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tv   C-SPAN Weekend  CSPAN  May 16, 2010 10:30am-1:00pm EDT

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party took advantage of. i think the opposite will occur, that many in new hampshire are worried that we are undermining our uniqueness, the new hampshire advantage of no income-tax or no sales tax. now we have a democratic state legislature that is spinning like no tomorrow with 17% increases yearly. they're running as into a ditch, tried to force us into a broad- based tax. i think that the citizens of new hampshire will reject that. we will recapture the state legislature and both congressional seats. we have strong candidates. that includes the former attorney general who was a real talent. >> thank you for joining us here on "newsmakers." >> let me turn to our two reporters for a brief wrap up. as begin of financial regulation. but the prospect of this
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passing, possibly at the end of this week or next? >> senator judd gregg said it. he expected to pass. quite a few republicans will be unhappy with the final product, but we have seen senator grassley, senator snowe, and others on the republican side already working to draft things on key issues. you'll see more moderate republicans supporting the bill. >> kevin, what are the bigamous this week that viewers should be watching for? >> one has to do with preempting state regulations for banks and consumer protection. the big one has to do with the derivatives market, held it will impose new rules on the gigantic market which is not yet police. the have not really worked out a compromise on what to do with the democratic proposal for a new consumer protection unit
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inside the fed. some of these other issues have been, appear to have been settled, but there are still big issues out there that would affect the banking industry. >> another thing coming as from two senators on the democratic side which would impose a stronger version of what has been called the volcker rule to ban banks, commercial banks from engaging in proprietary trading. it is hotly opposed by the financial industry. it is something that could end up passing. the administration supports it. it would be a huge blow to wall street. >> were you surprised, or not surprised that he seemed to be frustrated with the action on this legislation in the senate,
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and the work being done by republicans and democrats the? >> the republicans have suffered a number of setbacks in the last few days. the senate has gotten down to debating and voting on amendments, and republicans have moved to a number that had been rejected. that is frustrating for them. he did not answer to my first question concerning the political calculation the democrats made, as to how this would play out. republicans tried to block any debate at all on the bill. they abandoned that strategy. the voting and debating going on is not going so well. >> that is why i asked if he thought republicans made in the strategic errors. there were several months when both senator richard shelby, the ranking republican, and later
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senator bob corker from tennessee tried to engage in negotiations with senator dodd. there was an idea that republicans passed up of the charities to cement a deal with senator dodd that would have been much more to their liking than what this bill will be. that is true in fighting and misreading signals. the republicans might have been better off to have struck a deal before they got to the floor. >> thank you both for being on "newsmakers." >> in the relentless revolution, this is a ucla professor describes what capitalism is a cultural system, not just an economic one. tonight on c-span.
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>> watch this week's hearings on the gulf of mexico oil spill, or look back at the exxon hearings from 1989. it is washington your way -- search is, watch it, share it. every program since 1987 available free, on-line. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> now a house hearing. this portion is two and a half hours.
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>> there are several issues i would like to raise for further discussion. the attorney general has raised the issue of statutory modifications to the mayor ran the public safety exception into
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the national debate. i would hope that he can go into this to some detail -- the miranda. we're dealing with the failure of the so-called war against drugs. we spend more money, incarcerated more non-violent people under an antiquated minimum sentence to less and less effect. one man and a half people are arrested every year for drug violations. we spend $2 billion per year to imprison people who violate federal drug laws. we incarcerate more people than
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any other nation on the planet earth. but the drug use in the u.s. and around the world is more prevalent than ever. if there was one thing we could accomplish successfully between now and the next time the committee meets with the chief law-enforcement officer of the country, is that we get on top of the drug problem. now one-and-a-half years after the executive order of president obama we have still not closed the prison at guantanamo.
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the plan to try ksm and other 9/11 conspirators in the federal court in new york has been the rule. no institution that i know what is better equipped to show the world how america deals howmiscreants than where the trial was originally intended to occur. i hope these plans can be put back on track. the administration has taken some steps to curb the misuse of the state secrets privilege, the misuse of the state's secret privilege while the justice department has issued new
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guidelines. the privilege continues to be overused. i think the need for uniform and consistent handling by the courts still remains. i commend the administration for ending the practice of secret prisons and calling an end to water boarding an enhanced derogation -- interrogation techniques. these practices and tarnished the nation's reputation. it's served as a recruiting tool for enemies. the attorney general has released, rejected torture memos
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and brought a much-needed attitude of transparency to the department, which has helped us to understand the workings of the, office of legal the which had issued secret opinions that may have helped to insulate those responsible for torture and and humane treatment from legal accountability. and the attorney general has also directed an independent review of possible crimes relating to interrogation and torture. clearly, as usual, there was pressure on all sides.
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to his credit he came down in favor of the rule of law and accountability. so, after almost a year-and-a- half removing be on the past and trying to do with the present. we're working on the future as well. i join every man and woman on this committee and welcome you and look forward to the discussion we will have. now return to lamar smith, the ranking member of this committee. >> thank you. welcome. last year three terrorist attempts, one of which was successful, have occurred. the army naturmajor killed 14
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innocent americans and injured 30 others. another boarded the plane headed for detroit with explosives under his clothes. his attack was thwarted. and shazad loaded the car with explosives. this was thwarted by a large pedestrians. a national policy should consist of more than just dumb bombers and smart citizens. as commander in chief, the president is responsible to protect american people. several of this administration's policies have put americans a greater risk. first, his campaign promises to close at guantanamo bay has not
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reduced the threat. in fact, those transferred to other countries can be and are released. former gitmo detainees often return to terrorism. trine them and civilian courts is a dangerous proposal with no legal precedent. once in the u.s., the terrorists can argue for additional constitutional rights, making a harder to obtain convictions. treating terrorists like common criminals make america less safe. giving them the right to remain silent limits our ability to interrogate them. according to, news to you recently said you now want to work with congress to limit terrorist miranda writes. that is surprising since it is this a mission that has insisted on extending constitutional rights to them in the first place.
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fourth, the opposition to real id weakens national circuit. the administration wants to repeal the law which was enacted after 9/11. it would give terrorists cover to plotting carry out attacks inside the u.s. fifth, the push for amnesty make america less safe. the rest of the times square bomber, a recently naturalized american citizen, is another reason to reject giving amnesty to millions of illegals. how can we identify other potential terrorists and will apply for amnesty? it could legalize many would-be
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terrorists already in the u.s. and give them cover to plot against innocent americans. it makes no sense to deny the link between immigration enforcement and national security. we need to keep terrorists from getting pieces, and stop them from getting into the u.s.. it means enforcing immigration laws. if not, terrorists are now slipping through the cracks -- they're coming to the front door. success in the war and terror bombings preventing attacks, just responding to intense. to achieve this goal we need to improve intelligence gathering by interrogating terrorists, not reading them miranda warnings. we need to prevent terrorists from using immigration system to enter or remain in the u.s..
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thanks, i'll yield back. >> the last time you're here i ask you about whether not someone had been tortured to death, whether or not a crime would have been committed? you answered in a positive. what is the statute of limitations for torture if someone dies? and if someone does not die? i have a lot of questions. if you would prefer to respond in writing, that would be fine. >> i would like to respond in writing for part of that. >> the last case in this supreme court on miranda rights was ruled unconstitutional basis, not statutory interpretation. if we try to change, the statute might we not cause
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problems than we would solve? how would that affect the practice on the ground? might you end up missing up a lot of cases where morale and it turned out to be required? rather than fixing something? would we make matters worse by trying to change anything? >> the use of the public safety exception -- we're focusing on the potential modernizing of the public safety exception, miranda not, rule itself. to come up with a way that we give to police officers greater clarity. the public safety exception was crafted in the 1980's.
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it involved quarrels with the police officer asking where the gun was. we're now in 2010, dealing with complicated terrorism matters. with regard to that small sliver, only terrorism-related matters, that modernizing, clarifying, making more flexible use of the public safety exception would be something beneficial. >> the moment the interrogations starts a police officer may not be able to tell whether or not it is terrorism. thinking mistakenly you can mess up an otherwise good case. we will look to see why you come up with. the bureau of prisons is under your jurisdiction? >> correct. >> it is an important program. you have a statement on how to make the program stronger?
