The Immunity Option: How Congress Could Have the Final Say on the Russian Collusion Scandal

(MSNBC/via YouTube)

For those interested in the truth about the Russian collusion investigation, the Durham Report has hundreds of pages of details of the alliance of political, government and media figures behind arguably the greatest hoax in U.S. history. The only thing it does not have is an actual indictment or true accountability for the critical players in an effort to derail an American presidency. Indeed, some witnesses associated with the Clinton campaign appear to have refused to cooperate with the investigation. Congress could change that.

Buried in the detailed account is a little noticed footnote stating that Clinton General Counsel Marc Elias “declined to be voluntarily interviewed by the Office.” Likewise, Durham noted that “no one at Fusion GPS … would agree to voluntarily speak with the Office” while both the DNC and Clinton campaign invoked privileges to refuse to answer certain questions.

It is not clear whether Durham was able to get a full account from these sources, but he was still able to establish the details on how this unprecedented political hit job succeeded despite a lack of evidence. In the course of that account, Durham demolished the prior claims of Democratic members like Adam Schiff and many in the media. Durham concludes that the investigation should never have been launched and that the whole effort was based on “raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated” information.

It turns out that the “pee-tape” was the creation of a Clinton operative without any factual basis despite years of the media (and former FBI Director James Comey) referencing the false salacious claim.

It turns out that Trump was correct that the FBI did spy on his campaign despite years of mocking denials in the media.

Indeed, Trump was right that this was a manufactured hoax engineered by the Clinton campaign, weaponized by the FBI, and then promulgated by the media.

As expected, the media has imposed another virtual blackout on coverage of the report other than to deny that there is anything new for the public to see. For those of us concerned about the rise of a type of state media in the United States, the report and its coverage has only magnified those concerns.

So is that it? Just a shrug and spin?

Not necessarily.

In a recent Fox interview, former Attorney General Bill Barr indicated that he always viewed Durham’s primary mandate as establishing what occurred in the Russian collusion investigation and making that information public.

Congress can now use that foundation to compel cooperation from key figures in this scandal, if necessary, under a grant of immunity. The witnesses could still be prosecuted if they lie or mislead congressional investigators or commit perjury.

They could start with Marc Elias, who features prominently in the Durham Report.  It was Elias who managed the legal budget for the campaign. We now know that the campaign hid the funding of the Steele dossier as a legal expense. (The Clinton campaign was later sanctioned by the FEC over its hiding of the funding).

New York Times reporter Ken Vogel said that Elias denied involvement in the anti-Trump dossier. When Vogel tried to report the story, he said, Elias “pushed back vigorously, saying ‘You (or your sources) are wrong.’” Times reporter Maggie Haberman declared, “Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year.”

Elias was also seated next to John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, when he was asked about the role of the campaign, he denied categorically any contractual agreement with Fusion GPS. Even assuming that Podesta was kept in the dark, the Durham Report clearly shows that Elias knew and played an active role in pushing this effort.

Elias is now ironically advising Democratic campaigns on election ethics and running a group to “defend democracy.” He is still counsel to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) headed by Rep. Suzan Kay DelBene, D-Wash. Elias was recently severed by the Democratic National Committee from further representation and has been previously sanctioned in federal court in other litigation.

Elias testified at the criminal trial of his former partner Michael Sussmann, but the scope of that examination was strictly limited by the court in the Alfa Bank matter. Congress could compel his testimony on the full range of conduct leading to the scandal.

Likewise, other figures from Steele to Comey could be compelled to give full accounts in light of this Report. Congress has an interest in hearing from these witnesses as it explores how to make real reforms at the Justice Department and the FBI.

The need for congressional action was made clear by the FBI itself in its immediate response to the Report. It insisted that it has reformed itself after what it described as “missteps identified in the report.”

There are many ways to describe an investigation into false allegations raised by an opposing political party to derail a presidency. Calling that a “misstep” is like calling the explosion of the Hindenburg a “mislanding.” The FBI has now gone through regular cycles of scandals followed by assurances of self-reform.

Even if one is willing to suspend disbelief over the latest “trust us we’re the government” press release, it ignores that fact that the FBI was accused again in 2020 of playing a role in burying the Hunter Biden laptop scandal.

If Congress wants to reform this system, Durham has given it a blueprint for how to do it. After the Report, there is now an undeniable right of Congress to seek this testimony as part of its legislative and oversight functions under Article I. While figures like Elias may  “decline to be voluntarily interviewed,” this does not have to be a voluntary exercise.

