The Department of Justice is opening a criminal investigation into its own Russia probe. A new report from The New York Times said officials have shifted the Russia investigation overseen by Attorney General Barr from an “administrative review” into a criminal investigation.
The move gives U.S. attorney John Durham the power to subpoena witnesses and documents. DOJ rules state that a criminal inquiry can only be undertaken after finding a “reasonable indication” of wrongdoing.
This comes after the leak revealing that Adam Schiff thinks that his latest witness in the impeachment inquiry investigation is the “smoking gun” that will end Trump’s presidency.
That said, the intent of the DOJ investigation will be to uncover the origin of the Russia probe, but it is not clear what potential crime Durham is investigating or what prompted the inquiry.
Moreover, this comes after Special Counsel Robert Mueller III closed the official investigation months ago. After the report was made public, we learned that the whole thing was a hoax to undermine a duly elected president.
It isn’t clear what the IG investigation contain, but IG Michael Horowitz says it is a matter of “national security,” NewsMax wrote earlier today.
“In a letter to congressional leaders first reported by Fox News, Inspector General Michael Horowitz said the lengthy draft report concerns sensitive national security and law enforcement matters.”
The move is all but certain to fuel fresh suspicion among Democrats that Attorney General William Barr is providing political cover to President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly disparaged former special counsel Robert Mueller’s two-year investigation into the Kremlin’s intervention in the 2016 election as a “witch hunt.”
Barr launched the inquiry in April into whether federal investigators abused their surveillance authority as they sought to understand Russia’s interference during the 2016 presidential campaign.