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tv   Washington Journal Stephen Vladeck  CSPAN  February 5, 2018 11:43pm-12:24am EST

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the report challenges the member by noon is claiming inappropriate action by law enforcement agency. the university of texas at austin on that response to the memo. >> the first guest of the university of texas he's a law professor their covers national security issues. good morning. >> guest: good morning. could we get your sense of the assessment of the republican minimum? >> after all of that think the release on the memo friday was anticlimactic. it doesn't include much beyond what leaked out. their questions about the steel dossier but it was to provide proof that either the entire investigation is tainted with that rosenstein supervising it
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is also part of this controversy. i think it failed on both accounts. foods are going to accept it as a conspiracy theory that the conversation has moved on to other problems shows the memo did not do the work that they thought they wanted it to do. >> to think it's the narrow perspective of how the fisa court works and what it takes to get them investigated. >> there's public misinformation about the fisa court. think a lot of folks look at the fact that carter page on star michael steele may or may not have been paid by the democratic national committee and assume that means everything he says. ordinary witnesses are often paid informants.
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such is not prove that information is tainted. that's why the real question is what is a memo say, question is what was submitted to the fisa court. was there enough independent inc. information. >> host: their way to release that underline information that doesn't compromise national security? >> we could try. the call is up to the president. he has the final say on these classification questions. if he really wanted to declassify the underlying application to the fisa court with appropriate rejections to height sources he could try to do so. they could instruct the
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directive national intelligence to do that. the fact that were not here in a clamor from the president or the house committee either to release the application or they can't release it, i think it's further proof that this charade has very little to do with transparency and a lot to do with fulfilling up political narrative. >> speak. >> host: if you want to ask him questions about the release of the memo, what it does for the mueller investigation and other matters you can call him. >> you said as far as the presentation of this information that the onus has come upon those to really clearly present for the information was coming. >> guest: to a point.
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it's a common upon any law enforcement officer to provide at least some information about the source of the information in the identity or the reliability of the informant. there's many cases where police go to a court get a warrant based on information from biased informant. it's not because something sketches happen. it's because there some independent way to cooperate the information or additional evidence that goes towards the probable cause. is quite telling that you're not hearing anything from trey gaudi or nunez about the probable cause standard and whether we ought to revisit the circumstances in which the fisa court determined it exists. so about this one warrants an
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application that has been withheld from the public. that's why doesn't feel like a full throated debate. >> we for democrats say that if you could get our version of events clarify things that may not have been seen from the original release. what type of things could democrats rely on. >> the democratic memo could have examples of other evidence that had nothing to do with the steel dossier that were submitted to the fisa court. we know from google that carter page is the target and has been on tv and he talked about his connections to the russian government. there's possibly more information like that. they might have quotes
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suggesting that the government did tell the fisa court the steel dossier had been funded by specific political party which would get rid of the narrative that this was all a fraud. we don't know everything unless we see the application but the memo that the house is voting on could add further information shows a more complete picture of what the fisa court had. >> before we go, what does history tell us about the republican's willingness to release this. do you think it will happen? >> the last time they consider the question was two weeks ago. they voted not to release the memo, the ranking member of the house intelligence committee.
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the political pressure may have changed. it might look heavy-handed on the republicans given all the noise out there to not release the memo. i think it's more likely than not that the democratic memo sees the light of day. it's going to be he said he said so folks can evaluate the application for themselves. i wish the president senior republicans in the house would be more aggressive and proactive. thinking the underlying application does or does not vindicate the president to prove it was or was not a scandal. >> host: our first call comes from cedar rapids, iowa, on the independent line. >> caller: i have read that in the dossier that mr. paige had
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been offered a 19% share in the russian oil company in return to his influence on trump to lift the sanctions. the person allegedly reported that to steal was all like, a former kgb intelligence agents and was secretly feeding information to steal for the dossier. he was suspected of leaking these details to expose the whole thing. he was found dead in the back of his car on december 26, 2016. another person was also dead as a result of his involvement. >> host: you want our guest to comment on what? >> caller: if he has any knowledge or information regarding this russian involvement.
