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In advance of my live-tweeting today's HJC hearing, why I use the phrase Big Dick Toilet Salesman when I have tried to avoid similar monikers for Trump himself.

emptywheel.net/2019/02/08/sta…
Nadler starts with a tribute to @JohnDingell. "A true believer in Congressional oversight."
Nadler: Commending tradition of independent law enforcement at DOJ. Rule of law. Commending ethics officials who would have advised BDTS to recuse.
Nadler focuses on FACT, which he says Republicans have called it a "chop shop of fake ethics complaints."
Nadler: Like everyone else you're entitled to your own opinions. When career officials took steps to mitigate your conflict of interest, you ignored them. You decided your interest was more important than integrity of department.

Why did Trump choose to replace Sessions?
BDTS has what might be a sneer or a gritting his mouth.
Nadler: I agree there's no need to resort to that measure (for now).

I doubt any privilege attaches to discussions about a criminal investigation in which the President may be a subject and some aides are targets.
Nadler: The time for this Administration to avoid accountability is over.
Collins: We now have the reason for this hearing, it has nothing to do with oversight. It's nothing more than a character assassination.
Collins notes he's in the minority and his advice that issuing a subpoena might be bad for BDTS was ignored. Calls the earlier subpoena "a full cave."

Prolly not a good idea.
Collins: By next Thursday, Bill Barr will be AG.

This hearing is pointless.
Collins: Your financial situation from 2014-2016 is beyond the scope of the hearing. This is not the Senate. This is not a confirmation hearing.
Collins moves to adjourn, while standing up.

Demands a roll call.

[Remember, he's complaining about theater.]
During roll call BDTS is consulting with the aides behind him.
Sensenbrenner, Buck, Robey, Gates, Johnson, Reschenthaler not there to vote aye. Ratcliffe came in late to be a part of the theater.
BDTS is being sworn in.
BDTS also notes passing of Dingell.

It is an honor to represent XX,000 employees of DOJ, invokes USA. I personally prosecuted several important criminal cases.

[appeal to some kind of authority]
BDTS says he has great respect for Sessions.

I am deeply honored the President selected me.

No one is more qualified than Bill Barr.
BDTS talking about the Sessions record on violent crime and gun crime.

Making up #s about murder rates.
The dangers of our porous southern border becomes more apparent any time a criminal causes violent crime.

[Can we talk about the violent crime of white supremacists, BDTS?]
Human traffickers only use the southern border, apparently.
BDTS says DOJ continues to make decisions based on facts.

At no time has WH asked for any promises or commitments on SCO or any other investigation.

[not answering the other questions asked]
BDTS spitting out the words Accommodate and In Good Faith.
"As the SCOTUS has recognized this executive privilege is fundamental to govt."
The end of this speech w/BDTS' weird emphasis makes him come off as robotic.
Nadler: At press conference you said fully briefed on SCO. Y or N, briefed on criminal or CI matters within SC purview.

BDTS: Cannot talk on ongoing investigations.

Nadler: Whether you've been briefed on it.

BDTS: I have been briefed.

Nadler: As CoS?
BDTS says he was not briefed under Sessions.

BDTS I've said all I'll say abt ongoing investigation.

Nadler: Whether you've been briefed is subject of ongoing investigation?

BDTS: Number of times I've been briefed.

Nadler: Briefed between recusal decision and Christmas
Nadler: Were you briefed between December 19 and CHristmas day

BDTS: Speculation.

Nadler: Conveyed info learned to Trump?

BDTS: delay

Nadler: Yes or no?
BDTS: TO answer your question I have not talked to POTUS abt SCO.

Nadler: TO any other WH official?

BDTS: Not with senior WH officials?

Nadler: Any third party who might convey to legal team?

BDTS: WHo do you consider third party?
BDTS says it is impossible for him to answer whether he has had convos with third parties abt SCO.

"Usually I am the endpoint of that briefing."

[But not always, I guess]

I don't think Nadler asked abt BDTS talking to Trump lawyers.
BDTS drinks half a bottle of water while Nadler talks about proper invocation of privilege.
Nadler: As for a deposition in coming weeks, under oath, with understanding that a transcript will be released to the public. Expect either clean answer or proper assertion of privilege.
Nadler: Have you been asked to approve action by SCO.

