The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board condemned the FBI and its media allies for pushing the Russia collusion narrative against former President Donald Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign and the years following his election.
After consulting Special Counsel John Durham’s final 306-page report on the Russian collusion probe that dropped this week, the board claimed it “makes clear that a partisan FBI became a funnel for disinformation from the Hillary Clinton campaign through a secret investigation the bureau never should have launched.”
The board declared that Durham’s report is “a damning account of the corruption of the FBI and its accomplices,” and claimed it “gives a fuller picture of the FBI’s complicity under former director James Comey and deputy Andrew McCabe.”
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The editorial, which was published Tuesday, detailed several key takeaways from the Durham report, principally that the Special Counsel found “no basis” for the FBI’s investigation into Trump.
It stated, “The FBI lacked “any actual evidence of collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia when it violated its standards and jumped over several steps to initiate a full investigation, including probes into four members of the Trump campaign.”
The board then noted how “flimsy” the “pretext for the probe” was, claiming, “The pretext for the probe—a random conversation between unpaid Trump adviser George Papadopoulos and an Australian diplomat—was so flimsy that FBI agents complained it was ‘thin’ and British intelligence was incredulous. The FBI opened the probe without doing interviews, using any ‘standard analytical tools,’ or conducting intelligence reviews.”
It noted the report’s finding that if the FBI had done interviews, or conducted reviews, they “would have shown that not a single U.S. agency had evidence of collusion.”
Further, the editorial declared that the report found evidence of “bias” and “partisan hostility” towards Trump for those involved in the probe.
“The Durham report makes clear that partisan hostility played a role in the probe,” the board wrote, adding, “The report cites a ‘clear predisposition’ to investigate based on a ‘prejudice against Trump’ and ‘pronounced hostile feelings’ by key investigators, including former agent Peter Strzok, and former FBI attorneys Lisa Page and Kevin Clinesmith.”
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Additionally, the board discussed how the FBI displayed “double standards” by “’tippy-toeing’ around HRC [Clinton]” to avoid interfering with her campaign over concerns that foreign governments were seeking influence over her. Yet they hammered Trump over similar concerns.
“The FBI gave a Clinton representative a ‘defensive briefing’ about the risks of foreign actors. Mr. Trump received no such briefing,” the editorial added.
It also laid out “numerous examples of the FBI ignoring evidence that it was being used by the Clinton campaign to execute a political dirty trick.”
Even worse, the board noted how former CIA Director John Brennan took the findings that this was a Clinton “dirty trick” and “briefed this material to President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Mr. Comey, yet the FBI ignored it.”
In addition to this report being an “indictment of officials who were supposed to supervise the FBI,” the board claimed it is also an indictment of the media. It stated, “The press corps was also an all-too-willing accomplice to the collusion con, yet there has been little to no outrage or even self-reflection at having been played for dupes.”
The editorial added, “Most coverage largely dismisses the Durham report because no one new was indicted. The press performance in the collusion story has done untold damage to its credibility, and it’s a major reason that much of the country believes nothing it reads or hears about Donald Trump.”
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In conclusion, the Wall Street Journal called the “Russia collusion [a] fabrication and deceptive sale to the public” a “travesty that shouldn’t be forgotten.” The piece’s final sentence read, “It will take years for honest public servants to undo the damage, but the Durham accounting is a start.”