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AP

The front-runner to be the next head of the FCC's Enforcement Bureau is a lawyer and former agency official who has worked with Comcast and media companies. Two sources familiar with the position say that Rosemary Harold, currently a partner at the law firm Wilkinson Barker Knauer, is the likely candidate for the job.

Why it matters: The FCC can use its authority to aggressively pursue the nation's telecom firms if they violate the agency's rules. Republican administrations tend to be less aggressive on the enforcement front, and it remains to be seen how tough of a cop Chairman Ajit Pai will be. His predecessor Tom Wheeler slapped a few telecom providers with large fines for fraud and misleading consumers, for example, but was also criticized by the industry for being too aggressive.

Details: Harold worked with Comcast as it was seeking approval for its ill-fated proposed merger with Time Warner Cable, according to reports, and has lobbied the FCC to lift media ownership restrictions. She worked as an advisor to former Republican FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell and, before that, was a working journalist.

The FCC declined to comment. The Enforcement Bureau is currently under the leadership of Acting Bureau Chief Michael Carowitz, who has served at the FCC since 2013. An email to Harold's law firm address triggered an automatic response. It begins: "I will be leaving WBK on June 23, 2017."

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
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John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”