU ASKING FOR IN ADDITION TO
THE SENSES OF A QUESTION ASKING ABOUT CITIZENSHIP STATUS. DID
ATTORNEY GENERAL SESSIONS DIRECT DEPARTMENTS LAWYERS TO AND THAT
QUESTION? >>THE GENERAL SESSIONS ASKED OR
ARE YOU REFUSING TO ANSWER THE QUESTION?
>>I THINK IT’S INAPPROPRIATE FOR ME TO COMMENT ABOUT ONGOING
LITIGATION. >>ALL RIGHT I WOULD LIKE TO
REFLECT THAT MR. WHITAKER HAS NOT ANSWER THE QUESTION AND I
WOULD LIKE TO REFER THAT TO THE UPCOMING DEPOSITION. LET’S SEE. DO YOU KNOW IF THE
PRESIDENT DIRECTED DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE LAWYERS TO MAKE THAT
REQUEST? >>CONGRESSWOMAN THIS IS THE
SUBJECT OF ONGOING LITIGATION.
>>THANK YOU. WAS ACTING ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL JOHN
WARREN INVOLVED IN THE DRAFTING OF THAT REQUEST TO ADD THE
CENSUS QUESTION? >>AS I PREVIOUSLY STATED, THIS
IS A SUBJECT OF ONGOING LITIGATION.
>>WE WILL LET THE RECORD REFLECT THAT AGAIN YOU ARE RICK
REFUSING TO ANSWER THE QUESTION. OKAY, WE CAN AGREE
THAT ONE OF THE FUNCTIONS IS TO ENFORCE THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT,
CORRECT? >>CORRECT.
>>AND THE MOST RECENT VOTING RIGHT ENFORCEMENT ACTION WAS
FILED ON JANUARY 10? I’VE MENTIONED
PREVIOUSLY, SPEAK IS IT CORRECT THAT THE MOST RECENT BOOK
ENFORCEMENT ACT ACTION FILED BY YOUR DEPARTMENT WAS IN 2017,
JANUARY 10? >>CONGRESSWOMAN I’LL GIVE YOU,
>>IT’S A YES OR NO QUESTION. >>THE FIRST TERM OF THE OBAMA
ADMINISTRATION, >>RECLAIMING MY TIME, NO
RUNNING OUT THE CLOCK. CHAIRMAN, IF WE CAN ENTER INTO THE RECORD
THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WEBSITE WHICH REFLECTS WHEN THE
LAST VOTING RIGHT CASE WAS FILED
JANUARY 10 26 >>WITHOUT OBJECTS AND THE FACT
THAT THAT IS NOTED ON THE WEBSITE WILL BE ENTERED INTO THE
RECORD. >>IS IT TRUE THAT UNDER THE
TRUMP ADMINISTRATION VISTAS DEPARTMENT HAS REVERSED ITS
POSITION ON ME I ANSWER THE QUESTION?? THE GENERAL
LATEST TIME HAS EXPIRED THE GENTLEMAN MAY ANSWER THE
QUESTION. >>THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE HAS
CHANGE HIS POSITION ONLY IN ONE CASE AND THAT’S THE USED AT
KOS. THE SUPREME COURT AGREED WITH OUR READING OF THE STATUTE.
>>THANK YOU MR. CHAIRMAN. I HAVE ABOUT FOUR DOCUMENTS THAT I
ASKED TO BE ENTERED INTO THE RECORD. THE FIRST ONE IS
TITLED CRIME AND MURDER IN 2018 A PRELIMINARY LIMITARY OF MALICE
IS, THE SECOND IS BORDER COMMUNITIES HAVE LOWER CRIME
RATES, THE THIRD ONE READS AMID CRISIS RHETORIC, LOCAL LEADERS
DEFEND BORDER REGIONS FROM MISCONCEPTIONS AND THIS IS A
REPORT VALLEY OF TEXAS AND THE LAST ONE IS PROGRESSIVE TIMES
MISSION TEXAS SHERIFF, CRIME DROP 10 PERCENT IN RURAL
HIDALGO. >>WITHOUT OBJECTS IN THESE
DOCUMENTS WILL BE ENTERED INTO THE RECORD. THEN GENERAL LADY IS
NOW RECOGNIZED FOR FIVE MINUTES.>>MR. ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL,
WHAT IS IT IN YOUR MIND THAT LEADS YOU TO CONCLUDE THAT THE
BORDER REGION IS CRIME-RIDDEN WHEN THESE DOCUMENTS THAT I JUST
ENTERED INTO THE RECORD CLEARLY SHOW THAT DEL RIO, BROWNSVILLE,
EL PASO, ALL THE AREAS IN THE BORDER REGION AND IN FACT EVEN
IN EL PASO IS LISTED IN THE TOP 29 CITIES WHERE CRIME HAS GONE DOWN. YET YOU QUOTED IN
YOUR WRITTEN TESTIMONY. IF ALL OF THE STATS SHOW DIFFERENTLY
WHY ARE YOU STILL INSISTENT THAT THIS IS STILL A CRIME-RIDDEN
AREA? AND PLEASE A SHORT ANSWER BECAUSE I’VE ONLY GOT FIVE
MINUTES. >>I DON’T RECALL SAYING TODAY
THAT THE BORDER REGION IS CRIME-RIDDEN, BUT I WILL ANSWER
YOUR QUESTION AS FALSELY AS I CAN. AND THAT IS THAT ILLEGAL
IMMIGRATION THROUGH OUR SOUTHERN BORDER IS DRAMATICALLY AND
NEGATIVELY IMPACTING THE CRIME IT ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. I PULLED
TO THE EXAMPLE OF MOLLY. SMITH YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT THE OTHER
CITIES NOT THE CITIES THAT ARE IN THE BORDER AREAS.
>>WELL, I THINK YOU WOULD AGREE WITH ME THAT MOST ILLEGAL
IMMIGRANTS WHO COME THROUGH OUR SOUTHERN BORDER DON’T RESIDE AT
THE BORDER REGIONS, THAT THE TRANSIT THROUGH THERE AND MAKE
THEIR WAY TO OTHER PARTS OF OUR COUNTRY.
>>WELL, I KNOW MAYBE COMPANIES HAVE GOOD JOBS AND HAVE OPEN
CITIES. BUT I HEARD YOU SAY EARLIER AND MAYBE THE WORD
CRIME-RIDDEN WAS THE EXACT WORD YOU USED, WHAT IT WAS ALLUDING
TO THE FACT THAT THE BORDER AREAS HAVE A LOT OF CRIMES. AND
I JUST SIMPLY DON’T AGREE WITH YOU. BUT LET ME MOVE ON TO ANOTHER TOPIC. I AM FOLLOWING UP
SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT THE FAMILY SEPARATION POLICY POLICY. YOU SAID IN ANSWER TO A QUOTE
SOME OF YOUR BACKGROUND YOU WERE BY A GENERAL SESSION
SIDE-BY-SIDE AND YOU ARE AWARE OF EVERYTHING OF THE GENERAL
SESSIONS SEPARATION POLICY.
>>I AM FAMILIAR WITH THE ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY, YES.
>>WITH HIM SIDE-BY-SIDE. IF YOU WERE IN THE ROOM WHEN IT
HAPPENED, WHEN THE ACTUAL ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY WAS HATCHED?
>>I PARTICIPATED IN DISCUSSIONS ABOUT THE ZERO INTERNALLY BUT
AGAIN I’M NOT GOING TO TALK ABOUT THE INTERNAL DELIBERATE DELIBERATIONS.
>>WAS THE BRAINCHILD OF THE POLICY? WHO HATCHED IT? WHERE
DID IT COME WE NEVER HAD IT BEFORE AT THE LEVEL IS BEING
EXECUTED NOW. >>IT WAS GENERAL SESSIONS’
DECISION ANY SIGN THE LAW IMPLEMENTED AND SIGNED THAT TO
OUR ORDER DISTRICT ATTORNEYS. >>’S LET ME ASK THIS QUESTION,
HOW MANY CHILDREN ARE STILL SEPARATED FROM THEIR FAMILIES AS
WE SIT HERE TODAY? >>THAT’S A NUMBER THAT ONLY DHS AND HHS WOULD KNOW. AS I SIT
HERE THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ISN’T INVOLVED IN HANDLING
CHILDREN THAT ARE ENCOUNTERED AT THE BOARD WHERE THERE’S A
FAMILY UNIT OR AN UNACCOMPANIED MINORS.
>>SO YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MANY CHILDREN COME YOU HAVE NOT SEEN
ANY DOCUMENTS ACROSS YOUR DESK FROM DHS OR RR OR ANYBODY ELSE?
>>AGAIN, THOSE ARE DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS WITHIN,
>>I KNOW THAT, BUT I KNOW THAT YOU
ARE THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL AND YOU GET A LOT OF DOCUMENTS
AND A LOT OF DATA. YOU HAVE NOT SEEN ANYTHING TO GIVE US ANY
IDEA AS TO HOW MANY CHILDREN HAVE BEEN TORN AWAY FROM THE
ARMS OF THEIR MOTHERS? >>NO, I WOULD HHS AND DHS
AGAIN. >>UNITED WITH THEIR FAMILIES?
AGAIN, CONGRESSWOMAN, THOSE KNOTS TO TAKE
>> WANT TO KNOW IF YOU SEE ANYTHING
CROSS YOUR DESK OR ANYBODY ON YOUR STAFF THAT SAID THAT AMERICANS ARE FINDING THIS
POLICY TV TO BE A BORN DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA AS TO WHEN THE
CHILDREN WILL BE UNITED WITH THEIR PARENTS? YOU CANNOT TELL
US THAT TODAY?? NO I WOULD HAVE TO REFER YOU TO HHS AND DHS
WHICH WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PARTS OF THE PROCESS,
BECAUSE ONCE WE RECEIVE VENDORS FOR PYRO TOLERANCE POLICY, WE
ONLY DEAL WITH THE ADULTS. >>ALL RIGHT ONE LAST QUESTION
