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Jerry Nadler. Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler slammed the White House Monday for blocking 2 former aides from testifying before the committee and placing "unprecedented limitations" on former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski ahead of his appearance Tuesday.

Why it matters: The House Judiciary Committee is trying to step up investigations in order to determine whether to recommend Trump’s impeachment for obstruction of justice and abuse of power.

"This is a shocking and dangerous assertion of executive privilege and absolute immunity. The President would have us believe that he can willfully engage in criminal activity and prevent witnesses from testifying before Congress — even if they did not actually work for him or his administration.
If he were to prevail in this cover-up while the Judiciary Committee is considering whether to recommend articles of impeachment, he would upend the separation of powers as envisioned by our founders.
No one is above the law. The House Judiciary Committee will continue our investigation of the President’s crimes, corruption and cover-up and get to the truth for the American people."
— Nadler statement

The other side: White House counsel Pat Cipollone said in a letter to Nadler Monday that having worked previously as senior White House aides, former staff secretary Rob Porter and former deputy chief of staff Rick Dearborn were "absolutely immune" from congressional testimony.

  • Cipollone said in a separate letter that Lewandowski would be free to discuss his work on the Trump campaign and matters that have already been made public by Mueller, but not any other additional communications he may have had with Trump, the New York Times first reported.
  • Porter's lawyer to Nadler said in a letter obtained by the Washington Post confirming that he would not testify, "The committee’s dispute is with the White House, not with Mr. Porter."

Between the lines: It's a blow to the judiciary committee's investigations that Porter is not testifying as he was a key witness for the obstruction portion of former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

GOP implosion: Trump threats, payback

Spotted last week on a work van in Evansville, Ind. Photo: Sam Owens/The Evansville Courier & Press via Reuters

The GOP is getting torn apart by a spreading revolt against party leaders for failing to stand up for former President Trump and punish his critics.

Why it matters: Republican leaders suffered a nightmarish two months in Washington. Outside the nation’s capital, it's even worse.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

The limits of Biden's plan to cancel student debt

Data: New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax; Chart: Axios Visuals

There’s a growing consensus among Americans who want President Biden to cancel student debt — but addressing the ballooning debt burden is much more complicated than it seems.

Why it matters: Student debt is stopping millions of Americans from buying homes, buying cars and starting families. And the crisis is rapidly getting worse.

Why made-for-TV moments matter during the pandemic

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Erin Schaff-Pool, Biden Inaugural Committee via Getty Images

In a world where most Americans are isolated and forced to laugh, cry and mourn without friends or family by their side, viral moments can offer critical opportunities to unite the country or divide it.

Driving the news: President Biden's inauguration was produced to create several made-for-social viral moments, a tactic similar to what the Democratic National Committee and the Biden campaign pulled off during the Democratic National Convention.