Newsletter: Today: Branch-to-Branch Combat

Former White House Counsel Donald McGahn in September.
(Brendan Smialowski / AFP-Getty Images)

The fight between the White House and Congress on multiple fronts is intensifying.


Branch-to-Branch Combat

The battle between two warring branches of government is heating up. The latest salvo: President Trump has directed former White House Counsel Donald McGahn not to appear at a House Judiciary Committee hearing today despite receiving a subpoena from the panel’s Democratic chairman. McGahn was a key witness in determining whether the president obstructed justice as Trump fought special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s 22-month investigation. Meanwhile, a federal judge in Washington has upheld a separate Democratic subpoena for Trump’s personal and business financial records. The ruling is the first by a federal judge considering Trump’s legal efforts to avoid congressional subpoenas and could set a legal precedent for other judges to consider.


More Politics

-- The competition among the 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls to be bold in confronting vexing social and economic challenges has created a mountain of policy promises. The big question: “How are you going to pay for it?”

-- Huawei without Google: Does the Chinese telecom giant have a backup plan?

-- Preventing surprise medical billing is one of the few bipartisan initiatives in Congress this year, and the president has signaled his support.


An Uphill Drive

Lyft and Uber have tried to expand their fleets of drivers by recruiting workers with vehicles that wouldn’t pass company requirements — and drivers who don’t have a car at all. But some struggling drivers who rent their vehicles through Lyft’s Express Drive program say it has made it difficult to get back on their feet. Documents show that drivers in the program are paid less per mile than Lyft drivers who use their own vehicles. Lyft blames that on the cost of insurance.

Putting Cheaters to Shame

One of the more shameful aspects of the recent college admissions scandal was how the scheme gamed a system that grants extra time on the SAT or ACT to students with learning disabilities. For an estimated 10% of the population, it’s a legitimate accommodation. The latest Column One feature tells the story of Emma Taylor, who struggled with a learning disability and found a way to succeed in school.

From ‘Showtime’ to ‘Who’s the Boss’?

Remember the Lakers’ glory days — or should we say, glory decades? It’s been nine years since the team won an NBA championship and six years since it’s made the playoffs. Meanwhile, “Showtime” has been replaced by a front-office version of “Who’s the Boss?”: Just before the Lakers introduced new coach Frank Vogel on Monday, former basketball operations honcho Magic Johnson eviscerated Lakers GM Rob Pelinka and the team’s power structure on ESPN and again in an interview with The Times. So who is in charge of the team now? It’s complicated.

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On this date in 1945, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, who met during the filming of 1944’s “To Have and Have Not,” were married at the home of Bogart’s close friend Louis Bromfield near Lucas, Ohio. Four days later, they returned to L.A. by train at Union Station, where journalists greeted the couple. “Bogey called her ‘darling’ and Bacall called him ‘honey,’ ” The Times reported, along with an exchange centered on a tiny gold whistle attached to a bracelet that Bacall wore. They remained married until Bogart’s death in 1957.

Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall are seen at Union Station after returning to California after their wedding in Ohio.
(L. Maxine Reams / Los Angeles Times)


-- The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to block an excessive-force suit against Newport Beach. That clears the way for a jury to decide whether police are liable for shooting and killing a mentally ill man who came running at them holding a pair of scissors.

-- Los Angeles religious groups are pushing back on L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti for supporting the move of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

-- Nativo Lopez, a pioneering and polarizing advocate for Latino rights in Orange County and Los Angeles, has died at 68.

-- Columnist Robin Abcarian tagged along with Peter Sharpe, a wildlife biologist who has dedicated his career to reviving the once-endangered bald eagle, as he encountered a bald eagle chick on Catalina.



-- When actress Emilia Clarke finished reading the scripts for the last two episodes of “Game of Thrones,” she was unsure about the finale. So she called her mom for advice.

-- So who really won “Game of Thrones”? Peter Dinklage, of course, as columnist Mary McNamara explains.

-- Sammy Shore, an actor and standup comedian who co-founded the Comedy Store, has died at 92.

-- From the Cannes red carpet, here are some of the sartorial standouts.


-- The 16-year-old Guatemalan boy who died in U.S. custody on Monday was detained by border agents for six days, twice as long as federal law generally permits. He was the fifth minor from Guatemala to die after being apprehended by U.S. border agents since December.

-- Volodymyr Zelensky, a Ukrainian comedian who played an unlikely president in a hit television series, was sworn in as the country’s real president and then promptly dissolved parliament. It’s a strategic move that enables a snap election.

-- Members of Iran’s parliament have launched an investigation to identify those responsible for viral videos of schoolchildren dancing.

-- The Vietnam War left a painful legacy for an indigenous minority that fought alongside the U.S.

-- Researchers say turning methane (a powerful greenhouse gas) into carbon dioxide (also a planet-warming pollutant) could help fight climate change.


-- Consumer columnist David Lazarus says to beware of car-wrap offers, an old scam dressed in bright new clothes.


-- Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias is expected to be reinstated from paid administrative leave and activated today, eight days after he was arrested on suspicion of domestic battery.

-- After six weeks of safe racing and training, Santa Anita had its second horse death in four days. It was the 25th equine death at the Arcadia track since Dec. 26.


-- Trump’s mixed signals could lead to a clash with Iran.

-- Climate change could wipe out L.A.’s June gloom. Losing it would be disastrous.


-- Russian documents reveal a desire to sow racial discord and violence in the U.S. (NBC News)

-- One in three communities in Alaska has no local law enforcement. And yes, that’s a big problem. (ProPublica)

-- New parents face intense moral pressure these day to breastfeed their babies. But sometimes a bottle is better. (Aeon)


If you’ve spent any time on #baking Instagram in the last few years, there’s a good chance you’ve admired Alana Jones-Mann’s work, even if you don’t know her name. She’s sculpted cactus gardens out of frosting; translated complex Mexican embroidery designs onto the surface of cookies; and constructed wreath-shaped cakes out of retro candies. Or maybe you just know her work by the term “shag cake.” Here’s how she finds her inspiration in places like the Brand Library and Art Center in Glendale.

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