Metavid

Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding on Jan 30th, 2009 :: 0:21:35 to 1:01:50
Total video length: 5 hours 7 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

Note: MetaVid video transcripts may contain inaccuracies, help us build a more perfect archive

Download OptionsEmbed Video

Views:366 Duration: 0:40:15 Discussion

Previous speech: Next speech:

John Cornyn

0:21:31 to 0:21:51( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: quorum call: mr. cornyn: the presiding officer: the senator fr mr. cornyn: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be be rescinded. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. cornyn: mr. president, i'd also ask unanimous consent that -- the presiding officer: the senator from texas is recognized. mr. cornyn: mr. president, i also ask unanimous consent to speak for as much time as use, as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without

John Cornyn

0:21:35 to 1:01:50( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: John Cornyn

John Cornyn

0:21:52 to 0:22:12( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: objection, so ordered. mr. cornyn: mr. president, on monday, the senate will take up the nomination for the next attorney general of the united states. i serve on the committee, and that committee heard -- held hearings regarding mr. holder's confirmation, and regrettably last wednesday when

John Cornyn

0:22:13 to 0:22:33( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: the senate judiciary committee voted that nomination out of the committee, i was a "no" vote. but i want originally while i approached this nomination with an open mind and a determination to ask, indeed, to demand answers to

John Cornyn

0:22:34 to 0:22:54( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: legitimate questions, i think that's the responsibility of each united states senator under the constitution in performing our duties of advice and consent. i also think it's important for me to explain why even though i approached that nomination with an open mind and a predisposition to vote for mr. holder's nomination, i

John Cornyn

0:22:55 to 0:23:16( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: ultimately concluded, as a result of some of the evidence th i'll lay out here, that i could not do so in good conscience. mr. holder, of course, served as deputy attorney general duri the clinton administration and, of course, if there's any public service that's more illustrative of how someone will actually perform as attorney general, i

John Cornyn

0:23:17 to 0:23:37( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: think it would be as -- performing as deputy attorney general. the deputy attorney general is the one job on earth most similar to the job for which mr. holder will be confirmed on monday. it's rare to have such a clear picture of the job that a nominee will do, if confirmed and i, thus, reviewed

John Cornyn

0:23:38 to 0:23:59( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: mr. holder's record with great care, as you would expect, and also with great interest. unfortunately, two of mr. holder's actions as deputy attorney general -- the recommendation that president clinton commute the sen 16 puerto rican separatist terrorists and the recommendation that president

John Cornyn

0:24:00 to 0:24:21( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: clinton pardon the fugitive mark rich -- raised serious questions about mr. holder's judgment and the independence from the wishes of his political sponsors-to sponsors, two key qualitieshat i would hope we'd

John Cornyn

0:24:22 to 0:24:42( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: want for attorney general. two other aspects of mr. holder's record also raise concerns for me. mr. holder's record demonstrates a failure profound threat posed by radical islamic terrorism. and, second, mr. holder has

John Cornyn

0:24:43 to 0:25:03( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: often appeared to be hostile to the constitution right to keep and bear arms. as i said at the judiciary committee, mr. holder failed to answer my questions, regrettably, and the questions of my colleagues in a way at that alleviate these concerns -- i a way that alleviated these concerns. as i will explain, i found mr. holder's answers to be nothing short of evasive in some

John Cornyn

0:25:04 to 0:25:24( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: key respects. because i have doubts about mr. holder's judgment and independence, i am opposing this nomination. i have four reasons, as i tried to summarize, but which will a repeat here again. mr. holder's role in the faln comiewations, his role in the mark rich pardon, his

John Cornyn

0:25:25 to 0:25:47( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: misjudgments and shifting opinions wh regard to the war on terror, and his record of hostility to the individual right to keep and bear arms. first i would ask my colleagues to consider mr. holder's role in the faln in august 1999, president clinton offered clemency to 16

John Cornyn

0:25:48 to 0:26:09( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: members of two puerto rican separatist terrist organizations. deputy attorney general eric holder made the recommendation that he should do so. the faln was a clandestine terrorist group devoted to bringing about the independence

John Cornyn

0:26:10 to 0:26:31( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: of puert violent means. his members waged open war on the united states with more than 150 bombings, arsons, kidnappings, prison escapes,phlets and intimidation-- --threats and intimidation which resulted in the deaths of after -- of at least six people and the injuries of many people between

John Cornyn

0:26:32 to 0:26:53( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: 1974 and 13. the most gru some a tack was in 1975 in lower time the bomb decapitated one of the four people kid and injured another 606789 in another tack in puerto rico, terrorists

John Cornyn

0:26:54 to 0:27:14( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: opened fire on a bus of u.s. sailors. two american sailors wer killed and nine were wounded. fortunately, much of the leadership a?? membership of these terrorists was cap tiewd and brought to justice in the late 1970's and early 1980's. by the late 19 80's, the worst

John Cornyn

0:27:15 to 0:27:37( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: of their rein of terror was over. sympathetic activists petitions for clemency for these terrorists. it was an easy call for the pardon attorney, the individual at the department of justice who reviews clemency requests and makes recommendations and mansion sure the record is thoroughly reviewed and as i said makes recommendations.

John Cornyn

0:27:38 to 0:27:58( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: the fact is that these u unrepentant terrorists that were given clemency by the clinton administration never even petioned for clemency. they never even asked for it. pardon attney margaret love, who worked for then-deputy attorney general recommended against clemency for

John Cornyn

0:27:59 to 0:28:19( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: any of these prisons and a recommendation was transmitted to the president. shortly thereafter when eric hoirld became deputy attorney jerntion he rescinded that recommendation opposing clemency and recommended that president clinton grant clemency to these unrepentant terrorists. straely, mr. holder still

John Cornyn

0:28:20 to 0:28:40( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: stands behind this recommendation saying that he considered it reasonable. but the reasons he gives are not persuasive. he claims that these men were not linked to violence. that's false. these men were active members of a terrorist organization that had committed dozens of violent crimes, including, as i

John Cornyn

0:28:41 to 0:29:01( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: mentioned earlier, bombings, murder, and arson. iters a true that the particular crimes for which these individuals were convicted were not in and of themselves violent crimes but by that standard saddam hussein did not commit crimes unless he pulled the trigger himself. likewise, osama bin laden, responsible for the deaths of

John Cornyn

0:29:02 to 0:29:22( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: thousands of innocent american civilians, would not be linked to crime under the standard that mr. holder posits. there's ample evidence that at least some of the men for whom eric holder recommended clemency were in fact murderers. these commutations were at a time widely believed -- were at the time widely believed to have

John Cornyn

0:29:23 to 0:29:44( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: some political motivation. indeed, the clinton white house discussed how these clem ensis would affect the then-vice president gore's political standing within the puerto rican community. for these reasons -- for thi reason i believe that a full accounting of who mr. holder met with, what they discussed, and

John Cornyn

0:29:45 to 0:30:05( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: what went into his decision to recommend these commutations is in order. but there's another equally important reason that these questions must be answered. the victims of the faln and the other terrorist group deserve answers. i would encourage all of my colleagues before review the testimony of joseph

John Cornyn

0:30:06 to 0:30:27( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: conner, whose father was killed in the bombing in lower manhattan in 1975. mr. conner testified that mr. holder did not consult with him, didot inform him or his family or other victims before recommending that the president set these faln terrorists free.

