russia

‘Fort Trump’: How Poland’s President Took Flattery to New Heights
U.S. president utters rare public criticism of Russia after months of GOP unease

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump with Polish President Andrzej Duda and his wife, Agata Kornhauser-Duda, on Tuesday in the Oval Office two hours before Duda proposed building a “Fort Trump” in his country. (Official White House Photo Joyce N. Boghosian via Flickr)

Trump Tower, Trump Hotel, Trump University, Trump ties ... Fort Trump?

Sure — if the president’s Polish counterpart gets his wish.

Former House Counsels Cast Doubt on GOP Subpoena in Justice Bias Probe
Differences in draft subpoena and final version ‘appear to be material,’ former counsels write in letter

House Judiciary ranking member Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., has called Republicans’ probe into potential FISA abuse and bias at the FBI and Department of Justice a “distraction” meant to undermine ongoing investigations into President Donald Trump’s associates possible ties to Russia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees’ investigation into possible bias among top Department of Justice and FBI officials appears to rely on an invalid subpoena, five previous House general counsels wrote in a letter to the leaders of the Judiciary Committee.

That would jeopardize any court proceedings that could arise from it — including charging Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for contempt of Congress, a threat issued in July by House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows of North Carolina.

Nunes Plans to Release House Russia Probe Interviews Before Midterms
Schiff, Democrats have been calling for release for months

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., plans to release interview transcripts from the House Russia probe by the midterm elections. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, plans to release the transcripts of dozens of private interviews from the committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

With midterms coming up, the California Republican said, he wants to work quickly in the coming weeks to make unclassified interviews from the probe public and have Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats declassify the others.

Trump Skips Usual Fanfare, Privately Signs Election Meddling Order
Obama White House aide on intended message: ‘Please don’t pay attention to this’

President Donald Trump walks from the West Wing to Marine One on his way to Joint Base Andrews Friday July 20, 2018. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Donald Trump’s top national security adviser said the president signed an executive order this week on election meddling to show he has “taken command” of the matter. But this time, the White House broke from its practice of using such directives to make a public splash, instead keeping the event from the public and press.

The president himself has frequently called for reporters and photographers to be allowed into events he thinks will help his media narrative — even when his public schedule did not call for journalists in the room. This time, on the morning of the signing, his public schedule was empty until an 11:30 a.m. intelligence briefing.

Manafort Strikes Deal With Special Counsel Ahead of DC Trial
Former Trump campaign chairman crucial link in Mueller’s Russia probe

President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort will plead guilty in court on Friday as part of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's probe. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Paul Manafort has reached a deal with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to plead guilty ahead of his criminal trial in Washington, D.C., where he was slated to appear Friday.

Manafort’s reported guilty plea comes a month after an Eastern Virginia jury found him guilty on eight charges related to tax evasion and bank loan fraud in August.

Senators Cheer Trump Order on Election Meddling, but Want More Action
Democrats, especially, are skeptical of president’s commitment

Banking Chairman Michael D. Crapo and ranking Democrat Sherrod Brown have been holding a series of hearings on Russia sanctions. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senators are pleased to see the Trump administration doing something about election interference, but they don’t think Wednesday’s executive order will be enough.

Some of the concern comes from the fact that even if federal agencies report evidence of Russian evidence to interfere in the 2018 midterms, President Donald Trump could still waive the imposition of sanctions.

Trump Signs Election Meddling Order, But No Mention of Russia
White House says they will keep talking to lawmakers as Senate bill lingers

Voting signs at One Judiciary Square in Washington in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed at punishing foreign actors that interfere with U.S. elections, senior administration officials said Wednesday.

National security adviser John Bolton said Trump and his team decided to move ahead with the order to show he has “taken control” of efforts to prevent, stop and punish election meddling like that conducted by Russia in 2016. Though there is a bipartisan Senate bill focused on combating meddling, the administration moved the order now to put a “mechanism” in place that marshals all federal efforts under Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

Richard Burr Praises Expected Trump Order on Election Interference
Confirms Intelligence Committee report on Russian meddling won’t come before November

Intelligence Chairman Richard M. Burr. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee seemed to confirm Wednesday the existence of a forthcoming executive order to counter efforts of Russia and other foreign adversaries to interfere in U.S. elections.

Sen. Richard M. Burr pointed to the sanctions action during an interview on Fox News.

Democrats Call Bologna on Meadows’ Strzok-Page Theory
Strzok, Page were not talking about leaking to the press, Democrats say — they were talking about combatting leaks

Former FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok’s text messages with Department of Justice lawyer Lisa Page have been scrutinized for months by House Republicans. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats attempted to refute point-by-point a letter from GOP Rep. Mark Meadows to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in which Meadows claims text messages between a former FBI agent and a Justice Department lawyer recently released to Congress show there is a “systemic culture of media leaking by high-ranking officials” at the agencies.

But the fired FBI official Peter Strzok and DOJ lawyer Lisa Page were not texting about leaking information to the press — they were texting about combatting leaks, Democrats said Tuesday.

Cory Gardner Renews Call for Russia to Be Declared Sponsor of Terrorism After Reports on Sonic Attacks
Colorado Republican also wants floor time for Russia sanctions package

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., is making another push to declare Russia a state sponsor of terrorism. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A recent report that Russia is likely behind mysterious “sonic attacks” on U.S. diplomatic personnel in Cuba and China has led a Republican senator to renew his call to designate Russia a state sponsor of terror.

Sen. Cory Gardner has introduced legislation that would require the State Department to make such a determination about the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin.