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A.G. Barr Faces Senate Grilling over Mueller Report; House Judiciary Committee Votes to Allow Staff Counsel to Question Barr. Aired 11:30a-12p ET
Aired May 1, 2019 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:30:00] SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): We know for a fact and you've stated already, the president never submitted himself to what was characterized as a vital interview, an actual sit down interview under oath, not once, and that his questions that were answered some 30 times his memory failed him.
So, to say the White House fully cooperated then I think is a generous conclusion. On this Office of Legal Counsel, I would refer you to this volume two of the Mueller report and on page one, he talks about the whole issue of whether or not he was, in any way, restricted and what he could conclude because of the pen -- or the outstanding Office of Legal Counsel opinion on the liability of a sitting president.
You dismissed that in your opening statement and said we asked him two or three times. You said that had nothing to do with it. Well, how do you explain on a first page of volume two that he says it had a lot to do with it? It's the reason he couldn't reach a binary conclusion on obstruction of justice.
BARR: Well no, it was prudential reason, one of the backdrop factors that he sighted as influencing his prudential judgment that he should not reach a decision, which is different than sighting the OLC, saying that but for the OLC opinion, I would indict.
DURBIN: I'm just going to stand by what he has written and I ask others to read it as well. The last point I want to make is about Don McGahn. If you read the section, 100 -- pages 113 to 120 on Don McGahn's experience, the president wanted him to state publicly that the "New York Times" article was -- it was untrue, that he had not asked McGahn to fire the special counsel. McGahn refused.
And there's some speculations to whether he risked being dismissed or even resigning over this issue. And for you to suggest that this was some sort of a kabuki dance with Rob Rosenstein, I think the president's intent here was very clear. He wanted this to end. He told Lester Holt, going back to the issue that was raised by the Chairman earlier here, the reason to get rid of Comey is because of the Russian investigation.
I mean over and over again this president was very explicit and certainly is very expository in his style. So, I don't -- let me ask you this in conclusion, my time is up, do you have any objections, can you think of an objection of why Don McGahn shouldn't come testify before this committee about his experience? BARR: Yes, I mean I think that he's a close advisor to the president, but the president ...
DURBIN: Never exerted executive privilege?
BARR: Excuse me?
DURBIN: We may have already waived his ...
BARR: No, we haven't waived the executive privilege.
DURBIN: Well, at this point, do you believe -- you're saying Don -- what about Bob Mueller, should he be allowed to testify before this ...
BARR: I've already said publicly, I have no objection to him?
DURBIN: And Don McGahn, should he be allowed to testify?
BARR: I -- well, that's a call for the president to make.
DURBIN: Well, he's a private citizen at this point as I understand.
BARR: Well, I assume he would be testifying about privileged matters.
DURBIN: Well, I would hope that we could get to the bottom of this with actual testimony and witnesses after we take another close look to Hillary Clinton's e-mails. Thank you.
GRAHAM: We might do that. Senator Lee.
LEE: In his classic dissent in Morrison v. Olson, Justice Scalia remarked that nothing is so politically effective as the ability to charge that one's opponent and his associates are not merely wrongheaded, naive and ineffective, but in all probability crooks. And nothing so effectively is appearance of validity to such charges as a Justice Department investigation.
That observation has, I think, been born out time and time again over the past two years. Time and time again the president's political advisories have exploited the Mueller probe, it's mere existence, to spread baseless innuendo in an effort to undermine the legitimacy of the 2016 election and the effectiveness of this administration.
For example, on January 25, 2019, Speaker Nancy Pelossi asked, what does Putin have on the president politically, personally or financially? Mr. Attorney General, is there any evidence to suggest that Vladamir Putin, "has something" on President Trump?
BARR: None that I'm aware of.
LEE: On February 20, 2019, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said, on national television to the entire nation, that he thinks it's possible that Donald Trump is a Russian agent. Mr. Attorney General, is there any evidence that you're aware of that suggests even remotely that President Trump is a Russian agent? BARR: None that I'm aware of.
LEE: Representative Eric Swalwell has repeatedly claimed that Donald Trump, "acts on Russia's behalf." Attorney General Barr, is there anything you're aware of to back that by way of evidence? That the president acts on Russia's behalf?
BARR: None that I'm aware of.
