tv Americas Newsroom With Bill Hemmer and Martha Mac Callum FOX News July 7, 2016 6:00am-8:01am PDT
headquarters, clayton, somebody else is coming down the slide. we can't hear clayton. abby huntsman, come on bill: good morning. f.b.i. director james comey on the hot seat an hour in now. this will and hot morning as we say good morning. i'm bill hemmer. martha: i'm martha maccallum. jason chaffetz and the other members of the house oversight committee have a lot of questions for the f.b.i. director. despite laying out all the reasons why he says hillary clinton was extremely careless in her handling of top secret
materials. he went on to say there was no reason to bring charges. he said quote no reasonable prosecutor would bring charges. jason chaffetz begs to differ. >> i don't understand his conclusions. he has a great reputation and is a man of integrity. that's what people say about him. the role of the f.b.i. director is to gather the fact pattern and hand it to the prosecutor. every prosecutor i have spoken with would have prosecuted. bill: the house speaker paul ryan is asking national intelligence to strip hillary clinton of they are security clearance. there will * sayclearance.
loretta lynch says this case is closed. >> the republicans we expect them to go through with comey in his testimony and look at past cases where prosecution did happen with essentially similar fact patterns and say to comey, there are instances where these cases have been made. lynch was trying to issue a final decision before then in case republicans win that point in the testimony today. she was trying to get out of what could happen today and could look bad for the prosecutorial decision. bill: you say what comey did tuesday was extraordinary. >> yes, you laid it out a minute ago. the fact pattern he laid out. there is a quote that's not getting as much attention in what he said.
he said there is evidence of possible violations of statutes of the law. the republicans will ask him with all those violations are. then he will have to defend why he took the extra step of repping no prosecution. that generally is and was a final decision left for lynch. but to publicly say no prosecutor would pursue that case when there are prosecutors who would pursue that case, that was an extraordinary statement. he will be forced to go through all that evidence laying out where clinton may have violated the law. then they will go to the instances where there have been prosecutions like this and he will be left to answer the political judgment he made that there is no prosecution here. that will be a tough position if the republicans go through this other stuff first. bill: you believe the challenge is more difficult for democrats.
explain. >> if you look at how they handled yesterday, the fact pattern as it's called. it's pretty rough for mrs. clinton. because he didn't recommend prosecution, democrats are holding him up as the gold standard in this. so the fact that he uncovered, the f.b.i. uncovered, they are pretty bad for mrs. clinton. they puncture holes in the her story she has been telling. we heard from harry reid yesterday saying donald trump is worse. when asked if hillary clinton should lose her security clearance. he said i'm surprised republicans want to talk about that, donald trump is worse. martha: we'll have more on this coming up. republican congressman from ohio
jim jordan. why he says the f.b.i. has quite a wit of explaining to do. >> when you have a case of this magnitude and 80% of this country thinks this town is rigged against them. there are two standards, one for we the people. i think it's appropriate to bring in the decision made in this case to answer the questions. martha: we'll have a conversation with jim jordan later this evening. 6:00 last evening she officially closed the door on this case saying the justice department would accept the f.b.i.'s recommendation and would not pursue the charges. she said i received and accepted their unanimous recommendation that a thorough year-long investigation be closed and no
charges be brought against any individuals in the scope of this investigation. that brought a strong reaction from donald trump. >> we are tired of incompetent people. hillary clinton is incompetent. the only good thing she has ever done is get out of trouble when anybody else would have been in jail by now. that's the only thing i have ever seen her do that was a great job. i have got to give her credit. i have got to give bill clinton credit for going to that plane saying for 39 minutes he talked about this grand children and talked about golf. there is no way you could do that. martha: he was the old strum we have seen in all of those rallies. he went on to say there may have been a quid pro quo between
attorney general lynch and hillary clinton. he dangled the possibility saying if there is a clinton administration we want to keep you on board. this issue of other people being treated differently than the clintons in the same situation is something james comey will have to answer. >> i can vouch for that. i know that's a fact. bill: we are 10 minutes away from the republican national convention in cleveland. trump says the convention will be a family affair. his wife and various children will speak. college basketball legend coach bobby knight will address the convention. former rival governor scott walker announced he will appear.
we know who will not be there. ohio governor john kasich. the bush family, former nominees mitt romney and john mccain all say they will skip the action in cleveland, ohio. we'll not skip the action. we'll be there next thursday. martha: there is another incidents of a african-american man being killed by a police officer. this is a chilling videotape posted on facebook. this happened in minnesota. a 32-year-old man was pulled over by police near minneapolis. at some point shots were fired. his girlfriend in the car live streamed the aftermath on facebook. we want to warn you this photo is graphic. >> he just shot his arm off. we got pulled over.
you told hip to get his i.d., sir, his driver's license. oh, my god, please don't tell me he's dead. martha: this is so awful. she managed to stay calm throughout the course of this. this is his girlfriend, the man who is bleeding in the screen. he's telling police her boyfriend is licensed to carry a firearm. she told him he was trying to get his license from his pocket. reporter: this shocking video begins by showing a 32-year-old man slowly bleed out. the red blood soaking his white breath in the driver's seed of -- driver's seat of the car.
