This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," December 15, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

Chris Wallace, Host: I'm Chris Wallace. The House of Representatives set to vote on impeachment this week and the FBI faces fire from an inspector general's review of the Trump/Russia investigation.


Male Speaker: So many basic and fundamental errors were made by three, separate, hand-picked investigative teams on one of the most sensitive FBI investigations.


Chris Wallace: The IG finding no political bias in opening the probe of the Trump campaign but laying out plenty of blame.


Male Speaker: It doesn't vindicate anyone at the FBI who touched this, including the leadership.


Chris Wallace: We'll discuss the findings with former FBI Director James Comey, who says the report clears him. It's a "Fox News Sunday" exclusive. Then, a straight party line vote.


Male Speaker: Aye.

Male Speaker: No.

Male Speaker: Aye.

Male Speaker: No.

Adam Schiff: The article is agreed to. The resolution is amended as ordered reported favorably to the House.


Chris Wallace: Sends two articles of impeachment to the full House, laying out charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress against President Trump.


President Trump: To use the power of impeachment on this nonsense is an embarrassment to this country.


Chris Wallace: We'll ask Pam Bondi, a special adviser to the president, about the White House defense strategy and we'll discuss the Democrats’ case with House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff. Plus, we'll ask our Sunday panel what new Fox polls mean for impeachment and the 2020 race. All right now on Fox News Sunday. And hello again from Fox News in Washington. This week, members of the House will cast one of the most consequential votes of their careers, for or against impeaching the 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump. Democrats are expected to approve two articles of impeachment on a straight party line vote, setting up a Senate trial early next year. Meanwhile, the inspector general of the Justice Department released his long-awaited report on the FBI's handling of the Trump-Russia investigation. In a moment we'll discuss that in an exclusive interview with former FBI director James Comey. But first, let's bring in Kevin Corke with the latest from the White House. Kevin.

Kevin Corke, Fox News White House correspondent: Chris, trade deals with Canada and Mexico, even China, and a major domestic policy victory on paid family leave. Normally each would be a headline in its own right but the release of the long-awaited IG report and of course a party line vote on impeachment overshadowed them all.


Male Speaker: Today is a solemn and sad day.

Kevin Corke: It went as expected.

Male Speaker: Aye.

Female Speaker: Ms. Jackson --


Kevin Corke: A 23-17 party line judiciary committee vote charging the president with abusing the power of his office over the Ukraine scandal and obstruction House Democrats' attempt to investigate him for it. The move now sets the stage for a full House vote this week, where Democrats currently hold 233 seats and would only need 216 votes. While new Fox polling suggests the nation remains split on impeachment with no change since early October, the majority of those surveyed believe he did abuse his power.


President Donald Trump: The impeachment is a hoax. It's a sham.


Kevin Corke: The president, meanwhile, remained defiant, buoyed by the fact that leaders of the GOP controlled Senate have made it clear that if there's a trial they won't remove him from office and perhaps by the release of the long-awaited inspector general's report investigating FISA abuse and the origins of the Russia probe which found significant inaccuracies and omissions made in applications to surveille Trump campaign aid Carter Page, inflaming the president's rhetoric that his campaign and indeed his presidency were spied upon.


Kevin Corke: Inspector general Horowitz said he was deeply concerned that there were so many basic fundamental errors made by three hand-picked investigative teams, though he said he was unable to prove any political bias. Chris.

Chris Wallace: Kevin Corke reporting from the White House. Kevin, thank you. Joining us now, former FBI director James Comey. Director, welcome to Fox News Sunday.

James Comey, former FBI director: Thanks for having me.

Chris Wallace: You have been taking something of a victory lap since the IG report was released earlier this week. The question is whether or not it's justified. Here are you and the inspector general Michael Horowitz answering the same question.


Reporter's Question: Do you think this is vindication?

James Comey: It is. I mean, the FBI's had to wait two years while the president and his followers lied about the institution. Finally the truth gets told.

Reporter's Question: Does your report vindicate Mr. Comey?

Michael Horowitz, inspector general, Justice Department: It doesn't vindicate anyone at the FBI who touched this, including the leadership.


Chris Wallace: The IG says you should feel no vindication.

James Comey: Well, maybe it turns upon how we understand the word. What I mean is that the FBI was accused of treason, of illegal spying, of tapping Mr. Trump's wires illegally, of opening an investigation without justification of being a criminal conspiracy to unseat -- defeat and then unseat a president. All of that was nonsense. I think it's really important that the inspector general looked at that and that the American people, your viewers and all viewers, understand that's true. But he also found things that we were never accused of, which is real sloppiness, and that's concerning. As I've said all along, has to be focused on. If I were director I'd be very concerned about it and diving into it.

Chris Wallace: Well, sloppiness may be a euphemism for what it is he found. One of his big concerns is the way the FBI handled the FISA applications and the warrants that you were -- allowed you to surveil Carter Page, who was a former foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign. Again, here is what you said about the FISA process and what the inspector general Horowitz said this week. Take a look.


James Comey: I have total confidence that the FISA process was followed and that the entire case was handled in a thoughtful, responsible way by DOJ and the FBI.

Michael Horowitz: We identified significant inaccuracies and omissions in each of the four applications, seven in the first application, and a total of 17 by the final renewal application.


