Republicans plan to use Wednesday‘s House Judiciary Committee hearing with Special Counsel John Durham to score points on Democrats backfired. The viral moment came when Representative Adam Schiff (D–CA) challenged Durham on his conclusions that the FBI’s investigation into Trump’s connections to Russia was appropriate.
This is getting brutal
— Acyn ( ) 21, 2023
During the exchange, Durham admitted to the validity of evidence showing that Russia was trying to help the Trump campaign, something many Republicans have denied. “I don‘t think there‘s any question that Russians intruded into—hacked into the systems, they released information,” Durham said in response to Schiff‘s questioning.
Schiff asked whether President Trump was flaunting information that was released by Russian hackers during the 2016 election. Durham said he had no knowledge of the matter, but then agreed that Russia had been helpful to the Trump campaign.
“And Trump made use of that, as I said, didn‘t he, by touting those stolen documents on the campaign trail over a hundred times,” Schiff said. Durham replied that he hadn’t read the newspapers or listened to the news, and said he wasn’t aware of that comment.
Durham and Schiff had multiple tense moments throughout the hearing, as tension mounted over the Rosenstein report which concluded that there was “no basis to conclude that the Trump campaign was involved in a criminal conspiracy with Russia.” Durham also refused to answer questions about his own report, which was released last month.
Afterward, Schiff questioned Durham’s conclusion that there was “scant” evidence of collusion. “It sure felt like the witness was doing everything he could to keep from stating the obvious — that an investigation looking into a foreign government’s efforts to interfere in our election and whether anyone around the president was willing to help it was entirely appropriate,” Schiff said in a statement.
Republicans had expected a different result from the hearing. Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) expressed his frustration, saying “At the end of the day, we know what happened here. The FBI, the intelligence community, and the Obama Department of Justice spied on the Trump campaign.”
The hearing was a reminder that the conclusions of the Mueller report hold relevance today and that the investigation into alleged wrongdoing by the Trump campaign remains ongoing.