Attorney General William Barr has assigned a U.S. attorney to examine the origins of the Russia investigation and determine if intelligence collection efforts targeting the Trump campaign were “lawful and appropriate.”
John Durham, who’s the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, will be conducting the inquiry.
Durham is well known as a “hard-charging, bulldog” prosecutor.
Durham previously has investigated law enforcement corruption, the destruction of CIA videotapes and the Boston FBI office’s relationship with mobsters. He is set to continue to serve as the chief federal prosecutor in Connecticut.
John H. Durham has a history of serving as a special prosecutor investigating potential wrongdoing among national security officials, including the F.B.I.’s ties to a crime boss in Boston and accusations of C.I.A. abuses of detainees.
His inquiry is the third known investigation focused on the opening of an F.B.I. counterintelligence investigation during the 2016 presidential campaign into possible ties between Russia’s election interference and Trump associates.
The appointment comes as the Trump administration has pushed for answers on why federal authorities conducted the surveillance — as well as whether Democrats improperly colluded with foreign actors.
Two sources told Fox News that Attorney General William Barr was “serious” in assigning DOJ personnel to the probe.
Sources say the focus of the new investigation includes the pre-transition period — prior to Nov. 7, 2016 — including the use and initiation of informants, as well as potential Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuses.
Durham’s new investigation would exist alongside the ongoing probe by DOJ Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz, who is continuing to review potential surveillance abuses by the FBI — an investigation that began last March and is nearing completion.
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