Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller departs Capitol Hill (Andrew Harnik / AP)

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is teaming up with agents from the IRS's Criminal Investigations unit to help aide in his Russia probe, reports The Daily Beast's Betsy Woodruff.

  • The unit, which Woodruff describes as "one of the federal government's most tight-knit, specialized, and secretive investigative entities" focuses solely on financial crimes, such as tax evasion and money laundering.
  • The agency also has access to the president's tax returns, which Trump has repeatedly refused to submit to the public.
  • Timing: Reports surfaced on Wednesday that Mueller is now working with NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who has investigated Trump's business dealings, in his probe of Paul Manafort. Mueller and Schneiderman's teams have reportedly already collected evidence on financial crimes, including potential money laundering.
  • Why it matters: Muller teaming up with the IRS is just another sign that his Russia investigation is intensifying, and reveals that financial crimes have become a central part of his probe.

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20 Republican former U.S. attorneys endorse Biden, call Trump "a threat to the rule of law"

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Twenty Republican former U.S. Attorneys on Tuesday endorsed Joe Biden while saying that "President Trump's leadership is a threat to rule of law" in the U.S., the Washington Post reports.

What they're saying: In the letter, the former prosecutors criticize Trump's use of the Department of Justice, saying the president expects the DOJ to "to serve his personal and political interests."

  • "He has politicized the Justice Department, dictating its priorities along political lines and breaking down the barrier that prior administrations had maintained between political and prosecutorial decision-making," the letter says.
Updated 44 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse — The swing states where the pandemic is raging.
  2. Health: The coronavirus is starting to crush some hospitals — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter coronavirus threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes cable and satellite TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota COVID cases traced to 3 Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Unrest in Italy as restrictions grow across Europe.

Ted Cruz defends GOP's expected return to prioritizing national debt

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told "Axios on HBO" on Monday that he wishes reining in the national debt was a higher priority for President Trump.

Why it matters: Trump pledged during the 2016 campaign to reduce the national debt and eliminate it entirely within eight years, though he also deemed himself "the king of debt" and said there were some priorities that required spending. In the fiscal year that ended in September, the deficit reached a record $3.1 trillion.