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Charles Schumer
  Senator Schumer on Russia and 2016 Elections  CSPAN  March 6, 2017 7:02pm-7:16pm EST

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>> senate minority leader, chuck schumer came to the floor earlier today to discuss a range of issues, including his call for special prosecutor to investigate alleged russian involvement in the 2016 elections. president trumps travel back, and republican efforts to repeal the healthcare law. this is 15 minutes. on >> mr. president, i rise this this afternoon on a few matters. first, russia. bet on the continuing investigation into russian interference in ous election and the ties between the trump campaign, transition team and russia. the events of this weekend which included another trouble he,or baseless a tweet from the president, highlights and in fact to strengthen the argument for a special prosecutor to conduct the investigation. the american people agree. a agree. a cnn orc fullan this morning
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showed that about two thirds of americans think a special prosecutor should conduct the investigation. 67% of the c independents and even 43% of the republicans. the trendline suggest theseo numbers will continue to grow. so my republican colleagues should understand that what they know in their hearts is theal right thing to do. do a strong impartial investigation and get to thes bottom of this. it is where the american people want them to go. the american people disagree with president trump and want a thorough and impartial investigation. even 43% of republicans. they are right. a special prosecutor is the best way to ensure that an investigation proceeds impartially for several reasons. first, by the department of justice guidelines that are set up for this purpose, a special counsel is not subject to day to day supervision by the attorney
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general, now recused, recused, or anyone else at the justice department. that means a special prosecutor would have much greater latitude in whom he can subpoena, whichow questions he can ask, and how to conduct the investigation. misco second, the prosecutor can only be removed for good cause such as misconduct. not to squash the investigation. so there is an insularity there. investigation. protected if they are in moving forward on the investigation. third, there is built in has congress is notified whenever special counsel is appointed, remove, or finish or finish with the investigation. last, the special counsel as thb independents to prosecute not only the subject of anhe investigation but anyone who attempts to interfere. so this is the right way to go. let me quote attorney general jeff sessions on this issue.
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here is what he once said. the appropriate response when the subject matter is public and it arises in a highly charged, political atmosphere, is for the attorney general to appoint a special counsel, a great public stature, and indisputable independents to assure the public the matter will be handled without partisanship. if there ever a case that fit i. exactly this, then senator, now attorney general sessions call for, this is it.omination now, mr. president this week the senate judiciary committees going to have a hearing on the nomination of mr. rosenstein. to to serve as the deputy attorney general. during that hearing, mr. rosenstein should commit to naming a special prosecutor to look into the trump campaign's ties to russia. mr. rosenstein by reputation as
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a fair man, he has agreed prosecutor. now that the reason attorney general has recused himself, his impending nomination will appoint a special prosecutor. if he will not appoint a special prosecutor he will need a darn good reason and it is hard for me to see that right now. whether or not mr. rosenstein will appoint a special at prosecutor will be front and center tomorrow at the judiciary committee hearing. and far away the most important question he needs to answer. as i mentioned last week, if pending confirmation law mr. rosenstein delays or refuses to appoint a special prosecutor, congress should consider reviving a narrower narrower version of the independent counsel law. also mr. president, we should
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make sure, certain, that the investigation hasn't been a feared with thus far. i sent a letter today to the inspector general of the department of justice, michael horwitz, it was made public today, urging him te open an immediate investigation to determine if anyone has interfered with thisn investigation, up to now. it. either attempting to influence the direction of the investigation, or those conducting it. do the attorney general should have and we i asked him to do it almost three weeks ago on february 14, and we need to know if he or anyone else has meddled in this investigation in anyway. his misleading statements to the judiciary committee about his meetings with the russianbe ambassador only at suspicion, attorney general sessions has been in charge of this investigation for three weeks. we need to know if he or anyone else did anything in that time to hinder the investigation,