Chris Wallace: Seventeen significant errors in the FISA process and you say that it was handled in a thoughtful and appropriate way.

James Comey: He's right. I was wrong. I was overconfident in the procedures that the FBI and Justice had built over 20 years. I thought they were robust enough. It's incredibly hard to get a FISA. I was overconfident in those. Because he's right. There was real sloppiness, 17 things that either should've been in the applications or at least discussed and characterized differently. It was not acceptable and so he's right. I was wrong.

Chris Wallace: But you make it sound like you're a bystander, an eyewitness. You were the director of the FBI while a lot of this was going on, sir.

James Comey: Sure. I'm responsible for it. That's why I'm telling you I was wrong. I was overconfident as director in our procedures and it's important that a leader be accountable and transparent. If I were still director, I'd be saying exactly the same thing that Chris Ray is saying, which is we are going to get to the bottom of this. Because the most important question is is it systemic? Are there problems in other cases?

Chris Wallace: One of the central issues is the role that the Steele dossier played which was oppo-research paid for by the Democrats, what role it played in getting the FISA warrants to surveil Page. Again, here's your version and again here is the inspector general.


James Comey: My recollection was it was part of a broader mosaic of facts that were laid before the FISA judge to obtain a FISA warrant.


Male Speaker: And we concluded that the Steele reporting played a central and essential role in the decision to seek a FISA order.


Chris Wallace: Horowitz says it wasn't part -- as you told Bret Baier -- it wasn't part of a broader mosaic. He said it played an essential role in establishing probable cause. In fact, he says, if it hadn't been for the Steele dossier, the FBI probably would haven't even submitted a FISA application -- that it had been reviewed in April of 2016 -- or August, rather, of 2016 -- they decided not to do it. They get the Steele dossier. They do it. It wasn't part of a broader mosaic. That's what you said, sir.

James Comey: I'm not sure he and I are saying different things. What his report says is that the FBI thought it was a close call until they got the Steele report, put that additional information in, and that tipped it over to be probable cause. It's a long FISA application. It includes Steele material and lots of other material. I don't think we're saying different things.

Chris Wallace: Well, I think you are, sir, because he's saying -- you're saying it's part of a broader mosaic; it's just one element. He's saying it was the tipping point. It's what brought it over. That doesn't make it part of a broader mosaic; it makes it the centerpiece of the whole FISA application and the ability to surveil Carter Page.

James Comey: Yeah. I don't understand it to be saying that. I could be wrong about that --

Chris Wallace: Well, I've just -- I've got his --

James Comey: -- I understand --

Chris Wallace: -- quote here. He says, "We concluded the Steele reporting played a central and essential role in the decision to seek a FISA warrant, that it pushed the FISA proposal over the line in terms of establishing probable cause." I mean, he says --

James Comey: Yeah.

Chris Wallace: -- what he says. Words mean something.

James Comey: Yeah. And I agree with his characterization. I'm just confused -- I no -- I don't see the disconnect between the two of us. And I'm sorry that I'm missing it.

Chris Wallace: Well, you don't see a difference between "It's part of a broader mosaic" and "It was the -- it played an essential role in establishing probable cause?"

James Comey: It was one of a bunch of different facts that were assembled to apply to the court. It was the one that convinced the lawyers that they had enough now, with that added to the pile, to go forward.

Chris Wallace: I guess the question is, it seemed that you were minimizing the role of the Steele Dossier, and he's saying it's a lot more important than you let on.

James Comey: Okay. If I was, then I'm sorry that I did that. But I meant it was one part of the presentation to the court. It was not a huge part of the presentation to the court, but it was the fact, according to his report, that convinced the lawyers to go forward.

Chris Wallace: All right. Then there is the issue of how reliable the Steele dossier, in fact, was. On January 6th, 2017, in the Trump Tower, you briefed Donald Trump -- president-elect -- about the Steele dossier. That same month, the FBI talks to Steele's main Russian contact -- the main person on whom he based the dossier, who says, according to the IG report -- quote -- "Steele misstated or exaggerated the primary sub-source's statements in multiple sections of the reporting." Director Comey, not only do you fail to go back to the president-elect -- or president, after January 20th -- and tell him, "Oh, you know that report I briefed you on? Turns out it's bunk" -- but the FBI goes back and renews its FISA application three more times. And by this point, the FBI knows that the Steele reporting is not credible.

James Comey: Yeah. I think you're mischaracterizing both what the FBI knew and what Mr. Horowitz says in his report. They didn't conclude the reporting from Steele was bunk; they concluded there was significant questions about the reliability of some of the sub-source reporting. That should have been included in the renewals. When I briefed the president, I briefed him on a small part of it that I told him I didn't know whether it was true or not; I didn't care. I just needed him to know about it.

Chris Wallace: I think you're mischaracterizing. Steele isn't -- or rather, Horowitz isn't saying that the sub-source, the Russian contact, was unreliable or was inaccurate. The Russian contact said to the FBI, "Steele is unreliable because he misrepresented." Steele misstated or exaggerated the source's statements in multiple sections of the report. He's saying, "I told him one thing, and he wrote something else." The FBI knew that.

