The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Kommuted

President Trump commuted the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old woman serving a life sentence for drug possession and money laundering.

Evan Agostini / Invision / AP

-Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey)

Today in 5 Lines

  • President Trump commuted the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old woman serving a life sentence for drug possession and money laundering. Kim Kardashian, who visited the White House last week to advocate for Johnson, thanked Trump and senior adviser Jared Kushner, among others, on Twitter.

  • Trump blasted recent media coverage of First Lady Melania Trump, calling speculation about her whereabouts “unfair” and “vicious.”

  • Two top aides to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Millan Hupp and Sarah Greenwalt, resigned amid multiple scandals dogging their boss.

  • Trump signed a bill aimed at expanding veterans’ access to private health care.

  • House Speaker Paul Ryan said he agrees with Representative Trey Gowdy’s assessment that the FBI did not act inappropriately when it used an informant to contact members of the Trump campaign. Trump has repeatedly claimed the FBI did so for political purposes.

Today on The Atlantic

  • They Barely Pulled It Off: Democratic leaders feared that California’s “top two” primary system would lock the party out of crucial pickup opportunities in the state on Tuesday night. That didn’t happen. (Russell Berman)

  • Who Is Person A?: Revelations from the special counsel’s Russia probe suggest that Paul Manafort’s longtime aide “is a pawn of Russian intelligence.” (Franklin Foer)

  • What Will Happen to the International Space Station?: The Trump administration wants to end the lab’s funding, but their plan will likely run into bipartisan opposition in Congress. (Marina Koren)

  • ‘Trump Is Choosing Eastern Europe’: The shift in policy toward the European Union is clear, writes Thomas Wright: “At best, the United States is neutral; viewed less charitably, it is hostile.”


Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and his wife Cheryl Hines, center, arrive for the Celebration of the Life of Robert F. Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery. Cliff Owen / AP

What We’re Reading

Trouble Ahead in the Garden State: National Democrats got the candidates they wanted in New Jersey’s House primaries on Tuesday night, but they also got a potential new headache: a lackluster showing for Senator Bob Menendez. (Reid Pillifant and Josh Voorhees, Slate)

The Go-Between: BuzzFeed reports that Ivanka Trump connected her father’s personal lawyer with a Russian athlete who offered to introduce Donald Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin to facilitate the construction of Trump Tower in Moscow. (Anthony Cormier, Jason Leopold, and Emma Loop)

Behind the Scenes: A Senate Republican investigation found that the Obama administration secretly issued a license to Iran in 2016 to allow them to temporarily skirt U.S. sanctions in order to convert funds to dollars. (Josh Lederman and Matthew Lee, Associated Press)

Keeping Up the Culture Fight: Some Republicans have come to believe that the best way to win in November is for Trump to keep emphasizing issues like illegal immigration, gang violence, and patriotism. (David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner)

Still Hanging On: Despite months of scandals involving Scott Pruitt’s overreach and excessive spending, the EPA administrator hasn’t been fired or forced to resign. Here’s why. (Jack Shafer, Politico)

What’s Next in the Fight for Religious Liberty?: After an unsatisfactory Supreme Court verdict in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, social conservatives should avoid reducing traditional moral beliefs to matters of religious freedom, argues Sohrab Ahmari. (Commentary)


‘Murder With Impunity’: Out of more than 52,000 homicides in 50 American cities in the past 10 years, only 51 percent resulted in arrest, according to a Washington Post analysis. These are the cities where the murder rate is high, but arrests are rare.