tv Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein on Federal Law Enforcement CSPAN February 27, 2018 3:42am-4:11am EST
companion book and visit the national constitution center's interactive constitution. next, deputy attorney general rob rosenstein on cyber security and u.s. legal priorities. he spoke earlier at the financial services roundtable here in washington. this is 25 minutes. >> good afternoon and we are honored and grateful the deputy general is with us this afternoon, rob rosenstein. he is serving as the 37th deputy attorney general for the united states of america. he served the government of justice for three decades. he served under five u.s. presidents and has a most
distinguished career with the department of justice. this is what vice president pence said about him when he was being sworn in. he said he is a man of independence and integrity and good character. in terms of the rule of law, in terms of upholding justice. the rules are very broad. talk to us about a day in the life and what you do with respect to fighting terrorism, fighting crime and upholding the rule of law.
rob rosenstein: as you recognize, it is a low-profile job in many respects. employees in the front of justice. you would not know that from the newspapers or cable tv news. but there is a lot that goes on in the government of justice. the deputy attorney's job is to manage those jobs. there are a couple of large components. we have a lot of different operations. as the governor mentioned, the unifying theme of the department of justice is about the rule of law, ensuring protection, ensuring it is enforced equitably around the country. the best known for the criminal enforcement, and that is just one component of what we do and attorney general sessions under president trump's leadership has made it a priority to make sure we are faithful to the rule of
law and that impacts in many and isur activities relevant to some of the issues we will discuss today. you worked with the department for a long time, but in your current role, less so. is there something that surprised you when you assumed your numeral, or something that you underestimated or overestimated? robert was in stein: -- the publicity i think i underestimated. with national security, most of the work i performed as a federal prosecutor, all of the work occurred in federal criminal courts. a significant component of what i do as the deputy attorney general involves national security, things that do not occur in courts, other than in the five courts. that has been my responsibility in large part because our assistant attorney general for the national security division was only confirmed last week and in his absence, a lot of the
work is performed by the deputy a.g. it can only be approved by the deputy attorney general, or the assistant attorney general for national security. so, whoever is the lowest on the totem pole and in office does that work. i spent about a half hour every day between april and last week working with our national security experts on foreign intelligence surveillance matters. that he has at long last been sworn in. taken over that responsibility. but in terms of the work of the deputy, that is what is the most different with this job relative to other jobs in the department. in this room, there are leading banks and companies that can be great partners in secrecyg bank operations, money laundering and financing terrorism. we want to be better partners. filespect of that is banks
millions of sars. sometimes they wonder, do they get used? are we filling out all of these forms with much impact? rod rosenstein: that is a very good question. i think it is important for you to understand how they are being used. the primary responsibility for processing suspicious activity reports lies with the treasury. we make use of the information in two ways. first of all, reactively when conducting an investigation and we believe there is reason to believe there could be relative evidence in those sar's. that is persons in the department that have approved access because the information is closely controlled.
and then we also have proactive initiatives because the information you are collecting can be relevant for us and show us where we should be focusing our attention. who are the drug couriers, who are the cyber criminals, who are the money launderers and there is information within those reports so we are able to run proactive queries, or actually have employees who sit down and read the sar's, and are able to access that information. one of my goals is to work with the treasury and to ensure that information is useful to us. two major there is an effort that is resulting in information that is usable to us. we will work with him under the leadership of kevin fargo. to besto understand how use that information.
