This is a rush transcript from "The Ingraham Angle," November 14, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST: Good evening, everyone from Washington. Thanks for joining us. This is "The Ingraham Angle."
All right. We have so much news for you tonight. We could actually use two hours, but we are going to take one. We have an infuriating opening segment for you. Congress is spending your money to cover up sexual harassment.
And some major developing stories for you on other fronts. President Trump returned moments ago from his 12-day trip to Asia. We're going to have a report about what he's doing next.
And why are immigration agents complaining about the president? We'll tell you that as well.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified today before Congress about possible investigations into Hillary Clinton and that Uranium One deal. What's coming? We'll tell you.
But first our top story, pulling back the curtain, sexual harassment inside the halls of Congress and how you're paying for the secret settlements. Sexual misconduct scandals have engulfed Hollywood, media, and now politics with the Roy Moore revelations.
But did you know that you've been funding payoffs for congressional harassment claims for decades. According to the Congressional Office of Compliance, between 1997 and 2014, hundreds of women have been paid $15.2 million in total in awards and settlements for Capitol Hill workplace violations. The House Administration Committee held a hearing on the matter yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACKIE SPEIER: In fact, there are two members of Congress, Republican and Democrat right now, who serve who have been subject to review or not have been subject to review but have been engaged in sexual harassment.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This member asked the staffer to bring them over some materials to their residence and the young staffer is a young woman, went there, and was greeted by a member in a towel. It was a male who then invited her in. At that point, he decided to expose himself. She left and then she quit her job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: Joining us of our reaction here in Washington is Jenny Beth Martin. She is a cofounder of Tea Party Patriots. She has a new piece on this growing scandal. And Scott Bolden, former chairman of the Democratic Party in Washington, D.C., and a former sex crimes prosecutor.
Jenny Beth, let's start with you. This is so ridiculous. It's $15.2 million and this is started by a senator I really respect and admire, Chuck Grassley, what was the thinking behind this? We'll go through the procedures that women have to go through.
JENNY BETH MARTIN, PRESIDENT, TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: It was part of the Congressional Accountability Act, which -- at the time, they were trying to make congressmen live under the law. So, they had passed including Title VII under Civil Rights Act.
They are trying to make sure that they lived under several other laws and they also wanted to create something to deal with sexual harassment. But in doing this, they have instituted a culture of corruption and they have created much more intimidation for people who want to step forward.
INGRAHAM: Scott, let me share this with you. This is the Office of Compliance, the steps a woman has to go through to file a complaint. First the victims have 180 days to complain, that's not bad. You should get a little bit more if you are traumatized.
Victims who wants to continue must start 30 days of mediation. So, they force you into mediation, then finally, the Office of Compliance Administration does a hearing, or you can file a federal lawsuit and it's all confidential.
The problem, of course, is pushing women into mediation. It seems to be geared toward stopping the claim. If I look at this as a former attorney, this is kind of pushing -- you don't really want to file this.
SCOTT BOLDEN, CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL BAR ASSOCIATION, PAC: This is all about power. Within the mediation, it's also a counseling pieces and when I first read this, I said, what are they counseling the women on? Either this happened, or it didn't happen, but again, this is all about power.
Remember, elected officials on the Hill are products, if you will, and the other thing that you didn't show was the lack of disclosure unless they go to court. So, this is all very confidential and it's all about taking care of each other.
As opposed to pulling the sheets off of it, if you will, and say, listen, we have a problem. I think the Republicans and the Democrats on the Hill have a chance to lead by fixing this.
INGRAHAM: It's a slush hush fund. Don't say anything.
MARTIN: Its mandatory counseling. If you've been traumatized, do you really want your employer mandating that you must go to counseling before you can go to mediation?
INGRAHAM: So, now the Senate is working on mandatory sexual harassment training in the Senate. The House still hasn't really been able to push through changes. I know Congresswoman Speier, who I usually don't agree with on much, but she's right on this. They want to get rid of that wait time for being able to push through and actually file an actual complaint.
BOLDEN: But, Laura, you know, in the reformation or the amendment of this legislation on both sides, you've got to make it uncomfortable for bad behavior. You have to be intentional about it.
One of the most shocking things you lead with was that the public tax dollars are paying for these settlements. A little less than a million a year. You know what? If you remove that rule and make the congressman either get employment, defense insurance or made them pay out their campaign PAC funds and stuff. I tell you, you would force a lot less of this bad behavior because that hits them where their pocketbooks are.
