Senate Judiciary to probe Durham investigation

Durbin's comments come in response to a New York Times report about the probe.

Published: January 31, 2023 11:40am

Updated: January 31, 2023 12:54pm

The Senate Judiciary Committee will look into reports of abuses in Special Counsel John Durham's probe of the origins of the FBI's investigation into allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election.

"The Justice Department should work on behalf of the American people, not for the personal benefit of any president," Committee Chairman Sen. Dick Durbin said in announcing the effort.

The Illinois Democrat made the announcement Monday, following a New York Times report alleging flaws in the Durham probe.

"As we wait for the results of ongoing internal reviews, the Senate Judiciary Committee will do its part and take a hard look at these repeated episodes, and the regulations and policies that enabled them, to ensure such abuses of power cannot happen again," Durbin also said.

He also said "former President Trump and his allies weaponized the Justice Department" with the investigation, which he said was reportedly filled with "outrageous" abuses that even caused Durham's "longtime colleagues [to] quit in protest." 

Longtime Durham aide Nora Dannehy resigned in 2020 over "a series of disputes between them over prosecutorial ethics," the Times stated. Another prosecutor left a year later after objecting to plans to indict Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann, who was later acquitted.

Durham's probe also led to the indictment and subsequent acquittal of Steele dossier source Igor Danchenko. It additionally brought a guilty plea from former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith for falsifying a record that was used to justify a warrant to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

The Times report states that "the Durham inquiry was marked by some of the very same flaws ... that Trump allies claim characterized the Russia investigation."

Durham also allegedly gained access to the emails of an aide to billionaire Democratic mega-donor George Soros during his investigation, but the special counsel has not cited information from the emails in any cases he pursued.

Durham is working on his investigation's final report.

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