FBI under fire in Trump-Russia probe over lack of evidence: Report
The much-anticipated Durham report has strongly slammed the FBI for its groundless investigation into alleged ties between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign.
The FBI lacked "analytical rigor" to investigate Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and was reliant on tips provided by Trump's political rivals to fuel the probe, US Special Counsel John Durham concluded in his much-awaited report.
In a 306-page report, special counsel John Durham determined that the FBI had not held "actual evidence" of collaboration between Donald Trump's campaign and Russia before launching the investigation.
Durham - who was designated by then-Attorney General William Barr in 2019 - charged the FBI of acting on "raw, unanalyzed and uncorroborated intelligence" in his report.
The report also noted that the investigation of Donald Trump was handled quite differently by the FBI than other sensitive cases, most notably the one which involved Hillary Clinton; Trump's opponent in the 2016 presidential election.
Durham Report Exposes Russia Hoax Against Trump!— Amanda Larreni (@AmandaLarreni) May 15, 2023
It concluded that the FBI's comprehensive probe into the alleged connections between Donald Trump's campaign & Russia was unjustified & lacked evidence!
The biggest threat to America is the Democrat Party! Retweet if you agree! pic.twitter.com/RsokcqPD42
Durham acknowledged that Clinton and others had been provided with "defensive briefings" from the FBI aimed at "those who may be the targets of nefarious activities by foreign powers." Meanwhile, Trump had not.
"The Department and the FBI failed to uphold their important mission of strict fidelity to the law in connection with certain events and activities described in this report," Durham wrote.
"Senior FBI personnel displayed a serious lack of analytical rigor towards the information that they received, especially information from politically affiliated persons and entities," he added.
In a statement, the FBI claimed it had "already implemented dozens of corrective actions."
"Had those reforms been in place in 2016, the missteps identified in the report could have been prevented," the statement stressed.
Read next: Republicans issue 1,000-page report saying FBI is 'rotten at its core'
What the report is saying
Durham said that, in contrast to the Trump campaign, the FBI was more circumspect about claims of foreign influence when it came to the Clinton campaign and did not pursue evidence in two instances of foreign countries seeking to influence Clinton despite giving defense briefings.
Durham said the FBI unduly relied on evidence gleaned from Trump's political foes and did not carefully examine the data it was given, which caused the inquiry to drag on and resulted in the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller to look into Trump.
Durham stated that despite a paucity of intelligence community data supporting the theory on which Crossfire Hurricane was based and despite FBI agents ignoring data that exonerated key players in the case, the FBI opted to proceed with the investigation.
Durham acknowledged that the so-called Steele dossier "triggered" Crossfire Hurricane, but the investigation was really predicated on a tip from an Australian ambassador in London that a member of the Trump campaign had seemed to know in advance that Russia would release negative material on Clinton.
The big picture
Numerous people have been charged with crimes, including computer hacking and financial crimes as a result of the Special Counsel Robert Mueller-led FBI investigation into suspected links between the Trump campaign and Russia.
However, it did not discover a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia to sway the election.
Commenting on the issue, Trump said on his social media platform, Truth Social, that the Durham report unmasked that the "American public was scammed."
The former US President cited the report's conclusion that there had been a lack of shreds of evidence to warrant a full investigation by the FBI.
Update: according to the Durham Report former CIA Director John Brennan briefed Obama and staff on the plot by Hillary Clinton to create a false narrative about Russian interference in the election and colluding with candidate Donald Trump. High ranking democrats all knew about… pic.twitter.com/lwYk83OZyx— 🇺🇸Travis🇺🇸 (@Travis_in_Flint) May 15, 2023
Trump has constantly reiterated that members of the "Deep State" are targeting him unjustly.
In 2022, Trump said he believed the Durham report would give evidence of "really bad, evil, unlawful and unconstitutional" activities and "reveal corruption at a level never before seen in our country."
The Durham report failed to reveal some of the blockbuster revelations and prosecutions that some Trump allies hoped for from the investigation.
In a lawsuit he brought against Clinton, a number of other Democrats, and government officials, the former President mentioned certain court documents from the Durham team. He claimed that they conspired to sabotage his 2016 presidential campaign by disseminating rumors about his campaign's links to Russia.
As of late December, Durham's inquiry was estimated to have cost almost $6.5 million. The current attorney general granted Durham, a seasoned federal prosecutor who served as Connecticut's US attorney throughout the Trump administration, permission to continue in his position until his task was finished.
It seems unlikely that Mr. Durham and his probe will soon stop making headlines worldwide.
Jim Jordan, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, indicated shortly after the report's public publication that he would be asking the former US attorney to testify before Congress regarding his work.
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