Anthony Levandowski, then-head of Uber's self-driving program, spoke about their driverless car in San Francisco before he was fired from Uber in May. Photo: Eric Risberg / AP

Just a month before the scheduled trial, the federal judge threw out on Thursday one of the trade secret claims in Waymo's lawsuit against Uber. He also dismissed Otto Trucking, the startup founded by the engineer at the center of the case, as a defendant, and threw out a technical analysis by one of Waymo's expert witnesses.

Between the lines: The dismissal of Otto Trucking is the latest instance of the judge's nudging Waymo to show it has a case against Uber, and not just against Otto Trucking co-founder Anthony Levandowski who is accused of downloading proprietary files. Waymo specifically didn't name Levandowski as a defendant as a way to keep the lawsuit out of arbitration, and the judge argued that it must now stick with this decision without trying to use Otto as a stand-in for him. His other decisions also show the judge's growing skepticism of Waymo's case.

Update: The judge has also ruled to exclude testimony from Waymo's financial damages expert, Michael Wagner.

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20 Republican former U.S. attorneys endorse Biden, call Trump "a threat to the rule of law"

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Twenty Republican former U.S. Attorneys on Tuesday endorsed Joe Biden while saying that "President Trump's leadership is a threat to rule of law" in the U.S., the Washington Post reports.

What they're saying: In the letter, the former prosecutors criticize Trump's use of the Department of Justice, saying the president expects the DOJ to "to serve his personal and political interests."

  • "He has politicized the Justice Department, dictating its priorities along political lines and breaking down the barrier that prior administrations had maintained between political and prosecutorial decision-making," the letter says.
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Ted Cruz defends GOP's expected return to prioritizing national debt

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told "Axios on HBO" on Monday that he wishes reining in the national debt was a higher priority for President Trump.

Why it matters: Trump pledged during the 2016 campaign to reduce the national debt and eliminate it entirely within eight years, though he also deemed himself "the king of debt" and said there were some priorities that required spending. In the fiscal year that ended in September, the deficit reached a record $3.1 trillion.