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GOP House seeks Durham testimony as FBI probe report on Trump campaign is released.

House Judiciary Republicans Request Testimony from Special Counsel John Durham

On Monday, 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. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, wrote in a statement on Twitter that they have reached out to the Justice Department to have Durham testify next week.

What Happened?

The Department of Justice (DOJ) published the much-anticipated Durham report, 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 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.

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.

Reaction to the Report

Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, wrote on Twitter that “leftists have infiltrated nearly every institution in this country.” 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.

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.

Request for Testimony

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.

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.

The House Judiciary Committee’s request for testimony from Special Counsel John Durham is a significant development in the ongoing investigation into the FBI’s conduct during the 2016-2017 probe into the Trump campaign.



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