21/05/2017 America this Week


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I didn't hear anything classified but the general concession is it was


a good decision to appoint Mr Mueller. Russia has been severely


limited, probably in inappropriate fashion, so I think a lot of members


want the special counsel to be appointed but don't understand you


are pretty much knocked out of the game and that is probably what it


should be. It was a counterintelligence investigation


before now. It seems to me now to be considered a criminal investigation.


What does that mean for the Congress? I find it hard to subpoena


records of somebody like Mr Flynn who may be subject to a criminal


investigation because he has the right not to incriminate himself. As


for James Comey, the former director of the FBI, coming before the


committee, if I were Mr Mueller, I would jealously guarded the witness


pool. One of the big losers in this decision is the public. We had a


really good hearing with Yates and Clapper where the public could hear


what happened with them. I think that opportunity has been lost,


maybe for the greater good, but there are a lot of people in that


room who are shocked that when a special counsel has been appointed,


that Congress has limitations on what we can do. So I have always


believed that a counterintelligence investigation did not need a special


prosecutor or Council. A criminal investigation might. The deputy


Attorney-General decided to appoint a special counsel at one of the


results of that, the ability of Congress to call people who may be


witnesses in an investigation conducted by Mr Mueller is going to


severely restrict what we can do. Can you confirm it is now a criminal


investigation? I never got to ask my question specifically about that.


But the takeaway I have is that everything he said was that you need


to treat this investigation as if it may be a criminal investigation. I


think the biggest legal change seems to be that Mr Mueller is going to


proceed forward with the idea of a criminal investigation versus the


counterintelligence investigation. There are no facts laid out as to


why you would change that but appointing a special counsel has


created, I think, a dynamic where Congress is going to have to cross


into Mr Mueller lane because of the possibility. Could we get the memo


is requested yesterday? I think Mr Mueller would tell us what we can


get and what we can't. So your investigation will be put on the


back burner. Joe Lieberman's name has now emerged as a contender for


the FBI. One of the winners of this decision is the FBI, because they


don't have to deal with this. Joe Lieberman is a pillar of credibility


and a good choice. Does it take care of your concerns? Yes. Having a


special counsel hurts our country terribly. Anyone is entitled to that


opinion. I would suggest to the President that when one has been


appointed, are that decision, cooperate where appropriate, fight


back when you have the legal ability to do so. I have been through this


before with the Clinton administration. Clinton hired an


individual lawyer to deal with all things related to Mr Starr. If I was


breast and I would focus on defending the nation and getting his


legislative agenda through the Congress. One of the side issues of


this is that Congress has been pretty much sidelined. We can go


back to dealing with legislative matters that affect the American


people. The bottom line here is that the President may not have liked


this decision. It was made. I have questions about it. You couldn't


have picked a better man to do the job. I think most people in that


meeting are generally OK with the idea of a special counsel but what


they don't quite understand yet is I think this decision has really


limited what Congress can do. I find it hard. I would be reluctant to


subpoena someone or document in their possession if I truly believed


they may be subject to a criminal investigation. It is not fair to


them. Did you get a satisfactory explanation from Rod Rosenstein


about why James Comey was fired? I think he viewed the whole process as


something Mr Mueller will speak on. But where are you satisfied with the


explanation you got? What about the firing of former FBI director James


Comey? Rod Rosenstein explained why he wrote the memo and why he thought


what James Comey did was interpreted in that way. What he tasked to write


that memo? I will let you asking that question. We have a special


counsel with all things related to the process of the memo and you will


talk to Mr Mueller about that. I got to go. The deputy


Attorney-General declined to give details concerning James Comey's


dismissal because he is anxious to give wide latitude to Robert Muller


to make a determination about where his investigation should go and what


it should include. As a former prosecutor, I respect that decision.


He did acknowledge he learned James Comey would be removed prior to him


writing his memo. What? He knew that James Comey was going to be removed


prior to him writing his memo. Joe Lieberman has emerged as a top


candidate for FBI director. I think it is a mistake to nominate anyone


who has ever run for office. I have spent a lot of time in law


enforcement. This is a moment when we need a law enforcement


professional that has never campaigned for a presidential


candidate, never campaigned for office, never worn a party label to


head the FBI. What does that take away from the revelation that he


knew that James Comey was going to be fired regardless of his


recommendations? I think the facts speak for themselves. I am not going


to comment any further because we still don't have the facts, we don't


have the documents, we don't have the sworn testimony. He was very


careful about not going into any details surrounding the removal


because he wants to give Robert Mueller the opportunity to make his


independent decision as to where the investigation should go. There were


a lot of questions about him cooperating with the congressional


investigations with the caveat that he is no longer in charge and he


wants to give Robert Mueller the opportunity to do conflict with the


committees of jurisdiction conducting investigations. I think


generally there was a desire to cooperate. Based on the briefing,


this investigation has crossed an important threshold from a CIA case


to a criminal case and that might limit Congress's ability to get


evidence and bring witnesses to testify. Lindsay is a former


prosecutor and I will let his comments speak for themselves. I


sense that a writing desire to make sure that Mueller had complete


discretion to take the investigation when he thought it needed to go.


Did Rod Rosenstein take any responsibility for the firing of


James Comey and the memo that he wrote? If not, where does the


responsibility lie? I think obviously he stressed the


responsibility for the decision lies with the President. It is an


executive branch decision and it was an executive action. His memo was


written within the context of it. You very much avoided giving


specific answers as to circumstances around the writing of the memo and


it did somewhat help, saying that should be the province of Mueller's


investigation. He very much totally backed away from ever going. Did he


tell you that the 8th of May was the day that he knew James Comey would


be terminated. I missed the beginning of his opening statement.


I cannot say for sure he did not say that. Is it your impression based on


the briefing that this has now crossed the threshold from


counterintelligence to a criminal matter? He stressed that this was an


investigation and he didn't go beyond that. Going beyond that would


prejudice people's billion as to the nature of it. There is no


pre-determination that someone committed a crime, just an


investigation. How will the Security Council negatively impact Congress's


ability to investigate? That was never raised. Is it your


understanding that Rod Rosenstein knew that memo would be written. He


has commented that he knew the President had made statements like


that. Having a special counsel could harm our country terribly. Do you


agree? No. What do you make the fact that the President knew that he was


going fire James Comey before he wrote the memo. No action is final


until it is final. You can imagine the President in frustration saying


he wanted to buy the guy but you don't know until it happens. Did the


President direct him to write the memo? I don't recall so I had better


not respond. The President made it his decision to fire James Comey


based on Rod Rosenstein's memo but it turns out that is incorrect. That


was raised as a point and he deferred the rest of the exploration


of that to Mueller. What is your view of the potential domination of


Jolie benign -- Joe Lieberman as FBI director? I had not heard that. The


Democrats said they did not think a politician should be nominated. I


suppose Joe qualifies as a politician but we have to define


politician. We just completed an hour and a half


session with the deputy Attorney-General. I think it helped


inform a lot of the members who may not be on the intelligence committee


and the biggest takeaway for most members was that the appointment of


Bob Mueller as the special counsel, special prosecutor, that the deputy


Attorney-General is going to give him very wisely way, and he


consequently did not answer specifics on any question that was


asked in terms of questions about the memo. I will just leave it at


that and I will take one quick question. Senator Blumenthal just


told us this was becoming a criminal investigation. Is that you'll take


away from the briefing? As someone who is an Intel committee member and


open to more information, I don't want to comment. Can you follow up


on the timing that when Rod Rosenstein you that James Comey


would be fired? We have heard that he knew on the 8th of May. Was that


your understanding? In light of where we are now investigation, we


will have more to say about that but I don't want to comment. Mueller's


investigation will swamp yours. One of the things that I made a very


strong comment on to the deputy Attorney-General was that we had


different purposes and different standards. We are looking at


counterintelligence. The justice department looks more and criminal.


They have a much different standard. There may be factual collaboration


that falls short of full legal collusion. In many ways, our view is


broader than a justice department FBI investigation. You could have


trouble getting access. That is a great question and I got some


clarity. We will need to look at that in terms of de-confection. A


lot of that responsibility was passed on to Mueller. We have talked


about it as soon as possible. Early next week we will get a chance to


sit down. I have no informs at this point that


would in any way indicate that former director comby would be


procluding. Let's realise what happened here. The deputy Attorney


General has appointed a special prosecutor which I called for to


make sure there was, you know, further independence. That special


prosecutor will basically take over what was already happening at the


FBI and at the DOJ. I would be very discouraged if somehow this new


director was going to set out trying to renew special prosecutor... The


special prosecutor would proclude Mr Comey from testifying in public.


Clearly it had been, I believe Mr Coemy's intent to choose a venue and


testify. Nothing really has changed. The scope of the investigation's


still the same, if not broader -- Mr Comey. I could not understand why


there would be any reason why, a few days ago, director Comey's intent


was to testify. My hope is sooner rather than later because congress


breaks in another week. If that opportunity presents itself, I would


like to get it done as soon as possible. Just to confirm, you and


the chairman expect to sit down early next week? That is what I


hope. That is my hope. I think we are going through the normal course


of, how do we get to him but, you know, I can't think of anything that


I wouldn't clear on my schedule to sit down with Mr Muller.


Your take on it? We got through the important briefing with the Attorney


General who's appointed Robert Muller to head up the investigation


into the Russian issue. One of the issues I raised with him is, my


concern that we have multipolicety of congressional committees


investigating this same matter and how can we best coordinate those


activities with director Muller and the FBI so we don't inadvertently


interfere or impede his investigation. Licity of


congressional committees investigating this same matter and


how can we best coordinate those activities with director Muller and


the FBI so we don't inadvertently interfere or impede his


investigation. We understand the important of this investigation and


we don't want to get in the way. It seems with the oversight


investigations, the Judiciary Committees, sub committees of those


committees, that that is a train wreck waiting to happen. I'm hoping


we can get through the majority leader and perhaps the democratic


leader. Some sort of agreement that there will be a single point of


contact so we can facilitate this. The other problem is, we could just


as Welwyn advertently impede an investigation and basically make it


impossible for them to take the matter to court. We don't want to do


that. Were you surprised to learn the President already decided to


fire James Comey? The FBI director serves as the President's pleasure.


My understanding is that that was one of the rationales but not the


complete. Initially the White House said the President made this...


Well, I can't Of the Department of Justice... That wasn't me. I heard


the same thing you heard. You have removed yourself from consideration.


We understand Joe leekerman has appeared at the top of the list. An


acceptable nomination? In a very divided nation's capital and


country, he is the only person that could get 100 votes, he's


universally well respected -- Liebermann. Do you agree that it


could hurt our country? He believes there is no basis to it. Russia was


very much involved in trying to undermine public confidence in our


elections and it's a serious enough matter that we are conducting a


broad by partisan on the committee that I sit on getting access to some


of the most sensitive and raw intelligence that the intelligence


community produces. We are taking this enormously seriously. Are you


suggesting that the scope should be narrowed down for the


investigations? No, I'm p I'm saying there will be a lot of requests made


of the FBI and the Department of Justice as part of this


investigation. So we need to coordinate with director Muller how


we seek witnesses, we seek documents and that sort of thing because you


can imagine if they are getting a multiple request from all sorts of


different committees that it's going to be a lot of confusion. There's


going to be delay. It's not in anybody's interests to delay or


impede or impair this investigation. So the investigation should continue


at the pace and scope that it's currently doing? That's right but we


also node too be focussed on our role. We are not the FBI or the DOJ,


we are conducting oversight investigations and that's our


appropriate role. Has the nature of the investigation changed from


terrorism and if so what are the repercussions? I assume this has


been a counterintelligence investigation primarily, but as the


deputy attorney said, this will be up to director Muller under the


appointment he got. Thank you all very much.


Let me just say briefly, Higham not going to go into the substance of


his answer, except to say, those answers really need to be given to


the American people in public under oath. He should come before the


Judiciary Committee and tell the American people who he's told us in


this setting. I urged him to do so because it is important to the


confidence and trust of the American people in our criminal justice


process. I was disappointed in some of his answers, they were less


forthcoming and specific than I think they should have been but I'm


going to await judgment until I hear more and I'm going to be posing


additional questions to him as we go along. What were some of the biggest


unanswered questions coming out of the meeting? Relating to the


background of his memo, his consultation with others in the


Department of Justice and the reasons for the firing of director


Comey. I'm satisfied that Bob Muller can follow the evidence wherever it


leads, including not only the Trump campaign's possible collusion with


the Russians and interfering but also potential obstruction of


justice by the President of the United States. Are you speaking


specifically Sir to the firing of director Comey? There is mounting


evidence of obstruction of justice, no conclusion yet that there was,


but that evidence needs to be pursued and there are a variety of


pieces of evidence and the firing of director Comey may be one of them.


