John Durham releases final report, concludes FBI had no verified intel when it opened probe on Trump
John Durham, a Special Counsel who has spent more than three year investigating the Russia collusion investigation, released his final report on Monday. He declared that the FBI did not have any verified intelligence or proof when it launched the Crossfire Hurricane investigation into President Donald Trump’s campaign during the summer of 2016. The special counsel released a damning final report Monday after more than three years investigating the Russia collusion probe. Durham declared that when the FBI opened its Crossfire Hurricane investigation of President Donald Trump’s campaign in summer 2016, it had no verified intelligence or evidence.
Just the News obtained a report by Durham that stated, “At the beginning of the Crossfire Hurricane inquiry, neither U.S. Law Enforcement nor the Intelligence Community appeared to have any actual evidence of colusion in their holdings.”
DOJ planned to release the report later on Monday.
The prosecutor criticized the FBI and the Department of Justice for not following their own standards, and allowing an investigation to continue, including the monitoring of a US citizen without any basis under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Durham wrote: “Based on our review of Crossfire Hurricane, and related intelligence activities we concluded that the Department and FBI failed to adhere to their important mission to strictly abide by the law with respect to certain events and activities described herein.”
The FBI staff also ignored important requirements in their quest to renew the FISA surveillance, despite admitting – both then and now – that there was no real reason to suspect that the target had engaged in clandestine activities for foreign powers.
The release of the report sparked immediate outrage on Capitol Hill. House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan tweeted that he would summon Durham to testify next week.
The FBI reacted immediately, stating that Durham’s findings validated the changes made by current Director Christopher Wray after he took over from James Comey.
The FBI’s current leadership implemented dozens corrective measures based on the conduct of 2016 and 2017. These actions have been in place since a while. The FBI stated that if these reforms had been implemented in 2016, missteps like those in the report would have been avoided.
This report highlights the need to ensure that the FBI continues its work with the professionalism, objectivity and rigor the American public deserves and expects.
Durham criticized the FBI specifically for relying upon evidence from Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, including the now discredited Steele dossier. Durham said that leadership lacked a necessary distrust in politically motivated accusations.
He wrote: “Our investigation revealed that senior FBI staff displayed a serious lacking of analytical rigor when it came to the information they received, particularly information from persons and entities with political affiliations.” This information was a major factor in the initiation and continuation of Crossfire Hurricane, and it contributed to the need for Special counsel Mueller’s investigation.
The Department relied heavily on leads that were provided (directly or indirect) by Trump’s political enemies. The Department failed to adequately question or examine these materials, and the motivations behind those who provided them, even though the FBI Director and others were aware of important and potentially contradictory intelligence at the same time.
The special prosecutor highlighted what he described as a double system of justice. He noted that the FBI did not open a counterintelligence investigation of Clinton’s election campaign despite intelligence received by the FBI that she had approved a dirty trick in order to portray Trump as an agent of Russian President Vladimir Putin and influence the outcome of the elections.
The report concluded that “the FBl’s action with regard to other highly important intelligence it received from a trustworthy foreign source pointing out a Clinton campaign planned to vilify Trump, by tying Putin to him in order to divert the attention from her concerns relating her use of a personal email server.”
“Unlike the FBI opening a full investigation into unknown members of Trump’s campaign based on raw and uncorroborated data, in this separate case involving an alleged Clinton campaign plan, it never opened any kind of inquiry, did not issue any taskings or employ any analytical personnel. It also produced no analytical products in relation to the information.
Durham wrote that “this lack of action occurred despite the fact the intelligence about the Clinton Plan was so important, the Director of CIA had to inform the President, Vice-President, Attorney General and Director of FBI as well as other senior government officials within days after receiving it.” Durham wrote that the CIA felt it was important enough to send a written referral memo to Director Corney, and to Peter Strzok the Deputy Assistant director of the FBI Counterintelligence Division.
Durham presented evidence that Strzok – who was the leader of the Crossfire Hurricane Team but later fired by the FBI – worked with FBI lawyer Lisa Page with whom he had an affair to get around Bill Priestap – his boss – to continue the investigation. This was done with the approval of Andrew McCabe, the then FBI Deputy Director, who was also fired.
Priestap was quoted in the report as saying that “Strzok would share information with McCabe directly before Priestap had a chance to provide it to McCabe.” Priestap described these actions as driving him “insane.” He told the Office Strzok had been the worst offenders in this regard.
Reports revealed that the agent handling the dossier, who was first contacted by ex-MI6 Agent Christopher Steele on July 5, 2016, was aware of Clinton’s connection to the work. This was evident by the “HC” notation in his notes. The agent stated that his initial reaction was disbelief and that Steele had a “political motivation” when he heard Steele’s claims of Trump-Russian collusion. However, despite this, he still passed on the allegations to the FBI.
The report stated that “despite his skepticism regarding the reporting, the Handling Agent I deemed that the allegations were something he couldn’t arbitrarily dismiss.”