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Attorney General Merrick Garland Testifies Before Congress. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired September 20, 2023 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D-TX): To emphasize the work that is hopefully still being -- doing with antisemitism, attacks on immigrants and African-Americans and Latinos.
If you would answer those questions, fentanyl, the human trafficking, and then domestic terrorism.
MERRICK GARLAND, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Yes, these are all horrendous problems propagated by people who are truly evil.
We are fighting the fentanyl scourge in every possible way, starting with the precursors in China, to the labs in Mexico, to the cartels that are bringing the drugs into the United States, to their networks in the United States, to the streets of America.
And we will continue to do that with every resource that Congress gives us. Human smuggling and sex trafficking are obviously abhorrent. The Justice Department has task forces on both of these subjects, and has brought many, many cases on these subjects.
The idea of putting sexually explicit material about children on the Web is another area that we are continuing to investigate and to prosecute, and to ask the social media to take down from their sites.
REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): The gentlelady's time has expired.
The gentleman from Florida recognized for five minutes.
REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): I guess I'm just wondering, Mr. Attorney General, has anyone at the department told President Biden to knock it off with Hunter? I mean, you guys are charging Hunter Biden on some crimes, investigating him on others.
You have got the president bringing Hunter Biden around to state dinners. Has anyone told him to knock it off?
GARLAND: Our job in the Justice Department is to pursue our cases without reference to what's happening in the outside world.
GAETZ: Just yes or no, have you done that?
GARLAND: That is what we... GAETZ: So, it's a no?
GARLAND: No one that I know of has spoken to the White House about the Hunter Biden case, of course not.
GAETZ: I'm wondering, then -- OK, I got it. I got it.
So, Hunter Biden is selling art to pay for his $15,000-a-month rent in Malibu. How can you guarantee that the people buying that art aren't doing so to gain favor with the president?
GARLAND: The job of the Justice Department is to investigate criminal allegations. We have information...
GAETZ: Are you investigating this?
I mean, someone who bought Hunter Biden's art ended up with a prestigious appointment to a federal position. Doesn't it look weird that he's making all -- he's become this immediate success in the art world as his dad is president of the United States? Isn't that odd?
GARLAND: I'm not going to comment about any specific...
GAETZ: Not going to comment, not going to investigate.
GARLAND: That's right.
GAETZ: So Hunter Biden associate Devon Archer told us that Hunter sold the appearance of access to then-Vice President Biden. Are you confident he has stopped doing that?
GARLAND: I'm sorry. I didn't understand the question.
GAETZ: Hunter Biden associate Devon Archer told us that Hunter sold the appearance of access to then-Vice President Biden. Are you confident he has stopped?
GARLAND: I'm going to say again that all these matters are within the purview of Mr. Weiss. I have not interfered with him. And I do not...
GAETZ: Yes, but if you were confident that he had stopped, you could probably tell us.
GARLAND: And I do not intend to interfere with it.
GAETZ: I want to -- so it was a lot of Chinese money that was working its way through these shell companies into the accounts of the Biden family.
So, the China Initiative was set up during the Trump administration at the Department of Justice to go after the malign influence of the Chinese Communist Party, and the Biden Justice Department dissolved the China Initiative.
So, I guess I'm wondering, does the department have any documents that would detail the basis for why you got rid of the China Initiative that President Trump had set up?
GARLAND: The assistant attorney general for the National Security Division gave a long speech which explained that. He has testified before Congress several times.
We'd be happy to provide you with the...
GAETZ: What is the basis? Just tell us all now. What -- why was the China Initiative dissolved?
GARLAND: What the assistant attorney general said was that we face attacks from four nation-states, North Korea, China, Russia, and Iran. And we need to focus our attention the broad range of these attacks.
Sometimes, we don't know.
GAETZ: But wait a second. You don't -- are you saying that North Korea has the same malign influence risk to the United States as the Chinese Communist Party? Are you -- are you trying to represent there's some parity there?
Because -- because here's what it looks like. It looks like the Chinese gave all this money to the Bidens, and then you guys came in and got rid of the China Initiative. And it was successful. Like, I saw one rationale that you guys got rid of the China Initiative because it was racial profiling.
