tv Rod Rosenstein Speaks on the Rule of Law at CSIS CSPAN March 2, 2019 10:33am-11:39am EST
this morning at 11:30 a.m. eastern. at 8:00, vermont senator bernie sanders formally announcing his candidacy for president in brooklyn, new york. sunday morning, new jersey senator and presidential candidate cory booker will speak in selma, alabama on the anniversary of the clash between civil rights demonstrators and police in 1965 known as bloody sunday. was on c-span, c-span.org, or listen on the free c-span radio app. >> deputy attorney general rob rosenstein said new attorney general william barr would make "the right decision" when asked about the mother investigations report. the comments came during a conversation at the center for strategic and international studies on the importance of the will of law. this is just one hour. . >>
[applause] thank you very much for those remarks it is wonderful you can be with us today. i am the senior advisor at ces i asked where i lead a project on the democratic institution and i have the great privilege to be introducing deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. after he makes his initial remarks, we will move to the chairs and have a conversation and we will take your questions. you all have notecards i encourage you to be thinking as remarks are given about questions you would like asked then lift them up the team will collect them and bring them up to me. the deputy attorney general
today will speak about the importance of defending the rule of law. and what that means and in particular with authoritarian regimes such as those in china and russia. if you are better suited to address these issues. rod rosenstein has spent 29 years in the justice department to uphold the rule of law under five administrations and at least ten confirmed attorneys general. he has the distinction to have the longest-serving attorney in american history. it seems appropriate to spend a few minutes describing the deputy's distinguished career with the justice department given that his tenure is coming to a close. graduating from wharton school of business university of pennsylvania went on to harvard law school and editor of law review.
on his way to being a successful lawyer he then changed his plans after an internship with the us attorney's office in massachusetts. the acting us attorney at the time was robert mueller for combat experience working with him of great intellect and integrity set him on a different path. after serving as a law clerk to justice ginsburg on the court of appeals, he joined the justice department in 1990 as a prosecutor in the criminal division again under the leadership of robert mueller. he later served as counsel to the attorney general as the clinton administration a special assistant attorney general in the criminal division. from 1995 through 1997 he
would detail to independent councils assisting with the whitewater investigation then became assistant us attorney in maryland 1997 through 2001 when he went back to the bush administration a principal deputy to the assistant attorney general for the tax division. in 2005, george w. bush appointed rod rosenstein the us attorney for the district of maryland. the only attorney in the country appointed by bush later kept on by president obama and again held over by president trump. rod rosenstein's long tenure is marked by dramatic decline of other violent offenses attributed to enforcement and prosecution to have robust
collaboration between prosecutors and police and the community with crime prevention. equally impressive to demonstrate his strong commitment to preserve public trust in the justice system by going after corrupt police officers and correctional officers and elected officials and as he pursued repeat offenders in large-scale drug dealers. 2017 appointed by president trump to be the 57th deputy attorney general of the united states perk up but the responsibilities included advising and insisting the attorney general on department policies and to provide overall supervision to all organizational units of the department of justice perk a most famously he appointed robert mueller a special prosecutor to oversee the impartial investigation and until recently the doj official responsible for supervising the investigation. at his confirmation hearing he
pledged to work to defend the integrity and independence of the justice department to protect public safety, to preserve and seek justice to advance the rule of law and promote public confidence to go deputy attorney general rod rosenstein knows what it means to be bound by the rule of law and how important it is to earn and sustain public trust in the principle of a justice system fair and impartial. and then to talk about these issues and i ask you to join me to welcome him to the podium. [applause]
. >> i regret we have exist - - exhausted all the time for audience questions. so the opportunity to meet before we began this event and one that we talked about was fake new so i feel obligated to correct the record that i regret i am not the longest-serving us attorney in history. i think i am in this century which is not that long so far. [laughter] but in my home state of maryland served 19 and i only served from 12 so i am far from having that distinction. but my career of the department does go back so far that iv member bill barr was the attorney general of the united states. [laughter] actually deputy attorney general and then ascended there after that we are very
grateful and fortunate to have him back. that that does demonstrate a commitment to the rule of law. and then to accomplish that. and the power to govern and how that governing power should be exercised. john adams advocated those who exercise government power to act in accordance with the fair process while respecting individual rights.
