HUMAN SMUGGLER BUSTED 2003
A RESPECTED SCHOOL DISTRICT WORKER IS IN JAIL AFTER LEADING POLICE ON A HIGH SPEED CHASE. JAVIER RODRIGUEZ WORKED AS A CUSTODIAN AND A CROSSING GUARD FOR THE LA JOYA SCHOOL DISTRICTFOR 24 YEARS BEFORE HE DECIDED TO TRY HIS HAND AT HUMAN SMUGGLING. COPS TRIED TO PULL HIM OVER FOR A ROUTINE TRAFFIC INFRACTION. RODRIGUEZ HAD AN EXPIRED REGISTRATION ON HIS FORD EXPLORER. INSTEAD OF PULLING OVER HE TOOK OFF AND A DANGEROUS CHASE THROUGH A RESIDENTIAL AREA TRANSPIRED. WHEN HE COULDN’T SHAKE THE COPS, HE STOPS IN A NEIGHBORHOOD AT ONE POINT TO LET A BUNCH OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS OUT OF HIS SUV. COPS SAY HE DID THIS SO THE ALIENS COULD SCATTER AND BLEND INTO THE HOMES IN THE AREA SO THEY WOULDN’T BE CAUGHT. RODRIGUEZ EVENTUALLY LOST CONTROL OF THE SUV AND CRASHES UNDERNEATH AN OVERPASS. HE WAS TAKEN INTO CUSTODY AND HAS BEEN SUSPENDED FROM HIS JOB AT THE DISTRICT.
20 hours the newspaper: [broadcast of October 24, 2003]
A2 / France 2
US Immigration - Predominantly Muslim immigrants flood INS offices to beat deadline
TAPE: EF03/0030 IN_TIME: 00:10:27 DURATION: 3:35 SOURCES: APTN RESTRICTIONS: DATELINE: Arlington/Los Angeles/New York - 10 Jan 2003 SHOTLIST: New York City - 10 January 2003 1. Wide shot of demonstrators listening to speaker 2. Close up of speaker talking into microphone 3. Close up of US flag, tilt down to demonstrators holding sign 4. Police officer walking near demonstration 5. Sign made to look like damaged US Constitution held by demonstrator 6. SOUNDBITE: (English) Drucilla Cornell, Professor, Rutgers University: "They are targeting innocent people. Do you think bin Laden is in that line, do you think anyone who finds, and calls on killing Americans is in that line? Of course not. These people are law abiding citizens, that's why they are complying with the law. They believe in law and order, we believe in law and order. President Bush apparently does not, which is why he feels free to violate the constitution." 7. People waiting in line to register 8. Mid shot of people in line 9. Demonstrators holding sign Arlington, Virginia - 10 January 2003 10. Awning over entrance to Immigration and Naturalisation (INS) office with US flag in background 11. Men standing outside INS office 12. Mid shot through window of people inside INS office 13. Immigration lawyer walking out of INS office and past camera 14. SOUNDBITE: (English) Kamal Naawach, Immigration Lawyer: "The government has almost complete discretion, or a lot of discretion, to do what they want with immigrants. Immigrants don't exactly have the same rights as all Americans. There's certain basic rights, yes." 15. SOUNDBITE: (English) Murad Ghazali, Tunisian immigrant waiting for visa processing (who says he was handcuffed upon registering): "I feel like a real criminal, because I've never had a handcuff, I mean in my hands, even in my country, even in the United States. They checked in my file, I was clean, I didn't get even a ticket, so I don't know why they did that. And, we're going to see what's going to happen with my lawyer." 16. Entrance to INS office Los Angeles - 10 January 2003 17. Exterior of INS office 18. People waiting in line outside building to register 19. Lawyer speaking to media 20. Signs held by demonstrators 21. SOUNDBITE: (English) Ramona Ripston, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California: "These kinds of programmes will not make us safer. The American Civil Liberties Union is interested in seeing that we are safe, but that we keep our freedoms in America. This is not the way America does things." 22. People in line 23. SOUNDBITE: (English) Hamid Khan, Civil rights activist: "Since September 11th (2001), hundreds of people have been detained and deported and shipped en mass, you know, back to their countries of origin. Well how come the Department of Justice has not released a single name? They have been taken to court, but still, I mean, there is no transparency." 24. Lawyer Ban Al-Wardi talking to reporters 25. SOUNDBITE: (English) Ban Al-Wardi, Immigration lawyer "The last registration group we are still trying to fight for numbers, to find out even how many people were registering and how many people were detained and that's just for the Southern California area. The Department of Justice refuses to tell us that and in fact has come out and said nobody is in detention anymore. Which is a lie. I have clients who are in detention still." 26. Wide shot of US federal building STORYLINE: Facing a Friday deadline, thousands of men from mostly Arab or Muslim countries lined up to register with US immigration authorities under a post-September 11 crackdown that has alarmed civil liberties groups and stirred fears of mass arrests. Civil liberties advocates say the programme is an inefficient way to find terrorists and will only alienate people who could help the government. Allegations that innocent people were arrested during the first phase of the programme in December have led to demands for a Justice Department investigation. Few problems were reported throughout the morning as men queued outside Immigration and Naturalisation Services (INS) offices across the US. About 72-hundred men aged 16 or older were expected to register with the INS. At least 200 demonstrators in New York City listened to speakers voice their concerns and waved signs depicting the US Constitution in a state of decay, calling the registration policy "un-American". In Arlington, Virginia, an immigrant rich suburb of Washington DC, lines had ebbed by the afternoon. However the occasional immigration attorney was still seen coming or going on behalf of a client. One Tunisian man who said he is waiting for his US work visa to be processed reported being handcuffed and jailed for a number of hours when he initially went to register, and said it made him feel like a "criminal". He said he was released later that day. In the programme's first phase last month, some 400 immigrants were arrested, mostly in Southern California, when they came forward to be photographed, finger printed. Most have been released on bail, but activists said the names and whereabouts of dozens of others remain unclear. The first phase of the registration programme involved immigrants from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan and Syria. Friday was the deadline for the second phase and involved immigrants from Afghanistan, Algeria, Lebanon, North Korea, Bahrain, Eritrea, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Somalia, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. The next deadline, February 21, is for Saudis and Pakistanis.
US Immigration Protest - Hundreds protest new immigration policy
TAPE: EF02/1067 IN_TIME: 07:24:39 DURATION: 2:29 SOURCES: ABC RESTRICTIONS: DATELINE: Los Angeles, USA, December 18, 2002 SHOTLIST: Los Angeles, California - 18 December 2002 1. Aerial wide shot of protesters gathered in front of federal building, zoom in to mid shot of protesters 2. Aerial mid shot of protesters on sidewalk, zoom out to wide shot 3. Wide shot large group of protesters 4. Mid pan from protesters on one side of street to protesters on other side of street 5. Close up sign saying "Detain terrorists, not innocent immigrants" 6. Mid shot of protesters, pan to sign saying "Stop human rights violations against Iranian Americans" 7. SOUNDBITE (English) Nikie Shhi, Protester: "You don't treat people that way. There is a difference between right, respect, sympathy. Which one of them? Fair, is this right? I don't believe that." (Soundbite partly laid over next shot) Los Angeles, California - 16 December 2002 8. Wide pan along line of people waiting outside federal building to register with government 9. Wide shot people in line 10. Mid shot people in line Los Angeles, California - 18 December 2002 11. Mid shot protesters huddled together 12. SOUNDBITE (English) Saffar Zadeh, Protester: "We are against terrorists ourselves, we are fighting for the same things, but because we are from a different country, this is not right the way they treat us, this is not right." 13. Mid shot protesters holding signs 14. Wide shot protesters holding signs and a US flag 15. SOUNDBITE (English) Mike Manesh, Immigration Attorney: "A lot of them have been waiting to become legal for no reason other than the backlog that the INS (Immigration and Naturalisation Service) has been experiencing for years." 16. SOUNDBITE (English) Nikie Shhi, Protester: "This is why we left our own country, this is why we came here. Freedom should not cost anybody anything." 17. Mid shot from across the street of protesters holding signs 18. Close up various signs 19. Tilt down from US. flag to protesters 20. Aerial wide shot of protesters outside federal building, zoom in to mid shot of protesters 21. Aerial mid shot of protesters, zoom in to close up on police motorcycle pulling up in front of protesters 22. Aerial mid shot of protesters STORYLINE: Hundreds of Iranian-Americans demonstrated in Los Angeles on Wednesday to protest arrests of Middle Eastern immigrants who voluntarily registered with the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (INS) under a new programme. The protest outside a federal building snarled traffic on Wilshire Boulevard through Westwood. No arrests were reported. Immigration officials have not provided any figures on the number of detentions. But the American Civil Liberties Union of southern California said it had received reports that between 500 and one thousand Middle Eastern immigrants had so far been detained in California. The rally was organised by various immigrants' rights organisations after the detentions came to light. Many protesters claimed their husbands, sons and brothers were victims of government entrapment, that they were forced to register with immigration officials and then were arrested for not having their papers in order, which in some cases were caused by government backlog. The detentions of Middle Eastern men and teens nationwide have already led to lawsuits being filed in Cleveland and Houston. The suits contend the INS is violating the intent of Congress' by detaining so many immigrants when the order was to simply register them. The arrests this week came as a result of a new federal programme intended to fingerprint and photograph men and teens from countries considered high risk for terrorists. Under the programme, all male visitors at least 16 years old from five countries, including Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan and Syria, were ordered to register in person with the INS by Monday. Temporary visitors from 15 other countries, including Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, are required to register by January 10, 2003. The National Security Entry-Exit Registration System is the agency's first step toward monitoring all visitors since the September 11 terrorist attacks.
CHASING A HUMAN SMUGGLER 2003
A RESPECTED SCHOOL DISTRICT WORKER IS IN JAIL AFTER LEADING POLICE ON A HIGH SPEED CHASE. JAVIER RODRIGUEZ WORKED AS A CUSTODIAN AND A CROSSING GUARD FOR THE LA JOYA SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR 24 YEARS BEFORE HE DECIDED TO TRY HIS HAND AT HUMAN SMUGGLING. COPS TRIED TO PULL HIM OVER FOR A ROUTINE TRAFFIC INFRACTION. RODRIGUEZ HAD AN EXPIRED REGISTRATION ON HIS FORD EXPLORER. INSTEAD OF PULLING OVER HE TOOK OFF AND A DANGEROUS CHASE THROUGH A RESIDENTIAL AREA TRANSPIRED. WHEN HE COULDN’T SHAKE THE COPS, HE STOPS IN A NEIGHBORHOOD AT ONE POINT TO LET A BUNCH OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS OUT OF HIS SUV. COPS SAY HE DID THIS SO THE ALIENS COULD SCATTER AND BLEND INTO THE HOMES IN THE AREA SO THEY WOULDN’T BE CAUGHT. RODRIGUEZ EVENTUALLY LOST CONTROL OF THE SUV AND CRASHES UNDERNEATH AN OVERPASS. HE WAS TAKEN INTO CUSTODY AND HAS BEEN SUSPENDED FROM HIS JOB AT THE DISTRICT.
US Schwarzenegger 2 - Schwarzenegger announces gubernatorial bid in California
TAPE: EF03/0709 IN_TIME: 07:30:11 DURATION: 3:08 SOURCES: Various RESTRICTIONS: No re-use/re-sale of film clips without clearance DATELINE: Los Angeles - 6 August 2003 & file SHOTLIST: APTN Burbank, California, 6 August 2003 1. Arnold Schwarzenegger walking from NBC television studios 2. SOUNDBITE: (English) Arnold Schwarzenegger, Actor and candidate for California governor: "They don't give you much time for something like that, this time it had to be a very quick decision so within two weeks, one had to make up their mind and so my wife told me that she would support me no matter what the decision is and I, therefore, decided to run for governor of this great state." APTN Los Angeles, California, 30 June 2003 3. Man holding sign "Schwarzenegger for governor" 4. Schwarzenegger's wife, Maria Shriver, and Schwarzenegger at "Terminator 3" premier 5. People holding t-shirts supporting Schwarzenegger's candidacy APTN Burbank, California, 6 August 2003 6. SOUNDBITE: (English) Arnold Schwarzenegger, Actor and candidate for California governor: "I will go to Sacramento and I will clean house, I will change that. As you know, I don't need to take any money from anybody. I have plenty of money myself. I will make the decisions for the people." Warner Brothers 7. Film Clip from "Terminator 3:Rise of the Machines" APTN Burbank, California, 6 August 2003 8. Schwarzenegger greeting people outside NBC studios NBC "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" Los Angeles, California, 6 August 2003 9. Presenter Jay Leno presents Schwarzenegger and the two greet each other 10. Audience 11. Leno and Schwarzenegger 12. SOUNDBITE: (English) Arnold Schwarzenegger, Actor and candidate for California governor: "The man that is failing the people more than anyone is (California Governor) Gray Davis. He is failing them terribly and this is why he needs to be recalled, and this is why I am going to run for governor of the state of California." APTN Los Angeles, California, 22 July 2003 13. California Governor Gray Davis KABC Los Angeles, California, 4 August 2003 - KABC 14. Publisher and California gubernatorial candidate Larry Flynt during news conference APTN Los Angeles, California, 6 August 2003 15. SOUNDBITE (English): Arianna Huffington, Talk show host and candidate for California governor: "Today I'm announcing that I'm running for governor of the great state of California." 16. SOUNDBITE (English): Logan Darrow, Candidate for California governor: "I plan on separating myself as soon as possible from the other pseudo-candidates." 17. Darrow at candidate registration office 18. Candidate petitions APTN Burbank, California, 6 August 2003 19. SOUNDBITE: (English) Silas, Los Angeles resident: "I mean, he's well known and, you know, I guess he has an opportunity to...if he has the money....to get some people out who may be interested in supporting his candidacy. So, I think he has a chance. I mean you had (wrestler) Jesse Ventura in Minnesota so why not Arnold Schwarzenegger in California." 20. SOUNDBITE: (English) Rob Kibler, Los Angeles resident: "I'm not laughing. He's laughing (pointing to friend). I'm not laughing because I laughed at Ronald Reagan. I thought he'd never be governor. So I'm not looking forward to a terminator as governor." 21. Schwarzenegger getting into truck STORYLINE: The actor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced on Wednesday that he would be running for Governor of California. He made the announcement on Wednesday afternoon while being taped for an episode of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," calling it the toughest decision he's made since deciding to get a bikini wax in 1978. Making the announcement 56-year-old Schwarzenegger ended weeks of speculation. By declaring his candidacy he instantly became the best-known of the declared candidates seeking to replace Democrat Gray Davis, who has been recalled. The announcement by the "Terminator" actor, a moderate Republican, capped a day of fast-paced developments in one of the most unpredictable political races in recent history. His advisers had said in recent days that he was leaning against putting his name on the October 7 election ballot because of opposition from his wife, journalist Maria Shriver. Schwarzenegger told Leno that he's not afraid of Davis allies attacking him as "a womanizer" or "a terrible person." But Arnold wasn't the only Californian announcing his candidacy on Wednesday. Earlier in the day, talk radio host Arianna Huffington announced her candidacy at a news conference in Los Angeles. Huffington says she'll run as an independent. Magazine publisher Larry Flynt also let it be known this week that he too would try to unseat Governor Davis. Flynt said he would erase the state's deficit by allowing private casinos to install slot machines, would overhaul the state's education and prison systems and give amnesty to California's illegal immigrants - then shut down the border. And there we're other lesser known candidates making their intentions known to Los Angeles election officials. A spokeswoman says overall around 550 people have indicated to state officials they wish to be candidates. A much smaller number have actually paid the necessary fees to become official candidates.
Entertainment US Schwarzenegger - Schwarzenegger announces bid for governor in California
TAPE: EF03/0710 IN_TIME: 05:35:46 / 14:19:47 DURATION: 3:08 SOURCES: Various RESTRICTIONS: DATELINE: Los Angeles - 6 August 2003 & file SHOTLIST: Burbank, California, 6 August 2003 1. Mid shot of Arnold Schwarzenegger walking from NBC television studios 2. SOUNDBITE (English): Arnold Schwarzenegger, Actor and California gubernatorial candidate "They don't give you much time for something like that, this time it had to be a very quick decision so within two weeks, one had to make up their mind and so my wife told me that she would support me no matter what the decision is and I, therefore, decided to run for governor of this great state." Los Angeles, California, 30 June 2003 3. Close shot of man holding sign "Schwarzenegger for governor" 4. Mid shot of Maria Shriver and Schwarzenegger at "Terminator 3" premier 5. Mid shot of people holding t-shirts Burbank, California, 6 August 2003 6. SOUNDBITE (English): Arnold Schwarzenegger, Actor and California gubernatorial candidate "I will go to Sacramento and I will clean house, I will change that. As you know, I don't need to take any money from anybody. I have plenty of money myself. I will make the decisions for the people." Warner Brothers 7. Film Clip from "Terminator 3:Rise of the Machines" Burbank, California, 6 August 2003 - APTN 8. Mid shot of Schwarzenegger greeting people outside NBC studios Los Angeles, California, 6 August 2003 - NBC "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" (APTN Clients Only/NO ACCESS INTERNET) 9. Presenter Jay Leno presents Schwarzenegger and the two greet each other 10. Wide shot show audience 11. Mid shot Leno and Schwarzenegger 12. SOUNDBITE (English): Arnold Schwarzenegger, Actor and California gubernatorial candidate "The man that is failing the people more than anyone is (California Governor) Gray Davis. He is failing them terribly and this is why he needs to be recalled, and this is why I am going to run for governor of the state of California." Los Angeles, California, 22 July 2003 - APTN 13. California Governor Gray Davis Los Angeles, California, 4 August 2003 - KABC (NO ACCESS Los Angeles) 14. Publisher and California gubernatorial candidate Larry Flynt during news conference Los Angeles, California, 6 August 2003 - APTN 15. SOUNDBITE (English): Arianna Huffington, Talk show host and California gubernatorial candidate: "Today I'm announcing that I'm running for governor of the great state of California." 16. SOUNDBITE (English): Logan Darrow, California gubernatorial candidate "I plan on separating myself as soon as possible from the other pseudo-candidates." 17. Wide shot of Darrow at candidate registration office 18. Close shot of candidate petitions Burbank, California, 6 August 2003 - APTN 19. SOUNDBITE (English): Silas, Los Angeles resident "I mean, he's well known and, you know, I guess he has an opportunity to...if he has the money....to get some people out who may be interested in supporting his candidacy. So, I think he has a chance. I mean you had Jesse Ventura in Minnesota so why not Arnold Schwarzenegger in California." 20. SOUNDBITE (English): Rob Kibler, Los Angeles resident "I'm not laughing. He's laughing. I'm not laughing because I laughed at Ronald Reagan. I thought he'd never be governor. So I'm not looking forward to a terminator as governor." 21. Mid shot of Schwarzenegger getting into truck ARNIE AUDITONS FOR BIGGEST ROLE EVER The actor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced on Wednesday that he would be running for Governor of California. He broke the news on Wednesday afternoon while being taped for an episode of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," calling it the toughest decision he's made since deciding to get a bikini wax in 1978. Making the announcement the 56-year-old fromer mr Universe ended weeks of speculation. By declaring his candidacy he instantly became the best-known of the declared candidates seeking to replace Democrat Gray Davis, who has been recalled. The announcement by the 'Terminator' star, a moderate Republican, capped a day of fast-paced developments in one of the most unpredictable political races in recent history. His advisers had said in recent days that he was leaning against putting his name on the October 7 election ballot because of opposition from his wife, journalist Maria Shriver. Austrian-born Schwarzenegger told Leno that he's not afraid of Davis allies attacking him as "a womanizer" or "a terrible person." But Arnold wasn't the only Californian announcing his candidacy on Wednesday. Earlier in the day, celebrity talk radio host Arianna Huffington announced her candidacy at a news conference in Los Angeles. Huffington says she'll run as an independent. Magazine publisher Larry Flynt also let it be known this week that he too would try to unseat Governor Davis. Flynt said he would erase the state's deficit by allowing private casinos to install slot machines, would overhaul the state's education and prison systems and give amnesty to California's illegal immigrants - then shut down the border. And there we're other lesser known candidates making their intentions known to Los Angeles election officials. A spokeswoman says overall around 550 people have indicated to state officials they wish to be candidates. A much smaller number have actually paid the necessary fees to become official candidates.
US Pakistanis - Pakistanis meet lawyers over concerns about new immigration rules
TAPE: EF03/0011 IN_TIME: 23:56:13 DURATION: 3:13 SOURCES: APTN RESTRICTIONS: APTN Clients Only DATELINE: Washington DC - 4 Jan 2003 SHOTLIST: 1. Mid shot Pakistani flag flying outside embassy 2. Close up sign on front of Pakistani Embassy 3. Wide shot Pakistanis seated at meeting, zoom in on one man speaking 4. Wide shot people seated, pan to more people watching on foot 5. Mid shot people seated 6. Mid shot man asking a question to Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, Pakistani Ambassador to the US 7. Mid shot Pakistani man asking Qazi a question 8. Mid shot Qazi seated 9. Wide shot of meeting 10. SOUNDBITE (English) Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, Pakistani Ambassador to the US: "There is no instance of any connection with terrorism and the Pakistani community in the United States. The Pakistani community of the United States represents no threat to the security of the United States. In case of any specific incidence where there may be information or evidence, absolutely no risk should be entertained, but as you and our other friends have said, a community should not be profiled as constituting a risk of any form to the United States. And I hope this balance will inform U-S policies towards the Pakistani community as well as other communities. So while respecting your question, I would say yes, America is a friend and will continue to be a friend, but friends can sometimes disagree about aspects of policies and resolve that through constructive discussions." 11. Wide shot man asking Qazi a question 12. SOUNDBITE (English) Salman Sheikh, Pakistani American: "The biggest fear is the fear of the unknown here. People who are legal have been hearing so much stories and there are so much rumours going around that we don't know what we need to do. Plus the specific information is not out there, for example, I need to know what kind of documents I need to take with me, they could ask for anything that I might not have. So this is the fear of the unknown that is haunting us right now." 13. Mid shot Sheikh asking Qazi a question during meeting 14. SOUNDBITE (English) Denise Sabagh, Attorney: "The government has the responsibility to protect its citizens, but they also, the government has a responsibility to protect our civil liberties, and the way that they've gone about this registration requirement doesn't seem to be based on any sort of behavioral characteristics, it's based on characteristics of religion, gender and ethnic background. And, I think that's where people have the major concern." 15. Wide shot exterior of embassy STORYLINE: Hundreds of Pakistani nationals came to the Pakistani Embassy in Washington DC on Saturday to ask questions and voice concerns to their Ambassador to the US. Some of the immigrants and non-immigrant visa holders were visibly angry at their embassy for what they see as a failure to protect Pakistanis' civil rights under new US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) policy which requires all men in certain age groups to register themselves with the government. Pakistan's Ambassador to the US, Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, took questions from concerned men and women about what is being done at a diplomatic level to ensure the Pakistani community in the US is not being unfairly targeted. Qazi tried to dissuade fears by saying the INS was only doing what it must to protect US security, and that the Pakistani community posed no threat to the US. One of the major concerns voiced by people attending the town hall style meeting was the lack of specific information provided by the INS to people who are required to register. Denise Sabagh, an attorney of Pakistani descent, said the overall problem with the registration policy was not its intent, but rather that it was based on characteristics of religion, gender and ethnic background.
US Latin Vote - Candidates target the country's biggest minority
NAME: US LATAM VOTE 281004N TAPE: EF04/1059 IN_TIME: 10:37:11:15 DURATION: 00:03:43:14 SOURCES: APTN DATELINE: Various - Recent/File RESTRICTIONS: SHOTLIST: October 8, 2004. Los Angeles, California 1. Mid shot of U.S. citizenship swearing in ceremony. 2. Wide shot of people at swearing in ceremony. 3. (UPSOUND Spanish) Close shot of man urging new citizens to register to vote. 4. Mid shot of new U.S. citizens walking out of building after swearing in. 5. (UPSOUND Spanish) Close shot of woman explaining voter registration to new citizen. 6. Close shot of woman pointing to voter registration form. 7. Wide shot of Bush supporters holding "Viva Bush" placards. 8. Close shot of sign at Republican registration booth. 9. SOUNDBITE: (Spanish) Bush supporter. "Well, because he's (George W. Bush) done a pretty good job during his presidency in regards to the war, and I support that. Yes." 10. SOUNDBITE: (English) Bush supporter. "I think more Hispanics would be leaning more towards the Republican party if they really paid attention to what it is he (President Bush) is saying. Because I think that Republicans reflect more of the Hispanic thoughts than the liberals do." September 2003. Los Angeles, California. APTN. 11. Mid shot of Hispanic-American drum corps marching in Mexico day parade. 12. Mid shot of people watching parade, waving Mexican flag. 13. Close shot of man and other people watching parade. 14. Wide shot of parade. October 8, 2004. Los Angeles, California 15. Mid shot of people on the street in latino area of downtown Los Angeles. 16. Mid shot of storefront signs in Latino district. Bush Campaign VNR. 17. Sequence from Spanish language Bush for President advertisement. October 11, 2004. Los Angeles, California 18. Mid shot of latino affairs analyst Dr. Harry Pachon speaking to reporter. 19. SOUNDBITE: (English) Dr. Harry Pachon, Latino affairs analyst, University of Southern California. "Latino voters like George Bush. They think he's a nice guy, they think that he relates, that he reaches out. But they disagree with his policies. So there's a kind of division, a split mind. One is that they like the man, but the policies are the things that are holding them against voting for him." March 31, 2004. Los Angeles, California 20. Mid shot of Latino American workers protest through downtown Los Angeles. 21. Close shot of protest marchers chanting. 22. Wide shot of protest march. May 5, 2004. Los Angeles, California 23. Mid shot of Senator John Kerry gesturing to crowd at rally. 24. Close shot of Kerry placard. 25. SOUNDBITE: (Spanish) Senator John Kerry, candidate for U.S. president. "We're here to mark the beginning of the end of the Presidency of George Bush." September 21, 2004. Los Angeles, California 26. Wide shot exterior of Democratic Party campaign office. 27. Close shot of Spanish-language Kerry for President poster in office window. 28. Close shot of man in office entrance. (UPSOUND English) "John Kerry.....George Bush go back to Texas." 29. Wide shot of campaign worker meeting. 30. Close shot of campaign volunteers. 31. SOUNDBITE: (English) Democratic campaign worker. "We're going to say 'whatever happens, this November second you're not staying at home. You're going out and you're going to go vote'." November 2000. Los Angeles, California 32. Wide shot of people lining up to vote. 33. Close shot of ballot box. 34. Close shot of Latino woman. STORYLINE: Latinos in America are now the largest minority in the nation at some 40 million strong. And the largest ever number of eligible Hispanic voters, more than seven million, are likely to vote their concerns in the November election. For many Latinos, the journey from powerless immigrant to political force begins almost from the moment they officially become Americans. Every month here in Los Angeles, hundreds of Latinos take the oath as US citizens. As they leave with certificate of citizenship in hand, volunteers are ready to meet them and urge them to register to vote, reminding them of the upcoming November second election. Nearby, more volunteers from the local Republican Party are urging new citizens to register as Republicans, and some do. Many of these new Americans signing up to vote already live and work in the area. Analysts and community activists say they're part of the fastest growing minority in California and in the US. The latest data show Latinos now account for more than 13 percent of the US population, with a purchasing power of some 700 billion (US) dollars a year. Analysts say there's an increasing awareness among Latinos that their influence on the political process is also on the rise. The Tomas Rivera Policy Institute projects 6.7 million Latinos will vote this year, based on US census data. The Los Angeles-based think tank, which tracks Latino trends, says that number could go higher as energised Latinos register to vote. About six million Latinos voted in the 2000 election. In 2000, they voted for Democrat Al Gore over George W. Bush as an ethnic grouping by a margin of 75 percent to 23 percent. Both parties say they're paying attention to this growing crop of potential voters. Republican and Democratic campaign ads are targeting Latino audiences with Spanish-language ads -- playing up themes of family values and economic security. The largest blocs of Latino voters are concentrated in two states, Democrat-dominated California and Republican-controlled Texas. In those states, analysts say, voter trends are expected to stay about the same as in 2000. But party operatives and academics say the Latino vote could be a factor in tight races in Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico. Arizona and Nevada have two of the fastest-growing Latino populations, while New Mexico has the highest percentage of Latino residents in the country at 42 percent. More than a quarter of Arizona's population and 20 percent of Nevada's is Latino and the numbers are rising. In 2000, Gore won New Mexico by a slim margin. While Bush took Arizona and Nevada. Even in the Democratic Party strongholds of inner-city Los Angeles, campaign workers say the message is clear -- every vote counts.
Thailand Hmong - Tribesmen to be resettled in US for help in Indochina war
TAPE: EF03/1132 IN_TIME: 01:43:07 DURATION: 3:50 SOURCES: APTN RESTRICTIONS: DATELINE: Lop Buri, 18 Dec 2003 SHOTLIST: 1. Wide shot village street 2. Mid shot women at street food market 3. Close up baby 4. Soldiers riding a motorbike 5. Various children 6. Close up woman holding a child 7. Mid shot car carrying US ambassador approaching 8. Various of Darryl Johnson, US Ambassador to Thailand, and Vinai Patariyakul, head of Thai National Security Council, getting out of cars 9. Set up news conference 10. SOUNDBITE (English) Darryl Johnson,US Ambassador to Thailand "The United States is announcing today a programme for resettlements of Lao Hmong who are registered in the Wat Tham Krabok community." 11. Cutaway US flag 12. SOUNDBITE (English) Darryl Johnson, US Ambassador to Thailand "Well, this is an issue of course that we have watched for a long time. We have long felt that we had a special responsibility to the people of Hmong origin from Laos." 13. Cutaway 14. SOUNDBITE (English) Darryl Johnson, US Ambassador to Thailand "In this case it was really a matter of recognising that there was a situation of great difficulty in the temple here, where the infrastructure was really not sufficient to maintain a population of this size. We felt that this was a discrete population many times. These are people who have lived here, as you said, for quite a long time and we felt that relief was in order, so we were able at this time to be able to announce this programme and we urge people to take advantage of it." 15. Various street scenes 16. Woman at a street market transferring chicken to a cage 17. Various children 18. SOUNDBITE (Thai) Doun Sae Vue, Hmong minority "I don't know (what it is like to live in the States), but I thought I was going there and it was good. My relatives have all gone there so I would like to go. " 19. Women working at sewing machines 20. Pan street 21. SOUNDBITE (Thai) Thay Sae Vang, Hmong minority "We want to bring our children (to the States) to study so that there is a future for them." 22. More of children on streets 23. Back shot of two girls walking down the road STORYLINE: The United States - still dealing with one of the legacies of the Vietnam War - says it may accept thousands of ethnic Hmong refugees from Laos for resettlement. US Ambassador to Thailand Darryl Johnson trave'led to Tham Krabok temple, 90 kilometres (56 miles) north of Bangkok, to meet ten Hmong clan leaders before announcing the resettlement programme on Thursday. Ambassador Johnson told reporters that the United States has "long felt we had a special responsibility" to help the Hmong. He said US authorities anticipate that most people at Tham Krabok will be eligible and he encouraged those wishing to resettle in the United States to take advantage of the opportunity. More than 15,000 Hmong people have been living for years around a Buddhist temple in Thailand after fleeing Laos following the communist takeover of the country in 1975. The CIA had enlisted the Hmong - tribal people from the countryside - to spearhead US efforts to subdue Laotian communists during the conflict in neighbouring Vietnam. Many Hmong, fearing retribution, fled after the communists took over Laos. More than 300,000 people fled to Thailand after the communist takeover and most resettled in third countries, the majority in the United States. Hmong formed a high percentage of the refugees. For several reasons, including tighter immigration rules, other Hmong were left stranded in Thailand. More than 20,000 were repatriated to Laos, but many remained in limbo, with the biggest community forming at Tham Krabok temple. A US statement said the new resettlement programme applies only to Hmong at the temple and who had registered with Thai authorities by August 2003. It said registration for resettlement would be open for a limited time, beginning in February next year. Thai authorities have long been uneasy about the Hmong community at the temple, suspicious that it was engaged in activities such as drug trafficking and support for anti-government guerrillas still active in Laos. For several years, they have been considering plans to shift the Hmong to other settlements away from central Thailand.
EU Schengen - EU nations endorse expansion of bloc's borderless travel zone
NAME: EU SCHENGEN 20071113Ix TAPE: EF07/1366 IN_TIME: 10:30:42:16 DURATION: 00:03:09:20 SOURCES: EBS DATELINE: Strasbourg, 13 Nov 2007/FILE RESTRICTIONS: SHOTLIST Strasbourg - 13 November, 2007 1. Exterior of European Parliament building 2. SOUNDBITE (English) Franco Frattini, EU Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner: "From December 21 onwards, travel is possible from, for example, the Iberian peninsula to the Baltic states, and from Greece to Finland without border checks. This is truly symbolic for a united Europe, and a basic right for all European citizens." 3. Various cutaways of MEPs listening 4. SOUNDBITE (English) Franco Frattini, EU Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner: "The so called European Schengen facility, providing nearly one billion euro enabled the new member states to meet, in particular the challenge of building up an efficient border control and become full partners in the Schengen area." 5. Cutaway of MEPs 6. SOUNDBITE (Portuguese) Carlos Coelho, European People's Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats member: "To ensure the sufficient control of our borders and provide security to all European citizens, it will be dependant on the seriousness of member states with regards to the control of their own border and the quality and effectiveness of the exchange of information between member states." 7. MEP listening FILE: Brussels - 2005 8. Various of immigrants at the foreigners registration office, fingerprints being taken 9. Various of Brussels national airport with zones marked as "Schengen" and "Non Schengen" FILE: Amsterdam - 2005 10. Wide of KLM flight arriving 11. Sniffer dog checking passengers 12. Zoom out of passport control of EU and non-EU passengers FILE: French-German border - 2005 13. Zoom out of abandoned border post, cars going through 14. Close of French border plate FILE: Spanish-Moroccan border - 2003 15. Various of people at Algeciras customs control 16. Wide of border post, cars approaching 17. Car pulling up to passport control 18. Close of passport control officer, hands passport to passenger in car FILE: Polish-Ukrainian border - 2006 19. Various of boat patrol in Polish Wola Uhruska 20. Officers inside border post, looking at infrared surveillance footage STORYLINE Citizens from nine new EU member nations, most in Eastern Europe, will be able to travel passport-free to most other countries in the bloc as of December 21, after EU justice and interior ministers on Thursday endorsed landmark plans to lift border checks. The decision follows through on a long-standing commitment to Malta and nine eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004 that their citizens be allowed to take up full EU rights of free movement across the union without having to show identity papers at national borders. EU Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner, Franco Frattini, said the plans were "truly symbolic" for a united Europe, and a basic right for all European citizens. EU officials said the opening of the borders with the nine countries, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic and Malta, will be marked with ceremonies at various old border crossings one minute after midnight on December 21. The so-called Schengen borderless travel zone is one of the most popular EU policies, directly benefiting Europeans by allowing them to travel without having to stop at national borders, clearing up an often tedious process. The German government expects 83 (m) million border crossings with Poland this year, and 91 (m) million with the Czech Republic, even before the end of border checks. The new countries were not allowed to join the frontier free zone immediately because work was needed to tighten their customs and border checks with non-EU countries such as Russia, Serbia and Ukraine. The EU also needed time to set up fast information exchange systems between security services of old and new members. The EU ministers agreed that all nine applicants had met all EU conditions to join the zone. Border checks at airports will be dropped on March 30. Joining the borderless travel area is important to the new EU members, most of them former Communist nations, which see the freedom of movement within the union as one of the basic liberties stemming from EU membership. Cyprus, the 10th nation to join the EU, in 2004, has opted to keep some border checks and will stay out of the zone, along with the island nations of Britain and Ireland. To expand the passport-free zone, the EU has had to revamp its border security system, which is run through a common EU computer database that allows participating states to share passport data on non-EU citizens who enter the Schengen zone. The current Schengen countries are EU-members Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden and non-EU members Iceland and Norway. Switzerland, which remains outside the EU bloc, is also set to join Schengen next year.
Belgium Election 5
AP-APTN-1830: Belgium Election 5 Sunday, 13 June 2010 STORY:Belgium Election 5- REPLAY Voting underway, rival leaders cast ballots; polls close, official LENGTH: 03:37 FIRST RUN: 1430 RESTRICTIONS: AP Clients Only TYPE: English/French/Nat SOURCE: AP TELEVISION STORY NUMBER: 648299 DATELINE: Various - 13 June 2010 LENGTH: 03:37 AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY SHOTLIST (FIRST RUN 1030 NEWS UPDATE - 13 JUNE 2010) Antwerp 1. New Flemish Alliance (NVA) leader Bart de Wever coming out of polling booth and posing for photographs 2. Cutaway photographers 3. Mid of de Wever casting ballot 4. Wide of De Wever and media walking outside polling station 5. SOUNDBITE (English) Bart de Wever, NVA leader: "We would like to see direction of the step towards confederalism because we see that federalism just has not worked, this country is totally blocked we need urgent policies concerning immigration, concerning justice, concerning the budget, and we have seen nothing in the last three years, so reforms are needed, quite urgently." (FIRST RUN 1130 ME EUROPE PRIME NEWS - 13 JUNE 2010) Mons 6. Voters queuing outside polling station 7. Close of electoral lists 8. Mid of electoral officials 9. Voters putting forms in ballot boxes 10. Wide of Socialist Party leader, Elio di Ruppo arriving at polling station to cast ballot on someone else's behalf, meeting constituents 11. Various of Di Ruppo casting ballot 12. Cutaway of sign 13. SOUNDBITE (English) Elio Di Ruppo, Head of Socialist Party: "I hope that we are able to stabilise our country I think it's possible. Belgium is capital of Europe and we have had a lot of institutional problems during the years, but each time we were able to find a solution." (FIRST RUN 1230 NEWS UPDATE - 13 JUNE 2010) Antwerp 14. Wide exterior of polling station 15. Pan from registration desks to voting booths 16. Various of people casting ballots ++NEW (FIRST RUN 1430 ME EUROPE PRIME NEWS - 13 JUNE 2010) Brussels 17. Wide of inside empty polling station with one man leaving 18. Officials signing papers 19. Close of paper being signed 20.President of polling station number 28, Francois Nef, going to computer UPSOUND: (French) "and now I will try to do the closing procedure" 21. Tilt up from close of keyboard to screen of computer 22. Mid of election officials 23. SOUNDBITE: (French) Francois Nef, president of the polling station number 28: "This morning went very well, people came as early as 8 am, there were more people around 11 am. It was quite quiet, people came with their families. It was a typical election atmosphere in Belgium: a very joyful mood." 24. Polling station door being closed STORYLINE Belgians voted on Sunday in general elections that were widely seen as a vote on an orderly break up of the country where 6.5 (m) million Dutch- and 4 (m) million French-speakers were locked in a quarrelsome union. Polls closed at 1300 GMT amid expectations of a strong performance for a mainstream Flemish party whose leader wants Dutch-speaking Flanders to sever its unhappy ties with Francophone Wallonia and eventually join the European Union as a separate country. This is a nightmare scenario for poorer Wallonia, which greatly depends on Flemish funds, and shows how linguistic disputes dominate national politics. Elections were called one year early after Premier Yves Leterme's five-party coalition fell apart on 26 April in a dispute over a bilingual voting district. That spat has gone unresolved since 2003 and pushed the New Flemish Alliance (NVA) - a tiny, centrist party only a few years ago - into pole position: it is forecast to win a quarter of the vote in Flanders. NVA leader Bart de Wever - who could become Belgium's next premier - cast his vote in Antwerp on Sunday. He wants Flanders to eventually join the European Union as a separate country. "We would like to see direction of the step towards confederalism because we see that federalism just has not worked," he said. De Wever wants to shift the national government's last remaining powers, notably justice, health and social security, to Flanders and Wallonia. That would complete 30 years of ever greater self-rule for the two regions. De Wever told reporters outside the polling station in Antwerp that policy change was needed on immigration, justice and finance "and we have seen nothing in the last three years, so reforms are needed, quite urgently." There are no comparable separatist sentiments in Wallonia. Speaking outside a polling station in Mons on Sunday, Socialist Party leader Elio di Ruppo said he was optimistic about stabilising Belgium. "I hope that we are able to stabilise our country I think it's possible. Belgium is capital of Europe and we have had a lot of institutional problems during the years, but each time we were able to find a solution," he said. As polling stations closed, Francois Nef, president of a polling station in Brussels said the voting "went very well". "It was a typical election atmosphere in Belgium: a very joyful mood," said Nef. Belgian media reported no exit polls. The first meaningful results from the 6,110 voting stations were not expected until 1800 GMT. Voting is mandatory in Belgium, where there are 7.7 million registered voters. Belgium must make (b) billions of Euros of cuts to public spending in the years ahead, but the issue has taken a backseat to Flemish-Walloon sniping. In the words of Finance Minister Didier Reynders, a Francophone Liberal, the question facing Belgians is: "Do we still want to live together?" Others favour more self-rule for Belgium's language camps, but no divorce. As governments worldwide tried to tame a financial crisis and recession, the four that led Belgium since 2007 struggled with linguistic spats while the national debt ballooned. Clients are reminded: (i) to check the terms of their licence agreements for use of content outside news programming and that further advice and assistance can be obtained from the AP Archive on: Tel +44 (0) 20 7482 7482 Email: infoaparchive.com (ii) they should check with the applicable collecting society in their Territory regarding the clearance of any sound recording or performance included within the AP Television News service (iii) they have editorial responsibility for the use of all and any content included within the AP Television News service and for libel, privacy, compliance and third party rights applicable to their Territory. APTN APEX 06-13-10 1431EDT
JEFF SESSIONS HEARING NOMINATION: SIDE CAM 1 1730 - BREAK
UNITED STATES SENATE COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY HEARING: Attorney General Nomination Senate Judiciary Committee Date: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 Time: 09:30 AM Location: Russell Senate Office Building 325 Presiding: Chairman Grassley MEMBER STATEMENTS: Senator Chuck Grassley R (IA) WITNESSES: The Honorable Richard Shelby United States Senator State of Alabama The Honorable Susan Collins United States Senator State of Maine PANEL I Senator Jeff Sessions nine Republicans on the judiciary committee concluded that this was not appropriate. So, by voting against that version of the violence against women's act, if it had failed, we would not then, I'm confident, not had a bill. We would have been able to pass a violence against women act that didn't have that provision in it. So, that's sort of where we were in the political process. And one of the bad things about modern American politics is if you take that position, you're not portrayed as being wrong on the tribal issue, you're portrayed as being against a bill that would protect women from violence. [5:25:55 PM] And I think that is unfair and thank you for giving me the chance to respond. >> Well, thank you. And I appreciate that, and I can again confirm because, as I said, I am the Republican sponsor of that bill. And that description you have given is exactly one of just a couple issues which were being seriously litigated, if you will, here, and which we were trying to resolve. And those of you who took that position, again, were not in any way objecting to the act. You had multiple times before supported it, and you were trying to help resolve one specific issue on the bill. And, so, I just want to clarify that with you and again get the record straight about where you stand on the issue. I see my time is pretty much gone. Mr. Chairman, I won't go to my next question. >> Before I call on senator Blumenthal, out of consideration for you, I want to explain what I think we have left here. If you need a break, tell me. We've got two Democrats and two Republicans to do a second round, beside the chairman, but I'm going to wait until later to do my second round. We've got two Democrats, I've been told, at least want a third round. And, so, what I would like to do is, first of all, if you need a break, we'll take a break whenever you say so now. And in the meantime, I'd like to have my colleagues be -- take into consideration something I want to do. I want everybody to get over here that wants to ask questions and I'm not going to take up anybody's time until everybody else is done, and then I want to take about maybe 15 or 20 minutes of your time to do the equivalent of a couple rounds with questions I haven't asked yet. So, what's your desire? >> I'm ready to go. >> Okay. [5:27:56 PM] >> I may take a break at some point. >> You just say when you want to take a break. >> Thank you. >> Senator Blumenthal. >> Thanks, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, senator sessions. I was pleased to hear you disavow and denounce operation rescue in response to my last question. I want to ask about a couple of other groups and individuals. In 2003, I had an event called restoration weekend. You gave a speech praising a man named David Horowitz as a man, quote, a man I admire. David Horowitz has said, among other things, that, quote, all the major Muslim organizations in America are connected to the Muslim brotherhood and, quote, 80% of the mosques are filled with hate against Americans and Jews. He made statements about African Americans, quote, too many blacks are in prison because too many blacks commit crimes. You praised him as a man I admire. That statement was omitted from your response to the committee. Did you omit it because you were embarrassed about praising David Horowitz? >> No, and I didn't know David Horowitz had made those comments. I read his brilliant book -- what's the name of it? I have a hard time remembering. But it was his transformation, having grown up in a, as he described it, communist family. He was editor of ramparts magazine, the radical magazine. And I believe radical son was the name of his book, it was a really powerful and moving story of how he moved from the unprincipled totalitarian radical left to a more traditional American person. [5:30:01 PM] I've read a number of other books, I think one of them, but he's a most brilliant individual and has remarkable story. I'm not aware of everything he's ever said or done. >> Well, these statements have been reported publicly repeatedly over many years. You first came to know him in 2003. In fact, you received an award from the David Horowitz freedom center in 2014. You were unaware of any of the apparently racist comments that he made -- >> I'm not aware of those comments and I don't believe David Horowitz is a racist or a person that wouldn't treat anyone improperly, at least to my knowledge. The award he gave me was the Annie something Johnson award and that was the lady that went over niagara falls in a barrel. That's the award I received. >> Let me ask you about another group which also you left out of your questionnaire, a group that the southern poverty law center cited earlier by senator Cruz, listed as a hate group, and you received from the federation for fair immigration reform an award known as the Franklin society award. The founder of that group has said, quote, I have come to the point of view that for European American society and culture to persist requires a European American majority and a clear one, at that. He said also, quote, too much diversity leads to divisiveness and conflict. The founder, John Tanton, also through his political action committee, contributed twice to your campaigns in 2008 and 2014, a thousand dollars in each donation. [5:32:03 PM] Will you denounce those statements and disavow that award and that support from that organization? >> I don't accept that statement. I believe the United States should have an immigration policy that's fair and objective and gives people from all over the world a right to apply. And those who have -- should give preference to people who have the ability to be prosperous and succeed in America and can improve their lives and improve the united States of America, that's sort of my view of it. I do not accept that kind of language. >> Will you return the award? >> It is contrary to my understanding of the American vision of life. >> Will you return the award? >> Well, I don't know that I have to -- I don't know who -- whether he had any involvement in choosing the award or not and presumably the award and the contributions that I did not even know -- I don't recall ever knowing I got are his decision, not mine. >> This award similarly was left out of your response to the questionnaire. And I guess the question, senator sessions, is how can Americans have confidence that you are going to enforce anti-discrimination laws if you've accepted awards from these kind of groups and associated with these kinds of individuals and you won't return the awards. >> Well, first of all, I don't know that I defer to the southern poverty law center as their final authority on who is a radical group. So, I would first challenge that. They acknowledged publicly and have in the last few weeks that I was a strong sister to them in prosecuting the Klan, but they said they oppose me because their views on immigration. [5:34:08 PM] Well, I believe my views on immigration are correct, just, decent and right. Somebody else can disagree, but that's what I think. >> Would you also disavow support from frank Gaffney, center for security policy, who gave you an award in August of 2015, similarly having made statements about muslims and supporting your candidacy for attorney general? >> Well, they chose to give me the award. They didn't tell me what they gave did to me for. And I don't adopt everything that that center would support. I don't suppose. I'm pretty independent about those things. Ronald Reagan, Dick Cheney, Joe Lieberman, also have received that award from that institution. >> Well, he hasn't been nominated to be attorney general. >> Well, he has not. But he ran for vice-president on your party. >> And the people of the united States might be forgiven for concluding that the kinds of attitudes and the zealousness or lack of it that you bring to enforcement of antidiscrimination laws might be reflected in your acceptance of awards from these organizations, your association with these kinds of individuals. So, I'm giving you the opportunity to completely repudiate and return those awards. >> Senator Blumenthal, I just feel like the reason I was pushing back is because I don't feel like it's right to judge me and require that I give back an award if I don't agree with every policy of an organization that gave the award. I was honored to be given awards. A lot of prominent people, I'm sure, have received awards at either one of these groups. And David Horowitz is a a brilliant writer. And I think has contributed to the policy debate. [5:36:09 PM] Whether he's everything he said, I'm sure I don't agree with. Some of the language that you've indicated does not -- I'm not comfortable with, and I think it's all right to ask that question. But I just would believe it would be more than -- it wouldn't be proper for you to insist that I'm somehow disqualified for attorney general because I accepted award from that group. >> Given that you did not disclose a number of those award, are there any other awards from groups that have similar kind of idea logical negative views of immigrants or of African-Americans or muslims or others, including awards that you may have received from the Ku klux Klan? >> Well, I won't receive it from Henry Hayes, I'll tell you that. He no longer exists. No, I wouldn't take a Klan, award from the Klan. So, I would just say that I received hundreds of awards. I don't think -- I probably somehow should have made sure the Annie Johnson coming off the niagara falls, I should have reported that probably. So, I would just say to you I have no motive in denying or that I received those awards, is probably publicly published when it happened. And I've received hundreds, multiple hundreds of awards over my career as I'm sure you have. >> My time is expired, Mr. Chairman. I apologize and I'll return on the third round. Thank you. >> I don't find any fault with the questions you're asking, except for this business that somebody that's in the united States senate ought to remember what awards we get. [5:38:10 PM] I don't know about you, but I'll bet every other week somebody is coming into my office to give me some award, and you take these plaques or whatever they give you and you don't even have a place to hang them. You store them someplace. I don't know whether even if I went down to is that storage place -- I could tell you all the awards I got. I don't need any more awards. It's kind of a problem that they give you the awards. And obviously I'll bet senator sessions feels that way right now. >> I don't differ with you, Mr. Chairman. I don't differ with you that sitting here, none of us on this side of the table could probably recall every single award we've ever received. But the questionnaire from this committee asked for the information as to all award, and I think it's fair to observe that a number of these awards were omitted from the responses. >> Okay. Well, if somebody asked me to fill out that same questionnaire, it would never be complete and I don't know how you ever could make it complete. Before I go to you, I have a statement here from the Alabama state senate, Quinten Ross, a Democrat, minority leader. He says, I know him, meaning senator sessions, personally. And all of my encounters with him have been for the greater good of Alabama. We've spoken about everything from civil rights to race relations and we agree that as a Christian man, our hearts and minds are focused on doing right by all people. And I don't think we should forget that senator sessions got reelected to the United States senate without a primary opponent or a general election opponent. Egads. Wouldn't we all like to do that. Senator graham. >> I've been unable to do that. >> The record without objection. >> Thank you. [5:40:13 PM] I had six primary opponents. >> I can understand why. >> There you go. I'll probably have ten, I'll probably have ten next time. But here's what I want them to know. I, too, received the Annie Taylor award. >> Annie Taylor award. >> There it is. I was there. I got it, too. I don't get enough awards. You can speak for yourself. Yeah, I got the award. I went to the dinner and Chris Mathews interviewed me. Well, I don't know what that means other than I'll do almost anything for a free dinner. [ Laughter ] >> You know, I like senator Blumenthal. We did this whole guilt by association stuff. You've been around 15 years -- 20, 15 with me. I'm sure you're not a closet bigot and I got the same award you did. That other award, who got it, Joe Lieberman? >> He got the award at the Gaffney. >> Okay. Anyway, all I can tell you is that this whole idea that if you receive recognition from some group, you own everything they've ever done or said is probably not fair to any of us. And we can go through all of our records about donations. Bottom line is, senator sessions, there is no doubt in my mind that you're one of the most fair, decent, honest men I've ever met. And you know what I like most about you? If you're the only person in the room who believes that you will stand up and say so, I have seen you speak out when you were the only guy that believed what you believed. I admire the heck out of that. So, if I get nominated by trump, which I think will come when hell freezes over, I'm here to tell you, I got the Annie Taylor award, too. So, let's talk about the law of war. I think you were asked about senator Feinstein about the indefinite detention. Homdy versus Rumsfeld, this is Sandra day o'connor's quote. [5:42:15 PM] There is no bar to this nation's holding one of its own citizens as an enemy combatant. That case involved a U.S. Citizen that was captured in Afghanistan and was held as an enemy combatant. Are you familiar with that case? >> Generally yes. Not as familiar as you, but I know you studied it in great depth. >> This has been a military lawyer, this is part of what I did. Do your constitutional rights as a U.S. Citizen stop at the nation's shores or do they follow you wherever you go? >> Well, you have certain rights wherever you go. >> So, if you go to Paris, you don't give up your fourth amendment right against illegal search and seizure. Could the FBI break into your hotel room in Paris and basically search your room without a warrant? >> I don't believe -- >> No, they can't. Your constitutional rights attach to you. So, the people will say, well, he was in Afghanistan. That doesn't matter. What the court is telling us, no American citizen has a constitutional right to join the enemy at a time of war. In re: Curan, that case involved German sabatures, who land Ed in Long Island. Are you familiar with it? >> I have that case and have read T. >> They were German American citizens who had context in the United States. They were seized by the FBI and tried by the military. What I would tell senator Feinstein and my other colleagues, the law is well settled here that a united States citizen and other wars have been held as enemy combatants when everyday suggests they collaborated with the enemy. Under the current law, if you're suspected of being an enemy combatant within a certain period of time, 60 days, I think, the government has to present you to a federal judge and prove by a preponderance of the evidence that you are a member of the organization they claim you to be a member of. Are you familiar with that? Your habeas rights? [5:44:15 PM] >> Correct, yes. >> So, as to how long an enemy combatant can be held, traditionally under the law of war, people are taken off the battle field until the war is over, they are no longer a danger. Does that make sense to you? >> It does make sense and that is my understanding of the traditional law of war. >> And the law of war is designed to win the war. The laws around the law of war are designed to deal with conflicts. And to take people off the battle field, you can kill or capture them, and there is no requirement like domestic criminal law at a certain point in time they have to be presented for trial because the goal of the law of war is to protect the nation and make sure you win the war. So, when you capture somebody who has been adjudicated, a member of the enemy force, there is no concept in military law or the law of war that you have to release them in an arbitrary date because that would make no sense. So, all I am saying is that I think you're on solid ground. And beside an American citizen being a combatant is the history of the law of war. And I am willing to work with my colleagues to make sure indefinite detention is reasonably applied and we can find due process rights that don't exist in traditional war because this is a war without end. When do you think this war will be over? Do you think we'll know when it's over? >> I've asked a number of witnesses in armed services about that, and it's pretty clear we're talking about decades before we have a complete alteration of this spasm in the Middle East that just seems to have legs and will continue for sometime. That is most likely what would happen. >> You are about to embark on a very important job in an important time. And here's what my suggestion would be. That we work with the congress to come up with a legal regime that recognizes that gathering intelligence is the most important activity in the law against radical Islam. The goal is to find out what they know. [5:46:15 PM] Do you agree with that? >> That is a critical goal. >> And I have found that under military law and military intelligence gathering, no manual I've ever read suggested that reading Miranda rights is the best way to gather information. As a matter of fact, I've been involved in this business for 33 years. And if a commander came to me as a jag and said, we just captured somebody on the battle field, you name the battle field, they want their rights read to them. I would tell them they're not entitled to Miranda rights. They're entitled to Geneva convention treatment. They're entitled to humane treatment. They're entitled to all the things that go with the Geneva convention because the court has ruled that enemy combatant are subject to Geneva convention protections. So, I just want to let you know from my point of view that we're at war. I'm encouraged to hear that the new attorney general recognizes the difference between fighting a crime and fighting a war, and that the next time we capture bin Lauden's son-in-law, if he's got any more, I hope we don't read him his Miranda rights in two weeks. I hope we keep him humanely as long as necessary to interrogate him, to find out what the enemy may be up to. Does that make sense to you? >> Well, it does. We didn't give Miranda warnings to German and Japanese prisoners we captured. And it's never been part of the rule. So, they're being detained and they're subject to being interrogated properly and lawfully any time any day and they're not entitled to a lawyer. >> Right. >> Go for it. >> Miranda didn't exist back in World War II, but it does now. But the law, this is very important. You do not have to read an enemy combatant a Miranda rights. They do have -- >> In a habeas court, yes. >> To see if the government got it right, you can hold them as long as necessary for intelligence gathering. [5:48:19 PM] You can try them in article 3 courts, you can try them in military commissions. As attorney general of the United States, would you accept that military commissions could be the proper venue under certain circumstances for a terrorist? >> Yes. >> Thank you. >> Then senator Kennedy, then you should take a break because I want one. Proceed. >> Thank you. Senator sessions, in 1944, the supreme court handed down what is considered one of the worst rulings in the history of our country, and that case is korimatsu versus United States which upheld the constitutionality which upheld the internment of Japanese Americans in internment camps. Despite the universal condemnation of the court's ruling, this past November, Carl Higby, a spokesman for a pro trump super pack and surrogate for president-elect trump cited that case as precedent for a program which would require muslims in the United States to register with the government. Here are my questions. First, would you support such a registry for Muslim Americans, nerd, U.S. Citizens? >> I do not believe we need a registration program for U.S. Citizens who happen to be Muslim. Is that the question? >> My question is whether you would support such a registry for U.S. Citizens who happen to be muslims. >> No. >> Thank sinces the president may go in that direction, what kind of constitutional problems would there be for U.S. Citizens who happen to be muslims, to be required to register? >> Well, my understanding is, as I recall, later comments by president-elect trump do not advocate for that registration. [5:50:30 PM] But he'll have to speak for himself on his policies, but I don't think that's accurate at this point, as his last stated position on it. >> Since you don't support such a registry for U.S. Citizen muslims, is that because you think that there are some constitutional issues involved with such a requirement for U.S. Citizen muslims? >> It would raise serious constitutional problems because the constitution explicitly guarantees the right to free exercise of religion and I believe Americans overwhelmingly honor that and should continue to honor it and it would include muslims for sure and I don't believe they should be treated differently fundamentally. >> Thank you. >> Should not be treated differently. >> In addition to the freedom of religion provisions, perhaps there will be some equal protection constitutional problems, possibly some procedural due process constitutional problems with that kind of registry requirement. Turning to consent decrees, there are more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States. America's police officers are the best in the world and that is due in large part to their bravery, skill, and integrity in what they do. Our constitution ensures that the government is responsible to its citizens and that certain rights should not be violated by the government but does that mean that things always work perfectly as you noted in one of your responses in the real world. Police officers work and build strong relationships with their communities to keep the public safe, there have been specific use of force deadly incidents that have sparked nationwide outrage. Some of these incidents have led the attorney general's civil rights division to do investigations into whether individual police departments have a, quote/unquote, pattern of practice, unquote, of unconstitutional policing and to make sure police departments are compliant with the law. [5:52:43 PM] And when these investigations find that police departments are engaged in unconstitutional policing, they are frequently resolved through consent decrees with the department of justice which requires police departments to undertake certain important reforms that are overseen by independent monitors to ensure that necessary changes are being made in these departments. Senator sessions, you once wrote that, and I quote, "Consent decrees have a profound effect on our legal system as they constitute an end run around the democratic processes." Currently, more than 20 police departments around the country are engaged in consent decrees with the justice department. In Maryland, Baltimore mayor Catherine Pugh said Monday she expects her city to finalize a consent decree with the justice department this week, as noted in the "Baltimore sun." My question is, will you commit to maintaining and enforcing the consent decrees that the justice department has negotiated during this administration? >> Those decrees remain in force, until and if they're changed, they will be enforced. The consent decree, itself, is not necessarily a bad thing. Could be a legitimate decision. There can be circumstances in which police departments are subject to a lawsuit which is what starts this process. Ultimately ending in a consent decree. But I think there's concern that good police officers and good departments can be sued by the department of justice when you just have individuals within a department who have done wrong. And those individuals need to be prosecute ued. [5:54:43 PM] And these lawsuits undermine the respect for police officers and create an impression that the entire department is not in -- doing their work consistent with fidelity to law and fairness and we need to be careful before we do that, is what I would say to you, because filing a lawsuit against a police department has ramifications sometimes beyond what a lot of people think and it can impact morale of the officers, it can impact the view of citizens to their police department and I think caution is always required in these cases. >> Senator sessions -- >> I wouldn't prejudge a specific case. >> I understand that, but showing of a pattern of practice needs to be shown so these are not just a rogue police officer doing something that would be deemed unconstitutional. So are you saying that with regard to negotiated consent decrees that you will revisit these consent decrees and perhaps give police departments a second bite at the apple so that they can undo some of the requirements on them? >> Well, presumably, the department of justice under the holder/lynch leadership always would be expecting to end these decrees at some point. So I just wouldn't commit that there would never be any changes in them and if departments have complied or reached other developments that could justify the withdrawal or modification of the consent decree, of course, I would do that. >> Well, usually consent decrees require when -- when they end, it is because they have complied with the provisions of the consent decree so I'm just trying to get a simple answer. >> Well, I give you a simple answer. >> I hope you would -- >> It's a difficult thing for a city to be sued by the department of justice and to be told that your police department is systemically failing to serve the people of the state or the city, and so that's an August responsibility of the attorney general and the department of justice. [5:56:59 PM] >> So -- >> And so they often feel forced to agree to a consent decree, just to remove that stigma. And sometimes there are difficulties there. So I just think we need to be careful and respectful. >> I understand that. But as to the consent decrees that were negotiated with both parties in full faith to do what's appropriate that you would leave those in tact unless there are some extraordinary circumstances. Of course, going forward as attorney general, you can enter into whatever consent decrees you deem appropriately -- appropriate. So my question really is the existing consent decrees which took a lot to negotiate, by the way, and it's not the vast majority of police departments in this country. It's 20. >> You can answer that if you want to then we'll move on. >> I understand what you're saying and one of the impacts of a consent decree is it does require judicial approval of any alteration in it. And it -- that raises pros and cons. >> Senator Kennedy. >> Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Senator, could you tell the committee a little bit more about what it was like to be U.S. Attorney? What was your management style, did you enjoy it? How was it compared to serving the state government as a state attorney general? >> I loved being U.S. Attorney. That was -- if you like law enforcement, trying to -- prosecuting criminals. It was just a fabulous job and we had great assistants and I loved it and our team did. [5:59:03 PM] Camelot days for me. So I did feel that. Only had two years as attorney general. We had this monumental deficit when I got elected and we had to lay off a third of the office because we didn't have money to pay the electric bill and it was just one thing after another and then I was running for the senate. So I didn't get to enjoy that job but the United States attorney job was a really fabulous experience and I believe in the course of it, I worked with FBI, Dea, U.S. Customs, marshal service, all the federal agencies, ATF, irs, post L service and their inspectors and you get to know their cultures and their crimes they investigate, the officers, what note investiga motivates them, how a little praise and affirmation is so important for them. They get the same salary, you know. If they're not feeling appreciated, they feel demeaned. Their morale can decline. So that kind of experience was wonderful and I do think it would help me be a better attorney general. >> I made up my mind. I yield back my time. I hope you will be a raging voice of common - BREAK
JEFF SESSIONS HEARING NOMINATION: SIDE CAM 2 1730 - BREAK
UNITED STATES SENATE COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY HEARING: Attorney General Nomination Senate Judiciary Committee Date: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 Time: 09:30 AM Location: Russell Senate Office Building 325 Presiding: Chairman Grassley MEMBER STATEMENTS: Senator Chuck Grassley R (IA) WITNESSES: The Honorable Richard Shelby United States Senator State of Alabama The Honorable Susan Collins United States Senator State of Maine PANEL I Senator Jeff Sessions nine Republicans on the judiciary committee concluded that this was not appropriate. So, by voting against that version of the violence against women's act, if it had failed, we would not then, I'm confident, not had a bill. We would have been able to pass a violence against women act that didn't have that provision in it. So, that's sort of where we were in the political process. And one of the bad things about modern American politics is if you take that position, you're not portrayed as being wrong on the tribal issue, you're portrayed as being against a bill that would protect women from violence. [5:25:55 PM] And I think that is unfair and thank you for giving me the chance to respond. >> Well, thank you. And I appreciate that, and I can again confirm because, as I said, I am the Republican sponsor of that bill. And that description you have given is exactly one of just a couple issues which were being seriously litigated, if you will, here, and which we were trying to resolve. And those of you who took that position, again, were not in any way objecting to the act. You had multiple times before supported it, and you were trying to help resolve one specific issue on the bill. And, so, I just want to clarify that with you and again get the record straight about where you stand on the issue. I see my time is pretty much gone. Mr. Chairman, I won't go to my next question. >> Before I call on senator Blumenthal, out of consideration for you, I want to explain what I think we have left here. If you need a break, tell me. We've got two Democrats and two Republicans to do a second round, beside the chairman, but I'm going to wait until later to do my second round. We've got two Democrats, I've been told, at least want a third round. And, so, what I would like to do is, first of all, if you need a break, we'll take a break whenever you say so now. And in the meantime, I'd like to have my colleagues be -- take into consideration something I want to do. I want everybody to get over here that wants to ask questions and I'm not going to take up anybody's time until everybody else is done, and then I want to take about maybe 15 or 20 minutes of your time to do the equivalent of a couple rounds with questions I haven't asked yet. So, what's your desire? >> I'm ready to go. >> Okay. [5:27:56 PM] >> I may take a break at some point. >> You just say when you want to take a break. >> Thank you. >> Senator Blumenthal. >> Thanks, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, senator sessions. I was pleased to hear you disavow and denounce operation rescue in response to my last question. I want to ask about a couple of other groups and individuals. In 2003, I had an event called restoration weekend. You gave a speech praising a man named David Horowitz as a man, quote, a man I admire. David Horowitz has said, among other things, that, quote, all the major Muslim organizations in America are connected to the Muslim brotherhood and, quote, 80% of the mosques are filled with hate against Americans and Jews. He made statements about African Americans, quote, too many blacks are in prison because too many blacks commit crimes. You praised him as a man I admire. That statement was omitted from your response to the committee. Did you omit it because you were embarrassed about praising David Horowitz? >> No, and I didn't know David Horowitz had made those comments. I read his brilliant book -- what's the name of it? I have a hard time remembering. But it was his transformation, having grown up in a, as he described it, communist family. He was editor of ramparts magazine, the radical magazine. And I believe radical son was the name of his book, it was a really powerful and moving story of how he moved from the unprincipled totalitarian radical left to a more traditional American person. [5:30:01 PM] I've read a number of other books, I think one of them, but he's a most brilliant individual and has remarkable story. I'm not aware of everything he's ever said or done. >> Well, these statements have been reported publicly repeatedly over many years. You first came to know him in 2003. In fact, you received an award from the David Horowitz freedom center in 2014. You were unaware of any of the apparently racist comments that he made -- >> I'm not aware of those comments and I don't believe David Horowitz is a racist or a person that wouldn't treat anyone improperly, at least to my knowledge. The award he gave me was the Annie something Johnson award and that was the lady that went over niagara falls in a barrel. That's the award I received. >> Let me ask you about another group which also you left out of your questionnaire, a group that the southern poverty law center cited earlier by senator Cruz, listed as a hate group, and you received from the federation for fair immigration reform an award known as the Franklin society award. The founder of that group has said, quote, I have come to the point of view that for European American society and culture to persist requires a European American majority and a clear one, at that. He said also, quote, too much diversity leads to divisiveness and conflict. The founder, John Tanton, also through his political action committee, contributed twice to your campaigns in 2008 and 2014, a thousand dollars in each donation. [5:32:03 PM] Will you denounce those statements and disavow that award and that support from that organization? >> I don't accept that statement. I believe the United States should have an immigration policy that's fair and objective and gives people from all over the world a right to apply. And those who have -- should give preference to people who have the ability to be prosperous and succeed in America and can improve their lives and improve the united States of America, that's sort of my view of it. I do not accept that kind of language. >> Will you return the award? >> It is contrary to my understanding of the American vision of life. >> Will you return the award? >> Well, I don't know that I have to -- I don't know who -- whether he had any involvement in choosing the award or not and presumably the award and the contributions that I did not even know -- I don't recall ever knowing I got are his decision, not mine. >> This award similarly was left out of your response to the questionnaire. And I guess the question, senator sessions, is how can Americans have confidence that you are going to enforce anti-discrimination laws if you've accepted awards from these kind of groups and associated with these kinds of individuals and you won't return the awards. >> Well, first of all, I don't know that I defer to the southern poverty law center as their final authority on who is a radical group. So, I would first challenge that. They acknowledged publicly and have in the last few weeks that I was a strong sister to them in prosecuting the Klan, but they said they oppose me because their views on immigration. [5:34:08 PM] Well, I believe my views on immigration are correct, just, decent and right. Somebody else can disagree, but that's what I think. >> Would you also disavow support from frank Gaffney, center for security policy, who gave you an award in August of 2015, similarly having made statements about muslims and supporting your candidacy for attorney general? >> Well, they chose to give me the award. They didn't tell me what they gave did to me for. And I don't adopt everything that that center would support. I don't suppose. I'm pretty independent about those things. Ronald Reagan, Dick Cheney, Joe Lieberman, also have received that award from that institution. >> Well, he hasn't been nominated to be attorney general. >> Well, he has not. But he ran for vice-president on your party. >> And the people of the united States might be forgiven for concluding that the kinds of attitudes and the zealousness or lack of it that you bring to enforcement of antidiscrimination laws might be reflected in your acceptance of awards from these organizations, your association with these kinds of individuals. So, I'm giving you the opportunity to completely repudiate and return those awards. >> Senator Blumenthal, I just feel like the reason I was pushing back is because I don't feel like it's right to judge me and require that I give back an award if I don't agree with every policy of an organization that gave the award. I was honored to be given awards. A lot of prominent people, I'm sure, have received awards at either one of these groups. And David Horowitz is a a brilliant writer. And I think has contributed to the policy debate. [5:36:09 PM] Whether he's everything he said, I'm sure I don't agree with. Some of the language that you've indicated does not -- I'm not comfortable with, and I think it's all right to ask that question. But I just would believe it would be more than -- it wouldn't be proper for you to insist that I'm somehow disqualified for attorney general because I accepted award from that group. >> Given that you did not disclose a number of those award, are there any other awards from groups that have similar kind of idea logical negative views of immigrants or of African-Americans or muslims or others, including awards that you may have received from the Ku klux Klan? >> Well, I won't receive it from Henry Hayes, I'll tell you that. He no longer exists. No, I wouldn't take a Klan, award from the Klan. So, I would just say that I received hundreds of awards. I don't think -- I probably somehow should have made sure the Annie Johnson coming off the niagara falls, I should have reported that probably. So, I would just say to you I have no motive in denying or that I received those awards, is probably publicly published when it happened. And I've received hundreds, multiple hundreds of awards over my career as I'm sure you have. >> My time is expired, Mr. Chairman. I apologize and I'll return on the third round. Thank you. >> I don't find any fault with the questions you're asking, except for this business that somebody that's in the united States senate ought to remember what awards we get. [5:38:10 PM] I don't know about you, but I'll bet every other week somebody is coming into my office to give me some award, and you take these plaques or whatever they give you and you don't even have a place to hang them. You store them someplace. I don't know whether even if I went down to is that storage place -- I could tell you all the awards I got. I don't need any more awards. It's kind of a problem that they give you the awards. And obviously I'll bet senator sessions feels that way right now. >> I don't differ with you, Mr. Chairman. I don't differ with you that sitting here, none of us on this side of the table could probably recall every single award we've ever received. But the questionnaire from this committee asked for the information as to all award, and I think it's fair to observe that a number of these awards were omitted from the responses. >> Okay. Well, if somebody asked me to fill out that same questionnaire, it would never be complete and I don't know how you ever could make it complete. Before I go to you, I have a statement here from the Alabama state senate, Quinten Ross, a Democrat, minority leader. He says, I know him, meaning senator sessions, personally. And all of my encounters with him have been for the greater good of Alabama. We've spoken about everything from civil rights to race relations and we agree that as a Christian man, our hearts and minds are focused on doing right by all people. And I don't think we should forget that senator sessions got reelected to the United States senate without a primary opponent or a general election opponent. Egads. Wouldn't we all like to do that. Senator graham. >> I've been unable to do that. >> The record without objection. >> Thank you. [5:40:13 PM] I had six primary opponents. >> I can understand why. >> There you go. I'll probably have ten, I'll probably have ten next time. But here's what I want them to know. I, too, received the Annie Taylor award. >> Annie Taylor award. >> There it is. I was there. I got it, too. I don't get enough awards. You can speak for yourself. Yeah, I got the award. I went to the dinner and Chris Mathews interviewed me. Well, I don't know what that means other than I'll do almost anything for a free dinner. [ Laughter ] >> You know, I like senator Blumenthal. We did this whole guilt by association stuff. You've been around 15 years -- 20, 15 with me. I'm sure you're not a closet bigot and I got the same award you did. That other award, who got it, Joe Lieberman? >> He got the award at the Gaffney. >> Okay. Anyway, all I can tell you is that this whole idea that if you receive recognition from some group, you own everything they've ever done or said is probably not fair to any of us. And we can go through all of our records about donations. Bottom line is, senator sessions, there is no doubt in my mind that you're one of the most fair, decent, honest men I've ever met. And you know what I like most about you? If you're the only person in the room who believes that you will stand up and say so, I have seen you speak out when you were the only guy that believed what you believed. I admire the heck out of that. So, if I get nominated by trump, which I think will come when hell freezes over, I'm here to tell you, I got the Annie Taylor award, too. So, let's talk about the law of war. I think you were asked about senator Feinstein about the indefinite detention. Homdy versus Rumsfeld, this is Sandra day o'connor's quote. [5:42:15 PM] There is no bar to this nation's holding one of its own citizens as an enemy combatant. That case involved a U.S. Citizen that was captured in Afghanistan and was held as an enemy combatant. Are you familiar with that case? >> Generally yes. Not as familiar as you, but I know you studied it in great depth. >> This has been a military lawyer, this is part of what I did. Do your constitutional rights as a U.S. Citizen stop at the nation's shores or do they follow you wherever you go? >> Well, you have certain rights wherever you go. >> So, if you go to Paris, you don't give up your fourth amendment right against illegal search and seizure. Could the FBI break into your hotel room in Paris and basically search your room without a warrant? >> I don't believe -- >> No, they can't. Your constitutional rights attach to you. So, the people will say, well, he was in Afghanistan. That doesn't matter. What the court is telling us, no American citizen has a constitutional right to join the enemy at a time of war. In re: Curan, that case involved German sabatures, who land Ed in Long Island. Are you familiar with it? >> I have that case and have read T. >> They were German American citizens who had context in the United States. They were seized by the FBI and tried by the military. What I would tell senator Feinstein and my other colleagues, the law is well settled here that a united States citizen and other wars have been held as enemy combatants when everyday suggests they collaborated with the enemy. Under the current law, if you're suspected of being an enemy combatant within a certain period of time, 60 days, I think, the government has to present you to a federal judge and prove by a preponderance of the evidence that you are a member of the organization they claim you to be a member of. Are you familiar with that? Your habeas rights? [5:44:15 PM] >> Correct, yes. >> So, as to how long an enemy combatant can be held, traditionally under the law of war, people are taken off the battle field until the war is over, they are no longer a danger. Does that make sense to you? >> It does make sense and that is my understanding of the traditional law of war. >> And the law of war is designed to win the war. The laws around the law of war are designed to deal with conflicts. And to take people off the battle field, you can kill or capture them, and there is no requirement like domestic criminal law at a certain point in time they have to be presented for trial because the goal of the law of war is to protect the nation and make sure you win the war. So, when you capture somebody who has been adjudicated, a member of the enemy force, there is no concept in military law or the law of war that you have to release them in an arbitrary date because that would make no sense. So, all I am saying is that I think you're on solid ground. And beside an American citizen being a combatant is the history of the law of war. And I am willing to work with my colleagues to make sure indefinite detention is reasonably applied and we can find due process rights that don't exist in traditional war because this is a war without end. When do you think this war will be over? Do you think we'll know when it's over? >> I've asked a number of witnesses in armed services about that, and it's pretty clear we're talking about decades before we have a complete alteration of this spasm in the Middle East that just seems to have legs and will continue for sometime. That is most likely what would happen. >> You are about to embark on a very important job in an important time. And here's what my suggestion would be. That we work with the congress to come up with a legal regime that recognizes that gathering intelligence is the most important activity in the law against radical Islam. The goal is to find out what they know. [5:46:15 PM] Do you agree with that? >> That is a critical goal. >> And I have found that under military law and military intelligence gathering, no manual I've ever read suggested that reading Miranda rights is the best way to gather information. As a matter of fact, I've been involved in this business for 33 years. And if a commander came to me as a jag and said, we just captured somebody on the battle field, you name the battle field, they want their rights read to them. I would tell them they're not entitled to Miranda rights. They're entitled to Geneva convention treatment. They're entitled to humane treatment. They're entitled to all the things that go with the Geneva convention because the court has ruled that enemy combatant are subject to Geneva convention protections. So, I just want to let you know from my point of view that we're at war. I'm encouraged to hear that the new attorney general recognizes the difference between fighting a crime and fighting a war, and that the next time we capture bin Lauden's son-in-law, if he's got any more, I hope we don't read him his Miranda rights in two weeks. I hope we keep him humanely as long as necessary to interrogate him, to find out what the enemy may be up to. Does that make sense to you? >> Well, it does. We didn't give Miranda warnings to German and Japanese prisoners we captured. And it's never been part of the rule. So, they're being detained and they're subject to being interrogated properly and lawfully any time any day and they're not entitled to a lawyer. >> Right. >> Go for it. >> Miranda didn't exist back in World War II, but it does now. But the law, this is very important. You do not have to read an enemy combatant a Miranda rights. They do have -- >> In a habeas court, yes. >> To see if the government got it right, you can hold them as long as necessary for intelligence gathering. [5:48:19 PM] You can try them in article 3 courts, you can try them in military commissions. As attorney general of the United States, would you accept that military commissions could be the proper venue under certain circumstances for a terrorist? >> Yes. >> Thank you. >> Then senator Kennedy, then you should take a break because I want one. Proceed. >> Thank you. Senator sessions, in 1944, the supreme court handed down what is considered one of the worst rulings in the history of our country, and that case is korimatsu versus United States which upheld the constitutionality which upheld the internment of Japanese Americans in internment camps. Despite the universal condemnation of the court's ruling, this past November, Carl Higby, a spokesman for a pro trump super pack and surrogate for president-elect trump cited that case as precedent for a program which would require muslims in the United States to register with the government. Here are my questions. First, would you support such a registry for Muslim Americans, nerd, U.S. Citizens? >> I do not believe we need a registration program for U.S. Citizens who happen to be Muslim. Is that the question? >> My question is whether you would support such a registry for U.S. Citizens who happen to be muslims. >> No. >> Thank sinces the president may go in that direction, what kind of constitutional problems would there be for U.S. Citizens who happen to be muslims, to be required to register? >> Well, my understanding is, as I recall, later comments by president-elect trump do not advocate for that registration. [5:50:30 PM] But he'll have to speak for himself on his policies, but I don't think that's accurate at this point, as his last stated position on it. >> Since you don't support such a registry for U.S. Citizen muslims, is that because you think that there are some constitutional issues involved with such a requirement for U.S. Citizen muslims? >> It would raise serious constitutional problems because the constitution explicitly guarantees the right to free exercise of religion and I believe Americans overwhelmingly honor that and should continue to honor it and it would include muslims for sure and I don't believe they should be treated differently fundamentally. >> Thank you. >> Should not be treated differently. >> In addition to the freedom of religion provisions, perhaps there will be some equal protection constitutional problems, possibly some procedural due process constitutional problems with that kind of registry requirement. Turning to consent decrees, there are more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States. America's police officers are the best in the world and that is due in large part to their bravery, skill, and integrity in what they do. Our constitution ensures that the government is responsible to its citizens and that certain rights should not be violated by the government but does that mean that things always work perfectly as you noted in one of your responses in the real world. Police officers work and build strong relationships with their communities to keep the public safe, there have been specific use of force deadly incidents that have sparked nationwide outrage. Some of these incidents have led the attorney general's civil rights division to do investigations into whether individual police departments have a, quote/unquote, pattern of practice, unquote, of unconstitutional policing and to make sure police departments are compliant with the law. [5:52:43 PM] And when these investigations find that police departments are engaged in unconstitutional policing, they are frequently resolved through consent decrees with the department of justice which requires police departments to undertake certain important reforms that are overseen by independent monitors to ensure that necessary changes are being made in these departments. Senator sessions, you once wrote that, and I quote, "Consent decrees have a profound effect on our legal system as they constitute an end run around the democratic processes." Currently, more than 20 police departments around the country are engaged in consent decrees with the justice department. In Maryland, Baltimore mayor Catherine Pugh said Monday she expects her city to finalize a consent decree with the justice department this week, as noted in the "Baltimore sun." My question is, will you commit to maintaining and enforcing the consent decrees that the justice department has negotiated during this administration? >> Those decrees remain in force, until and if they're changed, they will be enforced. The consent decree, itself, is not necessarily a bad thing. Could be a legitimate decision. There can be circumstances in which police departments are subject to a lawsuit which is what starts this process. Ultimately ending in a consent decree. But I think there's concern that good police officers and good departments can be sued by the department of justice when you just have individuals within a department who have done wrong. And those individuals need to be prosecute ued. [5:54:43 PM] And these lawsuits undermine the respect for police officers and create an impression that the entire department is not in -- doing their work consistent with fidelity to law and fairness and we need to be careful before we do that, is what I would say to you, because filing a lawsuit against a police department has ramifications sometimes beyond what a lot of people think and it can impact morale of the officers, it can impact the view of citizens to their police department and I think caution is always required in these cases. >> Senator sessions -- >> I wouldn't prejudge a specific case. >> I understand that, but showing of a pattern of practice needs to be shown so these are not just a rogue police officer doing something that would be deemed unconstitutional. So are you saying that with regard to negotiated consent decrees that you will revisit these consent decrees and perhaps give police departments a second bite at the apple so that they can undo some of the requirements on them? >> Well, presumably, the department of justice under the holder/lynch leadership always would be expecting to end these decrees at some point. So I just wouldn't commit that there would never be any changes in them and if departments have complied or reached other developments that could justify the withdrawal or modification of the consent decree, of course, I would do that. >> Well, usually consent decrees require when -- when they end, it is because they have complied with the provisions of the consent decree so I'm just trying to get a simple answer. >> Well, I give you a simple answer. >> I hope you would -- >> It's a difficult thing for a city to be sued by the department of justice and to be told that your police department is systemically failing to serve the people of the state or the city, and so that's an August responsibility of the attorney general and the department of justice. [5:56:59 PM] >> So -- >> And so they often feel forced to agree to a consent decree, just to remove that stigma. And sometimes there are difficulties there. So I just think we need to be careful and respectful. >> I understand that. But as to the consent decrees that were negotiated with both parties in full faith to do what's appropriate that you would leave those in tact unless there are some extraordinary circumstances. Of course, going forward as attorney general, you can enter into whatever consent decrees you deem appropriately -- appropriate. So my question really is the existing consent decrees which took a lot to negotiate, by the way, and it's not the vast majority of police departments in this country. It's 20. >> You can answer that if you want to then we'll move on. >> I understand what you're saying and one of the impacts of a consent decree is it does require judicial approval of any alteration in it. And it -- that raises pros and cons. >> Senator Kennedy. >> Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Senator, could you tell the committee a little bit more about what it was like to be U.S. Attorney? What was your management style, did you enjoy it? How was it compared to serving the state government as a state attorney general? >> I loved being U.S. Attorney. That was -- if you like law enforcement, trying to -- prosecuting criminals. It was just a fabulous job and we had great assistants and I loved it and our team did. [5:59:03 PM] Camelot days for me. So I did feel that. Only had two years as attorney general. We had this monumental deficit when I got elected and we had to lay off a third of the office because we didn't have money to pay the electric bill and it was just one thing after another and then I was running for the senate. So I didn't get to enjoy that job but the United States attorney job was a really fabulous experience and I believe in the course of it, I worked with FBI, Dea, U.S. Customs, marshal service, all the federal agencies, ATF, irs, post L service and their inspectors and you get to know their cultures and their crimes they investigate, the officers, what note investiga motivates them, how a little praise and affirmation is so important for them. They get the same salary, you know. If they're not feeling appreciated, they feel demeaned. Their morale can decline. So that kind of experience was wonderful and I do think it would help me be a better attorney general. >> I made up my mind. I yield back my time. I hope you will be a raging voice of common - BREAK
Al Sharpton Interview / This Week - TWO SHOT CAMERA
[Al Sharpton Interview / This Week - TWO SHOT CAMERA] [WASHINGTON, DC USA] STEPHANOPOULOS - THIS WEEK TWO camera and one lockdown camera interview with 2004 Democratic Presidential Candidate Al Sharpton for air November 30 TWO SHOT CAMERA T4032 AMERICAN BROADCASTING COMPANY "This Week" Segment: "Sharpton Campaign" Producer: Peter Demchuk INTERVIEW OF REVEREND AL SHARPTON WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS Friday, November 22, 2003 [TRANSCRIPT PREPARED FROM A TAPE RECORDING.] I N T E R V I E W MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Reverend Sharpton, thanks very much for joining us. REV. SHARPTON: Thank you. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, we were talking about a year/year-and-a-half ago, and you told me that your goal in the campaign would be to match or beat what Reverend Jesse Jackson got in the 1984 and 1988 campaigns. You don't seem on track to be doing that right now. How are you going to turn your campaign around? REV. SHARPTON: First of all, I said that I wanted to have the same impact. I think if you look at any objective appraisal, we're ahead of where the Jackson '84 campaign was. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Explain that. REV. SHARPTON: Well, look at the numbers. First of all, if you look at our standing, if you look at the support around the country from mayors of big cities like the Mayor Sharpe James to members of Congress, none of that happened this early in his '84 campaign and, in many ways, by the end of it. So I'm not using that as a gauge. I said we wanted to have as much and more impact. We're ahead of that if you talk about impact in terms of the campaign. Everyone--even my critics--say we are setting the tones of the debates, we're making people respond, and I'm, in many recent polls, ahead of some of what you in the media wrongly call "first tier" candidates. I don't think any of that had happened in November of '83 when Reverend Jackson ran. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Yeah, but not in the states that are going to matter most--Iowa, New Hampshire, even South Carolina, which I know you're counting on, and last quarter you only raised about $100,000. You lost your campaign manager. You lost your South Carolina director. REV. SHARPTON: I have a campaign manager that is a first-tier candidate, worked with Clinton. I mean, we didn't lose anything. Every campaign has had transitions, even--I can't think of one campaign that hasn't had staff changes. That's natural. Secondly, Washington, D.C., matters. That's the first primary. You didn't mention that. We're doing very well there. We will do well in Iowa. We'll do well in New Hampshire. We'll do well in South Carolina. I think that is part of why I'm running and why I'll be successful is we're going to redefine what matters. People have been very limited and very offensive to many Democrats talking about what matters, like only what they think matters matters. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: You also have to redefine victory. What is victory for you in this primary fight? REV. SHARPTON: Victory will come at many levels. One, it will come winning the nomination, of course. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, that's not going to happen. REV. SHARPTON: Well, that's what you say. When you were working for Bill Clinton, people told you all it wasn't going to happen, and you ended up going to the victory party. So, George, you should be the last one to say what's not going to happen, when you went through the most unrealistic campaign ever, and you ended up putting a guy in the White House. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: You're right. There were an awful lot of days that we didn't think victory was possible-- REV. SHARPTON: So you can't go from being one of them, St. Peter to being a Doubting Thomas. Now, that's not, that's not to your credit. But besides that, because I remember when you all came to New York. I didn't believe Bill Clinton was going anywhere. Not only was he elected, he was re-elected, and I'll invite you to my re-election. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, thank you very much. REV. SHARPTON: But I think, secondly, you define winning by expanding the election, your registered voters. I'm the only candidate that has worked actively on registration drives. In fact, I have personally gone to more campuses registering voters directly. Our National Action Network organization that I headed has partnered with BET doing that. We've got the only national cable station that's really pushing for the registration drive. That's winning because that will elect different people to the U.S. Senate. That will elect people to the Congress. That will elect mayors. That will elect county leaders. That will bring younger people in the process and moving the agenda, a progressive agenda, an agenda that will, in my judgment, confront this move to the right. That's winning. You win in various degrees, and we are ahead of schedule in all of them. I never thought a year ago, when I was talking to people like you, that I'd be ahead in some polls of John Edwards and tied in some polls with John Kerry. I never thought that we'd be in debates where these guys really would have to respond to us, so we're doing a lot better than I thought, and I thought we'd do good. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: What's the biggest impact you've had on the debate? REV. SHARPTON: I think that we've made them debate issues they would have ignored. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Like what? REV. SHARPTON: Well, start with the war. I was the first one to challenge all of the candidates on the war. When I first came out against the war, besides being at anti-war rallies, Dean was saying, "Well, we've got to do something about Hussein, but I don't know." We helped push that envelope on the war. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: But then why do you think he was able to grab the issue? That pushed him right to the top? REV. SHARPTON: I think he grabbed the issue in a certain area, what a lot of pundits call the "Starbucks coffee" crowd. He's not been able to show you he's been able to expand beyond that. And sometimes you can have what appears to be a mile-long support, but it'll only be an inch deep. We still don't know how deep that is going to be and how long that will last, and you run against guys like me who know how to fly below radar. Usually, I'm at the-- MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, you are not below the radar in these debates. REV. SHARPTON: Oh, I'm below radar in terms of support. I'm usually at the gate before the tower picks up that I've even started my descent, and anyone that has studied my career has seen that. I think the other thing that we've been able to do is make them debate their relationship with constituencies they've taken for granted--labor, my support for unions, and my support down through the years for the anti-NAFTA crowd. We've made them debate that in these iss--in these debates. We've made them debate the relationship to the African American and Latino community, the whole question of how we deal with immigration at one border, Mexico, as opposed to another, the whole question of the Confederate flag. All of these things probably would never--have never been discussed had I not raised the-- MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: So how do you answer people who say the fact that you've pushed the party in this direction--if, indeed, that is true--is going to actually hurt the Democratic Party in the general election? REV. SHARPTON: Well, pushing the party to the right is what's hurt. I think that, if anything, they will say that we are pushing away from five congressional defeats. Do you realize, since '94, we have not won the Congress or the Senate, and we're asking the guys that failed in five congressional and Senate races, five Superbowls, will you coach the next Superbowl? At least you get a new game plan if you don't get a new coach. I can't hurt a body that doesn't control the Senate, doesn't control the Congress, doesn't control the White House, and doesn't control the Supreme Court. Hurt? The only thing I can is help revive it. The right-wingers of the party have killed it. I'm trying to help set the stage for the resurrection. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: You had a big "dust up" with Howard Dean a few weeks ago. You said he was anti-black after Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., endorsed him. REV. SHARPTON: No, I said that some of his agenda-- MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Like what? REV. SHARPTON: --has been anti-black. I said that Governor Dean saying, as he said on CNN, that race should not be a factor in affirmative action hurt blacks. He admitted it and changed it lately. I said that his equating welfare recipients as people having babies and not having a work ethic, that he had to apologize as governor. That was anti-black. Him acting as though people with the Confederate flag was not offensive, that you can appeal to them, I condemned, along with every civil rights leader I know. George Bush for going to Bob Jones University, how could I not condemn him for saying, "I want to reach out to guys in pickup trucks and Confederate flags"? Well, then, if he can say that, then we should have let Bush reach out to people at Bob Jones University. We must be consistent. And, to his credit, he apologized. I said I didn't think he was a bigot, but some of the things he said was very offensive. And if you remember the debate, it was brought up by a young person in the audience. It wasn't brought up by Al Sharpton. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Is there any part of his agenda now that's anti-black? REV. SHARPTON: I think that I would still question the death penalty. I think he advocates that. And I would certainly question some relationships with NRA, but I don't think he's a bigot, and if he were to be the nominee--I think I will beat him--but if he'll be the nominee, I would support any-- MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: You don't really think you're going to be the nominee. REV. SHARPTON: Again, you know, I remember when I had this argument with you in '91 when you all brought Bill Clinton to town. I said, "You all really don't think anybody's going to vote for Bill Clinton." You all proved me wrong. So it's a return match. I'm going to prove you wrong, George. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, we will see about that. Let's talk about a different campaign, 1988. We talked about Reverend Jackson earlier. One of his big hopes at the 1988 campaign was to have a major speaking role at the convention. Is that something you're going to demand as this goes forward? REV. SHARPTON: First of all, I think every candidate should have a speaking role. We can't have a big tent and inclusiveness without every constituency being heard from, but I'm not worried about a speaking role because the nominee always gets to speak. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Where do you make your first win, then? Where does it come? Setting aside Washington, D.C. REV. SHARPTON: I hope to win Washington. Why do we always set it aside? How does the party believe in statehood if we want to act like a state primary doesn't matter? MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, the delegates aren't going to be chosen there, are they? REV. SHARPTON: I think that the Washington, D.C., primary defines whether the party really believes in statehood. I was shocked when I went to the D.C. State Party dinner, and I was the only candidate there. I mean, what do you mean "aside D.C."? Do you know any, any nation in the world that says, "Forget about our capital. Let's start everywhere else"? That's absurd. It's undemocratic, George. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: You're going to win in D.C. You're going to win D.C. REV. SHARPTON: I'm going to try to win D.C. and everywhere else, but I'm not going to try and overlook D.C. I think that that is what's been wrong now. We must stop doing that to D.C. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Who's your big competition for the African American vote in South Carolina? Forty percent of the electorate. REV. SHARPTON: I don't, I don't count African American. I count all voters. I mean, I'm worried about leaving and hurting my Jewish folk. I mean, I don't know what you're talking about. I'm not running as an African American candidate. I'm running for president. I hope African Americans, and Jewish Americans, and all kind of Americans vote for me. I happen to be a proud African American, but that doesn't mean that's all I expect to support me. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: So, then, what percentage of the vote are you going to get in South Carolina? REV. SHARPTON: Enough to win, I hope. That's what we all are trying to do, and I think that to play pundit is wrong. I think that people that believe in a job creation strategy, where I propose a $250-billion infrastructure redevelopment plan, ought to vote for me. People that are opposed to the war ought to vote for me. People that are opposed to the trade agreements that cost textile jobs in South Carolina ought to vote for me. The percentage of my win will be based on the people that agree with the things that I both have advocated, have supported, and have a track record in. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: You said that after you spent your time in prison Vieques, your protest of the testing down there, you came out believing in a more focused agenda. How does running for president fit into a focused agenda? Why not, say, put all of your energies into your home state of New York, run for mayor of New York City, become mayor of New York, show what you can do? REV. SHARPTON: Well, I think that, again, people ought to go by their own beliefs and where their gifts bring them and their beliefs bring them. I don't think you can impact the national crisis holding a local position. I think that we're in a national crisis, when we look at what's going on with the economy. I think we're in an international crisis, when you look at what's going on with Iraq, and we look at our trade agreements around the world. You couldn't affect that as mayor of New York. So I know that others feel that they can decide people's place, but I think you have to define that for yourself. I think the way to handle the national crisis and the international crisis that we're in is to give leadership at that level, which is why I seek the presidency because I think that what I bring to that office, and what I bring to the campaign of that office, is an alternative to what's going on now. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: But you bring no executive experience, no legislative experience. REV. SHARPTON: Well, I don't bring elected experience. I have probably more executive experience than anyone running. I've built two national-- MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Explain that. REV. SHARPTON: --organizations that I raised the funds myself, was able to set up chapters all over the country. I'm the only one in this race that had to be the chief executive of constituents in every region of the country. If I had a local legislative seat, I would have experience all over the country. I have people that are members of my organization all over America that I've been the chief executive to. Don't confuse a title with a function. I have functioned as an executive of a national group. There's no one in this race who can say that. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me get your quick thoughts on your opponents. Howard Dean. REV. SHARPTON: I think he's done very well with an Internet crowd and trying to move forward in terms of a media-driven campaign. He's done very well. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: John Kerry. REV. SHARPTON: I think that Kerry has the problem of being, touted as the front-runner early, and sometimes you don't live up to the billing. I think that he's trying to regain ground. He's had staff changes like everybody's had. We'll see what happens. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Dick Gephardt. REV. SHARPTON: Gephardt, I remember when Dick Gephardt ran in '88. I think the thing that you guys give him is he's been around a long time. Sometimes that's good. In American politics, it's the only place you don't get rewarded for lasting long. So I think, once he convinces you guys of that, that maybe he'll make the short list for vice president when I win. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, someone who hasn't been in for a long time is Wes Clark. REV. SHARPTON: You know, I was impressed with Clark. I spoke in Knoxville, Tennessee, on the same program he did the weekend before [inaudible]. He took his jacket off, very fiery, opposite of what I thought a military man would be. I think Clark is going to do well. I don't think I would endorse him over me, but I think he'll do well. Again, all of these people are very good. When you compare to George Bush, I think that any of them will-- MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, Dennis Kucinich is trying to take a lot of your progressive issues. He's running on a similar, very similar platform to you. REV. SHARPTON: I think Kucinich is good, very passionate. We get along. I just think that the base that I have nationally, and the ability to energize young voters, hip-hop generation is something that I bring unique to the campaign. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, someone who has cut into your base is Carol Moseley Braun. She's actually been ahead of you in several of the national polls. How do you explain that? REV. SHARPTON: Well, what polls are you looking at? In other polls, I've been way ahead, and every poll in what you call the African American vote and the Latino vote I've been way ahead. I'm not playing the polls. We are going to deal with votes, and the votes will speak for themselves. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: And you're in this all the way to the convention. REV. SHARPTON: Absolutely. In fact, at all levels of winning, from the nomination to impacting the message, to making sure people are registered, to making sure you elect local people that have that agenda. I wouldn't get in it if I was not going all the way to make sure at every level we do the best that we can do. We have to change this country. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I know you think you're going to win the nomination, but play a "hypothetic" with me for a second. Assume you don't win the nomination, what's the next step for Reverend Al Sharpton? REV. SHARPTON: If I don't win the nomination, I'll be part of those that will try to unseat George Bush in November because I think that the ultimate goal is that we must remove him no matter what. After that, I don't know. There are many things that I could do. I certainly will always be involved in the human and civil rights struggle. I will always be involved in public service, but I have not even thought about losing. It's just something that's against my nature. Failure is not in my DNA. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: You're an optimistic man, but as you point out, the Democrats have had a tough decade. Even though Bill Clinton won the White House twice, the Democratic Party lost the House, lost the Senate, lost several state houses, lost state legislatures--why? REV. SHARPTON: I think that they got too far away from their base constituency at a local level. I think they alienated people that were the most loyal to them. In a reach to bring new people in the tent, they began to put to sleep the people that were already in the tent. I think they've got to energize that. I think they've got to go for the electorate that would go for the young voters, the hip-hop generation. People that I'm trying to register are more naturally inclined to vote Democratic. We keep running toward people that, A, are not listening to us and, B, if they did register to vote, they wouldn't vote for us anyway. I think we've got to stop looking across the room at the prom at the girl that won't be your date and start treating the girl that stood with you well. Buy her a new dress. She may be the wife you are looking for. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: What's the best thing George W. Bush has done as president? REV. SHARPTON: I think that Bush believes in what he's doing, which is frightening to me. And I think the one thing that I would give him credit for is he was able, at a very critical time, to try and give the country hope. When we were attacked by bin Laden on 9/11, I was in New York. He gave the country hope, but then I think he betrayed us because we all gave him the benefit of the doubt. We thought he was going to go after those that attacked us. He didn't. So, for a minute, I said he showed leadership that we didn't think he had. But then, for some misguided reasons, he started going after old demons of his father, rather than those that killed innocent Americans. I think it's an opportunity that he let pass, and greatness might have passed with it. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: As you point out, the debates have been a real boon to you and, if nothing else, you've provided an awful lot of comic relief in the campaign, and now you're going to take it to the next step--Saturday Night Live. REV. SHARPTON: Well, they've invited me, and you know when I see Al Gore and others, John McCain, and others have done it, I decided to do it. But I'll be honest with you, George, one of the people that most influenced my decision to do it was you. If you guys could get Bill Clinton to put on shades and blow a horn on Arsenio Hall-- MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: He never went on Saturday Night Live. REV. SHARPTON: Hey, this is the next step. I'm going on the other side. I couldn't do Arsenio--he's not on--so I have to do Saturday Night Live. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: So it all turns around on Saturday Night Live. REV. SHARPTON: It shows, it shows you guys proved to America that if you show yourself being light and lively that people will begin to say, you know, he's not just one-dimensional. So I took the Bill Clinton strategy that you used. It worked for you guys. We'll see what it does for me. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: We'll see if it works. Actually, that makes me think of a broader possibility for you in this campaign. You know, for years, you've been dealing with the after-effects of the Tawana Brawley scandal, hoax, whatever you want to call it. And is it your hope, perhaps, that maybe through this national campaign the memory of that is purged? REV. SHARPTON: Absolutely not. You know, I always will say that I'll stand up for what I believe. I've stood up in other cases. I stood up for five young men that was convicted of a rape in Central Park. Years later, the real guy came forward, and they were overturned. You have to stand up for what you believe. And I'm not trying to get past anyone's memory. I'm trying to change the country. A lot of people agree or disagree with any one case, but a whole lot of people respect people that stand for what they believe. I've gone to jail for it, fighting the Navy base in Vieques. I've suffered for it. They almost killed me once leading a peaceful march. I think people want authenticity. And if I can show people that it's not about a career move, as many career politicians are doing, it's not about it's my time, but that authenticity, real leadership and sensitivity to the needs of people has a place in American politics, then I feel I've done a good thing. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, but part of that is also being able to stand up and say, you know, I was wrong. You praised Howard Dean earlier for apologizing about the Confederate flag. REV. SHARPTON: Well, you can't compare me being in a case and standing up with a flag that represented murder, lynching and treason. We're not talking about a case here now. We're not talking about whether he believed a child that had been missing [inaudible], we're talking about standing up, acting like it's all right to be the candidate of people that hold a flag that represents lynching, putting ropes around people's neck. There's no comparison. And that is why I said--now, if he didn't believe he was wrong, he should have said that and paid the consequences. In cases that I don't believe I was wrong, I paid the consequences for that. But you don't ask for a free ride. But you certainly compare the Confederate flag with me believing an individual case. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: What's the worst mistake George Bush has made as president? REV. SHARPTON: I think that he betrayed the trust of the American people. He campaigned saying he wanted to return integrity to the Oval Office. How can you return integrity by misleading the American people, having an administration with no-bid contracts, having a vice president having meetings that he will not discuss, and then putting a Patriot Act through that says all of our lives must be open books. He betrayed the trust of the American people, and in my judgment, he minimized and marginalized democracy by how he got in, in the first place, which is why people want to vote like they never voted before as the immediate response to what happened in the last national election. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I get the sense this isn't your last campaign. REV. SHARPTON: As long as I'm alive, I'll be campaigning for something, and I'll try to make sure that it's successful and helps a lot of people. Again, I've been doing this all my life. As long as I live, I'll be doing this, trying to raise issues and make sure that people that have not, that have not been heard and not been considered are heard and considered. It's the right thing to do. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Reverend Sharpton, thank you very much. REV. SHARPTON: Thank you. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: That's great. You are good. That was terrific. That's good. It livens up my Friday afternoon. [Laughter.] [End of Interview.]
