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tv   FBI Director Wray Testifies at House Oversight Hearing Part 2  CSPAN  February 13, 2020 4:10pm-6:06pm EST

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and then sunday at 2:00 p.m. fbi director christopher wray testified before the house judiciary committee to address justice department inspect or general report on fisa allegations. this is the second portion of the hearing after the committee returned following a short break.
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the committee will come to order. >> thank you, mr. chairman. director, i have to say for me it's sad to see an ongoing and desperate attempt to please the impeached president that some
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are continuing to malign the extraordinary men and women of the fbi. i want to begin by saying thank you to you for your extraordinary service to our country and to the brave men and women of the fbi. the survival of our democracy is directly dependent on our ability to protect the integrity of our elections. it's clear the american people get to decide who will lead the country, not a foreign power. i hear regularly about what is being done to secure the 2020 election. you said, director, back in december that russia represents the most significant threat to the election cycle itself. is that still your assessment? >> yes, it is. >> would you just describe what steps the bureau has taken to investigate, deter and counter russian and other foreign government attempts to interfere in our elections and what lessons the fbi learned from the
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2016 and 2018 elections that give you confidence we're in a better position to combat the threat? >> this is something at the top of our list as a priority. it goes to the heart of who we are as a country. one of the things i did shortly after taking over as director was to create the foreign influence task force in the fbi that brings together, not just our counter intelligence resources, but our cyber division resources, our criminal investigative resources and our counterterrorism resources, which might sound counter intuitive at first. we know the russians have attempted to try to spin up some of the domestic terrorism type activity that occurs in this country. there was value in bringing that discipline to it as well. we have a three-prong strategy
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to deal with the effort. investigation, intelligence sharing and engagement. the investigation is what you would imagine everything from public corruption investigation, voter suppression investigation, cyber investigation. there have been indictments, many of which you're familiar with. the ira's chief accountant, et cetera. one of the things we tried to do is leverage the resources of state and local law enforcement. some of these efforts may get detected in the first instance by them. we pushed out intelligence products pretty broadly for people to know what to be on the look-out for which will help us get in front of it earlier. the last and in some ways the most important part is the engagement piece. one of the key lessons learned i
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think from 2016 which we put into action with midterms and we're continuing to put into action every day is the need to even ga engage with the social media companies. so much of the russians' effort is driven through social media. fake news, propaganda, that's not new. what's new is the social media avenue to do it. it's cheap and a bull horn. one of the things we're doing a lot better, not just the fbi, but the whole government, is working with silicon valley to leverage what they can bring to the fight as well. we'll continue to do more of that. >> director, do you believe now that the bureau has the tools in place and the resources necessary to effectively fight these types of foreign influence operations in our elections? >> we're well postured for the
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fight. you never met an fbi director that couldn't use more resources. any resources congress send our way would be used. >> could you identify inni writg where you could use them? when someone goes in for a criminal background check to buy a gun, if it's not completed within three days, the gun seller is authorized to sell the gun. if the gun check comes back later and they're not a licensed purchaser, the fbi goes to get the gun. i have a legislation that would require that if it comes back that the person is not a legal purchaser, that the fbi be alerted. would that be useful for the fbi to know that? >> i would have to look at the
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specific legislation to have a view on that. in the kinds of fact patterns that you're describing, i see that happen not infrequently. certainly it's important to you. >> i'll provide a copy to your staff and would like your support for it. with that i yield back. >> mr. armstrong? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for being here, director. i've had the opportunity over the years to work with lots of your agents doing federal public defense on a lot of methamphetamine conspiracies. one thing not recognized, when you do those cases they have no actual physical drugs involved. they have co-conspirator testimony and investigators doing years long investigations. they're dealing with people who aren't necessarily pre disposed
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to tell people the truth. what i think comes down to -- as somebody who has worked in those cases there are two different ways you can lie for an agent. that is by affirmative lie or omission lie. there are real serious consequences to that, whether it's an obstruction charge, perjury charge. the fbi is very good at those things. i've heard you talk today -- i mean, we read the inspector general's report. it's important to take both of those reports and some of those things are concerting enough with gross negligence, incompetence and things said. i'm appreciative with the 40 corrective measures. we talked about improving the process, accountability, tone of the top.
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you said the conduct was unacceptable. how we do what we do matters. process matters. i'm a little -- one of the thinginthin things i have significant concern with is, when you take all those institutional mistakes or however you want to frame them, typically when you have that systemic breakdown mistakes fall randomly across the process. that didn't happen here. almost -- you will be hard pressed to find a mistake made that wasn't either against president trump or in some cases a benefit to candidate clinton. there's not a real random saigs of mistakes. this wasn't just a failure of process. it was a failure of people. when we're talking about these
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40 corrective actions and the things we are doing moving forward in any case, how are the penalties being imposed? you can have 250 institutional safeguards, but if there isn't real consequences, then we don't have a real solution to the problem. i'm not -- i don't want to talk about political bias. i would prefer to have a hearing for three days on it. for the purposes of this question i don't care what the motivations were. i know people by omission or intention lied to a court on a sworn document. if that would happen to any other citizen, they would be charged with a crime. while there are plenty of reasons to allow people to resign quietly and reasons to have internal disciplinary action, when you're dealing with a secret court and secret warrants in probably the most
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political charged case, it's important the institutional save guards exist. if they didn't exist there, i don't know what's happening in other cases. i'm glad you're putting all of these procedural safeguards in place. i would like to have a conversation about the consequences for those not happening. >> so we have a fairly robust disciplinary arm, our office of professional responsibility which i think in general is viewed within the government, the broader u.s. government, as one of the premier independent disciplinary arms in any executive agency. that is the arm through which we apply discipline in response to misconduct or in some cases just poor job performance. the penalties range across -- >> i want to stop. poor job performance. i'm not getting into that.
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i can't imagine managing 37,000 people. i'm talking about misconduct. i hope we're holding ourselves accountable to the same thing we're holding other people accountable for. >> i can assure you, in my time as director, i have seen conduct that people have been disciplined for that no one else in the government would have been disciplined for. there's no one who deplores falling short of that standard more than i do. >> i hope that's the case. it seems like when we get into these situations that we allow people to resign quietly or move into different areas. then we come to hearings and say we can't talk about internal discipline. you're going to ask us a lot of things coming up. we're going to continue to have conversations about facial recognition.
