From “John Durham has to know his final report is a mess” by Hayes Brown at MSNBC.com:
The Department of Justice on Monday finally released the long-awaited final report from special counsel John Durham, who, almost four years ago, was tapped to review the FBI’s decision to open a counterintelligence investigation into Donald Trump’s presidential 2016 campaign. For much of that time, Trump supporters were positive that the bombshells Durham would drop would validate Trump’s characterization of the Russia investigation as the “crime of the century.”
However, over the course of more than 300 pages, the Durham Report doesn’t just fail to live up to Trump supporters’ expectations of a spectacular vindication; it manages to fail on every other level as well. Durham fails to rebut the previous findings from special counsel Robert Mueller or the Department of Justice’s inspector general. He fails to provide suggested changes that the FBI could make moving forward. He fails to acknowledge how much of the winking innuendo the report includes wasn’t proved in court. And, ironically, he fails to realize that his central argument includes a standard for politically charged investigations that Trump would absolutely hate to see put into practice.
The Durham Report doesn’t just fail to live up to Trump supporters’ expectations of a spectacular vindication; it manages to fail on every other level as well.
None of these failures is particularly surprising given the arc of Durham’s investigation. When he began to wrap up in September, it was clear that he would be unable to live up to the right-wing hype. The only two cases that he brought to trial resulted in acquittals; the one guilty plea he obtained was of an FBI attorney for altering an email used to obtain a surveillance warrant for a Trump campaign adviser. But Durham still includes many of the allegations that the juries rejected, a move more likely to muddy the waters than provide clarity.
Read more of Brown’s article and watch a revealing interview about the Durham nothingburger here. Also check out Rachel Maddow’s coverage here.
When an institution enjoys a high level of trust but something bad happens, such as its leaders getting caught lying, the voters tend to make allowances for it and give its executives the benefit of the doubt. But, when that institution suffers from a low level of trust, the voters put the most skeptical construction on whatever it does. Last August, a Rasmussen poll discovered that more than half (53%) of likely voters agreed with the statement, “there is a group of politicized thugs at the top of the FBI that are using the FBI as Joe Biden’s personal Gestapo.” To these voters, Durham’s report confirms their suspicion that the FBI is incompetent and corrupt. It will take many years of sound, nonpartisan law enforcement for the FBI to regain their trust.