I’M RUNNING OUT OF TIME. HE WAS GONNA MAKE, AND I’M PARAPHRASING
A PRIORITY TO MAKE SURE THAT PEOPLE WITH PRE-EXISTING
CONDITIONS WERE PROTECTED. DOES THAT MEAN YOU’RE GOING TO DROP
ALL THE ACA LITIGATION YOU’RE INVOLVED IN?
>>AS YOU KNOW CONGRESSWOMAN, THE OF ONGOING THAT, ARE YOU TO SETTLE
IT OR DROP SOME OF THAT THE PRESIDENT IS CHANGING PRIORITIES AND DIRECTION FOR THE
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE? >>THE TIME OF THE GENERAL LADY
IS EXPIRED, THE WITNESS MAY ANSWER THE QUESTION.
>>A POLICY DIRECTIVE AND WE WILL FOLLOW THAT POLICY.
>> THANK YOU. MR. MAGOO SERVING HER
I ALSO WANT TO THINK MY COLUMN DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN FROM
SOUTH THE SCOPE DAKOTA. I LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH HIM.
>> NORTH DAKOTA.
>>NORTH DAKOTA MY APOLOGIES. I WANT TO TALK ABOUT ANOTHER
POLICY I REPRESENT THE STATE OF COLORADO AND COLORADO USE OF
RECREATIONAL USE WAS LEGALIZED IN 2014. THE SLICED CHEESE PENNY OF THESE
STATES ARE WORKING TO DETERMINE THE HEALTH EFFECTS TO USE
MARIJUANA TO RELIEVE CHRONIC PAIN. IN AUGUST 2016 I
UNDERSTAND IT WAS BEFORE YOU CAME TO THE DEPARTMENT OF
JUSTICE THAT THE DEA TOOK A BIG STEP TOWARD IMPROVING SCIENTIFIC
RESEARCH ON MARIJUANA. THEY WERE LOOKING AT APPLICATION AND
SEVERAL INSTITUTIONS HAVE SUBMITTED THEY HAVE YET TO
RECEIVE A RESPONSE. WHAT IS THE STATUS OF THOSE APPLICATIONS IF
YOU MIGHT KNOW AND YOU KNOW THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND THE
DEA INTEND TO SUPPORT LEGITIMATE CANNABIS RESEARCH THAT CAN HELP
PROTECT THE SAFETY AND HEALTH OF OUR INNOCENCE?
>>THIS IS AN ISSUE THAT I HAVE BEEN AWARE OF AND I HAVE
ACTUALLY TRIED TO GET THE EXPANSION OF THE APPLICATION
OUT. WE HAVE RUN INTO A VERY COMPLICATED MATTER REGARDING H AROUND, THERE’S A NATIONAL
TREATIES AND THAT MAY NOT ALLOW THE WAY THAT MARIJUANA HAS TO BE
HANDLED FROM THE RESEARCH FACILITY SEARCHERS TO THE GROWTH
FACILITY TO THE RESEARCHERS. BUT IT’S SOMETHING THAT I’M VERY AWARE OF AND SOMETHING OF TRYING
TO PUSH. UNFORTUNATELY I HAVE SIX DAYS LEFT IN HIS CHAIR AT THE MOST. BUT I UNDERSTAND THE
CONCERN THAT WE ARE TRYING TO MAKE IT WORK.
>>I APPRECIATE THAT AND I APPLAUD THAT AND I COULD GET
YOUR ASSURANCES THAT WITHIN THE SIX DAYS IF YOU COULD JUST
FOLLOW WITH YOUR DEPARTMENT STAFF AND FOLLOW-UP IN WRITING
IT WILL BE HELPFUL FOR US. >>WE WILL TRY TO GET AN ANSWER
AS TO THE CURRENT STATUS. BUT MY RECOLLECTION OF WERE LAST
BOUNDED IS THAT, >>THANK YOU MR. ATTORNEY
GENERAL, YOU MENTIONED EARLIER THAT THE PUBLIC ESSENTIALLY LEARNED THAT SESSIONS WAS FIRED IN 2018 BY TWEETS. AND YOU
WERE APPOINTED BE THAT SAME TWEET. WHEN DID YOU FIRST
LEARNED THAT MR. SESSIONS WAS FIRED? OR WOULD BEEF?
>>I LEARNED ON HIM IF THAT’S YOUR QUESTION.? OKAY SO YOU
LEARN BY VIRTUE OF THAT THING? >>I WOULD SUGGEST THE ONLY
POINT I WOULD PUT ON THAT POINT CONVERSATION, MR. SESSION SENT
IN HIS RESIGNATION LETTER PATIENT WITH THE WHITE HOUSE
PRIOR TO NOVEMBER SEVEN 2018 ABOUT ATTORNEY GENERAL SESSIONS RESIGNING OR
BEING FIRED HOWEVER YOU WOULD CHARACTERIZE IT?
>>IS A LONG-STANDING PROCESS, THE PRESIDENT IS ENTITLED TO
CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS AND WHILE I’M NOT CONFIRMING OR
DENYING THE EXISTENCE OF ANY CONVERSATION I’M LOOKING TO TALK
ABOUT MY CONVERSATION WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
>>I WOULD JUST ASK THE CHAIRMAN TO SET UP IN A DEPOSITION
DEPOSITION IN EXTENT. YOU MENTIONED EARLIER
AND SOME OF YOUR TESTIMONY AROUND THE REASONING BEHIND YOUR
APPOINTMENT THAT ONE OF THE REASONS YOU BELIEVED IN YOUR
VIEW THAT YOU ARE POINTED WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE AS A FORMER US
ATTORNEY, RIGHT?
>>YEAH CORRECT I SPENT FIVE AND HALF YEARS IN THE SOUTHERN
DISTRICT OF IOWA. >>AND YOU ALSO MENTIONED THAT
ONE OF THE REASONS IN YOUR VIEW THAT YOU BELIEVE YOU WERE
APPOINTED ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL IS YOU HAVE BEEN AT THE
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE FOR THE LAST YEAR OR SO WORKING AS A
CHIEF OF STAFF TO ATTORNEY GENERAL SESSION, SIDE BY SIDE I
THINK YOU MENTIONED. >>YES I KNEW ALL OF THE ACTIVE
MATTERS, I KNEW ALL OF THE POLICIES THAT WE HAD NOT ONLY
IMPLEMENTED WERE IN PROGRESS I KNEW OTHER PEOPLE AND
INDIVIDUALS. >>UNDERSTAND. VERY QUICKLY, SO
I APPRECIATE THAT AND MIKE WESTON IS I’M SURE YOU ARE AWARE THAT DEPUTY ATTORNEY
ROD ROSENSTEIN IS A FORMER US A TONY, THAT HE ALSO HAS BEEN WITH
THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, THAT HE KNOWS THE PEOPLE, HE KNOWS
THE MATTERS AND UNDER THE VACANCY ACT, HE WAS NEXT IN LINE
IN SUCCESSION TO BE APPOINTED ATTORNEY GENERAL. IN THE CASE
THAT OFFICE WAS VACATED BUT SESSIONS BY TERMINATION OR
RESIGNATION. SO I AM TRYING TO UNDERSTAND, WERE YOU SURPRISED APPOINTED READY
ATTORNEY ROD ROSENSTEIN >>IT’S BEEN AN TIME TO SERVE AS
THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL AND I MENTIONED THAT I HAVE SIX
DAYS LEFT ON ONE TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF THAT INCLUDING
ENJOYING THIS HEARING. BUT THERE ARE TWO STATUTES THAT APPLY TO
THE VACANCY THAT WAS CREATED BY ATTORNEY GENERAL SESSIONS. AND
ONE WAS THE CONCESSION STATUTE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND
AS YOU KNOW THE OTHER IS VACANCY REFORM ACT WHICH HAS BEEN PASSED
BY CONGRESS. SO MY APPOINTMENT AS IS OUTLINED IN THE OLC
OPINION IS LEGITIMATE.
>>AND WITH RESPECT TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL ARE NOT
REFERENCING THE LEGITIMACY, I WASN’T UNDER THE VACANCIES ACT,
THE DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL IS THE FIRST THAT WOULD BE THE
PERFECT APPROPRIATE DESIGNATION BUT WITH THAT I WILL YIELD
ACCURATE >> MR. CHAIRMAN?
>>I JUST WANTED TO ADDRESS THAT ISSUE REALLY QUICKLY SINCE WE
ARE ALL ON THE SAME PAGE. THE SYSTEM TOGETHER WITH ANY OTHER
SENATE CONFIRMED INDIVIDUAL TOGETHER WITH ANYONE THAT SERVE
90 DAYS OR LESS 365 DAYS IS ELIGIBLE, THERE IS
NO RANKING OR HIERARCHY OF THOSE THREE POSITIONS. OBVIOUSLY I’M
IN THE THIRD BUCKET, JUST WANT TO BE CLEAR ON THERE.
>>THANK YOU, MS. BATH.
>>I’M COMPLETELY AWARE THAT NORTH CAROLINA AND GEORGIA ARE
DEALING WITH SIMILAR PROBLEMS AS FAR AS VOTER SIX SUPPRESSION. I
CAN TELL YOU I WITNESSED VOTER SUPPRESSION IN GEORGIA FOR STAN
EVEN AS I WAS RUNNING MY OWN ELECTION. IS IT FAIR TO SAY THAT
THE DEPARTMENT WAS NOT REMOTELY INTERESTED IN SECURING THE
ELECTION IN NORTH CAROLINA, RATHER THAT IT’S INTENT WAS
ABUSING ITS POWERS AND WIELDING ITS MANDATE TO PROTECT OUR
ELECTION IN A THINLY VEILED EFFORT TO SUPPRESS MINORITY
VOTING? >>THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE COMMITTED TO
UPHOLDING THE VOTING RIGHTS OF ALL MEN
>>I UNDERSTAND THAT. BUT WHAT I BUY FOR ME IS WHAT ACTIONS WERE
TAKEN FOR ALL OF THE VOTING RIGHTS TO BE UPHELD? BECAUSE YOU
