tv FBIDOJ 2016 Election CSPAN June 28, 2018 11:39am-12:55pm EDT
general rod rosenstein and fbi director christopher wray on the justice department's inspector general report focused on the clinton e-mail investigation. this is the first time mr. rosenstein is answering questions about that report. the house voting on a resolution ordering the justice department to furnish documents related to the investigation. the committee is in recess for a series of votes on the house floor. until the hearing resumes, we'll show you some of the morning's proceedings. good morning, the judiciary committee will come to order and the chair is authorized to declare recesses of the
committee at any time. before we begin our hearing, we need to vote to waive the committee's seven-day hearing notice requirement pursuant to clause a of rule 3 of the committee rules the question is whether there is good cause to begin today's hearing less than seven days after it was noticed. those in favor will say aye. those opposed no. in the opinion of the chair, the eyes have it. we may proceed -- >> i ask for a record vote. >> recorded vote has been requested and the clerk will call the role. >> mr. goodlatte? >> aye. >> mr. sensenbrenner? smith the smith. >> aye. >> mr. issa votes aye. mr. king votes aye. mr. gohmert votes aye. mr. jordan votes yes. mr. poe votes yes. mr. merino votes yes. mr. gowdy votes yes. mr. labrador?
mr. collins? mr. desantis? mr. desantis votes yes. mr. buck? mr. ratcliffe votes yes. ms. robie? mr. gates? mr. johnson of louisiana? mr. big votes aye. mr. rutherford votes aye. ms. handel votes yes. mr. rothfus votes aye. mr. nadler? ms. lofgren? ms. jackson lee votes no. mr. cohen votes yes. mr. johnson of georgia? mr. cohen votes no. mr. johnson of georgia. no. mr. deutsche votes no. mr. gutierrez votes no.
ms. bass? mr. richmond? mr. jeffries? mr. cicilline? mr. cicilline votes no. mr. swalwell? mr. liu? mr. liu votes no. mr.s are a kind? ms. jayapal? ms. jayapal votes no, mr. schneider votes no. ms. demmings votes no. >> has every member voted who wishes to vote? >> mr. chairman? >> the gentlewoman is recorded as no.
inquiry? >> the gentlewoman will state her parliamentary inquiry. >> i'm trying to inquire of the basis of the emergency and the cause that generated this resolution to ignore the regular order of the seven-day notice. >> it's not an emergency. it's good cause. the gentleman from maryland. >> how am i recorded? >> not recorded. >> no. >> mr. raskin votes no. >> mr. chairman, continuing your generosi generosity, could you state for the record what the good cause is? >> the fact that we worked very hard with these two gentlemen who i very much appreciate adjusting their schedules to be here. i know the gentleman from new york -- >> mr. nadler votes no. >> clerk will report.
>> mr. chairman, 17 members voted aye, 13 members voted no. >> and -- >> mr. chairman, would you continue your sentence? >> i'm going to first declare that the vote is approved and the notice requirement is waived. now i'm going to recognize myself for an opening statement and i'll begin that opening statement by saying to both deputy attorney general rosenstein and director wray that i am very appreciative of the fact that they have changed their schedules to be here so that we could have this hearing today and in a reasonable amount of time after the inspector general's report and testimony before the committee and i would also like to acknowledge the
presence of john loesch, the united states attorney for the northern district of illinois who was appointed by the attorney general and the deputy attorney general to facilitate the production of documents which were not being produced in a timely fashion. we still have complaints but the situation in my opinion has improved considerably but we will have no issues that we will address here today as well so i will continue my opening statement. the church committee was established on a bipartisan basis and chaired by democratic senate orr frank church in 1975 to review cia, fbi, and nsa surveillance abuses including the improper surveillance of an american icon, martin luther king jr., and other prominent individuals, the committee conducted a review of the insidious monitoring and political activities of citizens exercising their first amendment rights. the findings resulted in pass e
passageover the foreign intelligence surveillance act. fisa attempts to balance secrecy in conducting surveillance against foreign agents with the protections of americans' time honored civil liberties. this history shows we have found ourselves once before in a situation where the fbi and other intelligence agencies violated their oath to uphold and defend the constitution of the united states. in monitoring citizens political activities, they exercised their responsibility in a manner unworthy of u.s. officials. the abuses of that bygone era and any era often happened because of power to influence political currents, power to collect sensitive information and power to wield surveillance tools in improper ways to achieve improper purposes. that power can and has been abused in the past by individuals at the highest and lowest levels of our government. foorts natalgn
fortunately, the power of our intelligence agencies is overwhelmingly used to protect us from those wishing to do our country harm. that is the conundrum. we need our intelligence agencies to have the tools and techniques to safeguard our nation and we have to be constantly vigilant to ensure these tools are not manipulated by unscrupulous actors. the recent inspector general's report revealed bias in the top echelons of the fbi during a hotly contested presidential election. it revealed fbi agents, lawyers, and analysts held prix found biases against then-candidate donald trump and in favorite of hillary clinton. while those on the other side of the aisle continue to explain that these biases are only personal, political predilections that had no affect on the operation of one of the biggest investigations in our nation's history, i wonder whether these same members would say the same if text messages
had turned up to the tune of hillary is a disaster or we'll stop her or cursing her with all manner of expletives or stating that parts of the country smell of hillary supporters. these types of comments were originating from people who were the fact finders in the investigation. these profoundly inappropriate comments were coming from the individuals who were making decisions on whether to provide immunity to people who already lied to investigators and whether subjects of an investigation could it is in on interviews with other subjects of the same investigation. these were individuals who were plainly in positions of great power with the opportunity to produce greater, lesser or no emphasis on certain facts or interpretations of law. they lead to complete legal exoneration of everyone involved in sending top secret e-mails
over personal servers and unsecured e-mails and setting up a server for the explicit purpose of doing this. these actions led to exposing at least one classified e-mail to a foreign party that risked serious damage to national security. amazingly, considering their overwhelming biases, these people were also the very same people who were assigned to investigate the man that they hated, then candidate donald trump. my reference to the church committee is apropos because it not only reviewed abuses by individuals including the fbi director himself, but focused in on surveillance abuses. here we now face the same allegations yet in manner that goes to the heart of our democracy. it is right out of a notify he will with salacious, unfair fied dossiers with reports of perform thans appear more like spies for the u.s. government and aforementioned u.s. powers to collect on a u.s. person once associated with president
trump's political campaign. but it's not a notify he will, must understand why we now must review how our kbels and law enforcement allegations engaged in activity that appears not only wrong, but potentially illegal. all of which brings me to this body's constitutional oversight, mandate, and responsibility. our response ieblt to the american people is conduct robust oversight agencies within this committee's jurisdiction to ensure that taxpayer funded agencies operate lawfully. our oversight, though, is only as good as the information we are provided. this committee's oversight has been hampered by both the fbi and doj's lack of consistent and vigorous production of the documents we need to hold the agencies accountable. while when production has significantly improved recently, it has felt like pulling teeth much of the time to on deign bt
