**Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.**
On the roster: Dems increase pressure on Pelosi for impeachment - Biden looks to lock up the cash race - Easy GOP win expected in Pennsylvania special election - RNC raised big money in April - Or maybe, you know, just let it burn
DEMS INCREASE PRESSURE ON PELOSI FOR IMPEACHMENT
WaPo: “Several members of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s leadership team pressed her to begin an impeachment inquiry against President Trump in a series of Monday night meetings, according to multiple officials in the rooms — an effort the speaker rebuffed each time. At least five members of Pelosi’s leadership team — four of whom also sit on the House Judiciary Committee, with jurisdiction over impeachment — pressed Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a closed-door leadership meeting to allow the panel to start an inquiry, which they argued would help investigators attain documents and testimony that Trump has blocked. Several hours later, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler met with Pelosi as well and made the case to start the inquiry, he later told his panel member on a call. Pelosi declined to endorse the idea both times, according to the officials either in or familiar with what happened in both meetings.”
McGahn a no-show - AP: “Former White House Counsel Donald McGahn is a no-show at a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee, defying a subpoena for his testimony. President Donald Trump directed McGahn to ignore the committee’s subpoena to testify on Tuesday. A lawyer for McGahn said he would follow the president’s directive. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler says the House will hold President Donald Trump accountable ‘one way or the other.’ House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said the committee will vote to hold McGahn in contempt of Congress if he did not testify. It is one of several actions against current and former members of the administration as Trump has said he will fight ‘all of the subpoenas.’ McGahn was a key witness in the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller.”
Trump appeals judge’s order that his accountants comply with subpoena - WaPo: “President Trump’s lawyers on Tuesday notified a federal judge that they have appealed 'all aspects' of a Monday ruling that the president’s accounting firm must turn over his financial records to Congress. The two-page notice filed in federal court in Washington marks the latest move in a gathering legal battle over Congress’s oversight powers. 'Plaintiffs . . . hereby appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit all aspects of this Court’s order and opinion from May 20, 2019,' stated lawyers for Trump, the Trump Organization and several related companies in the notice to U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta. Mehta, in a 41-page ruling Monday, flatly rejected arguments from the president’s lawyers that the House Oversight Committee’s demands for the records from Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, were overly broad and served no legitimate legislative function.”
Freedom Caucus punishes Amash for breaking with GOP leadership - Politico: “The House Freedom Caucus on Monday night formally condemned one of its founding members for declaring that President Trump committed impeachable offenses, but stopped short of kicking Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) out of the hard-line conservative group. Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee and a former chairman of the Freedom Caucus, said that every single member in attendance during a weekly caucus meeting was unified in their opposition toward Amash’s comments. … GOP lawmakers who attended Monday night’s meeting said lawmakers vented their frustrations with Amash, who made waves over the weekend for becoming the first Republican to say that Trump could be impeached for his conduct during special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe…”
THE RULEBOOK: PERFECTLY IMPERFECT
“It is a matter both of wonder and regret, that those who raise so many objections against the new Constitution should never call to mind the defects of that which is to be exchanged for it. It is not necessary that the former should be perfect; it is sufficient that the latter is more imperfect.” – James Madison, Federalist No. 38
TIME OUT: AMERICA’S FAVORITE FIGHTING FRENCHMAN
Smithsonian: “In the 1930s and ‘40s, an employee of the Massachusetts Archives stole a trove of original papers by the likes of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Paul Revere. Most of the documents were eventually recovered. But one paper, a 1780 letter fromAlexander Hamilton to the Marquis de Lafayette, remained missing for decades—until it surfaced recently in Virginia. Mark Pratt of the Associated Press reports that the precious document came to light last November, when a family from South Carolina tried to sell it to an auction house in Alexandria, Virginia; the letter had reportedly been in the possession of a relative who had died. … Hamilton wrote the letter in the midst of the Revolutionary War … [and it] was a warning to the Marquis de Lafayette… Hamilton and Lafayette were close friends; Hamilton was proficient in French, and he helped translate for the Marquis.”
Flag on the play? - Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.
