House Republicans are asking the Justice Department (DOJ) to turn over information about special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into Donald Trump, including details on whether any FBI employees on the case have investigated the former president.
The letter, sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland, is an early show of how the powerful House Judiciary Committee plans to leverage a May report from special counsel John Durham detailing issues with the FBI’s early work investigating Trump campaign ties to Russia.
Complaining of “the institutional rot that pervades the FBI,” Jordan seeks a breakdown of the number of FBI personnel working on the case, including whether any have previously investigated Trump.
The letter also asks whether Smith’s investigation relies on any information gathered by the bureau in the period ahead of Durham’s appointment.
“The extent of the FBI’s bias and reckless disregard for the truth, which Special Counsel Durham laid out in painstaking detail, is nothing short of scandalous. The FBI has tried to dismiss the report’s findings by claiming to have ‘already implemented dozens of corrective actions’ to prevent similar misconduct in the future,” Jordan wrote in the letter.
“The FBI’s window dressing is not enough. The Special Counsel’s report serves as a stark reminder of the need for more accountability and reforms within the FBI.”
While Durham was highly critical of the FBI in his final 305-page report, his nearly four-year investigation yielded little new information or results in court.
Two individuals — Igor Danchenko and Michael Sussmann — were charged with lying to the FBI and found not guilty, and a third individual pleaded guilty to doctoring an email about a surveillance warrant.
The probe of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation analyzed a number of the issues with the investigation that have previously been widely covered by the media. That includes the FBI’s inability to corroborate any of the Steele dossier, which contained a series of salacious allegations about Trump and his possible ties to Russia and which was used as the basis for securing a warrant to spy on campaign adviser Carter Page.
“The objective facts show that the FBI’s handling of important aspects of the Crossfire Hurricane matter were seriously deficient,” Durham wrote, arguing that the bureau relied on “raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence.”
The FBI said last month the agency has “already implemented dozens of corrective actions.”
“Had those reforms been in place in 2016, the missteps identified in the report could have been prevented,” the bureau said following the release of the report.
Durham’s report does not recommend new charges or include any policy recommendations, but its conclusion that the FBI did not have sufficient information to open the case has been a boon to GOP leadership that have accused the bureau of targeting conservatives.
Jordan has invited Durham to speak with the committee later this month, while his Friday letter also asks the DOJ for a briefing with Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco about Durham’s report.
The Hill has reached out to the DOJ and the FBI for comment.
The letter points to a new authority included in congressional rules that gave them the power to seek information about ongoing criminal investigations — an addition that was accompanied by the formation of a subcommittee devoted to probing the “weaponization” of the federal government.
Smith’s investigation has appeared to pick up intensity in recent weeks, fueling speculation that the probe is concluding and that Trump could soon face charges for his role in both Jan. 6 and the mishandling of classified records at Mar-a-Lago.
Updated at 10:27 a.m. EDT.
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