• Investigators couldn't secure "any actual evidence of collusion" between Trump and Russia, the report said
  • The report criticized the FBI probe, citing 'raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence'
  • Trump previously accused the FBI of being biased toward him

Observers and political analysts have commented on the long-awaited report of special counsel John Durham, which looked into the purported scheme to link former president Donald Trump to Russia in 2016, with some saying the report exonerated him in a way.

Durham's 316-page report released Monday revealed the FBI shouldn't have initiated an investigation into the supposed connections between the Trump 2016 campaign and Russia. It added the federal investigators did not secure "any actual evidence of collusion" between the former president and Russia before the probe was launched.

Durham's office conducted over 480 interviews and obtained more than one million documents in its four-year investigation of the case. During the probe, 190 grand jury subpoenas were also issued.

Dubbed as "Crossfire Hurricane," the FBI's investigation into allegations of a Trump-Russia collusion during the 2016 presidential campaign was based on "raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence," Durham's report said.

Due to FBI personnel displaying "a serious lack of analytical rigor towards the information that they received," investigators were led to "act without appropriate objectivity or restraint in pursuing allegations of collusion or conspiracy between a US political campaign and a foreign power," Durham wrote.

Durham also revealed he interviewed former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in May 2022 as part of the efforts to determine whether there were laws violated in a purported Clinton campaign plan to smear Trump by tying the latter to Russia.

On the alleged Clinton campaign plan to vilify Trump, Durham said handling of the intelligence "amounted to a significant intelligence failure" but "did not" amount to a "provable criminal offense."

Several political experts, GOP lawmakers, and observers have since commented on the matter.

"It is regardless devastating to the FBI and, to a degree, it does exonerate Donald Trump," CNN's Jake Tapper said of Durham's report.

Award-winning journalist Sharyl Attkisson took a swipe at the lack of accountability that some observers noted even after Durham's report found there were issues with the FBI's investigation.

Durham pursued prosecutions for only three people throughout his investigation of the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane initiative. Two of the said people were acquitted.

"How much #FBIMisconduct has continued since? Who will hold anybody accountable now?" Attkisson quipped.

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., said the American public already knew that "individuals at the highest levels of government attempted to overthrow democracy when they illegally weaponized the federal government" against Trump.

Senior editor of The Federalist John Daniel Davidson called the report "damning," adding it unraveled how the FBI operated as "a disinformation shop for the Clinton campaign."

Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., said Republicans should "rally" behind Trump following the perpetuation of the "Big Lie."

Former acting director of the U.S. National Intelligence, Richard Grenell, hit on Democrats rushing to investigate the GOP. "Republicans get a 4 year investigation that ends in total exoneration after 4 years of lies and media activism against them," he said.

Columnist Benny Johnson highlighted the Durham report's revelation about then-director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) John Brennan's knowledge and subsequent briefing of the alleged Clinton campaign plan to ex-president Barack Obama.

Others cast doubts about the process of Durham's review, with some saying it had the vibe of an inspector general inquiry.

The report lacked several "checks" often used in the process of general inquiries "such as an opportunity for individuals and agencies mentioned to offer factual corrections and rebuttals," wrote Politico's Josh Gerstein and Betsy Woodruff Swan.

The New York Times' Charlie Savage, Glenn Thrush, Adam Goldman and Katie Benner wrote that the long report revealed "little substantial new information" about the probe and "failed to produce the kinds of blockbuster revelations accusing the bureau of politically motivated misconduct" Trump and his allies suggested the report would unveil.

Meanwhile, Trump himself celebrated Durham's findings, saying the report only proved that U.S. citizens were "scammed" by what he called the "crime of the century."

"The Durham Report spells out in great detail the Democrat Hoax that was perpetuated upon me and the American people," Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform.

Trump said during the 2020 election the FBI was biased against him, according to NPR. At the time, though, he did not provide evidence about his claims.

The FBI has since released a statement on the matter, saying conduct of personnel during 2016 and 2017, which was reviewed by Durham, triggered the implementation of "dozens of corrective actions."

"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," the agency said.

A guest at an event called the U.S. Presidential Election Watch, organised by the U.S. Consulate, reaches for a badge from out of a hat displaying photographs of Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, in Sydney, Austra
A guest at an event called the U.S. Presidential Election Watch, organised by the U.S. Consulate, reaches for a badge from out of a hat displaying photographs of Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, in Sydney, Australia, November 9, 2016. Reuters / David Gray