Opinion writer

* Rachael Bade and Matt Zapotosky report that Robert Mueller wants some help in his testimony:

Former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has asked the House Judiciary Committee to allow one of his top deputies to testify with him on Wednesday, going against the wishes of Justice Department officials and creating an air of uncertainty a day before the much-anticipated hearing.

The last-minute request comes days after Justice Department officials convinced two Mueller deputies to cancel private testimony for House Democrats following the former special counsel’s session, according a congressional official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely discuss private conversations.

Now, Democrats are considering allowing Aaron Zebley, counsel to Mueller, to testify in public alongside him.

Mueller made the request in the last 24 hours or so, though what will happen is decidedly unclear, an individual familiar with the matter said. The Justice Department did not authorize Zebley to testify and objects to his doing so, said the individual, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share private deliberations.

In response, all the Republicans on the committee plan to stick their fingers in their ears and say “Nanana I can’t hear you nanana I can’t hear you” for the duration of the hearing.

* Colleen Long and Sophia Tareen report on the impact of Trump’s latest get-tough measure on immigration:

The immigration enforcement operation touted by President Donald Trump that targeted more than 2,000 people resulted in 35 arrests, officials said Tuesday.

Trump billed the operation as a major show of force in an effort to “deport millions” of people in the country illegally as the number of Central American families crossing the southern border has skyrocketed.

Of those arrested, 18 were members of families and 17 were collateral apprehensions of people in the country illegally encountered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. None of those arrested resulted in a separation of family, officials said.

Maybe the point was just to look tough while spreading fear?

* John Harwood explains why Republicans keep losing budget fights.

* David Corn runs down all the baloney Republicans are going to throw at Robert Muelle tomorrow.

* Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman have some great reporting documenting that while Trump continues to pose as a populist he has pursued a firmly corporate agenda.

* Jamil Smith offers a deep look at whether Kamala Harris’ moment has arrived.

* Eric Wemple reports that alleged Trump bomber Cesar Sayoc’s lawyers say he was radicalized by watching too much Fox News.

* Tara Golshan argues that older voters may be moving to the left.

* Michael Waters reports on how the funeral industry takes grieving families to the cleaners.

* Nancy Gibbs says to be successful a Democratic president needs to use both hope and fear.

* And Amanda Marcotte explains the psychological need the Trump campaign is satisfying by selling plastic straws.