Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Politicon

The Department of Justice appears to be investigating former FBI director James Comey for illegally leaking information to reporters years ago, The New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Investigations concerning news leaks often take place around the time the information appears in the media, and not years after the fact, per the Times. This investigation raises concerns it might be politically motivated.

  • The Trump administration may be looking to make an example of Comey for leaks, the Times notes.

The state of play: The investigation reportedly focuses on at least two news articles about the FBI and Comey published by The New York Times and The Washington Post in 2017.

  • The articles mention a highly classified Russian government document which influenced Comey's decision to not recommend Hillary Clinton face charges over her use of private emails while secretary of state.

Flashback: This is the second time Comey is being investigated for allegedly leaking information. He was previously investigated for his handling of sensitive information regarding Russia.

The bottom line: “Leak cases are incredibly difficult to prosecute,” former DOJ lawyer Brian J. Fleming told the Times.

  • “They are very challenging to present to a jury both as an evidentiary matter and in terms of presenting a compelling, coherent narrative."

Go deeper:

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Axios-Ipsos poll: Vaccine resistance grows

Data: Axios/Ipsos surveys. 1,100 U.S adults surveyed Aug. 28-31, 2020, and 1,008 U.S. adults surveyed Sept. 18-21,2020; Chart: Axios Visuals

The share of Americans eager to try a first-generation coronavirus vaccine dropped significantly in the latest installment of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index, as President Trump hyped suggestions that one could be ready before the election.

Why it matters: As the U.S. reaches a milestone of 200,000 deaths, this underscores the risks of politicizing the virus and its treatments.

Updated 2 hours ago - Science

Texas and Louisiana face fresh flood threat from Tropical Storm Beta

Tropical Storm Beta slowly approaching the Texas coast on Monday. Photo: National Weather Service/Twitter

Tropical Storm Beta was dumping heavy rains over Texas as it churned its way inland overnight, bringing the risk of "life-threatening storm surge" and flooding to parts of the state and Louisiana, the National Hurricane Center said.

What's happening: The slow-moving storm was causing coastal flooding along areas including the bays near Houston and Galveston in Texas Monday, per the National Weather Service. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) made a disaster declaration and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) declared a state of emergency Monday.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 31,328,238 — Total deaths: 964,839— Total recoveries: 21,503,496Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,857,967 — Total deaths: 199,884 — Total recoveries: 2,615,949 — Total tests: 95,841,281Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Media: Conservative blogger who spread COVID-19 misinformation worked for Fauci's agency.
  5. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  6. World: U.K. upgrades COVID alert level as Europe sees worrying rise in infections — "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.

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