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Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said on Monday he will seek to become the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee next year, after Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said she will step down from the position.

The big picture: Durbin has served on the committee for 22 years. He noted Monday he is its most senior member who already isn't serving on the leadership of another panel. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has seniority over Durbin, but chairs the Appropriations Committee.

What he's saying: Durbin thanked Feinstein "for her distinguished leadership" on the committee, adding that he is "proud to call her my friend and colleague,"

  • "I intend to seek the top Democratic position on the Judiciary Committee in the 117th Congress. We have to roll up our sleeves and get to work on undoing the damage of the last four years and protecting fundamental civil and human rights."

What to watch: Two Senate runoff races in Georgia on Jan. 5 will determine which party controls the Senate.

Go deeper

Sen. Leahy back home after being hospitalized

Sen. Patrick Leahy inside the Capitol Rotunda on Jan. 25. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) left the Washington, D.C., hospital he was taken to for evaluation on Tuesday and has returned home, his spokesperson David Carle confirmed.

Why it matters: The 80-year-old is president pro tempore of the Senate and is expected to preside over former President Trump's second impeachment trial, for which proceedings are set to begin the week of Feb. 8.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

10 hours ago - Economy & Business

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.