Following special counsel John Durham’s conclusion this week that the FBI never should have opened an investigation into whether former President Donald Trump colluded with Russia during the 2016 election, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) has suggested that the bureau’s funding should be revoked and its agents should be criminally charged.
According to Durham’s more than 300-page assessment, the FBI initiated the investigation without evidence that Trump campaign members had contacted Russian intelligence officers.
In an interview with Newsmax on Monday, Gaetz accused the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) of being politically biased in the investigation, claiming that the agency has become “the enforcement wing of the Democratic Party to play offense against Trump,” and that its actions are “very ugly for the future of a democracy where the people make the choices.”
“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 stated. “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.”
“I think we have to deauthorize, defang, and defund many of these authorities and entities and different task forces that actually converted the just and righteous act of protecting our country with the desire to have a particular political candidate win or lose,” he continued.
The Durham report is an absolutely DAMNING treatise on the weaponization of the FBI against President Trump.
This should be a clarion call for legislative reform. We need to defund and deauthorize government entities that are converted from the just cause of defending our nation… pic.twitter.com/peaeMcVr6q
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) May 16, 2023
If the investigation had been initiated by a Republican candidate or an operation to aid one, the congressman asserted, it would have resulted in “real significant indictments” rather than merely a report.
In addition to the three individuals already charged by Durham, Gaetz expressed disappointment that the report did not recommend any additional indictments and stated that additional individuals should have been charged as a result of the investigation.
Gaetz referred to the former FBI counsel who falsely claimed that a former Trump campaign member was not a CIA asset by altering an email. “The only indictment that Durham can cite in this case is Kevin Clinesmith’s,” said Gaetz. After pleading guilty, Clinesmith was placed on probation.
“And guess what? He’s already back to practicing law,” Gaetz opined. “Got his law license back, and practicing law here in D.C. now. Insufficient.”
In a statement in response to the Durham report, which was published on the DOJ website hours later, the FBI acknowledged “missteps” in its 2016–2017 investigation into alleged Trump–Russia ties.
“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 acknowledged in a statement. “Had those reforms been in place in 2016, the missteps identified in the report could have been prevented.”
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) concurred with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) in an interview with Fox News’ “Sean Hannity” on Monday evening. In addition, he stated that he believes the DOJ applies “double standards” in its treatment of Republicans and Democrats.
Jordan declared, “The only way we can hold them accountable is to go after one thing that everybody cares about—the money.” “We have to look at the power of the purse if we’re ever going to get control of these agencies, who did this not just once, but multiple times,” he continued.
Monday on Twitter, Gaetz argued that the Durham report is a “absolutely DAMNING treatise on the weaponization” of government institutions against Trump. In addition, he stated that the disclosure “should be a clarion call for legislative reform.”
“In a proper world, Republicans and Democrats would be able to work together on this,” Gaetz declared. “It wasn’t that long ago that the FBI was a right-wing organization, weaponized against civil rights leaders and others. And it was wrong then, and it’s wrong now.”
More on this story via The Republic Brief:
This week, Trump capitalized on the study in a series of postings on Truth Social, claiming it shows the federal government started a systematic campaign to meddle in the 2016 election. CONTINUE READING…