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tv   Attorney General Testifies on Justice Dept. Oversight Matters  CSPAN  October 21, 2021 10:11am-3:52pm EDT

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hearing, both the questions that have been put on the table and questions to follow will put us to work. i want to thank secretaries cardona and becerra for the work you're doing in this challenging time and for having this conversation with us. we look forward to working with you both as we help students, families, educators both get through the pandemic but also grapple with the challenges we discussed today so our schools can get stronger, and many of the issues we talked about are about schools but also quality life in the community. and we'll leave this program here. you can finish watching at c-span.org. live now to the house judiciary committee for testimony by attorney general merrick garland. this is live coverage here on c-span3.
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>> i'm going to countdown to start, four, three, two, one. you can begin. house committee on judiciary will come to order. without objection the chair is authorized to declare recesses of the committee at any time. welcome everyone to this morning's hearing and oversight of the department of justice. before we begin i would like to remind members we have established an e-mail address and distribution list dedicated to circulating exhibits, motions or other materials members might want to offer as part of our hearing today. fuld like to submit materials please distribute them and we'll circulate them to members and staff as quickly as we can.if y materials please distribute them and we'll circulate them to members and staff as quickly as we can. also face conversation are required for all meetings in enclosed space such as committee hearings except when you are
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recognized to speak. i will now recognize myself in opening statement. good morning mr. attorney general, and thank you for appearing before our committee today. in the department of justice performance as it should it is champion of bill of rights, protector of rule of law and corner isotope of institution it is a make up the republic. as attorney general you have the responsibility to keep the department functioning at this high level, preserving the constitution for our children and our children's children. you have assumed this enormous responsibility at a crossroads in our nation's history. for four years democratic institutions that you have sworn to protect, versus a judge and now as attorney general were deeply undermined by the former president and his political enablers. during that time the trump administration leveraged the department to protect the president and his friends and to punish his enemy, both real and e imagined. and when the former president lost the last election, he
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summoned the top law enforcement officers in the country and demanded they use the full power of the federal government to install him for another term. trump's plan failed. at least in part because at least some department officials refused to help him overturn the election. even now however, the ex-president and his allies continue to cast doubt on the last election and appear to be drafting a plan to overturn the next one. and next time we may not be so lucky. your task as attorney general is unenviable judge garland. it must build back confidence and respect for the constitution and rule of law. and it is not enough just to right the ship. as a chief law enforcement officer of our nation it is also your responsibility to help the country understand and reckon with the violence and the lawlessness of the last
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administration while maintaining the department's prosecutorial independence. january 6th, insurgents stormed the capitol building in what appears to be a pre-planned organized assault on our government. seeking to overturn the votes of their fellow americans and believing in the lie told them by president trump and his followers. i commend the department for doing the important work of bringing those responsible for the violence of january 6th to justice. i ask only that you continue to follow the facts in the law where they lead. because although you have rightly brought hundreds of charges with those who physically trespassed in the capitol, the evidence suggests you will soon have hard decisions to make about those who organized and incited the attack in the first place. and we must acknowledge the simple truth, that none of the individual who is attacked the capitol of that day appeared out of thin air. according to the southern poverty law center, membership in white nationalist groups grew
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55 percent in the trump presidentedsy. membership in hate groups overall remains historically high. the covid-19 epidemic as with many national crises brought out both the best and the worst of our fellow americans. while every day heroes struggled to save lives and keep people safe, anti-asian hate crimes and hate incidents skyrocketed. innocent people lost their lives and communities were shattered. i know doj and its components are cree to biden administration's national strategy for countering violent extremism and i'm looking forward to hearing more about how doj is working to prevent violent extremists from gaining further foothold in our country. this growth in extremist ideologies echoed in an epidemic and violence and intimidation directed at healthcare professionals, teachers, essential workers, school board members and election workers. to be clear, we are a country that prizes democratic involvement in every level of
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government. the right to be heard to have a voice is guaranteed by the constitution. but nobody has the right to threaten his or her fellow citizens with violence. you were absolutely right to ask the fbi and federal prosecutors to meet with local law enforcement agencies and set up dedicated lines of communication so that we can confront this spike in violence head on. a broader pattern here. in each of these cases the rise of president trump's big lie growing violence, same set of individuals have leveraged the same sort of misinformation, stoked the same sort of grievances and showed remarkably little interest in solving our problems. but this country and your tenure as attorney general cannot be defined only by the outrages of the last four years. we have much more to do to deliver on our nation's fundamental process of liberty and justice for all.
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black and brown americans deserve to live in a country where they can trust the local police departments will protect, not endanger, their families. i applaud you for taking steps to limit these chokeholds and no-knock warrants, and we must continue to work together to address the issues that allow for our criminal justice system to so disproportionately impact people of color. across the country, state legislatures are restricting the right to vote in service of the most cynical political motives. your department has rightly stepped in to secure our next election. and congress owes you a voting rights restoration act that will give you the tools you need to consign these nakedly undemocratic efforts to the dust bin of history where they belong. similarly, texas law to ban abortion after six weeks and punish abortion providers is designed to restrict its citizens constitutionally protected rights. it does so by offering to pay a bounty to those who turn in
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their neighbor, coworkers or even strangers if they suspect someone violated the law or helped a woman get an abortion after six weeks. this deliberately creates an atmosphere of fear and suspicion and stops women from seeking help. the as dangerous law repugnant to the constitution, and i thank you for the department's swift action to protect these essential rights. we cannot become a country where only some people in some states enjoy their constitutional rights. as attorney general, you have the power to help our country navigate the generational trauma of oppression and move past the challenges of the last four years. thank you again for appearing before us today. i look forward to your testimony. i now recognize the ranking member of the judiciary committee. the gentlemen from ohio mr. jordan for his opening statement. >> thank you mr. chairman. the chairman just said the trump doj was political and went after their opponents. are you kidding me? three weeks ago the national
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school board association writes president biden asking him to involve the fbi in local skoorbd matters. five days later, the attorney general of the united states does just that.five days later, general of the united states does just that. kpaikt exactly what a political organization asked to be done. five days. we've said, republican on the committee have sent the attorney general 13 letters in the last six months. takes weeks and months to get a response. 8 of the letters we've got nothing. they just gave us the finger, said we're not going to get back to you. and all letters were actually sent to the attorney general. here is a letter sent to someone else asking for a specific thing to be done and in five days the attorney general does it. here is what the october 4th memo said. i'm directing the fbi to convene meetings are local leaders. these meetings will open dedicated lines of communication for threat reporting. dedicated lines of communication for threat reporting. a snitch line on parents. started five days after a left wing political organization
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asked for it. that's not politically, i don't know what is. where is the dedicated lines of communication with local leaders regarding our southern border, something that frankly is a federal matter? where is the dedicated lines of communication on violent crime in cities. violent crime went up in every major urban area where democrats have defunded police. can't do that. to biden administration is going to go after parent who is object to some racist hate america curriculum. nope. can't focus on the southern border where 1.7 million illegal encounters have happened this year alone. a record. a record number. ms-13 can just waltz right across the boarder. but the department of justice, they are going to open up a snitch line on parents. think about this. the same fbi merrick garland is directing to open up
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communication to report on parents just a few years ago spied on --. hired fusion gps, hired christopher steel. put a bunch of garbage together. gave that to the fbi, they use they had a a basis to open up investigation into a presidential campaign. and then mr. zusman. worked at perkins qb. the firm hired by the campaign. cut out the middle men. i'm going directly to the fbi. and not just anyone at the fbi. who? jim baker, the chief council at the fbi handed him a bunch of false information, told him false information and of course he's been diet indicted by the special counsel. few weeks ago the ig at the department of justice released report that found the fbi maid over 200 errors, omissions and lies in just 29 randomly selected fisa applications but don't worry, the attorney general of the united states just put them in charge of a dedicated line of communication to report on parents who attend
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school board meetings. mr. chairman, americans are afraid. for the first time during my years in public office, first time. i talked to the good folks i get the privilege of representing in the fourth district of ohio, folks all around the country. they tell me for the first time they fear their government. and frankly i think it is obvious why. every liberty we enjoy in the first amendment has been assaulted in the last year, stop and think about it. americans were told you couldn't go to church, couldn't go to work. couldn't go to school. small business owners we are told you are not essential, close your doors, causing many to go bankrupt. we were given curfews, stay-at-home orders. last fall in ohio you had to be in your home at ten. in pennsylvania in your home you had to wear a mask. in vermont you didn't have to have a mask because you weren't allowed to have friends and family over. and of course there is always a
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double standard with the folks. folks who make the rules never seem to follow'em. and now the biden administration says gets a vaccine or lose your job. even if you have had covid and have natural immunity, get a vaccine or you will lose your job. oh, i almost forgot. the biden administration also wants another dedicated line of communication for reporting. they want a second snitch line. they want banks to report on every single transaction over $600 for every single american to the irs. the irs, that agency with its stellar record of customer service t irs, you know, the same irs that targeted conservatives the last time joe biden was in the executive branch. jefferson said once tyranny is when the people fear the government. we're there. sadly people are there. but i don't think the good people of this great country are going to cower and hide.
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i think you memo mr. attorney general was the last straw. i think it was the catalyst for a great awakening that is just getting started. pilots at southwest airlines, the chicago police union, parents ad school board meetings. americans are pushing back because americans value freedom. few weeks ago, terry mcauliffe said this. "i don't think parents should be telling schools what to teach." when government tells parents we're smarter than you, americans aren't going to toll tolerate it. i think they are going stand up to this accelerated march to communism we knew see. americans are going fight the good fight. they are going finish the course. they are going to keep the faith, because americans value freedom. mr. chairman, we have a video we'd like to play. >> mr. chairman. >> we have video we'd like to
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play. >> mr. chairman. >> -- >> i object. >> -- recognition. >> i object. i'm reserving my right to object to the video. may i inquire as to where weather the gentlemen has followed the protocol by providing 48 hours notice to the clerk he was going to use a video. >> first of all there is no 48 hour rule. it is not in the committee rules. second, we did let the committee staff t majority know that we had a video and -- to them this morning. >> -- to the gentlelady's request, he did not supply -- 48 hours notice required by the rule. >> mr. chairman. >> and i insist on my objection, having failed to follow the bipartisan protocol. i insist on my objection. >> objection has been heard. the video will not be shown. >> ai appeal the ruling and the chair. >> there's been no ruling -- there's been no ruling made --
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been an objection. >> mr. chairmanned i'd like to speak regarding the. >> that's out of order. this is not debatable. >> what's out of o order is there is no rule requiring 48 hour notice. >> there is such a rule. >> not in our rule. >> mr. chairman, what are you afraid of? >> there is such a rule. you objected last year. you were told there was such a rule. >> what are they afraid of? videos appearance. >> the gentlemen was recognized for his opening statement. is he finished with his oemtd. >> -- it's not a rule. it's what you said, i think the term used is it is protocol. >> the gentlemen -- >> conduct odd the committee. rules do. that is not a rule. we had a video. we understood you had a video. >> i seek recognition -- >> objected because you failed to follow the rule. her objection is sustained. the gentlemen have anything
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else -- >> -- we had a recognition for the parliamentary inquiry. >> i'll yield back in just a second and particularly -- >> you yield back? >> no i haven't yielded back. ill i said i will in a second. the as video of moms and dads at school board meetings. and you aren't going to let us play it? >> it will -- an objection has been herd that you failed to give the 48 hours required by the rule. and therefore -- >> mr. chairman, what rule? what rule? -- inquiry, what rule? please present the rule. >> in the case of audio, visual materials on the leadership of my chairman goodlat, republican -- this protocol simply requires members to provide 48 hours notice they are going to use audio visual materials. until recently this protocol was not controversial. it was a helpful tool we used to manage hearings and make sure videos played properly.
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the gentlemenwoman has abouted to the materials because the gentlemen did not provide the agreed upon 48 hours notice. playing audio visual materials is equivalent as introducing printed materials into the hearing record. normal course of business we do not object to each other's request but members have the right to object in they so choose and an objection has been heard. >> mr. chairman did we ever vote on that? >> obviously you are going to censor us which is sort of the conduct of the left today it seems and democrats today it seems. i yield back the balance of my time. >> gentlemen yields back. point of order? gentlemen would say his point of order? >> -- the actually written rule.
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this is not a rule. >> it is at a point of order as i said before. playing audio visual materials in a committee hearing is equivalent of introducing printed materials into the hearing record. in the normal course of business we do not object to each others requests but members have the right to object if they so choose and an objection has been heard. >> -- i'd ask you to rule on my point of order. >> gentlemen is not made a valid point of order. >> move to table. >> there is nothing to appeal. there's been no ruling. there's been no ruling. there's just been an objection and the objection has been heard. now we'll introduce the attorney general. i will now introduce today's witness. merrick garland was sworn in as the 86th attorney general of the united states march 11, 2021. immediately preceding his confirmation as attorney
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general, mr. garland was a judge of the united states court of apeelts to district of columbia circuit. he was appointed to that position in 1997, served chief judge of the circuit 2013 to 2020 and served as chair of the executive committee of the judicial conference of the united states from 2017 until 2020. in 2016 president obama nominated him for the position of associate justice of the united states supreme court. before becoming a federal judge attorney general garland spent a substantial part of his professional life at the department of justice. special assistant to the attorney general. assistant united states attorney. deputy attorney general in the criminal division and principle associate deputy attorney general. early in his career he was in private practice and also taught at harvard high school. earning both of his undergraduate and law degrees from harvard university.
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second circuit and supreme court justice william brennan. we welcome the attorney general and thank him for participating today. if you please rise, i will begin by swearing you in. raise your right hand. do you swear or affirm under penalty of perjury the testimony you are about to give is true and correct, to the best of your knowledge, information and belief, so help you god. let the record show the witness has answered in the affirmative. thank you and please be seated. your written statement will be entered into the record i in its entirety. accordingly i ask you summarize your testimony in five minutes to. help you stay within that time limit, there is a timing light on your table. when the light switches from green to yellow. you have one minute to conclude your testimony. when the light turns red, it signals your five minutes have expired. attorney general garland you may begin. >> good morning, charm nadler,
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ranking member, distinguished members of this committee. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. my address to all justice department employees on my first day in office i spoke about three co-equal thattish. upholding rule of law. keeping our country safe and protecting first amendment rights. the justice department must adhere to norms part of its dna since edward levy's tenure as the first attorney general. the norms, of the principled exercise of discretion and treating like cases alike defined who we are as public servants. over the past seven months that i have served as attorney general the department has reaffirmed and where appropriate, updated and strengthened policies that are
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foundational for these norms. for example, we strengthened our policy governing communications between the justice department and the white house. that policy is designed to protect the department's criminal and civil law enforcement decisions and its legal judgments from partisan or other inappropriate influence. we also issued a policy to better protect the freedom and independence of the press. by restricting the use of compulsory process to obtain information from or records of members of the news media. the second priority is keeping our country safe. from all threats foreign and domestic, wile also protecting our civil liberties. we are strengthening our 200 joint terrorism task forces which are the essential hubs for international and domestic counterterrorism cooperation across all levels of government. for fy-22 we're seeking more than $1.5 billion, a 12% increase for our counterterrorism work.
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we are also taking aggressive steps to counter cyber threats, whether from nation state, terrorists or common criminals. in april we launched both a comprehensive cyber review and ransomware and digital extortion task force. in june we seized a 2.3 million dollar ransom payment made in bitcoin to the group that targeted colonial pipeline. keeping our country safe also requires reducing violent crime and gun violence. in may we announce ad comprehensive violent crimes strategy which deploys all of our relevant departmental components to those ends. we also launched five cross-jurisdictional strike forces to disrupt illegal firearms trafficking in key corridors across the country and to support local police departments and help them build trust with the communities they serve, our fy-22 budget requests over $1 billion for grants.
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we are likewise keeping our country safe from violent drug trafficking networks which are fuelling the overdose epidemic. opioids including illegal fentanyl cause nearly 70,000 fatal overdose deaths in 2020. we'll continue to use all resources at our disposal to save lives. finally keeping our country safe requires protecting its democratic institutions, including the one we sit in today from violent attack. as the committee is well aware, the department is engaged in one of the most sweeping investigations in its history in connection with the january 6th attack on the capitol. the department's third core priority is protecting civil rights. this was a founding purpose when the justice department was established in 1870. today the civil rights divisions's work remains vital to safeguarding voting rights, prosecuting hate crimes and
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stopping unlawful discrimination. this year we doubled is it size of the civil rights divisions voting section and fy-22 budget features the largest increase totaling more than 15%. coordinators for hate crimes work and stepped up support for community relations service and the departmentwide efforts to advance environmental justice and tackle climate change. we are also revitalizing and expanding our work to ensure equal access to justice. in the days ahead we look forward to working with congress to restore a stand alone access to justice office within the department dedicated to addressing the most urgent legal needs of communities across america. in addition to these core priorities and other important area of departmental focus is ensuring anti-trust enforcement, reinvigorating that enforcement,
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combatting fraud and protecting consumers. we are aggressively enforcing our anti-trust laws by challenging anti-competitive mergers and exclusionary conduct and by prosecuting price fixing and elocution schemes that harm both consumers and workers. in 3rz we're seeking additional resources to reinvigorate anti-trust enforcement across the board. we also stood up the covid-19 fraud enforcement task force to bring to justice those who defrauded the government of federal dollars meant for the most vulnerable among us. in sum, in seven months the justice department has accomplished a lot of important work for the american people. and there is much more to be done. thank you for the opportunity to testify today and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you for your testimony. we will now proceed under the five minute rule with questions, and i will recognize myself to begin for five minutes.
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mr. attorney general, in the 2013 decision shelby county versus holder. the supreme court gutted section five the voting rights act rendering its pre clearance division inoperative. as a direct result the right to vote has come in under renewed and steady assault and states have spent the past eight years enacting a slew of barriers to voting that target or impact communities of color and other historically disenfranchised groups. before this committee in august the assistant attorney general christen clark testified section five of the voting rights act was truly the heart of the act and called it the department's most important tool for safeguarding voting right nitrogen our country. why is section five pre clearance so crucial to combatting discriminatory voting practices? >> thank you mr. chairman. vote, the right to vote is a fundamental aspect of our democracy. in many ways it is the right from which all other rights occur. the voting rights act was a gem
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of american legislation, as president ronald reagan said and as other presidents on both sides of the aisle have said. a key part of that provision was section 5, as you said. this was a pre clearance provision, which required specified states where there had been discriminatory practices that provisions for changes in patterns or practices of voting should be submitted to the department for pre clearance to determine whether they violated the act. there was another alternative, if state did not like the result from the justice department it could go to a court and get a resolution there. but the great idea of pre clearance was to allow advanced review for those things went into effect rather than require the justice department on a one by one basis after the fact. makes it extremely difficult to
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attack unlawful prescriptions on voting practice. >> thank you, assistant attorney general clark testified number two is no substitute for the important preemptive review provided by the process. the full impact of the supreme court's recent decision in bernvich versus dmc on section two remains to be seen. however in the absence, what steps is the justice department taken to increase voting rights under section two? >> section two is a remaining tool. it is extraordinarily important and it does give us some impact. in order to better effectuate that provision we've doubled the size of the voting rights section because it will take more people to evaluate state laws on a one by one basis. so we are going about doing that'll. we have brought one case as you know with respect to changes in georgia. we are looking carefully at other states, and we are looking carefully at the redistricting
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which is occurring as we speak now as a result of the census. we continued to do that and vigorously make sure that section 2 is appropriately enforced. >> if you should find that given states reapportionment, for example, was unconstitutional and you sued it could take six or eight years for those suits to be resolved as we've seen. and that's one reason -- another reason for the necessity for section 5 pre clearance. only one last question for you. the country and the congress is still reeling from the events of january 6th and the select committee is diligently pursuing its investigation into the insurrection. this week chairman thompson and his colleagues voted to hold in contempt steve bannon who failed to supply with the committee subpoenas. and the measure will be taken you have by the house later today. unfortunately the actions of individuals like mr. bannon are not new to us. many committees including this one repeatedly face obstruction
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from the prior administration in the former president's loyal allies. congress however is not an enforcement body and looks to the department to handle criminal matters when appropriate. so i ask you mr. attorney general, regardless of politics, will the department follow the facts and the law and expeditiously consider the referrals put forth by the select committee in and when they are approved by the full house? >> the department recognizes the important oversight role that this committee and house of representatives and the senate play with respect to the executive branch. i will say what spokesperson for the u.s. attorneys office in the district of columbia said i think yesterday or the day before, the house of representatives votes for referral of a contempt charge, the department of justice will do what it always does in such circumstance, apply the facts and law and make a decision consistent with the principles of prosecution. >> thank you very much.
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>> pull the mic a little closer. >> oh i'm sorry. is that better? of course. >> mr. shabt. >> thank you. mr. chairman i'd start bying is you unanimous consent that an op ed that appeared in last week's "wall street journal" by the auto over the patriot act entitled patriot act wasn't meant to target --. most of us at other jobs before we got here to congress. for example, i practiced law for quite a few years. i was county commissioner, i was a member of cincinnati city council and before that i was a schoolteacher. in cincinnati in the inner city. all the students in the school were african american, and i taught the 7th and 8th grade. it was my experience that the kids who did the best were the
Check
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ones who had parental involvement. in their education. does that make sense to you? >> yes, i think parental involvement is very important in education. >> thank you. now with that in mind, having parents involved in their children's education, i have to say i found it deeply disturbing that the national school board association convinced the biden administration to sick you and your justice department, the fbi, the full power of the federal law enforcement in this country on involved parents. as if they were domestic terrorists. one of the tools in your arsenal of weapons of course is the patriot act that i just mentioned. not many current members of this committee were here when we passed the patriot act. but i was. and mr. chairman, you were too. and i remember clearly that we were both concerned about potential abuse of this new law enforcement tool.
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and that is why, for example, we insisted on sunset provisions on some aspect of the patriot act. but i can tell you, not in a million years did we dream that one day we'd see the justice department treat american parents as domestic terrorists. and in a primer on domestic terrorism issued last november by none other than the fbi, mr. attorney general, the fbi explicitly stated that, quote, under fbi policy and federal law, no investigative activity related to domestic terrorism may be initiated based on first amendment activity, unquote. now, parents speaking up at a school board meeting against the teaching of critical race theory or anything else they want to talk about is clearly a first amendment activity. now, of course school board meetings can sometimes be highly
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emotional affairs. parents do care about their kids' education. how they are being taught, what they are being taught. and these parents have every right to be heard, even if former virginia governor terry mcauliffe thinks otherwise. now, no one has the right to be violent, or threaten violence. and if anyone does that, they can be dealt with by security or by local law enforcement. but we don't need the vast power of the federal government throwing its weight around. we don't need you, your justice department or the fbi trampling on the rights of american parent who is just want the best possible education for their children. so mr. attorney general, let me ask you this. according to the sarasota herald tribune, one example of a so called terrorist incident was a parent merely questioning whether a school board members had earned their high school diplomas. now that might have been rude.
