Even Steve Bannon Blasts ‘Clown Show’ John Durham’s ‘Epic Failure’
Former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon tore into Special Counsel John Durham on Tuesday over his failure to secure any major criminal convictions during his four-year probe of the FBI’s Russia investigation, describing Durham’s final report as an “epic failure.”
Bannon’s harsh criticism of Durham, who he also described as a “clown show,” sharply contrasts with the bluster coming from the rest of MAGA media and former President Donald Trump himself. “Congratulations to John Durham on a Report that is being praised for its quality, importance, and professionalism, by friend and foe alike!” Trump boasted on social media while ranting about the “COCKROACHES” that Durham had exposed.
Additionally, it wasn’t just conservative media that claimed that Durham’s report, which largely rehashed a 2019 report from the Justice Department’s inspector general, was a bombshell. CNN anchor Jake Tapper, for instance, claimed Durham’s findings were “devastating” for the FBI and that it exonerated Trump “to a degree.”
Bannon, however, voiced his displeasure that no one involved in launching and conducting the FBI probe into Trump’s role in Russian interference during the 2016 election had been sent to prison, seemingly agreeing with those in the mainstream press labeling Durham’s report a “dud.”
“The Epic Failure of Durham”: Bannon Slams Durham’s Weakness on Prosecution of Administrative State pic.twitter.com/jbjzoOmbcj
— Steve Bannon (News) (@BannonSteveNews) May 16, 2023
At the top of his War Room show on Tuesday, Bannon groused that he had “spent more money out my own pocket than any other individual” when it came to giving testimony in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. In the end, Mueller’s probe resulted in 37 indictments, convictions, and guilty pleas from Trump administration and campaign officials.
“So I’ve seen this firsthand. As you’ve noticed and it shouldn’t be lost on you, I’ve never talked about the Durham investigation,” he declared. “I thought it was a clown show from the beginning. I’ll just give you my two cents.”
While adding that it was “obvious” that the Russia investigation targeted Trump with “lies,” Bannon slammed Durham’s “weakness in what he failed to pursue” before taking additional shots at former Attorney General William Barr, who appointed Durham to probe the FBI following the Mueller report.
Bringing on far-right attorney Mike Davis, Bannon then ranted about the dangers of the “deep state” and how they are the “number one enemy of the American people” before once again taking issue with the lack of prosecutions on Durham’s part.
“People come to me all the time, ‘Steve, Why don’t you spend more time on Durham?’ Correct me if I’m wrong, brother, but that’s the epic failure of Durham that shows you—when you say the courts, there’s got to be some kind of driver prosecuting, there’s gotta be a prosecutorial attitude in the courts,” Bannon sighed.
“The courts are not going to sit there just like gods and deem this to be true,” he added. “You have to bring cases before them. Isn’t this the epic failure—am I missing it? I’m not a lawyer, but isn’t this the epic failure of Durham?”
Davis agreed, wondering why Durham didn’t charge more crimes during the course of his probe, especially since Durham stated that the DOJ fully cooperated with the investigation and he supposedly found “brazen weaponization” of the intelligence community.
“That's my point! Where are the charges?” Bannon interjected. “He had all access. He had an unlimited budget. He’d spent $6 million. He quote-unquote had Barr’s backing. He had four years.”
He concluded: “Where’s the beef?! I understand the predicate he laid down for the FBI is absolutely devastating, but they don’t care!”
In the end, despite Fox News host Sean Hannity calling for 10 “deep state actors” to be taken down—including ex-FBI Director James Comey and former CIA Director John Brennan—Durham only managed three indictments and a lone guilty plea from a low-level attorney who never served a day in jail.
Get the Daily Beast's biggest scoops and scandals delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now.
Stay informed and gain unlimited access to the Daily Beast's unmatched reporting. Subscribe now.