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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

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Kaine, Collins pitch Senate colleagues on censuring Trump

Sen. Tim Kaine speaks with Sen. Susan Collins. Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine and Susan Collins are privately pitching their colleagues on a bipartisan resolution censuring former President Trump, three sources familiar with the discussions tell Axios.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction in his second impeachment.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Anthony Coley to lead Justice Department public affairs

Photo: Xinhua/Ting Shen via Getty Images

Judge Merrick Garland, President Biden’s nominee for attorney general, has tapped Anthony Coley, an Obama-era Treasury Department official, to serve as a senior adviser and to lead public affairs at the Department of Justice, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: As the public face of the DOJ, Coley will help explain — and defend — the department's actions, from sensitive cases to prosecutorial decisions, including the investigation into Hunter Biden.

AP: Justice Dept. rescinds "zero tolerance" policy

A young girl waves to onlookers through the fence at the U.S.-Mexico border wall in San Ysidro, California, in Nov. 2018. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden's acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson issued a memo on Tuesday to revoke the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, which separated thousands of migrant children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border, AP first reported.

Driving the news: A recent report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz emphasized the internal chaos at the agency over the implementation of the policy, which resulted in 545 parents separated from their children as of October 2020.