14:31 GMT05 August 2020
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    Attorney General William Barr has reportedly assigned a federal prosecutor in Connecticut to evaluate the origins of the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election and ties between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

    John H. Durham, US attorney in Connecticut, has been tapped by Barr to examine special counsel Robert Mueller's probe's inception, the New York Times reported, citing two people familiar with the matter. John W. Huber, the United States attorney in Utah, is also examining aspects of the investigation, the Times reported.

    The newspaper noted that the inquiry is the third publicly known investigation focused on the FBI's counterintelligence probe of the Trump campaign. 

    READ MORE: Trump Denies Reports Alleging He Wanted to Fire Mueller, Slams Ex-WH Counsel

    Durham was nominated by Trump in 2017 and has served as a lawyer within the Justice Department for nearly 40 years, according to the Times. He has a history of performing special investigations — in 2008 he was assigned by Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey to conduct a probe of the Central Intelligence Agency over the destruction of videotapes that showed terrorism suspects being tortured.

    Durham's new assignment comes just weeks after the US Justice Department’s release in mid-April of the redacted version of the long-awaited report summarizing the outcome of the investigation into allegations of Trump-Russia collusion and Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 US election. According to the document, the investigation did not find any evidence of collusion between Russia and Trump's campaign team.

    Russia has repeatedly denied any claims of interference in the US political system, saying the allegations were made up to excuse the election loss of Trump's opponent and deflect public attention from actual instances of election fraud and corruption.


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