reyou'll have relevant documents. more forever, we learned some dom the inspector general received to conduct his investigation of the 2016 election have been interpreted by the department of justice to fall outside the first subpoena i ever issued as chairman of this committee. shockingly, e-mails and communications of doj officials have not been produced at all. therefore, we have not received any e-mails between prosecutors working the clinton case. said differently, we are not receiving and have not received potentially enlightening communications between prosecutors themselves, between prosecutors and doj management, including former attorney general lynch, or even communications between doj officials and those with the obama white house. this is unacceptable. particularly when we had long before issuing the subpoena requested all documents provided to the inspector general other than certain ones pertaining to grand jury material. the department of justice and the fbi are not mentioned in the
united states constitution. the president and congress are. our constitutional oversight necessitates that insurantituti like the fbi and doj yield to constitutional mandate in the is nonnegotiable because we must assure the american people that the agencies under our jurisdiction operate fairly. this emphasizes the importance of transparency and gaining the reality and impartiality of our law enforcement system. damage to the fbi and doj's reputations is not something any of us desire, but now that both agencies have been on the front pages for so long, we must all work to ensure those stories are able to focus once again on the great men and women performing admirable and often heroic jobs to protect our country. we expect to hear today how the fbi and the doj will hold people accountable and prevent this from happening again.
thank you and i look forward to hearing from both deputy attorney general rosenstein and direct director wray. i now recognize the gentleman from new york mr. nadler for his opening statement. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the events that led up to this hearing are totally unacceptable. on monday of this week you notified us of this hearing without the seven-day notice required by the rules. on tuesday youn an hour late again, again without notice to the minority. then you allowed mr. jordan to offer an amendment to a resolution of inquiry that was patently nongermane and then stood out of view of the cameras in the hallway while the majority voted to overturn the ruling of their own chair that the amendment was not germane. on wednesday you dropped all committee business who interview peter strzok when had already volunteered to come in for an interview. today we meet so the the majority can criticize the
deputy attorney general to his face largely to introduce documents that you know can he not introduce. we'll take a break so we can go to the floor and vote on a so-called resolution of insistence based on an amendment by jordan this week, that's without press sense, without the enforcement of law and a pretext to remove mr. rosenstein that the majority has already planned. what's the great emergency that justifies this last minute hearing? why is the majority abandoned the rules and traditions that govern civility in the house? the tired story of hillary clinton's e-mails, of course, plus a few conspiracy theories about this special counsel. when president trump were actively separating families from the border, ripping children out of the arms of their parntsd causing untold suffering to thousands of families, that did not merit an emergency hearing by this committee. now that thousands of children are still separated from their parents with no clear plan from this administration for reuniting these families, where
is the emergency hearing on that issue? we know that russia after successfully interfering with our 2016 elections is actively working to disrupt the upcoming elections as well. we are told this by all of our intelligence agencies. the former national security adviser testified that our else have agencies, despite this, have received no instructions from the white house to protect the integrity of our election system. have we schedule an emergency hearing on that matter? for that matter, have we conducted any oversight at all on election security? on the family separation crisis? on the administration's failure to protect dreamers? on the justice department's radical decision not to defend the affordable care act in court? on the supreme court's recent decisions to yound mine voting rights and workers rights? on the praes on going conference of interest and clear violations of the emoluments clause and the constitution?
or other issues within our committee's jurisdiction? no. as with so many issues, this committee stays silent. but on hillary clinton's e-mails, sound the alarms. despite the 500 exhaustive pages demonstrates conclusively that the outcome of the clinton investigation was not affected by any improper bias, political or otherwise. we are wasting precious committee time to chase hillary clinton yet again. the republicans seem desperate to prove that there was some sort of pro-clinton and anti-trump conspiracy within the fbi when in fact the overwhelming evidence shows the opposite. every action criticized in the inspector general's report, director comey's july announcement, his public comments on the clinton investigation and refusal to confirm the existence of the trump investigations, and his october decision to announce publicly the reopening of the clinton investigation ultimately harmed the candidacy of
secretary clinton and anurd to the benefit of donald trump. but i guess we shouldn't let facts stand in the way of a good manufactured emergency. according to republican memo for today's hearing, it's also an opportunity for members to consider the justice department's compliance with the mitt tee's march 22nd suspect. a suspect sp that was not issued without rules and therefore cannot be enforced. even if it were a properly issued subpoena, the fight over document production seems to have boiled down to certain documents that the republicans know the department of justice cannot turn over. much of that evidence relating to an ongoing criminal investigation. the scoping documents outlining specific lines of inquiry in an ongoing criminal investigation, and the identifies of confidential human sources still working undercover in the field. and that, of course, is the whole point. as part of their coordinate and determined effort to undermine the special counsel's investigation, republicans are
requesting documents they know they cannot have. if they somehow find themselves in possession of sensitive documents, they go to the core of the special counsel's investigation and if past practice holds, those documents will end up in the possession of the subject of the investigation, namely president trump, and shortly thereafter on fox news. and if the majority is rightly denied, they doll their best to undermine the credibility of the department of justice, the credibility of the deputy attorney general and the special counsel. they will like lie try to hold mr. rosenstein in contempted. some have threatened him with impeachment. they may argue that he needs to be removed from his special oversight role. this san investigation that i might remind you has already yielded five guilty pleas and led to the indictment of 20 people so far. the president and some of his closest advisers are under investigation for having participated in a criminal conspiracy with a foreign power
against the united states. that is an emergency. the president practically confessed to lack -- the president practically confessed to lester holt on television that he obstructed the investigation to that conspiracy when he said that he fired former fbi director comey because, of quote, this russia stuff with trump and russia, closed quote. that is an emergency. but is that subject to today's emergency hearing? no. or of any emergency hearing? no, it is not. i know that this has been a hard work for the majority. i know that it must be tempting to change the subject and rally the base with cries of lock her up. but we do not have the luxury of hiding or voting president at this critical juncture for our democracy. we cannot hide from our responsibilities. we cannot hide from our obligation to conduct oversight of a corrupt administration. we cannot hide from our constitutional duty to have foreign interference or to stand up for the rules and for our
domestic institutions and for the rule of law. and we cannot hide from our responsibility not to interfere with a proper investigation. i ask my colleagues to consider this question as we proceed. when the special counsel's work is complete, when the enormity of what he finds have been laid bear, how will the american people judge your actions today? i yield back the balance of my time. >> we will stand in recess and return immediately after this vote series to hear the opening statements of the deputy attorney general and the director. director.
