This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," June 17, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST: Good Sunday morning, everyone. Thanks for joining us.
Happy Father's Day to all of the dads out there this morning.
Washington rocked by the release of the inspector general's report on Friday about the FBI's handling of the Clinton investigation.
President Trump's comment about a GOP House immigration bill sparks panic, before the White House issued a reassurance.
And the Trump administration cracking down on China with more tariffs and says more could be in store if Beijing retaliates.
Good morning, everyone. Thanks for joining us. I'm Maria Bartiromo.
This is "Sunday Morning futures."
New reaction this morning to the inspector general's bombshell report, as the inspector general himself gets ready to testify before Congress about his findings, this as FOX News gets word about a high-level meeting between House Republican leaders and the top Justice Department officials on Friday.
The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, was at that meeting. He joins us next.
We will also hear from Congressman John Ratcliffe, one of the first lawmakers who will question DOJ inspector general Michael Horowitz on Tuesday.
President Trump will huddle with House Republicans on Tuesday as well after sowing some confusion about which of their two immigration bills the president actually supports.
The White House issued a clarification, saying that the president backs both bills.
House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul is here. He helped craft one of those bills. And he will give us his reaction to that, plus his take on the historic Trump-Kim summit.
And then a tit-for-tat on tariffs between the U.S. and China, it's sparking fears of the trade war. The Trump administration says it's really sending Beijing a message: Stop stealing U.S. innovation.
It's all coming up, as we look ahead right now on "Sunday Morning Futures."
And breaking news this morning about a high-level meeting between members of the Justice Department's top brass and powerful House Republican committee chairmen, the same chairmen who have been requesting for months documents from the Justice Department related to the Russia investigation.
Of course, this all comes in the wake of that highly anticipated report by the Department of Justice's watchdog, the I.G., on the FBI's handling of the Hillary Clinton investigation, a probe in which the inspector general unveiled some deplorable behavior by FBI officials, ultimately concluded that political bias didn't affect the investigation's outcome.
That's a claim President Trump and many Republican lawmakers do not buy.
Reaction to that in a moment.
But, first, let's get back to the meeting between Justice Department officials and influential House GOP lawmakers.
My next guest was one of those people in attendance.
And joining me right now is House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes of California.
Mr. Chairman, it's good to see you this morning. Thanks so much for joining us.
REP. DEVIN NUNES, R-CALIFORNIA: Good morning, Maria. It's great to be with you.
BARTIROMO: A lot to talk about with you.
And we understand that you were at that meeting on Friday with Christopher Wray, Rod Rosenstein, Paul Ryan, as well as the other committee chairmen, Bob Goodlatte and Trey Gowdy. Can you tell us about that meeting?
NUNES: Well, this was a long time coming. It was very difficult to get this meeting put together.
However, I think that we have a process to move forward. We're supposed to meet on Monday. Our staffs are supposed to meet on Monday. And all the subpoenas are supposed to be complied with this week.
Now, I'm not sure. I have -- my confidence level is extremely low that DOJ and FBI are going to comply. I don't have a lot of confidence.
However, it was good that the speaker of the House was there, along with the other two committee chairmen, to make sure that the FBI and DOJ know that they have been put on notice, that we're not going to take no for an answer anymore, and that the subpoenas will be complied with, or the House will have to take other measures.
BARTIROMO: So, in other words, you put a deadline in place. You want to see the documents that you have requested by when? What is the deadline in place that you have agreed to?
NUNES: Well, the deadline -- multiple deadlines -- let's not forget, multiple deadlines have been blown past. OK?
So, this is -- we could just -- there's countless deadlines. I think we went through a list of about 20 outstanding deadlines that have -- that have only partially been met or have not been met at all.
So -- but the key is, the key takeaway is that the speaker of the House wanted to make sure that we essentially reset everything and got back on track to make sure that, this week, all of the outstanding requests are complied with this week.
BARTIROMO: What specifically are you looking for?
NUNES: That's where -- that's where it was left.
BARTIROMO: What requests? What is the request specifically?
BARTIROMO: What are you -- what documents are you looking for?
NUNES: Well, as you know, we are looking into FISA abuse and other matters.
So, what does this mean is, how did you use our nation's counterintelligence capabilities -- these are capabilities that are used to track terrorists and other bad guys around the globe -- how did you weaponize that against a political campaign, the Trump campaign, where, ultimately, it ended up in Carter Page having FISA warrants put against him, which allowed the government to go in and grab all of his e-mails and phone calls?