Al Sharpton Interview / This Week
[Al Sharpton Interview / This Week] [WASHINGTON, DC USA] STEPHANOPOULOS - THIS WEEK TWO camera and one lockdown camera interview with 2004 Democratic Presidential Candidate Al Sharpton for air November 30 AL SHARPTON CAMERA T4032 AMERICAN BROADCASTING COMPANY "This Week" Segment: "Sharpton Campaign" Producer: Peter Demchuk INTERVIEW OF REVEREND AL SHARPTON WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS Friday, November 22, 2003 [TRANSCRIPT PREPARED FROM A TAPE RECORDING.] I N T E R V I E W MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Reverend Sharpton, thanks very much for joining us. REV. SHARPTON: Thank you. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, we were talking about a year/year-and-a-half ago, and you told me that your goal in the campaign would be to match or beat what Reverend Jesse Jackson got in the 1984 and 1988 campaigns. You don't seem on track to be doing that right now. How are you going to turn your campaign around? REV. SHARPTON: First of all, I said that I wanted to have the same impact. I think if you look at any objective appraisal, we're ahead of where the Jackson '84 campaign was. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Explain that. REV. SHARPTON: Well, look at the numbers. First of all, if you look at our standing, if you look at the support around the country from mayors of big cities like the Mayor Sharpe James to members of Congress, none of that happened this early in his '84 campaign and, in many ways, by the end of it. So I'm not using that as a gauge. I said we wanted to have as much and more impact. We're ahead of that if you talk about impact in terms of the campaign. Everyone--even my critics--say we are setting the tones of the debates, we're making people respond, and I'm, in many recent polls, ahead of some of what you in the media wrongly call "first tier" candidates. I don't think any of that had happened in November of '83 when Reverend Jackson ran. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Yeah, but not in the states that are going to matter most--Iowa, New Hampshire, even South Carolina, which I know you're counting on, and last quarter you only raised about $100,000. You lost your campaign manager. You lost your South Carolina director. REV. SHARPTON: I have a campaign manager that is a first-tier candidate, worked with Clinton. I mean, we didn't lose anything. Every campaign has had transitions, even--I can't think of one campaign that hasn't had staff changes. That's natural. Secondly, Washington, D.C., matters. That's the first primary. You didn't mention that. We're doing very well there. We will do well in Iowa. We'll do well in New Hampshire. We'll do well in South Carolina. I think that is part of why I'm running and why I'll be successful is we're going to redefine what matters. People have been very limited and very offensive to many Democrats talking about what matters, like only what they think matters matters. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: You also have to redefine victory. What is victory for you in this primary fight? REV. SHARPTON: Victory will come at many levels. One, it will come winning the nomination, of course. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, that's not going to happen. REV. SHARPTON: Well, that's what you say. When you were working for Bill Clinton, people told you all it wasn't going to happen, and you ended up going to the victory party. So, George, you should be the last one to say what's not going to happen, when you went through the most unrealistic campaign ever, and you ended up putting a guy in the White House. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: You're right. There were an awful lot of days that we didn't think victory was possible-- REV. SHARPTON: So you can't go from being one of them, St. Peter to being a Doubting Thomas. Now, that's not, that's not to your credit. But besides that, because I remember when you all came to New York. I didn't believe Bill Clinton was going anywhere. Not only was he elected, he was re-elected, and I'll invite you to my re-election. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, thank you very much. REV. SHARPTON: But I think, secondly, you define winning by expanding the election, your registered voters. I'm the only candidate that has worked actively on registration drives. In fact, I have personally gone to more campuses registering voters directly. Our National Action Network organization that I headed has partnered with BET doing that. We've got the only national cable station that's really pushing for the registration drive. That's winning because that will elect different people to the U.S. Senate. That will elect people to the Congress. That will elect mayors. That will elect county leaders. That will bring younger people in the process and moving the agenda, a progressive agenda, an agenda that will, in my judgment, confront this move to the right. That's winning. You win in various degrees, and we are ahead of schedule in all of them. I never thought a year ago, when I was talking to people like you, that I'd be ahead in some polls of John Edwards and tied in some polls with John Kerry. I never thought that we'd be in debates where these guys really would have to respond to us, so we're doing a lot better than I thought, and I thought we'd do good. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: What's the biggest impact you've had on the debate? REV. SHARPTON: I think that we've made them debate issues they would have ignored. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Like what? REV. SHARPTON: Well, start with the war. I was the first one to challenge all of the candidates on the war. When I first came out against the war, besides being at anti-war rallies, Dean was saying, "Well, we've got to do something about Hussein, but I don't know." We helped push that envelope on the war. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: But then why do you think he was able to grab the issue? That pushed him right to the top? REV. SHARPTON: I think he grabbed the issue in a certain area, what a lot of pundits call the "Starbucks coffee" crowd. He's not been able to show you he's been able to expand beyond that. And sometimes you can have what appears to be a mile-long support, but it'll only be an inch deep. We still don't know how deep that is going to be and how long that will last, and you run against guys like me who know how to fly below radar. Usually, I'm at the-- MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, you are not below the radar in these debates. REV. SHARPTON: Oh, I'm below radar in terms of support. I'm usually at the gate before the tower picks up that I've even started my descent, and anyone that has studied my career has seen that. I think the other thing that we've been able to do is make them debate their relationship with constituencies they've taken for granted--labor, my support for unions, and my support down through the years for the anti-NAFTA crowd. We've made them debate that in these iss--in these debates. We've made them debate the relationship to the African American and Latino community, the whole question of how we deal with immigration at one border, Mexico, as opposed to another, the whole question of the Confederate flag. All of these things probably would never--have never been discussed had I not raised the-- MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: So how do you answer people who say the fact that you've pushed the party in this direction--if, indeed, that is true--is going to actually hurt the Democratic Party in the general election? REV. SHARPTON: Well, pushing the party to the right is what's hurt. I think that, if anything, they will say that we are pushing away from five congressional defeats. Do you realize, since '94, we have not won the Congress or the Senate, and we're asking the guys that failed in five congressional and Senate races, five Superbowls, will you coach the next Superbowl? At least you get a new game plan if you don't get a new coach. I can't hurt a body that doesn't control the Senate, doesn't control the Congress, doesn't control the White House, and doesn't control the Supreme Court. Hurt? The only thing I can is help revive it. The right-wingers of the party have killed it. I'm trying to help set the stage for the resurrection. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: You had a big "dust up" with Howard Dean a few weeks ago. You said he was anti-black after Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., endorsed him. REV. SHARPTON: No, I said that some of his agenda-- MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Like what? REV. SHARPTON: --has been anti-black. I said that Governor Dean saying, as he said on CNN, that race should not be a factor in affirmative action hurt blacks. He admitted it and changed it lately. I said that his equating welfare recipients as people having babies and not having a work ethic, that he had to apologize as governor. That was anti-black. Him acting as though people with the Confederate flag was not offensive, that you can appeal to them, I condemned, along with every civil rights leader I know. George Bush for going to Bob Jones University, how could I not condemn him for saying, "I want to reach out to guys in pickup trucks and Confederate flags"? Well, then, if he can say that, then we should have let Bush reach out to people at Bob Jones University. We must be consistent. And, to his credit, he apologized. I said I didn't think he was a bigot, but some of the things he said was very offensive. And if you remember the debate, it was brought up by a young person in the audience. It wasn't brought up by Al Sharpton. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Is there any part of his agenda now that's anti-black? REV. SHARPTON: I think that I would still question the death penalty. I think he advocates that. And I would certainly question some relationships with NRA, but I don't think he's a bigot, and if he were to be the nominee--I think I will beat him--but if he'll be the nominee, I would support any-- MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: You don't really think you're going to be the nominee. REV. SHARPTON: Again, you know, I remember when I had this argument with you in '91 when you all brought Bill Clinton to town. I said, "You all really don't think anybody's going to vote for Bill Clinton." You all proved me wrong. So it's a return match. I'm going to prove you wrong, George. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, we will see about that. Let's talk about a different campaign, 1988. We talked about Reverend Jackson earlier. One of his big hopes at the 1988 campaign was to have a major speaking role at the convention. Is that something you're going to demand as this goes forward? REV. SHARPTON: First of all, I think every candidate should have a speaking role. We can't have a big tent and inclusiveness without every constituency being heard from, but I'm not worried about a speaking role because the nominee always gets to speak. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Where do you make your first win, then? Where does it come? Setting aside Washington, D.C. REV. SHARPTON: I hope to win Washington. Why do we always set it aside? How does the party believe in statehood if we want to act like a state primary doesn't matter? MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, the delegates aren't going to be chosen there, are they? REV. SHARPTON: I think that the Washington, D.C., primary defines whether the party really believes in statehood. I was shocked when I went to the D.C. State Party dinner, and I was the only candidate there. I mean, what do you mean "aside D.C."? Do you know any, any nation in the world that says, "Forget about our capital. Let's start everywhere else"? That's absurd. It's undemocratic, George. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: You're going to win in D.C. You're going to win D.C. REV. SHARPTON: I'm going to try to win D.C. and everywhere else, but I'm not going to try and overlook D.C. I think that that is what's been wrong now. We must stop doing that to D.C. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Who's your big competition for the African American vote in South Carolina? Forty percent of the electorate. REV. SHARPTON: I don't, I don't count African American. I count all voters. I mean, I'm worried about leaving and hurting my Jewish folk. I mean, I don't know what you're talking about. I'm not running as an African American candidate. I'm running for president. I hope African Americans, and Jewish Americans, and all kind of Americans vote for me. I happen to be a proud African American, but that doesn't mean that's all I expect to support me. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: So, then, what percentage of the vote are you going to get in South Carolina? REV. SHARPTON: Enough to win, I hope. That's what we all are trying to do, and I think that to play pundit is wrong. I think that people that believe in a job creation strategy, where I propose a $250-billion infrastructure redevelopment plan, ought to vote for me. People that are opposed to the war ought to vote for me. People that are opposed to the trade agreements that cost textile jobs in South Carolina ought to vote for me. The percentage of my win will be based on the people that agree with the things that I both have advocated, have supported, and have a track record in. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: You said that after you spent your time in prison Vieques, your protest of the testing down there, you came out believing in a more focused agenda. How does running for president fit into a focused agenda? Why not, say, put all of your energies into your home state of New York, run for mayor of New York City, become mayor of New York, show what you can do? REV. SHARPTON: Well, I think that, again, people ought to go by their own beliefs and where their gifts bring them and their beliefs bring them. I don't think you can impact the national crisis holding a local position. I think that we're in a national crisis, when we look at what's going on with the economy. I think we're in an international crisis, when you look at what's going on with Iraq, and we look at our trade agreements around the world. You couldn't affect that as mayor of New York. So I know that others feel that they can decide people's place, but I think you have to define that for yourself. I think the way to handle the national crisis and the international crisis that we're in is to give leadership at that level, which is why I seek the presidency because I think that what I bring to that office, and what I bring to the campaign of that office, is an alternative to what's going on now. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: But you bring no executive experience, no legislative experience. REV. SHARPTON: Well, I don't bring elected experience. I have probably more executive experience than anyone running. I've built two national-- MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Explain that. REV. SHARPTON: --organizations that I raised the funds myself, was able to set up chapters all over the country. I'm the only one in this race that had to be the chief executive of constituents in every region of the country. If I had a local legislative seat, I would have experience all over the country. I have people that are members of my organization all over America that I've been the chief executive to. Don't confuse a title with a function. I have functioned as an executive of a national group. There's no one in this race who can say that. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me get your quick thoughts on your opponents. Howard Dean. REV. SHARPTON: I think he's done very well with an Internet crowd and trying to move forward in terms of a media-driven campaign. He's done very well. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: John Kerry. REV. SHARPTON: I think that Kerry has the problem of being, touted as the front-runner early, and sometimes you don't live up to the billing. I think that he's trying to regain ground. He's had staff changes like everybody's had. We'll see what happens. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Dick Gephardt. REV. SHARPTON: Gephardt, I remember when Dick Gephardt ran in '88. I think the thing that you guys give him is he's been around a long time. Sometimes that's good. In American politics, it's the only place you don't get rewarded for lasting long. So I think, once he convinces you guys of that, that maybe he'll make the short list for vice president when I win. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, someone who hasn't been in for a long time is Wes Clark. REV. SHARPTON: You know, I was impressed with Clark. I spoke in Knoxville, Tennessee, on the same program he did the weekend before [inaudible]. He took his jacket off, very fiery, opposite of what I thought a military man would be. I think Clark is going to do well. I don't think I would endorse him over me, but I think he'll do well. Again, all of these people are very good. When you compare to George Bush, I think that any of them will-- MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, Dennis Kucinich is trying to take a lot of your progressive issues. He's running on a similar, very similar platform to you. REV. SHARPTON: I think Kucinich is good, very passionate. We get along. I just think that the base that I have nationally, and the ability to energize young voters, hip-hop generation is something that I bring unique to the campaign. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, someone who has cut into your base is Carol Moseley Braun. She's actually been ahead of you in several of the national polls. How do you explain that? REV. SHARPTON: Well, what polls are you looking at? In other polls, I've been way ahead, and every poll in what you call the African American vote and the Latino vote I've been way ahead. I'm not playing the polls. We are going to deal with votes, and the votes will speak for themselves. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: And you're in this all the way to the convention. REV. SHARPTON: Absolutely. In fact, at all levels of winning, from the nomination to impacting the message, to making sure people are registered, to making sure you elect local people that have that agenda. I wouldn't get in it if I was not going all the way to make sure at every level we do the best that we can do. We have to change this country. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I know you think you're going to win the nomination, but play a "hypothetic" with me for a second. Assume you don't win the nomination, what's the next step for Reverend Al Sharpton? REV. SHARPTON: If I don't win the nomination, I'll be part of those that will try to unseat George Bush in November because I think that the ultimate goal is that we must remove him no matter what. After that, I don't know. There are many things that I could do. I certainly will always be involved in the human and civil rights struggle. I will always be involved in public service, but I have not even thought about losing. It's just something that's against my nature. Failure is not in my DNA. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: You're an optimistic man, but as you point out, the Democrats have had a tough decade. Even though Bill Clinton won the White House twice, the Democratic Party lost the House, lost the Senate, lost several state houses, lost state legislatures--why? REV. SHARPTON: I think that they got too far away from their base constituency at a local level. I think they alienated people that were the most loyal to them. In a reach to bring new people in the tent, they began to put to sleep the people that were already in the tent. I think they've got to energize that. I think they've got to go for the electorate that would go for the young voters, the hip-hop generation. People that I'm trying to register are more naturally inclined to vote Democratic. We keep running toward people that, A, are not listening to us and, B, if they did register to vote, they wouldn't vote for us anyway. I think we've got to stop looking across the room at the prom at the girl that won't be your date and start treating the girl that stood with you well. Buy her a new dress. She may be the wife you are looking for. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: What's the best thing George W. Bush has done as president? REV. SHARPTON: I think that Bush believes in what he's doing, which is frightening to me. And I think the one thing that I would give him credit for is he was able, at a very critical time, to try and give the country hope. When we were attacked by bin Laden on 9/11, I was in New York. He gave the country hope, but then I think he betrayed us because we all gave him the benefit of the doubt. We thought he was going to go after those that attacked us. He didn't. So, for a minute, I said he showed leadership that we didn't think he had. But then, for some misguided reasons, he started going after old demons of his father, rather than those that killed innocent Americans. I think it's an opportunity that he let pass, and greatness might have passed with it. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: As you point out, the debates have been a real boon to you and, if nothing else, you've provided an awful lot of comic relief in the campaign, and now you're going to take it to the next step--Saturday Night Live. REV. SHARPTON: Well, they've invited me, and you know when I see Al Gore and others, John McCain, and others have done it, I decided to do it. But I'll be honest with you, George, one of the people that most influenced my decision to do it was you. If you guys could get Bill Clinton to put on shades and blow a horn on Arsenio Hall-- MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: He never went on Saturday Night Live. REV. SHARPTON: Hey, this is the next step. I'm going on the other side. I couldn't do Arsenio--he's not on--so I have to do Saturday Night Live. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: So it all turns around on Saturday Night Live. REV. SHARPTON: It shows, it shows you guys proved to America that if you show yourself being light and lively that people will begin to say, you know, he's not just one-dimensional. So I took the Bill Clinton strategy that you used. It worked for you guys. We'll see what it does for me. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: We'll see if it works. Actually, that makes me think of a broader possibility for you in this campaign. You know, for years, you've been dealing with the after-effects of the Tawana Brawley scandal, hoax, whatever you want to call it. And is it your hope, perhaps, that maybe through this national campaign the memory of that is purged? REV. SHARPTON: Absolutely not. You know, I always will say that I'll stand up for what I believe. I've stood up in other cases. I stood up for five young men that was convicted of a rape in Central Park. Years later, the real guy came forward, and they were overturned. You have to stand up for what you believe. And I'm not trying to get past anyone's memory. I'm trying to change the country. A lot of people agree or disagree with any one case, but a whole lot of people respect people that stand for what they believe. I've gone to jail for it, fighting the Navy base in Vieques. I've suffered for it. They almost killed me once leading a peaceful march. I think people want authenticity. And if I can show people that it's not about a career move, as many career politicians are doing, it's not about it's my time, but that authenticity, real leadership and sensitivity to the needs of people has a place in American politics, then I feel I've done a good thing. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, but part of that is also being able to stand up and say, you know, I was wrong. You praised Howard Dean earlier for apologizing about the Confederate flag. REV. SHARPTON: Well, you can't compare me being in a case and standing up with a flag that represented murder, lynching and treason. We're not talking about a case here now. We're not talking about whether he believed a child that had been missing [inaudible], we're talking about standing up, acting like it's all right to be the candidate of people that hold a flag that represents lynching, putting ropes around people's neck. There's no comparison. And that is why I said--now, if he didn't believe he was wrong, he should have said that and paid the consequences. In cases that I don't believe I was wrong, I paid the consequences for that. But you don't ask for a free ride. But you certainly compare the Confederate flag with me believing an individual case. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: What's the worst mistake George Bush has made as president? REV. SHARPTON: I think that he betrayed the trust of the American people. He campaigned saying he wanted to return integrity to the Oval Office. How can you return integrity by misleading the American people, having an administration with no-bid contracts, having a vice president having meetings that he will not discuss, and then putting a Patriot Act through that says all of our lives must be open books. He betrayed the trust of the American people, and in my judgment, he minimized and marginalized democracy by how he got in, in the first place, which is why people want to vote like they never voted before as the immediate response to what happened in the last national election. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I get the sense this isn't your last campaign. REV. SHARPTON: As long as I'm alive, I'll be campaigning for something, and I'll try to make sure that it's successful and helps a lot of people. Again, I've been doing this all my life. As long as I live, I'll be doing this, trying to raise issues and make sure that people that have not, that have not been heard and not been considered are heard and considered. It's the right thing to do. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Reverend Sharpton, thank you very much. REV. SHARPTON: Thank you. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: That's great. You are good. That was terrific. That's good. It livens up my Friday afternoon. [Laughter.] [End of Interview.]
Al Sharpton Interview / This Week - GS CAMERA
[Al Sharpton Interview / This Week - GS CAMERA] [WASHINGTON, DC USA] STEPHANOPOULOS - THIS WEEK TWO camera and one lockdown camera interview with 2004 Democratic Presidential Candidate Al Sharpton for air November 30 GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS CAMERA T4032 AMERICAN BROADCASTING COMPANY "This Week" Segment: "Sharpton Campaign" Producer: Peter Demchuk INTERVIEW OF REVEREND AL SHARPTON WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS Friday, November 22, 2003 [TRANSCRIPT PREPARED FROM A TAPE RECORDING.] I N T E R V I E W MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Reverend Sharpton, thanks very much for joining us. REV. SHARPTON: Thank you. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, we were talking about a year/year-and-a-half ago, and you told me that your goal in the campaign would be to match or beat what Reverend Jesse Jackson got in the 1984 and 1988 campaigns. You don't seem on track to be doing that right now. How are you going to turn your campaign around? REV. SHARPTON: First of all, I said that I wanted to have the same impact. I think if you look at any objective appraisal, we're ahead of where the Jackson '84 campaign was. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Explain that. REV. SHARPTON: Well, look at the numbers. First of all, if you look at our standing, if you look at the support around the country from mayors of big cities like the Mayor Sharpe James to members of Congress, none of that happened this early in his '84 campaign and, in many ways, by the end of it. So I'm not using that as a gauge. I said we wanted to have as much and more impact. We're ahead of that if you talk about impact in terms of the campaign. Everyone--even my critics--say we are setting the tones of the debates, we're making people respond, and I'm, in many recent polls, ahead of some of what you in the media wrongly call "first tier" candidates. I don't think any of that had happened in November of '83 when Reverend Jackson ran. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Yeah, but not in the states that are going to matter most--Iowa, New Hampshire, even South Carolina, which I know you're counting on, and last quarter you only raised about $100,000. You lost your campaign manager. You lost your South Carolina director. REV. SHARPTON: I have a campaign manager that is a first-tier candidate, worked with Clinton. I mean, we didn't lose anything. Every campaign has had transitions, even--I can't think of one campaign that hasn't had staff changes. That's natural. Secondly, Washington, D.C., matters. That's the first primary. You didn't mention that. We're doing very well there. We will do well in Iowa. We'll do well in New Hampshire. We'll do well in South Carolina. I think that is part of why I'm running and why I'll be successful is we're going to redefine what matters. People have been very limited and very offensive to many Democrats talking about what matters, like only what they think matters matters. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: You also have to redefine victory. What is victory for you in this primary fight? REV. SHARPTON: Victory will come at many levels. One, it will come winning the nomination, of course. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, that's not going to happen. REV. SHARPTON: Well, that's what you say. When you were working for Bill Clinton, people told you all it wasn't going to happen, and you ended up going to the victory party. So, George, you should be the last one to say what's not going to happen, when you went through the most unrealistic campaign ever, and you ended up putting a guy in the White House. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: You're right. There were an awful lot of days that we didn't think victory was possible-- REV. SHARPTON: So you can't go from being one of them, St. Peter to being a Doubting Thomas. Now, that's not, that's not to your credit. But besides that, because I remember when you all came to New York. I didn't believe Bill Clinton was going anywhere. Not only was he elected, he was re-elected, and I'll invite you to my re-election. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, thank you very much. REV. SHARPTON: But I think, secondly, you define winning by expanding the election, your registered voters. I'm the only candidate that has worked actively on registration drives. In fact, I have personally gone to more campuses registering voters directly. Our National Action Network organization that I headed has partnered with BET doing that. We've got the only national cable station that's really pushing for the registration drive. That's winning because that will elect different people to the U.S. Senate. That will elect people to the Congress. That will elect mayors. That will elect county leaders. That will bring younger people in the process and moving the agenda, a progressive agenda, an agenda that will, in my judgment, confront this move to the right. That's winning. You win in various degrees, and we are ahead of schedule in all of them. I never thought a year ago, when I was talking to people like you, that I'd be ahead in some polls of John Edwards and tied in some polls with John Kerry. I never thought that we'd be in debates where these guys really would have to respond to us, so we're doing a lot better than I thought, and I thought we'd do good. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: What's the biggest impact you've had on the debate? REV. SHARPTON: I think that we've made them debate issues they would have ignored. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Like what? REV. SHARPTON: Well, start with the war. I was the first one to challenge all of the candidates on the war. When I first came out against the war, besides being at anti-war rallies, Dean was saying, "Well, we've got to do something about Hussein, but I don't know." We helped push that envelope on the war. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: But then why do you think he was able to grab the issue? That pushed him right to the top? REV. SHARPTON: I think he grabbed the issue in a certain area, what a lot of pundits call the "Starbucks coffee" crowd. He's not been able to show you he's been able to expand beyond that. And sometimes you can have what appears to be a mile-long support, but it'll only be an inch deep. We still don't know how deep that is going to be and how long that will last, and you run against guys like me who know how to fly below radar. Usually, I'm at the-- MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, you are not below the radar in these debates. REV. SHARPTON: Oh, I'm below radar in terms of support. I'm usually at the gate before the tower picks up that I've even started my descent, and anyone that has studied my career has seen that. I think the other thing that we've been able to do is make them debate their relationship with constituencies they've taken for granted--labor, my support for unions, and my support down through the years for the anti-NAFTA crowd. We've made them debate that in these iss--in these debates. We've made them debate the relationship to the African American and Latino community, the whole question of how we deal with immigration at one border, Mexico, as opposed to another, the whole question of the Confederate flag. All of these things probably would never--have never been discussed had I not raised the-- MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: So how do you answer people who say the fact that you've pushed the party in this direction--if, indeed, that is true--is going to actually hurt the Democratic Party in the general election? REV. SHARPTON: Well, pushing the party to the right is what's hurt. I think that, if anything, they will say that we are pushing away from five congressional defeats. Do you realize, since '94, we have not won the Congress or the Senate, and we're asking the guys that failed in five congressional and Senate races, five Superbowls, will you coach the next Superbowl? At least you get a new game plan if you don't get a new coach. I can't hurt a body that doesn't control the Senate, doesn't control the Congress, doesn't control the White House, and doesn't control the Supreme Court. Hurt? The only thing I can is help revive it. The right-wingers of the party have killed it. I'm trying to help set the stage for the resurrection. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: You had a big "dust up" with Howard Dean a few weeks ago. You said he was anti-black after Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., endorsed him. REV. SHARPTON: No, I said that some of his agenda-- MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Like what? REV. SHARPTON: --has been anti-black. I said that Governor Dean saying, as he said on CNN, that race should not be a factor in affirmative action hurt blacks. He admitted it and changed it lately. I said that his equating welfare recipients as people having babies and not having a work ethic, that he had to apologize as governor. That was anti-black. Him acting as though people with the Confederate flag was not offensive, that you can appeal to them, I condemned, along with every civil rights leader I know. George Bush for going to Bob Jones University, how could I not condemn him for saying, "I want to reach out to guys in pickup trucks and Confederate flags"? Well, then, if he can say that, then we should have let Bush reach out to people at Bob Jones University. We must be consistent. And, to his credit, he apologized. I said I didn't think he was a bigot, but some of the things he said was very offensive. And if you remember the debate, it was brought up by a young person in the audience. It wasn't brought up by Al Sharpton. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Is there any part of his agenda now that's anti-black? REV. SHARPTON: I think that I would still question the death penalty. I think he advocates that. And I would certainly question some relationships with NRA, but I don't think he's a bigot, and if he were to be the nominee--I think I will beat him--but if he'll be the nominee, I would support any-- MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: You don't really think you're going to be the nominee. REV. SHARPTON: Again, you know, I remember when I had this argument with you in '91 when you all brought Bill Clinton to town. I said, "You all really don't think anybody's going to vote for Bill Clinton." You all proved me wrong. So it's a return match. I'm going to prove you wrong, George. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, we will see about that. Let's talk about a different campaign, 1988. We talked about Reverend Jackson earlier. One of his big hopes at the 1988 campaign was to have a major speaking role at the convention. Is that something you're going to demand as this goes forward? REV. SHARPTON: First of all, I think every candidate should have a speaking role. We can't have a big tent and inclusiveness without every constituency being heard from, but I'm not worried about a speaking role because the nominee always gets to speak. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Where do you make your first win, then? Where does it come? Setting aside Washington, D.C. REV. SHARPTON: I hope to win Washington. Why do we always set it aside? How does the party believe in statehood if we want to act like a state primary doesn't matter? MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, the delegates aren't going to be chosen there, are they? REV. SHARPTON: I think that the Washington, D.C., primary defines whether the party really believes in statehood. I was shocked when I went to the D.C. State Party dinner, and I was the only candidate there. I mean, what do you mean "aside D.C."? Do you know any, any nation in the world that says, "Forget about our capital. Let's start everywhere else"? That's absurd. It's undemocratic, George. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: You're going to win in D.C. You're going to win D.C. REV. SHARPTON: I'm going to try to win D.C. and everywhere else, but I'm not going to try and overlook D.C. I think that that is what's been wrong now. We must stop doing that to D.C. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Who's your big competition for the African American vote in South Carolina? Forty percent of the electorate. REV. SHARPTON: I don't, I don't count African American. I count all voters. I mean, I'm worried about leaving and hurting my Jewish folk. I mean, I don't know what you're talking about. I'm not running as an African American candidate. I'm running for president. I hope African Americans, and Jewish Americans, and all kind of Americans vote for me. I happen to be a proud African American, but that doesn't mean that's all I expect to support me. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: So, then, what percentage of the vote are you going to get in South Carolina? REV. SHARPTON: Enough to win, I hope. That's what we all are trying to do, and I think that to play pundit is wrong. I think that people that believe in a job creation strategy, where I propose a $250-billion infrastructure redevelopment plan, ought to vote for me. People that are opposed to the war ought to vote for me. People that are opposed to the trade agreements that cost textile jobs in South Carolina ought to vote for me. The percentage of my win will be based on the people that agree with the things that I both have advocated, have supported, and have a track record in. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: You said that after you spent your time in prison Vieques, your protest of the testing down there, you came out believing in a more focused agenda. How does running for president fit into a focused agenda? Why not, say, put all of your energies into your home state of New York, run for mayor of New York City, become mayor of New York, show what you can do? REV. SHARPTON: Well, I think that, again, people ought to go by their own beliefs and where their gifts bring them and their beliefs bring them. I don't think you can impact the national crisis holding a local position. I think that we're in a national crisis, when we look at what's going on with the economy. I think we're in an international crisis, when you look at what's going on with Iraq, and we look at our trade agreements around the world. You couldn't affect that as mayor of New York. So I know that others feel that they can decide people's place, but I think you have to define that for yourself. I think the way to handle the national crisis and the international crisis that we're in is to give leadership at that level, which is why I seek the presidency because I think that what I bring to that office, and what I bring to the campaign of that office, is an alternative to what's going on now. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: But you bring no executive experience, no legislative experience. REV. SHARPTON: Well, I don't bring elected experience. I have probably more executive experience than anyone running. I've built two national-- MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Explain that. REV. SHARPTON: --organizations that I raised the funds myself, was able to set up chapters all over the country. I'm the only one in this race that had to be the chief executive of constituents in every region of the country. If I had a local legislative seat, I would have experience all over the country. I have people that are members of my organization all over America that I've been the chief executive to. Don't confuse a title with a function. I have functioned as an executive of a national group. There's no one in this race who can say that. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me get your quick thoughts on your opponents. Howard Dean. REV. SHARPTON: I think he's done very well with an Internet crowd and trying to move forward in terms of a media-driven campaign. He's done very well. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: John Kerry. REV. SHARPTON: I think that Kerry has the problem of being, touted as the front-runner early, and sometimes you don't live up to the billing. I think that he's trying to regain ground. He's had staff changes like everybody's had. We'll see what happens. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Dick Gephardt. REV. SHARPTON: Gephardt, I remember when Dick Gephardt ran in '88. I think the thing that you guys give him is he's been around a long time. Sometimes that's good. In American politics, it's the only place you don't get rewarded for lasting long. So I think, once he convinces you guys of that, that maybe he'll make the short list for vice president when I win. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, someone who hasn't been in for a long time is Wes Clark. REV. SHARPTON: You know, I was impressed with Clark. I spoke in Knoxville, Tennessee, on the same program he did the weekend before [inaudible]. He took his jacket off, very fiery, opposite of what I thought a military man would be. I think Clark is going to do well. I don't think I would endorse him over me, but I think he'll do well. Again, all of these people are very good. When you compare to George Bush, I think that any of them will-- MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, Dennis Kucinich is trying to take a lot of your progressive issues. He's running on a similar, very similar platform to you. REV. SHARPTON: I think Kucinich is good, very passionate. We get along. I just think that the base that I have nationally, and the ability to energize young voters, hip-hop generation is something that I bring unique to the campaign. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, someone who has cut into your base is Carol Moseley Braun. She's actually been ahead of you in several of the national polls. How do you explain that? REV. SHARPTON: Well, what polls are you looking at? In other polls, I've been way ahead, and every poll in what you call the African American vote and the Latino vote I've been way ahead. I'm not playing the polls. We are going to deal with votes, and the votes will speak for themselves. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: And you're in this all the way to the convention. REV. SHARPTON: Absolutely. In fact, at all levels of winning, from the nomination to impacting the message, to making sure people are registered, to making sure you elect local people that have that agenda. I wouldn't get in it if I was not going all the way to make sure at every level we do the best that we can do. We have to change this country. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I know you think you're going to win the nomination, but play a "hypothetic" with me for a second. Assume you don't win the nomination, what's the next step for Reverend Al Sharpton? REV. SHARPTON: If I don't win the nomination, I'll be part of those that will try to unseat George Bush in November because I think that the ultimate goal is that we must remove him no matter what. After that, I don't know. There are many things that I could do. I certainly will always be involved in the human and civil rights struggle. I will always be involved in public service, but I have not even thought about losing. It's just something that's against my nature. Failure is not in my DNA. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: You're an optimistic man, but as you point out, the Democrats have had a tough decade. Even though Bill Clinton won the White House twice, the Democratic Party lost the House, lost the Senate, lost several state houses, lost state legislatures--why? REV. SHARPTON: I think that they got too far away from their base constituency at a local level. I think they alienated people that were the most loyal to them. In a reach to bring new people in the tent, they began to put to sleep the people that were already in the tent. I think they've got to energize that. I think they've got to go for the electorate that would go for the young voters, the hip-hop generation. People that I'm trying to register are more naturally inclined to vote Democratic. We keep running toward people that, A, are not listening to us and, B, if they did register to vote, they wouldn't vote for us anyway. I think we've got to stop looking across the room at the prom at the girl that won't be your date and start treating the girl that stood with you well. Buy her a new dress. She may be the wife you are looking for. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: What's the best thing George W. Bush has done as president? REV. SHARPTON: I think that Bush believes in what he's doing, which is frightening to me. And I think the one thing that I would give him credit for is he was able, at a very critical time, to try and give the country hope. When we were attacked by bin Laden on 9/11, I was in New York. He gave the country hope, but then I think he betrayed us because we all gave him the benefit of the doubt. We thought he was going to go after those that attacked us. He didn't. So, for a minute, I said he showed leadership that we didn't think he had. But then, for some misguided reasons, he started going after old demons of his father, rather than those that killed innocent Americans. I think it's an opportunity that he let pass, and greatness might have passed with it. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: As you point out, the debates have been a real boon to you and, if nothing else, you've provided an awful lot of comic relief in the campaign, and now you're going to take it to the next step--Saturday Night Live. REV. SHARPTON: Well, they've invited me, and you know when I see Al Gore and others, John McCain, and others have done it, I decided to do it. But I'll be honest with you, George, one of the people that most influenced my decision to do it was you. If you guys could get Bill Clinton to put on shades and blow a horn on Arsenio Hall-- MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: He never went on Saturday Night Live. REV. SHARPTON: Hey, this is the next step. I'm going on the other side. I couldn't do Arsenio--he's not on--so I have to do Saturday Night Live. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: So it all turns around on Saturday Night Live. REV. SHARPTON: It shows, it shows you guys proved to America that if you show yourself being light and lively that people will begin to say, you know, he's not just one-dimensional. So I took the Bill Clinton strategy that you used. It worked for you guys. We'll see what it does for me. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: We'll see if it works. Actually, that makes me think of a broader possibility for you in this campaign. You know, for years, you've been dealing with the after-effects of the Tawana Brawley scandal, hoax, whatever you want to call it. And is it your hope, perhaps, that maybe through this national campaign the memory of that is purged? REV. SHARPTON: Absolutely not. You know, I always will say that I'll stand up for what I believe. I've stood up in other cases. I stood up for five young men that was convicted of a rape in Central Park. Years later, the real guy came forward, and they were overturned. You have to stand up for what you believe. And I'm not trying to get past anyone's memory. I'm trying to change the country. A lot of people agree or disagree with any one case, but a whole lot of people respect people that stand for what they believe. I've gone to jail for it, fighting the Navy base in Vieques. I've suffered for it. They almost killed me once leading a peaceful march. I think people want authenticity. And if I can show people that it's not about a career move, as many career politicians are doing, it's not about it's my time, but that authenticity, real leadership and sensitivity to the needs of people has a place in American politics, then I feel I've done a good thing. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, but part of that is also being able to stand up and say, you know, I was wrong. You praised Howard Dean earlier for apologizing about the Confederate flag. REV. SHARPTON: Well, you can't compare me being in a case and standing up with a flag that represented murder, lynching and treason. We're not talking about a case here now. We're not talking about whether he believed a child that had been missing [inaudible], we're talking about standing up, acting like it's all right to be the candidate of people that hold a flag that represents lynching, putting ropes around people's neck. There's no comparison. And that is why I said--now, if he didn't believe he was wrong, he should have said that and paid the consequences. In cases that I don't believe I was wrong, I paid the consequences for that. But you don't ask for a free ride. But you certainly compare the Confederate flag with me believing an individual case. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: What's the worst mistake George Bush has made as president? REV. SHARPTON: I think that he betrayed the trust of the American people. He campaigned saying he wanted to return integrity to the Oval Office. How can you return integrity by misleading the American people, having an administration with no-bid contracts, having a vice president having meetings that he will not discuss, and then putting a Patriot Act through that says all of our lives must be open books. He betrayed the trust of the American people, and in my judgment, he minimized and marginalized democracy by how he got in, in the first place, which is why people want to vote like they never voted before as the immediate response to what happened in the last national election. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I get the sense this isn't your last campaign. REV. SHARPTON: As long as I'm alive, I'll be campaigning for something, and I'll try to make sure that it's successful and helps a lot of people. Again, I've been doing this all my life. As long as I live, I'll be doing this, trying to raise issues and make sure that people that have not, that have not been heard and not been considered are heard and considered. It's the right thing to do. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Reverend Sharpton, thank you very much. REV. SHARPTON: Thank you. MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: That's great. You are good. That was terrific. That's good. It livens up my Friday afternoon. [Laughter.] [End of Interview.]
