This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," December 20, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

DAN BONGINO, HOST: Back from home studio, in the bunker. Thanks a lot, Tucker. Great show as always.

All right. Welcome to this special edition of the "Hannity": Law and Order in America.

I'm Dan Bongino, in tonight again, for Sean.

As we speak, a plan to fund border security weighs in the balance. Congressional Democrats want borders. But President Trump remained steadfast in his commitment to build a wall on our southern border.

Joining us now with the very latest is our own Ed Henry -- Ed.

ED HENRY, CORRESPONDENT: Dan, great to see you.

This day started with Mark Meadows of the Freedom Caucus admitting to me on "Fox & Friends" that House Republicans fumbled the issue by not getting the money for the wall over the past two years. He suggested the party let President Trump down. He urged the commander in chief to hold firm.

Well, tonight, Meadows is saying that at a White House meeting that he had with other leaders, the president was serious about not folding without a fight. In part because remember, back in March, the president vowed he would never sign another one of the stopgap spending measures to kick the can down the road without new money for the wall. Conservatives like Rush Limbaugh have spent the last 24 hours telling the president, urging not to cave. Ann Coulter warning he will lose reelection if he does not stand and fight for a signature issue that fueled his victory in 2016.

Well, I can tell you as you noted, breaking tonight, House Republicans changing course to the president's direction. They passed a new bill with $5.7 billion he wants for the wall, plus $8 billion for hurricane and wildfire relief. Democrats are warning that bill cannot get through the Senate so we are likely headed for a shutdown. But remember, 75 percent of the government is funded already deep into 2019 including the military.

So, this would only be a partial shutdown and the president seems to be holding firm. Listen.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I give them a little bit of an out, steel slats. We don't use the word "wall" necessarily but it has to be something special to do the job. Steel slats. I've made my position very clear: any measure that funds the government must include border security. It has to. Not for political purposes, but for our country, for the safety of our community.

REP. STENY HOYER, D-MD.: There is not one person on the Republican side of the aisle that believes if they pass this bill that it will be accepted by the Senate. Not one of you!


HENRY: Democratic Steny Hoyer there. Chuck Schumer, another Democrat, charged the president is throwing the country into chaos over the wall fight, plus a shift in the Syria policy to remove U.S. troops that sparked Defense Secretary Jim Mattis' announcement late today he is resigning at the end of February.

Schumer noted that Mattis was also not thrilled about troops being sent to the southern border but Republican Steve Scalise said tonight the president waiting this wall battle shows he has made border security a top priority. He is putting Democrats on the record for what Scalise called open borders -- Dan.

BONGINO: Thanks a lot, Ed.

So, as we get closer and closer to government shutdown, President Trump is resolute. Today, he announced border security as a principle worth fighting for. Take a look.


TRUMP: Our nation has spent trillions of dollars and sacrificed thousands of brave young lives defending the borders of foreign nations. I am asking Congress to defend the border of our nation for a tiny fraction, tiny fraction of the cost.

In life, there are certain principles worth fighting for. Principles that are more important than politics, party, or personal convenience. The safety and security and sovereignty of the United States is the most important principle of all. If we don't stand strong for our national borders, then we cease to be a nation and we betray our commitment to the loyal citizens of our great country.


BONGINO: Now with President Trump determined to fund the board of all, what will happen next in Congress?

Joining us next from Capitol Hill are two lawmakers who want wall funding: House Freedom Caucus members, Georgia congressman, excuse me, Jody Hice, and from Virginia's fifth district, Tom Garrett.

Congressmen, thank you very much for joining us. I'll go to Congressman Hice first.

Congressman, I know the House Freedom Caucus is doing an excellent job fighting for principles out there and I admire your resolute stance on liberty, freedom, and immigration control and border wall funding. But what's going on with the establishment Republicans? Why are they fighting this? We've had the majority for a long time. From your perspective, what took so long to get this done?

REP. JODY HICE, R-GA.: Dan, I really don't have any idea as to why. Many of us have been calling for months and months and months. Let's deal with the issue, and we have the majority. The American people sent us here for this. The president is behind it. Let's go for it.

And for whatever reason, it's been stall after stall after stall. One CR after another after another, and at this point, there was a line drawn in the sand, we had enough and we are no longer taking it. You know, it reminds me, Dan, that down in the Alamo, there is a monument there but the monument is not there because they won the fight, it's there because they fought. And that really was a line that was drawn in the sand with us over the last 24 hours.

It's turned out to be an absolutely spectacular 24 hours both for the Freedom Caucus and for our conference as a whole, for the president, and for our country.

BONGINO: You know, Congressman Garrett, the Republican committee activists, people knocking on doors, doing the actual work, that are sweating in the summer, trying to get people in Congress on the Republican side elected, they've been disappointed before, repeatedly. Now, to their credit, the tax cut bill was excellent but the Obamacare failure and other things, I see this is a political redline and one of those moments where we absolutely have to stand up for something.

