Alex Brandon / AP

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's federal investigators are zeroing in on the president's role in responding to reports that his son, Donald Trump Jr., met with a Russian government lawyer in Trump Tower last year, "three sources familiar with the matter" told NBC News. They're interested in learning what Trump knew about the meeting and whether he tried to hide its purpose.

  • The initial response on July 8 was that Trump Jr. "was asked to attend the meeting by an acquaintance, but was not told the name of the person [he] would be meeting with beforehand."
  • Trump "weighed in" on that statement, according to the White House.
  • It was revealed the next day that Trump Jr. had been told he'd be presented with "official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary [Clinton]."

Why it matters: Trump's involvement in the drafting carries legal risks since he's "needlessly vulnerable to allegations of a coverup," as the Washington Post put it.

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Congress' next moves to rein in Big Tech

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

After grilling the CEOs of Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple last week, members of Congress are grappling with whether to accuse any of the firms of illegal anticompetitive behavior, to propose updating federal antitrust laws — or both.

The big picture: Congress is just one arm of government making the case against these companies. Google is expected to be the first of the firms to face possible antitrust litigation from the Justice Department before summer's end, but all four face a full-court press of investigations by DOJ, the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general.

Fauci: Coronavirus task force to examine aerosolized spread

A sneeze. Photo: Maartje van Caspel/Getty Images

The White House coronavirus task force will examine more closely just how much SARS-CoV-2 might be transmitted via aerosols, and not just from droplets, NIAID director Anthony Fauci said Wednesday at an online forum sponsored by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Why it matters: The longer the coronavirus can remain infectious in the air, the more likely it can infect people, particularly indoors — leading to the possible need to alter air filtration and circulation within buildings.

The next wave to hit Main Street

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Call it the great retail wash. A wave of defaults, bankruptcies and evictions expected in cities across the U.S. is poised to remake the retail landscape across the country, but there may be some upside for consumers and small businesses.

Why it matters: Rather than an overnight descent into a collection of urban wastelands full of Starbucks, Amazon fulfillment centers, Chase bank branches and nothing else, the coronavirus pandemic and resulting retail apocalypse may just mean that, in major U.S. cities, less is more.