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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Democrats are launching an investigation President Trump's "unprecedented" decision to remove much of the top leadership at the Department of Homeland Security.

Details: The letter — from House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson and Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings — suggests White House senior aide Stephen Miller pushed for the resignation of Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen because she pointed out legal barriers to Trump's plan to reimplement child separation. Democrats are asking acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan to turn over any communications regarding the departure of top officials and all communications with Miller.

"As the Department's leaders have been fired or resigned, Mr. Miller appears to have taken on a greater role in leading the Administration's immigration policy. One report stated 'In a recent Oval Office meeting, Trump told Miller he would be in charge of handling all immigration and border affairs, according to officials familiar with the meeting."

The backdrop: A number of high-level officials at the Department of Homeland Security have exited this month, including Nielsen, acting Deputy Secretary Claire Grady and Secret Service chief Randolph "Tex" Alles. The shakeup comes as Trump plans to execute the most aggressive changes in immigration policy since his inauguration, in response to an ongoing surge of migrants at the border.

  • The House Oversight Committee has invited Stephen Miller to testify about the administration's immigration policies, but the White House informed the panel Wednesday that it has instructed Miller not to appear.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Sports

Gonzaga University revokes NBA great John Stockton's tickets over mask stance

Former Utah Jazz player John Stockton during a 2017 press conference in Salt Lake City. Photo: Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

Gonzaga University suspended the season tickets of notable alumni John Stockton after the NBA Hall of Famer failed to comply with the school's basketball games mask mandate, the Spokesman-Review first reported.

Driving the news: "Basically, it came down to, they were asking me to wear a mask to the games and being a public figure, someone a little bit more visible, I stuck out in the crowd a little bit," the former Utah Jazz point guard told the outlet in an interview Saturday.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

State Department orders evacuation of U.S. diplomats' families from Ukraine

From left, undersecretary for political affairs Victoria Nuland, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. chargés d'affaires in Ukraine Kristina Kvien during a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in Kyiv. Photo: Yevhen Liubimov/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The State Department will begin evacuating families and nonessential staff from the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv this week, according to a travel advisory published Sunday evening.

Why it matters: The move underscores U.S. fears that a Russian invasion could destabilize Ukraine and threaten the embassy's ability to assist Americans.

Perfect storm brewing for extreme politicians

Data: Axios research; Table: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Redistricting and a flood of departing incumbents are paving the way for more extreme candidates in this year's midterm elections.

Driving the news: At least 19 House districts in 12 states are primed to attract such candidates — hard partisans running in strongly partisan districts — according to an Axios analysis of districts as measured by the Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index (PVI).