by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Monday’s special counsel report detailed extensive evidence of Department of Justice and FBI misconduct concerning the launch and handling of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, and equally overwhelming proof of partisan motives and double standards. While the facts are critical of both the bureau and the DOJ, more scandalous is John Durham’s conclusion that the inexcusable targeting of a political opponent cannot be prevented absent a curing of the corrupted hearts and minds of law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
Durham’s 306-page report opened with an executive summary capsulizing the results of the special counsel’s four-year investigation into the intelligence activities and investigations arising out of the 2016 presidential campaigns. While calling the findings “sobering,” and previewing the widespread misconduct on which the body of the report elaborated, Durham’s introductory comments emphasized he “does not recommend any wholesale changes in the guidelines and policies.”
It is here that Durham made his damning indictment of the DOJ and the FBI when he stressed that “the answer is not the creation of new rules but a renewed fidelity to the old.” Ultimately, he continued, justice “comes down to the integrity of the people who take an oath to follow the guidelines.” And “the promulgation of additional rules and regulations to be learned in yet more training sessions would likely prove to be a fruitless exercise if the FBI’s guiding principles of ‘Fidelity, Bravery and Integrity’ are not engrained in the hearts and minds of those sworn to meet the FBI’ s mission of ‘Protect[ing] the American People and Uphold[ing] the Constitution of the United States.’”
For the many details that followed — every misstep retraced and every inexplicable and unreasonable action condemned — that conclusion dwarfed them all. From the hurried opening of a full investigation of a presidential campaign based on unanalyzed and uncorroborated information to the fraudulent use of FISA warrants to the disregard of exculpatory evidence, Crossfire Hurricane represented a perfect storm of failures.