Trump applauds Barr's decision to scrutinize Russian Federation probe

Trump applauds Barr's decision to scrutinize Russian Federation probe

The Justice Department's inspector general is expected in the coming weeks to complete a probe into whether any abuses were committed when the Federal Bureau of Investigation obtained a secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant to spy on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page. Strzok was quietly removed from the Mueller probe after the discovery of his text messages with FBI lawyer Lisa Page - with whom he was having an extramarital affair - revealed revealing intense personal bias against Trump, raising concerns of a prejudiced investigation.

Barr has assigned attorney John H. Durham to investigate the origins of the Russian Federation investigation.

Trump has publicly called for investigations into the Russian Federation probe, including tweeting last month, "INVESTIGATE THE INVESTIGATORS!"

"They want to look at how the whole hoax got started", Trump said Tuesday as he departed the White House for an event in Louisiana.

During testimony before a Senate appropriations subcommittee, Wray said "spying" is "not the term I would use".

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.

"Yes, I think spying did occur", Barr repeated, adding, "but the question is whether it was predicated, adequately predicated".

The FBI officially began its investigation of the Trump campaign on July 31, 2016, after receiving information from the Australian government about George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign adviser.

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Current FBI Director Christopher Wray said last week he does not consider the FBI surveillance to be "spying" and says the agency did not break the law.

Durham, nominated as U.S. Attorney by Trump in late 2017 and confirmed in 2018, has prior experience as a special prosecutor.

Hemmer asked about another US attorney previously tasked with a similar investigation.

"We're not confirming, denying, or commenting at all on this", said Durham spokesman Thomas Carson.

In 2008, former Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey assigned Durham to investigate the CIA's destruction of videotapes which showed terrorism suspected being tortured.

Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of CT on Tuesday called Durham, who is a federal prosecutor for CT, a "talented professional. a straight-shooting serious, smart prosecutor" who is being wasted in a "politically-motivated distraction".

On Tuesday, Blumenthal said Durham was a "talented professional tasked with a very unprofessional and unbecoming mission".

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