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tv   FBI Director Testifies on Agencys Mission Operations - Part 2  CSPAN  August 7, 2022 4:14pm-5:30pm EDT

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marginalized sectors. especially native hawaiians. it was just this past week that our honolulu office recovered three minor females who were missing and at risk on the island. i know they are -- they are aggressively working on that issue. >> you are asking other -- a number of questions about the china initiative and when you have an environment where you talk about the pandemic and the chinese virus, you see a rise of hate crimes against asians. and as some people can recognize, that i do not happen to be chinese, but a lot of people think i am. the china initiative to abuses and including who they will target. including researchers and others that the fbi admitted -- so i
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hope the fbi has guardrails and how they will pursue investigations that do not target based on drug trafficker. what is a result, in 2021 we had over 100,000 drug overdoses and fentanyl crossing the border at 70% -- was about 70% of the 100,000. thanks to the open borders, drug traffickers are poisoning our streets and killing our children. and they are trafficking innocent victims with reckless abandon.
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this administration is failing -- >> mr. chairman could i have a minute to have a discussion with the fbi director. >> of course. >> we just heard a half hour ago about how you have to leave it 1:30 when he announces meeting and he said we will have seven minute first rounds, three minutes second rounds, i've got seven people on my side of the aisle wanting their additional three minutes. is there any reason we could not accommodate them for 21 minutes? or whatever democrats want second rounds four. >> president i -- senator i have a flight i'm supposed to hightail it to after here i thought we would end it 1:30 so
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that is how we end up where we are. >> if it is your business trip you have your own plane. can it wait a while? >> sorry, to be honest, i have tried to make my break as fast as i could to get out of here. >> took more than five minutes. >> this is a tight ship mr. director. >> i do not recall mentioning a second round. i want to keep it as minimum as i can and be respectful of the fact that this is your third appearance in two years before the committee and i appreciate that very much. you want to make sure we do this at a regular basis. so i want to ask to stick to your seven minutes. we've had violations of that but if we can stick with it i would appreciate it. and then we recognize senator -- go out of his way -- >> thank you chair durban. and director i think you for being here. i particularly appreciate your
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opening comments with respect to the 38,000. -- people that work in the fbi being good hard-working, honest people. doing their job and doing a dangerous job. we have seen that with some of your testimony related to the loss of life. i will stick to my time or yield back a little bit more because my colleague senator lee cited concerns of that i have about past investigations. and senator cruz pointed out important issues that we can deal with. and i can submit questions for the record. i put a copy of this on your desk so you can see it. because i did not have time to have it blown up but i talked about this at a committee hearing a week or so ago. a lot of your testimony talked about what a dangerous job it is for fbi and local law enforcement and state law enforcement -- last week i
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happened to do a google -- primary fundraising engine for democrats. we have an equivalent. they raised 513 million dollars between april 1 and june 30 this year. but the result -- came back to a sub page which is sponsored by black lives matter. in is called the 13.12 mile run for justice. and so far they raised about $1.1 million. and this is directly from the website. by 3.1 two miles. three point 12 equals aca be which equals all cops are bast roots. --bastards -- dismantling white supremacy and demand telling the
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police. do you think that all of them are bastards? do you think that most of them are white supremacist? >> absolutely not. >> do you think that this is unhelpful to address the issue that you raised in your opening testimony about the safe security of law enforcement in this nation? >> i have a lot of things i would say about this and the message in it many of them are not appropriate for the hearing. >> it is a piece. i was thinking about senator cruz's comment. i could actually see based on the appeal, and it is still on the website, they are trying to raise 1.1 three $2 million or 1.1 million so far. it would seem to me, that the people that would actually say this and say that you should run around police stations to do 13
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miles and that you should make noise to make yourself known. it seems to me they are rising and extremist organizations. that organization. and unlike blacks -- black lives matter -- black and blue -- i do not think that most people in black lives matter -- i think some of them are and the statements published on the internet to make police officers less safe may warrant an opportunity to have a black lives matter flag somewhere in the fbi saying not all of them are bad. just like he said some of the people observing the civil's of our nation are not all bad. -- why would it not be logical to say the people that say this stuff could actually have a number or a small number for taking an extremist position that makes law enforcement less safe.
