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tv   Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew Mc Cabe Testifies on Review of FBI Russia...  CSPAN  November 15, 2020 12:11pm-1:16pm EST

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i think we're -- >> senator graham? >> yes, sir. >> i'm sorry, sir, would it be possible just to take a break? >> absolutely, sir. five minutes, is that okay? >> that would be great, thank you. >> we'll take a five-minute break. thank you. vice
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president-elect harris. the election sent a clear message. it's time to stop relitigating issues -- >> mr. mccabe? >> can you hear me now? hello? >> yes. are you with us? >> yes, sir. thank you. >> i apologize. any time you feel like you need a break, you just let me know. i apologize, it's been over two hours, i apologize for not remembering that. so senator hirono? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to associate myself with the comments made by colleague senator durbin and others on the democratic side on why we are here for the fourth time to go over ground covered especially by the inspector general's 440 page report. the witness was asked questions
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about text messages between peter strzok and lisa page when it's clear they did not impact the validity of the russian investigation. yet when we have real facts about national security concerns such as president trump calling the president of ukraine to shake him down to help his re-election campaign, my republican colleagues don't think that's a big deal. i can understand why president trump wanted to get dirt on his potential political opponent, especially as joe biden, in fact, defeated president trump decisively, a fact that many of my republican colleagues have yet to be able to acknowledge. and so, we are here. for the fourth time for many more hours of hearings on grounds that we've already covered, instead of dealing with the real questions of the day. so for this witness, you were asked by senator blumenthal
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about the recognized danger of white supremacists. i just want to reiterate because i think it is very important for our country to understand the dangers posed by these persons. so in september 2020, fbi director wray warned that white supremacy is one of the biggest domestic terrorism threats these reports around the same time indicated that the department of homeland security had reached a similar conclusion that white supremacists are the deadliest domestic terror threat facing the country. i'd like to ask you again, given your extensive experience in counter terrorism issues, do you believe the threat posed by white supremacists is a serious concern? >> well, senator, i know that it is a serious concern. and i certainly take director wray's assessment that it is the
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most serious concern on the counterterrorism side that we face right now. it makes a lot of sense in light of the fact that as our foreign terrorist targets appear to be in a state of disorganization and recruitment in this country seems to have tailed off a bit, i don't have access to classified information but seems that way, there's no question that the domestic terrorist scene has not tailed off only increased over the years. >> the words used by the president seems to fan those flames of domestic terrorism activities. >> that's correct. >> i believe you responded that way. >> yes. >> before the election, president trump and attorney general bill barr repeatedly made false claims of mail in voter fraud.
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in september 2020, director wray testified before the senate committee, that we have not seen historically any kind of coordinated voter fraud in a major election, whether by mail or otherwise. now that millions of americans have voted, without evidence of fraud, president trump and the republicans have refused to recognize the results of the election and instead they have gone to court many times at this point, losing -- i think they've lost every one of these cases to prevent validly cast votes from being counted. and president trump continues to falsely claim he has won the election with absolutely no evidence. given your sense of experience at the fbi, are you aware of any evidence indicating that widespread mail-in voter fraud is a problem in our country? >> i am not aware of any information to that effect. director wray's assessment is
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consistent with my own experience in the fbi that i've never seen information that would substantiate a wide-spread effort at voter fraud. >> while my republican colleagues are very busy talking about how the president has a right to go to court, you know, that still puts the burden of proving that there is fraud on him, and so far he's been losing at every turn. so just because one has a right to go to court does not make it right to go to court. and one would hope that the president would have figured that out by now, but apparently not. when you mention, in your opening, that it was an honor and a privilege to work for the fbi, there are concerns from many of us about the politicizing of the fbi and the doj. since taking office, president trump has repeatedly called on the justice department, ie at
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his many rallies where they chant lock her up, lock him up, or whatever it is, to investigate his political opponents and leaned on attorney general barr to treat allies more favorably, for example under attorney general barr the justice department reversed a sentencing recommendation for trump ally roger stone. causing all four career prosecutors to withdraw from the case in protest. you served at the fbi for 21 years. in your memory before president trump how many times has the president called for investigation or arrest of political opponents to aid him in his re-election campaign? >> i have -- never. not in my experience. i've never seen that before. >> and june 2022 justice department career lawyers testified before the house about how political appointees intervened in critical and nhs
