White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused to answer a question on Special Counsel John Durham’s report, which found the FBI used “uncorroborated evidence” to investigate the Trump campaign over allegations of colluding with Russia.
The report found the FBI failed to uphold “strict fidelity to the law” in the investigation on the now-discredited reports of Russian collusion. Durham stated the agency had no “actual evidence of collusion” and accused it of violating surveillance laws.
RealClear Politics White House correspondent Philip Wegmann asked whether the White House had a response to the new report.
“I’d leave it to the Department of Justice to speak to,” Jean-Pierre responded.
“The president talks often about how he wants the DOJ and FBI to remain independent and above the fray, that report seems to reflect the opposite. Does he agree with Special Counsel Durham that there needs to be wholesale changes at the FBI?” he asked.
“Again, that is with the Department of Justice, that’s not something I’m going to speak to from the podium. As you just stated in your question, we believe in [an] independent Department of Justice, that’s what the president said when he was running and that’s what the president has said the last two years,” Jean-Pierre concluded. (RELATED: FBI Ignored Alleged Clinton Campaign Election Meddling Plan After CIA Briefed Obama And Biden, Durham Report Finds)
The FBI said Monday that it had already implemented reforms, but admitted it should have done so sooner to prevent the “missteps” mentioned in the Durham report.
“The conduct in 2016 and 2017 that Special Counsel Durham examined was the reason that current FBI leadership already implemented dozens of corrective actions, which have now been in place for some time. Had those reforms been in place in 2016, the missteps identified in the report could have been prevented,” the FBI’s statement on the matter reads.
“This report reinforces the importance of ensuring the FBI continues to do its work with the rigor, objectivity, and professionalism the American people deserve and rightly expect,” the statement continued.
Former Attorney General Bill Barr appointed Durham in 2020 to investigate “Crossfire Hurricane,” which ultimately was taken over by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. It did not find any evidence of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign in 2016.