the committee will reconvene. we'd ask the media to at least settle down. we welcome our distinguished witnesses and as is the practice of this committee, if you would please rise i'll begin by swearing you in. sorry to make your keep standing up, director. i know you're -- do you and each of you yo swear that the testimony that you're about to give shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
truth so help you god? thank you. let the record show that the witnesses answered in the affirmative. mr. rod rosenstein is the deputy attorney general of the united states. rod has distinguished career in public service. he has served in several divisions of the department of justice and notably as the united states attorney for the district of maryland from 2005 until 2017. before being nominated by president trump to be deputy attorney general. director wray is the eighth director of the federal bureau of investigation. he began his department of justice career in 1997 has an assistant united states attorney for the northern district of georgia. he then served in the office of the deputy attorney general and was nominated by president george w. bush to serve as assistant attorney general for the criminal division. he worked in private practice before president trump nominated him to lead the bureau in august of 2017. your entire written statement will be entered into the record
and we ask that you summarize your testimony in five minutes and to help you stay within that time there's a timing light at the table. when you have one minute left, it will turn to yellow and then a minute later to red. so we hope you'll keep your time within that limit and then we'll open it up for questions. so we'll start with deputy attorney general rosenstein. welcome. >> thank you, chairman. ranking member and members of the committee. i always welcome the opportunity to appear before this distinguished body, but today is not a happy occasion. based on my 30 years of experience in federal law enforcement working with the outstanding men and wechb law enforcement, federal, state, and local in many of your districts, there's nobody who would be more committed to rooting out abuse and misconduct when there's credible evidence that it occurred. inspector general conducted a thorough investigation and found that some bureau investigation employees deviated from
important principles in 2016 and 2017. everyone knew about some of those departures when they occurred, such as discussing criminal investigations and encroaching on prosecutorial decisions. we learned about others through the internal investigation. such as leaking to the news media and exhibiting political bias. we need to correct errors, hold wrongdoers accountable and deter future violations. director wray will describe what the fbi is going to accomplish those goals. at the department of justice, our mandatory annual training will include lessons from the inspector general's report and we are considering other recommendations. we already revised the department's confidentiality policies to emphasize that nonpublic, sensitive information obtained in connection with our work is protected from disclosure. we intend to enforce that principle on our employees and we need to demonstrate respect for it ourselves by protecting
sensitive information entrusted to the fbi. a congressional oversight is vital to democracy. my june 27th letter which i will submit for your consideration explains how they handle oversight requests for law enforcement and intelligence information. the fbi is managing an extraordinary volume of congressional oversight requests, some of which seek details about criminal investigations and intelligence sources. as a result of president trump's commitment to transparency, the fbi is making unprecedented disclosures to the congress, including granting access to hundreds of thousands of pages of investigative information and thousands of pages of classified documents. as with most things in washington, the real work is not done on television. and it's not all done by me. trump administration officials are meeting and talking with your staff every day.
they're working overtime with teams of fbi employees to accommodate requests and introduce relevant information to this committee, other house committees, and several senate committees. this committee requested the production of all documents relevant to the specter general's review. as you well know, the fbi normally declines such requests. because of the circumstances of this case and concerns that we developed during the investigation, the department agreed to introduce all relevant fbi documents. i understand that the universe of potentially relevant documents was in the range of 1.2 million. although only a fraction are actually relevant. we began the production even before the inspector general finished his report, after we confirmed that the investigation was substantially complete and production at that time would not interfere with it. as you know the fbi struggled
for some time with the scope and volume profit ductio volume of the production. some of you brought to my attention that the redaction policies created the appearance that relevant information was being concealed. i look into the issue and understood their concern. as a result, i called on u.s. attorney john loush from chicago to take charge of the project. he's been working on this project for some time. mr. loush brings experience in handling large document productions in the private sector. he worked with committee members and staff and arounsed a production process that seems to be working very well. i understand that some people still have concerns about the speed profit ductiof the produc those concerns are mistaken. most requests have been fulfilled, other documents are in progress for this committee and other committees. i have devoted almost 30 years to the service of my country. in my line of work, we keep an open mind, we complete our
investigations before we ledger on wrongdoing by anybody. our allegations are made under oath and supported by credible evidence. we treat everything with respect and deal with one another in good faith. you and i are the beneficiaries and the temporary trustees of a remarkable experiment in self-government like each member of congress, the deputy attorney general, the fbi director, and other department officials represent the people of the united states. president trump appointed us, the senate confirmed our nominations, and we swore an oath when we accepted responsibility for helping to run the department of justice. that oath requires to us make controversial decisions. so here's the advice that i give the department of justice employees. faithfully pursuit department's position in a manner consistent with lows, regulation, policies and principles.
