elections

Florida man arrested for death threats to Reps. Tlaib, Swalwell and Sen. Booker
John Joseph Kless was arrested and charged with making threatening communications

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., was among three Democratic lawmakers who recently received death threats by voicemail at their D.C. offices. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Florida man was arrested Friday after police said he threatened to kill three Democratic lawmakers: Reps. Eric Swalwell and Rashida Tlaib, as well as Sen. Cory Booker.

John Joseph Kless, 49, was charged in the Southern District of Florida with making threatening communications, after he apparently left death threats by voicemail in the lawmakers’ Washington offices. 

Rep. Hunter pretends to cross the Mexico border and gets called out for violating ‘parole’
California Republican recorded video as part of a ride-along with Customs and Border Patrol

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., and his Democratic challenger got in a row over the congressman’s apparent claim that he crossed a U.S.-Mexico border barrier. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter and his Democratic challenger Ammar Campa-Najjar traded Twitter barbs Thursday over a video Hunter posted in which he appeared to suggest he was crossing the southern border into Mexico.

Campa-Najjar sent an email to the Times of San Diego, with the subject line: “Hunter breaks the law violates parol,” meaning parole.

Trump feared ‘one of these independent counsels.’ He got something else
Amid Democrats’ criticism, is Barr trying to protect Trump or the office he occupies?

President Donald Trump was worried that “one of these independent counsels,” as Kenneth Starr was during the Clinton administration, would bring the “end of my presidency,” special counsel Robert S. Mueller III concluded in his report. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Jeff Sessions, then the attorney general, ended a phone call and returned to the Oval Office. It wasn’t long before President Donald Trump was in an angry rage.

Sessions, since unceremoniously fired, had just taken a phone call from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who informed him he had appointed former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III as a special counsel to look into Russia’s 2016 election meddling, including whether there was coordination with Trump’s campaign.

House Republicans identify vulnerable members for 2020
NRCC announces initial eight members of Patriot Program

The NRCC has added New York Rep. Lee Zeldin to its Patriot Program for the 2020 cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Eight House Republicans, including the three from districts won by Hillary Clinton in 2016, have been named to the National Republican Congressional Committee’s list of incumbents expected to face tough re-elections. 

Members of the Patriot Program typically benefit from fundraising and organizational assistance. The list can be a signal to donors to direct checks to members in need.

Does successful prostate surgery mean Sen. Michael Bennet will join the 2020 field?
Colorado Democrat had been planning presidential run before cancer diagnosis

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., recently underwent successful prostate cancer surgery. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet’s prostate cancer surgery was successful.

“Last weekend, Michael underwent surgery and is recovering at his home in Colorado. His doctors report the surgery was completely successful and he requires no further treatment. Michael and his family deeply appreciate the well wishes and support from Coloradans and others across the country, and he looks forward to returning to work after the recess,” spokeswoman Courtney Gidner said in a statement.

Trump has been all over the place on ‘crazy’ Mueller report
President contends Donald McGahn’s damning notes ‘never existed until needed’

After calling the Mueller report "great" 25 days ago, President Donald Trump on Friday dubbed it "crazy." (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump on Friday broke his uncharacteristic silence about Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report, calling it “crazy” just 25 days after dubbing it “great.”

In a tweet from rainy Palm Beach, Fla., where he is spending a long Easter weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort and nearby golf club, the commander in chief also lashed out — without naming him — at former White House counsel Donald McGahn, who offered Mueller’s team some of the most damning testimony about Trump and his chaotic West Wing.

Trump painted as media-obsessed in Mueller’s report
At times, focus on press was a blessing for Trump; at other times, it was a burden

President Donald Trump takes questions from reporters at the Capitol in March, alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, center, and Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt. Robert Mueller's report reveals a media-obsessed chief executive. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller’s investigation of the Trump White House reveals a presidency calibrated to drive and respond to media coverage of itself. Though unconventional, Donald Trump’s unique approach helped save his presidency.

At several critical points of his turbulent term, Mueller found that Trump — who once cold-called New York reporters claiming to be a public relations agent named “John Barron” to promote his real estate ventures — was mostly focused on responding to negative press reports or trying to generate positive ones. When the president took several questionable actions, the former FBI director concluded, it was because he was focused on a “press strategy” — and misleading or even lying to reporters is not a crime.

Mueller report shows Trump aides routinely ignored his orders on crucial matters
Special counsel highlights chaotic West Wing where staff tried to save president from himself

President Donald Trump's top aides routinely ignored his orders on crucial legal matters during his first year in office, according to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Presidential orders given but often ignored. Ample cursing. Aides working behind the scenes to protect Donald Trump from his own anger and impulsiveness. And an effort to prevent the president from firing special counsel Robert S. Mueller III despite his determination to do so.

Mueller’s long-anticipated report reveals a chaotic West Wing driven by paranoia and frequent outbursts from a green president who wanted to remove the special counsel and demanded that his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, be more like predecessors Robert F. Kennedy and Eric H. Holder Jr., whom he felt “protected” the respective presidents they served, John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama.

Mueller report is a reminder that Russian hack hit House races, too
Talks between the DCCC and NRCC about using stolen information stalled in September

The Justice Department on Thursday released special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report provided new details Thursday about how Russian agents hacked into Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee computers in 2016, renewing the question of whether the two parties would agree not to use stolen material in future political attacks.

Leaders of the DCCC and the National Republican Congressional Committee came close to such an an agreement in late 2018, but talks broke down.

Mueller cites ‘fairness’ in reasons not to decide if Trump obstructed justice
Such an evaluation ‘could potentially result in a judgment that the President committed crimes,’ Mueller wrote

Media films a few pages of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election which was printed out by staff in the House Judiciary Committee's hearing room on Thursday, April 18, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III lists in his report which of President Donald Trump’s actions his team scrutinized to determine whether the president tried to obstruct justice — enough that they could not rule out that Trump committed a crime.

But Mueller’s team decided they should refrain from deciding whether Trump should be prosecuted because of several factors — including “fairness,” the unique role of the president in government and previous Justice Department opinions that a sitting president could not be indicted.