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cases to advance the personal interests of president trump. what do you think it says about the severity about the politicizing of the justice department that two lawyers came before the congress to testify and four career prosecutors made the move of withdrawing from the roger stone case? >> as i said, senator, career prosecutors don't walk away from cases that they believe in and cases that they've spent a lot of time and effort trying to move forward. so when you have any member of the department of justice who feels compelled to resign from a case or from the department for ethical reasons, that's a very concerning thing. when you have four-on-one case resign, i think it's the sort of thing we can't possibly ignore. >> it's quite extraordinary. i would like at this point to commend all of the career doj
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people, including, of course, all the people at the fbi for doing the jobs that they're supposed to be doing and not making political decisions. we know that hate crimes have gone up, especially with the president calling the virus the china virus, the wuhan virus, members of this administration have also referred to it as kung flu. so there has been, documented, increase in hate crimes. given your extensive experience, do you think the fbi and justice department are doing enough to address hate crimes in our country, including against asian-americans and pacific islanders. do you know of any prosecution by the doj on any of these hate crimes? >> i'm not aware of recent prosecutions of hate crimes. i don't have access to all the information that the fbi or doj
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has. so i can't speak to whether they're doing that work or not. it certainly seems those sort of incidents just from what i hear in open source reporting seem to be on the rise. and i would expect that the bureau and doj should be looking at those things very closely. >> i should hope so. so far i don't know of any indictments coming down on these cases. i believe my time is up. thank you mr. chairman. thank you mr. mccabe. >> thank you senator. i think we have senator holly on the line but i have a brief inquiry here. mr. mccabe what is the defensive briefing? >> defensive briefing is typically when we reach out to an individual who we think might be the subject of some sort of, you know, malign activity from a foreign government or a foreign power and try to, you know, make them aware of the threats that
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they might come across. >> an example would be, i think, senator feinstein had a staff member that was suspected of being connected to chinese intelligence community and she was briefed about that, is that correct? would that be an example? >> that sounds like the sort of situation in which you would get a defensive briefing. >> she took corrective action by dismissing that person. was there a defensive briefing given to hillary clinton about concerns of her campaign being reached out to or interfered regarding foreign actors? >> i'm not sure, senator. i saw some of the documents on the committee's website, seemed to indicate that, but i don't have an independent recollection of that. >> i can just assure you that she was. there was a suspicion that a
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foreign government may have been trying to aid her campaign. she was briefed about it. counterintelligence is designed to protect against foreign entities, is that correct? >> could you repeat the question. >> counterintelligence is designed to protect american interest against foreign influence, is that correct? >> that's right. they're designed to mitigate threats to national security. >> so like senator feinstein could fire somebody on her staff to mitigate it, is that a good example? >> that could certainly be one way to mitigate a threat. >> at any time during the multiple counterintelligence investigations that were conducted against trump campaign officials, was there ever a defensive briefing given to president trump about the concerns you had about mr. george papadopoulos, carter page or anyone else, including general flynn? >> not that i'm aware of.
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>> why? >> well, senator, we typically don't provide defensive briefings when we feel that they could run the risk of compromising the investigations that we're undertaking. so before we provide a briefing, we try to determine whether or not that briefing will ultimately get communicated back to the target or somehow obstruct our ability to shed some light on whether or not there's actually a threat to national security. >> so when it came to george papadopoulos you never told the trump campaign you may have a problem with him? >> that's correct. >> and carter page, you never sat down with president trump we have concerns about carter page? >> i do not believe that happened, that's correct. >> senator holly? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to start by saying that i heard, i think, my democrat
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colleagues wondering aloud why it is we're here today. i have to say i thought it would have been obvious by now, we're looking at maybe the biggest scandal in the history of the fbi. we're looking at the use -- the fbi to lie to the fisa court. so so misrepresent facts, statements and other material to this court that the court had to issue a statement saying that they could not trust the fbi not only in this case but in every other case going forward. absolutely unbelievable, unprecedented for a court to issue a rebuke of this nature. i have to say the fact that my democratic colleagues want to shrug and move on in the face of this kind of interference, this kind of inappropriate behavior, this abuse of power, which is what it is is extraordinary. the individual we have before us today, has an entire report written by the ig about how he lied repeatedly. so that's why we're here.
