President Trump increased his total number of pardons to seven on Tuesday by granting clemency to two Oregon cattle ranchers, Dwight Lincoln Hammond and his son, Steven Hammond, who were imprisoned for setting fire to federal land.

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Data: Department of Justice; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

The big picture: While he still lags far behind many of his predecessors in overall pardons, Trump is the first president since George H.W. Bush to grant a pardon within the first two years of his presidency. H. W.'s pardons in his first year were all related to the Iran-Contra affair.

  • Last month, a White House official told the Washington Post that Trump was "obsessed" with pardons, calling them the president’s new "favorite thing" to talk about.

The details:

Why it matters: Trump has gone so far as to say that he had the "absolute right" to pardon himself — something legal experts debate. Many critics are worried Trump will ultimately use his pardon power in conjunction with the Mueller investigation.

  • Yes, but: Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has said that he's advised Trump not to issue any pardons during the Mueller investigation, but noted that "when it's over," Trump can do as he pleases.

Go deeper: "The Pardon Game": Trump's Celebrity Edition.

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What to expect from the final debate of the 2020 election

Trump and Biden at the first debate. Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Image

Watch for President Trump to address Joe Biden as “the big guy” or “the chairman” at tonight's debate as a way of dramatizing the Hunter Biden emails. Hunter's former business partner Tony Bobulinski is expected to be a Trump debate guest.

The big picture: Trump's advisers universally view the first debate as a catastrophe — evidenced by a sharp plunge in Trump’s public and (more convincingly for them) private polling immediately following the debate.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did" — Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted relief bill.
  2. Business: New state unemployment filings fall.
  3. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  4. Health: FDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment How the pandemic might endMany U.S. deaths were avoidable.
  5. Education: Boston and Chicago send students back home for online learning.
  6. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.

FBI: Russian hacking group stole data after targeting local governments

FBI Headquarters. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Energetic Bear, a Russian state-sponsored hacking group, has stolen data from two servers after targeting state and federal government networks in the U.S. since at least September, the FBI and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said on Thursday.

Driving the news: Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe announced Wednesday that Iran and Russia had obtained voter registration information that could be used to undermine confidence in the U.S. election system.