The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Annie, Are You Okay?

More subpoenas, this time for Annie Donaldson, chief of staff to former White House Counsel Don McGahn, and Hope Hicks. Plus: Elizabeth Warren has policies. Lots of them.

Hope Hicks meets with the House Intelligence Committee in 2018. (J. Scott Applewhite / AP)

What We’re Following Today

It’s Tuesday, May 21.

‣ The House Judiciary Committee issued subpoenas today to former White House staffers Hope Hicks and Annie Donaldson, setting up a possible legal battle with Donald Trump’s administration, which has already claimed executive privilege to limit the scope of the committee’s investigation.

Here’s what else we’re watching:

To Impeach or ...?: In a closed-door meeting on Monday, Nancy Pelosi reportedly clashed with fellow Democrats over whether the House should move to impeach the president. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told reporters Tuesday that she supports impeachment, and on Saturday Republican Representative Justin Amash broke party ranks and also expressed his support. “Pelosi might be the biggest barrier between President Trump and an impeachment inquiry right now,” argues David A. Graham.

When Abuse Victims Commit Crimes: New York law once required judges to offer predetermined sentences for particular crimes, regardless of the role that abuse played in the defendant’s actions. But the state recently signed the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act into law, giving judges more options when sentencing people who committed crimes against abusers. Now judges can offer shorter prison terms—or rule out incarceration entirely.

A Plan for Educational Equality: The Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren is shaping her campaign around lots and lots of policy proposals to fight inequality—and not just economic inequality. “We need to talk about the racial dimension of this head-on,” she told Adam Harris. “Race matters, and we need to face it.” Her latest plan to address inequality in higher education would set up a $50 billion fund for black colleges and make tuition at public colleges free.

Saudi Press Agency via AP

Two Years Ago Today: Trump touched the glowing orb with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi and King Salman of Saudi Arabia. James Parker takes you down memory lane.


A name placard and an empty chair for former White House Counsel Don McGahn, who did not appear for a House Judiciary Committee hearing at the White House’s request. (Patrick Semansky / AP)

Ideas From The Atlantic

End the Plague of Secret Parenting (Emily Oster)
“Women told me that they hid their pregnancies until well into the third trimester, wearing loose-fitting clothes to avoid telling their bosses or venture-capital funders that they were expecting. Once they had kids, some told me they simply never discussed them. If they had to deal with a child-related issue, they lied about why they were leaving work … These pressures aren’t just bad for parents; they’re bad for employers. Inflexibility around child care is, quite simply, going to cost firms valuable workers.” → Read on.

It’s Time to Hold American Elites Accountable for Their Abuses (Rahm Emanuel)
“Democrats have become increasingly cognizant of the anger, but too often they’ve drawn the wrong conclusions. The answer certainly isn’t socialism. Middle-class voters currently presume that elites already control the government—so why would they want to give the bureaucracy any more power? Rather, Democrats need to become the party of justice.” → Read on.

Even Democrats Keep Thinking Iran Is Worse Than Saudi Arabia (Peter Beinart)
“By calling out Iranian aggression while ruling out war, Democrats may believe they’re splitting the difference. But if they can’t describe Iran as a normal regional power jockeying with equally sharp-elbowed foes, they can’t effectively challenge the sanctions the Trump administration keeps piling on the Islamic Republic. Over time, permanent sanctions can become a formula for military conflict.” → Read on.

What Else We’re Reading

‣  Is Trump DOA in the Rust Belt? (Alex Shepard, The New Republic)
Trump Cannot Grok the Idea of ‘Honor’ (Jonathan V. Last, The Bulwark)
How Trump Is Outspending Every 2020 Democrat on Facebook (Thomas Kaplan and Sarah Almukhtar, The New York Times) (🔒 Paywall)
Joe Biden Is Also Trying to Win Old, White Facebook Voters (Eric Lutz, Vanity Fair (🔒 Paywall)

About us: This newsletter is a daily effort from The Atlantic’s politics writers: Elaine Godfrey, Madeleine Carlisle, and Olivia Paschal. It’s edited by Shan Wang.

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