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Preview: Congressman Jerrold Nadler - Representing the 8th District of New York

Congressman Jerrold Nadler - Representing the 10th District of New York





 



Nadler Questions Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein on Special Counsel Mueller and Republican Efforts to Discredit Investigation

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 22:54:14 +0000

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, questioned Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein during the Committee’s oversight hearing.    Click on the photo for a video of the exchange. The full text of Rep. Nadler's Q&A with DAG Rosenstein follows below: Nadler: On Monday Ranking Member Cummings and I wrote you a letter, sir, about the Majority’s ongoing investigation into the investigation of former Secretary Clinton. [Without objection entered]. The first part of our letter discussed the Department’s failure to provide the minority with access to the documents you already provided to the majority. Yes or No: will you commit to ensuring the minority, that we receive equal access to the materials you provide to the majority and to the committee in the future? Rosenstein: Yes, My understanding is that we may have provided… [Nadler interrupts] Nadler: I have to be…I have a lot of questions. The majority of this committee, President Trump’s private attorneys have all called on the DOJ to appoint a new Special Counsel to investigate a number of Hillary Clinton related matters. I think we can benefit from your experience in how the special counsel regulation work. The Regulations say the Attorney General, or in your case the acting Attorey General, will appoint a Special Counsel when you determine that 1. Criminal investigation of a person or matter is warranted. 2. Investigation either presents a conflict of interest to the Department or some other strong public interest requires you to appoint a special counsel. That first part, when he or she determines that investigation of a personal matter is warranted, is that part of the regulation optional? Rosenstein: No. Nadler: So a criminal investigation must first be determined to be warranted before you can assign a special counsel to the matter? Rosenstein: Yes. Nadler: Thank you. And at the DOJ, a criminal investigation requires an initial assessment and a preliminary view of the evidence? Rosenstein: Correct. Nadler: Has that assessment been made with respect to former Director’s Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton investigation? Rosenstein: I’m not going to comment on any investigations. In the normal course, before we made a determination, we would conduct an appropriate review. Nadler: And I assume your answer would be the same if I asked you about the FBI’s interaction with Fusion GPS? Rosenstein: It would be the same for any of them. Nadler: Then presuming for a moment. Presuming for a moment the department has conducted an initial assessment and found no predicate for a criminal investigation. So in plain English, there is no ongoing criminal investigation. Under this presumption, can you or the Attorney General Sessions simply appoint a special counsel to look into these matters? Rosenstein: No. Nadler: As I said earlier to my knowledge there’s been no credible factual or legal claims that anyone in the department violated any law by deciding not to bring charges or by attempting to meet with Fusion GPS. If that is true, and if there is no underlying criminal investigation because there is insufficient evidence of a crime, in this or any other case, do the regulations permit you to appoint a special counsel? Rosenstein: No. Nadler: According to the Department, the office of the Inspector General informed Special Counsel Mueller of the existence of these text message between Strzok and Lisa Paige on July 27, 2017. The texts you sent us last night. Mr. Mueller immediately concluded that Mr. Strzok could no longer participate in the investigation and he was removed from the team in the same day. Did Mr. Mueller take appropriate action in this case? Rosenstein: Yes, he did. Nadler. Thank you. In testimony before Senate Intelligence Committee, you said you would only fire Special Counsel Mueller for good cause and that you had not seen any yet. Several months have passed[...]



Statement of Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler for the Oversight Hearing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 15:54:53 +0000

