Richard M Burr

Senate Intel Leaders Look for Better Security Before 2018 Primaries
DNI testifies about importance of public information on Russian election meddling

FBI Director Christopher Wray, left, shakes hands with Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard M. Burr before a Tuesday hearing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee hope to make their findings public on improving election security before primary contests get underway.

That’s what panel Chairman Richard M. Burr, a North Carolina Republican, and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, said Tuesday in wrapping up the open portion of the annual hearing on “Worldwide Threats.”

Nunes Memo Could Weaken FISA, Congressional Panels
Officials worry about compromising sources, chilling intelligence officials

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., has pushed releasing a committee-drafted memo despite reservations from the FBI and Justice Department. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Releasing a four-page memo authored by aides to House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., alleging abuse of surveillance power by the FBI could ultimately weaken the process by which U.S. intelligence agencies seek secret court orders to conduct surveillance on foreigners, lawmakers and former intelligence professionals say.

Moreover, releasing the memo could erode the trust between the intelligence community and the congressional intelligence panels, these officials say.

Russia Will Meddle in U.S. 2018 Midterms, CIA Director Says
U.S. intelligence community unanimous that Russia interfered in 2016 elections

Mike Pompeo testifies during his Senate Select Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing in Dirksen Building, January 12, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Russia has continued its efforts to interfere in the Western democratic processes since 2016, and it shows no signs of slowing down for the 2018 U.S. midterms, CIA Director Mike Pompeo told the BBC Monday.

The U.S. intelligence community has unanimously agreed that Kremlin-backed groups actively interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections with a misinformation campaign on social media and by hacking high-level political campaign internet communications.

With House Passage of FISA Measure, Action Moves to Senate
GOP leaders in chamber move to restrict amendments to reauthorization

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is part of a bipartisan group that has problems with the FISA reauthorization measure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House on Thursday approved 256-164 a bill to reauthorize provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act for another six years, putting the measure in the Senate’s hands.

The bill, backed by the Trump administration and all the U.S. intelligence agencies, would preserve the FBI and the intelligence agencies’ ability to search a surveillance database for information on Americans with minimal warrant requirements.

Republican Senate Starting to Block Trump Nominees
Former Rep. Scott Garrett latest to get crosswise with GOP Senate

The Senate Banking Committee has rejected former Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., as President Donald Trump's nominee to be president of the Export-Import Bank. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In another example of the increased scrutiny President Donald Trump’s nominees are facing, the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday rejected the nomination of former Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., to lead the Export-Import Bank, with Republicans Tim Scott of South Carolina and Mike Rounds of South Dakota joining Democrats to vote him down.

Garrett was a vocal opponent of the bank when he was in Congress, and his nomination was in trouble from the start. But it follows a pattern of other nominees running into headwinds in the Republican-controlled Senate.

North Carolina Philanthropist Challenging Ted Budd in 13th District
Democrat Kathy Manning had considered running for Senate in 2016

Kathy Manning is seeking the Democratic nod in North Carolina’s 13th District. (Courtesy Kathy Manning for Congress)

On paper at least, North Carolina’s 13th District seat is the most competitive in the state for Democrats next year. And now, the national party has a candidate they’re excited about in Kathy Manning, who announced her campaign Wednesday. 

Manning, a philanthropist and former immigration lawyer, is hoping to take on freshman Republican Ted Budd, a member of the House Freedom Caucus.

Tech Companies Get an Earful From Intelligence Committee
Senators accuse executives of just not getting extent of Russian meddling

Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard M. Burr, R-N.C., left, and ranking member Mark Warner, D-Va., have challenged technology companies for their response to Russian interference in the 2016 election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Big technology companies faced a second day of public lashing on Capitol Hill, with the Senate Intelligence Committee accusing companies of a lackluster response to Russian meddling in the 2016 election. 

On Tuesday, executives from Facebook, Google and Twitter told the Senate Judiciary Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee that ads and automated non-advertising content generated by Moscow-backed companies reached hundreds of millions of Americans during the 2016 election — a number that is far higher than previous estimates offered by the companies.

How Monday’s Indictments Might Connect to Senate’s Russia Probe
Manafort met with the Senate Intelligence Committee months ago

A car said to be transporting former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort leaves the FBI’s Washington Field Office after Manafort turned himself in to the agency Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The three Trump campaign associates headlining Monday’s news have been known quantities to Senate investigators investigating Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election. 

But the unsealing of a court filing showing that former campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos had already pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI and is a cooperating witness in the investigation led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III probably explains why he has been elusive.

Analysis: An Odd Sequence of Russia-Related Events
There were signs aplenty that something was coming in the Russia inquiry

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is leading the probe into Russian intervention in the U.S. presidential campaign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The puzzle pieces were strewn about the board late last week, several small fragments waiting to be put together. There were signs aplenty something was coming in the congressional and federal probes into Russia’s 2016 election meddling, but in isolation, each piece failed to reveal much.

A relatively quiet day at the White House was upended Friday evening by a CNN report that Justice Department special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is poised to reveal formal charges against individuals who once had ties to or remain close to President Donald Trump. Other major media outlets matched the report, which came after several brow-furrowing developments that suggested increased activity in the federal inquiry.

Word on the Hill: Staffer Defends Her ‘Liddle’ Boss
Fitness trends, staffer shuffles, and a new book

Micah Johnson walks with her boss Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, center, as they get off the Senate subway in May 2016. Also pictured, North Carolina Sen. Richard M. Burr. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The president may be calling out lawmakers but congressional staffers have their bosses backs.

Micah Johnson, communications director for retiring Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who has been in a war of words with President Donald Trump, defended her boss when she tweeted a cartoon mocking the president.