Jeff Sessions

Analysis: Giuliani Escalates Effort to Erode Legitimacy of Mueller Probe
Trump lawyer attacks Sessions, Comey and casts president as victim of ‘crimes’

Former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani prepares to speak at the Conference on Iran earlier this month shortly after being added to President Donald Trump’s legal team. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Former FBI Director James Comey is a “proven liar” and Attorney General Jeff Sessions “didn’t step up” to shut down an “unjustifiable investigation.” Those were just two of the claims made Friday by Rudy Giuliani, one of President Donald Trump’s lawyers, as he continued an escalating effort to erode the legitimacy of the Justice Department’s Russia probe.

As Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III and his team continue their probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, possible coordination with the Trump-Pence campaign, and whether the president obstructed justice, Giuliani — joined by Trump and others — are executing a strategy intended to raise doubts about the necessity of the investigation, whether Mueller and the FBI are out to get Trump, and the special counsel’s tactics.

All of a Sudden, a Busy House Floor Schedule
Legislative to-do list grows ahead of 2018 midterms

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., left, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., have a lot of bills they’re planning to bring to the floor in the coming weeks. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House’s legislative wheels are kicking into high gear this week.

After four months of mostly sleepy floor activity — not counting the protracted fiscal 2018 spending fight that led to two partial government shutdowns and a few other bills, like a reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration — the House has enough major legislation coming out of its committees to fill the floor schedule for the next two to three months.

Gina Haspel Performs Well but Raises More Questions During Hearing
Suggests she has handled declassification decisions about her own background

Gina Haspel, nominee to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency, is sworn in before testifying during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Nothing Gina Haspel said during the open portion of her Senate confirmation hearing seemed likely to derail her nomination to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, and she picked up some needed Democratic support along the way. 

Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, who serves on the Intelligence panel, was the first Democrat out of the gate to support Haspel.

Paul Ryan Starts Off Whirlwind Day With Coffee With House Chaplain
Speaker says controversy is behind them as busy day on Capitol Hill gets under way

Speaker Paul D. Ryan said his relationship with House Chaplain Patrick Conroy is on the mend. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Amid a whirlwind day as Capitol Hill began digesting proposals to claw back spending and next steps on the Iran nuclear deal, Speaker Paul D. Ryan walked through policy moves Republicans want to take — and even found time to suggest a simmering conflict over the House chaplain is improving.

“Father Pat and I had a good cup of coffee this morning,” the Wisconsin Republican said. “We talked about how to improve the services going forward. We’re going to keep talking. ... I think we can ultimately make improvements so that everyone ultimately has access to the pastoral services they’re looking for.”

Paul Ryan Backing Rosenstein, Despite Conservatives’ Impeachment Threat
House hard-liners threaten deputy AG while some GOP senators move to protect Russia inquiry

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testifies before a House Judiciary hearing on the Russia investigation on Dec. 13. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan split from more conservative elements of his conference by continuing to back Rod Rosenstein, even though some of President Donald Trump’s allies in the House have begun drafting articles of impeachment for the deputy attorney general.

The speaker’s position has not changed since January, a spokeswoman said responding to further murmurs of impeachment. Earlier this year, Ryan said Rosenstein is “doing a fine job” and there is “no reason” for Trump to fire him.

Feinstein Drops Opposition to Legalizing Marijuana
Says federal government should not interfere with California's marijuana market

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., dropped her opposition to legalized marijuana. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Sen. Dianne Feinsteindropped her longtime opposition to legalization of marijuana as her party moves in a pro-legalization direction.

The federal government should not interfere with California’s legal marijuana market, the California Democrat told McClatchy on Tuesday.

Texas Leads States in Legal Challenge to DACA Program
Move opens a new front in fight over status of undocumented childhood immigrants

Immigration rights protesters march to the Capitol on Dec. 6, calling for a legislative fix to the DACA program. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Texas and six other states filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration Tuesday seeking to stop the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, arguing that the 2012 executive order that created it is unlawful.

The move opens a new front in the legal fight over the Obama-era program for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as children. It also adds more uncertainty to the future of these so-called Dreamers. After the Senate’s fruitless attempt to legislate a path to citizenship for them, there is little chance for more congressional action anytime soon.

Trump Slams Leak of Mueller Questions as ‘Disgraceful’
Experts dispute president’s contention that questions miss on Russia collusion

Robert S. Mueller III, right, seen here with House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte, R-Va., in 2013, is leading the Russia investigation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump denied Tuesday that he obstructed justice and lambasted the publication of questions special counsel Robert S. Mueller III allegedly wants to ask him as “disgraceful.”

Photos of the Week: Kids, a Kardashian and Macron at Capitol ... and More
The week of April 23 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., arrives to hold his weekly press conference as press offspring play on stage during Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Thursday saw some cute new members of the press corps and congressional staff — the children who took over the Capitol during Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.

The visitors offered moments of levity during leadership news conferences in an otherwise busy and heated week on Capitol Hill. 

Trump Vows Hands-Off Approach to Justice Department — Maybe
President makes it clear he might change his mind

President Donald Trump called in for a high-octane, wide-ranging interview on “Fox & Friends” on Thursday. (Screengrab from “Fox & Friends”)

President Donald Trump vowed Thursday to take a hands-off approach to the Justice Department until the special counsel’s Russia probe wraps up — but he also made it clear he could change his mind at any moment.

During a high-octane and wide-ranging phone interview with “Fox & Friends,” Trump said he has decided he will “not be involved with the Justice Department” while special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is still conducting his investigation of Russia’s 2016 election meddling, possible Trump campaign collusion, and whether the president obstructed justice.