INGRAHAM: I have a question. There was a point in this research that I was reading today, apparently, a congresswoman was warning about the congressmen who sleep in their offices like those are the ones -- I don't know if that's fair, because I know some who sleep in their offices and they are great people, but apparently that's a problem.
What is really going on here, though? Is it's just the usual stuff where you get into a position of power? Maybe you were kind of a geeky guy -- they didn't have a lot of chicks, and then you get to Capitol Hill. It's all these 22-year-old gals running around.
This is nothing new. I mean, I remember being in the White House elevator during the Reagan administration and Strom Thurmond made a few interesting comments to me and I was 22 years old. I was laughing, is not a big deal.
You don't want to chill the workplace. That's another thing I am a little bit worried about here. You can't even say to someone you look at great, nice dress like people are afraid. I know men who are afraid to have any interaction at any time with a woman alone.
Because it ten years later, even if you didn't do anything you could be accused -- where do you go to defend yourself? You can't defend yourself. So, we have to look at the other side here as well and not make it so sterile and antiseptic a workplace, that no one even enjoys the job. You're so afraid of saying anything.
BOLDEN: You always have to be careful because the (inaudible) made it that way. The reality, though, is that women are standing up now in the last six months to a year and saying me too.
And I think that's the difference because as you see each of these industries go with these disclosures whether it's Hollywood or some other industry, now you're seeing the government.
And now the government who enforces and makes laws, if they won't lead on this, then I got to tell you, where in the space of the hypocrisy bucket, if you well.
INGRAHAM: Grassley said if this law isn't working, should revise it, change it. I mean, I guess, after the (inaudible) thing, I thought this is actually going to accomplish something. But why did it take so long for this to get so much notice?
It's just Harvey Weinstein and all the other stuff swirling around, I guess, this is just what people are talking about? (Inaudible), OK, Congress, what are you doing?
SMITH: Yes, I think that may be some of it and now we are getting a little bit of light shed on it. Until a week and a half ago, I didn't even know this fund existed. But I'll tell you what it's intimidating, if you are a woman, who truly has been harassed by a member of Congress, you need to be able to address that and to have it handled.
Not to be told you must go to counseling. You must go to mediation. We are going to have you sign an NDA. You can never tell anyone. It's all designed to shame the woman. Whether it's intentional or not, you wind up shaming the victim, and I understand also you've got to make sure --
INGRAHAM: Harvey Weinstein went around trying to get nondisclosures too, right?
BOLDEN: Well, he paid a lot of money also --
INGRAHAM: Let's not forget men and young boys have been victimized, abused, and often times this happens in Hollywood but not only Hollywood. It happens in a theater. I've been hearing about this for a long time.
We are talking about Congress because, you know, we are here in Washington, and they are the one supposed to be the lawmakers, but this is across the board. It's people in positions of power, who usually have some problem within themselves.
They have no self-esteem or their father didn't love them. I don't know what it is. They don't know how to treat people and maybe, just maybe will learn how to treat people better.
BOLDEN: That's transparency that were talking about. It's going to make it uncomfortable. This is a place of power, careers are made or lost. You've got to make it a safe space for women and men, who are victimized by sexual harassment to come forward, to be protected. And quite frankly, if there is transparency, I think you'll see less bad behavior.
INGRAHAM: There are people who make false charges, it does happen. You can't say anyone who makes a charge, you know, we are going to throw laurels around your neck. I mean, it's not necessarily the case.
I mean, you do have a presumption of innocence and sometimes I think in this climate, it's so white-hot, I'm not talking about Roy Moore. I'm talking just in general. It's so white-hot that if a woman who seems fairly credible makes a charge, your career is over.
SMITH: You have to allow people -- if you've been accused of it, you have to be given the opportunity to defend yourself and clear your name. You can't just try everything in the court of public opinion, there has to be a proper process.
INGRAHAM: Is that where the confidentiality comes into play? I mean, are you going to go into Congress and have all these interns running around if you think that my gosh, at any moment, you know, I open the door for someone, I'm going to be accused of being demeaning. You've got to be careful how you do this. You can go way overboard on the other side.
BOLDEN: But one way to address that issue, as a former sex crimes prosecutor, we would require corroboration. I mean, the cases where it's one person's word against another. There is no scientific evidence. There is no corroboration whether there was more about sexual touching or not.
It's still has to be corroborated and I think that standard would be good in Congress too because then you have that balance, if you will, because congressmen want to get reelected, OK. They don't want bad press and they don't want to have to go --
INGRAHAM: I have a question about that with sex crimes. In how many cases, it's usually men, of course, who are accused of sex crimes, domestic abuse, is substance abuse involved?