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>> it is a critical part of the effort to make presents more than places that warehouse people. to give people an opportunity to gain skills that make them successful upon leaving prison. a vast majority of people in the prison will come out sometime. to the extent we can provide rehabilitative services route vocational opportunities, those should be supported. >> [unintelligible] a memo suggested that the religious freedom restoration act 1993 provides an overriding situation -- has your
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office reviewed it? if so, could you tell us if that is the status of what you do with it? or do you want to give back to was in writing? >> i would like to give back to you in writing. i have not had in-depth conversations about that. >> the president during his campaign in ohio indicated "if you get a federal grant, you cannot use it to proselytize to people you help, and cannot discriminate against them on the basis of religion?" that is what he wanted. since then there is the suggestion that discrimination would be allowed on the case by case basis. that seems fairly unusual. do you have any comment on
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restoring civil rights for employees that existed from 1965 until 2002 or so? >> at the administration is committed to partnering with faith-based organizations and a way consistent with the law, values, and with which his administration has conducted itself. the department will continue to evaluate any legal questions arising with regard to how we do it on a case by case basis. >> wait a minute. loll apparently allows discrimination as a policy. the policy has to be set through executive orders and statutes. is the policy to allow the discrimination on a case by case basis? >> no, that is not the policy.
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it is to interact with faith- based organizations or any organization. >> but without discriminating or proselytizing? >> operating with them and with it is consistent with law and by uvalues, and the posture of the present administration. >> is the policy going to be the discrimination will not be allowed? >> yes. we do not have the view that discrimination is a proper. we want to interact with these organizations are the issues are presented in such a way that we're acting consistent with the law and with our values both as
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a nation and as the administration. >> your time has expired. >> the gentleman from texas. >> the times square bomber -- shazad became a naturalized citizen a year ago. the current law allows us to de -naturalize someone -- >> i cannot hear mr. smith. >> ken a technician please check the microphone? >> i only regret all of my earlier comments may not have been murdered either. [laughter]
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mr. attorney general, the times square bomber became a naturalized citizen less than one year ago. under current law we can de- naturalize an individual within the past five years if they are a member of the number of organization, of an organization that would like to overthrow the u.s. i'm using the definition from the act of a terrorist action. >> i'm not familiar with the immigration laws for that particular law, and do not have the ability to answer the question intelligently without having had a chance to study it. >> you not sure someone could be de-naturalized?
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>> if there is a statute that allows that to occur, is not one that i'm conversant with. >> it is section 340. would you consider the pakistani taliban to be a terrorist organization the? >> if not formally designated, we have seen through their actions and with their attempt through minister shazad, i think they are. >> you consider them to be a terrorist organization? >> i would. >> would you take action to de- naturalize the times square bomber? >> i'm sorry? >> would you de-naturalize the times square bomber on the basis
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that he was part of the pakistani taliban organization? >> we have a number of options steps we can take. we can put him in jail for extended periods of time. >> so you do not intend to de- naturalize m.? >> we can do a variety of things. that has been discussed. whether or not there are constitutional issues involved, they have been raised. those would also have to be considered. >> i read your answer that you're not prepared today to say that you would de-naturalizing. in the case of all three attempts last year, those individuals have had ties to radical islam. do you feel that these individuals may have been incited to take the actions they did because of that radical islam? >> there are a variety of
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reasons i think people have taken these actions. you have to look of each individual case. we're talking now to mr. shazad to try to understand -- >> but radical islam could of been one of the reasons? >> >> there are a variety -- >> but is radical islam one of them? >> there are a variety -- >> might it have been one of the reasons he took the steps he did the? >> those people who espouse a version of islam -- >> are you uncomfortable with your being any of their actions to islam? >> i don't to talk about -- >> i'm not talking about the general religion. i'm talking about radical islam.
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>> but a person who has a version that is not consistent with its teachings, and who espouses a radical version -- >> could radical islam have motivated these individuals to have taken these steps? >> it has the ability to have an impact on people like mr. shazad. >> could it have been the case and one of these three instances? >> potentially and cited by people who have a view of islam that is view-- >> it is hard to get a yes or no. let me go on to my next question. it has to do with the transfer of detainee's. i hope that our federal government -- do you have assurances from the countries receiving them that we know where these individuals are?
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for the they remained in the countries being detained? >> yeah, when we make these transfer decisions we worked out in advance security arrangements with receiving nations. we have a sense of where they are and what steps will monitor their activity. >> many of those made under this administration have return to terrorism. >> i have reports of that -- maybe one person. >> let's just say that only one person did -- doesn't that give you cause about transferring anyone from gitmo to foreign countries if even one person returns to kill one innocent american? >> we put into place a very comprehensive program that looked at the 240 people who came to guantanamo >> > but it is not working if anyone has been transferred has returned to
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terrorism, as you have just a knowledge -- it seems to stop the program and reevaluate? >." . . aking determinations -- >> it is clearly not working if you have people return to terrorism that you transferred to other countries that you did not need to transfer. >> let me the clear. i have not said that on the basis of anything i know that is credible or authoritative that anybody we have released. >> you set one may have. >> i said i have read reports in newspapers. i am not in a position to say that in fact that is accurate. i would not comment on the intelligence to cut the gentleman's time has expired >> i yield myself five minutes for questioning.
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you have had innumerable challenges. i would almost call it a mine field. let me thank you for the delivery of manner in which the departme of justice has handled these matters for the american people. yoare to be credited for workintoo difficult issues and being thoughtfullong with your staff. we have difficult issues before us. i would like to start off with my questioning on the whole concept of too big to fail. the department of justice is now involved in the financial markets, the to vindications market, the aviation market. there have been efforts to merge. there is certainly a communications merger that is before the department of justice. i will focus my time on the continental airlines and united and raised several questions quickly so that you can, andn
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what kind of structure the investigation will take. unlike comcast and nbc, which has a number of other agencies, it appears that the department of justice in this instance may be the overridinggency. the question becomes to we have a concept the merger that represents too big to fail, are there major impact competitiveness routes involved and do we hold to the comments made by one of the ceo's that this is in essence an easy do, a piece of cake, and will be done in a certain period of time. closing routes, closing hubs, losing jobs. my direct question to you is
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the justice department is going to be guided by public statements as a piece of cake, guided by comments that it is an illinois deal and they will look the other way and will they be guided by the fact that the star alliance, which you also reviewed, was supposed to represent making these entities strong enough to stand on their own. maybe it was a step toward monopoly. what will be the structure be of that investigation and was you finish it in two months? >> we have a revitalized antitrust division headed by a very capable woman. whenever a proposed transaction raises significant competition issues, the department's antitrust division will conduct a very vigorous investigation and that is what we will plan to do here. to the extent that the merger of
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united and continental would substantially lessen competition, we would take the appropriate enforcement actions. the department will examine this merger as it does all those that are within our responsibility very seriously and take into account all of the iormation that we can and take very seriously the responsibility but and i am proud of the work the antitrust division has taken. >> will you put in a self- imposed deadline on yourself? >> we will take the time necessary for us to look at it and to make sure we are comfortable in the decisions that we are making. we will not unnecessarily delay things but we will take the time that we need to come up with a decision. >> and thank you. let me very quickly, major questis have come up. the arizona law that seems to racially profile in number of classes of individuals.
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the basic question i have beyond racial profiling is the question as it relates to immigration law. does the justice department intends to pursue how this law relates to federal pre-emptive mess? dealing with the times square bomber, based in your experience, can you compare the effectiveness of the interrogation methods used for the attempted flight 253 in times square bombers? and the enhanced interrogation they have addressed in the past? such as methods like waterboard ding? do you think the family of the flight 253 would have cooperated if he had beenot given miranda warnings which were given two alleged terrorists by the bush administration.
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as we present ourselves to the world on fighting the war on terror. >> if one looks at the facts and looks at the questioning that was done by experienced fbi agents with regard to faisal shahzad and others cannot we have seen that the customary fbi techniques that to not involve the use of the enhanced interrogation procedures have proven to be effected. we have gotten useful information and useful intelligence from all of the individuals as a result of the use of techniques that are recognized as traditional and are recognized as consistent with our values. there is not attention between conducting ourselves and law enforcement in a way that is consistent with our values and being effective in having an ability to protect the american people. if one looks at what has happened over the past year, that is proof of that. >> the arizona law to go as i
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have indicated, we are in the process of looking at that law. we are looking at the potential impact it would have and whether it contravenes federal civil rights laws potentially leading to racial profiling. we are also concerned about whether there is the possibility that it crosses the line with regard to preemption. there is some immigration problem. this country needs to face it. the concern we have is that this is something that should be done on a national basis as opposed to doing it on a state-by-state basis. >> i doubt recognize the gentleman from california for five minutes. -- i now recognize the gentleman from california for five minutes. >> thank you. i appreciate your appearance before us. i have to comment, we seem so
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careful not to use terms like radical islam for fear of offense but we readily referred to racial profiling being either the consequence or the motivation of the voters and elected officials in arizona. i find that remarkable. >> please do not misinterpret what i said. i did not say that was the motivating factor for the people in arizona. i understand their frustration. i am saying that one thing we need to look ahead at the department of justice is whether or not we should have a national policy. >> i appreciate that. it must be frustrating for people of arizona who say in the law that there shall not be racial profiling by specifying you cannot use that as the reason for stopping an individual and yet immediately there is a comment on this panel and other places that that must be racial profiling.