Washington, D.C. -- Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), acting Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, gave the following opening statement during an oversight hearing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  Welcome to the House Judiciary Committee, Mr. Rosenstein.  For the better part of a year, my colleagues and I have implored this Committee to conduct real oversight of the Department of Justice.  On January 24, 2017, we wrote to Chairman Goodlatte insisting that “the Committee hold hearings on President Trump’s conflicts of interest, at home and abroad.”  Citing to experts across the political spectrum, we showed that “[t]he Administration’s attempts to address its ongoing conflicts of interest are, so far, wholly inadequate.”  Six weeks later, Attorney General Sessions was forced to recuse himself from the Russia investigation—but we have not held a single hearing on the question of conflicts of interest. On March 8, we wrote again to the Chairman, encouraging him to call hearings on “Russia’s alleged interference in the U.S. election.”  Again, no such hearings were ever held. In fact, this Committee—which during the Obama Administration held half a dozen hearings around Operation Fast & Furious, received testimony from FBI Director James Comey three times in 13 months, and detailed staff and resources to a Benghazi investigation that cost the public almost $8 million—this Committee, from Inauguration Day until four weeks ago, was largely silent in terms of oversight. We haven’t lifted a finger on election security.  Attorney General Sessions told us on November 14 that he has done nothing to secure the next election from threats at home and abroad.  We have not once discussed the President’s abuse of the pardon power.  While the hurricane bore down on Houston, President Trump sidelined the Office of the Pardon Attorney to pardon a serial human rights abuser who bragged about running a concentration camp in Arizona.  And we have not held a single hearing on allegations of obstruction of justice at the White House—not for lack of evidence, but because, in the Chairman’s words, “there is a special counsel in place examining the issue,” and “several other congressional committees are looking into the matter,” and the Committee “does not have the time” to conduct this critical oversight.  I ask my colleagues to keep those excuses in mind. Now, with the year coming to a close, with the leadership of the Department of Justice finally before us, what do my Republican colleagues want to discuss?  Hillary Clinton’s emails. Let me repeat that:  With all of these unresolved issues left on our docket, a week before we adjourn for the calendar year, the Majority’s highest oversight priority is Hillary Clinton’s emails and a few related text messages. As we saw in our recent hearings with the Department of Justice and the FBI, my Republican colleagues seem singularly focused on their call for a second special counsel—and, failing that, on the need to investigate the investigators ourselves. The White House has now joined the call by House Republicans for a new special counsel to investigate the FBI.  The President’s private lawyers have done the same.  I understand the instinct to want to change the subject after the Flynn and Manafort indictments—but this request is grossly misguided, for a number of reasons. First, it shows a fundamental misunderstanding of how the special counsel regulations work.   Some criminal investigations pose a conflict of interest to the Department of Justice.  The Russia investigation is such a case—because of the Attorney General’s ongoing recusal and because Department leadership assisted in the removal of Director Comey, among other reasons.  In cases like these, the Attorney General may use a special counsel to manage the investigation outside of the ordinary chain of command.  But the key here is the criminal investigation.  That[...]



STATEMENT OF RANKING MEMBER JERROLD NADLER DURING MARKUP OF H.R. 1865, THE “ALLOW STATES AND VICTIMS TO FIGHT ONLINE SEX TRAFFICKING ACT OF 2017”

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 16:23:49 +0000

Mr. Chairman, I appreciate that you are bringing forward legislation today to address the scourge of human trafficking.  I strongly support providing new mechanisms for federal and state prosecutors, as well as victims, to hold accountable perpetrators of online sex trafficking.  I also recognize the need to balance these enforcement tools with respect for free speech under the First Amendment, and protection from liability for truly innocent parties that operate in the internet ecosystem. I am concerned, however, that the substitute proposal, no matter how well-intentioned, has not been fully vetted, and it does not have sufficient support from the vast community of survivors and other advocates who have been pressing for legislation over the last several years to address this important issue.  That is why I requested that our Committee postpone consideration of this bill to allow for a more thorough review by the stakeholder community, many of whom have had little time to review the new text.  Unfortunately, the expansive scope of internet communication and the proliferation of devices that allow us to be connected online for many beneficial purposes also have expanded avenues for criminal victimization.  As Members heard during the recent hearing on this topic conducted by our Subcommittee on Crime, research indicates that 63% of human trafficking victims interviewed were advertised online.  And of the over 9,000 CyberTipline reports that the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children receives each year, 81% relate to child sex trafficking online.  In cracking down on this online criminal activity, we must be careful to distinguish between innocent intermediaries, who merely operate platforms for hosting third-party content online, from those who participate in the commission of crimes that are advertised on their platforms.  Out of an appropriate respect for the First Amendment, and based on the desire to safeguard the operation of the Internet, Congress has been cautious when attempting to set rules distinguishing the two.    While it may be difficult to draw the line in the right place, particularly when we want to incentivize providers and online platforms to be more – and not less – actively engaged in preventing the posting of harmful content by sex traffickers, we cannot turn a blind eye to the appalling victimization that occurs every day, and we must find a way to do more than allowed under current law.  The Senate Commerce Committee recently reported out bipartisan legislation that won support from a wide array of stakeholders, including survivors, law enforcement, state attorneys general, and tech companies.  A number of organizations that represent victims of online sex trafficking have written to us to state that the revised Senate bill provides a greater voice to victims, and better tools to state prosecutors to hold accountable those who engage in trafficking.  They believe that the proposal we are considering today does not adequately provide relief for victims of trafficking, and they argue that it would continue to shield websites that facilitate trafficking from liability.  They also have concerns that they were not properly consulted in the development of this proposal. In light of these concerns, I had hoped that we would take the time to fully compare and consider the merits of the different bills, with input from all of the relevant stakeholders, so that we could develop legislation that has broad support, particularly from the victims’ community.  I do appreciate your effort to advance this discussion, but for the forgoing reasons, I believe the bill we are considering today should be considered a contribution to the dialogue on this important issue, and not the end of the process.  Unless the legislation is further improved and vetted through the legislative process in the House and discussions with the Senate, I may not be able to support final passage into law. Thank you, and I yield back the balance of my[...]



