(The Center Square) – Former Special Counsel John Durham said in a Congressional hearing on Wednesday that several FBI agents apologized to him for the way the investigation into former President Donald Trump’s Russian collusion probe was handled.
In his report on the Trump-Russia investigation, nicknamed Crossfire Hurricane, Durham reported that the FBI did not have an adequate basis to launch the probe, failed to examine all evidence, and continued investigations when evidence could not be verified. Durham also concluded the FBI did not interview key witnesses in the case, and abused its authority under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Durham said that the FBI opened Crossfire Hurricane without speaking to those who provided the information or consulting their own intelligence database.
He wrote in his report that an “objective and honest assessment” of the evidence, in possession at the launch of the investigation, “should have caused the FBI to question not only the predication for Crossfire Hurricane, but also to reflect on whether the FBI was being manipulated for political or other purposes.”
The report detailed the way the FBI handled similar controversies related to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, specifically in the speed and carelessness of the beginning of Trump’s Russia investigation.
“The speed and manner in which the FBI opened and investigated Crossfire Hurricane during the presidential election season based on raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence also reflected a noticeable departure from how it approached prior matters involving possible attempted foreign election interference plans aimed at the Clinton campaign,” Durham wrote in the report.
Durham reported that “neither U.S. law enforcement nor the intelligence community appears to have possessed any actual evidence of collusion in their holdings at the commencement of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.”
The Durham Report also commented on the Steele dossier, a compilation of intelligence from former head of the Russia Desk for British Intelligence Christopher Steele that alleged election interference between Russian operatives and Trump’s campaign members.
“Our investigation determined that the Crossfire Hurricane investigators did not and could not corroborate any of the substantive allegations contained in the Steele reporting,” Durham wrote in his report. “Nor was Steele able to produce corroboration for any of the reported allegations, even after being offered $1 million or more by the FBI for such corroboration.”
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said that the hearing Republicans planned for the report was just an effort to distract and mislead the American public considering Trump’s recent legal trouble.
Nadler said, “After four years, thousands of employee hours, and more than $6.5 million in taxpayer funds, Special Counsel Durham failed to uncover any wrongdoing that Justice Department Inspector General Horowitz had not already found in 2019.”
He concluded his opening statement by voicing disdain for the idea that Trump is a victim.
“For all of its flaws, the Durham Report does not show that anyone else is responsible for the President’s legal woes, past, present, or future. Anyone who tells you otherwise is simply making it up,” Nadler said.