tv Shepard Smith Reporting FOX News July 24, 2019 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
>> correct. >> you found in your investigation july 27th, candidate trump called on russia to hack hillary clinton's e-mail for the first time they did about five hours later, correct? >> that's correct. >> you found august 2 that mr. manafort met with a person tied to russian intelligence, mr. kilimnik, gave him internal campaign strategy where russia was intending to do a misinformation campaign. >> i'm not certain of the tie. >> the fact of the meeting -- >> yes, that is accurate. >> your investigation as i understand it also found that in late summer of 2016, the trump campaign in fact devised its strategy and messaging around wikileaks releases of materials that were stolen from the democratic national committee, correct? >> is that from the report?
>> yes. >> according to mr. gates. >> yes. >> thank you. you also talked earlier about the finding in your investigation in september and october of 2016, donald trump jr. had e-mail communications with wikileaks now indicted about releasing information damaging to the clinton campaign, correct? >> true. >> so i understand you made a decision, a prosecutorial decision that this wouldn't rise beyond proof beyond a reasonable doubt. my concern is, have we established a new normal from this past campaign that will apply to future campaigns so that if anyone of us running for the u.s. house, any candidate for the u.s. senate, any candidate for the presidency of the united states aware that if
hostile foreign powers trying to influence an election has no duty to report that to the fbi or other authorities? >> i hope this is not the new normal. but i fear it is. >> in fact, have the ability without fear of legal repercussions to meet with agents of that foreign entity hostile with the american election? >> what is the question? >> is that an apprehension that you share with me? >> yes. >> and that there would be no repercussions whatsoever to russia if they did this again and as you have stated earlier, as we sit here, they're doing it now. is that correct? >> you're absolutely right. >> do you have any advice to this congress as together what we should do to protect our electoral system and accept responsibility on our part to report to you or your successor
when we're aware of hostile foreign engagement in our elections? >> i would say the basis -- first line of defense really is the ability of the various agencies that have some piece of this to not only share information but share expertise, share targets and use the full resources that we have to address this problem. >> thank you, director mueller. i yield back. >> mr. maloney. >> mr. mueller, thank you. i know it's been a long day. i want to make clear how much respect i have for your service and your career. i want you to understand my questionses in that context. i'm going to be asking you about appendix c to your report. in particular, the decision not to do a sworn interview with the president. it's the only subject i want to
talk to you about, sir. why didn't you subpoena the president? >> after we took over and initiated the investigation -- >> if i could ask you to speak in the microphone. >> at the outset, after we took over the investigation, i pursued it. obviously one of the things that we anticipated wanting to accomplish that is having to interview of the president. we negotiated with him for a little over a year. i think what you would allude to in the appendix lays out our expectations as a result of those negotiations. finally we were almost towards the end of our investigation and we had little success in pushing to get the interview of the president, we decided that we did not want to exercise the subpoena powers because of the necessity of expediting the end
of the investigation. >> was that -- >> i was going to say, the expectation was if we did subpoena for the president, he would fight it and we would be in the midst of the investigation for a substantial period of time. >> as we sit here, you never had an opportunity to ask the president in person questions under oath. so obviously that must have been a difficult decision. you're right, appendix c lays that out. you described the in-person interview as vital, your word and you made clear you had the authority and the legal justification to do it as you point out. you waited a year, negotiated, made numerous accommodations so he could prepare. i take it you were trying to be fair to the president. by the way, you were going to limit the questions when you got to written questions to russia only. in fact, you did go with written questions after about nine months. the president responded to those
and you have hard language for what you thought of those responses. what did you think of them, mr. mueller? >> it was not as useful as the interview would be. >> in fact, you pointed out -- by my count, there were more than 30 times when the president said he didn't recall, he didn't remember, no independent recollection, no current recollection. i take it by your answer it wasn't as helpful. that's why you used words like incomplete, imprecise, inadequate, insufficient. is that a fair summary of what you thought of those answers? >> that is a fair summary. i presume that comes from the report. >> i ask this respectfully -- by the way, the president didn't claim to the fifth amount, did he? >> i'm not going to talk to that. >> at one point it was vital and another point it wasn't. why did it stop being vital? i can three of three explanations. one is somebody told you you couldn't do it. nobody told you you couldn't subpoena the president, right? >> we understood we could
subpoena the president. >> rosenstein didn't tell you, barr didn't tell you -- >> we could serve a subpoena. >> there's two other explanations. one that you just flinched. you had the opportunity but you didn't do it. you don't strike me as the kind of guy that flinches. >> i hope not. >> the third explanation -- i hope not, too. the third explanation you didn't think you needed it. what caught my eye page 13 of volume two. you said you had a body of ed and you cite cases about how you often have to prove intent to obstruct justice without an in-person interview. that's the nature of it. you used terms like a substantial body of evidence of the president's intent. so my question, sir, did you have sufficient evidence of the president's intent to obstruct justice and is that why you didn't do the interview? >> there's a balance. how much evidence you have to satisfy the last element against how much time are you willing to spend in the courts litigating
