Ted Cruz Tells FBI Director James Comey Your Answers Are Puzzling
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[Ted Cruz Tells FBI Director James Comey Your Answers Are Puzzling]
[Ted Cruz:] Source: LYBIO.net
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Director Comey, welcome, thank you for your service, thank you for your testimony. You know, I have to say I found your answer to – to Senator Kennedy a few minutes ago puzzling. In that you describe the reason why the case was closed against Ms. Abedin as that you could not determine she was aware her conduct was unlawful.
And the reason that answer is puzzling is – is you’re a very accomplished lawyer and as you’re well aware every first-year law student learns in criminal law that ignorance of the law is no excuse and that mens rea does not require knowledge that conduct is unlawful.
And in fact, the governing statutes 18 USC 790(3)(f) and 18 USC 798(f) – 798(a) have no requirement of a knowledge of unlawful. 798(a) provides whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person classified information shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 10 years or both.
Under the terms of that statute, the fact pattern you described in this hearing seems to fit that statute directly, in that – if I understand you correctly – you said Ms. Abedin forwarded hundreds or thousands of classified e-mails to her husband on a non-government, non-classified computer. How is… how does that conduct not directly violate that statute?
First, Senator, if I said that I misspoke. She forwarded hundreds and thousands of e-mails, some of which contain classified information. In the – for generations – generations I think is a fair way to say it – The Department of Justice has understood that statute to require in practice – and I believe they think in law – to require a general sense of criminal intent.
That is not a specific intent, but a general criminal intent and a sense – a knowledge that what you’re doing is unlawful, not violating a particular statute but some general criminal mens rea. I can’t find a case that’s been brought in the last 50 years based on negligence, based on – without some showing or indicia of intent.
You and I have both worked in a number of jobs that require dealing with classified information. And on its face, anyone dealing with classified information should know that that conduct is impermissible. Let me ask you, how would you handle an FBI agent who forwarded thousands of classified e-mails to his or her spouse on a non-government computer?
Well, there would be significant administrative discipline. I’m highly confident they wouldn’t be prosecuted. I’m also highly confident there would be discipline.
All right, let’s — let’s shift to another topic. In the previous Congress, I chaired a hearing on – on the willful blindness of the Obama administration to radical Islamic terrorism, where testimony from a whistleblower at the Department Homeland security that described a purge DHS had – had undergone of editing or deleting over eight-hundred records at DHS to remove references to radical Islam, to the Muslim Brotherhood. And the purge indeed was the word used by the White House that directed DHS to conduct that purge. Um… we obviously have a new administration now, a new White House, a new Attorney General. Has the approach of the FBI to radical Islamic terrorism changed in any respect with the new administration?
Not that I’m aware of, no.
Let me ask you about one specific terror attack, which is on May 15th, on – in May of 2015, the terrorist attack in Garland Texas, where two terrorists opened fire on a peaceful gathering and thankfully no innocent people were killed, thanks to the heroic action of Garland police officer Greg Steven’s who fatally shot the two terrorists.
But a security officer was shot in the leg and it could have been much much worse. At the time of the incident, you stated publicly that the FBI did not know that the terrorists were on their way to the event and that, or that they planned on attacking the event.
Recently there have been media reports suggesting otherwise. Specifically media reports that have stated that an undercover FBI agent was in close communication with the two terrorists in the weeks leading up to the attack, explicitly discussed plans for the attack and was in a car directly behind the two terrorists outside the event and took photos of the terrorists moment before the attack, but then left the scene when the shooting began and that that agent was detained by the garland police. Are those media reports correct?
[James Comey:] Source: LYBIO.net
No. I stand by what I said originally. I can’t go into the details of it here, because they’re classified, but I think a fair thing to say is the media reports are highly misleading. And in a classified setting I could explain to you how.
OK. I would appreciate you or your designee sharing those in a classified setting so that…
I’ll get you that.
So that I can learn more of what occurred. This committee has had substantial focus also on the practice of the previous IRS of targeting citizens and citizen groups based on their political speech, political views and perceived political opposition to president Obama. And the previous Department of Justice both Attorneys General Holder and Lynch in my view stonewalled that investigation. Is the FBI currently investigating the FBI’s – rather the IRS’s unlawful targeting of citizens for exercising political speech?
I think you’re referring to the original – the investigation focusing on particularly groups allegedly associated with tea party.
We completed that investigation and the Department declined prosecution. We worked very hard on it, put a lot of people on it, could make what we thought was a case, and to my knowledge it has not been reopened.
So that did the FBI recommend prosecution? You said he could make the case?
Now we couldn’t prove – again the challenge is of intent. We couldn’t prove that anybody was targeting these folks because they were conservatives or associated with the tea party. We worked very hard to see if we could make that case, we couldn’t get there.
[Chuck Grassley:] Source: L Y B I O . N E T
Ted Cruz Tells FBI Director James Comey Your Answers Are Puzzling. You could not determine she was aware her conduct was unlawful. Complete Full Transcript, Dialogue, Remarks, Saying, Quotes, Words And Text.