LEE: So, basically we've heard over and over again, on national TV, in committee hearings on the House and Senate floor and in the media, and we've heard about the president's alleged collusion with Russia, but what we have heard is as baseless as any conspiracy theory that we've seen in politics, any that I can think of. The only difference here is that the purveyors of this conspiracy were, in many cases, prominent members of the opposition party. That's concerning.
Now, from the beginning, there were some indications that the Russia investigation was perhaps not always conducted with the absolute impartiality that the American people should expect and have come to hope to find in existence within the Department of Justice especially given that the track record of evidence that the U.S. Department of Justice has shown.
According to the Mueller Report itself, the investigation into the Trump campaign began on July 31, 2016 after a foreign government contacted the FBI about comments made by George Papadopoulos. Is that accurate or were there other precipitating events that helped lead to this?
BARR: That is -- that is the account that has been given in the past as to how it got going.
LEE: You've previously said that you think it's possible that the Federal Bureau of Investigation improperly spied on the Trump campaign. I assume that's a reference to the FISA warrant for Carter Page. Is that what you have in mind or are there other circumstances that you've got in mind there?
BARR: Well, one of the things I want to look -- there are people -- many people seem to assume that the only intelligence collection that occurred was a single confidential informant and a FISA warrant. I'd like to find out whether that is, in fact, true. It strikes me as a fairly anemic effort if that was the counterintelligence effort designed to stop the threat as it's being represented.
LEE: Was Carter Page under surveillance during his time working for the Trump campaign which was roughly January 2016 to September 2016?
BARR: I don't know.
LEE: Was any other Trump campaign official under surveillance during that time period to your knowledge? BARR: Well, these are the things that I need to look at, and I have to say that, as I've said before, you know, the extent that there was any overreach I believe it was some -- a few people in the upper echelons of the bureau and perhaps the department, but those people are no longer there, and I'm working closely with Chris Wray, who I think has done a superb job at the bureau, and we're working together on trying to reconstruct exactly what went down.
One thing people should know is that the bureau itself has been a little bit handicapped in looking back because of the pending Muller investigation and the OIG investigation.
LEE: As we know, the FISA warrant for Carter Page was based largely on the so-called Steele dossier and in particular on two specific facts about Page's trip to Moscow to deliver a speech in July 2016.
First according to the warrant, Page had a secret meeting with Igor Sechin, the President of Rosneft. Has the Mueller Report confirmed that Page met with Sechin?
BARR: Met with who?
LEE: With Mr. Sechin -- with Igor Sechin?
BARR: Yes, I can't recall that I don't remember that. Let me just say that I want to stay away from getting too deeply into the FISA issue because that's currently under investigation by the OIG.
LEE: Understood. Second and more importantly, the warrant also says that Page met with Igor Diveykin in order to discuss what is referred to as kompromat involving Hillary Clinton -- against Hillary Clinton. Does the Mueller Report confirm that Page met with Diveykin?
BARR: I don't think so.
LEE: Is it confirmed that Page discussed kompromat on Hillary Clinton with anyone?
BARR: Not that I recall.
LEE: Since the main evidentiary support for the warrant has been discussed by the Mueller Report, which is sort of the gold standard of what we're discussing here, I'm -- I'm glad that you're looking into it. I'd encourage you to look into why the FBI relied on this false information, and I hope you'll share the results.
The public obviously has a right to know what happened here. The U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation have a long history and a long history of success that has been based on respect.
They deserve to understand that there is not so much power that has been concentrated in that one agency, that the outcome of an investigation can depend on the whims of whom might be assigned to it.
[11:40:05] They have a right not to believe that a particular investigation might be struck and paged, might not be tarmaced, might not be influenced by an improper consideration politically or otherwise. Thank you, Mr. Attorney General.
GRAHAM: Senator Whitehouse, I'm told we're going to have two votes beginning at 11:45. We'll do Senator Whitehouse and why don't we just come back and hour later? We'll break for an hour and do the votes and have lunch. Senator Whitehouse.
WHITEHOUSE: Thank you, Chairman. Attorney General, you had a conversation with Chairman Graham earlier this morning which you described the importance of, to use Chairman Graham's words, "hardening our electoral infrastructure against foreign election interference. I ask you is anonymous election funding and avenue for possible foreign election influence and interference?
