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Attorney General Bill Barr. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Attorney General Bill Barr may not testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday due to objections over the hearing's format, CNN first reported and several other outlets later confirmed.

Details: House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) has proposed allowing the committee's Democratic and Republican counsels to question Barr about special counsel Robert Mueller's report, which the Justice Department reportedly opposes. Nadler told CNN: "The witness is not going to tell the committee how to conduct its hearing, period." If Barr cancels his appearance, Nadler said he would subpoena him and "use whatever means we can to enforce the subpoena."

  • Barr is also opposed to a committee proposal to move the session to a closed-door setting to discuss the unredacted report.
  • In a statement to CNN, the Justice Department said: "The attorney general agreed to appear before Congress. Therefore, members of Congress should be the ones doing the questioning. He remains happy to engage with members on their questions."

The big picture: Barr's potential boycott could fuel an already heated partisan battle over his behavior in the run-up to the release of the Mueller report. Many Democrats believe Barr's March 26 summary of the report's "principal conclusions" spun Mueller's findings in a favorable light for President Trump and that Barr had no authority to clear Trump on obstruction of justice when Mueller explicitly chose not to.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Special report: Trump's U.S.-China transformation

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump began his term by launching the trade war with China he had promised on the campaign trail. By mid-2020, however, Trump was no longer the public face of China policy-making as he became increasingly consumed with domestic troubles, giving his top aides carte blanche to pursue a cascade of tough-on-China policies.

Why it matters: Trump alone did not reshape the China relationship. But his trade war shattered global norms, paving the way for administration officials to pursue policies that just a few years earlier would have been unthinkable.

McConnell: Trump "provoked" Capitol mob

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that the pro-Trump mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was "provoked by the president and other powerful people."

Why it matters: Trump was impeached by the House last week for "incitement of insurrection." McConnell has not said how he will vote in Trump's coming Senate impeachment trial, but sources told Axios' Mike Allen that the chances of him voting to convict are higher than 50%.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP leaders skip Trump sendoff in favor of church with Biden

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in July. Photo by Erin Scott-Pool/Getty Images

Congressional leaders, including House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, will skip President Trump's departure ceremony in Maryland tomorrow morning in favor of attending mass with incoming President Joe Biden ahead of his inauguration, congressional sources familiar with their plans tell Axios.

Why it matters: Their decision is a clear sign of unity before Biden takes the oath of office.