(House of Representatives - April 16, 2018)

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[Pages H3332-H3338]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of 
January 3, 2017, the gentleman from New York (Mr. Zeldin) is recognized 
for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader.

                             General Leave

  Mr. ZELDIN. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may 
have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and 
include extraneous material on the topic of this Special Order.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from New York?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. ZELDIN. Mr. Speaker, I am here tonight to speak out on the urgent 
need for the appointment of a second special counsel in light of 
evidence that raises serious concerns about decisions, activities, and 
inherent bias displayed at the highest levels of the Department of 
Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation with regard to FISA abuse, 
how and why the Hillary Clinton email probe ended, and how and why the 
Donald Trump Russia probe began.
  The concerns of the American public are serious, and the issues 
requiring an immediate, unbiased, independent, and thorough 
investigation are broad.
  Mr. Speaker, the DOJ and FBI cannot be expected to investigate 
themselves. I acknowledge, with immense gratitude, that nearly every 
single man and woman in the DOJ and FBI conducts themselves daily with 
integrity, independence, patriotism, objectivity, and commitment to the 
rule of law. A special counsel is of the utmost importance to ensure 
that these historic, legendary, and necessary agencies move forward 
more respected and effective than ever before.
  Tonight I am joined by my colleagues from across this country, and we 
will hear from each and every one of them. Following these speakers, I 
will be going into much greater detail on the many specifics on why the 
Attorney General must immediately appoint a second special counsel to 
conduct a thorough and independent investigation of our significant 
  Without any further ado, I yield to the gentleman from Florida (Mr. 
Gaetz) who has been a leader in this cause to fight for justice and 
equality under the law.
  Mr. GAETZ. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from New York for 
yielding, and also for leading on the great question of whether or not 
we should have a second special counsel to evaluate the misconduct of 
the FBI and the Department of Justice in pursuing unfounded and 
inappropriate warrants to spy on a member of the Trump transition team 
without due process and without proper protocol.
  One of the reasons I join the gentleman from New York in this call is 
that, currently, the person making critical decisions regarding Hillary 
Clinton and Donald Trump and this narrative regarding Russia is Rod 
Rosenstein; and I believe Mr. Rosenstein has a series of conflicts of 
interest, each of which would independently disqualify him from 
overseeing this review; and yet, he continues. That is troubling to me, 
and it is one of the reasons why we need to have a second special 
  In fact, it was Mr. Rosenstein who signed a FISA warrant renewal to 
spy on Carter Page. He did this, even though the FBI and Department of 
Justice knew that Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier that 
was the principal basis for that warrant had been deemed uncredible and 
had said things that were not true to the FBI.
  Mr. Rosenstein also signed pleadings seeking to silence a witness who 
may have had information regarding the sale of uranium to Russians. Mr. 
Rosenstein took no real action against Bruce Ohr, a senior official at 
the Department of Justice, even though Mr. Ohr failed to report the 
facts that his wife was moonlighting as a researcher to dig up dirt on 
Donald Trump and then commingle that dirt with lies told by Russians 
and folks from Hillary Clinton's campaign and the DNC.

  Mr. Rosenstein allowed Bob Mueller to pick a biased team, people who 
had gone to Hillary Clinton's election night party, people who had 
represented the Clinton Foundation when they had been accused of not 
producing public documents. Mr. Rosenstein could have stepped in. He 
could have demanded a higher standard in the assembly of that team, but 
he didn't.
  Mr. Rosenstein wrote a secret memo to expand the scope of the Russia 
investigation. He approved the raid on

[[Page H3333]]