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by the way, now that we're in the middle of another election. the outcome of which is still disputed and unknown and people are wondering why is it that so many americans don't have trust in the electoral process, this is why. this is why. because we've seen instance after instance of the abuse of the institutions of this country to try to interfere with the voice and the will of we the people. we're looking at it today. that's what this is about if anybody has any question. that's what this is about. let's talk about the lying to the fisa court which the fbi did repeatedly and doj signed off on. mr. mccabe let me come to you now. i had something of a personal guest he quest here to find somebody who you will take responsibility for the warrants they signed off on. you signed off on a renewal application for the carter page fisa warrant in june of 2017,
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isn't that correct? >> that's correct. >> by january of 2017, the fbi identified christopher steele's sub source. >> that's correct? >> and they cast doubt on the steele dossier, isn't that correct? >> i know that now, yes. >> the fisa renewal application you signed however did not acknowledge any of those facts, isn't that correct? >> the fisa package that i signed contained the same -- contained the errors that -- that are laid out in the ig report. >> uh-huh. and by december of 2016. so this is months before the renewal application, the cross fire hurricane team knew the primary source of the steele dossier was suspected of being a russian asset, isn't that correct? >> i don't believe that to be
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correct. i don't know that to be the case. >> your testimony under oath is the cross fire hurricane didn't know the source was potentially a russian agent as of december 2016? >> i can't tell you what the members of the team thought about the primary sub source in december of 2016. if you're referring to the recent footnote from the fisa report that was declassified by the attorney general, no, i don't know that they knew that then. i can't say what they knew. >> the fisa application that you signed contained none of this, though, correct? it contained no new disclosures to the court, none of the information that the fbi new of? it contained nothing to give the course any pause about anything that you previously certified, isn't that correct? >> well, i think you need to be -- we should be specific about -- >> no, no. just answer my question. did the application that you
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personally signed -- did it disclose the interviews back from january of 2017 that you just said that you were aware of, that the fbi was aware of, the oig report details this pages 187, 188, 189 of his report, you can look it up, he had a lot to say about you. you can look up the ig report. they say the fbi knew of the problems -- christopher steele's primary sub source and didn't disclose it to the court, isn't that correct? yes or no? >> the ig report, is my understanding, sir, details 17 errors that were present in the paccage -- >> mr. mccabe, answer my question. did the report that you personally signed. did it disclose the fbi's interviews in january of 2017? you signed the new application in june of 2017. did it disclose the interviews casting serious doubt on the primary sub source?
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yes or no? we both know the answer is no. but why don't you say it. no, right? >> it did not disclose serious concerns with the primary sub source. >> why didn't it? why didn't you notify the course of this new information? is it because you wanted to continue to undermine the election of donald trump? let me ask you this, didn't you send a text message on june 24, 2016, saying i hope the brexit vote doesn't predict a similar outcome here in november. why did you -- >> i'd like to answer your question, sir, but i'm going to need space to get in a complete answer. >> why did you -- answer that question, why did you send that text message? >> sir, as you know, i have not bnl able to review my texts. i do not have my texts in front of me here. i requested access to my materials and was denied it. i'm not prepared to answer your questions based on my text messages. >> because you don't recall
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them? here's what it says, quote, i hope it, meaning the brexit vote, doesn't predict a similar outcome here in november. end quote. june 24, 2016. do you deny sending that message? >> i don't know, sir. i haven't seen any of those text messages -- >> you have no memory of it? >> -- over four years. i'd like to give you a complete answer, but i'm having a hard time when you speak over me, it cuts off my ability to respond. >> why don't you answer my question. do you have no memory of that text message, is that what you're saying of june 24, 2016. >> i don't remember text message gs i sent in 2016 that i haven't seen since then. so yes, i don't have a recollection of text messages from four years ago. >> very convenient. >> it would be much less -- >> i'm not done talking. >> it would be more convenient to review the materials before today. >> including you, mr. mccabe, it's really extraordinary. let me ask you about this text
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message. peter strzok sent this to lisa page. i want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in andy's office, that's you, that there's no way he gets elected, that's trump but i'm afraid we can't take that risk. i'd like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40. it's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40. why were you talking about the outcome of an election with two line agents who were working on a case, the carter page investigation at that time involving the president. don't you think that's inappropriate? >> i think the premises of your question is not accurate. i don't recollect talking to peter strzok or lisa page, only one of whom is an agent in the fbi, about that conversation referenced in their text message, which i was not a part of. >> you're saying that didn't happen? you deny that happened? >> i don't recall that ever hang.
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happening. >> before we leave the fisa warrant application that you signed, the renewal application. how is it that the court was so deliberately and disastrously misled such that it had to issue a public rebuke at the fbi. do you take responsibility? >> i disagree with your description that the court was deliberately misled. >> really? >> yeah that's correct. >> you think it was just an accident? >> i think that there were numerous and objection able errors and omissions in the package -- >> do you think the falsification of the email to the fisa court was an accident? >> senator, i'm not aware of -- okay. mr. cline smith's activities i was not aware of until i read the ig report. i know that he has taken responsibility for those representations. and i'm -- that -- i understand
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that. the errors and omissions in that package, other than mr mr. clinesmith's admitted activities over the report from the cia. i do not know any of those other errors have been proven to be intentional acts. >> senator. >> so we've established. >> senator hawley, your time is expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator black burn. >> thank you mr. chairman. mr. mccabe thank you for being with us today. listening to you just answering senator hawley's question reminded me you are spending a lot of time on cnn these days and, of course, this is not a debate on cnn. this is a hearing of the senate judiciary committee. and i have to say, when did you go to cnn?