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when it is something not when it is not a baby every question. -- may be a question. faisal shahzad was not motivated by passage of the health care bill. >> excuse me? with that was suggested by the mayor of new york is the possible reason for the activities. we seem to be reluctant to talk about radical islam possibly being the case. let me ask you this on the miranda warnings. what is the position of your administration? what is the position ofhe justice department on this question? do we believe that no miranda warnings should be given until we have gotten from suspected terrorists, for whom we have reasonable suspicion that there are involved with their response that we have got from them every bit of information that they
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have with respect to public safety demands? >> we do this on a case by case basis and make use of the law as it exists. we certainly know that in this initial interactions with people read suspected terrorists, there are questions that can be asked of them. we try to glean as much information as we can appropriately inconsistently with what the supreme court has said what we can do. >> i appreciate that. at what point in time do you beeve that you have to seize that and it mr. miranda rights? was it is a time when you feel you have exhausted the questioning you have done under the public safety exception. whether you have made the determination that there is perhaps no immediate threat to the public or the officers who are involved. >> that is the question i have. there is a distinction between
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the public safety exception as previously understood by court decision. the city. you have the case of the ticking time bomb. you have to get that information e immediately. in this case, in cases involving suspected terrorists, presumably, we are trying to get morenformation than just the immediate danger. we are trying to solicit information with respect with the terrorist network. is it not a somewhat different application of law or the foundations of the exception of the lot? to use it these circumstances as opposed to the conventional notion. >> the definition of immediate
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danger can be different if one looks at the traditional context as opposed to the terrorist context. that is one of the reasons that we think that we should think about modernizing, clarifying, the public safety exception so that we would have a public safety exception that is prepared that we can use and deal with. >> i understand that. what is the basis of that? as i am offended, one terror suspect give you information some weeks after you arrested him based a statement that have been made from the justice department's. if that be the case, that information with voluble and allowing us to further understand terrorist plots, one would question whether or not we should have tried to get that information earlier, prior to the time that we gave him the miranda warnings. if in fact the justification is
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that it is danger not just to the immediate short time period, that is, do we know if he has another bomb, but we are trying to gain information with respect to terrorist activity, that notion is different and the underlying legal argument would be for the court is different. what is your basis for the use the amended danger exception in terrorist cases as opposed to criminal cases? with the question is where is the gun, a simple question that was allowed. in a tariff situation, there are a variety of other questions that one would want to put to a person are there other people who are similarly engaged? we know how out kite that likes to do things in hand and foot are there other bombs? with the gentleman's time has expired.
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or >> are there other bombs we need to be concerned with? are there other people who are going to be coming this way? these are all questions that we thk cane appropriately asked under the public safety exception. we want to have a greater degree of clarity with regard to what the public safety would entail. that would be useful for agents and police officers who have to do with terror suspect. >> i recognize the gentleman from north carolina for five minutes. >> thank you. it has been a bit disjointed process. i hope it is not broken up your whole day. i am happy to have you here. let me ask three quick
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questions to the extent that you can comment publicly, that would be great. to the extent you want to follow in writing, that would be great. we got some information several weeks ago that one professor was coming over to assist you all with the access to justice program. it has gone quiet since then. one of the things i would like to try to find out is what he is doing and whether we are making any progress on the program. maybe you are not ready to rule that out and i respect that -- rule that out.
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i will ask all three and then let you attack all three. i note there was a settlement in with a i g four $6.10 million for african american customers. i never thought i would live to see a day when i thought $6.10 million was a paltry sum given the magnitude of the stress that aig others caused african- american customers, that seems like a fairly modest settlement. to the extent that you are ae to provide any details on that
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case without violating whatever ethical standards you have, it would be helpful to get some information on that. finally, i want to explore the objections to the proposal of kinston, n.c., to change the voting system under the voting rights act provisis. i would like to get in writing, i am not sure five minutes will do justice to it and come up some assessment of the kind of preparation you are making for the onslaught of cases that are likely to come as soon as this census is over.
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i suspect the will be a whole new round of voting rights cases filed a i think we need to be as prepared and doj needs to be as prepared as possible to meet that onslaught. those are the three areas of inquiry. i will shut up and you can use the rest of my five minutes to respond. whatev you do not respond to, perhaps you could send me something in writing to the >> i will take you up under offer to respond in writing to t second and third questions that you raised abouthe settlement and the question of the interaction with kingston. with the access to justice initiative, that is something that is critical to me as attorney general and to the president, as well. to come up with ways in which we make sure that people,
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irrespective of their economic conditions, irrespective of their socio-economic status, have an ability to all the fruits of our system. there is this question of indigent defense and whether or not people get adequate representation not based on their economic condition. we have seen studies and reports about people in critical parts of criminal proceedings acting without a lawyer. we are trying to understand what the various systems look like around the country. in particular, and board generally, we will make sure that all american citizens have equal access to justice. he is an eminent scholar. pect he will make a major contribution to the justice department. >> thank you.
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i yield back my time. >> i recognize e gentleman from virginia for five minutes. >> thank you. we are pleased to have you here today. as you know, i have had some conversations with your staff regarding a case that is of great importance in virginia, in the last days of his gubernatorial term,imothy kaine and explicitly requested that a man convicted in the virginia state court of the brutal and violent murders of two presidents of central virginia, he transferred from virginia's prison system to germany. he is serving two life sentences but in germany, he could be released within two years. the decision to approve or deny
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a proposed transfer is committed to the discretion of the department of justice. i understand that the seriousness of the offense and the potential public outrage of transfer are factors that the department considers in its value in such transfers. i can attest to you that these crimes were heinous a the public outrage about about the potential transfer is extremely high. i have been contacted by many constituents citing opposition including some involved in the original case. i forward it to you a letter signed by 75 of the 100 members of the house of delegates opposing this transfer. the letter was signed by republicans, democrats, and independence, i like. -- an independents, alike. >> i would agree but those were heinous and ry serious crimes.
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-- that those were very heinous and serious crimes. whether or not the recission by the governor of what the previous governor did is in fact going to be upheld by the courts in virginia. until that determination is made, the justice department cannot act. we are waiting to see that. i will agree with you. we are talking about the most serious crimes that one can imagine. lis were lost as a result of the action taken by this defendant. making any kind of assessment would be uppermost in our minds. we are waiting to see what the resolution is of the contrary positions of the two governors. >> it seems to me that in your capacity, you could make the decision not to honor the
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recommendation of governor timothy kaine whether or not governor mcdonnell's letter overturning the request being recognized or not. it does not seem you need to get to that question to simply make a determination. i find it hard to believe that the department could contemplate transferring this meant to germany when the public outrage over this is so overwhelming and justice is being served by the virginia criminal justice system and in germany, he could be released in asittle as two years or less. virginia has required him to serve the full two life sentences. >> it makes a lot of sense to get with the state's potion is going to be. in that case, it makes sense for us to await the at--- the offial determination of what the position of the state of virginia is with regard to the request that has been made.
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factoring that in, i want to emphasize that i have been a prosecutor for a good portion of my life. i've prosecuted violent crime cases and dealt with them as a judge. this is as serious a case as i have seen. that would obviously be something that weighed into any decision i have to make. >> let me ask another question about another issue that is pending in congress and of importance. party frank has introduced legislation to repeal the recently enacted on lawful internet gambling enforcement act, a bill that passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. his repeal bill legalizes and regulates internet gambling at the federal level under the financial services regulatory agencies. among the press provisions, the bill got to the wire act, by stating that the wire act will not apply to any activities
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regulated by the licensing scheme division of the bill. i would like to know that if you believe the legal, offshore gambling operations should be legalized by the federal government and do you support or oppose this legislation? >> we do not support the legalization of offshore gambling. when one looks at the negative impact that has had on the lives of individuals, the potential that it has four problems that could be created, it seems to us that that is not something we necessarily want to support. >> i appreciate your understanding of the risks that internet gambling and poses. i see my time has expired. >> time has expired. thank you. the chair will recognize the gentle lady from california for five minutes. >> thank you. i would like to
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two weeks ago, i issued a directive for t >> and two weeks ago, i issued a diversity plan for several departments including several of the components that make up the department. there are people who are going to be in place to monitor these diversity efforts, and all of these components have to comeback by -- have to come back by the end of june to diversify their ranks.
