Durham says ‘good’ FBI agents ‘apologized’ for Trump-Russia investigation

by WorldTribune Staff, June 21, 2023

FBI agents who are “good, hard-working, decent people” expressed regret for being involved in the Crossfire Hurricane investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia, special counsel John Durham said on Wednesday.

In testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Durham said FBI agents had “apologized” to him for the FBI’s conduct in the bogus investigation which ran from Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016 well into his presidency in 2019.

Special Counsel John Durham testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on June 21. / Video Image

Durham said FBI agents he interviewed told him they were ashamed of their work on the investigation.

“Let me give you some real-life views: I have had any number of FBI agents…who have come to me and apologized for the manner in which that investigation [Crossfire Hurricane] was undertaken. These are good, hard-working, decent people,” Durham said in response to a question asked by Republican Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana, who asked about Durham’s opening testimony where he said that the conclusions of his report were “sobering.”

In an exchange with Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, the committee’s chairman, Durham said that one of the Supervisory Special Agents of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation “became emotional” when presented with a memorandum about the Hillary Clinton campaign’s efforts to promote the idea that Russia was actively supporting Trump, which then-FBI Director James Comey did not share with the agents.

“We interviewed the first supervisor … the operational person. We showed him the intelligence information. He indicated that he’d never seen it before. He immediately became emotional. Got up and left the room with his lawyer. Spent some time there before he came back,” Durham said.

“He was ticked off, wasn’t he? He was ticked off because this was important information that he should have had working on the case … that the FBI director kept from him while working on the investigation,” Jordan asked.

“The information was kept from him,” Durham replied.

Durham on Wednesday also shut down a line of questioning from California Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff, who sought to assert that Donald Trump Jr. had committed a crime during a meeting in Trump Tower.

Schiff referenced a Trump Tower meeting between Trump Jr. and Russian individuals prior to the 2016 election that the lawmaker claimed constituted a crime.

“Are you aware, Mr. Durham, that [Robert] Mueller’s and Congressional investigations also revealed that Don Jr. was informed that a Russian official was offering the Trump campaign ‘very high-level and sensitive information” that would be incriminating of Hillary Clinton…?” Schiff asked.

“Sure, people get phone calls all the time from individuals who claim to have information like that,” Durham responded.

“Really? The son of a presidential candidate gets calls all the time from a foreign government offering dirt on their opponent. Is that what you’re saying?” Schiff replied.

“I don’t think this is unique in your experience,” Durham responded.

“So you have other instances of the Russian government offering dirt on a presidential candidate to the presidential candidate’s son. Is that what you’re saying?” Schiff continued.

Durham then asked Schiff to repeat the question, and subsequently responded, “I’m saying that people can make phone calls making claims all the time. Of that, you may have experience.”

“Are you really trying to diminish the significance of what happened here, and the secret meeting that the president’s son set up in Trump Tower receiving that incriminating information?” Schiff pressed.

“I’m not trying to diminish it at all, but I think the more complete story is that they met, it was a ruse, and they didn’t talk about Mrs. Clinton,” Durham stated. “I don’t think that was a well-advised thing to do.”

“Oh, not well advised. That’s the understatement of the year. So you think it’s perfectly appropriate, or maybe just ill-advised, for a presidential campaign to secretly meet with a Russian delegation to get dirt on their opponent?” Schiff asked.

“If you’re asking would I do it, I hope I wouldn’t do it. But it’s not illegal. It was stupid, foolish, ill-advised,” Durham replied.

“Well, it is illegal to conspire to get incriminating opposition research from a hostile government that is of financial value to a campaign. Wouldn’t that violate campaign laws?” Schiff asked.

“I don’t know all those facts to be true,” Durham concluded, shutting down the line of questioning from Schiff, who was facing a vote to censure him for his actions during the Trump-Russia investigation. Republicans stated he repeatedly made “false accusations” against Trump throughout the investigation.

The intelligence on the Clinton campaign’s promoting the idea that Russia was pushing for Trump’s election was serious enough for then-CIA Director John Brennan to brief President Barack Obama about Clinton’s plan. That briefing was attended by then-Vice President Joe Biden, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Comey, with the intelligence being packaged into a “Referral Memorandum” that he and then-Assistant Director Peter Strzok obtained.

Apart from agents involved in the case, Comey and Strzok, neither shared the information with the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court when seeking Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants for domestic surveillance of investigation targets nor shared them with government lawyers preparing warrant applications to the court, according to testimony before the Judiciary Committee.

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