House holds William Barr, Wilbur Ross in criminal contempt of Congress


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The House voted on Wednesday to ask the Justice Department to prosecute Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for defying congressional subpoenas, an escalation in House Democrats’ ongoing oversight battle with the Trump administration.

The vote to hold Barr and Ross in criminal contempt of Congress is largely symbolic, as President Donald Trump’s DOJ will not act on the request.

But it reflects House Democrats’ frustration over the administration’s defiance of the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s subpoenas seeking information about failed efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

“I do not take this decision lightly,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the chairman of the Oversight Committee. “Holding any secretary in criminal contempt of Congress is a serious and sober matter, one that I have done everything in my power to avoid.”

“But in the case of the attorney general and Secretary Continue reading “House holds William Barr, Wilbur Ross in criminal contempt of Congress”

House blocks arms sales to Saudi Arabia, UAE in rebuke to Trump


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The House voted on Wednesday to block President Donald Trump’s emergency weapon sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, delivering a rebuke to U.S. strategic allies over their involvement in Yemen’s civil war and alleged human rights abuses.

Trump has already threatened to veto all three resolutions, which passed the Democrat-led House with minimal Republican support.

But with Wednesday’s votes, lawmakers in the House and Senate — which approved the bills last month — again registered their disapproval of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the Trump administration’s perfunctory response to it.

The votes also exposed Democratic and Republican lawmakers’ ongoing clashes with the president over his efforts to subvert congressional authority on foreign policy and national security issues, in addition to bipartisan anger over U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s bloody civil war.

“A phony emergency — an emergency designed to Continue reading “House blocks arms sales to Saudi Arabia, UAE in rebuke to Trump”

Pro-impeachment Dems fear Al Green’s renegade push


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House Democrats methodically working to build support for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump fear that a rogue move by a Texas Democrat could scramble their best efforts.

It’s unclear whether Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) will seek Trump’s immediate impeachment or simply the launch of an inquiry. But he has promised to force a floor vote on the matter before the House departs for its August recess — either before or after special counsel Robert Mueller’s hotly-anticipated testimony on July 24.

Many of the Democrats backing impeachment proceedings have viewed Mueller’s appearance on Capitol Hill as a potential inflection point that could jumpstart their efforts. Green’s decision could undermine their plans, forcing lawmakers to take a position they may not have been prepared to take.

“It won’t be [productive], but it’s his right to do it,” said Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), who supports an impeachment inquiry and said he Continue reading “Pro-impeachment Dems fear Al Green’s renegade push”

Kellyanne Conway defies subpoena, skips Oversight hearing


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White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway on Monday defied a congressional subpoena, refusing to show up for testimony to the House Oversight and Reform Committee about her violations of the Hatch Act, and prompting House Democrats to threaten to hold her in contempt of Congress.

In a letter to Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the chairman of the panel, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone asserted the Trump administration’s long-standing view that current and former White House officials are “absolutely immune” from congressional testimony, writing: “Ms. Conway cannot be compelled to testify before Congress with respect to matters related to her service as a senior adviser to the president.”

“Because of this constitutional immunity, and in order to protect the prerogatives of the Office of the President, the President has directed Ms. Conway not to appear at the Committee’s scheduled hearing on Monday, July 15, 2019,” Cipollone continued.

Cummings threatened to Continue reading “Kellyanne Conway defies subpoena, skips Oversight hearing”

Kellyanne Conway defies subpoena, skips Oversight hearing


This post is by Andrew Desiderio from Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories


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White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway on Monday defied a congressional subpoena, refusing to show up for testimony to the House Oversight and Reform Committee about her violations of the Hatch Act, and prompting House Democrats to threaten to hold her in contempt of Congress.

In a letter to Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the chairman of the panel, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone asserted the Trump administration’s long-standing view that current and former White House officials are “absolutely immune” from congressional testimony, writing: “Ms. Conway cannot be compelled to testify before Congress with respect to matters related to her service as a senior adviser to the president.”

“Because of this constitutional immunity, and in order to protect the prerogatives of the Office of the President, the President has directed Ms. Conway not to appear at the Committee’s scheduled hearing on Monday, July 15, 2019,” Cipollone continued.

