Trump's Attorney General Nominee William Barr Tells Senate: Mueller Probe Is No 'Witch Hunt'
- Well, here to help usbreak down the hearing
and give us his legal expertise
is Andrew Coan, authorand professor of law
at the University of Arizona.
Andrew, thanks so much for joining us.
- It's my pleasure, thanks for having me.
- What did you make of BillBarr's performance today?
- Well, I think there's a lot to like
and there are several reasonsfor some ongoing concern here.
Barr's opening statement,which actually consisted of
prepared remarks that werereleased to the press yesterday,
offered a full-throated
endorsement of the rule of law,
and it's important in American society,
which is encouraging and reassuring.
Barr also pledged to allow
Special Counsel Robert Mueller
to complete his work, which addressed
a major point of concernfor many observers
in light of some of Barr's past criticisms
of the Mueller investigation.
- Barr, he says he'sfriends with Special Counsel
Robert Mueller and he calls him Bob,
family friends, they go pretty far back.
Is there a conflict of interestthere, the way you see it?
- I don't think that there is a serious
conflict of interest there.
My sense is that the twofamilies are friendly
and the two men are friendly,
but a lot of people arefriendly in Washington.
- Democrats, they do thinkthat he should recuse himself
because of the Mueller memo.
What are your thoughts on that, Andrew?
- Well, I think that is a real concern,
so just to give yourviewers some context here,
back in July of 2017,
William Barr drafted a 19-page memo,
the obstruction of justice theory,
which he understood SpecialProsecutor Robert Mueller
to be pursuing, was unconstitutional
and lacked any kind of legal foundation
in the federal obstructionof justice statutes.
Barr submitted this, as is widely known,
has been widely reported, tothe Department of Justice,
which of course was his former employer,
but according to mediareports, he also shared
that memo with the President'spersonal attorneys,
and I do think that thatraises some real questions
about his ability to
supervise this investigation impartially,
particularly theobstruction of justice side
of Mueller's investigation impartially,
since after all, he was, insome indirect sense at least,
providing legal advice forthe defense in this case.
- All right, AndrewCoan, thank you so much
for joining us today.
- Thank you, it was my pleasure.
Well, today House and Senate Democrats
turned down the President's offer
for a working lunch at the White House.
This as the partial government shutdown
approaches one month with no end in sight.
CBN White Housecorrespondent, Ben Kennedy,
joins us from the North Lawn with details
on the latest victims of the shutdown.
- Well, Jenna, today the Coast Guard
joined the list of not getting paid.
President Trump says theyare working to find solutions
and actually called out Democratic Senator
Chuck Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi,
for refusing to sit down and negotiate.
- It's a shame that thisis going on for so long.
- [Ben] The partial governmentshutdown now on day 25.
President Trump remains defiant,
demanding $5 billion for border security.
- When it comes to keepingthe American people safe,
I will never, ever back down.
- Yes, we do have a crisis at the border.
- [Ben] Some Democratsdisagree, and are digging in
by refusing to fund Trump's wall,
even to reopen the government.
- This shutdown is eroding
people's confidence in government.
I ran on a platform that government works.
- [Ben] Today thestalemate hit close to home
for the US Coast Guard.
53,000 Coast Guard men and women
missed their first paycheck.
A lack of pay has causedTSA agents to call in sick,
which resulted in long linesat security checkpoints
in major airports, like Atlanta,
DC, Houston, and Miami.
- It's chaos out here.
- Now, today, Trump also held a call
with state, local, and community leaders
to talk about what he iscalling a crisis at the border.
Now, he's backed off fromdeclaring a national emergency,
and appears to be holdingout for a bipartisan deal
to get the government back up and running.
That's the latest from the North Lawn,
Ben Kennedy, CBN News, the White House.
- And for more on any signs of the thaw
in the shutdown freeze here in Washington,
we turn to Capitol Hill.
Today, CBN Newscongressional correspondent,
Abigail Robertson, caughtup with Senator Marco Rubio.
The Florida Republican gave ushis thoughts on the shutdown,
the President's authority todeclare a national emergency,
and new pro-life legislation
he's set to introduce this week.
And Abigail joins usnow from Capitol Hill.
Abigail, you spoke withSenator Rubio earlier today.
How does he feel about theongoing government shutdown?
- That's right, Jenna, Ispoke with Senator Rubio
about this governmentshutdown, and unfortunately
he did not instill much hope
that the end is anywhere in sight.
