WASHINGTON, Oct. 25 (Reuters / EP) –
The US Department of Justice has opened a criminal investigation into the origin of the Russian interference investigation in the presidential elections in the country in 2016, a person familiar with the matter reported Thursday.
The source, who has spoken to the Reuters news agency on condition of anonymity, has refused to say if a grand jury had been gathered in the investigation.
The United States Attorney General, William Barr, launched a review earlier this year to investigate the complaints of the president of the country, Donald Trump, that his campaign was improperly attacked by intelligence agencies during the 2016 elections.
Democrats and some former police officers claim that Barr is using the Department of Justice to pursue unfounded conspiracy theories that could politically benefit the Republican president and undermine the investigation of Russian interference by former special prosecutor Robert Mueller.
As part of his investigation, Barr sought advice from Australian and British officials and visited Italy twice, where he met with intelligence agents in Rome in August and September to obtain information on the people mentioned in Mueller's report.
The investigation of the former special prosecutor showed that Moscow interfered in the 2016 elections to benefit Trump and resulted in criminal convictions of several campaign ex-advisors. However, Mueller concluded that he did not have enough evidence to establish a criminal conspiracy with Russia.
Barr chose Connecticut State Prosecutor John Durham to lead the review of whether the US intelligence and law enforcement agencies acted properly when they analyzed the possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia, something that It finally led to Mueller's investigation.
Trump, who considers the Russian interference investigation a “witch hunt,” says US officials launched an investigation to undermine his chances of winning the Presidency, although the president himself and his supporters have not provided evidence.
The New York tycoon is also dealing with an investigation for a possible impeachment led by the Democrats that focuses on a phone call that Trump had in July with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodimir Zelenski, in which he would have asked him to investigate the former vice president. American Joe Biden, one of the leading candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination to face Trump in the 2020 elections, and his son Hunter.