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Photo: Tom Brenner/Washington Post/Getty Images

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered the White House on Thursday to preserve records of President Trump’s communications with foreign leaders, including those with Ukraine's president that have spurred an impeachment inquiry in the House, according to Politico.

Why it matters: Jackson's order seems to address concerns outlined in a whistleblower complaint that the White House has used procedures reserved for highly sensitive information to limit access to potentially damaging conversations between Trump and foreign leaders. CNN has reported that officials took steps to restrict access to Trump's calls with Vladimir Putin, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Details: Jackson ordered the White House to not destroy records of Trump's "meetings, phone calls, and other communications with foreign leaders," and to preserve "all records of efforts by White House or other executive branch officials to return, ‘claw back,’ ’lock down’ or recall White House records” about dealings with foreign officials, per Politico.

  • The order is the result of a lawsuit filed in May by a watchdog group and 2 history-focused organizations that alleged the Trump administration is violating the Presidential Records Act.
  • Though the suit predates Trump's phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, lawyers asked Jackson on Oct. 1 to issue a temporary restraining order, citing reports that records of Trump’s communications were being locked down.
  • Jackson did not grant the restraining order, but she did file the request for 6 categories of records to be preserved.

The other side: Justice Department lawyers said in a court filing on Oct. 2 that the White House has taken steps to secure the records the plaintiffs are concern about.

  • Government lawyers in another court filing this week said they believe the suit lacks legal merit and asked Jackson to dismiss the lawsuit.

Go deeper: Second Ukraine whistleblower has "firsthand knowledge" of Trump allegations

Go deeper

6 mins ago - World

Abbas announces first Palestinian elections in 15 years

Abbas is 85 and in the 15th year of a 4-year term. Abbas Momani/AFP via Getty

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas published a decree on Friday announcing the dates for parliamentary and presidential elections in the Palestinian Authority.

Why it matters: This is the first time in 15 years that such a decree has been published. The last presidential elections took place in 2005, with Abbas winning, and the last parliamentary elections took place in 2006, with Hamas winning.

Updated 12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — America has tuned out the coronavirus at the peak of its destruction — 1 in 3 people in L.A. County believed to have been infected with coronavirus.
  2. Politics: Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan— Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat — Joe Biden will seek nearly $2 trillion in COVID relief spending.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.
Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Trump blocks banks from limiting loans to gun and oil companies

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Big banks are no longer allowed to reject business loan applicants because of the industry in which they operate, according to a new rule finalized on Thursday by the Trump administration.

Why it matters: Wall Street has curtailed its exposure to industries like guns, oil and private prisons, driven by both public and shareholder pressures. This new rule could reverse that trend.