The Sift Here’s what we’re Sifting today

Barr appoints U.S. attorney to investigate Russia probe

by Harvest Prude
Posted 5/14/19, 11:58 am

Attorney General William Barr has appointed a U.S. attorney to look into the origins of the Russia investigation and determine whether the federal government’s surveillance of President Donald Trump’s campaign was lawful. Barr tapped John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, to conduct the inquiry, The New York Times and other media outlets reported based on anonymous sources. Durham will focus on whether the government’s intelligence-gathering methods were legal.

After special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election ended, Barr said at an Senate hearing last month that he was reviewing how it got started and believed “spying did occur” on the Trump campaign. Democrats accused Barr of furthering partisan interests by feeding suspicions that political bias motivated the investigation. Durham’s review is separate from the Department of Justice inspector general’s inquiry into the FBI Russia probe, expected to conclude in May or June.

Congressional Republicans have also announced plans to review aspects of the government’s handling of the Russia probe. At a news conference in March, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he will look into whether political bias against Trump motivated the Justice Department’s actions. He also said he would examine the FBI’s use of an anti-Trump dossier compiled by British spy Christopher Steele and whether there was any Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuse.

FBI Director Christopher Wray said last week he has no evidence the FBI illegally monitored the Trump campaign.

Durham has previously investigated corruption in the upper echelons of law enforcement, including the FBI’s relationship with Boston crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger.

Read more from The Sift Sign up for The Sift email
Harvest Prude

Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.

Read more from this writer


You must be a WORLD Member and logged in to the website to comment.
  • My Two Cents
    Posted: Tue, 05/14/2019 03:43 pm

    Investigate the investigation and the investigator to see if the investigator investigated the investigation legally.

    Meanwhile, OUR money. Please, America, vote everyone OUT. 

    Posted: Tue, 05/14/2019 05:08 pm

    I would love to vote them out, but the Dems keep voting for the same criminals. Maybe most of the votes are not by real people. During Obama's reign Hillary knew what happened. Might be why O did not want Hill as pres. I don't think she would have squealed. Dems don't rat each other out no matter what they did. It says a lot about who they are. Criminals. If Dems are so wonderful, why do they need illegals and cirminals to vote for them?

  • John Kloosterman
    Posted: Tue, 05/14/2019 07:02 pm

    "This investigation wasted so much of taxpayers money!  Let's launch another one into the first one!"

    Posted: Tue, 05/14/2019 05:09 pm

    "FBI Director has no evidence." He didn't say it didn't happen, he just said there is no evidence. Interesting.

  • OldMike
    Posted: Tue, 05/14/2019 05:18 pm

    “Democrats accused Barr of furthering partisan interests...”

    Words fail me. 

  • Big Jim
    Posted: Tue, 05/14/2019 05:57 pm

    The hunters have become the hunted. Should be entertaining watching them squirm.

  • John Kloosterman
    Posted: Tue, 05/14/2019 07:07 pm

    So this puzzles me.  Mueller did not charge Trump with anything.  Came close, I grant you, but didn't charge him. Barr had the discretion to pursue obstruction charges, and elected not to.

    Either Barr thinks the report was right in not charging Trump, or he thinks it was wrong not to charge Trump, in which case Barr has the authority to pursue legislation against the president.  So is his concern that someone manipulated the investigation to clear Trump of crimes?  Because, frankly, if the concern is that it was launched to smear Trump, then it seems to have failed at its most basic task by not bringing any charges whatsoever.

  • John Kloosterman
    Posted: Tue, 05/14/2019 07:12 pm

    I'm rather flummoxed at Republicans claiming Democrats manipulated an investigation that Trump claims completely exonerated him.  These things can't both be true.  If Democrats manipulated the investigation, the last thing it would do is exonerate the president.  Otherwise we're assuming some conspirators who are somehow clever enough to avoid detection (and infiltrate the Republican party by being chosen by Trump for his own cabinet) are nonetheless stupid enough to release a report that works against them.

  • Leeper
    Posted: Wed, 05/15/2019 09:39 am

    The point AG Barr is going to investigate is to determine if there was valid evidence to conduct the investigation President of Trump in the first place. To quote George Washington " Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains taken to bring it to light" If it was politically motivated without  valid evidence our country need to know to assure Justice is served and that it does not happen again.

  • OldMike
    Posted: Tue, 05/14/2019 08:12 pm

    Mr. Kloosterman, I think what took place were actually TWO investigations, one by Robert Mueller, authorized by Congress; and one before that involving various persons, because of accusations of unlawful conduct by the Trump Presidential Campaign  

    My view, and I think the Trump Administration holds a similar view, is that the investigation began in secret by people acting outside the scope of their official duties, and was propelled by partisan motives. And that persons in the government, who are supposed to do their jobs without regard to politics, acted improperly due to their intense desire to see Donald Trump defeated. Regardless of whether they actually discovered anything unlawful, they ignited a firestorm that led to the Mueller investigation.

    Then once Mueller was on the investigation, I don’t see Democratic or Republican manipulation. I believe Mueller is an honest man and conducted an impartial investigation as far as possible. I also believe he found nothing to charge President Trump with. (But during and since Mueller’s investigation, the Democrats have continued to insist President Trump must be guilty of something, and that Attorney General Barr must be covering it up)

    Now, Barr has authorized John Durham to go back to the beginnings of the investigation, before Mueller, to determine if the motives and actions of persons in the FBI and elsewhere did in fact break laws.

    That is how I read this affair. 

  • Hope Full
    Posted: Tue, 05/14/2019 09:37 pm

    thank you , Old Mike.


  • My Two Cents
    Posted: Wed, 05/15/2019 02:34 pm

    My head hurts.