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>> i'm sorry was that a question -- >> yeah, yeah. i'll answer it for you. was it in august? was it in 2019? i think that may be right. i think you're pretty lucky. >> it might have been. >> to have landed. >> i don't remember exact dates. sorry. i'm sorry i don't remember the exact date. but that sounds about right. >> sounds right. i think you're pretty lucky to have landed a job pretty much anywhere after having been fired from the fbi and i think that the ig publically flogging you in his report and the ag fired you a month later and that was a pretty sad demise, i guess, of your career. and public service. and you were set to retire at the tender young age of 49. isn't that correct? >> no, ma'am.
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that's not correct. >> what is correct? >> fbi agents become eligible to retire when they reach age 50. >> okay. all right. you have a lawsuit against the federal government now claiming you have a record of unblecmishd and nonpartisan service and demanding the court reinstate your employment as deputy director of the fbi and pay you your full pension, is that correct? >> that sounds correct but i'll let the legal papers speak for themselves. >> let me ask you this, listening to you today and having read some of the things around your career how did you get caught up in such a web of deceit and obstruction and cover up and is this culture standard
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operating procedure at the fbi? >> well, i don't -- i'm not sure i understand the point of your question -- but i also don't -- >> the point of my question is -- let me help you with that. you didn't want to answer senator cruz's questions about corruption. and i can understand why. but what you have to understand, that as over confident as you all were in the plot that you were carrying out at the fbi in your government job, paid for by taxpayer dollars, you all had created this web and culture of corruption and cover up and obstruction, and you thought that you could do it -- you thought you would be able to get by with it, but you got caught.
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you've said today that you wish you could reconsider your decision requesting the fisa warrant on carter page and whether or not director comey should have held the press conference on hillary clinton. and listening to your answers, i think it's -- i have never heard of a -- an action -- every criminal i have heard in a case, they generally will say they wish they hadn't committed the crime or that someone who has done something wrong wishes they had not done that wrong. so you took these actions you've been called out by the ig, and the ag. why shouldn't you be prosecuted for your actions? >> senator, first of all, there
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was absolutely no plot or scheme or conspiracy among -- between myself or any of the folks that i worked with in the work that you referred to. okay. secondly, i'm not aware of a single -- other than mr. clinesmith's admissions i'm not aware of a single act or even an allegation against anyone involved in these cases -- >> was the ig wrong? >> i'd like to finish -- >> was the ig wrong? >> i'd like to finish my answer -- >> it's my time. how long have you known christopher steele? >> i do not know christopher steele. >> i think you've known him about two decades. right? how long has bruce orr known christopher steele? >> i don't know christopher steele, i've never met him. so that's not correct. i can't tell you how long bruce orr has known christopher
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steele. >> okay. the exculpatory information on carter page's recorded conversations and -- that was not disclosed. what are the consequences under the fbi rules for when an fbi agent lies or otherwise misleads a federal court? >> so the -- the failure to disclose the carter page information is not a -- as far as i'm aware of was not determined to be a deliberate misrepresentation to the court. so to answer your question about misrepresentations to the court generally fbi people would be disciplined in the same way anyone in the judicial system would, if they were found to have deliberately and intentionally mislead the court. >> you feel like no one did
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anything wrong? >> i am simply following the findings of the inspector general, which documented mr. clinesmith's intentional acts but failed to find any evidence, documentary or testimonial to indicate any other mistakes in the fisa package were the result of intentional misconduct. >> do you think you were wrongly fired? >> yes, yes, i do think i was wrongly fired, yes. >> and you think you did nothing wrong? >> that's correct. >> even though the ig pointed out that you did and even though you all had a culture of corruption and cover up that you thought it was okay to spy on carter page, it was okay to mislead michael flynn, this is a said state of affairs and i am pleased that you are no longer a part of the fbi. >> senator, i'd like to answer those allegations.
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>> please go ahead. >> so, no, i categorically refuse to agree with your assertions. no one that i am aware of in the fbi conducted any activity that should leave them susceptible to criminal prosecution. certainly including myself, as someone who's now been the subject of investigative activities for years for no baseless -- the subject of a baseless investigation conducted by the u.s. attorney's office for almost two years which concluded in a dismissal of their case. so, no, i don't believe that i committed any crime. i know i never committed any crime working for the fbi and yes, i believe that the conclusions in the ig's report were baseless, i believe it was a flawed and misleading and deeply unfair investigation that led to my unfair termination. >> thank you. >> if you know nothing about
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what was done in yates and rosenstein and comey all said they knew nothing about any of this, how in the world did it get so far-off track? thank you mr. chairman, i yield back. >> we'll go to senator kennedy next. this is an important point. if somebody knew that the dossier was unreliable, do they have a duty to report to the system the information they found? >> i think that's true, yes. >> okay. is it fair to fire somebody who knew and failed to report? >> well, it would depend, i guess, on the circumstances of where and how that happened. that could be the result. >> mr. mccabe, here is the problem. the problem is that june of 2016 it was pretty clear that the document, the dossier was no longer reliable. that multiple stop signs had been run.
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that the cia is suggesting maybe hillary clinton sign off a plan to cook this whole thing up. she was defensively briefed, trump never was. and the fact that this information was gathered in january and march, the stunning to now know the sub source disavow the document used to get a warrant and nobody at the top knew that occurred is earth shattering disappointing. do you understand how people could be disappointed in that? >> i do understand how people could be disappointed in it. i'm disappointed in it myself. >> the point is after a while mr. mccabe it gets to be hard to reconcile all of this and come out and say there was -- is it still your testimony that the trump campaign and the clinton campaign were equally treated when it came to allegations? >> i think that the trump campaign and the clinton campaign were treated very
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differently in the context of two very different investigations. >> i'm saying it seems allegations were made by both and i'll sum that all up. senator kennedy? >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. mccabe. who is responsible for the misbehavior outlined by inspector general horowitz in his report about misfire hurricane? >> well, it depends on what you're referring to, senator. if you're referring to the intentionally misconduct by mr. clinesmith, obviously he's responsible for that. i think from a command perspective, director comey, myself and subordinate leaders are all responsible for the failures in in the package that allowed it to go forward. if you're asking about
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intentional misconduct beyond mr. clinesmith's activity, i'm not aware there's a finding that others were engaged in intentional misconduct. >> while you were either director or acting director of the fbi, the fbi decided to investigate two presidential campaigns. one secretary clinton, the other one then candidate trump and later president trump. i want to put aside secretary clinton for a second. when the fbi decided to investigate candidate donald trump, what questions did you ask? had at some point somebody came to you and said, hey, mr. deputy director we're going to -- just
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so you'll know, we're going to investigate the republican nominee for president of the united states. do you remember when you were told that? >> so if you're referring to our initiation of the cross fire investigation, so the investigation of the trump campaign, i do remember do remember conversations at the end of july 2016 -- >> okay. excuse me for interrupting. i apologize. would it be fair to say that the christopher steele dossier was the keystone of the investigation? >> no, sir, that's not accurate. >> how important was it? what word would you use? >> it had no importance. we were not in possession of that information when we initiated the case. >> okay. so you're telling me when you initiated the case, christopher steele's dossier had nothing to
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do with your decision to go forward? >> that's correct. >> that's your testimony today under oath? >> it is. >> at some point the christopher steele dossier became important, did it not? >> the christopher steele reporting came to us in the middle of september and it became important to us at that time. >> when you heard about the christopher steele dossier, did you -- did you ask to interview mr. steele? you're only investigating a candidate for the president of the united states after you've already investigated one. now you're on the second one. did you say, hey, i'm the deputy director here, i'm responsible, i want to talk to christopher steele? did you do that? >> i did not personally speak to mr. steele. but our investigate team traveled overseas -- >> why not? you're the -- this is what i don't understand about this whole thing, mr. mccabe, you're
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the deputy director of the fbi and you've -- your people have decided to investigate the republican nominee for president of the united states after already investigating the democratic nominee. and at least in part, at some point, it was batessed on the christopher steele dossier. you can run from that one, but you can't hide from it. did you ever call your guys in, or your gals, and say, hey, i think i would like to talk to chris steele to see how credible this guy is? you say you've never known him. did you do that? >> senator, in my entire experience of 21 years as an fbi agent, i'm not aware of a single instance of the deputy director of the fbi interviewing a source -- >> how many nominees for president of the united states have you investigated? >> i can't comment on that, sir.
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>> but you're telling me at no point you ever sat down and said, wait a minute, guys, this is now all based on chris steele. i want to talk to this -- i want to talk to this cowboy? you never did that? >> that is not an accurate characterization of our investigation. >> that's what you just said. you said you never talked to him. i'm not trying to put words in your mouth. >> no, sir, i'm trying to clarify that the steele information didn't come to us until 2 1/2 months after we had opened the case. >> when it came to you, did you say, wait a minute, guys, this is my reputation on the line. i want to talk to christopher steele? >> no, senator. i sent my investigators to conduct the investigation. >> do you know who -- do you know who igor dansheko is?
