A U.S. attorney has been appointed by Attorney General William Barr to examine the origins of the Russia investigation to determine if the intelligence collection efforts targeting the Trump campaign were “lawful and appropriate.”
Barr intends to flip the script on Democrats with the selection of John Durham, the Connecticut attorney who will conduct the investigation. Durham is known as a “hard-charging, bulldog” prosecutor and his appointment becomes a powerful chess move as the Trump admin pushes for answers as to why federal authorities conducted surveillance on them as well as aiming to uncover the potential truth that Democrats were in fact the ones who improperly colluded with foreign governments.
Sources close to the matter have said that the primary focus of the probe revolves around the pre-transition period – prior to November 7th 2016 – including the use and initiation of informants along with Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuses. A U.S intelligence informant posing as a Cambridge University research assistant in September 2016 attempted to extract any possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign from then Trump foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos.
Durham has an impressive resume, having previously investigated law enforcement corruption, the destruction of CIA videotapes and the Boston FBI office’s relationship with mobsters. His appointment to this investigation comes roughly a month after Barr said that he believed “spying did occur” on the Trump campaign In 2016. He then went on to say he was assembling a team to look into the origins of the special counsel’s investigation.
Following the release of the Mueller report which showed that Trump and his campaign did not collude with Russia, Barr has been made a punching bag for a clearly frustrated Democratic party. Mueller’s final report has led to yet another battle in D.C. lost by the Dems as they continue to whine about the number of redactions in the report, which the DOJ says are necessary as they pertain to grand jury matters.
The FBI used a heavily disputed Washington Post opinion piece word for word that falsely accused the Trump campaign of being compromised in order to obtain a secret FISA warrant to spy on Trump aide Carter Page. Additionally, the FBI assured the court multiple times that it “did not believe” former British spy Christoper Steele was the source for a Yahoo News article implicating the Trump aide in Russian collusion.
London court records, however, tell a different story. The records indicate that Steele briefed Yahoo News and a number of other reporters under the order of Fusion GPS, the same research firm behind the dossier. A little piece of information the FBI left out of the FISA app was that Fusion GPS was retained by Hillary Clinton and the DNC at the time.
Not to mention, earlier this year internal FBI messages showing a senior DOJ official bringing up concerns regarding bias in a key FISA warrant, but that didn’t stop the FBI. “There’s a document that’s classified that I’m gonna try to get unclassified that takes the dossier — all the pages of it — and it has verification to one side,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” this weekend. “There really is no verification, other than media reports that were generated by reporters that received the dossier.”
Graham specifically cited a report by The Hill’s John Soloman which states that the FBI was expressly told that Steele, their confidential informant, had admitted to a contact at the State Department that he was “keen” on leaking his discredited dossier in order to influence the 2016 election.