STATED EARLIER, YOUR STATEMENT EARLIER WAS THAT 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, YOU DO NOT SUSPECT
THAT THERE WAS ANY VOTER SUPPRESSION? SO WHAT I’M ASKING
IS THAT OF ANY VOTER SUPPRESSION, OR DO NOT KNOW
WHETHER OR NOT THOSE LAWS ARE BEING ENFORCED?? I DON’T BELIEVE
I SAID THAT I’M AWARE THAT THERE MIGHT IT IS THAT SOMETHING YOU
HEARD ME SAY?? I’M JUST ASKING YOU, MIGHT IT BE THE CASE THAT
DEPRESSION? THE DEPARTMENT OF, I SIT ATOP A MASSIVE ORGANIZATION
AS YOU MIGHT IMAGINE. IN CASES OF VOTER SUPPRESSION VOTER FRAUD
OR ANY VIOLATION OF THE VOTERS RIGHTS IS DONE BY
THE US ATTORNEYS, THE FBI AGENTS IN THE DISTRICT DOING THOSE
COULD BE UNUSUAL THAT EYELIDS ABOUT ANY, ANY OF THE EVIDENCE
IN THOSE CASES. OBVIOUSLY,WE DO OUR CASE AND IF THERE IS EVIDENCE, AS YOU
SUGGEST A VOTER SUPPRESSION AND WE CAN PREDICATE AN
INVESTIGATION THAT IS SOMETHING WE WILL SERIOUSLY
>>SO DID THE DEPARTMENT ASSESS THE
NEED FOR VOTER MONITORS IN THE ELECTION? SPEED IN MY OPENING
STATEMENT THAT WE 35 CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION TEAMS TO I
BELIEVE 19 STATES IF I REMEMBER RIGHT. I’D REFER
YOU BACK TO MY STATEMENT, BUT WE DID SEND OUT ELECT SENATORS.
>>BANKS, AND I CAN TELL YOU I SAW THE PROBLEMS. BUT I DIDN’T SEE
THE ELECTION MONITORS YOU SEND ANY THAT YOU ARE AWARE OF? AS I
SAID OR DID RECEIVE WHAT I’M JUST OBVIOUSLY, THE CIVIL RIGHTS
DIVISION WOULD HAVE DETERMINED WHERE THOSE ASSETS COULD BE
DEPLOYED. I KNOW IN THE 2004 ELECTION WHEN I WAS US ATTORNEY
I THINK THEY SENT THREE OR FOUR ATTORNEYS TO MY OFFICE TO
MONITOR THE ELECTIONS IN DES MOINES. SO I WOULDN’T BE
SURPRISED IF THEY DID SEND ELECTION MONITORS IN GEORGIA.
>>I CAN TELL YOU I REALLY THINK WE NEEDED THEM AND I’M VERY
DISAPPOINTED IN THE NUMBERS THAT WE RECEIVED, WE NEED FAR MORE
HELP THAN WE GOT. BUT ALSO IN FEBRUARY FIRST, THE COMMITTEE
SENT YOU A LETTER ASKING AGAIN FOR INFORMATION ON THE
DEPARTMENTS VOTING RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT. AND THESE QUESTIONS
WERE ASKED DURING THE 115 ANSWER. WILL YOU COMMIT TO
PROVIDING THIS INFORMATION FOR THIS COMMITTEE?
>>WE TRY TO RESPOND TO ALL THE LETTERS WE RECEIVE FROM
CONGRESS, OBVIOUSLY FEBRUARY 1 WAS I BELIEVE ONLY A WEEK OR SO I’VE
KIND OF LOST TRACK. YEAH, WE WILL LOOK
AT THAT LETTER AND WE WILL RESPOND CONSISTENT WITH THE WAY
WE RESPOND TO. AND THESE ARE IMPORTANT SOME OF THESE
PLACES WHERE THERE IS ALLEGED VOTER SUBMIT AND I KNOW THAT WE
ARE GOING TO ENFORCE THE VOTER’S RIGHTS, THE THE VOTING RIGHTS
ACT ROBUSTLY AND AGAIN IF THERE IS EVIDENCE, TO OUR FBI AND THE PEOPLE THAT
ENFORCED SO WE CAN PROPERLY PREDICATE AN INVESTIGATION IT
>>THANK YOU FOR THAT IS IF YOU WE DON’T GET WILL KEEP AT
ANOTHER QUESTION I HAVE IS WHAT STEPS DID THE DEPARTMENT TAKE TO STIR THE BOATING SECURITY?
>>UGH ABOUT THE VOTING DEVICES, THE MACHINES FULLY THE
RESPONSIBILITY HOME >>IS OUTSTANDING.AND SECURITY.?
CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT THOSE
RESPONSIBILITIES WERE, THOUGH STEP? BECAUSE I CAN TELL YOU
THERE WERE MANY INSTANCES IN GEORGIA WHERE PEOPLE WERE
>>THE TIME OF THE CHART, THE WITNESS MAY ANSWER THE QUESTION.
THERE AGAIN IF THERE ARE SPECIFIC EVIDENCE THAT A CRIME
IS COMMITTED AT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE .
>>THANK YOU. >>MISSED STANFORD STENSON.
>>THANK YOU FOR APPEARING BEFORE US HERE,
YOUR TIME AS ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL IS NEAR AND IN EVER THAT
YOU MAY OR MAY NOT BE WORKING WITH OR ANOTHER DEPARTMENT WITHIN. SEVERAL
INVESTIGATIONS THAT INVOLVE YOURSELF. WE WILL PLEDGE THAT YOU ANSWER? ARE YOU SAYING THAT
YOU WILL ANSWER AND FULL COOPERATE FULLY WITH THESE
IN? AS PART OF YOUR INVESTIGATION?
>>ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT THE DOJ OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL.
>>THERE ARE SEVERAL FOR INVESTIGATION
THAT INVOLVED LEAVE THIS POSITION SOON TO SAY IN FRONT OF
THIS COMMITTEE THAT YOU WILL ANSWER THE IDS QUESTIONS AND
COOPERATE FULLY WITH THOSE OCCASIONS.
>>I’M HAPPY TO COOPERATE WITH THE INSPECTOR GENERAL’S QUESTIONS. DONE EXCEPTIONAL BACK OF THE
GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN ON DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE BUT IS IT
FAIR TO SAY THAT THE SHUTDOWN DEVASTATING ON THE ABILITY OF
THE DEPARTMENT TO DO THEIR WORK?>>THE SHUT DIFFICULT TIME FOR
THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE BECAUSE MOST OF ALL OUR
EMPLOYEES ARE LAW ENFORCEMENT AND ARE ACCEPTED IN THE
PERFORMANCE OF THEIR DUTIES. LIKE DEDICATED PUBLIC SERVICE
SERVANTS IS THEIR JOB KNOWING YOU HEAR IN CONGRESS WOULD
ULTIMATELY PAY THEM AND COME TO SOME RESOLUTION.
>>I THINK EVERY PERSON APPEAR IN A BIPARTISAN WAY WOULD AGREE
THAT THE WORK OF THE RANK-AND-FILE MEMBERS OF THE
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, FBI WOULD AND YOU OTHER PROVIDE LAW
ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS IS OUTSTANDING.
>>TRAVEL WOULD NOT BE ALLOWED IS THAT CORRECT? RECOMMENDED RECUSAL. BUT I CAN TELL YOU WE NEED
SOMEONE FEISS. >>I KNOW BUT SURELY DAYS EXPIRED.
THANK YOU COACH HERMAN. >>YOU’RE WELCOME.
>>THANK YOU CHAIRMAN AND MISTER WHITAKER. I WANT TO GO BACK TO
WHEN YOU WORKED FOR ACCOUNTABILITY AND SOUL TRUST.
— IS THIS A PRIVATE OR PUBLIC
FOUNDATION? WAS AT THE FEDERAL? IS THAT A
PRIVATE OR PUBLIC? THERE ARE TWO SEPARATE TYPES.
>>CONGRESSWOMAN, I DON’T HAVE THE 990 FILINGS.
>>BUT YOU WORKED THERE FROM 2014 AND YOU ARE THE EXECUTIVE
DIRECTOR. >>YES, IT WAS.
>>YOU DON’T KNOW IF IT IS PUBLIC OR PRIVATE.
>>I HAVEN’T WORKED THERE IN 16 YEARS FOR PREPARATIONS.
>>THANK YOU, MISTER WHITAKER. THANK YOU MISTER WHITAKER. THANK
YOU. WERE THERE ONLY THREE BOARD MEMBERS?>>YES, THERE WERE THREE BOARD
MEMBERS. >>NEIL CORKERY, MATTHEW
BRODERICK AND MATTHEW WHITAKER. CORRECT? IT’S ALSO MY
UNDERSTANDING YOU FILED NUMEROUS S.E.C. COMPLAINTS WHILE WORKING
THERE. >>ALL OF OUR COMPLAINTS WERE
POSTED ONLINE. >>WHERE THE FCC COMPLAINTS?
>>WE FILED MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF COMPLAINTS.
>>I’M JUST ASKING. YOU WORKED AS THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. DID
YOU FILE FCC COMPLAINTS. >>YES.
>>VERY EASY. WHO MADE THE DECISION TO FILE THESE
COMPLAINTS? >>I WAS THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.
I BELIEVE I SIGNED ALL IF NOT ALL OF THOSE.
>>DID YOU MAKE THE SOLE DECISION OR WERE YOU DIRECTED?>>I WAS NOT DIRECTED.
>>YOU DID THAT ON YOUR OWN. >>YES. WE WERE AN INDEPENDENT
NONPARTISAN. >>501(C)(3). DID YOU FILE ANY
FCC COMPLAINTS AGAINST ANY REPUBLICANS?
>>AS I SIT HERE TODAY, I DON’T RECALL.
>>THANK YOU, MISTER WHITAKER. I WOULD LIKE TO ASK FOR UNANIMOUS
CONSENT TO MAKE THE RESTRICTION OF POLITICAL CAMPAIGN
INTERVENTION BY 501(C)(3) TAX-EXEMPT ORGANIZATIONS. IT
