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Rep. Elijah Cummings. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The House Oversight Committee on Tuesday threatened to withhold the salaries of officials at the departments of the Interior and Commerce if anyone "prohibits or prevents" interviews involved in 2 ongoing investigations.

"The Department does not appear to recognize that Congress is an independent and co-equal branch of government that will determine its own investigative steps without undue interference or delay by the Department."
— House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings letter to Cole Rojewski, DOI's director of congressional and legislative affairs

Details: Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings sent letters requesting transcribed interviews with 8 current and former officials. In his letter to Cole Rojewski, director of congressional and legislative affairs at the Interior Department, Cummings detailed the numerous times the House committee has requested documents and interviews from the DOI. The requests have gone unanswered or arbitrary unrequested documents were sent instead.

Background:

  • There has been an ethical investigation looking into alleged complaints about "conflicts of interest and other violations" in regard to Interior Department Secretary David Bernhardt, a former oil lobbyist.
  • House Democrats are investigating the citizenship question the Department of Justice wants added to the 2020 Census, with opponents citing anti-immigration sentiments and political motivations from the Trump administration.

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Elijah Nouvelage, Alex Wong/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. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence. Trump believes the vice president can solve all his problems by simply refusing to certify the Electoral College results. It's a simple test of loyalty: Trump or the U.S. Constitution.

"The end is coming, Donald."

The male voice in the TV ad boomed through the White House residence during "Fox & Friends" commercial breaks. Over and over and over. "The end is coming, Donald. ... On Jan. 6, Mike Pence will put the nail in your political coffin."

Big Tech's post-riot reckoning

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The Capitol insurrection means the anti-tech talk in Washington is more likely to lead to action, since it's ever clearer that the attack was planned, at least in part, on social media.

Why it matters: The big platforms may have hoped they'd move to D.C.'s back burner, with the Hill focused on the Biden agenda and the pandemic out of control. But now, there'll be no escaping harsh scrutiny.

12 mins ago - Technology

Why domestic terrorists are so hard to police online

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Domestic terrorism has proven to be more difficult for Big Tech companies to police online than foreign terrorism.

The big picture: That's largely because the politics are harder. There's more unity around the need to go after foreign extremists than domestic ones — and less danger of overreaching and provoking a backlash.