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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 the 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 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.
  • The letter adds that Trump "undermined the Department’s ability to unify and lead our nation’s law enforcement by picking political fights with state and local officials in a naked effort to demonize and blame them for the disturbances in our cities over the past several months."
  • "Although we were political appointees, it was expected that politics would play no role in the exercise of our prosecutorial discretion and that we would make decisions according to the facts and law and without regard to their political implications."

Why it matters: Trump has been losing support from major Republican figures since the beginning of the year. The 20 former prosecutors, all of whom were appointed by and served under a Republican president, are the latest group to throw their support behind Biden.

Of note: The current DOJ received criticism for what career prosecutors have called "politicized decision-making," per the Washington Post.

  • In February, the DOJ recommended a reduced prison sentence for Roger Stone, a former Trump campaign adviser who was found guilty in November on seven counts related to his attempts to learn more about when WikiLeaks would publish damaging emails about Hillary Clinton.
  • In May, the DOJ withdrew charges against Michael Flynn, Trump's first national security adviser, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in 2017 and was fired from the White House for lying to Vice President Mike Pence.

Go deeper

Nov 25, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump pardons Michael Flynn

President Trump with Michael Flynn in 2016. Photo: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

President Trump on Wednesday pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in the Mueller investigation to lying to FBI agents about his conversations with a former Russian ambassador.

Why it matters: It is the first of multiple pardons expected in the coming weeks, as Axios scooped Tuesday night.

2 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.