Gaetz Confronts Durham Over Disappointing Russian Collusion Probe

Many conservatives held out hope that special counsel John Durham’s lengthy probe into debunked allegations of collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign would finally hold those in the intelligence community accountable for their actions.

In the end, however, his report — albeit peppered with evidence of FBI wrongdoing — did little to expose any systemic corruption within the Justice Department.

For his part, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) used Durham’s recent congressional appearance to share his thoughts about the investigation’s perceived shortcomings. He began by accusing Durham of neglecting to conduct interviews with some of the insiders who could have shed more light on the matter.

“You’ve given us testimony today that you’re disappointed that the FBI didn’t cooperate more, right,” Gaetz said, adding: “We’re disappointed too, but the difference is that when regular folks do things that are wrong and unlawful, there’s typically a greater effort to try to get those people before a grand jury.”

After pressing Durham to acknowledge that he knew how to contact one such individual’s lawyer while claiming that he could not locate the witness for an interview, Gaetz shot back that his excuses seemed “laughable.”

The Florida Republican added: “It seems like more than disappointment. It seems like you weren’t really trying to expose the true core of the corruption that you were trying to. You were trying to go at it another way.”

While Durham defended his actions, asserting that his team “pursued the facts as best we could,” Gaetz remained unconvinced, bringing up the behavior of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, which was appointed to investigate allegations of Russian collusion.

“How about this fact, Mr. Durham?” the congressman responded. “The entire Mueller team does a hard reset on their Apple phone in synchronization to wipe away evidence. Did you investigate that? … Who gave the order on the Mueller team to wipe the phones?”

Durham asserted that he was “not asked to look at” that information, to which Gaetz replied: “That’s not true, Mr. Durham. That is not true, because I am holding the document that authorizes your activity, and it specifically says the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.”

Driving home his point, Gaetz went on to compare Durham’s investigation to the Washington Generals — the team paid “to show up every night and play the Harlem Globetrotters, and their job is to lose.”