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we're talking about encryption. we have to know we have safeguards and people doing this will be held accountable. >> gentleman's time is expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, director wray, for being here for your service and work and for being one of the few agency directors that understands that congress is a co-equal branch of government. i want to talk about something just mentioned. that is face recognition technology. this is an area that is bipartisan in terms of the concerns that some of us have and the way in which facial recognition technology brings unprecedented power to the fbi that in my opinion runs a severe risk of infringing on civil liberties of americans and employing technology that has
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been shown over and over to be flawed. the fbi now has the power to use this face recognition technology often without the consent of americans across the country to match or request matches with 640 million photos of americans. sometimes taken at the dmv as we're getting our driver's license, but with no idea it will be used in other ways. a december 2019 national institute of standards and technology report found that false positives are 100 times more likely with asians and black faces. is the fbi re-evaluating its use of facial recognition technology in light of this report? >> so i can't speak specifically to the report. what i can tell you -- i hope this is comforting to you. a lot of people i find don't realize this. we at the fbi don't use facial
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recognition for anything other than lead value. there is no one under fbi policy who is arrested, much less convicted, based on facial recognition technology. we use it to advance an investigation and to be used with other information. let me start with that. second thing, we scrupulously train all the examiners under various constitution protections. as to the dmv searches, again, we the fbi don't do those searches. the only way those searches can happen is under strict mous that have constitutional backing. even when we get the results, it has to be reviewed by a trained examiner. the last point i would make to you, which may be helpful, you mentioned nist. we changed our algorithms, under
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nist standards we have 99% accuracy with what we do. again, even there, even with over 99% accuracy we don't use it for anything other than lead value. >> i appreciate the clarification. under current fbi policy, can face recognition technology be used without a warrant or probable cause in any circumstance? >> yes. >> so that -- i mean, that is a concern for me, continues to be a concern for me. the aclu reports between october 2017 and april 2019 the fbi ran over 152,000 facial recognition searches with its law enforcement database. the syracuse track database found there was 10,541 new
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convictions in 2019. can you explain the large gap between the number of face recognition searches and the number of convictions? is it not a sign of overuse without evidence of the technology's effectiveness? >> i try to be very careful to opine when i have the access to the underlying information. i would have to look at the reports to have a view on that. i will tell you, when you asked before about warrants, i'm quite confident the way we use facial recognition technology is fully compliant with the bill of rights and constitution. >> i wanted to know if you know about in june of 2019 axon, the largest provide of police body cameras, announced it would not be using face recognition technology on body cameras or on
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any technology and encouraged the government to do the same. it came after that had an independent ethics review board. is that something the fbi would consider doing to establish some sort of independent ethics review board on some of these technologies to look at how the technologies affect the civil liberties and privacy of millions of americans across the country? >> again, we only use facial recognition for lead value. i'm not familiar with the specific report you described. i would have to take a closer look at it to be able to answer that question. i think we take very seriously our need to have appropriate safeguards internally. i'm pretty satisfied that the way we're doing it has those. where there were adjustments appropriate, we made those adjustments. when i mentioned the algorithm, the algorithm the fbi had before
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that was a lower accuracy than the one we have. that was done in close consultation with nist standards. >> i appreciate that, director. i'll send over some of these things. i yield back. >> ms. lesko? >> thank you, mr. chairman. first i'll say a short statement. i guess the statement is i remember watching the media and they were talking about the deep state and everything. i thought certainly they're exaggerating. you know, people back in my district would talk about the deep state and, again, i listened, but i thought, well, you know, must be a bit of an exaggeration. then i remember president trump talking about how he thought he was being spied on.
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a lot of the media was, like, gosh, he's full of it basically. then we get this inspector general report and, boy, i'm starting to think some of these people are on to something. you know, there was abuses as you've said. it was inappropriate. you don't want that to happen. but i just want you to know that the people in my district, a lot of people have totally lost confidence unfortunately in the process. they're afraid that they're going to be targeted or -- when you combine that with the irs going after tea party groups, people are really questioning this whole thing. so i hope that as you investigate what exactly happened or you discipline people if they had fisa court
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abuse cases, that maybe you make it public so people really believe that you're doing something about this. next, my question is about leaks. geez, this place seems like a sieve. leaks all the time. i want to know what role the fbi has in people leaking classified information and what you're doing about it. >> so, first, let me say i despise leaks. i have a long list which would use up all your time and mine to go through about why they're so harmful. what i will say is some of the things i've done since becoming director are the following -- one, i put in place a new media policy for all employees and then everybody was required to be trained on it. it makes for anything that might
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come out of the fbi, to make it excruciatingly clear what people's responsibilities are ev engaging with the media. the reason it's so important, if somebody slips up or worse, there's no ambiguity about what the rules were. that's why we train them on it. second, i created a dedicated leak investigation unit because a lot of the leak investigations that are conducted government wide we do on behalf of the government. if somebody leaks -- we've had a number of significant investigations that led to indictments of people in other agencies where they leaked, specifically leaks of classified information. there are other violations that could occur, grand jury information, title iii information and things like that.
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when it comes to leaking classified information, we have to be aggressive with it and we've tried to be. then last but not least, where there have been provable leak violations by our own people we've imposed discipline. there have been people terminated for violating the policy. >> thank you and i yield back my time to mr. jordan. >> director, was the dossier russian disinformation? >> i don't know if i could characterize that. i would refer back to the inspector general's report. >> when dr. hill testified, she indicated she thought christopher steele was plagued by the russians.
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>> i haven't looked at that. >> if that took place which dr. hill seemed to think did, then the fbi used russian disinformation as a basis to get a warrant to spy on american citizens. that's a big concern. >> russian disinformation is a major concern for us. >> that's why i brought it up. >> we investigated aggressively. >> we talked about election interference, russian disinformation. it may have been used that way. that's the one thing that seems like people don't want to talk about it. that may have been the biggest russian disinformation used in the 2016 election was when christopher steele got played by the russians and the document he produced was taken to court to get the warrant to spy on the president's campaign.
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>> i understand your question. i'm not going to comment. >> gentleman's time is expired. ms. demings. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we heard a lot of discussion about the culture of the fbi. i'm not hearing that in my community and in my district and the many, many people i speak with. having served 27 years in law enforcement i did not see that. i want you to know that i really appreciate your leadership and the dedicated men and women who serve and go places that others would not dare to go. i also thank you for taking the steps -- we have individuals that make mistakes. i appreciate you taking the steps to address those mistakes as it pertains to the fisa warrant or application process.
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i'm also very glad to hear my colleagues on the other side express concern about civil liberties and civil rights. i've heard that more today and i'm glad to hear it because it let's me know that perhaps we can work together on some of those issues. i prefer to talk to you, director wray, i heard your comments about legislation that might address gun violence. i would like to know what do you believe the fbi could do to help or to be more proactive in helping to address gun violence throughout the nation, even as it may pertain to -- i know you get thousands, maybe millions of phone calls that maybe should not go to the fbi and should go to law enforcement and you have to redirect those calls.
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i can imagine how burdensome that may be. could you speak to that. >> thank you, congresswoman. i hesitate to list any challenge as the biggest challenge we have. we got a lot of challenges. the question of tips and threats to life, in particular about potential active shooter events, it's hard to overstate what a big phenomenon that is in law enforcement. we get at our national call operating center, which is up in west virginia, we get thousands of tips a day. of those thousands of tips, something like 50 or 60 of those -- a day, a day -- are threats to life. about 80% of those 50 or 60 a day don't have any federal nexus whatsoever. they're coming into the fbi.
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it's a challenge for us when time could really be of the essence to get that information to state and local law enforcement quickly enough for them to be able to act. happily we've built on something called e-guardian. we've taken it to a whole new level. we did a pilot program over the last year which now dual tracks -- there's systems, i.t. systems to this. the dual tracks, when we get the tip, the lead, not just to the local field office, say in your home district, but also to the state fusion center at the same time. that enables quicker action by state and local law enforcement. we've had a number of success stories including in your home state where there have been tips that came into the call center and that were fed out and with very little information. you don't know who the person
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is, you don't know where they are and you don't know whether it's rhetoric. yet there have been arrests where it turns out the person had guns and ammunition in their apartment. i wish we were that successful all the time, but it tells me we're on the right track. the volume is overwhelming. we want people if they see something to say something, but boy are they saying something. it's coming in in droves. i've been out there with the examiners. i've gone to the call center twice now. put on the head set with the operators and listened to how it goes and seeing how they handle the calls. these are very, very hard working dedicated people who have a hellish job to do with everything on the line. for every tip that turns out to be real where there's a life saved as a result, there are
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thousands of tips that turn out to be nonsense, but we have to sift through them. we're doing everything we can, but i want to make sure the american people understand how challenging this is. >> thank you. i know one of the other challenges, if i could, mr. chairman, are the violent home-grown extreme istextremist. what can you tell me about what you're doing to better address that challenge? >> we use the term home-grown violent extremists to refer to people here in the united states, radicalized online by different parts of the global jihad movement. these are largely lone actors who will go from radicalization and attack sometimes in weeks or days and they'll choose
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something readily available, a knife, a gun, a car and they'll choose to attack soft targets which is every day people living their every day lives as opposed to a government facility. that's a restaurant, a mall, a school -- >> a nightclub. >> exactly. everything is a target. the challenge for law enforcement, fed, state and local, is how are we going to react? the amount of information is very, very limited. it's a real challenge. it's different from the sleeper cells of the post 9/11 era. we over 1,000 home-grown extremist investigations in all 50 states. this threat is real.
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it's now and it affects communities big and small. >> thank you so much. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> ms. scanlon. >> thank you. thank you for your testimony today. it's been interesting and helpful. as a representative from pennsylvania, a state that was targeted by russian efforts to subvert the 2016 election, i wanted to follow up with questions about the fbi's foreign influence task force and the threat by foreign governments to our elections. there's been extensive reporting by the department of justice about attempts to sow discord in the 2016 elections. in pennsylvania that included social media efforts, organizing rallies to support one candidate who happens to be president trump and weaponizing social media with what's been termed sweeping and systemic attempt to
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understood mine the election. i would ask unanimous consent this article be placed in the record. >> without objection. >> you said before that the fbi is seeing efforts to make these sien kinds of efforts with record to social media. can you tell us more about that, what's going on now? >> we see very active use of fictitious accounts, false personas, if you will, that are used in combination with amplification of existing stories. it's both fake news as well as disinformation of a different sort, pushing propaganda and the two things working in concert have always been part of our
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national security threats from overseas. what's changed certainly with 2016 and continues to this day is the use of social media and all the things we all love about social media, if you apply it to this context, it's like injecting steroids into disinformation efforts that existed for many, many, many years. that has now taken the form of sewing divisiveness and discord. they identify an issue that they know the american people feel passionately about on both sides and they take both sides and spin them up and pit us against each other. they combine that with an effort to weaken our confidence in elections. it's a way of engaging in disinformation warfare. >> many of us are disturbed with the efforts to undermine our
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elections, undermining law enforcement, the court, free press et cetera. other than asking people to be hyper aware of this and asking that they, you know, really use common sense when they see outrageous stories, what can the fbi do? what can we do? >> it's multiple players of defense. the first line of defense is the american people themselves, the voters. people need to be thoughtful consumers of information. get news from multiple sources. think carefully about what sources they're relying on. do they know where this information came from? what else have they seen that corroborates it? that builds an informed electorate. the social media companies can play a role. they have all kinds of tools at
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their disposal that law enforcement couldn't use. they have terms of use, terms of service. these are profitable companies. they have a lot of resources they can bring to identify accounts, especially when we work in collaboration with them. they've got a lot better and a lot more sophisticated about that. if you think about the nature of disinformation, it only works if people believe you're somebody you're not. to do that, you have to build up a reservoir of credibility. if we keep knocking them back and knocking them off, it makes it harder for them to build that credibility and mislead the american public. >> turning to one other thing, i've had constituents express concerns about election day interference, whether hacking voter rolls or machines.
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what kind of steps is the fbi taking to that and how rapid a response can folks expect? >> we and the department of homeland security have plans -- we did this in the midterm to set up command centers on election day. the fbi has with all the u.s. attorney offices designated individuals who are on stand by in every state and every district, every federal district, to be available for whether it's for voter suppression or voter fraud. we have to worry about both. so those are some of the things that happen. >> thank you. i yield back. >> ms. garcia. >> thank you, mr. chairman. director wray, thank you -- >> ms. garcia, go ahead. >> you sure?
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>> yes. >> thank you for being here. i want to express my thanks to you and all the members of your team and your department. i can tell you i'm a proud graduate of the citizens fbi academy in the houston region. i've not only seen the nuts and bolts of your organization, but i've also toured the fbi data center in west virginia. i have a deep appreciate for the work that you're doing. please give my records to everyone from the top to the bottom. tell them to keep doing a good job for us. i want to start with an article that appeared in the "new york times" in december of 2018 in which they reported that the fbi had opened an investigation into southwest key, one of the largest recipients of hhs. according to the report in 2017 at least eight of southwest
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key's executives earned more than the federal salary cap of $187,000. the founder made $1.5 million a year. his wife earned $500,000 a year as his chief financial officer earned $1 million a year. additionally both the owner and the cfo for years collected government money in rent as landlords for some of the facilities that the children were being housed, which of course raises a question of using government dollars for private financial gain, potential conflict of interests, potential self-dealing. can you tell me if that investigation has ended up its inquiry? >> i'm not familiar at least off the top of my head with the article and therefore the
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investigation you're describing. i would have to take a closer look to know whether there was information we can share on that. certainly, as somebody who has both -- as a line prosecutor and as assistant attorneydirector, and then as defense attorney in between on the issues of white collar crime and procurement fraud, those are subjects that are very important to me and i think we pursue very aggressively. >> are you aware of any investigation on any of these -- this was a non-profit shelter. have you -- aware of any investigations either the non-profit shelter arena or any of the privatized facilities where they're holding unaccompanied minors or older immigrants? >> there's nothing i can think off the top of my head that i can comment on in a hearing certainly. >> all right. we'll move to another comment. mr. chairman, i would like to submit for the record "the new
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york times" article dated december 20th, 2018. >> without objection. >> thank you. now, one of the things that fascinated me at the data center when we did that tour was just all the different tools, if you will, in the tool box that you all have in collecting data and helping find good leads as you said or try to identify any potential bad actors. can you tell me which of the crimes or do you have a list of crimes where the fbi uses facial recognition to investigate including requests from state and local police? >> i don't know that i have a list of crimes that we use it for. certainly from an fbi perspective, our focus is on using it, as i said in rese res to one of your colleagues, for lead value. and i think we -- for what we do, we would do it with every
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program we have i would assume. >> and my colleague val demings was the sheriff in orlando and called you for help on a robbery. i mean, would you all do that or do you prioritize the crimes to make sure that you're looking at the more heinous crimes? >> well, i mean as with every technology and tool that we have, you know, for example in our lab in quantico, we prioritize based on a variety of circumstances. and some of it goes to the nature of the crime. it can make something a higher priority. and sitting here right now i can't tell you that i know exactly what the protocol is for prior to zags within our facial recognition. >> but you do prioritize. >> absolutely, but some of that's prioritized based on speed with which an answer is needed. some of that's based on the nature of the offense. some of that's based on the quality of the information --
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>> then can you tell me which crimes you prioritize the most if you don't have a list. >> i don't have a list in term of what i can prioritize in terms of particular offenses. >> so, you let -- who decides that then? >> well, i'm more familiar with it in the context of our lab because obviously they're getting all kinds of information that requires testing. and usually the people fairly far up the supervisory chain in the lab can make decisions -- i mean there's some kind of protocol when information comes in. but sometimes things can be moved up in the queue. for example, in the package bombing investigation that was such a phenomenon for a while, we obviously moved that to a higher priority within the variety of parts of our lab in term os of the terms of their testing. while i'm not sit heerg right now familiar with how they handle it on the facial
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recognition side in terms of the queue, my assumption is it would be a similar kind of approach. >> what about fingerprints? how long do y'all keep them and are they date-stamped? >> i'm sorry? fingerprints? >> yes, sir. >> how long do we keep them? >> yes, sir. >> i don't know off the top of my head. wektd try we could try to see if there's information to get as a follow up on that. >> are they date stamped. if i were to say could you find my fingerprint from where i became a u.s. customs officials working my way through law school, could you find my prints? >> that's a pretty detailed question. i'm pretty confident we have dates. >> it's likely you still have my fingerprints somewhere? >> i don't know the answer to that. >> thank you. if y'all could follow up with me, thank you. >> gentle lady's time has expired. mr. steube. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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the chairman started out the hearing by talking about russian influence in the 2016 election. when we had bob mueller before this committee, i asked him specifically when he was sitting in this chair before this committee did they have information anyone changed their vote due to russian interference. he testified under oath that wasn't under his per view or that somebody else or group or other investigators were investigating that. can you confirm that is blg investigated or not being investigated within the fbi, whether somebody changed their vote due to interference in the 2016 election? >> mr. mueller stated that wasn't within his purview but somebody else was investigating it. >> i think to the extent that we have ongoing investigations into the russian maligned foreign influence efforts, it is
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conceivable that that kind of investigation would detect if somebody had changed their vote. but i don't know that i would describe it as conducting investigation into individual voters' decisions. >> so, there's no evidence then before this committee or the american people that a single american voter changed their vote due to ads that russia was putting on facebook or russian interference in the 2016 election? >> i'm not aware of any intelligence community assessment or investigation specifically beyond what's been done and reported on about the 2016 presidential election. >> okay. let's move to the horowitz report. the fbi decision to brief hillary clinton but failure to brief donald trump is blatant clear bias. there's aen are the ig stated the fbi fell far short of the scrupulous accuracy that was involved. on that note, there were issues with the fisa application.