it was live streamed on facebook. they were pulled over for a broken taillight. the girlfriend said he had a license to carry and had a pistol but was watching for his i.d. to give the officer. kp. the woman and her daughter in the car and witnessed the entire thing get out of the car. but the facebook video keeps recording and you can hear them. the woman tells police he works for a school and is not a gangster. later she gets back in the back of a police car with her daughter where she explained what she saw. >> he shot him three times because we had a busted taillight. he asked for license and registration. he told them it was in his wallet by had a pistol on him
base's licensed to carry. the officer told him don't move, and as he put miss arm back up the officer shot him form or five times. martha: thank you very much. bill: closed door meetings with republican lawmakers on the house side and senate side with donald trump. we may hear from all of them this morning. martha: that's an important meeting going on. donald trump offering a full-throated defense of the tweet you are seeing. even bringing disney's "frozen" into the mix. bill: republicans grill the f.b.i. director james comey on
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jim jordan, a republican from ohio is on that committee. i talked to him earlier about it. bill: what's your first question today? >> i'm going to lay out a scenario and talk about the context with which he made the decision and why -- what does he mean when he talks about the context of a person's actions. i'm going to get into that line of questioning. then highlight the fact that's this arrangement was so unique and what took place based on what he told us. bill: are you clear she violated the law? james comey said no prosecutor would bring this case. >> he said she was excessively careless and she violated the appropriate statute and any reasonable person in her position should have known not to have these conversations on this type of arrangement. a lot of prosecutors would say
i'm going to take it to the grand jury. he chose not to and he cites a number of factors. bill: you did not state a question. you seem to suggest you are laying out a case. >> there will be some questions in there. one of these i'm going to ask about is the fact that he says in his statement on tuesday that once the legal team decided which ones they were going to keep and which ones they were going to give to the government. the ones they kept, they deleted. then her lawyers got rid of any evidence so no forensic activity could take place on their devices. they were hiding something, wiping everything clean. they got to sort sit on the front end, and they decided which ones they were going to
keep and they made sure their devices were wiped clean. that seems to show some consciousness of guilt. bill: do you think you can advance this case? james comey said what he said. paul rhine deciding she was given preferential treatment by the f.b.i. >> when you have a case of this magnitude and 80% of this country thinks the system is rigged against them. one for we the people and another standard for people connected. i think the people who made decisions regarding this case need to answer the case. there will be lots of questions the arrangement she set up which is unique in and of itself. that's what this hearing is about and people want to know. right now they think there are
two standards. bill: you have a unique position because you get to question comey today and next week you get to question loretta lynch at the judiciary committee. she said i received the recommendation that the investigation be closed and no charges be brought against anyone within the scope of the investigation. i imagine the next question is about bill clinton' bill bill cn the tarmac in phoenix. >> we are hearing from constituents who think now the game is rigged and there are two standards that apply. when you think about the context overall, you have this decision tuesday, and what the attorney general said tuesday. you have got decision john koskinen allowed 422 backup
tapes to be destroyed. you had lois lerner target people for their political beliefs and nothing happened to them. we saw more evidence this week with what the attorney general and the f.b.i. director said. bill: paul ryan says hillary clinton should lose her access to classified information. >> anyone who listens or reads the transcript of what director comey said until he got to the part about we are not going to prosecute. everything he laid out. of course, the speaker is right. the evidence is overwhelming. when you have got the excessive carelessness she showed in this who are deal with this arrangement she set up, she sets
up her private server. it contains work information and classified information. she gets caught in this arrangement. then her lawyers say we'll decide which ones we keep and which ones go to the government. of course, now we should say she should not be getting classified briefings. bill: it starts even if:00 a.m. eastern time and we'll be watching. jim jordan, thank you for your time on the hill. martha: the other place where news is being made is the capitol hill club. donald trump is speaking in order to shore up relations with the gop. he's seated next two kevin mccarthy. and he got two standing ovations. reince priebus and ivanka trump also joining the candidate
bill: the justice department offering a federal civil rights investigation into the death of alton sterling in baton rouge * louisiana. graphic cell phone video shows the officers wrestling him to the pavement outside a convenience store before someone could be heard yelling he's got a gun. the cases sparked protests as well as for the police chief to resign. the two officers involved in that incident have been placed on administrative leave. martha: donald trump is meeting
with members of the gop. he's going to move from one place to another if they stick to the schedule as trump's campaign continues to vet possible v.p. candidates. rich edson is live from the capitol hill club where donald trump is meeting with all those people this morning. reporter: sources in the room tell us he got a couple of standing ovations. there are 222 house republicans on hand. that's good attendance considering there are 24 house republicans. donald trump is making his first house appearance.
it was then that republicans were urging him to temper his rhetoric. there are a number of key republicans who will address their concerns and questions. we spoke with bill flores, the chairman of the house study committee and he says trump does need to change his tone. >> i'm hopeful as these things happen he clearly understands, i can't let that happen again. i have to make sure i have a first classical pain team that keeps those things from occurring. then he need to say i as the individual at the top of the ticket need to understand i have got to stop that as well. reporter: republicans say there are no breakout meetings.
he heads to the north side of the capital. we'll wait to see what attendance is like on that side of the hill as donald trump again continues the wooing process of getting republicans on board with his campaign. >> rich, thank you very much. >> we are going to watch that. apparently there is a stakeout. depending on what they say. martha, it's been described these standing occasions happened, why did they happen? what did they say? martha: he can't underestimate the potential unifying factor of not bringing charges against hillary clinton. bill: we are watching all this, too, in 30 minutes. u.s. markets open up for the day of trading. the dow expected to open lower. a short week of trading coming up.
the 4th of july holiday monday. martha: donald trump criticizing hillary clinton and attorney general loretta lynch for what he calls a rigged f.b.i. investigation. how does all of this impact 2016? our political familiar weighs in on that after this. >> hillary clinton claimed that the reason for her illegal use of a private insecure email, she claimed this was that it was more convenient to use just one device. you pay your car insurance
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>> the clinton campaign and state department opening ask ask comments. >> as best we can tell on these cases the markings, the confidential markings were simply human error. the decision was made they didn't need to be on the email. >> the markings indicated the presence of classified information. >> the clinton campaign told "the washington post" the first they heard of this issue was in the director's statement tuesday. fox news first broke this story a month ago and posted the email in question. they received a full statement from campaign spokesman brian
fallon. there were questions about whether secretary of state clinton had conversations about the deleted emails. >> did someone physically look at the 62,000 emails or did you use search terms and date parameters. >> the search terms were everything you could imagine. but they also went through every single email. >> the lawyer doing the sorting for secretary clinton did not individually read the content of all of her emails for those available to us. reporter: they suggest they do not respect those findings and do not fear any repercussions from the bureau in this case. martha: a lot of buzz in that room. we'll take you there live in just a few minutes.
as we have been talking about hillary clinton, she may have escaped charges but the fallout could linger into november. trump accusing hillary clinton of bribing loretta lynch. >> you are waiting for a decision by the attorney general, and you are saying you are going to give her a job. you are not allowed to do that. that's bribery, folks. then the attorney general comes out. but the attorney general comes out and says, no charges. that's bribery. wouldn't you say? that's bribery. martha: he was fired up in cincinnati and the crowd was loving every minute of it. matt schlapp and doug schoen,
welcome to both of you. is he too far out on a limb on that? >> i just think it smells. i think there is some kind of corrupt bargain here. the mistake made by the clintons. if they are not guilty of having an inappropriate investigation process. they have done everything possible to make it look like they are guilty with a sneak attack on loretta lynch's airplane. of course, comey coming out with this big statement literally moments before obama's to take the campaign trail with hillary clinton. it looks terrible. it underscores hillary clinton's biggest problem. the american people have questions about her character, trustworthiness, and the fact is she lied about benghazi and this email scandal from the
beginning. not just the american people, under oath to congress. >> that will be the line from the trump campaign. they will say she got off the hook, but she did it this way, with a cozy meeting on the airplane between the attorney general and bill clinton. it stinks. >> it may stink, but it also means that i think 5 months from now on election day people will have on their mind she was cleared. however, it happened rather than the circumstances. comey made clear in his statement no one was aware of what he was going to say or that he was going to speak. i don't think there was a causal link -- martha: you don't any president obama and hillary clinton knew when they got object that plane that it was over?
>> no, there is no conceivable -- as someone who worked in the white house. there is no conceivable way that all these things laid out purposely in terms of the timeline that barack obama could take the stage with hillary clinton with his investigation having been closed. there is nobody on this planet who believe this. there is no way. this is the problem with the clintons. they keep expecting us to give them the benefit of the doubt. it's been 20 years of this. i think the american people have had enough. >>w you have reasonable questions to raise, matt. but i do believe director comey when he said no one was aware of what he was going to say. >> i'm sure he didn't release the content of his statement per se. but there have been so many sort of convenient word parsing that
has gone on throughout the course of this. when you look at hillary clinton saying my emails were not marked classified. the almost cute phrases that have been used. >> that was proven to have been wrong by what director comey said. but the ultimate conclusion will probably elect her president in november. that's what i'm saying. >> hillary clinton's greatest strength is her government experience and the fact that she is a steady hand. when it comes to foreign policy she has had a job as secretary of state. the problem is this destroys that credibility. as our secretary of state she lied to congress and set up a server system for her emails that aloud our enemies, china, russia, our other hostile
enemies across the globe to read her email yet congress and the american voter has not been able to. martha: if there is a political lingering effect, it's that, doug. but people who are on the fence in this election and it's a difficult one to be on the fence in. but this line that everything is different when it comes to them. that you or i or anybody else. james comey basically said that at the end of his statement. this is not to say people with the same evidence wouldn't have been the prosecuted. >> she has the perception of the american electorate that donald trump is even more disliked than she is. she is 5 or 6 points ahead. i don't think that's going to change.
understanding the aspects both of you correctly cite. >> doug, you are the pollster and i know you are a smart guy and i respect you greatly. but hillary clinton's negatives are based on 20 years of experience with the american voter that includes scandal after scandal. it includes this scandal. in the face of this scandal was her desire to retain ownership of emails she does not have the right to retain. donald trump's negatives are not nearly as serious. >> i think you will be welcome to in trump tower. bill: we are 11 days away from cleveland when that commences. the anti-trump movement is making one last-ditch effort to disrupt the rnc.
