The FBI had no reason to open an investigation into allegations that former President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign was colluding with Russia, special counsel John Durham found in a long-awaited report released Monday.
According to Durham, the former Connecticut US Attorney who was tapped by then-AG Bill Barr in in the spring of 2019 to examine the probe that overshadowed much of the 45th president’s administration, investigators opened the notorious probe — dubbed “Operation Crossfire Hurricane” — in the summer of 2016 despite having no “actual evidence of collusion in their holdings.”
Over the following months and as the probe ramped up under the oversight of former FBI Director Robert Mueller, Durham found investigators ignored exculpatory evidence, put too much stock in information provided by Trump’s political opponents, and carried out surveillance without genuinely believing there was probable cause to do so.
In the executive summary of the 306-page report, which was submitted to Attorney General Merrick Garland Friday, and released Monday afternoon, Durham wrote that investigators acted “without appropriate objectivity or restraint in pursuing allegations of collusion or conspiracy between a U.S. political campaign and a foreign power”
However, he stopped short of recommending significant reforms of the bureau, writing that “the answer is not the creation of new rules but a renewed fidelity to the old.”
The report by Durham concludes a workmanlike investigation that was met with high hopes by supporters of Trump, 76, but never achieved the promise of spectacular accountability for the so-called “deep state.”
Over Durham’s more than four years of work, he achieved just one guilty plea, with former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith copping in 2020 to falsifying documents in order to get a surveillance warrant against Trump campaign aide Carter Page renewed.
Two other court cases, brought against former Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann and Steele dossier source Igor Danchenko, ended in swift acquittals.
This is a developing story.