Attorney General William Barr has announced that he has appointed
U.S. Attorney John Durham to begin investigating the origins of the Russia probe and into any potential wrongdoing by members of the FBI or Department of Justice officials.
Former FBI Director James Comey is no fan of the decision and took to Twitter to express his frustrations over the new probe where he also accused Barr of “sliming” his office.
“The AG should stop sliming his own Department,” the former FBI director tweeted. “If there are bad facts, show us, or search for them professionally and then tell us what you found. An AG must act like the leader of the Department of Justice, an organization based on truth. Donald Trump has enough spokespeople.”
The attorney general initially announced the new probe into the start of the Russia investigation after Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded his investigation into Russian interference, clearing President Trump of wrongdoing.
Barr, speaking with the Wall Street Journal on Friday, said he chose Durham because he is “tenacious” and “fair and evenhanded,” the Washington Examiner reports.
“I was looking for someone who is tenacious, who is used to looking at sensitive material involving government activities, who has a reputation for being fair and evenhanded,” Barr said.
Barr explained why he thought it was important to task someone with rooting out the story behind the counterintelligence investigation into President Trump’s 2016 campaign. “Government power was used to spy on American citizens,” he said. “I can’t imagine any world where we wouldn’t take a look and make sure that was done properly.”
Democrats have criticized Barr for saying “spying” occurred on the Trump campaign, but the attorney general has defended its usage, telling the Senate Judiciary Committee this month that “it’s a good English word.”
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A source told Fox News that Durham has been reviewing the origin of the Russia investigation “for weeks,” which would coincide with the end of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference. The counterintelligence investigation into Trump’s campaign was wrapped into that investigation when it began in May 2017.
Though Durham is a Republican, he earned rave reviews from both of Connecticut’s Democratic senators, who urged Trump to appoint him to be a U.S. attorney for their state.
“John Durham has earned immense respect as a no-nonsense, fierce and fair prosecutor, and we are pleased that the White House has agreed with our recommendation that he serve as United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut,” Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy said in 2017. “John Durham has proven himself time and time again in some of the most challenging and sensitive cases.”
The two Democrats then celebrated Durham’s confirmation in early 2018, saying: “He knows how to try tough cases, having taken on organized crime and government corruption. He will be an outstanding U.S. Attorney.”
Some people online claimed Comey may be worried Barr and Durham might unearth criminal activity that happened under Comey’s watch—or worse, an activity he directed or was aware of: