The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: The Final Countdown

Attorney General William Barr says he plans to share Mueller’s report with Congress by mid-April. It’s unclear how much of the nearly 400 page report will be redacted.

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

What We’re Following Today

It’s Friday, March 29.

‣ Linda McMahon, a former pro-wrestling executive and the current head of the Small Business Administration, will reportedly resign from her position to chair President Donald Trump’s super PAC, America First Action.

Here’s what else we’re watching:

Will the Public Ever See the Mueller Report?: Attorney General William Barr said he plans to share with Congress Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report by mid-April, if not sooner. In his letter to Senator Lindsey Graham and Representative Jerry Nadler, heads of Congress’s two judiciary committees, Barr also said that he will not share the contents of the report with the White House before releasing it, and noted that his summary of the findings from last week was “not an exhaustive recounting” of Mueller’s report, which is nearly 400 pages long.

But that doesn’t mean the public will see the review in full, reports Natasha Bertrand. “Between the withholding of grand-jury and privileged material and the redaction of classified information, the public could be left with a shell of the original report.

Listen to this week’s episode of Radio Atlantic, in which the staff writers Edward-Issac Dovere and McKay Coppins discuss what all this means for 2020.

Remember the Pee Tape?: Many of the president’s critics were disappointed last week when Barr declared that Mueller’s investigation all but cleared the president of wrongdoing. But the “seeds of the disappointment” were planted two years ago, when BuzzFeed News first published an unverified—and unverifiable—dossier compiled by the British-intelligence operative Christopher Steele, argues David Graham. The salacious document “set the stage for the political response to investigations to come—inflating expectations in the public, moving the goalposts for Trump in a way that has fostered bad behavior, and tainting the press’s standing.”

Call Me a Socialist!: Joe Sanberg, a multimillionaire investor, might be running for president.  Sanberg supports Medicare for all, the Green New Deal, increased regulation, and expanding the social safety net. He has no name recognition, but in an election where Trump has painted the Democrats as radical socialists, Sanberg thinks he has an edge: “Good luck to them if they want to call me a socialist, because businesspeople aren’t socialists,” he told Edward-Isaac Dovere.


Three-year-old Ailianie Hernandez waits with her mother, Julianna Ageljo, to apply for the nutritional-assistance program at the Department of Family Affairs in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. The island’s government says it lacks sufficient federal funding to help people recover from Hurricane Maria amid a 12-year recession. (Carlos Giusti / AP)

Ideas From The Atlantic

Barbara Bush’s Long-Hidden ‘Thoughts on Abortion’ (Susan Page)
“In 1980, when George H. W. Bush was making his first bid for the presidency, Barbara Bush covered four sheets of lined paper with her bold handwriting, then tucked the pages into a folder with her diary and some personal letters. She was trying to sort out what she believed about one of the most divisive issues of the day.” → Read on.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Is Confusing Taxpayers (Mark Mazur)
“Although the most recent IRS data show that average income-tax refunds are closely tracking the average refund from last year, taxpayers have been complaining in interviews with journalists and on social media that their refund is smaller than expected or that they unexpectedly owe additional tax. Given that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was all about tax cuts, how can this be?” → Read on.

Quit Harping on U.S. Aid to Israel (James Kirchick)
“U.S. assistance to Israel demands far less—in both blood and treasure—than many other American defense relationships around the world.” → Read on.

What Else We’re Reading

An Awkward Kiss Changed How I Saw Joe Biden (Lucy Flores, New York)
Our President of the Perpetual Grievance (Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker) (🔒 Paywall)
Former Trump Family Driver Has Been in ICE Custody for 8 Months (Miriam Jordan, The New York Times) (🔒 Paywall)
Is Pete Buttigieg a Political Genius? (Alex Shephard, The New Republic)
The Blue State Trump Thinks He Can Flip in 2020 (Alex Isenstadt, Politico)

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