Former President Donald Trump was subjected to many attacks from his opponents. The most enduring charge was about Russia’s collusion with the campaign during the 2016 election, but that narrative’s origins are questionable.
Former U.S. Attorney John Durham is still acting as special counsel investigating the origins of the Crossfire Hurricane counter-intelligence probe — despite recent speculation about his status by former President Trump. Durham is reportedly issuing subpoenas and continuing to investigate whether the operation was flawed in the first place.
Despite years of digging, Robert Mueller’s report finally concluded in 2019 that while there was evidence that Russia had interfered in the 2016 election, it did not appear that the Trump campaign had anything to do with it. Now, there are questions about whether the evidence used to justify a United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrant to spy on the campaign in the first place was justified.
Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz had already found that the dossier funded by Fusion GPS as opposition research and compiled by ex-British spy Christopher Steele was problematic. He charged that the FBI had more than two dozen “significant errors and omissions” in relying on the dossier to surveil Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Trump had pegged this probe against him as a hoax from the start and waited years to clear his name. Now, he’s becoming frustrated as Durham is slow to figure out how the dubious investigation began and whether there was in fact any intentional wrongdoing, Fox News reported.
“Where’s Durham? Is he a living, breathing human being?” Trump wrote in a statement. “Will there ever be a Durham report?”
So far, the only charge to come from Durham’s investigation was brought against former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith, who doctored an email related to the evidence that launched Crossfire Hurricane. There were no conspiracy or other charges added to the revelation and Clinesmith received only a slap on the wrist.
President Joe Biden’s administration seems supportive of the continued probe, although it doesn’t make much of a practical difference now. Trump spent the first half of his presidency dodging media lies based on a questionable investigation into his campaign. Even if those who acted in bad faith are eventually brought to justice, the irrepareable damage was already done.