BOLDEN: You know what? Quite a bit. Your testing my memory, but I would say, not the majority but at least over 50 percent, I just don't know how much. There are other socioeconomic factors that come into play.
And the other thing is getting women to come forward and prosecute if the father or the husband is the top of the breadwinner or is needed at home with the kids, I've got to tell you some women in that position don't feel like they have many choices, and they dropped charges against the very people who have abused them.
SMITH: A lot of times abuse is simply about power. It's not about --
BOLDEN: It's not about sex.
SMITH: It's substance abuse. It's not even about sex. It's about power, raw power.
INGRAHAM: You guys, great to see you. Thanks for coming in.
Directly ahead, new fall out in the Roy Moore scandal, how will Alabama voters deal with Washington meddling in the state Senate race?
Plus, Roy Moore just addressed this controversy moments ago. We'll play you the tape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROY MOORE, ALABAMA REPUBLICAN SENATE CANDIDATE: I'm the only one that can unite Democrats and Republicans because I'm being deposed by both. They spent over $30 million to try to take me out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: Those comments from Roy Moore just moments ago after uneventful and chaotic day in the Alabama Senate race. The Republican National Committee has announced it is withdrawing support for Judge Moore's candidacy and pulling out of a joint fundraising agreement for the Alabama special Senate election.
This is all in response to multiple allegations now that Moore had made unwanted sexual advances toward teenagers back in the '70s. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is even floating the idea of Attorney General Jeff Sessions returning to his old Senate seat.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL, R-KY., MAJORITY LEADER: The Alabamian who would, you know, fit that standard will be the attorney general and he is totally well-known and extremely popular in Alabama.
I haven't spoken with the president. He called me from Vietnam largely about this on Friday. I talked to General Kelly on Saturday. Obviously, we are in discussion here about how to salvage this seat if possible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: But it's not all bad news for Judge Moore, Alabama Republican Party Chairwoman Terry Lathan has not turned Moore yet and told local media yesterday, quote, "It would be a serious error for any current elected GOP official or candidate to publicly endorse another party's candidate, an independent or a third-party candidate or a write-in candidate in a general election as well," closed quote.
And a new poll from Fox 10 in Alabama shows Moore leads his Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, by six points. Joining us now for reaction in Birmingham is Alabama's Secretary of State John Merrill, in New York, conservative commentator, Monica Crowley, and here with me in Washington is Katherine Mangu-Ward, who is editor-in-chief of Reason magazine.
Great to see all of you. Monica, let's start with you. This has been a wild few days in this Roy Moore situation. You got the establishment types turned on him pretty fast, but then you had Mike Lee in Utah, senator of Utah.
You had Ted Cruz, and now my colleague, Sean Hannity, says basically you have 24 hours to clear up the discrepancies in your statement. How can Roy Moore possibly hang in under these circumstances?
MONICA CROWLEY: I'm not sure he can, Laura. I mean, there are certain political realities at play here and gravity does tend to (inaudible) especially when the money starts to disappear.
The RNC pulled the funding as well as the field operation that they are going to implement to get out and vote for Roy Moore. With those two things missing, Laura, I don't see how he is able to survive.
It doesn't sound tonight like he's willing to go anywhere yet, but when these realities start to kick in over the next 24 hours, when the money disappears, you know, you can't run a campaign on fumes or love.
That I think is when the hard choices are going to come in front of Roy Moore when he doesn't have the institutional support to continue this campaign.
INGRAHAM: Let's go to the secretary of state, John Merrill. John, what happens if the election is held, and those absentee ballots are left over if in fact Roy Moore steps aside. The party, you know, relinquishes any connection to Roy Moore. Do the absentee ballots still count in that case?
JOHN MERRILL, SECRETARY OF STATE OF ALABAMA: Well, Laura, they do. And I think it's very important for your viewers to know that our people have been voting since October the 18th. That's when the absentee ballots first went out for consideration and for our voters to be able to have their opinion known and have their voice heard.
And that's just not (inaudible) military overseas voters, that's the number of voters throughout the entire state of Alabama. I think it's important to note that if Judge Moore withdraws from the campaign or if the state party disavows their association with Judge Moore and determines that they no longer support him.
And both of those actions have to take place formally by them indicating to our office that they no longer wish to pursue the candidacy of Judge Roy Moore in the U.S. Senate, that even though Judge Moore's name will still be on the ballot, if he gets the most votes as a plurality winner on December 12th, then our election will be null and void.
INGRAHAM: Katherine, now Mitch McConnell is saying perhaps they won't seat him or that once he's in if he gets elected that they'll move to remove him. Now if you're someone in the south and you know, you don't follow this much and maybe think Roy Moore like dating 17-year-olds or 18-year- olds.
It might come across to you as this is the old guard tell the southerners they are stupid bunch of hayseed types. And they might just be like, you know, something, he is seated. This is another example of the elites kicking people like us around.
KATHERINE MANGU-WARD, REASON MANAGING EDITOR: I think this is Congress reaping the fact that they are wildly unpopular. Congress has like a 19 percent approval rating. The idea that they don't have the trust of the American people.
That they are not in a position to say this is an extraordinary circumstance. We want to take the high road here. We want to do an investigation. I would love to see them do an investigation through a trusted third party.
They don't have to think The Washington Post (inaudible). They don't have to believe that (inaudible) research if that's what they think is going on, but I do think they need to take it seriously.
Particularly, if they want to say, listen, we are better than the Democratic Party, who is constantly apologizing for their guys when they get accused of this kind of thing.
INGRAHAM: Monica, need we go back to the Menendez trial. There was a time where there were allegations and the Daily News and a lot of publications went with them that, you know, allegedly, he took trips to the Dominican Republic and had sexual relationships with underage hookers.
I don't recall a single Democrat calling for his resignation. Same thing with the old story about Barnie Frank all those years ago and many others. So, you know, the Democrats seem to cover for their own, but I guess, the Republicans, they want to come across with a lot better than that.
CROWLEY: Well, Democrats have always circled the wagons and protected their candidates and protected their presidents and protected their own for a really long time. Republicans always went into the circular firing squad, Laura.
But I think what makes these cases so different right now is that we are in a completely different cultural moment with all of these stories of sexual harassment coming out of Hollywood and the media elites, the modeling world, the music world and so on.
Given this moment, these folks cannot survive it. Even folks at the high ends of leadership of both parties and both establishments, et cetera, are now no longer saying that this is acceptable, and are less willing, Laura, to cover for these folks.
You are seeing is now happening on both sides and that's why I think in the Roy Moore situation, in many ways, he is going to be a casualty of this moment. Perhaps he may have survived.
Look, Donald Trump in the tail end of the campaign with the Access Hollywood tape, he was able to sort of harness a boomerang effect where people felt that that was a pile on and they came out and rallied around him.
But Donald Trump was an exceptional figure. I'm not so sure that Roy Moore is going to be able to do it.
INGRAHAM: Moore is not Donald Trump. Secretary of State, I just want to close out with you. In your estimation right now, I know you are still kind of standing behind Roy Moore. Does he stay in this race? Does he get elected?
MERRILL: Well, I think it would be highly unusual for Judge Moore to step aside. That would be against every type of example that he has set. I don't see him getting out of the race.
INGRAHAM: Does he win?
MERRILL: Well, I'll tell you it's going to be extremely close, Laura. I hear mixed reviews all around the state of Alabama. This is a very disconcerting time for our state. This is not how we like to be featured in the national limelight.
INGRAHAM: Thanks for joining us, John. I'm going to hold over Katherine and Monica because President Trump just a short time ago returned to Washington after that a very long 12-day, five-nation Asia trip where America's trade deals were a major topic. We are going to go right to it right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: From a standpoint of security and safety, military, very proud, and trade, you will see numbers that you won't believe over the years. They will be treating us much differently than they have in the past.
People were taking advantage. Countries were taking advantage of the United States. More than just as we do but the world and those days are over. We are going to be fair and reciprocal as I said in my remarks before. If they are doing it, we're doing it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: Katherine, what did you think about this trip? Give us your assessment.
MANGU-WARD: So, my real assessment is I'm glad that the president didn't do anything that isn't fundamentally reversible. That (inaudible) because there was a real risk that he was going to make good on his campaign promises, go to Asia, and just light the whole thing on fire.
INGRAHAM: What do you mean?
MANGU-WARD: Well, he's been quite clear that he doesn't like the status quo in terms of U.S. trade agreements in Asia and --
INGRAHAM: Do you like the status quo?
MANGU-WARD: I like the status quo.
INGRAHAM: Which part of a $350 billion trade deficit do you like?
MANGU-WARD: I like more open trade. I think the idea of thinking about in terms of deficits is wrongheaded. We absolutely benefit from trading with other --
INGRAHAM: You can buy a $7.99 pair of pants?
INGRAHAM: (Inaudible) with the American workers back here, it doesn't matter?
