John Durham Repeats Debunked Claims in Report to Garland

John Durham has, after four years, finally released a report.

It is corrupt. It harms America. It misrepresents FISA.

It also repeats claims that were debunked under oath. I’ll be reading it here. But for those who want to vent, this is your open thread.

136 replies
  1. OldTulsaDude says:

    This is bullshit. There has always been bullshit. There have always been purveyors of bullshit. What is so disheartening now is that there is no one left in the broad-reaching powered news media that is willing to call it bullshit, instead, it will trotted out as more he said/she said bothsiderism stenography.

    • Matt___B says:

      I just saw the MSNBC report on this, with Ken Dilanian (I know, nobody’s favorite over here) doing the explaining.

      Seemed to me he wasn’t spinning anything per se, but just explaining that Durham reached a wildly different conclusion than the DOJ IG report in the same matter.

      The fact that the release of the report makes any news at all is the real news…

    • James5610 says:

      Agree, watched ABC evening news, the segment on Durham’s report was disgusting. What is wrong with these people?

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  2. Rugger_9 says:

    Is this covered under penalty of perjury, or under the statute prohibiting lying to federal investigators? Because if it is, then Durham might have bought himself jail time by using already debunked information as factual. I’ll see what leaps out to me.

    Let’s also remember that juries and courts have found Durham’s investigations to be equally specious. That limits the opportunity to pretend it’s a question of ‘interpretation’.

      • Rugger_9 says:

        It seems this was the only possibility for some accountability for Durham, which is why I and EW had mentioned repeating of already debunked information shot down after legal scrutiny. However that’s not the most appalling part of the discussion.

        On the afternoon drive the CBS news feed made no mention of the fact that much of the 300+ page report was debunked, instead trying to goose it with some credibility without being transparent about who was saying what. No pushback either about the number of convictions (versus Mueller or Gardner) or that it contradicted the IG’s report. This total failure by the MSM to present news instead of clickbait/soundbite content will bite us in the arse in 2024.

        • bmaz says:

          Garland and DOJ are not going after their own Special Counsel. Never. Durham is done, and that is that. Neither will any successor iteration of DOJ. Be glad it is over and he humiliated himself; that’s all you will get.

          • HikaakiH says:

            No special executive summary by the USAG ala Bill Barr’s take on Mueller’s report? Ah, well. Garland just doesn’t do the job like Barr. Lawyers know that Durham repeatedly beclowned himself, but the general public will just see arguments on both sides. Then again, the issues around the investigations by Mueller and Durham (well, whatever it was Durham was doing) won’t be changing anyone’s vote in 2024. The worrying aspect is the continuing loose attitude to the truth in MSM.

  3. WilliamOckham says:

    It’s the Tina Louise/Bob Denver erasure that’s really bugging me.

    From footnote 1536 on page 269:

    Sussmann’s letter memorializing his joint representation of Joffe and Tech Company-2 Executive- I was addressed to “Ms. Tina Wells” and “Mr. Bob Hale.” See Representation letters from Perkins Coie to Rodney Joffe and Tech Company-2 Executive-I dated 4/12/2017 and 4/13/2017. These fake names are apparent references to the actors who played “Mary Ann” and the “Skipper” on the television series “Gilligan’s Island.” (Though “Mary Ann” was actually played by Dawn Wells and the “Skipper” was played by Alan Hale.)

    They figured out or (more likely) someone explained the Gilligan’s Island reference. And they didn’t realize where the first names came from. I can’t even…

    • wasD4v1d says:

      **apparent references to the actors who played “Mary Ann” and the “Skipper**

      These people are so extra… Ginger and Gilligan.

      Thanks for posting that blurb. My wife wants to know why I’m laughing.

      • xbronx says:

        Conflation. Tina Louise (Ginger) + Dawn Wells (Mary Ann) = Tina Wells
        Bob Denver (Gilligan) + Alan Hale Jr (Skipper) = Bob Hale
        This is Boomer-style pub trivia.
        We can give thanks they didn’t conflate the Harlem Globetrotters episode or we’d have Geese (Ausbie) + (Curley) Neal = Geese Neal

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  4. joel fisher says:

    I shudder at the thought of the House hearing where Durham will be treated like a latter day Sherlock Holmes.

    • Ebenezer Scrooge says:

      Well, the Democrats get to examine the witness as well. “Mr. Durham, do you know what percentage of cases the government wins at trial?” “Mr. Durham, did the Mueller report ever use the word ‘collusion’?” Etc.