Cummings threatened to Continue reading “Kellyanne Conway defies subpoena, skips Oversight hearing”

Kellyanne Conway defies subpoena, skips Oversight hearing


This post is by Andrew Desiderio from Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories


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White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway on Monday defied a congressional subpoena, refusing to show up for testimony to the House Oversight and Reform Committee about her violations of the Hatch Act, and prompting House Democrats to threaten to hold her in contempt of Congress.

In a letter to Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the chairman of the panel, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone asserted the Trump administration’s long-standing view that current and former White House officials are “absolutely immune” from congressional testimony, writing: “Ms. Conway cannot be compelled to testify before Congress with respect to matters related to her service as a senior adviser to the president.”

“Because of this constitutional immunity, and in order to protect the prerogatives of the Office of the President, the President has directed Ms. Conway not to appear at the Committee’s scheduled hearing on Monday, July 15, 2019,” Cipollone continued.

Cummings threatened to Continue reading “Kellyanne Conway defies subpoena, skips Oversight hearing”

Mueller testimony delayed by one week


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Former special counsel Robert Mueller will appear before Congress on July 24 instead of next Wednesday as initially planned, multiple lawmakers told POLITICO.

It is unclear why Mueller’s highly anticipated testimony was delayed.

Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine

Impeachment push freezes as Mueller testimony looms


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The steady drumbeat among House Democrats for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump has gone silent. And Robert Mueller is to blame.

The last lawmaker to publicly embrace an impeachment inquiry came forward on June 28, just three days after it was announced that the special counsel would deliver hotly-anticipated testimony and ending a weeks-long trickle that put a third of all House Democrats in favor of the effort.

In interviews, the most prominent House advocates for impeachment proceedings acknowledged that the push had slowed to a standstill. But they say they’re optimistic that Mueller’s appearance — no matter how understated or scripted — could shake loose dozens of their colleagues and bring the House closer to a formal impeachment inquiry.

“I think they’re waiting for Mueller,” said Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.).

Though Mueller’s testimony next Wednesday before the Judiciary and Intelligence committees may move more Democrats into the Continue reading “Impeachment push freezes as Mueller testimony looms”

House Dems set to subpoena Kushner, Sessions and 10 other Mueller witnesses


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The House Judiciary Committee will vote on Thursday to authorize subpoenas for 12 of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s witnesses — including President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, his former deputy Rod Rosenstein, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former chief of staff John Kelly and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.

Each of the witnesses provided crucial testimony to Mueller about Trump’s efforts to thwart the Russia investigation, and the committee’s efforts are certain to meet resistance from a White House that has already blocked testimony from senior aides like former White House Counsel Don McGahn and former longtime adviser Hope Hicks.

The subpoena targets also include two executives of American Media, Inc. — Dylan Howard and David Pecker — who testified about Trump’s alleged hush money payments to a woman who accused him of an extramarital affair before the election. And it includes Continue reading “House Dems set to subpoena Kushner, Sessions and 10 other Mueller witnesses”

White House blocks ex-McGahn aide from answering more than 200 questions


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The White House has blocked a third witness who provided crucial testimony to former special counsel Robert Mueller from describing the chaos she witnessed in the West Wing as President Donald Trump sought to assert control over the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“The White House has directed that I not respond to this question because of the constitutionally-based executive branch confidentiality interests that are implicated,” former top White House aide Annie Donaldson repeated more than 200 times in written responses to the House Judiciary Committee, according to a transcript released Monday.

Donaldson, who served then-White House Counsel Don McGahn’s top deputy, provided Mueller with some of his most damaging evidence that Trump sought to interfere in the Russia probe, which the FBI launched in 2016 and, after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey in May 2017, was assumed by Mueller and his team. But she declined Continue reading “White House blocks ex-McGahn aide from answering more than 200 questions”

‘Everyone hates this place’: Border bill tears apart Democratic caucus


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Democrats broke into open warfare Thursday over Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s surrender to the Senate’s emergency border aid package, with the caucus’s long-simmering divide between progressives and centrists playing out in dramatic fashion on the House floor.

