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Democrats have accused Trump of using the allegations to divert attention from the special counsel Robert Mueller's findings that Russian Federation aided Trump's 2016 campaign and that he could not exonerate the president on the question of whether he tried to impede Mueller's investigation.

"I think spying did occur", Barr told a Senate committee last month.

A former Justice Department official said Democrats should be "quite worried" about U.S. Attorney General Barr's appointment of a U.S. attorney to look into the origins of the FBI's Trump-Russia investigation. Huber, the USA attorney in Utah, is also examining aspects of the Russian Federation investigation.

Records of the FBI's investigation and sources familiar with the matter say that, while the dossier played a role, it did not prompt the FBI to open the inquiry, which was handed off in May 2017 to Mueller, who completed his probe in March.

Barr has signaled concern about the DOJ and FBI's biased surveillance of Trump associates.

The president and his supporters have long contended that the Obama administration used the intelligence community to illegally spy on the Trump campaign in 2016.

Durham, who has been with the Department of Justice since 1982, has led high-profile investigations such as a probe into the FBI's handling of informant and organized crime leader Whitey Bulger and the investigation into the CIA's destruction of videos allegedly showing torture of terrorism suspects.

The Justice Department inspector general, Michael Horowitz, is also investigating whether political bias influenced investigation decisions related to the president and his campaign.

"I am so proud of our attorney general that he is looking into it", Trump said.

Trump and other Republicans have argued that the Federal Bureau of Investigation "spied" on Trump's campaign by surveilling former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page under a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. In 1999 AG Janet Reno appointed Durham to investigate law enforcement corruption in Boston, and under AG Eric Holder Durham was selected to investigate matters relating to the destruction of videotapes by the Central Intelligence Agency and treatment of detainees by the Central Intelligence Agency. The two Democratic senators from Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal, and Chris Murphy, called him a "fierce, fair prosecutor" who knows how to try tough cases.