During a hearing on the FBI’s investigation into Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, U.S. Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) confronted former special counsel John Durham, challenging his alignment with Republican assertions denying any “collusion” between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
Schiff began by questioning Durham’s recollection of relevant portions of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
“Mr. Durham, you’re familiar with Donald Trump’s public statements, such as his plea to Russia to hack Hillary’s emails, promising rewards from the press,” Schiff reminded the witness.
Durham admitted his awareness of those statements.
Schiff then asked Durham if he was aware that Mueller’s and Congressional investigations revealed that Trump Jr. was informed about incriminating information on Hillary Clinton offered by a Russian official. Durham responded that people often receive such calls with claims of information.
“Are you also aware that shortly after Trump made that plea, the Russians attempted to hack an email server associated with the Clinton campaign or family?” Schiff pressed further.
“I am not aware of that,” Durham responded.
“Are you not aware of this evidence presented in the Mueller report?” Schiff exclaimed. “If you claim unawareness of collusion evidence in the Mueller report, it suggests you haven’t thoroughly reviewed it.”
Durham reiterated his lack of awareness on the matter.
Schiff proceeded to question Durham about Russia’s efforts to aid the Trump campaign, concluding with a revised interpretation of collusion.
“Republicans hesitate to acknowledge collusion,” Schiff remarked. “Perhaps we should find a more fitting term, such as ‘classic GOP manipulation in collaboration with adversaries.’ That would offer a more accurate description.”
“Because that is precisely what occurred, but they appear unwilling to label it as such,” he asserted.
Schiff asked Durham if he was aware that Mueller’s and Congressional investigations revealed that Trump Jr. was informed about incriminating information on Hillary Clinton offered by a Russian official. Durham responded that people often receive such calls with claims of information.
Schiff pressed on, highlighting the significance of a foreign government offering dirt on a presidential candidate to their son. Durham stated it was not unique and that people make claims through phone calls all the time, but he admitted it was ill-advised. Durham also stated he didn’t have all the facts to determine if it violated campaign laws.
The exchange between Schiff and Durham occurred shortly before the House planned to censure Schiff for his actions during the Trump-Russia investigation. Republicans accused Schiff of making false accusations against former President Donald Trump.