John Durham Under Pressure to Disclose Details of Trump Criminal Probe

Special Counsel John Durham is facing pressure to reveal details of a reported criminal probe that is said to have arisen from a tip from a foreign government about suspected financial crimes linked to former President Donald Trump.

In 2019, Durham began investigating the origins of a probe into potential connections between Russia and the Trump 2016 presidential campaign, with the encouragement of then Attorney General William Barr.

Barr appointed him special counsel and the two reportedly traveled together to Italy in the fall of that year where Italian officials were said to have given them an unexpected tip about suspicious financial dealings relating to Trump.

The New York Times reported on the Italian tip on Thursday as part of the newspaper's investigation into the Durham probe and said that Barr and Durham considered the matter too serious to ignore.

Rather than hand the matter over to another prosecutor, Durham investigated and was granted criminal prosecutorial powers by Barr for the first time over the course of his probe, the report said.

However, no charges were brought and the details of that investigation and the supposed Italian tipoff have not been made public. Since The New York Times' article, calls have grown for more information to be made public.

"Barr and Durham are being mocked as incompetent doofuses, yet they actually seem to have quite ably and successfully buried that tip from the Italian government about Trump criminality, so their cover-up project was not a failure," tweeted David Frum of The Atlantic.

Writer Melissa J. Peltier responded to Frum, asking: "Why can't our IC [Intelligence Community] ask the Italians?"

Mueller, She Wrote, a popular Twitter account focused on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation and other Trump probes, tweeted: "As special counsel, DURHAM owes us a declination memo for the Trump crime he investigated."

MSNBC legal analyst Jill Wine-Banks wrote: "Even more troubling than Barr and Durham frequently having drinks and discussing the investigation is the fact that the only crime they discovered on their foreign trip was Italian intel about crimes by Trump. I want to know the status of that investigation!"

Other social media users expressed similar sentiments, with actor and producer Steven Pasquale tweeting: "So Durham found evidence of Trump crimes, and didn't bring charges. What happens now? They are crimes are they not? Where are the charges?"

Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti wrote: "The Justice Department received a tip from Italian officials regarding suspicious financial dealings related to then-President Trump.

"Barr didn't say anything about this to the public, assigning the matter to John Durham, who brought no charges."

Democratic strategist Adam Parkhomenko tweeted: "How much of this Barr/Durham crap is Merrick Garland learning about from the New York Times today?

"And when is the Trump-Italy investigation restarting with a more ethical investigator than Durham?"

Liz Harrington, a spokesperson for Trump, told Newsweek in a statement on Saturday: "As one of the biggest purveyors of the Russia Hoax, it is unsurprising the failing New York Times continues to print propaganda, rather than the truth about the biggest political scandal in American history, the illegal spying on President Trump's campaign."

Newsweek has contacted the Department of Justice for comment.

Special Counsel John Durham in Washington, D.C.
Special Counsel John Durham, who then-United States Attorney General William Barr appointed in 2019 after the release of the Mueller report to probe the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation, arrives for his trial at the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on May 17, 2022 in Washington, DC. Durham is facing calls to reveal details of a criminal probe of former President Donald Trump. Ron Sachs/Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images