tv Former Attorney General Eric Holder at Christian Science Monitor CSPAN February 7, 2018 8:02pm-9:02pm EST
in professor, the moon on the us possibly using the olympics to help with nocturia. be sure to watch washington journal live seven eastern. join the discussion. >> former attorney general eric holder talked about his service during the obama administration. in his current role working with the national democratic redistricting committee.he also response to questions about redistricting. the house intelligence committee memos and robert mueller/investigation. [inaudible]
[inaudible] [laughter] the son of an earlier era. >> that was one of the favorite judges. >> i will note that mr. holder was 82nd attorney general. serving six years under president obama. from 2009 until 2015. he continues to collaborate with the president obama today and his advocacy on redistricting. we are also joined by kelly ward, to the right of i yield
executive director of the redistricting committee. thank you for joining us. ground rules. we are on the record. please, no tweeting, no filing of any kind while this is underway. no embargo when we finish at 10 am. email pictures of the session to all reporters here as soon as the breakfast is over. as you know, from a predecessor, dave kloke, if you like to ask a question, please send me a subtle nonthreatening signal. i will happily call on many of you as time permits. >> do you say that, nonthreatening? >> it is the times. a big crowd today. is that you limit yourself to one question. if everyone gets a question that we can go for a second round. now, mr. holder, the floor is yours. >> thank you for inviting us to
spend time with a few people that i know and a lot of people who i do not personally know but i have seen on television or whose stories i have read. i would like to thank you all for the job that you are doing. actually i will say that i think the job you all are doing now maybe more important than it has ever been. i think that is really incumbent upon you all for your reporting any fact acquisitions for the american people, you bring the truth for the situation that we face in a number of context. i applaud you for the job that you've done and i hope as a citizen for this great country that you will continue in the way that you have shown these past few months. this midterm is expected to be most expensive in history. there will be a record number of candidates, and interest groups who will be spending unprecedented amounts of resources.
much of the focus will be here in washington dc. about four congress whether they will be anything 2010 but there are key gubernatorial and senate races, state senate races that will decide who controls the redistricting process that will occur after the census in 2021. 2020 redistricting process and 2021. we have all of this activity. the national redistricting committee is the only organization looking at this years electoral map. strictly through a redistricting lens. it is very important. during the redistricting process that occurred in 2011, republicans use new technology to pick gerrymandering which is what i would say was unprecedented levels by creating districts they lock themselves into power in the past decade and shut out i believe, voters from the
electoral process. in many cases, it has been communities of color, african-americans, latinos that have been the most adversely affected by gerrymandering. it is not a coincidence. clearly see the greatest gerrymandering during the last round of redistricting in texas, wisconsin and north carolina. you also see those states pass some of the most oppressive and unnecessary voter id laws. the first and only strategic hub focused on redistricting. no two are the same. we looked at each of the states so we are executing a comprehensive four prong approach to influence the redistricting process that is tailored to what we have found in our each of the states. this will enable us to tailor our work so we can be most effective. let's go through the four ways in which we will do our work. first, we will support the reform efforts. including ballot initiatives and states that would create a
favor redistricting process. second, we are building a very aggressive advocacy campaign to achieve their outcomes in the redistricting process. including raising public awareness, engaging with activists and building state-of-the-art infrastructure. we have established a relationship with organizing for action which is the, i'm say the, committed and grew out of the obama campaign. third, we have a robust litigation strategy in places where maps were drawn unconstitutionally. we have lawsuits and considering filing lawsuits in several states but will also focusing on electing democrats who are committed to fairness and redistricting. and we will focus on positions that play a role in the next round of redistricting.
