The FBI didn’t open any inquiry into an alleged Hillary Clinton campaign election interference plan even after the CIA director briefed then-president Barack Obama and other senior administration officials, Special Counsel John Durham’s report noted.
The FBI received Russian intelligence analysis in July 2016 alleging that Clinton’s campaign cooked up a scheme to divert attention away from “her use of a private email server,” the Durham report stated.
The alleged scheme, dubbed the “Clinton Plan,” showed that the Clinton campaign “had approved a campaign plan to stir up a scandal” against Trump “by tying him to Putin and the Russians’ hacking of the Democratic National Committee,” the Durham report reads.
The intelligence community didn’t know the accuracy of the Russian intelligence, but the findings were notable enough for then-CIA Director John Brennan to inform the Obama administration “within days” of learning about it.
Brennan briefed President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI Director James Comey about the Clinton campaign’s plan, the Durham report says.
The findings also prompted the CIA to send “a formal written referral memorandum” to Comey and “the Deputy Assistant Director of the FBl’s Counterintelligence Division, Peter Strzok, for their consideration and action.”
In contrast to the speed at which the FBI opened a full investigation into Trump “on raw, uncorroborated information,” the FBI “never opened any type of inquiry, issued any taskings, employed any analytical personnel, or produced any analytical products in connection with the information,” Durham wrote.
Durham’s findings, published Monday, discredited the FBI’s approach to how it handled its investigation into Trump’s alleged contact with the Russian government during the 2016 election. (RELATED: ‘Scammed’: Trump Responds To Conclusion Of Durham Probe)
Attorney General Bill Barr appointed Durham in 2019 to investigate the origins of Crossfire Hurricane, the FBI’s investigation into Trump.
Durham concluded that Crossfire Hurricane “reflected a noticeable departure” for how the bureau handled cases to Clinton, and said the FBI began their investigation of Trump without appearing “to have possessed any actual evidence of collusion in their holdings at the commencement.”
He also found that the FBI had a “predisposition to investigate Trump,” and did not move with “considerable caution,” as it did with cases related to Clinton.
The FBI responded to the findings of the Durham report, saying the bureau underwent reforms after the launch of Crossfire Hurricane.
“The conduct in 2016 and 2017 that Special Counsel Durham examined was the reason that current FBI leadership already implemented dozens of corrective actions, which have now been in place for some time,” the FBI said in a statement.
“Had those reforms been in place in 2016, 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.”