and to the fourth century bc when the greek philosopher wrote aristotle wrote, it is more proper that law should govern than any one of the citizens. president trump issued a proclamation rather than the winds or the dictates. for we have ensured liberty. the president recognize law provides a framework and it's best to reflect moral choices and the principle decision to protect citizens fundamental rights. it is a system of restraint and then everyone to a
prosperous society to allow businesses to enter two contracts protection for discoveries from dangerous criminals that allows us to resolve differences so kennedy explains the rule of law system you have a right and have an obligation to give it to you. in many countries that concept and that does not exist. if it does not just achieve the appearance without accomplishing it that i can
summon the spirit but will they come when you call them and he agreed us pawn rules that it is not sufficient. not just about the written precept. with the character. those that were faithfully implemented. and it is crucial with james madison to recognize an federalist 51 if you first enable the government to control the governed and then
to fight a war on the soil and then to operate for decades under the confederation. the audit constitutional correction established for a new form of government then to agree on the constitution and with the executive and judicial branches to protect against the concentration of power to allow each branch to balance the others. as we see from time to time the founders recognize that. and with a constitutional convention and then what type
of government was created? you have a republic if you can keep it. some people think politicians are responsible for keeping the republic but franklin spoke to an ordinary citizen. a woman who at the time did not even have the right to vote. but he said it was her responsibility, not hers to keep the republic. lesson is a constitutional republic depends on people or citizens conscientiously acquiring the rules. and not to enforce the rule of law we respect that because of the result of a fair process and the objective analysis and
application of the predetermined rules. to have a central pillar of our system federal judges by design do not defer to popular will nor are they home to the legislature. it to say what the law is independent and impartial they take an oath to administer justice to impartially perform duties. the judicial branch is independent it serves as a check and not a subordinate and american institutions and the people who compose them often fall short of their ideals and how they have the rule of law between a system that is just a protective of
human freedoms. now they share a concept if we seek to build bridges for adversaries it's important to understand the differing visions and china for example, the supreme court urged government officials to resist the independence january the party directive to protect the parties political security having independence from the executive branch the chinese judiciary duty to further the party goals and to dictate the rulings. also study in contrast the
presumption of innocence to make the allegation of wrongdoing we need to prove it we must present evidence with rules governing disability and call witnesses to be subjected to vigorous cross-examination that's why to refrain from making allegations with the charges we are prepared to prove in court in a trial the defendant gets a right to present its own evidence that is over, only if we improve our case to 12 citizens. and to be unconvinced that it prevails they may sincerely
believe that the prosecutors look at what is true. in contrast to presume guilt to be as soon but that is irrefutable they received the evidence before trial with the examination by the defense. little or no opportunity to impeach witnesses the united states criminal defense without a warrant has a right to appear within 48 hours and with that wrongdoing and lawmaking arrest still has a
right without unnecessary delay. and in the united states only if there is a judicial planning cause to believe there was a crime. not with the assertion of the government official but it still requires release before trial with clear and convincing evidence to be a danger to the community if waiting adjudication at trial. in china those that are enshrined in law with inter- pool has forcibly detained by its own government and in china that's not a violation to be detained under a new
form of custody of retention in custody under that form a suspect is held at the undisclosed location and denied access to legal counsel and family for as long as six months. and in the chinese province those of ethnic leaders native to the province of those minorities that are detained in internment camps. they are forced to renounce their culture and religion in face political reeducation. as today and the moderate era the process authorizes the arrest of anyone for violations that include culture and reading prohibitive religious books.
many people have been arrested and detained for long periods of time without charge or trial or due process. the citizens that operate in that way are subjected to rule through law rather than of the law. it does not charge anyone serving as an independent with the political influence with the american system. instead a mechanism for rulers to maintain control and quash dissent. the absence of a culture that respects rule of law well protections are seldom enforced. and those nations and not only that domestic populations but also beyond their borders and
then with far-reaching effects china for example, appears to retaliate pressure on countries and those authorities at the request of the united states facing serious charges we saw the extradition sensitive military and the data sent. and in that act of reprisal chinese authorities apprehended who lived in china without incident they are accused of spying and threatened the wife ultimately was in six months before they were released the husband did not meet with a lawyer for almost a year. meanwhile the defendant
charged in the united states consented to his transport here retained a lawyer of his choice, received all protections afforded a criminal defendant in our system including the right to a fair and open trial. in some cases other authoritarian nations shield nationals from the fair administration of justice. for example, they refuse to give legal assistance in response to justified request from the united states and other countries for evidence necessary for prosecutions. was transnational crime increases so does the complexity we face cross-border criminal investigations with witnesses and evidence span the globe. countries depend heavily on the expeditious international cooperation to extradite fugitives to hold them too accountable to cooperate
otherwise the person operates in that country so with those safe havens, criminals it is a violation of law. some countries undermine the law to forcefully repatriate fugitives. the agents known as fox and team sent to the united states to track down chinese nationals accused of intellectual crimes this is under false pretenses to track down fugitives with intimidation tactics to coerce them to return to china. inside they possess authority preventing people from leaving the country without approval sometimes they see this as a form of coercion to compel the victim's relative or family to
return to china. one american teenager is now trapped in china being used in an effort to coerce his father to return to china. using them as political ponds with the state department caused the state department to issue a travel advisory last night. in the united states we tries to faithfully discharge our responsibility to assist law enforcement holding criminals accountable and respecting individual rights. when chinese citizens commit crimes and other countrie countries, china neither extradite them nor holds them accountable and in contrast as well as foreign nationals and
over the past five years we extradited 95 americans to cooperate with legal assistance with their investigations and prosecutions. we do someone a fair-minded assessment and last year for instance the united states had a chinese fugitive who allegedly embezzled $485 million from the bank of china. combating transnational crime requires an act to react reciprocally and transparently and in good faith. when a fair-minded evidence establishes a significant crime nations should not shield citizens from fair administration of justice or process. some also seek to achieve their ends or global justice norms. for instance china looks to
replace the budapest convention of cybercrime that is now in effect with 60 nations including the united states because we have a common interest and enhances the flow of electronic evidence to facilitate the investigative crimes while balancing civil liberties and privacy liberties. but to say it allows individuals owners of data to control it in its place russia seeks to allow to enhance the ability of regimes to control communications of the information sharing between nations and to investigate cybercrime. we reject that effort to undermine that goal governed by the rule of law and protected by international cooperation. i want to emphasize the people
of china, russia, and other nations do not share our respect for individual rights and are not enemies. it's good to seek common ground with a new era of competition he extends an open hand to challenge american influence and value and wealth we will build a great partnership not in a manner that always protects our national interest for go the rule of law is central to our national interest. but we cannot expect any system to be far less but to respect individual rights and punishes violators. consider the murder of jamaal khashoggi.
many factual disputes of who is responsible for that killing but we must agree on the principle that each person should be held accountable because a government that operates under the rule of law cannot condone the cold-blooded murder of nonviolent dissidents. let me conclude with an observation as a serving the department of justice with colleagues who promote the rule of law jointly held by the president and local law enforcement, we share a noble calling to pursue justice and called by the additional safeguard of the judiciary we work regularly with law enforcement partners in china and russia and other nations to advance our interests but also with an understanding
that our responsibility to serve as the rule of law. our constitution requires us to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and posterity. to be an interconnected world we should defend and cherish legal principles and processes. and we should do so in practice. thank you very much. [applause] . >> thank you for those terrific remarks and excellent discussion about the difference between the rule of law and the rule through law and the competing visions of
the importance of the independent judiciary. i recall well when i went physically to beijing the under secretary of the department of homeland security also often with your colleagues from the justice department to have conversations in beijing where we would try to explain why we would not as political leaders in my case, simply direct law enforcement or the justice department or the courts to take action. and i had a sense that to enhance that mutual understanding about our system but do you see any prospect for change? what is the prospect of those competing visions are likely to change?
and what is the rule of international organizations in promoting a global concern a very important point that this is a sophisticated audience. all-americans appreciate the expense we do engage with allies including china and russia . . . . we need to understand that they are coming from a different culture. they are coming from a system that has different values. we need to find a way to engage in american values while recognizing the limitations that are partners in law enforcement colleagues in other countries
have as a result of the system in which they operate. we do have folks in our government who understands that well and folks i've traveled with and who participate when we meet with representatives of foreign countries. it's important to understand the goals to advance american interest, changing values in foreign countries is a pretty big task. i think the primary goal ought to be a way to find a way that our values are focused. i discussed that the foreign nationals are violating the foreign laws we need to make sure they held accountable. we need a mechanism to return those folks here to hold them accountable under the rule of law. that's why organizations are really critical and to make sure that organizations share and operate under our values. a few months back the contest for the presidency which was one
by law enforcement officer from south korea because tools like that, allow fugitives to be stopped in foreign countries are subject to abuse. the candy abuse. if people who are seeking them are not appropriately forcing the rules. organizations like that are an opportunity for us to ensure that our values are respected in our own interest. in addition to that, it gives us an opportunity to communicate our values and principles to leaders of other countries which may have an impact on the way that they view their legal system and forms. we need to be realistic about the limitations in how other countries are going to operate their systems. >> so you made the point in your remarks, you talked eloquently about our aspirations for an impartial justice system and
operating to the role of wall that was not always perfect. and certainly there is legitimate criticism when we fail to reach our aspirations and construction of work on behalf of judicial reformat but on the project i leave here at csis, we are looking at and have gathered abundant evidence that russia specifically has chosen to enter that debate in ways that are pernicious and design not to because better, but in fact to weaken support for the institution of her justice system. and we have seen this in social media where they pour gasoline on the flames of division that engulfed social media, when those divisive issues come up against the justice system, choosing judges and prosecutors of being really puppets of an
establishment of political leaders, we see this quite pervasively, and wondering do you have a sense that americans realize that the information affirmations and propaganda campaigns are not just about elections, which is where most of the public attention seems to be focused. you spoke in aspen, about one tree in the forest, give a sense that there is a growing awareness of these broader campaigns to undermine palouse of democracy whether it's media, the justice system? >> i hope that there is growing awareness which is an opportunity to expand it perhaps. it is important to expand that. there are efforts by four incumbent trees russia particular. we see it played out the scheme
last year particularly russian nationals with fermenting controversies surroundings the 2016 presidential election, that is just one example. it isn't just somebody woke up in 2016 and decided let's try to influence an election and let's do this one thing, we are involved in relationships with rivals who have international names that conflict with ours. so modern illness is working with the fbi and other agencies to come back, his foreign influence efforts, efforts to axle trait technology for example, secrets from american companies repeat unfairly, we can combat that through operations, and we combat it through criminal prosecutions which involve corporate federal
prosecutors. also my role, is to make the public aware. and to make targets aware, companies, educational institutions that are targeted by foreign nationals. in the average american needs to understand what they are reading on the internet may not be what it appears to be. that is not a challenge unique to foreign campaigns, their efforts to see people all the time. through the internet and advertising that the particular threat that we faced regard to foreign government is the ability to bring a significant amount of resources and concentrate them on particular issues where they believe they can have an impact. i think all the efforts that we are taking, i think we will be successful both in combating them and minimizing the foreign efforts, but also in immunizing americans by warning them about the challenges that we face.
>> one of the narratives that we see in the evidence that we have gathered in the data that we are looking at, russia is particularly pushing imprecisely the notion that you raise about competing visions, of the justice system. a law is simply political leaders. and that in fact that is a narrative that they are trying to come vince americans that our justice system, our legal system is just a tool of political leaders, and we solid most recently and solid across social media but we solid laid out very clearly in last september against the russians private dock the engaging and propaganda efforts. where there were specific instructions given to portray muscular moeller as a topic quote of the establishment. and lots of efforts around the
packing but also the d.o.j. and fbi including herself. >> i had noticed. [laughter] >> but i wonder if you are concerned about the impact that these narratives might have for example on the public's willingness to accept the outcome of the special prosecutor's investigation. >> you may be disappointed that i'm not going to answer that question directly. i don't comment on open investigations. i am more optimistic than your question suggests that you are. about the american people. i think that you can be misled if you follow the internet or cable tv about what american people think and how
appropriately skeptical they are of information that if they simply don't believe everything that they see on tv or read on the internet. my experience in terms of people that i deal with in the daily life, outside the beltway but even inside, people are appropriately able to balance the considerations and so i am optimistic about it, but i think it is important that we continue to highlight the threat, not just that particular case or any particular government official but when you got a government you have to recognize that you will be subject to criticism, that's part of the job. i think people are able to step back and evaluate how the government is doing and not be distracted by critiques like that one. >> and we have looked at the influence operations and they are coming from other adversary nations, how to account to them, one of the key elements is
building public resilience against the messaging not just taking down messaging, but deterring the messaging in building the public's ability to be in the face of disinformation campaigns and it's one of the reasons that i was so grateful that you are willing to take time today to come and talk about the importance of our system and the understanding and cherishing the system. what is your sense about the value of continuing to do that in the importance of civic evocation and re- instilling a jig patient in this country as a way that strengthens against these operations. >> i think it's critically important. i think i see it frequently about the constitution. the further that we get most
people take redelivery for granted. unless they recognize how much depends on the governmental structures that we have in place in the culture that supports it. i make it part of my mission whenever i speak, i occasionally speak to student groups as well as lawyers in general audiences, i try to make a point of educating them about the constitutional system. i've seen it in my own children, they were still in high school when i was nominated for this position. they went to the confirmation process with me. it was eye-opening for them to see the separation of powers in the tension between the branches play out. i'm talking about the confirmation here. even then, all the subsequent events you'll see all the more so and they understand, as people pay attention to the issues they understand that democracy is messy. it's a messy system but designed to be that way. at the product and the fact that
people don't have a major tendency to believe what anybody tells them. what the government tells them, what the media tells them, a result in a messy process. i do think it's important to communicate that the freedom of the product of a unique constitutional system, unique in the world, it's a better system than the system that is in place and other places. it doesn't mean it's perfect, it doesn't mean it can be approved upon but i think it's important to educate people upon the office because they don't want to take things for granted. people group today in the world is more connected. and when i gripped the world was small. wouldn't you did have communication with people outside your neighborhood. today are kids are growing up reading things that are posted all over the world, and it's important for us to make sure that we communicate to them about what is unique in our system. i fully support the civic
evocation efforts and i try to do my part. >> when you're doing that today we are grateful for that. along those lines i love your reference to ben franklin's famous remarks about republican he can keep it. and the way that you see the obligation on every one of them. quite often there is a remark about the national anthem that not only start to the question, but it ends with a question. does the star-spangled banner still way over the land of the free in the home of the brave? i'm on a campaign to get stadiums and ballparks to put the? at the end. we're going on a spring training this weekend. but i do think, how do we get across to more americans, that's a question that is asked of them every day. they have a role in answering it. is not just to appreciate the
wonderful system that we have, but that we will lose it if we don't all understand that that system is there because of us and we have an obligation to sustain it. >> thank you for pointing out, we don't know what franklin said, one was a recording device, so it's attributed to franklin. in the star-spangled banner, that is an insightful data for. the star single banner is which we sing about games originally was a poem, a poem with a series of questions, he didn't actually know when the sun rose, when the star-spangled banner was still waiting. he had to find out. and i think it is a useful illustration of that point. they were fighting for liberate they did not take it for granted. in today we should not take for granted. i think it's important for us to
engage in that kind of debate and talk about why our system is profitable other systems and why to continue to improve on it. >> in your confirmation hearing to be the deputy attorney general you talked about the values that you learned growing up in your small town of pennsylvania. one of the values was to try to do things better than you found them. those of us that even privileged to serve in leadership positions in government share the objective and goal as we enter into office. as you approach the end of your 29th year career in the department of justice in your time as deputy attorney general how are you feeling? in terms of what you have been able to accomplish and about the places that you are leaving. >> i have thought about that.
and we need to recognize that when we take these jobs, i actually feel very confident about the department of justice because the people that i work with, in the mist administration. which is an outstanding group, and people are working with the career folks who are enforce the rule of law, not everybody agrees that our policies, that's what elections are about changing policies, but the principle the department are being forced when we find people that are wrongdoing by employees, we are taking action. not as quick as everybody like because we do follow processes obviously but but we are taking appropriate action and we are promoting these laws and i think when you look back it's always hard when you're caught up in any issue of significant policy to be objective about it but i'm very confident when i look back in the long run on the year the department of justice, we will be proud of the way that the department is has conducted itself in the president will
deserve credit. bill barr, jeff rosen's, these are folks that we can count on to promote and preserve the wall. >> along those lines, we have a question about what counsel you would give your daughters on public service particularly in law enforcement and the department of justice and i have a little sneak preview of what your answer might be having read your remarks i was telling the attorney general for lunch that i thought about a lo last night when i watch the academy award. because he quoted rocky balboa. >> philadelphia my hometown i encourage my kids to consider public service because there's plenty of patriotic americans.
i don't think it's essential but their interest in public service has been enhanced. you might think it's so unpleasant to be criticizing in the media, not at all, they are actually inspired by it and inspired by the folks that i work with, and opportunities to come visit the department of justice and meet the people that i work with in the career folks in the department there the members of the administration. i encourage them and i think that they do have an interest. one of my daughters is eager in an intern on capitol hill. i dissipated they will spend some time in public service. >> all explained the reference from the academy award. the rocky balboa quote that the attorney general used in his remarks was not about how hard you get hit, or how hard you hit but how your ability to get back up when you have been hit hard.
i recall correctly, lady gaga made very similar remarks last night. >> lady gaga interpretation. [laughter] but i do invoke the original version. keep moving forward is the conclusion. that is our motto. my daughter is endorsing this because she surprised me, my 17-year-old daughter for my birthday she actually had the quotations described on the plaque. i know she got the point. >> we have a question here about our educational opportunities that we provide over the past 20 years we have educated many chinese nationals see cheese. most go back to china. do you think we should require service or curtailed education, how will we prevent a technological surprised develop her own.
i'm not sure what that means but i fully support those kind of exchanges. i think that people have the opportunities to see our system and understand how it operates, that will inspire them to make changes in their own system. i think that underlines the president's approach to deal with foreign countries, as we have such confidence in our system that we believe that if we expose people to our red light and if they understand the benefits of following our model they will pursue peace intake after values. i think that's a worthwhile program, i don't mean to suggest, in the challenge that we face by virtue chinese nationals who are seeking to axle treat secrets in the united states. that doesn't mean we should stop advising, we should be alert for the risk, and make sure that we are not interesting people with sensitive information who may betray us and provide her adversaries. >> we have a question here that
points out that the united states only ranked 19 out of a hundred and 13 countries, including in the 2018 rule of law. why the global rate is high should the u.s. prioritize improving a juul of law to meet the standards set by those in the income group. and what issue would you propose to further that and a related question is based on your tenure don't total department are the reforms to the department that you think are often had? independence? >> all take the first question. i don't know who is responsible for the ratings or what criteria they're using. so i'm not in position to comment on that. any system can be improved, i happen to believe that ours is one of the best and i'm skeptical if anybody ranks at 19. i have to study other 18.
address the challenge between the benefits of transparency and advances in which transparency may not be possible or feasible, educate at least out the public about the neutral principles being applied to make those decisions and determinations so they do not we have seen this going back to the work we have been doing here, looking at efforts to undermine public justice system. instances where transparency is not possible because the policy around privacy, so cases involving juveniles are particularly attractive targets for russian propaganda efforts trying to show false allegations and accuse prosecutors and judges of keeping secrets
because they are doing something .rong it is creating a core of particular attorneys and judges in that instance of could help educate the public about process, to help them understand why in the case involving juvenile, all of the details may not be able to be brought out, but this is the process that would be followed. and the importance of having voices and local communities. is that something the justice department has thought about in that of educating folks perhaps cannot be as transparent, but these are the detailed principles that guide those decisions? anyes, and that is invitation to expand on my previous answer, which is one of the great things about the justices the processes in place
and date is independent of who was running at a particular time , and specifically, the department of justice, we have internal watchdogs. many people are not aware of that. for example, they are individual members of congress and they suggest they i have explained that has already been accounted for. we have an independent inspector it is tohose job conduct independent reviews of the work in the department of justice. they result in detailed reports, sometimes in the public, sometimes not.
which has a unique obligation and responsibility to review the compliance of federal prosecutors, dedicated ethics, and reasons why we should participate in certain matters. my confidence in the integrity of law enforcement is not because i assume nobody will do wrong. i spent much of my career as a correction prosecutor. my confidence is the confidence of a process that exists. i have seen over the course of aggressivethey are
in making those findings. tohink it is important reassure people that we do have accountability. we are not going to jump because somebody is on cable tv and said there was wrongdoing. professionalsdent make an assessment and determine the royal's -- or concerned whether a process needs to be reviewed, the inspector general has 475 employees. the point is we do have the capacity to do that and we have demonstrated the ability to do that. i think that -- i know that it's a probe and -- appropriate.
not -- someust things are just not appropriate to expose in a hearing. but somebody will be able to do it and we have a mechanism that accomplishes that. >> in the interest of am explained i process, i understand and respect your admonition and you conditions, it might be helpful for folks to understand if you can discuss what the process is with respect report,hing like this what is the process that may not but thate to americans they ought to understand it is taking place? try to make it worthwhile for the reporters sue came here. , i can'ter is
generalize it because the special counsel regulation has only been involved in a few occasions. it's important to understand the context. before this regulation was there were special counsel's, there just was no regulation. for a couple of decades before the special counsel regulations there were independent counsels. is -- isrence there critical. there is a prosecutor that is appointed by the department of justice and by 1999 there was a broad agreement that the
prosecutor toriano -- -- weutorial power returned to the additional model to providedified it some guidance about what they 1999 and we are now operating under those rules. under those rules the special account -- special counsel is accountable to the department of justice. there are people working with us about the accountability of the special counsel and the responsibilities set forth in the regulations, we will comply with those rules. this has been the subject of much speculation. the special counsel regulation was put together in a thoughtful way.
the actingsure attorney general believed was appropriate that we would establish a process whereby there would be some in additional independence in the fact that a special counsel, if the special counsel proposes to take an action and was overruled by the attorney general we are required to report that to the congress. the special counsel is a subordinate employee of the attorney general with the -- and the acting attorney general with the requirement to obtain approval for certain actions just like an acting u.s. attorney, for example. questionanswer your because i will be a decision the attorney general makes with what to do with whatever information is provided to him. the regulation was appropriately rich and -- written.
if that special prosecutor believes something should be done, there will be a report about that to congress. beyond that, attend me -- heorney general bar -- appointed a couple of special counsel's. i think we can count on him to do the right thing. hearingbeen terrific understanding and all the ways in which you have worked for 29 years to do the right thing. we are extremely grateful both for your public service and for your having taken time out of your unbelievably busy schedule to spend so much time with us today. we wish you the best. >> thank you very much.
applause]and >> we take you live to maryland where president is about to address the cpac conference. this is his third appearance as a sitting president. >> we will make america a wealthy again. we will make america strong again. we will make america safe again and we will make america great again. [cheers and applause] >> conservatives