(The Center Square) – Special counsel John Durham criticized the Federal Bureau of Investigation for investigating Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign based on “uncorroborated intelligence” in a new report.
Attorney General Merrick Garland sent the 306-page report to Congress on Monday.
Durham’s report was critical of the FBI’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign had coordinated with Russia to influence the presidential election.
“We conclude that the Department and the FBI failed to uphold their important mission of strict fidelity to the law,” it said.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said the FBI’s investigation undermined national security.
“The Durham Report details serious and unforgivable breaches by federal law enforcement. Relying on altered documents and partisan opposition research is an extreme abuse of power,” Rubio said in a statement. “There is no justification for using national security tools designed to keep America safe for partisan political gain. Those responsible need to be held accountable, not just for meddling in the presidential election but also for the damage done to our institutions.”
Trump had predicted the report would bring “the crime of the century” to light.
“FBI personnel working on that same FISA application displayed, at best, a cavalier attitude towards accuracy and completeness,” according to the report. “FBI personnel also repeatedly disregarded important requirements when they continued to seek renewals of that FISA surveillance while acknowledging – both then and in hindsight – that they did not genuinely believe there was probable cause to believe that the target was knowingly engaged in clandestine intelligence activities on behalf of a foreign power, or knowingly helping another person in such activities. And certain personnel disregarded significant exculpatory information that should have prompted investigative restraint and re-examination.”
The FBI leadership has changed since 2016.
“The conduct in 2016 and 2017 that Special Counsel Durham examined was the reason that current FBI leadership already implemented dozens of corrective actions, which have now been in place for some time,” the FBI said in a statement Monday afternoon. “Had those reforms been in place in 2016, the missteps identified in the report could have been prevented. This report reinforces the importance of ensuring the FBI continues to do its work with the rigor, objectivity, and professionalism the American people deserve and rightly expect.”