Do you feel the same way? Are you getting the same thing from your constituents?

REP. TOM GARRETT, R-VA.: You know, one of the reasons you are lucky you didn't win when you ran for Congress is it's disgusting to be in a town where people don't keep promises that they don't intend to keep. Some of us, Congressman Hice and myself, have not equivocated.

Let me be real clear: the cost of human lives, straight-line cost, of not protecting our border, would equal the casualties in the Korean War over a decade. Over 10 percent are drunk drivers here illegally. That's thousands of deaths a year, 4,000 murders per year.

If you then figure in illicit drugs that are coming in this country and kill our brothers and sisters and sons and daughters, and so, this is truly about protecting America. I am for a robust and healthy immigration plan. But this is ridiculous and flies in the face of a sovereign nation ought to do it. It's tragic that it had to be done this way.

BONGINO: Yes, I agree.

Congressman Hice, the exit question with you here. You know, the GOP loses, Republicans lose, when we don't advance our principles. I said this last night. Ironically, the Democrats lose when they advance theirs, right? Barack Obama did everything to decimate the Democratic Party and help Barack Obama.

What do you think is going to happen on the Senate side? I understand, we won't have the votes to overcome a filibuster, but are there enough moderate Democrats on the Senate side to get this pushed through? It's a reasonable bill.

HICE: Yes, is a reasonable bill and a great question. The truth of the matter -- we've already seen the Schumer shut down a few weeks. We are about to say the Schumer Senate shutdown again because we are sending him a reasonable bill that defends our borders, protects American citizens. I mean, who would not be in favor of that?

And $5 billion, when you compare that to $1.3 trillion that we have in our annual budget -- I mean, we are talking, like, a day, day and half of our budget to build this wall for security, and the truth of the matter is, the Senate did not vote on this bill that they sent us. They passed it by voice vote.

So, we don't know where the Senate is going to be on this. The reality is now that they are either going to fund this or they are going to shut down the government. And I just don't -- that's a tough choice for them to be on right now.

GARRETT: This $5.7 billion, Dan, is actually less than one day. It's about a half a day. And I'm tired of fixing the blame, let's start fixing the problem. We in the House should do our jobs, and if the clowns on the other side of the building want to fail, let them. But when we say, it won't get to the Senate, I just won't accept that.

BONGINO: Yes, Congressman Garrett, I like your style. I like you, too, Congressman Hice. Thanks for fight for us, guys. I appreciate it.

On his radio show earlier today, Rush Limbaugh reported that the president will veto any bill that does not include funding for our wall on the southern border. Watch this.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: So I get this direct message, you tell Rush that if there is no money in this, it's getting vetoed. There is no money for a wall, I am vetoing this, plain and simple. This was the message that I just got. And I trust it, and I believe it to be the case.


BONGINO: Joining us now with the reaction is formal Obama economic advisor Austan Goolsbee, national security analyst Morgan Ortagus, and Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz.

OK, Austan, I'll go to you first. You know I appreciate a good back and forth with you, you're always a gentleman.


BONGINO: We do. I tell the producers, oh, great, Austan is here tonight, it's going to make for a grade back and forth.

Austan, simple question. Do border walls work as a deterrent or not?

GOOLSBEE: No -- I mean, you got 60 percent of the people that come into the country illegally fly here, they come to an airport. I don't think that the wall works, no.

BONGINO: Of course, a plane is going to fly over a border wall. I think that's obvious. I think you know that, too. But visa overstays are a different issue.

I'm talking clearly right now about illegal border crossings on our southern border.

Just quickly, if you believe is a deterrent or not. Would you -- if you are going to cross the border --

GOOLSBEE: I don't think it's a deterrent.

BONGINO: So, you would rather cross a border where there is a wall rather than where there is no wall?

GOOLSBEE: No, what happens with the wall, as you know, they get a ladder that's one foot taller than --

BONGINO: But you would have to get a ladder.

GOOLSBEE: -- as they climb over it.

BONGINO: But you would need a ladder, so that's a deterrent. That's a deterrent.

GOOLSBEE: The question is, why did Donald Trump change his mind from 48 hours ago? The Congress people you had on have been resolute. It is the president who has not been resolute.

BONGINO: Well, I think the president is standing by now and I care about actions, not necessarily talk.

Morgan, let me go to you.


BONGINO: Morgan, again on this question, good to see you. We've seen the statistics and the data on border walls, where they have implemented strong border walls in Tucson and El Paso, any sectors, you've seen it illegal immigration dropped dramatically.


BONGINO: Where are the Democrats -- where they lost on this? I don't understand.

