‘Uncorroborated Intelligence’: Durham Report Torches FBI, DOJ For Handling Of Trump-Russia Probe

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Special Counsel John Durham found that the FBI used “uncorroborated intelligence” when launching its probe into former President Donald Trump, and that FBI agents failed to maintain “strict fidelity to the law” in their investigation, according to a copy of the report obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Durham, appointed to investigate political bias by the FBI in its investigation of President Donald Trump, wrote that “neither U.S. nor the Intelligence Community appears to have possessed any actual evidence of collusion in their holdings at the commencement” of the investigation.

“Our investigation determined that the Crossfire Hurricane investigators did not and could not corroborate any of the substantive allegations contained in the Steele reporting,” the report read.

Durham added that the FBI “failed to uphold their mission of strict fidelity to the law.” Durham also claimed that the investigation into Trump was continued even after “the Director of the FBI and others learned of significant and potentially contrary intelligence,” according to the report.

The report noted that the FBI received intelligence that Hillary Clinton’s campaign approved “a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisors to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by Russian security services,” specifically one that involved “tying him to Putin and the Russians’ hacking of the Democratic National Committee” to distract the public from her email scandals. It notes that President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and FBI Director James Comey were personally briefed on Clinton’s scheme, known as the “Clinton Plan” in the report, by CIA Director John Brennan, who recorded mentioning the plan in his handwritten notes.

The “Clinton Plan” was obtained by the FBI while it was relying on the “Steele Dossier,” a discredited report of lurid allegations of Trump’s personal sexual activity, which the FBI knew was being funded and promoted by the Clinton campaign, according to the report. Durham quotes information from a meeting between the Dossier’s author, former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, and FBI agents, as well as texts between FBI officials, to demonstrate that the agents knew the evidence was connected to Clinton.

Front line agents who were conducting the investigation were not provided with the intelligence of the “Clinton Plan” by FBI leadership, with some only learning of it when interviewed by Durham’s office.

By contrast, top Clinton campaign officials denied that the material existed, with Campaign Chairman John Podesta and Senior Policy Advisor Jake Sullivan claiming that they “had not seen the declassified material before,” and that notions of any such plan were “ridiculous.” Sullivan is currently President Joe Biden’s National Security Advisor, while Podesta is a senior advisor to Biden on climate change.

The report further notes that officials at the Department of State’s Russia desk, in 2016, were also monitoring Trump’s campaign rhetoric and comparing it to “Putin-supported European right-wing candidates.” It states that this information was supplied to the Clinton campaign by former State Department officials, who claimed they were “sounding an internal alarm” about Trump and were “tracking” the rhetoric, which refers to assignments to Foreign Service Officers to closely monitor certain events.

Durham, who was appointed by Attorney General Bill Barr in 2019, was tasked with investigating the FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation into Trump’s 2016 campaign for alleged contact with the Russian government. That FBI investigation, led by Comey, who Trump fired shortly after assuming office, was later taken over by Special Counsel Robert Muller, who later reported that there was no evidence of a criminal conspiracy between Trump campaign officials and operatives of the Russian government.

Durham also faulted FBI agents for abusing surveillance laws, specifically the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), when investigating Trump campaign officials, such as foreign policy advisor Carter Page. Durham’s report concluded that FBI agents had a “predisposition to investigate Trump” even absent evidence of probable cause to do so.

The report notes that Comey, in particular, was insistent on obtaining a FISA warrant to surveil Page. “Where’s the FISA? Where’s the FISA?” Comey repeatedly asked FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, according to the report.

By contrast, the report describes “disparate treatment” of Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by the FBI during the election, including when the FBI received intelligence that an unnamed foreign agent was traveling to the U.S. to contribute to her campaign. It notes that an application for a FISA warrant into this agent was submitted to FBI Headquarters by field agents for approval, but was left “in limbo for approximately four months…because everyone was ‘super more careful’ and scared with the big name [Clinton] involved,” according to the report.

The report also notes that the FBI failed to document intelligence of an “illegal contribution” made to Clinton’s campaign at the behest of a foreign government in exchange for political influence, which is illegal under U.S. law. It notes that the foreign operative who arranged the donation claimed that Clinton’s campaign officials “were fully aware from the start” of the plan.

“The 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,” the report read.

Durham’s investigation led to three indictments, one indictee being Michael Sussman, a former partner at left-wing law firm Perkins Coie and attorney for Clinton’s presidential campaign. He was later found not guilty of lying to federal agents.

Editor’s note: This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

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