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tv   Washington Journal Christopher Farrell  CSPAN  February 5, 2018 6:04pm-6:31pm EST

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coming up tuesday morning, nebraska republican congressman don bacon discusses the house intelligence committee memo and this week's government funding deadline. then, connecticut democratic congressman and intelligence committee member jim himes on the release of the committee memo and the late oast then committee's investigation into russian interference in the 2016 campaign. be sure to watch c-span's "washington journal" live at 7:00 eastern, tuesday morning. join the discussion. also tuesday, defense secretary james mattis and air force general paul silva testify on the pentagon's national defense strategy and the 2018 nuclear posture review. they'll be in front of the house armed service committees, live at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c span 3, c-span dirg and listen live on the free c-span radio app. the house back at 6:30 eastern. until then, part of today's
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"washington journal." joining ut is christopher pharrell with judicial watch, their investigation and research director. the point that the last guest was making about you looking at this release of the memo in uw separate phases, not necessarily and muellercess investigation, is that something you would agree with? guest: there are a lot of moving pieces here. if you want to move back to a higher level, you can say, what has been the success rate of this entire affair as a russian active measures campaign? if the goal was to disrupt and confuse and generate all sorts of consternation and figure wanting, then the russians have been quite successful. that is kind of a larger question. we have an internal domestic question politically because this is obviously an or mislead with ae and hot issue
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lot of finger-pointing and claims, counterclaims. that will play itself out. we will get to the truth out some point. the larger question is, for the last 100 years, whether the soviet union or the russians, in one form politically or another, they have been very aggressive in active measures campaigns, influence operations, informational warfare, and we're seeing the byproduct now. of thehat do you think quality of the republican memo put out last week? guest: to me, it is pretty factually based. i have looked at the claims that were made, we have seen the text messages of people like mr. strauch, his girlfriend. in either happened or it did not. that is partially why judicial watch has been suing to gain access to the actual fisa warrants themselves.
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rather than relying on the representations of mr. nunes or mr. schiff saying this is all a lie, let's get it all public. let's get these fisa warrants and let the public review them themselves. the way they are structured, there is an underlying sworn affidavit from a special david or attorney, fbi attorney or doj attorney, that lays out the case. then there is an enclosure to the warrant application itself, which is executed by a deputy attorney general or higher. even the attorney general himself. saying we need access to this because the subject is either an agent of a foreign power, or is a terrorist, both are applicable , and let see what the case was, what the statements are. because in this case, they have relied upon, deputy director mccabe said they relied
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on this steele dossier. that one under oath that is true. but if there is more, what is it? when they have or do these ,pplications for the warrants they, meaning the department of justice and fbi, had an affirmative obligation to update and inform the court, each judge, the four judges involved -- this is my understanding -- to perfect the record. so what did they submit? let's see what it is. host: our guest is with us for about 45 minutes if you want to ask about the release of this memo, what it does for the fisa process, larger muller investigation. for republicans. (202) 748-8002 for democrats. (202) 748-8003 four
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independents. we do it as an educational foundation. our goal is to educate the public about the operations of government. we make very aggressive use of the freedom of information act foia, we are the largest foia litigator in the country. we filed for your requests and also litigate them. so our goal is really government accountability. that is what we are looking for. philosophically, we are conservative, but we are nonpartisan, in the sense that we never endorse parties or legislation. we cover this from a philosophical point of view, as one would argue, the aclu comes from more of a left point of view. host: so when you hear the
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president say that this memo totally vindicates me when it comes to the larger aspect of the mueller investigation, your point would be -- guest: i have yet to hear anyone articulate the criminal predicate for the mother investigation and what crime was committed? our department of justice, we identified a crime, find suspects, then we narrowed it down to eat we bring an indictment or we don't. in this case, it appears we have identified suspects, and now we are going to investigate until we find the crime. that is kind of upside down. that is not historically the way we operate. with respect to the hillary clinton email issue, i can tell mishandling national defense information. i can articulate a crime, explained the elements of the crime, show you how mrs. clinton violated each and every one of those. i say that because of my past professional life, i was a
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special agent of army counterintelligence, so i have investigated these cases, i have successfully have people prosecuted. i know what that is. when i look at mueller and i ,ear people say collusion, ok what you may mean is conspiracy. collusion itself is not a crime. but what is the underlying criminal predicate? what are you alleging was done unlawfully? i have yet to hear anyone say what the crime is. host: back to your request for the information of underlying information, how do you release that instill maintain concerns of national security quality? guest: when it comes to anything with classified information, the two things that our greatest concern for any public release our sources and methods. that is what people hear over and over. when they talk about sources, it is what is the means by which the intelligence was collected.