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>> okay. any context of that? >> guest: there's no question that the u.s. law-enforcement counterintelligence agencies have been following those matters closely. this is why the odds are good that the fisa application against carter page was not based solely on the dossier. including carter pages on word. not to prove that he was guilty or spine on behalf of the russians. but to create probable cause that could have convinced any federal judge in that position to authorize further investigation. what i find remarkable is the republicans by getting invested in the memo and trying to use it to discredit the mueller investigation have picked an odd figure to rest all their hopes
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on. i don't how we look at what's publicly out there on carter page and have that much trouble understanding by any justice department wind have been interested in pursuing an investigation against him. >> host: allen is next from north carolina. >> caller: my question is, why do against listen to fox news misinformation. i'm so glad you have a man on here like this that explains the situation. it's a sham. you see with republican stood. and trumps a few supporters just eat it up. there's going to be egg in their face. think of her have a man like this. >> host: thank you.
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is that your assessment? >> guest: i went go all the way to it's a total sham. the key is what's the endgame? as a possible the government was overzealous and hot pretrade the steel dossier? the problem is that happens all the time. what i find is that not that the house intelligence community are making so much out of this one episode, it's clearly not about the concern which is protecting americans from abusive surveillance policies. if it was we'd be having a different conversation. we talk about holding the government to a higher standard this is the house intelligence committee that voted late last year to reauthorize one of the other parts of fisa with the
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republicans almost entirely endorsing that. my concern is that if there's really a problem let's talk about the problem as opposed to putting this into a scandal that's distracting from the mueller investigation which gaudi is suggesting is not been affected by the nunez mama. >> when, goes on twitter and says the release of the information says damage relationship with the fisa court and expose -- the investigation. would you agree those things happen? >> one of the things about these institutional relationships is there very long term. it's easy to lose side of the force through the trees.
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i think it has hurt the relationship between the house intelligence committee and the fbi. when congress created the committee in the 70s they created the fisa court. the whole purpose was to provide different kinds of oversight and accountability on government spine. when you have the house committee treating every issue in partisan political terms might be satisfied in the moment to those parties represented by the majority but i think it weekends if not destroyed the long-term ability of the house committee to play the role of an independent trusted objective overseer and frankly democrat or republican is bad for everyone.
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>> caller: i like to ask the investigation is over collusion? is that a crime and if they the certificate it not romney instead of making fun of them don't think this would've happened. and then the fbi did -- martin luther king. there's too much that doesn't make sense. one thing that makes the least but a senses the house intelligence. >> is collusion technically a crime? >> collusion of itself is not a crime. it's a misnomer to characterize the investigation as a collusion. it started as the nunez memo in 2016 as a counterintelligence it
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investigation. into russian interference. this is no longer debate about whether there was russian interference. there several that have come out said the russians have at least attempted to interfere in the election. so as part of that counterintelligence that this information about relationships between the trump campaign and officials in the trump tower meeting now these indictments are all coming out. the question is not whether there is collusion the question is as part of this broader investigation into russian investigation there has been evidence of separate an additional crime uncovered by the special counsel. we've already seen a few
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examples of that. >> host: someone has a question about the democratic memo can you walk us through markets considered this process? >> were in uncharted territory. the provision that allowed this to come out had never been successfully invoked before the 40 year history that the process is that if the majority of the house intelligence committee votes to release information that is secret then goes to the white house to see if it can be declassified. instead of being the factor leaks it can be formally released. white house wrote back and said we will forward declassified.
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there's a few ways to compromise. the white house can say were not gonna declassify the whole thing or perhaps we want to prove it at all and then it goes to the full house to override that decision. were several steps away from sin the democratic memo. i think it is an important step to those who think we haven't gotten to the bottom of the potential scandal that so many folks thinks it represents. >> host: for michael in georgia, democrat line. >> caller: how do we know that the white house didn't collude with nunez in the memo? >> this is the democrats are
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working with the republicans on the memo. >> there is no law that would prevent a back-and-forth cooperation and discussion between senior members of the white house. their strong norms. it's hard to be an effective overseer that is supposed to be if you're running over to those are overseen to plot strategy. more coordination there was between the white house and mr. nunez the more alarming it is from a political perspective. think it just further underscores how the episode has not been about getting to the bottom but rather about trying to vindicate the president's own narrative.