ORTAGUS: Well, listen, I think the president has been very clear since 2015. I don't think he's been ambiguous at all, that he wants to build a wall. I think what you have seen happen, though, the first two years of his presidency is really a failure from the top of Republican leadership in the Congress to get some of these things included that he told the American people.

And that's been a pattern of behavior that is so frustrated many Republican voters over the past ten years. It's not just immigration that has not been solved. Does anyone remember repeal and replace?

So, what happens is people campaign and win these elections based on promises and then when they aren't delivered, when they are punted, the Republican Party base, the president's supporters rightly get frustrated. So, the whole here -- this whole discussion is not even about a wall, Dan. The wall is a metaphor for, will the Republican Party, will the president keep their promises? Will they take these -- our immigration as a national security issue and take it seriously? That's really at the heart of the debate here, is people want to feel like what they are told, it will be followed up on, there will be action.

BONGINO: Yes. Well, on that note, Congressman Gaetz, I've always appreciated your candor. You are one of the most open members of Congress. You don't speak and focus group-tested terms, which I always enjoy.

But your take on this, I asked Congressmen Hice and Garrett before. What is going on with these establishment sellouts? I don't know any other way to say it. Did they not get the message?

Donald Trump ran on the wall, he was elected on the wall. This is a powerful issue that people want. Are they missing this message? Do they ever get on Twitter or talk to real people?

REP. MATT GAETZ, R-FLA.: This was a rare good day in the House of Representatives because we actually did what we said. We kept the government open. We funded the president's border security agenda and we provided important disaster relief for hurricane victims.

But you know what, Dan? This is not about the wall for Democrats. It's not even about immigration for Democrats. This is about denying president Trump a win on a signature and agenda item that he promised the American people.

Look, ten Democrats voted for the Department of Homeland Security package out of committee. You had Chuck Schumer talk about the fact that illegal immigration can drain our local governments. And so, this -- we all agree that if you allow illegal immigration to go unchecked, you sell out the American worker.

So I'm glad the Republican Congress and the president of the United States put Americans over illegal immigrants, put the rising wages of American workers come as their principal economic priority. If we continue to do what we say, I think we'll see a resurgence in enthusiasm for the agenda of the president that is working for the American people.

BONGINO: Yes, I agree.

Austan, going back to you. What is your primary objection to the wall? To the wall specifically, not visa overstays. That's a separate issue that requires a separate fix.

Is your primary objection the cost of it? Because I've never seen Democrats object to money ever. Is that triaging you're concerned? Is that number one?

GOOLSBEE: That's part. Look, I think it cost $25 billion and it doesn't work. It's why the majority of Americans, in the polls, stated they do not want the wall there.

Let us invest the $25 billion in border security, which we can do on a bipartisan basis, without building a wall that doesn't work. When you see the president over 48 hours change his mind, change his position, and to say that, oh, it's not going to be a wall, it's going to be an architecturally pleasing steel slats -- I mean, come on, what is he talking about?

BONGINO: Just one follow up on this, if it doesn't work, why are you so concerned? I don't understand. If it doesn't work, let the president try it.

GOOLSBEE: $25 billion?

BONGINO: Did you lodge these same objections to Obama's $9 trillion in debt? I'm curious.

GOOLSBEE: Yes. OK, as you know, most of that $9 trillion came over, left over from wars and unfunded tax cuts. Yes, I was part of advocating how we reduce the deficit, cut it in half by the end of Obama's first term. I was concerned.

BONGINO: I strongly object to -- dash "My Cousin Vinny" -- I strenuously object to the idea of border wall. It doesn't work.

But, Morgan, going back to you, yes, I strenuously object.

I don't -- the facts and data are here, conclusive. When you talk to experts, border security people down at the border, federal law enforcement, they are adamant that they need this. Shouldn't we take their word for it, other than the politicians on the Hill?

ORTAGUS: Well, I would always want to trust the professionals on the ground and I think one of the things that's been just the most disgusting part of this whole debate this year is the amount that our law enforcement at the border has been attacked. You know, we have seen the Democrat, mainstream people in the Democrat Party who are going to run for president, calling for the abolishment of ICE and for these jobs, when we really needed them the most.

Listen, the bottom line here is the president is the ultimate dealmaker and what he needs to do, now that it has been passed out of the House tonight, we have to take this back to the Senate, right, so we have the $5 billion passed in the House tonight. We need to get 60 votes in the Senate. So, the president needs to make a deal.

I don't know if this is going to be DACA. I don't know what its going to be to get those additional votes that he needs. But this is where we really need to see the dealmaker in chief come into play here to get this done.

BONGINO: By the way, strenuously object is "A Few Good Men." I'm really awful with these pop culture references. Austan, you should have objected me.

GOOLSBEE: "My Cousin Vinny" is one of my favorite movies.