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it potentially instigates attacks against law enforcement officers. why's that something the fbi should study and make that known that the community should look at this? >> i think comment number one, i want to be careful, i'm not commenting on first amendment expression. but when it comes to violent extremism of any kind, it does not matter to me or us at the fbi of whether you are upset with the election or the results of our criminal justice system. you do not get to use violence to his -- express that sentiment. and we have put out intelligence products that we call violent extremism. some of it is actually not advocated in spirit against the white race. but violent extremism -- is another way as well. in some instances, we've
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investigated those that brought charges. >> i hope you will. i will continue to monitor this and the fundraising process, this is not the last time this committee will see it. but as long as they are doing the stuff we have to call them out for it. the same way i would call out anyone at the other end of the spectrum for citing violence against anyone it is wrong and making the community less safe. last question, be quick so i can yield back my time, can you give me an idea of anyone that has been held accountable who is involved in crossfire hurricane investigation and what actions have been taken and -- if any? >> we taken a whole slew of actions. over 40 plus corrective measures. >> is anybody in the bureau discipline? >> there's a number of people in our office of professional
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responses. >> you may wonder why that has not yielded results yet and that is because we are working closely with cooperating closely with assisting the durham investigation. the whole process is not unusual. and it has slowed down to make sure he does not interfere with the durham investigation. >> out want to thank every employer -- the hard work that they do and thank you mr. chair. >> i know my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, i hope that they are wider to the american public as a whole. i do not think americans understand the extraordinary work the fbi does. i want to thank you and know what it means every day that our officers are putting their lives on the live -- on the line to protect other americans. i know this from my work -- in
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2006 when i took over the city was with the jersey office of the fbi. and i learned a lot about what they do for counterterrorism and dealing with the number one issue of my city. if i remember correctly it was 90% of residents concerned about their physical safety in communities as a rise in gang violence was happening. here is the f ei working hand in hand with global police officers -- local police officers -- you and i both know the number one victims of gun violence in the united states are black and brown. and so, when folks say black lives matter, when folks say they are concerned about violence that we see in the communities, i want you to understand, and i know you do, there is a deep appreciation of law enforcement. there is a desire for more of
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law enforcement. that is one of the reasons i have a bipartisan bill to give resources to clear murders because a clearance rates in our cities are low. and i recognize the work you do and celebrate and thank you for the work you and your agents do. i also recognize how dangerous it is for law officers at a time these weapons are proliferated. not one of the shootings -- one i can find in my city hundreds of shootings were done with someone who acquired a gun illegally. we are not talking about second amendment rights but we are talking about the ease in which people can get their hands on guns in the community. but i want to talk about the guy who walks through neighborhoods to come here -- that i know african-american that people put up an amount of subscribing to violence or whatever the internet meme is about.
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they say we have a disproportionate number of african-americans that are dying and we should do something about it as a society. you understand that, correct? >> yes. collects one of the ways i found in running the police department when i was mayor of the city, is collecting data that helps you understand -- i want to drill into that because you have a lot of reporting in the area. the fbi under james comey -- they talked about how critical collecting data was in march of 2022 you said their participation by state and local law enforcement agencies has reached a reporting use of force 60% -- of force mandated by the omb to release that data. and the fbi plan to release certain aspects of the data. i am not sure why it has taken them so long to get to 60% participation at this data is
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important to understand the use in force. you agree with that, correct? >> yes. and i try to message the importance of submitting data and the use of force data with local counterparts all across the country and the point i tried to make to them is discuss sins on this issue and use of force happen no matter what. we are better off if the this cautions happen on the cold hard data. innovative everybody interest particularly law enforcement to get the data so we can have an accurate picture. collects if you cannot measure it you cannot manage it. and it is estimated because we do not have the data that over 1000 people were shot and killed by the police every single year. making no judgment on whether it is justified or not but you and i have seen the videos of unarmed people being shot and killed. we understand that this is not a
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number that police officers want to see they want to see the number as low as possible. -- not having one officer fired their weapon was a very good year. that i am curious about something, since the fbi collects data on is this is resulting in death or serious bodily injury is that type of reporting burdensome on agencies? >> it depends on the department. as you know from your past life, the kinds of departments nationwide range wildly in terms of their i.t. system -- it may vary from place to place. we try to do what we can to provide assistance to them to figure out how to do it more efficiently. and a low cost system. >> it is a critical tool. the better data we get, the
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better lawmakers can make decisions. >> i was interested in the data that was released in 2021. the number one reason some was subject to the force of a police officer was because of a failed to comply with verbal commands or other types of passive resistance. this is a more common -- display of threatening a police officer more -- it was failing to comply with verbal commands. do you understand what kind of passive resistance can result in a person being shot by a police officer? >> i would have to give that were thought to give you a good answer on that one. >> ok because i would really like to understand that. i talked to my lease officers and they tell me that they have training on the issue they do not have to use force if they were better trained.
