tv Washington Journal Tom Fitton CSPAN March 22, 2023 6:02pm-6:30pm EDT
mr. steil: i once again urge bipartisan, unanimous support for h.con.res. luges 25 today on the house floor. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: thank you. the gentleman yields back. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and agree to house concurrent resolution 25. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended. for what purpose does the gentleman from wisconsin rise? mr. steil: i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postponed.
host: joining us now is tom fitton to talk about former president trump and his legal issues. remind people about the purpose of judicial watch, what it does and how it is funded. guest: it is a nonprofit educational foundation, funded by contributions. we sue under the freedom of information act to gain access to government information, so the people know what the government is up to. we represent whistleblowers. when it comes to litigation, judicial watch is a second to none in the u.s. host: as far as suing and getting the information, what does it give the people who go to your website? what do you want them to get? guest: the understanding of how it operates, especially areas
that impact government corruption and misconduct. the government cannot be policed by the people in a republic, we are doomed. host: as far as the legal underpinnings of what you do, you talk about legal processes. how does that apply to what is going on in new york with potential indictments against the former president. guest: corruption, you are seeing it almost as it happens. you have democratic politicians in new york seemingly target the president on pretextual, unprecedented legal grounds to try to jail him. he is the challenger to president biden, he is the likely primary challenge. the idea that you would have
this pretextual novel, the new york times called it risky to try to jail the opponent, it is so disturbing. it undermines the rule of law, it is an attack on the republican form of government. it seems incumbent upon every elected official from the president on down to denounce this. host: if the president did something wrong as many payments, shouldn't it be investigated? guest: it has been investigated. this is even among the district attorney in new york, they call it the zombie case because walking around the office for years and years, no one thought there was a credible legal claim
or legal issue with the president. they looked at it, they were interested. they raised the legal issue initially by forcing michael cohen to plead guilty to campaign finance issues on the payments, but they never pursued it. now, it is five years later and they decided to pursue it 5, 6 weeks after the president announced running for reelection. host: you use the word seemingly political targeting, why do you couch it as such? guest: it is political targeting. there are three democratic political operations. new york city, left-leaning democratic politicians are trying to jail trump. left-leaning politicians are trying to jail trump.
here in washington, d.c., another democratic politician is trying to jail trump. i suspect putin and xi recognize this activity, they are going after the regime's opponents. anti-trump apparatus. if any other country was targeting the political opponent of the president, there would be no doubt about what is going on. we are supposed to pretend these folks are acting otherwise. i do not think many are going to buy it. host: if you want to ask questions, (202) 748-8000 for democrats, (202) 748-8001 for republicans and (202) 748-8002 for independents. textus at
(202) 748-8003 -- text us at (202) 748-8003. guest: there is urgency, it seems, to investigate what is happening. president trump's civil rights are being violated, trump is a federal candidate, the leading candidate for the republican party. you have a local democratic politician trying to jail him. congress has an interest in making sure a major presidential candidate and former president is not turned into a political prisoner. i want to know what the justice department's role in this has been and what changed over the course of five years that they decided to target trump with this unprecedented application
of the law. host: senator rand paul set a trump indictment would be a disgusting abuse of power, does that go too far? guest: i think he should be investigated, i think that investigation -- no one should be immune from investigation. if he is abusing authority, he should be investigated. going to jail, i think he was just being cheeky. there are federal laws that prohibit people from violating the civil rights of folks in situations like this, but i think president trump is a victim. this is a corrupt district attorney investigation, it is politicized and if i were the governor of new york, i would be trying to rein it in any way i could under law. the president should be denouncing this directly.
the politicians in dcn congress should be expressing urgent denunciations of this and i am not seeing it. america should take notes of those politicians and political commentators who are supporting this effort to put someone in jail based on political affiliations, not because of anything they supposedly did wrong. it is trump one day, it could be the rest of us another day. host: what did you think of the call of protests? guest: the first amendment applies to supporters of donald trump and those who are critics of bragg. they like to pretend the right has no right to protest and pretend and it calls for conservatives to protest as a call to violence. the reality is the left regularly uses violence to achieve political ends.
