Attorney General Jeff Sessions at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Tuesday. Photo: Alex Brandon / AP

Attorney General Jeff Sessions would not answer questions about the presidential power to issue pardons today while testifying before the House Judiciary Committee.

Why it matters: President Trump has the authority to pardon anyone (except in an impeachment conviction), whether or not they have already been charged with a crime — such as Paul Manafort or Rick Gates, and that power is absolute, extending to his family and members of his administration. Read more on the facts of presidential pardons.

What was said in an exchange between Rep. Deutch and Sessions:

  • "I'm not able to comment on" whether Trump could pardon Manafort or Gates before their trial or conviction. "I haven't researched that question."
  • What do you think the settled law is on that question? "I don't know"
  • When asked if Trump could pardon family members, including Donald Trump Jr. for his messages with WikiLeaks: "I would not be able to answer that at this moment."

Go deeper

Jeff Sessions loses Alabama Senate primary runoff

Jeff Sessions. Photo: Michael DeMocker/Getty Images

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions has lost the Republican nomination for Senate to Tommy Tuberville in Alabama in Tuesday night’s primary runoff, AP reports.

Why it matters: Sessions had been the underdog in the race against former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville, who had the backing of President Trump. Tuberville will now face off against Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) in November, who is considered to have one of the most vulnerable Democratic Senate seats in the country.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 13,273,537 — Total deaths: 577,006 — Total recoveries — 7,367,106Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 3,424,304 — Total deaths: 136,432 — Total recoveries: 1,049,098 — Total tested: 41,764,557Map.
  3. Politics: Biden welcomes Trump wearing mask in public but warns "it’s not enough"
  4. Public health: Four former CDC heads say Trump's undermining of agency puts lives at risk — CDC director: U.S. could get coronavirus "under control" in 4–8 weeks if all wear masks.

Bank CEOs brace for worsening economic scenario

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon. Photo: J. Lawler Duggan/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Wells Fargo swung to its first loss since the financial crisis — while JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup reported significantly lower profits from a year earlier — as the banks set aside billions of dollars more in the second quarter for loans that may go bad.

Why it matters: The cumulative $28 billion in loan loss provisions that banks have so far announced they’re reserving serves as a signal they’re preparing for a colossal wave of loan defaults as the economy slogs through a coronavirus-driven downturn.