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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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 19,193,661 — Total deaths: 716,735 — Total recoveries — 11,611,029Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 4,918,927 — Total deaths: 160,737 — Total recoveries: 1,598,624 — Total tests: 59,652,675Map.
  3. Politics: White House recommends Trump issue executive orders on coronavirus aid.
  4. Education: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning.
  5. Public health: Surgeon general urges flu shots to prevent "double whammy" with coronavirus — Massachusetts pauses reopening after uptick in coronavirus cases
  6. World: Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases — Gates Foundation puts $150 million behind coronavirus vaccine production.

Trump: "We are going a different way" on coronavirus aid

President Trump. Photo: Jim Watsonn/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Friday that his administration is "going a different way" with coronavirus aid after negotiations with congressional Democrats stalled again, suggesting he will use an executive order to address stimulus spending.

What he's saying: "Pelosi and Schumer only interested in Bailout Money for poorly run Democrat cities and states. Nothing to do with China Virus! Want one trillion dollars. No interest. We are going a different way!" Trump tweeted.

Trump's swift, sweeping China offensive

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's rhetoric on China has tended to run hotter than his actions — until now.

Why it matters: Even at the height of Trump's trade war, his administration never hit China as hard, as fast, and on as many fronts as it is right now.