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>> i do not. >> he was the subsource that the steele dossier was based on. you're the assistant director of the fbi. you've decided to investigate the trump campaign. you get this dossier which -- whether you admit it or not was the basis for all the fisa warrants. you never sat down and said i want to talk to chris steele. if you had talked to chris steele, you would have found out that his subsource was igor danshenko. he wasn't from russia. he was a guy in washington, d.c., working for brookings. he went to the university of louisville. he went to georgetown.
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he was buddies with dr. fiona hill. he was relying on his drinking buddies. why didn't all of you folks who were running this show say, wait a minute, this is all centered around chris steele. we better talk to chris steele and we better talk to this guy, danshenko. >> senator, it's important that i get this out. if you could give me just a second. >> sure. >> i am not sure that the -- i have read -- i have now read the report of the subsource interview and the interviewee's name is still redacted in that report. i do not feel comfortable acknowledging or confirming or denying any identity that might be identified with that person. >> here's what it looks like to the american people, mr. mccabe. the fbi didn't even try here,
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the people making the decisions. you wanted to investigate trump. this is a nominee for president of the united states. you've already investigated the other one and potentially screwed up her campaign. and so you get the steele dossier y dossier, you don't talk to chris steele, you don't even ask questions about where he got his information, had you done that, you would have found that he got it from danshenko. danshenko is a jelly head. he doesn't know what he's talking about. and it all would have come apart. but you never looked and it sort of looks like you didn't want to. >> is that a question? >> yes, sir. >> so the -- i can't possibly agree more strongly with the way you framed that question.
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while it is true that i never sat personally with mr. steele or any of his alleged sources, our team spent a great deal of effort interviewing him, interviewing other people that they thought were relevant and trying to get to the bottom of the material that he provided. so, no, we were not predisposed to investigating the president, it wasn't something we sought out to do. but we felt that the potential national security threat put us in a position where we were obligated to investigate. that's what we did. >> and you expect the american people to believe that? >> that is the truth and i certainly hope they believe it. >> general flynn has been prosecuted for lying to the fbi. you lied to the fbi and you aren't being prosecuted. don't you think that sends the
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wrong message to the american people? >> senator, general flynn's situation and mine have absolutely nothing in common. i never, ever intentionally misled the fbi or the ig under any circumstances. and i think that's probably the conclusion that the d.c. u.s. attorney's office came to when they dismissed the two-year investigation of me. >> but you weren't fired for parking in the handicap parking spot at the fbi, were you? you were fired for lying, were you not? >> i was fired as the result of a deeply unfair and flawed ig investigation and i am challenging that termination in federal court. >> okay. last question. >> do you have any idea, mr. mccabe, do you have any idea how badly you and your
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colleagues have hit the fbi? the premier law enforcement agency in all of human history, and it was just a handful of you, and now when the average american gets a knock on his or her door, fbi need to talk to you, at least half of them are thinking, oh, my gosh, is the agent a republican or a democrat? they probably know my party affiliation. do you have any idea how many damage you've done? >> sir, my colleagues and i never took any action to undermine our effectness, undermine our oath to the constitution and the american people and the work that we did for the fbi. i deeply regret how politicized the fbi has become in light of the rhetoric and the relentless attacks levied on it over the last four years.
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and i have great faith that my foo former colleagues will do their work and ignore the attacks. >> at worst, it was intentional. and i don't know what's in your head or your heart. but i can tell you what it looked like to the american people, an incompetence tsunami. and they're thinking, how did these guys make it through the birth canal? that's all i got, mr. chairman. >> thank you. just to put a fine point on this and we'll let you go, mr. mccabe. thank you for coming. did you have regular meetings with the people in charge of crossfire hurricane? >> we had regular meetings, we had impromptu meetings. >> you took it seriously, correct? >> i think everybody took it seriously. >> okay. so was peter strzok your main source of information?
