Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig confirmed at a House Appropriations Subcommittee on Tuesday that there is "no rule that would prohibit the release of a tax return because it's under audit," in reference to an ongoing effort by House Democrats to obtain President Trump's tax returns.

Driving the news: Trump told reporters on Wednesday, the deadline given by House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal for Trump to release his tax returns, that he will not do so while under audit — a defense he has used for the past 3 years. Trump's lawyers sent a letter to the Department of Treasury counsel last week dismissing the request for returns as politically-motivated.

Go deeper: Mick Mulvaney says Democrats will never get Trump's tax returns

Go deeper

29 mins ago - Health

We're losing the war on the coronavirus

Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

By any standard, no matter how you look at it, the U.S. is losing its war against the coronavirus.

Why it matters: The pandemic is not an abstraction, and it is not something that’s simmering in the background. It is an ongoing emergency ravaging nearly the entire country, with a loss of life equivalent to a Sept. 11 every three days — for four months and counting.

Trump commutes Roger Stone's sentence

Roger Stone arriving at his sentencing hearing on Feb. 20. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump on Friday evening commuted the sentence of his longtime associate Roger Stone, according to two senior administration officials. Stone in February was sentenced to 40 months in prison for crimes including obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements to Congress.

Why it matters: The controversial move brings an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars. He had been scheduled to report to prison on July 14.

Updated 13 hours ago - Health

Which states have set single-day coronavirus records this week

Data: COVID Tracking Project and state health department data compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti and Naema Ahmed/Axios

13 states this week surpassed records set just last week for their highest number of coronavirus infections in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project and state health department data. 16 states in total reported new highs.

The big picture: The United States' alarming rise in coronavirus cases isn't just due to increased testing — particularly where the number of cases has grown fastest over the last month, Axios' Andrew Witherspoon and Caitlin Owens report.