Heeding Steve Bannon’s Call, Election Deniers Organize to Seize Control of the GOP — and Reshape America’s Elections
by Isaac Arnsdorf, Doug Bock Clark, Alexandra Berzon and Anjeanette Damon ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published. One of the loudest voices urging Donald Trump’s supporters to push for overturning the presidential election results was Steve Bannon. “We’re on the point of attack,” Bannon, a former Trump adviser and far-right nationalist, pledged on his popular podcast on Jan. 5. “All hell will break loose tomorrow.
A group of 44 Republican senators is demanding that the report by special counsel John Durham be made public once it is complete, days after news surfaced that it will likely be finished in the coming months. © getty: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Forty-four Republican senators demand Durham report be made public
Lawmakers, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), penned a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday requesting an update on the status of Durham's review, dubbed the Crossfire Hurricane Investigation, and for the final report to be made public once it is complete.
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"We ask that you provide an update on the status of Special Counsel Durham's inquiry and that the investigation's report be made available to the public upon completion," the lawmakers wrote.
Durham, who previously served as the U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut before becoming special counsel last year, has been reviewing the FBI's investigation into Russia's influence in the 2016 election since 2019, when he was tasked by the Trump administration to evaluate the bureau's probe.
Durham resigned as U.S. attorney after Biden took office, which is routine for politically appointed federal prosecutors, but he was kept as special counsel so he could continue his probe.
The investigation made headlines last week when The Wall Street Journal reported that Durham is presenting grand jury evidence and preparing his report.
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Many leading Republicans haven't given a full-throated defense of Texas' new abortion law, which experts say could hurt the GOP in the 2022 midterms.The violence that erupted in Kabul gave GOP officials an opening to attack the Democratic president, whose approach to the withdrawal was later met with disapproval in national polls. It quickly became political campaign fodder for Republicans who need a net gain of only five seats in the House and one in the Senate to recapture total control of Congress in next year's midterm elections.
He reportedly wanted to have the review finished by the end of this summer, but the newspaper reported that the target date will likely be delayed, according to people familiar with the matter.
Durham is reportedly looking into criminal charges against lower-level FBI officials and tipsters who possibly fed false leads to the FBI during the 2016 investigation.
The information reportedly involved allegations of connections between the Trump Organization and the Russian Alfa Bank, which investigators did not find any evidence to bolster.
Durham has thus far presented one criminal case, charging former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith with altering an email that was used in internal discussions regarding whether to extend surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Clinesmith was sentenced to one year of probation in January.
The review, which has gone on for more than two years, is highly anticipated among several Republicans, who have frequently derided the FBI's investigation into Russian collusion as a politically motivated "witch hunt" against former President Trump.
The senators echoed that sentiment, writing to Garland that Durham's work is "important to many Americans who were disturbed that government agents subverted lawful process to conduct inappropriate surveillance for political purposes."
"The truth pursued by this investigation is necessary to ensure transparency in our intelligence agencies and restore faith in our civil liberties. Thus, it is essential that the Special Counsel's ongoing review should be allowed to continue unimpeded and without undue limitations," they added.
The Hill reached out to the Justice Department for comment.
Faith Danielle Hedgepeth: An arrest has been made in the 2012 kiliing of a UNC-Chapel Hill student .
A 28-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the killing of Faith Danielle Hedgepeth, a 19-year-old University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student who was found dead in her off-campus apartment in 2012, officials said Thursday. © Bernard Thomas/The Herald-Sun/AP A celebration of life was held in memory of Faith Danielle Hedgepeth on September 10, 2012, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Miguel Enrique Salguero-Olivares from Durham, North Carolina, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, Assistant Chief of Police Celisa Lehew, who has led the investigation for six years, announced