Some lawmakers even resorted to public name-calling, with progressive leader Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) accusing moderate Democrats of favoring child abuse — an exchange on Twitter that prompted a pair of freshmen centrists to confront him directly on the floor, with other lawmakers looking on in shock.

Pelosi has spent months deftly navigating a diverse caucus brimming with political novices, deeply split on ideological lines and itching to throw the president out of office. But this week’s fiasco exposed fissures in Pelosi’s rank-and-file, in her leadership and in her relationship with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

“She is a very experienced legislator, but I think this is a very rough Continue reading “‘Everyone hates this place’: Border bill tears apart Democratic caucus”

Most House impeachment inquiry backers are Pelosi’s investigators


This post is by Andrew Desiderio from Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories


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Speaker Nancy Pelosi has a ready-made reply when pressed on impeaching President Donald Trump: Democrats have tasked six powerful committees with investigating Trump’s conduct, and they’ll “follow the facts” to chart a course for the House.

But a POLITICO review of those six committees reveals that the members of their members are significantly more inclined to back impeachment than the rest of the House.

The panels in Pelosi’s talking points are the Intelligence, Judiciary, Oversight, Foreign Affairs, Financial Services and Ways and Means committees. Each has been charged with investigating an aspect of Trump’s finances, personal conduct, foreign relationships and business ties. As impeachment fervor has raged among progressives across the country, Pelosi has consistently referenced the six committees and urged patience.

“I’m very proud of the work of the — our committees, six great committees, following the facts and making decisions about how we go forward,” Pelosi said at Continue reading “Most House impeachment inquiry backers are Pelosi’s investigators”

Most House impeachment inquiry backers are Pelosi’s investigators


This post is by Andrew Desiderio from Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





Speaker Nancy Pelosi has a ready-made reply when pressed on impeaching President Donald Trump: Democrats have tasked six powerful committees with investigating Trump’s conduct, and they’ll “follow the facts” to chart a course for the House.

But a POLITICO review of those six committees reveals that the members of their members are significantly more inclined to back impeachment than the rest of the House.

The panels in Pelosi’s talking points are the Intelligence, Judiciary, Oversight, Foreign Affairs, Financial Services and Ways and Means committees. Each has been charged with investigating an aspect of Trump’s finances, personal conduct, foreign relationships and business ties. As impeachment fervor has raged among progressives across the country, Pelosi has consistently referenced the six committees and urged patience.

“I’m very proud of the work of the — our committees, six great committees, following the facts and making decisions about how we go forward,” Pelosi said at Continue reading “Most House impeachment inquiry backers are Pelosi’s investigators”

House Oversight panel authorizes subpoena for Kellyanne Conway


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The House Oversight and Reform Committee voted on Wednesday to authorize a subpoena for White House counselor Kellyanne Conway after she failed to appear at a hearing centering on her alleged violations of the Hatch Act.

The White House blocked Conway from attending Wednesday’s hearing, prompting the Democrat-led panel to authorize Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) to issue the subpoena.

“Here, we have a clear-cut case of a federal employee violating federal law over and over and over again,” Cummings said ahead of a tense debate between Republicans and Democrats.

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) issued a report earlier this month citing Conway for multiple violations of the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from participating in political speech while performing their official duties.

Lawmakers raised their voices at times as they sparred over the allegations, with Republicans asserting that Conway was unfairly targeted. The debate got Continue reading “House Oversight panel authorizes subpoena for Kellyanne Conway”

Mueller to testify, Schiff and Nadler say


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Former special counsel Robert Mueller will testify in public before the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees on July 17, both panels announced late Tuesday.

Mueller was served with a subpoena after the Democratic-led committees and the former special counsel failed to agree on terms for his voluntary public testimony.

“Americans have demanded to hear directly from the special counsel so they can understand what he and his team examined, uncovered, and determined about Russia’s attack on our democracy, the Trump campaign’s acceptance and use of that help, and President Trump and his associates’ obstruction of the investigation into that attack,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said in a joint statement.

Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine

Mueller could face two subpoenas to testify before Congress


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The House Intelligence and Judiciary committees are “linking arms” on whether to issue a subpoena to former special counsel Robert Mueller, Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said Tuesday.