John Cornyn

0:30:28 to 0:30:48( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: i can't vote for mr. holder until i can explain my joseph conner because mr. holder has failed to answer questions about the faln consultations. one of the reasons that mr. holder has refused to answer some questions, it appears he is

John Cornyn

0:30:49 to 0:31:09( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: invoking executive privilege. but it's very odd because this apparent assertion of executive privilege comes despite the fact that president clinton waived executive privileges for testimony concerning these come mutations and that's in the record of the hearing before the judiciary committee. i think it's unfortunate that

John Cornyn

0:31:10 to 0:31:32( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: the current administration first apparent assertion of executive privilege seems to come for no purpose other than to protect mr. holder's record from scrutiny. as i said in 2001, president clinton waived executive privilege with regard to the pardons and come mutations he granted. in a letter to the house of representatives, president

John Cornyn

0:31:33 to 0:31:53( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: barack president clinton lawyer said "president clinton will have no executive privilege executives concerning these pardons he granted." nonetheless, mr. holder continues to assert that he is not authorized to testimony about the so-called "options

John Cornyn

0:31:54 to 0:32:14( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: memorandum," which is part of the commutations and instead of forthright answers about his decision to recommend these commutations options memo he has repeatedly refused to answer questions submitted by judiciary committee members including me.

John Cornyn

0:32:15 to 0:32:35( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: for example, i asked mr. holder whether he was aware at the time he made the recommendation of the leadership positions of these -- of three of the terrorists and theallied involvement in another -- of the alleged involvement and in another murder of a u.s. navy sailor and mr. holder said was included in the presentence reports which in the ordinary

John Cornyn

0:32:36 to 0:32:56( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: course would have been requested and reviewed by the office pardon attorney as one of the first investigative steps. this answer, i have to say, is a very lawyerly answer, but it's not responsive to my question. it avoids the queion of whether or not he was aware of these marries when he

John Cornyn

0:32:57 to 0:33:18( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: recommended -- these when he recommended commutation. and a letter was sent to the department of justice citing president clinton waiver? executive privilege. this request, inexplicably, has been denied. because president clinton has

John Cornyn

0:33:19 to 0:33:39( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: waived this privilege this assertion of privilege is now being made by the present administration. of president obama. of course, executive privilege only belongs to the principle, to the client, and in this case the executive, so it has to be either president clinton or president obama, and clearly president clinton has waived it.

John Cornyn

0:33:40 to 0:34:00( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: the justice department has apparently advanced the argument that the clinton waiver applied only to testimony and not to documents. but mr. holder's testimony about the options paper is clearly testimony and not a document. thus, his assertion of privilege is, indeed, broader than the most restrictive reading of the clinton waiver.

John Cornyn

0:34:01 to 0:34:21( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: who is denying the holder authorization to testify about the options paper? apparently i, conclude, it could only be president obama. assertions of executive privilege, as we know, raise power between the executive branch and the legislative branch. the executives' interest in

John Cornyn

0:34:22 to 0:34:43( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: secrecy and confidencal communications and congress' right to information, particularly in the context of a confirmation hearing when performing our constitutional duty of advice and consent our intention, conflict. it is up to the branches to negotiate and work together to take both interests into account and to make public relevant

John Cornyn

0:34:44 to 0:35:04( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: information that bears on the qualifications and experience of a member of the president's cabinet -- in this instance, mr. holder. i believe that president obama owes congress, owes the senate, owes consistent with his ideals on open government, which i enthusiastically support, to

John Cornyn

0:35:05 to 0:35:28( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: make his assertion of privilege plainly and in the light of day. more moreover it's hard to imagine an executive interest in keeping this information secret. these documents are a decade old and concern crimes committed about 30 years ago. president clinton, of course, is

John Cornyn

0:35:29 to 0:35:49( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: no longer in office and he has waived the privilege a the contents of the documents have been alluded to in major u.s. newspapers and even by mr. holder himself so it seems to me there is no further executive branch interest in continuing to hide these documents, only a desire to sleeld mr. holder -- to shield mr. holder from hard questions.

