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Trump signs memo allowing Durham to use classified Russia evidence in grand jury probe

U.S. attorney John Durham, who had been conducting the investigation, was named as a special counsel in the probe in October.

Updated: December 22, 2020 - 10:06pm

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Classified information may be utilized in the probe scrutinizing the origins of the FBI investigation related to the 2016 presidential campaign, according to a presidential order from President Trump.

U.S. attorney John Durham, who had been conducting the investigation, was named as a special counsel in the probe in October.

"The Attorney General is currently conducting a review of intelligence activities relating to the campaigns in the 2016 Presidential election and certain related matters," the memo states. "On May 13, 2019, the Attorney General directed John Durham to conduct that review, which subsequently developed into a criminal investigation. On October 19, 2020, the Attorney General appointed Mr. Durham to conduct that investigation pursuant to the powers and independence afforded by the Special Counsel regulations of the Department of Justice."

"In a memorandum of May 23, 2019, I directed the heads of elements of the intelligence community, as defined in 50 U.S.C. 3003(4), and the heads of each department or agency that includes an element of the intelligence community, to assist the Attorney General in connection with that review, and authorized the Attorney General to declassify, downgrade, or direct the declassification or downgrading of information or intelligence that relates to his review. In addition, the Attorney General is authorized to use classified information as he deems necessary in connection with his review, including in a grand jury or other proceeding," the memo says.

Barr will depart from his post as attorney general later this week.

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