John Durham issued his 316 page special report yesterday, and it’s really a nothing burger. As the whole investigation has been. You may have forgotten what this investigation is about, so let’s review.
The Durham special counsel investigation is the one that was supposed to prove that there was a “deep state” conspiracy against Donald Trump, centered at the FBI. The same FBI that, btw, sunk Hillary Clinton’s campaign with their last-minute revival of allegations about her email server.
Over the course of his 3½ year investigation, Durham managed to indict three men: one of whom pleaded guilty to a charge unrelated to the origins of the FBI investigation; the other two were tried and acquitted. In both of those trials, Durham alleged the defendants had deceived the FBI, rather than alleging the FBI acted improperly toward Trump. And now he’s released his final report.
His final report did not, however, break any new ground that had not already previously been broken by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz in his 476 page report, released in December of 2019.
So, there is no doubt that the FBI was sloppy in its investigation of Trump. According to Durham, there was a “significant reliance on investigative leads provided by, or funded by, political opponents” of Trump. However, the report does not recommend any major changes on the guidelines and policies that the DOJ and FBI currently have in place, many as a consequence of the previous IG’s report.
Republicans will try to make big hay out of this — as they always do — but it’s a misdirection play. It has to be balanced out against the Mueller investigation, which found both collusion between the Russia and the Trump campaign, as well as repeated efforts at obstruction of justice.
The Mueller investigation also led to 34 indictments, guilty pleas and convictions, which is 31 more than Durham’s report.
The Durham report is a lot like Rep. James Comer’s (R-KY) investigation into the “Biden crime family,” which is also going nowhere. Last week Comer and his Committee on Oversight and Accountability released a memo from the Majority (Republican) Members of the committee that was intended to update the committee’s work and proved exactly nothing. On top of which, anyone who has been paying even a little bit of attention knows that if there is a Presidential “crime family” it’s the Trumps. Their family business has already been convicted of criminal tax fraud, and will be facing a civil trial from the Attorney General of New York.
But you know today’s Republicans, whatever they are accusing others of is what they are already guilty of.
So, take the Durham report with a grain of salt. Yes, it wasn’t the FBI’s finest hour, but it was hardly the “deep state” imbroglio Republicans would love to have you believe in.