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Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman faced a round of questioning from House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) over people with whom he discussed the July 25 call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Why it matters: After Vindman said he discussed the call — as a part of his position on the National Security Council — with State Department official George Kent and an unnamed intelligence official, the questioning devolved into a squabble over the impeachment inquiry's rules protecting the identity of the whistleblower.

  • Vindman said that his counsel had advised him against discussing any specific members of the intelligence community.
  • Schiff interjected during the line of questioning to state: "If the witness has a good faith belief that this may reveal the identity of the whistleblower, that is not the purpose that we are here for — and I want to advise the witness accordingly."

Worth noting: Vindman testified in his closed-door hearing — and repeated today — that he did not know the identity of the whistleblower.

The big picture: The impeachment inquiry's laid-out rules have a section on "Whistleblower Protection and Confidentiality," which states that the House Intelligence Committee will not "facilitate any efforts by President Trump or his allies to threaten, intimidate, or retaliate against the whistleblower."

  • It also implies that any committee members who break those rules could face an investigation from the House Ethics Committee.

The state of play: The name of the whistleblower has been at the heart of a war in the Republican Party as some Trump allies — including the president's own son, Donald Trump Jr. — have publicly stated the whistleblower's alleged identity, which has been promoted by right-wing media.

Go deeper: Live updates from the Vindman-Williams impeachment hearing

Go deeper

Inequality Index signals October jobs growth for lower-income Americans

Data: Morning Consult/Axios Inequality Index; Chart: Axios Visuals

Polling for the Morning Consult/Axios Inequality Index suggests that as the Delta variant ebbed over the last month, job security improved for lower-income Americans.

The big picture: As a result of the improving environment, the Inequality Index this month declined to its lowest point since April — reversing a significant spike in September.

White House unveils landmark reports on climate links to security, migration

Photo Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The Biden administration on Thursday released a sweeping set of assessments on how to view threats that climate change poses to national security and its role in fueling migration.

Why it matters: One of the key products, a formal National Intelligence Estimate on climate change, marks the first time all 18 elements of the U.S. intelligence community have released a consensus report on the topic.

Scoop: Garland defends DOJ's handling of Jan. 6 probe

Attorney General Merrick Garland. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Attorney General Merrick Garland will tell the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday that federal prosecutors "are doing exactly what they are expected to do" in seeking accountability for the "intolerable assault" on the Capitol on Jan. 6, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Allies of former President Trump, including Republican congressmen, have criticized the department's treatment rioters charged with crimes, and sought to recast the insurrection as a righteous protest. Garland's testimony with be his first appearance before the panel.