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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.

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. State of play: New coronavirus cases down, but more bad news ahead.
  2. Politics: Biden set to immediately ramp up federal pandemic response with 10 executive actions — Scoop: Joe Biden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. World: Biden will order U.S. to rejoin World Health OrganizationBiden to bring U.S. into global COVAX initiative for equitable vaccine access.
  4. Vaccine: Amazon offers to help Biden administration with COVID vaccine efforts.
Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

First glimpse of the Biden market

Photo: Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images

Investors made clear what companies they think will be winners and which will be losers in President Joe Biden's economy on Wednesday, selling out of gun makers, pot purveyors, private prison operators and payday lenders, and buying up gambling, gaming, beer stocks and Big Tech.

What happened: Private prison operator CoreCivic and private prison REIT Geo fell by 7.8% and 4.1%, respectively, while marijuana ETF MJ dropped 2% and payday lenders World Acceptance and EZCorp each fell by more than 1%.

Mike Allen, author of AM
3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden-Harris, Day 1: What mattered most

President Joe Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden arrive at the North Portico of the White House. Photo: Alex Brandon-Pool/Getty Images

The Axios experts help you sort significance from symbolism. Here are the six Day 1 actions by President Biden that matter most.

Driving the news: Today, on his first full day, Biden translates his promise of a stronger federal response to the pandemic into action — starting with 10 executive orders and other directives, Caitlin Owens writes.