be prepared to face criticism. that's part of the job. but ignore the tierney of the news tyke will, stick to the rule of law, and make honest decisions that will always withstand fair and objective review. our department's 115,000 employees work diligently every day to keep america safe. most of their good work is never the subject of any congressional hearing. it is a tremendous privilege to work in an organization that seeks the truth and serves the law. but the department of justice is not perfect. we will keep working to make it better and we welcome your constructive assistance. thank you. >> thank you, deputy attorney general. director wray, welcome. >> thank you. >> i want to thank you both for getting here. i know you came a long way to get here and under difficult
circumstances with an injury. >> thank you. good morning, mr. chairman, members of the committee. i appreciate this opportunity to discuss the fbi's response to the inspector general's report on doj and fbi activities in the run-up to the 2016 election. we take that report very seriously and we accept its findings and its recommendations. we are already doing a whole number of things to address those recommendations, and we are determined to emerge from this experience better and wiser. the fbi is entrusted with a lot of authority and our actions are appropriately, therefore, subject to close oversight. that oversight can make the fbi stronger and the public safer. part of that oversight includes fullsome responses to legitimate requests for documents and information. for months we've been working with your kmiet tease to make
witnesses available, answer questions, and introduce or make available to you and your staff over now 880,000 pages. although we have now substantially complied with a majority of the committee's subpoena, we are determined to get through the outstanding items and we have increased staffing on this project even further. in just the past week, for example, we've had approximately 100 employees working day and night dedicated to this project through the weekend to collect, review, process, and introduce thousands of additional pages. turning to the ig's report, all though the report did not find any evidence of political bias or improper consideration actually impacting the investigation under review, that report did identify errors of judgment, violations of or disregard for policy and decisions that certainly in the benefit of hindsight were not the best choices. so i'd like to briefly summarize
the steps we're taking to address the report's recommendations. first, we're going to be holding employees accountable for misconduct. we have already referred conduct highlighted in the report to the office of professional responsibility which is the fbi's independent disciplinary arm. and once the necessary process is complete, we will not hesitate to hold people strictly accountable. second, we're making sure that every employee understands the lessons of the ig's report through in depth training starting at the top with the executives so we don't report mistakes identified in that report. third, we're making sure we have the policies, procedures, and training needed for everyone to understand and remember what is expected of all of us. that includes drilling home the importance of objectivity and of avoiding even the appearance of personal conflicts or political
bias. ensuring that recusals are handled correctly, making all employees aware of our new media policy which i issued last november, and making clear that we will not tolerate noncompliance with that policy. ensure that we follow doj policies on public statements about ongoing investigation dollars and uncharged conduct. and ensuring that we adhere strictly to all policies and procedures on the use of fbi's systems, networks, and devices. i've also directed our new associate deputy director are the number three official in the fbi, to lead a review of how we staff, structure, and supervise sensitive investigation dollars so that we can make sure that each one is conducted to our highest standards. the ig report makes clear that we've got important work to do, but i do want to emphasize that this report is focused on a specific set of events in 60 and a small number of employees
connected with those events. nothing in this report impugns the integrity of our workforce as a whole or the fbi as an institution. i want to be very clear with this committee about the fbi that i've gotten to see up close and personal in the ten months since i've taken on this job. as i meet with our offices all over the world, offices represented by every one of the members up here, i encounter really remarkable, inspiring stories about the work our 37 men and women are doing every single day. we've rescued more than 1300 kids from child predators this year alone. we've arrested more than 4,600 violent gang members be in just the past few months. we've disrupted recently terrorists plots ranging from places like fisher man's war of in san francisco to a crowded shopping mall in miami. kind go on and on. our men and women are doing all
of that great work and much, much more with the unfailing fidelity to our constitution and the laws it demands, the bravery that it deserves, and the integrity that the american people rightly expect. that means we're going to do this job by the book. i'm committed to doing that. i would not be here if i wasn't committed to doing it that way and i expect all our employees to do the same. there will be times when we feel extraordinary pressure not to follow our process and policies. but, in my view, those are precisely the times that we need to adhere to them the most. we've got to stay faithful to our best traditions and our core values making sure that we're not only doing the right thing but doing it in the right way and pursuing the facts independently and objectively no matter who likes it. that, in my view, is the only way we can maintain the trust
and credibility of the people we serve. so, mr. chairman and members of the committee, thank you again for the opportunity to address the inspector general's report and i look forward to answering the committee's questions. >> thank you, director wray. we'll now proceed under the five minute rule with questions and i'll begin by rhode island recognizing the gentleman from florida, mr. da santos. >> thank you, mr. chairman. welcome to the witnesses. mr. rosenstein, august 8, 2016, text message from lisa page to strzok, trump's not ever going to become president, right? right. peter strzok responds no, no he's not. we'll stop it. the justice department had previously provided text message frds that date. they included all the messages we now have except the we'll stop it text message. why didn't the justice department introduce that to congress when we asked? >> mr. desantos, i spoke with our inspector general michael horowitz yesterday and he told me when he testified he didn't have a full opportunity to
explain and the technological details are pretty complicated. but he assured me he had had a long telephone conversation with mr. jordan after the hearing and explained it. he's much better position than i. when i can assure you -- >> let me ask this then. >> if i could just explain, i want to assure you and the american people, we're not withholding anything embarrassing. the message was not in the original material that the inspector general -- he found these messages. >> right. so you guys didn't find it and he did. so we're asking you to introduce stuff and obviously, you know, we're expecting a good faith effort. you guys didn't find it and maybe somebody else deleted or something happened before you guys, but he was able to find it and you didn't. so it's very disappointing to see that text message there, because i think you would agree, think the timeline. you have pete strzok opens up the counterintelligence investigation against trump's campaign the end of july the then a week later this text message, he ain't going to be president, we'll stop it. then the next week the infamous insurance policy text message
where he says we can't take the risk of a trump presidency, you need an insurance policy. the american people see that, doesn't that undermine the whole integrity of the actions of people like peter strzok? >> yes, congressman, that obviously is highly inappropriate. and -- >> well, it's more than that. it's more than that. the inspector general did find that the bias affected, he didn't say it affected the decision about hillary. but he said once we got into the fall when you had the huma e-mails and they were slow walking on that by peter strzok, he was really concerned with pursuing this collusion investigation and he testified on the record that it was reasonable to say that the bias, not only existed, but affected what he did. let me ask you this. what did the doj or fbi do in terms of collecting information, spying, or surveillance on the trump campaign be it sta fon harper or anybody else working on the agencies? >> as yew know i'm not permitted
