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Today’s Agenda: McGahn Likely To Play Hooky, Provoking Democratic Wrath

May 21, 2019 8:20 a.m.

Happy Tuesday, May 21. The White House has blocked former White House counsel Don McGahn from testifying before Congress — and Democrats are less than pleased. Here’s more on that and the other stories we’re watching.

Three Things We’re Watching Today

McGahn likely a no-show at House hearing

The Justice Department on Monday issued an opinion declaring that former White House counsel Don McGahn does not have to testify before the House Judiciary Committee. The committee’s chairman, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), said that the committee still expects McGahn to testify and will convene the hearing as scheduled today. We’ll be watching. Meanwhile, Democrats are piping mad over the ongoing stonewalling and renewing calls to begin impeachment proceedings.

Budget talks begin

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and acting OMB Director Russ Vought are coming to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) office Tuesday morning to talk over spending cuts and the debt ceiling. As Congress has already struggled to agree on bills like disaster relief funding, this will likely spiral into a drama-packed affair. Without an agreement, “sequester” cuts kick in early in 2020.

A ruling in Trump’s suit against Cummings

A federal judge on Monday ruled that the House Oversight Committee acted within its authority by issuing a subpoena to President Trump’s accounting firm. We’ll be on the lookout for Trumpworld’s reactions and a potential appeal from Trump’s personal attorneys.

Today’s Rundown

10:00 a.m. ET House and Senate gavel in.

2:15 p.m. ET Trump holds a meeting with the leaders of the Freely Associated States — Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau — including remarks to the press.

Yesterday’s Top Story

Buttigieg’s ‘Grotesque’ Trump Tweet Insult Goes Over Well With … Fox News Crowd? — Nicole Lafond

Reading List

A Would-Be Trump Aide’s Demands: A Jet on Call, a Future Cabinet Post and More — Maggie Haberman, New York Times

Fox News Host Pete Hegseth Privately Lobbied Trump to Pardon Accused War Criminals — Asawin Suebsaeng, Sam Brodey, Andrew Kirell, The Daily Beast

Who Actually Wants War Criminals Pardoned? — Adam Weinstein, The New Republic

More Than 52,000 People Are Now Being Detained By ICE, An Apparent All-Time High — Hamed Aleaziz, Buzzfeed

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