MANGU-WARD: I think $7.99 pair of pants --
INGRAHAM: It fundamentally changes the country.
MANGU-WARD: I don't think it fundamentally changes the country where our country --
INGRAHAM: You don't have a problem with enriching -- every president put in tariffs. Republican presidents, Democrat presidents, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan.
MANGU-WARD: When their goal was to get a one-upsmanship on other nations.
INGRAHAM: You don't think America should have a one-upsmanship attitude toward other nations?
MANGU-WARD: No, I think we should have a cooperative attitude and I think if they want to sell their stuff, we should be allowed to buy it.
INGRAHAM: You don't think bilateral trade agreements are better for policing them and for making sure they actually enforced? What's wrong with that?
MANGU-WARD: I would take any trade agreements. What I don't want to see is us pulling back from the world at a time that we are anxious, and we are not necessarily good to make --
INGRAHAM: I see what Katherine is saying, but I don't see any indication frankly that Donald Trump is pulling back from the rest of the world. He went to Saudi Arabia, Israel, went to see the pope, did the trip to Europe. He's gone to Asia. I mean, I think his foreign trips frankly have been pretty successful, especially the trip to visit our NATO allies and the first trip to Saudi Arabia, and I think this trip turned out great.
CROWLEY: I totally agree, Laura. I think in some ways he's much more effective when he is abroad rather than at home. His speeches abroad have been absolutely magnificent. What he was able to accomplish on this Asia trip has been quite extraordinary. What we are hearing behind closed doors, this president applied a lot of pressure on the Chinese leadership.
There were two main issues that he was there to discuss. We are talking about trade and the structural trade imbalance with a Chinese that has been in place now for decades. It's going to be incredibly difficult to reverse. What the president is saying is I need to deal with structural trade imbalance, I'm going to do it via economic and trade policy tools.
INGRAHAM: He also turned up the heat, Monica, on North Korea and told the Chinese we need your help, we need real help, and we are not going to be patsies on the trade deal. We want to work with other nations. We want to trade with them. We want to have relationships -- the only country we can have a relationship with his Russia.
The Chinese communists are great, but the Russians are the worst. Every time someone says we should do more with China, I say, OK, then why should we work more with Russia?
CROWLEY: And to that point, Laura, what the president was able to do, and we'll see whether this really bears fruit. He coupled the North Korean cooperation on North Korea with the economic policies.
INGRAHAM: All right. Both of you we could talk forever about this, thank you so much for joining.
When we return, Jeff Sessions grilled on Capitol Hill today and a special counsel maybe appointed to investigate Hillary Clinton, really? Stay tuned.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's it going to take if all that not to mention the dossier information, what's it going to take to actually get a special counsel?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: Welcome back. As we've been reporting, after years of rumors, comedian Louis C.K. has finally admitted to sexual misconduct. In the fall out C.K. was dropped from performing at John Stewart's annual Night of Too Many Stars. It's a charity event which benefits autism programs. Stewart, a longtime friend of C.K.'s was out promoting the event today. Throughout his entire career, remember, Louis C.K. told filthy, disgusting sexual jokes touching on his own proclivities, yet Jon Stewart offered this response when questioned on the "Today" show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "TODAY"/NBC)
MATT LAUER, CO-HOST: What was the impact on you when you heard not only the accusations but his admission?
JON STEWART, COMEDIAN: Stunned, I think. You give your friends the benefit of the doubt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: You were stunned about the accusations and revelations, really Jon? I heard the man's act for three minutes and knew he was a total perv. Comedians joked about his habits for years, and rumors of his misdeeds have been reported since back in 2012. So I guess Mr. Daily Show wasn't as well-informed as we all thought. The only thing I can support is his autism fundraiser, which is great.
And as for Louis C.K., he was dealt another setback today. International distributors announced that they were joining their American counterparts in dropping distribution of his latest movie, "I Love You Daddy," which is another filthy thing, and I'm sure it will be available on his website so all the dirty old men who chase underage girls can have a good laugh. What a degenerate.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions was in the hot seat today testifying before the House Judiciary Committee. Republicans wanted to know why the Justice Department hasn't investigated Hillary Clinton's scandals. And as for the Democrats, surprise, surprise, they spent their time focusing on Mr. Sessions past statements about meetings with, wait for it, Russians, and his private conversations with President Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF SESSIONS, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: You made statements that he did in fact at the meeting, I pushed back. I can't be put into a position where I can't explain. I'm not going to be able to answer if I can't answer it completely.