Trump job performance
Average approval: 44.4 percent
Average disapproval: 51.8 percent
Net Score: -7.4 points
Change from one week ago: up one point
[Average includes: Fox News: 46% approve - 53% disapprove; IBD: 43% approve - 50% disapprove; NBC News/WSJ: 46% approve - 51% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 41% approve - 55% disapprove; Gallup: 46% approve - 50% disapprove.]
BIDEN LOOKS TO LOCK UP THE CASH RACE
NYT: “A couple of days before Joseph R. Biden Jr. announced his campaign for president, he spent 45 minutes on the phone with John Morgan, a major Florida political donor. …Mr. Biden was hard at work as he dialed donor after donor in the run-up to his campaign, relying upon his decades of political connections and his characteristic personal touch. There was no request for a contribution that day. That is coming on Tuesday, when Mr. Biden heads to Mr. Morgan’s home near Orlando for a fund-raiser… From Hollywood to Nashville to Las Vegas to Miami to Philadelphia, Mr. Biden has constructed much of his early schedule around vacuuming up as much campaign cash as possible, as his operation presses to assert his front-runner status with a show of financial force. Mr. Biden will be in Texas raising money next week, and big fund-raisers in Boston and New York are already in the works for next month.”
Dems say they deplore corporate cash, but still look to Wall Street - Bloomberg: “The mayor of South Bend, Ind., the senators from California and Minnesota, and the ex-vice president are among the Democratic presidential candidates disavowing corporate cash, lobbyist checks, or the super PAC system. They’re trying to outdo each other with promises to finance their campaigns with grassroots contributions. But while they play down the role of money and influence, longtime Wall Street donors who have both say little has changed. ‘I’ve talked to about half of them, and I have not run into a single one who said, ‘Hey, you worked at Goldman Sachs, I can’t take your money,’’ says [former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner Bruce] Heyman, who helped elect Barack Obama by collecting checks from friends, and later became his ambassador to Canada. ‘I’ve not heard that—ever.’”
Harris flip flops on process for police shootings - Politico: “Kamala Harris said police shootings and cases of alleged brutality by law enforcement officials should be handed off to independent investigators, breaking with her long-held resistance to taking prosecutorial discretion away from locally elected district attorneys. Harris, a former career prosecutor and California attorney general, had long advocated in favor of preserving prosecutorial discretion, taking heat from civil rights activists and African American leaders in her state. … Now, campaigning for president, Harris was asked about her stance amid calls for more scrutiny over the investigative process. ‘I believe the best approach is to have independent investigations,’ Harris said in a Monday interview on MSNBC. When Harris addressed the question head-on in 2014, she took the opposite approach.”
Bernie Sanders checks out Walmart meeting - WaPo: “For years, Walmart workers have attended the company’s annual shareholders meeting to call for higher wages, better benefits and more predictable schedules. This year they’ll have someone new delivering the message on their behalf: Sen. Bernie Sanders. The presidential candidate, who has repeatedly called on Walmart to improve its working conditions, is heading to Bentonville, Ark., on June 5 to introduce a shareholders’ proposal that would give hourly Walmart workers a seat on the company’s board. ‘These workers need and deserve a seat at the table,” Sanders (I-Vt.) told The Washington Post.”
Michael Bennet releases climate change plan - Politico: “Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet on May 20 released his plan to fight climate change, making him the third candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee to unveil a broad proposal on the issue this cycle. Bennet’s plan aims to put the nation on a path to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or earlier, but it does not outline specific policies such as a carbon tax or clean energy mandates. Bennet says specifics policies would come ‘in the first 100 days of the administration’ through talks with Congress and voters. Instead, the plan calls for a ‘Climate X Option’ that would require utilities to provide ‘zero-emission energy to every household and business,’ a new national conservation initiative and a ‘Climate Bank’ to spur private investment. A net-zero goal would require any greenhouse gas emissions to be offset by reforestation or other techniques.”
