House GOP Requests Testimony From Durham as Report on FBI Probe Into Trump Campaign Released

Gary Bai
By Gary Bai
May 16, 2023Politics

House Judiciary Republicans requested congressional testimony from Special Counsel John Durham, whose investigative report on the FBI’s 2016-2017 probe into the Trump campaign was published on Monday.

“We’ve reached out to the Justice Department to have Special Counsel John Durham testify next week,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, wrote in a statement on Twitter on Monday.

Jordan indicated in a Monday letter (pdf) published on Twitter that the hearing would occur on May 25. He asked Durham to summarize his findings in a ten-minute opening statement and answer questions from committee members.

The judiciary committee’s request came as the Department of Justice (DOJ) published the much-anticipated Durham report (pdf), concluding the Special Counsel’s three-year-long investigation into the FBI’s conduct—and alleged misconduct—in investigating the Trump campaign from July 2016 to May 2017.

According to the Durham report, the FBI’s rush to open the investigation and the shoddy foundations used as the premise for the probe were a departure from how the agency treated other politically sensitive investigations in 2016.

John Durham
Special counsel John Durham arrives at federal court in Washington on May 18, 2022. (Teng Chen/The Epoch Times)

One example of this was the FBI’s handling of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized use of a private email server to transmit top-secret government emails, the report indicated. It noted that the FBI and Justice Department restricted an inquiry into the Clinton Foundation so that little to no investigative activity could occur in the months leading up to the election.

But the agency had a different attitude towards Trump, Durham concluded, as evident by his observation that “neither U.S. nor the Intelligence Community appears to have possessed any actual evidence of collusion in their holdings at the commencement of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.” Crossfire Hurricane was the codename for the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign.

Agents “repeatedly disregarded important requirements” when they made surveillance requests on the Trump campaign—initiated under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act—in the absence of a “genuine belief” that there was a probable cause to investigate the target, the report found.

Report Reaction

“Leftists have infiltrated nearly every institution in this country,” Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, wrote on Twitter on Monday. Johnson has been a vocal critic of what he calls the “weaponization” of government agencies and now sits on the Judiciary Committee’s Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.

“The Durham Report proves that federal law enforcement agencies have been weaponized to deliver political results that suit those in power rather than enforce the rule of law,” Johnson wrote.

House Republicans Speak After Caucus Meeting
House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) speaks at a press conference following a Republican caucus meeting, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on June 8, 2022. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), the third-ranking Republican in the House, echoed Johnson’s view in characterizing the report as showing that federal agencies were weaponized against Trump.

“This criminal abuse of power went all the way up to the Oval Office where President Obama and then Vice-President Joe Biden were in on it from the very beginning,” she wrote in a statement published on Monday.

In a statement published on Truth Social following the release of the Durham report, former President Donald Trump called for congressional action in response to the report (he posted after Jordan posted the letter requesting Durham’s testimony).

“This totally illegal act had a huge impact on the Election. With an honest Media, we are looking at the Crime of the Century!” Trump wrote, referring to the FBI’s investigation.

“Congress must do something about this. Must never happen again!”

Election 2024 Trump
Former President Donald Trump speaks at the National Rifle Association Convention in Indianapolis on April 14, 2023. (Michael Conroy, File/AP Photo)

In a statement published on Monday, the FBI responded to Durham’s report by acknowledging mistakes in its 2016-2017 investigation of the Trump campaign and noted that the agency had rolled out reforms in response to the mistakes.

“The conduct in 2016 and 2017 that Special Counsel Durham examined was the reason that current FBI leadership already implemented dozens of corrective actions, which have now been in place for some time,” the FBI wrote in a statement published hours after DOJ published the Durham report on its website on Monday.

“Had those reforms been in place in 2016, the missteps identified in the report could have been prevented,” the agency wrote.

The Epoch Times has contacted the DOJ for comment.

Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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