the january 6 issue was a disturbance that got out of control, it was not a planned violent effort like we see regularly in cities across america over the last few years. people have a right to protest. if they want to, they should exercise freely and peacefully. that goes without saying. host: the first call is from matt in virginia, democrats line. you are on, go ahead. caller: i have a quick question and a longer question. the quick question for the guest is, you said you get your funding from contributors. how many of your contributors are trump donors? guest: i have no idea. caller: give me an estimate in your mind. guest: i have no idea. caller: i think that is false, i think you can guess it is
probably 100% of your donors. you are a right wing organization and most of the donors are extremely rich trump donors. you can look it up on open secrets, you will probably find many of your donors are large trump donors who would not fund you if you went against trump. host: what is the second question? caller: you say this is a political investigation of donald trump. is the investigation of hunter biden a political investigation being pushed by republicans? guest: it is not a political investigation, there is no real investigation of hunter biden. he's been protected for the last several years by the justice department and fbi. i think a test to see whether something is right or wrong, suspicious or not for these types of investigations, is the
person being targeted with a novel application of the law? the first time the law is being applied in a particular way to the target? that has happened repeatedly with president trump. with hunter biden, there is plain evidence of racketeering, tax issues, bribery and other things. there is little to no movement by the justice department. host: putting the weaponization committee into that mix? guest: they are investigating the conduct of the justice department and fbi, that seems to be right up the alley as to what congress needs to be doing. the big question is, why hasn't a special counsel been appointed for hunter biden? how is it the president's son
can be investigated by the justice department outside special counsel regulations that we were told repeatedly were sacrosanct. but when it came to trump, the rules changed with biden. i jokingly say this, i do not think there is a double standard. there is a single standard when it comes to the justice department's approach. protect democrats, target trump and others they consider to be on the wrong side of the political aisle. it is consistent the last few years. host: independent line from mississippi. caller: how are you doing? guest: good morning. caller: yes, sir. i am looking on the screen about your occupation, you saying the
investigation of the president is wrong, you also -- you are supposed to be a professional and be honest. on the special counsel, doing an investigation about the very thing we are talking about, it turns out the special counsel was working together to find information on hunter biden, but then they went overseas together to start dipping in these investigations. they found out that particular country had information on president trump, doing something illegal. not only that, you go back. they did not say president trump was innocent of any crime.
it is possible, 10 charges. you guys are skipping and hopping all around the republican party. you and all the rest of your guys are going to lose badly in 2024. not only that, a lot of these will be subpoenaed. host: we will leave it there. guest: just to be clear, and investigation that is legitimate and protects the rights of those being investigated is not necessarily wrong. this is harassment. an indictment arising with this novel application of the law, this issue has already been investigated. there is nothing new under the sun. i am not quite sure what the caller is referencing, i think he is referencing durham.
they looked into allegations that popped up while they were investigating the abusive targeting of trump. something popped up about trump that raised issues, whether there was misconduct. i am not sure how that was resolved. if they had evidence that trump had done anything wrong, they would have prosecuted him. host: your website recently posted about the cost of john durham's research, what did people get from it? guest: we had to battle them to get these records. i do not know why it is a secret when it is told what expenses were for the last fiscal year. $8 million. i think people would draw their own conclusions as to whether we got a fair deal for the durham
investigation for at least $8 million. i do not know what the totals are given the charges he is brought and failure of the prosecutions he has brought. host: you are saying it is not a fair deal? guest: i do not think we have gotten our money's worth. host: republican line in pennsylvania, go ahead. caller: this case is already over with. stormy daniels has to pay trump's lawyers and trump for all of this, i do not know why it is still going on. with all the republicans, you will not win in 2024 if you keep on disgracing us maga people. one more thing -- host: i think he was referring
to stormy daniels defamation payments to former president trump. guest: he is raising the issue about the quality of the witnesses being used against trump. bragg was given information that could result in charges against people like stormy daniels for extortion. instead, he smily wants to prosecute the victim of the extortion. chris michael cohen has been prosecuted and found guilty, his former lawyer said he testified to the grand jury saying cohen told me the money was about milani and protecting wallonia being embarrassed, protecting trump from having this come out, the allegation on behalf of -- that this was done on behalf of the political campaign. i do not know how this will work out, i suspect it will strengthen trump's position in
the primary. in a general election, i cannot imagine an indictment helpful to any candidate. if they were helpful to politicians, they'd be lined up outside the courthouse asking for one. host: michael: is a convicted felon, does that complicate the case? guest: i would think. if you are in an extremely anti-trump jurisdiction, you take your bets. in many ways, the process is the punishment. get the indictment, may be the trials put off. trump has this hanging over his head during an entire campaign, i do not know how it pans out. how does the secret service handle this? will they be with trump during the arraignment when he is in custody? he will be in custody, let us
