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Justice Department review into origins of Russia probe turns into criminal investigation
The review had been administrative, but the probe into the origins of the Russia probe is now a criminal investigation.
By Julia Ainsley and Phil Helsel, NBC News, Oct. 24, 2019, 8:53 PM EDT
A probe by Attorney General William Barr into the origins of the Russia investigation has turned changed from an administrative review into a criminal investigation, a person familiar with the review confirmed to NBC News.
The review is being conducted by Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham. The New York Times first reported Thursday that the administrative review has turned into a criminal investigation.
It’s not clear when the change occurred, but the probe began in May as an administrative review.
The Times reported that the change in status gives Durham the power to subpoena witness testimony and documents, to impanel a grand jury and to file criminal charges.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly called the Russia investigation conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller a “witch hunt.”
Republicans have suggested the investigation stemmed from a plot by members of the Obama Administration and career intelligence officials, in what they call the “Deep State,” to undermine Trump.
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