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The Durham Report
Regardless of your political leanings, today should be considered a dark day for America.
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More than six years ago, Trump asserted that the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane probe into his campaign was a “witch hunt” by the deep state. It would appear that special counsel John Durham has all but vindicated the former president.
In his damning 306-page final report released Monday, Durham concludes that the FBI allowed itself to be weaponized for political purposes during the 2016 presidential election. Neither the DOJ nor the FBI had “any actual evidence of collusion” between Russian officials and the Trump campaign, and opened their investigation based on “raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence.” Indeed, according to the report, Crossfire Hurricane began with a single unverified account of a months-old conversation in a bar with an unpaid foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign.
Without even speaking to the primary source of information, and in a departure from agency standards, a full-blown foreign intelligence investigation was opened despite the FBI having no information that anyone from the Trump campaign had ever been in contact with Russian intelligence officials. There was no assessment, no preliminary inquiry, no comparing notes with other American intelligence agencies or closely allied foreign intelligence services—the FBI conspicuously failed to take any of the steps it would normally take before such a momentous action in a sensitive investigative matter involving the American political process.
Peter Strzok, then the FBI’s deputy assistant director for counterintelligence, opened the investigation “immediately” at the direction of Andrew McCabe, then the FBI’s deputy director.1 “Strzok, at a minimum, had pronounced hostile feelings toward Trump,” the report states. Days after it was opened, Strzok was telling a London FBI employee that “there’s nothing to this,” while internal FBI communications discussing the probe during its early stages described it as “thin” and said that “it sucks.”2
Durham scolded federal law enforcement and counter-intelligence officials for failing to “uphold their important mission of strict fidelity to the law” as part of their investigation.
His report notes that former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith committed a criminal offense by fabricating language in an email that was material to the FBI obtaining a FISA surveillance order. Other FBI personnel working on that same FISA application “displayed, at best, a cavalier attitude towards accuracy and completeness.” In continuing to seek renewals of that FISA surveillance, they repeatedly disregarded important requirements while admitting that “they did not genuinely believe there was probable cause to believe that the target was knowingly engaged in clandestine intelligence activities on behalf of a foreign power, or knowingly helping another person in such activities.” All the while, certain personnel disregarded significant exculpatory information that should have prompted investigative restraint and re-examination, with senior agents “willfully ignoring” that which didn’t support the collusion narrative.
Durham says it was “confirmation bias” at “minimum” that led to the FBI’s years-long malfeasance. Even before the investigation commenced, he noted, many of the people involved “expressed their open disdain for Trump,” demanded knowledge of when an investigation into Trump would occur, and “asserted that they would prevent Trump from becoming President.” Although professional investigators are obligated to check their politics at the door in carrying out their duties, it is clear that the Trump campaign became an FBI obsession.
Durham also highlights that the FBI’s behavior towards the Trump campaign stands in stark contrast to the way it treated tips and information it received about Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
In fact, the report documents two investigations into Hillary Clinton that were never pursued—one involving the Clinton Foundation and one involving illegal foreign contributions to Clinton’s campaign. The FBI and DOJ restricted both of these investigations, making sure that “essentially no investigative activities occurred for months leading up to the election.” In the latter, an FBI confidential human source (CHS) had offered an illegal foreign contribution to the campaign through an intermediary. The Clinton campaign was “okay with it” and “were fully aware.” The CHS offered the FBI a copy of the credit card charge but the receipts were never obtained, with the handling agent telling the CHS “to stay away from all events relating to Clinton’s campaign.”
As for the investigation into the Clinton Foundation, FBI Assistant Director Andrew McCabe ordered it shut down in February 2016, and while he rescinded that order after pushback, he made sure that his approval was required for any further investigative steps. The New York Field Office, however, was called on behalf of FBI Director James Comey and informed to “cease and desist.”
Further, when the FBI learned of the Clinton campaign’s attempts to paint Trump as a Russian agent, it refused to look into the matter.
“Unlike the FBI’s opening of a full investigation of unknown members of the Trump campaign based on raw, uncorroborated information,” Durham writes, “in this separate matter involving a purported Clinton campaign plan, the FBI never opened any type of inquiry, issued any taskings, employed any analytical personnel, or produced any analytical products in connection with the information.”