Take a look.
- Well, the only way youcan end something like this
is through a negotiation,and negotiation requires
two sides to be talking,and it requires compromise.
There's not much talking going on,
and Nancy Pelosi, SpeakerPelosi's made clear
that she's not willing to compromise,
and I just don't understandbecause for years,
we Republicans have been lectured
about needing to compromise, but now
that they're not offering any compromise
on the Democratic side, I don't see the
commentators out there lecturing them,
and I guess compromise means when
two or three Republicans join Democrats,
but not the other way around.
- Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and
Minority Leader Chuck Schumer
echoed that same sentiment this afternoon,
really saying that there's notreally much of a compromise
that's being floated that both of them
are willing to agree toto reopen the government.
They were both blaming the other side
for this continued shutdown,and Senator Mitch McConnell
said that if the governmentis not reopened next week,
he will cancel theSenate's planned recess.
- Abigail, what does Senator Rubio
have to say about the President
declaring a nationalemergency to fund the wall?
- He says he agrees thatthere is a national emergency
at the southern border, but he thinks that
declaring a national emergencyto get those border funds
would set a dangerous precedent,
so he does not want thePresident to do that.
Here's what he had to say on that.
- I believe it's an emergency.
I would hope he would not dothat, and the reason why is
'cause I think it sets avery dangerous precedent.
Future presidents could latch onto that
and use it to declaretheir own emergencies
for policy aims that wemay not be in favor of.
The highest standard we holdhere is the Constitution,
and under that Constitution,our system of government
has checks and balances.
That sort of executive use of power,
I think exceeds it potentially,
and certainly in spirit, if not in law,
and I hope he doesn't do it despite me
believing it's an emergency.
I think the best way to solve this
is for the electedrepresentatives of these people
to do what we're supposed to be doing
in the federal government, and that is
protecting our countryby securing our borders
and dealing with the humanitarian crisis
which is the biggest issue here.
You have families, and a huge increase
in families with children trying to
unlawfully cross the US border.
They are overwhelming our border agents,
and it's creating ahumanitarian catastrophe.
That has to be dealt with.
- Senator Rubio also tooka jab at the White House
and leadership, saying thatthese funding negotiations
should have been broughtforth a long time ago,
long before the shutdowndeadline was approaching,
to prevent the governmentfrom ever being shut down,
and really to have givensenators and lawmakers the time
to find a compromise beforethese federal workers
were forced to stay home andtheir paychecks were withheld.
- Abigail, in your interview,you also asked Senator Rubio,
I know, about pro-life legislation
that he's introducing aheadof this week's March for Life.
What can you tell us about that?
- Well, this week we're seeinga lot of pro-life legislation
being introduced in boththe House and Senate.
The bill that Senator Rubio put forth
is really addressing the adults who are
taking minors across state lines
for the purposes of having an abortion,
and these minors whoare not their children,
and they're taking them across state lines
to make sure that the parents do not know
that their children are getting abortions,
so he's trying to make this illegal.
So here's a little more aboutwhat he has to say about that.
- The one I'm sponsoringunder my name is CIANA,
which is a bill thatbasically makes it a crime
to move a minor across statelines for purposes of abortion,
unless their parents have been notified.
Many states have parentalnotification laws,
and some states do not, andso someone will take a minor.
It could be, by the way,in the case of an adult
that impregnated a minorand wants to cover it up,
they take the minor, drive'em across state lines
to a state without parentalnotification requirements,
and they have the abortion there,
and that would make it a federal crime.
- [Abigail] Yeah, do youthink there's any hope
you'll see any Democrat support for that?
- No, you know, they're pretty locked in
and radical on that position,
despite they say they're pro-choice,
but in this particularcase, it goes beyond that.
It is the ability of somepeople to evade state laws
by being able to cross state lines,
but they're opposed toanything because they will
only do, sadly, whateverPlanned Parenthood
tells them they're allowed to do.
- And March for Life willtake place this Friday,
and interesting to note,there are two Democrats
who will speak at it this year,
Representative Dan Lupinskiand a state legislator,
as well as many Republicans who will
also be speaking at the annual event,
but the Democrats definitely stand out.
You don't normally see Democrats
at such a pro-life event.
- All right, AbigailRobertson for us on the Hill.
Thank you, Abigail.