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51 assertions related to the application and renewals either did not have supporting documentation or the supporting document didn't state the fact or the assertion is inaccurate. there were 17 separate inaccuracies or wrongful emissions in the four fisa applications. the fbi omitted evidence cutting against probable cause, for example, carter page stating he had nothing to do with paul manafort and george stephanopoulos denying coordinating with russia or wikileaks or the dnc server hack. the fbi failed to disclose information that the information was ghog to the clinton campaign. work with the fbi. the fbi was less than fully candid about christopher steel sharing information leading to yahoo's 2016 article. the fbi did not disclose information about the steel
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subsource. they avoided using the woods file. the fbi knew carter page was a u.s. intelligence asset but hid that fact from doj during development of the fisa application. my question to you is and i think a lot of the american people would like to know the answer to this question are all the individuals and agents and supervisors involved in all these abuses i just annotated that were in this horowitz report, are all of them no longer working at the fbi? have they resigned or fired or been removed from their position? >> at the more senior levels of the fbi, the people involved i think in every respect that i can think of are gone from the fbi. and of course there is an ongoing investigation by mr. durham with which we're actively cooperating and fully cooperating, i might add. as to the current employees, there are more what i would call
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line level employees who were involved in some of the events in the report. all of those employees, all those employees, anybody who still remains at the fbi -- again they tend to be more line level people -- were referred to our office of professional responsibility which is our disciplinary arm. after there's fact finding by the inspector general, the facts go to the disciplinary arm and that's how we handle discipline about those people. we have erred on the side of inclusion. what i mean by that, there are some people who were named once or twice. but we've gone ahead and figured better safe than sorry and sent all those names to the office of professional responsibility. we will follow that process. and i made very clear that if that process results in recommendations of discipline then we're going to impose
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discipline and hold people accountable. >> just a quick follow up if i could. what's the time frame on that? >> i can't give you a projected time frame exactly. it may depend -- it's probably not going to happen at one time. some people take longer than others. >> thank you. >> time with the gentleman has expired. >> thank you to the 37,000 public servants that work in your agency for the work they do. i represent the great state of colorado and i'm appreciative of the work you've done to thwart a number of attacks including the synagogue and public hall you mentioned. i want to give you an opportunity to clarify earlier part of your testimony. the chairman asked a question and i think there was some confusion around your answer. so, with respect to a recent article that alleges that the administration may be attempting to initiate political investigations or politically motivated investigations into their political opponents, has
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the president, the attorney general, or any member of the administration asked you to initiate an investigation into john bolton? and i'm not asking whether or not that request would be improper or proper or whether or not if such a request was made, if you've initiated such an investigation. i'm simply asking if they've asked you to do so. >> i understand why you're asking the question and i would just tell you my commitment to doing things by the book includes not talking about whether or not a particular investigation does or does not exist. you shouldn't read anything into that. i will tell you that no one has asked me to open any
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investigation on anything that's not consistent with the facts, the law, and proper predication. >> i would just say, director wr wray, with all respect, these questions are not academic or esoteric for us. seven months ago, special counsel mueller sat in the same chair that you are in and we all know now that the very next day the president had his infamous call with the president of ukraine in which he sought foreign interference in our elections. and as you know in a few hours the senate will render judgment in the impeachment trial of the president. so, as we read reports other the last few days, we ask what other actions the president may take. i appreciate your earlier answer and i want to move on to a different topic which is election interference. there was an article just a few
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weeks ago in the "new york times," u.s. election defenses have improved since 2016, russian hackers and trolls are growing more sophisticated than ever before. in the article there are references to new developments in terms in which the way in which russian actors are engaging in disinformation and attempted interference in our elections. one of the two russian intelligence units that hacked the democrats in 2016 quote, fancy their shifted work to servers based in the united states in attempt to thwart the nsa which is lumted to operating aproceed. also the trolls at the research agency are trying to exploit a hole in foreigners buying political ads, paying american users to hand over personal pages and setting up offshore bank accounts to cover their
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financial tracks. i wonder if you could expand on greater detail on the issues and how the fbi is addressing both of those developments. >> so, certainly i appreciate the interest. i think i'd have to be pretty careful about how much detail i could provide, you know, in an open hearing. but i would say that we believe, we assess, that the russians continued to engage in malign foreign influence efforts of the sort that i was describing before, fake personas, trolls, bots, state-sponsored media, the whole gamut in the bag of tricks. and we also assess that just like any sophisticated actor that they continue to refine their approach.
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2016, 2018, we've seen it from 2018 moving forward. hailey we're refining our approach too and trying to stay ahead of it. >> thank you, director wray. i think the committee would benefit if you were willing to indulge us on awe hearing on developments. i appreciate the fbi is focused on the issue. i would make two final points. first we'll make sure you're aware of a letter we sent to the inl a few months ago with regard to an issue on the nicks program. there was a woman who purchased a weapon in colorado unlawfully many months ago and raised serious questions about the poc and nicks program and whether there's sufficient auditing happening. i look forward to engaging on that issue. finally i would say i appreciate the fact that you are here and i've only been on the judiciary committee for about a year: but
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my understanding is that this committee has oversight over the department of justice. that means having folks like you're come in and engage in a healthy exchange with members of the committee. it is unfortunate that the attorney general has declined to do what you are doing today. in the last 30 years, six attorneys general, jeff sessions, eric holder, michael, alberto gonzales, john ashcroft, janet reno, they've all come in front of this committee to appear and exchange views with members of the house judiciary committee. i think it is shameful that the attorney general has not done that. i am grateful that you have chosen to do so.
