Attorney General William Barr has appointed Connecticut U.S. Attorney Special Adviser John Durham, providing protection for him to continue his investigation with the Biden administration about the origins of the 2016 FBI case in Russia.
In October, Mr. Barr appointed Mr. Durham as Special Adviser under the same decree, named Robert Mueller in May 2017, to oversee a Russian investigation into Moscow’s interference in the 2016 elections and possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
In a congressional letter dated Tuesday, Mr Barr said he had appointed the appointment on 19 October, but delayed notifying lawmakers “given the proximity of the presidential election”. He said he wanted to assure Mr Durham and his team “that they could finish their work, regardless of the outcome of the election”.
The move is likely to mean that President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice will leave Mr Durham’s investigation. A Biden spokesman did not respond immediately to the request for comment. One of the most important representatives of democracy criticized Mr Barr’s move and called it a continuation of a “politically motivated investigation”.
Mr. Barr touched Mr. Durham in May 2019 to conduct a wide-ranging investigation into the investigators ’actions, but he had no official address other than the U.S. attorney. The appointment of a special lawyer means that, under the provisions of the Ministry of Justice, he is not supervised on a daily basis by officials of the agency and can only be dismissed by the Attorney General for misconduct or conflict of interest. If the Attorney General decides to overturn an investigative or prosecutorial action that a special counsel wants to take, the Attorney General must notify Congress of that decision.