John Henry Durham is an American lawyer who served as the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut (D. Conn.) from 2018 to 2021. By April 2019, the Trump administration assigned him to investigate the origins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections, and in October 2020 he was appointed special counsel for the Department of Justice on that matter.
He previously served as an assistant U.S. attorney in various positions in D.C. for 35 years. He is known for his role as special prosecutor in the 2005 destruction of interrogation tapes created by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), during which he decided not to file any criminal charges related to the destruction of tapes of torture at a CIA facility.
By April 2019, U.S. Attorney General William Barr had tasked Durham with overseeing a review of the origins of the Russia investigation and to determine if intelligence collection involving the Trump campaign was "lawful and appropriate". Barr disclosed in December 2020 that he had elevated Durham's status to special counsel in October 2020, ensuring that the Durham special counsel investigation could continue after the Trump administration ended. After 31⁄2 years of investigation and prosecutions, Durham had secured one guilty plea and a probation sentence for a charge unrelated to the origins of the Russia investigation, and two unsuccessful trial prosecutions. Durham alleged at the two trials that the FBI had been deceived by the defendants.