the interview with the president. >> in this case you felt you had enough evidence of the president's intent? >> we had to make a balanced decision in terms of how much evidence we had compared to the length of time it would take -- >> because i have limited time, you thought if you gave to it the attorney general or this congress, there was sufficient evidence that it was better than that delay? >> state that again. >> it was better than the delay to present the sufficient evidence of the president's intent to obstruct justice to the attorney general and this committee? is that why you didn't do the interview? >> no. because of the length of time it would take to resolve the issues intended to that. >> thank you, sir. >> mrs. demings. >> thank you, mr. chairman. director mueller, thanks for being a person of honor and integrity. thanks for your service to the
nation. we're certainly better for it. director mueller, i too want to focus on the written responses that the president did provide and the continued efforts to lie and cover up what happened during the 2016 elections. did the president answer submitted questions under >> yes. yes. >> thank you. they were. were these all the answers your office wanted to ask the president about russian interference in the 2016 election? >> not necessarily. >> there were other questions that you wanted to answer. did you am lies his written records and drew up the conclusion for his availability? >> it was one of the factors. nothing more than that. >> it was one of the factors. so what did you determine about the president's credibility? >> that i can't get into. >> director mueller, i know based on your decades of experience, you probably had an opportunity to analyze the
credibility of countless witnesses. but you weren't able to do so with this witness? >> every witness particularly, leading witness, one assesses the credibility day by day witness by witness, document by document. that's what happened in this case. so we started with very little and by the end, we ended up with a fair amount. >> thank you. let's go through some of the answers to take a closer look at his credibility. seems to me, director mueller, his answers were not credible at all. to some of president trump's incomplete answers relate to trump tower moscow? >> yes. >> for example, did you ask the president whether he had had at any time directed or suggested that discussions about trump moscow project should cease? >> should what? >> cease. >> do you have a citation? >> the first page?
>> yes. did the president answer whether you had discussions about the trump moscow project should cease but he's since made public comments about this topic. >> okay. the question was? >> did the president -- let me go on. did the president fully answer that question in his written statement to you about the trump moscow project ceasing? again, appendix c. >> can you direct me to the particular paragraph you're averting to? >> appendix c-c1. let me move forward. nine days after he submitted his written answers, didn't the president say publicly that he decided "not to do the project" and that is in your report. >> i'd ask you if you would to point out the particular paragraph that you're focused on. >> we can move on.
did the president answer your follow up questions -- according to the report there were follow up questions because of the president's incomplete answers about the moscow project. did the president answer your questions in writing or orally? we're now in volume 2, 150-151. >> no. >> he did not. in fact, there were many questions that you asked the president that he didn't answer. isn't that correct? >> true. >> and there were many answers that contradicted other evidence that you had gathered during the investigation. isn't that correct? >> yes. >> director mueller, for example, the president in his written answers stated he didn't recall having advanced knowledge of wikileaks releases. is that correct? >> that's what he said. >> didn't your investigation undercover evidence that the president did have advanced knowledge of the e-mails
damaging to his opponent? >> i can't get into that. >> did your investigation determine after very careful vetting of rick gates and michael cohen that you found them to be credible? >> that we found the president to be credible? >> you found gates and cohen -- >> those are areas i won't discuss. >> okay. could you say that the president was credible? >> i can't answer that question. >> isn't it fair to say that the president's written answers were not only inadequate and incomplete because he didn't answer many of your questions, but where he did his answers showed that he wasn't always being truthful? >> i would say generally. >> generally. director mueller it's one thing for the president to lie to the american people about your investigation. falsely claiming that you found no collusion and no obstruction. it's something else altogether for him to get away with not
answering your questions and lying about them and as a former law enforcement officer of almost 30 years, i find that a disgrace to our criminal justice system. i yield back to the chairman. >> mr. mueller, thanks for your devoted service to the country. earlier today, you described your report as detailing a criminal investigation, correct? >> yes. >> director, since it was outside the purview of your investigation, your report did not reach counter evidence conclusions regarding the subject matter of your report. >> that's true. >> for instance, since it was outside your purview, your report did not reach counter intelligence conclusions regarding any trump administration officials who might potentially be vulnerable to compromise or blackmail by
russia, correct? >> those decisions probably were made in the counter -- the fbi. >> but not in your report, correct? >> not in my report. we avert to the counter intelligence goals of our investigation, which were secondary to any criminal wrongdoing that we could find. >> let's talk about one administration official in particular, namely. donald trump. other than trump tower moscow, your report does not address or detail the president's final ties or dealings with correct? >> correct. >> similarly, your report does not address the question of whether russian oligarchs engaged in money laundering through any of the president's businesses, correct? >> correct. >> your office did not obtain
the president's tax returns which could otherwise show foreign financial sources, correct? >> i'm not going to speak to that. >> in july 2017, the president said his personal finances were off limits or outside the purview of your investigation. he drew a "red line" around his personal finances. were the president's personal finances outside the purview of your investigation? >> i'm not growing to get into that. >> were you instructed by anyone not to investigate the president's personal finances? >> no. >> mr. mueller, i'd like to turn your attention to counter intelligence risks associated with lying. individuals can be subject to blackmail if they lie about their interactions with foreign countries, correct? >> true. >> for example, you successfully charged michael flynn of lying to federal agents about his conversations with russian officials, correct?
>> correct. >> since it was outside the purview of your investigation, your report did not address how flynn's false statements could pose a national security risk because the russians knew the falsity of those statements, right? >> i cannot get into that mainly because there's many elements of the fbi that are looking at different aspects of that issue. >> currently. >> currently. >> thank you. as you noted in vol 2, donald trump repeated five times in one press conference in 2016, "i have nothing to do with russia." of course, michael cohen said donald trump was not being truthful because at this time trump was attempts to build trump tower moscow. your report does not address whether or not donald trump was compromised in any way because of any potential false statements that he made about trump tower moscow, correct?
>> that's right. i think that's right. >> director mueller, i want to turn your attention to a couple other issues. you served as fbi director during three presidential elections, correct? >> yes. >> and during those three presidential elections, you have never initiated an investigation at the fbi looking into whether a foreign government interfered in our elections the same way you did in this particular instance, correct? >> i would say i personally, no. but the fbi has. the defense and the attacks that the russians undertook in 2016. >> director mueller, is there any information you'd like to share with this committee that you have not so far today? >> that's a broad question. it would take me awhile to get an answer.
i'm going to say no. >> mr. mueller, you said that every american should pay very close attention to the systematic and sweeping fashion in which the russians interfered in our democracy. are you concerned that we're not doing enough currently to prevent this from happening again? >> i'll speak generally. what i said in my opening statement this morning, and no, much more needs to be done to protect against the intrusions, not just by the russians but others as well. >> thank you, director. >> two five-minute periods remaining. mr. nunes and myself. mr. nunes, you're recognized. >> mr. mueller, it's been a long day for you. you've had a long great career. i want to thank you for your long time service starting in vietnam. obviously in the u.s. attorney's
office, department of justice and the fbi. i want to thank you for doing something you didn't have to do. you came here upon your own free will. we appreciate your time today. with that, i yield back. >> thank you, sir. >> mr. mueller, i want to close out my questions, turn to some of text change that you had with mr. welch earlier. i'd like to see if we can broaden the aperture at the end of the hearing. from your testimony today, i gather that you believe that knowingly accepting foreign assistance during a presidential campaign is an unethical thing to do? >> and a crime. >> and a crime. >> yes. and given circumstances. >> and to the degree that it undermines our democracy and our institutions, we can agree that it's also unpatriotic? >> true. >> and wrong. >> true. >> the standard of behavior for
a presidential candidate or any candidate for that matter shouldn't be merely whether something is criminal, should be held to a higher standard. you'd agree? >> i will not get into that because it goes to the standards to be applied by other institutions besides ours. >> i'm just referring to ethical standards. we should hold our elected officials to a standard higher than mere avoidance of criminalality, shouldn't we? >> absolutely. >> you have served this country for decades. you have taken an oath to defend the constitution. you hold yourself to a standard of doing what's right. >> i would hope. >> you have. i think we can all see that. befitting the time, i'm sure your reward will be unending criticism. but we're grateful. the need to act in an ethical
manner is not just a moral one but when people act unethically, it exposes them to compromise. particularly in dealing with foreign powers. is that true? >> true. >> when someone acts inethically, that foreign partner can later expose their wrong doing and extort them. >> true. >> that conduct, the unethical conduct can be of a financial nature. am i right? >> yes. >> it can also involve deception if you're lying about something that can be exposed and you can be blackmailed. >> also true. >> in the case of michael flynn, he was secretly doing business with turkey, correct? >> yes. >> and that could open him up to compromise that financial relationship. >> i presume. >> he also lied about his discussions with the russian ambassador. since the russians were on the other side of the conversation,
they could expose that, could they not? >> yes. >> you have a presidential candidate that was doing business in russia and saying he wasn't. russians could expose that too, could they not? >> i leave that to you. >> let's look at dimitri peskov, someone that the trump organization was in dealings with to make that happen. your report indicates that michael cohen had a long conversation with someone from his office, presumably the russians could record that conversation, could they not? >> yes. >> so if candidate trump said i had no dealings, they could expose that? >> yes. >> that's counter intelligence -- >> and the need for a strong counter intelligence entity. >> it does indeed. and when this was revealed that
there were these communications not withstanding the president's denials, the president was confronted about this and he said two things. first of all, that's not a crime. i think you and i have already agreed that shouldn't be the standard, right, mr. mueller? >> true. >> a second thing you said is why should i miss out on those opportunities? why indeed? why should you miss out on making that money was the import of that statement. were you ever able to ascertain whether donald trump still intends to build that tower when he leaves office? >> is that a question? >> were you able to ascertain? he wouldn't answer your questions completely whether or not or if he ever ended that desire to build that tower? >> i'm not going to speculate on that. >> if president was concerned
that he lost his election, he didn't want to miss out on that money, might he have the same concern about losing his -- >> speculation. >> the difficulty with this is we're all left to wonder whether the president is representing us or his financial interests. that includes my questions. mr. nunes, you have any concluding remarks? >> thank you for your service and thank you for leading this investigation. the facts you set out in your report and gone over today tell a disturbing tale of a massive russian intervention in our election of a campaign so driven by agreed that it was willing to accept the help of a hostile foreign power and a presidential election decided by a handful of
votes in a few key states. you say that they risked going to jail by lying to you, to the fbi and to congress about it and indeed some have gone to jail over such lies. you work speaks of a president that obstructed justice and many other prosecutors had it been anyone else in the country, they would have been indicted. not withstanding the many things you have addressed today and in your report, there were some questions you couldn't answer given the constraints that you're operating under. you would not tell us whether you would have indicted the president but for the olc opinion that you could not. so the justice department will have to make that decision when the president leaves office. both as to the crime of obstruction of justice and as to the campaign that individual one directed and coordinated and for which michael cohen went to jail. you would not tell us whether
the president should be impeach, nor did we ask you since it's our responsibility to determine the proper remedy for the conduct outlined in your report. whether we decide to impeach the president in the house or we do not, we must take any action necessary to protect the country while he's in office. you would not tell us the results or whether other bodies looked into russian compromise in the form of money laundering, so we must do so. you would not tell us whether the counter intelligence investigation revealed whether people still serving in the administration pose a risk of compromise and should never have been given a security clearance. so we must find out. we did not bother to ask whether financial inducements from any gulf nations were influencing this u.s. policy since it's outside the four corners of your report so we must find out. one thing is clear from your
report, your testimony, russia's massively intervened in 2016 and they're prepared to do so again in voting that is set to begin a mere eight months from now. the president seems to welcome the help again and so we must make all efforts to harden our elections infrastructure, to ensure there's a paper trail for all voting and to deter the russians from meddling and when they disrupt it, make them pay. protecting the sanctity of our elections. accepting foreign help is dislocal to our country, unethical and wrong. we cannot control what the russians do, not completely, but we can decide what we do. and that the century's old experiment called democracy is
worth cherishing. director mueller, thanks for being here today. before i adjourn, i'd like to excuse you and mr. zebley. everyone else please remain seated. >> that wraps up another almost three hours of testimony in front of the house intelligence committee. asked about russian interference. bob mueller said this wasn't a single attempt. they're doing it as we sit here. adding many more countries are developing that capability to try to replicate what the russians have done to our country as the adjustment just happens. he said more needs to be done to protect against these types of intrusions. mueller asked about trump's statements praising wikileaks and his attempts to get hillary clinton's e-mails. he said they were problematic and giving a boost to what should be illegal behavior.
asked about this investigation, he said it was not a witch hunt. however, he batted back any efforts to go down the roads heading to the beginnings or origin of this investigation, refused to comment on some things in the report like the fact that michael cohen never traveled to prague despite published records he had. several democrats had reacted to this earlier testimony calling it painful. martha, another painful moment came when mueller attempted to answer a simple question from congressman welch. mueller found that there was no collusion between the trump campaign and the russians. mueller said they don't call it collusion. he couldn't find the word. conspiracy, that he was searching for, that they did not find evidence of criminal conspiracy. he did not move forward with indictments. matching the earlier hearing. democrats come out of this politically licking their wounds for this moment of testimony. >> yeah, bret, a lot of grasping
at straws today. i'm not sure we're in any different position now in terms of what we know or the way america feels about all of this than we were beforehand. democrats might want a do-over or ignore this. rely on the report. which exists and they rely on that till now. robert mueller did precious little to move the ball ford ward to anybody that is interested in impeachment. even republicans were concerned this would be a dud. they thought it would be a dud for the reason that he was going to stay so strictly within the four corners of this report, right? that's what we kept hearing. he was going to be so adherent to the report and spewing back to everybody what is in the report. he was not able to answer questions with authority or ownership of the report. that's a difficult things for
them to get passed here. a lot of talk about financial efforts by the trump campaign and financial gains on paul manafort and mike flynn. efforts for trump moscow, all of that. they didn't establish there was any quid pro quo in those moments. mueller, as you said, struggled with the world collusion, which is that is what that is about. which is whether or not there were deals made or deals or promises made to say if we're elected we'll lift the sanctions. they were not able to square the circle on any of that. i think that leaves us pretty much where we started here at the beginning of this morning. i thought one last thing with nunes and ratcliffe, basically at some point it's like we're in a courtroom. they said thank you, i rest my case. they didn't need to hear mueller say anymore that he couldn't answer their questions or it wasn't in his purview.
>> they exited the stage because they thought they won perhaps. >> absolutely. >> we're back with our panel now. juan, katie, andy, trey gowdy. katie, your 30,000 feet view of both hearings. >> first off, the lawmakers accepted him saying this is not in my purview. they let him go away with a lot. there was a lot that he was asked about directly, the steele dossier being one of them, the reports said it was unverified. robert mueller didn't want to answer questions about that. and there were questions about why joseph misfoot was not indicted when the associates in the trump campaign were. he was mentioned 83 times and lawmak lawmak lawmakers didn't push him. big picture.
robert mueller was brought by democrats to push forward a narrative that the president was guilty. they didn't get that. they wanted to move forward with impeachment. they didn't get that. the question is now where do democrats go from here. after two years of saying that robert mueller's world is the final say, getting the report and continuing to claim there's collusion and evidence hiding in plain sight as schiff has said, none of that has come to fruition. will they go down the russia hole or go to the issues that americans care about and the 2020 campaign trail where this will really matter, how will candidates deal with this question of impeachment and how to deal with the russian meddling issue. >> the next debate is in detroit this week. >> so juan, what do democrats do with the russia probe? >> i think they keep going. i don't think they're going to stop. i don't think they'll have more momentum for impeachment.
you have to consider, i think this is like an unexploded weapon munition. didn't go off. the fireworks didn't occur today. democrats had hoped that mueller would be more forthcoming. >> where would they occur if they didn't occur today? >> that's what i said, they would have occurred today. now we have a break over the august recess and i think that will come back in the fall. politics will be all the more in the air. i think today it was -- republicans want to undermine bob mueller. that's what the president had been doing, calling witch hundred hopes. in some sense, you'll hear that mueller wasn't the author of this effort. you'll hear that he didn't appear to be familiar with elements of his own report. i would point out to you the fact that he appeared so frail, martha, bret, does not say that there's an ongoing effort to interfere in american elections. when he points out no, i didn't
see any evidence here of efforts to somehow barely taint this president to the contrary, he said it's not a hoax. he had trouble. i come back to something that bret said. conspiracy. collusion. he would -- trying to say that actually the law is about conspiracy. he couldn't bring it to mind. to me this is a sad moment for bob mueller. someone i know. when he was fbi director, i thought it was a sad end note. it's not the case that therefore the entirety has been proven to be all about partisan or all about madness. they said exoneration. you can't exonerate any more than you can create him into anderson cooper. that was mockery and unfair. >> trey gowdy, democrats today are not closer to impeachment than yesterday. >> no. they're not closing to anything other than wishing this never happened. bad facts made for bad
witnesses. bad witnesses make forbade hearings. this was a failure. the person that learned more about the mueller report is bob mueller. i'll say that sadly. he was not engaged. he didn't interview the witnesses. he clearly didn't write the report, which means those under him did, which means the issue of bias is all the more important. it was a terrible day if you were a democrat. i do want to give them credit for this. that managed to have a hearing would calling a convicted felon as a witness. i don't want us to overlook that. >> the michael cohen hearing may have been more interesting. >> qvc was more interesting than what i watched today. terrible. >> i'm stunned by the -- not just mueller's lack of preparation but the seeming lack of preparation or lack of information that the committee seems to have had about the
status of this witness and his fitness to give his testimony. i say that in sadness. mueller has had an iconic law enforcement career. this was really pedalled as impeachment round one or the most important round of impeachment. when mueller gave his statement on may 29th, he said the constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrong doing. piggybacking off that, thattedlered -- chairman nadler of the judicialry committee began saying that process, the process that mueller was talking about on may 29th begins with the work of this committee. he was clearly talking about the work of this committee today. >> were you surprised it didn't go to aaron zebley, the deputy special counsel? he was sworn in for this house intelligence committee. >> i was surprised that the