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they may be justified in that but -- the importance of that. >> it is a general matter. >> yeah ok. 40 percent of state and local agencies did not successfully report fraud -- including the new york and the majority -- populous states. the low participation rate complicates our ability to federally respond to the public safety trends and challenges that is a yes or no question you agree with that, right? >> yes we need complete data as possible. it is in everybody's interest to give the most comprehensive and accurate picture. class a month ago i think the q hoping you will respond asking questions about the fbi's plans to increase her dissipation and reporting and communicating the importance of that. i hope that you can engage. because as a manager, i cannot manage something that i cannot measure. i am hoping that is being
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prioritized. i would like to say in conclusion, you have been phenomenal in responding to me and engaging with the own staff. especially getting women and minorities moving up in the ranks at the fbi. we have been grateful that the attention you give into this and engagement with my office i would ask that you would continue to do that because you and i agree when it comes to gender, religion, and race diversity we are not where we want to be. and we know from policing how powerful it is in building trust and achieving our goal in public safety to approve of women and minorities in public safety. i know you would agree. >> i agree. we have a long way to go even though we are making strides. >> i-8 knowledge that are both men. >> thank you chairman. -- we appreciate that. -- from several that have question you. there appears to be a perception
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that we have two tiers of justice. and one is for people that are favored and one that is for ordinary americans and that his come through many of the questions you have heard from us. i want to ask you a few things so that we can get it on the record. and it may help restore faith in the bureau. and the work they are trying to do. americans looked at what they perceived to be and i think rightly so a ton of money that was wasted on the russia -- investigation. do you agree that the allegation of secret collusion between president trump and russia was a hoax? yes or no? >> i do not think that is the terminology i would use, but i think there is a lot on this subject. and both special counsel's would report -- >> yes or no. >> yes but that is not a term i
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would use. >> do you agree that the laptop was not -- and for disinformation? >> now you are asking about an ongoing investigation that i expect our folks to pursue aggressively and i cannot comment on that. >> and you possess the laptop, right? >> i cannot answer that. >> when do we expect to hear from general durham with his report? >> that is a question for special counsel durham. we are actively assisting him in that investigation. >> do you agree that an open border is a national security threat? >> as i said in response -- i think there's serious security issues on the border and a wide range of criminal rents we are concerned about at the fbi. and that transitions from
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everything in game violence, yes -- the county continues to tell me last friday i was with seven different counties and the number one issue for them is an open order and the presence of drug traffickers. drugs, human trafficking, they talk about the cartels that have set up hubs. they can tell you where the drugs are coming from that are coming into the community. human mention 300 taskforces you have. do you have one that is specific to this? i was surprised yesterday with mr. polito who was before us for the criminal division they did not seem to have one that was focused specifically on these cartels. >> we at the fbi have a number of things focused on that. we have what we call our talk program which is an organized criminal program -- and another program is focused on the
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western hemisphere of cartels. >> thank you. >> there's a number of taskforces they are. >> i think one of the things that has concerned me is the number of terrorists that are coming across that border. so far in fiscal year 22, we've had 56. there were 15 noncitizen terrorists across in 21, three in 2020, and zero in 2019. what are you all doing to help apprehend these individuals? senator holland talked with you about the afghan refugees. people remember what happened on 9/11. they remember what happened -- to see this number of terrorist that are coming across that border and into the country, how are you tracking, monitoring, apprehending, and investigating these individuals? >> there are two things i would say. one is that we are constantly
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sharing information with dhs and our partners to improve border security in that regard. and second, through george terrorism task forces across the country we are investigating any number of individuals here in the u.s. attempting to put together cases. >> let me ask you this once a local sheriff reports to an fbi field office that they have someone they think is a bad actor, how long does it take you all to do that? you use the term audit, assessment, an investigation. how long does it take you to respond to that and get these going? >> as you could imagine it depends on the circumstances. >> -- we give investigations the same day. >> let me move on and you can send that to me in writing. i want to get to the issue on
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china with you. we continue to be concerned and i appreciate your intention to china, but we are continuing to see beijing, the chinese communist party, not the people, but the chinese communist party -- on the u.s. government disrupt our military operations. are you all working with the department of defense to address the threat of -- equipment that is coming in. and we know the chinese communist party is buying property and farmland near our military installations and our sensitive infrastructure. are you all on top of that? >> we are working closely with a number of department agencies. there is a lot happening in this case. one of the things i would suggest is -- my folks coming up and giving you a classified briefing. >> i would appreciate that.
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it would be helpful. we had a situation last year with the university of tennessee professor who came through the -- program to ut. it goes to trial and the -- uses the familiar line they started to do to say this is an issue of race. we are continued in that -- what they used to defend this individual. we are concerned about that. and how all of that inks to the confucius institute. a lot of universities have shut that down and they are renaming them chinese language and culture programs. so how are you all monitoring and tracking the individuals that are under contract to the ccp that are coming in with these programs to spy and still our intellectual property. -- steal our intellectual property -- propaganda and
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programs. >> we are working very closely with universities on this subject. instances like the one you cited, where the case went south, there's a lot of media attention but there's a lot happening all the time across the country in a positive way. >> are you tracking the monetary donations from china that are all ccp linked that are going into universities? >> well, you talked about two different things in the academic setting. there is the research theft piece and the confucius institute. i'm putting the second one to the side for a minute, the first, the whole way in which the plans are used involves funding of researchers from chinese government to essentially steal u.s. taxpayer
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funded research here. our investigations inevitably -- get into that. >> is the end of my time. thank you mr. chairman. >> i recognize sinner -- >> thank you mr. chair. i want to ask a continuation of a conversation we had earlier. rules committee broadly related to -- account act. just yesterday we talked about the rise of threats to elections officials and administrators. and it stems from a briefing held earlier this week by the assistant attorney general -- that took place on monday. it indicated the department of justice elections threatens task force -- 1000 contacts reported as hostile or harassing by the election committee. of these 1000 contacts, about
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11% were found to -- in a federal criminal investigation. about four cases have been charged so far. so 11% of the 1000, four cases have been charged. in the first place, -- the task force has reportedly reviewed -- are there additional contacts waiting to be reviewed? how familiar are you with this activity? >> i am not sure i am familiar with the flow of the numbers, i know that there has been a significant -- over the last year a uptick -- an engagement. with election officials. as been tabletop exercises -- we have done calls with 1000 plus election workers and officials. in not sure -- i think i am lost
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on the numbers of it. >> that is fine i am guess the more important question is a matter of policies. to your knowledge, does the task force review every contact that has been reported as hostile? >> to my knowledge, but i would have to circle back to you in case there is clarification. >> i would like clarification of the policy what to further investigate and whatnot. -- and what to not investigate. -- in the same spirit, we are living in an era where elections workers at the state level, local level, and volunteers feel that they are under increased rent from election deniers and others who may -- we believe it's critical that the federal government demonstrates that it stands ready to respond to election communities concerns. doing that requires an adequate
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allocation of resources to the problem. first of all, the question to what i asked, assistant attorney general yesterday is in each of the fbi field offices, is there a special agent assigned specifically to the task of responding to interest -- concerns raised about election response? or is it an additional responsibility on top of others? >> let me answer your question this be -- this way. we have at the fbi every field office somebody specifically designated as an election crimes coordinator. that is their responsibility and it is a program we've had in place for a while. within uptick in the trend you are talking about, the burden and workload of those people has significantly grown. i think before those coordinators would see huge uptick in work around the time
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of the election, but now, with election-related violence and political violence becoming a 365 days a year annulment on, those folks -- phenomenon, those folks -- with the uptick in engagement between the fbi and the field offices and the state and local election counterparts, the job has grown significantly. >> b emphasize a point you just made. there is a highlight. it is no longer just around election time. when this starts up, we start making -- a focus on this. in the 2016 election because the world changed in that cycle. it was not just election day it was leading up to election day but it was a registration -- in. two underscore -- it has been
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almost two years since november 2020 election, and yes or no, are there people still challenging the results of the november 2020 election? and not just social media posts and tweets, that activity threatening activity that stems from that yes or no? >> certainly, all of the various election threats we contend with have become more of a -- ubiquitous -- all year long phenomenon. not the ones you just mentioned but also the foreign influence piece. the foreign governments and the efforts -- a lot of people do not realize because they focus on the election time, but those efforts, cyber targeting and other efforts, those are happening in the same way all year long.