RED STATE GATHERING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE FORUM P2 (HD)
FTG FROM RED STATE CANDIDATE FORUM PART 1 - CHRIS CHRISTIE PART 2 AND RICK PERRY GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES SPEAKING: 10:30 - 11:00 a.m. Governor Chris Christie 11:30 - Noon Governor Rick Perry 1:30 - 2:00 p.m. Governor Bobby Jindal 3:30 - 4:00 p.m. Carly Fiorina 4:30 - 5:00 p.m. Senator Marco Rubio From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Atlanta becomes the center of the American political universe this weekend as 10 Republican presidential hopefuls here for the RedState Gathering at the Intercontinental Buckhead on Peachtree Road. The gathering, named after the conservative political website, is the brainchild of WSB Radio host Erick Erickson. It's a three-day convention of top GOP elected officials, 700 activists, 150 journalists and begins this evening - concurrent with the first major debates of the 2016 presidential campaign. Tickets for the gathering are sold out. It's not just presidential candidates speaking. A number of governors and other Republican luminaries will appear, all sandwiched around panels on topics such as The Power of Twitter and civil asset forfeiture. (LINK <http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2015/08/06/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-atlanta-redstate-gathering/>) Full schedule Friday, August7, 2015 8:00a.m. - 5:00p.m. Registration Intercontinental, Ballroom Foyer 7:30 - 9:00a.m. Breakfast, Ballroom Foyer 8:00 - 8:45a.m. You Will Be Made to Care - Erick Erickson and Casey Mattox, Windsor Ballroom 8:45 - 9:00 a.m. Welcome, Opening Prayer, Pledge of Allegiance 9:00- 9:30a.m. The Elephant in the Room: Planned Parenthood - Ed Morrissey, HotAir.com and Amanda Muatoz, Townhall Media 9:30- 10:00a.m. The Power of Twitter - Lori Ziganto, Twitchy and Sean Evins, Twitter 10:00- 10:15 a.m. Senator Jim DeMint 10:15- 10:30a.m. Senator Tim Scott 10:30 - 11:00a.m. Governor Chris Christie 11:00- 11:30a.m. A Conversation with Governor Nikki Haley 11:30 - Noon Governor Rick Perry Noon - 1:30p.m. Lunch - Ballroom Foyer 12:30- 1:15 p.m. They Are Coming For You: Even Red State Republicans Are Trying To Criminalize Conservatives Michael Sullivan and Dustin Matocha, Empower Texans Windsor Ballroom 1:30 - 2:00 p.m. Governor Bobby Jindal 2:00 - 2:30p.m. Governor Pete Ricketts 3:30 - 4:00p.m. Carly Fiorina 4:00 - 4:30p.m. Governor Greg Abbott 4:30 - 5:00p.m. Senator Marco Rubio BUSH, WALKER, JINDAL, PERRY, FIORINA TO APPEAR AT REDSTATE GATHERING IN ATLANTA AUGUST 6-9 RedState's Erick Erickson will have the following announcement post up tomorrow on RedState at the following link. Excerpt from the RS post: I am asking the 2016 candidates to do one thing, though, which we rarely do. Though I am loathe to ever suggest a topic for speakers, I have asked each of the 2016 candidates to focus on one thing: if they become President, their re-election would be in 2020. I'd like them to present their 2020 vision for what the nation should look like after their first four years. We do not need Obama bashing. We need to know what they would do differently and how they would shape the nation. They should be elected not on their ability to bash the opposition, but their ability to sell a vision for the future that resonances with the base and the nation as a whole. We do not, right now, need a 50 point plan. We need to know what they see as the areas that need fixing and how their fixes will reshape the country. <http://www.redstate.com/2015/05/12/round-one-for-the-redstate-gathering/> Round One For the RedState Gathering I hope you have gotten your tickets to the RedState Gathering, because with this post today I suspect we are going to see them start going quickly. Backers of the various candidates want to see their preferred pick and with Atlanta being an easy place to get to, well . . . I hope you got your ticket. You can register at this link. This morning I want to tell you about the first wave of 2016 Presidential candidates who are speaking at the RedState Gathering. They will not be the only speakers. We have some really awesome candidates and elected officials coming. But I promised to release the names of the 2016 candidates first. While the complete list of speakers isn't being released at this time, as of this morning, I can announce that the RedState Gathering will get to hear from Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina and Jeb Bush. We have also extended invitations to Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul (R-KY) 80% and Marco Rubio but have not yet confirmed their attendance. There are a few special surprise guests heading to the Gathering as well, but mentioning them right now would ruin the fun. The RedState Gathering started in 2009 in Atlanta and we've returned to that city for the 2015 Gathering. The event has always been a very grassroots event. The speakers cover their costs, which helps keep your cost low. They take questions, which will happen this year. But most of all, you get to see and hear from them up close. This year, the RedState Gathering will kick off on the evening of August 6, 2015, with a very special party that will feature a discussion with Joe Scarborough. The Presidential candidates will take center stage on August 7th. There will be even more on August 8th. When we did the first RedState Gathering in 2009, we heard from some relatively unknown candidates: Ted Cruz (R-TX) 100%, Marco Rubio (R-FL) 100%, and Nikki Haley to name a few. This year there will be few unknowns, but a lot of people the RedState grassroots have helped over the years. I am asking the 2016 candidates to do one thing, though, which we rarely do. Though I am loathe to ever suggest a topic for speakers, I have asked each of the 2016 candidates to focus on one thing: if they become President, their re-election would be in 2020. I'd like them to present their 2020 vision for what the nation should look like after their first four years. We do not need Obama bashing. We need to know what they would do differently and how they would shape the nation. They should be elected not on their ability to bash the opposition, but their ability to sell a vision for the future that resonances with the base and the nation as a whole. We do not, right now, need a 50 point plan. We need to know what they see as the areas that need fixing and how their fixes will reshape the country. Please join Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina, Jeb Bush, and me in Atlanta on August 6th to August 9th at the Intercontinental Buckhead Hotel for the 2015 RedState Gathering. More exciting announcements to come soon. ----------------- PERRY (APPLAUSE) PERRY: Thank you, Eric. You're so good. Oh, man. Hey! I told Eric -- I was up late last night. Not as late as I wanted to be, but -- (LAUGHTER) -- any, it was awesome. It was -- I hope all of you got to see that. It was -- Eric, I want to say thank you, brother, for the work that you have done for the cause of conservatism. This guy has been a voice for all of us, and just an amazing and steadfast friend. So thank you for your friendship, thank you for your voice and stay in the fight, brother. As a matter of fact, let's just say one time collectively to Eric Erickson thank you for doing a fabulous job. Come out here again. Come on. Come on, give it up. (APPLAUSE AND CHEERS) Love you. I want to talk about an individual who I really greatly admire, and as I look around in those places in life where you can gain inspiration, I think the most consequential president that this country ever had. He was a man who -- he transcended the pettiness of his time in order to preserve this union. Abraham Lincoln turned to scripture when he declared that a house divided itself cannot stand. It was Lincoln who insisted that the Capitol Dome be finished in the midst of the Civil War. It was a symbol of this undying devotion to the union at that very, very trying time in our country. Lincoln was not one to suffer fools either. He was a powerful guy. Whether it was the Know Nothing movement that was occurring during his time that espoused this nativism that blamed immigrants for the troubles of time or whether it was Civil War generals that didn't get the job done, he just did not suffer fools well at all. But on the issues of his time, the grave injustice of slavery, a war of secession that claimed the lives of literally hundreds of thousands, he was a -- long-suffering, he was benevolent, he rose above the pettiness for the sake of the greater good. On the occasion of his second inaugural after so much blood had been spilled and with the cause for which he valiantly strived and it was within sight for him, he could have spoken as a conqueror, but he chose to speak as a healer. I think about a healer in the governor that just walked off this stage, in her state, where she was required to be a healer. It is a powerful moment in time like those. And Lincoln set out to bind the wounds of this nation, declaring malice towards none with charity for all. Today, we have another president from Illinois in the White House. That's about where the similarities end. (LAUGHTER) He has become a divider in chief, slicing and dicing this electorate, whether you have a different or a different income, a different gender, instead of showing a willingness to work with Republicans. After the trouncing that his party took in 2014, he offered a closed fist instead of an open hand. He's issued these lawless executive orders, now he wants to bypass Congress with this agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran, and instead of speaking to the legitimate concerns of those who oppose that agreement, he speaks dismissively and derisive of us, even declaring the Republican Caucus in common cause with the Iranian hardliners. The fact is this presidency has become the imperial petulancy. That's what he has become. He has become our nation's chief cynic, demonizing the opposition at every turn, seeking political advantage instead of political consensus. In the face of such deep cynicism in the White House, we who are running for president have a choice: to match him eye for eye with our own inflammatory rhetoric, or to turn the other cheek, begin the process of turning the page on this failed presidency by offering uniting and healing for this nation. (APPLAUSE) And I will tell you, I don't believe the answer to a Democratic -- or to this Democratic divider is to have a Republican divider. It's time for leadership that repairs the breach that inspires Americans to dream again, to believe again, with policies that get our country working again. I want to share some important truths with you, starting with this truth. We do not have to settle for a world in chaos or an America that shrinks from its responsibilities. We don't have to apologize for American exceptionalism or Western values. We don't have to accept economic policies that leave behind the middle class and leave millions of Americans without even the hope of a job. We don't have to settle for crumbling bureaucracies that target our taxpayers and harm our veterans. And we don't have to resign ourselves to debt, decay and slow growth. We have the power to make things new again, to project America's strength again, to get our economy going again. I'm running for president because I believe our best days as a nation are in front of us. I think we're just a few good policies and a leadership change away from the greatest days America has ever seen. (APPLAUSE AND CHEERS) And you know what the answer is; this isn't rocket science. It's growth. This country is ready to grow. And I'm not talking about growth just for the 1 percent or Wall Street, I'm talking about growth across the board that we know how to do in this country. Growth that benefits everyone. Growth that boosts the middle class incomes, that creates jobs that revives those forgotten American cities, give opportunity to people again. Growth is the key to funding education, growth is the key to funding health care, growth is the answer to reducing poverty. Our conservative values are what everyone should come to recognize that freedom from overtaxation and overregulation. I know this because I saw it happen in the 12th largest economy in the world. Over the last 14 years that I had the privilege to be the governor of the state of Texas, we freed people from overtaxation, overregulation. We passed the most sweeping tort reform in the nation. People -- there are those on the left that want to talk about a war on women. Let me tell you what happened in my home state. During that decade of the 2000s, a decade, that I might add, we added over 6 million people to the population rolls of the state of Texas, one out of every three jobs in American that were created in that 14 years happened in that state, that 12th largest economy in the world. That tort reform that we passed, if you were a pregnant female from El Paso to Brownsville, it's about 1,200 miles. You had to leave that county to go find prenatal care in the early part of the 2000s. When we passed that tort reform, we protected those health care providers from frivolous lawsuits. And a decade after we passed that, there were over 37,000 more doctors licensed to practice medicine in that state. That's about access to health care. (APPLAUSE) Christus Spohn is a very Catholic, not-for-profit hospital. They saved $100 million a year that they don't have to spend on defense cost, that is poured back into that hospital system to hire nurses, physicians, technology, new facilities, to make access to health care. That's what we need to be -- that's what we need to be focused on in this country. America is -- America is longing for leadership that will lay solutions out, solutions that work. I tell people this is going to be a show me don't tell me election. I mean, we've had six-and-a-half years of a pretty good talker -- (LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE) -- a young, inexperienced United States senator that has gotten American in the ditch now economically, foreign policy-wise. I will suggest that America is ready for a -- an executive, an individual who understands how to lead, how to make decisions. There is just something about those experiences that you can't get out of a book. When the Space Shuttle fell out of the sky in my home state back in the early 2000s, didn't anybody hand me a manual and say here, Perry, here's how to deal with that issue. Nobody gave me the how-to book when Hurricane Katrina hit our neighbor in Louisiana and there were literally tens of thousands of people who came flowing into our state, into open arms, I might add. But the contra flowing of those highways. Last summer, nobody gave me the manual and said here you go, Perry, here's how you're going to have to deal with the border crisis because the president of the United States is going to refuse to secure our border. And I met the president on the ramp in Dallas, Texas, and I looked him in the eye and I said, Mr. President, if you do not secure the border, Texas will. And we did. (APPLAUSE) We deployed our law enforcement. We sent those Ranger Recon teams. We literally had our Parks and Wildlife wardens in the river, because this president didn't understand that his Border Patrol were 45 or 50 miles back away from the border in an apprehension position. I mean, literally, he looked to Valerie Jarrett and said is that right Valerie? I said, Mr. President, let me show you something. I know what's going on at the border. That's exactly what's happened. I know how to secure that border. If you put the personnel in the right places, you have the strategic fencing in place, and you use aviation assets from Tijuana to El Paso to Brownsville, it's 1,933 miles, looking down 24/7 with technology that we have available today that tells us exactly what's going on. And if it's suspicious or if it's clearly illegal, quick response teams to go and shut it down. That's how you secure the border. (APPLAUSE) When we surged last summer, we saw a 74 percent decrease in that region of the border where we surged our law enforcement. Nobody gave me a manual last September when Ebola came into this country, and it happened to come into our state. It could have just as well come to Atlanta, it could have come to Charlotte, but it came to Texas, and the country got to see what leadership looks like. I don't remember if you recall, the president took literally weeks to name his Ebola czar. (LAUGHTER) Remember who it was? It was an individual who used to be the spokesperson for a former vice president of the United States. I asked Dr. Breshwa (ph) a brilliant doctor with an extraordinary background of dealing with these types of issues, and his number two was the head of our Department of Health who is an infectious disease expert. Americans were confident that there were competent individuals, and we addressed that issue. That's what America longs for. America longs for someone in that Oval Officer every day that has the experience that you know how they're going to respond. Our allies need somebody in that office that they know when there is a red line crossed, that that adversary will pay a price, and we will be there with our -- it is time for us to stand with our great friend Israel again and never let light show between them. (APPLAUSE) Having worn the uniform of this country, it grieves me greatly to realize that we are at a point with our personnel in the United States Army at its lowest level since 1940. We've got one fighter in production, we're down to 10 carriers. The Heritage Foundation says we need at least 13. And you think about what's going on in the South China Sea today. You've got China that's over there building these artificial islands. Some 3,000 acres they built in the last 18 months. You look back historically, and that type of island building with Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam, maybe 10 acres in the last 45 years. This is one of the most important sea lanes in the world. The amount of commerce that goes on the South China Sea is an extraordinary -- and it's being put in jeopardy because we have an administration that would rather spend money on programs rather than fund our military. And listen. This isn't just this administration. Both this administration and the Republicans in Washington, D.C., I will suggest, have failed us when it comes to funding our military. (APPLAUSE AND CHEERS) We need leadership that's going to seriously address these deficits, and I know a little bit of something about that. There were two major turndowns in Texas' economy over that last 14-year period, there's only two ways to address this issue, my friends, and you know it. This is so much -- my father used to say I don't know why they call it common sense when it ain't so common. (LAUGHTER) But this is common sense. You cannot address this debt, this absolutely immoral debt that we have in this country, without cutting spending and growing the economy. Those are the only two options to this. (APPLAUSE) We can't put this off. Do you realize that 2023, by 2023, we will be spending more in interest on the federal debt than we are spending on the totality of our Department of Defense budget. That is just insane. We need a president who understands how to manage that place, who will go to the American people, address these issues that are so important to the future of this country. I know how to get this country back growing again because I had the great privilege of overseeing that in the 12th largest economy in the world. I mean, that's a -- that's a serious -- I mean, we're about the size of -- Texas is about the size of Canada or Australia. I mean, this is -- this matters, and I think it's so important for us as a country to really have this conversation about experience, about executive experience. Show me, don't tell me. I want to see what you've done, don't tell me what you're going to do. It's time for leadership in this country that's proven. An individual who will take the helm of this country. We've got to have hard decisions that are made, and the fact is these defense cuts are not the solution to the problem that's out there for sure, it's this entitlement spending. And we've got to reform the entitlement program in this country, and the Washington politicians refuse to do that. (APPLAUSE) Now let me tell you, that's a whole 'nother speech for another time right there, on how to deal with these entitlements. But let me be very clear about something. If you elect me president of the United States, and America will be strong again militarily. America will be respected around the world because we have a strong -- (APPLAUSE) Ronald Reagan got it right. He knew that when America is strong, the world is safer. But you must grow your economy first. If I went around this room and asked everybody what's the most important thing that government does, I'd hear a number of interesting things. I happen to be one of those people that believes in the Constitution -- (APPLAUSE) -- and the Constitution tells us a couple of really important things that the -- that the government needs to do Constitutionally. One of them is stand a strong military. It's right there, it's enumerated in the Constitution. The other one is to keep this country secure. (APPLAUSE) How about what Washington get those two things right, and then we can talk about if there's anything else they need to be dealing with. (APPLAUSE) I want to share with you two things. You know the job creation story that occurred in the -- in Texas over the last -- 1.5 million jobs from the end of '07 through 2014; 1.5 million jobs. The rest of the country lost 400,000 jobs. I told you we added 6 million people to the population rolls of Texas, do you know what that 6 million people relates to? A lot of pick-up trucks. (LAUGHTER) Right? Well, you think about that. Those 6 million people, they're coming -- they came to that state to work, and they bought vehicles, and they're driving. We built more lanes -- I mean, more new lane miles of road in that decade than any other state in the nation. And what else does that tell you? Exhaust, non-point source pollution. When you add to that also that we have the largest refining capability on that Gulf Coast and the chemical facilities that we have down there, that's emissions, right? Going up into the air. Oh and by the way, Houston is down there on a latitude that is really conducive for ozone production, so everything that I just told you, all three of those, I would suggest, those on the left would say boy, the air must really be bad in Texas. Here's the facts. Nitrogen oxide levels are down by 62.5 percent, ozone levels are down by 23 percent. And no matter where you are in the whole climate issues, CO2 levels are down by 9 percent. Wasn't that the point? But a Republican did it with incentive-based regulations so they refused to go parrot that anywhere. But that's the -- we did it by putting incentives into place to change from old dirty-burning engines into fleet engines that were clean burning. We changed over to the natural gas from older dirty-burning plants. We can do this, America. We don't have to strangle this country with these EPA regulations and this president that's going to destroy the coal industry in this country because he's got some -- (APPLAUSE) We can do this. Our future is so bright, and I want -- I want to lastly leave you with this, and it's the reason that the conservative philosophy needs to be embraced by the same people that Abraham Lincoln helped free. The African-American community ought to take a look at the last 40 years of the liberal policies and really have a legitimate conversation about how that's turned out for them. Or they can look to a place like my home state. I don't think there's anything more powerful that I can tell a family than I'm going to graduate your child from high school and I'm going to let you keep more of your money and there's going to be a job waiting for you. (APPLAUSE) There's nothing more important than that that I can tell them, that we care about you, that these conservative policies. In 2003, Texas was 27th in the nation in high school graduation rates, about in the middle of the pack. Not bad. You know, big state, very diverse population, ethnically diverse. It's diverse geographically, it's diverse culturally and economically. So 27th in the nation is pretty good. High number of English as a second language population in those schools. But I didn't think it was good enough, and we started putting policies into place starting in 2003. We had the largest incentive pay program for teachers in America, we expanded charter schools by a substantial margin, and we started testing our young kids in the fourth and the eighth grade in math and reading. So when we saw that they were having problems, we intervened quickly and were able to get them back on track. Let me tell you what the results of that was in a short 10-year period of time. Texas is now home to the second-highest high school graduation rates in America. (APPLAUSE) And if you are African-American or if you are Hispanic, you are home to the number one high school graduation rates for your ethnicity. That's what people care about. That's the kind of leadership that we can bring to this country. (APPLAUSE) And oh, by the way, we did that without taking any of that Race to the Top, No Child Left Behind or Common Core. (APPLAUSE, CHEERS) That's why America needs a president that trusts the people, that trusts the states. You elect me your president, and I will assure you the 10th Amendment will live again in the Oval Office in Washington, D.C. God bless you, and thank you for letting me come. (APPLAUSE) END
Iraq - April 2003 - February 2005
International Events 00148 Subject: Iraq Source: APTN Library Thematic Clipreels - Volume 41 Iraq VIII (Post War/Insurgency: April 2003-February 2005) 10:00:00 (Twelve days after U.S. forces seized Iraq, retired U.S. Lieutenant General Jay Garner arrived to take up his duties as Iraq's postwar civil administrator. His main priorities included restoring basic services such as electricity and water as well as civil order. In Baghdad, he visited the Yarmouk hospital, which had been overwhelmed with casualties of the fighting. Looters had stripped many wards of even their most basic equipment.) Pool 21.4.03 - Baghdad Retired US Lieutenant General Jay Garner arriving at airport greeting troops Garner walking with staff of Yarmouk hospital 10:00:11 (On a tour of the northern Kurdish region, Garner met with prominent Kurdish leaders to discuss the future administration of the region.) Pool 22.4.03 - Sulaymaniyah, Iraq Jay Garner, Tim Cross, Massoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani holding hands at photo op 10:00:18 (Thirteen people were killed and 75 others injured after U.S. Army soldiers opened fire on Iraqi demonstrators in Fallujah. The soldiers claimed they opened fire after shots were aimed at them from the crowd. The protesters were objecting to the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq.) APTN 29.4.03 - Fallujah, Iraq Damaged car with bullet holes Wide shot of the entrance to Fallujah on the motorway 10:00:34 APTN 30.4.03 - Fallujah, Iraq Funeral procession - coffin being carried through crowd Various of US soldiers in defensive positions around building Close up of banner reading: "Sooner or later, US killers, we'll kick you out" 10:00:44 APTN 1.5.03 - Fallujah, Iraq Mid shot of banner outside American post reading "USA leave our country" Iraqi flag covered in blood outside hospital 10:00:57 (Coalition forces began to find shocking evidence of the brutality of Saddam Hussein's regime. Mass graves were found at sites across the country. By far the largest was the Al-Mahawil site near Babylon, where up to 15 thousand bodies were feared buried.) APTN 4.5.03 - Babylon, Iraq People at site of mass grave Remains, woman clapping in background Close ups of remains Woman holding photo of her missing son, Akil Hassanali 10:01:09 (Excavation teams found a further 2,200 bodies at a mass grave in Hillah, 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of Baghdad. Other major sites were found in Kirkuk, Basra, Muhammed Sakran and Najaf. Many of the victims died during the Shiite revolt against the Saddam Hussein government that followed the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War.) APTN 14.5.03 - Hillah, Iraq Wide shot of crowd standing around earth mover digging up grave Various of women wailing with bags of remains Pile of remains 10:01:22 (In a victory for the United States, the U.N. Security Council in May approved a resolution empowering the United States and Britain to govern Iraq and use its oil wealth to rebuild the country. The resolution was passed by a 14-0 vote, with Syria - the only Arab nation on the council - absent.) UNTV 22.5.03 - New York, USA Mid shot of flags in front of Security Council Close up Security Council President Ambassador Munir Akram of Pakistan calling for vote Pan left, vote in favour 10:01:57 (Coalition forces faced growing opposition from Iraq's ethnic groups. In June, Sunni Muslims rallied in the streets of Baghdad, accusing U.S. troops of entering the city's Hothaifa bin al-Yaman mosque and taking money. The U.S. military denied the allegations, saying they'd merely been searching for weapons. Coalition forces were increasingly criticised for inflaming a volatile situation with their sometimes heavy-handed approach to maintaining security.) APTN 13.6.03 - Baghdad, Iraq Wide of protesters in street chanting with banners Wide of marchers chanting Protesters hold up banner of Koran Wide of protesters with tank and mosque 10:02:16 (More evidence of Saddam's opulent lifestyle was unearthed. At a farmhouse not far from Saddam's birthplace outside Tikrit, American troops unearthed a stash of his treasure valued at some 8 million U.S. dollars.) APTN 19.6.03 - Tikrit, Iraq Wide shot of Saddam palace US soldier carrying box of treasure in room inside Saddam's palace, puts box on desk Various of treasure being laid out on table Various of broach holding picture of Saddam Various shots of treasure 10:02:49 (The first meeting of the U.S. appointed Iraqi governing council met in July in what was hailed as the first step on the path to democracy. The council was made up of leaders from Iraq's diverse ethnic and religious groups. The panel was selected after two months of consultations and faced the difficult task of convincing the Iraqi people that it represented them. This was despite the fact the population never had a chance to vote on its members.) APTN 13.7.03 - Baghdad Wide shot exterior of building where meeting was held Entrance to building with security guard in front Wide interior of council seated around table in meeting room Mid shot Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani (on left) talking to Mohammed Bahr al-Uloum, cleric from Najaf Close up Ahmed Chalabi gesturing to council members Close up Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani SOUNDBITE: (English) Paul Bremer, US Administrator for Iraq "Once that constitution is approved by the Iraqi people, we'll have the place to hold elections for a sovereign government." 10:03:25 (Crowds of Iraqis gathered outside the mansion in Mosul where American soldiers killed Saddam Hussein's two eldest sons. Some of them were shouting in delight, others cursing in anger. Uday and Qusay Hussein were regarded as two of the cruelest men in Saddam's regime. For the coalition it was a major boost, evidence they were closing the net on Saddam Hussein. Supporters of the former leader promised retaliation.) APTN 23.7.03 - Mosul, Iraq Exterior of villa US soldier Window on villa damaged by gunfire and with smoke billowing Villa with smoke still billowing out Damaged side of house 10:03:47 DoD Still image corpse with full head of hair and beard of Qusay Hussein Still image corpse with shaved head and full beard showing facial injury Uday Hussein 10:03:59 APTN 25.7.03 - Baghdad, Iraq Wide shot of bodies of Qusay and Uday Hussein 10:04:05 APTN 23.7.03 - near Ramadi, Iraq Wide shot of Iraqi insurgents wearing masks SOUNDBITE: (Arabic) Iraqi insurgent "If this news is true that Qusay and Uday are dead, we shall raise hell on Americans." Close up of man holding RPG Close up small child holding assault rifle 10:04:29 APTN 2.8.03 - Tikrit, Iraq Wide shot of burial site of Qusay and Uday Mourner approaches grave with a banknote with Saddam's image and glues it with mud to the grave Mourner with cap praying in front of mosque 10:04:41 (As the months passed, the death toll continued to rise as insurgents launched a series of attacks on a variety of targets throughout Iraq. A massive car bomb exploded outside the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad in August, killing a dozen people and injuring over 50 more. Later in the month, another bomb hit the United Nations compound in Baghdad, killing Sergio Vieira de Mello, the head of U.N. operations in Iraq. He was among 23 people killed in the blast.) APTN 7.8.03 - Baghdad, Iraq Wide shot aftermath of bomb Fire burning outside embassy - pan to soldiers Burnt out car US soldiers standing on vehicle 10:04:58 APTN 19.8.03 - Baghdad, Iraq Wide shots of UN headquarters with smoke billowing out Burning cars 10:05:16 (International organisations were not the only target. Iraq's holiest Shiite shrine in Najaf was hit by a bomb killing 125 people including Shia cleric, Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim. Al-Hakim had only recently returned to Iraq after two decades of exile.) APTN 29.8.03 - Najaf, Iraq Mosque with damage from explosion Crowds of people surrounding wrecked car Various of rubble and damage 10:05:28 APTN 10.5.03 - Basra, Iraq Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim addresses crowd 10:05:35 (Friendly fire incidents only served to complicate relations between the coalition troops and the Iraqis they were meant to be helping. In September, an American patrol opened fire on an Iraqi police patrol by mistake. Nine people were killed including a Jordanian security guard. The U.S. military was forced to apologise for the incident, which was to trigger a new cycle of bloodshed in the country's most troubled region. The supposed "post-war" period was proving more costly in terms of lives than the war itself.) APTN 12.9.03 - Al-bu Al-wan, near Fallujah, Iraq Various exteriors of one of the Jordanian Hospital buildings at Al-bu Al-wan Cartidge cases from 40 mm grenade launcher lying in the foreground with building behind Various of locals shouting and dancing around burned out US "humvee" 10:05:56 APTN 13.9.03 - Fallujah, Iraq Various of coffins of Iraq policemen shot by US soldiers being carried through crowd 10:06:01 APTN 12.10.03 - Baghdad, Iraq Wide shot of scene of car bombing Close up injured man being taken away on police pick-up Stretcher being loaded into ambulance 10:06:20 (The Al Rasheed Hotel in central Baghdad was home to many Americans and seen as a symbol of the U.S.-led occupation. A rocket attack in October killed an American colonel and injured a further 18 people.) APTN 26.10.03 - Baghdad, Iraq Hotel Various of damaged hotel 10:06:39 (A dozen people were killed in an attack on the Red Cross complex in Baghdad, also in October. The attack led to calls for non-governmental organisations to pull out of Iraq as the situation became ever more dangerous. Most of those killed were Iraqi employees of the aid organisation.) APTN 27.9.03 - Baghdad, Iraq Various of smoke rising over city following suicide bombing attack on Red Cross building 10:06:58 (Fifteen U.S. soldiers died when a U.S. Chinook helicopter was shot down near Fallujah. It was one of the deadliest strikes against American troops since the start of the war. Public support for the war back home was rapidly eroding as more and more people began to ask the same question - was it all worth it?) APTN 2.11.03 - near Fallujah, Iraq Helicopter on ground Soldiers at site of crash Close up of crash site, pull out to wide of site 10:07:22 (SADDAM LOOKALIKES Saddam Hussein may still be in hiding, but his look-alikes were out in force in London in May as they took part in an open audition to play the former Iraqi leader. The candidates showed up at the Riverside Studios in west London - donning black berets, khaki flak jackets and black moustaches - in the hope of winning the part of one of the world's most wanted men in a new West End show. If one of Saddam's known body doubles had attended the audition, he would have done well. The actors clamouring to play the part included one woman and men - all much taller, smaller, fatter, thinner and paler than the real thing.) APTN 1.5.03 - London, UK Auditions Saddam Hussein look-alike contest Various of Saddam Hussein look-alikes walking through street Saddam Hussein look-alike waving, show director watching Saddam Hussein contestants posing for camera 10:07:52 (ITALIANS KILLED IN IRAQ Twenty-eight people were killed, including 19 Italians, when a suicide bomber blew up a truck full of explosives outside an Italian military base in Iraq in November. It was Italy's single worst military loss since World War II. The attack is likely to hasten calls for a speeded-up transition of power to Iraqis and a full pullout of Italian troops. Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi's government supported the U.S. led war in Iraq, sending troops to the region, despite the opposition of the majority of his people.) APTN 12.11.03 - Nasiriyah, southern Iraq Various of smoke following explosion outside Italian headquarters Various of injured people in hospital Various security following attacks 10:08:24 (SADDAM HUSSEIN CAPTURED) Pool Baghdad, 14 Dec 2003 SOUNDBITE: (English) Paul Bremer, US administrator: "Ladies and Gentlemen, we got him!" Wide shot showing journalists cheering, pulls into show Bremer looking close to tears, pulls out to wide shot SOUNDBITE: (English) Paul Bremer, US administrator: "Saddam Hussein was captured on Saturday, December 13 at about 8:30p.m. (17:30 GMT) local in a cellar in the town of Dour which is about 15 kilometres (9 miles) south of Tikrit" Map showing area where Saddam was found by coalition forces . US Military Video Location Unknown - 14 Dec 2003 Mute Various of hole where Saddam Hussein was found Various of Saddam Hussein undergoing medical checks Close-up of Saddam Hussein IRAQ 2004 10:10:26 (Iraq in January The presence of US-led Coalition forces in Iraq continued to cause widespread resentment among many Iraqis. The country remained the scene of on-going armed conflict between the foreign troops and groups of armed militants in several key regions, including Baghdad and in the broad region north of the capital, known as the Sunni Triangle, where support for the former regime of Saddam Hussein had been strongest. Militants carried out bomb, mortar or rocket attacks against Coalition troops or Iraqi civilians every few days in Baghdad. In response, US-led forces searched homes and communities in the city that were seen to offer the militants sympathy and support. In early January, Sunni Muslim demonstrators marched to protest against a raid by US soldiers and Iraqi troops from the newly formed Iraqi Civil Defence Force (ICDF) on the Ibn-Taymiyah mosque. Witnesses complained that the soldiers had handled them roughly and desecrated religious items. US commanders denied the accusations, but said they had seized explosives, guns and ammunition hidden at the mosque, and arrested 32 people believed to be non-Iraqi Arab militants.) APTN Baghdad - 2 January 2004 Various interior shots of Ibn-Taymiyah mosque Various shots of crowd protesting outside the Ibn-Taymiyah mosque 10:10:39 (The British Prime Minister Tony Blair travelled to Iraq and met some of the 10-thousand British troops stationed in and around the southern Iraqi city of Basra, a relatively peaceful region 550 kilometres (340 miles) southeast of Baghdad. It was his second visit to Iraq since the invasion. Blair, the key ally of US President George W. Bush in the Coalition, spoke publicly during his visit about the threat of weapons of mass destruction, although none had yet been found in Iraq, and described the Iraq War as a test case in a war against global repression and terrorism. The United States and Britain had cited Saddam Hussein's alleged stocks of chemical, nuclear and biological weapons as a justification for the war, but have come under criticism because no evidence of such weapons has been found. Blair also visited a new Iraqi police academy, where British and European civilian and military police are training Iraqi recruits.) APTN Basra - 4 January 2004 British Prime Minister Tony Blair shaking hands with soldiers British police training Iraqi police recruits 10:10:46 (Many United States citizens opposed their government's actions over Iraq and some went a long way to show their disapproval. A former US Marine and Gulf War veteran, Ken O'Keefe, travelled to Baghdad to burn his American passport in an act of defiance over the Iraq War. Standing in Firdous Square, where a bronze statue of Saddam Hussein was felled in April 2003 with the help of US Marines. O'Keefe said he had renounced his American citizenship, and called on American troops to put down their weapons and refuse service in Iraq. He argued that the US should pull out of Iraq without delay because no weapons of mass destruction had been found, and Saddam Hussein was no longer a threat.) APTN Baghdad - 7 January 2004 Former US Marine and Gulf War veteran Ken O' Keefe in Firdous Square, showing his US passport O' Keefe showing his hands O' Keefe burning his passport 10:11:02 (Tensions between Sunnis and Shiites worsened as the two communities competed for power following the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime, which for decades had subjugated the Shiite majority. Outbreaks of ethnic or religious violence caused confusion as well as harm. In Baqouba, a religiously mixed city in a region dominated by Sunni Muslims, an explosion ripped through a busy street as Shiite worshippers were leaving a mosque after Friday prayers, killing five people and wounding dozens. Some witnesses to the explosion had claimed that a rocket fired from a US warplane had caused the blast. But Iraqi police suspected a car bomb, and on the same day a car bomb was defused before it could explode outside another Shiite mosque. Three days later a car bomb exploded outside an Iraqi police station in the city, killing three Iraqi policemen and two passers-by, and wounding 30 people.) APTN Baqouba - 9 January 2004 Tracking shot of burning car in front of mosque, people shouting and bodies on the ground Man wailing beside body on ground Wide shot of aftermath Baqouba - 14 January 2004 Wrecked police car on street Wall of station damaged by bomb Building with wrecked doorway, pull out to wide shot 10:11:37 (US troops continued to track down Iraq's former rulers. In January, US Paratroopers captured a Baath Party official and militia commander, Khamis Sirhan al-Muhammad, who was number 54 on the list of 55 most wanted figures from the Saddam regime. A US military spokesman said al-Muhammad had been arrested in the Ramadi area west of Baghdad.) APTN Baghdad - 14 January 2004 SOUNDBITE (English) US Army Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, Coalition military spokesman (overlaid with picture of Khamis Sirhan al-Muhammad picture): "As a result of aggressive operations this week, the coalition announces the capture of Khamis Sirhan al-Muhammad." (The US-appointed civilian administration took steps to get rid of the remaining traces of Saddam's regime. Iraq's old bank notes bearing Saddam Hussein's portrait became obsolete after a three-month period to exchange them for a new currency. More than 10-thousand tons of old banknotes bearing the image of the ousted dictator were destroyed. Iraq's Central Bank announced that the value of the Iraqi dinar had risen by 25 percent since before the invasion, and that the new notes were harder to counterfeit.) APTN Baghdad - 15 January 2004 Medium shot of armed security outside the Central Bank building Close up of woman writing on dinar note Women packing-up old money Wide shot of money exchange Medium shot of teller and customers changing money (Iraqi newspapers printed new photographs of Saddam Hussein being held prisoner. The US had announced his capture on December 14 (2003), and the photographs dated December 13 showed him in handcuffs and being escorted by US and Iraqi soldiers. The first of the photographs was published by the al-Mu'thamar newspaper, owned by Ahmad Chalabi, a prominent member of the Iraqi Governing Council, who has since been accused by the US of spying for Iran. Chalabi has denied the allegations. Several Iraqis spoken to by APTN in Baghdad said they welcomed Saddam's incarceration.) APTN Baghdad - 15 January 2004 Men reading newspapers at news stand Men reading newspaper with photograph of Saddam 10:12:17 (Militant attacks on Coalition troops often took the form of roadside IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) -crude bombs triggered to explode when a convoy of vehicles passes by. The explosion of an IED in Baghdad was captured on camera after US soldiers spotted the device. A tactic of the militants was to place the devices where they could be easily seen, and then explode them when US troops tried to remove them. No US troops were hurt in the blast, but two Iraqi children were injured. Two days later, a car bomb exploded outside the main gate to the Coalition "Green Zone" headquarters in Baghdad, killing 18 people. The blast, apparently triggered by the driver of the car, occurred at about 8 am near the "Assassin's Gate" of Saddam Hussein's former Republican Palace complex, now used by the Coalition as its headquarters in Iraq. The gate is used by hundreds of Iraqis employed by the Coalition Provisional Authority, the formal name of the US-led occupation authorities, as well as US military vehicles. The Iraqi police force, seen by the Iraqi militants as allies of the Coalition forces, were frequently the target of attacks. In the northern city of Mosul, a car bomb exploded outside a police station, killing nine people and injuring 45 others. It had been payday at the station, on the day before the major Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, and the two-story building had been crowded with staff. A huge crater was gouged out of the ground by the blast. Bodies lay in the roadside, and stunned survivors were seen stumbling down the street, their clothing soaked in blood.) APTN Baghdad - 16 January 2004 US soldiers observing IED (Improvised Explosive Device) US soldiers inspecting explosive device, which explodes, pull out to wide shot as soldiers walk off, pan of scene Baghdad - 18 January 2004 Wide sot of bridge, tank in distance Wide shot of destroyed vehicles, plumes of black smoke rising from burned cars Mid shot of destroyed bus and car Mid shot of US soldiers, burning cars on the background Mosul - 31 January 2004 ALL LIVEWIRE VIDEO AS INCOMING Various fires Man with bloody head walking past camera Wide of fires at blast scene, zoom in to people helping injured man 10:13:08 (Iraq in February Kurdish communities in the north of Iraq were also targets of attacks by militants. Kurdish Peshmurga militia fighters had been part of the Coalition that toppled Saddam, and Iraqi Kurds had suffered repression under the dictator's regime. In Irbil, 200 kilometres north of Baghdad, twin suicide bomb attacks during the Eid holiday celebrations killed 56 people and injured more than 235. Two men, dressed as Muslim clerics but with explosives concealed beneath their clothes, blew themselves up in the offices of the two main Kurdish political parties allied to the United States, the KDP and its rival the PUK. Among the dead were many of the leaders of the two parties, who had gathered to greet crowds of ordinary Kurds on the first day of the four-day Eid-al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) holiday.) APTN Irbil - 2 February 2004 Wide of damaged Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) headquarters Inside views of damage including flags, firearms (In the south of the country, local people took up the grisly task of exposing the atrocities of the former regime. At least 50 bodies were found in a few days of digging at a mass grave discovered near Kifal, outside the southern Iraqi Shiite city of Najaf. Local people said the graves dated back to the 1991 Shiite uprising against Saddam after the Gulf War, which was brutally suppressed by Saddam's forces. Since the US-led invasion thousands of bodies have been found in mass graves in the mainly Shiite areas south of Baghdad.) APTN Kifal, near Najaf - 8 February 2004 Workers exhuming remains of bodies from the mass grave Row of bodies from grave Various shots of skulls (The heir to the British throne, Prince Charles, visited British troops in the southern city of Basra in early February. The prince flew in from Kuwait for a five-hour "morale-boosting" visit, during which he met members of the British Parachute Regiment at a tea party at one of Saddam's former palaces - now a British battalion headquarters. He also met the senior Coalition officials in Iraq, and Iraqi community leaders.) Pool Basra - 8 February 2004 Soldier with flag in background Prince Charles walking towards regiment Prince Charles awarding sword to soldier 10:13:48 (Militant suicide-bombers carried out attacks on Iraqis who were willing to work with the Coalition authorities, and the Coalition warned that such were likely to increase ahead of the handover to a new Iraqi government on 30 June. In the south of Baghdad, a truck packed with up to quarter of a tonne of explosives blew up at a police station where would-be recruits were lining up to apply for jobs. Hospital officials said at least 53 people had been killed and 50 injured. Iraqi police said the explosion was a suicide attack, carried out by a driver who detonated a bomb in a pickup truck as it passed by the station in a mainly Shiite neighbourhood. The explosion reduced parts of the station and nearby buildings to rubble. Hours after the attack, police fired guns in the air to disperse a crowd of local people angered by rumours that a US rocket had caused the blast. The next day, in central Baghdad, a suicide-driver blew up a car rigged with almost a quarter of a tonne of explosives outside a recruiting centre, where up to 300 of Iraqis were lined up to volunteer for the new Iraqi military. Iraq's deputy interior minister, Ahmed Ibrahim, said 47 people were killed and 50 injured, but that the attack would not "deter the people's march toward freedom.") APTN Baghdad - 10 February 2004 Crowds around and on top of the destroyed police station Wide shot of crowds around demolished car Interior shot of destroyed car, pan along it Baghdad - 11 February 2004 Tracking shot of US soldiers walking on the road, wreckage of vehicles on the ground Various shots of car wreckage, Iraqi police and US soldiers standing by Tracking shot of US soldiers, wreckage of vehicle (Coalition officials in Baghdad disclosed the military had intercepted a letter purportedly written by a top al-Qaida agent in Iraq, which it described as a "blueprint for terror." The letter reportedly asked al-Qaida's leadership for help in launching attacks against Iraqi Shiites Muslims. According to the letter, the goal of the attacks would be to foment civil war between Shiite and Sunni Muslims in order to undermine the Coalition and provisional Iraqi leadership. The Coalition said it believed the author of the letter was Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Palestinian-Jordanian suspected of links to al-Qaida and believed to be at large in Iraq. Al-Zarqawi had boasted of organizing 25 suicide previous attacks in Iraq. Following the release of the letter, the Coalition upped the reward for al-Zarqawi's capture to $10 million.) APTN Baghdad - 11 February 2004 Various shots of pages of the intercepted letter SOUNDBITE (English) Dan Senor, Coalition spokesman: "This is a blueprint for terror in Iraq. It outlines very clearly that the blueprint calls for unleashing civil war, Baghdad - 12 February 2004 New reward poster for ten million dollars 10:14:46 (The city of Fallujah, 60 kilometres west of Baghdad in the Sunni Triangle, has been a centre of resistance by Iraqi militants against the Coalition forces and their allies. In mid-February, militant gunmen launched a daylight assault on a police station that killed 19 people, most of them police. Around 25 attackers stormed the building, throwing hand-grenades and freeing prisoners from the cells, survivors said. The attackers then fought a gun battle with Iraqi security forces in the street outside the station, before escaping after freeing 75 prisoners. Iraqi security officials said 17 police officers, two Iraqi civilians and four of the attackers were killed, and that two of the dead attackers carried Lebanese passports. Thirty-seven people were reported wounded. One shop owner across the street from the compound said he and his neighbours had been warned not to open on Saturday morning because an attack was imminent. A week earlier, pamphlets signed by militant groups had been posted in Fallujah warning Iraqis not to cooperate with US forces and threatening "harsh consequences." Among the groups that signed the leaflets was Muhammad's Army, which US officials said appeared to be a group of former Saddam-era intelligence agents, army and security officials and Baath Party members.) APTN Fallujah - 14 February 2004 White car being driven as gunfire is heard street scenes, with gunfire heard (The Iraqi police in Baghdad arrested a former Baath Party chairman and one of 11 fugitives still at large from the US military's "most-wanted" list of 55 senior members of the Saddam regime. Mohammed Zimam Abdul Razaq was captured at one of his homes in western Baghdad and had not resisted arrest, officials said. Abdul-Razaq had been the Baath Party chairman in the northern provinces of Nineveh and Tamim, which include the city of Kirkuk. He was Number 41 on the US most-wanted list, and was pictured on the "Four of Spades" card in the playing-deck that the US military supplied to its soldiers to help them identify the regime's leadership. During a ceremony to present Abdul-Razaq to reporters, Iraq's deputy Interior Minister Ahmed Kadhum Ibrahim appealed for the most-sought after fugitive, Saddam's deputy Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, to surrender. The most senior fugitive who remains at large, he is pictured on the "King of Clubs" card in the US military playing-deck.) APTN Baghdad - 15 February 2004 Close-up Mohammad Zimam Abdul Razaq (centre, wearing head dress) Still shot of Abdul Razaq on Four of Spades card (Militant also targeted Iraqi oil installations, to undermine Coalition efforts to fund the new Iraqi administration and reconstruction programmes with oil revenue. Saboteurs had attacked pipelines in the oil-rich of the country. But in late February they attacked an oil pipeline south of Baghdad for the first time, blowing up the strategic Kirkuk-Baghdad-Basra connection and cutting off the flow from the northern oilfields to the export seaport terminal in southern Iraq. The destroyed section of pipeline was still burning the next day at Razaza, near the town of Karbala, 100 kilometres southwest of Baghdad.) APTN Near Karbala - 23 February 2004 Wide shot of smoke over desert landscape Wide shot of smoky landscape, then pan over charred ground 10:15:24 (Iraq in March After long negotiations at the urging of the Coalition nations, the political leaders of communities across Iraq agreed on an interim constitution. The agreement was reached nine days after the termination of a US deadline to the delegates. The impasse had strained relations between Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish leaders and had highlighted the power of Iraq's Shiite clergy. A coalition official said the document struck a balance between the role of Islam and the bill of individual rights and democratic principles. But a prominent Shiite cleric and Iraqi Governing Council member, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, said it did not go far enough. He told thousands of supporters at a demonstration march that the Iraqi people needed to stick to their Islamic roots. Before an audience of prominent Iraqi and Coalition officials, the 25 council members signed the document on an antique desk once owned by King Faisal I, Iraq's first monarch. Council president Mohammed Bahr al-Ulloum called the signing a "historic moment, decisive in the history of Iraq." Ahmad Chalabi, leader of the US-backed Iraqi National Congress said that the signing of the document was a great day not only for Iraq, but also for Arabs, minorities and Muslims.) APTN Baghdad - 1 March 2004 Exterior Iraqi Governing Council building Wide shot of rally Rally participants perform traditional Shiite rituals Baghdad - 1 March 2004 SOUNDBITE: (English) Moafaq al-Rubaie, member of the Iraq Governing Council: 'Ladies and gentlemen, this is a birthday of a nation. Today, new Iraq was born " Baghdad - 8 March 2004 ceremony before signing Ahmed Chalabi, leader of the US-backed Iraqi National Congress signing document, then zoom in Baghdad - 8 March 2004 Close up of document, pull out to governing council standing for photo-op (Militant groups used bomb attacks to deepen the rift between Iraq's Sunni and Shiite Muslim communities. A coordinated series of explosions blasts struck major Shiite shrines in Karbala and Baghdad on the holiest day of the Shiite religious calendar, killing more than 115 people. In Karbala, 80 kilometres south of Baghdad, five blasts went off near two of the major shrines in Shiite Islam, hurling bodies in all directions and sending crowds of pilgrims fleeing in panic. Later reports said that suicide bombers had carried explosive-laden wooden-carts into the shrines and blown themselves up. The Ashoura festival, which marks the 7th century killing of Imam Hussein, is the most important religious period in Shiite Islam and drew hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and other Shiite communities to the Iraqi shrines. In spite of the carnage, the, ceremonies marking the last day of Ashoura continued. This year was the first time in more than three decades that Iraq's Shiites had been free to openly mark the religious festival. Iraq Health ministry said 115 people had died in the Karbala bombings, and 70 killed at attack at the Kazimiya Shrine in Baghdad, a total of 185 dead. But a senior coalition official put the death toll at 117, with 85 killed in Karbala and 32 killed in Baghdad. The focus of Shiite anger was directed at the Coalition authorities. Some, including leading Shiite clerics, accused the US-led Coalition of not doing enough to protect the 10-day Ashoura ceremonies, while others vented resentment over the country's continuing insecurity. At the funerals for victims of the bombings the next day, angry mourners in Karbala burnt a replica US flag and shouted chants denouncing the United States, Israel, and "terrorists." Several thousand mourners joined the procession, taking the three bodies to the tombs of Imam Hussein and Imam Abbas for blessings before heading to the cemetery.) APTN Baghdad - 2 March 2004 Wide shot gold-domed mosque and crowds High wide shot of crowds in central Karbala, flash of explosion between two buildings, followed by boom Flames and people running in panic Wide shot of scene of blast, bloodstained puddle and bodies laid out Karbala - 3 March 2004 Angry crowds burning US flag at funeral procession 10:16:49 (In mid-March a car bomb destroyed the Hotel Jabal Lebanon in central Baghdad, killing at least 27 people and injuring more than 40 people. Local people said Americans, Britons, Egyptians as well as other foreigners were known to be staying at the hotel, making it a likely target for militant attacks. The hotel was a so-called "soft" target because it did have concrete blast barriers and other security measures of the kind that protect offices of the US-led Coalition and other buildings where Westerners live and work. The blast shook the nearby Palestine Hotel, where many foreign contractors and journalists are based.) APTN Baghdad - 17 March 2004 Long shot of mosque with black smoke billowing in background and traffic roundabout in foreground Close-up of blaze and billowing smoke Wide shot of fire with people in foreground (The Ashoura attacks and other militant efforts to provoke a split between Sunni and Shiite Muslims were opposed by many worshippers themselves. Crowds gathered after prayers in Baghdad's Adhamiya neighbourhood in a demonstration calling for unity between the two Islamic sects, carrying banners and chanting pro-unity slogans. Some of the marchers called on the Coalition to withdraw its troops from Iraq.) APTN Baghdad 19 March 2004 Various shots of Shiite demonstrators marching and chanting 'No to a divided Iraq' (Iraq's main oil pipeline to the Persian Gulf ruptured, spilling burning oil onto the desert sands south of Basra in late March. Local Iraqi officials said the break in the pipeline was caused by poor maintenance, and not by a militant attack. APTN showed footage of spilled pools of oil on fire and large clouds of black smoke billowing into the sky. No casualties resulted from the incident. Witnesses said the burning oil spill was about 4 kilometres long.) APTN Southern Iraqi desert, 90 kilometres south of Basra - 24 March 2004 Wide shot of huge plumes of black smoke and fire engines Various shot of flames and black smoke British soldiers walking on burned ground Burned ground, smoke in background (Although the Basra region had been relatively peaceful compared to the area west and north of Baghdad, there were outbreaks of unrest. British troops in Basra scuffled with rioters when soldiers tried to evict anti-Coalition activists from a government-owned building. Around 30 locals set fire to car tyres and threw stones at the troops who responded with rubber bullets and used tear gas to try to quell the crowd. Three Iraqis were injured.) APTN Basra - 29 March 2004 Smoke rising from ground from burning tyres and man throwing object at British troops High shot of burning tyres and rioters throwing stones at troops Rioters scuffling with soldiers, one rioter grabbing rifle from British soldier 10:17:53 (Iraq in April Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Baghdad in early April to protest against the closure of an Arabic newspaper owned by a Shiite cleric, Moqtada al-Sadr. Coalition authorities in Baghdad claimed the paper had incited violence against the occupying military forces. Days later, about five thousand members of the Mahdi Army, a Shiite militia proclaiming loyalty to al-Sadr, paraded in the Sadr City neighbourhood of Baghdad. Formerly called Saddam City, after the fall of the Iraqi regime the mainly Shiite district was renamed for Moqtada al-Sadr's father, Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr, a leading Shiite cleric who was killed in ambush by Saddam's security forces in 1999.) APTN Baghdad - 2 April 2004 Mid shot of marchers Baghdad - 3 April 2004 Close up banner showing Mohammed Sadeq al-Sadr, Moqtada al-Sadr's father Al-Mahdi Army militia members marching Masked and uniformed children marching during demonstration (The unrest among al-Sadr's supporters boiled over into a violent uprising days later in the staunchly Shiite regions of Baghdad, Najaf, Nasiriyah and Amarah. In Baghdad, Al-Mahdi militia fighters killed eight US soldiers in fighting in the city. Thirty Iraqis reportedly died in the clash. One Salvadoran and one US soldier were killed in an attack on a Spanish military base in the holy Iraqi city of Najaf. The Salvadoran force was in Iraq under Spanish command as part of an international brigade of troops from Central America. The Spanish-led force would pull out of Iraq in May, citing an election promise made by the new Spanish government. Supporters of al-Sadr took over a police station and seized guns inside in Kufa, 11 kilometres north of Najaf. No police were in the station at the time. Protesters also took over a hospital, and groups of armed men gathered around the local mosque, waving flags and holding portraits of Moqtada al-Sadr and his father.) APTN Kufa - April 4, 2004 People waving flags and posters of Moqtada al-Sadr Armed guard on roof of mosque Najaf - April 4, 2004 Various shots of crowds running on street, UPSOUND explosions, gunfire Tracking shot of protesters running along road, UPSOUND automatic gunfire and some larger explosions (Moqtada al-Sadr was reported to have taken refuge in a mosque in Kufa, surrounded by armed supporters. The US administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, warned that al-Sadr had placed himself outside law by calling for attacks against Coalition and Iraqi forces. A force of 2500 US troops backed by tanks and heavy artillery was deployed outside the city on Tuesday on a mission to "capture or kill" al-Sadr. But Iraqi Shiite clerical leaders launched hurried negotiations aimed at averting a US assault on the city. After a week of negotiations, US forces remained stationed outside Najaf and Kufa, and al-Sadr remained defiant. He threatened suicide attacks against any Coalition troops that attacked his strongholds. But he condemned as "terrorism" a coordinated suicide-bomb attack two days earlier in the southern cities of Basra and Zubair that had killed 73 people, many of them Iraqi children.) APTN Kufa - 25 July 2003 Side shot of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr preaching at Kufa mosque Najaf - 13 April 2004 Wide of the Imam Ali shrine Kufa - 23 April 2004 Worshippers praying at Kufa mosque Various shots of outside mosque, with Mahdi Army militiamen holding AK-47 on guard 10:18:57 (The showdown with al-Sadr threatened to heighten tensions with Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority at a time when the US forces were burdened by an insurgency by militants groups in the Sunni Triangle. After the gruesome murder and mutilation of four civilian US security contractors in Fallujah in May, US officials warned of a massive retaliation and surrounded the city with more than a thousand US Marines and Iraqi troops. The besieging troops moved in against the insurgents in early April, sparking intense fighting in the streets of the city of 200-thousand people. The four-day assault included air strikes by US warplanes and attack helicopters on insurgent Iraqi positions, and more than 280 Iraqis were reported to have been killed. At least four US Marines were also reported killed. Local people accused the US of killing around 40 civilian worshippers when a bomb from an F16 warplane was used to demolish the wall of a mosque to allow US troops to enter.) US Pool Fallujah - 7 April 2004 Wide shot, zoom into injured marine getting out of tank Fallujah - 8 April 2004 Buildings and large black plumes of smoke Smoke in background with marine in foreground Marines firing mortar, UPSOUND mortar fire. Cobra attack helicopter flying overhead, firing ordnance, passes Blackhawk helicopter, minaret of mosque in background. APTN Fallujah - 7 April 2004 Pull-out from street to wide shot of mosque after daybreak Masked and armed fighters in street (After four days of heavy fighting in Fallujah, the Coalition halted its attack to allow residents to tend to the dead and wounded, and to let Iraqi government officials negotiate with the insurgents. But it was to be an uneasy ceasefire: just 90 minutes after the announcement, US marines were given orders to resume offensive operations after gunmen fired on them. Within days a fierce gun battle between US Marines and insurgents in the city had left one marine dead and seven others injured, and heavy fighting continued outside the besieged city and on the outskirts of Baghdad, 40 kilometres to the west. In the town of Abu Ghraib, just outside Baghdad, militants shot down a US Apache helicopter, killing its two crewmembers.) Pool Fallujah - 12 April 2004 Marines targeting position Marines shooting, UPSOUND gunfire Wide shot of buildings Marines firing into the city Various shot of marines firing 10:20:22 (Early in April, a group calling itself the "Mujahedeen Brigades" captured three Japanese hostages in southern Iraq. In a videotaped communiqué, the three hostages - two aid workers and a photojournalist - were shown being held at gunpoint. The kidnappers threatened to burn their captives alive unless Japan pulled its troops out of Iraq within three days. Despite public pressure in Japan, where many people had opposed the invasion of Iraq, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi refused to meet the kidnappers demands, saying he wouldn't give in to terrorism. Japan had deployed about 1000 support troops in Iraq and the immediate region, including over 500 soldiers on a mission to purify water and rebuild infrastructure in southern Iraq. The three Japanese hostages were released after a week, following negotiations by Muslim clerics with their kidnappers. Four Italian men working as private security guards were kidnapped after they got into a taxi in Baghdad. Their captors released a video of the men holding up their passports, surrounded by masked gunmen who threatened to execute them unless the 3000 Italian troops and other Coalition forces pulled out of Iraq. Within two days the kidnappers released a second videotape, this time showing the grisly execution of one of the hostages and threatening to kill the others, one by one. Italy reacted with shock, but Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi refused to accede to the kidnappers' demands. Italy sought the help of an Iranian delegation to travel to Baghdad to secure the release of the hostages. Intelligence sources reported of a loose economy of kidnapping groups operating in Iraq, with criminal gangs reported to be taking hostages in the hope of selling them to militants fighting the Coalition. The Coalition authorities announced at this time that about 40 foreign hostages from 12 countries were being held in Iraq, and that the United States' Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had been called in to help. Some hostages were fortunate to escape without serious harm. Gary Teeley, a 37-year old British man working as a civilian engineer for Coalition forces in the southern city of Nasiriyah was abducted and held for six days by an Iraqi militant group, until he was released to Italian troops. Eight Ukrainian and Russian employees of a Russian energy company were also freed by their captors, a day after they were abducted from their residence in Baghdad. Seven Chinese citizens were also freed after being held for a day. They had been taken hostage in Fallujah after entering the country from Jordan, intending to set up a construction business in Iraq. A French television journalist was taken hostage in Iraq as he was filming a US military convoy under attack. Alexandre Jordanov was captured on the road south of Baghdad. Jordanov was held captive for four days, but was released after drawing a map of France to prove that he was not an Israeli agent. His production company said that Sunni Muslim clerics had helped negotiate his release.) APTN Unknown date and location PART MUTE Japanese hostages with captors Japanese hostages with captors MoD Pool Basra - 12 April 2004 Still shot of Gary Teeley shortly after being released APTN Baghdad - 13 April 2004 Various shots of hostages in garden AP Photos FILE: Unknown date and location Still shot of French journalist Alexandre Jordanov (Iraq's US-appointed interim government approved a new flag for the country, to replace the flag of the Saddam Hussein era. The old Iraqi flag had red and white bands across the top and bottom, with a white band between them with three green stars. During the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, Saddam added the Arabic words "Allahu Akbar", Arabic for "God is greatest", to boost the religious credentials of his secular regime. The new flag was presented in Iraqi newspapers. The design was white, with two parallel blue strips across the bottom representing the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, and a yellow stripe between them representing Iraq's Kurdish minority. Above the stripes, a blue crescent represented Islam. But the new flag failed to become widespread or even common in Iraq, where the old flag was still preferred by most people in spite of its association with the Saddam regime. In the past, US administrators had quietly tried to alter the Iraqi flag by dropping the words "Allahu Akbar," but Iraqis refused to abide by the change.) APTN Baghdad - 26 April 2004 The new flag and emblem of the republic shown in a newspaper 10:20:51 (Iraq in May Photographs allegedly showing the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at the hands of US troops in the prison at Abu Ghraib near Baghdad caused outrage in Iraq and around the world, not least in the United States where the conduct of US forces was being kept under close scrutiny by the political opponents US President George W. Bush. The New Yorker magazine in the United States said it had obtained a U.S. army report that Iraqi prisoners were subjected to "sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal abuses" at the Abu Ghraib prison. Outside Abu Ghraib prison, Iraqis could often be seen waiting for any information about the fate of those held inside. In the wake of the abuse allegations, one man outside said that he had only recently been released and that the way he had been treated inside was humiliating. Other Iraqis freed from the prison held a news conference in Baghdad to describe what they said was physical and psychological torture they had suffered at the hands of their US army jailers. In response to the outcry, President George Bush pledged to demolish the prison, saying it had been a symbol of death and torture under Saddam Hussein and had now become "a symbol of disgraceful conduct by a few American troops who dishonoured our country and disregarded our values" and the US began a series of courts martial against the soldiers it said had perpetrated the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib. A 24-year-old US military policeman, Specialist Jeremy C. Sivits, would be the first of seven US army reservists to face trial. Sivits, a member of the 372nd Military Police Company, was charged with conspiracy to maltreat subordinates and detainees, dereliction of duty for negligently failing to protect detainees from abuse, and cruelty and maltreatment of detainees. He pleaded guilty on May 19 and was sentenced to a year in prison.) APTN FILE: Abu Ghraib, near Baghdad - April 2003 Wide shot of Abu Ghraib prison APTN FILE: Abu Ghraib - May 2004 Pan across exterior of prison Agency Pool FILE: Abu Ghraib - May 2004 Various interior shots of prison APTN Abu Ghraib - 2 May 2004 SOUNDBITE: (Arabic) A'la al-Duleimi, recently released from Abu Ghraib prison: "They have treated us worse than the pictures showed on the television stations. They stripped us, beat us, they humiliated us." APTN Baghdad - 9 May 2004 Man showing a picture of hand injury, allegedly caused by torture at Abu Ghraib AP Photos Date and location unknown Still shot of US Army Specialist Jeremy Sivits from an undated family photograph Pool Washington DC, US - 10 May 2004 SOUNDBITE (English) George W. Bush, US President: "There will be a full accounting for the cruel and disgraceful abuse of Iraqi detainees. " US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld listening SOUNDBITE (English) George W. Bush, US President: "One basic difference between democracies and dictatorships is that free countries confront such abuses openly and directly." APTN Abu Ghraib - 14 May 2004 Various shots of a group prisoners getting off bus after being released from prison after questioning Prisoners queuing 10:22:01 (At the start of May, US and Iraqi troops besieging the southern city of Najaf moved in to break the resistance of the Shiite militia fighters holed up in the city. Calling themselves the al-Mahdi army, the militia fighters in Najaf and other Shiite strongholds of southern Iraq proclaimed loyalty to the rebel cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who had called on Iraqis to resist the US-led occupation. US troops and armoured vehicles clashed with al-Mahdi gunmen near the centre of the holy city of Karbala near Najaf. Heavy fighting continued throughout the day, only hundreds of metres from the Imam Hussein and Imam Abbas shrines in the city' centre. Militants loyal to al-Sadr attacked British patrols and official buildings the cities of Amarah and Basra. In Amarah, gunmen attacked a military convoy, lightly wounding two British soldiers and sparking shootouts in several parts of the city. In Basra, hundreds of black-garbed al-Mahdi Army militia fighter gathered in the streets, attacking British patrols with machine guns and rocket launchers, and sparking skirmishes in several neighbourhoods. At least two Iraqis were killed and four British soldiers wounded.) APTN Najaf -- 2 May 2004 Wide shot of US soldier kneeling by humvee from across street, UPSOUND heavy gunfire US soldier kneeling by vehicle speaking on phone asking for support APTN Najaf - 7 May 2004 Various shot of al-Mahdi militia fighters taking positions on roofs, UPSOUND of gunshots Al-Mahdi militants carrying rifles running across a street Al-Mahdi militant holding rocket-propelled grenade launcher (RPG) APTN Amarah - 8 May 2004 Armed men and local children chanting support for Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr (A website purporting to represent an Islamic militant group posted a video clip that appeared to show the beheading of a US civilian in Iraq. Twenty-six year old Nick Berg had disappeared in Baghdad on April 9. His family said he was in Iraq as an independent businessman to help rebuild communication antennae. The website claimed Berg's killing was in revenge for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers at Abu Ghraib. The beheading caused outrage across the world, and particularly in Berg's native US.) APTN Washington DC - 12 May 2004 Various shots of newspaper headlines about beheading APTN New York City - 12 May 2004 Close-up of newspaper headlines reading: "Pure Evil" and "Savages" AP Photos Washington DC - 12 May 2004 Still shot photograph of Nick Berg (In Baghdad's Sadr City neighbourhood, US troops appealed to Iraqis to surrender any weapons in return for cash payments. Soldiers dropped leaflets as their convoy of humvees and armoured vehicles drove through the Shiite neighbourhood, requesting that local residents hand over any weapons to the Coalition. The mainly Shiite district had endured repeated night time incursions and bombardment by the US and Iraqi forces trying to root out militant supporters of the cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. Many locals responded by angrily tearing up the leaflets.) APTN Baghdad, 15 May 2004 Close up shot of leaflet reading: "For all Iraqis, Help us in achieving security by handing over your weapons in return for money. This program of purchasing weapons will start on Monday and will last for three days. Who ever hands over weapons will receive money. Illegal weapons are endangering your society." Locals tearing up leaflets 10:23:09 (Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer, a civil engineer educated in Saudi Arabia and the United States became Iraq's interim president, after America's preferred candidate, former foreign minister Adnan Pachachi, turned down the post. The interim Iraqi Governing Council had rejected Pachachi for the largely ceremonial office, saying the US was trying to force their choice. In a televised address after his appointment was announced, al-Yawer called on the United Nations to play a major role in "bringing full sovereignty back to Iraq." The Iraqi Governing Council decided to dissolve immediately following al-Yawer's appointment, rather than remain in office until the transfer of sovereignty. The next day the new Iraqi cabinet met for the first time in Baghdad, led by Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, an Iraqi Shiite. British-educated Allawi had been a prominent Iraqi opposition figure in exile during the Saddam years, and is known for his close ties to the United States State Department and the CIA.) APTN FILE: Iraq - unknown date Ghazi Mashal Ajil Al-Yawer seated Adnan Pachachi with soldiers APTN Baghdad - 1 June 2004 AUDIO AS INCOMING New Iraqi president, Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer addressing audience New Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi standing up to address audience Pool Baghdad - 2 June 2004 New Iraqi cabinet meeting for the first time (As thousands of Shiite followers of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani took to the streets in Baghdad calling on the United Nations Security Council to approve the return of full sovereignty to Iraqis, the United States instead brokered a compromise at the UN that spoke of a "security partnership" between the interim Iraqi government and the US-led Coalition forces in the country. Under the compromise, Iraqi leaders would take control of the country's security forces on June 30, and thereafter Washington and Iraq's would cooperate on "sensitive offensive operations." But the deal stopped short of granting the Iraqis a veto over major offensives by Coalition troops. France, Germany and others had sought such a veto power for the Iraqis.) APTN Baghdad - 7 June 2004 Demonstrator marching and chanting for Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani Demonstrators holding up banners in support of Sistani and carrying his picture UNTV New York - 8 June 2004 NEAR MUTE United Nations Security Council voting on draft resolution about Iraqi sovereignty arrangements 10:24:05 (Al-Mahdi militia fighters loyal to Moqtada al-Sadr continued to skirmish with US troops in Baghdad's Sadr City district. Insurgents fired mortar rounds and rocket-propelled grenades at a police station housing US troops in Baghdad, triggering a gun battle with the soldiers inside. Later in the week, the crackle of gunfire rattled through the streets as small groups of black-clad militiamen fired machine guns, small arms and rocket-propelled grenades at US positions as Apache helicopters circled overhead. One militant was shot dead as he prepared to launch an RPG. Witnesses in Sadr City said the clashes began after Shiite fighters called out from a mosque loudspeaker for residents to close their shops and hide their cars because they feared a US attack.) APTN Sadr City, Baghdad - 4/5 June 2004 Al Mahdi militants firing at US troops Militants firing at US troops US troops in trucks Militant firing rocket-propelled grenade launcher APTN Sadr City, Baghdad - 10 June 2004 VIDEO QUALITY AS INCOMING **WARNING - SHOWS MAN BEING SHOT DEAD** Militant prepares to fire an RPG and is hit numerous times, tracer fire can be seen hitting him (Gunmen claiming to belong to a Islamist group released a video of four Turkish men from among seven Turkish contractors taken hostage in Iraq. The kidnappers demanded that Turkish companies end all business in Iraq and pull staff out of the country. The group said in the video that the men had been kidnapped because they were working for the Americans.) APTN Unknown date and location Gunmen claiming to belong to a Islamist group displaying four kidnapped Turks and reading statement, with close-ups of hostages' ID cards (Iraqi artists displayed works in Baghdad, speaking out about the US abuse of Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison, and experiences of the US led occupation. An exhibition at the a gallery in a middle-class neighbourhood of northern Baghdad included photo collages of the abuse of the Abu Ghraib. But a sculpture of a crouching naked man, his hands tied and his head covered with a hood, was completed months before the Abu Ghraib abuse became public. "We knew what went on at Abu Ghraib," Abdul-Kareem Khalil, the artist said. "The pictures did not surprise me.") APTN Baghdad - 13 June 2004 Visitor looking at photo collages of Abu Ghraib abuse pictures with anti-American slogans Close-up on Abu Ghraib photos with anti-American slogans Tilt up to hooded head 10:24:52 (The US-led coalition transferred sovereignty to an interim Iraqi government two days before the scheduled date of 30 June, in a surprise move to avert a feared campaign of insurgent attacks to sabotage the symbolic step toward self-rule. Legal documents transferring sovereignty were handed over by US Governor Paul Bremer to chief justice Midhat al-Mahmood in a small ceremony attended by about a dozen Iraqi and Coalition officials, in a building inside the heavily-guarded Green Zone in Baghdad. Bremer had taken charge in Iraq about a year earlier. Two hours after the ceremony, he left Iraq on a US Air Force C-130 plane, accompanied by coalition spokesman Dan Senor and close members of his staff. There was little initial public reaction to the near-secret transfer ceremony, which was broadcast on Iraqi and Arabic satellite television stations, and no celebratory gunfire. The new interim Iraqi government was sworn in six hours after the handover ceremony. The Arab world voiced cautious optimism but maintained calls for the US military to leave the country quickly. Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi delivered a sweeping speech sketching out some of his goals for the country, urging people not to be afraid of the "outlaws" fighting against "Islam and Muslims," and assuring them that "God is with us.") APTN Baghdad - 28 June 2004 Exterior of building with Iraqi flag UPSOUND (English) Paul Bremer, Coalition administrator in Iraq: "We welcome Iraq's steps to take its rightful place with equality and honour among the free nations of the world. Sincerely, L. Paul Bremer, ex-administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority." Pool Baghdad - 28 June 2004 Senior members of Iraqi interim government entering swearing in ceremony Interim Iraqi president, Ghazi al-Yawer being sworn-in (MUTE) Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi being sworn-in 10:25:37 (Iraq in July In July, a defiant Saddam Hussein appeared in court for the first time and rejected charges of war crimes and genocide. During In his first public appearance since he was captured seven months earlier, Saddam told the judge: "this is all theatre, the real criminal is Bush." Saddam was handcuffed when brought to the court but the shackles were removed for the 30-minute arraignment at Camp Victory, one of his former palaces on the outskirts of Baghdad. The seven broad charges against Saddam are the killing of religious figures in 1974; gassing of Kurds in Halabja in 1988; killing the Kurdish Barzani clan in 1983; killing members of political parties in the last 30 years; the 1986-88 "Anfal" campaign of displacing Kurds; the suppression of the 1991 uprisings by Kurds and Shiites; and the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The trial is not expected to start until 2005. Eleven of the former dictator's top lieutenants appeared in court after Saddam, including former Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz, the regime's best-known spokesman in the West, and Ali Hasan al-Majid, known as "Chemical Ali." US and Iraqi officials hope the trials in 2005 will help the country recover from years of tyranny, the US-led invasion and the insurgency that blossomed in its aftermath. But the new Iraqi government is due to step down after elections in January, and a second national ballot will be held later next year. That means national policy on prosecuting Saddam and his followers could change depending on the makeup of the next government. Iraqis poured into cafes to watch Saddam historic court appearance. Reaction was mixed in the capital, Baghdad. In the mainly Shiite cities of Karbala and Hilla, many people were jubilant that the country's former dictator had appeared in court. Iraq's Shiites had often suffered at the hands of his regime, and people spoken to APTN said they were seeing justice, at last. Supporters of Moqtada al-Sadr in the Shiite city of Kazimiya took to the streets after prayers, chanting pro-Sadr slogans and calling for the execution of Saddam. But there were expressions of support for Saddam from some quarters. A day after his appearance in court, hundreds of people took to the streets of the Iraqi town of Samarra in support of their former president. Samarra is around 100 kilometres (62 miles) north of Baghdad and is just south of Saddam's hometown, Tikrit.) Pool Baghdad - 1 July 2004 Wider shot of Saddam Hussein and judge SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Saddam Hussein, former Iraqi President: "Please allow me not to sign until the lawyers are present.'' Mid shot of Saddam Mid shot of judge Pool Baghdad, 1 July 2004 MUTE Mid shot of Saddam Hussein Close up of Saddam Pool Baghdad - 1July 2004 MUTE Tariq Aziz listening to judge in court Aziz's hands in shackles Aziz gestures to the judge Aziz signs his indictment papers Ali Hasan al-Majid (known as "Chemical Ali") talks to the judge Close up of al-Majid Taha Yassin Ramadan, former Iraqi vice-president listening to the judge APTN Baghdad, 1 July 2004 Various shots of Iraqis watching Saddam Hussein in court on television Saddam in court on the television screen Close up Saddam on screen APTN Karbala - 1 July 2004 SOUNDBITE (Arabic) vox-pop: "Where are you know Saddam? Where are you Saddam? This is the end of injustice. " APTN Kazimiya, Baghdad, 2 July 2004 Wide demonstrators chanting, "Long live Sadr, Saddam should be executed" Various of Shiite locals chanting A banner reading: ''Death to Saddam'' 10:27:59 (A militant group calling itself "The Holders of the Black Banners" threatened to murder seven foreigners - an Egyptian, three Kenyans and three Indians - taken hostage in Iraq. The group initially said they would behead one captive every 72 hours beginning on Saturday night if the Kuwaiti trucking company they worked for did leave Iraq, and their countries did not pull their citizens out of the country. They later issued a new set of demand, including the payment of compensation to the families of Iraqis killed fighting US troops in of Fallujah, but did not repeat the threat of beheading.) APTN Location Unknown, Date Unknown Amateur video of kidnappers calling themselves "The Holders of the Black Banners," and seven hostages (Tools of torture used by Saddam Hussein's son Odai to terrorise Iraqi athletes were displayed to the media at a Baghdad stadium a month before the start of the Olympic games in Athens. Odai, who ran Iraq's Olympic committee when his father ruled the country, was reported to have had athletes tortured if they did not perform well. US troops killed Odai along with his elder brother, Qusai, in 2003. The International Olympic Committee reinstated Iraq's national Olympic committee in February after it was suspended in early 2003, enabling Iraqi athletes to compete at the upcoming Athens Olympics.) APTN Baghdad - 25 July 2004 Man showing torture instrument, similar to an "iron maiden", casket with metal spikes on inside Rack of torture implements Various of iron torture head pieces Various of men demonstrating finger crushing torture instrument Various of men showing other torture instruments (A huge explosion detonated by a suicide attacker in a bomb-laden vehicle tore through central Baqouba in late July, killing 68 people and injuring scores more. The local chief of police said a suicide attacker had driven his car into a crowd of people gathered outside the station register for police jobs. At least 55 people were injured.) APTN Baqouba, Iraq - 28 July 2004 Various shots of police officers and emergency workers at scene 10:27:50 (Iraq in August In August, fighting rekindled between the Moqtada al-Sadr's supporters and Coalition troops, starting in Najaf and spreading to other Shiite areas. The Health Ministry said 19 Iraqis were killed and 111 wounded during fighting in Sadr City the first two days of the renewed fighting. The US military reported that 15 of its soldiers were wounded in four separate attacks in the same clashes. In Basra, an al-Sadr militant was killed and three others were injured after they ambushed a British patrol. There were no reported of British casualties. In Najaf, United States attack helicopters pounded militants hiding out in Najaf's cemetery. The US accused the militants of hiding in the cemetery, near the Najaf holy shrines, to avoid retaliation by US forces. Najaf hospital officials said the fighting had killed at least 13 civilians and wounded 58 others over two days. US forces reported they had killed up to 300 al-Mahdi militia fighters. Al-Sadr's aides blamed the United States for the clashes and called for a return to the truce. But the militia fighters continued to defy the Coalition troops and the Iraqi government. In the mainly Shiite city of Amarah, al Mahdi militia fighters seized four police stations and crowds of gunmen and locals gathered outside one station in a show of dissent. Al Mahdi militia gunmen openly patrolled the streets of Sadr City in Baghdad, shooting at any US troops they saw.) APTN Sadr City, Baghdad - 5 August 2004 Al Mahdi militia fighters on the streets of Sadr City Various shots of militia fighters on street APTN Baghdad - 6 Aug 2004 Day shots, man on motorcycle with RPG on shoulder Night shots, various shots of militants crouched behind building, firing rifles Militant throwing object, loud explosion follows nearby APTN Najaf - 6 August 2004 Various shots of market stalls on fire Fire at market stalls APTN Amarah - 6 August 2004 Various shots of al Mahdi militants with guns chanting in front of police station APTN Baghdad - 7 Aug 2004 Al-Mahdi militant pointing rocket propelled grenade down street APTN Baghdad - 7 Aug 2004 Three shots of al-Mahdi militia fighters shooting down street at US soldiers, UPSOUND gunfire Pan of militants and child holding weapons 10:29:10 (Under tight security, Iraq's interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi made a brief visit to the war-shattered city of Najaf, calling on militants to lay down their weapons after days of fierce clashes with United States forces. Allawi said there were no plans to arrest al-Sadr, but he said there would be no negotiations with him until al-Sadr's militia laid down their arms. Days later al -Sadr appeared at a rare news conference in Najaf, saying he and his supporters would not lay down or leave their holy city. Heavy fighting continued in of Najaf as US forces tried once more to drive out al Sadr's supporters. Explosions and gunfire rattled the city, as the fighting continued around the vast cemetery near shrines) Najaf - 8 Aug 2004 Exterior of Imam Ali Shrine APTN Najaf - 9 Aug 2004 Moqtada al-Sadr walks into room APTN Najaf - 10 Aug 2004 Small boy carrying rocket launcher (On August 12. thousands of US troops and Iraqi soldiers launched a major assault on the Mahdi militia fighters in Najaf . Among the targets of the US assault was al-Sadr's residence in Najaf. Thick plumes of black smoke billowed into the sky after a US attack helicopter fired an unknown number of missile's at the residence. Al Sadr was not thought to be in the building at the time.) APTN Najaf - 12 Aug 2004 Plume of smoke rising over Najaf APTN Najaf - 12 Aug 2004 Mid shot of al-Sadr's house engulfed in smoke (Expectations had been running high mid August for a national conference in of Iraqi religious, political and civic leaders designed to move Iraq further along the road to democracy. The conference was to elect a 100-member national council to act as a watchdog over the interim government ahead of the elections scheduled for January. But the conference was beset by problems even as it got started, with some delegates threatening to walk out over the fighting between Shiite militants and US-led forces in Najaf. Al-Sadr's group had rejected the conference as undemocratic and refused to attend. The Association of Muslim Scholars, a religious group with links to insurgents, also said it would not attend because of the interim government's reliance on the US-led Coalition forces.) Pool Baghdad - 15 August 2004 VIDEO AS INCOMING Wide shot of conference SOUNDBITE: (Arabic) Iyad Allawi, Iraqi Prime Minister "This event in Iraq's contemporary history is of great importance to peace loving countries. " Conference breaks and delegates move around Men begin chanting and waving their fists from the back of the conference room 10:29:52 (In Germany, Specialist Javal Davis admitted in court that he initially lied to a military investigator by saying he did not take part in the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Davis was one of seven junior-ranking US army reservists charged in the prison abuse scandal. Davis and the five other military police accused of abusing prisoners insisted they were following orders from military intelligence officers and civilian contractors.) APTN Mannheim - 24 Aug 2004 media going through security checks Pool Mannheim - 24 Aug 2004 Sketch of Specialist Javal Davis Court sketches of Judge Colonel James Pohl APTN Mannheim - 24 Aug 2004 Close up of US Army reservist Staff Sergeant Ivan Frederick and his wife Frederick, his wife and his lawyer 10:30:12 (Iraq in September In September, unidentified gunmen opened fire on a convoy carrying former Iraqi Governing Council member Ahmad Chalabi on Wednesday. The apparent assassination attempt wounded two of his bodyguards. Chalabi's convoy was attacked in southern Baghdad as he returned from the holy city of Najaf. Chalabi, a Shiite and a one-time Pentagon favourite who fell out of favour with the United States had returned to Iraq from Iran earlier face counterfeiting charges. A warrant issued by an Iraqi court accused him of counterfeiting old Iraqi dinars, which were removed from circulation after the ouster of Saddam Hussein last year. Chalabi denies the allegations, saying he collected the fake currency in his role as chairman of the Governing Council's finance committee.) APTN Baghdad - 1 Sept 2004 Vehicle that was carrying former Iraqi Governing Council member Ahmad Chalabi in convoy Damaged windscreen of vehicle APTN Baghdad - 1 Sept 2004 Chalabi's injured bodyguard in wheelchair Former Iraqi Governing Council member Ahmad Chalabi (Chalabi was among delegates to the Iraqi National Council that was formally sworn in a ceremony in a Baghdad convention centre amid a barrage of mortar attacks. A US military spokesman said at least two mortar rounds landed inside the heavily-fortified Green Zone that houses the convention centre, along with government offices and the US Embassy. The council is to act as a watchdog on the interim government until elections in January, and has the power to veto some government decisions with a two-thirds majority vote. The Council later elected Fuad Masoum, a Kurd, as its president.) Pool Baghdad - 1 Sept 2004 Council meeting Ahmad Chalabi shakes hands with Council member Various shots of Council members lined up waiting to be sworn in Council members swearing oath Mid shot of new National Council President Fuad Masoum speaking after being elected 10:30:53 (Saboteurs used explosives to blow up an oil pipeline at Riyadh, about 60 kilometres (40 miles) southwest of Kirkuk. The pipeline links oil fields near Kirkuk an oil refinery of Beiji. Two days later, fire-fighters struggled to put out the blaze caused by an explosive attack on a pipeline near Hartha, 30 kilometres (19 miles) north of Basra.) APTN Riyadh, near Kirkuk - 2 Sep 2004 Sign with smoke plume behind Close up black smoke rising from pipeline fire Silhouette of men spraying water on fire APTN Hartha - 4 Sep 2004 Wide of oil pipeline fire Pan of firemen spraying fire (Iraq's Defence Ministry announced that Saddam Hussein's former second-in-command, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, had been arrested in Tikrit. But the lead turned out to be false, and DNA testing established that the arrested man was not al-Douri. Once the vice chairman of the Baath Party's Revolutionary Command Council, al-Douri was a long-time ally of Saddam. When Saddam was arrested in December, al-Douri (the King of Clubs card in the Pentagon deck of playing cards) became America's most wanted fugitive in Iraq. The US suspects him of funding and leading insurgent attacks against Coalition forces. In January, Coalition troops raided houses in Samarra and Tikrit as they searched for him. He remains at large, and the US has offered a $10 (m) million-dollar bounty for his arrest.) APTN Location unknown - recent Pack of card illustration of Izzat al-Douri APTN FILE: Baghdad - unknown date Al-Douri saluting at parade APTN Unknown location and date US poster advertising reward for al-Douri's capture APTN Tikrit - May 2004 Close of al-Douri's bombed out house 10:31:51 (After a period of comparative quiet, the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City in Baghdad was again the scene of violence as US and Iraqi forces clashed with militants loyal to Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. The clashes led into several days of heavy fighting that left 37 people dead, including two US soldiers, and more than 200 civilians injured.) APTN Sadr City, Baghdad - 5 Sep 2004 Militant shooting around corner, other fighters with guns walk in alley Militant shooting from across street Militant throwing grenade Group of militants across street, pan to militant shooting around corner, pan back to group across street (US forces had pulled back from Fallujah after the three-week siege in April that left hundreds dead and devastated much of the city. Since then, the militants had tightened their grip on the city. In mid-September, US forces launched attacks in the Sunni insurgent stronghold of Fallujah and nearby villages, killing at least 30 people and wounding more than 40 others. Women and children were reported to have been among the victims. The US military said it was targeting allies of the Jordanian Islamist militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and claimed intelligence showed that up to 60 suspected enemy fighters may have been killed. US-led forces carried out a further raids attacks on insurgent positions in Fallujah in October, backed by artillery and air-strikes, as they targeted they said were safe houses used by al-Zarqawi's terror network.) APTN Fallujah - September 16, 2004 injured being carried into hospital Girl being wheeled on hospital bed Children in hospital bed (In Baghdad, militant gunmen attacked and killed two Sunni Muslim clerics. Sheik Mohammed Jadoa al-Janabi and Sheik Hazem al-Zeidi were both killed with two days of each other, in each case as they left a mosque. Iraqi authorities said the killings were motivated by sectarian disputes.) APTN Sadr City, Baghdad - 20 Sep 2004 Funeral procession for Sheikh Hazem al-Zeidi Funeral marchers with coffin on a car (In Najaf, Shiite Muslims commemorated the death of one of the country's most important Muslim clerics just over a year after he was assassinated. Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim was killed along with at least 85 others in August 2003 when a massive car bomb exploded outside the Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf. Heavy fighting in the city between militants and American forces in the previous weeks had prevented the commemoration taking place on the anniversary of the death. Baqir al-Hakim was a known proponent of Muslim unity. Marchers marking al-Hakim's death walked through the streets of Najaf holding banners reading: "No to sectarianism, yes to unity".) APTN Najaf - 23 Sep 2004 AUDIO AS INCOMING Marchers holding pictures of the late Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim 10:32:48 (Iraq's interim Prime Minister interim Iyad Allawi visited the United States in late September, where he met US President George W. Bush at the White House. After the meeting, President Bush warned that he expects insurgent violence in Iraq to escalate as the country moves toward elections scheduled for January. Even so, Allawi discounted the need for more foreign soldiers, yet called for more assistance to build up Iraqi government forces. Before meeting with Bush, Allawi told a joint meeting of Congress that Iraq was moving successfully past the war that ousted Saddam Hussein. He vowed that the elections would take place next year as scheduled, "because Iraqis want elections on time." On the second day of his two-day visit, Allawi spoke before the General Assembly of the United Nations and urged the world body to set aside differences over the legitimacy of war and help his country build a stable democracy. He said that that failure to do so would be a victory for terrorism. But his comments came just days after US Defence Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld suggested that parts of Iraq might have to be excluded from the elections because in January because of almost daily car bombings, kidnappings and other mayhem plaguing the country.) Pool Washington DC - 23 September 2004 US President George W, Bush and Iraqi President Iyad Allawi at rostrum Various shots of Allawi approaching podium to address joint meeting Various shots of members of Congress applauding SOUNDBITE (English) Iyad Allawi, Iraqi interim Prime Minister: "Elections will occur in Iraq on time in January because Iraqis want elections on time." 10:33:08 (Iraq in October Margaret Hassan, the director of the CARE International' charity in Iraq, was kidnapped on her way to work in Baghdad in late October. Hassan, an Irish-born woman married to an Iraqi man, Tahseen Ali Hassan, had lived and worked in Iraq for thirty years. Militants in Iraq had kidnapped more than 150 foreigners by this time, and many non-governmental organisations had withdrawn foreign staff because of the bombings and kidnappings. CARE suspended operations in Iraq on Wednesday after she was seized. Tahseen Ali Hassan said that he had not been contacted by the kidnappers and had no idea who was holding his wife. He urged the group to let her go, saying she was an Iraqi by marriage and had done nothing but help the country. In a series of video's released by her captors she was seen to be increasingly distraught, and pleaded with British Prime Minister Tony Blair to draw back British troops from Baghdad - a demand of the kidnappers. On November 16 her captors announced they had killed her, and released a video that they said showed her execution. US and Iraqi authorities later confirmed that Margaret Hassan had been killed.) APTN Baghdad - 20 May 2003 Exterior of CARE offices in Baghdad Mid shot of Margaret Hassan, CARE's director in Iraq APTN Baghdad - 21 Oct 2004 Tahseen Ali Hassan, husband of kidnapped aid worker Margaret Hassan, speaking to journalists Mid shot of Tahseen Ali Hassan (Followers of the rebel Shiite cleric radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr trickled into police stations in Baghdad's Sadr City district to hand in weapons a deal seen as a key step toward ending weeks of fighting between US and Iraqi militiamen in the Shiite militant stronghold. Cash in US dollars was handed to militiamen after they turned in rocket propelled grenades and other weapons. Police said the rates ranged from five US dollars for a hand grenade to one-thousand US dollars for a heavy-calibre machine gun. But an Iraqi official said the militiamen were receiving cash as a "reward for their cooperation", not as compensation for the weapons turned in, and that some had refused to be paid. In return for taking back control of al-Mahdi militia areas, the government promised to start releasing detained al-Sadr followers, provided they didn't commit crimes, and to spend 500 million US dollars to rebuild Sadr City after the fighting.) APTN Sadr City, Baghdad - 11 Oct 2004 Various shots of masked Iraqi soldiers receiving weapons Official opening packet of US dollars Man counting cash Official handing cash to man Various shots of piles of weapons on the ground Weapons being taken out of the trunk of a car Iraqi policemen counting weapons laid out on the ground (The bodies of about 50 Iraqi Civil Defence Corps soldiers were found on a remote road in eastern Iraq, apparently the victims of a militant ambush as they were heading home on leave, Iraqi authorities said. The ICDC soldiers were on their way home when they were ambushed and killed about sundown Saturday on a road south of Baqouba, near the Iranian border. A government spokesman said the soldiers had been training in Kirkush military camp in Baladruz. Specialist private trainers and Coalition soldiers had been training new Iraqi army recruits at the camp, 90 kilometres north-east of Baghdad.) APTN Kirkush Army Base - 24 October Long shot of bodies on ground, tracking shot moving closer to bodies, tilt up to soldiers looking on APTN Iraqi desert, 150 kilometres east of Baghdad - 24 Oct 2004 Close-up of burned out minibus at the scene where the attack on soldiers reportedly occurred APTN FILE: Kirkush, unknown date Wide shot of recruits marching at the Kirkush camp APTN Baqouba - 24 October 2004 Wide shot of Iraqi National Guard (ING) checkpoint and cars driving past (In late October, the United Nations nuclear inspectorate, the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) reported that several hundred tonnes of explosives had gone missing from a former Iraqi military facility at Al-Qaqaa, near Youssifiyah, in an area rife with insurgent attacks. The IAEA Iraqis had told inspectors that the materials had been stolen and looted because of a lack of security at the installation. A story in The New York Times reported that the explosives had disappeared since the US-led invasion of Iraq the previous year. The IAEA had kept tabs on the so-called "dual use" explosives because they could also have been used to make detonators for nuclear weapons. The IAEA pulled out of Iraq just before the 2003 invasion and have not yet been able to return.) APTN Al-Qaqaa military installation - 25 October 2004 Exterior shot of Al-Qaqaa Travelling shot of Al-Qaqaa Gates of Al-Qaqaa APTN FILE: Al-Qaqaa military installation - early 2003 United Nations weapons inspectors go through gates of Al-Qaqaa Iraqi soldiers closing gates (In mid-October, a mass grave was near the village of Hatra in northern Iraq. Up to 300 bodies were initially thought to be buried in the grave, but US military experts estimated there could be up to 3000. The bodies were believed to be those of Kurds killed during Saddam's crackdown on Kurdish Iraqis in 1987 and 1988. The gassing of Kurdish villages in 1988 was one of the charges laid against the former dictator Saddam Hussein when he was arraigned on 1 July in Baghdad. The site at Hatra, unlike other sites discovered throughout Iraq, is to be preserved as a crime scene by the US military, with the evidence to be used in the trial against Saddam for crimes against humanity and other offences.) APTN Hatra, Iraq - 12 October 2004 Reporters looking at remains of bodies inside graves Pool Hatra, Iraq - 12 October 2004 Wide shot of burial pit Close up of skull in grave Pan of grave Close-up of remains 10:35:15 (Iraq Fallujah In mid November, up to 15-thousand US Marines and Iraqi troops began a major offensive into the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah. After three days of heavy fighting as they advanced through the city, the Marines reported that at least 71 militants had been killed, compared with 10 US troops and two Iraqi government soldiers. Some observers expressed concerns that the pace of the US advance in Fallujah indicated that some militants had left the city ahead of the offensive, which was widely heralded in news media reports. Fallujah, 60 kilometres west of Baghdad in the Sunni Triangle region, had emerged as a key centre of the Sunni Muslim insurgency that has stymied US efforts to secure Iraq and prepare for national elections scheduled for January. Many foreign militants, including the Jordanian born al-Qaida associate Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi, were reported to have holed up in Fallujah but there were further reports of them leaving before the US attack. The US military launched an investigation after videotape recorded by an embedded news journalist appeared to show a US Marine shooting dead an injured Iraqi militant.) Pool Fallujah, Iraq - 10 November 2004 UPSOUND machine gunfire from tank UPSOUND explosion with smoke billowing from mosque Tank crashing through wall Mid shot of US troops firing from window of building Pool Fallujah, Iraq - 10 November 2004 Marines emerging on the street, shouting audio of gunfire Mid shot of a soldier on the roof top shooting (filmed from the ground) Pool Fallujah, Iraq - 13 November 2004 US Marines walk inside mosque Close up of two Iraqis lying on floor, pan to show a marine firing at another Iraqi lying on the ground. Pool Fallujah, Iraq - 16 November 2004 View from humvee window driving through Fallujah 10:35:55 APTN Baghdad, Iraq - 2 Dec 2004 (Series of mortar attacks) Baghdad Wide of smoke billowing AUDIO of explosions Al-Arasat neighbourhood, Baghdad Various of panic as AUDIO of explosions, people running down street, police run down Abu Nuwas street, central Baghdad Badly injured man sitting and in pain Smoke billowing at end of street Various of cars on fire Al-Sa'doun street, central Baghdad 'Al-Dar al-Bayda hotel' with blown out windows Various damage to 'Al-Dar al-Bayda hotel', including huge hole through the wall 10:36:49 APTN Baghdad, Iraq - 3 Dec 2004 (At least six dead after explosion at police station) Various of fire seen through gate Various of vehicles on fire Longshot of scene 10:37:25 APTN Ramadi, Iraq - 2 Dec 2004 (Aftermath of attacks in Ramadi) Various of demolished al-Qatana police station Burned out car 10:37:45 AP Photos Unknown locations, dates (Navy investigates new set of alleged Iraqi prisoner photos) PLEASE NOTE APTN HAS NO WAY TO AUTHENTICATE THESE PICTURES IN SOME OF THE PHOTOS, FACES ARE BLACKED OUT UNKNOWN LOCATIONS/ UNKNOWN DATES STILL shows man lying on his back with a boot on his chest - face is blacked out STILL shows man with an automatic weapon pointed at his head and a gloved thumb jabbed into his throat - face is blacked out STILL shows man who appears to be a soldier sitting on a man, holding him down Web page showing large photo of what appears to be a soldier smiling while sitting on a man and several smaller images to the left STILL showing a man with eyes closed, group of men who appear to be soldiers surrounding him with gun pointed in face and someone taking more pictures of him in right hand of picture STILL of three men who appear to be soldiers surrounding a man with hood over head and in white garment STILL of bloodied man in underwear and two men around him, one with gun pointed STILL of man with blood on forehead and coming out of his mouth STILL of man lying on his back with shirt off and gun pointed at his chest STILL of men who appear to be soldiers standing over men lying down 10:38:44 APTN Baghdad, Iraq - 4 Dec 2004 (Police station hit inside Green Zone killing six) Smoke rising at a distance, AUDIO: automatic gunfire Various of smoke rising behind building 10:39:05 APTN Baghdad, Iraq - 5 Dec 2004 (Protest over fuel shortages, queues at filling station) People holding banner, man in foreground holding automatic rifle Men holding banner and Iraqi flag Various of long queues of cars waiting to buy petrol SOUNDBITE: (Arabic) Vox pop, Man waiting for petrol: ''I have been lining up in queue since 0400 (0100 GMT) until now." (Question: "When do you expect to reach the petrol station?") Answer: "Perhaps, at six or seven pm (1500 or 1600 GMT ) or I won't be able to get petrol at all.'' 10:39:40 APTN Tikrit, Iraq - 5 Dec 2004 (Aftermath of insurgent attacks that killed at least 17) Sign reading "Tikrit Teaching Hospital" Soldiers outside morgue Various of corpses in morgue 10:39:51 APTN Various - 5 Dec 2004 (Mortar attack in Ramadi, oil pipeline burns near Beiji) Ramadi, Iraq Various of damaged shops and car SOUNDBITE: (Arabic) Voxpop, resident of Ramadi: "This is the democracy of Mr. Ayad Allawi to give us during the day mortar shells and at night, bombs. Is this a democracy?" Close up of holes in a wall and woman sitting in the background Various of damaged shops Beiji, Iraq Various of thick smoke and flames 10:40:31 APTN Samara, Iraq - 6 Dec 2004 (Pipeline fire) Wide shot of thick black smoke rising from horizon Various shots of smoke and flames rising from pipeline 10:40:45 APTN Mosul, Iraq - 8 Dec 2004 (Church attacked in religiously divided northern city) US soldiers outside the targeted church Civilian car buried under debris Young boys walking on rubble and looking at damage Destroyed dome with damaged religious pictures 10:41:06 APTN Ramadi, Iraq - 11 Dec 2004 (US troops release more than 100 Iraqi detainees) Various of released prisoners holding their luggage and walking towards buses Released prisoner hugging his relative Released prisoner smiling at ING soldier from bus window Bus leaving 10:41:33 APTN Heet, Iraq - 12 Dec 2004 (Unknown gunmen ambushed and killed 10 Iraqis and injured two men about to join the Iraqi National Guard in Heet, west of Baghdad) Various of bodies being carried away Bloodied clothes on ground Body in casket 10:41:51 APTN Various -12/ 13 Dec 2004/FILE (Defence team says Saddam probably on hunger strike) Amman, Jordan - 13 December, 2004 SOUNDBITE (English) Issam Ghazawi, member of Saddam Hussein's defence team : (partly running underneath shot of Saddam Hussein undergoing medical checks - US MILITARY FILE) "We are sure that there is a hunger strike going on, fairly sure that eleven members are on hunger strike, but the President himself we are not sure about that, but we expect that he is." Tikrit, Iraq - 12 December 2004 Area near where former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was hiding before his capture Various of house where Saddam was hiding SOUNDBITE: (Arabic) Iraqi (name not given) speaking as he stands in hole where Saddam was captured: "The people of Tikrit provided the hiding place for him here, but his relatives failed to give him shelter." Hole in which Saddam was found hiding 10:42:36 APTN Baghdad, Iraq - 12 Dec 2004 Close up of picture of Saddam Hussein in newspaper (One-year anniversary of Saddam Hussein's capture) Wide of newspapers Men reading newspapers SOUNDBITE: (Arabic) Sadiq Moussa, Vox pop: "God willing, the trial will be fair but Saddam Hussein doesn't need a trial. The people will judge him because they know what crimes he committed." Kirkuk, Iraq - 12 Dec 2004 SOUNDBITE: (Arabic) Baba Ali Jabari, Security of Kurdistan Communist Party of Iraq: "It is a great occasion for the Iraqi people for all denominations and religions, they (referring to the Baath party) tortured a lot of people. People suffered a lot under Saddam's regime but now Saddam has been uprooted." 10:43:21 APTN Baghdad, Iraq - 14 Dec 2004 (Seven killed, 13 wounded in Baghdad suicide attack) Helicopter over the city Various of US and Iraqi troops at the scene of the blast Burnt out vehicle at the scene Various of troops at the scene of blast 10:43:40 APTN Beiji, Iraq - 14 Dec 2004 (Pipeline between Beiji and Kirkuk burns after attack) Various of oil burning, plumes of smoke 10:44:06 APTN Basra/Baghdad, Iraq - 15 Dec 2004 (Candidates and voters register to vote in elections) Baghdad Various, Iraqi National Guard (ING) troops deployed on Sadoun Street where Palestine and Ishtar Sheraton are located Various, mosque and street Pool Iraq's interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi entering hall Allawi on stage with electoral candidates APTN Sadr City, Baghdad Sign reading''Voters Registration Centre'' People walking out of centre Poster for al-Sistani, top Shiite cleric Man with polling registration paperworkd Close shot, paperwork Basra People queueing to register Various, people registering to vote 10:45:05 APTN Baghdad, al-Jamaa neighbourhood, Iraq - Dec 16, 2004 (Insurgents ambushed and killed Iraqi Communication Undersecretary Qassim Muhawi) Damaged car interior with blood stains, convoy of the assassinated Communication Undersecretary at scene where the attack occurred Bloodstain in a second car, apparently the bodyguard's car 10:45:16 APTN Baghdad, Iraq - Dec 18, 2004 (Tariq Aziz's lawyer comments after visiting him) Exterior law office Sign for Badei Aref Izzat's office Set up of Badei Aref Izzat Cutaway SOUNDBITE: (Arabic) Badei Aref Izzat, Lawyer: "The judges and investigators were appointed under the occupation. The penal law is under (the influence of ) the occupation. This is illegal. It will be legal only if this is legitimate government which create laws and courts. All these irregularities can described as a big scandal." 10:46:13 Iraqi Justice Ministry Location Unknown, December 18, 2004 ('Chemical Ali' in custody) Various of Ali Hassan al-Majid in handcuffs Ali Hassan al-Majid close-up of his face Shot of Ali Hassan al-Majid from behind Various Ali Hassan al-Majid seated with his hand on his cane Ali Hassan al-Majid appearing before an investigating magistrate Closeup of handcuffs Military police General Sultan Hashim Ahmad, Saddam's last defence chief Various of General Sultan Hashim Ahmad standing, wiping his face APTN Beirut, Lebanon - January 21, 2003 Various of Ali Hassan al-Majid inspecting the troops Various Ali Hassan al-Majid (left) seated with Lebanese president Emile Lahoud (right) 10:48:00 APTN Amman, Jordan - Dec 19, 2004 (Saddam Hussein's defence team interview) Journalists SOUNDBITE: (Arabic) Ziad al-Khasawneh, Jordanian lawyer, Spokesman for Saddam's defence committee: "The President, Saddam Hussein, assures us that he is still the official President of Iraq according to the law and the Iraqi national assembly and his government is the legitimate one. As Kofi Annan has announced the invasion has no legal basis and is against human rights. We believe in the law so that is why the (upcoming) elections are illegal. The security council resolution chapter 7 is cancelled by Kofi Annan's statement when he denied the existence of weapons of mass destruction and there is no justification for the invasion and the occupation." 10:49:05 APTN Karbala, Iraq - Dec 19, 2004 (Car bomb kills 13 at main bus station) Wide of bomb, fire in distance Police cars, pan to man gesticulating Wide of scene, police cars and fire engines Fire engine spraying water Wrecked car, ambulances 10:49:28 Pool Baghdad, Iraq - Dec 21, 2004 (UK PM in surprise visit, excerpt briefing with Allawi) Iraq's interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi walking along red carpet with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, inspecting honour guard and then meeting Iraqi officials, then the two prime ministers pose for handshake and enter building Blair and Allawi at podiums SOUNDBITE: (English) Tony Blair, British Prime Minister: "Whatever people's feelings or beliefs about the removal of Saddam Hussein and the wisdom of that, there surely is only one side to be on in what is now very clearly a battle between democracy and terror. Blair and Allawi at podiums SOUNDBITE: (English) Ayad Allawi, Interim Iraqi Prime Minister: "And for the first time Iraqis feel the sense of liberty. It is a dream that is coming true. We don't expect forces assembled against us just to stand idle, to see this huge construction going ahead in a peaceful way. What you see now, insh'allah (God willing), will disappear in the very near future." 10:50:40 AP Photos Forward Operating Base Marez, Mosul, Iraq - 21 Dec 2004 (At least 22 people were killed and 50 wounded in an attack at a US and Iraqi base near Mosul) STILL: A hole in the roof of a tent lights smoke moments after an apparent militant mortar attack on a dining facility STILL - U.S. soldiers help a wounded comrade STILL - Workers and U.S. soldiers tend to the wounded STILL - U.S. Army Chaplain Eddie Barnett (far right) says a prayer with members of 276th Engineer Battalion 10:51:10 APTN Baghdad, Iraq - 4 Jan 2005 (Suicide car bomb near ING barracks kill six) Scene after explosion, smoke, military personnel, AUDIO sirens Various of scene after explosion, smoke, military personnel 10:51:19 Insurgent Video Unknown location - 3 Jan 2005 (Insurgent video showing attack) n.b Overlaid with Arabic music Masked man places explosives in car Explosives in car Masked man attaches wires Van loaded with explosives Wide of road with traffic - explosion as US convoy passes Military at scene after blast Mid shot burning vehicle 10:52:05 APTN Baghdad, Iraq - 4 Jan 2005/FILE (Gunmen assassinated Baghdad Governor Ali al-Haidari in an attack that also left six of his bodyguards dead.) Various of scene after the attack Various of damaged car with blood stains FILE: Al-Haidari speaking 10:52:41 APTN Hillah, Iraq - 5 Jan 2005 (A car bomb exploded outside a police academy south of Baghdad during a graduation ceremony, killing at least 20 people) Exterior of Babil (Babylon) Sports Club Close-up of Babil Sports Club logo Blood on ground Armed police in front of sports club, smouldering cars in background Various of truck with unexploded bombs in back Various of car wreckage 10:53:20 APTN Mosul region, Iraq - January 7, 2005 (A building intended for use as an election centre in the forthcoming vote, was blown up in a district of Mosul, northern Iraq) Wide shot of demolished building Various destruction to the building Insurgent Video Unknown location and date Various of a man with his face covered, preparing bombs Tracking shot from inside vehicle which is following a military vehicle, there is a large explosion very close to military vehicle 10:53:48 APTN Baghdad, Iraq - 16 Jan 2005 (Interim PM tours Baghdad University ahead of elections) Sign in Arabic reading ''Baghdad University HQ'' Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi entering cafeteria of students Various Allawi sitting with university students at cafeteria SOUNDBITE (English) Iraqi interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi ''I am meeting my students of Iraq and to announce to them few important steps that we have taken, including allocation of funds to send students to do further studies and scholarships abroad. I just signed a hundred (M) million dollars fund to support the grands and scholarships.'' 10:54:34 APTN London, UK - 17 Jan 2005 (Iraqis in various nations register to vote) Exterior Wembley stadium where Iraqi voters are registering Sign of registration/polling centre Group of people having their bags checked People at the tables registering Various people registering Close up passport of man registering 10:55:00 APTN Mosul, Iraq - 18 Jan 2005 (A Catholic archbishop kidnapped in Iraq was freed a day after he was seized near his church in Mosul) High wide shot of Archbishop Basile Georges Casmoussa being greeted by applauding well-wishers in office SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Archbishop Basile Georges Casmoussa: "They released me, because I was not the one they wanted. They were very kind with me." 10:55:26 APTN New York, USA - January 18, 2005 (Looted Baghdad artifacts returned to Iraq) SOUNDBITE: (English) Michael Garcia, Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary: "Under operation Iraqi Heritage our investigators recovered roughly 1,000 artifacts and more than 39-thousand manuscripts. SOUNDBITE: (English) Samir al-Sumaidaie, Iraq's U.N. Ambassador "On behalf of the Iraqi government and its people, I wish to express our gratitude to the US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement for retrieving a stolen treasure from our rich heritage. Wide shot artifacts on table Various shots of men looking at artifacts Various, artifacts 10:56:10 APTN Oteifiyah neighbourhood, northern Baghdad, Iraq - 19 January 2005 (Car bomb explodes at Baghdad bank) Wide of scene Various wreckage of car bomb at scene Wrecked bicycle Bank Exterior zoom out 10:56:40 APTN Baghdad, Iraq - 19 Jan 2005 (Alleged prisoner abuse by British soldiers in Basra) Various of men reading newspapers on sideway Iraqi newspaper ' Newspaper photo of British solider kneeling over Iraqi prisoner who is tied up on the ground Headline reading ''British forces commander says we will investigate into abuses.' AP Photos +++PLEASE NOTE: PICTURES CENSORED AT SOURCE+++ +++IMAGES REVIEWED BY BRITISH MILITARY CENSOR+++ Near Basra, - May, 2003 STILL: Photo showing British soldier photographed with detainee STILL: Photo allegedly showing Corporal Daniel Kenyon, top right, in the brown t-shirt, leaning over an Iraqi detainee STILL: Photo showing two naked Iraqi men STILL: Photo, detainee seated, British soldiers standing nearby with a stick STILL: Photo, British soldier standing next to detainee who is holding a box over his head 10:57:29 APTN Baghdad, Iraq - 22 Jan 2005 (At least 7 killed, dozens wounded in attack on wedding) Wide shot of body being carried toward building by two men Covered body lying on side of the road Wide shot of building with crater in foreground Distraught man being comforted by two men Damaged car in foreground and men standing in background 10:58:04 APTN Baghdad, Iraq - 26 Jan 2005 (Attacks on several schools due to be used as balloting centres) Baghdad, Bab al-Mu'dham neighbourhood Exterior of al-Markaziyah Preparatory School for Girls Shards of glass on classroom floor More damage seen from inside Baghdad, al-Amin neighbourhood Sign reading ''al-Firsan Preparatory School for Boys'' Various of damage from explosion in front of school façade 10:58:24 APTN Samawah, Iraq - 27 Jan 2005 (Allawi continues election campaign) Allawi greeting residents SOUNDBITE: (Arabic) Ayad Allawi, Interim Prime Minister of Iraq: "We are just days away from the elections, the dream for Iraqis will be achieved, God willing. Iraqis can finally decide their own future and choose their leaders." Allawi outside speaking to potential voters 10:58:58 Pool Various, Iraq - 29 Jan 2005 (The deployment of Iraqi troops on Baghdad streets was intensified on the eve of Iraq's first free election in half a century) Baghdad Various of Iraqi National Guards (INGs) and military vehicles at checkpoint Guards searching car Man being searched by guards APTN Sadr City Polling station with Iraqi soldiers guarding outside Men carrying ballot boxes Iraqi soldiers on balcony of building to be used as a polling centre Various of ballot boxes with armed soldier standing nearby Mosul Man reading leaflet "Avoid polling centres. Being close to them endangers your life because they are targets for the Mujahedeen (insurgents)." Pool Mosul Various of ballot boxes being delivered to polling station Iraqi forces outside polling station APTN Fallujah SOUNDBITE: (Arabic) Ala Hussein, Fallujah resident: "We are not going to vote because Fallujah has been destroyed and there is no electricity, water or security. The Iraqi National Guard fire at us 24 hours a day. So why should we vote? We don't have security or compensation." Tattered election poster on wall 11:00:16 Pool Baghdad, Iraq - 30 Jan 2004 (Iraqi president among first to cast vote in elections) Various of Iraqi President Ghazi al-Yawer voting Various of Abdul aziz Al-Hakim, Shiite cleric and leader of the key Shiite political organisation, the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, voting 11:00:55 APTN Baghdad, Iraq - 30 Jan 2005 (Security and voting at polling stations in the Iraqi capital) Woman voter at polling booth List of candidates fixed on wall Woman voter putting finger in ink Woman voter putting vote in Ballot box Agency Pool SOUNDBITE: (Arabic) Voxpop, Voter "I would like to be one of the first people to show up at the polling station to break the fear for people who are scared to vote. This is a new experience. In the past, we could only vote for one person, now we have choice, and hopefully, the winning candidate will not disappoint us." 11:01:40 Pool Sadr City, Baghdad - 30 Jan 2005 (Attacks on polling stations in Baghdad) People on street by cars damaged in explosion Paper covered in blood on street APTN Baqouba, Iraq - 7 Feb 2005 (15 killed in attack on police headquarters) Wider shot of scene with burnt out car Stretcher being carried past Burning debris 11:02:06 APTN Baghdad, Iraq - 8 Feb 2005 (A suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowd of Iraqis outside an army recruitment center in Baghdad killing 21 other people and injuring 27 more.) Ambulances racing down street, bound for hospital after blast at recruitment centre AUDIO, gunfire and ambulance siren Various of dead bodies from blast in morgue Various of body bags next to ambushed car Baghdad, Iraq - 8 Feb 2005 (Assailants sprayed a politician's car with gunfire, killing two of the man's sons. The politician, Mithal al-Alusi, who heads the Nation party, escaped the ttack unhurt.) Blood inside ambushed car Iraqi politician, Mithal al-Alosi, being consoled by US soldier 11:02:43 APTN Basra, Iraq - Feb 9, 2005 (Journalist for Al Hurra and his son killed) Coffin with journalist's body in back of pick-up truck Coffin being carried into house Bullet holes in windscreen Bullet holes in door FILE: Still of al-Basri (left, pale blue shirt) taken from a panning shot 11:03:08 APTN Various - File (File of the leading candidates in the Iraqi national elections) Wide shot of Interim President Ghazi Ajeel al-Yawer sitting with officials Close up of al-Yawer Jalal al-Talabani, Head of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (Kurdish leader) enters conference Close up of al-Talabani Various of Ayad Allawi Interim Prime Minister, Head of Iraqi National Accord shaking hands with officials Various of Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Interim Vice-President and Head of Dawa party Various of Hussein al-Shahristani, Shiite candidate for United Iraqi Alliance (Shiite ticket), atomic scientist A'dil Abdul-Mahdi Shiite candidate, from the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution, current Finance Minister sitting in audience Various of Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, Head of the supreme council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq and on the top of Shiite united Iraqi Alliance ticket Various of Adnan Pachachi, Head of the Gathering of Independent Democrats Various of Massoud Barazani, Leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party Various of Ahmad Chalabi Head of the Iraqi National Congress 11:06:25 Pool/APTN Baghdad, Iraq - 13 Feb 2005 (Candidates from Shiites win most votes) Setup shot of Electoral Commission official Doctor Farid Ayar and Doctor Adil Al Lami Al Lami announcing the list of the Iraq United Alliance list number 169 with number of voters more than four (m) million Various of people watching TV and TV showing the Electoral Commission officials announcing the results People watching TV SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Ali Naji, voxpop: "The winning for the Iraqi united Alliance is a win for Iraqi people if this list serve the nation." SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Mohammad Sadiq, voxpop: "We wait from these people, whom we gave our votes, to build the new Iraq and secure services and especially security." 11:07:27 APTN Baghdad, Iraq - 13 Feb 2005 (Shiite leaders comment on election results) SOUNDBITE: (Arabic) Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Iraqi Vice President: "I am pleased that the Iraqi people put their trust in this list (the Iraqi United Alliance) and it will be added to the rest of the lists to work side by side to put the Iraqi people first. I expect that this list will take its role to serve the Iraqi nation and play an important role in the Parliament to set constitution and government and solve the persistent, pending issues facing Iraq's society." People slapping their chests at the Hussein Memorial, celebrating the election results Abdel-Aziz al-Hakim, cleric who heads Iraq's largest political group, the Shiite Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq 11:08:08 APTN Kirkuk, Iraq - 13 Feb 2005 (Kurds celebrate strong showing for their parties in Iraq's elections) Various men dancing next to wall Kurdish flag Man with poster and men dancing in background 11:08:21 APTN Baghdad, Iraq - 22 Feb 2005 (Shiites choose Al-Jaafari as PM candidate) Newspapers on the ground Set up senior figures of the United Iraqi Alliance SOUNDBITE: (English) Ahmad Chalabi, member in the United Iraqi Alliance "The United Iraqi Alliance unanimously chose Dr. Ibrahim al-Jaafari to be the prime minister of Iraq. We decided that unity is more important than winning and we proceeded in this direction and I think it is a great result for Iraq and for the Alliance " Cutaway of al-Jaafari speaking to the journalists SOUNDBITE: (Arabic) Ibrahim al-Jafaari : "The security issue will be our top priority because it is important in itself it is and will reflect on the economy as a whole and other matters, so the security issue will get priority to resolve the situation. " 11:09:18 APTN Najaf, Iraq - 25 Feb 2005 (Nine foreign suspected insurgents arrested by Iraqis) Police cars entering base Blindfolded prisoners being taken from vehicles Various, blindfolded prisoners with security Tape Ends 11:09:39
JEFF SESSIONS NOMINATION HEARING: WITNESS ISO 1330 - 1530
and it's a responsibility of the military to protect the United States from people who attack us. GRAHAM: Do you believe the treats to the homeland are growing or lessening? SESSIONS: I believe they are growing and we're seeing that now in Europe and we're also seeing it right here in America. GRAHAM: Do you support the continuation of Gitmo as a confinement facility for foreign terrorists? SESSIONS: Senator Graham, I think it's designed for that purpose, it fits that purpose marvelously well, it's a safe place to keep prisoners, we've invested a lot of money in that and I believe it could be -- it should be utilized in that fashion and have opposed the closing of it. But as attorney general... PROTESTER: No! In the name of humanity (ph)... GRAHAM: I just wanted to see if they were still listening. PROTESTER: (OFF-MIKE) GRAHAM: I think they're on the fence about Gitmo, but I'm not sure. (LAUGHTER) Let me tell you, I support this administration's effort to make sure we prosecute terrorism as a military action, not a law enforcement action. They're not trying to steal our cars or rob your bank account, they're trying to destroy our way of life and I hope you'll go after them without apology, apply the law, and the law is the law of war, not domestic criminal law. You'll have a friend in Senator Graham if you intend to do that. Cyber attacks, do you think the Russians were behind hacking into our election? SESSIONS: I have done no research into that. I know just what the media says about it. GRAHAM: Do you think you could get briefed any time soon? SESSIONS: Well, I'll need to. GRAHAM: I think you do too. You like the FBI? SESSIONS: Do I like them? (LAUGHTER) GRAHAM: Yeah. SESSIONS: Some of my best friends are FBI... GRAHAM: Do you -- do you generally trust them? SESSIONS: Yes. GRAHAM: Are you aware of the fact that the FBI has concluded that it was the Russian intelligence services who hacked into the DNC and Podesta's e-mails? SESSIONS: I do understand that. GRAHAM: From your point of... SESSIONS: At least that's what's been reported and I've not been briefed by them... GRAHAM: Right. SESSIONS: ... on the subject. GRAHAM: From your point of view, there's no reason for us to be suspicious of them? SESSIONS: Of their decision? GRAHAM: Yeah. SESSIONS: I'm sure it was honorably reached. GRAHAM: How do you feel about a foreign entity trying to interfere in our election? I'm not saying they changed the outcome but it's pretty clear to me they did? How do you feel about it, what should we do? SESSIONS: Senator Graham, I think it's a significant event. We have penetration apparently throughout our government by foreign entities. We know the Chinese revealed millions of background information on millions of people in the United States and these, I suppose, ultimately are part of international, big-power politics. But it -- when a nation uses their improperly gained or intelligence-wise gained information to take policy positions that impact another nation's Democracy or their approach to any issue, then that raises real serious matters. It's -- really, I suppose, goes in many ways to the State Department, our Defense Department, in how we as a nation have to react to that which would include developing some protocols where when people breach our systems that a price is paid even if we can't prove the exact person who did it. GRAHAM: I agree, I've got 20 seconds left. I've known you for, I guess, 15 years now and we've had a lot of contests on the floor and sometimes we agree, sometimes we don't. I'm from South Carolina so I know what it's like sometimes to be accused of being a conservative from the South, that means something other than you're a conservative from the South. In your case, people have fairly promptly tried to label you as a racist or a bigot or whatever you want to say. How does that make you feel? And this is your chance to say something to those people. SESSIONS: Well, that does not feel good. PROTESTER: (OFF-MIKE) GRASSLEY: If nothing else, I'm clearing the room for you. (LAUGHTER) GRAHAM: And I would suggest that the freedom of speech also has some courtesy to listen. So what's your answer? SESSIONS: Senator Graham, I appreciate the question. You have a Southern name, you come from South Alabama; that sounds worse to some people, South Alabama. And when I came up as a United States attorney, I had no real support group. I didn't prepare myself well in 1986 and there was an organized effort to caricature me as something that wasn't true. It was very painful. I didn't know how to respond and didn't respond very well. I hope my tenure in this body has shown you that the caricature that was created of me was not accurate. It wasn't accurate then and it's not accurate now. And I just wanted you to know that as a Southerner who actually saw discrimination and have no doubt it existed in a systematic and powerful and negative way to the people -- great millions of people in the South particularly of our country, I know that was wrong. I know we need to do better. We can never go back. I am totally committed to maintain the freedom and equality that this country has to provide to every citizen and I will assure you that that's how I will approach it. GRASSLEY: Senator Durbin. DURBIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Senator Sessions, let me first say it's -- I'm glad that you brought your family with you today. It's a beautiful family with your wife and your son and daughters and those four beautiful little granddaughters. You kept them as quiet as you could for as long as you could, so thank you so much for being here today. I'm sure it was great moral support and part of your effort here today. When you came by my office last week, I talked to you about a man named Alton Mills, and with permission of the chair, I'd like to -- he's my guest today -- ask Mr. Mills if he'd please stand up. Alton, thank you for being here today. I'd like to tell you story so you can understand my question a little better. When Alton Mills was 22-years-old, unemployed, he made a bad decision; he started selling crack-cocaine on the streets of Chicago. He was arrested twice for possession of small amounts of crack-cocaine. The third time that he was arrested, the kingpins who had employed him turned on him, and as a consequence, he ended up being prosecuted under the three strikes and you're out law. At the age of 22 -- pardon me -- the age of 24, he was sentenced to life without parole. He had never been in prison before, and as I mentioned, there were no allegations made against him other than possession and sale. No violence, no guns, nothing of that nature. Alton Mills ended up, despite the sentencing judge's admonition that he believed this was fundamentally unfair and his hands were tied, Alton Mills ended up spending 22 years in federal prison until December 2015 when President Obama commuted his sentence. He was finally able to go home to his family. Senator Sessions, seven years ago, you and I co-sponsored a bill known as The Fair Sentencing Act, which Senator Collins referenced earlier, and that reduced the brutal sentencing disparity for crack-cocaine crimes over powder cocaine. It was originally 100 to 1. We agreed, in the Senate gym I might add, to bring that down to 18 to 1. Inmates, overwhelmingly African-American, were spared thousands of prison years because of our joint effort to end this injustice, yet when I asked you to join me in appealing to the sentence commission -- sentencing commission to follow our law and when I asked you to join Senator Grassley and me in permitting the almost 5,000 still serving under this unfair 100 to one standard to petition individually for leniency, you refused. And you said of President Obama's pardoning of people like Alton Mills. and I quote, "President Obama continues to abuse executive power in an unprecedented reckless manner to systemically release high-level drug traffickers and firearms felons. So-called low-level non-violent offenders simply do not exist in the federal system," you said. DURBIN: Senator Sessions, Alton Mills and many more just like him do exist. So if you refuse to even acknowledge the fundamental injustice of many of our sentencing laws, why should you be entrusted with the most important criminal prosecution office in America? SESSIONS: Senator Durbin, I think that's rather unfair, based on our relationship and how we work together. In 2001, I introduced legislation very similar to the bill that you and I successfully made law. It would have reduced it to 20 to 1, our bill went to 18 to 1. A little better, but fundamentally that I was criticized by the Bush Department of Justice. My legislation was opposed by them. It was seven years later or so or really longer before our bill ever passed. So I stepped out against my own Republican administration and said openly on the floor of the Senate that I believe that these crack cocaine laws were too harsh, with -- and particularly it was disadvantageous to the African-American community where most of the punishments were falling and it was not fair and we ought to fix it. So, I just want to say, I took a strong stand on that and I did not agree. You and I did not agree on the retroactivity because a lot of these were plea bargain cases and may not have been totally driven by the mandatory minimums. But, so -- I thought the court had basically now agreed that it is retroactive. I don't know what group is not being covered by it, but a large group was covered by a court decision. We sort of left it open, as I remember. DURBIN: We did. SESSIONS: You and I discussed... DURBIN: Let me see, in the -- on the issue of fairness, I will acknowledge you stepped out on this issue and you and I both recognize the brutal injustice of 100 to 1 and we agreed on 18 to 1. That's how laws are made. And now, we have 5,000 prisoners sitting in federal prison still there under this brutal unjust 100 to 1, and all I've asked and all Senator Grassley's asked, allow them as individuals to petition to the judge, to the prosecutor, to the Department of Justice so that their sentences can be considered. That's something you've opposed. So in fairness, tell me why you still oppose that. SESSIONS: Well, first, I would tell you with absolute certainty that if -- it is a decision of this body. It's not the attorney general's decision about when and where a mandatory minimum is imposed and whether it can be retroactively be altered. So I will follow any law that you pass, number one. Number two, I understood the sincere belief you had on that issue and it was a difficult call and that's why we really never worked it out. So I understand what you're saying, but I did believe that you are upsetting finality in the justice system, that you are suggesting that these kind of factors were not considered when the plea bargaining went down. So it's an honorable debate to have and I respect your position on it. DURBIN: Senator, you have been outspoken on another issue and I would like to address it, if I could. I have invited here today Sergeant Oscar Vazquez, if he would be kind enough to stand up and be recognized. Sergeant, thank you for being here. I'll tell you his incredible story in the short form. Brought to the United States as a child, in high school, he and three other DREAMers started a robotics club and won a college-level robotics competition -- they made a movie out of his story. He graduated from Arizona State University with an engineering degree. The Obama administration granted him a waiver and allowed him to become a citizen and enlist in the United States Army where he served in combat in Afghanistan. Senator Sessions, since joining the Senate in 1997, you've voted against every immigration bill that included a path to citizenship for the undocumented. You described the DREAM Act, which I introduced 15 years ago to spare children who are undocumented through no fault of their own, as quote, "a reckless proposal for mass amnesty." You opposed the bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill, which passed the Senate four years ago. You've objected to immigrants volunteering to serve in our armed forces, saying, quote, "In terms of who's going most likely to be a spy, somebody from Coleman, Alabama or somebody from Kenya." DURBIN: When I asked what you would do to address the almost 800,000 DREAMers, like Oscar Vasquez, who would be subject to deportation if President Obama's executive order was repealed, you said, quote, "I believe in following the law. There is too much focus on people who are here illegally and not enough on the law." Senator Sessions, there's not a spot of evidence in your public career to suggest that as attorney general, you would use the authority of that office to resolve the challenges of our broken immigration system in a fair and humane manner. Tell me I'm wrong. SESSIONS: Well, you are wrong, Senator Durbin. I'm going to follow the laws passed by Congress. As a man of policy, we disagreed on some of those issues. I do believe that if you continually go through a cycle of amnesty, that you undermine the respect for the law and encourage more illegal immigration into America. I believe the American people spoke clearly in this election. I believe they agreed with my basic view, and I think it's a good view, a decent view, a solid legal view for the United States of America that we create a lawful system of immigration that allows people to apply to this country, and if they're accepted they get it, if they're not accepted they don't get in. And I believe that's right and just and the American people are right to ask for it. We have not delivered that for them. DURBIN: Senator Graham asked this question and I listened to your answer. When he asked you what would happen to those 800,000 currently protected by President Obama's executive order, known as DACA, who cannot be deported for two years -- it's renewable -- and can work for two years, and you said, "Let Congress pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill." You opposed the only bipartisan effort that we've had on the Senate floor in modern memory. And what's going to happen to those 800,000 if you revoke that order and they are subject to deportation tomorrow? What is going to happen to them? What is the humane legal answer to that? SESSIONS: Well, the first thing I would say is that my response to Senator Graham dealt with whose responsibility this is. I had a responsibility as a member of this body to express my view and vote as I believed was correct on dealing with issues of immigration. That's not the attorney general's role, the attorney general's role is to enforce the law. And as you know, Senator Durbin, we're not able financially or any other way to seek out and remove everybody that's in the country illegally. President Trump (sic) has indicated that criminal aliens, like President Obama indicated, certainly are the top group of people, and so I would think that the best thing for us to do, and I would urge colleagues that we understand this, let's fix this system. And then we can work together after this lawlessness has ended and then we can ask the American people and enter into a dialogue about how to compassionately treat people who've been here a long time. DURBIN: That does not answer the question about 800,000 that would left in the lurch, whose lives would be ruined while you're waiting on Congress for a bill that you opposed. SESSIONS: Well, I thought it did answer it pretty closely (inaudible) what you ask and I understand your concerns. GRASSLEY: Senator Cornyn. CORNYN: Senator Sessions, congratulations to you and your family on this once in a lifetime honor to serve as the head of the Department of Justice. You know, sitting here listening to the questions and some of the comments that have been made, both by the protesters and others, it strikes me that many people have been surprised to learn more about your record, your outstanding record as a prosecutor, as somebody who treated that responsibility to uphold enforce the law in the Constitution without fear or favor. I think some people here listening today have been somewhat surprised by your record in complete context. Those of us who have served with you in this Senate, some as many as 20 years, like Senator Shelby and Senator Collins, testified to your character. But I'd like to think that those of us who served with you most closely in the Senate, particularly here on the Judiciary Committee, know more about you than just your record and your character, we know your heart. We know what kind of person you are. CORNYN: You're a good and decent and honorable man. You've got an outstanding record that you should be proud of, and I know you are and you should be. For example, when somebody says when you unfairly prosecuted some African-Americans for voter fraud in Alabama, it strikes me as incomplete is the most charitable thing I can say, when they leave out the fact that the very compliance in that case were also African-Americans. In other words, the people you prosecuted were African-Americans, but the people whose voting rights you were trying to vindicate were African-Americans, isn't that correct? SESSIONS: That is correct. CORNYN: Does that strike you as a fair characterization of your approach toward enforcing the law that people would leave that important factor out? SESSIONS: It's not, Senator Cornyn and it's been out there for a long time. If you ask people who casually follow the news, they probably saw it otherwise. And these were good people who had tried -- asked me to get involved this case in 2002. A majority African-American Grand Jury, with African-American foreman, asked the federal government to investigate the 1982 election. I declined, I hope that that investigation would've stopped the problem. But two years later, the same thing was happening again. We had African-American incumbent officials pleading with us to take some action. We approached the Department of Justice in Washington. The vote -- the public integrity voting sanction, they approved an investigation and it developed into a legitimate case involving charges of vote fraud, taking absentee ballots from voters, opening them up and changing their vote and casting them for somebody they did not intend the vote to be cast for. It was a voting rights case. And I just feel like we tried to conduct ourselves in the right way. I never got in the argument of race or other matters. I just tried to defend myself as best I could. I would note colleagues, in just in the last few days, the son of Albert (sic) Turner has written a letter and said I was just doing my job and he understood the reason and justification for the prosecution and that that would be a good attorney general. So I was -- that was gratifying to me and that's the real truth to the matter. CORNYN: Senator Sessions, I know the nature of these confirmation hearings is that people pick out issues that they're concerned about or where there may be some good faith disagreement on policy. And that's what they focus on. But lemme just ask you maybe it's not a great analogy, but lemme try any way. You have been married to your wife Mary, almost 50 years, right? SESSIONS: Well, it hadn't gotten to 50 yet, 47... (CROSSTALK) CORNYN: OK. Well, that's a good run. Let me just ask you... SESSIONS: Let it continue, I've been blessed. CORNYN: Are there occasion where you and your wife disagree? SESSIONS: No Senator. (LAUGHTER) (UNKNOWN) You're under oath. SESSIONS: Wait a minute, I'm under oath. On occasion we do, yes. CORNYN: Would you think it would be fair to characterize the nature of your relationship with your wife based upon those handful of disagreements that you've had with her over -- over time? SESSIONS: That's a good point. Thank you for making it. No I don't. CORNYN: Well, and to your original point, your wife is always right, correct? SESSIONS: That is correct. CORNYN: You are under oath. (LAUGHTER) Well, so this is the nature of this -- these confirmation hearings, people are identifying specific issues where there are policy differences. But my point is, that does not characterize your entire record of 20 years in the United States Senate or how you've conducted yourself as a prosecutor, representing the United States government in our Article III courts. Let me get to a specific issue, a couple in the time I have remaining. I was really, really pleased to hear you say in your opening statement, that many in law enforcement feel that our political leaders have on occasion, abandoned them. You said police ought to be held accountable. But do you believe it is ever, under any circumstances, appropriate for somebody to assault a police officer, for example? SESSIONS: Adversely, no on defense for that kind of action. And I do believe that we are failing to appreciate police officers who place their lives at risk, as this sergeant was just killed yesterday trying to deal with a violent criminal and vindicate the law and she was killed. That is the kind of thing that too often happens. We need to be sure that when we criticize law officers, it is narrowly focused on the right basis for criticism and to smear whole departments, places those officers at greater risk. And we are seeing an increase in murder of police officers, it was up 10 percent last year. So I could just say, I could feel -- I could feel in my bones, how it was going to play out in the real world when we had, what I thought often times, was legitimate criticism of a perhaps, wrong doing by an officer. But spilling over to a condemnation of our entire police force and morale has been affected. And its impacted the crime rates in Baltimore and crime rates in Chicago. I don't think there's any doubt about it. I regret that's happening, I think it can be restored. But we need to understand the requirement that the police work with the community and be respectful of their community, but we as a nation, need to respect our law officers too. CORNYN: Well, I for one, appreciate your -- your comments because we ought to hold our police and law enforcement officers up in the high regard to which they deserve based on their service to the communities. And your comments remind me to some extent of Chief David Brown's comments, the Dallas police chief, following the tragic killing of five Dallas police officers recently. Where he said that police ought to be held accountable, but under no circumstances could any assault against a police officer be justified based on what somebody else did, somewhere at some time. So, I for one, appreciate that very much. You mentioned Baltimore and Chicago. And we've seen an -- an incredible number of people, frequently in minority communities, who've been killed as results of crimes related to felons who perhaps are in possession of guns that they have no legal right to be in possession of. Earlier, you talked about prosecuting gun crimes and I'm glad to hear you say that. Project Exile, which originated I think in Richmond, Virginia which targeted felons and other people who cannot legally own or possess firearms, was enormously effective. And when I look at the record of the last five and 10 years as the Justice Department, prosecution of those kinds of crimes down 15.5 percent, in the last five years. Down 34.8 percent in the last 10 years. Can you assure us that you will make prosecuting those people who cannot legally posses or use firearms a priority again in the Department of Justice? And help break back of this crime wave that's affecting so many people in our local communities, like Chicago or Baltimore and particularly minority communities? SESSIONS: I can, Senator Cornyn. I'm familiar with how that plays out in the real world. My best judgment colleagues, is that properly enforced, the federal gun laws can reduce crime and violence in our cities and communities. It was highlighted in Richmond in Project Exile. But I have to tell you, I've always believed that. When I was the United States attorney in the '80s and into the early '90s, we had a -- we produced a news letter that went out to all local law enforcement called Project Triggerlock. It went to federal law enforcement, too. And it highlighted the progress that was being made by prosecuting criminals who use guns to carry out their crimes. Criminals are most likely the kind of person that will shoot somebody when they go about their business. And if those people are not carrying guns because they believe they might go federal court, be sent to a federal jail for five years, perhaps they'll stop carrying those guns during that drug dealing and their other activities that are criminal. Fewer people get killed. Fewer people get killed. So I truly believe, that we need to step that up. It's a compassionate thing. If one of these individuals carrying a gun shoots somebody, not only is there a victim, they end up with hammering senates in jail for interminable periods. The culture, the communities are safer with fewer guns in the hands of criminals. CORNYN: Thank you. GRASSLEY: Before we go to Senator Whitehouse, people have asked -- members have asked me about our break. And if it's OK with Senator Sessions, it would work out about 1:00, if we have three on this side and three on this side, for the one hour because it's noon right now. Is that OK with you, Senator Sessions? SESSIONS: Mr. Chairman, I'm at your disposal. GRASSLEY: And so this will give my colleagues an opportunity that want to go to the respective political party caucuses to go and we would take a recess of about 30 to 40 minutes. SESSIONS: That's very fair. GRASSLEY: OK. Thank you, Senator. So then, now Senator Whitehouse? WHITEHOUSE: Senator Sessions, hello. SESSIONS: Thank you, Senator Whitehouse. WHITEHOUSE: When we met, I told you that I was going to ask you a particular question. So I'm going to lead off with that particular question. Following the Gonzales scandals at the Department of Justice; the department adopted procedures, governing communications between the White House and the Department of Justice; consistent with constraints that were outlined years ago in correspondence between Senator Hatch and the Reno Justice Department. Limiting contacts between a very small number of officials at the White House and a very small number of officials at the Department of Justice. Will you honor and maintain those procedures at the Department of Justice? SESSION: I will, Senator Whitehouse. You, as an honorable and effective United States attorney yourself, know how that works and why it's important. Attorney General Mukasey issued a firm, very... (CROSSTALK). WHITEHOUSE: Yes. SESSION: ... may be still pending. And I would say to you, well that's the appropriate way to do it. I read -- after you and I talked I read Reno memorandum, the Gorelick (ph) memorandum. And I think I would maintain the -- those rules. WHITEHOUSE: On the subject of honorable prosecutions, when is it appropriate for a prosecutor to disclose derogatory investigative information about a subject who was not charged? SESSION: That's a very dangerous thing and it's a pretty broad question as you've ask it. But you need to be very careful about that and there are certain rules like grand jury rules that are very significant. WHITEHOUSE: And isn't it also true that it is customary practice, because of the concern about the improper release of derogatory investigative information; that the department customarily limits its factual assertions, even after an individual has been charged, to the facts that were charged in the information or the indictment. SESSION: I believe that's correct, yes. That's a standard operating policy in most offices. Now there may be some exceptions, but I think that's standard operating procedure in the United States attorney's offices like you and I had. WHITEHOUSE: As a question of law, does waterboarding constituted torture? SESSION: Well, there was a dispute about that when we had had the torture definition in our law. The Department of Justice memorandum concluded it did not necessarily prohibit that. But Congress has taken an action now that makes it absolute improper and illegal to use waterboarding or any other form of torture in the United States by our military and by all our other departments and agencies. WHITEHOUSE: Consistent with the wishes of the United States military. SESSION: They have been supportive of that. And in fact, I'll just take a moment to defend the military. The military never... (CROSSTALK) WHITEHOUSE: You don't need to defend them from me, I'm all for our military. SESSION: I know, but I just -- most -- so many people, I truly believe, think that the military conducted waterboarding. They never conducted any waterboarding, that was by intelligence agencies. Their rules were maintained. I just to teach the Geneva conventions and the rules of warfare as an Army Reservist to my personnel, and the military did not that. WHITEHOUSE: And General Petraeus sent a military wide letter disavowing the value of -- of torture, as we -- as we both know. Another question -- another question as a matter of law; is fraudulent speech protected by the First Amendment? SESSION: Well, fraudulent speech, if it amounts to an attempt to obtain a thing of value for the person the fraudulent speech is directing... WHITEHOUSE: Which is an element of fraud... SESSION: ... absolutely -- fraud and can be prosecuted. And I think we see too much of that. We see these phone calls at night to elderly people, we see mail -- mailings go out that seem to be to be awfully far from truth and seducing people to probably make unwise decisions. WHITEHOUSE: So fraudulent corporate speech would also not be protected by the First Amendment. SESSION: That is correct. And it's subject to civil and/or criminal complaint. WHITEHOUSE: And speaking of civil complaints; was the Department of Justice wrong when brought and won the civil RICO action against the tobacco industry? SESSION: Well, Senator, they won those cases. They took them to court and eventually won a monumental victory, that is correct. And it's part of the law... WHITEHOUSE: Hard to say that... SESSION: ... and firmly established. WHITEHOUSE: Hard to say they were wrong if they won, right? SESSIONS: That's correct. WHITEHOUSE: As you know, the United States has retaliated against Russia for its interference with the 2016 elections. In Europe, Baltic States, Germany and Italy have raised concerns of Russia meddling in their country's elections. I know this has been touched on before, but I want to make sure it's clear. Will the Department of Justice and the FBI under your administration be allowed to continue to investigate the Russian connection, even if it leads to the Trump campaign and Trump interests and associates? And can you assure us that in any conflict between the political interests of the president and the interests of justice, you will follow the interests of justice, even if your duties require the investigation and even prosecution of the president, his family and associates? SESSIONS: Well, Senator, why ask? If the laws violated and they can be prosecuted then of course you'll have to handle that in an appropriate way. I would say that they problem may turn out be, as in the Chinese hacking of our -- hundreds of thousands of -- maybe millions of records, has to be handled at a political level. And I do think it's appropriate for a nation who feels that they've been hacked and that information has been improperly used to retaliate against those actions. It's just a... WHITEHOUSE: And I know we share a common interest in advancing the cybersecurity of this nation and I look forward to continuing to work with you on that. Let me ask you a factual question. During the course of this boisterous political campaign, did you ever chant, "lock her up?" SESSIONS: No I did not. I don't think. I heard it in rallies and so forth, sometimes I think humorously done. But it was a matter that I -- have said a few things -- a special prosecutor, I favored that. I think that probably is one of the reasons I believe that I should not make any decision about any such case. WHITEHOUSE: And you understand that the good guy law man in the movies is the one who sits on the jailhouse porch and doesn't let the mob in? SESSIONS: Exactly. Exactly. WHITEHOUSE: So I'm from Rhode Island, as you know Senator. We have NAACP and ACLU members who've heard you call their organization -- who've heard that you called their organizations un-American. We have a vibrant Dominican community who look at Big Papi, David Ortiz, swinging his bat for the Red Socks and wonder why you said, quote, "almost no one coming from the Dominican Republic to the United States is coming here because they have a provable skill that would benefit us." I represent a lot of Latinos who worry about modern day Palmer Raids breaking up parents from their kids. And Muslims who worry about so called patrols of Muslim homes and neighborhoods. And I've heard from police chiefs who worry that you, as attorney general, will disrupt law enforcement priorities that they have set out. And disrupt the community relations that they have worked hard over years of community engagement to achieve. Time is short, but I noticed that in your prepared remarks these are not unforeseeable concerns. And your prepared remarks did very little to allay the concerns of those people. Is there anything you'd like to add now in our closing minute? SESSIONS: Well, thank you. The -- my comment about the NAACP arose from a discussion that I had where I expressed concern about their statements that were favoring, as I saw it, Sandinista efforts and communist guerrilla efforts in Central America. And so I said they could be perceived as un-American and weaken their moral authority to achieve the great things they had been accomplished in -- in integration, in moving forward for reconciliation throughout the country. And I believe that, clearly. And I never said and accused them of that. Number two, with regards... WHITEHOUSE: So what would you tell (inaudible) of the NAACP in Rhode Island right now? He's head of the NAACP. SESSIONS: Well, I would say, please, look at what I've said about that and how that came about and it was not in that context, it was not correct. I said in 1986 that NAACP represents one of the greatest forces for reconciliation and racial advancement of any entity in the country, probably number one. That's what I said then, I believed it and I believe it now and it's an organization that has done tremendous good for us. With regard to the Dominican Republic, I had gone on a CODEL with Senator Specter. We came through the Dominican Republic. We visited public service housing projects that seemed to be working and did other things of that nature. And I went and spent some time with the consular official there, just ask him about things. And what I learned was, that there's a good bit of fraud in it and he was somewhat discouraged in his ability to -- he felt to do his job. And we also understood and discussed that the immigration flow is not on a basis of skills. Immigration flow from almost all of our countries, frankly, is based on a family connection and other visas rather than a skilled-based program more like Canada has today, and that's all I intended to be saying there. I -- I -- it's -- tell anybody that heard that statement, please don't see that as a diminishment or a -- a criticism of the people of the Dominican Republic. It was designed to just discuss, in my remarks, the reality of our immigration system today. I'd like to see it more skilled-based and I think that would be helpful. WHITEHOUSE: Mr. Chairman, my time's expired. Thank you for your patience. GRASSLEY: Thank you, Senator Whitehouse. Before I go to Senator Lee, there's an evaluation of the work of Senator Sessions during his time as U.S. attorney that I speak -- I think speaks to his outstanding record. I'm made aware of this because Senator Feinstein requested an evaluation of Senator Sessions' office from the Department of Justice and I'd note just a few points from their evaluation back in 1992, a couple of short sentences. "All members of the judiciary praise the U.S. attorney for his advocacy, skills, integrity, leadership of the office and accessibility." And the second quote, "The USAO for the Southern District of Alabama is an excellent office with outstanding leadership, personnel and morale. The district is representing the United States in a most capable and professional manner." Without objection, we'll put that in the record. Senator Lee. (UNKNOWN) Mr. Chairman, while we're putting things into the record, could I join... GRASSLEY: Yes, please do that. (UNKNOWN) ... and ask unanimous consent that a December 5, 2016 letter from leaders of the U.S. Environmental Movement and a January 5, 2017 letter from the National Task Force to End Sexual Violence and Domestic Violence Against Women be added to the record? GRASSLEY: Yes. And those will be included without objection. Senator Lee. LEE: Hello, Senator Sessions. SESSIONS: Hello. LEE: I've enjoyed working with you over the last six years and always found you to be someone who treats colleagues, regardless of differing viewpoints, with dignity and respect. You've taught me a great deal in the six years I've been here and I've appreciated the opportunity to work with you. I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that we're both lawyers, although being a lawyer around here, certainly having a law degree, is not unusual. One of the things that sets you apart and makes you different, I get the sense from you that you think of yourself not so much as a senator who used to be a lawyer, but as a lawyer who is currently serving as a senator. And I think that's an important thing, especially for someone who's been named to be the next attorney general of the United States. Even though you and I have never had the opportunity to discuss the intricacies of the rule against perpetuities or the difference between the doctrine of worthier title (ph) in the rule in Shelly's (ph) case, I get the sense that you would eagerly engage in such banter when the occasion arises. So maybe in a subsequent round, we'll have the opportunity to do that. But this does raise a -- a discussion that I'd like to have with you about the role of the lawyer. As you know, a -- a lawyer understands who his or her client is. Anytime you are acting as a lawyer, you -- you've got a client. This is a simple thing if you're representing an individual because in almost every instance, unless the client is incapacitated, you know who the client is. The client has one mouthpiece, one voice, and you know what the interests of that client are and you can evaluate those based on the interests expressed by the client. I gets a little more complicated when you're representing a corporate entity. Typically, you'll interact either with a general counsel or the chief executive officer. The bigger an entity gets, the more complex it gets. There might be some ripples in this relationship between the lawyer and the client. In the case of the U.S. government and the attorney general's representation of that client, this is a particularly big and powerful client, and that client has many interests. In a sense, the client is, of course, the United States of America, but at the same time the attorney general is there, put in place by the president of the United States and serves at the pleasure of the president of the United States. And so, in that respect, the attorney general has several interests to balance and must at once regard him or herself as a member of the president's Cabinet, remembering how the attorney general got there and can be removed at any moment by the president. And at the same time, the attorney general has the obligation to be independent, to provide an independent source of analysis for the president and for the president's team and Cabinet. How do you understand these things as a former U.S. attorney, as a former line prosecutor and as a senator who served on the Judiciary Committee? You've had a lot of opportunities to observe this process. How do you see the proper balancing between all these interests from the standpoint of the attorney general? SESSIONS: That's a very insightful or probing question, and it touches on a lot of important issues that we, as attorney general, would need to deal with. There are even sometimes these government agencies, like foreign countries, they negotiate memorandums of understanding that are akin to a treaty actually. They can't seem to work together, often times, in an effective way, and so the attorney general is required to provide opinions on that. The attorney general ultimately owes his loyalty to the integrity of the American people and to the fidelity to the Constitution and the legitimate laws of the country. That's what he's ultimately required to do. However, every attorney general has been appointed by a president, or they wouldn't become attorney general. And they've been confirmed by the Senate or they wouldn't be made attorney general. And so, they do understand, I think, that if a president wants to accomplish a goal that he or she believes in deeply, then you should help them do it in a lawful way, but make clear and object if it's an unlawful action. That helps the president avoid difficulty. It's the ultimately loyalty to him. And you hope that a president -- and I hope President-elect Trump has confidence in me so that if I give him advice, that something can be done or can't be done, that he would respect that. That's an important relationship too. But ultimately, you are bound by the laws of the country. LEE: Some of that, I assume, could come into play when you're dealing with a politically sensitive case or a case that is politically sensitive because it relates to a member of the administration or to the interplay between the executive branch and the legislative branch for example. In some of those instances, there could be calls for a special prosecutor. On the one hand, this is a way of taking the attorney general out of the equation so that it can be handled in a manner that reflects a degree of separation between the administration and -- and the case. On the other hand, there are constitutional questions that are sometimes raised and sometimes people argue that this place is too much of a presumption that a special prosecutor will seek an indictment in order to justify the expense and the time put into appointing a special prosecutor. For reasons that relate to the complexity of these considerations, there are of course guidelines in place that can help guide the determination to be made by the attorney general as to when, whether, how to put in place a special prosecutor. But even within these guidelines, there's a lot of flexibility, a lot of discretion at the hands of the attorney general in deciding how to do that. Do you have anything you -- that you would follow? What can you tell us about what considerations you would -- would consider in deciding whether or not to appoint a special prosecutor? SESSIONS: Well, it is a -- not a little matter. It is a matter that's created controversy over the years. I don't think it's appropriate for the attorney general just to willy nilly create special prosecutors. History has not shown that has always been a smart thing to do. But there are times when objectivity is required and the absolute appearance of objectivity is required, and perhaps, a special prosecutor is appropriate. SESSIONS: It -- the -- Attorney General Lynch, for example, did not appoint a special prosecutor on the Clinton matter and I did criticize that. I was a politician. We had a campaign on. I didn't research the law in depth; it was just the reaction as a senator of a concern. But there are -- should be -- great care should be taken in deciding how to make the appointment or if an appointment of a special prosecutor is required. The Department of Justice, you're not required to be a judge, to be a prosecutor. One judge said there's nothing wrong with a prosecutor who likes his work and doesn't think laws should be violated. Is that a bias? I don't think so, I think that's strength. So I just would say that's kind of the way -- the best I can give you at this point, Senator Lee. LEE: Thank you. That's helpful. Another challenging issue that relates to this duty of independence that attorneys general have relates to the Office of Legal Counsel. You know, it's of course -- the job of the Office of Legal Counsel, or OLC, as it's sometimes known, to issue opinions within the executive branch in a wide array of subjects. Some are subjects that a lot of people would find interesting. Others are subjects that only a lawyer could love. And sometimes only a lawyer specializing in something esoteric or specific. There's -- one recent OLC opinion entitled "Completive Bidding Requirements Under the Federal Highway Aid Program," there aren't perhaps that many people who would find that interesting, but there are a lot of others that would capture immediately the public's interest. What's significant about all of these though, no matter how broad or narrow the topic, no matter how politically sexy or dull the topic might be, they, in many instances almost conclusively resolve a legal question within the executive branch of government. And in many instances they're doing so on the basis of constitutional determinations that may or may not ever be litigated. Such that the broaching of a constitutional topic might opened, studied and resolved entirely within the executive branch, largely as a result of how the lawyers within the Office of Legal Counsel decide to do their jobs. What -- what can you tell me about what you would do, if confirmed, to ensure that the Office of Legal Counsel maintains degree of professional and independence requisite for this task? SESSIONS: Senator Lee, that office is important. It does adjudicate or actually opine on important issues related to conflicts of disputes within the great executive branch of the American government. Like you said, what kind of competition is required before you get a highway grant? There may be disagreement about that. OLC has asked to review it, and -- and stayed at one position. The government of the United States is wanting to. It's not a multiple government. These departments are not independent agencies. And so that does -- that office is so exceedingly important as you indicate, because many times those opinions hold and they set policy and they effect things. Sometimes it also has the power and I'm sure you would be sensitive to, to expand or constrict the bureaucracies in their ability to execute under statutes. In other words, is this within their power or is it not within their power? So there's some of the things like that that can impact the American people overtime in a significant way. LEE: Thank you. GRASSLEY: Senator Klobuchar? KLOBUCHAR: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Good to see you Senator Sessions. You and I have worked together on a number of bills, including leading the International Adoption Simplification Act, which I believe made a big difference to a lot of families in keeping their siblings together when they were adopted. Senator Cornyn and I led the sex trafficking bill that passed last year and you have some important provisions in that. And then we worked together on law enforcement issues and I appreciate your respect and support that you have from the community and I also thank you for your work on drug courts. It's something we both share as former prosecutors and believe in the purpose of those courts. KLOBUCHAR: But I wanted to lead first with another part of the Justice Department's jobs and that's protecting civil rights and the right to vote. My state has the highest voter turnout in the last election of any state. We're pretty proud of that. And as county attorney for eight years, from Minnesota's biggest county, I played a major role in making sure that the election laws were enforced and that people who were able to vote could vote and that people who shouldn't vote, didn't vote. Since the Voting Rights Act became law more than 50 years ago, we've made progress, but I've been very concerned about some of the movement by states to restrict access to voting in recent years. We haven't been able to pass the bipartisan Voting Rights Advancement Act forward last Congress and I just think it's an area that's going to be ripe for a lot of work going forward. You and I talked about how at one point, you previously called the Voting Rights Act an intrusive piece of legislation and I wondered if you could explain that as well as talk about how you will actively enforce the remaining pieces of the act. That would be section two which prohibits voting practices or procedures that discriminate on the basis of race and section three, bail in (ph) provision through which most states can be subject to preclearance. And you don't have to go into great detail on those two sections, you could do it later. But if you could just explain your views of the Voting Rights Act moving forward and what would happen in terms of enforcement if you were attorney general? SESSIONS: The Voting Rights Act passed in 1965 was one of the most important acts to deal with racial difficulties that we face and it changed the whole course of history, particularly in the south. There was a clear finding that there was discriminatory activities in the south, that a number of states was systematically denying individuals the right to vote. And you go back into the history and you can see it plainly. Actions and rules and procedures were adopted in a number of states with the specific purpose of blocking African-Americans from voting and it was just wrong. And the Voting Rights Act confronted that and it in effect targeted certain states and required any -- even the most minor changes in voting procedure, like moving a precinct across... KLOBUCHAR: So how would you -- how would you approach this going forward? For instance, the fifth circuits decision that the Texas voter ID law discriminates against minority voters. That was written by a Bush appointee. Do you agree with that decision? How would you handle this moving forward? SESSIONS: Well, I have not studied that. There's going to be a debate about it. Courts are ruling on it now and that is voter ID and whether or not that is an improper restriction on voting that adversely impacts disproportionally minority citizens. So that's a matter that's got to be decided. On the surface of it, it doesn't appear to me to be that. I have publicly said I think voter ID laws properly drafted are OK. But as attorney general, it will be my duty to study the facts in more depth, to analyze the law. But fundamentally, that will -- can be decided by Congress and the courts as they interpret the existing law. I did vote to extend the Voting Rights Act several years ago. I thought -- and it included section five, but later section five was eliminated by the Supreme Court on the basis that... KLOBUCHAR: And how about the... SESSIONS: ... progress had been made and this -- and our intrusive question, let me answer that. It is intrusive. The Supreme Court on more than one occasion has described it legally as an intrusive act because it only focused on a certain number of states. And normally, when Congress passes a law, it applies to the whole country. So it's a very unusual thing for a law to be passed that targets only a few states. But they had a factual basis. They were able to show that it was justified in this fashion. So that's the foundation for it and that's why I supported it -- its renewal. KLOBUCHAR: And I think you'll understand as you look at this issue that there are many voters, people who are trying to vote that view some of these rules that are put in place as intrusive for them because it makes it harder for them to vote. And I think that is the balance that you're going to need. (CROSSTALK) KLOBUCHAR: And I just -- I hope -- I just -- coming from a state that has such high voter turnout, that has same day registration, very good turnout in Iowa as well, right below us, states that have put in place some really expansive voter laws and it doesn't mean Democrats always get elected. We've had Republican governors in Minnesota. We have a Republican governor in Iowa. And I just point out that I think the more that we can do to encourage people to vote, the better democracy we have. KLOBUCHAR: And I want to turn to another quick question on a democratic issue as in (ph) a democracy issue that was raised by Senator Graham, and as Senator Whitehouse, I just returned with Senator's McCain and Graham from a trip to Ukraine, Baltics, Georgia, and learned there about how these intrusive cyber attacks are not just unique to our country, not just unique to one party, not just unique to one election. And they've seen that movie before in those countries. And do you have any reason to doubt the accuracy of the conclusion reached by our 17 intelligence agencies that in fact Russia used cyber attacks to attempt to influence this last election? I'm not asking if you believe it influenced it, just if you believe the report of our intelligence agencies. SESSIONS: I have no reason to doubt that and have no evidence that would indicate otherwise. KLOBUCHAR: Thank you. Violence Against Women Act, Senator Leahy asked some of those questions really important to me. You and I discussed it. I just have one question there. If confirmed, will you continue to support the lifesaving work being done by the Office on Violence Against Women? SESSIONS: Yes. KLOBUCHAR: OK. Thank you. Immigration, you and I have some different views on this and I often focus on the economic benefits of immigration, the fact that we have 70 of our Fortune 500 companies headed by immigrants. At one point, 200 of our Fortune 500 companies were either formed by immigrants or kids of immigrants. Roughly 25 percent of all U.S. Nobel laureates were foreign born. And just to understand in a state like mine where we have entry level workers in dairies (ph) are immigrants, major doctors at the Mayo Clinic, police officers who are Somali, if you see that economic of immigrants in our society. SESSIONS: Well, immigration has been a high priority for the United States. We've been a leading country in the world in accepting immigration. I don't think American people want to end immigration. I do think that if you bring in a larger flow of labor than we have jobs for, it does impact adversely the wage prospects and the jobs prospects of American citizens. I think as a nation, we should evaluate immigration on whether or not it serves and advances the nation interests, not the corporate interests. It has to be the peoples interests first and I do think too often we've -- Congress has been complacent in supporting legislation that might make businesses happy, but it also may have had the impact of pulling wages down. Dr. Borjas at Harvard has written about that. I think he's the world's perhaps most effective and knowledgeable scholar and he says that does happen, wages can be diminished. And one of the big cultural problems we have today is middle class and lower class Americans have not -- lower class (ph) economically -- are not having the wage increases that we'd like to see them have. In fact, since 2000, wages are still down from what they were in 2000. KLOBUCHAR: I just see that we can do a mix of making sure that we have jobs for people here and then understanding that we're a country of immigrants. SESSIONS: On that subject, you're familiar with Canada. PROTESTER: (OFF-MIKE) KLOBUCHAR: OK. PROTESTER: And we are people of America. You have (inaudible). You are supported by hate groups (inaudible). KLOBUCHAR: Mr. Chairman, if I could just have another 30 seconds here, I had one -- one last question. SESSIONS: Maybe 45 seconds, Mr. Chairman. I would just that you've come up close to the Canadian system, I think maybe some of those policies ought to be considered by the United States. PROTESTER: (OFF-MIKE) KLOBUCHAR: My last question, Mr. Chairman, is on the reporters issue. Free press, I believe, is essential to our democracy and I've always fought to ensure that those rights aren't compromised. My dad was a reporter, a newspaper reporter for years, and I'm especially sensitive to the role of the press as a watchdog. You've raised concerns in the past about protecting journalists from revealing their sources. You did not support the Free Flow of Information Act. In 2015, the attorney general revised the Justice Department rules for when federal prosecutors can subpoena journalists or their records and he also committed to releasing an annual report on any subpoenas issues or charges made against journalists and committed not to put reporters in jail for doing their job. If confirmed, will you commit to following the standards already in place at the Justice Department? And will you make that commitment not to put reporters in jail for doing their jobs? SESSIONS: Senator Klobuchar, I'm not sure, I have not studied that -- those regulations. I would note that when I was the United States attorney, we knew -- everybody knew that you could not subpoena a witness or push them to be interviewed if they're a member of the media without approval at high levels of the Department of Justice, that was in the 1980s. And so, I do believe the Department of Justice does have sensitivity to this issue. There have been a few examples where the press and the Department of Justice haven't agreed on these issues, but for the most part, this is a broadly recognized and proper deference to the news media, but you could have a situation in which a media is not really the unbiased media we see today. And they could be a mechanism through which lawful intelligence information is obtained. There are other dangers that could happen with regard to the federal government that normally doesn't happen to the media covering murder cases in the states. KLOBUCHAR: All right. Well, thank you. And I'll follow-up with that in a written question when you have a chance... SESSIONS: If you would, I would... KLOBUCHAR: Thank you, thank you. GRASSLEY: I call for the first time on a new member of the committee, Senator Sasse from Nebraska. SASSE: Mr. Chairman, thank you, thank you very having me. Before I get started, I would like to enter into the record a letter of support from 25 current states attorney general, including Doug Peterson, the attorney general from my state of Nebraska. The letter reads in part "no one is more qualified to fill this role than Senator Sessions." This is obviously an important testimony from the top law enforcement officers of 25 states. I ask unanimous consent, Mr. Chairman to include this into the record. GRASSLEY: Without objection, it will be included. Precede Senator Sasse. SASSE: Thank you. Senator Sessions, when you were introducing your grandkids -- and I'm amazed that they've stay around as long as they did, mine would have been more disruptive earlier. I was thinking about all the time I spend in schools and we have a crisis in this country of civic ignorance. Our kids don't know basic civics and we have a crisis of public trust in this country, in that many Americans presume that people in the city are overwhelmingly motivated by partisan perspectives, rather than the public good. Tragically, our current president, multiple times over the last three or four years has exacerbated this political polarization, by saying he didn't have legal authority to do things and subsequently doing exactly those things, quite apart, from peoples policy perspectives on these matters. This is a crisis when kids don't understand the distinction between the legislative and executive branches, and when American voters don't think that people who serve in these offices take their oaths seriously. It's not quite as simple as Schoolhouse Rock jingles on Saturday morning. But could you at lest start by telling us what you think the place for executive orders and executive actions are? SESSIONS: That's a good question, and a good premise that we should think about. People are taught that Schoolhouse Rock is not a bad basic lesson in how the government is supposed to work. Legislatures pass laws, Congress -- the president executes laws, as does the entire administration, as passed by Congress or follows the Constitution and the judicial branch decides disputes. As a neutral umpire, an unbiased -- un-participant -- any if the sides to the controversy and does it objectively. So I think every day that we get away from that is really dangerous. And it is true that if a president says I do not have this authority or others say the president doesn't have certain authority and then is done by the president, it confuses people. And it's a -- I think colleagues -- we too little appreciate something that's corrosive happening out in our country. There is a feeling that judges just vote when they get a big case before them on what their political agenda is and not what the Constitution actually requires. That judges can redefine the meaning of words to advance an agenda they haven that may not be the agenda of the American people and that inevitably is corrosive to respect the law. SASSE: Thank you, but take it get one step further, because there are going to be many cases, there will be many instances where the administration in which you are likely going to end up serving, will want to do things and they'll want to know what their limits of their executive discretion is. It's pieces of legislation that have been passed around here in recent years, sometimes are well over a thousand pages, with all sorts of clauses, the secretary shall dot, dot, dot, fill in the law. So this Congress has regularly under reached an invited executive overreach. This Congress has regularly failed to finish writing laws, and then invited the executive branch to do it. What are some of the markers that you could use to help understand the limits where the executive branch cannot go? SESSIONS: We really need to reestablish that. Professor Turley, Jonathan Turley has written about this. It's just powerful, it's certainly an objective voice, an American jurisprudence. And he says that Congress is just falling down on his job. Now, of course there are two ways. One of them is that it writes laws that are too broad and I would urge all of you to be sure that when we pass a law or you pass a law, if I'm confirmed, that that law is clear and sets limits. When it doesn't set limits, then you can have the secretary of this agency or that agency claiming they have certain authorities and you end up with a very muddled litigation maybe resulting from it. So re-establishing the proper separation of powers and fidelity to law and to limits is an important issue. And I think hopefully -- I think that's what you're suggesting. SASSE: Could you tell me under what circumstances, if any, you think the Department of Justice can fail to enforce a law? SESSIONS: Well, it can fail to enforce it by setting prosecutorial policies with regard to declining to prosecute whole chunks of cases, and in fact, eliminate a statute. If a new tax is passed and the Department of Justice says it can't be collected, then the law was not followed. You also have circumstances in which you can redefine the statute or alter -- if we're talking about improper actions, it could expand the meaning of the words of the statute far beyond what Congress ever intended, and that's an abuse too. SASSE: Not to interrupt you too soon, but the improper, but also what is proper because this administration has made the case regularly that they need to exercise prosecutorial discretion because of limited resources. And obviously, there aren't infinite recourses in the world. So what are some proper instances, in your view, when an administration might not enforce a law? SESSIONS: Well, critics of the immigration enforcement, the DAPA and the DACA laws, said that the prosecutorial discretion argument went too far, it basically just eliminated the laws from the books. Secondly, with regard to that, the president's realm -- the order came from Homeland Security, not from the Department of Justice. But Homeland Security's order not only said we're not going to enforce the law with regard to certain large classifications of people, but those people who had not been given the legal status under the laws of the United States were given photo IDs, work authorization and Social Security numbers and the right to participate in these government programs that would appear to be contrary to existing law. So that would me -- to me, suggest an overreach. SASSE: And in parallel before the courts, what instances would it be legitimate, if any, for the solicitor general to not defend the law in court? SESSIONS: That's a very good question, and sometimes, it becomes a real matter. In general, the solicitor general as part of the Department of Justice and the executive branch, states the position of the Department of Justice. And it has a duty, the Department of Justice does, to defend the laws passed by this body, by Congress. And they should be defended vigorously, whether or not the solicitor general agrees with them or not, unless it can't be reasonably defended. And so sometimes, you reach a disagreement about whether or it's reasonably defensible or not. But that's the fundamental question and the Department of Justice should defend laws that Congress passed unless it's -- they're unable do so, in a reasonable way. SASSE: What is the place of independent agencies in a unified executive branch? And do you envision that you will be making any recommendations to the president to reign in independent agencies in an effort to preserve the constitutional distinction between the powers of the Congress and the administrative responsibilities of an executive branch? SESSIONS: Senator, that's a good question, kind of a historic question at this point in time because it does appear to me that agencies oftentimes see themselves as independent fiefdoms. And sometimes you even hear the president complain about things clearly under his control. I remember President Clinton complaining about the death penalty processes of the Department of -- federal government when he appointed the attorney general who had just appointed a committee to make sure the death penalty was properly carried out. So I mean, like, who's responsibility is this? You're in charge of -- you can remove the attorney general if you're not happy. So those kind of things do continue out there that we need to be careful about and I thank you for raising it. SASSE: I have less than a minute left, so last question but going back to something that Senator Lee was asking about. Could you give a top line summary of what you view the responsibilities of the OLC to be and what the relationship would be between the OLC, the Office of the Attorney General, and the White House? SESSIONS: Well, OLC has statutory duties to make opinions. The OLC team reports to the attorney general, who could reverse I suppose or remove the OLC head, the deputy attorney general, if he thought those -- that department was not following the law. But essentially, they are given the power as attorney general -- I had an opinions section in Alabama. And they rendered opinions on a whole host of matters when called upon from school boards and highway departments and that sort of thing. So this OLC does represent a key position in the Department of Justice. They must have extraordinary legal skill. They have to be terrific lawyers. They have to understand the constitutional order of which we are a part and they should render objective decisions day after day, week after week. Ultimately, the responsibility of the president and the attorney general is to ensure that we have that kind of quality at OLC. SASSE: Thank you. GRASSLEY: Senator Franken? FRANKEN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Senator, congratulations on your nomination. SESSIONS: Thank you. FRANKEN: In 2009, when you became the ranking Republican on this committee, you were interviewed about how you would approach the committee's work and nominations specifically. You said that Democrats should expect you to be fair because you had been through this process yourself back in 1986 and you felt that back then, the committee had distorted your record. You said that moving forward, quote, "we're not going to misrepresent any nominees' record and we're not gonna lie about it," unquote. And we certainly don't wanna do that to our colleague. But I also think it's fair to expect that sitting before us today that you're not going to misrepresent your own record. That's fair to say, right? SESSIONS: That is fair. FRANKEN: Good. Now, in that same interview, you said, quote, "I filed 20 or 30 civil rights cases to desegregate schools and political organizations and county commissions when I was the United States Attorney." So 20 or 30 desegregation cases. Did I miss read that quote? SESSIONS: I believe that's what I've been quoted as saying and I suspect I said that. FRANKEN: OK. OK. Now, that was 2009, but in November, your office said, quote, "When Senator Sessions was U.S. attorney, he filed a number of desegregation lawsuits in Alabama," not 20 or 30 this time, but a number. So tell me, did you file 20 or 30 desegregation cases or is it some other number? SESSIONS: Well, thank you, Senator Franken. It is important for us to be accurate. The records don't show that there were 20 or 30 actually filed cases. Some of the cases involved multiple defendants and multiple parties like a school board and a county commission being sued for racial discrimination, things of that nature. But the number would be less than that, as we've looked at. So I... FRANKEN: What -- what do you think would've caused you to say... SESSIONS: I don't know, I... FRANKEN: ... that you filed 20 or 30 desegregation cases? SESSIONS: Well, we had cases going throughout my district. And some of them were started before I came and continued after I left. Some of them were brought and then settled promptly. And so it was extraordinarily difficult to actually I was surprised, to get a record by checking the docket sheets (ph) to find out exactly how many cases were involved. I heard one lawyer from the Department of Justice agreed with that large number... FRANKEN: Let me move on... SESSIONS: ... but I don't -- that record doesn't justify it. FRANKEN: The questionnaire you submitted for today asked you to list and describe the, quote, "10 most significant litigated matters you personally handled" -- personally handled. And among the cases that you listed, that you personally handled, are three voting rights cases and a desegregation case. Last week, I should note, three attorneys who worked at DOJ and who actually brought three of the four cases wrote an op-ed piece in which they say, quote, "We can state categorically that Sessions had no substantive involvement in any of them." Now, you originally said that you personally handled three of these cases, but these lawyers say that you had no substantive involvement. Chairman Grassley, I would ask that that op-ed from last Tuesday's Washington Post be entered into the record. GRASSLEY: Without objection, it will be entered. FRANKEN: Are they distorting your record here? SESSIONS: Yes. In fact, one of the writers there, Mr. Hebert, spent a good bit of time in my office. He said I supported him in all the cases he brought; that I was more supportive than almost any other U.S. attorney; and that I provided office space. I signed the complaints that he brought. And as you know, may know, Senator Franken, when a lawyer signs a complaint, he's required to affirm that he believes in that complaint and supports that complaint and supports that legal action, which I did. We sued... FRANKEN: So that's your -- that's your personal involvement was that your name was on it? SESSIONS: Well, look, you can dispute the impact or the import of the questionnaire. Another attorney who -- Paul Hancock, who brought cases in our district, said, "Well, the attorney general claimed credit for the cases in the Department of Justice." He saw nothing wrong with my claiming that this was a case that I had handled. FRANKEN: OK. Two of the... SESSIONS: So you can disagree with that, but those cases have my signature on -- on the docket sheet. My name is listed number one as the attorney for the case. FRANKEN: OK. Look, I'm not a lawyer. I'm one of the few members of this committee who didn't go to law school. And usually I get by just fine, but it seems to me that a lawyer -- if a lawyer has just his name added to a document here or a filing there, that lawyer would be misrepresenting his record if he said he personally handled these cases. Two of the lawyers who wrote the op-ed have also submitted testimony for today's hearing -- Mr. Gerry Hebert and Mr. Joe Rich. Mr. Hebert says, quote -- says he, quote, "litigated personally two of the four cases" you listed. He said, "I can state with absolute certainty that Mr. Sessions did not participate in either." Mr. Rich worked on one of the four cases you listed. He said, quote, "I never met him at that time nor any other time, and he had no input to the case." These represent three of the four cases that you claimed that were among the top 10 cases that you personally handled. Now, in your 1986 questionnaire, you used phrases like, quote, "I prepared and tried the case as sole counsel." And quote, "I was the lead prosecutor on this case," assisted by so and so. Why didn't you use the same level of detail in your 2016 questionnaire? SESSIONS: In looking at this questionnaire, we decided that that was an appropriate response, since it was major historic cases in my office. Let me just reply, Senator Franken, in this fashion. Mr. Hebert in 1986 when he testified at my hearing said, quote, "We have had difficulty with several U.S. attorneys in cases we have wanted to bring. We have not experienced that difficulty in the cases I have handled with Mr. Sessions. In fact, quite the contrary," close quote. He goes on to say, "I've had occasion numerous times to ask for his assistance and guidance. I have been able to go to him and he has had an open-door policy, and I've taken advantage of that and found him cooperative." And that is an accurate statement. I don't know Mr. Rich. Perhaps he handled a case that I never worked with. He goes on to say... (CROSSTALK) SESSIONS: No, I want to -- you've raised this question... FRANKEN: One of the cases that you listed was a case that Mr. Rich handled. So if you don't know him, it's hard for me to believe that you personally handled it. SESSIONS: Well, when I found that -- these cases, I had been supportive of them. FRANKEN: You have filed... SESSIONS: Here I was, Mr. Hebert says, quote, "And yet I have needed Mr. Sessions's help in those cases and he has provided that help every step of the way. In fact, I would say that my experience with Mr. Sessions has led me to believe that I have received more cooperation from him, more active involvement from him, because I have called upon him," close quote. Quote, "I have worked side by side with him on some cases in the sense that I have had to go to him for some advice," close quote. FRANKEN: In some cases -- not necessarily the ones you listed. SESSIONS: Well, look, it was 30 years ago. And my memory was of this nature and my memory was my support for those cases. FRANKEN: Your memory. OK. Look, I am not -- I'm one of the few members of this committee who's not a lawyer -- the chairman and the ranking aren't. But when I hear "I filed a case," you know, I -- I don't know some of the parlance. It might have a special meaning in legal parlance, but to me as a layman, it sounds to me like "filed" means "I led the case" or "I supervised the case." It doesn't mean that my name was on it. And it seems to me -- look, I'll close, Mr. Chairman -- setting aside any political or ideological differences that you or I may have, DOJ is facing real challenges whether it's protecting civil rights or defending national security. And our country needs an attorney general who doesn't misrepresent or inflate their level of involvement on any given issue. I consider this serious stuff, as I know that you would if you were in my position. SESSIONS: Well, you are correct, Senator Franken. We need to be accurate in what we say. When this issue was raised, I did do a supplemental that said I "provided assistance and guidance to Civil Rights Division attorneys; had an open-door policy with them; and cooperated with them on these cases," close quote. I signed them. I supported cases and attempted to be as effective as I could be in helping them be successful in these historic cases. I did feel that they were the kind of cases that were national in scope and deserved to be listed on the form. If I'm in error, I apologize to you. I don't think I was. FRANKEN: Well, you couldn't find 20 or 30 desegregation cases that you stated you had participated in. And you don't sound like you personally handled cases that you said you personally handled. Thank you. SESSIONS: Well, I was on a radio interview without any records, and that was my memory at the time. GRASSLEY: I think you answered the question. FRANKEN: Thank you. GRASSLEY: Senator Flake, now it's 12:59, so at 2:09 we will adjourn for lunch. I'll be back here then at 2:39, and whoever is present will start then. But I hope everybody can be back here at least by 2:45. Well, whatever -- I got... (LAUGHTER) You know what I mean. Go ahead, Senator Flake. FLAKE: Well, thank you. Are you saying we're adjourned or I'm going? GRASSLEY: Oh, you go ahead. FLAKE: OK. All right. Great. It's always nice being the last one standing between lunch. GRASSLEY: Let's have order for Senator Flake. FLAKE: I just want to say at the outset how much I've enjoyed working with you and being your colleague. I appreciate having you as a friend. It's no secret we've had a difference of opinion on immigration legislation that we put forward. You've had different ideas. But I have no doubt that as attorney general, you will faithfully execute the office. And I appreciate the answers that you've given today. FLAKE: Let me ask unanimous consent to submit a column written by our own attorney general in Arizona, Mark Brnovich, for The Hill newspaper this week, supporting your... GRASSLEY: Without objection it'll be include. FLAKE: He's supporting your nomination. Let me talk to you about an aspect of immigration that's important in Arizona. As you know we have a large border with Mexico. We have a program called Operation Streamline that has, over the years, been tremendously effective in cutting down recidivism in terms of border crossers. What it is basically it's intended to reduce border crossing by expeditiously prosecuting those who enter the country illegally over -- under a no tolerance or zero tolerance policy. It's credited with being instrumental in achieving better border security, specifically in the Yuma Sector, along the western side of Arizona's border with Mexico. Nevertheless, in recent years the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Arizona adopted a policy that ended prosecutions for those who cross, but for -- well without criminal history other than simply crossing the border. I've asked Attorney General Holder and Attorney General Lynch, as well as Secretary Johnson at Homeland Security on what is being done here and I haven't gotten a straight answer. No matter how many times I ask the question. So I'm looking forward to a little more candor here. As attorney general, if you're confirmed, what steps will you take to restore Operation Streamline to a zero tolerance approach that's been so successful in Arizona -- in a portion of Arizona's border. SESSIONS: Thank you. Senator Flake, I have enjoyed working with you and I know the integrity with which you bring your views on the immigration system. Like you, I believe that Streamline was very effective, and it was really surprised that it's been undermined and significantly. The reports I got initially, some years ago, maybe a decade or more ago, was that it was dramatically effective. And so I would absolutely review that and my inclination would be, at least at this stage, to think it should be restored and even refined and made sure it's lawful and effective. But I think it has great positive potential to improve legality at the border. FLAKE: All right. Well, thank you. It's been effective in Yuma and I can tell you there's concern there among the Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Wilmot and others, concern that we're seeing an increase in border crossings simply because the cartels understand very well where there's a zero tolerance policy and where there is not. Word spreads. And we could quickly get to a situation where we have a problem in the Yuma sector like we do in the Tucson sector. Is there any reason why we haven't expanded this program to the Tucson sector if it's been successful elsewhere? SESSIONS: I do not know what reason that might be. It seems to me that we should examine the successes and see if they can't be replicated throughout the border. FLAKE: All right. Well, thank you. I look forward to working with you on that. SESSIONS: I appreciate that opportunity to work with you on that because I've long felt that's the right direction for us to go. FLAKE: Thank you. When we have a successful program it's difficult to see it scrapped. And to see the progress that's been made in certain parts of the border done away with. Let me get to another subject here. Victim's rights, this is an area of the law that you've show particularly interest in over your time as a Senator. I have with me letters of support for your nomination from various victims groups and advocates. The Victims of Crime and Leniency, Verna Watt (ph), Victims of -- and Friends United, op-ed by Professors Paul Kassel (ph) and Steve Twist (ph), all in support of your nomination. I'd ask that these documents be placed as part of the record. As attorney