Mr. Trump's personal lawyer. He took no action on criminal referrals 
well laid out by Senators Grassley and Graham, Mr. DeSantis and others, 
indicating that Christopher Steele and Glenn Simpson had lied to the 
FBI and potentially had failed to register as agents of a foreign 
government as they were seeking to lobby for changes to the Magnitsky 
  But when Mr. Rosenstein's own action was questioned, when his own 
propriety, when his own integrity was called to bear as a consequence 
of his participation in the illegal spying by our government on 
American citizens, well, he didn't go seek the same special counsel 
remedy that he sought to go after Mr. Trump. He went and picked his own 
employees to investigate himself.
  I agree with the gentleman from New York (Mr. Zeldin), that that is a 
standard that erodes our trust in the rule of law. When you have got 
one set of rules for the Clintons and the FBI and the deep state and 
another set of rules for anyone that has had anything to do with Mr. 
Trump, we deprive ourselves of the ability to find the facts, and to 
ensure that people who have truly broken the law are held accountable.
  I support Mr. Zeldin's call for a second special counsel. I would 
note that this is an organic call from the membership of this body. It 
began with several members of the Judiciary Committee in July. Under 
Mr. Zeldin's leadership, we have had a number of Republican colleagues 
sign on, including the majority leader of the House and the whip of the 
House. So we invite and encourage our leadership to continue to support 
these efforts so that we can restore the rule of law in this country.
  Mr. ZELDIN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Florida, as he 
pointed out, and our next speaker signed as well at the end of 
February, February 28, a letter signed by over a dozen of our 
colleagues to AG Sessions calling for the appointment of a second 
special counsel.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentlewoman from New York (Ms. Tenney).
  Ms. TENNEY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from New York (Mr. 
Zeldin) for hosting tonight's really important Special Order.
  I might just add, as a side note, that Mr. Zeldin and I are very 
aware of corruption firsthand; I, as a former member of the Assembly, 
and him as a former member of the New York State Senate. Today is 
actually the day of former speaker Sheldon Silver's second trial. He is 
being tried for corruption in New York, so we know what it is like to 
fight the good fight on that.
  But I want to just highlight why it is so important and why I agreed 
to sign on to Mr. Zeldin's letter appointing a second special counsel. 
Recent evidence has emerged raising serious concerns about decisions 
and activities at the Department of Justice, the DOJ, and the FBI 
regarding FISA abuse.
  I keep saying FISA, but for everyone, so they should know, it is the 
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and it is why the Clinton probe 
ended and why the Trump Russia probe began. It appears that, for 
political gain, key Federal employees at the FBI and the Department of 
Justice deliberately misled our FISA courts and pursued a partisan 
political agenda.
  The FISA memo detailing these abuses of power stated: ``Top Obama 
administration officials knowingly used unverified information paid for 
by the Hillary Clinton campaign, some of which came from Russian 
intelligence, in a secret court document to justify a 
counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign during the 2016 
Presidential election. This corrupt process was later the basis for a 
campaign to sabotage the incoming Trump administration and to fuel a 
witch hunt against the President.''
  The American people deserve to know if our government is misusing 
powerful surveillance methods to exact political revenge, especially if 
it is before a FISA court. This behavior by those entrusted to 
impartially serve the public threatens to the core the integrity and 
vibrancy of our constitutional republic.
  The American people are starting to get it. A recent Harvard CAPS-
Harris Poll survey concluded that 67 percent of Americans support a 
second special counsel; 75 percent of those are Republicans, 60 percent 
are Democrats, and 69 percent are independents. This is a significant 
majority of Americans ranging from all sides of the political spectrum.
  Tonight, Mr. Speaker, I stand alongside my distinguished colleagues 
to encourage Attorney General Jeff Sessions to appoint a second special 
counsel. Simply appointing Attorney John Huber to lead an internal 
Justice Department review of Special Counsel Robert Mueller is a step 
in the right direction, but I don't believe it is far enough.
  The American people deserve nothing less than full transparency. 
Working alongside congressional leaders, I will continue to fight to 
ensure these serious matters are investigated, and encourage 
investigations where necessary to restore the public trust.
  We must demand accountability across the board. It is the only way we 
are going to restore public trust in our institutions of government and 
to restore the rule of law and order in our communities.
  I thank the gentleman for his leadership on this issue as a member of 
the Financial Services Committee, but also, importantly, as a member of 
the Foreign Affairs Committee, and also serving honorably as a 
distinguished member of our Armed Forces in the Army.

  Mr. ZELDIN. Mr. Speaker, I thank Blue Star Mom Claudia Tenney for 
being here and for her leadership on this important cause as well.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank all of my distinguished colleagues who we have 
heard from, and additional colleagues who will be out here shortly. We 
are laying out the very important case here tonight why a second 
special counsel is needed with regard to misconduct at the highest 
levels of the DOJ and FBI related to FISA abuse; how and why the 
Hillary Clinton email probe ended; how and why the Trump Russia probe 
  Mr. Speaker, we cannot expect the DOJ and FBI to fully investigate 
themselves. I have a great amount of respect for everyone at the 
Justice Department who has served and continues to serve for all of the 
right reasons, as I mentioned earlier, integrity, independence, 
patriotism, objectivity, and commitment to the rule of law.
  A special counsel can ensure transparency and accountability so that 
these historic, legendary, and necessary agencies can move forward with 
their important mission better than ever before.
  The list of concerns that warrant an immediate and independent 
investigation is long and growing by the day. First, tonight I will 
discuss the misconduct with regard to how and why the Hillary Clinton 
email probe ended. Next, we will cover FISA abuse. And finally, we will 
discuss the manner in which the Trump-Russia probe began, was extended, 
continued, and became a special counsel probe.
  But before discussing each of these topics individually, it is 
important to address the political bias that has existed among 
individuals at the highest levels of the DOJ and FBI. First, there was 
FBI Agent Peter Strzok, who was the chief of the FBI's counter-
espionage section.
  Additionally, there was Agent Strzok's mistress, FBI counsel Lisa 
Page. Aside from the fact that they were in love, it is important to 
note that these two individuals exchanged many texts detailing their 
personal biases, overcoming their better judgment in performance of 
their duties.
  Text messages exchanged between Strzok and Page during the period of 
August 16, 2015, to May 17, 2017, show substantial evidence of 
politicizing Federal law enforcement and improperly handling 
investigations within the agency. The texts contain egregious evidence 
of bias against President Trump, before and after the November 2016 
  Page would write: ``Trump should go F--- himself.'' Strzok would 
text: ``F--- Trump.'' Now, that is barely even starting to scratch the 
surface with those two.
  It is also worth noting that their texts, for some reason, were not 
stored within the FBI archives system, an egregious oversight blamed on 
a technical glitch. And even after these messages were partially 
recovered by the agency's inspector general in 2018, many unanswered 
questions remain regarding impropriety and bias.

[[Page H3334]]

  Then there was DOJ senior official Bruce Ohr, fourth in command at 
the agency. While the DOJ and FBI were improperly submitting FISA 
applications based on Fusion GPS' work on behalf of the DNC and Hillary 
Clinton campaign, it was never disclosed that Bruce Ohr's wife worked 
at Fusion GPS, and that he served as the middleman between Christopher 
Steele and the Justice Department.
  Then there was FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, whose wife, Dr. 
Jill McCabe, was running for Virginia State Senate, and received 
$675,000 in donations from the Virginia Democratic Party and Common 
Good VA, the leadership PAC controlled by Democratic Virginia Governor 
Terry McAuliffe, a long-time Clinton associate.
  These are just a few of the many highlights of partisan bias at the 
highest levels of DOJ and FBI. That list, and the evidence, runs much, 
much deeper.