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bill: months after donald trump appeared to seal the republican nomination for president anti-trump forces are making one last push on the floor to throw open the gop contest again. is that the case? sarah huckabee, senior order visor for the trump team, welcome back to america's newsroom. can these never trump delegates stop your candidates i. >> absolutely not. this would divide and destroy the republican party it's a few isle attempt and -- it's a futile attempt and i tell my kids, these are the rules.
if you don't like the outcome at the end, you don't get to change the rules. >> i think the questions goes with this, sarah. what is the trump team doing to stop it? >> i think the trump team has done everything they need to do. they went out and secured the nomination. donald trump won 38 states. he won more states than any other republican presidential nominee ever has. the people have decided, this is an election process, not a selection process. this isn't something the party he sleet get to come in and change. if they try to do that they will be overthrown by the bulk of the people in the convention. >> what about the party coordinating with the rules committee to say this will not happen. would you expect that? >> i do. i think the party is going to take the necessary steps to make sure we have a great convention. we have an incredible lineup set up, and i think we'll come out
of this strong and better prepared and united to defeat hillary clinton in november. bill: now you have this whole thing going back and forth on social media. the tweet that was sent out that drew a lot of flack from a lot of the different quarters. and this was the original tweet. last night donald trump sent this out. where is the outrage for this disney book. is this the star of david also? i know the campaign is fighting back. why not put it to rest? why not take all this focus and direct it on hillary clinton instead. >> i think they are trying to show the ridiculousness for the attack. it's a distraction by the liberal media and democrats to take away from the hillary clinton scandal. the real question is they are trying to pushing that donald
trump dislikes jews. absolutely not. his son-in-law is jewish. his daughter is jewish. those are two of the most important people in his life. to make this anything other than what it was, just a basic tweet is absolutely ridiculous and he should push back when people try to portray him as something he's not, particularly when it's so personal and close to him. >> he's meeting with republican lawmakers now. i know you are not there. but give us the sense for how important these meetings are. our whole conversation started with the never trump folks. you know there are republican law makers in the house and senate who aren't on board. how critical is it for him to sell himself in these meetings now? >> i think it's important. but in the bigger picture, the bulk of the party has united behind him.
there are a few people, particularly a handful of delegates. like we say in the south, just because they eat their soup louder doesn't mean it tastes better. i think this meeting is very important in helping continue to develop that, continue to unite the establishment crowd and bring some of those people on board. we have seen that happen a lot. i think we'll see that continue leading up to the convention. bill: it will be interesting. sarah, come on back. we are out of time for today. thank you, sarah. martha: the director of the f.b.i. is set to take the hot seat on capitol hill. you can see the room gathering. a lot of buzz as they wait for director comey. they will be demanding answers
for how all the evidence they laid out did not lead to charges against hillary clinton. also president obama announcing a change in strategy? afghanistan as his final term winds down. what does this mean for the longest war in american history and for his legacy as the path who wanted to end the wars. ent. the day i got the diagnosis, i was just shocked. the surgeon in dallas said i needed to have the top left lobe of my lung removed. i wanted to know what my other options were. and i found that at cancer treatment centers of america. at ctca, our experts examine a variety of therapies, treatments and technologies to identify a plan specifically for each patient. my doctor understood that who i am was just as important as what cancer i had. we talked about options. my doctor told me about a robotic surgery that was less invasive. we have excellent technology that allow
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the president would have much rather have made the announcement that it's over. but the taliban is increasing their strength. >> it's encouraging because it seems like he realizes he may need to listen to his commanders a little more than they have before. there is a better rip in kabul than there was with maliki. martha: many people look at this and say listen to the generals who have said you need 10,000 people there to secure the situation the way you want to do it. where does the number 8,400 come up. >> it's trimming the fat politically. you can say to whomever you were promising that you are going to slowly withdraw. the generals are asking for this much. but there has been a disconnect between the pentagon. you see how many senior officers
have left. martha: michael flynn said that, general petraeus and general campbell who wrote a letter to the president and said if you want to get where you are going in afghanistan, you are going to need 10,000 people. if you are 8,4. >> -- if you arenumber 8,400 as are saying you are not safe. >> you are taking a little bit of security away from someone's son, daughter, mother or father. we need to keep people there and the mission is to keep a stronghold in the capital. keep stuff in place and have something like in bagram airfield where you can hit potential places. it will never be a military solution. it will come down to what's going on in pakistan and afghanistan.
we'll leverage it, you need to be willing to do something. >> you see isis creeping into afghanistan as well. rob, thank you. we have got to go. thanks for coming. bill: the head of the f.b.i. is about to take questions about hillary clinton's server for the very first time. james comey not recommending charges against her, and lawmakers want to know why. we are live on the hill when that hearing begins. sheer is the committee chair jason chaffetz this morning. >> classified information is there for a reason, it puts people's lives in danger if it gets out. and then you totaled him. you two had been through everything together. two boyfriends, three jobs... you're like nothing can replace brad. then liberty mutual calls, and you break into your happy dance. if you sign up for better car replacement™,
from now. he will be questioned by the house oversight committee. they are ready to grill him on his investigation of hillary clinton's e-mails and the mishandling of classified information which she had denied and denied and denied and was clearly found by the fbi. welcome, everybody, brand new hour of "america's newsroom," i'm martha maccallum. bill: and i'm bill hemmer. lawmakers demanding answers about director comey's decision to not pursue criminal charges and then late last night loretta lynch followed suit. this after laying out a strong case that clinton perhaps broke the law can and lied about it -- law and lied about it for a period of 16 months. the committee chair, or jace withen chaffetz, calling comey's decision surprising and confusing. his words from earlier this morning. martha: there's trey gowdy of south carolina, also in the room now as the oversight committee gets into their positions. bret baier, anchor of "special
report." bret, one thing that can be said is the fbi director wasted no time in accepting the request that they had to sit before them and answer questions about how you could lay out so much evidence and yet not bring charges. >> yeah, martha, good morning. i tell you, this is an interesting moment. this is a snap hearing called immediately after the fbi director had that 15-minute announcement of how the fbi and how he arrived at the place that they came to with this investigation. there were no questions by reporters at that event. these are the questions now. this hearing, the republicans are going to try to get to why he arrived at not recommending charges. jason chaffetz along with elijiah cummings, the ranking member there, standing together. this is interesting because house members on in this committee, the house oversight and government reform committee have only had roughly about a
day, 24 hours, to get ready for this questioning. so i think we're going to see and hear a lot of things we didn't see and hear from comey's original press announcement. finish. martha: yeah. you know, at the beginning of that statement, bret, the fbi director said he was going to do something sort of unusual in terms of laying out the reasoning of their conclusion, and the investigation and their findings. he said, you know, we don't normally do, but because of the very public nature of this investigation and, no doubt, the fact that we are in an election year and hillary clinton is the candidate on the democratic side, he decided to do that. and in doing that, though, he may have opened himself up to a line of questioning this morning that he otherwise might have avoided. >> well, that's right. and i think you're going to see a lot of probing on those specific points. remember that he also laid out a case at least rhetorically against hillary clinton and what she's been saying on the campaign trail and every time she's been asked about this e-mail investigation. what he said was in direct contrast to what she has said
about all of this, and i think we'll see that playing out this morning. you know, all this back and forth about the state department pushing back on the fbi director saying that these e-mails were marked classified and they were accidentally marked classified is what state said yesterday, i think that's also going to be a part of it. and remember in this other thing, seven e-mail chains that dealt with top secret, s.a.p., that's the highest level. and there you see the fbi director walking in. martha: it's pretty tough to see wiggle room, the fbi director who's a very tall man, i think he's 6-6 or maybe a little taller than that, but there's no confusion when this man enters the room. he has sat down at the table, and we will listen in. thank you, bret, stand by. [inaudible conversations] martha: all right, we're going
to take another moment here because the sort of typical picture-taking and shuffling around is taking place. bret, when i look at the end of his statement, he said: to be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances a person engaged in this activity would face no consequences. that is one of the areas that, no doubt, he will be questioned about, is hillary clinton being treated differently than others would? >> and there are numerous examples of this. a lot of them have surfaced online over the past couple of days since this announcement. and you'll likely hear that from republicans. now, what democrats will do here is try to clear hillary clinton much like they did in the benghazi hearings. i think you'll see a lot of questions that get to the part where there are not charges. and there's also the question, martha, about security clearance. you have the house speaker now asking the intelligence community to yank hillary clinton's security clearance based on this, and that's one of things the fbi director talked
about other day that would be a consequence, potentially, short of charges. martha: indeed, he did. in fact, he said to the contrary those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions, but he said that is not what we are deciding here, that is out of the fbi's purview are. jason chaffetz now gaveling this in, and we begin, and we're going to take you to it live. here we go. >> we're here because we're mystified and confused by fact pattern that you laid out and the conclusions that you reached. it seems that there are two standards, and there's no consequence for these types of activities and dealing in a careless way with classified information. it seems to a lot of us that the average joe, the average american, that if they had done
what you laid out in your statement, that they'd be in handcuffs, and they might be on their way to jail, and they probably should. and i think there is a legitimate concern that there is a double standard. if your name isn't clinton or you're not part of the powerful elite, that lady justice will act differently. it's a concern that lady justice will take off that blindfold and come to a different conclusion. hillary clinton created this mess. it wasn't republicans, it wasn't anybody else. she made a very conscious decision. on the very day that she started her senate confirmation, she set up and got a domain name and set up a system to avoid and bypass the safety, security and the
protocol of the state department. classified information is classified for a reason. it's classified because if it were to get out into the public, there are nefarious actors, nation-states, others that want to do harm to this country. and there are people who put their lives on the line protecting and serving our country. when those communications are not secure, it puts their lives in jeopardy. this classified informationing is entrusted to very few, but there's such a duty and an obligation to protect that, to fall on your sword to protect that. and yet there's, there doesn't seem to be any consequence. you know, i was talking to trey gowdy, and he made a really good point with us yesterday. mr. gowdy said, you know, in your statement, mr. director, you mentioned that there was no precedent for this.
but we believe that you have set a precedent, and it's a dangerous one. the precedent is if you sloppily deal with classified information, if you're cavalier about it -- and it wasn't just an innocent mistake. this went on for years. that there's going to be no consequence. we, we're a different nation in the united states of america. we are self-critical. most nations would never do this. but we do it in the spirit of making ourselves better. there'll be all kinds of accusations about political this and political that. i have defended our integrity every step of the way. you are thedefinitive voice. i stand by that. but i am mystified, and i am confused because you listen to your fact pattern and come to
the conclusion that there is no consequence? i don't know how to explain that. we'll have constituents ask us, they'll get mad, they'll, you know, they're frustrated. they've seen this happen time and time again. i don't know how to explain it, and i hope that through this hearing we can stick to the facts and understand this, because there does seem to be two standards. there does seem to be no consequence. and i want to understand that, and i want to be able to explain it to the person that's sitting at home. and that's why we're here, and so i yield back. now recogniz member, mr. cummings. >> director comey, thank you for being here today. i want to begin by commending you and the public servants at the fbi for the independent
investigation you conducted. you had a thankless task. no matter what recommendation you made, you were sure to be criticized. there's no question that you were extremely thorough. in fact, some may even say you went too far in your investigation. but, of course, that was your job. that is your job. secretary clinton has acknowledged that she made a mistake in using a personal e-mail account. and you explained on tuesday that she and her colleagues at the state department were extremely careless with their e-mails. but after conducting this exhaustive review, you determined that no reasonable prosecutor would bring a case based on this evidence.
and you and the career staff recommended against prosecution. based on the previous cases you examined, if prosecutors had gone forward, they would have been holding the secretary to a different standard from everyone else. amazingly, amazingly, some republicans who were praising you just days ago for your independence, for your integrity and your honesty instantly turned against you because your recommendation conflicted with the predetermined outcome they wanted. in their eyes you had one job and one job only: to prosecute hillary clinton. but you refused to do so. so now you are being summoned here to answer for your with alleged -- for your alleged
transgressions. and in a sense, many director, you're -- mr. director, you're on trial. contrary to the claims of your critics, there is absolutely no evidence that you made your recommendation for political reasons, no evidence that a you were bribed or coerced or influenced, no evidence that you came to your cop collusion based upon -- conclusion based upon anything but the facts and the law. i firmly believe that your decision was not based on convenience, but on conviction. today house republicans are doing what they always do, using taxpayers' money to continue investigating claims that have already been debunked just to keep them in the headlines one more day. to hear a political siren, they rush towards it over and over again even if the evidence is
not there. exhibit a, majority leader kevin mccarthy who admitted on national television that republicans established the benghazi select committee to bring down secretary clinton's poll numbers. i didn't say that, mccarthy said it. the fact was confirmed by a republican staffer on that committee who reported that he was fired in part for not going along with the hyper-focus on secretary clinton. i give house republicans credit. they certainly are not shy about what they are doing. they've turned political investigations into an art form. if our concerns here today are what the proper treatment of classified information, then we should start with a review of our previous hearing on general david petraeus who pled guilty
last year to intentionally and knowingly compromising highly classified information. the problem is, mr. director, we never had that hearing. this committee ignored that breach of national security because it did not match the political goals of the house republicans. if our concerns today are finally addressing a broken classification system in which security levels are arbitrarily up and down, that would have been a legitimate goal. that would have been a valuable addition to reforming and improving our government. after all, we are the government reform committee. we could have held hearings here on zika, the zika virus, preventing gun massacres like the one in orlando or a host of
other topics that could actually save people's lives. but that's not why we're here. that is not why our chairman called this emergency hearing 48 hours after you made your recommendation. everyone knows what in this committee is doing. honestly, i would not be surprised -- and i say this with all seriousness -- i would not be surprised if tomorrow republicans set up a new committee to spend $7 million plus on why the fbi failed to prosecute hillary clinton. director comey, let me conclude with this request. even with all that i have said, i believe that there is a critical role for you today. i've listened carefully to the coverage on this issue, and i've heard people say recently as
this morning, three hours ago, that they were mystified by your decision. as a matter of fact, the chairman repeated it a minute ago. and so there is a perceived gap between the things you said on tuesday and your recommendation. there's a gap, mr. director. so in this moment -- and this is a critical moment -- i beg you to fill the gap. because when the gap is not filled by you, it will be filled by others. share with us the, the american people, your process and your thinking. explain how you examined the evidence, the law and the precedent. describe in clear terms how you and your team, career professionals, arrived at this decision. if you can do that today, if you can do that, that could go a
long way towards people understanding your decision. finally, i want to make it clear that i condemn these completely unwarranted political attacks against you. they have attacked you personally, they have attacked your integrity, they have impugned your professionalism, and they have even suggested that you were somehow bought and paid for because you made your recommendation based upon the law and the facts. i know you are used to working in a world of politics, but these attacks have been beyond the pale. so you do not deserve this. your family does not deserve it, and the highly-skilled and dedicated agents of the fbi do not deserve it. i honor your professionalism and your service to our country.
and, again, even if it takes til hell freezes over, i beg you to close the gap. tell us what happened between what you found and your decision so that not only the members of this p panel and this congress will understand, but so that americans will understand. and if you do that, if you do that, then it will be all worth ited today. with that i yield back. >> mr. chairman -- >> i think -- hold on one second. with your indulgence, to the ranking member for which i have the greatest respect, you asked for a hearing on general petraeus and how that was dealt with, you got it. we will have one in this oversight committee, and the record will reflect that in the judiciary committee i ree peatedly questioned attorney general holder, i repeatedly questioned the fbi director about the disposition of that case probably more than any member in the house or senate. and if you want a hearing, we'll do that. >> will the gentleman yield?
>> yes. >> thank you. >> number two, you complained that we haven't done a hearing on zika. the oversight and government reform committee, i believe, was the very first committee to actually do a hearing on zika that was chaired by mr. mica, and i'm proud of the fact that we did a zika hearing, and we did it first. >> will the gentleman be yield? >> sure. >> we have another one? because the problem is still there. >> mr. chair, unanimous consent that we put the data, the hearing and the record at this time that i chaired on zika. >> absolutely x. the ranking member knows that we have held multiple hearings on the criminal justice reform. you've asked for it, you're passionate about it, and we did do that as well. to suggest we haven't addressed some of those issues, i think, is inaccurate. >> i don't think i did that, mr. chairman. but, again, as late a as yesterday with the problem in minnesota with an african-american man being
killed, i'd like to have some hearings still on the criminal justice system. >> thank you. >> without objection, i'm going to work with you on that. >> thank you. >> i have every step of the way. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> without objection, the chair is authorized to declare a recess at any time. we'll hold the record open for five legislative days for any members who would like to submit a written statement. we'll now recognize our distinguished witness from our first panel. pleased to welcome the hon rational james comey -- honorable james comey. pursuant to committee rules, all witnesses are to be sworn before they testify. if you'll please rise and raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear or affirm that the testimony you're about to give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? thank you. let the record reflect that the witness answered in the affirmative. mr. comey, floor is yours. you can take as long or as short as you'd like. if you have any written
statement that you would like to submit afterwards, we're happy to do that as well, and it will be made part of the record. the time is now yours. director comey, you're recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman, mr. cummings, members of the committee. i am proud to be here today representing the people of the fbi who did this investigation as they do all their work, in a competent, honest and independent way. i believe this investigation was conducted consistent with the highest traditions of the fbi. our folks did it in an apolitical and professional way including our recommendation as to the appropriate resolution of this case. as i said in my statement on tuesday, i expected there would be significant public debate about this recommendation, and i'm a big fan of transparency, so i welcome the conversation we're going to have here today. and i do think a whole lot of folks have questions about so why did we reach the conclusion we did, and what was our thinking. and i hope very much to get an opportunity to address that and to explain it.
and i hope at the end of the day people can disagree, can agree, but they will at least understand that the decision was made and the recommendation was made the way you would want it to be, by people who didn't give a hoot about politics, but who cared about what are the facts, what is the law and how have similar people, all people, been treated in the past. maybe i could just say a few words at the beginning that would help frame how we think about this. there are two things that matter in a criminal investigation of a subject. what did the person do and, when they did that thing, what were they thinking. when you look at the hundred years plus of the justice department's investigation and prosecution of the mishandling of classified information, those two questions are, obviously, present. what did the person do, and when they did it, did they know they were doing something that was unlawful. that has been the characteristic of every charged criminal case involving the mishandling of classified information.
i'm happy to go through the cases in particular. in our system of law, there's a thing called mens rea. it's important to know what you did, but when you did it, this latin phrase, mens rea, means what were you thinking? we don't want to put people in jail unless we prove that they knew they were doing something they shouldn't do. that is the characteristic of all the prosecutions involving mishandling of classified information. there is a statute that was passed in 1917 that on its face makes it a crime, a felony for someone to engage in gross negligence. so that would appear to say, well, maybe in that circumstance you don't need to prove they knew they were doing something unlawful, maybe it's enough to prove that they were just really, really careless beyond a reasonable doubt. at the time congress passed that statute in 1917, there was a lot of concern in the house and the senate about whether that was going to violate the american tradition of requiring that before you're going to lock somebody up, you prove they knew they were doing something wrong. so there was a lot of concern about it. the statute was passed. as best i can tell, the department of justice has used
it once in the 99 years since, reflecting that same concern. i know from 30 years with the department of justice they have grave concerns about whether it's appropriate to prosecute somebody for gross negligence which is why they have done it once that i know of in a case involving espionage. and so when i look at the facts we gathered here, as i said, i see evidence of great carelessness, but i do not see evidence that is sufficient to establish that secretary clinton or those with whom she was corresponding both talked about classified information on e-mail and knew when they did it they were doing something that was against the law. so given that assessment of the facts, my understanding of the law, my conclusion was and remains no reasonable prosecutor would bring this case. no reasonable prosecutor would bring the second case in 100 years focused on gross negligence. and so i know that's been a source of some confusion for folks. that's just the way it is. i know the department of justice, i know no reasonable
prosecutor would bring this case. i know a lot of my former friends are out ott there saying where they would. i wonder where they were the last 40 years, because i'd like to see the cases they brought on gross negligence. nobody would, nobody did. my judgment was the appropriate resolution of this case was not with a criminal prosecution. as i said, folks can disagree about that, but i hope they know that view -- not just my view, but of my team -- was honestly held, fairly investigated and communicated with unusual transparency because we know folks care about it. so i look forward to this conversation, i look forward to answering as many questions as i possibly can. i'll stay as long as i -- as you need me to stay, and i thank you for the opportunity. >> thank you, director. i'm going to recognize myself here. physically where were hillary clinton's servers. >> the operational server was in the basement of her home in new york. the reason i'm answering it that way is sometimes after they were decommissioned, they were moved
to other facilities, storage facility, but live device was always in the basement. >> was that an authorized or unauthorized location? >> it was unauthorized location for the transmitting of classified information. >> is it reasonable or unreasonable to expect hillary clinton would receive and send classified information? >> as secretary of state? reasonable to assume the secretary of state would receive classified information. >> via e-mail? >> sure, depending on the nature of the system. it would have to be a classified-rated e-mail system. >> but you did find more than a hundred e-mails that were classified that had gone through that server, correct? >> right. through an unclassified server, correct. >> yes. is so hillary clinton did come o possess documents and tells containing classified
information via e-mail on these unauthorized servers, correct? >> that is correct. >> did hillary clinton lie? >> to the fbi? we have no basis to conclude she lied to the fbi. >> did she lie to the public? >> that's a question i'm not qualified to answer. i can speak about what she said to the fbi. >> did she -- did hillary clinton lie under oath? >> to the -- not to the fbi, not in the case we're working. >> did you review the documents where congressman jim jordan asked her specifically and she said, quote: there was nothing marked classified on my e-mails either sent or received, especially quote? >> i don't remember reviewing that particular testimony. i'm aware of that being said though. >> did the fbi investigate her statements under oath on this topic? >> not to my knowledge. i don't think there's been a referral from congress. >> do you need a referral from congress to investigate her statements under oath? >> sure do.