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this department and justice is committed to diversity. -- plan. the department of justice is committed to this. >> if you have a backlog? >> i do not know. i will have to check. >> the report is public? >> the diversity plan? yes. >> in the media merger and purchase of nbc by comcast. how the view these things? we are concerned. there are broad bands, you name it. some of these mergers and not have the hearing some.
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we worked with the sec. they agreed to extend the comment area. >> we did get these four. they do not necessarily consolidate these things i should be separate. the justice department does that typically hold hearings. it is certainly in there for them to decide. the work the justice department does is going to be non-public. >> we to be advantaged if you had information from a public hearing about the lack of access of ownership? with that help you in any way? >> sure.
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we make our best decisions only have access to the greatest amount of information. >> it could be helpful? >> it could. we will be taking our own steps to reach out to the affected parties and individuals. anything that develops the record that we can have access to will be good. >> can i have my staff talked about what said she will be taking? -- about what steps you will be taking? in los angeles, we have a lot of people in production that they are taed about. >> i'll be glad to talk to you about that there is only so much that we can discuss. >> whatever you can. that me ask you about the malicisnd the right-wing terrorist organization.
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i am concerned about one that plan to kill the police of this. once the police arrived, they had a lot in place to kill. i have not heard of terms like domestic terrorism. i am concerned about the possible timothy mcveigh type incident. i know homeland security has some responsibility. what is yr responsibility? >> here is a good point. we have focused a great deal on international terrorism as we should. we have within our country domestic terrorism that we also must confront. this case is an example of that. they have a plot to kill a police officer -- that is an indication of the kind of activity and heinous acts that we have to be concerned about.
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yeah see there has been a critic dramatic rise in a number of these domestic hate groups. the fbi monitors the groups. they are always mindful of the fact of keepinghe first amendment right. we monitor them to make sure they do not cross the line. it crosses into that which is criminal. >> is there a formal kind of definition of raising the level of attention on domestic terrorism the way we have done? i do not hear anying comi over to us to talk about. i did hear that a kid was accused of being a terrorist in school because this autistic kid gruesome pictures of what looked like violent pictures. i've never heard of this kind of terrorism being described
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dostically. what can you do to help focus this country on domestic terrorism? >> i have a briefing with the fbi director. >> if you can wrap it up. your time has expired. finish the answe please. it component of the conversationocuses on what is ing on domestically. the american people should be reassured that the law enforcement agencies and the justice department is focused not oy on international terrorism but on domestic terrorism as well. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. as i said in my opening
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statement, i am deeply concerned that a seated member of congress has alleged to what amounts to three felonies. the former u.s. attorney, now senator, was confirmed in his opinions -- if they are to come a day are felonies. what are you presently doing? what will you commit to do including a special prosecutor? >> that is done on a case by case basis. >> what can be more a case by case that an allegation that this white house has committed three felonies and offering a member of congress a hig rankg position and his administration in return for his getting out of the primary?
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what could be more appropriate than that? what do you doing about it? there are regulations that are in place. there are requirements that have to be done. i have great faith in the people in the public integrity session .andle these matters for i sent you a letter. you have not responded. what is your response? these are allegations the three crimes. allocations -- elections will be held in three days. there are on answered allegations. >> at the we had responded to your leisure. if we have not, we apologize for that. any matter deals a lot with the
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intent of the person. i am not speaking specifically about your matter. we do not talk about any matter that might come into the purview of the department of justice. >> let's talk hypothetical. section 211, which prescribes a bribery is, theuthor of a government job to section 600 by an official, are the serious matters? >> offering someone a job? >> if i offer you a job in the white house, but say secretary of the navy, in return for you are doing somhing such as shopping out of an elected office, is that a serious crime? >> i think we are talking about more than hypothetical. >> i am asking if that hypothetical is a crime . do you answer hypothetically?
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>> i do night answer hypothetical. >> there has been in allegation by a member of the body. the allegation that he was offered a high ranking position in return for getting out of the primary. he declined to say in the primary produce. you are saying to let them handle it? he did not comment on the. i asked if the allegations similar were true if they would be a crime. you are saying you did not answer hypotheticals. you are here before us today. you will not answer literally or hypothetically or apparently investigate, we have an allegation of a three felony. the congressman says they are felony a u.s. senator has said is true is a crime -- you are not investigating whether it is a false statement by a member of
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congress or crime about the white use. what are we to do? >> the danger with hypothetical is it does not tell in the totality what a real caseooks like. >> it is not a hypottical when he says he was offered a job by this white house in contradiction to at least three sections of the u.s. code. i as to what you are doing about it. you are not willing to say that it iseing handled by the publicntegrity sector. had he putny attention to following up on the allegation? >> at the we had responded to your letter. >> it could be in the mail. its very close some time. we have not received it. >> i apologize. the premise that you make that there are violations of the statutes, would have to be
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looked at. >> i am only asking if you load up on the allegations by a member of congress. that is all i am asking. i'm not asking for all the details of how you would follow up. had he followed up on these allegations that we brought to your attention? >> it is the department's policy not to comment on anything of pending matters. that is not the way in which department of justice it conducts business. that is not what we do. that is the way i handled your question. >> i yield back. >> the chair is being sent it to members who are in the middle of questions. we want to allow members to be able to finish their questions
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and answers. with that, i will recognize you for five minutes. >> thank you again. i'd like to address a bit further a arizona matter. i heard you say that you are looking into the matter. the way i see it, i find the whole matter of offensive on behalf of all hispanics in america. i cannot speak for others this is a nation of immigrants. most of them are u.s. citizens or are legally residing in this country. i am very perturbed by this law. regardless of the motives. and talking about a lot of land itself to racial profiling. with the way i see what the
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department could be doing, they to be doing any of three things. first, challenged the law in court. second, challenged the pre- emption issue. third, assuming the law and of being safe, dealing with its implementation. i just want you to be a bit more specific. what are you looking a what can be reasonably expect from the department in this matter in the near future? >> we are examining the law and trying to determine if it contravenes the federal responsibility. whether or not what they have tried to do is pre-empted by
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federal law. with the men from the civil- rights perspective to see whether or not the law contravenes federal law statutes. that increase -- inquiry is on the way. we arerying to determine what action we will take. >> thank you. i will add one thing that troubles me. i think it is so effective in america. this matter also raises the possibility of affecting the ability of local law enfcement to deal with our community and gainrust of residents in our community when they are under siege by all kinds of crime. not only immigration populations. that troubles me. i like to hear from me about that.
