1/ The House Judiciary Committee sued to force former White House counsel Donald McGahn to testify before Congress. The Judiciary Committee claimed that McGahn is "the most important witness, other than the president," in their investigation into possible obstruction of justice by Trump. They asked a federal judge to strike down the Trump administration's claim that McGahn and other aides are "absolutely immune" from the committee's subpoenas. McGahn spent more than 30 hours with Robert Mueller's investigators and his name appears more than 500 times in the redacted version of Mueller's report. (New York Times / NBC News / ABC News)

  • 📌 Day 838: The White House invoked executive privilege and ordered former counsel Donald McGahn not to comply with a congressional subpoena for documents related to Robert Mueller's investigation. In a letter to the House Judiciary Committee, White House counsel Pat Cipollone argued that "McGahn does not have the legal right to disclose these documents to third parties" and asked that the committee instead direct the request to the White House, "because they implicate significant Executive Branch confidentiality interests and executive privilege." Trump has also promised to assert executive privilege to block McGahn's testimony to the committee later this month. McGahn spent more than 30 hours speaking to Mueller's investigators, outlining two episodes where Trump asked him to have Mueller fired, and later asking McGahn to deny news reports about that conversation. McGahn rebuffed both requests. (CNBC / ABC News / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / New York Times)

  • 📌 Day 844: The White House asked Don McGahn to declare that Trump never obstructed justice. Two requests by presidential advisers show how far the White House has gone to try to push back on accusations that the president obstructed justice. McGahn initially entertained the request. "We did not perceive it as any kind of threat or something sinister," McGahn's attorney said in a statement. "It was a request, professionally and cordially made." (New York Times)

  • 📌 Day 851: Trump instructed former White House counsel Don McGahn to defy a congressional subpoena and skip a House Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled for Tuesday. The committee subpoenaed McGahn to appear to answer questions about Trump's attempts to obstruct justice during the Russia investigation, but the White House presented McGahn with a 15-page legal opinion from the Justice Department that states, "Congress may not constitutionally compel the president’s senior advisers to testify about their official duties." The current White House counsel sent a letter to the committee explaining that Trump instructed McGahn not to appear due to the "constitutional immunity" outlined in the DOJ legal opinion, "and in order to protect the prerogatives of the office of the presidency." (New York Times / ABC News / Washington Post)

  • 📌 Day 852: Former White House counsel Don McGahn failed to appear at hearing in front of the House Judiciary Committee, following Trump's instructions to ignore the congressional subpoena. "Our subpoenas are not optional," Committee chair Jerry Nadler said after McGahn failed to show up. Nadler also warned that "one way or another," the panel will hear from McGahn, even if that means holding McGahn in contempt of Congress for failing to appear. "This committee," he said, "will have no choice but to enforce the subpoena against him." (Associated Press)

  • 📌 Day 872: Jerry Nadler agreed to delay a vote to hold Barr and McGahn in contempt of Congress after reaching the deal with the Department of Justice for evidence from the Mueller report. The House will still proceed with a vote to authorize the House Judiciary Committee to take Barr to federal court to fully enforce its subpoena, but will not formally vote to hold Barr in contempt. "If the Department proceeds in good faith and we are able to obtain everything that we need, then there will be no need to take further steps," Nadler said. "If important information is held back, then we will have no choice but to enforce our subpoena in court and consider other remedies." (ABC News / NBC News / NPR)

2/ Trump visited both Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas, but remained largely out of public view. In Dayton, protesters waved signs and chanted to "Dump Trump" and to "Do Something!" because "Thoughts and prayers don't stop bullets." Before leaving Washington, Trump said he "would like to stay out of the political fray" during the trip, dismissing suggestions that his rhetoric on race and immigration is to blame for a rise in hate-inspired violence, saying: "I think my rhetoric brings people together." Hours earlier, Trump attacked Beto O'Rourke by telling the Democratic presidential candidate to "be quiet," and mocked him for having a "phony name to indicate Hispanic heritage" (a reference to his discredited claim that O'Rourke had changed his first name to appeal to Hispanic voters). Trump also quoted conservative news reporting that "the Dayton, Ohio, shooter had a history of supporting political figures like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and ANTIFA" – a radical leftist group. After visiting Dayton, Trump attacked Mayor Nan Whaley, calling her a supporter of Bernie Sanders and of antifa and that she "totally misrepresent[ed] what took place inside of the hospital." during his visit. Whaley said she told Trump during his visit that Dayton is "really looking forward to some action" on gun control. Journalists weren't allowed to accompany Trump at hospital in Dayton, but Trump's social media director, Dan Scavino, claimed that Trump was "treated like a Rock Star inside the hospital." (Washington Post / New York Times / ABC News / Bloomberg / BBC)

