Monday, June 12, 2023

FBI investigation into Trump-Russia collusion is criticised by the US special counsel


WASHINGTON: An independent US prosecutor stated in a report that was released on Monday that the FBI investigation into the alleged collusion between Russia and Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign was based on thin evidence and was seriously flawed.

In 2019, then-president Trump's attorney general Bill Barr appointed Special Counsel John Durham to investigate claims that the Russia investigation was a political "witch hunt," most notably those made by Trump himself.

Durham's more than 300-page report follows a four-year examination that went on under Barr's replacement, Principal legal officer Merrick Laurel, a representative of Vote based President Joe Biden.

The hotly anticipated report was exceptionally reproachful of the starting points of "Crossfire Storm," the FBI's test into claims of plot among Russia and the Trump lobby.

"Neither US policing the Knowledge People group seems to have had any genuine proof of agreement in their possessions at the beginning of the Crossfire Storm examination," the report said.

Durham, a previous government examiner, likewise said the FBI and Equity Office had shown a twofold norm in how they explored Trump and his 2016 opponent for the White House, Liberal Hillary Clinton.

According to the report, "the speed and manner in which the FBI opened and investigated Crossfire Hurricane during the presidential election season based on raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence also reflected a notably different approach from how it approached prior matters involving possible attempted foreign election interference plans aimed at the Clinton campaign."

"Senior FBI personnel displayed a serious lack of analytical rigor toward the information that they received, particularly information received from politically-affiliated persons and entities," Durham stated.

He stated that as a result, investigators "acted without appropriate objectivity or restraint in pursuing allegations of collusion or conspiracy between a US political campaign and a foreign power." This caused them to act in a reckless manner.

In a post on his Truth Social platform, Trump, who is running for Republican president in 2024, expressed his appreciation for the Durham report.

"WOW! After broad examination, Extraordinary Guidance John Durham finishes up the FBI never ought to have sent off the Trump-Russia Test!" Trump said.

"As such, the American Public was defrauded, similarly as it is being misled right now by the people who would rather not see Significance for AMERICA!" he added, obviously alluding to the numerous continuous criminal examinations focusing on him.

In a proclamation, the FBI said the ongoing authority of the department has carried out many remedial activities.

The FBI stated in a statement that "the missteps identified in the report could have been prevented" if those reforms had been in place in 2016.

An order from then-attorney general Barr directed Durham to investigate the origins of Crossfire Hurricane, which was launched in July 2016, as well as the subsequent investigation launched in May 2017 by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Both homed in on Russian hacking and web-based entertainment control for Trump in 2016, and numerous contacts between the Trump lobby and Russians.

That was extended by Mueller's investigation to include Trump's alleged acts of obstruction.

In the end Mueller acquired convictions of six individuals from the Trump lobby, and gave arraignments of 25 Russians.

However, Barr rejected Mueller's evidence of Trump's alleged obstruction and found no criminal evidence of the Trump campaign's cooperation with Russia.

A prominent Washington lawyer and a Russian national were both indicted for making false statements to the FBI as a result of Durham's investigation, but both were found not guilty.

Igor Danchenko, a Russian, was accused of providing information for the so-called "Steele dossier," which was compiled by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent. It contained unverified, defamatory information about Trump and Russia.

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