Durham Report Slams FBI's Trump Probe

Special counsel cites confirmation bias among the flaws
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2023 5:10 PM CDT
Special Counsel Slams FBI's Trump-Russia Investigation
Special counsel John Durham leaves federal court in Washington last May.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

Special counsel John Durham issued his final report Monday after a four-year review of the FBI's investigation into possible connections between Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and Russian efforts to affect the election. The conclusions included sharp criticism of the FBI for relying on "raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence," displaying a "lack of analytical rigor," and succumbing to confirmation bias in its pursuit of leads. As scathing as the wording is, Durham's own investigation fell well short of uncovering the "crime of the century"—an outcome Trump had predicted, the Washington Post reports. Durham was appointed in 2019 by William Barr, a Trump attorney general.

Many of the FBI's failings were documented by the Justice Department’s inspector general in 2019. That report said no evidence was found that the misconduct was intentional. On Monday, the FBI said in a statement that it has "already implemented dozens of corrective actions," per the BBC. "Had those reforms been in place in 2016, the missteps identified in the report could have been prevented," the statement added. Durham's 306-page report mostly repeated the past criticisms, per the New York Times, as well as a conspiracy theory that's circulated among Trump supporters that Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign was behind the Russia investigation.

The FBI investigation was led by special counsel Robert Mueller. It produced dozens of criminal charges against former members of Trump's campaign staff and others, leading to several convictions, but none of them involved collusion between the campaign and Russians. Mueller concluded that there were "multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election." Trump responded Monday to Durham's report on his Truth Social social media platform, posting that it demonstrates that the "American public was scammed." Durham's investigation cost $6.5 million. (More John Durham stories.)

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