Special Counsel John Durham’s long-anticipated report on the Crossfire Hurricane investigation was released this Monday. Although the 306-page document largely reaffirms what conservative media outlets have been asserting for half a decade, it is a crucial public testament to one of the most significant political scandals in U.S. history.
A key revelation in Durham’s report, officially dubbed “Report on Matters Related to Intelligence Activities and Investigations Arising Out of the 2016 Presidential Campaigns,” was the lack of justifiable grounds for launching the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. Both Durham and former Attorney General William Barr had previously aired this view, but this voluminous report substantiates their argument in depth.
As detailed in Durham’s executive summary, the FBI hastily initiated Crossfire Hurricane as a “full investigation” under the guidance of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok, upon receiving a tip from Australia. The Special Counsel criticized the FBI for leaping into a full-blown investigation without any substantial review or analysis of the intelligence and not even communicating with the Australian diplomat involved. They neglected to gather relevant intelligence from other U.S. agencies, which would have shown no links between Trump and Russian leadership.
Durham emphasized that the initiation of Crossfire Hurricane was without any “actual evidence of collusion,” leading to numerous exhaustive and costly federal investigations. The repercussions, beyond the financial burden, include the undue hardship on innocent individuals like Carter Page, the strain on the Trump administration, and the overarching detriment to our nation.
The report also shed further light on Hillary Clinton and her campaign’s role in propagating the Russia collusion narrative. Beyond recapping the hiring of Perkins Coie, Fusion GPS, and Christopher Steele, Durham’s team explored the claim that Hillary Clinton approved a plan to discredit Donald Trump by fabricating a scandal involving Russian interference.
Despite Clinton’s dismissal of the “Clinton Plan” as “Russian disinformation,” Durham’s report presented a plethora of evidence supporting its existence. The report concluded that the government’s handling of the Clinton Plan epitomized a significant intelligence failure.
The report also underscored the political bias and double standards at play, contrasting the DOJ’s handling of the Clinton Foundation investigation and the FBI’s negligence to probe foreign election influence operations targeting the Clinton campaign. The FBI’s failure to investigate Charles Dolan, a Clinton associate with significant Russian connections, further underlined the disparate treatment of the Democrat candidate.
The report also expands on previous allegations of FISA abuse, focusing on the problematic reliance on the Steele dossier. Durham accentuated the fact that the dossier was utilized to support a FISA warrant, despite the weakening case against Page and the potential risk that Steele’s primary source was a Russian asset.
The media’s role in perpetuating the Russia collusion narrative was a consistent theme in Durham’s report. Although not directly about the press, the report indirectly indicted the corporate media as much as the Clinton campaign and the FBI, citing media outlets that have misreported on Trump’s supposed collusion with Russia, and detailing the close-knit relationship between the Clinton campaign and the media.
While many of the findings in the report may not be news to those who have followed conservative media, it still serves as an important public record of the malfeasance involved in the scandal. The document might not have led to additional criminal charges, but it does provide Americans with a comprehensive understanding of the extent of the misconduct. As we move forward, there will be ample time to evaluate the report in its entirety and assess Durham’s charging decisions. But for now, we should appreciate the establishment of an official public record of this extensive misconduct.