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tv   Senate-- Hearing  CSPAN  June 16, 2013 1:35pm-4:11pm EDT

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you and you and you filling two crucial federal law commissions as acting director of the atf and the u.s. attorney a a for the state of minnesota.afor the state of minnesota. i know son anthony is back you there.andthere. i know it's not been easy.a todd has wife margaret and also a father to not just anthony but and in four other children and a good one at that. we welcome anthony here today a a a representing the family. todd jones has an impressive youtodd jones has an impressive and pack ground that has him well prepared to lead the atf.a after law school at the youafter law school at the university of minnesota, he and you entered the u.s. marine corps where he served on active duty you as the judge advocate and are as a infantry officer from 1983 to you are in and you and i two years later, he was called he you back to active duty in the first you are iraq are you in addition to the military and career and having a rare you career and having a rare distinction of serving as a u.s. a attorney under two different a a a you and him as
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presidents, he has a strong a record as a line prosecutor at the minnesota u.s. attorney's office and out1257bding career in private practice. today we are here to consider his nomination to be the permanent director of the atm. a nomination that is supported by the national association of former u.s. attorneys including those who serve under bush and clinton administrations, several former assistant u.s. attorneys, the administrator of the minnesota bureau of criminal apprehension. the minnesota county attorney's association. the association of the chiefs of police, the fraternal order of police. and the atf association just to name a few. given the atf's important role in the crimes and incidents like the marathon bombing, this should be a top priority for the united states senate so have a permanent director of the atf. it doesn't make sense for the director to be serving in a and a temporary capacity and yet there you has never been a permanent a you a you director in place since 2006 a director in place since 2006
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when it became a senate-confirmed position.a i think that's a and a and you are and you are you a something is wrong when the you something is wrong when the senate fails to confirm the head of an agency for seven years.a something is wrong when we have yousomething is wrong when we have are a atf agents, over 2,000 of them, you on the front lines of the major areon the front lines of the major you investigations like the boston marathon bombing while the a victims lay dismembered in the hospital, the agents were on the you are front line figuring out who did it and what a and yet the senate still have you not confirmed a permanent leader of this agency. it seems that some members of the senate don't have the atf a and for the benefit of the director. for all of the concerns of the and atf, some legitimate in filling a a a a a fulltime permanent director aa fulltime permanent director should be a critical step in youshould be a critical step in making sure that the atf is a doing its job and doing it well. todd jones has never turned down a a a a tough and
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he's faced challenging situations throughout the career in a and taking over the atf in the summer of 2011 with another you are you a you a example of that. as everyone knows, the agency was under a tremendous amount of scrutiny and understandable and criticism for the failed fast you and furious operation and jones in a was brought in to get the atf in a back on its feet.a andback on its feet. and you you since then, he's worked to a you revamp the practices and policies.a you he's begun making essential reforms that are critical to the a and you 2300 agents who perform under will you pressure day in and day out both a on major investigations like boston and west texas.a a but also the lesser known a a investigations like serial a arsons in california. cigarette smuggling rings and in acigarette smuggling rings and drug and gun trafficking undercover operations in miami. before taking over the atf, jones served as the head of the youjones served as the head of the do u.s. attorney's office in minnesota under two presidents
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and before that as assistant a and before that as assistant u.s. attorney. as an assistant, he was the lead you are you and a prosecutor in a number of cases youprosecutor in a number of cases involving criminal drug and conspiracies, money laundering, a financial fraud, and violent crime in the 1990s. in the private sector, he became a partner at two well respected you minnesota law firms.a and a you to highlight some of his a accomplishments in his tenure as you and you u.s. attorney in minnesota, that and office with todd jones at the a you and a you a you a you helm, prosecuted rhino for the a man who recruited young somali terrorists groups to fight you are you a groups in a mohammed was indicted in you november of 2009 and pled guilty and to conspiracy of murder, kidnap, youto conspiracy of murder, kidnap, are a and name and a you to date, it results in charges and filed against 22 other youfiled against 22 other are you individuals. operation highlight, a drug in a trafficking operation involving
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you 100 local, state, and federal and100 local, state, and federal law enforcement officers and you will resulted in 25 indictments, 25 guilty pleas, and sentences of up to 200 in and i operation brothers keeper and a you a involved a regional 200 member gang that took 22 dangerous criminals off of the street.a and a received national attention and andreceived national attention and was a prosecution for 27 defendants associated with a mexican drug cartel, including you are a the apprehension of the cartel's regional leader and sentences as you andyou and you and you high as 20 years in prison.are ahigh as 20 years in prison. a a you a jones' office was active in you other areas like complex white are a collar crime including the you collar crime including the are a you a successful prosecution of a $3.65 billion ponzi scheme.he a you that's $3.65 billion, the second a a a a largest in history after bernieu
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madoff.a you are you those are a few of the examples are youthose are a few of the examples of the cases todd jones oversaw as the u.s. attorney in will he's well qualified and has a range of accomplishments that you lev him more than ready to lead the atf on a fulltime not on a temporary or interim younot on a temporary or interim basis.a a he's a hardworking public servant who served his country and in a in military and civilian you agencies.a you a you i look forward to hearing from a youi look forward to hearing from a both of our nominees today and having a discussion about their past experiences and their and outlooks on the positions to in which they have been nominated. thank you both of and you i'll turn it over to senator grassley, the ranking member. a and a a >> thank you very much.a a as the chairwoman knows and as i told her yesterday, i objected to holding this hearing today and requested the hearing be postponed. regarding mr. holmes' conduct.a
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>> members of the committee are a entitled the public interest demands resolution of these and issues. members of the committee are entitled to know that if these willill a charges have any merit.a one way for that to happen is a a for the committee to undertake a a a ainvestigation.a him as charges are you are me. the republican interest demands resolution of these issues. know if these charges
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have any merit. to way for that to happen score the committee to undertake its own investigation. that has not happened. another is to follow the usual and way for third-party investigating agencies to complete this process and reach a conclusion that has not taken place either. .e are left to take his word's we have no way of verifying what he says or to ascertain the truth of the matter. there are unresolved issues regarding mr. jones as serving as u.s. attorney and atf director. is why i requested to postponed it.
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so it was unfortunate that we go ahead with this hearing before an open plan is resolved. in april, the chairman started talking about a hearing for mr. jones, i was concerned about moving forward. there were a number of outstanding requests that i made to mr. jones. i previously received a copy of an anonymous letter to the office of special console making vicious allegations against mr. jones. i sent a letter to ose on april 8 asking for an update on those allegations. on april 12, ose responded that there were two pending matters involving the u.s. attorney's office, the district of minnesota where mr. jones was a u.s. attorney. the first matter was a prohibited personnel practice complaint and the second was a
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whistleblower alleging gross mismanagement and abuse of authority. on may 28, the chairman sent out a knows for a hearing for mr. jones to be held the 2308 lowing week. on may 29, i sent a letter raising my concerns about proceeding with a nominee with open complaints and asked that the hearing be postponed consistent with previous committee practice. on june 3, the chairman postponed the hearing one week. however in doing so, the chairman expressed disappointment that the april osc letter had been publicly disclosed. a continuing justification for holding this hearing today is that based on this disclosure, the nominees should have an opportunity to respond.
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but, of course, there was nothing confidential in the osc letter. in fact, i'm not about to hide this issue from the public, it's relevant to the inquiry of the qualifications of the nominee. if others want to hide it, that would be their decision. additionally, there were numerous allegations that republicans were holding up the nominee for no good reason. the osc letter clearly identified why the hearing was not going forward at this time. that justification remains valid today. again, this would be consistent with prior committee practice. further more, everyone knows that mr. jones' appearance today is no substitute for a full investigation. we know the investigation is open, so even if we ask questions today, we can't rely on the information we received. the nomination hearing is nothing like the investigative process conducted by the office of special consult. in a full osc inquiry, there would be interviews with complaining witnesses, a review of documents, and interviews with attorneys and law enforcement officials in minnesota. we have access to none of these at this point. we only have one witness, a nominee, able to offer up his side of the story.
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so where are the whistleblowers, where are other assistant u.s. attorneys and staff and members, who was offering the other side of the story. we did receive a token offer for the majority of one witness. that offer came sunday night a little more than six hours ago. late yesterday we received from the majority and offered to conduct some interviews this coming friday. after today's hearing. now that's quite perplexing to me. we're going to begin the investigation after the hearing is concluded. when has the committee ever conducted an investigation after the hearing for that nominee. on june 4, i suggested to the chairman that a mere one-week postponement of the hearing would not allow sufficient times for open matters to be resolved.
