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tv   Homeland Security Undersecretary Confirmation Hearing  CSPAN  February 1, 2022 11:56pm-1:37am EST

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hearing for president biden's hearing to hold for secretary analysis in the security department. you're watching live coverage on c-span 3.
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all right, everyone could take their seats. i call this hearing to order and welcome mr. with wenstein, great to see you, welcome, mrs.
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elizabeth and her daughters, grateful for her service. understand your daughter ellie at berkeley law school ask watching remotely and i would ask, ken, that you give us evidentiary proof that she did tune in for these couple hours and hopefully if watching now, appropriately embarrassed so we'll see in the aftermath. before we begin formally though, i want to commend you on your excellent judgment as evidenced by your both attending uva and living in the common wealth. we'll question your choice of law school though, but congratulations on your nomination to serve as the under secretary for intelligence and analysis or ina at the department of homeland security, this position sits at a critical juncture between the analytical world of the intelligence community and the information sharing role of the department of homeland security. if confirmed, your job would be to receive and analyze
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intelligence and law enforcement information relating to the homeland security and to ensure its prompt disemination through the department. you come with a strong background as intelligence and law enforcement professional, served our country throughout your career as a federal prosecutor, at the highest levels of the fbi, as general counsel both in chief of staff under director muller, chief attorney for the district and assistant chief attorney general for security division and homeland security adviser to president bush, i mean virtually every job across the justice and homeland security and intel world, so the fact that after a decade in private practice you've made the admirable decision to return to public service, i think it is important. and, i mean, in our conversation before this, your appointment comes at a pivotal moment and
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it's going to clear have some challenges. while the ina mission is to find, it continues to evolve and mature since its creation in the aftermath of 9/11 and i think for many of us on the committee, there's a sense the ina at least recently is a bit unfocused and stuck between duo missions, national intelligence and departmental priorities, we have some members, not just senator wyden but me as well who are very unhappy with the ina's operations in portland in 2020 and then disappointed that the ina provided next to no warning about what was to come on january 6, just had the one year anniversary of that date and the recognition of what domestic violent extremists can do from either end of the political spectrum i think needs to be a focus of some of your work. obviously, at the same time, particularly if they're domestic violent extremists, the first
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amendment protect's america right to free speech and nonviolent, peaceful protest, and obviously, part of your role would be to defend the constitution and those first amendment rights. you would be squarely at the center of those two imperatives, both protecting our country and the constitution and would like to hear today a little of how you would like to navigate that important work while not politicizing ina's activities, obviously, when i submit for the record a moment, the kind of who's who of law enforcement and intelligence officials who are supporting your nomination, from both political parties, i think that is a good endorsement that you're the right guy at the right time. thank you for appearing at the committee, before the committee, this afternoon, i look forward to your testimony, i now recognize the vice chaiman. >> thank you for being here, to serve as the under secretary for
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intelligence and analysis of homeland department security, the chairman went through your extensive public service record, the landscape, we have all the same challenges we had when you were last in public service and a few ones that emerged that relatively new and scale in scope, not the least of which is the threat to the united states from the chinese communist party and in particular their plan, clear, the work to both elicit means to dominate global technologies, reshape the states in national order in ways that benefit them so i would be interested to hear your views on china and more importantly how they inform your approach to intelligence and analysis should you be confirmed. i also would hope to hear a little about how you ensure that dhs intelligence and analysis isn't being used or even reasonably perceived which in many ways is important, perceived to be used by either
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party for whoever is in power, under the guys, for example of pursuing domestic violent extremists. the worst times in the history of our intelligence age aengss have been when they are used or perceived to be used for purposes of political advantage and skmz at a time when there's a broader crisis of confidence in institutions in this country, but again, none i think more damaged over the last few years rightly or wrongly in many casings than the intelligence community, so i think it's more important than ever to do whatever is possible to ensure there's both the perception and reality that the ioc reflects between so both policy makers and the american public can have confidence that their assessments are real so those are important points to touch upon. thank you for being here, we look forward to hearing your testimony and answering to our questions. >> thank you, vice chairman, now ask unanimous consent that
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letters to the nominee be included in the record and point out ken scott, letters from the who's who of criminal justice and law enforcement leaders and then his list of supporters from national security and intel, i won't go down the whole list by any means but for my colleagues and those tuning in, it includes alexander, jim clapper, bill hayden, mike mcconnell, tom ridge, and a host of others so very impressive group -- >> chairman, the chamblice one concerns me deeply -- for the record, that's a joke. >> only thing worse would be bird on the letter. >> that would be a devastating death blow to the nomination. >> will the witness please stand and raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear to give
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this committee the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you god? >> please be seated. before your opening statement i ask you five standard questions to the nominee that appears before us, requiring a simple yes or no for the record. first, do you agree to appear before the committee here or in other venues when invited? >> yes, i do. >> if confirmed, you agree to send officials from your office to appear before the committee and designated staff when invited? >> yes. >> do you agree to provide documents or any other materials requested by the committee in order for it to carry out oversight and legislative responsibilities. >> i didn't say. >> will you ensure your office and staff require such material as requested. >> yes. >> do you fully inform and brief to the full estimate extent possible all members of the committee not just chairman or
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vice chairman. >> yes. >> thank you very much, questions and then opening statement. >> thank you, i'm profoundly honored to appear before you today as a nominee for under secretary for intelligence analysis at the department of homeland security. i'm joined here today by my wife elizabeth and my daughters macky, cecilee and natalie and would like to mention my daughter ellie who, reportedly, is whopping this from berkeley back at school today. it means a lot they're with me today and means a lot they're with me throughout the career. i'm also grateful to president biden for giving me this opportunity to serve, and the opportunity to work with a strong national security team. i'm also grateful to him for looking beyond political optics and selecting someone who previously served in a republican administration in a small but important way, that is a reaffirmation to the nonpartisan approach to national security that has traditionally been and must always remain a
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bedrock principle of our government. that is the same nonpartisan approach i always took during my 21 years of government service. i first served as a federal prosecutor about a dozen years, handling a range of homicide, gang conspiracy and white caller criminal, doing so with a clear focus on protecting civil liberties and due process rights. i then pivoted after the 9/11 attacks to focus on primarily national security matters, helping the fbi reorient itself after 9/11, running homeland security counsel as president bush's security adviser and taking the same nonpartisan approach and making every decision with full regard for its effect on civil liberties. i worked closely with dhs and admire how the department
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established itself with exceptional leader tom ridge and how responded then to a constant stream of natural homeland security threats, i'm clear-eyed however that those tlits multiplied in the years since and that the dhs of today faces increasingly complex threat environment from nation state adversaries like russia and china and those who steal sensitive technology and cyber criminals who victimize our communities. ina is critical to meet those threats, dhs is fundamentally a department of partnerships and it is ina's mission to make those partnerships effective by ensuring relevant intelligence is fully circulated throughout the whole homeland security enterprise. ina performs a number of functions to accomplish that mission, it manages the information in intelligence sharing with our state, local,
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tribal, territorial, and tribal sector partners. it serves the intelligence needs of dhs components and leadership, it leverages the information holdings of the dhs components to identify and address threats to our national security and it coordinates information sharing within the department. if i'm confirmed, i will work hard to enhance ina's ability to accomplish each of those tasks. first, i intend to focus on the work force of ina, which, as i have seen, is a very strong and impressive group of dedicated intelligence professionals. as a manager, i always believed it is my first duty to support my personnel, and as a leader of an intelligence agency, i'll be particularly vigorous in defending their ability to deliver objective, unvarnished analysis, completely free from political influence. i'll also carefully review ina operational role in intelligence enterprise to identify and eliminate any unnecessary dupe
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dupelication or overlap, i'll maintain constant focus on implication of ina's duty on civil liberties, privacy, need to safe guard our intelligence operations. we can only be as successful at safe guarding our people and value if we maintain the trust of fellow citizens. and importantly, i will work in close collaboration with congress and this committee in particular. i long had a strong relationship with the members and staff of this committee and always had a deep respect for it, and if confirmed you can count on my being a very willing and collaborative partner in my join effort to make ina as effective as possible. thank you, again, for the opportunity to appear before you today and for the honor of considering me for this position and i'm happy to answer any questions that you might have. thank you, mr. chairman. >> for planning purposes, any
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member of the panel wish to submit questions for the record after today's hearing please do so by 5:00 p.m. this friday, january 15th. i guess i would like to start, and this is on the questions we had when we had a chance to visit over zoom. you've had positions, prior administrations that at least in terms of the outside hierarchal approach appear to be higher in the food chain. you've had an extraordinary successful private sector career. share with the committee why you're willing at this moment in time to come back to part of dhs that i think really needs strong leadership, but it was not -- it would not be viewed as a conventional choice. >> appreciate that question, mr. chairman and once against, thank you for the opportunity to talk to you the other day. well look, it was the honor of my life and career to work in
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government for the 21 years that i did, and yeah, the titles and the positions and the responsibility at higher levels is great and it's exciting, but it's really the substance of the job and the people you do the job with that make it so important. i've often been asked what's my favorite job i ever had and my favorite honestly is being in usa, working with trial teams, prosecuting cases, that's the low end of the totem pole, but the substance of t comradery of it was the best, and that's the way i look at th wonderful team from secretary mayorkas on down, the leadership in this administration, as you pointed out, we're at a critical time in our history, ina has an important role in to play in a lot of important missions so i couldn't be more proud and excited about this opportunity. >> i'll accept that answer and i appreciate your willingness to serve. i promise i won't reveal to either president bush or bob
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muller that you said the a-usa job rt better than working for those individuals directly. talk to me a little about this, one of the reasons why i think you're the right choice right now, this is a piece of dhs that a lot of us were concerned about in terms of what happened in portland, a lot of concerned, didn't do a good job alerting prior to january 6, there are enormous challenges in terms of how you set up your role, visa via the fbi, what kind of collections you can talk b how you can work with the fbi but also deconflict with the fbi. >> thank you, mr. chairman. look, there are issues with ina as there are with any organization, i just want to say i spent a lot of time with the folks over the last few weeks and tremendously impressed as i said in the remarks with the quality and dedication. they're good people, and that's the key. when you have good people on the team, the team can succeed. it's had headwinds for a number of reasons, largely acting
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leadership which is a problem, you know, that's not anybody's fault that's just happened. and then variety of things have happened that have made it, you know, made things difficult. but the makings of a strong team and strong operation are there and they're doing great things now. in terms of specifically the work with the fbi think i think that's an important issue, and when you look at the intelligence enterprise in our government, the lines, very intentionally, are not clearly delineated, there's overlap, should always be some overlap between the agencies but you don't want it to mean duplication, so the fbi and ina need to work closely together. understand they have a strong relationship, and i expect that if i'm fortunate to be confirmed, one of my first visits will be down to fbi head quarter to see talk about the
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state of relationship, where we can coordinate better and make the lines clearer. >> yes, i mean, and i'll give you the benefit of the doubt here, i do want to review kind of at what point do you throw a case, an investigation over the transit to the fbi to consider criminal charges or how far you might pursue a matter. i also think you're going to have challenges with deconcfliction with sisa as well, but there's going to be some of those, you're going to have some rub with sisa as well, do you want to speak to that for a moment? >> you look at the chart and the responsibilities and see there's going to be overlap, i don't know if that necessarily translates into rub, in fact my sense is the two entity advise done a good job trying to
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coordinate, making sure ina is providing the intelligence advantages, both within dhs and cisa as well as state and locals and that cisa is helping to operationalize that, talked at length the other day and we'll be focusing on that overlap and frankly, on the need for that coordination to be even stronger because it's got the intelligence operational side working together. thank you, senator rubio. >> thank you, as we discussed on the phone and this would come up today so i want to give you opportunity to address it, some reason to address, i believe, the very few but nonetheless billable hours on behalf of the china national offshore oil corporation and the reason it's a concern is it fits the fact pattern for how the chinese communist party aggressively, you know, plays abroad and in particular here are the basic
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facts as i understand them. i want to make sure i understand the facts and those of the committee too, on april 2018, partner in the china office asked for helped, working for their client, this senoc, china national off shore oil corporation, related to march 2018 release by u.s. trade representative of something of the findings into investigation of china's act, practices, the report included the government's evidence for how the chinese government provided competitive intelligence through cyber intrusions to china's own chinese state owned enterprises, further, to china in 2025 goals and as part of its military civil fusion and the report explicitly stated that in 2012, this company, twice requested and received intelligence from chinese intelligence services that helped them in negotiations with five u.s. companies, reports specifically found these
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examples illustrate how china uses intelligence resources at its disposal to continue enterprises to the detriment of foreign partners and competitors so the key in the report is there is no distinction really between a chinese company and the government. the government -- they do, american corporations competing with a foreign corporation don't get to go to the cia or nsa and get intelligence information to negotiate and compete and these guys do. so, but the fact pattern of you being asked by a partner at the firm to look into it, is, i believe is correct. so if you could just tell us, what was the nature of the work, and why were you called in to do it, what did i do? >> thank you, senator rubio and thanks for raising this and flagging it in our call the other day, very good of you and i appreciate you asking about it and i think it's an appropriate thing, an important thing to ask about. just in terms of all the facts, it was actually a partner of here in the states who does
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trade stuff so that partner was looking to see what trade sanctions kind of consequences there could be because of these allegations and thought, to be complete, wanted to find out if there were criminal exposure so asked me to have an associate write a memo saying these are the criminal laws that could be implicated, the associate did that, i passed the memo back and as you said, it was 2.8 hours of work, it was, i had no contact with the client, no advocacy, talked to nobody, called nobody in the government, literally sort of a law school exercise by the associate, but it was on behalf of the chinese oil company. and look, you raise, i think, very legitimate concerns about, and not just here but you have your leader in this area and i know you and senator warner have done a road show with members of academia and industry to raise the alarm about what china is doing and i agree with you in
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the need to do that and the fact that that's happening. we, you know, we're seeing now, an assault sort of across the board in every space, political, economic, military, by china to try to become dominant over the united states and change the world order. so i agree with that, in fact i think i mentioned this the other day, harking back to my time in the national security division, doj, 2006 to 2008 when there was a dawning realization in terms of technology theft the chinese were rapacious so my colleagues and i were banging the drum about that back then, to try to get academia and the industry to pay attention so this is consistent with what i've seen over the last 15 years and can assure you if i get into the position at ina i will keep sounding that alarm. >> yeah and so my time is about to expire, but i'm curious, what did you know about this company before this work came to you, as
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it sounds, the way you describe it is a partner came to you, can i get answer to see this, you hand it off to an associate who did a law school type exercise, came back with memo you reviewed and submit it to the department that requested it but what did you know about the company at the time, did it make you queazy or concerned in any way that the firm was advocating or trying to help a company that undertakes these sort of actions that would implicate national security concerns. >> a couple things. i think when i thought about it, i thought this was, he was looking at a range of sanctions, didn't have the expertise, i was basically the one the assignment would go to in the white caller space to look at that and say these are the possible, you know, laws that could be implicated, just to clear one thing you said advocate. i don't think there's any advocating that went on. this was a sort of explanatory exercise -- >> to be clear, i meant the
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firm, the firm was advocate on behalf of this entity, not necessarily you directly or even the associate. >> i believe they were doing trade work with them, but i honestly don't know for sure, but to answer your question, i should have thought more about it than i did that day. >> senator wyden. >> thank you mr. chairman and first let me express my thanks to you for responsiveness about what happened in portland and to mr. wainstein, appreciated visiting with you and as you know, believe in making sure witnesses know what we're going to talk about. >> appreciate that very much. >> when the trump administration sent department of homeland security troops to my hometown in the summer of 2020, the department's office of intelligence and analysis was there too. according to a report by the department's office of general counsel, the intelligence office
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sent untrained, inexperienced personnel to portland without a plan or a clear management. so i spent months battling to get the general counsel's report released to the public so that oregonians would know about the abuses that took place, finally released last october, but because of redactions i'm still pushing to get the full report out for oregonians one issue in particular, is the general counsel finding that dociets on people, particularly my constituents who were no threat to homeland security. according to the report, some junior personnel, were so upset about this they refused to even work on them.
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so that's why oregonians want to know what went into these docieres that were distributed around homeland security, but so far that information is being withheld, so do you believe the department of homeland security intelligence personnel ought to be collecting and distributing dociets on americans. >> thank you for the heads up and asking a nominee like myself. i was troubled what i read in the report that's been made public, i've been hardened to hear the number of changes put in place to address the lack of training, lack of guidance and as you pointed out, lack of ability on the part of some who were concerned about what was going on but felt they couldn't raise the alarm. i will assure you that won't be
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the situations if i'm heading up ina, people will feel fully comfortable to step up and raise concern. >> so what about these dossies though, should there be dossiers? the information on them? who should get to see them, that's what my constituents want to know. >> that goes to the guidelines and it's very clear, as discussed, open source collection, which is what ina does, it can be fraught, especially when done in the context of protests or demonstrations, and so there are clear guidelines about what doj -- sorry, what dhs, ina can and cannot do, so for example they can only collect information, and distribute it, if it's relevant to a departmental mission like protecting terrorism, they cannot collect, just as somebody is exercising first amendment rights, you can't do that, have to use the least intrusive means
