The Hill’s 12:30 Report: White House plays hardball over McGahn subpoena

The Hill’s 12:30 Report: White House plays hardball over McGahn subpoena

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 –> A midday take on what’s happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha–breaks down crying hysterically.

The Hill’s 12: 30 Report: Breaking – White House orders McGahn to defy subpoena | McConnell declares Russia probe ‘case closed’ | Schumer accuses McConnell of ‘cover-up’ | Liberals gang up on Biden | Trump joins Melania’s ‘Be Best’ event | Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE spotted in Georgetown | HBO responds to ‘Game of Thrones’ coffee cup gaffe | Twitter plays royal baby name game


Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill’s 12: 30 Report: Dems move to hold Barr in contempt This week: Fight brews over Mueller testimony Strong economy bolsters Trump heading into 2020 MORE hired a fat lady to sing:

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This morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declared that the special counsel investigation is “case closed” in a speech from the Senate floor.

From McConnell: “This investigation went on for two years. It’s finally over.” 

Timing: McConnell’s floor speech comes as Republicans have signaled they want to move on from the Russia investigation and Democrats are clamoring to continue investigating. 


Democrats were not pleased:

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDo Democrats really want to see the unredacted special counsel report? Schumer ‘can’t wait’ for his grandson to meet cousin Amy Schumer’s baby The GAIIN Act can uplift rural and urban America MORE (D-N.Y.) responded to McConnell’s remarks, accusing him of “whitewashing” the findings. “He wants to cover up. He wants to silence on one of the most serious issues we face, whether a foreign power can manipulate our elections.”


It’s Tuesday. I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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Breaking — you’ll have to get through us first:  

The White House ordered former White House counsel Don McGahn not to give Congress documents related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe because President TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo says shrinking Arctic sea ice presents ‘new opportunities for trade’ Iowa Republican ousted in 2018 says he will run to reclaim House seat Trump pardons ex-soldier convicted of killing Iraqi prisoner MORE may exert executive privilege.

How we know: The top White House lawyer Pat Cipollone sent the House Judiciary Committee a letter instructing them to go through the White House to request documents. 

^ From the letter: “The White House provided these records to Mr. McGahn in connection with its cooperation with the special counsel’s investigation and with the clear understanding that the records remain subject to the control of the White House for all purposes.” 

Timing: House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerCNN, Fox, MSNBC air split-screens of Nadler and empty chair for Barr Any infrastructure program will be swallowed by the swamp Dem lawmaker says Barr will be subpoenaed if he fails to show for House hearing MORE (D-N.Y.) issued a subpoena for documents and testimony from Don McGahn. That deadline was 10 a.m. this morning. 

Why this move is important — buckle in: “While the letter stops short of invoking privilege, which keeps private conversations between the president and his advisers from public view, it suggests the White House might take that step to block McGahn’s testimony, which could trigger a major legal battle with congressional Democrats investigating Trump.”

Read the letter:

By the way, a new version of the Mueller report was released:

The Department of Justice released an updated version of special counsel Robert Mueller‘s Russia report.

Why a new version was released: In response to Freedom of Information Act lawsuits filed by the privacy group Electronic Privacy Information Center and BuzzFeed News. 

The difference: The new version clearly explains why each redaction was withheld. The old version only labeled redactions in four categories: “harm to ongoing matter,” “grand jury material,” “classified information” and “personal privacy.”

See the newly released Mueller report:

Breakdown from BuzzFeed’s Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier:

Example of what the redactions look like now:



Republicans: ‘eubinfeiwuhrb!!’:

Via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton, “Senate Republicans feel that President Trump has once again pulled the rug out from under them on trade, leaving GOP lawmakers frustrated over their inability to influence the White House’s policy on an issue that could have major economic and electoral ramifications.”

Why Republicans feel this way: “Days after a group of Republican senators relayed to Trump at a White House meeting their concerns about trade tensions with Canada, Mexico, Europe and China, Trump over the weekend threatened new tariffs on China, escalating a fight with Beijing and rattling markets.” 