we will continue to execute all four prongs of the strategy this year and for years to come. i want to focus in the last prong. that is the electoral efforts. we will focus on switching the balance of power on redistricting by electing democrats committed to redistricting. redistricting and will have an impact on that process. this will help for new fair maps in 2021. new maps are drawn every, following the census every 10 years. and the officials elected to a four-year term in 2018, will be the people sitting at the table when it comes to 2021. these are the people who will be responsible for drawing the maps. it makes elections in 2018 very vital. these are in some ways the first critical steps for putting in place people who will take power back from politicians and give it to the people. there is a system now were politicians are picking their voters as opposed to citizens
choosing with their representatives will be.it is a fundamental of our democracy. we have identified 12 k states that represent, we believe, the best opportunities to unring the gerrymandering in this country and bring about fair maps that respect and reflect the will of the people. and we have a watchlist. i believe everyone has a copy of those maps. within those 12 k states our targets include nine gubernatorial races, 20 legislative chambers, several key down ballot races. our targets include the seven states at the -- the most extreme partisan bias in the congressional maps and account for the republicans getting what they termed, a quote - durable majority. of 16 to 17 seats in the house of representatives. the other states are opportunities for democrats to protect against republican
gerrymandering. michigan is a state where republicans have gained a trifecta for that is a governor as well as both houses of legislature. they gained trifecta control of this and 2011 and regular maps of the control 10 of the 14 congressional seats. though it is a swing state. our electoral targets include the governor state, the state senate as well as the statehouse. there also can be an opportunity to support a citizen movement to put a ballot initiative on the ballot with regard to how redistricting should be done. georgia is another example where democrats have the potential to make gains that could protect against partisan gerrymandering.there electoral work will focus on the governor seat in the state senate. and national redistricting foundation, there is active litigation that is challenging the midcycle. the midcycle redistricting that
was done by the statehouse in 2015. arizona is an example of a state that is on the watchlist. they currently have a nonpartisan commission. some ways i would hold on arizona and california. those are good examples of places that have these nonpartisan commissions. republicans in the state legislature there have put forward potential changes that can weaken the process that is in place and make it more political. wisconsin is also a state that we will be looking at. republicans have doubtless been 15 percent of the vote in the last cycle and get controlled two thirds of the state legislative seats. two thirds of the congressional delegation. that is one of the cases that is before the supreme court now. and the fact i think there is good is that they could for those of us who are in support of reform in this process. and they will be investing time and resources into these places
-- focusing energy into the races to ensure that all redistricting targets are covered and to engage young people, african-americans, people of color in these areas and this is election. i personally plan on traveling to many of our targeted states to campaign for individual candidates and to continue raising awareness around the issue of gerrymandering. in particular i will be focusing on making sure african-americans, people of color understand the long-term implications of these elections so that they are organized and energized to get out and vote come november. earlier this week i sat down with president obama for a couple of hours. it is something hannah had been talking about a great many months. actually before i left the department. but had a meeting with him this week to brief him on our plans and strategy and expect that later this year, you will see them campaigning.
he will be focused on the races that will matter for redistricting. he was identified that this is his chief political activity post-presidency. while they are strong indications that this will be a good year for democrats, i'm a little concerned. we talked about this wave that we expect for democrats. as we saw in virginia this last fall, democrats are at a distinct structural disadvantage in many houses. the statehouses even after what i would call a democratic landslide in virginia. a democratic wave peer republic is only 51 /49 advantage in the health of delegates. we'll see where we can be most effective in using our resources in each of the states and drive far into the map as possible. as i said, we have the foreclosed on strategy. one of them is supporting
democratic candidates in the overall strategy. will continue to monitor ballot initiative. both litigate and also for litigation against unconstitutional gerrymandering and build infrastructure we need to have a fair redistricting process and 2021. i want to emphasize that we are looking for a fair process. we do not want to have time we do not define success as electing democrats to in 2021 will do what republicans did in 2011. it is gerrymandering on behalf of democrats. if we have a fair redistricting process and make this a battle between republican ideas and democratic ideas between conservative ideas and progressive ideas, democrats and conservatives will do absolutely fine and there is no need for us to replicate what the republicans did in 2011. some ways i think of this effort as a partisan effort in
