Richard M Burr

Burr: Too Early to Draw Conclusions on Russia-Trump Team Contact
Burr and Warner update Senate Intelligence Committee investigation

Burr, right, and Warner, left, lead the Senate Intelligence Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee effectively rebuked the White House Wednesday, declining to rule out whether people associated President Donald Trump’s campaign were in contact with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign.

“We would be crazy to try to draw conclusions from where we are in the investigation,” Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. said, standing next to ranking member Mark Warner at a press conference. “I think Mark and I are committed to let this process go through before we form any opinions.”

Trump Defiant on Alleged Phone Tapping, Upbeat on Health Bill
POTUS: Efforts to get House GOP health care votes going beautifully

Trump holds a joint press conference with Merkel in the East Room of the White House on Friday. He appeared to repeat his claim that for President Obama tapped his phones, and said Republicans are coming together around a health care overhaul bill. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

An ever-defiant President Donald Trump on Friday doubled down on his claim that Barack Obama’s administration tapped his phones, telling German Chancellor Angela Merkel the duo might both be victims of Obama-led spying.

“As far as wiretapping, at least we have something in common, perhaps,” Trump quipped in the ornate East Room. The U.S. and German journalists, staff members and dignitaries responded with laughter — and some gasps.

White House Rejects Intel Committee Wiretap Conclusions
Press secretary instead lashes out at press

Trump stands by his unfounded assertion that Obama ordered wiretaps of Trump Tower. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By REMA RAHMAN and JOHN T. BENNETT CQ Roll Call

The White House on Thursday blasted the House and Senate Intelligence committees that deduced there was no evidence to support President Donald Trump’s claim that he had been wiretapped by the prior administration at Trump Tower during the election.

Senate Intel Leaders: No Wiretapping at Trump Tower
Lawmakers and House members find no evidence to back Trump’s claim

Senate Intelligence Vice Chairman Mark Warner, left, and Chairman Richard M. Burr wrote in a joint statement that they saw “no indications” that Trump Tower was bugged before or after the 2016 election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The top two lawmakers on the Senate Intelligence Committee joined their House counterparts on Thursday to confirm that there is no evidence to back President Donald Trump’s claim that he was under surveillance by the prior administration.

Chairman Richard M. Burr, a North Carolina Republican, and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, said in a joint statement there were “no indications” to back up Trump’s assertion.

High Risk for Trump’s Asking Congress to Probe His Tapping Claim
Intelligence panels’ bipartisan approach might lead to answers president won’t like

President Donald Trump’s calls on Congress to investigate his wiretapping allegations carries many risks and could also complicate the selling of his legislative agenda, Hawkings writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In the long and storied history of congressional investigations, there’s no record of lawmakers acting at the president’s behest to get to the bottom of his own extraordinarily explosive but totally unsubstantiated allegations.

But that is going to be the case in the already amply unprecedented era of President Donald Trump. The result could not only change the very nature of legislative branch oversight, but also alter the turbulent course of this nascent administration.

Sanford, Jones Split With GOP on Trump’s Taxes
Two House Republicans essentially sided with Democrats on the issue

South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford voted ‘present’ on a Democratic resolution aimed at obtaining President Donald Trump's tax returns for the last 10 years. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 12:30 p.m. March 3 | Republican Reps. Mark Sanford and Walter B. Jones have occasionally bucked their party, so their stance on a procedural question this week about President Donald Trump’s tax returns is noteworthy. 

Sanford of South Carolina and Jones of North Carolina voted “present” on Monday night as the House decided along party lines, 229-185, to effectively block a vote on a resolution by New Jersey Democrat Bill Pascrell Jr. aimed at directing the Ways and Means Committee to obtain Trump’s tax returns for the past 10 years.

Senate Intelligence Democrats Skittish About Integrity of Russia Probe
Panel Democrats huddled Monday evening

Democratic members of the Senate Intelligence Committee were unnerved of reported contact between Chairman Richard M. Burr and the White House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee says reporters should, “stay tuned” to see what action panel Democrats might take to ensure the integrity of an investigation led by Chairman Richard M. Burr after reported contact with the White House.

Reports of a conversation between the Trump White House and the North Carolina Republican have cast a chill over the panel’s probe of alleged Russian efforts to undermine the 2016 U.S. election.

Intelligence Committee Could Subpoena Trump Tax Returns
Susan Collins says panel will go where Russia inquiry leads it

Maine Sen. Susan Collins is confident the Intelligence Committee will be able to conduct a thorough investigation into alleged Russian hacking. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Susan Collins said she thinks the Intelligence Committee could subpoena President Donald Trump’s tax records as part of its investigation into Russian interference in last year’s election if that’s where the evidence leads.

“I don’t know whether we will need to do that,” the Maine Republican said Wednesday. “If it’s necessary to get to the answers, then I suspect that we would.”

Senators Silent After Meeting With FBI Director Comey
Friday afternoon meeting came after votes finished for recess

Senators were not in a talkative mood after meeting with FBI Director James B. Comey on Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Not much can get between senators and a recess. Except, perhaps, FBI Director James B. Comey. 

Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, along with ex-officio member and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, huddled for a total of more than two hours on Friday with Comey.

Is There a Reward at the End of the Democrats’ Long Slog?
Hard work is vital but results are not always easy to see

North Carolina NAACP President William J. Barber II is playing a prominent role in what has been called the ‘Moral Movement’ there, Mary C. Curtis writes. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The HKonJ protest this past weekend in Raleigh, North Carolina, may have been the largest such event, but it wasn’t the first time that thousands, with causes as diverse as the citizen-marchers themselves, showed up. For 11 years, with messages for both Republicans and Democrats, the faithful gathering at Historic Thousands on Jones Street have persisted. 

There is a lesson for the dissatisfied, new to activism, who are now crowding town halls and filling the streets: Victories may never come, or may be incremental, at best. Each goal accomplished could be followed by a setback.