    • BobBobCon says:

      The House GOP investigation committees seem to be having problems processing the floodgates they’ve already opened, which is behind Comer’s attempts to spin his “missing whistleblower” problem.

      I’m not sure they have the stomach to extend the Durham fable, and if they do, if they have the bandwidth to stage manage it.

      • RipNoLonger says:

        The current House doesn’t have the bandwidth nor the intellect within the “leadership” to do much of all constructive. But they do have the meatballs and the walls upon which to fling them. Maybe something will stick?

        • Spencer Dawkins says:

          I know this expression as “throwing spaghetti against the wall, to see if it sticks” (I’m no cook, but I think that’s what a lot of people want out of spaghetti), so I appreciate you rephrasing as “throwing meatballs against the wall” – would they EVER stick?

          But I just appreciate that emptywheel stopped using the same picture of Durham for each story on his travesty – I look enough like him (goatee, glasses, etc.) to shock me awake every morning when I saw it.

  5. PieIsDamnGood says:

    Does Twitter not show threads anymore? It showed me some inane response instead of continuing Marcy’s posts.

  6. blueedredcounty says:

    The money quote from Charlie Pierce:
    ( sorry, I know it is paywalled)

    “So he goes off in pursuit of snipes at the behest of a crooked president* and a lickspittle AG and the result is a 300-page doorstop in which he claims FBI mal- and nonfeasance with very little evidence, almost none of which stands up strongly enough in court for him to get convictions, and for which he provides no recommendations or remedies. One suspects that the Durham investigation was not conducted in good faith.”

  7. tinao says:

    No other response but, Ha Ha, Ha,,,,,


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  8. DrFunguy says:

    Will you have some disinformation with your nothingburger?
    Biggest scandal since Benghazi, HRC’s server or maybe Hunter Biden’s laptop!

    • PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

      This seems like something the DOJ IG should dig into.

      Edit: I meant to add this to the root, not reply to this specific comment.

      • bmaz says:

        Lol, the same office that wrote the very flawed report Durham relied on and parroted? That DOJ IG? His name is Michael Horowitz.

        It is astounding how many of you believe that the federal government who put Durham in place is going to magically “investigate” him and do something positive. Give it up, it is not happening. And, again, anyone who thinks OPR will correct anything simply does not understand OPR. It is laughable.

        • PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

          Oh I know Horowitz is a scumbag and I’m not hoping for an investigation into Durham, or revenge charges or anything, but just to get the wheels turning on a slow methodical “fact check” of Durham’s report.

  9. giorgino says:

    As Einstein said, the difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has limits.

    • lemoco says:

      As Frank Zappa said: “Stupidity is more abundant than Hydrogen.”

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      • bbleh says:

        Alas that we have not yet mastered the technology to convert it to useful energy.

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        • RipNoLonger says:

          I fear the supply is unlimited and can even grow through replication and contagion. Once it is hooked up to fubar jack’s ‘stupidity engine’, the universe will explode.

        • gruntfuttock says:

          Clearly what we need to do is combine ‘Confuse-a-cat’ with those optical implants which read the impulses in brain cells resulting from the poor moggies’ puzzlement and then we would have an almost unlimited supply of energy.

          Hey, where’d my cat just go?

  10. TimothyB says:

    Thanks for this post and the Twitter thread.

    Mods, this is my first time posting from phone, I hope I used same name.

    Many people live in the alternative reality where Durham had something to investigate. It is awful that a Federal prosecutor chose to continue to live there after getting his ass handed to him by the courts.

  11. Patrick Carty says:

    4 years and 6.5 million bucks from the taxpayers and the best he can come up with is a personal opinion?

    • Peterr says:

      You mean “the best he can come up with is Trump’s personal opinion”. He can’t even come up with anything original.

      Somewhere, there is a high school English teacher who is reading this, shaking their head, and saying “I knew he slept through our unit on persuasive writing.”

  12. Rapier says:

    I’d forgotten about the two on Durham team who quit. If they are no longer with the DOJ they might talk out of school now. Not too likely now that I think about it, unless they are retired, or want to be.

  13. Disraeli56 says:

    Now that his master work is done will Durham be de-latched from the public teat and set adrift on the sea of compromised obscurity?

  14. Green Eagle says:

    Empty Wheel, I am sorry. I went to read your account of the Durham report, and by the second sentence I had to object to what you have to say. In that sentence, you say that Durham found “literally, bupkis.” I believe it would be correct to say that he found “figuratively, bupkis.” “Literally, bupkis” is actually more than he found, which is absolutely nothing.

