Report by Independent US Prosecutor Criticizes FBI’s Handling of Trump-Russia Investigation

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In a report published on Monday, independent US prosecutor John Durham criticized the FBI’s investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, calling it based on flimsy evidence and seriously flawed. Durham, who was appointed by former President Trump’s attorney general Bill Barr in 2019 to address claims of a political “witch hunt,” conducted a four-year investigation that continued under Attorney General Merrick Garland, an appointee of President Joe Biden. The more than 300-page report focused on the origins of “Crossfire Hurricane,” the FBI’s probe into allegations of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. According to the report, neither US law enforcement nor the Intelligence Community possessed any actual evidence of collusion when the investigation began. Durham also highlighted a double standard in the FBI’s approach, comparing the swift and unverified nature of investigating Trump to the handling of prior matters involving possible foreign election interference plans aimed at the Clinton campaign.

Durham pointed out that senior FBI personnel displayed a serious lack of analytical rigor and acted without appropriate objectivity or restraint in pursuing allegations of collusion or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and a foreign power. The report called into question the manner in which information from politically-affiliated sources was handled. Former President Trump, who is seeking the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, praised the Durham report on his Truth Social platform. The report’s findings suggested that the FBI should never have launched the Trump-Russia probe.

Trump’s statement implied that the American public had been scammed, likening it to ongoing criminal investigations targeting him. The FBI responded to the report by stating that corrective actions have been implemented under the current leadership to prevent similar missteps in the future. The report by Durham, whose investigation was focused on the origins of Crossfire Hurricane and the subsequent Mueller investigation, shed light on Russian hacking and social media manipulation in favor of Trump in 2016, but ultimately found no evidence of criminal cooperation between the Trump campaign and Russia.

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