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AP source: Barr opens a second investigation of Russia probe

AP  |  Washington 

General has appointed a US to examine the origins of the investigation and determine if intelligence collection involving the Trump campaign was "lawful and appropriate," a person familiar with the matter told on Monday.

Barr appointed John Durham, the US in Connecticut, to conduct the inquiry, the person said. The person could not discuss the matter publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

Durham's appointment comes about a month after Barr told members of he believed "spying did occur" on the Trump campaign in 2016. He later said he didn't mean anything pejorative and was gathering a team to look into the origins of the special counsel's investigation.

Barr provided no details about what "spying" may have taken place but appeared to be alluding to a surveillance warrant the FBI obtained on a former Trump associate, Carter Page, and the FBI's use of an informant while the bureau was investigating former Trump campaign foreign policy

Trump and his supporters have seized on both to accuse the Justice Department and the FBI of unlawfully spying on his campaign.

The inquiry, which will focus on whether the government's methods to collect intelligence relating to the Trump campaign were lawful and appropriate, is separate from an investigation by the Justice Department's general. The agency's watchdog is also examining the probe's origins and Barr has said he expects the watchdog report to be done in May or June.

Congressional Republicans have also indicated they intend to examine how the investigation that shadowed Trump's presidency for nearly two years began and whether there are any legal concerns.

The recently concluded investigation from did not find a criminal conspiracy between the campaign and the Kremlin to tip the outcome of the 2016

Durham is a who was nominated for his post as US attorney in by Trump. He has previously investigated law enforcement corruption, the destruction of CIA videotapes and the Boston FBI office's relationship with mobsters.

In nominating him, the said Durham and other nominees for US attorney jobs share Trump's vision for "making safe again." Durham was unanimously confirmed by the in 2018.

At the time, Connecticut's two Democratic senators, and Chris Murphy, called Durham a "fierce, fair prosecutor" who knows how to try tough cases. In addition to conducting the inquiry, Durham will continue to serve as the in

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 14 2019. 15:11 IST