>> you'll have one. [laughter] you'll have one in the next few hours. did hillary clinton break the law? >> in connection with her use of the e-mail server? my judgment is that she did not. >> you're just not able to prosecute it, or did hillary clinton break the law? >> well, i don't want to give an overly lawyerly answer. the question i always look at is there evidence that would establish beyond a reasonable doubt that somebody engaged in conduct that violated a criminal statute, and my judgment here is there is not. >> the fbi does background checks. if hillary clinton applied for the job at the fbi, would the fbi give hillary clinton a security clearance? >> i don't want to answer a hypothetical. the fbi has a robust process in which we adjudicate the suitability of people for employment in the bureau. >> given the fact pattern you
laid out less than 48 hours ago, would a person who had dealt with classified information like that, would that person be granted a security clearance at the fbi? >> it would be a very important consideration in a suitability determination. >> you're kind of making my point, director. the point being because i injected the word hillary clinton, you gave me a different answer. but if i came up to you and said this person was extremely careless with classified information, exposure to hostile actors and used, despite a warning, created unnecessary burdens in exposure, if they said that they had one device and you found out that they had multiple devices, if there had been e-mail chains with somebody like jake sullivan asking for classification changes, you're telling me that the fbi would grant a security clearance to that person? >> i'm not -- i hope i'm giving a consistent -- i'm not saying what the answer would be, i'm saying that would be an
important consideration in a suitability determination for anybody. >> and it's just, personally, i just think that sounds like a bit of a political answer because i can't imagine that the fbi would grant security clearance to somebody with that fact pattern. do you agree or disagree with that? >> i'd say what i said before. again, it's very hard to answer a hypothetical. i'll repeat it, it would be a very important consideration in a suitability determination. >> did hillary clinton do anything wrong? >> what do you mean by "wrong"? >> i think it's self-evident. >> well, i'm a lawyer, i'm an investigator and i'm, i hope, a normal human being. >> do you really believe there should be no consequence for hillary clinton in how she dealt with -- >> well, i didn't say. i hope folks remember what i said on tuesday. i didn't say there's no consequence for someone who violates the rules. there are often very severe consequences in the fbi involving their employment, pay and clearances.
that's what i, that's what i said on tuesday, and i hope folks walk away understanding just because someone's not prosecuted for mishandling classified information, that doesn't mean if you work in the fbi, there respect consequences for it -- aren't consequences for it. >> so if hillary clinton or if anybody had worked for the fbi under this fact pattern, what would you do to that person? >> there would be a security and a range of discipline could be imposed from termination to reprimand and in between, suspensions, loss of clearance. you could be walked out, depending upon the nature of the facts you could be reprimanded. there is robust process to handle that. >> i've gone past my time. i yield back. i recognize the ranking member, cummings. >> thank you, director comey, thank you for being here especially on short notice. you and your staff should be commended for the thorough and dedicated review you conducted.
unfortunately some of my colleagues are attacking you personally, because your final recommendation conflicted with their preconceived outcome in this case. some tried to argue this case is far worse than the case of general david petraeus, who was convicted in 2015 of knowingly and intentionally compromising highly classified information. in fact, one very vocal politician we all know said this, and i quote, if she isn't indicted the only reason because the democrats are protecting her. she is being protected 100%. you look at david, general petraeus, look at all the other people that did a fraction of what she did but she has much worse judgment than he had and she is getting away with it, and unfair to him, end of quote. director comey you were the director of the fbi when general petraeus pled guilty, is that right? >> yes. >> if i understand that case
correctly, general petraeus kept highhighly classified information in eight personal notebooks in his private residence, is that correct? >> that's correct. >> according to filings in that case, the included identities of covert officers and included war strategy, intelligence capabilities, diplomatic discussions, quotes and deliberative discussions from high-level national security council meetings and discussions with the president. general petraeus shared his information with his lover, and then biographer. he was caught on audiotape telling her, and i quote, i mean they are highly-classified, some of them. they don't have it on it but i mean, there's code word stuff in there, end of quote. director comey, what did general petraeus mean when he said he intentionally shade, quote, code word information with her? what does that mean? the petraeus case in my mind illustrates perfectly the kind of cases the department of
justice is willing to prosecute. even there they prosecuted him for a misdemeanor. in that case you had vast quantities of highly classified information including special sensitive compartmented information. that is the reference to code words. vast quantity of it. not only shared with someone without authority to have it but we found it in a search warrant hidden under the insulation in his attic and then he lied to us about it during the investigation. so you have obstruction of justice. you have intentional misconduct and a vast quantity of information. he admitted he knew that was the wrong thing to do. that is a perfect illustration the kind of cases get prosecuted. in my mind it illustrates importantly the distinction to this case.kav÷ >> and general petraeus did not admit to these facts when the fbi investigators first interviewed him, did he? >> no. he lied about it. >> but he did admit to these facts in a plea agreement, is that correct? >> yes. >> here is what the department filing said about general petraeus, and i quote.
the acts taken by david david howell petraeus were in all respects knowing and deliberate and were not committed by mistake, accident, or other innocent reason, end of quote. is that an accurate summary in your view, director comey? >> yes. it actually leaves out an important part of the case which is the obstruction of justice. >> was he, was he charged with obstruction of justice? >> no. >> and why not? >> a decision made by the leadership of the department of justice, not to insist upon a plea to that felony. >> so the question is, do you agree with the claim that general petraeus, and i quote, got in trouble for far less, end of quote? do you agree with that statement. >> no. it is the reverse. >> what do you mean by that? >> his conduct to me illustrates the categories of behavior that mark prosecutions that are actually brought. clearly intentional conduct. knew what he was doing was
violation of the law. huge amounts of information if you couldn't prove he knew it raises inference he did it and effort to obstruct justice that combination of things makings it worthy of prosecution. a misdemeanor prosecution but prosecution nonetheless. >> sitting here today to you stand by the fbi's recommendation to prosecute general petraeus? >> oh, yeah. >> do you stand by the february by's recommendation not to prosecute hillary clinton? >> yes. >> how many times have you testified before congress about the general petraeus case? do you know? >> i don't think i ever testified, i don't think i testified about it at all. i don't think so. >> with that, i will yield back. >> have to check the record i believe i asked you a question about it at the time but maybe not. >> you could have. i was my face, could be committee hearing i was asked about it. >> we'll now recognize the gentleman from south carolina, mr. gowdy for five minutes.
>> good morning, director comey. secretary clinton said she never sent or received any classified information over her private email was that true. >> our investigation found it was classified information. >> it was not true? >> that is what i said. >> well, looking for a little shorter answer so you and i are not here quite as long. secretary:said there was nothing marked hasfied on her emails either sent or received s that true? >> that is not true. there were small number of portion markings on i think three of the document. >> secretary clinton said i did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. there is no classified material. was that true? >> there was classified material. >> secretary clinton said she used one device. was that true? >> she used multiple devices during the four years of her term as secretary of state. >> secretary clinton said all work-related emails were department. was that true? >> no we found work-related emails, thousands that were not
true. >> secretary clinton said neither she or anyone else deleted emails from her personal account. was that true? >> that's a harder one to answer. emails in, on devices or in slack space. whether they were deleted or server changed out something happened to them, there is no doubt that the work-related emails that were removed electronically from the email system. >> secretary clinton said her lawyers read everyone of the emails and were overly inclusive. did her lawyers read the email content individually? >> no. >> in interests of time, because i have a plane to catch tomorrow afternoon, i'm not going to go through anymore of the false statements but i am boeing to ask you put on your old hat. false exculpatory statements, they are used for what? >> either for the substantive
prosecution or for evidence of intent in a criminal prosecution. >> exactly. intent and consciousness of guilt, right? is that right? >> right. >> consciousness of guilt and intent. in your old job you would prove showing the jury evidence of a complex scheme that was designed for the very purpose of concealing the public record, and you would be arguing in addition to concealment the destruction that you and i just failure to preserve. would you argue all that under heading of content, intent. you would be arguing pervasiveness of the scheme, when it started, when it ended and number of emails whether they were originallily classified or up-classified you would argue all of that under the heading of intent? you would also probably under common scheme or plan argue the
burn facts of daily calendar of entries or missing daily calendar entries as common scheme or plan to conceal. two days ago, director, you said a reasonable person in her should have known a private email is no place to send and receive classified information. you're right. an average person does know not to do that. this is no average person. this is a former first lady, a former united states senator, and a former secretary of state that the president now contends is the most competent, qualified person to be president since jefferson. he didn't say that in '08 but he says it now. she affirmatively rejected efforts to give her a state.gov account. she kept the private emails for almost two years and only turned them over to congress because we
found out she had a private email account. so you have a rogue email system set up before she took the oath of office. thousands of what we now know to which were classified at the time. one of her more frequent email comrades was in fact hacked. you don't know whether or not she was. this scheme took place over a long period of time and resulted in the destruction of public records yet you say there is insufficient evidence of intent. careless but not intentionally. you and i both know intent is really difficult to prove. very rarely do defendants announce on this date i intend to break this criminal code section. just to put everyone on notice, i am going to break the law on this date. it never happens that way. you have to do it with circumstantial evidence, or if you're congress and you realize how difficult it is to prove specific intent, you will
formulate a statute that allows for gross negligence. my time is out but this is really important. you mentioned there is no precedent for criminal prosecution. my fear is there still isn't. there is nothing to keep a future secretary of state or president from this exact same email scheme. or their staff. and my real fear is this, this is what the chairman touched upon, this double tracked justice system rightly or wrong hely perceived this country, that if you are a private in the army and you email yourself classified information, you will be kicked out but if you are hillary clinton and you seek a promotion to commander-in-chief, you will not be. so what i hope you can do today is help the average person, the reasonable person you made reference to, the reasonable person understand, why she appears to be treated differently than the rest of us would be. with that i would yield back.
>> now recognize the gentlewoman from new york, ms. maloney. >> director, thank you for your years of public service. you have distinguished yourself as the assistant u.s. attorney for both the southern district of new york and the eastern district of virginia. that's why you were appointed by president bush to be the deputy attorney general at the department of justice and why president obama appointed you as the director of the fbi in 2013. despite your impeccable reputation for independence, and integrity, republicans have turned on you with a vengance, immediately, after you announced your recommendation not to pursue criminal charges against secretary clinton. let me give you some examples. representative turner said, and i quote, the investigation by
the fbi is steeped in political bias, end quote. was your investigation steeped in political bias, yes or no? >> no, it was steeped in no kind of bias. >> thank you. the speaker of the house, paul ryan, was even more critical. he accused you of not applying the law equally. he said your recommendation shows, and i quote, the clintons are living above the law. they're being held to a different set of standards that is clearly what this looks like, end quote. how do you respond to his accusation that you held the clintons to a different set of standards than anyone else? did you hold them to a different standard or the same standard? >> it is just not, it is just not accurate. we try very hard to apply the same standard whether you're rich or poor, white or black, old or young, famous or not known at all. i just hope folks will take the time to understand the other cases because a lot of confusion out there about with what facts
were of other cases i understand lead good people, reasonable people to have questions. >> senator$zw+ cruz also critid you. he said there are and i quote, serious concerns about the integrity of director comey's decision. he stated that you quote, i had rewritten a clearly-worded federal criminal statute. did you rewrite the law if any way or rewrite any statute? >> no. >> now, i hesitate, i truly hesitate to mention the next one but donald trump took these conspiracy theories to a totally new level. he said, and i quote, it was no accident that charges were recommended against hillary the exact same day that as president obama campaigned with her for the first time. so did you plan the timing of your announcement to help secretary clinton's campaign event on tuesday? >> no.