In speaking with many witnesses, Durham was dealing with some potential crimes with expired statutes of limitation. If witnesses lie to Congress, they could also face charges under a new statute of limitations.

If history is any measure, nothing concentrates the mind as much as a subpoena and immunity grant . . . and it may be time to concentrate some minds in Washington.

This column appeared earlier on

146 thoughts on “The Immunity Option: How Congress Could Have the Final Say on the Russian Collusion Scandal”

  1. Blah blah woof woof, unless it’s a republican charged with something, nobody seems to care.

  2. toothless report. nothing will happen. people are just stupid and the smart ones are busy paying taxes and facing brutal inflation.

  3. I’ve been reading this site for years(three weeks after Mr. Turley began posting-when another site referenced it) I know sometimes his post are filler stories for pure entertainment. I’m most interested in reading his opinions on these matters (things that matter). This site had become more and more infested with trolls (I even tried searching for a another name for what those people are attempting, and the definition of troll best fits the select few on here). For years I was able to read insightful responses from intelligent professionals. Nowadays I’ having to skip over more and more comments to read a few. Not only are the keyboard trolls stirring up hate and division, they are replying maybe times daily to everything everyone says, even to themselves sometimes. I believe many great posters no longer mentions their ideas because of the sanctimonious trolls ruining this site. More than once I’ve scrolled down after reading Turley’s article to find the first few post loathing on Turley directly over every detail. Sealioning would be a great way definition, owever instead these trolls are aiming their mindless perfidious ramblings towards the rest of us -Turley fans. I fully understand and respect Turley;s dedication to the first amendment, but he could make a few changes to make this site more enjoyable to everyone.1. people must create a userID(with a verified email) in order to post comments. 2. make posting comments a paid service say- $1 per year- verify user name and email to filter scammers/cheats 2. Limit post those post to one per day… It bothers me to skip half the messages to read a few- to only find that those are responses directed towards the instigating trolls. If anyone can think of any others- I’d lost to hear than….I hope Prof. Turley is able to enact these changes- it would really really really improve his website and it’s conversations tremendously.

    1. These problems are common to all comment sites and social media. I’ve often said that much of the hateful and nonsensical rhetoric, which typically comes from anonymous accounts or those with phony names that are likely bots, could be curtailed by merely authenticating users.

    2. In spite of Trump’s presidency losing two years of progress for the country, it still accomplished a lot…magapill dot com

    3. What userID would you suggest we use that some woke Ahole working for any number of Anti-American Intel outfits use to Doxxed all our other accounts?

      Even at just 1 dollar they’ll hack us no matter how many new card #s a people get.

      Remember the Canadian & US Trucker’s protest against Mandatory Covid 19 mRNA Poisonous Shots? They Govt conspired & shut off their cards & bank accounts.

      Below video may be a new door out of these type problems.


      Jason Crowe reveals revolutionary Qortal tech for distributed, censorship-PROOF content, websites and videos

  4. “Lest We Forget: Obama and Biden sat in that August 3, 2016 Situation Room briefing and said, yeah, let’s let the highest officials in our administration fabricate evidence to frame the opposing party candidate Donald Trump.

    Pure treason.”

    1. It’s a very simple plan used over and over. The DC swamp breaks the law to maintain power, drag their feet until the statute time runs out, all while lying to the American public through corporate news. Repeat for ever until the population gets exhausted or revolts.

    2. Having, at one time–approximately 2 years ago, after the 2020 election–I wasn’t quite sure that there was some larger conspiracy with the government–the democrats at all levels, sadly. As a NPA voter and have given funds (thousands as the FEC shows for my name) to candidates for their “non-evil” use, for lack of a better phrase . . . and no, I’m not a non-secular–for those who can’t figure that out, that means I’m non-christian (secular), so to say “non-evil” means, simply, have some morals.

      That means, don’t be a crook or conspirator, to aid oneself, personally, or collectively. It’s clear, now that the dishonest, lying group of people have been CLEARLY identified and are criminally liable. They are democrats. Mr. Turley’s analysis is entirely correct and wisely stated and consequences should be forthcoming.

      Consequences? “Were there consequences for Benedict Arnold? Were there consequences for Nixon, Ehrlichmen, Haldeman, Mitchell, Dean, and others? ABSOLUTELY as history shows!

