Special counsel Robert Mueller (L) arrives at the U.S. Capitol for a closed meeting. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has given a "skeptical" judge a three-page document — written by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing the Russia investigation — justifying his team's probe in to Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, reports Bloomberg.

Why it matters: Prosecutors reportedly filed the full memo "under seal and directly to the judge through the classified security officer." As Bloomberg points out, that process suggests the document contains national security information.

The backdrop: A federal judge in Virginia challenged the special counsel's case against Manafort earlier this month, and ordered Mueller's team to give him an unredacted version of the memo Rosenstein wrote last August explaining the basis for their interest in Manafort.

"You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud. You really care about getting information that Mr. Manafort can give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump and lead to his prosecution or impeachment or whatever.”
— Judge T. S. Ellis III said during a court hearing in Alexandria on May 4

Don't forget: Manafort is charged with tax and bank fraud in Virginia, in addition to facing charges in Washington, D.C. for money laundering and being an unregistered foreign agent.

Go deeper

Democrats' mail voting pivot

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Democrats spent the early months of the coronavirus pandemic urging their base to vote absentee. But as threats of U.S. Postal Service delays, Team Trump litigation and higher ballot rejection rates become clearer, many are pivoting to promote more in-person voting as well.

Why it matters: Democrats are exponentially more likely to vote by mail than Republicans this year — and if enough mail-in ballots are lost, rejected on a technicality or undercounted, it could change the outcome of the presidential election or other key races.

New interactive tool shows Biden's mail voting danger

Data: SurveyMonkey; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Voters who disapprove of President Trump most strongly are by far the most likely to vote by mail in the presidential election, according to an Axios analysis of exclusive data from SurveyMonkey and Tableau.

Why it matters: The new data shows just how strongly the mail-in vote is likely to favor Joe Biden — with potentially enormous implications in the swing states due to the greater risk of rejection with mail ballots.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
51 mins ago - Health

Reopening the ACA debate is politically risky for GOP

Data: Kaiser Family Foundation, The Cook Political Report; Notes: Those losing insurance includes 2020 ACA marketplace enrollment and 2019 Medicaid expansion enrollment among newly-eligible enrollees. Close races are those defined as "Toss up" or "Lean R/D"; Table: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The sudden uncertainty surrounding the future of the Affordable Care Act could be an enormous political liability for Republicans in key states come November.

Between the lines: Millions of people in crucial presidential and Senate battlegrounds would lose their health care coverage if the Supreme Court strikes down the law, as the Trump administration is urging it to.

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