F.B.I. – Following Barack’s Instructions

The Durham Report drops (12 May 2023)

On 6 May, 2016, George Papadopoulos, an unpaid foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign for the Presidency, indulged in bar talk with some Australian diplomats in London, to the effect that Russian operatives had supplied dirt on Hilary Clinton, to the Trump campaign. As if one couldn’t find enough Clinton dirt on one’s own. The diplomats passed that info to the Obama Administration, and Barry’s goons went to work immediately. All the odious apparatus of the Deep Swamp State went into overdrive, and as Durham concludes (in his truly stunning, and likely to be ignored, investigative report) they almost succeeded in fixing the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice like to pretend they are independent and impartial, but that looks, increasingly, to be a fiction. The double standard applying here gives rise to the irresistible inference that the Bureaucracy regarded Donald Trump as an outsider and disrupter (which was true) who had to be destroyed (which, to be fair, half of the country would be OK with).

Some key portions of the Report are below (footnotes omitted, our emphases in bold).

“The government possessed no verified intelligence reflecting that Trump or
the Trump campaign was involved in a conspiracy or collaborative relationship with officials of
the Russian government.  Indeed, based on 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 commencement of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. the FBI
swiftly opened the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. In particular, at the direction of Deputy Director Andrew
McCabe, Deputy Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Peter Strzok opened Crossfire
Hurricane immediately.”
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Andrew McCabe

Strzok, at a minimum, had pronounced hostile feelings toward Trump.*  The matter was opened as
a full investigation without ever having spoken to the persons who provided the information.
Further, the FBI did so without (i) any significant review of its own intelligence databases, (ii) collection
and examination of any relevant intelligence from other U.S. intelligence entities, (iii) interviews of
witnesses essential to understand the raw information it had received or (iv) using any of the standard
analytical tools typically employed by the FBI in evaluating raw intelligence. Had it done so… the FBI
would have learned that their own experienced Russia analysts had no information
about Trump being involved with Russian leadership officials, nor were others in sensitive
positions at the CIA, the NSA, and the Department of State aware of such evidence concerning
the subject.”
[* Footnote 23 to the Report refers to text messages between FBI Deputy Director McCabe and FBI
Deputy Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Strzok, referring to Trump as “loathsome,” “an idiot,”
someone who should lose to Clinton “100,000,000 – 0,” and a person who Strzok wrote “[w]e’ll stop” from
becoming President.]

“Heil, Barry!”

“In addition, FBI records prepared by Strzok [image above] in February and March 2017 show that
at the time of the opening of Crossfire Hurricane, the FBI had no information in its holdings
indicating that at any time during the campaign anyone in the Trump campaign had been in
contact with any Russian intelligence officials.  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 noticeable departure from how it approached prior
matters involving possible attempted foreign election interference plans aimed at the Clinton campaign.
…in the eighteen months leading up to the 2016 election, the FBI was required to deal with a number
of proposed investigations that had the potential of affecting the election. In each of those instances,
the FBI moved with considerable caution. In one such matter…FBI Headquarters and Department
officials required defensive briefings to be provided to Clinton and other officials or candidates who
appeared to be the targets of foreign interference. In another, the FBI elected to end an investigation
after one of its longtime and valuable CHSs [‘Confidential Human Source'(s)] went beyond what was authorized
and made an improper and possibly illegal financial contribution to the Clinton campaign on behalf of a foreign
entity as a precursor to a much larger donation being contemplated. And in a third, the Clinton
Foundation matter, both senior FBI and Department officials placed restrictions on how those
matters were to be handled such that essentially no investigative activities occurred for months
leading up to the election. These examples are also markedly different from the FBI’ s actions
with respect to other highly significant intelligence it received from a trusted foreign source
pointing to a Clinton campaign plan to vilify Trump by tying him to Vladimir Putin so as to
divert attention from her own concerns relating to her use of a private email server.”
“Unlike the FBI’s opening of a full investigation of unknown members of the Trump campaign based on
raw, uncorroborated information, in this separate matter involving a purported Clinton campaign plan,
the FBI never opened any type of inquiry, issued any taskings, employed any analytical
personnel, or produced any analytical products in connection with the information. This lack of
action was despite the fact that the significance of the Clinton plan intelligence was such as to
have prompted the Director of the CIA to brief the President, Vice President, Attorney General,
Director of the FBI, and other senior government officials about its content within days of its
receipt. It was also of enough importance for the CIA to send a formal written referral
memorandum to Director Corney and the Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI’s
Counterintelligence Division, Peter Strzok, for their consideration and action. 25 The
investigative referral provided examples of information the Crossfire Hurricane fusion cell had
“gleaned to date.””
File:Carter Page MSNBC June 2017 YouTube.png

