Nora Dannehy, who had been working with Connecticut U.S. attorney John Durham on the investigation, has left the department, according to spokesman Tom Carson, who did not elaborate on the reason for her departure.
Earlier on Friday the Hartford Courant reported that Dannehy, an associate of Durham for decades, resigned in part over concerns the investigative team was being pressured to produce a report before its work was done for political reasons.
Durham recruited Dannehy to join his team after he was tapped by U.S. Attorney General William Barr last year to oversee the investigation, the Hartford Courant reported.
Barr has said he may seek to release some of Durham’s findings before the Nov. 3 election, raising concerns among Democrats the move may be aimed at influencing voters in Trump’s favor.
Democratic Representative Adam Schiff, the House Intelligence Committee chairman, said releasing findings before Nov. 3 would violate a Justice Department policy against making any moves that could impact an election.
“The Durham investigation was political from the start,” Schiff wrote on Twitter after Dannehy’s resignation was reported. “No wonder career prosecutors are resigning.”
Last month former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith became the first person criminally charged as part of Durham’s investigation, pleading guilty to falsifying an email used by the FBI in 2017 to renew its application for a secret wiretap to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz uncovered the doctored email and in December released a scathing report documenting 17 “basic and fundamental” errors and omissions in FBI surveillance warrant applications. reporting by Mark Hosenball in Washington and Nathan Layne in Wilton, Connecticut; editing by Grant McCool