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of collecting information. then once that information is collected in terms of disseminating it, this is u.s. person information that needs to know careful handled pursuant to executive order and to law so you shouldn't be just distributed without, you know, regard to privacy, and what i read in that report is that there is insufficient training and guidance as to how information about those u.s. persons could and couldn't be distributed. >> i'm getting ready to run out of time. if you're confirmed, would you release to the public this and other information about this office in portland that i had been pushing to get unredacted? that's a simple yes or no question. would you be willing to release it to the public. >> i won't have the authority to release, but i assure you i will push hard to release it. >> is there any reason why it shouldn't be released? >> i know there's some redaction that might have to do with
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personal information, private information, there might be sources and methods but i can assure you that your concerns have been passed on, folks at dhs are already engaged as of last week with folks in the general counsel's office and they're working hard to absolutely minimize the amount withheld. >> i will only tell you, you got to think, because this is what happened in my hometown, we saw what the office of general counsel said, you got to think it's going on elsewhere and i will tell you, there's a pretty ominous history in this committee as chairman warner knows about the use of dossiers so i'll get to the bottom of it, we'll continue to work with you from now until the time this committee votes on your nomination, i'll have additional questions and i hope we have a second round as well. >> and on this issue, i do think so many questions raised about portland, i want to add my voice
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to senator wyden, of course you go through your appropriate channels once you get confirmed but i hope as much as possible can be released as well. i think we should frankly give members extra credit for actually being here in person but that's not the rules so now to senator cotton on web-ex. >> mr. chairman we appreciate the extra credit. >> if tom doesn't poke his head up soon, i'll go to you, senator cotton are you out there in ether land? mr. vice chairman i'll make executive ruling and go to senator corning. >> thank you mr. chairman, mr. wainstein, congratulations on your nomination and thank you for your lengthy distinguished public service. and i'm glad your family could
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be here. i'm sure they're very proud of you, and i'm sure your service is a family affair and not just, not just out hanging out there on your own. senator rubio talked about the work you did for chinese clients and i don't imagine you had to register, i don't think you had to register under foreign agents registration act, did you? >> no, i've never lobbied . >> have you had some experience with the foreign agents registration act during your service? >> when i was in government, yes. under me, or under our division. >> i think we've seen a number of instances that certainly have been disturbing to me where foreign governments have hired lobbyists here in washington dc who have not registered under the foreign agent registration act but rather under the lobbyists disclosure act in order to obscure their
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representation of foreign governments. but it -- you know, we're here because we were elected by our constituents to serve the people of this country and not foreign countries and certainly not without our knowledge of who is advocating for policy changes in congress. could you, could you expand upon your views of the role of the foreign agent registration act and whether you believe it is adequately serving its purpose? >> thank you, senator, i think you're putting your finger on a very critical issue, been around a long time, but it hasn't been a force with sufficient energy for decades, you know, as long as it's been around. there has been a focus on fera over the last few years, i know the justice department is adding resources to that, national security division, and they're focusing on bringing cases and i think they need to, because i think you're right, we need to
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know who people are speaking for when they're advocating for legislative change so i agree with that and to the extent i'll have any role in that in ina would be minimal, i would be, do everything i can to encourage strong enforcement. >> well there are, have been bipartisan bills knocking around here for a while now and we haven't been able to get those passed yet, but i would hope you would use the benefit of your experience and perspective to advocate within the administration for those changes so we know, there's even been, when we were considering the foreign sovereign immunity act to allow the 9/11 families an opportunity to file litigation over foreign financing of the terrorist attack on 9/11, one foreign government went so far as not just to hire u.s. lobbyists here in washington dc,
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but also to enlist the aid of veterans who came up hire without disclosing who was paying for their hotel room and financing their presence here and purported to be advocating on behalf of united states military veterans. so this takes a lot of different shapes and forms, but i think it's an insidious problem and one that i hope you will help us in whatever way you can to address. i want to ask you, there's been an increased focus on domestic terrorism. obviously, since the events of a year ago on january the 6th, but what part of the u.s. government, in terms of law enforcement, particularly in went so far as it affects the intelligence community, would have jurisdiction to investigate cases of so-called domestic
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terrorism? >> good question sir, sort of goes to the point we talked about, i talked about with the chairman about the areas of overlap and this is an area where there is shared jurisdiction. there is shared responsibilities to do intelligence and law enforcement work visa vi the domestic terrorism threat, obviously the fbi takes point on domestic terrorism when it comes to doing investigation, building cases, in fact, they will not do, i think sanborn testified to this they will not do intelligence work absent some predicate, some predications under fbi guidelines. ina doesn't have that predicate responsibility, it has what i discussed earlier, pursuant to a departmental mission, first amendment rights, et cetera. but it can do the open-source searching or collection if it
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relates to a threat that dhs is tasked with protecting against. so it's a complementary assignment of responsibility between the fbi and dhs and ina and thin the additional piece is ina plays a critical role in tieing the federal government's responsibilities and efforts against domestic terrorism with the state and local tribal territorial and private sector and that's, that's really important piece and real huge value add that ina brings to the domestic terrorism fight and frankly, to the whole intelligence enterprise. >> mr. chairman, i have a few more questions, i'll wait for a second round. >> senator hynek. >> i'll try to be brief. mr. wainstein, when the american public found out section 215 had been interpreted by the fisa court to allow the collection of millions of americans phone
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records with a single corridor, there was an understandable amount of disbelief and outrage in the public and that precipitated congress stepping in, passing usa freedom act whichen banned the bulk collection of american records, including national security letters, so usa freedom act cautified national consensus that the collection of american records in bulk, infringed on the privacy and civil liberties of ordinary americans. do you agree that this national consensus and the usa freedom act have it right, in prohibiting open-ended bulk collection? >> thank you senator and thank you, that question passed on to colleagues at dhs who passed it on to me, and this is also a topic senator wyden and i had a good discussion about. >> i can imagine.
