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tv   Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew Mc Cabe Testifies on Review of FBI Russia...  CSPAN  November 10, 2020 7:59pm-11:11pm EST

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ii, legacy of patriotism and balance. and 11:20 p.m. eastern, 1945 down, the army nurse. much american history tv, wednesday, veterans day starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span three. >> up next a review of the fbi's investigation into alleged ties between russia and the 2016 top presidential campaign. the followed by senate republicans and senate democrats talking about the legislative agenda earlier today with reporters. the senate judiciary committee continued its review of the fbi's russia probe . by hearing testimony from former activity fbi director andrew mccabe . was asked about the origins of the investigation, the fisa application process and other actions that were taken by the fbi. mr. mccabe also briefly served as acting fbi director in 2017. james, he was fired president
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trump. >> welcome everybody. i think we have some republicans leadership elections coming in. can you see me, can you hear me and is working. ... ... week social media oversight, i cannot wait have social media come to the committee and explained to themselves about their platforms. that's on the 17th and there
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is a lot of support to take a hard look at social media platforms, the act is on and crossfire hurricane, he is going to appear remotely so i appreciatet him coming it will o is make an opening statement. >> crossfire hurricane has been looked at in many fashions, the inspector general's report found 17 policies of violation regarding the way the crossfire hurricane operation was performed they rebuke the fbi
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and the department of justice regarding the application made against carter page, every person that we talk to, have been able to get a hold of, i know then what i knew now i would not have signed the carter page warrant application, counterintelligence investigation of the political people created new rules of the road, this won't be the last important government has tried to interfere in our election and the russians did for sure. try to interfere in the 2016 election, we'll see what happens inor 2020. but also you have to make sure those involved investigating campaigns have an even hand and
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it doesn't seep into the system so one candidate gets treated differently than the other and regular talk about that today with mr. mckay but every allegation of a campaign being involved with foreign entities and trying to create an impression of involvement with foreign entities needs to be looked at, not just one side of the ledger and i look forward to asking mr. mccabe did the fbi live up to that when it came to crossfiree hurricane, and try to find out how the system got off the rails when it came to mr. page in the warrantnt application. with that i will turn it over to senator feinstein. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, i appreciate your comments on the election, i think we all should be heartend by the record participation in the dedication of our poll workers and state election
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officials and certainly on the side of the aisle and i hope on the other side to in the results. so we thank you for calling this hearing, it is part of your examination of crossfire hurricane and that is the fbi investigation into russianyo interference in the 2016e, election. special counsel mueller took control of that investigation when he was appointed in 2017. he concluded that there was foreign interference in the 2016 election, he found that russia interferedce in sweeping and systematic fashion. ouhe also uncovered numerous contacts between members of thea trump campaign and individuals linked to russia and he determined that the campaign
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knew about, welcomed and expected it would benefit electorally from russia's interference. the senate intelligence committee on which i sit confirmed what mueller findings and a bipartisan report: with the report details russia's 2016 interference and how the trump campaign members were involved. that includes campaign manager paul manafort whose ties to russia made him and the hommittee's words a grave counterintelligence threat. these investigations make clear that the fbi was right to investigate russian election interference and the trump campaign ties to russia. inspector general michael horowitz also confirmed that the fbi was right to investigate. after a two-year investigation
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he concluded that the fbi was justified in openingti crossfire hurricane and there was no evidence that the political biased impact did the bureaus work. none of the 14 witnesses, the committee has heard from during the chairman'sne investigation have provided evidence to the contrary. so where are we, more than four yearss have passed since the fbi opened crossfire hurricane and multiple investigations have confirmed that the fbi was correct to do so. so i think mr. chairman it is time to turn the page on crossfire hurricane, i am anateful the fbi director ray and the career men and women of the fbi who worked hard to secure our country in the selection, they include fbi deputy director andrew mccabe who will look forward to hearing from today, thank you very much,
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mr. chairman. >> thank you very much mrs. feinstein mr. mccabe are you with us questioning. >> mr. mccabe? can you speak up sir? we are not getting any sound. >> there with us will see if we can get this. >> hello, can you hear me now. >> thank you very much, loud and
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clear, can you raise your right hand. >> yes, sir. >> do solemnly swear the testimony are given to the committees of truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth so help me god. >> i do. >> would you like to say anything . >> yes i have an opening tatement i would like to read. >> please, go ahead. >> chairman graham, ranking member feinstein and distinguished members of the committee thank you for giving me the opportunity to testify today i have the privilege to serve as an fbi agent for over 21 years, my first assignment working russian overnight used crime for the last years i spent as deputy director at fbi headquarters, i worked with the greatest people on earth, men and women who dedicated their lives protecting the country as agents, analyst and professional staff members of the fbi, i know
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fbi people hard-working dedicated patriots who are committed to the rule of law k above all else, the jobs are hard, sometimes dangerous and often they are pushed beyond the limits of their experience into volatile unpredictable situations the fbi personnel are not perfect, when they make mistakes they submit to the rigors of oversight and remain committed to learning and getting it right the next time. i was honored to be one of them, i was honored to lead them and i'm honored to discuss her work today, i've agreed to testify today about my knowledge of events related to the u.s. department of justice, office of the inspector general report entitled review of fisa application and other aspects of the fbi crossfire hurricane investigation and the investigation into russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. because i was not permitted to consult the documents that may have refreshed my memory to
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include my personal notes in my calendar i may not be as precise and accurate as otherwise would be. i appreciate the committees flexibility in conducting this hearing virtually rather than in person while i continue to believe in in-person appearance is a better vehicle for a fair and vigorous oversight hearing, the current status of the covenantee pandemic compels me too be extremely cautious about where i go and what i do, my wife is a frontline first responder who takes care of children and their families and our local emergency room. i try to avoid unnecessary potential exposure that might put her at risk and possibly endanger her ability to continue caring for our committee. in july of 2016 the fbi initiated an investigation codenamess crossfire hurricane o determine whether an individual or individuals from the trump presidential campaign might be quorum mating with the russian government to interfere with the 2016 presidential election, the
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concerns have led to the initiation of this case are well-known. in the fall 2014, the fbi began tracking cyber actors affiliated with russia who were targeting u.s. political institutions, academic think tanks and other entities. in the spring of 2016 activity intensified as new russian cyber actors invaded computer networs at the democratic national committee. at the time we did not know what they plan to do with the information they were stealing from the dnc but soon we foundy out. in july 2016 russian intelligence agents acting through the online alias 2.0 published hundreds of thousands of e-mails and other information stolen from dnc with the intent of damaging hillary clinton on the eve of the democratic national convention, the malicious use has stolen information signaled a new level
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of hostility directed at the heart of american democracy. several months beforee the release and unknown to the fbi at that time, foreign policy advisor to the trump campaign george papadopoulos informed a diplomat from a foreign government that the trump campaign had received indication from the russian government that it could assist the campaign to the anomalous release of information that would be damaging to hillary clinton. it was only after the dnc had this information was publicly released in july but the diplomat communicated the content of his conversation with george papadopoulos to the united states government. so what do t we know in july 20? we had known for almost two years the russians were targeting our political institutions in cyberspace. by the spring of 2016 we knew the russians had stolen information from the dnc. by july we knew the russians had use the information in a manner designed to hurt hillary
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clinton's chances in the election and then we learned before the russians attacked us an individual from the trump campaign may have known the attack was coming. fbi policy sets the thresholdr for opening this full field investigation at the moment when you have information or facts that indicate a threat to national security might exist for federal crime might have been committed. in july of 2016 we had both. russia's intelligent services attacking a democratic process possibly in coordination with the presidential campaign. we opened the case to investigate and try to mitigate that threat and to find out what the russians might've done. let me be very clear, we did not open a case because we liked one candidate or did not like the other one, we did not open a case because we intended to stay jaiku to overthrow the government.
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we did not open a case because we thought it might be interesting or because we wanted to drag the fbi into a heated political contest. we opened the case to find out how the russians might be undermining our election, we opened the case because itss was our obligation and our duty to do so, we did our job. the ids review of fives applications and other aspects of the fbi and crossfire hurricane investigation details a significant number of errors and failures related to the fisa application in thiss case. i agreed to be interviewed in connection with the ids investigation and i have reviewed the report. i was shocked and disappointed that the errors and mistakes that the oig found. to me any material misrepresentation or air in a fisa application is unacceptable. the fbi should be held to the
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standard of accuracy that the core demands, pfizer remains one of the most important tools in our country's efforts to protect national security, the fbi is the custodian of that tool, i fully support every effort to ensure the fbi use of fisa maintains high standards at the court in the american people demand and deserve. this commitment to the rulear of law acknowledging our mistakes and doing everything possible to ensure that theyy are corrected, these are the reasons i'm here today, the same reasons i've cooperated with every interview hearing and oversight effort requestedso of me both while i served and since i've left therv fbi. i have provided testimony to four different congressional a committees on these and related matters, i been interviewed in connection with special counsel investigation as well as three separate d.o.j. oig investigations submitting to
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questioning and reviewing documents over the equivalent of seven full business days. in an effort to provide this committee with the most complete accurate testimony possible i request the fbi allow me to review my former materials including my calendars and personal notes that was grasped with deny, fortunately the broad scope in the passage of time makes many of the details of our work hard to remember, i will do my best to answer your questions today, i will not speculate or guess about details and facts that now remain beyond my reach without the benefit of refreshing my recollection. recent testimony the director other intelligence officials see maney of the d russian targeting that concerned us in 2016 and were seen in the run-up tosi the election we just completed. as a former career law enforcement officer in a senior officer --e >> we had a comment, can you
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please wrap up. >> yes, sir. >> i cannot stress the importance of focusing your efforts in the intention of this nation on the dangers of foreign influence on our election, the russians were successful beyond their wildest imagination in inomplishing their goals 2016, their successes serve asr an encouragement and other nations intent and undermining our security, safety and stability, the russians and others will be back, please do not let the calm of the 2020 election bluer the nation into a false sense of security, it's up to you to ensure the nation recognizes the magnitude of the threat posed by foreign actors and take sufficiently aggressive steps t address it. >> right before questioning one of the reasons he is not able t review his notes is that the fbi did not want him to have the lassifying information i
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promised mr. mccain we would not go into details of his dismissal but i don't want anybody to have the belief to diss anybody with his formert was employers who made the decision. now very quickly did anyone from the trump campaign wind up being prosecuted with the collisions of the russians? >> senator it is my understanding the results of the mueller investigation that no one was prosecuted for criminal conspiracy involving activity. >> that would include george papadopoulosi correct? >> george papadopoulos, he was prosecuted for making false statements to federal agents. >> thank you. let's make sure that the fbi treated both sides fairly, senator feinstein suggests it
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was right to open up the investigation against the trump campaign, you say was right and it was your duty, let's look at the entire record of the 2016 election and see how evenhanded the fbi was, on september the seventh 2016 the cia, not the australian ambassador, the united kingdom and london but are cia sends an investigative lead over to the fbi and they informed the fbi of u.s. presidential candidate hillary clinton's approval of a plan concerning u.s. presidential candidate donald trump and russian hackers hampering the selection as a means of distracting the public from her use of a private metal service. how many agents were assigned to
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investigate that? >> senator, if you are referring to the memorandum, the raw intelligence memorandum recently declassified by the dni, i have read that memorandum and i don't understand it to be a request for investigative activity, i'm not aware thatta any agents were assigned to investigate --ga >> timeout, you get a memo in investigative lead with the cia call it, alleging that hillary clinton has signed off on a plan t tie trump to russia for political purposes, how many people looked at that, how many agents were assigned to see if it's true or not did you know about it?? >> i was not aware of the
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memorandum. >> timeout. >> you get a cia memo investigative lead memo suggesting that the democratic candidate for president hillary clinton is trying to divert attention from her e-mail server problem by casting aspersions against the trump campaign being connected to russia and you did not know about it, how is that possible? >> i would like to explain to you how that is possible. >> who did it go to? i will, i just want to make sure he understands. >> who did the memo go to? >> i recently read m the memo in my understanding it went to director comey and also to the attention of peter strzok, that memorandum that you are referring to as i read it is in response to an fbi request, oral
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request for an update of the information that the crossfire hurricane task force was reviewing about russian activity in the campaign, that is my best recollection. >> i am here to tell you that that is not what happened, the cia, we've got the documents said to the fbi, the information suggesting that hillary clinton had approved of a plan to link donald trump to russia for political purposes and it went to peter strzok, do you believe peter strzok wasas fair-minded when it came to the trump campaign? >> senator, my experience working with peter strzok, yes i believe he was fair and the decisions that he made in the work that he did. >> do you object mueller leavine him from the investigation because of the e-mails show that he hated trump's guts?
