May 21, 2019

Source says Barr is launching new look at origins of Russian Federation probe

14 May 2019, 08:24 | Glen Norman

Enlarge Image William Barr Getty Images

William Barr

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., on Tuesday praised Attorney General William Barr's announcement a special prosecutor has been appointed to investigate the origins behind the Russian investigation, saying government officials who abuse power for political purposes should be held accountable.

"Fox News reported on Monday that Attorney General Bill Barr had assigned John Durham, the us attorney in CT, to conduct the inquiry into alleged misconduct and alleged improper government surveillance on the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election, as well as whether Democrats were the ones who improperly colluded with foreign actors", reports Fox News.

During an appearance on "America's Newsroom" Tuesday morning, Scalise said Barr's decision to enlist USA attorney in Connecticut John Durham illustrates that the justice department is "serious about cleaning house within the Federal Bureau of Investigation".

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Durham's appointment comes about a month after Barr told members of Congress he believed "spying did occur" on the Trump campaign in 2016.

While Durham has been appointed to this special investigative assignment, he is notably not a special counsel, a role that would come with increased authority. These concerns were in part fueled by the revelation that the FISA warrant obtained to surveil Trump campaign national-security adviser Carter Page was based on information provided in the unsubstantiated Steele dossier. His inquiry is the third known investigation focused on the FBI's counterintelligence investigation during the 2016 election into alleged ties between President Donald Trump and Moscow, the newspaper noted.

In 2008, former Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey assigned Durham to investigate the CIA's destruction of videotapes which showed terrorism suspected being tortured.

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Durham was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in 2018.

Durham, who now serves as the chief federal prosecutor for the state of CT, will continue in that position, in addition to his role in the new investigation.

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