Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said at a hearing Wednesday that he was "surprised" that U.S. Attorney John Durham, who has been tasked by Attorney General Bill Barr with investigating the origins of the Russia probe, issued a statement on Monday disputing some of the conclusions of his report.

"I was surprised by the statement. I didn't necessarily know it was going to be released on Monday. We did meet with Mr. Durham, as I mentioned. ... We did discuss the opening issue. He said he did not necessarily agree with our conclusion about the opening of a full counterintelligence investigation, which is what this was.
"He said during the meeting that the information from the friendly foreign government was, in his view, sufficient to support the preliminary investigation. And as we note in the report, investigative steps such as confidential human source activity that occurred here are allowed under a preliminary investigation or full investigation."

Why it matters: Durham's statement that he did not agree with "some of the report's conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened" was met with criticism by many observers, who argued that it was inappropriate for a prosecutor to comment on an ongoing criminal investigation.

  • Barr defended Durham's statement in an interview with NBC, claiming, "I think it was sort of being reported by the press that the issue of predication was sort of done and over. Even though it was a very limited look at that issue by the IG ... I think it was important for people to understand that, you know, Durham's work was not being preempted."

Go deeper: Read Horowitz's opening statement

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 12,813,864 — Total deaths: 566,790 — Total recoveries — 7,046,535Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 3,286,025 — Total deaths: 135,089 — Total recoveries: 995,576 — Total tested: 39,553,395Map.
  3. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000 — Miami-Dade mayor says "it won't be long" until county's hospitals reach capacity.
  4. Public health: Ex-FDA chief projects "apex" of South's coronavirus curve in 2-3 weeks — Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table"
  5. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

11 GOP congressional nominees support QAnon conspiracy

Lauren Boebert posing in her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, on April 24. Photo: Emily Kask/AFP

At least 11 Republican congressional nominees have publicly supported or defended the QAnon conspiracy theory movement or some of its tenets — and more aligned with the movement may still find a way onto ballots this year.

Why it matters: Their progress shows how a fringe online forum built on unsubstantiated claims and flagged as a threat by the FBI is seeking a foothold in the U.S. political mainstream.

Lindsey Graham says he will ask Mueller to testify before Senate

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tweeted Sunday that he will grant Democrats' request to call former special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before his committee.

The big picture: The announcement comes on the heels of Mueller publishing an op-ed in the Washington Post that defended the Russia investigation and conviction of Roger Stone, whose sentence was commuted by President Trump on Friday.