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>> my recollection stirred that we removed peter from that team because of the ongoing investigation. >> did you remove him or did mueller remove him? >> we had conversations on the evening that it was first shown the text messages between peter strzok advances page and we made the decision to remove them and reached out to the directors team and they agreed with that, that's my recollection. >> you believe peter strzok was on the up and up, was it ever suggested by mr. struct should not be involved? in this investigation because of his relationship with lisa page? >> senator i remember discussing with him and with mr. steinbock.
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>> here are the facts, he suggests that peter strzok not be involved, you overrode him and here's what we know about peter strzok and page, donald trump is a low from human being, oh my god peter strzok trump is an idiot, he is awful, god hillary should win 100 million to nothing. august 2016 page, he's never going to come president right? peter strzok no, no, we will stop him, is it your testimony under oath that you think peter strzok had no devices against trump?rz >> senator it is my testimony under oath that the work that i saw peter strzok do on the crossfire case and on other cases.
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>> i'm having a hard time finishing an answer. >> please finish. >> simply stating that the work that i saw peter do on this case and other cases in the decisions that he made i did not see any indication of political bias. >> how do you explain to the american people when the fbi received a memo from the cia alleging that hillary clinton has signed off on a plan concerning u.s.om presidential donald trump in russia hackers hampering the election as a means of distracting the public from her use of a private mail service that you did nothing, should peter strzok have told you about this? >> i cannot explain what peter strzok or director comey thought about that memo but what i canen say senator --
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>> please i want to get into this, everybody is saying you have the right to open up an investigation against trump based on the u.s. ambassador, the australian ambassador to the united kingdom who heard the conversation, what you're telling this committee when the cia informed the fbi about a plan to sign up with hillary clinton to link trump to russia, nothing was done, is that what you are saying? that there was no investigation of that allegation at all? >> what i am saying senator, it is not clear to me that there is an allegation of criminal conduct in the memorandum that is based on my current reading i did not see it at the time. >> is not a counterintelligence investigation, is what was opened up against trump not a criminal investigation, is that true, george papadopoulos was a counterintelligence in thisr
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investigation. >> the case against george papadopoulos was a counter -- >> if you can have a counterintelligence investigation opened up against the trump campaign based on a conversation by the australian ambassador to the united kingdom based on a bar conversation, you were telling me that is legit and you put all the resources for two and half years to run that down but t you're telling this committee when our own cia suggest hillary clinton signed off on a plan to link trump to russia for political purposes, you did not do a damn thing, is that your testimony? >> no, sir that is not my testimony. happy to explain how we thought about the issue of george papadopoulos. >> that is not my question, my question is why did the fbi not open up an investigation based on the cia they have informatin
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that hillary clinton signed off on a plan to deflect attention from her put trump in a bad light regarding russia that came in september 2016. you do not knowr about it apparently, can you explain to this committee and the american people why the fbi did nothing regarding the allegation. >> i cannot explain to you what peter strzok or anyone else thought about that at the time but i can explain to you. >> i except that you believe the george papadopoulos should be looked at, i am not arguing with you, i do not understand how the fbi operated, you've got a tip from initially and ambassador of the united kingdom talking about a bar conversation with george papadopoulos about russia hacking and that leads to two and half years of turning the country upside down, your own cia informed the fbi in
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september that they have the information that hillary clinton signed off on a plan to divert attention from her e-mail problems to trump for leaking him to russia for political purposes and mr. struct never t told you in the fbi never opened an investigation or hired one agent, that is disturbing to at, lot of us, let's go to the warrant, in june 2016 -- excuse me 2017 did you sign off on the carter page warrant application? >> in june of 2016, yes. >> 17 i'm sorry. >> 2017. >> did you know at the time that the cia warned the fbi on numerous occasions to be careful of using the dossier it was internet rumor? >> i did not know the of the time and i don't know that now. >> we've got a list of cia informed the fbi that carter
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page had approved as an operational conduct from 2008 2008 - 2013, did you know the cia had told the fbi that in august of 2017? >> no, sir. >> the reason that is important that would explain why mr. paige was talking to people he claimed to be talking with. did you know, did you have a conversation with mr. orr about the reliability of christopher steele? >> i had a conversation in october of 2016 with mr. orr about his interactions with mr. steele. >> did he tell you sh you shoule concerned and careful? >> i don't remember him saying i
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should be concerned or careful. >> in the fall of 2016 this was his testimony to the committee you put him on notice, you need to watch this, you need to verify, is certainly gave him the same caveat in thee caveat trump, yes your concerns, what did he say when you told him that you are concerned that you need to be careful for lack of a better term, i think he understood because he also worked on russia criminal matters we have mr. orr under oath saying he expressed concerns that you and peter strzok and others that the reliability of mr. steele, you don't remember that? >> senator i do not remember the specifics of our conversation however, we were engaged in trying to determine and verify the statements in mr. steele's reporting not the time so -- >> were you aware of the sub source interview in january and march? >> to the fbi. >> i was aware an individual who our team thought of as one of
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the primary sub sources has been identified and they were interviewing. >> did they tell you about the substance of those interviews? >> not in detail. >> you did not know in january the sub source tells fbi he had no idea where the language came from, the context number and of information attributed to them and you did not know the origins that was supposedly from the context? he did not recall other information attributed to him as the context, still use incorrect source characterizations for the primary sub source contact in march he said he never expected steele to put his statements and reports are present thomas fax the statements were word-of-mouth and hearsay conversations with friends over beers or statements made in just that should be taken with a grain of salt, was any of that communicated to you?
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>> no, sir, not that i can recall. >> if you knew then would you have signed the warrant application in june of 2017 against carter page? >> no, sir. >> finally, who is responsible for ruining mr. carter pages life if it's not you, if it's not rosenstein, if it's not comey, it is not sally yates, who is responsible for putting together the information provided to the fisa court that was completely the void of the truth, lacking material facts, completely represented what mr. paige did in how we did it, who should we look to for that responsibility. >> i don't agree with the way that you characterized. >> that's what the court said.
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>> i think is the ig pointed out in the conclusions of the repo report. >> who is responsible mr. mccabe? >> everybody is responsible but nobody's responsible. >> cert it would help if you allow me too finish my answer it might be easier to understand. >> the question is who is responsible. >> i think we are all responsible for the work that when in to the fisa, i am responsible as a person in a leadership position with oversight overm these matters, i accept that responsibility fully. >> did you mislead the fisa court? >> i signed a package that included numerous factual errors that failed to include information that should've been brought to the court. >> what should be done to you and others? >> senator i think we are doing that with this process, i think
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our efforts should be focused on figuring out how these errors took place and ensuring they do not happen again. >> that starts with those who committed the problem being held accountable. >> senator feinstein. >> mr. chairman, this is difficult with one hearing open and then they get open and reports get done and then they get castigated foror doing it ad in his 434 page report ig horowitz confirmed with the fbi had a legitimate reason to open the crossfire hurricane investigation, attorney general barr disagreed with the id finding and has since referred to it as a bogus russia gate scandal. this is the first time i have heard this kind of thing
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happening and one witness told the ig that it would've been a dereliction of duty and responsibility of the highest order not to investigate, do you agree with that? >> i'm sorry senator, i absolutely agree it would've been a dereliction of duty for us to not initiate the crossfire churricane investigation and the ways that we did. >> as i understand it was a counterintelligence investigation into trump campaign ties to russia, you open a counterintelligence investigation into trump himself after he fired former fbi director comey and comey's termination to the russia investigation, i don't know if
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that is true or not, i would like to know but you said if the fbi failed to open an investigation into trump under the circumstances, we would not be doing our job, i believe you said that on 60 minutes. i think it is plenty enter pretty clear opening a counterintelligence investigation into a president s extraordinary steps. why did you see it as necessary under those circumstances? >> senator there were a lot of things that were concerning us as we went through the opening in the process of investigation. >> please say what they were i think it would be helpful to this conversation. >> we knew the russians had been targeting us, we had reason to believe because of the friendly foreign government information been awarempaign had and might've coordinated in thosee activities, that's why we initiated the crossfire investigation, after as we
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proceeded that investigation, we had a series of alarming director comey had a series of alarming interactions with president trump in which it became pretty clear to us that he did not wanti us to continue investigating what the russians have done, he actually asked at e.one point that we stop investigating general flynn, he then fired director comey and they also asked that we state publicly that he was not under investigation when we did not do that and we did not close the investigation on general flynn comey then stated publicly that he fired director comey thinking aboutst the russians, he then td the russians he had fired director comey and that had relieved a lot of pressure that had been on him. we had many reasons at that point to believe that the president might himself pose a
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danger to national security and he might have engaged in obstruction of justice if the firing of the director and those other thingsed were geared towas eliminating or stopping our investigation of russian activity. >> what was found on that point? >> that is the point in which we handed the investigation on the first four people in the investigation of president trump in the and investigation of sessions over to the special counsel team we all know what happened, the conclusion of that investigation, the details that are provided in the mueller report i think provide pretty nsolid results that verify and/r concerns were valid. i am very confident in the work
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that the special counsel did and i think it proves that our concerns at the time were legitimate. >> would you go into some of those concerns and what the report shows? >> sure, we open the initial crossfire hurricane investigation because predominantly the state with george t papadopoulos indicated that people that george papadopoulos affiliated with the campaign might be correlated with russia, my recollection of the results of the special counsel investigation is that they found over 100 different connections between people affiliated with were part of the trump campaign and russians are people affiliated with the russian and government or intelligence services. clearly are concerned that there might be connections that we
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should be looking into to ensure nationalno danger to security was the proven to be true on the obstruction of justice side, i think it's well known that director mueller concluded that he could not indict or seek an indictment of a sitting president due to department of justice policy, however, the volume two of the mueller report lays out and pretty excruciating detail with ten different categories that the president engaged in into the best of my recollection, eight of the categories, the elements of the offensive obstruction of justice, evidence to prove each element of obstruction of justice are present in those categories of trbehavior. it is a fairly legalistic and i apologize for that explanation
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but it's a compelling case that the president was in fact engagingng in behavior that you could easily categorize as obstruction of justice, our concern that the president might be obstructing justice was verified by the results ofju the mueller report. >> thank you, thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator cornyn. >> mr. mccabe the department of justice, i reviewed the fbi what is happened over the last four years has revealed and fbi gone rogue that is interfered with not just one candidate but with two candidates for president of the united states starting with hillary clinton and then of course investigation of the
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current president donald trump, how is it that the fbi decided to interfere in the election of not just one but two candidates for president of the united states. >> senator i don't agree with your characterization of our work as having gone rogue and i would also say at no time while i was in the fbi did we make a decision to interfere in any presidential election. >> did you participate in the discussions leading up to the july 5, 2016 press conference that director comey held on the e-mail investigation, did you agree with that and did you support his decision to go public without announcement?
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>> senator i was a part of those decisions at the time i supported it at the time i feel very differently about it now, i'm happy to go into details about that if youim would like. >> into understand why youke thought that fire and fbi director may be some evidence of russian involvement with president trump, you are familiar with rod rosenstein memo which was at least in part the reason why director comey was fired, correct? >> i learned -- yes i became familiar with that the day comey was fired. >> i don't understand your relationship with director comey, didy he know everything that you knew? or did you selectively tell him or report to him about things that the fbi was doing.
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>> i cannot say what director comey new i can tell you director comey and i attended numerous meetings together and briefings every day that it was my practice to discuss all of the major issues that we were dealing with, that i was dealing with with director comey so we spoke frequently about most topics, i cannot tell you with perfect accuracy but we talked e lot, he was pretty up to speed what was going on at all times. >> did you or director comey consult with attorney general lynch or deputy attorney sally yates about the counterintelligence investigation of the trump
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campaign? >> yes, sir, our team met with the folks, the d.o.j., leadership and national security division within a day or so of opening the crossfire hurricane investigation and informed them of what wee had done and what we thought about the case andnd the people who were beingng investigated and director comey and i, i won't speak for director comey, i had follow-up conversations with the department leadership in the days that followed in many times during the course of the investigation. >> mr. mccabe, who should be theld accountable for the submission of a foreign intelligence surveillance act application that contained a lie about carter page with regard to his activities on behalf of another agency of the federal
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government and who should be held accountable for relying on the now discredited steele dossier. >> i think that is the question that people would like an answer to, who should be held accountable? >> senator i think all of the people involved in this work should be and have been held accountable, i feel like the oversight process that we are engaged in now, the participation and cooperation in the efforts of the inspector general, i think all of these that the fbi has done internally to address everything from individuals to process, i think those are all essential steps to ensure that these errors are fixed and that we take appropriate steps not to make in the future. >> it is 2020 and these occurred
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back in 2016, i certainly don't have any confidence that the people who were responsible for this debacle over the last four years would ultimately be held responsible, i hope i'm wrong, i mon't agree with my friends from california that is now a time to soturn the page, we need to make sure that nothing like this ever ever happens again to any candidate or any president regardless of their political party. i have to tell you my biggest concern is that the fbi under james comey and under your leadership as deputy director of the fbi can do this, what they did to hillary clinton, a candidate for president of the
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united states and can do it to donald j trump, as a candidate and president of the united states, what chance does an average citizen have if they're under investigation by an fbi led by leaders in the fashion that you and mr. comey led during the time of these investigations, what confidence can average citizen have that they would have any chance at all? >> senator i disagree with you, i think all americans should and do have great confidence in the fbi today and during the time i was there and before that the fbi conducts tens of thousands of investigations across all programs every single day in the fbi goes to great links to
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ensure that the constitutional rights of the subjects ofto investigations and witnesses we come across in the sources of information we work with are protected but during the course of those investigations, it does not mean that we don't make mistakes, we do, were an organization of human beings and people make mistakes and when that happens i think we go through the rigorous process to ensure that we don't make those mistakes again, when you make mistakes, other people pay the price apparently, let me ask one final question mr. mccabe, on march the 16th you were terminated by the fbi following an investigation of the office of inspector general and the fbi of professional responsibility which found that you had made an unauthorized disclosure to the
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news media and you lacked candor including under oath on multiple occasions, isn't that correct? >> senator it is correct that i was the subject of a biased, deeply flawed and unfair investigation by the department of justice, office of inspector general and i've been pretty clear in my vigorous objection to that investigation and its findings and conclusions that i filed a federal lawsuit and i think i would refer you to the specific comments in that lawsuit it is not proper for me too discuss the details of the investigation now that it is in front of a federal judge. >> mr. chairman anywhere across america who tuned into the hearing has a right to be confused, if you were told this was a hearing on an presidential election it is true but not the
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one that occurred a y week ago,e are talking about a presidential election campaign four years ago, we are focusing on a presidential election but we are examining for the fourth time the role of russians in the 2016 election four years ago and more importantly we are discussing president trump's conclusion despite intelligence evidence to the contrary that the russian collusion was a hoax, for the senate judiciary committee it is about hillary, it is all about president trump's bizarre theories of justice, this is a last ditch desperate undertaking to deal with president trump's grievances about the election. we have all concededd the point, carter page was not treated properly, both sides of the aisle set is which, how many more times do we need to say it,
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i want to say it again today because i still believe it, what are we actually facing, what is the state to play in america today that the senate judiciary committee might be interested in, let's take ae few items, we did have an election, a landmark moment in history, a sitting president, donald trump who is routinely disrespected the rule of law, undermine democratic institutions, put his own interest ahead of the interestct of the american people, ignored science of public health when it comes to this pandemic and violated basic standards of honesty and decency in unprecedented numbers a clear majority of americans voted to say that is that we are finished with ed you. and replaced it with president-elect joe biden and vice president-elect kamala harris, two senators who served honorably on this committee, the election sent a clear message, it is time to stop relitigating issues of the last election, it
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is time to finally put behind us the divisiveness and vitriol of the trump era and to bring our fracture country together that would address covid number one and put our economy back on its feet. here we are today, seven days after that election and our committee is holding another partisan hearing to advance president trump's theories, this is the fourth hearing this year on the last of administration, ure previous administration justice department in response to president trump's repeated calls to investigate the investigators. to try to rewrite the story of russia's involvement of the 2016 campaign. the senate judiciary committee we sit on here hasn't held a single oversight hearing on the trump of administration justice department and thisld congress. any issues we might want to raise?
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i can think of a few. perhaps we might investigate the department of homeland security in their zero-tolerance policy. i regret what happened to carter page, i said so before but i also regret what happened to 2200 infants, toddlers and children who were physically removed from their parents by zero-tolerance policy of the trump of administration and the 545 of those children still are in abandoned status today, 545, my question has been asked to the witness before us today, who should be held responsible? why wouldn't the senate judiciary committee even care to have a hearing why one of the immigration subcommittee which i'm a ranking member on the senator from texas have one, none, this is the fourth we are having going over
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cloud-to-ground, there are issues raised to the department of justice who might've considered today yesterday bill barr issued a memo authorizing federal prosecutors to pursue b ofantial allegations voting and tabulation regularities prior to the certification of elections. the attorney general's memo represents another instance of his sacrificing the reputation of the department of justice to serve the political interest of donald trump. attorney general barr is clearly attempting to fabricate thee legitimacy for the baseless claims of voter fraud made by president trump and his supporters. he is doing so by overwriting the long-standing department of justice policies that were put in place to prevent the very type of political interference in an election season. let me tell you what the previous guidelines, the previous attorney general honor
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said. public knowledge of a criminal investigation could impact the adjudication of election litigation that contest in state courts, accordingly it is the general policy not to conduct over investigations". . . . of quote. attorney general barr jettisoned that standard yesterday. the barr memo prompted the department of justice election crimes branch to resign from his position, an issue the senate judiciary committee might want to be concerned about? no, i'm sorry, we're back relitigating the 2016 election. we're going to go through that all over again, maybe a fifth time, instead of asking pertinent and relevant questions about what's happening today. mr. richard noninterference policy for the ballot fraud allegations in the period prior to becoming certified and contested.