timing was entirely my own. nobody knew i was going to do it including the press. i'm very proud of the way fbi. nobody leaked that we didn't coordinate it. didn't tell, it was not a consideration. >> mr. trump also claimed that secretary clinton bribed the attorney general with an extension of her job and i guess, this somehow affected your decision. i know it's a ridiculous question but i have to ask it. did you make your decision because of some kind of bribe to the attorney general? >> no. >> i tell you, are you surprised as i am by the intensity of the attacks from the gop on you after having made a decision, a thoughtful decision, an independent decision with a professional staff of the fbi? >> i'm not surprised by the intense interest and debate. i predicted it. i think it is important we talk
about these things. they inevitably become focused on individual people. that's okay. we'll continue to have the conversation. >> i believe what we're seeing today, if the gop does not like the results of an investigation, or how it turns out, and we saw they originally were lauding you, the minute you made your announcement, they're now attacking you, the same people. and now, i predict they will be calling for more hearings, more investigations, all at the expense of the taxpayer and they do this instead of working on what the american people really care about. they want congress to focus on jobs, the environment, homeland security, the security of our nation, affordable child care, affordable college educations, and an economy that works an helps all people. i thank you for performing your
job with distinction and the long history of your whole profession of integrity and independence and thank you very much. my time has expired. >> thank the gentlewoman. we'll now recognize the gentleman from ohio, mr. jordan for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. director thank you for being with us. you said on tuesday any reasonable person in secretary clinton's position. some of her emails bore classified markings and you also said on tuesday there were potential violations of the appropriate statutes. now i know a bunch of prosecutors back home would look at fact pattern, look at that evidence, referenced in opening statement, some prosecutorial friends in the prosecution business have been on tv look the ad same evidence would have taken it to a grand jury but on tuesday you said and today in your opening statement you said no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. then in your statement tuesday you cite factors that helped you make that decision. and make that statement. and one of the factors you said
was, consider the context of a person's actions. typically when i hear context in the course of a criminal investigation it's from the defense side, not from the prosecution side. at end of the case after there has been trial and guilty verdict and during the sentencing phase, mitigating circumstance, that is the context we typically think about you said on the front end. consider the context of the person's actions. so i'm curious, what does consider the context mean? because a lot of americans are thinking just what the chairman talked about in his opening statement, that there are two standards. one for we the people and one for the politically-connected. a lot of folks i get privilege representing back in ohio think when you said consider the context, they think that is what mr. gowdy just talked about, the fact she is former first lied did i, former secretary of state, former senator. major party's nominee for the highest office in the land, and
oh, by the way her husband just met with the individual you work with at an airport in arizona five days ago. so, you said none of that ininfluenced your decision but tell us what consider the con direction means. >> thank you, mr. jordan. what i was trying to, exercise of prosecutorial discretion is judgment call. it is in every single case. among the things you consider what was the person's background? what was the circumstances of the event? were they drunk? were they inflamed by passion? was it somebody who had sufficient level of education and training and experience we can infer certain things from that? to consider the entire circumstances of the person's offense conduct and background. i did not mean to consider political context -- no entire circumstances. mr. gowdy just talked about this scheme. remember what she did, right? she sets up unique server arrangement. she alone controls it.
on that server, on that email system are her personal emails, work-related emails, clinton foundation information and now we know classified information. this gets discovered. we find out this arrangement exists. then what happens? her lawyers, her legal team decides which ones we get and which ones they get to keep. they made the sort on the front end. and then we find out the ones that they kept and didn't give to us, didn't give to the american people, didn't give to congress, the ones they kept, they destroyed them. you don't have to take my word. i will take what you said on tuesday. they deleted all emails they did not return to the state department and the lawyers cleaned their devices in such a way as to preclude complete forensic recovery. that sounds like a fancy way of saying they hid the evidence, right? and you just told mr. gowdy, thousands of emails fell into those categories. now, that seems to me to provide
some context to what took place here. did secretary clinton's legal team, excuse me, let me ask it this way. did secretary clinton know her legal team deleted those emails that they kept from us? >> i don't believe so. >> did secretary clinton approve those emails being deleted? >> i don't think there was any specific instruction or conversation between the secretary and her lawyers about that. >> did you ask that question? >> yes. >> did secretary clinton know her lawyers cleaned devices in such a way to preclude complete forensic recover? >> i don't believe she did. >> did you ask that question? >> yes. >> do you see how someone could view the context of what she did, set up a private system, she alone controlled it. she kept everything on it. we know from miss abedine's deposition they did it for that
very reason, so no one could see what was there, based on the deposition of miss abedine gave. and then when they got caught, they deleted what they had, and they scrubbed their devices. is that part of the context in evaluating this decision? >> sure. sure. and understand what inferences can be drawn from that collection much facts, of course. >> all right. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank the gentleman. now recognize the gentlewoman from the district of columbia, miss norton, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. director comey, i appreciate your conduct of this investigation in a non-partisan way, keeping with the sterling reputation which has led presidents of both parties to appoint you to highly-placed law enforcement positions in our federal government. i want to say for the record that this hearing where you called the prosecutor, mr. comey
stands in the place of the prosecutor because, the, the attorney general has accepted entirely the fbi's recommendations, when you call the prosecutor to, to give account for the decision to prosecute or not a particular individual raises serious, questions of separation of powers, and particularly when you're questioning the prosecutor's decision with respect to the decision to prosecute or not a particular individual, it raises bill of tender constitutional questions. these hearings are so often accuser to that they yield no guidance as to how to conduct
business in the future and that is the way it looks, it looks as though that is how this hearing is going. now of course, now, everyone understands, in the abstract, why it is important for security reasons to use official government mail or email rather than private accounts, rather than private email, if security matters are involved. that is a very broad, wide, proposition. now there are no rules so far as i know requiring members of congress to use their, as to how they use their official email accounts, whether involving security or not. the chairman of this committee lists his personal account, for example, on his business card.
i don't, no one says that's wrong. i don't know if it is wrong or right because there is no guidance. federal agency employees, members of congress, often have secure information or at least sensitive information that shouldn't be made public. some of our members on the intelligence committee or the defense committee, or even this committee, and may have such matters, some of these matters may concern national security issues. and, i don't know, it, something as sensitive as the itinerary, if you're going own a codel the route you're taking and where you will be, all of that could be on people's personal emails.
of course this is legislative branch. i spoke of the separation of powers. i'm not indicating that there should be a government-wide sense that is, ordained from on high but there ought to be rules that everybody understands about, especially after the clinton episode, about the use of personal email. so i would like your insight for guidance as far as other federal employees are concerned or even members of congress and their staff. because i think we could learn from this, this episode. so strictly from a security standpoint, do you believe that, that federal employees, staff, even members about congress, should attempt guidance on the
issue of the use of personal emails versus some official form of communication? what should we learn from the process the secretary is -- i'm sure there will be questions how there was even confusion, for example, in the state department but what should we learn when it comes to our own, our own use of email or the use of federal employees on this question? >> may i answer, mr. chairman? the most important thing to learn is that unclassified email system is no case for an email conversation about classified matters. and by that i mean, either sending a document, as an attachment over unclassified email that is classified, or
having conversation about something that is a classified subject in an unclassified email system. that is the focus of the concern. that is the focus of this investigation. that it was also a personal email, adds to the concern about the case because of the security vulnerabilities associated with a personal system. but the root of the problem is, people using unclassified systems to conduct business, that is classified. and so all of us should have access to, if we have access to classified information, classified communication systems. the fbi has three levels. unclassified system, a secret system and a top secret system. you can email on all three but you need to make sure you don't email on the unclass system, even if it is a government classified system about mat that's are classified. that is the important lesson learned. everybody ought to be aware of it. everybody ought to be trained on it. we spend a lot of time training in the fbi to make sure folks are sensitive to the need to
move classified discussion even if it doesn't involve a classified document, to the appropriate forum. >> members of congress included? >> of course. >> we'll now recognize the gentleman from florida, mr. desantis, for five minutes. >> mr. director, the reason that is important if top secret information can be compromised that could damage american security, correct. >> correct. >> and american lives are at stake in some instances correct? >> yes. >> you mentioned that people are upset there are no consequences for secretary clinton but i said administrative consequence could be appropriate if someone demonstrated extreme quon sequence for classified information that could be include termination of federal employment? >> corrects. >> could include revocation of scatter clearance? >> yes. >> could include eligibility for future employment in national security positions, could it? >> it could. >> would you as fbi directtoring allow someone to work in a national security capacity if that person demonstrated extreme