Posted by Curt on 23 May, 2023 at 12:47 pm. 4 comments already!


By Benjamin Weingarten

Special Counsel John Durham’s report represents a trifecta of indictments. First and foremost, it’s a direct indictment of our national security and law enforcement apparatus, suggesting it’s plagued by unfathomable levels of rot and corruption at the highest ranks. Second, it’s an indirect indictment of our justice system. Third, through the special counsel’s own sins of omission and commission, the report serves as an indictment of the special counsel itself.

The virtue of Durham’s report is that it has revived and added rich detail to one of the greatest scandals in American history, whereby a political campaign, the Deep State, and media conspired to undermine a presidential candidate, and then delegitimize, destabilize, and destroy a duly elected president—preventing the peaceful transfer of power to him and disenfranchising his tens of millions of voters—all based on a lie.

With the weaponization of said Deep State under congressional scrutiny, Russiagate remains ever relevant.

Durham makes clear that “Trump-Russia collusion” was a fraud from the start, cooked up by Hillary Clinton’s team and the Democratic National Committee (DNC), foisted upon America by a similarly disposed security state that repeatedly ran interference on Clinton’s behalf while breaking or ignoring virtually every rule in the book in its zealous effort to crush her opponent and then president—and all aided by corporate media stenographers in on the information operation.

The special counsel writes (pdf) that “[N]either 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 FBI predicated Crossfire Hurricane, a full counterintelligence investigation into whether individuals associated with an ongoing presidential campaign were “witting of and/or coordinating activities with the Government of Russia,” as the Durham report details, on the “sole basis” of “clearly raw and unevaluated” information.

It gleaned said information from Australian diplomats who had engaged in bar talk with a then-little-known volunteer foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign. The FBI never interviewed the foreign officials, nor “gave any consideration to the actual trustworthiness of” them. It didn’t interview the Australians’ interlocutor either.

But the FBI proceeded to open the investigation at warp speed—within three days—of receiving a cable stating that former Australian High Commissioner Alexander Downer indicated that George Papadopoulos “suggested the Trump team had received some kind of suggestion from Russia that it could assist … with the anonymous release of information during the campaign that would be damaging to Mrs[.] Clinton (and President Obama).”

That was it. That alone is the stated development that catalyzed a rolling coup against Donald Trump.

The special counsel adds that “One of the chief errors from the start of Crossfire Hurricane was the poor analysis the FBI brought to bear on the critical pieces of information that it had gathered, as well as an over-reliance on flawed or incomplete human intelligence that only later was found to be plainly unreliable.”

Look no further than the FBI’s targeting for surveillance of another Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, Carter Page, who former British spook Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS fingered as a key connection between Trump and Russia.

The FBI would go to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court with an application to spy on Page in the fall of 2016. It notably refused to interview him prior to resorting to that extraordinary measure, or for many months thereafter—this, despite Page having written a letter to then-FBI Director James Comey voluntarily offering to speak “with any member” of the FBI to clear his name in September of that year. Such an interview almost certainly would have proven exculpatory.

The Bureau apparently knew contemporaneously how dicey its request for a FISA warrant on Page was, as, according to one case agent, the FBI’s hope upon submitting the initial FISA application was that it would “self-corroborate.” That is, spying on Page, an American citizen, was a “Hail Mary” based on a presumption of guilt the government hoped would prove justified.

The Page FISA application relied heavily on the dirty Steele dossier, the substantive allegations of which Crossfire Hurricane investigators “did not and could not corroborate”—ever.

As further evidence of the illegitimacy of the Page targeting, the Durham special counsel “uncovered little evidence suggesting that, prior to the submission of the first Page FISA application, the FBI … made any serious attempts to identify Steele’s primary sub-source other than asking Steele to disclose the identities of his sources, which he refused to do.”

Had investigators done so, and were they operating in good faith, they probably would have never spied on Page.

As we would later learn, the key sub-source for the Steele reports, the dubious Igor Danchenko, himself having been subject to a seemingly botched and never-completed counterintelligence investigation, otherwise had a shady background, and would be caught in lies to agents from early 2017 on. Yet the FBI would pay him hundreds of thousands of dollars to serve as an informant, despite providing no discernable value, according to higher-ups. This may have been hush money aimed at keeping Danchenko out of reach of congressional investigators—a prospect the special counsel didn’t explicitly entertain.

Investigators would repeatedly press for the renewal of the Page FISA warrant. They did so despite finding no “there” there in terms of questions about his allegiances—as should have been clear from Page’s past cooperation with the CIA in providing Russia-related intelligence, which the Crossfire Hurricane team knew about “months prior” to the submission of the first FISA application, and that FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith would later doctor an email to illegally omit in connection with the fourth and final such application; despite knowing the surveillance was predicated on the sham Steele dossier, no substantive part of which Danchenko could vouch for; and despite developing reams of exculpatory evidence, which they ignored from the start.

Durham’s report would show more poisonous fruit sprouting from the poisoned “Trump-Russia collusion” tree rooted in the similarly perverse efforts—or non-efforts—of investigators.

The FBI eschewed glaringly obvious investigatory steps that would have shown its pursuit to be a farce.

It covered its eyes and ears to the provenance of the dirt it received.

It relatedly “discounted or willfully ignored” a bevy of items constituting “material information that did not support the narrative of a collusive relationship between Trump and Russia”—that is, it acted with complete willful blindness to the truth.
It ran informant after informant at the Trump camp, to no avail.

The report shows middle-tier FBI employees wondering again and again what it was their superiors knew that they didn’t, requiring them to keep pursuing ludicrous leads.

The cavalier and facially incompetent “investigatory” effort, combined with the double standard in treatment illustrated by the FBI’s comparatively “cautious” handling of Hillary Clinton campaign “matters,” and clear deference to Clinton, removes all doubt the fix was always in.
Durham could only conclude “that the Department and the FBI failed to uphold their important mission of strict fidelity to the law” in connection with the outrages on which he reported.

Yet for all those outrages—for the colossal, once-in-a-nation scandal that Durham detailed—all he had to show for his work were three false statements cases, only one of which was brought against a lower-level government official, Clinesmith, who got a mere slap on the wrist, and a handful of referrals.

How can that be?

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