BONGINO: Congressman Gaetz, if this leads to a shutdown, President Trump was successful on the last one in his messaging, he's been very successful in getting this out in black and white terms. It's about border security. Do you think he can win this again?

GAETZ: I think the president needs to assure the American people that when we begin 2019, the government will be open. But if he's got to ruin the vacation of every senator and every House member to make sure that we do our level best to fulfill this commitment, we got to rise above politics, Dan. This is about the security of our neighborhood. This is about whether or not we will be a nation of laws that respects the rule of law or whether we will be like elements of Europe where we become overrun because we don't respect our borders.

So, I think the president can win but I do think it's important in 2019 to not have an extended shutdown. I don't know what the Republican way out of that would be. But I think the president can make his point in the concluding days of 2018.

BONGINO: Austan, Morgan, Congressman Gaetz, you guys are great, ladies. Thank you so much. I really appreciated. Thanks for your time.

Up next, we'll break down all the dangers of illegal immigration, including a shocking new study about a horrific murder committed at the hands of a criminal illegal immigrant. Stay with us.


BONGINO: Welcome back to the special edition of "Hannity."

Today, President Trump spoke about the threats posed by an unprotected border. Take a look.


TRUMP: Without borders, we have the reign of chaos, crime, cartels, and believe it or not, coyotes. I will not surrender this nation to the whims of criminal organizations who prey on the vulnerable, who hurt women and children, and who spread human misery and suffering.

Every day, ten known or suspected terrorists try to gain entry into our country. Every day, 2,000 illegal aliens try to cross our borders. They try. We get most of them.

It's hard without a wall. Every year, 50,000 illegal children are smuggled by coyotes and criminals into our country.


BONGINO: Joining us now with the latest on immigration crisis and more is Trace Gallagher -- Trace.

TRACE GALLAGHER, CORRESPONDENT: Dan, police say on Monday morning alone, Gustavo Garcia-Ruiz carried out 11 crimes, including killing a stranger and shooting at others before he was killed in a high-speed police chase. Authorities think Garcia-Ruiz also killed another man a day earlier. Last week, Garcia-Ruiz was arrested in Central California for being under the influence of drugs.

When ICE learned he was in jail, they placed an immigration detainer on him, asking deputies to notify them before releasing him. But under SB 54, California's sanctuary law, because the suspect was not being held on a felony, law enforcement is prohibited from honoring ICE detainers. ICE says this, quote, is an unfortunate and extremely tragic example of how public safety is impacted with laws or policies limiting local law enforcement agency's ability to cooperate with ICE.

And here's the astounding part, Garcia-Ruiz is a known, convicted violent criminal, armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, repeatedly being deported, et cetera. But under SB 54, none of that can be used to notify immigration agents.

Here's the Tulare County sheriff. Watch.


TULARE COUNTY SHERIFF: That tool has been removed from our hands. Because of that, our county wasn't shot up by a violent criminal. It could have easily been prevented had we had the opportunity to reach out to our fellow counterparts.


GALLAGHER: In the meantime, late last week, the border patrol arrested five illegal immigrants near the Arizona border. They came from Mexico, Honduras, and El Salvador, and the border patrol now says one of them is a previously deported MS-13 gang member.

And, finally, under a new policy announced today, President Trump will no longer allow people seeking asylum at the U.S. border with Mexico to be released into the United States. They will not be forced to wait in Mexico throughout the process -- Dan.

BONGINO: Trace, thanks a lot.

Joining us now with reaction is syndicated radio talk show host Larry Elder and Democratic strategist and Fox News contributor Leslie Marshall.

Leslie, I'll start with you. Thanks for joining us tonight. In response to this story, do you have any objection to police fully cooperating with ICE in cases of misdemeanors and detainers with regard to this law? It's clear he was let go because it was a misdemeanor but he was in the country illegally.

What's your objection?

LESLIE MARSHALL, CONTRIBUTOR: Well, here in California, where both Larry and I reside, this is an issue where the majority of people that voted for Democrats to pass and have protective measures against the Hispanic community did not want this element in SB 54. If you look at the original legislation that was passed and how it was written, the changes that were made this past September, I would say that left and right in the state of California, we agreed that the police should be able to notify ICE when it is a violent individual.

Here was the problem, Dan, this is where we get into the gray area that is a problem with SB 54, in my opinion. One, he was held on a misdemeanor, not a felony, and, two, he does have a violent background. So it is a gray area that can be changed, as we saw changed back in September with SB 54.

To address this without making the Hispanic community fearful to cooperate with police, if we look at 2017, rape and domestic violence reporting was down. And I think many in law enforcement feel strongly that the Hispanic community is fearful that they would be deported if they cooperate.

We need to have that fine line addressed with SB 54. You don't need to get rid of it, you need to make the change, so law enforcement can have these violent offenders picked up by ICE and deported.

