At last, FBI’s reckless bungling of Russia probe exposed

After years of investigations, we finally have proof that a 2016 presidential candidate colluded with a Russian agent to help win the election — and that candidate was Hillary Clinton.

Since 2017, we’ve known that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee were spreading a dossier full of wild allegations all over Washington about, among other things, Donald Trump having perverted trysts with Russian hookers. The FBI then represented this dossier as credible evidence and used it to obtain warrants to spy on the Trump campaign.

On Thursday, the Department of Justice dropped a bombshell — it turns out that the “primary subsource” for the dossier, compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, was deemed a possible “national security threat” and the subject of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in 2009. The primary subsource has been previously confirmed as Igor Danchenko, formerly an employee of the Brookings Institution in Washington.

What’s more, FBI brass were aware of Danchenko’s shady background and involvement with the dossier in December of 2016. Knowing Danchenko’s involvement meant the dossier was likely full of Putin-approved disinformation, then-FBI Director James Comey still chose to brief President Barack Obama and president-elect Trump on the dossier. That briefing was leaked to credulous CNN reporters, touching off the media’s yearslong, erroneous obsession with Russia collusion.

If this wasn’t damaging enough for the FBI’s credibility, on Friday the Department of Justice released a brand-new “302” — FBI slang for the form used to conduct investigative interviews. US Attorney Jeff Jensen interviewed William Barnett, the FBI case agent for the investigation into former White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who was later assigned to the Mueller investigation into Trump.

What Barnett reveals in the 13-page account of his interview is stunning. According to Barnett, the Trump investigation was “opaque” and “supposition on supposition.” The investigation into Flynn was also “unclear and disorganized,” and Barnett was apparently troubled by how FBI leadership kept the investigation going by accusing Flynn of violating the Logan Act, an obscure law that is likely unconstitutional and had never once been enforced. (Flynn was later pressured by the FBI into a guilty plea, but the DOJ is currently fighting against a recalcitrant judge to get the case against him dropped.)

The FBI agent’s experience on the Mueller probe was also deeply troubling.

“After being involved in the investigation for six weeks, Barnett was still unsure of the basis of the investigation concerning Russia and the Trump campaign working together, without a specific criminal allegation,” reads the 302. At one point, Barnett threatened to quit working on the probe, because he was troubled by the apparent corruption.

He also details how those working on the Mueller probe were irrationally obsessed with getting Trump, compared the probe to a game of Clue where suspects and evidence could be randomly matched to prove guilt, and made jokes about wiping their phones. Earlier this month, it was revealed that two dozen members of Mueller’s team claimed to have “accidentally” wiped their phones — the destruction of public information is a potential crime.

In the end, the biggest news of the week might be that there’s at least one honest man left at the FBI.

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