to discuss any classified information in an open setting. but i can assure you that we're working with oversight committees proond dution all relevant evidence that will allow them to answer those questions. >> let me ask you this. did the obama administration, anybody in the administration direct anybody, hall' or anybody else, to maybe contact with anyone associated with the campaign? >> as i said the, i appreciate -- i understand your interest, but i'm not permitted to discuss classified information. >> well we want the documents, so i know we're in a back and forth on that. but the american people need to know where the counterintelligence powers unleashed against the trump campaign and if it was done, was it done inappropriate? you talk about the mueller investigation, it's really the rosenstein investigation. you appointed mueller, you're supervise heing mueller, and supposedly collusion about trump's campaign and russia and obstruction of justice, but you wrote the memo saying that comey should be fired and you signed the fisa extension for carter page. so my question is to you, seems like you should be recused from
this more so than jeff sessions just because you were involved in make decisions affecting both prongs of this investigation. why haven't you done that? >> congressman, i can assure you that if it were appropriate for me to recuse, i'd be more than happy to do so and let somebody else handle this. but it's my responsibility do and it all i can tell you, sir -- >> then how could doh you have obstruction of justice possibility for a president exercising his powers to fire an fbi director that you said should be fired? and the ig report makes it clear jim comey should be fired. why are we still doing this with the mueller probe? >> i'm not commenting on what is under investigation by the mueller probe and to the best of my knowledge, neather is mr. mueller. i know there's a lot of speculation in the media about that, but that doesn't relief me of my obligation not to discuss the subject matter of the investigation. >> do you accept what ig horowitz said regarding peter strzok in the fall campaign with the abbia bean e-mails, how he slow walked that versus how he
was so gung ho about if? this matters because it matters, that's what he wanted to do and that's what he was focusing his energy on. horowitz said his bias is an appropriate explanation for his conduct. do you agree? >> i agree with the findings of the inspector general report and those do indicate bias. >> you have some work do because if the bias is affecting the work that's a big, big problem. i yield back. >> the chair recognizes the gentle woman from california ms. lofgren for five minutes. >> deputy attorney general rosenstein and director wray, this may be an appropriate time to make what is kind of an easy request, but could you state for the record what is the department of justice and
federal brew federal bureau of investigation's policy on commenting on any criminal or intelligence investigation and does this apply to document production even when requested by congress? >> yes, congresswoman, director wray may be able to speak more specifically to the reasons white fbi doesn't comment on counterintelligence investigations, but we do not discuss counterintelligence investigations or criminal investigations while they're ongoing. >> congresswoman, it's always been my experience that the department and the fbi do not comment on ongoing investigations. there are a number of reasons for that that are -- that go back to all the days when i was a line prosecutor and long, long before that. they have to do with protecting the reputations and privacy of the people who are subject of the investigation. they have to do with protecting the integrity of the ongoing investigation. they have to do with protecting the rights to fair trial when that's relevant. and there are a whole number of
reasons. when you add the counterintelligence dimension, there's the need to protect sources and methods. and one of the central learnings of the inspector general's report, frankly, that we're here talking about with this committee. >> right. >> is about what goes wrong when you do talk about ongoing investigations. >> so these policies apply to all current and former personnel at doj and fbi as well as to the special counsel investigation, correct? >> that's correct. >> thank you. you know, it seems to me, i mentioned this the other day, that we are here pursuing release of information that, in my experience on this committee 24 years on this committee and nine years as a member of this staff, one of the members of the committee, i've never seen this happen before. and having been given the opportunity along with just mr. nadler, mr. goodlad and goud i
do read the entire application, the fisa application along with the accompanying documents took me all day. i canceled all my appointments. it's very obvious why that material should not be in the public arena. there are people, i think, who would certainly could lose their lives if their identities were made known. and it's an example of the requirement that you labor under, but also that the committee labors under. i want to mention, and mr. jordan is here so he'll correct me if my understanding is incorrect. but i understand mr. jordan accused you, mr. rosenstein, on the floor during debate of threatening the hipsy staff if they attempt to hold you in contempt for failing to comply with document requests. and i think it's important we put this on the record. have you, mr. rosenstein, ever
threatened congressional staff, including but not limited to house intelligence committee staff as it relates to requests for your -- for you to introduce documents or any other matter for that -- >> congresswoman, people make all kinds of allegations, and in my business we ask who's the witness and how credible are they? if somebody comes forward and swears under oath that i threatened them, i'd be happy to respond. all i can tell you with regard to that matter is that in the room at the time were three officials appointed by president trump -- director wry wray, assistant attorney general boyd, and me. two former republican u.s. attorneys were also in the room with us. greg brauer who at the time was serving as the legislative liaison for the fbi and scott schools. >> so your assistance no. >> the answer is no. >> thank you very much. i'd just like to close with this as my time is running out. it just seems to me that we are asking you two to violate the
policies that you labor and we've been doing that repeatedly. we've got the 500-page ig report, you've acknowledged the needs to improve areas. last week we held a six-hour hearing. yesterday 11 hours trying to get the fbi to violate the same policies that you are upholding today. and i think it's really not what this committee should be doing. i do not believe it is in the best interests of this country and certainly it does not uphold and elevate the rule of law which is what this committee should be doing and has been doing for the quarter century that i've served on it. and i yield back, mr. chairman. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida mr. gates for five minutes. >> thank you. i'm in violent agreement with the statements you made after this report was published, that no court impuns the patriotic work of the fbi employees who are serving in my district and
around the world. and this mess in washington has nothing to do with them and i want to make that very clear. i appreciate your statements on that subject. deputy director the democratic memo that was declassified says the department of justice accurately inforpd the court that the fbi initiate the its kaernt intelligence investigation on july 31, 2016. did any investigative activity regarding the trump campaign and russia occur before july 31st, 2016? >> congressman, as you know, we're dealing with the intelligence committee on that issue and chairman nunes met with director wray and me. i received the same briefing that he received. i don't know of any information beyond what he knows and i'm not able to introduce any information beyond what the fbi has told me. so i -- >> are you aware as you sit here today of any payments that were made to any person to collect intelligence on the trump campaign prior to july 31st, 2016? >> no. keep in mind i wasn't there.
i only know what information that we've obtained from the fbi records. >> are you, as you sit here today, aware of any efforts to contact roger stone that occurred prior to july 31st, 2016? >> i don't have any personal knowledge, congressman, but i know we're seeking to respond to chairman nunes's request. i think one thing you need to understand -- >> how about the same question with regards to michael caputo? >> i wasn't there so i can only answer questions that we directed to the fbi and then -- >> they're there now, right? have you asked these questions of anyone? >> we have absolutely conveyed all the questions that chairman nunes has raise and i'm optimistic that we'll be able to respond to him fairly soon. >> you could understand why it would be of tremendous importance to the country that if the department of justice has represented to a court that this investigation began on july 31st and the fact that you cannot tell me definitively that before july 31st there was not ge intelligence collected on the trump campaign that is something of interest for us?