BDTS: I see that your five minute time is up.

Nadler: We didn't enforce five minute rule on AAG.
BDTS: As AAG under SC rules, I am person ultimately in charge of investigation, I have exercised that authority.

Nadler: I assume answer is yes, and you've said yes or no.

BDTS: Are you asking if I've asked SC to do something?
Nadler: have you been asked to approve or disapprove.

BDTS: I want to be very specific. We have followed SC regs to a T, no event, no decision that has required me to take any action.
Note: it would be useful to get BDTS on the record as approving of Stone's indictment.
Collins: Were you aware of Stone's indictment before it became public.

BDTS: Stone's indictment part of ongoing investigation. I was briefed on that.

Collins: CNN reported camped out.

BDTS: Deeply concerning to me abt how CNN found out about that.
Collins now airing Gateway Pundit conspiracy that has been debunked.
BDTS: Indictment posted immediately after unsealed. We do not know of any other SC notice re Stone's indictment or arrest. As I sit here today don't have any other information.

Collins; Timing of this reporter's knowledge. Seems to have been a gap.

[BDTS drinks more H20]
Here's a question that might be asked; Why was Stone dressed for arrest?
Collins: Is Bruce Ohr still employed w/DOJ?

BDTS: Ohr is currently employed w/DOJ.

Collins; Aware of discussions re Ohr's involvement in many investigation problems.

BDTS: Generally aware of Ohr, questions being raised abt his behavior.
Collins: Outside of normal channels?

BDTS: OIG currently looking at Carter Page FISA app. Also Huber review. Part of confidential HR process.
Collins says that today will be a rabbit hole.

BDTS This is not confirmation hearing. This is an oversight hearing. Surprised that we haven't talked about violent crime, opioid, religious liberty, free speech on college campuses. I would like to talk about incredible work at DOJ
BREAKING: Trump's hand-picked Acting Attorney General agrees there's probable cause that Roger Stone lied about efforts to coordinate WikiLeaks releases in 2016.
Y'all are making far too much of BDTS' claim that he has not interfered w/Mueller in any way. There are extant questions that he has not addressed, that go beyond reviewing prosecutorial decisions.
I wonder if there's a way to ask BDTS if DOJ is investigating Trump Org for its hiring of undocumented workers w/o feeding BDTS' bigotry?
Incidentally: That BDTS stunt telling Nadler his timing was up?

Probably got him a job as WH CoS.
And ... 2 hours after this hearing started, the third person will ask her first questions.
Lofgren: You mentioned "right now Mueller investigation close to being completed." What was basis?

BDTS: Important indictment related to Huawei, during press conference, asked questions, prefaced by saying can't talk about ongoing. I don't have anything to add.
Lofgren: You did talk abt ongoing investigation. Decisions will be reviewed through various means we have.

BDTS: Refer you to special counsel regs. Regarding timing. I have nothing as I sit here to add to that. AG will receive report, will be confidential, will cover decisions
BDTS: SC investigation is proceeding consistent w/regs.

BDTS sniffs bizarrely, puts on glassess.

Lofgren: Willingness to discuss ongoing investigation not been applied equally, you raised Stone.
Lofgren: Prior to your hiring as CoS did you share opinions w/Trump or other WH officials, Kelly, Trump family members, public surrogates like Giuliani? Not Exec at that time you were private citizen.

BDTS: I came to DC in oct 2017. Greatest respect for Sessions.
Lofgren: That wasn't the question I asked.

BDTS: I was honored to be selected Acting AG. Before being appointed to this position did not make promise.

Lofgren: That's not the question I asked.

Nadler: Ask witness to answer specifically, stop filibustering.
Lofgren: Did you share opinions.

BDTS: Did I share opinion w/anyone in POTUS circle when I was private citizen, not at DOJ? No I did not.
Note, BDTS still has not answered abt whether he shared opinions while CoS, only that he didn't make promises.

Chabot: Drug overdoses.
BDTS: I know OH has been affected by Opiod crisis, to combat, additional tools to combat opioid crisis. Opioid fraud and detection unit. Largest HC fraud takedown. Pill task force.

[Note that BDTS is reading off a script to answer some of these questions]
[BDTS referring to his notes again]

Chabot: SOTU, do you have an opinion, border security, southern border, making progress on reducing scourge of drug addiction.

