tv Happening Now FOX News February 1, 2017 8:00am-9:01am PST
>> happening now starts right now. >> i fox news inert, senator al franken is a former tv commenter dominic comedy writer. he is battling with republicans over the nomination of fellow senators senator jeff sessions. >> he claims you are uninvolved in civil rights cases that were listed on your questionnaire.
in 1986, he testified, i have needed mr. sessions help in those cases and he has provided that help every step of the way. is that correct? is that what he testified? senator sessions, yes, that is correct. senator cruz lied it to the truth. the civil rights cases that i questioned, before he claimed to have personally handled, this is senator sessions, the guy we are talking about confirming or not, they were not what mr. hebert was talking about and that quote in 1986. he worked on a number of cases in the southern district of alabama and he spoke about how he interacted with senator sessions generally. it to be clear, mr. hebert had explained to this committee that two of the four civil rights cases that senator sessions claimed he was personally
handling, mr. hebert litigated himself personally. they were filed before senator sessions was the u.s. attorney. he was not involved, nonetheles nonetheless, senator cruz attempted to conflate how senator sessions and mr. hebert acted generally with senator senator sessions quite limited involvement in these civil rights cases. but since senator cruz brought up the assistance that senator cruz advised to mr. hebert, let's talk about that. i called mr. hebert about that exchange. he explained it to me that yes, senator sessions did provide assistance. when mr. hebert and his team needed to work weekends, senator sessions gave him a key to his office. senator sessions gave mr. hebert admission to assigned work to
his secretary once. none of the occasions that mr. hebert referenced were related to the four cases that senator sessions listed in his questionnaire. regardless, what senator sessions didn't do to be clear was personally handled any of the cases mr. hebert filed. let's be clear about what happened here. senator cruz dejected that mr. hebert's correction rendered the remainder of his 19 the six testimony unreliable. he suggested mr. hebert knew it was false at the time he provided it. as i've explained, that's simply not true, but i will submit that senator cruz already knew that because every suggested that mr. hebert is a liar and unreliable, the senator himself
relied upon mr. hebert's testimony about getting assistance from senator sessions and an attempt to rehabilitate the nominee. back to the transcript, senator cruz, and the four cases senator franken referred to, he reported all four of them in your supplement to the judiciary committee, is th senator sessions, that is correct. senator cruz, mr. franken did not mention that. here is senator cruz chastising me for not mentioning that he simulated a supplement to this questionnaire. the supplement would somehow vindicate senator sessions, they don't. let's talk about the supplement. senator cruz is correct, senator sessions did submit a supplement and in that supplement, the nominee clarified that his role was to "provide support for" ."
he said he cooperated with doj lawyers, not personally handled, if you ask me. i suspect that's why he felt the need to file the supplement. notice how senator cruz explained the supplement during the hearing. here's how you described your involvement to the committee. here's sender cruises quote from the supplement these of the four cases that senator sessions claimed to have personally handled, my role, like most u.s. attorneys in the nation and with noncriminal civil rights cases, was to provide support for the department of justice civil rights division attorneys. i reviewed, supported, and posted on complaint that were filed during my tenure as a u.s.
attorney. i provided assistance and guidance to the civil rights attorneys, had an open door policy, that the key, and cooperated with them in these cases. senator cruz continues to quote the supplement. for cases described in the sixth, i supervise litigation and supplied the pleadings. >> jenna: let's talk about a little bit what's happening here at the senate committee hearing on senator jeff sessions who is the nominee for the attorney general of our country. you heard senator franken talk about jay gerald hebert's. he is a man that's a part of a few different writers, wrote a column for "the washington post" several weeks ago, alleging that senator sessions did not do the work he suggested he did on a civil rights case that hebert worked on. there is a lot of debate over
when that happened in the beaming of january. there's obviously some questions about what senator sessions did on his work. that's why it's easy to get confused. the bottom line here is that democrats are trying to continue to slow down this process. they obviously have some additional questions go unanswered as well, so we'll see where this goes from here. over the course of this morning, other senate committees have made rules, if you will, to allow the nominees to continue without democrats support because of the delay that has transpired over the last several weeks with all sorts of nominee nominees. we are setting the table for you little bit there. there's a lot of back and forth, we don't want you to miss any of that. in the meantime, we have to get some other news. ♪
>> jon: continuing on the on this wednesday, president trump's nominee for this up in court vacancy is on capitol hill right now, meeting with senate lawmakers deciding whether he takes a seat occupied by the late justice scalia. >> jenna: there's going to be another nomination process. is there going to be a theme? hi, everybody, i'm jenna lee. the president announcing neil gorsuch's nomination last night. >> justice scalia passed away last january, i made a promise. if i were president, i would make the best judge supreme court. i would select someone that respected our laws and was represented by our laws and
respected our constitution. today i'm keeping another promise to the american people, by nominating judge neil gorsuc gorsuch. >> this process now most of the senate, i look forward to speaking with members on both sides of the aisle. to answer their questions and to hearing their concerns. i consider the united states senate the greatest body of the world. i respect to the fact that in our legal order, it is for congress and not the courts to write new laws. it is a role of judges to apply, not alter the work of people's representatives. a judge who reaches unlikely outcomes is a bad judgment mr. president, i'm honored and i'm humbled. >> jenna: there's judge gorsuch visiting capitol hill this morning. democrats insist they're going to put up a fight for a seat
they say was stolen from president obama. >> good morning. one of the big questions of course is whether democrats -- they will slow walk the process the way that the white house says they have been for the president's nominees. you saw him accompanied by vice president pence on capitol hill meeting with the senate majority leader, mitch mcconnell. mitch mcconnell last night in an interview with fred bear refused to say whether he would invoke the nuclear option, only to say "we will confirm him" a number of times. he deftly has a plan to get the judge through and get them confirmed. gorsuch was chosen from a list of 21. it was originally a list of 11, grew to 21. interviewed four of the people
on the list that was shrunk to six. when he interviewed gorsuch in january at trump tower, he knew that he had as a man right there and that's when he made the decision. here's what the president said about him last night. >> the qualifications of judge gorsuch are beyond dispute. i would like to thank senate leadership, i only hope that both democrats and republicans can come together for once. for the good of the country. >> again, that remains to be seen. judge gorsuch is said to be a clone of the man whose seat he will fill. the two men pictured together on a fishing trip in colorado. gorsuch paid tribute to scalia and was clearly struck by the nature of the job that lies ahead for them. listen to the spirit >> the towering judges that have served in this particular seat of the supreme court are much in my
mind at this moment. justice scalia was a lion. agree or disagree with him, all colleagues on the bench shared in his wisdom and teamwork. like them, i miss him. >> jenna, it was a real stealth operation to get him to the white house last night. he immediately went to boulder where he was met with a member of the white house. the two of them got on a military plane and flew her to washington, d.c. as a serendipitous moment for the white house, there was an erroneous report where both were told to come here and sit by to see which of them was chosen. that just wasn't true. hardeman was never coming to d.c. he was going to meet the chief
justice of the third district and eastern pennsylvania. he never got anywhere near d.c., but the white house was happy to what that story flowed out there. when asked about it, they said it we're say anything about it. we didn't pick up on this story, at least from our frontier. it was interesting to see all the rumors and speculation floating around about this yesterday. >> jenna: it's great to have a background, little understanding about how that all came about. john, thank you very much credit >> jon: much more on the gorsuch nomination ahead. is he another scalia? will get into that. plus a wall from a demotion project collapses onto a salvation army store killing six people inside. now four years later, a jury just returned a verdict in that case. who they say is responsible. plus, new reaction to the president supreme court nominee
>> jon: fox news alert, another indication that democrats in the u.s. senator doing whatever they can to delay president trump's nominations for his cabinet. we understand that democrats are boycotting a committee hearing on scott pruitt, he is the attorney general of oklahoma who has been nominated to head the environmental protection agency. because democrats are not showing up at the committee meeting, the committee is not allowed to take a vote to move his name out of committee and onto the senate floor for full confirmation. no democrats, no vote, the project, the process gets delayed peter we will keep you updated on the nomination of scott pruitt to be head of the epa. joining us now with more on
another big donald trump nomination is edward welland, president of the ethics and policy center. he is former clerk to justice scalia and contributor to bench memos blog where he has been writing extensively about the nominees and to the records. let's discuss. you worked with judge scalia very closely, is neil gorsuch another scalia? >> no one can be a full replacement for justice scalia, but neil gorsuch is an outstanding judge, like justice scalia, he's it dedicated ritualist and textual list credit like scalia, he has a brilliant legal mind. it like justice scalia come he writes forcefully and with verb. >> jon: democrats seem to be suggesting that he's unqualified to take scully as a seat, what you say to that?
