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Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A new book on Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation process discloses that the White House held a secret mock hearing for Kavanaugh after allegations of sexual assault against him broke — which leaked to the press before it was even finished.

What they're saying: In the forthcoming book — "Justice on Trial," out Tuesday — the Judicial Crisis Network's Carrie Severino and The Federalist's Mollie Hemingway write that Kavanaugh's team was wary of leaks, but that those leading the confirmation effort argued that the advantages of broadening the group involved in his preparation were "worth the risk."

  • So former White House communications director Bill Shine and press secretary Sarah Sanders, along with a number of others, played the parts of various senators in a mock hearing.
  • But soon after Kavanaugh left the room and the team began discussing his performance, "someone interrupted the discussion to announce that the media were already reporting that Kavanaugh was mooting with the press team," the authors write.
  • "Later the Washington Post cited three sources who reported that 'Kavanaugh grew frustrated when it came to questions that dug into his private life, particularly his drinking habits and his sexual proclivities.' They added that he declined to answer some questions altogether, which made it sound like he had something to hide."
  • "Their suspicions about the discretion of the broader group confirmed, the core Kavanaugh team resolved to get rid of any nonessential aides."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Biden will reverse Trump's attempt to lift COVID related travel restrictions

Photo: Tasos Katopodis via Getty

The incoming Biden administration will reverse President Trump's last-minute order to lift COVID-19 related travel restrictions, Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, tweeted.

Why it matters: President Trump ordered entry bans lifted for travelers from the U.K., Ireland, Brazil and much of Europe to go into effect Jan. 26, but the Biden administration will "strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Jen Psaki said. Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and Trump will no longer be president by the time the order is set to go into effect.

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.

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