James Comey: Yeah, but that doesn't drive a conclusion that Steele's reporting is bunk. I mean, there's a number of tricky things to that. First, you're interviewing the sub-source after all of the reporting has become public. And so, as a counterintelligence investigator, you have to think, "Is he walking away from it because it's now public" --

Chris Wallace: Well, but --

James Comey: And that has to go into your assessment if Mr. Steele --

Chris Wallace: But it doesn't -- it hasn't -- I mean, if it had become public, just barely -- this is in January of 2017. This isn't two years later.

James Comey: Right. This is when it blew up, when it was published by whatever the outfit is -- BuzzFeed. It was all over the news and had become a big deal. And so, I --

Chris Wallace: Did you know all of this?

James Comey: All of what?

Chris Wallace: Everything that we're talking about here. Did you know that, in fact, the Steele report was the key for probable cause? Did you know that the FBI had talked to the Russian contact and he said what Steele said -- he had told him was not true? Did you know this? You're the FBI director.

James Comey: First, again, the report will speak for itself. I don't believe the FBI concluded that Steele's reporting was bunk, after talking to his sub-source. But no, I didn't. As the director, you're not kept informed on the details of an investigation. So, no, in general, I didn't know what they'd learned from the sub-source. I didn't know the particulars of the investigation.

Chris Wallace: But this isn't some investigation, sir. This is an investigation of the campaign of the man who is the president of the United States. You had just been through a firestorm investigating Hillary Clinton. I would think, if I were in your position, I would have been on that, you know, like a junkyard dog. I would have wanted to know everything they were doing in investigating the Trump campaign.

James Comey: Yeah. That's not the way it works, though. As a director sitting on top of an organization of 38,000 people, you can't run an investigation that's seven layers below you. You have to leave it to the career professionals to do, to the special agents who do this for their lives. And if a director tires to run an investigation, it'll get mucked up in all different kinds of ways, given his or her responsibilities and the impossibility of reaching the work that's being done at the lower level.

Chris Wallace: All right. And then there is -- best for last -- the worst misconduct. In August of 2016, just two weeks into the investigation, the CIA tells the FBI that it actually has a relationship with Carter Page -- that when he has these meetings with the Russians, he actually goes back and he tells the CIA about it. But you never tell the FISA court that. And in fact, in 2017, an FBI lawyer doctors a document. The CIA said, "Oh, Carter Page, he's a source." And he puts in the application he's not a source.

James Comey: Yeah, I've got to take issue with one of the -- I'll answer the question -- but one of the predications of your question. The Inspector General did not find misconduct by any FBI people. He found mistakes and negligence in oversight --

Chris Wallace: No, no, no. It is not true --

James Comey: He did not --

Chris Wallace: In the case of Kevin Clinesmith, he has referred it for criminal investigation.

James Comey: Right. But that's not been resolved, this business with the lawyer changing some email to a partner on the team.

Chris Wallace: I mean, you make it sound like it's not much.

James Comey: No. No. It's very important.

Chris Wallace: It's quite a lot.

James Comey: It's very important.

Chris Wallace: I mean, not a source -- a source to not a source is a big deal.

James Comey: But remember how we got here. The FBI was accused of criminal misconduct. Remember, I was going to jail, and lots of other people were going to jail. People on this network said it over, and over, and over again. The Inspector General did not find misconduct by FBI personnel, did not find political bias, did not find illegal conduct. The Inspector General found significant mistakes, and that is not something to sneeze at; that's really important. But the American people -- especially your viewers -- need to realize, they were given false information about the FBI. It's honest. It is not political. It is flawed.

Chris Wallace: Would you agree that the FISA court was also given false information by the FBI?

James Comey: I think that's fair. The FBI should have included -- or at least pushed to the lawyers, so they could make a decision -- information that you just said, things like that, that another agency -- not a source relationship, but some kind of contact relationship --

Chris Wallace: Okay.

James Comey: So --

Chris Wallace: I want to get to three last questions.

James Comey: Okay.

Chris Wallace: And one of them has to do with how serious -- what this is. You've talked a lot about mistakes or sloppiness. Horowitz concludes three separate teams made significant errors in four separate FISA applications, on one of the FBI's most significant cases -- I mean, the investigation of President Trump and his campaign.

James Comey: He was -- Trump -- I have to keep correcting you. President Trump was not being investigated. His campaign was not being investigated. Four Americans -- two of whom were no longer associated with the campaign -- were being investigated.

Chris Wallace: Okay. He was asked how he explains it -- Horowitz. Here he is.


Michael Horowitz: It's unclear what the motivations were. On the one hand, gross incompetence, negligence. On the other hand, intentionality.


Chris Wallace: Gross negligence or they intended to do it. They intended to lie to the FISA court. You were in charge during a lot of this, sir.

James Comey: He --

Chris Wallace: And in fact, you signed the FISA applications.

James Comey: Sure. I think I signed at least two or three of them. He doesn't conclude that there was intentional misconduct by these career special agents.

Chris Wallace: No. He just says it's one of two things, and he can't decide: gross negligence or it was intentional misconduct.

James Comey: Well, I've read --

Chris Wallace: That's what he said.

James Comey: I've read his report. He says, "I -- we are not concluding that there was intentional misconduct by FBI officials."

Chris Wallace: Did you hear what he just said here?

James Comey: I did. I don't know the context of that. I've --

Chris Wallace: He was asked specifically, "How do you explain it?" And he said, "Gross negligence or intentionality."

