Rep. August Pfluger (R-Texas) said he was “speechless” when he learned that a senior FBI official had not read the Durham report, which was released more than a week ago.
Pfluger, chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence, questioned Jill Murphy, deputy assistant director of counterintelligence at the FBI, during a hearing on May 23.
“Special Counsel Durham assesses that neither U.S. law enforcement nor the Intelligence Community appears to have possessed any actual evidence of collusion in their holdings at the commencement of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation,” Pfluger said. Crossfire Hurricane is the FBI codename for the agency’s 2016–17 FBI investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
Pfluger continued, “The bureau subsequently discounted or willfully ignored material that did not support the narrative of a collusive relationship between [former President Donald] Trump and Russia.”
“As the deputy assistant director for the FBI Counterintelligence Division, are you familiar with this report?” Pfluger asked.
In response, Murphy said, “I have not read that report.”
“I’m honestly speechless at this point in time,” Pfluger said in reply.
When pressed on why she had not read the report, Murphy said, “I just haven’t had time.”
“This is a sincere question. Does election collusion worry you?” Pfluger asked Murphy, who said it “obviously” worried her.
“I would highly recommend reading that because we spent four years discussing that. There was uncorroborated evidence—the Durham report specifically outlines the outcome of that. It’s very disappointing to hear this.”
John Durham, appointed by then-Attorney General William Barr in October 2020 to review the 2016–17 FBI investigation of alleged ties between Trump and Russia, found that the FBI “relied on “raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence” for its investigation.
“The objective facts show that the FBI’s handling of important aspects of the Crossfire Hurricane matter were seriously deficient,” Durham added in the report.
Following the report’s release, the FBI acknowledged mistakes in its investigation of the Trump campaign, while Trump said in a statement that “the American Public was scammed.”
“The Durham Report spells out in great detail the Democrat Hoax that was perpetrated upon me and the American people. This is 2020 Presidential Election Fraud, just like ‘stuffing’ the ballot boxes, only more so,” Trump added.
Other Republicans at the hearing shared Pfluger’s astonishment that Murphy had not read the report.
“I also was surprised at your answer—you haven’t read the Durham report,” said Rep. Dan Bishop (R-N.C.). “Why is that not a matter of such import that you would want urgently to understand what the special counsel concluded about the work of the counterintelligence division? In such a grave case?”
Murphy replied, “Sir, if you’d like a brief on the Durham report from the counterintelligence division, I’m happy to take that back.”
“Wow, that sounds almost contemptuous,” Bishop said in response. “Do you intend to read it?”
“I do intend to read it,” Murphy told Bishop.
During the hearing, Pfluger also revealed that the FBI has not responded to a letter he and House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Mark Green (R-Tenn.) sent on April 24. The letter, sent to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, requested information on the Chinese regime’s clandestine “police stations” in the United States, including New York City.
“It’s now been over two weeks past that deadline that we asked for. So I would ask you, please, to respond to that letter in writing,” Pfluger said.
On April 17, the FBI arrested two individuals on charges of operating a secret police station in New York City on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). They allegedly took orders from the regime in order to track down and silence Chinese dissidents living in the United States, prosecutors said.
In their letter, Pfluger and Green wanted answers to multiple questions, including when the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) were notified of the Chinese police station in New York.
“In addition to the Chinese police station operating in Manhattan, New York, there are allegations of these illegal organizations operating in a separate location in New York, NY, Los Angeles, California, San Francisco, California, Houston, Texas, as well as cities in Nebraska and Minnesota,” the letter says. “What is DHS and the FBI doing to combat the malign influence occurring in these additional locations and across the homeland?”
In response, Murphy told Pfluger that the FBI would provide a “fulsome response” probably in a classified setting.
“The threat from China is complex and vast,” Murphy added. “So when we talk about universities, or researchers, or academics, or innovation, China proliferates all those spaces to include in our communities where Chinese Americans live as a way to influence those communities. And we work actively to identify those and investigate that.”
“Would you say that they’re using every available tactic, technique, and procedure to infiltrate American national security interests and interests writ large?” Pfluger asked about China.
In response, Murphy said, “I would say that their attack surface is large, and they are using all the tools in their toolbox to gather information, whether it’s classified, intellectual property, sensitive, unclassified, anything that they consider [of] value.”
From The Epoch Times