WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has shifted its review of the Russia investigation to a formal criminal inquiry.
That’s according to a person familiar with the investigation who spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday. The person wasn’t authorized to discuss the ongoing matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The move is likely to raise alarm among Democrats that the Trump administration may be trying to use the government to investigate the president’s political opponents.
It’s unclear what potential crimes are being investigated. But the move gives prosecutors the ability to issue subpoenas and potentially empanel a grand jury.
DOJ had previously considered it to be an administrative review, and it’s unclear when the probe transitioned to a criminal investigation.
Trump has repeatedly railed against special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.