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>> peter strzok was one of many sources of information. i met very regularly with mr. steinbach, general counsel. there were quite a few people involved at that level. >> did they tell you that the subsource was being interviewed in january? >> i did know that the subsource had been interviewed, that's correct. >> did you ever ask the question, how did that interview go? did it help us with the warrant application? did it undermine the warrant application? did you ask any questions about the results of the interview? >> i did. i remember discussing it very briefly and i was not informed of any concerns who -- >> thank you -- >> significant concerns with the things that the witness told them. >> who did you talk to about the interview? do you recall? >> i do not recall, sir. >> so you remember being told about the -- were you told about
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the march interview? >> no, sir. >> so here's the question i guess, if you ask them how did the interview go, and nobody tells you that it basically destroyed the dossier, if that's not criminal, is it grossly negligent not to get that information to you? >> i think that the case team should have had much more detailed conversation within themselves and also with the department attorneys who are writing the fisa warrants -- >> is the blame -- >> i think -- the information that they included in the fisa package about that interview, albeit wildly misleading, i think it reflects how they thought about the interview at that time. i think they didn't think about it critically -- >> if you look at this interview and you're not wowed by how
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unreliable the dossier is, you don't want to see it as being unreliable. you're in charge, the number two guy, of one of the most consequential investigations into the history of the fbi. it begins to fall apart. one stop sign after another is presented to the fbi. the cia tells the fbi that this is internet rumor, you need to watch christopher steele, the state department talks about him trying to take trump down, bruce ohr talks about, you need to watch this guy, when the subsource is actually interviewed, he shreds the document as being reliable, and nothing seemed to work when it came to making sure that the true facts got out to the court and others, nothing seemed to work. can you give me an explanation as to why when it came to the sculpt toir part of this, nothing seemed to work the way it should?
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>> senator, i can only rely on the findings i've read in the ig report. >> but you were the number two guy. you were in charge of all of this. how is it possible that the number two guy in the fbi was not informed about these major breakdowns regarding the reliability of the dossier? how were you not informed about the email from the cia saying, yeah, carter page, he was a source for us? >> senator, i can't answer for you why i did not know something at the time. >> okay. well, that's the -- >> i can't comment on it. >> that's the purpose of the hearing. the purpose of the hearing is to make sure we find answers as to how the system failed so it doesn't fail again and i appreciate you coming. i'm sorry didn't give you a break. and we will continue, we're
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going to find somebody accountable for something when it comes to crossfire hurricane and thank you very much, mr. mccabe, for participating in the hearing. i appreciate it very, very much and wish you the best. >> thank you. >> all right. now as to why i'm doing what i'm doing, it's just astonishing to me that so much was ignored so often and you come to the conclusion there's no there there. so what do we know? we know know defensive briefing was given to president trump about concerns regarding his campaign, but when there were concerns regarding the clinton campaign and foreign influence, he was briefed. we know that senator feinstein was briefed when the fbi thought a member of her staff was connected to the chinese intelligence community. all of these investigations of the trump campaign were counterintelligence investigations. not one mention to president trump, you may have a problem
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with papadopoulos. if you look at the transcripts of the bar talk with mr. papadopoulos, he says in the transcripts that, no, he's not working with the russians. he hasn't received any information from russia. that would be treason. that would be a crime. the whole premise of crossfire hurricane was a report by an australian ambassador to the united kingdom that was given to somebody in our office in london, that makes its way back to washington. they have all of this information where papadopoulos denies working with the russians and they plow ahead. compare that to the september cia memo to the fbi suggesting that hillary clinton has signed off on a plan to link trump to russia, to draw attention away from her email server problem. this is our cia telling the fbi they have credible information
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and investigate lead that hillary clinton, the democratic nominee, is trying to link trump to russia for political purposes and the fbi completely ignored it it, apparently it threw it in the garbage can. didn't give it one minute of attention. the reason that's important, it begins to explain how this happened. christopher steele was on the payroll of fusion gps who was on the payroll of the democratic party. christopher steele was working for the democratic party. he provided a dossier that used a russian source who was suspected of being a russian agent years before and it turned out to be a bunch of garbage. the reason the fbi should have looked at what the cia had told them is it begins to make crossfire hurricane make more sense, that this whole thing was cooked up in july. that the whole idea of trump/russia connections were not real, they were manufactured
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in part by christopher steele and the fbi bought it hook, line and sinker. i think a lot of us on our side are astonish that had when the cia sends over information to the fbi, that they have intelligence that hillary clinton signed off on a plan to connect trump to russia to divert attention from her, that nobody at the fbi did a damn thing about it. who did they send it to? peter strzok. are you going to have me believe that peter strzok was fair minded when it came to trump/clinton. doesn't it make a lot of sense that the person who hated trump thought he should lose a hundred million to nothing, thought he was an idiot, totally invested in making sure he never becomes president, is it very farfetched to say when he got the information about clinton, he purposely did nothing with it? how do you explain a system this