But one of the people you convicted was a guy named Charles Lieber, who was a Harvard professor taking $50,000 a month to do China's bidding and give them whatever research was being done. Are you aware of the millions of dollars that moved through Rob Walker's shell companies from Chinese Communist Party entities into Biden family bank accounts?
Are you aware of that?
GARLAND: There were a lot of questions that you just asked.
Let me start with the first one about North Korea. North Korea is a dangerous actor, both kinetically and with respect to cyber.
GAETZ: But not on par with China? I'm on the Armed Services Committee, Mr. Attorney General.
GARLAND: I'm not in the business right now of...
GAETZ: It's -- OK, it's -- it makes you look unserious to suggest that.
GARLAND: May I answer your question on that? GAETZ: Answer the question about whether or not you know about all the millions of dollars...
GARLAND: So, you don't want me to answer about North Korea?
GAETZ: I already know the answer. And so does everyone. They're not the same risk as China.
So, let's get on to serious questions and serious answers. Do you know about the money that moved through Rob Walker's shell companies, yes or no?
GARLAND: As I have said repeatedly, I have left these matters to Mr. Weiss. I have not intruded. I have not interfered. I have not tried to find out what he knows.
GAETZ: Blissfully ignorant. Blissfully ignorant of these things. It's like you're looking the other way on purpose, because everybody knows this stuff is happening.
And you know what? People don't pay bribes to not get something in return, right? The China Initiative resulted in the convictions of a Harvard professor, of someone at Monsanto. So we were working against the Chinese. They paid the Bidens, and now we're -- now you're sitting here telling me that North Korea is the big threat.
GAETZ: We got to get to this one thing on January 6.
GARLAND: You want me to answer your question or not?
GAETZ: So, did the FBI lose count of the number of paid informants on January 6?
GARLAND: Let me answer your question about China. China is the most...
GAETZ: No, I want you to answer this question. I only get five minutes. You have already sort of, I think, screwed the pooch on China.
GARLAND: You asked me a question. You haven't permitted...
GAETZ: So, January 6, did you lose count of the number of federal assets? Did you lose count and order an audit?
REP. JERROLD NADLER (D-NY): The gentleman's time has expired.
GAETZ: I get an answer to the question of, did he did -- did he lose count?
NADLER: Well, let him answer the question.
JORDAN: The time has expired. The attorney general can respond.
GARLAND: China is the most aggressive, most dangerous adversary the that United States faces.
JORDAN: Mr. Attorney General, I think the...
GARLAND: And we are doing everything within our power to rebut that, to stop that, to prevent their invasions, both kinetic, both -- and through cyberspace. And we will continue to do that.
GAETZ: If you -- if someone gave that answer in your courtroom when you were a judge, you would tell them they were being nonresponsive and you would direct them to answer the question.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Point of order, Your Honor.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Badgering the witness.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Point of order, please.
NADLER: The time has expired.
JORDAN: I got it. I just -- I was -- I was...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You like Your Honor? You want to stick with that?
JORDAN: Yes. I was getting...
JORDAN: ... Your Honor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Point of order either way.
JORDAN: I understand that too.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right.
JORDAN: But the gentleman asked his question before his time expired. The attorney general did not respond to the gentleman's question. I was hoping he would respond to the question about the confidential human sources on January 6. He didn't respond to that.
I'm sure we're going to get an answer to that
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course, Mr. Chairman. There were eight questions before that, that he was not given a chance to answer.
JORDAN: I understand, but...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, the witness might have thought...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But the witness doesn't -- Mr. Chairman, point of order, the witness does not control the time.
JORDAN: Hang on. Exactly right. Members control the time. If they want to switch their question and focus on one more question that they'd like an answer to, I want to give the witness a chance to respond to that. He didn't respond to it. Someone else is going to ask it, I'm sure.
We now recognize the gentleman from Tennessee for five minutes.
REP. STEVE COHEN (D-TN): Thank you, sir.
I would just follow up a few of the questions that were asked here.
Did Devon Archer not say Joe Biden did nothing wrong?
GARLAND: I'm clear I only know about Mr. Archer from newspaper reports. I want to be clear that I kept my promise to not involve myself in this investigation.
COHEN: OK. Then I will state it. He said in the -- Joe Biden did nothing wrong.
Secondly, did you say that President Trump, President Trump appointed Weiss, who then you appointed?