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we had no reason to believe the osc investigation would be closed. it seems to me that the majority did not want to wait until the osc completed the investigation, the committee would be fully investigating the matter for itself. i suggest we begin the process by calling additional witnesses to testify at today's hearing. on june 5, osc provided the committee with an update on two pending cases. it reported that while the whistleblower disclose eurocase had been closed, the prohibited personnel practice complaint was moving through mediation for the time being. june 6, the chairman reported to me he had been notified by osc that he had reached a resolution on the retaliation allegations against mr. jones and that
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investigation was now closed. this directly counterdistricted the information i had received. i, again, suggested that additional witnesses might be necessary. sunday night, 36 hours ago, my staff was notified by the majority staff that the chairman agreed to one minority weapons. by that time, there was no unreasonable way that a witness could be contacted or arrange for travel on monday and appearance on tuesday morning. yesterday i contacted the special counsel inquiring her availability to testify to at least explain more fully the status of the complaints. ms. learner replied, quote, i'm unavailable to testify tomorrow about this matter. more over, it would not be appropriate for me to provide any additional information about the pending case, end of quote. she confirmed for the second time that the investigation remained open. she stated, quote, the reassignment for the case for
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mediation did not result in the mapter being closed. based on -- end of quote. based on all of this, i cannot help but to conclude that the majority has intent on jamming this nomination through the committee. we're left with open investigation of serious allegations for whistleblower retaliation and these are not unsubstantiated charges. of all of the complaints received by ocs, 10% are chosen for further investigation. this case is one of them. the career nonpartisan staff osc forward the case. they thought it needed to be looked into. there are indications of a larger pattern here. one for osc. acting director jones to inn a video sent to all atf agents stating, quote, if you don't respect the chain of command, if you don't find the proper way to
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raise concerns to your leadership, there will be consequences. end of quote. that throws a lot of cold water on anyone who wants to whistle blow under the law. the u.s. attorney's office of minnesota headed by mr. jones in toer capacity. these employees wrote to the office of special consult asking for, quote, a review of the patterns, practices, treatment, and abuse that they have suffered, end of quote. they reference the video stating that they had, quote, felt for the employees at a atf as we, too, have had the same types of statements made to us, end of quote. they then said, mr. jones, quote, had instituted a climate of fear, had pushed employees out of the office. dismissed employees wrongly. violated the hiring practices of
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the eeoc, and put in place an orwellian style of management that continues to polarize the office, end of quote. next a former agent in charge of the fbi's division, mr. donald oswald wrote to this committee voicing concerns about mr. jones. in that letter he wrote, quote, as a retired fbi senior executive, i'm one of the few voices able to publicly express our complete discontent with mr. jones' ineffective leadership and poor service provided to the federal law enforcement community without fear of retaliation and retribution against him. the caution, kw0e9, mr. jones still remains a significant impediment for law enforcement to effectively protect the citizens of minnesota, end of quote. the concerns and allegations of
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mr. oswald's letter were corroborated by another assistant u.s. attorney and mr. jones' office. yesterday mr. paulson gave his consent that the whistleblower exposure when complaint be released to the committee. it contains a detailed account of the mismanagement abuse of authority and other problems within the office. it also details mr. jones' negative attitude towards whistleblowers and retaliatory action he took against mr. paulson. we received this document late yesterday afternoon. we're still reviewing the document osc had of the chairman that the file investigated, quote/unquote of committee confidential. i would be asking questions based on this document. we asked the chair and staff to
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let us know if he intended to designate the document, committee confidence shl, to my knowledge, the chairman has not done so. i do not think it would be appropriate to hide this information. i see no reason why it should not be available as part of the full record. i was told repeatedly that today's hearing, this very day, would be my one opportunity to ask mr. jones any questions that i would. and i intend to ask mr. jones questions about the alsos described in the complaint. i have additional procedural problems with this nomination today and minor but one which illustrates a breakdown in the normal committee process was the delivery of several routine nomination materials. when i received a routine file required for all nominees, i
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noted missing pages, two separate documents. i asked these from the white house on may 28. one of the requested documents was to my offers last night at 9:59 a.m. there was no investigation for the delay. i have yet to receive the other requested document. now there's no secret that there had been a number of controversial events that mr. jones was involved in to one degree or another. i spent numerous letters to the department requesting information from or about mr. jones. in many cases, i have received no response or an incomplete response. here's a sampling. on fast and furious -- subpoenaed documents. on october 12, 2011, the house oversight government relations committee requested the records of the attorney general's
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advisory committee related to operation fast and furious in a period that mr. jones was committee chair. i reiterated that request on april 10 of this year. secondly, atf accountability for fast and furious. october 12, 2012, i requested information on which emgoes would be disciplined for fast and furious. three, fast and furious interview request, october 7, 2011, january, 2012, i requested staff interviews with mr. jones regarding fast and furious. i rei it rated the request of mr. jones, april 10, 2013. interview request on reno, utah, atf, u.s. attorney's office breakdown. 2013 letter also indicated that his failure to act on the management issues was another
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area of question to be cover in the staff interview. five, fearless, on april 10, 2013 letter indicating in milwaukee is another area of questions to be cover in the staff interview. sixth document request of operation fearless. on may 10, 2013, i sent mr. jones a letter requesting a copy of the office of professional responsibility and security operations report on the botched milwaukee store front operation. now, what has been the reply to all of these requests? on june 4, 2013, two months after my request for many of these items, i received a letter from the department of justice stating in part, mr. jones looks forward to answering your questions about these matters during this nomination hearing before the senate judiciary committee. end of quote. i regret the chairman would allow the department of justice dictate to us how oversight
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investigation will be conducted. further more, it's disappointing that the department was allowed to hijack this nomination hearing to suit their purpose, not ours. but we held see row hearings dedicated to fast and furious, i should be 6 happy to have this at all. on the quid pro quo matter, i was able to have a staff interview with mr. jones just to remind my colleagues about this issue, give a brief summary, february 3, 2012. the department of justice and the city of st. paul struck a deal, the terms of the quid pro quo were as followed. the department declined the interview, intervened in two false claim act cases pending against st. paul and st. paul withdrew the petition in the u.s. supreme court, a case that observers believed would
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invalidate the desperate impact theory. this was no ordinary settlement. instead of furthering the ends of justice, this was for meritorious claims and recovering hundreds of millions of dollars to the u.s. treasury. the u.s. attorney in minnesota at the time of quid pro quo, mr. jones was serving both as u.s. attorney and acting director of the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms. mr. jones was interviewing on march 8, 2013. however, before they could be interviewed, the department demanded that staff not be permitted to ask mr. jones any questions other than those involving the quid pro quo. questions remain about whether he was effectively managing both jobs as u.s. attorney and acting director. further example, when asked by committee staff about his failure to attend the meeting between the department of representatives and the city of
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st. paul which occurred december of 2011 he stated he did not attend because he had an event a holiday party called sweet treats and he felt it was more important that he attend the event than it was to attend the meeting on two pending false claim ms. there are many issues to cover in this hearing today and beyond. for his part in the june 10, 2013 article in the minneapolis star tribute, mr. jones said, quote, i'm looking forward to a meeting with the committee and answering all of the questions. now, i hope that's the case today. that i would finally get some answers. but even so, many questions remain for the nominee.
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the first question is given the open complaint and all of the other concerns that i have addressed, why are we even here today? i don't think anyone can provide a good answer to that question. proceeding today is premature. frankly, it's unfair to the nominee, unfair to the nominee to forms these questions today before the osc process takes its course. but if the chair wants to insist on proceedings, it would be unfair to the public, it would fail to perform our due diligence and examining these issues carefully. >> thank you, senator grassley. you have the opportunity now after we hear the opening statements to ask the nominees questions. i point out the nominee wanted to go forward with the hearing. he believes it atf deserves better when people are on the front line investigating the crimes. they deserve better than not having a permanent director for seven years because the senate won't confirm anyone. that's wrong.
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in response to some of the points you made, i would prefer to have director jones answer these questions, but first of all, to make clear, he came in after fast and furious and was asked to come in and clean it up. i'm sure we can hear from him ant some of the things that he did. secondly, on the issue of the st. paul case which is, i know, been well discussed in the nomination of mr. perez, mr. jones agreed to be questioned for an entire day. by your staff, by the staff in the house. third, i would note as far as the complaint that you brought up within the office, i would first note that mr. jones supervises 2300 people with the atf, 125 people with the u.s. attorney's office. as mr. dellry will tell anyone here, it's not always easy to
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supervise lawyers and cops. but he has done his best job. i think it's very important that that complaint be heard out. that's what's happening now. but to clarify the timeline here -- todd jones was nominated in january. by march, the committee required materials on the nomination had been received and made available to senator grassley and his staff. a planned april hearing over a mr. jones nomination was delayed after the committee was notified of the complaint filed with the u.s. office of special counsel. chairman leahy intended to wait until after osc had finished its work or if it's meant to be confidential before holding this hearing. in late april after these allegations were unnecessarily made public, the chairman decided to proceed so that public heath defend his reputation. today's hearing was originally noticed a week ago.
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it was postponed until today. last week, they notified the complaints made against mr. jones of management failures was closed due to insufficient evidence and that the second allegations made a retaliation for raising the underlying management issues. as senator grassley points out, the parties agree to mediation. that is the procedural status. part of it was dismissed. the other part, the parties have willingly both agreed to read he may should and -- two remediation. satisfied the issues were being resolved. the chairman determine that today's hearing should move forward and he asked me to chair. this past friday, senator grassley notified the chair then he intended to invoke a rarely used senate rule. we have not seen witnesses to be called in hearings involving nominees that are not up to cabinet level.
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he decided to invoke the senate rule to have outside witnesses testify at today's hearing. instead of saying no to that request, the chairman agreed. i personally called senator grassley to let him know then we had agreed to the request. we found our own witness. then senator grassley said he did not have time. they sought to accommodate the ranking member by offering to invite outside witnesses to be cleared to come before the committee today. the witness was not ready. it is the procedural status of that particular allegation. the other thing i did want to note. crime rates are affected by many things, the work of police, prosecutors, but i will note as we looked at the bigger picture here, mr. jones, as u.s.
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attorney from 1998-2001, his first term as u.s. attorney under president clinton, the violent crime rate decreased by 15%. so far during his second tenure, which began in 2009, the violent crime rate has already decreased nine percent. i just want to note that because of the work that goes on between the local, state, federal law-enforcement in minnesota that they have had major successes. the appointed u.s. attorney by president george h w bush and his son, also serving two terms under republican presidents pacific labor but if the allegations in the former fbi letter and he said this. "one year in minnesota is hardly long enough to learn to shovel snow let alone learn what his reputation is. the special agent in charge of the f ei office in minneapolis
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from 2007 until 2011 told the associated press that he had a good relationship with jones. we were in sync. he said he didn't not experience anything like the behavior described. when he had an issue, he was attentive and he responded. i think anyone involved in law enforcement knows there's going to be disagreements, issues. people have different interpretations. there are outside forces at work. in this case, he was supervising two major offices at the same time for nearly two years and it's my belief that the atf deserves a permanent head and i hope we can now go forward with this hearing and with the testimony. with that, i will swear in the witnesses were the nominee. do you affirm that the testimony you're about to give before the committee will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the the truth so help you god?
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thank you. we will start with mr. jones. >> good morning, madame chairwoman, ranking member grassley, members of the committee. thank you for those generous introductions and the recitation of my entire professional career and for the chance to be here today to answer questions. i'm honored to be considered as the president's nominee, as the director of the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and explosives. permit me a moment to thank my family for their incredible love and support. she shouldered much of the burden and joy that comes with raising five kids. my youngest daughter just recently graduated from the university of minnesota and is moving to seattle in the next week to start her career and her life.
