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Ex-Uber exec asks to have lawsuit over medical reports dismissed

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Emil Michael, a former Uber executive who resigned earlier this summer, has asked a court to dismiss a lawsuit by a woman who was raped by a driver in India. The lawsuit was filed against him, ex-CEO Travis Kalanick and the company after reports surfaced that the two executives, along with a third, Eric Alexander, obtained a copy of the woman's medical records and questioned whether the incident was a ploy by a competitor.

In short, Michael's motion for dismissal argues that the woman's lawsuit was based on media reports citing anonymous sources, and fails to prove its three claims: "intrusion into private affairs, public disclosure of private facts, and defamation." It also argues that if Uber's legal department authorized executives to obtain the records, he can't be accused of improper conduct. Recode was first to report Michael's motion to dismiss.

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Mike Allen 5 hours ago
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A huge clue about Mueller's endgame

Robert Mueller testifies before Congress in 2013. Photo: Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty Images

Axios has learned that special counsel Robert Mueller has focused on events since the election — not during the campaign — in his conversations with President Trump's lawyers. The top two topics that Mueller has expressed interest in so far: the firings of FBI director James Comey and national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Why it matters: That suggests a focus on obstruction of justice while in office, rather than collusion with Russia during the campaign. But both sagas are interwoven with Russia: Trump himself has linked Comey's firing to Russia, and Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations with the Russian ambassador during the transition.

Amy Harder 6 hours ago
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Column / Harder Line

The swamp’s tug-o-war over America’s ethanol mandate

American eagle with corn in its claws
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

A biofuels standard Congress passed more than a decade ago in the name of rural development, energy security and climate change has devolved into an arcane fight over market share that has nothing to do with those initial three goals.

Why it matters: The law — called the renewable fuel standard that requires refineries to blend biofuels into gasoline — is a textbook example of how regulations create winners, losers and unintended consequences.