      Should people like Podesta (outed by Julian Assage (thank you Julian), who was caught in an email to the NYT saying they’d fabricate fake news and the NYT agreed), Clinton, Pelosi, Shumer, and the rest of this “gang of eight” be found culpable in Federal Court? YES, YES, YES. The DNC should be punished, as the leaders of their criminal movement, as should the NYT, WP and other clearly biased news sources who in fact did nothing to honor their pledge to journalism. They should have their degrees revoked at the least, and certainly fined and found for personal liability damages–cash.

      And I hope they will all go down and I’ll NEVER vote for a Democrat, or support them again–personally, and financially. I’ve found that they are disgusting as a party, (bill Clinton was OK and I liked his blue dress testimony and definition of what constitutes sex and it was mildly comical) they are ONLY interested in buying a vote, when they can, or lying about some fabricated “story” and can’t be trusted. Let’s face it, Hillary Clinton is widely known as the “Skank.” Skanks are those slimy lizards that hide under rocks and in dark crevices. The name aptly fits.

      Great job on the analysis Jonathan Turley. Well done.

    3. As I said a year ago, this was worse than Watergate. Watergate was a President using his office to stay in office. I am not a Trumper and I am not a never Trumper. I have always been for the rule of law regardless of political party.

      Russiagate was a clandestine operation by a sitting US President, Obama, a sitting Vice-President, Biden, a former US Secretary of State, Clinton, the FBI, the CIA and various other government agencies and the media to de-legitimize a duly elected President and floating the 25th Amendment to remove him from office when knowing the operation was a false flag operation. Treasonous. To further the issue those involved have not been ostracized from the media and have not been charged with crimes. These “operators” have continued to go about their daily business providing propaganda. No mea-culpa no nothing. Joseph Goebbels would be proud as we have a state run media.

      I have always been a law abiding citizen; today I am not sure if the laws protect me and/or my family if I am on the wrong side of the political spectrum.

  5. Honestly – at this point, if Trump wins his second term, on some level I’d be perfectly ok if he “went vindictive Dictator” for a few months and executed a few tens of thousands of the Demusists who did this to our country – and then stepped down. We seem to need a culling to restore Liberty.

    The problem with that fantasy, of course, is that once you allow the creation of the position of dictator (which every Demunist lusts for), you can’t get rid of it and they never step down voluntarily.

    1. A Hidden as a Legal expense ~ We need Tricia from New York and her buddy Al to come down here and edumacate everybody about that one. He and she have charged the Donald with hiding payoffs as Legal expenses ~ see Cohen.

      WOWSER ~ since Hillary Clinton is involved in this, she could be prosecuted in New York state!

      Double Wowser

      1. Your funny on many levels; first “I like the way you talk”. And second when you say “Hillary could be prosecuted in New York state”; HaHa that’s the best loke of the century. The only way New York or Washington DC would prosecute Hillary is if she went back to being a Republican. But keep it up we need the humor in this day and age.

        1. Thank you, Professor for a good response. You are correct, of course, but it’s also sad. At least you made me smile today. I needed that. Good job…

    1. FBI says it won’t release Jan 6 surveillance video because it would show too many undercover government agents and informants.

      The footage would also show too many feds committing criminal acts within the Capitol.

  6. Frank Herbert, in ‘Dune’, reminds us that ‘actions have consequences’. I’ll go with the frustration of the recently elected Democrat NYC Mayor and NYS Governor, over the influx of migrants permitted to enter this country unlawfully and the impact on their communities, as a sign and portent of the spread of that cancer, than all the forgoing blather. A quick survey of comments on Twitter makes clear the kind of tripe which passes for leadership and government that much of the electorate is willing to swallow, If they choose to commit this constitutional republic to collective suicide, then that’s their legacy to their issue. They’ll all have another shot at the brass ring in 2024.

  7. We all knew Hillary was corrupt , but when the DOJ , FBI , intel agecies , and the highest level the president Obama all knew what was illegally being done to Trump . They have torn our constitution to pieces all over politics and the coverup by the media even made it worse .

  8. Now it’s up to us to push this great suggestion to haul Marc Elias’ ass in front of Congress. Marc is a brain behind many Democrats’ plots from election interference to legal and illegal expenditures of Clinton campaign. This can be a best chance to neutralize his influence in this election cycle. Tweet this to Jim Jordan, Harriet Hageman and others!

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