House Republican Conference Speaker Elise Stefanik plans to work on ‘eradicating the rot’ inside the Justice Department during a closed hearing on Tuesday with special counsel’s testimony John Durham, who recently published a scathing report on systemic failures within the FBI.
Durham concluded in his report that the FBI’s flawed “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation into now-debunked collusion allegations between Trump and Russia was “based on raw, unanalyzed, and unsubstantiated intelligence.”
Stefanik, RN.Y., previewed his line of questions exclusively with DailyMail.com at the National Press Club ahead of a closed House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) hearing with Durham on Tuesday afternoon. The House Judiciary Committee will also host the special advocate at a public location on Wednesday.
“I sit on the House Intelligence Committee, so I will be asking questions of John Durham today. I think it’s important that every American take this opportunity to read the Durham report. It’s a bombshell – the top-level politicization and militarization of the FBI and the Justice Department in pursuit of the Democrats’ main political adversary,’ Stefanik said.
Durham – who was appointed by then-Attorney General Bill Barr in 2019 to investigate Crossfire Hurricane misconduct – concluded the FBI opened the investigation “based on raw, unanalyzed intelligence.” and unsubstantiated.
“So I’m going to ask John Durham what changes need to be made to weed out the rot from these agencies,” she continued.
“It’s something I know very well, having served on the House Intelligence Committee and just seeing the abuse of power by the most senior officials there without consequences,” the top Republican told DailyMail.com .
Stefanik also said the reauthorization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) – which must be completed by the end of 2023 – is essential.
“There have been major abuses by FISA, and virtually no consequences. This needs to be settled. So I plan to ask John Durham about that as well.
Stefanik also blasted the plea deal — with no jail time — obtained by President Hunter Biden’s son on tax and firearms charges Tuesday morning.
“Today you have Joe Biden’s Justice Department slapping the son of the current President of the United States, Hunter Biden, on the wrist, and meanwhile you have them continuing this witch hunt against Donald Trump,” she said.
“These agencies need to be brought under control,” Stefanik continued, adding that she remains “proud to support President Trump” despite his arrest last week on 37 federal charges related to his alleged mishandling of classified documents.
The president was the first of the GOP leadership of Congress to pledge her support for Trump in the 2024 presidential election.
As part of the closed hearing, HPSCI Chairman Mike Turner, R-Ohio, told DailyMail.com last week that the committee planned to work with Durham to identify legislative solutions to address systemic issues. within the Ministry of Justice.
Turner said the aspect of Durham’s report he found “most disturbing” is that it shows “wrongdoing at the FBI, the Department of Justice and concerns about the intelligence community itself”. .
“I’ve had personal conversations with John Durham that our goal…is not just to go through his report and the issues he identifies, but to get his recommendations on what changes should be made.”
Turner said it’s important to push for solutions now, as the committee is in the process of renewing FISA Section 702.
He added that another major concern is that the DOJ and FBI have used opposition political campaign research “to politicize government office in order to negatively impact an opposition candidate.”
He hopes to work with Durham and the committee to put remedies in place as soon as possible before the next election.
“It’s not just a problem of bad people in powerful positions that have corrupted those positions. It’s also that our rules and laws need to be changed, so that these mechanisms can no longer be used in this way to really harm the American public.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, holds a public hearing with Durham on Wednesday
Republican Senators Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley are also urging Durham to provide answers about why top FBI officials – including former Director James Comey and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe – refused to cooperate with his investigation into the incident. opening by the agency of the investigation into the Trump-Russia collusion.
Durham issued 2,800 subpoenas, executed 500 search warrants and conducted hundreds of interviews with key officials, including Hillary Clinton and her campaign associates, Trump campaign officials and hundreds of FBI officials involved – but notably some of the top FBI officials at the time refused to cooperate. with the Durham probe.
Durham did not interview James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strozk, Bill Preistap, Kevin Clinesmith – who was convicted by Durham of unlawfully altering an email – and Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS, whom Republican senators call ” weird”.
While the Durham report does not recommend any “overall change” in Justice Department guidelines or policies, it does indicate that there is a “continuing need” for agencies to recognize the lack of “analytical rigor” and the apparent “confirmation bias”.
The FBI responded to the report in a statement to DailyMail.com saying there are now “corrective actions” in place that would have prevented the “missteps in 2016”.
“The conduct in 2016 and 2017 reviewed by Special Counsel Durham was the reason current FBI management had already implemented dozens of corrective actions, which have now been in place for some time,” the FBI said. at DailyMail.com.
“Had these reforms been in place in 2016, the missteps identified in the report could have been avoided. This report reinforces the importance of ensuring that the FBI continues to do its job with the thoroughness, objectivity, and professionalism that the American people rightly deserve and expect.