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From ‘damning’ to ‘dud’: Lawmakers react to Durham report

May 16, 2023

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Special counsel John Durham released his report on the origins of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation which looked into the Trump campaign’s ties with Russia and ultimately led to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill reacted to it along party lines, describing it as both “damning” and a “dud.”

“No matter how you feel about President Trump, this is pretty devastating,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said. 

Graham echoed the concern of many Republicans, while Democrats didn’t think it carried much weight. 

“I think it will be barely a footnote in history. It has been characterized as a dud. I think that’s probably right,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said. 

The Durham report found that neither law enforcement nor the intelligence community had evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia when they started the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.

It also found that much of the evidence investigators obtained was funded, directly or indirectly, by Trump’s political opponents.  

“So you have a situation where you have a document provided by Russian agents was used by the FBI to get warrants against American citizens and ruin the guy’s life and put a cloud over the Trump presidency and trying to affect the 2016 presidential race. This is generational damage to the FBI,” Graham said. 

The Durham investigation also found investigators could not corroborate any information in the infamous and now disproven “Steele Dossier” which contained allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

The FBI said it has already implemented dozens of corrective actions to prevent future investigative missteps.

Democrats said the Durham report didn’t add anything to the 2019 Horowitz report, which found that investigators did not conspire against Trump but did make serious errors and omissions throughout the investigative process. 

“It took him four years and six and a half million dollars to find the same thing that the inspector general found four years ago. We’ve had many hearings in the Judiciary Committee on this subject and will continue to have aggressive oversight of all federal agencies, including the FBI,” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said. 

As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Durbin could bring Durham in to testify. But he said there are far more important things his committee should focus on including Supreme Court ethics reform. House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, wants Durham to testify before his committee Thursday, May 25. 

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Sen. Lindsey Graham: “No matter how you feel about President Trump, this is pretty devastating.”

 

Special Counsel John Durham released his report on the origins of the FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation which looked into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. 

 

It found that neither law enforcement nor the Intelligence Community had evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia when Crossfire Hurricane began. It also found much of the evidence they obtained was funded, directly or indirectly, by Trump’s political opponents.  

 

Sen. Lindsey Graham: “So you have a situation where you have a document provided by Russian agents was used by the FBI to get warrants against American citizens and ruin the guy’s life and put a cloud over the Trump presidency and trying to affect the 2016 presidential race. This is generational damage to the FBI.”

 

The Durham investigation also found that investigators could not corroborate any information in the infamous and now disproven “Steele Dossier” which contained allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

 

The FBI said it has already implemented dozens of corrective actions to prevent future investigative missteps.

 

Democrats said the Durham report didn’t add anything to the 2019 Horowitz report, which found that investigators did not conspire against Trump but did make serious errors and omissions throughout the investigative process. 

 

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.: “It took him four years and six and a half million dollars to find the same thing that the Inspector General found four years ago. We’ve had many hearings in the judiciary committee on this subject and will continue to have aggressive oversight of all federal agencies, including the FBI.”

 

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-CT: “I think it will be barely a footnote in history. It has been characterized as a dud. I think that’s probably right.”