WHITEHOUSE: Let's turn to the March 27 letter which you received and read March 28, the Mueller letter, correct?
WHITEHOUSE: When did you have the conversation with Bob Mueller about that letter you've referenced?
BARR: I think it was on the 28th?
WHITEHOUSE: Same day that you read it? When did you first learn of The New York Times and Washington Post stories that would make the existence of this letter public, the ones that came out last night?
BARR: I think it could have been yesterday, but I'm not sure.
WHITEHOUSE: When they contacted you to ask for any comment?
BARR: They didn't contact me.
WHITEHOUSE: Contacted DOJ to ask for any comment?
BARR: I can't actually remember how it came up, but someone mentioned it.
WHITEHOUSE: So you -- at some point you knew that the Mueller letter was going to become public and that was probably yesterday?
BARR: I think so.
WHITEHOUSE: OK. When did you decided to make that letter available to us in Congress?
BARR: This morning.
WHITEHOUSE: Would you conceded that you had an opportunity to make this letter public on April 4 when Representative Crist asked you a very related question?
BARR: I don't know what you mean by related question. It seems to me it'd be a very different question.
WHITEHOUSE: I can't even follow that down the road. That -- I mean, boy. That's some masterful hairsplitting. The letter references enclosed documents and enclosed materials, right? Are those the same things as what you called the executive summaries that Mueller provided you?
BARR: With this letter?
WHITEHOUSE: It's all the same document?
BARR: I'm sorry. What's called...
WHITEHOUSE: When you talk about the executive summaries that Mueller provided you, they are the documents that you were -- the enclosed documents with that letter which we have not been provided?
BARR: I think they were.
BARR: You have been provided them. They're in the report. They're the summaries in the report.
WHITEHOUSE: It's the language of the report in the report? There's nothing else that he provided you then?
BARR: I think that's what he provided.
WHITEHOUSE: OK. If there is anything else, will you provide it to us if it's different in any form? It's odd to be given a letter without the attachments to it when the attachments were referenced in the letter.
BARR: I think they're -- I think they were the redacted versions of the...
WHITEHOUSE: Can we get that?
BARR: ... executive summaries that are embedded in the report.
WHITEHOUSE: Can we get that just to be sure?
WHITEHOUSE: Great. Thank you. You agree that none of that material was either grand jury 6(e) or presented a risk to intelligence sources and methods or would interfere or compromise ongoing investigation...
BARR: I think there...
WHITEHOUSE: ... or effected -- were effected by executive privilege?
BARR: There were redactions made in the executive summaries.
BARR: But as I said, I wasn't interested in putting out summaries period.
WHITEHOUSE: Well, you know, we can...
BARR: And frankly...
WHITEHOUSE: This is another hairsplitting exercise because Bob Mueller, who I think we all agree is fairly credible, actually described your letter as a summary. So you can say it wasn't a summary, but Mueller said it was a summary. And I don't think...
BARR: I wasn't interested in summarizing the whole report. As I say, I was stating the bottom line conclusions of the report. And I...
WHITEHOUSE: Your letter itself says that it's intended to describe -- I quote your words -- describe...
BARR: Yes, describe...
WHITEHOUSE: ... the report.
BARR: ... the report meaning Volume I dealt with this, Volume II...
WHITEHOUSE: When you describe the report in four pages and it's a 400- page report, I don't know why you're caviling about whether it's a summary or not.
BARR: Because I state in the letter that I'm stating the principle conclusions.
BARR: Let me also say that Bob Mueller is the equivalent of the U.S. Attorney. He was exercising the powers of the attorney general subject to the supervision of the attorney general.
He's part of the Department of Justice. His work concluded when he sent his report to the attorney general.
At that point, it was my baby and I was making a decision as to whether or not make it public, and I effectively overrode the regulations, used discretion to lean as far forward as I could to make that public. And it was my decision how and when to make it public, not Bob Mueller's.
WHITEHOUSE: With respect to the OLC opinion that informed Bob Mueller's decision as he describes in the report, do you agree that that is merely an executive opinion and that under our Constitution the decision as to what the law is is made by the Judicial Branch of the Untied States Government?
BARR: I'm sorry. Could you...
