Attorney General William Barr said Tuesday he has designated U.S. attorney John Durham as special counsel to continue his investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe.
Barr announced the decision in an interview with the Associated Press.
The move seemingly adds an additional layer of protection to Durham’s investigation, which began as an inquiry in April 2019 into the FBI and CIA’s Trump-related intelligence activities.
President-elect Joe Biden has not said whether he would allow Durham’s investigation to continue, but the probe is looking at activities that occurred during the Obama-Biden administration.
Barr told the AP that he appointed Durham special counsel using the same legal statute that created the special counsel’s probe led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller.
“I decided the best thing to do would be to appoint them under the same regulation that covered Bob Mueller, to provide Durham and his team some assurance that they’d be able to complete their work regardless of the outcome of the election.”
According to the AP, Barr signed the order granting Durham the power of a special counsel on Oct. 19.
Barr told the AP that Durham’s investigation is “focused on the activities of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation within the FBI.”
The FBI opened Crossfire Hurricane on July 31, 2016.
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