Other View: Russian election interference was real; collusion with Trump wasn't
From the editorial: "Despite the lies of Barr and Trump, this was no FBI hoax. Putin and his spies did steal emails from the Democrats and gave them to WikiLeaks. And Russia did use the internet to attack Clinton and support Trump."
When Special Counsel Bob Mueller, probing Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election by helping Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, completed his report, he sent it to Attorney General Bill Barr on March 22, 2019, a Friday. Two days later, Barr issued his own four-page summary of the report, which radically distorted and twisted Mueller’s work, over Mueller’s repeated objections.
It wasn’t until almost a month later, on April 19, following a lengthy press conference, that Barr published Mueller’s report and everyone saw that Barr had blatantly and intentionally mischaracterized Mueller’s findings to undermine the truth that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spies had meddled in our democratic process to try to aid Trump.
A month later, on May 13, Barr directed U.S. Attorney John Durham to examine the origin of the Russia probe regarding Trump’s campaign (which the FBI had commenced on July 31, 2016, dubbing it Crossfire Hurricane, before Mueller took it over in 2017).
On Dec. 9, 2019, DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded that the FBI was warranted in opening the probe.
Last Friday, one day shy of four years after Durham began, he delivered his report to AG Merrick Garland. While Barr held Mueller’s report close for only two days, Garland took an extra day. But then this AG simply published the report, in full and without comment or spin or interpretation.
While Mueller rightly complained about Barr, this is what Durham wrote in his letter presenting his report to Garland: “Finally, we want to thank you and your office for permitting our inquiry to proceed independently and without interference.”
Durham found no conspiracy inside the U.S. government to “get Trump,” although he differed from the inspector general that after an initial review the FBI should have not pursued the matter of possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Moscow.
Despite the lies of Barr and Trump, this was no FBI hoax. Putin and his spies did steal emails from the Democrats and gave them to WikiLeaks. And Russia did use the internet to attack Clinton and support Trump. It was all real.
— New York Daily News Editorial Board