government. we are trying to get back i think with the framers intended. as i said earlier, have the people of the representatives instead of having politicians picking the voters. >> thank you very much. i will start with a question in them will take it around the room. in your list of the most gerrymandered states he did not mention maryland, right next door. which of course, has gerrymandering case before the supreme court. i'm curious if you can comment on maryland's republican governor, has a long-standing proposal to set up a nonpartisan redistricting commission. i'm wondering, why is that not better than having a district that is gerrymandered at least according to the plaintiffs in the case. they say this happened by the dates democrats. and then, the second part, i will break my own rule. [laughter] the one question rule. and john delaney this morning
have visited a member who represents that district. the sixth district of maryland. he has a bill to end in congress, to end by partisan gerrymandering, to end partisan gerrymandering by require all states the commission for congressional redistricting. so i would like you to address the whole question for maryland in the plans. >> i think the first part of your question really is correct. we are focused on looking at the states that are most gerrymandered. maryland is not one of the states. we can argue about what happened in that one district in maryland. supreme court has taken up the case and it will render a decision there. also, they will render a decision when they look at wisconsin. if you compare what is going on in wisconsin to what has happened in maryland and compare it to wisconsin,
pennsylvania, ohio, north carolina, texas. your comparing apples and oranges. you can talk about that one district but we are focusing on states that have had substantial gerrymandering problems.i have not had a chance to read the article but i actually think that a movement towards nonpartisan commissions is in some ways the purest way to do this. there are some state constitutions that do not allow for that to occur. in some instances citizens don't have the ability to go straight to the ballot. as you can for instance in michigan where it is now being considered in texas you have to go through the state legislature. and the gerrymandered state legislature will not allow that to happen. in a theoretical sense i think that is in some ways probably the best way to do it. but i go with reality. between now and 2021 we will not get commissions in only the states and so we are trying to use all of the techniques that
we have. lawsuits, advocacy work, supporting commissions where it is possible in them putting in place people who will commit themselves as norton did in virginia. he said he would not sign the bill a redistricting bill that did not come from a commission that was not fairly drawn. >> thank you. do you have anything you bothered with the way the lines were drawn in maryland? >> i think what i think should be applied to republicans should be applied to democrats. i think it would be a mistake to look at one district and think that that is in some way equivalent to what we have seen done on a statewide basis i would say in some ways a nationwide basis by one of our political parties. >> steve from the washington times.
>> my comment is on a couple of decisions at the current justice department has made. first of all the pardon having looked for a number of pardons yourself over there what you make of that. what you make of the decision-making process on -- and they apologized for the irs targeting and came to completely opposite conclusion here justice department on -- i am wearing what you make of that decision? >> with regard to transfer the case that was i'm in the presidents powers to pardon, is absolute. and i cannot criticize the process that was ultimately the presence decision but i think it is instructive that the power that is used relatively sparingly, was used by this president to grant some relief
to a person who i think is fundamentally undeserving of it. the case that we brought there was appropriate. the finding of the court with regards to how arapayo conducted himself in the course of the process was appropriate. i think it was a misuse of the pardon process in that regard. the apology when it comes to irs, is typical of what we see in this administration. not giving support to people in the department, and the investigative agencies within the department. his do a good job and make tough calls. sometimes those calls do not satisfy people on one side of the political spectrum or the other but i think at the end of the day they are to be respected and certainly ought to be respected of the people have the responsibility to run
these departments. the notion that the justice department needed to apologize for what career people made determinations career people made in the irs case, that apology was unnecessary, unfounded. and inconsistent it seems to me with responsibilities that somebody would seek to leave the great justice department would have done. >> -- >> thank you. my question is two-part. one actually about your successor. there are a lot of rules! you will not prosecute. [laughter] i still have friends! general sessions, your successor, once you take a very hard line on marijuana. in addition, senator grassley has a prison reform bill that people have praised on both sides of the political
