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Photo: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Robert Mueller's special counsel team is "bracing for an array of challenges to its authority," per Politico, as the Russia investigation heats up and the criminal case against former campaign officials Rick Gates and Paul Manafort gets closer to a trial.

Why it matters: Mueller has been on "an early winning streak," Politico reports, as his team has avoided attempts to block subpoena power and limit his scope of questioning. But former White House prosecutor Julie Myers Wood told Politico the typical response for a defense lawyer is "distort, detract, deny," and Mueller is already beginning to see these tactics take shape against his investigation.

  • Manafort's lead attorney, Kevin Downing, said he might try to keep prosecutors from presenting some of their evidence during the trial.
  • One of President Trump's attorney's, Jay Sekulow, said they would "lodge formal objections" with either Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein if the investigation began looking into old Trump real-estate deals, Politico reports.
  • Downing intends to file pre-trial motions calling into question "the legal basis and sufficiency of the charges," and more.

Go deeper

Biden to tap telecom trio for NTIA, FCC posts

Jessica Rosenworcel. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

President Joe Biden on Tuesday is expected to name Alan Davidson as head of the telecom arm of the Commerce Department, Jessica Rosenworcel as chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission and Gigi Sohn as a commissioner at the FCC, according to a person familiar with the process.

Why it matters: Internet availability and affordability has been a key policy priority for the White House, but the administration lagged in tapping people for the agency posts that oversee the issues.

17 mins ago - Technology

Facebook seeks fountain of youth

Data: Piper Sandler Taking Stock With Teens Study; Chart: Axios Visuals

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday said that the company is pivoting its strategy to focus on young adults, following reports that teens have fled its apps.

Why it matters: A series of stories based on leaked whistleblower documents suggest the company sees the aging of its user base as an existential threat to its business.

Too big to cover alone: Newsrooms team up

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

News outlets are increasingly willing to work together on big, multifaceted stories — including this week's reporting on leaked documents from a Facebook whistleblower.

Why it matters: Collaborative efforts help bring more resources to bear on complex stories, some of which require a global reporting effort. But they require high degrees of coordination, and competition can sometimes get in the way.