You are confident that the special counsel is look at the firing of


Comey and whether that was an effort to obstruct justice? The special


counsel must pursue all of the evidence, whether it's the firing of


director Comey or memos that were prepared, other documents and other


witnesses that may have knowledge about the interference in the


election, the collusion that may have happened in the Trump campaign


and potential obstruction. At this point we are talking about potential


and allegations. Bob Muller has the guts and backbone to stand up to


anyone in the Department of Justice, anyone in the Trump administration


who tries to interfere with or inhibit that investigation and I'm


satisfied that we will know whether that's occurring. The response is


given to us -- the responses given to us today indicate that the deputy


Attorney General is very sensitive to the fact that the scope and


mandate has to be unlimited in so far as additional evidence may be


forthcoming related to the Russian meddling or the possible Trump


campaign collusion. Senator, can you clear up something for us. One of


your colleagues said that it's clear after this meeting that this is no


longer a counterintelligence investigation, it's now a criminal


investigation. What is your understanding, is this now a


criminal investigation? Bob Muller is doing a criminal investigation.


The special prosecutor is dog an investigation of criminal


allegations -- doing an investigation of criminal


allegations that are extremely serious, including possible


obstruction of justice and, I emphasise again, no conclusion about


whether there was, but there are a number of pieces of evidence that


indicate there may well have been and the investigation has to follow


that evidence wherever it leads. I'm satisfied that the deputy Attorney


General means what he says in the mandate that he gave that anything


related to those allegations can be pursued and must be pursue and it's


more than just counterintelligence, we are talking here about a criminal


investigation. Your predecessor maintained this afternoon...


(Inaudible) do you think he'd make a good FBI director? I'm not going to


comment on any specific individual until someone is nominated. I


believe in general the nominee for FBI director ought to be someone


with a background and expertise and experience in criminal justice,


preferably a prosecutor and ought to have no political connections or


ties and I believe that the... That would rule out Joe Biebermann. I'm


not ruling anyone out, that's my preference. Just to be clear, you


gave the indication that the President may be under criminal


investigations... No. Only that the evidence needs to be pursued


wherever it leads, not that any individual person is under


investigation. I have no knowledge about what the special prosecutor


may pursue. I was one of the first, if not the first who, asked for


special prosecutor. I told Rob that I would vote against him if he


failed to commit to a point of prosecutor and I did vote against


him. Then I voted against him on the floor and I said to him that I was


glad he was appointed as special prosecutor. The targets of the


investigation and the specific charges at this point are up to the


special prosecutor, I'm not presuming that anyone is a target,


including the President of the United States. There may be others


who are not even known at this point. Senator Blumenthal, did the


deputy Attorney General did his commitment that he'll have the


resources he needs? He did. I asked him specifically and he presumed


that he would. That was a very important point because I said the


special prosecutor has to have the independence, resources and


unlimited mandate to follow the evidence. Thank you, Sir. I'm going


to make a very brief statement and that will be it. First, if one thing


is clear from the meeting we just had, it is that Mr Muller has broad


and wide ranging authority to follow the facts wherever they go and that


gives me some confidence and should give the American people some


confidence because he is a man of great integrity and experience.


Second, after this meeting, it's clear as ever that the intelligence


committee in the senate has to continue its work and it should


continue full throttle ahead. And the immediate for former director


Comey to come testify in public soon is as great as ever. Thank you.


Earlier in the week, President Don Donald Trump delivered the United


coastguards commencement address. During his remarks after the special


counsel to lead the Russia investigation, he criticised the


media saying no-one has ever been treated unfairly. His remarks are


half an hour. Thank you very much. Thank you,


John. Thank you.


Thank you and congratulations to the class of 2017 - great job. General


Kelly, I want to thank you for your leadership as the coastguards


service secretary. You've really been something very, very special to


us as a country and to me in our administration -- and our


administration. You've done through the your entire life, an incredible


job defending your country. The thank you very much, John.


And John and all of his folks are also doing an incredible job


protecting our homeland and our border, and I am thrilled that my


first address to the service academy is at the graduation ceremony.