So, that's primarily what we have been investigating for many, many months. We have asked for documents as it relates to -- to that. And on -- and I will tell you, Chairman Gowdy was very, very clear with the Department of Justice and FBI, and said that if there was any vectoring of any informants or spies or whatever you want to call them into the Trump campaign before the investigation began, we better know about it by Sunday, meaning today.
He was very, very clear about that. And, as you probably know, there's breaking news this morning that now you have a couple Trump campaign people who are saying that they were -- that they -- actually, they have amended their testimony before the House Intelligence Committee.
They sent in both Friday night and this morning amendments to their testimony, saying that, in fact, they feel like somebody -- they don't -- they're not claiming it was the FBI, but someone ran informants or spies into them to try to get information and offer up Russian dirt to the Trump campaign.
Now, this would have been in May of 2016, which is obviously months before this counterintelligence investigation was opened by the FBI into the Trump campaign.
BARTIROMO: So, what you're saying is Trey Gowdy told the DOJ on Friday night, if there was any activity, any communication, any documents related to the Trump-Russia probe launching, if there was any information before it actually launched, you want to know that today, by today?
NUNES: By today.
BARTIROMO: And have you heard from them? Is there any other...
NUNES: Yes, he told them on Friday night. And I -- I reiterated -- I reiterated it.
BARTIROMO: So, is there any -- have you heard from them that there is more information?
NUNES: No. Well, I have -- they have my phone number. They have my phone number. They know how to call myself or Mr. Gowdy.
If I were them, I would pick up the phone and call us and let us know what-- what this is all about, this story that broke in The Washington Post this morning, just hours ago.
NUNES: They probably ought to tell us whether or not they were involved in that, or else they have a major, major problem on their hands.
BARTIROMO: So, the Washington Post is reporting that Trump associate Roger Stone reveals new contacts with a Russian national during the 2016 campaign.
And, yes, you're right. It was in May of 2016, when Roger Stone says that he was -- that he was -- met with a Russian -- he's calling him an informant -- wanting money for information about Hillary Clinton that he says that he wants Donald Trump to pay for.
You think that this is a new meeting that you didn't know about, and you should have been told about this by today from the DOJ?
NUNES: Well, we should have been told about this about eight months ago, OK? Let's start there.
In compliance with the subpoena that we issued last August. But, for sure, a couple months ago, when we went and -- when we began to ask, hey -- we asked questions about -- we had a subpoena, and we wanted to figure out what they were doing before and after -- right before and right after the opening of the counterintelligence investigation.
So we asked for specific information and documents. As you know, that's what we have been fighting over for the last couple months now. And on Friday night, it culminated with us telling them, because they have swore up and down that they have given us everything that's pertinent to our investigation after the investigation was opened.
And they have claimed that there is nothing else that exists before that date. Now, this Washington Post story, I don't know that they're claiming for sure that this was an FBI spy or informant. And I have no idea whether it is or not, but it has all the makings or the looks of some type of spy or informant.
And that would be a major problem, because that is not something that has ever been brought to us. And it would be totally out of bounds.
BARTIROMO: Well, I guess it's important to note that Paul Ryan was at your meeting on Friday night, because we haven't heard from the leadership in terms of this issue, aggressively, for sure.
And then we did have a comment from Trey Gowdy a month ago which basically questioned whether or not the FBI did everything right. So, the fact that Paul Ryan was there on Friday night, is this an indication that the leadership in the House are becoming more unified with the committee chairmen?
NUNES: Yes, I think it is.
If you look at -- I think both Chairman Gowdy and Speaker Ryan have been giving the FBI and Department of Justice the benefit of the doubt.
I have not been, as you know. My patience is -- is -- has run out. I believe that they have leaked -- they created massive leaks. We know that from the I.G. Report. Inspector Horowitz showed us these major, major gaffes.
BARTIROMO: Well, we have a shot of that. Do we have that graphic of all of the leaks, Matt, that you want to put up?
Yes. I have the I.G. report in front of me, by the way, 560 pages. I have gone through a lot of it.
This is the picture in the I.G. report that shows communication between senior FBI and DOJ people and reporters.
So, in that -- and I reviewed that chart yesterday. And what I have been saying is, OK, look, we knew the FBI, under Comey, was leaking like a sieve everywhere.