>> they filled in the blank when they heard the name. the fact of the matter is when you look carefully, the divide right now between democrats is between those who will vote for judge gorsuch and those who know they will lose the battle and are trying to figure out how to lose it. i think right now, the path that they are headed is very clear. it was going to want to take a look at a couple of tweets, responses from fairly well-known figures. john k sick the governor of ohio writing "judge gorsuch is eminently qualified to serve on supreme court. the president be commanded. looking forward to a fair senate process." sort of a rare complement for president trump for the man who is running against him. this from the guy who started the talking points memo, the liberal online site. "remember, gorsuch will never be a legitimate justice part of the fruit of a corrupt act" ."
>> they are wrong to do so. anyone who understands the process knows that democrats would have done exactly the same thing as republicans have the situations been reversed. former obama is white house counsel is conceded as much. chuck schumer threatened the very same thing years ago. what republicans did was entirely legitimate, perfectly lawful exercise as their authority of the majority of senate. they won the battle, now judge gorsuch will be justice corset the senate judiciary committee has voted to send the nomination of senator sessions. there was something of a disturbance afterwards, you're looking at live pictures of the senate floor.
there is senate hatch on the left, discussing the way forwar forward. jeff sessions has been nominated by the judiciary committee after a fair amount of back and forth between republicans and democrats. you see senator ted cruz there in the background. senator jeff sessions has been nominated to serve as attorney general of the united states. we want to continue our discussion with edward welland regarding the nomination of neil gorsuch to replace the late justice scalia. will be back with that in just a moment.
cabinet position, they have to go through a committee hearing and then they get moved to a full floor vote if they pass like a mini hearing. what we just saw moments ago, the judiciary committee did vote on a nomination for senator jeff sessions and he passed through committee, so now the vote will head to the senate floor over the next several days, it's on immediate. we are going to contract briefly what happened a few other hearings early this morning. in those cases, the democrats did not show up to the hearing and because of that, republicans passed a rule to allow a vote without them and pass the nominees out of the committee hearing, and the attempt to move the process along. if you know, i'll lot of president trump's nominees have been held in these confirmation hearings and haven't been able to move forward. we are seeing the process continue. it's a little bumpy, and there were some protesters in the
committee yelling is this what took place "you are shameful" to the members. will bring you back to capitol hill. in the meantime, we have avenues to get to as well. >> jon: it we want to get back quickly to our discussion with edward welland, the president of ethics and public policy. you wrote about what neil gorsuch, the man who is nominated to replace judge scalia, how he reacted when he learned about his death. can he tell us about that? >> sure, as he recounts, he broke out in tears and could hardly see straight. i think many of us had at the same reactions back then, i think it's testament to judge gorsuch's high regard for justice scalia and of course, i think the entire warm reception that judge gorsuch has received is a testament to how much justice scalia transformed the
legal landscape rendering entirely mainstream now, views that 30 years ago, the left tried to marginalize. we see for example, in today's "new york times," the obama administration top supreme court lawyer has a beautiful opt to add encouraging his fellow liberals to encourage the nomination. the only question is whether democrats try to filibuster the nomination in which case, the end result will be abolishing the filibuster and paving the way for an easier nomination next time by president trump. it >> jon: a summa democrats have vowed to fight this nomination tooth and nail. do you think ultimately they will be unsuccessful in preventing sending him to supreme court? >> yes, i do. i think virtually everyone does as well. you see lots of folks on the
left who are already throwing in the towel. i think beyond the one or two people who have threatened to fight tooth and nail, here you have a half dozen or more, including durbin who was part of the democratic leadership, indicating their interest in having a floor vote on this. there still might be an internal battle on the democratic side of. i personally would love to see them try a filibuster, as i think that would get rid of the filibuster. democrats might try to keep the vote level on final confirmation down below 60, frankly, with all the red state democrats who have be worried about reelection in 2018, i think would be tougher than even to do that. it >> jon: edward welland, clerk for justice scalia appeared thanks very much. >> jenna: the movement sparking controversy following the shooting death in
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member of the judiciary committee just stepped out of i it. senator lee, we are trying to explain to our viewers and some of what was happening. it you were there, how would you explain what transpired over the last 30 or 45 minutes? >> democrats on the committee don't want to see jeff sessions, our colleague from alabama, confirmed at the next attorney general. they all voted against him, republicans voted for him. we passed him by a vote of 11-9. there wasn't a lot of speeches by holland democratic senators >> jenna: do you think this weakens his position as attorney general? >> no. he's going to be confirmed. there is no doubt that the democrats have chosen to make this a partisan issue. there is also no doubt that we've got the votes to confirm senator sessions of the next attorney general. it's going to happen, it's going to get done. >> jenna: i'm curious as your thoughts on this as a someone
who has been in d.c. for such a historic time. we've seen legislation passed through our legislative bodies, sometimes without any bipartisan support. of course, the one that comes to mind is obamacare. i know that's low but before your time, but that legislation was weekend because it did not have support of any republicans. after watching this play out, as president trump is trying to fill his cabinet and we see democrats boycotting nominees and hearing committees and now suggesting that some of these bigger votes are going to be difficult, though we don't see any major obstacles, what are you doing to change what's happening in d.c.? what are you doing to talk to her colleagues and say this is in the way we should do business? we need to get behind some of these nominees and work together. >> first of all, i want to be clear about something. obamacare was weakened, not only because it was passed with only democratic votes, but also
because it's a really bad law. it's made health care less affordable and less accessible to tens of millions of poor and middle-class americans. that's a problem with it. it's a bad product to begin with. >> jenna: we are seeing history repeat itself in some ways. yes, and different forms, but we are seeing again eighth third party move forward without support of another party. i'm just asking about the wisdom of that and the politics of that as our viewers are watching it transpire and wondering, what's next for us? >> we are not always going to agree on everything. there are going to be some issues to which the parties are deadlocked. i respectfully don't believe that the confirmation of jeff sessions for example should be one of those issues. anyone who has worked with him knows he's a man of dignity and respect. he's a man of great passion for the constitution and the rights of the american people. i can't speak for any of my colleagues and why they chose to vote against him. what i do know is i've been
asking my democratic colleagues to vote for senator sessions and i hope, and expect that we will have some democrats who break with their party and decide to vote for senator sessions on the floor. i think we will see some do that. it >> jenna: that will be really interesting. we'll see if any democrats can be moved. you actually had the opportunity to argue in front of judge gorsuch. you have a different perspective than others that we've talked to. what was that experience like? >> there are some judges. normally you are you in front of three judges at a time. there are some judges in a cour court, -- he became one of those judges that lawyers wanted to have on their panel.
they knew that judges gorsuch was on the case. he read all the briefs, cases, statutes cited in those briefs, he interpreted the law based on what it said, rather than what he wished it said. that's exactly the kind of judge we need and all of our courts and especially on supreme court. >> jenna: it's interesting to have that perspective. the editorial in "the new york times" saying he's going to be going for a stolen seat, that's what it continually is being repeated by the other side. what's your response to that? >> i understand that they wish that president obama have been able to get his nominee confirmed. i also understand that elections have consequences. this was a vacancy that arose during a presidential election year. i think it arose a few months before the country voted and decided who the next president would be. at the last election, and they also failed to grasp the majority in the senate. now president trump is put forward this nominee, he's next
ordinary judge, i challenge any of them to read his opinions and find anything amiss in them. what they're going to find is this is a careful, accomplished, scholarly judge who should be put on the u.s. supreme court. >> jenna: senator lee, it's great to have your thoughts on this. i know you are also on the list as well. we'll continue to be watching. senator lee, great to have you on the program. thank you. >> thank you, jenna. it's going to california democrats are moving out to make the golden state the first sanctuary state in the u.s., meeting it would restrict local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration authorities. this comes on the heels of the deadly shooting of kate steinle in san francisco. the man charged with her murder had entered this country illegally five times in the case figured prominently. severn cisco has filed a lawsuit
over president trump executive order, targeting sanctuary cities. we have a look of this controversy live from los angeles. >> what this boils down to is who decides who gets deported. the federal government or the states and cities? think of this is a list of 300 committal offenses from homicide to disturbing the peace. who draws the line? above here come a good deported, below here, you don't. san francisco is assuming so we can make that decision. california is trying to do the same by passing the bill out of committee yesterday to become a sanctuary state aired at the bill prohibits state and local law enforcement from cooperating or assisting in any immigration effort. prohibiting the use of any state resources to investigate, interrogate, detain, detect, or arrest persons for immigration enforcement.
