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News on The 700 Club: June 8, 2017

As seen on "The 700 Club," June 8: Most dramatic testimony in decades? Comey makes 1st public remarks since firing; 'In Our Hands' marks Six-Day War 50th anniversary with D.C. synagogue screening, and more. Read Transcript


[MUSIC PLAYING]

Well, welcome, ladies and gentlemen,

to this edition of "The 700 Club."

I don't know about you.

If any of you have seen those basketball finals,

I have never seen basketball like that in all of my life.

I thought Michael Jordan was incredible.

But these guys are just awesome.

They were running full speed up and down the court,

and dumping in three point baskets.

I mean, it is incredible.

And Golden State looks like they've still got the edge,

but LeBron James is--

their team lost, and they still scored about 39 points.

I mean, the guy is fabulous.

I have never seen anything like it.

They have taken the game of basketball to a level

that nobody ever thought was possible.

So I think they got it.

I'm not sure how many more games are left.

But so far Cleveland has not been exactly scoring

the way they would like to be.

But it's amazing.

So back to politics, the president feels completely

and totally vindicated.

That's what Trump's lawyers said after former FBI director

James Comey said he told the president privately

he wasn't under investigation.

Comey released a statement before his testimony

to the Senate Intelligence Committee today.

But both sides still have tough questions for him.

National Security Correspondent Erik Rosales

brings us the story from Washington.

ERIK ROSALES: James Comey says in a released statement

that President Trump repeatedly pressured

him to publicly announce that he was not personally

under federal investigation in connection

with the Justice Department's investigation

into Russian meddling in last year's election.

According to Comey's own statement

of record on three separate occasions,

he told the president he is not under investigation,

the first on a January 6th briefing,

then at a January 27th dinner, then

on a March 30th phone call.

During that call, Comey says the president asked him

what could be done to lift the cloud over him

from the investigation.

The president told Comey that the Russia investigation was

hurting his ability to govern.

Comey replied that we were investigating the matter

as quickly as we could.

Comey then said, I explained that we

had briefed the leadership of Congress

on exactly which individuals we're investigating,

and we had told those Congressional leaders

that we were not personally investigating President Trump.

I reminded him I had previously told him that.

He repeatedly told me we need to get that fact out.

Comey never did, so the President

did through Twitter and interviews.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I said, if it's possible, would you let me know

am I under investigation?

He said, you are not under investigation.

ERIK ROSALES: But what about the question of obstruction

of justice and the investigation into Trump's

then national security adviser Mike Flynn?

Comey said a conversation took place on February 14th

in the Oval Office.

After a meeting that dealt with counterterrorism,

Comey says, the president wanted to speak with him alone.

Comey states the president began by saying,

I want to talk about Mike Flynn.

The president said Flynn hadn't done anything wrong

in speaking with the Russians.

But he had to let him go because he

had misled the vice president.

Comey states the president then said,

I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go,

to letting Flynn go.

He's a good guy.

I hope you can let this go.

Comey says he agreed Flynn was a good guy,

but quote, "I did not say I would let this go."

But Comey states he believes the president was requesting

that the FBI drop any investigation of Flynn

in connection with the false statements

about the conversations he had with the Russian ambassador.

And that's the reason he wrote the memo

to document the conversation.

But Comey does not accuse the president

of obstruction of justice.

A source close to the president told CBN News

that the statement of record by Comey

is anti-climactic because it's nothing new.

In Comey statement, it says nothing about his firing,

but it does say that he thought he had a job for a while

because the president called him loyal.

Erik Rosales, CBN News.

Thanks, Erik.

The thing that you've got to remember, ladies and gentlemen,

there's something called misprision of felony.

If you are a public official and you

know a felony has been committed,

you are under obligation under the law

to report such a thing to the appropriate authorities.

In the case of FBI director, it'd

be his responsibility to report it to the attorney general

or to some judge.

That's his responsibility.

But it was never done.

And so what Comey is saying, of course

it could be obstruction of justice.

If it was, then I'm guilty.

He didn't do it, but he wrote a memo to his buddies in the FBI,

and they stirred it around a little bit.

But I'll tell you, there's something else more important

I want to talk about it with Mr. Comey.

And with us now is Senator Mike Lee.

He's a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee

which heard testimony from Comey last month,

and Mr. Senator Lee has got a terrific book out

called "Written Out of History" that talks about some

of the forgotten founders.

Senator, it's a pleasure to have you with us

back on "The 700 Club."

Thank you very much, Pat.

It's good to be with you.

Let me ask you one question.

And I think Mr. Comey seems to think

the FBI is independent of any of the civilian elected

officials in the government, like it's an independent agency

reporting to no one.

Is that your understanding of the government as we know it?

It's not.

And in fact, the person who holds

this position is a political appointee who

serves at the pleasure of the president,

meaning that person can be replaced

at any time for any reason the president deems sufficient.

Well, who's the reporting chain?

It's to the attorney general, isn't it?

I mean, he's not just out there doing his thing on his own,

is he?

Yeah, that's right.

There's a chain of reporting that goes through the attorney

general.

And ultimately, it's the president

who has the discretion to terminate

at any time for any reason the president deems

sufficient the FBI director.

And so it's not as if we have an inter-branch thing going on

here, nor is it the case that this person stands

as the head of an independent agency that

is outside the chain of accountability

to the President of the United States.

