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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Democratic Sens. Kamala Harris (Calif.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) and Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) requested documents Wednesday from the Justice Department regarding Ukraine and President Trump's impeachment inquiry under the Freedom of Information Act.

"These factual revelations raise serious concerns about the Justice Department's involvement in politically-motivated investigations, at the behest of the White House and Rudy Giuliani. Therefore, we submit a request for records seeking information about the White House's attempts to interfere with federal law enforcement to pursue politically beneficial outcomes."

Why it matters: The request comes as the House is trying to gain access to documents from the Trump administration — often through subpoenas that the White House can simply ignore.

  • Yes, but: Document requests filed under FOIA can take months or even years to fulfill, so it's unlikely the senators will get the documents they've requested anytime soon.

The big picture: Harris has been slowly slipping in the polls for the 2020 presidential race, but she previously gained national attention for her intense questioning of Trump officials and nominees, including Attorney General Bill Barr and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

  • While a trial in the Senate after a potential Trump impeachment could help to bolster her national profile once again, it would pull her away from the trail for weeks during a critical time in the campaign.

Read the FOIA request letter:

Go deeper: Kamala Harris on the issues, in under 500 words

Go deeper

Heat wave enveloping West will shatter records, spark wildfires

The sun sets behind power lines in Rosemead, California on June 14, 2021, amid an early season heatwave across much of California this week. Photo by Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

A dangerous and widespread mid-June heat wave is bringing blowtorch-like heat, skyrocketing power demand, and “critical” wildfire danger to much of the West Tuesday through this weekend.

Why it matters: The heat is building in a region that is experiencing a record drought, leading to dangerous fire weather conditions, straining electrical grids, and causing water supplies to dwindle further. The heat itself may prove deadly.

26 mins ago - Health

U.S. COVID-19 death toll surpasses 600,000

Expand chart
Data: Johns Hopkins University; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

More than 600,000 people have died from the coronavirus in the U.S., according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The big picture: It's a higher death toll than the number of American soldiers killed in combat during the Vietnam War, World War I and World War II combined.

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