>> there's no more committed to rooting out misconduct than i. we talk with the fbi, we take those agents seriously and we look to find any criminal evidence. if we find it we'll introduce it to chairman nunes. >> lets do that quick diplomatic and let's get into your determination to find out that activity which is occurring in your department. at the last hearing we had i asked you when you first became aware that nelly orr or the wife of your associate attorney general was working for fusion gps wand as actively assigned to the dossier that said all these nasty things about president trump. as you sit here today, do you know when you became first aware of that? >> i believe it woo would have been sometime in the fall of 2017. as i think i told you last time, mr. o was nevrr was never workiy knowledge, on that russia investigation. >> but his wife was. he's your isn't -- or our associate deputy attorney general and his wife gets hired for that. i asked you this question on the
13th of december. i wrote you a letter on the 18th of december, nine months ago. you have not responded to it. we need a date when you found out that the wife of your deputy was working for people who were actively trying to undermine president trump. don't you think that's a really important date for you to know about the spouse of your own associate deputy attorney general? >> yes. i think it's important for you to understand, mr. orr is a career employ east department. he was there when i arrived. to my knowledge he wasn't working on the russia matter. i think it's important for you to know when we learned of the relevant information, we arranged to transfer mr. orr to a different office u office. in addition to ta -- >> i have to reclaim my time. the fisa renewal that you signed, list for me the people who briefed you on the substance of that fisa renewal to go and spy on people. >> here's one thing that's important for you to understand. people can make all kinds of allegations publicly. i'm quite confident of my conduct throughout this investigation.
that matter is under review by the inspector general. we'll see what he finds. >> did you read the fisa application before you signed it? >> i'm not going to comment. >> so you won't say to this committee whether or not you read the document you sthiend authorized spying on people associated with the trump campaign? >> i dispute your characterization of what that fisa is about, sir. >> did you read it or not read it? >> i'll be happy to discuss the details with you, but as i told are you, sir. >> did pete strzok brief you on it. >> no. >> did page brief you on it? >> no. >> did sally moore. >> let me explain the process. >> did patricia anderson brief you on it. >> no. these fisa application dollars and renewals first come up through the fbi chain of command. they're sworn under oath by a career federal agent. i'm not the afee ant. >> you signed it. >> i'll explain the process to you. >> did you review it or no. >> the time of the gentleman has expired, the witness will be permitted to ants question.
>> director wray can explain the process to you. my responsibility at that time was to approve the filing of fisa applications because only three people are authorized to be the final signoff, the attorney general, deputy, and assistant attorney general for national security which at the time the pootion position was vacant. it was my responsibility do that. i have been relieved of that duty. director wray does it every day. i don't know what his pro is says is, but we sit down with a team of attorneys from the department of justice, all of whom review that, provide a briefing for us about what's in it. and, sir, i've reviewed that one in some detail and i can tell you, sir, that the information that's public about that doesn't match with my understanding of the one that i signed. but i think it's appropriate to let the inspector general complete that investigation. these are serious allegations and i don't do the investigation, i'm not the af r yant. if the inspector general finds, then i'll respect that judgment. but think it's highly, highly
unlikely given the wait process works. >> yield back. >> chair recognize the gentle woman from texas ms. jackson lee for five minutes. >> thank you very much and let me thank ranking member who remains on the floor, i know he's en route. i'm almost believing that i've just attended or i'm in the midst of a monster ball. and we're looking for monsters wherever we can find them. as i was on the floor, as i was on the floor, i heard someone say ms. deputy attorney general, that they're interested in holding you in contempt. maybe they may be mull fied by a resolution that really has no real point to it. but this is the absurd dit did i that -- absurdity that we are dealing with in an investigation that's proceed and i believe has concluded. so let me ask you, two
investigations that were ongoing in 2016, could you just very briefly say what they were? two investigations regarding presidential candidates, what were those investigations? >> congress -- >> just mention what was the investigation for mrs. clinton? >> i'm not going to comment on any investigation may have been on going. i know there's a lot of publicity about it but i won't comment on it. >> what was the ig report about. >> it is about -- actually it's about a variety of misconduct that occurred in the fbi in 2016 and 2017. >> relating to? >> relating to -- well, it's primarily focused on the hillary clinton e-mail investigation, but inspector general actually addressed a few other issues in that report as well. >> did that investigation come to a conclusion in 2016, to your knowledge? >> the hillary clinton e-mail investigation? >> yes. >> well, it did based upon public reports. >> and based upon public reports, was the department of justice satisfied with those -- the end of that investigation? >> congresswoman, the same
response i had to mr. gates, i wasn't there and i'm not the 1 to comment on whether or not people were satisfied with the result. we all know what the result was. >> director wray, your agents were involved in the fbi investigation of the clinton e-mails, is that accurate? >> yes, obviously ways not there at the time but absolutely. >> you've had a chance to review the inspector general's report? >> i have. >> and saw the fractions that were cited to the fbi? >> i'm sorry, the fractions? >> the infractions. >> oh, the infraction, yes. >> yes. >> have you corrected or do you have a comment on any of the infractions which you've corrected, i.e., director speaking about an investigation without the presence or yielding to one of the prosecutors of the doj such as what director comey did? >> well, congresswoman, i'm not going to add my own personal opinion on top of the inspector squen's very thorough report.
