Senator Tom Cotton joined me this morning to discuss these investigations:
HH: Joined by United States Senator Tom Cotton. Senator Cotton, before we get to the tough stuff, I hope you are pulling for the truth, justice and the American way in the Cleveland Indians tonight.
TC: Well, Hugh, it’s great to be on with you, and there is nothing better than November baseball. I’m going to confess my unpopular opinion on the Hugh Hewitt Show, which is just to say Hugh, tonight, I am pulling for the Cubs, only because I want to have one more night of November baseball and a Game 7 tomorrow night.
HH: Oh, that’s such heresy. Let’s get to the serious stuff. Before we turn to American politics, the Times of London leads with a story – Britain Will Strike Back At Foreign Cyber Threat. It also has another story that there have been 15 terrorist plots foiled in Great Britain since 2013. You’re on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Does America really have a good grip on both the threats cyber and human that are looming out there?
TC: Well, I don’t think many Americans appreciate just how grave the threat of cyberattack is against governments, against companies, against individuals. It’s something our government is working very hard to counteract. We obviously have the most skilled professionals in the world at cyber offense and cyber defense. But we have a lot of peer competitors. This is just another domain in which great powers are competing against each other. And second, there’s a continued, and frankly, growing threat of terrorist attacks in the real world because of the President’s failed policies towards the Islamic State, which is still growing in places like Syria and Libya, and which still aims ultimately to conduct attacks against the United States and our citizens on our own soil and around the world.
HH: That’s what, I want people to go, if they don’t subscribe to the Times, and read these in-depth. But now, Senator Cotton, let’s turn to the email scandal and the Foundation scandal. There are two investigations underway. The email investigation, 650,000 have to be narrowed to those which involve Secretary Clinton and other State Department employees and the server, and have not previously been seen. Do you expect, having read Senator Grassley’s email on the air today, letter to the FBI, do you expect anything to happen in this investigation before the election?
TC: Well, Hugh, it’s hard to say, because when it’s 650,000 emails, that’s a lot of emails. But then again, when you use modern searching techniques, you might be able to winnow it pretty quickly. And you know, you’re a lawyer, Hugh. You know how many people you can put on a document review matter, and you would think that even if it’s in the thousands, or tens of thousands, the FBI has enough agents that they could review them pretty quickly. A lot of these agents are pretty familiar with the subject material, having investigated the Clinton email server to begin with. Some of them, apparently, have been investigating the Clinton Foundation now for months. I suspect what they’ll find is what Director Comey has said he found in the emails from Hillary Clinton’s server and devices, which is that she was extremely careless with the handling of classified information, now so much so that classified information of the United States government may be found on the computer of a man under investigation for underage sex abuse. That’s pretty astonishing for someone who aspires to be our commander-in-chief.
HH: It is. I do believe, however, that if they find what I call the “X files” –new emails that have not previously been examined– they have to go back to the agency of origin for classification. That’s going to take a long time. They may find a smoking gun. If they do, I think they should release it. If they find something that Director Comey would change his conclusion in August of no indictable offense, do you agree with me that if he finds that, he ought to release it, Senator Cotton?
TC: Well, if they find something that explosive and that cut and dry in such short order, given the precedent that Director Comey has now established from his July press conference to his Congressional testimony to this most recent letter, he may want to consider moving forward with another public statement. Frankly, you know, I’m not real sympathetic to the crocodile tears that all these Democrats in the Clinton campaign are shedding. Hillary Clinton only has one person to blame for all of this. She is the one that set up that private server. She is the one that used it for classified information. She’s the one that violated U.S. government security in handling materials. She’s the one that always thinks she can get away with it. This is not an FBI or a Director Comey problem. This is a Hillary Clinton problem, and this is why so many Americans view her as untrustworthy and dishonest.
HH: In yesterday’s blockbuster Wall Street Journal story, Devlin Barrett quoted Andrew McCabe, the deputy director of the FBI, as saying to senior Department of Justice officials, “Are you telling me that I need to shut down a validly predicated investigation?” Stunned, the official said something like of course not, but you know what that question means, Senator Cotton. They were trying to impede an investigation into the Foundation. What did that strike you as?
TC: Yeah, that Wall Street Journal article is a blockbuster, Hugh, and not, we now know there were no fewer than four FBI investigations into the Clintons and their close associates – the Foundation, the emails, Abedin and Weiner and Terry McAuliffe, the governor of Virginia. And I suspect that was a very high-ranking Department of Justice political appointee who was carrying water for the Clinton machine and wanted to shut down an investigation into the Clinton Foundation, which increasingly looks like one of the largest money laundering and influence peddling operations in the world. This is why if Hillary Clinton wins this election and they don’t shut down the Clinton Foundation and come clean with all of its past activities, then there’s no telling the kind of corruption that you might see out of the Clinton White House. They did it in the State Department. Of course, they’re going to do it in the White House.
HH: And I’ve got to say, they need a special prosecutor. Would you be in favor of confirming her DOJ appointees of she wins before a special prosecutor has been appointed, Senator Cotton?
TC: Well, it’s hard to imagine given some of the statements she’s made about the kind of people she would appoint, but if they don’t appoint a special prosecutor in this, it’s even harder to imagine.
HH: Senator Tom Cotton, always good to talk to you. I hope you come around and that you don’t get your Game 7 that you want. We Cleveland people can’t take, actually. We need a win tonight. Thank you, Senator Cotton.
End of interview.