legal-affairs

Sanders Joins Booker’s Marijuana Legislation
Vermont independent supported marijuana legalization in 2016 presidential campaign

Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., center, announced Sen Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, would co-sponsor his bill legalizing marijuana. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday became the latest senator to co-sponsor Sen. Cory Booker’s bill that would legalize marijuana.

The other co-sponsors are Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. Gillibrand is considered a potential contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination alongside Booker and Sanders.

Schock’s Legal Team Seeks to Get Indictment Tossed
Defense says prosecution based on ambiguous House rules

Former Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., is hoping to have charges against him dismissed. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Aaron Schock made a rare court appearance on Wednesday as his legal team seeks to have charges against him dismissed.

Schock resigned in 2015 after his lavish spending was revealed, most famously having his office redecorated with a “Downton Abbey” theme. He was indicted the next year.

Arizona Man Gets Prison for Threatening McSally
Steve Martan will serve 15 months in prison, 9 years on probation

A Tuscon man was sentenced to 15 months in prison for threatening Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Tucson man was sentenced to 15 months in prison for threatening Arizona Rep. Martha McSally.

Steve Martan, 58, will serve also face nine years of probation and undergo a mental health evaluation for threatening the Republican congresswoman, Tucson News Now reported.

Federal Courts Make Changes in Response to #MeToo Movement
Judicial branch is creating more informal ways to file complaints

James Duff, left, and John Lungstrum testify before the House Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittee on Wednesday. (Courtesy Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts)

A federal court official said Wednesday that a main barrier to reporting sexual harassment and other workplace misconduct in the judicial branch is the “formality of our complaint process,” as well as employees misunderstanding confidentiality provisions in ethics rules and being unaware of protections against retaliation.

James Duff, director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, told a House Appropriations subcommittee that the courts will create more informal ways to file complaints. The judiciary will also take extra steps to educate employees and law clerks about protections against retaliation for reporting misconduct, Duff said. The courts have already revised their confidentiality provisions, he added.

White House Presses Vulnerable Dems on Pompeo Nomination
Sen. Cotton dubs Foreign Relations Democrats ‘two-bit Talleyrands’

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., right, meets with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, President Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of State, in the Capitol on March 19. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The White House circled the wagons Wednesday around CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s nomination to become secretary of State, arguing vulnerable red-state Democrats will feel “consequences” in November if they vote against him.

The Trump administration dispatched Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas to argue Pompeo is highly qualified for the top State Department position and to press Democrats running for re-election in states won by President Donald Trump to vote in favor of his nomination.

Sinclair TV Owner Maxed Out Donations to Gianforte, Montana GOP
Robert E. Smith, who identified himself as ‘retired’ and worked in real estate, also donated to Trump’s campaign

Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., has received maximum campaign contributions from an owner of the Sinclair Broadcasting Group. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An owner of the controversial Sinclair Broadcast Group has donated more than $10,000 to Montana Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte in the last year and a half.

Robert E. Smith, whose family owns the largest local television station operator in the country, gave the maximum $5,400 to Gianforte’s campaign in March, The Guardian reported. He did the same last year, ahead of Gianforte’s 6-point special election victory over Democrat Rob Quist.

Mitch McConnell Puts Kibosh on Bill Protecting Robert Mueller
Majority leader reiterates belief that Trump won't fire the special counsel

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that legislation to protect the special counsel will not reach the floor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that he would not be making floor time for legislation designed to shield Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III from firing.

McConnell’s determination that the action is not needed is apparently regardless of what happens in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Trump: ‘High Crime’ Likely in California After Gov. Brown Rejects Border Troops
Nonpartisan group rejected president’s claim about barrier being built near San Diego

Members of the Kentucky National Guard 206th Engineer battalion arrive on a C-130 Hercules transport plane in July 2006 in Tucson, Arizona, to support Border Patrol agents maintaining the U.S.-Mexican border. (Gary Williams/Getty Images file photo)

Donald Trump slammed California’s Democratic governor Tuesday, contending “high crime” will rise in the state after Jerry Brown rejected the president’s request for National Guard troops along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Brown last week indicated he would deploy California Guard troops to the border — but not for the immigration enforcement mission Trump requested. Instead, the governor told the Trump administration in a letter guardsmen and women would focus on combating transnational crime groups.

Grimm and Donovan Trade Barbs Over Fundraising
Incumbent launches website highlighting Grimm’s tax fraud conviction

Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., walks to the Capitol for a vote in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former New York Rep. Michael Grimm feuded with Rep. Dan Donovan over their fundraising numbers and who has more support in New York's 11th District.

Grimm, who is running against Donovan for his old seat, pointed out that of the $190,000 he raised in the first quarter, $100,000 of it was from district residents of Staten Island or South Brooklyn.

White House Provides No Internal Assessment Backing Mueller Firing Claim
After making vague contention, Sanders said: ‘I can’t go anything beyond that’

The White House is unable to provide any internal analysis to support its contention that President Donald Trump can fire special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

White House officials are unable to point to any internal assessment to justify their contention that President Donald Trump has the legal authority to fire special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

Many Republican and Democratic lawmakers are urging Trump to let the former FBI director complete his investigation of Russian election meddling and possible misconduct by the president and his campaign associates. Those pleas intensified last week when the president and his top spokeswoman signaled the White House has concluded he has the authority to do so.