Stephen F Lynch

Michael Cohen draws intricate picture of how Trump operated his business, personal empire
“Everybody’s job at the Trump Organization was to protect Trump”

Michael Cohen, former attorney for President Donald Trump, testifies before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, described in intimate detail Wednesday how his onetime boss ran his real estate empire and conducted his personal business — from the intense loyalty he demanded of his top advisers, to deploying Trump Organization employees to physically intimidate his enemies, to fudging his financial statements whenever it suited his interests.

Republicans on the House Oversight and Reform Committee warned their Democratic counterparts that Cohen is someone whose testimony could not be trusted — Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the panel’s top Republican, called him an “admitted liar.” Cohen will report to prison in May for a three-year sentence after pleading guilty last year to one count of lying to Congress and multiple counts of financial fraud.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the prowl for Trump’s tax returns
New York Democrat grills president’s former personal lawyer about financial documents

From left, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., listen to testimony by Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, at House Oversight and Reform Committee Wednesday.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez used her first marquee hearing appearance to help Democrats lay down legal ground work to pursue President Donald Trump’s tax returns.

The New York Democrat grilled the president’s former personal lawyer and “fixer,” Michael Cohen, on Wednesday on how Trump simultaneously inflated the value of his assets on financial statements in order to apply for substantial bank loans and deflated the value of those same assets in order to receive tax breaks.

House passes cryptocurrency, insider trading bills
Measures were delayed by debate over spending proposals

The House has passed three bills related to cryptocurrency and insider trading. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images file photo)

After a week of shutdown-related delays, the House has passed three financial services bills that had been expected to receive floor votes early last week, but were delayed as the House debated spending proposals.

Lawmakers agreed by voice vote Monday to pass under suspension of the rules a bill  co-sponsored by Reps. Ted Budd, a North Carolina Republican, and Stephen F. Lynch, a Massachusetts Democrat, that would create an interagency task force led by the Treasury secretary to research how new financial technology, or fintech, is being used in financial crimes and terrorism, and develop regulatory and legislative responses. The bill would also establish a grant fund for programs and ideas for preventing terrorists and other bad actors from using cryptocurrencies for nefarious ends.

House to take up three bills to curb cryptocurrency abuses
One measure would create interagency task force

Rep. Ted Budd, R-N.C., is cosponsoring a bill that would create an interagency task force led by the Treasury secretary to research financial crimes and terrorism, including those using cryptocurrency. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House is expected to take up and pass a trio of bills that focus on cryptocurrency’s ability to facilitate illicit activities.

The three bills were introduced in the last Congress and easily passed the full House with bipartisan support before stalling in the Senate. Two of the bills center on how new financial technology, or fintech, could be used by terrorists, and the third looks at fintech’s use in sex and drug trafficking.

House Primaries on the Horizon for Democrats in 2020
Illinois’ Dan Lipinski is most likely to face intraparty challenge

Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., narrowly beat back a primary challenge earlier this year. He’s unlikely to go unchallenged in the next cycle, Gonzales writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

We already know the Democratic presidential primary is going to be crowded and crazy as a few dozen candidates battle for the right to take on President Donald Trump.

But at least a handful of 2020 House primaries are also on the horizon for Democrats as the party fights over ideology and loyalty. And there’s still plenty of time for more intraparty races to take shape.

With Opponents Dug In, Pelosi Has Little Room to Negotiate on Speaker Votes
At least 15 Pelosi opponents say they remain firm and will not vote ‘present’

Reps.-elect Max Rose, D-N.Y., left, and Jason Crow, D-Colo., pictured fist bumping at the new member office lottery on Nov. 30, are among the Democrats firmly opposed to Nancy Pelosi’s speaker bid. Rep.-elect Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., is among those who voted against Pelosi in caucus elections but appears open to supporting her on the floor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

At least 15 Democrats resisting Nancy Pelosi’s speaker bid are holding firm in their opposition and say they plan to vote for someone other than the California Democrat during the Jan. 3 speaker election, providing Pelosi with little room to negotiate a victory.

With the House poised to have 235 Democrats seated on the opening day of the 116th Congress when the speaker election takes place, Pelosi can only afford to have 17 Democrats vote and say a name that is not hers to meet the 218-vote majority threshold. 

Pelosi Not Interested in Compromising on Succession Plan for Her Speakership
Speaker hopeful says her opponents shouldn’t get to dictate when she retires

From left, Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., talk after the incoming House Democratic leadership team posed for a group photo in the Rayburn Room in the Capitol on Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said Friday she doesn’t see a way in which she’d compromise with the group of members who oppose her speaker bid unless she specifies a clear succession plan. 

“Between saying when I’m going to retire or not? I don’t think so,” the California Democrat said when asked whether there is a middle ground to be found on the question of when she will relinquish the speaker’s gavel if members vote Jan. 3 to give it to her again. 

Steny Hoyer Elected House Majority Leader
Maryland Democrat ran unopposed with 184 Democrats signed onto a letter supporting him

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., center, shakes hands with Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., as they leave the CVC Auditorium during a break in the House Democrats’ leadership elections Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. Hoyer was elected majority leader that afternoon. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Maryland Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer is returning to his old post of House majority leader next year after the Democratic Caucus on Wednesday elected him to the post by acclamation. 

Hoyer, Democrats’ longtime No. 2 leader and current minority leader, last held the majority leader title when Democrats were last in the majority from 2007 through 2010.

Another Democrat Who Signed Letter Opposing Pelosi Opens Door to Backing Her
Massachusetts’ Lynch says he would ‘obviously’ vote for Pelosi over a Republican

Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., is leaving open the door to vote for Nancy Pelosi as speaker. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic Rep. Stephen Lynch signed a letter earlier this month opposing Nancy Pelosi’s bid for speaker when Democrats take back the majority in January — but he has since left the door open to voting for her if no Democrat steps up to bat and challenges to the minority leader.

“If it becomes a choice between a Republican and Nancy Pelosi, I’ll obviously support Nancy Pelosi,” Lynch said in an interview with WCVB in Boston.

Ayanna Pressley Upsets Rep. Capuano in Massachusetts Democratic Primary
Capuano is second incumbent Democratic congressman to lose a primary this cycle

Massachusetts Democrat Ayanna Pressley defeated Rep. Michael Capuano in the 3rd District Democratic primary. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Massachusetts Rep. Michael Capuano became the second Democratic congressman to lose in a primary this year, falling to Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley in a race that attracted national attention as the latest referendum on the future of the Democratic Party.

With 46 percent of precincts reporting, Pressley led the 10-term incumbent 55 percent to 45 percent when The Associated Press called the race for Massachusetts’ 7th District.