Report: Durham expanding investigation into origins of Russia probe, making ‘excellent progress’

In April 2019, United States Attorney for Connecticut John Durham began his investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia collusion probe.

Some have expressed fear that President Donald Trump’s apparent electoral loss will spell an end to that investigation. But if a tweet from Fox News producer Jake Gibson is to be believed, then Durham is actually ramping it up.

Gibson said Monday that Durham “is expanding his team by adding additional prosecutors, and is making, ‘excellent progress,’ according to a federal law enforcement official familiar with the situation.”

Gibson’s report comes on the heels of another report from Fox News that Attorney General Bill Barr decided to make Durham a special counsel on Oct. 19.

COVID slowed investigation

The network quoted a letter that Barr sent to members of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees on Dec. 1 explaining his move.

“On May 13, 2019, I directed John Durham, U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, to investigate certain intelligence and law-enforcement activities surrounding the 2016 presidential election,” Barr said.

He continued, “Although I had expected Mr. Durham to complete his work by the summer of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as additional information he uncovered, prevented him from doing so.”

“In advance of the presidential election, I decided to appoint Mr. Durham as a Special Counsel to provide him and his team with the assurance that they could complete their work, without regard to the outcome of the election,” Barr added.

Special counsel

The attorney general’s letter noted that while acting in this capacity, Durham will exercise “the powers and authority of a Special Counsel.”

Fox News also claimed to have obtained a scope order in which Barr stressed that Durham’s authorization extends to investigating “whether any federal official, employee, or any other person or entity violated the law in connection with the intelligence, counter-intelligence, or law-enforcement activities directed at the 2016 presidential campaigns.”

This includes “individuals associated with those campaigns, and individuals associated with the administration of President Donald J. Trump, including but not limited to Crossfire Hurricane and the investigation of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III.”

As of now, Durham’s investigation has only resulted in charges against former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who pleaded guilty in August to altering an email about Trump campaign figure Carter Page.

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