BONGINO: Leslie, one quick thing before I get to Larry. I don't understand. When you say the Hispanic community, we are not talking about the Hispanic community. We are talking about people here illegally. They are in the country in violation of the laws.

Why do they get a special pass because they committed a misdemeanor?

MARSHALL: Dan, there are people, there are people in California that are undocumented, they came here illegally, before you and I and even Larry were born. These people --

BONGINO: But they are here illegally, right?

MARSHALL: They've been here for generations!

BONGINO: But they are here illegally.

MARSHALL: Are you going to cough up the money to deport over 11 million people?

BONGINO: But they are here illegally, though, correct? We think we agree on that.


BONGINO: Larry, I'll go to your --

MARSHALL: If somebody came to the United States illegally, Dan, you don't want them to Cooperate with law enforcement because you want --

BONGINO: We're not talking -- but you are changing the argument.


BONGINO: Larry, I'll go to you, but I'm suggesting to you, Leslie, that although, yes. these crimes are limited, they are not -- not all people who come here legally or illegally are criminals. That 100 percent of them who come here illegally should not be here at all.

So, Larry, I'll go to you.

MARSHALL: The majority are not violent criminals.

BONGINO: I just said that.

LARRY ELDER, SALEM RADIO NATIONAL HOST/AM 870: No one is talking about -- no one is talking about mass deportations. The president campaigned on getting rid of bad hombres. Clearly, this guy is a bad hombre.

He's been deported before. He was a known violent offender. Not only does a sanctuary law require the person to be held on a felony, it requires an arrest warrant to be signed by a judge. It's also very time-consuming. And this sheriff said, had this bill a not been passed, he would have turned this person over to ICE and the crime spree would have never happened.

I don't know how this border security think him a left-right thing, became a Trump versus Pelosi-Schumer thing.

It ought to be a national security thing. We have a vested interest in making sure that people don't come to this country illegally, that they are not drains on our society, that they don't compete against jobs or unskilled workers living in the inner city, and put downward pressure on their wages.

Why this is a left-right thing is beyond me. Why we can't spend $25 billion for a wall when they spend $20 trillion since 1955 to fight the war on poverty, we are spending all this money on climate change, and what do they say? Well, if we err on the side of the worst will happen, we'll have a cleaner planet.

When we err on the side of paying $25 million for the law, the worst that will happen, it will deter a few people illegally. What is wrong with that? Why can't we agree on that?

BONGINO: Yes, Leslie -- I agree, Larry. What I don't get, Leslie, having a difficult time, while you don't only get a pass once if you break the law and come here illegally and violate our immigration laws. While you get a pass twice now that you've been convicted of just a misdemeanor or being held on a misdemeanor, while you get a pass.

Let me just say, I stipulate your point. The overwhelming majority of people who come here and break the law the first time do not go on to be, thankfully, criminals. But that's not the point, Leslie. A hundred percent should not be here. They already broke the law.

Why are they getting a pass again?

MARSHALL: But, again, Dan, you are saying 100 percent should not be here. OK, let me just agree with you on that. So what do you do?

That is where we are today. That is where the problem lies. I agree with Larry, it should not be a left or problem which is why you guys should be applauding Barack Obama when he was called --


MARSHALL: Right now, Dan, on this day, we have more undocumented --


BONGINO: Go ahead, Larry, respond. Go ahead, Larry.

MARSHALL: Wait a minute! Building the wall, if we do that that --


BONGINO: If we talk over each other, no one can hear anyone.

MARSHALL: Comprehensive immigration reform.

BONGINO: Larry go ahead.

ELDER: One more time, no one is talking about deporting 11 million people. By the n way, a Yale study puts the number at twice that, at almost 20 million people. No one's talking about doing that. We're talking about getting rid of, again what Donald Trump called bad hombres.

Clearly, this guy was a bad hombre, as was the person that killed Jamil Shah (ph), that was the person that killed Kate Steinle. We ought to be talking about doing something about all of this, and it ought not be an ideological deal.

BONGINO: Yes, Leslie, you asked me what do we do, it's ironic, what do we do. We get rid of this SB-54 law that's really ridiculous, that when you (inaudible), you get another pass. So now we agree.

Will you agree on the air, say Dan, we both agree this is a bad law, if you're arrested for a misdemeanor and you're here illegally, you need to be reported to ICE and set up for possible deportation, can we agree?

I'll take a yes.

MARSHALL: No, knock it off.

BONGINO: What do you mean? You just said, what do we do?

MARSHALL: By the way, it was Dan who asked me about all of the undocumented workers in this state; Larry, you weren't listening to the host. No, I said that is an element that needs to be changed and that Left and Right in the state of California agree on.

