In 2019, U.S. Attorney John Durham was appointed by Department of Justice Attorney General William Barr to serve as Special Counsel and tasked with examining what prompted the FBI’s probe of the Trump-Russia allegations in the 2016 election and the manner in which that investigation, Crossfire Hurricane, was conducted. Four years later, Special Counsel Durham has released the Report on Matters Related to Intelligence Activities and Investigations Arising Out of the 2016 Presidential Campaigns.
In addition to using information and evidence generated from congressional investigations and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, the Special Counsel’s Office conducted over 480 interviews, reviewed over one million documents, served more than 190 subpoenas, and executed seven search warrants to compile this report and answer questions such as:
- Was there sufficient and factual basis for the FBI to open a full investigation, Crossfire Hurricane, according to FBI policies?
- Did the FBI handle intelligence related to foreign interests influencing Clinton and other campaigns in a manner consistent with how it used intelligence to open Crossfire Hurricane as a full investigation?
- Was there evidence of FBI personnel or third parties relating to the Crossfire Hurricane investigation violating any federal criminal statutes?
The report described its findings as “sobering” as it concluded that the FBI’s handling of the Trump-Russia allegations was flawed and called for “a renewed fidelity” to the law and the FBI’s guiding principles. It also drew attention to the need for careful consideration of possible bias or improper motivation when investigating politically sensitive matters and that a new position, dedicated to challenging steps taken during potentially partisan investigations, may be a solution to preventing investigative missteps in the future.
For more information, check out the former FBI Director and Special Counsel Mueller’s Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election, HSDL’s series on Senate Reports on Russian Interference in 2016 Elections, or the HSDL In Focus topic on Election Security.