Opinion: Congress Must Act to Limit Hostile Foreign Influences
Americans deserve to know when foreign adversaries are trying to meddle

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort leaves the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse after a court hearing on the terms of his bail and house arrest on Nov. 6. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)



Sweeping Changes Proposed for Foreign Lobbying Law
Critics: Proposal overreacts to Mueller indictments

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bill introduced by Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley in response to indictments in the special counsel’s Russia probe would have far-reaching consequences for U.S. representatives of foreign governments, foreign companies and other international interests.

The Iowa Republican put forward the measure last week after Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III announced indictments in his investigation of possible Russian interference in the 2016 elections. Republican Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana introduced an identical bill in his chamber.

Murphy Calls Out ‘Fealty to Gun-Makers’ After Texas Massacre
‘None of this is inevitable,’ Connecticut senator says after gunman kills more than 20 during church service

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., talks with reporters in the Capitol after the Senate policy luncheons in October. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Connecticut Sen. Christopher S. Murphy slammed his colleagues for their “fealty to gun-makers” after the shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday that left 26 people dead.

“None of this is inevitable. I know this because no other country endures this pace of mass carnage like America,” the Connecticut Democrat said in a statement.

Report: Mueller Investigating Former Rep. Vin Weber
Minnesota congressman who served from 1981 to 1993 being investigated for ties to Manafort, source says

Former Republican Rep. Vin Weber is shown here making his introduction as a fellow in the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics. (University of Chicago via YouTube)

Former Minnesota Republican Rep. Vin Weber is being targeted as part of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation, sources with direct knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press.

Weber, who served in the House from 1981 to 1993 and is a partner at lobbying firm Mercury LLC, is being targeted for his firm’s work with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s Ukrainian lobbying efforts, the AP reported.

Gucci Gulch Can’t Hold All Lobbyists Engaged in Tax Fight
Few echoes from the 1980s in current overhaul effort

Staffers, lobbyists and reporters wait in the so-called Gucci Gulch outside a hearing room in the Dirksen Senate Office Building in 2005. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lobbyists are ready to prowl the hallways outside the tax-writing committees as Congress seeks to overhaul the tax code, but the scenes won’t be reminiscent of the 1980s-era Gucci Gulch.

The tools of influence and communication have exploded in the past three decades. Back then, for example, only the richest denizens of Gucci Gulch sported “those brick-like cell phones,” recalled Jeffrey Birnbaum, who co-wrote a 1988 book about the last major tax overhaul, “Showdown at Gucci Gulch: Lawmakers, Lobbyists and the Unlikely Triumph of Tax Reform.”

Opinion: All About the Lobby — Linking the Mueller Indictments to a Tax Overhaul
Desperate for a win, the GOP is not sweating the small — or big — stuff

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, with campaign manager Paul Manafort and daughter Ivanka Trump at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There’s something ironic about President Donald Trump promising to “drain the swamp,” three of his campaign aides getting indicted, two of those aids facing federal charges related to their work as lobbyists for a foreign government, and Congress barreling ahead to pass tax reform all in the same week.

If the events seem unrelated, they’re really not, because the entire illegal scheme that special prosecutor Robert Muller described in the indictments of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates on Monday had one ultimate goal — to influence members of Congress, in this case on matters related to the government of Ukraine.

K Street Reels Amid Indictments in Russia Elections Probe
12 counts include conspiracy, tax evasion and money laundering

The first indictments in the Justice Department’s Russia probe have touched K Street, too. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

K Street can’t escape the fallout from Monday’s first indictments in the Justice Department probe into Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

Not only were charges revealed against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, onetime lobbyists who worked on President Donald Trump’s campaign, but the expanding investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III rocked one of K Street’s biggest and most prominent firms, the Podesta Group. This is likely just the beginning.   

White House Tries to Distance Trump from Manafort, Papadopoulos
Indictment, guilty plea 'doesn't have anything to do with us,' Huckabee Sanders says

Then-GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, flanked by then-campaign manager Paul Manafort and and daughter Ivanka Trump at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July 2016. The White House wants to distance Trump from federal charges slapped on Manafort on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The White House on Monday tried to distance President Donald Trump from two former campaign aides indicted for their business dealings and one who pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators.

The White House was mostly quiet Monday about the morning’s dramatic developments: former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his top associate, Rick Gates, were hit with a dozen charges stemming from their private private business practices from 2006-2016. Ditto for George Papadopoulos’s guilty plea on lying to federal officials about contacts he had with well-connected Russians was revealed.

Manafort Case Could Be Best-Known Consequence of Vague Statute
Foreign Agents Registration Act stemmed from concerns over Nazi propaganda in the run-up to World War II

Paul Manafort, seen here while checking the podium with then-presidential candidate Donald Trump during last year’s Republican National Convention, could be one of the best-known prosecutions of violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Foreign Agents Registration Act dates back to 1938 and stemmed from fears about covert Nazi propagandists who were active in the United States during the run-up to World War II.

The case of Paul Manafort, who is being indicted on 12 counts among them being an unregistered agent of a foreign principal and making false and misleading FARA statements, might eventually go down as one of the best-known consequences of FARA, a relatively vague statute that usually amounts to little more than an honor system despite its tough-sounding, spy-catching criminal penalties.

On K Street, Quiet Before Tax Brawl Begins
Lobbyists await the text of the GOP plan

When House Republicans release the text of their tax overhaul Nov. 1, it is expected to ripple through the lobbying class. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The silence and apparent harmony on K Street won’t last much longer. Give it about 48 hours.

That’s when House Republicans say they will unveil the text of their tax overhaul, and the nation’s business community will assess what the details mean for their own bottom lines, spurring a boom among the lobbying class.