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Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

Attorney General Bill Barr confirmed Monday that the Justice Department "established an intake process" for information Rudy Giuliani gathered about the Bidens in Ukraine.

The latest: House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) sent a letter to Barr Monday afternoon demanding answers as to why the department is receiving information from Giuliani outside of normal channels, especially in light of reports that he is under investigation by the Southern District of New York.

  • "Whether or not you are in league with Mr. Giuliani and his associates, DOJ guidelines and regulations exist to protect you and the Department from even the appearance of a conflict of interest or any impropriety," Nadler wrote, referring to allegations by Giuliani associate Lev Parnas that Barr was involved in the scheme to dig up dirt on the Bidens in Ukraine.
  • "Given your creation of a new “intake process” for Mr. Giuliani, it is all the more important that you provide a complete explanation for your decision to sidestep standard Department practice," he added.

Between the lines: While Hunter Biden’s role with Ukrainian gas company Burisma raised conflict-of-interest concerns in 2014, there is no evidence Joe Biden committed "corruption" in the country, as some Trump allies allege.

What Barr is saying:

  • The DOJ "has the obligation to have an open door to anybody who wishes to provide us information that they think is relevant."
  • "We have to be very careful with respect to any information coming from Ukraine. There are a lot of agendas in the Ukraine. There are a lot of cross currents. And we can't take anything we receive from the Ukraine at face value."

Watch Barr's statement:

The big picture: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Sunday that he intends to look into potential conflicts of interest involving the Biden family's business interests in Ukraine — and hinted that the Justice Department had opened a process for receiving information from Giuliani.

  • Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) announced last week a review of "potential conflicts of interest posed by the business activities of Hunter Biden and his associates during the Obama administration."

This story has been updated with details from Nadler's letter.

Go deeper

41 mins ago - Technology

Facebook bans Myanmar military

A protester holds a placard with a three-finger salute in front of a military tank parked aside the street in front of the Central Bank building during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo by Aung Kyaw Htet/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook said on Wednesday it would ban the rest of the Myanmar military from its platform.

The big picture: It comes some three weeks after the military overthrew the civilian government in a coup and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, causing massive protests to erupt throughout the country. Military leaders have been using internet blackouts to try to maintain power in light of the coup.

It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.

Exclusive: Hundreds of kids held in Border Patrol stations

Migrants cross the Rio Bravo to get to El Paso, Texas. Photo: Herika Martinez/AFP via Getty Images

More than 700 children who crossed from Mexico into the United States without their parents were in Border Patrol custody as of Sunday, according to an internal Customs and Border Protection document obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The current backup is yet another sign of a brewing crisis for President Biden — and a worsening dilemma for these vulnerable children. Biden is finding it's easier to talk about preventing warehousing kids at the southern border than solving the problem.