In his latest Substack article, Seymour Hersh reveals how members of the Durham Special Investigation felt “frustration” at Durham’s “lack of interest” in examining whether “senior FBI officials had openly joined ranks with the Clinton campaign”, possibly in exchange for “promotions” in a Clinton administration.
The Durham Report issued on May 15 “pleased no one with its focus on the obvious,” Hersh writes. Four years in the making, many Spygate observers were disappointed the report mainly compiles information already available.
According to Seymour Hersh, the Durham Report only “hints at the real story”: Namely, that “Russiagate was a fraud initiated by the Clinton campaign and abetted by political reporters in Washington and senior FBI officials who chose to look the other way.”
“In late July 2016, US intelligence agencies obtained insight into Russian intelligence analysis alleging that US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had approved a campaign plan to stir up a scandal against US Presidential candidate Donald Trump by tying him to Putin and the Russians’ hacking of the Democratic National Committee”, the Durham Report states. “This intelligence—taken at face value—was arguably highly relevant and exculpatory because it could be read in fuller context, and in combination with other facts, to suggest that materials such as the Steele Dossier reports and the Alfa Bank allegations . . . were part of a political effort to smear a political opponent and to use the resources of the federal government’s law enforcement and intelligence agencies in support of a political objective.”
“It became evident to some members of Durham’s staff that the real story was not about whether or not Trump had pee parties in a Moscow hotel room”, Hersh writes. “The issue was whether the Clinton campaign, in its constant leaking of false accusations and false data, had crossed a line.“
Citing his intel sources, Hersh says he “was told that there was tension and frustration over Durham’s initial lack of interest, or reluctance, to go beyond his investigative mandate and look closely at the possibility that some senior FBI officials had openly joined ranks with the Clinton campaign, with its drumbeat of spurious allegations. “
These FBI officials held “a shared belief in the importance of a Clinton victory in the fall election”, according to Hersh. “Another factor, I was told, was the possibility of promotions—even to high-level Justice Department offices—in a potential Clinton administration.”
“It was not clear,” Hersh states, whether Durham “would have been allowed to do so” if he had he decided to expand his inquiry to include the Clinton campaign. “It was not clear to some who worked with him whether Durham understood the ease with which the FBI could game the FISA process and get their way with the special court,” Hersh notes, “nor that he understood the extent to which the serious operators in the intelligence community thought themselves to be above the law.”
Hersh recalls a lunch “down the highway from the CIA headquarters with a bunch of covert operators from the Middle East” just after 9/11. “They were making fun of what they depicted as bumbling FBI gumshoes,” Hersh says, who “angrily asked” how the CIA agents “could mock the FBI when they had to work together to solve the crime.”
The agents answered: “Sy, the FBI? The FBI? They catch bank robbers. And we rob banks.”