REP. TED LIEU, D-CALIF.: Did Donald Trump ever ask you to pledge an oath of loyalty to him?
LIEU: If Donald Trump were to ask you to pledge loyalty to him or take such an oath, would you do so?
SESSIONS: Well, I don't know what a pledge of loyalty oath is.
I met with the ambassador in my office with at least two of my staff, senior, respected patriots, colonels retired in the Army. And nothing improper occurred at all.
REP. ERIC SWALWELL, D-CALIF.: Once and for all can we answer the question?
SESSIONS: I am once and for all answering the question, Congressman. I don't understand why you won't take my answer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: Joining us now for reaction is a member of that House Judiciary Committee Andy Biggs, a Republican from Arizona. I also think about what I would do if I was a member of Congress and I had to be at these hearings, Congressman. But this kind of took the cake. Jeff Sessions is sitting there and every five seconds from a Democrat, you are basically lying, Attorney General Sessions. You really met with the Russians and you're really part of the collusion. Give us a sense inside that room today.
REP. ANDY BIGGS, R-ARLIZ.: You're exactly right. So it showed the stark difference between the Republicans who were trying to get the attorney general to do something, about a special counsel to investigate, and the Democrats who are fixated on trying to paint him as some kind of lying colluder with Russia with no evidence. It's just amazing to me.
INGRAHAM: And by the way, we invited Sheila Jackson Lee on, but apparently she was involved in a late night briefing on the tax reform bill so maybe they're going to come all along with you guys on tax reform.
BIGGS: It could happen.
INGRAHAM: We invited a bunch of other Democrats because we wanted to have both sides on the show tonight. So I have to say that. Let's talk about that flash point today, and we'll play the sound bite. This is Congressman Jim Jordan who was on with us last night. I think this was probably the most interesting moment at today's hearing. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JIM JORDAN, R-OHIO: If you're now just considering it, what's it going to take to get a special counsel? We know that former FBI Director James Comey misled the American people in the Summer of 2016 when he called it the Clinton investigation a matter. Obviously investigation.
SESSIONS: It would take a factual basis that meets the standards of the appointment of a special counsel.
JORDAN: That's what it looks like, and I'm asking you, doesn't that warrant in addition to all the things we know about James Comey in 2016, doesn't that warrant naming a second special counsel?
SESSIONS: Looks like is not enough basis to appoint a special counsel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: What's your sense here? Are you on the special counsel bandwagon on this, because there's an argument against special counsel that I find fairly persuasive?
BIGGS: In this case I am because you've got an attorney general who has kind of left it away. He's stepped away from it. We have to get to the bottom of this. We know that there's conflicts of interests, all of that A.G.'s office. So we need a special prosecutor, a special counsel in my opinion. I think Jim is right. We've been waiting for a long time. Yesterday we get the notice saying we're considering it after months of asking.
INGRAHAM: Don't you think that looks like a tit for tat. You've got the Mueller investigation of Trump. It looks like to some people that President Trump is pressuring Congress to do a special counsel to go after Hillary and Clinton Foundation, Uranium One. And Jeff Sessions really isn't recused from anything involving Hillary Clinton. He's recused himself from anything involving the Russian investigation. But I think he's well within his right in this case to appoint a terrific prosecutor with a great team of assistant prosecutors to do this job. And then you won't have this sprawling investigation that goes on and on forever, frankly wastes the taxpayers' dollars, and I don't think it's necessary in this case. Sessions can just appoint a great prosecutor and do the real investigation. Why do you need a whole merry band of prosecutors to waste our money?
BIGGS: I think you're right in the sense that Jeff Sessions could, but look at who his chief deputies are. You've gone Rod Rosenstein, and you've got Andrew McCabe still in that office influencing things. And I think walking away today, I think many of us said I don't know if Attorney General Sessions believes he has the authority or if he doesn't have the authority.
And that's why we kept coming back to the same questions. So we want to get this investigated. If it doesn't take one, fine.
INGRAHAM: Congressman, it's great to see you, as always.
BIGGS: Thank you.
INGRAHAM: And for more analysis let's bring in two top legal experts, from Columbia, South Carolina, Sol Wisenberg who was Ken Starr's deputy in the investigations into Bill Clinton's scandals. And here in Washington, Joe DiGenova, former U.S. attorney in Washington D.C. All right, gentlemen, take it away. Let's talk first about the idea of a special counsel. Andy McCarthy at "National Review" I think makes a compelling case with in this issue of Uranium One, the Clinton Foundation, Hillary's emails, that a well-respected prosecutor could actually handle this case well. Joe?
