Jordan, GOP ask DOJ to turn over details on FBI’s role in Trump investigation

House Republicans are asking the Justice Department to turn over information about Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into Donald Trump, including details on whether any FBI employees on the case have investigated the former president.

The letter, sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland, is an early show of how the powerful committee plans to use a May report from Special Counsel John Durham detailing issues with the FBI’s early work investigating Trump campaign ties to Russia.

Complaining of “the institutional rot that pervades the FBI,” Jordan seeks a breakdown of the number of FBI personnel working on the case, including whether any have previously investigated Trump.

The letter also asks whether Smith’s investigation relies on any information gathered by the bureau in the period ahead of Durham’s appointment.

“The extent of the FBI’s bias and reckless disregard for the truth, which Special Counsel Durham laid out in painstaking detail, is nothing short of scandalous. The FBI has tried to dismiss the report’s findings by claiming to have “already implemented dozens of corrective actions” to prevent similar misconduct in the future,” Jordan wrote in the letter.

“The FBI’s window dressing is not enough. The Special Counsel’s report serves as a stark reminder of the need for more accountability and reforms within the FBI.”

While Durham was highly critical of the FBI in his final 305-page report, his nearly four-year investigation yielded little new information or results in court. 

Two individuals – Igor Danchenko and Michael Sussmann – were charged with lying to the FBI and found not guilty, and a third individual pleaded guilty to doctoring an email about a surveillance warrant.

The probe of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation analyzed a number of the issues with the investigation that have previously been widely covered by the media. That includes the FBI’s inability to corroborate any of the Steele Dossier, which contained a series of salacious allegations about Trump and his possible ties to Russia and which was used as the basis for securing a warrant to spy on campaign advisor Carter Page.

The Hill has reached out to the Justice Department and the FBI for comment.


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Trump doesn’t like the term ‘woke’: ‘Half the people can’t even define it’

Former President Trump said Thursday that he doesn’t like the term “woke,” claiming that most people “can’t even define it.”

“I don’t like the term ‘woke’ because I hear ‘woke woke woke.’ It’s just a term they use, half the people can’t even define it, they don’t know what it is,” Trump said at the Westside Conservative Breakfast in Urbandale, Iowa.

The idea of “wokeness” has been a central theme for Trump’s biggest competition in the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“We reject this woke ideology,” DeSantis said in his inaugural address in January. “We seek normalcy, not philosophical lunacy. We will not allow reality, facts, and truth to become optional. We will never surrender to the woke mob. Florida is where woke goes to die.”

The Florida governor signed legislation known as the “Stop WOKE Act” last year, restricting how race can be discussed in schools and workplaces in the Sunshine State. 

More recently, DeSantis approved bills barring universities from spending money on diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and expanding limitations on discussions of gender identity and sexual orientation in Florida classrooms, as part of his war on “woke.”

DeSantis derided “wokeness” once again on Tuesday, as he kicked off his campaign with a rally outside of Des Moines.

Trump used the term just last weekend, claiming that “Disney has become a Woke and Disgusting shadow of its former self” under DeSantis in a Truth Social post  on Sunday.

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Cheney not ruling out 2024 bid: Focused on making sure Trump ‘isn’t anywhere close to the Oval Office’

Former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wi.), a longtime critic of former President Trump, said that she has not ruled out a 2024 bid for president.  

“I’m not making any announcements today,” she said while speaking at an event at the Mackinac Policy Conference in Michigan, adding “I am really focused on making sure that Donald Trump isn’t anywhere close to the Oval Office.”

Cheney was on the House select committee that probed the Jan. 6 attacks on the Capitol and has voiced her criticism for the former president’s involvement in the attacks. She also said that she will campaign against those who have denied the results of the 2020 election, including Trump who has maintained that the election was “stolen” from him.  

Cheney launched a new ad targeting Trump earlier this month in New Hampshire, saying in a voiceover that he is the “only president in American history who has refused to guarantee the peaceful transfer of power.”  

“Donald Trump has proven he is unfit for office. Donald Trump is a risk America can never take again,” Cheney narrated over clips of Trump and the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. 

Trump is now facing probes into his involvement in the Jan. 6 attacks as well as his alleged attempts to interfere with the Georgia elections in 2020. 

Cheney said last September that she would not be a Republican on the ballot if she ran for the White House in the future, fueling speculation that she could mount an independent bid for the president.

When asked by moderator Devin Scillian on Thursday if she would consider a third-party run for election, she said that she has not ruled it out.  

“I think that we have to have good people, and I don’t know yet what that is going to look like,” she responded, adding that she has not ruled out a future run.  

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Trump on reported audio discussing classified document: ‘Everything I did was right’

Former President Donald Trump on Thursday dismissed reports that the Justice Department has an audio record of him talking about retaining a classified document after leaving the White House.

“I don’t know anything about it. All I know is this. Everything I did was right,” Trump said at a town hall event with Fox News host Sean Hannity in Iowa. 

Trump added that he abided by the Presidential Records Act “100 percent.” The act details that presidents and vice presidents must retain official documents and turn them over to the National Archives for preservation.

CNN first reported Wednesday that federal prosecutors have an audio recording of Trump speaking in the summer of 2021 about a classified Pentagon document he held onto even after leaving the White House. The document reportedly relates to a potential attack on Iran.

The report could prove significant as Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith investigates whether Trump mishandled classified material after he left the White House in early 2021. Federal agents last August executed a search warrant on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida after the former president refused to turn over classified material he had in his possession, as required under the Presidential Records Act.

Trump on Thursday complained that the investigation was intended to hurt his chances of winning reelection in 2024.

“When you look at it, it’s another, it’s a continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time. It’s a hoax,” Trump said. “And it has to do more than anything else with trying to interfere with the election.”

He also levied claims about President Biden’s retention of classified materials after a few dozen documents from his time as vice president were found at his Delaware home and an old Washington, D.C., office.

But the two cases have stark differences . Biden’s team notified federal officials quickly of the documents when they were discovered and sought to turn them over, while Trump did not cooperate with efforts by the National Archives to retrieve the documents he took with him upon leaving office to Mar-a-Lago home in Florida.

Trump has repeatedly offered varying defenses, including that he had the ability to declassify documents unilaterally and that he had the right to take those documents with him.

But legal officials have suggested the recording in which Trump reportedly talks about knowingly having a secretive document in his possession could be problematic.

“It further enhances the obstruction case because it eviscerates the two defenses that Trump has put forward,” former White House counsel Ty Cobb told CNN on Wednesday.

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