Attorney General William Barr has heeded President Trump's call to "investigate the investigators" and assigned a prosecutor to look into the origins of the Russia investigation, sources tell the New York Times and other outlets. The sources say Barr has chosen John Durham, the top federal prosecutor in Connecticut, to conduct the inquiry. Durham—who was unanimously confirmed as the state's US attorney by the Senate in 2018—is a career prosecutor who has looked into allegations of wrongdoing by authorities under both Republican and Democratic administrations, the AP reports. During the Obama administration, Durham investigated the destruction of CIA videotapes.
Last month, Barr said he planned to investigate alleged government "spying" on the Trump campaign. He was apparently referring to the FBI's use of an informant while investigating former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos and a surveillance warrant the agency obtained on former Trump associate Carter Page, the AP reports. A source tells the Washington Post that Durham's investigation will focus on whether "intelligence collection activities" related to Trump's 2016 campaign were "lawful and appropriate." The origins of the Russia investigation are also being investigated by the Justice Department's inspector general. Congressional Republicans have said they plan to conduct their own inquiries. (Trump says special counsel Robert Mueller should not testify before Congress.)