READS, “UNDER THE INTERNAL REVENUE CODE ALL SECTION
501(C)(3) ORGANIZATIONS ARE ABSOLUTELY PROHIBITED FROM DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY
PARTICIPATING IN OR INTERVENING IN ANY POLITICAL CAMPAIGN ON
BEHALF OF OR IN OPPOSITION TO ANY CANDIDATE FOR ELECTIVE PUBLIC OFFICE.
>>WITHOUT OBJECTION. >>THANK YOU. I HAVE SOME OTHER
QUESTIONS HERE. ALL THIS TIME I’M WAITING AND I
CAN’T FIND THE QUESTIONS. THIS PERTAINS TO AN ISSUE VERY NEAR AND DEAR
TO MY HEART, LGBTQ ISSUES. THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WITH A
2014 MEMO, WHICH STATED THE BEST READING OF THE TITLE VIII, TITLE
VII PROHIBITION ON SEXUAL DISCRIMINATION IN THE WORK FEISS
AND TRANSGENDER DISCRIMINATION. THE NEW MEMO INSTRUCTS THE DEPARTMENT OF
JUSTICE ATTORNEYS TO NOW ARGUE THAT FEDERAL LAW DOES NOT
PROTECT TRANSGENDERED WORKERS FROM DISCRIMINATION. ARE YOU
FAMILIAR WITH BOTH MEMOS? >>YES, I AM FAMILIAR WITH THOSE
MEMOS THAT DO NOT EXTEND TITLE VII TO LGBTQ
— >>THANK YOU. AT THE TIME OF THE
REVERSAL WHERE YOU SERVING AS THE CHIEF OF STAFF FOR FORMER
ATTORNEY GENERAL JEFF SESSIONS? CORRECT.
>>I SERVED AS CHIEF OF STAFF FROM OCTOBER 4, 2017 UNTIL I WAS
APPOINTED ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL IN 2017.
>>WHO ORDERED THE REVERSAL OF THIS POLICY?
>>I’M CERTAIN IT WAS FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL JEFF SESSIONS.
HE SETS THE ENTIRE POLICY.
>>WHO DRAFTED THE NEW MEMO? >>AS I SAID EARLIER, I DON’T
NOW. THAT WOULD BE DELIVERED WORK I’M SURE DONE BY MANY
PEOPLE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.
>>ANY OUTSIDE GROUPS INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS?
>>NOT THAT I’M AWARE OF. >>DO STAND BY THE DEPARTMENT’S
DECISION TO REVERSE SEVEN FROM PROTECTING PEOPLE WHO
ARE TRANSGENDER FROM DISC OMISSION? PLEASE, JUST ANSWER
THE QUESTION. >>CONGRESSWOMAN.
>>DO YOU STAND BY THE DEPARTMENT’S DECISION TO REVERSE
THE TITLE VII TRANSGENDER PEOPLE FROM DISC OMISSION?
>>OF CONGRESS WANTS TITLE VII TO EXTEND TO TRANSGENDER PEOPLE,
YOU CAN CHANGE THE LAW. WE CANNOT READ INTO SOMETHING —
>>I TAKE THAT AS A YES. OKAY. DO YOU BELIEVE MEMBERS OF THE
LGBTQ COMMUNITY SHOULD NOT BE PROTECTED UNDER FEDERAL
DISCRIMINATION LAWS? >>AGAIN, CONGRESSWOMAN, I
PERSONALLY BELIEVE DISCRIMINATION — AS DEFINED
>>YES OR NO, PLEASE. I DON’T HAVE MUCH TIME. DO YOU BELIEVE
MEMBERS OF THE LGBTQ MINNITI SHOULD NOT BE PROTECTED UNDER ANTIDISCRIMINATION LAWS? YES OR
NO. YES OR NO. THANK YOU. >>YOU UNIQUELY CONTROL WHAT IS
THE LAW WE MERELY ENFORCE THE LAW.>>DO I STILL HAVE TIME, MISTER
CHAIRMAN? >>YOUNG LADY, TIME HAS EXPIRED.
>>THANK YOU, MISTER CHAIRMAN. MISTER WHITAKER. THIS HEARING
BEGAN THIS MORNING AT 9:30. I HAVE
BEEN WAITING ALMOST 6 HOURS. IT’S NEARLY 3:30 IN THE
AFTERNOON. I AM GOING TO ASK YOU FOR A FAVOR. OUT OF RESPECT FOR
THIS COMMITTEE. OUT OF RESPECT FOR ME AS A MEMBER OF CONGRESS,
I AM GOING TO ASK THAT YOU TRY NOT TO RUN OUT THE CLOCK AND
THAT YOU PLEASE, ANSWER MY QUESTIONS WITH A YES OR NO
ANSWER. IF I HAVE A FOLLOW UP, THAT YOU PLEASE ANSWER THE
FOLLOW UP AS SIMPLY AS POSSIBLE.>>CONGRESSWOMAN, WITH ALL DUE
RESPECT >>EXCUSE ME. [ LAUGHTER ] I
HAVE WATCHED YOU DO THAT TO EVERY MEMBER ON THIS COMMITTEE.
>>BECAUSE I HAVE YET TO ANSWER.>>THANK YOU. I REPRESENT EL
PASO, TEXAS. I LIVE ON THE SAFE, SECURE, VIBRANT U.S.-MEXICO
BORDER. UNFORTUNATELY, MY COMMUNITY, ONE OF TREMENDOUS
GOODWILL AND GENEROSITY, HAS BEEN GROUND ZERO FOR MANY OF
THIS ADMINISTRATION’S CRUEL, ANTI-IMMIGRANT, ANTI-AMERICAN
POLICIES INCLUDING FAMILY SEPARATION, CHILD
DETENTION IN TENTS, THE ONGOING RETENTION PREVENTION OF ASYLUM-SEEKERS
FROM STEPPING FOOT ON SOIL AT OUR AMERICAN PORTS OF ENTRY. IN
DECEMBER, THE DEATHS OF TWO IMMIGRANT CHILDREN IN IMMIGRANT
CUSTODY. YOU SAID YOU BELIEVE EVERY LIFE IS VALUABLE. I WOULD
HELP THEM ASSUME THAT INCLUDES THE LIVES OF THE MOST MOMENT VULNERABLE AMONG US. THERE IS A
NEW POLICY THAT IS ABOUT TO UNFORTUNATELY BE RULED OUT IN MY
COMMUNITY CALLED THE MIGRANT PROTECTION PROTOCOL. WHICH I
BELIEVE IS A MISNOMER. IT’S A DANGEROUS AND IN SOME CASES
DEADLY, AND I BELIEVE ALSO ILLEGAL, POLICY THAT ALLOWS OUR
GOVERNMENT TO RETURN MIGRANTS, AND ASYLUM-SEEKERS BACK TO
MEXICO, WHILE THEY AWAIT THEIR ASYLUM HEARING. HERE IS MY
QUESTION. BECAUSE THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE OVERSEES THE
EXECUTIVE OFFICE FOR IMMIGRATION REVIEW, WILL THE DEPARTMENT OF
JUSTICE ENSURE THAT ASYLUM-SEEKERS HAVE ACCESS TO COUNSEL IN MEXICO IN ORDER TO
ALLOW THEM TO PREPARE FOR THEIR HEARINGS? YES OR NO.
>>WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TO FOLLOW THE POLICIES THAT ARE
CURRENTLY IN PLACE. >>WILL YOU FACILITATE, ASSIST,
HELP, AND SURE, THAT ASYLUM-SEEKERS HAVE ACCESS TO
LEGAL COUNSEL IN MEXICO? YES OR NO.
>>CONGRESSWOMAN, THERE IS A VERY WELL DEFINED PROCESS FOR
ASYLUM-SEEKERS TO OBTAIN COUNSEL AND WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TO
FOLLOW THAT. >>MISTER WHITAKER, EVEN WHILE
THEY ARE IN MEXICO? >>AS THE ACTING ATTORNEY
GENERAL, I CANNOT MAKE AN ASSURANCE, ESPECIALLY REGARDING WHAT
HAPPENS IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY. I KNOW YOU UNDERSTAND THAT.
>>THAT’S PART OF THE REASON WHY THIS IS SUCH A TERRIBLE POLICY.
ANOTHER QUESTION. ABOUT A WEEK AFTER THE POLICY WAS ANNOUNCED,
REPORTS SURFACED THAT IMMIGRANT RIGHTS ADVOCATES AND ATTORNEYS
WERE DENIED ENTRY INTO MEXICO. THE ATTORNEYS SAID
THEIR PASSPORTS HAD BEEN FLAGGED AND REPORTS ALSO INDICATED THIS
WAS NOT AN ISSUE ON THE MEXICAN SIDE, BUT ON THE U.S. SIDE. DID
THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH FLAGGING
THESE PASSPORTS? >>CONGRESSWOMAN, I AM NOT
FAMILIAR WITH THE SITUATION YOU’RE
DESCRIBING BUT I’M HAPPY TO LOOK INTO IT AND GET BACK TO YOU.
>>THANK YOU. >>ANOTHER QUESTION RELATED TO
THIS ISSUE. DOES THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE HAVE AN IMMIGRANT
ADVOCATE WATCH LIST? >>CONGRESSWOMAN, I AM NOT AWARE
OF THE QUESTION YOU’RE ASKING ME OR THE ANSWER TO IT, SO I’M
HAPPY TO LOOK INTO IT AND GET BACK TO YOU.
>>THANK YOU. >>THAT IS NOT SOMETHING THAT
SOUNDS FAMILIAR OR THAT I HAVE PREPARED FOR TODAY.
>>I LOOK FORWARD TO THE ANSWERS TO THOSE
QUESTIONS. SWITCHING GEARS A LITTLE BIT, AT THE PRESIDENT’S
STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS, HE CLAIMED MY COMMUNITY, EL PASO,
TEXAS,” USED TO HAVE EXTREMELY HIGH RATES OF VIOLENT CREAM, ONE
OF THE HEIST IN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY.” AND HE CLAIMS THAT WE
BECAME ONE OF THE SAFEST COMMUNITIES IN AMERICA BECAUSE
OF A WALL. THAT IS FROM THE FBI’S UNIFORM CRIME REPORTING
PROGRAM WHICH SHOWS THAT EL PASO HAS HISTORICALLY BEEN ONE OF THE
SAFEST COMMUNITIES IN THE NATION, AND THAT WE WERE SUCH
LONG BEFORE A WALL WAS CONSTRUCTED. DO YOU HAVE ANY
REASON TO DISAGREE WITH THE FBI’S UNIFORM CRIME REPORTING
DATA? >>WE USE THE UCR ON A REGULAR, ONGOING BASIS TO
NOT ONLY KNOW WHERE OUR CRIME HOTSPOTS ARE, BUT TO ALSO PUT
OUR RESOURCES THROUGH THE DEPARTMENT OF
JUSTICE. >>THAT IS NOT MY QUESTION. LET
ME REPEAT MY QUESTION. >>OKAY.
>>DO YOU HAVE ANY REASON TO DISAGREE WITH THE FBI’S UNIFORM
REPORTING DATA? >>CONGRESSWOMAN, I THINK THE
UCR. >>DO YOU HAVE ANY REASONS OR TO
DISAGREE WITH YOUR FBI DATA. >>AS I SIT HERE TODAY, I DO
NOT. >>GREAT. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
SWITCHING GEARS AGAIN. DID YOU EVER CREATE —
>>THE LADIES TIME HAS EXPIRED. I WILL LET HER FINISH THIS ONE QUESTION.
>>DID YOU EVER CREATE, OR DIRECT THE CREATION OF, SEE, OR
BECOME AWARE OF THE EXISTENCE OF ANY DOCUMENTS RELATING TO
PARDONS OF ANY INDIVIDUAL? >>I’M AWARE OF DOCUMENTS
RELATING TO PARDONS OF INDIVIDUALS, YES.>>I’M GOING TO ASK ONE QUESTION
TO FOLLOW UP ON THE GENTLE LADY’S QUESTIONS. SINCE IT IS
BLACK LETTER LAW THAT SOMEONE IN THE UNITED STATES MAY APPLY FOR
ASYLUM, THAT ANY PERSON WHO APPLIES FOR SALEM THEREFORE IS ENTITLED TO HAVE THE CLAIM
ADJUDICATED, THAT PERSON IS ENTITLED TO LEGAL ASSISTANCE AS
THAT CLAIM IS ADJUDICATED. DOESN’T IT STRIKE YOU THAT THE
POLICY THAT SAYS PEOPLE WHO SET FOOT ON AMERICAN
SOIL AND CONSUME MOVIE SENT TO A FOREIGN COUNTRY WHERE THEY MAY
NOT HAVE ACCESS TO LEGAL HELP, WHICH THEY ARE CONSTITUTIONALLY
GUARANTEED, FOR THEIR ASYLUM, ADJUDICATION, MAY HAVE A
CONSTITUTIONAL PROBLEM? >>CONGRESSMAN, I’M SURE YOU ARE
AWARE FEDERAL LAW ALLOWS ASYLUM-SEEKERS TO BE RETURNED TO
A SAFE THIRD COUNTRY. >>I AM NOT AWARE THAT IT ALLOWS
PEOPLE OR ALLOWS THE GOVERNMENT TO DO
SOMETHING THAT EFFECTIVELY ELIMINATES THE RIGHT TO COUNSEL
FOR THEIR ASYLUM CLAIM. THIS CONCLUDES TODAY’S HEARING. I
WANT TO THANK ALL OF THE MEMBERS WHO ARE STILL HERE, FOR THEIR
PATIENTS AND THEIR FORTITUDE. I WANT TO THANK ATTORNEY GENERAL
WHITAKER FOR HIS APPEARANCE TODAY.>>MISTER CHAIRMAN?
>>YES. >>I’M PUTTING THIS QUESTIONS ON
THE RECORD. >>YOU MAY SUBMIT THEM FOR THE
RECORD. >>I SUBMIT THEM FOR THE RECORD.
>>WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE QUESTIONS ARE ADMITTED.
>>AND THREE ARTICLES FOR THE RECORD, GQ, WASHINGTON POST, NEW
YORK TIMES, AND ALSO AN ARTICLE BY SHANE CRUTCHER.
>>WITHOUT OBJECTION THE ARTICLES ARE ADMITTED. BEFORE WE
ADJOURN, I WANT TO NOTE FOR THE RECORD THAT MISTER WHITAKER, YOU OWE US
RESPONSES ON A NUMBER OF ISSUES RAISED HERE TODAY. RESPONSES WE
INTEND TO SECURE, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE TIMES AND
DATES YOU WERE BRIEFED ON THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION,
YOUR COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE PRESIDENT AFTER YOU RECEIVED
THOSE BRIEFINGS, THE BASIS FOR YOUR STATEMENT AT THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S
INVESTIGATION REACHING ITS CONCLUSION AND WHETHER YOU TOLD
THE SPECIAL COUNSEL NOT TO TAKE ANY SPECIFIC INVESTIGATIVE OR
PROSECUTORIAL STEPS. I WOULD ALSO NOTE THAT YOUR TESTIMONY
WAS AT BEST INCONSISTENT ON THE TOPIC OF YOUR COMMUNICATIONS
WITH THE WHITE HOUSE PRIOR TO YOUR TENURE WITH THE DEPARTMENT.
IT IS NOT CREDIBLE THAT YOU VIEW HANDLING THE PRESENT’S RESPONSE
TO THE SPECIAL COUNSEL INVESTIGATION AND NEVER CONVEYED
YOUR OPINIONS ABOUT THAT INVESTIGATION TO THE WHITE
HOUSE. WE REQUIRE ANSWERS TO THESE
QUESTIONS. I ASKED THE DEPARTMENT TO WORK WITH THE
COMMITTEE TO PROVIDE THEM AS PART OF THAT WORK. I FULLY
INTEND TO CALL YOU BACK FOR AN INTERVIEW UNDER SUBPOENA, IF
NECESSARY. I EXPECT MORE FULSOME ANSWERS AT THAT TIME. WITHOUT
OBJECTION, MEMBERS WHO HAVE FIVE LEGISLATIVE DATES TO SUMMIT
QUESTIONS FOR THE WITNESS OR ADDITIONAL MATERIALS FOR THE
RECORD. WITH THANKS TO THE CHAIRMAN, THE HEARING IS
ADJOURNED. >>WITH THAT, NEARLY 7 HOURS
AFTER IT BEGAN, THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE GAVEL IS
OUT. THIS OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE INTO THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT BUT
MORE IMPORTANTLY HEARING FROM THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL,
MATTHEW WHITAKER, ABOUT HIS BRIEF TIME AS THE ACTING A.G.
YOU HAVE BEEN WATCHING LIVE COVERAGE FROM THE WASHINGTON
POST. I AM LIBBY CASEY JOINED IN OUR STUDIO BY MATT THE PETOSKEY ZAPATASKY. WE EXPECT MATTHEW
WHITAKER TO SEVEN, THIS JOB FOR ONLY A WEEK OR SO MORE. HOW MUCH
DIGGING CAN THE CHAIRMAN REALLY DO?
>>HE RAISED SOME GOOD QUESTIONS, TO WHICH I WOULD ALSO
BE CURIOUS TO KNOW THE ANSWERS. I’M NOT SURE HOW WILLING, EVEN
IF YOU WERE TO STAY IN THE JOB MATTHEW WHITAKER WOULD BE TO
PROVIDING THOSE WITH QUESTIONS OF HIS COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE
WHITE HOUSE AFTER HIS SPECIAL COUNSEL BRIEFINGS. I’M NOT EVEN
SURE HE WANTS TO GET INTO HIS PARTICULAR SPECIAL COUNSEL
BRIEFINGS BUT AFTER HE LEAVES, IT’S HARD FOR ME TO IMAGINE A
WORLD WHERE THE DEMOCRATS REALLY HAVE AN APPETITE TO GET HIM
BEFORE THE PERSON WHO WOULD THEN BE ANSWERING QUESTIONS ABOUT THE
MUELLER INVESTIGATION. THAT WOULD BE BILL BARR IF HE IS
CONFIRMED NEXT WEEK. IF HE IS OUT, SURELY THEY COULD KEEP
PURSUING THIS. CONGRESS CALLS BUT CITIZENS TO TESTIFY. THAT
DOES HAPPEN. HE COULD TRY TO SUBPOENA HIM TO FORCE THE ISSUE.
BUT I DO THINK POLITICALLY, THE APPETITE MIGHT BE A LITTLE
LACKING. >>WE GOT FRUSTRATION FROM
DEMOCRATS WHEN THEY TRIED TO GET ANSWERS. YOU SAW THE FINAL
DEMOCRATS WHO WERE ASKING QUESTIONS LIKE VERONICA ESCOBAR,
A CONGRESSWOMAN FROM TEXAS, SAYING PLEASE DON’T INTERRUPT
ME. HE STILL SORT OF TRIED TO FILIBUSTER AS HE RESPONDED TO
THAT REQUEST THAT SHE MADE. THERE WAS A LOT OF HEAT AND
ENERGY. THEY ARE ALSO GETTING FRUSTRATED BECAUSE THEY JUST
WEREN’T GETTING ANSWERS. THEY WEREN’T ABLE TO ACHIEVE A LOT IN
THERE FIVE MINUTES OF TIME. >>ABSOLUTELY AND I THINK THEY
WERE GETTING PARTICULARLY FRUSTRATED BECAUSE HE WOULD
PAUSE TO THINK WITH EVERY QUESTION. THAT’S WHAT YOU WOULD
WANT. THANK YOU, A CONGRESSWOMAN, THANK YOU
CONGRESSMAN. HE WOULD SORT OF LEAD INTO HIS ANSWER NOT SAYING
YES OR NO, AND REPEATEDLY THEY WERE SAYING THIS IS A YES OR NO
QUESTION. SOMETIMES, THERE IS AN IMPORTANT CONTEXT. IT’S NOT SO
SIMPLE. YOU CAN GET YOU INTO A GOTCHA MOMENT BY PINNING SOMEONE
INTO A YES OR NO QUESTION, BUT OTHER TIMES IT’S KIND OF SURPRISING LIKE
THAT WAS A YES OR NO QUESTION. YOU HAD A YES OR NO ANSWER YOU
FINALLY GOT TO. IT WASN’T THAT DAMAGING FOR YOU. WHY DIDN’T YOU
JUST GO THERE? THAT WAS CLEARLY FRUSTRATING FOR DEMOCRATS.
>>THERE IS CRITICISM BY REPUBLICANS THAT THIS HEARING
WAS NOT LOOKING AT OVERSIGHT, BUT WAS DIGGING INTO MATTHEW
WHITAKER HIMSELF, BUT LOW AND BEHOLD AS IT WENT ON, DEMOCRATS
DID TALK ABOUT A LOT OF OVERSIGHT ISSUES. WE POINTED OUT
EARLIER THE MALL INVESTIGATION FALLS UNDER THE UMBRELLA OF
OVERSIGHT. IT’S ABSOLUTELY FAIR GAME IN THIS HEARING. THE
DEMOCRATS PROBED AT OTHER THREATS. THEY WANTED TO KNOW
ABOUT CHILD PREPARATIONS, OTHER ISSUES AT THE BORDER LIKE CLAIMS
FROM THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ABOUT THE DANGERS OF THE BORDER.
WE SAW A NUMBER OF MEMBERS OF CONGRESS WHO REPRESENT AREAS
ALONG THE BORDER TALKING ABOUT HOW SAFE THEIR AREAS AREN’T
TRYING TO CONTRADICT AND GET WHITAKER TO BE PINNED DOWN ON
SOME OF THE LINES THAT HAVE COME OUT OF THE WHITE HOUSE THAT OFFICIALS AT DEPARTMENTS LIKE
DOJ OR DHS HAVE TOTALLY NOT PACKED. DO WE GET A SENSE, DO WE LEARN
ANYTHING ABOUT THESE OVERSIGHT ISSUES THE GUYS WERE BRINGING
OUT?>>I WAS
>>>THAT DEMOCRATS WERE DOING THIS. THEY DIDN’T FOCUS LIKE A
LASER ON THE MUELLER PROBE. FOR THE AND THEY FOCUSED A LOT ON
BORDER SECURITY, FAMILY SEPARATIONS. THEY HELD MATT
WHITAKER’S FEET TO THE FIRE.>>>THE QUESTION DID YOU OR THE
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT TRACKED CHILDREN WHO WERE SEPARATED FROM
THEIR FAMILIES? THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN VERY HELPFUL. MATT
WHITAKER’S RESPONSE WAS LOOK, THEY GET SORT OF SEPARATED
BEFORE THEY COME INTO OUR CUSTODY EVEN THOUGH IT’S OUR
POLICY THAT KIND OF AFFECTS THE SEPARATION.>>IT IS A SHOCKING THING THINK
ABOUT CANNOT TRACKING CHILDREN. LIKE HOW CAN YOU KEEP TRACK OF
THEM?>>AND EVEN IF IT IS A DIFFERENT
AGENCY’S RESPONSIBILITY TO GET A TOP LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL TO
SAY NOT MY PROBLEM, THAT’S A DHS OR HSS THING. THE OTHER THING
WAS THE LACK OF CORONATION BETWEEN ALL OF THEM. THERE WERE
ASKING THERE WAS THIS LEAKED MEMO THAT WAS REALLY CRITICAL TO
INSTITUTING THIS POLICY TALKING TO HHS AND DHS. YOU REALLY
DIDN’T DO THAT. THEN HE STARTS TALKING ABOUT THIS PRESS
CONFERENCE THEY HAD UNVEILING THE POLICY. VERY MUCH SAYING THIS IS OUR
LANE, THIS IS DHS, THIS IS HHS BUT THOSE ARE LEGITIMATE
OVERSIGHT QUESTIONS. THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT YOU WOULD WANT THE
JUDICIARY COMMITTEE TO BE DOING. THAT COULD HAVE A LOT OF IMPACT. THIS IS KIND OF THE CATCH-22.
LIKE YOU DO LEGITIMATE OVERSIGHT FUNCTIONS WITH HIM. HE’S OUT SO
WHAT DOES IT MATTER? THAN REPUBLICANS SAY WE ARE NOT
OVERSEEING THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT.
>>ANOTHER ISSUE FROM LUCY McBATH WAS ABOUT VOTER
SUPPRESSION. SHE TALKED ABOUT WITNESSING WHAT SHE DESCRIBED AS
SUPPRESSION TACTICS, AND CONCERNS SHE HAS HAD DURING THE
2018 ELECTIONS. THAT’S ANOTHER QUESTION OF
OVERSIGHT ACTUALLY IN THE PURVIEW OF THE JUSTICE
DEPARTMENT AND THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL. WE DIDN’T GET
A LOT OF ANSWERS THERE. WE DIDN’T GET A LOT FROM HIM ABOUT
CONCERNS HE WAS RAISING.>>THIS JUSTICE DEPARTMENT, TO
THE EXTENT THEY’VE BEEN FOCUSED ON VOTING RIGHTS, IT’S BEEN A
LOT OF CONCERN ABOUT ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS VOTING. FRAUD AND THINGS LIKE THAT. THIS
IS AN AREA OF GREAT CONCERN TO DEMOCRATS THAT THIS JUSTICE
DEPARTMENT HASN’T BEEN SORT OF AS KEENLY FOCUSED ON. WHITAKER
DID SAY, AT ONE POINT, I AM VERY AWARE OF WHAT’S HAPPENING IN
NORTH CAROLINA, BUT THIS IS NOT IN THE WHEEL HOUSE. PRESIDENT
TRUMP DOESN’T REALLY SEE THIS AS IMPORTANT. HE IS MUCH MORE
FOCUSED ON FALSE CLAIMS OF MILLIONS OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS
VOTING. >>HAVE WE LEARNED ANYTHING NEW
TODAY ABOUT THE MUELLER PROBE OR THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL’S
RELATIONSHIP TO THE WHITE HOUSE?>>I THINK SO. WE DIDN’T LEARN
ANYTHING SUBSTANTIVELY NEW ABOUT THE PROBE ITSELF. I WAS
HOPING AND REPRESENTATIVE NAYLOR BROUGHT THIS UP AT THE VERY AND,
WE WOULD LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT LED YOU TO SAY WE ARE CLOSE TO
THE END, YOU KNOW? DO YOU KNOW THERE ARE NO NDOUR NO MORE
INDICTMENTS? THE BEST TO GIVE ON THAT WAS I WASN’T SPEAKING
NECESSARILY FOR BOB MUELLER BUT I WAS SPEAKING AS THE ACTING
ATTORNEY GENERAL AND I TOOK THAT TO MEAN THIS ISN’T JUST ME BEING
A PUNDIT. THIS IS ME BEING THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. I KNOW ABOUT
THE STUFF. HE DIDN’T GIVE US A SENSE OF THE
TIMELINE. WE KNOW A LITTLE BIT ABOUT HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH THE
WHITE HOUSE BUT NOT A TON. IT FELT LIKE WE WERE IN ALL THE
INSTANCES WHERE THE WHITE HOUSE DIDN’T INTERVENE AND WHEN THERE
WAS MAYBE A TIME THAT THEY DID, HE JUST SAID I AM
NOT TALKING ABOUT IT. I WAS PARTICULARLY STRUCK WHEN IT CAME
TO MUELLER. HE SAID I’VE HAD NO COMMUNICATIONS WITH TRUMP SINCE
I’VE BEEN IN OFFICE. PEOPLE ASKED HIM ABOUT THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW
YORK AND HE DISPUTED A CNN REPORT THAT SAID TRUMP LASHED
OUT AT HIM AFTER HEARING OF SOME DEVELOPMENTS IN THE CASE, BUT
WOULDN’T SAY OF HIM AND PRESIDENT TRUMP HAD EVER TALKED
ABOUT THE CASE. THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN REALLY GREAT TO KNOW.
>>DENYING THE LASHING OUT WHICH IS’S OBJECTIVES.
>>LASHING OUT, THAT WAS CERTAINLY UP TO INTERPRETATION.
I DIDN’T FEEL IT WAS LASHING OUT BUT WAS PRESIDENT TRUMP
FRUSTRATED. WHAT EXACTLY DID PRESIDENT TRUMP SAY. AS HE DID WHEN ADDRESSING THE
MUELLER PROBE YOU WOULD HAVE SAID WE NEVER TALKED ABOUT THAT.
>>LET’S GO TO RHONDA TO COLEMAN ON CAPITOL HILL.
>>AN EYEWITNESS NEWS FOR THIS
HEARING, MY TAKE AWAY TODAY WAS THIS WAS CERTAINLY HIGHLY
CONTENTIOUS. IF YOU’VE WATCHED THIS THROUGHOUT THE DAY, IT WAS
VERY CONTENTIOUS. ONE OF THE MORE NOTABLE MOMENTS OF
CONTENTION WAS A TENSE EXCHANGE BETWEEN SHEILA JACKSON LEE AND
MATTHEW WHITAKER. SHE TALKED WITH HER THOUGHTS AFTERWARD. HERE IS
WHAT SHE HAD TO SAY. >>HE CAME WITH AN AGENDA TO
IGNORE, HOW SHOULD I SAY IT, DISRESPECT AND NOT TAKE THIS
HEARING OVERSIGHT HEARING SERIOUSLY.
THAT IS SOMEWHAT REFLECTIVE OF THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION
MINISTRATION. HE IS THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL BUT HE IS THE
ONLY ONE WHO HAS BEEN PUT UP WITHOUT A SENATE CONFIRMATION.
HE IS USING SMOKE AND MIRRORS BUT THIS IS NOT THE CONCLUSION
FOR THIS HEARING. — HE WAS THE CHIEF OF STAFF.
WHO IS HE TALKING TO. WHY WAS IT SO CONVENIENT. THEY WOULD NOT INDICATE THEY DID
NOT HAVE TO. NOT TO THE EXTENT IN THE DARK OF
NIGHT, WE SAW HIM AS THE FOR ME FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL LEFT IN
THE DARK OF NIGHT WITH A GREAT DEAL OF SADNESS. TO ME, THAT
LOOKS LIKE A CONSPIRACY AS CLEAR AS DAY. WHY WAS HE SO INVOLVED?
WHY IS HE THE ONE PRESENT TO DEFEND FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL
JEFF SESSIONS? AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED, IT WAS
ALL PLANNED. >>Reporter: WE ALSO TALKED TO
HER DEMOCRATIC REPRESENTATIVE GEORGE FROM FLORIDA. HE HAD
SIMILAR THOUGHTS, AS WELL. HE SAID THIS KIND OF INVITES MORE
QUESTIONS THAN IT ANSWERED TODAY. THERE IS QUESTIONS ON IF THEY
LEARNED ANYTHING NEW. ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE THROUGHOUT THE
DAY, THERE WERE MANY CALLED, ESPECIALLY BY ONE OF THE
RANKINGS OF THE COMMITTEE. HE ASKED TWICE MATTHEW WHITAKER
MAKING THIS SOMETHING TO GIVE HIM THE JOB?
HE IS LIKELY GOING TO BE LEADING LEAVING THIS POST WITHIN A FEW
WEEKS. REPUBLICANS WERE VERY FRUSTRATED TOWARD THE END OF THE
HEARING. SOME OF THEM WEREN’T IN THEIR SEATS ANYMORE. THEY DON’T
KNOW WHAT THIS ACCOMPLISHED. THAT’S A REP FROM HERE. BACK TO
YOU. >>WERE REPUBLICANS SUCCESSFUL
PLAYING DEFENSE TODAY? >>SORT OF. I WAS KIND OF
IMPRESSED WITH COLLINS STEPPING IN. HE HAD A PARTICULARLY TENSE
EXCHANGE WITH SWALWELL AT ONE POINT WHEN SWALWELL WAS ASKING
ABOUT THE FUNDING SOURCES FOR THIS NONPROFIT MATT WHITAKER
WORKED FOR LONG BEFORE HE CAME INTO THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AND
GOT VERY WEALTHY. , AND STEPS INTO SAY THIS HASN’T
HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH OVERSIGHT. THERE IS A TEST
EXCHANGE AND CONES THROWS UP HIS HANDS AND SAYS I AM OUTVOTED. IF
NOTHING ELSE, THEY ACCOMPLISHED MAKING IT A BIT OF A CIRCUS TO
DRIVE FROM THAT POINT. IS THIS REALLY NOT ABOUT
OVERSIGHT, EMBARRASSING MATT WHITAKER? THE MORE YOU GET
THOSE PROCEDURAL VOTES AND MOTIONS, AND THINGS, I THINK
THAT HELPS THEIR POINT THAT THIS IS A BIT OF A CIRCUS. THEY WERE
THE ONES DRIVING IN THAT INSTANCE.
>>INVESTMENT POWELL WAS ASKING ABOUT THIS ORGANIZATION HE
WORKED FOR THIS 501(C)(3) HE WAS THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF. SHE
ASKED SOME VERY VERY BASIC QUESTIONS WHICH HE PLAYED
IGNORANT ON WHICH IS IMPOSSIBLE BECAUSE HE WAS THE EXECUTIVE
DIRECTOR. HE SAID I HAVEN’T WORKED THERE
FOR 16 MONTHS. HE WAS TRYING TO GET THE POINT THAT EVEN THOUGH
THIS GROUP WAS BILLED AS A NONPARTISAN GROUP AND WAS
CATEGORIZED THAT WAY FOR TAX PURPOSES, IT ONLY WENT AFTER
DEMOCRATS. IT REALLY WASN’T CRITICAL OF REPUBLICANS. THAT
WAS SIGNIFICANT TO DEMOCRATS BECAUSE OF THE JOB HE WAS THEN
CHOSEN FOR. >>HE MADE A LOT OF MONEY
WORKING THERE. I THINK HE MIGHT HAVE BEEN THE ONLY EMPLOYEE THAT
MADE $1.2 MILLION. DEMOCRATS ARE STILL CONCERNED ABOUT THE
FUNDING SOURCE. HE SAID IT WAS THIS BROADER LIBERTARIAN GROUP
THAT FUNDS GROUPS LIKE THAT. HE SAYS WHO ARE THE DONORS TONIGHT?
WHERE DID THIS MONEY COME FROM? THAT’S A BIG CONCERN FOR
DEMOCRATS. IT’S AN INTERESTING QUESTION. THE CANDIDATE MADE A
LOT OF MONEY. IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN HIS MOST
LUCRATIVE JOB BEFORE HE CAME INTO THE JUSTICE SYSTEM.
>>FINAL THOUGHTS ON WHAT WE WALK AWAY TODAY WITH. ON TWO
FRONTS, LEARNING ANYTHING NEW FROM THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL
BUT ALSO SETTING THE TABLE FOR THE WEEKS AHEAD.
>>I THINK TWO AVENUES. WE LEARNED THAT HE REALLY FEELS HE
HASN’T DONE ANYTHING WRONG AND THE SORT OF TRAJECTORY HE WAS
TRYING TO SET IS LIKE YOU WERE ALL CONCERNED ABOUT MUELLER IN THE PAST, I WAS
REALLY GOING TO STEP IN THE WAY OF THIS INVESTIGATION. THAT JUST
DIDN’T COME TO PASS. THE PRESIDENT NEVER TRIED TO GET A
COMMITMENT OUT OF ME. I NEVER OFFERED ONE. WE DIDN’T EVEN TALK
ABOUT THE MUELLER CASE. I’M IN THE RIGHT AND I’M GOING TO LEAVE
THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT NEXT WEEK FEELING LIKE I DID THE RIGHT
THING. DEMOCRATS WOULD PROBABLY AGREE WITH MOST EVERY WORD OF
THAT OR AT LEAST RAISE WORDS ABOUT THAT BUT THAT WAS ONE
THING I WAS STRUCK BY. THE OTHER THING I THINK IS HE WAS TRYING
TO SET THE STAGE FOR BARR TO HAVE AN EASIER TIME.
PARTICULARLY WAS HIS NON-RECUSAL. I DON’T REALLY CARE WHAT CAREER
ETHICS OFFICIALS SAID. THE INFORMATION WAS LAWFULLY. IT’S
MY DECISION ON NOT STEPPING ASIDE. THIS WAS A CLOSE CALL AND YOU
DECIDED TO SET THE TONE FOR THE DEPARTMENT? HE SAID YES BECAUSE HE DIDN’T WANT TO SET A
PRECEDENT FOR FUTURE ATTORNEYS GENERALS. YOU HAVE SOMEONE CLINICAL IN THE MUELLER
CASE, WHO HAS BEEN SOMEWHAT PUBLICLY SKEPTICAL OF VARIOUS
ASPECTS OF THE PROBE. HE CAN COMMENT FOR NOW AND SAY THIS GUY
DIDN’T RECUSE, SO CLEARLY NOW, I DON’T
HAVE TO . MAYBE, ETHICS OFFICIALS WOULD EVEN ADVISE
SOMETHING DIFFERENT. I THINK MATTHEW WHITAKER SEES THAT AS
PART OF HIS LEGACY AND IT DOESN’T WIN HIM DEMOCRATIC
POINTS, SAYING THAT MIGHT WIN REPUBLICAN POINTS. BUT IT MIGHT
WIN HIM BARR’S SUPPORT. >>DO YOU LEAVE THE HEARING
FEELING RELIEF? THERE WAS DEFINITELY SOME
TREADING WATER BELOW THE SURFACE THERE. BUT DID HE WALK AWAY WITH
A FEELING OF RELIEF LIKE I SURVIVED THIS?
>>I AM SURE HE IS GLAD IT’S OVER. I AM SURE WHILE HE SAID HE HAS LOVED SERVING IN DISPOSITION
AND IT’S AN HONOR TO SERVE IN THIS POSITION, I AM SURE HE WILL
BE GLAD TO BE OFF OF THE POLITICAL HOTSEAT. WHO KNOWS IF
THEY CONTINUE TO TRY TO SUBPOENA HIM, HE MAY NOT BE OUT OF THE
WATER. >>HOW ARE DEMOCRATS GOING TO
WALK AWAY FROM THIS FEELING? WE WERE BROADCASTING LIVE ON CABLE
CHANNELS, ALSO MONITORING THIS. CONTINUOUSLY. SHOWING BIG COMING UP NEXT AND
CLIPS, OR WHOLE CHUNKS OF THE HEARING. I WONDER HOW DEMOCRATS
ARE GOING TO FEEL LIKE THEY CAME OFF. WHAT WERE THEY ABLE TO
ACHIEVE? WHAT WERE THEY NOT ABLE TO ACHIEVE? HOW IS THAT
PERCEIVED BY THE AMERICAN PUBLIC? DOES THE PUBLIC THINK
THEY HIT THIS HARD AND DUG INTO QUESTIONS? OR IS IT
FRUSTRATION, AS THEY WATCH THE Q&A FEELING LIKE THE PUNCHES
WEREN’T LANDING? OR THAT DEMOCRATS WERE NOT USING THE
TIME IN THE BEST WAY. >>TO MY MIND, THEY DEFINITELY
GOT SOME BLOWS IN AND HE CAME OFF AS FRUSTRATED, AT TIMES BUT
REPUBLICANS WOULD HAVE ALSO SCORED POINTS MAKING IT SEEM
LIKE A CIRCUS. WE WILL SEE HOW IT COMES IN THE COMING DAYS.
EVERYTHING I THINK WE DON’T THINK OF ENOUGH IN REAL-TIME IS
THIS CREATES A TRANSCRIPT AND A RECORD. IT PINS WHITAKER DOWN TWO THINGS
UNDER OATH. YOU REMEMBER WHEN JEFF SESSIONS WENT THROUGH HIS
CONFIRMATION HEARING, THEY THOUGHT WOW, HE DID ALL THE
RIGHT THINGS AND THEN IT TURNED OUT HE HAD KIND OF MISLED
CONGRESS ABOUT HIS CONTACTS WITH A RUSSIAN DIPLOMAT. I THINK
THERE’S GOING TO BE A GREAT EFFORT IN THE COMING DAYS TO SEE
IF THERE ARE ANY PROVABLE MISSTATEMENTS IN WHAT WHITAKER TOLD CONGRESS
AND THAT IS MAYBE MORE IMPORTANT THAN HOW IT PLAYS ON CABLE.
>>THAT MAY TAKE DAYS OR EVEN WEEKS TO COME TO FRUITION TO SEE
WHERE EVERYTHING GOES. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING
US. NATIONAL SECURITY REPORT COVERING THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT.
I AM LIBBY CASEY. THANK YOU FOR WATCHING THE WASHINGTON LIVE
COVERAGE OF THIS JUDICIARY COMMITTEE. WE WILL CONTINUE TO
COVER HEARINGS AS THEY ROLL OUT HERE IN THE 116th CONGRESS. YOU
CAN SUBSCRIBE ON OUR THERE IS PLATFORMS IF SHE WOULD
LIKE TO BE NOTIFIED OF FUTURE PROGRAMMING. THANK YOU FOR
WATCHING, ESPECIALLY IN SUCH A BUSY NEWS DAY. THANK YOU SO
MUCH. HAVE A GOOD DAY.

Related Posts

75 Replies to “LIVE: Acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker testifies before the House Judiciary Committee”

  1. What a sad Joke – An unqualified (and illegitimate) candidate making judgments on whether the Special Council is moving forward as planned.
    Glad to see The House – The Nation's House – is getting tough with these crooks.

  2. Ms. Jackson-Lee is hostile and doing nothing but badgering Mr. Whitaker into wrong or bad answers. This hearing is a sham just like he hearing of Brett Kavanaugh. Because of their hate for Trump, anyone involved with the current administration is a target to destroy. Disgraceful.

  3. The Shadow Government of corrupt DOJ, FBI, and CIA factions will stone wall any disclosures to Congress and Executive branches even in the closed sessions with high ranking Congress members due to illegal claims of on-going investigations and secrecy.

  4. Why all these stupid questions! I can't stand these House congress-people!  What a joke! They don't have a leg to stand on with Whitaker and they are all grabbing at straws!  Why does the nation continue to vote in ignorant, self important congress-people.  I believe socialism is just around the corner for my beloved United States.  Oh geez!!! It's freaking Rep. Lee again! What a joke!!! What is the point of her questions?  Thank goodness for Collins!

  5. dems are such a joke. No wonder congress approval rating is around 10%. How do so many ignorant people get elected by dems?

  6. @Gohmert trying to paint narrative of peoples attempting to "hurt" DJT as DJT hurts & continues to "hurt" the American people. Example: US Gov. employees go without pay during shutdown! @Gohmert complicit?

  7. Wow Deflection, Deflection , dodge, dodge.. Because he knows his Butt in on the hot seat.. 100% Protective his butt and Trumps. Going out of his way to waste as much time as he can.. SHADY, SNAKE, LIAR…

  8. Are this people trying to blame President Trump because there are more drug addicts than President Reagan's time ?

  9. Does anyone else notice that most democrat representatives just look like bitter, unhappy, unhealthy people? Like the kind of people that completely ignore you and do not say thank you if you hold the door open for them? You know that when you constantly possess a negative disposition it is actually very unhealthy? It shows.

  10. I you investigate crimes and not people, then you had better produce the PRECISE DNC hackers in this hoax. Not 13 tweeting Russians and a partridge in a pear tree. WHERE ARE THE RUSSIAN DNC HACKERS THAT NEVER APPEARED, AND WHY CAN WE NOT PRODUCE A CRIME?

  11. ‏I love America so much and I can not go to it. I wish to live in it. I love it and I love its people so I can not go there

  12. Ladies and Gentlemen, straight out of the TRUMP CIRCUS, "The Greatest Con on Earth", presents the rude and evasive, the unbelievable dickhead, who couldn't care less for the children, the elephant in the room, DUMBO!!!!

  13. Answer the question! Why is that so hard for you, counselor? Hiding stuff? Got a date at the trump hotel later? Thank goodness this treasonous disrespectful liar is temporary, talkin about trump

  14. Another thing that's kind of funny….. these pathetic liberals keep bringing up people who are being indicted for LYING. EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM WOULD BE INDICTED if they were held accountable for what they tell the voters…. HYPOCRITES!

  15. What I have seen over the last 45 years as an adult is that " We The People " dropped the ball years ago by voting in Con Artists who figured out that this job was and is an easy way to Manipulate, Prey upon and take advantage of the General Populations own ignorance and feelings on certain subjects, not to mention an all expense paid free ride on the backs of tax payers. Most if not all Politicians put they're Personal feelings above the Citizens in their districts and now just look what's happening. To all you Trump haters commenting here, please take a step back and really listen and watch what's really going on, and most Citizens should be very Frightened on what's taking place here in our Country. Trump might have had a TV Show but he IS NOT the Actor here, he humiliated a lot of people by getting voted to office and so far he is working for the Citizens of this Country. Now people CAN NOT say that about the left and most of the right, but the Left, I have not heard them speak of our Citizens and Our Children, Our Homeless Veterans, NO, it's nothing but Immigrants, even Illegal one's, sanctuary cities, SOCIALISM ? WTF ? Please explain to me how this can be when we know Socialism does not work, especially with Freedom. I have 4 children and believe me they don't fall for Free Everything, it's owed to you, I want to believe that most hard working citizens think like that too. It's happening because of the Lefts urgency to create a loyal voter base to vote to get them back in and stay in the White House, all for promising all Immigrants Free Gravy Train Rides on our Welfare and gov. assistance programs and the ignorant and feelings of Shame tax payer will pay for it. All the other politicians are your true Actors, they should all get Emmy's. Tell me how Trump has wronged YOU ! I will finish with this test, All people who do not want that wall built are NOT your friend and do not love this Country

  16. DJT openly declared a National Emergency as of 12-21-17. All of this is smoke and mirrors while the swamp is drained

  17. The House Judiciary committee chair Mr Nadler had opportunities to make this a bipartisan oversight interview, but failed to make it anything more than a partisan charade. He did not rule fairly and kowtowed to the Democrats on the committee.
    This lack of leadership is why we are no longer a united states of America; we are a divided states of America.
    The sad part also is that Mr Nadler is a Jewish-American and so many in his party fail to condemn the anti-Semitism that rears its ugly head from time to time.

  18. What is very clear, is that the Trump administration is keeping the legislative in the dark regarding any investigation. There are no leakings from OIG, Hubber, and also from Mueller to a certain extent. In this oversight hearing Democrats are fixed on the Mueller probe, showing no interest in any other component of the DOJ. Are their donors and bosses panicking with the lack of news and access? Are they worried as to what these investigations might uncover and who might be hit and when? By the way, crickets coming from the FBI. It must be unnerving to the Democrats who involved themselves in the Russia-Trump collusion, narrative and FISA abuse, Uranium One, Clinton Foundation and Human Traffick in Haiti. 2020 is coming and they have no way of knowing how these investigations are going to affect their party and we can see in their lines how desperate they are. Desperate people make stupid mistakes.

  19. Video starts at 1:27:09.
    Committee comes to order 2:29:55
    Committee recesses 3:20:54
    Committee reconvenes 4:43:29
    Committee recesses 5:53:11
    Committee reconvenes 6:08:23
    Hearing adjourned 8:23:35

  20. Ms Escobar brought up a very important point that sending asylum seekers back to Mexico was denying them access to legal counsel. If she is also correct that lawyers wanting to represent asylum seekers had had their passports revoked, that becomes a conspiracy. Look closely at Mr Whitaker when he says he will look into this. Notice the direction his head shakes.

    Question for the Washington Post… Where are the captions? The live CNN broadcast of this hearing was captioned, but not well enough that I could understand more that about 45% of the audio. Today I could not find any captioned video online. It took hours and the help of my hearing husband to find Ms Escobar's questions in this hearing.

  21. The ? "Are we providing legal aide to asylum seekers in Mexico?" WTF??? Seriously ?! Yes or no??? I was hoping for a Hell No!!!

  22. I don’t understand the point of these types of hearing. Each person has 5 minutes to ask questions and the person being questioned who instead of giving yes or no answers, answers in long winded responses which looks like it’s designed to stall limiting the amount of questions to be asked. It’s one of those things in which everyone knows what’s going on but it’s all part of the charade which makes up these hearings.

  23. first of all everybody that already knows about the situation knows that every person in Authority including the judge is going to be biased so therefore we need a whole New Jersey addiction a whole new judge a whole new Jerry nobody that knows nothing about the situation other than your Agencies after I'm done and you're all going to get lawsuits from of your money and I'm going to take you to the Ringer to exchange your lot into my Bread Box.

  24. Due to the sensitive nature of this responsibility, in many departments, officers employed in an internal affairs unit are not in a detective command but report directly to the agency's chief, or to a board of civilian police commissioners.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *