On Wednesday, Special Counsel John Durham testified before Congress that the FBI ignored key intelligence reports from 2016 linking the Hillary Clinton campaign to a scheme to tie then-presidential candidate Donald Trump to Russia.
Durham testified publicly for the first time before the House Judiciary Committee according to Fox News. His testimony comes just weeks after releasing a report that ruled the Justice Department (DOJ) and FBI erred in launching the Trump-Russia investigation.
When asked about his findings, Durham said the FBI failed to “sufficiently scrutinize information it received” and also noted the agency applied a double standard to the opposing political campaigns.
“The FBI was too willing to accept and use politically funded and uncorroborated opposition research, such as the Steele dossier,” Durham said. “The FBI relied on the dossier and FISA applications, knowing there was likely material originating from a political campaign or political opponent.”
He added that the FBI “did so even after the president of the United States, the FBI and CIA directors and others received briefings about intelligence suggesting that there was a Clinton campaign plan underway to stir up a scandal tying Trump to Russia.”
Durham’s report found the FBI “failed to act on what should have been — when combined with other incontrovertible facts — a clear warning sign that the FBI might then be the target of an effort to manipulate or influence the law enforcement process for political purposes during the 2016 presidential election.”
“Whether or not the Clinton plan intelligence was based on reliable or unreliable information, or was ultimately true or false it, it should have prompted FBI personnel to immediately undertake an analysis of the information and to act with far greater care and caution when receiving, analyzing, and relying upon materials of partisan origins, such as the Steele Reports, and the Alfa Bank allegations,” Durham’s report stated.
Durham’s public testimony was part of a lengthy House hearing in which he defended his years-long investigation into the matter.
Democrats largely used the hearing to attack Durham, with some lawmakers labeling him a “political hack” and warning that his reputation is “damaged” due to getting “involved with Donald Trump.”