by Chuck Ross, The Daily Caller:
Attorney General William Barr designated U.S. attorney John Durham in October as special counsel for the Justice Department, allowing him to continue his investigation of the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, according to documents obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Barr revealed the decision in an interview with the Associated Press on Tuesday.
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The move seemingly adds an additional layer of protection to Durham’s investigation, which began as an inquiry on May 13, 2019, into the FBI and CIA’s Trump-related intelligence activities. (RELATED: Lindsey Graham Says He Will Be ‘Shocked’ If Durham Probe Doesn’t Lead To More Indictments)
President-elect Joe Biden has not said whether he would allow Durham’s investigation to continue. Durham, the U.S. attorney for Connecticut, is investigating FBI and CIA activities that occurred largely during the Obama-Biden administration.
Barr appointed Durham special counsel on Oct. 19, using the same legal statute that created the special counsel’s probe led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller.
Barr said in a letter to lawmakers on Tuesday that he expected Durham to conclude his investigation by this summer, but that the coronavirus pandemic prevented him from doing so.
“In advance of the presidential election, I decided to appoint Mr. Durham as a Special Counsel to provide him and his team with the assurance that they could complete their work, without regard to the outcome of the election,” Barr wrote in the letter, obtained by the DCNF.
Barr’s order says Durham is authorized to investigate whether “any federal official, employee, or any other person or entity violated the law in connection with the intelligence, counter-intelligence, or law-enforcement activities directed at the 2016 presidential campaigns, individuals associated with those campaigns, and individuals associated with the administration of President Donald J. Trump.”
The order says the investigation can include any activities that took place as part of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation, as well as during the Mueller probe.