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Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General. Photo: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has asked the offices of all 93 U.S. attorneys to each provide up to three federal prosecutors to assist the Justice Department in reviewing government records of President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the New York Times reports, citing a letter it obtained.

Why it matters: The Times notes that this is an unusual move because department attorneys are not typically responsible for carrying out such a task. "The production of documents could slow down a confirmation hearing that has already shaped up as a sharp partisan battle. Democratic lawmakers say they want to inspect all of Judge Kavanaugh’s documents, including his staff work and over 300 opinions he has issued as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit," the report notes.

What they're saying: Former law enforcement officials told the Times that Rosenstein's request is troubling.

  • "It’s flat-out wrong to have career federal prosecutors engaged in a political process like the vetting of a Supreme Court nominee. It takes them away from the mission they’re supposed to be fulfilling, which is effective criminal justice enforcement," Christopher Hunter, a former F.B.I. agent and federal prosecutor for almost 11 years, told the publication.
  • But Michael Zubrensky, a former Justice Department lawyer who oversaw the agency's Office of Legal Policy, said Kavanaugh's long paper trail could be the reason for Rosenstein's request.
  • Sarah Isgur Flores, spokeswoman for the Department of Justice, told the Times that prosecutors have been used in the past to vet Supreme Court nominees. "[T]he scope of the production of executive branch documents we’ve been asked for is many, many times as large," she said.

Rosenstein also wrote that he would need the equivalent of 100 full-time attorneys to work on the nominee's confirmation hearing.

Go deeper: What to know about Kavanaugh's judicial record

Go deeper

Justice Department drops insider trading inquiry against Sen. Richard Burr

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) walking through the Senate Subway in the U.S. Capitol in December 2020. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Department of Justice told Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on Tuesday that it will not move forward with insider trading charges against him.

Why it matters: The decision, first reported by the New York Times, effectively ends the DOJ's investigation into the senator's stock sell-off that occurred after multiple lawmakers were briefed about the coronavirus' potential economic toll. Burr subsequently stepped down as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Netflix tops 200 million global subscribers

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Netflix said that it added another 8.5 million global subscribers last quarter, bringing its total number of paid subscribers globally to more than 200 million.

The big picture: Positive fourth-quarter results show Netflix's resiliency, despite increased competition and pandemic-related production headwinds.

Janet Yellen plays down debt, tax hike concerns in confirmation hearing

Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen at an event in December. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Janet Yellen, Biden's pick to lead the Treasury Department, pushed back against two key concerns from Republican senators at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday: the country's debt and the incoming administration's plans to eventually raise taxes.

Driving the news: Yellen — who's expected to win confirmation — said spending big now will prevent the U.S. from having to dig out of a deeper hole later. She also said the Biden administration's priority right now is coronavirus relief, not raising taxes.