GARLAND: Yes, President Trump appointed Mr. Weiss as United States attorney.
COHEN: So that should take care of that issue.
And they say the weapon -- department's been weaponized. Wasn't there an investigation of Mr. Gaetz, and you didn't prosecute him?
GARLAND: The Justice Department does not make comments about its investigation.
COHEN: We're not weaponized. If we were weaponized, we would have done it. That was a beautiful exchange there, and it shows we didn't do that.
You are the nation's chief law enforcement officer. And I appreciate that. And law enforcement is one of our government's fundamental functions. Crime is growing too much in this country and in my city of Memphis as well. We need law enforcement effective, swift and fair.
I'd like to focus my questions on what actually affects the American people, crime. How do we get smarter law enforcement, requiring smart resource of allocations, not about funding or less funding, but the right funding for the right programs, and see that that happens?
Memphis, as hiring has become more difficult, we have lowered our standards to get more officers. That's not the way to do it. The COPS program is helping us review the policy and procedures. And I thank you, the COPS program for doing that.
But what can Department of Justice do to help see that law enforcement is more efficient and more effective?
GARLAND: So, the key to this is our partnership with the FBI, DEA Marshals, ATF, partnership at every local level with local and state law enforcement in task forces, in discussions to target the most dangerous criminals in those communities, but, at the same time, to engage the communities to help engender community trust in law enforcement.
Everyone who's prosecuted violent crime cases, and that includes me, knows that you need the trust of the community in order to get witnesses. And we and the Justice Department are helping our state and local colleagues do just that.
The funding you describe from the COPS office and in the Office of Justice Programs allows us to give money to state and local police organizations that are having trouble with recruitment and retention and promotion of law officers and helps them make their departments respectful of constitutional rights and, at the same time, effective in the investigation and prosecution of criminal law violation.
COHEN: Thank you for those activities, those programs through COPS.
You have also reinstituted patterns and practices investigations of certain police departments. And Memphis is one of them. And I thank you for doing that. Can you share with us how important those pilot programs are and how they can improve policing?
Congress has authorized the Justice Department to conduct pattern or practice investigations when they have a reasonable belief in the -- that there has been unconstitutional a pattern of unconstitutional behavior in a police department.
We are careful to select those cases where we think there is such a pattern. We make those investigations. We then work with the law enforcement agencies in the cities. Our hope is to come to a consent decree that will lead to a better, more efficient and more constitutional police department.
We have been successful in all of our cases to date in reaching consent agreements.
COHEN: Thank you, sir.
You were part of being -- announced bringing of charges, federal charges, against the five officers who killed Tyre Nichols in Memphis. And I thank you for that. We need that federal charge and we need our department looked at.
If there's a shutdown of the federal government, how will that affect the Department of Justice and affect policing in local communities?
GARLAND: I haven't done a complete calculation on the effects of a shutdown and the difference between which employees are indispensable under the statute and which ones not.
It will certainly disrupt all of our normal programs, including our grant programs to state and local law enforcement and to our ability to conduct our normal efforts with respect to the entire scope of our activities, including helping state and locals fight violent crime.
COHEN: Thank you, sir. And happy new year. And I yield back the balance of my time.
JORDAN: The gentleman yields back.
The gentleman Mr. McClintock from California is recognized.
REP. TOM MCCLINTOCK (R-CA): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Attorney General, looking again at the appointment of Jack Smith and David Weiss, this double standard of justice couldn't be more glaring. Jack Smith was deeply involved in the IRS scandal that targeted conservative political groups who harass -- his malicious prosecution of former Governor McDonnell was unanimously overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Chief John Roberts rebuked Smith directly for attempting to criminalize political activity. You appointed him to prosecute Joe Biden's chief rival for the presidency. And then we have the appointment of David Weiss. Weiss deliberately allowed the statute of limitations to run out on any charges that could have implicated Joe Biden and influence peddling.
He originally offered Hunter Biden a sweetheart deal that was ultimately upended by the court. And he's the one you appointed to pursue the charges that could implicate Joe Biden. That leads me to only two explanations, either corruption or incompetence. Which is it?
GARLAND: Those are the kinds of questions that judges would rule out of order.
MCCLINTOCK: I'm sure you would. Which is it?