John Cornyn

0:35:50 to 0:36:10( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: in short mr. holder's response is to questions regarding the commutationssive evasive. the senate and the american people deserve forthright answers regarding seriousness of mind on the threat of islamic extremism and his qualifications

John Cornyn

0:36:11 to 0:36:31( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: to be attorney general. i also believe that the families of the victims of the terrorist acts by the faln deserve a full accounting for the releasef terrorists who were partly to blame for their loved ones deaths. instead of providing a forthright accounting,

John Cornyn

0:36:32 to 0:36:53( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: mr. holder has simply dodged the question apparent claim of executive privilege and refusing to cooperate with the judiciary committee in getting to the bottom of some of these matters. mr. president, the next concern i have, has to do with the rich pardon i alluded to at the very going.

John Cornyn

0:36:54 to 0:37:14( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: less than two years after the controversy surrounding the falncommutation on the last night of the clinton administration, mr. hold are made a very similar error of judgment when he recommended that president clinton pardon the notorious fugitive by the name of mark rich. at the time mr. rich was number

John Cornyn

0:37:15 to 0:37:37( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: six on the f.b.i.'s ten most wanted list. in 1983 u.s. attorney giuliani of the southern district of new international commodities trader, mash rich -- mark rich and his business partner charging 65 counts of tax evasion, racketeering, and

John Cornyn

0:37:38 to 0:37:58( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: trading with the enemy. specific charges include illegally trading with the ayatollah, with terrorist regime, in violation of energy laws and a trade embargo against iran. indeed, mr. rich made a fortunate trading with the ayatollah's regime at the same

John Cornyn

0:37:59 to 0:38:20( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: time that 52 american diplomats were still being held hostage in the u.s. embassy in iran. mr. rich profited by trading with cuba, libya, and south africa during apartheid, all despite u.s.? embargoes. rather than face these charges

John Cornyn

0:38:21 to 0:38:41( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: head on, mr. rich simply fled to switzerland where he remained a fugitive for 17 years. federal law enforcement with the help from the c.i.a., the n.s.a. and other agencies expended substantial resources in an effort to apprehend mr. rich.

John Cornyn

0:38:42 to 0:39:02( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: these efforts included extra extradition requests and rich refused to return to the united states despite an offer by prosecutors to drop the racketeering charges in exchange for his return. in an effort to avoid his extradition, though, mr. rich went so far as to renounce his

John Cornyn

0:39:03 to 0:39:23( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: u.s. citizenship and tried to become a citizen of bolivia. it's hard to imagine a more inappropriate candidate for a pardon and a fugitive from justice accused of trading with the enemy. mr. rich's own lawyer told him that he "spit on the american flag." by avoiding the jurisdiction of

John Cornyn

0:39:24 to 0:39:44( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: u.s. courts. according to those involved in the pardon process, including president clinton, and mark rich's lawyer, ec holder war more responsible for this controversial decision than any other member of the clinton administration with the ex-sense of the president himself. in fact, on the last evening of the clinton administration,

John Cornyn

0:39:45 to 0:40:07( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: white house counsel called mr. holder to solicit his views on the rich pardon application. as deputy attorney general he was effectively speaking for the entire departmen during this crucial phone call. disregarding the strongly-held views of hundreds of department of justice prosecutors and f.b.i. agents who worked nearly

John Cornyn

0:40:08 to 0:40:29( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: o decades to bring mark rich to justice, mr. holder told nolan he was "neutral," leaning to favorable. what's crucial to understand that mr. holder is not just speaking for himself but the entire department of justice and this recommendation from the deputy attorney general,

John Cornyn

0:40:30 to 0:40:52( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: president clinton granted the rich pardon, one of his last and most despicable actions. even after having ample opportunity to explain himself, it's unclear what mr. holder's rationale was for recommending this despicable pardon, as i said, which former f.b.i.

John Cornyn

0:40:53 to 0:41:13( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: director freeh called a "corrupt act" on the part of president clinton. mr. holder has admitted he made a mistake which is commendable. but never in a full day of hearings and in several written questions did answers to several quinn questions did mr. holder

John Cornyn

0:41:14 to 0:41:36( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: offer a than to caving to pressure from th clinton white house. mr. hold are defends himself by claiming he was naive and, again, we've all i grant that. he now admits the rich pardon was a mistake and promises he will never make a similar mistake again.

