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tv   Confirmation Hearing for Director of National Counterterrorism Center  CSPAN  July 23, 2020 5:58pm-7:28pm EDT

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noon eastern on c-span two and on tuesday a ten minute am eastern, u.s. attorney general william barr appears before the house judiciary committee over the justice department hearing. watch live hearing coverage monday on c-span too and tuesday on c-span three, watch anytime on c-span.org or listen on the go with the free c-span radio app we. >> tonight, on american history tv, our series landmark cases produced in cooperation with the national constitution center. we explore the issues, people and places involved in some of the most significant supreme court cases in our nation's history. we begin at eight eastern with gideon v. wayne right, a case i want to establish a broader sixth amendment right to council for large criminals. and then at 9:35 eastern griswold versus connecticut. this case of the planned parenthood -- connecticut state law that banned the prescription and use of birth control.
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the supreme court ultimately room the statute to be unconstitutional. watch landmark cases tonight on c-span three and anytime at c-span.org. >> the senate intelligence committee met to consider the nominations of christopher miller to be the director of the national counter-terrorism center and peter to be the general counsel to the office of the director of national intelligence. the two nominees were asked about russian election interference, interrogation tactics, the fisa application process and whistleblower protections. they were also questions related to the recent deployment of federal law enforcement agents and u.s. cities experiencing ongoing protests.
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>> this hearing will enable the committee to have a thoughtful and deliberate consideration and qualifications for the position that you have been respected lee nominated to fill. the witnesses have provided wooden responses to questions from the committee, find admits members which you all will have and they will be able to ask any additional questions and hear directly from the nominees. as we will see missile or miller graduated from george washington university in commission as an infantry officer in 1987, he has a masters in national security studies and an arts degree from the naval war college and also graduated at the community staff and army war college. his military career as an enlisted infantryman in the army reserve in 1983 and served in the district of columbia national guard. in 1993 christopher transferred to special forces and served for the fifth special forces
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group, he participated in combat operations and iraq and retiring from the army in 2014 he worked as a defense contractor before serving as a special assistant to the president and senior director counterterrorism and transnational threats at the national security council, he currently serves as the deputy assistants security defends for combatting operations and for combatting terrorism. he graduated and received his law degree from stanford university in 2010. he then served as a law clerk on the united states court of appeals for the 11th circuit, thereafter he entered the private practice for several years before joining the u.s. department of justice as an assistant u.s. attorney for the southern district of california. during this time, patrick served multiple roles here in washington that include, the time with doj, he served in multiple roles here in washington to include as a department's director of counter-trans national crime. he currently serves as the
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associate deputy attorney general and chief of staff to deputy attorney general geoffrey rosen. gentlemen, you have been asked to lead and to see in the oldie -- respectively as a time when we are engaged in a debate, or both debate about the intelligence community in our collection tools and authorities. at the same time, however, the nation continues to confront a growing array of threats from state and non state actors navigating this tension will require judgment, wisdom, integrity and i expect that you will both provide self -- sound counsel advice to the director of national in telegenic as he takes on these complex and at times defensive challenges. the satisfaction of this committee's oversight mandate will times require transparency and responsiveness from your respective offices, should we confirm. you can except -- expect us to ants difficulty probably questions of you and your staff and internally will expect honest and timely
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actors. that said, we also want you to feel free to come to the committee with situations that necessitate our working in partnership with you. i look forward to supporting your nominations and ensuring their considerations without delay. i thank you both for being here for your years of service to our country and your willingness to continue in that service and i look forward to your testimony. i recognize the vice chairman. >> well thank you mister chairman and i want to also join in welcoming mr. miller was and the opportunity to talk with both of them prior to this hearing. congratulations on your respective nomination to serve as director of national counter-terrorism center and general counsel for the office of dni. both these positions are important positions in the intelligence community during a time of unprecedented national challenge imperil. the national counter-terrorism center was --
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with that huawei coming in already? >> his phone is going off. >> the national counter-terrorism center was created to prevent these kinds of efforts of the bad guys listening into our meetings. was created in the wake of 9/11 to connect the dots. and ensure a terrorist attack never occurs on our soil. the general counsel is critical and ensuring the laws with the intelligence community abide by the laws of this country including protecting american civil liberties and privacy interests. the job of america's intelligence committee is to uncover and anticipate threats and to provide more to the nation. the community is first and foremost in america's eyes and ears of threats and you just as all of the professional men and women are mandated to be nonpolitical and speak truth to power making those difficult calls based not on what those in power wish to hear, but on
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the facts. unfortunately, under this president, the men and women of the intelligence committee have increasingly come under attack not only from abroad but without justification. from within the leadership of our very own government. those who've had the -- with all americans expected of them, simply to tell the truth, similarly dismissed, disparaged on twitter. and retaliated against because this president is so often finds the truth on welcome, he's fired the acting dni, the deputy, deputy dni, nic inspector general, acting ntct director, a 40 year intelligence dismissed as the
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acting dni. including those who risk their lives every day around the world must know that our country's leaders have their backs. instead, they have been subject to disrespect for. a significant period of this year, there was not a single senate confirmed senior official at the office of the dni. this alarms me and it should alarm the american public. the leadership roles you've agreed to undertake are challenging under the best of circumstances. mr. miller, but our terrorist average salaries have not simply dismay, though we know plots continue every day. american men and women deployed in harm's way in syria, iraq, afghanistan and elsewhere are terrorist targets and some never made it back to their families. but i look forward to hearing
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from you today about how your thoughts as to how to confront the evolving increasingly sophisticated threat from isis and other rogue organizations were. you will take on this rule and how you will define success should you be concerned. in particular, i'd like to hear what you think about the role of the and ct see in confronting these threats and how do you plan to make sure the center is officially resourced to carry out its job. the general counsel advises the dni and the letters spirit of the law including the legal mandate to keep the intelligence committee fully uncurling informed and to ensure american civil liberties are protected. as we saw with ukraine whistleblower those who comply with their obligations to inform congress and face consequences. i expect to engage with you today on your perspective of what whistleblowers and particular your perspective on
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the involvement of the office of legal counsel at the department of justice. unfortunately, because of how this administration has approached what you're already difficult response of responsibilities will be more challenging. in addition to asking how you will undertake these responsibilities today, i will also wish to hear how you will stand up to political pressure, how you will ensure that analysis is a political informed without fear or favor, how you reassure your workforce that you will not face consequences for simply doing their jobs and how you make sure that this committee is fully and currently informed. former dni dan coats, a former member of this committee, set a high bar for telling truth and power, even in public when necessary for which he was eventually fired. ei will want to understand how you plan to live up to his example. thank you again both for agreeing to take up these challenging positions during the difficult time. i look forward to this hearing.
