Skip to main content

tv   Washington Journal G. Zachary Terwilliger  CSPAN  April 10, 2020 1:20pm-1:49pm EDT

1:20 pm
of planes and ships on those things. in production of testing equipment and ppe is absolutely on that scale. this isn't a specific example but imagine that i think we can produce 10,000 of these per month. in this crisis, you need to produce one million per month. now, that's daunting but it's also possible. it's doable if we commit the focus and resources to do it. this believe we have to do in order to win the war that we are currently fighting against this virus and the economic devastation that's coming with it. absolute weat you have to do and what the united states of america has consistently proven is it may seem impossible now, but if we have to do it, we will figure out a way to get it done. i think they can play a key leadership role in making that happen. host: thank you for joining us.
1:21 pm
c-span, the senate on c-span2 when they come back into session. our next guest is from alexandria. his zachary terwilliger. u.s. attorney for the eastern district of virginia. thank you for joining us. guest: thanks very much for having me. what start by reminding us exactly u.s. attorney does. guest: i am proud to have 92 collects. there is 93 u.s. attorneys across the country. we are the chief federal law enforcement officers in our respective districts. we have two in the eastern district of virginia. if you draw a line down the blue ridge mountains, that would be the eastern district. of --league has the west rest of virginia. our goal is to service the chief federal law enforcement official or our respective areas.
1:22 pm
that is bringing together our law enforcement partners and prosecuting any manner of criminal violation as well as defending the government on the civil side. host: as we look at the coronavirus, how has your job changed since the pandemic and what are your biggest challenges right now? guest: i've got an amazing team of about 350 employees across the eastern district. that number grows exponentially when you include all of our law enforcement, investigative, and agency partners. like much of the country we have moved to a telework model. essential, but we are part of the national security apparatus. we are still working. we have a skeleton staff in the office to ensure that every -- anything that cannot be done remotely, whether related to national security, whether it involves a public safety arrest, we are still moving forward.
1:23 pm
it is a challenge under the circumstances, but as we have -- resolve oflt our employees, we are still moving forward. we made significant arrests yesterday involving a darknet drug distributor. we have gone out and made arrests in neighborhoods that were reeling from violent crimes and shootings. beene covid front we have in lockstep with a lot of our partners in helping to get out the message to citizens as well as going after the fraudsters in real time. that is one of the things i am proud of that we have been able to do. rather than wait for this pandemic to end, we are doing our best, working through it. host: phone numbers on the bottom of the screen for zachary terwilliger. we will take your calls in just a moment. our guest was appointed u.s. attorney just about two years ago.
1:24 pm
he started talking about some of your actions this week. what else can you tell us about crime rate trends during this coronavirus. ? it was prior to covid-19 pandemic. those trends very. one of the things we started to see what anecdotal information-able to hear through my contacts as well as what i have read in the media. a real issue with domestic violence, which was something a lot of us were worried about. you have individuals under stress at home, not leaving the house. reddy had a cycle of domestic violence going, this is going to exacerbate that. and indianapolis police officer lost her life responding to a domestic violence call. one of my big concerns was child
1:25 pm
exploitation. you have got a lot of people on the internet 24/7, and one of the things i'm worried about is an increase in child exploitation through child pornography. i think initially you saw a little bit of a decrease in violent crime, even in certain hotspots around the country. now i have had the opportunity to talk to my colleagues yesterday, they are seeing a massive spike in some of those areas. again, i think it is repeating that it is our men and women in law enforcement who are not given the option of staying at home. debt of gratitude and appreciation for enforcing the rule of law. guest,alls for our zachary terwilliger. there was a headline that usa today, crime rates plummet among the pandemic but not everyone is
1:26 pm
safer. betsy, you are up first from austin, texas. caller: good morning. the boro a supporter of gan project. i would like to ask what the relationship is between the importance of funding global health initiatives and national security? host: something you could speak to? guest: sure. i must admit, that is not a project i am familiar with. i don't want to comment on the specifics. we are at a heightened vulnerability any time there is a pandemic like this, when it comes to national security. the good news is, certainly in a post-9/11 world have been focused on national security. when you have more of our work being done in a particularly vulnerable way over the internet, you have got
1:27 pm
individuals spread very thin. we were not able to come together physically like we normally what to deal with some of these national security threats. and, just things that were absolutely appropriate but -- for example, extending the date of our real id requirements. which was absolutely the right call. isn something like that going to impact national security. i don't think we can underestimate our vulnerability. i do believe there is a causal relationship there. the fbi andnt that our intelligence apparatus are not only aware of that but are executing every day to keep americans safe. it is incumbent upon all of us to remain in a heightened sense of vigilance. host: this is on the line. -- dennis is on the line. caller: i have great respect for
1:28 pm
the law enforcement community, doing your job. could --omment who that could apply. part of the function of people on the front lines is to communicate information to the public. whothe people who believe, compared the flu to the coronavirus, saying 70,000 deaths occurred for the flu, in the flu the mortality rate is .1%. that means 70 million people contracted the flu and one out of 1000 of them perished. people tollion contract coronavirus, the 1%.ality rate is that is 10 times as many. so 700,000 people would die. that is going to be worse than
1:29 pm
that and it is important to communicate this because since there are no vaccines, 70 million people would contract coronavirus, perhaps 150 million, so the deaths would go up to one million americans. i think it is important that we communicate that. host: thanks for calling, dennis. guest: i would prefer that to the very able folks at the coronavirus task force. one thing the caller did say that does resonate with me is the need for communication. thissked me earlier how is impacted our mission? i do think communication from the top regularly -- we are seeing that obviously the white dose -- that is what we here. we have daily communication amongst the team to cry to create that -- to try to create that cohesion.
1:30 pm
and just doing the public service that you are doing at washington journal to allow people to talk and giving folks like me the opportunity to tell others what we're doing is incredibly helpful. it demystifies some of what is going on. it lets folks know that law enforcement is still open for business. i do believe communication is incredibly important now, as many people are isolated. benefits ofreat technology is that we can still reach one another, even if it is virtual. as united states attorney, i wanted to ask you about the personal health and safety of police and other law enforcement. here is a headline talking about new york. with police sick, new yorkers are taking crowding into their own hands. we know that the situation in new york -- and attorney general william barr issued a memo that i wanted to read and get your reaction to. you should now consider the
1:31 pm
medical risks associated with individuals being remained that into federal custody. even with the precautions we are taking, each time a new person is added to hl it presents at least some risk to the personnel who operate that facility and to the people incarcerated. it also presents risks to the individual being remanded. tell us about your take on that. guest: that is one of the issues that is confronting us in the criminal justice arena. the word that comes to mind -- i have known attorney general bar --i think, unflappable. having somebody with that call is extremely -- i think a portion you didn't read was something that resonates with me and all of my colleagues in law enforcement. need for this individualized determination. it has got to be an individualized assessment.
1:32 pm
what i mean is, we can't do two things. if we have individuals positive, introducing them back into the community is going to cause increased issues. as many have talked about, i think there was an op-ed this morning in the washington post to this effect. if you are going to release individuals from a confined setting back out into the public, we need to make sure we are not sending people out there, acting to the public who are positive unknowingly. can't create, we an increased public safety risk. i hope everyone knows, when you are sent to prison or jail or qr in confinement, your health and well-being is our responsibility. however, if you are an individual who has been convicted of a violent crime or there has been probable cause established, we have to protect
1:33 pm
the public. we have already seen anecdotally, an increase in strong-arm robberies as folks are dealing with the economic consequences of this. we have seen individuals going in and ripping off the that remain open. we have to be very smart and individualized. one of the things i'm proud to say is, we are looking at each case individually. vulnerability of a particular inmate is absolutely something, based on this memo, that we take into effect, as is their criminal history, as is the offense for which they have been charged. at all thato look is being done, at least on my end by the u.s. marshals service to mitigate that harm, both inside institutions and when folks are let out. is, i thinkto that attending -- attorney general
1:34 pm
barr hit the nail on the head because he said, it has got to be individualized. that is what we have to focus on. look at the individual factors and make a judgment. host: here is that editorial rate sitting ducks behind bars. the virus is raging through jails and prisons. officials must act. who doubt a balancing act will be required. no elected officials want to endanger their communities. by the same token, it is he responsible to do nothing as the wheree rages unchecked both prisoners and staff can do little to protect themselves. dennis is on the line from port st. lucie, florida. good morning. caller: good morning. just a couple of quick questions for you.
1:35 pm
people obviously on the streets, fewer vehicles on the streets, do you see any trends in crimes that maybe going down? the second is a comment. you mentioned earlier that law enforcement is out patrolling our streets -- and we love our law enforcement -- but you said their presence out in the community is not optional. our presence in the community is not optional in many places around the country where laws have recently been passed or statutes or governors are basically saying, if you are out on the street, if you leave your home, you are liable to be arrested. guest: sure. as far as trends go, i want to be careful that what i am basing my comments on our anecdotal evidence, which i think is
1:36 pm
appropriate at this point. i do think you are, there are some benefits with this shutdown. there is a lot of narcotics trafficking -- that happens in hand-to-hand settings. folks on the street corners selling drugs. i think that has become more difficult, because as the caller mentioned, you will see individuals out on the street corner interacting with random members of the community. while that may have seemed commonplace a month ago, that has everybody's suspicions up. we will see a downturn and some of the lower level drug dealing. obviously, we have seen with our borders not having the level of traffic across our borders that we typically have, i think that is obviously going to change. as i mentioned, it worries me and keeps me up right now is while crimes on the street to be going down, it is crimes going
1:37 pm
on within the home in terms of domestic violence, child exploitation, crimes occurring on the dark web, and frankly the fraud. the amount of money that our elected leaders are pushing out to save our country and economy, you know, it has the fraudsters on high alert as well. that is a big concern of mine. it will be interesting to see, as the weather gets warmer and our violent crime trends go up as school is out, i will be interested to see, i am hopeful that we don't see the normal seasonal increase in violent crime. as far as your point about elected officials and what that means for citizens, i can only give my own experience in the commonwealth of virginia, where we have a shelter-in-place order issued by the governor. it was made clear that virginia state police are not to pull people over and ask where they are going.
1:38 pm
i think the social distancing, to the extent that is the best way out of this -- i have to cede that grant to the exports -- experts -- when i am aware of his where social distancing has woken down completely. we saw that with the cherry blossom festival. they shut that down. we have seen that with some open markets. personally of issues in the commonwealth of folks have gone around and been stopped to arrested for failing to social distance. what i see is law-enforcement out on the beat, making sure that the citizenry is reassured that they are out there taking all precautions. and also making sure that if social distancing is the chosen method, which it seems to be,
1:39 pm
making sure that that is being abided by. host: let's go to philadelphia. well is calling for our guest. caller: good morning. i had a question. yournk it would probably solution to the economical problem. will take care of the crime issue that is going on. is it possible for the federal government to become a major employer of all of the people that have been laid off? what they would have to do is look at everybody's w-2 form and then send them out i guess it would be something like a payroll check where they would , andout the city, state government taxes. just to keep the economy moving. is that possible? host: is that something you want to touch? econ 101 -- let me
1:40 pm
say this, thank you for calling and -- in. i think those types of solutions are ones we need to consider. what i mean by that is, as far as the government becoming a major employer that is for others to discuss. justi am referring to is, a brainstorming about ideas. i appreciate the suggestion and withthat you'll follow up your elected leaders as well as others. about think is amazing the american citizenry is we are always tinkerers. host: you mentioned fraud earlier. doj'ss more about the hoarding and price gouging task force. do you after someone? -- when do you go after someone? guest: it is multifaceted, the
1:41 pm
fraud right now. everything from economic impact payments, things like that. when it comes to hoarding, one of the things the department has made clear is we are not going to allow individuals to do two things. one is couch these businesses. but two is to hoard them in a manner that is going to impact public safety. one of the things we are focused on right now is to make sure there are not warehouses full of equipment needed that people are sitting on. this is war. we need those materials to the front. if you are somebody who, prior to march 26 or late march, you know, stocked up on hand sanitizer, clubs, and toilet paper personally, you don't have to worry about someone knocking down your door. if you or someone attempting to profiteer off of this and is
1:42 pm
amassing quantities to extort hospitals and others, that is a problem. today we are going to be sending out 18 letters in the eastern district of virginia. western district is going to do the same. alerting them to equipment on our list and what we are looking out for. to please let us know immediately if they have salespeople who are charging s rates duringiou this time. we are focused on the major players who are not increasing costs due to the increasing supply chain. it is more expensive to move goods and there is a premium to be paid, but that is one of those things where you are seeking to increase your margin, not just pass along some of the cost of doing business, that is going to be a problem. host: you mention some of the law enforcement actions you have been undertaking during this crisis.
1:43 pm
our prosecutions able to move forward effectively? are judges holding trials? what is the status of that part of the process? guest: great question. this is pretty common across the country. although i don't think it is happening at all -- in all 94 districts. we are still able to arrest people and make sure the rights are in tact. after one is arrested, you get a right to go to court. you get the right to a hearing. that is still ongoing, although you're using some technology in certain instances to limit the interaction amongst people gathering in a courtroom. as far as arrests, yes. as far as investigations, yes. processs accused do rights are going, yes. what a moratorium has been placed on his trials.
1:44 pm
if you had a trial date set for march, it has been pushed off to make. it may bentinues, pushed off even further. we have a saying here in the rocket docket, justice delayed is justice denied. so, how are judges, i am very proud of the way they have been forward leaning and continuing to keep our business going while ensuring public safety. bringthe trials which together witnesses, members of the public into a courtroom. those largely have been put on hold. although the recent numbers i saw were that virginia should experience its covid-19 peak on april 22. i am working on a weekly basis with our judge and federal public defender to make sure, as soon as possible, we are getting the wheels of justice for the functioning again. host: we have a call from houston.
1:45 pm
you are a police official, correct? >> point about the case by case assessment and assessing the risk to public safety and making at the center point of the decision is really important. --ant to point out that new that despite this challenge, police personnel, the men and women in blue and the public health community has done a phenomenal job. i wanted to tell you thank you on behalf of the police chief's across the country. host: what is your biggest challenge in houston right now? caller: i think our biggest challenge is the fact that we still don't know the scope of this virus, how far it has
1:46 pm
spread. our city, with 2.4 million people, we are still testing maybe 1000 people a day. until we get more testing, i don't think we will be able to get our hands around this problem like we would like to. host: thank you. mr. terwilliger? guest: i appreciate him taking the time to call in with all he has going on. illiquid organizations like the major city chiefs, major county meriff's, fop, etc. it gives hairs on the back of my neck when i think about what these men and women are doing everyday. an op-ed i wrote compared it to some of the feelings i had after 9/11. i was a college student during 9/11, watching the men and women
1:47 pm
support one another in lower manhattan has they moved away from ground zero, watching the great men and women of the arlington police department respond to the pentagon. this is a pandemic, this is a war. it is probably the greatest external challenge we have faced in a very long time. one of my hopes is that as we look for silver linings, it can be a restoration of the respect and admiration that is due to law enforcement. wear them thanks everyday. that is not to say there are not problems. there is a small minority of police officers, there are in any organization, that mistakes, that can make criminal acts. i am the first in line to hold them accountable. selfless, brave individuals who have been unfairly aligned for too long.
1:48 pm
i really hope this is a time when america can come together in support of them, obviously along with our health care workers and those on the front lines. when anw after 9/11 fdny hat became commonplace, i have so much respect for the men and women in blue. i hope the one of the silver linings can be at they are held in the regard they deserve. host: our guest has been sacrificial villager, u.s. attorney -- zachary terwilliger, u.s. attorney. much appreciated, thank website at joining us from his home in westchester, new york, is steve lisman, senior economics reporter for cnbc. there's a lot to unpack this evening but the action by the federal reserve which has done something it did not even do back in 2008. if you could in layman's term explain what jerome powell the fed chair announced today.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on