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Republicans Rush to Defend Trump After Durham Report: ‘Outrageous’

Former President Donald Trump’s supporters were quick to celebrate after special counsel John Durham’s report concluded that the FBI never should have investigated Trump’s alleged involvement with Russia during the 2016 election.

Dozens of Trump’s allies and prominent GOP figures on Monday referred to him as a “crime victim” and urged him to sue the Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI for “violating the Constitutional protections” of the former president, who is seeking the 2024 Republican nomination.

Durham’s newly released report on his investigation into whether Trump and Russia conspired to influence the 2016 election dealt a blow to the FBI. The report found that the bureau had no “actual evidence of collusions” when it initiated Crossfire Hurricane. Durham was appointed in October 2019 after Trump pressed former Attorney General William Barr to investigate the FBI probe.

GOP Senator Lindsey Graham, left, speaks to reporters on March 2, 2022, in Washington, D.C. Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, right, addresses the media on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on October 21, 2021. Republicans backed former President Donald Trump after John Durham’s report determined that the FBI shouldn’t have investigated Trump over his alleged involvement with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.
Kevin Dietsch/Getty; Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty

Durham said that the FBI should never have opened its investigation and that the origins were based on “raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence.” His findings come after escalating scrutiny of the FBI and its investigations in recent years. After the bureau executed a search warrant for classified documents at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida, many conservatives accused the bureau of abusing its powers.

Durham noted in the 300-plus-page report: “At the time of the opening of Crossfire Hurricane, the FBI had no information in its holdings indicating that at any time during the campaign anyone in the Trump campaign had been in contact with any Russian intelligence officials.” Despite his criticisms of how the bureau handled some evidence, Durham did not recommend any charges against individual FBI agents and did not suggest any changes on how politically charged investigations should be handled.

In response to Monday’s report, the FBI said in a statement that the conduct Durham examined had already been addressed by “dozens of corrective actions” that have “been in place for some time” now.

“Had those reforms been in place in 2016, the missteps identified in the report could have been prevented,” the statement said. “This report reinforces the importance of ensuring the FBI continues to do its work with the rigor, objectivity, and professionalism the American people deserve and rightly expect.”

Newsweek has reached out via email to representatives for the FBI and Trump.

Trump responded to Durham’s findings on his Truth Social platform, saying Americans were “scammed.”

“WOW! After extensive research, Special Counsel John Durham concludes the FBI never should have launched the Trump-Russia Probe,” he said. “In other words, the American Public was scammed, just as it is being scammed right now by those who don’t want to see GREATNESS for AMERICA!”

Republicans slammed the FBI and flooded social media with posts supporting Trump. Many Twitter users called the probe a “witch hunt” and pointed to a “political agenda.”

In a series of at least 10 tweets, GOP Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina criticized the DOJ and FBI, saying: “Their behavior during the Crossfire Hurricane investigation reads like a page out of the [former President Richard] Nixon playbook.”

“Sadly, this report – that shines a bright light on problems at the FBI and DOJ – reinforces the narrative that the Rule of Law in America is subservient to political outcomes,” the senator said in one of the tweets. “It is a very dangerous development and moment in American history.”

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene celebrated the report’s findings on Twitter, saying the truth it out.

“The truth is finally coming out on the Russian collusion hoax! The DOJ and FBI has been weaponized against conservatives for years,” the Georgia Republican said.

MAGA ally and former Arizona GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake assailed the federal government, calling it “corrupt” and “weaponized.”

“Now what? Our government is corrupt. It’s working against us. It’s weaponized. Our elections are a joke. Our country is falling apart because of it,” she said on Twitter. “When can We the People get some justice?”

The Republican National Committee also weighed in, responding to the news with just one word.

“Outrageous,” the committee said on its official Twitter account.

Representative Jim Jordan, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said on Twitter that he called on Durham to testify before the House panel on May 25.

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