Barb McQuade Profile picture
May 16 20 tweets 3 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
1 Durham Report is in. After four years, review of 1 million documents, 490 interviews, his conclusion is that FBI should have opened a preliminary investigation (PI) instead of a full investigation (FI) in 2016. THREAD
2 The only difference between FI and PI is the duration and the authorities that may be used. This is a hairsplitting quibble, and one on which FBI officials routinely disagree.
3 Durham also minimizes the reasons FBI was alarmed enough to open a FI in 2016 based on information received from Australian diplomats about Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos.
4 According to Aussies, Papadopoulos said, “Trump team had received some kind of suggestion from Russia that it could assist this process with the anonymous release of information during the campaign that would be damaging to Mrs Clinton.”
5 Papadopoulos’s statement came right after the DNC hack. FBI was properly concerned about Russia’s efforts to influence the presidential
election. This was an investigation into RUSSIA.
6 Trump had other concerning ties to Russians: real estate deals, Miss Universe Pageant, loans from Russian lenders, Trump Tower Moscow project. Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort had lobbied for pro-Russian oligarchs.
7 Trump campaign members also had ties to Russia. Mike Flynn was paid $45,000 by Russia Today in 2015 for a speech he gave at a banquet where he sat next to Putin. He later lied to FBI about his calls with the Russian ambassador about sanctions during the transition.
8 Carter Page had been seen meeting with Russian intel officers. It now appears that he was unaware that they were trying to recruit him. Papadopoulos worked to set up a meeting with Putin.
9 Durham criticizes the FBI for relying on the Steele Dossier for the Carter Page FISA. Steele Dossier was not the basis for opening the investigation, but it makes for a useful scapegoat to blur that fact.
10 We now know FBI was unable to corroborate the Steele Dossier, which contained explosive details about Russian kompromat on Trump. That’s 20/20 hindsight. And, importantly, Durham never says the information in it was false, just unconfirmed.
11 In fact, some aspects of Steele Dossier were confirmed by Mueller and DNI: Putin favored Trump and was working to influence the election in Trump’s favor and against Clinton. It also contained unconfirmed information that could have seriously compromised Trump as president.
12 Failing to investigate these ties would have been a breach of duty by FBI. This was an investigation into RUSSIA. Russia was the threat and the focus. Trump was just Russia’s useful idiot.
13 Page FISA also was based on an e-mail altered by an FBI lawyer. That lawyer was identified by IG, not Durham, and he was properly convicted for making false statements. Mueller disregarded all aspects of Page FISA.
14 In addition to criticizing the FBI for opening a FI instead of a PI, Durham also ignores other facts and helps advance the narrative that the Russia investigation was a hoax.
15 Like Barr, Durham says Mueller found no conspiracy between Trump and Russia but fails to mention the 2016 Trump Tower meeting to receive dirt on Clinton, sharing of polling data with Russian intel officer Konstantin Kilimnik, and coordinating of messaging with Wikileaks.
16 Durham also ignores Trump’s public statement, “Russia, if you’re listening …” asking them to find Clinton’s missing emails, and the subsequent release of hacked emails hours after the release of the Access Hollywood tape.
17 The result of Durham’s four-year investigation is two failed prosecutions of bit players outside of government and a recommendation for FBI to hire someone to oversee their FISA work.
18 But the Durham Report provides fuel for the false claim that the Russia probe was a hoax. Don’t fall for it. While Mueller found no conspiracy, he concluded that Russia worked to help Trump become president.
19 And rather than report Russia’s overtures to FBI, Trump’s campaign was willing to accept the help.
20 The only winner here is Russia, which succeeded in its mission to get its favored candidate elected, sow discord in the United States, and undermine public trust in American institutions.

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More from @BarbMcQuade

Jan 28
This week’s epic snowball fight on @UMich Diag was a study in strategy. As a lifelong resident of cold-weather climate, here are some observations about good and bad techniques.
First, the good. Goggles - excellent for eye protection from stray snowballs that violate the normal rules of no throws above the head.
Elevation - great move. Out of harm’s way and good angles of attack. Target may never see you coming.
Read 7 tweets
Jan 9
Facts will be important in determining whether Biden’s classified documents were criminally mishandled, but there appear to be several distinguishing factors between this case in the Mar-a-Lago documents. /1…
As Jim Comey said regarding Hillary Clinton, DOJ prosecutes mishandling of classified documents cases when there is an aggravating favor present. Those factors are obstruction of justice, storage in a way that risks exposure, willful violation, and disloyalty to United States /2
In the Mar-a-Lago case, all but that last factor appear to be present. In the case of the Biden documents, there is no indication that any of the factors are met, but referral for investigation by the Chicago US Atty, a Trump appointee, seems prudent. /3
Read 4 tweets
Dec 19, 2022
I am impressed with the January 6 Committee’s report. It reads like a prosecution memo. I see the fingerprints of committee counsel Tim Heaphy, a former U.S. Attorney, all over this. Some of the proposed charges were expected. Two others are intriguing.…
The expected charges, obstruction and conspiracy to defraud US, have been apparent from the start. I wrote about these charges in February. But the report does a good job of meticulously detailing evidence to support each element of each crime.…
Two other charges are surprises to me. The first is conspiracy to submit false documents based on the false slate of electors that were submitted to the Archives and Congress. This strikes me as a tidy charge, so long as DOJ can directly tie Trump to this part of the plot.
Read 7 tweets
Dec 3, 2022
In researching my book, I have been learning a lot about how authoritarians use disinformation. This post uses many basic old tricks. First, it states an outright lie, but suggests the claim has corroboration (“the revelation.”)
/2 Second, it signals membership in the tribe of the far-right by using its signature language (“Democrat party”). I’m one if you, and this is what we all think.
/3 Third, it suggests only two options, both of which favor the leader: declare Trump the winner now or have another election.
Read 5 tweets
Nov 19, 2022
I’m not sure it was necessary to appoint a special counsel to investigate a former president who is now a candidate for that office, but there are some advantages. /1
A special counsel provides an extra layer of independence from presidential appointees at DOJ. Even though AG Garland can reject a decision of the special counsel, he must tell Congress that he did so. People of good faith should find this step reassuring. /2
Of course, critics will complain anyway. Trump has already said this is retaliation for announcing his campaign on Tuesday. Nevermind that the investigation was already pending and that this decision changes only the person overseeing it, and in a way intended to protect Trump./3
Read 11 tweets
Nov 1, 2022
Questioning of justices suggests they think use of race in admissions is never permissible, in direct contradiction with Grutter v Bollinger. 1…
In Grutter, SCOTUS held that diversity is a compelling governmental interest, so a college or university may use race in admissions so long as its process is narrowly tailored to achieve this goal. 2
Questioning suggested that this bench is transforming Justice O’Connor’s expectation that affirmative action would be unnecessary in 25 years into an imaginary time limit. 3
Read 4 tweets

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