democrats didn't toward the end of the hearing. but i just think at a certain point, as martha pointed out, the republicans signals that this was over. they had won. >> let's listen here. a live look of bob mueller leaving. we don't have the sound. he's had a lot of questions to answer today already. stand by. let's go to sol wisenberg, also a fox news contributor. sol, your thoughts and what you heard from bob mueller. >> i'm reminded of an old line about barry gold water during the 1964 campaign that he appears to be a casual student of his own works. i agree with the analysis that that is very damaging and will feed into a theory that he was
co opted by people in his office that were more idealogically biassed than he was. with respect to how it went, i think we have to wait until the dust settles. you never know how the populous will respond to this, the people watching, the people that didn't know much about the report, how it's reported by various press outlets. some of the democrats, particularly in the first hearing, made points by focusing on facts. i'm talking about the obstruction part of his report. facts that people might not be aware of. let's not talk about whether or not if you weren't president, we would -- anybody would be indicted that did this. that's very debatable. just going over some of the facts of what president trump did, if you didn't know about that, the questioners that stayed on focus made points, i think. so i tend to agree that this is not going to move the needle but
you never know for sure. >> i was struck by one of the questions, a democratic congressman that talked about bringing indictments after he leaves office and the statute of limitations, that if he gets elected to a second term, they would run out and he would be above the law. your thoughts about that? >> i don't believe that there's any tolling of the statute. because he's president. congress could do that, they could pass a statue to that effect. i'm unaware of one in existence and i don't believe they can indict him under seal. that is a possibility. most of these crimes have a five-year statute of limitation. that could happen. people have talked about that's one of the reasons -- really don't think it's the reason but one of the reasons he's running for re-election is for that
reason, that the statute of limitations will run out. >> the trump people say there's other reasons to win the second term. we'll see. >> let's bring in ken starr. it occurred to me watching adam schiff and listening to his closing comments, president that the president said about this whole endeavor, in is that he felt it was backlash because he had such a surprise win. you know, all the circumstances that we heard about today, all of this happened during the campaign still would have happened if hillary clinton had won. would we be digging into this investigation in the same way if hillary clinton were president and donald trump had lost? >> no, the entire set of issues would have gone away. i thought it was very intriguing the tone of this afternoon's hearing turned to almost ethics, morality and the like as opposed to there were crimes committed. so i think there was a clear movement away from the dynamic
toward impeachment. i agree with sol. obviously we have to see what the people's reaction is. how can the people be rising up in righteous indignation and say the president must step down in light of what we heard today? no one in his or her right mind will be claiming that. i will say this. one of the most revealing things about this afternoon's hearing and it was remarkable to hear bob mueller reply to the issue of why did you not insist on interviewing the president? sol is famous for having interviewed president clinton. but he was interviewed only as a result of this kind of process that bob mueller described. it was a bit surprising to me that those were hostile to the president, didn't show a little bit more, shall i say, energy and they're saying you didn't do your job. there was some unanswered
questions and so forth, but you wouldn't press the envelope. the only response was, the balance of it would take too much time. when you think about that, that's a -- at one level it's admirable. at another level, it's quite weak. why would you not press to the very end to say we've got to have your testimony because this really is about you? and that's one of the huge take-aways that bob mueller saw fit not to press it but at the same time to issue this very questionable, as we have discussed earlier, observation about we're not exonerating him. perhaps that is his pay-back to the president. >> as independent counsel, you move forward about articles of impeachment on president clinton. there's not that recommendation in in report. bob mueller wouldn't talk about that possibility. yet democrats, a lot of them, point to this as this road map.
where do you think that stands today as opposed to yesterday? >> just about where we were. i certainly don't think, as i think a number of us have said, that the ball, for those that favor impeachment and dog gone it, made their plot fails. because one of the things that adam schiff said that is so relevant is we're 80 days from the first votes in a presidential election year. so allow this process to work. it's one of the reasons that the politics of impeachment just are not working out, even with the president's unfavorables being higher than he would like going to a re-elect year, the sentiment in favor of impeaching him for his ethics and that's what we heard today, was that this afternoon, the ethics, the morality, the greed, the other considerations didn't justify even launch an impeachment
inquiry. we were not hearing about there's definite proof of crime as there was during the clinton investigation. >> all right. thank you. let's bring in catherine herridge live outside the hearing room. catherine? >> martha, there were a handful of major headlines. special counsel robert mueller clarified his earlier testimony saying they reached no determination on whether there was criminal action by the president in terms of obstruction of justice. devin nunes put new information into the record about the genesis of the russia probe. he said this did not come official, from official intelligence from the network of intelligence agencies, including the u.s. he said it was not an official intelligence product. he said it was a tip from a foreign politician. finally, new information about the -- sort of the thought process for the special counsel as to whether they would subpoena the president to do an
in-person interview. robert mueller said that this was a decision that they decided against because they thought it would be too time consuming and he was conscious of wrapping up this investigation in an expeditious manner. having covered robert mueller for two decades, first as the fbi director and now special counsel and here on capitol hill virtually every piece of testimony that he has done, i have never seen him lack the energy and the grit that has been so synonymous with his tenure as director, martha. >> catherine, thank you. catherine herridge outside of the hearing room there. >> just moments ago, the president weighing in via twitter with one line. saying truth is a force of nature. obviously weighing in throughout the day. watching some of this, we don't know how much. he probably feels vindicated after this hearing today or at least he's suggesting that.
the campaign and the rnc putting out statements saying that today was a disaster for democrats as one would imagine. >> let's get final thoughts here around the table. i thought it was interesting, tray, that adam schiff brought up the campaign finance issue, which seems to have all but dropped by the southern district of new york. he wants to carry the torch forward as he said. might be difficult at this point. >> that's called a hail mary pass. adam had him in prison and then jail and now he's down to maybe an ethical lapse. so adam, who once had these grand blands to see the president in handcuffs is now giving us ethics and morality lessons. it's been a terrible two years from him culminating in an even worse hearing. >> quick thoughts, katie. >> special counsel robert mueller didn't want to answer questions about the steele dossier and the origins of this investigation. as why move forward, the inspector general is looking into that. he's interviewing a number of
witnesses including christopher steele. he will have lots to say. we'll see what started all of this at some point in the future. >> juan? >> wasn't it telling that devin nunes seemed exuberant. we saw from the president's tweet that he feels it's a winning day for him. for the democrats, they would say what sol was picking up on, let's look at the facts. look at the facts of obstruction or potential conspiracy here. it's not that he was clearly as bill bar had said, no obstruction, no collusion. that that was a bit much. so the facts that have to carry the day because the optics of this day did not work for the democrats. >> bill barr said that he was surprised that he didn't have any finding when it came to the obstruction, andy. >> yeah, we move away from the politics of impeachment to the politics of the investigation and the investigation of the investigators. this hearing launches us into an inquiry into mueller's staff.
>> thank you, panel. long day of coverage. thanks for watching our special coverage on fox news channel. >> "shepard smith reporting" starts right now with breaking news out of puerto rico. see you tonight. >> shepard: more on mueller in the next hour. first, i'm shepard smith in new york. there's major news developing out of puerto rico. the government is in crisis, the island in disarray. the people in full rebellion and the governor facing widespread calls for him the step down immediately. an hour ago, we learned that he will be convening his cabinet at 4:00 eastern time. so less than ten minutes from now to discuss with them the path forward. multiple sources tell fox news, and i'm quoting, it's over. just a matter of time. early a spokesperson said incorrect rumors had been circulating. no public appearances by the
governor. all of that drama coming as protesters take to the streets of san what you for the 12th straight day. the local newspaper or the new day, reports a special committee of lawyers today found that there's evidence of five crimes by the governor. four of them serious, including embezzlement. the vote unanimous. whether there's an actual criminal as is meant is the matter for the coming days. last night the newspaper first reported that the governor would resign imminently. by midnight, protesters were celebrating as they read and heard the news. thousands of people have been demonstrating every day the past 12. they began after hundreds of pages of leaked documents showed the governor and his team making
homophobic comments. the protesters say it's not about those messages specifically. it's about governor rossello's corrupt government. demonstrators, including the president, have called for the governor to go. thus far, he's insisted he will stay put. but that he won't run for re-election in the next year. that was his compromise. it did not go over well in puerto rico. on monday, he appeared on this program for the first interview since the scannedle broke. he's not spoken with local media at all. governor rossello said he will focus on the island's issues, recover from the storm, corruption and reconciliation but will not step down. >> there's another effort that needs to move forward, which is the battling of corruption. look, we have implemented -- >> the corruption was in your
own administration, $15.5 million and five people on those chats, you got rid of all of them. they're now out of the government but you remain. doesn't the buck stop with your office, governor? >> that's right. but i was elected by the people of puerto rico -- >> and those people are on the streets of your biggest city today saying we want you out. that's a headline. >> the main newspaper. the politicians on both sides on your own island are saying the exact same thing. you're a man on an island by yourself. how long can you stay there? >> my effort and my commitment is to follow-through on some of the efforts that i establish for the people of puerto rico. >> shepard: that was monday, this is wednesday. there's numerous reports that today is the day. we reached out to the governor today for another interview. so far we have not heard back. our team's on the ground in san juan and beyond are hearing that the process could move very quickly. team fox coverage from san juan. jeff paul is live inside the
governor's mansion. you can see a podium set up there. we're expecting announcements. waiting for him to come out with new information. first to bryan llenas with protesters on the street. bryan? >> you can hear the protesters behind me. we're in front of the governor's house. this has been the front line for the last 12 days of protests. the people here right now have been banging their drums. ricky, renounce. we are more and we are not afraid. you can tell last night for the last 15 hours, there's been lots of rumor and speculation throughout the entire island. everyone plugs in. the largest newspaper here on the island, first reporting yesterday that this was an imminent decision. governor rossello would resign.
