russia-investigation

Democrats Drop Congeniality as They Fire Away at Sessions
‘Give me a break,’ attorney general implores at one point

From left, Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Delaware Sen. Chris Coons and Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal talk Wednesday as Sessions arrives for the Senate Judiciary oversight hearing on the Justice Department. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions took an unusual path to the witness table before Wednesday’s Justice Department oversight hearing. He looped behind the dais to smile and shake the hands of his former Senate Judiciary Committee colleagues and pat them on the shoulder.

But the next four hours made it clear that congeniality has faded for the former Alabama Republican senator. Democrats lectured him on immigration policy, questioned his truthfulness in previous testimony about Russia and criticized his implementation of the Trump administration’s conservative policies.

Trump Twists Judiciary Leaders’ Findings on Comey Actions
President says Clinton ‘not interviewed’ despite July 2016 session with FBI

A school group from Illinois touring the Newseum in Washington pauses in June to watch former FBI Director James Comey testify before senators. President Trump again attacked him Wednesday morning. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump started Wednesday by twisting the findings of two senior Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans, tweeting that Hillary Clinton was among “people not interviewed” by the FBI in an investigation into her use of a private email server as secretary of State.

The FBI released documents Monday that show then-FBI Director James Comey began writing a statement exonerating Clinton before he concluded his investigation. Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., chairman of Judiciary’s Crime and Terrorism subcommittee, first revealed Comey’s actions Aug. 31.

Senators Ready to Confront Sessions at Oversight Hearing
Attorney General likely to face contentious questions about his leadership

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions returns to face his former Senate Judiciary Committee colleagues Wednesday in an oversight hearing likely to include contentious questions about Justice Department actions since he took on the role eight months ago.

“The attorney general will earn his money that day,” said committee member John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican.

Assange Upends Rohrabacher, Denies He Will Reveal DNC Emails Source
WikiLeaks founder says he ‘never will reveal a source’

California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher has said he has proof Russia was not the provider of Democratic National Committee emails released by WikiLeaks last July. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Julian Assange appeared to dispute Rep. Dana Rohrabacher’s assertion that the WikiLeaks founder is ready to give up the source who provided his website with the Democratic National Committee emails it published last July.

“WikiLeaks never has and never will reveal a source,” Assange tweeted Wednesday.

Burr, Warner Should Investigate ‘Fake News Networks,’ Trump Says
Call comes a day after Intel Committee leaders pledged to find ‘any hint of collusion’

Reporters follow Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Sen. Richard Burr earlier this year. President Trump wants his panel to investigate the media, his latest attack on the First Amendment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As the Senate Intelligence Committee continues to probe possible collusion between Moscow and Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, the president wants the panel to investigate one of his self-described enemies: the news media.

A day after the panel’s chairman and vice chairman, GOP Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina and Mark Warner of Virginia, announced the entire committee has reached a “general consensus” that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. They also formally gave the Intelligence Committee’s endorsement of an intelligence community report issued last fall that delivered a warning about the Kremlin’s meddling.

Rohrabacher Says White House Aides Blocking Assange Deal
GOP congressman alleges collusion between intelligence community and Democratic Party leaders

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, said White House aides are blocking President Donald Trump from knowing he can pardon WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher says White House aides are preventing President Donald Trump from pardoning WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Rohrabacher made the accusations to The Daily Caller after Trump said he hadn’t heard of any potential deal with Assange. Asked about a possible pardon for Assange on Sunday, Trump replied, “I’ve never heard that mentioned, really, I’ve never heard that mentioned.” 

Opinion: Dancing With the Democrats Will Not Save Trump
Long-term consequences of president’s actions will catch up with him

President Donald Trump would remain a reprehensible president even if he were to permanently move from the nationalistic right to the progressive left, Walter Shapiro writes. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Memo to the Democrats: Figure out how far Donald Trump is willing to travel on the ground before he gets bored and restless. Whatever the number is for our short-attention-span president (maybe a mile by golf cart and 10 miles by limousine), the Democrats should agree to build a border wall of precisely that length.

Consider it a Potemkin Wall.

Thanks to Bannon, White House Can't Shake Comey Firing
Former FBI boss, Hillary Clinton's book distract from taxes, hurricane response

Then-FBI Director JAmes Comey testifying in from of a Senate panel in 2015. The Trump White House cannot shake questions about his firing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 6:23 p.m. | Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon’s explosive comments about the firing of former FBI Director James B. Comey is pulling administration officials away from their intended messaging about two federal hurricane responses and a quest for bipartisan tax legislation.

White House officials set up a week featuring a series of high-level meetings, including several involving President Donald Trump and key lawmakers, meant to portray him and his senior team as aggressively working with members of both parties on issues such as revisions to the tax code, racial tensions, and other matters.

Trump and Sessions: In a Relationship — and It’s Complicated
Strife with presidents is common for post-Watergate AGs

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was one of President  Donald Trump’s early supporters. But their relationship has become more complicated. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced last week that the Trump administration would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, he was also signaling a new act in one of the summer’s most riveting political dramas. 

Sessions had been considered a dead man walking since mid-July, when Trump began berating him in interviews and on social media for his decision to recuse himself from the investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Yet here he was, on a podium, serving as a proxy for the president as he announced a controversial policy decision that Sessions has sought for years — and on which Trump was reportedly wavering. 

Donald Trump Jr. Talks to Senate Investigators
But details beyond opening statement remain private for now

Reporters hold up their smart phones to try to catch a photo of Donald Trump Jr., as he returns to a meeting with the Senate Judiciary staff on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump Jr. spent about five hours Thursday answering questions from Senate Judiciary Committee staff about a meeting he set up between his father’s presidential campaign and a Russian lawyer, but the details beyond his opening statement remain private for now.

Several senators attended the closed-door, voluntary interview with the president’s son, part of the committee’s probe into possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Only Senate staffers asked questions, however, and the committee will have to vote at a later time on whether to make the transcript public.