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tv   Senate Homeland Security Committee Holds Hearing on FB Is Crossfire...  CSPAN  December 4, 2020 2:02am-3:49am EST

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good morning, this hearing is called to order. the title of this hearing is congressional oversight in the face of executive branch and media suppression, and in particular case study of the crossfire hurricane, corrupt investigation. i'll add that. the hearing is actually quite a bit broader than that. but we'll certainly focus on that. i became chairman of this committee in january of 2015 and will complete my six-year term at the end of this month. we can all be proud of the more than 100 piece of legislation we worked on together as a committee that became law. the other than more than 200 bills we passed out of committee, although not signed into law, can still serve as the basis for future legislation. our committee and subcommittees also have broad oversight jurisdiction, and responsibilities that we have not ignored. we investigated and exposed problems within the va health
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care system, human trafficking, national security leaks, and systemic violations of the hatch act within the postal service to name just a few. most recently we've held eight hearings and round tables on the current administration's response to the coronavirus. it's not surprising that some of our oversight investigations did not receive bipartisan support, in particular those concerning corruption within the obama administration. in february 2018 reflecting on his eight years in office president obama stated we didn't have a scandal that embarrassed us, and further in may of 2018 he stated i didn't have scandals. not only were those scandals denied by the former president, they were also largely ignored by both democrat colleagues and most of the media but nothing could be further from the truth. a short list of the known scandals demonstrates why they should not be ignored and need to be fully investigated and exposed. now, i'll depart from my full
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rin statement because i have more detail on these as i list them out and i'll ask that my full statement be entered into the record. let's go down a quick list and i want to make a couple points why these are relevant. fast and furious, the result of that and we have ms. at kinson here that can testify to being spied on was a result of the scandal, the obama administration started spying on journalists. we also saw that eric holder was held in contempt of congress, but never held accountable for it, and i'm highlights right now which shows one of the problems congress has in its oversight capabilities, and we have no method of enforcing subpoenas, or prosecuting somebody held in contempt if that person held in contempt is a member of the administration. it really renders us very toothless. in terms of effective oversight. benghazi. i won't go into detail there other than to say that susan rice went on sunday morning shows lying to the american people and said there was a
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violent protest outside of our embassy sparked by a hateful video. secretary clinton then was reported to comment to one of the -- to the father of one of the fallen heroes, quote, we'll make sure that that person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted, unquote. just so happens that producer of the video was jailed shortly thereafter, and served a year in jail, in prison for a probation violation on a separate charge. i would view that as somewhat of an abuse of power. the irs scandal. where the irs was turned into a political weapon against conservatives targeted, and not allowed to have tax exempt status. in that case the irs employee lois learner refused to testify, she pleaded the fifth, she retired with full retirement benefits, never held accountable, never punished.
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irs later admitted many of her emails were lost due to hard drive crashes, once again no one was ever held accountable. the biden ukraine conflict of interest scandal. the thing i want to point out about this is how the press actually was interested in this back in, you know, october of 2015 when "the wall street journal" actually inquired of the vice president's office about that conflict of interest with hunter being on brees ma's board, they inquired on october 21st, the exact same day vice president biden decided not to run in the primary against hillary clinton. political actually published a 20 page article on biden ink, types of financial entanglements that senator grassley and our investigations revealed in our 2020 report. past that point the press pretty
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well ignored the glaring conflict of interest that george kent said was awkward for all policymakers trying to run an anti-corruption agenda in ukraine. the clinton email scandal. this is really, when i took over chairman in january 2015 it was in march 2015 that it was revealed that hillary clinton ran most of her emails through a private server. not only is this committee the general oversight committee of congress, we have specific legislative jurisdiction on federal records. so that really began my work in this community's work for the last six years investigating some of this corruption in the obama administration. i think it's important to note that this represents, from my standpoint, the unequal application of justice, hillary clinton was exonerated. this -- the email scandal, the examination investigation morphed into the crossfire
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hurricane scandal. i just want to talk about one of the texts that peter strzok texted lisa page after hillary clinton was exonerated he said, and damn this feels momentous, talking about crossfire hurricane. because this matters. the other one did too, the meteor exam. but that was just to ensure we didn't "f" something up. this matters because it matters. so super glad to be on this voyage with you and yet we had the inspector general, when he reviewed the abuse in his report claimed there was no proof that political bias affected any actions. i would challenge that statement. the final one i want to talk about is what we uncovered in our july 2017 report on leaks. and the overall summary of that is that report showed 125 leaks in the first 126 days of the trump administration, 62 of them would have been defined as
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harming national security according to the obama administration's definition of that, and that 62 compares with, i think, eight or nine during both the bush and the obama administrations. just an explosion of leaks. and by the way, those leaks are what drove and sustained the false narrative of russian collusion with the trump campaign, proven totally false. but was the center of the hurricane -- crossfire hurricane investigation and then a special counsel and quite honestly morphed into an impeachment trial here in the senate. now, a common element of each of these scandals is the abuse of the executive branch power. if this misconduct remains hidden or goes unpunished it's a serious threat to our freedoms and our democratic republic. i do not make that statement lightly. i would also say they really demonstrate a pattern of bias and unequal treatment.
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certainly bias in the media. bias in the social media. the censorship that we've witnessed over the last few months. but also, a pattern of bias and unequal treatment in our justice system. i pointed that out earlier. i would also say a pattern of unequal treatment, unequal loyalty, and bias within the executive branch. i mean, i find it shocking that within two weeks of president trump entering office two of his phone calls to world leaders were leaked to the press. this is unprecedented. it's actually what spawned our investigation into the leaks to show the 125 leaks in the first 126 days. this cannot go on. this is dangerous to our democratic republic. unfortunately my efforts to uncover the truth have been severely obstructed by the agencies involved, by entrenched bureaucrats that have every incentive to keep it hidden. this has been true during both the obama and trump administrations. for example, the fbi did not
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meaningfully produce records with -- about the crossfire hurricane investigation until i subpoenaed them in august of this year and even then documents are heavily redacted. i've got a quick example of this. you know, we did in one of our reports on the transition and abuse of the gsa process. this is an email, the gsa produced to us, and you can see it's -- we can read the whole thing, except for the mobile phone number of the sender of the email. this is the exact same email produced to us by the fbi. as you can see, almost everything is redacted. there's no reason for things to be redacted. there's nothing involving or harming national security here. might embarrass the agency but doesn't harm national security. this is what we've been dealing with. this is the resistance we have encountered in our investigations into abuse of power. in may senator grassley and i
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requested a list of obama officials who amassed trump campaign in -- that list has apparently been compiled but has not been provided to the committee because it's stuck between the nsa and department of justice. without those records it would not be productive so we have not interviewed the officials involved in the unmaskings. just yesterday the state department produced an unclassified version of an email that senator grassley and i requested in august that still contains redactions. i was able to review the unredacted, and can only say what remains classified should not be classified. the information would not harm national security but it would reflect poorly on vice president biden. that is not a valid reason for classification or for indefinitely withholding information from congress. these investigations have also been hampered by false allegations made against me and senator grassley, by senior democrat leaders, including this committee's ranking member.