Director Wray has said that he has put in new requirements to make sure that they're not leaking to the press.
Now, think about that. All of those contacts. You have the FBI, the world's premier law enforcement agency, leaking to the press about ongoing investigations, while at the same time they're not giving information to Congress.
Now, what's happened in just the last couple weeks, what we have seen -- and this is why I was very, very concerned about what Chairman Gowdy and Speaker Ryan had said, because they went way out on a limb protecting the Department of Justice.
And what I had said is, well, wait a second here. How did this -- how did these major leaks that have occurred here in the last couple weeks, how did those occur? Where did this information come from?
And what we have found now is that we know, at midnight, just a week ago, at midnight, the Department of Justice put out something on Republicans saying that we had not read documents that the Department of Justice had provided for us to read.
NUNES: Now, that is a major leak of a classified meeting that also happens to be false, because they knew that we ran out of time and didn't have time to actually read these documents.
But they did that to embarrass the speaker of the House and myself and Chairman Gowdy, who were given access to those documents, but not given time to read those documents. That came from the top of the Department of Justice. OK?
NUNES: Why are those people still working at the Department of Justice?
They are leaking.
So, if you learned anything from the Horowitz I.G. report, where you had lots of leaks occurring at the FBI, it doesn't now make it OK that you just leaked from the very top.
BARTIROMO: Well, you know...
NUNES: So, I'm tired of the threats. I'm tired of the leaks.
And you make a really important point here, because Peter Strzok is the one who has all of these texts that really show us firsthand what the feeling was about Donald Trump, certainly from Peter Strzok and Lisa Page's position.
But I want to bring up this text, which we have been talking about all week, from the I.G. report. And this text is first from Lisa Page. She's writing to her boyfriend Peter Strzok: "Trump's not going to become president, right?"
And Peter Strzok answers: "No, no, he won't. We will stop it."
Now, this is on August 8 of 2016. Peter Strzok was put in charge of the Trump investigation. He was put in charge of it on July 31, 2016.
So, nine days later, after he is put in charge, he writes, "We will stop it."
What's your take on this?
So, what that shows, that shows -- so, what that shows is, it shows clear intent to run a very biased investigation.
And, look, I don't believe for a second that Mr. Strzok was just happily put in charge of this just a week before. Strzok and Page and the rest of them all knew about this months in advance. They were well aware of what they were doing.
They had opened this investigation, maybe not officially, but they were doing lots and lots of bad things that they have not shown Congress before that July, late July date.
And that's really what we have been investigating here the whole time. And they would help themselves a whole lot if they just complied with our subpoenas and gave everything over to Congress.
And, look, here's the bottom line. Mr. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, and Director Wray have to decide whether or not they want to be part of the cleanup crew or they want to be part of the cover-up crew.
That's really the decision that they have to make for themselves here. The best way they can be part of the cleanup...
NUNES: Of this mess is give us all the documents this week, so that we can put this behind us and let the American people begin to heal.
BARTIROMO: Well, well said.
And I think we should point out that that text, "We will stop it," why are we just learning about that today? We're going to talk about that.
Let's take a short break, Devin Nunes.
We will be right back with a lot more with the chairman of the Intel Committee.
Stay with us.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. We're back on "Sunday Morning Futures."
And joining me once again, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes.
And, Mr. Chairman, before we went to the break, you said you want to be part of the cleanup crew or the cover-up crew. That was a very important analysis that you raise, because we're looking at this text from Peter Strzok to Lisa Page, his girlfriend, when he says, no, President Trump will not -- Donald Trump will not be president because we will stop it.
That was on August 8. We just got this information, this text, in the I.G. report. It's all in the I.G. report.
How come we didn't see this text sooner than this, when we know that, just four days later, Peter Strzok said to Lisa Page, same couple, he says, "We need an insurance policy."
We knew that we had that insurance policy text months ago. But, for some reason, this text didn't see the light of day until the I.G. report.
NUNES: What you're going to have to believe -- now, I'm just telling you -- I'm not saying that I believe this -- I'm just telling you this is the story that you're going to hear -- is that the -- at -- the high levels of the Department of Justice didn't know about this until a week ago, and the Department of Justice and FBI had only learned about it at the beginning of May.
Now, I'm not sure that's -- now, that is -- that is probably all true. At the highest levels, they just learned about it.
But I think the bigger question is, is that, was this just some technical glitch, as they tried to claim in the past, or did somebody deliberately get rid of that text?
And you have to understand, because that text message is so damaging and shows intent and shows the context of all the other text messages that surround that text message, and it's at the beginning of the investigation, you have to ask yourself, did somebody actually try to remove that text message from the FBI?
BARTIROMO: So, and, by the way, you are...
NUNES: And I think the answer -- it's hard for the American people not to believe that that wasn't removed on purpose.
BARTIROMO: Well, you are right. The Department of Justice tells us, FOX News, that the I.G. just gave them that now, so that they just learned about it. It's in the I.G. report. So, we will -- we will watch that.
But the broader is...
NUNES: Yes, but on that, too, Maria, if I can just expand on that, well, wait a second.
You have known about it for a month. Wouldn't it have been important for us to know, the congressional investigators to know about that even a month ago, if you did just get it a month ago? You probably should have brought it to us fairly quickly.
BARTIROMO: So, explain how Christopher Wray...
NUNES: Now, that's what I would have done, right?
NUNES: If I'm in charge -- if I'm in charge of this, and I want to be part of the cleanup, not the cover-up, part of the cleanup, I bring those text messages.
I get on the phone, and I call the speaker of the House and all the committee chairmen and ranking members, and I say, look, you have got to he see this immediately.
BARTIROMO: Right. OK. So...
NUNES: That's what I would do if you want to be part of the cleanup.
BARTIROMO: How is it possible that Christopher Wray gets in front of a podium the other day and says, look, we looked at the I.G. report, and what we have come up with, the I.G. report, is that -- that no political bias actually impacted the end result, when we have the head of the Trump investigation, Peter Strzok, sending a text eight days after he gets the job, "We will stop it," four days later saying, we need an insurance policy so Donald Trump doesn't become president?
So, how could you actually make the claim that bias didn't impact decision- making?
NUNES: So, I believe what they're saying -- and the media -- the left-wing media is trying to spin this.
What they're really saying, what the I.G. report actually says is, is that, as it relates to the Clinton e-mail investigation, they couldn't prove bias...
NUNES: Which is far different than that they didn't find any.
NUNES: If you read -- like, I know you have read a lot of that. I read most of it yesterday...
NUNES: Flying back from Washington to California.
BARTIROMO: We have got to jump.
NUNES: What I see through -- on every single page, you see that, Maria.
BARTIROMO: We have got to -- we have got to jump.
NUNES: You see -- you see bias.
BARTIROMO: Real quick, because we have a hard break, but I want to know how far you are willing to go. Are you going to go for contempt of Congress?
When we come back. Stay with us.
BARTIROMO: And we are back once again with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes.
And, Mr. Chairman, this is my question as we continue diving into this I.G. report.
You have been asking for these documents from the DOJ and the FBI now for a year. You had a major meeting on Friday and have come up with an agreement that they're going to deliver all of the documents that are left to be delivered to you by next Friday.
If you do not get those documents this week, by your deadline of Friday, what are you going to do?
NUNES: Well, I would say it's more this. The deadline's not Friday. The deadline is this week.
So, if documents do not begin to be turned over tomorrow and a clear way and path forward for everything else is not clear here in the next couple days, there's going to be hell to pay by Wednesday morning, because we can no longer -- it's not just about the committee chairman any longer.
This is about rank-and-file members of Congress who continue to come up to me and say, what on Earth are you guys doing? I have many members of the Intelligence Committee that are Republicans that are trying to get to the bottom of these issues.
They're relying on me to get the documents, so that they can complete the investigation that we began. So, we are quickly -- this is going to go from just myself and a few committee chairmen to all the members of the House of Representatives, who are going to begin to take action against the Department of Justice and FBI.
BARTIROMO: Taking action, meaning contempt of Congress?
NUNES: Well, that's just one of the options. That's just one of many options.
But I can tell you that it's not going to be pretty.
BARTIROMO: What are your options? What's not pretty? Are you going to force the resignation of Rod Rosenstein?
NUNES: Well, we can't force the resignation, right?
But we can -- we can hold in contempt. We can pass sense of Congress resolutions. We can impeach.
And, look, and I think we're getting close to there, right? I mean, if they don't have good reasons why they haven't provided us this information, the American people's patience have run out. My patience have run out.
You had -- I think the speaker of the House and Chairman Gowdy gave them every opportunity to try to -- to try to clear all of this up. And there's just -- there's just no time left anymore.
It just looks like they're trying to run out the clock, as I have said many times on your show.
BARTIROMO: So, you will -- so, the bottom line is, you're willing to go all the way; you're willing to move to impeachment of the leadership of DOJ and FBI?
NUNES: Absolutely, yes. I have been there for a while now.
BARTIROMO: We will -- we will leave that subject here.
And, obviously, we want to talk with you next week, throughout the week, to see if you're getting these documents and where we stand on this.
But I want to get to a quick question from you on China, given the tariffs that the president instituted on Friday. We're waiting to see -- or China already said that it's going to retaliate.
But I wrote an op-ed in RealClearPolitics this weekend basically saying, forget about having China buying more stuff. The more important issue here is the fact that the Chinese steal our intellectual property.
And innovations by Chinese firms can carry benefits far beyond their shores, as long as they truly are innovating. Unfortunately, business executives from outside China have found too often that they are required to share their innovations via forced technology or the theft of intellectual property.
You are investigating China for a similar situation in terms of the military moves, correct?
NUNES: Mm-hmm. Yes.
So, a couple points on the intellectual property. So, our first hearing that we had, we looked at military basing across the globe. And I think that I read your piece, Maria. And, also, Secretary Mattis had some great comments on what he believes the Chinese are doing globally and the military footprint that they're putting down.
As it relates to intellectual property, we know that the Chinese have -- have -- are very sophisticated in cyber-intrusion. And, in fact, they're probably all over nearly every network globally every day trying to glean information out of companies' computer systems, government computer systems.
They're very sophisticated and very good at what they do. It also happens to be illegal.
Secondly, they -- what they also do is, they buy up companies, so that they can -- they buy up companies, and they then intrude that way, so that they can find a way around to go in and get the information and steal it.
So these are great, innovative ideas that are created in the free market by either ourselves or European countries or other great governments around the world or great countries around the world that have all these people that come together to innovate.
And then to have that stolen by the Chinese government, and then put into action and monetized in China is a big problem. And that's what they have been doing for many, many years.
NUNES: And that's what your piece -- your piece in RealClearPolitics actually pointed out.
BARTIROMO: Right. All right. Well, we will leave it there. We will watch the developments there, because, obviously, this is unnerving for markets, and people want some clarity on where this is going.
Congressman, it's good to see you, sir. Thanks very much for joining us.
NUNES: Thank you.
BARTIROMO: A lot of news this morning from Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intel Committee.
President Trump will meet -- be meeting with House Republicans this Tuesday to discuss immigration legislation meanwhile. There are two different bills being proposed, a moderate one written by House leadership and a more conservative composed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte.
My next guest helped write that legislation. He is Congressman Michael McCaul of Texas. And he joins me right now. He is the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, a member of the House Foreign Relations Committee.
And, Mr. Chairman, it's a pleasure to see you. Thanks so much for joining us.
REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL, R-TEXAS: Oh, Maria, thanks for having me.
Can I first say, as a father of five children, happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.
BARTIROMO: And happy Father's Day to you, Mr. Chairman.
MCCAUL: Thank you.
BARTIROMO: Thank you so much for joining us on this special day. Thank you for that.
What are you expecting on Tuesday, when the president comes to Capitol Hill to look at these two bills and discuss these bills with you?
MCCAUL: Well, look, I have been working with the -- working with the president of the United States and the administration.
I talked to him, in fact, just yesterday. The president is fully committed to both of these bills. He has put the full weight of his office behind it.
You know, the McCaul-Goodlatte bill, they both, I would say, provide the four pillars that I discussed with the president at that sort of famous roundtable discussion.
Most importantly from my perspective, Maria, it has got border security in there. It has got funding for the wall that the president really wants. It has got the technology and boots on the ground. And the four pillars being ending chain migration, ending this random visa lottery system, providing border security, and a DACA solution.
So I think obviously I'd like to see McCaul-Goodlatte pass on the floor and we wouldn't have to get to a second bill. But if it gets to that point, I do think this is a historic opportunity to advance a conservative agenda that we've been trying to do for the last 25 years, to structurally change the way we do immigration and make it more merit-based rather than random, and also get that border secure because, Maria, the threats, as I get briefed by the secretary and the ICE director, of potential terrorists and drug cartels and all the other stuff, is real.
BARTIROMO: Yes, I want to ask you the cooperation you're getting from your colleagues in the Senate and certainly your colleagues on the left because this is an issue that America wants taken care of. And it just seems that you get to some success and then it stops.
