OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
CNN’s Jake Tapper broke down several key aspects of John Durham’s explosive report after it dropped on Monday in which the special counsel cited the FBI and Justice Department for fabricating a false “collusion” narrative between then-GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump and Russia ahead of the 2016 election.
“Durham finally released his report, finding that the FBI in his view should have never launched a full investigation into possible connections between Donald Trump, his campaign, his advisers and allies, and Russia during the 2016 election,” Tapper began his segment before bringing in CNN senior justice correspondent Evan Perez.
“And, Evan, this report, it’s more than 300 pages long. He spent about four years on it. What else did he have to find?” Tapper asked, according to Mediaite.
“Well, Jake, the bottom line that John Durham finds is that, you know, there was reason for the FBI to at least do some preliminary investigation, some lower-level types of investigations. But he repeatedly says that he doesn’t believe that the FBI took into account a lot of information that was, that they had in their possession,” Perez said.
“That was exculpatory?” Tapper asked.
“That would have been exculpatory, that would have explained some of their suspicions that they have had about Donald Trump, about some of the people surrounding his campaign,” Perez responded.
Perez went on to say:
Of course, we know that, you know, there was plenty of suspicions, in part because the former president brought on a person in Paul Manafort as his campaign chairman, who was deeply indebted to a Russian oligarch, somebody who was very close to the Kremlin. That is just one of the many points of data points that the FBI was following up on in why they did this investigation.
And the bottom line, he says, is that, you know, ‘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 commencements of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.’ He’s saying, look, he spent four years looking at this. He investigated a lot of different things. The FBI made a lot of mistakes.
At that point, Perez read a statement from current FBI Director Chris Wray claiming that he has implemented several reforms since the Trump-Russia collusion hoax probe.
“A lot of people who follow law enforcement might not be surprised that, in general, sometimes there is an overzealousness and an effort to,” Tapper responded, as Perez cut to say, “Confirmation bias is what Durham calls it.”
“Yeah, confirmation bias,” agreed Tapper.
CNN’s Jake Tapper on Durham report:
“Devastating to the FBI and to a degree, it does exonerate Donald Trump”pic.twitter.com/sfKh28lLbB
— Patriot Alerts (@alerts___) May 15, 2023
“Not political bias,” Perez claimed.
“It doesn’t only happen with presidential candidates and presidents, though. It happens with, you know,” Tapper said as Perez added, “To the little guy.”
“To the little guys on the street. And they don’t get four-year multimillion-dollar investigations to exonerate them,” Tapper continued.
“But, you know, it’s good to have accountability,” he said, though Durham did not recommend anyone be prosecuted for launching what he clearly defined as a bogus investigation into, at the time, a top presidential contender that continued after he was president, despite there being no evidence to justify it.
Durham’s report noted that the Department of Justice and FBI “failed to uphold their mission of strict fidelity to the law” in launching the probe.
For his part, Trump responded to Durham’s findings with a mix of anger and concern.
“I, and much more importantly, the American public, have been victims of this long-running and treasonous charade started by the Democrats — started by Comey,” he told Fox News Digital. “There must be a heavy price to pay for putting our country through this.”