James Comey: Yeah. Well, I'm sorry. He doesn't find intentionality, but that doesn't make it any less important. As director, you are responsible for this. I was responsible for this. And if I were still there, I'd be doing what Chris Wray is doing -- is figuring out, "So, how did this happen? And is it systemic?" Because that's the scariest thought, is that --

Chris Wallace: If you were still there, and all of this came out, and it turned out it happened on your watch, would you resign?

James Comey: No. I don't think so. There are mistakes I consider more consequential than this during my tenure, and the important thing is to be transparent about it and then look to fix it, and explain to the American people how you fixed it.

Chris Wallace: A couple of final questions. As you know, Attorney General Barr has been harshly critical of how the FBI conducted this entire operation. Here’s how he reacted to the IG’s findings of whatever you want to call it in the handling of the FISA applications.


Bill Barr, attorney general: These irregularities, these misstatements, these omissions, were not satisfactorily explained, and I think that leaves open the possibility to infer bad faith.


Chris Wallace: Given the repeated errors -- some would say abuses -- of the FISA process, does Attorney General Barr have a point?

James Comey: No. He does not have a factual basis as the attorney general of the United States to be speculating that agents acted in bad faith. The facts just aren’t there, full stop. That doesn’t make it any less consequential, any less important, but that’s an irresponsible statement.

Chris Wallace: Finally, here’s President Trump, and here’s how he reacted to the IG report on the FBI investigation.


President Donald Trump: They’ve destroyed the lives of people that were great people, that are still great people. Their lives have been destroyed by scum, okay? By scum.


Chris Wallace: I’d like your response to that, and I’d like you specifically -- because you said the other day, “Where does former FBI lawyer Lisa Page go to get her reputation back?” where does Carter Page go -- the target of these FISA warrants and surveillance -- where does he go to get his reputation back?

James Comey: It’s a great question. Carter Page was treated unfairly, most significantly by his name being made public. He’s a United States citizen, and it never should have been made public, and that’s an outrage. But that statement is just a continuation of the lies about the FBI. The FBI is an honest, apolitical organization. Remember the treason; remember the spying; remember all of us going to jail. That was false information that your viewers and millions of others were given. My own mother-in-law was worried I was going to jail. I kept telling her, “Look, it’s all made up, it’s all made up. Don’t worry about it.” But I couldn’t say that publicly for two years. Well, now I’m saying it on behalf of the FBI. It was all made up, and I hope people will stare at that and learn about what the FBI is like, human and flawed, but deeply committed to trying to do the right thing.

Chris Wallace: Director Comey, people are going to have their reaction to what you said, but thank you for coming in. Thank you for taking all our questions, sir.

James Comey: Thanks for having me.

Chris Wallace: Up next, we’ll discuss White House plans for defending the president with a key member of his impeachment team. Former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi joins us next.


Chris Wallace: President Trump has lashed out at the Democrats’ impeachment push, calling it an embarrassment to the country, but, he adds, it seems to good for him politically. Joining us now, Pam Bondi, a special adviser to the president and a key member of his impeachment defense team. All right, Pam, during the break you said you wanted to respond to Director Comey.

Pam Bondi, White House impeachment adviser: I sure do.

Chris Wallace: Go ahead.

Pam Bondi: Sure do, Chris. You know, he’s right. The men and the women of the FBI deserve much better than what they had, much better than what they had in James Comey. That man was fired in disgrace. He must have read a different report than we all read. He presided over the FBI in times worse than when J. Edgar Hoover was at the FBI. That man led the FBI, and it’s unbelievable. That Steele dossier was central and essential to this report. It was fake, we know it was fake, and he says that his people did nothing wrong. And first of all, he was the leader. He was the one charged with briefing the president when, in fact, he was spying on the president. I can’t -- that guy needs a lawyer, by the way. I can’t believe this. He repeatedly misled the FISA court. Clinesmith, as you said, lied, doctored an email, as well as the people refusing to provide the court with exculpatory evidence --

Chris Wallace: Okay --

Pam Bondi: -- meaning evidence --

Chris Wallace: I’ve got --

Pam Bondi: -- that will clear the president.

Chris Wallace: Okay, [laughs] we went over a lot of that with him. On the other hand -- and I want to move on to impeachment, but on the other hand, Comey does point out that the Inspector General found there was no political bias in opening not the FISA warrant, opening the investigation, and that it was opened on a legitimate basis. And he points all the president’s talk about Obama ordering the tapping of his phones, all of the talk about treason. I mean, if Comey is responsible for his misstatements, is the president responsible for his?

Pam Bondi: Well, first of all, Comey was spying on the president when he went in to brief him, yet they felt compelled to brief Russia and Putin, yet not the candidate and then the president-elect of the United States --

Chris Wallace: But you’re not answering my question.

Pam Bondi: -- and as far as -- yeah, let me answer the question about you saying that there was no bias opening in the report, because John Durham disagreed with that.

Chris Wallace: I didn’t say it. That’s what the Inspector General said.

Pam Bondi: Yeah, John Durham disagreed with that. The Inspector General can only look at DOJ; he can only talk to the people who would talk to him. In fact, he tried to talk to Comey. He brought Comey in, and he had to read -- Comey kept saying he couldn't recall; he couldn't recollect. So, they had to read him back in his security clearance, and he refused to do that because he didn't want to have to answer for all this.