general, what steps will you take to insure that victim's rights are protected? SESSIONS: We cannot forget victim's rights. We have a victim witness legislation that creates, within each United States Attorney's Office, a victim witness coordinator. And the job of that person is to make sure that concerns of the victims are heard. If they have to come to court, to help them get there, to make sure that they don't feel threatened and are protected. SESSIONS: That's a direct response -- the Department of Justice in the criminal justice system as directed by Congress. So I really think that's one step. And that's the fundamental mechanism -- I think Senator Kyle was a strong advocate for that, and it helped really improve the treatment of victims in -- in federal criminal cases. There's just no doubt about it. FLAKE: Well, thank you. I was going to note the presence of former Senator Kyl, my predecessor in this office who did so much work in this area, partnering with you. So thank you for that answer. SESSIONS: I'm honored that he's giving of his time to assist me in this effort, honored very greatly. FLAKE: Thank you. Let's talk about Prison Rape Elimination Act. It was mentioned previously, I think, by Senator Collins. As attorney general, you not only led the Department of Prosecutors and Law Enforcement Officers, but also the bureau -- you will lead, not only the Department of Prosecutors, Law Enforcement Officials, but also the Bureau of Prisons. You'll be responsible for 190,000 federal inmates currently in custody. This is an often overlooked part of the attorney general's role, but it's an important part of the position that you're being nominated for. I believe one of the highlights in your record, in the Senate, is your leadership in passing the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003, or PREA. Which passed both chambers without objection and was signed into law by George W. Bush, this was a bipartisan bill. You worked across the aisle with the late Senator Kennedy, as well as with Republican Representative Frank Wolf, Democrat Representative Bobby Scott in the House and I have letters of support from anti-prison rape activists that I'd also like to put as part of the record, without objection if I could. GRASSLEY: Without objection. FLAKE: Thank you, thank you. With the law approaching it's 15th anniversary, 11 states have certified that they're in compliance with the national standards and of the 41 states and territories have provided assurances that they're working toward compliance. Only four states and territories have chosen not to participate. Is PREA meeting the expectations you had for it when you introduced the bill in 2003? SESSIONS: I don't think there's any doubt that it's improved the situation. As to whether it's reached it's full potential, I don't think I'm able to tell you with certainty, but I certainly think it's made a positive difference. You know, it was a special time for me, Senator Kennedy was a strong critic of me in 1986. And he said, you know, as we were working on this, he said, I've wanted to work with you on legislation like this, and I think it was sort of a reconciliation moment. We also worked on another major piece of legislation for several years. It would have been rather historic, but it was private savings accounts for lower wage workers in America that, I guess, the financial crisis of '07 or some things happened that ended that prospect. But, I believe, that it's important for American people to know, that when an individual is sentenced to prison, they're not subjected to cruel and inhuman punishment under the Constitution at a minimum. And I -- the idea that was so widely spread, that there's routine sexual abuse and assaults in prisons and other kind of unacceptable activities was widespread in our media and widespread among the American people. One of our goals was, to establish just how big it was to require reporting to -- and create circumstances that in -- that -- that helped insure that a person who should be prosecuted for violence in the prison actually do get prosecuted was a real step forward. We do not need to subject prisoners to anymore punishment than the law requires. FLAKE: Thank you. And just the remaining seconds I have, let me just say, there's another area that we have worked on and -- and hopefully can continue to work on and that's the area of duplicative DOJ grants. As you know, department awarded approximately $17 billion in grants over the years. OIG reports, GAO reports, have all shown that there's duplication and waste, sometimes fraud and abuse. We continue to commit to work to root out this kind of duplicative action there. SESSIONS: Well, I know you've had a -- a history of being a staunch defender of the Treasury against those who would abuse it, and I believe the same way. It's the taxpayer's money. Every dollar that's extracted from an American citizen, that goes into the government needs to get productive, valuable activities. And any of it that's delivered for political and insufficient reasons is a cause of great concern. I will make it a priority of mine to make sure that the dollars that we have are actually getting to the purposes they're supposed to go for. It's one thing to say, I did a great thing. I got more money for this good purpose, but did it really efficiently and effectively go there? Did it really make a positive difference? So I think the Department of Justice can utilize those grant programs to help valuable activities and it needs to guard against improper activities. FLAKE: Thank you Senator Sessions. Thank you Mr. Chairman. GRASSLEY: We'll break for about 30 minutes. We'll reconvene at 1:40. Senator Coons will be next up and he's indicated he will be here on time. So, recess for now. (RECESS) GRASSLEY: Before I call on Senator Coons, I want to explain why one of the members on my side of the aisle can't be here. Senator Tillis is attending -- is unable to attend Senator Sessions' confirmation hearing today because his brother is being sworn in to the Tennessee General Assembly. So he's asked me to have his statement submitted into the record and it signals his strong support for Senator Sessions. He also -- Senator Sessions, he also wants me to know that he'll submit questions for you to answer in writing. Senator Coons, as we announced before, will be the first one this afternoon to (ph) proceed. And Senator Sessions, if there's any -- I won't know unless you tell me. If there's any sort of 15 minute break or anything you need, let me know. SESSIONS: Thank you Mr. Chairman. GRASSLEY: We'll do that at the end of some person asking questions. Senator Coons. COONS: Thank you, Chairman Grassley. Welcome Senator Sessions. Congratulations to you and Mary and your whole family on your nomination. The position of attorney general of the United States is one of the most important positions on which this committee will ever hold hearings and the next attorney general of the United States will assume leadership of the Justice Department on the heels of an election in which there were many issues thrown about in the course of the campaign, some of which have been asked about previously; calls for a Muslim ban or patrols, issues of a potential Russian cyber attack affecting our democracy, calls for mass deportations and chants at some rallies to lock her up for one of the candidates. And given the divisiveness of this election, I think it is critical that the next attorney general be well suited for this position and this time. And as such, I think a successful nominee has to be able to persuade this committee that he will act fairly and impartially administer justice and advance justice for all Americans. Senator Sessions, we've served on this committee together for six years and we've worked well together on a few issues, on state and local law enforcement issues, on the reauthorization of the Victims of Child Abuse Act and on the restoration of funding for federal public defenders and I appreciate that partnership. But there's also been many issues on which we disagreed, issues from immigration to civil liberties to civil rights to criminal justice, voting rights and torture, and I am concerned about your views on a number of these issues as we discussed when we met last week. So I am grateful to the chairman and to you that we're going to have a full and fair hearing on all of these issues today. Let me start with some questions about your time when you were Alabama attorney general and how you understood some direction you received from the U.S. Department of Justice. At that point, Alabama was the only state in the country that handcuffed prisoners to hitching posts and we talked about this when we met before and I said I would ask you about this in this hearing. A hitching post was used as a punishment for prisoners perceived as being unwilling to work or participate in the daily lives of the prison, whether serving on a chain gang or participating in work, and they would be cuffed by both wrists to a pole at chest height, sometimes for seven, eight or nine hours unprotected from sun, heat or rain without access in some cases to water or even a bathroom. And as the attorney general, you and the governor received letters from the U.S. Department of Justice telling you that Alabama's use of the hitching post in both men and women's prisons was unconstitutional and unjustified. But as I understand it, the use of the hitching post continued throughout your term and you did not act to stop it. During this same period, the state of Alabama was sued not just about hitching posts, but also about chain gangs. Prison policies in Alabama said a man could be put on a chain gang if he failed to shave or keep his bed clean, if he disrespected a member of the staff and would end up doing hard labor breaking rocks while being chained together in groups of five, shackled with eight feet of chain between men. And these practices, the case that was brought demonstrated, were disproportionally affecting African-Americans. In later litigation, the practice of using the hitching post was called by an Alabama judge the most painful and torturous punishment in Alabama short of electrocution. And in 2002, the United States Supreme Court said using the hitching post was clearly unconstitutional when it was used in Alabama. Can you please, Senator, tell me your view today of the use of the hitching post and chain gang in Alabama corrections and what your view is of what action you would take today if these practices were restored? SESSIONS: Thank you very much, Senator. That was an issue of (ph) the governor who campaigned and promised that prisoners should work and he was determined to make that happen. I believe the litigation occurred after my time as attorney general according to my records, but we could be wrong. I'll supplement the records for you. Certainly, the decision by the Supreme Court and federal courts were after I left office, I believe. So, working of prisoners is an issue that we've dealt with in the Congress of the United States and by state legislatures. I think good employment of a prisoner is a healthy thing. I do not favor, personally, this kind of work. I think it should be more productive work, work kind of help the individual develop a discipline that they could use when they go on to private life after they leave prison. After the Supreme Court ruling, I think it's crystal clear what the law is. That was disapproved and disallowed and found to be found unconstitutional and I would absolutely follow that as attorney general. COONS: In your view, did it take a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court to clarify that this constituted torture, that it was just not bad corrections policy, it was actually substantively torture of prisoners? SESSIONS: Senator Coons, I don't -- I'm not -- I don't recall ever personally being engaged in the studying of the constitutional issues at stake. It's perfectly legitimate for prisoners to work, but they should be on decent conditions and I think it should be the kind of work that's productive and it could actually lead to developing good habits. I heard some evidence on that subject. So I do not have a legal opinion about the case; I have not studied the details of it. COONS: Just to be clear, what I was -- I -- what I was pressing you on there was the use of the hitching post, which is a disciplinary measure that had been abandoned by all states but Alabama. It's really reminiscent more of the stocks, the stockade that was used centuries ago, and to me somewhat troubling that it continued without -- without challenge. Let me ask you more broadly. As you know, both Republicans and Democrats on this committee have worked together to address ways in which our criminal justice system is broken and to address the disparate racial impact of over-incarceration that's resulted the last 30 years. Senator Tillis and I just yesterday published an op-ed that we wrote jointly about the importance of responsible balanced criminal justice reform and Senators Grassley and Cornyn, Lee, Graham and Flake all your fellow Republicans, have supported meaningful reforms to address excessive mandatory sentences and incarceration. And in my experience here in six years with you, you have steadfastly opposed all of these efforts at bipartisan sentencing reform. Help me understand why you've blocked efforts at reducing mandatory minimum sentences, at creating opportunities for the revisitation of sentences that may have been overly harsh when initially imposed and help me understand whether you think it is ever proper for a prosecutor to charge anything less than the most serious offense available and carrying the longest sentence. SESSIONS: Well, there's a lot of questions there, Senator Coons. COONS: Yes. SESSIONS: So, the -- the Sentencing Act has one foundational requirement now, and that's the minimum mandatories. The guidelines have been either made voluntary by the sentencing commission in the courts and the policies of the attorney general. So the thing that does stand in place are the minimum mandatories, the minimum that can be sentenced for a certain offense. I offered legislation in 2001, it was opposed by the Bush Justice Department, that would have reduced the sentencing guidelines. And in fact, a number of years later, unfortunately, essentially could have been done in 2001, when I made a speech in favor of it. I made a speech saying what you are saying, that it was disproportionally impacting our African-American community and we needed to fix it and eventually that was passed. So I have a record of doing that, number one. Number two, so these other things happened in the meantime, the guidelines were reduced. The Justice Department has reduced its requirements. The Justice Department now allows a prosecutor to present a case to the judge that doesn't fully reflect the evidence that they have in their files about a case. That's a problematic thing. You shouldn't charge, I think -- it's problematic and difficult to justify a prosecutor charging five kilos of heroin when the actual amount was 10 to get a lower sentence. Now, there may be circumstances when somehow, proof and other issues could justify that, but I just would say, as a principle, you've got to be careful about it. Finally, colleagues, sentencing guidelines are within the breast of the Congress, they're mandated by law. I was concerned about what we're seeing as a -- beginning to see a rising crime, and the same time, a decline in sentences. Sentences are down 19 percent already, as a based on (inaudible) and guidelines changes. So that's a matter of interest, and I felt we should slow down a bit before we go further... COONS: Well if I might... SESSIONS: ... and make sure we're not making a mistake, Senator Coons. COONS: It is my hope that if you are confirmed, and we do make progress on bipartisan criminal justice reform, that as attorney general, you will carry out whatever legislative decisions might be made by this body. But last, let me just say that in my six years here, in addition to not working with us on a number of bipartisan proposals on criminal justice reform, you've been one of the few senators to repeatedly and steadfastly vote against congressional attempts to prohibit torture in the military context or in the interrogation context and to repeatedly defend enhanced interrogation practices. Are you clear now that our statutes prohibit torture and if the president were to attempt to override that clear legal authority, what actions would you take? SESSIONS: On your previous question, I would note that federal prison population has already dropped 10 or more percent, and will drop another 10,000 this year. So what's happening now is reducing the federal population. This law only dealt with the federal prison population and that represents the most serious offenders. Our federal DEA and U.S. attorneys are prosecuting more serious cases. With regard to the torture issues, I watched them for some time and have been concerned about what we should do about it. This bill that passed last time was a major step. I thought it was really not the right step. Senator Graham, I know has been an opponent of torture steadfastly and supported a lot of different things, opposed it. It basically took what I was teaching, these -- the young soldiers at the Army Reserve Unit as a lecturer, as a teacher, the fet (ph) -- Army Field Manual, and it made that the law for the entire government, including the intelligence agencies and other departments. I thought that was an unwise step, to take something that directs even the lowest private to do, to make that the rule for higher ups. COONS: Well, Senator... SESSIONS: But (inaudible) the law, it is a law, and it needs to be enforced, absolutely. COONS: As we both know, there was a bipartisan effort to review the -- our experience with enhanced interrogation... SESSIONS: It was... COONS: ... and concluded it was not effective. SESSIONS: Yeah, it was, and of course Senator Graham and JAG officers -- I was for a little bit. GRASSLEY: (inaudible). CRUZ: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Senator Sessions, congratulations on your nomination. SESSIONS: Thank you. CRUZ: You are a friend, you are a man of integrity. You and I have worked closely together on this committee, on the Armed Services Committee, and I have every confidence you are going to make a superb attorney general. You know, this has been an interesting day at this hearing, listening to Democratic senator after Democratic senator give speeches in praise of the rule of law. And I am heartened by that, I am encouraged by that, because for eight years, it's been absent. For eight years we've seen a Department of Justice consistently disregarding the rule of law. When Eric Holder's Department of Justice allowed illegal gun transactions, illegally sold guns to Mexican gun traffickers as part of Fast and Furious, guns that were later used to murder border patrol agent Brian Terry, the Democratic members of this committee were silent. When Eric Holder was found in contempt of Congress, for refusing to cooperate with Congress' investigation into Fast and Furious, once again the Democratic members of this committee were silent. When the IRS illegally targeted United States citizens for exercising the First Amendment views, for exercising their roles in the political process, Democratic members of this committee were silent. When the Department of Justice refused to fairly investigate the IRS targeting citizens and indeed assigned the investigation to a liberal partisan Democrat who had given over $6,000 to President Obama and Democrats, Democrats on this committee were silent. When numerous members of this committee called on the attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor to ensure that justice was done in the IRS case, Democrats on this committee were silent. When the Justice Department began using Operation Choke Point to target law-abiding citizens that they disagreed with politically... PROTESTER: (inaudible) you are racist. You have tried to (inaudible). You are -- you caused (inaudible) organization. Black lives matter. Black lives matter. Black lives matter. Black lives matter. PROTESTER: (inaudible) deportation. PROTESTER: (inaudible) white nationalist. Black lives matter. PROTESTER: (inaudible) do not protect the rights of African-Americans, Muslims, or immigrants. Senator, (inaudible). Senator, (inaudible). Senator, (inaudible). CRUZ: You know, free speech is a wonderful thing. When the Department of Justice used Operation Choke Point to target legal businesses because they disagreed politically with those businesses, the Democrats on this committee were silent. When the Obama Justice Department sent millions of dollars of taxpayer money to sanctuary cities that were defying federal immigration law, the Democrats on this committee were silent. When the Obama administration refused to enforce federal immigration laws and unilaterally rewrote those laws, the Democrats on this committee were silent. When the Obama administration released tens of thousands of criminal illegal aliens, including rapists and murderers, into the general population, Democrats on this committee were silent. When the Department of Justice signed off on the Obama administration paying a nearly $2 billion ransom to Iran contrary to federal law, the Democrats on this committee were silent. When the Obama administration ignored and rewrote provision after provision of Obamacare, contrary to the text of the law, the Democrats on this committee were silent. When the Obama administration signed off on illegal recess appointments that the Supreme Court had to strike down unanimously, the Democrats on this committee were silent. And when the Obama administration released five Guantanamo terrorists without the required notification of Congress, the Democrats on this committee were silent. That pattern has been dismaying for eight years, but I take today as a moment of celebration. If once again this committee has a bipartisan commitment to rule of law, to following the law, that is a wonderful thing, and it is consistent with the tradition of this committee going back centuries. Now, if we were to play a game of tit for tat, if what was good for the goose were good for the gander, then a Republican attorney general should be equally partisan, should disregard the law, should advance political preferences favored by the Republican party. Senator Sessions, do you believe that would be appropriate for an attorney general to do? SESSIONS: No, I do not. I believe you -- and I think we do have to be aware that when something like this is done, and some of the things I'm familiar with enough to agree with you, that I thought were improper, I do believe it has a corrosive effect on public confidence in the constitutional republic of which we are sworn to uphold. CRUZ: I think you are exactly right. You and I are both alumni of the Department of Justice, and it has a long, bipartisan tradition of staying outside of partisan politics, of simply and fairly enforcing the law. I will say right now, if I believed that you would implement policies, even policies I agreed with, contrary to law, I would vote against your confirmation. And the reason I am so enthusiastically supporting your confirmation, is I have every degree of confidence you will follow the law faithfully and honestly. And that is the first and most important obligation of the attorney general. Now earlier in this hearing, Senator Franken, engaged you in a discussion that I think was intended to try to undermine your character and integrity. And in particular, Senator Franken suggested that you had somehow misrepresented your record. It is unfortunate to see members of this body impune the integrity of a fellow senator with whom we have served for years. It is particularly unfortunate when that attack is not backed up by the facts. Senator Franken based his attack primarily on an op-ed written by an attorney, Gerald Hebert. There is an irony in relying on Mr. Hebert because, as you well know, in 1986, during your confirmation hearing, Mr. Hebert testified then and attacked you then, making false charges against you and, indeed, I would note in the 1986 hearing two days later, Mr. Hebert was forced to recant his testimony to say that he had given false testimony to this committee and, indeed, to say quote, "I apologize for any inconvenience caused Mr. Sessions or this committee by my prior testimony." So, an individual who's testified falsely once before this committee, his op-ed is now the basis for Senator Franken's attack on you. And, indeed, the basis of Senator Franken's attack, is he claims you were uninvolved in several civil rights cases that were listed on your questionnaire. In 1986 Mr. Hebert testified -- this is a quote from him, "I have needed Mr. Session's help in those cases, and he had provided that help every step of the way." Is that correct that that's what Mr. Hebert testified? SESSIONS: Yes, that's correct. CRUZ: Now, in the four cases Senator Franken referred to, you reported all four of them in your supplement to the Judiciary Committee, is that right? SESSIONS: That is correct. CRUZ: Mr. Franken didn't mention that and let me point out here's how you described your involvement in your written submission to this -- to this committee. Quote, "for the cases described in two, four, eight, and nine, my role, like most U.S. Attorneys in the nation and not with non-criminal civil rights cases, was to provide support for the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division's attorneys." "I reviewed, supported, and co-signed complaints, motions, and other pleadings and briefs that were filed during my tenure as U.S. Attorney. I provided assistance and guidance to the civil rights attorneys, had an open-door policy with them, and cooperated with them on these cases. For the cases described in six, I supervised litigation and signed the pleadings." Now that is consistent with the 1986 testimony that you provided help every step of the way. Is that correct? SESSIONS: Well, I think so, yes. CRUZ: There's no question you've been forthright with this committee and I would note that members of this committee don't have to search far and wide to know who Jeff Sessions is. We've known every day sitting at this bench alongside you. I want to shift to a different topic, and it's the topic I opened with, which is the politicization of the Department of Justice. The Office of Legal Counsel has a critical role of providing sound legal and constitutional advice, both to the attorney general and the president. And in the last eight years we have seen a highly-politicized OLC. An OLC that has given politically convenient rulings, whether on recess appointments, whether on executive amnesty and early on perhaps that was started by 2009 Attorney General Holder overruling OLC concerning legislation trying to grant the District of Columbia representation in Congress. And it may well be that that sent a message to OLC that it's opinions were to be political and not legal in nature. Tell me, Senator Sessions, what will you do as attorney general to restore professionalism and fidelity to law to the Office of Legal Counsel? SESSIONS: Senator Cruz, I think any short-term political agenda gains that come from the abuse of the -- the law-making processes and requirements of the Department of Justice just don't make sense. It will always in the long run be more damaging than the short-term gain that one might have. The Office of Legal Counsel, all of us who've served in the Department know, is a big-time position. You need a mature, smart, experienced person who understands this government, who understands the laws and is principled and consistent in their application of the laws. That will help the president, it will help the Congress and it will help the American people. I do believe we need to work hard to have that and I will do my best to ensure we do have it. CRUZ: One final question. In the last eight years, the Department of Justice's Solicitor General's Office has also, I believe, been unfortunately politicized and it sustained an unprecedented number of unanimous losses before the United States Supreme Court. Indeed, President Obama's Justice Department won less than half of its total cases before the Supreme Court which is the lowest presidential win rate since Harry Truman. And the average historically for the last 50 years has been about 70 percent. Numerous of those cases were unanimous with indeed both Obama Supreme Court appointees voting against the lawless positions of this Justice Department, including their assertion that the government has the authority to supervise and direct the appointment and the hiring and firing of clergy in the church. What will you do as attorney general to ensure the integrity of the Office of Solicitor General? That it is faithful to the law and not advancing extreme political positions like the Obama Justice Department did that have been rejected over and over again by the Supreme Court? SESSIONS: I think the problem there is a desire to achieve a result. Sometimes it overrides a commitment to the law. In the long run, this country will be stronger if we adhere to the law, even though somebody might be frustrated in the short term of not achieving an agenda. The Solicitor General should not advocate to alter the meaning of words to advance an agenda. That is an abuse of office and I would try to seek to have a Solicitor General who is faithful to the Constitution, serves under the Constitution, does not feel that it has the power to rise above it and make it say what it wants it to say. CRUZ: Thank you, Senator Sessions. GRASSLEY: Mr. Blumental goes. I think we have votes still scheduled for 2:45. It's my idea that we would continue this going. Like I'll go with the end of the first vote and then vote and come back. And I hope other people will preside and keep asking questions while the two votes are going on, so we can finish at a reasonable time today. (UNKNOWN) (inaudible) about Session voting. GRASSLEY: What? (UNKNOWN) He's not voting. GRASSLEY: OK. Well, that's right, I -- did we get a decision? You're -- you can stay here during that voting time. Senator Blumenthal. BLUMENTHAL: Thanks, Mr. Chairman and thank you for conducting this hearing in such a fair-minded and deliberate way. And I want to join you in thanking Senator Sessions for his public service over so many years and his family who have shared in the sacrifices that you have made. So, I am sure that my colleagues and I appreciate your service and your friendship. This experience for us is a difficult one, not only because you're a colleague, but I consider you to be a friend and someone who is well-liked and respected in this body, understandably. And I know, if you were sitting here, you'd be pretty tough on me, maybe tougher than I'm going to be on you. But it's not personal, as you understand, because we have an obligation to advise and consent to ask those kinds of tough questions. And you and I have shared some experiences. Both of us have been United States attorneys and attorneys general of our state and I want to thank you as well for thanking our law enforcement community, which is so important to this nation. And it makes sacrifices and those sacrifices often are not only in time and foregone income, but also in lives and I join you in respecting the law enforcement officers who were victims most recently of gun violence. I want to begin just by asking you a question which I asked in a letter. Will you recuse yourself from voting on your own nomination and the nominations of other cabinet secretaries? SESSIONS: I do not have plans on to vote on my nomination. I have not thoroughly examined all the issues, but I think there could be a conflict of interest or a violation of ethics rules and I would comply with the rules. BLUMENTHAL: I believe it would be a conflict of interest for you to vote on other cabinet secretaries as they are nominated by the president, who is also your boss and I think that I hope you will consider recusing yourself from those votes as well because I think it will set a tone for what you will do in cases of conflicts of interest. And I want to talk a little bit about conflicts of interest because I think that the Attorney General of the United States has a unique and special role, especially at this point in our history. He should be a champion, a zealous advocate of rights and liberties that are increasingly under threat in this country. And he's not just another government lawyer or another cabinet secretary. He is the nation's lawyer. And so any appearance of conflict of interest or compromising positions because of political involvement, I think, is a real danger to the rule of law and respect and credibility of the rule of law. So I would hope that you would consider appointing special counsel in cases where there may be a conflict of interest involving the president, and one of those cases involves Deutsche Bank. The president of the United States owes the Deutsche Bank several hundreds of millions of dollars, it's currently under ongoing investigation. Will you appoint a independent counsel to continue the investigation of Deutsche Bank? SESSIONS: Well, Senator Blumenthal, I have not -- I'm not aware of that case, I'm not in any way -- have no researched it or even read some of the public's articles about it. So I'm totally uninformed about the merits or lack of it of the case. I don't know that the president is implicated simply because he's borrowed (ph) from a bank. But I would say that as Senator Lee, I think, raised in his questioning, you just want -- you don't want to be in a position where every time an issue comes up, the attorney general recuses himself. But at the same time, serious questions, when they arise, the attorney general should refuse himself under appropriate circumstances and I guess that goes with -- or the appointment of a special counsel, which is a somewhat different issue. BLUMENTHAL: Would you... SESSIONS: There have been a lot of criticisms of that, but I think it's a useful tool in the appropriate circumstances. BLUMENTHAL: Would you agree with me that the emoluments clause applies to the president of the United States? SESSIONS: Well, the emoluments clause applies, I guess the dispute is and the discussion is is -- and to what extent does it apply and how does it apply in concrete situations, which I have not studied. BLUMENTHAL: If there's evidence that the president of the United States has violated or may be violating the emoluments clause, will you appoint a special counsel? SESSIONS: We would have to examine that. I would not commit to this day -- at this time appointing a special counsel when I'm not aware of a precise factual situation that would be in play. BLUMENTHAL: If there is a violation by the president's family of the STOCK Act, which prohibits the use of private or insider information for personal gain, will you apply special counsel? SESSIONS: Well, we'll have to evaluate that if such a (ph) circumstance occurs and I would do my duty as I -- as I believe I should do it at the time. BLUMENTHAL: I would suggest that in those cases, an independent counsel is not only advisable, but required to avoid a conflict of interest and I would hope that you would be sensitive to those concerns. SESSIONS: Well, there are reasonable arguments to be made for that. I suggested that Attorney General Lynch should appoint a special counsel in the Clinton matter. I don't know whether you supported that or not. BLUMENTHAL: One reason I'm asking the question is that you have advocated a special counsel in other instances where in fact the argument for it was weaker than it would be in these cases and I think it would be appropriate. SESSIONS: Well, I will suggest that during a campaign, sometimes we get excited, but as attorney general, you have to follow the law, you have to be consistent and you have to be honorable in your decision making. And I respect the question you're raising. BLUMENTHAL: Let me ask you about another group. I welcome your condemnation of the Ku Klux Klan. You may be familiar with a group called Operation Rescue, and Operation Rescue endorsed you. In fact, Troy Newman, the head of Operation Rescue, said, quote, "We could not be happier about the selection of Senator Jeff Sessions as the next Attorney General." Operation Rescue has in fact advocated, quote, "execution," end quote, of abortion providers. And as an example of its work, this poster was circulated widely in the 1990s and early 2000s about a Dr. George Tiller who subsequently was murdered. After his murder, Operation Rescue said that his alleged murderer should be treated as a political prisoner. Dr. Tiller was murdered in 2009 and I'm sure you're familiar with is case. Will you disavow their endorsement of you? SESSIONS: I disavow any activity like that, absolutely and a group that would even suggest that is unacceptable and I will enforce the laws that make clear that a person who wants to receive a lawful abortion cannot be blocked by protesters and disruption of a doctor's practice. I might not favor of that. I am pro life as you know, but we've settled on some laws that are clearly effective and as attorney general you can be sure we would follow them. BLUMENTHAL: You would use the FACE statute, the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act to empower and mobilize the FBI, the Federal Marshal service or the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms to protect clinics if there were harassment or intimidation. SESSIONS: I would use the appropriate federal agencies and I do believe it is in violation of the law to excessively or improperly hinder even the access to an abortion clinic. BLUMENTHAL: Will you rigorously enforce statues that prohibit purchase of guns by felons or domestic abusers or drug addicts and use the statues that exist right now on the books to ban those individuals from purchasing guns? SESSIONS: Well, Congress has passed those laws, they remain the bread and butter enforcement mechanisms throughout our country today to enforce guns laws. The first and foremost goal I think of law enforcement would be to identify persons who are dangerous, who have a tendency or have been proven to be law breakers an been convicted and those who are caught carrying guns during the commission of a crime. Both of those require mandatory sentences as United States attorney in Alabama it was a high priority of mine. I calculated a number of years, we were one of the top, even though a small office, on a percentage basis, we were one of the top prosecutors of those cases. I think it saves lives Senator Blumenthal. I (inaudible) as a matter -- my judgment at least is experience tells me it can help make -- create a more peaceful community. BLUMENTHAL: Will you support laws necessary to effectively apply those laws including universal back ground checks that are necessary to know whether the purchaser is a felon or a drug addict or a domestic abuser? SESSIONS: Well, I believe in background check laws and many of them are appropriate. But, in every instance -- there's some instances when it's not practical let's say. For example somebody inherited a gun from their grandfather. Those transactions I'm not sure should require that kind of universal background check. GRASSLEY: (OFF-MIKE) member of this committee. Senator Crapo, welcome to the committee and you may proceed. CRAPO: Thank you Mr. Chairman and I too want to thank you for the way you are handling this hearing and appreciate your service here in the committee. And, Senator Sessions I also want to join those who have congratulated you on your nomination to be the attorney general of the United States. I am one of those who has had the opportunity to work with you for years and know you very well. I consider you well qualified and look forward to your service as the Attorney General of the United States, if you are confirmed and I expect you will be. I know you to be a man of your word. I know that you're committed to the Constitution of the United States of America and you are committed to enforcing the law of this country as you have said multiple times here in this committee. So, I thank you for that. I want to go on my question into just a couple of other areas. Beyond just the notion of the enforcement of the law, but the manner in which the Department of Justice enforces the law, three basic carries (ph). One the abuse of the power or discriminatory enforcement of the law. Two the regulatory over reach that we're seeing across this country and what role the Department of Justice plays in trying to deal with that. And, then finally the cooperation of the states. We live in a Union of 50 states and under our Constitution there are appropriate rules for the federal government and the states and the Department of Justice has a very powerful influence on that. So if I could get into those three areas. The first one, I'm just going to use as an example of the kind of abusive use of power that I hope you will help stop and prevent from continuing to happen. It was already -- this example is one that was already referenced by Senator Cruz, Operation Choke Point. Operation Choke Point, for those that aren't familiar with it, the only appropriate thing about it, in my opinion, is its name, it was named -- it was a program designed by the Department of Justice to help choke financing away from businesses and industries that were politically unacceptable or for whatever reason unacceptable to the administration. The Justice Department working with, and I think perhaps even pressuring, some of our financial regulatory agencies created this program to give additional scrutiny, indeed such aggressive scrutiny that it pressured them out of their access to finance -- to certain industries. I don't know how these industries got onto the list, but I'll just read you several that are on the list. Ammunition sales, coin dealers, firearm sales, installment loans, tobacco sales, this list is a list of 30 that was put out by the FDIC. When they -- when they actually realized they shouldn't of put the list out they quickly took it back. And the FD -- the FDIC says that they're not pursuing this program anymore, but when we tried to de-fund it earlier the administration fought aggressively to make sure we didn't get the votes to defund it. This program is one where the justification is -- well, the businesses who operate in these industries haven't done anything wrong. But these are industries that might do things wrong more than other industries and therefore we're going to pressure people out of these industries. It reminds me of a 2002 movie called "Minority Report," it was a Tom Cruise movie and that was one about an advanced police force in the future that had determined -- or had developed the ability to know if you we're going to commit a crime before you commit the crime. And then their job was to go arrest you. It was really good at stopping crime because they arrest you before you even commit it. And then one of them came up on the list and that's the story of that movie. My point is, we can't really tell for sure whether Operation Choke Point is still operating. Although we still have people in these industries who can't get financing. If that kind of thing is going on in the Department of Justice will you assure that it ends? SESSIONS: I will. At least as you've framed this issue and as I understand the issue from what I -- little I know about it but, fundamentally, a lawful business should not be attacked by having other lawful businesses pressured not to do business with the first business. That's, to me -- it would be hard to justify. I guess maybe they've got some arguments that would be worth listening to. But fundamentally that seems to me, Senator Crapo, you're a great lawyer and you -- but seems to me that goes beyond what would be legitimate in a great economy like ours. CRAPO: Well, I would hope the Department of Justice would not be a partner with any of our federal agencies in this kind of conduct. Another one which I'll throw out as an example is the National Instant Criminal Background Check List, which is now being utilized by the Veteran's Administration and by the Social Security Administration to put people's names on the list so that they can be denied access to owning or purchasing a firearm. And the way they put their name on the list is to say that they are mentally deficient. If they need a little help on their Social Security benefits, if they're a veteran who put their life on the line for us and goes to war and receives a head injury and so they need a little bit of assistance, then -- then they get their name often put on the list. I know that these are not the agencies that you supervise, but I know the Department of Justice supervises the NICS list. And I would just encourage your help, whether it's here or anywhere else in our government, as we see agencies using their power to achieve political purposes, or some other discriminatory purpose of the administration I would hope you would stand solidly against it. SESSIONS: Well, thank you Senator Crapo, I know you've worked on that issue. So I'd be sympathetic and be willing to receive any information that I know you've gathered on -- to form your views about it. CRAPO: All right I appreciate that. Let me move on to the question of regulatory overreach. I'll just use one example there. I'm one who believes that today, we have gone -- we talked a lot about this hearing today about the rule of law. In America, statutes are passed by Congress and signed into law by a willing president. But now we have multiple agencies that are doing rule makings that, in my opinion, are going far beyond the legal authority of the laws under which they operate. I'll use one example. The Waters of the United States rule that has been implemented -- or seeking to be implemented by the EPA and... CRAPO: doing rulemakings that in my opinion are going far beyond the legal authority of the laws under which they operate. I'll use one example. The Waters of the United States rule that has been implemented, or seeking to be implemented by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers. In my opinion that is totally unfounded in law. And often the Department of Justice is partnered up with these agencies as they try to defend their activities in court. And I'm not sure I actually know the proper role there. Does the Department of Justice simply have to litigate on behalf of these agencies? Or does it have the ability to advise these agencies that they're pursuing activities beyond the bounds of the law? SESSIONS: It can be that an agency would ask an opinion on the Office of Legal Counsel, the Department of Justice. And as to whether their interpretation is sound or not, that opinion, until reversed at some point, stands for the entire government. But basically these agencies are oftentimes just set about their own agendas without asking for an opinion. And often they are narrowminded or they're focused only on what they feel are the goals of their agency, and don't give sufficient respect to the rule of law and the propriety of what they're doing. In particular, did the Congress really intend this? Did this law really cover this? Or is it just something you want to accomplish and you're twisting the law to justify your actions? Those are the kind of things that we do need to guard against. CRAPO: Well, I appreciate that. And I hope that under your leadership we will have a Justice Department that will give strong advice where it can, and have strong influence where it can across the United States system -- across our agencies in this country, to help encourage and advise that they stay within the bounds of the law. The last thing, and I'll just finish with this and you can give a quick answer. I'm running out of time here. And that is cooperation with the states. As I said earlier, our system of government is comprised of 50 states in a union under a Constitution that establishes a federal government. And you and I both know well that the 10th Amendment says that those rights and powers, they're not specifically granted to the federal government in the Constitution, are reserved to the states and to the people, respectively. Many of our states feel that that proper respect for their sovereignty is being abused, again, by federal agencies, not just the Department of Justice. But the Justice Department often gets involved in this through providing the legal services that it does to our agencies. And you know I could go through a ton of more examples and lists of litigation that is ongoing right now with my state and other states around the country where if we simply had a better level of respect for the role of states in this union and under our Constitution, we could work out a lot more of these issues. Rather than having the heavy hand of the federal litigation system come to play into forcing compliance by states. And so I won't go into any specific details, but would just ask your feelings about that importance of respecting the role of states in this country. SESSIONS: There's no general federal criminal crimes. So many things like larceny and even murder unconnected to some civil rights connection. These things have traditionally been totally the responsibility of the states. As a young prosecutor in the 1970s I remember almost all the cases had an interstate commerce nexus. It wasn't the theft of an automobile that you prosecuted. It was interstate transportation of a stolen vehicle. CRAPO: A lot of... SESSIONS: So a lot of that is just -- now we've forgotten that distinction, that limitation on federal power. CRAPO: We have. And a lot of what I'm talking about happens in the environment and natural resource division, and others. There's a lot of litigation out there. I'd just encourage you -- I see my -- I am out of time. GRASSLEY: Let me make a suggestion before I introduce Senator Hirono. And she's welcome back to the committee. She's been off two years. To make efficient use of our time, when she's done it would be Senator Kennedy's turn. But you probably have to go vote. So if there's somebody back here that can start the second round, do it. And then we'll call on Senator Kennedy to finish the first round. Senator Hirono? HIRONO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It's good to be back on this committee. And aloha to you, Senator Sessions. SESSIONS: Aloha. HIRONO: I will do my best to be nice to you. SESSIONS: Well that won't be hard for you. HIRONO: Thank you very much. I know that the attorney general has broad prosecutorial discretion. You noted in some of your responses to questions from Senator Durbin around the issue of what would happened to the 800,000 DACA registered people if the president-elect rescinds that program. And you indicated that I think at that point the A.G.'s office only has so many resources, and that may not be a high priority for you. But you indicated that's why we needed immigration reform. So my series of questions will center around how you would exercise your prosecutorial discretion, which I think you would acknowledge is wide as attorney general. Wouldn't you? SESSIONS: In most -- in many cases you do -- the federal prosecutors set discretionary limits. But you have to be careful that it does not exceed a reasonable judgment about what a discretionary... (CROSSTALK) HIRONO: I agree. SESSIONS: ... be. HIRONO: It's not totally unfettered. Wide prosecutorial discretion. So my questions will center around how you would exercise prosecutorial discretion with regard to some specific issues. You probably know, Senator Sessions, that I am an immigrant. You indicated in one response that you would want immigration reform to center around skills based immigration reform. And if that were the case, my mother, who brought me to this country to escape an abusive marriage would not have been able to come to this country. And she acquired her skills later. But I just want to let you know that it's one of the reasons that issues relating to immigration are very important, not just to me, but to millions of people in this country. And I have heard from them. I've heard from immigrants in this country, LGBT Americans, women and religious minorities who are terrified that they will have no place in President-Elect Trump's vision of America. And based on what I've heard since the election, I am deeply concerned that their fears are well founded. I'm hoping that you can address some of these concerns today. So I mentioned the exercise of prosecutorial discretion. When you came to see me we did talk about whether or not you would support a ban on Muslims coming to this country based on the fact that they were Muslims. And you said that you would not support that. But you also indicated that you would support basically what would be considered enhanced vetting of people with extreme views. What would characterize an extreme view to you? And how would you go about ferreting out people with extreme views when there are millions of people legally coming into our country? And also a related question. The fact that you would consider vetting people with extreme views to be a proper use of our governmental authority, there must be a connection in your mind that people with extreme views, which I hope you will describe what you mean by, will do something that would compromise the safety of Americans. Could you respond to my series of questions relating to extreme views? SESSIONS: Well, I do think first of all the vetting process is in the hands of the State Department, the consular offices and those offices that are meeting people abroad and evaluating them for admission to the United States. So the Department of Justice really does not dictate that, as long as it's perhaps -- as long as it's within constitutional order. I think the approach that's preferable is the approach that is -- would be based on areas where we have an usually high risk of terrorists coming in, people who could be clearly violent criminals. And those certainly justify higher intensity of vetting. I think that mainly responds to your question. But again, the ultimate decision about that would be done through the State Department and by the president. HIRONO: I'm sure they would ask for the attorney general's opinion as to the limits of the Constitution in requiring these kinds of questions to be asked of people who come to our country. And you did indicate once that religious views would be a factor in determining whether somebody has extreme views. Let me turn to... SESSIONS: Their religious views in... (CROSSTALK) HIRONO: Not in and of itself... SESSIONS: ... extremism. Right. Not -- if they -- their interpretation of their religious views encompasses dangerous doctrines and terroristic attacks I think they should certainly deserve more careful scrutiny than someone whose religious views are less problematic. HIRONO: Yes. Senator Sessions, you did say that one's religious views would be a factor in determining whether one has extreme views that would enable -- that would not enable them to come to our country. Let me turn to the question of abortion. On Roe v. Wade, you did say quote, "I firmly believe that Roe v. Wade and its descendants represent one of the worst colossally, erroneous Supreme Court decisions of all time and it was an activists decision." My question is do you still hold that view? I believe you answered yes to someone who asked you that question previously. That you believe that Roe v. Wade was a bad decision. SESSIONS: Well, I do... HIRONO: Do you still believe that? SESSIONS: Well, I guess I've said that before, so I'm a pro-life advocate... HIRONO: Thank you. SESSIONS: ... but fundamentally, the problem, as I see it, with Roe versus Wade is that is denies the people to right to make laws that they might feel appropriate. Did the Supreme Court have that power? I concluded they didn't, because the Constitution didn't answer that question, but... HIRONO: Well, Senator Sessions... SESSIONS: ... I respect the... HIRONO: I hate to interrupt you, but I have less than two minutes. So, I don't want to get into the substance of Roe v. Wade. I realize you still believe that that was a bad decision, although it was based on constitutional privacy protections. So, we can expect the make up of the Supreme Court to change, and we can very well end up with a Supreme Court that will be very open to overturning Roe v. Wade. And should you be the attorney general, would you direct or advise your solicitor general to weigh in, to -- to weigh in before that Supreme Court, which has an opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade? And would your solicitor general go in and weigh in to repeal or to overturn, I should say, Roe v. Wade? SESSIONS: Well, Roe versus Wade is firmly asconced as the law of the land and I don't know we would see a change in that. You're asking a hypothetical question. Those cases seldom come up on such a clear issue. They come up at the margins. I just would not be able to predict what a well researched, thoughtful response to -- would be to manage it could happen in the future. HIRONO: I think most of us know that the next opportunity for the Supreme Court to weigh in on whether or not to change Roe v. Wade would be a very close decision and, likely possible a five to four decision. And that it's not just a hypothetical, but it is a real concern to a lot of people. Let me turn to the Voting Rights Act. While the Supreme Court did eliminate parts of the Voting Rights Act, it still retains Section II, which prohibits states from enacting laws that would have a discriminatory impact. The Attorney General's Office was a party to challenging two states laws, I believe it was Texas and there was another state, that the Supreme Court ultimately agreed with the attorney general's position that these laws violated the Voting Rights Act, Section II. Would you, should you become the attorney general, just as vigorously prosecute those kinds of state laws that have a discriminatory voting impact? SESSIONS: Well, this administration's attorney general has intervened when it felt it was appropriate and not intervened when it did not feel it was appropriate. So, I think my responsibility would be to ensure that there's no discriminatory problems with a Voting Rights Act of a state. If there is, if it violates the Voting Rights Act or the Constitution, I think the United States -- the attorney general may well have a responsibility and a duty to intervene. You cannot allow improper erosion of -- of the right of Americans to vote. HIRONO: Well, we know that since the Supreme Court's decision that did away with major parts of the Voting Rights Act that numerous, perhaps 13 states have already enacted laws that could be deemed contrary to the Voting Rights Act. So I would hope as attorney general, you would vigorously review those kinds of laws and to prosecute and to -- to seek to overturn those state laws just as your predecessors have done. I want to turn to VAWA. I know that you voted against the most recent iteration of VAWA because you had concerns about how non-Indians would be prosecuted under tribal law. And you indicated that yes, you do acknowledge that non-Indians do go on tribal lands, commit crimes and that these should be, these kinds of crimes should be prosecuted at the federal level. And I would expect that should you become attorney general, that you will do that. But at the same time, my question is, would you then seek to overturn that part of VAWA that allows the tribal courts to proceed? SESSIONS: That would be a strictly legal decision. We should give respect to the laws of Congress that have been passed. As a member of Congress, I was uneasy with it, did not think it was a good approach, and I believe eight out of nine Republicans on the committee shared that concern and did vote against it. As I noted earlier, I voted for the Violence Against Women Act in 2000, 2010 and I voted for the Grassley version of the Violence Against Women Act this past time, even though I did vote against the same law. HIRONO: So, as attorney general, you would not do anything to -- to challenge that part of VAWA that allows for tribal courts to proceed. SESSIONS: Well, I would have to make a legal decision on that. I'm not able to do so today. HIRONO: Thank you Mr. Chairman. GRASSLEY: Thank you. LEE: Senator Sessions, you are aware, many instances, Congress when enacting a law will choose to issue a broad, sort of, mandate, a broad aspirational statement, leaving the details of the actual law making process to a regulatory system that then has to follow certain procedures in term to effectively make laws. We call those regulations, typically, and sometimes an executive branch agency will go a step further. And outside the process that has to be followed when propagating a new regulation, they'll just issue a guidance document. A guidance document outlining what the agency feels is the status of the law in this area. Guidance documents have received a lot of criticism from members of the public, who point out that they are bereft of any kind of safeguard. And they haven't gone through a legislative process, they haven't even gone through any time of revue process that would normally accompany the regulatory -- the regulatory rule making cycle. As a matter of policy making, will the Department of Justice, under your leadership, assuming you're confirmed, use guidance documents as a matter of course in propagating legal interpretations? SESSIONS: Senator Lee, a guidance document that's clearly within the intent of Congress and the laws plain words can be beneficial. I think they're normally issued by the agency or department that administered it, like, for example, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Department of Commerce. The often, or sometimes, they ask the Office of Legal Counsel for their opinion about what the proper interpretation of a statute is, but I do think you raise a valid concern. A guidance document cannot amount to an amendment to the law. Bureaucrats do not have -- that's a majority term, but department and agency attorneys and members don't have the ability to rewrite the law to make it say what they'd like it to say. And if we get away from that principle, we've eroded respect for law and the whole constitutional structure where Congress makes the laws not the executive branch. LEE: What about in the context of litigation? Where you're litigating a case involving one of these guidance documents that you're representing, the federal agency in question. Will the department, under your leadership, assuming your confirmed to this position, ask courts to defer to non-binding guidance documents in the same way that courts are routinely asked to defer to regulations? SESSIONS: Well, that's a good question, from a good lawyer I have to say. In other words, the question you're suggesting is, the established law of the land or the courts is that they give certain deference to well established, properly established regulations issued pursuant to -- to statute, but what if the secretary just issues a guidance document? Does the court -- is the court entitled to give full deference to that? I would -- first of all, I don't know. I haven't researched it. But I do think that would be a pretty bold step to go that far and would be dubious about it. LEE: Thank you. As you know, from time to time, the Department of Justice receives subpoenas or -- or one of the entities being represented by the Department of Justice might receive requests from members of Congress, from committees in Congress, including some committees that have the power issue subpoenas, in other instances, just letters or other types of requests from Congress for documents. I suspect that there may be a number of outstanding requests of this nature that are left pending at the end of this administration, requests that were issued during the 114th Congress, the -- the Congress previous to this one, but will still need to be handled within the department after you're confirmed, assuming you are confirmed. Will you commit to reviewing any of those that remain pending and -- and doing so in a manner that's timely and -- and showing the respect for a coordinate branch of government? SESSIONS: Senator Lee, if you would, repeat for me the -- what kind of... LEE: Yep, pending request for documents that -- that might be left over form the previous Congress... SESSIONS: Request for documents in what kind of -- proceeding? LEE: Request for documents either from the department itself or in matters where the department is involved, representing an entity within the federal government. I just want to make sure that those don't get left behind -- that they don't get ignored simply because they haven't been dealt with by the previous administration. SESSIONS: Well, I -- I do think that in time it'll be evaluated in proper request. I -- I would assume would continue to be valid and we would try to follow up whatever the law requires in that regard. LEE: Thank you. I appreciate that. I want to talk about the use of the attorney client privilege by members of the executive branch -- by executive branch officials. In a 1998 opinion, the U.S. Court Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reached the conclusion that executive branch officials do not enjoy the same common law attorney client privilege as ordinary lawyers -- lawyers who are not executive branch officials. And -- and Justice Scalia, while he was serving as the assistant of attorney general over the office of legal council, authored a legal opinion stating that the -- that executive branch officials do no enjoy the privilege, unless they're dispensing with personal legal advice. Instead, in that view, executive branch officials need to exert the executive privilege rather than the traditional common law attorney client privilege. And yet executive branch agencies routinely can be observed asserting the attorney client privilege instead of the -- in much the same way they would in the traditional context, rather than just invoking the executive privilege. Would -- would you agree with that, that -- that might raise some questions? SESSIONS: Senator Lee, I have not studied that opinion of Justice Scalia. I would be reluctant to comment. Except I would say that it's probably good for the American republic that department and agency officials seek legal advice before they act. In the long run, that's probably better. And I think having some expectation that they can have a candid comment with their attorney is of value. I hadn't thought about and never given study to the question of whether it should be on the executive privilege or attorney client. Although I can understand the -- imagine the difficulties. LEE: Yes. No, I -- I -- I appreciate your candor on that point and it gives me some comfort knowing that you're aware of the -- of the situation, you'll look at those. I'd like to talk about some anti-trust issues in the -- the moments I have remaining. And then perhaps we'll get back to these during a subsequent round. Anti-trust regulators, when they're reviewing potentially anti-competitive harms that might arise as a result of a merger will sometimes impose conditions, conditions on the merger moving forward, saying unless you do A, B and C, this merger can't go forward. But if you do A, B and C in order to address whatever concerns we, the anti-trust regulators have, then -- then the merger can be consummated. It is my view that there is a temptation for anti-trust regulators sometimes to impose conditions that don't involve anti-competitive concerns. And that that raises some red flags that because the role of the anti-trust regulator is to look out for anti-competitive concerns arising out of the merger. That's where their inquiry ought to be focused and that's where their conditions ought to be focused. Do you disagree with that? SESSIONS: I would agree with that, as I -- as you formulate it, I believe. And it would be wrong on to further some other separate discreet agenda that's not reasonably connected to the merger itself. So I think we should ensure that we have the highest integrity in anti-trust adjudications, because they can have great impact. The law is not crystal clear about what's lawful and what's not lawful, and what the anti-trust division is required to do. And it leaves dangers, if not politicalization of it, it remains dangers -- dangers of policy agendas getting involved in it. So it's a important division that requires great integrity and ability I believe, in the leadership at the anti-trust division. GRASSLEY: Thank you. Just a moment. Senator Leahy. LEAHY: Thank you, thank you, Mr. Chairman. The -- as I listened to Senator Lee asking you these questions, it occurred to me that you were one of a very, very, very small minority of members who opposed the USA Freedom Act that I drafted with Senator Lee, it passed with a super majority in both the House and the Senate. Even though you voted against it and this of course topped the bulk collection by NSA, that both Senator Lee and I opposed. Do you agree the executive branch has to uphold the law that they cannot reinstate the bulk collection of America's phone records without amending federal statutes? SESSIONS: Senator Leahy, that appears to be so and I can't swear that that's absolutely, totally, always true, but it appears to be so. LEAHY: Wait -- wait -- wait a minute. We either passed the law or we didn't pass the law. A super majority voted for the Lee-Leahy law, the president signed it into law. You voted against it. Will you uphold the law? SESSIONS: I will follow the law, yes, sir. LEAHY: And will you commit that you're not going to allow the NSA to engage in the bulk collection of Americans' records in violation of the USA Freedom Act based on a theory that somehow whoever is president has the power to disregard the statute? SESSIONS: I do not believe that the statute can be disregarded and it should be followed. LEAHY: Thank you, I appreciate that. We had a dust-up in the press, as you recall, when Mr. Trump bragged about how he had grabbed women and so on. You, shortly after the tape came out, and I realize that an explanation here, you said I don't characterize that as sexual assault. But then you said later, the Weekly Standard's characterization of comments they made following Sunday's presidential debate, is completely inaccurate. My hesitation is based solely on the confusion of the content of the 2005 tape, a hypothetical posed by the reporter which was asked in a chaotic post environment -- post debate environment. And of course it's crystal clear that assault is unacceptable. I would never intentionally suggest otherwise. That's basically what you said after the confusion on your first comment. Is that correct? SESSIONS: I believe that's correct. LEAHY: Thank you. Is grabbing a woman by her genitals without consent, is that sexual assault? SESSIONS: Clearly it would be. LEAHY: If a sitting president or any other high federal official was accused of committing what the president-elect described in a context which it could be federally prosecuted, would you be able to prosecute and investigate? SESSIONS: The president is subject to certain lawful restrictions, and they would be required to be applied by the appropriate law enforcement official if -- if -- if appropriate, yes. LEAHY: And the conduct described, based on the description, would be sexual assault? SESSIONS: Well, the confusion about the question, it was a hypothetical question and it -- and it related to what was said on the tape. I did not remember at the time whether this was suggested to be an unaccepted, unwanted kind of... LEAHY: OK, well let's... SESSIONS: ... would certainly meet the definition. If that's what the tape said, then that would be... LEAHY: My -- my question is very simple. Is grabbing a woman by her genitals without consent, is that sexual assault? SESSIONS: Yes. LEAHY: Thank you. Now you were asked earlier about having called the NAACP and the ACLU un-American. You said that was before you were a senator. But as a senator you've committed to be -- you have continued to be hostile to them. You criticize nominees for having what you call ACLU DNA. Now I remember when Republicans led the Justice Department, his inspector general found the Bush administration engaged in unlawful, politicized hiring practices. That's the Republican administration's own inspector general. They said the Ashcroft Justice Department used litmus tests whether applicants would be sufficiently conservative. If they were ever in the ACLU, they couldn't have a job. You said in a radio interview, justice has to be safe and secular, progressive, liberals. OK. Let me ask you a couple simple questions. Are an individual's religious beliefs relevant to the employment at the Justice Department? SESSIONS: Not unless it's such that they can't perform their duties in an honorable way consistent with the law. LEAHY: What would be an example of that? SESSIONS: Well, if an individual so strongly believed that abortion should be unlawful that they use their position to block constitutionally approved abortions, I think that would make them not subject to being employed in the Department of Justice. LEAHY: Are you going to have a litmus test at the Department of Justice for people who have worked at civil rights organizations? SESSIONS: No. LEAHY: Senator Graham mentioned you've long been a champion of states' rights and certainly you and I have had enough discussions on that and I realize those are deeply-held beliefs. But states have also voted on an issue of marijuana and regulation. I believe your own state of Alabama permits the use of a derivative of marijuana known as CBD oil, legal in Alabama, illegal under federal law. If you are confirmed as the nation's chief law enforcement official and you know that we have very limited federal resources, in fact we're spending about a third of our budget now just to keep the prisons open because of mandatory minimums and what not. Would you use our federal resources to investigate and prosecute sick people who are using marijuana in accordance with their state laws, even though it might violate federal law? SESSIONS: Well, I won't commit to never enforcing federal law, Senator Leahy, but absolutely it's a problem of resources for the federal government. The Department of Justice under Lynch and Holder, set forth some policies that they thought were appropriate to define what cases should be prosecuted in states that have legalized at least in some fashion some parts of marijuana. LEAHY: Do you agree with those guidelines? SESSIONS: I think some of them are truly valuable in evaluating cases, but fundamentally the criticism I think that was legitimate is that they may not have been falling. Only using good judgment about how to handle these cases will be a responsibility of mine. I know it won't be an easy decision, but I will try to do my duty in a fair and just way. LEAHY: The only reason I mention is you've been some very strong views, you even mandated the death penalty for anyone convicted of a second drug trafficking offense, including marijuana, even though mandatory death penalties are of course unconstitutional. SESSIONS: Well, I'm not sure under what circumstances I said that, but I don't think that sounds like something I would normally say. We're glad to look at it, but... LEAHY: Would you say that's not your view today? SESSIONS: It is not my view today. LEAHY: Thank you very much. LEE: I perked up when he started talking about federalism. And, of course, everything Senator Leahy said was interesting. But the federalism stuff is particularly interesting. (UNKNOWN) Praising -- he was praising your legislation. LEE: Yes, exactly. I appreciated that too. That was -- that was great. Federalism is an issue that's near and dear to many of us, and I know it's important to you. The notion that our federal government possesses powers that James Madison described as few and defined. Those reserved to the states are numerous and indefinite. We were supposed to be a different legislative body. Our federal government was always intended as a limited purpose national government, not a general purpose national government, one possessing complete police powers. We've seen a slow, but steady drift over the last 80 years away from this principle of federalism, such that powers exercised at the federal level today could no longer be described as few and defined, but more appropriately described as numerous an indefinite. And in light of the supremacy clause in the Constitution, any powers we do exercise through the federal government are by definition replaced from the states. In other words, when our action conflicts with state action, it's our action that prevails in light of the supremacy clause. It's one of the reasons why federalism needs to be looked out for so carefully. And one of the reasons why a view that I think you and I both share is that U.S. government officials, in all three branches of government, whether they wear a black robe or not, are expected when they swear an oath to uphold the Constitution, to look out for basic structural protections in the Constitution like federalism so that we don't have an excessive accumulation of power in the hands of the few. So, the Founding Fathers set up this system in which we have these structural protections. We have the vertical protection we call federalism, which we've just described and the horizontal protection we call separation of powers, that says within the federal government, in order to protect us against the risks associated with the excessive accumulation of power in the hands of a few, we're going to have one branch that makes the laws, another branch that enforces the laws and a third branch that interprets the laws. As long as we keep each branch within the same lane, the people are protected from what happens when one person or a group of people gets too powerful. But over the last 80 years, just as we've seen a deterioration of federalism, we've also seen a deterioration of separation of powers. You have an interesting set of circumstances with our laws, our controlled substances laws concerning marijuana, in that for the first time in a very long time you've seen some attention paid to federalism, but in the limited area associated with marijuana. In other words, there are federal laws prohibiting the use of marijuana, the sale of marijuana, the production of marijuana, that apply regardless of whether a state has independently criminalized that drug, as every state until recently had. Then you had some states coming along and decriminalizing it, sometimes in the medical context, other times in a broader context. The response by the Department of Justice during the Obama administration has been interesting and it's been different than it has in other areas. They've been slow to recognize principles of federalism elsewhere. They chose to recognize it here. My question to you is, did the way they respond to that federalism concern, run afoul of separation of powers? Did what they -- did the department's approach to this issue, that they identified as a federalism issue, contravene the understanding that we are the law-making body and the executive branch is the law-enforcing body? SESSIONS: Well, I'm not sure I fully understand the point of your question. But you're talking about separation of powers within the federal government? LEE: Yes. SESSIONS: The three branches of federal government. LEE: Yes. SESSIONS: And how do they -- how does that implicate the marijuana laws? LEE: Yes. Are there separation of powers concerns arising out of the Department of Justice's current approach to state marijuana laws? SESSIONS: Well, I think one obvious concern is that the United States Congress has made the possession of marijuana in every state and distribution of it, an illegal act. So, if you -- we need to -- if that's something that's not desired any longer, Congress should pass a law to change -- change the rule. It -- it's not so much the attorney general's job to decide what laws to enforce. We should do our job and enforce laws effectively as we're able. LEE: Thank you. I'd like to get back to anti-trust issues for a moment. In 2010 you co-sponsored some legislation that extended the Anti-Trust Division's leniency program, extended it all the way out to 2020. So, it was a 10-year extension at the time you helped to move that through. The legislation provided that members of a cartel could receive reduced penalties if they reported cartel activity to the Department and cooperated with in the investigation the Department had in connection with theft anti-trust cartel. Now the Anti-Trust Division within the Department of Justice considers this tool, quote, "It's most important investigative tool for detecting cartel activity." close quote. Because it creates an incentive for cartel members to self-report, to come forward, and to identify things that the Anti-Trust Division needs to be aware of. So, I applaud your leadership in this area because it's been very helpful to the enforcement of our anti-trust laws in the department. So, I have two questions related to this program, looking forward. First, given its importance, do you think the program should be made permanent and second, are you open to any other ideas that might strengthen the program? SESSIONS: Senator Lee, I would not commit to -- commit to you that I have formed an opinion on that. These are very complex areas of the law. I'm not a member of the Anti-Trust subcommittee, as a number of members of our committee are and have achieved levels of expertise like Senator Klobuchar and you and others. So, I would just have to commit to you that I'm open to hearing the views of this Congress and that subcommittee and would try to work with you, but I do understand that anti-trust policy is an important issue for America and we need to get it right and that would be my goal. LEE: Thank you. One important question that sometimes arises in the anti-trust context relates to what role the Department of Justice should play in communicating with foreign authorities, authorities in other countries that deal with competition laws, deal with things analogous to our anti-trust laws in this country. The Department of Justice has typically played a leading role, but in recent years it has also allowed the Federal Trade Commission, the FTC, to become heavily involved. To my mind, this raises some potential concerns because the FTC is an independent agency, as compared to the Department of Justice, of course, which is headed by a presidential appointee who, with Senate confirmation, serves at the pleasure of the president. Do you have any opinion on this as to -- at this point, that the Department of Justice, which is more accountable to the president and therefore has some connection to the people, should be more actively involved in communicating with foreign anti-trust or -- or competition authorities? SESSIONS: I really wouldn't attempt to comment today on that. I would be glad to hear your thoughts on it. I think it can be problematic if U.S. officials encourage foreign officials to join with them to -- against an action of a private company. They put -- it could put so much excessive pressure on them that they're not able to resist, and when they may have a lawful basis to resist. But -- so these are big issues and you have to be sensitive to the power that the Department of Justice has, that the Anti-Trust Division has and make sure that there's a principled policy and lawful basis for what is done. LEE: Thank you, Senator Sessions. I see our Chairman's back. Oh, he's not back. (CROSSTALK) LEE: Senator Feinstein. FEINSTEIN: It's my understanding that Senator Durbin has not yet had his second round and so I would like to defer to him. (CROSSTALK) FEINSTEIN: I'm going to defer to Durbin because he somehow got missed. DURBIN: Thank you very much. I want to thank the chairman and my friend, Senator Feinstein. This morning, before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Director Comey of the FBI was testifying on the question of investigating the Russian involvement in this last election. And he was asked if there was any ongoing investigation about contacts between Moscow and the Russians and any presidential campaigns. And he refused to answer, said he wasn't going to discuss any ongoing investigations publicly. I would like to ask you a question related to recusal. You stated earlier today that you had made the decision, and you haven't given us real background on it, but made the decision that you would recuse yourself from any prosecutions involving Hillary Clinton or the Clinton campaign and e-mails. And then I understand -- I wasn't present but Senator Blumenthal asked you for some other hypotheticals as to whether you'd recuse yourself on an emolument question or some other things, and you said you'd take it on a case-by-case basis. What if, hypothetical, same as Hillary Clinton, we are dealing with an investigation that involves the Trump campaign or anyone in the Trump campaign, would you recuse yourself as attorney general from that prosecution? SESSIONS: My response to the -- my recusal issue was because I'd made public comments about it that could be construed as having an opinion on the final judgment that would have to be rendered. I don't think I made any comments on this issue that go to that, but I would review it and try to do the right thing as to whether or not it should stay within the jurisdiction of the attorney general or not. DURBIN: It would strike me that this is an obvious case for a special prosecutor if it involves a campaign leading to a candidate who selected you as the attorney general. Wouldn't an abundance of caution suggest that you wouldn't want any questions raised about your integrity in that type of prosecution? SESSIONS: Senator Durbin, I think it would be incumbent upon anybody who's holding the office of attorney general at that time to carefully think his way through that, to seek the advice and to follow the normal or appropriate special prosecutor standards. And so I would intend to do that. But I have not expressed an opinion on the merits of those issues, to my knowledge. DURBIN: Senator Sessions, there's been a lot of controversy about refugees. The United States had a dubious record on refugees during World War II, refusing to accept Jewish refugees who were, in some cases, returned to Europe and the Holocaust and perished. After World War II, a new policy emerged in the United States, bipartisan policy, and the United States became more open, in some cases generous, to accepting refugees. The numbers, I've heard various numbers, but 650,000 Cuban refugees who came to the United States during the ascendancy of the Castro regime, 125,000 or more Soviet Jews accepted in the United States, spared from persecution in the Soviet Union. Four hundred thousand from Eastern Europe after World War II, 400,000 from Vietnam, 150,000 from the former Yugoslavia. In the audience today is Omar al-Muktad (ph). I don't know you could please stand here. Mr. Muktad (ph) is a Syrian refugee. His story is a story of a journalist who for more than a decade publicized human rights abuses by the Assad regime, arrested seven times, imprisoned for two years. When he refused to stop writing after that, the prison guards broke his hands. After his release from prison, he continued to write about the abuses of the Syrian security forces. When he was again pursued by the regime, he fled to Turkey. He was resettled in the United States by Catholic Charities after receiving refugee status. There have been some strong words spoken about Syrian refugees. In fact, during the course of the campaign there were some who said we should accept none, and many have questioned whether we should accept any refugees from anywhere. Despite the lengthy vetting process and background checks, some have said, no refugees; we're finished with that business. One of your responsibilities as attorney general will be the involvement of prosecutorial discretion, decisions that have to be made about the fate of men like Alton Mills I had introduced earlier, who had served 22 years of a life sentence for the possession of crack cocaine. Cases of Oscar Vasquez, a man who was a DREAMer and wanted to serve the United States in uniform. And this case involving Omar al-Muktad (ph). The American Bar Association standards say the duty of a prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict. It is an important function of the prosecutor to seek to reform and improve the administration of criminal justice. When it comes to cases like these, in your role as the leading prosecutor in the United States of America, what is your feeling about your discretion to make the decision as to whether or not to spare individuals like those I've described? SESSIONS: I've been made aware in the last several years how this process works. It's really the secretary of state, usually through consultation with the president, that decides how many refugees should be admitted to the country. And there's little Congress can do other than getting into a funding argument with the president about that. So Secretary Kerry met with members of the Judiciary Committee to announce what he planned to do on refugees. That will be how it would be decided, and legally the president appears to have that power. But it would be my responsibility, I think, to make sure that it was exercised within the bounds of law. DURBIN: But you have a responsibility too. You oversee the office of the pardon attorney, which recommends that sentences like those of Alton Mills be commuted. You oversee the immigration courts, which are responsible for interpreting how our nation's immigration laws apply to DREAMers and refugees like Mr. Muktad (ph). So this isn't another agency. It is the Department of Justice, and you will be the leader of that department. You will have the authority and prosecutorial discretion. You can't point to Congress and you can't point to the State Department. There's a responsibility within your own department. SESSIONS: Well, a refugee is admitted or not admitted to the United States on the approval or disapproval by the secretary of state and his consular officials. It's not a trial or not a litigation. So that's how that would be determined. The gentleman from Syria that you mentioned should have -- be able to make a strong case for his acceptance as a refugee because he's been damaged and injured and attacked and at risk for his writings, so that would give him -- proving that should give him -- put him at a higher level of potential acceptance. DURBIN: Well, you and I can disagree on this one point on your authority over immigration courts as attorney general. But I hope that we both agree that there are compelling cases of people who are victims around the world of terrorism and war, discrimination and maltreatment, men and women. And many of them look to the United States as the last possible place for them to find safety and security. I hope after the heated language of this last election campaign that we can come back to some of the standards that have guided this nation since World War II. SESSIONS: Well, we will not end the refugee program. I would not favor that. But we do have a responsibility to be careful and make sure those who are admitted have been properly vetted and are not a danger. DURBIN: Thank you. GRASSLEY: This is what I'd like to do. The votes kind of made this a convoluted rounds that we're in here. One person's had third round, we've got one person with no round. So this -- or without a first round. And then Senator Sessions would like to take a break. So here's what I'd like to do, Senator Sessions, if it's OK with you. I want to go with Senator Hatch, Senator Feinstein for their second rounds, and then Senator Kennedy for his first round and give you a short break at that point. Is that OK? SESSIONS: That would be good, thank you. GRASSLEY: And for the benefit of the rest of you, I kind of got lost out of this, but I've got to be here for the rest of the meeting, where maybe some of you don't have to be. So I'll wait and do my second, third and fourth round when everybody else is gone. FEINSTEIN: Was that nice! (UNKNOWN) Now me? (LAUGHTER) GRASSLEY: Now it's... FEINSTEIN: Senator Hatch? GRASSLEY: Senator Hatch, yes. HATCH: Senator Sessions, I think you've done a terrific job. I've known you all of your 20 years. I've watched you work diligently on the Judiciary Committee and on your other committees as well. You're an honest, decent man, and you have tremendous abilities in law enforcement
JEFF SESSIONS NOMINATION HEARING: COMMITTEE ISO 1330 - 1530
and it's a responsibility of the military to protect the United States from people who attack us. GRAHAM: Do you believe the treats to the homeland are growing or lessening? SESSIONS: I believe they are growing and we're seeing that now in Europe and we're also seeing it right here in America. GRAHAM: Do you support the continuation of Gitmo as a confinement facility for foreign terrorists? SESSIONS: Senator Graham, I think it's designed for that purpose, it fits that purpose marvelously well, it's a safe place to keep prisoners, we've invested a lot of money in that and I believe it could be -- it should be utilized in that fashion and have opposed the closing of it. But as attorney general... PROTESTER: No! In the name of humanity (ph)... GRAHAM: I just wanted to see if they were still listening. PROTESTER: (OFF-MIKE) GRAHAM: I think they're on the fence about Gitmo, but I'm not sure. (LAUGHTER) Let me tell you, I support this administration's effort to make sure we prosecute terrorism as a military action, not a law enforcement action. They're not trying to steal our cars or rob your bank account, they're trying to destroy our way of life and I hope you'll go after them without apology, apply the law, and the law is the law of war, not domestic criminal law. You'll have a friend in Senator Graham if you intend to do that. Cyber attacks, do you think the Russians were behind hacking into our election? SESSIONS: I have done no research into that. I know just what the media says about it. GRAHAM: Do you think you could get briefed any time soon? SESSIONS: Well, I'll need to. GRAHAM: I think you do too. You like the FBI? SESSIONS: Do I like them? (LAUGHTER) GRAHAM: Yeah. SESSIONS: Some of my best friends are FBI... GRAHAM: Do you -- do you generally trust them? SESSIONS: Yes. GRAHAM: Are you aware of the fact that the FBI has concluded that it was the Russian intelligence services who hacked into the DNC and Podesta's e-mails? SESSIONS: I do understand that. GRAHAM: From your point of... SESSIONS: At least that's what's been reported and I've not been briefed by them... GRAHAM: Right. SESSIONS: ... on the subject. GRAHAM: From your point of view, there's no reason for us to be suspicious of them? SESSIONS: Of their decision? GRAHAM: Yeah. SESSIONS: I'm sure it was honorably reached. GRAHAM: How do you feel about a foreign entity trying to interfere in our election? I'm not saying they changed the outcome but it's pretty clear to me they did? How do you feel about it, what should we do? SESSIONS: Senator Graham, I think it's a significant event. We have penetration apparently throughout our government by foreign entities. We know the Chinese revealed millions of background information on millions of people in the United States and these, I suppose, ultimately are part of international, big-power politics. But it -- when a nation uses their improperly gained or intelligence-wise gained information to take policy positions that impact another nation's Democracy or their approach to any issue, then that raises real serious matters. It's -- really, I suppose, goes in many ways to the State Department, our Defense Department, in how we as a nation have to react to that which would include developing some protocols where when people breach our systems that a price is paid even if we can't prove the exact person who did it. GRAHAM: I agree, I've got 20 seconds left. I've known you for, I guess, 15 years now and we've had a lot of contests on the floor and sometimes we agree, sometimes we don't. I'm from South Carolina so I know what it's like sometimes to be accused of being a conservative from the South, that means something other than you're a conservative from the South. In your case, people have fairly promptly tried to label you as a racist or a bigot or whatever you want to say. How does that make you feel? And this is your chance to say something to those people. SESSIONS: Well, that does not feel good. PROTESTER: (OFF-MIKE) GRASSLEY: If nothing else, I'm clearing the room for you. (LAUGHTER) GRAHAM: And I would suggest that the freedom of speech also has some courtesy to listen. So what's your answer? SESSIONS: Senator Graham, I appreciate the question. You have a Southern name, you come from South Alabama; that sounds worse to some people, South Alabama. And when I came up as a United States attorney, I had no real support group. I didn't prepare myself well in 1986 and there was an organized effort to caricature me as something that wasn't true. It was very painful. I didn't know how to respond and didn't respond very well. I hope my tenure in this body has shown you that the caricature that was created of me was not accurate. It wasn't accurate then and it's not accurate now. And I just wanted you to know that as a Southerner who actually saw discrimination and have no doubt it existed in a systematic and powerful and negative way to the people -- great millions of people in the South particularly of our country, I know that was wrong. I know we need to do better. We can never go back. I am totally committed to maintain the freedom and equality that this country has to provide to every citizen and I will assure you that that's how I will approach it. GRASSLEY: Senator Durbin. DURBIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Senator Sessions, let me first say it's -- I'm glad that you brought your family with you today. It's a beautiful family with your wife and your son and daughters and those four beautiful little granddaughters. You kept them as quiet as you could for as long as you could, so thank you so much for being here today. I'm sure it was great moral support and part of your effort here today. When you came by my office last week, I talked to you about a man named Alton Mills, and with permission of the chair, I'd like to -- he's my guest today -- ask Mr. Mills if he'd please stand up. Alton, thank you for being here today. I'd like to tell you story so you can understand my question a little better. When Alton Mills was 22-years-old, unemployed, he made a bad decision; he started selling crack-cocaine on the streets of Chicago. He was arrested twice for possession of small amounts of crack-cocaine. The third time that he was arrested, the kingpins who had employed him turned on him, and as a consequence, he ended up being prosecuted under the three strikes and you're out law. At the age of 22 -- pardon me -- the age of 24, he was sentenced to life without parole. He had never been in prison before, and as I mentioned, there were no allegations made against him other than possession and sale. No violence, no guns, nothing of that nature. Alton Mills ended up, despite the sentencing judge's admonition that he believed this was fundamentally unfair and his hands were tied, Alton Mills ended up spending 22 years in federal prison until December 2015 when President Obama commuted his sentence. He was finally able to go home to his family. Senator Sessions, seven years ago, you and I co-sponsored a bill known as The Fair Sentencing Act, which Senator Collins referenced earlier, and that reduced the brutal sentencing disparity for crack-cocaine crimes over powder cocaine. It was originally 100 to 1. We agreed, in the Senate gym I might add, to bring that down to 18 to 1. Inmates, overwhelmingly African-American, were spared thousands of prison years because of our joint effort to end this injustice, yet when I asked you to join me in appealing to the sentence commission -- sentencing commission to follow our law and when I asked you to join Senator Grassley and me in permitting the almost 5,000 still serving under this unfair 100 to one standard to petition individually for leniency, you refused. And you said of President Obama's pardoning of people like Alton Mills. and I quote, "President Obama continues to abuse executive power in an unprecedented reckless manner to systemically release high-level drug traffickers and firearms felons. So-called low-level non-violent offenders simply do not exist in the federal system," you said. DURBIN: Senator Sessions, Alton Mills and many more just like him do exist. So if you refuse to even acknowledge the fundamental injustice of many of our sentencing laws, why should you be entrusted with the most important criminal prosecution office in America? SESSIONS: Senator Durbin, I think that's rather unfair, based on our relationship and how we work together. In 2001, I introduced legislation very similar to the bill that you and I successfully made law. It would have reduced it to 20 to 1, our bill went to 18 to 1. A little better, but fundamentally that I was criticized by the Bush Department of Justice. My legislation was opposed by them. It was seven years later or so or really longer before our bill ever passed. So I stepped out against my own Republican administration and said openly on the floor of the Senate that I believe that these crack cocaine laws were too harsh, with -- and particularly it was disadvantageous to the African-American community where most of the punishments were falling and it was not fair and we ought to fix it. So, I just want to say, I took a strong stand on that and I did not agree. You and I did not agree on the retroactivity because a lot of these were plea bargain cases and may not have been totally driven by the mandatory minimums. But, so -- I thought the court had basically now agreed that it is retroactive. I don't know what group is not being covered by it, but a large group was covered by a court decision. We sort of left it open, as I remember. DURBIN: We did. SESSIONS: You and I discussed... DURBIN: Let me see, in the -- on the issue of fairness, I will acknowledge you stepped out on this issue and you and I both recognize the brutal injustice of 100 to 1 and we agreed on 18 to 1. That's how laws are made. And now, we have 5,000 prisoners sitting in federal prison still there under this brutal unjust 100 to 1, and all I've asked and all Senator Grassley's asked, allow them as individuals to petition to the judge, to the prosecutor, to the Department of Justice so that their sentences can be considered. That's something you've opposed. So in fairness, tell me why you still oppose that. SESSIONS: Well, first, I would tell you with absolute certainty that if -- it is a decision of this body. It's not the attorney general's decision about when and where a mandatory minimum is imposed and whether it can be retroactively be altered. So I will follow any law that you pass, number one. Number two, I understood the sincere belief you had on that issue and it was a difficult call and that's why we really never worked it out. So I understand what you're saying, but I did believe that you are upsetting finality in the justice system, that you are suggesting that these kind of factors were not considered when the plea bargaining went down. So it's an honorable debate to have and I respect your position on it. DURBIN: Senator, you have been outspoken on another issue and I would like to address it, if I could. I have invited here today Sergeant Oscar Vazquez, if he would be kind enough to stand up and be recognized. Sergeant, thank you for being here. I'll tell you his incredible story in the short form. Brought to the United States as a child, in high school, he and three other DREAMers started a robotics club and won a college-level robotics competition -- they made a movie out of his story. He graduated from Arizona State University with an engineering degree. The Obama administration granted him a waiver and allowed him to become a citizen and enlist in the United States Army where he served in combat in Afghanistan. Senator Sessions, since joining the Senate in 1997, you've voted against every immigration bill that included a path to citizenship for the undocumented. You described the DREAM Act, which I introduced 15 years ago to spare children who are undocumented through no fault of their own, as quote, "a reckless proposal for mass amnesty." You opposed the bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill, which passed the Senate four years ago. You've objected to immigrants volunteering to serve in our armed forces, saying, quote, "In terms of who's going most likely to be a spy, somebody from Coleman, Alabama or somebody from Kenya." DURBIN: When I asked what you would do to address the almost 800,000 DREAMers, like Oscar Vasquez, who would be subject to deportation if President Obama's executive order was repealed, you said, quote, "I believe in following the law. There is too much focus on people who are here illegally and not enough on the law." Senator Sessions, there's not a spot of evidence in your public career to suggest that as attorney general, you would use the authority of that office to resolve the challenges of our broken immigration system in a fair and humane manner. Tell me I'm wrong. SESSIONS: Well, you are wrong, Senator Durbin. I'm going to follow the laws passed by Congress. As a man of policy, we disagreed on some of those issues. I do believe that if you continually go through a cycle of amnesty, that you undermine the respect for the law and encourage more illegal immigration into America. I believe the American people spoke clearly in this election. I believe they agreed with my basic view, and I think it's a good view, a decent view, a solid legal view for the United States of America that we create a lawful system of immigration that allows people to apply to this country, and if they're accepted they get it, if they're not accepted they don't get in. And I believe that's right and just and the American people are right to ask for it. We have not delivered that for them. DURBIN: Senator Graham asked this question and I listened to your answer. When he asked you what would happen to those 800,000 currently protected by President Obama's executive order, known as DACA, who cannot be deported for two years -- it's renewable -- and can work for two years, and you said, "Let Congress pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill." You opposed the only bipartisan effort that we've had on the Senate floor in modern memory. And what's going to happen to those 800,000 if you revoke that order and they are subject to deportation tomorrow? What is going to happen to them? What is the humane legal answer to that? SESSIONS: Well, the first thing I would say is that my response to Senator Graham dealt with whose responsibility this is. I had a responsibility as a member of this body to express my view and vote as I believed was correct on dealing with issues of immigration. That's not the attorney general's role, the attorney general's role is to enforce the law. And as you know, Senator Durbin, we're not able financially or any other way to seek out and remove everybody that's in the country illegally. President Trump (sic) has indicated that criminal aliens, like President Obama indicated, certainly are the top group of people, and so I would think that the best thing for us to do, and I would urge colleagues that we understand this, let's fix this system. And then we can work together after this lawlessness has ended and then we can ask the American people and enter into a dialogue about how to compassionately treat people who've been here a long time. DURBIN: That does not answer the question about 800,000 that would left in the lurch, whose lives would be ruined while you're waiting on Congress for a bill that you opposed. SESSIONS: Well, I thought it did answer it pretty closely (inaudible) what you ask and I understand your concerns. GRASSLEY: Senator Cornyn. CORNYN: Senator Sessions, congratulations to you and your family on this once in a lifetime honor to serve as the head of the Department of Justice. You know, sitting here listening to the questions and some of the comments that have been made, both by the protesters and others, it strikes me that many people have been surprised to learn more about your record, your outstanding record as a prosecutor, as somebody who treated that responsibility to uphold enforce the law in the Constitution without fear or favor. I think some people here listening today have been somewhat surprised by your record in complete context. Those of us who have served with you in this Senate, some as many as 20 years, like Senator Shelby and Senator Collins, testified to your character. But I'd like to think that those of us who served with you most closely in the Senate, particularly here on the Judiciary Committee, know more about you than just your record and your character, we know your heart. We know what kind of person you are. CORNYN: You're a good and decent and honorable man. You've got an outstanding record that you should be proud of, and I know you are and you should be. For example, when somebody says when you unfairly prosecuted some African-Americans for voter fraud in Alabama, it strikes me as incomplete is the most charitable thing I can