The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: The Paper Chase

The Senate’s request for hundreds of thousands of documents from the National Archives could hold up Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation for months.

A wall of boxes representing the documents Senate Democrats are requesting related to Brett Kavanaugh.
A wall of empty cardboard boxes labeled "Kavanaugh Files" was erected as a backdrop for a news conference by Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Capitol Hill. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

Written by Madeleine Carlisle (@maddiecarlisle2) and Olivia Paschal (@oliviacpaschal)

Today in 5 Lines

  • At a White House press conference, national-security officials warned that Russia is still targeting U.S. elections.

  • Pope Francis made opposition to the death penalty an official teaching of the Catholic Church.

  • The National Archives told Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley that it can't fill his request for documents related to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh until the end of October, which could significantly delay his confirmation.

  • In a reversal of Obama-era policies, the White House announced a plan to freeze some of the strictest federal regulations on automobile fuel efficiency.

  • Apple’s stock-market value briefly hit $1 trillion, making it the first company ever to be worth that much money.

Today on The Atlantic

  • “Insane”: An immigration lawyer explains how the reunification process works for families separated by the administration’s zero-tolerance policy—and how it doesn’t. (Ashley Fetters)

  • ID This: Earlier this week, President Trump claimed that you need a photo ID to buy groceries. That gaffe was even more baseless than it seems. (Vann R. Newkirk II)

  • Not Bothered: Rumors of an imminent report from Robert Mueller are floating around Washington. But congressional Republicans don’t yet have a unified plan to respond, reports Elaina Plott.

  • Unanswered Questions: Almost a year after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, researchers still haven’t agreed on a definitive death count. However, a recent study suggests the baseline is likely north of 1,000. (Vann R. Newkirk II)

  • Sign of the Times: Since Graham Nash wrote his protest anthem “Teach Your Children” in the late 1960s, social movements have become more partisan and their tactics have changed. (Ronald Brownstein)


Jackets included among the government’s evidence at the trial of President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Special Counsel’s Office / Reuters

What We’re Reading

Coroners Needed: In the midst of the opioid epidemic, many states are facing a shortage of medical professionals who are qualified to investigate deaths. And nobody’s sure how to fix it. (Mattie Quinn, Governing)

The King’s School: LeBron James just opened a public school in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. It’s the first of its kind. (Christian D’Andrea, SBNation)

Don’t Know Much About History: Dinesh D’Souza’s new movie Death of a Nation “lies to its audience on a vast scale,” writes Christopher Hooks. But it's still selling tickets. (Texas Observer)

To Beat Trump, Switch Parties: Never Trump Republicans like Jeff Flake and Ben Sasse should just become Democrats, argues Bill Scher. (Politico Magazine)

Midterms Preview: An upcoming special election in Ohio functions not only as a referendum on the two parties, but also on their top leaders: Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi. (Elena Schneider, Politico)


Burning: Fires across the American West have burned nearly 1 million acres this year. See where they are and what destruction they’ve caused. (Elena Saavedra Buckley, High Country News)

Whose Congress Is It? As the midterms draw near, keep up with which party Americans say they’re most likely to vote for. (FiveThirtyEight)