The lengthy report from Special Counsel John Durham regarding the Russia-Collusion Hoax is one for the ages. Its conclusions are both stunning and disturbing to all Americans who believe in equal justice under law.
In his report, Durham broadly concludes what millions of us have believed about this matter (and about many other false allegations about Pres. Trump) for many years now: There was never any basis for an investigation of Pres. Trump because there was never any actual evidence of collusion between Pres. Trump and/or his campaign and Russia.
Durham’s damning conclusion is one that should haunt the FBI and its mother agency, the Department of Justice (DOJ), for decades: by acting as it did, the DOJ and FBI “failed to uphold” its mission of “strict fidelity to the law” in the Trump-Russia probe.
Let me summarize the report.
The FBI lacked “any actual evidence of collusion” when it violated its standards and jumped over several steps to initiate a full investigation. In short, the FBI opened the probe without doing interviews, using any “standard analytical tools,” or conducting intelligence reviews—which would have shown that not a single U.S. agency had evidence of collusion. (Wall St. Journal, 5-15-23)
There was a strong bias against Trump. The Durham report makes clear that partisan hostility played a role in the probe. The report cites a “clear predisposition” to investigate based on a “prejudice against Trump” and “pronounced hostile feelings” against Trump by key investigators. (WSJ, 5-15-23).
Moreover, there were alarming double standards between the FBI’s treatment of President Trump and Hillary Clinton. The Durham Report lays out several instances in which the line FBI agents were concerned that representatives of foreign governments were seeking influence by donating to the Clinton campaign or the Clinton Foundation. Yet in one 2014 case, the FBI dawdled over obtaining a warrant from the secret FISA court because—according to an agent—“[T]hey were ‘tippy-toeing’ around HRC because there was a chance she would be the next President” and the FBI was concerned about interfering with a coming presidential campaign. (WSJ, 5-15-23).
Yet, the FBI gave a Clinton representative a “defensive briefing” about the risks of foreign actors. Mr. Trump received no such briefing even after the FBI was already investigating two members of the Trump Campaign, based on information provided to the FBI by Hillary Clinton’s Campaign and other political sources!
The FBI displayed willful ignorance and later, willing complicity. The report lays out numerous examples of the FBI ignoring evidence that it was being used by the Clinton campaign to execute a political dirty trick. This included intelligence the government received in July 2016 alleging that Mrs. Clinton had approved “a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisors to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security services.”
Further, former CIA director John Brennan briefed this material to President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and FBI Director James Comey, yet the FBI ignored it.
It did the same when it learned that collusion dossier author Christopher Steele was working for the Clinton campaign and that Steele and oppo-research team Fusion GPS were spreading disinformation to the press. And it ignored exculpatory statements made by Trump aides in secret FBI recordings. (WSJ, 5-15-23)
The Wall Street Journal concludes:
“The Russia collusion fabrication and deceptive sale to the public is a travesty that shouldn’t be forgotten. That Washington’s establishment refuses to acknowledge its role in this deceit is one reason so many Americans don’t trust public institutions. It will take years for honest public servants to undo the damage, but the Durham accounting is a start.”
There’s not really much else to say. However, the story is incomplete without recalling other recent instances of FBI corruption:
FBI targeting of Catholics to identify informants in its supposed effort to fight “white supremacy” and “domestic terrorists” in Catholic churches; The Hunter Biden Laptop scandal; the failure to prosecute Hillary Clinton for the destruction of classified information; labeling devoted parents as “domestic terrorists” who objected to the Covid masking, vaccine mandates, school shutdowns and the pornographic materials and racial politics their children are taught in public school.
The American people have lost faith in the FBI and DOJ. The corruption identified here is the furthest thing from faithfulness to the law—it’s a mockery of it. As a result, these two institutions have, perhaps irreversibly, wounded themselves.
Royal Alexander is a Shreveport attorney