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House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said on ABC's "This Week" that he wants former White House national security adviser John Bolton to testify in the Ukraine investigation, but that he assumes the Trump administration will fight House investigators in court to prevent him from appearing.

"John Bolton is a very important witness. We already know from the testimony of others that this is someone who was concerned that people in the State Department — Ambassador Sondland and others, Mulvaney — were cooking up a "drug deal." And by that he meant a corrupt deal, involving withholding a White House meeting or perhaps the withholding of aid as well, for these political purposes."
— Schiff

The big picture: Trump's former Russia adviser Fiona Hill testified that Bolton told her to alert the chief National Security Council lawyer that Rudy Giuliani was "cooking up" a "rogue operation" with acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the EU.

  • The Washington Post reported on Thursday that Bolton warned U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that Trump would likely oppose restoring some of Ukraine's trade privileges — an indication that the suspension of assistance to Ukraine may have extended beyond just military aid.
  • Bolton is currently in talks to testify in the impeachment investigation, the New York Times reports.

What to watch: Schiff also told ABC's Martha Raddatz that he expects the committees to start conducting public hearings "soon," but wouldn't outline a specific timeline.

Go deeper: John Bolton to write Trump book, pairs with top agents

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

House cancels Thursday session as FBI, Homeland Security warn of threat to Capitol

Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security predict violent domestic extremists attacks will increase in 2021, according to a report obtained by Axios.

Driving the news: The joint report says extremists have discussed plans to take control of the Capitol and "remove Democratic lawmakers" on or about March 4. The House canceled its plans for Thursday votes as word of the possible threats spread.

4 hours ago - World

Pope Francis set to make first papal visit to Iraq amid possible turmoil

Data: Vatican News; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Pope Francis is forging ahead with the first papal trip to Iraq despite new coronavirus outbreaks and fears of instability.

The big picture: The March 5–8 visit is intended to reassure Christians in Iraq who were violently persecuted under the Islamic State. Francis also hopes to further ties with Shiite Muslims, AP notes.

"Neanderthal thinking": Biden slams states lifting mask mandates

States that are relaxing coronavirus restrictions are making "a big mistake," President Biden told reporters on Wednesday, adding: "The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking."

Driving the news: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Wednesday he will end all coronavirus restrictions via executive order, although some businesses are continuing to ask patrons to wear face masks. Mississippi is lifting its mask mandate for all counties Wednesday, per Gov. Tate Reeves (R).