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>> thank you. mr. cline. >> intended to respond to unchecked surveillance abuses by the federal government. as the fbi moves forward with implementing the corrective actions that you've laid out in light of the ig report's findings, it's imperative that the committee continues to work to regaining full trust of the american public. as this committee which is the committee with jurisdiction over these -- over fisa -- considers reauthorization, it's paramount that we ensure civil liberties are in no way inhibited. the lone wolf has never been used. can you explain why it's never been used and why there is still a need for it if it has never been used? >> i appreciate the question. we think of the lone wolf
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provision as something we could have used in any number of instances but because we had under those particular facts of those circumstances other tools we were able to use, we went with those instead. i will tell you that the lone wolf provision we assess -- this goes directly to some of the answers i've given to a variety of your colleagues about where the terrorist threat is moving -- more and more we are seeing al quaeda, for example, use so-called clean operatives here in the u.s. you heard me talk about the home grown volunteers, folks here in the u.s. inspired by isis, al quaeda, al s-shabab, you name i. >> would returning to the prepatriot act standard of requiring specific and articulate facts to the record retains, threaten the fbi's
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intelligence gathering capabilities. >> if we were to return as somebody who saw the terrorist threat before 9/11, the day of 9/11, and the years after including the enactment of the patriot act that that would be a sad day for america and there would be a lot of people whose safety would be jeopardized. >> and what would be the effect if there were a legal requirement for an amicus attorney to be present for every single fiske. >> my own view is that would grind the fisa process to a halt and the vast majority of fisas don't raise remotely sensitive issues in the sense that i think the committee or some members of the committee might be concerned, that would be i think a real tragedy. i will also say that part of the reason why fisa is so important is because it allows us to use classified information and present it to a court in a way
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that we would never otherwise be able to do in a traditional process. it also allows us to use foreign partner information. which those partners are very, very skiddish, as you can imagine, about sharing with us and having it put into a court process. if we started adding an amicus into every fisa application -- set aside the applicability of it -- i know the statute that provides speaks in terms of the court having the discretion to appoi appoint amicus for novel issues of law. and i think that's in those sort of rare unusual circumstances are the places where it makes sense to appoint amicus. that's the court's decision, not ours. >> you think some of the shortcoming in the ig report could have been avoided if an
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amicus attorney may have been present? >> i don't think so. i think the problems that are found in the ig's report are best addressed through the 40 plus corrective actions that i've articulated. we're also considering additional ones in coordination with the court and the department. bringing a level of rigor to the process and discipline to the process is at the heart of those 40 plus corrective actions. and i don't think adding amicus by itself would change that. >> i would argue some of your proposals like giving subordinates in field offices the ability to agree as to whether a warrant is -- or a case -- is handled at the central office does little to address the problems in the ig report. >> i'm sorry. i take your point. that's not geared towards fisa
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at all. the 40 plus corrective actions we have include things like that, but that goes more to some of the other deficiencies that were identified in the ig report. a lot of the ones we have are geared towards the process itself. >> last question. some agencies have only budsmen offices. what if we had that rather than attorneys who may be predisposed due to prior statements. >> i think the problems identified in the inspector general's report, we spent a lot of time, my leadership team and i, looking very hard at the facts and trying to think about what the right ways to address those problems are. we took a really comprehensive approach to it, and i think that that the approach we've taken is the one best designed to address the issue. >> thank you. thank you mr. chairman. >> gentleman yields back. mr. stanton. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman.
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and director wray, thank you for being here. please pass on the appreciation of the women and men of the fbi. we appreciate your work under attack. we bring your attention to the crisis of american indian and alaska nativen women. the u.s. department of justice found native american women face murder rates more than ten times the national average and four out of five native women are affected today. it's a tragic reality and one we need to tackle with real solutions. the challenge we face today is that no one truly knows, not even the fbi who has jurisdiction on tribal lands, how many indigenous women go missing or murdered every year. there's no dedicated federal database designed to collect information and numbers we do have come directly from state
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and tribal law enforcement agencies. and neither are equipped with the tools necessary to support investigations. as a result, understanding the true scope of this crisis is nearly impossible. unfortunately in my home state of arizona, we're all too familiar with this tragic issue. the murder accountability project, a non-profit that examines data on murders found that arizona has the third highest number of missing and murdered indigenous people. one-third of those numbers go reported to the fbi. since the first of the year, there a there are 45 missing native americans in arizona and those are just the numbers reported. that's 45 communities of friends and neighbors with no real information about their missing loved ones and not enough law enforcement support to find answers. that is happening in communities
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across the united states of america. last year arizona passed an important state law led by state respective jennifer jermaine to examine the issue of murdered and missing indigenous women and girls making arizona one of the only seven states to have a task force. the trump administration launched a task force to tackle the issue. the task force is an important step, we must do more to address the epidemic. it shouldn't take more women and girls dying to bring enough attention to the crisis to end it. i have several questions about this. please keep your answers as brief as wobble. we know sound policy recommendations are created when directly impacted people are at the table sharing their experiences and giving input. director wray, are tribal leaders going to be part of the task force where these protocols are being drafted and considered? >> well, the details about the task force are ones that are better referred to the
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department. i will tell you that i believe strongly, which i think is the heart of your question about the importance of hearing directly from tribal leaders. in fact, as fbi director, i went with our phoenix special agent in charge to meet with the leaders of the navajo nation and to drive around on indian country and hear first hand about what the challenges are. and i believe from what the leaders told including the president of the navajo nation, i think i'm the first fbi director to ever go there and visit them myself. we are trying to engage directly and hear from them. it's as you said gut wrenching to hear the fact patterns of these cases and my heart goes out to the victims. >> public reporting indicate thas the task force has only been allocated $1.5 million. is that enough resources to do the job for the broad jurisdiction of the federal task force? >> the nitty-gritty of the task
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force i would refer you to the department. we're going to make the best use of the resources we have. i think i said in i different context to one of your colleagues, if congress gives us more resources, i can assure you we'll put them to good use. >> it's clear we're dealing with a crisis of missing and murdered indigenous people that are consistently underrepresented. you emphasized earlier in this hearing that very point by saying quote the challenge of underreporting is you never know for sure just how badly underreported they are. that's a direct quote from yourself. i strongly believe that congress plays a critical role in addressing this epidemic of violence. legislation such as representative torrez savannah's act and the not invisible act could be signed into law if we want a comprehensive solution to this crisis. more immediately, we need the senate to swiftly pass the violence against women act which
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contains additional protections for native american women. it's been stalled in the senate for over ten months. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> gentleman yields back, ms. dean. >> thank you mr. chairman. welcome director wray. i'm glad you are here. we thank you for your time, testimony, and service. in the beginning of your testimony you set out the mission of your 37,000 folks and i just want to repeat it. to protect the american people and to uphold the constitution of the united states. such core values, i thank you and the members of the fbi for your service. i have had a cousin in the fbi serve very nobody bli and neighboring friend just recently retire. i want to affirmatively distance myself from the disparaging comments i heard right here today that i really do not understand. they are extraordinary misplaced and they are shameful. so, i'd like to start with the
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issue of gun violence, go back to that issue, and i thank you for focusing on it. this past november we saw yet another community devastated by a school shooting. the tragedy at saugus high school in los angeles. it did you everffered in one al. the firearm used there was a ghost gun. i would love to get an update from you and the fbi on ghost guns, firearms assembled from kits or 3d printers. they are often undetectable by metal detectors. they end up without serial numbers and make them untraceable. my own state of pennsylvania, i serve suburban philadelphia, move to recognize partially assembled guns to full firearm while enforcing state laws on
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illegal firearm possessions. has the fbi seen increase in the use of ghost guns, undetectable firearms, in investigations you've participated in? >> i don't know whether i can speak to statistically we've seen an increase but this is a topic that's coming up more and more frequently. we're having people do sort of intelligence-type assessments of the use of it and it illustrates a problem that cuts across not just ghost guns but technologies as well if i can use the word "technology" as a crude shorthand there. 3d printing, my first reaction is wow, can you think of all the great things we can do with that at the fbi. then my second reaction is oh no, do you realize what other people can do with that technology? >> we feel that same paradoxical set of feelings.