                              {time}  1945

  The Hillary Clinton email probe:
  While these various rogue agents were busy trying to obstruct Donald 
Trump from day one, they were failing to properly complete their 
investigation into the Hillary Clinton email controversy.
  During her tenure as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton violated 
Federal law and State Department rules, regulations, and protocol by 
using a private email server in her Chappaqua, New York, home. She 
would transmit emails that contained sensitive information or 
classified material on this unsecured server. This use of a private 
server was meant to blatantly get around FOIA and to avoid having to 
turn over incriminating emails in the case of a subpoena.
  Her plan proved to be partially successful when various sensitive 
emails subject to grand jury and congressional subpoenas were destroyed 
through bleach biting and the destruction of hardware before they could 
be obtained by investigators.
  The FBI, led by then-Director James Comey, began an incomplete 
investigation into this serious issue. And according to transcripts 
obtained by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Comey was prepared to 
exonerate Secretary Clinton as early as April or May of 2016 when he 
began to draft a statement announcing the end of his investigation 
before up to 17 key witnesses, including former Secretary Clinton 
herself and several of her closest aides, were even interviewed.
  Cheryl Mills, who served as counselor and chief of staff to Hillary 
Clinton during her whole tenure as United States Secretary of State, 
was offered immunity from prosecution by the FBI during its 
investigation in exchange for access to her laptop that contained many 
of the questionable emails.
  And after watching President Trump's personal attorney last week get 
a no-knock raid of his home and office, that is especially troubling 
how the scales of justice are just not equal under the law. That is a 
big problem.
  Back to Comey, now he contradicted those transcripts I mentioned when 
he stated during sworn testimony before the House Judiciary Committee 
on September 28 of 2016 that he made the decision not to recommend 
criminal charges for Hillary Clinton after she was interviewed by the 
FBI on July 2, 2016. That was a flat-out lie under oath.
  Former Director Comey, in the final draft of his statement, allowed 
Peter Strzok to replace ``grossly negligent,'' which is legally 
punishable under Federal law, with ``extremely careless,'' which is not 
legally punishable under Federal law.
  Federal law states that gross negligence in handling our Nation's 
intelligence can be punished criminally with prison time and/or fines.
  And then there was the infamous tarmac meeting on June 27, 2016, just 
days before Hillary Clinton would end up being exonerated. Attorney 
General Loretta Lynch had a covert meeting with Hillary Clinton's 
husband, former President Bill Clinton, aboard AG Lynch's plane on the 
tarmac in Phoenix, Arizona. The likelihood of this conversation being 
just small talk was zero.
  And let's not forget that it was AG Lynch who insisted that the 
Hillary Clinton email probe not even be called an investigation. 
Instead, she insisted it be called a matter, as if the Clinton campaign 
were driving the bus of the investigation and calling the shots.
  Soon after, Comey violated DOJ rules and unilaterally exonerated 
then-Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in a public statement to 
the media. One day later, on July 6, 2016, an announcement followed 
from AG Lynch that the DOJ investigation into then-Presidential 
candidate Hillary Clinton would be formally closed, with no criminal 
  This seemingly endless trail of crimes and misconduct relating to 
Hillary Clinton's emails did not end there. In September 2016, the FBI, 
during an examination of the personal laptop of former Congressman 
Anthony Weiner, as part of an unrelated investigation into him sending 
sexually explicit messages to a teenage girl, discovered previously 
unexamined State Department classified emails belonging to his spouse, 
top Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
  The man within the FBI tasked with examining these additional emails 
was--guess who--FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, whose wife was then 
in the midst of a Virginia State senate campaign generously supported 
by Clinton operatives and Clinton-allied money.
  It then took until October 28 of 2016 for Comey to announce, via a 
letter to the chairmen of the relevant congressional committees, that 
he was reopening the investigation, an additional egregious delay after 
McCabe failed to even examine the illicit emails for at least 3 weeks 
after the FBI discovered them on Anthony Weiner's computer.
  The DOJ's inspector general is still conducting an investigation into 
whether then-FBI Deputy Director McCabe and other FBI officials sought 
to purposely delay the release of these illicit emails for politically 
motivated purposes.
  Hillary Clinton's privileged status her whole career, and especially 
during the Obama administration, as above the law doesn't end with her 
legal misuse of classified emails.
  Throughout the Obama administration, while she was serving as 
Secretary of State, and later as she was running for President, the 
Department of Justice also failed to fully investigate serious concerns 
surrounding the connection between her, her husband, and the Clinton 
Foundation to Russian-controlled company Uranium One, which received 
State Department approval to purchase American uranium mines in 2010.
  Also in 2010, while Russian state interests were working to both 
acquire a majority stake in Uranium One and to purchase American mines, 
Bill Clinton was paid $500,000 for a speech in Moscow by a Kremlin-
linked Russian investment bank that was underwriting Uranium One stock.
  Nothing to see here, right?
  The Obama DOJ ignored an FBI probe on the matter. A confidential 
informant who worked with the FBI to uncover bribery and other 
corruption related to the Uranium One matter was threatened with 
reprisal by the Justice Department under AG Lynch when he tried to come 
forward in 2016.
  The Senate Judiciary Committee launched a probe in October of 2017 to 
investigate the Uranium One issue, including whether Federal agencies 
such as the State Department knew the FBI was looking into possible 
corruption before the deal was approved.
  Mr. Speaker, this again brings home the urgent need for an 
independent and fair investigation.
  Collusion with corrupt Russian actors is, indeed, a very serious 
concern and a threat to U.S. national security, especially when 
critical resources that impact national and global security, such as 
uranium, are up for grabs to questionable companies that were not 
properly scrutinized due to their connections with an influential 
  FISA abuse:
  Mr. Speaker, there are also very serious concerns that, in October 
2016, the FBI and DOJ used politically biased, unverified sources to 
improperly obtain a FISA warrant to spy on an American citizen. This 
warrant granted U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies sweeping 
power to collect bulk information and conduct ``about collection,'' 
which results in surveillance of a broad array of private 
communications from the past, present, and future, including those of 
U.S. citizens not specifically targeted in a FISA-authorized warrant.