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>> the frustration of people along the border, with the concerns i had is one that you have in whether not the passage will serve a wedge between law enforcement that they are supposed to serve. if they feel it is being unfairly, that is being profile, people share information with law enforcement are having less ability to solve crimes. those in the issues that they wish to take into consideration. >> the gentleman yield back. we recognize him for five minutes. the din demand from north carolina. >> that they extend my opening remarks this morning. what criteria could mohammad and
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his co-conspirators separate them from other detainees rather than military commission chiles? >> determinations that i have tried to make and where they can be tried a case specific. on the same day i made the announcement that the case would be tried in a civilian court, i sent five other or sixases to military commissions. it deals with the acquisition of evidence on the battlefield. we make these cases on a case by case basis, following protocol that i have that is used by me and by the department of defense. each case is a set in a determination made about where
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we can try the case. >> he said the department is reviewing whether tory him and his co-conspirators. what issues is the department still addressing? >> there is a review under way about the determination's i made in november. we talk about a varie of things, the reaction of political leaders in particular areas, the reaction of the public in that area we are taking intoccount a whole variety of things and making that determination. we are not ruling anything in or out. >> how many guinea's are you considering? venues are you
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considering? >> a variety of forums. >> specifically what i am driving edit it in your opinion, does the capital vilnius statute, the punishable by death avocation be in the county. with that limit it to new york, pa., and virgia? >> that is a stat sheet we have to do with for these determinations. if you are going to seek the death penalty, it has to take place where the offense took place. we are limited. there are some questions in about how strong the particular statute is to do it is a factor that has to be taken into consideration. >> i yield the gentleman from
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virginia. >> following up to the comments of the gentleman from california, i am not taking a position against the comcast and universal merger. i think theepartment job is to conduct a fair review and apply the facts of the law. i have every confidence that you will do just that. >> thank you. >> i will yield back. >> we now recognize the gentleman from tennessee for five minutes. >> we have tald aboutacial disparity last year i have a bill that i have introduced it
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s to look at a steady. we have held back on the bill and the request. have you concluded thetudy? >> the studies we are doing are fairly close to coming into a landing. on the basis of some of the reports i am receiving, i will be announcing a variety of things pitta the ones you are talking about i have not. >> when you think you might see a report on that one? >> we have certainly been looking at the question of rachel this -- racial disparities with regard to the criminal law. i had seen a report on that. we will be issuing some guidance
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in that regard. >> very soon. that is good. this'll be released to the public i presume? >> it to be certain the rease in the field. i am sure the public will have an ability to book. >> i have introduced legislation to states and localities that receive [unintelligible] to you agree they have a responsibility to make sure federal funds are not used to perpetuate racial and ethnic disparities? >> the grants of one of the ways we support our state and local counterparts. we would expect it would be done
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in a non-discriminatory matter. it did not promote disparity that would be responsive to the needs of particular communities. we are trying to make sure that those gnts for the cause of equal justice as opposed to retarding it >> has the justice department intended to do any comprehensive looks at our laws and tried to reform them so they are in the 21st century? >> one of the task force's i could and place has a depth deral sentencing laws. it will be issued very shortly to the field. it ase looked baat
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modified. >> are you familiar with the de? he issued a 41 page written order by a man named charles lynch that was convicted of merrill -- medical marijuana and suspension. he said it could be alleviated from schedule one. what are your thoughts about how the department will approach the reschedulingearing of the marijuana, which is in the highest class at the federal government? it is on the level of opium and heroin as being habit forming, and troublesome, expensive, and bad. >> one has to look at the issue
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a mere one in the totality. the mexican cartels get residue from the trafficking in marijuana. it is something that feels violence in mexico. it is something that can have an effect on violence in the united states. what the administration has done is to say that in the states for determination has to be made that we would not huge -- use our limited resources to go after marijuana being used in that way. we are focusing our attention on those people who are major traffickers of marijuana and other drugs that have such a negative impact on some many communities. >> if i could have the chair for 30 more seconds? ioncur with you and commend you on that. i would like to suggest that the reason there is such a demand
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for that product that causes all the violence is because it is illegal. maybe if it was not class one and there were other determinations -- it must be popular someplace. maybe we should take into consideration the popularity in the demand and maybe change cultural norms about using it in the supply and demand and we could reduce violence there another way. we could work our way through this. >> it will help our mexican counterparts. is the responsibility of the u.s. to try to do that.
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the uss tried to do that for eatment facilities. i think that is a way we can decrease the amount of isnds that we see. -- violence that we see. >> tha you. thank you for coming forward to testify it. it has been a long day. she spoke earlier in your opening remarks about how arizonas immigration law institutionalizes racial profiling to said that people are being dained because they forgot their driver's license at home. could you add some clarity to that stateme for this panel? >> i am not familiar with the incident that perhaps she was talking about. the concerns i have expressed our with regard to the whole question of preemption and whether the statute get into
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areas more properly handled by the federal government as to what the impact of the law will be. >> it does not go into effect until 90 days. we could agree that any action that will be taking place on immigration laws would not take place until 90 days after signed by the governor. the balance might have been inspired by the press or the dialogue, but nothing on the authority of the legislation. with this familiar situation she mentioned. >> would that be the standard if there were federal law? and until it is ected, it cannot have an effect legally.
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>> i do not know whether some police officer is going to be taking affect. i do not know anything about the situation. but then let's try this down the path of the constitution preemption. as i understand arizona law, it mirrors federal immigration la presumably, it would evaluate the constitutionality and whether it was violating any federal statute under that pre- emption clause. can you point to anything in the constitution that would prevent arizona from passing and enforcing immigration law provided it did not go beyond the bounds of immigration law?
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is there anything in the constitution you point to that would define it as unconstitutionalr potentially unconstitutional? >> the regulation of our borders in the immigration that occurs is something that is inherently is something i believe for the national government to take responsibility for. i understand the pressures and that people feel in arizona. we have not done enough as a nation to do with the very real problem that people in the south border had to deal with. it is more than them. it is a national problem. that is why the president has said a comprehensive look at this issue dealing with the causes of illegal migration as well as what we deal with the people who are here witho documentation is a way in which we can hopefully solve the
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problem. >> now we have digressed into policy. asar as specificity with regard to the constitution, our current federal statutes -- and yet already investigated this so you should know whether there is a constitutional point that can be made or the federal statutory point that can be made. i will suggest that i have looked at this. our attorneys have looked at this. we have not found a constitutional argument that would indicate that arizona has violated the federal constitution nor have we have found a way that they have gone beyond the immigration statute. in the constitution, there is nothing that define immigration laws as 6 frissell province of the federal government.
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>> cannot make a determination if it is something tt we are examining the bill we must take some legal action. we have madehe determination that it contravenes federal law. >> i would point out that there had been a significant amount of resources that have been invested in looking at arizona immigration law. it appears to follow a pattern of political actions of your office. the investigation cannot get done with one single auction. it threatens the underpinnings of our constitution. that is one thing that would break this country down is if we lost our confidence in the electoral process yet we cannot
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investigate a.c.o.r.n. and we cannot find out what might have brought your attention to that. >> the time has expired. >> the determinations that we may between what such as the liggett in what cases we investigate are done in a political way. i am proud of the time i have spent in the department of justice. i consider myself a careegu i am very proud. i understand the traditions of the department. i will not allow the department of justice to be politicized. people may not agree with the decisions, but i want the american people to know that the decisions are based on the backs and the law and not in politics.
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that is not what is attorney general is about. >> there have been a number of myths that have been perpetrated by politicians seeking to inject politics into the political process. one of these myths that has reared its ugly head has been the notion that the obama administration in view as the attorney general placed the u.s. address a prosecuting terrorists in federal court including the christmas day bombers and the 9/11 terrace and now the
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christmas day underwear bomber and the gentlemen who was recently arrested for leaving a car packed with explosives in times square. prior to this issue becoming a political football, the bush administration had tried numerous terrorist suspects in federal court. including the issue bomber -- the shoe bomber whose case is strikingly similar to the underwear bomber's case. also they 20th 911 hijacker.
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is it true there have been 300 anti-terrorism cases? >> i think that number is accurate. they can handle these matters. history shows that. they want to bring the cases to the federal court. you take away from us an extremely valued too
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we should not have this toll taken away from us if we want to win the war. >> during the bush said of ministration, when these 300 cases were making their way through federal court to final disposition, the success rate and those prosecutions was phenomenal. was it not? >> it is a high 90% rate. >> if youould, i have been having trouble with this. if you could tell me what has actually changed from the time that these 300 bush's
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administration cases were prosecuted in civilian courts to the current side where the courts are an adequate, ill- equipped and an able to do what has already been established what has changed now oer than the ascent of the counter party in power to that position? >> i've often asked myself that same question. they were silent when actions were taken by the bush administration previously.
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i will be to them to decide exactly what it is that has caused them to change their views when we have the consistent policy when it comes to the use of the federal criminal justice system to handle these cases. i do think that the party that is now making these determinations has changed is certainly a factor. >> if i might add a little commentary on to the back of that. i think it is another illustration and political as of the justice of fair play that i've come to expect ring my 30 years as a lawyer. >> that is something that is extremely worrisome.
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i should think that the one place in which politics might not enter islamic talk about issues involving the national security -- not injured is when we talk about issues involving the national security. it should be something that should unite is. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas. >> they carried out attacks in the united states.
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arizona and the federal government tully fails to secure the border and as for the past laws to protect its own people. the law supported by 7% of the arizona and 50% of all hispanics done by an nbc poll. i understand that you may file a lawsuit against the law. it seems they are not .hallenging the laws for th it is shorter than the health care bill which was 2000 pages. i'll give you my copy of it if you like to have a copy. do you have an opinion as to whether it is constitutional? >> i have not been briefed yet.
