Sen. Tim Kaine. Photo: Cheriss May / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Sen. Tim Kaine, member of the Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees sent a letter Thursday evening to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson requesting he “immediately” give Congress a memo outlining the legal justification behind the airstrikes in Syria last April.

The backdrop: The Virginia Senator's request came after U.S. forces launched strikes on pro-Syrian government forces in Eastern Syria earlier this week in what the Pentagon claims was in “self-defense” to an “unprovoked” assault.

The big picture: Kaine wrote that that he believes that the strikes do not "justify U.S. military action without the authorization of Congress." He explained that he is “concerned that this legal justification may now become precedent for additional executive unilateral military action, including this week’s U.S. airstrikes in Syria against pro-Assad forces or even an extremely risky ‘bloody nose’ strike against North Korea.”

Flashback: After the April 2017 strikes, Trump said, "I acted in the vital national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive."

Syria context this week: “I am gravely concerned that the Trump Administration is purposefully stumbling into a broader conflict,” Kaine said yesterday in a statement about the most recent onslaught of strikes. Syria claims the U.S. airstrikes “support terrorism.”

Go deeper: How the attacks in April played around the world

Go deeper

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 30,588,989 — Total deaths: 953,482— Total recoveries: 20,832,830Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 6,745,190 — Total deaths: 198,921 — Total recoveries: 2,556,465 — Total tests: 93,150,052Map.
  3. Politics: In reversal, CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people.
  4. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19.
  5. World: Guatemalan president tests positive for COVID-19.

Schumer: "Nothing is off the table" if GOP moves to fill Ginsburg's seat

Sen. Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told congressional Democrats on a conference call Saturday that "nothing is off the table next year" if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Republican allies move to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Supreme Court seat in the coming weeks.

Why it matters: Schumer's comments come amid calls from fellow Democrats to expand the number of judges on the Supreme Court if President Trump and Senate Republicans move to fill the newly empty seat next time the party holds a majority in the Senate.

ActBlue collects record-breaking $30 million in hours after Ginsburg's death

A makeshift memorial in honor of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Sept. 19. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

ActBlue, the Democratic donation-processing site, reported a record-breaking $30 million raised from 9 pm Friday to 9 am Saturday in the aftermath of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death, NPR writes and ActBlue confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters via the New York Times: "The unprecedented outpouring shows the power of a looming Supreme Court confirmation fight to motivate Democratic donors."