Top 10 takeaways from the Durham report

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Special Counsel John Durham on Monday released a 300+ page report excoriated the FBI, the Department of Justice, and the intelligence community as a whole for its pursuit of an investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump 2016 campaign and the Russian government without ever possessing evidence to substantiate the underlying allegations.

The report represents the culmination of a years-long effort by the prosecutor to undercover the origins of the collusion narrative. Then-Attorney General Bill Barr named him special counsel in 2020, though he had been investigating the matter since the year prior.

The long-awaited report pointed to shortcomings in the intelligence community’s conduct during the process and outlined a dichotomy between the FBI’s handling of its Clinton investigation with that of Trump. Here are some of the key takeaways.

You can read the full report in PDF format here

The Government Never Had Any Evidence

“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,” Durham wrote. Crossfire Hurricane is the FBI codename for the investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign.

“The matter was opened as a full investigation without ever having spoken to the persons who provided the information,” the report outlined. “Further, the FBI did so without (i) any significant review of its own intelligence databases, (ii) collection and examination of any relevant intelligence  from other U.S. intelligence entities, (iii) interviews of witnesses essential to understand the raw information it had received or (iv) using any of the standard analytical tools typically employed by the FBI in evaluating raw intelligence.”

Durham contended that, had the FBI followed its own procedures, the bureau “would have learned that their own experienced Russia analysts had no information about Trump being involved with Russian leadership officials, nor were others in sensitive positions at the CIA, the NSA, and the Department of State aware of such evidence concerning the subject.”

By Ben Whedon and Natalia Mittelstadt

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