Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Staff for Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) are looking into a July whistleblower allegation related to possible interference with an audit of President Trump's or Vice President Mike Pence's tax returns, the Washington Post reports.

What we know: Staffers met this month with the whistleblower, who reportedly claims that at least one political appointee inside the Treasury Department may have attempted to interfere with an audit process, according to the Post. Follow-up interviews are expected, but it's not yet clear if the senators have deemed the whistleblower credible. The Trump administration has suggested the whistleblower is acting on political motivations.

  • The whistleblower is known to be a career IRS official. They claim to have received word of the audit interference secondhand and recently filed additional documentation related to their original complaint, per the Post.
  • Details of the additional documents are unknown. The complaint was first disclosed by House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) in an August court filing.

Between the lines: Trump has faced calls to release his tax returns since the 2016 election. He originally claimed that ongoing audits prevented him from disclosing his tax returns to the public.

  • Various House investigations, including an ongoing lawsuit filed by Neal's Ways and Means Committee, have demanded access to the returns.
  • Trump's private legal team has asked the Supreme Court to block subpoenas for the tax returns from both House Democrats and New York prosecutors.
  • On Monday, the Supreme Court issued an administrative stay blocking House Democrats' subpoena until both sides can file the necessary legal papers. It has not yet made a decision on the subpoena from Manhattan's district attorney.

What to watch: Rhetoric used by Trump to attempt to delegitimize the whistleblower in the ongoing Ukraine investigation could easily translate to this scenario, too.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 18 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 19,778,566— Total deaths: 729,768 — Total recoveries — 12,044,654Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 5,044,69 — Total deaths: 162,938 — Total recoveries: 1,656,864 — Total tests: 61,792,571Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi says states don't have the funds to comply with Trump's executive order on unemployment — Mnuchin says Trump executive orders were cleared by Justice Department.
  4. States: New York reports lowest rate of positive coronavirus test results since pandemic began
  5. Public health: Ex-FDA head: U.S. will "definitely" see 200,000 to 300,000 virus deaths by end of 2020. 
  6. Schools: Nine test positive at Georgia school where photo showing packed hallway went viral — How back-to-school is playing out in the South as coronavirus rages on.
Updated 37 mins ago - World

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested under national security law

Media tycoon Jimmy Lai at the Next Digital offices in Hong Kong in June. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai has been arrested for "collusion with foreign powers," said Mark Simon, an executive at the tycoon's media firm Next Digital Monday morning local time.

Why it matters: He was arrested under the new national security law that gives Beijing more powers over the former British colony. Lai is the most prominent person arrested under the law, which prompted the U.S. to sanction Chinese officials, including Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, over Beijing's efforts to strip the territory of its autonomy.

New York reports new low positive coronavirus test rate

People physically distancing at tables in New York City's Times Square in June. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced Sunday 515 people, or 0.78% of those tested, returned a positive reading for COVID-19 the previous day.

Why it matters: It's the lowest single-day positive rate since the start of the pandemic. It's another sign that the state that was once a global coronavirus epicenter is curbing the spread of the virus. "Our daily numbers remain low and steady, despite increasing infection rates across the country, and even in our region," Cuomo said in a statement. "But we must not become complacent: Everyone should continue to wear their masks and socially distance."

Go deeper: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning