John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, is in the limelight after Attorney General William Barr assigned him to probe the origins of the controversial Russia investigation and surveillance on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in the 2016 U.S. Elections.
He was assigned to the task several weeks ago, media reports said.
For long Trump and House Republicans have insisted for senior Justice Department officials to appoint a investigator to look into why the president’s associates were brought under surveillance.
Trump’s demands to probe the investigators have intensified after the Mueller report into Russian meddling in 2016 was submitted last month. Mueller has said that there was “insufficient evidence” to say Trump or his advisers were actually part of a criminal conspiracy with Russia.
Durham’s investigation will be the third on the counterintelligence investigation into the Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign.
Durham is known for his previous work as special prosecutor in major cases like the FBI’s links with the mob in Boston and the alleged attempted cover-up of the CIA’s treatment of detainees.
After graduating with honors from Colgate University in 1972, Durham studied law at the University of Connecticut School of Law. He had served as a Justice Department lawyer since 1982.
From 1975 to 1977, he was a Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana.
Reports said he has an ‘apolitical reputation,’ having undertaken special investigations under both Democrats and Republican administrations. He reportedly has earned respect as a “no-nonsense, fierce and fair prosecutor.”
In February, 2018, he was sworn in as the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, an appointment made by the president, after he was recommended for the position by Connecticut’s Democratic senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy.