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House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler and Attorney General Bill Barr. Photos: Getty Images

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) has scheduled a committee vote on Wednesday to allow staff lawyers to question Attorney General Bill Barr during his hearing this week.

Why it matters: Barr has threatened to cancel his appearance before the panel on Thursday over the proposed format, with the Justice Department arguing that Barr had agreed to appear before Congress — and therefore "members of Congress should be the ones doing the questioning." Nadler, who has pledged to subpoena Barr if he doesn't show up, told reporters Monday: "It’s not the business of a witness to try to dictate to a congressional committee what our procedures for questioning him are."

The big picture: Thursday's hearing will be the first opportunity for Democrats 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.

  • It's likely to be the first of many Democrat-led interrogations of Trump administration officials in the post-Mueller world, though the White House has made clear that it will not voluntarily comply with any of the House's investigations or subpoenas.
  • As the top law enforcement official in the country, however, it remains to be seen whether Barr will stonewall Congress to the same level as more openly partisan Trump officials. Public pressure for Barr to explain why he chose to exonerate Trump on obstruction of justice — a move that seemingly downplayed the breadth of evidence of obstruction presented in the Mueller report — could force his hand.

What to watch: The hearing on Thursday will be preceded by Barr's appearance before the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, expected to be a less hostile environment chaired by Trump ally Lindsey Graham.

  • Graham, who played a significant role in President Bill Clinton's impeachment proceedings, has blasted Democrats as "political hacks" and said he doesn't care about the evidence of obstruction that Mueller laid out: "From my point of view, I've heard all I need to really know. Now I want to look and find out how all this happened."
  • 2020 presidential candidates Sens. Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar and Cory Booker will be among the Judiciary Democrats to question Barr.

Go deeper: How Trump can stall House Democrats' investigations and subpoenas

Go deeper

Democrats drubbing Trumpless GOP on social media

Data: Twitter/CrowdTangle (Feb 24, 2021); Chart: Will Chase/Axios

In a swift reversal from 90 days ago, Democrats are now the ones with overpowering social media muscle and the ability to drive news.

The big picture: Former President Donald Trump’s digital exile and the reversal of national power has turned the tables on which party can keep a stranglehold on online conversation.

Here come Earmarks 2.0

DeLauro at a hearing in May 2020. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Appropriations Committee is preparing to announce details of a plan to restore a limited version of earmarks, which give lawmakers power to direct spending to their districts to pay for special projects.

Why it matters: A series of scandals involving members in both parties prompted a moratorium on earmarks in 2011. But Democrats argue it's worth the risk to bring them back because earmarks would increase their leverage to pass critical legislation with a narrow majority, especially infrastructure and spending bills.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
48 mins ago - Health

New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

New research is bolstering the case for delaying second doses of coronavirus vaccines.

Why it matters: Most vulnerable Americans remain unvaccinated heading into March, when experts predict the more infectious virus variant first found in the U.K. could become dominant in the U.S.