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but does that seem like an act of domestic terrorism that you or your justice department ought to be investigating? >> absolutely not. and i want to be clear, the justice department supports and defends the first amendment right of parents to complain as vociferously as they wish about the education of their children, about the curriculum taught in the schools. that is not what the memorandum is about at all. nor does it use the words "domestic terrorism" or "patriot act." like you, i can't imagine any circumstance in which the patriot act would be used in the circumstances of parents complaining about their children, nor can i imagine the circumstance where they would be labeled as domestic terrorism. >> thank you, i'm nearly out of time so let me just conclude with this. we ought to be encouraging parents to be actively involved in the ocean education of their third down. if our children are to be
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competitive with the children of japan and south korea and india and yes, china, for tomorrow's job, they better be getting a topnotch education in this country. let's support and welcome parental involvement, not use the vast powers of federal law enforcement to target parents as domestic terrorists. i yield back. >> the gentlemen yields back. once again, i would remind all members that guidance from the office of attending physicians states that face coverings are required for all meetings in enclosed spaces such as committee hearings except when you are authorized to speak and that means you, jim, and marjorie and matt and lot of're people i can't recognize because of distance, etc. so please everyone observe that rule. i now recognize mr. lofgren for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you mr. attorney general for being here this morning. after a confirmation hearing, you characterized what happened
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on january 6th as, quote, a heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy. i agree with that. and in your written testimony today, you point out that the intelligence the intelligence community has identified domestic violent extremists as the primary threat to our nation. and further note that your department is committee to keeping our country safe by protecting our democratic institutions. i would note that protecting our democratic institutions is not limited to the department of justice. the congress also has that obligation, to protect our democracy. to that end, we have a select committee that is reviewing the events leading up to january 6, and has a legislative mandate to devise legislative
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recommendations to prevent future acts of domestic extremist violence, to strengthen the resiliency of our nation's democratic institutions, to propose laws that will keep us, our democratic system, safer. now, with that background in mind, we are, as you are aware, seeking information to inform us to perform that role. before you were ag, you were a judge. and i note that in your judicial role, in 2004, there was a case, judicial watch versus the department of justice, where the court ruled, quote, presidential communications privilege applies only to documents solicited and received by the president or his immediate white house advisers who have broad and significant responsibility for investigating
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and formulating the advice to be given to the president. i think you're familiar with that case. do you think that's still good law? >> yes, i think the dc circuit is a good source of law. >> in the supreme court case nixon v. administrator of gsa, 1974, the judicial watch case actually relied on that precedent, that case said that the communications to advise the president would be only on official government matters. do you think that's still good law? >> i think the supreme court's opinion is still good law until it's reversed. but i see no sign that it's going to be reversed. >> we were here in the judiciary committee pursuing testimony from mr. mcgahn, and the court wrote in the 2019 case, and this is a quote, to make the point as plain as possible, it is clear to this court for the reasons
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explained above that with respect to senior level aides, absolute immunity from compelled congressional process simply does not exist. do you think that's still good law? >> i believe the mcgahn case is still good law. >> recently the department of justice informed a federal district court that, quote, conspiring to prevent of lawful certification of the 2020 election and to injure members of congress and inciting the riot at the capitol would, quote, plainly fall outside the scope of employment of an officer or employee of the united states of america. since your department filed that, i assume you agree with that. >> yes. >> so i just want to mention, i'm not going to ask you about what your department will do if the house of representatives adopts a referral to your department, because i take you at your word that you will
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follow the precedent, you will follow the law in the ordinary course of events. i would just note that your defense of the rule of law for the department of justice and your standing for the rule of law also means the rule of law for the congress of the united states. article i was the first article for a reason. we have a role to play in making sure that our democratic institutions are defended. i thank you for your service to our country and i look forward to your deliberations so that the congress of the united states can play its rightful role in defending our institutions and adopting legislation that will strengthen our institutions and preserve and protect our democratic republic. with that, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> the gentlelady yields back. mr. gohmert. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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thank you, judge garland, for being here. you said a moment ago you couldn't imagine a parent being labeled a domestic terrorist. but parents all over the country believe that's exactly what you labeled them by your memo indicating you were going to get involved in board meetings, school board meetings, because of the threat of domestic terrorism. so if you can't imagine a parent being labeled a domestic terrorist, i would encourage you to redo your memo so it's not so -- perceived as being so threatening to people concerned about their kids' education. but i want to take you to january 6. it's a very common topic here for people. umm, has any defendant involved in the january 6 events been charged with insurrection?
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>> i don't believe so. >> well, that is the word most used by democrats here on capitol hill about january 6. but no one has been charged with it that we could find either. how many protesters on january 6 were charged with obstructing an official proceeding for four to six hours, do you know? >> i don't know the exact number. obviously there are 650 who were arrested, some for assaulting officers, some for obstructing proceedings, some for conspiring to obstruct proceedings. i can get you the numbers for each of the specific -- >> thank you. i would be interested in getting that number. but regarding the men who broke the glass in the two doors there at the speaker's lobby when the two capitol police had been standing there moved to the side to allow them access, were any of those people who broke glass and did damage to those doors
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working for the fbi or other federal law enforcement entities? >> this is an ongoing criminal investigation, and i'm really not at liberty to discuss. there have been some filings in the nature of discovery which has been provided to the defendants. but other than that, i can't discuss this now. >> well, we've seen some of those filings that talk about persons 1 through 20 something. were those persons, 1 -- designated by number, were those people who were employed by the fbi or federal entities or were they confidential informants? >> again, i don't know those specifics. but i do not believe that any of the people you're mentioning, charged in the indictment, were either one. >> was a determination ever made as to who repeatedly struck
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roseanne boylan in the head with a rod before she died? >> again, i think this was a matter that was investigated by the u.s. attorneys office. >> there's a witness on video saying that it was a dc metro policeman. i didn't know if you have been able to confirm or deny that. well, on june 22 of 2016, judge, most of the democrat members of congress took over the house floor and for the first time in american history, members of congress obstructed official proceedings, not for four to six hours, but for virtually 26 hours, not just violating over a dozen house rules, but actually committing the felony that some of the january 6 people are charged with. that was during the obama administration. nobody has been charged. and those kind of things, where
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you let democrat members of congress off for the very thing that you're viciously going after people that were protesting on january 6 gives people the indication that there is a two-tiered justice system here in america. you know well, you've been a circuit court judge, you know well that confinement, pretrial confinement is not ever to be used as punishment. yet there are people, and understand, as a former tough law and order judge, i would sentence everyone, regardless of their party, who did violence or committed crimes on january 6 to appropriate sentences. but for heaven's sake, they are being abused in the dc jail. have you done an inspection over there of the dc jail since your department has some
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jurisdiction? >> so my understanding is judge lamberth who i respect very much -- >> yeah, he held the warden in contempt but we haven't seen improvement. >> he asked for a review. and the justice department is conducting a review. the marshals did an inspection the other day which was reported in the news. and the civil rights division is examining the circumstances. this is the district of columbia jail, it's not the bureau of prisons, you understand. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. as i've explained to members on many occasions, i view wearing a face mask as a safety issue and therefore is an important matter of order and decorum. since i am responsible for preserving order and decorum in this hearing, i am requiring members of the committee to wear face masks. i came to this decision after the office of the attending physician released this guidance on wearing masks in committees some time ago. i note some members are still
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not wearing masks. the requirement is that members wear their masks at all times when they are not speaking. i will take members' compliance of this rule into consideration when they seek recognition. i see mr. roy, for example. i now recognize ms. jackson lee. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, let me thank you for your enormous work that the department is doing. i have a series of questions. help me out in your answers so that i can secure responses. as you well know, the senate judiciary committee did an outstanding report on how the former president and his allies pressured doj to overturn the 2020 election. in particular, they noted a series of dates in which they assess that the former president grossly abused the power of the presidency. he also arguably violated the criminal provisions of the hatch act which prevents any person
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from commanding federal government employees from engaging in political activity. were there be any reason the doj would not further research or determine prospectively that the former president could be prosecuted under the hatch act? >> congresswoman, the justice department has a very longstanding policy of not commenting on potential investigations or actual or pending investigations. it's a foundational element in our rule of law and norms. it's to protect everyone, no matter what their position, president, former president, congresswoman, senator, or ordinary citizen, and i'll have to rest on that, that i can't comment on -- >> thank you. i take it there is no prohibition. but thank you so very much. the justice department investigated texas, five secure juvenile facilities, findings sexual abuse. can i quickly get an answer, working with the justice department, standardizing conditions at these facilities since the facts were gross in
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terms of the abuse of those children? i think you're investigating georgia as well. mr. general? >> so we are investigating texas. that was announced, and i believe the governor welcomed that investigation. and it's being done by a combination of the civil rights division and all four u.s. attorneys offices in texas. >> thank you, sir. with respect to compassionate release which came about during the c.a.r.e.s. act, 39% of american prisoners contracted covid-19. 2,700 persons have died. there is a potential of the compassionate release being eliminated and those out, but also i found that is not being utilized appropriately now. the attorney inspector general said that bop was not prepared with the issue -- was not prepared to deal with the issue of compassionate release on a granular level and of course the
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director said prisons are not made for social distancing. my question is will you monitor what is going on with compassionate release in terms of people concerning and the fair use of compassionate release under this issue of covid? >> congresswoman, the answer is yes. obviously the pandemic was not something that the bureau of prisons was prepared for or frankly most american institutions were not prepared for. it created a lot of difficulties. it did lead to compassionate release, leaving people in home confinement. i don't know the specifics that you're mentioning, but we are certainly reviewing carefully how the bureau is responding now to this dangerous circumstance of covid-19. >> thank you, general. we found as it relates to the women in prison 6,600 are serving huge sentences of life, parole -- life with parole, life without parole, virtual life, et cetera. 86% of women in jail have
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experienced sexual violence. this is the report as it relates to women of color. can we have a more vigorous trauma, mental health protocol for women in prison? federal. >> federal. i think we're required to be careful about such things and we've asked for additional if you could funding for that purpose. >> thank you. can i quickly ask, bawa, which was not passed by the house, will that passage help you deal with domestic violence against women? it's domestic violence awareness month this month. would it help you be more effective in prosecuting moving forward? >> yes, we support reauthorization of the violence against women act. >> i'm going to make a few statements. gun violence in children has accelerated in a 19-year high in 2017.
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i would appreciate talking further about greater prosecution on gun trafficking and the proliferation of guns. secondarily, hate crimes has surged as well and we want to hear about the resources being used for hate crimes. and then, as you well know, we have been the poster child in texas for racial gerrymandering and let me thank you for the work you've done under section 2, i just want to make sure this is on the radar screen of the justice department dealing with that issue of redistricting. but my question finally is, the texas abortion law, one of the worst -- >> the gentlelady's time has expired. >> -- i'm asking that -- >> the gentlelady's time has expired. mr. owens. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, attorney general, attorney general garland, for coming before our committee today. i like to take every opportunity i have to share with our nation the making of a great community. i grew up in one, in the deep south, 1960s. though in the depth of jim crow segregation the community produced giant americans like
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clarence thomas, condoleeza rice, thomas stole, walter williams, and colin powell. this was not by accident. it was not -- and it was also not rare. the community of faith, family, free market, and education. education was the very core of our success. i was raised in a home with teachers. my dad was a college professor of 40 years. my mom, a junior high school teacher. they were trusted to do what teachers have done throughout our history, to teach children how to read, write, add, subtract, and to think critically. success in education was always based on parental involvement. it was both expected and welcomed. in my great state of utah, these expectations of parents have not changed. we do not expect nor will we tolerate leftist teaching of our children behind our backs the evil of crt, how to hate our country and hate others based on skin color. some of the most recent actions that the department of justice have taken against parents are concerning. and i would like to direct my questions around that topic.
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similar questions have been asked and i do want to make sure -- make it very clear to some of my constituents some of the concerns i have. we can all agree that true threats and violence at school board meetings are inexcusable. attorney general garland, do you agree with the national school board association that parents who attend school board meetings and speak passionately against inclusion of programs like critical race theory should be characterized as domestic terrorists? >> i do not believe that parents who testify, speak, argue with, complain about school boards and schools should be classified as domestic terrorists or any kind of criminals. parents have been complaining about the education of their children and about school boards since there were such things as school boards and public education. this is totally protected by the first amendment. i take your point that true threats of violence are not
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protected by the first amendment. those are the things we're worried about here. those are the only things we're worried about here. >> thank you so much for that. is there legal precedence for the department of justice to investigate peaceful protests or parental involvement at public school meetings? >> just to say again, we are not investigating peaceful protests or parent involvement in school board meetings. there is no precedent for doing that and we would never do that. we are only concerned about violence, threats of violence against school administrators, teachers, staff, people like your mother, a teacher. that is what we're worried about. we are worried about that across the board. we're worried about threats against members of congress. we're worried about threats against police. >> thank you very much. thank you much for that. i'm also a member of the education and labor committee. on october 7, republican members of this committee sent you a letter, you and secretary card cardona, expressing a concern
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about remarks that the secretary had made about parents. we asked that you brief the committee before taking action on parents' lawful expression of legitimate concerns. have you received that letter and do you plan on testifying before the house education and labor committee? >> i'm sorry, i don't recollect the letter but i'll ask my staff to find out where it is. >> okay. let me just say this as i wrap this up, and i do appreciate you being here, attorney general. i was aware of a time when our race led our men, matriculating from college, black men matriculating from college and i'm now aware in 2017 that 75% of black boys in the state of california cannot pass reading and writing tests. that's a big shift. and the difference is in those days when i was growing up, parents were involved. there was a trust that we can
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send our kids to school and they can be taught how to love our country, love each other, and love education. that has been changed drastically. and i think i'm going to implore parents out there, get involved. now is the time. do not trust any other adults, particularly our educational system, for the future of your kids. get involved. fight for your rights for your kids to be taught how to love our country, love education, and move forward. and i think if we do that, we'll get back to old school america where we can appreciate the fact of who we are and an educational system that should be teaching us how to do that. i yield back my time. >> the gentleman yields back. mr. cohen. >> thank you, mr. chair. welcome, general garland. i feel it's a difficult position for me to question you because i have such respect for your acumen, your probity, and your rectitude, which is widely recognized. but there are questions i must ask. the senate judiciary committee had a report recently about the attempts of president trump to
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get department of justice employees involved in the stop the steal campaign, trying to subvert the election. are any of those people that were involved in that still in the justice department? >> all the bold face names i know about were political appointees, all of whom are not at the department. i don't know the answer otherwise. i don't believe so. but -- >> thank you. i would appreciate if you would check into that, if they were and they participated in this in any way, that they should come to your attention and they should have certain sanctions, i believe. you have defended or sought to continue to defend president trump in his defamation action brought by e. jean carroll. he called her a liar. for what it was worth, he said she wasn't his type. his type is apparently fairly
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expansive. and you're defending him. do you think that the public sees that as a proper use of department of justice resources, when it's been shown that we're short on personnel in the civil rights division, and that we need that personnel, and yet we're defending president trump's defamation lawsuit by a woman whom he has defamed? >> congressman, we are not defending the defamation made by the former president. as i've said publicly several times, sometimes being the attorney general and sometimes being the judge means taking positions with respect to the law that are required by the law but which you would not take as a private citizen. in this circumstance, the justice department's briefing is not about whether this was defamation or wasn't defamation. it was solely on the question on the application of the tort claims act. and there is consistent precedent in the dc circuit
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which holds that even defamatory statements made during press conferences by public officials are within the scope for that very narrow purpose and very narrow defamation. >> if i may, sir, and i appreciate that and read that, but this was an act he took when he was a private citizen, he is now again a private citizen, and was totally outside anything to do with being president. i hope you will look into it again because i think the public sees it as a mistake. the rule of law, you made clear, and i know you believe this, is one of the major tenets of the department of justice, to uphold the rule of law. michael cohen has a felony on his record, spent time in prison for paying at the direction of president trump hush money to stormy daniels and another woman. i believe it's pretty well-known that president trump was individual 1 as described in the indictment. he couldn't be indicted because of department of justice policy,
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you don't indict a sitting president. he's no longer a sitting president. do you believe that not looking into indicting individuals 1 equally if not more guilty than michael cohen is not an abuse of equal protection under the law and an abrogation of the idea that the rule of law is -- >> so congressman, a very important element of the rule of law is the norm of the justice department, that we don't comment on whether we're investigating, what the status of investigations are, unless or until there's a public charge. that's important to protect everyone, whether it be a former president, an existing president, or a public official or a private individual. >> i will accept that, but i hope that you will look at it because i believe that he is equally if not more guilty and it does seem that people get favored treatment, if he's not prosecuted. transparency is important as well. amy berman jackson tried to release some records regarding bill barr's downplaying of
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trump's obstruction of the mueller investigation. this committee was looking into the emoluments clause violations of the trump hotel and got an order to see some records. do you believe that transparency, those situations, are ones where transparency was not permitted to the american public, as well as the whole mueller report which hasn't been redacted? >> with respect to judge jackson's ruling, i respect judge jackson, she was a former colleague, i respect her very much. we just have a difference of opinion with respect to theive exception. we believe that in that circumstance, the memorandum which was given to attorney general barr is protected by that, so that all attorneys general can receive honest advice from their subordinates. that matter is before the dc circuit now. everything i've just said is in our papers so i'm not saying anything outside the record. and it will be resolved by the dc circuit. >> the gentleman's time has expired. mr. johnson of louisiana.
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>> thank you. mr. attorney general, millions of americans are deeply concerned today that instead of addressing the most pressing issues facing our country, we're watching the biden/garland justice department be weaponized, that you are using your authorities now to advance far left policies and attack republican-led state actions and erode constitutional norms. the most recent case in point that's been brought up this morning, your memorandum directing the fbi and other department of justice officials to get involved in local school board debates. it concerns us that it was issued just five days after the national school board association sent a letter to president biden which referred to concerned parents as the equivalent of, quote, domestic terrorist and perpetrators of hate crimes, unquote. given the timing of all this, your memo appears to have been motivated by politics more than any pressing federal law enforcement. this is concerning to us and it's worthy of investigation. it also concerns us that your actions may have been motivated by your family's financial stake
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in this issue. published reports show that your son-in-law co-founded a company called panorama education. we now know that company publishes and sells critical race theory and so-called antiracism materials to schools across the country and it works with school districts nationwide to obtain and analyze data on students often without parental consent. on its website the company brags it's surveyed more than 13 million students in the u.s. it's raised $76 million from powerful investors including people like mark zuckerberg just since 2017. my first question is this. are you familiar with title v of the code of federal regulations which addresses the rules of impartiality of federal employees and officials? >> i am very familiar with it. i want to be clear once again that there's nothing in this memorandum which has any effect on the kinds of curriculums that are taught or the ability of
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parents to complain about the kinds of -- >> i understand your position on the free speech. >> it's not a position. >> just a minute. the question is, the question is, the thing that is concerning to those parents that are showing up at these school board meetings, the very basis of their objection and their vigorous debate, as you mentioned earlier, is the curricula, the very curricula that your son-in-law is selling. so to millions of americans, my constituents, i was home all weekend, i got an earful on this, they're very concerned on that. subpart e of the federal regulation says an employee of the federal branch is discouraged from engaging in conduct that's likely to affect the financial interest of someone close to them. your son-in-law, your daughter, clearly meets that definition. and so the question is did you follow that regulation, did you have the appropriate agency ethic official look into this, did you seek guidance as the federal regulation requires? >> this memorandum is aimed at
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violence and threats of violence. >> i understand that. >> there -- >> i understand that. excuse me. did you seek ethics counsel before you issued a letter that directly relates to the financial interest of your family, yes or no? >> this memorandum does not relate to the financial interests of anyone. >> i take that as a no. >> the memorandum is against violence and threats of violence. >> mr. attorney general, will you commit to having the appropriate ethics designee review the case and make the results public? >> this memorandum is aimed at violence and threats of violence. >> i understand your talking point. you're not anger my point. with all due respect, will you submit to an ethics review of this matter, yes or no? >> there is no company in america or hopefully no law-abiding citizen in america who believes that threats of violence should not be prevented. there are no conflicts of interest that anyone could have. >> according to you. but sir, with due respect, that's the purpose of the federal regulation. we need objective third parties
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to review our activities. you don't get to make that decision yourself. it doesn't matter. you're the chief law enforcement of this country. this raises questions in the minds of millions of americans and your impartiality is being called into question. why would you not submit to a simple ethics review? >> i am exquisitely aware of the ethics requirements. >> but you're not following them. >> i have followed them and lived with them for the last 25 years. >> did you seek an ethics review or not? >> i'll say again, there are no conflicts of interest in the justice department -- >> according to you. i don't want to be disrespectful but you are not respecting the constitutional norms and federal law that directly applies to your activities. this is of great concern. this is why people are losing faith in our institutions, losing faith in the department of justice. you and i both know as constitutional attorneys if the people lose their faith in our system of justice, if they lose their faith in the idea that
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justice is blind, that there are not two standards -- >> the time of the gentleman has expired. would the attorney general like to respond to the innuendo? >> no, you will i can say is i completely agree that rule of law and respect for it is essential and i will always do everything possible to uphold that and to avoid to any conflict of interest. >> but you will not -- >> the time of the gentleman has expired.innuendo, it was a question. >> mr. johnson of georgia. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for being here, general garland. this summer, the house passed hr 4, the john r. lewis voting rights advancement act, which would strengthen sections 2 and 5 of the voting rights act, and also this summer the department announced that it was suing the state of georgia under section 2
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of the voting rights act. and i commend your department for working to protect the rights of all americans to vote. general garland, section 2 of the voting rights act prohibits voting practices or procedures that discriminate on the basis of race while section 5 of the act mandates that changes to voting practices in certain covered jurisdictions be precleared by federal authorities. with the supreme court having nullified section 5, in effect, the preclearance requirement, by ruling that the coverage formula was unconstitutional, does the department view section 2, litigation alone, as adequate to safeguard voting rights, or must congress pass the john lewis voting rights advancement act and reinstate section 5 in order for voting rights to be adequately safeguarded?
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>> the justice department supports that act. section 2 is what we have. section 5 is what we need. >> knowing that the house has already passed hr 4, does the justice department support passage of the john lewis voting rights advancement act in the united states senate? >> yes, sir. >> thank you. on september 4, 2021, doj announced an investigation into georgia prison conditions. "the new york times" reported that over 25 incarcerated persons died last year by confirmed or suspected homicide in georgia prisons and 18 homicides as well as numerous stabbings and beatings have been reported this year. what is the timeline for this investigation and will you commit to briefing the committee and the georgia delegation on the results of the inquiry? >> we are doing that investigation. it's pursuant to statute, which
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authorizes the civil rights division to bring those kinds of cases. i can't tell you what the timeline is. these kind of things take a considerable amount of time. and i'm not sure what the legal requirements are with respect to briefings outside. this is now in court. so i'm not sure what additional material can be provided outside of what we provide in court. but we'll look into it for you. >> thank you. much of what is known about conditions in georgia prisons is derived from social media posts including video footage posted during a prison riot last year. how are social media and the u.s. of smuggled smartphones by inmates aiding doj in its civil rights investigation of georgia's prisons? >> i'm sorry, i don't know the answer to that question, but i'll see if i can ask at the civil rights division how they're using that material. >> all right, thank you. mr. attorney -- general garland,
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the sackler family has used every trick in the book to escape accountability for their role in the opioid epidemic including abusing the bankruptcy system to secure civil immunity from their victims. and now johnson & johnson has scrambled its organizational charts to put tens of thousands of legal claims into bankruptcy to avoid further liability for its cancer causing talcum powder. do you believe culpable individuals and corporations should be allowed to use the shell game to shield themselves from liability? >> i don't know anything about the second example that you gave. as to the first, the justice department's bankruptcy trustee has weighed in to appeal the decision to immunize from personal liability. and i think that matter is now pending in court. >> thank you. lastly, i will note that there has been a lot of discussion by my friends on the other side of
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the aisle about local school boards. and i will point out the fact that there are reports that restrictions on the discussion of race and history in schools, these laws that are being put forward by republican-led states, are causing administrators to tell teachers that in addition to having an opposing view on slavery, now they are saying that you've got to include an opposing view on the holocaust, if you have any books that are teaching about that, you've got to have an opposing view. this is the danger that we -- the gentleman's -- >> the gentleman's time has expired. mr. jordan. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the department of justice challenges it. september 1, joe biden
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criticizes the new law in texas, eight days later the department of justice challenges it. september 29, a political organization asks president biden to involve the fbi in local school board issues. five days later, the department of justice does just that. mr. attorney general, was it just a coincidence that your memo came five days after the national school board association's letter went to the president? >> so we are concerned about violence and threats of violence across the board, against school officials, against -- >> is there any connection, attorney general, with the school board letter and five days later your memo regarding school board issues? >> obviously the letter, which was public and asked for assistance from the justice department, was brought to our attention, and it's a relevant factor in -- >> who gave you the letter? >> i'm sorry? >> how did you become aware of the letter? >> i read about the letter in the news. >> who at the white house told you to write the memo? >> no one at the white house spoke to me about the memoat
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all. i am sure, at least i would certainly believe, the white house communicated its concerns about the letter to the justice department. and that is -- >> that's my next question. did you or anyone at the justice department discuss the memo with white house personnel or with anyone at the white house before the memo was sent? >> i did not. i don't know whether anyone discussed the memo. i am sure that the communication from the national association of school boards was discussed between the white house and the justice department and that's perfectly appropriate, just as -- >> who are those individuals, who at the white house talked to the justice department? >> i don't know. >> did they talk to you? >> i think i've answered, no one from the white house spoke to me. but the white house is perfectly appropriately concerned about violence, just like they're concerned about violence in the streets, and they make requests of the justice department in that respect, just like -- >> did you or anyone at the department of justice communicate with the american federation of teachers, the national education association,
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the national school boards association, prior to your memo? >> i did not. i don't know. >> you don't know if anyone else at the justice department did? >> i don't know. >> did you or anyone at the justice department communicate with those organizations, aft, nea, national school boards association, prior to the letter? did you help the national school board association put together the letter? >> i have had no such conversations. i would be surprised if that happened. but i don't know. >> will fbi agents be attending local school board meetings? >> no, and there is nothing in this memo to suggest that. i want to, again, try to be clear. this memo is about violence and threats of violence. it's not -- >> the same day you did the memo, the justice department sent out a press release, monday, october 4, 2021. the press release says justice department addresses violent threats against school officials and teachers. now are you said earlier to a question to one of my colleagues on the republican side that parents aren't domestic terrorists, we're not going to treat them that way.
