From Izvestia, June 5, 2023, p. 3. Complete text:

In the US, discussion continues around Special Counsel John Durham’s special report on the actions of the FBI, which spent several years investigating [former US president] Donald Trump’s ties to Russia ahead of the [2016] presidential election. The investigation into potential Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential campaign was codenamed Crossfire Hurricane. In his 306-page document, Durham said the FBI did not have grounds to open it. Moreover, well-known American journalist Seymour Hersh said that high-ranking FBI officials linked to former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s [presidential] campaign headquarters did, in fact, attempt to prevent the American billionaire from winning the presidential election.

Back in October 2019, when Attorney General William Barr tasked Durham with investigating “Russiagate,” Trump and his supporters looked forward to when the conspiracy would be uncovered and large-scale violations by law enforcement revealed. The outcome, however, has proved to be muddled.

On the one hand, the report contains detailed information on the roles of Hillary Clinton and the FBI in the investigations into Trump’s ties with Russia, based on “raw, unanalyzed and uncorroborated intelligence.” On the other hand, no guilty party has faced any punishment, at least for now – even though Durham provided documents declassified in 2020 showing that Clinton herself and law-enforcement officers played an important role in spreading the story of the billionaire’s collusion with Moscow. And that was done not just in the [campaign] fight against the presidential candidate, but also with the aim of diverting attention from the discovery of a private email server that Clinton misused while serving as secretary of state.

Before publishing the report, Durham spoke with Clinton and members of her campaign team, including [US President Joe] Biden’s current National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. Naturally, Clinton, Sullivan and other members of the team deny any allegations. Durham obtained a guilty plea from just one FBI officer, who received a suspended sentence. The special counsel lost the two criminal cases brought to court. The law-enforcement agencies did not admit to any bias against Trump, speaking only of unintentional errors they made in their work.

Trump called the investigation against him the “crime of the century,” because Democrats and the Clinton campaign essentially paid professional agents to stir up a scandal using false claims about his ties to Russian intelligence.

Lately, more and more whistleblowers are coming forward. Republicans in the House of Representatives, where they now have a majority, are providing them with a platform to highlight various pieces of evidence. Durham himself will soon appear there to provide exhaustive evidence of how officials wield their power as a political weapon.

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio, said previously that the unjustified investigation into Donald Trump’s campaign shows that politics, not law, sets the agenda in government institutions.

Despite the current situation, violators of the law remain unpunished. Still, overall, many experts believe that Durham’s report could help Trump with his 2024 presidential campaign, despite the many lawsuits the billionaire faces. Incumbent President Joe Biden’s approval rating is far from its peak. And that is not just because of failures in the international arena, such as the disastrous withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan or the inability to deescalate the Ukrainian crisis, but also because of recent scandals around his family and associates. There are growing calls in American political circles to impeach or even criminally prosecute Biden, Secretary of State [Antony] Blinken and other members of the White House administration.

It is unlikely that it will come to that. Similar allegations against Clinton relating to huge sums that came into her foundation’s accounts in exchange for certain services, including for foreigners, when she was secretary of state led nowhere. She is still walking free and continues to be politically active.

However, it is worth paying attention to something else: In general, something is rotten right now in the “kingdom of democracy.” But the most dangerous thing is that this affects more than just domestic US affairs. Clinton, Biden and many other members of the Washington elite tie their political fight to standing up to Russia, presenting it as an enemy, thereby pushing our countries toward direct conflict.

And little will change after the 2024 elections. Trump’s previous experience, when he supposedly entered the Oval Office intending to normalize Russian-American relations, shows that it’s impossible to achieve anything alone. As American journalist Chris Hedges explains in his article “Russiagate Won’t Go Away,” “Myths make us feel good. Myths demonize those blamed for our self-created debacles. Myths celebrate us as a people and a nation. But it is like handing heroin to junkies.”

Granted, the history of international relations shows that every crisis is followed by a warming. And obviously the current Russian-American confrontation will be no exception. But it’s naïve to expect that détente is imminent. Washington and Moscow have gone too far to be able to meet in Geneva, shake hands and wipe the slate clean after everything that’s happened.