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As the nation is preoccupied with the unprecedented emergency brought on by the Wuhan virus COVID-19, the Justice Department probe into the origins of the Russia investigation steams ahead.
Led by U.S. Attorney John Durham, who is investigating the investigators behind the whole Russian collusion hoax, the probe is ongoing and Durham has even expanded his team in recent weeks.
Citing sources familiar with the criminal investigation, CNN reported Durham has added to his team of investigators in Connecticut and Washington.
Additional members selected reportedly include FBI agents and Anthony Scarpelli, chief of the Violent Crimes and Narcotics Trafficking Section in the U.S. Attorney’s office in DC.
Pandemic or not, Durham and his team have been requesting witness information.
More from CNN:
Amid the pandemic, Durham and a team of prosecutors and investigators have continued their work, even requesting witness information after the country largely shut down in March because of coronavirus restrictions, according to people briefed on the investigation. Leading up to the lockdown, Durham’s team had spent many days a month reviewing classified intelligence inside a special facility for reviewing classified documents known as a SCIF.
The probe’s focus, according to the network, shifted “toward decisions made by top officials overseeing the intelligence analysis of Russian election interference efforts in 2016, and particularly the leadership of then-CIA director John Brennan and then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.”
At the center of the efforts to spy on President Trump’s campaign are alleged FISA abuses and the Russian dossier from ex-British spy Christopher Steele, which was paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign — a fact that was concealed from the FISA courts.
Here’s more from the Washington Examiner on Durham’s team:
Few details are publicly known about the composition of Durham’s team, although it is known that he selected Sarah Karwan, who has been with the Connecticut federal office since 2007, to serve as the chief of the Criminal Division in the U.S. attorney’s office back in January.
The New York Times reported in October that two former senior FBI agents were assisting Durham, including John Eckenrode, who assisted then-special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in the Valerie Plame affair in the early 2000s. Nora Dannehy, a veteran prosecutor in Durham’s Connecticut office, is also reportedly a member of Durham’s team.
Attorney General Bill Barr said in a radio interview with Hugh Hewitt that he has been “very troubled” by findings Durham has presented to him so far.
“I wouldn’t use the word shocked,” Barr said. “I’m very troubled by it, but you know, I think the reason that we have this investigation is because there are a lot of things that are unexplained. And I think we’re getting deeply into the situation, and we’ll be able to sort out exactly what happened.”
As for when the country may see results from Durham’s investigation, Barr did not see the upcoming election as a deterrent.
Justice Department guidelines dictate that investigations are not brought to a close near an election, or that candidates or those close to candidates aren’ indicted within a certain number of days before an election.
“You don’t indict candidates or perhaps someone that’s sufficiently close to a candidate, that it’s essentially the same, you know, within a certain number of days before an election,” he said. “But you know, as I say, I don’t think any of the people whose actions are under review by Durham fall into that category.”
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