Rep. Jim Jordan Says Congress Must Target FBI’s Budget in Wake of Durham Report

Rep. Jim Jordan Says Congress Must Target FBI’s Budget in Wake of Durham Report
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) speaks at a news conference in Washington, on July 21, 2021. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
Caden Pearson
5/17/2023
Updated:
5/17/2023
0:00

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has called for Congress to target the budget of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after the release of special counsel John Durham’s bombshell report, which revealed the bureau launched its “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign without evidence and due process.

Speaking on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” on Monday night, the House Judiciary Committee chairman highlighted a pattern of behavior by Democrats, accusing them of creating false narratives amplified by legacy media outlets and Big Tech.

Citing Durham’s report, Jordan said on Monday that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign collaborated with the FBI in 2016 to target Trump, while in 2020, 51 former CIA agents and intelligence officials worked with then-former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign to achieve the same objective.

Jordan emphasized that in both instances, the aim was to target Trump and prevent him 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 disparity between the FBI’s handling of issues related to Clinton’s campaign and those involving her Republican opponent, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.
The report concluded that the FBI’s investigation into alleged collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia demonstrated a “lack of analytical rigor, apparent confirmation bias, and an over-willingness to rely on information from individuals connected to political opponents.”

FBI ‘Failed to Follow the Law’

Jordan described Durham’s report as scathing and criticized the James Comey-led FBI for failing to uphold its mission of fidelity to the law.

The report found no evidence or predicate for initiating the FBI’s investigation. Bureau officials even dismissed investigating evidence suggesting that the Clinton campaign might have fabricated the allegations against Trump, Jordan alleged.

Jordan stressed the severity of the situation, emphasizing that Durham’s report revealed the FBI’s failure to follow the law and pursue the truth.

“Think about that—failed to follow the law is what it found. No evidence. No predicate. No evidence whatsoever to start this investigation. And then they talk about a trusted source who came and said, ‘Hey, this really looks like it’s the Clinton campaign making it all up to go after President Trump.’ And they dismissed that evidence and went after him nonetheless. That’s how bad this is. That’s what this report shows,” Jordan said.

In fact, the report revealed that prior to the 2016 election, FBI officials frequently intervened to restrict agents from investigating possible criminal actions connected to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or her presidential campaign.

‘Power of the Purse’

To hold the agency accountable, Jordan proposed targeting the FBI’s budget through appropriations, saying that it is the most effective leverage that Congress possesses. He argued that looking into funding would help regain control over agencies that repeatedly engaged in such behavior.

“We have to look at the power of the purse if we are ever going to get control of these agencies, who did this not just once but multiple times,” Jordan said.

When asked about the delay in uncovering these revelations, Jordan attributed it to a double standard. He claimed that if conservatives were involved in a similar situation, they would face relentless pursuit, while the other side remains unaccountable. Jordan reiterated the importance of leveraging the power of the purse to address this discrepancy.

Regarding the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation into Trump and its impact on the country, Jordan said that for three years, the public was inundated with discussions of collusion with Russia, the Mueller investigation, and coordination—“all based on a lie.”

The congressman underscored that the FBI knew the allegations were baseless and lacked evidence, yet it proceeded with the operation, subjecting the country to an unnecessary ordeal.

“The report’s very clear in the executive summary,” Jordan said. “No evidence whatsoever to commence this operation—to commence Crossfire Hurricane. They had none. They did it anyway. They put our country through it. That is the true threat to democracy we face today, when entities and agencies in our government behave like this FBI did.”

Furthermore, Jordan 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 the controversy.

He criticized the media and Big Tech for amplifying these false narratives while discrediting those who seek to scrutinize their veracity.

“They attack you, and the press is so eager to do that,” he said. “And then ultimately, in the end, the one thing that is always proven right is, we were right about it all along.

“The only thing we had wrong is, in both situations, it was worse than we thought.”

FBI Reforms

In a statement on Monday, the FBI stated that it had already rolled out reforms in response to its mistakes, which the bureau acknowledged.
“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,” reads the statement, released hours after Durham’s report was published.
In a letter to Durham (pdf) in response to the report, the FBI detailed the “corrective actions” it had made, including installing more rigorous requirements for applying for surveillance, requiring personnel training for surveillance applications, updating agency guidelines on vetting confidential human sources, additional requirements for opening “sensitive” investigative measures, and expanding its internal oversight and auditing programs.

The FBI said that its missteps “could have been prevented” if these reforms were in place.

“This report reinforces the importance of ensuring the FBI continues to do its work with the rigor, objectivity, and professionalism the American people deserve and rightly expect,” the agency wrote in acknowledging the findings of Durham’s report.

Meanwhile, Durham made no recommendations in his report for new policies at the bureau. He noted that a cultural shift and return to the bureau’s founding values remains the best way to ensure integrity of the institution going forward.

“The promulgation of additional rules and regulations to be learned in yet more training sessions would likely prove to be a fruitless exercise if the FBI’s guiding principles of ‘Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity’ are not engrained in the hearts and minds of those sworn to meet the FBI’s mission of ‘Protecting the American People and Upholding the Constitution of the United States,’” the report reads.

Bill Pan and Petr Svab contributed to this report.
Caden Pearson is a reporter covering U.S. and world news.
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