    • bmaz says:

      Oh goody, the grammar scolds are back. Come on man, “that” is your big “objection?

      • bbleh says:

        FAR worse is the transliteration! Literal is “bobkes,” although “bubkes” and “bupkes” are common, but the use of “i” in the second syllable is … well, I just can’t even.

    • Sandwichman says:

      “Borrowed from Yiddish באָבקעס‎ (bobkes), plural of באָבקע‎ (bobke, “goat or sheep dropping”), from באָב‎ (bob, “bean”) +‎ ־קע‎ (-ke) calquing Polish bobek (“oval-shaped turd”), ultimately from Proto-Slavic *bobъ (“bean, fava bean”).”

      I would tend to agree with Marcy that Durham found, LITERALLY, “an oval-shaped turd.”

  15. P J Evans says:

    And the people who are mad because he didn’t charge anyone with “collusion”. Which isn’t even a legal thing, as bmaz and others have explained.

  16. StevenL says:

    I hope someone here can shed some light for me:

    Is there some plausible way that a purported Clinton plan to accuse Trump of links to Russia would be the appropriate subject of DOJ scrutiny? Seems to me even dirty underhanded dishonest political rhetoric is simply not a matter for federal criminal law enforcement. Am I missing something big, or even a nuance here?

    • bmaz says:

      Sure. Fraud, federal election crime and, potentially, civilly, defamation. The problem is there was no predication as to Clinton as there clearly was as to Trump.

      • StevenL says:

        Ok, I read the section in question beginning at p. 81, including the prosecution decision discussion at pp. 97-98. This has nothing to do with federal election law or (obviously) defamation, and the Clinton campaign is not even the target of this assessment. Durham was interested in the possibility that DOJ personnel may have, for example, failed to inform FISC of the purported Russian assessment of the purported Clinton plan in order to conceal it from FISC, in the service of violating the civil rights of a surveillance target.

        This is even more insane than I had suspected. Durham was evidently obsessed with the notion that what looks like obvious and low-quality Russian disinformation should have been more heavily relied upon in assessing mountains of other dubious stuff. Very far down the rabbit hole. I already had contempt for Durham but this makes me actually concerned for his psychological health.

        Good thing he’ll be getting the opportunity for some much-needed R&R soon!

        • bmaz says:

          Yeah, thanks, I can read just fine on my own. And I do not give a shit what the “report” says. The question was if there were facts (there were not), what crimes were potentially in play. And “you” are going to cite Durham to me???? You have been here occasionally since 2019. I have been here writing about Durham from over a decade previous to that. I understand who and what he is. Again, thanks.

          PS: If you want an example from back in our torture coverage, here is one. Don’t neglect to also read the earlier linked letter!

        • FL Resister says:

          Special Prosecutor Durham’s frequent but highly irregular scotch-laced tête-à-têtes in private quarters with then Attorney General Bill Barr who appointed him after Trump appointed Durham should be a thing.

          And what happened after the Durham Barr field trip produced evidence of a suspected Trump crime referred by Italian officials which Barr said he handed over to Durham who neglected to even bring it up in his final report?

          It isn’t enough for intellectuals to talk amongst themselves.
          We need the free press to dig, turn over and expose the corruption.
          Not coddle it and pretend it falls into a neat story.
          All a lot of people hear is the narrative.
          They should have more of the facts repeated to them on a regular basis.
          Sorry to go on but the milquetoast is sour.

          • bmaz says:

            So you want to go after attorneys that have cocktails together? Does that just apply to only federal prosecutors, or does it apply to a couple of defense attorneys too? Can a defense attorney get a drink, scotch or otherwise, with a prosecutor? How about…GASP…with a judge?

            Do you have any idea how ludicrous you sound?

            • FL Resister says:

              I don’t think it’s okay for Jack Smith to get together with Merrick Garland in private rooms over drinks on a regular basis either.
              I did not think that was proper during a special investigation.

              • bmaz says:

                Lol, how pious of you. People eat. People drink. People talk. Doing that is not analogous to Thomas on super yachts in the Caribbean. Lighten up. If you think a SC should never talk to an AG, you are literally nuts.

              • earlofhuntingdon says:

                I appreciate the frustration, but you’re aiming at the wrong target. It’s not that Smith and Garland might occasionally have drinks together. There’s no evidence they do, but Smith works for him and it would not be a problem, any more than would be the informal networking and socializing that makes DC and most bureaucracies effective. (That it does was highlighted by VP Cheney’s unceasing assaults on it, because he only wanted his network to be successful.)

