Executive summary from CoffeeTimeNews:
Hillary Clinton, Mueller and the FBI have been fully EXONERATED in the Durham investigation. No charges will be filed. They will not be locking her up.
Barbara McQuade elaborates (emphasis added):
After four years, review of 1 million documents, 490 interviews, his conclusion is that FBI should have opened a preliminary investigation (PI) instead of a full investigation (FI) in 2016.
[According to Trump, this was the “crime of the century.”]
The only difference between FI and PI is the duration and the authorities that may be used. This is a hairsplitting quibble, and one on which FBI officials routinely disagree.
Durham also minimizes the reasons FBI was alarmed enough to open a FI in 2016 based on information received from Australian diplomats about Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos.
According to Aussies, Papadopoulos said, “Trump team had received some kind of suggestion from Russia that it could assist this process with the anonymous release of information during the campaign that would be damaging to Mrs Clinton.”
Papadopoulos’s statement came right after the DNC hack. FBI was properly concerned about Russia’s efforts to influence the presidential election. This was an investigation into RUSSIA.
Trump had other concerning ties to Russians: real estate deals, Miss Universe Pageant, loans from Russian lenders, Trump Tower Moscow project. Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort had lobbied for pro-Russian oligarchs.
Trump campaign members also had ties to Russia. Mike Flynn was paid $45,000 by Russia Today in 2015 for a speech he gave at a banquet where he sat next to Putin. He later lied to FBI about his calls with the Russian ambassador about sanctions during the transition.
Carter Page had been seen meeting with Russian intel officers. It now appears that he was unaware that they were trying to recruit him. Papadopoulos worked to set up a meeting with Putin.
Durham criticizes the FBI for relying on the Steele Dossier for the Carter Page FISA. Steele Dossier was not the basis for opening the investigation, but it makes for a useful scapegoat to blur that fact.
We now know FBI was unable to corroborate the Steele Dossier, which contained explosive details about Russian kompromat on Trump. That’s 20/20 hindsight. And, importantly, Durham never says the information in it was false, just unconfirmed.
In fact, some aspects of Steele Dossier were confirmed by Mueller and DNI: Putin favored Trump and was working to influence the election in Trump’s favor and against Clinton. It also contained unconfirmed information that could have seriously compromised Trump as president.
Failing to investigate these ties would have been a breach of duty by FBI. This was an investigation into RUSSIA. Russia was the threat and the focus. Trump was just Russia’s useful idiot.
Page FISA also was based on an e-mail altered by an FBI lawyer. That lawyer was identified by IG, not Durham, and he was properly convicted for making false statements. Mueller disregarded all aspects of Page FISA.
In addition to criticizing the FBI for opening a FI instead of a PI, Durham also ignores other facts and helps advance the narrative that the Russia investigation was a hoax.
Like Barr, Durham says Mueller found no conspiracy between Trump and Russia but fails to mention the 2016 Trump Tower meeting to receive dirt on Clinton, sharing of polling data with Russian intel officer Konstantin Kilimnik, and coordinating of messaging with Wikileaks.
Durham also ignores Trump’s public statement, “Russia, if you’re listening …” asking them to find Clinton’s missing emails, and the subsequent release of hacked emails hours after the release of the Access Hollywood tape.
The result of Durham’s four-year investigation is two failed prosecutions of bit players outside of government and a recommendation for FBI to hire someone to oversee their FISA work.
But the Durham Report provides fuel for the false claim that the Russia probe was a hoax. Don’t fall for it. While Mueller found no conspiracy, he concluded that Russia worked to help Trump become president.
[And Mueller was hindered by at least 10 cases of Obstruction of Justice! As affirmed by 1,000 former Republican and Democratic federal prosecutors.]
And rather than report Russia’s overtures to FBI, Trump’s campaign was willing to accept the help.
The only winner here is Russia, which succeeded in its mission to get its favored candidate elected, sow discord in the United States, and undermine public trust in American institutions.
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