GARLAND: Look, I have said before, and I will say again, Mr. Weiss was the Republican-appointed United States attorney appointed by President Trump.
MCCLINTOCK: But this -- do you at least -- do you at least see the obvious double standard applied in these two appointments?
GARLAND: Mr. Weiss was a Republican appointee. Mr. Smith is not registered to either party. His entire career was as a career prosecutor. That does not seem like a double standard.
MCCLINTOCK: But I don't care what their party registrations are. I'm not asking what their party registrations are. I'm asking about their records and how those records would commend them to the appointments that you made.
This is a question of judgment and it's a question of motive. What was motivating you to do this?
GARLAND: Mr. Smith had a nationwide reputation for integrity and for appropriate prosecution.
MCCLINTOCK: Oh, please.
GARLAND: His work can be measured by what he actually has filed. Everyone in the country can see the indictments that he has charged. Those...
MCCLINTOCK: How can you say that after he was so heavily implicated in the IRS scandal or the rebuke that the Supreme Court gave in many other examples?
Let me go on. We have had two IRS whistle-blowers inform Congress of attempts by senior Justice Department officials to obstruct the criminal investigation into millions of dollars of ill-gotten and undeclared income to Hunter Biden.
They noted several deviations by department officials from normal process that provided preferential treatment in this case to Hunter Biden, a direct quote, including allowing the statute of limitations to lapse, requesting IRS and FBI management level investigative communications, prohibiting investigators from referring to the Big Guy or dad in witness interviews, excluding the investigative team from meetings with defense counsel, and notifying defense counsel of pending search warrants.
The U.S. attorney's office even tipped off the Bidens of an impending search of a storage unit where their records were being kept. Now, that sounds an awful lot like obstruction of justice to me. Was that coming from you or from somebody else?
GARLAND: I'm sorry, I don't under -- was that coming from you? I don't understand the question.
MCCLINTOCK: All of the actions that your employees took to obstruct the investigation of Hunter Biden and the tax -- earnings that he made and the taxes he failed to declare, their source and ultimately who they were paid to.
GARLAND: I'm going to say again with respect to the Hunter Biden investigation that it has been and still is in the hands of Mr. Weiss, an appointee of President Trump. I don't know about all these allegations. Some of them appear to have
been from the period when the attorney general appointed by President Trump was still the attorney general.
MCCLINTOCK: Do these -- do these charges trouble you at all?
GARLAND: Mr. Weiss will have an opportunity to explain the decisions...
MCCLINTOCK: Well, you're the guy in charge. Does this trouble you?
GARLAND: I have intentionally not involved myself in the facts of the case, not because I'm trying to get out of responsibility, but because I'm trying to pursue my responsibility.
MCCLINTOCK: Your FBI director testified before this committee of an uptick in -- quote -- "known or suspected terrorists" coming across the Southern border. And he told us that the Southern border represents a massive security threat. Those were his words, a massive security threat.
Do you agree?
GARLAND: I am perfectly happy to align myself with the director of the FBI.
MCCLINTOCK: Well, why is it then that we have senior administration rescind the Trump era orders that had secured that border? We have seen an exponential increase in suspected terrorists.
JORDAN: The time of the gentleman's expired.
The witness can respond, if he chooses.
GARLAND: This is a -- the answer to this question about immigration law is an extremely long answer. I would defer to the Department of Homeland Security, which is responsible for the physical security and about first contact at the border with respect...
JORDAN: Well, we have tried to get answers from him. And he doesn't give him to us. So, we're hoping you would.
I understand, Mr. Attorney General, you have requested a short break. So we will take a short break and resume in five minutes.
GARLAND: OK, sorry.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: All right, we have been listening to the House Judiciary Committee.
And I think the word grilling, which is often overused, is appropriate and for what we have been seeing so far as Attorney General Merrick Garland has been testifying.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: The general theme has been Republicans on this committee, including the chair, Jim Jordan, who you're looking at right there, have been asking the attorney general to comment on the investigation into Hunter Biden: Why did you do this? Why did you not do that?
And the attorney general's response has basically been universally: I'm not going to comment on the details of the Hunter Biden investigation.
SARA SIDNER, CNN HOST: Not only that he wouldn't comment, but that he is purposely not interfering in the investigation because he said he wouldn't.
