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tv   NEWSHOUR  Al Jazeera  July 25, 2019 12:00am-1:01am +03

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this string of great ambitions sounds rather more like an election manifesto what do you think behind the scenes this is a party and a prime minister being advised to start thinking seriously about an election i think that's inevitable i really really do i mean some people have even suggested that he sort of go to the country in the next in the next few days almost in call a snap election i mean the danger for the conservatives in doing that of course is this pincer movement from the nigel farage has bracks a party of course and from the resurgent liberal democrats my own feeling is that we probably will have a general election before the end of the year but it's more likely. to happen immediately after the 31st of october is 2 scenarios to that essentially if he's not able to take us out in the 31st will he then go to the country to seek a bigger mandate and if he is able to then he'll go to the country on the kind of you know who have been in the media well when they have been vanquished having vanquished nigel farrar so that seems to me and dare i ask your view on the chances
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of him actually getting bricks through on the 30 by the 31st because on the one hand brussels isn't prepared to give him what he says he wants to say they say junking the backstop have been it seems like that would be putting the interests of the departure you can head of the interests of the existing republican on and on the other hand no deal there's no majority for bottom will fight tooth and nail to prevent it what are his chances i think his chances are slim i think they are increased by this sense of determination it may be an intangible element in all of this but it was certainly something that mrs may didn't have and didn't bring to the table and it's true i think the argument that if you really are determined to leave or if you are if you really are prepared to leave in the deal but i think it does focus minds but nevertheless being realistic about it the chances are still very slim however i think what may happen is some kind of careful sleight of hand by which something is achieved by the 30. it may not be the heartbreak that some of
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his supporters prefer and it may involve taking some elements of the agreement and putting them into a longer term political arrangement i don't know exactly i mean i'm not sitting in number 10 downing street this afternoon i'm talking to you but i think there is so much vested in not date now on the 31st of october so much for his own premiership for the future of the conservative party and for the stability of government but i think it for me it seems impossible that he can't that he won't be doing something momentous by 31st of october even if it isn't exactly i mean that's been invented you may rue the word. if you're a political biography david cameron's biography clear to take apart a book a biography of boris johnson we know how his story begins i'm going to do and i just correct you i didn't write david cameron's bible ferrite william hague's biography right now no problem it just seemed created one was to buy it. but i now i think that the scenario with boris is unlike any of the recent conservative
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leaders he could turn out to be a very good prime minister he could be a disastrous prime minister and the reason for saying that is twofold i think it's one his own personality its own capacity to. essentially. do myself in. but also you have to lay that against as you've quite rightly pointed out the very complex political very serious political situation into which he's come into government now you know it may be that this rather intangible quality that he brings to the whole situation will somehow. assist someone out something that i just we haven't managed to achieve in the last 3 years and that he will do it and then you know all these wonderful ambitions he has for britain relaunching itself as a global country that he talked about in his speech today lots of free trade deals
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elsewhere across the globe will come to fruition and that's obviously what i what i'm hoping for but you know frankly the next 3 months are going to be so critical to all of this and i'll be happy to come and join you again on november the 1st and we'll certainly be every day thank you so much for very insightful observations on boris johnson he's become britain's prime minister he's reached the pinnacle of power some say his lifelong ambition he may well now find but that does not mean he has control over events jenny many thanks are serious jonah hold their lives in westminster outgoing britain the british prime minister to resign may have given her final address as she left office after 3 years in power she attended her resignation to queen elizabeth the 2nd earlier may said that she hoped would lead to a brighter future for the u.k. she also hope to inspire others as britain's 2nd female prime minister. thank you
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for putting your faith in me and giving me the chance to serve. this is a country of aspiration and opportunity. and i hope that every young girl who has seen a woman prime minister now knows for sure that there are no limits to what they can achieve. it is good to have you with us hello adrian fenty going to here in doha but the news from al-jazeera on an extremely busy news day another major story we're following right now former u.s. special counsel robert mueller is facing questions in congress questions about his investigation into russian interference in the 2016 presidential election has reiterated that his report does not exonerate president donald trump in that
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investigation and these are live pictures from capitol hill a nearly 2 year probe ended with concluding that russia did interfere in the 2016 u.s. presidential election let's go live now to capitol hill and just as political hay is watching events for us there patty have we learned anything new so far. well i think what we've learned is the democrats are going to be somewhat disappointed in how this hearing is playing out basically the bottom line is that the vast majority of the american people even most members of congress will admit they didn't read the entire mobile report it's more than $400.00 pages so what the democrats were hoping is that this man who is so well respected he was f.b.i. director for more than a decade that he would come before them and lay out all of the. reports he's not doing that in fact several occasions democrats have tried to get him to read from this report. from a. very very short directly everything to the report public in
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a really hammering away at the investigation they're trying to paint it. faulty information. may be conclusions they did and again let's go back to the report that they found. more than 100. people within the. russians but he said that the. conspiracy. just. yes he found at least 10 episodes which could be seen as the president of struct injustice that is an impeachable offense the most mr miller has been asked repeatedly he will not go into as the president likes to say the i word he's not talking about. that's something the congress would have to take one of the more interesting aspects though was a brief exchange with a republican congressman and i don't think he meant to give democrats the soundbite but he basically said so what you're saying is that the president could be charged with obstruction of justice after leaving office muller in his very typical
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response was yes so that was probably the most explosive thing we've seen from out of this hearing so far it's mostly wrap it up not sure if it's all the members but it's not over this was about the obstruction part the next committee hearing after he gets a break is going to be a potential russian there. in the light to be had flagged up prior to his testimony that he wasn't going to talk about anything that wasn't already in the reports as he said democrats possibly will be extremely disappointed by by what they've heard of the simpson and where does this leave the plans of those who would like to see president trump impeached. there you have to wait and see how this plays out of the next couple of days but the polls show about this testimony so if you took if you look at it from the perspective of most people don't know what's in this report because the way it was rolled out what we saw is mr boehner gave his report to the attorney general far far than made his own summary and