spectrum. the general sessions does not seem to want to embrace prison reform. your thoughts on his position on marijuana and on prison reform, particular with regard to the grassley bill. >> i think with marijuana we got it right. the justice department has limited resources. and when you're trying to decide how you will deploy those resources, what places are you going to place emphasis, the memorandum that is called -- is as essentially we will let the states experiment but we will put up guardrails. and it was very explicit. he said that when it came to dealing marijuana, dealing to minors, transportation marijuana across state lines, there were eight or nine factors in the memo. if you cross those eight or nine factors then there will be federal and government intervention.i remember
talking to the governors of colorado and wisconsin. sharing with them whatever concerns were. getting the assurances that they will put in place serious regulatory systems. and i think the approach that we took was appropriate. when it comes to use a prison reform. i would call criminal justice reform. that was an issue where i think we had a rare opportunity at a significant bipartisan reform effort. i remember having a meeting in my conference room. we had representatives from the tea party, from center for american progress in the aclu. sitting down to talk about what was a shared goal. the notion of criminal justice reform. again, with limited resources we have, the need to bridge the
trust gap that exists between people in law enforcement and certain communities in this nation. communities of color in particular. criminal justice reform is something that i think should occur. i have not read the grassley bill with any great extent but i think what was being considered during the time, during the end of my time i guess as attorney general, i thought was a good way in which we ought to be reforming our processes. and i think if you look at the statistics after i noticed this smart on crime initiative in 2013 or 2014, the numbers show that we had seen a decline in crime. we had seen the justice department bringing cases where it ought to be against kingpins as opposed to when it comes to drugs, as opposed to people that are couriers. more serious cases. fewer people getting these
harsh sentences. you know being held accountable. being given sentences that would commence with their conduct. and so i would hope that this administration would get back on that train. it was a bipartisan train and start thinking seriously about criminal justice reform. >> alexis from the hill. >> have you read the reports that the president was amorous of the relationship that you and the president shared. they you had his back and you are loyal to his political and other ambitions. and what if you can comment on the presidents perception about that and whether he is correct in suggesting that he would like the same thing with attorney general jeff sessions. >> i would say yes it would be a good thing for him to have a relationship and trade the justice department in the same way that president obama treated his justice department.
president obama and i are friends but he also understood as i understood that there has to be a wall. between the justice department and the white house. there were things that i did while i was attorney general. decisions that i had to make that were not communicated to him. my guess is that there are more than a couple that he probably did not agree with. and yet i never heard from him. anything either privately and certainly not publicly. that was critical of any decision that i made. i would hope that the president would rethink the way in which he has attacked career people. the fbi. the career people at the justice department, career people in the intelligence community. and think about the ways in which he has spoken about his attorney general. it was actually our attorney general and understanding that
there is long-term collateral consequences.to such attacks. the mueller probe will be unaffected. he is a strong man. those that work in mre's was able to get investigation part there will be a time, a case will be tried in illinois. mississippi, missouri. where credibility determines -- between an fbi agent saying one thing and a defendant or witness saying something else. having raised question that the president has about the fbi goes about doing his job. not only the president but the republican party has done this as well. the ways that this is the minds of people as they listen to the fbi agent and what she says in a way that never existed before. so that in the long term negative collateral
consequences, are substantial and real. i would hope that the president would pull back. >> all right. a little housekeeping now. we have deborah from usa today coming up and then fox, huffington post, reuters, national journal? then the health. >> they all make themselves known by doing nonthreatening gestures? >> very nonthreatening this is excellent. and then the los angeles times. and then usa today. >> how much of your focus will be -- how much does the alabama win plan and what message we delivered to people of color in particular on this issue? >> yeah, i mean, that is one of the areas in which we are going to give particular focus. we have listed our targets and watchlist. there are a variety of
techniques that we can use. i did not mention use of the voting rights act. to come up with ways in which we make districts more fair or make representation more fair. and in the south, there are i think voting rights cases that we can bring even under the voting rights act that was harmed by the shelby county decision, there are voting rights cases that we can bring in we are considering bringing litigation in at least three states, three southern states. i do not think we are in a position to share but we will have that soon. >> i wonder if you can comment on your thoughts about the controversy surrounding the department know when it comes to the fisa process.
