The U.S. attorney in Connecticut, John Durham, was selected for the inquiry — he will also determine whether the FBI’s surveillance into President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential election was legal, according to The Associated Press (AP).
This follows after Barr previously said during a hearing on April 10 that he believes “spying” occurred during the campaign.
“I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal,” Barr said. “I think spying did occur.”
The U.S. attorney tapped for the inquiry would “focus on whether the government’s methods to collect intelligence relating to the Trump campaign were lawful and appropriate, is separate from an investigation by the Justice Department’s inspector general,”
He would also examine “the Russia probe’s origins and Barr has said he expects the watchdog report to be done in May or June,” according to AP. According to Fox News, sources labeled Durham a “hard-charging, bulldog” federal prosecutor.
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) applauded Barr for the apparent decision, calling Durham an “outstanding choice.” He added in the late Monday tweet that “his selection further demonstrates Bill Barr’s tenacity and determined desire to get to the truth and restore credibility at the top tier of the DOJ and FBI.”
John Durham is an outstanding choice for special prosecutor investigating 2016 pre-election activities—his selection further demonstrates Bill Barr’s tenacity and determined desire to get to the truth and restore credibility at the top tier of the DOJ and FBI.
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) May 14, 2019
Republican leaders, including Vice President Mike Pence and the president, have previously called for an investigation into the starting of the Russia probe.
As IJR Red reported, Trump told Fox News in early May that Congress must figure out how “this mess” started.
“We’ve got to get to the bottom of how all this started,” Pence mirrored Trump on Fox News. “The American people have a right to know how this investigation even began.”
“We really need to get to the bottom of how this all began. And if there was a violation of the rules, if the law was broken, the people that were responsible need to be held accountable,” he added.