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my oldest daughter stephanie is on home leave from teaching in nicaragua. the core group is there in minnesota. my son michael is a graduate student in architecture in seattle and hope you will keep an eye on monaco when she gets out there, but as you mentioned, my oldest son is here. he lives here in d.c.. he works at the house of representatives. he did not get to see much of each other the first few years of his life because i was deployed pretty regularly on the marine corps. if you choose to approve the nomination, he will probably find himself with a new roommate. over the years, my family sacrificed a great deal to allow me to pursue a career in
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public service. that career began in 1977 when i was fortunate enough to do constituency work for senator hubert humphrey who epitomized public service in the best minnesota tradition and he inspired me to follow that path. as was mentioned, after graduating from law school at the university of minnesota, i joined the united states marine corps and that was a decision that changed my life and made me the person you see sitting before you today. my formal leadership training began in the graincorp. i joined it to be a trial lawyer, i was so energized by the experience, the challenges, the spirit and camaraderie basic training that i stayed an infantry officer for the first several years of my active duty. during that time, i learned the importance of concepts like unit cohesion among readiness and
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training, and staying focused on the mission. the marines taught me about leadership and leading people toward a common goal. in the end, i learned it was not ever about me, but the team. it was about the unit, the collective work together to attain that goal. i have continued to employ those principles during the two times i have served as u.s. district attorney in minnesota, a job that it has been an honor and privilege to serve in. my team and minnesota has tackled a variety of complex cases from the largest ponzi scheme to national security work. i have continued to rely on those experiences in my current
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capacity as acting director of the atf. when i came here in september 2011, i found an agency in distress, poor him or i'll undermining the overwhelming majority. -- poor morale. they are absolutely committed to the mission of professional law enforcement. i listen to them. i learned a lot from them. i took firm, immediate steps to address their concerns and the strategic needs of the bureau. i built a new leadership team appointing 22 new special agents in charge, 23 headquarter executives, conducted a top to bottom review of all atf policies and procedures and we have overhauled nearly 50 orders and directives.
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since my arrival, i have worked to refocus the bureau on the mission to combat violent crime and enhance public safety. i'm proud to say the men and women at atf have responded with professionalism and dedication. senator, you mentioned some of the recent events that the atf has been involved in from newton, boston, west, texas, to stockton. we will continue to do our job. should the senate confirm my appointment, i look forward to leading these men and women permanently and to help them carry out this very important mission. i look forward to answering your questions, thank you. >> it looks like you have a happy family behind you there. >> thank you, madame chairwoman. i'm deeply honored to appear before you today as the nominee to be assistant attorney general for the civil division and i thank you for your consideration. i would like to thank the president for nominating me and the attorney general for his support. i have a number of family members here today and with the chair's invitation, i would like to introduce them. >> please do.
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i think i can tell who they are. >> first, my partner richard. i would not be here without the support he has given me over the last 20 years as we were classmates in law school. in addition to being a great father, he's a terrific lawyer and i have been improved by his intelligence, judgment, integrity, and sense of justice. our children, micah lan sebastian, are the joys of my life. they are here today to see a little bit about how their government works. thanks for doing that. i owe it deep debt to my parents for the firm foundation that they gave me. my father, gus, was an engineer who worked his entire career for louisiana power and light. he passed away back in 1996, but he said a striking example for me of hard work, dedication, and character.
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i miss him. my mother, elizabeth, is here along with her husband. mom was the first women's athletics director at tulane university and i watched as she built a program from the ground up. i have kept those lessons in mind as i have learned myself how to be a leader. both mom and harry are the children of people who were in public service. my grandfather, in addition to serving in the army in world war i and ii, i am honored to be following in his footsteps. harry's father was a congressman from new jersey, a republican, in the 1940's. i also have my sister here, janet, a schoolteacher in charlotte, north carolina. she made here about 1:00 in the morning and i'm great that she persevered to be here.
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and one of harry's daughter's, mary, is here. she flew from her home to help mom and harry get here today, so i'm very grateful for that. a number of other friends are here and i'm very touched that they are here. in particular, my colleagues and the justice department. madame chairwoman, it's been a real privilege to work with the talented and dedicated lawyers and staff of the civil division over the past year and it's an honor to be nominated to lead them now. the division's greatest resource is its people who come to work every day with a single- minded dedication to protect the interests of the country and its citizens, whether by defending government programs or by safeguarding taxpayer funds by fraud or protecting the health and safety of all americans. if fortunate enough to be confirmed, i will bring to this job a commitment to zealous
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advocacy and court on behalf of our nation, to giving candidates -- candid advice and hearing all sides of an issue with fairness and respect and, perhaps more importantly, to work with our strong team to advance the interests of the united states. i think you for your consideration and i look forward to any questions you might have. -- i thank you. >> mr. delery, senator durbin will put some questions on the record because he has to go to a defense hearing that's important. i know others will be here and try to return, so i guess i will start to the question. if less of the questions are devoted to your dad, it does not mean it's a bad thing. [laughter] i think any of us can read the
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job ascription of assistant attorney general for the civic division, but how do you see your role? what are your primary responsibilities? what direction do you want to take the department and? >> thanks for giving me a chance to talk about what the division does. there are really two main roles. the civil division defends the government when it is sued, whether it is a constitutional challenge or sued for monetary damages, breach of contract, personal liability, but then we also bring an affirmative cases to pursue money that is lost to the taxpayers it is a fraud, waste, and. or protect consumers and the safety of the food that we eat, the medicines that we take.
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if fortunate enough to be confirmed, i will continue to pursue several priorities. the most important, for the department, protecting national security. we play a role in litigation regarding these issues. i will also continue to use the powerful tools to pursue fraud against the government. the last fiscal year, we had a record recovery of just about five dollars billion under the false claims act. i know senator grassley and others have supported it and i will continue to make it a priority if confirmed. finally, our work related to health and safety, pursuing cases like the one we brought a few months ago against executives of a peanut butter manufacturer because of a salmonella outbreak. we take very seriously our partnership with the fd and we will continue to protect the safety of the food we eat,
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medicines, toys children play with, the light. >> very good, thanks. we have three victims from the peanut butter outbreak from minnesota including a grandmother who one day eat -- ate a piece of toast. thank you for going forward with that somewhat difficult case. the atf has not had a permanent director since 2006. it required the director to be senate confirmed. senator durbin has put a bill to put it in under the fbi because of the fact that we just cannot continue like this. it's not fair to you. it's not fair to the agency. that has to change. one way we can show that is by confirming year as director. there are many reasons why the heads of certain agencies arm confirmed and that is because we want him to be fully accountable to congress and also the men and women to work in the agency. first, why is it so important
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for the atf to have a confirmed full-time director? what will a confirmed director mean for the roughly 2300 agents of the atf? >> thanks for that question, senator. i have given it a lot of thought. i have learned over the last two years that the atf is a very resilient organization and there are great public servants there. it's absolutely critical that they have a permanent director. having been twice confirmed by this body as a united states senator, this organization is one that's really important. you have two impact morale and it sends a message not only to the employees within the atf that they have been so long without a permanent director after having several actors over the last seven years, it does impact morale. i think it's also a fundamental question of good government.
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as you mentioned, being a confirmed appointee does carry a certain amount of gravitas to you can be a more effective grad -- so you can be more accountable to this body, the organization that you work with, in this case the department of justice. decisiveness is a critical quality for anyone in a leadership position of. i think it is also absolutely critical and a series of factors, no matter how skilled, it does diminish the credibility that you are going to have a of operations and the vision will stay sure in the mission will be accomplished. at its core, it's good government to have a confirmed
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director at all of the agencies in the executive branch subject to senate confirmation. >> we all had concerns about what happened during fast and furious. you are named acting director surely after the fast and serious whistleblower came forward. the president named eu because he thought you had the knowledge, experience, and leadership to put it back on the right path. can you tell us the steps taken and to safeguard you have put in place to make sure operations like that cannot happen again and that any operation as phillies that it up the chain of command? after something like the fast and furious comes to light, we want to know what appropriate disciplinary action is being taken against the people who acted wrongly. can you talk about the steps you have taken to to discipline or terminate people involved? >> with respect to your first question, senator, it's important to note that the inspector general did did do an extensive report and made recommendations to identify problems. when i arrived at the atf in september 2011, as i mentioned, it was an agency very much in
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distress and i went to the phoenix field division and i visited the ground zero for a lot of the controversy that evolved. one of the first things that i did was look at who was in a position of responsibility. who was in leadership positions? there have been a number of changes. none of the individuals identified in leadership positions during fast and furious incident are currently in place. as i mentioned, we have 22 new special agents in charge. we have a number of assistant directors. six of the eight assistant directors who helped me, as a team, lead the atf are new. all of them have experiences as former special agent in charge. we are continuously in the process of implementing, following through, and executing on many of the recommendations made in the ig's report. we did not wait for that report
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to come out. we knew that there was a failure in leadership and oversight. one of the first things we did was issue and clarify our firearms transfer policy. with the underpinning being public safety always trumps investigative needs. we have reviewed our undercover order. we have reviewed the confidential informant order. we continue to exercise and monitor case program and these are just some of the internal fixes. more than anything else, it was important to keep the agencies i on the underlying mission, which is public safety. the atf play such a critical role within the department of justice and the fight against violent crime, explosives, arson.
