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Trump shreds disgraced Russia collusion probe as Special Counsel report exonerates him

By Jimmy Adeel
|
May 16, 2023

In the wake of a report disputing the validity of the initial probe into alleged Russian collusion, former President Donald Trump issued a scathing critique of former FBI Director James Comey and the Democrats.

Trump, who has repeatedly labeled the investigation a baseless "witch hunt," called for stringent accountability in a recent interview with Fox News Digital.

"This long-running, treasonous charade, initiated by the Democrats and Comey, has made victims of myself and, more importantly, the American public," the former president and real estate tycoon said.

According to the Daily Mail, Trump underscored the public's outrage over the matter, adding, "I haven't seen this level of public fury over a report before... there must be a severe penalty for dragging our nation through this."

Trump Targets FBI on Truth Social Platform

Trump, currently the leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination, used his Truth Social platform to criticize the FBI once again. "Special Counsel John Durham, after thorough research, concludes that the FBI should never have initiated the Trump-Russia probe," Trump posted. He added, "In simple terms, the American public was deceived, much like it is currently being deceived by those who resist America's greatness."

The report, authored by Special Counsel John Durham and released earlier this week, asserts that the Department of Justice and FBI "failed to adhere strictly to the law."

This conclusion comes after a prolonged investigation into the origins of the FBI's initial probe, known as "Crossfire Hurricane," which scrutinized possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Sean Davis, the co-founder, and CEO of The Federalist, released a series of tweets on Monday stating that his publication had received the 306-page report. “Special prosecutor John Durham concluded that ‘neither the U.S. nor the Intelligence Community appears to have possessed any actual evidence of collusion in their holdings at the commencement of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation’,” Davis wrote.

Davis also shared that, according to records prepared by the former FBI agent Peter Strzok, the FBI lacked any evidence indicating collusion or contact between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.

Durham Report Sheds Light on Initial Investigation's Flaws

As assigned by former Attorney General Barr, Durham's mission was to investigate the origins of the Crossfire Hurricane, initiated in July 2016, and the subsequent investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which started in May 2017.

However, Durham's report criticized senior FBI personnel for a "grave lack of analytical rigor" and a "significant reliance on investigative leads provided or funded (directly or indirectly) by Trump's political adversaries."

In response, the FBI claimed that the bureau's current leadership had implemented numerous corrective measures. "If these reforms had been in place in 2016, the errors identified in the report could have been avoided," the FBI stated.

The Outcome of Durham's Investigation and Reactions

Durham's investigation resulted in the indictment of a Russian national and a prominent Washington attorney for allegedly making false statements to the FBI, although both were later acquitted.

Russian national Igor Danchenko was accused of supplying information for a report containing uncorroborated salacious details about Trump and Russia, known as the "Steele dossier," compiled by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele.

After four years and more than $6 million in taxpayer dollars, the special counsel submitted his report to Attorney General Merrick Garland last Friday. The attorney general subsequently distributed a copy to leading members of Congress before public release.

Republican Lawmakers and Media Reaction

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), used the report's findings to criticize the U.S. media. "The New York Times and Washington Post received a Pulitzer Prize for writing a bunch of politically motivated nonsense," Graham tweeted. "When it comes to reporting on Donald Trump, the mainstream media is dead, he added.

The Durham report and the subsequent reactions have reignited debate about the initial Russian collusion investigation and its impact on American politics. This continues to be a controversial topic, particularly as the country moves toward the next presidential election.