WHITEHOUSE: With respect to the OLC opinion that informed Mueller's decision not to make a recommendation on obstruction, as he said in his report, do you concede that that is an executive opinion and that under our constitutional system what the law is gets decided by the Judicial Branch of government?
WHITEHOUSE: Is there any way for the OLC's opinion to be tested by the Judicial Branch of government to see if it's correct or not?
BARR: None that comes to mind.
WHITEHOUSE: And it could be wrong, could it not?
BARR: I guess hypothetically it could be wrong.
WHITEHOUSE: And certainly there are...
BARR: OLC usually gets (ph)...
WHITEHOUSE: ... respected legal minds that disagree with it, correct?
BARR: Excuse me?
WHITEHOUSE: There are many respected legal commentators and professors and lawyers who disagree with it, correct?
BARR: It's very hard to find lawyers that agree to any -- on anything.
WHITEHOUSE: So the interesting thing to me is that it goes on to say that because of the OLC opinion we have to give the president an extra benefit of the doubt because he is denied his day in court where he could exonerate himself. That seems like a fallacy to me because if you are the President of the United States you can't either wave or readily override the OLC opinion and say, "I'm ready to go to trial. I want to exonerate myself. Let's go." Could you not?
BARR: How is this relevant to my decisions...
WHITEHOUSE: It's relevant...
BARR: ... because I assume that there was no OLC opinion?
WHITEHOUSE: Well, we have a report in front of us that says that this influenced the outcome, and in particular it says it influenced the outcome because it deprived the president of his ability to have his day in court. And my point to you is that the president could easily have his day in court by simply waving or overriding this OLC opinion that has no judicial basis, correct? BARR: Well, I don't think that there was anything to have a day in court on. I think that the government did not have a prosecutable case.
WHITEHOUSE: But part -- well, Mueller obviously didn't agree because he left that up to you.
BARR: No, that's -- well that -- well...
WHITEHOUSE: He said that he could neither confirm nor deny that there was a prosecutable case here. He left that to you. And when he did, he said -- and you apparently have agreed -- that this OLC opinion bears on it and it would be unfair to the president to put him to the burden of being indicted not having the ability to be charged. (inaudible)
BARR: I don't want to characterize Bob's thought process on this.
WHITEHOUSE: I'm not asking you to characterize it. It's in the -- it's in his report. He's put it in writing.
BARR: I'm not sure what he means by that in the report.
WHITEHOUSE: With respect to the word -- can I have a minute? I just want to nail down you used the word spying about authorized DOJ investigative activities.
BARR: Are you talking about testimony before...
BARR: ... the House Appropriations?
WHITEHOUSE: In the entirety of your previous career in the Department of Justice including as Attorney General, have you every referred to authorized department investigative activities officially or publicly as spying? I'm not asking for private conversations...
BARR: I'm not going abjure the use of the word spying. I think -- you know, my first job was in CIA and I don't think the word spying has any pejorative connotation at all. To me...
WHITEHOUSE: But you recognized that it's...
BARR: To me, the question is always whether or not it's authorized and adequately predicated spying. I think spying is a good English word that, in fact, doesn't have synonyms because it is the broadest word incorporating really all forms of covert intelligence collection, so I'm not going to back off the word spying expect I will say...
WHITEHOUSE: When did you decide...
BARR: ... I'm not suggesting any pejorative, and I use it frequently. WHITEHOUSE: When...
BARR: Ask the media.
BARR: Ask the media.
WHITEHOUSE: When did you decide to use it? Was it off the cuff in the hearing that day or did you go into that hearing intending to use...
BARR: It was actually off the cuff to tell you the truth, and when a senator -- the senator -- mean, that...
WHITEHOUSE: Congressman probably?
BARR: Well, from Schatz from Hawaii?
WHITEHOUSE: Who was here (ph)?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shaheen?
BARR: No, no, no.
WHITEHOUSE: Whoever it was, go ahead.
BARR: Yes, when he challenged me and said, "do you want to change your language," I was actually thinking like, "what's the issue? I don't consider it a pejorative." But if...
WHITEHOUSE: Your rather...
BARR: Frankly, we went back and looked at press usage, and up until all the floor outrage a couple of weeks ago, it's commonly used in the press to refer to authorize activities such as referring...