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thank you mister chair. >> i understand the president what -- senator grassley is here to introduce and speak on behalf of mr. miller. senator grassley, please proceed. >> thank you very much mister chairman and vice -- mister vice chairman for the opportunity to introduce to the committee was in my home state of iowa, mr. christopher miller. i congratulate both of the nominees for their appointment. it is not every day that an iowa in with such a distinguished service record comes before the senate for consideration so it's a special privilege for me to give this introduction. chris is parents and much of his family still live in iowa city and or eastern iowa. i'm sure his family is very proud that he will be testifying before this committee today and be recognized for his accomplishments and service to our country.
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chris was raised in iowa city after graduating from city high school, he attended george washington university where he majored in history and enrolled in the rotc program. he graduated from george washington in 1987 and then he immediately accepted a commission in the u.s. army as an infill tree officer. in the army, chris had an impressive and distinguished career. he served in afghanistan in 2001 and in iraq in 2003 and in the following years, like a lot of military people, he served on numerous additional deployments to both of those countries. on behalf of the people of iowa, we thank you and other people for your service to the country particularly in those difficult times. following his time in the army, chris went on to become a deputy assistant secretary defense for special operations
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and combative terrorism where he is currently performing the duties of the assisted secretary of defense for special operations. whether as a member of the armed forces or in public service, chris has given the best of himself for the american people in the defensive our country. of course, that should be no surprise, after all he's got iowa routes. i'm certain that this committee will find what -- give him a proper review of his record and his service and how that fits into his new position for. i believe he is fully qualified being nominated now as a director of national counter terrorism center but also the direct of national intelligence. so now, it is again, my pleasure to introduce to this
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committee mr. christopher miller. congratulations. thank you, mister chair. >> thank you senator grassley. so before we begin, mr. miller and mr. hovakimian, will you each stand and raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear to give this committee the truth, the full truth and nothing but the truth so help you guide? >> i do. >> i do. >> thank you, please be seated. gentlemen, before we move to your statements i want to ask and you need to answer the five standard questions that we ask of every nominee who appears before us that they generally require a simple yes or no answer -- the only reason why we need to hear is so it can be transcribed. for each of you, make sure your microphone is off. first question, and you agreed to pay before the committee here aren't any other venues when invited? >> yes. >> if confirmed, you agreed to send officials from your office to appear the committee and designated staff uninvited?
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>> yes. >> yes. >> do you agree to provide documents or any other materials requested by the committee in order for it to carry on oversight and legislative responsibilities? >> yes. >> yes. >> will you ensure your office and your staff provide such material to the committee when requested? >> yes. >> yes. >> finally do you fully brief to the fully -- flicks extent possible, all members of this committee of intelligence activities and covert actions rather than only the chairman of the vice chairman? >> yes. >> yes. >> thank you very much. we will now proceed your opening statements after which i will recognize members i believe will go by order of seniority today. chris, if i understand, you are going to go first so the floor is yours. >> thank you senator. i think i have it on. thank you senator. i want to highlight why the thrill was for senator grassley to make those opening comments. i was a little bit worried but i'm sure my sister helped them
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out. my uncle floyd moved and at arlene -- i know who are smiling down who are huge supporters of senator grassley. when i was 14 years old i went to an event at their farm. it meant that i did not hear his remarks. that was on the fast line 40 might be begun but it was awfully special. senator warner with the highest regards, i am now a citizen of commonwealth but when people ask me where i am from i proudly say that i am from iowa and words can't describe how honored i am in all the work that senator grassley has done for the state of iowa and by his leadership. acting chairman rubio, vice chairman warner and distinguished members of the committee, thank you for taking the time of day to consider my nomination to be the director of the national counter terrorism center. i appreciate the opportunity to appear before you. it's both humbling and surreal
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to sit before you today as the president's nominee for this position. i am grateful to have the support and confidence of the president trump and the director of national intelligence radcliffe. along with the overwhelming privilege to lead and commanded america's sons and daughters in combat as an army special forces officer being considered for this position is the distinct honor of my professional life. when al qaeda declared war in the united states 1997 september the 11th, 2001 i like many of my generation's answer the call to fight and defeat them. it wasn't a war that we thought that the defense of this nation as we sacrificed our youth and our innocents. many dear friends and comrades also sacrificed their health, their marriages and in some cases their been long. our ef lives. we have no regrets. the war has been long. our efforts have been
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remarkably successful. the commitment of tens of thousands of professionals has taken the fight to the enemy, protected the united states and developed a global network of partnerships that prevented another cataclysmic attack. when we set out on this journey as a country, we envisioned the campaign against violent extremist organizations and the generational war not a multi generational war. it would be in my view at the height of the responsibility to lead this conflict for our children to fight. it is my life's goal whether confirmed for this position or in another capacity to defeat al qaeda and its affiliates, to transition the war to a sustainable effort laser focus on monitoring the terrorist threats in the united states,
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attacking those that generate the will and ability to--and expanding relationships with like-minded partners around the world who are committed to the scourge to peaceful coexistence. i still see myself as a kids from iowa who wants nothing more than to serve the country and think their parents proud. my father believed strongly in the mobility of of public service, and i try everyday to follow in his footsteps. in addition to my mother's wisdom, an example of citizenship, that is what my sister and i aspire to emulate in all facets of our lives. most importantly, i want to recognize my wife and our three children were here with me today. kate stood fastely with me through this 32 year odyssey and raised over three children into magnificent adulthood. their character optimistic to the future and motivation, they give me hope and continue
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greatness in this united states of america. if confirmed i will lead the patriotic men and women of the national counterterrorism center with honor and integrity, advocate for the requirements of the counterterrorism enterprise and provide my frank, honest opinions and advice to the president, the dni, this committee and other policy makers and leaders in order to guarantee that we never again experience the indescribable loss of september 11, 2001. mr. acting chairman, mt. vice chairman, members of the committee, thank you for your leadership in protecting the united states. i look forward to responding to the questions. >> thank you. mr. hovakimian. >> acting chairman rubio, vice chairman warner and distinguished members of the committee, thank you for taking the time this morning to consider my nomination to serve
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as the general counsel for the office of the director of national intelligence. i am honored to appear before you today. i also extend my thanks to the president for the opportunity to serve in the director radcliff for his confidence in me to my current pulses, attorney general -- >> this room isn't great. could we turn your volume up a little bit? and maybe you can bring your microphone of a closer. thank you so much. we are all kind of getting used to this. >> at to my current bosses, my attorney general barr and deputy attorney general jeff rosen for their support throughout the nomination process. acting chairman rubio and vice chairman warner, i am a first generation american and a proud
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civil servant. my background and experiences that shape who i am today and have compelled me to put my hand up when called upon to serve. this great country of ours has given me everything. my parents hovakimiam came to this area and built a life and raised two boys and instilled in me a deep appreciation of the freedom and rights the country provides and an equally strong duty to serve. without their love and support, i simply wouldn't be here today. i think my mom who is watching from home, my dad, who i know is watching from above, my entire extended family and the many close friends from back home in california and those from later in life who have supported me and live life beside me through the years. i've been fortunate in my career. after graduation from law school i joined an international law firm where i worked alongside and learned from the highest lawyers in the world. after a few years in the firm working for a judge on the 11th circuit, i have i thought could what i thought could be the best job i ever had. in san diego i worked alongside
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agents and prosecutors building cases from the ground up. i handled matters and diverse contexts across the criminal code. for the last couple of years i served as a prosecutor and i worked primarily on the cases involving a former foreign defense contractor, his firm and the u.s. navy. investigating and mitigating the national defense procurement fraud and bribery cases was rewarding work to say the least, it implicated the national security interests and those of the military. working hand-in-hand with law enforcement agents and military personnel that felt like we were standing up for the interests of the united states. it felt righteous because it was. i look back on those days, and i carry the experience is with me. they motivate me to continue to serve. just as i have great professionals that compromise our federal law agency.