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whether it is human intelligence, signals intelligence, all of these various flavors of intelligence. what was the technique, what was the source? in human intelligence, obviously, we don't want to put anybody in jeopardy who is reporting to us. we don't want to compromise technical collection it islities, whether signals intelligence or imagery, those sorts of things. but once you have taken away the sources and methods, then it is really just a narrative of what was the information gleaned. president,rt, the the agencies themselves enjoy abroad discretionary power to release stuff. they may wish to redact a name here or there, but an awful lot of this can be released on a discretionary basis. a topic of methods, talking about the steele dossier, how it was funded and
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things like that, seems to suggest, even if those things were revealed out in full in the process of the fisa court applying these applications, there has to be more to base these judgments. do you buy the judgment? guest: in part. that argument can be made in a valid way but we all three have the sworn declarations of mr. mccain saying the fisa warrant was entirely dependent on the steele dossier. there is one point that i would disagree with the prior guest. he makes a distinction between criminal investigations and counterintelligence investigations. that is a distinction without a difference. counterintelligence investigations are national security crime. they are criminal investigations. so there are times when people throw that out as being sort of a, well, it does not appear would -- it is not what it appears to be. national intelligence crimes are crimes. i would disagree with the prior
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guest on that. there are a lot of people sitting in jail on counterintelligence investigations. host: first call for christopher o'farrell is philip in michigan. democrat line. go ahead, you are on. my answer to the previous caller is the opposite idea. the president should come on and go, i'm going to take the fifth amendment. i have a right to take the fifth amendment. he should announce that he will do so in a double blow all of the air out of the issue. if clinton had taken the fifth, it would have destroyed the whole thing, they would have never been able to impeach clinton. president -- when it comes to the information that we talked about, can the president just release it at will? guest: he has absolute discretionary authority with respect to classified information. the thing that i always harken back to is president carter made
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the intelligence community crazy when he got up in a campaign event in miami and started discussing national intelligence collection platforms from satellites. that was sort of a precedent-setting event. his authority was, i am the president, i can do it. that is the case. host: nashville, tennessee. republican line. caller: good morning. my point on this, the fisa permissione the fbi to wiretap, which they had not permission to do in all of the other time that they had spent on mr. page. them interestave to the trump campaign to then
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chain react and pick up conversations of anybody and everybody that page was talking to. that is what their interest was, not in what russians were being what different members of the campaign had to say. so they were looking for a whole lot more than just page. i think it was a real travesty of what happened. they keep talking about four different judges. i'm not so sure it was. i'm not sure this guest, or the previous guest, who mentioned it, knows if it was the four judges. host: we will let the guests respond. guest: my reference to those four judges is based on public reporting. tot i know is we have sued get those records, so we will find out if there are four
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different judges, however many are out there. angle of thege whole foundation of the warrant is interesting. based on my research, mr. page had no official position with the campaign. he is identified as an advisor, but from what i understand, he held no office, did not have a desk, phone number, he was sort of a volunteer advisor. i'm always curious about the language used in how people are characterized. i don't know how close he really ever was to the inner circle of the trump campaign. i think he sort of self identified as, i'm an advisor. i think his name had been used, but from my understanding, he ,eld no actual position, title business card, desk, office -- that is not my understanding -- which is interesting. host: what did you make of the
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document released from the last paragraph talking about george papadopoulos as the trigger to this whole thing? guest: it is a hearsay thing. there is a guy that heard something from a bar -- pretty thin stuff. since 2013 concerned are respect to how warrants obtained for these national security questions. i go back to the former fox journalist james rosen and the justice department's efforts to gain access to his phone records , and even to his parents phones records. a declaration was made by an fbi special agent and then confirmed by the attorney general, and the claim of the james rosen was an agent of a foreign power and a flight risk. i don't think he was either. he was a fox news reporter who
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was working on a story at the state department about korea. they may not like the journalist asking questions about things that they would rather not discuss, but that is a separate issue. that is not saying he is espionage and a flight risk. they submitted sworn declarations to a court in order to gain access to his records. the holder justice department did the same thing with the associated press also reporting around may 2013. they were clearly lying, making false and misleading statements in order to obtain warrants. there is a track record here, this is not anything new. that is the disturbing part. we now have evidence over a couple of administrations that the justice department and fbi would lie under oath to judges to get warrants. that is the lesson here, that is the morning that these powers are being abused at at registered level -- outrageous
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level of little or no account ability. a viewer on twitter referencing the steele dossier in an effort to gain the warrant. our people laboring under the missing cap session -- misconception that a flawed source can never provide the basis of a worn application and issue? guest: even a stopped clock is right twice a day. a source routing information can be deeply flawed and troubled and all sorts of ways, particularly criminal cases, if law enforcement only. with boy scouts, they would never developed any information. sometimes there are bad guys out there that you would talk to or recruit or in some might develop information from that would result in a war and being sworn .ut, advanced but there is a balancing test here and a credibility question here. if you have information coming
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that isunsavory source, why you need to check and double check and develop other sources. sometimes you don't have another source. sometimes the only information you have is from somebody who is imperfect or defective in some way. end does not necessarily the investigation, just makes you work harder. when it applies to the steele dossier, everything behind it, revealed, do you think that a judge would have allowed it, would have been proper, would that have been bolstered by other things the judge may have access to?