Believe me, it is a great honour. I have been here before and it is a


very special place. Every cadet graduated today, as your


Commander-in-Chief, it is truly my honour to welcome you aboard. And


you should take a moment to celebrate this incredible


achievement. Governor Molloy, thank you for being here. We are glad you


could join us and I know how busy the governors are now. They are out


there fighting. It is never easy. Budgets are little tired but we are


doing a job. All of a sudden a job working together. I so want to


welcome the Admiral and his leadership. His leadership has been


amazing. Today's graduates will be fortunate to serve under such


capable and experienced comment on. He really is fantastic. Thanks also


to the academy superintendent. Admiral, I understand you come from


a true coastguard family. Two brothers, nephew, cousin, have all


passed through these halls. That's very impressive. I guess you like


the place. Somebody in your family has been doing something right, I


can tell you that. I am sure that they all are very proud, just as we


are very proud of the fine young officers who are graduating today,


Admiral, on your watch. I would also like to take this opportunity to


express our appreciation to all of the parents and grandparents and


family members who have supported these amazing graduates. Give your


parents and everyone at hand. Come on.


APPLAUSE Because America has families like


yours and will keep all of those families safe and very, very secure.


They are keeping your family safe. If you are not already, you are


about to become militarily families. So starting today, I hope you feel


the full gratitude of our nation. These fine young cadets are about to


take their rightful place on the front line of defence for the United


States of America. Cadets, you deserve not only the congratulations


but the gratitude of each and every American, and we all salute you. A


proud nation. And you are part of a very, very proud nation, which


salutes the 195 cadets at the coastguard academy class of 2017.


Good job. And I understand from the Admiral is that this has been a very


special class. You have been trained here to handle the toughest of


situations, the hardest moments, really, that you can experience, and


the hardest in people's lives to help the week in their hour of need.


But even for the coastguard, this class has been exceptionally


dedicated to public service. You served breakfast at the local food


bank every single weekday. You rebuilt a home with Habitat for


Humanity. Last year you lead cadets in donating a total of 24,000 hours,


a lot of time, to community service. You have done amazing work and in


the true coastguard fashion, you had fewer people and fewer resources,


but you accomplished the objectives and you did it with skill and with


pride and I would like to say under budget and ahead of schedule. We are


doing a lot of that now at the United States government. We are


doing a lot of that. I won't talk about how much I saved you on the F


35 fighter jet. I won't even talk about it. Or how much we are about


to save you on the Gerald Ford, the aircraft carrier, which had a bit of


an overrun problem before I got here. It will still have an overrun


problem. We came in when it was finished but we are going to save


some good money. When we build the new aircraft carriers, they are


going to be built under budget and ahead of schedule. Just remember


that. That will allow us to build more. Now of course there are always


a few slip-ups from time to time, you know that. For example, I


understand that once or twice first-class cadet Bruce came... Wary


as Bruce? -- where is Bruce? Bruce, how do you do this to yourself? As


regimental parking officer, you might accidentally have caused a few


tickets to be issued or a few of your cars to be booted. Bruce, what


is going on with you? Cadets, from this day forward, we want everyone


to have a clean slate in life, that includes Bruce, right? So for any


oversights or small violations that might have occurred this year, as


tradition demands, I hereby absolve every cadet for every minor


offensive. Bruce, stand up again, Bruce. They saved you because they


all wanted me to do that, OK? Thank you, Bruce. Congratulations, Bruce.


Good job. By the way, Bruce. Don't worry about it. That is a tradition.


I was forced to do that. You know that. Don't worry. This is truly an


amazing group of cadets that are here to date for commission. You


could have gone to school anywhere you want it and with very, very few


responsibilities by comparison. Instead you chose the path of


service. You chose hard work, high standards, and a very noble mission


to save lives, defend the homeland, and protect America's interests


around the world. You chose the coastguard. Good choice. Good


choice. You've learned skills they don't teach at other schools right


here in the grounds of this academy and also on the larger campus, the


open sea. That is a large, large campus. A beautiful campus. But the


greatest lesson you have learned... I am very, very pleased to welcome


him today. He will introduce some of our policies for this election. It


kind of feels like the only way is down now! Thank you so much for


coming to today's launch of the cat guarantee. It sets out what the


Green Party elected to the House of Commons would stand up for on your


behalf. These are big and these are bold ideas that with the right


political will are possible. They are about building a confident and


caring Britain and a future that we can all be proud of.


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