[[Page H3335]]

  To obtain these warrants, FBI and DOJ officials submitted an 
unverified dossier prepared by Christopher Steele to the FISA court, 
failing to disclose that Christopher Steele was hired by the firm 
Fusion GPS, which was hired by the Democratic National Committee and 
Hillary Clinton campaign to prepare this dossier, and that the source 
was unreliable and soon thereafter was going to be terminated as an 
  The FISA court was not informed that Christopher Steele was actively 
opposed to the election of Donald Trump, that he was the unnamed source 
cited in the media reports that the FBI used to corroborate his 
dossier, and that Fusion GPS had been hired to perform previous anti-
Trump research efforts in 2015.
  The Woods Procedures, which are the FBI's mandatory vetting process 
required for all FISA warrant applications, instituted to ensure that 
all facts contained in an application are accurate and verified to 
clearly support probable cause for the warrant, was clearly not 
  Former-Director Comey then admitted in sworn testimony to the Senate 
Judiciary Committee on June 8, 2017, that material contained in the 
Steele dossier was known to be both salacious and unverified.
  Since FISA applications are rarely turned down and almost never 
subject to appeal, are presented in closed court with no public record 
where the government is not challenged by any defense, it is imperative 
that the government take extra care to validate the information being 
utilized to build their case before they take the extraordinary step of 
waiving rights of a U.S. citizen without his or her knowledge or the 
opportunity to defend themselves.
  These are secret documents submitted to a secret court to spy on an 
American citizen. The government has a responsibility not only to 
provide the best evidence they have in support of their case, but to 
also provide the best evidence that they have against their case.
  These deeply flawed and questionable FISA warrant applications 
utilizing illicit sources and politically biased intelligence were 
approved by DOJ and FBI officials at the highest levels before being 
submitted to the FISA court.
  It was further not disclosed to the FISA court, as I referenced 
earlier, that the wife of the fourth ranking DOJ official, Bruce Ohr, 
was an employee of Fusion GPS, and Christopher Steele directly 
transmitted the dossier and other information through Bruce Ohr for 
submission to the FISA court.
  Let's talk about how and why the Trump-Russia probe began.
  Mr. Speaker, make no mistake, the Trump-Russia probe was launched 
because Donald Trump won the GOP nomination for President of the United 
  It is clear why DOJ and FBI didn't want to turn over the memo opening 
the investigation. They didn't come up with a sufficient alternative 
justification to start the probe. The Trump-Russia probe was then 
continued because Trump became very close to possibly being elected 
President of the United States.
  It is clear why DOJ and FBI didn't want the Nunes memo released: they 
broke the rules and misled a FISA court to improperly secure a warrant 
to spy on a U.S. citizen.
  The Trump-Russia probe then became a special counsel probe because 
Donald Trump subsequently won the election, and the FBI Director then 
illegally leaked classified info to the media to trigger a special 
counsel appointment.
  Director Comey had prepared a series of seven memos containing 
classified information, including notes on his conversations with 
President Trump. He then admitted in sworn testimony to the Senate 
Committee on Intelligence in June 2017 that he had leaked this 
classified content to a personal friend and encouraged that friend to 
share the material with the press.
  That is a blatant violation of Federal law meant to protect sensitive 
information from falling into the wrong hands.
  An investigation conducted by the Senate Judiciary Committee later 
revealed that the personal friend of Director Comey was Professor 
Daniel Richman of Columbia Law School, and that Mr. Comey provided him 
with four of the seven memoranda, all containing classified 
  Mr. Speaker, in closing, with all of this grievous misconduct at the 
highest levels of the DOJ and FBI, the blatant violations of the 
Constitution and law, and so many serious unanswered questions, this 
matter must be investigated by someone who can act independently from 
outside the Justice Department.

