Durham Report: FBI Should Never Have Begun ‘Russia Collusion’ Investigation

 May 15, 2023

The much-anticipated Durham report, an investigation into the FBI's examination of the Trump campaign for potential Russian collusion, was published on Monday. The Special Counsel John Durham led the inquiry, which concluded that the FBI should not have initiated an investigation into the Trump campaign.

After a comprehensive review, Durham's 300-page report disclosed that the FBI failed to maintain its mission of strict adherence to the law during certain events and activities. The report criticizes the lack of analytical rigor among senior FBI personnel towards information received, particularly from politically affiliated sources.

Durham also revealed that despite lacking substantial evidence, the FBI hastily launched an investigation, "Crossfire Hurricane," into the Trump campaign.

Durham's Key Findings

Durham's report highlighted:

  • The FBI's failure to uphold their important mission of strict fidelity to the law.
  • The lack of analytical rigor among senior FBI personnel, especially towards politically affiliated sources.
  • The absence of credible evidence before the initiation of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.
  • The FBI's biased approach towards the Clinton campaign compared to the Trump campaign.

The report stated that the FBI swiftly opened the Crossfire Hurricane investigation based on unverified intelligence. The FBI's haste and approach were markedly different when compared to its handling of matters involving possible foreign election interference plans aimed at the Clinton campaign.

Accusations of Bias

Durham emphasized that the FBI and the Justice Department acted without "appropriate objectivity or restraint" when investigating allegations of collusion or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and a foreign power. The report also highlighted the FBI's bias towards the Clinton campaign, with the FBI showing a noticeable departure from how it approached potential foreign election interference aimed at Clinton.

In an illustrative quote from Durham, he stated: "The matter was opened as a full investigation without ever having spoken to the persons who provided the information." This statement refers to the FBI's rapid initiation of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, under the direction of Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Peter Strzok, despite lacking solid evidence.

Historical Precedent and Impact on FBI's Integrity

This event is reminiscent of the Watergate scandal, a major political scandal that occurred in the United States during the early 1970s, where a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters led to an investigation that revealed multiple abuses of power by the Nixon administration. Just as the Watergate scandal led to a loss of public trust in the government, the findings in the Durham report could potentially erode public trust in the FBI.

As John F. Kennedy once said,

"The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened."

The report calls into question the integrity of the FBI, suggesting a potential violation of the rights of those investigated. Durham suggested that merely introducing new rules and regulations would not restore the FBI's guiding principles if they are not deeply ingrained in the institution.

The Fallout and Political Repercussions

The fallout from the Durham report has been significant, particularly as Trump is currently running for reelection. His administration, which faced constant scrutiny under then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller, is likely to be affected by the findings. Key administration officials, such as then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, were sidelined due to the allegations of collusion and the ongoing investigation.

Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Eric Swalwell, who had previously asserted that there was evidence of collusion, have yet to produce any such evidence. This situation resulted in House Speaker Kevin McCarthy removing both members from the House Intelligence Committee due to their unfounded accusations of collusion. In Swalwell's case, this action was also influenced by allegations of a sexual relationship with a Chinese spy.

In response to the report, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) stated on Twitter:

"We’ve reached out to the Justice Department to have Special Counsel John Durham testify next week."

Implications of the Report

The Durham report's damning conclusion poses serious questions about the FBI's practices and handling of politically charged investigations. It suggests that the FBI may have allowed political bias to affect their judgement, leading to an unfair investigation into the Trump campaign.

The report also raises concerns about the integrity of the FBI. As Durham notes, the FBI's guiding principles of 'Fidelity, Bravery and Integrity' must be deeply engrained in those tasked with upholding the mission of 'Protecting the American People and Upholding the Constitution of the United States.'

As we reflect on this moment, we're reminded of a quote from Abraham Lincoln: "Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it." This sentiment underscores the importance of integrity, fairness, and the rule of law in our government institutions, including the FBI.