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House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) vowed to press ahead with a contempt vote after the Justice Department sent him a letter Tuesday saying if it wasn't canceled, Attorney General Bill Barr would recommend President Trump assert executive privilege over the Mueller report.

"This is ... not how executive privilege works. The White House waived these privileges long ago, and the Department seemed open to sharing these materials with us earlier today. The Department’s legal arguments are without credibility, merit, or legal or factual basis."
— House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler

Why it matters: Nadler scheduled the vote on Wednesday for the committee to hold Barr in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over the full report.

Context: The New York representative said hours before receiving the letter from Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd he would meet with the Justice Department Tuesday to "negotiate an accommodation" to Democrats' demands for the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's full, unredacted report. Boyd had proposed they meet on Wednesday afternoon.

What they're saying: In his letter to Nadler, Boyd requested the committee "hold the subpoena in abeyance and delay any vote on whether to recommend a citation of contempt for non-compliance with the subpoena, pending the President’s termination of this question."

"In the face of the Committee’s threatened contempt vote, the Attorney General will be compelled to request that the President invoke executive privilege with respect to the materials subject to the subpoena."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
12 mins ago - Economy & Business

Tesla's wild rise and European plan

Tesla's market capitalization blew past $500 billion for the first time Tuesday.

Why it matters: It's just a number, but kind of a wild one. Consider, via CNN: "Tesla is now worth more than the combined market value of most of the world's major automakers: Toyota, Volkswagen, GM, Ford, Fiat Chrysler and its merger partner PSA Group."

Dave Lawler, author of World
53 mins ago - World

China's Xi Jinping congratulates Biden on election win

Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP via Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message to President-elect Biden on Wednesday to congratulate him on his election victory, according to the Xinhua state news agency.

Why it matters: China's foreign ministry offered Biden a belated, and tentative, congratulations on Nov. 13, but Xi had not personally acknowledged Biden's win. The leaders of Brazil, Mexico and Russia are among the very few leaders still declining to congratulate Biden.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
2 hours ago - Sports

College basketball is back

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new season of college basketball begins Wednesday, and the goal is clear: March Madness must be played.

Why it matters: On March 12, 2020, the lights went out on college basketball, depriving teams like Baylor (who won our tournament simulation), Dayton, San Diego State and Florida State of perhaps their best chance to win a national championship.