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let me read from the third paragraph. according to the attorney general's memorandum the justice department will address the rise in criminal conduct directed toward school personnel. those efforts are expected to include creation of a task force consisting of representatives from the department's criminal division, civil rights division, the fbi, office of justice programs, and the national security division. i find that interesting. you said there's no way you're going to be treating parents as domestic terrorists but you've got the national security division in a press release regarding your memo that day. >> my memo does not mention the national security division. >> i didn't say it did. i said the press release accompanying your memo that day from the department of justice, here it is. >> i want to be as clear as i can be. i want to be clear as i can be. this is not about what happens at school board meetings.
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it's only about threats of violence and violence aimed at school officials, school employees, and teachers. >> the first sentence of your memo, in recent months there has been a disturbing spike in harassment and threats of violence. >> yes. >> when did you review the data regarding this uptick? >> i read the letter and we have been seeing -- >> whoa, whoa. so you read the letter? that's your source? >> so let me be clear. this is not a prosecution or an -- >> was there an investigation someone did that said there has been a disturbing uptick or do you just take the words of the national school board association? >> the national school board association, which represents thousands of school boards and school boards members, says these are these kind of threats. when we read in the newspapers reports of threats of violence. when that is in the context of threats -- >> the source for the very first -- >> the time of the gentleman has expired. mr. deutsche. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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thank you, general garland, for being here. what concerns me is a lack of concern about threats of violence. general garland, let me give you some examples. in bravard county, florida, a woman was concerned about people going by her home and brandishing weapons. in california, a parent physically attacked a teacher, sending him to the hospital. in arizona, a school official was told "you're going to get knifed." a fistfight broke out after a school board meeting in missouri. i appreciate, attorney general garland, your concern about threats to people who are doing their job trying to help our kids get a good education. i'm grateful to you for that. my question is, as our governor in florida claims, your efforts are weaponizing the doj, i would
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like to know whether governor desantis in the state of florida has been cooperative in your efforts to protect our schools. >> i don't -- i don't know the answer to the question that you're asking. we are trying to prevent violence and threats of violence. it's not only about schools. we have similar concern with respect to election workers, with respect to hate crime, with respect to judges and police officers. this is a rising problem in the united states, of threats of violence. and we are trying to prevent the violence from occurring. >> attorney general, i appreciate it, and i am shocked and dismayed by the lack of concern of some of my colleagues on this committee. last year, attorney general garland, as you pointed out, over 93,000 people died of overdose in america. young people aged 15 to 24 saw a 48% increase. earlier this year i lost my nephew, to an accidental overdose after he consumed a legal herbal supplement tainted
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with fentanyl. last month the dea issued its first public safety alert in six years and has ramped up enforcement efforts resulting in the seizure of over 11.3 million pills. in a "washington post" article, dea warns about fentanyl-laced pills, which i will submit for the record. >> without objection. >> a pill must be made in a reputable lab. we are in the midst of an overdose crisis and counterfeit pills are driving so much of it. many of these counterfeit pills that alarm the dea are being sold on social media sites, snapchat, tiktok, instagram, youtube. he said the drug dealer isn't just standing on a street corner anymore, it's sitting in a
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pocket on your phone. attorney general, what more should social media companies be doing to prevent young people from finding deadly drugs on their platform and what more can you do about it? >> with respect to the latter question, what we can do about it, the dea has intensified focus on this problem of fentanyl crossing the border from mexico, made from precursor, which often come from the people's republic of china. this is a very dangerous circumstance. the dea -- much of the -- i think the article you're referring to comes from a press conference that the dea administrator gave. a significant portion of these pills are lethal overdose with one pill. and this is an extraordinarily dangerous problem that we are putting our full attention to. >> attorney general garland, i assure you there is strong -- notwithstanding much of what else you'll hear today, strong bipartisan support in this congress to combat the threats
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of fentanyl, rising overdoses. finally, the person who shot and killed 17 people at marjorie stoneman douglas high school pled guilty. unfortunately the protection of lawful commerce in arms act has blocked countless victims and surviving family members from their day in court, proceeding broad immunity in civil lawsuits unique to the gun industry. unfortunately the department of justice has a long history of intervening in civil cases filed by gun violence survivors to defend this law. the question is whether you people that repealing the law could improve gun safety in america. >> so the president has already stated his opposition to that statute. but our obligation in the
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justice department is to defend the constitutionality of statutes that we can reasonably argue are constitutional. that's the position the justice department takes, whether we like the statute or not, we defend the constitutionality of congress' work. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. at this time we will take a very short, five-minute break. we will return immediately after the committee stands in recess.
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the house judiciary committee is taking a break. while we wait for the committee to resume, here is a portion of "washington journal." >> for the next hour we are joined by former senator joe lieberman of connecticut here to talk about his brand-new book. senator lieberman, welcome to "washington journal." >> thanks, good morning to you and good to be with you. >> by my count, this is your
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ninth book, "the centrist solution" is the title of the book, "how we made government work and can make it work again." why did you write the book and why now? >> thanks for asking, thanks for having me on. so this is a book i've been thinking about writing for a long time. it's a strange thing to say, but the pandemic and the fact that i was home and working from home, not just spending time on the road, gave me extra time to write the book. the main point is that like most of americans, i'm frustrated by the lack of accomplishment by our federal government, congress, and the president. and i get disappointed, i get angry, and i decided, well, maybe i have something i can do to help it a little bit which is to talk about the way in which
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the greatest -- the things that i feel best about that i did in my 24 years in the u.s. senate all were bipartisan and happened from the center out. and they cover, as i describe in the book, a wide range of policy areas. environmental protection, budget balance, national security, homeland security, human rights, gay rights. we got some good things done only because people of goodwill in both parties came to the center. i make a point in this book, which is that being a centrist is not the same thing as being a moderate. centrists can be liberals, democrats, conservative republicans. the main point is are you willing to come to the center and negotiate compromise and settle for less than 100% but get something really substantial done, which was the way it was done not just in my 24 years in
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the u.s. senate but all the way back to the constitutional convention. >> i was going to say, you ground your book in the introduction, in the founding fathers, john adams in particular, the nightmares of john adams is your introduction. so what was it about the founding fathers, what was it about john adams in particular that you focus on that makes you think this is the way the country was meant to be? >> yeah, well, i mean, adams, in the statement that i quote, and president washington in his farewell address, they're all very worried that what they called at that point political effect, which became political parties, would begin to not unite the people to get something done but divide the people. and that elected officials would have a greater loyalty to their party than to their country. and i'm afraid that's too often what we're seeing in washington today.
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and it stops things from getting done. but they had enormous fights between the big population states at the convention which wanted congress to be totally reflective of population, naturally. the house of representatives, they had the smaller states that wanted equal representation. and i'm very proud to say the connecticut representatives, sherman and ellsworth, delegates at the constitutional convention, came up with the great compromise, let's have two chambers, a house and a senate, one reflecting population, the other an equal number of senators, as it turns out, from all states. there were much more difficult and painful compromises, particularly about the issue of slavery. and i could talk about that more
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if you want. they compromised in what i think was an immoral way, because it acknowledged and accepted slavery. but that's where they were at that time. >> in remembering and reading about your own experience with party, you're one who both left parties and had parties leave you. it seems like your entire political career has been one in search of a comfortable -- not necessarily a comfortable place, but that center, if you will, that plagues of compromise. -- place of compromise. >> it is true that both from my own study of history in american government, which i read a lot, which is part of what got me interested, as a young man, in going into politics, but i also got into politics in connecticut, which was a state where the politics was rough and tumble, but the plurality, the largest number of voters were
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independent. and it had a real balancing effect. so -- and when i got to the legislature, the state legislature, in the 1970s, it happened to be 1971, i was a very young man, of course. i saw pretty quickly that you only can get something done if you work across party lines. i started some really good friendships with republicans who i trusted, we trusted each other, and we were of like minds, so we compromised and got a lot done. i write about that. but i was a very devoted democrat. i became a democrat in the image of president kennedy, john f. kennedy. my catalyzing hero, as he was for so many of my generation. but the democratic party over the years changed. it got to be less inclusive and more demanding of 100% loyalty. of course i ran straight into that when i differed with a
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majority of members of the democratic party about whether we should defund, basically, the american military in iraq after things went bad there in 2003, '4, et cetera. so it got me a primary in 2006 which i lost, it was painful, really, personally painful. but i had the right under state law to run as an independent. i ran as an independent and god bless the people of connecticut, i won. and that was one of the most satisfying moments of my career. but i never left the democratic party. and i still work within it, because i think america needs two great parties that are open. >> the committee will come to order. mr. roy. >> i thank the chairman. attorney general garland, do you know where broad run high school
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is? do you know where broad run high school is? it's in ashburn, virginia, loudoun county, virginia. do you know why i care? because i'm a graduate of loud on county high school despite my family having texas roots back to the 1850s, grew up in loudoun, it was my home. also i care because on october 6, a mere 15 days ago, inside broad run high school in lououn high school, a young girl was sexually assaulted. are you aware that the boy who assaulted this young girl is the same boy who wore a skirt and went into a girl's bathroom, sodomized and raped a girl on may 28? are you aware of those facts? the boy was -- are you aware further that the boy was arrested and charged for the first assault in july but released from juvenile detention? > it sounds like a state indication and i'm not familiar with it, i'm sorry.
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>> you said it is not okay to allow a child who has been charged with rape to go back to school in the public school system. >> again, i don't know any of the facts of this case. but the way you put it, it certainly sounds like i would agree with you. i don't know the facts of the case. >> is the fbi or the department of justice investigating the loudoun school board for violating civil rights under authorities of, say, the violence against women act? >> i don't believe so, but i don't know the answer to that. >> if not, why not, because on june 22 at a school board meeting in loudoun county, virginia, the attorney general declared that the predator transgender student other person simply does not exist and that to his knowledge we don't have any records of assaults occurring in our restrooms help of when this statement bothered the father of the girl, i'm the father of a daughter, i believe you are too, sir, the girl who had been raped, sodomized in the bathroom of a high school by a dude wearing a skirt, that father reacted. now, that father reacted by simply using a derogatory word.
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would that statement have bothered you if your daughter had been raped, if somebody said it didn't occur? >> i don't know anything about the fact of this case but derogatory words are not what my memorandum is about. >> the victim's mother is heard on a cellphone video telling the crowd what happened, the victim's father is seen being arrested, bloodied, this man, this arrest of a 48-year-old plumber became the poster boy for the new domestic terrorism, the biden administration, the administration in which you serve, has concocted to destroy anyone who gets in the way. as the ranking member said the national school boards association wrote a letter to the president citing smith's case. we all know this to be true. attorney general, do you believe that a father attending a meeting, exercising his first amendment rights, and yes, getting angry about whatever lies are being told about his daughter being raped in the school he sent her to be educated in, that this is domestic terrorism, yes or no? >> no, i do not think that
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parents getting angry at school boards for whatever reason constitute domestic terrorism. that's not even a close question. >> to be clear, even if there is a threat of violence, do you believe that it is domestic th terrorism that the fbi has the right to have disputes. i can tell you how i would have reacted. mr. smith should be given a medal for his calm to be able to hold back his anger. are you aware that loudoun county failed to report the sexual assault according to state law, and are you investigating this? >> again, i'm sorry, i don't know anything about this case. >> are you aware that the virginia general assembly run by democrats voted for governor frank northam signed a form for incidents of sexual harrassment and violent incidents occurring on school property.
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will this conflict with the violence terrorism act? >> i don't know anything about that. >> do you agree with, quote, you don't want parents coming into every different school jurisdiction saying this is what should be taught here and that this is what should be taught here? >> the justice department has no role with respect to to what curriculum is taught in the schools. this is a matter for local decision making and not for the justice department, and we are not in any way suggesting that we have any decision making. >> i would note that was in the commonwealth of virginia. there are other notes of concern of what's being taught here and in loudoun county reporting these incidents in loudoun county public schools. i have eight seconds left. mr. garland, i sent a letter to the department of justice and
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have not gotten a response. will you commit to responding? >> the gentleman's time is expired. ms. bass? >> thank you, mr. chair. attorney general garland, in 2014, 12-year-old tamir rice was tragically and fatally shot by a cleveland police officer. since then we have learned that despite multiple requests by prosecutors in the civil rights division to investigate this shooting, the case stalled without approval from doj officials who had political concerns about high visibility police misconduct cases. ultimately department officials ran the clock out for statute of limits for federal department of justice charges. former a.g. barr formally ended the inquiry into the killing. this year her family requested that they reopen the investigation into tamir's
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murder. according to a spokesperson, the letter has been received. i wonder if you could tell us today if the department has reviewed the letter and if you know when the department will respond to this request to reopen the inquiry. >> when the department receives a letter like that, it would go to the civil rights division for examination and in line with our general norm of not disclosing pending investigations. i don't know the answer to the question, but even if i did, i would not be able to give an explanation. >> sadly, just yesterday the ap released a report investigating police use of force on children. i would like to ask the chair, request unanimous consent to submit for the record this article, "tiny risk in cuffs: how police use force against children." out of 3,000 cases analyzed -- >> without objection. >> -- thank you -- children under 16, more than 50% of them
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were african-american children. this is despite the fact that only 15% of the use child population is african-american. the american psychological association found that black boys as young as ten are more likely than their white counterparts to be perceived as guilt i and face police violence. use of force against children can include physical restraint, handcuffs, tasers, dogs and even firearms. in one particularly distressing case cited in the ap report, law enforcement officers attempted to handcuff a six-year-old girl but were unable to because her hands were too small. these encounters can be traumatizing and impact children's perceptions of police moving forward. i wanted to know, to the best of your knowledge, are law enforcement officers trained on how to properly interact with children? there have been several reports of officers attempting to handcuff five, six, and seven-year-old children. >> i'm afraid i don't know the answer because the federal government almost never is involved in those kinds of
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cases. however, we do have funding for use of force guidelines and that sort of thing, and we also have under our office of juvenile justice funding for helping set up standards for such things. i don't know the specifics. >> thank you very much. last month you announced a new policy prohibiting the department's federal law enforcement components from using chokeholds or carotid restraints. thank you for that since we weren't able to pass the law in the senate. i would like to take the steps to end abuse by federal law enforcement. we have seen incidents such as the tragic case of elijah mclain where methods of restraints have been used with negative results. what are the rules during an individual's arrest?
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just to remind you, the department in colorado required a paramedic to administer ketamine. it's my understanding that medicine can only be given by paramedics and not law enforcement. >> that's where the carotid holds and the chokeholds came out of, and i don't know about the question you're asking, but i would be happy to have staff get back to you. >> great. and once again i appreciate doj trying to step in where we weren't successful in the senate in terms of the george floyd justice and policing act, and i wanted to know if you could expand on further action that the department of justice will be taking in lieu of action
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they're taking. >> we have begun again to look at a pattern of practice investigations of police departments, for patterns of unconstitutional policing as provided by statute that congress did pass and gave us the authority to do. we will again use consent decrees where they are appropriate. we have issued memoranda with quite specific standards on when they're appropriate and when they're not. they may include monitors, may not, but about new standards of when monitors are appropriate. i think that's certainly one very significant area. i think one of the other members mentioned that we have three of those proceedings and we also have, in texas, a proceeding about the youth jails and the youth prisons, so that follows up on your other question where we're doing those kinds of investigations. >> the time of the gentlelady has expired. mr. tiffany? >> thank you, mr. attorney general, for being here today.
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right over here in this corner. >> ah. thank you. okay, sorry. >> the equal protection clause was incorporated into the fifth amendment to prevent the federal government from discriminating against americans based on race. do you agree that race is a suspect classification? >> yes, that's what the supreme court has held since the late 1950s, early 1960s. >> thank you very much for that. the so-called american rescue plan earmarked billions of dollars in united states department of agriculture debt relief based solely on race. why are you and your department defending the american rescue plan that discriminates based on race? >> i believe you're referring to a district court case in much that's said issue, so i can't really say any more than is in the pleadings in that case. this has to do with whether
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there are additional indicia in addition to race that are used in making these grants and whether there is sufficient evidence of historical practices that will tie it to race. >> so, sir, it's very explicit in the bill that democrats wrote to congress and president biden signed into law that this is based on race. doesn't this meet the standard of pure discrimination that our country has tried to rid itself of? >> i believe the question has to do with historical patterns of discrimination against black farmers, and i believe the purpose of what's going on in the district court now is examining the record to determine whether there is a sufficient record in that respect. >> it sounds like you support the legislation, then. >> the question for us is the constitutionality of the legislation. that's the only question before us, and as i said with respect to another statute, the justice
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department defends the constitutionality of statutes that can be recently construed as constitutional, and we believe that statute can be, yes. >> the chairman confines me to five minutes so i'd like to move on. recently you directed the fbi to coordinate with 14,000 school districts after the national school board association asked you to protect schools from imminent threat of parents. along with friends, neighbors and constituents, i've attended multiple school board meetings throughout my district in the last year. i have a child that's in public school yet. i'm very concerned about some of the things that are going on, and yes, some of those school board meetings get heated. are we, my friends, neighbors, constituents, are we domestic terrorists? >> no. >> are we criminals? >> again, i don't know the facts that you're talking about, but the only way you're criminals is if you commit acts in violation of the statutes, and that would mean threats of violence or actual violence. i'm sure you haven't done that,
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counselor. >> have states asked for help? the school board association did, but have states asked for help? >> we ever state and local partners for all of our matters. this is an assessment of whether there is a problem and there are federal statutes involved and there are state statutes involved. we are trying to prevent violence and threats of violence against public officials across a broad spectrum of kinds of public officials. >> as a former town board member, i can tell you we know how to deal with this. we call our sheriff's department. we can handle it. it's really not a problem. william castlebury, vice president for facebook, instructed on how to break u.s. immigration law. he said, we do allow people to share information about how to enter a country illegally or request information about how to be smuggled.
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are there charges pending against facebook? >> again, we can't, under the forms of the department, discuss whether there are pending investigations, actual investigations -- >> let me help you along. title 8, u.s. code 1324 makes it illegal for any person to knowingly encourage or induce an alien to reside in the united states in violation of law or for individuals to aid or abet illegal entry. i would say you really need to take a look at facebook and what they're doing to provide for greater illegal immigration that the biden administration continues to foster also. let's get down to what's happening here in the united states of america under the biden administration. we have a two-tiered justice system. they do nothing about crime, there is more cash bail and nothing is being done about it. you talk about increased crime. it is skyrocketing across the country, including in our biggest city of milwaukee,
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wisconsin. >> the gentleman's time has expired. mr. jeffries. >> thank you, mr. chairman, thank you, general garland, for your leadership, service to the country and your presence here today. earlier this year the house passed on a bipartisan basis by a vote of 414-11 the assistance of the council act which would limit the bureau of prisons to limit e-mail communications between detainees and the dop's custody and their attorneys. they concluded in a bipartisan way that this needs to be addressed. we're seeking technical assistance from the department of justice and the b.o.p. i sent a letter in that regard to you yesterday. i ask unanimous consent, mr. chairman, that it be entered
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into the record. >> without objection. >> and i look forward to your response working with the department of justice on this issue. voter fraud, if proven, is a serious crime that carries a five-year prison sentence, is that right? >> i don't know about the sentence. but yes, if proven, it's a serious crime. >> and there are investigations on voter fraud, correct? >> with respect to federal voting, yes. >> your department had uncovered zero evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election. is that still accurate? >> it is my recollection that is what he concluded, and i don't know of any evidence to the contrary. >> there is no evidence that voter fraud impacted the outcome of the 2020 election, true? >> that's correct. that's correct. >> it's fair to say that despite a global pandemic and record voter turnout as prior members of the trump administration has acknowledged, the 2020 election
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was the most secure in american history? >> that is the conclusion of the justice department and of the intelligence community and the department of homeland security, yes. >> despite the fact there is no evidence of so-called fraud, this year at least 19 states have enacted 33 laws making it harder for everyday americans to vote. and in the aftermath of the january 6 insurrection, instead of running toward democracy, there are people throughout this country, some, have run away from this democracy and they've unleashed an epidemic of voter suppression across the land. let me just ask a few questions about some of the things that have occurred. how does banning churches and civic groups from giving food and water to voters, some of whom have been waiting in line for hours, prevent or address voter fraud? >> congressman, i don't want to
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talk too much about that, because that is the subject of our loss against the state of georgia, but you have identified a segment of the challenge we have presented as being unlawful. >> does restricting the times that someone can cast their vote to business hours when many americans are at work relate in any way rationally to protecting the integrity of our elections? >> let me just talk generally about this. i believe that every eligible voter should be able to vote and that there should be no restrictions on voters that make it more difficult for them to vote unless they're absolutely necessary. the justice department is limited in its ability to bring cases that must find discriminatory effect. in my view everyone should have the ability to vote as readily and easily as possible. >> you testified earlier today that, in fact, one of the
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founding reasons for the department of justice is to defend civil rights in the nation, and in that particular context, i believe it was in the immediate aftermath of the civil war where the rights of african-americans were under assault. we've come a long way, we still have a long way to go, we still see race assaults on civil rights taking place today, and i would just urge the department of justice as it has been doing under your leadership to keep doing all that's possible to defend and protect the integrity of the right to vote. let me also just comment that there are some who continue to lie about the election, they're lying about covid, they're lying about the department of justice. mr. attorney general, you're a man of great integrity. under your leadership, the department of justice is off to
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a good start. we appreciate the work you're doing. keep it up on behalf of the american people and the constitution. i yield back. >> thank you, congressman. >> the gentleman yields back. there is a technical issue with the zoom feed, so we will recess for less than five minutes to resolve this issue.
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>> announcer: the house judiciary committee is taking a break. while we wait for the hearing to resume, here is a portion of "washington journal." for the next hour, we are joined by senator joe liebermann here to talk about his brand new book. senator liebermann welcome to "washington journal." >> thank you. nice to be with you. >> your ninth book, "the
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centrist solution." why did you write the book and why now? >> thanks for asking, thank you for having me on. this is a book i've been thinking about writing for a long time, and it's a strange thing to say but the pandemic and the fact that i was home and working from home, not to spend any time on the road, gave me a little extra time to write the book. the main point is that like most other americans, i am frustrated by the lack of accomplishment by our federal government, congress and the president, and i get disappointed, i get angry, and i decided, well, maybe i have something i can do to help it a little bit, which is to talk about the way in which -- the things that i feel best about that i did in my 24 years in the
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u.s. senate all were bipartisan and happened from the center out. and they cover, as i described in the book, a wide range of policy areas, environmental protection, budget balance, national security, homeland security rights. we got some good things done only because people of goodwill on both parties came to the center. i made a point in this book that being a centrist is not the same thing as being a moderate. centrists can be liberal democrats, conservative republicans. the main point is, are you willing to come to the center and negotiate compromise and settle for less than 100% but get something really substantial done, which is the way it was done not just in my 24 years in the u.s. senate but all the way back to the constitutional convention. >> i was going to say, you ground your book in your
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introduction in the founding fathers, the john adams in particular, the nightmares of john adams is your introduction. what was it about the founding father? what was it about john adams in particular that you focus on that makes you think this is the way the country was meant to be? >> i mean, adams and the statement that i quote and president washington in his farewell address, they're all very worried what they called at that point political fact which became political parties would not unite the people to get something done, but ride the people, and that elected officials would have a greater loyalty to their party than their country. i'm afraid that's too often what we're seeing in washington today, and it stops things from getting done. but they had enormous fights
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between the big population states at the convention which wanted congress to be totally reflective of population, the house of representatives. they had the smaller states that wanted equal representation, and i'm very proud to say the connecticut representatives, sherman and ellsworth, delegates of the constitutional convention, came up with the great compromise which says, let's have two chambers, a house and a senate, one reflecting population, the other an equal number of senators, as it turns out, from all states. well, that's just the most graphic example of how a compromise enabled the creation of the country. there were much more difficult and painful compromises, particularly about the issue of slavery, and i could talk about that more if you want. but they compromised on what i think was an immoral way,
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because it acknowledged and accepted slavery, but that's where they were at that time. >> in remembering and reading about your own experience with party, you're one who both left parties and had parties leave you. it seems like you're entire political career has been one in search of a comfortable -- not necessarily a comfortable place, but that center, if you will, that place of compromise. >> well, it is true that both from my own study of history -- >> mr. bishop? >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. attorney general, i'm right here. i was going to start with another subject, but i'm worried about the memo, if i'll follow up on that. the memo is one page. you issued it, i assume?
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>> i certainly did. >> you issued a directive to the fbi. you directed the fbi to conduct meetings with leaders of all levels of government across the country in every judicial district to strategize against an alleged trend of, quote, harassment, intimidation and threats of violence. you didn't cite examples to distinguish legitimate first amendment activity from criminal activity, nor certainly examples of a nationwide scope or severity of such acts to constitute a rise or spike in criminal activity, which you alleged in the memo. certainly not one that would warrant nationwide action by the fbi. here you've acknowledged that you relied in part on your knowledge of the national school board association's letter, which, by the way, characterized this activity nationwide as domestic terrorism. and maybe some vague awareness of other news reports.
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you've offered the justification here also that this was not the initiation of an investigation, as if that -- frankly, i don't submit it doesn't excuse the preeminent law enforcement official in the country issuing a memo of that sort. other than a brief nod to the concept of first amendment rights, you included no guidance in your memo how the fbi should go about avoiding chilling, intimidating, legitimate first amendment activity. you've even distanced yourself from the doj's press release on your memo today in its reference to the national security division. we come to this. you directed the fbi to have these meetings nationwide coordinated by united states attorneys. three days later i and 30-some-odd members of congress asked for advanced notice of
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these meetings, indications of what content would be shared there. we asked for that response within ten days given the time frame you set forth in your memo. more than half of that time has passed, no response. with these meetings occurring? >> let me just be clear again here. this memo is expressly directed against threats of violence and violence. the federal statutes that are relevant, prosecutors are well aware of where the first amendment line is. this is addressed to prosecutors and members of law enforcement. these are the kinds of statutes that we deal with every single day. they know the line. >> let me deal with it this way, mr. attorney general. are the meetings occurring? do you know? >> i don't know whether they're ongoing, but i suspect and hope that they are going, yes, because i did ask this they take place. >> you have not pursued at all to know what the progress is of your directive to do this within
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30 days, have meetings in every judicial district across the country, you just don't know? >> i doubt there have been meetings in every jurisdiction. i suspect there have been in some jurisdictions, and i hope so, because that's the purpose of the memo, to have meetings to discuss whether there is a problem, to discuss strategies, to discuss whether local law enforcement needs assistance or doesn't need assistance. that's the purpose of these meetings. >> doesn't that make it worse, mr. attorney general, if you don't even know that these meetings you directed urgently to occur, you don't even know if they're occurring. what is the point of the memo except for your authority to stigmatize a widespread activity, that which is prioritized at what your son does to make a living. if you were on the bench, you
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would not accept an answer from counsel that simply repeated your opposition to threats of violence nationwide. >> the memo specifically -- >> i'm not done, mr. attorney general. >> i apologize. >> you would write a memo without having evidence that you have directed nationwide that there is a movement among school parents. >> the gentleman's time is expired. mr. ciccolini. >> thank you for being here, and i just want to note the stark contrast of the current justice department and the prior administration. during the trump administration we saw over and over and over again evidence of mr. trump's personal grudges, particularly how the department was often
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weaponized to promote mr. trump's own corrupt interests and punish those who would speak against him. we hear public officials speak about how we must assure justice is blind, but it's almost laughable to tell that to the american people if our own justice department is manipulated as it was during the trump presidency. i want to say thank you, because we now have an attorney general that will not let the justice department fall to its own defense team but to the sovereignty of the american people and to the law. as i disagree with some of the decisions you've made, i never had any doubt about your integrity and impartiality. so i thank you for your service. my first question to you, mr. attorney general, and approximately -- actually, in 2020 about 6,000 firearms were sold to prohibitprohibitors bec
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application doesn't come back before 24 hours, and there is someone prohibited from buying a gun because of some disqualification but they have actually gotten a gun. that bill is pending in the house, but would it be possible for the justice department to issue a regulation that would require the next system to share information on prohibitors so we can respond to people who have bought guns each year? >> i don't know whether we can or not. we will look into that. we are certainly interested in something that will close all loopholes to keep people from obtaining firearms. >> approximately a year ago, the judicial committee issued a 450-page report about the digital marketplace. this was followed up by a 16-month bipartisan investigation, and the report
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concluded that flaws of jurisprudence made it impossible to get district to stop digital markets. there is direct evidence that a firm has power. i know you can't do anything without a lengthy process, but do you believe congress should update the antitrust laws to give authorities additional tools and courts additional guidance on how to have free competence? >> i would say the antitrust laws do permit us to be quite aggressive with respect to exclusionary policies, practices you're talking about, mergers, and we have been quite aggressive since we came to office, and i also asked for, in
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the fy '22 budget in the division so we can aggressively police this area. one particular problem is there are a number of new merger filings, and for us to possibly review the competitive or anti-competitive nature of those filings, we'll need additional people and additional assistance. >> we are fighting very hard to be sure you have additional resources to make sure to get this done. judge wood explained that the supreme court's jurisprudence over the last four decades may contribute to this so, quote, anti-competitive practices do not go overlooked because they're too weak or ineffective. can you address for us, are there challenges the department
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faces currently? are there certain types of anti-competitive practices going unaddressed because of these challenges, and what additional tools or authorities does the department need to overcome these challenges and aggressively enforce antitrust law? >> i'm not in a position to specify those now, but my staff will get back to you. >> great. finally, mr. attorney general, i want to say i'm grateful for all of your work to make sure school board meetings and teachers and school staff are kept safe, and the notion that that is not an appropriate responsibility for the department of justice is curious to me. and finally, mr. gomert made some reference to the legendary late john lewis to connect the bloody insurrection that led to the death of five people in an attempt to undermine our democracy i think was disgraceful. with that i yield back.
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>> the gentleman yields back. mr. buck? >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. attorney general, i would like to direct your attention to the easel behind me. the first image a a claude monet. >> i'm association i can't read any of the words. >> you don't need to. just focus on the beautiful painting. >> it is a beautiful painting. >> it was list as $6 million. claude monet was a part of the movement. the second painting is a de gaulle, and this painting sold for $5,000. the third painting, you may recognize this, is a hunter biden painting. it sold for $100,000. you may think that hunter biden was in such exclusive company that he would have a background,
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artistic training, for example. you would be wrong if you think that. you might think he had an apprenticeship with a world-renowned artist, but you would be wrong about that. or you would think he sold his works for years, and again, you would be wrong. in turns out in 2019, hunter biden couldn't find a gallery to list his art. what happened in 2020 to change all that? his father became president of the united states. now a single piece of art from hunter biden sells for more than the average american home. this art arrangement is so suspicious that the ethics czar tweeted this year, hunter biden should cancel this art sale because he knows the prices are based on his dad's job. shame on potus if he doesn't ask hunter to stop. by the way, mr. attorney general, this is the same hunter biden who is being investigated by your department and the irs
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for tax fraud. selling fakes or having a fake skill set is nothing new to hunter biden. when his dad was vice president, hunter biden received $50,000 a month from a oligarch to sit on a crane company. what was his experience? nothing, zilch. as soon as he had his dad got to china, he linked with a chinese central bank. you might ask what his background was with pacific rim investments or the chinese central bank. nothing. inquiring minds might question why any art gallery would want to sell hunter biden's art. this particular art gallery had its covid relief doubled by the
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biden administration. this particular art gallery received by far the largest sba disaster loan. and as an aside, mr. attorney general, the member who represents the tenth congressional district is none other than chairman nadler. mr. attorney general, who buys hunter biden's art? what benefits do they receive from the biden administration? the american people want to know. i have sent a letter to the department of justice before your tenure asking them to appoint a special counsel to investigate hunter biden. i have today sent a letter to you, and i am asking you now, will you appoint a special counsel to investigate hunter biden? >> for the same reason that i'm not able to respond to questions about investigations of the former president or of anyone
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else, i'm not able to discuss any investigations pending or otherwise with respect to any citizen of the united states. >> mr. attorney general, i worked for the department of justice for 15 years. you are allowed to tell us whether you will appoint a special counsel. you may not tell us whether you are investigating or not investigating a particular matter, but you are allowed to tell us whether you will appoint a special counsel, and that's my question. >> apparently i just received the letter today from you, and we'll be taking it under advisement. but i wasn't aware you had sent me a letter. >> okay. i appreciate it. mr. chairman, i yield back, but i would first like to place into the records, two articles, one from vox, and the second from the new york post, art gallery receive $500,000 loan, covid
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records show. without objection. the gentleman yields back? >> yes. >> the gentleman yields back. mr. swalwell. >> mr. attorney general, you may not get these four hours back, but you might get some art history credit today. you had a job before becoming a judge, which i think is the best job in the world. you were a prosecutor. when you were a prosecutor for the witness, i'm sure there were witnesses who you lawfully subpoenaed did not show up for court. do you recall that ever occurring? >> yes, sir. >> when that would occur, you would ask the judge to enforce a bench warrant and have them brought in? >> yes, but generally that did not get that far, but yes, that's true. >> that's one remedy you would have if someone does not show up? >> it is. >> today, as we sit here in this room and dozens of courtrooms across america, your prosecutors have that right if a witness under a lawful subpoena does not come in, to ask for a warrant for that one citizen's arrest? >> you're asking me about a
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particular case, and what i can say is what the department has said about this on the record, which is if the house of representatives vote to refer criminal contempt matter to the department, we will review it and act according to the law and facts as the principal prosecutor require. >> you would agree that a subpoena by an article 2 administrator is to be treated the same lawfully issued by article 1? >> since we're really now talking about a very specific case, i don't want to get into the law. >> i don't want to get into specific cases, but if any congress in history issues an article 1 subpoena, do you agree that generally that should be treated the same as an article 2 subpoena? >> there are different case laws for both, and we would be following the federal case law in making our choices.
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>> mr. attorney general, they outlined the guidelines for a sitting president and said you cannot do that. 27 years later, that was updated to reaffirm that principle. 21 years later, we have seen a former president test the bounds of presidential authority. and i'm wondering, would you commit to revisiting that principle whether or not a president, while sitting, should be indicted? >> the office of legal counsel memorandum, particularly when they've been reviewed and reaffirmed by attorneys general and assistant attorneys general of different parties, it's extremely rare to reverse them. we have the same kind of respect for our precedence as the courts do. i think it also would not normally be under consideration unless there was an actual issue arising and i'm not aware of that issue arising now. i don't want to make a commitment on this question.
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>> i don't want to talk about any specific case, but just in general, should a former president's suspected crimes, once they're out of office, be investigated by the department of justice? >> again, i don't want to make any discussion about any particular former president or anything else. the memorandum that you're talking about is limited to acts while the person was in office and that's all i can say. >> should that decision be made only after an investigation takes place rather than deciding beforehand a general principle of we're not going to investigate a former president at all? would you agree that if there are facts, those should be looked at? >> again, you're pushing me very close to a line that i do not intend to cross. we always looked at the facts and we always look at the law in any matter before making a determination. >> general garland, my colleague, mr. deutsche, skz you about gun manufacturer
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liability, and i wanted to follow up and ask does the reason pennsylvania decision which has been vacated and reargued change your office's thinking, and would you commit to reexamining doj's posture in specific cases? >> i want to ask you to refresh my recollection about the recent pennsylvania decision that you're speaking of. i have a lot of cases in my head, but that one doesn't come right up. >> last year a pennsylvania appeals court held the commerce and arms act unconstitutional. i'm just asking in light of that, would you commit to reexamining as new cases come in? >> the justice department has taken the position in court that we're going to defend that statute as constitutional, and i don't see a ground for changing our mind. i expect that the considerations that the judges in the pennsylvania state court were brought to the attention of this at the attorney general's office. >> you referenced january 6
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prosecutions. on behalf of my family and the law enforcement families who work in this building, i want to thank you for continuing to pursue those investigations and arrests. i yield back. >> the gentleman yield back. mr. shapiro. >> thank you for being here. i think we all agree that no one should be above the law, and recent reports had former president clinton in california. he fell ill and was also reported that he had been there to raise money for the clinton foundation. in 2017, then-attorney general jeff sessions issued a probe to scrutinize whether donors to clinton foundation had been given special treatment by hillary clinton when hillary clinton was secretary of state.
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this investigation wound down in 2020. in december of 2020, press reports indicated that special counsel's durham's team was seeking information on the fbi's handling of the clinton foundation investigation. during your confirmation hearing, if you remember, you were asked if you would actually ensure that the special counsel durham would have sufficient staff and other resources to complete that investigation. now, obviously, you've had more than six months on the job, and can you commit to allowing the special counsel durham's investigation to proceed and free from any political influence? >> let me say about the money. we're now in a fiscal year, and as you know, mr. durham is continuing. i think you can assume his
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budget has been approved. we don't normally make a statement about such things, but since he's still in action, the provisions of the regulation which require approval of his budget for the next fiscal year are public, so i think you can draw -- you would know if he weren't continuing to do his work. >> i'll take that as a confirmation that the investigation is continuing into the clinton foundation, and i think that's important -- >> i don't want to say what it's about. that's up to mr. durham. i'm not determining what he's investigating. >> very good, very good. if i can move on, you said the doj would be responsible for determining any motive for making any investigation or prosecution. that's the end of your quote. but, you know, i think there's
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many people that i interact with on a regular basis back in my congressional district that it appears that when you have tackled and targeted specific areas since your tenure began, it's been about election integrity measures, pro-life initiatives and what's been discussed many times here today, the silencing of parents that kind of are very upset about what's going on with some of the school boards. so it appears that you said one thing and made that commitment in your confirmation hearings, but at the same time, it seems that doj is specifically targeting many issues that i think i have described as conservative issues. i'm wondering if you could respond to that.
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on the last point, i hope the you are not trying to chill the justice department's rulings. we simply don't want threats of violence or violence. there are departments between one administration and another, different views about what the law is. there will be people from the democratic party who disagree with my determinations, and you've already heard some of those, and there will be people from the republican party who will disagree with my determinations about our filings in civil cases. that comes with the territory. that's what happens to the attorney general. i'm doing my best to ensure that we make decisions on the facts and the law, and when i said i would protect our people from partisan influence with respect to to investigations and prosecutions, i meant that. i continue to do that. regardless of which side of the
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aisle is criticizing me for it. >> an earlier member said he was very concerned about the previous administration weaponiing doj. and i would say i share the same concerns. and i would certainly hope that your department would maybe be much more sensitive -- >> the time of the gentleman has expired. mr. liu? >> i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. mr. liu? >> thank you for your public service. my wife is a school board member. she has been targeted with deeply disturbing death threats. the lack of concern from my colleagues for the safety of teachers, school officials and school board members is dangerous, disgusting and utterly shameful. thank you, attorney general garland, for seeking to protect americans from violence and threats of violence.
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i would like to ask you about profiling. there were people arrested wrongly for asian violence. when we looked into them, the only issue was they happened to look like me. my question to you is, will you commit to implementing implicit bias training at the department of justice? >> i thank you for your comments. i know you know i'm greatly attuned to this problem. that's why the very first memorandum i issued when it came to the justice department was to
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investigate hate crimes on a nationwide basis, and particularly against the aapi community. that's why we have made all of the changes required by the no hate act, most of them before the act was even passed because we were already on that route. there is no excuse for this kind of discrimination, and it's the obligation of the justice department to protect people. >> thank you. so let me bring attention to a study that came out that shows this problem is wider than we feared. it was conducted by a visiting scholar to the south texas college of law in the committee of 100-a nonprofit to examine espionage cases brought to the department between 1996 and 2020, and the findings were deeply disturbing. this study showed that one in three asian americans accused of espionage were falsely accused. they found that asian defendants were punished twice as severely
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as non-asian defendants, and it showed that the department of justice issued press releases much more frequently under these cases if the defendant happened to have an asian name versus a western name. i'm going to ask you again, will you commit to implementing implicit bias training that attorney general laura lynch had directed at the department of justice? >> my understanding is that was required by -- i can't remember the name, maybe the no fear act, i can't remember the name. and the bar on doing such training was rescinded by the president in an executive order, i think, on the very first day of the new administration, so, of course, we will go ahead with what was required by the statute, including implicit bias training, yes. >> so tucked look into that more, i appreciate it. thank you. i'd like to now talk about a case brought under the china initiative that happened under
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your watch, the case of professor amin hu who was also wrongly accused of spying for china. evidence against him was so flimsy that a judge dismissed the case under a rule 20 motion. i'm a prosecutor and i know those motions are rarely, if ever, granted. the judge found that even reviewing all evidence in a light favorable to the prosecution, no rational jury could conclude that the defendant violated the law. if we look at one of the darkest periods of our nation's history, over 100,000 americans of asian descent were interned because they couldn't figure out the japanese. i'm asking that america not make that mistake and i ask that you check out the china initiative
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to not wrongly target people of japanese descent. >> it's a terrible stain on merp people and on the american government and on american history. i can assure you that kind of racist behavior will not be repeated. there is a new assistant attorney general for the national security division who is pending confirmation. i'm sure that when he is confirmed, which hopefully will be in the next few days or maybe the next few weeks, we'll review all of the activities in the department in his division and make a determination of which cases to pursue and which ones not. i can assure you that cases will not be pursued based on discrimination but only on facts justifying them. >> the time of the gentleman has expired -- >> mr. chairman, may i ask unanimous consent to issue three documents into the record. >> without objection.
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>> the first is something i referenced, "the window into the new red scare," the second is an article entitled "professor acquittal, is china initiative out of control" dated february 25, 2021, and the third is a letter by faculty members outlining why the china initiative is discriminatory and harms american competitiveness dated february 20, 2021. thank you. >> with that the gentleman yields back. mr. bentz. >> let me say i was disappointed with your memo regarding school boards and parents first, because i, like you, have school age kids. i attended as an eight-year member of school boards. many long years, i might add. i appreciated the parents'
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involvement. i listened to them carefully. the fact they took time to be there after a long day's work spoke volumes about how much they care for their kids. no one condemns violence, no one condones intimidation, but what you said today is the memo is far too loose in its language, less likely to chill parent participation that the school boards did so much to encourage that i would appreciate a supplemental memo. second, it says, it is the attempt to protect all people from violence, threats of violence, intimidation and harassment. this goes to the activities of your department and i would suggest we have a situation in oregon that i think is going to be copied across the united states. it involves the illegal growing and production of marijuana and cannabis on an almost unbelievable industrial scale. based in large, and probably
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irreplaceable part, the miserable suffering of persons in drug cartels. we will not go into the challenges on the border other than i wish we had a border. i simply want to say that the people that are coming across by the thousands are being put to work in situations that are immensely bad, and the fda, by the way, i've spoken with, but your department needs to do something about it at all levels you can. i'm tempted, each time i see the horrible things happening to people, go back to the memo to the school board. it seems there is a misprioritization. we are talking about thousands of people in these inhumane
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living conditions. the size of the problem is almost unbelievable. based on assessments from law enforcement in oregon, the amount being illegally raised and sold in the united states in just one of these counties exceeds 13.5 billion in just one of my counties. i have 36 counties. $13.5 billion, mr. attorney general, on the backs of people human beings brought over the border and probably forced to servitude from the cartels for their immigration. i want to mention that the creation of this situation doesn't just harm those folks brought across the border. it harms the community. we've had people come in and tell us about going shopping down at the local supermarket and seeing folks wearing big, bulky coats, and under those coats they can see ak-47s. they've had water masters approached, the guys taking care of the water being stole bin
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-- stolen by these cartels, and they came up to the water master and said, i'm invisible. you can't see me. i can kill you and no one will know. that's a threat. that's parents. i would suggest there's a misprioritization. i would like to offer the letter from josephine county commissioners to oregon. the order issued a week ago declaring an emergency because of this situation, and finally, photos of the squalid living questions and a video of the valley showing thousands of hoop houses, some of which we are absolutely sure, many of which are illegal. >> without objection. >> will the gentleman yield? >> mr. attorney general, in your memo, you said directing the federal bureau of investigation to convene meetings with federal, local, and state leaders within issuance of this memorandum. 94 federal districts have until
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november 3rd to have these meetings. how many meetings have taken place? >> i don't know the answer. i'm sure there have been meetings but -- >> any idea. any idea how many meetings have taken place? >> i don't know how many meetings. i'm sure there are not -- >> so much urgency that five days after a political organization asked the president of the united states for fbi involvement, five days later you do a memo talking about disturbance spike in harassment and violence and then convening this open line of communication for reporting on parents and you say start meeting in 30 days and you come to the judiciary committee and can't tell us. >> time of the gentleman has expired. mr. raskin. >> thank you, attorney general garland, thank you for your service to the united states of america, which is a point of special pride for those of us in maryland's eighth district. right-wing violence is now a lethal threat to american democracy. we came to the capitol when qanon followers, three
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percenters, oath keepers,arian nation, militiamen stormed the capitol of the united states in the worst assault on the capitol since the war of 1812, injuring more than were 40 police officers. breaking their noses, breaking their necks, breaking their vertebrae, taking their fingers. causing traumatic brain injury. causing post traumatic stress syndrome. and now, with all of the white washing by donald trump, who lied and said that his mob was hugging and kissing the officers, and by his cult-like followers like representative clyde who said that this was more akin to a tourist visit, this permission for violence has given license to the darkest impulses in right-wing politics and given rise to conspiracy theory driven mob violence, not just at state capitols like we saw in lancing, michigan, which
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was a dress rehearsal for the january 6th attack, but also it's in schools and at school boards across the country. here's some headlines from across the country that tell the story. school boards association reaches out to fbi for help as threats violence hits meetings. louden county board members have faced death threats. prince william meetings have broken down with people screaming. there's been violence across the country. here's another one. a california teacher is hospitalized after he's allegedly attacked by a parent over face masks on the first day of school. here's one, an angry parent allegedly ripped off a teacher's mask. it's not the only physical altercation over masks in schools. i'm limited by time here. but there are cases like this all across the country. now, i would like to ask you this question, mr. garland. because you have been vilified, you have been castigated by members of this committee for
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your responsiveness to the national school boards association that is members of school boards across the country who are reporting this dramatic uptick in violence against school board members, education administrators, other parents who have the temerity to go to a school board meeting wearing a mask. did you tell the school board association to reach out to you? did you coach them to reach out to the fbi? >> no. >> the letter signed by the nsba president viola garcia, nsba executive director and ceo chip slaven said america's public schools and its education leaders are under an immediate threat. did you write those words or tell them to write those words? >> no. >> okay. did you violate any rule of
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ethics or any rule of law by responding to this clamor across the country to try to restore some calm and some peace to the schools of america? >> no, i didn't. i followed my duty as i saw it. >> i notice that not a single member of this committee has cited a single sentence in your memo as violating anyone's rights. not one. they have not cited a single sentence from your memo because your memo scrupulously follows the difference between conduct and speech. would you care to reedify our colleagues about what the first amendment protects and what it doesn't protect? >> well, the supreme court is quite clear that the first amendment protects spirited, vigorous, argumentative, even vituperative speech, perfectly acceptable for people to complain about what their school boards are doing or what their teachers are doing in the most
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aggressive terms. what they're not allowed to do is threaten people with death or serious bodily injury, the so-called true threats line of cases. >> okay. do you think that it's going to be important for us to confront violence against public institutions, whether it's the united states congress as we count electoral college votes, whether it's against state legislatures and governors who have been subject to assassination plots, or against school board members who maybe don't even get paid? why is it important, if you agree that it is, for us to defend public institutions, public leaders, and public process against violent intimidation, threats, and attacks? >> i do think it's important -- >> mr. chairman. mr. chairman, the point of order. mr. raskin's words need to be taken down. he referred to one of our colleagues as being cult-like,
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and we don't allow personal attacks under the rules. >> i'm sorry, who did i refer to as cult-like? >> andrew clyde. >> i said that andrew clyde was in a religious cult? >> yeah. cult-like. that's a derogatory characterization. it's not allowed under the rules. >> i'll wait for direction from the chair, but if he objects to the idea -- >> we have regular order. i would urge everyone to avoid engaging in personalities. the time of the gentleman has expired. mr. mcclintock. >> mr. chairman, can you rule on my port of order. rule 17, clause 4. standing rules of the house. >> not a timely point of order. >> i did raise it at the time. >> mr. mcclintock.
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no, no, no. mr. mcclintock -- >> happy to -- just so we can get on with our business. i'm happy to withdraw that and we can talk about it another context. it's interesting the people -- >> adi said, people should -- >> i'm quite fine with it, mr. chairman. >> just trying to follow the rules, mr. raskin. >> mr. raskin, you said enough. we all have strong feelings. people should avoid engaging in personalities. mr. mcclintock. >> i think the real concern of a lot of parents is they attend a school board meeting to exercise their first amendment rights, a fight breaks out, and the next thing you know, they're tracked down by the fbi with a rap on the door, maybe a s.w.a.t. team in the morning because they simply happened to be there. that is a serious form of intimidation. whether it was intended or not, that's clearly the effect it's having, and i think you need to
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be sensitive of that. i want to talk about the news we received yesterday that we have seen the highest number of arrests of people illegally crossing our border in the history of our country. 1.7 million arrests this year. it is a federal crime to cross the border outside of a port of entry, is it not? >> yes, it's a misdemeanor, that's true. >> your job is to prosecute federal crimes. how many are prosecuted of the 1.7 million? >> injustice department doesn't make those arrests. >> the justice department is responsible for prosecuting them. how many are you prosecuting? >> i don't know the answer to that. >> a lot or a little? wait a second, you know exactly how many people you're prosecuting from the riot on january 6th, but you can't even give me a ballpark guess of how many people you're prosecuting? of the 1.7 million who have illegally crossed our border, committing a federal crime in doing so. >> i don't have that number on
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the top of my head, but i would be happy to have our staff get back to you. >> you think the failure to prosecute illegal border crosses might have something to do with the fact our border is now overwhelmed by illegal immigrants who tell reporters they wouldn't have considered making the trip under the donald trump administration? >> i think there are substantial number of issues driving migration towards the united states, from the pandemic -- >> if you ask the migrants, they'll tell you specifically what's driving it. they can do it now. they can get in. gallup, and not fear of prosecution from you. gallup tells us, there are about 42 million people living just in latin america and the caribbean, who intend to come to the united states if they can, based upon their polling. a lot of people come each year on temporary visas, but then they fail to leave when the visas expire. again, in violation of federal law. do you believe that those who illegal a overstay their visas
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should respect our laws and return to their home countries? >> i think they should respect our laws. that's up to the department of homeland security to make determinations about how -- >> yet the administration is proposing amnesty to most visa overstays who arrive before january of 2021, including those whose visas have yet to expire. what you're telling us and what you're doing are two very different things. let me go on. it's unlawful for an employer to knowingly hire an illegal alien. how many prosecutions are you pursuing under this law? >> again, i don't know the number off the top of my head but i would be happy to have staff get back to you. >> it shocks me, given the fact that this is now an historic high on illegal border crossings, you're the chief law enforcement officer of our country, you come here before this committee. you devote not a word in your spoken remarks to this issue. you devote out of a ten-page written statement one paragraph simply saying we need to expedite the immigration
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proceedings for asylum claims. i find that astonishing. let me ask you this, do you agree that an alien who received proper noting of his or her immigration court hearing who fails to appear at the hearing and is ordered removed in absentia should be removed from this country? >> i'm not really familiar with exactly the circumstance you're talking about. there are rules about removal and there are rules -- >> when someone is ordered deported by -- >> i'm sorry. >> if someone is ordered deported by a court, should they be removed? >> if they're ordered deported by a court, then we have an obligation to follow the court's order. >> yet the president on his opening day in office instructed customs -- immigration and customs enforcement not to conduct such deportations. >> i'm not familiar with the specific thing you're talking about. i'm sorry. >> what circumstances would
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justify an independent prosecutor? >> so we have had some history with independent prosecutors. neither the democrats nor the republicans seem to like the result regardless of who is appointed. >> there have been multiple reports that hunter biden made enormous sums of money, and he's admitted that's because of his family ties. that by itself might not be a crime, but there have also now been multiple reports that emails and other communications from hunter biden have indicated that his finances were intermingled with those of this fathers, including a text to his daughter complaining that half of his earnings were going to his father. if that doesn't call for an independent investigation of the president, what would? >> so not going to comment about this investigation, but as everyone knows, there is an investigation going on in delaware by the u.s. attorney who was appointed by the previous administration. and i can't comment on it any further than that.
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>> that's being done under the justice department, not independently, and the justice department answers to the president, who is implicated in the emails. >> time of the gentleman has expired. ms. jayapal. >> thank you very much for being here and for your commitment to protecting our democracy. i would like to generally discuss the prosecutions of the january 6th insurrectionists. the prosecutors handling these cases believe jail time is the appropriate sentence for misdemeanor charges. however, the first misdemeanor defendants to receive jail time were only sentenced last month, nine month after the worst assault on the united states capitol since the war of 1812. i'm trying to understand what the process is for these prosecutions and why there are delays. does doj headquarters have final approval on all plea agreements before they are offered to a defendant? >> so i don't want to discuss these investigations in that respect. i would say that the justice
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department and the u.s. attorney's office working together have guidelines for the kinds of pleas that can be accepted so that there are not -- there's not -- i don't want to use the word discrimination in the racial sense, but there's not unequal treatment between people who did the same thing. now, we can't have every individual prosecutor following a different set of plea arguments. so that's the extent to which that's being organized. this is -- on the question you asked which is why this takes so long, this is really not long at all. i have been in lots of criminal investigations that took way longer. we have arrested 650 people already, and keep in mind that most of them were not investigated -- arrested on the spot because the capitol police were overwhelmed. so they were people who had to be found. and they had to be found by sometimes looking at our own video data, sometimes from citizen sleuths around the
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country identifying people. then they have to be brought back to washington, d.c., then discovery of terabytes of information has to be provided. and then all of this was occurring while there was a pandemic and some of the grand juries were not fully operating. and some of the courtrooms were not fully operating. so i'm extremely proud of the work that the prosecutors are doing in this case and the agents are doing in this case. they're working 24/7 on this. >> thank you, general garland, that's helpful. i want to talk about disparity, actually, of prosecutions. federal judges have criticized allowing defendants traveling for vacation. and yet the "wall street journal" reports that you have told doj officials that jailing rioters who weren't hard-core extremists could further radicalize them. do you believe such statements
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are appropriate to make as the person overseeing these prosecutions? >> i don't know where that report comes from. my recollection of this is in a completely different context. that is i worry that there will be radicalization in the bureau of prisons when people are -- and this is radicalization that has occurred with prison gangs, with white supremacist groups in prisons, and with radical middle eastern groups in prisons. and i was concerned that the bureau of prisons have a procedure for insuring that that radicalization doesn't spread across prison populations. >> general garland, i don't know how you could further radicalize people who have attempted to overthrow the government. let's just contrast the department's approach to the george floyd protests. a participant in the protest faced up to five years and felony charges for inciting a riot via social media.
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three white supremacists at the charlottesville rally received prison sentences between two and three years for their violence, assault to protesters and conspiracy to riot. and despite social media posts, only one person was charged with a felony. i understand all of the challenges that you are facing with what you have mentioned, and i do appreciate that. but i am concerned about the disparity of the way sentencing is occurring. is it fair to say that the department does and should consider deterrence and the gravity of crimes when pursuing both sentencing and pretrial confinement or detention? >> the answer to that is yes. but the ultimate determination on both sentencing and pretrial detention is up to the judge and not to the department. there are some judges that are criticizing the kind of charges we're bringing, being not harsh enough, but there are other judges who are criticizing the same charges as being too harsh.
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as i mentioned before, this comes with the territory of being a prosecutor. >> i understand, i just want to say that i think if we are to restore faith in the department of justice under your leadership, and a new administration, we have to make sure that the disparity of sentencing we have continued to see under the last administration and with this administration has to be addressed. and i hope that you will do that, and i thank you for your efforts. i yield back. >> mr. issa. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general garland. it's good to see you, and it's good to have you before this committee. i appreciate your giving us so much time. as you know, your reach is global when it comes to overseas activities, such as the bombing that occurred in kabul. so the killing of 26 august of 13 u.s. troops falls under your
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jurisdiction. correct? or at least the fbi -- >> the fbi can participate. that's likely also dod, but some combination, yes. >> the areas of concern, media reports and public and private statements indicate that the bomber was in fact an individual who had been released from the detention center there at kabul. can you confirm that? >> i'm sorry, i don't know the answer to that. i don't know the answer to that. >> can you respond for the record -- obviously, the fbi does know. it's leaked out enough that i think it needs to be made official. >> to the extent that it would be permissible, and it's not classified information, then of course, we'll get back to you and i'll ask my staff to look into this. >> the records of those incarcerated at the detention center were public and certainly
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somebody who has blown themselves to bits would enjoy very few privacy rights, i would assume. >> i don't think it would be a question of privacy rights. >> just want to make sure we had that. the important point in my view is there are 4,999 other more other individuals who were released who were free to roam the streets of kabul on the very days that we were evacuating. i was in qatar last week. and it was reported to us in unclassified sessions that more than 20% of the individuals who boarded the aircraft in doha for the united states, more than 20% who came into there, came in with no papers whatsoever. no afghan papers, no u.s. papers, no other documentations. and that the documentation was produced based on oral testimony. they called it a paper passport. based on the fact of the 60,000 plus people that passed through
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doha, qatar, 20% of them or more did not have any paperwork. of the remaining ones, at least 40% had only documentation that was produced in afghanistan. how do we know how many -- we know some, undoubtedly, but how many in fact made their way to the united states of the 5,000 plus people who were incarcerated for being isis terrorists and the like? how do we know who they are, where they are, and how many of them in the united states, and what are you doing to discover further? >> congressman, you have identified a very serious problem. there was a massive air lift of refugees out of afghanistan at the very last moment. and that required vetting at not only at qatar, but also at ramstein and the other bases where people were moved to and then when they're moved to the united states. >> in the remaining time, if you could respond for the record
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about how many -- how many you know, how many you have apprehended, how many you're following? because once we know that tens of thousands of people left afghanistan who had no evidence of a nexus to the united states, and were transported to the united states, and knowing that there were 5,000 terrorists that had been recently released, we do have an obligation to figure out what the steps that are being taken to find them and to incarcerate them, and i recognize that there are a number of people in kosovo who were identified, so we would certainly include that. my last round of questioning really goes to the terrible attacks that occurred at ft. mccoy and other places. we have a significant number of afghan/american bound individuals who are currently committing crimes. and who have committed crimes. and so i would like to know, one, to the best of your ability, how many cases you're
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following, not what the cases specifically are about? and what authorities you have been given or need to be given to deal with these individuals, including irevocation of their paroles which is an executive prerogative, but one we would like to know, will individuals who have committed crimes have their paroles pulled, and if so, can they then be deported or begin the deportation process? >> we'll try to get back to you on what we're able to tell you on the questions of the crimes you're talking about. >> and we're happy to accept it in an environment where it's not disclosed, but i really think this committee has an obligation to have a good feel for the nature of the individuals, the nature of the crimes, and how we're going to deal with them. this is an awful lot of people who are requesting special entry to the united states. and as we know, many of them did not do anything for the united states but simply were able to get on aircraft in the rush at
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the end. mr. chairman, thank you for your excess time indulgence. i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. ms. demings. >> thank you so much, mr. chairman. attorney general garland, great to see you again. we were together last week as the nation recognized 701 law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty whose names will be added or were added to the wall. here we are, just a few yards away from law enforcement officers who were beat down in this very sacred place. we have been asked to move on, but attorney general garland, some of us just cannot. not yet. in your opening statement, you said that the department's core values are upholding the rule of law, keeping our country safe, and protecting civil rights. as i sit here today as a member of the house of representatives, i see my job and also the job of
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every member of the house on both sides of the aisle, attorney general, is guess what, to uphold the rule of law, keep our country safe, and protect civil rights. as you know, i served as a law enforcement officer for almost three decades. it was an honor, and at all levels of government, whether local, state, or federal, law enforcement officers take an oath to uphold the constitution, defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. enforce the laws of the land, and protect and serve their communities, or at least that's what the responsibility is about. it is about keeping the american people safe. effective policing, though, requires resources and investment. we cannot sit here as policymakers and demand better policing, better training without providing the resources
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to achieve it. attorney general garland, i know you know, very familiar with the cops grant program, as you know, it provides resources and assistance to state and local enforcement for things such as community policing. the burn jag grant provides several initiatives for state and local jurisdiction, including technical assistance training, personnel, equipment, supplies for law enforcement, prevention and education, crime, victim, and witness assistance, mental health and related law enforcement programs. if you would just take a moment, i know you mentioned earlier that your commitment in terms of funding to this very important initiative, but if you would just take a moment to talk about the effectiveness of the doj grant programs and talk a little bit about the future of those resources. >> i thank you for that opportunity. this is part of our commitment,
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both to keep the country safe and therefore to help state and local communities fight violence in their communities. and second part of our obligation, to uphold civil rights, so insure that this be done with constitutional policing. and also with respect to our first priority, that is insuring adherence to the rule of law. so we have asked for in the 2022 budget more than $1 billion in grants for state and local police organizations. that's $537 million for cops hiring and $513 million for burn jag. each of those are an increase for cops. it's an increase of $300 million over the previous year. for burn jag, it's about a $30 million increase over the previous year. there are other grant programs we have asked for money as well. one of them is quite important, is $100 million for a new
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community violence intervention initiatives. i met with community violence intervention experts in chicago earlier in the summer. i was extremely impressed by the results that they have had in taking people who might otherwise end up in crime, in setting them on a straight path. that particular program was actually a well controlled study done by the university of chicago, and it showed that these things actually work quite well. >> attorney general, if we could just switch gears for just a second. i want to talk about election security and threats that have been going on against election workers, poll workers. i know there was a task force established in june of last year as a result of the rising threats, including death threats. how does the task force plan to coordinate with local and state enforcement and prosecutors to
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pursue cases against those who seek to intimidate election workers? >> like all of our anti-violence initiatives from the violence initiatives we were just talking about, to project safe neighborhoods, to the memorandum we have been discussing earlier today, all of our activity in this regard involves partnerships with and meetings with state and local law enforcement. and with respect to election workers, we have as part of our normal sets of meetings, with respect to state and local law enforcement, we are meeting with them to identify threats, to find out where federal tools would be helpful, to find out where assistance to state and locals would be effective. there is an fbi tip line for threats to election workers, which are then funneled to the appropriate fbi office in the locality where the threats are occurring. this is similar to our work with
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respect to threats against members of congress, threats against judges, threats against prosecutors. threats against police officers. all of these things are done with tight coordination with state and local law enforcement. >> time of the gentlelady has expired. i understand mr. roy has a request. >> i do, mr. chairman. as unanimous consent to insert into the record the memorandum from the national school boards association to the president joe biden, specifically noting in there that it's talking about domestic terrorism, and footnote 13 directly references the incidents that occurred in louden county, virginia. i would like to insert that into the record. second item is the memorandum issued by the attorney general regarding what the federal bureau of investigation is supposed to do in terms of threats to parents on the school board. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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mr. garland, facebook has admitted in a letter to the arizona attorney general that it, quote, allows people to share information about how to enter the country illegally or request information about how to be smuggled, close quote. usc-2024 criminalizes aiding and abetting helping people into the u.s. have you sent a letter or a memorandum directing the department resources to investigate the apparent violation of law similar to the one? have you done that? >> i haven't seen the letter or information that you're talking about. but if it was sent to the department, i'll make sure that we look at it. >> it has been reported that mark zuckerberg also spent over $400 million in a, quote, carefully orchestrated attempt to influence the 2020 election. those efforts have been referred to as a, quote, private takeover of government operations, closed quote. have you sent a letter or issued
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a memorandum directing department resources be directed at investigating these claims? >> i don't know what was done in 2020? >> we're talking about the election of 2020. all this has come out since then. you're totally unaware of that? >> i'm not aware of what you're talking about. i'm cereay. >> so you're not investigating that. last sunday, more than 300 churches in virginia aired a video with vice president harris advocating the election of terry mcauliffe. it seems to be an orchestrated by the vp and mcauliffe to violate the law. have you sent a letter or issued a memorandum directing departmental resources to investigate this violation of law similar to the memorandum you issued on october 4th, targeting parents who exercise their rights at school boards. >> on may 4th, 2021, under oath,
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dr. anthony fauci denied the national institute of health provided any funding for gain of function research, saying, quote, that categorically was not done, close quote. today, this very day, the nih issued a statement contradicting that testimony, which suggests that dr. fauci may have committed perjury. this is a criminal offense and i'm left to wonder if you intend to look into that and send a communication such as a letter or a memo similar to the october 4th memo that you issued regarding parents going to school board meetings to investigate dr. fauci's potential perjury? >> again, i'll refer to the long-standing departmental norm that we don't comment about investigations pending or unpending. the general point that you're making normally comes -- would come with a referral from the relevant committee. >> the point -- the actual point i'm making is, you chose as a
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response to a letter from the national school board association and as you said earlier today, newspaper accounts, to issue a memorandum to organize task forces and investigate and put a chill on parents' participation before school boards. you say, i didn't mean to provide a chill, but that's exactly what any sentient being would have assumed would happen. when you ask the federal government to begin looking into this, of course, parents are going to be nervous now. of course, people will step back. that's the purpose of my questioning. so when we get to these things like zuckerberg, facebook, kamala harris, we get to -- and dr. fauci's purported perjury, there's no indication.
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you didn't hold back. you issued a press release. do you see the distinction? how about this one? since january 20, of 2021, border patrol has encountered more than 1.3 million aliens at the southwest border trying to illegally enter the country. you yourself have acknowledged today that that remains a crime. have you sent a letter or issued a memorandum to u.s. attorneys directing prosecution of these cases? >> no, and the reference of cases comes from the department of homeland security, as i mentioned before. >> look, you have managed to issue a memorandum about parents showing up at school boards. why can't you issue a memorandum regarding the million plus people who illegally enter the country and encouraging your u.s. attorneys to prosecute those cases? they are there constantly.
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>> the time of the gentleman has expired. ms. correa. >> thank you very much. welcome, and thank you for your good work. wanted to turn back to the issue of safety of elected officials, federal and local. you mentioned a couple words a few minutes ago. true threats and serious bodily injury. i would say that's within the context of what is said already, the first amendment, and that all of us are public officials. we chose to run for office, to be in elected office. yet recently, not recently, but throughout the years, we have been confronted with people in our faces, serious bodily harm, us being threatened. a dozen years ago, that happened to me in california. i called my local attorney general, bill told me, lou, never swing first. you will be criminally liable.
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i'll put you in jail myself, and you'll have tort issues as well. on january 7th, the day after the insurrection, i was at dulles airport, surrounded by probably about 20 people in my face. i remembered bill's words. i didn't want to swing first. i had people in my face surrounding me. my thought was, better make sure this guy if he does swing doesn't connect. otherwise, i'm going down. so sir, what are we left with today? the nice corporal that responded to that incident accused me of starting the fight. number two, i asked for an investigation. the nice people at the airport said, no laws were broken, yet we talk about true threats, serious bodily injury.
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at what point do we essentially -- at what point would you draw the line in terms of us protecting ourselves? and the sad thing about january 7th for me is it's nothing new. that happens in my district for the last few years over and over again. police officers show up, first amendment. and we're left to essentially handle the situation many times on our own. so mr. attorney general, i'm trying to figure out some clear lines here. how do we as elected officials protect ourselves, or are we left to conceal weapons? what is exactly we need to do? i'll take the heat. i'm an elected official, but where do you -- where does that first amendment stop and that serious bodily injury concept come into play? thank you. >> well, the courts have been quite clear that threats of an
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attempt to commit an unlawful act of death or a threat of serious bodily injury are not protected by the first amendment. anger, getting up in your face, those things are protected, unless there are some local provisions one way or the other. >> they are protected? >> yes, people can argue with you. people can say vile things to you. people can insult you. i'm sorry to say this. it doesn't mean i like that idea. doesn't mean that's where we should be in a civil society. but the first amendment protects vigorous argument. with respect to self-protection, i'm going to have to leave that to the capitol police and their protective organization to give that kind of advice to you. if you think you have a threat, if you have received a threat of violence, or a threat of serious bodily injury, you should report
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it. many other members of congress have done that. we just arrested somebody in alaska for threatening the two alaskan senators. >> mr. attorney general, i only have 54 seconds left. and i guess what i'm looking for is some kind of a message from your office at the federal level that there are certain things that are tolerated under the first amendment and some that are not. and those that cross that line will be prosecuted. and it also spills over to protection of poll workers at elections. i'm out of orange county, california. we have had private poll workers threatening voters. we have had letters focused threatening certain voters, keeping them from the polls. and yes, you can come back in retrospect and prosecute, but you have already affected the outcome of an election.
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so i'm hoping somehow to figure out a way to really send a clear message to these individuals that, you know, violations of our democracy, messing with our elections is not going to be tolerated, so they know that going into their actions. thank you. with that i yield. >> the gentleman yields back. mr. gaetz. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm very concerned about the influence of lobbyists in washington, d.c. there's no prohibition against the department of justice hiring lobbyists to be prosecutors, is there? >> you mean former lobbyists, i hope? >> that's correct. >> no prohibition. >> can you describe for us the specific vetting that the department does when professional influence peddlers are hired and given prosecuting authorities? >> well, hiring of assistant u.s. attorneys, this is a career hire made in a different u.s. attorney's offices. >> i mean for washington.
