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Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

White House counsel Pat Cipollone sent a letter to House Oversight chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) on Tuesday rejecting the committee's request for documents on the process for granting security clearances to White House personnel, calling their demands "unprecedented and extraordinarily intrusive."

"Although we are prepared to continue negotiations in good faith, the Committee seeks unilateral concessions without any offer of accommodation on its part, and then complains that the White House has refused to simply tum over everything the Committee inappropriately seeks. These actions suggest that the Committee is not interested in proper oversight, but rather seeks information that it knows cannot be provided consistent with applicable law. We will not concede the Executive's constitutional prerogatives or allow the Committee to jeopardize the individual privacy rights of current and fo1mer Executive Branch employees."

Why it matters: The House Oversight Committee announced in January that it would investigate the White House and Trump transition team's process of granting security clearances "in response to grave breaches of national security at the highest levels of the Trump Administration." Cipollone's letter is likely the first of many confrontations to come, as Democrats intent on probing every corner of Trump's life, business and presidency begin to ramp up their investigations.

  • Cummings said last week that this would be his final voluntary request for the administration before the committee begins to issue subpoenas, per Politico.
  • In a statement responding to Cipollone, Cummings said: "The White House's argument defies the Constitutional separation of powers, decades of precedent before this Committee, and just plain common-sense. The White House security clearance system is broken, and it needs both congressional oversight and legislative reform."

Go deeper

Suspect in FedEx shooting identified as 19-year-old former FedEx employee Brandon Hole

Crime scene investigators walk through the FedEx parking lot in Indianapolis the day after a mass shooting left nine dead, including the gunman, who took his own life. Photo: Jeff Dean/AFP via Getty Images.

The suspected gunman in Thursday's mass shooting at an Indianapolis FedEx facility that left at least eight people dead and multiple others wounded, has been identified by local police as 19-year-old Brandon Hole, a former employee of FedEx, a company spokesperson Bonny Harrison told the AP.

The latest: Law enforcement has not yet uncovered the shooter's motive. Police Chief Randal Taylor said Friday morning that the warehouse employed a "significant" number of Sikhs, AP reports, and the Sikh Coalition confirmed that members of its community were among those who were injured and killed.

The legacy of Bernie Madoff

Bernie Madoff, architect of the largest Ponzi scheme in American history, died on Wednesday in federal prison, 11 years into his 150-year sentence.

Axios Re:Cap digs into Madoff’s crimes, what they revealed about America's financial system and what changed after the scheme came crashing down with Diana B. Henriques, author of the The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Russia to expel 10 U.S diplomats, ban top Biden officials in response to sanctions

Photo: Alexei Druzhinin\TASS via Getty Images

Russia will expel 10 U.S. diplomats and add eight current and former U.S. officials to its no-entry list in retaliation for sanctions that the Biden administration leveled at Moscow on Friday, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday.

Why it matters: The measures come after the U.S. said it would expel 10 Russian intelligence officers operating under diplomatic cover, as part of a broad package of sanctions retaliating against the SolarWinds hack of federal agencies and Russia's interference in the 2020 election.