The Washington Post's Philip Rucker and Ellen Nakashima report, citing three sources familiar with the situation, that before Sheriff Joe Arpaio's case went to court earlier this year, President Trump asked Attorney General Sessions whether it would be possible for the federal government to drop the charges.

Sessions said that would be inappropriate, per the report, so Trump "decided to let the case go to trial, and if Arpaio was convicted, he could grant clemency."

The quotes: One Trump associate said the president was "gung-ho about it," while a White House official said, "We knew the president wanted to do this for some time now and had worked to prepare for whenever the moment may come."

The case: Contempt charges for declining to stop profiling people he suspected of being illegal immigrants.

One take, from CNN's Andrew Kaczynski: "POTUS decided he'd pardon Arpaio before case even went to trial. Imagine what will happen with Flynn."

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Updated 7 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did" — Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted relief bill.
  2. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  3. Health: The pandemic is getting worse again New York reports most cases since MayMany U.S. coronavirus deaths were avoidable.
  4. Education: Boston and Chicago send students back home for online learning.
  5. World: Spain becomes first nation in Western Europe to exceed 1 million cases — France becomes the second.

Biden says he will appoint commission on Supreme Court reform

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden told CBS' "60 Minutes" this week that if elected, he would put together a bipartisan commission to study the federal court system and make recommendations for reform.

Why it matters: Biden has come under pressure to clarify his position on court packing after some Democrats suggested expanding the court if Senate Republicans confirm President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
38 mins ago - Economy & Business

Wall Street still prefers bonds

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Sunset Boulevard/Getty Contributor

Investors' return on U.S. corporate bonds has been falling since its August peak, but buying has only accelerated, especially in investment grade bonds that are offering historically low yields.

The state of play: Since hitting its 2020 high on Aug. 4, the benchmark Bloomberg Barclays U.S. bond aggregate has delivered a -2.2% return. (For comparison, the S&P 500 has gained 3.9% during the same time period.)