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i have tremendous respect for the members of the i.c.e.. they do righteous work and work every day on behalf of the united states. i am here because i want to support them and their mission. i am here because i want to do what i can particularly at this consequential time to ensure that women and men get the support they need to help keep the country safe and secure. i have seem the ice work in action serving as the director of counter transnational crime rises in consumer and participated in the fbi and cia briefings on counter narcotics efforts, terrorism finance, country specific and region specific threats into various interconnections between the nation states and organized crime around the globe. as i worked to implement the briefings and interaction i experienced firsthand the value they provide in the critical nature of the work that they
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do. i've also seen firsthand the way it interacts in the activity as a deputy general i regularly participate in the counterintelligence and briefings in the operational matters in the investigation and litigation in the national security cases. senators, the general counsel position that i've been nominated for is at it's core a legal job. in addition to the tasks that any would perform, i regard the overarching duties to be in principle threefold. first, the gc must speak truth to the decision-makers. everything else flows from that basic proposition. the only legal advice i will ever give is that which comports entirely with the constitution of the united states and the laws of the united states even when it results and outcomes or advice others may not want to hear. i will only ever deliver what i consider to be lawful,
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objective, clear and complete advice and counsel. my oath to the constitution if i'm confirmed will require it, and my professional judgment and moral compass demands it. second, the general counsel must promote transparency because the ic must keep congress fully and currently informed of this intelligence activities. for me cultivating a relationship with the congressional intelligence committees is of paramount importance. oversight providing the american people through their elected representatives to channel through which to receive and evaluate, specifically with regards to the intelligence ic of the duties of the ic robust and thorough congressional oversight that is vitally important. the ic engages in activities critical to the national security and the country and the implications of many other values we like the prius like civil liberties and privacy. if confirmed, i will work with the director and other leaders to facilitate and maintain
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cooperative process with this committee. the general counsel uniquely situated for the collaboration across the office and to do so they should take a leading role in promoting collaboration and ensure that the ic activities are conducted lawfully and the panoply of the statutory rights are protected for ic employees. i will close by saying public service is a high privilege. i remember standing in court and saying for the first time, good morning, your honor. patrick hovakimian the united states. that feeling never got old. if i am confirmed, i will have a different but similarly significant opportunity to serve. i look forward to working with a talented professionals of the ic. so acting chairman rubio, vice chairman warner and members of the committee, i look forward to your questions. >> and i'm going to defer my opening questions until the back end of the hearing.
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>> thank you, mister chairman, mr. miller and mr. hovakimian. >> hovakimian, sir. close. >> hovakimian. i've got a question for both of you but i want to make a statement if i can at the beginning. most on this committee were intricately involved in creating not just ntct but the dni. so they have their own illusion of what the responsibility and the mission of both were. i've had an opportunity to sit down with mr. miller and i've looked at patrick's background in his resume. i'm not sure that we could have two more qualified people to fill the rose that they have been nominated for. then these two individuals. given that many on this committee crafted these agencies and legislation, it is absolutely crucial that we have people that can fulfill the
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mission that we thought ntct was there to do and if we could have somebody interpret the correct law in an agency that is still in its embryo stage? i encourage members that if there ever were a time where i'd really like to see us expedite these nominees and hopefully get away from acting and have permanent, it would be before we leave for the next break. mr. miller, as ntct to manager for the i.c., how do you plan to ensure that the intelligence committee counter-terrorism mission is operating efficiently as possible given the limited resources and growing focus of our targeted countries? to >> thank you senator for that question. i hope every one can hear me. it's so important, it's
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rightfully, we've had enormous success against counter violent extremist organizations and i really see that. we are having this conversation of resorts and prioritization for counter-terrorism at this time. it's a real testament to the success that we've had but the war is not over yet. al-qaeda and its affiliates still are committed to attacking us. first 30 days, get in there, look under the hood, see what is going on, determine what our resource strategy is and then take action after that. i feel right now we are in a pretty good place. i look at a macro perspective of the budget of our last job. however, it's something we have to pay attention to, we can't correct too soon, senator. >> let me ask you a follow-up, if i can. how do you plan to reduce any
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analytic duplication that's going on currently? >> senator, as you know law intelligent organizations within our federated enterprise presents challenges. i think -- i have some of the same concerns when i see products that are written and do what contradicts another one. that is kind of one of the challenges, but that is the beauty of our federated enterprise, we have comparative analysis, the question is how much? i know we currently within the counter-terrorism business we, every day, we have a meeting where we make sure we are not doing that. i'm going to take that very seriously because duplication is all right to appoint but to use tap dollars correctly, we don't need too much and that is always the challenge and i'm going to take that one on. >> thank you. >> patrick, the intelligence
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community is often faced with the use of cutting edge technology in model situations. without a lot of president forced to draw on, what experience do you have in crafting legal solutions for cutting edge technology problems that have no legal precedent? >> senator, it's a great question and one that in many ways, as you rightfully pointed out, will define the i.c. and the process of providing judgment to the i.c. in the near future. working at doj i've had the working a doj and had opportunity to consult the opportunity to and work with consult and work fbi in the with fbi and the national security national security division on division on matters related matters relating to our official to artificial intelligence intelligence and other cutting edge and other cutting technologies like edge technologies that. like that. they are cross across cutting legal issues cutting legal that apply. issues that apply luckily,, luckily the the high seas comprised of a number of i.c. is talented compromised of juicy offices. i talented would draw upon gc their experience and offices. i worked with expertise. this committee and work in a
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professional with this committee and staff the special and engage as appropriate and other staff stakeholders. i would do my best to, render complete and i would do my thorough and accurate best to render legal advice complete no matter how, thorough, novel the accurate and context. >> legal thank you for that advice. mister chairman, i yield. . >> vice chairman. >> >> the thank, thank you mister you mister chairman. chairman. let me let me again say i've really enjoyed my begin by saying i have really opportunity to meet with enjoyed my both of you opportunity to meet with both gentlemen before this of you gentlemen hearing. before this hearing, and i would echo what senator look burr said that you both you both bring i bring very think very strong strong qualifications qualifications, but you'd be but you'd be taking on these taking on these jobs shops an in an extraordinary difficult extraordinarily difficult time times when i personally fear, that when i personally the fear that the icy is under law i.c. is under constant assault constant assault. a couple of questions. i've got implying that you wouldn't but i a couple of want to get these for the questions and record i want to get these for the. record will you. would you commit to report to commit to report congress any to congress evidence of any evidence political of political pressure pressure on on analysts analysts or or