And by the way, going to you again, Larry, with your wall, the wall doesn't address it. We need comprehensive immigration reform. And by the way, Dan, if decades ago Left and Right our Congressional members slap the hands of the corporation's dangling the carrot of jobs and opportunity, we wouldn't have had people coming to this country for the opportunity and believing the streets were paved with gold.

BONGINO: Well Leslie, listen, my wife is a legal immigrant, came here legally, I get what you're saying here, but I don't understand you asked for solutions and I say well getting rid of this dopey law would be one of them. And then you say, well that's not really a solution; I'm kind of perplexed.

MARSHALL: No, because that doesn't address the majority of the people.

ELDER: We need to - Dan, we need to--

MARSHALL: You said the majority of the people that are here are not violent criminals.

ELDER: We need to get rid of the Welcome Mat we have here in California.

BONGINO: All right.

ELDER: We need to get rid of the Welcome Mat we have here in California.

MARSHALL: Immigration has been declining every year for a decade.

ELDER: An illegal alien can get--

MARSHALL: Illegal immigration has been declining every year for a decade.

BONGINO: All right, it's been a great debate, I love it.

ELDER: An illegal alien can get in-state tuition.

BONGINO: Thank you very much Larry, Leslie, you both were great, appreciate it. Coming up, we have a new report surrounding Hillary Clinton's bought and paid for dirty dossier that you do not want to miss, as this special edition of Hannity continues.


BONGINO: Welcome back to this special edition of Hannity Law and Order in America. Tonight, we're continuing to learn more about the infamous Trump dossier. As a new court filing says, it was an associate of the late John McCain who shared the unverified document with the news outlet BuzzFeed in 2016.

Also developing tonight, NBC News is reporting that Mueller could wrap up the probe as soon as mid-February and submit his report to Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, who's been cleared by the DOJ to oversee the Special Counsel.

Now, President Trump's pick for the AG job, William Barr sent a memo to the department earlier this year expressing deep concerns to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein about Muller's inquiry into alleged obstruction of justice by the President.

Despite this development, our own Catherine Herridge reports that Rosenstein is still not expected to appear before House lawmakers this session. Joining us now for reaction is author of the terrific book, The Russia Hoax, Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett, along with attorney David Schon and Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte.

Gregg, I'll go to you first on this Barr memo. You've read the memo, I've read the memo, it is a manifesto on how ridiculous it is to charge the President or even think about charging the President for obstruction of justice on what is essentially a personnel decision in the firing of Jim Comey.

I find it incredible that Democrats aren't celebrating this memo. Your opinion on it.

GREGG JARRETT, LEGAL ANALYST: Well you're right. This is the document, a meticulously well reasoned analysis of the law of obstruction of justice. It is not, as Chuck Schumer said today on the floor of the Senate, a reason for disqualification of Barr.

To the contrary, it's actually very good reason to confirm somebody like William Barr. And he lays out how the firing of James Comey is not obstruction of justice. The law is very specific on obstruction. I devoted an entire chapter in my book to it. It has to be a corrupt purpose that involves a lie, threat, bribe, concealing of evidence, destruction of documents or falsifying information.

The firing of James Comey is none of those things. Even Comey grudgingly admitted in his testimony before Congress, the President was entitled to fire him for a reason or no reason at all.

So, again, the media and Democrats that say, oh Barr must recuse himself or he's disqualified, frankly they don't know what they're talking about. They never read the recusal regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations.

BONGINO: David, I'll go to you next. Your legal opinion on this ridiculous obstruction charges, well I think you know where I stand, given how I set that up. But this seems utterly outrageous to me.

Jim Comey was up on Capitol Hill and was asked specifically if he felt he was obstructed in his investigation into Mike Flynn, and he said no. The President also, when he asked Jim Comey about the Mike Flynn case said, I hope this can go away, he said hope, he didn't say make this go away.

He in no way obstructed the investigation. How do we know that? Because General Flynn already took a plea. So, is this -- is there any legs to this obstruction thing, or is William Barr correct in his memo?

DAVID SCHOEN, CIVIL RIGHTS AND CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: William Barr is correct; it's absolutely outrageous. William Barr's memo ultimately is about Article 2 power of the President.

And the irony is the previous administration exercised probably the most robust power for the President that we've seen in decades. The idea that this should be a disqualifying factor is absolutely wrong and we don't want an Attorney General from Mars, who hasn't given serious thought to serious issues like this.

Let me say this, it's time for Mr. Barr or Mr. Whitaker to act appropriately under the regulations. Regulation of -- Special Counsel Regulation 600.7 gives them the authority and the obligation to demand an explanation for every inappropriate investigative or prosecutorial step the Special Counsel has taken.

It's time for them to get on board. The regulations contemplate a person who gives serious thought to reining in an outrageous Special Counsel. Mr. Whitaker and Mr. Barr need to do what Mr. Rosenstein has refused to do.

