John Durham, the Trump-era special counsel who has conducted a politically fraught investigation into the Russia probe for four years, accused the FBI of “lack of analytical rigor” in a final report made public on Monday which examined the office’s investigation into whether the 2016 Trump campaign was colluding with Moscow.
Durham’s 306-page report appeared to show little substantive new information about the FBI’s handling of the Russia investigation, known as Crossfire Hurricane, and did not produce the kind of blockbuster revelations that impeached the office that former President Donald J. Trump and his allies had once suggested that Mr. Durham would find.
Instead, the report, released without substantive comment or redaction by Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, repeated previously exposed flaws in the investigation, including a 2019 inspector general report, while concluding that the FBI suffered from bias. confirmation while searching for clues about Trump’s ties to Russia.
“Throughout the duration of Crossfire Hurricane, facts and circumstances that were inconsistent with the premise that Trump and/or individuals associated with the Trump campaign were involved in a collusive or conspiratorial relationship with the Russian government were ignored or just discarded,” Mr. Durham said.
Durham heavily revised criticism uncovered in a separate investigation and went on to suggest that the Hillary Clinton campaign had helped push the Russia probe forward. In 2019, an inspector general found that the FBI had botched wiretapping apps used in the investigation.
“Our investigation also revealed that senior FBI personnel displayed a serious lack of analytical rigor with respect to the information they reviewed, especially information received from politically affiliated individuals and entities,” Mr. Durham wrote. “This information in part triggered and sustained Crossfire Hurricane and contributed to the subsequent need for special counsel Mueller’s investigation.”
But by using the word “provoked,” Durham’s report echoed a conspiracy theory pushed by Trump supporters that the FBI opened the investigation in July 2016 based on the so-called Steele dossier, an investigation of the opposition financed indirectly by the Clinton campaign. which was later discredited.
In fact, as Mr. Durham acknowledged elsewhere in the report, the file did not reach those investigators until mid-September. Instead, the FBI opened the investigation based on a tip of Australian diplomats, following WikiLeaks’ publication of hacked Democratic emails, that a Trump campaign aide appeared to have previously indicated that Russia would release information damaging to the Trump campaign. Clinton.
The special counsel’s findings were sent to Mr. Garland on Friday and presented to Congress and the media without additions or alterations, a department spokeswoman said.