Chad Wolf. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf defied a subpoena on Thursday to testify before the House Homeland Security Committee about worldwide threats to the U.S.

The big picture: The committee subpoenaed Wolf after he reneged on a commitment to testify on Sept. 8 and claimed it would be inappropriate to do so until he has been confirmed by the Senate.

  • The appearance would have come at a time of heightened scrutiny for Wolf, after a federal judge ruled he is likely unlawfully serving in his role and barred him from imposing new asylum restrictions.
  • Wolf is also facing a whistleblower report that claims he ordered officials to "cease providing intelligence assessments on the threat of Russian interference" and instead focus on China and Iran.

What they're saying: "Mr. Wolf may attempt to evade oversight and the Department may try silly stunts to distract from this hearing, but we will not waver. The stakes are just too high," committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said in an opening statement.

  • "Indeed, former department officials — the administration’s own political appointees — are coming forward to sound the alarm that our Nation’s security is being compromised in favor of the President’s political interests," he added.

The other side: A DHS spokesperson tweeted that Democrats on the committee refused the agency's "multiple offers to have a senior department official," including acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli, appear on Wolf's behalf.

  • Cuccinelli condemned the committee's Democrats in a news release on Wednesday, writing that "pending nominees don’t testify to other committees as their nomination is pending."

Go deeper

Senate Judiciary advances Amy Coney Barrett nomination

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday advanced the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court despite a boycott by Democratic senators.

The big picture: The 12 Republicans on the panel voted in favor of advancing the nomination while the committee's 10 Democrats submitted no votes. Democrats instead placed enlarged photos of Affordable Care Act beneficiaries in their seats, drawing attention to the upcoming Supreme Court case on the legislation. A full Senate vote on Barrett's nomination is set for Oct. 26.

Pre-bunking rises ahead of the 2020 election

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Tech platforms are no longer satisfied with debunking falsehoods — now they're starting to invest in efforts that preemptively show users accurate information to help them counter falsehoods later on.

Why it matters: Experts argue that pre-bunking can be a more effective strategy for combative misinformation than fact-checking. It's also a less polarizing way to address misinformation than trying to apply judgements to posts after they've been shared.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
1 hour ago - Sports

Locker Room wants to reinvent how fans talk sports

Courtesy: Betty Labs

Locker Room, a social audio app where fans can talk sports and spontaneously join live conversations, launches Tuesday on the App Store.

The state of play: The company behind Locker Room, Betty Labs, has raised $9.3 million in seed funding led by Google Ventures with participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Axios has learned.

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