Well, in the "Wall Street Journal,"

they had an editorial today saying essentially

that one of the reasons that he ought to go

is because he seems to think that he is independent

of anybody.

I mean, he says well, I knew the attorney general was going

to recuse himself, therefore--

or this is a case that no good attorney

would try to bring to trial.

I mean, what is he doing?

He seems to be usurping the role of the attorney general

as well.

You know, that's what I have a lot of questions

about to this very day.

Remember when he held that press conference on July 5th, 2016--

I remember it well.

I'm sure you do too.

As a former federal prosecutor myself,

I kept asking myself the question, why on earth is

this a function of the FBI?

Why on earth is the FBI director-- number one,

making the prosecutorial decision, number two,

holding a press conference about that decision?

This should have been made by Attorney General Loretta Lynch,

or in the event of her recusal on this or any other issue,

whoever was the acting attorney general, or someone

at the Department of Justice.

This was not a thing to be done by the FBI director.

To this day I don't think we have clear answers

on why he was in that position.

Did you see anything that's come forth so far that

indicates that the Trump campaign was complicit

with the Russians in some kind of nefarious plot?

Not only have I not seen anything

to support that conclusion, Democrats

I know who have seen a whole lot of classified

information on this--

more than I have-- have indicated

that they haven't seen anything to support that conclusion.

So if something's out there, I haven't seen it.

No one I know has seen it.

And as far as I know, it might not exist.

You know, Jeff Sessions is such a highly regarded person.

But didn't he leave the president sort of naked

by recusing himself and allowing this special prosecutor

to be named without the president's approval?

Well, look, the moment Attorney General Sessions

saw that he could have a potential conflict on this,

he wanted to make sure that everything

was kept in its proper order and that he and the department

would remain above reproach.

And so he made the decision to recuse himself.

This is a personal decision, and it's an important decision

to make.

I think Jeff Sessions probably erred

on the side of caution, which is probably a good thing to do.

The fact is I don't think there's

anything about this special counsel that's going

to result in any fireworks.

I don't think there's any there there.

I haven't seen it.

I don't know anyone who has seen it.

I want to talk about your book.

But I have to ask you, you're being considered

for the potential Supreme Court because you

have a tremendous understanding of the law

and the principles of federalism.

Is that better than being a senator, if you

were offered such a post?

Look, I'm a lifelong student of the law.

I've been attending Supreme Court arguments

since I was 10 years old.

It was something I thought was interesting.

So if the question is whether if I

were asked by the President of the United States

to consider something like that, of course I would.

Of course I would.

I'd be honored.

Well, I think a lot of people would be honored

if you were on the bench.

Let's talk about your book.

This is a such a well-read, interesting book.

There was a gentleman in there that you pointed out

that was so important to the Constitution

and to the framing of our country, [INAUDIBLE].

You want to talk about him?

Yes, so I think you might be referring to Canasatego,

the Iroquois Indian chief.

He was a member of the Onondaga tribe,

and he taught Benjamin Franklin about this very important

but long neglected constitutional principle

we call federalism.

It's what is embodied in the 10th Amendment.

It says that the federal government

governs as to a few national things, distinctively

national things.

Everything else, which includes most powers associated

with government, should be left to the states

respectively, or to the people.

This did not come to us directly from Europe.

This did not come to us from our English forbears.

This came to us through Native Americans,

through Canasatego to Benjamin Franklin.

Benjamin Franklin then passed this along

to the other founding fathers.

He's one of the reasons why I wrote this book, "Written Out

of History," because we've written out

a whole lot of forgotten founders for the simple reason

that they don't fit our modern progressive narrative

of a big, all-powerful federal government.

We need to restore these principles and these teachings,

these stories especially, to the American people.

There was a black woman that's so interesting.

You want to tell us about her?

Yes.

You're referring to Mum Bett.

Mum Bett, also known as Elizabeth Freeman,

was a slave in Massachusetts.

She was present at the home of her master, Colonel John

Ashley, when something called the Sheffield declaration was

authored.

The Sheffield Declaration recognized

that all human beings are free and equal in the eyes of God

and in a state of nature.

That Sheffield Declaration, later put

into the Massachusetts Constitution written

by John Adams, adopted this same mindset,

adopted this is a principle of law.

After that, Massachusetts' Constitution

took effect in 1780.

She realized it was there.

She retained counsel, a lawyer named

Sedgewick, who fought for and ultimately won

her freedom in court.

And by doing that, she set the stage

for all other slaves eventually gaining their freedom

in America.

It would take a long time.

But it recognized that these rights come from Almighty God,

from the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who views all of us

as free and equal.

Well, I'll tell you it's a fabulous book.

It's a terrific read.

You're a great author.

I've enjoyed it tremendously, reading

these people who were written out of history by Senator Mike

Lee.

This is available wherever books are sold.

I hope you get a copy.

It's really very interesting.

Have you seen it yet?

WENDY GRIFFITH: No, but I--

Well, I'll give you a copy.

You are giving it such a rave review

that I'm kind of wanting it over on my side.

It is excellent.

I've read some of them.

They're very ponderous.

This thing reads beautifully.

And it's exciting to learn about it.

And Senator, thank you for being with us again.

WENDY GRIFFITH: Great interview.

Thank you very much.

It's my pleasure.

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