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Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf testifies at his Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee confirmation hearing on Sept. 23. Photo: Greg Nash/pool/AFP via Getty Images

Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, issued two subpoenas on Tuesday in an attempt to compel testimony from the Department of Homeland Security's head of intelligence, while accusing the agency of stonewalling testimony from a whistleblower.

Why it matters: The House and Senate Intelligence committees are investigating the DHS based on a former senior officials' whistleblower complaint that he was told to stop giving intelligence assessments on threats of Russian interference in the U.S. because it "made the president look bad."

Where it stands: FBI Director Christopher Wray told Congress earlier this month the bureau has seen "very active efforts by the Russians to influence our election in 2020," primarily to "denigrate Vice President Biden and what the Russians see as kind of an anti-Russian establishment."

What they're saying: Democrats are calling for Joseph Maher, head of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, to appear for in-person testimony on Friday in response to the House committee's attempts to receive documents and testimony from the whistleblower, former intelligence and analysis acting undersecretary Brian Murphy.

  • A DHS spokesperson said: "Adam Schiff's claims about DHS stonewalling his committee or obstructing the clearance process are completely false. DHS is doing no such thing and Chairman Schiff, despite the obvious political theater of this subpoena, knows this."
    • "In fact, the department has produced nearly 3,000 pages of documents and has provided two briefings and three transcribed interviews to date."
    • "As Mr. Schiff has now admitted, he is arbitrarily seeking to rush his investigation to affect the election, apparently willing to risk national security to do so."

Go deeper

Nov 25, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump pardons Michael Flynn

President Trump with Michael Flynn in 2016. Photo: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

President Trump on Wednesday pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in the Mueller investigation to lying to FBI agents about his conversations with a former Russian ambassador.

Why it matters: It is the first of multiple pardons expected in the coming weeks, as Axios scooped Tuesday night.

By the numbers: Where the earmarks are wanted

Expand chart
Data: House Committee on Appropriations; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The Dallas-Fort Worth area is being targeted for the largest collective earmark request in the country, according to a detailed breakdown of overall requests released by the House Appropriations Committee.

Why it matters: House appropriators are trying to balance bipartisan momentum for infrastructure investment with "pork-barrel" spending's checkered political history. The data dump is an effort to provide transparency for what are now termed "community project funding" requests.

Democrats open to user fees for infrastructure deal

President Biden sits Thursday with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) as they discuss his $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal. Photo: T.J. Kirkpatrick/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Some Senate Democrats are open to paying for a compromise infrastructure package by imposing user fees, including increasing the gas tax and raising money from electric car drivers through a vehicle-miles-traveled charge.

Why it matters: By inching toward the Republican position on pay-fors, some Democrats are bucking President Biden's push to offset his proposed $2.3 trillion plan by focusing only on raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy.