The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: McGahn but Not Forgotten

The White House has instructed the former White House counsel not to comply with House Democrats’ subpoena. Plus: Only one guy is standing between Trump and legislative success.

Win McNamee / AP

What We’re Following Today

It’s Tuesday, May 7.

‣ The White House has instructed former White House Counsel Don McGahn not to comply with a subpoena from House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler. McGahn’s decision not to comply could lead Nadler to hold him in contempt of Congress.

‣ Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed into law a bill that will prohibit abortion after a heartbeat is detected in an embryo, one of the country’s most restrictive abortion laws.

Here’s what else we’re watching:

(Jose Luis Magana / AP)

Home of the Free: Last week, President Donald Trump announced a new rule intended to protect the religious liberty of health-care providers. The move illustrates how the Trump administration is prioritizing issues that matter to religious conservatives over expanding rights for other groups, writes Emma Green.

Border Security + Clean Energy = ?: Instead of a concrete barrier, a group of engineers and scientists is envisioning building a complex system of wind turbines, solar panels, and natural-gas pipelines along the southern border.

A Skill Trump Doesn’t Have: Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has concluded, and now, the president’s sights are set on passing a massive infrastructure package before the 2020 election. But if he’s going to be successful, he needs to learn how to compartmentalize.

A False Dawn for Press Freedom: The release of two Reuters journalists—Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo—after a year in a Myanmar (also called Burma) prison was met with worldwide celebration. But their freedom highlights the continued plight of journalists across Southeast Asia: “From China to the Philippines, and virtually every country in between, journalists remain under near-constant threat of censorship, arrest, and detention.”


Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro talks with Jan Bauer, of Ames, Iowa, during a meeting with Iowa State University students and Story County democrats in Ames. (Charlie Neibergall / AP)

Ideas From The Atlantic

Athletes of Color Understand What’s Wrong With Trump (Jemele Hill)
“Instead of focusing on why Cora and other Red Sox figures won’t be at the White House, ask their teammates why they’re comfortable being with a president who marginalizes and harms the communities to which their fellow players belong.” → Read on.

Don’t Let Students Run the University (Tom Nichols)
“Students must be reminded that they petitioned the institution for entry, and not the other way around; they asked the university to allow them to enter into a contract in which the professors are obligated to educate them and they are obligated to fulfill the requirements that will allow those professors to recommend them to the university for graduation.” → Read on.

I Worked for Ken Starr. Now I’m Holding Trump to the Same Standard. (Paul Rosenzweig)
“If [President Bill] Clinton should have been held to account for trying to get [Betty] Currie to lie for him about [Monica] Lewinsky, then, by the same logic, Trump must be held to account for … asking his White House counsel, Don McGhan, to lie for him about Trump’s intent to fire Mueller.” → Read on.

Why Is Trump Hiding His Tax Returns? (David Frum)
“The secret could be mild: He’s not as wealthy as he likes to boast. The secret could be embarrassing, but not illegal: He personally hugely benefited from special favors in the recent tax cut. The secret could raise national-security concerns. Or the secret could even point to a lifelong career of financial fraud.” → Read on.

What Else We’re Reading

Sandra Bland, It Turns Out, Recorded Her Own Video of the Traffic-Stop Confrontation (David Montgomery, The New York Times)  (🔒 Paywall)
Mariah Parker: Rapper, PhD Candidate, and Georgia Politician (Alison Miller, The Bitter Southerner)
Stephanie Murphy Is Leading a Newly Powerful Faction of Moderate House Democrats (Sarah Ferris, Politico)

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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