After four years, we finally have the full 316-page report from Justice Department special counsel John Durham, and it’s a damning indictment of some of our country’s leading institutions.
Durham said the FBI should have never launched an investigation into alleged Russian collusion with Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, given the slim evidence.
That is a huge win for Trump, who has for years called out his unfair treatment by the FBI – and a media all too willing to find blame in the former president’s actions.
The investigation into the “collusion” clouded Trump’s entire presidency, and Democrats harnessed the tale to paint Trump as an illegitimate president.
The real-life implication is that some Trump supporters will see the Durham report as reason to believe the former president’s outrageous claims, including that the 2020 election was “stolen.”
A 2020 election repeat? Many Republicans don’t want Trump to be the 2024 GOP nominee. But Democrats sure do.
Double standard: If Trump was ‘irresponsible’ for stashing secret documents, what does it make Biden?
Failures at the FBI
Durham slammed the FBI’s investigation – dubbed Crossfire Hurricane – into the Trump campaign for its “serious lack of analytic rigor” and a “cavalier attitude” for accuracy.
“…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 wrote.
For its part, the FBI does not dispute the report’s findings, but says it has already taken action and added safeguards in its investigations.
Durham also called out the role of the (now-discredited) Steele dossier, the opposition research gathered for the Hillary Clinton campaign that was in turn given to the FBI. Durham said the dossier was “unvetted and unverified,” yet was used as justification for surveillance.
“Indeed, based on the evidence gathered in 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,” the report stated.
The political implications are clear, and the report highlights the favoritism shown to the Clinton campaign over Trump’s.
Give Biden family the Trump treatment
As Durham details, the FBI fumbled the “collusion” investigation. But mainstream media outlets also deserve blame for breathlessly going along with the Trump-Russia allegations.
The willingness to report negative rumors about Trump is in direct contrast to how the news media have protected President Joe Biden and his family.
For example, when the New York Post broke the Hunter Biden laptop story in October 2020, ahead of the presidential election, the rest of the media pretty much ignored it. Twitter even suspended the Post’s account for sharing its news reports. Emails from the laptop indicated Hunter Biden had used his dad’s position as vice president for his personal gain.
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The story was slammed by Democrats and the media as Russian “disinformation.”
Nearly two years later, however, news organizations outside the right-leaning press finally admitted that the substance of the laptop story was real.
Now, the media are largely ignoring – or downplaying – the findings of a GOP-led House Oversight Committee investigation that last week announced it had evidence that nine Biden family members have allegedly received millions of dollars for no clear business purpose from foreign nationals, including entities in China and Romania.
At the least, the allegations deserve further scrutiny. Imagine if these were members of the Trump family. The coverage would look vastly different, I’m sure.
The American people aren’t blind to these blatant discrepancies, whether from the FBI or the media. And once trust is broken, it’s very hard to rebuild.
Ingrid Jacques is a columnist at USA TODAY. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter: @Ingrid_Jacques
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Media should give Biden ‘Trump treatment’ during GOP investigation