but we, as i said earlier, we do accept the findings that are in the report and the recommendations in it and i will say -- >> what have you done with respect to the recommendation, the idea of a director of the fbi making such statements going forward. >> one is that we've issued a new media policy that's much more clear so that we ensure that people follow our policies. we've also directed people to make sure that they're adhering to doj policies about commenting on ongoing investigations and specifically about uncharged conduct. >> from the law enforcement perspective, which is what your arm is? >> correct. >> is that correct? >> we're not the prosecutors. >> thank you. do you have any comment on the suggestion that one of your officers delayed in investigating the weiner wipe laptop. >> do you think that was done to undermine the investigation? >> i think rather than
substitute my characterization for the inspector general's, which is very detailed, i would just say that my read of the inspector general's report is that he found that there were delays as a result of a number of factors and we are taking steps to make sure that going forward, as i said in my opening comments, that we structure, staff, and supervise sensitive material in a way that doesn't -- >> and looking at that do you think that impeded or impacted the conclusion of the clinton investigation? >> again, i would defer to the inspector general's own characterization of his investigation. my understanding of it is that he found that there was no political bias ultimately impacting the investigation that he reviewed '. >> mr. attorney general, do you believe as donald trump indicated that the investigation of which you have read, the inspector general's report, has
vindicated mr. trump as relates to collusion with russian agents as he indicated? >> congresswoman -- >> or is the investigation ongoing? >> there is an ongoing investigation, yes. >> and it's not concluded? >> correcting. >> no conclusion has been made on any aspect of the investigation? >> well, interest have been several charges that have been filed and so you're familiar with those. >> correct. >> thank you, i yield back '. >> the chair recognize the gentleman from south carolina, mr. gowdy for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the russia investigations been going on for almost two years now. special counsel's investigation has been going on for over a year now for most americans, it's important to know what russia did to our country in 2016 and with whom, if anyone, they did it. when a foreign state interferes with our democratic electoral process, it should be chance of a lifetime for a law enforcement
toogt investigate that, except, apparently, the one that was actually picked to investigate it. that was peter strzok. fbi peter strzok was picked to lead the fbi's investigation into what russia did in july of 2016. it was a counterintelligence investigation that begun in late july, 2016, and he was leading it. and at about the exact same time he was picked to lead it, this dispassionate and fair fbi agent was calling trump a disaster, destabilizing for the country, i'll leave out all the "f" adjectives he used to describe that. i'll just go with disaster and destabilizing. same time his fbi lawyer, girlfriend lisa page was telling him he was meant to protect the country. this neutral, dispassionate fbi agent said i can protect the country at many levels. same time peter strzok who was
picked to objectively, fairly, neutrally look into the russia investigation was talking about an insurance policy with andy mccabe and lisa page in the event donald trump became the president. all of this was happening at the same time peter strzok said he could smell the trump support in southern virginia. all of this was at the same time that this fbi agent said a trump presidency could be "f"ing terrifying and it will never happen, no, no, we'll stop it. >> so while investigating russia and their etempt to subvert russia to the rest country, it wasn't that important to a half a dozen fbi agents and lawyers who were assigned to the case. for them dr. was an investigation to stop donald trump, which then brings us to may of 2017 and the appointment of special counsel with wherewe find peter strzok again, the same supposed to be
dispassionate, neutral, fair, fbi agent. you'd think he'd be really excited about investigating what a foreign power tried to do to this country. but you would be wrong again. for peter strzok, at precisely the same time that bob mueller was appointed, precisely the same time, peter strzok was talking about his unfinished business and how he needed to fix and finish it so donald trump did not become president. he was talking about impeachment within three days of special counsel mueller being appointed. three days. that's even quicker than msnbc and the democrats were talking about impeaching him. within three days the lead fbi agent is talking about impeaching the president. so this is where we are. we're two years into this investigation, we're a year and a half into the presidency, we're over a year into special counsel. you have a counterintelligence investigation that's become public. you have a criminal investigation that's become
political. you have more bias than i have ever seen manifest at a law enforcement officer in the 20 years i use dodd it for a living. and four other doj employees who had manifest animus towards the person they were supposed to be neutrally and detachly investigating. democrats are using this investigation as a presumption of guilt, which i find astonishing and in the long run for the health of this republic i'd encourage them to go back to the presumption of innocence that we used to hold sacred. there's a presumption of guilt. there's a der e desire by democrat senators to fund raise off of your investigation. more than 60 democrats have already voted to proceed with impeachment before bob mueller has found a single solitary damn thing. more than 60 have voted to move forward with impeach the and he hasn't presented his first finding. so i'm going to say this to yu, mr. wray, mr. rosenstein. i realize that neither one of you wore there when this happened but you're both there
now. russia attacked this country, they should be the target, but russia isn't being hurt by this investigation right now. we are. this country is being hurt by it. we are being divided. we've seen the bias. we've seen the bias. we need to see the evidence. if you have evidence of wrongdoing by any member of the trump campaign, present it to the damn grand jury. if you have evidence that this president acted inappropriately, present it to the american people. there's an old saying that justice delayed is justice denied. i think right now all of us are being denied. whatever you got, finish it the hell up. because this country is being torn apart. i would yield back, mr. chairman. >> either of the witnesses care to respond to the -- >> no -- about those text
messages and nobody is more offended than i about what what's reflected in those messages. with regard to the investigation, i've heard suggestions that we should just close the investigation. i think the best thing we can do is finish it appropriately and reach a conclusion. and i certainly agree with you, sir, people should not jump to conclusions without seeing the evidence. i've been the victim of fake news attacks myself, so i'm sympathetic. i agree there's been no allegation made by the department of justice or the special counsel other than what's reflected in those documents filed publicly to charge folks. nobody should draw any conclusions beyond those charges. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from tennessee, mr. cohen, for five minutes. >> thank you. director wray, mr. rosenstein, was peter strzok the head of any of those investigations? >> congressman, i don't know
that i would characterize him as the head of any of the investigation dollar investigations. he played a significant role in the investigations that were described in the inspector general's report. but there was a supervisory chain and as the inspector general found there were a number of people involved in that chain above him. >> and i know you've spoken already about the investigative general's report, it's thorough and you accepted it. he came to the conclusion that while he may have had bias, none of his biases played a role in their actions or conclusions, is that correct? >> well, again, i would defer to the inspector general's own characterization of his very thorough investigation. but my understanding of it is that he found no evidence of political bias actually impacting the investigation that he reviewed. >> so all we had was some talk between friends, maybe lovers, and it was just talk but no policy and no action to bring
about or effectuate any of their beliefs, correct? >> well, again, i don't know that i want to start characterizing their text messages. i expect all our folks to conduct themselves professionally at all times. and the other reason i want to be careful about straying too far is that, as i said in my opening, we have referred a number of individuals who's conduct is highlighted in the report to our ufs after professional responsibility. and my commitment to doing things by the book includes making sure that our disciplinary process is done by the book and having the director comment on their conduct in this setting is probably not conducive to that. >> thank you, sir. am i correct that each of you were appointed -- president trump. is that correct? >> yes, sir. >> yes. >> and who appointed the special counsel? >> i did. >> and you were appointed by president trump? >> correct. >> now, president trump talks about 13 democrats running this investigation. do you know who he's speaking about and if there's any way
that the justice department or president trump knows that these people are democrats, republicans, libertarians? >> you'ded have have to ask hii do not know. >> you don't know if they're democrats? >> i don't know their political registration. >> deputy wray, do you know their political registration? >> no. >> this report of the special counsel has gone on for a long time. could that be because there's so much information and so many issues that have arisen from his investigation that it's impossible to just turn it off? is that possible? >> sir, i do not think you should draw any inference -- i don't think as these sort of investigations go that it's been going on for a long time. i can assure you director mueller understands that i want him to conclude it as expeditiously as possible,
consistent with his responsibility do it right. >> has anybody ever accused director mueller, special counsel mueller, excuse me. >> referee: being dillaer to, lazy, slow? >> i do not view that as accurate. >> director wray, do now know special counsel mueller's representation for promptly doing his work and proceeding in a diligent path? >> my own experience and familiarity with director mueller is that none of those adjectives would describe much of anything he's done in his career for this country. >> director mueller, as i remember, volunteered to join the marines in vietnam. got a purple heart and had other commendations. is that what you understand too? >> yes, sir. >> and then when he came back, he went to law school and he went to work for justice.