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a lot of ways it contradicted what was actually in the report found when you got that slater in the meantime the narrative has been able to be set up no obstruction no engine mr miller very clearly in the short answers and saying i never said exoneration i never said no structure they never said you know no collusion exactly in those terms so if those sound bites are picked up if they make it through to the people who are paying attention it could have an impact but so far i don't think we've seen any monumental soundbite that is going to be played over and over and over again that it's going to really make it through to the american public just how serious the charges are that he's level that his investigation. many thanks indeed it was it was political hey let's get back to that testimony then former u.s. special counsel robert mueller the official who led the investigation into alleged russian interference in the 2016 u.s. election testifying right now before congress let's continue to listen in with
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christie later that same day the president arranged to meet with then f.b.i. director james comey alone in the oval office correct correct particularly if. you have the citation to be repaid 3940 volume to thank you very much and according to me the president told him i hope open quote i hope you can see a way to clear to letting this thing go to letting flynn go he's a good guy and i hope he can let it go school age 40 volume 2 accurate. what that call me understand the president to be asking i'm not to get into. mr cummings mind call me understood as to be a direction because of the president's coming to mind call me understood as to be a direction because of the president's position and the circumstances of the $1.00
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to $1.00 meeting 40 volume 2 i understand it's in the report and i have supported as being in there as being in the report thank you sir even though the pub the president publicly denied telling call me to drop the investigation you found open quote substantial evidence corroborating commies account over the president's is this correct correct the president fired call me on may 9th that corrects or i believe that he accurate day that's page 77 volume 2 you found substantial evidence that the catalyst for the president's firing of call me was. open quote unwillingness to publicly state that the president was not personally under investigation i'm not more of the details of what happened if it's in the report that i'm supportive because it's already been reviewed appropriately appears in the report and that's page 75 volume thank you you and in fact the very next day the
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president told the russian foreign minister open quote i just fired the head of the f.b.i. it was crazy a real not job i face great pressure because of russia that's taken off i'm not under investigation close quote is that correct and that's what we've written in her report yes i mean the gentleman has expired thank you sir gentleman from virginia. thank you mr chairman mr crow mr moller we've heard a lot about what you're not going to talk about today so let's talk about something that you should be able to talk about the law itself the underlying obstruction statute in your creative legal analysis of the statutes in volume 2 to killer earlier interpretation of 18 u.s.c. 1512 c. section 1512 c. is an obstruction of justice statute created as part of auditing of financial regulations for public companies and as you write on page 164 of volume 2 this
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provision was added as a floor amendment in the senate and explained as closing a certain loophole with respect to document shredding and to read the statute whoever corruptly alters destroys mutilates or conceals a record document or other object or attempts to do so with the intent to impair the object's integrity or availability for use and if it in an official proceeding or otherwise obstructs influences or impedes any official proceeding or attempts to do so so we find of the stature in prison for 20 years or both your analysis an application of the statute proposes to give clause c. to a much broader interpretation and commonly used 1st your analysis proposes to read closely to an isolation reading it is a free standing all encompassing provision prohibiting any act influencing a proceeding if done with an improper motive and 2nd your analysis of the statute to apply this way to being pro proposes to apply this weeping prohibition to lawful acts taken by public officials exercising their discretionary powers if those acts
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influence a proceeding. so mr meyer to ask you in analyzing the obstruction used state that you recognize that the department of justice and the courts have not definitively resolve these issues correct correct. you'd agree that not everyone in the justice department agreed with your legal theory of the obstruction of justice statute correct i'm not going to. be involved in a discussion on that at this juncture in fact the attorney general himself disagrees with your interpretation of the law correct leave that to the attorney general to identify and you would agree the prosecutor sometimes incorrectly applied the law correct i would have to agree with that and members of your legal team in fact have had convictions overturned because they were based on an incorrect legal theory correct i don't know to what we've all so well in time and one of trenches trying cases that not one in every one of those cases me ask you about one in particular one of your top prosecutors and a wiseman obtain a conviction i guess ordering from arthur andersen lower court which was
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subsequently overturned in a unanimous supreme court decision that rejected the legal theory advanced by weissman correct and i could get it i don't have any read from that maybe i just remember i had just finished yes answer to say that i could be get involved in a discussion on that i will refer you to that citation that you gave me at the outset for that lengthy discussion on just what you're talking about and to the extent that i have say thing to say about it it is what we have already put into the report on that i am reading from your report when discussing the section now read from the decision the supreme court unanimously reversing mr weissman when he said indeed is that it's striking how little culpability the instructions required for example the jury was told that even a petitioner honestly and sincerely believed his conduct was lawful the jury could convict instructions also diluted the meaning of corruptly such that it covered innocent conduct oh let me let me just say put out word probably move on i've limited time your report takes the broadest possible reading of this provision and applying it to the president's official acts and i'm concerned about the
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implications of your theory for over criminalizing conduct by public officials and private citizens alike so to emphasize how broad your theory of liability is i want to ask you about a few examples on october 11th 2015 during the f.b.i. investigation into hillary clinton's used of a private e-mail server. president obama said i don't think it posed a national security problem and he later said i can tell you that this is not a situation which america's national security was endangered assuming for a moment that his comments did influence the investigation couldn't president obama be charged on your interpretation with obstruction of justice. again i refer you to the report but let me say with andrew weissman news one of the more talented kearney's that we. have on board i won't take that over a period of time he is run a number of units i have very limited time in august 2015 a very senior d.o.j. official called f.b.i. deputy director andrew mccabe expressing concern the f.b.i. agents were still openly pursuing the clinton foundation probe the o.j. official was apparently very pissed off quote unquote k.
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a question this official asking are you telling me i need to shut down a belly predicated investigation to which the official replied of course not this seems to be a clear example of somebody within the executive branch attempting to influence and as the i had this investigation so under your theory couldn't that person be charged with obstruction as long as a prosecutor could come up with a potentially corrupt corrupt motive i refer you to our lengthy dissertation on exactly those issues it appears and at the end of the road report mr maher i'd argue that it says above the supreme court is just underlining the gentleman has expired not stretcher in china it was our intent was to conclude this hearing in 3 hours given the break that would bring us to approximately 1140 with the rector mahler's indulgence we will be asking our remaining democratic members to voluntarily limit their time below the 5 minutes so that we can complete our work as close to that time frame as possible they recognize the gentle lady from pennsylvania thank you director mueller i want to ask you some questions about the
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president's statements regarding at vance knowledge of the wiki leaks dumps so the president refused to sit down with your investigators for any in person in your view correct correct so the only answers we have to questions from the president are contained in appendix c.t.r. report ok so looking at appendix c. on page 5 us the president over a dozen questions about whether he had knowledge that we possessed or might possess the e-mails that were. stolen by the russians i apologize sure started again ok sure so we're looking at appendix c. . appendix c. page 5 us the president about a dozen questions about whether he had knowledge that wiki leaks possessed the stolen e-mails that might be released in a way helpful to his campaign or harmful to the clinton campaign is that correct to ask those questions ok in february of this year mr trump personal attorney michael
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cohen testified to congress under oath that quote mr trump knew from roger stone in advance about the wiki leaks drop of emails and quote that's a matter of public record isn't it. are you referring to the record or some other public records was testimony before congress by mr cohen do you know if he told you i'm not familiar with it explicitly familiar with what he testified before congress ok let's look at an event described on page 18 of volume 2 of your report now according and we're going to put it up in a slide i think according to deputy campaign manager rick gates in the summer of 2016 he and candidate trump were on the way to an airport shortly after wiki leaks released its 1st set of stolen e-mails and gates told your investigators that candidate trump was on a phone call and when the call ended trump told gates that more releases of
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damaging information would be coming and quote do you recall that from the report. if it's in the report i support it ok and that's on page 18 of volume 2 now on page 77 of them to your report also stated quote in addition some witnesses said that trump privately sought information about future wiki leak releases and quote is that correct correct. now in appendix see where the president did answer some written questions he said quote i do not recall discussing wiki leaks with him nor do i recall being aware of mr stone having discussed wiki leaks with individuals associated with my campaign and quote is that correct if it's wrong the report is correct ok so is it fair to say the president denied ever discussing wiki leaks with mr stone and denied being aware that anyone associated with his campaign discussed with the leaks was stone i'm sorry could you repeat that one is it fair
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then that the president denied knowledge of himself or anyone else discussing wiki leaks dumps with mr yes yes ok and with that i would yield back thank you ma'am. thank you mr chair mr muller over here mr miller did you indeed interview for the f.b.i. director job one day before you were appointed a special counsel. my understanding i was not. applying for the job i was asked to give my input on what it would take to do the job which triggered the interview you're talking about so you don't recall on may 16th 2017 that you interviewed with the president regarding the f.b.i. director. i interviewed with the president and i directed george about the job and not about me applying for the job so so your so your statement here today is that you didn't interview to apply for the f.b.i. director job that's correct so it did you tell the vice president of the f.b.i.
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director position would be the one job that you would come back to for the recall and you don't recall. given your 22 months of investigation tens of $1000000.00 spent and millions of documents reviewed did you obtain any evidence at all that any american voter change their vote as a result of russians election interference and i could speak to that you can speak to that after 22 months of investigation there is not any evidence in that document before us that any voter change their vote because of their interference and i'm asking you based on all the documents that were outside our purview russian meddling was outside your bar you know the impact of that meddling was undertaken by other agencies ok you stated in your opening statement that you would not get into the details of the steel dossier however multiple times in volume 2 on page 232728 you mentioned the unverified allegations how long did it take you to reach the conclusion that it was on verified because it's in it's actually in your report
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multiple times it is unverified and you're telling me that you're not willing to tell us how you came to the conclusion that it was on verified. when you become aware that the end verified still dossier was included in the pfizer application despond carter page. i'm sorry what was the question when did you become aware that the unverified steel dossier was intended it was included in the files applications card or page. ok speak to that your team interviewed chris aristoteles at correct not to get into you can i said if you have to tell this committee as to whether or not you interview christopher steele and a 22 month investigation with 18 lawyers as i said at the outset that is one of those one of the investigations that it is being handled by others in the department of justice if you're here testifying about this investigation today and i'm asking you directly did any members of your team or did you interview
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christopher steele in the course of your investigation and i'm not going to answer that question sir you had 2 years to investigate not once did you consider where they don't investigate how and under unverified document it was paid for by a political opponent was used to obtain a warrant to spy on the opposition political campaign you do any investigation that was would not accept your characterization what occurred what would you what would be your case make a more to it so you can't speak any more to it but you're not going to agree with my characterization is that correct yes the fai's application makes reference to source one who is christopher steele the author of the steel dossier defies application says nothing sources one is reason for conducting the research into can't it one's ties russia based on sources one previous reporting history with f.b.i. whereby source one provided reliable information the f.b.i. the f.b.i. believes source one's reporting here and to be credible do you believe the f.b.i. has representation that source ones reporting was credible to be accurate. so
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you're not going to respond to any of the questions regarding christopher steele or your interviews with them as i said at the outset this morning that was one of the investigations i could not speak too well i don't understand how if you interviewed an individual in the purview of this investigation that you're testifying to us today that you've closed that investigation how that's not within your purview to tell us about that investigation and who you interviewed nothing dad. ok well the i can guarantee that the american people want to know and i'm and i'm very hopeful and glad that 80 bars looking into this inspector general's looking into this because you're on willing to answer the questions of the american people as a relates to the very basis of this investigation into the president and the very basis of this individual who you did interview you're just refusing to answer those questions. can't the president fire the f.b.i. director at any time without reason under article one of the constitution article 2 yes that's correct can he also fire u.s.
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special counsel at any time without any reason i believe that to be the case under article. along to say that. you said without a reason i know the special counsel can be fired but i'm not certain it extends to for whatever reason is given well and you've testified that you weren't fired you were able to complete your investigation in full is that correct. to what i've stated before my time has expired is time is expired the gentleman from pennsylvania from texas. thank you mr chairman and thank you mr mueller for being with us the staff is that not close to the afternoon now you direct director mueller now i'd like to ask you about the president's answers relating to roger stone roger stone was indicted for multiple federal crimes and then alleges that mr stone discussed a future weekend leeks e-mail releases with the trump campaign understanding there's a gag order on the stone case i'll keep my questions restricted to publicly available
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information mr summers and i do say at the outset i don't mean to disruptive but. i'm not. i would like some of the demarcation of that which is applicable to this but also in such a way that it does not hinder the other prosecution is taking place in d.c. i understand that i'm only going to be talking about the questions that you asked in writing to the president came and that relate to mr stumm a mr stone's indictment states among other things the following quote stone was contacted by senior travel officials to inquire about future releases of organization one organization one being wiki leaks indictment continues quote stone thereafter told the trump campaign about potential future releases of damaging material by wiki leaks so in short the indictment alleges that stone was asked by
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the trump campaign to get information about more weekend leaks releases and that stone and fact did tell the can't trump campaign about potential future releases correct yes we have a. i see you're quoting from the indictment even though the indictment is a public document i feel uncomfortable discussing anything having to do with the start of a prosecution right the indictment is a record and i pulled we pulled it off of the you know i had strayed from it. well for turning back to the president's answers to your questions and on this very subject the president tonight they were discussing future we release this with stone and tonight knowing whether anyone else on his campaign had those discussions with stone if you had learned that other witnesses put his putting aside the president if other witnesses had lied to your investigators in response to pacific's questions whether he whether in writing or in an interview could they be
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charged with false statement crimes i'm i'm not going to speculate as i think you're asking for me to speculate given a. set of circumstances let's put it more specific quote if i had made a false statement to an investigator on your team could i go to jail for up to 5 years yes yes although there is it's congress so. well that's the point though isn't it that no one is above the law not you not the congress and certainly not the president and i think it's just troubling to have to hear some of these things and that's why the american people deserve to learn the full facts of the misconduct described in your report for which any other person would have been charged with crimes so thank you for being here and again that's the point has been announced this underscored many times but i'll repeat it no one is above the law thank you thank you ma'am. the time the gentleman the gentleman from north dakota's regulars mr markham many people did you fire how many people on
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your staff to fire during the course of the investigation i mean people do fire. again discussed you fired cording the inspector general's report attorney number 2 was let go and we know peter struck was like cracked yes and there may have been other persons other issues that have been in there transfer fire eater struck testified before this committee on july 12th 2890 was fired because you were concerned about preserving the appearance of independence during his testimony say that again if you could he said he was fired at least partially because you were a you were worried about a. concern about preserving the appearance of independence with the special counsel's investigation you agree with that statement and this statement was by home or struck at this hearing and i am not familiar with did you fire him because you were worried about the appearance of independence of the end of the investigation though he was transferred as a result of instances involving. attacks did you agree that do you agree that your
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office did not only have an obligation to operate with an independence but to operate with the appearance of independence as well absolutely we strove to do that over the 2 years and were right and part of that was making certain that andrew wiseman's one of the top attorneys yes it weissman have a role in selecting other members of your team he had some role but not a major role and or wiseman attended hillary clinton's election night party did you know that before or after you came onto the team i don't know what i found that out on january 30th 2017 weissman wrote in an e-mail to deputy attorney general yates stating i am so proud and off regarding her disobeying a direct order from the president did wiseman disclose that email to you before he joined the team talk about that is that not a conflict of interest not to go and not going to talk about that are you aware that ms jeannie really represented hillary clinton in litigation regarding personal emails originating originating from clinton's time as secretary of state yes did
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you know that before she came on the tell. aarons only the guy sitting next to you represented justin cooper a clinton aide who destroyed one of clinton's mobile devices and you must be aware by now that 6 of your lawyers donated $12000.00 directly to her larry clinton i'm not even talking about the 49000 they donated to other group democrats just the donations to the opponent who was the target of your investigation speak for a 2nd to the hiring practices for. we strove to hire those individuals who could do the joe. bad ok i've been in this business for almost 25 years and in those 25 years i have not had occasion to ask somebody about their political affiliation it is not done what i care about is the capability of the individual to do the job and do the job quickly and seriously and with and take ricky but that's what i'm saying mr miller this isn't just about you being able to vote your team this is about knowing that the day you accepted this role you had to be aware no matter what this report concluded half of the country was going to be schedule skeptical of your
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team's findings and that's why we have recusal laws that define bias and perceived bias for this very reason 28 united states code 528 specifically lists not just political conflict of interest but the appearance of political contracts that conflict of interest it's just simply not enough that you vote for your team the interests of das's demand that no perceived by his that exists i can't imagine a single prosecutor or judge that i have ever peered in front of would be comfortable with these circumstances where over half of the prosecutorial team had a direct relationship to the opponent of the person being investigated by the fact that a put on the table that is a higher 1000 lawyers over the period of time of those 19 lawyers 14 of them were transferred from elsewhere the department of justice only 5 came from outside and have not had a direct relationship political are personal with the opponent of the person you are investigating and that's my point i wonder if not a single word in this entire report was changed but rather the only difference was
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we switched hillary clinton and president trump if pete. straka texted those terrible things about hillary clinton and stead of president trump if a team of lawyers work for donated thousands of dollars to and went to trams trumps parties instead of clintons i don't think we'd be here trying to prop up an obstruction allegation my colleagues would have spent the last 4 months accusing your team of being bought and paid for by the trump campaign and we couldn't trust a single word of this report they would still be accusing the president of conspiracy with russia and they would be accusing your team of aiding and abetting in that way with that conspiracy and with that i yield back. back the gentleman from colorado dr mohler thank you for your service to our country i'd like to talk to you about one of the other incidents of obstruction and that's the evidence in your report showing the president directing his son and his communications director to issue a false public statement in june of 2017 about a meeting between his campaign and russian individuals at trump tower in june of 2016 according to your report mr trump jr was the only trump associate who
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participated in that meeting and who declined to be voluntarily interviewed by your office is that correct did mr trump jr or his counsel ever communicate to your office any intent to invoke his 5th amendment right against self incrimination. you did pose written questions to the president about his knowledge of the trump tower meeting you included also asked him about whether or not he had directed a false press statement the president did not answer at all that question correct i don't have it in front of me to take your word i can represent to you that appendix c. specifically c 13 states as much according to page 100 of volume 2 of your report your investigation found that hope hicks the president's communications director in june of 2017 was shown e-mails that set up the trump tower meeting and she told your office that she was quote shocked by the e-mails because they looked quote really bad true you have
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a citation sure it's page 100 of volume 2. while you're flipping to that page director more also tell you that according to page $99.00 of volume 2 those e-mails in question stated according to a report that the crown prosecutor of russia had offered to provide the trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate hillary and her dealings with russia as part of russia and its government support for mr trump trump jr responded if it's what you say i love it and he and man afore met with the russian attorneys and several other russian individuals at trump tower on june 9th 2016 and quote correct generally accurate isn't it true that miss hicks told your office that she went multiple times to the president to quote urge him that they should be fully transparent about the june 9th meeting and quote but the president each time said no direct accurate and the reason was because of those
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e-mails which the president quote believed would not leak correct i'm not certain that it's characterized but generally correct did the president direct miss hicks to say quote only that trump jr took a brief meeting and it was about russian adoption end quote because trump jr's statement to the new york times quote said too much on one page 102 a volume 2 ok correct one just check one thing yes and according to miss hicks the president still directed her to say the meeting was only about russian adoption correct yes despite knowing that to be untrue thank you director mueller i yield back the balance of my own time. mr muller you've been asked over here on the on the far right sir you've been asked a lot of questions here today to be frank you performed as most of us expected you
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start closer to your report and you have declined to answer many of our questions on both sides as the closer for the republican side i know you're going to get to a close i want to summarize the highlights of what we have heard and what we know you spent 2 years and nearly $30000000.00 taxpayer dollars in unlimited resources to prepare a nearly $450.00 page report which you describe today as very thorough millions of americans today maintain genuine concerns about your work and large part because of the end of them us in widely publicized bias of your investigating team members which we now know included 14 democrats and 0 republicans campaign finance reports later showed excuse me my time that team of democrat investigators you hired donated more than $60000.00 to the hillary clinton campaign and other democratic candidates your team also included peter struck and lisa page which had been just discussed today and they had the lurid text messages that confirmed they openly mocked in hated donald trump and his supporters and they vowed to take him out mr
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rackley past year earlier this morning quote can you give me an example other than donald trump where the justice department determined that an investigative person was not exonerated because their innocence was not conclusively determined unquote you answered i cannot sir that is unprecedented the president believe from the very beginning that you and your special counsel team had serious conflicts this is stated in the report acknowledged by everybody and yet president truck cooperated fully with the investigation he knew he had done nothing wrong and he encouraged all witnesses to cooperate with the investigation and produce more than 1400000 pages of information and allowed over 40 witnesses who were directly affiliated with the white house or his campaign. your reporting knowledge is on page $61.00 volume 2 that a volume of evidence exist of the president telling many people privately quote the president was concerned about the impact of the russian investigation on his ability to govern and to address important foreign relations issues and even matters of national security and on page 174 volume 2 your report also acknowledges
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that the supreme court has held quote the president's removal powers are at their zenith with respect to principal officers that is officers who must be appointed by the president and who report to him directly the president's exclusive and illimitable power of removal of those principal officers furthers the president's ability to ensure that the laws are faithfully executed unquote and that would even include the attorney general look in spite of all of that nothing ever happened to stop or impede your special counsel's investigation nobody was fired by the president nothing was curtailed and the investigation continued unencumbered for 22 long months as you finally concluded in volume one the evidence quote did not establish that the president was involved in an underlying crime related to russian election interference unquote and the evidence quote did not establish that the president or those close to him were involved in any russian conspiracies or had an unlawful relationship with any russian official unquote over those 22 long months that your investigation dragged along the president became increasingly frustrated
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as many of the american people did with its effect on our country and his ability to govern even it about this to his lawyer and his close associates and he even shared his frustrations as we all know on twitter but while the president's social media accounts might have influenced some in the media or the opinion of some of the american people none of those audiences were targets or witnesses in your investigation the president never affected anybody's testimony he never demanded to in the investigation or demanded that you be terminated and he never misled congress the d.o.j. or the special counsel those are undisputed facts there will be a lot of discussion i predicted a great frustration about the country about the fact that you wouldn't answer any questions here about the origins of this whole sure. which was the infamous christopher steel dossier now proven to be totally bogus even though it is listed and specifically referenced in your report but as our hearing is concluding we apparently will get no comment on that from you mr marlowe there's one primary reason why you were called here today and by the by the democrat majority of our committee our colleagues on the other side of the al just want political cover they
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desperately wanted you today to tell them they should impeach the president but the one thing you have said very clearly today is that your report is complete and thorough and you completely agree with and stand by its recommendations and all of its content is that right. mr miller one last important question your report does not recommend impeachment does it. not get talked about recommendations it does not conclude that impeach would be appropriate here and i'm not going to talk about that. that is you that's one of the many things you wouldn't talk about today but i think we can all draw our own conclusions i do thank you for your service to the country and i'm glad this raid will come to an end soon and we can get back to the important business of this committee with its broad jurisdiction of so many important issues for the country without arguing back. journey back i want to announce that our interned was to conclude this hearing at around 1145 all of the republican members of now is the questions we have a few remaining democratic members it would be limiting their questions so with
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director mose indulgence we expect to finish within 15 minutes generally from george's record thank you mr chairman and thank you director mueller here and investigations of the russian attack on our democracy in the struction of justin's justice were extraordinarily productive in under 2 years you charged at least $37.00 people or entities with crimes you convicted 7 individuals 5 of whom were top trump campaign a white house aides charges remain pending against more than 2 dozen russian persons or entities and against others let me start with those 5 top campaign or administration aides that you convicted or would you agree with me that they are part and for president tom's campaign manager rick gates' president trams deputy campaign manager michael flynn president trump's former national security advisor michael cohen the president's personal attorney george papadopoulos president trump's former campaign foreign policy adviser wrecked and the 6 top associate will
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face will face trial later this year correct. and that person would be roger stone right thank you i'm not sure what you said they still are but he is another court system is i indicated before exactly he said on it and gone i want to discuss correct thank you and there are many other charges as well correct. so mr i just want to thank you so much in my limited time today for your team the work that you did in your dedication in less than 2 years your team was able to uncover an incredible amount of information related to russia's attack on our elections and to obstruction of justice and there is still more that we have to learn despite facing unfair attacks by the president and even here today your work has been substantive and fair the work has laid the critical foundation for our investigation and for that i thank you i thank you and with that i yield back the balance of my title
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a.t.o.s. back the gentleman from arizona thank you director mueller i'm disappointed that some have questioned your motives throughout this process and i want to take a moment to remind the american people of who you are and your example of the service to our country you are a marine you served in vietnam and earned a bronze star and a purple heart correct. which president appointed you to become the united states attorney for massachusetts which senator which president or which president. i think the president bush. according to my notes it was president ronald reagan had the honor to do so under who is it by mistake. under whose administration did you serve as the assistant attorney general in charge of the d.o.j. his criminal division or which president that would be. george bush won
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that is correct president george h.w. bush after that you took a job at a prestigious law firm now for only a couple years you did something extraordinary you left that lucrative position to re enter public service prosecuting homicides here in washington d.c. is that correct correct when you were named director of the f.b.i. which president 1st appointed you. and the senate confirmed you with a vote of $98.00 to 0 correct surprising. and you were sworn in as director just one week before the september 11th attacks through help to protect this nation against another attack you did such an outstanding job that when your 10 year term expired the senate unanimously voted to extend your term for another 2 years correct true when you were asked in 2017 to take the job of special counsel the president had just fired f.b.i. director james comey the justice department and the f.b.i.
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were in turmoil you must have known there would be an extraordinary challenge why did you accept back again and that's a little bit off track. the challenge here is some people have attacked the political motivations of your team even suggested your investigation was a witch hunt when you consider people to join your team did you ever even once ask about their political affiliation ever want in your entire career as a law enforcement official have you ever made a hiring decision based upon a person's political affiliation. i'm not surprised if i might just interject the capabilities that we have shown in the report that's been discussed here today as a result of a team of agents and lawyers who are absolutely exemplary and who were hired because of the value they could contribute to getting the job done and getting it done expeditiously so you're a patriot unclear to me in reading your report and listen to your testimony today
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you acted fairly with me there were circumstances where you could have filed charges against other people mention the report but you declined not every prosecutor does that certainly don't want to know which on your tax made against you and your team intensified because your report is damning and i believe you did uncover substantial evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors let me also say something else that you were right about the only remedy for the situation is for congress to take action i yield back you know many years back we generally from pennsylvania morning director mother mahler not only ending. got to sorry i thank you i wanted to ask you about public confusion connected with attorney general bars release of your report i will be quoting your march 27th letter sorry in that letter and it several other times did you convey to the attorney general that the quote introductions and executive summaries of our 2
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volume report accurately summarized this office's work and conclusions and quote and i'd have to. say that the letter itself speaks for itself and those were your words in that letter continuing with your letter you wrote to the attorney general that quote the summary letter letter that the department sent to congress and released to the public late in the afternoon of march 24th did not fully capture the context nature and substance of this office is work and conclusions and quote is that correct again i rely on the letter itself or its terms thank you. what was it about the report's context nature substance that the attorney general's letter did not capture i think we captured that in the march 27th responsive letter and this is from the 27th letter what were some of the specifics that you thought to direct you to the letter itself. you finish that letter by saying there
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is now public confusion about critical aspects as a result of our investigation could you tell us specifically some of the public confusion you identified generally again i go back to the letter letter speaks for itself and could attorney general barr have avoided public confusion if he had released your summaries and executive introduction and summaries i don't feel comfortable speculating on that shifting to may 30th the attorney general in an interview with c.b.s. news said that you could have reached quote you could have reached a decision as to whether it was criminal activity and quote on the part of the president did the attorney general or his staff ever tell you that he thought you should make a decision on whether the president engaged in criminal activity i'm not going to speak to what the attorney general was thinking or saying if the attorney general had directed you or ordered you to make a decision on whether the president engaged in criminal activity would you have so
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done. i can't answer that question and the. director mueller again i thank you for being here i agree with march 27th letter there was public you'd confusion and the president took full advantage of that confusion by falsely claiming your report found no obstruction let us be clear your report did not exonerate the president instead it provided substantial evidence of obstruction of justice leaving congress to do its duty we shelled shall not shrink from that duty i yield back generally to yield back mr chairman mr chairman i have a point of inquiry over on your left. was the point of this hearing to get mr moller to recommend a beautiful it is not a fair point of inquiry the gentle lady from florida's record was chairman greg turmel around here mature your point the gentle way you use all right is recognized for coming here you're a patriot i want to refer you now to volume 2 page 158 you wrote that
