After 4+ years, special counsel John Durham's probe into the FBI investigation of ties between Russia and the Donald Trump campaign is over. Durham issued his final, 300-page report, which you can read here if you are a glutton for punishment, or are having trouble sleeping, or you consider lawyer-speak to be great literature. The actual substance of the report could have been squeezed into something rather less than 300 pages, we think. In fact, 300 characters probably would have done it, with 150 or so characters to spare.
Yes, what we are saying is that instead of issuing a weighty "report," Durham could have saved everyone a lot of time and just sent out a tweet. Or maybe a truth, given who his audience really is. Here is the central finding of the whole thing:
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
In other words, the FBI handled Hillary Clinton with kid gloves, but they fell all over themselves trying to hurt Trump. And if you think we've maybe overlooked some other important stuff that's in the document, you can read "takeaways" pieces here, here, and here, and see if you believe we excluded something we should have mentioned.
In the end, we are obviously unimpressed with Durham's assessment. Here are the primary reasons we take that position:
And that is really the rub. Even if you think Durham's insight was a useful one, and even if you think his report has some value, was it really worth 4 years' labor and at least $6.5 million spent? That strikes us as a hard case to make.
Naturally, in a development roughly as predictable as the sun coming up in the east, Donald Trump claimed total vindication. Does anyone care what, exactly, he said? We doubt it, so we'll just report that if you were playing Trump Victimhood Bingo, then the winning line is the one that has "witch hunt," "scam," "weaponized," "MAGA" and "hoax." Congratulations to the winners. (Z)