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J. David Ake / AP

Former deputy attorney general Sally Yates will testify before Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism at 2:30 PM this afternoon in a hearing for its investigation of Russian interference in last fall's presidential election. It's widely expected to be one of the investigation's biggest moments thus far.

The big thing: Per CNN, Yates is expected to confirm her January warning to the White House that ousted Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn might have compromised himself via contacts with the Russian ambassador to the United States, which would directly contradict the Trump administration's version of events.

The pushback: As Axios' Jonathan Swan reported last night, the White House is expected to push the Russia story as "fake news" — and drive home that Flynn received his security clearance under President Obama. And POTUS has already delivered this morning with a pair of tweets:

"General Flynn was given the highest security clearance by the Obama Administration - but the Fake News seldom likes talking about that. Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H. Council."

The senators:

  • Republicans: Lindsey Graham (chairman), John Cornyn, Ted Cruz, Ben Sasse, John Kennedy
  • Democrats: Sheldon Whitehouse (ranking), Dick Durbin, Amy Klobuchar, Chris Coons

Graham's aims: "The bottom line is if there were any contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russian intelligence services that were inappropriate, I want to find out about it, and I want the whole world to know about it."

A caveat: As with FBI director James Comey's two prior widely-publicized rounds of testimony before the House Intelligence Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee, many details of Yates' Flynn tale remain classified, so some of her more explosive details might be reined in.

Go deeper

Officials warn 5 key tech sectors will determine whether China overtakes U.S.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. intelligence officials responsible for protecting advanced technologies have narrowed their focus to five key sectors: artificial intelligence, quantum computing, biotechnology, semiconductors and autonomous systems.

Why it matters: China and Russia are employing a variety of legal and illegal methods to undermine and overtake U.S. dominance in these critical industries, officials warned in a new paper. Their success will determine "whether America remains the world’s leading superpower or is eclipsed by strategic competitors."

3 hours ago - Health

Pfizer says COVID vaccine over 90% effective in kids

A health care worker preparing a Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine dose in New York City on Oct. 21. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech said their COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective at protecting children between the ages of 5 and 11 from symptomatic infections from the virus, according to a study posted online by the Food and Drug Administration Friday.

Why it matters: Pfizer is seeking an emergency use authorization to vaccinate children — one of the last groups of Americans still largely ineligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine.

Changing the inflation conversation

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Inflation looks like it’ll run hot for longer than plenty of smart people thought it would. The conversation over just how much more Americans will have to pay for their stuff has taken on a new intensity, as supply problems show few signs of fading.

Why it matters: The rate of price growth has remained consistently strong in recent months — a time that some thought would bring cooling prices after an initial reopening spike. What goes on with prices will influence the decisions made by Congress, the Biden Administration, and the Federal Reserve.