John Durham told Barr tells inspector general he can’t back conspiracy theory that Russia case was U.S. intelligence setup

The prosecutor handpicked by Attorney General William P. Barr to scrutinize how U.S. agencies investigated President Trump’s 2016 campaign said he could not offer evidence to the Justice Department’s inspector general to support the suspicions of some conservatives that the case was a setup by American intelligence.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s office contacted U.S. Attorney John Durham, the prosecutor Barr personally tapped to lead a separate review of the 2016 probe into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia. The inspector general also contacted several U.S. intelligence agencies.

Among Horowitz’s questions: whether a Maltese professor, Joseph Mifsud, r who interacted with a Trump campaign adviser was actually a U.S. intelligence asset deployed to ensnare the campaign, the people said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the inspector general’s findings have not been made public.

But the intelligence agencies said the professor was not among their assets. And Durham informed Horowitz’s office that his investigation had not produced any evidence that might contradict the inspector general’s findings on that point.

The previously unreported interaction is noted in a draft of Horowitz’s forthcoming report on the Russia investigation, which concludes that the FBI had adequate cause to launch its Russia investigation. Its public release is set for Monday.

That could rebut conservatives’ doubts — which Barr has shared with associates in recent weeks — that Horowitz might be blessing the FBI’s Russia investigation prematurely, and that Durham could potentially find more, particularly with regard to Mifsud.

www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/barrs-handpicked-prosecutor-tells-inspector-general-he-cant-back-right-wing-theory-that-russia-case-was-us-intelligence-setup/2019/12/04/17e084dc-16a9-11ea-9110-3b34ce1d92b1_story.html