House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Turner said that Mr. Durham’s closed-door testimony before the panel had both Republicans and Democrats concerned about the state of the nation’s premier domestic law-enforcement agency.
“He gave us the impression that some of the misconduct is individualized — there were bad people doing bad things. But then some of it is systemic,” said Mr. Turner, Ohio Republican. “Some of it is where we need changes so that there’s higher reviews, higher requirements for this to ever happen again.”
The former special counsel is set to testify publicly before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
Mr. Durham recently completed a nearly four-year review of the FBI’s handling of allegations that Russia interfered with the 2016 election to boost former President Donald Trump. He found that the bureau ignored guidelines, failed to consider information that countered allegations that the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia, and failed to show objectivity.
The special counsel’s final report stated that FBI agents were so eager to pursue Mr. Trump that they championed “seriously flawed information” and abandoned their “own principles regarding objectivity and integrity.”
During the hearing on Tuesday, Mr. Durham briefed members of the committee about the findings of the probe. Rep. Jim Himes, the panel’s top Democrat, said the testimony proved that Congress needs to increase accountability measures at the FBI to ensure the agency’s conduct is above reproach once again.
“It’s not quite de-politicizing, but at least making sure that the FBI acts in such a manner that Americans can’t point to their activities and say, ‘That’s clearly political,’” said Mr. Himes, Connecticut Democrat. “We have a long way to go on that.”
Mr. Himes added that the FBI had made questionable moves not only in regard to Mr. Trump, but also former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the 2016 race.
“You had the director of the FBI, in the October before a national election, announcing publicly an investigation of one of the two candidates,” said Mr. Himes, referring to a probe of her private email server.
Members of the House Intelligence Committee view the upcoming renewal of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act as a prime opportunity. The 1978 law governs how U.S. law enforcement agencies can surveil and collect foreign intelligence on domestic soil.
At the height of the 2016 presidential race, the FBI used FISA to obtain warrants to surveil a member of Mr. Trump’s campaign. Two of the four warrants were later thrown out after it was found that the government had made “material misstatements.”
In his report, Mr. Durham accused the FBI of having been blinded by “confirmation bias” in its decision to investigate Mr. Trump.
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