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>> yes, and look bulk collection is a difficult and fraught issue, because dulk collection by definition as i i said it, you may be looking for one bad guy in the group, but you're then going to collect information that involves innocent people so you can imagine a situation where there's a crime at a bus station and 2:00 in the morning and you want the manifest for the buses who pulled in at 1:00 because they may have contained the person who committed the murder women you know not everyone on the bus committed the murderer so you're getting information of private innocent people, that's the dilemma of bulk collection. so the question is, then, is a particular collection, in many people, would agree that would be an appropriate investigative step to try to solve that murderer in the train station, but is it appropriate then to take that to millions of
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people's telephone records and that's the issue that came up with the use of the 215 order for the telephone meta data program and just, i guess, two main points about that that occurred to me and we discussed in our call with senator wyden, one is even if that was arguably lawful, many scholars agree on whether it was lawful or not, there's an additional step there which is, is it appropriate? does it meet the expectations of the american people and the expectations of congress to use that tool in that aggressive way? that deliberation, that analysis, wasn't really done. and the second piece of that, related to that, is this idea of secret law, that the reason why those expectations weren't measured against that program is because the program is classified, the pfizer court opinion authorizing the use of 2 design for all that meta data was classified and couldn't be discussed openly in congress, couldn't be discussed openly with the american people so
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people couldn't see, you know, couldn't make arguments one way or the other and that really handicapped the use of that tool and made it understandable why people reacted when they did when it got exposed by leaking and i think it's a lesson, a lesson i've taken from that and that's not the only instance. i think there were other instances post 9/11 with too much reliance on classification when there should have been more transparency, live and learn, if i go back into government, that's a lesson i'll keep front and center. >> do you think congress got it right in passing the usa freedom act as a response to those revelations? >> i think it's understandable while congress did that. in terms of the need for 215, for nonbulk collection, i still see that might be a need. i'm looking at it from the outside and whether it as a need -- >> but not for meta data that involves enormous numbers of innocent americans. >> exactly, it's just the fact
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that, you know, criminal side you have a grand jury subpoena, then you don't have a comparable tool, and i honestly don't know where the administration is on that issue. >> one of the challenges, obviously, at ina is just that the challenges with workforce morale. that was true even before some of the things you heard about in recent years with my colleagues in portland, politicization of intelligence, et cetera. if confirmed, what are your plans to turn that around? because no organization can function well without high quality morale within its ranks happen. >> it's a very important question, and really, i mean, at the end of the day, my main responsibility is as a manager, as helping to manage that organization and as i said, that means supporting the people, i mean support, i mean it's my job to help them do their jobs as well as they possibly can. they're really good people at ina and i've been in
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organizations where morale ebbs and flows for a variety of reasons. the nice thing about that, if the right reasons come into play, morale can go back up and i think, i know morale might have taken some hits at ina and i've heard about it but i can tell you the people are pretty energized as i've been dealing with them i think in terms of how to deal with any morale issues, one of the points you just put your finger on. they have to know that i have their back, that i'm going to ask them to do nothing more than give objective, straight forward analysis. that's all i want, and that politics is going to play no role in it. that approach, just as i felt as a prosecutor for years, doing national security law work at doj, that's what people want to hear. they want to hear they're being valued for their work, their contribution to national security, and not for whether their work butters the bread of one political party or the other. >> and for members who are going
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to be around for a second round, and i'll be happy to give up my time to get to them, but there are four, five members on webex so it will be a while. senator. >> thank you, chairman. mr. wainstein, on the personnel issues, what do you see as the right balance between contractors and permanent employees and, particularly on the contractors side, what do they bring with them that it may be hard to replicate in the agency on a permanent basis? >> that's -- talking about management, sir, that's exactly one of the first management questions i'm going to need to address i think. i've heard issues or concerns raised about an overreliance on contractors at ina but look, there should always be a balance, look contractors provide a really important
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value. they allow you to search, if you have a need to surge personnel, as you know, it takes forever to hire people, go through the standard process of hiring folks into the federal service, you can get contractors who can surge quickly. they're also helpful if you have particular needs or areas of expertise to satisfy, contractors can be brought in, don't have to train somebody in, so there's a real value to contractors, by the same token, especially with analysts, the optimal is, you know, traditional government employee who takes over the position, learns this, the area of analysis, and really develops expertise, it isn't somebody who comes in and out on six month assignments. that's the optimal. but there should be a balance, and in positions i've held or offices i've run i've always looked at that and made sure there was a balance. here my sense is maybe an overreliance on contractors, i think that is being rectified but one of the first things i do
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as a manager is look at that on day one. >> as we look at the growing importance of artificial intelligence and machine learning and all of the public data that's out there, do you think we'll be able to keep up with the new techniques we need to sort this information down to where a career individual can look at it? or are we going to need some help just dealing with all the information that's publicly available, not anything that we're getting some other way, but how do you propose we go through that in the most effective way and know what we can know from the public available information that's out there? >> right, well i think you're raising sort of the dilemma of intelligence and the intelligence enterprise in
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general, which is there's always too much intelligence and if you can't zero in on what you need, you lose the significance of the intelligence you need to focus on. and especially when you're talking about an entity like ina that's looking at open source information, i mean it's everywhere, it's, you know, there's so much of it. so there are a couple things, one, you identified one issue or one solution which is artificial intelligence. and i have not gotten to sort of deep dive on what ina is doing with artificial intelligence to sort of get rid of the noise and focus on the important information, but my sense is that is an important part of their operations and also training and guidelines, making sure, especially when talking about, you know, looking at people who might be somewhere along, around the line that separates violent extremists from just political extremists who have first amendment rights to do what they're doing, you have to be very careful about hoovering up everything about these people because we're
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talking about personal information so those guidelines have to provide strict guard rails in terms of collection so that also helps to widdle down what you pull in. but that's a real challenge. >> that's helpful. i think you're right. it's going to be one of the first things you have to deal with if you're confirmed for this job is how we going to have explained looking back and there's lots of information there and we couldn't figure out how to find it even though it was publicly available information and then the topic that you got into earlier, that's a different topic in my view of the things that aren't as available to the public as other things are. the mix of contractors and the full-time employees, is it your view that you can find the full-time professionals that you
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now need for this skill set that are willing to do this job as their career? >> yes. the main reason is the people i've been dealing with are topnotch. the way you recruit the best is you perform the best. if you're known for performing, being a strong entity, people want to join you. they want to be part of your team. we'll be, obviously, based on resources and we'll be talking do you about resources as well. resources permitting, we'll be looking for the best and the brightest. i think we'll have access to them but there are others in the intelligence community who might be interested in come over and doing some time on the domestic front. >> thank you, chairman. >> if senator king is not going