“We need to resolve this this week. I hope we will. One way or another, he needs to come in and testify. Time is running out,” Schiff (D-Calif.) told reporters. “We want him to come in before the August recess.”

Schiff said he intends to decide this week whether to issue a subpoena to Mueller for his testimony, reiterating a comment he made over the weekend. He added that “we are linking arms in our request” with Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), whose panel has also been in talks with Mueller about testifying on Capitol Hill.

Schiff said a decision to subpoena Mueller would likely result in two separate subpoenas — one from his committee and one from Continue reading “Mueller could face two subpoenas to testify before Congress”

Commerce Dept. ordered ex-official not to answer House panel questions


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A former senior Commerce Department official refused to answer more than 100 questions during an interview with the House Oversight and Reform Committee that centered on the Trump administration’s controversial decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, according to a transcript released Tuesday.

Commerce Department lawyers instructed James Uthmeier, who served as senior adviser and counsel to Secretary Wilbur Ross, not to answer the committee’s questions about his contacts with the White House and his conversations with Ross.

Uthmeier was also directed not to discuss the contents of a memo he wrote to a senior Justice Department official, John Gore, that purportedly outlines legal arguments surrounding the addition of a citizenship question to the census. On several occasions, Uthmeier was also blocked from disclosing details about his own conversations with Gore.

The Trump administration has sought to block several witnesses from cooperating with House Democrats’ investigations, including Continue reading “Commerce Dept. ordered ex-official not to answer House panel questions”

These 3 lawmakers know the secrets in Mueller’s report


This post is by Andrew Desiderio from Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories


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The fate of Donald Trump’s presidency may hinge on Congress’ handling of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report — yet just three rank-and-file members of the House are allowed to view Mueller’s confidential files.

Reps. Val Demings (D-Fla.), Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) are the only members of the 435-member House that sit on both the Intelligence and Judiciary committees, and so they have access to evidence that underpins both volumes of Mueller’s report — the one on contacts between Russia and Trump’s 2016 campaign that the Intelligence panel is reviewing, and the one on Trump’s efforts to interfere with the investigation that Judiciary panel is exploring.

As lawmakers deal with the fallout of one of the most consequential investigations in a generation, these three lawmakers remain the highest-ranking elected officials with access to both sets of evidence — a result of complex and confrontational negotiations between Continue reading “These 3 lawmakers know the secrets in Mueller’s report”

These 3 lawmakers know the secrets in Mueller’s report


This post is by Andrew Desiderio from Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





The fate of Donald Trump’s presidency may hinge on Congress’ handling of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report — yet just three rank-and-file members of the House are allowed to view Mueller’s confidential files.

Reps. Val Demings (D-Fla.), Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) are the only members of the 435-member House that sit on both the Intelligence and Judiciary committees, and so they have access to evidence that underpins both volumes of Mueller’s report — the one on contacts between Russia and Trump’s 2016 campaign that the Intelligence panel is reviewing, and the one on Trump’s efforts to interfere with the investigation that Judiciary panel is exploring.

As lawmakers deal with the fallout of one of the most consequential investigations in a generation, these three lawmakers remain the highest-ranking elected officials with access to both sets of evidence — a result of complex and confrontational negotiations between Continue reading “These 3 lawmakers know the secrets in Mueller’s report”

Oversight panel demands White House official testify on Trump-Putin docs


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The House Oversight and Reform Committee is demanding that the White House’s records chief testify about President Donald Trump’s alleged efforts to conceal documents detailing his private conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In a letter to acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said the White House has ignored his requests for information about Trump’s compliance with the Presidential Records Act, which mandates that such documents be preserved.

“These actions do not serve the interests of the American people, and they obstruct and frustrate the committee’s review,” Cummings wrote in his letter, which comes just a few days before Trump is scheduled to meet with Putin at the G-20 summit in Japan.

Democrats have long been suspicious of Trump’s private conversations with Putin — most notably, after his meeting with the Russian president in Helsinki last year, when Trump bucked his own intelligence Continue reading “Oversight panel demands White House official testify on Trump-Putin docs”