Carter Page

“Within days after opening Crossfire Hurricane, the FBI opened full investigations on four members
of the Trump campaign team: George Papadopoulos, Carter Page, Paul Manafort, and Michael Flynn. 
No defensive briefing was provided to Trump or anyone in the campaign concerning the information
received from Australia that suggested there might be some type of collusion between the Trump
campaign and the Russians, either prior to or after these investigations were opened. Instead, the
FBI began working on requests for the use of FISA authorities against Page and Papadopoulos.
The effort as related to Papadopoulos proved unsuccessful. Similarly, the initial effort directed at Page
was unsuccessful until the Crossfire Hurricane investigators first obtained what were designated as
“Company Intelligence Reports” generated by Christopher Steele…the Steele Reports were first provided
to the FBI in early July 2016 but, for unexplained reasons, only made their way to the Crossfire Hurricane
investigators in mid-September. The reports were ostensibly assembled based on information provided to
Steele and his company by a “primary sub source,” who the FBI eventually determined in December 2016
was Igor Danchenko.”
“Our investigation determined that the Crossfire Hurricane investigators did not and could not
corroborate  any of the substantive allegations contained in the Steele reporting. Nor was Steele
able to produce corroboration for any of the reported allegations, even after being offered $1 million
or more by the FBI for such corroboration. 29 Further, when interviewed by the FBI in January 2017,
Danchenko [image above] also was unable to corroborate any of the substantive allegations in the Reports.
Rather, Danchenko characterized the information he provided to Steele as “rumor and speculation
and the product of casual conversationother efforts undertaken by the Crossfire Hurricane
investigators working on the Page FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] application…included
having CHSs record conversations with Page, Papadopoulos and a senior Trump foreign policy advisor.
The FBI’s own records and the recordings establish that Page made multiple exculpatory statements to the
individual identified as CHS-I, but the Crossfire Hurricane investigators failed to make that information known
to the Department attorneys or to the FISC. Page also made explicit statements refuting allegations contained
in the Steele reporting about his lack of any relationship with Paul Manafort, but the FBI failed to follow logical
investigative leads related to those statements and to report to Department lawyers what they found. Similarly,
multiple recordings of Papadopoulos were made by CHS-1 and a second CHS, in which Papadopoulos also
made multiple exculpatory statements that were not brought to the attention of the Department lawyers or
the FISC.”

“Sex it up? I can do that!”

