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President Trump is withdrawing his nomination for former U.S. attorney for D.C. Jessie Liu to serve as the Treasury Department's undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes, a top position overseeing economic sanctions, according to two sources with direct knowledge.

The big picture: Liu was confirmed in September 2017 to lead the largest U.S. attorney's office in the country, overseeing a number of politically charged prosecutions that included the case against Trump associates Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort and other spinoffs from the Mueller investigation.

  • Liu stepped down from the U.S. attorney's office last month after Trump announced his intention to nominate her to the Treasury position in December 2019.
  • Liu was expected to stay in her position through her confirmation — with a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee scheduled for this Thursday — but was unexpectedly informed last month that Attorney General Bill Barr was replacing her with his close adviser Timothy Shea.
  • She was informed that Trump was pulling her nomination Tuesday afternoon.

Behind the scenes: This was "the president's call," according to a former administration official familiar with the situation. The decision, which was made today, has administration officials questioning the circumstances that led to Trump changing his mind — with the developments in the Roger Stone case today being the only new information they are aware of.

  • Four career prosecutors from the D.C. attorney's office withdrew from the Stone case after the Justice Department overruled them on a sentencing recommendation.

Go deeper

Warner asks DNI for underlying intelligence reports in Flynn "unmasking"

Sen. Mark Warner. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Senate Intelligence Committee ranking member Mark Warner (D-Va.) sent a letter to acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell on Wednesday requesting that he declassify and make public the underlying intelligence reports in which Obama officials "unmasked" the identity of Michael Flynn, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Grenell's move last week to declassify the names of officials who asked for the identity of Flynn when he was caught up in foreign surveillance reports came at the request of a pair of Republican senators. It prompted backlash from Democrats who allege that Grenell is seeking to fuel President Trump's campaign to discredit the Russia investigation.

Senate confirms John Ratcliffe as intelligence chief

Ratcliffe testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee in May. Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The Senate confirmed Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) as the director of national intelligence in a 49-44 party-line vote on Thursday.

Why it matters: Ratcliffe, a vocal ally of President Trump, now heads an intelligence community that has faced consistent criticism from the president and is in the midst of political firestorms surrounding the prosecution of Michael Flynn and the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

HHS watchdog targeted by Trump to testify about coronavirus supply shortages

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Health and Human Services principal deputy inspector general, Christi Grimm, will testify before the House Oversight Committee on Tuesday about an April report that found "severe shortages” in coronavirus testing kits and personal protective equipment in U.S. hospitals, a committee spokesperson confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters: President Trump targeted Grimm on Twitter after she published the critical report, tweeting on April 6: "Why didn’t the I.G., who spent 8 years with the Obama Administration (Did she Report on the failed H1N1 Swine Flu debacle where 17,000 people died?), want to talk to the Admirals, Generals, V.P. & others in charge, before doing her report. Another Fake Dossier!"