DOJ review of Russian Federation probe now a criminal inquiry

Elias Hubbard
October 25, 2019

Attorney General William Barr has apparently begun treating a review of the Russian Federation probe's origins as a criminal investigation - sparking questions on whether President Donald Trump is using the Department of Justice to punish his enemies.

The Justice Department's Inspector General Michael Horowitz told Congress on Thursday that his report on the findings from the investigation into potential FISA abuses will be released soon.

The move gives US attorney John Durham the power to subpoena for witness testimony and documents. It's not clear when Durham's inquiry shifted to a criminal investigation.

Durham is examining what led the open a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign and the roles that various countries played in the USA probe.

The move is likely to raise alarm among Democrats that the Trump administration may be trying to use the government to investigate the president's political opponents.

This comes after Special Counsel Robert Mueller III closed the official investigation months ago. Mueller also examined 10 possible instances of obstruction of justice and has pointedly said he could not exonerate the president.

The New York Times first reported that Durham's inquiry had become a criminal investigation.

The review of the so-called "Russiagate" saga was ordered by Barr back in May, when he appointed John Durham, the United States attorney in CT, to run the investigation.

Trump, who calls the Russian Federation investigation a witch hunt and a hoax, says US officials launched the probe to undermine his chances of winning the White House, although he and his supporters have provided no evidence.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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