Well, in just a fewdays, tens of thousands
of pro-life activists will begin
a mile and a half marchdown the National Mall.
We talk to the Presidentof the March for Life
when we come back.
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- A census question is likelyheading to the Supreme Court.
A federal judge ruling today struck down
the Trump administration push
to include citizenship on the 2020 census.
US District Judge, Jesse Furman,
ruled that the decision ofCommerce Secretary Wilbur Ross
to ask about citizenship onthe next census broke the law.
Furman said that, "Evenif it did not violate
the Constitution itself,the decision was unlawful
for a multitude of independent reasons,
but must be set aside."
Meantime another federal judge ruling
is forcing Christian organizations
to fund abortion and birth control.
The ruling is set to lift Trumpadministration protections
that ensured broader religious exemptions
to employers under theso-called Obamacare Mandate,
found in the Affordable Care Act.
Sunday's ruling will liftthe religious exemptions
in Washington, DC and 13 states.
Judge Haywood Gilliam, Jr. of the
Northern District of California
said the new rule was not in accordance
with the Affordable Care Act.
Well, many outlets are praising statistics
showing abortions are down in America.
Still, profile supporterswant people to know
that 60 million unborn babies
killed since 1973.
The abortion Holocaust is far from over.
As Paul Strand reports,that's the backdrop
for the 46th Annual Marchfor Life this Friday.
- Here at the NationalMall, tens of thousands
of participants will begintheir mile and a half trek
past the Capitol to the Supreme Court
as part of the March for Life.
This year they see both victories
and challenges for their cause.
- It's a tough battleto win hearts and minds
so that abortion becomesunthinkable in our culture.
- [Paul] March for LifePresident, Jeanne Mancini
says a new Democrat majorityin the House of Representatives
makes her job harder.
- With the House leadership, in terms of
committees and what have you,
that side of the Congressis the most pro-abortion
Congress that we've ever had.
So I think sadly, we'regonna have to fight
to keep the status quo.
- [Paul] On the positiveside, abortion clinics
have dropped from their 1991 high
of 2176 to just 697 clinics now,
an almost 80% decrease,and the yearly rate
of the unborn killed in America
has gone from more than amillion in the late 1990s
to less than 800,000 these last few years.
- The number of abortionsis down every year,
which speaks volumes.
The number of abortionclinics is down under 700
for the first time ever.
I mean, since a year or two after Rowe.
The number of pregnancy care centers
is the highest that it's ever been.
- As the nation honors the life of
civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr.
this coming weekend,the point's being made
how early abortion activiststargeted the black population.
Reverend dean Nelsonquotes Planned Parenthood
founder, Margaret Sanger
- We don't want word toget out that we want to
exterminate the Negro population.
- [Paul] Sadly, thatstrategy has proven to be
- African-American make up 12 to 13%
of the women population in America.
However, over 33% of abortions
are performed on African-American women.
- [Paul] And in a placelike New York City?
- There are more abortionson black children
than black children being born alive.
- Let's keep in mind that we've lost
60 million Americans to abortion.
This is our 46th annual March for Life.
You know, these bad lawsare still on the books,
and that almost everyyear, or that every year
we lose almost 800,000 people to abortion.
- [Paul] So what can people do
who want to battle for the unborn?
- Pray, I mean, we're ina spiritual battle here.
Vote, vote pro-life, your vote matters.
Get out there, come to the March for Life,
go to your local March for Life.
You know, bear witnessto the truth of life,
and do things like host a baby shower
for your local pregnancy care center.
- As with each year, the march will
end here at the Supreme Court,
the same place the battle began in 1973.
Participants vow to keep making the trek
'til the abortion fight is won.
Paul Strand, CBN News, reporting from
the Supreme Court and National Mall.
- Well, 100 years ago today,21 Americans were killed
when something horriblehappened in Boston.
When we come back, PaulStrand gives us the story
of the curious series ofevents that led to a disaster.
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- [Man] Young people, millennials,are flocking to church.
- [Woman] It's not an exaggeration to say
that we love to meet them and that we
love to know their stories.
- I am Regent's firstROTC graduate student.
- On this day 100 yearsago, something happened
you probably haven't heard of,
a disaster that can bestbe described as bizarre.
Once again, here's Paul Strand.
- [Paul] Paul Revere madeBoston's north end famous
when he began his historicmidnight ride from here in 1775.
