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Latest Twist in Russia Investigation Involves Unnamed Member of Congress
Rick Gates’ pleaded guilty to lying about meeting that matched dinner with Rohrabacher

Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates leaves the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse after a court hearing on the conditions of his release on Nov. 6, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The wide-ranging investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign took an unexpected diversion to Capitol Hill on Friday, when former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about a meeting between his boss Paul Manafort and an unnamed member of Congress.

Gates admitted, according to court documents, that the 2013 meeting was part of a secret multimillion-dollar lobbying campaign for the Ukrainian government and its Russian-backed president, Viktor Yanukovych. Gates also pleaded guilty to conspiring with Manafort to hide the millions of dollars they were paid by the Ukrainian government.

What Policy Measures Could Get Added to the Spending Bill?
 

Podcast: A Twist in the Gun Control Debate
CQ on Congress, Episode 92

Students, calling for Congress to act on gun control, demonstrate on the east lawn of the Capitol on February 21, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Avery Gardiner, co-president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, wants Congress to toughen background checks, but not if it also means shielding more gun sellers from liability lawsuits.

Show Notes:

White House Locked Down After Vehicle Rams Barrier
Incident occured at 17th & E Streets, NW

“Restricted Area Do Not Enter” signs on barricades in front of the White House fence are intended to help deter fence jumpers. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The White House complex was locked down Friday — with the Australian prime minister still inside its tall black gates — after a vehicle crashed into a security barrier.

Cable news networks captured images of uniformed U.S. Secret Service Agents walking in the middle of Washington’s 17th St. NW on the west side of the White House campus holding their firearms, fingers off but all positioned near the triggers.

Analysis: Australian Leader Hits Trump With Charm Offensive
Turnbull eager to repair strained relations, boost economic cooperation

Before a joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, President Donald Trump addressed the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort in Oxon Hill, Md., on February 23, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS | Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull went with flattery, lavishing Donald Trump with praise and using the U.S. president’s own rhetoric as he tried to repair a once-strained relationship.

Turnbull delivered his message about U.S.-Aussie “mateship” during a joint press conference at the White House during which Trump revealed he will delegate a final decision on whether his son-in-law will continue to get classified information, despite his inability to qualify for a security clearance. He also said he detects a “movement” among lawmakers to pass legislation to prevent future school shootings.

Freedom Caucus Chairman: ‘If We Cave the American People Will Remember It’
Meadows says he’s not concerned about who the speaker is but GOP needs to ‘show real leadership’

House Freedom Caucus leaders Mark Meadows, R-N.C., left, and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, are pushing their leadership to pass a conservative immigration bill. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

“Show real leadership.”

That was House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows’s message for House Republican leaders Friday, as he and former HFC chairman Jim Jordan took the stage at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.

Trump at CPAC: ‘Lock Her Up,’ ‘The Snake’ — and Hiding the Bald Spot
Democrats want to ‘take away your Second Amendment,’ POTUS says

President Donald Trump arrives to address the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort in Oxon Hill, Mayland, on Friday. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The crowd chanted “lock her up!” Donald Trump gleefully veered off-script, saying his prepared speech was “a little boring.” He depicted undocumented immigrants as “the snake” that inevitably will deliver a “vicious bite” to American citizens.

And he told the crowd he tries “like hell” to hide a bald spot on his head.

DCCC Unloads on Democratic Candidate in Texas
Laura Moser is running in a crowded primary in competitive 7th District

Texas Democrat Laura Moser is drawing heat from her own party over concerns about her viability as a general election candidate. (Courtesy Laura Moser for Congress/Facebook)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is openly rejecting a Democratic candidate in Texas, releasing research Thursday night that accused her of being a “Washington insider” just over one week before the primary. 

Laura Moser is running in the crowded March 6 primary in the Houston-based 7th District. Democrats are targeting nine-term Republican incumbent John Culberson’s suburban seat this year, after Hillary Clinton carried the district by 1 point in 2016.

Doctor In Menendez Corruption Case Gets 17 Years in Prison
Florida eye doctor defrauded Medicare of $73 million

New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez said in December he still communicates closely with eye doctor Salomon Melgen. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A federal judge on Thursday sentenced the Florida eye doctor linked to New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez’s dropped corruption case to 17 years in prison for defrauding Medicare and stealing $73 million from the system.

Salomon Melgen was sentenced in court for 67 crimes, including health care fraud, submitting false claims and falsifying records in patients’ files.