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narrative, it doesn't seem legitimate. host: you're after the documents, the democrats say, release the documents. it, i want all for all the cards on the table. pointingd of the finger and hysteria, you know, i want this whole thing blown out to the open. if there is something there, great, indict someone. get a grand jury, let's go to trial. 'm tired of sort of rumor and
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inuendo. yeah, but...you know. mueller's r. investigation so far, i mean, he may have had a couple of and general flynn 1001, ve put out 18usc this is pretty thin stuff. like i said, take a big step it, i think k at putin and the russians are ooking because they have so manipulated the american mudissent ystem and so and really that is the larger question. the ore concerned about united states than the efforts of various political operatives a system.manipulate host: christopher farrell joining us. vernon in texas, independent line, go ahead. caller: good morning. christopher farrell, thank you for this watch. thanks. caller: i'd like to say two things, first of all, we begin narratives all the
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time. in the case of the memo, when it out, it was initially to do this has nothing with anything, but the fact that oversight ee had responsibility for the f.b.i. department of justice nd what they are doing and in their disclosure, to do with the resentation of facts, so that we can determine whether or not eople were lie whenning they submitted information to the fisa court. about that.lk as far as the narrative goes. is a her narrative, that false one and has to do, again, thank you, mr. farrell, you made pretty well here, i've been on the phone waiting. the fact s back to
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that the russians getting electoral system is nothing new. nothing new at all. thanks.ay, caller, guest: yeah, the caller makes a great point. soviet union or modern-day russia, they have heir interests and their objectives. they are going to do what they think are in their best first interest, so we shouldn't be surprised they attempt to number of the system. o back to 1933, and f.d.r., granting diplomatic status to the soviet union. russians literally laughed at us, sufficient documentation that entire november '33 russians are quite canny and quite sophisticated in efforts to advance their agenda and if we're busy, you now, chasing our tails and attacking each other, they're
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quite pleased with that. dave, from michigan, democrat's line. hello. caller: hello, good morning. listen. this is kind of stunning, what your guest is saying here. a s obviously, this is not nonpartisan attitude, you are saying that there's not evidence collusion, let's wait until the investigation is done. do you think the russian intrusion was a hoax? think the russians certainly had all sorts of fact, trying ton affect the outcome of our election, they have been doing 100 years, nothing new about it. the caller's remark about someone to need tell me, identify for me, the crime, what is the criminal that has occurred? no one can articulate it, no one. mueller hasn't. tell me what occurred and what for nlawful and identify
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me, the criminal act and then doneuspects you think have something. host: give me for instance, when rise to conspiracy? guest: you need to have -- first of all, a great example, i'll one.you general flynn, for whatever an on, pled out to information, sort of a complaint, but nonetheless, an nformation is what they call it, under u.s. code section 1001, false official statement. unlawful to lie to a federal agent who is interviewing you. happens, hen that based on my personal experience, but also other colleagues of federal agents, normally when that happens, in 1001 claim, the false official statement, claim and371, which is conspiracy some other criminal, whether it is fraud or some other criminal act. being is, i catch you, in a falsehood, and i say,
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well, who else are you working with? you say, i was working with and tony.k okay. now i've got the conspiracy. what were you and bill and frank and tony doing? and then they say, well, we were defrauding the company. we stole money or products or phonied up the books. crime.is the right? but when you bring false fficial statement charge against somebody, with no conspiracy count, and no it is really me, pretty thin stuff in the world of criminal prosecutions. prosecutors want indictments and convictions, they are looking for scalps, that is the way they operate. and when you go with a false charge, it's ment here isst of the rungs, the point i'm trying to make f. i'm a federal agent, so forewing you and i do wo hours, i'll find something that you said that is
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inconsistent one time you said you said from and i will drill down on that and say you made misleading statements attempting to -- that is the situation here with general flynn. think, very wrong-headedly, obviously made out to or and he's pled it and he's responsible for his actions. forgive or ng to make an excuse for that, but all i'm saying, for the average there, if atizen out federal agent is interviewing you for a couple of hours, if to, they've got a false official statement claim. host: richmond, virginia, next ican line, mike is for our guest christopher farrell. hi. caller: hi, guys. all the i appreciate fine legal points that you are discussing here. revolves , this all around motivation. back at what ook regards to ot just
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the mueller investigation or the but rathersituation, the entirety of what happened in months leading up to the we saw plainly that there is something very wrong the justice departme department -- excuse me, in the f.b.i. because on the 5th of july of proceedings will resume >> "washington journal" lye every day at k a.m. eastern. we go back to the house. 4547 and agreeing to the speaker's ajournal of the journal if ordered. the first vote is a 15-minute vote. remaining votes will be conducted as five-minute votes. theunfinished is to suspend rules and pass h.r. 4547 as

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