  The nearly 2\1/2\ years that the Trump-Russia probe has continued on 
with zero accountability still appears to be without any evidence that 
President Trump colluded with the Russians. These have been some of the 
most tumultuous years in the history of the FBI and DOJ, but with 
transparency and accountability, these awesome agencies can get 
everything back on track.
  In March 2018, former FBI Director McCabe was fired by AG Jeff 
Sessions, who noted that Deputy Director McCabe ``lacked candor--
including under oath--on multiple occasions'' and had partaken in 
``unauthorized disclosure to the news media.'' This is among other 
violations noted in a report issued by the FBI Office of Inspector 
General after a wide-reaching investigation into McCabe's conduct.
  A myriad of other DOJ and FBI personnel have been fired, demoted, or 
resigned during these past few years: Former FBI Director Comey; chief 
of staff to the Director, James Rybicki; FBI General Counsel James 
Baker; FBI Agent Peter Strzok; FBI Counsel Lisa Page; FBI Special Agent 
Josh Campbell; DOJ senior official Bruce Ohr; FBI Assistant Director 
Michael Kortan; and Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik.
  The DOJ Inspector General's Office has undoubtedly done great work to 
uncover misconduct and expose bias, but the mission of the OIG is 
limited only to ``detect and deter waste, fraud, abuse, and misconduct 
in DOJ programs and personnel, and to promote economy and efficiency in 
those programs.''
  A fully independent special counsel has greater autonomy than an IG 
or other Federal prosecutors to run a nonbiased investigation and, if 
necessary, bring forth criminal charges.
  With so much at risk, including the integrity of our Federal law 
enforcement agencies, which are tasked with protecting our Nation and 
upholding the rule of law, the need is more urgent than ever.
  This is not about politics but about the principles that bind 
together our Nation and our constitutional system of government.
  Equality under the law and impartiality of justice is what brings all 
of us to the House floor tonight, urging the Attorney General of the 
United States to take immediate action through the appointment of a 
second special counsel. Too many questions remain unanswered, and too 
much is at stake.
  Mr. Speaker, I say to Mr. Sessions: It is very important to take this 
action and appoint a second special counsel.
  Mr. Speaker, at this point I yield to the gentleman from Virginia 
(Mr. Brat), one of the signers of our late February letter to AG 
Sessions, a great leader in this cause.

                              {time}  2000

  Mr. BRAT. Mr. Speaker, the American people are sick and tired of the 
double standard shown to the Clintons, and the issue does not just stop 
narrowly with all of the issues which were just laid out so well by my 
  There is sufficient evidence that Democratic opposition research was 
submitted as evidence to a FISA court so that our intelligence 
community could begin spying on the Trump campaign and American 
citizens. Justice has not been done here, as elsewhere, and Americans 
know full well what is going on up here.
  Mr. Speaker, the script has flipped, and it seems clear it was the 
Democrats, not Republicans, who abused their power to try to get 
Clinton elected. Unique in world history, America is the first Nation 
that was founded on the premise and the promise that all people are 
created equal under the law.
  That means no matter how well-connected, no matter how wealthy you 
are, no matter how many foreign leaders you have under your thumb, no 
matter how popular, no matter how elite, no matter how educated, no 
matter how many lawyers you have, no one

[[Page H3336]]

in this country stands above the law of the land, and we have to ensure 
that that remains the case.
  The system is rigged. Bernie Sanders ran for the people without 
power, and the system and a party rigged his election. I ran to protect 
people from the corruption in D.C. Now, what was going on in D.C. last 
week, we have monopolies run amuck, Facebook, Google, Amazon, big 
banks, big insurance, big everything, the exact opposite of the logic 
of the Founders.
  Adam Smith, the founder of free market economics, wanted a country 
where small businesses competed against each other--no monopolies, no 
oligopolies. James Madison, the author of the Constitution, wanted a 
country with a large number of factors that duked it out among 
themselves. No power centered--especially in the Federal Government up 
in D.C.--all power returned to the States and to the people.
  But today, that is all, unfortunately, upside down up in the swamp. I 
know it sounds like fiction that the FBI used a piece of opposition 
research paid for by the Clintons and the Democrats to file a warrant 
to spy on American citizens and the Trump campaign.
  Comey, McCabe, Rybicki, Jim Baker, Lisa Page, Peter Strzok, all of 
these are top personnel, political appointees in the FBI who are 
wrapped up in this story. They are not going to investigate themselves. 
We need a fair and independent special counsel looking into this to see 
if there is anything wrong and any wrongdoing.
  Mr. Speaker, a second special counsel really is the only way to have 
the flexibility to fully investigate the matter of political bias in 
regards to ruling of the FISA court and see if anyone has broken the 
law of the land.
  Only after we fully investigate this matter will we have the full 
confidence that no one has escaped justice. The American people want 
that closure, and so do I.
  Mr. ZELDIN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. 
Brat) for being here and for all of his efforts.
  Mr. Speaker, at this time, it is a great pleasure to yield to 
Congressman Louie Gohmert from Texas. Oftentimes, for those who are at 
home who may be watching C-SPAN late on a weeknight like tonight, I 
will encourage them that all other nights when we are here, there is a 
pretty good chance that if they turn on C-SPAN late at night, Louie 
Gohmert will be standing where he is about to speak from, this wise 
man, educating us on his thoughts and reflections of our great country.
  Mr. GOHMERT. Mr. Speaker, coming from my friend, a wise man from New 
York, I appreciate that very much. And I appreciate the effort in 
securing the whole hour for all of us to talk about this issue.
  It really is a matter of wide-eyed justice. The blindfold was 
removed, and real justice in America is hanging in the balance.
  People in America have seen what happened; and I think because they 
have seen the way justice has been abused for a number of years now, it 
is what helped Donald J. Trump get elected President. People were ready 
for significant changes so that we could get back to a country where 
the rule of law mattered regardless of who was the President.
  When we look back at Chuck Colson, he did a year and a half in prison 
basically for having one FBI file in the White House. The Clintons had 
nearly 1,000 in the White House. Nobody did a day. We saw that kind of 
injustice come in and played out before us during the 8 years of Eric 
Holder and Loretta Lynch in the Justice Department.
  And now Americans who have seen--not all of them. Some are still 
blinded by the very thick paint that is provided by the mainstream 
media--but when you break through that, you brush that off, you get 
down to the bare facts. What you have now is Deputy Attorney General 
Rosenstein who was the U.S. attorney when Russia's illegal effort to 
obtain U.S. uranium was going down. He and his dear friend, Robert 
Mueller, as head of the FBI, were investigating what they knew. They 
had the facts. They had the evidence. They had the person working 
behind the scenes providing information, and they knew Russia was 
illegally trying to corner the market on U.S. uranium.
  They knew that bribes were taking place. They knew there were all 
kinds of crimes taking place. Yet we don't know how it was with such a 
powerfully important investigation going on, an investigation that has 
led up to a time now where the head of Russia--whether you want to call 
him czar, president, Vladimir, whatever you want to call him, he is the 
head guy--and he has made clear that in Russia they have rockets now 
that can deliver atomic weapons, nuclear weapons, that the United 
States cannot stop.
  And we know that while Rosenstein and Mueller were involved in 
investigating the efforts of the President's friend, Vladimir, for whom 
he had much flexibility after the second election, we know he is making 
noise, rattling his sabre, as an existential threat to the United 
States' very existence.
  So the evidence was there. What we can't find out, because we can't 
get a proper investigation, is who was it? What was it that caused Rod 
Rosenstein and FBI Director Mueller to squelch the investigation into 
Russia's effort to get our uranium? Because if it was going full board, 
and if it had not been squelched by Mr. Rosenstein and Mr. Mueller, 
Russia would never have ended up with 20 percent of U.S. uranium.

