But the report lacked major new revelations about the Russia investigation — known as “Crossfire Hurricane” — that the FBI opened after an Australian diplomat reported that Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos had boasted to him that Russia had dirt on Hillary Clinton, who was Trump’s Democratic opponent. Durham made no new charges, wrapping up his work with a mixed and limited record: One guilty plea from a little-known FBI employee, and losses in the only two criminal cases prosecutors took to trial.
All smoke and no fire
“Rarely has a government report taken so long — in years and pages — to tell the public so little,” said the Los Angeles Times in an editorial. The nation waited four years for Durham to uncover what Trump promised was a criminal conspiracy to derail his campaign, and the best Durham could produce was “a ponderous, 316-page tome that interminably chews over information that has long been in the public record.” Anyone who “has the time and patience to wade through the report” will only find a few familiar, petty complaints about FBI procedure.
Barr set up Durham to fail, and he did, ultimately settling for scolding the FBI when he uncovered no crimes, and complaining of “confirmation bias” because he couldn’t uncover political bias. Durham’s report did reveal one problem that must be addressed. This country needs to find a way to “shield sensitive law enforcement investigations from politics without creating prosecutors who can run amok, never to be held to account.”