WASHINGTON – Attorney General William Barr provided special protection for the prosecutor, who was appointed to investigate the origins of the Trump – Russia case, with a special advisory role to complete the work without being easily fired.
Barr told the Associated Press on Tuesday that John Durham had appointed U.S. attorney special counsel in October under the same federal statute that led special adviser Robert Mueller in the original Russia case. He said Durham’s investigation is narrowing to focus more on the behavior of FBI agents who were working on a Russian investigation known as the Crossfire Hurricane.
According to federal regulations, a special adviser can only be appointed by the Attorney General and for specific reasons such as breach of duty, breach of duty, or conflict of interest. The Attorney General must document such reasons in writing.
The investigations grew out of claims by Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and co-operation between Russians to help him defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“I decided it was best to appoint them under the same decree that applied to Bob Mueller, assuring Durham and his team that they would be able to complete their work regardless of the outcome of the election,” Barr said on Tuesday.
Biden’s interim team did not immediately comment on the appointment.
The current investigation, a criminal case, has started very widely, but has since “significantly narrowed down” and now “really focuses on Crossfire Hurricane investigation activities within the FBI,” Barr said. He said he expects Durham to detail whether further criminal proceedings will be launched and will release a report on the results of the investigation.
In an October 19 order obtained by the Associated Press, Barr said Durham was empowered to “investigate whether a federal official, employee, or any person or entity violated the law in connection with intelligence, counterintelligence, or law enforcement activities.” campaigns by anyone associated with the campaigns or the Trump administration.
A senior official in the Department of Justice told the AP that although the order details that “including, but not limited to, the investigation of Crossfire Hurricane and Special Adviser Robert S. Mueller III,” the Durham probe has not expanded. The official said this line applies specifically to FBI personnel who were working on the Russian investigation before the appointment of Mueller in May 2017, a critical area of control for both Durham and the Attorney General of Justice, who identified a number of errors and omissions in surveillance. applications targeted at a former Trump campaign employee.
Focusing on the FBI rather than the CIA and the intelligence community, it can be concluded that Durham may move on to some of the more inflammatory allegations that Trump’s supporters hoped they were committing misconduct or even crimes — namely, how intelligence agencies came to the conclusion that Russia intervened in the 2016 elections.
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