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politicization of the polarization of intelligence intelligence and will be and will you report to congress report to and the congress evidence of the any evidence use of so-called of the purge list or use of what is loyalty called purchaser tests within loyalty tests your respective within your areas? >> respective areas? yes, i will. >> yes i >> yes, would. senator. politics has no place in the >> yes, senator intelligence activities of the united states, politics. >> what takes no place will each of you in this. >> what would each of you do to do to reassure your workforce reassure your that workforce that you won't allow you will not allow the ntct or for that the and cdc matter or the oh for that dni, not matter just within the general councillors office, that -- that intelligence intelligence professionals will not face professionals will not repercussions face if they do their repercussions if they job and tell the do their job and truth? >> wow tell the truth? >> >> senator, senator, i i am a proud am a proud civil servant. civil servant i worked. i have worked alongside alongside career public servants career public for the majority of servants for the majority of my my career now career now. i consider, and i consider myself to be among myself to be among them them. if i'm. if i'm confirmed for this confirmed for this job, i will engage job, i will engage with them with them daily. daily i will.
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i will tell tell them them that i that i am the leader am the leader of the of the office, but office but that that does not mean doesn't mean i'm not there that i am not there appear. appear. i am their i am there peer, they can come to me appear. they can come to talk to me. me and talk to i expect and anticipate that if me. confirmed i'd if have an open and confirmed, i would have an collaborative open and relationship with the collaborative professionals at relationship with the o.j. c professionals and that we would work through, and we the tough issues would work through the tough together and they would have issues together. they my full support. would have my >> full mr. miller? >> support. >> vice chairman, vice really important chairman, a really important question. question. the thing that i am the thing that i'm drawn john to with the to with the counter-terrorism counter-terrorism enterprise enterprise is is that literally it is literally a political nonpartisan. a political we still have nonpartisan. a statement as many many of us recall recall, i used to have a statement that politics ended at the water's edge. it for is the same way with counter-terrorism. dedicated, i will. absolutely lead with integrity as i have throughout my career. i will be very conscious of that and set an example in every way i can. >> thank you both. i've got a couple of more questions for you. we talked a little bit about this in who our meeting.
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in your answers to the committees prehearing questions you, you noted that you are not familiar with the specific intelligence underlying the january 2017 i.c.e. assessment and the committee seek assessment that russia interfered -- to help candidate trump. your chief staff, which would seem to me, that you would have had some access to that information, it seems to appear that there are some within the attorney generals office which are trying to undermine the conclusions of this committee and of the i.c.e.. do you have any doubts that russia interfered in 2016 and continues to interfere in our 2020 elections? >> senator, i do not, as director ratcliffe said during this confirmation hearing. it is clear that the russians interfered in 2016. it is clear the interfered in
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2018, and it is clear that they are or are attempting to this year. some of the things they did were extensive social media disinformation campaigns. some forms of hacking, and other efforts aimed at sowing general discord and undermining our democracy i think it is clear. >> you have any questions about the assessment of the unanimous assessment of the intelligence community and of this committee 's report that in 2016 they had a favorite candidate? >> senator, as i noted in the response of the prehearing questions, i have not had a chance to look at that intelligence. i don't know what it says. i do not know what is there and what isn't there. but when it gets a sitting here today is i have no reason to doubt the ica of january 2017, nor this committees confirmation of it. >> i think that is a careful answer, and i know we are complying to be a lawyer, but i
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am concerned about that. let me get one last question. one of the things that i found most outrageous was when the inspector general mr. atkinson's efforts were undermined by the olc's opinion that basically said that the only and i has the ability to stop the icig from reporting whistleblower matter of urgent concern to congress, which i believe is clearly opposite to the letter intent of the law. have you had a chance to review any of those activities, and what you see going forward, that if inspector general was pursuing a matter in your role as she see for the audience i, which you try to impeach or stuff any general inspector effort? >> senator, i have great
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respect for all acts of congress and among those chiefly, is the enactment government of whistleblower protection acts, including the one that applies to the ac. if confirmed, senator, i would ensure whistle blowers receive all protections under the law to which their untitled. i would work closely with the director and other senior officials. i don't know the new icig, but i know him by reputation. is dedicated public's long public servant. i look for to working with him, his office and all lawyers and algae see to ensure that whistle blowers are afforded illegal protections they are entitled to. >> thank you, mister chairman >> as you know, our conversations on the phone, i have a very special interest in the and see tc because it was
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created by the terrorist and intelligence reform in terrorism protection act of 2004. which i drafted with senator, and we always considered in siti c as well and -- as the chief components of that wide ranging bill. i am therefore concerned about mr. trump's recent comments in which she outlined his concerns that and c tc does not have the resources that are required to fulfill its mandate under eye are tp a he has communicated similar concerns to my staff and to this committee have also noted in recent years and it seems that agencies are no longer sending their very
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experienced analysts to the national counter-terrorism center. in some ways we have gone back to the pre-and ct see days for president bush first set up detached to try to do this better agency analysis to ensure that we connect the dots. you believe nancy tc has sufficient resources to fulfill its legal mandate? >> senator, thank you for your visionary leadership in establishing the national counter-terrorism center which you responded to the failures we had of course prior to september 11th 2001. rest traverse is a dear friend and mentor. fundamentally, i actually very much agree with the bought
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outlines of ressa's public statements. i'm not of course in anything. i understand he might have done an inspector general complaint or however return that. we do not want to return to pre-2001 -- we want to make sure we resource correctly. the other thing is the degree between centralization and decentralization, and that is a really important question that we have to get right but of course russell's last thing is let's have a public discussion about the, which we are having here today. i don't want to speak for us traverse. i need to go in there and look. i know the general budget lines an analytical capacity is something that is important. i know that there is stress on pulling analysts out of counter-terrorism and moving them to other accounts that are higher priority. i have not seen at the root level yet, as i said, i kind of
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look at the gross numbers. it is a huge concern. we cannot return back to the problems we had in the past. i just don't have the level of detail and look forward to talking to rest traverse as soon as i can to get more specificity of the. of course i will talk to all of you. i've talked to all the former directors. >> thank you. i think is really important. we intended for the dots to be connected after reading the 9/11 commissions report, which suggests that the 20 some intelligence agencies each had some information that perhaps -- might have led us to be able to thwart the 9/11 attack. as we shift towards and focus more on china, we cannot forget that the terrorist threat is still very real. i appreciate your commitment.