John Cornyn

0:41:37 to 0:41:58( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: in fact, he makes the the position heel be a better attorney general because of learning from this mistake. but this pledge is difficult to square with the fact that mr. holder made the same error in judgment less than two years before with the falncommutations

John Cornyn

0:41:59 to 0:42:20( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: regarding key conversationsnd meetings on the rich pardon seem to contradict the recollections of members of the mark rich legal and lobbying team. in the fall of 2000, there was an e-mail from former white house counsel jack quinn representing rich in the request for a pardon to the rest of the

John Cornyn

0:42:21 to 0:42:42( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: rich legal team indicating that mr. holder told straight to the white house." this suggests that holder was telling quinn to bypass the typical pardon process where opponents of the rich pardon were legion. mr. hold are disputes thi interpretation arguing an

John Cornyn

0:42:43 to 0:43:03( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: application sent to the white house would be forwarded to the case. whether or not this is true, it is indisputable the prosecutors in the southern district of new york, who indicted mark rich for the crimes i mentioned earlier, were never asked about their

John Cornyn

0:43:04 to 0:43:24( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: views on the rich pardon as they would have been if the normal pardon at the department of justice. if pardon team on strategic matters, it would be a serious violation of his duties as second highest law enforcement officer in the land. such aid would be particularly

John Cornyn

0:43:25 to 0:43:45( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: disappointing because the house committee had reprimanded mr. holder for improperly aiding and facilitating the application of the faln terrorists who years earlier. it is really not disputed, though, that the rich pardon application was fast tracked and sheltered from its many

John Cornyn

0:43:46 to 0:44:07( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: opponents. it's clear to me that mr. hold are played a role in clearing the way gore this pardon and at a minimum he knew it had not been appropriately handled through the departments of justice pardon process. nevertheless he declar himself as "neutral, leaning favorable," when the white house asked him

John Cornyn

0:44:08 to 0:44:30( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: about his opinion. in summary, mr. hold are appears once again -- mr. holder appears to once again have given president clinton the answer he wanted. the is the most recent major action by mr. holder as a public official. i believe the evidence casts down on his independence and his

John Cornyn

0:44:31 to 0:44:51( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: judgment. my grievous concerns, mr. president, however, are that that -- mr. holder fails to understand the unique challenges and threats posed to our country by radical islamic terrorism and i want to explain why i say that.

John Cornyn

0:44:52 to 0:45:12( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: i agree with mr. holder when he says the most important job of the attorney general is to protect america from a public attack but the public statements portray a willingness to advance ideological rhetoric without fully appreciating the sensitivity and complexity of this issue.

John Cornyn

0:45:13 to 0:45:34( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: i find it especially troubling that mr. holder's legal views on national security have seemed to shift depending on the political mood of the day and the audience to whom he's speaking. shortly after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, mr. holder voiced support for the bush administration's interpretation

John Cornyn

0:45:35 to 0:45:55( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: of the status of war on -- of terrorist detainees. mr. holder said in january 2002 that al qaeda terrorists -- quote -- "are not in fact people entitled to the protection of the geneva convention. they are not prisoners of war."

John Cornyn

0:45:56 to 0:46:16( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: close quote. detention of prisoners prisoners at guantanamo bay and went on to say that they should not be afforded geneva convention protections so they could be interrogated to provide actionable intelligence. he did incircumstance as did the bush administration at the time, that these detainees should be

John Cornyn

0:46:17 to 0:46:37( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: treated hug humanely, though. but more recently mr. holder has chastised the bush administration for policies he now seems to believe defy the law. there's a disturbing jekyll and hyde quality to mr. holder's lel pronouncements concerning our counterterrorism policies.

