Doug Collins

Judiciary chairman, ranking GOP member dispute what Whitaker told them in no-transcript meeting
Nadler, Collins met privately Wednesday with ex-acting attorney general over conversations with Trump about Cohen

Former acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker came to Capitol Hill on Wednesday for a private meeting with House Judiciary leaders. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The top Democrat and Republican on the House Judiciary Committee disagreed Wednesday over what exactly former acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker told them behind closed doors regarding his conversations with President Donald Trump — and the public may never know for sure what was actually said.

“There’s no transcript [of the meeting], and there will be no transcript,” said a legal counsel for Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the panel.

House Judiciary Committee approves Violence Against Women Act reauthorization

Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and the majority Democrats on his panel approved a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday approved, along party lines, 22-11, a bill to reauthorize and expand programs designed to help victims of sexual and domestic violence.

The protections and programs authorized by the 1994 law lapsed during the partial government shutdown last year, but were reinstated in the January short-term fiscal 2019 spending deal. An extension was not included in last month’s deal that provided for spending through the end of fiscal 2019.

Top Republican releases Bruce Ohr’s transcript on dossier, Russia investigation
Ohr met with members of Congress last August to discuss his role feeding the FBI information on President Trump

Ranking member Doug Collins, R-Ga., arrives for the House Judiciary Committee markup of a resolution authorizing issuance of a subpoena to Acting Attorney General Matthew G. Whitaker on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee released a transcript on Friday of congressional testimony from Justice Department official Bruce Ohr.

Ohr met with members of Congress last August to discuss his role feeding the FBI information about President Donald Trump and his 2016 campaign team’s ties to Russia that Ohr gathered from employees at the opposition research firm Fusion GPS.

House passes anti-hate resolution after days of debate over response to Omar comments
Some Democrats and Republicans wanted a standalone vote to condemn anti-Semitism

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., attends a House Foreign Affairs hearing on Feb. 13. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 7:51 p.m. | The House on Thursday overwhelmingly — but notably, not unanimously — passed a resolution to condemn anti-Semitism, racism and Islamophobia, ending days of spirited debate over the appropriate response recent comments from Minnesota Democratic freshman Ilhan Omar.

The final vote was 407-23. All of the “no” votes came from Republicans, including their No. 3, Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming. Cheney was among the first three “no” votes recorded, and several other Republicans seemed to be following her lead.

House launches broad document request on Trump administration
The request is the clearest sign yet of the broad scope of oversight Democrats intend to pursue

Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., holds a press conference with House Judiciary Committee Democrats to announce new legislation to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation on April 12, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday unveiled a sweeping request for documents in its congressional investigation into President Donald Trump on allegations of obstruction of justice, corruption and other abuses of power — the clearest sign yet of the broad scope of oversight Democrats intend to pursue.

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., announced that letters went to 81 agencies, entities and individuals believed to have information on Trump, his associates and members of the Trump administration. The effort is to “begin building a record,” Nadler said, because Trump has accountability for “near-daily attacks on our basic legal, ethical, and constitutional rules and norms.”

House passes gun legislation with GOP add-on
Chamber passes first standalone gun measure in years

Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., has been a lead advocate of the measure to mandate background checks for gun purchases. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats on Wednesday succeeded in pushing through the chamber a bill to expand background checks for firearm sales, but not before some procedural gamesmanship from Republicans.

Last year, Congress approved two gun-related measures about background checks and school safety in a spending bill. But Wednesday’s 240-190 vote mostly along party lines was the first time in decades that the House passed a standalone gun control bill.

Why 19 Democrats and 109 Republicans voted against the government funding deal
Democratic defections were mostly Hispanic Caucus members, progressives concerned about immigration enforcement

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined 18 other House Democrats and 109 House Republicans in voting against the compromise spending package Thursday night. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats were just two votes short Thursday night of being able to clear a fiscal 2019 appropriations package without Republican help, while less than half of the GOP conference voted for the bill to avert another government shutdown.

That dynamic may foreshadow battles ahead as the new House Democratic majority will try to exert its influence over government spending while still having to deal with a Republican president and Senate. 

House Judiciary panel advances background check bill
Democrats are using new majority to press gun control legislation

Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., introduced the background checks bill that the House Judiciary Committee approved Wednesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A sharply divided House Judiciary Committee approved legislation Wednesday to bolster background checks for gun sales, the opening barrage in Democrats’ push to use their new majority to press gun control legislation they have backed for years.

To do so, Democrats needed to defeat numerous efforts from Republicans to amend the bill. It was one of two measures considered during a marathon meeting, highlighting not only the political hurdles to enacting the legislation but also how Democrats believe it could make a difference with voters in 2020.

Whitaker tells House he hasn’t messed with Mueller probe
The acting AG told the committee his department complied with and hasn’t changed special counsel regulations during his tenure

Acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker arrives for a House Judiciary Committee hearing in Rayburn Building titled "Oversight of the U.S. Department of Justice," where he is expected to be questioned about special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker told the House Judiciary Committee on Friday that he has not interfered with the special counsel’s Russia investigation and hasn’t promised the White House anything about the probe or informed anyone there about it.

Not that it was easy for Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., to get him to say that.

Photos of the week: A polar plunge, SOTU and hearings are in full swing
The week of Feb. 4 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Members react as acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker informs Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., his five minute questioning period was over during a House Judiciary Committee hearing. Whitaker was questioned about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation on Friday. Appearing from left are Reps. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., Nadler, Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., Jamie Raskin, D-Md., and ranking member Doug Collins, R-Ga.( Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It’s February on Capitol Hill and that means that many of the organizing efforts of a new Congress are well underway, and committees have begun their work for the year. 

In addition to the State of the Union on Tuesday, members of the House Judiciary panel met Friday to question acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker about the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.