Durham Report Vindicates Mark Levin, Breitbart News on FBI Spying on Trump

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Monday’s report of Special Counsel John H. Durham on the FBI’s investigation of false “Russia collusion” allegations vindicates reporting and analysis in March 2017 by conservative radio host Mark Levin.

On his March 2, 2017 broadcast, Levin pieced together evidence from published reports in the mainstream media to deduce that law enforcement and intelligence agencies had spied on President Donald Trump.

Breitbart News reported Levin’s analysis — the first of its kind:

In summary: the Obama administration sought, and eventually obtained, authorization to eavesdrop on the Trump campaign; continued monitoring the Trump team even when no evidence of wrongdoing was found; then relaxed the NSA rules to allow evidence to be shared widely within the government, virtually ensuring that the information, including the conversations of private citizens, would be leaked to the media.

Levin called the effort a “silent coup” by the Obama administration and demanded that it be investigated.

The Breitbart News story reportedly made it to the Oval Office, and President Trump responded with a tweet that provoked sensational media coverage:

The media mocked Trump’s claim, and blamed Levin, and Breitbart, for spreading what they called a wild “conspiracy theory.” Brian Stelter, who was then a media reporter at CNN, published an incredulous story, claiming “the facts don’t back up the conclusion”:

Levin cherry-picked news stories that supported his thesis and omitted information that cut against it.

The next day, Rush Limbaugh echoed Levin’s “silent coup” language, and Breitbart columnist Joel Pollak published an “expanded version of that case.”

That’s how the idea reached Trump’s radar. The Breitbart article “circulated” in the West Wing, a White House official told CNN’s Jeff Zeleny, and the information “infuriated” Trump.

To be clear, Levin and Limbaugh and Pollak didn’t publish any original reporting. They merely claimed to have connected some dots.

But the facts did back up the case, as was repeatedly shown in subsequent media reporting, as well as by Durham’s own legal filings in court:

Ultimately, even CNN had to admit Levin’s original thesis was correct: Trump was the victim of espionage.

On Monday evening, Levin devoted several segments of his program to recalling his original reporting — and he gave credit to Breitbart News for picking up the story. He noted that the media had been complicit in the cover-up of the FBI’s misconduct, and that they had attacked him rather than following up to do further investigation.

On Tuesday, the White House declined to comment on Durham’s report, though President Joe Biden himself was implicated in it as having been briefed in late 2016 about Hillary Clinton’s plan to link Trump to Russia.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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