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Andrew Harnik / AP

It didn't have the buildup of #ComeyWeek, but #SessionsDay could have its own fireworks. When Attorney General Jeff Sessions said this morning that he wanted tomorrow's Russia-related testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee (2:30 p.m.) to be public, many Republicans around town were surprised and worried.

"The risk of damage is very high," said one Republican lobbyist. "All possible outcomes are bad. Some worse than others."

  • Behind the curtain: I'm told by Senate Democratic sources that Sessions initially offered a private session, but that was a non-starter with the committee. So the meeting is being held in public at the insistence of the committee.
  • The two-step: The committee let Sessions announce that he was requesting a public hearing, then swiftly issued its own announcement about the open session.
  • If you're Sessions ... You're very conscious that President Trump will watch the hearings, either live or on his TiVo.
  • 1 big thing to watch for, via Matt Miller, a Justice Department official under President Obama: "Will Sessions answer questions about his involvement in Comey's firing, or will he cite executive privilege and an ongoing investigation?"
  • Spicer today: "I think it depends on the scope of the questions, and it would be -- to get into a hypothetical at this point would be premature."

In tomorrow's PM, we'll have the Axios read-between-the-lines of the afternoon testimony. In the meantime ...

Subscribe to Axios AM/PM for a daily rundown of what's new and why it matters, directly from Mike Allen.
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Go deeper

Schumer's m(aj)ority checklist

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.

The dark new reality in Congress

National Guard troops keep watch at security fencing. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This is how bad things are for elected officials and others working in a post-insurrection Congress:

  • Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) said she had a panic attack while grocery shopping back home.
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said police may also have to be at his constituent meetings.
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) told a podcaster he brought a gun to his office on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 because he anticipated trouble with the proceedings that day.
Off the Rails

Episode 3: Descent into madness ... Trump: "Sometimes you need a little crazy"

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 3: The conspiracy goes too far. Trump's outside lawyers plot to seize voting machines and spin theories about communists, spies and computer software.

President Trump was sitting in the Oval Office one day in late November when a call came in from lawyer Sidney Powell. "Ugh, Sidney," he told the staff in the room before he picked up. "She's getting a little crazy, isn't she? She's really gotta tone it down. No one believes this stuff. It's just too much."