Chris Wallace: Okay --

Pam Bondi: John Durham said he disagrees with that because he has -- he can talk to outside entities such as the CIA, many others. He can talk to other people; he can talk to other countries. So, I think we need to wait and see. I’d love to come back on your show after Durham answers his investigation, and by the way, he has a grand jury --

Chris Wallace: That’s --

Pam Bondi: -- so a lot of people need to be very, very concerned.

Chris Wallace: That’s a date. We'll have you back on.

Pam Bondi: Love to.

Chris Wallace: Let's talk about to impeachment; let's talk about the Senate trial. Here's what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said about working with the White House this week.


Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.: Everything I do during this I’m coordinating with White House counsel. There will be no difference between the president's position and our position as to how to handle this.


Chris Wallace: Now, Democrats note that before an impeachment trial all senators have to raise their right hand and take an oath to do impartial justice. How impartial can it be when McConnell says that he, quote, “is taking his cues from the White House.”

Pam Bondi: Well -- okay, so, Chris, go back to the House proceedings. Adam Schiff started those proceedings himself --

Chris Wallace: Wait, wait, Pam --

Pam Bondi: -- hidden in a back room of the Capitol --

Chris Wallace: -- I’m asking you --

Pam Bondi: Hold on --

Chris Wallace: I’m just -- but -- wait, I'm asking you about McConnell saying he’s taking his cues from the White House. Please answer the question.

Pam Bondi: So, we weren't given a fair trial in the House at all. Now it goes to the Senate, and these senators -- the president deserves to be heard. We should be working hand in hand with them. The rules of evidence will apply. These are the senators who will decide if our president is impeached, which will not happen. We should and will work hand in hand with them. These are some of the weakest charges out there, Chris. You know that. Originally, bribery, all these things were thrown out, absolutely nothing. We are -- we wouldn't be doing our job if we weren't working hand in hand with the Senate to clear the president of this charade, this sham that started with Adam Schiff, your next guest, and we're not going to let it continue in the U.S. Senate --

Chris Wallace: All right --

Pam Bondi: -- because we will have fair proceedings.

Chris Wallace: All right, let's turn to this week, when the House is basically certain to impeach the president of the United States. Here is the chair of the Judiciary Committee, Jerry Nadler.


Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y.: For the third time in a little over a century and a half, the House Judiciary Committee has voted articles of impeachment against the president.


Chris Wallace: Now, I've read earlier interviews with you. You say the president is focused on doing the people's business. But this is a stain. The president says it's not a good thing for your resume, so I'm asking you not on political talking points but on a human level, and I know you've been in conversations with him, how does he feel about the fact that he's about to be the third president in American history to be impeached?

Pam Bondi: Well, the president says this is difficult on his family. Of course it is. Because during the week, Chris, when they delivered a disgraceful vote to impeachment the president, during that week, and these aren't talking points, this is what the president was doing, the work of the American people. USMCA, the China trade deal, the work of the American people, combating anti-Semitism by executive order, holding a summit on family paid leave. That's his focus, going nonstop for the American people. So is this difficult? Of course it is. And that's why the lawyers, we are all handling this impeachment sham and charade with the weakest of weak evidence --

Chris Wallace: Okay.

Pam Bondi: --- now as you said, going to the U.S. Senate.

Chris Wallace: Okay. Well, I didn't say it was a weak case. I just asked you about the Senate trial. Congressman Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, who was one of the two Democrats who voted against the impeachment inquiry in the first place, plans to switch parties and become a Republican. Are you in the White House, are you asking him to hold off so when he casts his vote against impeachment this week he casts it as a Democrat?

Pam Bondi: No. I have had -- you know what? I have had no conversations with him, nor have I known of any of that. I heard that this morning that he may change his party. He's probably changing his party, Chris, because he knows what his constituents care about. They care about jobs. They care about the economy. They care about the safety of their community. All these things haven’t been happening because of these sham proceedings started by your next guest, Adam Schiff, in a secret room in a bunker and Republicans and Democrats are seeing this and Democrats alike, they care about what their constituents want, what's important to this country. They know the president's not going to be impeached and all this money and time being wasted when all -- so many great things, so many bipartisan things could be happening for our country.

Chris Wallace: Okay. I have one final question for you. President Trump tweeted late yesterday that we -- "Fox News Sunday" should not even be doing an interview with James Comey or with Adam Schiff. I want to put up this tweet. He writes, "Both Comey-Cast, MSNBC, and fake news CNN are watching their ratings tank. Don't know why Fox News wants to be more like them. They'll all die together as other outlets take their place. Only pro-Trump Fox shows do well." My question, Pam, is does the president understand that it's the duty of a free and fair press to cover both sides of the story?

Pam Bondi: Chris, of course he does. I think he's so tired of hearing all these lies and frankly I'm going to disagree with the president right now because I'm glad you had James Comey on because you caught him in multiple misrepresentations once again. And I can't wait to hear from Adam Schiff next. He is the one who has abused -- the only one who has abused their power in this entire proceeding is Adam Schiff and I want to hear him answer your tough questions. He has lied ad nauseum about the president, about the involvement --

Chris Wallace: Okay.

Pam Bondi: --- subpoenaing phone records of his colleagues, attorneys, and fellow journalists. So, I can't wait to hear what he's going to say when you question him.

Chris Wallace: Well, thank you very much for the promo. Thanks for the plug. Pam Bondi, thank you. Thanks for your time. Please come back and we'll have some more tough questions for you.