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i'm sure they will put that in front of me at a meeting. >> i have gone through it. it is pretty simple. it takes the federal law and makes it a state statute. it implements the requirement that the subsection of this law. do you see a difference in the constitutionality of a statute of the application of the
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statute? >> there is a potential for challenging a lock on its base in chaenging a lot as it .pplies pitt >> when you think you have an opinion on whether the law is constitutional? >> i've used this term may not produaa lot. i think relatively soon. there has been much discussion about the review. the department of justice and homeland security is involved in this treaty. i would expect our view of the ball will beealt with relatively soon. >> you have concerns about the statute. you haven't even read the law. it seems like you and not make a judgment abouthether it violates civil rights statutes
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if you have not read the law. can you help me out here a little bit how you can make a judgment call on that they have not read the law? >> what i said i have not made up my mind. i've only made the comments that i have made on the basis on things i've been able to glean by newspaper accounts. i have not reached any conclusions i am not in a position to say when i have not haa chance to interact with the people. >> it is a federal law that helps implement federal immigration statutes. they had the authority to enforce that she. deeply that constitutes? i believe that is constitutional.
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the folks in arizona seem to me like folks in texas. the federal government --it is their job to secure the borders. we secured them to -- third world countries secure the borders better than we do. acting for political reasons. we do not secure the border. this is not the first administration that has not secure the border. i hope it is the last. the law it seems should be enforced and it the federal farm at perform its role, ariz. when
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not need to take these measures. other state talking about the same thing. we would not have to have these measures if the government was in the job. >> today think it is a nstitutional quest? >> the time has expired. >> we have to have a comprehensive look at this. we have to secure our borders. we have to deal with the millions of people who are here in an undocumented way. this is a national issue. it requires a national response not necessarily comic even understand the frustration people fear, but not during the state by state. -- doing this state-by-state. this requires our national government working with the state to come up with a solution, a comprehensive solution.
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>> california is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you so much. i have concerns about the civil rights act about the arizona law. i believe it is unconscionable for our citizens to have to live in fear about forms of identification everywhere they go. it is something people would expect from a co war country. i know you said you are looking into a review of this lot of you make a final decision. if you decide not to challenge the law, do you intend to monitor the implementation? >> i think we would do that in any case. i do not know exactly what we are going to do with regard to our preview of the law, but with regard to the law and any other
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law that exists, we will constantly be monitoring it to e if there are civil rights violations and concerns that it nerated by the implementation of the law. >> there are also three bosses that have been filed, -- lawsuits that have been filed. they claimed it was illegal because it [unintelligible] two police officers are suing because it would hinder police investigation and by late the 14th amendment. -- violated the 14th amendment. >> our review is under way. exactly what procedural step we are going to take we have not yet decided. i will need to interact with our team who is looking at the law as it has been conducting this review.
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we will decide what action we are going to take it any. >>nother troubling aspect is that it requires law enforcement to confirm with federal authorities the legal status of anyone that is arrested regardless of the pins. it would take days of the department of homeland security to honor such a reqst. if the police decide not to press charges, when it violates the rights of due process if the person were held without charges? do you believe the federal government can realistically respond to all such inquiries? >> that is an interesting question. we are working with apartments -- our partners. that is one question we are trying to deal with. what is the impact of this statue? what is the potential impact of the statute on the federal government that the federal
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government would be able to bring their? -- there? that is a part of the mix that we will consider in determining what have we will take. >> in 1996, the office of legal unsel concluded the state and local police lacked authority to obtain individual solely on the suspicion of being in the country illegally. in 200 they issued a memorandum concluding that several laws and not prevent them from arresting aliens on the basis of civil deport ability. >> i have not read it yet. as we go through our review, one thing that has to be taken into account is the 2002 opinions that you referenced.
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this is all a part of at our review team is looking at. >> why would you keep that 2002 opinion in forced while it is under review? >> i do not think that we could take up an extended time to decide what action we are going to take. we need to understand the statute in its totality and the impact it will have and take into account what policy the federal government has put in place. the is a wide variety of things that go into the determinatn. i want to make sure we take a comprehensive ok before we make a consequential decision.
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>> ok. turning toward another issue that these doj had some action on is the active negation against the cil-rights violation. what is the status of that investigation? >> that is under review. i cannot say an awful lot about that. it is under preeti. they have decided not to cooperate with the investigation. that makes our task a little re difficult. it is a matter under way. >> thank you. >> the gentleman from arizona is recognized for five minutes the defects thank you.
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-- five minutes. >> thank you. he announced that muhammed would be tried in a speedy trial in new york some of us were kind of stunned because of the discovery that this offered a terrorist and their ability to penetrate much of our intelligence gathering and the potential of them having a platform before the world, a recruiting mechanism. it seemed like a terrorists interim. dreamnk -- terrorist's produce i think i. i think it is so we could show that the american system was superior. that seems likan honorable commitment. then the administration said if they are not somehow convicted the we will let them go.
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in an interview with in this scene news -- nbc news, obama declared that mohammed will be convicted and executed. thenefore the senate, and you stated "failure is not an option." i do not know how that undermined our system if we hope that. you and mr. obama must know that he and his co-conspirators are awarded the presumption of innocence and our courts . does the department believe they can defend assertions that the statement have painted a civilian jury or commission to such a degree as to deny them theresumption of innocence? >> maybe i can clear this up when i said the year is not an option, that is not a prediction.
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[unintelligible] it is a way in which a coach talks to the players about winning the game. that is what i was saying. >> i will give you that. the notion that obama said that he will be convicted and executed. that is a notion they have said many times. does that undermine our system and afford attorneys the opportunity to say the you tainted the jury pool and we are not afforded the presumption of innocence? >> we would have an extensive law they would have to go through.
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the jury pool and not be able to give them a fair trial is belied by the fact that we have done this in the past with high- profile terrorism cases in the bush administration. we have cases that arunderway right now in new york afr being handled in an inappropriate way. i tnk we have done in the past. we can do it in the future. i didn't think anything anyone has said has tainted our ability or impacted negatively our ability. >> he will be convicted and executed. you do not think that is suggesting there may not a presumption of innocence? >> from my perspective, i think the lawyers who will try the case our experience. the evidence that we have is good. i am hopeful that we will have a good outcome. it does not mean that i think the ability to say the trial was
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fair is -- >> respectfully, i do nothing you are going to into the question. i think he put a judge in the impossible position of doing what is right for the country or breaking rules of the judge. the administration is too quick to say this person was water boarded. you have a plethora of options to undermine the trial. everyone knows that. >let me shift gears. you stated that if 9/11 mastermind was brought to the u.s. for a trial and were acquitted that "there are other mechanisms we might have to employ like immigration laws with the possibility of detaining him." were you referring to the patriot act section 236a which
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allows for the indefinite detention of detainees? >> i do not -- i am not sure about the particular section. the loss of four allow us to detain -- laws of war allow us to detain those who are at war with the united states. we have habeas corpus rights. there is the possibility that he could be detained under the law of war. >> what certification is your beckham plan to protect the safety of america in the cannot rely on a detention law? what is the plan here if those things felt? >-- fail? >> i have confidence our ability to try the case fairly
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and effectively and to get a good result. there are the laws of war. with regard to mahomet, there are other charges tha could be brought before him. >> i guess time will tell. thank you. >> the time has expired. i am delighted to yield to the new member of this committee from florida. >> thank you. i am delighted to have the opportunity. thank you for bei i wanted to spend a minute about terrorism and trying terrorists on the prevention, part to go lead the terrace screening data base which i understand is comprised
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of individuals who are expected -- suspected of constituting relating to terrorism. . . >> we have worked with congress with regard to that question with regard to the access that people on a terrorist watch list have to obtaining weapons. although, i think we have to
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keep in mind this will be part of the dialogue, that the f.b.i. is notified when somebody on the tror watch list tries to obtain -- terror watchlist tries to obtain a weapon. there are reasons why that is something that is valuable to us. i think taking into account the law enforcement equities that we have, the law enforcement reals that we now have, we would now want to work with congress about the very real issue that you have raised 678 -- raised. >> chairman holder, in order to balance these, wouldn't it be possible to prevent those assault rifles from being sold to that suspected terrorist while at the same time still der arriving the benefit of these equities and notifying the
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f.b.i.? >> i don't want to get into too much with regard to techniques and how the f.b.i. uses acks by certain people -- actions by certain people on terrorist watchlists and what that leads to, but it is part of a conversation that i think we should have in dealing with a very real issue. i don't mean to denigrate the issue that you have raised, but the very real issue that you have raised. that is something that we should work together and try to resolve. >> i appreciate that. i would point out, as we tried to prevent all sorts of terrorism that the terrorists in mumbai that killed 173 people, dozens of those murdered and injured were murdered and injured with ak-47's, and it does seem -- and i appreciate your willingness to work with us, but if we have an opportunity to keep those sorts of weapons in particular out of
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the hands of would-be terrorists it would be therefore possible for us to prevent tragedies of that magnitude from occurring in this country and i look forward to having the opportunity to work together and make that so. >> please do not take what i said as disagreeing with your last statement. there are a variety of things that we need to do and can appropriately do. i just, as i said, would want to make sure that in looking at this question, looking at this problem, that we surface all of the law enforcement equities that we have and deal with the very real concern that we have identified, especially in the last statement that you just made. >> thank you. i yield back my time. >> the gentleman yields back his time and it gives me time to deal with another new member of the committee, mr. polis for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chair. my first question is with regard
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to federal policy with regard to drug enforcement administration and marijuana policy building off what my colleague asked earlier. greet with warm welcome one of the states that has medical marijuana law and regulates the sale of marijuana. the memo describing the d.a.'s and u.s. attorneys, i would like you to describe the process of whether individuals are in "clear and unambiguous" compliance with state law. how is that determined? >> people get -- i get tired of hearing this, but it is true. it's done on a case-by-case basis. we look at the stateaws and what the restrictions are, what th -- how the law is, how the law is constructed and there are a number of factors in that memo that are guides.