say, when they leave out the fact that the very compliance in that case were also African-Americans. In other words, the people you prosecuted were African-Americans, but the people whose voting rights you were trying to vindicate were African-Americans, isn't that correct? SESSIONS: That is correct. CORNYN: Does that strike you as a fair characterization of your approach toward enforcing the law that people would leave that important factor out? SESSIONS: It's not, Senator Cornyn and it's been out there for a long time. If you ask people who casually follow the news, they probably saw it otherwise. And these were good people who had tried -- asked me to get involved this case in 2002. A majority African-American Grand Jury, with African-American foreman, asked the federal government to investigate the 1982 election. I declined, I hope that that investigation would've stopped the problem. But two years later, the same thing was happening again. We had African-American incumbent officials pleading with us to take some action. We approached the Department of Justice in Washington. The vote -- the public integrity voting sanction, they approved an investigation and it developed into a legitimate case involving charges of vote fraud, taking absentee ballots from voters, opening them up and changing their vote and casting them for somebody they did not intend the vote to be cast for. It was a voting rights case. And I just feel like we tried to conduct ourselves in the right way. I never got in the argument of race or other matters. I just tried to defend myself as best I could. I would note colleagues, in just in the last few days, the son of Albert (sic) Turner has written a letter and said I was just doing my job and he understood the reason and justification for the prosecution and that that would be a good attorney general. So I was -- that was gratifying to me and that's the real truth to the matter. CORNYN: Senator Sessions, I know the nature of these confirmation hearings is that people pick out issues that they're concerned about or where there may be some good faith disagreement on policy. And that's what they focus on. But lemme just ask you maybe it's not a great analogy, but lemme try any way. You have been married to your wife Mary, almost 50 years, right? SESSIONS: Well, it hadn't gotten to 50 yet, 47... (CROSSTALK) CORNYN: OK. Well, that's a good run. Let me just ask you... SESSIONS: Let it continue, I've been blessed. CORNYN: Are there occasion where you and your wife disagree? SESSIONS: No Senator. (LAUGHTER) (UNKNOWN) You're under oath. SESSIONS: Wait a minute, I'm under oath. On occasion we do, yes. CORNYN: Would you think it would be fair to characterize the nature of your relationship with your wife based upon those handful of disagreements that you've had with her over -- over time? SESSIONS: That's a good point. Thank you for making it. No I don't. CORNYN: Well, and to your original point, your wife is always right, correct? SESSIONS: That is correct. CORNYN: You are under oath. (LAUGHTER) Well, so this is the nature of this -- these confirmation hearings, people are identifying specific issues where there are policy differences. But my point is, that does not characterize your entire record of 20 years in the United States Senate or how you've conducted yourself as a prosecutor, representing the United States government in our Article III courts. Let me get to a specific issue, a couple in the time I have remaining. I was really, really pleased to hear you say in your opening statement, that many in law enforcement feel that our political leaders have on occasion, abandoned them. You said police ought to be held accountable. But do you believe it is ever, under any circumstances, appropriate for somebody to assault a police officer, for example? SESSIONS: Adversely, no on defense for that kind of action. And I do believe that we are failing to appreciate police officers who place their lives at risk, as this sergeant was just killed yesterday trying to deal with a violent criminal and vindicate the law and she was killed. That is the kind of thing that too often happens. We need to be sure that when we criticize law officers, it is narrowly focused on the right basis for criticism and to smear whole departments, places those officers at greater risk. And we are seeing an increase in murder of police officers, it was up 10 percent last year. So I could just say, I could feel -- I could feel in my bones, how it was going to play out in the real world when we had, what I thought often times, was legitimate criticism of a perhaps, wrong doing by an officer. But spilling over to a condemnation of our entire police force and morale has been affected. And its impacted the crime rates in Baltimore and crime rates in Chicago. I don't think there's any doubt about it. I regret that's happening, I think it can be restored. But we need to understand the requirement that the police work with the community and be respectful of their community, but we as a nation, need to respect our law officers too. CORNYN: Well, I for one, appreciate your -- your comments because we ought to hold our police and law enforcement officers up in the high regard to which they deserve based on their service to the communities. And your comments remind me to some extent of Chief David Brown's comments, the Dallas police chief, following the tragic killing of five Dallas police officers recently. Where he said that police ought to be held accountable, but under no circumstances could any assault against a police officer be justified based on what somebody else did, somewhere at some time. So, I for one, appreciate that very much. You mentioned Baltimore and Chicago. And we've seen an -- an incredible number of people, frequently in minority communities, who've been killed as results of crimes related to felons who perhaps are in possession of guns that they have no legal right to be in possession of. Earlier, you talked about prosecuting gun crimes and I'm glad to hear you say that. Project Exile, which originated I think in Richmond, Virginia which targeted felons and other people who cannot legally own or possess firearms, was enormously effective. And when I look at the record of the last five and 10 years as the Justice Department, prosecution of those kinds of crimes down 15.5 percent, in the last five years. Down 34.8 percent in the last 10 years. Can you assure us that you will make prosecuting those people who cannot legally posses or use firearms a priority again in the Department of Justice? And help break back of this crime wave that's affecting so many people in our local communities, like Chicago or Baltimore and particularly minority communities? SESSIONS: I can, Senator Cornyn. I'm familiar with how that plays out in the real world. My best judgment colleagues, is that properly enforced, the federal gun laws can reduce crime and violence in our cities and communities. It was highlighted in Richmond in Project Exile. But I have to tell you, I've always believed that. When I was the United States attorney in the '80s and into the early '90s, we had a -- we produced a news letter that went out to all local law enforcement called Project Triggerlock. It went to federal law enforcement, too. And it highlighted the progress that was being made by prosecuting criminals who use guns to carry out their crimes. Criminals are most likely the kind of person that will shoot somebody when they go about their business. And if those people are not carrying guns because they believe they might go federal court, be sent to a federal jail for five years, perhaps they'll stop carrying those guns during that drug dealing and their other activities that are criminal. Fewer people get killed. Fewer people get killed. So I truly believe, that we need to step that up. It's a compassionate thing. If one of these individuals carrying a gun shoots somebody, not only is there a victim, they end up with hammering senates in jail for interminable periods. The culture, the communities are safer with fewer guns in the hands of criminals. CORNYN: Thank you. GRASSLEY: Before we go to Senator Whitehouse, people have asked -- members have asked me about our break. And if it's OK with Senator Sessions, it would work out about 1:00, if we have three on this side and three on this side, for the one hour because it's noon right now. Is that OK with you, Senator Sessions? SESSIONS: Mr. Chairman, I'm at your disposal. GRASSLEY: And so this will give my colleagues an opportunity that want to go to the respective political party caucuses to go and we would take a recess of about 30 to 40 minutes. SESSIONS: That's very fair. GRASSLEY: OK. Thank you, Senator. So then, now Senator Whitehouse? WHITEHOUSE: Senator Sessions, hello. SESSIONS: Thank you, Senator Whitehouse. WHITEHOUSE: When we met, I told you that I was going to ask you a particular question. So I'm going to lead off with that particular question. Following the Gonzales scandals at the Department of Justice; the department adopted procedures, governing communications between the White House and the Department of Justice; consistent with constraints that were outlined years ago in correspondence between Senator Hatch and the Reno Justice Department. Limiting contacts between a very small number of officials at the White House and a very small number of officials at the Department of Justice. Will you honor and maintain those procedures at the Department of Justice? SESSION: I will, Senator Whitehouse. You, as an honorable and effective United States attorney yourself, know how that works and why it's important. Attorney General Mukasey issued a firm, very... (CROSSTALK). WHITEHOUSE: Yes. SESSION: ... may be still pending. And I would say to you, well that's the appropriate way to do it. I read -- after you and I talked I read Reno memorandum, the Gorelick (ph) memorandum. And I think I would maintain the -- those rules. WHITEHOUSE: On the subject of honorable prosecutions, when is it appropriate for a prosecutor to disclose derogatory investigative information about a subject who was not charged? SESSION: That's a very dangerous thing and it's a pretty broad question as you've ask it. But you need to be very careful about that and there are certain rules like grand jury rules that are very significant. WHITEHOUSE: And isn't it also true that it is customary practice, because of the concern about the improper release of derogatory investigative information; that the department customarily limits its factual assertions, even after an individual has been charged, to the facts that were charged in the information or the indictment. SESSION: I believe that's correct, yes. That's a standard operating policy in most offices. Now there may be some exceptions, but I think that's standard operating procedure in the United States attorney's offices like you and I had. WHITEHOUSE: As a question of law, does waterboarding constituted torture? SESSION: Well, there was a dispute about that when we had had the torture definition in our law. The Department of Justice memorandum concluded it did not necessarily prohibit that. But Congress has taken an action now that makes it absolute improper and illegal to use waterboarding or any other form of torture in the United States by our military and by all our other departments and agencies. WHITEHOUSE: Consistent with the wishes of the United States military. SESSION: They have been supportive of that. And in fact, I'll just take a moment to defend the military. The military never... (CROSSTALK) WHITEHOUSE: You don't need to defend them from me, I'm all for our military. SESSION: I know, but I just -- most -- so many people, I truly believe, think that the military conducted waterboarding. They never conducted any waterboarding, that was by intelligence agencies. Their rules were maintained. I just to teach the Geneva conventions and the rules of warfare as an Army Reservist to my personnel, and the military did not that. WHITEHOUSE: And General Petraeus sent a military wide letter disavowing the value of -- of torture, as we -- as we both know. Another question -- another question as a matter of law; is fraudulent speech protected by the First Amendment? SESSION: Well, fraudulent speech, if it amounts to an attempt to obtain a thing of value for the person the fraudulent speech is directing... WHITEHOUSE: Which is an element of fraud... SESSION: ... absolutely -- fraud and can be prosecuted. And I think we see too much of that. We see these phone calls at night to elderly people, we see mail -- mailings go out that seem to be to be awfully far from truth and seducing people to probably make unwise decisions. WHITEHOUSE: So fraudulent corporate speech would also not be protected by the First Amendment. SESSION: That is correct. And it's subject to civil and/or criminal complaint. WHITEHOUSE: And speaking of civil complaints; was the Department of Justice wrong when brought and won the civil RICO action against the tobacco industry? SESSION: Well, Senator, they won those cases. They took them to court and eventually won a monumental victory, that is correct. And it's part of the law... WHITEHOUSE: Hard to say that... SESSION: ... and firmly established. WHITEHOUSE: Hard to say they were wrong if they won, right? SESSIONS: That's correct. WHITEHOUSE: As you know, the United States has retaliated against Russia for its interference with the 2016 elections. In Europe, Baltic States, Germany and Italy have raised concerns of Russia meddling in their country's elections. I know this has been touched on before, but I want to make sure it's clear. Will the Department of Justice and the FBI under your administration be allowed to continue to investigate the Russian connection, even if it leads to the Trump campaign and Trump interests and associates? And can you assure us that in any conflict between the political interests of the president and the interests of justice, you will follow the interests of justice, even if your duties require the investigation and even prosecution of the president, his family and associates? SESSIONS: Well, Senator, why ask? If the laws violated and they can be prosecuted then of course you'll have to handle that in an appropriate way. I would say that they problem may turn out be, as in the Chinese hacking of our -- hundreds of thousands of -- maybe millions of records, has to be handled at a political level. And I do think it's appropriate for a nation who feels that they've been hacked and that information has been improperly used to retaliate against those actions. It's just a... WHITEHOUSE: And I know we share a common interest in advancing the cybersecurity of this nation and I look forward to continuing to work with you on that. Let me ask you a factual question. During the course of this boisterous political campaign, did you ever chant, "lock her up?" SESSIONS: No I did not. I don't think. I heard it in rallies and so forth, sometimes I think humorously done. But it was a matter that I -- have said a few things -- a special prosecutor, I favored that. I think that probably is one of the reasons I believe that I should not make any decision about any such case. WHITEHOUSE: And you understand that the good guy law man in the movies is the one who sits on the jailhouse porch and doesn't let the mob in? SESSIONS: Exactly. Exactly. WHITEHOUSE: So I'm from Rhode Island, as you know Senator. We have NAACP and ACLU members who've heard you call their organization -- who've heard that you called their organizations un-American. We have a vibrant Dominican community who look at Big Papi, David Ortiz, swinging his bat for the Red Socks and wonder why you said, quote, "almost no one coming from the Dominican Republic to the United States is coming here because they have a provable skill that would benefit us." I represent a lot of Latinos who worry about modern day Palmer Raids breaking up parents from their kids. And Muslims who worry about so called patrols of Muslim homes and neighborhoods. And I've heard from police chiefs who worry that you, as attorney general, will disrupt law enforcement priorities that they have set out. And disrupt the community relations that they have worked hard over years of community engagement to achieve. Time is short, but I noticed that in your prepared remarks these are not unforeseeable concerns. And your prepared remarks did very little to allay the concerns of those people. Is there anything you'd like to add now in our closing minute? SESSIONS: Well, thank you. The -- my comment about the NAACP arose from a discussion that I had where I expressed concern about their statements that were favoring, as I saw it, Sandinista efforts and communist guerrilla efforts in Central America. And so I said they could be perceived as un-American and weaken their moral authority to achieve the great things they had been accomplished in -- in integration, in moving forward for reconciliation throughout the country. And I believe that, clearly. And I never said and accused them of that. Number two, with regards... WHITEHOUSE: So what would you tell (inaudible) of the NAACP in Rhode Island right now? He's head of the NAACP. SESSIONS: Well, I would say, please, look at what I've said about that and how that came about and it was not in that context, it was not correct. I said in 1986 that NAACP represents one of the greatest forces for reconciliation and racial advancement of any entity in the country, probably number one. That's what I said then, I believed it and I believe it now and it's an organization that has done tremendous good for us. With regard to the Dominican Republic, I had gone on a CODEL with Senator Specter. We came through the Dominican Republic. We visited public service housing projects that seemed to be working and did other things of that nature. And I went and spent some time with the consular official there, just ask him about things. And what I learned was, that there's a good bit of fraud in it and he was somewhat discouraged in his ability to -- he felt to do his job. And we also understood and discussed that the immigration flow is not on a basis of skills. Immigration flow from almost all of our countries, frankly, is based on a family connection and other visas rather than a skilled-based program more like Canada has today, and that's all I intended to be saying there. I -- I -- it's -- tell anybody that heard that statement, please don't see that as a diminishment or a -- a criticism of the people of the Dominican Republic. It was designed to just discuss, in my remarks, the reality of our immigration system today. I'd like to see it more skilled-based and I think that would be helpful. WHITEHOUSE: Mr. Chairman, my time's expired. Thank you for your patience. GRASSLEY: Thank you, Senator Whitehouse. Before I go to Senator Lee, there's an evaluation of the work of Senator Sessions during his time as U.S. attorney that I speak -- I think speaks to his outstanding record. I'm made aware of this because Senator Feinstein requested an evaluation of Senator Sessions' office from the Department of Justice and I'd note just a few points from their evaluation back in 1992, a couple of short sentences. "All members of the judiciary praise the U.S. attorney for his advocacy, skills, integrity, leadership of the office and accessibility." And the second quote, "The USAO for the Southern District of Alabama is an excellent office with outstanding leadership, personnel and morale. The district is representing the United States in a most capable and professional manner." Without objection, we'll put that in the record. Senator Lee. (UNKNOWN) Mr. Chairman, while we're putting things into the record, could I join... GRASSLEY: Yes, please do that. (UNKNOWN) ... and ask unanimous consent that a December 5, 2016 letter from leaders of the U.S. Environmental Movement and a January 5, 2017 letter from the National Task Force to End Sexual Violence and Domestic Violence Against Women be added to the record? GRASSLEY: Yes. And those will be included without objection. Senator Lee. LEE: Hello, Senator Sessions. SESSIONS: Hello. LEE: I've enjoyed working with you over the last six years and always found you to be someone who treats colleagues, regardless of differing viewpoints, with dignity and respect. You've taught me a great deal in the six years I've been here and I've appreciated the opportunity to work with you. I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that we're both lawyers, although being a lawyer around here, certainly having a law degree, is not unusual. One of the things that sets you apart and makes you different, I get the sense from you that you think of yourself not so much as a senator who used to be a lawyer, but as a lawyer who is currently serving as a senator. And I think that's an important thing, especially for someone who's been named to be the next attorney general of the United States. Even though you and I have never had the opportunity to discuss the intricacies of the rule against perpetuities or the difference between the doctrine of worthier title (ph) in the rule in Shelly's (ph) case, I get the sense that you would eagerly engage in such banter when the occasion arises. So maybe in a subsequent round, we'll have the opportunity to do that. But this does raise a -- a discussion that I'd like to have with you about the role of the lawyer. As you know, a -- a lawyer understands who his or her client is. Anytime you are acting as a lawyer, you -- you've got a client. This is a simple thing if you're representing an individual because in almost every instance, unless the client is incapacitated, you know who the client is. The client has one mouthpiece, one voice, and you know what the interests of that client are and you can evaluate those based on the interests expressed by the client. I gets a little more complicated when you're representing a corporate entity. Typically, you'll interact either with a general counsel or the chief executive officer. The bigger an entity gets, the more complex it gets. There might be some ripples in this relationship between the lawyer and the client. In the case of the U.S. government and the attorney general's representation of that client, this is a particularly big and powerful client, and that client has many interests. In a sense, the client is, of course, the United States of America, but at the same time the attorney general is there, put in place by the president of the United States and serves at the pleasure of the president of the United States. And so, in that respect, the attorney general has several interests to balance and must at once regard him or herself as a member of the president's Cabinet, remembering how the attorney general got there and can be removed at any moment by the president. And at the same time, the attorney general has the obligation to be independent, to provide an independent source of analysis for the president and for the president's team and Cabinet. How do you understand these things as a former U.S. attorney, as a former line prosecutor and as a senator who served on the Judiciary Committee? You've had a lot of opportunities to observe this process. How do you see the proper balancing between all these interests from the standpoint of the attorney general? SESSIONS: That's a very insightful or probing question, and it touches on a lot of important issues that we, as attorney general, would need to deal with. There are even sometimes these government agencies, like foreign countries, they negotiate memorandums of understanding that are akin to a treaty actually. They can't seem to work together, often times, in an effective way, and so the attorney general is required to provide opinions on that. The attorney general ultimately owes his loyalty to the integrity of the American people and to the fidelity to the Constitution and the legitimate laws of the country. That's what he's ultimately required to do. However, every attorney general has been appointed by a president, or they wouldn't become attorney general. And they've been confirmed by the Senate or they wouldn't be made attorney general. And so, they do understand, I think, that if a president wants to accomplish a goal that he or she believes in deeply, then you should help them do it in a lawful way, but make clear and object if it's an unlawful action. That helps the president avoid difficulty. It's the ultimately loyalty to him. And you hope that a president -- and I hope President-elect Trump has confidence in me so that if I give him advice, that something can be done or can't be done, that he would respect that. That's an important relationship too. But ultimately, you are bound by the laws of the country. LEE: Some of that, I assume, could come into play when you're dealing with a politically sensitive case or a case that is politically sensitive because it relates to a member of the administration or to the interplay between the executive branch and the legislative branch for example. In some of those instances, there could be calls for a special prosecutor. On the one hand, this is a way of taking the attorney general out of the equation so that it can be handled in a manner that reflects a degree of separation between the administration and -- and the case. On the other hand, there are constitutional questions that are sometimes raised and sometimes people argue that this place is too much of a presumption that a special prosecutor will seek an indictment in order to justify the expense and the time put into appointing a special prosecutor. For reasons that relate to the complexity of these considerations, there are of course guidelines in place that can help guide the determination to be made by the attorney general as to when, whether, how to put in place a special prosecutor. But even within these guidelines, there's a lot of flexibility, a lot of discretion at the hands of the attorney general in deciding how to do that. Do you have anything you -- that you would follow? What can you tell us about what considerations you would -- would consider in deciding whether or not to appoint a special prosecutor? SESSIONS: Well, it is a -- not a little matter. It is a matter that's created controversy over the years. I don't think it's appropriate for the attorney general just to willy nilly create special prosecutors. History has not shown that has always been a smart thing to do. But there are times when objectivity is required and the absolute appearance of objectivity is required, and perhaps, a special prosecutor is appropriate. SESSIONS: It -- the -- Attorney General Lynch, for example, did not appoint a special prosecutor on the Clinton matter and I did criticize that. I was a politician. We had a campaign on. I didn't research the law in depth; it was just the reaction as a senator of a concern. But there are -- should be -- great care should be taken in deciding how to make the appointment or if an appointment of a special prosecutor is required. The Department of Justice, you're not required to be a judge, to be a prosecutor. One judge said there's nothing wrong with a prosecutor who likes his work and doesn't think laws should be violated. Is that a bias? I don't think so, I think that's strength. So I just would say that's kind of the way -- the best I can give you at this point, Senator Lee. LEE: Thank you. That's helpful. Another challenging issue that relates to this duty of independence that attorneys general have relates to the Office of Legal Counsel. You know, it's of course -- the job of the Office of Legal Counsel, or OLC, as it's sometimes known, to issue opinions within the executive branch in a wide array of subjects. Some are subjects that a lot of people would find interesting. Others are subjects that only a lawyer could love. And sometimes only a lawyer specializing in something esoteric or specific. There's -- one recent OLC opinion entitled "Completive Bidding Requirements Under the Federal Highway Aid Program," there aren't perhaps that many people who would find that interesting, but there are a lot of others that would capture immediately the public's interest. What's significant about all of these though, no matter how broad or narrow the topic, no matter how politically sexy or dull the topic might be, they, in many instances almost conclusively resolve a legal question within the executive branch of government. And in many instances they're doing so on the basis of constitutional determinations that may or may not ever be litigated. Such that the broaching of a constitutional topic might opened, studied and resolved entirely within the executive branch, largely as a result of how the lawyers within the Office of Legal Counsel decide to do their jobs. What -- what can you tell me about what you would do, if confirmed, to ensure that the Office of Legal Counsel maintains degree of professional and independence requisite for this task? SESSIONS: Senator Lee, that office is important. It does adjudicate or actually opine on important issues related to conflicts of disputes within the great executive branch of the American government. Like you said, what kind of competition is required before you get a highway grant? There may be disagreement about that. OLC has asked to review it, and -- and stayed at one position. The government of the United States is wanting to. It's not a multiple government. These departments are not independent agencies. And so that does -- that office is so exceedingly important as you indicate, because many times those opinions hold and they set policy and they effect things. Sometimes it also has the power and I'm sure you would be sensitive to, to expand or constrict the bureaucracies in their ability to execute under statutes. In other words, is this within their power or is it not within their power? So there's some of the things like that that can impact the American people overtime in a significant way. LEE: Thank you. GRASSLEY: Senator Klobuchar? KLOBUCHAR: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Good to see you Senator Sessions. You and I have worked together on a number of bills, including leading the International Adoption Simplification Act, which I believe made a big difference to a lot of families in keeping their siblings together when they were adopted. Senator Cornyn and I led the sex trafficking bill that passed last year and you have some important provisions in that. And then we worked together on law enforcement issues and I appreciate your respect and support that you have from the community and I also thank you for your work on drug courts. It's something we both share as former prosecutors and believe in the purpose of those courts. KLOBUCHAR: But I wanted to lead first with another part of the Justice Department's jobs and that's protecting civil rights and the right to vote. My state has the highest voter turnout in the last election of any state. We're pretty proud of that. And as county attorney for eight years, from Minnesota's biggest county, I played a major role in making sure that the election laws were enforced and that people who were able to vote could vote and that people who shouldn't vote, didn't vote. Since the Voting Rights Act became law more than 50 years ago, we've made progress, but I've been very concerned about some of the movement by states to restrict access to voting in recent years. We haven't been able to pass the bipartisan Voting Rights Advancement Act forward last Congress and I just think it's an area that's going to be ripe for a lot of work going forward. You and I talked about how at one point, you previously called the Voting Rights Act an intrusive piece of legislation and I wondered if you could explain that as well as talk about how you will actively enforce the remaining pieces of the act. That would be section two which prohibits voting practices or procedures that discriminate on the basis of race and section three, bail in (ph) provision through which most states can be subject to preclearance. And you don't have to go into great detail on those two sections, you could do it later. But if you could just explain your views of the Voting Rights Act moving forward and what would happen in terms of enforcement if you were attorney general? SESSIONS: The Voting Rights Act passed in 1965 was one of the most important acts to deal with racial difficulties that we face and it changed the whole course of history, particularly in the south. There was a clear finding that there was discriminatory activities in the south, that a number of states was systematically denying individuals the right to vote. And you go back into the history and you can see it plainly. Actions and rules and procedures were adopted in a number of states with the specific purpose of blocking African-Americans from voting and it was just wrong. And the Voting Rights Act confronted that and it in effect targeted certain states and required any -- even the most minor changes in voting procedure, like moving a precinct across... KLOBUCHAR: So how would you -- how would you approach this going forward? For instance, the fifth circuits decision that the Texas voter ID law discriminates against minority voters. That was written by a Bush appointee. Do you agree with that decision? How would you handle this moving forward? SESSIONS: Well, I have not studied that. There's going to be a debate about it. Courts are ruling on it now and that is voter ID and whether or not that is an improper restriction on voting that adversely impacts disproportionally minority citizens. So that's a matter that's got to be decided. On the surface of it, it doesn't appear to me to be that. I have publicly said I think voter ID laws properly drafted are OK. But as attorney general, it will be my duty to study the facts in more depth, to analyze the law. But fundamentally, that will -- can be decided by Congress and the courts as they interpret the existing law. I did vote to extend the Voting Rights Act several years ago. I thought -- and it included section five, but later section five was eliminated by the Supreme Court on the basis that... KLOBUCHAR: And how about the... SESSIONS: ... progress had been made and this -- and our intrusive question, let me answer that. It is intrusive. The Supreme Court on more than one occasion has described it legally as an intrusive act because it only focused on a certain number of states. And normally, when Congress passes a law, it applies to the whole country. So it's a very unusual thing for a law to be passed that targets only a few states. But they had a factual basis. They were able to show that it was justified in this fashion. So that's the foundation for it and that's why I supported it -- its renewal. KLOBUCHAR: And I think you'll understand as you look at this issue that there are many voters, people who are trying to vote that view some of these rules that are put in place as intrusive for them because it makes it harder for them to vote. And I think that is the balance that you're going to need. (CROSSTALK) KLOBUCHAR: And I just -- I hope -- I just -- coming from a state that has such high voter turnout, that has same day registration, very good turnout in Iowa as well, right below us, states that have put in place some really expansive voter laws and it doesn't mean Democrats always get elected. We've had Republican governors in Minnesota. We have a Republican governor in Iowa. And I just point out that I think the more that we can do to encourage people to vote, the better democracy we have. KLOBUCHAR: And I want to turn to another quick question on a democratic issue as in (ph) a democracy issue that was raised by Senator Graham, and as Senator Whitehouse, I just returned with Senator's McCain and Graham from a trip to Ukraine, Baltics, Georgia, and learned there about how these intrusive cyber attacks are not just unique to our country, not just unique to one party, not just unique to one election. And they've seen that movie before in those countries. And do you have any reason to doubt the accuracy of the conclusion reached by our 17 intelligence agencies that in fact Russia used cyber attacks to attempt to influence this last election? I'm not asking if you believe it influenced it, just if you believe the report of our intelligence agencies. SESSIONS: I have no reason to doubt that and have no evidence that would indicate otherwise. KLOBUCHAR: Thank you. Violence Against Women Act, Senator Leahy asked some of those questions really important to me. You and I discussed it. I just have one question there. If confirmed, will you continue to support the lifesaving work being done by the Office on Violence Against Women? SESSIONS: Yes. KLOBUCHAR: OK. Thank you. Immigration, you and I have some different views on this and I often focus on the economic benefits of immigration, the fact that we have 70 of our Fortune 500 companies headed by immigrants. At one point, 200 of our Fortune 500 companies were either formed by immigrants or kids of immigrants. Roughly 25 percent of all U.S. Nobel laureates were foreign born. And just to understand in a state like mine where we have entry level workers in dairies (ph) are immigrants, major doctors at the Mayo Clinic, police officers who are Somali, if you see that economic of immigrants in our society. SESSIONS: Well, immigration has been a high priority for the United States. We've been a leading country in the world in accepting immigration. I don't think American people want to end immigration. I do think that if you bring in a larger flow of labor than we have jobs for, it does impact adversely the wage prospects and the jobs prospects of American citizens. I think as a nation, we should evaluate immigration on whether or not it serves and advances the nation interests, not the corporate interests. It has to be the peoples interests first and I do think too often we've -- Congress has been complacent in supporting legislation that might make businesses happy, but it also may have had the impact of pulling wages down. Dr. Borjas at Harvard has written about that. I think he's the world's perhaps most effective and knowledgeable scholar and he says that does happen, wages can be diminished. And one of the big cultural problems we have today is middle class and lower class Americans have not -- lower class (ph) economically -- are not having the wage increases that we'd like to see them have. In fact, since 2000, wages are still down from what they were in 2000. KLOBUCHAR: I just see that we can do a mix of making sure that we have jobs for people here and then understanding that we're a country of immigrants. SESSIONS: On that subject, you're familiar with Canada. PROTESTER: (OFF-MIKE) KLOBUCHAR: OK. PROTESTER: And we are people of America. You have (inaudible). You are supported by hate groups (inaudible). KLOBUCHAR: Mr. Chairman, if I could just have another 30 seconds here, I had one -- one last question. SESSIONS: Maybe 45 seconds, Mr. Chairman. I would just that you've come up close to the Canadian system, I think maybe some of those policies ought to be considered by the United States. PROTESTER: (OFF-MIKE) KLOBUCHAR: My last question, Mr. Chairman, is on the reporters issue. Free press, I believe, is essential to our democracy and I've always fought to ensure that those rights aren't compromised. My dad was a reporter, a newspaper reporter for years, and I'm especially sensitive to the role of the press as a watchdog. You've raised concerns in the past about protecting journalists from revealing their sources. You did not support the Free Flow of Information Act. In 2015, the attorney general revised the Justice Department rules for when federal prosecutors can subpoena journalists or their records and he also committed to releasing an annual report on any subpoenas issues or charges made against journalists and committed not to put reporters in jail for doing their job. If confirmed, will you commit to following the standards already in place at the Justice Department? And will you make that commitment not to put reporters in jail for doing their jobs? SESSIONS: Senator Klobuchar, I'm not sure, I have not studied that -- those regulations. I would note that when I was the United States attorney, we knew -- everybody knew that you could not subpoena a witness or push them to be interviewed if they're a member of the media without approval at high levels of the Department of Justice, that was in the 1980s. And so, I do believe the Department of Justice does have sensitivity to this issue. There have been a few examples where the press and the Department of Justice haven't agreed on these issues, but for the most part, this is a broadly recognized and proper deference to the news media, but you could have a situation in which a media is not really the unbiased media we see today. And they could be a mechanism through which lawful intelligence information is obtained. There are other dangers that could happen with regard to the federal government that normally doesn't happen to the media covering murder cases in the states. KLOBUCHAR: All right. Well, thank you. And I'll follow-up with that in a written question when you have a chance... SESSIONS: If you would, I would... KLOBUCHAR: Thank you, thank you. GRASSLEY: I call for the first time on a new member of the committee, Senator Sasse from Nebraska. SASSE: Mr. Chairman, thank you, thank you very having me. Before I get started, I would like to enter into the record a letter of support from 25 current states attorney general, including Doug Peterson, the attorney general from my state of Nebraska. The letter reads in part "no one is more qualified to fill this role than Senator Sessions." This is obviously an important testimony from the top law enforcement officers of 25 states. I ask unanimous consent, Mr. Chairman to include this into the record. GRASSLEY: Without objection, it will be included. Precede Senator Sasse. SASSE: Thank you. Senator Sessions, when you were introducing your grandkids -- and I'm amazed that they've stay around as long as they did, mine would have been more disruptive earlier. I was thinking about all the time I spend in schools and we have a crisis in this country of civic ignorance. Our kids don't know basic civics and we have a crisis of public trust in this country, in that many Americans presume that people in the city are overwhelmingly motivated by partisan perspectives, rather than the public good. Tragically, our current president, multiple times over the last three or four years has exacerbated this political polarization, by saying he didn't have legal authority to do things and subsequently doing exactly those things, quite apart, from peoples policy perspectives on these matters. This is a crisis when kids don't understand the distinction between the legislative and executive branches, and when American voters don't think that people who serve in these offices take their oaths seriously. It's not quite as simple as Schoolhouse Rock jingles on Saturday morning. But could you at lest start by telling us what you think the place for executive orders and executive actions are? SESSIONS: That's a good question, and a good premise that we should think about. People are taught that Schoolhouse Rock is not a bad basic lesson in how the government is supposed to work. Legislatures pass laws, Congress -- the president executes laws, as does the entire administration, as passed by Congress or follows the Constitution and the judicial branch decides disputes. As a neutral umpire, an unbiased -- un-participant -- any if the sides to the controversy and does it objectively. So I think every day that we get away from that is really dangerous. And it is true that if a president says I do not have this authority or others say the president doesn't have certain authority and then is done by the president, it confuses people. And it's a -- I think colleagues -- we too little appreciate something that's corrosive happening out in our country. There is a feeling that judges just vote when they get a big case before them on what their political agenda is and not what the Constitution actually requires. That judges can redefine the meaning of words to advance an agenda they haven that may not be the agenda of the American people and that inevitably is corrosive to respect the law. SASSE: Thank you, but take it get one step further, because there are going to be many cases, there will be many instances where the administration in which you are likely going to end up serving, will want to do things and they'll want to know what their limits of their executive discretion is. It's pieces of legislation that have been passed around here in recent years, sometimes are well over a thousand pages, with all sorts of clauses, the secretary shall dot, dot, dot, fill in the law. So this Congress has regularly under reached an invited executive overreach. This Congress has regularly failed to finish writing laws, and then invited the executive branch to do it. What are some of the markers that you could use to help understand the limits where the executive branch cannot go? SESSIONS: We really need to reestablish that. Professor Turley, Jonathan Turley has written about this. It's just powerful, it's certainly an objective voice, an American jurisprudence. And he says that Congress is just falling down on his job. Now, of course there are two ways. One of them is that it writes laws that are too broad and I would urge all of you to be sure that when we pass a law or you pass a law, if I'm confirmed, that that law is clear and sets limits. When it doesn't set limits, then you can have the secretary of this agency or that agency claiming they have certain authorities and you end up with a very muddled litigation maybe resulting from it. So re-establishing the proper separation of powers and fidelity to law and to limits is an important issue. And I think hopefully -- I think that's what you're suggesting. SASSE: Could you tell me under what circumstances, if any, you think the Department of Justice can fail to enforce a law? SESSIONS: Well, it can fail to enforce it by setting prosecutorial policies with regard to declining to prosecute whole chunks of cases, and in fact, eliminate a statute. If a new tax is passed and the Department of Justice says it can't be collected, then the law was not followed. You also have circumstances in which you can redefine the statute or alter -- if we're talking about improper actions, it could expand the meaning of the words of the statute far beyond what Congress ever intended, and that's an abuse too. SASSE: Not to interrupt you too soon, but the improper, but also what is proper because this administration has made the case regularly that they need to exercise prosecutorial discretion because of limited resources. And obviously, there aren't infinite recourses in the world. So what are some proper instances, in your view, when an administration might not enforce a law? SESSIONS: Well, critics of the immigration enforcement, the DAPA and the DACA laws, said that the prosecutorial discretion argument went too far, it basically just eliminated the laws from the books. Secondly, with regard to that, the president's realm -- the order came from Homeland Security, not from the Department of Justice. But Homeland Security's order not only said we're not going to enforce the law with regard to certain large classifications of people, but those people who had not been given the legal status under the laws of the United States were given photo IDs, work authorization and Social Security numbers and the right to participate in these government programs that would appear to be contrary to existing law. So that would me -- to me, suggest an overreach. SASSE: And in parallel before the courts, what instances would it be legitimate, if any, for the solicitor general to not defend the law in court? SESSIONS: That's a very good question, and sometimes, it becomes a real matter. In general, the solicitor general as part of the Department of Justice and the executive branch, states the position of the Department of Justice. And it has a duty, the Department of Justice does, to defend the laws passed by this body, by Congress. And they should be defended vigorously, whether or not the solicitor general agrees with them or not, unless it can't be reasonably defended. And so sometimes, you reach a disagreement about whether or it's reasonably defensible or not. But that's the fundamental question and the Department of Justice should defend laws that Congress passed unless it's -- they're unable do so, in a reasonable way. SASSE: What is the place of independent agencies in a unified executive branch? And do you envision that you will be making any recommendations to the president to reign in independent agencies in an effort to preserve the constitutional distinction between the powers of the Congress and the administrative responsibilities of an executive branch? SESSIONS: Senator, that's a good question, kind of a historic question at this point in time because it does appear to me that agencies oftentimes see themselves as independent fiefdoms. And sometimes you even hear the president complain about things clearly under his control. I remember President Clinton complaining about the death penalty processes of the Department of -- federal government when he appointed the attorney general who had just appointed a committee to make sure the death penalty was properly carried out. So I mean, like, who's responsibility is this? You're in charge of -- you can remove the attorney general if you're not happy. So those kind of things do continue out there that we need to be careful about and I thank you for raising it. SASSE: I have less than a minute left, so last question but going back to something that Senator Lee was asking about. Could you give a top line summary of what you view the responsibilities of the OLC to be and what the relationship would be between the OLC, the Office of the Attorney General, and the White House? SESSIONS: Well, OLC has statutory duties to make opinions. The OLC team reports to the attorney general, who could reverse I suppose or remove the OLC head, the deputy attorney general, if he thought those -- that department was not following the law. But essentially, they are given the power as attorney general -- I had an opinions section in Alabama. And they rendered opinions on a whole host of matters when called upon from school boards and highway departments and that sort of thing. So this OLC does represent a key position in the Department of Justice. They must have extraordinary legal skill. They have to be terrific lawyers. They have to understand the constitutional order of which we are a part and they should render objective decisions day after day, week after week. Ultimately, the responsibility of the president and the attorney general is to ensure that we have that kind of quality at OLC. SASSE: Thank you. GRASSLEY: Senator Franken? FRANKEN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Senator, congratulations on your nomination. SESSIONS: Thank you. FRANKEN: In 2009, when you became the ranking Republican on this committee, you were interviewed about how you would approach the committee's work and nominations specifically. You said that Democrats should expect you to be fair because you had been through this process yourself back in 1986 and you felt that back then, the committee had distorted your record. You said that moving forward, quote, "we're not going to misrepresent any nominees' record and we're not gonna lie about it," unquote. And we certainly don't wanna do that to our colleague. But I also think it's fair to expect that sitting before us today that you're not going to misrepresent your own record. That's fair to say, right? SESSIONS: That is fair. FRANKEN: Good. Now, in that same interview, you said, quote, "I filed 20 or 30 civil rights cases to desegregate schools and political organizations and county commissions when I was the United States Attorney." So 20 or 30 desegregation cases. Did I miss read that quote? SESSIONS: I believe that's what I've been quoted as saying and I suspect I said that. FRANKEN: OK. OK. Now, that was 2009, but in November, your office said, quote, "When Senator Sessions was U.S. attorney, he filed a number of desegregation lawsuits in Alabama," not 20 or 30 this time, but a number. So tell me, did you file 20 or 30 desegregation cases or is it some other number? SESSIONS: Well, thank you, Senator Franken. It is important for us to be accurate. The records don't show that there were 20 or 30 actually filed cases. Some of the cases involved multiple defendants and multiple parties like a school board and a county commission being sued for racial discrimination, things of that nature. But the number would be less than that, as we've looked at. So I... FRANKEN: What -- what do you think would've caused you to say... SESSIONS: I don't know, I... FRANKEN: ... that you filed 20 or 30 desegregation cases? SESSIONS: Well, we had cases going throughout my district. And some of them were started before I came and continued after I left. Some of them were brought and then settled promptly. And so it was extraordinarily difficult to actually I was surprised, to get a record by checking the docket sheets (ph) to find out exactly how many cases were involved. I heard one lawyer from the Department of Justice agreed with that large number... FRANKEN: Let me move on... SESSIONS: ... but I don't -- that record doesn't justify it. FRANKEN: The questionnaire you submitted for today asked you to list and describe the, quote, "10 most significant litigated matters you personally handled" -- personally handled. And among the cases that you listed, that you personally handled, are three voting rights cases and a desegregation case. Last week, I should note, three attorneys who worked at DOJ and who actually brought three of the four cases wrote an op-ed piece in which they say, quote, "We can state categorically that Sessions had no substantive involvement in any of them." Now, you originally said that you personally handled three of these cases, but these lawyers say that you had no substantive involvement. Chairman Grassley, I would ask that that op-ed from last Tuesday's Washington Post be entered into the record. GRASSLEY: Without objection, it will be entered. FRANKEN: Are they distorting your record here? SESSIONS: Yes. In fact, one of the writers there, Mr. Hebert, spent a good bit of time in my office. He said I supported him in all the cases he brought; that I was more supportive than almost any other U.S. attorney; and that I provided office space. I signed the complaints that he brought. And as you know, may know, Senator Franken, when a lawyer signs a complaint, he's required to affirm that he believes in that complaint and supports that complaint and supports that legal action, which I did. We sued... FRANKEN: So that's your -- that's your personal involvement was that your name was on it? SESSIONS: Well, look, you can dispute the impact or the import of the questionnaire. Another attorney who -- Paul Hancock, who brought cases in our district, said, "Well, the attorney general claimed credit for the cases in the Department of Justice." He saw nothing wrong with my claiming that this was a case that I had handled. FRANKEN: OK. Two of the... SESSIONS: So you can disagree with that, but those cases have my signature on -- on the docket sheet. My name is listed number one as the attorney for the case. FRANKEN: OK. Look, I'm not a lawyer. I'm one of the few members of this committee who didn't go to law school. And usually I get by just fine, but it seems to me that a lawyer -- if a lawyer has just his name added to a document here or a filing there, that lawyer would be misrepresenting his record if he said he personally handled these cases. Two of the lawyers who wrote the op-ed have also submitted testimony for today's hearing -- Mr. Gerry Hebert and Mr. Joe Rich. Mr. Hebert says, quote -- says he, quote, "litigated personally two of the four cases" you listed. He said, "I can state with absolute certainty that Mr. Sessions did not participate in either." Mr. Rich worked on one of the four cases you listed. He said, quote, "I never met him at that time nor any other time, and he had no input to the case." These represent three of the four cases that you claimed that were among the top 10 cases that you personally handled. Now, in your 1986 questionnaire, you used phrases like, quote, "I prepared and tried the case as sole counsel." And quote, "I was the lead prosecutor on this case," assisted by so and so. Why didn't you use the same level of detail in your 2016 questionnaire? SESSIONS: In looking at this questionnaire, we decided that that was an appropriate response, since it was major historic cases in my office. Let me just reply, Senator Franken, in this fashion. Mr. Hebert in 1986 when he testified at my hearing said, quote, "We have had difficulty with several U.S. attorneys in cases we have wanted to bring. We have not experienced that difficulty in the cases I have handled with Mr. Sessions. In fact, quite the contrary," close quote. He goes on to say, "I've had occasion numerous times to ask for his assistance and guidance. I have been able to go to him and he has had an open-door policy, and I've taken advantage of that and found him cooperative." And that is an accurate statement. I don't know Mr. Rich. Perhaps he handled a case that I never worked with. He goes on to say... (CROSSTALK) SESSIONS: No, I want to -- you've raised this question... FRANKEN: One of the cases that you listed was a case that Mr. Rich handled. So if you don't know him, it's hard for me to believe that you personally handled it. SESSIONS: Well, when I found that -- these cases, I had been supportive of them. FRANKEN: You have filed... SESSIONS: Here I was, Mr. Hebert says, quote, "And yet I have needed Mr. Sessions's help in those cases and he has provided that help every step of the way. In fact, I would say that my experience with Mr. Sessions has led me to believe that I have received more cooperation from him, more active involvement from him, because I have called upon him," close quote. Quote, "I have worked side by side with him on some cases in the sense that I have had to go to him for some advice," close quote. FRANKEN: In some cases -- not necessarily the ones you listed. SESSIONS: Well, look, it was 30 years ago. And my memory was of this nature and my memory was my support for those cases. FRANKEN: Your memory. OK. Look, I am not -- I'm one of the few members of this committee who's not a lawyer -- the chairman and the ranking aren't. But when I hear "I filed a case," you know, I -- I don't know some of the parlance. It might have a special meaning in legal parlance, but to me as a layman, it sounds to me like "filed" means "I led the case" or "I supervised the case." It doesn't mean that my name was on it. And it seems to me -- look, I'll close, Mr. Chairman -- setting aside any political or ideological differences that you or I may have, DOJ is facing real challenges whether it's protecting civil rights or defending national security. And our country needs an attorney general who doesn't misrepresent or inflate their level of involvement on any given issue. I consider this serious stuff, as I know that you would if you were in my position. SESSIONS: Well, you are correct, Senator Franken. We need to be accurate in what we say. When this issue was raised, I did do a supplemental that said I "provided assistance and guidance to Civil Rights Division attorneys; had an open-door policy with them; and cooperated with them on these cases," close quote. I signed them. I supported cases and attempted to be as effective as I could be in helping them be successful in these historic cases. I did feel that they were the kind of cases that were national in scope and deserved to be listed on the form. If I'm in error, I apologize to you. I don't think I was. FRANKEN: Well, you couldn't find 20 or 30 desegregation cases that you stated you had participated in. And you don't sound like you personally handled cases that you said you personally handled. Thank you. SESSIONS: Well, I was on a radio interview without any records, and that was my memory at the time. GRASSLEY: I think you answered the question. FRANKEN: Thank you. GRASSLEY: Senator Flake, now it's 12:59, so at 2:09 we will adjourn for lunch. I'll be back here then at 2:39, and whoever is present will start then. But I hope everybody can be back here at least by 2:45. Well, whatever -- I got... (LAUGHTER) You know what I mean. Go ahead, Senator Flake. FLAKE: Well, thank you. Are you saying we're adjourned or I'm going? GRASSLEY: Oh, you go ahead. FLAKE: OK. All right. Great. It's always nice being the last one standing between lunch. GRASSLEY: Let's have order for Senator Flake. FLAKE: I just want to say at the outset how much I've enjoyed working with you and being your colleague. I appreciate having you as a friend. It's no secret we've had a difference of opinion on immigration legislation that we put forward. You've had different ideas. But I have no doubt that as attorney general, you will faithfully execute the office. And I appreciate the answers that you've given today. FLAKE: Let me ask unanimous consent to submit a column written by our own attorney general in Arizona, Mark Brnovich, for The Hill newspaper this week, supporting your... GRASSLEY: Without objection it'll be include. FLAKE: He's supporting your nomination. Let me talk to you about an aspect of immigration that's important in Arizona. As you know we have a large border with Mexico. We have a program called Operation Streamline that has, over the years, been tremendously effective in cutting down recidivism in terms of border crossers. What it is basically it's intended to reduce border crossing by expeditiously prosecuting those who enter the country illegally over -- under a no tolerance or zero tolerance policy. It's credited with being instrumental in achieving better border security, specifically in the Yuma Sector, along the western side of Arizona's border with Mexico. Nevertheless, in recent years the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Arizona adopted a policy that ended prosecutions for those who cross, but for -- well without criminal history other than simply crossing the border. I've asked Attorney General Holder and Attorney General Lynch, as well as Secretary Johnson at Homeland Security on what is being done here and I haven't gotten a straight answer. No matter how many times I ask the question. So I'm looking forward to a little more candor here. As attorney general, if you're confirmed, what steps will you take to restore Operation Streamline to a zero tolerance approach that's been so successful in Arizona -- in a portion of Arizona's border. SESSIONS: Thank you. Senator Flake, I have enjoyed working with you and I know the integrity with which you bring your views on the immigration system. Like you, I believe that Streamline was very effective, and it was really surprised that it's been undermined and significantly. The reports I got initially, some years ago, maybe a decade or more ago, was that it was dramatically effective. And so I would absolutely review that and my inclination would be, at least at this stage, to think it should be restored and even refined and made sure it's lawful and effective. But I think it has great positive potential to improve legality at the border. FLAKE: All right. Well, thank you. It's been effective in Yuma and I can tell you there's concern there among the Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Wilmot and others, concern that we're seeing an increase in border crossings simply because the cartels understand very well where there's a zero tolerance policy and where there is not. Word spreads. And we could quickly get to a situation where we have a problem in the Yuma sector like we do in the Tucson sector. Is there any reason why we haven't expanded this program to the Tucson sector if it's been successful elsewhere? SESSIONS: I do not know what reason that might be. It seems to me that we should examine the successes and see if they can't be replicated throughout the border. FLAKE: All right. Well, thank you. I look forward to working with you on that. SESSIONS: I appreciate that opportunity to work with you on that because I've long felt that's the right direction for us to go. FLAKE: Thank you. When we have a successful program it's difficult to see it scrapped. And to see the progress that's been made in certain parts of the border done away with. Let me get to another subject here. Victim's rights, this is an area of the law that you've show particularly interest in over your time as a Senator. I have with me letters of support for your nomination from various victims groups and advocates. The Victims of Crime and Leniency, Verna Watt (ph), Victims of -- and Friends United, op-ed by Professors Paul Kassel (ph) and Steve Twist (ph), all in support of your nomination. I'd ask that these documents be placed as part of the record. As attorney general, what steps will you take to insure that victim's rights are protected? SESSIONS: We cannot forget victim's rights. We have a victim witness legislation that creates, within each United States Attorney's Office, a victim witness coordinator. And the job of that person is to make sure that concerns of the victims are heard. If they have to come to court, to help them get there, to make sure that they don't feel threatened and are protected. SESSIONS: That's a direct response -- the Department of Justice in the criminal justice system as directed by Congress. So I really think that's one step. And that's the fundamental mechanism -- I think Senator Kyle was a strong advocate for that, and it helped really improve the treatment of victims in -- in federal criminal cases. There's just no doubt about it. FLAKE: Well, thank you. I was going to note the presence of former Senator Kyl, my predecessor in this office who did so much work in this area, partnering with you. So thank you for that answer. SESSIONS: I'm honored that he's giving of his time to assist me in this effort, honored very greatly. FLAKE: Thank you. Let's talk about Prison Rape Elimination Act. It was mentioned previously, I think, by Senator Collins. As attorney general, you not only led the Department of Prosecutors and Law Enforcement Officers, but also the bureau -- you will lead, not only the Department of Prosecutors, Law Enforcement Officials, but also the Bureau of Prisons. You'll be responsible for 190,000 federal inmates currently in custody. This is an often overlooked part of the attorney general's role, but it's an important part of the position that you're being nominated for. I believe one of the highlights in your record, in the Senate, is your leadership in passing the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003, or PREA. Which passed both chambers without objection and was signed into law by George W. Bush, this was a bipartisan bill. You worked across the aisle with the late Senator Kennedy, as well as with Republican Representative Frank Wolf, Democrat Representative Bobby Scott in the House and I have letters of support from anti-prison rape activists that I'd also like to put as part of the record, without objection if I could. GRASSLEY: Without objection. FLAKE: Thank you, thank you. With the law approaching it's 15th anniversary, 11 states have certified that they're in compliance with the national standards and of the 41 states and territories have provided assurances that they're working toward compliance. Only four states and territories have chosen not to participate. Is PREA meeting the expectations you had for it when you introduced the bill in 2003? SESSIONS: I don't think there's any doubt that it's improved the situation. As to whether it's reached it's full potential, I don't think I'm able to tell you with certainty, but I certainly think it's made a positive difference. You know, it was a special time for me, Senator Kennedy was a strong critic of me in 1986. And he said, you know, as we were working on this, he said, I've wanted to work with you on legislation like this, and I think it was sort of a reconciliation moment. We also worked on another major piece of legislation for several years. It would have been rather historic, but it was private savings accounts for lower wage workers in America that, I guess, the financial crisis of '07 or some things happened that ended that prospect. But, I believe, that it's important for American people to know, that when an individual is sentenced to prison, they're not subjected to cruel and inhuman punishment under the Constitution at a minimum. And I -- the idea that was so widely spread, that there's routine sexual abuse and assaults in prisons and other kind of unacceptable activities was widespread in our media and widespread among the American people. One of our goals was, to establish just how big it was to require reporting to -- and create circumstances that in -- that -- that helped insure that a person who should be prosecuted for violence in the prison actually do get prosecuted was a real step forward. We do not need to subject prisoners to anymore punishment than the law requires. FLAKE: Thank you. And just the remaining seconds I have, let me just say, there's another area that we have worked on and -- and hopefully can continue to work on and that's the area of duplicative DOJ grants. As you know, department awarded approximately $17 billion in grants over the years. OIG reports, GAO reports, have all shown that there's duplication and waste, sometimes fraud and abuse. We continue to commit to work to root out this kind of duplicative action there. SESSIONS: Well, I know you've had a -- a history of being a staunch defender of the Treasury against those who would abuse it, and I believe the same way. It's the taxpayer's money. Every dollar that's extracted from an American citizen, that goes into the government needs to get productive, valuable activities. And any of it that's delivered for political and insufficient reasons is a cause of great concern. I will make it a priority of mine to make sure that the dollars that we have are actually getting to the purposes they're supposed to go for. It's one thing to say, I did a great thing. I got more money for this good purpose, but did it really efficiently and effectively go there? Did it really make a positive difference? So I think the Department of Justice can utilize those grant programs to help valuable activities and it needs to guard against improper activities. FLAKE: Thank you Senator Sessions. Thank you Mr. Chairman. GRASSLEY: We'll break for about 30 minutes. We'll reconvene at 1:40. Senator Coons will be next up and he's indicated he will be here on time. So, recess for now. (RECESS) GRASSLEY: Before I call on Senator Coons, I want to explain why one of the members on my side of the aisle can't be here. Senator Tillis is attending -- is unable to attend Senator Sessions' confirmation hearing today because his brother is being sworn in to the Tennessee General Assembly. So he's asked me to have his statement submitted into the record and it signals his strong support for Senator Sessions. He also -- Senator Sessions, he also wants me to know that he'll submit questions for you to answer in writing. Senator Coons, as we announced before, will be the first one this afternoon to (ph) proceed. And Senator Sessions, if there's any -- I won't know unless you tell me. If there's any sort of 15 minute break or anything you need, let me know. SESSIONS: Thank you Mr. Chairman. GRASSLEY: We'll do that at the end of some person asking questions. Senator Coons. COONS: Thank you, Chairman Grassley. Welcome Senator Sessions. Congratulations to you and Mary and your whole family on your nomination. The position of attorney general of the United States is one of the most important positions on which this committee will ever hold hearings and the next attorney general of the United States will assume leadership of the Justice Department on the heels of an election in which there were many issues thrown about in the course of the campaign, some of which have been asked about previously; calls for a Muslim ban or patrols, issues of a potential Russian cyber attack affecting our democracy, calls for mass deportations and chants at some rallies to lock her up for one of the candidates. And given the divisiveness of this election, I think it is critical that the next attorney general be well suited for this position and this time. And as such, I think a successful nominee has to be able to persuade this committee that he will act fairly and impartially administer justice and advance justice for all Americans. Senator Sessions, we've served on this committee together for six years and we've worked well together on a few issues, on state and local law enforcement issues, on the reauthorization of the Victims of Child Abuse Act and on the restoration of funding for federal public defenders and I appreciate that partnership. But there's also been many issues on which we disagreed, issues from immigration to civil liberties to civil rights to criminal justice, voting rights and torture, and I am concerned about your views on a number of these issues as we discussed when we met last week. So I am grateful to the chairman and to you that we're going to have a full and fair hearing on all of these issues today. Let me start with some questions about your time when you were Alabama attorney general and how you understood some direction you received from the U.S. Department of Justice. At that point, Alabama was the only state in the country that handcuffed prisoners to hitching posts and we talked about this when we met before and I said I would ask you about this in this hearing. A hitching post was used as a punishment for prisoners perceived as being unwilling to work or participate in the daily lives of the prison, whether serving on a chain gang or participating in work, and they would be cuffed by both wrists to a pole at chest height, sometimes for seven, eight or nine hours unprotected from sun, heat or rain without access in some cases to water or even a bathroom. And as the attorney general, you and the governor received letters from the U.S. Department of Justice telling you that Alabama's use of the hitching post in both men and women's prisons was unconstitutional and unjustified. But as I understand it, the use of the hitching post continued throughout your term and you did not act to stop it. During this same period, the state of Alabama was sued not just about hitching posts, but also about chain gangs. Prison policies in Alabama said a man could be put on a chain gang if he failed to shave or keep his bed clean, if he disrespected a member of the staff and would end up doing hard labor breaking rocks while being chained together in groups of five, shackled with eight feet of chain between men. And these practices, the case that was brought demonstrated, were disproportionally affecting African-Americans. In later litigation, the practice of using the hitching post was called by an Alabama judge the most painful and torturous punishment in Alabama short of electrocution. And in 2002, the United States Supreme Court said using the hitching post was clearly unconstitutional when it was used in Alabama. Can you please, Senator, tell me your view today of the use of the hitching post and chain gang in Alabama corrections and what your view is of what action you would take today if these practices were restored? SESSIONS: Thank you very much, Senator. That was an issue of (ph) the governor who campaigned and promised that prisoners should work and he was determined to make that happen. I believe the litigation occurred after my time as attorney general according to my records, but we could be wrong. I'll supplement the records for you. Certainly, the decision by the Supreme Court and federal courts were after I left office, I believe. So, working of prisoners is an issue that we've dealt with in the Congress of the United States and by state legislatures. I think good employment of a prisoner is a healthy thing. I do not favor, personally, this kind of work. I think it should be more productive work, work kind of help the individual develop a discipline that they could use when they go on to private life after they leave prison. After the Supreme Court ruling, I think it's crystal clear what the law is. That was disapproved and disallowed and found to be found unconstitutional and I would absolutely follow that as attorney general. COONS: In your view, did it take a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court to clarify that this constituted torture, that it was just not bad corrections policy, it was actually substantively torture of prisoners? SESSIONS: Senator Coons, I don't -- I'm not -- I don't recall ever personally being engaged in the studying of the constitutional issues at stake. It's perfectly legitimate for prisoners to work, but they should be on decent conditions and I think it should be the kind of work that's productive and it could actually lead to developing good habits. I heard some evidence on that subject. So I do not have a legal opinion about the case; I have not studied the details of it. COONS: Just to be clear, what I was -- I -- what I was pressing you on there was the use of the hitching post, which is a disciplinary measure that had been abandoned by all states but Alabama. It's really reminiscent more of the stocks, the stockade that was used centuries ago, and to me somewhat troubling that it continued without -- without challenge. Let me ask you more broadly. As you know, both Republicans and Democrats on this committee have worked together to address ways in which our criminal justice system is broken and to address the disparate racial impact of over-incarceration that's resulted the last 30 years. Senator Tillis and I just yesterday published an op-ed that we wrote jointly about the importance of responsible balanced criminal justice reform and Senators Grassley and Cornyn, Lee, Graham and Flake all your fellow Republicans, have supported meaningful reforms to address excessive mandatory sentences and incarceration. And in my experience here in six years with you, you have steadfastly opposed all of these efforts at bipartisan sentencing reform. Help me understand why you've blocked efforts at reducing mandatory minimum sentences, at creating opportunities for the revisitation of sentences that may have been overly harsh when initially imposed and help me understand whether you think it is ever proper for a prosecutor to charge anything less than the most serious offense available and carrying the longest sentence. SESSIONS: Well, there's a lot of questions there, Senator Coons. COONS: Yes. SESSIONS: So, the -- the Sentencing Act has one foundational requirement now, and that's the minimum mandatories. The guidelines have been either made voluntary by the sentencing commission in the courts and the policies of the attorney general. So the thing that does stand in place are the minimum mandatories, the minimum that can be sentenced for a certain offense. I offered legislation in 2001, it was opposed by the Bush Justice Department, that would have reduced the sentencing guidelines. And in fact, a number of years later, unfortunately, essentially could have been done in 2001, when I made a speech in favor of it. I made a speech saying what you are saying, that it was disproportionally impacting our African-American community and we needed to fix it and eventually that was passed. So I have a record of doing that, number one. Number two, so these other things happened in the meantime, the guidelines were reduced. The Justice Department has reduced its requirements. The Justice Department now allows a prosecutor to present a case to the judge that doesn't fully reflect the evidence that they have in their files about a case. That's a problematic thing. You shouldn't charge, I think -- it's problematic and difficult to justify a prosecutor charging five kilos of heroin when the actual amount was 10 to get a lower sentence. Now, there may be circumstances when somehow, proof and other issues could justify that, but I just would say, as a principle, you've got to be careful about it. Finally, colleagues, sentencing guidelines are within the breast of the Congress, they're mandated by law. I was concerned about what we're seeing as a -- beginning to see a rising crime, and the same time, a decline in sentences. Sentences are down 19 percent already, as a based on (inaudible) and guidelines changes. So that's a matter of interest, and I felt we should slow down a bit before we go further... COONS: Well if I might... SESSIONS: ... and make sure we're not making a mistake, Senator Coons. COONS: It is my hope that if you are confirmed, and we do make progress on bipartisan criminal justice reform, that as attorney general, you will carry out whatever legislative decisions might be made by this body. But last, let me just say that in my six years here, in addition to not working with us on a number of bipartisan proposals on criminal justice reform, you've been one of the few senators to repeatedly and steadfastly vote against congressional attempts to prohibit torture in the military context or in the interrogation context and to repeatedly defend enhanced interrogation practices. Are you clear now that our statutes prohibit torture and if the president were to attempt to override that clear legal authority, what actions would you take? SESSIONS: On your previous question, I would note that federal prison population has already dropped 10 or more percent, and will drop another 10,000 this year. So what's happening now is reducing the federal population. This law only dealt with the federal prison population and that represents the most serious offenders. Our federal DEA and U.S. attorneys are prosecuting more serious cases. With regard to the torture issues, I watched them for some time and have been concerned about what we should do about it. This bill that passed last time was a major step. I thought it was really not the right step. Senator Graham, I know has been an opponent of torture steadfastly and supported a lot of different things, opposed it. It basically took what I was teaching, these -- the young soldiers at the Army Reserve Unit as a lecturer, as a teacher, the fet (ph) -- Army Field Manual, and it made that the law for the entire government, including the intelligence agencies and other departments. I thought that was an unwise step, to take something that directs even the lowest private to do, to make that the rule for higher ups. COONS: Well, Senator... SESSIONS: But (inaudible) the law, it is a law, and it needs to be enforced, absolutely. COONS: As we both know, there was a bipartisan effort to review the -- our experience with enhanced interrogation... SESSIONS: It was... COONS: ... and concluded it was not effective. SESSIONS: Yeah, it was, and of course Senator Graham and JAG officers -- I was for a little bit. GRASSLEY: (inaudible). CRUZ: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Senator Sessions, congratulations on your nomination. SESSIONS: Thank you. CRUZ: You are a friend, you are a man of integrity. You and I have worked closely together on this committee, on the Armed Services Committee, and I have every confidence you are going to make a superb attorney general. You know, this has been an interesting day at this hearing, listening to Democratic senator after Democratic senator give speeches in praise of the rule of law. And I am heartened by that, I am encouraged by that, because for eight years, it's been absent. For eight years we've seen a Department of Justice consistently disregarding the rule of law. When Eric Holder's Department of Justice allowed illegal gun transactions, illegally sold guns to Mexican gun traffickers as part of Fast and Furious, guns that were later used to murder border patrol agent Brian Terry, the Democratic members of this committee were silent. When Eric Holder was found in contempt of Congress, for refusing to cooperate with Congress' investigation into Fast and Furious, once again the Democratic members of this committee were silent. When the IRS illegally targeted United States citizens for exercising the First Amendment views, for exercising their roles in the political process, Democratic members of this committee were silent. When the Department of Justice refused to fairly investigate the IRS targeting citizens and indeed assigned the investigation to a liberal partisan Democrat who had given over $6,000 to President Obama and Democrats, Democrats on this committee were silent. When numerous members of this committee called on the attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor to ensure that justice was done in the IRS case, Democrats on this committee were silent. When the Justice Department began using Operation Choke Point to target law-abiding citizens that they disagreed with politically... PROTESTER: (inaudible) you are racist. You have tried to (inaudible). You are -- you caused (inaudible) organization. Black lives matter. Black lives matter. Black lives matter. Black lives matter. PROTESTER: (inaudible) deportation. PROTESTER: (inaudible) white nationalist. Black lives matter. PROTESTER: (inaudible) do not protect the rights of African-Americans, Muslims, or immigrants. Senator, (inaudible). Senator, (inaudible). Senator, (inaudible). CRUZ: You know, free speech is a wonderful thing. When the Department of Justice used Operation Choke Point to target legal businesses because they disagreed politically with those businesses, the Democrats on this committee were silent. When the Obama Justice Department sent millions of dollars of taxpayer money to sanctuary cities that were defying federal immigration law, the Democrats on this committee were silent. When the Obama administration refused to enforce federal immigration laws and unilaterally rewrote those laws, the Democrats on this committee were silent. When the Obama administration released tens of thousands of criminal illegal aliens, including rapists and murderers, into the general population, Democrats on this committee were silent. When the Department of Justice signed off on the Obama administration paying a nearly $2 billion ransom to Iran contrary to federal law, the Democrats on this committee were silent. When the Obama administration ignored and rewrote provision after provision of Obamacare, contrary to the text of the law, the Democrats on this committee were silent. When the Obama administration signed off on illegal recess appointments that the Supreme Court had to strike down unanimously, the Democrats on this committee were silent. And when the Obama administration released five Guantanamo terrorists without the required notification of Congress, the Democrats on this committee were silent. That pattern has been dismaying for eight years, but I take today as a moment of celebration. If once again this committee has a bipartisan commitment to rule of law, to following the law, that is a wonderful thing, and it is consistent with the tradition of this committee going back centuries. Now, if we were to play a game of tit for tat, if what was good for the goose were good for the gander, then a Republican attorney general should be equally partisan, should disregard the law, should advance political preferences favored by the Republican party. Senator Sessions, do you believe that would be appropriate for an attorney general to do? SESSIONS: No, I do not. I believe you -- and I think we do have to be aware that when something like this is done, and some of the things I'm familiar with enough to agree with you, that I thought were improper, I do believe it has a corrosive effect on public confidence in the constitutional republic of which we are sworn to uphold. CRUZ: I think you are exactly right. You and I are both alumni of the Department of Justice, and it has a long, bipartisan tradition of staying outside of partisan politics, of simply and fairly enforcing the law. I will say right now, if I believed that you would implement policies, even policies I agreed with, contrary to law, I would vote against your confirmation. And the reason I am so enthusiastically supporting your confirmation, is I have every degree of confidence you will follow the law faithfully and honestly. And that is the first and most important obligation of the attorney general. Now earlier in this hearing, Senator Franken, engaged you in a discussion that I think was intended to try to undermine your character and integrity. And in particular, Senator Franken suggested that you had somehow misrepresented your record. It is unfortunate to see members of this body impune the integrity of a fellow senator with whom we have served for years. It is particularly unfortunate when that attack is not backed up by the facts. Senator Franken based his attack primarily on an op-ed written by an attorney, Gerald Hebert. There is an irony in relying on Mr. Hebert because, as you well know, in 1986, during your confirmation hearing, Mr. Hebert testified then and attacked you then, making false charges against you and, indeed, I would note in the 1986 hearing two days later, Mr. Hebert was forced to recant his testimony to say that he had given false testimony to this committee and, indeed, to say quote, "I apologize for any inconvenience caused Mr. Sessions or this committee by my prior testimony." So, an individual who's testified falsely once before this committee, his op-ed is now the basis for Senator Franken's attack on you. And, indeed, the basis of Senator Franken's attack, is he claims you were uninvolved in several civil rights cases that were listed on your questionnaire. In 1986 Mr. Hebert testified -- this is a quote from him, "I have needed Mr. Session's help in those cases, and he had provided that help every step of the way." Is that correct that that's what Mr. Hebert testified? SESSIONS: Yes, that's correct. CRUZ: Now, in the four cases Senator Franken referred to, you reported all four of them in your supplement to the Judiciary Committee, is that right? SESSIONS: That is correct. CRUZ: Mr. Franken didn't mention that and let me point out here's how you described your involvement in your written submission to this -- to this committee. Quote, "for the cases described in two, four, eight, and nine, my role, like most U.S. Attorneys in the nation and not with non-criminal civil rights cases, was to provide support for the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division's attorneys." "I reviewed, supported, and co-signed complaints, motions, and other pleadings and briefs that were filed during my tenure as U.S. Attorney. I provided assistance and guidance to the civil rights attorneys, had an open-door policy with them, and cooperated with them on these cases. For the cases described in six, I supervised litigation and signed the pleadings." Now that is consistent with the 1986 testimony that you provided help every step of the way. Is that correct? SESSIONS: Well, I think so, yes. CRUZ: There's no question you've been forthright with this committee and I would note that members of this committee don't have to search far and wide to know who Jeff Sessions is. We've known every day sitting at this bench alongside you. I want to shift to a different topic, and it's the topic I opened with, which is the politicization of the Department of Justice. The Office of Legal Counsel has a critical role of providing sound legal and constitutional advice, both to the attorney general and the president. And in the last eight years we have seen a highly-politicized OLC. An OLC that has given politically convenient rulings, whether on recess appointments, whether on executive amnesty and early on perhaps that was started by 2009 Attorney General Holder overruling OLC concerning legislation trying to grant the District of Columbia representation in Congress. And it may well be that that sent a message to OLC that it's opinions were to be political and not legal in nature. Tell me, Senator Sessions, what will you do as attorney general to restore professionalism and fidelity to law to the Office of Legal Counsel? SESSIONS: Senator Cruz, I think any short-term political agenda gains that come from the abuse of the -- the law-making processes and requirements of the Department of Justice just don't make sense. It will always in the long run be more damaging than the short-term gain that one might have. The Office of Legal Counsel, all of us who've served in the Department know, is a big-time position. You need a mature, smart, experienced person who understands this government, who understands the laws and is principled and consistent in their application of the laws. That will help the president, it will help the Congress and it will help the American people. I do believe we need to work hard to have that and I will do my best to ensure we do have it. CRUZ: One final question. In the last eight years, the Department of Justice's Solicitor General's Office has also, I believe, been unfortunately politicized and it sustained an unprecedented number of unanimous losses before the United States Supreme Court. Indeed, President Obama's Justice Department won less than half of its total cases before the Supreme Court which is the lowest presidential win rate since Harry Truman. And the average historically for the last 50 years has been about 70 percent. Numerous of those cases were unanimous with indeed both Obama Supreme Court appointees voting against the lawless positions of this Justice Department, including their assertion that the government has the authority to supervise and direct the appointment and the hiring and firing of clergy in the church. What will you do as attorney general to ensure the integrity of the Office of Solicitor General? That it is faithful to the law and not advancing extreme political positions like the Obama Justice Department did that have been rejected over and over again by the Supreme Court? SESSIONS: I think the problem there is a desire to achieve a result. Sometimes it overrides a commitment to the law. In the long run, this country will be stronger if we adhere to the law, even though somebody might be frustrated in the short term of not achieving an agenda. The Solicitor General should not advocate to alter the meaning of words to advance an agenda. That is an abuse of office and I would try to seek to have a Solicitor General who is faithful to the Constitution, serves under the Constitution, does not feel that it has the power to rise above it and make it say what it wants it to say. CRUZ: Thank you, Senator Sessions. GRASSLEY: Mr. Blumental goes. I think we have votes still scheduled for 2:45. It's my idea that we would continue this going. Like I'll go with the end of the first vote and then vote and come back. And I hope other people will preside and keep asking questions while the two votes are going on, so we can finish at a reasonable time today. (UNKNOWN) (inaudible) about Session voting. GRASSLEY: What? (UNKNOWN) He's not voting. GRASSLEY: OK. Well, that's right, I -- did we get a decision? You're -- you can stay here during that voting time. Senator Blumenthal. BLUMENTHAL: Thanks, Mr. Chairman and thank you for conducting this hearing in such a fair-minded and deliberate way. And I want to join you in thanking Senator Sessions for his public service over so many years and his family who have shared in the sacrifices that you have made. So, I am sure that my colleagues and I appreciate your service and your friendship. This experience for us is a difficult one, not only because you're a colleague, but I consider you to be a friend and someone who is well-liked and respected in this body, understandably. And I know, if you were sitting here, you'd be pretty tough on me, maybe tougher than I'm going to be on you. But it's not personal, as you understand, because we have an obligation to advise and consent to ask those kinds of tough questions. And you and I have shared some experiences. Both of us have been United States attorneys and attorneys general of our state and I want to thank you as well for thanking our law enforcement community, which is so important to this nation. And it makes sacrifices and those sacrifices often are not only in time and foregone income, but also in lives and I join you in respecting the law enforcement officers who were victims most recently of gun violence. I want to begin just by asking you a question which I asked in a letter. Will you recuse yourself from voting on your own nomination and the nominations of other cabinet secretaries? SESSIONS: I do not have plans on to vote on my nomination. I have not thoroughly examined all the issues, but I think there could be a conflict of interest or a violation of ethics rules and I would comply with the rules. BLUMENTHAL: I believe it would be a conflict of interest for you to vote on other cabinet secretaries as they are nominated by the president, who is also your boss and I think that I hope you will consider recusing yourself from those votes as well because I think it will set a tone for what you will do in cases of conflicts of interest. And I want to talk a little bit about conflicts of interest because I think that the Attorney General of the United States has a unique and special role, especially at this point in our history. He should be a champion, a zealous advocate of rights and liberties that are increasingly under threat in this country. And he's not just another government lawyer or another cabinet secretary. He is the nation's lawyer. And so any appearance of conflict of interest or compromising positions because of political involvement, I think, is a real danger to the rule of law and respect and credibility of the rule of law. So I would hope that you would consider appointing special counsel in cases where there may be a conflict of interest involving the president, and one of those cases involves Deutsche Bank. The president of the United States owes the Deutsche Bank several hundreds of millions of dollars, it's currently under ongoing investigation. Will you appoint a independent counsel to continue the investigation of Deutsche Bank? SESSIONS: Well, Senator Blumenthal, I have not -- I'm not aware of that case, I'm not in any way -- have no researched it or even read some of the public's articles about it. So I'm totally uninformed about the merits or lack of it of the case. I don't know that the president is implicated simply because he's borrowed (ph) from a bank. But I would say that as Senator Lee, I think, raised in his questioning, you just want -- you don't want to be in a position where every time an issue comes up, the attorney general recuses himself. But at the same time, serious questions, when they arise, the attorney general should refuse himself under appropriate circumstances and I guess that goes with -- or the appointment of a special counsel, which is a somewhat different issue. BLUMENTHAL: Would you... SESSIONS: There have been a lot of criticisms of that, but I think it's a useful tool in the appropriate circumstances. BLUMENTHAL: Would you agree with me that the emoluments clause applies to the president of the United States? SESSIONS: Well, the emoluments clause applies, I guess the dispute is and the discussion is is -- and to what extent does it apply and how does it apply in concrete situations, which I have not studied. BLUMENTHAL: If there's evidence that the president of the United States has violated or may be violating the emoluments clause, will you appoint a special counsel? SESSIONS: We would have to examine that. I would not commit to this day -- at this time appointing a special counsel when I'm not aware of a precise factual situation that would be in play. BLUMENTHAL: If there is a violation by the president's family of the STOCK Act, which prohibits the use of private or insider information for personal gain, will you apply special counsel? SESSIONS: Well, we'll have to evaluate that if such a (ph) circumstance occurs and I would do my duty as I -- as I believe I should do it at the time. BLUMENTHAL: I would suggest that in those cases, an independent counsel is not only advisable, but required to avoid a conflict of interest and I would hope that you would be sensitive to those concerns. SESSIONS: Well, there are reasonable arguments to be made for that. I suggested that Attorney General Lynch should appoint a special counsel in the Clinton matter. I don't know whether you supported that or not. BLUMENTHAL: One reason I'm asking the question is that you have advocated a special counsel in other instances where in fact the argument for it was weaker than it would be in these cases and I think it would be appropriate. SESSIONS: Well, I will suggest that during a campaign, sometimes we get excited, but as attorney general, you have to follow the law, you have to be consistent and you have to be honorable in your decision making. And I respect the question you're raising. BLUMENTHAL: Let me ask you about another group. I welcome your condemnation of the Ku Klux Klan. You may be familiar with a group called Operation Rescue, and Operation Rescue endorsed you. In fact, Troy Newman, the head of Operation Rescue, said, quote, "We could not be happier about the selection of Senator Jeff Sessions as the next Attorney General." Operation Rescue has in fact advocated, quote, "execution," end quote, of abortion providers. And as an example of its work, this poster was circulated widely in the 1990s and early 2000s about a Dr. George Tiller who subsequently was murdered. After his murder, Operation Rescue said that his alleged murderer should be treated as a political prisoner. Dr. Tiller was murdered in 2009 and I'm sure you're familiar with is case. Will you disavow their endorsement of you? SESSIONS: I disavow any activity like that, absolutely and a group that would even suggest that is unacceptable and I will enforce the laws that make clear that a person who wants to receive a lawful abortion cannot be blocked by protesters and disruption of a doctor's practice. I might not favor of that. I am pro life as you know, but we've settled on some laws that are clearly effective and as attorney general you can be sure we would follow them. BLUMENTHAL: You would use the FACE statute, the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act to empower and mobilize the FBI, the Federal Marshal service or the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms to protect clinics if there were harassment or intimidation. SESSIONS: I would use the appropriate federal agencies and I do believe it is in violation of the law to excessively or improperly hinder even the access to an abortion clinic. BLUMENTHAL: Will you rigorously enforce statues that prohibit purchase of guns by felons or domestic abusers or drug addicts and use the statues that exist right now on the books to ban those individuals from purchasing guns? SESSIONS: Well, Congress has passed those laws, they remain the bread and butter enforcement mechanisms throughout our country today to enforce guns laws. The first and foremost goal I think of law enforcement would be to identify persons who are dangerous, who have a tendency or have been proven to be law breakers an been convicted and those who are caught carrying guns during the commission of a crime. Both of those require mandatory sentences as United States attorney in Alabama it was a high priority of mine. I calculated a number of years, we were one of the top, even though a small office, on a percentage basis, we were one of the top prosecutors of those cases. I think it saves lives Senator Blumenthal. I (inaudible) as a matter -- my judgment at least is experience tells me it can help make -- create a more peaceful community. BLUMENTHAL: Will you support laws necessary to effectively apply those laws including universal back ground checks that are necessary to know whether the purchaser is a felon or a drug addict or a domestic abuser? SESSIONS: Well, I believe in background check laws and many of them are appropriate. But, in every instance -- there's some instances when it's not practical let's say. For example somebody inherited a gun from their grandfather. Those transactions I'm not sure should require that kind of universal background check. GRASSLEY: (OFF-MIKE) member of this committee. Senator Crapo, welcome to the committee and you may proceed. CRAPO: Thank you Mr. Chairman and I too want to thank you for the way you are handling this hearing and appreciate your service here in the committee. And, Senator Sessions I also want to join those who have congratulated you on your nomination to be the attorney general of the United States. I am one of those who has had the opportunity to work with you for years and know you very well. I consider you well qualified and look forward to your service as the Attorney General of the United States, if you are confirmed and I expect you will be. I know you to be a man of your word. I know that you're committed to the Constitution of the United States of America and you are committed to enforcing the law of this country as you have said multiple times here in this committee. So, I thank you for that. I want to go on my question into just a couple of other areas. Beyond just the notion of the enforcement of the law, but the manner in which the Department of Justice enforces the law, three basic carries (ph). One the abuse of the power or discriminatory enforcement of the law. Two the regulatory over reach that we're seeing across this country and what role the Department of Justice plays in trying to deal with that. And, then finally the cooperation of the states. We live in a Union of 50 states and under our Constitution there are appropriate rules for the federal government and the states and the Department of Justice has a very powerful influence on that. So if I could get into those three areas. The first one, I'm just going to use as an example of the kind of abusive use of power that I hope you will help stop and prevent from continuing to happen. It was already -- this example is one that was already referenced by Senator Cruz, Operation Choke Point. Operation Choke Point, for those that aren't familiar with it, the only appropriate thing about it, in my opinion, is its name, it was named -- it was a program designed by the Department of Justice to help choke financing away from businesses and industries that were politically unacceptable or for whatever reason unacceptable to the administration. The Justice Department working with, and I think perhaps even pressuring, some of our financial regulatory agencies created this program to give additional scrutiny, indeed such aggressive scrutiny that it pressured them out of their access to finance -- to certain industries. I don't know how these industries got onto the list, but I'll just read you several that are on the list. Ammunition sales, coin dealers, firearm sales, installment loans, tobacco sales, this list is a list of 30 that was put out by the FDIC. When they -- when they actually realized they shouldn't of put the list out they quickly took it back. And the FD -- the FDIC says that they're not pursuing this program anymore, but when we tried to de-fund it earlier the administration fought aggressively to make sure we didn't get the votes to defund it. This program is one where the justification is -- well, the businesses who operate in these industries haven't done anything wrong. But these are industries that might do things wrong more than other industries and therefore we're going to pressure people out of these industries. It reminds me of a 2002 movie called "Minority Report," it was a Tom Cruise movie and that was one about an advanced police force in the future that had determined -- or had developed the ability to know if you we're going to commit a crime before you commit the crime. And then their job was to go arrest you. It was really good at stopping crime because they arrest you before you even commit it. And then one of them came up on the list and that's the story of that movie. My point is, we can't really tell for sure whether Operation Choke Point is still operating. Although we still have people in these industries who can't get financing. If that kind of thing is going on in the Department of Justice will you assure that it ends? SESSIONS: I will. At least as you've framed this issue and as I understand the issue from what I -- little I know about it but, fundamentally, a lawful business should not be attacked by having other lawful businesses pressured not to do business with the first business. That's, to me -- it would be hard to justify. I guess maybe they've got some arguments that would be worth listening to. But fundamentally that seems to me, Senator Crapo, you're a great lawyer and you -- but seems to me that goes beyond what would be legitimate in a great economy like ours. CRAPO: Well, I would hope the Department of Justice would not be a partner with any of our federal agencies in this kind of conduct. Another one which I'll throw out as an example is the National Instant Criminal Background Check List, which is now being utilized by the Veteran's Administration and by the Social Security Administration to put people's names on the list so that they can be denied access to owning or purchasing a firearm. And the way they put their name on the list is to say that they are mentally deficient. If they need a little help on their Social Security benefits, if