In a damning 300-plus page report released Monday afternoon, Special Counsel John Durham said that the FBI had no verified intelligence or evidence to justify the Trump-Russia investigation into President Donald Trump’s campaign in the summer of 2016.
The Bureau’s Crossfire Hurricane probe was ostensibly opened to determine whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to influence the presidential election. Former Attorney General William Barr appointed Durham to “investigate the investigators” in May 2019 when it became clear that the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe was a political “witch hunt” meant to hobble Trump’s campaign and then his presidency.
According to Durham’s report, “neither U.S. nor the Intelligence Community appears to have possessed any actual evidence of collusion in their holdings at the commencement of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.”
Notably, the report states, “on July 26, 2016, Clinton allegedly approved a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisors to tie Trump to Russia as a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server.”
Igor Danchenko, a Clinton subcontractor, invented the most explosive allegations in British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s dossier—including the so-called “pee tape,” and fraudulently sourced the rumors to Sergei Millian, an innocent Belarusian-American businessman.
Steele was hired by an Fusion GPS, an opposition research firm, on behalf of Perkins Coie, the law firm for Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016. Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded in December 2019 that the dossier played a “central and essential” role in the FISA Court’s approval of the FBI’s secret surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
Durham’s report noted the the FBI failed to corroborate any of the dossier’s key claims: “Our investigation determined that the Crossfire Hurricane investigators did not and could not corroborate any of the substantive allegations contained in the Steele reporting.”
The report added: “Based on the review of Crossfire Hurricane and related intelligence activities, we conclude that the Department and the FBI failed to uphold their mission of strict fidelity to the law in connection with certain events and activities described in this report.”
Durham noted that his investigation found that “senior FBI personnel displayed a serious lack of analytical rigor towards the information that they received, especially information received from politically-affiliated persons and entities.”
“This information in part triggered and sustained Crossfire Hurricane and contributed to the subsequent need for Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation,” the report states. “In particular, there was significant reliance on investigative leads provided or funded (directly or indirectly) by Trump’s political opponents.”
The report also noted that “at least on the part of certain personnel intimately involved in the matter” there was “a predisposition to open an investigation into Trump.”
“The Department did not adequately examine or question these materials and the motivations of those providing them, even when at about the same time the Director the FBI and others learned of significant and potentially contrary intelligence,” the report states.
The report also identified a double standard in how the Bureau handled its political investigations in 2016, noting that the FBI used “raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence,” to launch its investigation into Trump and Russia but used a different standard when weighing concerns about alleged election interference regarding Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Durham indicated that there was no legitimate reason for the FBI to botch an investigation as badly as they did with Crossfire Hurricane and said action needs to be taken to prevent a similar political investigation from happening again.
“Although recognizing that in hindsight much is clearer, much of this also seems to have been clear at the time,” Durham’s report states. “We therefore believe it is important to examine past conduct to identify shortcomings and improve how the government carries out its most sensitive functions.”
Despite his scathing criticisms, the special counsel did not recommend any new charges against individuals involved.
Attorney General Merrick Garland sent Durham’s report to congressional lawmakers on Monday.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) tweeted that Republicans have reached out to the Justice Department to have Durham testify before the panel next week.
We’ve reached out to the Justice Department to have Special Counsel John Durham testify next week.
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) May 15, 2023
The FBI put out a statement Monday afternoon asserting that the Bureau has “implemented dozens of corrective actions” in the wake of the Russia hoax. Those “corrective actions” however didn’t stop the FBI from sitting for years on piles of incriminating evidence regarding the Biden Family’s corrupt business operations, including a document alleging a “very detailed” bribery scheme involving Joe Biden.
Statement on Report by Special Counsel John Durhamhttps://t.co/lcow0ea3mG pic.twitter.com/T4vXqoOMrp
— FBI (@FBI) May 15, 2023