John Cornyn

0:46:38 to 0:46:58( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: i want to quote from associated press article titled "obama a.g. nominee defended guantanamo policy." i would ask that it be included in the record following my remarks. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. cornyn: according to the associated prerks asked wh

John Cornyn

0:46:59 to 0:47:19( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: whether terrorism suspects could be held forever, he responded, "it seems to me you think of these people as combatants and we are in the middle of a war. holder said in a cnn interview in january 2002, "and it soms to me you could probably say looking at precedent that you're going t detain these people until the war is over if that is

John Cornyn

0:47:20 to 0:47:41( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: ultimately what we wanted to do." just weeks later holder told cnn he didn't believe al qaeda suspects qualified as prisoners of war under the geneva conventions. one of the things we clearly wanted to do, he said, with these individuals is have an ability to find out what their future plans might be, where other cells are located.

John Cornyn

0:47:42 to 0:48:02( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: under geneva convention, you're really limited to the amount of information that you can elicit from people. holder said it was important to treatetainees humanely, b he said they are not in fact people entitled to the protection of the geneva convention. they are not prisoners of war. he also downplayed criticism that prisoners were being

John Cornyn

0:48:03 to 0:48:25( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: mistreated. those -- he said, those i europe and other places who are concerned about the treatment of al qaeda members should come to camp x-ray and see how people are in fact being treated, he said. mr. president, those are essentially the same arguments that the bush administration made with regard to guantanamo

John Cornyn

0:48:26 to 0:48:46( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: bay, with regard to holding enemy combants who wear no laws of war and are not citizens of a state, a nation state, but in fact are aerrorist organization bent on killing innocent civilians here and abroad in an effort to pursue

John Cornyn

0:48:47 to 0:49:07( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: their ideology. since then, however, these arguments have heavily -- been heavily criticized as we know by human rights activists, leading democrats and inexplicably to me, mr. holder himself. he said in june 2008, "we must close our detention center at guantanamo bay."

John Cornyn

0:49:08 to 0:49:28( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: he said that in a speech to the american constitution societyment. he said -- quote -- "a great nation should not detain people, military or civilian, in dark places beyond the reach of law. guantanamo bay," he said, "is an international embarrassment." holder added that he never thought he'd say the day when -- quote -- "the supreme urt would have to order the

John Cornyn

0:49:29 to 0:49:49( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: president of the united states to treat detainees in accordance with the geneva convention." close quote. these sharply contrasting legal conclusions are made by one in the same person -- eric holder, nominee for the highest law

John Cornyn

0:49:50 to 0:50:10( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: enforcement officer in the united states. one can only wonder what he truly believes. in a 2008 speech to the liberal american constitution society, he attacked many of the same legal positions he once held as -- quote -- "making a mockery of the rule of law."

John Cornyn

0:50:11 to 0:50:33( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: close quote. in that same speech, holder called for -- quote -- "a reckoning"." over the bush administration's -- quote -- "unlawful practices on the war on terror." clos he also accused administration of acting in direct defiance of federal law

John Cornyn

0:50:34 to 0:50:54( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: and railed against counterterrorism policies that violate u.s. law and the united states constitution. in this way mr. holder appears to have already publicly prejudged the potential prosecutorial question that may come before him as attorney general without knowing the facts. now, it's one thing to change

John Cornyn

0:50:55 to 0:51:15( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: your mind, but it's quite another to change your mind and then attack t very same position that you once held as one that could only be held in bad faith, calling it "making a mockery of the rule of law." i can only conclude that it's an act of pure cynicism.

