U.S. Officials Investigate Allegations Against Trump in Italy
Two top U.S. officials embarked on a journey to Italy to delve into a tip regarding former President Donald Trump, according to special counsel John Durham. During a hearing in Washington, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) questioned Durham about the trip and whether any investigative steps were taken. Durham revealed that subpoenas were issued, but ultimately, the investigation yielded no results.
Exploring Suspicious Financial Dealings
According to an anonymously sourced news report, Durham and Attorney General William Barr traveled to Italy in 2019 to investigate claims of “suspicious financial dealings” related to Trump. Durham confirmed that the trip was indeed connected to the former president. He explained that they were pursuing leads involving a mysterious professor linked to George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign adviser.
A Mysterious European Connection
Papadopoulos had allegedly mentioned this professor to an Australian diplomat, suggesting that Russia could anonymously release damaging information about Hillary Clinton. The FBI launched an investigation based on this claim. Durham stated that there was reason to believe the professor was in Italy or had been there. Barr accompanied Durham on the trip because Italian authorities preferred to deal with someone at a higher level.
When Rep. Glenn Ivey (D-Md.) questioned the attorney general’s presence on the trip, Durham clarified that Barr did not interview any witnesses. Instead, he introduced Durham to the Italian authorities to facilitate cooperation in locating a specific witness. This arrangement was in accordance with the Italian authorities’ wishes.
FBI’s Departure from Established Policies
Durham’s testimony came after he released a report highlighting significant deviations from established policies by the FBI during its investigations into Papadopoulos and other Trump campaign officials. The FBI relied on flimsy allegations without properly verifying the information, much of which originated from a group funded by the Clinton campaign. The Department of Justice inspector general had previously found “significant errors or omissions” in the FBI’s applications to spy on Carter Page, another Trump campaign associate.
The FBI claims to have implemented policy changes to prevent similar missteps in the future. The Durham report serves as a crucial piece of the puzzle in understanding the events surrounding the Trump campaign and the investigations that followed.
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