  And since we now know Hillary Clinton will not be President, the 
Clinton Foundation has gone away. But when it looked like everybody 
thought she was going to be the next President--and she had been 
Secretary of State. She had all of this power as Secretary of State. 
She was one of the key critical people that had to approve this sale 
that would end up putting uranium from the United States in Russia's 
possession. They squelched the investigation.
  The sale went through with Hillary Clinton and her friends' support. 
The Clinton Foundation ends up with $145 million from those who had 
invested in the effort to get Russia U.S. uranium. Bill Clinton got 
$500,000 for a 20-minute speech that, from what we understand, wasn't 
very good; but it wasn't about a good speech, it was about rewarding 
the Clintons for Russia getting U.S. uranium.
  There is no way, this side of heaven, that you could have a fair 
investigation of former FBI Director Mueller and the former U.S. 
attorney on the role they played in helping Russia--along with Hillary 
Clinton, helping Russia get U.S. uranium, all to the detriment of the 
United States.
  I mean, we had prior Soviet spies, Communist spies, who were put to 
death for providing designs for advanced weaponry. But in this case, 
you have Hillary Clinton, Rod Rosenstein, and Bob Mueller not just 
helping design. Here is what you need to create atomic weapons to 
destroy the United States. They didn't care. We know on one hand money, 
a great deal of money, was involved and changed hands, but there is no 
way the FBI and the Justice Department, that we have seen has so many 
close friends of Mueller and Rosenstein--there is no way they are going 
to be able to investigate that matter.
  Since the day Robert Mueller was appointed as special counsel, I have 
been begging that we get a second counsel to investigate Mueller. He 
ought to be fired, but that, politically, cannot happen without some of 
our weak-kneed Republicans in the Senate deciding they need to remove 
the President. That should not happen for what the Democrats did. So it 
is critical.
  If we have a second counsel--and by the way, let me just say, a great 
patriot, ethical, honest, upright man named Jeff Sessions is seeing to 
a number of critical things that we need investigated, seeing to them 
being investigated. And I applaud his efforts to apply the rule of law 
across the board.
  But when it comes to investigating Rosenstein, Mueller, and Comey--
who has already admitted leaking things that should be a crime--that is 
going to take a second counsel.
  Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my friend Congressman Zeldin arranging for 
this time to talk about it. I appreciate the effort my colleagues have 
put into researching this. We have got to have a second counsel, or our 
Justice Department is done.
  Mr. ZELDIN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Texas for his 
  Our next speaker is oftentimes at the very tip of the spear of the 
issues that

[[Page H3337]]

matter most all throughout America. He certainly has met the tip of the 
spear here, bringing accountability and transparency to the maximum 
degree he knows possible.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to Congressman  Jim Jordan.
  Mr. JORDAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman. It is good to be with 
my good friend from New York and other Members of Congress here tonight 
to talk about why we need a second special counsel.
  Nobody likes him. I don't like him, but I don't know of any other 
remedy. Is the FBI really going to be able to investigate themselves? 
Is the Department of Justice really going to be able to investigate 
themselves? And I understand Mr. Horowitz, the inspector general, is 
going to do good work, and he has done good work, but it is not the 
same. It is not the same.