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when the general came before me in the office, i asked him point blank why do you want to be donald trump's attorney general he said you should have seen the list of other people is there anyone on or off the committee that believes the general's actions yesterdays preserved the integrity of the department of justice. i want to thank george w. bush in texas for stepping up and doing the honorable thing and
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acknowledging and he's a proud republican. i thought that that was timeframe to step up number one, we are going to investigate how the carter page warrant application was submitted numerous times to the pfizer court with inaccurate information. i think it's important to have every person who signed it say if i knew then what i knew now i wouldn't have signed it to me itve is pretty stunning. the 29th we received information for the director that in september of 2016, september 7th, the cia informed the fbi that the candidate hillary clinton approved a plan concerning the u.s. presidential candidate donald trump and
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russia hackers tampering the elections as a means of distracting the public from the usee of a private server. what we are suggesting is that when the cia informs the fbi signed off on a plan to link trump to russia for political reasons but nobody did anything. there was no investigation opened. mr. mccabe didn't know about it. the fbi director said it didn't ring a bell. the piece or that it -- person that it went to was advised against so what we are saying if you would have believed it was a dereliction of duty not to look at trump based on a statement by the australian ambassador of the
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united kingdom regarding a bar conversation in london that led to everything we've dealt with for two and a half years, we were wondering, just out loud, how could you ignore the cia information provided to the fbi that the democratic candidate for president signed off on a y plan to link trump to russia for political reasons which may explain some of the garbage of crossfire hurricane. you are okay with that but we are not. you are absolutely perfectly fine with the fact that the democratic candidate for president of the united states in 2016, the cia had information she's signed off on a plan to linknk the republican candidates for the political purposes and nobody did anything. absolutely fine with that. we are not. that is a big deal to me. this will not be the last election that we will ever have, and you cannot live in a country this way. you cannot live in a country cia lead andke a put it in the garbage can and
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nobody does anything. that is just not fair to this country. that's got to stop. nobody took allegations from the cia people on this side of the aisle believe when it came to clinton and trump to change the narrative trump was being involved with the russians and ignored every stop sign about carter page. mr. chairman, what you've just
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said is so alarming that we should have had somewhere along the way a thorough nonpartisan investigation of this whole crossfire hurricane. it turns out we did. then inspector general in december of 2019 found that the fbi's crossfire investigation was open for an authorized purpose and had actuall predication and wasn't influenced by bias. the fbi director agreed. that isn't what president trump or the attorney general or members of the committee wanted to hear, so they tried to reopen that independent investigation in every partisan way imaginable and this is the fourth time in the committee. enough. >> with all due respect, senator, does it not bother you at all that the cia tells the fbi of a planned hillary clinton may have signed off on and nobody looked at it?
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>> actually, it doesn't and i will tell you why. the fbi is an agency of limited and specific jurisdiction. and the opponent to a foreign country is not a criminal act. the trump campaign tried to do that with china and it is not a criminal act. the obvious difference is that the information that the fbi was receiving about carter page and thei trump campaign is that thee were contacts between russian intelligence operatives and trump campaign operatives. when you - have contacts going ,
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that does light up a flag on a counterintelligence front and i don't see how anybody could disagree that that's the case. but when you have a campaign making its internal campaign policy to try to say. i don't think the fbi had a lot of business interfering in that type of public campaign political debate. you would be beside yourself with irritation and anger that the fbi had taken that step. with the political strategy of the campaign i don't see how that gets you to either
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criminality or the type of contact with a foreign power. thereen was counterintelligence based on a conversation by the australian ambassador of the united kingdom on the bar and we've got the tapes. papadopoulos said on tape no, i'm not working with the russians. that would be treason. they used that to open up now what is called crossfire hurricane in the investigation paid by the democratic party and
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created a document that was a bunch of garbage. the state department calls over the fbi and is is this guy wants trump not to win in the worst way. the dossier was prepared by a political person the opposition research winds up being used by fbi to get a warrant against anan american citizen and i'm vy sad that the cia's information
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about hillary clinton signing off on the plan to link trump to russia wasn't looked at because ifif you looked at it that may e explaining the dossier. so we can prosecute him or gety him fired and also if we can get him to admit given the facts the department of justice and have them decide. is it typical for the leadership at the fbi to strategize as to how to get the subjects of an investigation to lie as in this case an informal interview without counsel present?
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>> well, i am not going to speak for his notes. >> i'm just asking whether it is typical. >> i can tell you it is common to discuss before an interview with the many different ways that interview might turn out and one of those ways is that ay subject or the witness you are interviewing night to be deceptive, so it's common to think through how you would handle that. >> in the interview, peter struck stated before the interview, the fbi general counsel and others decided agentsid would not. that it was a crime to lie during an fbi interview because they wanted flynn to be relaxed. they were concerned giving warnings might affect the report. is it normal to instruct agents to not inform the interviewees of their rights and
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investigations? >> there is no requirement to tell any witness or interviewer that it's a crime to lie to the fbi. it is common for agents and their supervisors to discuss how they will handle different in ands before they go do it. t so you don't do that all the time because you rely on informal interviews and get a lot of information out of them and if you are constantly warning them in advance and making them feel like they are targets, that is a problem but it also can become a problem and cavariably it does when people are lured into an interview with one set of expectations you've created for them. whenin scheduling the meeting wh general flynn, you threatened to elevate the issue of the fact to the department of justice if he appeared at the interview with
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counsel. statements made during this same interview where you advised him were used as the basis for the prosecution. is it standard practice for the fbi to threaten high-level administration officials if they refuse to appear without counsel or at least without somebody from the white house counsel'sin office? >> the premise of your question is false. i didn't threaten general flynn with anything. during a very short conversation, i asked if he wanted to have representatives from the white house counsel's office or his own attorney attend the interview and i told him ifif that were the case i would need the agents to bring an attorney from the department of justice. he replied he didn't want to bring an attorney which is his
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right and we proceeded in that way. >> i'm looking at your notes atgarding your conversations. i explained to the lieutenant general my desire was to have two of my agents interview him as quickly and discreetly as possible. he agreed to meet with the agents today and to conduct the interview at his office in. the white house at 14:30 this afternoon. i explained i thought the quickest way to get this done was to have a conversation between him and the agents only and i've heard it further stated if he wished to include. he stated this wouldn't be necessary and agreed with the agents without any additional participants.c at least there's a certain suggestion.
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the director admitted he would have informed the obama white house chief of staff if this were occurring under analogous circumstances with president obama and the national security advisor so why this a disparatep treatment? why would you have one standard you would inform the chief of staff in one instance but not in another administration? >> i can't speak for what he thought about that at the time. >> we've called in a few different people to talk about the investigation in front of the committee and so far we haven't been able to get a singleul straight answer to some critical questions including who in the leadership at the fbi or the department of justice knew about the flaws contained in the carter page fisa warrants befors the original application was
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submitted october 201st of 2016? and also, who knew by the time the renewal was submitted on january 12, 2017 or how about the second renewal on april 7th and most importantly for today's tpurposes, who knew when you signed the third renewal june 208th, 2017? nobody seems to be telling us anything back in august of the deputthedeputy attorney generaly yates told the committee she had no idea where that critical factual errors and the initial carter page application. she had no idea that those were there. director comey told the committee he didn't know when he signed the applications and the subsequent renewals. now you've told the committee. what is your answer to these questions, tell me what you were aware of?
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>> i have y been pretty clear i was not aware of the errors that are identified in the report or present in the package i signed in june of 2017. a. >> my time is expiring. could i get an additional two minutes and i think i can wrap this up. you stated in your written testimony that fisa remains one of the most important tools in the efforts to protect national security. the fbi is the custodian of that tool. i support every effort to ensure the use maintains the high standards of the court and the american peopleat that they demd and that they deserve. that is all well and good. i like the statement but i would note that i've heard the line before more times than i can count over the last ten years while i've been on the committee. your comments are nearly identical to those i've heard
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from fbi official after fbi official, from basically every fbi official who' whose testifin this issue. trust us, we are the good guys and we need the secret surveillance authorities to keep you safe and furthermore, you don't need to worry about them. these are not the droids you're looking for because we are the good guys and require high level approval. it turns out none of the people involved in the high level approval who told me over the lastpr decade that they were reviewing them and that's why it's okay. none of them can answer these questions so i'm asking you now how are we supposed to tell the american people to have confidence in this fisa surveillance process if in my view this is hard to believe no one in the fbi leadership, no one in the leadership of the fbi
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wants to admit that they were aware of serious flaws in a high-profile investigation and what assurances could you possibly give us thatla the applications targeting everyday americans, just u.s. citizens andd not even high-profile officials in the united states o are subject to e scrutiny? they simply can't f be. the fact is the process must be reformed. we cannot ask americans toat continue to give the federal government this enormous amount of unsupervised scrutiny only to have it abused and only to have the people who were accountable sayun they have no idea how thee things happen. c can assure you you're abuse of the process has cost you the trust of the american people, that in and of itself is tragic and i don't use those words lightly. what is even more tragic is they've cost a great agency, when i worked with as a federal prosecutor and for which i've had great respect and where there's still countless
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hard-working, honest men and women who learned th earned thed nameun every day. their reputation and the bureau's ability to do the job has been seriously impaired by these missteps. that is why the structures must change and i will not rest until it does. >> i cannot respond to things other people have said to the senator the last ten years. i do agree with you that this t process, the ig oversight and the report they delivered has uncovered that there are problems with potentially the way the fbi is handling its responsibilities. i am confident in saying that this experience has exposed to me at least we have been
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overconfident in the process we have been using for years. we've been overconfidentnt in te oversight we have been subjecting each package to. i think we need to go back and very thoroughly look at how do we changech that process. i agree with that respect thank you, chairman. first of all, let me just say that given the error of omissions that were in the warrant, no official would say now that they find that warrant knowing that it had omissions, so that is an obvious question
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they wouldn't sign a warrant that had they found out, they would have ended the investigation. that is not a logical lead or t,correct assertion or implication. what you do is go back and clear out the omissions as necessary against the people responsible and then proceed with a correct warrant so let's make sure that's clear i think we agree on that but i want to clarify. i've also got to say i have no objection to pursuing the question of this investigation, but t it does irk me we are doig it at the expense of other things we could be looking at. if you haven't read judge gleason's brief for a federal judge in the flynn case, it is
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one of the most astonishing pieces. first of all it's an amazing piece of legal writing so if you are a law studenton or young lawyer, read it to watch the skill of an advocate at work. the allegations and concerns that a judge on behalf of a sitting federal judge made about the department of justice are unprecedented and what attention how have we given that, none. there is likely mischief behind the antitrust letter sent out to auto companies who had the nere to try to interfere in the fossil fuel industry scheme to undo vehicle emissions standards. there is no support for that. it's since been withdrawn. the hearing continues to be postponed and i have zero evidence or information in relation to my request about
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that. we have what appears to be a tanked fbi investigation and i've asked questions about that to which i have had no answer whatsoever. we had multiple resignations and protests under attorney general bar and we can't get any answers to what's going on behind those resignations in protest and now to federal courts have written official opinions, decisions excoriating the office of legalt counsel and nothing on that. so, we are highly selective in what we choose to look into and we have been extremely solicitous of the stonewalling and nonresponsiveness w to this department of justice.
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we are about to go into a biden department of justice and if the standard you want to set is that the department of justice doesn't have to answer any letters or q avatars, only does things for the majority party, congratulations because you've done a good job of setting that precedent in this committee. you have allowed the policy andn the justice of nonresponsiveness and i will tell you how bad it is. the chair man actually brought the deputy attorney general into a meeting with me, thank you for that courtesy, at my request because we were getting no answers, just complete blowoff. if i recall, that meeting was in june. you know how many answers i've gotten after that meeting with
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the deputy attorney general about unanswered questions, none. zero. so, you all have set the precedent if you think you're going to come back with questions about the biden department of justice you have said the president the department of justice and fbi don't have to answer questions and if you're inin the majority and you're just going to let that ride so i have to take this opportunity toe ask some questions toa a former fbi official because we don't have that so let me ask mr. mccabe the fbi does everything by policy and procedure in my recollection is a u.s. attorney working with agents. were there fbi policies and procedures related to how a tip line operates? >> yes, a sir, there are policis
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about that. >> where would i go to find those policies and procedures? i was able to find one statement. are you aware of other places we should go to look more specifically since we haven't been able to get straight answers? >> i don't know if i can give you the perfect place to look at the fbi handles the tip lines has changed a lot in the last five or so years so they are all managed out of the facility in west virginia that kind of handles the incoming calls and then send us information directed to the field offices that would be responsible for following up on those things. >> who has the authority?
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>> the office of public affairs would be involved in that suggestion and if it's a particular case that we think requesting active involvement will help. >> and the agent in charge would clear it with the public affairs office and then the process for the tip line kicks in? >> that is the best of my recollection. >> once it is up and running and information>> starts to come in, what does it look like when you are going through those tips obviously a lot of them are just going to call in with a very significant evidence potentially and you're going to have to go and dig into that. who oversees that to make sure it's legitimate and evidence is being dug out of a tip line call?
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>> once the line is set up they go to the criminal justice division in west virginia and the telephone operators who answer the calls have a process for how they memorialize the information and who it gets sent to and whether it should be brought to somebody's attention immediately or if it involves a threat to life so there are kind of detailed policies. i'm not in the position to tell great detail off the top of my head. a. >> i'm over my time so let me ask you last short question and that is if an fbi tip line were set up and information were collected through the tip line and nobody looked at what had been brought in, it was just all dumped in a file with no further investigative work at all, would that be consistent with fbi policy or procedure?
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>> from the way you described the situation i would have to say no i am not aware of a specific situation'v that fits that model but presumably the information gets put into the guardian system and that is how all of our incoming information is managed and assigned and investigated at, its most kind f initial level so no, information should never just be put aside and not followed up on. >> thank you for the extra time. a.u, >> for the antitrust issue that you've been talking about, the committee deserves to have a hearing on that so i'm going to get with the senator to make sure that in a reasonable fashion we can get answers to the questions you've raised. i think we owe that to not only you but the committee itself. >> the hearings can be pretty meaningless if we haven't been given anything.
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a. >> we will look into that i think you've from my point of view gotten a pretty good scrutiny. >> senator tellis. no, grassley i overlooked the soon-to-be chair man. >> during the course of crossfire hurricane, the obama administration used the fisa process as a weapon against candidate trump and then later presidentt trump. doing so undermine his presidency from the start. we voted in the senate on legislation that would repair many of the shortcomings in the current fisa court system striking a balance of increased accountability, transparency and ensuring fairness while protecting the national security interests. congress muscongress must ensure fisa process isn't abused for partisan political gain like it was in the obama administration
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so now to my first question, the inspector generaln found 17 errors and omissions in the fisa application. there were also over 50 errors and omissions in the file for the fisa application and in light of these overwhelming mistakes, the obvious lack of evidence and to fully apprise the court the relevant exculpatory facts the investigation simply didn't have the foundation to proceed. if you were diligent in doing the job, how did you miss all of these critical mistakes and failures? >> i don't agree with your characterization of the investigation being a legitimate or flawed. there are those that you have referenced, the ones pointed out
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by thesa ig should not have takn place in the application which was only one part of an overall investigation into mr. page and three other individuals. in investigation i would point out was authorized for the purpose and properly predicated. >> according to the inspector general dossier was essential to the carter page fisa however according to your testimony before the house intelligence committee, the dossier was not fully vetted and corroborated before it was used in the application. why didn't you ensure they performed it due diligence before it was used to justify the surveillance on an american citizen? >> the fbi is not required by the court to only present information that has been yabsolutely verified and proven true. we often use information we have
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not yet gotten to the bottom of. we are required to provide information about the source of the information so that the court is adequately aware of what we knowat about the verification. in this case we were in the middle of a very long and extensive effort trying to prove the allegations in this reporting. >> january 4th, 2017 the fbi prepared a memo and noted no derogatory information was identified. that same day mr. strunk interceded to keep it open. did you order him or anyone else to keep it open and if not, who did? >> i don't recall ordering
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mr. strauch to keep that investigation open. obviously that is what happened, but i do not know who gave that order. >> did anyone ever instruct you to keep it open and if so, who? >> no one ever instructed me to keep the case open. weth had conversations about it towards the end of 2016 and we hadn't developed much information if it might be appropriate to close the case, however those thoughts changed when we became aware that we had evidence of conversations with the russians so our initial concern that he might be the point of contact between the trump campaign and the russians was elevated when we found
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evidence he was in fact in touch with the russians. >> during your time at the fbi, how many investigations were you a partur of? >> i doo not recall ever having been a part of a logan act investigation. >> based on thehe evidence i've seen, much of which has been made public, the fbi was out to get him and they broke every rule in the book. what they did under your watch is a textbook example of the power of the federal government being abusive and hurt the american people. now i've made this point before but it's frustrating when the fbi refuses to answer the questions in full but it's relevant information to the media. i asked them director comey
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may 2017 whether he ever served as an anonymous source about matters relating to the investigation. his response, never. so the next question to you, deputy director was that a true and accurate answer based on your experience working for him? >> first, senator, to be clear i strongly disagree with your characterization of the investigation of general s flynn but with respect to the testimony about the source of anonymous leaks, i do not have any information about that. >> in that same hearing i asked
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them director whether he authorized someone else at the fbi to be an anonymous source in the news reports about the investigation or the clinton investigation. his answer was no. so, was that a true and accurate answer based on your experience of working for him?? >> i'm not aware of authorizing or directing people to be anonymouss sources. >> the justiceo department rept on your disclosing of information to the media lack of candor or lying under oath to the investigations specifically the report said you had a conversationre with a justice department official about the investigation and in that conversation you reportedly
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stated are you telling me i need to shut down a valid investigation. why did you believe that the investigation was predicated? >> i'm not sure i can answer that question because it is beyond the scope of what i was to be questioned about and i would have to reveal information i'm not sure the fbi, i haven't been authorized to discuss but i would point out, senator that the director and the deputy director are the only to officials who have the authority and responsibility to authorize the release of information to the media. so i think your questions are
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overlooking that important distinction. that's it. >> based on what you said you said you present information to court sometimes that isn't fully proven, is that right when it comes to a warrant? >> we often present information we haven't finished verifying. >> do you have in requirements [inaudible] >> in the fisa process, agents are obligated to present information that might cut against the veracity of the source or if it puts the court in the position to assess
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whether they believe the wformation. >> if you alter an e-mail from the cia saying he actually was a source, that is misleading to the court and why he's been prosecuted. is that correct? >> that is my understanding. >> when we have information in january and march for the sub source basically disavows the legitimacy of the dossier as hearsay can you tell how that never made it to you by june of could that information then be gathered in january and march and not be known to the system as late as june, 2017. did you talk about this at all?
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>> the interview of the sub source was conducted by if you whether agents and that is when the sub source told us basically that the article was hearsay and it gutted the reliability. my question is if you knew and then what you know now you wouldn't have signed the application. do you know why that information that are made it to you and others? >> no, sir. but there is no question that the crossfire team should have had a much more thorough conversation with the department of justice attorneys who were responsible for preparing that package. there shouldld have been full visibility to make the informed decision as to whether or not they should have been included in the package. >> and nobody told you about these interviews were the substance of them is that correct? >> that is correct.
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>> senator klobuchar. >> thank you mr. chairman. welcome back, mr. mccabe. good to see you. this hearing was set up before this election. i know that. but since we got the notice on this hearing, we now know that we have a new president in a new vice president that we will see in washington and that is vice president elect harris and i want to make it clear to anyone watching right now out there in the virtual land that this is all about what happened before the 2016 election; is that correct? around that time period. >> that's correct. >> and in the 2016 election, donald trump one and hillary clinton lost; is that correct? >> that is my understanding. >> that is the correct answer. so, now we move forward to this
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election in 2020. we have a situation where our democracy has spoken. we have the greatest number of people that voted ever in a presidential election. are you awarete of that? >> yes ma'am. >> and you think that there were some improvements made on how we handle the interference in the election? >> of course i am not privy to to all of the information about what folks know and what they took but it does seem to me that it took the efforts to bring greater security and the state level was time and effort lost. >> i personally think that there is a lot more that needs to be done. and i have the honest ads act that i think would be helpful for those that are political ads that are taken out to make sure.
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there's a lot more that can be done, but it's important to know that the subject we are talking about predates the 2016 election. and i want to talk about what is happening right now with the justice department and our election. and in light of what vice president biden said, he asked that this era of demonization be behind us. i'm sure that might have resonated a bit with you. and that we understanding that some people didn't s agree with him and voted for donald trump that he literally reached out to people that voted for donald trump and he said look, i've been disappointed before. elections but i'm asking you to give me a chance and i will give you a chance. so that is the approach thatat i take.
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we need to move on as a countries pandemic asking them to examine voting irregularities even before the state certified and i had done a letter back on october 203rd when he started questioning the mail-in ballots because the federal prosecution, the justice department policy says over criminal investigation measures shouldn't be taken until it's been concluded and its results certified for the contest concluded. sso, what happened yesterday as they decided to upend that
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policy and start getting on this train that there was nothing wrong with it when in fact the republican secretary of state in wrgeorgia stood by and said thee isn't systematic fraud. this is a state where joe biden has a few more votes to be counted and we looked at what happened in pennsylvania. my concern is they are ilong-standing policies right when it resulted in the career prosecutor. i don't know if you know hime he was here yesterday because he's all this clearly that the reason for the resignation and political interference in the work of the justice department. you spent decades in public service and i want to ask you what did this mean to you to see the career justice department employee resign like that?
