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Michael Atkinson testifies to House Intelligence Committee on October 4, 2019. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call, Inc. via Getty Images

Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson told lawmakers last week that the whistleblower whose complaint about President Trump and Ukraine has set off an impeachment inquiry previously had "some type of professional relationship" with one of the 2020 Democratic candidates, the Washington Examiner first reported and Axios' Jonathan Swan has confirmed.

The big picture: Atkinson wrote in an Aug. 26 letter that the whistleblower demonstrated "some indicia of an arguable political bias ... in favor of a rival political candidate." CNN later reported that the whistleblower is a registered Democrat, which Trump allies have used in an effort to undermine their credibility. Much of the information laid out in the whistleblower's original complaint has since been substantiated.

Atkinson did not say which Democratic candidate or in what capacity the whistleblower worked. A source tells Axios that it was unclear whether the working relationship was in the course of government service or more political.

Go deeper ... Trump-Ukraine scandal: The key players, dates and documents

Go deeper

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.

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