Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor to the Chief of Staff Robert Blair walks on the South Lawn of the White House in May. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Robert Blair, senior advisor to acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, will not appear before House impeachment inquiry committees under a White House directive, the Financial Times first reported Saturday night.

What they're saying: Blair's attorney Whit Ellerman said in a statement to news outlets including the FT and CNN, "Blair is caught between the assertions of legal duty by two coequal branches of government, a conflict which he cannot resolve."

"In light of the clear direction he has been given by the executive branch, Mr. Blair has respectfully declined to appear and testify. Nevertheless, he will fulfill all his legal duties once that conflict is appropriately resolved."

The big picture: Blair was requested to appear on Friday before three House committees investigating President Trump and Ukraine.

  • He has yet to receive a subpoena, but Ellerman told CNN the "direction from the White House" and advice from the Justice Department "on which it is based, covers subpoenas."

Go deeper: The coming appearances in House Democrats' impeachment probe

Go deeper

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump's Tucker mind-meld

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images and BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

If you want to understand the rhetorical roots of Trump's Independence Day speech at Mount Rushmore, go back and watch Tucker Carlson's monologues for the past six weeks.

Between the lines: Trump — or rather his speechwriter Stephen Miller — framed the president's opposition to the Black Lives Matter protest movement using the same imagery Carlson has been laying out night after night on Fox.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 11,366,145 — Total deaths: 532,644 — Total recoveries — 6,154,138Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 2,874,396 — Total deaths: 129,870 — Total recoveries: 906,763 — Total tested: 35,512,916Map.
  3. States: Photos of America's pandemic July 4 ICU beds in Arizona hot spot near capacity — Houston mayor warns about hospitals
  4. Public health: U.S. coronavirus infections hit record highs for 3 straight days.
  5. Politics: Former Trump official Tom Bossert says face masks “are not enough”
  6. World: Mexican leaders call for tighter border control as infections rise in U.S.
  7. Sports: Sports return stalked by coronavirus
  8. 1 📽 thing: Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback.

Bolton's hidden aftershocks

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The news media has largely moved on, but foreign government officials remain fixated on John Bolton's memoir, "The Room Where It Happened."

Why it matters: Bolton's detailed inside-the-Oval revelations have raised the blood pressure of allies who were already stressed about President Trump's unreliability.