ICYMI: Nadler Praises Bipartisan Bill to Protect Religiously Affiliated Institutions

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 14:52:31 +0000

Washington, D.C.—Yesterday, the House passed H.R. 1730, the “Protecting Religiously Affiliated Institutions Act,”  by a vote of 402-2.  This bill would extend protections under current federal law for “religious real property.”  Currently, Section 247 of the Federal Criminal Code prohibits both the damaging of religious property because of the property’s religious character and the intentional obstruction — by force or threats of force — of anyone’s exercise of religious beliefs. 

H.R. 1730 would clarify that threats of force against religious property are included in this prohibition.  Additionally, the measure would provide that the damaging or obstructing of such property that results in damages exceeding $5,000 constitutes a felony punishable by up to 3 years imprisonment.  Finally, the bill would clarify that real property covered by the statute includes property leased by a non-profit, religiously-affiliated organization.

The importance of this legislation is underscored by the recent upsurge in bomb threats, hate crimes, and vandalism committed against communities of faith.  For instance, more than 150 bomb threats were made against Jewish Community Centers in the first quarter of this year alone.  And, there has been an alarming surge in the number of threats, vandalism, and arson committed against mosques over the past year.

In response to House passage of this bill, Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) stated:

“Recently, our country has been experiencing a surge in hate crimes – including those committed against communities of faith. In 2016, the hate crimes statistics released by the FBI indicate that anti-Semitic hate crimes increased 20% from the prior year. 

“Our country was founded on the principles of religious liberty, and while we may disagree with the religious practices of others, it is never acceptable to use physical obstruction, force, or threats of force to deny others the right to worship. 

“I believe it is not only appropriate but necessary for Congress to strengthen our laws against these types of acts so that no American has to choose between their faith and their safety. And I am pleased that this important bill, which was adopted by the Judiciary Committee, has now been passed by the House of Representatives.”

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NADLER: JUSTICE DEPARTMENT IS USING ITS AUTHORITY TO SCORE CHEAP POLITICAL POINTS

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 19:07:49 +0000

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) released the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Justice’s letter requesting Senate documents relating to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s investigation of Planned Parenthood and fetal tissue research:

“While this letter is nothing more than a procedural step, I am appalled by the Department of Justice’s flagrant politicization of its mission. The letter is yet another example of the eroding independence of the agency. With this letter, the Justice Department is formally asking the Senate Judiciary Committee to release files on a two-year-old, already debunked investigation based entirely on illegally-made, deceptively-edited videos. Attorney General Sessions also discussed this Senate investigation during his appearance before the House Judiciary Committee last month. While this is not a new announcement by the Department, it is unclear what it expects to find after five congressional investigations, over a dozen of state investigations, and millions in taxpayer dollars found absolutely zero evidence of wrongdoing. It is clear that the motives have more to do with promoting politics than pursuing justice. 

“As a former member of the House’s so-called “Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives”—which conducted a year-long investigation of this issue—I was in the room for countless interviews and depositions with providers and experts on this issue. I watched the Republicans abuse, threaten, and demean these hardworking men and women. In all of those interviews, I did not see any evidence indicating wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood or any other organization. In fact, those interviews just confirmed the incredibly important work Planned Parenthood does, serving 2.4 million men, women, and families every year.

“I am outraged that the Justice Department is suddenly using its authority to score cheap political points and potentially to pursue investigations with no factual basis just to appease anti-choice extremists. I stand with Planned Parenthood and will not stand by while the Justice Department uses this investigation to curtail women’s access to the health care they need.”