he could have gone to wall street and made a lot of money. in fact, he went into private practice for a while and didn't like it and he came back because he wanted to prosecute criminals, is that correct? >> well, i don't i don't know h motivation, but i do know he's devoted much of his career to public service and has foregone more lucrative opportunities. >> and he prosecuted manuel noriega, did he not? >> congressman, i'm not certain whether -- i think he was in a management position. i don't know if he personally prosecuted it, but i think that's correct, that -- >> and john gadi? >> i don't know the answer to that, sir. >> well, he's gone after big fish. let me ask each of you to promise me something. will you promise me and the american people that no matter what pressure is brought about and brought on you by whomever, that you will stay in your position and finish the job and do what you were appointed to do and what the american people need you to do? >> congressman, in the department of justice, we're
accustomed to criticism, and it does not affect our work. >> congressman, as i've said repeatedly, i am committed to doing this job by the book in all respects, and there's no amount of political pressure that's going to dissuade me from that by either side. >> thank you. and i find you and each of you and special counsel mueller as paragons and people who should be revered and not torn down and people who tear them down -- >> time of the gentleman -- >> -- tear down the flag and tear down the american -- >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> and hope the constitution is respected. >> chairman recognizes the january from ohio for five minutes. >> thank you. mr. rosenstein, why are you keeping information from congress? >> congressman, i am not keeping any information from congress that it's appropriate for -- >> in a few minutes, mr. rosenstein, i think the house of representatives is going to say something different. >> i don't agree with you. i don't think that's what they're going to say and if they do, they will be mistake. >> i think in a few minutes, the house of representatives is going to go on record saying you haven't complied with requests from a separate and equal branch
of government, that you haven't complied with subpoenas, and you have seven days to get your act together. i think that's what's going to happen in a few -- and that's not just jim jordan. i think that's a majority of the house of representatives. in just a few minutes, i think that's going to happen. and i don't know why you won't give us what we ask for. >> i certainly hope your colleagues are not under that impression. it is not accurate, sir. >> it is accurate! we have caught you withholding information -- >> mr. chairman, order. we came here to hear from the witness. >> the time belongs to the gentleman -- >> mr. rosenstein -- >> can with we allow him to answer? >> he will be permitted to answer -- >> why don't we have them here -- >> allow them additional time to answer -- >> mr. rosenstein, why are they not allowed to answer? >> the gentleman's out of order. the gentleman from ohio is recognized -- >> let me make one -- >> may i answer your accusation, sir? >> then you can answer. why did you hide the fact that peter strzok and judge contreras
were friends? judge contreras is a fisa court judge. just as importantly, the judge that heard mike flynn's case, why did you try to hide that from us? >> mr. jordan, i appreciate you giving me the opportunity to respond. i've heard you make those sort of allegations publicly on tv -- >> i've got it right here. >> and if you'd let me respond -- >> mr. chairman, he should be given the opportunity to answer. >> mr. jordan -- >> it's -- >> i am the deputy attorney general of the united states, okay? i'm not the person doing the redacting. i'm responsible for responding to your concerns, as i have. i have a team with me, sir. it's just a fraction of the team that's doing this work, and whenever you've brought issues to my attention, i have taken appropriate steps to remedy them. so your statement that i am personally keeping information from you, trying to conceal information from you -- >> you're the boss, mr. rosenstein. >> -- is not true. that's correct! and my job is to make sure we respond to your concerns. we have, sir. now, i've appointed mr. lousch, who is managing that production, and i understand it's going pretty well, sir. so i appreciate your concerns -- >> again, i think the house of
representatives is going to say otherwise. >> but your need to attack me personally -- >> may the witness be permitted to answer the question? >> it's not personal -- >> the gentleman will suspend. the witness will have an opportunity to say whatever he wants at the end of mr. jordan's five minutes. until the end of those five minutes, it's his time. >> i appreciate your service. it's not personal. we just want the information. why did you tell peter strzok not to answer our questions yesterday? when i asked him if he had ever communicated with glenn simpson, he gave us the answer he gave us dozens of times, on advice of fbi counsel, i can't answer that question. why couldn't he answer that question? >> mr. jordan, i appreciate your sincere concerns, but i didn't give peter strzok any instructions. if there was some problem with the instructions he had, i'd be happy to look into it. >> not what his lawyer says. >> mr. jordan, when you find some problem with a production or with questions, it doesn't mean that i'm personally trying to conceal something from you, it means we're running an organization that's trying to follow the rules and we're going to respond to your concerns -- >> when i asked if he had ever
talked to bleruce ohr, he said had, three times, in 2015 and 2016. then i asked if he had ever talked to nelly orr and he said i hadn't. i said why can't you answer that question? because nelly orr worked for glenn simpson, but he couldn't answer because fbi counsel told him he couldn't. he couldn't answer whether he had communicated with glenn simpson, a journalist. why couldn't he? >> i appreciate -- >> will reconvene and recognize the gentleman from texas, mr. ratcliffe, for five minutes. >> gentlemen, agent pete your struck gave -- peter strzok gave us the timeline yesterday, following the work the hillary clinton e-mail investigation, he was assigned the lead agent of the russia collusion investigation from late july of 2016 to may of 2017. then in late may of 2017, following your appointment of robert mueller, he became part of special counsel mueller's investigative team until late july of 2017, when he was removed by special counsel