Attorney General William Barr has appointed a US attorney to examine the origins of the investigation in Russia and determine whether the collection of information involving Trump's campaign was "legal and appropriate," a person told is familiar with the issue.
Barr appointed John Durham, the US attorney in Connecticut, to conduct the investigation, the person said. The person could not publicly discuss the issue and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.
Durham's appointment comes about a month after Barr told Congress members he believed "spying was happening" in Trump's 2016 campaign. He later said he didn't mean anything pejorative and was gathering a team to examine the origins of special consultant advice. investigation.
Barr did not provide details on what "spying" may have taken place, but seems to allude to a supervisory mandate that the FBI has obtained on a former Trump partner, Carter Page, and for use by the FBI of an informant while the office was investigating the former Trump foreign political adviser George Papadopoulos.
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Trump and his supporters took both to accuse the Justice Department and the FBI of spying on his campaign unlawfully.
The investigation, which will focus on the fact that the government's methods of gathering intelligence related to Trump's campaign were lawful and appropriate, is separated by an investigation by the Department of Justice inspector general. The agency watchdog is also examining the origins of the Russian probe and Barr said he expects the watchdog report to be made in May or June.
The Republicans of Congress have also indicated that they intend to examine how the investigations began that have overshadowed Trump's presidency for almost two years and whether there are legal concerns.
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The investigation recently concluded by special consultant Robert Mueller did not find a criminal conspiracy between the countryside and the Kremlin to tip the outcome of the 2016 presidential elections.
Durham is a career attorney who was appointed to his post as US attorney in Connecticut by Trump. He previously investigated the corruption of laws, the destruction of CIA videotapes and the report of the Boston FBI office with the mafia.
In naming it, the White House said that Durham and other candidates for US lawyers' jobs share Trump's vision to "make America safe again".
Durham was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in 2018. At that time, two Connecticut Democratic senators, Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, called Durham a "fierce and fair prosecutor" who knows how to deal with difficult cases.
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In addition to conducting the investigation, Durham will continue to be Connecticut's chief federal prosecutor.
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