(Ken Silva, Headline USA) Special Counsel John Durham ended on Monday his roughly four-year examination of the FBI’s baseless Russiagate investigation, releasing a 300-plus-page report that blasts the FBI for launching a politically charged probe into possible links between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign—despite having no evidence of any such links.
However, Durham’s work fell far short of what Trump and his allies had hoped for. The special prosecutor ended his work without any more criminal charges against those involved in Russiagate.
“If this report and the outcome of the Special Counsel’s investigation leave some with the impression that injustices or misconduct have gone unaddressed, it is not because the Office concluded that no such injustices or misconduct occurred,” Durham said in the report, explaining his decision not to prosecute.
“It is, rather, because not every injustice or transgression amounts to a criminal offense, and criminal prosecutors are tasked exclusively with investigating and prosecuting violations of U.S. criminal laws.”
The report repeats what an earlier DOJ Inspector General audit and quality investigative journalism has already revealed.
It criticized the FBI for opening a full-fledged investigation based on “raw, unanalyzed and uncorroborated intelligence,” saying the speed at which it did so was a departure from the norm. And it said investigators repeatedly relied on “confirmation bias,” ignoring or rationalizing away evidence that undercut their premise of a Trump-Russia conspiracy as they pushed the probe forward.
“Again, the FBI’s failure to critically analyze information that ran counter to the narrative of a Trump/Russia collusive relationship exhibited throughout Crossfire Hurricane is extremely troublesome,” the report said.
Previously unpublicized highlights from the Durham report include the revelation that the FBI tried and failed to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on George Papadopoulos—a relatively minor former Trump campaign foreign policy advisor who the FBI had tried to coax into spreading false information about Trump-Russia connections.
The report also revealed that Barrack Obama’s CIA director, John Brennan, had briefed the White House about then-candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign strategy to paint Trump as a Russian asset.
“In late July 2016, U.S. intelligence agencies obtained insight into Russian intelligence analysis alleging that U.S Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had approved a campaign plan to stir up a scandal against U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump by tying him to Putin and the Russians’ hacking of the Democratic National Committee,” Durham said in his report.
“According to his handwritten notes, CIA Director Brennan subsequently briefed President Obama and other senior national security officials on the intelligence.”
The report has received mixed reactions in the early hours since its release.
Some Trump supporters are taking a victory lap, noting that even CNN has had to admit that Trump is exonerated from the bogus Russia-collusion allegations.
Jake Tapper on the Durham Report
“It is devastating to the FBI and to a degree it does exonerate Donald Trump” pic.twitter.com/7q9u7enJLX
— Chief Nerd (@TheChiefNerd) May 15, 2023
However, others are upset that those responsible for the Russiagate hoax are not being held to account. Durham’s four-year probe resulted in two indictments and one FBI employee pleading guilty to doctoring evidence, but anti-Trump juries found the two indicted officials not guilty.
“Durham let down the American people with few and failed prosecutions. Never in American history has so much government corruption faced so little accountability,” Judicial Watch said in a statement.
“FBI and Justice Department—and their political masters in the Obama White House—are responsible for the worst government corruption in American history. President Trump is a crime victim who was targeted by a seditious conspiracy by Obama, Biden, Clinton and their Deep State allies.”
Still others have noted that the Durham report failed to investigate a key element of the Russiagate hoax: the notion that Russia hacked the DNC severs to obtain and leak a set of damning internal emails from the Clinton campaign.
“[Durham] doesn’t touch Russiagate’s core allegation, which the Clinton camp also generated and FBI/media parroted: alleged Russian hacking of DNC,” said indendent reporter Aaron Maté, whose reporting won the prestigious Izzy Award in 2019 for debunking the Russiagate hoax.
Meanwhile, Republicans are indicating that the battle for accountability isn’t over yet. House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan said Monday that his committee has “reached out to the Justice Department to have Special Counsel John Durham testify next week.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.