Durham report: FBI displayed 'markedly different' treatment of Clinton, Trump campaigns
The FBI and Justice Department jumped to investigate former President Trump's campaign despite a lack of sound evidence, a "notable departure" from the way it resisted efforts to investigate claims against Hillary Clinton's campaign, according to Special Counsel John Durham's final report on the probe into alleged election collusion between Trump and Russia.
Durham's long awaited report from his investigation into FBI's "Crossfire Hurricane" probe was delivered to Congress on Monday and revealed that FBI and DOJ "failed to uphold their mission of strict fidelity to the law" when it launched the Trump-Russia investigation.
Durham's report also highlighted that the Trump investigation was "markedly different" from the government's level of interest in Clinton's campaign.
Durham's report said the FBI briefed Clinton staffers on information of possible threats aimed at the Clinton campaign, but ignored intelligence it received from "a trusted foreign source pointing to a Clinton campaign plan to vilify Trump by tying him to Vladimir Putin so as to divert attention from her own concerns relating to her use of a private email server."
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"The speed and manner in which the FBI opened and investigated Crossfire Hurricane during the presidential election season based on raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence also reflected a noticeable departure from how it approached prior matters involving possible attempted foreign election interference plans aimed at the Clinton campaign," the report said.
"[I]n the eighteen months leading up to the 2016 election, the FBI was required to deal with a number of proposed investigations that had the potential of affecting the election," the report said. In each of those instances – including those related to Clinton – the FBI moved with "considerable caution."
"In one such matter… FBI Headquarters and Department officials required defensive briefings to be provided to Clinton and other officials or candidates who appeared to be the targets of foreign interference," the report said.
"In another, the FBI elected to end an investigation after one of its longtime and valuable CHSs [confidential human sources] went beyond what was authorized and made an improper and possibly illegal financial contribution to the Clinton campaign on behalf of a foreign entity as a precursor to a much larger donation being contemplated," it said.
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"And in a third, the Clinton Foundation matter, both senior FBI and Department officials placed restrictions on how those matters were to be handled such that essentially no investigative activities occurred for months leading up to the election," the report said.
"Unlike the FBI's opening of a full investigation of unknown members of the Trump campaign based on raw, uncorroborated information, in this separate matter involving a purported Clinton campaign plan, the FBI never opened any type of inquiry, issued any taskings, employed any analytical personnel, or produced any analytical products in connection with the information," it found.
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"This lack of action was despite the fact that the significance of the Clinton plan intelligence was such as to have prompted the Director of the CIA to brief the President, Vice President, Attorney General, Director of the FBI, and other senior government officials about its content within days of its receipt," the report said.
The FBI reacted to the report Monday in a statement: "The conduct in 2016 and 2017 that Special Counsel Durham examined was the reason that current FBI leadership already implemented dozens of corrective actions, which have now been in place for some time. Had those reforms been in place in 2016, the missteps identified in the report could have been prevented. This report reinforces the importance of ensuring the FBI continues to do its work with the rigor, objectivity, and professionalism the American people deserve and rightly expect."