EASY GOP WIN EXPECTED IN PENNSYLVANIA SPECIAL ELECTION
The [Philadelphia] Inquirer: “President Donald Trump on Monday promised to continue pushing for job growth, unleash coal and shale, and bring back industrial plants as he attempted to woo voters in this key battleground state ahead of the next presidential election. In doing so, Trump, a Republican, struck many of the same notes he did during the 2016 presidential election, when he narrowly captured Pennsylvania. … [His rally] also came the day before a special election to fill a vacant congressional seat that covers, among other areas, Lycoming County. ‘Trump’s coming, ostensibly, to campaign for [GOP candidate State Rep. Fred] Keller, but, in reality, what’s it about?’ asked political analyst and pollster G. Terry Madonna. ‘It’s about Trump and Pennsylvania. This gives him a reason to get here.’ … The district lies in the middle of Trump country. And on Monday, as people in this small town awaited his appearance, support for the president appeared strong.”
RNC RAISED BIG MONEY IN APRIL
Politico: “The Republican National Committee raised $15.9 million in April, according to campaign finance disclosures, as the committee prepares for President Donald Trump’s reelection efforts. The sum is more than double the $6.6 million raised by the Democratic National Committee during the same time period. The RNC ended the month with $34.7 million cash on hand, while the DNC ended the month with $7.6 million cash on hand.”
Hill leaders meet with Team Trump to talk budget caps, debt limit - Politico
It's primary day in Kentucky - Lexington [Ky.] Herald-Leader
Sen. Ben Sasse’s expected to seek a second term - Politico
Check out Kris Kobach’s high-flying list of demands to take an administration job - NYT
AUDIBLE: EXPLAINS A LOT
“I tried to be somebody I wasn’t, and I was a flop. And I learned as — when I would do those Tuesday stakeouts with all the cameras. I was better off just — I never had anything prepared.” – Former Senator Harry Reid, D-Nev., in an interview with the New York Times.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“Had a quick question about the ‘lame cheap shot’ Pete Buttigieg made to ‘his host’ on [Sunday’s] Town Hall in NH: ‘He adds protein to his leafy green cerebral style with bits of red meat here and there (including a lame cheap shot at his hosts) but manages to do so in a way that mostly seems sincere.’ Did you see it as a cheap shot because neither [Laura Ingraham] nor [Tucker Carlson] was there to defend themselves, or because of some very specific opinions he was criticizing? If it's the former, I would argue it would be great television to see them defending these opinions in a debate with Buttigieg. Let Carlson explain just how the U.S. would become ‘dirtier’ with more immigrants, and let's hear from Ingraham how migrant detention centers are really more like ‘summer camp’ while looking directly into the eyes of someone else who disagrees (I'm assuming it's not the camera operators). If it's the latter, I would argue that Buttigieg was simply answering a question posed by his Fox News host. It's not like he changed the subject and brought this matter up, and, as a long-time viewer of Fox News since its inception in the 1990s, I thought it was a reasonable response. The Fox News of 2019 is a much different version than what launched in 1996, mostly because it built on what brought viewers and ditched what did not. I would certainly put your work in the category of ‘objective journalism,’ which is why I eagerly await your report each weekday. But when I see phrases like ‘lame cheap shot’ without any explanation, it makes me wonder in what other ways your emotional brain may be reacting a bit too quickly to a perceived slight. I hope that seems like a fair assessment. I know you don't have an easy job!” – Patrick S. Duffy, Los Angeles
[Ed. note: I didn’t find Buttigieg’s line lame so much because Tucker or Laura weren’t there to defend themselves. They both have highly rated nightly television shows and are more than able to defend themselves, and did so on Monday. I thought he hit a clam more because it was stagy and forced. Neither moderator Chris Wallace nor any audience member asked Buttigieg about Fox News. Instead, he shoehorned the swipes into his answer to an unrelated question about how he would run against President Trump in a general election. I understand his predicament. Elizabeth Warren, who is locked in a political death match with Bernie Sanders, found a way to zap her competitors, including Sanders, who have or will face questions at our town halls. She simultaneously tickled the anger glands of her supporters who hate Fox News like God hates sin. Buttigieg needed to address Warren’s strategy and insulate himself from it. Most of his effort in that way was effective, highlighting as he did the mistake Warren and some other Democrats are making in ignoring our viewers. But his calling out opinion hosts by name wasn’t quite cricket. He left Chris in the position of either derailing a town hall that was supposed to be about voters’ questions and turning it into a two-man argument about the relative merits of cable news programming or to refusing to engage and thereby ignoring a slight. Buttigieg likely knew that Chris, an absolute professional, would decline to inject himself and his opinions into the event. Buttigieg’s canned line acknowledged the separation between our news and opinion divisions, so he pretty obviously understood what he was doing. It was a small thing and detracted only slightly from the overall very good performance Buttigieg turned in. But it was also one of the rare cases in which I have ham observed him succumbing to the pressure of the mob. He will face more such challenges as his campaign matures and he is subject to greater scrutiny from the press and more attacks from his rivals.]
