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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Updated 13 mins ago - World

Police and protesters clash in Belarus after "Europe's last dictator" claims election win

Protesters and riot police clash in Minsk, Belarus, on Sunday during a demonstration against President Alexander Lukashenko's claim of a landslide victory. Photo: Misha Friedman/Getty Images)

Riot police clashed with protesters in Belarus overnight after a government exit poll predicted Sunday President Aleksander Lukashenko, an authoritarian who has ruled the Eastern European country since 1994, had overwhelmingly defeated a pro-democracy opposition candidate.

Why it matters: It's a precarious moment for the former Soviet republic, where decades of repression and a complete disregard for the coronavirus pandemic threaten to topple "Europe's last dictator." Rights groups said at least one protester was killed and dozens more wounded in a "police crackdown," per AP.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

2 Lebanese ministers and 9 lawmakers resign days after deadly explosion

Anti-government protesters in Beirut. Photo: STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Lebanon’s information and environment ministers resigned Sunday in the wake of massive protests over the deadly blast in Beirut's port last week, per AP.

Why it matters: In her resignation letter, Information Minister Manal Abdel-Samad called change "elusive" and apologized for not delivering more to the country, which had been devastated by a financial crisis and the coronavirus pandemic even before the blast destroyed much of the capital city.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 19,863,850 — Total deaths: 731,374 — Total recoveries — 12,117,346Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,044,864 — Total deaths: 162,938 — Total recoveries: 1,656,864 — Total tests: 61,792,571Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi says states don't have the funds to comply with Trump's executive order on unemployment — Mnuchin says Trump executive orders were cleared by Justice Department.
  4. States: New York reports lowest rate of positive coronavirus test results since pandemic began
  5. Public health: Ex-FDA head: U.S. will "definitely" see 200,000 to 300,000 virus deaths by end of 2020. 
  6. Schools: 97,000 children test positive for coronavirus in two weeks — Nine test positive at Georgia school where photo showing packed hallway went viral .