“In the spring of 2016, Perkins Coie, a U.S.-based international law firm, acting as counsel to the Clinton campaign,
retained Fusion GPS, a U.S.-based investigative firm, to conduct opposition research on Trump and his associates.
In mid-May 2016, Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS met with Steele in the United Kingdom and subsequently retained
Steele and his firm, Orbis Business Intelligence (“Orbis”), to investigate Trump’s ties to Russia.
Steele [image above] described himself as a former intelligence official for the British government, and was also at the
time an FBI CHS. Beginning in July 2016 and continuing through December 2016, the FBI received a series of reports
from Steele and Orbis that contained derogatory information about Trump concerning Trump’s purported ties to Russia.”
Steele provided the first of his reports to his FBI handler on July 5th. These reports were colloquially referred to as
the “Steele Dossier” or “Steele Reports.” As noted, it was not until mid-September that the Crossfire Hurricane
investigators received several of the Steele Reports. Within days of their receipt, the unvetted and unverified Steele
Reports were used to support probable cause in the FBI’s FISA applications targeting Page, a U.S. citizen who, for a
period of time, had been an advisor to Trump…this was done at a time when the FBI knew that the same information
Steele had provided to the FBI had also been fed to the media and others in Washington, D.C. In particular, one
allegation contained in an undated Steele Report, identified as 2016/095, described a “well-developed conspiracy of
co-operation” between Trump, his campaign, and senior Russian officials. This allegation would ultimately underpin
the four FISA applications targeting Page.
As noted, the FBI attempted, over time, to investigate and analyze the Steele Reports but ultimately was not able to
confirm or corroborate any of the substantive allegations contained in those reports. In the context of these efforts…
the FBI learned that Steele relied primarily on a U.S.-based Russian national, Igor Danchenko, to collect information
that ultimately formed the core allegations found in the reports. Specifically, our investigation discovered that Danchenko
himself had told another person that he (Danchenko) was responsible for 80% of the “intel” and 50% of the analysis
contained in the Steele Dossier. In December 2016, the FBI identified Danchenko as Steele’s primary sub-source.
Danchenko agreed to meet with the FBI and, under the protection of an immunity letter, he and his attorney met with the
Crossfire Hurricane investigators on January 24, 25, and 26, 2017. Thereafter, from January 2017 through October 2020,
and as part of its efforts to determine the truth or falsity of specific information in the Steele Reports, the FBI conducted
multiple interviews of Danchenko regarding, among other things, the information he provided to Steele…during these
interviews, Danchenko was unable to provide any corroborating evidence to support the Steele allegations, and further,
described his interactions with his sub-sources as “rumor and speculation” and conversations of a casual nature.
Significant parts of what Danchenko told the FBI were inconsistent with what Steele told the FBI during his prior interviews
in October 2016 and September 2017. At no time, however, was the FISC informed of these inconsistencies. Moreover,
notwithstanding the repeated assertions in the Page FISA applications that Steele’s primary sub-source was based in Russia,
Danchenko for many years had lived in the Washington, D.C. area. After learning that Danchenko continued to live in the
Washington area and had not left except for domestic and foreign travel, the FBI never corrected this assertion in the three
subsequent Page FISA renewal applications. Rather, beginning in March 2017, the FBI engaged Danchenko as a CHS and
began making regular financial payments to him for information – none of which corroborated Steele’s reporting.”
“Importantly…the FBI knew in January 2017 that Danchenko had been the subject of  an FBI counterintelligence investigation from 2009 to 2011.
In late 2008, while Danchenko was employed by the Brookings Institution, he engaged two fellow employees about whether one of the employees
might be willing or able in the future to provide classified information in exchange for money. According to one employee, Danchenko believed that
he (the employee) might be following a mentor into the incoming Obama administration and have access to classified information.
During this exchange, Danchenko informed the employee that he had access to people who were willing to pay for classified
information. The concerned employee passed this information to a U.S. government contact, and the information was
subsequently passed to the FBI. Based on this information, in 2009 the FBI opened a preliminary investigation into Danchenko.
The FBI converted its investigation into a full investigation after learning that Danchenko (i) had been identified as an associate
of two FBI counterintelligence subjects and (ii) had previous contact with the Russian Embassy and known Russian intelligence
officers. Also…Agents had interviewed several former colleagues of Danchenko who raised concerns about Danchenko’s potential
involvement with Russian intelligence. For example, one such colleague, who had interned at a U.S. intelligence agency, informed
the Office that Danchenko frequently inquired about that person’s knowledge of a specific Russian military matter. Meanwhile in
July 20I0, the FBI initiated a request to use FISA authorities against Danchenko, which was subsequently routed to Department
attorneys in August 2010. However, the investigation into Danchenko was closed in March 2011 after the FBI incorrectly concluded
that Danchenko had left the country and returned to Russia. Our review found no indication that the Crossfire Hurricane investigators
ever attempted to resolve the prior Danchenko espionage matter before opening him as a paid CHS. Moreover, our investigation found
no indication that the Crossfire Hurricane investigators disclosed the existence of Danchenko’s unresolved counterintelligence
investigation to the Department attorneys who were responsible for drafting the FISA renewal applications targeting Carter Page.
As a result, the FISC was never advised of information that very well may have affected the FISC’s view of Steele’s primary sub-source’s
(and Steele’s) reliability and trustworthiness. Equally important is the fact that in not resolving Danchenko’s status vis-á-vis the Russian
intelligence services, it appears the FBI never gave appropriate consideration to the possibility that the intelligence Danchenko was providing
to Steele – which, again, according to Danchenko himself, made up a significant majority of the information in the Steele Dossier reports – was,
in whole or in part, Russian disinformation.

