Meadows on Cohen probe: We must restore FBI, DOJ integrity

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," May 10, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: In the meantime, House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows is -- is looking at this, not so much the records and what they prove, but, first of all, the propriety of getting them in the first play.

We will go into a lot with him right now. The chairman of that conservative group of congress men and women joins us rights now, 40- strong. He is their leader, as it's known.

Chairman, very good to have you.

REP. MARK MEADOWS, R-NORTH CAROLINA: Neil, great to be back with you, as always.

CAVUTO: First, on the Michael Cohen stuff here, there's so much we're learning about business tie-ins and whether that had anything to do with his connections to the president and all.

But you're more calling into question just how this stuff got in -- in prosecutors' hands, right?

MEADOWS: Well, yes.

I think what happens is, is you start to question whether Lady Justice has a blindfold on or not. When certain things get leaked, and obviously when you start to see documents show up in the hands of certain individuals that create a different narrative than perhaps what may even be factual, is troubling.

And that's the whole thing with the Department of Justice and FBI. We believe that what we need to do is restore some integrity really to the top parts of DOJ and FBI, not the vast majority of those men and women who do a great job each and every day.

And so we have been requesting a number of documents for our oversight ability. But we want to find out exactly what the scope of investigations, where we're going, is it going off the rails, as Attorney General Sessions has said? But it's time that we get some real answers, and the time for talk is over.

CAVUTO: Congressman, would it worry you though -- forget about how this information was gathered, and you raise a lot of legitimate concerns there-- if Mr. Cohen was exacting favors and attention from these kind of companies, and maybe others, and we don't know, but that could be deemed as sort of a pay-to-play role, and one that would involving his getting some of these officials an audience with the president?

The president might not even know anything about it. Probably doesn't.


CAVUTO: But a lot of lawyers have told me that would be very, very problematic for Mr. Cohen.

MEADOWS: Well, certainly.

Any time you have a pay-to-play, it would be an issue. I can tell you that what a lot of times appears to be a pay-to-play is not in fact that. We have lobbyists that are pay-to-play each and every day, you know that, on K Street.

CAVUTO: True enough.

MEADOWS: And they have got to register, and you have got to go through the normal process.

CAVUTO: And if he didn't do any of that, then he could be in a whole heap of trouble, right?

MEADOWS: Well, it could.

CAVUTO: Right.

MEADOWS: But here's the other thing is, access to the president and policy-making are -- are two different things.

CAVUTO: Right.

MEADOWS: You know, you -- you have got an access.

I can tell you, it's the legislative branch that does the policies. Certainly, making sure that something could get signed into law would have an effect. So, I don't disregard that.

But, at this point, way too early to make some assumptions. In fact, even in this report, we see there are errors in what has been released, that it's not the same Michael Cohen.

CAVUTO: Right.

MEADOWS: So, it's about doing a proper investigation, and I'm sure that that will be done.

CAVUTO: Switching gears a little bit, sir, phase two of tax cuts.


CAVUTO: I know you a lot of your colleagues want to revisit that and make the individual ones permanent.

When I was talking to Mitch McConnell in the Senate, I think he was a little reticent about it, in that it would only provide an opportunity for folks like Joe Manchin, who confirmed yesterday that he would vote for something like that, an opportunity to improve their election chances.

So, it seemed -- this could my read, I could be wrong -- that it's a nonstarter for -- for him in the Senate. What do you think of that?

MEADOWS: Well, it may be a nonstarter for the leader in the Senate. But I think that that is a poor call, and not to suggest that I'm leading the Senate, because we're not.

But I can tell you what the American people believe and what your viewers believe, is, we need to make these tax cuts permanent. And so, listen, the American people are smarter than that. They know, if Joe Manchin is doing a cover vote -- if it only gets to 59 votes in the Senate, they see that.

And so let's go ahead and be serious about making these permanent. I can tell you, we're going to push for that here in the House. And there will be a vote on making those tax cuts permanent, and also making sure...


CAVUTO: Has Speaker Ryan told you that, that they will have a vote on this?

MEADOWS: The speaker has told us that.

CAVUTO: All right.

MEADOWS: And we have reminded him of that commitment.


MEADOWS: And I believe he will be good at that commitment.

CAVUTO: All right. You have a way of constantly reminding people of that commitment. So, we will see what happens.

Chairman, thank you very, very much.

MEADOWS: Thank you, Neil.


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