11:44 GMT +310 December 2019
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    US Justice Department to Question CIA on Probe Into Russia's Alleged Election Meddling - Reports

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The US Justice Department intends to question top officials from the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) about the origins of the investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, the New York Times newspaper reported on Thursday, citing unnamed sources.

    According to the outlet, the Justice Department will "take a critical look" at the CIA's investigation and interview at least one senior counterintelligence official and one senior analyst, both of whom were involved in looking into alleged Russian interference in the US vote.

    Some of the CIA officers whom the Justice Department wants to question have already been interviewed by the Senate Intelligence Committee and it found no violations in their work.

    While the CIA has not received any official request, law enforcement officials have reportedly told intelligence officials that US Attorney in Connecticut John Durham wants to conduct the interviews. He has been assigned to do it by Barr, who will, on his part, oversee the process of reviewing the counterintelligence investigation. Barr wants to learn how the CIA has come to the conclusion that Russia attempted to sabotage the 2016 election and to know more about the CIA's sources and contacts with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

    CIA is reportedly concerned over the planned interviews, although the review by the Justice Department is not a criminal inquiry.

    Meanwhile, CIA Director Gina Haspel has reportedly told the Justice Department that her agency is ready to cooperate, although she will still seek to protect "critical pieces of intelligence."

    While carrying out the review, the Justice Department will not only look into the activities of the CIA but also study the work of the FBI, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and some other bodies.

    US Special Counsel Robert Mueller released in April a report, summarising his two-year investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and the campaign team of US President Donald Trump, which both sides refuted. The report showed no evidence of this collusion. Moreover, US Attorney General William Barr concluded that Mueller's evidence failed to establish that Trump had committed an obstruction-of-justice offence.

    election meddling, CIA, US Justice Department, U.S
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