JOE DIGENOVA, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Yes, clearly this does not require a special counsel. I agree with Andy 100 percent. And there's ample predicate, factual information for an investigation right now for a grand jury based on the Clinton Foundation, the $500,000 to the president during the consideration of Uranium One, $145 million to the Clinton Foundation. Everything involving all of the things you've listed, especially the email server involving Mrs. Clinton. There is no doubt that the standard Justice Department criminal division can handle this. There's no need for a special counsel.
And by the way, what I found fascinating about the attorney general's answers today was he said when there is a sufficient factual predicate for a special counsel. Guess what? There is no factual predicate for Robert Mueller. There's been no crime ever announced that he was investigating. So to me, if you were going to do a special counsel you can do it if you want to. I would give it to the criminal division in main Justice and let them run with it. There's plenty of predicate, lots of information.
INGRAHAM: Sol, with all your experience with Ken Starr's investigation, you know how these things start. They start as one thing, they become something much bigger. In the case, we don't have an independent counsel now, the statute has expired, but we can still appoint special counsels. In this case, with all the questions now about how they are trying to influence and stop witnesses from testifying before Congress, the shady dealings with the bribery and kickbacks involved with that Uranium One, I mean, uranium, 20 percent to the Russians, I think anyone off the street would say that was a crazy idea.
SOLOMON WISENBERG, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Let's focus on whether or not a special counsel would be appropriate, and I disagree with Joe on this. I think, first of all, the special counsel regulation is relatively vague. It says if there's a conflict of interest or extraordinary circumstances.
Here you have President Trump who has repeatedly called for his Justice Department to investigate this issue, and we are just talking about Uranium One here. I'm not talking about Fusion GPS, because I think that's already within Mueller bailiwick. But President Trump has said you need to investigate, you need to investigate. So on the one hand, if Sessions says I'm going to find somebody within DOJ to do it, the Democrats are going to cry foul and say this is outrageous, you're doing this for political reasons.
On the other hand, if Sessions takes a look at it and says I don't think there's anything there, the people on the right are going to scream and say that's because Rod Rosenstein is involved and he was U.S. attorney in Maryland when some of this stuff took place.
So I think there are extraordinary circumstances. You can have a lot of the stuff of running around about the Uranium One investigation. We don't know if it's true or not true. I think you appoint an honest broker who is special counsel who is well respected. It's by no means automatic that they'll expand it. Senator Danforth didn't expand his investigation into Waco, he kept it very limited.
I understand what you're saying, I understand what Joe was saying, these investigations can get out of hand.
INGRAHAM: It goes for years. Lawrence Walsh, how long did that go, Sol, seven years?
WISENBERG: That's true, but here the president like he has in so many situations unfortunately, by opening his mouth has made things much more difficult for Jeff Sessions.
INGRAHAM: It's better for him to hang back. I agree with that. I think we all probably agree with that it's better for the president not to comment on ongoing investigations in general. Joe, do you agree was back?
DIGENOVA: Yes, that would be good. By the way, if Jeff Sessions wants to appoint a special counsel, it's OK with me. My point is very simple. The Uranium One, the Clinton Foundation, all the kickbacks require an investigation. There is now existing a sufficient predicate for a federal grand jury. There has been one for more than four years. I don't give who investigates it. It needs to be investigated.
INGRAHAM: Great to have you both on, Sol and Joe, thanks so much. When we come back, ICE agents are now up in arms. Why they say Obama era holdovers are causing havoc and even putting agents lives at risk, next.
INGRAHAM: Welcome back. In a surprising move, the union that represents ICE officers has launched a new website claiming that President Trump has, quote, betrayed them. The National ICE Council endorsed Donald Trump in the 2016 election, but the group is now upset that the Trump administration has been really slow to reverse the policies of the Obama years.
A post on the web site reads in part, quote, "While officers view the president's position on enforcement as courageous, the Trump administration has left all of the Obama managers and leadership in place. Tensions are on the rise between Trump's army and Obama holdovers."
So joining us now for reaction, from Orland David Ward, a board member of the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers, and here in Washington, Stephen Dinan, a reporter with The Washington Times who wrote about this today.
Stephen, this is odd, but it's something we've heard about in other departments. What is the percentage of Obama holdovers still working with Immigrations Customs Enforcement?