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in letters purportedly classified staff memos immediately leaked to the press and statements on the floor and to the media accusing me and senator grassley of disseminating russian misinformation, patently false and easily proven so by a careful examination of our reports but no matter how many times we issue denials a compliant media repeats their false allegations. this was the exact same playbook used with the steele dossier and the russian collusion hoax. these claims are especially galling because in both cases democrats were the real peddlers of russian disinformation. now, the purpose of today's hearing is to release and examine two timelines, i've got them right here. one that's a little more condensed and more general about all of our investigations. and then one that's really specific, and far more detailed on the crossfire hurricane investigations.
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to help place these scandals in perspective we're also going to release new documents we have obtained related to the crossfire hurricane investigation, and also to demonstrate how much has been withheld nd how many questions remain unanswered. and i ask all of this information be entered into the record. the volume of information that should be considered cannot be covered in a single hearing. instead i've invited three witnesses to talk about specific aspects of these scandals in which they have detailed knowledge. again, i thank the witnesses for the time they have taken to prepare. and appear before this committee. i look forward to the testimony. again, i really do want to thank the witnesses for your time and your appearance here. and with that i'll turn it over to senator peters. >> well, thank you, mr. chairman. and mr. chairman, i just want to start by saying that i certainly appreciate the bipartisan work that we have accomplished together during this congress under our leadership of this committee has advanced important
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legislation to strengthen border security, to safeguard critical facilities and institutions from terrorist attacks, streamlined government efficiency and in the process saved taxpayer dollars and ensure a strong oversight of the coronavirus emergency spending. this committee does its best work for the american people when we come together. and areas that we can mutually agree on. i regret that today's hearing, unfortunately, does not meet our best traditions of non-partisanship and bipartisanship. this committee has already held a hearing on oversight of crossfire hurricane investigation. we heard testimony from the department of justice, inspector general horowitz about the errors and the misconduct that his non-partisan independent investigation found. inspector general horowitz interviewed more than 100 witnesses and reviewed more than
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1 million documents over the course of nearly two years to come to his conclusions, in fact i ask that the executive summary of this report be entered into the record, mr. chairman, without objection. >> no objection. >> i'll remind the chairman that mr. horowitz found that -- quote, opening the investigation was in compliance with department and fbi policies, end of quote, and found, quote, no evidence of political bias in its opening or in any investigative step taken by the crossfire hurricane team, end of quote. we know the inspector general did find problems with this investigation, and the fbi has already implemented those recommended changes to prevent those errors from happening again. in addition to our own committee's hearing the senate judiciary committee, which has jurisdiction over the fbi, and the department of justice, is currently undertaking its own
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investigation. prosecutor john durham is also continuing his own investigation at the department of justice. the senate intelligence committee has also already investigated and its bipartisan report included that trump campaign manager paul manafort's willingness to share information with the russian intelligence services was a grave, a grave counterintelligence threat. i ask that the findings of the senate intelligence committee also be entered into the record without objection, mr. chairman. >> without objection. >> in addition to our own -- today's hearing seeks to rehash the same matter in a more partisan way, to reach conclusions that the chairman has already announced publicly. the panelists here today are not witnesses to the underlying events. their public commentary has been extremely partisan and in some
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cases, such as disputing the result of the most recent election, entirely divorced from reality. the strength of american democracy and a peaceful transition of power depends largely on the american people's trust that our elections are free, and that they are fair. there was no plot against president trump when he won the election four years ago, or when he lost the election last month. promoting a demonstrably false narrative erodes trust and prevents our country from healing. our committee has a real responsibility to conduct oversight in the federal government's role in pandemic response and so many other matters impacting national security, and given the dangerous world that we live in we simply don't have time to indulge and hyperpartisan investigations that simply don't
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advance the interests of the american people. therefore i do not think today's hearing is an appropriate use of our committee's time, resources, or quite frankly credibility. next year i look forward to returning to our strengths, to work together in a bipartisan way, to address the devastating public health, economic and security challenges that we're facing as a country. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator peters. it is the tradition of this committee to swear in witnesses so ms. at kinson if you'd raise your right-hand and if the gentlemen here will stand and raise your right hand. do you solemnly wear the testimony you give before this committee will be he truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you god. >> i do. >> please be seated. our fst witness is ms. cheryl at kinson, an investigatve
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journalist and the host of the television news program "full measure," she was a correspondent and anchor at cbs news, pbs, cnn and local ns. she's autred several books on u.s. politics, the media and government abuses. she has received five emmy awards in the edward r.hurrow award for investigative reporting. >> i've been a non-partisan journalist for nearly 40 years in local news, cnn, cbs, pbs and the national station group sinclair. i've witnessed a dramatic evolution in our industry as we've allowed ourselves to be transformed into tools of political and corporate interests, pushing narratives, slanting information on the news and online and seeking to shape public opinion rather than report facts and various views this means today's media landscape has allowed some of the biggest and most important stories of our time to be covered in a fantastical and one sided often inaccurate and
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incomplete way, or perhaps escape coverage entirely, while important violations of law and constitutional rights by powerful interests into unchallenged. we have to confront that our -- more powerful than congress, the legislative or judicial branches, more influential with the media, and largely immune from oversight and after the most egregious violations for prosecution. even the president of the united states, whoever it may be, plays second fiddle to the structure. and partly because the news media has dropped the ball these players are unaccountable, operating in an extra constitutional fashion that persists from administration to administration, meaning this is not a partisan issue. one example can be found in the government spying on journalists and other innocent americans after an incredible series of revelations beginning in 2013, nobody was held accountable. government agents initiated
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secret surveillance and subpoenas against then fox news reporter james rosen and associated press reporters. cbs, where i worked at the time, publicly announced in 2013 that forensics proved my computers were remotely hacked, and my work remotely monitored in the cbs news systems for access to the spy effort as well. after the forensics definitively proved the government was responsible it secretly involved a key stroke monitoring program, ex-filtrated files, looked through my work photos and then remotely overwrote computer logs to try to erase their tracks when we discovered them, nothing happened, zero, to this day i'm still suing in civil court trying to force the justice department to reveal the names of all the specific agents involved, and so i thought at one point force accountability and stop it from happening to others. but seven long years later it's an uphill battle as the justice department defends the guilty
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agents using taxpayer dollars. it should be no surprise that intel abuses continued. when top intel officials at the time james clapper and john brennan provided false information to congress about surveillance of american citizens and the cia spying on senate computers, all is forgiven when the inspector general refers former fbi director james comey for criminal charges the justice department says no need, he meant no harm. when fbi director christopher wra wray -- no abuses contrary to the numerous findings, nobody says a word. when government officials unmask the names of -- when congress makes dozens of referrals for criminal charges regarding alleged intel misbehave, when committees request federal documents from federal agents they're supposed to see, when fbi cell phones contain evidence of corruption or computers accidentally wiped, when
