MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace downplayed findings from a report released by Special Counsel John Durham Monday, focusing instead on what she claimed were “ethical lapses.”
“For years now, the Durham probe has loomed large on the right, part delusional fantasy, part hobby horse for the right, a fulfillment of the disgraced twice impeached, once indicted ex-president and his loyal attorney general’s pledge to ‘investigate the investigators,’” Wallace said at the start of “Deadline: White House.” (RELATED: Former Prosecutor Says FBI ‘Rolled The Dice For Partisan Reasons,’ Risked National Security In Trump-Russia Probe)
Durham released a report on the origins of the FBI investigation of allegations that former President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign colluded with Russia Monday, which found that the FBI and Department of Justice “did not and could not corroborate” the claims made in the now-discredited Steele Dossier that were used to launch the investigation.
Michael Sussman, a lawyer for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, was acquitted on charges of lying to the FBI in May 2022 that stemmed from his involvement in pushing the dossier, which was reportedly funded by Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee through the Perkins Coie law firm.
“John Durham is not today bringing any new charges. He’s lost both of the cases that he decided to bring to trial. That’s why some of the people at the highest levels of that probe left,” Wallace claimed. “The probe’s stunning clashes and ethical lapses and internal chaos have been documented and detailed in an extraordinary body of reporting in the ‘New York Times’ this year.”
Durham’s report said that FBI agents abused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which governs domestic surveillance, in the investigation into Trump. The FBI obtained warrants under FISA to monitor communications by Carter Page and other associates of former President Trump during his successful 2016 campaign for the White House based on evidence from the Steele Dossier.
Following her monologue, Wallace introduced Andrew Weissmann, who criticized the probe led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for not pursuing Trump aggressively as part of a panel to discuss the Durham report. Weissman called the report “a big, fat nothing” during the panel’s discussion of the report’s findings.
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