Pam Bondi: I'd love to. Thank you.

Chris Wallace: Coming up, we'll discuss the Democrats' case for impeachment and what a Senate trial would look like with House Intelligence chair Adam Schiff. That's next.


Chris Wallace: Coming up, House Judiciary votes out articles of impeachment against a president for the third time since 1974.


President Donald Trump: Someday there'll be a Democrat president and there'll be a Republican House and I suspect they're going to remember it.

Chris Wallace: We'll ask House Intelligence chair Adam Schiff if Democrats are making impeachment the new normal.


Chris Wallace: Next week the House, the full House, will vote on whether President Trump abused the power of his office and obstructed Congress, charges that arose from a House Intelligence Committee investigation led by our next guest, Chairman Adam Schiff, who's a frequent target of the president. Congressman, President Trump says that this is the weakest impeachment of a president in history. He calls it impeachment lite. Here is what he said. Well, actually, excuse me. Here's what you said during the hearings about the crimes he committed.


Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.: It was a failed effort to bribe Ukraine, a failed effort to extort Ukraine.


Chris Wallace: But the president notes that none of that, bribery, extortion, is in the articles of impeachment. Why not?

Adam Schiff: Well, we've charged the president with abusing his power. Bribery and extortion are a subset of an abuse of power and frankly abuse of power better connotes the full range of the president's misconduct, the pattern of his misconduct, his efforts to invite Russian interference, his efforts to obstruct the inquiry into that invitation to Russia to intervene, but then most pernicious, his use of his office, his abuse of his power, to attempt to get an ally to help him cheat in the next election, sacrificing our national security, undermining the integrity of our elections. We think that abuse of power most accurately characterizes the sweep of the president's misconduct.

Chris Wallace: All right. You also accuse him -- another article of impeachment is obstructing Congress by refusing to comply with subpoenas. But on Friday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear cases where the House had subpoenaed the president's financial records and the Supreme Court says it wants to hear and deliberate that case. So why is going to court an impeachable offense?

Adam Schiff: Well, going to court is not an impeachable offense. Stonewalling completely, refusing to comply with the oversight of Congress, particularly during an impeachment inquiry is an impeachable offense. Indeed, Richard Nixon was about to be impeached for a far less comprehensive effort to stonewall the Congress of his day. And I would just say to my Republican colleagues, who appear to be on the verge of shirking their constitutional duty, if they're prepared to say that a president of the United States can simply say "No" to any congressional subpoena and tie up the Congress for years in litigation, it is going to have to accept corruption, malfeasance, negligence, misconduct in any future president, Democratic or Republican. Are we really prepared to go down that road? In many respects, Chris, I think this may be the most serious of the articles, because it was -- it would fundamentally alter the balance of power and allow for much greater misconduct in the chief executive of the country. The last point I'd make, Chris, is among the acts of stonewalling is the utter refusal to turn over a single document from any of the departments -- to turn over the notes, for example, of Ambassador Taylor --

Chris Wallace: Right.

Adam Schiff: -- or his cable to Secretary Pompeo. All of these things are being withheld. There is no legal basis to do so. And so, yes, the president can sue all he wants. It's a delay tactic and he's repeatedly lost in court. But that doesn't make it any less an act of obstruction.

Chris Wallace: President Trump says that if the House -- as expected -- votes articles of impeachment this week, and it goes to a Senate trial, that he would like to call you as a witness. Here he is, on you.


President Donald Trump: I think Adam Schiff is a deranged human being. I think he grew up with a complex for lots of reasons that are obvious. I think he's a very sick man.


Adam Schiff: [laughs]

Chris Wallace: First of all, what do you think of the president's psychoanalysis? And if his lawyers call you to testify as a witness on the Senate floor, will you comply?

Adam Schiff: Well, in terms of the president's comments, I guess all I would say is this president does nothing -- if not project onto others his own misconduct. In terms of whether I'm a witness, I'm not a fact witness in any way, Chris. And the president knows that. He also wants to call the Speaker as a witness. This is merely his common tactic. And that is, he can't defend his gross misconduct. He can't defend his abuse of power.

Chris Wallace: But if --

Adam Schiff: He can't defend --

Chris Wallace: -- if I may interrupt --

Adam Schiff: -- withholding 400 million --

Chris Wallace: Excuse me.

Adam Schiff: -- in military aid --

Chris Wallace: Sir, excuse me.

Adam Schiff: -- and so, he simply attacks those --

Chris Wallace: Just for a minute. He -- I just want to pick up on the --

Adam Schiff: -- who stand up to him.

Chris Wallace: -- one point of the fact witness, because he would say --

Adam Schiff: Yeah.

Chris Wallace: -- that contact either you or a member of your staff had with the whistleblower does make you a fact witness.

Adam Schiff: Well, the fact that the whistleblower did have contact with my staff doesn't make me a fact witness. But nonetheless, nor does it make the Speaker a fact witness. This isn't about fact witnesses. There are, in fact, members of Congress who are witnesses. Senator Johnson had a discussion with the president. Senator Graham had discussions with the president about the withholding of aid. They may be fact witnesses. We didn't seek to call them; we're not seeking to make a circus out of this. But the president is because he can't defend his gross abuse of his office. He can't defend withholding military aid from an ally at war, the damage he's done to our national security. All he can do is attack. And sadly, too many of the Republican members are willing to debase themselves by doing whatever the president asks.

