'The Nation Can't Stand': John Durham's Response to Harriet Hageman's One and Only Question Portends a Chilling Truth

Special Counsel John Durham testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday for nearly six hours. The Democrat members of the committee trotted out their standard barrage of sly accusations and sinister insinuations, while the Republicans, for the most part, sussed out the highlights (or lowlights) of the most critical findings contained in Durham’s report. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) shook things up a bit, going right after Durham and accusing him of essentially serving as the Washington Generals to the Swamp’s Globetrotters.


For his part, though he appeared somewhat ill at ease, Durham kept his composure, even lobbing a brushback pitch at Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA). He took some affront to Gaetz’s accusations. But it was his response to Rep. Harriet Hageman (R-WY) at the very end of the hearing that served as a chilling portent for the nation’s future.

Hageman utilized most of her allotted five minutes to address Durham, reading prepared remarks:

Mr. Durham, in reviewing your report, I sincerely wanted to understand the work that you did and decipher the various investigations that we have been discussing: the origins, the history, the backstory, the whos, the whys, the whats, the what ifs, and the hows. I desperately wanted to figure out what happened to what was once our flagship law enforcement agencies — the FBI and the DOJ — to determine what went wrong and to evaluate how we can go forward from here. I have listened with great interest, hoping to find some answers to the burning questions of the day. And I have reached a few conclusions that I do not believe are subject to dispute or debate.

Now, I truly appreciate your regard for the agency you have dedicated your career to. I am sure that as your investigation progressed, you must have been truly saddened by what you found. What you have exposed, however, is that we are dealing with something so corrupt and so rotten that no amount of face paint, deflection, or whitewashing can fix this. You have been asked lots of questions about predicates, protocols, the Steele dossier, the Australian connection, Mr. Papadopoulos, Mr. Carter, the FISA court, and Crossfire Hurricane, among others. Your responses have been enlightening, but let’s get to the brass tacks: None of those people or documents or reports were relevant to the FBI when it identified Donald Trump as Public Enemy Number One. What do I mean? The accuracy and veracity of the Steele dossier was irrelevant to the FBI. The accuracy and veracity of the reports coming from the Australian embassy were irrelevant to the FBI. The fact that the Russian experts in the CIA, FBI, NSA, and other agencies had no evidence of any kind of relationship between Mr. Trump and Putin or Russia was irrelevant to the FBI. And the fact that there was no verifiable evidence, such as testimony, documents, videos, or recordings of Russian collusion was irrelevant to the FBI.


Hageman continued, laying out her theory of the motivation behind the whole endeavor.


Nothing — and I repeat, nothing — that the FBI did was designed to show that Donald J. Trump was a Russian asset. That wasn’t the purpose of the entire charade. How do I know this is true? Because they told us so. The very people who cooked this up, and the ones who ran this entire operation: Strzok, Lisa Page, Andrew McCabe, Clinesmith, Steele, the DNC, Perkins Coie. It was never their purpose to prove Russian collusion, and in fact, from the very beginning, they knew that no such thing actually existed. They knew that the entire Russian collusion narrative was fabricated by the Clinton campaign to deflect attention from her mishandling of classified materials and destruction of official emails. They didn’t need to prove Russian collusion. They just had to keep the investigation alive. And so long as they had a complicit press, and so long as they had people in this very body, who has been here — one of the gentlemen, who has been here much of the day, who would go on TV every night and lie about the smoking gun — they could further their personal and political agendas. Oh no, the purpose of Crossfire Hurricane wasn’t to prove Russian collusion — it was to destroy Donald J Trump, and they told us that with the text messages that are set forth on page 49 and 51 of your report — 49 and 50 of your report. And then, if they failed at blocking Mr. Trump from being elected as president, well, they had a backup plan — they had their “insurance policy,” to use Strzok’s terminology — which was to make it impossible for him to govern; to use whatever tools were available to taint his presidency, the legitimacy of his election, his ability to work with foreign leaders, and to make everything about “Russia, Russia, Russia.”


And then, Hageman drilled down to the heart of the matter.

And how has this corruption and rot manifested itself in our everyday lives? In our national culture? In our ability to solve the problems we are facing? It has destroyed some of the key foundations of this country, a foundation built on equal protection, on the belief that justice is blind, on the belief that you will be held accountable if you commit a fraud of the magnitude of what we have been discussing here today, on the belief that due process, justice, and constitutional rights are more than mere words. It has left a smoldering hot volcanic mess where the soul of this country used to be — all because a few people in the FBI decided they wanted to destroy a political candidate and ultimately a president and anyone associated with him. While these folks set out to destroy a presidential candidate and later a presidency, the fact is that they destroyed so much more — and that will be their ultimate legacy. One casualty is America’s faith in our institutions, and another casualty is the erosion of a justice system that is supposed to apply equally to all Americans, but that has been weaponized to protect the favored few elites — the Clintons, the Bidens — while targeting political enemies. That is the current legacy of the FBI and DOJ,

Now at the end of her allotted time, Hageman asked her one and only question of Durham — though Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) did his level best to cut her off:


Mr. Durham, here is my question: How long do you think that this country will survive with a two-tiered justice system that seeks to persecute people based on their political beliefs?

Whatever one’s takeaway of Durham’s report and his testimony might be, it would be difficult to doubt the sincerity (or the foreboding accuracy) of his response:

I don’t think that things can go too much further with the view that law enforcement, particularly the FBI or Department of Justice, runs a two-tiered system of justice. The nation can’t stand under those circumstances.

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