by WorldTribune Staff, May 15, 2019
While appointing highly-respected U.S. Attorney John Durham to investigate the origins of alleged spying on the 2016 Trump campaign, Attorney General William Barr also will be hands-on as the Department of Justice investigates the investigators.
Barr remains “directly involved in the probe,” which he initiated about three weeks ago, The Associated Press cited a person familiar with the matter as saying.
Barr is working with CIA Director Gina Haspel, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and FBI Director Christopher Wray as part of the investigation.
The probe comes after special counsel Robert Mueller said he found no criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, a theme which was pushed by Democrats and their friends in the corporate media for more than two years.
As he left the White House on May 14 for a trip to Louisiana, President Donald Trump referred to Mueller’s investigation as a “hoax” and said he didn’t ask Barr to open the inquiry and didn’t know about it in advance.
“But I think it’s a great thing that he did it,” Trump said. “I am so proud of our attorney general that he is looking into it. I think it’s great.”
Durham’s appointment comes about a month after Barr told members of Congress he believed “spying did occur” on the Trump campaign in 2016.
Durham is a career prosecutor who was nominated for his post as U.S. attorney in Connecticut by Trump. He has previously investigated law enforcement corruption, the destruction of CIA videotapes and the Boston FBI office’s relationship with mobsters.
Durham was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in 2018. At the time, Connecticut’s two Democratic senators, Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, called Durham a “fierce, fair prosecutor” who knows how to try tough cases.
Durham’s inquiry, which will focus on whether the government’s methods to collect intelligence relating to the Trump campaign were lawful and appropriate, is separate from an investigation by the Justice Department’s inspector general.
The agency’s watchdog is also examining the Russia probe’s origins and Barr has said he expects the watchdog report to be done in May or June.
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions had appointed another U.S. attorney, John Huber, in March 2018 to review aspects of the Russia investigation, following grievances from Republican lawmakers.
Both the inspector general’s investigation and the probe being conducted by Huber are winding down, the person familiar with the inquiries told the Associated Press.