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Steve Bannon. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

House Homeland Security chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Monday demanding that the agency turn over documents related to its interactions with the "We Build the Wall" campaign, whose founding members were indicted for fraud last week.

Why it matters: Thompson notes that Brian Kolfage, the group's president, tweeted on several occasions that the project to privately fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border had been "approved" and "endorsed" by DHS and Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

  • Kris Kobach, a member of the organization's board, "claimed at least three times during 2019 that President Trump approved of the group's border wall projects," Thompson adds.
  • Since the arrest of former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, Trump has attempted to distance himself from the project, claiming he did not know much about it.

What they're saying: "On November 20, 2019, you and U.S. Border Patrol El Paso Sector Chief Gloria Chavez praised We Build the Wall’s New Mexico project at a press event," Thompson writes in the letter addressed to acting DHS secretary Chad Wolf.

  • "Chief Chavez touted the privately built, half-mile barrier as a “game changer” and 'very effective.' Chief Chavez also described specific technical capabilities included as part of the project," Thompson continues.

Read the letter.

Go deeper

Lawmakers probe DHS after whistleblower complaint on Russian interference

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sept. 1. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The House and Senate Intelligence Committees are investigating the Department of Homeland Security based on a former senior officials' whistleblower complaint that he was told to stop giving assessments on threats of Russian interference in the U.S. because it "made the president look bad," lawmakers announced Friday.

Why it matters: The National Counterintelligence and Security Center has concluded that Russia is seeking to undermine Joe Biden's campaign and the Democratic Party, while supporting President Trump's candidacy.

Japan to release Fukushima water into sea

People near storage tanks for radioactive water at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, in 2020. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Japan's government on Tuesday announced plans to release more than 1 million metric tons of contaminated water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant in the Pacific Ocean following a treatment process.

Why it matters: While the Biden administration has said Japan appears to have met globally accepted nuclear safety standards, officials in South Korea, China and Taiwan, local residents, those in the fishing industry and green groups oppose the plans, due to begin in about two years, per the Guardian.

In photos: Twin Cities on edge after Daunte Wright shooting

Demonstrators shout "Don't shoot" at the police after curfew on April 12 as they protest the death of Daunte Wright, who was shot and killed by a police officer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, a day earlier. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

There were tense scenes in the Twin Cities suburb of Brooklyn Center Monday night, after demonstrators defied a 7 p.m. curfew to protest for a second night the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright.

The big picture: The curfew was announced following a night of protests and unrest over the killing of Wright, 20, during a traffic stop Sunday. Following peaceful protests and a daytime vigil, police again deployed tear gas during clashes with protesters Monday night, according to reporters on the scene.