The Durham Report Finds Nearly Nothing

The Daily Escape:

Tulips, Boston Common, Boston MA – May 2023 photo by Ken Grille Photography

The DOJ has released the Durham Report. Former Connecticut US Attorney John Durham was tagged by Trump’s Attorney General Barr with proving there was a deep-state plot against Trump. From the NYT:

“Mr. Durham’s 306-page report appeared to show little substantial new information about the FBI’s handling of the Russia investigation, known as Crossfire Hurricane, and it failed to produce the kinds of blockbuster revelations impugning the bureau that former President… Trump….had once suggested that Mr. Durham would find.”

So, after four years, and $6.5 million of our money, Durham found nothing? Apparently the best he could come up with was a Right wing personal opinion. Meanwhile Conservatives are furious with Durham for not finding Hillary Clinton guilty of…something. The Right-leaning Washington Times said:

“Special counsel John Durham’s failure to indict any Obama-era FBI officials involved in the Trump-Russia collusion investigation has left conservative activists and Trump allies questioning why he didn’t pursue prosecutions that they said were handed to him on a silver platter….Mr. Durham brought three prosecutions during his sprawling, four-year probe that concluded Monday, but he netted only one conviction: a low-level FBI lawyer who admitted to doctoring evidence.”


“None of the three indictments involved high-profile FBI figures who greenlighted an investigation into Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign based on unverified intelligence and ignored evidence that countered the collusion narrative, according to Mr. Durham’s 300-page report released Monday.”

There’s a lot of crying on the Right. The broken down ex-football coach who became a Senator, Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) said the Durham report shows that: (emphasis by Wrongo)

“…a whole list of people lied…If people don’t go to jail for this, the American people should just stand up and say, ‘Listen, enough’s enough, let’s don’t have elections anymore.”

Yikes! The Atlantic’s Tom Nichols observed:

“A US Senator says people should rise up and do away with elections unless the State punishes law enforcement officers for doing their job. A word I rarely use, but: This is pretty fascist stuff.”

So this is the Trump legacy in America. A Special Counsel appointed by Trump’s AG to disprove there was a connection between the Trump campaign and Russia doesn’t disprove it. He didn’t recommend filing any new charges against people he investigated in his final report. Despite criticizing the FBI, he didn’t recommend revamping the investigative procedures they use in politically sensitive investigations.

OTOH, the FBI’s investigation that Durham was supposed to debunk, wasn’t about investigating Trump but was about Russia’s support for his campaign. It was meant to find a conspiracy against Trump that didn’t exist. That’s the stock in trade of Trumpism. See the whole Republican investigation witch hunt list: Whitewater, Benghazi, Voter Fraud Commission, Hunter Biden’s Laptop.

It’s all political theater. The GOP outrage act has been running for longer than most Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals.

Unlike the Mueller investigation, Durham mostly came up empty on the cases he brought to trial. The absolute best he can say is “Maybe the FBI shouldn’t have looked into Trump-Russia because the feds played it fast and loose“.

But since he doesn’t mention any individuals who should be recommended for charges or suggest any operational improvements, it’s clear it was Durham who was wasting everyone’s time, not the FBI. In the report’s executive summary, Durham says:

“…this report does not recommend any wholesale changes in the guidelines and policies that the Department and the FBI now have in place to ensure proper conduct and accountability in how counterintelligence activities are carried out,”

Durham concludes with the premise that he started with: That the FBI should not have opened the Trump-Russia investigation:

“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…”

Durham’s job was to investigate the investigators (and also the investigation): To lend credibility to the idea that the Trump-Russia investigation was the product of a political witch hunt against Trump. He winds up accusing the FBI of “confirmation bias” in its legitimate probe of Trump/Russia links.

That’s rich since Durham never made any secret of his own bias in trying to discredit the Bureau with conjecture and few facts. He’s failed.

Durham found nothing but tries hard to make it sound like he did.