GOP Reps Press Durham For Lack Of Prosecutions During Probe


Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee repeatedly pressed Special Counsel John Durham on the lack of charges for senior Justice Department officials who participated in Operation Crossfire Hurricane.

Although Durham and his team charged three individuals during his investigation, only one was a federal law enforcement official, former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith. He was convicted of altering an email about Trump campaign advisor Carter Page and sentenced to probation. Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann and Steele Dossier source Igor Danchenko were found not guilty of lying to the FBI.

Durham’s final report, released May 12, found that the FBI initiated the investigation in a “noticeable departure from how it approached prior matters involving possible attempted foreign election interference plans aimed at the Clinton campaign.” Durham also found that the Bureau “had no information in its holdings indicating that at any time during the campaign anyone in the Trump campaign had been in contact with any Russian intelligence officials.”

Senior FBI officials were aware of the weaknesses of the case against the Trump campaign in real time, the report found. CIA Director John Brennan briefed then-FBI Director James Comey and other senior government officials in August 2016 that allegations of campaign collusion may have come from the Clinton campaign. Brennan later sent a letter to Comey and former FBI special agent Peter Strzok detailing the allegations. Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe repeatedly lied about leaking to the media, to Comey and the DOJ’s Inspector General, the report found.

“Besides being fired, have Jim Comey, Andrew McCabe, or Peter Strzok been held accountable for these glaring violations? Have they been hauled before a grand jury or charged in any way and if not, why not?” Texas Rep. Chip Roy asked.

Durham declined to answer questions about the grand jury, and did not answer the question about why he did not charge the FBI officials. (RELATED: Special Counsel John Durham Briefs Intelligence Committee Behind Closed Doors)

North Carolina Rep. Dan Bishop pressed Durham on his failure to interview key figures mentioned in the report, including Danchenko, who became a confidential human source for the FBI in March 2017. Durham agreed the lack of interviews was “disappointing.”

“Mr. Danchenko was represented by counsel, Mr. Danchenko, as you may know in the normal course, you have to advise people whether they’re subjects or targets of investigations, and we did not arrive at a point where we could interview Mr. Danchenko,” he said.

“We identified and interviewed many people in the FBI.”