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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. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: McConnell temporarily halts in-person lunches for GOP caucus.
  3. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in DecemberAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  4. Education: U.S. public school enrollment drops as pandemic persists.
  5. Cities: Surge in cases forces San Francisco to impose curfew — Los Angeles County issues stay-at-home order, limits gatherings.
  6. Sports: NFL bans in-person team activities Monday, Tuesday due to COVID-19 surge — NBA announces new coronavirus protocols.
  7. World: London police arrest more than 150 during anti-lockdown protests — Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.

Tony Hsieh, longtime Zappos CEO, dies at 46

Tony Hsieh. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic

Tony Hsieh, the longtime ex-chief executive of Zappos, died on Friday after being injured in a house fire, his lawyer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He was 46.

The big picture: Hsieh was known for his unique approach to management, and following the 2008 recession his ongoing investment and efforts to revitalize the downtown Las Vegas area.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
14 hours ago - Economy & Business

The unicorn stampede is coming

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Airbnb and DoorDash plan to go public in the next few weeks, capping off a very busy year for IPOs.

What's next: You ain't seen nothing yet.