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-- it was credible and of an urgent concern. despite a legal requirement to transmit to commit complaint to this committee within seven days, d.o.d. nine did not do so under what circumstances do you believe that it is appropriate to not send a whistleblower complaint to congress that the icig decides is credible and an urgent concern? >> senator, generally speaking, all whistleblower complaints should be forwarded to congress, if confirmed. i've said it another context and i will say it again. i will do everything i can to ensure that whistleblowers are afforded all the statutory rights to which they are entitled, and i will do everything i can to work with
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the career professionals, both in the inspector generals office and the general counsel's office to ensure that the whistleblower protection act is applied fairly and consistently. >> thank you. >> thank you very much, mister chairman. you are very young. back in 2014 -- >> which one! >> not you, sir. (laughs) sorry, i could not resist that. >> back in 2014, this committee put out a new study on the report of the cia's detention and interrogation program. that was very important to me. i was chairman of the committee at the time. do you believe that any of the cia's former enhanced
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interrogation techniques are consistent with the detainee treatment act? >> i >> have reviewed the executive summary of the report that was released while you were chairman. it is a very detailed and thorough report. from my perspective and where i sit, a model of congressional oversight. senator, the law today is clear. the national defense authorization act of 2016 says that only interrogation techniques that are authorized in the army field manual are legal and only those techniques. i support that lawfully, and if confirmed, i will ensure that that lies complied with. >> good. you have done your homework. let me ask you about the detainee treatment act, which is the set of conditions and techniques that really can be
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used. have you read that? >> i have reviewed it, senator. yes. >> because that is the standard that is used as my understanding, and so as chief legal counsel for most important intelligence office, i am really very interested in what your position on torture would be. you are young. >> senator, torture is wrong, and if confirmed, i will enforce the law and ensure that the law is complied with. i have read the executive summary of report that your committee put together when you are chairman. i found it to be illuminating and terrifying at the same time, senator. >> thank you. let me ask, if confirmed as general counsel in d.o.d. and i, how would you approach questions about using title 50 intelligence authority domestically as part of law enforcement operations?
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>> senator, a bedrock principle of our country, americans that are engaged in activities that are entirely protected by the first amendment or other parts of the constitution are not to be targeted or surveilled solely on the basis of the protected activity. although an executive order 12 triple three, there is a section that allows for certain coordination, technical assistance, things like that, between ic elements and domestic law enforcement. in a word, that kind of stuff happening here are not to be too colloquial about it, is very serious. to answer your question directly, i would review it soberly. i would look at activities like that with a skeptical eye. i would work with the career professionals at old she see and across the intelligence community to ensure that the law of course is of paramount
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concern that the constitution is applied with all contexts. >> are you aware of the presidents firings of recent inspector generals to include inspector general michael atkinson? >> i am aware of that, senator. yes. >> do you see any issues in that firing that would undermine knee ic's confidence in the whistleblower protecting -- >> i don't know all the facts there, but what i do know is there is a dedicated and committing quarter of civil servants who worked both in the icy across the united states government. i am proud and honored to be among them, and my inspiring's has been, nothing shakes these folks. they do their jobs on behalf of the united states, day in and day out. i've anticipated that if confirmed, i will have their back and do just that.