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information is illegally leaked for political purposes, nothing. the people responsible for these things we're to believe were confused, didn't understand the question, didn't understand the rules, didn't mean any harm, it was an accident, but those not on their team are never afforded the same generous benefit of the doubt. this has caused a crisis of confidence in our public institutions. among many there's a lack of trust in congress, the media, health officials, the justice department and our elections process. now even when congress may be doing the public good, the media may be telling the truth, health officials may be giving good advice, the department of justice may be doing the right thing, or the elections aren't fraudulent, many don't buy the story we're telling. we've created this environment over a period of decades. and then we look at the public, which watches the public standards, whipsawed between the alternate realities presented by the media and we ask why they're mistrustful as if it's their doing when it's ours. if we're unable to change things
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we can only expect more of the same or worse. thank you. >> thank you, ms. at tkissom. next witness is kevin rock. after the 9/11 he served as first assistance director for intelligence and became the first deputy director at the national count terrorism center. mr. brock works in the private sector. >> morning, i thank you for the invitation. i have submitted a detailed prepared statement and i will summarize now. during my nearly 24-year career in the fbi i investigated and managed numerous significant counterintelligence cases, specifically russian counterintelligence investigations, as a senior fbi executive i led initiatives that caused me to work closely with the department of justice to align new fbi policy changes with the attorney general guidelines. as a result i had a deep knowledge and understanding of
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the attorney general guidelines throughout my career and while certain changes may have occurred to the guidelines since my retirement i retain a solid understanding of the attorney general guidelines core protections of americans of inappropriate -- reached by the fbi. as a former fbi executive and now a private citizen i have authored op-ed articles critical of andrew mccabe and peter strzok and their initial handles of the crossfire investigation and the harm their actions did to u.s. citizens aligned with the trump campaign. in addition i have been similarly critical of the stunningly inappropriate a/cs of former director comey that objectively impacted the hillary clinton campaign leading up to the presidential election in 2016. in short i have been speaking up at some personal risk, not for political reasons, but rather out of my concern that the integrity of the fbi and the trust that the american people have traditionally placed in the fbi have been imperilled by the
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faulty and reckless actions by those former fbi leaders. i do not speak on behalf of the fbi, only myself. i have, however, received abundant and overwhelmingly positive feedback from current and former fbi personnel concerned for the future of the fbi. let me be as clear as possible of these disgraced former fbi executives never should have opened the crossfire hurricane investigation. they did not, despite the doj inspector general's subs subsequent comments to the contrary have adequate predication for starting an intrusive investigation of u.s. citizens. the fbi document that opened the crossfire hurricane investigation violated the attorney general guidelines. it contained no predication that an experienced and knowledgeable fbi counterintelligence agent would deem adequate to start an investigation. in fact, the document contained exculpatory statements that should have chilled any lingering impetus to proceed further. the inspector general's
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assertion is based solely on his interviews of the crossfire hurricane team who, not surprisingly, claimed they had sufficient reasons for investigating the trump campaign. i respectfully disagree and will be happy to answer any questions why i believe the ig is mistaken. the ig's report documents startling comments by fbi executives that reveal investigative decisions against u.s. citizens, based on speculation, unsupported by any material fact pattern, these executives articulated a concern that a presidential campaign may have received, accepted disinformation sources thereby endangering national security and election integrity, ironically the same executives less than two months after opening the crossfire hurricane case received a dossier determined to be russian disinformation that the clinton campaign not only accepted but paid for. in an indefensible double standard the crossfire hurricane team chose not to initiate a
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similar investigation into the clinton campaign. they instead used the, quote, salacious and unverified dossier. those are mr. comey's quotes, as justification for a fraudulent fisa surveillance of a u.s. citizen. in effect the crossfire hurricane team's cynical use of a clear russian disinformation operation became its own threat to national security and civil liberties. the crossfire hurricane investigation was not an abuse of the fbi. it was an abuse by the fbi, by a rogue band of reckless executives. i'm sorry, i got that backward. it was not an abuse by the fbi, it was an abuse of the fbi by a rogue band of executives because of the duplicity of these disgraced former fbi leaders many americans have lost trust and faith in the fbi, perhaps that is the greatest wreckage of this entire debacle. the trust has been eroded.
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the shameless former fbi executives collect significant sums of money from book royalties, media appearances, teaching gigs and gofundme scams. americans would like to see accountability but hope wanes. the efforts of this committee to shed light is welcome and commendable. perhaps it will at least help prevent something like crossfire hurricane om ever happening again to any american future presidential nominee. >> thank you, mr. brock. our final witness is mr. lee smith. mr. smith has woed in the press for more than 30 years. writing on foreign policy, national securit and media. he has written for the "new york times," "the washingtonpost," "the wall street journal," the new yorker, among other publications. mr. smith has authoredeveral books on politics in the middle eat. mr. smith? >> thank you very much, chairman johnson and ranking member peters, thank you for t invitation to speak before the committee. thanks, also, to committee
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members and staff. nearly four years ago, aseries of crimes were committed, in full view of the public and to date no one has been crged. it was the one set of crimes and arguably committed during the course of crossfire hurricane, the fbi's investigation of russian interfence, and the 2016 election on the possle involvement of the trump campaign. the crimes began with a leak from classified intercept of a telephone conversation between then president-elect donald trump's incoming national security adviser michael flynn, and the russian ambassador to the united states. inanuary and february 2017 "the washington post" published stories sourced to intercepts of flynn's phone calls and specuted that the retired three star general might have broken the law by discussing the reign policy of the united states with feign officials. f general flynn it was the begiing of a twisted journey, forced upon him by political opponentand professional rivals, a ending only st
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week with a presidential pardon. for america those leaks are the center piece of one of the most remarkable crime sprees in our history. classified information leaked serially to prtige press organizations f the purpose of prosecuting a campgn of political wrfare against a sitting president. reporters raly, if ever, tually saw the classifi documents. they relied on badly spun accounts of the documents fed to themy a circle of itelligence leakers. the classified information was used to advance the narrative that trump had been mpromised by russian spies. u.s. officials knew not only that they we breaking the law, they also knew they were marketing a lie, and they knew where it oriinated. according to notes taken by rmer cia director john bnnan he briefed then president barack obama in late july 2016 that the hillarclinton campaign had approved a planto, quote, ilify donald trump by stirring a scandal, claiming interference by russian security
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serces, end quote. knowing the purpose and providence of the story, brennan nonetheless pushed it to senior u.s. officials as fact. he briefed then senate minority lead harry reed on information drawn from the notorious dossier paid by the clinton campaign. brnnan also took it to the fbi, he shared that information regarding trump aides and russian ficials with the bureau so they could take it and sworn testimony before congress in may 2017 the former cia direct said the information he ga to federal law enforcement serves as the basis for the fbi vestigation. it was to lend more color and weight to the russia smear targetingtrump, that government officials leaked classified information like the flynn intercept, none have ever been charged. the press itself was honored. "the washington post" and "new york times" were awarded a joint pulitzer prize for their numerous stories sourced to classified information leaked to advance a fraudulent narrative.
