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Photo: Jeff Kowalsky / AFP via Getty Images

Idaho Chief Deputy Secretary of State Chad Houck announced Thursday the state plans to bill MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell for the cost of auditing three counties to disprove allegations of election fraud, the Idaho Statesman reports.

Why it matters: Houck's remarks come days after the audit concluded, reporting a 0.1% margin of error across the three counties.

  • Lindell previously alleged that presidential election results across 44 counties were "electronically manipulated" to favor Biden, per the Statesman.
  • The office said that totaling the expenses and sending the bill would take at least another two weeks.

What they're saying: "Why not try and get Lindell to reimburse the state for having to refute his false claim?" Houck told the Statesman.

  • "While our team is always looking for possible vulnerabilities, this allegation was patently without merit from the first look," he added.
  • "It takes hard work to build confidence in a state's elections system, and careless accusations like this can cause tremendous harm. Doing nothing and saying nothing would have been like conceding its truth."

Go deeper: Dominion files $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell

Go deeper

SEC debunks conspiracy theories about meme stock mania

Photo: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The SEC issued its long-awaited report on the meme stock mania, which downplayed the narrative that a "short squeeze" was the primary driver behind GameStop's historic stock moves — and shot down conspiracy theories about the event.

Why it matters: The postmortem was highly anticipated, largely because of what it could hint about what the regulator thinks should be done in wake of the saga. But the report stopped short of specific policy recommendations.

Breaking Biden's diplomatic logjam

Expand chart
Data: Center for Presidential Transition via Congress.gov; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The logjam for reviewing and confirming President Biden's ambassadorial picks is finally starting to break.

Why it matters: Biden is far behind his predecessors in the rate at which his ambassadorial picks have been confirmed. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a series of high-profile hearings and votes this week to finally begin chipping away at the backlog.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats brace for staredown over paid family medical leave

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Senior House Democrats are braced for battle with the Senate over whether paid family medical leave — a key priority for progressives — will be included in President Biden’s final budget reconciliation bill, lawmakers and aides tell Axios.

Why it matters: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has indicated he wants to cut the program to reduce the bill's price tag. “Paid family and medical leave must be in the final package,” Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, told Axios on Monday.