Apr 25, 2019

Democrats open investigation into Trump's firing of top DHS officials

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.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 5,543,439 — Total deaths: 347,836 — Total recoveries — 2,266,394Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 1,669,040 — Total deaths: 98,426 — Total recoveries: 379,157 — Total tested: 14,604,942Map.
  3. Trump administration: Mike Pence's press secretary returns to work after beating coronavirus.
  4. States: New York reports lowest number of new coronavirus deaths since March.
  5. Public health: The final data for remdesivir is in and its benefits are rather limited.
  6. Education: A closer look at how colleges can reopenNotre Dame president says science alone "cannot provide the answer" to reopening.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 50 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Pentagon watchdog sidelined by Trump resigns

Fine testiying before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Glenn Fine, the Pentagon's principal deputy inspector general, submitted his resignation on Tuesday.

Why it matters: President Trump removed Fine as the Pentagon's acting inspector general in April 7 after a group of independent federal watchdogs selected him to lead the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, which was set up to oversee the rollout of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill.

New York reports lowest number of daily coronavirus deaths since March

The number of daily new coronavirus cases and deaths reported in New York was the lowest since the state started its lockdown in March, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday, calling Memorial Day a "pivot point" for New York.

By the numbers: 73 New Yorkers died from coronavirus in the past 24 hours, and 200 people tested positive. Hospitalizations and intubations also decreased.