(The Washington Times) The Justice Department has shifted its review of the Russia probe to a criminal investigation a person familiar with the matter said Thursday a move that is likely to raise concerns that President Donald Trump and his allies may be using the powers of the government to go after their opponents. The revelation comes as Trump is already facing scrutiny about a potential abuse of power including a House impeachment inquiry examining whether he withheld military aid in order to pressure the president of Ukraine to launch an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. The person who confirmed the criminal investigation was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. It is not clear what potential crimes are being investigated but the designation as a formal criminal investigation gives prosecutors the ability to issue subpoenas potentially empanel a grand jury and compel witnesses to give testimony and bring federal criminal charges. The Justice Department had previously considered it to be an administrative review and Attorney General William Barr appointed John Durham the U.S. attorney in Connecticut to lead the inquiry into the origins of special counsel Robert Muellers probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Its not clear when Durhams inquiry shifted to a criminal investigation.