As Steve noted earlier this afternoon, John Durham released his long-awaited report today. The report is long, over 300 pages, and I have not had time to read it all. It is embedded below; you can read it and draw your own conclusions.
While measured in tone, the report’s Executive Summary is harshly critical of the FBI. Much of what it details has already been in the public domain, but quite a bit is, I think, new. It is obvious from Durham’s narrative that the FBI signed on with the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, and used its powers to try to swing the election her way. Failing that, the FBI despicably did its best to destroy the incoming Trump administration, and in great part succeeded.
There was never any reason to believe that the allegations in the Steele reports, which were opposition “research” paid for by the Clinton campaign, were true, and at an early date the FBI knew that the so-called dossier was baseless, and in some instances was admittedly fabricated. The FBI and the Department of Justice lied to the FISA court to obtain search warrants relating to the wholly innocent Carter Page, as part of their clandestine effort to destroy Trump. The FBI went so far as to offer the thoroughly discredited Christopher Steele $1 million if he could come up with dirt on Trump–and this was after Steele had admitted to the Bureau that he had no evidence to support the fantasies set forth in his reports.
Here are some excerpts from the report’s Executive Summary. They are fairly lengthy, but well worth your time.
Igor Danchenko was the source for most of Steele’s claims. Danchenko eventually admitted that he had no evidence to support the assertions he fed to Steele, but there also was reason to suspect that Danchenko himself was acting for the Russian government:
Equally important is the fact that in not resolving Danchenko’s status vis-a-vis the Russian intelligence services, it appears the FBI never gave appropriate consideration to the possibility that the intelligence Danchenko was providing to Steele–which, again, according to Danchenko himself, made up a significant majority of the information in the Steele Dossier reports– was, in whole or in part, Russian disinformation.
It turns out that some of the key allegations of the Steele reports actually came from a Democratic National Committee staffer with close ties to Russian officials, who initially lied to the FBI:
During the relevant time period, Danchenko maintained a relationship with Charles Dolan, a Virginia-based public relations professional who had previously held multiple positions and roles in the Democratic National Committee (“DNC”) and the Democratic Party. In his role as a public relations professional, Dolan focused much of his career interacting with Eurasian clients, with a particular focus on Russia. As described in Section IV.D. l.d.ii, Dolan previously conducted business with the Russian Federation and maintained relationships with several key Russian government officials, including Dimitry Peskov, the powerful Press Secretary of the Russian Presidential Administration. A number of these Russian government officials with whom Dolan maintained a relationship–and was in contact with at the time Danchenko was collecting information for Steele–would later appear in the Dossier.
In the summer and fall of 2016, at the time Danchenko was collecting information for Steele, Dolan traveled to Moscow, as did Danchenko, in connection with a business conference. As discussed in Section IV.D. l .d.iii, the business conference was held at the Ritz Carlton Moscow, which, according to the Steele Reports, was allegedly the site of salacious sexual conduct on the part of Trump. Danchenko would later inform the FBI that he learned of these allegations through Ritz Carlton staff members. Our investigation, however, revealed that it was Dolan, not Danchenko, who actually interacted with the hotel staff identified in the Steele Reports, so between the two, Dolan appears the more likely source ofthe allegations.
As discussed in Section IV.D. l.d.vi, our investigation also uncovered that Dolan was the definitive source for at least one allegation in the Steele Reports. This allegation, contained in Steele Report 2016/105, concerned the circumstances surrounding the resignation of Paul Manafort from the Trump campaign. When interviewed by the Office, Dolan admitted that he fabricated the allegation about Manafort that appeared in the Steele Report. …
Furthermore, as discussed in Section IV.D. l .d.iii, during the relevant time period, Dolan maintained a business relationship with Olga Galkina, a childhood friend of Danchenko, who, according to Danchenko, was a key source for many of the allegations contained in the Steele Reports. In fact, when Galkina was interviewed by the FBI in August 2017, she admitted to providing Dolan with information that would later appear in the Steele Reports.
The whole “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation was an artifact of the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign, which the FBI deliberately set out to serve out of partisan loyalty.
How pathetically weak was the Steele “dossier” that the FBI, the CIA and the Democratic Party press breathlessly promoted to voters during and after the 2016 presidential campaign? This weak:
Perhaps the most damning allegation in the Steele Dossier reports was Company Report 2016/95, which Steele attributed to “Source E,” one of Danchenko’s supposed sub-sources. This report, portions of which were included in each of the four Page FISA applications, contributed to the public narrative of Trump’s conspiring and colluding with Russian officials. As discussed in Section IV.D.l.f, Danchenko’s alleged source for the information (Source E) was an individual by the name of Sergei Millian who was the president of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce in New York City and a public Trump supporter. The evidence uncovered by the Office showed that Danchenko never spoke with Sergei Millian and simply fabricated the allegations that he attributed to Millian.
Thus, as detailed in Section IV.D. l .f.i, the total support for the Source E information contained in Steele Report 2016/95 is a purported anonymous call from someone Danchenko had never met or spoken to but who he believed might be Sergei Millian–a Trump supporter–based on his listening to a YouTube video of Millian. Unfortunately, the investigation revealed that, instead of taking even basic steps, such as securing telephone call records for either Danchenko or Miilian to investigate Danchenko’s hard-to-believe story about Millian, the Crossfire Hurricane investigators appear to have chosen to ignore this and other red flags concerning Danchenko’s credibility, as well as Steele’s.
The FBI didn’t investigate because it wasn’t looking for the truth, it was trying to help Democrats win the presidency. As the Durham report shows, the Bureau immediately launched Crossfire Hurricane on the flimsiest pretext, in sharp contrast to its conduct with respect to other issues that put Democrats in a bad light, which the Bureau simply buried.
The Clinton campaign’s fabrication of the Steele “dossier” and the promotion of its fabrications by the FBI, the CIA and the American press represent the worst scandal in the history of American politics, by a wide margin. Heads should roll, but they won’t. The Democrats have circled the wagons, almost entirely successfully. Corruption at a level never before seen in our country will go unpunished. But at least, the Durham Report will stand as historical documentation of what went wrong.