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

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Gore will not comply with a subpoena from the House Oversight Committee compelling him to testify about the Trump administration's addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

Driving the news: Earlier this month, the committee issued 3 subpoenas related to its investigation of the citizenship question, a controversy that has now been taken up by the Supreme Court. The Justice Department wrote in a letter that the committee's refusal to allow a DOJ lawyer to be present in the same room during Gore's deposition is unacceptable, and that Gore will not appear until that request is accommodated.

The backdrop: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross touched off a firestorm last year when he announced the addition of the citizenship question. He told lawmakers that he acted solely at the request of the Justice Department to enhance the Voting Rights Act, but critics say the question is intended to influence the allocation of congressional seats across the country.

  • Per Axios' Sam Baker, the Census Bureau itself told Ross that adding the question would make the census less accurate, because some non-citizens will lie or refuse to fill out the survey. It would probably end up undercounting about 6.5 million people, the bureau said.
  • One of the subpoenas that the House Oversight Committee authorized was for Ross to turn over internal communications about the citizenship question. Judging from the administration's clear refusal to cooperate with any oversight by Democrats — including investigations that do not relate to the Mueller probe — it's unlikely that any Trump officials will comply.

House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings said in a statement:

"This is a massive, unprecedented, and growing pattern of obstruction. ... The subpoena that was issued to Mr. Gore was adopted by our Committee on a bipartisan basis.  Neither the White House nor the Department of Justice has asserted any privilege that would relieve Mr. Gore of his legal duty to comply. Both President Trump and Attorney General Barr are now openly ordering federal employees to ignore congressional subpoenas and simply not show up—without any assertion of a valid legal privilege.  These employees and their personal attorneys should think very carefully about their own legal interests rather than being swept up in the obstruction schemes of the Trump Administration."

Go deeper: Trump's "run out the clock" legal strategy

Go deeper

Capitol repairs, security top $30M since Jan. 6 attacks

Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The Architect of the Capitol Brett Blanton on Wednesday said that repairs and security expenses related to the Jan. 6 insurrection have already cost more than $30 million.

The state of play: Congressional appropriations committees have allocated the $30 million for repairs and perimeter fencing around the Capitol building through March 31, per NPR.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

White House stands by imperiled Tanden nomination after Senate panel postpones hearing

Neera Tanden. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate Homeland Security Committee is postponing a confirmation hearing scheduled Wednesday for Neera Tanden, Axios has learned, a potential death knell for President Biden's nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget.

The latest: Asked Wednesday afternoon whether Tanden has offered to withdraw her nomination, Psaki told reporters, "That’s not the stage we’re in." She noted that it's a "numbers game" and a "matter of getting one Republican" to support the nomination.

Acting Capitol Police chief: Officers were unsure of lethal force rules on Jan. 6

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman wrote in prepared remarks for a House hearing on Thursday that officers in her department were "unsure of when to use lethal force" during the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Why it matters: Capitol Police did deploy lethal force on Jan. 6 — shooting and killing 35-year-old Ashli Babbit — but have faced questions over why officers appeared to be less forceful against pro-Trump rioters than participants in previous demonstrations, including those over Black Lives Matter and now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.