Over time it became a melting pot
of Italian-American culture,
but history has mostly forgottenanother extraordinary event
that happened on thesestreets 100 years ago.
January 15, 1919, a 50-foot tall tank
collapses on the Boston waterfront,
unleashing a massive tidal wave.
- It absolutely picks upeverything in its midst.
A messenger with about a four ton truck
is delivering produceand it gets picked up
and swept right into Boston Harbor.
- 21 people died as aresult of the disaster,
including two children.
What takes this story fromthe tragic to the bizarre
is the contents of the tank,
2.3 million gallons of molasses.
As it turns out, molasses was originally
a part of the economy that Bostonians
would just as soon forget.
- Boston and the northeastwere heavily involved
in the slave trade, theso-called triangle trade.
- [Paul] Ships sailed fromBoston to West Africa,
exchanging rum for slaves.
Next stop, the WestIndies, where the slaves
were traded for molasses,
which was then distilledinto rum back in Boston
as part of a continuing cycle.
Fast forward to 1914 and World War I,
when demand for molassesreaches an all-time high.
By then companies were converting molasses
into industrial alcohol, a key component
in manufacturing weapons.
As historian Stephen Puleodescribes in his book, Dark Tide,
the United StatesIndustrial Alcohol Company,
or USIA, rushed to builda high-capacity tank
in Boston's north end.
In charge of the project,treasurer Arthur P. Jell.
- The problem is he has noarchitectural experience,
no technical experience,is unable to read plans
and blueprints, doesn't know anything
about a factor of safety, and barely
asks anything about any of these things.
- [Paul] By the timeJell locks in a location,
he has only two months before the first
large shipment ofmolasses is due to arrive.
In the rush to finish theproject, quality suffers.
- The tank begins to leakalmost from the beginning,
so much so that childrenfrom the north end
would go down to the siteand scoop up molasses
with their pails and bring them home.
At one point, Arthur P.Jell has the tank painted
the color of molassesto disguise those leaks.
- [Paul] After the warends in November, 1918,
as the likelihood ofProhibition approaches,
the company switches gears to produce
as much rum as possible before the
18th Amendment goes into effect.
Three months later, January 15, 1919,
shortly after noon, aBoston police officer
makes a routine call to headquarters.
- When he hears what he describes
as this tremendousrumbling, grinding sound,
and the rat-tat-tat of what he feels
is like machine gun bullets.
He turns around and he sees this tank
disintegrating before his eyes.
The rat-tat-tat are therivets, thousands of rivets
in the tank pulling away.
- The 160-foot wide wave of molasses
travels at a speed of 35 miles per hour,
leveling off to a height of 25 feet.
It crushes everything in its path,
tearing this firehousefrom its foundation,
completely collapsing the first floor.
The waterfront is unrecognizable.
A criminal inquest finds USIA responsible
for the catastrophe, but agrand jury files no charges.
The only hope for justice forthe victims is a civil suit.
- It really is a David versusGoliath kind of situation.
United States Industrial Alcohol
is a large industrial corporation.
Up against them are these 119 plaintiffs,
who are almost exclusivelyIrish city workers
who work for the city of Boston
or Italian immigrants, whoworked in and around the docks.
- [Paul] The Massachusetts Superior Court
assigns one of Boston'smost well-known lawyers
to oversee the case,Lieutenant-Colonel Hugh Ogden.
The son of an Episcopalian minister,
Ogden left a lucrativelaw practice at age 45
to enlist in the Army.
The war profoundly changed Ogden,
who would later writeof his fellow soldiers,
"They did not givetheir lives so the great
might have further privilegeto oppress the small."
The hearings take three long years,
in part because Ogdeninsists each victim be heard.
In a decision that changesthe course of history,
he finds United StatesIndustrial Alcohol liable.
- Almost everything wetake for granted today
in the building construction industry,
that architects need to show their work,
engineers need to signand seal their plans,
building inspectors need tocome out and check projects,
almost every single oneof those comes about
as a direct result of the GreatBoston Molasses Flood case.
- [Paul] It has been saidthat God uses ordinary people
to carry out his extraordinary plans,
such as the case with Hugh Ogden.
Although his name's been lost to history,
his legacy is undeniable.
Paul Strand, CBN News.
- Yeah, extraordinary indeed.
Well, that is going todo it for Faith Nation.
Thanks for joining usand have a great evening.