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OPINION

Durham Report Debunks Russiagate Conspiracy, Proves Agencies are Weaponized Against PolitIcal Enemies

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura

The long-anticipated report from Special Counsel John Durham investigating whether there were any ties between Donald Trump and Russia was issued last week, entirely discrediting the FBI’s investigation into the matter and the hysterical biased mainstream media coverage. The FBI and DOJ targeted Trump and his associates soon after Trump took presidential office in 2017, resulting in political witch hunts after former General Michael Flynn and foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos. The report revealed that this was the weaponization of the federal government against a political opponent.

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The 316-page report uncovered plenty of nefarious activity taking place within the FBI. As a result, then-Attorney General Bill Barr appointed Durham to the investigation four years ago. 

The report found no grounds for launching the investigation. “[B]ased on the evidence gathered in the multiple exhaustive and costly federal investigations of these matters, including the instant investigation, neither U.S. law enforcement nor the Intelligence Community appears to have possessed any actual evidence of collusion in their holdings at the commencement of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.”

And the conclusion of the investigation was equally a failure. The Obama administration’s fishing expedition to find ties between Trump and Russia, known as Crossfire Hurricane, “did not and could not corroborate any of the substantive allegations” in the controversial Steele dossier, Durham said. The FBI “failed to uphold their important mission of strict fidelity to the law.”

Crossfire Hurricane was launched after Papadopoulos remarked that the Russians had compromising information regarding Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The Hillary Clinton campaign hired progressive law firm Perkins Coie, which then hired Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on Trump and his associates. Fusion GPS obtained information from former British spy Christopher Steele, who provided noncredible stories known as the Steele dossier tying Trump to Russia. 

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Durham revealed that the FBI had at least four criminal probes into Bill and Hillary Clinton going until right before the 2016 election when they were mysteriously dropped. Several senior FBI officials with close ties to the Clintons gave the orders to drop the investigations. The feds had been investigating whether foreign donors tried influencing the Clintons by donating to their nonprofit and Hillary’s presidential campaign. The shady donations began while she was Secretary of State, totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. 

The report decimated a Pulitzer-prize-winning article by The New York Times about Papadopoulos that claimed Russia meddled in U.S. elections. There were calls to rescind the Pullitzers last year, which were rejected, but those cries have now resumed. 

The report reviewed the aggressiveness of leading FBI officials, including then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and then-Deputy Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Peter Strzok, who pursued the false accusations. Durham said, “Strzok, at a minimum, had pronounced hostile feelings toward Trump.”

Durham found that a “trusted foreign source” provided “highly significant intelligence” that Hillary Clinton was attempting to “vilify Trump by tying him to Vladimir Putin to divert attention from her concerns relating to her use of a private email server.” Still, the FBI did nothing with the information.” “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.”

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The FBI issued a statement immediately after the report’s release, admitting the wrongdoing. “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 been in place for some time,” the agency stated. “Had those reforms been in place in 2016, the missteps identified in the report could have been prevented.”

Before the report came out, Columbia Journalism Review, the publication of one of the nation’s most prestigious journalism schools, issued its scathing statement denouncing media coverage of the fake story, particularly by The Times. In addition, the Washington Post has retracted many Pulitzer Prize-winning articles published in 2017 and 2019 that relied on the Steele Dossier.

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.-05) tweeted, “Defund and dismantle the FBI” after the report came out. Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.-13) filed a resolution Wednesday to expel Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.-30) for pushing the false Russiagate narrative. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio-04), the House Judiciary Chair, has asked Durham to testify to Congress this week.

Former Rep. Devin Nunes, who previously chaired the House Intelligence Committee and now serves as CEO of Trump Media, said during an appearance on Fox News, “This is a really sad day for America because what it represents is the total collapse of the justice system.” “The Durham report reads like the tombstone for the justice system,” he added.

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Meanwhile, the DOJ has delayed its investigation of Hunter Biden, with no indictments, five years after reports surfaced in 2018 of his connections to foreign interests. In addition, the FBI refuses to respond to a subpoena from Congress demanding information from an informant alleging that President Biden took bribes while he was vice president. 

Russiagate represents the left’s ever-expanding use of the legal system to target political enemies on the right, known as lawfare. What began as civil suits have expanded to prosecution and targeting the right’s attorneys through sanctions and bar complaints. Fortunately, Russiagate has now been thoroughly debunked as a conspiracy hoax. But not all conspiracies made up by the left are defeated; the left has such control over the legal system now that the unjustified political prosecutions of Trump are gaining traction.

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