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>> one more statement and final question. this, we appreciate how quickly the fbi and other agencies not up to speed on this information and the disinformation -- dangers physical and otherwise it creates her confidence in the democracy. specifically -- the general policy and others not taking public action for written statements close to election as it pertains to candidates for office. we now have more and more of election deniers and conspiracy theorist running for office specifically for office related to election administration at the state and local level. i hope that we are thinking ahead on that and strategizing how to maintain the policies -- of neutrality and not being political but at the same time doing what is necessary to
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defend our democracy. >> final question, what else do you need from congress or this committee specifically to receive adequate resources and attention for the issues? >> our budget request calls for a significant upgrade in the i.t. system. we talked in thank you, senator padilla. senator kennedy? sen. kennedy: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. director, who is timothy tebow? dir. wray: mr. tebow was, for some period of time, until relatively recently, what is called an asac in our washington
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field office. sen. kennedy: he was the assistant special agent in charge? dir. wray: there is a number with of them in the washington field office. the structure is there that is the head of the office, then sacs, then the level he was at. sen. kennedy: and he has or had been with the fbi about 25 years, is that right? dir. wray: now you are testing my knowledge a little bit. sen. kennedy: ok. he was a powerful guy, is that correct? dir. wray: i'm sorry? sen. kennedy: he was a powerful guy is that correct? dir. wray: i don't know that i would use that description. sen. kennedy: ok. he had no power? dir. wray: i think every law enforcement agent in the fbi, with the responsibilities they are entrusted with, has significant power. sen. kennedy: did he work on the president trump russian collusion investigation?
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dir. wray: uh, i'm not sure i know the answer to that. not that i am aware of, but i cannot say that with certainty. sen. kennedy: did he or does he work on the fbi investigation of esther hunter biden? dir. wray: so, the investigation that you are referring to, and i have to be careful because we are talking about an ongoing investigation, is being run on of our baltimore field office, working with the delaware u.s. attorney who is a holdover from the prior administration. sen. kennedy: so, i'm confused with your answer. did he work or does he work on the hunter biden investigation? dir. wray: as i said, the hunter biden investigation is being run out of the baltimore field
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office. sen. kennedy: isn't it true that in september 2020 special agent tebow went on social media and light it will -- liked a washington post article entitled "william barr has gone rogue." dir. wray: i have seen descriptions to that effect. i have to be a little bit careful about how far we can go in this conversation, because of specific, ongoing personal matters. sen. kennedy: isn't it true that in september 2020 special agent tebow went on social media and
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posted a washington post article titled "why the michael flynn case still matters? " dir. wray: that is a similar answer to the one i gay -- gave before. sen. kennedy: isn't it true that in november 2020 special agent tebow, assistant special agent in charge of the d.c. office, who allegedly on the trump/russia collusion investigation and hunter biden investigation retweeted a lincoln project with that said, "donald trump is a psychological -- i'm sorry -- a psychologically embittered and deeply unhappy man?" dir. wray: again, i have seen descriptions of posts, and i'm really trying to be careful not
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to get in the way of any ongoing personnel matters. sen. kennedy: isn't it also true that in january 2001 in response to alabama senator tommy tuberville's election to the united states senate from alabama, of course, special agent tebow went on social media and posted "thank god for mississippi, the state motto of alabama?" dir. wray: i cannot quote chapter and verse on ace -- on an individual's social media posts. sen. kennedy: isn't it also true that in june 2020 special agent in charge tebow, a 25-year
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veteran of the agency tweeted to congresswoman liz cheney, "your dad was a disgrace." dir. wray: i have seen descriptions to that effect, but i'm going to be careful not to interfere with any ongoing person. sen. kennedy: last month didn't agent tebow go on media and tweet, "can we give kentucky to the russian federation?" dir. wray: again, same answer i have given before. sen. kennedy: all right. isn't it true that mr. tebow -- agent tebow, excuse me -- and fbi supervisory intelligence analyst brian oakton covered up rogatory information about mr. hunter biden while working for the fbi? dir. wray: well, again, i want
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to be very careful not to interfere with ongoing personnel matters. i should say that when i read the letter that describes the kinds of things you are talking about, i found it deeply troubling. sen. kennedy: it is troubling. and it is not about their political beliefs. it is not about their political beliefs. it is about that this is a senior employee at the fbi with years of experience. going on social media and tweeting this kind of stuff. dir. wray: so, i have since i have started -- sen. kennedy: which gives people the russian -- the impression there is bias, whether there is or isn't. dir. wray: i feel very strongly, and i have communicated consistently since i started as
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director that our folks need to make sure they are not just doing the right thing, that they are doing it in the right way and that they avoid even the appearance of bias or lack of objectivity. in fact, one of the things i did , which to my knowledge had never been done before at the fbi, was in 2018 i pulled together -- and i started at the top, which in my experience as somebody in law enforcement, it never works that way. i started at the top and brought the 250 top people from the guy from one corner of the globe to the other for a full-day standdown in quantico, where the focus of the message -- heard from the general inspector, a judge -- the whole focus was on the importance of the appearance -- sen. kennedy: but you would not do something like this. this man had been with the fbi for 25 years. he is now on leave. he did this kind of stuff as recently as last month.