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NADLER STATEMENT ON WIKILEAKS DOCUMENTS AND THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 18:41:20 +0000

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, CNN reports that candidate Donald Trump, his son Donald Trump, Jr., and others inside the Trump Organization received an email in September 2016 offering a decryption key and website address for hacked documents—weeks before WikiLeaks began publishing the contents of those documents online.  Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) of the House Judiciary Committee issued the following statement in response:

“This email is yet another sign that senior Trump campaign officials—including Donald Trump, Jr., and perhaps the President himself—may have accepted assistance and valuable information from the Russian government and its partners.  It is, of course, a crime to participate in a conspiracy to influence an election through the illegal misuse of various computer systems.  It is also a crime for a foreign national to give anything of value to a campaign for federal office.  At the very least, this email shows us that the Trump Campaign understood enough about these stolen documents to have immediately reported a crime to the FBI.  They did not, and now Donald Jr. refuses to answer questions about his extensive back-and-forth with WikiLeaks.

“It is unconscionable that that House Judiciary Republicans want to relitigate long-debunked Hillary Clinton conspiracy theories instead of this direct threat to our election system. This is part of a coordinated effort—spearheaded by the White House—to undermine and discredit individuals and institutions, such as Special Counsel Mueller and the FBI, which are investigating the President and his associates. I once again call on Chairman Goodlatte to begin the committee’s oversight work in this space without delay.”

House Judiciary Democrats have sent more than 20 letters to the Committee and GOP Leadership, and more than 40 letters to the White House and Department of Justice seeking oversight of Trump Administration misconduct, without any meaningful response. It is high time the House Judiciary Republicans join us in investigating obstruction of justice and related charges.

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AT HOUSE JUDICIARY FBI OVERSIGHT HEARING, WRAY DEFENDS THE FBI AGAINST TRUMP ATTACKS, DOESN’T PLEDGE LOYALTY TO TRUMP

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 21:50:31 +0000

WASHINGTON, D.C. --Today, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray testified before the House Judiciary Committee for the first time during its annual oversight hearing.

Ahead of the hearing, on December 3rd, President Donald Trump tweeted, “After years of Comey, with the phony and dishonest Clinton investigation (and more), running the FBI, its reputation is in Tatters – worst in History! But fear not, we will bring it back to greatness.” 

Watch Here

During the hearing, acting Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler noted that veterans of the FBI and the Department of Justice have pushed back against this attack—but that he had not heard from Wray. Several Democratic Members of the Committee questioned Wray about his response to this attack as well as many other attacks on the FBI by President Trump. FBI Director Wray repeatedly defended the FBI.

Watch Here

In his opening statement, acting Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) challenged Wray to stand up to President Donald Trump’s continuous attacks on the FBI:

Indeed, I predict that these attacks on the FBI will grow louder and more brazen as the special counsel does his work, and the walls close in around the President, and evidence of his obstruction and other misdeeds becomes more apparent.

In this moment, Director Wray, your responsibility is not only to defend the Bureau, but to push back against the President when he is so clearly wrong—both on the facts and as a matter of principle. 

When he says, “the FBI person really reports directly to the president of the United States,” it is your job to tell him that the Director of the FBI has reported to the Attorney General since the founding of the Bureau, and that Presidents should not comment on pending cases.

When he claims that you should focus on “Crooked Hillary” instead of his closest associates—or when my colleagues argue for a new special counsel to do the same—it is your responsibility to remind us that, absent sufficient evidence of a crime, there is no investigation to which a second special counsel can be assigned.

And when he tells you that you need to “clean house,” that your agents are “phony and dishonest,” and that your “reputation is in tatters” and the “worst in history,” you must do more than send a private email to your employees.  You must stand up to the President of the United States.

Read Nadler’s full statement here.

When asked about his loyalty to Trump, Wray responded, “My loyalty is to the Constitution, to the laws of this country, and to the good men and people of America.”

Watch part 1 of the hearing here.

Watch part 2 of the hearing here.