                The problems lie in their motives and what they do about them. Barr and Durham sloshing the booze was a boondoggle, enabling them to keep doing their awful deeds. Smith and Garland doing it would be something else entirely.

  17. 2Cats2Furious says:

    What I’m seeing so far from the Durham report is that it’s similar to the bullshit allegations that Representative Comer is spewing about the “Biden Crime Family.”

    There is simply no there there. Total waste of taxpayer funds.

  18. David F. Snyder says:

    Durham was/is an owned puppy. None of his screed is surprising, though he manages to insult himself with his credulous innuendoes. May he crawl back into his hole forevermore.

  19. Matt___B says:

    Here’s a “headline overview” (in alphabetic order by name of media outfit) of how various outlets have summarized this situation:
    Al Jazeera: Probe of FBI’s handling of Trump-Russia investigation ends

    AP: Report on FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation: Some problems but not the ‘crime of the century’

    Axios: Special counsel Durham blasts FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation

    Bloomberg: Trump-Era Special Counsel Blasts FBI Conduct in Russia Probe

    CNN: Takeaways from special counsel John Durham’s report on FBI’s Trump-Russia probe

    CBS News: Special Counsel John Durham releases report on FBI’s Russia investigation

    Daily Beast: Jake Tapper Claims Durham Report ‘Devastating’ Despite Own Reporter’s Analysis

    DW (from Germany): U.S. special counsel criticizes FBI’s Trump-Russia probe

    Fox News: Durham finds DOJ, FBI ‘failed to uphold’ mission of ‘strict fidelity to the law’ in Trump-Russia probe

    Guardian: FBI accused of failures but key report finds no deep-state plot against Trump

    (The) Hill: Prosecutor ends probe of FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation with harsh criticism, but no new charges

    Independent: Probe into Trump-Russia investigation slams FBI but fails to recommend new charges

    L.A. Times: Prosecutor ends probe of FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation

    National Review: FBI Ignored Possibility Steele Dossier Was Russian Disinformation, Durham Confirms

    New Republic: Trump-Era Special Counsel Ends Probe of Russia Investigation in Total Bust

    Newsweek: Durham’s Trump-Russia Report Is Another Black Eye for the FBI

    NPR: Trump-era special counsel’s final report criticizes FBI’s Trump-Russia probe

    NY Post: Durham proves that Hillary and the FBI tried to rig the 2016 election

    NY Times: Durham report finds fault with FBI over Trump-Russia investigation

    PBS: Durham report criticizes FBI for actions in Russia investigation

    Politico: Takeaways from the Durham report on the Trump-Russia probe

    Sky News: FBI lacked ‘actual evidence’ to begin probing potential links between Trump and Russia, report finds

    USA Today: Durham Report: FBI probe flawed but already overhauled policies

    Wall St. Journal: FBI Faulted for its Probe of Russian Meddling in 2016 Campaign

    Washington Post: Durham report released: Trump-Russia FBI probe sharply criticized

    Yahoo: Prosecutor ends probe of FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation with harsh criticism, but no new charges

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        Yes! Thank you. You provide a fascinating, dispiriting way to assess in real time how Durham’s report is being processed for national consumption. Because few will read it, or even the articles headlined here, these headlines themselves will shape opinion for many.

        Obviously the headline writers couldn’t possibly have read it; they were relying on the content of the articles. But editors can still curb such excesses as “Durham Proves…” or “Durham blasts” or really any of the slam-bam active verbs used here, none of which accurately reflects the report’s content. All of which, however, serve the purpose of those who’ve cheered this misfit operation on since Barr knighted Durham.

        • Matt___B says:

          Also…curious how 3 of Murdoch’s media holdings headlines
          differ while ostensibly reporting on the same topic:

          Active voice:
          1) Fox: Durham “finds” DOJ/FBI failed to uphold mission

          Passive voice:
          2) WSJ: FBI faulted for its probe

          Batshit voice:
          3) NY Post: Durham “proves” Hillary (!) tried to rig 2016 election

    • Coffae says:

      How about the headline, “Said and Done, Durham’s Report Produces Nothing.”

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  20. newbroom says:

    I shudder at the thought of the House hearing where Durham will be treated like a latter day Sherlock Holmes. I found this comment darkly hilarious.
    I hope Jamie Raskin comes with his incisive rebuttal and ‘cross’.

