What began as an administrative review by the Justice Department into the origins of Russiagate has “shifted” to a criminal inquiry, according to the New York Times, citing two people familiar with the matter.
The move will allow prosecutor John H Durham the power to subpoena documents and witnesses, to impanel a grand jury, and to file criminal charges. Durham’s progress has been closely monitored by Attorney General William Barr, who appointed the veteran investigator in May, tasking him with looking into FBI and CIA intelligence gathering operations surrounding the 2016 US election.
As the Daily Caller‘s Chuck Ross notes, Barr said on April 10 that he believed “spying” had taken place against the Trump campaign, and that he doesn’t buy former FBI officials’ version of how the collusion investigation began.
Little is known about Durham’s activities so far in the investigation. The Times report said it is unclear when the investigation took on a criminal element, or what specific crime Durham is investigating.
Durham accompanied Barr to Italy late in September as part of an inquiry into U.S. intelligence agents’ activities there during the 2016 campaign. They also inquired about Joseph Mifsud, a mysterious Maltese professor who established contact with Trump aide George Papadopoulos in 2016. –Daily Caller