by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
By itself, the conclusions of special counsel John Durham’s report on the FBI’s involvement in the 2016 election are damning enough. The FBI allowed itself to become a conduit for disinformation instigated by a partisan political campaign and possibly influenced by the very foreign actor it was allegedly investigating.
But when you take a step back and put the Durham report into the broader context of the CIA’s involvement in suppressing Hunter Biden’s laptop and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s involvement in suppressing the investigation into the origins of COVID, a disturbing pattern emerges: The Democratic Party, the liberal media, and highest levels of the federal government are routinely conspiring to spread disinformation for plainly partisan ends.
As the Durham report establishes, much of the information that formed the basis of the FBI’s investigation into former President Donald Trump’s campaign originated as paid opposition research from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. So ham-handed was the Clinton campaign’s efforts to dig up dirt on Trump that Russian intelligence was aware of the effort, as was the CIA.
Not only did Russian intelligence know that the Clinton campaign was looking for dirt on Trump, but it already had the perfect asset in place to deliver disinformation to that effect: Brookings Institution analyst Igor Danchenko, a Russian national, was in contact with both the Russian Embassy and known Russian intelligence officers. Danchenko, in fact, did become Clinton campaign client Christopher Steele’s primary source for the Steele dossier.
But according to the Durham report, “The FBI never gave appropriate consideration to the possibility that the intelligence Danchenko was providing … was in whole or in part, Russian disinformation.” The FBI never investigated this possibility because FBI leadership purposefully hid the CIA’s knowledge of the Clinton campaign’s involvement in the Steele dossier from FBI investigators.