A liberal-measuring contest:  

Via The Hill’s Amie Parnes, “Progressives are taking shots at Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenAnalyst: Biden’s comments on China ‘inexplicable, absolutely incorrect’ GOP pollster welcomes a socialist Democratic candidate in 2020 Pollster says voters associate Biden with electability MORE, seeking to blunt the former vice president’s rise in polls by arguing he is too conservative to be the party’s presidential nominee.”  

Who is trying to stop Biden’s momentum: “The criticism has come from rivals to Biden on the campaign trail as well as liberal groups seeking to put a dent into his poll numbers.”

Their reasoning: “They are casting Biden as an establishment figure out of touch with the grass roots of his party, highlighting his work on a Clinton-era crime bill and the Iraq War, among other issues.”


You think Bob Mueller ordered the ‘Ty Cobb’ salad?

No, seriously. Martin’s Tavern actually has a ‘Ty Cobb’ salad on the menu:  

Martin’s Tavern has plaques commemorating famous baseball players including Ty Cobb. 

Yeah but there’s a coincidental political connection: Lawyer Ty Cobb (no relation) served as President Trump‘s lead counsel during the early stages of the Mueller investigation. This past March, Cobb praised Robert Mueller as an “American hero.”

The menu:

Special Counsel Robert Mueller departs dinner at Martin’s Tavern in Georgetown, Monday, May 6, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Al Drago)

— Al Drago (@Al_Drago) May 7, 2019

Here is video of Robert Mueller strolling around Georgetown:


Getting traction on Twitter:

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have not announced the name of their newborn son. Speculation has been floating around, including this article from the Daily Express.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry to choose UNUSUAL name for baby that UNIFIES the US and UK

— Daily Express (@Daily_Express) May 5, 2019


@CarolineSB: “King George Washington”

@KarlreMarks: “The Atlantic Ocean?”

@ColinCampbell: “Boaty McBoatface”

@DaveWeigel: “Buttigieg”

@ManMadeMoon: “Welcome little ‘Endgame Thrones Windsor!'”

Trolling his sister-in-law only a week into her marriage:

People noticed that Nick Jonas looked like “Game of Thrones” character Petyr Baelish (Littlefinger) at the Met Gala last night.

He then posted a side-by-side comparison with the caption, “Sansa… We must protect the vale.” 

Actress Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark in HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and married Nick’s brother Joe Jonas just last week, responded, “Quit trying to manipulate me……. ugh I thought you died last season.” 

Well played, everyone. 


The House and Senate are in.

12: 15 p.m. EDT: President Trump has lunch with Vice President Pence

12: 30 p.m. EDT: The Senate breaks for weekly caucus luncheons. The Senate’s full schedule today:

3 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with Senate Republicans.

6: 30 p.m. EDT: Votes are delayed until this evening in the House. The House’s full schedule today:


11 a.m. EDT: President Trump and Vice President Pence attended first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpGold toilet that Guggenheim offered to Trump to be displayed at home where Churchill was born The Hill’s 12: 30 Report: Dems set new deadline for full Mueller report as tensions flare Melania Trump to mark one year of ‘Be Best’ next week MORE‘s Be Best anniversary celebration in the Rose Garden. Livestream:

2 p.m. EDT: Senate Republicans hold a press conference following their weekly caucus luncheon. Livestream:

2: 30 p.m. EDT: Senate Democrats hold a press conference following their weekly caucus luncheon. Livestream:

3: 20 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks at the 49th annual Washington Conference of the Americas at the State Department. Livestream:


Today is National Roast Leg of Lamb Day.

Remember the coffee cup gaffe in Sunday’s episode of ‘Game of Thrones’?:

Well, HBO issued a statement responding to the coffee cup appearance in the last episode. HBO’s statement: “The latte that appeared in the episode was a mistake. Daenerys had ordered an herbal tea.” Amazing.


Via The Verge, HBO digitally removed the coffee cup from the scene. A side-by-side comparison:

How do some of these celebs sit down??:

Katy Perry, I’m looking at you. Here are some of the craziest outfits from the annual Met Gala last night:

My pick for best-dressed: “[Sunday] night, on the way to the hospital to give birth, Amy Schumer snuck onto the site of the MET gala red carpet to take photos.” So funny:

And because you made it to the end, here’s a viral video of a father arguing with his toddler daughter like an old married couple:


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