Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said late Thursday that acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker will testify before the panel on Friday. This appears to end a standoff with Democrats, after Whitaker threatened not to appear unless he receives assurances that he will not be served with a subpoena for invoking executive privilege.

"The chairman has made the commitment that we requested, and agreed that, if Mr. Whitaker voluntarily appears at tomorrow's hearing, the Committee will not issue a subpoena on or before February 8. In light of that commitment, Acting Attorney General Whitaker looks forward to voluntarily appearing at tomorrow's hearing and discussing the great work of the Department of Justice."
— DOJ spokesperson Kerri Kupec said in a statement.

The big picture: The committee voted along party lines Thursday to preemptively subpoena Whitaker if he refuses to answer questions. The Justice Department's head of legislative affairs Stephen Boyd said that unless the committee promised by 6 p.m. on Thursday not to subpoena Whitaker, he would not attend the hearing, according to The Daily Beast.

  • House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said in a statement earlier Thursday that he hoped a subpoena wouldn't be necessary, but that he is troubled by "delay tactics" by the Justice Department and past instances of Trump administration officials receiving "a free pass on tough questions."
  • Nadler said that the idea that a witness could refuse to answer a question based on "speculation" that the president might want to assert executive privilege is "ridiculous."

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Online retail and e-commerce have been chipping away at brick-and-mortar businesses over the years but the combination of the coronavirus pandemic and the 2020 holiday season may prove to be a knockout blow.

State of play: Anxious consumers say financial concerns and health worries will push them to spend less money this year and to do more of their limited spending online.

California to independently review FDA-approved coronavirus vaccines

California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California will "independently review" all coronavirus vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration before allowing their distribution, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced at a news conference Monday.

Why it matters: The move that comes days after NAID director Anthony Fauci said he had "strong confidence" in FDA-approved vaccines could cast further public doubt that the federal government could release a vaccine based on political motives, rather than safety and efficacy.

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