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do you know how this looks to the american people? dir. wray: i will tell you that what you are describing is not representative of the fbi that i see up close everyday day in this country. where i see patriots working their tails off -- sen. kennedy: and i agree with that and have said that to you repeatedly. but you are killing yourselves with this stuff. in this investigation needs to be completed on this gentleman, and the results need to be reported to the american people. thank you, mr. chairman. sen. durbin: thank you, senator kennedy. senator also? sen. ossoff: director wray, nice to see you again. i want to commend your staff for their professionalism and ongoing work. i know you have a new sac there. we wish her the best in her new
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role. senator grassley and i recently introduced legislation to strengthen federal protections of children subjected to sexual abuse and exploitation online. in fact, the atlanta field office recently issued a warning to georgia parents and children about an increase in sextortion cases, where adults manipulate minors into engaging in sexual activity or ask licit photos, and then extort those children or their families for money. will you commit to continue to prioritize the protection of children from online abuse at the fbi and tell us about what you were doing to that end? dir. wray: i think you are right. it is an important priority and has only increased in importance. sextortion, in particular, we have been mounting a public awareness campaign about what we are seeing. not that long ago i filmed a
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public service advertisement with the head of the national center for missing and exploited children, trying to reach out to parents all over the country. none of the things we are seeing that is particularly troubling is an uptick on sextortion cases not just against little girls, which has been happening for a long time, but against little boys as well. the are seeing a number of these kids, male or female, turn to suicide because they feel like there is no way out. so it is incredibly important that we as a society figure out a way to make sure those kids know there is an answer that there are people that they can turn to and that we will do everything we can to protect them. sen. ossoff: and he will commit to continuing those efforts? dir. wray: yes. sen. ossoff: on a related note, that morning that the atlanta field office circulated about sextortion threats appeared in
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english but not other languages. i want to engage with you about the work the fbi can do to increase language access to the information you distribute so that communities in georgia and across the country with limited english proficiency or for whom english is not a first language can have access to the same information to protect themselves, their families, and businesses from threats to their safety. when the fbi issues warnings like that or other forms of information or guidance, do you tend to offer that and language other than english, and what steps can you take -- perhaps working with my office -- to make sure you have the resources you need to carry it out, to improve the multilingual average and communication the fbi does? dir. wray: here is a very interesting and important point. we have over the last couple of years started intensifying the outreach we do, doing it with additional languages. because we have realized there
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are victim communities for different offenses, different threats, but sometimes are not getting the message unless we do that. for example, i know our new york office has been particularly proactive in that regard, both with the jewish community in new york, but also the aapi community in terms of advertisements and leaflets that are translated into different languages. i think we are going to need to do more and more of that, and we would be happy to follow-up with you. sen. ossoff: that would be great. even the growing diversity in georgia i would love to see the georgia field office emerge as the leader, taking sure to convey information in spanish and korean and other languages widely spoken in the state. speaking of community safety, you and i have had several discussions like this one on violent crime across the country. georgia communities from columbus to savannah and albany
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continue to struggle with high rates of gun violence, dang activity, other threats to public safety. i don't know when you have plans to come to georgia. i hope you will return home sometime soon. your extensive experience in the state. when you do come, sit down with me and state and local law enforcement, faith leaders, other community leaders, talk about how we can work together to reduce community violence and violent crime in georgia. will he make that commitment? dir. wray: i look forward to meeting with you. one of the many times i am home. i'm always looking for additional reasons. the d.c. and be back in georgia. sen. ossoff: that is a widely-shared sentiment. dir. wray: we would be happy to follow-up with you on that request. sen. ossoff: want to talk to you a bit about how we can strengthen our protection of veterans. georgia, home to nearly 700,000 veterans, any of whom rely on
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the v.a.. in recent years many veterans have been targeted as part of a pension-poaching scheme, or unethical advisors profit by assisting a veteran or purporting to assist a veteran in qualifying for v.a. benefits. these scams can tie up the veterans's savings in investments that earn lucrative fees. what is the fbi doing to protect veterans in georgia and across the country from those who seek to financially exploit them? and can you reassure the committee and people georgia and the american people that protecting veterans from exportation is a high priority for the bureau? dir. wray: i can certainly get you more detailed information as a follow-up, but i will tell you we are pursuing a number of types of schemes and scams that target different kinds of populations that for one reason or another are attacked of two scammers. when it comes to veterans, it is
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appalling that there are people that would prey upon the people who have served our country so nobly and selflessly. in fact, i think that hits particularly close to home for us at the fbi. have a very large percentage of veterans in our current workforce and always have. and so, no, as they say, them's fighting words. sen. ossoff: appreciate that, director wray. finally, just want to touch on a couple of matters related to civil rights. mr. chairman, with your indulgence, i wrote a letter requesting the fbi investigate ongoing gang activity at polasky state prison. it is our second largest prison for women. i realize you cannot comment on ongoing and best occasions, but i want to make sure you are aware of that correspondence and it has received the attention it