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because of its paon pshing russia gate american intelligence services and law enforcement authorities are regarded with skepticism, if not contempt, by half of the u.s. public, programs like foreign intelligence surveillance act warrants, confidential human sources and classified intelligence designed to keep citizens safe from terrorism, organized crime and adversarial state were turned against americans who were simply practicing their right to participate in our political process. and thus the crossfire hurricane investigation marks a new even transitional moment in our history. i lived in and reported from the middle east for more than a dede, and the shape of the fbi in media's joi operation is unmtakable. it signals the marriage of the ministry of the interior, responsible r domestic spying, to the ministryf information, responsible for manufacturing propaganda. in a combined effort to destroy
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anyone it perceives as a opponent. with crossfire hurrane major american institutions, the press and our intelligen community have adopted the practices and ethos of the third world. it is not clear at present how we might return from that territory. the issue then is not simply that theress and our intelligen services have forfeited the faith of lge parts of the u.s. public, but they have injected into our public sphere a conspiracy theory, what they've done is the equivalent of dumping mercury into every american river, lake and reservoir. thank you. >> thank you, mr. brock -- i mean, mr. smith. i'll start out the questioning to mr. brock. this is information we should have had years ago. but it was recently revealed when john rad cliff released a document that said the u.s. intelligence community reported back on july 26th of 2016 that
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allegedly approval by hillary clinton on july 26th, a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisers to vilify donald trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by russian security services. mr. brock in your testimony you talked about the unequal application or the unequal treatment by the fbi of the clinton campaign versus the trump campaign. to me, this is just exhibit "a" in that unequal treatment. here you have the intelligence community actually knowing that it's hillary clinton approving of a plan to stir up the scandal. you know, tying candidate trump to russian collusion, that kind of explains the whole steele dossier, doesn't it? and the fbi knew that that was bought and paid for by the hillary clinton campaign. the fbi knew that the primary sub-source of that steele dossier has been investigated by
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them in 2009. they knew all of this for sure by the end of january 2017. but some of this information was known in july, in october. so speak a little bit in terms of the unequal treatment of the two campaigns and also i want you to speak to -- i agree with you, this was not an adequate predicate for an investigation. okay? but speak to the fbi guidelines about continuing an investigation when yohave all this exculpatory information. >> yeah, i think one -- >> get the microphone closer to you. >> one of the most puzzling aspects of this wole -- really it was kind of a national tragy, it's a trady for the fbi certainly as we look back and see the thin basis for launchingn inveigation like this. when you have -- when you juxtapose the reasons that the
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fbi stated in their opening communication for starting up a case, and then their cmments to the inspector general later as to why they fe they were compelled to investigate the trump campaign, they don't add up with a certain logic that should have been applied to the dossier, and its connection to the clinton campaign. there's -- if they applied the same logic to the dossier and the fact that the clinton campaign arranged for and paid or that, and received russian disinformation, then they would have had to open up a separate counterintligence investigation. and yet they didn't. >> and quite honestly closed down the trump investigion. >> well -- >> because it was predicated on all that false information. >> it was predicated not only on thin information, a fourth hand hearsay, it also -- the statements that they relied on
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contained o exculpatory statements that "a"here was no indication the trump campaign received or accepted the russian suggestion that the had information damaging to hillary clinton, and "b," the russians were epared to releaseit no matter what the tump campaign did or not. that is in their own opening e.c. that rightthere, for an experienced counterintelligence leader in the fbi should have been enough to say we don't have enough to open up a case. >> i want to address my next question to the two journalists. there really has been, and there is an unholy alliance between liberals, democrats, and the media. there was completely unequal treatment by the media, by most of the media, democrat versus republican. again, exhibit "a" in this bias is how they treated the whole russian hoax. and as our report showed 125
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leaks in the first 126 days that just drove this, sustained it, fueled this false narrative. i'll start with ms. attkisson. what duty do reporters have to reveal their sources when the sources give them false information? >> it's a case by case thing. there is no standard across our profession, one of the facts i criticized is at the beginning of the trump administration many news organizations announced that they were suspending their normal ethics and standards that dictate how their news organization typically deals with things, such as use of anonymous sources, that they were suspending these because they said they needed to suspend their standards to cover a uniquely dangerous president, and i've argued, and i think you've observed, that i actually think there's no more important time for us to keep our standards and ethics, than when we're covering somebody that maybe we don't like or we have strong feelings about, that's what standards are for.
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and instead we saw this lifting starting in the 2016 time period, and this changing of everything, you know, the way we used to cover things. and at cbs news there were very strict rules we went by to use anonymous sources as a last resort, and only with very certain and specific caveats and disclosures, all that has changed, even the news organizations, people used to consider the top ones in the country, if not the world. and there is no overarching body that dictates how this stuff has to be handled. >> as i've been trying to conduct these investigations over the last six years one of the things i've certainly determined is it's an inquiring press that has access to sources that won't come to congress because they don't trust congress to keep their identities secure. confidential. so they go to the press so the press finds out about this stuff a lot sooner than congress does, or quite honestly the department of justice officials. so i fully understand and fully
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support a free press. and any member of the press protecting the confidentiality of the sources but that's when they're giving them true information. mr. smith, is there an obligation to protect a source that is giving you false information? >> yeah, but i don't think it's -- >> turn on your mic and get it close to you. >> i see it a little differently. i think that what we've seen as i tried to describe in the opening statement, is an actual partnership between the press and people who are pviding false information to prosecute a campaign agains the tru administration. i'm very familiar wh the left wing bias in the media. my family, father, grandfather, great-grandfather all worked in the press. i was the literary editor at the village voice, which was the first alternative weekly in america co-foued by norman mailer. i come from the left. i'm familiar with left wing bias. what we've seen the last several
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years has nothing to d with left wing bias. this is not about partisanship. what we've seen is something -- something very destructive and very dangerous. and how th started was,n part, because of the financi collapse of the prestige press, which began with the advent of the internet, we've seen as a consequence e moral and professional collapse of the press. what we're talking about n is not a normal media. it is a platform for information operations. it's not just about partisanship. >> senator peters. operations. >> senator peters. maybe he has blinked off. so i will go to senator
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longstandi langford. i want to go back to that last statement you made. that journalism and media has become a platform. how has than turned around, how do we get accurate information? that isne of the top questions that i get asked by my state in oklahoma. how do i find out the facts? >> for all of the different complaints we have about the internet and social media there is different trends happening as well. there are different alternative outlets. there are different journalists and sources for people to follow. if we're talking about how national prestige media like the brands i talked about in my openinstatement, they will continue to exist for as long as they have people who own them who don't care how much money they make. how make them accntable
