US special counsel criticizes 2016 Trump-Russia probe


Story: The special counsel appointed under then-U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday when he launched an investigation into whether members of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign colluded with Russia to win the White House. It released a report concluding that FBI agents lacked “actual evidence.”

The release of the 306-page report by Special Counsel John Durham marks the end of a four-year investigation into potential FBI missteps.

During the 2016 election campaign, the FBI reportedly bragged to Australian diplomats that Trump campaign officials had offered to help Republican candidates by releasing damaging information about Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. received information.

The information led to a full-blown counterintelligence investigation dubbed “Crossfire Hurricane,” including a government request for surveillance of members of the Trump campaign. That investigation was later taken over by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

President Trump was furious with Mueller, accusing the probe of a witch hunt.

Trump (March 2019): “This is just a continuation of the same witch hunt. They know it and are mocking it behind closed doors. It’s just a continuation of the same nonsense…”

After securing indictments and petitions from 34 people, Mueller concluded there was insufficient evidence of a criminal conspiracy despite a series of contacts between Trump and Russian officials in 2019. .

That same year, Attorney General William Barr commissioned John Durham to investigate investigators.

Instead of convicting him, Durham accused U.S. intelligence and law enforcement of treating the 2016 Trump investigation differently than other politically sensitive investigations.

For example, Clinton and other officials had been given defensive briefings about possible targets for foreign interference, but Trump said that before the FBI launched an investigation into four members of the campaign. He said he had not received such an explanation.

Durham added (quote):

“The Department and the FBI have failed to uphold their important mission of rigorously adhering to the law in connection with the specific events and activities described in this report.”

In response to the report, the FBI said it had already implemented dozens of previous corrective actions.

Durham’s findings come despite facing criminal charges in New York and two federal investigations by Special Counsel Jack Smith looking into both Trump’s classified record keeping and Trump’s role. It is highly likely that Trump, who is currently running for re-election in 2024, will have political material. Efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

President Trump said Monday on social media that he was pleased with the results of Durham’s report.