BONGINO: Congressman Goodlatte, with regard to Rod Rosenstein, he seems to be living in a government in and of himself. I don't know if he's some extra constitutional power, has been a member of the Justice League or whatever it may be, but Rod Rosenstein seems to just be telling you all to pound sand.

He doesn't want to go up on Capitol Hill, he doesn't want to talk, is anything going to be done? I mean common sense people say, if I did this in my job, I'd be fired.

REP. BOB GOODLATTE, R-VA.: Well, I hope that he has a short shelf life, because I would think that the new Attorney General would insist on having a new Deputy Attorney General.

We have wanted to speak to Mr. Rosenstein regarding this meeting that took place shortly before the Special Counsel was appointed. We wanted to talk to him about his involvement late in the FISA warrant process, with regard to Carter Page and a few other matters. We had it set up in early October.

It didn't suit everyone on Capitol Hill and the timing in terms of the amount of time available to ask the dozens of pages of questions we had for him didn't work. It fell apart. We've tried ever since to get him back.

I would suggest that at this point, it's something for Lindsey Graham, the new Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to take up and certainly should be something that the Inspector General of the Justice Department takes up with him, because he is right now looking into the whole issue surrounding the Carter Page FISA warrant application.

That actually should be expanded to cover a number of other things regarding the so-called Russia investigation.

BONGINO: You know Gregg, what I find ironic about Rosenstein, is there a more conflicted character in this tragic play? He signs the fourth FISA, after this thing has been widely debunked. Not only that, he is the prosecuting United States attorney on the Uranium One case, which has obviously been a political hot potato. How has he seemed to avoid all of this? I mean he's a central figure in this entire scandal.

JARRETT: The Code of Federal Regulations that governs Rod Rosenstein and others involved in this, it's very specific, it says if you have a personal or political involvement in a case or with somebody else involved in the case, you must disqualify yourself. It's not maybe or gee I might, it's mandatory.

Rosenstein has ignored the regulations and the code of professional responsibility with impunity. This is a guy who's been interviewed by Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel, as a key witness in the case. And yet, Rosenstein presides over the case?

This is the ultimate conflict of interest. And instead of accusing William Barr or Matt Whitaker of a conflict of interest, let's all take a look at Rod Rosenstein. He should have been kicked off of this case from the beginning.

BONGINO: It's amazing, everybody wants recusal, except for Rosenstein.


BONGINO: All right, gentlemen, thanks a lot for joining me, I really appreciate it. After the break, one Democratic Congressman had a Christmas theme, yes Christmas theme meltdown, on Capitol Hill. We will show you the tape, you don't want to miss it, stay with us.


BONGINO: Welcome back to a special edition of Hannity Law and Order in America. The Trump administration is hard at work, trying to secure the border today.

DHS Secretary Nielsen announced a deal with Mexico to overhaul the asylum process and combat catch and release. Secretary Nielsen was on Capitol Hill today to discuss the agreement, where she was confronted by Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez. You won't believe what he had to say.


REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ, D-ILL.: There is one thing that this administration has done better than any other administration in American history, and that is a lie. It is repugnant to me and astonishing to me that during Christmas, I have to call them the holiday seasons to be inclusive, but during Christmas, because the majority always wants to just call it Christmas. During Christmas, a time in which we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, a Jesus Christ who had to flee for his life with Mary and Joseph, thank God there wasn't a wall that stopped him from seeking refuge in Egypt. Thank God that wall wasn't there and thank God there wasn't an administration like this or he would have too have perished.


BONGINO: Well, how do you even respond to that. Here to discuss this and more, Campus Reform Editor-in-Chief Lawrence Jones, the author of the best- selling book Jesus is Risen, attorney David Limbaugh, who full disclosure has done some legal work for me, and former federal attorney Emily Compagno. Thanks all for joining us.

Lawrence, I will go to you first. You notice how he had to get the PC talking point in there too? Christmas, it's the holiday season too for all the PC folks out there. But isn't this just another disingenuous argument by a liberal Democrat? They cite religion when it is convenient, yet when it comes to social issues, they'll attack you endlessly.

LAWRENCE JONES, CAMPUS REFORM'S EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: They never loved Jesus until it's time to make some political argument. You know, the interesting thing about this is that none of these people are advocating for life from conception.

All these abortions that take place, they get thousands and thousands of dollars for planned parenthood to make sure there is laws to protect and has completely decimated my community. And by the way, the story of Jesus, he died for our sins. That is the story about Jesus, he was born to - for our sins, you know, and to go into cross for that.

BONGINO: Yes, the Congressman missed a few details about that.

JONES: Yes, he doesn't really - exactly. So, obviously he doesn't read the Bible, he is only using it for his political agenda.

BONGINO: Well, David, no better person to have on given your book, but you know what I find incredibly disingenuous about this as well, not just the use of religion conveniently for Democrats, it's also the compassion angle he thinks he's trying to take, while he ignores the fact that the United States has been the most generous country on Earth.

When it comes to legal immigrants, we just ask that you come here legally; this is entirely disingenuous.

DAVID LIMBAUGH, JESUS IS RISEN AUTHOR: This is such demagoguery, Dan. Did you see the stunning disrespect he showed for Secretary Nielsen.

BONGINO: Yes, walked out.

LIMBAUGH: I've never seen -- liberals are supposed to respect women. He called a liar, he called her remorseless, and we walked out right after he'd asked a question, when she started talking.

He talks about her being a liar because she supposedly said that we don't separate children. Well, we don't. That's not the policy. The policy is to enforce the law and he knows that. This is pure liberal demagoguery and propaganda. And their purpose is to demonize Republicans as racists and as heartless, and it's shameless what they are doing.

BONGINO: Emily, I don't know if you saw that, but it was unbelievably disrespectful. The Congressman, while DHS Secretary Nielsen was talking, gets up and leaves. David, you pointed out, it was really grotesque to watch.

But Emily, from your perspective, being an attorney, this policy, this so- called separation of children policy, because it's not a policy, it's actually a 2015 policy; the Flores consent decree. This is not new to Donald Trump. We cannot hold these children in detention for I believe it to be more than 20 days. I don't even understand what they are suggesting.

What are these suggesting, we detain children for more than 20 days, have you heard any serious proposals to combat this from the Democrats?

EMILY COMPAGNO, FORMER FEDERAL ATTORNEY: No, exactly, and that's why I have such an issue with this. Frankly, it's the tip of the iceberg. My issue with Rep Gutierrez, who has been wasting our taxpayer dollars for 25 years that he has served in Congress.

So, during that time, not only does he clearly not know the law, as you just said, but he's taken no steps to articulate it or to afford specificity for our citizens or those seeking asylum. And he's grandstanding in front of Secretary Nielsen and he said, those who are fearing for their lives nebulously or from sickness, which obviously has no part in a discussion on the actual laws.

I want to point out for viewers as well that this winter, in those 25 years, sponsored only four bills that were enacted, two of which had to do with naming a post office and one had to do with minting a coin.

He was officially reproved by the House Committee on Ethics for mismanaging funds and arrested outside of Congress this year, and that is also just the tip of the heap. So, I do want to point out that it's a good thing that he is retiring and I wish him well. But hopefully moving forward, we have actual legislators there that are earning their taxpayer dollars that we are paying for their salary, so that moving forward, our immigration and border security stance will be clear.

JONES: Or just take the President's deal. I mean, a lot of these people, they complain about the President being anti-immigrants. But the President offered them a deal on (inaudible), just gave them border security. But they are not interested in this.

The Democrats want open borders, and that's simply put. Look, I'm a reasonable person, I'm a libertarian, and I believe in some type of immigration reform. But, we got to secure the border, we can't make the mistakes that Ronald Reagan made and had -- he put the cart before the horse. He did - we've done this before, we've given amnesty and then they said they were going to give us border security, and that didn't happen. That was a grave mistake.

BONGINO: Yes. David, are the Democrats going to propose anything on immigration outside of these ridiculous compassion arguments? Again, we've taken in immigrants, and I wonder as well, where is the compassion for the American taxpayer.

We have people in this country who work very hard and a class of legal immigrants who worked hard to come here. Where is the respect for people who waited in line? I guess, my wife being one of them, who came to the country legally.

LIMBAUGH: They do not, as Lawrence said, they are for open borders, they do not want to enforce the wall, or enforce the border. They oppose the wall. They always pretend that they will promise that they'll give us border security, if we give them amnesty and DACA (ph) and that kind of thing, and they always breach their promise.

Republicans have got to realize, you can't compromise with people like this, except on certain issues like the criminal reform -- prison reform bill. But on immigration, no. They want to get as many Democratic voters across the border and turn the entire United States into California, where we don't have assimilation, we don't have people that come in, adopting our -- and embracing our civic way of life and our constitution, and that will spell the death of this country as founded.

BONGINO: Lawrence, David, Emily, thanks a lot. More of this special edition of Hannity right after the break. Nancy Pelosi, singing and dancing, we have the video, you are not going to want to miss this one.


BONGINO: All right, welcome back to this special edition of Hannity Law and Order in America. Nancy Pelosi seems to be getting excited about her new leadership position. Last night, she was caught on camera singing and dancing at a D.C. bar. Check this out.


She's got some moves.


All right, that's all the time we have left this evening. Before you go, Christmas is less than a week away, so if you are looking for the perfect last minute gift, make sure to check out my new book, Spygate: The Attempted Sabotage of Donald J. Trump.

As always, thank you for being with us tonight. Laura Ingraham is up next. Laura?

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