  21. harpie says:
    5:02 PM · May 15, 2023

    Durham wildly expands the remit of this report (in part to make debunked claims about people he failed to convict). I guess it’s a precedent.

    It’s supposed to be declinations and prosecutions. [screenshot]

    DURHAM’s audience does NOT care if his claims are debunked. It’s what they WANT.
    TRUMP and DURHAM will use this “Report” just like TRUMP used the CNN Interview.

    As Dahlia Lithwick said about the interview and reactions to it:

    What matters is every time he doubles down on a lie, he is making a point about him being the master of truth.

    And, as Paul Waldman observed about the interview and reactions to it:

    […] When he says “The election was rigged” or “I did complete the wall,” gets corrected and then says the lie again, steamrolling over the journalist, it isn’t about which of these competing versions of reality will be judged factually accurate. […]

    It shows him defeating his enemy, mocking them, pouring his contempt on them while his fans applaud and cheer. Without that foil there’s no drama. When it’s over he has proven his mastery over the people he [has taught his] and his fans loathe.

    6. That doesn’t mean anyone outside of his base is at all persuaded. But for that base, it creates a visceral thrill no other Republican [ie: DESANTIS] can touch.

    TRUMP’s “enemy” is not only “fake news”, and everyone else who oppose him.
    TRUMP’s “enemy” is TRUTH itself.

    The links are at the CNN interview post, here, and the next comment:

    • c-i-v-i-l says:

      “The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e. the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e. the standards of thought) no longer exist.” Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

  22. David_24MAR2018_1208h says:

    Ari Melber (The Beat, MSNBC) did a good job playing clips from Fox propaganda channel before and after. I enjoyed seeing him rub their noses in it.

    Likewise, Rachel Maddow (MSNBC) played some Fox clips.

    As did Nicolle Wallace, former White House Communications Director for George W. Bush, during her 4 o’clock hour (Deadline: White House, MSNBC)

    Yes. it is fun to watch Fox personalities’ hypocrisy mocked, but it is little remedy for the top cable talk channel’s continuing threat to our democracy and our security. Fox channel has capitalized on this politically for years, employing innuendo and outright lies on its gullible or complicit audience. “Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it, so that when men come to be undeceived, it is too late; the jest is over, and the tale hath had its effect.” ~Jonathan Swift

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  23. Dryly 41 says:

    Three things should happen.

    First: The DOJ Inspector General should examine EVERYTHING durham did during his 4 plus years and report on it and the $6.5 million dollars of taxpayer money spent;

    Second: The DOJ Office of Professional Responsibility should investigate the contacts between Durham and Bulbous Barr during his time as Special Counsel regarding what was discussed between the two when Durham was supposedly “independent”; and,

    Third: The results of these investigations should be reported to the Bar Associations of Durham and Bulbous Barr to examine whether they should retain their status as lawyers licensed to practice law.

    • bmaz says:

      No, none of that should or will happen. Let this chapter die out. Lol, you want the OPR, the proverbial roach motel of professional accountability, to investigate and act? Good luck with that.

      • Dryly 41 says:

        Please don’t be so negative.

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        • Rayne says:

          Please avoid policing contributors and moderators. If you have a well-researched counterargument, share it; but if you simply don’t like their tone, move on.

  24. Zinsky123 says:

    I hesitate to comment here anymore, due to the gratuitous personal attacks, but here are a couple of random initial observations about Durham’s final “report”:

    * Durham spends a lot of time trying to debunk the “golden showers” allegation from the Steele dossier. Considering how irrelevant this allegation is to the premise of FBI interference in the 2016 election, it seems there is some sort of personal reason (or a personal reason of someone else) for all the ink that is spilled on this.
    * Durhams also spends an inordinate amount of space and energy in discrediting Igor Danchenko. Again, it seems that Durham is very passionate about giving the reader every nuance of his life, to try to prop up some sketchy narrative, perhaps?

    Anyway, those are my initial thoughts, with the caveat I still have more to read in the report. I do so look forward to Marcy’s expert analysis and deconstruction of Durham’s report! Thanks to everyone.

    • bmaz says:

      Oh noes, have you been gratuitously personally attacked? Apologies for offending you while trying to keep a grip on a serious enterprise that deals in very serious subjects (mostly), with giant security issues, and does it for free and without ads. Sorry your sensibilities have been offended.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Commenting is not a contact sport, but, as someone said after visiting the Kennedys in the early 1960s, it would be a mistake to assume that touch football is always a harmless bit of fun.

