Amid multiple accusations that the Federal Bureau of Intelligence (FBI) has been compromised and weaponized, testimony from an assistant director “stunned” representatives at a congressional hearing on Wednesday.
Jill Murphy, assistant director of counterintelligence for the FBI, was testifying before the congressional panel. She was to testify on security issues related to China and the release of Special Counsel John Durham’s report.
Durham’s 300-page report, four years in the making, presented a damning assessment of the FBI’s probe into Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The Department of Justice is currently battling accusations of impropriety on several fronts, including claims of misconduct related to Hunter Biden’s laptop, stalling investigations into reported nefarious Biden family business dealings and dropping at least four probes into the Clinton family.
Newer House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has vowed to press for answers on these and other issues; hence, GOP representatives questioned Murphy about the Durham report during Wednesday’s meeting.
When Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence, asked Murphy a relatively simple question about Durham’s claims, Murphy replied that she could not answer because she was not familiar with the report.
Pfluger pressed Murphy on the matter, who then acknowledged she had not “had time” to review the profoundly important report released early last week because she “has been busy.”
Upon hearing Murphy’s response, Pfluger was silent for a time, then said he was “speechless” and “disappointed” to learn that key officials in the FBI did not prioritize becoming aware of a government report critical of their actions — particularly in advance of a congressional hearing.
In a rather gentle rebuke, Pfluger told Murphy: “I would highly recommend reading that because we spent four years discussing that — there was uncorroborated evidence. The Durham report specifically outlines the outcome of that. It’s very disappointing to hear this.”
Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) also criticized the Bureau and Murphy after the assistant director admitted she believed national security issues were of paramount importance but had not yet sought a briefing on the Durham report.
A frustrated Bishop told Murphy: “The Durham Report has been out since the 12th of this month. … Why is that not a matter of such import that you would want urgently to understand what the special counsel concluded?”
In what many viewed as a flippant response, Murphy replied: “Sir, if you’d like a brief on the Durham Report from the Counterintelligence Division, I’m happy to take that back.”
Bishop responded by saying, “Wow. That sounds almost contemptuous!”
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