Chris Wallace: Finally, I want to switch to the Inspector General report, because you have weighed in on that. In 2018, you were the ranking member, the top Democrat in the minority in the Intelligence Committee. Devin Nunes, the then-Republican chair, issued a report talking about all the problems with the FISA warrants and the FBI case. You defended the FBI's use of FISA warrants to surveil Carter Page in a lengthy memo. Here you are discussing that.


Adam Schiff: It's important for the public to see the facts -- that the FBI acted appropriately in seeking a warrant on Carter Page. They're not part of some deep state, as the president apparently would like the public to believe.


Chris Wallace: After reading the IG's report, which discusses 17 serious errors of omission -- some would say misconduct -- on the part of the FBI, do you still think that the FBI acted appropriately, as you said there?

Adam Schiff: Well, I think this is consistent with the IG report. They were right to seek a FISA on Carter Page. And there wasn't some Deep State conspiracy. There was no spying on the Trump campaign. There was no effort to -- based on political bias -- open the investigation. It was properly predicated. But there were, nonetheless, serious abuses of FISA which were not apparent two years ago, but which have become apparent now, with 170 witnesses interviewed and two million documents reviewed by the IG. And I am glad that the IG made the recommendations that he has made, and the FBI is going to follow them. But that wasn't apparent to us two years ago. But the most significant things, I think, are that corrective steps will be taken, in terms of the FISA process, and that the IG debunked these claims by the president, by Mr. Nunes and others, of this deep state conspiracy, this improper investigation. It would have been negligent for them not to conduct this investigation.

Chris Wallace: I've just got a minute left -- because at that time, in 2018, you said the FBI and Department of Justice did not -- quote -- "omit material information." Apparently, you did not know at the time that, in fact, Steele's main Russian sources had told the FBI that he had misrepresented what that Russian source had said and that the FBI knew, at the time, that Carter Page, in fact, was acting as a contact, as an unofficial source for the CIA. Given what you know now -- we talked earlier to Director Comey, and he basically said, "I was wrong in what I represented back in 2018." Are you willing to admit that you were wrong in your defense of the FBI's FISA process?

Adam Schiff: Oh, I'm certainly willing to admit that the Inspector General found serious abuses of FISA that I was unaware of. Had I known of them, Chris, yes, I would have called out the FBI at the same time. But I think it's only fair to judge what we knew at the time, not what would be revealed two years later. But yes, there were very serious abuses of the FISA process. They need to be corrected; we need to make sure they never happen again.

Chris Wallace: Chairman Schiff, thank you. Thanks for your time. Always good to talk with you, sir.

Adam Schiff: Thank you.

Chris Wallace: Up next: we'll bring in our Sunday group to discuss the IG report, impeachment, and new Fox polls on the state of the 2020 Democratic race.



PresidentDonald Trump: This was an overthrow of government. This was an attempted overthrow, and a lot of people were in on it. And they got caught. They got caught red-handed.


Chris Wallace: President Trump reacting to the Inspector General’s report on how the FBI handled its Trump-Russia investigation, and it’s time now for our Sunday group. Guy Benson of Fox News Radio; Mo Elleithee of Georgetown University’s Institute of Public Politics and Service; Julie Pace, Washington bureau chief for the Associated Press and host of AP’s new Ground Game podcast; and editor Katie Pavlich. Katie, let me start with you. Democrats are hanging their hat in terms of the IG report on his finding that the investigation into the Trump campaign was legitimately opened, that there was no political bias, Republicans on these repeated abuses or errors in the FISA process. Who’s got the better side of that argument?

Katie Pavlich, Fox News contributor: I think Republicans do, because Democrats should be very concerned about what the IG laid out in his testimony and in his report. You know, James Comey, the former FBI director, in his interview with you continues to refer to these omissions as mistakes, as sloppy behavior, but you don’t omit information like “Carter Page is an asset for the CIA” in a FISA application if you don't do that on purpose. That is not something you just forget about. You also don’t fail to take out information that Christopher Steele is connected to the Clinton campaign through the dossier by mistake. These are things that were obviously calculated. The IG repeatedly kept saying, “I understand why people feel there may be some kind of bias here.” He says it’s inexplicable why the 17 actions happened. Well, the explanation for this is that there was a group that was handpicked by Andrew McCabe at the FBI. They all were engaged in this. Not a single person said, “Why are we omitting and doctoring information and lying to the FISA court to get this warrant?”

Chris Wallace: Mo, I understand there are two parts to this report. Horowitz says there was no political bias in opening the investigation. He talks about problems with the -- big problems with the FISA process. But isn’t it harder to argue that there was no political bias overall when you see 17 mistakes made by three teams on four separate FISA applications?

Mo Elleithee, Fox News contributor: Well, it -- you can say that, and the Inspector General seems to say, that looking at what led to the FISA application was not politically motivated, that that was not based on any political bias. You can look at the end result and see that of the four individuals who were investigated, three of them either convicted or pled guilty to some sort of a crime. You can also say that there were these serious problems, and that the FBI should look at whether or not they are systemic, whether they were intentional, or whether they were sloppiness. All these things can be true, and I think either side that tries to cherry-pick the results of this and point to just what helps them is doing a huge disservice to this process. All these things seem to be true or can be true, and should be part of the conversation.

