* Devlin Barrett, Ellen Nakashima, Rachael Bade, and Matt Zapotosky report that there’s been a bit of a hiccup in Robert Mueller’s upcoming testimony:
Robert S. Mueller III and House Democrats have been unable to reach an agreement on how much of the special counsel’s expected congressional testimony would be public, and how much would take place in private, according to people familiar with the matter.
The special counsel’s office, along with senior Justice Department officials, has been quietly negotiating with the House Judiciary Committee, whose chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), has been eager to have Mueller testify as soon as possible.
Who is driving the dispute is a source of debate. Two people familiar with the matter said the Justice Department is deferring to Mueller, who would like for any discussions beyond the public contents of his report to be conducted in private. But another person said it is primarily the department, rather than Mueller himself, resisting a nationally televised hearing.
Don’t be surprised if at the last minute Trump moves to prevent him from testifying in public, or at all.
* John Wagner, Mike DeBonis, and Rachael Bade report that the administration’s campaign of obstruction is proceeding apace:
Former White House counsel Donald McGahn was a no-show Tuesday at a House committee hearing, infuriating Democrats who are ramping up calls to start impeachment proceedings against President Trump despite continued resistance from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
During an opening statement, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) vowed that his panel would eventually hear McGahn’s testimony about alleged obstruction of justice by Trump “even if we have to go to court to secure it.”
“We will not allow the president to block congressional subpoenas, putting himself and his allies above the law,” Nadler said. “We will not allow the president to stop this investigation, and nothing in these unjustified and unjustifiable legal attacks will stop us from pressing forward with our work on behalf of the American people. We will hold this president accountable, one way or the other.”
But if he was just going to testify to the fact that Donald Trump is not in any way a criminal, what are they afraid of?
* Catherine Rampell looks at the possible revelations that could lurk inside Trump’s tax returns.
* Jennifer Rubin gets this right: If any Democratic candidates think they’re going to win over Fox viewers by going on Fox, they’re in fantasyland.
* Asawin Suebsaeng, Sam Brodey, and Andrew Kirell report that a key reason Trump is preparing to pardon a bunch of war criminals is lobbying from Fox News host Pete Hegseth.
* Emily Badger looks at how geography has come to define our political divide.
* And finally, Rita Devlin reports that North Korea says Joe Biden is a “snob bereft of elementary quality as human being,” and says him leading the presidential campaign is “enough to make a cat laugh.” Maybe Kim Jong Un is trying to help his buddy Trump?