“Hi guys! Thanks for mentioning that the Blues got robbed! The Blues utterly destroyed the Sharks Sunday so watch out Brianna we are coming for the Bruins next! I know the Cards could be doing better but it is a long season. Thanks for the great job you all are doing.” – M. Jarvis, Wright City, Mo.
[Ed. note: I think you and your fellow readers should help Brianna and me choose the proper wager on the coming Stanley Cup finals. I suggest I should award her a basket of Bissinger’s candy in the event of a Bruins win. But what Boston delicacy/product should she give me if the Blues keep their spectacular season going all the way to the cup? I’m wide open to suggestions.]
“Hi Chris, You might say that the trade negotiations with China are a classic case of he said Xi said.” – George Fuller, St. Louis
[Ed. note: Zing!]
“Calling Joe Biden an affable golden retriever is deeply insulting to golden retrievers and those of us who love them. Golden retrievers are sweet, loyal, lovable, honest, endlessly obliging, and smart. Watch, if you've forgotten, Biden's debate with Paul Ryan in 2012. He was loud, obnoxious, boorish, deeply dishonest, and manifestly stupid. Those adjectives pretty well sum up his entire, far-too-long time in public office. He is, I suppose, loyal to something or other, but he is otherwise as empty a suit as you will find this time of Robert Francis O'Rourke's dentist's office. About all he has in common with golden retrievers is that both are inclined to sniff people when they meet them.” – Stephen D Leonard, Boise, Idaho
[Ed. note: You can do a lot of things in this life, but woe betide the man who slights a purebred dog breed! I do apologize for my simile hitting a carom shot off of your breed and partisan loyalties. I’m a mutt man, myself. The greatest dog of all time was Baines Johnson Stirewalt. He was foundling who had obviously logged lots of days dumpster diving in Huntington, W.Va. He had the scars and heartworms to prove it. Baines was more beagle than anything, but whatever the genetic cocktail that produced him was pretty much perfect. I have never met an animal who was so affable, loyal, expressive and funny. I miss him every day, as do my sons. And when the time comes for a new dog, I bet I’ll end up with another stray mutt. I may even go back to the Mountain State in search of another Appalachian trash semi-beagle. Lord knows there are plenty who need homes.]
Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.
OR MAYBE, YOU KNOW, JUST LET IT BURN
KPHO: “Phoenix firefighters got quite the surprise on Thursday when they responded to a fire at a house full of snakes, other reptiles and animals. Capt. Greg Hawk of the Phoenix Fire Department said he and other firefighters were ‘bit’ with a big element of shock when they realized the home near 67th Avenue and Baseline Road was filled with hundreds of these creatures. ‘It was honestly like a movie,’ said Hawk said to Arizona's Family on Sunday. ‘It really hit us that we were walking around with snakes and lizards and everything else.’ Hawk continued with sharing some of the highlights of the bizarre mission. ‘We were looking at each other, going ‘this is crazy!’ There were literally firefighters fighting fire, squirting water on the fire,’ he said. ‘And guys next to them picking up snakes and putting them in buckets trying to get them outside.’”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“JFK’s inaugural pledged to support any friend and oppose any foe to assure the success of liberty. Note that Trump makes no distinction between friend and foe (and no reference to liberty). They’re all out to use, exploit and surpass us.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in the Washington Post on Jan. 26, 2017.
Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.