Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

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

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

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Connecticut prosecutor Nora Dannehy entering a taxi in Washington, D.C., in 2009. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Nora Dannehy, a senior prosecutor who worked with Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham on his investigation into U.S. intelligence agencies that examined allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election, abruptly resigned from the Justice Department on Friday, the Hartford Courant first reported, citing unidentified colleagues.

Why it matters: Dannehy's departure may complicate the final stretch of the investigation amid mounting pressure from President Trump and his allies for published results before the November elections.

  • It will also likely raise concern among Democrats, who have sought interviews with Durham over allegations that Attorney General Bill Barr has intervened with DOJ cases that concern the president.
  • "Whether Mr. Barr and Mr. Durham plan to take public investigative steps close to the election, flouting a longstanding Justice Department practice of avoiding overt activity within 60 days of an election if it could have a political impact on the vote, has been the subject of growing scrutiny," the New York Times writes.

Context: In 2019, Barr chose Durham to conduct the sweeping investigation into the origins of the FBI's 2016 Russia probe .

  • Trump and his allies have long claimed the probe was a political hit job engineered by former FBI director James Comey and other Obama-era officials.

The big picture: Dannehy told her colleagues in the U.S. Attorney’s office in New Haven of her resignation from the DOJ in an email Thursday evening, though she did not give a reason, according to the Courant.

  • Trump has expressed impatience with Durham's investigation in recent interviews and has suggested that it should be prosecuting more people and disclosing more developments, according to Politico.
  • Durham's inquiry produced its first charge in August of Kevin Clinesmith, a former FBI lawyer who pleaded guilty to altering an email used to obtain a surveillance warrant for former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Go deeper

Dec 15, 2020 - Podcasts

Inside Barr's resignation

Tensions between President Trump and Attorney General William Barr have been running high for weeks. They came to a head on Monday when Trump tweeted that Barr will resign from his post before Christmas, moments after the Electoral College affirmed President-elect Joe Biden's election victory.

  • Plus, could 2020 be the end of pro-democracy movements in Hong Kong?
  • And, what happens if the job you lost during the pandemic won’t come back.

Journalism enters dangerous new era

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The Capitol attack on Jan. 6 resulted in at least nine physical assaults against journalists and at least five arrests, per the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker's top editor.

Why it matters: President Trump's harsh rhetoric towards the press has empowered leaders abroad and locally in the U.S. to continue to attack press that they don't like.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The beginning of the beginning for Biden's climate push

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Joe Biden's inauguration and the days right after will bring a rat-tat-tat burst of climate policy moves, but keep this in mind amid the splashy pledges: pushing through most of his agenda will be a long, uncertain slog.

Why it matters: Biden's climate plan is far more expansive than anything contemplated under President Obama. But for all the immediate pledges, it will take years to see how far Biden gets.