                              {time}  2015

  The only way to get to the truth, I think, is to have a second 
special counsel look at all of this; all the Clinton investigation, all 
the Russia investigation, look at it all.
  Understand a few things we have learned over the past few months and, 
frankly, the past few days with the very top people at the FBI.
  James Comey misled the American people on both investigations.
  Now, think about this. Mr. Comey, at the urging of then-Attorney 
General Loretta Lynch, calls the Clinton investigation a matter, not an 
investigation, and misleads the American people.
  We all know it was an investigation. As some of my colleagues have 
said, the last time I checked, he was not running the Federal Bureau of 
Matters; it is the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was an 
investigation, but in an attempt to play it down, he misleads the 
American people and calls it a matter and not an investigation.
  Then, when it came to our President, he allows the perception to 
exist with the American people that President Trump is under 
investigation when, in fact, he wasn't and had been told by James 
Comey, himself, that he wasn't under investigation.
  Then, of course, there is the number two guy at the FBI, Andrew 
McCabe, who we have learned in the last few days actually misled the 
Office of Professional Responsibility, misled his boss, and misled the 
inspector general on two different occasions--four times, total. As 
they say, he lacked candor. He didn't tell the truth.
  So we need a special counsel to look into all this and a host of 
other things. It was those guys, Mr. Comey and Mr. McCabe, who were 
involved at the FBI when the whole dossier thing unfolded where they 
took an opposition research document, dressed it all up, made it look 
like it was legitimate intelligence, and took it to the secret court to 
get a warrant to spy on a fellow American associated with the Trump 
  They didn't tell the court two important things. They didn't tell the 
court who paid for the document, namely, the Clinton campaign and the 
DNC; and they didn't tell the court that the author of that salacious 
and unverified document, Christopher Steele, had had his relationship 
with the FBI terminated because Mr. Steele broke a cardinal rule: he 
went and told the press he was working for the FBI.
  Now, if you and I go to court, we have got to tell the truth. We have 
got to tell the whole truth. But they didn't. They didn't.
  Now, recently, there have been two appointments made at the 
Department of Justice by the current Attorney General: Mr. Huber and 
Mr. Lausch. Mr. Lausch has been named to help get the documents to 
Congress that we are entitled as a separate and equal branch of 
government to receive. Mr. Huber has been tasked with overseeing this 
whole Russia investigation.
  While these individuals appear to be fine individuals, again, it is 
not the same because whom does Mr. Huber and Mr. Lausch answer to? They 
answer to Rod Rosenstein, who was involved in all this throughout all 
the Clinton investigation and throughout the Russia investigation. They 
answer to Rod Rosenstein.
  Now, how do employees investigate their boss? Someone tell me how 
that works.
  I have two final points.
  When you think about probably the classic definition of the swamp, 
think about this: Rod Rosenstein writes the memo for firing James 
Comey. James Comey leaks a government document to The New York Times to 
create momentum for a special counsel, Bob Mueller, whom Rod Rosenstein 
appoints as the special counsel and oversees; and one of the elements 
they are looking at is whether there was obstruction of justice in the 
firing of James Comey.
  You can't make this stuff up. You talk about the biggest roundabout I 
have ever seen.
  We need a special counsel. Think about this as well: the Attorney 
General has said only in extraordinary circumstances do you name 
special counsel.
  It is pretty extraordinary when James Comey, the Director of the FBI, 
has been fired; Andrew McCabe, the Deputy Director of the FBI, has been 
fired; Jim Baker, the former general counsel, has been demoted and 
reassigned; Peter Strzok, the deputy head of counterintelligence has 
been demoted and reassigned; and Lisa Page, FBI counsel, has been 
demoted and reassigned. Those are some of the top people at the FBI. 
Now, if that is not extraordinary, then I don't what the heck is.
  If it is not a little unusual when the new Deputy Attorney General 
writes the memo to fire James Comey and then names Bob Mueller as 
special counsel, and one of the things they are looking at is whether 
there was obstruction of justice in the firing of James Comey, if those 
aren't extraordinary and strange circumstances warranting a second 
special counsel, then, again, I don't know what is.
  So let's just do the right thing. Mr. Sessions and Mr. Rosenstein 
should just do the right thing. The American people want this. If we 
get a second special counsel, then we limit the amount of time that 
they can look at this. We pick someone outside the swamp somewhere in 
the middle of the country. Let him or her run this investigation, say: 
Here is your time; go figure it out.
  I believe, when they reach their conclusions, there is a much better 
chance the American people will accept that result and accept their 
findings. But if it is just the same old thing that we have been 
seeing, I think that is much tougher.
  So this is what is needed. No one likes it; no one really wants these 
things to happen; but I see no other approach that will get the answers 
and hopefully provide the closure that the country needs to move on.
  So I would just say to Mr. Sessions and Mr. Rosenstein: Do what 
everyone else in this country knows needs to happen. Name the second 
special counsel. Let's get the facts for the American people, and let's 
get moving.
  Mr. ZELDIN. Mr. Speaker, I thank Congressman Jordan for all of his 
remarks and his leadership on this issue.

  It is a great pleasure to introduce General Scott Perry of 
Pennsylvania--otherwise known as Congressman General Scott Perry of 
Pennsylvania--tonight to participate in our Special Order.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Perry).
  Mr. PERRY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from New York for 
bringing this issue to light.
  As you can see, I am serving in this uniform. We are all citizens 
here tonight. No one outranks another. As a matter of fact, we all 
serve at the pleasure of our constituents, and we ask to earn their 
  With that, I want to join my colleagues in this call for a second 
special counsel to investigate the abuses of the Foreign Intelligence 
Surveillance Act court.
  Knowing what we know now, this warrant was based off of a bogus news 
report which was based off of a bogus document that was commissioned 
much like, Mr. Speaker, someone commissions an artist for a painting 
and said: Well, we want this information to make the other guy look 
bad, so we are going to pay you. You go get the information, put it 
together in a nice format for us, and then we are going to act like it 
is real.
  I say that because, right now, there doesn't seem to be any evidence 
that says that any of it is real, no evidence after over a year of 
  So they commissioned this dossier, which is just a fancy name for a 
file, to

