Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said Wednesday he was surprised that U.S. Attorney John Durham issued a statement disputing his conclusions on the FBI’s probe of the Trump campaign.
“I was surprised by the statement,” Mr. Horowitz said in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I didn’t know it was going to be released Monday.”
On Monday, Mr. Horowitz issued a 400-page report concluding the FBI was justified in opening an investigation into alleged links between the Trump campaign and Russia. However, Mr. Horowitz also said the FBI bungled the probe with errors, omissions and inaccuracies in a court application to surveil a Trump campaign figure.
Mr. Durham, who is running a parallel investigation into the origins of the FBI’s Russia probe, said he disagreed with the inspector general’s conclusion that the FBI had enough evidence to launch the investigation.
“Based on the evidence collected to date, and while our investigation is ongoing, last month we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened,” Mr. Durham said in a statement.
Mr. Durham also noted that he had culled evidence from individuals both “in the U.S. and outside the U.S.,” highlighting the limits of the inspector general’s investigation.
Testifying Wednesday, Mr. Horowitz said neither Mr. Durham nor Attorney General William P. Barr provided any evidence to challenge his finding that the FBI was right to open the investigation.
“We stand by our finding,” he said.
When pressed by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island Democrat, Mr. Horowitz said he has “no idea” what information Mr. Durham has that would differ from his conclusions. He said he does not know what evidence Mr. Durham has seen that was provided to the inspector general’s team.