John Durham Fires Back At Dem Questioning His Reputation
Former Justice Department Special Counsel John Durham testifies before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on June 21, 2023.
(Photo by STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Special counsel John Durham received a round of applause with his response to a House Democrat who scolded him during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) warned Durham that his association with former President Donald Trump and former Attorney General William Barr threatened to damage his “good” image. “You will end up on the bottom of a pyre,” Cohen said.

Given a chance to offer a reply, Durham explained why he was not worried about it.

“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,” Durham said.

“Well said, God bless you,” Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) said, after which a round of applause could be heard. Another lawmaker was then called upon to address the witness.

Durham appeared before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday to talk about his report criticizing the FBI for how it conducted its investigation into alleged links between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia.

Leading up to the back-and-forth about Durham’s reputation, Cohen and Durham talked about how Trump appointed Durham to be U.S. attorney in Connecticut and Barr later appointed Durham to be special counsel.

Cohen pressed Durham on whether he believes Trump is a good judge of character. The congressman got into how Barr has fallen out of favor with the former president. Cohen listed examples of how Trump has denigrated Barr, calling him a “gutless pig,” a “coward,” and a “RINO” — which is a derogatory term that stands for “Republican in name only.”


Though Durham refused to opine on Trump’s character, he did comment on Trump’s insults against Barr. “In my experience, none of those are correct,” he said.

“So Mr. Trump isn’t that good of an expert on character and judging people?” Cohen asked. After Durham shrugged and declined to respond, Cohen surmised that Durham’s opinion is that Trump is a bad judge of character based on his defense of Barr.

“That’s outside the scope of my report,” Durham quipped with a smile. More laughter followed.

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