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to -- how about senator bennett on webex. going once, going twice. senator casey. >> thank you very much. i'm happy to be jumping in the shoes of those you just named. thanks for the opportunity. i'm going to thank the candidate for nomination for his public service. his service has been distinguished and we're grateful he's ready to serve again. thank youful for his team is willing to help him do that. i wanted to ask about one topic and that's hospital security and especially ransomware attacks on hospitals. we know hospitals across the
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country have been targets for these ransomware attacks because of the data and the dependence we all have been telemedicine and what happens in those hospital systems when they have ransomware attack. they caused severe disruption to patient care and have caused and will continue to cause problems for health care generally. i have two questions, one is to what extent is cyber mission center support or provide analysis to dhs cyber and infrastructure, cyber security infrastructure agency to track cyber threats to hospitals and health care networks throughout the country. >> thank you, senator. appreciate your question and it's going to have serious
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threat. before i get into hospitals and health care, specifically, yes, the cyber mission center i've gotten briefed up on that. i'm generally familiar with how it operates and how it works closely with cisca. we talked specifically about the integration of our the rni and how ina needs to focus or challenge target intelligence. to let them know about specific attack, specific ransomware attacks and techniques. parties and groups that are engaging in ransomware and techniques for dealing with ransomware. i.n.a. is working on all those
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fronts. we agree if i get on board that first thing we'll do is sit down and see how that relationship working and how it can work better. in terms of, well, i'll let you say the second question and i assume that's about hospital specifically. >> that's going to be critical that coordination so you can provide both support and analysis. the other question just pertains to similar concern is if you're confirmed, will you commit to enhancing i.n.a.'s both the collection and analysis on cyber threats to health care networks to ensure that federal agencies are providing networks with the most up to date and actionable information? >> yes. i can commit -- i will commit
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focusing like laser on that issue. ransomware is terrible directed at anybody but particularly when it's directed at health care organization. health care organization will be threatened to be shut down putting people's lives at risk. i would imagine folks at i.n.a. are very focussed on this issue and that resources are being put to it. i know that ransomware is a big priority but i will -- when i get in, i'll sit down and make sure i get a full briefing of what we're doing on the health care front and make sure we're surging resources as needed. >> thanks very much. thank you mr. chairman. >> the ever patient and attentive senator sass. >> felt like it was dripping with sarcasm but thank you. thanks for your past service and not just thanks to you but your wife and daughters. i know one's away. many times in the years, the
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decades of your government service after 9/11, i'm sure dad was away a lot. thanks to your family for the sacrifices you all made as well. >> do you believe that china sees themselves as engaged in a zero sum technological race with the u.s.? >> yes. i think they see themselves as zero sum technological race with us. not just that but other aspects as well. >> can you explain what you think the goals are and how they seek to exploit america's open society and to the degree your views have probably changed oaf the last couple of decades. everybody in 2000 had a much more benign view of what china and the u.s. might be able to do in cooperative competition but in a different place now. you explain how you see the goals and how the view is changed and when. >> that's a great question. i was talking to a friend about that yesterday.
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look, i did sort of have maybe it's polyannaish, but i had optimism that china would come into the league of nations and operate as a responsible member of the world order, respect the rules and would compete fairly and become maybe a capitalist democracy of some sort. i retained vestages of that hope for quite some time after the turn of the century. i'll say that, and i mentioned this earlier, i'll say the rude shock that made me realize that was a pieb dream was when i was heading up the national security division, we started seeing this frontal assault by china on stealing our technology. they are going industry to industry. chinese nationals and other being deployed to do that.
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they were starting campaign to play in violation of the rules. that's why we sounded the alarm. i think a lot of people were slow to pick up that lesson. i was probably slow to pick up too. since that time in the last decade, 15 years, i think we have seen that focus on stealing technology and intellectual property and willingness to bend the rules there is now pervasive threat for the whole approach to the west and the united states. i find it to be a very alarming situation. i agree with your characterization this is a zero sum game against the united states. >> thank you. i appreciated your back and forth with the vice chairman of
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about three hours of work you did. it's important for those not on the intelligence committee to understand what the national offshore oil corporation does. they try to intimidate china's neighbors and help the ccp benefit from their civil military fusion and try to harm other nations that believe in open navigation of the sea ways. the rule of free trade, human rights et cetera. i've been satisfied with the back and foth and the three hours of billable work. now.
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>> thank you. i think we should be evolving toward a standard where certain types of work are not inexcusable if we understand the context as yours was. i think we should be moving toward a standard where all nominees for all national security affiliated responsibilities agree they would do no work for ccp affiliated organization in the future. i look forward to supporting your nomination. i appreciate the distinction you drew about domestic political extreism versus violent extremism and i know senator cornyn has more questions on that. sgla tlp are many of our
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colleagues as well as many businesses that still don't understand this. one of the critical reasons we appreciate so many senator who is have been part of the road shows as we make the case in classified setting to business and other entities about the other challenges the ccp face, i would say to my colleagues and i get to another round. >> i want to talk about coordination and sharing of, we have a huge sprawling intelligence enterprise. it involves 17 different agencies. on the domestic side your most important counterpart is the fbi.
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>> thank you for the meeting the other day and thank you specifically for that particularly suggestion where you suggested i reach out to the fbi and fbi counter part and suggest we have whatever it was a monthly lunch. we're coordinate and sharing information sufficiently. absolutely. i agree with the sentiment and that specific recommendation. >> well, in serving on this committee now for going on ten years, it's been my observation that one of the tendencies in the intelligence community is to hold close the information that's gathered and intelligence isn't any good unless it's shared particularly with the
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people that need to see it. i think we classify too much. i think sources and methods has to be top of mind. we lempbed there was intelligence about potential violence but it never got to the capitol police. i.n.a. doesn't consider intelligence that it gathers as something it owns but it could be helpful to either the fbi or local law enforcement. >> thank you, sir. i think you've addressed a couple of points that i'd like to expand on. one is the information sharing
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generally. as we discussed the other day, i lived and breathe the issues surrounding lack of information sharing post 9/11 where just as you said with january 6th, even more so, i think before 9/11, there was an inability to connect the dots. that was the terminology used to characterize it. a large part was failure to share information that could have been shared. we really had to go to work after 9/11 to break those walls down. i think in the counterterrorism space between the bureau and the cia and others the government has gone a long way on that front. look, it's endemic in work that siloing happens. don't think sharing first. they think raising it up their chain before sharing. that's something that needs to
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be focused on. another issue is classification. it's an issue near and dear to my heart. also so the information can be more easily usable by our partners in law enforcement enterprise especially like state and locals. that's an issue that i.n.a. is focused on since it's the intelligence bridge to the state and locals. >> thank you. i have some other questions about how you deal with domestic violence extremists or domestic terrorism and separated from politics. i think other people are going to discuss that in a second round.
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i appreciate your willingness to re-enter government service. thank you. >> we have senator joe brand on webex. >> thank you. thank you for being here. a cyber scoop article published this monday described 20 current federal law enforcement contracts to 7 million dollar which include facial recognition services and software. expanding use of facial recognition technology. such mistakes could not only be discriminatory to our citizens but disasterous to law enforcement. if confirmed, would you provide full and accurate accounting of
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collection retention and exploitation from the use of facial recognition technology, including lifting all contracts and subcontractors used by dhs, i.n.a. to this committee? >> thank you. i'll make that commitment pure -- pursuant to keep the committees fully and currently informed about our intelligencee
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but they are playing an important role in a critical mission of our government. i think we're seeing that now. you have criticality. thank you for that question. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator cornyn. >> you were a co-founder of the
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former republican national security officials for biden and obviously engaged in the process during the last election. you organized and led a public letter calling the previous president a threat to the rule of law. certainly, you were within your rights to express your point of view and support the candidate of your choice. can you assure americans with whom you disagree politically that you do not view them as a threat to the rule of law absent some criminal conduct? >> absolutely, senator. thank you for that question. i want to thank senator rubio for letting me know that question might be coming. if you permit me, i'll spend a minute or so giving you my position on that. that is a completely fair and appropriate thing for you to be asking about. you should ask about the political activities of people who come before you to take
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these positions in the national security and the law enforcement enterprises because the last thing, as i said earlier, the last thing we need is anything in these positions of authority who is allowing, injecting policy into decision making. because of the effectiveness and credibility of the national security apparatus. fair for you to look back at it. the thing about me, there's not much political past up until 2020. i'm a government guy. promoted by party, administrations on both sides. basically my job was to do what was best for the american people and not for a particular political party. i felt strongly about the last election. an important point is the thing i felt most strongly about and you alluded to that letter was the concern there was plitization of the law enforcement intersurprise at the justice department. that's the center piece of that
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letter. it was that concern that made me feel like i should be vocal. that's the concern you have. that's what i'm worried about. i've spent my life as a public servant resisting that. i did that with my last year and you can be sure if i end up at i.n.a., that's the position i'll view to. thank you for that question. >> we talked about domestic terrorism and whose purview that falls within in terms of law enforcement. i think you said the fbi would take the lead in absent some foreign nexus. you would agree that would not be within the purview of organizations like the central intelligence agencies and other parts of the i.c., correct? sdplg domestic focus intelligence work would not fall within the purpose view.
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>> one of the concerns that i think everybody should have is about the abuse of some of those tools like the foreign intelligence surveillance act to surveil american citizens. particularly based on perjured testimony. when you read inspector general horowitz's report on cross fire hurricanes, it documented the perjury of one of the fbi lawyers and the various other abuses of the process. did that cause you concern? >> yes, it did.
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>> one of the problems we have here, you talked about 215, i support the re-instatement of section 215 of the foreign intelligence act but as i told the director of national intelligence, every time that the skeptics about the power that's given to the intelligence community members of congress, every example of an abuse of that power makes it harder and harder for us as a political matter to get congress to pass or reinstate those authorities. let me turn to the border. obviously, when you see two million people roughly plus coming across the border during this last year and instances of drug trafficking and seizures, people with criminal records
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potentially people from other countries of special concern. for example, in the del rio sector, they said they detained people from 150 different countries coming across the del rio sector, alone. from a national security perspective, is that a concern of border as long as i've -- from law enforcement perspective, yes that's a concern. >> i realize this is not necessarily within your authority or your bailiwick but i want to use the opportunity to highlight the fact that the secretary of homeland security is actual assigned a nonenforcement directive saying the border patrol and i.c.e.
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should not detain anybody who was guilty of illegal entry into the country unless they have committed other crimes. the problem remains that the non-enforcement posture of this administration and the department of homeland security are operating as a substantial pull factor for people to leave their homes and come into the country illegally. are you aware of some of the most recent statistics with regard to those who have come here and been released on notice to report? are you familiar with that process? they are given a notice to appear in court or a notice to report to an i.c.e. officer. are you familiar with that? >> i'm generally familiar with it, yes.
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>> senator, i'll get you a third round. you're at 7.5 minutes. can i get you back on the third round. >> i just have one more question. i'm happy to do a third round. >> two quick points. first, i'm going to be asking you written questions with respect to the dossiers and whether it will be released and i'm going to need those answers before this committee moves forward. that's number one. number two, there's another part to this 215 debate. this is a bulk collection of the phone records on million and millions of law-abiding people where i'm trying to square your public testimony with the written answers that you gave us to the pre-hearing questions. let me make sure we walk through this quickly. in your public testimony about the bulk collection of all these
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phone records you said and i quote, this part of the law was significantly more protective of civil liberties in grand jury subpoenas. you also testified that if the government wanted to collect and this is quote, an obviously incident day-to-day action, i think you're going to have some questions from the fisa court judge. you knew that the government was secretly using section 215 to collect the phone records of millions of innocent americans without any subsequent review without the fisa court. for the committee, and i'll be asking about this as well. reconcile what you knew at the time based on your answers in your public testimony because i'm having trouble reconciling the two.
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maybe there's something else i need to have information from you on. >> thank you. i think i can help you a bit. i appreciate you raising this the other day and giving me a heads up about this. let me -- so everybody is on the same page. you're asking about testimony i gave in september 2009. that was after i left government. >> in public. >> it was a hearing to the re-authorization of certain parts of the patriot act. i was asked to testify as somebody who worked in that area. i had left the national security division where i had direct responsibility for that area as of late 2007 or early 2008. i opined about the importance of re-authorizing those three sections that were up for re-authorization at the time, including 215 and the point i was making is a simple point. the premise for 215 for inacting
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215 was that on criminal side, criminal prosecutors could use a grand jury subpoena when they needed to get records. i did that thousands of times in my career. don't have to go to a judge. persuade that judge to authorize that order. in my mind, it's always better to have a judge in the process. someone couldn't just go use 215 for innocent purposes. i was explaining to find out about his girlfriends, whatever
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records or something like that. that was raised earlier in the hearing that i testified in. he also mentioned he specifically singled out to members that there was a classified collection under 215 that some members knew about that he was happy to brief those members about that classified collection and that's the meta data program. that was already out there nap was the baseline for the hearing. i was there for that.