WHITEHOUSE: But it's not commonly used by the department.
WHITEHOUSE: It is not commonly used by the department. My time is up.
BARR: It's commonly used by me.
GRAHAM: Thank you very much. We'll come back at 10 till 1. Thank you.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: All right, so there's the part one of this hearing, nearly two hours. Eight Senators so far have asked questions, eight out of 22. Plenty more to go. They are taking a one-hour break to allow the Senators to go to the Senate floor and vote on some legislation.
And as certainly predicted, the Democratic Senators have one line of questioning. The Republican Senators have a completely different line of questioning. Jake, this is expected. But you do hear Bill Barr, the attorney general of the United States, strongly defending himself in the face of this pretty serious criticism he is getting in this letter that was released just this morning from the Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, and pundits can debate and will discuss whether or not any of the Democratic Senators are laying any gloves on him. But the criticism of Barr going into this hearing was that he serves more as a defense attorney for President Trump in bringing out the best possible spin, the facts that he wants to from this almost 500-page report, whereas, instead of serving as attorney general for the whole country and just enumerating all the details. And I don't think that that criticism will fall away. For those of us who have read the Mueller report, there are things that he is leaving out. For instance, when he talks about Don McGahn, the former White House counsel, and whether or not the president directed him to fire the special counsel. There's a whole litany of events that Attorney General Barr did not mention and, in fact, put a gloss on to make it sound as though it was more favorable for President Trump than the actual record reflects.
In fact, we'll bring in Susan Hennessey, real quick.
Because we were talking about this at length. One of the things that Mueller writes about at length is not just did he say get rid of Special Counsel Mueller or have Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, get rid of him, but all the things that happened afterwards that a lot of people don't know about and that Barr certainly didn't talk about.
SUSAN HENNESSEY, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Right. So, for example, it's not just the president's direction to Don McGahn to tell Rod Rosenstein to fire or dismiss Robert -- Special Counsel --
TAPPER: Robert Mueller.
HENNESSEY: -- Robert Mueller. It's also the conversations they had afterward, in which the president is pressuring Don McGahn, not just to recant that statement in light of -- in response to public reporting but also to create a record. The attorney general, in his testimony, referred to, well, there are mixed reasons. Maybe it was an obstructive act described in this report but maybe he was trying to refute press stories. But the Mueller report actually says, well, it might have been partially motivated by that but certainly not having attempted to get him to create a false record for internal-document purposes 10 days later. That is an act that seems calculated to essentially be able to impeach Don McGahn's testimony on the point further. I think it's a pretty good example of the extent to which the attorney general is cherry picking things really in ways that are fundamentally deceptive about what is in the report.
TAPPER: Page 118 of Volume Two, under the heading "Obstructive Act," "The president's repeated efforts to get McGahn to create a record denying the president had directed him to remove the special counsel would qualify as an obstructive act if it had a natural tendency to constrain him from testifying truthfully," et cetera, et cetera. That is something that Attorney General Barr didn't even mention.
ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes. I kept feeling like I was back in criminal trials and watching a not very convincing defense attorney closing. I will give you another example. Very early on, Attorney General Barr was asked about obstruction. How did you come to the conclusion that all 11 potentially obstructive acts listen out by Mueller were no good, were not enough? All he had, all Barr had was, well, there was no underlying crime. That was it. Where's the rest of it? We know, as a matter of law, it doesn't matter if there's an underlying crime. Yes, you can throw it into the general mix but it doesn't matter. You can still charge obstruction without that underlying crime -- Martha Stewart, Scooter Libby. Roger Stone is charged with perjury without an underlying crime. Bill Clinton was impeached for perjury and obstruction without an underlying crime. And Mueller himself directly refutes that in the report. He said there are plenty of good reasons why people obstruct even if they haven't committed a crime. Maybe it is in the gray areas, potential criminality. Maybe they want to avoid personal embarrassment. That was incredibly weak from William Barr and not at all convincing on obstruction.
[11:55:09] TAPPER: And who was the U.S. attorney that brought the case against Martha Stewart?
HONIG: That would have been James Comey, yes.
TAPPER: It was Comey.
