white-house

Trump, White House Will Let Senators Resolve Kavanaugh Fracas
President sharply questions top Judiciary Democrat Feinstein’s tactics

President Donald Trump greets Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his family while announcing his nomination to replace Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on July 9. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump and his White House staff have handed Senate Republicans the reins, hoping they can steer Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh around sexual misconduct allegations and onto the high court.

Trump remained silent about allegations made by Kavanaugh’s accuser for most of Monday before the president backed delaying the confirmation process — which had included a planned Thursday vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee — so senators can hear from Kavanaugh and accuser Christine Blasey Ford. But Trump also called the notion of withdrawing the nomination “ridiculous.”

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.

Republicans Face Critical Moment With Kavanaugh
Allegation against Supreme Court nominee heaps cultural importance on what senators do

Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh meets with Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a member of the Judiciary Committee, in July. Graham said on Sunday that he is willing to hear Kavanaugh’s accuser, but said that should happen “immediately.” (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS: President Donald Trump’s pick for a pivotal spot on the Supreme Court already put the Senate at the confluence of the nation’s contentious political and legal movements.  But a woman’s allegation of sexual assault by Brett Kavanaugh  — dating back decades to when he was a teenager — heaps cultural importance as well on what senators do at this moment.

Senators, particularly Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Republicans who have relentlessly insisted on a confirmation vote this month, now have to decide what to do amid a “Me Too” movement that has exposed how these types of allegations have been hidden, mishandled or simply ignored by powerful men in the past. 

Kavanaugh Accuser Would Testify Publicly, Attorney Says
White House issues new statement standing by Supreme Court nominee

Brett Kavanaugh, nominee to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court, testifies before members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 6. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

A California professor who claims a “stumbling drunk” Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both in high school would testify publicly if asked by Senate Judiciary Committee leaders, her attorney said Monday.

Christine Blasey Ford, 51, says she instantly thought Kavanaugh might “inadvertently kill” her during a party in the early 1980s after he and a friend corralled her in a bedroom and the Supreme Court nominee pinned her to a bed and groped her over a one-piece bathing suit. Kavanaugh denies the allegation.

Three Ways Kavanaugh Nomination Could Play Out After Accuser Speaks
Female GOP senators could have big say in what happens next

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, arrives for his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in Hart Building on Sept. 4. His wife, Ashley, daughter, and Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, also appear. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS | What was an anonymous letter with serious allegations against Supreme Court nominee are now vivid words from an accuser, putting a name and face on the charges and raising new questions about the nomination.

A California professor contends she instantly thought a “stumbling drunk” Kavanaugh might “inadvertently kill” her during a party in the early 1980s while they were in high school, breaking her public silence and handing Republican leaders and the White House tough decisions about what to do next.

Trump Tweet Jeopardizes Bipartisan Puerto Rico Bill
Grijalva: ‘It makes people that want to work on compromise become really suspicious’

Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., said the president’s Puerto Rico tweets have fanned the flames of suspicion. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump’s comments defending his administration’s response to the hurricane that hit Puerto Rico last year may have stymied chances for a bipartisan bill to reduce politicization and patronage at the territory’s publicly-owned electric utility, which some see as a key impediment slowing modernization of the island’s grid.

House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop of Utah and ranking member Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona both say that action is needed to create safeguards to protect the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority from political influence.

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.

Irony Alert: Trump Shares PSA Warning Against Spreading ‘False Information’
President attacks John Kerry Thursday night, starts Friday with string of hurricane warnings

President Trump is briefed earlier this week in the Oval Office as Hurricane Florence was poised to hammer the Carolinas. (White House photo via Flickr)

ANALYSIS — President Donald Trump, just one day after even Republicans criticized him for claiming nearly 3,000 people did not die last year in Puerto Rico due to two powerful hurricanes, shared a FEMA tweet warning against spreading false information.

Trump ended Thursday evening — as Hurricane Florence began bearing down on the North Carolina coast — by slamming former Secretary of State John Kerry, the longtime senator and failed 2004 Democratic presidential nominee who might be eyeing a 2020 run. He started Friday — with Florence dumping rainfall measured in feet as it made landfall in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina — with a series of tweets urging people in the storm’s path to take steps to remain safe.

Senate Hopeful Rick Scott Breaks With Trump Over Puerto Rico Deaths
Florida Sen. Bill Nelson calls president’s claim ‘shameful‘

Florida Gov. Rick Scott broke with President Trump about the death toll in Puerto Rico after two 2017 hurricanes. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Florida GOP Gov. Rick Scott, who is trying to take Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson’s seat, broke with President Donald Trump on Thursday, saying he sees no reason to doubt nearly 3,000 people died following hurricanes in Puerto Rico last year.

During a morning Twitter rant, the president accused Puerto Rican officials and Democrats of lying about how many people died there after Hurricanes Maria and Irma pummeled the island in a coordinated effort to make him look bad.