BDTS: Absolutely. I went to China in August as CoS,

[Does BDTS know China is not on the S border?]
BDTS drinks more water, notes he has less than a week.

BDTS checks notes, nods in rehearsed fashion, checks notes again.

BDTS: I'm aware of that bill, look forward to DOJ working with you on that.
Jackson-Lee: Former DIrector of FBI, active investigation into associates of Trump campaign, fired. At current rate we're seeing so many of Trump Orgs being indicted. Yes or no. First oversight in 15 months. You have not appeared for oversight.
BDTS, rather than answering: I don't know whether your time has been restored or not.

Jackson-Lee laying into him.

BDTS stiffens jaw, looks away.

BDTS: I am an Acting, appointed according to VRA, have never appeared before Congress for any hearing.
Jackson-Lee: Prior to firing of Sessions did you share opinion. Yes or no. Did you share opinions with SC? ARe you denying sharing opinion with John Kelly? Yes or no.

BDTS: I'm not talking abt convos w/POTUS or senior staff.
Jackson-Lee: Your understanding of review you've given. Extensive review?

BDTS: I have been briefed on SC investigation.

Jackson-Lee: Involvement of hostile foreign entities more important than false reps of voter fraud.

BDTS: Foreign interference very serious, fraud concern
BDTS stalls, then says if he was contacted by foreign national or foreign country, I would have most likely reached out to FBI.

Jackson-Lee: You have not prosecuted one voting rights case.

BDTS: We'll follow up in writing.
Jordan: Why did Rosenstein send memo to Bob Mueller in August 2017?

BDTS: SC regs require scoping of SC investigation, certain it would have IDed scope.

Jordan: Why? It was 2.5 months after formed.
BDTS drinks more water.

BDTS: Appointment consistent with other appointments.

Jordan: 2.5 months later we get 3 page memo. This is what confuses me. In this memo, the following allegations were w/in scope.
Jordan: Why do you have to put it in a memo?

BDTS: I was also recused from that investigation. You're asking me why at the time Rosenstein.

Jordan: Asking why 2 months after you're putting it in a memo. Everything's redacted.
Jordan: DO you know what's under the redactions?

BDTS: I do. You would not have targets identified. Especially if someone is not charged. RR acting as AG gave authorization and jurisdiction. Thats' the whole purpose.

Jordan: Specific names.

BDTS: Ongoing investigation.
Jordan: Can you give us assurances there aren't specific names. We don't investigate people we investigate crimes. DOn't you think it's appropriate for Americans to know full scope of investigation they elected President.

BDTS: We investigate crimes, not people.
Cohen: GSA IG Report on Post Office concerning emoluments, did not refer to OLC, but OLC knew something about it. Aware of DOJ looking into emoluments?

BDTS: Emoluments clause subject of several ongoing litigation matters. As Acting AG unable to talk specifically about cases
COhen: OLC memo?

BDTS: Ongoing litigation.

Cohen: DOJ representing President? Is that appropriate? Shouldnt' he have personal lawyers rep for this nefarious conduct?

BDTS: DOJ defense, well within purpose to be involved.
Cohen: Investigation into finances would be red line.

BDTS drinks more water

Cohen: If matters arose that Trump family owed lots of $$ to oligarchs, not red line?

BDTS: WHen I made that statement, private citizen, only publicly available info.
Cohen: That's no longer your opinion?

BDTS: At DOJ as long as I'm Acting, follow law and facts, do our job with fidelity.

COhen: Conviction of Manafort, guilty pleas, would you say it's a witch hunt?

BDTS: Ongoing investigation, inappropriate

Cohen: You'd stop a witchhunt
Cohen: Have you denied SC funds?

BDTS: I can tell this is an important issue.

Cohen: Denied him areas he wanted to investigate.

BDTS: Not interfered with investigation.
Dems are still missing question: Did he ask for a response on BuzzFeed article. Not privileged, outside real of SC regs.
Gohmert: No doubt majority of drugs coming across southern border.

[Remember BDTS just said CHina was a big issue]

BDTS: These drugs, general illegaly pouring in thru southern border having a negative effect.
Gohmert: THey accuse you of not following advice of career officials.