>> you can't use taxpayer dollars from local residents to enforce immigration law. >> federal officials say the bill effectively prohibits police from calling ice or allowing them into the county jail afford deporting. >> in this case, when california is proposing to do is say that at the most basic level, information sharing cooperation, we are not participating. >> also yesterday, seems this goes who the president, claiming his executive order to cut funding to century city's is unconstitutional. the federal government cannot coerce a community by putting a financial gun to their head. california is going to make the same argument using former attorney general, eric holder. today the governor of texas says their legislator would prohibit century city's. california and texas going in opposite directions. back to you.
>> jon: thank you. back in a moment with more happening now. london's got the best of everything. cornwall's got the best of everything. sport sport nightlife nightlife (both) fashion adventure i'm tellin' ya, britain is the only place you really need go. expedia. everything you need to travel britain better.
>> it's my honor to escort judge gorsuch to capitol hill for his first meeting. as they get to know this gentleman, they will come to understand the enthusiasm the president of the united states has for his appointment to the supreme court of the united states. >> jenna: this is short time ago, vice president pence introducing judge gorsuch to lawmakers on capitol hill. we'll bring you back if we get live pictures. ironically, talking to us from london, from advisor for george h.w. bush. what you think is the most challenging question that judge gorsuch will be asked over the
next several weeks? >> i think you will be asked a series of questions, particularly in the confirmation hearing, by democrats, trying to see if they can pin him down to positions. >> jenna: we'll try to finish that sentence if we can. we are a little bit of a moving target here with live news. hopefully we will get him back if we can. we'll move on. it will be interesting, one of the things that will be watching and hoping to talk to him about it is not the confirmation hearings, but this upheaval in the justice department over the law, the executive word that president trump put forward over the last weekend. how all these things are intersecting and coming together. it looks like a lot of chaos, but we know that government is functioning good how do you balance those things, a little
bit of chaos and change, but also have a functioning government? at the center of all of this, that's what need to be done. >> jon: resident trump only has three of the cabinet members, nominations confirmed. as i mentioned yesterday, at the same point, obama administration, ten had been confirmed by the senate and 13 and the clinton years. you've gotta have cabinet members. >> jenna: this, by the way is gorsuch. this is some of the tape that we received. a lot of these names taking place ahead of what will be the next step which will be to get him from a nominee to actually being confirmed. there's quite a journey between the two. >> jon: judges gorsuch grew up in colorado.
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democrats, dimming chances for cross party compromise and potentially limiting the scope of what he can get done in office. democrats are under pressure not to cooperate with the new president on anything. on tuesday, democrats boycotted and delayed for at least a day, a vote on mr. trump's choice attorney general. i'm joined now by lisa boothe, contributor for the "washington examiner" ." it just care like jessica, you know if people want things to get done in washington. is this the best way to move the country forward?
