After four years, special counsel John Durham finally released his long-awaited report on Monday. It concluded the FBI should never have launched the investigation known as Crossfire Hurricane into the alleged connections between Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia.
While the 300-plus page report does not recommend any new charges or “wholesale changes” to how the FBI handles politicized investigations, it does make clear that the situation was handled improperly. “Based on the review of Crossfire Hurricane and related intelligence activities, we conclude that the (Justice) Department and FBI failed to uphold their important mission of strict fidelity to the law in connection with certain events and activities described in this report,” Durham wrote.
On Tuesday’s show, Megyn was joined by the hosts of The Fifth Column – Kmele Foster, Michael Moynihan, and Matt Welch – to discuss Durham’s findings and reflect on the complete lack of accountability from the media who perpetuated the myth of Russian collusion throughout Trump’s time in office.
What We Learned from the Durham Report
Megyn does not believe the findings of the Durham Report are “earth shattering,” but she does believe they are “disgusting.” The media is focused on the fact that Durham does not recommend bringing any new charges against any individuals in connection with the investigation, which Megyn is “fine with” because “we don’t really want to become a banana republic where as soon as the one guy’s out of the office we start arresting everybody who worked for him.” With that said, it does not “dismiss the substance of what this guy found,” she added.
A top federal prosecutor in Connecticut, Durham was largely seen as a prudent choice for the post when he was appointed by then-Attorney General Bill Barr in 2019. “Durham was praised by both sides as a no-nonsense straight shooter when he got selected,” Megyn explained. “The left had no problem with John Durham being selected to do this, but now they’re like, ‘Oh, John Durham sucks.’”
Barr tasked Durham with examining the origins of the so-called Crossfire Hurricane probe – the FBI’s investigation into whether Trump colluded with Russia in the context of getting elected in 2016. “We now know he didn’t,” Megyn said. “We now know that the FBI knew he didn’t but tried to cobble together an investigation anyway because they so hated Trump.”
In addition to the DOJ and FBI failing to “uphold their mission of strict fidelity to the law,” Durham found the agencies “used raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence” to launch the probe and senior personnel “displayed a serious lack of analytical rigor toward the information they received, especially information received from politically affiliated persons and entities.” The report mentions former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, ex-deputy director of the counterintelligence division Peter Strzok, and then-FBI attorney Lisa Page by name.
The point about “information received from politically affiliated persons and entities,” meanwhile, refers to Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the infamous Steele dossier. “That’s the thing that alleged Trump went over to Russia, hired some Russian prostitutes, and had them pee on a bed in the presidential suite that Barack Obama had allegedly stayed in years earlier, among other things,” Megyn noted. “[It] has been totally discredited.”
According to the report, Charles Dolan, a former adviser to Clinton’s failed 2008 presidential campaign, fed the ‘pee tape’ rumor to Russian analyst Igor Denchenko who then got it into the Steele Dossier. “Durham actually went over there and spoke with all the witnesses in the hotel – he actually did his homework,” Megyn said. “It wasn’t true. It never happened. Trump, the one time he stayed in that hotel, did not stay in the presidential suite. He stayed in an entirely different room.”
As she explained, “the whole thing was made up and then it was saddled on Trump in such a way that still has his supporters believing – not without foundation – that his first term was stolen from him having to deal with this nonsense” that was a “fabrication” by Clinton and a “compliant, complicit FBI.”
The Lack of Accountability in the Media
Considering Hillary Clinton called Trump a “puppet” of Russian President Vladimir Putin during a 2016 presidential debate and leftist commentators like MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow kept promising the other shoe was perpetually about to drop in the Crossfire Hurricane probe, you would think there would be some remorse on the part of the Democratic Party and media.
That has yet to materialize, but the spin has begun in part because former President Trump promised so much would come of the Durham investigation. “I didn’t hear any of those things get responded to,” Foster noted. “Instead, it was only the kind of hysterical overstatement on the part of Donald Trump… he promised that this would be the gravest crime of the century and that heads would roll, and it didn’t turn out to be that.”
As Welch pointed out, CNN media reporter Oliver Darcy dismissed the report as yet another that didn’t deliver on the promises laid out by right, while failing to examine the behavior of his own network in perpetuating the myths by giving contributor roles to people like McCabe. “You would think that this would be an occasion for people who ever said anything that wasn’t true about this… to say, ‘Gosh, I was a little bit wrong there,’” he noted. “No, they’re saying that Republicans are pouncing and that it didn’t deliver on the promises.” Welch called the lack of introspection “shameful” and believes it “extends people’s long growing distrust in media.”
While Foster said Maddow and the like should be the most “embarrassed by” and “outraged” about the revelations in the Durham report, he said Durham’s findings should enrage all Americans. “I mean the fact that they never had any sort of corroboration of the stuff in the Steele Dossier which they used to secure warrants for spying on American citizens like that is egregious,” Foster concluded. “People should be materially outraged about this on the left and the right. It should be the sort of thing that we don’t want to see repeated again, but instead there are particular kinds of people who are happy to ignore this or to downplay it because it is consistent with their politics to do so.”
You can check out the full interview with The Fifth Column by tuning in to episode 551 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.