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>> i am sorry. you will have the back of him? >> i will have their back. i will support them in their mission on behalf of the united states. >> do you see any issues with the recent firing of icig michael atkinson that would undermine the ic's confidence and whistleblower protections? >> whistleblower protections are of paramount importance. it is important that the rights of all whistleblowers are protected. i was a prosecutor. i worked with confidential informants. they are like whistleblowers in many ways. they put everything on the line. sometimes they work at a company and they have a job and a career, and a family. they put everything on the line. they come forward and tell what they believe to be the truth and to disclose what they see is wrongdoing. it is important to protect whistleblower rights. i know the dedicated servants of the ic and across the
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government work to do just that, and if confirmed i look forward to helping them do that. >> thank you. thank, you mister chairman. >> senator. >> i am surprised nobody has asked you about what i consider to be one of the greatest scandals that has affected the intelligence community, including the fbi in american history, where the resources of the fbi and the intelligence community were directed against a candidate for president of the united states. obviously it produced a long and lengthy narrative about russian collusion, ultimately, resulted in the appointment of special counsel and the report from mr. mueller, and now we are learning as a result of the
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declassification's, a lot of previously classified materials about the nature of the fraud being committed on the fisa court, securing pfizer warrants. abuse of the fbi's authority conducting counter intelligence investigations which are very important. frankly, reckless disregard at the highest levels of the fbi during the previous administration for the rules and procedures governing fair and impartial investigations. i wonder if you could characterize your reaction to the revelations that we have seen, recognizing of course there are some ongoing investigations by mr. durham, and we are anticipating his report, but it strikes me that this is one of the greatest scandals mean in american history. >> senator, all i can say is
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that i was shocked, as were many americans when i read inspector general's report as a lawyer and a public servant the idea that an office of general counsel lawyer would alter an email and that altered email with service as the basis, even partly four and a find and pfizer application. it is deeply, deeply troubling. the attorney general has called it an abuse. senator, i will say, over the course of my career as a prosecutor and now as an employee of main justice, i had the pleasure and honor of working with any number of fbi agents and law enforcement personnel. they as well seek to do the right thing at large on a daily basis. they helped protect this country. i'm honor to work with them. i know director wray and fbi leadership are implementing
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reforms and changes to address the situation that mr. horowitz described in his report. it is an ongoing an important conversation. thank you for the question. >> senator feinstein raised the issue of enhanced interrogation and the investigation coral was made, unfortunately, the report ended up being a minority report and the majority report on partisan lines, and indeed there was not a fulsome investigation in terms of talking actually interviewing witnesses as opposed to interviewing papers and reports. but clearly, this was a novel, legal challenge for the department of defense and for the intelligence community. the sea i a and other aspects
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of the intelligence community had to adapt to a novel situation and try to get actionable intelligence to save american lives and hopefully preempt future terrorist attacks. could you just describe for us how you, as a chief lawyer for the director of national intelligence would approach the sort of novel, legal questions? we know exactly what happened. once the officials responsible for protecting american people act with consistent legal advice provided at the time, there is invariably a second guessing, and the attempt to hang those people out to dry when they have tried to do the very best they can in a novel circumstance to understand with the law is and follow the law. can you address how he would
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approach those sort of novel, legal questions? >> senator, as i said in my opening. i want to do this job because i believe in the mission of the ic anne. i believe in the mission of those who are deployed overseas and fighting on behalf of this country every day. some in an heralded, if not completely -- if confirmed, i would talk to consult and work with personnel and the intelligence community, and people who have sort of been there, done that and seen it. i believe that legal advice is informed and is best delivered when it takes into account facts on the ground in addition to principles of law that are inviolable and cannot be violated. there are facts that can help guide analysis and situations. i try to be a lawyer at all turns who operates on a fully
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informed basis and talking to all those who had skin in the game, so to speak, and those who are backed up against the wall. i do believe facts and formed legal judgment, if confirmed, i will work every day to ensure that i give the best legal advice that i can. >> thank you, mister chairman. mr. hovakimian, my home town of portland has been invaded by militarized federal law enforcement. each federal forces are beating, tear gassing and detaining my neighbors. on monday, donald trump promised to expand this invasion to other cities. if the line is not drawn in the sand right now, america may be scaring down the barrel of
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martial law in the middle of a presidential election. now, mr. hovakimian, you are a senior justice department official. your any position to know what is going on. as you know, i informed you in advance that i would be asking questions this morning about the legality of what is happening in my hometown. my first question is, do you believe that federal forces can patrol american cities over the objections of state and local officials and away from federal buildings? >> senator, i understand portland is your hometown, and i understand there's a lot going on there right now. i do extend my best wishes to your friends and family and constituents there. senator, i will stand firm on the idea that americans right
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to free speech, free assembly under the first amendment are absolutely sacrosanct. neither law enforcement nor the intelligence community should target or surveil americans who are engaged in activities that is entirely protected by the first amendment. this is a bedrock principle of our democracy. it is one that i stand by. senator, peaceful protests is one thing. violence is another. from where i sit, law enforcement helping to quell violence -- >> my time is short. >> yes senator. >> nobody condones violence. i have repeatedly said that. it is not the issue! the issue is whether that is a smokescreen for a federal takeover of local authority and local law enforcement. what is your reaction to what
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is going on in my hometown? because i believe that it is unconstitutional, and i believe the country needs government lawyers who will not use the law as a smoke screen to justify this unconstitutional invasion over the objections of local officials. >> senator, as i began my remarks, i noted that the situation in portland is volatile and i do extend my best wishes to your constituents there. i have to say -- >> my constituents are interested in more than your best wishes. what they want to know is that these forces can go wherever they want over the objections of local authorities. that is what they want. >> senator, the department is committed to enforcing the law while respecting and promoting the constitutional rights of all people. on this issue specifically --
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>> i will tell you, the department is throwing the law in the trash can. this morning, a republican, the first secretary the department said there is no way, no way he would have allowed this as a governor. the federal government to do what is going on in my city. and you seem to want to extend best wishes to us and the like for the first amendment, but i do not see any evidence that you are going to do anything different. i would like to hear that you are going to. so let me ask you another question. do you believe that unidentified federal forces in unmarked cars can drive around seizing and detaining american citizens? that is a yes or no question. >> senator i believe in fully protecting the constitutional rights of american citizens. i have done that as a prosecutor. i have done that is it doj official. >> that is not what i am asking.
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what i am asking is, do you believe that unidentified federal forces in unmarked cars can drive around seizing and detaining american citizens? that is a yes or no. >> senator, generally speaking, it is a great idea to identify oneself as a federal law enforcement officer. i will say that the department takes the constitutional rights of americans very seriously. as you know, the state a.g. and oregon has to the federal government, as is common, the federal programs branch and the civil division of the department is defending the lawsuit that marshals are named defendant in a lawsuit, so at this point there is ongoing litigation in some of the matters that you are asking cutting to the heart of that litigation. >> that again is ducking the question. these are practices that are going on now. over the objection of local