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>> you know from your own experience people in the department of justice are typically committed to noble service. so when people start resigning and protests over the decisions the leadership makes, i think that we should allho take a very close look at that. anytime you change a well-known established policy regarding the political process in the middle of the political process i think that it raises very legitimate concerns about what that change
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was and it sheds a light on the department and its impartiality. >> with a new president coming in, what steps do you think we should be taking to restore public confidence in the department and improve morale in the department? >> from my own experience i look back on some of the decisions we've made and of course many of the things that have happened since. i think a return to the time-honored principles in the department and in the bureau of being very careful. that is something most people in the department and in the bureau would embrace. >> thank you.
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senator cruise. >> thank you, mr. chair man. i'd like to start by depressing the investigation. asai you know the fbi team investigating general flynn prepared a memo dated january 4th, 2017 to close the investigation as it is lacking any basis to continue.ig the fbi had investigated and failed to find any derogatory information about the general flynn and determined he was no longer a viable candidate for the investigation. but then according to peter struck the seventh floor of the fbi intervened to keep the investigation open. were you the one who made the decision to keep the investigation open? >> i don't remember making that decision, but i certainly supported keeping the case open.
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i think that it was th was the e to continue investigating once we uncovered the information that we found. >> despite the fact the investigators concluded there was no basis and no derogatory information recommended closing it, you made the decision or at least agreed with the decision to keep the investigation open on what basis? >> i don't recall that there was no basis to continue. my recollection from the conversations we were having the case. >> it is a memo to close the investigation because it could not find any derogatory information about flynn and he was no longer a viable candidate for the investigation. that is not ambiguous, is it? >> that is in the same as what you said before. i of course do not have that in front of me. but our feeling at that time was that wea had found very little f
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any incriminating evidence about the general until of course we found potentially very incriminating evidence about him. >> are you referring to the logan act theory? >> no, sir. i'm referring to the fact we uncovered that general flynn was having the sort of direct contact with the government of russia that we were looking for and all of the first four cases of the crossfire hurricane. >> did you support using the act as a basis to go after general flynn? >> they suggested using the act to go after general flynn. >> i am not aware of that. >> you are not aware of that. well, those are notes from your colleagues.
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mean to interrupt. >> senator, i can say what the reasons that i agreed with and approved opening the case and that is because we thought general flynn might be having inappropriate contact with russia. that's why we opened the case. >> so, the only basis, this is a decorated three-star general. the only basis that was put forward for what i think was a bogus political persecution and prosecution was an alleged violation of the act which has never been used to prosecute anybody in the history of the department ofat justice. >> no, i do not believe that is true. >> name one person that's ever been prosecuted under the logan act. >> i was referring to why we opened up the case against general flynn. i am not aware of prosecutions of the act. >> i mean, for those that are listening, we are talking about
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a conversation between general flynn and a russian ambassador after the election while he was the national security advisor in waiting; is that correct? >> the security advisor to president obama said the foreign leaders are already having conversations with joe biden, quote, talking about the agenda they are going to pursue januar. assuming it's accurate under any plausible theory i'm accurately
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quoting that it's something the department of justice frequently did wrong in this investigation. if that is what he said, if joe is talking with foreign leaders right now, does it violate the act, yes or no? >> i'm not going to opine on a hypothetical question. >> he is talking with of the leaders and it doesn't violate the act because it is unconstitutional which is why he is never been used to prosecute anyone. you authorized using it to go after general flynn as a part of the political persecution and i can give you the answer, he isn't violating the act. the reason you will not say itgo is because that was your political basis tosw go after a decorated war hero because you disagreed politically with president trump. >> none of that is correct. >> pick any aspect. >> we didn't investigate general
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flynn because we were concerned he might violate the act. >> it is your testimony before thet investigation. >> there were no discussions of the act. >> there were no discussions, that is your testimony under the penalty and perjury before the committee? i warn you there is unfunded evidence that there were. >> if you are not going to let me finish my answer, i'm not going to be able to accurately answer. >> please go ahead. what is your testimony? you said there is no discussion. does that remain your testimony? >> that is where you cut off my testimony. >> please, continue. >> thank you. thank you. when we initiated the case it wasn't initiated for or as a
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result of any discussion. >> i didn't ask about the initiation. itof was a late pretext that was adopted afterer and we couldn't find anything in the investigated closing. my time is expiring and the chair man took a little bit of my time, so i'm going to take a little bit of it back. >> did he authorize you to disclose information about the clinton foundation investigation to the press? i didn't ask if you needed it. i asked if he authorize you to disclose it. that is a yes or no question. >> you are still not answering my question. did he know about it and authorize it? >> to my recollection, yes. >> did he authorize you or in any way give you the green light
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explicitly or implicitly? >> i'm asking according to the "the washington times" 2018 he insisted he told his boss he authorized the disclosure about the clinton investigation. he told investigators he knew he authorized the disclosure and agreed that it was a good idea. is that accurate, is that your testimony to the committee? >> that is my recollection. >> so, you are aware your testimony is opposite in which he insisted he's never authorized anybody to leak to the press. >> i'm not going to say with the director saidto or didn't say. your characterization is not
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accurate. >> the fbi has records that will establish whether you are telling the truth or do you believe f the fbi should make te records public so if you are telling the truth you can be vindicated and if mr. comey is telling the truth, he can be vindicated. >> i'm not sure what records you are referring to. >> correspondence, records, indicating that he knew of the leaks and authorize did. >> i would very much like to see those records. >> as would i. thank you. >> senator blumenthal, i want the american people to understand was it wrong for general flynn to talk to the russian ambassador since he was going to be the new incoming national security advisor? >> is that a question to me? our concerns about the contact with the ambassador was that the
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general might be maintaining some sort of hidden or deniable contact in that he might have been person in the coordinated efforts. the i fact that he lied about hs contact with the russians made it doubly concerning. the fact that he then lied to his boss, the vice president, about the contacts also was greatly concerning to us. >> general flynn told the fbi agents you have the transcripts, you know what i said. they came back and said they didn't think that he lied, but the problem we have here is that this is after the election is over. the national security advisor has every right in the world to be talking to the foreign governments and it's going on as i speak. they are believing they have one and it's beginning to reach out to the foreign governments to talk about their agenda whether it be china or anybody else.
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this whole idea that you would survey all the incoming national security advisor after the election, after the professionals in the fields it bothers a lot of us. senator blumenthal. >> thank you, mr. chair man. let me give you an opportunity since you've been interruptedd y my colleague in the midst of threats of perjury to clarify any of the answers or expand on them in any way that you would like and if there's anything you would like to add, i would welcome your remarks and if not i will turn to my question. >> thank you, senator. i think that it's important to keep in perspective that the fbi opens counterintelligence cases sometimes when they suspect someones may have had inappropriate or improper or illegal contact with a foreign power. during the course of that
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investigation if you confirm that it's taken place, then you learn that person was also actively concealing the contact and i the fbi and also from the white house chief of staff, the white house counsel's office and the vice president. your fears about possible threats to national security are justifiably elevated. that is what happened in this case and so questions about the logan act prosecution that never took place i think are misplaced. ..
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>> so spending all the time in the world to look back at 2016 as families and businesses in connecticut all colleagues are hanging by a thread due to the public health economic crisis caused by covid which has been ignored by a the administration and a dereliction of theird duty to their constituents as they continue to focus with that has been investigated the
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reasons for that interest in the bathroom officials are very well taken. also i am deeply troubled in the statement made by the attorney general bar who again is acting apparently as aby puppet and is throwing gasoline on the fires the false claims of fraud and there are no facts or evidence that justify investigation but
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he is giving a patina of credibility to destructive accusations. i would suggest respectfully that the attorney general bar has taken his office to a new law and the implications are profound and dangerous there is no fear mongering so no substitute for the truth votes have been counted and some are being counted. and that the vice president biden is president-elect. and to continue for list and baseless as it is and now
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given more credibility when the attorney general of the united states regretfully and unfortunately. and to asknd you a threat to the country that israel just a few months ago the fbi director publicly testified that racially motivated violent extremism constitutes a majority of domesticot terrorism threats in fact white supremacist in particular were responsible for 49ri homicides from 2000 through 2016. that is more than any other extremist movement including april 2014 mass shooting at a jewish community center and the june 2014 mass shooting at the emmanuel church in charleston and others so how
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long have we known that white. supremacist and another way on - - right wing public security and safety threats to the united states. >> we know about the threats posed to this country from domestic terror specifically white supremacist and white one - - right wing groups for many years before i joined the fbi and one of the seminal moments to join the organization ishe when the rest of the country sat and horror the day the federal building was destroyed in oklahoma city. and the intensity that is uncalled for and unnecessary.
