AP source Barr working with intel chiefs on Russian Federation review

AP source Barr working with intel chiefs on Russian Federation review

AP source Barr working with intel chiefs on Russian Federation review

President Trump nominated Durham, a Department of Justice attorney since 1982, to be the U.S. Attorney in CT in 2017.

The person couldn't discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Barr told Congress in April that he planned to form a team within the Justice Department to investigate whether the USA government improperly surveilled the Trump campaign.

"I think spying did occur", Barr said during a hearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz has been conducting a similar inquiry, and is due to release his findings as soon as this month.

According to the report issued by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the FBI opened its investigation, acting upon information that George Papadopoulos, a minor official within the Trump campaign.

Earlier in the week, as promised, Attorney General Bill Barr assigned a United States attorney to oversee the events and tactics that set into motion the lengthy and politically-explosive federal probe that was eventually inherited and concluded by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of CT on Tuesday called Durham, who is a federal prosecutor for CT, a "talented professional. a straight-shooting serious, smart prosecutor" who is being wasted in a "politically-motivated distraction".

"Yes, I think spying did occur", Barr repeated, adding, "but the question is whether it was predicated, adequately predicated".

Trump, asked outside the White House on Tuesday if he had ordered Barr to look into the matter, told reporters, "No I didn't ask him to do that".

Last week, FBI Director Wray said he had personally seen no evidence of improper surveillance and that he was cooperating with Barr to "get to the bottom of an understanding of what the circumstances surrounding the initiation of that investigation were at the department and the FBI back in 2016". The agency's watchdog is also examining the Russian Federation probe's origins and Barr has said he expects the watchdog report to be done in May or June. It is not clear when the other two investigations launched by the Department of Justice under either Barr or former Attorney General Jeff Sessions will conclude.

Trump has publicly called for investigations into the Russian Federation probe, including tweeting last month, "INVESTIGATE THE INVESTIGATORS!"

"We're not confirming, denying, or commenting at all on this", said Durham spokesman Thomas Carson.

Richard Rossman, executive director of the National Association of Former U.S. Attorneys, said Durham "has been well regarded over the years", and "appointed to investigate very sensitive investigations" by both Republican and Democratic administrations. He has previously investigated law enforcement corruption, the destruction of Central Intelligence Agency videotapes and the Boston FBI office's relationship with mobsters. "It's a waste of his talent", Blumenthal said.

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