in the memos that have been released and would like to be released for what you believe is classified information getting into the public space and what you think about the process? was the process fair that the particular warrant in the news? >> i do not think i saw the application i went to the fisa court but i can say that these things are not, they are scrutinized in the agency that seeks them, scrutinized within the justice department that ultimately approves them and then at the court that ultimately signs them. i read this. there is a degree of scrutiny. most things get bounced down, bounced back at the fbi phrases, to get bounced back at the justice department. this interaction with the court, things are sometimes pushed back and then have to be redone. i am concerned about the
revelation of things that go before the fisa court. they are designed to do things in secret for a reason. we are talking about some of the most sensitive things that our government does in order to protect the american people. i'm concerned about the nunes memo because the next time an individual decides that he or she wants to share some information with the united states that would be helpful to us, they will have to think about what does this mean? is my identity going to be revealed? what information i share be revealed? intelligence agencies have to ask the same question. if we share information with the niceties will they be the same trustworthy partners that they have been over the years. i worry about the issuance of the nunes now the first instance. and as i understand it seems to have been pretty inaccurate in
a number of ways. i would hope that the white house would ultimately make the determination that for lack of a better term, the shift memo would be released. i pretty good faith that adam schiff will not reveal in the memo inappropriate things that i've seen this crafted in a way that is protective of sources and methods. and it will have the least negative impact on the intelligence gathering capabilities. it strikes me to get the white house now saying that we want to listen to the fbi. and the justice department before make a determination on the release of the schiff memo. really? did you listen to the fbi and the justice department when you made the determination to release the nunes memo? in spite of the fact that the justice department said it was extremely reckless or whatever the term was. christopher wray made a really
rare statement coming from an fbi director about his concerns about the release of that memo. apparently you listen to him then but now you are going to listen to them. we'll see how that process works his way through. >> ryan riley, huffington post. >> there are no rules here. this is just total lawlessness! >> i think, you are no longer obligated to give the presidents sound legal advice. so should he talk to robert mueller and how should democrats deal with james comey? >> to the president talk -- that is a determination i guess that he and his lawyers will have to make. it will be interesting to see how this plays out. any -- i think the possibility exists that even with the
receipt of a subpoena that the president might not to robert mueller. it's entirely possible that we could use the fifth amendment privilege. which would be favorable for any other politician. but this president since he could shoot someone on fifth avenue not suffer negative political consequences. number five is an interesting one. fifth avenue, is also the fifth amendment. i don't know, i think it's at least a possibility. what was the second one? >> how do you think democrats transport since accepted the political thinking. >> i wrote a piece about that. james comey is a good man who i think made a wrong decision in the way in which he dealt with the end of the hillary clinton
inquiry. i think he's a long time contributor to our nation. and i think you did a great job as deputy attorney general. he did a great job think as fbi director. he happened to make a mistake. but i do not think that it is any reason for us to disbelieve what he said about his interactions with president trump. i've always found jim to be, if anything, right up front and very forward about his views and not afraid of expressing the truth. >> jeff mason, reuters. >> i would like to ask you about an issue that i know you're passionate about which is the death penalty. during the presidents i believe second term, he asked the department of justice to do a review of the death penalty.
i do not believe that anything ever came of that. i'm wondering why and i am wondering if you ever decide to run for office, the physician race? >> work was underway by the time i left. i left april 15 after having present in 2014. but they just cannot quit me. you know? i do not know. i do not know where, what happened in terms of results of that. i know when we did one, we did a similar study during the clinton administration and the publicly. i was deputy attorney general of the type you know will happen within the department and whether the work was completed or decision made not to release i just don't know. i mean i've spoken out about the death penalty. the greatest system of justice in the world.
