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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.

Instagram's boss faces Congress' questions on harm to teens

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for WIRED

The head of Instagram will find himself in Congress' crosshairs for the first time Wednesday in the one area lawmakers have shown they are willing to pass tech regulations — protecting youngsters online.

Why it matters: Republicans and Democrats have found common ground in grilling tech companies on how their products harm children, especially after revelations in The Wall Street Journal about Instagram's potential harm to the mental health of teen girls.

Jan. 6 committee to start contempt proceedings against Meadows

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The Jan. 6 select committee plans to move forward with contempt proceedings against former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows for his refusal to comply with the panel's subpoena.

Why it matters: The committee has used the threat of contempt — and the associated financial and reputational costs — to try to ensure evasive witnesses sit for their depositions.