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in washington, at doj, are there any special procedures to vet lobbying contracts or maybe who a lobbyist worked for before they're given prosecutorial authority? >> again, i'm not sure what kind of person you're speaking with. if you're talking about line prosecutors, there is a background check. everybody, i'm sure, here is familiar with the sf-86. has to be filled out and includes all the people you work for. the same is true in main justice. >> there's no special review for lobbyists as opposed to people who have been engineered or had any other career. >> i don't know, but i don't believe there's a difference, but obviously, lobbying -- >> let's ask about the political consultants. political consultants get paid to make sure a candidate wins an election, that a political movement is successful or unsuccessful. is there any prohibition against hiring political consultants as prosecutors at the department? >> again, i don't think that
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we're allowed to even look at people's politics. >> no, no, not their politics. it's the profession of being a political consultant. there's no special vetting? >> i don't think there's a specific prohibition. there's a requirement once somebody becomes a prosecutor, just like when somebody becomes a judge, they get red of whatever preconceptions they had before and go forward under their new responsibilities and are subject to the ethics rules. >> we would hope that would be the case, mr. attorney general, but i tend to think if people are in the influence peddling game or they're prosecutors, it can be kind of dangerous to mix those, to be an influence peddler for hire one day, to be a prosecutor the next, maybe to rotate back and forth among those careers and it sounds like there's no special vetting for lobbyists or political consultants. what about partisan committee staff. their job is to insure that one party or another preserves or, you know, captures the majority,
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that legislative proposals are successful or not successful. no prohibition against the department hiring them, is there? >> as i understand it, every administration, including the one preceding this one, have hired people who have been committee staff. i don't think there's a statutory limitation. if the house of representatives and the senate think that partisan or -- >> it's how preet bharara got his job. we have people who can be lobbyists and then prosecutors. we have people who can be political consultants and then prosecutors. we have people who can be partisan committee staff and then prosecutors. the public integrity section has jurisdiction over election integrity, correct? >> it has jurisdiction over election crimes, yes. >> yes, so is there any prohibition against people who have been lobbyists, partisan
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committee staff, or political consultants actually going in and serving in the public integrity section? or is that allowed? >> i'll say again, the hiring in the public integrity section is a career hire made under the civil service. it's not made -- >> i'm worried about their prior career. what i think is if someone has been a political operative to then put them in charge of election crimes, it's kind of like having the fox guard the henhouse, don't you think? >> if you think that, that would be a perfect example of something the house should pass a statute barring people from particular professions from working in the justice department. >> would you support that legislation? >> i would have to look at what is it and whether it in itself violates the first amendment. >> i appreciate your open mindedness, and i hope that persists during your time at the department. would you provide the committee a list of lobbyists, former
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lobbyists, or just former political consultants who work in the public integrity section so we might inform on the legislation that you have suggested we might consider? >> i don't intend to create a list of career officials and what their previous jobs were. >> so if there are people who literally were political operatives who have prosecuting authority in the area that oversees elections, you won't give us the list? >> the time of the gentleman has expired. ms. scanlan. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you, attorney general garland, for appearing here today in a timely manner, and responding to our questions. as well as for your efforts to be responsive to the issues facing america today. thank you. i want to address two primary areas in my limited time. attacks on elected officials and attacks on elections. several of my colleagues have pointed out the far right's lies about election integrity have led to intimidation and threats
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of violence and death being made against elected officials and their families. in pennsylvania, we saw armed extremists come across state lines to try to disrupt the counting of votes in philadelphia. and an election commissioner had to put his children in hiding after death threats were made against him and his family. with the reopening of schools this fall, we have seen similar criminal conduct being directed at teachers and school board members with the encouragement of far right extremists including some elected officials. i take this personally because i was on school board for ten years, almost a decade, until 2015. during that time, i had thousands of hours of conversations with involved parents and constituents in grocery stores, on baseball fields, and in courtrooms and school board meetings. sometimes the discussions were passionate, but everyone always respected the boundaries of protected speech, and those exchanges of opinions and information were always conducted with a goal of exchanging information, reaching solutions for the community. we never, ever experienced any
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threats to the personal safety of board members, educators, or their families. and that has changed. the personal and physical ataxes that have been directed against school leaders in recent months have crossed well over the line of protected free speech or parental involvement and have become criminal conduct. that's what we're talking about here. as you noted, parents have a right to be heard. and to complain, and to argue. but parents and outside agitators do not have the right to criminally harass or threaten or assault school leaders and their families. we have heard some of the incidents that have occurred elsewhere around the country. in my district, police had to be called to several meetings after agitators disrupted the meetings. and elsewhere in pennsylvania, a candidate for office urged community members at a public rally to, and i quote, forget going into school boards with freaking data. you go into those school boards to remove them. i'm going in with 20 strong men
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and i'm going to give them an option. they can leave or they can be removed. i mean, that's not ordinary speech. i mean, it's a type of conduct that has led school boards and school officials to request help from law enforcement. it's shocking but perhaps not surprising that some of our colleagues have tried to frame these criminal acts as free speech by involved parents. it appears to be part of a pattern by far-right politicians of fanning the flames of chaos and turning a blind eye to domestic extremism and violence. the conduct that terrorizes educators now across the country is no more like that of ordinary parents showing up at school board meetings that the conduct of the violent mob that showed up at the capitol on january 6th was that of ordinary tourists. there's a profound distinction. would you agree that allowing threats of violence and intimidation against elected officials to go unreported or
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unpunished could not only lead to greater violence against elected officials but also contribute to an atmosphere that is harmful to free speech and the free exchange of ideas? >> yes, i do agree. >> okay. moving on to election, attacks on elections. for almost two years, the former president and his supporters have attacked and spread lies about election security in the commonwealth of pennsylvania. almost a year after president biden's victory, attacks on pennsylvania elections occur today. last month, republican members of the p.a. legislature launched another attack on pennsylvania voters. they sent a subpoena to the pennsylvania department of state demanding that the state turn over the 2020 voting records of every voter in the state along with their driver's licenses and their social security numbers so that information could be turned over to an unidentified private contractor. pennsylvania voters of every party and independents were outraged about this invasion of privacy and the possibility that sensitive personal information
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was being put at risk. can you address how this kind of sweeping intrusion into election and personal data under the guise of an election audit might violate federal election laws? >> yes, i can't -- let me just say on the previous point that you made, although i gave you a quick answer, a full answer is we have an election threats task force. and we have had that for quite some time. i have met with the national association of election administrators. and the national association of secretaries of state for every state. and that's what prompted us to establish this task force. now, on the second question, i don't want to discuss any particular circumstances, certainly not that one, but there are provisions of the voting rights act that require state election officials to keep control, custody of voting records and voting equipment and materials relating to the last election, i think for 18 months.
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and similarly, there are provisions of the same statute which prohibit intimidation or acts leading to intimidation of voters. both of which are sort of the core of the federal government's concern with respect to post-election audits. >> the gentlelady's time has expired. >> i yield back. >> the chair now recognizes mr. stuby from florida for five minutes. >> attorney general garland, in your senate confirmation hearing, you referred to the january 6th protest as, i quote, the most danger threat to democracy in your law enforcement and judicial contrary. you even compared january 6th to the oklahoma city bombing case you worked on where 168 people were killed. june 15th, a speech announcing a new enhanced domestic terrorism policy, you cited january 6th as a motivation for that new policy. you went on to describe january 6th, and i quote, as an assault
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on a mainstay of our democratic system. you said prosecuting extremist attacks on our democratic institute. it's fair to say you feel strongly about using the full force of your position to prosecute those involved in the january 6th protest. what is not clear, however, is if you will use the same force against violent left-wing domestic terrorists. just last week on october 14th, a group of extremist environmental and indigenous protesters forced their way into the department of interior. they fought with and injured police officers, sending some of the officers to the hospital. the extremists violently pushed their way into a restricted government building in an attempt to thwart the department of interior. police arrested at least 55 protesters on site, but others got away. do you believe these environmental extremists who forced their way into the department of interior are also domestic terrorists? >> so, i'm not going to be able
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to reference that specific incident since this is the first i know about it, but i will say the department does not care -- >> this is the first you know about an incident where protesters forced themselves into a federal government building in d.c. you didn't hear about this at all? >> it doesn't mean the justice department doesn't know about it, but i personally haven't heard about what you're saying now. i want to be clear, we don't care whether the violence comes from the left or the right or the middle or from up or from down. we will prosecute violations of the law according to the statutes and facts we have. this is a nonpartisan determination of how to do that. >> i'll make it clearer for you. and we're, most of us are lawyers here, so we use evidence in court. you have two pictures here. one picture is from january 6th. of individuals forcing themselves into the capitol. this other picture is extremists forcing themselves into the interior department.
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looking at these pictures, and i know you say you're not aware of this, which blows my mind you're not aware of violent extremists forcing their way into a department right here in washington, but with this evidence, with these two pictures of people forcing themselves into a federal building, would you call both of these an acts domestic terroris? >> i'm not going to comment on particular matters. >> i'm asking you to comment on these two photos. you have two pictures of individuals forcing themselves into a government building in washington, d.c. one, as i laid out, you very welcomely called them domestic terrorists, but you're refusing to call groups like this who create the same atrocities -- >> one i know the facts of, the other i don't know the facts of. >> i'm showing you pictures. here's facts right here. we'll act like we're in a courtroom. exhibit a, exhibit b. january 6, department of
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interior. >> as you know -- >> based on these pictures. >> one picture is not going to -- i'm not going to be able to resolve a legal determination based on one picture. in the january 6th case, we have terabytes of video which disclose exactly what happened. >> speaker pelosi still hasn't released to the american public to view all that video that has been captured here in washington and in the capitol complex, but that's the problem that everyday americans are facing right now. is they see these type of comments that you have made about january 6th, yet you're completely, and you're not answering my question here and saying, well, that's an ongoing investigation and i don't know about it, but clearly based on the pictures, what has occurred, factually what's been widely reported in all sorts of different american outlets, that these individuals forced themselves into a building in the department of interior and you're refusing before the american people to say yes, that's the same type of activity i'm going to bring the full force of the department of justice to come against. regardless of the ideology which
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you have said in the past, but you're refusing to do that today. that's the problem with the challenges that this administration, your department, is facing. everyday americans who are seeing this on tv and now you have the opportunity to set the record straight and say both of those actions regardless of ideology are against federal law and will be prosecuted with the full faith and credit of the department of justice and you're refusing do that. that's the challenge everyday americans are having right now, is because they're seeing what you guys are doing to the people on january 6th to the point where even a judge is saying -- >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> the speaker before me had 30 extra seconds. i expect the same deference. >> you had judges who held them in contempt related to the way the january 6 suspects have been treated and you're refusing to comment on the very acts that have occurred here. that's what is horribly wrong and is happening in the country -- >> the gentleman's time has expired.
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mr. attorney general, members, votes have been called on the house floor, so the committee will stand in recess until immediately after the conclusion of those votes.
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this house judiciary committee hearing with attorney general merrick garland has gone into recess. while we wait for it to resume, here is a look at the beginning of the hearing. >> good morning, mr. attorney general and thank you for appearing before our committee today. when the department of justice performs as it should, it is a champion of the bill of rights,
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protector of the rule of law and the cornerstone of the institutions that make up our republic. as attorney general, you have the responsibility to keep the department functioning at this high level. preserving the constitution for our chrn and our children's children. you have assumed this enormous responsibility at a crossroads in our nation's history. for four years democratic institutions you have sworn to protect first as a judge and now as attorney general were deeply undermined by the former president and his political enables. during that time the trump administration leveraged the department to protect the president and his friends and punish his enemies, both real and imagined. when the former president lost the last election, he summoned the top law enforcement officers in the country and demanded to be installed for another term.
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his plan failed because at least some department officials refused to help him overturn the election. even now, the ex-president and allies continue to cast dout and appear to be drafting a plarn to overturn the next one. next time we may not be so lucky. your task as attorney general is unenvy able, judge garland, because you must build back everything the doj lost in the last administration, self-confidence, respect for the constitution and the rule of law. it is not enough just to write the ship. as a chief law enforcement officer of our nation it is also your responsibility to help the country understand and reckon with the violence and lawlessness of the last administration while maintaining the department's prosecutorial independence. on january 6th, insurgents stormed the capitol building in what appears to be a preplanned
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organized assault on our government, seeking to overturn the votes of their fellow americans and believing in the lie told by president trump and his followers. a commend the department in bringing those responsible for january 6th to justice. i ask you only continue to follow where the facts and the law lead. the evidenced suggests you will soon have hard decisions to make about those who organized and incited the attack in the first place. we must acknowledge the simple truth that none of the individuals who attacked the capitol that day appeared out of thin air. membership in white nationalist groups grew 55% during the trump presidency. membership in hate groups overall remains historically high.
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the covid-19 epidemic brought out both the best and the worst of our fellow americans. while everyday heroes struggled to save lives and keep people safe, hate incidents skyrocketed. innocent people lost their lives and communities were shattered. i'm looking forward to hearing more about how doj is working the prevent violent ex-trialists from gaining further foothold in our country. this growth in extremist ideologies echoed in an epidemic and violence and intimidation directed at healthcare professionals, teachers, essential workers, school board members and election workers. to be clear, we are a country that prizes democratic involvement in every level of government. the right to be heard, to have a voice is guaranteed by the constitution. but nobody has the right to threaten his or her fellow
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citizens with violence. you were absolutely to right to ask the fbi and federal prosecutors to meet with local law enforcement agencies and set up dedicated lines of communication so that we can confront this spike in violence head on. there's a broader pattern here. in each of these cases the rise of president trump's big lie growing violence, same set of individuals have leveraged the same sort of misinformation, stoked the same sort of grievances and showed remarkably little interest in solving our problems. but this country and your tenure as attorney general cannot be defined only by the outrages of the last four years. we have much more to do to deliver on our nation's fundamental promise of liberty and justice for all. black and brown americans deserve to live in a country where they can trust the local police departments will protect, not endanger, their families. i applaud you for taking steps
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to limit these chokeholds and no-knock warrants, and we must continue to work together to address the issues that allow for our criminal justice system to so disproportionately impact people of color. across the country, state legislatures are restricting the right to vote in service of the most cynical political motives. your department has rightly stepped in to secure our next election. and congress owes you a voting rights restoration act that will give you the tools you need to consign these nakedly undemocratic efforts to the dustbin of history where they belong. similarly, texas law to ban abortion after six weeks and punish abortion providers is designed to restrict its citizens' constitutionally protected rights. it does so by offering to pay a bounty to those who turn in their neighbor, coworkers or even strangers if they suspect someone violated the law or helped a woman get an abortion after six weeks. this deliberately creates an atmosphere of fear and suspicion and stops women from seeking
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help. it is a dangerous law repugnant to the constitution, and i thank you for the department's swift action to protect these essential rights. we cannot become a country where only some people in some states enjoy their constitutional rights. as attorney general, you have the power to help our country navigate the generational trauma of oppression and move past the challenges of the last four years. thank you again for appearing before us today. i look forward to your testimony. i now recognize the ranking member of the judiciary committee, the gentlemen from ohio mr. jordan for his opening statement. >> thank you mr. chairman. the chairman just said the trump doj was political and went after their opponents. are you kidding me? three weeks ago the national school board association writes president biden asking him to involve the fbi in local school board matters. five days later, the attorney general of the united states does just that. exactly what a political
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organization asked to be done. five days. we've sent -- republican on the committee have sent the attorney general 13 letters in the last six months. takes weeks and months to get a response. 8 of the letters we've got nothing. they just gave us the finger, said we're not going to get back to you. and all letters were actually sent to the attorney general. here is a letter sent to someone else asking for a specific thing to be done and in five days the attorney general does it. here is what the october 4th memo said. i'm directing the fbi to convene meetings are local leaders. these meetings will open dedicated lines of communication for threat reporting. dedicated lines of communication for threat reporting. a snitch line on parents. started five days after a left wing political organization asked for it. that's not political, i don't know what is. where is the dedicated lines of communication with local leaders regarding our southern border, something that frankly is a federal matter? where is the dedicated lines of
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communication on violent crime in cities? violent crime went up in every major urban area where democrats have defunded police. can't do that. the biden justice department is going to go after parents who go after some racist hate america curriculum. nope. can't focus on the southern border where 1.7 million illegal encounters have happened this year alone. a record. a record number. ms-13 can just waltz right across the boarder. but the department of justice, they are going to open up a snitch line on parents. think about this. the same fbi merrick garland is directing to open up communication to report on parents just a few years ago spied on four american citizens associated with president trump's claim. hired fusion gps, hired christopher steel. put a bunch of garbage together. gave that to the fbi, they use they had a a basis to open up investigation into a
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presidential campaign. and then mr. zusman. worked at perkins qb. the firm hired by the clinton campaign. cut out the middle men. i'm going directly to the fbi. and not just anyone at the fbi. who? jim baker, the chief council at the fbi handed him a bunch of false information, told him false information and, of course, he's been diet indicted by the special counsel. few weeks ago the ig at the department of justice released report that found the fbi made over 200 errors, omissions and lies in just 29 randomly selected fisa applications, but don't worry, the attorney general of the united states just put them in charge of a dedicated line of communication to report on parents who attend school board meetings. mr. chairman, americans are afraid. for the first time during my years in public office, first time.
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i talked to the good folks i get the privilege of representing in the fourth district of ohio, folks all around the country. they tell me for the first time they fear their government. and frankly i think it is obvious why. every liberty we enjoy in the first amendment has been assaulted over the last year, stop and think about it. americans were told you couldn't go to church, couldn't go to work. couldn't go to school. small business owners we are told you are not essential, close your doors, causing many to go bankrupt. we were given curfews, stay-at-home orders. last fall in ohio you had to be in your home at ten. in pennsylvania in your home you had to wear a mask. in vermont in your home you didn't have to have a mask because you weren't allowed to have friends and family over. and of course there is always a double standard with the folks. folks who make the rules never seem to follow them. and now the biden administration says gets a vaccine or lose your job.
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even if you have had covid and have natural immunity, get a vaccine or you will lose your job. oh, i almost forgot. the biden administration also wants another dedicated line of communication for reporting. they want a second snitch line. they want banks to report on every single transaction over $600 for every single american to the irs. the irs, that agency with its stellar record of customer service, the irs, you know, the same irs that targeted conservatives the last time joe biden was in the executive branch. jefferson said once tyranny is when the people fear the government. we're there. sadly people are there. but i don't think the good people of this great country are going to cower and hide. i think you memo mr. attorney general was the last straw. i think it was the catalyst for a great awakening that is just getting started.
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pilots at southwest airlines, the chicago police union, parents ad school board meetings. americans are pushing back because americans value freedom. few weeks ago, terry mcauliffe said this. "i don't think parents should be telling schools what to teach." when government tells parents we're smarter than you, americans aren't going to tolerate it. i think they are going stand up to this accelerated march to communism we now see. americans are going fight the good fight. they are going finish the course. they are going to keep the faith, because americans value freedom. mr. chairman, we have a video we'd like to play. >> mr. chairman. >> we have video we'd like to play. >> mr. chairman. >> ms. dean? >> i object. >> i object.
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i'm reserving my right to object to the video. may i inquire as to where weather the gentlemen has followed the protocol by providing 48 hours' notice to the clerk he was going to use a video. >> first of all there is no 48 hour rule. it is not in the committee rules. second, we did let the committee staff, the majority know that we had a video and -- to them this morning. >> responding to the gentlelady's request, he did not supply -- 48 hours notice required by the rule. >> mr. chairman. >> then i insist on my objection, having failed to follow the bipartisan protocol. i insist on my objection. >> objection has been heard. the video will not be shown. >> i appeal the ruling and the chair. >> there's been no ruling -- there's been no ruling made -- been an objection. >> mr. chairman, i'd like to speak regarding the. >> that's out of order. this is not debatable.
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>> what's out of order is there is no rule requiring 48 hour notice. >> there is such a rule. >> there is not a rule. >> mr. chairman, what are you afraid of? >> there is such a rule. you objected last year. you were told there was such a rule. >> what are they afraid of? videos appearance. >> the gentlemen was recognized for his opening statement. is he finished with his opening statement? >> -- it's not a rule. it's what you said, i think the term used is it is protocol. >> the gentlewoman objected -- >> that's not a rule. we had a video. we understood you had a video. >> i seek recognition for a parliamentary inquiry. >> the gentlewoman objected because you failed to follow the rule. her objection is sustained. does the gentleman have -- >> we had recognition for a parliamentary -- >> i'll yield back in a second. >> you yield back? >> i will in a second.
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it's a video about moms and dads speaking at school board meetings. and you aren't going to let us play it? >> it will -- an objection has been herd that you failed to give the 48 hours required by the rule. and therefore -- >> mr. chairman, what rule? what rule? please present the rule. >> in the case of audio, visual materials under the leadership of my chairman goodlatte, republican -- this protocol simply requires members to provide 48 hours' notice they are going to use audio visual materials. until recently this protocol was not controversial. it was a helpful tool we used to manage hearings and make sure videos played properly. the gentlewoman has objected to the materials because the gentleman did not provide the agreed upon 48 hours notice. playing audio visual materials is equivalent as introducing printed materials into the hearing record.
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normal course of business we do not object to each other's requests, but members have the right to object in they so choose and an objection has been heard. >> mr. chairman, did we ever vote on that? >> that's a clever written statement. but protocol is not a rule. >> mr. chairman, obviously you're not going to let us play it and censor us which is the conduct of the left it seems, and democrats it seems. i yield back the balance of my time. >> gentlemen yields back. point of order? gentlemen would say his point of order? >> -- the actual written rule. this is not a rule. >> it is at a point of order as i said before. playing audio visual materials in a committee hearing is equivalent of introducing printed materials into the hearing record. in the normal course of business
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we do not object to each others requests but members have the right to object if they so choose and an objection has been heard. >> -- i'd ask you to rule on my point of order. >> gentleman is not made a valid point of order. >> move to table. >> there is nothing to appeal. there's been no ruling. there's been no ruling. there's just been an objection and the objection has been heard. now we'll introduce the attorney general. i will now introduce today's witness. merrick garland was sworn in as the 86th attorney general of the united states march 11, 2021. immediately preceding his confirmation as attorney general, mr. garland was a judge of the united states court of appeals to he district of columbia circuit. he was appointed to that position in 1997, served chief judge of the circuit 2013 to 2020 and served as chair of the
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executive committee of the judicial conference of the united states from 2017 until 2020. in 2016 president obama nominated him for the position of associate justice of the united states supreme court. before becoming a federal judge attorney general garland spent a substantial part of his professional life at the department of justice. including as special assistant to the attorney general, assistant united states attorney, deputy attorney general in the criminal diggs and principle associate deputy attorney general. earlier in his career he was in private practice and also taught at harvard high school. earning both of his undergraduate and law degrees from harvard university. following law school he clerked in the united states court of appeals nor the second circuit and for supreme court william brennan. we welcome the attorney general and thank him for participating today.
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if you please rise, i will begin by swearing you in. raise your right hand. do you swear or affirm under penalty of perjury the testimony you are about to give is true and correct, to the best of your knowledge, information and belief, so help you god? let the record show the witness has answered in the affirmative. thank you, and please be seated. your written statement will be entered into the record in its entirety. accordingly i ask you summarize your testimony in five minutes to help you stay within that time limit, there is a timing light on your table. when the light switches from green to yellow. you have one minute to conclude your testimony. when the light turns red, it signals your five minutes have expired. attorney general garland, you may begin. >> good morning, charm nadler, ranking member, distinguished members of this committee. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. my address to all justice department employees on my first day in office i spoke about
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three coequal priorities, upholding rule of law. keeping our country safe and protecting first amendment rights. the justice department must adhere to norms part of its dna since edward levy's tenure as the first post watergate attorney general. those norms of independence from improper influence, of the principled exercise of discretion and treating like cases alike define who we are as public servants. over the past seven months that i have served as attorney general, the department has reaffirmed and where appropriate, updated and strengthened policies that are foundational for these norms. for example, we strengthened our policy governing communications between the justice department and the white house. that policy is designed to protect the department's criminal and civil law
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enforcement decisions and its legal judgments from partisan or other inappropriate influence. we also issued a policy to better protect the freedom and independence of the press. by restricting the use of compulsory process to obtain information from or records of members of the news media. the second priority is keeping our country safe. from all threats foreign and domestic, while also protecting our civil liberties. we are strengthening our 200 joint terrorism task forces which are the essential hubs for international and domestic counterterrorism cooperation across all levels of government. for fy-22 we're seeking more than $1.5 billion, a 12% increase for our counterterrorism work. we are also taking aggressive steps to counter cyber threats, whether from nation state,
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terrorists or common criminals. in april we launched both a comprehensive cyber review and ransomware and digital extortion task force. in june we seized a 2.3 million dollar ransom payment made in bitcoin to the group that targeted colonial pipeline. keeping our country safe also requires reducing violent crime and gun violence. in may we announced a comprehensive violent crimes strategy which deploys all of our relevant departmental components to those ends. we also launched five cross-jurisdictional strike forces to disrupt illegal firearms trafficking in key corridors across the country and to support local police departments and help them build trust with the communities they serve, our fy-22 budget requests over $1 billion for grants. we are likewise keeping our country safe from violent drug trafficking networks which are fueling the overdose epidemic. opioids including illegal
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fentanyl caused nearly 70,000 fatal overdose deaths in 2020. we'll continue to use all resources at our disposal to save lives. finally keeping our country safe requires protecting its democratic institutions, including the one we sit in today from violent attack. as the committee is well aware, the department is engaged in one of the most sweeping investigations in its history in connection with the january 6th attack on the capitol. the department's third core priority is protecting civil rights. this was a founding purpose when the justice department was established in 1870. today the civil rights division's work remains vital to safeguarding voting rights, prosecuting hate crimes and stopping unlawful discrimination. this year we doubled the size of the civil rights divisions voting section and fy-22 budget
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seeks the largest increase totaling more than 15%. coordinators for hate crimes work and stepped up support for community relations service and the departmentwide efforts to advance environmental justice and tackle climate change. we are also revitalizing and expanding our work to ensure equal access to justice. in the days ahead we look forward to working with congress to restore a stand-alone access to justice office within the department dedicated to addressing the most urgent legal needs of communities across america. in addition to these core priorities, another important area of departmental focus is ensuring anti-trust enforcement, reinvigorating that enforcement, combating fraud and protecting consumers. we are aggressively enforcing our anti-trust laws by challenging anti-competitive mergers and exclusionary conduct
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and by prosecuting price fixing and allocation schemes that harm both consumers and workers. in fy-22 we're seeking additional resources to reinvigorate anti-trust enforcement across the board. we also stood up the covid-19 fraud enforcement task force to bring to justice those who defrauded the government of federal dollars meant for the most vulnerable among us. in sum, in seven months the justice department has accomplished a lot of important work for the american people. and there is much more to be done. thank you for the opportunity to testify today and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you for your testimony. we will now proceed under the five minute rule with questions, and i will recognize myself to begin for five minutes. mr. attorney general, in the 2013 decision shelby county versus holder, the supreme court gutted section five the voting rights act rendering its pre clearance division inoperative.
