The investigation into investigators is now being investigated, as the Senate Judiciary Committee announced Monday it will look into potential misconduct by special counsel John Durham, who probed the FBI’s handling of the Trump-Russia collusion allegations.
Sen. Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat and chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the panel will look into claims that Mr. Durham misled witnesses about the nature of his probe, ignored allegations that former President Trump may have committed financial crimes, and rushed a case to trial even though his staffers quit because they thought it was unwinnable.
The explosive allegations were the subject of a report last week in The New York Times looking into the Durham probe.
“These reports about abuses in Special Counsel Durham’s investigation — so outrageous that even his longtime colleagues quit in protest — are but one of many instances where former President Trump and his allies weaponized the Justice Department,” Mr. Durbin said in a statement.
Mr. Durbin vowed that the Judiciary Committee will “take a hard look at these repeated episodes and regulations and policies that enabled them.”
It is unclear if Mr. Durbin’s “hard look” will result in hearings or other committee actions.
A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.
The New York Times reported last week that while meeting with Italian officials seeking evidence for their investigation, Mr. Durham and Attorney General Bill Barr were presented with a credible tip that Mr. Trump may have committed financial crimes.
Mr. Durham and his team did not follow up on these allegations, according to the Times. The article also alleges that Mr. Barr and Mr. Durham muddied the intent of the investigation with the Italian officials, obscuring that they were looking into officials who launched the FBI’s probe into whether Mr. Trump colluded with Russians.
Staffers also objected to Mr. Durham’s prosecution of Michael Sussmann, a Hillary Clinton campaign attorney, who was charged with lying to the FBI about a now-debunked tip linking Mr. Trump to Russia. The Times reported that two staffers who left the investigation quit because they didn’t believe there was enough evidence to bring the case.
A jury in Washington ultimately acquitted Mr. Sussmann of the charge, an embarrassing defeat for Mr. Durham.