John Durham, the former special counsel, on Wednesday testified in front of Congress that the Federal Bureau of Investigation treated the 2016 presidential campaigns of Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump disparately.
He also added that the FBI overlooked some intelligence information that Clinton approved of a plan that smeared Trump with allegations of colluding with Russia.
During his testimony, Durham further said that the CIA received some intelligence regarding Clinton’s approval of a plan that would make allegations that Trump colluded with Russia so that it would distract from her own scandal regarding her email server and classified information.
He further said the FBI didn’t “sufficiently scrutinize information it received” and also didn’t “apply the same standards to allegations it received about the Clinton and Trump campaigns.”
As Durham testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee:
“The FBI was too willing to accept and use politically-funded and uncorroborated opposition research, such as the Steele dossier. The FBI relied on the dossier and FISA applications, knowing there was likely material originating from a political campaign or political opponent.”
He further said it would “take time to rebuild the public’s confidence in the institution,” referring to the FBI, after how the agency handled the probe into Russia potentially colluding with Trump during the 2016 presidential election.
The Department of Justice appointed Durham as a special counsel back in 2020 to head up an investigation on the issue. After conducting that investigation, he revealed that he found no evidence that Trump’s campaign in 2016 ever colluded with intelligence officials in Russia at the time when the FBI launched its probe.
Durham released his final report about the potential collusion back in May. At the time, he said that there were individuals “who clearly” had a personal bias against Trump, which fueled the decisions they made to launch the investigation in the first place.
The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Republican Jim Jordan, questioned Durham directly about the actions of Jim Comey, who was serving as the director of the FBI at the time.
In response, Durham said that Comey withheld a memo that came from agents in the agency who were working on the case of Crossfire Hurricane. That memo had information about how Clinton was trying to tie Russia and Trump together to make the Republican candidate look bad.
Intelligence that was included in the memo came from a briefing that was held with John Brennan, who was then serving as the CIA’s director.
Durham added that three high-level politicians at the time – President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Loretta Lynch – all received that same briefing that Brennan provided.
Jordan then commented:
They kept key intelligence from the investigators. This is how bad this investigation was, but here’s the scary part: I don’t think anything has changed.”
Republicans on the panel weren’t wholeheartedly in support of Durham’s work, though. Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida, for instance, criticized him for failing to issue a subpoena to Joseph Mifsud.
But, Durham said they couldn’t locate Mifsud, who they believe is likely somewhere overseas.