Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC). Photo: Zach Gibson / Getty Images

Rep. Trey Gowdy, the House Oversight Committee chairman, on Wednesday asked Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson to release all communications and documents relating to allegations by a senior agency official who claimed she was demoted and replaced after raising concerns over expensive spending at the agency.

Why it matters: Gowdy's request comes a day reports said that HUD officials used $31,000 to purchase a dining set for Carson’s office last year. The South Carolina Republican asked Carson to submit receipts of redecorating and furnishing expenses between January and December 2017. He also asked Carson to arrange a briefing with his panel after submitting the documents.

The backdrop: Helen Foster, the high-ranking official, said in a complaint filed to the Office of Special Counsel that she was targeted after flagging the fact that redecorating plans for Carson’s office exceeded the legal spending limit, the Guardian reported Tuesday. She also claimed retaliation for exposing a $10m budget shortfall.

  • Foster was reportedly demoted in July 2017 without warning or explanation and was given a new role in October.

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Trump says he intends to give RNC speech on White House lawn

President Trump speaking to reporters on South Lawn in July. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump told the New York Post on Thursday that he plans to deliver his Republican National Convention speech from the White House lawn, despite bipartisan criticism of the optics and legality of the location.

Why it matters: Previous presidents avoided blurring staged campaign-style events — like party conventions — with official business of governing on the White House premises, per Politico.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 20,739,537 — Total deaths: 751,910— Total recoveries: 12,895,242Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 5,242,184 — Total deaths: 166,971 — Total recoveries: 1,755,225 — Total tests: 64,612,034Map.
  3. Politics: House Democrats to investigate scientist leading "Operation Warp Speed" vaccine projectMcConnell announces Senate will not hold votes until Sept. 8 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. 2020: Biden calls for 3-month national mask mandateBiden and Harris to receive coronavirus briefings 4 times a week.
  5. States: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to drop lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate.
  6. Business: Why the CARES Act makes 2020 the best year for companies to lose money.
  7. Public health: Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments Cases are falling, but don't get too comfortable.

Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Antibody drugs and various medicine cocktails against the coronavirus are progressing and may provide some relief before vaccines.

The big picture: Everyone wants to know how and when they can return to "normal" life, as vaccines are not expected to be ready for most Americans for at least a year. Two therapies are known to be helpful, and more could be announced by late September, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci tells Axios.