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>> with a particular right weighing group should stand back and stand by, do those kinds of comments have an effect to encourage them? >>an they absolutely do favorable references and shadows and comments to have the effect to confirm the beliefs to interpret the comment as signals assigns a of approval for support to risk putting more momentum. >> my time is expired. >> is it possible to take a
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break? >> five minutes is that okay? thankss you we will take a five-minute break. thank you. [inaudible conversations]
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>> mr. mccabe? ufs? >> yes or one - - yes sir. >> i apologize it had been over two hours for not rememberinga b that. >> thank you mr. chairman. with the comments made on the democratic side on why we are here for the great will be covered with the 34 page report. the witnesses ask questions about text messages and it is clear with the russian
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investigation and then to t have zero fax president trump my republican colleagues don't think that's a big deal and i can understandy why with the potential political opponent and then decisively to be able to acknowledge. so we are here for the fourth time for many more hours that we have already covered. so you were asked by senator blumenthal and then it is very important for the country to
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understand. and one of the biggest domestic terrorism threats that also indicated the department of homeland security has reached a similar conclusion a voice from assist that the domestic terror threats facing the country but also like to ask you again, given the experience , do you believe the threat posed by white supremacist in is a concern? >> i know it is a serious concern and i certainly take director raise assessmentth it is the most serious concern on the counterterrorism side that we face right now. makes a lot of sense in light of the fact as the targets
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appear to be in the state of west organization or operational activity and recruitment seems to have tailed off there is no question the domestic terrorist seen has increased over the last's few years. >> and those were just the president with domestic terrorism activities. >> that's correct. >> before the election the president of the attorney general made false claims notified the men to justify
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the government affairs committee say we have not seen historically anytime a coordinated notional national voter fraud whether by mail or otherwise. and with that evidence of fraud and then to refuse to recognize and instead we have gone to court many times with the certified cases to be careful o from being counted and then to claim he has won the election with no evidence that were have any evidence indicating widespread mail and voter fraud is a problem in our country? >> i am not aware of any information. director raise assessment is consistent with my own experience with the fbi but i have never seen information to
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substantiate a widespread effort to voter fraud. >> where my republican colleagues tested puts the burden of actual fraud on him just because i have the right to go to court it does not make it right we hope the president was that out by now but maybe not. and then to say it was an honor and the privilege to work for the fbi there are concerns of the fbi and doj president trump has repeatedly called the justice fbi departmet when they cannot lock her up and walk him up and then lean
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on the attorney general justice department has the same recommendations from roger stone. [inaudible] but in the politicizing of the justice department to come
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forward to testify before congress and offered career prosecutors make extraordinary rules from the roger stone case. >> senator, career prosecutors don't walk away from cases they believe in they spent a lot of time and effort to move forward. if you have any member of the department of justice that resigns for ethical reasons that is a concerning thing there is for on one case resign that we cannot possibly ignoreit. >> priorities career doj people for doing the job they are supposed to so we know
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they go against the dhs community. so it has been documented so give and your experience do you think the justice department is doing enough including against asian americans do you know of any prosecution better doj? >> i'm not aware of the recent prosecutions for hate crimes i have access to all information they have so if they are doing that work or not in those incidents just from what i
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hear i would expect the bureau doj should be looking at those i would expect the bureau doj should be looking at those i don't know i think my time is up thank you mr. chairman. >> i have a brief inquiry. what is the difference briefing? >> go the census t briefing is we reach out to individuals we think might be subject of malign activity from a foreign government or a foreign power to make them aware of the threats they might come across. >> and example would be senator feinstein had a staff member that were suspected to
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be connected to the chinese intelligence community and she was briefed about that. was that an example? >> t that sounds like the information ort situation, yes. >> as she took corrective action biden on - - dismissing that person was a briefing ever again to hillary clinton about concerns of her campaign paying reached out to or interfered with foreign interest? >> i'm not sure, senators. some of the documents on the committee's website indicate that but i have the independent recollection ofe that. >> i can assure you that she was that a suspicion a foreign government tried to aid her campaign and was briefed about it. counterintelligence from foreign influences that
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correct? >> counterintelligence investigations are designed to protect american interest against foreignr influence. is that correct? >> counterintelligence investigations to mitigate threats to national security. >> senator feinstein could fire someone is that a good example? >> i would be one way to mitigate. >> at any time during the counter investigations against the trump campaign officials about the concerns that you have have mr. papadopoulos carter page including general flynn? >> not that i'm aware of.
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>> why? >> we don't care defensive briefings if we feel they can run the risk of compromising the investigation we undertaking so try to determine coming back to the target to obstruct our ability if there is a national security threat space bar never told the tram and as a trump campaign you may have a problem quick. >> that's correct. >> when it comes to carter page so they are friends? >> i believe that happened. >> thank you mr. chairman. my democratic colleague wondering aloud where we are here today i thought it would have been obvious by now with
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the biggest scandal of the history of the fbi we are looking at the use to interview one - - interview the presidential election that they feel that they lied to the fisa court with those facts and statements that the court could not trust the fbi and unprecedented in the fact that my democratic colleagues just want to shrug and move on in the face of this kind of interferencece and inappropriate behavior is abuse of power. has a entire report how he lied repeatedly so that is why we are here and by the way now we're in the middle of another election that is still disputed and people are wondering why they don't have
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trust in the electoral process this is why they don't this is why because instance after instance to interfere as we look at it today if anybody has any questions so let's talk about lying to the fisa court so now let me come to you mr. mccabe of the quest to try to find somebody who will take some responsibility for the war is a signed off on on the applications that you signed off on a new application on june 282017. correct? >> that is correct so january 2017 the fbi identified the sources is that
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correct? >> that is correct. >> and a castnt serious doubts to put it mildly? >> i know that now, yes spent the fisa renewal application thatth you signed does not acknowledge those facts. isn't that correct? >> the fisa package that i signed that is laid out in the ig report. >> by december 2016 they knew the steel dossier was a russian asset? >> i believe that is correct. i don't know that to be the cas case. >> so your testimony under oath that is is as a resonated?
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>> i cannot tell you that the members of the team thoughts about the primary some source december of 2016. if you are referring to the recent footnote that was declassified by the attorney general, i cannot say that they knew. >> to say no disclosure to the court nothing that the arabs and as the fbi knew of nothing to do with cause about anything previously certified. is thated correct? >> i think we showed be specifi specific. >> answer my question to the application that you
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personally signed, didn't disclose the interviews from january 2017 you just said you were aware of any fbi was aware of. hat 18189 with cap i have a lot to say about you that they knew the problems and do not disclose it to the court isn't that correct? yes or no. >> the ig report to my understanding detail 17 errors that were present. >> answer my question to the report that you personally signed disclose the fbi interview january 2017? didn't disclose the interviews yes or no? we both know the answer is no just say it. >> it did not disclose serious
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concerns. >> why didn't you notify the court is a because of the election of donald trump? and then to say i hope that brexit vote doesn't have a similar outcome here2 in novembe november. >> i use available no space to get a complete answer. >> i have not been able to review i requested access and was denied so that will not be answer questions based on my text messages. >> i hope it doesn't predict a similar outcome here in
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november do you deny sending that message? >> i know i would like to give you a complete answer but when you speak over me at caps off my ability to respond. >> answer my question but about 2016? >> i remember the text messages i sent since 2016 so yes i do not have a recollection of four years ago that is correct. convenient. >> it would be convenient to eeview those materials before today. >> this is really extraordinary peter struck says this to lisa page i want to believe the path forr
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consideration that there is no way that he selected as trump we cannot take that t risk and in the unlikely event it's like the insurance policy where you talking about the likely outcome of the election with two agents were working on the case of the carter page investigation? >> the premise of your question is not accurate at a call when - - recall ever talking to peter struck laura lisa page only one is an agent for that's reference to their text message. >> you are saying that did not happen?
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>> is it their responsibility? >> i disagree with your characterization. >> you think it was an accident? >> i think there were numerous and objectionable errors and omissions. >> is the falsification of the e-mail was an accident? >> senator i amls not aware, okay i was not aware of the activities until the ig report i know he has taken responsibility for those and i understand that the errors and omissions admitted activities
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over reports from the cia i i any of those other errors. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you for being with us today and answering the question you spending a lot of time on cnn these days this is a hearing of the judiciary committee i have to say when you go to cnn? >> is that the question? >> was it august 2019?
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>> i think that maybe we think you're pretty lucky. >> i remember the exact date. >> you're pretty lucky to have landed a job pretty much anywhere after having been fired from the fbi and that the ig publicly logging you in his report one month later and that was a pretty sad demise of your career in public service. and he were set to retire at the tender young age of 49? is in the correct? >> no ma'am.
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>> what is correct? >> they become eligible to retire at age 50. >> okay. and you have a lawsuit against the federal government now claiming you had a record of nonpartisan public service and you were demanding the court to reinstate as director of the fbi. is that correct? >> that sounds correct so listening to youou today having read some of the things around your career, how do you get caught up in such a web of deceit and obstruction and cover up? business culture standard operating procedure for the fbi? >> i'm not sure i understand
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the point of your question. >> let me help you with that. so and i can understand why but as overconfident as you were with the plot that you were carrying out that the fbi in your government job paid for by taxpayer dollars, you all had created this culture of corruption and cover up and obstruction you thought you could do it but you got caught. and you said today you wish you could reconsider yourai decision on the fisa warrant
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on carter page and if they should of told the press conference on hillary clinton. listening to your answers i have never heard i action every criminal i have heard and a case generally wish they had not committed the crime for someone who has done something wrong wishes they had not so you took these actions called out by the ag why shouldn't you be prosecuted for your actions? >> senator, first of all the was absolutely no part scheme
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or a conspiracy between myself or anyone i have worked with in the work you have referred to. second, i am not aware other than the admissions i am not aware of a single actor even allegation anyone that is involved. >> with a long? >> i would like to finish my answer. >> how long have you know christopher steele? >> i do not know christopher steele. >> i thank you have known him right? >> to be clear senator, do you know christopher steele i have never met him so that is not correct and i cannot tell you otherwise. >> the exculpatory information with the crossfire hurricane
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conversations that was not disclose so what are the consequences under the fbi rules and they mislead that federal court? >> the failure to disclose the carter page information as far as i'm aware are not determined to be a deliberate misrepresentation to the a cour. so to answer your questio question, generally the fbi people would be disappointed the same way as if they had deliberately and intentionally misled the court. >> you fill nobody did anything wrong? >> i am simply following the amfindings of the inspector general which documented the
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intentional act by failed to find any evidence to indicate the other mistakes in the phrase a on - - fisa package. >> we wrongly fired? >> yes. i do think i was wrongly fired. >> you thank you did nothing wrong? >> that'sye correct. >> even though the ig pointed out that you did and you had a culture of corruption you thought itit was okay to spy on carter page and okay to mislead michael flynn. this is a sad state of affairs and i am pleased you are no longer part of the fbi. >> so i would like to answer those allegations. >> go ahead. >> categorically i refuse to
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agree with your assertions. no one that i ever the fbi conducted any activity that would lead them to criminal prosecution as a subject to have investigative activity four years and with the district attorney's office for almost two years which concluded now i believe i committed any crime i know i have not committed any crime with the fbi and yes the conclusion in the ig report were baseless and deeply unfair investigation. >> if you know nothing about what was done but they are said they knew nothing about any of this how far did it one
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- - how did you get so far off track? >> this is an important point. if somebody knew the dossier was on another level today have a duty to report on the information they found? >> i think that's true, yes. >> is it fair to fire somebody who knew and failed to report? >> i guess it depends on the circumstances of how that happens. >> could be the result. >> the problem is june of 2016 it was pretty clear the document and the dossier was no longer reliable and multiple stop signs have been run, the cia suggesting maybe hillaryysi clinton signed off on
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a plan to cook. she was briefed by trump never was of the fact this information was gathered in january and march and then to disavow the document that was used to get a warrant and that nobody had any idea that that occurred, is just earth shattering lead disappointing called my just you know how people could be disappointed in that? i am myself i am myself used to be hard> to reconcile that the trump campaign in the clinton campaign were equal from the allegations. >> the trump campaign and the clinton campaign were treated differently with two very different investigation.