BDTS: 116,000 employees.

Gohmert: Directly to you and Rosenstein.

BDTS: ROd has over 100 direct reports.

BDTS drinks more water.

Gohmert: I recommended to Sessions, he needs more direct reports.
Johnson: Witchhunt?

BDTS: Ongoing investigation.

Johnson: Stone investigation.

BDTS: My comments abt Stone were merely to acknowledge that CNN had appeared to receive.

Johnson: You don't know whether tipped off? Let me move on. Decision not to recuse.
Johnson: Final guidance on December 19.

BDTS: WE have communicated with Congress.

Johnson: I understand you take that position, final ethics guidance on December 19?

BDTS: We laid out, decision my decision.

Nadler: Direct question.
Johnson: Career officials recommended that you recuse to avoid appearance?

BDTS: Made my recusal decision by myself.

Johnson: Career officials who advised you, yes or no?

BDTS: Consulted w/career officials, staff, OLC.
BDTS: Steve Engel, Curtis Gannon.

Johnson: Who else. Specifically.

BDTS: Brad Weinscheimer, senior career.

Johnson: He advised you recusal unnecessary.

BDTS: He said close call. Abundance of caution he would recommend certain course.
Ratcliffe: Highlight their good work. Oversight. Priorities. 9:30, now 12:30, havent' seen you field a single question about enforcement priorities.

[note: a counterintelligence investigation into people who tampered with an election is, in fact, an enforcement priority]
Ratcliffe: Project safe neighborhood. OBama killed it, inform us abt reducing gun violence.

[Prediction: Lucy McBath is going to tee up on all the things Republicans get BDTS to discuss]

Once again, BDTS is reading off a script to answer the scripted questions GOPers asked.
Jordan: Are there any other memos?

BDTS: It would be inappropriate.

[Yes, there are other memos]

Jordan: Any other changes to parameters of investigation into POTUS?

[Note, some of the changes don't involve POTUS]
Deutsch: Do you believe Trump did not know you were critical of Mueller when he appointed you?

BDTS: No reason to believe that POTUS wasn't saying what he believed with.

Deutsch: Who'd you interview with?

BDTS: Sessions.

Deutsch: Did yo ever speak w/POTUS abt probe?
BDTS: I had never met POTUS until after I joined DOJ.

BDTS: I assume you're excluding my appearances on CNN.

Deutsch: I assume the President wasn't watching otherwise the POTUS would know abt your views.
Deutsch starts listing all the comments he made. BDTS drinks water.

Deutsch: Did you have anyone communicate w/WH?

BDTS: I didn't have relationship w/WH.

[that's not answering the question]
BDTS: I had previously been at WH to talk abt a different position.

Deutsch didn't let him answer the question, which has a damning answer.
BDTS: No I did not attempt to use any intermediaries.
BDTS: I believe POTUS chose me bc I had served as USA, very important position, and served 13 months as CoS, aware of everything that General Sessions wasn't recused from.

[Not, RR was involved in all of those same things]
Biggs; Sitting POTUS cannot be indicted. Still in effect?

BDTS: Still the policy of DOJ.

Biggs; Statement abt wiretapping POTUS, 25th Amendment.

BDTS: statements consistent with what he believed at the time.

Biggs: His responses. Did you talk to him abt it?
Biggs: What this does have to do with is RR's oversight of Mueller.

BDTS drinks again.

Biggs: Did you have convo w/RR abt his comments as reported.

BDTS: I'm not going to answer. They were deliberative.
Biggs: Do you still adhere to statement [abt no collusion]

BDTS: I had no inside information.

Biggs: as we sit here today, has your opinion changed?

BDTS: SC investigation is ongoing, not going to characterize or give my opinion.
Biggs is incorrect. Manafort has plead guilty to conspiring with someone suspected of ties to RU intel.
Collins interrupts Bass asking abt FACT.

Nadler: I ruled it was not a valid point of order. Gentlelady will continue.

Collins; I was not thru my point of order.

[Note, Bass wasn't even done asking her question]
Bass: During time you were Exec Dir you recommended FACTs investigation into DNC, John Kerry, Pelosi, called for investigation into Hank Johnson, about 46 individual organizations.

