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Former FBI Director James Comey will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 30, chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) announced Thursday.

Why it matters: Comey has long been a target of President Trump and his allies for his role overseeing the FBI during its investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, the origins of which are under review by the Republican-led committee.

  • Graham said that he appreciates Comey appearing without a subpoena, adding, "He will be respectfully treated, but asked hard questions."
  • He also added that former special counsel Robert Mueller declined to appear for testimony, but that he plans to ask the Justice Department inspector general to review reports that members of Mueller's team wiped information from their phones.

What to watch: Graham signaled that additional witnesses will follow Comey's testimony, including former ex-FBI agent Peter Strzok and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

  • "We are negotiating with Mr. McCabe and we’re hoping to get him without a subpoena. Time will tell," Graham added.
  • "We have also invited Mr. Strzok to come in, he’s selling his book. We’ll see if Mr. Strzok will come without a subpoena."

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Senate Judiciary to vote on Amy Coney Barrett confirmation next week

Judge Amy Coney Barrett testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Oct. 14 in Washington, DC. Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination will move forward with a committee vote on Oct. 22, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) announced Thursday, following standard procedure.

The big picture: Senate Republicans have said they plan to confirm Barrett with a full floor vote before Election Day — only 12 days after the committee vote.

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Mark Meadows: "We are not going to control the pandemic"

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows defended Vice President Pence's decision to continue traveling and campaigning despite his exposure to aides who have tested positive for COVID-19, saying Sunday that Pence is exempt from CDC guidelines because he is "essential personnel."

Why it matters: CDC guidelines call for people who have been exposed to the virus to quarantine for 14 days. Meadows said on CNN's "State of the Union" that Pence will wear a mask when he travels and argued that "he's not just campaigning," pointing to the Israel-Sudan normalization agreement announced by the White House last week.

Halloween and COVID-19: What you need to know

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Celebrating Halloween and Día de los Muertos will be difficult and more isolated this year, but can still be done while minimizing harm to others.

Why it matters: Traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating, indoor parties, haunted houses, crowded cemeteries and communal candy bowls are all considered high-risk activities by the CDC.