The long-awaited report from Justice Department special counsel John Durham on the FBI’s handling of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election was released on Monday. While Durham criticized the Department and the FBI for failing to uphold their mission of strict fidelity to the law, he recommended no wholesale changes in guidelines and policies, as the agencies have already overhauled their counterintelligence surveillance programs. Durham charged three people, including Kevin Clinesmith, a former FBI lawyer, who pleaded guilty to falsifying an email used to justify the surveillance of Carter Page, a Trump campaign adviser. Michael Sussmann was acquitted of lying to the FBI, while Igor Danchenko, a source of information in former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele’s potentially compromising dossier about Trump, was acquitted of five counts of lying to investigators. Durham criticized the FBI applications for surveillance for displaying a “serious lack of analytic rigor” and “a cavalier attitude towards accuracy and completeness” in the initial investigation, which was called Crossfire Hurricane. Durham also blasted how the so-called Steele Dossier figured into the investigation, calling it “unvetted and unverified.” Durham contrasted the Russian investigation with how the FBI moved with considerable caution in dealing with other proposed investigations of election interference before the 2016 election. Durham said the FBI opened the Crossfire Hurricane based on “unevaluated evidence” at the direction of former deputy director Andrew McCabe and former deputy assistant director for counterintelligence Peter Strzok, who “at a minimum, has pronounced hostile feelings toward Trump.” Former President Donald Trump claimed vindication in a Truth Social post.
FBI Russia probe criticized in John Durham Report