  25. harpie says:
    6:02 PM · May 15, 2023

    Johnny D includes this bullshit language about juries when the two cases he charges were rejected by juries. [screenshot]

    The whole world is SO UNfair!

    The second part of that section:

    Second, even when prosecutors believe that they can obtain a conviction, there are some instances in which it may not be advisable to expend government time and resources on a criminal prosecution, particularly where it would create the appearance – even if unfounded – that the government is seeking to criminalize the behavior of political opponents or punish the activities of a specific political party or campaign.

    DURHAM seems to be actually alleging here, that the government [deep state]
    sees itself as the “opponent” [> ENEMY] of TRUMP and the GOP.

    • harpie says:

      This “report” seems to be
      DURHAM teeing up TRUMP’s ENEMIES for targeting by TRUMP’s CULT.

      • Peterr says:


        This is Durham trying to salvage some smidgen of self-respect. He’s lost what little of a good reputation that he had with the general legal community long ago, and the only folks who can possibly praise him with enough fervor to provide him with a sliver of a reason to get out of bed in the morning are the MAGA crowd. His dream is to have a Sally Field at the Oscars moment: “You like me! You really like me!”

        And he isn’t going to get it.

        The legal community has been appalled with his work as a Special Counsel, going back to his willingness to look the other way with respect to the destruction of tapes and other evidence of CIA abuses and torture. The quality of his work in this Special Counsel assignment (especially this final report) only reinforces their sense that Durham is a hack at best or a partisan weasel at worst. To be scrupulously fair, there are also some who believe he is a hack of a partisan weasel.

        Meanwhile, the folks who look to the Lord of Mar-a-Lago as the One True Leader and Savior of Mankind(tm) are furious that Durham didn’t push more cases to trial, didn’t issue an interim report in late October 2022 or late October 2020, and didn’t have Hillary Clinton clapped in irons and made to walk the plank. Now, in closing up shop, all Durham has for these folks is “We’d have pulled off this whole Special Counsel thing if it wasn’t for those meddling jurors!” excuse. That’s not going to help him in the least.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Yes. His job was to find evidence of what Trump called “the crime of the century.” When there wasn’t any, the job became whipping up what wasn’t there into “evidence” of much smaller putative crimes that could be sold as propaganda. When he failed at that, losing the Sussmann and Danchenko prosecutions in court, it became spinning a narrative–never his strong suit, obviously, especially without Bill Barr to twist reality into its opposite.

          Now the question will be how RWM sells this to an audience they have primed for years to expect the Second Coming.

  26. JonathanW says:

    So I’m a newbie to this blog in the sense that I discovered it as part of the original Mueller investigation, so I haven’t followed everyone here for long enough to go back to reporting you all did in the 2000s. With that caveat, and knowing that you’ve reported on Durham for a long time, I have a question: do you all think that Durham is intentionally making these errors, assumptions, and omissions? From reading your reporting, it seems like a pattern, one that causes him to lose cases in court (cases that perhaps he shouldn’t have opened). Or is it more like he really believes these things, and doesn’t see them as errors, and thinks he keeps losing because of a biased system? One example I’ve seen on Dr Wheeler’s Twitter thread is an allegation that he repeated despite a judge ruling against him. That seems to imply he’s intentionally misleading people in his report, but I could also see him just thinking the judge was wrong and he’s right and no one can overrule him in the report.

    • bmaz says:

      Durham has been a political whitewash actor for a long time. The general conviction rate at DOJ is +/- 95%. It is easy to build a record of “success” like that. But Durham has always mapped his own ideology on to the big assignments, has remained so, and it shows.

    • Willis Warren says:

      Durham is an idiot. He makes “errors” but his biggest crime is ommission. Completely ignoring Kilimnik and the Meeting in trump tower is a pretty big tip off that he’s full of shit.

      • FL Resister says:

        Not only did The Mueller Report reveal that Manafort passed detailed polling data to Kilimnik shortly before the 2016 Presidential election, but Konstantin Kilimnik has also been identified as a Russian intelligence agent, and the FBI has a $250,000 reward out for his arrest in another matter.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      He believes himself to be a crusader (in the Catholic sense) for all that is Good and Right against all that is Dark and Evil. Barr tapping him was the honor of his life. Both are righteous religious warriors against the forces that they perceive to be threatening the reign of God’s Law & Order. Mere losses in court can be explained away with the certitude that these were glitches in a grand design.

