legal-affairs

Trump Should Cancel Putin Summit Over Indictments, Democrats Say
Schumer: ‘Putin is an adversary who interfered in our elections’

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and other Democrats called on the president to skip his planned meeting with Vladimir Putin on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats pounced on special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s indictment of a dozen Russian military officers for their efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election, with some saying Monday’s Donald Trump-Vladimir Putin summit should be canceled.

“These indictments are further proof of what everyone but the president seems to understand: President Putin is an adversary who interfered in our elections to help President Trump win,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said in a statement.

Mueller Indicts 12 Russians for DNC, Clinton Campaign Hacking
Special counsel again targets leading Russian intel agency

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein conducts a news conference Friday at the Department of Justice announcing the indictment of 12 Russian military officers by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who alleges they interfered in the 2016 election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 1:23 p.m. | The Justice Department’s special counsel announced Friday the indictments of a dozen Russian military officers involved in Moscow’s effort to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election. And a senior Democratic lawmaker reacted swiftly by accusing President Donald Trump of “dangerous distortions” about the operation.

The indictment accuses the Russians of being heavily involved in hacking computer networks of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign organization. The military officers allegedly broke into those systems — and others in the United States — to plant malicious software, steal emails and nab other documents. To conceal their efforts, Rosenstein said, the Russians used networks “around the world” and paid for that access with Cryptocurrency.

Senate Democrats Target Michael Cohen for ‘Selling Access’ to Trump
Former personal attorney to POTUS is key subject in Mueller investigation

Democratic senators criticized former Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen for what one called his “side hustle as influencer-in-chief.” (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images file photo)

Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney for President Donald Trump, is the target of a new report from Democratic senators who on Friday accused him of “selling access” to the White House through a shell company he formed during the 2016 election campaign.

The senators’ report is based on emails they obtained from Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, which signed a $1.2 million contract with Cohen’s shell company, Essential Consultants LLC, for “consulting and advisory services.”

Goodlatte’s Threat to Hold Strzok in Contempt Most Likely an Empty One
U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia would decide whether to prosecute the charge

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., threatened FBI agent Peter Strzok with contempt of Congress in the opening minutes of Strzok’s first public testimony about his role in 2016 investigations into President Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Just minutes into FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok’s first public testimony Thursday about his involvement in two 2016 FBI investigations involving presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte threatened Strzok with a contempt of Congress citation.

But if historical precedent is any indication, Goodlatte’s threat to the embattled witness would lead down a long and winding legal road — that would most likely dead-end at the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia’s desk.

Former Ways and Means Aide to Replace Marc Short
Shahira Knight had advised Trump on economic matters

Shahira Knight, then of the House Ways and Means Committee, at a Holiday Wine and Spirits Reception held by Allied Domecq. She’s the new White House legislative affairs director. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Shahira Knight, a former senior aide on the House’s top tax-writing panel, will become President Donald Trump’s top liaison to Congress, the White House announced Thursday.

Her appointment comes after legislative affairs director Marc Short’s long-expected departure became official Thursday morning. It also comes as Knight will inherit an expected fight over Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee and an expected struggle to pass spending bills after the president vowed to never again sign an omnibus appropriations package like the one he reluctantly made law earlier this year.

What to Expect in Peter Strzok’s House GOP Grilling
FBI agent will tell lawmakers his personal opinions never affected his official actions

Peter Strzok arrives at a closed door interview before the House Judiciary Committee in June. Strzok, a former member of the Mueller Russia investigation team, is being scrutinized for text messages exchanged with former FBI lawyer Lisa Page during the Clinton e-mail server investigation. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok will tell lawmakers today that despite a trove of text messages from 2016 that seem to indicate he had an intense personal distaste for President Donald Trump, he has never allowed personal opinions to affect any of his official work at the agency.

“Let me be clear, unequivocally and under oath: Not once in my 26 years of defending my nation did my personal opinions impact any official action I took,” Strzok will testify before a joint panel of the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform Committees, The Associated Press reported.

Goodlatte Says Page Will Meet With Judiciary Committee Friday
Former FBI lawyer in Russia investigation controversy refused to meet Wednesday

House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said former FBI lawyer Lisa Page will speak to the committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte said former FBI lawyer Lisa Page will meet with the committee for a “private interview” on Friday.

Goodlatte told CNN that he heard from Page’s lawyer Wednesday evening and that she agreed to the meeting. It was not clear if she will be under oath.

Jones’ Bill Would Declassify, Release Civil Rights Cold Cases
Alabama Democratic senator says bill would help public circumvent problems with Freedom of Information Act

Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., introduced a bill Tuesday that would make public a trove of documents related to unsolved civil rights cases from decades past. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Doug Jones introduced a new bill Tuesday to create a panel to systematically review, declassify, and release government documents and information related to unsolved criminal civil rights cases from decades ago.

Executive branch officials process Freedom of Information Act requests to see documents related to such cases too slowly, Jones’ office argued in a news release Tuesday, and the scope of what they hand over when they finally do can often be too narrow.

Page’s Attorney Slams House Republicans’ ‘Bullying Tactics’
Judiciary Chairman Goodlatte says former FBI lawyer appears to have ‘something to hide’ in refusing subpoena

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said it appeared that former FBI lawyer Lisa Page had “something to hide” after she refused to appear before his committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 10:33 a.m. | The attorney for former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who refused to testify Wednesday before the House Judiciary Committee, said her client plans to testify and that the committee’s “bullying tactics” are unnecessary.

In a statement released Wednesday, Amy Jeffress said Page requires more time.

Why Former Sen. Jon Kyl Got Tapped to Guide Brett Kavanaugh
Supreme Court nominees need an experienced ‘sherpa’ to navigate the Senate’s unique ways

White House Counsel Don McGahn, right, and former Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., arrive at the Capitol on Tuesday as they escort Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Vice President Mike Pence to meetings with senators. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

He spent 18 years as a senator on the Judiciary Committee, the last six as the Republican whip and No. 2 in leadership. Now his lobbying clients include a group already spending millions to push the federal courts hard right. His big gig on the side is rooting out perceived liberal bias on social media.

If Jon Kyl does not have the ideal background for successfully shepherding a Supreme Court nominee through this Senate, perhaps no one does.