Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) shredded Special Counsel John Durham during his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday — arguing that Durham was “part of the cover-up” in regard to the Russia Collusion Hoax investigation.
Although Durham did release a report confirming that the investigation into former President Donald Trump’s supposed collusion with Russia was started under false pretenses and criticizing the FBI’s actions during the probe, he still refused to make determinations about the culpability of those who knowingly promoted the hoax and violated the law to do so.
While questioning Durham in front of the committee, Gaetz focused on major concerns for Republicans about issues that Durham’s years-long investigation failed to address.
According to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Joseph Mifsud was a London-based professor who had “connections to Russia” — but many Republican investigators have argued that there is evidence showing that the professor was actually tied to Western intelligence.
Responding to Gaetz’s questions about Mifsud, Durham claimed that his team was unable to track down the professor — as his lawyer claimed that he did not know his client’s location.
“We pursued the facts as best we could with the tools that we had,” the special counsel argued.
Gaetz also questioned Durham about how phones belonging to members of Mueller’s investigative team were wiped, but Durham claimed that he didn’t investigate the matter because it was outside of the scope of his probe — though Gaetz disputed that claim.
Citing numerous failures within Durham’s probe to properly hold the FBI accountable, Gaetz argued that the special counsel actually took part in a “cover-up.”
“We get after it was put in motion, the FBI did a bunch of wrong and corrupt things. Totally understand. We’re trying to deal with that. But when you are part of the cover-up, Mr. Durham, then it makes our job harder,” the Florida congressman said.
“I mean if that’s your thought, there’s no way of dissuading from that,” Durham responded. “I can tell you that it’s offensive and the people who worked on this investigation spent their lives trying to protect the people in this country and pursued within the law to pursue what it is we were authorized to do.”
Rep. @mattgaetz spends five minutes destroying Durham for not going after Andy McCabe, investigating the Mueller team and why they smashed phones, or who honeypotted George Papadopoulos, or putting anyone in jail, comparing him to the Washington Generals who get "paid to lose." pic.twitter.com/8OzrCR3q0d
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) June 21, 2023
Gaetz went on to condemn Durham for not taking stronger actions against the people who participated in the hoax — specifically mentioning former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith.
The former FBI lawyer previously pleaded guilty to falsifying a document that was used to justify the FISA surveillance against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Despite clearly breaking the law to trick the FISA court into allowing surveillance of Page as part of a larger effort to incriminate Trump, Clinesmith is already back to practicing law in Washington, D.C.
“The punishment was insufficient,” Gaetz argued.
Gaetz later compared Durham to the Washington Generals, an exhibition basketball team that “basically gets paid to show up and lose,” the Florida congressman said.
“You tried two cases and lost both of them… Have you ever heard of the Washington Generals?” he asked Durham.
“The Washington Generals? Yes,” the special counsel replied, clearly confused.
“And they’re the team that basically gets paid to show up and lose, right?” Gaetz asked.
“I’m sure that the players who exert blood, sweat, and tears don’t view it that way, but you might,” Durham responded, laughing.
“I think they do. I think they do, because the job of the Washington Generals is to show up every night and to play the Harlem Globetrotters, and their job is to lose… And I’m kind of wondering, and it just seems so facially obvious, that it’s not what’s in your report that’s telling, it’s the omission — it’s the lack of work you did,” Gaetz said.
“And for the people, like the chairman, who put trust in you, I think you let them down, I think you let the country down, and you are one of the barriers to the true accountability that we need,” he continued.
“It’s not just that you didn’t charge — it’s that you didn’t investigate,” Gaetz later added. “You didn’t investigate the Mueller team wiping their phones and you won’t tell us who gave the orders because you’re protecting those people!”
Gaetz: You tried two cases and lost both of them… Have you ever heard of the Washington Generals? They’re the team that basically gets paid to show up and lose right? I think you let the country down pic.twitter.com/YwqUvoY2Hu
— Acyn (@Acyn) June 21, 2023