they're a veteran who put their life on the line for us and goes to war and receives a head injury and so they need a little bit of assistance, then -- then they get their name often put on the list. I know that these are not the agencies that you supervise, but I know the Department of Justice supervises the NICS list. And I would just encourage your help, whether it's here or anywhere else in our government, as we see agencies using their power to achieve political purposes, or some other discriminatory purpose of the administration I would hope you would stand solidly against it. SESSIONS: Well, thank you Senator Crapo, I know you've worked on that issue. So I'd be sympathetic and be willing to receive any information that I know you've gathered on -- to form your views about it. CRAPO: All right I appreciate that. Let me move on to the question of regulatory overreach. I'll just use one example there. I'm one who believes that today, we have gone -- we talked a lot about this hearing today about the rule of law. In America, statutes are passed by Congress and signed into law by a willing president. But now we have multiple agencies that are doing rule makings that, in my opinion, are going far beyond the legal authority of the laws under which they operate. I'll use one example. The Waters of the United States rule that has been implemented -- or seeking to be implemented by the EPA and... CRAPO: doing rulemakings that in my opinion are going far beyond the legal authority of the laws under which they operate. I'll use one example. The Waters of the United States rule that has been implemented, or seeking to be implemented by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers. In my opinion that is totally unfounded in law. And often the Department of Justice is partnered up with these agencies as they try to defend their activities in court. And I'm not sure I actually know the proper role there. Does the Department of Justice simply have to litigate on behalf of these agencies? Or does it have the ability to advise these agencies that they're pursuing activities beyond the bounds of the law? SESSIONS: It can be that an agency would ask an opinion on the Office of Legal Counsel, the Department of Justice. And as to whether their interpretation is sound or not, that opinion, until reversed at some point, stands for the entire government. But basically these agencies are oftentimes just set about their own agendas without asking for an opinion. And often they are narrowminded or they're focused only on what they feel are the goals of their agency, and don't give sufficient respect to the rule of law and the propriety of what they're doing. In particular, did the Congress really intend this? Did this law really cover this? Or is it just something you want to accomplish and you're twisting the law to justify your actions? Those are the kind of things that we do need to guard against. CRAPO: Well, I appreciate that. And I hope that under your leadership we will have a Justice Department that will give strong advice where it can, and have strong influence where it can across the United States system -- across our agencies in this country, to help encourage and advise that they stay within the bounds of the law. The last thing, and I'll just finish with this and you can give a quick answer. I'm running out of time here. And that is cooperation with the states. As I said earlier, our system of government is comprised of 50 states in a union under a Constitution that establishes a federal government. And you and I both know well that the 10th Amendment says that those rights and powers, they're not specifically granted to the federal government in the Constitution, are reserved to the states and to the people, respectively. Many of our states feel that that proper respect for their sovereignty is being abused, again, by federal agencies, not just the Department of Justice. But the Justice Department often gets involved in this through providing the legal services that it does to our agencies. And you know I could go through a ton of more examples and lists of litigation that is ongoing right now with my state and other states around the country where if we simply had a better level of respect for the role of states in this union and under our Constitution, we could work out a lot more of these issues. Rather than having the heavy hand of the federal litigation system come to play into forcing compliance by states. And so I won't go into any specific details, but would just ask your feelings about that importance of respecting the role of states in this country. SESSIONS: There's no general federal criminal crimes. So many things like larceny and even murder unconnected to some civil rights connection. These things have traditionally been totally the responsibility of the states. As a young prosecutor in the 1970s I remember almost all the cases had an interstate commerce nexus. It wasn't the theft of an automobile that you prosecuted. It was interstate transportation of a stolen vehicle. CRAPO: A lot of... SESSIONS: So a lot of that is just -- now we've forgotten that distinction, that limitation on federal power. CRAPO: We have. And a lot of what I'm talking about happens in the environment and natural resource division, and others. There's a lot of litigation out there. I'd just encourage you -- I see my -- I am out of time. GRASSLEY: Let me make a suggestion before I introduce Senator Hirono. And she's welcome back to the committee. She's been off two years. To make efficient use of our time, when she's done it would be Senator Kennedy's turn. But you probably have to go vote. So if there's somebody back here that can start the second round, do it. And then we'll call on Senator Kennedy to finish the first round. Senator Hirono? HIRONO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It's good to be back on this committee. And aloha to you, Senator Sessions. SESSIONS: Aloha. HIRONO: I will do my best to be nice to you. SESSIONS: Well that won't be hard for you. HIRONO: Thank you very much. I know that the attorney general has broad prosecutorial discretion. You noted in some of your responses to questions from Senator Durbin around the issue of what would happened to the 800,000 DACA registered people if the president-elect rescinds that program. And you indicated that I think at that point the A.G.'s office only has so many resources, and that may not be a high priority for you. But you indicated that's why we needed immigration reform. So my series of questions will center around how you would exercise your prosecutorial discretion, which I think you would acknowledge is wide as attorney general. Wouldn't you? SESSIONS: In most -- in many cases you do -- the federal prosecutors set discretionary limits. But you have to be careful that it does not exceed a reasonable judgment about what a discretionary... (CROSSTALK) HIRONO: I agree. SESSIONS: ... be. HIRONO: It's not totally unfettered. Wide prosecutorial discretion. So my questions will center around how you would exercise prosecutorial discretion with regard to some specific issues. You probably know, Senator Sessions, that I am an immigrant. You indicated in one response that you would want immigration reform to center around skills based immigration reform. And if that were the case, my mother, who brought me to this country to escape an abusive marriage would not have been able to come to this country. And she acquired her skills later. But I just want to let you know that it's one of the reasons that issues relating to immigration are very important, not just to me, but to millions of people in this country. And I have heard from them. I've heard from immigrants in this country, LGBT Americans, women and religious minorities who are terrified that they will have no place in President-Elect Trump's vision of America. And based on what I've heard since the election, I am deeply concerned that their fears are well founded. I'm hoping that you can address some of these concerns today. So I mentioned the exercise of prosecutorial discretion. When you came to see me we did talk about whether or not you would support a ban on Muslims coming to this country based on the fact that they were Muslims. And you said that you would not support that. But you also indicated that you would support basically what would be considered enhanced vetting of people with extreme views. What would characterize an extreme view to you? And how would you go about ferreting out people with extreme views when there are millions of people legally coming into our country? And also a related question. The fact that you would consider vetting people with extreme views to be a proper use of our governmental authority, there must be a connection in your mind that people with extreme views, which I hope you will describe what you mean by, will do something that would compromise the safety of Americans. Could you respond to my series of questions relating to extreme views? SESSIONS: Well, I do think first of all the vetting process is in the hands of the State Department, the consular offices and those offices that are meeting people abroad and evaluating them for admission to the United States. So the Department of Justice really does not dictate that, as long as it's perhaps -- as long as it's within constitutional order. I think the approach that's preferable is the approach that is -- would be based on areas where we have an usually high risk of terrorists coming in, people who could be clearly violent criminals. And those certainly justify higher intensity of vetting. I think that mainly responds to your question. But again, the ultimate decision about that would be done through the State Department and by the president. HIRONO: I'm sure they would ask for the attorney general's opinion as to the limits of the Constitution in requiring these kinds of questions to be asked of people who come to our country. And you did indicate once that religious views would be a factor in determining whether somebody has extreme views. Let me turn to... SESSIONS: Their religious views in... (CROSSTALK) HIRONO: Not in and of itself... SESSIONS: ... extremism. Right. Not -- if they -- their interpretation of their religious views encompasses dangerous doctrines and terroristic attacks I think they should certainly deserve more careful scrutiny than someone whose religious views are less problematic. HIRONO: Yes. Senator Sessions, you did say that one's religious views would be a factor in determining whether one has extreme views that would enable -- that would not enable them to come to our country. Let me turn to the question of abortion. On Roe v. Wade, you did say quote, "I firmly believe that Roe v. Wade and its descendants represent one of the worst colossally, erroneous Supreme Court decisions of all time and it was an activists decision." My question is do you still hold that view? I believe you answered yes to someone who asked you that question previously. That you believe that Roe v. Wade was a bad decision. SESSIONS: Well, I do... HIRONO: Do you still believe that? SESSIONS: Well, I guess I've said that before, so I'm a pro-life advocate... HIRONO: Thank you. SESSIONS: ... but fundamentally, the problem, as I see it, with Roe versus Wade is that is denies the people to right to make laws that they might feel appropriate. Did the Supreme Court have that power? I concluded they didn't, because the Constitution didn't answer that question, but... HIRONO: Well, Senator Sessions... SESSIONS: ... I respect the... HIRONO: I hate to interrupt you, but I have less than two minutes. So, I don't want to get into the substance of Roe v. Wade. I realize you still believe that that was a bad decision, although it was based on constitutional privacy protections. So, we can expect the make up of the Supreme Court to change, and we can very well end up with a Supreme Court that will be very open to overturning Roe v. Wade. And should you be the attorney general, would you direct or advise your solicitor general to weigh in, to -- to weigh in before that Supreme Court, which has an opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade? And would your solicitor general go in and weigh in to repeal or to overturn, I should say, Roe v. Wade? SESSIONS: Well, Roe versus Wade is firmly asconced as the law of the land and I don't know we would see a change in that. You're asking a hypothetical question. Those cases seldom come up on such a clear issue. They come up at the margins. I just would not be able to predict what a well researched, thoughtful response to -- would be to manage it could happen in the future. HIRONO: I think most of us know that the next opportunity for the Supreme Court to weigh in on whether or not to change Roe v. Wade would be a very close decision and, likely possible a five to four decision. And that it's not just a hypothetical, but it is a real concern to a lot of people. Let me turn to the Voting Rights Act. While the Supreme Court did eliminate parts of the Voting Rights Act, it still retains Section II, which prohibits states from enacting laws that would have a discriminatory impact. The Attorney General's Office was a party to challenging two states laws, I believe it was Texas and there was another state, that the Supreme Court ultimately agreed with the attorney general's position that these laws violated the Voting Rights Act, Section II. Would you, should you become the attorney general, just as vigorously prosecute those kinds of state laws that have a discriminatory voting impact? SESSIONS: Well, this administration's attorney general has intervened when it felt it was appropriate and not intervened when it did not feel it was appropriate. So, I think my responsibility would be to ensure that there's no discriminatory problems with a Voting Rights Act of a state. If there is, if it violates the Voting Rights Act or the Constitution, I think the United States -- the attorney general may well have a responsibility and a duty to intervene. You cannot allow improper erosion of -- of the right of Americans to vote. HIRONO: Well, we know that since the Supreme Court's decision that did away with major parts of the Voting Rights Act that numerous, perhaps 13 states have already enacted laws that could be deemed contrary to the Voting Rights Act. So I would hope as attorney general, you would vigorously review those kinds of laws and to prosecute and to -- to seek to overturn those state laws just as your predecessors have done. I want to turn to VAWA. I know that you voted against the most recent iteration of VAWA because you had concerns about how non-Indians would be prosecuted under tribal law. And you indicated that yes, you do acknowledge that non-Indians do go on tribal lands, commit crimes and that these should be, these kinds of crimes should be prosecuted at the federal level. And I would expect that should you become attorney general, that you will do that. But at the same time, my question is, would you then seek to overturn that part of VAWA that allows the tribal courts to proceed? SESSIONS: That would be a strictly legal decision. We should give respect to the laws of Congress that have been passed. As a member of Congress, I was uneasy with it, did not think it was a good approach, and I believe eight out of nine Republicans on the committee shared that concern and did vote against it. As I noted earlier, I voted for the Violence Against Women Act in 2000, 2010 and I voted for the Grassley version of the Violence Against Women Act this past time, even though I did vote against the same law. HIRONO: So, as attorney general, you would not do anything to -- to challenge that part of VAWA that allows for tribal courts to proceed. SESSIONS: Well, I would have to make a legal decision on that. I'm not able to do so today. HIRONO: Thank you Mr. Chairman. GRASSLEY: Thank you. LEE: Senator Sessions, you are aware, many instances, Congress when enacting a law will choose to issue a broad, sort of, mandate, a broad aspirational statement, leaving the details of the actual law making process to a regulatory system that then has to follow certain procedures in term to effectively make laws. We call those regulations, typically, and sometimes an executive branch agency will go a step further. And outside the process that has to be followed when propagating a new regulation, they'll just issue a guidance document. A guidance document outlining what the agency feels is the status of the law in this area. Guidance documents have received a lot of criticism from members of the public, who point out that they are bereft of any kind of safeguard. And they haven't gone through a legislative process, they haven't even gone through any time of revue process that would normally accompany the regulatory -- the regulatory rule making cycle. As a matter of policy making, will the Department of Justice, under your leadership, assuming you're confirmed, use guidance documents as a matter of course in propagating legal interpretations? SESSIONS: Senator Lee, a guidance document that's clearly within the intent of Congress and the laws plain words can be beneficial. I think they're normally issued by the agency or department that administered it, like, for example, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Department of Commerce. The often, or sometimes, they ask the Office of Legal Counsel for their opinion about what the proper interpretation of a statute is, but I do think you raise a valid concern. A guidance document cannot amount to an amendment to the law. Bureaucrats do not have -- that's a majority term, but department and agency attorneys and members don't have the ability to rewrite the law to make it say what they'd like it to say. And if we get away from that principle, we've eroded respect for law and the whole constitutional structure where Congress makes the laws not the executive branch. LEE: What about in the context of litigation? Where you're litigating a case involving one of these guidance documents that you're representing, the federal agency in question. Will the department, under your leadership, assuming your confirmed to this position, ask courts to defer to non-binding guidance documents in the same way that courts are routinely asked to defer to regulations? SESSIONS: Well, that's a good question, from a good lawyer I have to say. In other words, the question you're suggesting is, the established law of the land or the courts is that they give certain deference to well established, properly established regulations issued pursuant to -- to statute, but what if the secretary just issues a guidance document? Does the court -- is the court entitled to give full deference to that? I would -- first of all, I don't know. I haven't researched it. But I do think that would be a pretty bold step to go that far and would be dubious about it. LEE: Thank you. As you know, from time to time, the Department of Justice receives subpoenas or -- or one of the entities being represented by the Department of Justice might receive requests from members of Congress, from committees in Congress, including some committees that have the power issue subpoenas, in other instances, just letters or other types of requests from Congress for documents. I suspect that there may be a number of outstanding requests of this nature that are left pending at the end of this administration, requests that were issued during the 114th Congress, the -- the Congress previous to this one, but will still need to be handled within the department after you're confirmed, assuming you are confirmed. Will you commit to reviewing any of those that remain pending and -- and doing so in a manner that's timely and -- and showing the respect for a coordinate branch of government? SESSIONS: Senator Lee, if you would, repeat for me the -- what kind of... LEE: Yep, pending request for documents that -- that might be left over form the previous Congress... SESSIONS: Request for documents in what kind of -- proceeding? LEE: Request for documents either from the department itself or in matters where the department is involved, representing an entity within the federal government. I just want to make sure that those don't get left behind -- that they don't get ignored simply because they haven't been dealt with by the previous administration. SESSIONS: Well, I -- I do think that in time it'll be evaluated in proper request. I -- I would assume would continue to be valid and we would try to follow up whatever the law requires in that regard. LEE: Thank you. I appreciate that. I want to talk about the use of the attorney client privilege by members of the executive branch -- by executive branch officials. In a 1998 opinion, the U.S. Court Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reached the conclusion that executive branch officials do not enjoy the same common law attorney client privilege as ordinary lawyers -- lawyers who are not executive branch officials. And -- and Justice Scalia, while he was serving as the assistant of attorney general over the office of legal council, authored a legal opinion stating that the -- that executive branch officials do no enjoy the privilege, unless they're dispensing with personal legal advice. Instead, in that view, executive branch officials need to exert the executive privilege rather than the traditional common law attorney client privilege. And yet executive branch agencies routinely can be observed asserting the attorney client privilege instead of the -- in much the same way they would in the traditional context, rather than just invoking the executive privilege. Would -- would you agree with that, that -- that might raise some questions? SESSIONS: Senator Lee, I have not studied that opinion of Justice Scalia. I would be reluctant to comment. Except I would say that it's probably good for the American republic that department and agency officials seek legal advice before they act. In the long run, that's probably better. And I think having some expectation that they can have a candid comment with their attorney is of value. I hadn't thought about and never given study to the question of whether it should be on the executive privilege or attorney client. Although I can understand the -- imagine the difficulties. LEE: Yes. No, I -- I -- I appreciate your candor on that point and it gives me some comfort knowing that you're aware of the -- of the situation, you'll look at those. I'd like to talk about some anti-trust issues in the -- the moments I have remaining. And then perhaps we'll get back to these during a subsequent round. Anti-trust regulators, when they're reviewing potentially anti-competitive harms that might arise as a result of a merger will sometimes impose conditions, conditions on the merger moving forward, saying unless you do A, B and C, this merger can't go forward. But if you do A, B and C in order to address whatever concerns we, the anti-trust regulators have, then -- then the merger can be consummated. It is my view that there is a temptation for anti-trust regulators sometimes to impose conditions that don't involve anti-competitive concerns. And that that raises some red flags that because the role of the anti-trust regulator is to look out for anti-competitive concerns arising out of the merger. That's where their inquiry ought to be focused and that's where their conditions ought to be focused. Do you disagree with that? SESSIONS: I would agree with that, as I -- as you formulate it, I believe. And it would be wrong on to further some other separate discreet agenda that's not reasonably connected to the merger itself. So I think we should ensure that we have the highest integrity in anti-trust adjudications, because they can have great impact. The law is not crystal clear about what's lawful and what's not lawful, and what the anti-trust division is required to do. And it leaves dangers, if not politicalization of it, it remains dangers -- dangers of policy agendas getting involved in it. So it's a important division that requires great integrity and ability I believe, in the leadership at the anti-trust division. GRASSLEY: Thank you. Just a moment. Senator Leahy. LEAHY: Thank you, thank you, Mr. Chairman. The -- as I listened to Senator Lee asking you these questions, it occurred to me that you were one of a very, very, very small minority of members who opposed the USA Freedom Act that I drafted with Senator Lee, it passed with a super majority in both the House and the Senate. Even though you voted against it and this of course topped the bulk collection by NSA, that both Senator Lee and I opposed. Do you agree the executive branch has to uphold the law that they cannot reinstate the bulk collection of America's phone records without amending federal statutes? SESSIONS: Senator Leahy, that appears to be so and I can't swear that that's absolutely, totally, always true, but it appears to be so. LEAHY: Wait -- wait -- wait a minute. We either passed the law or we didn't pass the law. A super majority voted for the Lee-Leahy law, the president signed it into law. You voted against it. Will you uphold the law? SESSIONS: I will follow the law, yes, sir. LEAHY: And will you commit that you're not going to allow the NSA to engage in the bulk collection of Americans' records in violation of the USA Freedom Act based on a theory that somehow whoever is president has the power to disregard the statute? SESSIONS: I do not believe that the statute can be disregarded and it should be followed. LEAHY: Thank you, I appreciate that. We had a dust-up in the press, as you recall, when Mr. Trump bragged about how he had grabbed women and so on. You, shortly after the tape came out, and I realize that an explanation here, you said I don't characterize that as sexual assault. But then you said later, the Weekly Standard's characterization of comments they made following Sunday's presidential debate, is completely inaccurate. My hesitation is based solely on the confusion of the content of the 2005 tape, a hypothetical posed by the reporter which was asked in a chaotic post environment -- post debate environment. And of course it's crystal clear that assault is unacceptable. I would never intentionally suggest otherwise. That's basically what you said after the confusion on your first comment. Is that correct? SESSIONS: I believe that's correct. LEAHY: Thank you. Is grabbing a woman by her genitals without consent, is that sexual assault? SESSIONS: Clearly it would be. LEAHY: If a sitting president or any other high federal official was accused of committing what the president-elect described in a context which it could be federally prosecuted, would you be able to prosecute and investigate? SESSIONS: The president is subject to certain lawful restrictions, and they would be required to be applied by the appropriate law enforcement official if -- if -- if appropriate, yes. LEAHY: And the conduct described, based on the description, would be sexual assault? SESSIONS: Well, the confusion about the question, it was a hypothetical question and it -- and it related to what was said on the tape. I did not remember at the time whether this was suggested to be an unaccepted, unwanted kind of... LEAHY: OK, well let's... SESSIONS: ... would certainly meet the definition. If that's what the tape said, then that would be... LEAHY: My -- my question is very simple. Is grabbing a woman by her genitals without consent, is that sexual assault? SESSIONS: Yes. LEAHY: Thank you. Now you were asked earlier about having called the NAACP and the ACLU un-American. You said that was before you were a senator. But as a senator you've committed to be -- you have continued to be hostile to them. You criticize nominees for having what you call ACLU DNA. Now I remember when Republicans led the Justice Department, his inspector general found the Bush administration engaged in unlawful, politicized hiring practices. That's the Republican administration's own inspector general. They said the Ashcroft Justice Department used litmus tests whether applicants would be sufficiently conservative. If they were ever in the ACLU, they couldn't have a job. You said in a radio interview, justice has to be safe and secular, progressive, liberals. OK. Let me ask you a couple simple questions. Are an individual's religious beliefs relevant to the employment at the Justice Department? SESSIONS: Not unless it's such that they can't perform their duties in an honorable way consistent with the law. LEAHY: What would be an example of that? SESSIONS: Well, if an individual so strongly believed that abortion should be unlawful that they use their position to block constitutionally approved abortions, I think that would make them not subject to being employed in the Department of Justice. LEAHY: Are you going to have a litmus test at the Department of Justice for people who have worked at civil rights organizations? SESSIONS: No. LEAHY: Senator Graham mentioned you've long been a champion of states' rights and certainly you and I have had enough discussions on that and I realize those are deeply-held beliefs. But states have also voted on an issue of marijuana and regulation. I believe your own state of Alabama permits the use of a derivative of marijuana known as CBD oil, legal in Alabama, illegal under federal law. If you are confirmed as the nation's chief law enforcement official and you know that we have very limited federal resources, in fact we're spending about a third of our budget now just to keep the prisons open because of mandatory minimums and what not. Would you use our federal resources to investigate and prosecute sick people who are using marijuana in accordance with their state laws, even though it might violate federal law? SESSIONS: Well, I won't commit to never enforcing federal law, Senator Leahy, but absolutely it's a problem of resources for the federal government. The Department of Justice under Lynch and Holder, set forth some policies that they thought were appropriate to define what cases should be prosecuted in states that have legalized at least in some fashion some parts of marijuana. LEAHY: Do you agree with those guidelines? SESSIONS: I think some of them are truly valuable in evaluating cases, but fundamentally the criticism I think that was legitimate is that they may not have been falling. Only using good judgment about how to handle these cases will be a responsibility of mine. I know it won't be an easy decision, but I will try to do my duty in a fair and just way. LEAHY: The only reason I mention is you've been some very strong views, you even mandated the death penalty for anyone convicted of a second drug trafficking offense, including marijuana, even though mandatory death penalties are of course unconstitutional. SESSIONS: Well, I'm not sure under what circumstances I said that, but I don't think that sounds like something I would normally say. We're glad to look at it, but... LEAHY: Would you say that's not your view today? SESSIONS: It is not my view today. LEAHY: Thank you very much. LEE: I perked up when he started talking about federalism. And, of course, everything Senator Leahy said was interesting. But the federalism stuff is particularly interesting. (UNKNOWN) Praising -- he was praising your legislation. LEE: Yes, exactly. I appreciated that too. That was -- that was great. Federalism is an issue that's near and dear to many of us, and I know it's important to you. The notion that our federal government possesses powers that James Madison described as few and defined. Those reserved to the states are numerous and indefinite. We were supposed to be a different legislative body. Our federal government was always intended as a limited purpose national government, not a general purpose national government, one possessing complete police powers. We've seen a slow, but steady drift over the last 80 years away from this principle of federalism, such that powers exercised at the federal level today could no longer be described as few and defined, but more appropriately described as numerous an indefinite. And in light of the supremacy clause in the Constitution, any powers we do exercise through the federal government are by definition replaced from the states. In other words, when our action conflicts with state action, it's our action that prevails in light of the supremacy clause. It's one of the reasons why federalism needs to be looked out for so carefully. And one of the reasons why a view that I think you and I both share is that U.S. government officials, in all three branches of government, whether they wear a black robe or not, are expected when they swear an oath to uphold the Constitution, to look out for basic structural protections in the Constitution like federalism so that we don't have an excessive accumulation of power in the hands of the few. So, the Founding Fathers set up this system in which we have these structural protections. We have the vertical protection we call federalism, which we've just described and the horizontal protection we call separation of powers, that says within the federal government, in order to protect us against the risks associated with the excessive accumulation of power in the hands of a few, we're going to have one branch that makes the laws, another branch that enforces the laws and a third branch that interprets the laws. As long as we keep each branch within the same lane, the people are protected from what happens when one person or a group of people gets too powerful. But over the last 80 years, just as we've seen a deterioration of federalism, we've also seen a deterioration of separation of powers. You have an interesting set of circumstances with our laws, our controlled substances laws concerning marijuana, in that for the first time in a very long time you've seen some attention paid to federalism, but in the limited area associated with marijuana. In other words, there are federal laws prohibiting the use of marijuana, the sale of marijuana, the production of marijuana, that apply regardless of whether a state has independently criminalized that drug, as every state until recently had. Then you had some states coming along and decriminalizing it, sometimes in the medical context, other times in a broader context. The response by the Department of Justice during the Obama administration has been interesting and it's been different than it has in other areas. They've been slow to recognize principles of federalism elsewhere. They chose to recognize it here. My question to you is, did the way they respond to that federalism concern, run afoul of separation of powers? Did what they -- did the department's approach to this issue, that they identified as a federalism issue, contravene the understanding that we are the law-making body and the executive branch is the law-enforcing body? SESSIONS: Well, I'm not sure I fully understand the point of your question. But you're talking about separation of powers within the federal government? LEE: Yes. SESSIONS: The three branches of federal government. LEE: Yes. SESSIONS: And how do they -- how does that implicate the marijuana laws? LEE: Yes. Are there separation of powers concerns arising out of the Department of Justice's current approach to state marijuana laws? SESSIONS: Well, I think one obvious concern is that the United States Congress has made the possession of marijuana in every state and distribution of it, an illegal act. So, if you -- we need to -- if that's something that's not desired any longer, Congress should pass a law to change -- change the rule. It -- it's not so much the attorney general's job to decide what laws to enforce. We should do our job and enforce laws effectively as we're able. LEE: Thank you. I'd like to get back to anti-trust issues for a moment. In 2010 you co-sponsored some legislation that extended the Anti-Trust Division's leniency program, extended it all the way out to 2020. So, it was a 10-year extension at the time you helped to move that through. The legislation provided that members of a cartel could receive reduced penalties if they reported cartel activity to the Department and cooperated with in the investigation the Department had in connection with theft anti-trust cartel. Now the Anti-Trust Division within the Department of Justice considers this tool, quote, "It's most important investigative tool for detecting cartel activity." close quote. Because it creates an incentive for cartel members to self-report, to come forward, and to identify things that the Anti-Trust Division needs to be aware of. So, I applaud your leadership in this area because it's been very helpful to the enforcement of our anti-trust laws in the department. So, I have two questions related to this program, looking forward. First, given its importance, do you think the program should be made permanent and second, are you open to any other ideas that might strengthen the program? SESSIONS: Senator Lee, I would not commit to -- commit to you that I have formed an opinion on that. These are very complex areas of the law. I'm not a member of the Anti-Trust subcommittee, as a number of members of our committee are and have achieved levels of expertise like Senator Klobuchar and you and others. So, I would just have to commit to you that I'm open to hearing the views of this Congress and that subcommittee and would try to work with you, but I do understand that anti-trust policy is an important issue for America and we need to get it right and that would be my goal. LEE: Thank you. One important question that sometimes arises in the anti-trust context relates to what role the Department of Justice should play in communicating with foreign authorities, authorities in other countries that deal with competition laws, deal with things analogous to our anti-trust laws in this country. The Department of Justice has typically played a leading role, but in recent years it has also allowed the Federal Trade Commission, the FTC, to become heavily involved. To my mind, this raises some potential concerns because the FTC is an independent agency, as compared to the Department of Justice, of course, which is headed by a presidential appointee who, with Senate confirmation, serves at the pleasure of the president. Do you have any opinion on this as to -- at this point, that the Department of Justice, which is more accountable to the president and therefore has some connection to the people, should be more actively involved in communicating with foreign anti-trust or -- or competition authorities? SESSIONS: I really wouldn't attempt to comment today on that. I would be glad to hear your thoughts on it. I think it can be problematic if U.S. officials encourage foreign officials to join with them to -- against an action of a private company. They put -- it could put so much excessive pressure on them that they're not able to resist, and when they may have a lawful basis to resist. But -- so these are big issues and you have to be sensitive to the power that the Department of Justice has, that the Anti-Trust Division has and make sure that there's a principled policy and lawful basis for what is done. LEE: Thank you, Senator Sessions. I see our Chairman's back. Oh, he's not back. (CROSSTALK) LEE: Senator Feinstein. FEINSTEIN: It's my understanding that Senator Durbin has not yet had his second round and so I would like to defer to him. (CROSSTALK) FEINSTEIN: I'm going to defer to Durbin because he somehow got missed. DURBIN: Thank you very much. I want to thank the chairman and my friend, Senator Feinstein. This morning, before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Director Comey of the FBI was testifying on the question of investigating the Russian involvement in this last election. And he was asked if there was any ongoing investigation about contacts between Moscow and the Russians and any presidential campaigns. And he refused to answer, said he wasn't going to discuss any ongoing investigations publicly. I would like to ask you a question related to recusal. You stated earlier today that you had made the decision, and you haven't given us real background on it, but made the decision that you would recuse yourself from any prosecutions involving Hillary Clinton or the Clinton campaign and e-mails. And then I understand -- I wasn't present but Senator Blumenthal asked you for some other hypotheticals as to whether you'd recuse yourself on an emolument question or some other things, and you said you'd take it on a case-by-case basis. What if, hypothetical, same as Hillary Clinton, we are dealing with an investigation that involves the Trump campaign or anyone in the Trump campaign, would you recuse yourself as attorney general from that prosecution? SESSIONS: My response to the -- my recusal issue was because I'd made public comments about it that could be construed as having an opinion on the final judgment that would have to be rendered. I don't think I made any comments on this issue that go to that, but I would review it and try to do the right thing as to whether or not it should stay within the jurisdiction of the attorney general or not. DURBIN: It would strike me that this is an obvious case for a special prosecutor if it involves a campaign leading to a candidate who selected you as the attorney general. Wouldn't an abundance of caution suggest that you wouldn't want any questions raised about your integrity in that type of prosecution? SESSIONS: Senator Durbin, I think it would be incumbent upon anybody who's holding the office of attorney general at that time to carefully think his way through that, to seek the advice and to follow the normal or appropriate special prosecutor standards. And so I would intend to do that. But I have not expressed an opinion on the merits of those issues, to my knowledge. DURBIN: Senator Sessions, there's been a lot of controversy about refugees. The United States had a dubious record on refugees during World War II, refusing to accept Jewish refugees who were, in some cases, returned to Europe and the Holocaust and perished. After World War II, a new policy emerged in the United States, bipartisan policy, and the United States became more open, in some cases generous, to accepting refugees. The numbers, I've heard various numbers, but 650,000 Cuban refugees who came to the United States during the ascendancy of the Castro regime, 125,000 or more Soviet Jews accepted in the United States, spared from persecution in the Soviet Union. Four hundred thousand from Eastern Europe after World War II, 400,000 from Vietnam, 150,000 from the former Yugoslavia. In the audience today is Omar al-Muktad (ph). I don't know you could please stand here. Mr. Muktad (ph) is a Syrian refugee. His story is a story of a journalist who for more than a decade publicized human rights abuses by the Assad regime, arrested seven times, imprisoned for two years. When he refused to stop writing after that, the prison guards broke his hands. After his release from prison, he continued to write about the abuses of the Syrian security forces. When he was again pursued by the regime, he fled to Turkey. He was resettled in the United States by Catholic Charities after receiving refugee status. There have been some strong words spoken about Syrian refugees. In fact, during the course of the campaign there were some who said we should accept none, and many have questioned whether we should accept any refugees from anywhere. Despite the lengthy vetting process and background checks, some have said, no refugees; we're finished with that business. One of your responsibilities as attorney general will be the involvement of prosecutorial discretion, decisions that have to be made about the fate of men like Alton Mills I had introduced earlier, who had served 22 years of a life sentence for the possession of crack cocaine. Cases of Oscar Vasquez, a man who was a DREAMer and wanted to serve the United States in uniform. And this case involving Omar al-Muktad (ph). The American Bar Association standards say the duty of a prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict. It is an important function of the prosecutor to seek to reform and improve the administration of criminal justice. When it comes to cases like these, in your role as the leading prosecutor in the United States of America, what is your feeling about your discretion to make the decision as to whether or not to spare individuals like those I've described? SESSIONS: I've been made aware in the last several years how this process works. It's really the secretary of state, usually through consultation with the president, that decides how many refugees should be admitted to the country. And there's little Congress can do other than getting into a funding argument with the president about that. So Secretary Kerry met with members of the Judiciary Committee to announce what he planned to do on refugees. That will be how it would be decided, and legally the president appears to have that power. But it would be my responsibility, I think, to make sure that it was exercised within the bounds of law. DURBIN: But you have a responsibility too. You oversee the office of the pardon attorney, which recommends that sentences like those of Alton Mills be commuted. You oversee the immigration courts, which are responsible for interpreting how our nation's immigration laws apply to DREAMers and refugees like Mr. Muktad (ph). So this isn't another agency. It is the Department of Justice, and you will be the leader of that department. You will have the authority and prosecutorial discretion. You can't point to Congress and you can't point to the State Department. There's a responsibility within your own department. SESSIONS: Well, a refugee is admitted or not admitted to the United States on the approval or disapproval by the secretary of state and his consular officials. It's not a trial or not a litigation. So that's how that would be determined. The gentleman from Syria that you mentioned should have -- be able to make a strong case for his acceptance as a refugee because he's been damaged and injured and attacked and at risk for his writings, so that would give him -- proving that should give him -- put him at a higher level of potential acceptance. DURBIN: Well, you and I can disagree on this one point on your authority over immigration courts as attorney general. But I hope that we both agree that there are compelling cases of people who are victims around the world of terrorism and war, discrimination and maltreatment, men and women. And many of them look to the United States as the last possible place for them to find safety and security. I hope after the heated language of this last election campaign that we can come back to some of the standards that have guided this nation since World War II. SESSIONS: Well, we will not end the refugee program. I would not favor that. But we do have a responsibility to be careful and make sure those who are admitted have been properly vetted and are not a danger. DURBIN: Thank you. GRASSLEY: This is what I'd like to do. The votes kind of made this a convoluted rounds that we're in here. One person's had third round, we've got one person with no round. So this -- or without a first round. And then Senator Sessions would like to take a break. So here's what I'd like to do, Senator Sessions, if it's OK with you. I want to go with Senator Hatch, Senator Feinstein for their second rounds, and then Senator Kennedy for his first round and give you a short break at that point. Is that OK? SESSIONS: That would be good, thank you. GRASSLEY: And for the benefit of the rest of you, I kind of got lost out of this, but I've got to be here for the rest of the meeting, where maybe some of you don't have to be. So I'll wait and do my second, third and fourth round when everybody else is gone. FEINSTEIN: Was that nice! (UNKNOWN) Now me? (LAUGHTER) GRASSLEY: Now it's... FEINSTEIN: Senator Hatch? GRASSLEY: Senator Hatch, yes. HATCH: Senator Sessions, I think you've done a terrific job. I've known you all of your 20 years. I've watched you work diligently on the Judiciary Committee and on your other committees as well. You're an honest, decent man, and you have tremendous abilities in law enforcement
DNC CONVENTION DAY 2 PODIUM HEAD ON 7PM / HD
HEAD ON PODIUM SHOT FROM THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION AT THE WELLS FARGO CENTER IN PHILADELPHIA / 19:00:05 >> And you can support that effort right now by going to hillaryclinton.com. Now, folks, I've known Hillary and her husband Bill for more than half of my life. I love this woman. I still remember her playing mermaid in the pool with our youngest daughter Sally for hours on family vacations. I was proud she was the first person to call and congratulate our oldest son jack when he began his career as an officer in the United States marine Corps, and I'll never forget when she and then president Clinton did not hesitate to travel through a blizzard to attend my father's funeral. 19:00:50 That is something you will never forget. That is friendship. Hillary is tough. She is determined. She is an amazing mother, grandmother and wife, and I know that she loves this country more than anything else. Compare that to what we just heard from Donald Trump and the Republicans. They spent four days tearing down our country. They blamed immigrants. They blamed refugees. They blamed affordable health care and offered no solutions other than giving the nuclear codes to a man who praises Vladimir Putin and Saddam hussein. 19:01:37 If Donald Trump really cared about American greatness, he wouldn't attack Democrats. He would follow our lead. In Virginia we're putting our values into action to create jobs and bring our unemployment rate down from 5.3% when I took office to 3.7% today, the steepest decline a governor has seen at this point in 32 years in Virginia. We have made record investments in public education, expanded access so we have a healthy, nutritious plan for all of our children and let me tell you this, folks, I am so proud of Virginia. We were the first state in the United States of America to be certified to have ended veteran homelessness in our state. 19:02:29 We have fought Republican efforts to discriminate against lgbt virginian, and we have stood up for a woman's right to choose, and we are overcoming obstacles to deny hundreds of thousands of former felons their right to vote because history tells us that enemies of progress can slow the march toward justice and equality, but they cannot stop us. We have come so far since 2008, but there is more work to be done, that's why I support Hillary Clinton, because they'll want a president who will build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. A president who tackles global warming head-on and stands up for common-sense solutions to keep guns away from dangerous people, a president who has vision, purpose and the experience to lead our nation not cheesy slogans and silly hats. 19:03:32 A president who will build our country up and not tear it down to scare up votes. My friend, I have known Hillary for decades. I have seen her in action. I know that she will be the kind of leader that she will be, and she will lead this nation. Tonight we made history, but the fight has just begun. It is time for all of us to get to work and to make my friend Hillary Clinton the next president of the United States of America. Thank you! LEADER NANCY PELOSI 19:05:43 Good evening! Good evening everyone. In 1776 not very far from here our founding fathers created our nation. Ninety-six years ago, America's women first won the right to vote, 96 years ago. We are preparing to shatter the highest strongest marble ceiling in our country by electing Hillary Clinton president of the United State's. Aren't you proud to be part of this historic moment in our history? 19:06:31 Hillary Clinton knows that this moment is not just about one woman's achievement, but about what a woman president will mean for generations to come - for the dreams and hopes and aspirations of every woman and every son and every daughter across our the land for generations to come. 19:06:52 The Democratic Women of the House are leading the way to unleash the power of America's women and working families - in our economy, in our society, and in our democracy. Nothing is more wholesome for America than the increased participation and leadership of women in government and politics. 19:07:19 Here, tonight, are women leaders who personify the integrity, imagination, and idealism and, indeed, the courage that will build a stronger America for hard-working families. AsHillary Clinton, they have spent their lifetimes fighting for women and children. And in November, we will affirm the great truth of our country: when women succeed, America succeeds! REP DORIS MATSUI (CALIFORNIA 19:07:58 Hi. I'm Congresswoman Doris Matsui from the great state of California. Today, the success of women is more important than ever to the strength of working families. Women are fueling the future of the American economy. That's why House Democrats created the economic agenda, When Women Succeed, America Succeeds. 19:08:34 We have four keys to unlock the full potential of women and working families: fair pay - raising the minimum wage and ensuring equal pay for equal work; paid leave - empowering women and men to balance the responsibilities of work and family; affordable,and quality child care; and strengthened retirement security for women to enter their twilight years with confidence and dignity. We will fight Republican attempts to weaken Social Security. 19:09:30 Hillary Clinton stands with us. And we stand with her on every one of these commitments. Together, we will build a stronger America for our families. REP JAN SCHAKOWSKY 19:09:54 I'm Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky from Illinois, the birthplace of Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton and House Democrats believe a stronger America means protecting women's rights and expanding women's opportunities. Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress have other priorities: meddling in women's most intimate decisions; jeopardizing women's health; even criminalizing women's choices. When it comes to the issues between women and their doctors, House Republicans misrepresent, they intimidate, and they undermine. In this Congress alone, they've voted 14 times to attack women's health. 19:10:54 Republicans continue to attack the Affordable Care Act while it provides newfound health security to millions of Americans. Because of health care reform, no longer can insurance companies charge you more just because you're a woman. And for the first time in history, no longer is being a woman a pre-existing condition! Democrats are fighting back against the Republicans' anti-women crusade. It's 2016, and American women are not going back. We are moving forward! REP NYDIA VELAZQUEZ (NEW YORK) 19:11:47 Hi, I'm Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez from the great state of New York. America's small businesses and entrepreneurs have always been at the heart of our economy - and the true engine of job creation in our communities. And today, more women are starting small businesses than ever before. Women-owned and women-operated small businesses are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in America today. 19:12:30 Women of color and women veterans are quickly transforming the face of entrepreneurship in our country. Women entrepreneurs are building a stronger America every day. They need the capital to grow and the tools to thrive. Hillary Clinton has a plan that will ensure all of America's small businesses can compete and succeed in the global economy. Because Hillary sides with the little guy, that is why I am with Her. REP SUZAN DELBENE (WASHINGTON) 19:13:19 I'm Congresswoman Suzan DelBene from the great state of Washington. Before coming to Congress, I was an entrepreneur. And I know that innovation is at the heart of who we are as Americans - and it's essential to keeping American workers, American products, and American ideas number one in the 21st century. 19:13:43 A decade ago, House Democrats enacted the first Innovation Agenda. And with the majority, we made revolutionary investments in clean energy development, in affordable, world-class STEM education, and in expanding broadband to rural families. 19:14:01 And House Democrats will work with President Hillary Clinton to sustain America's lead in innovation - creating good-paying jobs, powering our economy, and driving bold solutions to the challenges facing our climate and our communities. A strong America - an America that's "Stronger Together" - will lead the world in entrepreneurship, in innovation, and clean energy. REP BONNIE WATSON COLEMAN 19:14:35 I'm Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman and I come from the great state of New Jersey. House Democrats believe America is strongest when we have an economy that works for everybody, not just for those at the top. If you're willing to work hard in our country, you deserve a secure financial future and a strong foothold on the American Dream: buying a home, sending children to college, and real retirement security. 19:15:15 We should be creating jobs by upgrading our roads, bridges, broadband, transit systems, energy grids, and water infrastructure. And we can pay for this progress by closing loopholes and making big corporations pay their fair share. Democrats, led by Hillary Clinton, know that we must make college more affordable and lift the crushing burden of student debt that weighs on the futures of many young Americans and their families! America is stronger when everyone has a chance to succeed. REP LOIS FRANKEL 19:15:03 I'm Congresswoman Lois Frankel of Florida. I'm the proud mother of a United States Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our men and women in uniform, our veterans, and our military families give everything to our country. They embody our highest ideals: service, selflessness, and bravery. 19:16:41 We owe them a debt of gratitude we can never fully repay. As Democrats, we believe we have a responsibility to ensure every veteran gets the support, the health care, the education, and the job training he or she needs to succeed. And we're proud to stand behind Hillary Clinton, a candidate with clear plans to improve the lives of our veterans. Our veterans fought to protect our freedom and our security. We are a stronger America because of their sacrifice, and we owe them a strong future of honor and opportunity. REP KATHERINE CLARK 19:17:25 I'm Katherine Clark of the great commonwealth Massachusetts. We stand here tonight because generations of Americans, across our history, stepped forward to defend and advance our democracy. In a democracy, it is the voices of the people - not the checkbooks of the privileged - that must drive our politics and our policies. We want the democracy Hillary Clinton believes in, one that fights to make sure America works for everyone, not just the well-connected and the wealthy. 19:18:08 The special interests shouldn't be able to buy themselves a louder voice than America's hard-working families! Together, with Hillary Clinton by our side, we will cut the cancer of secret money out of our democracy and overturn Citizens United. What does this mean for American families? It means a stronger America that is free from the grip of the gun lobby. 19:18:43 Ninety-one Americans are killed by gun violence every day. Republicans and the big money gun lobby shouldn't be blocking common sense legislation to keep guns out of the wrong hands! We held a sit-in, but now it's time to stand up and stand together to demand change. REP STEPHANIE MURPHY (FLORIDA) 19:19:16 I'm Stephanie Murphy, and I'm running to represent Florida in the House alongside these remarkable women. After 9/11, I left a job in the corporate world to become a National Security Specialist for the Secretary of Defense. 19:19:33 Democrats know a stronger America means confronting the threats abroad - without blinking and without undermining our values. Democrats are strengthening our fight against terror by working with our allies, not abandoning them. 19:19:50 Democrats know we need to be strong and smart to destroy ISIS and protect America, not reckless and rash. Democrats are ensuring our military has the resources they need to do their job. And our military knows how to do their job better than anyone else in the world! REP VAL DEMINGS (FLORIDA) 19:20:18 My name is Val Demings, and I'm running for Congress in the great state of Florida. I spent 27 years on the Orlando police force and had the honor of serving as Orlando's first woman chief of police. 19:20:43 I know firsthand the tragedy that gun violence inflicts on families in America. And after 49 people were murdered at a nightclub in Orlando last month, let me tell you: our city takes it personally that Congress refuses to disarm hate. You don't need to be a police chief to know that our communities are less safe when criminals and suspected terrorists can walk into gun shops or gun shows and leave with a weapon. 19:21:27 On issue after issue, it's the leadership of women that makes a stronger America. With Hillary Clinton in the White House and these strong House Democratic women, together with women and families all across our nation, we will show the world what this statement really means: When Women Succeed, America Succeeds! Thank you. 19:22:07 [ TRUMP VIDEO PLAYS ON JOHN MCCAIN ] JASON CARTER 19:24:38 Greetings from the battleground state of Georgia. When my grandfather accepted the Democratic nomination for president, he stood before this group and said: "It is time for America to move and to speak not with boasting and belligerence but with a quiet strength, to depend in world affairs not merely on the size of an arsenal but on the nobility of ideas, and to govern at home not by confusion and crisis but with grace and imagination and common sense." 19:25:14 Those words feel even more relevant today than they did 40 years ago. And I promise that he is itching to get on the campaign trail and elect Hillary Clinton. This last year has been a remarkable one for our family. Almost exactly a year ago, my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. He approached his diagnosis with the exact faith, dignity, and strength we've come to expect. He never stopped working for peace and health around the world, and he never stopped teaching Sunday school at home in Plains. 19:25:49 Today, thanks to the miracle of modern science and the power of prayer, I am happy to report that his cancer is gone. Not only that, but earlier this month, he and my grandmother celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. 19:26:07 My grandparents demonstrate that there is a strength in love, humility, and service that no amount of anger, or pride, or salesmanship can match. That principled strength is what drives them in the work they do every day, and that same principled strength will elect Hillary Clinton as our next president. VIDEO FROM JIMMY CARTER 19:26:44 >> Good evening, Democrats. 40 years ago, in our nation's bicentennial year I stood before you to accept your nomination as president. Rose and I wish we could be there with you tonight to prepare for what would be an extremely important election, one that will define for a generation who we are as a nation and as a people.We, Americans, have a clear choice before us. I feel proud that two democratic candidates who competed throughout a long primary season, Senator Bernie Sanders and secretary of state Hillary Clinton, comported themselves with dignity, talked about issues that matter and presented a vision for our nation. 19:27:22 And I thank senator Sanders for energizing and bringing so many young people into the electoral process. To all of you young Americans I say: stay engaged, stay involved and be sure to vote this November. At a moment when it's become more important than ever to lift people up, to offer hope and a road map for a brighter future, instead we see a Republican presidential candidate who seems to violate some of the most important moral and ethical principles on which our nation was founded. We can and must do better. Unfortunately, the democratic nominee will soon be choosing over the stark contrast in both substance and style and also competence and experience to what the Republicans have chosen. I've known Hillary Clinton for decades, when she was a young attorney. 19:28:13 I pointed her out to the legal services corporation where she became the first woman chair. There, Hillary fought in our courts, those with the least were treated the same as those with the most and since then, as you know, Hillary has always demonstrated a willingness to take on the most difficult challenges and to get things done. Her life has been dedicated to bettering human right across the globe especially for women and children. These are perilous times who need a strong heart, a deep understanding of issue, challenges and opportunities and a steady hand. Hillary Clinton has my support. I know she will also have yours. A united democratic party will prevail in November. Thank you all and god bless the United States of America. CHUCK SCHUMER 19:29:26 Hello New york I love you! Now there is a statue in the harbor of the city I represent, "a mighty woman with a torch." To me, that torch represents the American Dream. And, if you ask the average American what that means to them, they'd put it simply not in fancy language, they'd say, "if i work hard I will be doing better 10 years from now than today, and my kids will be doing still better than me." 19:30:05 Each generation must keep that torch burning brightly; it's the source of our optimism. President Obama did. He's fought every day to defend that fundamental, American hope. But we have more work to do. Middle-class incomes have not grown enough; too many families struggle to make ends meet. If that continues, the torch will flicker. Its power to inspire hope will dim. 19:30:38 Some are using this unease to pit Americans against each other. Not us. We Democrats fight for an America that works for everyone, that's focused on leveling the playing field for all of us. And when Hillary Clinton wins the White House and Democrats win back the Senate majority, that's just what we'll do. 19:31:08 My friends, Hillary understands what middle-class families need better than anyone. I know because I know Hillary. I worked by her side for 8 years as Senators together we were representing the great state of New York. Now folks, I'm from Brooklyn. It's in our blood to sniff out bull. Now there's a lot of that in politics, but there's not in Hillary. When she tells you something, take it to the bank. 19:31:45 I saw it: her remarkable ability to listen, internalize the concerns and fears and hopes and dreams of everyday Americans, and then work hard and get things done for them. Hillary listened to the worker at the Bechtel plant in Schenectady, worried sick that his company was leaving town. Hillary got tough. She read the corporate honchos the riot act until they agreed to keep their plant open, saving his job and many others. 19:32:19 And Hillary listened to the first responders and union workers who rushed to the Pile after that terrible day 9/11. They were searching for signs of life in the smoldering rubble, breathing in toxic fumes with every breath. She championed their cause, fought to get them the health care they deserved, and they got it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the kind of leadership this country needs, and the stakes could not be higher. 19:32:55 Most elections are about two different visions for America. This election is about two different visions of America. And Donald Trump can only see an angry America, fearful, small, closed to the world and suspicious of our friends and our neighbors. Hillary Clinton sees a different America. An America that strives to live up to that promise written here in Philadelphia that every man, every woman has a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 19:33:31 An America where we don't build walls, we break down barriers, we shatter ceilings. And that's because our differences make us stronger, stronger together. So, Hillary Clinton has the right vision of and for America. So my colleagues, and my senate colleagues will agree with me, we cannot do it, she cannot do it alone. She's going to need a majority in the United States Senate. A Senate majority that puts a new Supreme Court justice on the bench who will protect women's rights, voting rights, and undo that awful decision Citizens United. A Senate majority that will raise the minimum wage, ensure equal pay for women. 19:34:31 That will pass comprehensive immigration reform, make substantial investments in infrastructure, and give every student a shot at affording a college education. And that changes our trade policy so it doesn't represent corporate america but represent the average american. With Hillary Clinton as President and a strong Senate majority by her side, we'll keep the American Dream alive for a new generation.And ladies and gentlemen, that torch in the harbor of the city in which I live: it won't flicker, it won't fade, it will burn brightly in the heart of every American. Thank you God Bless you and God Bless America. I love you New York. ELIZABETH BANKS 19:36:00 [ BANKS MAKES ENTRANCE MOCKING TRUMP ] 19:36:36 >> You know, I don't usually say this about Donald Trump, but that was over the top. I confirmed it just now. The trump campaign is so hard up for money I just bought that fog machine for Ebay for $30. I don't feel good about it. I don't. It's night two. Who's pumped up? Who's excited to pound a dozen cheese steaks with me after this? Let's try that again. Who is ready to elect Hillary Clinton the next president of the United States? 19:37:24 >> Whew! Me, too. I'm Elizabeth banks. Some of you know me from "The hunger games" in which I play Effie trinket, a cruel, out of touch reality TV star who wears insane wigs while delivering long-winded speeches to a violent dystopia. So when I tuned in last week I was, like, hey, that's my act. 19:37:54 Part of me really likes being up here joking around, but the other part of me knows that this election is too important for jokes because when I think about what this election means for America I think about my family. My father, a Vietnam vet worked the second and third shifts on the factory floor in my hometown of pittsfield, Massachusetts. My mother worked at the library and the local bank and they worked hard. 19:38:27 They struggled because like millions of American parents they wanted to give their kid, four of us, a good life with boundless opportunities. And it is because of what Democrats built, good public school, affordable health care, help in the hardest times that they were able to do that. Are, and their dreams and mine took me here to Philadelphia. Really. Through scholarships and financial aid I worked my way through the university of Pennsylvania. I got a world-class education, and I met my wonderful husband and partner max. 19:39:06 I will never forget that day in 1992 when we went on a big, romantic date, a rally for Bill Clinton. And it was there that I learned something really important about show business. The headliner should always watch out for someone stealing the show. Hillary Clinton rocked my world. A smart, committed, successful woman and not for her own benefit, but a fighter for women and children, cop and first responders, healthcare and girls around the world. That's Hillary Clinton, and that is what tonight is all about. 19:39:52 The fights of her life. Did you then when Hillary Clinton graduated law school she didn't just sell out and go work for some fancy law firm. She went to work advocating for children and families. It was one of her first fights, and since then she has never let up. [VIDEO PLAYS - 'THE FIGHTS OF HER LIFE'] THADDEUS DESMOND 19:41:27 In her early 20s, Hillary Clinton spent time at the Yale New Haven Hospital researching child abuse. She saw children who had been beaten, burned, and neglected. The experience turned her into a lifelong champion for kids in need. 19:41:46 As a child advocate socier worker, I too am a champion for children. And I am lucky to work with a team of champions. Social workers, case managers, attorneys, and other individuals whose lifelong work is to ensure that all children have a chance at greatness. Child advocacy has made significant strides in the right direction, but our work is far from finished. 19:42:13 Every child deserves an advocate who truly cares for them. And they have one in Hillary Clinton. Hillary knows that when you fight for our kids, you're fighting for our futures. That's why I am with Her. ANTON MOORE 19:42:36 My name is Anton Moore President and founder of Unity in the Community. In 1972, Hillary traveled to Alabama on a mission. She was there to help shed light on segregated academies-private schools that cropped up across the state after the Supreme Court ordered public schools to integrate.When these schools applied for federal state exemptions, they claimed they weren't trying to promote segregation. But Hillary helped prove they were. 19:43:19 Hillary visited one of these academies posing as a mother looking to enroll her child. And, sure enough, the administrators assured her they were [didn't accept] black children. Hillary shared her findings with the Children's Defense Fund. As founder of unity in the community I work hard and think about the families in my community about gun violence. In society today we must stand up promote non violence and that is why I am with Hillary Clinton come november. DYNAH HAUBERT 19:43:47 After Hillary graduated from law school, she could've gotten a job anywhere. But she chose to work full-time for the Children's Defense Fund. She went door-to-door in Massachusetts, gathering stories from disabled children who desperately wanted to go to school but were prevented from enrolling by discrimination. 19:44:11 Her research contributed to the passage of historic legislation that required states to provide quality education for disabled students. As a disabled person, I became a lawyer to advocate that disability is not a problem to be cured, but part of our identity and diversity. 19:44:39 And that's why, today-on the 26th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act-I'm with Her. KATE BURDICK 19:44:55 Until the 1970s, young people who got in trouble in South Carolina were often housed in the same prison cells as adults. It was a dangerous policy that put kids at serious risk for abuse. The Children's Defense Fund dispatched Hillary to these prisons to investigate. As a result of work she contributed to, after three years of litigation, the state ended this practice. 19:45:22 From the moment a child touches the system, it's important society lifts them up instead of letting them fall behind. That's why I became a juvenile justice lawyer. You don't often make headlines fighting for kids, but her whole career Hillary has been quietly leading that fight anyway. That's why I'm with Her. DUSTIN PARSONS 19:45:51 As the First Lady of Arkansas, Hillary Clinton chaired the state's Educational Standards Commission. She'd put the schools she visited to what she called the Chelsea Test: If it wasn't good enough for her daughter, it wasn't good enough for any child in America. She played a major role in shaping the state's education policy and improving standards at schools like the one I went to. When she started, Arkansas' schools were ranked second worst in the nation. By the time she was done, they were among the most improved. 19:46:34 Now, as a teacher in those same public schools, I know my students continue to benefit from the work Hillary started all those years ago. And that's why I'm with Her. DANIELE MELLOTT 19:46:52 Hillary began working on adoption and foster care issues as a law student-and never stopped. As First Lady, she advocated for landmark legislation to make it easier for families to adopt kids in need-especially older kids who worked -- worried they'd never find a permanent home. My 17-year-old son, Heath, was once one of those kids. 19:47:16 We adopted Heath four years ago-but it feels like he's always been part of the family forever. My three other kids swear Heath was on family vacations we took years before he joined our family. I'm not a Democrat. But Hillary cares about kids like Heath, and about making families like mine complete. That's why I'm with Her. JELANIE FREEMAN 19:47:49 Long before she ever held elected office, Hillary Clinton fought for kids every way she could. So you know she continued that fight once she got to the Senate. I spent my childhood in the New York foster care system, moving from home to home with a trash bag as my suitcase. And if you're a kid in the system who never finds a permanent home, when you turn 18, you're on your own. After my high school graduation, my social worker shook my hand and wished me luck. That was it. 19:48:30 But Hillary had this crazy notion: Every child deserves to live up to their God-given potential. So she reserved an internship spot in her Senate office just for former foster youth. In 2003, I got that spot.I remember our first meeting vividly. She looked me in the eye and said, "Jelani, I'm proud of you." I felt seen and heard-for the first time in my life. Throughout the years, Hillary has remained a source of encouragement. She has made me more mindful of my responsibility and purpose. Hillary taught me that there is a high cost for low expectations of our kids and that you receive a blessing to become a blessing. 19:49:31 She inspired me to become a lawyer and an advocate for children in my community. It's said that love dignifies us, it elevates us to higher plateaus. Hillary's love did that for me. It lifted me to a place I never had the courage to imagine. That's why I'm with Her. ### DONNA BRAZILE DNC VICE CHAIR FOR CIVIC ENGAGEMENT AND VOTER PARTICIPATION 19:50:50 Growing up, I was always told that a lady should never reveal her age. So I'll simply say this, I am no spring chicken and I have seen some things in my time. As a child, I lived through and survived the segregated South. I sat at the back of the bus at a time when America wasn't yet as great as it could be. 19:51:27 As a grown woman, I saw the first black president reach down a hand and touch the face of a child like I once was, lifting his eyes toward a better future. But I have never, ever, in all my years seen a leader so committed to delivering that better future to America's children as Hillary Clinton. 19:51:59 Let me tell you, Arkansas, when I first met Hillary Clinton. When Hillary graduated from law school, she could have gone to work for a corporation or a big law firm. Instead, she went to work for the Children's Defense Fund. She didn't sit in the office. She traded pumps for tennis shoes. Hillary went undercover, going door-to-door and school-to-school, investigating discrimination, and the treatment of children with disabilities. 19:52:30 During that same time, Donald Trump was facing a federal discrimination lawsuit for refusing to rent to minority families, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton risked her own safety to seek out the truth and comfort the afflicted, and to make a home for justice where there was none. 19:52:57 It was at the Children's Defense Fund that I met Hillary. I was 22, feisty, and ready to fight. And I remember thinking immediately, here is a woman who doesn't mess around. And you know us southern girls we don't mess around. Steel in her spine, Hillary didn't want to talk about anything other than how to make children's lives better. That's the Hillary I know. That's who she is. When nobody was watching, she quietly fought and fought hard for the voiceless among us. 19:53:31 Over her career, that never changed. She has never changed from expanding early childhood education as First Lady of Arkansas, to helping win health care for 8 million children as First Lady of the United States, for standing up for women and girls here at home, and around the world as Secretary of State, she has never forgotten what she learned in that very first job. At her core, rooting her to this earth, is the belief that every child, black or white, rich or poor, native-born, immigrant, or undocumented, deserves the opportunity to live up to their God-given potential. 19:54:14 My friends, as a child when I sat in the back of the bus, I was told, time and time again, that God's potential didn't exist in people like me. I've spent my life fighting to change that. And, from the first day when I met Hillary Clinton, I've known that she is someone who cares just as much and fights just as hard for children everywhere. Poor kids -- you got a champion. Kids who live in poverty -- you got a champion. Kids who need hope -- you got a champion. As long as she's in charge, we're never going back. And that's why I'm with Her. 19:55:03 And let me say this, as your incoming chair of the Democratic Chair of the National Committee - [ cheers and applause ] -- I promise you my friends, I commit to all Americans that we will have a party that you can be proud of. We will elect democrats up and down the ballot. And we will celebrate together the inauguration of Hillary Clinton in January 2017. God bless you and God bless America! [ cheers and applause ] ### DAVID BANKS 19:57:44 I'm David Banks, the President and CEO of the Eagle Academy in New York. In 2004 the high school graduation rate was only about 30% and 75% of New York State's entire prison population came from just seven neighborhoods in New York City. If you were one of the young men growing up in one of these areas, the odds were stacked against you. So, together with the organization 100 Black Men, we answered the call to do something about this crisis. 19:58:31 Since 2004, the Eagle Academies have educated nearly 4,000 young men. 98% of our graduates are accepted to college. We're making a big difference now, but we could not have done it alone. You see there was one leader was with us from the beginning - and she was our earliest champion. One leader who understood that addressing the crisis facing young men of color in our country required innovative measures. One leader who pushed to open the first Eagle Academy in the Bronx. And she made a promise to return four years later to offer the keynote address to our first graduating class. And that's a promise that she kept!I'm with Hillary Clinton because she has always been with us. 19:59:40 Today, we have young men who are confident, future leaders who are resilient. Just look at them America. [ cheers ] They are brilliant and full of promise. And we start everyday with the poem Invictus. It's the same poem that strengthened the resolve of the imprisoned Nelson Mandela when he recited it each day. So young men of the Eagle Academy, Invictus, STRAIGHT! 20:00:23 EAGLE ACADEMY>>Out of the night that covers me,Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be. For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance. I have not winced nor cried aloud.Under the bludgeonings of chance. My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade,And yet the menace of the years. Finds and shall find me unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate,How charged with punishments the scroll,I am the master of my fate:I am the captain of my soul! >>Thank you! 20:02:47 [VIDEO OF HILLARY CLINTON AND SOCIAL JUSTICE] ERIC HOLDER 20:05:38 Thank you. I have known Hillary Clinton for almost 25 years. As a friend, a colleague, and a leader of courage and conviction. And today, I'm proud to say I stand with her. Because I have seen that she has the skills to serve as commander in chief and the strength to lead our already great nation in this hour of challenge and conflict. Now did you hear what I said? Already great nation. Donald, did you hear me? Already great nation. [ cheers ] 20:06:17 At a time when the bonds between law enforcement and communities of color have frayed, when assassins target police in heinous attacks and peaceful citizens have to question whether black lives truly matter, and they do -- [ cheers and applause ] 20:06:41 -- We need a president who understands the reality that I saw in my travels across our country as our nation's 82nd attorney general. There should be no tension between protecting those who valiantly risk their lives to serve and insuring that everyone is treated fairly by the police.Now, as the brother of a retired police officer, I am profoundly aware that an attack on a police officer anywhere is an attack on our entire society. So it is not enough -- it is not enough for us to praise law enforcement officers after they are killed. We must protect them, value them, and equip them with the right tools, tactics, and training while they are still alive. 20:07:42 We must also come to realize that keeping our officers safe is not inconsistent with ensuring that those in law enforcement treat the people they are sworn to serve with dignity, with respect, and with fairness. We must commit ourselves to both goals. Hillary understands that the goals we share are the same. Safer communities with less crime, where all of our loved ones, police, and community residents, they get the chance to come home at night. As president, she will continue the work that needs to be done to rebuild trust because she knows that we are stronger together. But let us be honest. At a time when our justice system is out of balance. 20:08:37 When one in three black men will be incarcerated in their lifetimes, and when black defendants in the federal system receive sentences 20% longer than their white peers, we need a president who will end this policy of overincarceration. Now, as attorney general, I launched sweeping reforms of our federal criminal justice system and reduced its reliance on draconian mandatory minimum sentences. 20:09:09 As a result, we cut the federal prison population and the crime rate together for the first time in more than 40 years. Now, that's right. That's right. Despite the fiction and the fear mongering you have heard from the other party's nominee, violent crime has gone down since president Obama took office. As president, Hillary will go even farther. She fought as a senator against sentencing disparities and racial profiling. She used her first major speech as a candidate to lay out a bold vision for criminal justice reform. As a presidential candidate, she has talked about systemic racism in a way that no one else has. 20:09:56 And she will help our nation summon the courage to confront racial injustice and face down the legacies of our darkest past. Now, finally, at a time when the right to vote is under siege, when Republicans brazenly assault the most fundamental right of our democracy, passing laws designed to stop people from voting while closing locations in minority neighborhoods where people get the documents they need to vote, we need a president sensitive to these echoes of Jim Crow. We need a president who holds the right to vote as sacred and stands firm against any kind of modern day poll tax. My fellow Americans, Hillary Clinton will be that president. 20:10:54 She will set a new standard for early voting. She will champion universal automatic registration. You turn 18, you're registered to vote. Because she knows -- she knows, and everybody in this arena has to know this, the best way to defend the right to vote is by exercising it. Throughout history, too many people have sacrificed too much, fought wars, and braved fire hoses, dogs, bullets, and bombs for this generation to sit on the sidelines. Never forget that we are heirs to a revolution that began just five miles from where we gather this week and that the choice we face in this pivotal election is about much more than politics. It's about the arc that we are on as a nation. 20:11:53 The composition of our character as a people, and the ideals of equality, opportunity, and justice that have always made America great. These are the ideals for which Hillary Clinton has fought her entire life. This is the fight that she will continue when we make history by electing her the 45th president of the United States of America. Thank you. CAMERON MCLAY POLICE CHIEF OF PITTSBURGH 20:12:45 >> Greetings. Greetings. All across this country my colleagues, my brothers and sisters in blue are doing what I would argue is potentially the hardest job in this nation today. At the start of every shift they go to work never knowing for sure what dangers they might face, and yet, there is a crisis especially in the eyes of many of the communities that we serve, particularly with our communities of color. There is a crisis of trust in the police and the criminal justice system. 20:13:24 Ironically, crime rates have been falling for decades, but research shows that the public trust is eroding in far too many places. Dr. Martin Luther king said it beautifully. True peace is not the absence of tension. It is the presence of justice. Ironically, our communities are arguably safer than ever before. However, absent a sense of justice, less crime in your neighborhood is at best, a hollow victory. The controversial officer-involved shootings that have occurred since Ferguson have created a level of tension between police in our communities while at the same time there's been a great deal of work going on to improve those relationships. 20:14:21 In Pittsburgh, we're doing this important work. We recognize our interdependency, and we are working closely together to reduce the violence and make sure that our residents feel both safe and respected. But things are fragile. Two controversial police shootings in two consecutive days. In Minnesota, in Louisiana, left many understandably outraged. The assassination of eight police officers in ten days have left many of us in the law enforcement community feeling under siege. 20:15:07 Both of these concerns are very, very real. Without question, the criminal justice system has had a disparate impact on our communities of color, and yet society is asking at the same time far more of our police officers than ever before. Laid at the doorstep of police are declining opportunity, disinvestment in mental health and ineffective drug treatment options for those addicted. As a police officer who has served more than 30 years, let me say this, we can respect and support our police officers while at the same time pushing for these important criminal justice reforms. We can do both and we will do both. 20:16:09 I promise you, there are many, many more police leaders just like me who are fully convinced and fully committed that we need to improve the integrity of our systems, but we cannot succeed unless we come together with the communities that we serve. We must each -- we must each, as human beings fight our natural tendency to hide inside our own narrow world view. Instead, we must seek common ground with the objective of creating an America that truly is and truly provides a source of liberty and justice for all. Thank you. TONY GOLDWYN 20:17:29 Hillary Clinton has spoken of watching Nelson Mandela embrace his former jailers because he didn't want to be imprisoned twice, once by steel and concrete, once by anger and bitterness. I've worked for years with the Innocence Project - the extraordinary organization that fights to exonerate the wrongfully convicted. I've never heard a single exoneree - many of whom have spent decades in prison for crimes they didn't commit - speak of anger or outrage, only of their desire to reform the system so others might be spared their suffering. 20:18:19 I am proud to introduce a group of women profoundly impacted by injustice and violence who have turned their pain into power and their outrage into action. They are the Mothers of the Movement. They understand that we must reach out to each other because of our diversity. Because we are stronger together. You know, Hillary says, "We can't hide from these hard truths about race and justice in America. We have to name them and own them and then change them." That's what she'll do as president. 20:19:12 And the Mothers of the Movement prove that one life at a time, one mother at a time, we can change the world. [VIDEO PLAYS] GENEVA REED-VEAL >> [ chant ] Black lives matter! Black lives matter! 20:23:25 Hello, hello, hello. Hey, I need you all to hear me tonight, give me two moments to tell you how good God is. Whew. Hallelujah. Give me a moment to say thank you. We are not standing here because he is not good we are standing here because he is great. 20:24:05 One year ago yesterday, I lived the worst nightmare anyone could imagine. I watched as my daughter, Sandra Bland, was lowered into the ground in a coffin. She was my fourth of five daughters, and she was gone. No, no, not on administrative leave, but on permanent leave from this earth, found hanging in a jail cell after an unlawful traffic stop and an unlawful arrest. 20:24:51 Six other women died in custody that same month: Kendra Chapman, Alexis McGovern, Sarah Lee Circle Bear, Raynette Turner, Ralkina Jones, and Joyce Curnell. So many of our children are gone but not forgotten. I'm here with Hillary Clinton tonight because she is a leader and a mother who will say our children's names. She knows that when a young black life is cut short, it's not just a loss, it's a personal loss. It is a national loss. It is a loss that diminishes all of us. What a blessing tonight to be standing here, so that Sandy can still speak through her mama. 20:26:33 And what a blessing it is for all of us if we seize it, we gotta seize it, to cast our votes for a president who will help lead us down the path toward restoration and change. LUCIA MCBATH 20:27:05 You don't stop being a mom when your child dies. You don't stop being a parent. I am still Jordan Davis's mother. His life ended the day that he was shot and killed for playing loud music. But my job as his mother didn't. 20:27:31 I still wake up every day thinking about how to parent him. How to protect him and his legacy. How to ensure that his death doesn't overshadow his life. Here's what you don't know about my son. When Jordan was little, he wouldn't eat a popsicle unless he had enough to bring out to his friends. He loved practical jokes. He liked having deep conversations about our love for God and how God could allow such pain and suffering.I lived in fear my son would die like this. I even warned him that because he was a young, black man, he would meet people who didn't value his life. 20:28:29 That is a conversation no parent should ever have have with their child. Hillary Clinton isn't afraid to say that black lives matter. She isn't afraid to sit at a table with grieving mothers and bear the full force of our anguish. She doesn't build walls around her heart. Not only did she listen to our problems, she invited us to become part of the solution. And that's what we're going to do. We're going to keep telling our children's stories and urging you to say their names. 20:29:21 We're going to keep building a future where police officers and communities of color work together in mutual respect to keep children, like Jordan, safe. The majority of police officers are good people doing a good job. And we're asking and we're also going to keep using our voices and our votes to support leaders, like Hillary Clinton, who will help us protect one another so this club of heartbroken mothers stops growing. SYBRINA FULTON 20:30:15 First of all, I'd like to say, it's an honor to be here, to stand with these mothers and be amongst you. I am an unwilling participant in this movement. I would not have signed up for this or any other mother that's standing here with me today. But I am here today for my son, Trayvon Martin, who is in heaven. 20:30:51 And also for his brother, Jahvaris Fulton, who is still here on earth.I didn't want this spotlight. But will I do everything I can to focus some of this light on the pain of a path out of the darkness. 20:31:19 Hillary Clinton has the compassion and understanding to support grieving mothers. She has the courage to lead the fight for common-sense gun legislation. [ cheers ] And she has a plan to repair the divide that so often exists between law enforcement and the communities they serve. 20:31;51 This isn't about being politically correct. It's about saving our children. That's why we're here tonight with Hillary Clinton. And that's why, in the memory of our children, we are imploring you - all of you - to vote in this election day. Hillary is the one mother who can ensure our movement will succeed. I want to thank you for standing with us and supporting us and we like to leave you what God has given us, strength, love and peace. ### [PERFORMANCE] 20:38:27 ELIZABETH BANKS 20:38:27 Let's give it up for all of that one more time. I have been backstage ugly crying. All right. Are there any women in the audience tonight? [ cheers ] Yeah, no Duh. We are half the population. And we matter. And Hillary Clinton does know this. She knows women's rights are human rights. This is a point that Hillary Clinton has made consistently because she feels it, like I do, in her bones because how can we not? 20:39:14 Because we still don't have equal pay for equal work, we are still struggling to keep our right to chose, and when a strong woman speaks up and dares to have an opinion we are still told to stop shouting, we are still told to speak softly, or we are warned that we are not allowed to drink Mai ties in an Ikea and then we are expected to apologize and then, in the case of that last example is actually the only correct thing to do. 20:39:50 But Hillary Clinton doesn't make his takes like that. And she is never going to apologize for speaking up and fighting so that women and girls can have their voices heard. [TRUMP VIDEO ON WOMEN] CECILE RICHARDS 20:41:09 Planned Parenthood was founded 100 years ago, giving women the care they need to live their lives and chase their dreams - no limits, no ceilings. A century later, an enormous ceiling is coming down.This isn't just about electing the first woman president, it's about electing this woman president. 20:41:47 Each year, millions of women, men, and young people trust Planned Parenthood. And the Planned Parenthood Action Fund trusts Hillary Clinton. As first lady, Hillary declared to the world that, "women's rights are human rights."She worked with Republicans and Democrats to help create the Children's Health Insurance Program, which now covers 8 million kids. As Secretary of State, she was a champion for women and girls around the globe. 20:42: 29 And she will always stand up for the right of every woman to access a full range of reproductive health care, including abortion, no matter her economic status. Over the last year, Hillary has traveled across our country, listening to young activists working to end campus sexual assault. To fathers who want their daughters to be paid equal to their sons.To parents who need paid family leave and affordable child care. 20:42:57 She has made their fights her own. And she has chosen as her running mate, Senator Tim Kaine, absolutely, a m an who has been a champion for women and families his entire lifetime. Hillary has always been in Planned Parenthood's corner, because she knows women deserve someone in theirs. Women like Dayna Farris Fisher, a mom in Dallas who was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago. 20:43:30 Today, Dayna is cancer-free. She says she couldn't have done it without Vivian, the Planned Parenthood clinician who stuck with her all the way through treatment. So when Donald Trump and Mike Pence say they'll defund Planned Parenthood, they're talking about cutting women like Dayna off from lifesaving care. So make no mistake: women's health and rights are on the line and on the ballot in this election. 20:44:04 So you may have heard that just last month, the Supreme Court ruled that the Texas laws that forced abortion providers to close their doors are dangerous and they are unconstitutional. [ cheers ] But the fight's not over. Donald Trump has pledged to appoint justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade and undo decades of progress. His policies aren't just frightening - they're rooted in a deeply disturbing worldview. Donald Trump has called women "fat pigs" and "dogs." He wants to punish women for having abortions.And he says pregnancy is an "inconvenience" for a woman's employer. [ boos ] 20:44:54 Well, Mr Trump, come this November, women are going to be more than an inconvenience. [ cheers ] Yup. Because, women are going to be the reason you're not elected to be president. When my great-grandmother was growing up, women couldn't vote under Texas law. Two generations later, her granddaughter, Ann Richards, was elected governor of the state of Texas and Tonight, we are closer than ever to putting a woman in the White House. And I can almost hear mom saying, "well, it sure took y'all long enough." 20:45:53 So what do you say? Are you ready to make history? Let's go win an election. Thank you. LENA DUNHAM AND AMERICA FERRERA 20:46:27 DUNHAM>> Hi, I am Lena Dunham and according to Donald Trump my body is probably like a two. AMERICA>> And according to Donald Trump I am probably a rapist. DUNHAM> But America, you are not Mexican. AMERICA>> And president Obama isn't Kenyan but that doesn't stop Donald. DUNHAM>> We know what you thinking. Why should you care what some television celebrity has to say about politics. AMERICA>> And we feel the same way. But he is the Republican nominee so we need to talk about it. DUNHAM>> The unfunny facts is that this man would have you believe that our differences are more important than what unites us. 20:47:15 AMERICA>> When we know the truth was this country was founded on the belief that what sets us apart, race, language, religion, sexual orientation, should not dissolve what binds us. [Applause] DUNHAM>> Which is why we're proud to say we're with Hillary! AMERICA>> I am the proud child of Honduran immigrants and I am profoundly grateful for the access and opportunities that exist in this extraordinary nation. I was educated in public schools, my talents were nurtured through public arts programs. And you know what? Occasionally I needed a free meal to get through the school day. 20:48:18 Not everybody looks at the millions of young people like me, children born into struggling families, children born to immigrant parents, children who are immigrants themselves, not everybody looks at them and sees an investment. But Hillary has spent the last 30 years proving what she sees in us. [Applause] 20:48:50 Not our color, gender, economic status, but our capacity to grow into thriving adults capable of contributing great things to this country. [Applause] 20:49:09 DUNHAM>> I am a pro-choice feminist sexual assault survivor with a chronic reproductive illness. Donald Trump and his party think I should be punished for exercising my constitutional rights. His rhetoric about women take us back to a time when we were meant to be beautiful and silent. Meanwhile, 22 years ago, Hillary Clinton declared that women's rights are human rights. [ cheers ] And she made it possible for my fellow sexual assault providers in my home state of New York to have access to safe, immediate care in any emergency room. Hillary knows that access and opportunity are the American promise not transphobia, Islamophobia, xenophobia and systemic racism. 20:50:03 She knows we have to fight hatred of all kinds and not ignite it for the craven purpose of creating power. AMERICA>> Look, Donald's not making America great again. He's making America hate again. And the vast majority of us, we cannot afford to see his vision of America come to be. 20:05:34 DUNHAM>> Luckily, we the voters carry the future of this country. We don't accept hatred as the norm in our communities so why would we ever accept it in the oval office? AMERICA>> So to everyone here tonight, and out there watching at home, here is your chance to join team Hillary. DUNHAM>> Do you want equal pay for equal work? AMERICA>> Yes! DUNHAM>> The right to make decisions about your own body? AMERICA>> Yes. DUNHAM>> Paid family leave? AMERICA>> Yes. DUNHAM>> As Hillary Clinton says deal us in. [Applause] AMERICA>> Text deal to 47426 and we will make you a card carrying member of this team. Let's forcefuly reject division. 20:51:39 DUNHAM>> Let's say with one voice that we all have worth, we are all a part of this country. AMERICA>> Let's put Hillary Clinton in the white house. TOGETHER>> And let's declare love trumps hate. STEVE BENJAMIN 20:54:14 [ chant ] We love Steve! We love Steve! Good evening. And I love South Carolina. Good evening to all our friends and family here and back home in the great Palmetto state of South Carolina. 20:54:32 Tonight, I'm not here as a mayor, a delegate, or even as a Democrat. I'm here as a father - a father with a promise to keep. You see, a year ago, I got to introduce our oldest daughter, Bethany, to the next President of the United States, Hillary Clinton. And one of my proudest moments as a father was watching Bethany shake Hillary's hand with the confidence that would have escaped most adults and announced that Hillary had her full support. Because, and I quote, "The guys have been president long enough, and now it's time for a woman to take control." 20:55:17 Hillary, in all her wisdom, told Bethie she was the smartest 10-year-old in the world. Who was I to disagree?After that meeting, I wrote a letter to Bethany and to our youngest daughter, Jordan Grace, promising to our girls that I would do everything in my power to elect Hillary Clinton, because I want my daughters to know the same opportunities I have. I want them to feel the same way I felt 8 years ago when President Barack Obama was elected. To feel, to feel in their heart of hearts, in America, anything is possible, because it is. 20:55:56 I want them to know that sugar and spice are nice, but courage, intelligence, and the will to lead, that's what women are made of. [ cheers ] And that's the model, Deandre, my mother Maggie, and Hillary Clinton are setting for my daughters, your daughters, and all of our children. This promise is ours to keep so that my daughters, our children, know not just believe, but know, that this is their America, too. 20:56:33 That all men are created equal, doesn't just mean men anymore. My daughters and all of our children are working. America's watching. Can we keep that promise for them? [ cheers ] Are we ready for Hillary? >> Yes! 20:56:54 You hear that girls? I think we've got it from here. Good night. Sweet dreams. Your daddy loves you so much. BARBARA BOXER 20:57:34 You look beautiful out there. So I have a question. Are you ready to elect the first woman President of the United States? Let me hear it. Yes. I want to talk to you very personally because I have known Hillary Clinton for more than 20 years. We're actually family. My daughter was married to her brother, and my beloved grandson is her beloved nephew. So I know her as the loving aunt who helped plan my grandson's birthday parties when he was a toddler. 20:58:31 And I saw her rush over after a busy day at the State Department to cheer him on at his high school football games. She was often joined by her devoted mother, Dorothy - a woman who overcame a painful childhood and taught Hillary how one caring person can change a child's life. Dorothy once wrote me a letter and she said this: "I can't remember when Hillary didn't take the long view of things. Never instant gratification. And she wrote that strong sense of empathy for others and a great sense of humor have served her well."? Now that's a mom who knew her daughter well. ? 20:59:35 We saw Hillary's heart, her heart when, as First Lady, she worked across party lines to bring healthcare to millions and millions of children. We saw her strength when after 9/11 when she stood with first responders and tirelessly fought for them! We sawe her strength. We saw her leadership when, as Secretary of State, she restored America's standing in the world you remember that? After the Bush Administration. And I personally saw the light in her eyes when she became a grandmother, and her fight for a better America became even more personal and even more urgent. 21:00:32 Now during this campaign, we have seen something else: her toughness. And I know a little bit about toughness. The right wing has thrown everything at her - not only the kitchen sink, not only the stove but the refrigerator, and the toaster, too. And guess what? She's still standing! Tey have thrown anything at her and she is still standing. America's families need Hillary in the white house standing with all of us. We need a president who knows it's just plain wrong that women make 79 cents for every dollar paid to a man. And yet her opponent refuses to support equal pay he says quote"the marketplace is going to make sure of it." Well, it's 2016 and we're still waiting Mr. Trump. 21:01:39 We can count on Hillary to fight to raise the minimum wage. Her opponent says he thinks "wages are too high." That's un-American because in our country, if you work full-time, you should never ever have to live in poverty!And we can count on Hillary to protect our right to choose. Her opponent said a woman should be "punished" for exercising her right to choose and then picked a running mate who believes Roe v. Wade belongs to quote him in the "ash heap of history." Well, I have a message for Donald Trump and Mike Pence: we are not going back to the dark days when women died in back alleys! We are never ever ever going back! Never! We're moving forward with Hillary Clinton!
DNC CONVENTION DAY 2 POOL SWITCHED PROGRAM FEED 7PM / HD
SWITCHED PROGRAM FEED FROM THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION AT THE WELLS FARGO CENTER IN PHILADELPHIA / 19:00:05 >> And you can support that effort right now by going to hillaryclinton.com. Now, folks, I've known Hillary and her husband Bill for more than half of my life. I love this woman. I still remember her playing mermaid in the pool with our youngest daughter Sally for hours on family vacations. I was proud she was the first person to call and congratulate our oldest son jack when he began his career as an officer in the United States marine Corps, and I'll never forget when she and then president Clinton did not hesitate to travel through a blizzard to attend my father's funeral. 19:00:50 That is something you will never forget. That is friendship. Hillary is tough. She is determined. She is an amazing mother, grandmother and wife, and I know that she loves this country more than anything else. Compare that to what we just heard from Donald Trump and the Republicans. They spent four days tearing down our country. They blamed immigrants. They blamed refugees. They blamed affordable health care and offered no solutions other than giving the nuclear codes to a man who praises Vladimir Putin and Saddam hussein. 19:01:37 If Donald Trump really cared about American greatness, he wouldn't attack Democrats. He would follow our lead. In Virginia we're putting our values into action to create jobs and bring our unemployment rate down from 5.3% when I took office to 3.7% today, the steepest decline a governor has seen at this point in 32 years in Virginia. We have made record investments in public education, expanded access so we have a healthy, nutritious plan for all of our children and let me tell you this, folks, I am so proud of Virginia. We were the first state in the United States of America to be certified to have ended veteran homelessness in our state. 19:02:29 We have fought Republican efforts to discriminate against lgbt virginian, and we have stood up for a woman's right to choose, and we are overcoming obstacles to deny hundreds of thousands of former felons their right to vote because history tells us that enemies of progress can slow the march toward justice and equality, but they cannot stop us. We have come so far since 2008, but there is more work to be done, that's why I support Hillary Clinton, because they'll want a president who will build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. A president who tackles global warming head-on and stands up for common-sense solutions to keep guns away from dangerous people, a president who has vision, purpose and the experience to lead our nation not cheesy slogans and silly hats. 19:03:32 A president who will build our country up and not tear it down to scare up votes. My friend, I have known Hillary for decades. I have seen her in action. I know that she will be the kind of leader that she will be, and she will lead this nation. Tonight we made history, but the fight has just begun. It is time for all of us to get to work and to make my friend Hillary Clinton the next president of the United States of America. Thank you! LEADER NANCY PELOSI 19:05:43 Good evening! Good evening everyone. In 1776 not very far from here our founding fathers created our nation. Ninety-six years ago, America's women first won the right to vote, 96 years ago. We are preparing to shatter the highest strongest marble ceiling in our country by electing Hillary Clinton president of the United State's. Aren't you proud to be part of this historic moment in our history? 19:06:31 Hillary Clinton knows that this moment is not just about one woman's achievement, but about what a woman president will mean for generations to come - for the dreams and hopes and aspirations of every woman and every son and every daughter across our the land for generations to come. 19:06:52 The Democratic Women of the House are leading the way to unleash the power of America's women and working families - in our economy, in our society, and in our democracy. Nothing is more wholesome for America than the increased participation and leadership of women in government and politics. 19:07:19 Here, tonight, are women leaders who personify the integrity, imagination, and idealism and, indeed, the courage that will build a stronger America for hard-working families. AsHillary Clinton, they have spent their lifetimes fighting for women and children. And in November, we will affirm the great truth of our country: when women succeed, America succeeds! REP DORIS MATSUI (CALIFORNIA 19:07:58 Hi. I'm Congresswoman Doris Matsui from the great state of California. Today, the success of women is more important than ever to the strength of working families. Women are fueling the future of the American economy. That's why House Democrats created the economic agenda, When Women Succeed, America Succeeds. 19:08:34 We have four keys to unlock the full potential of women and working families: fair pay - raising the minimum wage and ensuring equal pay for equal work; paid leave - empowering women and men to balance the responsibilities of work and family; affordable,and quality child care; and strengthened retirement security for women to enter their twilight years with confidence and dignity. We will fight Republican attempts to weaken Social Security. 19:09:30 Hillary Clinton stands with us. And we stand with her on every one of these commitments. Together, we will build a stronger America for our families. REP JAN SCHAKOWSKY 19:09:54 I'm Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky from Illinois, the birthplace of Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton and House Democrats believe a stronger America means protecting women's rights and expanding women's opportunities. Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress have other priorities: meddling in women's most intimate decisions; jeopardizing women's health; even criminalizing women's choices. When it comes to the issues between women and their doctors, House Republicans misrepresent, they intimidate, and they undermine. In this Congress alone, they've voted 14 times to attack women's health. 19:10:54 Republicans continue to attack the Affordable Care Act while it provides newfound health security to millions of Americans. Because of health care reform, no longer can insurance companies charge you more just because you're a woman. And for the first time in history, no longer is being a woman a pre-existing condition! Democrats are fighting back against the Republicans' anti-women crusade. It's 2016, and American women are not going back. We are moving forward! REP NYDIA VELAZQUEZ (NEW YORK) 19:11:47 Hi, I'm Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez from the great state of New York. America's small businesses and entrepreneurs have always been at the heart of our economy - and the true engine of job creation in our communities. And today, more women are starting small businesses than ever before. Women-owned and women-operated small businesses are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in America today. 19:12:30 Women of color and women veterans are quickly transforming the face of entrepreneurship in our country. Women entrepreneurs are building a stronger America every day. They need the capital to grow and the tools to thrive. Hillary Clinton has a plan that will ensure all of America's small businesses can compete and succeed in the global economy. Because Hillary sides with the little guy, that is why I am with Her. REP SUZAN DELBENE (WASHINGTON) 19:13:19 I'm Congresswoman Suzan DelBene from the great state of Washington. Before coming to Congress, I was an entrepreneur. And I know that innovation is at the heart of who we are as Americans - and it's essential to keeping American workers, American products, and American ideas number one in the 21st century. 19:13:43 A decade ago, House Democrats enacted the first Innovation Agenda. And with the majority, we made revolutionary investments in clean energy development, in affordable, world-class STEM education, and in expanding broadband to rural families. 19:14:01 And House Democrats will work with President Hillary Clinton to sustain America's lead in innovation - creating good-paying jobs, powering our economy, and driving bold solutions to the challenges facing our climate and our communities. A strong America - an America that's "Stronger Together" - will lead the world in entrepreneurship, in innovation, and clean energy. REP BONNIE WATSON COLEMAN 19:14:35 I'm Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman and I come from the great state of New Jersey. House Democrats believe America is strongest when we have an economy that works for everybody, not just for those at the top. If you're willing to work hard in our country, you deserve a secure financial future and a strong foothold on the American Dream: buying a home, sending children to college, and real retirement security. 19:15:15 We should be creating jobs by upgrading our roads, bridges, broadband, transit systems, energy grids, and water infrastructure. And we can pay for this progress by closing loopholes and making big corporations pay their fair share. Democrats, led by Hillary Clinton, know that we must make college more affordable and lift the crushing burden of student debt that weighs on the futures of many young Americans and their families! America is stronger when everyone has a chance to succeed. REP LOIS FRANKEL 19:15:03 I'm Congresswoman Lois Frankel of Florida. I'm the proud mother of a United States Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our men and women in uniform, our veterans, and our military families give everything to our country. They embody our highest ideals: service, selflessness, and bravery. 19:16:41 We owe them a debt of gratitude we can never fully repay. As Democrats, we believe we have a responsibility to ensure every veteran gets the support, the health care, the education, and the job training he or she needs to succeed. And we're proud to stand behind Hillary Clinton, a candidate with clear plans to improve the lives of our veterans. Our veterans fought to protect our freedom and our security. We are a stronger America because of their sacrifice, and we owe them a strong future of honor and opportunity. REP KATHERINE CLARK 19:17:25 I'm Katherine Clark of the great commonwealth Massachusetts. We stand here tonight because generations of Americans, across our history, stepped forward to defend and advance our democracy. In a democracy, it is the voices of the people - not the checkbooks of the privileged - that must drive our politics and our policies. We want the democracy Hillary Clinton believes in, one that fights to make sure America works for everyone, not just the well-connected and the wealthy. 19:18:08 The special interests shouldn't be able to buy themselves a louder voice than America's hard-working families! Together, with Hillary Clinton by our side, we will cut the cancer of secret money out of our democracy and overturn Citizens United. What does this mean for American families? It means a stronger America that is free from the grip of the gun lobby. 19:18:43 Ninety-one Americans are killed by gun violence every day. Republicans and the big money gun lobby shouldn't be blocking common sense legislation to keep guns out of the wrong hands! We held a sit-in, but now it's time to stand up and stand together to demand change. REP STEPHANIE MURPHY (FLORIDA) 19:19:16 I'm Stephanie Murphy, and I'm running to represent Florida in the House alongside these remarkable women. After 9/11, I left a job in the corporate world to become a National Security Specialist for the Secretary of Defense. 19:19:33 Democrats know a stronger America means confronting the threats abroad - without blinking and without undermining our values. Democrats are strengthening our fight against terror by working with our allies, not abandoning them. 19:19:50 Democrats know we need to be strong and smart to destroy ISIS and protect America, not reckless and rash. Democrats are ensuring our military has the resources they need to do their job. And our military knows how to do their job better than anyone else in the world! REP VAL DEMINGS (FLORIDA) 19:20:18 My name is Val Demings, and I'm running for Congress in the great state of Florida. I spent 27 years on the Orlando police force and had the honor of serving as Orlando's first woman chief of police. 19:20:43 I know firsthand the tragedy that gun violence inflicts on families in America. And after 49 people were murdered at a nightclub in Orlando last month, let me tell you: our city takes it personally that Congress refuses to disarm hate. You don't need to be a police chief to know that our communities are less safe when criminals and suspected terrorists can walk into gun shops or gun shows and leave with a weapon. 19:21:27 On issue after issue, it's the leadership of women that makes a stronger America. With Hillary Clinton in the White House and these strong House Democratic women, together with women and families all across our nation, we will show the world what this statement really means: When Women Succeed, America Succeeds! Thank you. 19:22:07 [ TRUMP VIDEO PLAYS ON JOHN MCCAIN ] JASON CARTER 19:24:38 Greetings from the battleground state of Georgia. When my grandfather accepted the Democratic nomination for president, he stood before this group and said: "It is time for America to move and to speak not with boasting and belligerence but with a quiet strength, to depend in world affairs not merely on the size of an arsenal but on the nobility of ideas, and to govern at home not by confusion and crisis but with grace and imagination and common sense." 19:25:14 Those words feel even more relevant today than they did 40 years ago. And I promise that he is itching to get on the campaign trail and elect Hillary Clinton. This last year has been a remarkable one for our family. Almost exactly a year ago, my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. He approached his diagnosis with the exact faith, dignity, and strength we've come to expect. He never stopped working for peace and health around the world, and he never stopped teaching Sunday school at home in Plains. 19:25:49 Today, thanks to the miracle of modern science and the power of prayer, I am happy to report that his cancer is gone. Not only that, but earlier this month, he and my grandmother celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. 19:26:07 My grandparents demonstrate that there is a strength in love, humility, and service that no amount of anger, or pride, or salesmanship can match. That principled strength is what drives them in the work they do every day, and that same principled strength will elect Hillary Clinton as our next president. VIDEO FROM JIMMY CARTER 19:26:44 >> Good evening, Democrats. 40 years ago, in our nation's bicentennial year I stood before you to accept your nomination as president. Rose and I wish we could be there with you tonight to prepare for what would be an extremely important election, one that will define for a generation who we are as a nation and as a people.We, Americans, have a clear choice before us. I feel proud that two democratic candidates who competed throughout a long primary season, Senator Bernie Sanders and secretary of state Hillary Clinton, comported themselves with dignity, talked about issues that matter and presented a vision for our nation. 19:27:22 And I thank senator Sanders for energizing and bringing so many young people into the electoral process. To all of you young Americans I say: stay engaged, stay involved and be sure to vote this November. At a moment when it's become more important than ever to lift people up, to offer hope and a road map for a brighter future, instead we see a Republican presidential candidate who seems to violate some of the most important moral and ethical principles on which our nation was founded. We can and must do better. Unfortunately, the democratic nominee will soon be choosing over the stark contrast in both substance and style and also competence and experience to what the Republicans have chosen. I've known Hillary Clinton for decades, when she was a young attorney. 19:28:13 I pointed her out to the legal services corporation where she became the first woman chair. There, Hillary fought in our courts, those with the least were treated the same as those with the most and since then, as you know, Hillary has always demonstrated a willingness to take on the most difficult challenges and to get things done. Her life has been dedicated to bettering human right across the globe especially for women and children. These are perilous times who need a strong heart, a deep understanding of issue, challenges and opportunities and a steady hand. Hillary Clinton has my support. I know she will also have yours. A united democratic party will prevail in November. Thank you all and god bless the United States of America. CHUCK SCHUMER 19:29:26 Hello New york I love you! Now there is a statue in the harbor of the city I represent, "a mighty woman with a torch." To me, that torch represents the American Dream. And, if you ask the average American what that means to them, they'd put it simply not in fancy language, they'd say, "if i work hard I will be doing better 10 years from now than today, and my kids will be doing still better than me." 19:30:05 Each generation must keep that torch burning brightly; it's the source of our optimism. President Obama did. He's fought every day to defend that fundamental, American hope. But we have more work to do. Middle-class incomes have not grown enough; too many families struggle to make ends meet. If that continues, the torch will flicker. Its power to inspire hope will dim. 19:30:38 Some are using this unease to pit Americans against each other. Not us. We Democrats fight for an America that works for everyone, that's focused on leveling the playing field for all of us. And when Hillary Clinton wins the White House and Democrats win back the Senate majority, that's just what we'll do. 19:31:08 My friends, Hillary understands what middle-class families need better than anyone. I know because I know Hillary. I worked by her side for 8 years as Senators together we were representing the great state of New York. Now folks, I'm from Brooklyn. It's in our blood to sniff out bull. Now there's a lot of that in politics, but there's not in Hillary. When she tells you something, take it to the bank. 19:31:45 I saw it: her remarkable ability to listen, internalize the concerns and fears and hopes and dreams of everyday Americans, and then work hard and get things done for them. Hillary listened to the worker at the Bechtel plant in Schenectady, worried sick that his company was leaving town. Hillary got tough. She read the corporate honchos the riot act until they agreed to keep their plant open, saving his job and many others. 19:32:19 And Hillary listened to the first responders and union workers who rushed to the Pile after that terrible day 9/11. They were searching for signs of life in the smoldering rubble, breathing in toxic fumes with every breath. She championed their cause, fought to get them the health care they deserved, and they got it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the kind of leadership this country needs, and the stakes could not be higher. 19:32:55 Most elections are about two different visions for America. This election is about two different visions of America. And Donald Trump can only see an angry America, fearful, small, closed to the world and suspicious of our friends and our neighbors. Hillary Clinton sees a different America. An America that strives to live up to that promise written here in Philadelphia that every man, every woman has a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 19:33:31 An America where we don't build walls, we break down barriers, we shatter ceilings. And that's because our differences make us stronger, stronger together. So, Hillary Clinton has the right vision of and for America. So my colleagues, and my senate colleagues will agree with me, we cannot do it, she cannot do it alone. She's going to need a majority in the United States Senate. A Senate majority that puts a new Supreme Court justice on the bench who will protect women's rights, voting rights, and undo that awful decision Citizens United. A Senate majority that will raise the minimum wage, ensure equal pay for women. 19:34:31 That will pass comprehensive immigration reform, make substantial investments in infrastructure, and give every student a shot at affording a college education. And that changes our trade policy so it doesn't represent corporate america but represent the average american. With Hillary Clinton as President and a strong Senate majority by her side, we'll keep the American Dream alive for a new generation.And ladies and gentlemen, that torch in the harbor of the city in which I live: it won't flicker, it won't fade, it will burn brightly in the heart of every American. Thank you God Bless you and God Bless America. I love you New York. ELIZABETH BANKS 19:36:00 [ BANKS MAKES ENTRANCE MOCKING TRUMP ] 19:36:36 >> You know, I don't usually say this about Donald Trump, but that was over the top. I confirmed it just now. The trump campaign is so hard up for money I just bought that fog machine for Ebay for $30. I don't feel good about it. I don't. It's night two. Who's pumped up? Who's excited to pound a dozen cheese steaks with me after this? Let's try that again. Who is ready to elect Hillary Clinton the next president of the United States? 19:37:24 >> Whew! Me, too. I'm Elizabeth banks. Some of you know me from "The hunger games" in which I play Effie trinket, a cruel, out of touch reality TV star who wears insane wigs while delivering long-winded speeches to a violent dystopia. So when I tuned in last week I was, like, hey, that's my act. 19:37:54 Part of me really likes being up here joking around, but the other part of me knows that this election is too important for jokes because when I think about what this election means for America I think about my family. My father, a Vietnam vet worked the second and third shifts on the factory floor in my hometown of pittsfield, Massachusetts. My mother worked at the library and the local bank and they worked hard. 19:38:27 They struggled because like millions of American parents they wanted to give their kid, four of us, a good life with boundless opportunities. And it is because of what Democrats built, good public school, affordable health care, help in the hardest times that they were able to do that. Are, and their dreams and mine took me here to Philadelphia. Really. Through scholarships and financial aid I worked my way through the university of Pennsylvania. I got a world-class education, and I met my wonderful husband and partner max. 19:39:06 I will never forget that day in 1992 when we went on a big, romantic date, a rally for Bill Clinton. And it was there that I learned something really important about show business. The headliner should always watch out for someone stealing the show. Hillary Clinton rocked my world. A smart, committed, successful woman and not for her own benefit, but a fighter for women and children, cop and first responders, healthcare and girls around the world. That's Hillary Clinton, and that is what tonight is all about. 19:39:52 The fights of her life. Did you then when Hillary Clinton graduated law school she didn't just sell out and go work for some fancy law firm. She went to work advocating for children and families. It was one of her first fights, and since then she has never let up. [VIDEO PLAYS - 'THE FIGHTS OF HER LIFE'] THADDEUS DESMOND 19:41:27 In her early 20s, Hillary Clinton spent time at the Yale New Haven Hospital researching child abuse. She saw children who had been beaten, burned, and neglected. The experience turned her into a lifelong champion for kids in need. 19:41:46 As a child advocate socier worker, I too am a champion for children. And I am lucky to work with a team of champions. Social workers, case managers, attorneys, and other individuals whose lifelong work is to ensure that all children have a chance at greatness. Child advocacy has made significant strides in the right direction, but our work is far from finished. 19:42:13 Every child deserves an advocate who truly cares for them. And they have one in Hillary Clinton. Hillary knows that when you fight for our kids, you're fighting for our futures. That's why I am with Her. ANTON MOORE 19:42:36 My name is Anton Moore President and founder of Unity in the Community. In 1972, Hillary traveled to Alabama on a mission. She was there to help shed light on segregated academies-private schools that cropped up across the state after the Supreme Court ordered public schools to integrate.When these schools applied for federal state exemptions, they claimed they weren't trying to promote segregation. But Hillary helped prove they were. 19:43:19 Hillary visited one of these academies posing as a mother looking to enroll her child. And, sure enough, the administrators assured her they were [didn't accept] black children. Hillary shared her findings with the Children's Defense Fund. As founder of unity in the community I work hard and think about the families in my community about gun violence. In society today we must stand up promote non violence and that is why I am with Hillary Clinton come november. DYNAH HAUBERT 19:43:47 After Hillary graduated from law school, she could've gotten a job anywhere. But she chose to work full-time for the Children's Defense Fund. She went door-to-door in Massachusetts, gathering stories from disabled children who desperately wanted to go to school but were prevented from enrolling by discrimination. 19:44:11 Her research contributed to the passage of historic legislation that required states to provide quality education for disabled students. As a disabled person, I became a lawyer to advocate that disability is not a problem to be cured, but part of our identity and diversity. 19:44:39 And that's why, today-on the 26th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act-I'm with Her. KATE BURDICK 19:44:55 Until the 1970s, young people who got in trouble in South Carolina were often housed in the same prison cells as adults. It was a dangerous policy that put kids at serious risk for abuse. The Children's Defense Fund dispatched Hillary to these prisons to investigate. As a result of work she contributed to, after three years of litigation, the state ended this practice. 19:45:22 From the moment a child touches the system, it's important society lifts them up instead of letting them fall behind. That's why I became a juvenile justice lawyer. You don't often make headlines fighting for kids, but her whole career Hillary has been quietly leading that fight anyway. That's why I'm with Her. DUSTIN PARSONS 19:45:51 As the First Lady of Arkansas, Hillary Clinton chaired the state's Educational Standards Commission. She'd put the schools she visited to what she called the Chelsea Test: If it wasn't good enough for her daughter, it wasn't good enough for any child in America. She played a major role in shaping the state's education policy and improving standards at schools like the one I went to. When she started, Arkansas' schools were ranked second worst in the nation. By the time she was done, they were among the most improved. 19:46:34 Now, as a teacher in those same public schools, I know my students continue to benefit from the work Hillary started all those years ago. And that's why I'm with Her. DANIELE MELLOTT 19:46:52 Hillary began working on adoption and foster care issues as a law student-and never stopped. As First Lady, she advocated for landmark legislation to make it easier for families to adopt kids in need-especially older kids who worked -- worried they'd never find a permanent home. My 17-year-old son, Heath, was once one of those kids. 19:47:16 We adopted Heath four years ago-but it feels like he's always been part of the family forever. My three other kids swear Heath was on family vacations we took years before he joined our family. I'm not a Democrat. But Hillary cares about kids like Heath, and about making families like mine complete. That's why I'm with Her. JELANIE FREEMAN 19:47:49 Long before she ever held elected office, Hillary Clinton fought for kids every way she could. So you know she continued that fight once she got to the Senate. I spent my childhood in the New York foster care system, moving from home to home with a trash bag as my suitcase. And if you're a kid in the system who never finds a permanent home, when you turn 18, you're on your own. After my high school graduation, my social worker shook my hand and wished me luck. That was it. 19:48:30 But Hillary had this crazy notion: Every child deserves to live up to their God-given potential. So she reserved an internship spot in her Senate office just for former foster youth. In 2003, I got that spot.I remember our first meeting vividly. She looked me in the eye and said, "Jelani, I'm proud of you." I felt seen and heard-for the first time in my life. Throughout the years, Hillary has remained a source of encouragement. She has made me more mindful of my responsibility and purpose. Hillary taught me that there is a high cost for low expectations of our kids and that you receive a blessing to become a blessing. 19:49:31 She inspired me to become a lawyer and an advocate for children in my community. It's said that love dignifies us, it elevates us to higher plateaus. Hillary's love did that for me. It lifted me to a place I never had the courage to imagine. That's why I'm with Her. ### DONNA BRAZILE DNC VICE CHAIR FOR CIVIC ENGAGEMENT AND VOTER PARTICIPATION 19:50:50 Growing up, I was always told that a lady should never reveal her age. So I'll simply say this, I am no spring chicken and I have seen some things in my time. As a child, I lived through and survived the segregated South. I sat at the back of the bus at a time when America wasn't yet as great as it could be. 19:51:27 As a grown woman, I saw the first black president reach down a hand and touch the face of a child like I once was, lifting his eyes toward a better future. But I have never, ever, in all my years seen a leader so committed to delivering that better future to America's children as Hillary Clinton. 19:51:59 Let me tell you, Arkansas, when I first met Hillary Clinton. When Hillary graduated from law school, she could have gone to work for a corporation or a big law firm. Instead, she went to work for the Children's Defense Fund. She didn't sit in the office. She traded pumps for tennis shoes. Hillary went undercover, going door-to-door and school-to-school, investigating discrimination, and the treatment of children with disabilities. 19:52:30 During that same time, Donald Trump was facing a federal discrimination lawsuit for refusing to rent to minority families, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton risked her own safety to seek out the truth and comfort the afflicted, and to make a home for justice where there was none. 19:52:57 It was at the Children's Defense Fund that I met Hillary. I was 22, feisty, and ready to fight. And I remember thinking immediately, here is a woman who doesn't mess around. And you know us southern girls we don't mess around. Steel in her spine, Hillary didn't want to talk about anything other than how to make children's lives better. That's the Hillary I know. That's who she is. When nobody was watching, she quietly fought and fought hard for the voiceless among us. 19:53:31 Over her career, that never changed. She has never changed from expanding early childhood education as First Lady of Arkansas, to helping win health care for 8 million children as First Lady of the United States, for standing up for women and girls here at home, and around the world as Secretary of State, she has never forgotten what she learned in that very first job. At her core, rooting her to this earth, is the belief that every child, black or white, rich or poor, native-born, immigrant, or undocumented, deserves the opportunity to live up to their God-given potential. 19:54:14 My friends, as a child when I sat in the back of the bus, I was told, time and time again, that God's potential didn't exist in people like me. I've spent my life fighting to change that. And, from the first day when I met Hillary Clinton, I've known that she is someone who cares just as much and fights just as hard for children everywhere. Poor kids -- you got a champion. Kids who live in poverty -- you got a champion. Kids who need hope -- you got a champion. As long as she's in charge, we're never going back. And that's why I'm with Her. 19:55:03 And let me say this, as your incoming chair of the Democratic Chair of the National Committee - [ cheers and applause ] -- I promise you my friends, I commit to all Americans that we will have a party that you can be proud of. We will elect democrats up and down the ballot. And we will celebrate together the inauguration of Hillary Clinton in January 2017. God bless you and God bless America! [ cheers and applause ] ### DAVID BANKS 19:57:44 I'm David Banks, the President and CEO of the Eagle Academy in New York. In 2004 the high school graduation rate was only about 30% and 75% of New York State's entire prison population came from just seven neighborhoods in New York City. If you were one of the young men growing up in one of these areas, the odds were stacked against you. So, together with the organization 100 Black Men, we answered the call to do something about this crisis. 19:58:31 Since 2004, the Eagle Academies have educated nearly 4,000 young men. 98% of our graduates are accepted to college. We're making a big difference now, but we could not have done it alone. You see there was one leader was with us from the beginning - and she was our earliest champion. One leader who understood that addressing the crisis facing young men of color in our country required innovative measures. One leader who pushed to open the first Eagle Academy in the Bronx. And she made a promise to return four years later to offer the keynote address to our first graduating class. And that's a promise that she kept!I'm with Hillary Clinton because she has always been with us. 19:59:40 Today, we have young men who are confident, future leaders who are resilient. Just look at them America. [ cheers ] They are brilliant and full of promise. And we start everyday with the poem Invictus. It's the same poem that strengthened the resolve of the imprisoned Nelson Mandela when he recited it each day. So young men of the Eagle Academy, Invictus, STRAIGHT! 20:00:23 EAGLE ACADEMY>>Out of the night that covers me,Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be. For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance. I have not winced nor cried aloud.Under the bludgeonings of chance. My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade,And yet the menace of the years. Finds and shall find me unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate,How charged with punishments the scroll,I am the master of my fate:I am the captain of my soul! >>Thank you! 20:02:47 [VIDEO OF HILLARY CLINTON AND SOCIAL JUSTICE] ERIC HOLDER 20:05:38 Thank you. I have known Hillary Clinton for almost 25 years. As a friend, a colleague, and a leader of courage and conviction. And today, I'm proud to say I stand with her. Because I have seen that she has the skills to serve as commander in chief and the strength to lead our already great nation in this hour of challenge and conflict. Now did you hear what I said? Already great nation. Donald, did you hear me? Already great nation. [ cheers ] 20:06:17 At a time when the bonds between law enforcement and communities of color have frayed, when assassins target police in heinous attacks and peaceful citizens have to question whether black lives truly matter, and they do -- [ cheers and applause ] 20:06:41 -- We need a president who understands the reality that I saw in my travels across our country as our nation's 82nd attorney general. There should be no tension between protecting those who valiantly risk their lives to serve and insuring that everyone is treated fairly by the police.Now, as the brother of a retired police officer, I am profoundly aware that an attack on a police officer anywhere is an attack on our entire society. So it is not enough -- it is not enough for us to praise law enforcement officers after they are killed. We must protect them, value them, and equip them with the right tools, tactics, and training while they are still alive. 20:07:42 We must also come to realize that keeping our officers safe is not inconsistent with ensuring that those in law enforcement treat the people they are sworn to serve with dignity, with respect, and with fairness. We must commit ourselves to both goals. Hillary understands that the goals we share are the same. Safer communities with less crime, where all of our loved ones, police, and community residents, they get the chance to come home at night. As president, she will continue the work that needs to be done to rebuild trust because she knows that we are stronger together. But let us be honest. At a time when our justice system is out of balance. 20:08:37 When one in three black men will be incarcerated in their lifetimes, and when black defendants in the federal system receive sentences 20% longer than their white peers, we need a president who will end this policy of overincarceration. Now, as attorney general, I launched sweeping reforms of our federal criminal justice system and reduced its reliance on draconian mandatory minimum sentences. 20:09:09 As a result, we cut the federal prison population and the crime rate together for the first time in more than 40 years. Now, that's right. That's right. Despite the fiction and the fear mongering you have heard from the other party's nominee, violent crime has gone down since president Obama took office. As president, Hillary will go even farther. She fought as a senator against sentencing disparities and racial profiling. She used her first major speech as a candidate to lay out a bold vision for criminal justice reform. As a presidential candidate, she has talked about systemic racism in a way that no one else has. 20:09:56 And she will help our nation summon the courage to confront racial injustice and face down the legacies of our darkest past. Now, finally, at a time when the right to vote is under siege, when Republicans brazenly assault the most fundamental right of our democracy, passing laws designed to stop people from voting while closing locations in minority neighborhoods where people get the documents they need to vote, we need a president sensitive to these echoes of Jim Crow. We need a president who holds the right to vote as sacred and stands firm against any kind of modern day poll tax. My fellow Americans, Hillary Clinton will be that president. 20:10:54 She will set a new standard for early voting. She will champion universal automatic registration. You turn 18, you're registered to vote. Because she knows -- she knows, and everybody in this arena has to know this, the best way to defend the right to vote is by exercising it. Throughout history, too many people have sacrificed too much, fought wars, and braved fire hoses, dogs, bullets, and bombs for this generation to sit on the sidelines. Never forget that we are heirs to a revolution that began just five miles from where we gather this week and that the choice we face in this pivotal election is about much more than politics. It's about the arc that we are on as a nation. 20:11:53 The composition of our character as a people, and the ideals of equality, opportunity, and justice that have always made America great. These are the ideals for which Hillary Clinton has fought her entire life. This is the fight that she will continue when we make history by electing her the 45th president of the United States of America. Thank you. CAMERON MCLAY POLICE CHIEF OF PITTSBURGH 20:12:45 >> Greetings. Greetings. All across this country my colleagues, my brothers and sisters in blue are doing what I would argue is potentially the hardest job in this nation today. At the start of every shift they go to work never knowing for sure what dangers they might face, and yet, there is a crisis especially in the eyes of many of the communities that we serve, particularly with our communities of color. There is a crisis of trust in the police and the criminal justice system. 20:13:24 Ironically, crime rates have been falling for decades, but research shows that the public trust is eroding in far too many places. Dr. Martin Luther king said it beautifully. True peace is not the absence of tension. It is the presence of justice. Ironically, our communities are arguably safer than ever before. However, absent a sense of justice, less crime in your neighborhood is at best, a hollow victory. The controversial officer-involved shootings that have occurred since Ferguson have created a level of tension between police in our communities while at the same time there's been a great deal of work going on to improve those relationships. 20:14:21 In Pittsburgh, we're doing this important work. We recognize our interdependency, and we are working closely together to reduce the violence and make sure that our residents feel both safe and respected. But things are fragile. Two controversial police shootings in two consecutive days. In Minnesota, in Louisiana, left many understandably outraged. The assassination of eight police officers in ten days have left many of us in the law enforcement community feeling under siege. 20:15:07 Both of these concerns are very, very real. Without question, the criminal justice system has had a disparate impact on our communities of color, and yet society is asking at the same time far more of our police officers than ever before. Laid at the doorstep of police are declining opportunity, disinvestment in mental health and ineffective drug treatment options for those addicted. As a police officer who has served more than 30 years, let me say this, we can respect and support our police officers while at the same time pushing for these important criminal justice reforms. We can do both and we will do both. 20:16:09 I promise you, there are many, many more police leaders just like me who are fully convinced and fully committed that we need to improve the integrity of our systems, but we cannot succeed unless we come together with the communities that we serve. We must each -- we must each, as human beings fight our natural tendency to hide inside our own narrow world view. Instead, we must seek common ground with the objective of creating an America that truly is and truly provides a source of liberty and justice for all. Thank you. TONY GOLDWYN 20:17:29 Hillary Clinton has spoken of watching Nelson Mandela embrace his former jailers because he didn't want to be imprisoned twice, once by steel and concrete, once by anger and bitterness. I've worked for years with the Innocence Project - the extraordinary organization that fights to exonerate the wrongfully convicted. I've never heard a single exoneree - many of whom have spent decades in prison for crimes they didn't commit - speak of anger or outrage, only of their desire to reform the system so others might be spared their suffering. 20:18:19 I am proud to introduce a group of women profoundly impacted by injustice and violence who have turned their pain into power and their outrage into action. They are the Mothers of the Movement. They understand that we must reach out to each other because of our diversity. Because we are stronger together. You know, Hillary says, "We can't hide from these hard truths about race and justice in America. We have to name them and own them and then change them." That's what she'll do as president. 20:19:12 And the Mothers of the Movement prove that one life at a time, one mother at a time, we can change the world. [VIDEO PLAYS] GENEVA REED-VEAL >> [ chant ] Black lives matter! Black lives matter! 20:23:25 Hello, hello, hello. Hey, I need you all to hear me tonight, give me two moments to tell you how good God is. Whew. Hallelujah. Give me a moment to say thank you. We are not standing here because he is not good we are standing here because he is great. 20:24:05 One year ago yesterday, I lived the worst nightmare anyone could imagine. I watched as my daughter, Sandra Bland, was lowered into the ground in a coffin. She was my fourth of five daughters, and she was gone. No, no, not on administrative leave, but on permanent leave from this earth, found hanging in a jail cell after an unlawful traffic stop and an unlawful arrest. 20:24:51 Six other women died in custody that same month: Kendra Chapman, Alexis McGovern, Sarah Lee Circle Bear, Raynette Turner, Ralkina Jones, and Joyce Curnell. So many of our children are gone but not forgotten. I'm here with Hillary Clinton tonight because she is a leader and a mother who will say our children's names. She knows that when a young black life is cut short, it's not just a loss, it's a personal loss. It is a national loss. It is a loss that diminishes all of us. What a blessing tonight to be standing here, so that Sandy can still speak through her mama. 20:26:33 And what a blessing it is for all of us if we seize it, we gotta seize it, to cast our votes for a president who will help lead us down the path toward restoration and change. LUCIA MCBATH 20:27:05 You don't stop being a mom when your child dies. You don't stop being a parent. I am still Jordan Davis's mother. His life ended the day that he was shot and killed for playing loud music. But my job as his mother didn't. 20:27:31 I still wake up every day thinking about how to parent him. How to protect him and his legacy. How to ensure that his death doesn't overshadow his life. Here's what you don't know about my son. When Jordan was little, he wouldn't eat a popsicle unless he had enough to bring out to his friends. He loved practical jokes. He liked having deep conversations about our love for God and how God could allow such pain and suffering.I lived in fear my son would die like this. I even warned him that because he was a young, black man, he would meet people who didn't value his life. 20:28:29 That is a conversation no parent should ever have have with their child. Hillary Clinton isn't afraid to say that black lives matter. She isn't afraid to sit at a table with grieving mothers and bear the full force of our anguish. She doesn't build walls around her heart. Not only did she listen to our problems, she invited us to become part of the solution. And that's what we're going to do. We're going to keep telling our children's stories and urging you to say their names. 20:29:21 We're going to keep building a future where police officers and communities of color work together in mutual respect to keep children, like Jordan, safe. The majority of police officers are good people doing a good job. And we're asking and we're also going to keep using our voices and our votes to support leaders, like Hillary Clinton, who will help us protect one another so this club of heartbroken mothers stops growing. SYBRINA FULTON 20:30:15 First of all, I'd like to say, it's an honor to be here, to stand with these mothers and be amongst you. I am an unwilling participant in this movement. I would not have signed up for this or any other mother that's standing here with me today. But I am here today for my son, Trayvon Martin, who is in heaven. 20:30:51 And also for his brother, Jahvaris Fulton, who is still here on earth.I didn't want this spotlight. But will I do everything I can to focus some of this light on the pain of a path out of the darkness. 20:31:19 Hillary Clinton has the compassion and understanding to support grieving mothers. She has the courage to lead the fight for common-sense gun legislation. [ cheers ] And she has a plan to repair the divide that so often exists between law enforcement and the communities they serve. 20:31;51 This isn't about being politically correct. It's about saving our children. That's why we're here tonight with Hillary Clinton. And that's why, in the memory of our children, we are imploring you - all of you - to vote in this election day. Hillary is the one mother who can ensure our movement will succeed. I want to thank you for standing with us and supporting us and we like to leave you what God has given us, strength, love and peace. ### [PERFORMANCE] 20:38:27 ELIZABETH BANKS 20:38:27 Let's give it up for all of that one more time. I have been backstage ugly crying. All right. Are there any women in the audience tonight? [ cheers ] Yeah, no Duh. We are half the population. And we matter. And Hillary Clinton does know this. She knows women's rights are human rights. This is a point that Hillary Clinton has made consistently because she feels it, like I do, in her bones because how can we not? 20:39:14 Because we still don't have equal pay for equal work, we are still struggling to keep our right to chose, and when a strong woman speaks up and dares to have an opinion we are still told to stop shouting, we are still told to speak softly, or we are warned that we are not allowed to drink Mai ties in an Ikea and then we are expected to apologize and then, in the case of that last example is actually the only correct thing to do. 20:39:50 But Hillary Clinton doesn't make his takes like that. And she is never going to apologize for speaking up and fighting so that women and girls can have their voices heard. [TRUMP VIDEO ON WOMEN] CECILE RICHARDS 20:41:09 Planned Parenthood was founded 100 years ago, giving women the care they need to live their lives and chase their dreams - no limits, no ceilings. A century later, an enormous ceiling is coming down.This isn't just about electing the first woman president, it's about electing this woman president. 20:41:47 Each year, millions of women, men, and young people trust Planned Parenthood. And the Planned Parenthood Action Fund trusts Hillary Clinton. As first lady, Hillary declared to the world that, "women's rights are human rights."She worked with Republicans and Democrats to help create the Children's Health Insurance Program, which now covers 8 million kids. As Secretary of State, she was a champion for women and girls around the globe. 20:42: 29 And she will always stand up for the right of every woman to access a full range of reproductive health care, including abortion, no matter her economic status. Over the last year, Hillary has traveled across our country, listening to young activists working to end campus sexual assault. To fathers who want their daughters to be paid equal to their sons.To parents who need paid family leave and affordable child care. 20:42:57 She has made their fights her own. And she has chosen as her running mate, Senator Tim Kaine, absolutely, a m an who has been a champion for women and families his entire lifetime. Hillary has always been in Planned Parenthood's corner, because she knows women deserve someone in theirs. Women like Dayna Farris Fisher, a mom in Dallas who was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago. 20:43:30 Today, Dayna is cancer-free. She says she couldn't have done it without Vivian, the Planned Parenthood clinician who stuck with her all the way through treatment. So when Donald Trump and Mike Pence say they'll defund Planned Parenthood, they're talking about cutting women like Dayna off from lifesaving care. So make no mistake: women's health and rights are on the line and on the ballot in this election. 20:44:04 So you may have heard that just last month, the Supreme Court ruled that the Texas laws that forced abortion providers to close their doors are dangerous and they are unconstitutional. [ cheers ] But the fight's not over. Donald Trump has pledged to appoint justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade and undo decades of progress. His policies aren't just frightening - they're rooted in a deeply disturbing worldview. Donald Trump has called women "fat pigs" and "dogs." He wants to punish women for having abortions.And he says pregnancy is an "inconvenience" for a woman's employer. [ boos ] 20:44:54 Well, Mr Trump, come this November, women are going to be more than an inconvenience. [ cheers ] Yup. Because, women are going to be the reason you're not elected to be president. When my great-grandmother was growing up, women couldn't vote under Texas law. Two generations later, her granddaughter, Ann Richards, was elected governor of the state of Texas and Tonight, we are closer than ever to putting a woman in the White House. And I can almost hear mom saying, "well, it sure took y'all long enough." 20:45:53 So what do you say? Are you ready to make history? Let's go win an election. Thank you. LENA DUNHAM AND AMERICA FERRERA 20:46:27 DUNHAM>> Hi, I am Lena Dunham and according to Donald Trump my body is probably like a two. AMERICA>> And according to Donald Trump I am probably a rapist. DUNHAM> But America, you are not Mexican. AMERICA>> And president Obama isn't Kenyan but that doesn't stop Donald. DUNHAM>> We know what you thinking. Why should you care what some television celebrity has to say about politics. AMERICA>> And we feel the same way. But he is the Republican nominee so we need to talk about it. DUNHAM>> The unfunny facts is that this man would have you believe that our differences are more important than what unites us. 20:47:15 AMERICA>> When we know the truth was this country was founded on the belief that what sets us apart, race, language, religion, sexual orientation, should not dissolve what binds us. [Applause] DUNHAM>> Which is why we're proud to say we're with Hillary! AMERICA>> I am the proud child of Honduran immigrants and I am profoundly grateful for the access and opportunities that exist in this extraordinary nation. I was educated in public schools, my talents were nurtured through public arts programs. And you know what? Occasionally I needed a free meal to get through the school day. 20:48:18 Not everybody looks at the millions of young people like me, children born into struggling families, children born to immigrant parents, children who are immigrants themselves, not everybody looks at them and sees an investment. But Hillary has spent the last 30 years proving what she sees in us. [Applause] 20:48:50 Not our color, gender, economic status, but our capacity to grow into thriving adults capable of contributing great things to this country. [Applause] 20:49:09 DUNHAM>> I am a pro-choice feminist sexual assault survivor with a chronic reproductive illness. Donald Trump and his party think I should be punished for exercising my constitutional rights. His rhetoric about women take us back to a time when we were meant to be beautiful and silent. Meanwhile, 22 years ago, Hillary Clinton declared that women's rights are human rights. [ cheers ] And she made it possible for my fellow sexual assault providers in my home state of New York to have access to safe, immediate care in any emergency room. Hillary knows that access and opportunity are the American promise not transphobia, Islamophobia, xenophobia and systemic racism. 20:50:03 She knows we have to fight hatred of all kinds and not ignite it for the craven purpose of creating power. AMERICA>> Look, Donald's not making America great again. He's making America hate again. And the vast majority of us, we cannot afford to see his vision of America come to be. 20:05:34 DUNHAM>> Luckily, we the voters carry the future of this country. We don't accept hatred as the norm in our communities so why would we ever accept it in the oval office? AMERICA>> So to everyone here tonight, and out there watching at home, here is your chance to join team Hillary. DUNHAM>> Do you want equal pay for equal work? AMERICA>> Yes! DUNHAM>> The right to make decisions about your own body? AMERICA>> Yes. DUNHAM>> Paid family leave? AMERICA>> Yes. DUNHAM>> As Hillary Clinton says deal us in. [Applause] AMERICA>> Text deal to 47426 and we will make you a card carrying member of this team. Let's forcefuly reject division. 20:51:39 DUNHAM>> Let's say with one voice that we all have worth, we are all a part of this country. AMERICA>> Let's put Hillary Clinton in the white house. TOGETHER>> And let's declare love trumps hate. STEVE BENJAMIN 20:54:14 [ chant ] We love Steve! We love Steve! Good evening. And I love South Carolina. Good evening to all our friends and family here and back home in the great Palmetto state of South Carolina. 20:54:32 Tonight, I'm not here as a mayor, a delegate, or even as a Democrat. I'm here as a father - a father with a promise to keep. You see, a year ago, I got to introduce our oldest daughter, Bethany, to the next President of the United States, Hillary Clinton. And one of my proudest moments as a father was watching Bethany shake Hillary's hand with the confidence that would have escaped most adults and announced that Hillary had her full support. Because, and I quote, "The guys have been president long enough, and now it's time for a woman to take control." 20:55:17 Hillary, in all her wisdom, told Bethie she was the smartest 10-year-old in the world. Who was I to disagree?After that meeting, I wrote a letter to Bethany and to our youngest daughter, Jordan Grace, promising to our girls that I would do everything in my power to elect Hillary Clinton, because I want my daughters to know the same opportunities I have. I want them to feel the same way I felt 8 years ago when President Barack Obama was elected. To feel, to feel in their heart of hearts, in America, anything is possible, because it is. 20:55:56 I want them to know that sugar and spice are nice, but courage, intelligence, and the will to lead, that's what women are made of. [ cheers ] And that's the model, Deandre, my mother Maggie, and Hillary Clinton are setting for my daughters, your daughters, and all of our children. This promise is ours to keep so that my daughters, our children, know not just believe, but know, that this is their America, too. 20:56:33 That all men are created equal, doesn't just mean men anymore. My daughters and all of our children are working. America's watching. Can we keep that promise for them? [ cheers ] Are we ready for Hillary? >> Yes! 20:56:54 You hear that girls? I think we've got it from here. Good night. Sweet dreams. Your daddy loves you so much. BARBARA BOXER 20:57:34 You look beautiful out there. So I have a question. Are you ready to elect the first woman President of the United States? Let me hear it. Yes. I want to talk to you very personally because I have known Hillary Clinton for more than 20 years. We're actually family. My daughter was married to her brother, and my beloved grandson is her beloved nephew. So I know her as the loving aunt who helped plan my grandson's birthday parties when he was a toddler. 20:58:31 And I saw her rush over after a busy day at the State Department to cheer him on at his high school football games. She was often joined by her devoted mother, Dorothy - a woman who overcame a painful childhood and taught Hillary how one caring person can change a child's life. Dorothy once wrote me a letter and she said this: "I can't remember when Hillary didn't take the long view of things. Never instant gratification. And she wrote that strong sense of empathy for others and a great sense of humor have served her well."? Now that's a mom who knew her daughter well. ? 20:59:35 We saw Hillary's heart, her heart when, as First Lady, she worked across party lines to bring healthcare to millions and millions of children. We saw her strength when after 9/11 when she stood with first responders and tirelessly fought for them! We sawe her strength. We saw her leadership when, as Secretary of State, she restored America's standing in the world you remember that? After the Bush Administration. And I personally saw the light in her eyes when she became a grandmother, and her fight for a better America became even more personal and even more urgent.
DNC CONVENTION DAY 2 NET REQUEST FEED 7PM / HD
NET REQUEST FEED FROM THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION AT THE WELLS FARGO CENTER IN PHILADELPHIA / 19:00:50 That is something you will never forget. That is friendship. Hillary is tough. She is determined. She is an amazing mother, grandmother and wife, and I know that she loves this country more than anything else. Compare that to what we just heard from Donald Trump and the Republicans. They spent four days tearing down our country. They blamed immigrants. They blamed refugees. They blamed affordable health care and offered no solutions other than giving the nuclear codes to a man who praises Vladimir Putin and Saddam hussein. 19:01:37 If Donald Trump really cared about American greatness, he wouldn't attack Democrats. He would follow our lead. In Virginia we're putting our values into action to create jobs and bring our unemployment rate down from 5.3% when I took office to 3.7% today, the steepest decline a governor has seen at this point in 32 years in Virginia. We have made record investments in public education, expanded access so we have a healthy, nutritious plan for all of our children and let me tell you this, folks, I am so proud of Virginia. We were the first state in the United States of America to be certified to have ended veteran homelessness in our state. 19:02:29 We have fought Republican efforts to discriminate against lgbt virginian, and we have stood up for a woman's right to choose, and we are overcoming obstacles to deny hundreds of thousands of former felons their right to vote because history tells us that enemies of progress can slow the march toward justice and equality, but they cannot stop us. We have come so far since 2008, but there is more work to be done, that's why I support Hillary Clinton, because they'll want a president who will build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. A president who tackles global warming head-on and stands up for common-sense solutions to keep guns away from dangerous people, a president who has vision, purpose and the experience to lead our nation not cheesy slogans and silly hats. 19:03:32 A president who will build our country up and not tear it down to scare up votes. My friend, I have known Hillary for decades. I have seen her in action. I know that she will be the kind of leader that she will be, and she will lead this nation. Tonight we made history, but the fight has just begun. It is time for all of us to get to work and to make my friend Hillary Clinton the next president of the United States of America. Thank you! LEADER NANCY PELOSI 19:05:43 Good evening! Good evening everyone. In 1776 not very far from here our founding fathers created our nation. Ninety-six years ago, America's women first won the right to vote, 96 years ago. We are preparing to shatter the highest strongest marble ceiling in our country by electing Hillary Clinton president of the United State's. Aren't you proud to be part of this historic moment in our history? 19:06:31 Hillary Clinton knows that this moment is not just about one woman's achievement, but about what a woman president will mean for generations to come - for the dreams and hopes and aspirations of every woman and every son and every daughter across our the land for generations to come. 19:06:52 The Democratic Women of the House are leading the way to unleash the power of America's women and working families - in our economy, in our society, and in our democracy. Nothing is more wholesome for America than the increased participation and leadership of women in government and politics. 19:07:19 Here, tonight, are women leaders who personify the integrity, imagination, and idealism and, indeed, the courage that will build a stronger America for hard-working families. AsHillary Clinton, they have spent their lifetimes fighting for women and children. And in November, we will affirm the great truth of our country: when women succeed, America succeeds! REP DORIS MATSUI (CALIFORNIA 19:07:58 Hi. I'm Congresswoman Doris Matsui from the great state of California. Today, the success of women is more important than ever to the strength of working families. Women are fueling the future of the American economy. That's why House Democrats created the economic agenda, When Women Succeed, America Succeeds. 19:08:34 We have four keys to unlock the full potential of women and working families: fair pay - raising the minimum wage and ensuring equal pay for equal work; paid leave - empowering women and men to balance the responsibilities of work and family; affordable,and quality child care; and strengthened retirement security for women to enter their twilight years with confidence and dignity. We will fight Republican attempts to weaken Social Security. 19:09:30 Hillary Clinton stands with us. And we stand with her on every one of these commitments. Together, we will build a stronger America for our families. REP JAN SCHAKOWSKY 19:09:54 I'm Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky from Illinois, the birthplace of Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton and House Democrats believe a stronger America means protecting women's rights and expanding women's opportunities. Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress have other priorities: meddling in women's most intimate decisions; jeopardizing women's health; even criminalizing women's choices. When it comes to the issues between women and their doctors, House Republicans misrepresent, they intimidate, and they undermine. In this Congress alone, they've voted 14 times to attack women's health. 19:10:54 Republicans continue to attack the Affordable Care Act while it provides newfound health security to millions of Americans. Because of health care reform, no longer can insurance companies charge you more just because you're a woman. And for the first time in history, no longer is being a woman a pre-existing condition! Democrats are fighting back against the Republicans' anti-women crusade. It's 2016, and American women are not going back. We are moving forward! REP NYDIA VELAZQUEZ (NEW YORK) 19:11:47 Hi, I'm Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez from the great state of New York. America's small businesses and entrepreneurs have always been at the heart of our economy - and the true engine of job creation in our communities. And today, more women are starting small businesses than ever before. Women-owned and women-operated small businesses are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in America today. 19:12:30 Women of color and women veterans are quickly transforming the face of entrepreneurship in our country. Women entrepreneurs are building a stronger America every day. They need the capital to grow and the tools to thrive. Hillary Clinton has a plan that will ensure all of America's small businesses can compete and succeed in the global economy. Because Hillary sides with the little guy, that is why I am with Her. REP SUZAN DELBENE (WASHINGTON) 19:13:19 I'm Congresswoman Suzan DelBene from the great state of Washington. Before coming to Congress, I was an entrepreneur. And I know that innovation is at the heart of who we are as Americans - and it's essential to keeping American workers, American products, and American ideas number one in the 21st century. 19:13:43 A decade ago, House Democrats enacted the first Innovation Agenda. And with the majority, we made revolutionary investments in clean energy development, in affordable, world-class STEM education, and in expanding broadband to rural families. 19:14:01 And House Democrats will work with President Hillary Clinton to sustain America's lead in innovation - creating good-paying jobs, powering our economy, and driving bold solutions to the challenges facing our climate and our communities. A strong America - an America that's "Stronger Together" - will lead the world in entrepreneurship, in innovation, and clean energy. REP BONNIE WATSON COLEMAN 19:14:35 I'm Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman and I come from the great state of New Jersey. House Democrats believe America is strongest when we have an economy that works for everybody, not just for those at the top. If you're willing to work hard in our country, you deserve a secure financial future and a strong foothold on the American Dream: buying a home, sending children to college, and real retirement security. 19:15:15 We should be creating jobs by upgrading our roads, bridges, broadband, transit systems, energy grids, and water infrastructure. And we can pay for this progress by closing loopholes and making big corporations pay their fair share. Democrats, led by Hillary Clinton, know that we must make college more affordable and lift the crushing burden of student debt that weighs on the futures of many young Americans and their families! America is stronger when everyone has a chance to succeed. REP LOIS FRANKEL 19:15:03 I'm Congresswoman Lois Frankel of Florida. I'm the proud mother of a United States Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our men and women in uniform, our veterans, and our military families give everything to our country. They embody our highest ideals: service, selflessness, and bravery. 19:16:41 We owe them a debt of gratitude we can never fully repay. As Democrats, we believe we have a responsibility to ensure every veteran gets the support, the health care, the education, and the job training he or she needs to succeed. And we're proud to stand behind Hillary Clinton, a candidate with clear plans to improve the lives of our veterans. Our veterans fought to protect our freedom and our security. We are a stronger America because of their sacrifice, and we owe them a strong future of honor and opportunity. REP KATHERINE CLARK 19:17:25 I'm Katherine Clark of the great commonwealth Massachusetts. We stand here tonight because generations of Americans, across our history, stepped forward to defend and advance our democracy. In a democracy, it is the voices of the people - not the checkbooks of the privileged - that must drive our politics and our policies. We want the democracy Hillary Clinton believes in, one that fights to make sure America works for everyone, not just the well-connected and the wealthy. 19:18:08 The special interests shouldn't be able to buy themselves a louder voice than America's hard-working families! Together, with Hillary Clinton by our side, we will cut the cancer of secret money out of our democracy and overturn Citizens United. What does this mean for American families? It means a stronger America that is free from the grip of the gun lobby. 19:18:43 Ninety-one Americans are killed by gun violence every day. Republicans and the big money gun lobby shouldn't be blocking common sense legislation to keep guns out of the wrong hands! We held a sit-in, but now it's time to stand up and stand together to demand change. REP STEPHANIE MURPHY (FLORIDA) 19:19:16 I'm Stephanie Murphy, and I'm running to represent Florida in the House alongside these remarkable women. After 9/11, I left a job in the corporate world to become a National Security Specialist for the Secretary of Defense. 19:19:33 Democrats know a stronger America means confronting the threats abroad - without blinking and without undermining our values. Democrats are strengthening our fight against terror by working with our allies, not abandoning them. 19:19:50 Democrats know we need to be strong and smart to destroy ISIS and protect America, not reckless and rash. Democrats are ensuring our military has the resources they need to do their job. And our military knows how to do their job better than anyone else in the world! REP VAL DEMINGS (FLORIDA) 19:20:18 My name is Val Demings, and I'm running for Congress in the great state of Florida. I spent 27 years on the Orlando police force and had the honor of serving as Orlando's first woman chief of police. 19:20:43 I know firsthand the tragedy that gun violence inflicts on families in America. And after 49 people were murdered at a nightclub in Orlando last month, let me tell you: our city takes it personally that Congress refuses to disarm hate. You don't need to be a police chief to know that our communities are less safe when criminals and suspected terrorists can walk into gun shops or gun shows and leave with a weapon. 19:21:27 On issue after issue, it's the leadership of women that makes a stronger America. With Hillary Clinton in the White House and these strong House Democratic women, together with women and families all across our nation, we will show the world what this statement really means: When Women Succeed, America Succeeds! Thank you. 19:22:07 [ TRUMP VIDEO PLAYS ON JOHN MCCAIN ] JASON CARTER 19:24:38 Greetings from the battleground state of Georgia. When my grandfather accepted the Democratic nomination for president, he stood before this group and said: "It is time for America to move and to speak not with boasting and belligerence but with a quiet strength, to depend in world affairs not merely on the size of an arsenal but on the nobility of ideas, and to govern at home not by confusion and crisis but with grace and imagination and common sense." 19:25:14 Those words feel even more relevant today than they did 40 years ago. And I promise that he is itching to get on the campaign trail and elect Hillary Clinton. This last year has been a remarkable one for our family. Almost exactly a year ago, my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. He approached his diagnosis with the exact faith, dignity, and strength we've come to expect. He never stopped working for peace and health around the world, and he never stopped teaching Sunday school at home in Plains. 19:25:49 Today, thanks to the miracle of modern science and the power of prayer, I am happy to report that his cancer is gone. Not only that, but earlier this month, he and my grandmother celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. 19:26:07 My grandparents demonstrate that there is a strength in love, humility, and service that no amount of anger, or pride, or salesmanship can match. That principled strength is what drives them in the work they do every day, and that same principled strength will elect Hillary Clinton as our next president. VIDEO FROM JIMMY CARTER 19:26:44 >> Good evening, Democrats. 40 years ago, in our nation's bicentennial year I stood before you to accept your nomination as president. Rose and I wish we could be there with you tonight to prepare for what would be an extremely important election, one that will define for a generation who we are as a nation and as a people.We, Americans, have a clear choice before us. I feel proud that two democratic candidates who competed throughout a long primary season, Senator Bernie Sanders and secretary of state Hillary Clinton, comported themselves with dignity, talked about issues that matter and presented a vision for our nation. 19:27:22 And I thank senator Sanders for energizing and bringing so many young people into the electoral process. To all of you young Americans I say: stay engaged, stay involved and be sure to vote this November. At a moment when it's become more important than ever to lift people up, to offer hope and a road map for a brighter future, instead we see a Republican presidential candidate who seems to violate some of the most important moral and ethical principles on which our nation was founded. We can and must do better. Unfortunately, the democratic nominee will soon be choosing over the stark contrast in both substance and style and also competence and experience to what the Republicans have chosen. I've known Hillary Clinton for decades, when she was a young attorney. 19:28:13 I pointed her out to the legal services corporation where she became the first woman chair. There, Hillary fought in our courts, those with the least were treated the same as those with the most and since then, as you know, Hillary has always demonstrated a willingness to take on the most difficult challenges and to get things done. Her life has been dedicated to bettering human right across the globe especially for women and children. These are perilous times who need a strong heart, a deep understanding of issue, challenges and opportunities and a steady hand. Hillary Clinton has my support. I know she will also have yours. A united democratic party will prevail in November. Thank you all and god bless the United States of America. CHUCK SCHUMER 19:29:26 Hello New york I love you! Now there is a statue in the harbor of the city I represent, "a mighty woman with a torch." To me, that torch represents the American Dream. And, if you ask the average American what that means to them, they'd put it simply not in fancy language, they'd say, "if i work hard I will be doing better 10 years from now than today, and my kids will be doing still better than me." 19:30:05 Each generation must keep that torch burning brightly; it's the source of our optimism. President Obama did. He's fought every day to defend that fundamental, American hope. But we have more work to do. Middle-class incomes have not grown enough; too many families struggle to make ends meet. If that continues, the torch will flicker. Its power to inspire hope will dim. 19:30:38 Some are using this unease to pit Americans against each other. Not us. We Democrats fight for an America that works for everyone, that's focused on leveling the playing field for all of us. And when Hillary Clinton wins the White House and Democrats win back the Senate majority, that's just what we'll do. 19:31:08 My friends, Hillary understands what middle-class families need better than anyone. I know because I know Hillary. I worked by her side for 8 years as Senators together we were representing the great state of New York. Now folks, I'm from Brooklyn. It's in our blood to sniff out bull. Now there's a lot of that in politics, but there's not in Hillary. When she tells you something, take it to the bank. 19:31:45 I saw it: her remarkable ability to listen, internalize the concerns and fears and hopes and dreams of everyday Americans, and then work hard and get things done for them. Hillary listened to the worker at the Bechtel plant in Schenectady, worried sick that his company was leaving town. Hillary got tough. She read the corporate honchos the riot act until they agreed to keep their plant open, saving his job and many others. 19:32:19 And Hillary listened to the first responders and union workers who rushed to the Pile after that terrible day 9/11. They were searching for signs of life in the smoldering rubble, breathing in toxic fumes with every breath. She championed their cause, fought to get them the health care they deserved, and they got it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the kind of leadership this country needs, and the stakes could not be higher. 19:32:55 Most elections are about two different visions for America. This election is about two different visions of America. And Donald Trump can only see an angry America, fearful, small, closed to the world and suspicious of our friends and our neighbors. Hillary Clinton sees a different America. An America that strives to live up to that promise written here in Philadelphia that every man, every woman has a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 19:33:31 An America where we don't build walls, we break down barriers, we shatter ceilings. And that's because our differences make us stronger, stronger together. So, Hillary Clinton has the right vision of and for America. So my colleagues, and my senate colleagues will agree with me, we cannot do it, she cannot do it alone. She's going to need a majority in the United States Senate. A Senate majority that puts a new Supreme Court justice on the bench who will protect women's rights, voting rights, and undo that awful decision Citizens United. A Senate majority that will raise the minimum wage, ensure equal pay for women. 19:34:31 That will pass comprehensive immigration reform, make substantial investments in infrastructure, and give every student a shot at affording a college education. And that changes our trade policy so it doesn't represent corporate america but represent the average american. With Hillary Clinton as President and a strong Senate majority by her side, we'll keep the American Dream alive for a new generation.And ladies and gentlemen, that torch in the harbor of the city in which I live: it won't flicker, it won't fade, it will burn brightly in the heart of every American. Thank you God Bless you and God Bless America. I love you New York. ELIZABETH BANKS 19:36:00 [ BANKS MAKES ENTRANCE MOCKING TRUMP ] 19:36:36 >> You know, I don't usually say this about Donald Trump, but that was over the top. I confirmed it just now. The trump campaign is so hard up for money I just bought that fog machine for Ebay for $30. I don't feel good about it. I don't. It's night two. Who's pumped up? Who's excited to pound a dozen cheese steaks with me after this? Let's try that again. Who is ready to elect Hillary Clinton the next president of the United States? 19:37:24 >> Whew! Me, too. I'm Elizabeth banks. Some of you know me from "The hunger games" in which I play Effie trinket, a cruel, out of touch reality TV star who wears insane wigs while delivering long-winded speeches to a violent dystopia. So when I tuned in last week I was, like, hey, that's my act. 19:37:54 Part of me really likes being up here joking around, but the other part of me knows that this election is too important for jokes because when I think about what this election means for America I think about my family. My father, a Vietnam vet worked the second and third shifts on the factory floor in my hometown of pittsfield, Massachusetts. My mother worked at the library and the local bank and they worked hard. 19:38:27 They struggled because like millions of American parents they wanted to give their kid, four of us, a good life with boundless opportunities. And it is because of what Democrats built, good public school, affordable health care, help in the hardest times that they were able to do that. Are, and their dreams and mine took me here to Philadelphia. Really. Through scholarships and financial aid I worked my way through the university of Pennsylvania. I got a world-class education, and I met my wonderful husband and partner max. 19:39:06 I will never forget that day in 1992 when we went on a big, romantic date, a rally for Bill Clinton. And it was there that I learned something really important about show business. The headliner should always watch out for someone stealing the show. Hillary Clinton rocked my world. A smart, committed, successful woman and not for her own benefit, but a fighter for women and children, cop and first responders, healthcare and girls around the world. That's Hillary Clinton, and that is what tonight is all about. 19:39:52 The fights of her life. Did you then when Hillary Clinton graduated law school she didn't just sell out and go work for some fancy law firm. She went to work advocating for children and families. It was one of her first fights, and since then she has never let up. [VIDEO PLAYS - 'THE FIGHTS OF HER LIFE'] THADDEUS DESMOND 19:41:27 In her early 20s, Hillary Clinton spent time at the Yale New Haven Hospital researching child abuse. She saw children who had been beaten, burned, and neglected. The experience turned her into a lifelong champion for kids in need. 19:41:46 As a child advocate socier worker, I too am a champion for children. And I am lucky to work with a team of champions. Social workers, case managers, attorneys, and other individuals whose lifelong work is to ensure that all children have a chance at greatness. Child advocacy has made significant strides in the right direction, but our work is far from finished. 19:42:13 Every child deserves an advocate who truly cares for them. And they have one in Hillary Clinton. Hillary knows that when you fight for our kids, you're fighting for our futures. That's why I am with Her. ANTON MOORE 19:42:36 My name is Anton Moore President and founder of Unity in the Community. In 1972, Hillary traveled to Alabama on a mission. She was there to help shed light on segregated academies-private schools that cropped up across the state after the Supreme Court ordered public schools to integrate.When these schools applied for federal state exemptions, they claimed they weren't trying to promote segregation. But Hillary helped prove they were. 19:43:19 Hillary visited one of these academies posing as a mother looking to enroll her child. And, sure enough, the administrators assured her they were [didn't accept] black children. Hillary shared her findings with the Children's Defense Fund. As founder of unity in the community I work hard and think about the families in my community about gun violence. In society today we must stand up promote non violence and that is why I am with Hillary Clinton come november. DYNAH HAUBERT 19:43:47 After Hillary graduated from law school, she could've gotten a job anywhere. But she chose to work full-time for the Children's Defense Fund. She went door-to-door in Massachusetts, gathering stories from disabled children who desperately wanted to go to school but were prevented from enrolling by discrimination. 19:44:11 Her research contributed to the passage of historic legislation that required states to provide quality education for disabled students. As a disabled person, I became a lawyer to advocate that disability is not a problem to be cured, but part of our identity and diversity. 19:44:39 And that's why, today-on the 26th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act-I'm with Her. KATE BURDICK 19:44:55 Until the 1970s, young people who got in trouble in South Carolina were often housed in the same prison cells as adults. It was a dangerous policy that put kids at serious risk for abuse. The Children's Defense Fund dispatched Hillary to these prisons to investigate. As a result of work she contributed to, after three years of litigation, the state ended this practice. 19:45:22 From the moment a child touches the system, it's important society lifts them up instead of letting them fall behind. That's why I became a juvenile justice lawyer. You don't often make headlines fighting for kids, but her whole career Hillary has been quietly leading that fight anyway. That's why I'm with Her. DUSTIN PARSONS 19:45:51 As the First Lady of Arkansas, Hillary Clinton chaired the state's Educational Standards Commission. She'd put the schools she visited to what she called the Chelsea Test: If it wasn't good enough for her daughter, it wasn't good enough for any child in America. She played a major role in shaping the state's education policy and improving standards at schools like the one I went to. When she started, Arkansas' schools were ranked second worst in the nation. By the time she was done, they were among the most improved. 19:46:34 Now, as a teacher in those same public schools, I know my students continue to benefit from the work Hillary started all those years ago. And that's why I'm with Her. DANIELE MELLOTT 19:46:52 Hillary began working on adoption and foster care issues as a law student-and never stopped. As First Lady, she advocated for landmark legislation to make it easier for families to adopt kids in need-especially older kids who worked -- worried they'd never find a permanent home. My 17-year-old son, Heath, was once one of those kids. 19:47:16 We adopted Heath four years ago-but it feels like he's always been part of the family forever. My three other kids swear Heath was on family vacations we took years before he joined our family. I'm not a Democrat. But Hillary cares about kids like Heath, and about making families like mine complete. That's why I'm with Her. JELANIE FREEMAN 19:47:49 Long before she ever held elected office, Hillary Clinton fought for kids every way she could. So you know she continued that fight once she got to the Senate. I spent my childhood in the New York foster care system, moving from home to home with a trash bag as my suitcase. And if you're a kid in the system who never finds a permanent home, when you turn 18, you're on your own. After my high school graduation, my social worker shook my hand and wished me luck. That was it. 19:48:30 But Hillary had this crazy notion: Every child deserves to live up to their God-given potential. So she reserved an internship spot in her Senate office just for former foster youth. In 2003, I got that spot.I remember our first meeting vividly. She looked me in the eye and said, "Jelani, I'm proud of you." I felt seen and heard-for the first time in my life. Throughout the years, Hillary has remained a source of encouragement. She has made me more mindful of my responsibility and purpose. Hillary taught me that there is a high cost for low expectations of our kids and that you receive a blessing to become a blessing. 19:49:31 She inspired me to become a lawyer and an advocate for children in my community. It's said that love dignifies us, it elevates us to higher plateaus. Hillary's love did that for me. It lifted me to a place I never had the courage to imagine. That's why I'm with Her. ### DONNA BRAZILE DNC VICE CHAIR FOR CIVIC ENGAGEMENT AND VOTER PARTICIPATION 19:50:50 Growing up, I was always told that a lady should never reveal her age. So I'll simply say this, I am no spring chicken and I have seen some things in my time. As a child, I lived through and survived the segregated South. I sat at the back of the bus at a time when America wasn't yet as great as it could be. 19:51:27 As a grown woman, I saw the first black president reach down a hand and touch the face of a child like I once was, lifting his eyes toward a better future. But I have never, ever, in all my years seen a leader so committed to delivering that better future to America's children as Hillary Clinton. 19:51:59 Let me tell you, Arkansas, when I first met Hillary Clinton. When Hillary graduated from law school, she could have gone to work for a corporation or a big law firm. Instead, she went to work for the Children's Defense Fund. She didn't sit in the office. She traded pumps for tennis shoes. Hillary went undercover, going door-to-door and school-to-school, investigating discrimination, and the treatment of children with disabilities. 19:52:30 During that same time, Donald Trump was facing a federal discrimination lawsuit for refusing to rent to minority families, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton risked her own safety to seek out the truth and comfort the afflicted, and to make a home for justice where there was none. 19:52:57 It was at the Children's Defense Fund that I met Hillary. I was 22, feisty, and ready to fight. And I remember thinking immediately, here is a woman who doesn't mess around. And you know us southern girls we don't mess around. Steel in her spine, Hillary didn't want to talk about anything other than how to make children's lives better. That's the Hillary I know. That's who she is. When nobody was watching, she quietly fought and fought hard for the voiceless among us. 19:53:31 Over her career, that never changed. She has never changed from expanding early childhood education as First Lady of Arkansas, to helping win health care for 8 million children as First Lady of the United States, for standing up for women and girls here at home, and around the world as Secretary of State, she has never forgotten what she learned in that very first job. At her core, rooting her to this earth, is the belief that every child, black or white, rich or poor, native-born, immigrant, or undocumented, deserves the opportunity to live up to their God-given potential. 19:54:14 My friends, as a child when I sat in the back of the bus, I was told, time and time again, that God's potential didn't exist in people like me. I've spent my life fighting to change that. And, from the first day when I met Hillary Clinton, I've known that she is someone who cares just as much and fights just as hard for children everywhere. Poor kids -- you got a champion. Kids who live in poverty -- you got a champion. Kids who need hope -- you got a champion. As long as she's in charge, we're never going back. And that's why I'm with Her. 19:55:03 And let me say this, as your incoming chair of the Democratic Chair of the National Committee - [ cheers and applause ] -- I promise you my friends, I commit to all Americans that we will have a party that you can be proud of. We will elect democrats up and down the ballot. And we will celebrate together the inauguration of Hillary Clinton in January 2017. God bless you and God bless America! [ cheers and applause ] ### DAVID BANKS 19:57:44 I'm David Banks, the President and CEO of the Eagle Academy in New York. In 2004 the high school graduation rate was only about 30% and 75% of New York State's entire prison population came from just seven neighborhoods in New York City. If you were one of the young men growing up in one of these areas, the odds were stacked against you. So, together with the organization 100 Black Men, we answered the call to do something about this crisis. 19:58:31 Since 2004, the Eagle Academies have educated nearly 4,000 young men. 98% of our graduates are accepted to college. We're making a big difference now, but we could not have done it alone. You see there was one leader was with us from the beginning - and she was our earliest champion. One leader who understood that addressing the crisis facing young men of color in our country required innovative measures. One leader who pushed to open the first Eagle Academy in the Bronx. And she made a promise to return four years later to offer the keynote address to our first graduating class. And that's a promise that she kept!I'm with Hillary Clinton because she has always been with us. 19:59:40 Today, we have young men who are confident, future leaders who are resilient. Just look at them America. [ cheers ] They are brilliant and full of promise. And we start everyday with the poem Invictus. It's the same poem that strengthened the resolve of the imprisoned Nelson Mandela when he recited it each day. So young men of the Eagle Academy, Invictus, STRAIGHT! 20:00:23 EAGLE ACADEMY>>Out of the night that covers me,Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be. For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance. I have not winced nor cried aloud.Under the bludgeonings of chance. My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade,And yet the menace of the years. Finds and shall find me unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate,How charged with punishments the scroll,I am the master of my fate:I am the captain of my soul! >>Thank you! 20:02:47 [VIDEO OF HILLARY CLINTON AND SOCIAL JUSTICE] ERIC HOLDER 20:05:38 Thank you. I have known Hillary Clinton for almost 25 years. As a friend, a colleague, and a leader of courage and conviction. And today, I'm proud to say I stand with her. Because I have seen that she has the skills to serve as commander in chief and the strength to lead our already great nation in this hour of challenge and conflict. Now did you hear what I said? Already great nation. Donald, did you hear me? Already great nation. [ cheers ] 20:06:17 At a time when the bonds between law enforcement and communities of color have frayed, when assassins target police in heinous attacks and peaceful citizens have to question whether black lives truly matter, and they do -- [ cheers and applause ] 20:06:41 -- We need a president who understands the reality that I saw in my travels across our country as our nation's 82nd attorney general. There should be no tension between protecting those who valiantly risk their lives to serve and insuring that everyone is treated fairly by the police.Now, as the brother of a retired police officer, I am profoundly aware that an attack on a police officer anywhere is an attack on our entire society. So it is not enough -- it is not enough for us to praise law enforcement officers after they are killed. We must protect them, value them, and equip them with the right tools, tactics, and training while they are still alive. 20:07:42 We must also come to realize that keeping our officers safe is not inconsistent with ensuring that those in law enforcement treat the people they are sworn to serve with dignity, with respect, and with fairness. We must commit ourselves to both goals. Hillary understands that the goals we share are the same. Safer communities with less crime, where all of our loved ones, police, and community residents, they get the chance to come home at night. As president, she will continue the work that needs to be done to rebuild trust because she knows that we are stronger together. But let us be honest. At a time when our justice system is out of balance. 20:08:37 When one in three black men will be incarcerated in their lifetimes, and when black defendants in the federal system receive sentences 20% longer than their white peers, we need a president who will end this policy of overincarceration. Now, as attorney general, I launched sweeping reforms of our federal criminal justice system and reduced its reliance on draconian mandatory minimum sentences. 20:09:09 As a result, we cut the federal prison population and the crime rate together for the first time in more than 40 years. Now, that's right. That's right. Despite the fiction and the fear mongering you have heard from the other party's nominee, violent crime has gone down since president Obama took office. As president, Hillary will go even farther. She fought as a senator against sentencing disparities and racial profiling. She used her first major speech as a candidate to lay out a bold vision for criminal justice reform. As a presidential candidate, she has talked about systemic racism in a way that no one else has. 20:09:56 And she will help our nation summon the courage to confront racial injustice and face down the legacies of our darkest past. Now, finally, at a time when the right to vote is under siege, when Republicans brazenly assault the most fundamental right of our democracy, passing laws designed to stop people from voting while closing locations in minority neighborhoods where people get the documents they need to vote, we need a president sensitive to these echoes of Jim Crow. We need a president who holds the right to vote as sacred and stands firm against any kind of modern day poll tax. My fellow Americans, Hillary Clinton will be that president. 20:10:54 She will set a new standard for early voting. She will champion universal automatic registration. You turn 18, you're registered to vote. Because she knows -- she knows, and everybody in this arena has to know this, the best way to defend the right to vote is by exercising it. Throughout history, too many people have sacrificed too much, fought wars, and braved fire hoses, dogs, bullets, and bombs for this generation to sit on the sidelines. Never forget that we are heirs to a revolution that began just five miles from where we gather this week and that the choice we face in this pivotal election is about much more than politics. It's about the arc that we are on as a nation. 20:11:53 The composition of our character as a people, and the ideals of equality, opportunity, and justice that have always made America great. These are the ideals for which Hillary Clinton has fought her entire life. This is the fight that she will continue when we make history by electing her the 45th president of the United States of America. Thank you. CAMERON MCLAY POLICE CHIEF OF PITTSBURGH 20:12:45 >> Greetings. Greetings. All across this country my colleagues, my brothers and sisters in blue are doing what I would argue is potentially the hardest job in this nation today. At the start of every shift they go to work never knowing for sure what dangers they might face, and yet, there is a crisis especially in the eyes of many of the communities that we serve, particularly with our communities of color. There is a crisis of trust in the police and the criminal justice system. 20:13:24 Ironically, crime rates have been falling for decades, but research shows that the public trust is eroding in far too many places. Dr. Martin Luther king said it beautifully. True peace is not the absence of tension. It is the presence of justice. Ironically, our communities are arguably safer than ever before. However, absent a sense of justice, less crime in your neighborhood is at best, a hollow victory. The controversial officer-involved shootings that have occurred since Ferguson have created a level of tension between police in our communities while at the same time there's been a great deal of work going on to improve those relationships. 20:14:21 In Pittsburgh, we're doing this important work. We recognize our interdependency, and we are working closely together to reduce the violence and make sure that our residents feel both safe and respected. But things are fragile. Two controversial police shootings in two consecutive days. In Minnesota, in Louisiana, left many understandably outraged. The assassination of eight police officers in ten days have left many of us in the law enforcement community feeling under siege. 20:15:07 Both of these concerns are very, very real. Without question, the criminal justice system has had a disparate impact on our communities of color, and yet society is asking at the same time far more of our police officers than ever before. Laid at the doorstep of police are declining opportunity, disinvestment in mental health and ineffective drug treatment options for those addicted. As a police officer who has served more than 30 years, let me say this, we can respect and support our police officers while at the same time pushing for these important criminal justice reforms. We can do both and we will do both. 20:16:09 I promise you, there are many, many more police leaders just like me who are fully convinced and fully committed that we need to improve the integrity of our systems, but we cannot succeed unless we come together with the communities that we serve. We must each -- we must each, as human beings fight our natural tendency to hide inside our own narrow world view. Instead, we must seek common ground with the objective of creating an America that truly is and truly provides a source of liberty and justice for all. Thank you. TONY GOLDWYN 20:17:29 Hillary Clinton has spoken of watching Nelson Mandela embrace his former jailers because he didn't want to be imprisoned twice, once by steel and concrete, once by anger and bitterness. I've worked for years with the Innocence Project - the extraordinary organization that fights to exonerate the wrongfully convicted. I've never heard a single exoneree - many of whom have spent decades in prison for crimes they didn't commit - speak of anger or outrage, only of their desire to reform the system so others might be spared their suffering. 20:18:19 I am proud to introduce a group of women profoundly impacted by injustice and violence who have turned their pain into power and their outrage into action. They are the Mothers of the Movement. They understand that we must reach out to each other because of our diversity. Because we are stronger together. You know, Hillary says, "We can't hide from these hard truths about race and justice in America. We have to name them and own them and then change them." That's what she'll do as president. 20:19:12 And the Mothers of the Movement prove that one life at a time, one mother at a time, we can change the world. [VIDEO PLAYS] GENEVA REED-VEAL >> [ chant ] Black lives matter! Black lives matter! 20:23:25 Hello, hello, hello. Hey, I need you all to hear me tonight, give me two moments to tell you how good God is. Whew. Hallelujah. Give me a moment to say thank you. We are not standing here because he is not good we are standing here because he is great. 20:24:05 One year ago yesterday, I lived the worst nightmare anyone could imagine. I watched as my daughter, Sandra Bland, was lowered into the ground in a coffin. She was my fourth of five daughters, and she was gone. No, no, not on administrative leave, but on permanent leave from this earth, found hanging in a jail cell after an unlawful traffic stop and an unlawful arrest. 20:24:51 Six other women died in custody that same month: Kendra Chapman, Alexis McGovern, Sarah Lee Circle Bear, Raynette Turner, Ralkina Jones, and Joyce Curnell. So many of our children are gone but not forgotten. I'm here with Hillary Clinton tonight because she is a leader and a mother who will say our children's names. She knows that when a young black life is cut short, it's not just a loss, it's a personal loss. It is a national loss. It is a loss that diminishes all of us. What a blessing tonight to be standing here, so that Sandy can still speak through her mama. 20:26:33 And what a blessing it is for all of us if we seize it, we gotta seize it, to cast our votes for a president who will help lead us down the path toward restoration and change. LUCIA MCBATH 20:27:05 You don't stop being a mom when your child dies. You don't stop being a parent. I am still Jordan Davis's mother. His life ended the day that he was shot and killed for playing loud music. But my job as his mother didn't. 20:27:31 I still wake up every day thinking about how to parent him. How to protect him and his legacy. How to ensure that his death doesn't overshadow his life. Here's what you don't know about my son. When Jordan was little, he wouldn't eat a popsicle unless he had enough to bring out to his friends. He loved practical jokes. He liked having deep conversations about our love for God and how God could allow such pain and suffering.I lived in fear my son would die like this. I even warned him that because he was a young, black man, he would meet people who didn't value his life. 20:28:29 That is a conversation no parent should ever have have with their child. Hillary Clinton isn't afraid to say that black lives matter. She isn't afraid to sit at a table with grieving mothers and bear the full force of our anguish. She doesn't build walls around her heart. Not only did she listen to our problems, she invited us to become part of the solution. And that's what we're going to do. We're going to keep telling our children's stories and urging you to say their names. 20:29:21 We're going to keep building a future where police officers and communities of color work together in mutual respect to keep children, like Jordan, safe. The majority of police officers are good people doing a good job. And we're asking and we're also going to keep using our voices and our votes to support leaders, like Hillary Clinton, who will help us protect one another so this club of heartbroken mothers stops growing. SYBRINA FULTON 20:30:15 First of all, I'd like to say, it's an honor to be here, to stand with these mothers and be amongst you. I am an unwilling participant in this movement. I would not have signed up for this or any other mother that's standing here with me today. But I am here today for my son, Trayvon Martin, who is in heaven. 20:30:51 And also for his brother, Jahvaris Fulton, who is still here on earth.I didn't want this spotlight. But will I do everything I can to focus some of this light on the pain of a path out of the darkness. 20:31:19 Hillary Clinton has the compassion and understanding to support grieving mothers. She has the courage to lead the fight for common-sense gun legislation. [ cheers ] And she has a plan to repair the divide that so often exists between law enforcement and the communities they serve. 20:31;51 This isn't about being politically correct. It's about saving our children. That's why we're here tonight with Hillary Clinton. And that's why, in the memory of our children, we are imploring you - all of you - to vote in this election day. Hillary is the one mother who can ensure our movement will succeed. I want to thank you for standing with us and supporting us and we like to leave you what God has given us, strength, love and peace. ### [PERFORMANCE] 20:38:27 ELIZABETH BANKS 20:38:27 Let's give it up for all of that one more time. I have been backstage ugly crying. All right. Are there any women in the audience tonight? [ cheers ] Yeah, no Duh. We are half the population. And we matter. And Hillary Clinton does know this. She knows women's rights are human rights. This is a point that Hillary Clinton has made consistently because she feels it, like I do, in her bones because how can we not? 20:39:14 Because we still don't have equal pay for equal work, we are still struggling to keep our right to chose, and when a strong woman speaks up and dares to have an opinion we are still told to stop shouting, we are still told to speak softly, or we are warned that we are not allowed to drink Mai ties in an Ikea and then we are expected to apologize and then, in the case of that last example is actually the only correct thing to do. 20:39:50 But Hillary Clinton doesn't make his takes like that. And she is never going to apologize for speaking up and fighting so that women and girls can have their voices heard. [TRUMP VIDEO ON WOMEN] CECILE RICHARDS 20:41:09 Planned Parenthood was founded 100 years ago, giving women the care they need to live their lives and chase their dreams - no limits, no ceilings. A century later, an enormous ceiling is coming down.This isn't just about electing the first woman president, it's about electing this woman president. 20:41:47 Each year, millions of women, men, and young people trust Planned Parenthood. And the Planned Parenthood Action Fund trusts Hillary Clinton. As first lady, Hillary declared to the world that, "women's rights are human rights."She worked with Republicans and Democrats to help create the Children's Health Insurance Program, which now covers 8 million kids. As Secretary of State, she was a champion for women and girls around the globe. 20:42: 29 And she will always stand up for the right of every woman to access a full range of reproductive health care, including abortion, no matter her economic status. Over the last year, Hillary has traveled across our country, listening to young activists working to end campus sexual assault. To fathers who want their daughters to be paid equal to their sons.To parents who need paid family leave and affordable child care. 20:42:57 She has made their fights her own. And she has chosen as her running mate, Senator Tim Kaine, absolutely, a m an who has been a champion for women and families his entire lifetime. Hillary has always been in Planned Parenthood's corner, because she knows women deserve someone in theirs. Women like Dayna Farris Fisher, a mom in Dallas who was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago. 20:43:30 Today, Dayna is cancer-free. She says she couldn't have done it without Vivian, the Planned Parenthood clinician who stuck with her all the way through treatment. So when Donald Trump and Mike Pence say they'll defund Planned Parenthood, they're talking about cutting women like Dayna off from lifesaving care. So make no mistake: women's health and rights are on the line and on the ballot in this election. 20:44:04 So you may have heard that just last month, the Supreme Court ruled that the Texas laws that forced abortion providers to close their doors are dangerous and they are unconstitutional. [ cheers ] But the fight's not over. Donald Trump has pledged to appoint justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade and undo decades of progress. His policies aren't just frightening - they're rooted in a deeply disturbing worldview. Donald Trump has called women "fat pigs" and "dogs." He wants to punish women for having abortions.And he says pregnancy is an "inconvenience" for a woman's employer. [ boos ] 20:44:54 Well, Mr Trump, come this November, women are going to be more than an inconvenience. [ cheers ] Yup. Because, women are going to be the reason you're not elected to be president. When my great-grandmother was growing up, women couldn't vote under Texas law. Two generations later, her granddaughter, Ann Richards, was elected governor of the state of Texas and Tonight, we are closer than ever to putting a woman in the White House. And I can almost hear mom saying, "well, it sure took y'all long enough." 20:45:53 So what do you say? Are you ready to make history? Let's go win an election. Thank you. LENA DUNHAM AND AMERICA FERRERA 20:46:27 DUNHAM>> Hi, I am Lena Dunham and according to Donald Trump my body is probably like a two. AMERICA>> And according to Donald Trump I am probably a rapist. DUNHAM> But America, you are not Mexican. AMERICA>> And president Obama isn't Kenyan but that doesn't stop Donald. DUNHAM>> We know what you thinking. Why should you care what some television celebrity has to say about politics. AMERICA>> And we feel the same way. But he is the Republican nominee so we need to talk about it. DUNHAM>> The unfunny facts is that this man would have you believe that our differences are more important than what unites us. 20:47:15 AMERICA>> When we know the truth was this country was founded on the belief that what sets us apart, race, language, religion, sexual orientation, should not dissolve what binds us. [Applause] DUNHAM>> Which is why we're proud to say we're with Hillary! AMERICA>> I am the proud child of Honduran immigrants and I am profoundly grateful for the access and opportunities that exist in this extraordinary nation. I was educated in public schools, my talents were nurtured through public arts programs. And you know what? Occasionally I needed a free meal to get through the school day. 20:48:18 Not everybody looks at the millions of young people like me, children born into struggling families, children born to immigrant parents, children who are immigrants themselves, not everybody looks at them and sees an investment. But Hillary has spent the last 30 years proving what she sees in us. [Applause] 20:48:50 Not our color, gender, economic status, but our capacity to grow into thriving adults capable of contributing great things to this country. [Applause] 20:49:09 DUNHAM>> I am a pro-choice feminist sexual assault survivor with a chronic reproductive illness. Donald Trump and his party think I should be punished for exercising my constitutional rights. His rhetoric about women take us back to a time when we were meant to be beautiful and silent. Meanwhile, 22 years ago, Hillary Clinton declared that women's rights are human rights. [ cheers ] And she made it possible for my fellow sexual assault providers in my home state of New York to have access to safe, immediate care in any emergency room. Hillary knows that access and opportunity are the American promise not transphobia, Islamophobia, xenophobia and systemic racism. 20:50:03 She knows we have to fight hatred of all kinds and not ignite it for the craven purpose of creating power. AMERICA>> Look, Donald's not making America great again. He's making America hate again. And the vast majority of us, we cannot afford to see his vision of America come to be. 20:05:34 DUNHAM>> Luckily, we the voters carry the future of this country. We don't accept hatred as the norm in our communities so why would we ever accept it in the oval office? AMERICA>> So to everyone here tonight, and out there watching at home, here is your chance to join team Hillary. DUNHAM>> Do you want equal pay for equal work? AMERICA>> Yes! DUNHAM>> The right to make decisions about your own body? AMERICA>> Yes. DUNHAM>> Paid family leave? AMERICA>> Yes. DUNHAM>> As Hillary Clinton says deal us in. [Applause] AMERICA>> Text deal to 47426 and we will make you a card carrying member of this team. Let's forcefuly reject division. 20:51:39 DUNHAM>> Let's say with one voice that we all have worth, we are all a part of this country. AMERICA>> Let's put Hillary Clinton in the white house. TOGETHER>> And let's declare love trumps hate. STEVE BENJAMIN 20:54:14 [ chant ] We love Steve! We love Steve! Good evening. And I love South Carolina. Good evening to all our friends and family here and back home in the great Palmetto state of South Carolina. 20:54:32 Tonight, I'm not here as a mayor, a delegate, or even as a Democrat. I'm here as a father - a father with a promise to keep. You see, a year ago, I got to introduce our oldest daughter, Bethany, to the next President of the United States, Hillary Clinton. And one of my proudest moments as a father was watching Bethany shake Hillary's hand with the confidence that would have escaped most adults and announced that Hillary had her full support. Because, and I quote, "The guys have been president long enough, and now it's time for a woman to take control." 20:55:17 Hillary, in all her wisdom, told Bethie she was the smartest 10-year-old in the world. Who was I to disagree?After that meeting, I wrote a letter to Bethany and to our youngest daughter, Jordan Grace, promising to our girls that I would do everything in my power to elect Hillary Clinton, because I want my daughters to know the same opportunities I have. I want them to feel the same way I felt 8 years ago when President Barack Obama was elected. To feel, to feel in their heart of hearts, in America, anything is possible, because it is. 20:55:56 I want them to know that sugar and spice are nice, but courage, intelligence, and the will to lead, that's what women are made of. [ cheers ] And that's the model, Deandre, my mother Maggie, and Hillary Clinton are setting for my daughters, your daughters, and all of our children. This promise is ours to keep so that my daughters, our children, know not just believe, but know, that this is their America, too. 20:56:33 That all men are created equal, doesn't just mean men anymore. My daughters and all of our children are working. America's watching. Can we keep that promise for them? [ cheers ] Are we ready for Hillary? >> Yes! 20:56:54 You hear that girls? I think we've got it from here. Good night. Sweet dreams. Your daddy loves you so much. BARBARA BOXER 20:57:34 You look beautiful out there. So I have a question. Are you ready to elect the first woman President of the United States? Let me hear it. Yes. I want to talk to you very personally because I have known Hillary Clinton for more than 20 years. We're actually family. My daughter was married to her brother, and my beloved grandson is her beloved nephew. So I know her as the loving aunt who helped plan my grandson's birthday parties when he was a toddler. 20:58:31 And I saw her rush over after a busy day at the State Department to cheer him on at his high school football games. She was often joined by her devoted mother, Dorothy - a woman who overcame a painful childhood and taught Hillary how one caring person can change a child's life. Dorothy once wrote me a letter and she said this: "I can't remember when Hillary didn't take the long view of things. Never instant gratification. And she wrote that strong sense of empathy for others and a great sense of humor have served her well."? Now that's a mom who knew her daughter well. ? 20:59:35 We saw Hillary's heart, her heart when, as First Lady, she worked across party lines to bring healthcare to millions and millions of children. We saw her strength when after 9/11 when she stood with first responders and tirelessly fought for them! We sawe her strength. We saw her leadership when, as Secretary of State, she restored America's standing in the world you remember that? After the Bush Administration. And I personally saw the light in her eyes when she became a grandmother, and her fight for a better America became even more personal and even more urgent. 21:00:32 Now during this campaign, we have seen something else: her toughness. And I know a little bit about toughness. The right wing has thrown everything at her - not only the kitchen sink, not only the stove but the refrigerator, and the toaster, too. And guess what? She's still standing! Tey have thrown anything at her and she is still standing. America's families need Hillary in the white house standing with all of us. We need a president who knows it's just plain wrong that women make 79 cents for every dollar paid to a man. And yet her opponent refuses to support equal pay he says quote"the marketplace is going to make sure of it." Well, it's 2016 and we're still waiting Mr. Trump. 21:01:39 We can count on Hillary to fight to raise the minimum wage. Her opponent says he thinks "wages are too high." That's un-American because in our country, if you work full-time, you should never ever have to live in poverty!And we can count on Hillary to protect our right to choose. Her opponent said a woman should be "punished" for exercising her right to choose and then picked a running mate who believes Roe v. Wade belongs to quote him in the "ash heap of history." Well, I have a message for Donald Trump and Mike Pence: we are not going back to the dark days when women died in back alleys! We are never ever ever going back! Never! We're moving forward with Hillary Clinton!