3/ Congressional Republicans are "confident Congress will be able to find common ground" on legislation to help law enforcement take guns from those who pose an imminent danger. The so-called "red flag" laws allow police to temporarily confiscate firearms from a person deemed by a judge as posing a risk of violence. While Republicans in Congress are focused passing "red flag" legislation, Trump claimed – without evidence – that there was a "great appetite" for reforming background checks among lawmakers. Trump also claimed there is no "political appetite" for legislation to ban assault weapons, but suggested he'd bring lawmakers back from their August recess if Republicans and Democrats can "get close" on a gun reform proposal. Meanwhile, more than 200 Democratic lawmakers urged Mitch McConnell to call a vote on House-passed legislation aimed at strengthening background checks for gun purchases. (New York Times / Politico / CNBC / NPR / The Hill)

  • The Trump administration has eased more than half a dozen restrictions that expanded access to guns by lifting some bans and limiting the names in the national database used to keep firearms away from dangerous people. Trump claimed his administration has done "much more than most" to curb mass shootings in the United States. (Politico)

  • Texas passed new firearm laws that will make it easier to have guns on school grounds and loosened restrictions on how many armed school marshals a school district can appoint, allows for licensed handgun owners to legally carry weapons in churches, among others. The laws were passed before attack in El Paso and are set to go into effect on September 1st. (CNN)

4/ The owner of the online message board 8chan was called to testify before Congress after the website was linked to the terrorist attack in El Paso. The House Homeland Security Committee demanded that 8chan owner Jim Watkins testify about site's efforts to address "the proliferation of extremist content, including white supremacist content." Committee chair Bennie Thompson and the ranking Republican Mike Rogers sent a letter to Watkins, an American citizen living in the Philippines, noting that the El Paso massacre was "at least the third act of supremacist violence linked to your website this year." (Reuters)

  • Trump's campaign promoted a video that included two clearly visible signs promoting a QAnon conspiracy theory. The signs appear in a close-up shot of a "Women for Trump" video published online by the Trump campaign in late July. It is unclear whether the ad was being broadcast on TV or just online. A warm-up speaker at one of Trump's rallies last week, for example, recited a popular QAnon slogan during his speech. The Women for Trump video appears to have been removed from YouTube. (Daily Beast)

  • The FBI warned that fringe conspiracy theories are a new domestic terrorist threat. The document specifically mentions QAnon, a network that believes in a deep state conspiracy against Trump, and Pizzagate, the theory that a pedophile ring involving Clinton associates was being run out of the basement of a Washington, D.C., pizza restaurant, which doesn't have a basement. (Yahoo News)

5/ A U.S. State Department official oversaw a Washington, D.C.-area chapter of a white nationalist organization, hosted white nationalists at his home, and published white nationalist propaganda online. Matthew Gebert works as a foreign affairs officer assigned to the Bureau of Energy Resources. (Southern Poverty Law Center)

  • Tucker Carlson claimed that white supremacy "is a hoax, just like the Russia hoax." The Fox News host called white supremacy a "conspiracy theory used to divide the country and keep a hold on power." (Washington Post)

Notables.

  1. Rep. Joaquin Castro tweeted a list of names of constituents in his Texas congressional district who have maxed out their contributions to the Trump campaign. Joaquin is the twin brother of 2020 presidential candidate Julián Castro. All of the information in Castro's tweet, including the occupations of the donors, is public information. (Politico / Washington Post)

  2. Kim Jong Un supervised a live-fire demonstration of newly developed short-range ballistic missiles in an attempt to send a warning to the United States and South Korea. North Korea has conducted four rounds of weapons demonstrations in two weeks, all of which come during a stalemate in nuclear negotiations between Trump and Kim. Trump has repeatedly dismissed the significance of the tests, which experts say has given North Korea more room to develop its capabilities to strike South Korea and the U.S. ahead of negotiations. Meanwhile, the U.S. and its allies have been conducting military drills of their own, and negotiations are set to resume when those drills end later this month. (Associated Press)

  3. Trump lied 56 times last week – down from 78 false claims the week prior and 61 false claims the week before that. (CNN)


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