And they have been accusing him or the Justice Department or the White House of doing just that. And he said: Well, my job is to not interfere.
And he keeps over and over and over again mentioning that Mr. Weiss was appointed by Donald Trump, a Republican.
This has been very interesting.
I want to talk to you, Nick Akerman, who is with us here, because you teared up at one point. And almost nobody tears up at anything going on in these sort of committee hearings...
NICK AKERMAN, FORMER ASSISTANT SPECIAL WATERGATE PROSECUTOR: Right.
SIDNER: ... because they can get pretty brutal.
What struck you from this hearing today?
AKERMAN: Well, a couple of things.
First of all, in terms of an historical example here, this reminded me exactly of what happened with the appointment of Archibald Cox as the first Watergate prosecutor. Elliot Richardson was put before the House Judiciary Committee. Just like Merrick Garland said, Cox and Elliot Richardson had the promise that he would not interfere, that Archibald Cox would have total independence.
And I think that's what's come out of this, that Merrick Garland has basically been hands-off on both Jack Smith and on Weiss, that he has let them be another Archibald Cox and basically have free rein and total independence, which is not something we have seen with any special counsel or special prosecutor since Archibald Cox.
So that is a pretty important point. The other fact that I thought was really of significance here was why Weiss was appointed as special counsel. And I think what it really comes down to is the fact that he's going to be able to issue a report. Normally, prosecutors do not get to issue reports. They do not get to explain their decisions. And I think, here, it's extremely important, because all kinds of
issues have been raised about why they didn't indict under the statute of limitations, why they didn't look at certain other matters. And I think another big issue overhanging this is whether or not, if Hunter Biden's name was Hunter Jones, whether he would have ever been investigated or charged in the first instance.
We don't know that, because we don't know the facts of that investigation or what Mr. Weiss has looked at. And what is good about having him appointed as special counsel is that we will ultimately get the answers to those questions.
So those were the two big points that came out to me today.
BERMAN: Caroline Polisi, attorney, is with us as well.
What struck you about the Republican line of questioning? Attorney General, did you know that the statute of limitations was running out on certain aspects of the Hunter Biden investigation? Did you speak to David Weiss about the Hunter Biden investigation?
CAROLINE POLISI, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, really frustrating to watch at times, not fruitful at all in some instances, Merrick Garland not making any surprises here today.
He hewed really closely to that prebuttal statement that he read at the beginning of the hearing and also released prior to the hearing. He said -- one of the big themes of which was, I am not the president's attorney.
Now, it's sad that he has to remind American citizens that, because I think President Trump forgot that. He often referred to Bill Barr as his attorney, the DOJ as his DOJ, but Merrick Garland coming back time and time again to, one, saying he can't comment on ongoing investigations. That's Justice Department policy. So he's not going to get into those specifics, and, two, saying that Weiss has always had the authority to move forward with whatever prosecutions he wants to and sees fit.
I agree with Nick that the report, the moving of Weiss from -- to a special counsel is going to be important, in that a lot of these questions, a lot of the answers to these questions will come out in that report.
BOLDUAN: Let's also bring in Evan Perez to talk a little bit more about this.
Evan, you have been listening as well. And to state the obvious for our very informed viewers who will already know this, this is political theater. Many high-profile hearings are political theater. Republicans and Democrats alike, they have -- they are known to ask questions that they do not even care to have answers for from whoever is in the hot seat at the time.
We're seeing that from Republicans here. That's for sure.
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
BOLDUAN: But one thing that is interesting is how the Cabinet secretary, whoever it is of the day, and specifically, importantly, here Merrick Garland himself, how they react and how they handle the barrage of questions coming at them.
What do you see in Merrick Garland's responses so far? He came out of the gate himself really speaking directly to the questions that have been coming at the department about a two-tiered system of justice.
PEREZ: Yes, look, I think, Kate, you're right.
I mean, a lot of these hearings are about the sound bites of the members, and they know that it's going to be played on FOX News, on conservative radio or conservative television, and so that's the point of why they ask these questions. They send them out right after the hearing to show how much they're yelling at the attorney general.
