Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo by Damien Meyer/AFP/Getty Images

Last fall we reported that tech entrepreneur Zain Jaffer was arrested on a variety of awful charges, including sexual assault of his own child. He was immediately put on leave as CEO of mobile video ad company Vungle and the legal process began its slow roll toward justice.

But, in this case, justice is total exoneration.

A judge yesterday dismissed all charges at the request of San Mateo County D.A. Steve Wagstaffe, who tells Axios:

  • Jaffer was taking two prescription medications, prescribed by different doctors, and didn't know that they could cause an adverse psychological reaction if taken together.
  • Suddenly it's the middle of the night and he's acting erratically, including punching his son and father, the latter of whom called the cops.
  • Zaffer also is an avid martial artist, and the "sexual assault" actually appears to have been a martial arts hold he was performing.

Zaffer's statement after the dismissal was extremely diplomatic, and there is no indication he plans to sue either the San Mateo DA's office or the local police department. He may, however, try to regain a management role at Vungle, where he remains the largest shareholder (after Jaffer's arrest, the company promoted CFO/COO Rick Tallman to the top role).

“I was incredibly fortunate that I was able to defend myself through the legal system, but I am aware that many others are not. Moving forward, I plan on examining ways that I can help others who are innocent and are seeking to obtain justice.”  
— Zain Jaffer

Go deeper

20 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Kevin McCarthy's rude awakening

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Kevin McCarthy is learning you can get torched when you try to make everyone happy, especially after an insurrection.

Why it matters: The House Republican leader had been hoping to use this year to build toward taking the majority in 2022, but his efforts to bridge intra-party divisiveness over the Capitol siege have him taking heat from every direction, eroding his stature both with the public and within his party.

The next big political war: redistricting

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democrats are preparing a mix of tech and legal strategies to combat expected gerrymandering by Republicans, who are planning to go on legal offense themselves.

Why it matters: Democrats failed to regain a single state legislature on Election Day, while Republicans upped their control to 30 states' Houses and Senates. In the majority of states, legislatures draw new congressional district lines, which can boost a party's candidates for the next decade.

51 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Vaccinations, relief timing dominate Sweet 16 call

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) speaks during a news conference in December with a group of bipartisan lawmakers. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Vaccine distribution, pandemic data and a cross-party comity dominated today's virtual meeting between White House officials and a bipartisan group of 16 senators, Senator Angus King told Axios.

Why it matters: Given Democrats' razor-thin majority in both chambers of Congress, President Biden will have to rely heavily on this group of centrist lawmakers — dubbed the "Sweet 16" — to pass any substantial legislation.