May 16, 2023

A ‘Devastating’ Report From John Durham

In a scathing 306-page report, the special counsel investigating the Trump-Russia collusion hoax calls out a woefully corrupt FBI.

“This was an operation, not an investigation.”

So said former U.S. Attorney Brett Tolman this morning in a briefly brilliant seven-word encapsulation of the worst political scandal in American history: namely, the Clinton-engineered, Obama-enabled, FBI-executed “Russia collusion” hoax aimed at Donald John Trump.

CNN’s Trump-hating Jake Tapper began, “For years, Donald Trump and his supporters pinned their hopes on the investigation by the former U.S. attorney for Connecticut, John Durham … regarding the Russian government’s attempts to interfere in the 2016 election.”

And then Tapper gave us his tell — that look of glass-chewing, acid-refluxy, fishbone-in-the-esophagus discomfort he takes on when he has to deliver news he finds deeply distressing: “The report is now here, it has dropped, and it might not have produced everything of what some Republicans hoped for, [but] it is regardless devastating to the FBI and to a degree, it does exonerate Donald Trump.”

To a degree? Begging Jake’s pardon, but there’s no room for equivocation here. During the past seven years, we’d venture that not a single soul on planet earth has uttered the word “hoax” more often than Donald Trump. And he was right all along. As The Wall Street Journal reports:

A special counsel appointed in President Donald Trump’s administration issued a highly critical report on how the FBI handled allegations linking Mr. Trump to Russia in 2016, ending four years of work Monday after having lost the two criminal cases he took to trial.

In his 306-page report, John Durham, the former top federal prosecutor in Connecticut, repeated prior criticisms faulting the Federal Bureau of Investigation on a number of points.

They don’t say.

Not that any of this is news to any reader of these pages — nor, frankly, to any other publication worth its salt. Our reporting from the onset was deeply dubious of the FBI’s assertion of an election-rigging connection between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. Indeed, our Nate Jackson questioned the bureau’s “Fidelity” and “Integrity” back in December 2017. Later on, in February 2019, our Mark Alexander named the names of this scandal, and 15 months later, he connected the dots of the crime scene to the squeaky clean administration of Barack Obama.

For our part, we’ve been pounding on the FBI ever since we came aboard, and we called out a little-known FBI cutout named Kevin Clinesmith while the corrupt mainstream media was continuing to carry the Democrats’ water.

As for the two criminal cases Durham brought — each against a lower-level cutout meant to keep the higher-ups from any accountability — he lost both of those cases not because of a paucity of evidence but, as we’ve noted, because Washington, DC, is a rigged town.

If you’re short on time, Power Line’s John Hinderaker has some excellent analysis of the report here.

And if you’re even shorter on time, here’s the money paragraph from the report itself:

Based on the review of Crossfire Hurricane and related intelligence activities, we conclude that the Department and the FBI failed to uphold their important mission of strict fidelity to the law in connection with certain events and activities described in this report. As noted, 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. In other instances, FBI personnel working on that same FISA application displayed, at best, a cavalier attitude towards accuracy and completeness. FBI personnel also repeatedly disregarded important requirements when they continued to seek renewals of that FISA surveillance while acknowledging — both then and in hindsight — 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.

And what of the FBI? What does the once-esteemed agency have to say about its rightly wrecked reputation? “The conduct in 2016 and 2017 that Special Counsel Durham examined,” said the bureau in a lawyerly statement, “was the reason that current FBI leadership already implemented dozens of corrective actions, which have now been in place for some time.”

Gosh, thanks. “Had those reforms been in place in 2016,” the mealy-mouthing continued, “the missteps identified in the report could have been prevented. This report reinforces the importance of ensuring the FBI continues to do its work with the rigor, objectivity, and professionalism the American people deserve and rightly expect.”

We’ll say. Now then, where’s the apology to Donald Trump and the 62 million Americans who voted for him in 2016, and the 74 million who did so in 2020? Where’s the apology for nakedly interfering in not one but two presidential elections?

As constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley noted, this non-apology is “hardly how one would describe a false narrative created by the Clinton campaign and pushed by the FBI or the derailing of a duly elected president for three years in a faux conspiracy.”

On the bright side, we suppose, is that those most responsible for this outrage were eventually broomed from the bureau in disgrace. But the real disgrace is that not a single one of them was perp-walked. (Is it just us, or does smarmy Peter Strzok have a delightfully “punchable” face?)

Alas, the best thing to come out of the corrupt bureau in recent years is whistleblowers.

“Hey @elonmusk,” tweeted the indomitable journalist Julie Kelly, “how about a black checkmark for every government official (including Biden), news organization, reporter, and cable news host responsible for pushing the biggest lie in US political history and interfering in 2 national elections?”

Perhaps what’s most infuriating about all this is the mainstream media’s continuing role in perpetuating it. There, for example, was yesterday’s headline from the ever-obedient Associated Press, bloodied but unbowed in its leftward bias: “Prosecutor ends probe of FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation with harsh criticism, but no new charges.”

Really? It’s as if the AP’s headline writers were playing dueling banjos with The New York Times and its gymnastically preposterous effort of a few days prior — the one it trotted out to defend against a damning congressional presentation on the influence-peddling efforts of the Biden Crime Family: “House Republican Report Finds No Evidence of Wrongdoing by President Biden.”

Want more media corruption? Check out this Pulitzer Prize citation for National Reporting, which went to The New York Times and The Washington Post:

For deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that dramatically furthered the nation’s understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections to the Trump campaign, the President-elect’s transition team and his eventual administration.

Question: When will they return those Pulitzers? Or, for the sake of the prize itself, when will the Pulitzer board forcibly take them back?

Yesterday, we wrote derisively about Joe Biden, Barack Obama, and their “scandal-free” administration, and how Obama had overseen the greatest political corruption scandal in American history — the fake, phony, fraudulent “Russia collusion” hoax that allowed his administration to weaponize the Department of Justice and our nation’s intelligence services to spy on then-candidate Donald Trump and continue to spy on him and his team after they’d taken office.

We used to think this was the stuff of third-world countries. Think about the mirror-imagery of two stories — Crossfire Hurricane and Laptopgate. Think about the stunning, infuriating, and deeply disheartening degree of corruption here. A hoax involving an American presidential candidate was made to look real, and it was pursued by our law enforcement and intelligence services, and by our mainstream media, and by the Democrat Party. And then, three years later, a legitimate case of corruption involving a presidential candidate was made to look like a hoax by the same law enforcement and intelligence services, and by the same mainstream media, and by the same Democrat Party.

Take that, you smelly Walmart shoppers.

What did Obama know and when did he know it? Either he was complicit, or he was willfully blind. And the latter strains credulity. He knew, and the mainstream media has never bothered to ask him about it.

As for the principals: Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Brennan, Clapper. These names, among others, should live in infamy, and they should never again be able to venture outside the safe, warm, fetid swamp of Washington, DC.

Updated with a statement from the FBI and a few additional thoughts on the bureau’s malfeasance.

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