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again to anmerican public that needs soundinformation, i don't know. there is real newsut there. there is real people who gather newsnd who disseminate news. and i think that those figures need to be encouraged. if you're talking abou what peop ask in oklahoma, local news is very important. i'm not sure that anyone needs to be competing entirely with "the post." "the times," or cnn. it is important right there and the national will get to them as well. >> i want to ask you a question about what you experienced personally and what was experienced by multiple journalists. there was an ap story and i want to read a clip of this ap story. it was asking this story that said trump may use extraordinary rhetoric to undermine trust in
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the press, but obama went further using extraordinary actions to block the flow of information to the public. they used the 1917 espionage act with unprecedented vigor prosecuting more people for leaking sensitive information than all administrations combined. they dug into news organizations and their sources, discussing the "associated press" office, home phones, cell phones, seizing them without notice as part of an investigation, and went into what happened to jose james rosen as well with fox news. you experienced this as well at cbs. my question to you is what should be done to an entity or agency to hold them to account. they were never held to account for literally intimidating the press, tracking the press, and
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investigating journalists in this process. what should be done in this administration to hold an administration to account. >> at a minimum you would think there would be an apology. the people who took these actions, no longer working in the government, but people see that nothing happened to them. why should anybody change the way they operate. in my case this was illegal actions. they should be prosecuted, but who is the prosecutorial authority? the department of justice and the fbi. a citizen trying to bring a case in court to force what the department of justice is trying to do generally because they're not and they spent all of this money dragging it out, trying to dismiss the case. i think because there is no accountability time and time again, they say people need more training, we'll reiterate our
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policies, this happened over and over again. and they know, again from administration to administration, some of the same people, nothing ever happens to them. so the behavior doesn't change. >> let me ask you a question as a follow up to that. you have been around the fbi, in the fbi and you know a lot about it, the agency, and the process. what could and should be done to the an agency, leadership, or individuals that have an abuse of power. how should the investigation will handled. why can't we close the loop on these investigations. >> some of what we're talking about today. they are fired and with good reason and good cause. with some accountability there, i, you know, what this committee is doing, shedding light on the abuses that took place by this
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small rogue band is vitally important in is not the fbi that i knew or worked in. it's not the agents that worked tirelessly every day for the good reasons that the fbi exists. this was a hijacking of the fbi. and again, in respect, giving respect to the inspector general conclusion of no bias, it is tlaer there was bias. paid by former director comey. they hald a personal anamous
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against the president. >> i know a lot of great fbi agent that's are embarrassed the way they handled this. if i did as a line agent what james comey did as a leader i would have and should have been fired. they seem to be held to a different account. i think i know your answer on this but i want to get clarification. there is an investigation on president trump, at that time candidate trump, and for the most part it was done by the book, was it word. for a lot of us were shocked and it was by the book, would you
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agree with those statements? >> i would not be proud of "cross fire hurricane." no, this was not done by the book. the fbi cannot walk without adequate predication to interview a u.s. citizen. and we should all be concerned and vigilant th the fbi adheres to those policy guidelines. i think this is part of the problem. i think you all understand that i have not gotten a great deal of support for these investigations in the last six years. i think the attendance of this ar hearing shows that. and what i have tried to show, congress is a paper tiger.
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these people are not held accountable. who investigates the investigator? in six years, trying to do think, trying to get it out, the attacks that i had to put up with, it doesn't potter me personally, if bothers the inflection on the boxies of our memrs. i have them saying this is not even an appropriate hearing for this committee to ve. there is theproblem, senator kothd.
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>> i think the public deserved to know how they were able tosp investigating a company. can you talk abou how, and after that talk about why has the main stream media not heard about this and are they going to re about this assuming that joe biden is the next president of the united states? >> is that -- can you hear me? >> now i can. >> could you hear me before? >> i'm sorry. >> i'll just sayit again. it wasn't that long first, i believe that americans care aut corruptions. i belie that americans do not want to see their president involved in corruption.
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i believe we need a thorough investigion of hunter biden and his relationshi in the ukraine. the united states was able to stop a foreign government fro investigating a company tt was paying his son $83,0 a month. i think whatever the facts are the facts ought to come out. whatever you learn about bide enand you crane, why hasn't the main stream media cared, and assuming joe biden will be the next president of the united states, will they start caring? >> i has not done as deep of a dive into the hunter biden questi question. but some left-leaning organizations were doing great investigations. at the time there must have been people putting out a narrative that did not want joe biden to be the nominee, or wanted
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somebody else. so therefore even among left leaning political figures and so on, this was debated. once joe biden became the nominee, it evaporated at least as a discussion among the liberal press and the left leaning figures that became supposedly a conspiracy theory by conservatives at that point, but it was well documented and covered previously. i learn that if you substituted the name biden and trump, or trump's children and biden's children there is different media coverage than the lack of interest in the advocacy that comes from some of the media that are trying to squelch the story and the social media and powerful interests that don't want it talked about. do i think it will change around biden presidency?
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i don't think so. i think there will be some criticism in the popular press of joe biden when he comes under criticism by others in the left-leaning press. but he will not come under the same scrutiny or attacks or the one-sided coverage that president trump got. i have written books about this showing that the false coverage, not just the bias coverage, but the media mistakes from "the new york times" to "the washington post" to cnn, over and over false reporting and information. i don't think we will see that. in the campaign it was demonstrated. i think we will see a different kind of news coverage with biden. for reasons i explained, i agree with lee, largely taken over by narratives and propaganda. we invited the corporate prs to use us to ta about their
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distribution and storylines, and that is wat many of us have become. >> so how can someone who belies their a legitimate journalist like wolf blitzer or jake tapper not care about this? th portrayed themselves to be legitimate jourlists that want to get to the facts, hold people accountable, they're ry clear they want to hold both sides accountable. how can they continue then to not care about something like hu hunter bide snn. >> i worked at cnn when it was a news organization and we would have dreamed of covering stories, i spoke to many cnn insiders, they're all horrified at the turn that this once prestigious and fairly straight down the middle news organization has taken. you have to understand that if you realize the media landscape has been successfully co-oped.
