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Attorney General Bill Barr. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Attorney General Bill Barr was "surprised and angry" to find that President Trump had grouped him together with his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani during a controversial July 25 phone call with the president of Ukraine, a source "familiar with Barr's thinking" tells the AP.

Between the lines: The anonymous leak to the AP suggests a possible effort by Barr to distance himself from the Ukraine scandal that ignited a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump last week. The whistleblower complaint at the heart of the scandal alleges that Trump solicited foreign interference in the 2020 election by asking Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden, and that both Giuliani and Barr appeared to be involved.

  • "I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call and I am also going to have Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it," Trump told Zelensky, according to a summary of the call released by the White House.
  • Justice Department officials say Barr was not aware of the phone call until mid-August. The acting director of national intelligence referred the whistleblower complaint as a possible violation of campaign finance law, but the Justice Department declined to open an investigation.

What to watch: Democrats have called on Barr to recuse himself from all matters related to the Ukraine investigation, since he is named in the whistleblower complaint and may have been involved in the administration's efforts to stop it from being turned over to Congress.

  • Giuliani and Barr are likely to face scrutiny from the House Intelligence Committee, which has already subpoenaed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and scheduled a series of depositions and hearings next week as its impeachment investigation moves full steam ahead.

Go deeper: Whistleblower alleges Trump abused office to solicit foreign interference

Go deeper

DOJ watchdog to probe whether officials sought to alter election results

Former President Donald Trump and former First Lady Melania Trump exit Air Force One in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Jan. 20. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

The Justice Department's inspector general will investigate whether any current or former DOJ officials "engaged in an improper attempt to have DOJ seek to alter the outcome" of the 2020 election, the agency announced Monday.

Driving the news: The investigation comes in the wake of a New York Times report that alleged that Jeffrey Clark, the head of DOJ's civil division, had plotted with President Trump to oust acting Attorney General Jeffery Rosen in a scheme to overturn the election results in Georgia.

2 hours ago - Podcasts

Google's chief health officer Karen DeSalvo on vaccinating America

Google on Monday became the latest Big Tech company to get involved with COVID-19 vaccinations. Not just by doing things like incorporating vaccination sites into its maps, but by helping to turn some of its offices and parking lots into vaccination sites.

Axios Re:Cap goes deeper into what Google is doing, and why now, with Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Google's chief health officer who previously worked at HHS and as health commissioner for New Orleans.

Biden signs order overturning Trump's transgender military ban

Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

President Biden signed an executive order on Monday overturning the Trump administration's ban on transgender Americans serving in the military.

Why it matters: The ban, which allowed the military to bar openly transgender recruits and discharge people for not living as their sex assigned at birth, affected up to 15,000 service members, according to tallies from the National Center for Transgender Equality and Transgender American Veterans Association.