Durbin Slams McConnell's Dismissal Of Congressional Investigation Into Trump's DOJ Alleged Abuse of Power

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today delivered a speech on the Senate floor slamming U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) dismissal of calls to hold a congressional investigation of reports that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) under the Trump Administration issued subpoenas involving members of Congress, their staff, and family members. In his remarks, Durbin called out McConnell’s hypocrisy in minimizing the former President’s actions, reminding his colleagues that under the Republican majority, the Senate Judiciary Committee conducted extensive oversight investigation into the FBI’s opening of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation after the DOJ Inspector General had completed a 19 month investigation.

“The Senate Judiciary Committee has a constitutional responsibility to oversee the Department of Justice on behalf of the American people,” said Durbin. “But yesterday, the Minority Leader came to the Senate floor to warn the Judiciary Committee against exercising our oversight responsibilities because it could become, quote, ‘a partisan circus.’ This came on the heels of Senator McConnell’s personal veto of the bipartisan commission to investigate the deadly January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol by insurrectionists.  But now the Minority Leader is warning us against even looking into the targeting of Trump’s perceived political enemies by the Justice Department. The Minority Leader claimed the Senate does not need to look into this matter because the DOJ Inspector General has announced he would investigate. This argument is beyond hypocritical.”

Durbin went on to describe the 13 month investigation conducted on Crossfire Hurricane by the Senate Judiciary Committee under the Republican majority in the last Congress. Durbin noted, “Senator McConnell did not warn the Judiciary Committee that the DOJ Inspector General’s investigation was sufficient or that its investigation into Crossfire Hurricane would become a “partisan circus.”

Reminding his colleagues that this issue should not be partisan, Durbin concluded his speech by calling on Republican members to join him in calling for further investigation.

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV stations. 

Last week, Durbin and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) released a statement denouncing the former President’s actions and calling for an investigation by the DOJ Inspector General and Congress. In their statement, the Senators called for former Attorneys General Barr and Session to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee under oath.

Earlier this week, Durbin led all Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats in requesting that the DOJ produce materials related to the Trump-era DOJ’s apparent decision to subpoena metadata of House Permanent Select Committee of Intelligence Members, their staff, and family members. The Senators also urged Attorney General Merrick Garland to provide the Senate Judiciary Committee with an immediate briefing on the reports.