Since you have joined AG's office, have any investigations been initiated into those people?
BDTS: I was ExecDir, filed ethics complaints against members of both parties.

Bass: Which Republicans?

BDTS: Refer to the website.

Bass: Any investigations initiated?

BDTS: Not aware of any.
SOmeone needs to ask whether he recused from Huber's review of Hillary Clinton.

Bass; Recuse from World Patent Marketing? Ethics opinion, or did you not seek?

BDTS: Who do you mean by they? I am recused from that investigation.

Bass; Hillary Clinton?
BDTS: Your inquiry would suggest open matter re CLinton. Any recusal would be based on what the matter was.

Bass: Thank you.
Nadler: Recess for 5 mintues.

BDTS: WE have 5 minutes for lunch?

Hillary Clinton is going to have to teach this young buck about stamina, I guess.
McClintock: Greg Jarrett blah blah blah blah

BDTS: We do conduct our investigations independent of political interference.

McClintock: That's not what this says.

BDTS: Subject of IG review, together with USA Huber.
BDTS: ANy allegation of misconduct would be addressed. I was a private citizen during Lois lerner. AG Sessions did a review.

McClintock: Disproportionate show of force by FBI. CNN obviously tipped off. Obvious political act designed to terrify against working w/Trump Admin
BDTS: FBI prepared to brief this matter, that particular arrest, in closed session.
Side note; BDTS is prolly wishing there weren't so many brown people on HJC.

Richmond: ANy African Americans in top leadership at DOJ?

BDTS: WHat do you consider leadership?
Richmond: Do you believe that in Charlottesville there were good people on both sides?

BDTS: THe act was charged as hate crime.

Richmond; Do you believe good people protesting and anti-protestors?
BDTS: THere is no place in civil society for hate, white supremacy, white nationalism.

Richmond: Any transgender employees?

BDTS: I imagine we would, I will get back to you?

Richmond: Would you have problem w/transgender in any agencies?

BDTS: No.
Richmond; Voter fraud, how many initiated?

BDTS: I don't know off top of head?

Richmond: What about NC? Has DOJ opened investigation?

BDTS: Very aware, watching carefully.
IMMEDIATELY AFTER Richmond asks oversight questions about civil rights, Debbie Lesko is claiming there are no questions about oversight.
Lesko: Cuomo, Northam support of abortion up to birth, infanticide. Are you worried about criminalizing grusome procedures.

BDTS: Yes. As an American I'm very concerned.
BDTS: Every life is valuable. Members of this committee have a lot of power as to how we value life.

[GOP SCOTUS last night denied a man an imam on his death]
Jeffries: Who are you and how the heck did you become head of DOJ.

BDTS: blah blah blah

Jeffries: That was a statement, not a question, I believe you know the difference. GOing thru Mueller indictments. 7 guilty pleas?

BDTS Yes.
Jeffries; Trump's best friend indicted for lying to Congress.

BDTS: Yes.

Jeffries: Paul Manafort pled guilty to COnFraudUs. Gates, Flynn, lying to the FBI.
Jeffries raises BDTS' "note to Trump's lawyer do not cooperate."

BDTS: I did not necessarily agree with that view.
Jeffries: One by one all the President's men are going down in flames. Yet, you decided not to recuse yourself, correct?

BDTS: My decision to make.
To be honest, there are still a slew of questions the Dems should be asking, even i they only want Ru questions asked.
Cline: Drugs, crime, are you going to keep govt operating. immigration judges.

BDTS: Important issue, quite frankly number of judges overwhelmed by # of asylum seekers.
BDTS: Sessions and I issued AG orders changing how cases adjudicated, oftentimes to border.

BDTS now speaking haltingly as he talks about immigration courts, but he's not reading from notes this time.
Cicilline: Will cut you off if you make long speeches, you do not need to thank me. Did you brief your staff what you learned from SCO or his team?

BDTS: One other individual, USA EDCA. Gregg Skye.

Cicilline: To other members of your staff?

BDTS: I don't believe so.
Cicilline: Restrictions not to share w/WH and legal team?

BDTS: Yes, and need to know.

Cicilline; Trump lash out after Cohen?

BDTS: POTUS tweeted he did not.

CiCilline: I don't have trust in veracity of his tweets.

BDTS: No he did not.
BDTS pauses significantly before he answers whether anyone lashed out at him.

