On Wednesday, a hearing between Republican-called Special Counsel John Durham and California Representative Adam Schiff at the House Judiciary Committee turned viral as Schiff grilled Durham about President Donald Trump’s connections to the Russian government during the 2016 elections.
This is getting brutal pic.twitter.com/ZuRJTr8yqd
— Acyn (@Acyn) June 21, 2023
Durham had been tasked with concluding whether the FBI’s investigation of alleged Russian interference in the election was appropriate. In an exchange that sent the press into a frenzy, Schiff asked Durham if Trump had flaunted information that was released by Russian hackers during the election. Durham repeatedly insisted he had no knowledge of the matter.
However, Schiff continued to question Durham about any evidence showing Russia was trying to help Trump. After trying to deflect the question, Durham finally agreed the Russians had been of assistance to the Trump campaign. Schiff then asked Durham whether he was aware of Donald Trump Jr. “being informed that a Russian official was offering the Trump campaign 'very high-level and sensitive information" that would be incriminating of Hillary Clinton.”
Durham responded that he wasn't aware of that, and that people “get phone calls all the time from individuals who claim to have information like that.” Schiff then pressed Durham for an answer as to whether this was a frequent occurrence.
The tense exchange made it clear that Durham’s report concluded that the FBI shouldn’t have investigated possible collusions between Trump and Russia. Durham tried to downplay the seriousness of Russia offering the Trump campaign help, to which Schiff replied by comparing Durham’s investigation with that of Robert Mueller’s.
Durham brought three charges forward, went to trial with two, and won convictions on zero. However, Mueller’s investigation concluded that there were multiple links between Trump Campaign officials and individuals tied to the Russian government. In addition, Mueller’s investigation brought forward roughly three dozen charges and about a half-dozen convictions.
It’s uncertain as to whether the exchange between Schiff and Durham will have any serious implications beyond the political, but it was certainly an interesting moment to say the least. Although Republicans thought they would be able to score points on Democrats, the tables were turned and Schiff was ultimately the one who sent the press into a frenzy with his heated questions.