- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 17, 2020

Senate Judiciary Democrats on Thursday called on the Justice Department inspector general to investigate whether a probe by U.S. Attorney John Durham into the early stages of the Russia probe has been tainted by political interference.

All 10 Democrats on the panel signed a letter to Inspector General Micheal E. Horowitz saying they are concerned about comments by Trump administration officials regarding the investigation. They say that violates a long-standing Justice Department policy of not publicly commenting on pending investigations.

The letter also comes after reports that Mr. Durham’s top deputy resigned due to concerns that he is being pressured by Attorney General William P. Barr to produce a report before the 2020 presidential election.

“Recent actions suggest that the Durham investigation is being misused for partisan political purposes and undermine the legitimacy of any investigative steps Mr. Durham takes,” the Democrats wrote in a letter to Mr. Horowitz. “In addition, it remains unclear what rules and authority permit the public release of a ‘report’ by U.S. Attorney Durham, raising additional concerns about the legitimacy of his appointment and work.”

The Democrats said Mr. Horowitz needs to get to the bottom of whether the Durham probe is operating “consistent with Department rules.”

Nora Dannehy, a top prosecutor working alongside Mr. Durham, abruptly resigned. The Hartford Courant, which first reported Ms. Dannehy’s departure, cited colleagues who said that she was stepping down, in part, due to concerns of political pressure to deliver a report before the presidential election.

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