but when everybody heard that news erupted. it was a celebratory dance. the people were banging on their pots and pans with their spoons and out here feeling as though they had accomplished something. you speak to the people in this crowd as we had been over the last 12 days. they'll tell you that this has always felt different. that these texts, these group texts with the governor, was the tip of the iceberg. all it did was validate that they knew about their government, that it was corrupt, stealing from them, rampant mismanagement. so yesterday when they first got wind that this resignation could be i'ment, ever since then there was a feeling of celebration. people are waiting to explode here. at the same time, i got to say, there's hesitation. there has been hesitation. is this going to happen? you talk to a lot of people including bad buddy, a famous
rapper from twitter. he's from puerto rico. they keep saying, is this a trick? people say they're used to being trick bad i think administration. a feeling as though i believe it when i see it when it comes to the resignation. that's why people are still waiting. how is he going to do it? we heard from our sources that rossello was going to bring out a prerecorded message. now we're having a press conference, we'll hear from the governor first hand. we'll see that. the people are waiting with anticipation and see how they react. >> shepard: were the governor to step down, bryan, by the constitution, it's my understanding that the secretary of state would be the next in line for the governor's role. yet the people have been demonstrating against the secretary of state as well. >> right. so because of the constitution, the line of succession after the governor is the secretary of
state. guess what? the secretary of state was implicated in that group chat. there's no secretary of state next in line. secretary of justice, wanda vazquez. will she take the position? according to the constitution she will be the interim governor. >> shepard: a lot to decide. jeff paul stepped out of the governor's mansion. has the cabinet convened yet, jeff? >> yeah, shep. we're waiting on that to happen. we heard some reports that it could happen around 4:00. that's a few minutes away. we don't know what this gathering is about. we gave up our press credentials. we've been waiting to hear what can happen. we'll step out of the way here. we have cars moving through, this is the governor's mansion. this is the first time we've been able to get this close to it. it would seem like something could be happening, some sort of announcement. a well-placed source said it's over, transition well in gear.
again, that's one source. local media reports saying it was supposed to happen within a few hours. so nobody knows what will happen next. truly, the only man that really knows is the person that lives inside here, governor rossello. >> shepard: you were the last reporter to speak with him. when you did speak with the governor, he seemed resolution, did he not? >> yeah, he did not seem like he was going to resign. we asked him a couple times, what would it take? is there anything? take a hard look in the mirror. see what has happened outside the gates. the protests have turned more violent. he seemed adamant that he wouldn't resign. falling back on the fact it was the people that elected him. as we reminded him, tens of thousands that voted for him don't want him in office. the one thing that they want is for him to resign. >> shepard: impeachment process is set to begin. all the wheels are turning in
puerto rico now. one thing that didn't come up in our interview was the power in the democracy comes from the people. the people give that power to govern and to lead. when the people make a decision that they no longer want you to have that power, often in a democracy, there's change. many questions within puerto rico about whether governor rossello had been so surrounded by his own people that he might not have realized the reality that outside of the governor's mansion and outside of his cabinet, there was widespread belief that he must step down. so the people of puerto rico could move forward. with corruption allegations underway. now criminal, at least illegal activity accusations from members of a five-person panel. so now we wait. the cabinet convening and then it's our belief a news conference with the embattled governor of puerto rico. here at home in new york city,
the final bell is ringing on wall street. the dow is down on the session, the s&p 500 is hitting an all-time high. the best in business and we're expecting to hear live from president trump shortly. >> did you actually totally exonerate the president? >> no. >> at any time in the investigation, was it curtailed or stopped? or hindered? >> no. >> did other witnesses lie to you? >> i think there probably is a spectrum of witnesses in terms of those that are not telling the full truth and those are outright liars. >> thanks very much. outright liars. >> you can charge all kinds of people around the president with false statements. but the guy who launches -- the guy that puts this story in motion, you can't charge him. i think that's amazing. >> i'm not certain i agree with your
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