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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

1 hour ago - Health

Black churches become vaccine hubs

A woman arrives at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic outside the Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church in southeast D.C. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Black pastors have a new job on their plates during COVID-19: encouraging skeptical congregants to get vaccinated.

Why it matters: “There’s distrust in our community. We can’t ignore that,” Rev. James Coleman of D.C.'s All Nations Baptist told AP.

Biden names USPS board of governors nominees, as Democrats put pressure on DeJoy

United States Postal Service Postmaster General Louis DeJoy at a Feb. 24 committee hearing. Photo: Graeme Jennings/pool/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Wednesday nominated a former postal union lawyer, a vote-by-mail advocate, and a former deputy postmaster general to sit on the Postal Services' Board of Governors.

Why it matters: The nominations, which require Senate confirmation, come as some Democrats call for Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's ouster and others push for Biden to nominate board members to name a new postmaster general.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Updated 2 hours ago - Sports

Tiger Woods crash: What we know

Photo: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Tiger Woods underwent emergency surgery to repair damage to his right leg and ankle, after he was involved in a single-vehicle accident on Tuesday in which his SUV ran off the road.

What we know: The golf star "is currently awake, responsive and recovering in his hospital room" at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, according to a late-night statement from his team.