What you're seeing from Merrick Garland is perhaps a little more forceful response than we have seen normally from him. A lot of times, he just takes these punches and then moves on. And, here today, one of the things that he's been very insistent on is defending his people from some of the attacks, because one of the things -- you know this watching so many hearings on Capitol Hill, where they go after the Cabinet secretary or they go after senior-level officials.
One of the interesting things or one of the more sort of deplorable things that has happened lately, though, is you see members going after lower-level people, agents, by name, and bringing them, even hauling them in for testimony, denying them the right to have their own lawyer in the room.
That's what's been happening in some of these -- in some of the recent investigations. And what you heard from Merrick Garland, where he says, singling out individual career public servants who are just doing their jobs is dangerous, is something that I think he's -- what he's doing is, he's speaking to some of his own people at the Justice Department, at the FBI, who are getting these threats.
One of the things that we have seen recently is that the Justice Department is redacting the names of agents in some court documents, simply because they know what's going to happen is, the name is going to be put out there on the former president's social media platform, on other social media platforms, and then they're going to get a barrage of attacks and threats.
And that's very, very dangerous. We have seen it time and time again in the last year or so. And so I think what you're seeing there from the attorney general is a bit of a forceful pushback at members of Congress, saying, hey, you have got to be careful with what you're doing, because it's OK to go after me and go after the senior-level people, but some of these people, they're just carrying out their duties.
They're just doing their jobs. And they don't deserve that.
BOLDUAN: Yes, words literally lead to action in some of this regard. And that's the danger here in what we're talking about.
Evan, stick around.
SIDNER: I do want to go to some sound from Garland that we heard that talks about these threats. He was asked, I think, from Nadler about the dangers that have been caused to the agents, the folks that work.
And here's what Garland said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARLAND: Singling out individual career public servants who are just doing their jobs is dangerous, particularly at a time of increased threats to the safety of public servants and their families.
We will not be intimidated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SIDNER: So he said: "We will not be intimidated." He says: "We will not back down for defending our democracy."
When you hear words like that coming from the attorney general, who talked about why he was so thankful to be in the position he was because of his family's experience, what does it tell you about where we are right now when it comes to this sort of legal process and this committee itself going after him in this way?
POLISI: Yes, well it's obviously sad that we have to get to this point.
His testimony was very heartfelt, very moving in the beginning, and then Jim Jordan really just got right in there with these -- the sound bites, the political theater aspect of it.
I think Merrick Garland held his own. He's always been right down the middle, playing it sort of safe, playing it cool. We didn't see much deviation from that. He got a little flustered at points from the repetitive questioning, but he did a fantastic job.
BERMAN: Is Evan Perez still with us? And, again, we're looking at the Chairman Jim Jordan right now sitting down. So this could start up at any moment.
Evan, I'm wondering if you can explain what it is that you think the Republicans were trying to get. They were looking for a gotcha moment. And I know a lot of what they're after is to be able to have their questions replayed.
BOLDUAN: For like the D.C.... BERMAN: But what is it exactly that they were trying to imply in some cases here? Because it might be hard to follow for those not involved in the intricacies of the Hunter Biden investigation.
PEREZ: The big theme that the Republicans are going after is that Merrick Garland and the political appointees at the Justice Department were doing -- they were interfering in this Hunter Biden investigation.
Again, this is going to be a big feature, guys, in the coming weeks, as they pursue their effort to impeach the sitting president, President Biden. And so what you're going to hear a lot over and over in the coming -- in the coming weeks is what they believe are examples.
Some of it, they have gotten from some testimony from some of these whistle-blowers, and others are going to look at documents and so on. And they want -- what they want to hone in on is this idea that political interference is what made the difference in this investigation.
Look, there's a lot of problems.
BOLDUAN: Evan, let me jump in, because I want to get -- make sure you have a chance...
BOLDUAN: ... to make this point before we jump back into the hearing.
But isn't -- Hunter Biden is facing more charges right now.
BOLDUAN: Does that not take away some of the fire behind this -- behind what they're trying to figure out?
PEREZ: It's almost as if this was scripted, right?
I mean, look, they were intent on going here, no matter what happened in this investigation. And I think that's what you're getting across right now in these questions.
BERMAN: It looks like it is about to start up again.
BERMAN: Let's listen in. All right, maybe they're not listening in.
Nick, do -- did they -- if that was what they were after, did any of it land?