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is marijuana being sold consistent with state law? are arms, areeople, are firearms somehow associated with the sale? there are a variety of factors that are contained within the memo that went out from the deputy attorney general that the united states attorneys and assistant united states attorneys are supposed to apply, supposed to consider when trying to make a determination about whether or not federal resources are going to be used to go after somebody who is dealing in marijuana. >> i would certainly encourage that the question of whether or not it's consistent with state law certainly be left to state enforcement actions. in particular, i brought to your concern in a letter of february 23 requesting the clarification of your policies regarding medical marijuana with regard to several statements that were made by one of your agents in colorado, jeffrey sweeten, along the lines of as quoted in the per. "the timis coming when we go into the dispensary, find out
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what the profit is and we seize the building and arrest everybody. they're violating federal law." i would ask what steps you might take to make sure tt the spirit of the enforcement mechanisms that u outlined to me in the answer to your previous questions areot contradicted by the statements of agents that, in fact, then strike fear into legitimate businesses in the eyes of our states? >> it's incumbent upon me as attorney general to make sure that what we have set out as policy is being followed by all of the components witn the department of justice. and to the extent that somebody at the d.e.a., somebody at, some assistant united states attorney is not following that policy, it is my responsibility to make sure that the policy is clear, that the policy is disseminated, and that people act in conformity with the policies that we have determined. >> do you believe, do you agree that statements that could be reasonably taken as threatening
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to businesses that are legal in our state are, in fact, category to your stated policy? >> well, again, if the entity is, in fact, operating consistent with state law and is not -- does not have any of those factors involved that are contained in that deputy attorney general memo and given, again, the limited resources that we have in our determination to focus on major trafficicers, that would be inconsistent with what the policy as we have set it out. >> den graces, i'm worried about denying immigrants' access to federal judicial review in light of the arizona law when they will be dragged into state courts in a fashion when the ultime responsibility and authority regarding immigration is supposed to be that of the federal government. are we worried about arizona courts effectively ting to enforce federal immigration
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laws? >> that's one of the primary concerns that we have. whether or not the impact of the arizona statute preempts or is -- whether it improperly interferes with whats ultimately a federal responsibility, whether or not federal law preempts the arizona statute. that is one of the things that we are looking at. >> fally, there is a significant backlog in our immigration courts. i would like you to briefly outline the steps that you're taking to restore fairness and efficiency to immigration courts which have been identified by several studies a need of reforms and additional financial resources? >> we have been engaged this fiscal year and next fiscal year in hiring a substantial number of immigration judges, which is one of the problems that we have. we simply need more people to process these cases. we have also engaged in, i think, training to make sure that the people who serve as
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judges and who are part of the system are conducting themselves appropriately. we have a new chief judge who i think is doing a good job in the training component and we're trying to make surehat he and the people in the system have all of the tools that they need so that our responsibility with regard to immigration is done in an appropriate way. >> thank you, and i yield back. >> the gentleman has yielded back. general, i believe that we are better as a nation for having a u.s. department of justice, and i think we are better as a nation to have a lawyer who represents the american people. i think it is important as i close to try to give you an opportunity to clarify a few points that may still be somewhat unclear.
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one is an inquiry that i would appreciate if you would respond in writing within the parameters of that investigation, that is, of course, regarng the hairs county jail when which is located in hairs county, texas, there has been an inquiry and a comment of what federal funds under the d.o.j. could be helpful to local jurisdictions with jail overowding problems, impacting mental health issues and the health and security of the incarcerated persons. i could have that in writing, i would appreciate it. i would like to pursue, to be clear on the record, there are overlapping jurisdictions between the department of justice and homeland security. let me just focus on what the administration is for and what it is against, what position it's taken. has the administration, department of justice, taken any position to be against strong border security, both at the northern and southern
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border of the united states? >> not at all. we understand the primary responsibility for protecting our borders is a national responsibility, it's one that this administration takes very seriously. it is one component that we think has to be takeneriously as part of the comprehensive view of immigration reform. >> and if this congress was to undertake what we call a comprehensive immigration reform on the issue of benefits, falls under the judiciary committee, does the administration hold that that reform is mutually exclusive in being strong on its position on securing the borders, both northern and southern border? >> if one looks at the totality of this problem, there are a lot of moving pieces but there is not necessarily tension between them. how we deal with people who are here and undocumented, the whole question of what benefits people have and should have, should not have. the mntenance of strong
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borders along our southern frontier, our northern frontier as well, those are all things that have to be a part of this solution and the resolution of that big problem does not necessarily mean that there is a tension between the component parts. >> so fixing, for example, the opportunity for a child not born but raised in the united states to attend college, for exple, which is a problem plaguing a lot of nonstatus immigrants is not mutually exclusive if that was to occur, if congress was to move from the administration's position on securing the borders? >> well, yeah. we can certainly secure the borders. then the wholeuestion of how we deal with people who are here illegally and putting them on a pathway to citizenship which what we had talked about, which has been talked about i guess in previous congresses. these are all of the kinds of things that we need to discuss. >> following up and on the arizona law and it is m understanding and i think you
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have made it clear, but i think it's important is there is nothing in your testimony that suggestshat you would not read this bill, but presently you have tasked your staff to do thorough review of this legislation at this point. is that my understanding? >> yeah, i'm old enough now that i don't read things too far in advance and then forget them before i need to know them. i ultimately will -- believe me, the statute wl be read. i will understand it. i will read all of the reports that the review team puts for me. i will meet with that review am and on the basis of all of that will make an informed decision. >> we would not want the record to reflect that america's lawyer did not read either legislation we wrote or legislation that was relevant that was written by any state, but pursuing that question, i focused on federal preearnings and i think my -- preelse, i think my colleagues have probed that, but in terms of the assessment of the state law, i
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want to raise in terms of the arizona law, the question of potential racial profiling. i say it in this sense. you don't have jurisdiction over the census, but there are reports suggesting that states like, and there are members of the larger bodies of states, albeit they are unique states, california, new york, arizona, and texas among others have been impacted negatively by a lot of, should i say, reflections onmmigration in terms of the count. that truly impacts an authority embedded in the constitution and certainly designates to the department of commerce to count everybody. it does not put qualifications on who gets counted. on the question of racial profiling, if your team is reviewing this and if you read this law and there is grounds for seeing that this broadly without basis racial profiles, i think one of our members
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indicated that you might be stopped for a traffic, that is a legal contact,r you might have someone knock on your door trying to solicit funds for the local police department. i don't know if that's a legal contact or not. but if you find that there is a racial profiler which is under the jurisdiction of the justice department, for example, if yo find there is racial profiling going forward on pakistani americans, obviously, the pakistani americans or pakistanis have been in the news. i tell you that the community is frightened. what is the position of the department of justice on unfair racial pfiling within your jurisdiction? >> well, i mean, i think that first and foremost, people have to understand that racial profiling is not good law enforcement. and we should understand that those who want to do this nation harm understand or are trying to ke aantage of the possibility of racial profiling. what you see is their desire to come up with people who have clean skins, people who do not
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fit profiles, people who do not come certain countries, people who come from the united states. people who do not look like what you would expect a terrorist to look like. those arthe people they are trying to recruit. if we restrict ourselves to profiling, we will be handing a tool to those who seek to do this nation harm. so that is certainly in that context. but racial profiling just more generally is never good law enforcement. it has all kind of collateral negative impacts that drive wedges between law enforcement and certain communities. there is no good basis. i have never seen a good basis for racial profiling. >> and as your staff reviewsn particular the arizona law, i would imagine without predicting all of they review, that's certainly an element as you review the arizona law as it reviews the stopping and
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arresting individuals with sur names an other aspects of that law? >> i think we'll look at the law as it is written, look at the law as it is applied, potentially applied in trying to make our decision about whether or not we should take any action with regard to it. >> let me also, thank you, just follow up and put into the record some language that i paraphrased dealing with the clayton act section seven. the act seeks to cap prohibiting particular types of conduct not deeme in the best interest of a competitive market if there is ever a question of a competitive market, i think one that we are attempting to have competitive is the aviation iustry. as i read the law, and iould like you to correct me if i'm incorrect, it seems as if submissionsealing with aviation mergers is presented to the d.o.j., but there is notice given to the f.t.c.
