Photo: Gonzales Photo/Jarle H. Moe/PYMCA-Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Jenna Ellis, a senior legal adviser to the Trump campaign, tweeted that the "targeting" of former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who was charged with fraud on Thursday, is "another malicious political prosecution."

Why it matters: President Trump has attempted to distance himself from Bannon — saying Thursday he was only involved for a "small part of the administration" — even as some of his allies come out in support of the former White House chief strategist.

  • Bannon is accused of defrauding donors out of hundreds of thousands of dollars through a crowdfunding campaign called "We Build the Wall," which raked in over $25 million.
  • Bannon is the sixth high-level member of the 2016 Trump campaign to be charged with a federal crime.

What they're saying: Trump said he feels "very badly" for Bannon but that he hasn't been "dealing with him at all" since he was ousted in 2017.

  • "I know nothing about the project other than I didn't like when I read about it, I didn't like it," Trump said. "I said, this is for government. This isn't for private people. And it sounded to me like showboating. And I think I let my opinion be very strongly stated at the time."
  • White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement: "President Trump has not been involved with Steve Bannon since the campaign and the early part of the Administration, and he does not know the people involved with this project."

The state of play: Bannon pleaded not guilty to the fraud charges on Thursday. A judge agreed to release Bannon on a $5 million bond.

Go deeper: Kris Kobach claimed Bannon's wall project had Trump's "blessing" last year

Go deeper

The apocalypse scenario

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democratic lawyers are preparing to challenge any effort by President Trump to swap electors chosen by voters with electors selected by Republican-controlled legislatures. One state of particular concern: Pennsylvania, where the GOP controls the state house.

Why it matters: Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, together with a widely circulated article in The Atlantic about how bad the worst-case scenarios could get, is drawing new attention to the brutal fights that could jeopardize a final outcome.

Where Amy Coney Barrett stands on the biggest issues

Photo: Aurora Samperio/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Judge Amy Coney Barrett — expected to be named by President Trump today to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — would give conservatives a 6-3 majority on the Supreme Court, and an edge on issues from abortion to the limits of presidential power.

The big picture: Republicans love the federal appeals court judge's age — she is only 48 — and her record as a steadfast social conservative.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 32,595,105 — Total deaths: 989,663 — Total recoveries: 22,508,651Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 7,034,432 — Total deaths: 203,789 — Total recoveries: 2,727,335 — Total tests: 99,483,712Map.
  3. States: "We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus.
  4. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer.
  5. Business: Coronavirus has made airports happier places The expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance looms.
  6. Education: Where bringing students back to school is most risky.