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deserves because of the extent of criminal activity within that state prison. or broadly, where does the investigation and enforcement of civil rights violations fall among the f -- the fbi's priorities, and i was that communicated to your field offices? can you assure the people of georgia and the american people that investigating civil rights violations remains atop her already? dir. wray: as to your letter, i have read it, and read it with interest. i can tell you that. as to the civil rights enforcement, we, as i think i mentioned earlier, we elevated that to a national threat priority. the significance of that is that it communicates to all of the field offices in the headquarters division that this is one of the things that has to be one of our top parities. as a result, both resources and intelligence collection emphasis flow from that dream it was last year and it will be again this fiscal year.
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sen. ossoff: in closing, would you say to those who will listen to all of this, here are words on radio across georgia who want to hear that reassurance from the person that you are out there investigating civil rights violations? dir. wray: we view our civil rights program as at the heart of our mission to protect the american people and uphold the constitution. the fbi has done some great work in that program over the years and it is something we are proud of and stay committed to. sen. ossoff: thank you, directory and thank you, mr. chairman. sen. durbin: senator graham is next. >> you have a national security mission to protect the american people against radical elements abroad and at home, is that correct? dir. wray: yes, senator. sen. graham: so thank you to you and yours out in the fight every day. to understand what kind of threats we are facing, it comes to china, how many cases a week
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will you open up against chinese agents trying to engage in illegal espionage activity in the united states? dir. wray: frankly, i wish i could measure it by week. we are opening a new china-related counterintelligence investigation about every 12 hours. sen. graham: stop. thank you. to the american people, every 12 hours the fbi is investigating some nefarious activity driven by the chinese communist party against american interests. is that a fair statement? dir. wray: yes, it is. sen. graham: when you talk to the ambassador of china as a member of the house or senate and ask them this question and they say they are not engaged in such activity, that -- would you consider that a misleading statement? dir. wray: well, senator, i would find it inconsistent with our experience. as you have heard from this hearing, there is no shortage of things for fbi agent's to be working on. i can tell you and i would tell
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him the reason we aren. graham:t could do to our country, some of these cases are pretty severe in nature? dir. wray: absolutely. it represents the potential of who is going to dominate the most significant industry sectors for decades. sen. graham: so, number one, america is virtually under attack by chinese espionage activity, and our economic sector, every 12 hours. so that is where we are at. do you need more resources than you have today to combat this? dir. wray: absolutely. sen. graham: just write it down, and i dare somebody to say no. dir. wray: the point i would add to that, senator, because you are hitting an important topic here. in addition to the every 12 hours on the counterintelligence side, the chinese government has a bigger hacking program on the cyber side that we are up against than that of every other major nation combined. sen. graham: ok. dir. wray: and have stolen more
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of americans' personal and corporate data then every nation combined. so, we will absolutely need more resources to be able to keep pace with something like that. sen. graham: so, write it down. if you don't write it down you have nobody to blame but yourself. if you write it down and we say no, and you can blame us. right, let's move to another topic. international terrorism. are you worried about an attack on the homeland emanating from places like afghanistan? dir. wray: so, we are. as somebody in the fbi building on 9/11, a little over 20 years ago, and have met with the families in the years afterwards, i think about that day everyday. especially now that we are out. i'm worried about the potential loss of sources and collection over there. so, we are going to have growing intelligence gaps. and i'm worried about the possibility we will see al qaeda
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reconstitute, isis taking advantage of the deteriorating security environment, and terrorists being inspired by what they see over there. sen. graham: you have a lot to worry about. i appreciate you doing the best you can with the resources you have. we know where we are at and bennett -- we know we were -- where we are at with china. they are up to no good everyday. we recently killed the leader of al qaeda in kabul. that is a good thing. were you surprised that he was in kabul, staying at the house cachet guesthouse owned by the number two guy of the taliban? dir. wray: not surprised, but disappointed. sen. graham: ok. let's play fbi agent. [laughter] what does it tell us about the relationship between al qaeda
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and the taliban if the leader of al qaeda is staying in a house owned by the number two guy of the taliban? would you say it is close and friendly? dir. wray: nothing good. sen. graham: nothing good. are there training camps in afghanistan being operated by al qaeda types? dir. wray: well, that, i think i might need to have a follow-up with you. sen. graham: fair enough. do the al qaeda and isis elements in afghanistan, throughout the world, do they wish to hit us again if they could hear at home? dir. wray: oh, yeah. sen. graham: oh, yeah. ok. now, this other border. have you been there lately? dir. wray: yes. sen. graham: array. secretary marcus says the southern border is secure. from a counterterrorism point of view, do we have operational control of the southern border regarding counterterrorism threats that would lead you to
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conclude the border is secure? dir. wray: well, let me answer that this way. while on the one hand we do not have -- i do not want to mislead people -- any imminent, credible threat from a foreign terrorist organization on the border at the moment. any port of entry, any potential vulnerability is something we know foreign terrorist organizations and others will seek to exploit. you can only look at the case we charged recently involving an individual trying to smuggle nationals into the u.s. to co-former president bush to be reminded of something we need to take deathly seriously. sen. graham: let's look at the stage of the board. we are estimating of the one million got-a ways by the end of the year. are you familiar with that? dir. wray: i have heard reports to that effect. sen. graham: that we are on track to have the most illegal entries this year by a factor of a lot.
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are you familiar with that? dir. wray: i have heard, again, reports to that effect. sen. graham: how easy would it be for a group of terrorists to intermingle themselves in this wave of illegal immigrants and be able to sneak into our country to kill a bunch of us? dir. wray: well, i want to give them a roadmap, but it is certainly something we are concerned about. sen. graham: i think you already know, so here is what i'm going to suggest. i am out of time. i want you to tell me the likelihood of the southern border being exploited by terrorist organizations throughout the world to commit a terrorist attack on the united states if we don't change our policies. thank you. sen. durbin: thank you, senator graham. >> is it a crime under section 1507 to picket outside of a federal judge's home to influence his or her decisions? dir. wray: i don't have the statute in front of me, but that
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sounds like a fair description. bugs on numerous occasions in recent months there have been large scale protests outside the homes of supreme court justices in the washington, d.c., area -- washington, d.c. area. yesterday the justice department confirmed the biden justice department has brought -- has not brought a case against an individual protesting outside of those justices' homes. are you aware of the fbi making any arrests for violations of section 1507? dir. wray: i'm aware we have a number of investigations related to threats of violence against justices and against judicial buildings, including the supreme court, and we assisted in the recent charges of the individual who had a plot to kill or intent to kill justice kavanaugh. what statutes are involved i don't know, that i don't think any of them used 1507. sen. cotton: why were there no
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arrests for an obvious violation that played out on national television? did someone in the department of justice direct you not to let fbi agent enforce that law? dir. wray: no, i don't think we have gotten any directive to that effect. i think part of what you are driving at, respectively -- respectfully, goes against the interpretation of an applicability of the statute, and while i absolutely understand your interest in question, i think this is one of those times where i would point to the depart and as the lawyers who -- sen. cotton: i have it in front of me. whoever with the intent of influencing any judge in the discharge of his duty tickets or parades in or near a building or residence occupied or used by such judge shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than one year. it happened on national television news. were there no self-starting fbi
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agent in the area thought, they're going to create -- they are committing a crime, i'm going to arrest them? dir. wray: we work with marshals, with supreme court police, with supreme court arsenals. they have the principal responsibility for crowd control and protecting the justices. we have a number of investigations underway as we speak, then questions as to the enforcement of that particular statute, constitutionally, are better-directed to the department. sen. cotton: i don't think there is much question about the constitutionality. in 1965 the supreme court upheld a similar statute. justice john paul stevens said it would be prohibited to protest outside elected officials homes because there is no right to speech in the home of an unwilling listener. so why did no fbi agent in the
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national capital region, seeing a crime committed repeatedly on national television, not go enforce the law? do you expect your agents to enforce the law? if they are aware of a bank robbery or kidnapping do they need direction from on high to make an arrest? dir. wray: her agents are, as we have discussed at some length throughout this hearing, are up to the next enforcing all sorts of laws. and i wish we were in a situation where every federal violation that occurred in this country was something the guy could have the resources to investigate. we have prioritized focusing on violence and threats of violence , and we are aggressively investigating in that space across the spectrum, including violence and threats of violence against members of the judicial branch. sen. cotton: i mean, these protests wind up with a hit man trying to assassinate justice breast -- justice brett
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kavanaugh. dir. wray: he has been arrested and charged federally. sen. cotton: in addition to that hitman's crimes, again, it was happening on national television. it seems like a layup to show up and arrest them. what if those protesters were protesting outside of a district judge home or members of ms 13, and that george was presiding over the murder and racketeering trial of an ms 13 gang lord? would you expect your agents to show up and arrest those protesters? dir. wray: i would think we would want to be investigating ms 13 members, and we are. sen. cotton: that did not answer my question. would you expect your agents to stop ms 13 from protesting outside of a federal judge's home as that judge presided over an ms 13 murder trial? dir. wray: knowing what we know about ms 13 and there almost -- their almost epic commitment to
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violence, an ms 13 member engaged in activity outside of a judge presiding over an ms 13 trial would be something that i think would lead to us trying to look at every tool we have to be able to protect that judge. sen. cotton: so that is ok to protest if you disagree with their potential rulings? dir. wray: i didn't say that, i don't believe that. sen. cotton: what is the difference between the two? dir. wray: one, we have to make sure we are prioritizing and enforcing those violations of federal criminal law that represent the greatest threat to the public. and so, that in particular focuses on violence and threats of violence. second, as to this particular statute, russians about when it applies constitutionally are, respect, letter-directed to the department. if i was sitting here as the assistant attorney general or attorney general i might have a different sponsor, it is fbi director on the interpretation
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of the statute, constitutionally i would defer to the department on that. sen. cotton: i'm very disappointment the fbi did not take these protests seriously. they lead to a democratic hitman trying to assassinate a sitting supreme court justice. we know a federal judge who lost her son and almost her husband because someone showed up at their home as well. these are grave threats. it is an obvious violation of the criminal law, and i hope if it happens again the fbi will take it more seriously and start arresting them and charging them with violations of this obvious crime. sen. durbin: at this point we -- everyone has had a chance for a first round, and with the exception of senator tillis and senator cotton, who have gone over the allotted seven minutes, i know you have to leave. i have additional questions, but i will not be asking them. i will recognize senator
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grassley, who has asked for an opportunity to close this with questions. any other senator who has a question, i will give them one minute each. " before senator grassley goes unwanted to raise one point, which is when i spoke before the break i made a reference to a shooting -- i think it was in response to your questions about the shooting of a couple of our agents, where they thankfully survived. i missed -- my staff informed me i misspoke in a couple of respects. one is that it was last week and not this week second, it was -- that the weapon in question was a weapon that was converted into fully automatic. i think i characterized it differently. i wanted to make sure that was clear on the record. sen. durbin: thank you for the clarification. senator grassley? sen. grassley: did the fbi take any steps to uncover any bias
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from tebow, including postings that reflected a partisan disposition that would disqualify him from involvement in sensitive criminal investigations? dir. wray: well, senator, i want to be careful not to comment on ongoing personnel matters. certainly we want to take advantage of all the tools in our disposal to make sure that people are following the rules. sen. grassley: can you just say this -- do you generally take any of that into consideration with any of your people that are in sensitive positions? dir. wray: you mean in selecting them for the position? sen. grassley: whether they have any political bias or not. dir. wray: we expect our people to comply with a number of rules, including the hatch act. so we have a number of rules and policies that govern not just -- sen. grassley: let me go onto to
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my next question. what field offices are responsible for monitoring and investigating those afghan evacuees that pose a national security concern. that is a follow-up to senator hawley's question, but he did not ask that specific question. dir. wray: so, senator, i will answer that one way, and i might need to follow-up with you in writing. the way i would answer it is, all of our joint terrorism task forces, all 200 of them, are engaged in the effort to investigate potential terrorist activity and any number of them would potentially involve people who came from afghanistan. so, i think i am a little confused as to the reference to specific field offices, but let me see if there is more information we can get for you as a follow-up. i might be missing an important
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nuance. sen. grassley: does the fbi know where all of these evacuees are located? dir. wray: we have a lot of information about where people are located. i cannot sit here right now and tell you we know where all are located at any given time. that is probably true. sen. grassley: thank you. sen. durbin: director wray, thank you for coming. there have been several questions, at least one question as to whether or not the fbi was vigilant in protecting the supreme court justice who was being harassed in some form. i would just say that for the record last december we passed a judicial security bill, send it to the united states senate to provide security for the men and women and their families who serve us in the judicial branch. unfortunately that will has been held up by the junior senator from kentucky ever since.
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we have been unable to bring it out to the floor, make it the law of the land, and protect even more judges across this country. i hope he will consider changing his position. thank you for being with us today. >> thank you. >> how are you?
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>> do you need help carrying things? >> the senate has been in session all weekend working on a budget reconciliation package offered by democrats to address the corporate tax code, climate change and prescription drug costs. after voting for several hours straight on amendments, the legislation finally passed on a partyline vote of 51-50 vice president harris casting the tie-breaking vote. the bill heads to the house which is scheduled to return from its august recess on friday to take up the measure and send it to the president's desk. you can follow the house live on c-span. >> c-span's washington journal. every day, we take your calls live on the air on the news of
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the day and we discussed policy issues that impact you. coming up monday morning, military times deputy editor on the passage of the pact act which will expan benefits to veterans exposed to toxins during military service. and a former top economic advisor to former president trump discusses senate democrats health care and prescription drugs proposals. watch washington journal live at 7:00 eastern monday morning on c-span or c-span now. join the discussion with your phone calls, facebook comments, texts or tweets. >> at least six presidents recorded conversations while in office. here many of these conversations during season two of c-span's podcast, presidential recordings. >> the nixon tapes. part private conversations,
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heart deliberations and 100% unfiltered. >> let me say the main thing is it will pass and my heart goes out to those people who with the best of intentions are overzealous but i am sure you know if i could have spent a little more time being a politician last year and less time being president i would have kicked their butts but i did not know what they were doing. >> ohio republican representative jim jordan says he thinks former president trump will run for office again in 2024. he made the comment all speaking at the annual conservative political action conference in dallas with the organization's founder. representative jordan is the top republican on the house judiciary committee.
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he also talks about the possibility of republicans getting control of congress after the midterms and the january 6 committee investigation which he called illegitimate. >> what if we out america america? dominate the economy of the world. you dominate the world itself. it all goes back to a question of who is going to develop the technologies of tomorrow. clearly this is a race we cannot afford to lose. we are not going to have a country.


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