• Wrapping Up: What John Durham Learned

    December 3, 2022

    Posted in: Democracy

    As he wraps up his investigation with the prosecution of Igor Danchenko, we are left only with questions about what John Durham did not do.

    Best to start with what we learned. Durham established what FBI Director James Comey likely knew from near day one, that the Steele dossier was politically-driven nonsense created by the Clinton campaign. The FBI knowingly ran with its false information to obtain legal process against American citizens, to include Donald Trump as a candidate and as president. The FBI knew for sure in early 2017, likely earlier, that Trump was not a Russian spy but allowed the process to run on through the Mueller Report and all the rest. Imagine how different Trump’s term would have been had we all known with the certainty what the FBI did. No Maddow, no walls closing in, no insinuations America’s president was dealing cards to the Russians right out of the Oval Office. What was lost we’ll never know.

    The 2019 Horowitz Report, a look into the FBI’s conduct by the Justice Department Inspector General, now backed up by Durham’s work, made clear the FBI knew the dossier was bunk and purposefully lied to the FISA court to keep its lies alive. The FBI knew Steele, who was on their payroll as a paid informant, had created a classic intel officer’s information loop, secretly becoming his own corroborating source, and gleefully looked the other way because it supported their goal of spying on the Trump campaign, hoping to bring Trump down. Make no mistake, this was a failed coup.

    How bad was it? At no point in handling info accusing the sitting president of being a Russian agent — what would have been the most significant political event in American history — did the FBI seriously ask themselves, “Exactly where did this information come from, specific sources and methods please, and how could those sources have known it?” The FBI learned Danchenko was Steele’s near-single, primary source in 2017, via the Carter Page tap, and moved ahead anyway. Were all the polygraphs broken?

    And that is what we must focus on, what Durham failed to do.

    FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith plead guilty to Durham’s charge that Clinesmith lied on the FISA application for Carter Page to obtain a court’s permission to electronically surveil Page and, via the two-hop rule, the bulk of Trump’s inner circle. That rule allows those with a direct tap on one person (say, Carter Page) the legal ability to listen in two hops downstream. So if Page called Michael Cohen (one hop) and Cohen later called Trump (two hops) that would have all been legal surveillance.

    Page was a patsy, and the FBI knew it but needed a patsy bad enough to lie to get one. What was hidden from the courts was that the FBI knew Page was already a source, an agent, for the CIA and was not working for the Russians. It was with the tap on Carter Page that the whole investigation of Russiagate, Crossfire Hurricane, began. Did Clinesmith act alone in formulating his lies? Was he ordered to lie? Was his lie part of any broader pattern of lies on later FISA applications? Who worked with Clinesmith to create the FISA application and when was the lie incorporated? How many people above Clinesmith (McCabe, Comey, et al) knew about the lie and played along? How far up the FBI chain did they know it was all constructed, that Page was a stooge alright, but one clearly documented as working for the American side? Durham never seemed to ask and we the public will thus never know.

    Though Clinton lawyer Michael Sussman, Durham prosecution Number 2, was found not guilty of perjury, his trial revealed all sorts of questions Durham allowed to fade out. Testimony showed Hillary Clinton herself signed off on the plan to push out the information about the link between Trump and Alfa Bank despite concerns that the connection was dubious at best. This was the first confirmation that Clinton was directly involved in the decision to feed the false Trump-Alfa story to the FBI and MSM. It followed Wikileaks releasing information taken from the DNC servers which showed, inter alia, the Clinton campaign’s efforts to disparage Bernie Sanders. The leaks broke during the Democratic Convention and threatened to split the party. It was crisis time for Dems.

    Concurrent with the Wikileaks disclosure and the sense of panic inside the campaign at the 2016 Democratic National Convention came Clinton’s sign-off to begin the Russiagate dirty tricks campaign. That is the specific “why” behind the timing of the Russiagate narrative. Durham left Clinton out of his questioning, albeit with the help of the court blocking such “non-relevant” lines of inquiry in Sussman’s trial. Durham appears to be issuing no summary report, so whatever he learned dies with him.

    The Sussman trial also revealed the extent of spying on Trump. News worthy in Durham’s indictment of Sussman were allegations tech company Neustar and its executive Rodney Joffe accessed “dedicated servers for the Executive Office of the President of the United States (EOP.)” Joffe then “exploited this arrangement by mining the EOP’s DNS traffic and other data for the purpose of gathering derogatory information about Donald Trump.”

    Joffe also “enlisted the assistance of researchers at a U.S.-based university” (likely Georgia Tech) who had access to “large amounts of Internet data.” This would have been how Joffe got access to data from Trump’s private computers. “[Joffe] tasked these researchers to mine Internet data to establish ‘an inference’ and ‘narrative’ tying then-candidate Trump to Russia,” he added. “In doing so, [Joffe] indicated that he was seeking to please certain ‘VIPs,’ referring to individuals at Law Firm-1 and the Clinton campaign.”

    Durham never pursued the Joffe line. Who paid him? When did he start monitoring the Oval Office? What did he learn? When did he stop? Was any of the monitoring, likely unconstitutionally, shared with the FBI? Was the FBI aware of the action and what if anything did they do to support it, profit from it, or try and limit it?