    • Peterr says:

      Long before Trump came into office, Durham was the special counsel charged with investigating the destruction of tapes and other evidence of torture at CIA black sites during the War on Terror. The result of that was that he gave the interrogators a pass.

      This is who he is.

      • JonathanW says:

        Thanks everyone for these replies, I think it helps me to have this historical context. FWIW, John Yoo seems to be buying the Durham report hook, line and sinker, so I guess that’s not surprising given all this background.

  27. Savage Librarian says:

    Right-wingnut Welfare

    One thing about John Durham:
    Bill Barr was there to assure him
    never to let the truth deter him,
    We all know it will never cure them.

  28. Bob Roundhead says:

    The Mueller Report lays out a multitude of instances of collusion between the trump 2016 campaign and Russia. Mueller even stated as much in his testimony in Congress. The most glaring act of collusion was the trump tower meeting with Jr and all the players. Yet this simple fact, that collusion occurred, seems to be missing from every discussion in the main stream media, not to mention in congressional hearings themselves. It is infuriating. It is like insisting water is not wet to a man standing in the rain. Why is this simple truth so unattainable for so many?

      • Bob Roundhead says:

        Sir. I am not an idiot. Trump and the right are playing word games. They are playing at semiotics. If they used the word “conspiracy “ it would be harder to sell. So they say there was no collusion. Intellectuals are hung up on the idea that collusion is not a crime. Collusion is the coin of the realm. Making the distinction is like cutting your own balls off in an effort to get pregnant with your wife. Yes! There was collusion. Make them say it.

        • bmaz says:

          No, think you are proving yourself to be an idiot.

          “Intellectuals are hung up on the idea that collusion is not a crime. Collusion is the coin of the realm.”

          What a load of complete shit. Actual criminal lawyers, including me, are the main ones that hang up on this. Listen, being correct in discussing crimes, and the charging of them, is important.

          YOU are the one playing into the Foxification of criminal law, not me. Don’t pull that bunk here. The term is conspiracy, not the bogus term “collusion”. And, yes, I’ll fight you over this, same as I do when similar idiots whip out the “treason” word.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Your analogies need a fair bit of work. Trump and his cohort are certainly trying to undo the meaning of facts and truth, and the purpose of public discourse. Being able to do that and get away with it demonstrates considerable power.

          As you imply, Trump world uses collusion as a colloquial reference to real crimes. As bmaz keeps repeating, it’s not one of them. Similarly, the left misuses treason when describing most of Trump’s crimes, when they aren’t legally treason.

          Misusing collusion is convenient for their cause. It enables them, for example, to deny committing a crime that doesn’t exist – it’s also a perjury dodge – and to falsely claim that no evidence of collusion equals no evidence of their criminal conduct.

          You do the public no favors by adopting this supposed coin of the realm and dismissing those who reject it.

          • Bob Roundhead says:

            Thank for not being condescending. I am not now nor ever have said collusion is a crime. I understand. I am not misusing collusion. I am saying that omitting collusion is not using what needs to be used. It is giving up without a fight. The trumpers are saying there was no collusion. That is easy to prove false. Why not do so? Because collusion is not a crime? Who cares? We need to win in the court of public opinion, not a court of law. The intellectual left is arguing exactly what the right wants them to argue. Conspiracy takes forever to prove, if ever. Collusion just requires a little reminding. Yes. Collusion is not conspiracy. But collusion is a winning hand

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              Collusion is a winning propaganda hand against you only if you’re the card player who looks at the rest of the table and can’t tell who the mark is.

              • Bob roundhead says:

                I have pocket kings. I call. In the flop, a third king shows up, but it’s the same suit as one I am holding. Now I know I am the mark. On the river, the winning hand draws a flush. But I point out there are two kings of the same suit on the table. Am I still the mark?

  29. Upisdown says:

    What stands out to me is Durham’s emphasis on Russian intel that suggests Hillary was concocting a collusion narrative to distract from her email server investigation. Durham implies that the Crossfire Hurricane investigation might have been impacted if this unconfirmed Russian intel was more widely shared. The problem is that Crossfire was opened at the end of July 2016 and Comey had already exonerated Clinton at the beginning of July. Durham was well aware of the timeline when he began his investigation at Trump and Barr’s request.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Comey did not exactly exonerate Clinton. He announced that there wasn’t evidence of a crime, so no crime would be charged. But he went out of his (and DOJ’s) way to characterize her actions as “reckless.”

