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Special Counsel John Durham testifies before the House Judiciary Committee, Wednesday, June 21, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Durham Points to Hillary Clinton in Russia Hoax Testimony, House Censures Adam Schiff in Rare Move

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Congressional lawmakers were busy Wednesday with two separate events concerning the now discredited "Russia Hoax" that consumed the nation's time and resources for years.  

The two Capitol Hill events included Special Counsel John Durham testifying before the House Judiciary Committee for the first time, and the House's public censure of U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)  for claims he made that former President Donald Trump colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Durham testified publicly before the committee just weeks after releasing his 306-page report that found the Justice Department and the FBI should never have started their investigation into Russia and its alleged involvement with the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.

As CBN News reported, Durham's report discovered the FBI rushed into its investigation of Trump over allegations of collusion with Russia in that presidential campaign, and that it ignored its own principles of objectivity and integrity, resulting in serious damage to the bureau's reputation.

During his testimony, when he was asked about what he found, Durham said the FBI failed to "sufficiently scrutinize information it received" and did not "apply the same standards to allegations it received about the Clinton and Trump campaigns."

slider img 2The special counsel also told lawmakers that the CIA in 2016 received intelligence that suggested Hillary Clinton was behind a scheme to connect then-candidate Trump to Russia, but the FBI ignored that intelligence. 

"The FBI was too willing to accept and use politically funded and uncorroborated opposition research, such as the Steele dossier," Durham said. "The FBI relied on the dossier and FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) applications, knowing there was likely material originating from a political campaign or political opponent."

The agency "did so even after the president of the United States, the FBI and CIA directors, and others received briefings about intelligence suggesting that there was a Clinton campaign plan underway to stir up a scandal tying Trump to Russia," he added. 

During the six-hour hearing, Democrats repeatedly tried to attack Durham's integrity. A former U.S. attorney in Connecticut, Durham was appointed in 2019 by then-Attorney General William Barr to investigate possible misconduct by bad actors inside the U.S. government as it investigated alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election.

In a tense exchange, U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) tried to portray Durham as a prosecutor lacking legal standing and integrity who was attempting to protect Trump and his campaign for president.

"You had a good reputation, that's why the two Democrats supported you," Cohen said, referring to the Democratic senators from Connecticut who had backed Durham's nomination for U.S. attorney. "But the longer you hold on to Mr. Barr and this report that Mr. Barr gave you as special counsel, your reputation will be damaged as everybody's reputation who gets involved with Donald Trump will get damaged."

Durham responded: "My concern about my reputation is with the people who I respect and my family and my Lord and I'm perfectly comfortable with my reputation with them, sir."

In light of Durham's testimony, South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham blasted those who weaponized the Department of Justice and dragged America through several years of divisive investigations based on unfounded accusations. 

"They used corrupt information to obtain warrants against Mr. Carter Page, and when information came about to question the Steele dossier, it was always ignored.   The FBI and DOJ wanted Trump to lose and Clinton to win.  At every evidentiary turn, their bias was obvious," Graham tweeted.

He also noted, "It's sad and dangerous that Democrats and the mainstream media could seemingly care less as this entire episode is one of the lowest points in the history of the DOJ and FBI."

California U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff Receives Rare Censure in House for Trump Investigations

Meanwhile, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to censure Rep. Adam Schiff for comments he made about Trump's alleged ties to Russia. The House publicly rebuked the 12-term California representative in front of the assembled Congress. 

The final vote on Wednesday was 213-209 along party lines, with a handful of members voting present.

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) stands outside the chamber after the Republican-controlled House voted along party lines to censure him at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, June 21, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Schiff, the former Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and the lead prosecutor in Trump's first impeachment trial was told to come to the front of the chamber to be formally censured. 

As he made his way to the front of the assembly, dozens of Democrats crowded to the front, clapping and cheering for Schiff and patting him on the back. They chanted "No!" "Shame!" and "Adam! Adam!"

The revised resolution said Schiff held positions of power during Trump's presidency and "abused this trust by saying there was evidence of collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia." 

Schiff was one of the most outspoken critics of the former president as both the Justice Department and the Republican-led House launched investigations regarding Trump and Russia in 2017. Both investigations concluded that Russia tried to intervene in the 2016 presidential election but neither found evidence of a criminal conspiracy or any involvement by Trump.

"Representative Schiff purposely deceived his Committee, Congress, and the American people," the resolution said.

Schiff, 63, becomes only the 25th House lawmaker to ever be censured in U.S. history. He was defiant ahead of the vote, saying he will wear the formal disapproval as a "badge of honor" and charging his GOP colleagues of doing the former president's bidding.

"I will not yield," Schiff, who is running for Sen. Dianne Feinstein's seat in his home state, said during the debate over the measure. "Not one inch."

The censure itself carries no practical effect, except to provide a historic footnote that marks a lawmaker's career. He now faces an investigation by the House Ethics Committee for his conduct. 

More than 20 Republicans voted with Democrats last week to block the censure resolution, but they changed their votes this week after the measure's sponsor, Republican Rep. Anna Paulina Luna of Florida, removed a provision that could have fined Schiff $16 million if the House Ethics Committee determined he lied. Several of the Republicans who voted to block the resolution last week said they opposed fining a member of Congress in that manner.

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About The Author

Steve Warren is a senior multimedia producer for CBN News. Warren has worked in the news departments of television stations and cable networks across the country. In addition, he also worked as a producer-director in television production and on-air promotion. A Civil War historian, he authored the book The Second Battle of Cabin Creek: Brilliant Victory. It was the companion book to the television documentary titled Last Raid at Cabin Creek currently streaming on Amazon Prime. He holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. in Communication from the University of