we will continue in the coming months to be more effective and how we process that information. moderator: are there areas where these companies can better coordinate with the treasury and ultimately the doj? are there things you look at during the process, money laundering and anti-terrorism, and a say, i wish we could improve this? are there any suggestions you could make with how the government could improve the system? rod rosenstein: there are and we encourage feedback. many of you have the bank secrecy act. i have had conversations with compliance officials from a number of major institutions, many of whom who have experience and have a particular sensitivity about this issue and are eager to find ways they can cooperate with us proactively. t u.s. the looking a
first line of defense. you are in a position to identify trends that are indicators that your customers are involved in illegal activity, be it money laundering or terrorism or cybercrime. there are opportunities for us to continue to work cooperatively with you, as opposed to just imposing regulations mindlessly. we should be engaged in a back-and-forth process, where we make sure that you are identifying things that are more useful to us. i have spoken to some friends in the industry and they are looking for more feedback from us when identifying criminal activity, in particul ar, terrorism. i think there are ways to improve upon that. moderator: many companies here are interested in how the part of justice interacts with ofac and again, are there lessons
learned or insights that you have that might be valuable to these companies when you think about ofac related issues and the doj's involvement with them? rod rosenstein: we work closely with ofac when determining whether it is appropriate to impose sanctions, whether the evidence is legally sufficient. we provide them with leads when we come across potential violations. and we are responsible for all criminal enforcement, so when there are potential criminal violations, the treasury comes to us and we work cooperatively with them, often relying on the treasury as the investigative agency to develop the potential criminal case. it's a close working relationship. moderator: this might be more for the general councils in this room, but i think the ceo's will be interested as well. there's this thing called cooperation credit that the department justice has. the eighth memo spelled out the department's view regarding the
possibility of getting some credit or accommodation as the result of companies identifying individuals that could be engaged in wrongdoing or are responsible for that behavior. the question is, can you give us an updated tutorial on cooperation credit and whether the current administration under your leadership and others still use the yates memo as the guiding document. rod rosenstein: the memos they name after deputies attorneys general. i have always felt that way, felt that way before they took the job. having been in the department for more than 30 years, one of the challenges is to figure out exactly what the policies are and often there are memos upon memos and they tend to accumulate. we have significant turnover in this department. it might be that not everybody got the memo. is to makemy goals sure we do not govern by memo.
it is a very unofficially to manage a large organization. we should govern by policy and people should know where to find the policy. we do have in the u.s. department of attorneys manual, and it is a collection of the policies we expect people to follow. keep in mind, these are nonbinding in the sense that they are not enforceable in court. these are internal operating guidelines. we want to signal to our employees what policies we want them to follow. memo which the yates replaced the phillips memo, which replaced the thompson memo, which replaced the holder memo. there will not be a rosenstein memo on that issue at least because i intend to codify these rules in the u.s. attorneys manual. effort by aving number of deputies attorneys general to articulate our goal
that our prosecutor should be focused on trying to identify culpable individuals and not just corporations. it is not sufficient, it might be necessary, but not sufficient for a corporation to require the organization to write a check. we should be focusing on culpable individuals because that is the most effective way to establish a deterrent. that is the goal of the individual accountability policy. we are reviewing it and i believe that when we examine the manual, it will follow the general guidelines as the policy. there will be some changes, and that is not to say that anybody got it wrong in the past. it ought to be an evolving policy because we should evaluate how it works. i have spoken with other department heads about ambiguous policies. i have gotten some complaints about ambiguities and
potentially inconsistent applications of the policy throughout the department. we're looking at ways that we can streamline and clarify it and codify in the u.s. attorneys manual. it should be clear to folks what the rules of operating are. moderator: deputy attorney general, we have people in this room who are very concerned about making sure they have the filled their obligations when it comes to service member affairs rights and obligations and they want to be as compliant as possible and then some. as you begin to evaluate those approaches tooj's those issues, is there any updated view about where your e withties may live, disparate impact versus disparate treatment? regarding equal access to credit
. rod rosenstein: the department of justice has a number of policies we enforce that implicate those areas, the service civil relief act, all of which are administered by the civil rights division. the u.s. attorney in maryland ab had main force cases in number of these areas. it is important to us that we continue to play that role in ensuring those statutes are implemented through out the country fairly. there are some ambiguities as to what the legal standards are and we will make appropriate decisions in each individual case. but it does remain a very high priority for us to make sure that we do fairly and fully enforce those laws. moderator: one big issue if you fourhe ceo's, three or of the top issues, they will say cyber security.