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quote the president's efforts to end fluence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the president declined to carry out orders or accede to his request is that right that is accurate or not is what we found and you're basically referring to senior advisers who disobey the president's orders like white house counsel don mcgann former trump campaign manager corey lewandowsky is that right we have not specified person veteran well in page 158 white house counsel john mccann quote did not tell the acting attorney general that the special counsel must be removed but was instead prepared to resign over the president's orders you also explain that an attempt to obstruct justice does not have to succeed to be a crime right through simply attempting to obstruct justice can be a crime correct yes. so even though the president's aides refused to carry out his
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orders to interfere with your investigation that is not a defense to obstruction of justice by this president is it a speculate so to reiterate simply trying to obstruct justice can be a crime correct yes and you say that the president's efforts to end fluence the investigation were quote mostly unsuccessful and that's because not all of his efforts were unsuccessful right are you reading into what what we read in the court . i was going to ask you if you could just tell me which ones you had in mind as successful when you wrote that sentence. in a pass on that. director mueller today we've talked a lot about the separate outs by this president but you also wrote in your report that quote the overall pattern of the president's conduct towards the
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investigations can shed light on the nature of the president's acts and the inferences can be drawn about his intent correct accurate recitation from the. record all. right and on page 158 again i think it's important for everyone to note that the president's conduct had a significant change when he realized that it was the investigations were conducted to investigate his obstruction acts so in other words when the american people are deciding whether the president committed obstruction of justice they need to look at all of the president's conduct and overall pattern of behavior is that correct this way thank you dr mohler director mueller dr also signet that to. i have certainly made up my mind about whether we what we have reviewed today meets
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the elements. of obstruction including whether there was corruption turned and what is clear is that anyone else including some members of congress would have been charged with crimes for these acts we would not have allowed this behavior from any of the previous $44.00 presidents we should not allow it now or for the future to protect our democracy and yes we will continue to investigate because as you clearly say at the end of your report no one is above the law i yield back my time generally barack the gentle lady from texas director mueller you wrote in your report that you quote determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment and quote was that in part because of an opinion by the department of justice office of legal counsel that a sitting president can't be charged with a crime. director mueller at your may 29th 2019 press conference you
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explained that quote the opinion says that the constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse the sitting president of wrongdoing and quote that process other than the criminal justice system for accusing a president of wrongdoing is that impeachment. in your report you also wrote that you did not want to quote potentially preempt constitutional processes for addressing presidential misconduct and quote for the non lawyers in the room what did you mean by quote potentially preempt constitutional processes i'm not going to try to explain that. well going to leave the hearing at that point. 3 hours of testimony is drawing to a close now this is the at the end of the 1st of 2 appearances before congressional
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committees today by u.s. special counsel robert mueller. about his investigation into russian interference in the 2016 presidential election of possible obstruction of justice by donald trump. the special counsel of the president can be charged with crimes leaving office confirmed that he could be charged not that it should he said the justice department guidelines that prevented him from considering charges against trump while he is in office because of the longtime justice department guidance that a sitting president can't be indicted morris said one of the tools as a prosecutor the prosecutor would use is there obstruction of justice strikes at the core of the government's effort to find the truth and to hold wrongdoers accountable said based on justice department policy and principles of us we decided we would not make a determination as to whether the president committed a crime that was our decision then and remains our decision today and asked whether the report exonerated trump on the question of the obstruction of justice miller
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said that is not what the report said well we'll stay listening to what's happening as that. hearing anything but it's over 3 hours now with the with a short break in the middle of it as it draws to a close let's bring in our serious medical hey who's on capitol hill for us and has been listening to every word put it before we get into that some of the things that we've learned let me just ask you the obvious question here why would decline to. many of the questions that have been put to him today. you know he said and this is a man who it's well known is very concerned about the reputation of the f.b.i. of his personal reputation he warned congress he said i don't want to come testify you have my report and so what he's done now is when the republicans really wanted to focus on a couple things how the investigation started and whether or not the demo the
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democratic operatives were part of his team he was like i'm not going to talk about that but when the democrats say hey can you read this part of this report he's saying no i'm not going to you can read it so what he's doing here is trying to force people to basically read his report and that's what he said he was going to do he was very short with his answers but he was also in some ways very damning for the president in those answers let's listen in the very beginning of this year president has repeatedly claimed that your point found there was no obstruction and that it completely and totally exonerated. but that is not what your report said is it correct it is not what the report said reading from ph to volume 2 of your report it's on the screen you wrote quote if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts. if the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice we would so state based on the facts and the applicable
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legal standards however we are able to reach that judge. now does that say there was no obstruction. so here's why this matters because democrats realize that a vast majority of the public haven't they haven't read this report and polls show that about a 3rd of americans believe that the more report cleared the president any wrongdoing and that's in part because when he submitted his report we saw the president's attorney general william barr come out and say here's my summary no obstruction no collusion and what representative adler just laid out there is that's not what is in the report but what the democrats are hoping for here is one of those concise soundbites of robert muller with his excellent reputation really laying out the case against the president they didn't get that and democrats were really hoping that they would get that because they need the leadership needs to see the country move in one and impeach the president before they'll bring that up so the democrats
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