Durham Report: FBI, DOJ Failed to Practice ‘Strict Fidelity to the Law’ in Trump-Russia Investigation

Craig Bannister | May 18, 2023
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In his newly-released report, Special Counsel John Durham concludes that the FBI merely failed to practice “strict fidelity to the law” in its launch and handling of the Crossfire Hurricane surveillance and investigation seeking to prove former Pres. Donald Trump colluded with Russia.

Rather than state outright that FBI and Justice Department operatives broke the law, Durham resorted to a euphemism implying that they simply weren't faithful to the law:

“Based on the review of Crossfire Hurricane and related intelligence activities, we conclude that the Department and the FBI failed to uphold their important mission of strict fidelity to the law in connection with certain events and activities described in this report.”

Durham goes on to quote the ‘FBI's guiding principles of ‘Fidelity, Bravery and Integrity.’”

Special Counsel Durham did not, however, say whether citizens who fail to practice “strict fidelity to the law” commit an offense worth prosecuting.

Durham reports that the FBI personnel thought they didn’t have probable cause for the warrants, “disregarded significant exculpatory evidence,” and “repeatedly disregarded important requirements” – but, continued to seek surveillance warrants:

“FBI personnel also repeatedly disregarded important requirements when they continued to seek renewals of that FISA surveillance while acknowledging - both then and in hindsight - that they did not genuinely believe there was probable cause to believe that the target was knowingly engaged in clandestine intelligence activities on behalf of a foreign power, or knowingly helping another person in such activities. And certain personnel disregarded significant exculpatory information that should have prompted investigative restraint and re-examination.”

The report says Durham refused to press charges multiple times - not because his office didn’t have evidence of criminality – but, because it did failed to obtain enough (“sufficient”) evidence:

  • “There was insufficient definitive evidence to warrant bringing such charges”…
  • “The evidence gathered was not sufficient to prove at trial that any FBI personnel intentionally violated any criminal statutes in relation to the transmittal of the Steele Reports.”
  • “Nor was there sufficient evidence to establish that any FBI personnel intentionally lied during their interviews”…
  • “[A]vailable evidence was insufficient to definitively establish”…
  • “[A]dmissible evidence in such a prosecution did not meet that standard.”
  • “[T]he standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt could not be met.”
  • “The evidence… may have been sufficient to meet a negligence standard but was insufficient to bring criminal charges”…
  • “We did not, however, develop sufficient evidence to charge false statements or conspiracy crimes”…
  • “We did not obtain admissible evidence likely to meet the government's burden”…

The way to get FBI personnel to properly perform their duties and meet their responsibilities “is not the creation of new rules but a renewed fidelity to the old,” because it all “comes down to the integrity of the people who take an oath” to do so, Durham concludes.