Trump applauds Barr's decision to scrutinize Russian Federation probe

John Durham

President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 14, 2019, before boarding Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., to travel to Louisiana.

The attorney-general has been accused of pandering to repeated claims by Mr Trump that his predecessor had a spy illegally placed into his campaign and that the Mueller investigation was politically motivated.

In 2017, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions assigned Utah's top federal prosecutor John Huber to review a wide range of issues that Republicans had complained about, from how the FBI handled investigations related to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, to questions about the origins of the Russian Federation probe.

"I didn't know, but I think it's a great thing that he did it", Trump told reporters on Tuesday. "I saw it last night". And you know what, I'm proud of our attorney general that his is looking into it.

The newspaper noted that the inquiry is the third publicly known investigation focused on the FBI's counterintelligence probe of the Trump campaign.


Barr has stated previously that he believes there was "spying" on the part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation into the Trump campaign.

In addition, Barr is personally working with FBI Director Christopher Wray, CIA Director Gina Haspel and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats to review intelligence gathering techniques used to investigate Trump's 2016 campaign. 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. He has a history of performing special investigations - in 2008 he was assigned by Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey to conduct a probe of the Central Intelligence Agency over the destruction of videotapes that showed terrorism suspects being tortured.

Durham, who was unanimously confirmed by the Senate as USA attorney in 2018, has a storied history of investigating issues of corruption and national security under both Democratic and Republican administrations.

"There is a substantial investigation, which as I understand it, is nearing completion, being conducted by the Justice Department Inspector General", Clapper said.

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