MCCAUL: Well, look, I don't think without the president's leadership, and I applaud him for doing this, and I applaud his team. Without him coming to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, I don't think we would have that sort of maximum pressure, if you will, to get us across the goal line.
And I anticipate on Tuesday he's going to be the leader he is and we're going to get something passed out of the House. And to your point, what I do worry about is Mitch McConnell and the Senate and what can they do.
But I do think this is the beginning of the conversation. We won't get anything done if the House doesn't get its business done and pass something.
BARTIROMO: Hold that thought, Mr. Chairman, more after this short break.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. I'm with Congressman Michael McCaul this morning in the wake of the historic Trump-Kim summit. President Trump tweeted this morning this: "Holding back the war games during the negotiations was my request because they are very expensive and set a bad light during a good faith negotiation. Also quite provocative."
I'm back now with Congressman Michael McCaul.
And, Mr. Chairman, what about that? Because after this historic meeting between Kim Jong-un and the president, a lot of debate over stopping the missile-testing that has been taking place between the U.S. and South Korea.
MCCAUL: Yes, I think the president and Secretary Mattis actually supports what the president said with respect to the war games and South Korea. And I think it was a good faith gesture, based upon Kim Jong-un's agreement to stop nuclear testing, to destroy nuclear military facilities, and also the remains of our prisoner of war victims over there, to bring those remains home, back home to the United States.
So this is, in my view, the maximum pressure campaign has been working. We're willing to snap back to that at any time. I think the difference between this and the Iran negotiations that Obama did was that he was not willing to walk away from the table. I think this president is.
And I met with the vice president, he said that this -- the chemistry between the two is very positive. And I know personal chemistry is important to this president. But always have a healthy amount of skepticism when you deal with North Korea.
They had deceived three prior administrations and presidents and each time gotten concessions from us and then thrown the United States and the global community under the bus.
BARTIROMO: Mm-hmm. And yet you still call this meeting a monumental diplomatic breakthrough.
MCCAUL: I do. You know, I really do. I mean, Trump is a -- I mean, he's a different president. He's not going to give away the store. He's going to negotiate. If anybody can get this thing done, and I'll admit it's a big challenge to do so, I think he's the man to do it.
He's really negotiating out of strength, strength through peace, like Reagan talked about, because of the sanctions that we, that Congress and the administration put on them, and also, you know, Kim Jong-un looks at his shoreline and sees our submarines and our naval ships.
He knows that there is another option here and it's not a pretty one. And he knows that this president is willing to exercise that if necessary. Of course, that's the path we would least like to see take place.
BARTIROMO: Right. Well, we'll be watching. This is incredible storylines. Mr. Chairman, it's always a pleasure to see you. Thanks so much.
MCCAUL: Thanks, Maria.
BARTIROMO: We'll see you soon. Michael McCaul, joining us there.
Tomorrow the Department of Justice inspector general, Michael Horowitz, will head to Capitol Hill as well. He'll be answering questions about the IG report on the Clinton email investigation. He will first face members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. And then on Tuesday, he'll return to Capitol Hill for the joint hearing to address members of both the House Judiciary and Oversight committees.
My next guest will be one of the first people to ask Inspector Horowitz about his findings, Republican Congressman John Ratcliffe of Texas sits on both the House Judiciary and the Homeland Security committees, and is a former federal prosecutor.
Congressman, it's great to see you this morning. Thanks so much for joining us.
REP. JOHN RATCLIFFE, R-TEXAS, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE, HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE: You bet. Thanks, Maria.
BARTIROMO: And I know, Congressman, you've gone through the IG report. Do me a favor, go through it for us. You've put it into three categories. Explain to our viewers what's most important in terms of this inspector general report.
RATCLIFFE: Yes, it's hard to break down 565 pages, but there are three main take-aways or categories for me. And the first one is the IG report really tells us that the problems at the FBI and the Department of Justice were more pervasive and problematic than any of us realized.
The second thing is it sadly confirms that even though Hillary Clinton should have been charged with mishandling classified information, she was never really in danger of seeing that happen.
And finally, the inspector general report really provides a factual basis to call into question the legitimacy of all of the actions taken, all of the decisions made, and all of the evidence gathered in the first nine months of the Trump Russia investigation, based on who was in charge of that investigation.
