John Durham released his long-awaited report Monday on the Trump-Russia probe, and its conclusion vindicates what Donald Trump has long alleged: the "Russian collusion" investigation was total bogus.
Durham notably does not accuse the FBI of a malicious conspiracy, and he does not recommend new criminal charges in his more than 300-page report.
However, he found the FBI consistently failed to exercise due diligence from the inception of the "Crossfire Hurricane" probe in July 2016, almost seven years ago.
“WOW! After extensive research, Special Counsel John Durham concludes the FBI never should have launched the Trump-Russia Probe!” Trump wrote. “In other words, the American Public was scammed, just as it is being scammed right now by those who don’t want to see GREATNESS for AMERICA!”
The report states bluntly, "neither U.S. law enforcement nor the Intelligence Community appears to have possessed any actual evidence of collusion in their holdings at the commencement of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation."
Once the investigation had legs, agents regularly ignored evidence that challenged the collusion narrative, Durham said, calling the pattern "extremely troublesome." He notes that the lead agent Peter Strzok, who opened the probe, had "pronounced hostile feelings toward Trump."
Durham slammed the FBI for its reliance on the notorious Christopher Steele dossier, which was infamously weaponized to spy on Trump campaign official Carter Page. At no point did the FBI verify even a single allegation in the dossier, even when they offered Steele a million dollars.
"The Steele reporting would eventually fall apart, but not before it had been continuously adopted by the FBI as supportive of its underlying theory regarding collusion," he wrote.
Durham also pointed to a double standard: while the FBI rushed to open an investigation of Trump without any credible evidence, they ignored "exculpatory" intelligence reports suggesting Clinton wanted to "stir up a scandal" tying Trump with Russia.
The complacency of the FBI -- supposing it was not malice instead -- caused agents to not consider they were being coopted in a "political effort to smear a political opponent" using " the resources of the federal government's law enforcement and intelligence agencies," Durham said.
Ultimately, the Russian collusion myth would consume the better half of Trump's presidency.
Durham was appointed to investigate the probe's origins after Robert Mueller concluded the investigation in 2019 with no evidence of collusion.
The FBI issued a statement claiming they have enacted reforms to fix the issues Durham raised, although the agency did not actually contradict Durham's findings.
"Had those reforms been in place in 2016, the missteps identified in the report could have been prevented," the FBI said.