Gaetz Interrogates Special Counsel Durham Over 2016 Russian Collusion Investigation

Gaetz Interrogates Special Counsel Durham Over 2016 Russian Collusion Investigation

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
|
June 22, 2023

Washington, D.C. — During Wednesday’s House Judiciary Committee, U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz (FL-01) questioned Special Counsel John Durham regarding his “Report on Matters Related to Intelligence Activities and Investigations Arising Out of the 2016 Presidential Campaigns.”

Special Counsel John Durham presided over an inquiry into Robert Mueller’s controversial FBI investigation of alleged Russian election interference and involvement in the 2016 Presidential Campaign. Such FBI investigations scavenged for evidence that Russians colluded with ex-president Donald Trump to aid his election to the presidency. The 2016 FBI investigations found no such evidence.

John Durham had been deliberately selected by ex-president Donald Trump’s Attorney General William Barr to investigate the FBI’s 2016 probes. The move had been marketed by the former president as a harbinger of justice.

Mr. Durham’s inquiry has suggested the FBI’s move to investigate Trump was reckless. Durham’s report also claimed the FBI was less careful about making the decision to investigate Trump as opposed to investigating other political figures.

However, some Republicans believe the orchestration of the 2016 FBI investigations involved more than just gross miscalculation. US Representative Matt Gaetz expected Durham’s investigation would lead to criminal convictions.

Matt Gaetz, during a committee hearing into Durham’s report, accused Mr. Durham of willfully neglecting potential criminal leads for his investigation.

Rep. Gaetz claimed Mr. Durham helped hide past FBI criminal activity. Gaetz referenced the special counsel’s failure to indict Andrew McCabe, failure to locate Joseph Mifsud, and failure to investigate why Robert Mueller’s team wiped their phones.

“It's not that you didn't just charge. You didn't investigate. You didn't investigate the Mueller team, analyze their phones and tell us who gave the orders because you're protecting those people,” said Gaetz.

Durham has been on the backend of poignant criticism from Republicans regarding his investigations’ outcomes. During the interaction with Gaetz, he claimed procedural requirements prevented him from acting as Gaetz desired.

“I don't know (Gaetz), if you've ever had an occasion to try to investigate crimes under the rules and regulations and under the Constitution that we're bound by. We can gather evidence in particularly lawful ways. Can't charge people because we might think we can charge people,” said Durham.

For some, the investigation’s conclusions have deteriorated the FBI’s reputation and lent credence to Trump’s argument that 2016 FBI investigations into him were unjustified. Nonetheless, the lack of concrete outcomes for those involved in such investigations has frustrated many Republicans.

 

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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