independents

Hill and Mueller Don’t Have to Clash, but It Will Not Be Easy
Congressional inquiries and prosecutors have different purposes, but the same witnesses

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller’s appointment as special counsel for the Russia investigation was greeted positively by lawmakers, but they disagreed on the effect his probe will have on their own investigations. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congressional inquiries and special counsels can productively coexist, serving complementary purposes because of their reciprocal approaches, unless they’re unable to settle inevitable fights over the same documents and star witnesses.

That may be the best response to a question many on Capitol Hill started asking as soon as Robert S. Mueller III was appointed to run the government’s probe of Russian interference in last year’s election and whether Moscow collaborated with President Donald Trump’s campaign:

How the Koch Network Could Sink Tax Overhaul
Lobbying network poised for policy win

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 04: Americans for Prosperity Foundation chairman and Koch Industries Executive Vice President David H. Koch (C) listens to speakers during the Defending the American Dream Summit at the Washington Convention Center November 4, 2011 in Washington, DC. The conservative political summit is organized by Americans for Prosperity, which was founded with the support of Koch and his brother David H. Koch. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The lobbying and political network of Charles and David Koch, bogeymen to Democrats for years, is poised for a significant policy win — but it will come at the expense of fellow conservatives on Capitol Hill.

Their victory also could derail a policy goal they share with those same Republican lawmakers: a permanent comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s tax code.

White House Turmoil Ramps Pressure on Vulnerable Republicans
Some are speaking out, others still waiting for more facts

Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock, seen here with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan last year, said she cannot defend the firing of FBI Director James B. Comey. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

By BRIDGET BOWMAN and SIMONE PATHÉ

No matter what he did or how much he tweeted during his first four months in office, President Donald Trump has mostly held on to the loyalty of congressional Republicans — even those who might have the most to lose at the ballot box next year. 

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.

FCC Eyes Repeal of Net Neutrality, Dividing Internet Industry
Proposed changes have drawn more than 1.6 million public comments

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says net neutrality has adversely affected broadband investment after it took effect two years ago. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ahead of a Federal Communications Commission vote Thursday to begin the process of rolling back Obama-era net neutrality regulations that treat internet traffic equally, battle lines are being drawn between internet service providers and giants like Google and Amazon.

The agency is expected to also decide Thursday on returning online privacy oversight to the Federal Trade Commission, whose rules are less onerous than the FCC’s that require internet service providers to obtain permission in advance before selling customers’ personal data to advertisers.

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. 

Republican Senators Seek Answers After Chaotic Week
Two key panels pressure FBI, White House for documents

Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., right, and ranking member Mark Warner, D-Va., conduct a Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee hearing in Hart Building titled “World Wide Threats” on May 11, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republicans are taking a more aggressive stance against the embattled Trump administration following a series of damning reports that have sent the White House and Congress into a tizzy.

But by and large, Republican leaders say they remain focused on their ambitious legislative agenda.

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.

Mitch McConnell, Still Playing the Long Game
Trump revelations, FBI director search, don't rattle majority leader

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did not allow the latest news about President Donald Trump to knock him off message. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

BY JASON DICK AND JOE WILLIAMS, CQ ROLL CALL

It’s difficult to get Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to play anything but “The Long Game,” the Kentucky Republican’s political strategy, encapsulated by his 2016 memoir of the same name.