DThe special investigator employed by former US President Donald Trump in the Russia affair has submitted his final report after four years of work and has criticized the work of the FBI federal police. In May 2019, John Durham was commissioned to investigate the FBI’s Russia investigation into Trump’s 2016 campaign team. In the paper, the 73-year-old comes to the conclusion that the FBI should not have carried out the investigation in this way. The more than 300-page report was published on Monday.
“The speed and manner” with which the FBI opened the investigation – based, among other things, on “unconfirmed intelligence” – reflects “a marked departure from the manner” with which the FBI has investigated similar cases in the past treated, the report said. Investigations against Democrat Hillary Clinton are given as an example. Individual FBI officials had “strong hostile feelings toward Trump,” Durham said.
The background to the FBI investigation was Moscow’s suspected influence on the 2016 presidential election campaign. For several years there were investigations into whether Trump’s campaign camp made secret agreements with representatives of Russia at the time and whether Trump was obstructing the judicial investigation. Trump had always described the investigations as a “witch hunt”. His election campaign at the time was itself the target of illegal surveillance.
A December 2019 report by the US Department of Justice’s internal regulator came to a different conclusion than Durham now. No evidence was found that the investigation was launched in July 2016 because of political bias. However, the report also acknowledged the FBI’s serious mistakes: for example, requests for surveillance as part of the investigations had shown significant deficiencies.