Cicilline: Did you share questions w/WH?

BDTS: No, I did not.

Cicilline: POTUS hasn't seen.
Cicilline: Ever spoken to POTUS or legal team abt info you've learned? Or any other criminal investigation involving POTUS?

BDTS: POTUS has not instructed me to do anything.

Cicilline: NOt my question. Have you spoken to POTUS or his team? Yes or no?
Cicilline: John Barrett says you said you were on CNN to attrack attention.

BDTS raises eyebrows, sighs, maybe tucks his shirt.
Reschenthaler: Immigration, gun violence, Obamacare, gun violence. Excited to be here. A lot are life nad death.

[Again, Richmond did use this oppty]

Sanctuary cities: 3 child molesters.

BDTS: ending taxpayer funding to sanctuary cities.
Reschenthaler: opioid.

BDTS shuffling his notes back to the scripted answer to this question. Glances at notes.

BDTS: I do believe opioids imported thru our southern border.

[Someone should ask why he went ot CHina on Fentanyl]
BDTS mentions his trip to China again.

China is not Mexico.
Swalwell: Did your watchdog org ever receive $$ from foreign donors?

Collins: Outside scope. I'm outgunned I. have no votes.

Collins accuses Swalwell of running for POTUS.
Swalwell: Foreign contributions.

BDTS: What do you mean by my org. I don't know answer. Our main donor was group that was US entity.

Swalwell: Did you interview with McGahn?

BDTS: I talked to Annie Donaldson, COS.
BDTS: Everyone at WH did not want to talk about SC.

Swalwell: How did you interview abt SC role and not talk abt SC investigation?

BDTS: My background as US Atty.

Swalwell: Discussion abt report to Congress? Draft abt not sharing w/Congress?
Swalwell: Do you believe Sessions should have recused?

BDTS: I do not have an opinion.

Swalwell: Pardons for Manafort, Stone, Cohen, Flynn?

BDTS: Well-worn system.

Swalwell: That POTUS doesn't follow.

BDTS: No discussions.
Swalwell: Mueller finishing up?

BDTS: My opinion as Acting AG. Mueller will finish when he wants to finish.

Swalwell: Honest? Conflicted?

BDTS: Conflict analysis for indiv lawyer.
Swalwell: Can you say Bob Mueller is honest and not conflicted?

BDTS: I'm not here to be a puppet.

Swalwell: Can you say that to the President.

BDTS: Nothing further to add.

Nadler: Question for observers.
Armstrong; Commend First Step. Any advice for how to keep momentum.

BDTS: Use help, fund First Step.
BDTS: I understand uniquely how pre-trial release works.

Armstrong: Law is the law. Hillary blah blah blah.
LIeu: Did you sign NDA.

BDTS: Standard DOJ forms.

Lieu: Questions abt US Constitution: No sentence that NSA can't be indicted? Former campaign chair?

BDTS: Of course it does not.
Lieu: No sentence that US president's children can't be indicted. VP, sitting president.

BDTS: Congressman bc that is opinion of OLC, consistent with practices over years, under both admins.

Lieu: after this hearing spin all you want.

BDTS: You & both know OLC opinion.
Lieu: Did you communicate abt SDNY investigations?

BDTS: I said other investigations. Refer you back to opening statement. SDNY would be included in other investigations.
Lieu: Violent crime, property crime gone down. Border crossing at 45 year low.

BDTS: Haven't been able to retain those gains, seen absolute dramatic surge in family crossings.
Raskin is talking abt BDTS' corruption.

BDTS is writing on yellow legal pad, ticking things.

BDTS: You have challenged my character. I have the ability to answer your questions.

RAskin: Title of non-profit you ran?
Raskin: Did you name FACT?

BDTS: I did. [filibuster]

Raskin: Tell us where the money came from.

Collins: Point of order.
Raskin: DO you know who the donor was.

BDTS: Yes I do. Donor's Trust.

Raskin: That was the pass-through.

BDTS: I have no idea who the donors to Donor's Trust are.
Raskin is suggesting that Adelson is the donor to BDTS to change OLC memo.

Raskin: Were you involved in OLC review?

BDTS: I was recused.