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it's important that we do not have public safety suffer as a result of continuous critical examination. >> one more question and then i hope to keep it under 10 minutes, if senator grassley could do the same. we want to give all the other senators a chance to have questions. there have been questions raised about the decreasing number of federal prosecutions in minnesota with respect to violent crimes including gang, drug offenses. i worked closely with you and your predecessors, the other u.s. attorneys to make sure that we tackle the tough criminal cases. they also work with your successors to make sure that we made the most effective and efficient use of federal resources. i still remember the u.s. attorneys office, focused in
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minnesota, caught one of the terrorists in our state and our office, the county attorney office, started doing many more white-collar cases, at higher amounts than before. we did that when bush was president working with the u.s. attorneys office and we took on significantly more white-collar terminal prosecutions, so i understand how there can be this advance low depending on resources depending on the types of crimes. gang and drug cases are somebody focused on as county attorney, so i'm hoping you can address the concerns that have been raised and explain why some of the numbers out of the u.s. attorney's office may down. is it a trend? is it an anomaly? is it something else? thank you. >> i believe the statistics that you cite only tell part of the story over the last several years. the department of justice in general, and in particular the district of minnesota, which is somewhat unique, and that we cover the entire state and we have a full range of federal
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challenges. we have indian country, a border with canada, a major metropolitan center with all of the respective violent gun crime, gangs, drugs, and financial fraud issues. it really has been a challenge in this time of diminishing resources. not that the lack of resources is any excuse to be smart about how we utilize those resources. as you well know, our partnership with our state counterparts, the 87 county attorneys in minnesota, is absolutely critical for us collectively to do our job. but we have essentially done is look at what our uniquely federal issues that the state cannot handle, doj priorities, like a national and indian country, and where we have concurrent jurisdiction, as in the gun and drug area. we are making smart choices so that organizations who deal in drugs so that armed career criminals are appropriately handled in federal court, as you mentioned earlier. we have had a string of very complex cases that have gone to trial. there is a trial going on right
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now with frank venice. there are two national security cases, so the people in the district of minnesota u.s. district attorney's office, both in the criminal and civil division, have been working very hard with a very active caseload. our bottom line is we are focused on impact cases. we are focused on cases that augment what state and local prosecutors do and we are focused on cases that fit within the priorities of the department of justice. as a result, the overall numbers have dropped, but we are making a difference. >> thank you very much. i turn to senator grassley. >> madam chairman, before i ask questions, there are a few
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things i want to clear up in your rebuttal to my statement. she's absolutely right that there has been six years without a confirmed head, but remember that it was two years after the president was elected before a nominee was even sent. we cannot confirm anyone that isn't sent. the committee asked for additional information for the nominee, which was never provided. therefore he never had a hearing. if the committee asked for -- no information, and the information is not given, then you cannot have a hearing without it, that obviously is either the nominee or the white house's fault. then his nomination was withdrawn at the end of the last
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congress and mr. jones was nominated january 24. then we started talking about the hearings in april. then there is one other point that i would make and that's in regards to what you said. i just want to point out that when this goes to osc and mediation, there's a big difference between being resolved and the chairman in his letter to me saying that it is resolved. osc, as i said in my statement, has made very clear that it is not resolved. thank you, mr. delery, fourth -- for speaking about false claims. i ask every attorney general nominee, because i am the
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author of that legislation, and i'm very glad to know that you will be using it vigorously. mr. jones, you would not expect me to not be concerned about whistleblowers. i'm sure you know my reputation in that area. not every whistleblower would necessarily be right, but every whistleblower is entitled to a hearing, either when they are personally affected and retaliated against or, in the case of somebody bringing information forward, they ought to have that information considered. i've come to the conclusion a long time ago that whistleblowers are about as respected in their organizations as skunks at a picnic. i think they need a lot of consideration because they give us a lot of valuable information. on march 6, 2013, an employee of
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yours filed the complaint with the special consul alleging you personally undertook "a prohibited personnel action" against him and reallocation -- in retaliation. this employee has 30 years of federal employment. the employee alleges that after bringing serious concerns about mismanagement in the office to your attention that he was suspended for five days without pay and involuntarily transferred to a new section in the office. the complaint also raises allegations about the employment of an attorney to a supervisory edition despite concerns about her performance by federal state law enforcement and judges on the federal bench.
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a special counsel wrote to us stating that the complaint was referred for an investigation in april this year and that the investigation remains open with the possibility of mediation. because the majority scheduled your hearing, this is still likely pending, which is why i bring this up. you were quoted in "the star tribune," by saying," i'm looking forward to meeting with the committee and answering their questions." mr. oswald, former special agent in charge of the fbi in in minneapolis wrote a detailed letter this january alleging you mismanaged his office and had " an atrocious federal reputation in the law enforcement community." there was a complaint filed with the office of special consul against you, which corroborates the account.
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have you been interviewed by the office of special consul? if so, when? >> to answer your last question first, i am aware that the osc has requested information from our office in the district of minnesota. because those complaints are confidential as a matter of law, i have not seen the substance of the complaints, nor can i comment on them. i have learned more from your statement today than i knew before i came here this morning about the nature and substance of the complaint. i can assure you that i have always taken very seriously the duty my office has to follow all of the laws and regulations, not engage in prohibitive personnel practice, and to be
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very sensitive to the issues around those you have so vigorously advocated for with respect to whistleblower protection. >> you have not been interviewed by special consul? >> i have not. >> other than the fbi special agent in charge and the assistant u.s. attorney who filed the complaint to the office of special consul, are you aware of any other individuals who would raise similar concerns? if so, who? >> i'm not aware of any other complaints your honor -- senator. this is like a courtroom. [laughter] i feel like a defendant. [laughter] >> as a farmer, i feel honored. have you taken any adverse personnel reactions against anyone who complained about how you're managing the office? >> you know, senator, thank you for the question. i have had the opportunity to be in a management position both in the public and private sector. i have always tried to approach that position of responsibility with respect for those that i
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work for in a collaborative nature. but always with expectations. >> i think the answer is you do not feel you have taken any adverse action against anyone who complained about how you are managing the office? are you aware of an anonymous complaint filed july 20, 2012, signed by employees of the u.s. attorneys office for the district of minnesota? those employees wrote -- well, let me go on. they wrote, quote since he became u.s. attorney, he has instituted a climate of fear, pushed employees out of the office, this missed employees wrongly, violated the hiring laws by the eeoc,". did you learn who these individuals were? did you take any adverse
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personnel actions against them? >> i recently saw a copy of that anonymous letter. again, i have not taken adverse action against anyone that i've worked with. i was quite surprised by the nature of the allegations. whether it is at the atf for the u.s. attorney's office, in both situations, i came into a less than perfect environment and, quite frankly, i have been an agent of change. change is hard sometimes for individuals to deal with and i have always focused on doing the right thing for the right reasons. sometimes, they are not happy about the direction overall. >> i'm including in that statement about adverse personnel action and unwanted or retaliatory.
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does that change your answer? >> again, i'm not familiar with the osc complaint. i'm at somewhat of a disadvantage with the facts. i can say that privacy considerations do fit into the picture. i have a certain awareness about disciplinary process, but it has never been my practice to engage in retaliatory employment practices. >> will you answer the complaints about the assistant u.s. attorney? that's why you're here today. how are we supposed to mask about these allegations if we cannot ask you? >> quite frankly, i'm at a disadvantage.
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there is a process in place. i've not seen the osc complaint. i know our office, working with executive office of u.s. attorneys, is in the process of responding to the issues you have talked about this morning, but i have not had the opportunity to either be interviewed or have any greater knowledge about what the osc complaint is. >> i'm uncomfortable asking these questions. the chairman said this was the opportunity for us to have this interview with you and to get these questions answered. of course, you agreed to answer all of the questions, so i would ask that you answer, but if you don't, the way it has to be. do we want to vote? >> i appreciate that, senator grassley. i also wanted to put in the record letters from law enforcement in support of todd jones including the fraternal order of police, the national association of chiefs of police,
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former u.s. attorneys including the republican appointee under both presidents bush. several minnesota county attorneys from across the state, the national district attorneys association, several former assistant u.s. district attorneys and a former magistrate judge for the district of minnesota. i wanted to read one of the letters into the record from beth hill to todd jones. her son, wife, and 15-year-old daughter were murdered in a brutal home invasion. unfortunately, the case was therefore two years when he returned to the u.s. attorney's office in 2009. they asked him to review the case. mr. jones office investigated and obtained convictions against the perpetrators. the both of the men were sentenced to life in prison on three counts of murder.
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in her letter she says "in my sons keepsake box, i have a hand written note that you sent me in response response to my plea to you for justice for them. you did not promise me anything but a commitment to review my case when you came into office. your note gave me hope and the strength to continue to fight for justice for my children." she wanted to wish him well in his new leadership role. "when a job feels like you cannot go on and the odds are stacked against you, think about mothers like me who will rely on you to have helped stop senseless violence and move this country forward." i thought those were pretty powerful words and i will include that letter in the record. we also have letters of support
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for mr.delery from previous administrations, both republican and democratic, that will also be entered into the record. i turn it over to senator blumenthal. >> thank you both for being here today. thanks to each of you for your public service, particularly mr. jones. your service in the marine corps as well as the united states attorney's office in minnesota and mr. delery, your service and the department of justice and private litigation. mr. jones, as you well know, there's been a lot of debate about ways to promote more prosecution under existing law that is designed to prevent gun violence. even for some of us who strongly favor improvements to the law, the question is what can we do to promote more rigorous, vigorous enforcement of existing laws that relate to either ill legal purchases or illegal possession of firearms?
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my own view is inadequate resources are a major reason for the lack of sufficient prosecutions or the failure to increase the number. i'd like you to comment on what you view as the reasons or the ways that we can improve the rate of prosecution. >> two thanks, senator. one, you need a vibrant and healthy atf. part of the reason i'm here for this process is because they need a confirmed director. they've never had one. for all the reasons previously mentioned, it's an impediment to give stability, direction, guidance. >> i heard your testimony and i agree that a confirmed leader is essential to provide direction, vision, and the basic leadership. in addition to that? >> the atf is not healthy. the biggest challenges its human capital.