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>> host: then has he worked with a close group of people and does he have to work with other republicans? >> the question is how will he get the memo through a majority vote under section 11 she to move it down the chain. the report is that he wrote it or the staffers wrote it with folks mr. gaudi's office what would of it had taken to get that majority vote to get out of committee. in this case there's enough pressure from the white house and senior republicans. even speaker ryan jumped in and suggested -- i think there is enough of a groundswell. the question is not why did the republicans move heaven and earth to release the memo. it's wife telling the full story
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is the goal the same process wasn't followed the democratic response or the fisa application which were told runs between 50 and 60 pages. >> so they made the initial requested in three requests. to strive to present the same burden of evidence or is it a rubberstamp at that point? >> the same standard applies. it's a very temporary authorization. after fixed time, rather 60 or 90 days there go back to the court show they still have probable cause to believe the target of the warrant is an agent of a foreign power. in this case it sounds like they not only went back but would they went back three different
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times. we have four different life tenured judges agreed with two different administrations there is probable cause to believe that he was an agent of a foreign power. the more work to do. >> you teach let the university of texas at austin. spent the previous career at the university of miami. an elected member of the law institute and senior editor of the journal of national security long policy. where can people listen to your podcast? >> my colleague and i have a podcast www. national security podcast.com. >> host: mona from maryland. huron.
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>> caller: if you cannot imagine your name is on a dossier they're coming after him and hopefully my alma mater has not taken a hard left turn the 70s that prioritize liberal extremism. >> i'm not sure i heard a question. the reality is i'm not telling folks what they should think about the process but the nunez memo is. folks have a clear view of what the tradition is. this is not about the steel dossiers about the fisa court. the question is if the judge who initially approved the warrants and the three different judges
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who approved it thought between the steel dossier and the other evidence there is enough to believe that carter page might be an agent of a foreign power. don't take my word for it. go look at carter page has had a written online and ask if it's clear to you of this was a fictitious scandal by the democrats. it's hard to believe that the more you dive into it. >> margaret is on. >> caller: i think your comment a few moments ago that anybody who's looking to find something to find something. what's amazing is that were talking with any seriousness about the judges accepting this evidence from the dossier was included the fact that they included a dossier in a false report i would use your argument in the mirror image.
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they could prove the democrats created this there was still be away from the liberals in the world to prove over the rice. they weapon ice the irs. we had the red lunch on a plane with bill clinton. we can prove that they interrupted the nomination process from bernie sanders and hillary clinton but donald trump who cannot breathe and without someone accusing him of something, i would say most of the american people want to know other than the only reason the warrant was fun. i would say you're mistaken if you think the american public will stand for a democrat what we think should be important and then downplayed.
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>> guest: i'm not quite clear on where were telling you what's important. the key is the steel dossier the claim is not that it's false, it's bias. someone who studied the fisa cart court for more than a decade, bias is a common problem when it comes to government application. maybe the informant is out to get some of her family member doesn't like another family member. the question is not the there is bias there's question if there's reason to doubt that it was biased once again, the question everyone should ask, whatever your affiliation is whether you really believe based on four pages of the nunez memo the four different federal judges at four different points in time couldn't have found carter page
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and what can we make without seeing all the other evidence submitted to the fisa court. part of what's frustrating is that everyone wants to inject their own political spin into it's a straightforward legal question. is the word valid and probable cause to believe that he is an agent of foreign power. given what we know about him or the warrant don't think the mood nunez memo changes that. >> eucerin the judges who heard that over time it would've changed anything for them. that's what you're applying. >> certainly there's more that we can know. that's why the scandal will never go away until folks can see the full application.