>> unfortunately, i'm not sure that people actually want everyone to come together right now. i think that's what we saw in the election of donald trump, certainly his supporters are thrilled right now with what he's doing. they were happy with the obstruction republican's are putting in place before and certainly on the democratic side, millions of people who have been out marching across the country and all over the world want the democratic members now to step up and take a page out of the republican playbook we've seen for the last year and not to get along with anything that comes down the pike. even the tweets we've seen coming out from the president, calling members of congress clowns or liars, it's kind of amazing. i don't see how this repairs itself. this is what people voted for when they voted to drain the swamp. it >> jon: it lisa, do you see
trouble ahead for president trump? >> i don't. at the reality is is that judge neil gorsuch and president trum president trump, they will get confirmed. the democratic party can choose the path of least resistance and go along with the program, or they can potentially pay the political price. it doesn't matter with the majority leader chuck schumer is a saying or . what matters is those ten rollerball senate democrats. you even look at five states among those ten where president trump won by double digits. we are talking about 40 something percent in states like west virginia. at those the people to watch. those are the individuals to watch and those of the individuals will pay the political price if they continue to play these games.
>> jon: it jessica, do democrats have to be careful because market was expected that with republicans having to defend so many feats that there would be a democratic majority in the senate. it clearly, that didn't happen. the next time around, two years from now, 2018, the opposite effect. it you've democrats defending lots of seats that donald trump won. >> i think it will be to see what things look like a year from now, much less two years from now. certainly, the page they're taking out the playbook right now worked for republicans in the last eight years. it helps them in 2010 2010 it s certainly allowed them to gain seats, take back seats in the house and of the senate and if democrats continue to organize and have their voters motivated and mobilized, it will be interesting in terms of votes to see what happens. as lisa said, because those
states tend to trend more read it to begin with. i don't think that you're going to see a huge trickle-down effect into a lot of estates at local levels because of the motivation of democrats right now. this will be a test of the democratic principles, our ability to motivate voters and get them out to vote and make sure that they are supporting our candidates and the election. >> jon: there is a difference, lisa. 70% of americans throughout much of president obama's term was a saying of the country was on the wrong track. that's what republicans in congress and the senate seemed to be opposing. >> absolutely. the principle that jessica speaks of both were rejected by voters historically. whether it's on the state or federal level through out the past eight years. the democratic party has been
propped up by the personal likability of president obama. the only places where they have been winning have been at the presidential election. his policies have been largely rejected, i do think there is a very big danger for the democratic party particularly looking at a red map or a lot of these democrats are running and very red state that they're running in where they are trying to seek reelection. if they want to continue boycotting these hearings of cabinet nominations, if they want to try to dig their heels and for every reasonable supreme court nominee, they're going to have to pay the price in 2018. >> jon: it jessica, what you think about that? >> i don't think that argument really holds. there were members of the senate who refused to even have a meeting with other candidates. immature behavior and poor
behavior -- it's absolutely fai fair. you can at least have meetings with someone. they refused even meet with the president's nominees. that's not happening here. the members are all meeting with them. they disagree with them on key points and they want to continue vetting and have hearings and that's why they refused to go because i want to dive deeper into issues like the character of these nominees. that's different matter of principle saying we'd only want to meet with someone who is legitimate and very real. that didn't lose them any votes. it's going to lisa, your response. >> regarding him, that was a cycle for a presidential year. that would have been the first time in nearly 80 years supreme court nominations would
bid nominated and confirmed during presidential year. that would have made supreme court the most liberal court in years. if you really think that she was on the other foot? >> jon: it we are going to have to end the discussion here. >> jenna: we go to the white house and president trump's meeting with supreme court groups. here's some new video we haven't. >> we appreciate all of the help in deciding who to pick for the united states supreme court. you really helped. i don't know how anybody can pose it, frankly. i don't know how anybody can oppose him. it's a beautiful thing to see. successful event.
he's a terrific person, by the way. i got to know him recently before we did the announcement and he is just a spectacular man, i think you will be a spectacular -- you told me, how will he do? >> he's perfect in almost every way. >> what's the almost? >> he's got an impeccable resume. >> he has done a really great job. it we are going to be talking about working with the judge and making this a fast process. and nominating a justice of supreme court is on the most important things that i can do as president. as i watched the president say the most important thing -- i wanted to refine that a little bit.
i think the stance of our country now is why we need a supreme court so badly. we're doing very well in that regard. when problems are a lot bigger then people understood. i think will straighten out those problems and we will do that very strongly. he is an exceptionally qualified person in education. columbia with honors. great student, great intellect, supreme court justice. i think it's great we are having this meeting because we want to have him go through an elegant process as opposed to a demeaning process. it