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Attorney General Bill Barr. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee voted 24-16 along party lines Wednesday to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt for refusing to comply with a subpoena demanding the release of the full Mueller report and its underlying materials.

Why it matters: In response to the committee's contempt vote, the Justice Department informed Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday that President Trump will assert executive privilege over the subpoenaed materials.

The backdrop: The committee met with the Justice Department on Tuesday to negotiate possible accommodations to avoid the contempt vote, which Democrats subsequently rejected. The subpoena demands that Barr provide all information redacted in the version of the Mueller report released on April 18.

  • Attorney General Barr has repeatedly said he is restricted by law from releasing 6(e) grand jury materials, but has refused to join the committee in requesting a court-ordered exemption, according to Nadler.
  • Nadler said during the hearing: "The subpoena was never intended to cover Rule 6(e), which is why we asked the attorney general to go to court get permission to view 6(e) material. It was never intended to put him in jeopardy."
  • The committee unanimously adopted an amendment to the contempt resolution, proposed by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), that states that the subpoena should not be construed as a directive for Barr to violate the law, including the 6(e) guidelines.
  • However, Republicans argued that the text of the subpoena still broadly demands that Barr turn over all redacted material, and that it cannot be assumed that 6(e) material is exempted. They pointed to this contradiction as evidence that Democrats on the committee had rushed too quickly to contempt proceedings.

What they're saying:

  • The Justice Department said in a statement: "It is deeply disappointing that elected representatives of the American people have chosen to engage in such inappropriate political theatrics. ... No one, including Chairman Nadler and his Committee, will force the Department of Justice to break the law."
  • Nadler told reporters after the hearing: "We are now in a constitutional crisis. Now is the time of testing whether we can keep our republic, or whether this republic is destined to change into a different, more tyrannical form of government. We must resist this."

What's next: The contempt resolution will now go to the full House for a vote. If the House votes to hold Barr in contempt, the citation will be sent to either the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia or the Justice Department for potential prosecution.

  • Of course, it's highly unlikely that the department will prosecute its own head, meaning that the contempt citation will serve as nothing more than a powerful message from Democrats.

Go deeper: House Intel Committee threatens DOJ with rare bipartisan subpoena

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

U.S. releases report finding Saudi prince approved Khashoggi operation

Photo: Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Kingdom Council / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has released an unclassified report assessing that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) approved the operation to "capture or kill" Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

Driving the news: The White House also announced sanctions on entities implicated in the murder, though not on MBS directly. Officials also announced a new "Khashoggi ban" under which individuals accused of harassing journalists or dissidents outside their borders can be barred from entering the U.S.

About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says

Joe Biden speaks during an event commemorating the 50 million COVID-19 vaccine shots. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

Nearly 1 in 5 adults and nearly half of Americans 65 and older have received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, White House senior adviser Andy Slavitt said on Friday.

The big picture: The Biden administration has previously said it has secured enough doses to vaccinate most of the American population by the end of July.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: Employers mull COVID vaccine requirements — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategyPfizer begins study on 3rd vaccine dose as booster shot against new strains.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.