our system of justice is comprised of men and women who, whether they are judges prosecutor defense attorney terrorism, are trying to do their best. human beings make mistakes. and we know that macy mistakes made in cases that were noncapital in nature. and it is one thing, it is an awful thing. one of the last case i worked on before i became attorney general i man was convicted of rape he did not do. he served 19 years. i got him out of jail given a substantial amount of money. you cannot reverse the death penalty mistake. that has always been a concern that i have had. in addition to the ways in which it is imposed. both geographically, racially, economically. i think i will continue to
speak out about my opposition to the death penalty. when it was i was attorney general it was a tough decision i had to make it add to set aside the opposition and do what i was statutorily mandated today. >> i'm going to follow up with -- >> i'm sorry? >> there was an implied second question. >> so you are tweeting, learning how to fundraising and giving political speeches. are you possibly thinking of running for office? >> i will see. i focused on trento but i think i'll make a decision by the end of the year with her there is another chapter in my government service. [inaudible] >> we will see. >> -- >> a little bit about fundraising and your plans for
touching up the republicans on the fundraising front. >> i do not think of this in terms of time to catch up. i think we have find the $30 million be raised $16.2 million already. we think that's not a quick amount of money plus job we think that we need to do. perspective of whatever it is the republican party is raising. fundraising i have found to be among the more interesting things that a person in political life has to do. interesting. i will leave it at that. but it is necessary. and so, i think we've made substantial progress on goals that we have set and i'm pretty confident we will have the funds necessary to do the job we want to do. >> then from the hill.
>> he talk about the party lost about -- during the present obama is term here there were a lot of complaints from state and local parties that the democratic party was not investing enough in the local races. and so we see now that their mindset has been trying to prepare some of that time to focus more on those issues but they are totally cash-strapped. they had a couple hundred thousand dollars in the black and certainly do not have the investment capabilities that you said the rnc has when they dump all kinds of money on files. i guess my question is, is the dnc and affected partner for you and can they be with such poor fundraising? >> i think they are an effective partner. they will be an effective partner. i do not know all the intricacies of the amount of money that have been raised in you know, the hocus-pocus that
goes through how much have you raised and how much do you have on hand? i do not focus on that. i think what the democratic party has got to do is harness the intensity, the feeling that is out there. here's number of people who are parts of what i guess we call the resistance. women in particular who have signed up in record numbers to run for office. i think that the democratic party needs to focus on identifying good candidates. supporting the candidates and is not always in terms of money. there are ways in which you can harness people power. at the end of the day i think it is more important. and money obviously is a factor. i'm not saying you can do this on a shoestring. my guess would be that tom perez, people at the dnc will come up with sufficient amounts of money to allow them to do what they need to do for the
party to be successful. >> janet from los angeles times. i'm sorry. >> you talking about how interesting it is to fund raise. in particular i'm wondering democratic donors, big-money donors and to get the presidential races and big-time races. how hard is it for you to get people to focus on the importance of the low level races? >> it is a good question and one concern i had when we announced this back in january of last year.what i have seen is that within the democratic party, there has been a interest in focusing on these state legislative races, governors races. as we have explained over the course of this last year. the importance of these races
and if you want to have a more representative congress, you have to make sure that at the state level, you have where these lines are drawn. for congressional districts. you have to make sure you have the lines drawn fairly but you have in place, people who are committed to doing so in a fair way. and given the way in which the republican party made determinations after the 2010 census and the 2011 redistricting effort, it means electing more democrats. and that i think has really energized people. i am a first timer when it comes to fundraising. i would not hold myself as an expert and yet after one year, we raised $16 billion from some big donors, substantial number of people have contributed to us online or kelly if you have numbers in that regard. i think that within the party generally, and certainly thing
the donors in the party, there was a recognition that in 2018 and 2020, governors, state legislators and in some places the secretary of state, state auditor, that these races matter. and that we will get the financial support in that regard. with regard to the online, we can share that. >> we have really invested in and seen a lot of energy on our email program and several million dollars of the 16 million we have raised have come from the internet with low dollar contributions from activists in the state. there is energy across the spectrum hides out a low dollar. i think you are really energized and excited and focused on redistricting. that there is a strategy, a place, a hub where they know that redistricting is being paid attention to, that there is a comprehensive strategy. at the helm there is an
