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Photos: Alex Wong/Getty Images and Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines on Tuesday to allot an extra hour of questioning via staff lawyers at Attorney General Bill Barr's hearing on the Mueller report on Thursday.

Why it matters: Barr has threatened to cancel his appearance before the committee if House Democrats went forward with the current format, which breaks from traditional 5-minute rounds of lawmaker questioning. If he does so, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler has said he will subpoena Barr and potentially hold him in contempt of Congress if he does not comply.

The big picture: Thursday's hearing is House Democrats' first opportunity to question Barr since the release of the redacted Mueller report, after many accused the attorney general of spinning the special counsel's findings on behalf of President Trump. Special counsel Robert Mueller sent a letter to Barr on March 27 objecting to his characterization of the report.

Go deeper: Read the letter Mueller sent to Barr

Go deeper

3 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.