Paradigm of non-Russian non-disinformation: The Laptop

“During the relevant time period, Danchenko maintained a relationship with Charles Dolan [image below], a Virginia-based public relations professional
who had previously held multiple positions and roles in the Democratic National Committee (“DNC”) and the Democratic Party. In his role as a public
relations professional, Dolan focused much of his career interacting with Eurasian clients, with a particular focus on Russia…Dolan previously
conducted business with the Russian Federation and maintained relationships with several key Russian government officials, including
Dimitry Peskov, the powerful Press Secretary of the Russian Presidential Administration. A number of these Russian government officials with
whom Dolan maintained a relationship – and was in contact with at the time Danchenko was collecting information for Steele – would later appear
in the Dossier. In the summer and fall of 2016, at the time Danchenko was collecting information for Steele, Dolan traveled to Moscow, as did
Danchenko, in connection with a business conference…the business conference was held at the Ritz Carlton Moscow, which, according to the
Steele Reports, was allegedly the site of salacious sexual conduct on the part of Trump. Danchenko would later inform the FBI that he learned of
these allegations through Ritz Carlton staff members. Our investigation, however, revealed that it was Dolan, not Danchenko, who actually interacted
with the hotel staff identified in the Steele Reports, so between the two, Dolan appears the more likely source of the allegations…our investigation
also uncovered that Dolan was the definitive source for at least one allegation in the Steele Reports. This allegation, contained in Steele Report
2016/105, concerned the circumstances surrounding the resignation of Paul Manafort from the Trump campaign. When interviewed by the Office,
Dolan admitted that he fabricated the allegation about Manafort that appeared in the Steele Report. Our investigation also revealed that, in some
instances, Dolan independently received other information strikingly similar to allegations that would later appear in the Steele Reports. Nevertheless,
when interviewed by the FBI, Danchenko denied that Dolan was a source for any information in the Steele Reports. Furthermore…during the
relevant time period, Dolan maintained a business relationship with Olga Galkina, a childhood friend of Danchenko, who, according to Danchenko,
was a key source for many of the allegations contained in the Steele Reports. In fact, when Galkina was interviewed by the FBI in August 2017,
she admitted to providing Dolan with information that would later appear in the Steele Reports.”
“Our investigation revealed that the Crossfire Hurricane investigators were aware of Dolan and his connections to Danchenko and the Steele Reports.
In fact…in early October 2016, Steele informed the FBI that Dolan was a person who might have relevant information about Trump. The FBI interviewed
hundreds of individuals through the course of the Crossfire Hurricane and later investigations, and yet it did not interview Dolan as a possible source of
information about Trump. Our investigators interviewed Dolan on several occasions, as well as the two other persons mentioned by Steele. Dolan initially
denied being a source of information for the Steele Reports. When, however, he was shown a particular Steele Report relating to Paul Manafort and his
resignation as Trump’s campaign manager, along with related emails between himself and Danchenko in August 2016, he acknowledged that the reporting
mirrored the information he had provided to Danchenko. Dolan acknowledged to the Office that he fabricated this information. Although both Steele and
Olga Galkina suggested to the FBI that Dolan may have had information related to the Steele Reports, our investigation was not able to definitively show
that Dolan was the actual source – whether wittingly or unwittingly – for any additional allegations set forth in the Steele Reports. Regardless, in light of the
foregoing, there does not appear to have been an objectively sound reason for the FBI’s failure to interview Dolan.”
“Perhaps the most damning allegation in the Steele Dossier reports was Company Report 2016/95, which Steele attributed to “Source E,” one of
Danchenko’s supposed sub-sources. This report, portions of which were included in each of the four Page FISA applications, contributed to the public narrative
of Trump’s conspiring and colluding with Russian officials…Danchenko’s alleged source for the information (Source E) was an individual by the name of
Sergei Millian who was the president of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce in New York City and a public Trump supporter. The evidence uncovered
by the Office showed that Danchenko never spoke with Sergei Millian and simply fabricated the allegations that he attributed to Millian. When interviewed by
Crossfire Hurricane investigators in late January 2017, Danchenko said that Source E in Report 2016/95 sounded as though it was Sergei Millian…Danchenko
stated that he never actually met Millian. Instead, he said that in late-July 2016 he received an anonymous call from a person who did not identify himself, but
who spoke with a Russian accent. Danchenko further explained that he thought it might have been Millian – someone Danchenko previously had emailed twice
and received no response – after watching a YouTube video of Millian speaking. Thus…the total support for the Source E information contained in Steele
Report 2016/95 is a purported anonymous call from someone Danchenko had never met or spoken to but who he believed might be Sergei Millian – a Trump
supporter – based on his listening to a YouTube video of Millian. Unfortunately, the investigation revealed that, instead of taking even basic steps, such as
securing telephone call records for either Danchenko or Miilian to investigate Danchenko’ s hard-to-believe story about Millian, the Crossfire Hurricane
investigators appear to have chosen to ignore this and other red flags concerning Danchenko’s credibility, as well as Steele’s.”
“The Office also investigated the actions of Perkins Coie attorney Michael Sussmann [image below] and others in connection with Sussmann’s provision of data and
“white papers” to FBI General Counsel James Baker purporting to show that there existed a covert communications channel between the Trump Organization
and a Russia-based bank called Alfa Bank…in doing so he represented to Baker by text message and in person that he was acting on his own and was not
representing any client or company in providing the information to the FBI. Our investigation showed that, in point of fact, these representations to Baker were
false in that Sussmann was representing the Clinton campaign (as evidenced by, among other things, his law firm’s billing records and internal communications).
In addition, Sussmann was representing a second client, a technology executive named Rodney Joffe (as evidenced by various written communications,
Sussmann’s subsequent congressional testimony, and other records).  Cyber experts from the FBI examined the materials given to Baker and concluded that they
did not establish what Sussmann claimed they showed.
At a later time, Sussmann made a separate presentation regarding the Alfa Bank allegations to another U.S. government agency and it too concluded that the
materials did not show what Sussmann claimed. In connection with that second presentation, Sussmann made a similar false statement to that agency, claiming
that he was not providing the information on behalf of any client. With respect to the Alfa Bank materials, our investigation established that Joffe had tasked a
number of computer technology researchers who worked for companies he was affiliated with, and who had access to certain internet records, to mine the
internet data to establish “an inference” and “narrative” tying then-candidate Trump to Russia. In directing these researchers to exploit their access in this manner,
Joffe indicated that he was seeking to please certain “VIPs,” in context referring to individuals at Perkins Coie who were involved in campaign matters and the
Clinton campaign. During its investigation, the Office also learned that, after the 2016 presidential election, Joffe emailed an individual and told that person that
“[he – Joffe] was tentatively offered the top [cybersecurity] job by the Democrats when it looked like they’d win.“”
“[T]he evidence collected by the Office also demonstrated that, prior to providing the unfounded Alfa bank claims to the FBI, Sussmann and Fusion GPS
(the Clinton campaign’s opposition research firm) had provided the same information to various news organizations and were pressing reporters to write articles
about the alleged secret communications channel. Moreover, during his September 2016 meeting at the FBI, Sussmann told Baker that an unnamed news outlet was
in possession of the information and would soon publish a story about it. The disclosure of the media’s involvement caused the FBI to contact the news outlet whose
name was eventually provided by Sussmann in the hope of delaying any public reporting on the subject. In doing so it confirmed for the New York Times that the FBI
was looking into the matter. On October 31, 2016, less than two weeks before the election, the New York Times and others published articles on the Alfa Bank matter
and the Clinton campaign issued tweets and public statements on the allegations of a secret channel of communications being used by the Trump Organization and a
Russian bank – allegations that had been provided to the media and the FBI by Fusion GPS and Sussmann, both of whom were working for the Clinton campaign.
“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 reportformer FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith committed a criminal
offense by fabricating language in an email that was material to the FBI obtaining a FISA surveillance order. In other instances, FBI personnel working on that same
FISA application displayed, at best, a cavalier attitude towards accuracy and completeness. 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.  Our investigation
also revealed that senior FBI personnel displayed a serious lack of analytical rigor towards the information that they received, especially information received from
politically affiliated persons and entities. This information in part triggered and sustained Crossfire Hurricane and contributed to the subsequent need for Special Counsel
Mueller’s investigation. In particular, there was significant reliance on investigative leads provided or funded (directly or indirectly) by Trump’s political opponents.
The Department did not adequately examine or question these materials and the motivations of those providing them, even when at about the same time the Director of
the FBI and others learned of significant and potentially contrary intelligence. In light of the foregoing, there is a continuing need for the FBI and the Department to
recognize that lack of analytical rigor, apparent confirmation bias, and an over-willingness to rely on information from individuals connected to political opponents caused
investigators to fail to adequately consider alternative hypotheses and to act without appropriate objectivity or restraint in pursuing allegations of collusion or conspiracy
between a U.S. political campaign and a foreign power. Although recognizing that in hindsight much is clearer, much of this also seems to have been clear at the time.
We therefore believe it is important to examine past conduct to identify shortcomings and improve how the government carries out its most sensitive functions.”
“This report does not recommend any wholesale changes in the guidelines and policies that the Department and the FBI now have in place to ensure proper conduct
and accountability in how counterintelligence activities are carried out. Rather, it is intended to accurately describe the matters that fell under our review and to assist the
Attorney General in determining how the Department and the FBI can do a better, more credible job in fulfilling its responsibilities, and in analyzing and responding to
politically charged allegations in the future. Ultimately, of course, meeting those responsibilities comes down to the integrity of the people who take an oath to follow the
guidelines and policies currently in place, guidelines that date from the time of Attorney General Levi and that are designed to ensure the rule of law is upheld. As such,
the answer is not the creation of new rules but a renewed fidelity to the old. The promulgation of additional rules and regulations to be learned in yet more training sessions
would likely prove to be a fruitless exercise if the FBI’s guiding principles of “Fidelity, Bravery and Integrity” are not engrained in the hearts and minds of those sworn to meet
the FBI’ s mission of “Protect[ing] the American People and Uphold[ing] the Constitution of the United States.”
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