excitement about that because they know someone is on top of it.>> -- politico. >> there is a situation in pennsylvania ongoing right now. the mapping challenge and the court. as i think you'll do to get involved in the immediate? or is this all just about happens november, but with the governors election? >> we have been involved. filed a lawsuit in pennsylvania.i talked to the governor last week. about the situation in pennsylvania. i think pennsylvania is obviously a very important state very gerrymandered state. it is a swing state. and if that a congressional delegation that is 13 to 5 now. republican and democrats and everybody thinks nine nine is where the state ought to be. and so we have a good decision
by the pennsylvania supreme court. the united states supreme court made the determination to stay out of the matter. at least for now. there are deadlines that the judge has set. so will be interesting to see how this turns out. under the governor wolf has done a great job and he is bound and determined to make sure that carolines are drawn. and we will be supportive in that effort. starting as of now. [inaudible] [inaudible question] >> we are looking to see where there are places that we might be no supportive. i worry about things like that. you get a decision that you do not like in pennsylvania. he stopped talking about impeaching the judges. north carolina, a democratic governor is elected and so you
tried to strip power. they have a state court back in pennsylvania making determinations that go against the republican party. then he tried to take power away from the courts. and then nevada. you have state legislature, democrat is to have a recall election against three democratic state senators. not because they've done anything inappropriate. simply because you have the ability to do it. and in each of those places they make determinations about where it is we can be sued we will look at all of these situations and where we can help litigation or other means. grassroots support will be players. >> if i can ask that. one of the things that happened in the last round in redistricting was that there wasn't really an attention on this issue.and so when the
republicans were drawing maps, in the states where they had control, no one was really paying attention.it was not a high-profile issue for you do not have energy and attention from the grassroots and from the press and others really understand the implications of not trying. annette has completely changed. we were sitting in pennsylvania where there is a lot of attention, a lot of local press coverage. when a republican senator -- for impeachment. so many people said that is unacceptable. the shift of public awareness is happening now and think you will really be critical part over the next round of redistricting which is why the advocacy part of the work is so important. people will be engaged in they need to be to hold the process accountable. >> there is an awareness about this issue that exists now that i do not think existed when year or so ago. i was at the university of kentucky is today speaking to college students and law
students. and i talked about a variety of things i was working on. and things i think the country needs to focus on. the biggest line was my talked about redistricting. and i said it supplies a we talked about criminal justice reform. and these young people responded most dramatically to this notion of focusing on redistricting. and so i think peoples conscience has been impacted by a focus there. i like to think that we had something to do with it. because i think people will understand, redistricting, gerrymandering. it's not a coincidence that you see the most restrictive voter id laws and states that are the most gerrymandered. you see medicaid not expended
under the affordable care act and state that are most gerrymandered. we seek gun laws, choice laws that are the most extreme and states that are most gerrymandered. people's lives on a day-to-day basis, impacted by the subquestion of gerrymandering and fair redistricting. >> josh meyer. >> i cannot help noticing one of the first things that the president did was announce a transnational organized crime strategy and i do not know if you noticed but it looks very similar to the one that president obama did and you did in 2011. >> i did notice that. almost identical. but given that, as afghanistan continues to deteriorate, i was wondering what you think about the role that international law enforcement has played in the afghan conflict over 17 years. whether it has been used
forcefully enough investigative prosecution. not just drug traffickers but corruption that fills the insurgency and in particular, if you think that when you were there, you are able to do as much as he wanted to on that effort, building capacity but also taking out criminal elements. >> is a good question. we tried with the building of capacity. there are parts of the justice department that we deployed in afghanistan to help the capacity at the prosecutorial level, the judicial level. i think we had amounts of success. i remember having a meeting with the president and raising concerns about corruption. in you know, it was almost like a scene out of casablanca. gambling and then you hear your winnings. it is you know he expressed shock that there was any notion any concern by the united states government about corruption in afghanistan.
and i think those were the kind of things that did not get huge amounts of attention but i think ultimately were extremely important and you know if a government is seen as corrupt, it cannot then call on the people it is trying to govern for support. and there is always a military component to the effort there. you know brave soldiers have given their lives. but i think almost as important as what we were trying to do in building that capacity, and there i do not think that we have the kind of progress that we hoped. i think we tried during the obama administration. i would hope those efforts would be continued during the trump administration. but it is a tough one to crack. >> live eight more minutes and i've got four questions to go. maybe we can have a little lightning round. tony from -- >> thank you.
