Mad Respect: John Durham’s Response to Rep. Steve Cohen’s Dig at His Reputation Was Chef’s Kiss

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Special Counsel John Durham testifies before the House Judiciary Committee (6/21/23). (Credit: Twitter/TH Media)

Special Counsel John Durham’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday included several memorable moments. As per their usual modus operandi, the committee’s Democrats used their time “questioning” Durham to do their level best to undermine him, his report, and the investigation into…the investigation into former President Trump and so-called “Russian collusion.”

Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN) had a particularly sharp exchange with Durham.

Referring to the meeting between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul. Manafort and Russians Natalia Veselnitskaya and Rinat Akhmetshin (purportedly to discuss “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, but in actuality, to lobby for repeal of the Magnitsky Act), Cohen said:

It was totally about sanctions and trying to get rid of the Magnitsky law. Adoptions is a ruse. Should you not have looked into that and seen what the Russians were wanting in return for that? Because that’s the biggest thing Putin wanted at the time, was to get Trump to relieve his people of Magnitsky sanctions.

The exchange continued:

Durham: I think that Director Mueller investigated that, and I believe one of your House committees explored that. That was outside the scope of what we were looking at.

Cohen: And it was outside the scope of your authority to look at Kilimnikoff [sic] and Manafort meeting and exchanging polling data?

Durham: Was that out — I’m sorry, I’m not following your question…

Cohen: Manafort! You remember Manafort — the crook that managed the campaign for nothing but got tons of money from the…different Russian people over the years? That y’all pardoned — or Mr. Barr later got…helped him with a commutation or pardon — I think a pardon. Manafort.

Durham: I know who Mr. Manafort is.

Cohen: He met with Kilimnik, and they discussed polling data — you don’t know about that?

Durham: I know that Mr. Kilimnik met with a lot of people, including people at the State Department —

Cohen: He met with Manafort and discussed polling data! Do you not know about that?

Durham: I’m aware of that.

Cohen: Alright. Why did you then not think it was a good idea for you to look into it and see if the FBI wasn’t correct, and that there was collusion, a connection between Russia and the Trump campaign to elect Trump?

Durham: My assignment was to look at the conduct of the intelligence community agencies, not to conduct a separate investigation that was done by the House or was done by the Senate or was done by Director Mueller.

Cohen: You don’t think that if there was — the intelligence communities, the FBI, others, came up with this information and did good work that that should be part of your “balanced” report?

Durham: I’m not…I’m not following your question. I apologize.

Cohen: Well, I’ve tried to follow your report. Mr. Donald Trump Jr. would have called it a “nothingburger.” You got no convictions. You got nothing! It was all set up to hurt the Mueller Report, which was correct and was redacted, to hurt the Bidens, and to help Trump — and you were a part of it!

Toward the end of his rant, Cohen got particularly personal with Durham, insisting that his reputation would be damaged:

Your reputation will be damaged. As everybody’s reputation who gets involved with Donald Trump is damaged. He’s damaged goods. There’s no good dealing with him, ‘cuz you will end up on the bottom of a pire.

Durham’s response to that charge should go down in the annals of history as the most chef’s kiss of all chef’s kiss moments:

My concern about my reputation is with the people who I respect, and my family, and my Lord, and I’m perfectly comfortable with my reputation with them, Sir.

Watch it here:

“Them.” Presumably, Rep. Cohen isn’t included in that group. In any event, it sounds like Durham has his priorities straight.

As of the time of publication, the hearing is ongoing. You can view the entire proceeding here.

 

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