    Durham’s third and final prosecution was of Igor Danchenko. Danchenko, of the Brookings Institute, was the primary Russian source for Steele’s Dossier. He also served as a cover for Charles Dolan, a Clinton operative who simply made things up (such as the pee tape) and washed his lies through Danchenko to give them additional validity. The FBI lapped up what Steele served them and like Steele himself, never seriously questioned where the information they were acting on originated. Even in 2017 when the FBI learned the primary source was Danchenko, Crossfire Hurricane was allowed to proceed.

    Left answered: exactly when did the FBI learn Steele’s source was bogus? When did they learn Dolan was the originator of the pee tape? Why did they not conclude the investigation at that point? How high up the FBI chain of command did knowledge of the lackadaisical sourcing by Steele go? Director Comey? If not, why not? The FBI was actively investigating the President of the United States as a Russian spy and Comey was not aware of the details? Why didn’t Durham walk his indictments up the ladder, ever closer to Hillary? Or instead, why did he not proceed sideways, leaving Hillary but moving deeper into the FBI? Maybe see if Fiona Hill at Brooking’s connects the failed Russiagate coup with the failed Ukrainegate impeachment, both of which she played a pivotal behind-the-scenes role in? Why didn’t Durham use the stage of congressional hearings to bypass Joe Biden’s Justice Department and throw the real decision making back to the voters?

    It is easy enough to say “so what?” Most people who did not support Hillary Clinton long ago concluded that she is a liar and untrustworthy. Her supporters know she’ll never run for public office again, hence the sense of anti-climax. But what matters is less the details of Hillary’s lie than that as someone close to being elected as her would lie about such a thing, treason, claiming her opponent was working for Russia. No doubt that for many Clinton’s manipulations are measured against Trump’s transgressions. But Trump’s win did not absolve Hillary of her sins. And those who worry about elections being stolen via vote miscounts are thinking way too small. If you want to really worry, think like a Clinton.

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Bull Durham report. What no mention of Hunter Biden or the LATEST Trump transgressions. You need to find a little stronger word, pal. Days after Looney Tunes dined with some yahoo who praised Hitler and the Nazis, he demands the ‘termination’ of the Constitution’s electoral process so he can be illegally reinstated. Trump’s actions are more than transgressions. Every Member of Congress swore an oath to ‘defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.’ Demented has openly declared himself an enemy of the Constitution. Maybe Bull Durham is free to investigate Demented. Write about that..if you are so concerned about US

      12/4/22 9:43 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Bauer- My admittedly frangible opinion is that Trump saved heteronormative Americans from a disastrous Hillary Clinton reign. Most of us grumpily survived four years of Trump. I doubt this nation could have stayed even somewhat functional with Hillary Clinton at the helm. Maybe the gods were looking down in pity and said- we’ll let’s give them the least onerous
      outcome just for laughs in 2016. What the gods have in store for 2024 I prefer to not ponder but I’m buying a pallet of strong imperial Stout to have on hand so I can be blissfully unaware.

      12/4/22 4:54 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      “And those who worry about elections being stolen via vote miscounts are thinking way too small.”

      Yes, Trump is a big thinker in stealing elections.

      12/4/22 4:58 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...



      Now that Trump the useful idiot has outlived his usefulness, he is a clear and consistent danger to the GOP by his increasingly incoherent statements that make Kanye look sane. The GOP know it can’t win with him. Fox and the New York Post wont have to promote fake news about him.

      The clear and present danger are the 30,000,000 fearful whites brainwashed by Fox programming. They have been programmed to accept another fascist in his place. If Peter wants something to worry about, worry about the next Fox-populiar.

      12/5/22 12:57 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Bauer- agree. If Biden has to step down and not run and Kamala has the sense that she is an unwanted token guest then what? There is plenty to worry about. How are you dealing with it?

      12/5/22 5:43 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...



      The Dem Deep State is very worried that Trump, their double agent, will be cast aside and not able to sabotage the GOP in 2024.

      The Dems did not Steele the election. The Steele dossier was a covert op to convince the the GOP that Trump was targeted by the Deep State. Given his track record of sabotaging the GOP races, it worked…until now.

      12/7/22 9:49 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Bauer- Trump as either a knowing or unknowing double agent seems unlikely but I’m far removed from political shenanigans to give credit to or discredit most speculations. Just recently I was told that one of the protective detail for JFK in the motorcade had his revolver accidentally discharge when the car lurched. His gun was never cleared and the guy died knowing the fatal shot (Oswald got off one only) came from his service revolver. Well, I don’t rule in nor out much today.

      12/8/22 10:24 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      “Almost Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

      This fits the JFK assassination fiasco. New reports indicate Oswald was used as a stooge by the CIA in another botched Castro plot. He was under surveillance when he visited the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City. Oswald had been under surveillance after he defected to the Soviet Union and before returning to the United States as a supporter of Cuban communist leader Fidel Castro.

      Oswald was involved in a pre-assassination CIA operation meant to discredit American supporters of Castro. The report is based on files created by now-deceased CIA agent George Joannides, who was involved with anti-Castro exile groups. 44 documents in Joannides’s file are still being held by the CIA and could shed new light on the purported operation.

      Yet, no one in the CIA was concerned when he bought the rifle and worked at the Dallas Book Depository where he could have the perfect spot to kill JFK. Of course, the CIA never told the FBI or Secret Service

      The coverup was to hide the CIA incompetence or prevent the public from knowing someone in the Agency knew and didn’t care.

      12/9/22 8:12 AM | Comment Link

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