John Cornyn

0:51:16 to 0:51:36( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: somebody who tells you -- particularly a lawyer who takes a legal position -- that he once embraced that now can only be held in bad faith is a person who's made a bad-faijts legal argument as leans once. the recent terrorist attack in india in mumbai has reminded

John Cornyn

0:51:37 to 0:51:58( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: americans of the possibility of further attacks on u.s. soil or literally anywhere around the world. on november 26 last year, museum birks as we know, was ravaged by a gaining of -- by a gang of terrorists. one of the atearks was captured while the rest were killed. more than 170 individuals died

John Cornyn

0:51:59 to 0:52:19( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: as a result of bombings and gunfire including six americans. if a u.s. city was targeted in the same way that mumbai was or worse -- biological, chemical, other -- being used -- it's critical that we be able to obtain the intelligence from captured

John Cornyn

0:52:20 to 0:52:40( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: terrorists in order to assess whether any other imminent attacks are in the works. if we captured a terrorist in an ongoing attack on an american city, it's critically important that we not treat him as an ordinary criminal with all the rights conferred by the u.s. constitution on an american citizen.

John Cornyn

0:52:41 to 0:53:02( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: that, i believe, is one of the most important lessons we must recall and never forget from the tragedy of 9/11.? to do so would effectively shut down the intelligence-gathering process and risk american lives. when this sort of unpredictable legal challenge arises in the

John Cornyn

0:53:03 to 0:53:24( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: war on terror, i want to know whether the eric holder of 2002 or the eric holder of 2008 will be calling the shots. i was not mr. holder's refusal to say that he would authorize aggressive interrogation against terrorists, even if he knew that

John Cornyn

0:53:25 to 0:53:46( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: to do so would prent a major attack on an american city. i also fear that his recommendation for and continued endorsement of the faln terrorist commutations as evidence of a failure to appreciate the continuing dangers of trim. at his confirmation hearing, mr. holder attempted to defend his poor judgment on the

John Cornyn

0:53:47 to 0:54:08( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: terrorist clemency question by noting that these commutations occurred before 9/11. but as i reminded him, the faln clem ensis came after the first world trade center bombings after 1993 and the al qaeda attacks on u.s. embassies in kenya and tanzania in 1998, and as senator coburn rightly

John Cornyn

0:54:09 to 0:54:31( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: pointed out, his clemency recommendation came in the wake of the 1995 oklahoma city bombing right here on our own soil. the most horrific domestic terror attack that's ever occurred here in our country. so i worry, mr. president, that mr. holder is not prepared to lead the department of justice

John Cornyn

0:54:32 to 0:54:52( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: at a moment when this nation is waijtsing an -- is waging an asymmetric war whose battlefield extends across the globe and even onto u.s. soil. mr. holder will inherit a complex legal architecture constructe to prevent terrorist attacks here in america and

John Cornyn

0:54:53 to 0:55:14( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: against our allies. that has admittedly been controversial, but i don't think anyone can question its effectiveness given the fact that we have not had another terrorist attack on our own soil since 9/11. if mr. holder is confirmed, i hope that he will study these issues and treat them more carefully and with greater deliberation and greater

John Cornyn

0:55:15 to 0:55:37( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: soundness of judgment than he's demonstrated by his conflicting positions in 2002 and 2008. and i hope that rather than shifting his opinions with the political winds, that he will do his very best to uphold the rule of law and the constitution of the united states while protecting the american people

John Cornyn

0:55:38 to 0:55:58( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: by making sure that we are protected within the limits of our law from future attacks the final issue i mention, mr. president, is my concerns about mr. holder's adherence to the supreme court's ruling in the district of

John Cornyn

0:55:59 to 0:56:19( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: columbia v.er, which interpreted the individual right to keep and bear arms. that case reversed the district of columbia's position that said that individuals could not own firearms in their homes to protect their family and their possessions. i believe that this is an

John Cornyn

0:56:20 to 0:56:41( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: amendment that must be protected and preserved. as a nation's chief law enforcement officer, the attorney general steers federal gun law policy. the next attorney general's views will shape not only law enforcement and prosecution priorities with regard to these issues that the department of justice takes in court.

John Cornyn

0:56:42 to 0:57:02( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: the views of the justice department will always be given considerable weight during the early stages of development post heller. it's crucial that the next attorney general fully appreciate that an individual right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental freedom protected by our constitution.