Four months before the 2016 election, the Obama administration became aware that Hillary Clinton concocted the Russia hoax “as a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server.” We know this because on August 3, 2016, CIA Director John Brennon met with President Obama, Vice President Biden, and other senior administration officials including Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI Director James Comey. At that meeting, Brennan informed them of the “Clinton Plan” to create a fake scandal tying Trump to Vladimir Putin and Russian hackers who compromised the Democratic National Committee’s computers.
And yet despite the CIA sending the FBI all the information it had on the Clinton Plan in the form of a memorandum, the FBI did nothing to vet it or investigate—this, even as they used a part of the Clinton Plan (the Steele dossier, funded through the campaign’s law firm, Perkins Coie3) to probe the Trump campaign. It’s clear that the memo was intentionally buried at the FBI. Most members of Crossfire Hurricane “had never seen the intelligence before.” Essentially, the bureau wittingly allowed itself to be used by the Clinton campaign.
FBI Director James Comey — who later wrote and sold a book on “ethical leadership” — was personally interested in the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, micromanaging it and demanding the Carter Page FISA warrant. He repeatedly asked of Assistant Director Andrew McCabe: “Where is the FISA, where is the FISA?”
According to Durham the FBI knew relatively early that the FISA warrants were bullshit. This knowledge became more or less crystal clear by 2018, as FBI analysts discussed how “Steele’s subsources could have been compromised by the Russians.” When they were preparing their findings in a memorandum, FBI Deputy Assistant Director for Counterintelligence, Dina Corsi, met with the review team and directed them not to document any recommendations, context, or analysis. An FBI attorney at that meeting “confirmed that the team was told not to write any more memoranda or analytical pieces and to provide their findings orally.” Corsi’s directive, according to the attorney, was “the most inappropriate operational or professional statement he had ever heard at the FBI.”
It is impossible to overstate the gravity of the misconduct uncovered by Durham. His report is insanely damning of the FBI, the Clinton campaign, the Obama administration, and everyone involved in the Russia-Trump hoax.
As Utah Senator Mike Lee stated, the least you could say of everything that transpired is that it was a malicious use of the government’s law-enforcement-and-intelligence apparatus to conduct an utterly contrived investigation that never had any valid, factual foundation.
But it’s of course so much worse than that. Indeed, it’s appreciably worse than Watergate. It was far deeper in the bowels of the government and reached to the highest levels, a concerted effort by the deep state, the Clinton campaign, and a craven mainstream media to malign a presidential candidate and make him unelectable in the eyes of the public, an effort that persisted even after Trump was a sitting president. They tried to frame him to overturn an election, miring his administration in a faux scandal for years, with high-ranking officials paraded before grand juries and their guilt then proclaimed nightly on CNN and MSNBC.
Even after the Mueller investigation found insufficient evidence of collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, Rep. Adam Schiff assured the public in March 2018, that “I can certainly say with confidence that there is significant evidence of collusion between the campaign and Russia” and he repeatedly promised to reveal it in his committee. He never did, instead regularly criticizing Durham’s investigation and calling for it to end so as to prevent the report from being released. Schiff’s buddy on the intelligence committee, Rep. Eric Swalwell, also insisted there was clear evidence of collusion. Even Obama’s former national intelligence director James Clapper suggested Trump was a “Russian asset.”
And for the past seven years the people who orchestrated this real disinformation campaign and perpetrated this scandal on the nation have carried on making money on books, speeches, TV commentary, and lectures about political or electoral ethics. The mainstream media, meanwhile, is offering little more than a shoulder-shrug and more spin.
There won’t be any justice. We know this. The current regime spies on opponents, uses the intelligence community and law enforcement against dissidents and political enemies, and rigs elections—all openly, without ever being held accountable for such egregious abuse of power. The elites play by one set of rules, we peasants by another, and the deep state is comprised of Democratic Party loyalists.
A few days later, McCabe’s counsel, a distressed Lisa Page, asked Strzok, “[Trump’s] not going to become president, right? Right?”
“No. No, he’s not,” Strzok assured her. “We’ll stop it.”
British intel laughed at how ‘“thin” the case for an investigation was, saying “for f--k’s sake, man.” The British also pushed back on Robert Mueller’s requests for assistance: “[a British Intelligence person] basically said there was no [expletive] way in hell they were going to do it.”
Durham found that “at no time before, during, or after Crossfire Hurricane” did the FBI “corroborate a single substantive allegation in the Steele dossier reporting.” Rather than verify the information in Steele’s reporting, the FBI swore to it four separate times, beginning with the first surveillance application approved for presentation to the court by Comey in October 2016—weeks before the election.