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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans blocked a vote on a bipartisan bill sponsored by Democratic Senators that would protect special counsel Robert Mueller from White House influence, per NBC News.

Why it matters: The bill gained traction after Jeff Sessions resigned from the Department of Justice as Attorney General and President Trump tapped Matthew Whitaker to temporarily take charge of overseeing the Mueller investigation. Whitaker has been critical of the investigation before and has raised questions about the future of the probe.

The details: Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) on Wednesday cited the Constitution to argue that the president has control over the Justice Department in his objection to a request for unanimous consent to hold a vote on the bill. Lee said that severing the special counsel from the White House would create a fourth branch of government.

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Scoop: Don Jr. plans convention-week Biden book

Cover via Don Jr.

Donald Trump Jr., in quarantine since girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle tested positive for the coronavirus, says he's used the time to finish a book that he'll self-publish the week of the Republican convention, at the end of August.

What he's saying: Don Jr., whose controversial blasts connect with President Trump's base, told me in a phone interview that "Liberal Privilege" will be his effort to paint a picture of Joe Biden and his record that the press ignores.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 12,553,591 — Total deaths: 561,038 — Total recoveries — 6,909,209Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 3,188,982 — Total deaths: 134,130 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,856,341Map.
  3. Public health: We're losing the war on the coronavirus.
  4. Food: How the coronavirus pandemic boosted alternative meat.
  5. World: India reimposes lockdowns as coronavirus cases soar.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Rural America has its own coronavirus problem.

Romney calls Stone commutation "historic corruption"

Sen. Mitt Romney. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Saturday tweeted a scathing response to President Trump's Friday night commutation of former associate Roger Stone's prison sentence, calling the move "[u]nprecedented, historic corruption."

Why it matters: Romney has emerged as the party's most prominent Trump critic. He sent shockwaves through Washington after announcing he would vote to convict Trump in the impeachment trial — becoming the only Senate Republican to break ranks and vote for the president's removal from office. Now he is the first major GOP lawmaker to condemn Trump's Friday night call regarding Stone.