Attorney General William Barr has announced the appointment of a federal prosecutor to examine the origins of the FBI Russia probe that grew into the two-year Mueller investigation. According to The Associated Press, the attorney general seeks to determine whether intelligence activities to investigate the Trump campaign were “lawful and appropriate.”
John Durham, U.S. attorney in Connecticut, has been appointed to lead the investigation.
Details of the investigation are being kept confidential. However, this marks the second investigation into the question of how allegations of Russia collusion against Trump gained traction within the FBI. Inspector General Michael Horowitz currently leads another investigation on behalf of the Department of Justice to determine whether FBI Chief James Comey followed proper court procedures when he issued the initial FISA warrant used to place the Trump campaign under surveillance.
The FBI initially used the ‘Trump dossier’ created by Christopher Steele while he was contracted by the Democratic National Committee in order to initiate its investigation into the Trump campaign. As reported previously, Steele’s meeting with the U.S. State Department before the 2016 election shows Steele was aiming to release information contained in the dossier to steer public opinion before the Nov. 8 election.
In his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Barr expressed concerns over how the FBI handled the investigation in which he concluded that Trump was being “falsely accused.”
Trump told reporters Tuesday, that he thought the attorney general’s announcement was a “great thing,” and stated, “I am so proud of our attorney general that he is looking into it.”
The Trump administration has maintained that the Russia investigation was unwarranted and politically motivated.