Chris Wallace: Okay, let’s turn to impeachment and the apparent vote to impeach, and then a trial in the Senate. Julie, talking to your sources at the White House, have they figured out what they want in a Senate trial? There’s this debate. A long trial; witnesses; Hunter Biden; the whistleblower; maybe John Bolton. Have they figured out whether they want the long trial with all of this spilling out, or a much shorter trial, which basically they go over the evidence that’s already been established? And what about this confusion as to who’s going to be -- lead the defense for the president? Everybody assumed it was going to be the White House counsel, Pat Cipollone. Now, apparently, the president is polling people, as he is wont to do. “Well, maybe we should find somebody else.”

Julie Pace, AP Washington Bureau chief: [laughs] I think there are a lot of active discussions underway right now both inside the White House and then between the White House and Republican leaders in the Senate about what this will look like, who will defend the president. The president, in the course of one answer this week, said he would be okay with a short trial, but also wanted a longer one. And I think the key to this, the key sort of difference right now between the White House and the Senate leadership, is that President Trump doesn’t just want acquittal through this trial. He wants vindication. He wants people to watch this trial six days a week and come out and not just say, “I don’t think he should be removed from office. I don't think he did anything wrong.” There’s some interest on the Senate Republican side in just simply getting through this quickly, just saying that “We are going to acquit the president” and moving on, but the president is pushing for more. And to your question about Cipollone, this is kind of classic Trump here. This is the person who was seen as the lead lawyer here, but Trump also looks at this as a reality television star. This is going to be a televised process. He wants the best person not just legally, but also for the visual effect, for the televised portion of this. The big question -- and this comes up a lot when you see the second-guessing -- is who would the replacement be, and there hasn’t been a clear answer to that.

Chris Wallace: Alan Dershowitz?

Julie Pace: That is not a popular option, I would say, among a lot of the Senate Republicans right now.

Chris Wallace: Okay, we told you about new Fox polls on impeachment at the top of the hour. We also did some polling about the state of the 2020 race. We want to put those up. In the Democratic horse race, Joe Biden holds on to a solid lead, 10 points ahead -- this is national polls -- 10 points ahead of Bernie Sanders. Elizabeth Warren has faded to third; Pete Buttigieg and Michael Bloomberg in single digits, everybody else behind them. And Democrats seem to be leaning more moderate at this point. When asked who’s about right on the issues, Biden and Buttigieg lead the way, and Bloomberg does pretty well, too. Guy, what do those numbers tell you about the state of the Democratic race and the state of the Democratic electorate?

Guy Benson, Fox News contributor: Well, Joe Biden just keeps trucking along, right? You know, there’s all these flaws, and he gives bad answers. He’s not great on the stump, and certainly in debates he has occasional head-scratchers, let’s say, of answers. But the electorate is looking at their options -- the Democratic electorate -- and saying, “We think this is probably our safest bet to beat President Trump,” and a lot of the polling both nationally and in the swing states, crucial states, there’s that out. What struck me is the Democratic primary voters on sort of the porridge test. Like, is it too left, too right, or just right when it comes to positions on the issues? Joe Biden has a double-digit lead on that question over both Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, and if you break it out not just Democrats, but nationally -- you ask all voters, do these people have the right ideas -- Bernie and Warren are both at 31 percent who say, “Yes, we’re good with that.” That is less than one third of the population comfortable with the positions of Warren and Sanders. That’s significant.

Chris Wallace: Mo, I want to sneak you in. We’ve got less than a minute left. But has the Democratic push to the left and the Green New Deal and Medicare for All -- has that kind of abated, and are Democrats focusing more now on beating the president and being more in the center?

Mo Elleithee: Well, yeah, I think if you look at -- [clears throat] excuse me -- multiple polls, you’ll see the point that Guy just made, and that is the Democratic electorate is not following the narrative that there’s this huge leftward lurch in the party. Democratic voters tend to be more sort of center-left than some of the party leaders are. I think one of the untold stories of this election so far has been the staying power of Joe Biden not just in the national polls, but in Iowa and New Hampshire. He is still there at the top.

Chris Wallace: You know, it’s interesting. They had an election in England, and the head of Labor, Jeremy Corbyn, lost in a landslide, and somebody said after there’s a difference between Twitter and real people who go into the voting booth. Thank you, panel. See you next Sunday. Up next, why our First Amendment freedoms still make America special.


Chris Wallace: There’s a museum about journalism here in Washington called the Newseum, and it held its final public event this week, a celebration of the First Amendment. I was invited to talk about the importance of a fair and impartial press. There was a lot of coverage of what I said about President Trump’s attacks on press freedom, but not so much my comments on bias in the media. So here is some of that. We are not participants in what we cover. We are umpires or observers trying to be objective witnesses to what is going on. If the president or anyone we're covering says something untrue or does something questionable, we can and should report it. But we shouldn't be drawn into the fight. We shouldn't be drawn into taking sides, as tempting as that is. We're not as good at it as they are and we're abandoning the special role the founders gave us in this democracy. The Newseum closes at the end of the month after more than 11 years and more than 10 million visitors. But the Freedom Forum says the museum will go on, either in a new location or on new platforms, and when it returns we'll be there. And that's it for today. Have a great week and we’ll see you next "Fox News Sunday."

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