at the alabama senate race. alabama has been a place where they have been questions about voter suppression tactics a couple of years ago. it was the issue of the former licenses not being issued in exactly dominant minority populations. and yet, in the special senate election, doug jones, he won in an upset even though roy moore had his own issues. i wonder given the importance of the minority book, particularly african-american women. what conclusions do you draw from that that and motivated electric can overcome these obstacles or that this was in a special situation because of the other candidate? what conclusions you draw in terms of the effectiveness or not of some of these measures? >> i do not think that we should draw too much comfort from the fact that state where structural impediments are placed in front of people of color that tried to register and try to cast their ballots.
that a good man, doug jones was elected. i think that was a particular kind of race. he did not have roy moore, thank god all over the country running for office. i think in some ways what is more instructive is what happened in virginia. as i mentioned before. where you had nine or 10 percent differential which i think by any measure would be considered a wave or a landslide. yet democrats were unable to take the state assembly there. they are structural impediments that will be put in place in the 2011 redistricting that i think we still have two deal with. and i sent, they have identified what they call a durable majority. of 15 or 16 seats. in congressperson they are structural things i think
democrats need to keep in mind. cannot become complacent. you cannot think that this wave is inevitable. if democrats will be successful in november of this year, it will be because of hard work. because of organizing. because of selecting good candidates and supporting those candidates. it is just not going to have a good it will be a function of work. >> pete williams, nbc. >> other special counsel regulations that were put in place when you deputy attorney general, they say special counsel makes a report to the deputy. it doesn't say anything about making it public. you think that the report should be made public? >> you know, there are one of the things that concerns me about the independent counsel statute that existed before, was that these reports were
routinely made to the court and then routinely made public. which is you know, not typically the way the department of justice does its business. but given the nature of robert miller's inquiry here, i would hope that whatever his conclusion. i draw no conclusions on my own at this point. whatever his conclusions i would hope that if a report is prepared that it would be shared with the american people. >> what will have to be prepared for them they will have to submit a report to doj. >> well, yeah -- i would have to look at the regulations. but i don't know if there indictments. i do not know if there is still a need. i do not know. but if there is a report that is prepared i think it should be made public. >> roslyn jordan -- >> hi, thank you. it is one thing to get districts redrawn and to get
candidates elected. but is there a democratic party version to help these legislators at the state and local level come up with law and chain processes so that you do have a coin flip to settle the virginia beach seat. >> i think there are, there are some core things that the democratic party stands for engine run on. concerns about healthcare. concerns about the climate. this whole question of income inequality. making sure that people have access to the polls. you know there are a variety of things that i think democrats should run on. and when i hear about the democratic party is fractured. you know, the difference is, within the party are i think, relatively insubstantial when you compare the differences
between the democratic party and the republican party. i think in a lot of ways, our party has to rediscover his history. and talk about that history. the democrats of a party, they are the party of the common man and common woman this is the party that came up with social security. medicare, medicaid, the affordable care act. that is a history that people need to know about. it is history the democratic parties should run on and connect itself to. and come up with 21st century solutions for the issues that we have to confront. but i don't think there is a need for special interest groups and things like that. i think you know we are democrats! we know will be our and what we stand for and who we stand with. i think that is sufficient. >> okay final question for
>> president trump delivers remarks at the annual national prayer breakfast thursday. that is live at 80 stern here and she's been too. members of the british house of commons will hold a hearing in washington, the digital committee is investigating so-called fake news. they will hear from representatives of google, face book and twitter. coverage begins at 9:00 a.m. eastern from george washington university on c-span three. you can follow coverage on c-span.org. and with the free c-span radio app. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell and senate minority leader chuck schumer announcer to your federal budget agreement. the deal increases defense and non-defense spending over the next two years. it lives the debt ceiling