Attorney General William Barr appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham as a Special Counsel in October tasked with investigating the Crossfire Hurricane investigation targeting the Trump campaign and administration. Barr told the Associated Press about the appointment in an interview Tuesday, saying he wanted to give protection to Durham’s investigation regardless of the outcome of the election.
Barr said Durham’s probe has narrowed to the conduct of the FBI. Durham was initially appointed by Barr in 2019 to investigate the Russia collusion hoax investigation and so far has only produced one guilty plea: former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith who pled guilty last August to one felony count of making a false statement over altering a government email in the Carter Page investigation.
Attorney General William Barr has given extra protection to the prosecutor he appointed to investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, giving him the authority of a special counsel to complete his work without being easily fired.
Barr told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he had appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham as a special counsel in October under the same federal statute that governed special counsel Robert Mueller in the original Russia probe. He said Durham’s investigation has been narrowing to focus more on the conduct of FBI agents who worked on the Russia investigation, known as Crossfire Hurricane.
…In an Oct. 19 order, obtained by The Associated Press, Barr says Durham is authorized “to investigate whether any federal official, employee or any person or entity violated the law in connection with the intelligence, counter-intelligence or law enforcement activities” directed at the 2016 presidential campaigns, anyone associated with the campaigns or the Trump administration.
A senior Justice Department official told the AP that although the order details that it is “including but not limited to Crossfire Hurricane and the investigation of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III,” the Durham probe has not expanded. The official said that line specifically relates to FBI personnel who worked on the Russia investigation before the May 2017 appointment of Mueller, a critical area of scrutiny for both Durham and for the Justice Department inspector general, which identified a series of errors and omissions in surveillance applications targeting a former Trump campaign associate…
CBS News reporter Catherine Herridge reported via Twitter:
+ counter-intel, or law-enforcement activities directed at the 2016 presidential campaigns, individuals associated with those campaigns + individuals associated with (Trump) administration including but not limited to Crossfire Hurricane” + Special Counsel Mueller @ClareHymes22
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) December 1, 2020