Feb 9, 2018

DOJ's No. 3 is stepping down

Christopher Wray, Noel Francisco, Rachel Brand and Rod Rosenstein. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Rachel Brand, Associate Attorney General at the Justice Department, is stepping down after nine months on the job, the NYT reports. Brand assumed the role in May 2017 and is leaving her role for a position as general counsel in the private sector, per NYT.

Why it matters: Brand was seen as Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's successor. Rosenstein is currently overseeing Robert Mueller's investigation regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election. President Trump has called the investigation a "witch hunt" and has considered firing Rosenstein. At DOJ, Brand directly reported to Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Sessions recused himself from overseeing the on-going investigation of Russian meddling in the election after it was revealed he met with Russian ambassadors in 2016.

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The cost of going after Bloomberg

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Here's the growing dilemma for 2020 Democrats vying for a one-on-one showdown with frontrunner Bernie Sanders: Do they have the guts — and the money — to first stop Mike Bloomberg?

Why it matters: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren all must weigh the costs of punching Bloomberg where he looks most vulnerable: stop-and-frisk, charges of sexism, billionaire entitlement. The more zealous the attacks, the greater the risk he turns his campaign ATM against them.

How Trump’s economy stacks up

Source: "Presidents and US Economy", Trump figures through 2019 courtesy of Alan Blinder; Note: Data shows real GDP and Q1 growth in each term is attributed to the previous president; Chart: Axios Visuals

Average economic growth under President Trump has outpaced the growth under Barack Obama, but not all of his recent predecessors.

Why it matters: GDP is the most comprehensive economic scorecard — and something presidents, especially Trump, use as an example of success. And it's especially relevant since Trump is running for re-election on his economic record.

Coronavirus cases rise as 14 American evacuees infected

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

14 Americans evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship tested positive for the novel coronavirus before being flown in a "specialist containment" on a plane repatriating U.S. citizens back home, the U.S. government said early Monday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,770 people and infected almost 70,000 others. Most cases and all but five of the deaths have occurred in mainland China. Taiwan confirmed its first death on Sunday, per multiple reports, in a 61-year-old man with underlying health conditions. Health officials were investigating how he became ill.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 hours ago - Health