BLITZER: We're just getting this word in, that the House Judiciary Committee just voted to allow staff lawyers, staff counsels to go ahead and question the attorney general, Bill Barr. It's schedule to appear before the House Judiciary Committee tomorrow morning, early tomorrow morning. The vote was 21-14. The Democrats are in the majority, John, on that committee. Let's see if that hearing goes forward.
TAPPER: He says he will not appear --
BLITZER: That's correct.
TAPPER: -- if lawyers as opposed to just members of Congress are allowed to question him.
BLITZER: Let's see if he changes his mind, if the hearing happens or it doesn't.
TAPPER: I predict he will not.
BLITZER: Let's see if it happens.
This response that we heard just now from Barr to this letter, the March 27 letter, from the Special Counsel Robert Mueller, expressing his deep concern in the initial way he summarized those principle conclusions of the Mueller report. And there's point after point after point. How do you think Barr did in rebutting the criticism he is getting, which is very intense, especially from Democrats?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He continued to do exactly what he did to get the criticism, which is to say things that are not supported by what is in here. This is the Mueller report, 400-plus pages. The attorney general continued to say, as we just had a discussion here and there's more of it. He said things that are not supported by what is in here, which is the whole reason Bob Mueller is upset to begin with, because he looked at the first summary letter and thought, that's not exactly what I said. You get this, number one, on the facts. Again, what Bob Mueller says here, what the attorney general just said there, what he said in his prior testimony, what he said in his initial press conference. A lot of it is not supported by what is in here, which are the words of people who work for Donald Trump, not 12 angry Democrats, not even the attorneys, but Don McGahn, Corey Lewandowsky, Hope Hicks, and so on and so forth. And you get the impression -- Laura and I were talking about this -- that Barr is almost offended that Mueller is given this great stature. Remember, Mueller was the FBI director on 9/11. He served with distinction in the George W. Bush administration, carried over into the Obama administration, had his term extended, unusual FBI director. Then led this investigation. Not only is what the attorney general saying not factually supported by what is laid out in great detail here, but then he says, he is a U.S. attorney, under the law, but I'm the attorney general. Once he is done with his work, "that's my baby." That's the attorney general's words, "That's my baby." I make the decisions. He's essentially trying to say, I'm the boss, stop talking about this low guy.
BLITZER: In this letter, he makes it clear, Mueller, that the morning after the four-page initial document was sent up to Capitol Hill by Barr, "We communicated that concern to the department on the morning of March 25." Even before this March 27th letter, putting it in all writing his deep concern.
LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: I think we now have a much better sense of what was animating what the concern was from the special counsel's team. They talk about context, substance, sort of the nuance of it. But what was the real nitty-gritty? We now understand, at least from Barr, that he was ticked off because Barr did not adequately explain his decision not to reach a conclusion on obstruction of justice. For days, the media coverage was, why did Mueller punt, what was he thinking, what was going on there. The report explains at length what was going on there. Barr did not. Barr gave a very cursory overview of it, did not explain the OLC overarching issue about not indicting a sitting president. And even today, he still wants to say that Mueller kept saying to me, well, if it wasn't but for the OLC decision that we would have reached a conclusion on obstruction of justice. Mueller makes it crystal clear on page one, I am not even reach a decision on obstruction because you can't indict a sitting president under this long-standing DOJ guidance and, because of fairness, it wouldn't be proper for me to lay out all this derogatory information about the president if he can't defend himself in court.
TAPPER: Interestingly, Barr defends himself by saying, I did not intend my four-page letter of March 24th to be a summary, I just wanted it to be basically a verdict, not guilty. And Mueller's letter of March 27th says, I wrote two executive summaries for you to release, that's what I wanted you to release. Barr didn't want to do that.
JARRETT: You notice those aren't redacted. So this whole idea that it was choke full of things that could have --
JARRETT: -- law-enforcement material -- his defense is, we needed to scrub it. Well, if you look at it, it's pretty clean right now.
[11:59:45] LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: And by the way, the idea that Mueller didn't want to weigh in, well, we heard a couple of weeks ago, oh, no, I asked Mueller if he wanted to review my four-page summary, he declined, leaving, again, this impression that he was wringing his hand, please, you decide, oh, grand attorney general, as opposed to me, the lowly equivalent of a U.S. attorney instead. But in reality, he was saying to him, actually I already invented a wheel. You want me to see if your square peg will.