Russia Special Counsel
On May 17, 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced that he has named a special counsel to investigate Russian attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election. He appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller III,who will now have unlimited resources and time to conduct a thorough review of the myriad of allegations.

"...disappointing, doesn't do justice to how bad this is..."

from The Gray Area:
Igor Danchenko Acquitted of Lying to FBI About Trump-Russia Dossier The New York Post quoted several Trump Administration officials after this verdict as saying:
  • Sean Spicer calling it “unbelievably disappointing.” “We’ve been waiting and waiting and told to hold our breath, there’s more coming — just be patient, be patient,” Spicer said on his Newsmax show “Spicer & Co.” “This is — I don’t even think disappointing does justice to how bad this is.”
  • Ric Grenell, the former acting director of national intelligence, argued in a tweet that the verdict doesn’t exonerate the government officials who pushed falsehoods about alleged Trump-Russia collusion. “Danchenko and the FBI both lied in and about the Steele dossier,” Grenell wrote. “They made outlandish claims that never materialized. A jury saying that Danchenko didn’t lie doesn’t clear up how the lies were pushed by our government.”
  • Kash Patel, a former chief of staff to Trump’s last acting defense secretary, tweeted “the two tier system of justice is here to stay.”
  • Devin Nunes, the former top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee and current CEO of Trump Media & Technology Group shared a meme of the jurors as smiling Hillary Clinton clones.
CNN provided a surprisingly accurate 5 point takeaway of this decision: 1. Epic fail for Durham. It’s challenging to imagine a worse outcome for Durham. 2. Trump’s white knight falls flat. It cannot be understated just how aggressively Trump has pumped up and cheered on the Durham investigation. And Durham hasn’t even come close to meeting those sky-high expectations as of yet. 3. Expansive inquiry, narrow cases 4. Waiting for the Durham report. Durham’s failures in court doesn’t mean everyone gets a clean bill of health. All we know is that Durham looked into these topics and didn’t charge anyone. He’ll likely have a lot more to say in his final report. 5. Durham justifies his existence. At Danchenko’s trial, both sides largely kept politics out – until the bitter end. Danchenko may have been innocent of lying tot he FBI. But, the bottom line is that this was an historic failure of the institutions of American justice.
  • The fact everyone knows the dossier and thus the Russia Investigation was a lie.
  • The fact that everyone knows the Clinton Campaign paid for it.
  • The fact that everyone knows the Carter Page and Gen. Flynn attacks were despicable and deserve rebuke and retribution.
  • The fact that everyone knows the FBI is at a minimum guilty of dereliction of duty, as a unit and individually.
  • The fact that everyone knows that individuals within the FBI were actively behind efforts to sabotage a presidential campaign.
Yet with all that, no one will see justice. The Wall Street Journal provides complete and accurate detail below:
from The Wall Street Journal,
Acquittal of consultant for ‘Steele dossier’ marks second trial loss for John Durham’s inquiry into FBI probe of Russian interference in 2016 election. Over four days in federal court outside Washington, D.C., Mr. Durham sought to portray Mr. Danchenko as fabricating one of his own sources and concealing another one when the FBI questioned him in 2017 about where he obtained the allegations he provided to ex-British spy Christopher Steele, who was paid by Democratic operatives to collect opposition research on then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and alleged ties to the Kremlin. Mr. Steele gave the dossier to the FBI, whose efforts to verify what was in the memos included interviewing Mr. Danchenko. Much of what was in the document has since been discredited but its compilation, and how it was handled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, became a central focus of Mr. Durham. Mr. Durham said in a statement, ”While we are disappointed in the outcome, we respect the jury’s decision and thank them for their service.” He is expected to issue a report of his findings in the coming months, wrapping up a saga that began in the spring of 2016 and has rippled across Washington ever since. The FBI started investigating the Trump campaign in July 2016 after an Australian diplomat relayed that the Trump team had been offered help from Russia. It later received the dossier and used some of its material in an application to surveil a Trump campaign foreign-policy adviser. The trial at times delved into the minutiae of the FBI’s inquiry, ground that had previously been trod in a lengthy inspector general’s report in 2019 that found errors in how the FBI obtained the surveillance of the former adviser, Carter Page. It also shed light on how some of the allegations of connections between Mr. Trump and Russia emerged... An FBI analyst described how agents pressed Messrs. Danchenko and Steele for evidence to corroborate the allegations in the dossier, at one point even offering Mr. Steele up to $1 million for such evidence, but received nothing in response. Also at trial, Mr. Helson described how the FBI had come to rely on Mr. Danchenko as a paid informant for three years on Russian influence operations in the U.S. In closing the case, Mr. Durham told jurors they could “easily conclude the FBI mishandled the investigation” and criticized the FBI for not following through on actions recommended by an internal review of the FBI’s relationship with Mr. Danchenko. In both of Mr. Durham’s trials, tension emerged between Mr. Durham’s initial interest—misconduct at the FBI—and his cases he ended up taking to trial, both of which portrayed the FBI as a victim of others’ alleged misdeeds. Mr. Danchenko told FBI agents that the information used in the dossier was rumor and speculation, according to the testimony, and grew frustrated with Mr. Steele for insisting otherwise. “Steele was really trying to prove it, he really wanted it to be true, and he was putting pressure on Mr. Danchenko to make it true,” Mr. Helson testified. By October 2017, Mr. Danchenko relayed that Mr. Steele had become “obsessed” with proving the dossier, and would “burn everyone around him” to do it. A lawyer for Mr. Steele didn’t respond to a request for comment. The trial showed how the FBI cut some corners as it rushed to investigate. It revisited evidence, cited earlier by the Justice Department’s Inspector General, documenting numerous errors or omissions in the FBI’s applications for the surveillance of Mr. Page, including thin and contradictory sourcing for some of the allegations. Testimony showed that agents used the most inflammatory allegations about Mr. Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, ones it knew came from an anonymous phone call .. taking no effort to corroborate. The trial laid bare how the consequences of the FBI’s tumultuous investigation over several months in 2016 and 2017 have continued to reverberate years later, and how agents who hadn’t been assigned to the Crossfire Hurricane team were dealing with the consequences of that investigation today. Mr. Helson, for example, wasn’t involved in the inquiry but was tasked with being Mr. Danchenko’s handler given his longtime background in Russian counterintelligence. “You were the natural choice, unfortunately for you, to take on the job?” Mr. Danchenko’s lawyer, Mr. Sears, asked. “That is correct,” Mr. Helson responded to laughter in the courtroom. More From The Wall Street Journal (subscription required):

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