The long-awaited report from Special Counsel John H. Durham has landed.
It’s a tome of 306 pages. Detailed and thorough. It justifies the wait.
Those who may have expected the Durham Report to lead to criminal indictments against those personnel in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) who concocted the Crossfire Hurricane operation, are likely disappointed.
Durham warns against that expectation upfront: “The decision of whether to bring criminal charges in any given matter is a complicated one that is neither entirely subjective nor mechanistic.” (p. 6)
That outcome is to be expected when the subjects of the Durham investigation include federal employees and many lawyers. Add to that a courtroom environment in Washington D.C. where an overwhelming percentage of the population that would constitute any jury consists largely of Democratic Party voters.
Durham states the key queries on page 8:
(1) “Was there adequate predication for the FBI to open the Crossfire Hurricane investigation on July 31, 2016 as a full counterintelligence and Foreign Agents Registration Act…?”
– In other words, was there just cause to investigate?
(2) “Was the subsequent investigation “consistent with how the FBI handled other intelligence it had received prior [highlighted in original] to July 31, 2016 concerning attempts by foreign interests to influence the Clinton and other campaigns?”
– Was the investigation properly conducted according to a standard, routine, and unbiased protocol?
(3) “[D]id the FBI properly consider other highly significant intelligence it received at virtually the same time as that used to predicate Crossfire Hurricane, but which related not to the Trump campaign, but rather to a purported Clinton campaign plan ‘to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by Russian security services’ which might have shed light on some of the Russia information the FBI was receiving from third parties, [emphasis added] including the Steele Dossier, the Alfa Bank allegations and confidential human source (‘CHS’) reporting? If not, were any provable federal crimes committed in failing to do so?”
– Was the investigation unbiasedly conducted in the context of collaterally related information coming from unverified sources knowingly hostile to Trump?
(4) “Was there evidence that the actions of any FBI personnel or third parties relating to the Crossfire Hurricane investigation violated any criminal statues, including the prohibition against making false statements to federal officials? If so, was that evidence sufficient to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt?”
– Were any laws broken by any FBI investigators or witnesses?
(5) “Was there evidence that the actions of the FBI or Department personnel in providing false or incomplete information to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (‘FISC’) violated any federal criminal statues? If so, was there evidence sufficient to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt?”
– Did anyone associated with the FBI lie to that secret Court?
Up front, Durham leans into the eventual conclusion:
“Our findings and conclusions regarding these and related questions are sobering.” (Emphasis added)
“Sobering” is right word. The next 300 pages bring it on.
To date, the document has garnered no significant interest among the American media.
Durham drops the finding in preparation for making the case.
“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.” (p. 17)
That range and impact of that failure is considerable.
…to be continue
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