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Andrew Harnik / AP

The staff fired this week were in one of the few top offices that directly report to the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (the office of the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, per CBS.

Why this matters: A former State Department official told Axios the Deputy Secretary of State may have to pick up the slack for this empty office, which may rob the State Department of focused regional policy-making and guidance that helps U.S. diplomats do their job.

"Given the current environment I don't know why you wouldn't take advantage" of the management office, a former senior State Department official told Axios, referring to the other four senior management State officers who were recently asked to pack their bags.

The buzz around State is that Trump could be planning to eliminate this office, a current senior State Department official told Axios.

This adds to the signals that the White House is trying to step up its role in foreign policy. The senior State Department official told Axios this is normal, but that the POTUS traditionally works through the National Security Council. These dismissals also add to the concern that diplomats' ability to influence policy is already under attack since Sean Spicer said diplomats can "either get with the program or they can go" after hundreds signed a dissent channel a few weeks ago.

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations before leaving office

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump plans to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations on his final full day in office Tuesday, sources familiar with the matter told Axios.

Why it matters: This is a continuation of the president's controversial December spree that saw full pardons granted to more than two dozen people — including former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, longtime associate Roger Stone and Charles Kushner, the father of Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

  • The pardons set to be issued before Trump exits the White House will be a mix of criminal justice ones and pardons for people connected to the president, the sources said.
  • CNN first reported this news.

Go deeper: Convicts turn to D.C. fixers for Trump pardons

Schumer's m(aj)ority checklist

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.

The dark new reality in Congress

National Guard troops keep watch at security fencing. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This is how bad things are for elected officials and others working in a post-insurrection Congress:

  • Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) said she had a panic attack while grocery shopping back home.
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said police may also have to be at his constituent meetings.
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) told a podcaster he brought a gun to his office on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 because he anticipated trouble with the proceedings that day.