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because it is absolutely critical that we protect the integrity of this investigation. that means ensuring it is completely independent going forward. can g and that nothing has already occurred that could compromisese it. the good news is, the, the inspector general can take thiso investigation on his own, can go forward with what he asked in the letter on his own, and i now that w second issue i would like to discuss is the travel ban. the the recently issued executive order on immigrants and refugees. done now that we have the details, it is clear that while the administration has made some very minor changes, it has done nothing to alter the core thrust of the order which i believe is terribly misguided, and nothing to address the core concerns of the ninth circuit court of appeals which ruled the original order was potentially
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unconstitutional. moreover, we know that the administration delayed its announcement and implementation so that president trump could bask in the aftermath of his joint address. that should be all the proof that americans need to know that this executive order hasur everything to do with optics, and nothing to do with national security. if national security was at stake and should not have been delayed a single day.hat the truth is, there is very little new or improved about this executive order. it is it is barely a fresh coat of paint on the same car that doesn't drive. it is still a travel ban, it is still a refugee ban, it still makes us less safe, not safer, according not just to me but the republicans like senator mccain. it still attempts to turn innocent immigrants and refugees into scapegoats and still doesn't to the things that woule actually make a safer, like
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going after lone wolves and closing the loopholes in the visa waiver program. the new executive order is still mean-spirited, misguided, and in my judgment, it goes against what america is all about him being a country that accepts and cherishes immigrants, not the stains them. i fully expect that the presidents new executive order will have the same uphill climb in the courts that the previous version have. finally mr. president on the affordable care act, my republican friends have repeated the mantra for seven years, repeal and replace, repeal and replace. years they never came up with a coherent plan to replace the affordable care act. it was all slogans, no policy. r
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now they're scrabbling to come up with something. the problem is, every draft, every draft, every leaked detailer outliner list of principles we have seen is tied together by one commonak thread. it will raise costs on average americans and cut back on their benefits. average americans under the republican plan will pay more and get less. no wonder they're hiding the plan somewhere in the basement room.olks even as they are scheduling markups on the bill a week from. now. b they do not want folks to see it until the very last minute, just rush it through. i don't blame them. it is going to be very hard for republicans to be proud of this plan which hurts average americans raising their cost and taking away benefits. mr. president, it is the absolute height of hypocrisy to be hiding this plan. my republican colleagues about
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complained bitterly, day day after day, week after week, month after month, about not having enough time to read the affordable care act when it was being debated. at the time, my friend the distant wish majority leader said "americans want us to slow down and congress is putting its foot on the accelerator. americans want to know what this bill would mean for them and congress will not let them read it before vote, on a piece of legislation that will affect the most significant aspects of our lives.what americans have concerns about what they are hearing and they are being told to shut up, sit sit down, and take the healthcare we give you" by keeping the replacement billot under lock and key, only a weakness before potentially voting on it, the the republicans are engage in an enormous apocrypha.antra
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exactly what the majority leader complained about only a few years ago. their mantra in the past years was always, read the bill. now they will not even lettuce glance at it. why are they hiding it?th p i think i know why. they're not very proud of it. b they know it is not going to work. there are being pushed blindly forward by the ideologues and incessant campaign promises. mr. president, the merc and people people ought to know how republicans plan to drastically ieshape this nation's healthcare policy. i suspect americans will not like it much.lan i suspect it will raise cost and cut benefits. i suspect suspecti part of your americans will get coverage. i suspect the plan will put the insurance companies back in charge. whatever does or doesn't do, the american people and their representatives in congress,w after seven long years of
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slogans ought to know the true face of replace. thank you mr. president and i yield the floor and note that the absence of a quorum. >> on the healthcare long, the house republicans have released their proposed plan. you can read it on our website on back to the senate, earlier today dick turban came came to the floor to talk about president trumps recent executive order, today's at revised executive order on refugees and immigrants. he is against the ban. here's what he had to say. >> mr. president earlier today president trump signed a new executive order that bans travel to the united states from a new list a muslim majority countries but this new executive orders include some cosmetic changes, but they do not alter the fact that the travel ban is still unconstitutional and still