EXBR

Tax Overhaul Challenges Unified Republican Government
Contentious House provisions spark interest in bipartisan Senate plan

Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had planned to pass a tax overhaul by August, a timeline that has slipped amid intraparty divisions. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

BY LINDSEY MCPHERSON AND JOE WILLIAMS

Republican leaders are applying a lesson learned from health care to the tax overhaul debate: build consensus before releasing a bill.

‘Law and Order’ President Meets Ultimate Lawman
Should Trump be concerned? ‘Absolutely,’ GOP strategist says

Sources and lawmakers describe former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a “superstar” and highly qualified to head the Russia investigation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Donald Trump is fond of describing himself as a “law-and-order” president. Suddenly, however, the fate of his presidency could be decided by a man who embodies that characterization: Robert Mueller, a true lawman’s lawman.

The irony is thicker than a column on the White House’s North Portico. And for Trump, his party and the republic, the stakes could not be higher.

Congressional Day Care Wait List Up to ‘Several’ Years
266 children waiting for the call

Staffers pay anywhere from around $1,000 to $1,400 a month for child care on the Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By ALEX GANGITANO and KATHERINE TULLY-MCMANUS

If you’re a House staffer and thinking about having a baby in three years, you probably should get on the congressional day care wait list now.

A Special Counsel for Russia
The Week Ahead, Episode 54

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller is now leading the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and the special counsel's work will likely eclipse four concurrent congressional investigations, says CQ Roll Call's Todd Ruger and Niels Lesniewski. They provide the latest political and legal developments on the rapidly expanding probe.

Report: Trump Told Russians Comey Firing Relieved ‘Great Pressure’
Close WH aide to president allegedly a person of interest to FBI

President Donald Trump walks toward Marine One before departing from the White House on April 28. Two reports out Friday allege he told Russian officials firing FBI Director James Comey helped him, and that a close aide is a person of interest in a FBI probe of the 2016 election. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Trump reportedly told senior Russian officials that firing FBI Director James Comey relieved “great pressure” on him because of allegations of nefarious ties between his campaign and Russia. And another report places a senior White House official as a “person of interest” in the bureau’s ongoing investigation.

“I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job,” the New York Times reported Friday, citing a document that summarizes his Oval Office meeting earlier this month with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Moscow’s ambassador to Washington.

Trump Denies Pressuring Comey to End Flynn Probe
President repeats claims investigation is a witch hunt

President Donald Trump continued to claim the investigation into Russia and the circumstances of his firing James B. Comey are a witch hunt. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

By JOHN T. BENNETT and JOE WILLIAMS

President Donald Trump denied pressing former FBI Director James B. Comey to drop a criminal investigation of his first national security adviser, and said his campaign did not collude with Russia.

Cloud of Scandals Follow Trump Overseas
Lawmakers warn of stalled domestic agenda

President Donald Trump exits Air Force One on Feb. 6 at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. On Friday, he leaves on a five-country swing amid several domestic scandals. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ned T. Johnston via Wikimedia Commons)

A cloud of scandal and uncertainty will follow Donald Trump to five countries on his first overseas trip as president beginning this weekend. And it could only grow more ominous by the time he returns.

When Trump boards Air Force One on Friday, he will leave behind a growing pile of smoldering scandals, mostly of his own creation.

Lawmakers Greet Mueller Appointment With Relief
Rank and file smile, although GOP leaders remain reticent

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel by the Justice Department on Wednesday to investigate alleged Russian interference in last year’s election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By JOE WILLIAMS, LINDSEY McPHERSON and REMA RAHMAN

Even as House and Senate Republicans turned up the heat on the Trump White House for answers about the firing of FBI Director James B. Comey, Democrats got a big win when the Justice Department appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including any connections to the Trump presidential campaign.

How to Investigate an Administration: Breaking Down the 3 Independent Options
DOJ appoints Robert Mueller as special counsel for Russia inquiry

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller, right, seen here in 2013 with Virginia Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte on Capitol Hill, has been appointed special counsel for the Justice Department’s Russia investigation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Between congressional committees and the FBI, there are at least five ongoing investigations into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. elections. Calls from Congress for at least one form of independent review appear to have been answered Wednesday evening when the Justice Department named former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel for the probe. 

The three independent options each have advantages and drawbacks. And they are frequently not exclusive paths — from Watergate to Whitewater, major executive scandals have been investigated simultaneously by congressional select committees and a special, independent counsel working within the DOJ. 

Amash: Grounds for Impeachment if Comey’s Trump Memo Is True
On impeachment: ‘If the allegations are true, yes’

Michigan Rep. Justin Amash said he hopes more of his GOP colleagues will join him in calling for an independent commission to investigate the Trump administration’s possible ties to Russia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

At least one Republican lawmaker is acknowledging that there may be grounds for impeachment if President Donald Trump tried to shut down a federal investigation into his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, as a Tuesday evening New York Times report alleged.

“If the allegations are true, yes,” Michigan Rep. Justin Amash said when asked if the matter was grounds for impeachment.