Nati Harnik / AP

During today's White House press briefing, Sean Spicer referred any questions about the president's position regarding the prosecution and detention of Julian Assange to the Department of Justice.

Now Ben Sasse, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, has taken that advice quite literally in an open letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions:

"Does the Department of Justice believe Julian Assange has broken the law and is the Department aggressively pursuing his detention and prosecution?Frankly, it is amazing that I even have to ask this question of the Administration in light of the Intelligence Community's formal assessment that Mr. Assange's website is a known outlet for foreign propaganda and in light of Mr. Assange's history of recklessly endangering the lives of Americans through his illegal disclosures. Nevertheless, because Mr. Spicer referred this matter to DOJ, I am now asking you."

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
27 mins ago - World

A hinge moment for America's role in the world

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Getty Images photo: Saul Loeb/AFP

The world may be living through the last gasps of America First — or just getting a taste of what's to come.

Why it matters: President Trump's message at this week's virtual UN General Assembly was short and relatively simple: global institutions like the World Health Organization are weak and beholden to China; international agreements like the Iran deal or Paris climate accord are "one-sided"; and the U.S. has accomplished more by going its own way.

New York daily coronavirus cases top 1,000 for first time since June

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

New York on Friday reported more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases for the first since June.

Why it matters: The New York City metropolitan area was seen as the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the spring. But strict social distancing and mask mandates helped quell the virus' spread, allowing the state to gradually reopen.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 32,647,382 — Total deaths: 990,473 — Total recoveries: 22,527,593Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 7,053,171 — Total deaths: 204,093 — Total recoveries: 2,727,335 — Total tests: 99,488,275Map.
  3. States: U.S. reports over 55,000 new coronavirus cases.
  4. Health: The long-term pain of the mental health pandemicFewer than 10% of Americans have coronavirus antibodies.
  5. Business: Millions start new businesses in time of coronavirus.
  6. Education: Summer college enrollment offers a glimpse of COVID-19's effect.

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