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i say we have been infiltrated by people who want to turn us into mouthpieces. you put forth a narrative that proves forth not to even be true. you were given promotions and attention and your views are enhanced and it feels like you're doing everything right. your colleagues are patting you on the back. it evolved into a situation where it is n journalism as i knew it. i think it is all being redefined and changed. >> so taking individuals like jake tapper and wolf blitzer, can they go backo becoming legitimate journalists again, or ll it just never go back to a normal investigative andair media outlet? >> a lot of people weighed in on that when i interviewedhem recently including former people
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who were executives at cnn. part of t discussions about channg the way that cnn work into what it was today. i'm not an expert on this but a lot of people think ta it hat i cannot go back to what it just want. peopl want some left leaning or ght leaning news, they still want a place ty can go that they feel is telling the sry where it leads and more down the middle. but the people that i spoke to to theextend that thesere news executives, they don't feel, if they had to guess, that cnn can go back to what it was. they also don't think it survives moving forward without donald trump the villain the way it has been done in the last four years. >> just, quickly, we have had these hearings recently about twitter and facebook and places like that where they sensor conservatives, and then they
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allow others do what they want, what do you think the impact that it has on our democracy when a conservative camp can't say much, but the communist party of china can do whatever they want. what do you think the impact of that is on our democracy. >> would you like me to answer -- it is laughable, of course. they have them coming in, ayatollah. if you look at his twitter feed now, three quarters is sensocen. what is not is that it is marked with advisories. this is getting through to ople outside of washington,
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outside of new yk, outside of los angeles, people see it is a farce. they understand that not just the media, they understand social media and that t game is tilted get them and people are getting angrier and angrier. i think it is obscene that they let the irania lunatics, the islamics post whater they want and american conservatives are thrown off for something ridiculous. it is laughable, right? the serious thing isappening in the real world off of twitter, americans are seeing what is happening. >> i feel like i looked at this issue quite a bitt and there is danger in the notion that sometimes we say why aren't you
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sensoring this because you're sensoring that? and i personally think as a journalist the tact ought to be done sensor anything that isn't illegal. don't shdon't have that role. they never did before 2016. they did fake fact checks and cur rate information. they invited that in because we were not asking for it now we just say if you sensor everybody equally we'll be happy, but i think it should be hds off of our information. >> you retain the protection and
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you limit their liability, they have to be transparent and people should have a cause of action if they're sensors or december troeed if they're not following that. >> i could not agree more. i think it is vital and maybe we'll talk about this more in just a second. if it is legal, okay, but if it is plil speech, no. and the right way to do this is to give american citizens the right to sue.
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that would really clear this up, i think, really quickly. that is what the technologies don't want. let me come to you if i could just to talk about the fisa process. the deputy or the temperaturety director will are have to certify every application. the judiciary commission has said that this is just a formality. they didn't they didn't read the applications. they didn't take it that seriously. it is just a signature on a page. is that your undstanding of what this certification process amounts to and why it is in the statute? >> not for this type of case, senator. it would be startling to mehat
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an fbi director and denty direcor would stream an application against a presidential iestigation in a nons n nonchant way. to the deepest degree possible, with the applicability of the fisa. there is an officer of the fsb, that is one thing. that is fairly routine. but tha is not what we're talking about here into it stretches that they would sign off on that as well. it is just hard to fathom. >> as a former leader at the bureau, just tell me what you think about what the fisa court -- they rebuked the fbi
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directly and they said because of the misinformation in one case was a outright falsehood that the bureau submitted to that court, to the fisa court, as part of the application process, the court can't trust the fbi submissions and other case that's have nothing to do with cross fire hurricanes. have you ever heard of something like this happening? what does it show about the credibility of the fbi and what they have done in the cross fire hurricane case. >> this is part of the wake of damage that has been left by these executives. you're exactly right. it calls into question every other fbi fisa application for vitally important cases. it is a life and death type of investigation. so it is tremendous damage. i think this combination of this
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director of information. they are uttering those worlds, the destination, the fbi's own admission, they are dependent on that dossier. it was an ulterior motive the. you're firmly of the view that there wasinsuperintendent evidence for the opening, opening the cross fire hurricane investigation, tell us more about that. >> yes, thank you. i want to be clear here. i'm taking a different position than what inspector general wrote in his repo. if you read that carefully he interviewed the crossfire hurricane team member and they all spe about the necessity of investigation -- of
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investigating russian intference with the election. no one disputes that. that is clearly an fbi responsibility. russia alwa tries to interfere with elections and other parts of our government activities. there was a case against u.s. citizens and members of a presidential campaign, unprecedented. never been done before. you would think it would be handled with care, marked all over the decision making process. it doesn't appear that way, so it literally took forthhand information, the fbi, receiving information from a government which we now know to be australia who in turn had a conversation with papadopulous. but i'm not sure how you rally all of that together for
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sufficient predication. even a limited preliminary investigation. they oped a full investigation that gave a fuel ability to use all of the powersgainst u.s. citizens. as you pointed out earlier, not only were they relying on hearsay embedded in that, it was exculpatory statement that's should have stopped the show right then but didn't. >> right. >> now they know the source, the principal source for the fisa warrants, we heard testimony in the judiciary committee said that the principal source for that was a russian agent. a counter intelligence investigation by the fbi at the time they sought the warrants. if this was a movie you would think it is implausible but it
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has happened. it is potentially the biggest scandal in the fbi's history. the quare which this investigation was handled, it seemed handled by a lot of care. spearheaded by peter struck, and you have mccabe in there driving this. that is unusual, right? it is an investigation of this nature to be launched not from a field office, but fbi headquarters with a very small group of people. tell us about that as someone that has been part of the process before. why was the procedure unusual. >> it is hard to state how unusual this behavior was. they would open a counter intelligence investigation. it is substantial justification, and secondly to embargo that investigation on to the 7th floor of the investigation and
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to run it out of headquarters. the reason why the fbi runs the investigation and field office is not in headquarters. it is close to the political flame of washington dc. they're there for a different purpose, the field officers handle investigations nap is where the experience is, the attorney general guidelines, they took this into the 7th floor, and they ran this rogu investigation. but many of those executives invoed in that investigation had neve read the attorney general guidelines. they didn't understand them. >> well thank you for your service, and thank you for you system here. i will say mr. karm i know my te is expired but based on the investigation and the nse of investigaon that you pursued,
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and the judiciary committee, it is pretty clear. >> they are pretty serious. this was done very dleb rately. and i is 20916 election results, and they try to weaponize the fbi and they succeeded. that will come down, i think, as a great disgrace in american history. thank you, mr. chairman. >> i agree with you if you cold stick around i want to break protocol and call you as a witness. it is appropopriate for the fb o push you int a corner, they knew there was russian interference going on in the fact that this clinton campaign,
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they paid for the steel dossier. this is jaw dropping bias and unequal treatment of justice. the trump campaign had evidence and they did not instigate what was going on. but the question that iant to as you, i want t talk about the difficulty here. the resistance that i have had to geing documents, even out of the ancies with a trump and republican administration, you, you have the ability to interview both comey and mr. mccabe. and by the way you did an excellent job. mr. zuckerberg in particular because you had whistle-blower information you had documents. you could ask him some pretty
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hard questions. some prettyevealing questions. my big problem in bringing mr. comey, mr. mccabe, any of these characters is we have not had thedocuments. can you speak to preparing for t hearing, to interview them, there was some interesting revelations because because you didn't have documents, you couldn't ask them what they meant in the mail, how much did that hamper your ability to qustion them while they were before your committee? >> there is no doubt that the stonewalling, and i think that is the only reason you can use here, the stonewalling by the fbi, the judiciary committee in the vestigation into crossfire rricane and the or begigins her has hampered the investigation.
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they withheld investigation information. we had to issue seasonubpoenas some cases. they have the source material, and we have been told over and over again thaturham was handling this, just wait, but we hav a sdwrob do. and when thefbi has been leveraged by a political party, nanny this place the clinton campaign in 2016, the leverages that thefbi, the most fourfu law enforcement body in the world to interfere in a presidtial campaign successfully, and they successfully did it, that is sothing that the senate absolutely must investigatend has a right to know. the public has a triegt be part of that process and i'm afraid ty have been denied by the fbi itself. and th are resing to turn
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over key documents. and that's why i say it is just conveying the conclusion that the fbi is pretty fundamental reform. and what mr. brock was just describing, it is a great diervice to the men a women who are out there on the line every day enforcing the law and investigating, bringing criminals to justice. but if you a group in washgton dc and what they're doing is dangerous. >> you just set me upor my next question. i appreciate that. and i appreciate you participating in these hearings. we didn't have a lot of senators, some democratic senators blinked on and off, and they're not particularly inquisitive. i made this comment a number of times, this point, tha when it comes to investigations of ong
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doing. we do with backwards. how long it took for us to get this level. and we're a long y from fully understanding this because of the resistance, the obstruction. but i would argue that the order of investigion ought to start, again this is investigates within the political realm. wrong doing there. it should start with congressional investigations. congress ought to have access to all of the investigation. i can't tell you how many times the excuse has been give t me when we asked things even under subpoena. we have john durham, he doesn't want you to interfere with his nvestigation. the way that this should work is that because from my standpoint, it is so far more important to
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expose this, so that the public undetands what happened, to provide that accountability of public areness as a deternlrent as opposed to a crimial prosecution. i thinkhat congress needs to investigation all of the acce to all of the information and then if we see the potential the cases referred to the justice didn't. so w have done this backwards. here are four years lar and we're only now starts to uncover the extent of t corruption and the corption is incredibly troling. it should have troubled every member of congress, every u.s. senator, every member of this
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committee, but it doesn't. apparently corruion is partisan. if it is corruption on the se of your pay, not worried about it. i'm worried about it regardless. so i want to ask you the question, really, how much should it hamper a criminal investigation if congress had the same information? >> yeah, i appreciate your frustration, senator. i think all of us are looking for a deep level of cooperation and transparency from the fbi. i don't -- i'm not here to second guess the decisions they make because there is information that i don't have access to that can mitigate certain decisions that are made or color certain decisions that are made, but the nation is craving transparency right now. i think it is better for the fbi
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to rip the bandaid off. if there are embarrassing thing that's have to be revealed then let's get it over with. they have taken a beaten in the last three or four years. there is no shame in that. there was poor decisions made. they were impacting the american trust in the fbi. let's restore that. the best road to that is transparency. i think we have an inadequate description of what corruption means, political corruption means. right now federal law is fairly narrow. there is anti-bribery laws, and it is hard to get at
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corruptivity. if there are family members being enriched by someone in office, if loans are being forgiven of political officers and it is different to prosecute, then maybe we need a new direction. it might be difficult for congress to pass that, but right now it is frustrating for the fbi to see a lot of corruptivity and not be able to take much action against it. other general violations wound the flesh. corruption wounds the so much of the nation and it is eating away right now in a very partin way. so i would look at the aperture.
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>> something they was interested to find o is that we have no laws, but we have regulations. an the state department, against conflict of interest, they just don't apply to the vice president and the president. but i want to drill down in terms personal harm. . i have never investigated anything other than in my workplace. it makes sense that if you really want go after th kingpin, you go after people who are in the organization. you don't want the kingpin to know what you're finng out. to anyway is the greatest harm that could, you know, occur against a general investigion if all of this is made public in congress, but i hard that is
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well worth the harm. investigation is information. now maybe the kingpin will learn a little more about how we ought to lie to investigators by what he is hearing. t facts are facts. and you can still potentially successfully prosecute someone and convict them even with jus the facts. so is it -- am i right? is that the way that it would, that having access to this tuation, is that really the main harm? fromy standpoint that is not worth withholding information from the public for four years. >> understood and thank you for that clarification. i understand your question better now. there is a concern and attention that when you're bringing criminal charges against someone, that they have the opportunity for a fair trial. that peron may be acquitted. they may be found innocent or not guilt at least. so tre is a concern tt a
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premature rease of information,here it could bias or impact a potential prosecution and a bject's determination of guilt or innocence. so i would agree with you that i think information could be securely shared with congress. that has been proven throh the classified committees. they can't keep streets. so if there is a mechanism that can be nut place, then your argument is valid. >> so the point that i'm making is that i'm willing to sacrifice the conviction for the public exposure in the wrong doing of the political realm. because you said a lot of this stuff, might not, probably doesn't rise to a criminal act. but it is certainly wrong doing.
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it is certainly a claring conflict of interest if is certainly a problem when it comes to counter terrorism. we have to investigate these ties to russia and trump. so imagine the blackmail that could be perm straited against the trump administration. the same things there in terms of a biden administration as well and then some. what we found out about connections, how that is tied to the chinese government within a large company just off of the face of the earth. this is troubling and it amazes me how the press just turned a blind eye to it. i want to drill down. i am disappointed. i'm very disappointed in director ray's ability to
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restore integrity of the fbi. i think the only way that can happen is total transparency. he has not been totally transparent. i don't know if you have ever briefed congress, but here at the tail end of that, i asked him a couple questions. the question that i had for him, he said this happened before i became director. here is something that happened under his watch. again, the predicate being that we found out that the fbi the primary sub source was a expected russian agent. they knew that hillary clinton campaigned. they knew there was russian disinformation in that. they knew that as of january 2017. they knew all of that, and yet in march of 2018 i believe it was, members of the fbi, we have the documents of how they're preparing to brief, and they did brief, the senate intelligence
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committee and respected that the steel dossier was reliability. do you understand how that could happen? this is more than a year later after the fbi knew that thes dossier was verified. >> my interests are to restore the credibility of the fbi and the american people. christopher ray has done, i think, a very good job of advancing a level of trust. i do agree, and i think there is frustration among retired agents that there should be an agency
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to be transparis nstransparent possible. i don't have all of the facts. i don't have visibility into some of the sources that may need protecting. i can't second guess that. i do think that it is irresponsible to be hearing calls, unless there is specific cause like william sessions or james comey, i don't see any of that. they should be held to account and they should be called to testify together. there are factors that can come into py here. >> justto show you these again -- >> this is something that they
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should be called to account for. you have a unit or a section in fbi head quarters that is doing that kind of redacting. they're follwing protocols lined out for them. and these are lower leel gs employee that's are making these decisions. i don't know to what extend that is reviewed by higher ups, but when i see something like that my first instinct is that that is just someon following the rule book and not giving a lot of thought -- >> that is a convenient excuse for the peopleat the top to continue to obstruct. >> i would be happy to talk about what i know about director ray from my reporting. i would be happy to talk about it. >> i have one final question. >> director ray has been withholding documents since the time he started. i know from my reporting the plot against the president that
