Durham’s End Report Could Still Be Damning; Bring It On And Don’t Spare The Details!

On Tuesday, John Durham lost once again in court when a jury found Igor Danchenko not guilty of lying to the FBI. The bigger fight, however, to reveal the shady political plots that drove the FBI’s Russia collusion investigation into the 2016 Donald Trump campaign, has already been won by the special counsel.

According to Mr. Durham’s study, Mr. Danchenko was the main source for the infamous Christopher Steele dossier, on which the FBI based a large portion of their inquiry, and his assertions were untrue. However, when Mr. Durham also revealed the FBI’s own disgusting behavior, the jury might not have thought the bureau was a victim.

For example, the FBI chose to conceal the dossier’s political funding (provided by the Hillary Clinton campaign), lied to the secret court that granted its surveillance requests, and refused to publicly admit that the allegations of collusion in the dossier were untrue. You may excuse the jury for not believing the FBI was tricked.

Even though Mr. Durham’s investigation may be coming to an end, he is still required to provide a report to the Attorney General that summarizes his findings. He is able to piece together the details he has been communicating fragmentarily through court documents. Bring it on, and don’t spare the participants or the specifics. His report must to focus on informing the public of what actually occurred and why.

On July 31, 2016, the FBI began its nefarious course when it launched its Crossfire Hurricane investigation into possible Russian collusion by Mr. Trump’s campaign, based on unreliable hearsay from a low-level advisor called George Papadopoulos. It also started getting reports from British ex-spy Christopher Steele, whose “dossier” contained absurd accusations that defied reason.

Early in October 2016, the FBI scrambled to set up a meeting with Mr. Steele. It had not done any research into their source and was unable to independently confirm even one claim in the report (and never would). Nevertheless, it made the astounding decision to provide Mr. Steele “up to $1 million” in public money at that meeting in order to validate his own facts. (The FBI often hires a third party to confirm a source report.)

Even at first, Mr. Steele declined to provide the FBI the identities of his sources since he was still unable to verify anything. This week, FBI Supervisory Analyst Brian Auten testified in court that even though the bureau had no confirmation of any details in the dossier, it made the claims in the document a central part of an application for a secret surveillance warrant on former Trump campaign official Carter Page on October 21, 2016.

The FBI hid this damaging detail in a complicated footnote to its application despite knowing Mr. Steele worked for the opposition research business Fusion GPS, which was itself funded by the Clinton campaign. It continued despite suspicions (later confirmed) that Mr. Steele had violated FBI source guidelines by speaking to the media on behalf of the Clinton campaign. Early versions of the Page application accused Mr. Steele for a press leak, but the FBI ultimately removed that essential information—despite insisting that Mr. Steele was “reliable”—from the application. Additionally, the FBI withheld defense-supporting information, such as the fact that Mr. Page spent years serving as a contact for another U.S. intelligence organization. In the end, the inspector general for the Justice Department found 17 serious errors and omissions in the application, the majority of which occurred to favor the FBI.

Mr. Danchenko, Mr. Steele’s main source, was not spoken to by the FBI until January 2017. Never mind that the FBI itself had launched a counterintelligence investigation on Mr. Danchenko in 2009 due to worries that he posed a threat to national security (it was eventually terminated in 2011 because the FBI thought he had left the country). Beginning in January 2017, Mr. Danchenko increasingly damaged the dossier. According to the inspector general’s report, he said that Mr. Steele had overstated or misstated several of his accusations, that he lacked evidence to support them, and that it was all “hearsay” from conversations he “had with pals over drinks.”

Instead of disclosing that its source had refuted his own work product, the FBI utilized information from the dossier to three more times renew the Page monitoring order. In order to thank Mr. Danchenko, it hired him as a confidential human source in March 2017. He worked for the company until October 2020.

While Mr. Durham provides evidence that Mr. Danchenko misled FBI handlers, there is just as much proof that the FBI ignored obvious flaws in his claim. Among them: In a document filed by the prosecution, Mr. Danchenko stated that businessman Sergei Millian phoned him in late July 2016 to corroborate a sensational story about Donald Trump with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel. Mr. Millian was allegedly involved in the case. However, a month before the alleged call, Mr. Danchenko informed Mr. Steele of this confirmation. According to Mr. Durham, he will show proof that such a call never occurred. This Monday, Mr. Auten acknowledged that the FBI never looked into Mr. Danchenko’s assertions by looking at phone or travel data.

The former FBI Director James Comey planned for the media to leak the dossier even while it was exploding in early 2017. The FBI set up a pretext to capture national security advisor Michael Flynn by claiming there was evidence of cooperation when in fact there was none. It remained silent while allegations of collusion forced Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign and Mr. Comey set up Robert Mueller to conduct a 22-month investigation into baseless claims—an investigation that, in hindsight, appears to have been started to cover up the FBI’s activities.

Because partisanship and inefficiency are not crimes, the FBI is not accountable. However, Mr. Durham is presenting the public’s viewpoint, and it is as repulsive as they come.

Certain parties will undoubtedly want Attorney General Merrick Garland to keep a report private. Justice Department backlash under Obama Mr. Durham shouldn’t be “the guy that gets to have the last say on the Russia inquiry,” as Matthew Miller has already said. Really?

The report from special counsel Robert Mueller was made public by the former attorney general Bill Barr, but it omitted the unsavory information that Mr. Durham discovered. Many DOJ officials, including Mr. Mueller, current FBI Director Christopher Wray, and hundreds more would like to keep the public in the dark about one of the greatest FBI abuses in history.

America has only had a peek of FBI misconduct thanks to Mr. Durham, who was chosen by Mr. Barr. Any effort to suppress his story would make the problem worse.

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