BARTIROMO: Yes, that's a very good compilation of the three areas that we want to focus on. That first one was the FBI and the DOJ. And here you said it was much more pervasive than any of us thought, the animus against Donald Trump really came through in some of these texts.
I point your attention to the text of August 8th, 2016, between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok when she says "Trump is not ever going to become president, right?", Peter Strzok says "no, no, he won't, we will stop it."
Interesting to note that Peter Strzok was put in charge of the Trump-Russia collusion case on July 31, 2016. Eight days later, August 8th, he says "we will stop it." Four days later, another text. "We need an insurance policy" so that Trump doesn't become president.
Is that the kind of animus you're referring to?
RATCLIFFE: Yes. And it's not limited to Peter Strzok, although I will say I don't know that the FBI could have chosen anyone worse to lead the Trump- Russia investigation had they picked Hillary Clinton to lead that investigation. I don't know that the level of animus or bias or prejudice against Donald Trump would have been any higher.
But the IG report tells us that it's Peter Strzok and it's Lisa Page, but it's also teams of agents and lawyers that are identified in this IG report, five of whom who have been referred to the Office of Professional Responsibility for their anti-Trump texts.
And so really throughout the 565 pages of this report, Maria, on every page you find some evidence of political bias against Donald Trump and that really calls into question the work that was done here with respect to the two highest profile investigations in recent times, both the Hillary Clinton email investigation, and the Trump-Russia investigation that became the special counsel matter.
BARTIROMO: You know, if anybody has given us a window into how the rank and file or some of the leadership certainly felt about Donald Trump, it's Peter Strzok with his texts. I mean, that has been incredibly revealing. Why does he still work there? How is it possible that he still has a job at the FBI?
I know he was demoted. But still?
RATCLIFFE: I can offer you no explanation for that. I would hope, you know, that Director Wray would care enough about the 13,000 folks at the FBI that instead of just offering platitudes about how great an organization it is would defend those 13,000 by holding accountable agents like Peter Strzok and others who, you know, tarnish the badge that the 13,000 other agents hold.
And to me there's no excuse for him to be employed at the FBI at this point in time. I would hope that both Director Wray at the FBI and Rod Rosenstein at the Department of Justice would be asking and taking the hard stances and questions that they need to, to defend their people and their institutions and hold them accountable.
They should be asking tougher questions than members of Congress are asking.
BARTIROMO: Yes. On to the second point, and that is the second subset which was the Hillary Clinton investigation. You say this was supposed to be a serious investigation. I want to ask you about that because there are texts here too from one agent to another saying "I'm with her."
The person, four days before Hillary was supposed to be interviewed, the agent -- or one of the agents who was going to interview her sends a text to her -- or one of the colleagues and says "just so you know, I'm with her."
And this was the person that was going to be interviewing her. So let's take a short break. I want you to go through what you learned from this IG report about the Hillary Clinton investigation as well as the Trump investigation. We'll take a short break and come right back with Congressman John Ratcliffe.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. And I am back with Congressman John Ratcliffe.
And, Congressman, let me ask you about the Hillary Clinton investigation and what you gleaned from the IG report, because you said to me this weekend when we were talking about this, this was supposed to be a very serious investigation.
RATCLIFFE: Right, Maria. I mean, you referred to it as the Hillary Clinton email investigation. And we do that. But remember what it really was supposed to be was an investigation into whether the secretary of state of the United States violated the Espionage Act by mishandling classified information.
That's a very serious matter and it should have compelled a serious investigation. And yet the IG report confirms that exactly the opposite happened, a very light touch where Hillary Clinton got preferential treatment, limited use of a grand jury, limited use of subpoenas, immunity agreements handed out like candy to witnesses that destroyed evidence and lied to the FBI.
And, you know, really speaking to the lack of seriousness, we have this tarmac meeting between Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton, and five days later a team of DOJ and FBI agents and lawyers sit down with Hillary Clinton and she doesn't get asked a single question about the meeting between their boss and her husband.
And, of course, there's that exoneration memo that was drafted, written, revised by the entire investigation team before 17 important witnesses, including Hillary Clinton, wherever interviewed. So, again, she was never going to be charged by Obama administration officials for the types of things that we're now finding out many of the folks involved have been accused of as well.
BARTIROMO: This is all quite extraordinary. Let me ask you, is there a chance that there will be charges against Jim Comey on the very same issues that he was looking at for Hillary Clinton, the misuse of classified information?
RATCLIFFE: I think there's certainly a chance. I mean, a lot of this will come forward in testimony. We expect that former Director Comey will come back because there's a lot in this IG report that is inconsistent with testimony or appears to be inconsistent with testimony that he and others have given under oath to various congressional committees.
So, again, to that point, I mean, we have Andrew McCabe accused already of potentially giving false testimony. Jim Comey is certainly not out of the woods with respect to testimony that he has given or action that he has taken with regard to the handling of classified information.
And there is Peter Strzok. I mean, how he is not seriously considered for obstruction of justice charges based on the text messages and the emails that we have seen that really cannot be taken out of context or read any other way.
When you say you're going to stop Donald Trump from becoming president, it doesn't get any more clear than that.
BARTIROMO: No. We're going to be watching your committee testimony on Tuesday. You're going to be one of the people asking the questions of Michael Horowitz. We will be watching that and certainly with great interest.
Congressman, it's good to see you this morning. Thanks so much.
RATCLIFFE: Thanks, Maria.
BARTIROMO: We appreciate it.
Up next, Alan Dershowitz will react to all of the breaking news we've heard this morning as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures." Don't miss Alan Dershowitz next.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. And we have heard a lot of information on this program this morning from the chairman of the Intel Committee, John Ratcliffe from Judiciary, as well as Michael McCaul. Joining us right now to talk all about all of the above is Harvard Law Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz.
Alan, great to see you. Thanks for joining the conversation.
ALAN DERSHOWITZ, PROFESSOR EMERITUS, HARVARD LAW: Thank you.
BARTIROMO: What's your take-away on the IG report? What we've heard in the last hour is that obviously there was -- it was laced with bias, the FBI, in terms of what -- how they felt about Donald Trump and how they felt about Hillary Clinton.
There was a dereliction of duty certainly in the Hillary Clinton investigation, as we just heard from John Ratcliffe. What's your take- away.
DERSHOWITZ: Well, remember, FBI agents are allowed to be biased. They're allowed to support political candidates. That's part of the law. Where I draw the line is when an FBI agent says, we'll stop him. That's not an expression of bias. That's not saying who we're going to vote for.
That sends a message to the American people that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is going to interfere in an election, in an effort to try to stop the election of one candidate rather than the other.
I don't understand how Strzok can remain an FBI agent after saying, we'll stop that, we'll stop him from being president. That, to me, is where the red line was crossed. When he said, you know, we need an insurance policy, I support her, you're entitled to support a candidate if you're an FBI agent. But you're not allowed to try to use your office to stop somebody from being elected president of the United States.
BARTIROMO: Exactly, we've been showing that text all morning where Lisa Page says to her boyfriend, Peter Strzok, is Donald Trump going to become president? No, right? And he says, we will stop him.
And this was eight days after he was put in charge of the Trump-Russia investigation. So here's the guy who is basically running the investigation saying, we'll stop him. And by the way, four days later was the other text that you just referred when he said, we need an insurance policy.
DERSHOWITZ: Right. But there are things here that are more general than just the election. For example, the jailing of Manafort on the basis of a prediction or on the basis of an assumption that he did something. You know, there are thousands of people in jail today in America, mostly poor people, who are there on the basis of preventive detention, predictions that they will do something bad or belief that they did something bad, without a trial.
I would hope the Trump administration would use the Manafort case to look into the thousands of poor people who are today in prison based on an assumption or a statement by a judge that this person has committed a crime, without a trial, without any opportunity to dispute.
What's happening here is we're seeing elements of denial of civil liberties. Now Republicans are concerned about these denials, as they should be. But they ought to generalize. And they ought to do the same thing they would be doing if it were poor people who were in prison rather than their friends who are in prison.
This is a time to look at civil liberties from a neutral, objective point of view and improve our system considerably on both sides. Take partisanship out of it and have real reform.
BARTIROMO: Right, which is why I always say this is not about Donald Trump, this is about the rule of law and this is about America. We don't want the tipping of the scales from people who have those powerful positions.
Alan, it's always great to hear your instincts and your insight. I so appreciate you joining us this morning.
DERSHOWITZ: Appreciate it.
BARTIROMO: Thank you, Alan. Alan Dershowitz there.
That will do it for us on "Sunday Morning Futures." Have a great week, everybody. I'll see you on "Mornings with Maria" on the Fox Business Network next week. "MediaBuzz" with Howie Kurtz.
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