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i was talking about how the 215 was designed and how grand jury subpoenas are designed. that's still a valid argument for 215. >> my time is up. i continue to find it hard to reconcile what you knew and at the time you gave this public testimony when you talked abtd i quote here about how 215 was more protective of civil liberties. you knew the government was secretly using section 215 to collect all these phone records on millions of innocent americans without any subsequent review by the fisa court. this is not just policy. i'm going to have to get some more information from you with respect to reconciling what you now now have indicated you knew
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at the time which does not seem to me to be consistent with what you said publicly. we'll continue this discussion and thank you for the extra round. thank you. >> if i may, a couple of points. i had been out for two years. i didn't know what was still running or not. i knew it had been authorized at some point previously before my coming into the national security division. also you said this collection was done without review of the fisa court. my understanding is the fisa court authorized and re-authorized it a number of times. i think there was sort of continuing review of the -- >> i'm not sure that's helpful to you because your written answers to the pre-hearing
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questions indicated that you knew the government was secretly using 215 in a way that didn't have any subsequent review by the fisa court. we're going to have to g over this some more. thank you. >> senator blunt, you're up next. do you have anything else? senator cornyn. we're in the 7-minute round area. >> we were talking about the border. what will be your role in official capacity with regard to border ine enforcement and threats to the homeland coming across the border? >> i have a lot to learn about the role at border. my understanding is it's twofold. one is to provide intelligence
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and information to the rapg of people, actors and enforcement agency. make sure state and local who are down around the border are getting as much intelligence as we can find about what they can expect to be seen crossing the border legally. what kind of migration pattern there are, this kind of thing. on one hand i.n.a. job is to provide intelligence to those agencies. also, to collect intelligence that might be gleaned from people who coming across the border.
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we are responsible for helping to channel that intelligence into ina and make that into actionable products. >> as you know, given the volume of people that have come across the border in the last year, some two million, that doesn't count the so called get aways. it always struck me as odd that we try to estimate people we never see, the number, but we know it's more than detained along the border. among those, we have identified people with criminal records, multiple offenses of drug snuggling sex offenders and the like. there's no process for all the people coming across the border.
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does law enforcement professional, does it concern you that people are coming across the border for whom we have no record? then they are released into the heart land of the country and given a note to report or a note to appear and just in the last six months, 50,000 of them did not show up at an i.c.e. office given their note to report. violating the terms of their release. do you view that as a national security and law enforcement vulnerability? >> it's clearly, it's always a concern for those in national security and intelligence community when you have a blank space.
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the more we can learn about and from the people wh are coming across the border, the better. i want to know more rather than less coming through our airports and ports, we want to know more rather than less about the people here in the united states. >> do you consider our lack of knowledge about those individuals a national security vulnerability? >> i guess i'd say that a lack of knowledge about people coming into our country is troubling because we want to know more about these people than less. we want to have an understanding whether somebody is coming in for malign purposes, whether it's to launch a terrorist attack or what have you.
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absolutely. we and i know this is the approach of dhs, would want to have more rather than less. >> that would be a yes, it is a vulnerability? >> vulnerabilities arise from lack of intelligence information. intelligence enterprise is all about, as you know, as this committee and you know all too well is all about minimizing vulnerabilities. you minimize that by having information before a threat becomes a reality. my feeling is that we reduce our level of vulnerability, the more knowledge we have. >> thank you. >> thank you, sir. >> i believe senator king has one more question from webex. >> thank you. i want to take you back to law school. you get in this position one of your analysts walks in one day and says we have information on a group called sons of liberty out in one of the midwestern
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states. they seem to be very strong supporters of conservative causes. we've heard a tip that they may be planning some kind of action involving violence at the u.s. supreme court. what do you do? >> that's a great question. i have a vague recollection of law schoo and getting a few of those questions. that's real scenario. that goes to the issue i think we discussed earlier.
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against that, that person or that party. it's the last piece of what you said the analysts came in with that got my attention. that there's an indication that this group is planning some kind of violence because that's that's the dividing line. if there is sufficient basis to believe that this group is planning a violent act of some kind, especially a violent act
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like this. that makes it a fitting and appropriate target for intelligence collection. it can't be there's some remote possibility it can happen or similar groups in the past have gone from being politically extreme to being violent. it has to be there's some evidence this group is crossing over that line. >> i think you're right. i think violence is the dividing line. i will share you my favorite exchange with law professor who once asked me a question and i didn't know the answer and i braverly guessed and said yes. he said mr. king, a shorter and more accurate answer would have been no. thank you. >> thank you, sir.
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>> welcome back to the arena. you have proven me completely wrong. i think we would glide through this hearing in 45 minutes. you saw from both sides. an enormous amount of interest. i personally look forward to supporting you. i think you have the right experience at this moment in time for part of the i.c. and law enforcement. i kind of understand its role. candidly don't fully understand. you turn it over fbi.
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i don't expect you tow have that whole answer. i think it's probably an area that's still evolving. we presume it was going to be originating. the data indicates you have needs and strong leader, need a permanent leader and a senate approved leader. i appreciate your candor. i do think some of the comments, my colleagues have raised,
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senator sass and i work well together on a lot of issues around china. i think we're all evolving around china. this is -- maybe i have a understanding why it's not as high as the jobs you've had in the past. might be the kind of thing to bring you back into government service. the fact i mentioned her twice if she did follow through.
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people who have additional questions, submit them by the 15th. my hope is we can move quickly on this nomination and we can get help from my republican friends. there's been too many people held up for too long. i think the better you get into this job, the better for the country. with that, any last comments? >> i want to thank you for holding this hearing. there's a lot o
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