Insight into FBI's Trump Campaign Investigation: What to Expect from John Durham's Hearing

  • by:
  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 06/19/2023
Tuesday's hearing before a House committee by Special Counsel John Durham could yield additional information regarding a report that was highly critical of the FBI's choice to launch a counterintelligence investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign.

Durham, who was chosen by former US Attorney General William Barr to look into the origins of the investigation during the Trump administration, will testify before both the House Intelligence Committee and the House Judiciary Committee; the Intelligence Committee, however, will convene in secret.

Durham was chosen in May 2019 to look into "Crossfire Hurricane, the FBI's 2016 probe into Trump-Russia collusion, and related matters. Barr appointed Durham as a special counsel in December 2020 to protect the inquiry during the transition from former President Donald Trump to President Joe Biden.

Durham completed his roughly four-year investigation last month, and the Department of Justice then made his conclusions public in a 306-page report. In order to pursue a partisan investigation against Trump, the FBI departed from its core mission and guiding principles, as the report painted a troubling picture of.

According to The New York Post: "In his final report, Durham said that the FBI's investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin to win the 2016 election was "seriously flawed" and that "the FBI discounted or willfully ignored material information that did not support the narrative of a collusive relationship."

When he makes an appearance at the Capitol, the special counsel is likely to face criticism from both sides.

Republican members of Congress expressed their outrage and confusion over the refusal of a number of key players in the investigation, including former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and former FBI counterintelligence chief Peter Strzok, to speak with Durham.

They also expressed concern over Durham's lack of efforts to use the law to compel them to provide depositions. Democrats, on the other hand, claimed that Durham's report—which did not suggest any new criminal charges—proved that the FBI's actions were not as severe as Trump and his supporters had suggested, The Post continued.

Durham criticized the FBI's actions in choosing to conduct an unprecedented investigation into Trump, a leading presidential candidate at the time, despite having no legitimate reason to do so.

"An objective and honest evaluation of these informational threads should have led the FBI to seriously consider whether it was being used for political or other purposes in addition to questioning the investigation's assumptions. Sadly, it did not, according to his report.

Early in Donald Trump's presidency, the Justice Department appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to take over the investigation. However, after two years and significant leaks suggesting that Trump would likely be indicted, Mueller ended his inquiry.

Durham stated in his report that the FBI launched the Crossfire Hurricane investigation into Trump's campaign "based on raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence" and that the FBI took the allegations against Trump much more seriously than the allegations against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton regarding corruption and the improper handling of classified information.

The solution, according to Durham, "is not the formulation of new rules but a renewed fidelity to the old." If the FBI's guiding principles of "Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity" are not ingrained in the hearts and minds of those sworn to uphold the United States Constitution and protect the American people, then promulgating more rules and regulations to be learned in yet more training sessions will likely prove to be a pointless exercise.

On July 26, 2016, the CIA learned that Clinton had consented to a scheme "to stir up a scandal against... Trump by tying him to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and the Russians' hacking of the Democratic National Committee."

According to The Post, Durham criticized the FBI for taking that approach.

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