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out of control? the most high-profile case in the history of the fbi, at least near the top, that when the subsource is interviewed on two separate occasions and the information is damning to the dossier, it never makes its way up to anybody who signed the warrant. what kind of oversight existed for this to happen? how serious were they about checks and balances? why didn't they go to trump and do for trump what they did for clinton, we think you may have a problem, you need to correct it. it's pretty obvious to us that crossfire hurricane started basically with a conversation in a bar. it took on a life well beyond what the evidence would require. every time it was supposed to come to end, it kept going, every time they received some information that made the whole
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premise of the case unreliable, they ignored it. when it comes to general flynn on january 4th, the professionals wanted to close out the case against general flynn because there was no there there, it was the seventh floor that kept it going. they drtricked general flynn to talk without a lawyer. sally yates said they should have briefed the president. they chose not to. they set him up and there's nothing wrong with general flynn talking to the ambassador of russia when he's the incoming national security adviser, and the conversations are recorded and there's not one word in there to suggest that general flynn had been an agent of the russians at any time and they've basically tried to ruin the man's reputation. the professionals january the 4th took a hard look at general flynn and found nothing there. it's these people at the top who had an insane desire to keep
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looking at trump people when the evidence suggested they needed to stop. why did they never stop when it came to trump? when they should have stopped. why did they never slow down? because they had a bias. they really were in the tank when it came to trump being a russians agent no matter what the evidence said. they were going after this guy because in their mind, he wasn't worthy. why did they not look at the allegations against candidate clinton provided by the cia? it would undercut the narrative. this wasn't an investigation that was unbiased. this was an investigation that was out of control. the people in charge of it were deeply biased. their actions prove more than any direct evidence of their bias. every time they had a moment to reflect, they move forward. every time information was
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provided, they altered it criminally. it's no accident in my view, that all this happened. this is not a series of random mistakes. this was a concerted effort to keep an investigation going that should have stopped, that should have slowed down and what's the damage done? they manipulated the fisa court to keep a warrant process going they should have stopped months ago. they created a cloud over the fbi about political bias that lingers to this day, lawyers are being prosecuted for manipulating evidence to keep a warrant alive. they were told about information from the cia that maybe this was part of a political scheme of the opponent, they ignored it. they knew that the christopher steele dossier was suspect. they knew that the source was a prior russian -- suspected russian agent and they kept going and going and going and they never at one moment gave
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president trump a briefing that every other candidate should expect. if you think somebody in my office is doing something wrong, i would like for you to tell me so i can fix it. they weren't trying to protect trump. they weren't trying to protect this campaign from foreign influence. they were trying to undercut the president. they were trying to keep an investigation going against a president, a candidate they despised. they had one standard for trump, vastly different than that of candidate clinton. and my democratic colleagues say, let's move on. to this day, years later, i have yet to find one person who will take responsibility for manipulating the fisa court. i 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 who had all of this
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information for some reason didn't share it? is that what the system has come down to? blaming somebody at the bottom? they take responsibility in name only. they don't seem to appreciate the gravity of damage done to the fbi and to the investigate process when they say, no, of course i wouldn't have signed that warrant, these are the people, comey and mccabe, not rosenstein and yates, who are actually in charge of gathering the information. they're in charge of the investigate part of obtaining a fisa warrant. they gather the facts and the lawyers at doj decide whether or not to pursue a warrant. the people in charge of this investigation were notified by the cia that this may have been a plot cooked up by the democratic candidate to blame trump for being involved with russia when he wasn't. they completely ignored it.
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when they were hit hard by the facts that the dossier was a bunch of garbage, it just magically never made it up to their desk. everything bad about trump made it to their desk. everything about the trump campaign never made it to their desk. how dumb do they think we are? this committee is not through. we're going to keep digging until we find out how a president of the united states and a sitting president was handled so poorly and trying to let the fisa court know we take our job seriously. people need to be fired and i think the criminality here needs to be looked at.
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we know klinesmith changed information, we caught him. there's somebody else out there that probably knows the system rejected the information. they didn't ignore it. to be continued. h heari the hearing is adjourned. >> both chambers of commerce are in session next week. the house starts at 2:00 p.m. eastern on monday to consider a number of veterans-related ills. the week, to strengthen faa oversight in the wake of crashes involving the boeing 73
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for chinalution violating human rights in hong kong. authorities select leadership with top positions running unopposed. the senate is back at 3:00 p.m. eastern on monday to consider a nomination for the southern district of mississippi with a schedule.vance the servemination of judy to on the board of governors. watch the house live on c-span and the senate live on c-span2. >> tuesday morning, mark zuckerberg and jack dorsey answer questions about censorship, suspect -- suppression of articles, the 2020 election.
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they testify before the senate judiciary committee life on c-span3, online, or you can listen on the free c-span radio app. >> nasa will launch four astronauts aboard a spacex dragon capsule today. we will bring you coverage starting at 3:15 p.m. eastern with the launch scheduled for 7:27 p.m. eastern. at thecheduled to dock international space station and will bring you updates as they happen. coverage on c-span and morning to talk about the presidential process of a presidential transition is max stier -- max stier


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