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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.). Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and a close ally of President Trump, plans to work closely with Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to investigate potential abuses by the intelligence community — specifically whether the Russia probe was politically motivated, Meadows told Axios.

The bottom line: Trump allies, feeling emboldened after Attorney General William Barr's summary of the Mueller report, are teaming up to go on the offensive and conduct an oversight investigation of their own.

What he's saying: "I think the real problem is how did we weaponize the intelligence community and the FBI to create an investigation that has been conducted over a two-year period without a whole lot of fruit," Meadows said.

  • "Before a special counsel was ever established, the FBI knew that there was no evidence of conspiracy," he added. "... Based on the proof that I have, there is a strong indication that there were protocols that were breached, walls that were broken down, and candidly a lot of questions that are unanswered."

But Meadows, who unlike Graham does not serve in the majority, told Axios that his GOP colleagues in the House recognize they have "to rely on Sen. Graham for a lot of this," and said they plan to "share a number of documents" with Graham to help his investigative efforts.

  • "I've talked to Sen. Graham a couple of times," Meadows said. "We’ll actually be forwarding to his committee several binders of information with footnotes for areas that will highlight where ... and how they should look at it, and would at least give them a fast track" for how to review the documents.

The backdrop: Graham told Axios' Jonathan Swan that he promised Trump he would "take a hard look at the FISA process and intelligence operation."

  • Graham also announced during a press conference Monday that he plans to investigate whether the Justice Department and FBI influenced the 2016 election in support of Hillary Clinton, and said he will urge Barr to appoint a second special counsel.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

CDC says some immunocompromised people can get fourth COVID shot

Photo: Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in updated guidelines Tuesday that some immunocompromised people who have received either Pfizer or Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines will be able to get a fourth shot.

Details: People over 18 who are "moderately to severely immunocompromised" and have received three doses of an mRNA vaccine may get a fourth shot (of either the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines) at least six months after getting their third Pfizer or Moderna dose, per the CDC.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Biden plan expected to include at least $500B for climate

Photo: Stephanie Keith/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The White House is privately telling lawmakers the climate portion of President Biden's roughly $2 trillion social spending plan is "mostly settled" and will likely cost more than $500 billion, two sources familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: A pricetag of $500-$555 billion is a huge number and, if it holds, would likely be the single biggest component of the sweeping package. It also isn't far off from the roughly $600 billion proposed when the bill was expected to cost $3.5 trillion.

2 hours ago - World

U.S. presses Gulf countries to help resolve Sudan coup crisis

Jake Sullivan briefs the press. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty

The Biden administration has asked its partners in the Gulf and elsewhere to press the Sudanese generals who carried out a coup on Monday to release captives including Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and to reinstate the civilian government, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said in a press briefing on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The U.S. has limited influence over coup leader Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Burhan and other military leaders, many of whom have close ties to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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