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Hope Hicks and President Trump. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Former White House communications director Hope Hicks has agreed to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on June 19, the committee announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: Hicks will be the first former Trump official to appear before a Democratic committee investigating whether the president attempted to obstruct justice. However, Hicks may decline to answer certain questions if the president asserts executive privilege over events relating to her time in the White House.

  • Last week, the president instructed Hicks not to turn over documents related to her time in the administration, in defiance of a subpoena from the committee.

Details: The "transcribed interview" will "include questions related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign and efforts by President Trump, his associates, and other Administration officials to obstruct justice and investigations into Presidential misconduct," per the statement.

  • Statement from Chairman Jerry Nadler: “It is important to hear from Ms. Hicks, who was a key witness for the Special Counsel.  Ms. Hicks understands that the Committee will be free to pose questions as it sees fit, including about her time on the Trump Campaign and her time in the White House." 
  • "Should there be a privilege or other objection regarding any question, we will attempt to resolve any disagreement while reserving our right to take any and all measures in response to unfounded privilege assertions.  We look forward to her testimony and plan to make the transcript promptly available to the public.”

The backdrop: Hicks is one of five former White House officials formally subpoenaed by the committee. Others include former White House counsel Don McGahn, former White House strategist Steve Bannon, former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, and former White House deputy counsel Ann Donaldson.

  • Trump has said he does not want any of his current or former aides to testify before Congress.

Hicks did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

When it comes to picking a city's top cop, closed-door selection processes have been replaced by highly public exercises where everyone gets to vet the candidates — who must have better community-relations skills than ever.

Why it matters: In the post-George-Floyd era, with policing under utmost scrutiny, the choosing of a police chief has become something akin to an election, with the need to build consensus around a candidate. And the candidate pool has gotten smaller.

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46 mins ago - Economy & Business

Speculative crypto art market takes off

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Move over, GameStop. The newest speculative game in town is NFTs — digital files that can be owned and traded on a plethora of new online platforms.

Why it matters: Most NFTs include some kind of still or moving image, which makes them similar to many physical art objects. Some of them, including a gif of Nyan Cat flying through the sky with a pop-tart body and rainbow trail, can be worth more than your house.

New coronavirus cases fall by 20%

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New coronavirus infections continued their sharp decline over the past week, and are now back down to pre-Thanksgiving levels.

The big picture: Given the U.S.’ experience over the past year, it can be hard to trust anything that looks like good news, without fearing that another shoe is about to drop. But the U.S. really is doing something right lately. Cases are way down, vaccinations are way up, and that’s going to save a lot of lives.