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Top Republicans Urge Defunding the FBI, Prosecuting Corrupt Agents in Wake of Durham Report

Top House Republicans are demanding that the Federal Bureau of Investigation be defunded and corrupt agents be indicted and arrested for their alleged violations of U.S. law after this week’s release of the much-anticipated report by Special Counsel John Durham.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has called on Congress to target the budget of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) following the release of Durham’s report. The report, which exposed the FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign as lacking evidence and due process, prompted Jordan to condemn the behavior of Democrats, accusing them of perpetuating false narratives through legacy media outlets and Big Tech.

During an appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity,” Jordan highlighted the findings of Durham’s report, asserting that the FBI collaborated with Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016 to target Trump, and that in 2020, former CIA agents and intelligence officials supported Joe Biden’s campaign in a similar objective. Jordan stressed that the aim in both cases was to prevent Trump from assuming office.

“So we’ve seen it twice—one it was the FBI, the second one it was former intel officials—but [with] the same objective: to go after President Trump and keep him from being president,” Jordan told “Hannity.”

The 306-page Durham report (pdf), which was released by the Justice Department on Monday, highlights the discrepancy in the FBI’s handling of issues related to Clinton’s campaign compared to those involving her Republican opponent, Donald Trump. It concludes that the FBI’s investigation into alleged collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia demonstrated a lack of analytical rigor, confirmation bias, and a willingness to rely on information from individuals connected to political opponents.

Jordan characterized Durham’s report as scathing and criticized the FBI, led by James Comey, for failing to adhere to its mission of upholding the law. He claimed that the report found no evidence or justification for initiating the investigation and accused the FBI of dismissing evidence that suggested the Clinton campaign fabricated allegations against Trump. According to Jordan, the report underscores the FBI’s failure to follow the law and pursue the truth.

The report also revealed that before the 2016 election, FBI officials frequently intervened to prevent agents from investigating potential criminal actions related to Hillary Clinton or her campaign.

To hold the agency accountable, Jordan proposed targeting the FBI’s budget through appropriations, arguing that it is the most effective leverage Congress has to regain control over agencies that have engaged in such behavior repeatedly.

Jordan attributed the delay in uncovering these revelations to a double standard, suggesting that conservatives would face relentless pursuit in a similar situation while the other side remains unaccountable. He emphasized the importance of leveraging the power of the purse to address this discrepancy.

Regarding the impact of the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation on the country, Jordan criticized the FBI for subjecting the public to discussions of collusion with Russia, the Mueller investigation, and coordination for three years based on a lie. He emphasized that the FBI knew the allegations were baseless and lacked evidence but proceeded with the operation, posing an unnecessary ordeal for the country.

Jordan also highlighted a pattern in which false information originates from political campaigns, such as the Clinton campaign and the Steele dossier, and is then transmitted to the FBI. In the case of the Biden campaign, a letter from 51 former intelligence officials sparked controversy. He criticized the media and Big Tech for amplifying these false narratives while discrediting those who seek to scrutinize their accuracy.

Jordan’s Republican House colleague Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) has called for the defunding of the FBI and the criminal indictment of its agents following special counsel John Durham’s conclusion that the agency should not have initiated an investigation into possible collusion between former President Donald Trump and Russia during the 2016 election.

During an interview with Newsmax on Monday, he argued that the Durham Report is a “damning treatise on the weaponization of the FBI against President Trump.”

“The report takes great lengths to point out the number of times where Trump was targeted in a way no other American would be,” Gaetz said. “In essence, the FBI has now become a disinformation and election interference enterprise here in our country. It’s very damning for them, the Steele Dossier was nonsense, the probable cause standard even to originate an investigation … was never met, and you had a secret court that was lied to.”

Gaetz emphasized the report’s findings, highlighting instances where Trump was targeted in a manner that would not apply to any other American. He claimed that the FBI has transformed into an organization involved in disinformation and election interference in the country. Gaetz called for the deauthorization, defanging, and defunding of authorities and entities involved in the investigation, accusing them of prioritizing political outcomes over the protection of the nation.

The congressman further argued that if the investigation had been driven by a Republican candidate or aimed at helping a Republican candidate’s campaign, it would have resulted in significant indictments rather than just a report.

The Florida congressman expressed disappointment that the report did not recommend additional indictments beyond the three individuals already prosecuted by Durham. He believed that more people should have faced prosecution as a result of the investigation.

Gaetz specifically mentioned Kevin Clinesmith, a former FBI lawyer who tampered with an email related to a Trump campaign associate’s CIA status. Clinesmith has already pleaded guilty and received probation. Gaetz criticized the fact that Clinesmith has resumed practicing law and deemed it insufficient.

The FBI issued a response to the Durham report shortly after its publication on the DOJ website, acknowledging the presence of “missteps” in its investigation into the alleged Trump-Russia ties between 2016 and 2017.

“The conduct in 2016 and 2017 that Special Counsel Durham examined was the reason that current FBI leadership already implemented dozens of corrective actions, which have now been in place for some time,” the FBI wrote in a statement. “Had those reforms been in place in 2016, the missteps identified in the report could have been prevented.”

The FBI is under similar criticism for its raid on former President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago over classified documents he had the right to take as president, while giving special treatment to current President Joe Biden over classified documents he illegally took as vice president and stored in unsecured facilities.

The bureau also refuses to turn over an FBI informant document to the Republican-led Congress that would allegedly show that the current president has engaged in an international bribery scheme as vice president.

Rep. Harriet Hageman (R-WY) at Thursday’s FBI whistleblower hearings blasted the bureau and the Justice department for their deep politicization and corrupt practices.

“The leadership of the FBI and the DOJ are corrupt,” she said. “I will name names. Christopher Wray and Merrick Garland are corrupt. They know it, we know it, and the American people know it.”

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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.