  30. klynn says:

    Thank you for your breakdown of this propaganda passing as a report. Your feed has been incredibly informative. I think you’ll have a book’s-worth once you finish. It appears your next book is writing itself due to the report being so poorly composed. Again, thank you for your keen read.

  31. MsJennyMD says:

    Remember Nora Dennehy, Connecticut prosecutor resigned in Sept 2020 in protest of the investigation.
    She read the tea leaves.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      While Dannehy hasn’t made any public comment, informed rumor is that she stepped aside because of how politicized she saw Durham’s quest becoming.

  32. Willis Warren says:

    Techno Frog has an hilarious account of Durham’s report that is pure hackery. I honestly don’t understand how these guys sleep. They’re just pure bullshit machines.

  33. Bay State Librul says:

    Durham’s deep pass to the end zone fell about 95 yards from the intended target.
    My only regret is that Garland failed to warn readers of the possible side effects of the report, such as trouble focusing, confusion, hallucinations, feeling weak, lightheaded, or dizzy. Remember if the symptoms persist, purchase a bull shit detecting machine from your local pharmacy.
    Meanwhile, call your doctor if you see the WJS, media outlets and right-wing journalists doing backflips down the corridors.

  34. Rapier says:

    I didn’t see any other names on the report, besides Durham. It’s pretty hard to fathom any handful of people constructing this monstrosity and putting their name on it. So they didn’t? It might be handy in the future to make a list of possible partners of Barr and Durham who helped author this thing. What are the chances Durham wrote it alone, It isn’t like he didn’t have the time.

    Just up thread someone mentioned Nora Dennehy who quit the SC. Is she still at DOJ? I don’t suppose she or anyone is going to talk out of school on this if you want to have a career in big law.

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  35. johno808 says:

    It just amazes me how individuals previously thought to be honorable, like Barr and Durham, turn out to be so corrupt. (Twice for Barr – see Iran Contra).

    The MAGA gene appears to be dominant.

    • bmaz says:

      When were either of those two really thought to be “honorable”? Do you know their actual history?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Bill Barr, the more evil and capable of the two, has been dishonorable since his days at Columbia. A socially made man, owing to his pedigree, and a proponent of the war, he managed to graduate with a masters just at the end of the Vietnam war era draft.

      He immediately joined the CIA, and just as promptly followed J. Edgar Hoover’s course and studied law part-time at GWU. He left the agency after earning his degree. But his standout performance was as George HW Bush’s AG. Given his performance protecting Bush during the Iran-Contra investigations, his work for Trump was derivative. His private sector work as just as scummy.

    • Purple Martin says:

      Bill Barr is at heart, a Hand-of-God Royalist. Lacking a monarchy, he considered presidents GHW Bush and Donald Trump as little more than temporarily useful tools to weaponize his fav Unitary Executive theory, intended to bleed power from the Judicial/ Legislative branches and transfuse it to the Executive.

      That’s one of three consistently employed strategies of his life-long quest to convert America from a representative republic to a theocratic authoritarian police state. Look at his efforts (and interviews and speeches) since the 1970’s—nearly everything fits into three buckets:

      1. Increase the relative and total power of the Chief Executive and Executive Branch.
      2. Weaken constitutional separation of church and state, freeing government to be a tool of religion (especially his favored strain of sour, ultra-conservative Catholicism) and vice versa.
      3. Establish pseudo-military police and domestic intelligence forces accountable only to chief executives of governments at all levels, and free them to use force in support of his theocratic authoritarian dream.

      Although he would have liked another four years to further lock-in his anti-democracy ideals, Barr is likely satisfied with the results of his Trump-manipulation. Too bad someone couldn’t make that the framework for one of his book interviews.

  36. BobBobCon says:

    One thing that strikes me is that the PR rollout for this by the conspiracy types is so weak compared to what Barr orchestrated for the Mueller report.

    I have to assume Durham’s side was doing what they could to work the refs before release — they certainly had enough time. But this points to the benefit of not having a manipulating hack like Barr in charge of DOJ, and instead having pros who play it straight.

    There was no misleading summary ahead of time, games being played with redactions, and other tricks.

    Obviously a big part of it is that Durham had already hurt his credibility pretty badly, and part of it was the press was going to be less hungry for crumbs in ways that might make them more susceptible to the kinds of tradeoffs they made in 2019.

    But I don’t doubt we’d see a bigger splash if this was being promoted by a more clever, PR-focused team. And I think it points to the benefits of Garland’s team not playing games with this, and letting it founder on its own.

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