Another Inquiry Doesn’t Back Up Trump’s Charges. So, on to the Next.

WASHINGTON — President Trump and his allies spent months promising {that a} report on the origins of the F.B.I.’s Russia investigation could be a type of Rosetta Stone for Trump-era conspiracy lovers — the important thing to unlocking the secrets and techniques of a authorities plot to maintain Mr. Trump from being elected in 2016.

On that time, the report by the Justice Division’s inspector basic, Michael E. Horowitz, didn’t ship, even because it discovered severe issues with how F.B.I. officers justified the surveillance of a Trump marketing campaign aide to a federal court docket.

However by the point it was launched, the president, his lawyer basic, his supporters in Congress and the conservative information media had already declared victory and decamped for the following battle within the wider conflict to persuade People of the enemies at house and overseas arrayed in opposition to the Trump presidency.

They adopted a script they’ve used for practically three years: Interact in a choreographed marketing campaign of presidential tweets, Fox Information appearances and fiery congressional testimony to create expectations about discovering proof of a “deep state” marketing campaign in opposition to Mr. Trump. After which, when the proof doesn’t emerge, skew the outcomes and put together for the following alternative to execute the playbook.

That chance has arrived within the type of an investigation by a Connecticut prosecutor ordered this yr by Lawyer Normal William P. Barr — and the president and his allies are actually predicting will probably be the one to ship damning proof that the F.B.I., C.I.A. and even shut American allies conspired in opposition to Mr. Trump within the 2016 election.

But the president’s allies soon found another opportunity: the Justice Department’s announcement of an investigation into the origins of the Russia inquiry led by Mr. Horowitz. It would be this investigation, they predicted, that would reveal the depths of the F.B.I.’s perfidy.

During a congressional hearing in September, one Republican lawmaker asked Corey Lewandowski, Mr. Trump’s former campaign manager, where he thought the “whole lie of Russian collusion started.”

Mr. Lewandowski replied that he expected Mr. Horowitz would get the answer — that it “began at the highest levels of the government and was perpetrated through the intelligence community to come up with a narrative of why Hillary Clinton lost the campaign as opposed to the real narrative, why Donald Trump won the campaign.”

Mr. Horowitz’s report made no such conclusions, even if it did criticize F.B.I. officials for serial mistakes in their applications to carry out surveillance of a Trump campaign aide.

“That so many basic and fundamental errors were made by three separate, handpicked teams on one of the most sensitive F.B.I. investigations that was briefed to the highest levels within the F.B.I., and that F.B.I. officials expected would eventually be subjected to close scrutiny, raised significant questions regarding the F.B.I. chain of command’s management,” the report said.

It is uncertain when Mr. Durham will conclude his investigation, but Mr. Barr has given him a wide aperture to examine the work of the law enforcement and intelligence officials in 2016, and even to examine whether close American allies collaborated in an effort to elect Mrs. Clinton.

Mr. Barr and Mr. Durham traveled to Italy to examine whether the Italian government played a role in setting up a meeting between a Russia-linked professor and a Trump campaign aide, and Mr. Trump pressed Ukraine’s president and Australia’s prime minister to help Mr. Durham.

There is no indication that Mr. Durham will exhume any information that will fundamentally change the understanding of what happened in 2016. But for Mr. Trump and his allies, the final conclusions might ultimately be less important than the months spent speculating about what those conclusions might be.

Speaking to reporters in London last week, Mr. Trump played down expectations about the Horowitz inquiry — indicating it was only an appetizer for what’s to come.

“I do think the big report to wait for is going to be the Durham report,” he said.

“That’s the one that people are really waiting for.”

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