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officials. and you have equivocated -- i consider these practices a massive invasion of constitutional rights of my constituents. i think that these practices are essential and fascist practices that until recently would have been unthinkable in america, and your refusal to condemn what is going on in my hometown and people know all about it -- the first secretary of homeland security was very clear about it this morning. these positions are not consistent with the position to which you have been nominated. mister chairman, i intend to impose this nomination. >> thank you, chairman. mr. hovakimian, in your current capacity at the justice department, i have a few questions that i would like you to take to the record. you do not have to answer them
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today. they are fairly detailed, but i would appreciate a quick response. the u.s. attorney for new mexico told me yesterday that federal law enforcement agents will be sent to albuquerque as part of the expansion of operation -- the justice department states on its website that this initiative is intended to quote, fight the sudden surge of violent crime, but as i albuquerque chief said, violence is down this year and protests have been mostly peaceful. the doj initiative is also intended to work in conjunction with state and local law enforcement student officials. yet, the mayor and the chief and police were not consulted. i would like to ask you, why now? what is the driving reasons to send these agents to albuquerque at this time? how is this initiative different than last year's operation relentless pursuit? how will doj work with city officials such as the chief of
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police and the mayor to ensure cooperation, coordination, and some legal guardrails, because we don't want the portland model coming to the city of albuquerque, frankly. finally, what will this operation actually look like on the ground if it is not intended to monitor protests? how exactly will these forces be utilized? i would like to get into some questions they would appreciate your answers to today. on june 26th, the president issued an executive order on protecting american monuments, memorials and statues income recent criminal violence. according to the public reports this week, an unclassified department of homeland security memo which i have requested, authorizes dhs office of intelligence and analysis to engage an intelligence gathering against ordinary
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american citizens who may be participating and local protests. i would like to ask you if you believe that the threat to property damage to monuments and statues, specifically, it is a significant enough homeland security threat, not a local law enforcement threat but homeland security threat, to warrant intelligence analysis and collection by federal agents? >> senator, with respect, i cannot necessarily speak to what the department of homeland security is or isn't doing. i can't say that americans right to free speech and free expression, including free speech and free expression around statues and monuments is of paramount importance to me. those are bedrock principles. >> in your personal judgment, do you believe that the threat of vandalism to particular monuments or statues rises to the level of necessitating
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intelligence analysis, especially given the fact that that comes at an opportunity cost. if we are gathering information on protesters at monument sites, we are not gathering information about white supremacy groups, or other groups that have actually threatened violence. >> senator, i understand the question. michael always as a lawyer, both in my current job and if confirmed, and my future job, would be to provide considered legal judgments, and to do that i would need all the facts on the ground. it is difficult to a pine categorically on hypotheticals because -- >> it seems to me you answered pretty straight forward lee senator feinstein's question about title 50 authorities. this is the next logical step. this is the title 50
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authorities an action. why is it hard to connect the dots for you between those two things? >> senator, there is a lot happening in the country right now. there is a lot of facts on the ground in different cities. your question was specifically about vandalism near monuments and statues. >> my question is specifically about gathering intelligence about protesters. >> senator, generally speaking, intelligence should not be gathered against americans who are engaged in activity entirely protected by the first amendment anne. >> thank, you mister chairman. >> thank, you mister chairman. i've got questions that i will reserve for closed session. they are not matters that can be taken publicly. >> thank you, mister chairman. in your current role at the department of justice, have you ever reviewed, approved or
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supervise the employment of federal law enforcement officers to these protests? >> the deployment of federal law enforcement officers. >> let's not pars words. were you in any way involved in the decision to send federal officers to these locations? >> senator, i am a current doj official. there is a lot happening right now, and -- >> please, a yes or no. that would be helpful. >> senator, i advised the attorney general and the deputy -- >> have you advised on this topic? let us focus on the subject i brought up. >> i have sidelines into many things. the doj -- this does not happen to be one of. them >> you are not involved in any of these decisions? is that what you are saying? >> like any major big organization, there is a division of labor at the department. >> i am aware of that, sir. but it is a very specific question i'm asking. were you involved in any way in the decision to deploy federal law enforcement officers to the
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various cities we have been discussing during the protest? >> senator, my understanding is the doj's involvement have been relatively limited vis-à-vis -- >> will you answer the question? were you involved or not? >> senator, there are ongoing on forsman operations around the country, and to protect -- >> you're not going to answer this question directly. i can move on if you are not going to. >> i am attempting to enter answer the question, senator. >> were you involved? >> senator, i advised attorney general and the deputy attorney general about everything under the sun. i always bring to the table a respect for constitutional rights and the first amendment. that is something i turn too frequently when advising them. >> were you involved in the decision to remove peaceful protesters that were gathered in front of the white house? the incident that lafayette square? >> in early june? >> senator, i don't know anything about who made that decision or when it was done. >> you are not involved?
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>> i just do not know who made the decision. >> were you involved in that decision? >> senator, i think i had a question for the record prehearing on that topic. i answered no, i was not. >> press reports indicate in june that doj granted the dea extensive new authority to conduct covert surveillance. i think that was my what was michael -- when you involved in the decision to grant these new authorities? >> senator, i'm not entirely sure. i've got some questions for the record on that prehearing also. >> you are not sure if you are involved? >> i'm not sure exactly what it is that you are referring to. dea is a federal law enforcement agency and under the united states code there are delegations that are available to be made. >> were you involved? >> i am just giving you my understanding of the law. again, i have set lines into a great number of things of what
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the doj does. this, generally speaking is not one of. them >> in your role as doj, were you involved in any manner in the decision to fire jeffrey berman? >> no. jeff berman was the u.s. attorney up in new york. i knew schiff berman. i had worked with him on a number of things. . department has made statements on that, and those speak for themselves. >> the previous odni -- regarding a whistle blower complained that has been filed with the intelligence community's inspector general. in your capacity as doj, did you have any awareness of this whistleblower complaint and the question of whether it should be shared with congress? >> senator, you are referring to the whistleblower complaint from the late summer and early fall of last year that resulted in all of the proceedings, is that right? >> were you involved in that decision in any way? >> senator, that was something
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that occurred, and the nation watched it. >> were you involved in that decision in any way? >> in what decision precisely? >> the decision to not share the whistleblower complaint with congress? >> my understanding, senator was that the whistleblower complaint was shared with congress at some point. >> but there was also at some point a decision not to share. my question to you is were you involved in that decision? >> my point in bringing that up, senator, is that i'm not exactly sure which decision you are referring to, because i do not know who made it. if it was even made. i do not know that there was a decision made not to share with congress, because it was in fact, shared with congress. >> do you have any information -- were you involved in any way in any of the decisions that were made around the department of justice is decision in the
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michael flynn case, or the stone case? >> senator, the matter involving general flynn is in active litigation. it is before the d.c. circuit in bank. where >> were you involved in this decision in any way? >> senator, as a lawyer and an official doj, it is very difficult for me to comment on an ongoing matter. >> what about the stone case? >> senator, roger stone, that matter was litigated over the course of years the department took positions in court filings. >> were you involved in that? >> he attorney general has made public statements about that case, and i will allow those to speak for themselves. >> thank, you mister chairman. my time is up. >> thank you. i have three questions. let me start with mr. mueller. the and ccc has an arrangement in which a lot of the workload is taken up by details from
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other agencies. in an era in which increasingly are formed policies and therefore intelligence work and frankly, multiple areas of u.s. policy, including politics, trade commerce, diplomacy, increasingly focused on china and russia, and iran and north korea. . and the concern of course is that even as we focus on these things and rightfully so, that it could somehow detract from the rule or the importance of counterterror, which remains an active threat, and in many ways has meant metastasized and moved into different theaters. what is your view of the arrangement in which the nctc relies heavily on detail ease from other agencies whose increased workload -- could potentially place a
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strain on our ability to focus on the counterterror mission? >> thank you, acting chairman. great question. it is -- i really think the model works when resources are about to fold and everyone is committed to the mission. i think it is something -- the beauty of that model was that it was constantly rotating in new folds, with new views and you kept a degree of energy and individual thinking anne going. my gut instinct right now is we need to really look at that, because i'm concerned, as you know, that as resources get further constrained or other priorities take the four, that we really need to think of that is the right model, because i've tried to do that before, where he tried to bar labor,
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and wow, it works great until it doesn't. i think we might be kind of getting to that point, sir. >> just to be clear, it is not the aspect of having new people come into the rule, it is a question of numbers and workload. if an agency is being told we need more product, more work, more focus on north korea, they may not be able to part with detailees at the same scale as the past. that is the bigger concern. the numbers, not necessarily the fact that it's people rotating. >> yes, senator. i also think that national counter terrorism center is doing cutting edge work on using artificial intelligence. we are baby steps right now. we are a long way as a government at large to exploiting those. i am really hopeful that they continue to be best in class and figure out whether there efficiencies could be gained. that is the goal on this, but right now i can't completely hear what you are saying we will look at that really
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closely if confirmed and i'm concerned as well. >> we are in unprecedented situations. the foreign center intelligence act expires in march and leaving the intelligence community and the department of justice without pfizer business records, surveillance authorities this question really is for both of you. what concerns do you have with the current expire its status of these authorities? >> thank you, acting chairman, for another really important question. i'm not an expert, but i will say this from an operations standpoint. i think this is one of the things we learned from the horrendous attacks in 2001, is typically speaking, it is better to have tools and not need them and need not have after the fact. once again, i'm not an expert on fisa and understand the
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broad outlines. and more tools are better, generally speaking, as long as the pm -- it comport with the constitution and our laws and itchy gum guidelines. >> more specifically, my question is not so much but legal or political arguments, but whether it is an impediment to our counter-terrorism -- the current status that it carries forward with the impediment to the -- the more tools the better, but how critical are those tools or have they been historically in your view? >> senator, i know there is a national security agency -- they have thoughts on that. of course they support the operational elements however, once again, i cannot speak specifically right now to what the impacts are on our intelligence take and counter-terrorism. it's certainly -- more is better, and i will look at that if confirmed, sir.
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>> sir, do you have any insight? >> senator, the provisions of fisa that expired on march 15th 2020 have been very important and useful to law enforcement and national security community, and as mr. mueller said it's better to have more tools than not necessarily need to use them. one of those provisions in fact, i think the i.c.e. has said, has never been used in history, but that doesn't mean there are not a set of circumstances under which it would be useful. if confirmed, i look forward to collaborating with this community and with the legislative affairs professionals across the government to reauthorize those provisions. >> we will follow up with any members have any questions. >> mr. hovakimian, i am pretty disappointed about how you answered my colleagues questions were failed to answer the one that really bothered me the most, because we talked
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about it before senator harris came in, was we had a discussion during my questions about the olc olc opinion that ruled in appropriately, that the olc could intervene, stop the ig who from making a report to congress. we talked about that. you said you thought it was very important that congress gets the ig's reports and left me with the impression that you thought it was inappropriate, and yet you would not even respond to senator harris whether you are involved in that matter at all and acted like you did not know what she was talking about. >> senator, sorry for any misunderstanding. i think what i was referring to was, when the decision was made not to send the report over -- that did not compute for me,
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because of course the complaint did eventually make its way over. >> the complaint got over, but not through appropriate channels. it was stopped, and the inspector general stopped from continuing the investigation that he was rightfully required to do by law. so if you are not willing to answer her, will you answer me? were you involved in that in any way? >> senator, i was not. that decision was made by the office of legal counsel. it was -- >> in your effort of having sightlines into all of different things, your attorney general is involved in, were you involved in that three are very sightlines? >> senator, i'm not quite sure what you mean. >> sir, if you do not understand what i mean, and i'm not sure that you are dealing with me or dealing with this committee in an appropriate street manner. i enjoyed a conversation earlier. i think you are a bright young man, but i really hope --
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i would like to get a written response from you on this issue. >> senator, i am committed to ensure the rights under the statute of all whistleblowers. i believe in it. i believe that whistleblowers serve an important role in the government. i believe congress spoke to that. i've worked with confidential informants as a prosecutor, and they are in many ways like whistleblowers. i respect whistleblowers and their statutory rights, and if confirmed, i will do my very best to respect those rights, as i always have in every position, including my positions at doj. >> i want to give you an opportunity there is confusion that appears on your part about the question. so let me try to ask it in a different way. the question at its core that i believe they are asking is obviously have slightly in. you work in an office. you understand the different things are going on in different places. maybe what you want to respond to and writing, but as i understand, the question is,
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whatever decision was made by the office of legal counsel or the like, were you involved in that processing and giving legal advice as to what the outcome should be? >> -- can i amend? yes, chairman. i think that is right, but there was, and this is why you might want to take this further for the record -- my understanding was that you had and olc in some consultation with the attorney general reaching that conclusion anne, which then was referred to the ic, the ig, i'm sorry. the ig inspector general was then stopped from performing his duties which at least some of us thought was in clear contradiction of the law, and i
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do recall that the gentleman who had your position before was trying to defend that, because the odni juicy tried to defend that, i thought, unsuccessfully. the clarity here is, not whether you are simply, obviously olc is not inside the doj's office, but you have left me with the impression that you are avoiding answering directly senator harris is question, and if you were involved, after i try to pose the questions on this matter about whistleblowers -- you have left me with an unsettled sense. whether you want to address it today -- >> anne it is a question i want to give you a chance to answer. maybe it is better off in writing. the answer is complex. as i understand it, the extent to which the department of justice was involved in this matter and in reaching some
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conclusion and determination, was that a process that you were involved in helping reach that determination? >> senator, i would be happy to take the question for the record and do the best i can and answering. i will say that there is an olc opinion that is public. the reasoning is out there. i am not an attorney who works in the office of legal counsel. i did not inject myself into their deliberations. i did not try to steer things one way or another. i did not try to give legal advice on what that opinion should look like. i will be happy to take the question for the record and answered the best i can. >> again, if you could just address both whether you were involved in or wear these deliberations at doj in terms of consulting -- thank you mister chairman. >> anything else? any follow-up questions? i want to thank you and
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everyone for being here today. the record for planning purposes of any members wish to submit questions for the record, which sounds like we will have some after today's hearing, for either the nominee, please do so by the close of business tomorrow. at least one of those questions, we know what it is. again, i want to thank everybody for being here and with that, this meeting is adjourned. thank you to everybody for being here and this meeting is adjourned. [inaudible conversations]
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