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director ray and rod rosenstein went in a asked the speaker to not give away in documents. he did the same thing in the spring and summer in the case. and director rays anything else but an example of transparenc >> that i know. my final set of questionshere, i don't wnt to keep people any longer than we need to, we heard just a drum beat, as i mentioned in my opening comments, you know, i have been accused, senator grassley accuse'd, completely falsely, there is no proof, of accepting and sl solicitisli solicitin information from the r russians. nothg could be further from the truth. but time and time again it
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worked unfortunately. the press carrie the water and they keep the drum beat up. in particular they always talk about russian interference in t 2016 election. which, by the way, i don't deny, i don't condone. i was way ahead o the curve. i was having hearings on russian disinformation, russian inrference in monte negro. i don't know how much russia paid for facebook ads. they gave out true, accurate e-mails. i don't know what impact that had, but i wou say it does
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pales in comparison to the impact that jack dorsey denies of twitter, of his sensorship. of the twitter sensorship, of the extreme bias in the media. do you agree that the interference, the ability of media and social media to impact r politics and our elections vastly, astly out performs anything that russia or foreign power could potentially do. they asked jack dorsey do you have t ability to impact our polits? and i said no. you all agree that russia can you our platforms which is why you're on guard. you don't agree that you in using your own platforms in
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sensorip, that you can't affect politics? they just all say no. it is astounding. what do you think of at? >> on from what i read was the final asssment on what russia did in terms of purchasing some facebook ads so so on. absolutely there is no denying that in any way. the difference is considered a foreign national securi threat and i assume it is illegal. not that we can really yank people outf russia and prosecutethem. but the other is that there is a legal way of manipulating public opinion or shaping publ opinion and information. i think that is thehard part of attacking it. the interests that are responsible to srt takin this role, prior t that the political and corporate interests, they understand how
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powerful and ty have exploited in a danrous way tt impacts everything that we see here and can access. and i will answer the question saying there are smart name working on this process. they're trying to make platforms with technology and things that i don't fully understand where information can be exchanged in a way that powerful interests don't want you to read. i think some solutions and alternatives that we will see is a very managed and controlled nice and internet environment that we're trying to grapple with. i have had to intercede for a
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number of times for people who shut down their platforms. it is kind of like if at&t in the 50s said we're n going to let you use phones any more. >> can i address how that impacts the news industry. i quoted an internet executive and he said "because of the fear of being deplatformed by the social media companies, appears to generate a campaign against you, this guy said the nude man in me wants to report the truth. the businessman in me says pull your punches. what kind of victory would it be to publish something just to be deplatformed and have no outlet
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at all. so news organizations are withholding the truth and honest reporting for fe of the big tech companies. then you get a sense of how effective this is. >> one thing they just found out, to build on that point, i don't know i found this out from dr. robert epstein that the post allowed google to read their g-mail. so they can be up there in the search results. so do you want to speak to the point that i made about the impact that social media and media have compared to foreign influence? >> yes, twitter, twitter notoriously buried the hunter biden story. they buried the new york post reporting. the biden family, their relationships with foreign
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officials in ukraine and china. so the idea that this is the actual election interference, they are shaping elections. when we talk about 2016, it didn't happen on facebook with the russians. the shaping of the -- the election was shaped, and the issue was not russian disinformation. it was clinton that was the fun mental thing. and this is what they were trying to do. they were trying to shape the election and of course not just the election, but the transition and the team and the presidency as well. i just want to say two other things. i definitely agree with sheryl about what appears to be random on twitter, facebook, or other social media platforms. they will scold them, bring them off temporarily, and then spring them back.
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these are to draw disappearing red lines. they are effectively being schooled to sensor themselves. the last thing i that wanted to see, chairman, is i'm sorry there is not more genuine interest. many americans find this incredibly important. everything from the struck page e-mails to the hunter biden conflict of interest document. it has been extremely important. there is lots of researchers out there, serious journalists doing real work and we thank you for the important and vital work that this committee has done without which there is just different things we wouldn't know. really the amount of research that has gone into your products, it is -- i commend you
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and thank you for it. >> i appreciate that. one final point. his monitoring, google was sending reminders to getut to vote to the liberal subscribers. uil she sent an e-mail to the new york post saying he discovered this and then they stted to send the reminder out to everybody so they wouldn't get caught. the final point is i went into eastern europe. the main thing they emphasize there is anti-corruption. parts of the corruption is what we talk about, t ownership of the media, you know, we talk aut it. how n we prevent the oligarchs of oth countries -- and i
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started to realize that maybe we're the pot callinghe kettle black he. we don't call our media moguls oligarchs. we call them billionaires. is that part of the same problem, isn't that true? a media giants, the people controlling -- ese are american billionaires and moguls and they exert way too much power that we need to figure out how to rain in. >> i have not explored the business aspect, i know that is a common thought. i can't speak authoritatively to that. the outside influences, political and corporate, understanding the first two decades of the century, a very deliver way to get their news organizations, get their people hired, use nonprofits and global law firms to shiep what we do
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effectively and shape what we talk about. the stories that we don't report, and in 2016 after they effect live i controlled much of the news landscape, they found access online and they set about to attack that information as well. >> do you have any final comments? >> i age with that. that's why what we're looking at and the media is not just about partnership. it is a flat form,s a sword and shield. and if you look at the major washington media press organizations, the washington press, and the atlanta, this is precisely what is going on. this is platfor or tech oligarchs. >>o you have closing comments? >> that is out of my swim lane,
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bu -- ingeneral let me just had on i encourage congress to look at ways to ok at the control of information like they looked amonopoly in the early part of the 20th century. it depends on clicks, d so you're going to have people exercingdeplatforming people and burying people things so they can' go viral. thank you for the opportunity, senator, yourork here on the committee as mentioned is very important in exposing the bad actions that we taken on by few individuals in the fbi and the damage they did as a result
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it is part of what you do in your careers. what you contribute to our republic. it is republic if we can keep it. we see what is happening here. the abuse of powe i'm highly concerned. so it is disappointing that we didn't have greater attendance. i want to thank my colleagu that did attend and asked thoughtful uestions. i will say that what i intend to do is we have a pretty good editor that hopefully will condense dn the best parts and edit this down. maybe we will get mo eyeballs on this hearing. i think it's very importa that t we do so. we did that wit my hearing from november 19th that should have been all about the early treatment of covid. and what could make more sense? like tamiflu. and yet, the attacks on that heang were just j-dropping.
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to the point where the witness wrote an op-ed in "the new york times" and ran with the head line "the snakeoil salesman of the senate not just salesman. that goes to the teitory to be attackinme but to be attacking the vice chair of medicine from baylor? a senior, professor o epidemiology fm yale. a doctor who has treated over 1,000 high-sk covid tients. attacking him that way. i hope you don't get attacked for participating in what i think is an incredly important hearing. thank you for your patriotism in doing so thank you for yourtestimony. i am asking that l of the documents from the press release, both myself and senator grassley released today that they be entered into the record. and i'll also say that the hearing record remain open for 15 days until december 18th at
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5:00 p.m. for submission of statement and questions for the record. thihearing is adjourned. >> thank you. [ indiscernible ]
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>> well, thank you very much. i really do appreciate it. >> absolutely. i'm going to t to -- [ inaudible ]. >> ah, i hope so. >> oh, i kno, i know. anyway, thank you very much. >> thank you.
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