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it has been subject, as some federal agencies, to the ebb and flow of hiring. one of the biggest challenges in the next five years is the attrition among the special agent community. the special agents are at the core of our criminal investigative process. because of the mandatory retirement age for federal law enforcement, we're going to have have nearly one third of our special agent community become retirement eligible. the resources and the opportunity to bring on new special agents does take time. it has not been sufficient for a one-to-one replacement. >> what is the median age of your agent? >> the special agent community
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is one of the more senior and federal law enforcement. i don't know the median age, but it is a very experienced workforce, and because of the nature of the work the atf does in arsons, explosives investigations, it takes time to develop develop that expertise. we call it the brain drain. we are aggressively, even in the current environment, looking at the knowledge transfer. that human capital for continuity and maintaining our current status and abilities is probably one of the biggest challenges we face over the next several years. >> would resources help you to attract more qualified potential agents at the atf? >> it helps, but some of the other constraints we have been operating under, a hiring freeze, some of our abilities to bring on agents. there's a lot of talent out there and there's a lot of
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talent inside the bureau, but what we need to do is very quickly match that up so we don't diminish our capacity. >> the atf has a strong history of responding to high profile incidents and investigations, as you did in sandy hook. perhaps you can talk about the atf's roll under your leadership at sandy hook, which was particularly important to my state of connecticut, and to make, having spent a lot of time there with the community. >> the tragic school shooting at sandy hook was a seminal event for us personally and for atf. atf is one of several law enforcement components. our immediate response in addition to bringing an agent from around the region was, of
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course, to ensure the safety of the school and community but, more importantly, work with other federal and state groups including the state police, as is our practice, to focus on the firearms issues. there is an examination of the firearms licensee that mrs. lanza purchased the weapon from, initial or in six, but always in partnership with the connecticut state police, local police, and with our brother agency and the fbi. >> i want to thank your agency and the special agents who were therefore not only the rigor but also the sensitivity that they demonstrated from the very first hours that they arrived and began interviewing everyone involved for potential firearms violations including some of the licensed firearms dealers in the area and others who might have knowledge of working very closely with our state
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police who led the investigation. it is ongoing, as you know. my thanks to the special agents who were there and to your agency. thank you, madam chair. >> acting director jones, you stated that none of the individuals in leadership during the fast and furious are now in place. what does that mean? were they removed? or they just gone by virtue of attrition? what does it mean? >> what it means, senator, is that individuals who were primarily in the executive service have either retired or resigned or have left the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and explosives. the personnel process can be dicey. the privacy act issues sort of preclude me from giving you a bigger disk friction, but from the former acting director down to the group supervisor in the
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phoenix field division, they are no longer in positions of responsibility and leadership within atf. >> was anyone disciplined? >> yes. >> are you at liberty to share who and when? >> not really because of privacy. i'm being very dicey. we can respond once again clearance. i'm being very careful and very respectful of the privacy issues that are involved with making disclosures with some specificity, but there was
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discipline imposed through the chain of individuals involved. >> when you are at liberty to share that, we certainly need to know that. can you tell us what disciplinary action was taken without revealing names? >> we have a range of options internally ranging from termination from employment, which would then be subject to a different appeals process, and emotions from the grade down to moving people into nonsupervisory positions. >> which of those were taken? >> a combination of all of them. >> termination? >> i think the full range of our disciplinary tools were utilized in handling the issues that arose as a result of the ig report and our own internal affairs examination. >> from termination to do motion? -- demotion? >> because of the leadership is edition and the supervisory nature, there were individuals
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who were eligible for retirement. in some instances, the disciplinary process was cut off by the fact that individuals did submit resignations. >> is that described for all of those? >> not all. >> some of them were actually demoted or terminated? >> some individuals were on the disciplinary process and opted to retire. if they were eligible. >> it's important for us to have that information then for what can be shared to be shared. i can tell you, particularly coming from arizona, which was the scene for a lot of this, there is a lot of mistrust. people don't think that anyone has been held to account at any time. it's difficult for any of us to say with any surety that they
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were without this kind of information. we'll be following up. to the extent that information can be put out in terms of disciplinary action, honoring any privacy rules that we have, i think it's important to do so. let me just bring up one case during your tenure as acting director of atf, there was a disagreement between the reno atf that was alluded to by senator grassley. there is a disagreement between the reno atf that resulted in the atf not being able to submit cases for prosecution for a full year, 2011-2012. i have asserted that the atf's lack of action constituted a public safety threat. yet when the issue is brought
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to your attention, atf whistleblowers said you mentioned that you had bigger things to worry about and it was not until there was a letter from senator grassley that the issue was addressed and action taken. by then, it was just to transfer agents to other offices which left the reno office understaffed. was this issue handled appropriately in your view? >> this was one of the issues that i call, my inheritance. let me assure you that public safety was never on risk in the district of nevada. as a u.s. attorney, i was very dismayed when i heard of a disconnect between the federal prosecution office and the atf. one of our challenges has been making sure that we have accountable leadership and oversight so i can assure you and the public in nevada that we have new leadership in the san francisco field division. we have very good communications with the special agent in charge, very good communications with the reno office, which is a satellite in nevada, from the vegas office.
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we have shifted agents, as i said. it is a resource challenge of where we are putting our limited resources based on needs in the violent crime front. we currently have two full-time, soon to be three, agents and reno. we have enhanced that working relationship and we are on a good path to fix whatever concerns that have historically existed there. >> you believe you moved swiftly enough on that? >> yes, i do. >> thank you. >> senator franken. >> thank you, senator clover char, for chairing this hearing. i apologize-- thank you, senator klobuchar. i apologize for coming late. i'm going to also have to leave again for the markup.
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mr. jones, thank you for your service to the state of minnesota. i know senator clover char -- klobuchar feels the same way. after taking the bar exam, you did not join a law firm but joined the marines. i just wanted to start out by thanking you for that. i also went to take this opportunity to knowledge the many brave atf agents who responded courageously and professionally to the bombings up the boston marathon and the recent texas plant explosion. mr. jones, your nomination to be atf's permanent director arose after the shooting of sandy hook, but other recent events remind us that the atf's role extends beyond gun issues. mr. delerey, thank you for meeting with me. i enjoyed our discussion a few weeks ago.
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congratulations on your nomination as well. you have done some tremendous work on issues like marriage equality and holding credit rating agencies accountable for their role in the financial collapse. thanks for being here to answer the committee's questions. i will do right to my questions now. mr. jones, since you were named atf acting director in august 2011, you somehow managed to run the bureau while also serving as u.s. attorney in minnesota. you have basically been asked to do two full-time jobs.
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if confirmed, you will be able to devote your full attention to the atf. it's important because we have been without an atf director for about seven years. can you explain what it will mean for the atf to finally have a permanent, confirmed director in place? >> thank you for the question, senator. i think it is absolutely critical. as i mentioned earlier thomas at its core, it is a good government issue. not only does it send a positive message to the men and women within the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and explosives but it sends a good message to the industries we regulate and our state and local agency partner that there is a permanent person who has been given the stamp of approval to lead the organization going forward. it has not diminished really over the last seven years with the men and women in atf performing their job, but it has been a challenge to have the change in direction. when i was in the service, i remember leaders that i had that were good and the lessons taken away from them.
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just as importantly, i remember the leaders that were bad and the lessons taken from them. having the steady hand that can share with the men and women at the atf and the vision, the mission, the execution to keep the american public safe in those areas where we have jurisdiction, i think tom is absolutely critical. >> thank you, mr. jones. the atf works closely with state and local law enforcement authorities to investigate arson, bombings, gun crimes, acts of terrorism. i have heard from some minnesota law-enforcement officials who are concerned about the budget cuts from the sequester and that they could hamper this type of collaborative work. what is sequestration's impact on atf?
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what is sequestration's impact on atf? >> specifically with the atf because it has been somewhat under resourced, as an organization, we are resilient, but it will hurt. the president proposed 2014 budget, i believe, gets us on the path of being healthy with the anticipated worst-case scenario from the sequester, potential sequester cuts. you're cutting bone and you are impeding, i believe, our ability to be as effective, as we have been, as lean as we have been over the last 4, 5 years. >> thank you. would it be ok if i asked one more question? i was disappointed the senate was unable to pass the manchen- toomey amendment.
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if they cannot pass a background check, they can simply go to a gun show. the amendment would expand the background check system to cover commercial gun sales. i've heard from a lot of minnesotans who support the proposal regardless of their views on other aspects of the president's gun violence prevention initiative. we heard a lot of testimony from law enforcement leaders who said that the background check would save lives. what are your thoughts? >> i believe that the background check system that is currently in place, since 1998, has kept legal firearms out of the hands of nearly 1.5 million bad guys has been effective. is there room for improvement? yes. can we deal with the current system? we have.
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i followed the debate with some interest and i will defer to this body and congress generally to do what you do with respect to expanding or not expanding background checks. the current system is very effective in working within the limits that it is currently working, but there's always room for improvement, including tightening up what could be characterized as the gray market in firearms because of the background check only applying to those who choose to go to licensed firearms dealers to purchase or obtain guns. >> thank you. thank you, madam chair. >> senator grassley for five more minutes, then senator schumer, senator cruise. -- senator cruz.
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>> since you said you cannot offer any other answers on the osc complaint, our vote is something you should have heard about, the letter from the fbi official, the letter to the committee. did you hear of complaints by the former special agent in charge of the fbi agent in charge, mr. oswald? >> the answer to your question is no. i was quite shocked when i saw the copy of that letter because my belief during the one-year that mr. oswald was a special agent in charge charge of the minneapolis field division, my perception was that we have a professional working relationship, so i was very surprised when that letter was submitted to the senate. >> in 2009 after confirmed by the senate, this was one of the allegations that mr. oswald made.
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>> in 2009, when i became the u.s. attorney for the second time, i spent the first month talking to every single assistant attorney in the office. i received several resignations from individuals who had been serving in supervisory roles. i formed a leadership team that remains in place and has been very effective in helping move the district forward with the goals and objectives of both the district and the department of justice. >> did you remove the chief of the narcotics and violent crime section of that office? >> i made management changes when i came into office for the second time in august and september of 2009. >> did you remove that person? >> did i remove that person? >> the chief of the narcotics and crime section. >> i received the resignations of most of the supervisory ausa's as is a common practice
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when i became u.s. attorney. >> you did appoint a new chief to the section? >> i did. >> how did you know the individual you appointed as chief to the section? >> how did i know them? >> know that person, to that section. the narcotics and violent crime section. >> i know many of the ausa's, i have known over 20 years so i know individuals by reputation and i know individuals personally. >> did she have previous management experience? >> in terms of -- who are you speaking of in particular, senator? i do not want to engage in guesswork here.
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if the question is am i did an individual that remains as our narcotics and violent crime chief, assistant u.s. attorney carol kaiser have previous management experience, the answer is yes. she is a very experienced prosecutor from the northern district of georgia where she was an ausa doing asset forfeiture. before that she was a dekalb county state prosecutor in georgia and was brought into the u.s. attorney's office prior to my arrival under the previous administration. she was very experienced and had been in office. >> i want to follow up on one question since he was asking about management.
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before you you were u.s. attorney, who was the u.s. attorney before that? >> there was a nearly two-year period where judge mcgill was the u.s. attorney. before it was rachel paulis. >> what happened to rachel paulis? >> there was a period of challenges and she resigned as u.s. attorney. >> she was appointed when attorney general gonzales was in and one of the first act, when attorney general new keys he came in, -- mukasey came in, one of my suggestions was mr. miguel. it was two years after this turmoil which made the front page of many newspapers in the
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country, is that correct? >> that is correct. >> thank you. senator schumer. >> thank you. i want to thank you, director jones for your service in the attorney's office and now is acting director of atf. you have a long and distinguished career. you are past for u.s. attorney by this committee a few years ago and now, of course, it has taken a long time to move your to get your nomination made, approved by this committee and by the senate. so i would like to first say that i think having a vacancy at this agency is a big mistake. such an agency has to have leadership to provide direction to many employees who work here and keep americans safe, so let me ask you this question. what would happen to the fbi without a director? don't you think that could be used to say that the united
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states is weak on terrorism, if we had for years an acting director of the fbi? i do. i want to know your opinion. >> it is sort of comparing apples to oranges because the fbi has always been part of the department of justice. it has been 10 years since atf has been part of the department of justice and since 2006 that the director of atf has been subject to senate confirmation. the analogues are not quite right but to your point, that continuity in leadership has been absolutely essential. when i left government service in 2001 and then -- when i came back in 2009, knowing 9/11 happened in the interim, the federal bureau of investigation as not the same organization. -- that i knew when left after serving as u.s. attorney before.
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i have known mr. muller for a long time. they have continuous, outstanding leadership over a long period of time which has allowed things to structurally settle and to stay focused on those missions that are in their bailiwick. >> it is my view having a lack of the atf director signals the same thing. we do not have the continuity, gun trafficking, crime. the kinds of things atf is important. it is not good to have a vacancy for so long and i would hope that your confirmation would be moved. i am not directing this at any particular person. in agencies that people do not like what the agency does -- epa emma -- epa, d.c. circuit, we get vacancies there and they're blocked for a long time. your record is exemplary.
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you were approved by this body unanimously as u.s. attorney. i would just hope we could move forward. i have a few specific questions. i know my time is running out. the undetectable firearms act, this deals with 3-d guns that expires at the end of this year. i want to commend your agency working with tsa and secret service to keep us up-to-date on this. when the law was passed, there were few guns that could be brought undetected through a metal detector. that has changed. aren't there guns that fire one shot that can be brought through the metal detector? these 3-d guns? >> our prior technology branch as you mentioned, working with secret service and tsa and the fbi and other law enforcement organizations is in the -- process of testing variations of the 3-d gun and some other
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components that are somewhat troublesome, but the fundamental material for that, various grades of polymer, does make it undetectable without metal components. >> do you think we have to reauthorize the undetectable firearms act and would your agency be prepared to submit some recommendations if any changes are needed? >> we are always available to provide technical guidance and advice to my given our-- given our expertise, and i think the evolving technology that underlies 3-d printing on a variety of friends certainly generates a sense of urgency, particularly since the undetectable firearms act sunsets. >> my time is expiring. i want to thank you for your service and for continuing under very difficult circumstances and i want to thank you for your
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calm demeanor in this hearing as well. >> thank you. >> we hope that continues. senator cruz. >> mr. jones, thank you for being here. you are a currently sitting united states attorney. you previously served as chairman of the attorney general's advisory committee of the acting director of the atf. you are perhaps uniquely situated to discuss the obama administration's priorities and record concerning gun prosecution. i would like to ask you a question. is it a priority for the obama justice department to prosecute felons and fugitives who attempt to illegally purchase firearms? >> thank you for that question. one of the priorities of the department of justice has always
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been, during my second tenure as u.s. attorney, protecting the american public from violent crime, including violent firearms crimes. >> is that a yes? >> that is a yes. >> would you describe it as a high priority? >> it is one of the major priorities. >> a major priority. >> yes. >> i would ask you to reconcile that comment that it is a high priority with the data. in particular in 2010, out of 48,321 felons and fugitives who attempted to illegally purchase firearms, the department of justice prosecuted only 44 of them. 44 out of over 48,000. at least for me, i have difficulty reconciling those hard facts with the assertion you have made that it is a high priority of the obama justice department to prosecute felons and fugitives who try to illegally purchase firearms.
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>> during fiscal year 2012, the department of justice did 85,000 federal criminal cases involving defendants and one out of seven involved firearms offenses. the check does generate hits of people who are potentially prohibited. you are correct in that the number of folks who are prosecuted federally for what has been coined lying and trying is a small number, but the number is not tell the story about what the department has done with armed career -- criminals. >> my question was not about armed career criminals. my question was is it a priority to prosecute felons and fugitives who try to illegally buy firearms? that is why -- you could have said no, it is not a priority and i would suggest the data demonstrate it is not a priority of the obama justice department to prosecute felons and fugitives.
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in my view, that is completely unacceptable. do you think prosecuting 44 out of over 48,000 felons and fugitives who tried to illegally buy guns, do you think that is an acceptable allocation of prosecutorial resources? >> prosecutorial resources are thin and there are a number of issues that u.s. attorneys deal with ranging from national security financial frauds and we have tough decisions to make. the reality is as a first line prosecutor and someone who exercises their discretion on a regular basis, if, given the choice between doing a lying and trying case which we have not done in minnesota, and doing -- we have not done a lying and trying case. >> your office has prosecuted zero felons and fugitives who tried to illegally purchase a firearm? >> we have done over 150 felon and possession armed career criminal cases, we have done straw purchaser cases on the spectrum of prosecutions that
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u.s. attorneys can do, lying and trying cases both because of the the dedication of resources and the potential deterrent impact and the sentence that is going to be involved are not commonly done, which is underlying that 44 figure that you cited earlier, senator. >> i have to admit i find it remarkable that you testified to this committee that it is "a major priority of the department of justice to prosecute felons and fugitives who attempt to illegally purchase firearms" and then you respond to this committee that it is an acceptable allocation of prosecutorial resources to prosecute just 44 out of over 48,000, and even more astonishingly, you inform this committee that you have prosecuted zero. my question to you is, are there other things you would describe as major priorities of the department of justice that at
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the same time, you have chosen to prosecute zero cases, and forcing those so-called major priorities? -- enforcing these so-called major priorities? >> without you respect, just so the record is clear, major priority of this department and justice is protecting the american public from violent crime, including violent gun crime. i want to make sure that it is clear so that what my testimony is is not twisted into something that it is not. your question, sir, was -- >> are there any other so-called major priorities in which you have prosecuted zero cases? >> we have made hard decisions with our resources. priority one is national security. we have made major efforts on that front and we have made major efforts on protecting our community from island crime including gun crime. we have made major efforts protecting the safer -- the
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safety of people's nest eggs and fraud. we have a smorgasbord of decisions and all of our work has been consistent with the art meant of justice's -- department of justice's priorities. -- priorities of this department of justice. >> one final question. the grassley-cruz legislation that received a majority of votes in the senate, 52 senators including nine democrats, it was the most bipartisan of all the comprehensive gun legislation produced, it provided funding for prosecuting felons and fugitives who attempt to illegally purchase firearms because in my judgment and the judgment of the majority of the senate, it is utterly unacceptable for this justice department to refuse to prosecute felons and fugitives who attempt to illegally purchase firearms. in your role as acting director of the atf, or as u.s. attorney, did you support the grassley-cruz legislation and do
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you support that legislation? >> i am not familiar with the specifics of that legislation. i am not in a position to answer the question because i am not familiar with the legislation. >> very well. thank you. >> thank you. i wanted to include a few things on the record. first of all, discussion here is to place about prosecutions of cases and i discussed earlier how crime rates are very important and in fact i'm a -- in fact, in texas, the violent crime rate is twice the rate of the state of minnesota. between 1991-2011, and airing many of those years, you were-- during many of those years, you were the u.s. attorney in the state, mr. jones. the data i have here is that the minnesota violent crime rate in 2011 was a little over 200 per 100,000 inhabitants.
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the violent crime rate in texas was about 400. i also have the crime rates of every member of the committee that are here. i thought it was interesting to look at. i would note that the only two states that have lower crime rates per 100,000 inhabitants has been minnesota -- are the states of utah and the state of minessota arehan the states of utah and the state of vermont. again, there is many things that contribute to crime rates. i would point out that this idea that somehow during your term that work is not being done just is not supported by these numbers and i would put that on the record. i also would put on the record the fact that we have many people here from law enforcement in this room in support of you, mr. jones. the executive director of the fraternal order of police trade we have the international association of chiefs of police.
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and the director of the state association of chiefs of police. we have prince george's county police chief, representing the international association. we have chief john evans, and stephen hudson, and the maryland state police and marcus brown. with that, i will turn it over. >> thank you. i too am pleased to hear about the support for the nominee from the icp and fop and many other professional organizations. thank you for your presence here today. i look forward to your service. my questions will also focus on acting director jones. i suspect you have had a more
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comfortable confirmation hearing than you might expect. >> they have been attentive during the hearing. >> if i might give the comment about the support your nomination has received from the law enforcement committee -- community. tell me about your perspective on the importance of collaboration and information sharing between federal, state, and local law enforcement. and tell us something about your experience in the miami undercover investigation and how that strengthens that experience from minnesota and now in the atf. >> one of the strength that i have discovered over the last 20 or so months is the acting -- as the acting director is the reinforcement of my belief that there are outstanding working relationships with atf and state and local law enforcement. it is absolutely critical given the mission that atf has on the
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arson front, which is often times understated and underknown. but absolutely critical expertise and that has us working with state and local. on the gang and violent gun crime front, we have 600 task force officers that work with atf special agents around the country that we could not do that work without that collaboration and that cooperation. our relationship with the state and locals is absolutely critical and we have always valued that relationship because we cannot get it done without that level of work. with respect to miami, it was -- it is an ongoing prosecution now but it was an excellent example of a number of operations, surges, undercover storefronts,
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that we have engaged in as atf. it took nearly 95 violent criminals off the streets in miami gardens. some of them went state, some went federal. over 200 weapons. it was a collaboration not only with state and locals but with our sister agency, the dea. >> some concerns have been raised about the magnum case. who was your client, who are you representing? -- who were you representing in that role? >> the department of justice represents the united states and courts of law around the country both in civil and criminal matters. the client agency in that matter was hud. >> and making litigation decisions in behalf of the united states, in your view, is it ethical and appropriate to take into account not only the judgment of an agency with enforcement responsibility, but also the consequences of a
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litigation decision that might impact the broader ability for the government to enforce civil rights statutes? is that your view? >> it is my view and i have expressed that before in sessions with senator grassley's staff. >> speak if you would about whistleblowers. that was of real primacy for me in my local government service. some communications have been made to suggest that you have attempted to suppress whistleblowers and i wanted to give you an opportunity to speak to that am i to answer a concern as to whether you let the atf as active -- acting director in a way that would support whistleblowers or the contrary. >> thank you for giving me the opportunity to reinforce and sort of dismiss a misperception
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-- a sort of misperception that i have engaged in conduct that suppresses whistleblower rights. nothing could be further from the truth. i have represented whistleblowers in private practice. some of my most satisfying experiences have been and the-- in the representations of those who put themselves in the position of being whistleblowers. i know firsthand from my former clients how difficult that can be in terms of your perception internally and the challenges on you personally. i have the utmost respect for both the underpinnings and the purpose of whistleblower protections. it is again a fundamental good government effort and it is absolutely critical to us doing our job effectively as public servants with responsibility for public agencies. >> a lot of the challenges that exist at the atf that you are
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responsible for addressing or cleaning up when you became acting director were in part a result of an ongoing operation that came to light because of whistleblowers. do we have a commitment from you that if confirmed, you will continue this view of welcoming and supporting whistleblowers within the agency as appropriate in order to ensure that this good government tracked this is -- practice is part of the atf going forward? >> you definitely have my assurance. the inspector general's report exemplifies the importance that whistleblowers pay in the fast and furious issue. we have since i have been there enhanced our ombudsman program internally. we have strengthened our relationship with the doj ig in their ombudsman program and any misperception that i do not believe in open channels of communication and respect for whistleblower protections.
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i hope it has been and will continue to be diminished. >> thank you for your testimony and your service as a marine and service as the u.s. attorney and acting director. congratulations and thank you for your testimony as well. >> thank you very much. senator grassley. >> a common complaint i have heard within atf is that u.s. attorneys' offices are not willing to pursue straw purchasing charges. according to one account, you reportedly said of gun and drug cases, "we could do that all day but we have chosen not to because that is not the best use of our resources." how would you expect to encourage agents in the atf to pursue gun crime when you would not think it is a high priority
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for yourself as a u.s. attorney? >> gun crimes is a high priority for me as the u.s. attorney. >> is that statement wrong? >> without knowing the context or the specifics of the statement, it is difficult. >> it was in the "minneapolis star tribune." >> it was an article that addressed what we discussed earlier as to why the drop in terms of the overall numbers and -- in criminal prosecutions and again, it really is driven by three things. our resources, our collaboration with state and locals, and what can we do that they cannot do, and focusing more on impact cases as compared to be solely driven by the numbers.
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i believe that was the context because in particular, in the drug and gun area in minnesota, there is a pretty vibrant felon and possession statute. each of the last few years, county attorneys in minnesota have executed in excess of 800 individual cases and this is subject to a reporting requirement they have annually. working in collaboration with them, what we have done, sometimes formalized as what we call exile light in minneapolis but generally throughout the state is made sure that those-- make sure that those most egregious offenders do come into federal court without impeding on the jurisdictional prerogatives of our county attorneys who do yeoman's work working with us to keep the streets safe.
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>> you're chair of the attorney general's advisory committee from 2009-2011. you remember the southwest porter strategy group. they drafted a statement. it stated, quote, merely seizing firearms through interdiction will not stop the firearms trafficking to mexico.end quote. the draft strategy emphasizes identifying the members of armed trafficking network, the application is clear. the strategy places a higher value on gathering intelligence about trafficking networks than on arresting straw purchasers. now, were you there at the october 26, 2009 meeting of the southwest order strategy group border strategy group? -- border starategy group? did you approve a strategy to address straw purchasing cases and is it a good idea to go
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after straw purchasers whenever you can? >> to answer your first question, i was not there. i was brought in as the chair of the attorney general's advisory committee in september. we were ramping up with a revitalization of that. i was not an active participant on the southwest border working group. i was a participant on the northern working group because that had more relevance to the district of minnesota. with respect to your last question about opinions about the firearms case, we have made it clear from the outset that public safety will never be sacrificed for prosecuting or investigative needs. public safety is first and foremost and what we strive to achieve in our investigations. >> when you took over at atf, he
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-- you set out to clean up shop. rather than dealing with employees who are clearly responsible, you waited for an inspector general's report. after 18 months after the inspector general's report, atf has not reported a single individual being disciplined for fast and furious. no one seems to be fired. instead several people are allowed to retire or terminate for other reasons. i want to ask you about a series of individuals that are all criticized by the inspector general. tell me whether atf will hold them accountable for fast and how about the atf group
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supervisor? how was he disciplined? >> that special agent was subject to the internal disciplinary process. there were repercussions. i am very sensitive in this context about the privacy concerns. he was subject to the disciplinary process. >> let's move on. how about the assistant agent in charge? >> the former agent is retired. >> what about special agent needles? >> special agent needles is in another capacity within atf.
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>> so nothing has really happened to him. >> what about this one? >> there still resolution pending that should be forthcoming. >> so nothing has happened to him. the deputy director mcmahon? >> retired from atf. >> some of these individuals are involved in other controversies. i understand the internal affairs division found fault with one's involvement in 2008 -- 2008.rate manner. in a separate matter, he sold his firearm to a suspect one week after's office opened a
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gun trafficking case on that person. this is currently under investigation by the inspector general. another is a gun that gillett recovered ata a murder scene. however instead of him being disciplined when you took control of atf in 2011, he was allowed to wait it out and retire in 2012. why did you allow gillett to retire rather than hold him accountable? >> with all due respect, there are processes in place and these processes take time. you mentioned the privacy act. the specifics of each of these cases, i would like to make sure that you understand that the american public we did not stand
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-- understands that we did not tand idly by and not take correct of action, including disciplinary action. they are sometimes painfully slow. all in the individuals you mentioned did get their due process. many of them were ably represented by counsel. >> can you tell us what discipline was proposed as a result of the 2012 report? >> as soon as we can disclose that to you, we will. >> atf director william was the official primarily responsible for supervising. inspector general criticized him for his failure to do so and the
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result in fast and furious. the atf was going to allow him to retire early at the age of 50, but let him go on extended leave and earn credit for his retirement while working a high- paying job for jpmorgan at the same time. it was not until after this unusual doubled tipping arrangement to your attention that atf attempted to correct the situation. atf was not aware. how is his status possible that one of your senior leaders at the headquarters could be overseas for months while drawing a federal paycheck without atf knowing it and working for a private company? what does that say and how you're running the agency? >> senator, mr. mcmahon was one of individuals terminated. he was not allowed to retire. he was terminated. >> he was terminated?
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>> he was terminated. >> was that after i brought it to your attention? >> the issue that you raised about his leave status and his employment status role subject to a process. -- were all subject to a process. we appreciate the information enhancing our level of knowledge about things that were already in play internally. the end result was that he was terminated from atf. >> you have stated on november 3, 2011 that you issued a memorandum saying that the atf must take all reasonable steps to prevent criminal misuse of firearms. can you provide a copy of that memorandum to the committee?
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>> i believe that is something we will provide. >> what guidance have you provided on -- >> i'm not quite sure i understand the question. >> well, you have issued some guidance to the atf on the issue of questioning suspected straw purchasers -- what does that guidance provide? you have people questioning straw purchasers. >> we have special agent sometimes involved in the investigation of firearms trafficking that would lead them to question as any other potential suspect.
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i'm not aware of any special guidance that would carve out straw purchasers. >> what about guidance issued to atf about cooperating federal firearm licensees and their role in an investigation? >> with respect to the issue, i know that after i arrived at atf, one of the issues that we addressed were weaknesses and lack of clarity on our confidential informant order internally. we did a review of that as he did with the undercover order. -- we did with the undercover order. that was based in part on things that did not proceed as they should in the district of arizona. we have greater clarity on the use of it as confidential informants in place.
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>> despite the prohibition against keeping a gun national registry, i know that atf keeps a suspect gun database. is there any legal standard that atf agents are required to meet before adding information on a purchaser to a suspected in the database? >> if you're talking about our e-trace and tracing ability, crime guns entered in with serial numbers, many others are well aware there is a firearms protection act that precludes any gun registry. it would be illegal to do that. >> i have heard atf agents going -- heard of atf agents going
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to federal firearms licensees and taking pictures of every form of a certain of type of gun in the store. is this acceptable to you? >> i'm not familiar with the practice. i do know that industry operations and investigators, all 700 plus of them have a range of responsibilities. they work hard to do the appropriate inspections. that is difficult work. >> my staff says to me that we are not talking about tracing. we are referring to suspect gun
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database which was used extensively in fast and furious. >> as i said, -- >> i will let you answer that in writing. >> yes. >> thank you. >> on october 2012, the house committee on oversight government reform subpoenaed all meeting notes and minutes and follow up reports that refer or relate to operation fast and furious during the time you were chair. the justice department never produced any such documents or certify that nonexistent. -- certified that onone exist. do any such minutes or notes exist? >> i do not have any knowledge beyond the fact that relevant documents have been collected.
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that matter is probably part of litigation. i'm sure he could provide clarity about ongoing litigation involving production of documents pursuant to subpoenas. >> let's suppose you didn't know and maybe that's legitimate, but if you could respond to that question in writing. >> to the extent that i have those documents still, i will respond in writing. >> anyplace that you can put your hands on. on april 12, 2013, i send you personally a letter requesting that you provide any personal notes from the advisory committee you might have taken regarding fast and furious. you have not provided any such
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notes or certified to meet that -- to me that you do not have any such notes. i have you not responding. -- why have you not responded? >> i do not have any recollection of that specific request. all documentation related to my tenure on the advisory committee is at the department. i'm sure review and production processes have taken place. >> u.s. attorney for the district of arizona was also on the attorney general's advisory committee during the time you were chair. have you ever discussed operation fast and furious by name or otherwise? if so, when? >> senator, i did serve with him. he is chair of the subcommittee for the southwest -- our conversations were always at a higher level than any specific
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case that were ongoing in the district of arizona. i have no recollection of discussing that case specifically with him during my time as chair. >> burke testified as a result of fast and furious, you raise the issue of title iii wiretap. what do recall about those discussions? >> my general recollection was an effort through the community to try to enhance their capability to review title three applications generally. >> we recently learned from a follow-up inspector general's report that a deputy attorney general reprimanded mr. burke for his role in leaking documents to the press. the leak was part of an attempt
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to undermine the credibility of a whistleblower. it is a perfect example of every agency in town. what was your opinion of his unauthorized release of information about atf agents participation in an undercover operation? >> i think the circumstance with dennis burke is unfortunate. i know what the rules of the roads are with respect to proper communication and the u.s. attorney manual. i do not have an opinion one way or another on the facts and circumstances. i know as much as you know on the public record of interactions between former u.s. attorney burke and the deputy attorney general. >> when and how do you learn that work was responsible for the leak? >> that is the answer. i knew as much as you knew when it became part of public record. >> did you ever look at that document?
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if so, describe. >> i do not have any we-- recollection of a discussion like that with mr. burke. >> i have some questions i want to put on the record. >> all right. >> one is from mr. lerner explaining the investigation of mr. jones is in mediation, but not in a closed manner. >> for the record. >> then i have a whistleblower letter from the white house addressed to senator mccaskill and cc'ed to me describing
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the administration's views of whistleblower protection. to encourage such individuals of waste, fraud, and other improper behavior has been steadfast in its commitment to that principle and ensuring that individuals who make lawful disclosures received legal protections that they deserve. this is highlighted. this administration has repeatedly made clear that it will not tolerate -- i believe i talked to every president since reagan about protecting whistleblowers.
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do you know what one president said when i suggested you ought to have a rose garden ceremony honoring whistleblowers? being a whistleblower is a patriotic thing to do if you have to be right about what you are whistleblowing about. he said, if we did that, we would have 3000 whistleblowers coming out of the woodwork. isn't that a nice thing for the president to tell me? and it wasn't this president that told me that. i believe what the president said here, but if it doesn't get down to the lowest levels. and i hope if you are confirmed, mr. jones, that you will do with -- what the president has said his administration wants to do and do that. the only thing i would say in conclusion, if you had agreed to a staff interview, these things that we are discussing here could have been discussed in a private forum. i would like to ask you why you didn't do the staff interview we
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asked. >> senator, i look forward if confirmed to have regular communications and oversight capacity with you in your staff and members of this body. >> that does not really answer my question why you did not respond to our request that you give us staff interview. >> i did have an interview with respect to a particular matter. >> what about other matters? is it embarrassing? >> i am a member of the department of justice. >> they told you not to? >> under some circumstances, i do not have the freedom of action as i did as an individual citizen. >> ok. thank you. >> thank you, senator grassley.
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i'm going through some of the discussion today. i appreciate his focus on whistleblowers. i think it is important. he has done a great service and calling attention to this. i also appreciate the willingness to question people. that is what we are here to do. thank you, senator grassley, and the other senators who have taken part in this hearing. another question? >> no. i asked that the record stay open a little more than one week.i think there's a lot of things that can come up yet. >> ok. we will keep it open for two weeks. all right. what would you like? >> until we get done. [laughter] >> i think we'll keep it open for two weeks. if you want another discussion, that is up to you. for now, two weeks. i want to clarify a few things.
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>> is it ok with you if i leave? i have the secretary of commerce coming. >> that is very important. she is a good nominee. hope you have a good meeting. i want to conclude by going through what we have heard today. there are a lot of attacks that have been made against mr. jones. i would note coming from law- enforcement and having experience some of this myself that it is not easy to manage lawyers and police. you learn any move forward. that is important to keep in mind. these 2300 agents deserve someone who is permanently in charge of them no matter the title of agency or political disagreements with work that is being done.
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the fact that we have an agency of the united states government that we currently do not have a permanent chair of that we have left dormant, it is wrong, and having mr. jones coming to this hearing knowing exactly what he will be subjected to, that is -- courageht there. right there. we have been talking about criminal work in minnesota. i think he has explained his decision. others might disagree. a lot of things go into this police work, fbi work, prosecution efforts. having the violence rate go down, nine percent decrease with the latest stats.
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i would also note that overall, minnesota is doing a good job. secondly, the support from law enforcement i have mentioned over a period of time, i think that is important. i think that case is important to have on record. senator grassley and senator cruz asked about fast and furious. if you're in the private sector and something went crazy wrong, one of the things you look at is whether people are still in place that were in charge when this happened. as mr. jones has pointed out, he changed nearly two thirds of the people in charge of the agency
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when he came in after fast and furious. there have been disciplinary proceedings that have been underway and concluded. i understand why he cannot attest to every single name of each person. he will work with senators who are concerned about that. it is important to note that he was brought in after fast and furious after clear mistakes are made in the agency to make changes. we should not forget the good work that is done by the atf. with sandy hook and the investigation of boston and how quickly those terrorist were apprehended and also what happened in west, texas. a horrible tragedy. atf was there in the front lines and figuring out what went wrong. day in and day out, there are cases you do not read in the news where solutions are found and investigations are conducted.
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that is the last part. i know that person or the whistleblower in minnesota. mediation is very important. when you look at everything together, anyone in law enforcement would be able to find a series of problems within the agency. what you have to look at is what mr. jones has done since he took over atf. is that worthy of merit? showing someone who comes in and willing to take responsibility instead of keeping their job in keeping happy with their family and staying in the state they are in and taking on a hard job and do above average in terms of trying to clean things up.
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is that to be rewarded or criticized? i gave my daughter in the car one of those cliche quotes. i took out that old roosevelt quote, it is not the critic, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, but the credit belongs to the man who is in the arena and whose face is marked with dust and blood and sweat and comes short again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcomings, but he strives to do the deed and spends himself in a worthy cause and to who fails does so greatly. so that is place shall never read with the cold and timid souls who will never know victory or defeat. when i tried that on my
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daughter, she said that's just about men. they only used the word man. i tried to get beyond that to say mr. jones was willing to take on a very tough assignment. i think we owe these agents to have a permanent director. i think we should get him confirmed and i hope despite all the work of senator grassley ringing up these important questions which we must do when we have a nominee before us, that we are able to move forward and do this in a timely manner. thank you for your fine credentials and the work you have already done with the justice department and your most amazing family seated behind you who continued -- if you can manage the civil division of the justice department as you manager kids, you're going to do a really good job. that was positive, so that's a good day. , want to thank the nominees their families, everyone who has
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been willing to sit through this hearing as well as the senators who are willing to attend. i hope we can move forward with this nomination. i'd like to thank my staff and senator leahy and senator grassley's staff. the hearing record will be open for two weeks unless the chairman decides to change that and we will move forward to a vote on the nominee. thank you. the hearing is adjourned. >> the house and senate return for business monday. the senate devils at 2:00 eastern for speeches, turning to judicial nominations at 5:00. votes are expect that 5:30. later, the focus will turn back to the immigration bill with amendments being offered and dated trade harry reid says he
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plans to finish the bill by the july 4 recess. the house gavels in at noon for speeches with legislative work starting at 2:00. a billhe issues are banning abortions after 20 weeks and the farm bill, which includes nutrition programs. watch the house on c-span, the senate on c-span2. >> president obama has nominated jason furman to be the next chair of the white house council of economic advisers. in fuhrman earned his phd economics from harvard university and a masters from science and economics from the london school of economics. if confirmed, he would succeed alan krueger him who is stepping down this fall. this is about 10 minutes.
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>> it has been about five years since an economic crisis and recession has cost americans their homes in the sense of security that built up over time. by the time i took office, my team and i were facing bubbles that had burst, markets that had cratered, bank after bank on the verge of collapse, and the heart of american manufacturing, the auto industry, was flat lighting. this meant hundreds of thousands of americans were losing their jobs each month. this was a scary time and nobody had any idea where the bottom would be. four and a half years later, businesses have created 7 million new jobs over the past 36 months. the american auto industry has come roaring back. we are producing more of our own energy and consuming less that we import from other countries.
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our deficits are shrinking rapidly. the cost of healthcare is slowing. the housing market is rebounding. people's retirement savings are growing. the wealth that was lost from that recession has been recovered. all of this progress is a testament to the grid and resolve of the american people most of all, but it is also due in some measurable way to the incredible dedication of the men and women who helped engineer america's response. two of those people are standing next to me. two very smart economists, alan krueger and jason furman. today, i can announce that alan is heading back to teach. his beloved students at michelle's, motter, princeton university. when they get together, all they can talk about is princeton and they are all very proud. those of us who did not go to
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princeton have to put up with it. [laughter] i am proud to say that jason furman has agreed to replace him on my council of economic advisers. during the crisis, allen stepped in to help engineer the response as assistant secretary and chief economist at the treasury department. he was so good that we had to beg him to come back, extend his tour to serve as the chairman of my tonsil economic advisers, where he has been the driving force between actions we have held -- we have taken to restart the flow of lending to small businesses and arm workers with the skills and need to fill them and reduce income inequality and rebuild aging infrastructure and bring down deficits in a responsible way. he is trayvon by the basic bargain at the heart of our economy, the idea that hard work should be rewarded. he is motivated by the principle that no one who works full-time in
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the greatest nation on earth should have to raise their families in poverty or below poverty levels. his commitment to a rising, thriving middle class shines through in his often passionate resignations and, at least for an economist, they are passionate. [laughter] and the policies he has pushed. i know this will continue to be a focus of his research. are here today. i know they are all looking .orward to having alan back now that alan has some free time, he can turn to another burning passion of his, rocco nymex, the economics of rock 'n roll. this is something he cares about. seriously, and wednesday, he is giving a speech at the rock 'n roll hall of fame. he has a t-shirt under his suit
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-- don't showgue it. he has become one of my most trusted advisers and he's a wonderful friend. i am sad him go, but i and he will continue to do outstanding work and fortunately he will still be available for us to consult with periodically because he is a constant font of good ideas of how we can further help the american people. thank you very much. [applause] i am also proud to nominate and other outstanding economist to take his place. jason furman is one of the most
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really an economic minds of his generation. don't take my word for it. you can talk to other economists who know a lot more than i do about it. he has won the respect and admiration from his peers across the political spectrum. chairedthesis advisor the council of economic advisers under george w. bush. josephrize winner stiglitz hired him to work for president clinton. after leaving president clinton 's white house, he finished his phd in economics and required -- aquired a reputation as world-class scholar and researcher. but public service kept calling and he kept answering the call because he believes if -- because he believes deeply in it. from working at the world bank to developing new proposals to strengthen health and retirement programs, he helped to shape
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some of our most important economic policy debates. when i asked him to join my team, even though his baby daughter -- you were this big -- had just been born, he agreed to serve once again. over the last five years, i have come to trust not only his head but his heart, because he never forgets who it is we are fighting for -- middle-class families, folks who are working hard to climb their way into the middle class, the next generation. when the stakes are highest, there is no one i would rather ,urn to for straightforward unvarnished advice that tells me to do my job. he understands all sides of an argument, not just one side. he has worked tirelessly on every economic challenge of the past four and a half years from averting a depression to fighting for tax cuts that help workfa


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