Raskin: Did you talk to Adelson, Cooper.
Raskin: How did casino operators donate to you several years after you lost. Did you talk to them?

BDTS: No I did not. FIrst OLC opinion, preceding Nov one, done after State of IL provided white paper, suggestion process was corrupt is wrong.
Jayapal: Reeling from family separations.

BDTS is shuffling through his script for the anwer.

Jayapal: Your department imposed zero humanity proceedings. We may not know how many children separation. You were CoS at the time.
BDTS: There was no family separation policy.

Jayapal: Were you aware of memo leaked by Merkley?

BDTS: No.

Jayapal: You were not aware of what your boss did. Policy of criminal separating parents.
Jayapal: is it correct that DOJ provided no advance notice to DHS?

[ADopts no nonsense face]

Jayapal: it's just a yes or no question.

BDTS: WE had a press conference.
Jayapal: ARe you saying that CBP and ICE lied to GAO and they were given advanced notice?

BDTS: WE had a public event.

Jayapal: Prior to public event, they got no notice. Did USAs track when prosecuting parents from children?
BDTS: I don't believe we were tracking that.

Jayapal: When parents sentenced they are in DOJ custody, correct?

BDTS: Correct.

[BDTS drinks water, now sitting impassive]

Jayapal: DO you understand magnitude of that?
BDTS: I appreciate your passion.

Jayapal: THis is abt children's future.

BDTS: REsponsibility for arrest and detention and custody handled by DHS and HHS, before they were transferred.
Demings: I'm former chief of police. Took oath very seriously. You have worked to make our criminal justice system, to make a mockery out of it, up to and including POTUS.

[This seems to be bugging BDTS]
Demings: your statement only says you didn't make any promises. Did you have any conversations?

BDTS: Not going to talk abt private convos.

Demings: Firing SDNY?
Demings; Do you agree w/POTUS claim abt lingering stench at DOJ?

BDTS: I have reestablished positive relationship between LE and WH.

Demings: Before you had current position.

BDTS: Most exceptional, hard working people.
BDTS: I feel very strongly that I have to set the tone for entire DOJ.

Demings: If I worked for you, that's pretty pitiful. You only mentioned drugs coming thru S border. Could you paint picture of ports of entry. Agree or disagree?

BDTS: Ports of entry most trafficked.
Correa: Enforcement priorities. White supremacists and other white nationalists. Attacks outnumbered by Islamic extremists 2-1. Do think they pose a threat? Is it growing?

BDTS: No reason to disagree.

Correa: Admin placing enough resources?
BDTS: Assigning resources done below my line, adequately addressing threat.

Correa: More than 7000 hate crimes in 2017, yet 30 convictions.

BDTS: High profile cases.

Correa: 30 convictions.
Correa: We're looking at foreign terrorism, but are we ignoring domestic.

BDTS: Dynamic daily eval. Adequately resourcing threats.
Scanlon: Trying to withhold $$ from sanctuary cities? I happen to represent Philadelphia. Did judge rule it illegal. You may be confused. This may appear to be a contact sport. THis is not a gridiron.
Scanlon: Just to be clear, I'm asking questions about your tenure. When did it start?

BDTS: President tweeted I became AAG on 11/7, order dated 11/8.

Scanlon: Do you have that order? Can you provide a copy?

BDTS drinks.

cc: @chrisgeidner
@chrisgeidner BDTS now refusing to answer questions abt census request.

Scanlon: asks abt someone involved.

Let the record reflect you're refusing to answer question.
Scanlon: Can we enter into record that last VRA action 1/10/17. Trump Admin reversed position on at least 3 VRA.

BDTS: Changed positions on only one case.
Garcia: What is it that leads you to believe that border region is crime-ridden? All areas in border region crime has gone down. Why are you so insistent crime-ridden area?

BDTS: I don't recall saying border region crime-ridden. Illegal immigration dramatically affecting crime.
Think BDTS just opened another bottle of water.

BDTS: I'm familiar with his zero tolerance policy.

Garcia; Were you in the room when policy was hatched?

BDTS: Not talking about internal deliberations.

Garcia; Where did it come from?

BDTS: Sessions' decision.
Garcia; How many children still separated?

BDTS: DOJ not involved in handling children.

Garcia: You have no idea.

BDTS: Those are different departments.
Neguse; legalized marijuana. What is status of research grade cannabis?

BDTS: Treaty problem. Very aware of, 6 days left. We're trying to make it work.

Neguse: Follow up in writing.
Neguse: When did you first learn Sessions would be fired? Via that tweet?

BDTS: Sessions resigned.

Neguse: Any convos prior?

BDTS: President's entitled to confidential comms.

BDTS seems to be looking at something in front of him -- phone?
NEguse points out that RR has all the same qualifications that BDTS cited, and under Vacancies act, was next in line. So I'm trying to understand, were you surprised you were appointed rather than RR?

BDTS: 2 different statutes.
BDTS freezes while he tries to remember that he has to say Sessions resigned.

Neguse goes back to Vacancies Act.
McBath: NC & GA dealing wi/similar problems with voter suppression, witnessed even as I was running. Fair to say that dept not remotely interested in securing elections in NC, abusing powers in thinly veiled effort to suppress minority pops.

BDTS: Voting rights of all Americans
McBath: Do you not know of voter suppression, or not know whether laws enforced?

BDTS: I don't know that i said not aware of voter suppression. Massive organization.
McBath: What steps did department take on election security

BDTS: DHS
Stanton: Pledge you will answer IG and other investigations after you depart.

BDTS: DOJ IG?

Stanton: Yes, DOJ IG considering several investigations about you.

BDTS: Horowitz fine DOJ employee.
Stanton: Impact of shutdown on DOJ.

BDTS: Difficult time, LE, did their job knowing you would ultimately pay them.

Stanton: seems appropriate that ancillary functions that involve travel not allowed. Did you travel to give a speech to Heritage?
BDTS: I had no other way to get to speech I committed to before shutdown.
BDTS admits he was asked to apply for the Ty Cobb and CoS position.

BDTS: I wouldn't characterize comments abt Mueller as disparagement.

Dean: We know, record is public, you said very negative things, they stand bc you did not take them back.
Dean: How'd you learn you got the job.

BDTS: I think I got a call from COs.

Dean: A minute ago you said by tweet.

BDTS: Not sure which came first. It was not a substantive phone call.

Dean: When next meet with POTUS. How many times did you meet w/POTUS?
BDTS: I spent 5 weeks considering recusal.

Dean: On a close call to set the tone for the department you go the other way?

BDTS: Not to bind my successors.
Mucarsel-Powell: Private or public?

BDTS: 501c3. I don't know.

M-P: There are two kinds. Only 3 board members. Numerous FEC complaints?

BDTS: All online.

M-P: Were they FEC complaints. Who made decision?

BDTS: I signed all if not all.

M-P: Sole decision?

BDTS: Yes.
M-P: Under IR COde all 501c3 prohibited from participating in any political campaign.
M-P; In Oc 2017, withdrew memo on Title VII discrimination. New memo instructs Federal law does not protect transgender. CoS for Sessions? Who ordered reversal of policy? Who drafted? Any outside groups? Do you stand by it?

BDTS: If Congress wants Title VII to extend change law
Escobar: My community has been ground zero for many of this Admin's cruel policies. Death of two immigrant children in US custody. Migrant protection protocol, misnomer for illegal policy, allows govt to return back to mX.
Escobar: Bc DoJ oversees Exec Office for Immigration review, counsel in MX to allow to prepare?

BDTS: Continue to follow existing policies. Well defined process. No assurance what happens in foreign country.
Escobar: Attorneys denied entry, passports flagged. Did DOJ have anything to do with flagging passports.

BDTS: Not familiar with situation. Happy to look into it.

Escobar: DOes DOJ have immigrant advocate watchlist.

BDTS: NOt something I prepared for.
Escobar: Do you have any reason to disagree with FBI data?

BDTS: WE regularly rely on.

Escobar: That's not my question. DO you have any reason to disagree w/FBI data?

BDTS: I do not have reason to.
Escobar: Did you ever create docs relating to pardons of indviduals.

BDTS: I'm aware of docs relating to pardons.

Nadler; Since it is blackletter law that someone may apply for asylum, entitled to legal assistance. Constitutional problem?

BDTS: Safe third country.
Nadler: Times and dates of briefing, convos w/POTUS after, basis for saying close to finishing, and whether you influenced any action.
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