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if you would either correct that or suggest that it is. if you would give the procedure, if that is the case, as to whether or not the f.t.c. is, in fact, just notified and the d.o.j. takes lead or my question will be whether the d.o.j. would take the lead. the second question would be -- and i just want this to be further confirmed- have you sent or the justice department sent a december 2010 deadline for your review ofhis present merger in particular that i have mentioned, and that is continental airlines and united. and if you speak just from the law, clayton action section 7 or any aspects of antitrust law is obviously appropriate, is the question of pricing and price increase, are those variables that will be under the eye and scrutiny of the department of justice. d lastly, i would ask, and this is a pointed question.
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i want to pay tribute to chairman conyers who developed an antitrust task force under his initial leadership of this committee showing how important it is that a vigors review taking into consideration president theodore roosevelt's initial thought on this process of con glom rats recognizing that we are a capitalistic society. i understand one of his quotes is that we have to save capitalism from the capital lists. chairman conyers thought the antitrust was extremely important. we had a task force that we ultimately merged into one of our subcommittees. the question that i know pose that i think someone has asked on another approach whether there is any politics that would play in any decision that you would make on, really, any matters, but in this instance, for examp, that one of the parties involved happens to be
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housed in illinois. all of these commentshat are going around and, again, i said to you that one of the c.e.o.'s said this was a done deal. this will be done by -- we see no problem in its completion. i yield to the general. >> well the justice department has primary responsibility for the assessment of the continental-united mergerant whether it has an anti-competitive impact. there is no deadline as to how long it will take us to do that. we will do the job as best we can and use the amount of time that we need. i can assure you that political conserations will not be a part of that process. as i said, we have an antitrust division that i think has been revitalized it by the woman who heads it. she has been appropriately aggressive in looking at
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mergers and will do so with regard to this one. i'm coident that we will give this a good, thorough, vigorous look, and make a decision on the basis of that examination. >> let me close very quickly. i know that you have been very gracis. just give me these last two points that i wish to clarify. and that is a question of national surity. and i started out by saying that you have traversed a lot of land fields, a lot of mines, and i believe deliberation is key to being an american and as well the lawyer for america there is a lot of talk about the initial decision for cleedcleed -- khalid shake mohammed and i complimented the d.o.j. for its declaration and
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its studiousness. i would like you to clarify that and i would say this, comments made by a president and commander and chief who is also a citizen among many comments that have been made. the president has the right to make comments because he has the first amendment right of freedom of speech. my understanding is that lawyers go into courtrooms many times around america, in this instance, u.s. attorneys against all kinds of comments being made in the general forum. but that does not take the place of a vigorous prosecutorial presentation, as i understand it. so if you would comment and clarify, again, with the times square bomber whose family members came and encouraged that individual to participate
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fully, and i think you said there are so many bombers. let me finish the sentence and i'll clarify it. that came and asked him to fully participate and to give answers and that individual was initially questioned under civilian justice miranda rights and, of course, that was the christmas day bomber, yet the times square bomber likewise provided additional enhanced information. give us your sense that that does not undermine the justice system in this country and the ability to defend the american people against terrorism and does not show weakness as it relates to national security. >> the only thing i can point you to is the facts and the history which has shown that the giving of miranda warnings has not had a negative impact on our ability to get information from people charged
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with terrorist offenses. one can look at the terrorist in detroit, shahzad here in the times square bomber, headley, the person in chicago, all of whom were given their miranda rights and nevertheless decided to continue talking and sharing information, sharing intelligence with us. there is not a tension -- there is a misconception that people have that the giving of miranda warnings necessarily means that someone is going to stop talking. that is inconsistent with the facts. the facts in the cases that i have just mentioned and certainly wh i think you see through the criminal justice system, the determination that people make as to whether or not they are going to continue to talk or talk at all to law enforcement is not determined lely by miranda warnings. there is a lot more that goes into it. the rapaport that interrogators
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are able to make with him they are questioning, the strength of the evidence of the case that we can bring, i actually think that we also have to consider the reality that once a person is given miranda warnings and if that person decides he wants to take advantage of them and get a lawyer involved in the process, that frequently a defense attorney looking at the facts that are arrayed against h client frequently becomes an advocate on behalf to try to convince that person to cooperate with the government in the hope that a sentence would be lessened so that even where miranda warnings have that at least initial impact of stopping an information flow, it does not necessarily mean that that flow of information is forever stopped. i think that one thing that i would really want to clear up is this whole notion that the giving of miranda warnings necessarily means that people
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stop talking. that is inconsistent with the facts. >> one final question to you and it's something both of us have spoken about, and i think it's very close to your personal beliefs. chairman scott has worked very closely on this whole issue of juvenile crime, juvenile justice, and we have managed with his leadership, i believe, to pass this committee something cled the promise gram. looking at best practices of juvenile justice, you have a section that deals specifically with the issues dealing with juveniles. if we look at our history over the last two decades, we really have done poorly. we had two 16-year-olds, among othe, shot and the killed at a 3-year-old's birthday party in new york. tens upon tens of juveniles have been murdered in chicago. the lacrosse murder at my alma mater, university of virginia,
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and down in houston, a fine college student at a party shot dead without any hopes of survival. what is the focus of the department as relates to juvenile violence and also the access of juveniles to guns and how can we work together as a committee and the department of justice and the administration on this ongoing sickness and violence? >> well, i don't know if you remember that in chicago late last year, there was an incident where a young man was taped, was killed by a gang of young people, a board hit him over the head, the secretary of education and i went out to chicago to assess what had happened there and to deal, just to get a better understanding of what was going on in chicago with regard to
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youth violence. that has led to an effort, very soon the administration is about to announce with regard to how we're going to deal with this issue of proposa that we have, this issue of youth violence in a select number of cities where we're going to try a variety of different things and see what actually works. when we deal with a problem of youth violence, i think too often we think of it in a microcosm and we don't understand what we're talking about, in essence, is the future of our nation. and kids who can't go to school and feel safe, don't learn as well, children who are exposed to violence, it has negative impacts on their lives as they get older. so we want to try to deal with this problem, exposure to violence, violence itself as what we like to say to be not tough on crime, but to be smart when it comes to crime and to come up with solutions that
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will prevent youth violence to the extent that we can, but then deal with the impact of people who are either victims of violence, youth violence, or who witness violence. that is also something that has an impact on young people and impacts them as they mature. >> guns and juveniles? >> obviously, a very large problem. the prevalence of guns in certain communities, the possession of guns by juveniles and the way in which they use them is a primary concern. disproportionate number of these unfortunate hicides happen because too many young people have too easy access to guns. we have to deal with that. >> let me thank you very much for your openness and your
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integrity and honesty during these hearings. let me as well thank chairman conyers for convening this hearing and for the leadership he has given on any number of these issues that we have addressed throughout this hearing. this will conclude our questioning. i will add that there will be potentially, potentially, a number of hearings on somef the questions that members have asked, some having to do with the antitrust question and mergers. i would hope that the justice department would receive the transcripts of those hearings as they might be very helpful in the deliberation for those particular issues. i acknowledge that the general is nodding yes on those comments. i would like to thank you, attorney general hder, again for being with us today. without objection, members will have a number of five legislative days to submit any addition written questions for you which we will forward and ask that your answer be
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forwarded to us as promptl as you can and that they be made part of the record. without objection, the record willemain open for five legislative days for the submission of other additional materials including those from the department of justice and i noted for the record that you indicated you had respond to a number of members including the chair's questions by writing and we appreciate that. i believe the hearing has been a useful contribution to our efforts to help insure that the nation's premiere law enforcement agency is dedicated to being a shining example, not only in how effectively it pursues its cases, but equally in how it respects the questions that we hold particularly near and dear and that is the fundamental question of freedom that is a hallmark of american democracy. today i believe we made one more step toward promoting democracy in this nation and protecting the constitution as it should be. general holder, thank you for your presence here today.
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