John Cornyn

0:57:03 to 0:57:24( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: i was not comforted by mr. holder's vague assurances that heller is now the land because it cannot be reconciled with his long record of hostility to second amendment rights. through his salves deputy attorney general and continuing into private practice, mr. holder has opposed the individual right to keep and bear arms. and as deputy attorney general

John Cornyn

0:57:25 to 0:57:45( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: he advocated for a wide variety of federal gun restrictions. mr. holder's fierce hostility to gun rights continued after, as he says, his tenure as deputy attorney general. mr. holder feels so strongly about his opposition to gun rights that he along with his former boss, former attorney

John Cornyn

0:57:46 to 0:58:06( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: general janet reno, filed a brief in the heller case and argued against the individual rights approach to the second amendment and in favor of the view that the second amendment protects only militia activities. the holder-visanow brief argued "the second amendment does not protect firearms ssessions or use that is

John Cornyn

0:58:07 to 0:58:29( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: unrelated to participation in a well-regulated militia." although the individual rights approach prevailed in the supreme court and in the d.c. ciuit, holder's brief described that approach as unwise and unjustified. the holder-reno brief goes on to argue that even if the second amendment applies to individual rights, that that right should

John Cornyn

0:58:30 to 0:58:52( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: be narrowly construed. i worry it will be impossible for mr. holder to vigorously protect the second amendment rights of all americans when he is so clearly opposed to the decision in the heller case. i believe that his hostility to the second amendment could lead the department of justice to take opposing positions to narrow that supreme court

John Cornyn

0:58:53 to 0:59:14( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: decision, particularly in court. holder's helle directly at odds with the court's opinion, as we have seen. can we really expect him to vigorously enforce and protect the constitutional right to bear arms, a right with which he personally and so strenuous list disagrees? mr. president, lelt me just say

John Cornyn

0:59:15 to 0:59:37( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: in conclusion that the senate's advice and consent function requires us to review a nominee's career and ask hard questions and insist on satisfactory answers. i take this duty seriously, as i know all my colleagues do. with this nominee, i conclude that there's simply too many questions to which i have not

John Cornyn

0:59:38 to 0:59:59( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: yet heard a satisfactory answer. why would he recommend clemency to unrepentant strifts? why would you recommend a pardon for a fewive who made billions trading with america's enemies? did he know that one of the men whose clemency he recommended was linked to the murder of a u.s. sailor? and if so, did he communicate

John Cornyn

1:00:00 to 1:00:21( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: this to the white house? why didn't mr. holder consult with mr. rich's prosecutors before recommending a pardon? why is president obama asserting executive privilege to prevent mr. holder from testifying about these commutations? was mr. holder's judgment at the

John Cornyn

1:00:22 to 1:00:42( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: rich and faln clemency decisions influenced by the outcome that he believed president clinton wanted so badly? how can i explain to joseph conner, whose father was killed in the 1975 bombing in lower manhattan, that the man who never spoke to his family before

John Cornyn

1:00:43 to 1:01:05( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: championing clemency for the men responsible for his father's murder, will be the next attorney general of the united states? does mr. holder appreciate the gravity of the threats and the complexity of the legal issues pose by the war on terror? and, finally, can mr. holder be counted on to support and defend

John Cornyn

1:01:06 to 1:01:26( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: the constitutional right to keep and bear arms? mr. president, i can't answer these questions with any degree of certainty. so i regret to say i will vote against the nomination of eric holder to be the next attorney gin of the united states. mr. president, i yield the floor. and i suggest the absence of a

John Cornyn

1:01:27 to 1:01:35( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.

Personal tools

MetaVid is a non-profit project of UC Santa Cruz and the Sunlight Foundation. Learn more About MetaVid

The C-SPAN logo and other servicemarks that may be found in video content are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of these trademark holders are affiliated with Metavid