Politics

Start With Stormy, End With Strzok

Summer in the Capitol reaches peak tension

Senator here, farmer there. Montana Democrat Jon Tester is in a competitive re-election race back home. He also has a star turn in the new political documentary “Dark Money.” Listen to our Podcast about the movie. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

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Let’s Talk About Texts

UNITED STATES – July 12: Posters depicting the men who have pleaded guilty in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe are displayed alongside Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., as he gives his opening statement before FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok testifies in front of the House Judiciary Committee and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee during a joint hearing on, ‘Oversight of FBI and DOJ Actions Surrounding the 2016 Election’ Thursday July 12, 2018. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)
Posters depicting the men who have pleaded guilty in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe are displayed alongside Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., as he gives his opening statement before FBI deputy assistant director Peter Strzok testifies before a joint hearing of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees Thursday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

There’s nothing like a good knock-down, drag-out hearing about — what else? — THE 2016 ELECTION. The House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees had a good old time Thursday calmly discussing whether there was bias in the FBI’s investigation of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. In the hot seat was FBI special agent Peter Strzok, who gave as good as he got about text messages with a woman who was not his wife that were about politics. Griffin Connolly and the Roll Call video team had a good time cataloguing the seething emotions at the hearing, which featured a healthy dose of questions and allusions to infidelity. 

It Goes Up to 11

UNITED STATES – July 10: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., listens as Republican leaders speak to the press after the Senate Republicans' policy lunch in the Capitol on Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., cast his 11,000th vote as a senator this week. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

It’s been a year of milestones for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. First, the Kentucky Republican became the longest-serving Senate Republican leader earlier this year, breaking the record set by Bob Dole. Then on Thursday, he cast his 11,000th vote as a senator. McConnell and his colleagues made little fanfare of the vote. Maybe because it was the last chamber vote before packing up for the week. Maybe because he’s got a new Supreme Court nominee on his mind: Brett Kavanaugh. 

This Week’s Podcast

Political Theater
Political Theater

Just in time for Friday the 13th comes the political documentary “Dark Money,” an examination of the fight over money in politics, this time through the lens of how politicians, activists, citizens and journalists hash it out in Montana. Campaign finance reporter Kate Ackley and I discussed the movie with its director, Kimberly Reed, and one of the movie’s subjects, former FEC Commissioner Trevor Potter. Have a listen:

Short Timer

Bill Samuels, of Maker's Mark bourbon, chats with Christine Roth, center, of the Education and Workforce Committee, and Shahira Knight of the House Ways and Means Committee, at a Holiday Wine and Spirits Reception held by Allied Domecq. The recepiton was held Thursday at the Sewell Belmont House and Samuels, 7th generation distiller of the bourbon out of Loretta, Kentucky, was on hand to autograph special bottles of Makers Mark, hand dipped in black wax, at the party.
Bill Samuels of Maker’s Mark bourbon, chats with Christine Roth, center, of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, and Shahira Knight of the House Ways and Means Committee, at a Holiday Wine and Spirits Reception held by Allied Domecq back in 2008. This is the only photo we have of Knight, and we figured it was better than a handout photo. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short is leaving! Long live White House Legislative Affairs Director Shahira Knight!

Having a Ball

UNITED STATES - MAY 4: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., speaks with Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, a native of Nevada, at Nationals Park in Washington before the game against Philadelphia on Friday, May 4, 2012. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., speaks with Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, a native of Nevada, at Nationals Park in 2012. Harper will be starting for the National League yet again in the annual midsummer classic. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Just in time for next week’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Nationals Park, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History is screening some of Hollywood’s best movies about the national past time, including “The Natural,” “Moneyball” and “Pride of the Yankees.”

The Kicker

Stephanie Clifford, also known as adult film star and director Stormy Daniels, arrives for her first night of a two-night appearance surrounded by security at The Cloakroom strip club in Washington on Monday, July 9, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Stephanie Clifford, also known as adult film star and director Stormy Daniels, arrives, surrounded by security, for her first of a two-night appearance at The Cloakroom strip club in Washington on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

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