one aspect of that is deterrence. if you ask the folkks, they say the people engaged in this behavior are not getting the message as it relates to u.s. companies and these intrusions. is there anything more the u.s. can do as opposed to just trying to defend against them? rod rosenstein: absolutely and this has been a high priority. the president issued an executive order last may on cyber security. the attorney general just issued a follow-up order last week creating a cyber digital task force in the department of justice to focus on these issues. it had to be a comprehensive approach, not just fending off -- strengthening our defenses is important, but also being able to hold accountable the perpetrators. as the governor mentioned, many of our nation states, we are not powerless to respond to nationstates, but it is not our
primary tool in responding to nationstate attacks. but there is also an increasing volume of organized cyber criminal activity and the consequence of the internet is the criminal gets a creative idea to make a lot of money very quickly and they need to move it through the financial system. that is where many of you come in and play the role for us, spotting the flows of those funds. the new challenge we face involves crypto currencies, which do not flow through the traditional financial system. so, what we are working on now with our cybercrime task force within the department is an effort to develop a comprehensive strategy to deal , where every case increasingly we deal with and that being another cyber case. tools, orcyber the evidence stored
electronically. our cyber task force will look at a range of issues, including cyber intrusions and botnets and ransomware, and many of the challenges you are dealing with on a regular basis. moderator: you mentioned crypto currency and some commentators have referred to them as anonymous currencies. one of the aspects of them is anonymity and perhaps anonymity to mask criminal activity. do you have a view or concern about how worried people should be about anonymous currency being used for criminal activity? rod rosenstein: i think every new technology finds people with criminal intent. and a cyber currency is no different. of course, it is not true that anything is really, fully, completely anonymous. we almost there are ways to trace criminal activity. generally speaking, it is not
necessarily just about cyber security. people he trails in other ways -- people leave trails in other ways. they try to convert the currency to launder it to physical currency. there are ways to trace these currencies, but it requires sophistication. we are making sure that our employees are fully skilled and awa aware of the latest developments. that is a continuing challenge. once we train them, we need to have the that you all ways because you are all very good at targeting our cyber experts. that is a continuing challenge and one of the things we hope the task force will look at, making sure we maintain surfac sufficient expertise, so we are prepared to deal with cyber crime because we know the criminals will always be a step
ahead in terms of adopting new technologies. there is a cat and mouse feature to cyber defense and a cyber attacks that is evolving by the day and the hour. do you see any trends that are noteworthy in terms of emerging cyber crimes or cyber crimes themselves that could be different than three or five years ago? rod rosenstein: i mentioned botnets, which five or 10 years ago people would not have heard of. that is one of your biggest challenges because europe edition and your integrity depends on your ability to protect your information. you will recognize this, that your institutions are constantly attacked by criminals and nationstate actors that are seeking to extract personal information from your institutions, seeking ways to infiltrate your networks, still your intellectual capital and is still your fiscal capital.
those are emerging challenges that require strong defenses. that is something we are getting better at. more than any other area it requires coronation between the private sector and the government. reports department probably to us when you are targeted, so we can help you defend against it and number two, spread the word to other potential victims and then of course, number three, try to orntify and either prosecute potentially retaliate against the perpetrators. it is important to us that we work with you and we encourage all of you to do that and i think recent experience suggests the government is free good about this, about protecting confidence and working with my
the sector victims. moderator: we will see if we have some questions on the floor. , the deputys though attorney general is willing to take questions on other matters. that requiresing congress to get involved, or through the bureau of firearms, tobacco and alcohol, is that something the justice will look at? rod rosenstein: the atf is already looking into that and reviewing our options. you can always do things legislatively. the question is, can the etf
senators to america to third , pursuing extradition. so, we are certainly prepared to use the procedural tools that are available to us to make sure that they are held accountable. question speaker down speaking of cyber security. we have heard the impact that it has an individual's area had what are the things that -- we know that it is out there in the ether. thesere wondering if numbers are still relevant in 2018 either for companies or the government to identify the
targets for social security numbers. >> i would certainly say, we look to you in the private sector -- you come up with all sorts of creative ways to identify people. there are now institutions who are using fiscal identifiers, finger prints, facial , and theon technology government cannot really take care of that, it is really up to the private sector to identify what they can use. it is as you recognized, critically important to use cyber security. i know how frustrating it can be sometimes for customers, for example, when you go to get gas and you have to put in use it. those methods do prevent a lot of fraud.
that the recognize more identifiers that we use, the more unique information that you require your customers to provide come of the more secure you are. a couple of years ago, we did chip andhe ship -- then system in the u.s.. now that has reduced a lot of fraud. host: any other questions? this is an individual who has and several decades serving our country and as the president said, with incredible independence, integrity and character. so as just thank you for being here. [applause]
announcer: reverend billy graham who died last week at the age of 99 years old, will be honored at the u.s. capitol rotunda on wednesday. ther, a memory service with majority leader of the senate mitch mcconnell and the speaker of the house, paul ryan speaking. we will have live coverage starting at 11 a.m. eastern on seized and. wednesday morning, or live in new mexico for the next step on the c-span 50 city bus tour. this will happen during washington journal at 9:15 a.m.,
eastern. the supreme court heard arguments in a lawsuit filed by a illinois state worker who felt that his rights were being violated for having to pay dues to a union that he does not support. janus andar from mr. his lawyer next. >> joining us on such here in s and the lead plaintiff in the case. thank you for joining us. >> the first amendment guarantees the right to representation. but the way that i see it, i don't have the right to do that for