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as a direct result the right to vote has come in under renewed and steady assault and states have spent the past eight years enacting a slew of barriers to voting that target or impact communities of color and other historically disenfranchised groups. before this committee in august the assistant attorney general kristen clark testified section five of the voting rights act was truly the heart of the act and called it the department's most important tool for safeguarding voting right nitrogen our country. why is section five preclearance so crucial to combatting discriminatory voting practices? >> thank you mr. chairman. vote, the right to vote is a fundamental aspect of our democracy. in many ways it is the right from which all other rights occur. the voting rights act was a gem of american legislation, as president ronald reagan said and as other presidents on both sides of the aisle have said.
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a key part of that provision was section 5, as you said. this was a preclearance provision, which required specified states where there had been discriminatory practices that provisions for changes in patterns or practices of voting should be submitted to the department for preclearance to determine whether they violated the act. there was another alternative, if state did not like the result from the justice department it could go to a court and get a resolution there. but the great idea of preclearance was to allow advanced review for those things went into effect rather than require the justice department on a one-by-one basis after the fact. makes it extremely difficult to attack unlawful prescriptions on voting practice. >> thank you. assistant attorney general clark testified number two is no substitute for the important preemptive review provided by the process. the full impact of the supreme
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court's recent decision in bernovich versus dmc on section two remains to be seen. however in the absence, what steps is the justice department taken to increase voting rights under section two? >> section two is a remaining tool. it is extraordinarily important and it does give us some impact. in order to better effectuate that provision we've doubled the size of the voting rights section because it will take more people to evaluate state laws on a one by one basis. so we are going about doing that'll. we have brought one case as you know with respect to changes in georgia. we are looking carefully at other states, and we are looking carefully at the redistricting which is occurring as we speak now as a result of the census. we continued to do that and
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vigorously make sure that section 2 is appropriately enforced. >> if you should find that given states reapportionment, for example, was unconstitutional and you sued it could take six or eight years for those suits to be resolved as we've seen. and that's one reason -- another reason for the necessity for section 5 preclearance. only one last question for you. the country and the congress is still reeling from the events of january 6th and the select committee is diligently pursuing its investigation into the insurrection. this week chairman thompson and his colleagues voted to hold in contempt steve bannon who failed to supply with the committee subpoenas. and the measure will be taken up by the house later today. unfortunately the actions of individuals like mr. bannon are not new to us. many committees including this one repeatedly face obstruction from the prior administration in the former president's loyal allies. congress however is not an enforcement body and looks to
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the department to handle criminal matters when appropriate. so i ask you mr. attorney general, regardless of politics, will the department follow the facts and the law and expeditiously consider the referrals put forth by the select committee in and when they are approved by the full house? >> the department recognizes the important oversight role that this committee and house of representatives and the senate play with respect to the executive branch. i will say what spokesperson for the u.s. attorneys office in the district of columbia said i think yesterday or the day before, the house of representatives votes for referral of a contempt charge, the department of justice will do what it always does in such circumstance, apply the facts and law and make a decision consistent with the principles of prosecution. >> thank you very much. >> pull the mic a little closer. >> oh i'm sorry. is that better? of course. >> mr. chabot.
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>> thank you. mr. chairman i'd start bying is you unanimous consent that an op ed that appeared in last week's "wall street journal" by the author of the patriot act entitled patriot act wasn't meant to target --. most of us at other jobs before we got here to congress. for example, i practiced law for quite a few years. i was county commissioner, i was a member of cincinnati city council and before that i was a schoolteacher. in cincinnati in the inner city. all the students in the school were african american, and i taught the 7th and 8th grade. it was my experience that the kids who did the best were the ones who had parental involvement. in their education. does that make sense to you? >> yes, i think parental involvement is very important in
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education. >> thank you. now with that in mind, having parents involved in their children's education, i have to say i found it deeply disturbing that the national school board association convinced the biden administration to sick you and your justice department, the fbi, the full power of the federal law enforcement in this country on involved parents. as if they were domestic terrorists. one of the tools in your arsenal of weapons of course is the patriot act that i just mentioned. not many current members of this committee were here when we passed the patriot act. but i was. and mr. chairman, you were too. and i remember clearly that we were both concerned about potential abuse of this new law enforcement tool. and that is why, for example, we insisted on sunset provisions on
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some aspect of the patriot act. but i can tell you, not in a million years did we dream that one day we'd see the justice department treat american parents as domestic terrorists. and in a primer on domestic terrorism issued last november by none other than the fbi, mr. attorney general, the fbi explicitly stated that, quote, under fbi policy and federal law, no investigative activity related to domestic terrorism may be initiated based on first amendment activity, unquote. now, parents speaking up at a school board meeting against the teaching of critical race theory or anything else they want to talk about is clearly a first amendment activity. now, of course school board meetings can sometimes be highly emotional affairs. parents do care about their kids' education, how they are being taught, what they are being taught. and these parents have every
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right to be heard, even if former virginia governor terry mcauliffe thinks otherwise. now, no one has the right to be violent, or threaten violence. and if anyone does that, they can be dealt with by security or by local law enforcement. but we don't need the vast power of the federal government throwing its weight around. we don't need you, your justice department or the fbi trampling on the rights of american parents who is just want the best possible education for their children. so mr. attorney general, let me ask you this. according to the "sarasota herald tribune," one example of a so called terrorist incident was a parent merely questioning whether school board members had earned their high school diplomas. now that might have been rude. but does that seem like an act of domestic terrorism that you or your justice department ought to be investigating? >> absolutely not. and i want to be clear, the
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justice department supports and defends the first amendment right of parents to complain as vociferously as they wish about the education of their children, about the curriculum taught in the schools. that is not what the memorandum is about at all. nor does it use the words "domestic terrorism" or "patriot act." like you, i can't imagine any circumstance in which the patriot act would be used in the circumstances of parents complaining about their children, nor can i imagine the circumstance where they would be labeled as domestic terrorism. >> thank you, i'm nearly out of time so let me just conclude with this. we ought to be encouraging parents to be actively involved in the education of their third down. if our children are to be competitive with the children of japan and south korea and india and yes, china, for tomorrow's jobs, they better be getting a topnotch education in this country.
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let's support and welcome parental involvement, not use the vast powers of federal law enforcement to target parents as domestic terrorists. i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. once again, i would remind all members that guidance from the office of attending physicians states that face coverings are required for all meetings in enclosed spaces such as committee hearings except when you are recognized to speak. that means you, jim, marjorie and matt and a lot of other people i can't recognize because of distance, et cetera. so please everyone observe that rule. i now recognize mr. lofgren for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you mr. attorney general for being here this morning. after a confirmation hearing, you characterized what happened on january 6th as, quote, a heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy. i agree with that.
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and in your written testimony today, you point out that the intelligence community has identified domestic violent extremes as the primary threat to our nation. and further note that your department and further note your department is committed to keeping our country safe by protecting our democratic institutions. i would note that protecting our drak institutions is not limited to the department of justice. congress also has that obligation to protect our democrats. . to that end we have a select committee investigating the events leading up to january 6 and has a mandate to devise
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legislative recommendations to prevent future acts of domestic extremist violence, to strengthen the resiliency of our nation's democratic institutions, to propose laws that will keep us, our democratic system, safer. now, with that background in mind, we are, as you are aware, seeking information to inform us to perform that role. before you were ag, you were a judge. and i note that in your judicial role, in 2004, there was a case, judicial watch versus the department of justice, where the court ruled, quote, presidential communications privilege applies only to documents solicited and received by the president or his immediate white house advisers who have broad and significant responsibility for investigating and formulating the advice to be given to the president. i think you're familiar with that case. do you think that's still good law?
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>> yes. i think the d.c. circuit is a good source of law. >> in the supreme court case nixon v. administrator of gsa, 1974, the judicial watch case actually relied on that precedent, that case said that the communications to advise the president would be only on official government matters. do you think that's still good law? >> i think the supreme court's opinion is still good law until it's reversed. but i see no sign that it's going to be reversed. >> we were here in the judiciary committee pursuing testimony from mr. mcgahn, and the court wrote in the 2019 case, and this is a quote, to make the point as plain as possible, it is clear to this court for the reasons explained above that with respect to senior level aides, absolute immunity from compelled congressional process simply does not exist. do you think that's still good law?
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>> i believe the mcgahn case is still good law. >> recently the department of justice informed a federal district court that, quote, conspiring to prevent of lawful certification of the 2020 election and to injure members of congress and inciting the riot at the capitol would, quote, plainly fall outside the scope of employment of an officer or employee of the united states of america. since your department filed that, i assume you agree with that? >> yes. >> so i just want to mention -- i'm not going to ask you about what your department will do if the house of representatives adopts a referral to your department, because i take you at your word that you will follow the precedent, you will follow the law in the ordinary course of events. i would just note that your defense of the rule of law for the department of justice and
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your standing for the rule of law also means the rule of law for the congress of the united states. article i was the first article for a reason. we have a role to play in making sure that our democratic institutions are defended. i thank you for your service to our country and i look forward to your deliberations so that the congress of the united states can play its rightful role in defending our institutions and adopting legislation that will strengthen our institutions and preserve and protect our democratic republic. with that, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> the gentlelady yields back. mr. gohmert. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, judge garland, for being here. you said a moment ago you couldn't imagine a parent being labeled a domestic terrorist. but parents all over the country
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believe that's exactly what you labeled them by your memo indicating you were going to get involved in board meetings, school board meetings, because of the threat of domestic terrorism. so if you can't imagine a parent being labeled a domestic terrorist, i would encourage you to redo your memo so it's not so -- perceived as being so threatening to people concerned about their kids' education. but i want to take you to january 6. it's a very common topic here for people. has any defendant involved in the january 6 events been charged with insurrection? >> i don't believe so. >> well, that is the word most used by democrats here on capitol hill about january 6. but no one has been charged with
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it that we could find either. how many protesters on january 6 were charged with obstructing an official proceeding for four to six hours, do you know? >> i don't know the exact number. obviously there are 650 who were arrested, some for assaulting officers, some for obstructing proceedings, some for conspiring to obstruct proceedings. i can get you the numbers for each of the specific -- >> thank you. i would be interested in getting that number. but regarding the men who broke the glass in the two doors there at the speaker's lobby when the two capitol police had been standing there moved to the side to allow them access, were any of those people who broke glass and did damage to those doors working for the fbi or other federal law enforcement entities? >> this is an ongoing criminal investigation, and i'm really not at liberty to discuss.
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there have been some filings in the nature of discovery which has been provided to the defendants. but other than that, i can't discuss this now. >> well, we've seen some of those filings that talk about persons 1 through 20-something. were those persons, 1 -- designated by number, were those people who were employed by the fbi or federal entities, or were they confidential informants? >> again, i don't know those specifics. but i do not believe that any of the people you're mentioning, charged in the indictment, were either one. >> was a determination ever made as to who repeatedly struck roseanne boylan in the head with a rod before she died? >> again, i think this was a matter that was investigated by
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the u.s. attorney's office. >> there's a witness on video saying that it was a dc metro policeman. i didn't know if you have been able to confirm or deny that. well, on june 22 of 2016, judge, most of the democrat members of congress took over the house floor and for the first time in american history, members of congress obstructed official proceedings, not for four to six hours, but for virtually 26 hours, not just violating over a dozen house rules, but actually committing the felony that some of the january 6 people are charged with. that was during the obama administration. nobody has been charged. and those kind of things, where you let democrat members of congress off for the very thing that you're viciously going after people that were protesting on january 6 gives
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people the indication that there is a two-tiered justice system here in america. you know well -- you've been a circuit court judge, you know well that confinement, pretrial confinement is not ever to be used as punishment. yet there are people -- and understand, as a former tough law and order judge, i would sentence everyone, regardless of their party, who did violence or committed crimes on january 6 to appropriate sentences. but for heaven's sake, they are being abused in the dc jail. have you done an inspection over there of the dc jail since your department has some jurisdiction? >> so my understanding is judge lamberth who i respect very much -- >> yeah, he held the warden in contempt but we haven't seen improvement.
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>> he asked for a review. and the justice department is conducting a review. the marshals did an inspection the other day which was reported in the news. and the civil rights division is examining the circumstances. this is the district of columbia jail, it's not the bureau of prisons, you understand. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. as i've explained to members on many occasions, i view wearing a face mask as a safety issue and therefore is an important matter of order and decorum. because i am responsible for preserving order and decorum in this hearing, i am requiring members of the committee to wear face masks. i came to this decision after the office of the attending physician released its guidance on wearing masks in committees some time ago. i note some members are still not wearing masks. the requirement is that members wear their masks at all times when they are not speaking. i will take members' compliance of this rule into consideration when they seek recognition. i see mr. roy, for example.
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i now recognize ms. jackson lee. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, let me thank you for your enormous work that the department is doing. i have a series of questions. help me out in your answers so that i can secure responses. as you well know, the senate judiciary committee did an outstanding report on how the former president and his allies pressured doj to overturn the 2020 election. in particular, they noted a series of dates in which they assess that the former president grossly abused the power of the presidency. he also arguably violated the criminal provisions of the hatch act which prevents any person from commanding federal government employees from engaging in political activity. were there be any reason the doj would not further research or determine prospectively that the former president could be prosecuted under the hatch act?
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>> congresswoman, the justice department has a very longstanding policy of not commenting on potential investigations or actual or pending investigations. it's a foundational element of our rule of law and norms. it's to protect everyone, no matter what their position, president, former president, congresswoman, senator, or ordinary citizen, and i'll have to rest on that, that i can't comment on -- >> thank you. i take it there is no prohibition. but thank you so very much. the justice department investigated texas, five secure juvenile facilities, findings sexual abuse. can i quickly get an answer, working with the justice department, standardizing conditions at these facilities since the facts were gross in terms of the abuse of those children? i think you're investigating georgia as well. mr. general? >> so we are investigating
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texas. that was announced, and i believe the governor welcomed that investigation. and it's being done by a combination of the civil rights division and all four u.s. attorneys offices in texas. >> thank you, sir. with respect to compassionate release which came about during the c.a.r.e.s. act, 39% of american prisoners contracted covid-19. 2,700 persons have died. there is a potential of the compassionate release being eliminated and those out, but also i found that is not being utilized appropriately now. the attorney inspector general said that b.o.p. was not prepared with the issue -- was not prepared to deal with the issue of compassionate release on a granular level and of course the director said prisons are not made for social distancing. my question is will you monitor what is going on with compassionate release either in terms of people concerning and
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the fair utilization of compassionate release under this issue of covid? >> congresswoman, the answer is yes. obviously the pandemic was not something that the bureau of prisons was prepared for or frankly most american institutions were not prepared for. it created a lot of difficulties. it did lead to compassionate release, leaving people in home confinement. i don't know the specifics that you're mentioning, but we are certainly reviewing carefully how the bureau is responding now to this dangerous circumstance of covid-19. >> thank you, general. we found as it relates to the women in prison 6,600 are serving huge sentences of life, parole -- life with parole, life without parole, virtual life, et cetera. 86% of women in jail have experienced sexual violence. 77% experienced intimate partner violence. this is the report as it relates to women of color. can we have a more vigorous trauma, mental health protocol for women in prison? federal. >> federal.
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i think an important part of the first separate act requires us to be careful about those things, and we've asked for additional funding for that purpose. and deputy attorney general is monitoring the way in which the bureau of prisons spends that money and establishes those programs. >> thank you. can i quickly ask, bawa, which was not passed by the house, will that passage help you deal with domestic violence against women? it's domestic violence awareness month this month. would it help you be more effective in prosecuting moving forward? >> yes, it would. we're strongly supportive of reauthorization of the violence against women act. >> i'm going to make a few statements. gun violence in children has accelerated in a 19-year high in 2017. i would appreciate talking further about greater prosecution on gun trafficking and the proliferation of guns. secondarily, hate crimes has surged as well and we want to hear about the resources being
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used for hate crimes. and then, as you well know, we have been the poster child in texas for racial gerrymandering and let me thank you for the work you've done under section 2. i just want to make sure this is on the radar screen of the justice department dealing with that issue of redistricting. but my question finally is, the texas abortion law, one of the worst -- >> the gentlelady's time has expired. >> -- is the stalking of women.
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the hearing will reconvene. i remind people, if they're not wearing masks, they will not be recognized. mr. nag goose. >> thank you, mr. chairman. good afternoon attorney general. thank you for being here and for your leadership at the department of justice. i want to thank my colleague, representative bass. i know she engaged in a line of questioning about the tragic death of elijah mcclain in my home state of colorado. i was happy to hear the department is -- we've reduced a bill to ban the use of ketamine. we welcome the opportunity to work with your department on that particular legislation in honor of elijah's memory. on march 22nd of this year, as you know, my community of boulder, colorado, experienced a
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horrific tragedy as a gunman killed ten people using an ar-15-style pistol with a modified arm brace. the brace attachment allowed a shooter to fire an easily concealable pistol. in the immediate aftermath, i sent a letter to the president and to the department of justice along with 100 of my colleagues requesting the administration use its authority to regulate concealable assault-style firearms that fire rifle rounds. as i mentioned to you when we met at the white house in april, i was very pleased that doj would be issuing a rule regarding the pistol stabilizing braces. i want to thank the department and wonder if you might be able to ob opine on the status of the rule and where you are in the rule making process? >> i believe we're still in the rule making process. i can't rib whether the comment
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period has closed or not. as part of the administrative procedure act we have to go through a rule making procedure, and that's what's going on here, to prevent the pistols from being used as short-barrel rifles which are prohibited. >> again, i appreciate the department taking that proposed rule seriously. we look forward to the results of the rule making process as do my constituents in boulder who are grieving the losses in the community. i know attorney general garland, you'd agree with me, current law allows for grand jury material, known as rule 6e, to be released publicly after 30 years. that's current law. is that right? >> actually, i'm embarrassed to say this, but i don't think that's correct. we have made a recommendation to the federal rules committee that it be released.
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i think 30 years is the time. but the rules committee has not yet decided whether that will be the case. i think 30 years was the number we recommended. >> that's the subject i was wanting to dig in on. my understanding is that current law provides for 30 years. the trump administration in 2020, senior trump administration official or lawyer at doj proposed the time period be extended to 50 years. my understanding is the department of justice has continued that request and made that request for the time period to be extended to 50 years. as you can imagine, there are a lot of concerns, many of which i hold and many of my colleagues hold around judicial secrecy and the extension of the time period to 50 years would seem a bit much if were that to be adopted, many of the materials released post watergate would still be secret today. >> we have sent another letter post the letter you're speaking
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about to the rules committee. there's no reason why we can't share it. it's not a private letter or anything. it went back i think even a shorter period than the holder letter originally was. i'll ask my staff to get that for you. >> that's terrific to hear. thank you, attorney general, and i thank the department for making that change. i think that is going to allay many of the concerns that folks have. i appreciate the department of justice doing that. last question, national substance abuse prevention is this month. i now my colleague from florida, representative deutsche asked you a question with respect to the opioid epidemic on average, two colorado ans are dying a day. i just wanted to give you an opportunity before the hearing concludes here this afternoon to add anything else further you'd like to do with respect to your
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answer to representative deutsche about the department's work to address this epidemic. i think there's bipartisan interest in the congress in partnering with your department to ensure those are applied of colorado. >> this is a terrible epidemic. i went to the u.s. attorney's offices all across california. also in tucson to find out what's happening with respect to the importation of the fentynal. these pills are something like four out of ten pills. it's like playing russian roulette. if you take one, you die. the kids taking those have in idea that's what's happening. sometimes they think it's something else they are buying rather than those.
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it's an overwhelming problem run by the cartels. the dea is working hard on this matter. >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> thank you. as someone born in the soviet union, i'm disturbed by the department of justice as a political tool in its power as a police state to suppress local
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public discourse. the fbi is started to resemble old kgb with secret surveillance, wiretapping and intimidation of citizens. you said it's the foremost responsibility of the department of justice to defend the constitution. do you plan to defend the second amendment rights which are protected by our constitution as vigorously as you do abortion rights? yes or no. >> yes. >> do you believe pfizer report
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citing widespread and material noncompliance by the fbi with proper due process for surveillance of u.s. citizen s a violation of the fourth amendment? >> i think it's a violation of the fisa act by itself without having to get to the constitution. we take this extraordinarily seriously. that's why we have an inspector general. that's why our national security division reviews what the fbi does with respect to fisa. i know the fbi director takes this very seriously as well. they have made major fixes to their practices so this won't occur again. this is being audited and reviewed by our national security division. i take this very seriously and i agree we have to be extremely careful about surveillance of american citizens only as appropriate under the statute.
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>> how often do you discuss fisa relations in your briefing? >> there's a quarterly review that intelligence community and national security division submits. i always review those. it's pretty frequent. >> every report will have material, not non-material. talking about another topic.
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former border patrol chief said the open border poses a real terror threat. do you agree with the border patrol chief or secretary who recently said the border is no less secure than before? >> if you're asking about terrorism, traveling across the border, i'm concerned about that across all of our borders. this has been a continuing concern -- >> do you agree what's happening now is making it less secure and have a real increased terror threat? >> i believe combination of intelligence community and fbi are working hard to make sure that people crossing the border do not constitute a terrorist threat. we have to always be worried about the possibility and we are
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ever vigilant on that subject. >> can you assure the american people wow you will be able to protect our country from a terrorist attack that result from this lawlessness at the border? >> i can assure the american people that the fbi the is working every day to protect the american people from terrorism from whatever direction it comes. >> considering current situation on the border, do you take any specific actions at the border? >> well, with respect to the first part of your question about afghanistan, the fbi is participating along with homeland security and vetting the refugees who have landed in various locations and then in
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bases in the united states. they are doing everything they can to vet for those purposes. with respect to crossing of the border,bination this is intelligence community getting information about who might be trying to cross it. >> you can reassure -- >> the gentle lady's time has expired. >> yields back. >> there are many others in this room outside of myself that want to thank you so much for such a long career of public service. as you may know, i lost my son jordon almost nine years ago now. he was simply sitting in a car with three of his friends playing loud music when a stranger complained about the volume of the music, called the boys gang bangers and thugs and he took my son's life. i'm very pleased that the president has committed to
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preventing gun violence and he's tasked you with the role of being supportive if gun violence prevention in america. april 7, 2021 an announcement of initial actions to curb gun violence, the biden white house encouraged congress to pass the national red flag law. >> we're in favor of national red flag law. what we're doing now is making model red flag laws for the states. these models provide that guns can be taken away from a person in distress normally from a
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mental crisis of some kind. it provides protections for those people to ensure they haven't been inappropriately taken. >> thank you. attorney general garland, we lost 49 people, including many young people at the mass shooting at pulse nightclub in orlando, florida. the shooter was previously the subject of a ten-month fbi investigation and during this investigation, the fbi interviewed the shooter's wife
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who later said he strangled her, he raped her, beat her and even while she was pregnant, he threatened to kill her. 53% of mass shootings involve a shooter killing intimate partner or family member among other victims. even among those mass shoot who are do not kill an intimate partner as in the pulse shooting, there's a history of domestic violence. since the pulse shooting, has the department updated this domestic investigations or operating guide or u.s. attorneys manual to ensure it's examining whether a person has a history of domestic violence? >> i don't know the exact answer into the past. i know the deputy attorney general is doing a review in the way the department treats victims, including victims in the circumstance that you talked about. >> thank you very much.
