U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) want Special Counsel John Durham to explain why former high-level government officials refused to cooperate with his investigation exposing the FBI for its many failures in the bogus Trump-Russia collusion probe.
Grassley, ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, and Johnson, ranking member of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, sent Durham a letter Tuesday asking why former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and former FBI Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division Peter Strzok declined to fully cooperate.
Bill Priestap, former FBI assistant director of CounterIntelligence; Kevin Clinesmith, former FBI attorney; and Glenn Simpson, founding partner of Fusion GPS and peddler of the infamous “Steele dossier,” also refused to cooperate with Durham’s lengthy review of the FBI’s infamous Crossfire Hurricane investigation.
“It seems odd that individuals would be allowed to avoid fully cooperating with your office, particularly given your authority to compel testimony and records,” the senators wrote.
Grassley and Johnson want to know what steps the special counsel’s office took to obtain information from the intelligence and opposition research officials. They also want to know whether Durham’s office faced any impediments from President Joe Biden’s Justice Department during the course of the investigation.
Durham’s report detailing the origins of the Trump-Russian collusion hoax found the FBI opened a “full investigation without ever having spoken to the persons who provided the information.” The providers of said information, of course, were Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, its law firm Perkins Coie, and Fusion GPS. The information was nothing more than unsubstantiated opposition research on Trump’s alleged ties to Russia.
“Further, the FBI (opened Crossfire Hurricane) without (i) any significant review of its own intelligence databases, (ii) collection and examination of any relevant intelligence from other U.S. intelligence entities, (iii) interviews of witnesses essential to understand the raw information it had received or (iv) using any of the standard analytical tools typically employed by the FBI in evaluating raw intelligence,” the Durham report charges.
In their letter to Durham, Grassley and Johnson note that during former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the collusion allegations, his office “issued more than 2,800 subpoenas and executed nearly 500 search warrants[.]”
In contrast, Durham’s office “’served more than 190 subpoenas under the auspices of grand juries” and “executed seven search warrants,’” the senators wrote.
Based on Durham’s report, the lawmakers note:
- James Comey, declined to be interviewed.
- Andrew McCabe, through his counsel, did not agree to be interviewed by Durham’s office even after the office “offered to narrow the scope of subjects to be asked about.”
- Peter Strzok, agreed to provide information to Durham’s office “concerning matters related to the FBI’s Alfa Bank investigation, but otherwise declined to be interviewed on matters related to his role in the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.”
- Bill Priestap, agreed to provide information to the special counsel “concerning matters related to the FBI’s Alfa Bank investigation, but otherwise declined to be interviewed on matters related to his role in the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.”
- Kevin Clinesmith, declined to be interviewed or cooperate with the investigation.
- Glenn Simpson, of Fusion GPS declined to be interviewed.
The senators ask Durham whether he or his office subpoenaed any of the individuals, and if not, why? And if the Department of Justice or any of its components did impede the special counsel’s investigation, the ranking members want names and detailed descriptions of the agencies’ actions.
“Please describe how each individual ‘refused to cooperate,’ the letters requests.
As Merrill Matthews, resident scholar with the Institute for Police Innovation, wrote in a column this week in The Hill, one reason FBI agents ignored the normal processes was that some of them “had it out for Donald Trump.”
Durham’s report states, “Counterintelligence Peter Strzok opened Crossfire Hurricane immediately. Strzok, at a minimum, had pronounced hostile feelings toward Trump.”
As did his FBI girlfriend, Lisa Page.
Clinesmith, pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) Court. “Those lies led to a year-long wiretapping of a U.S. citizen, even though the FBI never found any illegal activity,” Matthews wrote. “Clinesmith could have received up to five years in prison for his actions; he received 12 months’ probation, plus 400 hours of community service.”
These are the same people who refused to cooperate with Durham’s investigation.
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M.D. Kittle is the National Political Editor for The Star News Network.
Photo “Ron Johnson” by Ron Johnson. Photo “Chuck Grassley” by Chuck Grassley.