The investigation by special counsel John Durham into the origins of the FBI’s Russia–Trump investigation—Crossfire Hurricane—has now been active for more than two years.
Appointed by Attorney General William Barr following the completion of Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation, Durham immediately began his work in the spring of 2019.
The announcement of Durham’s appointment was received with much publicity, but conservatives’ hopes for a thorough investigation—with charges for those who had surveilled the Trump campaign—have slowly faded over time.
Barr initially indicated that Durham’s investigation would be completed by the summer of 2020, but as the presidential election loomed closer, it became apparent that the findings of Durham’s probe wouldn’t not be released until at least 2021.
Just before the 2020 election, Barr appointed Durham as a special counsel, a move designed to thwart potential pushback from a new administration.
And while interest and speculation continue to surround Durham’s investigation, few details have been made public. Here, we provide an overview of what we know to date.
The Beginnings of the Durham Investigation
Durham, then-U.S. attorney for Connecticut, was appointed by Barr to look at the factual disconnect between the FBI’s official narrative on the opening of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation into the Trump campaign and the actual underlying evidence.
Durham’s investigation may have begun sooner than many people are aware. Notably, just three days after Mueller had concluded his investigation on March 22, 2019, Barr and his closest advisers met personally with Durham. Then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was not included in these meetings.
The next month, on April 9 and 10, 2019, Barr testified before Congress that he was reviewing the FBI’s Russia–Trump investigation. Three days later, it was reported by CNN that “a senior Barr aide arranged for Durham to meet with Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz,” who at the time was investigating the FBI and Justice Department’s (DOJ’s) handling of FISA warrants used in Crossfire Hurricane.