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>> it seems allegations were made senator kennedy. >> thank you mr. chairman. mr. mccabe, who is responsible for this behavior? >> it is only referring to. you are referring to the intentional misconduct and from a command perspective director, me and my myself are responsible for the failures that we can go forward if you are asking the intentional r misconduct, i am not aware there has been a finding that others are engaged and intentional misconduct b .
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>> you director acting director of the fbi, they decided to investigate two candidates, one secretary clinton, the ever then candidate and then president trump program will put aside the secretary for second. when the fbi decided to investigate candidate trump what questions did you ask? when somebody said just so you know we will investigate the republican nominee for president of the united states
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do you remember when you were told that? >> referring to the initiation of the crossfire investigation of the trump campaign i remember the conversations from 2016. >> excuse me for interrupting i apologize. one of a fair to say christopher steele dossier was the keystone of the investigation? >> that's not accurate. >> how important was it? what word word you use? >> we are not in possession of that information when we initiated the case. >> so the steel dossier had nothing to do with your decision to go forward. >> that your testimony today? >> it is at some point the
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christopher steele dossier became important. did it not? >> it came to us in the middle of september. >> when you heard about the steel dossier to do you ask to interview mr. steele? here only investigating for the president of the united states now you on the second. did you say hey? are responsible? did you do that? >> i.c.e. personally did not speak to mr. steele but the investigativeid team did. >> why not? i want to understand the fbity director of the , your people have decided to investigate and already
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investigating the democratic nominee f and at least in part it was based on the christopher steele dossier can run from abby you cannot hide from it. did you ever call and your people and say just a thought i would like to talk to christopher steele to see how credible he is because you say you have never known him. did you do that quick. >> in my entire experience of 21 years as an agent i am not aware of a single instance of the deputy director interviewing a source 1 int. >> county of those were nominees of the president of the united states and you investigated? >> i cannot comment. >> you are telling me at no point you ever sat down and said wait a minute?
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now this is substantially based on christopher steele i want to talk to this cowboy. you never did that. >> that is not an accurate to on - - characterization of our investigations produce to talk to not try to put words your ralph. >> no sir i'm trying toev clarify that the information to come to us until three and half minutes after we open the case. >> but then did you say white this is my reputation on the line i want to talk to christopherr steele. >> you know senator. i my investigators to conduct the information on - - investigation. >> do you know who igor is? >> i do not. >> you have no idea? even today? >> i am not going to speculate. >> he was the sub source that
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the steel dossier was based on. so i want to be sure to understand the us assistant director of the fbi, decided to investigate the trump campaign, get the dossier as a basis for a thousand alliance you know security so to talk to christopher steele if you had he would've found out his source words igor that was the primary sub source. he was never mesha he was some guy in washington dc working for bookings. he went to university of florida went to georgetown and buddies with doctor fiona here. one of his drinking buddies. why didn't all of you who are running the show say wait a
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minute? it is all centered around christina we better talk to chris steele and igor. >> it is important if you can give me a second im not sure that what i have now read it is the report of the sub source interview and the interviewees name is to redacted and that report so i do not feel comfortable t acknowledging or confirming or denying any identity that might be associated with that person. >> yes, so that was him. >> this as well as i american
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people. the fbi did not even try to the people making the decisions. you want to investigate trump. this is a nominee for president of the united states already investigating the other one, and potentially screwed up her campaign. so you get the steel dossier and call me i talked to christopher steele or even ask questions where he got his information had done a would find that he got it from igor he doesn't know is talking about and will come apart. you never looked. sure looks like you didn't want to. >> is that a question? but while it is true in the rules set personally with mr. steele or any elected sources, but i would
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interviewing other people and trying to so no that is not something we sought out to do but we felt the national security threat put us into a physician we could investigate. >> you expect the american people to believe that quick. >> that is the truth and i certainly hope they believe it. >> general plan has been prosecuted for lying to the fbi lied and you're not being prosecuted. don't you think that sense the wrong message to the american people? >> general plan situation and mine have absolutely nothing
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in common. i never ever intentionally misled the fbi or the ig under any circumstances. that's part of the conclusion the district attorney's office came to they dismissedob the two your investigation by name. >> you are fired for parking and handicapped parking spot where you? question. last do you have any idea, mr. mccabe, how bad do you and your colleagues have that the fbi? the premier law enforcement agency and it's just a handful guof you. now in the average american is
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a gentle democrat do you have any idea? >> my colleagues and i never took any faction to undermine our effectiveness or our oath to the constitution and the american people and the work that we did for the fbi i deeply regret how politicized it has become in light of the you can do this. >> so what are the first it
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was intentional. 's at the very minimum and with this tsunami and then they make it through the birth canal that's all i've got mr. chairman. >> thank you. thank you for coming. >> they took it seriously? >> i think everybody took it seriously. >> peter structure main source of information? >> peter streck was one of many sources and that we
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regularly left. general counsel deputy general counsel there were quite a few people involved. >> did they tell you the sub source was being interviewed in january? >> i did notice of source had been interviewedterv, that's correct. >> to do ask a question how did the interview go? to help us with the application? to undermine the warrant application did you ask any results? >> i do remember discussing a very briefly and was not informed of any concerns for what the witness told them. >> you to talk to about the interview? to recall? >> i thehe call. >> so you remember being told so if you ask him how did the
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.interview go and nobody tells you that are destroying the dossier, if that's not criminal is a grossly negligent not to get that information to you? >> i think the case should much more detailed conversations with themselves and those department attorneys. >> and the information they included in the fisa-- package with the interview although while the misleading reflects how they thought about the interview at that time. >> if you look at this interview and you are not wild how viable the dossier is you want to see that as unreliable you are in charge the number
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two guy of what the most consequential investigations it begins to fall apart one stop signve after another and then the cia tells the fbi versusus internet rumor wash christopher steele state department says he tries to take trump down. they say watch those guys with the sub sources interviewed and he shrugs the document as being t reliable and when it came to make sure that when the true facts got out, nothing seemed to work. can you give me an explanation why when it comes to the exculpatory partu nothing works the way it should and will clos close.
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>> the the number two guy and in charge so how is it possible the number two guy of the fbi was not informed of the major breakdowns regarding the availability of the dossier? i remember saying coded page was the source. >>. >> that is the purpose of a hearing to make sure we and i appreciate you coming and we attention you despite the protestations weap were find somebody accountable for something and thank you very
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much for participating issue the best. >> thank you. >> as to why are you doing what i'm doing, it is astonishing to me so which was ignored so often and you come to the conclusion there is no there thereor are so no briefing was given to president trump about concerns regarding his campaign were there were concerns with the foreign influence and senator feinstein was briefed when the fbi thought a member of the staff was connected with the chinese intelligence community. these investigations were counterintelligence investigations. not onell mention you may have a problem. if you look at the transcripts he says in the transcripts
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that no is not working with the russians that would be treason and a crime the whole premise across why are hurricane was a report of the austrianruss ambassador to the united kingdom making its way back to washington from london and this is where he denies working with the russians and the why so compare that to september cia memo to the fbi suggesting hillary clinton has signed off on a plan to meet trump to show to drawha attention away from her e-mail so the problem this is the last one - - and cia telling the fbi have kind of an investigation information that hillary clinton is trying to
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link him for political purposes and the fbi completely ignored it threat and the garbage can and conservative the australian ambassador meeting in apartment reliableig. didn't give a one minute of attention. the reason that is important it begins to explain how this alll happened. . . . .
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>> how do we explain a system this out of control the most high-profile case on two
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separate occasions and it's damning to the dossier it never somakes its way up to anybody tt signed the warrant. what kind of oversight have been for this, how serious were they about checks and balances and why didn't they do for trump what they did for clinton. it's pretty obvious that it started basically with a conversation in a bar that took on a life beyond what the evidence would require. it made the whole premise of the case unreliable.
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they debriefed if they had a concern but they chose not to. they set him up and there's nothing wrong with general flynn talking to the ambassador of russia when he is the incoming national security advisor and the conversations are recorded they tried to ruin the reputation and found nothing there. why did they never stop when they should have, why did they
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never slow down? because they were in the tank when it came to trump being a russian agent and it would undercut the narrative. this wasn't an investigation that was unbiased. every time they had a moment to reflect the information was provided and they ignored it or altered it criminally. it is no accident that all this happened. it isn't a series of random
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mistakes.a it was to keep and in investigation going that should have stopped and slowed down. they manipulated the courts to keep the process going that should have stopped months ago. they created a cloud about the political bias that lingers to this day. lawyers are being prosecuted to keep the warrant application alive. they were told about information from the cia that may be this was all part of a political scheme of the opponent and they ignored it and they knew that the dossier was suspect and that the source was a suspected russian agent and they kept going and going and never gave a briefing every other candidate should expect. if you think somebody in the office is doing something wrong i would like for you to tell me
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so i can fix it. they were not trying to protect trump or the campaign from a foreign influence. they were trying to undercut the president. they were trying to keep an investigation going against a te president and candidate they despised. they had one standard for trump different from that of candidate clinton and my democratic colleagues. to this day, years later i have yet to find one person who will take responsibility for manipulating the court. didn't know if i knew then what i know now i wouldn't have signed it so who are we to blame? is it somebody at the bottom of the pyramid that had all of this exculpatory information and for some reasonbo didn't share it, s that what the system has come down to, blaming somebody at the
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bottom? they take responsibility in name only and do not appreciate the gravity of the damage done to the fbi, to the investigative process. when they say no i wouldn't have signed, these are the people in charge of the part of obtaining the fisa warrant. they gather the facts to decide whether or not to pursue the warrant. they completely ignored it and when they were hit hard by the facts that it was a bunch of garbage, it just magically never made it up to their desk.
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everything bad about trump made it to their desk. everything exculpatory about the campaign never made it to their desk. how dumb do they think we are. this committee is not through. we will keep digging until we find out how the most high-profile investigation of a candidate for president of the united states individually a sitting president was handled so poorly. we will continue this process. people need to be fired and i think the criminality needs to be looked at. i find it difficult to believe that this information wasn't withheld on purpose. we know they changed exculpatory information and we caught him. there's somebody else out there that probably knows the system
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serejected the information they just didn't ignore it. thank you. the hearing is adjourned. >> [inaudible conversations] >> that wraps up the senate judiciary committee hearing with the former fbi director andrew mccabe testifying on behalf of the russia investigation. the committee chaired by senator lindsey graham of south carolina.
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