As the impeachment proceedings continue into President Donald Trump, Attorney General William Barr is hard at work on trying to discredit the Russia investigation and potentially prosecute federal officials involved in it, as U.S. Attorney John Durham helps him conduct a criminal probe into how the FBI began looking at the Trump campaign.
But if Barr is hoping that this investigation helps his boss, he may be in for a disappointment. According to the conservative Washington Examiner, Durham recently interviewed the former Australian diplomat whose warnings to U.S. officials triggered the Russia investigation, and his response did not support the GOP narrative.
"Alexander Downer, who was Australia's high commissioner to the United Kingdom up until last year, met with Durham's team last month in London and is said to have told investigators he was not part of a conspiratorial plot to undermine Trump, according to the Australian," wrote Daniel Chaitin and Jerry Dunleavy for the Examiner.
Trump and his allies have long accused the Russia investigation of having been a hatchet job set up by Obama administration officials as part of a so-called "deep state" plot to prevent him from becoming president. To date, no evidence has emerged of this.
The FBI investigation was ultimately handed off to former special counsel Robert Mueller, whose report did not find sufficient evidence to charge a criminal conspiracy between the Trump team and Russia, but also concluded members of Trump's campaign were eager to accept Russian assistance, and highlighted ten potential episodes in which the president committed obstruction of justice.