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i introduced a bill this congress. i want you to know of it. i know you are not here to advocate for any legislation. but the undetectable firearms modernization act which would prohibit the possession of any firearm that is undetectable by airport level screening. do you think this kind of legislation, not by bill specifically, but that kind of legislation is going to be important partnership with making sure we are secure at our airports? >> well, again, as you anticipated without comments on specific legislation, i would say that it behooves us as a country to be constantly thinking about where's the threat moving and what are the technologies that different kinds of bad actors can use to circumvent the very careful security infrastructure we have in this country. it's something we struggle with all the time. and i worry sometimes that government -- and i don't mean congress, executive branch. i just mean government writ
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large, doesn't move nearly as quickly as the bad guys do. >> yeah. >> and by the time we come up with the recognition that some kind of technology has the subject of enhanced protection things are way down field. so staying ahead of it is important. >> i share that concern. following up on representative deutsch's concern, i want to echo his urging of you to take a look at the two bills we passed nearly a year ago, hr-8, universal background checks, hr-11-12, closing of the charleston loophole. i saw about the good work about the nicks system is doing, but there are holes within that system. the good news is as you report in 2019, over 2 million background checks were performed. but by your own reporting, the
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fbi previously acknowledged that about 3,000 people passed the nix packground check system each year despite there being this system in place, all the more reason why we should have universal background checks in place. the three day default to yes which is the charleston loophole bill, do you agree, does the fbi agree, that we need to close or change the nix system so we no longer have the three-day you don't get clarity on the background kmek, you default to the licensed firearm dealer may sell the gun? do you agree that we need to change that portion of the nix system? >> well, again, as to any kind of legislative change to the existing gun laws, i would not be in a position where i can give you -- >> this is a systematic change. it may take a legislative fix. it may be something that fbi could recommend. it could be maybe an executive
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order. there are many ways to go about this. if you know there's a gaping hole, if you know that in the example of the charleston shooting they did not get clarity within three days, the man bought the gun, went in and did the grievous harm in the church, and five days it was determined he was a prohibitive purchaser. knowing that hole is there, do you not want the nix system to close that hole? >> we always want the nix system more comprehensive, complete, and reliable. any holes in the nix system are ones we're interested in addressing. >> i hope you will urge this legislature and the president and the senate to make sure that we close these holes and we begin to save lives from gun violence. thank you very much. >> thank you so much director wray for coming before us and
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sitting and listening to so many issues today. you know, last night we all watched the president address the nation, and while he was so proud of his work on protecting the second amendment which we all agree, nobody here wants to change that, what he did not mention is that this week is national gun survivor's week. and he didn't mention the thousands of lives that we have already lost to gun violence just this year alone. so, we are now approaching the two-year anniversary of the parkland shooting. and following the shooting of marjory stoneman douglas, many families of the children that were killed that day noted that the fbi did not appropriate act on the tips that the parkland shooter was dangerous. you had received several tips. and i'm glad to hear that you're working on this system. but if you can give one specific
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example on how you're changing that internal policy so these type of mistakes don't happen again. >> so, certainly parkland was a awful, awful, awful tragedy and my heart goes out and all of the fbi men and women's hearts goes out to the victims and families. we've made extensive changes there. i've been out to visit. i saw it before parkland and i saw it after, after the changes that i directed were put in place. i sent immediately after parkland a dedicated inspection division team to take a hard look at the way things were there. since then we have increased staffing including at the supervisor level. we've enhanced training, enhanced ec the nolg in any number of ways. we've added more oversight. we've put in place a whole new leadership team out there with people with deep, deep, deep
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experience. in some instances there were two particular individuals coming out of the inspection that we did out there. one individual was reassigned and another is, i'll just say, no longer with the fbi. >> thank you, dr. wray. if you could provide my office with a summary of those changes, i would appreciate it. i want to turn to election security. we've been focusing on election security. i haven't heard from the other side of the aisle our concern that what we heard in 2016 is that we got confirmation that russia interfered in our elections. you actually stated in just in an interview in december of 2019 that russia represents the most significant threat to the election cycle itself. the mueller report and our entire intelligence community also agreed that russia targeted to help then-candidate, president trump now and hacked into election systems in florida. thefrp successful in
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infiltrating counties. they alleged no data was manipulated. they got into the garage. they didn't necessarily get into the house. we know now they're trying to do it again in 2020. the florida secretary of state laura lee mentioned recently that the state's election system is under daily attack. the american people now need their assurances as you can understand when our vote is cast, it is protected. so, i wanted to just point out a couple of examples of what we saw here in 2016. the post on the left was highlighted by the intelligence committee, an ad paid by the russians, promoting candidate trump in florida. the post in the right was outlined in the mueller report. it shows candidate trump posting about rallies by russian operatives. this was the type of propaganda spread in 2016 and that we're still seeing today. i'm just very concerned if
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they'we're not careful in managing disinformation of campaigns in social media, it will be a powerful tool for russia and other actors in our elections. i wanted to ask you if you could give me just a couple of specific examples that the fbi is taking to prevent the exploitation of misinformation in social media to influence 2020 elections. >> well, in some cases we have investigations that result in charges, right? so, we have, for example, we charge the ira's chief accountant, the internet research agency's chief accountant. we charges russian military officers for their involvement. that's on the enforcement side. i think one of the more important step thas has been taken is engaging in the social media companies because the scale of what we're talking about is far beyond something
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that law enforcement, even if everybody in the fbi did this, could investigate our way through the threat. it needs more than that. working with the social media companies, they have under their terms of use, terms of service, the ability to shut down accounts that are being manipulated by false personas, et cetera. we've been doing that a lot more actively or i should say they have been doing that a lot more actively based on information we give them. in many instances that leads them to identify new accounts and in the right circumstances with the right process, we get information back from them which allows us to investigate more aggressively which allows us to give more back to them so you get a virtuous cycle going. and that allows the government to do what it's most effective at and allows the private sector what it needs to do. that's probably the biggest
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thing. >> thank you. i ran out of time. >> gentle lady's time has expired. >> mr. chairman, i would defer to my colleague from ohio mr. jordan. >> thank you. director, i want to go back to where my colleague from florida was just at talking about russian election interference. we had a brief exchange on this a few minutes ago. but again dr. hill talked about the dossier. she said that it was a rabbit hole during her testimony in the open hearing in front of the intel committee. she thought it was a rabbit hole and she thought that christopher steel got played. that document that mr. steel put together by talking to russians was taken to the court to get a warrant to spy on a presidential campaign, specifically the trump campaign. that means one of two things had to have happened. either the fbi got played or the people in charge of that investigation at the
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headquarters knew about the dossier and yet used it anyway, their bias was that strong. and it seems to me in light of all that, the real question is -- and you've referenced this in your opening statements, director. the real question is what are we going to do now? we have got five weeks until major reauthorization take place. so, what are the specific things we can do now to address what took place? the fbi got a document that was from russians, that was not true, and yet used that to go spy on a presidential campaign. so, what recommendation -- let me maybe run through a list and you can tell me if you like some of these ideas. would you recommend there be a citizen advocate at the court when an american citizen's rights are going to be infringed on? >> i think that's a change we would have to think very, very carefully about. >> would you be in favor of a
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transcript of every fisa hearing being kept by the court and secondarily that transcript then being sent to the house intelligence committee and the senate intelligence committee for their review and only that committee's review? >> that starts to involve the manner in which the court conducts its proceedings so i would have to think about that a little bit more. >> how about some type of appeal process? any type of appeal process you would favor? >> there is under the current fisa system from the fiske, the fisa court at the lower level, there's a so-called fiske r, fiske court of review, so there is appellate court and there have been appeals to the fisa court of review. >> how about a hearing whenever there is a renewal of a fisa warrant that the -- there actually be a hearing, you can't just look at the paper and say okay we're going to continue the
