Attorney General William Barr has assigned the United States attorney in Connecticut to look into the origins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s probe into the Trump campaign, according to reports.
Barr has appointed John Durham for the assignment, according to the New York Times. Durham has a history of investigating potential wrongdoing among national security officials.
Barr sent shockwaves through Washington after he acknowledged earlier this year during a hearing that he would review the origins of the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign, and again when he referred to those activities as “spying.”
Specifically, he has said he wants to review whether the FBI had appropriate predicate for spying on the Trump campaign, for example, when it sought a surveillance warrant against former campaign adviser Carter Page.
Barr’s assignment of Durham may indicate that his review of the origins warrants further investigation and action.
Separately, the DOJ’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz, is due to issue a report on his findings on whether the FBI acted improperly when investigating the Trump campaign and launching an investigation in July 2016.
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions appointed the U.S. attorney in Utah, John Huber, to review aspects of the Russia investigation, but it is unclear what he has been investigating or has found.
Trump nominated Durham for his current position in 2017, and Durham has conducted special investigations under administrations of both parties, according to the Times.
Mueller report takeaways: Trump didn’t collude but Obama blew it bigtime on Russia
Donald Trump, use Mueller report as election security roadmap; Democrats, drop impeachment and work on 2020; and Rep. Adam Schiff, you should resign.
The Mueller report will not change political opinions of President Donald Trump. Democrats will continue to hate the president and Republicans will continue to think Trump got a raw deal because two years of his presidency were inhibited by an investigation that turned up no collusion. Special counsel Robert Mueller will get plaudits for uncovering the depths of the Russian meddling but will have to answer questions about why he didn’t move to compel Trump to testify.
Ultimately, most Americans will conclude that the best way to sort this out is through an election. Trump faces the voters in 2020 and they will have all of this information to consider as they make their decision. Whether Democrats impatient for an early end to the Trump presidency force impeachment remains to be seen.
There will be legal analysis ad nauseum about obstruction, but here are five political takeaways that jumped out to me:
1.The extent of the Obama administration’s failure on Russia is breathtaking. TheMueller report flatly states that Russian interference efforts began in 2014, continued in 2015 and blossomed into a full-blown effort to meddle in the 2016 presidential election. The report found no evidence that the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia on election meddling, but substantial confirmation that the previous commander-in-chief failed to stop a hostile foreign power from invading our democracy. Why? Obama’s top priority was getting Russia into the Iranian nuclear deal, which explains why his administration turned a blind eye toward Russian electoral interference. Russian meddling is a mess of Obama’s making, and Trump should order immediate steps to use the Mueller report as a roadmap for stopping them in the future. When you consider that Obama failed to prosecute Julian Assange after his 2010 attack on America, and that he then went on to help Russia meddle in the 2016 election, Obama just looks horrible on this entire ordeal.