Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway declined to appear at a congressional oversight hearing Monday to discuss her alleged violations of the Hatch Act, defying a subpoena as the administration claims she is "immune" from such testimonies.

What they're saying: Pat Cipollone, counsel to the president, wrote in a letter to House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings that "in accordance with long-standing, bipartisan precedent, Ms. Conway cannot be compelled to testify before Congress with respect to matters related to her service as a senior adviser to the President."

  • The letter claims that the Department of Justice has deemed Conway "absolutely immune" from testifying.

Cummings threatened to hold Conway in contempt of Congress if she refuses to comply with the subpoena before July 25, according to Politico.

  • “This is a clear cut case. We are not requiring her to testify about advice she gave the president or about the White House’s policy decisions,” Cummings said.
  • “We are requiring her to testify before Congress about her multiple violations of federal law, her waste of taxpayer funds, and her actions that compromise public confidence in the integrity of the federal government."

Catch up quick: In June, The Office of Special Counsel accused Conway of violating the Hatch Act by "disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in an official capacity during television interviews and on social media," and recommended firing her from her current role.

  • The Hatch Act is meant to prevent federal employees from influencing politics by barring them from engaging in political activities while operating in their official capacity.

Conway did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Go deeper: The Trump White House has a record of violating the Hatch Act

Go deeper

Updated 15 mins ago - World

Massive explosion rocks Beirut

Photo: Anwar Amro/AFP via Getty Images

A major explosion has slammed central Beirut, Lebanon, damaging buildings as far as several miles away and injuring scores of people.

Driving the news: The cause of the explosion is unknown. It's also unclear how many people were killed or wounded, but the Lebanese Red Cross has told AP that casualties number in the hundreds. Reuters reports that at least 10 people have been killed, citing security sources.

Updated 51 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 18,349,260 — Total deaths: 695,550 — Total recoveries — 10,951,112Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 4,732,418 — Total deaths: 155,942 — Total recoveries: 1,513,446 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. States: New York City health commissioner resigns in protest of De Blasio's coronavirus response.
  4. Public health: 40% of Americans continue to put off medical care.
  5. Politics: Trump tells "Axios on HBO" that pandemic is "under control," despite surges in infections and uptick in deaths.
  6. Business: Low-income households are struggling to pay energy bills — Construction spending falls for 4th straight month.
Updated 59 mins ago - Science

The U.S. is at risk of attacks in space

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Other nations are catching up to U.S. capabilities in space, potentially putting American assets in orbit at risk.

Why it matters: From GPS to imagery satellites and others that can peer through clouds, space data is integral to American national security.