say he is convicted or denied bail. is the secret service with him? this is the height of absurdity we would try to break the system as bragg is suggesting over these dubious allegations, and i say that charitably. host: sam is in atlanta, georgia, democrats line. caller: donald trump -- i'm going to say this slow for your line guest. donald trump -- guest: what am i lying about? caller: please do not interrupt me. host: go ahead. caller: donald trump called for the suspension of the constitution. there is only one person in
america that has called for the rest of their political enemies, it was not a democrat. do not insult us by having these liars come on, just like fox news. i am not making this up. this is one of the fox news liars, do not let the fox news liars desecrate this precious show. i do not mind right wingers, trump supporters. host: we have invited the guest we have invited, do you want to ask a question before you go? caller: we are not stupid. host: do not talk to me, talk to the guest. caller: do not insult us. host: we will leave it there. guest: if you're going to call me a liar, i will not respond to you other than to say i didn't
know what you are talking about. host: curtis on the independent line in baltimore. caller: thank you for having me, i can understand the last caller's hostility toward your guest. if anybody belongs in prison, it is donald trump. he has been a problem for this country before he even became president of the united states of america. you get on this show and tell us, try to feed us all of this bowlcrap about him -- bullcrap about him not being held responsible. he has committed treason according to me and a lot of other americans in the country. so you can take this guest and go on with your show, thank you. guest: there is simply no evidence he has done any of that. there is hostility to donald trump and, unfortunately, there
is what i would call a contagion among his opponents that they cannot deal with him as a political opponent. they have to treat him as someone they want to jail, that is how you undermined the country. if you are supporting this politicized prosecution, the effort to turn donald trump into a political prisoner, it is un-american. we have to be blunt. this is not about donald trump, per se. it is about how our law enforcement system is going to be used. will it be used as a vehicle to put people in jail you do not like politically, simply because of their politics, facts and evidence aside. that is the standard for drop. there was no american knowingly working with the russians stealing the elections. what else do you need? moveon, stop trying to jell gel your political opponents.
make the case in a public square about why your guy or gal should win. it seems the left wants to use this case to rigged the election, essentially. by changing the election process, by having law enforcement come in on the side of joe biden area -- biden. host: no one should be above the law. guest: no one should also be below the law. everyone deserves protection and equal justice. you cannot be targeted because of who you are. it should be what you did. trump is being targeted because of who he is. in the case of the situation in new york -- you can see it over the course of various investigations.
they are thinking of ways to try to throw him in jail, that is not is the way it is supposed to work. we were opposed to the way hillary clinton was treated, we thought she was given special treatment. some supporters said, you keep on saying you do not believe hillary clinton should go to jail. i think there should be a legitimate investigation of everything she did. that does not mean she gets prosecuted, but at least the process is there. here, you have a process that has been abused and politicized in a way that should be rejected by all men and women of good will. host: if you are makes a comment on twitter saying didn't the hillary campaign pay for the infamous steel dossier in payments to a law firm -- and payments to a law firm? guest: that is a fair analysis, they tried to disguise money
that was used to target trump. many campaigns get caught, in this case it was a dramatic issue because of the nature of what was going on and the lies associated with that. it was not like they labeled a hotel bill as a food bill, this is something that was substantial. durham did not want to do anything about it. host: republican line, hello. caller: good morning. you in your organization are doing a great job, i apologize for the stupidity of many of the callers on this program. i watched the show repeatedly and it turns my stomach. i have two questions. number one, bill barr, trump's attorney general, had the hunter biden laptop from december 2019 and did nothing with it. he claims he came out with a
statement saying it was legitimate, but he did not make a big effort to get out there on the sunday shows and let the public know the laptop was legitimate. i heard a report that possibly the fbi or cia was using hunter biden as a means of monitoring corruption, and the reason they never reigned him in was because they were using him. i would like your comment on that. guest: that is the first time i have heard that second point. i think the criticism of bar is worse than what you suggest in the sense that i do not think bar had an obligation to go on sunday morning talk shows and attack hunter biden, it would have been inappropriate. but he had an obligation to pursue the leads, my
understanding was, in 2020, i do not think much was going on in the investigation. he let it be known that nothing should happen. so that investigation was stalled from december 19, 2019, for other reasons, where they were sitting on it. separately, there have been allegations folks within the f ei around the time of the election were trying to suppress the investigation of hunter. but bar himself did not want a comprehensive investigation done, because he thought it would be election interference. since then, nothing has been done. we've covered stories on the program, it seems like every three months we get leaks from who knows where. the justice department needs to make a tough decision on whether to prosecute hunter, nothing gets done.