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can you assure me we're not missing any opportunities to save american lives. >> that's our number one goal. by clarifying the definition of firearm and gun smith among all other small changes. how will this new definition help reduce the sale of ghost guns and increase background checks prior to their purchases? >> ghost gun, which are ready, sometimes ready build shoot. they are kits you can buy in pieces and put them together.
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this will require that serial numbers be put on the pieces and that federally licensed firearms dealer has to do the background check. i've been in chicago and new york and been quite stunned to learn the high percentage of gun at murder scenes where that a high percentage were ghost guns. i had not realized how significant the problem is.
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police are reporting that ghost guns are becoming more and more of a problem. i'm hopeful this will give us a chance to beat back. . >> the time of the gentle lady has expired. >> attorney general garland, in a press release announcing the investigation, i'm from minnesota. guess where some of the questions are doing. in a press release announcing the investigation, you said the doj investigation into the minneapolis police department will examine the use of excessive force by police including during those protests. will you also be investigating the origins of the deadly riots that ravaged large parts of minneapolis? >> i think these are two separate kinds of investigations. the one under the police department allows to do
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unconstitutional policing. it was welcomed by the chief and the mayor. that's a separate one. the investigations of the riots are undertaken by the u.s. attorney's office as well as by the states attorney. i think it's called states attorney. maybe it's the county state's attorney in minneapolis, i guess. those are two separate set of investigations. >> your department, doj, will not be investigating that? >> u.s. attorneys office to the extent there were federal crimes has been investigating those crimes. i don't know -- i have no idea. >> doj will not be investigating. >> i don't believe so. >> during the riots following the george floyd, the death of george floyd, dozens of people were injured, countless small businesses, churches were damaged, a police station was burned down, a post office was burned down, looted and damaged all over. thousands of people had to flee
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minneapolis to avoid the violence. is the department of justice investigating these riots as a act of domestic terrorism at all? >> if i'm understanding correctly, we're talking about 2020. >> after the death of george floyd. >> yes. that investigation, that was ordered by the previous attorney general. i don't know whether that is concluded. i believe -- i don't know whether there are ongoing investigations anymore from that investigation except for the charges that were made at the time and those cases are being followinged. >> maybe you can get back to me, in particularly, or the committee on the status of those and what is happening with that? >> i'd be happy to have my staff get back to yours. >> appreciate that. i wanted to focus a bit on the third police precinct that was burned down and still had not been rebuilt. police officers don't even know
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if they will have a job in a few weeks given the resolution that's in front of the body there. they have a resolution and you're probably not familiar with it but they don't know if they have a job because they may be defunding the police in minneapolis. the city is down 200 officers pre-covid. police officers are demoralized, struggling. they don't feel supported at all. they are having a hard time. you're initiating investigation of the minneapolis police department. considering the scrutiny they are under, how do you propose minneapolis can keep up police officer morale now they are under investigation and the criticism they are taking as well? >> well, let me say first on the defund police issue. department does not support defunding the police. we asked for more than billion dollars, major increase in funds for local --
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>> i didn't imply you did. i want you to understand the context of the question because it's in front of the minneapolis residents now. >> i do. with respect to the pattern of practice, there were a large number of serious incident well reflected and there were general agreements there were problems. this doesn't mean that every police officer, quite the contrary. this means, my belief and from talking to many police officers, that they believe it's important that there be accountability and that officers who break the law are held accountable so the community retains its trust and the good police officers who do not break the law and those are very large majority. they need that trust in order to have the cooperation of the community and that's the only way they can be safe and that's the only way the community can be safe. i think police officers should look at these investigations in a positive way and we're trying to present them in a positive way.
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>> attorney general, i think the problem is they are being, it's piling on. it's continuing to pile on in particular in minneapolis with these police officer who is are there. many have grown up there. >> the time has expired. >> thank you. i yield back. >> i want to discuss with you missing and murdered and indigenous girls. it's a national shame when native women are murdered or when they disappear, their cases do not receive the resources or investigations they deserve. their loved ones are left without answers. president biden made significant and specific commitments to travel to support investigations. i'm not convinced those commitments have been kept, particularly by the department of justice.
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as attorney general, you serve on the operation lady justice task force. that was a task force created under the last attorney general, not you. you agree our travel communities deserve more from the nation's top law enforcement official? >> i think this is a terrible tragedy, this circumstance. i have been to the u.s. attorney's offices in oklahoma which have significant tribal responsibilities.
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we have spoken about those matters. >> there's 574 recognized tribes in the united states. 300 have reservations and more than one million native americans live on reservations. there are fewer than 200 agents in if fbi's indian country program. do you believe the fbi's indian country program is sufficiently staffed? >> i think the fbi could always use additional resources. i have to look into that specific question, which i haven't evaluated whether there are sufficient staff. >> in light of facts, will you commit to adding staff to the program? >> i'm very interested in normal approach on this is cooperation with tribal officers and cooperation with the sovereign tribes so we are in sync on this
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rather than the federal government invaing tribal areas. i think we need to look at this closely. >> when they ask for additional federal support, to investigate the cases, they feel like they don't receive the help. our nation knows the story of gabby petito. all of us grieve for her family and friends. i wish that every missing person's case earn the same level of attention. the fbi committed significant resources to that case, which i appreciate. when a native woman goes missing or any woman of color, they don't get the same level of attention from the department of justice and the fbi. what would you say to their families to explain why? >> i don't think there's any excuse for not giving equal treatment to native, indigenous
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missing persons. i don't believe there's any effort to not do that. i know fbi and the marshal service are involved in this along with their partners. >> that breaks my heart because i can see why so many native american families feel like their missing or murdered loved ones do not matter to federal government.
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what i hope and expect is more than lip service. i look forward to your words in the near future. thank you, mr. attorney general. >> the gentleman yields back. mr. massey. >> thank you. you annoyanced the doj would police speech at school board meetings. in your opinion, what limitations does the 10th amendment bring to your effort to police those school board meetings and speech? >> let me be clear. we have no intention of policing school board meetings nor does any memorandum from me suggest that we would do that. what you're referring to is about threats of violence and
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violence. that's all it's about. we greatly respect the first amendment right of parents to appear before school boards and challenge and argue against provisions that the school boards are doing. this memorandum has nothing to do with that. >> you believe the sheriffs and the local police should police these school board meetings and investigate the threats of violence? >> yes. first step is for state and local authorities to do that. this is about cooperating with state and local authorities. there are some federal statutes that cover threats and intimidation and harassment. we have the obligation to enforce those. >> okay. >> those don't apply -- >> thank you. i was hoping you would articulate the 10th amendment or some argument that comes from that because i'm concerned that
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the announcement was in effort to basically freeze the speech or to suppress the speech of school board members. there's a concern that there were agents of the government or assets of the government present on january 5th and january 6th during the protest and i've got some pictures that i want to show you if my staff could bring those to you. >> i'm probably going to go to jail tomorrow. we need to go into the capitol. into the capitol. >> i'm afraid i can't see that at all.
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we're going to the capitol. >> is that approved video? >> all right. you have those images there. they are captioned. they were from january 5th and january 6th. as far as we can determine, the individual who was saying he'll probably go to jail. he'll probably be arrested but they need to go into the capitol the next day. the next day directing people to the capitol and as far as we can find, this individual has not been charged with anything. you said this was one of the most sweeping investigations in the history. have you seen that video or those frames from that video? >> so, as i've said at the outset, one of the norms of the justice department is to not comment on impending investigations and not comment
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about particular scenes or particular individuals. >> i was hoping today to give you an opportunity to put to rest the concerns that people have that there were federal agents or assets of the federal government present on january 5th and january 6th. can you tell us without talking about particular videos how many agents were present on january 6th? whether they agitated to go into the capitol and if any of them did? >> i'm not going to violate this norm of the rule of law. i'm not going to comment on investigation that's ongoing. >> let me ask you about the vaccine mandate, is it true that they can apply for religious exemption? >> the mandate, as i understand it is mandate which allows exceptions provided by law.
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>> the religious exemption has a basis in the constitution. that's required to be constitutional. can you tell me if anybody has been granted a religious exemption? >> i don't know. >> i believe that it's fraud. fraud to tell people you'll preserve their constitutional religious accommodations by telling them they can apply for exemption and not allowing any of those exemptions. i'm sad to see you can't tell us -- >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> welcome attorney general. i'd like to try to get to three important areas. number one, let me follow up on some of the questions we had around guns. most ghost guns are untraceable. they are common and should concern us all. this march investigators
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uncovered a trafficking ring of frequenting gun shows to sell ghost guns spreading them in my district and across commonwealth. it impacts regular americans like heather and matthew from pennsylvania who were shot and killed last year by leather's ex-husband. the subject of a protection order. he took her life with a ghost gun. >> we are finding more and more ghost guns at violent crime scenes. i don't remember the statistics but i believe in both new york and in chicago, i was told that 20% of the crime scenes, the violent crime and murder scenes were finding that they were done
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by ghost guns. they have two problem. they are untraceable because they don't have serial numbers and they are not subject or been some dispute about whether they are subject to requiring background checks. we require the parts of the gun sold in kits are sampled with serial numbers by the manufacturer and when they are sold they must have serial numbers on them as a kit and they must run the background checks that you're talking about. >> thank you for that rule making. i hope we'll do more. on the issue of opioids. as you pointed out last year was deadly. the total number of people who died of over dose was 93,331
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people. you know that our state, pennsylvania, is particularly upset with doj sweetheart deal that was made last year with the saclers. what can i say? what can you say to victims of addiction in to the families who have lost people by the flooding of the market and letting them really, literally the rich and powerful get away with it. >> i don't think i'm able to talk about that case because it's in litigation. the only thing i'll point out is the justice department opposed the release of liability, personal liability, the family in that matter being brought by our bankruptcy trustee. it's on appeal now. >> i hope that justice will be done for the families.
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on a third matter, asylum. it's a human right. i'm horrified by the inhumanity we have seen and the ongoing use of a trump era title 42 authority to expel migrants. you are now at the helm of doj. will you continue the use even after cdc stated there's no evidence that the use of title 42 will slow the spread of covid. >> the use of authority comes from the cdc itself. they are the ones that issued the orders with respect to title 42. this is a challenge in the courts. there's concern of covid because of what the grounds are.
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this doesn't have anything to do with my view or the government's view about the importance of asylum. it goes only to the cdc's authority under title 42 to issue this kind of order. >> it's my understanding that cdc says there is no evidence that the use of title 42 will slow the spread of and the worry about the spread of covid from those seeking asylum. i hope we can look into that and stop the use of title 42. i yield back. >> the gentle lady's time has expired. >> thank you. >> a colleague asked many raskin take down his words. i think if folks would admit that president biden won the
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2020 election and stop pushing the big lie, they wouldn't have to worry about being accused of being in a cult. attorney general garland, i represent congressional district 16 and in el paso, texas. we're coming into this hearing fresh off the heel offense a gravely unjust redistricting session where republicans engage in deliberate, shameless, extreme partisan jerry mandserring. texas gained two new house seats fueled by the growth in our lat -- latino nation. republicans chose not to add the districts and according to a lawsuit filed by the mexican american defense fund, drew maps that diluted the voting rights. this process was opaque. perhaps because texas republicans hired a political operative known to have republican members of congress sign nondisclosure agreements.
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i ask unanimous consent to enter into the record an article from the texas tribune entitled texas appears to be paying a secretive republican political operative $120,000 annually to work behind the scenes on redistricting. >> without objection. >> thank you so much. my own district was impacted in a process i have described as being akin to looting. what steps is the justice department to ensure that redistricting plans do not violate the voting rights act and discriminate against racial, ethnic and minority language voters? >> we announced before redistricting plans began because we knew the census would be leading to redistricting plans. the voting section of the civil
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rights division will be reviewing all these plans. that's why we doubled the size of the voting section. >> thank you. in addition to the extreme partisan gerrymandering that's going on, states like mine have passed voter suppression legislation. all of it rooted in donald trump's big lie about the 2020 election. in light of these numerous state laws that pass that restrict access to the ballot box, howat risk are minority voters from being disenfranchised over the coming years and what will
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departments do? >> justice department has authority over the voting rights act to prevent changes in practices and procedures with respect to voting that are discriminatory in the ways that you describe. we have section two that laws us to make the determinations. the voting rights section is reviewing the changes that are made as they are being made and after they are being made we have filed one lawsuit alread in that respect. the investigations are continuing. i can't talk about any particular state. >> thank you. in my very limited time, women in texas are under attack.
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our freedom to reproductive rights and rights to an abortion are under attack. this has been furthered by the supreme court. what are some of the practical consequences of the court's decision denying stay in the case, the texas case via the process known as the shadow docket. you have about 20 seconds. i'm so sorry. >> most of what i'm about to say is reflected in the briefs we just filed the other day asking them to take this case. what we're concerned about is inability of anybody to challenge what is a clear violation of the supreme court's precedent with respect to the right to abortion because of the way the law is structured. we can't have a system in which constitutional rights evade judicial review whether it's about abortion or any other right. i think i'll leave it with our briefs which were just filed and
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which explicate what i just said in greater detail and i'm sure with greater style. >> thank you. i yields back. >> gentle lady yields back. mr. jones. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i wish that rather than trying to redefine the words domestic terrorism, my republican colleagues would simply instruct their supporters to stop engaging in it. mr. attorney general, thank you for your testimony today. as an alumnus at legal policy, i know about what you and your attorneys have engaged in. i'm deeply appreciative of that. >> thank you. >> you won't be surprised that i want to speak about protecting the fundamental rights of americans to vote which is clearly under assault. you underscored in your remarks to the civil rights division in june that the right to vote is the corner stone of our democracy. you have said much the same
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today. states have launched the most severe assault on the right to vote since jim crow. it's hit voters of color, seniors, young people and voters with disabilities the hardest. president biden has warned we are facing, quote, the greatest test of our democracy since the civil war. as you said in your remarks, the civil rights division so far this year, at least 14 states pass new laws make it harder to vote. that total has since risen to 19. mr. attorney general let me start with a simple question to you. which of those 19 states has the justice department sued for unlawful or unconstitutional voter suppression? >> this is on the public record. we sued georgia. >> only one out of 19. in your june address you said it
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requires meaningful enforcement. as we face a historic level of voter suppression and even as we confront grave threats to the integrity of vote counts, the justice department has not challenged the vast majority of these laws in court. would you say that bringing one case against state voter suppression is meaningful enforcement? >> i think we have to prevent discriminatory violations of the voting rights act where ever they occur and as many states as they occur. the voting rights division is devoted to making those kind of analysis but we have to do each case one by on because of the elimination of section five.
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i have great confidence in her and the division. >> you mentioned that section five has been hampered. it's been hampered in that shelby v holder decision in 2013. are you familiar with the freedom to vote? the revised version of the for the people act. >> i know what it is. i know some provisions but i don't know every provision. >> well, i would submit we need to pass that in the senate given the democracy saving provisions that are contained therein. it's long past time for the senate to pass both of these pieces of legislation.
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i'm convinced the justice department needs new tools to fully protect our democracy. we learned yesterday, the filibuster, a rule crucial is the last obstacle. if presented with a choice betweenerer forming the filibuster and protecting the right to vote or protecting the fiibuster or allowing voter suppression to continue, which would you choose? >> look, i think the right to vote is absolutely essential and it is a corner stone of democracy. a question of the house rule s a question for the house. i'm very mindful of separation of powers.
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>> as an american, i'm grateful for your work but if we do not reform the filibuster and act now to protect the right to vote, the same white nationalists who incite violence insurrections at the capitol and lie about the efficacy of masks and vaccines will disenfranchise their way back to power. please take that message back to the president of the united states when you have a conversation with him about the filibuster and what which he do to help us here and protect american democracy which is in grave peril. >> the gentleman's time has expired. i recognize mr. roy for the purpose of a uc request. >> i appreciate that. i have a document from an organization parents defending education in which they had sought a request from the national school board association and we have got the e-mail exchanges from that that
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i would like to insert into the record. a director discusses talks with white house staff. >> without objection. >> thank you. >> miss ross is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman and attorney general garland, thank you so much for being with us today. i also want to thank you for mentioning the work of the department of justice with respect to the colonial pipeline in your opening remarks. i want to begin with a few questions about cyber security. ransomware attacks are concerns throughout the country but particularly in my district. in may nearly three quarter of raleigh gas stations were left without fuel. the colonial pipeline paid
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ransom demanded by the hackers in order to unlock their systems and resume operations. while the doj recreptly launched ransom ware and digital extortion task force was able to recoup some of the money. victims are often left to negotiate with attackers to recover the systems without any federal help. i'd like for you to share why doj chose to be more aggressive in the colonial pipeline situation and what are the factors that lead doj to get involved directly in a ransomware case? >> the problem is generally not all victims of ransomware tell
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us. not all victims tell us before they make ransom payments. we have some opportunity to help between the fbi and the computer section of the justice department and the computer section at the department of homeland security. we are willing and able to deal with victims of ransom ware including doing negotiations, if necessary. i think this is really more of a question of getting cooperation from the victims. no disrespect to the victims but they are not always willing to tell us in advance. i think it would be helpful if we were told. >> would it be helpful if you had reporting on what victims
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had paid in ransomware in a larger registry? >> the more information we can find out about whose demanding the ransoms, what victims are paying, how they are paying, what kind of wallet they are paying them into. what kind of crypto wallets they are being asked to pay them into. all of those things help us understand the ecosystem. the more information we have, the better. >> i'm going to switch to the era and women's rights. today marks the 50th anniversary of the equal rights amendment and its passage in house of representatives. since the bill passed the house in 1971, 38 states have ratified the era. under the trump administration, the doj's office of legal counsel issued an opinion
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blocking the archive of the united states from certifying the amendment even if congress extends the deadline. as you know, women continue to face obstacles to their equality in pay, in child care, in the criminal justice system. scholars at the era projected columbia law school have released a new analysis arguing the memo should be withdrawn. it's common practice for the doj to review prior legal opinions and withdraw those that are not legally sound. will you commit today to closely exam the olc memo and if you agree with these legal scholars that it is flawed, rescind this memo so gender equality can be
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enshrined in the constitution? >> i think the first step is to find out what olc is doing this this respect. sometimes they review previous opinions and of justice of the peace ten they do not out of respect for their own precedence. i know what the status is with respect to this one. i understand the argument. if thank you very much. i yield back. miss bush. >> st. louis and i thank you for being here with us today. thank you for sitting through all of this. since your confirmation in march of 2021, 128 black people have been killed by law enforcement officers in the u.s. that's one black person killed by law enforcement every two days and that is an undercount. police killings in america have been undercounted by more than half over the past four decades.
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attorney general garland, as the people's attorney, do you think that law enforcement officials are above the law? >> no one is above the law. >> i agree. are you aware that black and brown people are stopped and searched for minor infractions? >> i've read that and i'm not surprised to learn it. >> are you aware that white nationalists have infiltrated rank and file police departments, according to fbi? >> i'm not sure i know the specific reference you cite about the fbi. i know there are problems in some police departments with respect to domestic violence extremists in the ranks and i know many police departments are trying to work on that.
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>> i would like to seek unanimous to enter this report detailing white supremacy in police forces. >> without objection. >> thank you. are you aware from the statistic we have we know plaque people with killed at three times the rate of white people? >> i don't know the actual statistic but i wouldn't be surprised if that were the case. i'm happy to accept your representation. >> thank you. again, i ask for unanimous con sent to introduce a harvard school of report into the record. >> without objection. >> do you believe that systemic racism exist in law enforcement agencies? >> i think it exists in a number of areas of our society and the purpose for these pattern or practice investigations that we do is to make sure that pattern
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or practice unconstitutional policing. that's the job of the civil rights division to look at these matters to take into account complaints in this area and to investigate them be. >> yes. the department requested $1 billion in federal funding for law enforcement agencies in fiscal year 2022, an increase from last year. we are rewarding police departments rather than holding them accountable for racist practices. department has a powerful tool at its disposal. title 6 mandates that rep sip yents of federal funds do not discriminate and it makes clear if they do, they are ineligible for federal funding. i'm happy to see the department is undergoing a 90-day review of title 6. given the structure of racism that you have acknowledged, will you commit to withholding funds to law enforcement agencies that
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discriminate in title 6? >> as you correctly point out, our associate attorney general, and deputy attorney general are doing a review of title 6 and how it should be applied to our grants. i want to be clear, we are funding local police departments. we are also making grant for the purpose of supporting constitutional policing, better community policing, better programs to ensure there isn't discrimination. i think many, many good hearted and nondiscriminatory police officers. we have support them and root out the ones who violate the law. that's our job. >> absolutely.
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if you know your colleague has racist practices and you don't speak up, that means you're not a good police officer. i don't believe in good and bad. i believe there are officers and people who are below the standard. i ask bad st. louis leads the nation in police killings per capita. michael brown was killed in plain sight and there were zero accountable for his murder. we can choose to sub si diez it or stop it. for st. louis the choice is clear. we must stop it. we must save lives. we are put on a path toward accountability. we need only to enforce it. thank you. i yield back. >> gentle lady yields back. >> i ask to submit to the record two letters drafted and written and sent by chip roy and i to attorney general garland for which we have not received a response. one dated july 15th and one dated may 13th.
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>> without objection. >> i have another unanimous consent request to submit for the record the frames from the video that were displayed in my testimony. >> without objection. miss jackson lee. >> thank you very much. i ask consent to put into the record document produced by the citizen project in the extreme women serve life without parole and citizens of the united states. i ask unanimous consent to submit into the record the senate judiciary report subverting justice. >> without objection. >> and to place into the record legislation i introduce preventing vigilante stalking regarding the stalking done by the abortion bill of texas. >> without objection. >> thank you. >> this concludes today's hearing. we thank the attorney general
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for participating. without objection, all members will have five legislative days to submit additional written questions for the witness or additional materials for the record. without objection, the hearing is adjourned.
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we'll reair this committee hearing with attorney general merrick garland at 8:00 p.m.
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eastern on cspan. you can watch online at cspan.org or our new video app, cspan now. : american history tv on cpan 2. exploring the people and events that tell the american story. saturday at 8:00 a.m. eastern on lectures in history. two discussions about american military in the revolutionary war. first, julie ann talks about the continental army and malitia troops. then at 9:10 a.m. eastern, craig smith explains how the american and british militaries compared in demographics, organization and the officer selection process. at 2:00 p.m. eastern on the presidency. a look at the life and times of abraham lincoln with david reynolds. watch american history tv
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other television providers, giving you a front row seat to democracy. >> next, the current administrator of the tsa, along with three former administrators, testify about changes at the agency since its creation after the terror a, ta on september 11th, 2001. the administrators talk about increases in security screenings and enhancements in technology for airline passengers. this is two hours and 40 minutes. >> good morning. i want to thank tsa administrator david patoskey and peter nephewinger, john pistole and james lord for being with us today and for their leadership in safeguarding our nation. and let me say that we have never had a symbol before

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