Durham report slams FBI’s Trump-Russia probe

US President Donald Trump boards Air Force One before departing Harlingen, Texas on January 12, 2021. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump boards Air Force One before departing Harlingen, Texas on January 12, 2021. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN’s Roy Francis
8:13 AM – Tuesday, May 16, 2023

After a four-year long investigation, Special Counsel John Durham found that the Federal Bureau of Investigations’ (FBI) probe into connections between 45th President Donald Trump and Russia was deeply flawed, and that the FBI, along with the Department of Justice, had “failed to uphold their mission of strict fidelity to the law.”


The report, which was over 300 pages, was given to the Justice Department, which released the findings on Monday.

Since 2019, Durham had been investigating “Crossfire Hurricane,” the investigation by the FBI that looked into whether President Trump had coordinated with Russia to influence the 2016 elections.

The report slammed the FBI saying that the agency had conducted Crossfire Hurricane differently from other investigations and had rushed the investigation forward on “raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence.”

“The speed and manner in which the FBI opened and investigated Crossfire Hurricane during the presidential election season based on raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence also reflected a noticeable departure from how it approached prior matters involving possible attempted foreign election interference plans aimed at the Clinton campaign,” the report said.

Durham also said that the senior personnel at the FBI had “displayed a serious lack of analytical rigor towards the information they received,” referring to former FBI Director James Comey, and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

“This information in part triggered and sustained Crossfire Hurricane and contributed to the subsequent need for Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. In particular, there was significant reliance on investigative leads provided or funded (directly or indirectly) by Trump’s political opponents,” the report stated. “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 of the FBI and others learned of significant and potentially contrary intelligence.”

Durham said that the FBI had proceeded with the investigation even after they had received “material information that did not support the narrative of a collusive relationship between Trump and Russia,” and that the FBI Inspection division had “repeatedly ignored or explained away evidence contrary to the theory the Trump campaign.”

“In short, it is the Office’s assessment that the FBI discounted or willfully ignored material information that did not support the narrative of a collusive relationship between Trump and Russia,” the report concluded. “Similarly, the FBI Inspection Division Report says that the investigators ‘repeatedly ignore[d] or explain[ed] away evidence contrary to the theory the Trump campaign … had conspired with Russia …. It appeared that … there was a pattern of assuming nefarious intent.’ 1749 An objective and honest assessment of these strands of information should have caused the FBI to question not only the predication for Crossfire Hurricane, but also to reflect on whether the FBI was being manipulated for political or other purposes. Unfortunately, it did not.”

While conducting his investigation, Durham had indicted three people, former Clinton attorney Michael Sussman, Igor Danchenko, and Kevin Clinesmith.

Sussmann and Danchenko were found not guilty, and Clinesmith had pleaded not guilty and avoided jail time.

Durham ultimately found that there was no evidence of any collusion between President Trump and Russia.

“Indeed, based on the evidence gathered in the multiple exhaustive and costly federal investigations of these matters, including the instant investigation,” the report said. “Neither U.S. law enforcement nor the Intelligence Community appears to have possessed any actual evidence of collusion in their holdings at the commencement of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.”

At the end of the report, Durham suggested a reform the FBI to improve their operations moving forward, one of which is to create a career position for a nonpartisan FBI lawyer, or agent, whose tasks would be to challenge steps taken in “politically sensitive investigation.”

“One possible way to provide additional scrutiny of politically sensitive investigations would be to identify, in advance, an official who is responsible for challenging the steps taken in the investigation,” Durham suggested. “Stewart Baker proposes having a ‘career position for a nonpartisan FBI agent or lawyer to challenge the FISA application and every other stage of the investigation.’”

The FBI reacted to the report on Twitter saying that the new leadership had already “implemented dozens of corrective actions” to fix the issues that were found in the report.

“The conduct in 2016 and 2017 that Special Counsel Durham examined was the reason that current FBI leadership already implemented dozens of corrective actions, which have now been in place for some time,” the FBI said. “Had those reforms been in place in 2016, the missteps identified in the report could have been prevented. This report reinforces the importance of ensuring the FBI continues to do its work with the rigor, objectivity, and professionalism the American people deserve and rightly expect.”

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