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Statement of Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler for the Hearing on “Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation”

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 15:37:29 +0000

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  Welcome to the House Judiciary Committee, Director Wray. Earlier this week, in a message to your agents and employees, you gave us your vision of what the FBI is supposed to be: “We find ourselves under the microscope each and every day—and rightfully so.  We do hard work for a living.  We are entrusted with protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution and laws of the United States.  Because of the importance of our mission, we are also entrusted with great power, and we should expect—and welcome—people asking tough questions about how we use that power.  That goes with the job and always has.” I appreciate that sentiment.  But it cannot be a coincidence that you sent this message to your agents just hours after President Trump launched an online tantrum aimed largely at the Bureau as an institution and at individual agents. Early Saturday morning, the President tweeted: “So General Flynn lies to the FBI and his life destroyed, while Crooked Hillary . . . lies many times . . . and nothing happens to her?  Rigged system, or just a double standard?” He went on: “After years of Comey, with the phony and dishonest Clinton investigation (and more) running the FBI, its reputation is in Tatters—worst in History!” These outbursts exemplify two key characteristics of the Trump Administration: a cheapening and coarsening of our dialogue, and baseless, but entirely predictable political attacks against Hillary Clinton, the Department of Justice, and the FBI. I fear that this demeaning language has infected much of our work here on the Committee—and I suspect, Mr. Director, that many of my Republican colleagues will take a similar approach in attempting to shift the conversation away from questions they have largely ignored, like obstruction of justice, election security, and the rise in hate crimes. Indeed, I predict that these attacks on the FBI will grow louder and more brazen as the special counsel does his work, and the walls close in around the President, and evidence of his obstruction and other misdeeds becomes more apparent. In this moment, Director Wray, your responsibility is not only to defend the Bureau, but to push back against the President when he is so clearly wrong—both on the facts and as a matter of principle.  When he says, “the FBI person really reports directly to the president of the United States,” it is your job to tell him that the Director of the FBI has reported to the Attorney General since the founding of the Bureau, and that Presidents should not comment on pending cases. When he claims that you should focus on “Crooked Hillary” instead of his closest associates—or when my colleagues argue for a new special counsel to do the same—it is your responsibility to remind us that, absent sufficient evidence of a crime, there is no investigation to which a second special counsel can be assigned. And when he tells you that you need to “clean house,” that your agents are “phony and dishonest,” and that your “reputation is in tatters” and the “worst in history,” you must do more than send a private email to your employees.  You must stand up to the President of the United States.  As former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates has said: “The only thing in tatters is the President’s respect for the rule of law.  The dedicated men and women of the FBI deserve better.” Or as former Attorney General Eric Holder said: “You’ll find integrity and honesty at FBI headquarters and not at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue right now.” Or as Thomas O’Connor, president of the FBI Agents Association, said: “the FBI continues to be the premier law enforcement agency in the world.  FBI agents are dedicated to their mission; suggesting otherwise is simply false.” I am curious if you think their defense of the Bureau is wrong or[...]



Congressman Nadler Statement on President Trump’s Jerusalem Announcement

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 23:35:00 +0000

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), who represents parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, released the following statement regarding President Trump’s Jerusalem announcement:

“I have long recognized Jerusalem as the historic capital of Israel, and have called for the eventual relocation of the United States Embassy to Jerusalem, the seat of the Israeli government. While President Trump’s announcement earlier today rightly acknowledged the unique attachment of the Jewish people to Jerusalem, the timing and circumstances surrounding this decision are deeply worrying. This Administration has carelessly risked inflaming tensions in the region, as well as placing U.S. diplomatic and military personnel in harm’s way. Like so much of the President’s foreign policymaking, this hasty announcement was a media ploy devoid of substance and without concern for American, Israeli, or international security interests.

“The focus of U.S. energy in the region needs to be a return to the pursuit of a two state solution with direct, bilateral negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. Of course, in any negotiated settlement, Jerusalem must remain the capital of the State of Israel. Today’s decision by President Trump, however, does not advance the prospect for peace in any way. Instead, it is likely to bring us further away from achieving a settlement that all sides can embrace.”

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ICYMI: Nadler Statement on the Masterpiece Cakeshop SCOTUS Case

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 16:28:39 +0000

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Yesterday, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), acting Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, released the followed statement on the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission Supreme Court case:

“Today, as the Supreme Court hears arguments in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a case that has the potential to shape our country for decades, we must stand together to yet again say that every American, regardless of their race, gender, religion or sexual orientation, deserves equal opportunity and rights in our country. This case strikes at the underlying premise of our nation – that all individuals are created equal, and deserve to be treated as such. Every American deserves the ability to go into a store, medical office or restaurant and be served. The Supreme Court must not create a license to discriminate, where any individual, citing religious beliefs, can ignore nondiscrimination laws and systematically attempt to disadvantage groups they dislike. For a fair and equal society, businesses must be open to all.”

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