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the way the fisa court has worked historically would be a radical break from president and tradition for the governments rely solely on it to accept an application based only on one dossier. the question is what's more likely? the four federal judges received applications from two places made this return and issued a warrant based on one dossier. or more likely that they had substantial additional information that the nunez memo cherry picked from the underlying application and if we saw the whole thing we see an ordinary request from the court and not a scandal rather the government doing the best it could. >> when a judge receives this information how much time does
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he have to look into it before decision has to be made? >> in theory judges are supposed to move with a fair amount of dispatch. a lesser due to special emergency condition. the judge can take his time. we know their prior examples of judges on the fisa court going back and saying it's not enough, anymore. the notion that the judges are in cahoots with the trump administration requires more substantiation there what little you see in the nunez memo. >> barry, your next. >> carter page was approached by the fbi before he joined the trump campaign. but afterwards when he was
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affiliated the fbi did not want trump not to confide in carter. secondly, the professor talks about the findings of probable cause by the five support. the standard for the omissions made in the application for the fisa word standard is zero. you can make those omissions because there's not proper institution looking at a probable cause. >> thank you. >> that's just not true. it's true in a criminal trial that have a right to be confronted with the evidence against them. it is not a right that attaches this reform. the government is allowed to
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present one-sided views of the case to a court when trying to establish a warrant. these proceedings are just the government judge their in camera so we don't know much about what goes on in the conversation. if this is the fulcrum point to have a national conversation about how easy it is for the government to get search work, great. i think that's decades overdue. frankly, i think the republican leadership is not so interested in that conversation as opposed to any that make the president look good in his predecessor look bad. let's have a conversation and hold hearings about the probable cost standards if we need to rethink what kind of evidence
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canna cannot do that. i think it's a rather telling omission on their part. >> host: as far as spe best practices should there be a lawyer present that represents the president? >> there has been some in the fisa court would appear the interest of the target. that's worthwhile conversation. the usa freedom act in the fisa reform that we passed in 2015 and allows for the participation in at least some of the harder and more complicated fisa cases. let's have that conversation
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about probable cause and search warrant as opposed to there's gambling going on. that's how lawrence usually work. i don't think it's a scandal. >> sean is on north carolina with democrats. go ahead. >> caller: thank you for having me. god bless america. it is suggestion for everyone on how we could in this very shortly. the president the president. he could end it all he would have to do simply sit down in front of the american people an answer the questions. i've already asked my senator, we could as nunez, everybody involved, all the leaders to sit down in front of a republican registered combat worry and answer the questions.
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was the problem? the president could in this. >> guest: the president has a lot of power here. including the power to declassify. one of the most interesting nuggets was at the end where the member talks about how the counterintelligence investigation have begun well before the first application and it reveals much larger point is started before but still going on today. whatever you think about the nunez memo is still there. think the colors right, if they want to attend this at least
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facilitate a public conversation about what happened there ways to do it. think it's because there's either a believe that there is a witchhunt and there is probability in the part of the president or this is all a coordinated and sustained effort and distraction and misdirection and delegitimization to mitigate the damage if and when it gets to the point where it's hitting closer to home think those are the options. >> host: wouldn't the inclusion of papadopoulos the that republicans are making the case it's happening before there should be separation of the two within the document. >> i think you heard that
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yesterday. the memo doesn't bear upon the broader legitimacy is started indirectly before the fights application so folks even if you accept at face value that the memo does what it says and everything is true it doesn't get us to what people hoped would be the bottom line. again, the investigation should take its course and let the chips fall with a may. folks are that concerned let's have that conversation. >> my memory back in july of 2016 there they pressed
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mr. trump as to where the e-mails were. she wasn't satisfied until they got informant or he said he's asking the russians to intervene. i'd like for the american public to hear that all over again. i think there's a horrible witchhunt going on and i believe we have difficulties with the dnc and the russians. >> it's just not true that the first time president trump was asked about getting access to the e-mails i thought two of the investigation began. it's clear it began before that point and it was not directly about trump it was more about
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the signs of interference and media and advertising by the russian intelligence agencies. folks are gonna believe what they want but there's no longer any question according to senior republicans that the russians did attempt to interfere. what everything that says about trump is fine. we need to stop debating if there was russian interference, there was. and it's to what extent anyone has for that interference. >> carolyn go ahead. >> caller: the first thing is i've heard justice roberts picks the judges for the fisa word for the fisa court. i'm wondering if that's true.
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the biggest thing i have the concern that chris hayes interviewed carter page in october. at that time he said the ryan would come out with a memo. how did he know that in october? >> host: how are the judges picked embedded? the court is comprised of 11 federal district judges. books have been nominated by any president than their chosen by the chief justice to be designated to the fisa court for a seven-year term. to there's a situation where the judge was nominated by the last couple presidents but then i
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think it further dissipates the charge that we start to see over the weekend that we should trust the judges but president obama. >> again, the real question is not so much the timing. i think it's always been a part of the plan to try to raise concerns about the carter page application, the real question is why are folks buying it given how much objective information is out there. second, even if it was in doesn't call into question the mueller investigation. as tri-county suggested yesterday i think were inclined to have different conversations given the nature of our
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contemporary political climate climate and the media cycle. >> host: our guest if you want to find the website and more about him, thank you for your time this morning. >> it's a pleasure to be with you. >> smart about the release of the memo with judicial watches. this is 45 minutes. joining us now is christopher, good morning. >> the point the last guest was making set about the fisa process and not the larger aspects of the investigation. >> there's a lot of moving things here.

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