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Matt Rourke / AP

The special counsel probe into Trump-Russia links is now investigating Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, per an AP report. It's taking an oversight role of an ongoing investigation into Manafort. The special counsel is also expanding the probe to investigate Trump's former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, Reuters first reported. Mueller is assuming control of the grand jury investigation into Flynn's paid work as a lobbyist for a Turkish businessman and his contacts with Russian officials.

The investigation may also expand to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in the matter of firing FBI Director James Comey, per the AP.

Why it matters: Including Manafort shows special counsel Robert Mueller is "assuming a broad mandate," the AP said.

Manafort's business ties in Ukraine have come under scrutiny before, since he received off the books payments worth millions in the late 2000s from a pro-Russian political party. This caused him to resign from Trump's campaign in August, and the DOJ has been investigating him since before the election. Go deeper on Manafort via CNN.

Go deeper

Congress plots COVID pandemic-era office upgrades

oving crates outside Rep. Elise Stefanik's old office Tuesday. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The House plans to renovate members' suites even though staff are worried about an influx of contractors and D.C. is tightening restrictions on large gatherings, some staffers told Axios.

Why it matters: The Capitol has been closed to public tours since March. Work over the holiday season comes as U.S. coronavirus cases spike, Americans beg for more pandemic assistance and food lines grow.

Trump pressures Barr to release so-called Durham report

Bill Barr. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump and his allies are piling extreme pressure on Attorney General Bill Barr to release a report that Trump believes could hurt perceived Obama-era enemies — and view Barr's designation of John Durham as special counsel as a stall tactic, sources familiar with the conversations tell Axios.

Why it matters: Speculation over Barr's fate grew on Tuesday, with just 49 days remaining in Trump's presidency, after Barr gave an interview to the Associated Press in which he said the Justice Department has not uncovered evidence of widespread fraud that could change the election's outcome.

CDC to cut guidance on quarantine period for coronavirus exposure

A health care worker oversees cars as people arrive to get tested for coronavirus at a testing site in Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The CDC will soon shorten its guidance for quarantine periods following exposure to COVID-19, AP reported Tuesday and Axios can confirm.

Why it matters: Quarantine helps prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which can occur before a person knows they're sick or if they're infected without feeling any symptoms. The current recommended period to stay home if exposed to the virus is 14 days. The CDC plans to amend this to 10 days or seven with a negative test, an official told Axios.

  • The CDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.