STEPHEN DINAN, THE WASHINGTON TIMES: So the ICE council didn't say the number, and they actually didn't even name names. They left it vague for now, but they went through a number of different issues. The website is actually fascinating. Not only does it give this sort of overall sense with the Obama holdovers, it gives it a whole bunch of different specific examples of where those are having an effect, including an incident in Philadelphia where an ICE officer who went into a very bad neighborhood in Philadelphia, we're told they had to remove their bulletproof vest to go make an arrest because it would offend the community where they were going into.
INGRAHAM: It offends them, David, it offends the ICE officers, does it not, when they get shot because they are not wearing a bulletproof vest for fear that it will offend I guess one of the illegal immigrants. What are we talking about here? This is insanity.
DAVID WARD, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FORMER BORDER PATROL OFFICERS: It is insanity. We've lost over 162 immigration agents killed in the line of duty. And for a manager to come up with an order such as that to take off their bulletproof vests because they are going into a neighborhood is absolutely insane. In fact that manager and those people involved in that should be removed from their office for incompetency.
INGRAHAM: And do we have any idea, David, how many Obama holdovers are clogging the administration here at the immigrations customs enforcement? The website is very fuzzy on this. We don't know how many. Is it 12, is it 500? What are we talking about?
WARD: The Trump administration has been in office for 11 months now, and the swamp is pretty big and it is vast within the federal government, so it's going to take time to weed out those that are sworn to their office as the oath that they took, those that have sworn to the globalism which brought us sanctuary cities and lack of enforcement of title eight. It's going to take a wild to weed those people out.
INGRAHAM: Stephen, let's talk about how the priorities of president Trump and Obama do differ. Whether you have the right people in place, that's infuriating, but I remember the ICE officers during Obama's two terms, the morale was horribly low because they wanted to do their jobs and they were held back.
DINAN: Yes, and there's no question, in fact I think there is not a single department and probably not a single agency other than ICE where there has been as big a change in the culture between the Obama administration and the Trump administration.
We actually did calculations. Under the Obama administration upwards of 80 percent of illegal immigrants were put out-of-bounds for deportation because of the priorities that the administration, the previous administration set out. Now the number is probably closer to only about a million, basically DACA recipients are the folks who are put completely out of bounds, and the rest of the 11 million illegal immigrants are at least potential targets for deportation.
It's made a huge difference for those ICE officers they've talked about. And they will admit, they are thrilled with that overall direction that they are getting from President Trump. The issue is the actual specific decisions such as the Philadelphia one we talked about, and there's a case out of Utah where they are told they have to give a heads up before they go into the community, in some cases seven days heads up before they go out to make arrests. Lo and behold, when they finally get there, the illegal immigrants they are targeting have been tipped off and have basically fled. So those are the sorts of specifics that they would like to get cleaned up. But they absolutely appreciate the difference in the top-down direction.
INGRAHAM: David, I remember a couple of years back when the border patrol, different from the ICE officers, but the border patrol under Obama were told that they couldn't shoot at a vehicle that was attempting to run them down. That was one of the other crazy things. And again, here they are, they don't make a lot of money. They are trying to do their job, it's very dangerous. And oftentimes they are in very remote areas. But in other cases they are being targeted by the illegal immigrants who are trying to get into the country, because they are all valedictorians, I know that, but they're trying to get into the country, and I guess these ICE officers have to jump out of the way and hope for the best.
WARD: Under the eight years of the previous administration, the immigration force became probably the most dysfunctional I've seen in 34 years in working for the agency enforcing immigration law.
When Trump came into office, the apprehension rate went up 37 percent in the first four months by these agents being allowed to do their jobs that they took an oath to do. And now we need to get the managers in there that are going to back these men up under the same guidelines by standing up for the oath that they took and follow the law. Title eight is very clear. Trump has been criticized about creating things when in fact he hasn't.
It's the immigration law that has been on the books from day one. The Democrats, the previous administration refused to go by it. Jeh Johnson was loath to even read the book let alone let the guys go out and do their jobs. So we have an administration now I would say that it's going to take time a little bit of time to clean out the swamp like we're trying to do. But another thing, he is faced with the obstruction of Congress and the Senate on getting his appointees into office.
INGRAHAM: Stephen, we are out of time on that, but he has to get his people in place. He's not going to eliminate all the positions. He has to get his people in place. He's being undercut, by the way, at that climate event --
INGRAHAM: Before we go tonight, a quick reminder, check out my new book "Billionaire at the Barricades," because I take you through the immigration wars of the past 25 years between the populists and the old establishment. And as you just heard in our previous blog, we are still fighting those same battles today, amazing.
That is it for us tonight. Shannon bream and the "Fox News @ Night" team takes things from here.
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