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fisa warrant. of course the example is mr. page, carter page, got the initial warrant and it was renewed three times. how about during those renewal process -- or those renewals, that it's an actual hearing every single time? >> well, i think the court has the discretion to have hearings whenever it thinks it's appropriate. and the thing i would say whenever we talk about anything with fisa when you use phrases like every single time is that it's important for the american people to understand and this committee to understand that the vast majority of the fisas we do are the kinds of applications that i am quite confident. we don't know each other, but i'm quite confident you wouldn't lose any sleep over and we wouldn't want to grind things to a halt on that front. >> i'm not disputing that, director. we do have a 400-page report and we know what took place in the
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context of 2016, 2017 relative to carter page who was part of a presidential campaign. and some of the things spelled out in the report my guess is probably never happened in american history. so, that's our concern. and we hear so much about russian interference in our election which is true. it happened. we all know it did. and we don't want it to -- we want it to stop. but seems to me a big part of that russian election interference was the idea that a document that russians -- information came from russians that christopher steel put together was used in this way was scary. how about -- >> can ion that point just to make sure we're not talking past each other, when it comes to the origins of the investigation, the cross fire hurricane investigation, i think the attorney general has said publicly -- so that's why i think i'm on solid ground to say it here -- that one of the things that mr. durham is look
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at is the origination of the investigation. >> sure we appreciate that. >> we have been cooperating fully. so, there's that. the other thing i would say which might go a little bit to the issue you're raising is that as the attorney general recently mentioned in a press conference, he and i are putting in place mechanisms where investigations of the sort that was at issue in the cross fire hurricane context would have to get approved both by the director and by the attorney general. >> it's an important point -- >> time, time. >> the time of the general has expired. >> one quick question. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you director wray for being here today. this is national gun violence survivor's week and i am a survivor solve gun violence. i want to thank you and the agents who work diligently on
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behalf of the united states of america keeping us safe. i really appreciate that. i know that some of my colleagues before we have asked you today, have asked you about hate crimes and i just want to kind of go back and start by returning to that serious issue. in november, the fbi released its hate crimes report which found that there were more than 8,000 hate crimes offenses. and 57.5% were motivated by race, ethnicity or ancestry bias. 20% were motivated by religious bias. nearly 60% of those were anti-semitic. so, taken together, anti-semitism was the motivation behind about 11% or 11.7% of all the hate crimes that were reported in the report. now, i know that you've addressed this a little bit
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before, but i'd like to ask you to kind of elaborate a little bit more on the steps that the bureau is taking to train local law enforcement to respond to antismet anti-semitic incidences and reports including reporting, information sharing, and violence prevention. >> so, i appreciate the question. a number of things that we're doing. one, i created a domestic terrorism hate crimes fusion cell last year. that's designed to ensure that we're maximizing our effectiveness both bringing the domestic terrorism dimension of the kind of threat you're talking about as well as the hate crimes dimension. there's a lot of overlap, and i wanted to make sure we are leverages every possible resource. second, we elevated to the top level priority racially motivated violent extremism so it's on the same footing as the
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national threat banding as isis and home grown violent extremism. we have directed all of our joint terrorism task forces and there are 200 plus of those all over the country. we're talking about 4,500 something investigators, federal, state and local together to make sure that the domestic terrorism is squarely within their sites. we talked a little bit earlier about the threats to life and a lot of those are in this category and making sure those get farmed out as a priority to our state and local partners. i have personally been engaged on this. i went to the tree of life synagogue myself and walked the crime scene with the team. and we're doing a lot of outreach efforts. i've met with leaders of a number of jewish organizations. we do presentations around the country to help houses of worship, better secure them. >> thank you. thank you for that. the statistics in the hate crimes report are made all the more chilling when we consider that many of those who harbor
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hate actually have access to weapons. and having lost a son to some of those weapons, i'm proud to be a co-sponsor of my colleague representative cicilline's bill -- he's not here -- the disarm hate act which would prevent individuals from possessing a gun if they were convicted of a hate crime. my bill, the federal extremist protection order act, could also be used by law enforcement to keep guns out of the hands of people that appear to be in crisis, emotional or behavioral crisis and a danger to themselves and others. extremist laws like my bill can prevent gun violence by actually responding to signs of danger before the tragedies occur. we know that the signs -- we know what the signs are. and fbi study found that the average active shooter displayed four to five observable and
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concerning behaviors over time often related to interpersonal reactions, verbal threats, apparent distress, physical aggression, and other signs of violent intentions. and for every active shooter in the study, at least one person noticed that behavior or that concerning behavior. so, what recommendation does the fbi have for reducing the risk of active shooters? >> so, first, let me just say that i'm deeply sorry for your loss. >> thank you. >> and i can only imagine -- i know there's no words that i can say that would help ease your pain, but i just want to make sure you understand how much i feel for you. second, when it comes to the phenomenon that you're describing, i think you've put your finger on an important point. we know in situation after situation whether it's the home-grown violent extremist or racially motivated violent extremist or even just the sort
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of more classic school shooter that in almost every instance when you go back and look there was someone, a family member, a neighbor, a coworker, a classmate -- it could be anything -- who saw -- who knew the person well enough and saw a change in the behavior. and we say all the time you hear that expression "if you see something, say something," well most of us when you hear that, you picture the unattended backpack in the bus terminal or something, right? of course we want someone to say something then too. but we're trying to push out the message if you see something about someone that doesn't seem right, we want you to say something. and i think that -- most of the studies show that if we could get more of the american public to do that, in some cases it requires a leap of faith in law enforcement because it may be talking about somebody that's very close to them. that's the way we can ensure that some of these people get the help they need but also more
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importantly protect them from hurting other people. >> so, last question. do you believe that these red flag laws are advantageous and really serving the tide of gun violence? >> any sort of position on actual gun legislation is something that we would have to coordinate with the department. i certainly know a number of states have passed laws like that. and we work with them when they have those laws and use whatever tools are in the tool box. >> thank you. >> gentle lady yields back. >> thank you director wray for being here and staying here this long for us to ask these questions. being from alabama i first want to highlight the fbi's investment in their new facilitys in huntsville projected to add over 4,000
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jobs. we in alabama are very pleased that the fbi is investing in our state. when you testified last year in front of the appropriations committee, i focused on human trafficking and child welfare and i was pleased to see that you focused on human trafficking and child exploitation for two pages in your written testimony. on january 31st, of course, the president signed an executive order combatting human trafficking and online child exploitation in the united states. so i want you to talk about that in a minute, about that executive order, how you plan to enforce that and work to combat child exploitation, continued to combat child exploitation and trafficking. but also i serve here on judiciary as the ranking member on the subcommittee on courts intellectual property and the internet. and one area that i, as a mom, am deeply concerned about is
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child safety invento the intern. and i hope my colleagues will hear this as i've been trying to create space on this committee to dive into that in a hearing specific for that. but the internet is being used to exploit and entrap children. and i think a big piece of this is education of parents, quite frankly, which is one of the reasons i want to have a hearing here to help draw attention. but with the executive order and my concerns i'll give you opportunity to talk about not just what the fbi is doing now but any plans you have for the future and quite frankly how can we in the congress be more helpful. this is a serious issue that needs lite of attention. >> i appreciate both questions. this is subject i remember well,
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your commitment and focus on this issue. and it's a subject that's near and dear to my heart not just now as fbi director but earlier in my law enforcement career when i was assistant attorney general and in private practice, one of the pro bono i was working on. on the fbi's end, certainly i was there for the signing of the executive order that you mentioned that the president signed and i appreciate his focus and his daughter's focus on this issue. and it's a multi-agency effort that is extremely important. on the fbi's end, we recently had, for example, operation independence day over the summer where i think we ended up rescuing over 80 kids. and that's just in about a month. you think about that. and that's not counting the kids
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who we caught the predators but the kid didn't happen to still be ongoingly victimized. who knows what would have happened if we hadn't arrested all the perpetrators involved in that. we try the victim centric approach so it doesn't end with just the prosecution of the offender but to try to engage through the victim services with the victims and stay connected with them even beyond that as they engage in recovery. on the last point on the child exploitation online point, that is a subject i'm deeply concerned about and it goes -- when you ask what can congress do, i would come back to the lawful access issue. that is, the law enforcement's ability to maintain -- this is not about gaining new authority. this is about not losing lawful access to the content which is what allows us to rescue all those kids.
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last year there were about 18 million -- 18 million -- tips provid provided, child exploitation tips, and something like 80% of those tips came from facebook to facebook's great credit, by the way. but if facebook goes forward with the plans that they have right now to go to end to end encryption across all their platforms, what that will mean is that those 18 million tips will just disappear. no longer. doesn't matter what laws congress passed, doesn't matter what lawful access we've been given, we will not be able to see that content. so, the perpetrators will still be out there. the victims will still be out there. the only thing that will be gone is the evidence we need had to stop them and rescue those kids. >> right. i know my time has expired but i really, really, really would like to take this opportunity to say to the majority, please, please help us create some space
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either ton the subcommittee or the full committee -- >> i just pulled someone aside and asked that they follow up with your staff. >> thank you. really honestly it's more about having a public hearing where we can dive into these various -- >> i do understand that and we talked about it. >> yes, you and i did. >> i did just raise it a moment ago. >> perfect. thank you, and thank you director. >> thank you, madam chair. director wray, i want to thank you for being here today. want to turn a little bit and talk about facial recognition technology. its use, its capabilities are exploding. that genie's out of the bottle so to speak. i know other countries are using it extensively. and so my question to you is in
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general what -- is the fbi using this technology and to what extent? >> i appreciate the question. you're right. certainly other countries may use facial recognition differently than we do. differee do. we do use it, but this is the important point. we use it for league value. in other words, we do not use facial recognition as the basis to arrest or convict someone. we use it as a way to figure out if we are going in the right direction, and then put together with other information. second we only allow people who are subjected to very significant and rigorous training, on the constitution, and the appropriate scientific steps to use that technology. i would say that we recently upgraded, the last point i will make on this is we recently changed our algorithms, to fit the mist testing standards.
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we have now tested out over 99% accuracy, under these standards. the key take away, we use it for league value. an agent can submit information, they can run the facial recognition through the database, and they will not get a one to one match, to get a couple of different options. then they pursue over lead value, not as evidence to arrest or convict someone. >> there's a subject matter that we have a went into extensively, airports and other places where this technology is very useful. at the same time a lot of false positives. what you are telling me constitutionally, you are putting in some guardrails to make sure this technology is not abused is that what i am hearing? >> yes, we take rigorous -- one of our core values into what we are applying facial recognition. >> when you say we are using it for leads, other countries they
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put cameras at every corner, an all that technology and facial recognition is stored somewhere for gondolas what reasons. here we are telling me it's only four leads. if you have a camera somewhere in public, you see a bank robbery, you see someone running away from that area. that would be an instance where you would use it to try to identify, possible suspect and that situation? >> well i guess you can have a situation, where might say we have a tip about a potential terrorist incident. and there is a video where someone is an unidentified, and the quality of the picture is under -- we can run against the database, if that matches with someone in the database. we might know that we are going in the right direction. >> in that situation, if i may interrupt you, you have a
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suspected terrorist, watchlist that you would be comparing that to. is that what i am hearing you say? >> i do not know how to describe the database. >> you have a database? >> we have a database of our own, we also have the ability with a number of states around the country, where they have photos, that under mou's which are used strictly under the constitution, we can send them a picture and see if you take and run it if it fits with anyone in their system. there's a whole process with that, it cannot be done by someone who was trying to properly. even if we have a positive match, it's four lead value. >> if i may interrupt you, again as i mentioned, this is a powerful tool. very useful tool. but also one that can be subject to errors, and abuse. i would ask your department, to
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continue to periodically update us, on your progress in terms of how you are using it, and also on those guardrails you are putting in, in terms of assuring there is no misuse or abuse, and that you are constitutionally, doing the right thing. i want to make sure we work with you, so there are no misunderstanding is moving forward. thank you for being here sir. >> thank you director wray, thank you for being with us today. i know you have been here for a very long time. we have spoken many times about black identity extremists, i want to ask about that today. i understand that the bureau no longer uses be i.e., and instead categorizes ease cases under the broader label of racially motivated extremism. i want to know if you have really repudiated the whole bie
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category. i know when we talk about in the past, it did not seem to be there was much evidence that there were black identity extremists. at the time as a little longer than that. something about black identity extremists that threaten police or attack police. tell me what is different? >> so i found our conversations before to be very constructive, and very valuable. we also engaged and not just with you and your colleagues, but also with noble. but you have a great relationship. and we are working more closely than ever. we have as you mentioned, changed our terminology, as part of a broader we earns a shun in the way that we categorize our domestic terrorism efforts. we took a whole bunch of categories, not just the one you mention. but a number of others and consolidated to four buckets. the reason is --
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>> one of the four buckets? >> that is racially motivated violent extremism, which is any kind of violent extremism that is driven with a racial intent, no matter what direction. there is anarchist a, slash government extremists. i might not have the label, right but that covers a variety of certain kind of malicious stuff, all the way to the anarchist, the anti felt like kind of methodology. there is violent extremism, people either side on that issue on the behalf of either side of that issue. -- we have had a variety of violence under that. with animal rights and environmental >> those are the? for >> those are the.
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for the point is, we wanted to underscore what i told you earlier, we want to make it even more clear. at the end of the day, for us, it is not about the ideology. it's about the violence. that is where we weigh in. it's not that the ideology it isn't important as americans, we investigate violence, and the crimes that go with the violence. >> so racially motivated violent extremism, how many african american or black groups are considered? >> i want to be clear, we do not investigate groups per se. we have properly predicated investigations into individuals, and in some cases, they might have coconspirators. in each of those incidences, we have three things. credible evidence, of a federal crime, credible evidence number two of violence or use of or
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threat of violence, and then ideology. only if we have those things will be open an investigation. >> so, our white supremacist groups under racially motivated violent extremism? or the white supremacist have a separate category? >> i want to stay away from the use of the word groups. we investigate white supremacist extremism on the same category. for example, just last month arrested eight members of the group known as the base, and they were arrest that were made in my home state of georgia, but also -- >> that was the group that was on their way to virginia? >> i think that is right, i cannot remember the detail specifically. >> there are organizations, and i understand that when you say you don't just and investigate individuals, you just gave an example of a group.
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i know there are a lot of white supremacist groups. so my question to you is, about black groups. i don't know if they are black individuals, under the category of black identity extremism, formally. there were organizations, such as the one in texas, and the in the individual in texas that was arrest arrested, he was incarcerated, then after being incarcerated going on trial, he was released. he had activity on a website, -- (technical problem) --
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including the killing of the people on the kosher supermarket. those individuals associated themselves called the black (technical problem)
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(technical problem)
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-- speeding is adjourned, thank you very much. >> thank you.
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