Special Counsel John Durham conveyed explosive testimony to Congress during his questioning about the Trump-Russia collusion. Here are six brief takeaways:
1. ‘Two of the Dumbest Things I’ve Ever Heard’
John Durham testified about the controversial Steele dossier used by the FBI as a pretext for their Trump-Russia probe. House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan noted the primary source of the dossier was Igor Danchenko, a Russian analyst for the Brookings Institution in Washington. Despite Danchenko’s previous investigation by the FBI for espionage, he was paid by the FBI to provide information for the dossier.
“They go hire him, use the tax money of the people I get the privilege of representing to pay this guy, who they obviously think is a Russian spy, to hire him, who is the source of all the false information,” Jordan claimed, expressing disbelief at the FBI’s actions. Durham confirmed Danchenko was paid over $200,000 by the FBI.
2. ‘Reputation Will Be Damaged’
Durham faced heated comments from Rep. Steve Cohen, who taunted him about his appointment by Donald Trump. Cohen attempted to probe Durham’s opinion on Trump’s judgment, saying, “Your reputation will be damaged. Everybody who gets involved with Donald Trump is damaged. He’s damaged goods.” In response, Durham stated, “My concern about my reputation is with the people who I respect, and my family, and my Lord, and I’m perfectly comfortable with my reputation with them, sir.”
3. ‘Clinton Campaign Funded the Work’
Durham confirmed in his testimony that the Steele dossier was funded by the Clinton campaign as part of their opposition research. “The Clinton campaign funded the work and opposition research that was done by Fusion GPS, and Fusion GPS paid Mr. Steele,” he stated in response to a question by Rep. Tom McClintock.
4. ‘Collusion and Conspiracy’
In response to questions from Rep. Mike Johnson about any uncovered evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, Durham said, “As to collusion and conspiracy, I’m not aware of any.” He dismissed a series of tweets by various House Democrats claiming evidence of collusion, saying those statements were not supported by the Mueller report.
5. ‘Unique in Your Experience’
An exchange between Durham and Rep. Adam Schiff suggested that Schiff himself had been pranked by Russian comedians offering compromising information on Trump in 2018. When Schiff questioned Durham about Trump’s son and son-in-law meeting with a Russian lawyer who promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton, Durham remarked, “I don’t think this situation is unique in your experience,” in a seeming jab at Schiff’s previous prank call.
6. ‘White Supremacist in Chief’
Rep. Cori Bush used her time to denounce the Durham investigation, claiming it was a political attempt to distract from Trump’s corruption. “From the start, this entire investigation has been an attempt to undermine the findings of the Mueller investigation and distract the people of this country from Donald Trump’s corruption,” she stated.