By BRIAN A. HOWEY, in Indianapolis

1. Trump’s congressional stonewall

Here are your Tuesday power lunch talking point: It's plain as day in the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 1: “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” Founding Father George Mason of Virginia said at the Federal Convention that Members of Congress “are not only Legislators but they possess inquisitorial powers. They must meet frequently to inspect the Conduct of the public offices.” That includes you, President Trump, just as Congress investigated President Warren Harding during the Teapot Dome and President Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandals. Perhaps Trump is weary of his presidential company on thus matters.

President Trump’s former legal counsel, Don McGahn, snubbed a congressional subpoena to testify this morning at the behest of his former boss and the House Judiciary Committee responded with an "empty chair" hearing. In doing so, McGahn jeopardizes his standing as an officer of the court. It’s part of Trump’s stonewalling strategy, with his administration refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas. But there has already been a breach in the strategy, with U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta in Washington ruling Congress has the power to demand Trump's tax returns. “To be sure, there are limits on Congress’s investigative authority. But those limits do not substantially constrain Congress,” Mehta said in a 41-page ruling. “So long as Congress investigates on a subject matter on which ‘legislation could be had,’ Congress acts as contemplated by Article I of the Constitution.”

2. Delay to 2020?

President Trump seems to be goading House Democrats into impeachment, figuring the Republican Senate would be his firewall. He figures that if Democrats impeach, they'll find out what Republicans did with President Clinton in 1998, that impeachment doesn't have much political support. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is now trying to fend off her restive caucus. Politico:  At a Democratic Steering and Policy Committee meeting, Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee stood up and demanded Trump's impeachment. Pelosi countered, "This is not about politics, it's about what's best for the American people." Pelosi sees impeachment as a losing proposition heading into 2020. HPI: Trump's resistance and court rulings could push much of the ramifications into 2020, an election year.

3. Pence's 'Indiana mafia' at HHS

Politico  describes Vice President Mike Pence's "Indiana mafia" over at Health and Human Services. Top HHS leadership include Secretary Alex Azar, Surgeon General Jerome Adams and Medicaid/Medicare Chief Seema Verma, all from Indiana and most with ties to Gov. Pence. “He has clearly recruited people connected to him who share his very extreme views on sexual and reproductive health care," said Emily Stewart, the vice president of public policy at Planned Parenthood. "This has been one of the most active administrations ever on rolling back reproductive rights and there's no way that happens unless you have people in the White House driving the effort to put out policies at such a rapid clip.”

4. SCOTUS passes on HEA1337

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday deferred action  on two Indiana abortion law challenges that could pose a threat to Roe v. Wade. As we analyzed last week, the Indiana law HEA1337 signed by Gov. Pence in March 2016 has a better chance to test Roe than the draconian Alabama statutes signed last week. But SCOTUS could revisit that decision  as early as next week. Bloomberg News: Both Indiana appeals are optional; the court could turn them away without making any comment on the merits, as it does with thousands of appeals every year. Four votes are needed to accept a case, meaning that in all likelihood either Chief Justice John Roberts or Justice Brett Kavanaugh would have to join with the three most conservative justices to grant review.

5. Mayor Pete news

Mayor Pete Buttigieg's Fox News  town hall Sunday night drew 1.1 million viewers, or 18 million less than the final episode of "Game of Thrones" (which Buttigieg views, describing it as a "guilty pleasure"). Buttigieg is out of his South Bend throne half the time since launching his presidential bid. The South Bend Tribune's  Jeff Parrott reports Mayor Pete has been out of town 55 or 120 days, or 39 of 86 weekdays. In an Iowa Starting Line/Change Research Poll  released Monday, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders were tied at 24%, Buttigieg was third at 14%, Elizabeth Warren at 12% and Kamala Harris at 10%. Buttigieg picked up the endorsement of Florida Democratic attorney general nominee Sean Shaw of Tampa. It's his first major nod from an African-American. Shaw told the Miami Herald: “He’s the future of not only the party, but where I’d like to see us go with the country. Every time I hear him speak I love the way he makes me feel about where this country could go.”

All hail King Bran the Broken, First of his Name, King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Six Kingdoms and the Protector of the Realm! Have a great day, folks, and thanks for reading. It's The Atomic!