Durham Releases Final Report on FBI Trump-Russia Probe
On Monday, special counsel John Durham released his report after a four-year investigation into the origins of the FBI investigation of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign’s potential ties to Russian operatives.
- On Monday, special counsel John Durham released his report after a four-year investigation into the origins of the FBI investigation of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign’s potential ties to Russian operatives.1
- Durham, who was appointed by Trump Attorney General Bill Barr in 2019, wrote that the FBI had a “seriously flawed” basis for opening the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation in 2016. Durham also concluded that neither US law enforcement nor its intelligence agencies possessed any evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia and that officials ignored evidence that wasn’t consistent with their intentions to continue the investigation.2
- Throughout Durham’s investigation, three people faced charges. Kevin Clinesmith, a former FBI lawyer who was caught altering an email used to justify a wiretap application, pleaded guilty.3
- Two other cases ended in acquittals for Michael Sussman, a lawyer for Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and Igor Danchenko, a Russian-American analyst, who were charged with lying to the FBI.4
- Previously, a US Dept. of Justice (DoJ) inspector general investigation cited similar problems with the FBI’s tactics during the Trump-Russia probe. However, the Inspector General in December 2019 concluded there was sufficient evidence to begin looking into Trump and Russia.5
- In response to the report, Trump said he and the “American public have been victims of this long-running and treasonous charade started by the Democrats.” He called for former FBI Director James Comey and Democrats to be held accountable.6
Sources: 1ABC News, 2Axios, 3Al Jazeera, 4Associated Press, 5CNN, and 6FOX News.
- Pro-Trump narrative, as provided by The Federalist. What was dismissed as a "baseless conspiracy theory" by some of the most powerful officials in the country and their media allies was actually true — the FBI was weaponized to prevent Trump from becoming president. There was never any evidence of collusion with Russia and any related probe was meant to distract from Clinton’s own scandal. The FBI must be greatly reformed if not completely dismantled for the good of the republic.
- Democratic narrative, as provided by MSNBC. By any measure, Durham’s report is the biggest, most expensive, non-revelatory piece of work by a special counsel in the history of the US. There are no new indictments or recommendations, and all this ground was covered by earlier probes by the US House and the DOJ inspector general. Ironically, the report contradicts Republicans’ reading of it by proving the Russia scandal wasn't entirely baseless and Durham’s investigation was a politically motivated waste of time.