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!

A shot of the Stanford University campus. Photo: David Madison/Getty Images

California voters recalled Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky Tuesday night, reports the New York Times. It's the first time a California judge has been recalled in 80 years.

The backdrop: In March 2016, Stanford student Brock Turner was found guilty by a jury on three felony sexual assault charges after he assaulted an unconscious woman after a fraternity party. Turner was eligible for up to 14 years in prison, but Persky sentenced him to only 6 months, stating Turner would “not be a danger to others” and that “a prison sentence would have a severe impact” on him.

How it happened: A petition to recall Turner — started by Michele Dauber, a Stanford law professor whose daughter is friends with the woman Turner assaulted — earned enough signatures to make Persky's recall a ballot question. Other supporters of the recall were Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Anita Hill.

  • In 2016, after Turner's sentencing, Persky was cleared of any official misconduct over his sentencing decision by a state agency.
  • Turner's decision also prompted California to enact a law that created minimum sentences for sexual assault cases — and closed a loophole that treated the cases of sexual assault victims who were unconscious or intoxicated differently.

Go deeper

Trump political team disavows "Patriot Party" groups

Marine One carries President Trump away from the White House on Inauguration Day. Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Donald Trump's still-active presidential campaign committee officially disavowed political groups affiliated with the nascent "Patriot Party" on Monday.

Why it matters: Trump briefly floated the possibility of creating a new political party to compete with the GOP — with him at the helm. But others have formed their own "Patriot Party" entities during the past week, and Trump's team wants to make clear it has nothing to do with them.

DOJ watchdog to probe whether officials sought to alter election results

Donald and Melania Trump exit Air Force One in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Jan. 20. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

The Justice Department's inspector general will investigate whether any current or former DOJ officials "engaged in an improper attempt to have DOJ seek to alter the outcome" of the 2020 election, the agency announced Monday.

Driving the news: The investigation comes in the wake of a New York Times report that alleged Jeffrey Clark, the head of DOJ's civil division, had plotted with President Trump to oust acting Attorney General Jeffery Rosen in a scheme to overturn the election results in Georgia.