[[Page H3338]]

go get the other guy, and they use that to get a FISA warrant and 
investigate him using the power of the Federal Government, the highest 
power, to investigate a private citizen.
  Now, this begs the question, Mr. Speaker: Did these partisans 
intentionally mislead the FISA court? That is the question.
  The reason that we are asking for a second special counsel 
acknowledges that these things can be problematic, they can run far 
afield, and we want them to be focused only on what they are focused on 
and not looking at everything and anything.
  But the reason there has to be a second special counsel, Mr. Speaker, 
is because that is the only one who can answer this question. Because 
the people who potentially stand accused--and we don't know exactly who 
they are--are a limited group of people, because I can't get a FISA 
court to investigate somebody--you can't get a FISA court to 
investigate, and the American people can't get the FISA court to 
investigate somebody where they think something wrong has happened. 
Only the Department of Justice and the FBI folks can get this FISA 
  If they are the only people who can get it, then they can't be 
investigating themselves. Nowhere else do we ask the accused to 
investigate himself and come up with the right answer, only in this 
crazy world that we live in right here. So that is why we must have the 
second special counsel. The standard for accountability simply must be 
  And if you don't understand, when you go to the FISA court, it is not 
like any other court where you say: ``Here is the prosecution's case, 
and here is the defense's case.'' It doesn't work like that. It is only 
the prosecution's case because it is secret, Mr. Speaker. The defense 
doesn't get to defend themselves until after the fact.
  That is why there has to be a higher standard and a higher level of 
accountability, because it is only supposed to be in the rarest of 
circumstances that this is used.
  I have said over and over again: Do I live in a free America or do I 
live in a place where there is a secret police like the KGB where, 
instead of investigating crimes, we investigate people, and we keep 
investigating and investigating until we find a crime?
  That is not what we plan for in America. Nowhere is it said that 
people in high positions are allowed to weaponize the instruments of 
Federal power to get back at their political rivals or their political 
enemies. American citizens deserve strict constitutional protections 
regardless of what court they are in and, most specifically and most 
especially, if they are in the FISA Court.
  The Founding Fathers wrote the Fourth Amendment to enshrine and 
ensure that the right of the people to be secure in their persons, 
their houses, their papers and effects against unreasonable searches 
and seizures shall not be violated. But, Mr. Speaker, they have been 
violated. The Founding Fathers wrote that long before the internet was 
available and long before cameras and microphones were ubiquitous in 
our society. The time is now long overdue to reaffirm that right.
  I have always opposed warrantless surveillance and searches of 
American citizens because they violate the Constitution. Mr. Speaker, 
you may say: Why should I care? I am not being investigated by the FISA 
court. It is not happening to me.
  But think about that. If it can happen to the President of the United 
States, arguably the most powerful person in our country if not the 
free world, then do you think it can't happen to you?
  Do you think it is fair? Is it right to have one standard of justice, 
or is it okay to have two: one for all of us people out here and then 
one for the politically connected?
  That is why you should care, because there is a true danger in the 
unchecked power and authority of a faceless government bureaucrat.
  The American people have a right to know who is watching the 
watchmen, and it is our job in Congress to do that watching. That is 
why we are calling for this second special counsel. Mr. Speaker, it is 
long overdue and it is long past time. These abuses cannot continue.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from New York for the time and for 
bringing this issue to light.
  Mr. ZELDIN. Mr. Speaker, I thank Congressman Perry and all of our 
speakers tonight: Congressman Gaetz, Congresswoman Tenney, Congressmen 
Brat, Gohmert, Jordan, Perry, and everyone who has been part of this 
  Just to recap, we, over the course of this hour, outlined all the 
main reasons why it is imperative for AG Sessions to appoint a second 
special counsel to look into FISA abuse, how and why the Hillary 
Clinton case ended, and how and why the Trump-Russia probe began.

  As Congressman Perry was just talking about the scales of justice, I 
remember when Hillary Clinton was publicly being exonerated just days 
after a tarmac meeting where her husband was able to meet with AG Lynch 
on her plane on the tarmac in Phoenix, Arizona.
  I was thinking of the people who had to go into court that day as 
defendants. Maybe they got caught making a right on red, and they are a 
defendant going before a judge. They are pleading, and they are being 
punished. And yet here you have all this evidence with the Hillary 
Clinton case and there would be zero accountability, that actually the 
decision would be made to exonerate Hillary Clinton before even 
interviewing her and well over a dozen others.
  There should be equal treatment under the law. The scales of justice 
should not be tilted based off of your last name. Cheryl Mills gets 
immunity; Michael Cohen gets his offices and home raided. If there was 
equal justice under the law, then there might be more understanding and 
a greater mandate for actions being taken.
  But President Trump is being investigated because he won the GOP 
nomination. That is why the investigation got started. The reason why 
the DOJ and FBI didn't want to release the memo is because they really 
didn't have much of a better reason. They were reaching, and they 
really didn't want to have to tell Congress why they started, because 
the real reason was because he won the Republican nomination, and they 
wanted to continue the investigation because he actually had a shot at 
  So they go to a secret court with secret documents to spy on a United 
States citizen desperate to try to find information loaded with bias, 
clear-as-day bias, an anti-Trump and pro-Hillary bias where their 
political bias is overcoming their better objective, and then expanding 
the probe and creating a special counsel because the President is 
  That is not how we do things in this country where you get 
investigated because you win an election, where you identify a person, 
and then you empower someone with authority to go out and try to find a 
crime anywhere.
  So with regard to FISA abuse--the end of the Hillary Clinton probe 
and the beginning of the Trump-Russia probe--it is imperative for AG 
Sessions to appoint a second special counsel.
  I appreciate everyone for tuning in during this hour. We look forward 
to continuing the effort until we get this done and over the top.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Hollingsworth). The Chair would remind 
Members that remarks in debate may not engage in personalities toward 
the President, including by repeating remarks made elsewhere that would 
be improper if spoken in the Member's own words.