The day the entire GOP refuses to pursue really draconian immigration legislation because Donald Trump has demanded they not do so — and especially not pass any more funding for Ukraine — seems like a good day to resume my effort to roll out a Ball of Thread in advance of explaining how Trump trained Republicans to hate rule of law.
This post is very simple. Under grilling from Adam Schiff during his House Judiciary Committee testimony last summer, John Durham played dumb — really, really dumb — about what Trump actually did in 2016 (there were a few more examples during the hearing, usually in exchange with Schiff).
It’s not surprising. But it is very similar to the way Scott Brady played dumb when quizzed (in a deposition, by House Judiciary Committee staffers) about what really happened in 2016. Again, not surprising. Just another example where key sycophants who played a central role in this process rigidly parroted the false cover story even when confronted with the truth.
Mr. Schiff. I thank you for yielding. One of my colleagues in the Republican side of the aisle took issue with my saying that the Trump Campaign invited Russian help, received Russian help, made use of it, and then lied about it. So, let’s break this down.
Let’s go to invited Russian help. Mr. Durham, you’re aware of Donald Trump’s public statements along the lines of, hey, Russia, if you’re listening, hack Hillary’s emails. You’ll be richly awarded by the press. Are you aware of that?
Mr. Durham. I’m aware of that.
Mr. Schiff. You’re aware that Mueller found that hours after he made that plea for Russian help, the Russians, in fact, tried to hack one of the email servers affiliated with the Clinton Campaign or family.
Mr. Durham. If that happened, I’m not aware of that.
Mr. Schiff. You’re not–
Mr. Durham. It could very well. I just don’t know.
Mr. Schiff. –aware of that in the Mueller Report? When you’re saying you’re not aware of evidence of collusion in the Mueller Report, it’s because apparently you haven’t read the Mueller Report every well if you’re not aware of that fact. Let me ask you about something else.
Mr. Durham. Sure.
Mr. Schiff. Don Jr. when offered dirt as part of what was described as Russian government effort to help the Trump Campaign said, “if it’s what you say, I love it;” Would you call that an invitation to get Russian help with dirt on Hillary Clinton?
Mr. Durham. The words speak for themselves, I supposed.
Mr. Schiff. I think they do. In fact, he said, especially late in summer. Late in summer was around when the Russians started to dump the stolen emails, wasn’t it?
Mr. Durham. Late in the summer, there was information that was disclosed by WikiLeaks in mid to late July. I think there had been some in June, and then there was maybe some later in October was it, I think. Don’t hold me to those dates.
Mr. Schiff. This gets to the receipt of help, second thing I mentioned, receiving Russian help. The dumping of those emails by the way just as forecast by what Papadopoulos told
the Australian diplomat. That is that the Russians would help by leaking dirt anonymously through cutouts like WikiLeaks and DCLeaks.
Mr. Durham. I don’t think that’s exactly what he told the Australians.
Mr. Schiff. Well, he said that he was informed that the Russians could anonymously release this information, right?
Mr. Durham. Release what?
Mr. Schiff. By anonymously releasing information damaging to Hillary Clinton, right?
Mr. Durham. I think if you read what’s in the cable and what’s in the report as to what the diplomats reported there was a suggestion of a suggestion that the Russians could help. They have damaging information as to Ms. Clinton.
Mr. Schiff. By releasing it anonymously, right? That’s exactly what happened, isn’t it?
Mr. Durham. I don’t–
Mr. Schiff. You really don’t know?
Mr. Durham. I’m not sure–when you say exactly what happened–
Mr. Schiff. Well, the Russians released stolen emails through cutouts, did they not?
Mr. Durham. There were emails that were released by WikiLeaks.
Mr. Schiff. It’s a very simple question. Did they release information, stolen information, through cutouts, yes or no?
Mr. Durham. I’m not sure that–
Mr. Schiff. You really don’t know the answer to that? The answer is yes, they did. Through DCLeaks–
Mr. Durham. In your mind, it’s yes.
Mr. Schiff. Well, Mueller’s answer is yes. More important than mine, Mueller’s answer was yes. Now, that information, of course, was helpful to the Trump Campaign, wasn’t it?
Mr. Durham. I don’t think there’s any question that Russians intruded into hacked into the systems.
Mr. Schiff. Well, I just want to get–
Mr. Durham. They released information.
Mr. Schiff. That was helpful to Trump Campaign, right?
Mr. Durham. The conclusion in the ICA and in the Mueller investigation was that the Russians intended to assist–
Mr. Schiff. Can you answer my question, Mr. Durham? That was helpful to Trump Campaign, right?
Mr. Schiff. Trump made use of that, as I said, didn’t he, by touting those stolen documents on the campaign trail over 100 times?
Mr. Durham. Like I said, I don’t really read the newspapers or listen to the news.
Mr. Schiff. You were totally–
Mr. Durham. I don’t find them reliable, so I don’t know that.
Mr. Schiff. Mr. Durham, you were totally oblivious to Donald Trump’s use of the stolen emails on the campaign trail more than 100 times?
Mr. Durham. I’m not aware of that.
Mr. Schiff. Did that escape your attention?
Mr. Durham. I am not aware of that.
Mr. Schiff. Are you aware of the final prong that I mentioned, that he lied about it, that the Trump Campaign covered it up? It’s the whole second volume of the Mueller Report. I hope you’re familiar with that.
Mr. Durham. Yes, that’s a section of the report, the second volume relating to their obstruction of justice.
Mr. Schiff. Well, thank you for confirming what my Republican colleague attacked me about. He also criticized the use of the word collusion. Apparently giving private polling data to the Russians while the Russians are helping your campaign, they don’t want to call it collusion.
Maybe there’s a better name for it. Maybe they would prefer we just call it good old fashioned GOP cheating with the enemy. Maybe that would be a little bit more accurate description.
Mr. Durham. Yes.