Mike Pompeo

Impeachment trial’s Saturday session is a short one
In first day of Trump defense team presentation, an eye on the clock

White House counsel Pat Cipollone, left, and lawyer Jordan Sekulow arrive at the Capitol on Saturday before the continuation of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump’s lawyers briefly laid out his defense Saturday at the Senate impeachment trial, focusing their attacks on what they called a lack of evidence, the actions of lead House manager Adam B. Schiff and a flawed House investigation.

Trump’s legal team did not make arguments about former Vice President Joe Biden or his son Hunter Biden. Trump and some Republican senators have focused on that issue for the president’s defense that his Ukraine dealings were meant to uncover corruption, not ask the country’s president to influence the 2020 presidential elections in exchange for releasing military aid.

Impeachment news roundup: Jan. 22
Coons lauds Schiff for 30 minutes of ‘mastery’; White House defense could begin Saturday

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, followed by Democratic Sen. Richard J. Durbin, leaves a news conference Tuesday. The Senate rejected all of the amendments Schumer introduced to try to change the rules for President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

File updated 10:10 p.m.  

Delaware Democrat Chris Coons said House impeachment manager Adam B. Schiff’s closing 30 minutes was “compelling” and that he showed a “mastery” of the material. Coons also said that there were snacks and coffee in the cloakroom. Coons said there has not been much outreach to him from Republicans.

Photos of the week
The week ending Jan. 10 as captured by Roll Call’s photojournalists

Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., and her husband Jeffrey Sprecher wait for Vice President Mike Pence to arrive for her swear-in reenactment for the cameras in the Capitol on Monday. Loeffler was appointed by Gov. Kemp to fill retired Sen. Johnny Isakson's seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Money flows to Kansas Senate campaign with Pompeo out of the race
GOP Rep. Roger Marshall collects $250,000 in three days

Kansas Rep. Roger Marshall is vying for front-liner status in the Republican primary for Senate after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo bowed out. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Kansas Rep. Roger Marshall on Friday reported a surge of money into his campaign for Senate in the three days since Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he would not enter the race. 

The $250,000 the Marshall campaign said it raised since Pompeo made his decision Tuesday is more than two of his top challengers for the Republican nomination — former Kansas City Chiefs defensive end David Lindstrom and former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach — raised in the third quarter, which ended in September. Disclosures for fourth-quarter activity are due Jan. 31. 

‘Eliminated’ Soleimani and ‘booming’ economy: Takeaways from Trump’s first 2020 rally
President alleges ‘Crazy Bernie’ condemned U.S. military strike on Soleimani

President Donald Trump speaks during a reelection rally at the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio, on Thursday night. (Kyle Mazza/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

ANALYSIS — “Hello, Toledo,” President Donald Trump told an arena full of supporters Thursday night as he made clear he believes the Buckeye State is now solidly GOP territory.

“We love Toledo, you remember, I was here a lot,” Trump said at the top of another raucous campaign rally. “You remember 2016 — what a year that was, right?”

Pompeo walks back comments that appeared to contradict Trump on embassy attacks
After Trump told rally about multiple embassies targeted, secretary of State says targets weren’t known

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives at the Capitol on Wednesday to brief members of the House on the situation with Iran. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tried Friday to clean up comments from the night before  that appeared to contradict President Trump’s claim that the Iranian general he had killed was targeting multiple U.S. embassies.

Pompeo told reporters U.S. officials acted on “specific information on an imminent threat,” and that the “threat stream included attacks on U.S. embassies. … Full stop.”

Rating Change: Pompeo decision makes Kansas seat more vulnerable
Leading GOP candidate Kris Kobach comes with risks in general election

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo before briefing House members on Iran. Seen as his party’s best option for an open Kansas Senate seat, he has told Majority Leader Mitch McConnell he will not run. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call photo)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s decision not to run for Senate in Kansas creates a legitimate scenario for Democrats to win a seat in a Republican state and increases the chances Democrats win control of the chamber in November.

Pompeo has long been viewed as the Republicans’ easiest path to keeping retiring Sen. Pat Roberts’ seat in GOP hands. Now, there’s significant concern that polarizing former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach will win the GOP nomination and lose the 2020 Senate race in the same way he lost the 2018 race for governor (which was by 5 points).

Trump’s threat to bomb Iran ‘cultural’ sites is personal for Iraq War vets in Congress
Gallego urges Trump to uphold U.S. ideals and not stoop to the level of its enemies

Demonstrators and members of the military gather under a portrait of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on Tuesday to mourn and condemn the death of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani. (AFP via Getty Images)

The U.S. assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and President Donald Trump’s subsequent threat to bomb Iran’s “cultural” sites if it retaliates touched personal nerves for many members of Congress who are veterans of the Iraq War.

Soleimani headed Iran’s elite Quds Force, which is responsible for killing roughly 600 U.S. soldiers during the Iraq War mainly through unconventional tactics such as roadside bombs and other improvised explosive devices, the State Department reported last year.

Road ahead: House to debate Iran war powers as impeachment articles hold continues
Senate moving ahead with regular business while awaiting impeachment articles to start trial

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell heads to a briefing with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the Capitol on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers hope a partisan dispute over Senate trial procedures for considering the House’s impeachment charges against President Donald Trump will be resolved this week. But a solution to the impasse could be complicated by another fight brewing in Congress over whether to restrain Trump’s ability to go to war with Iran.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is holding the impeachment articles in the House in an effort to force Senate Republicans to agree to Democrats’ demands for certain witnesses and documents to be subpoenaed in the trial. The California Democrat has yet to indicate when she would transmit the articles to the Senate or lay out explicit conditions under which she would do so.

Congress readies for Iran briefings and vote in House on war powers
Senate and House to get all-hands briefing on Soleimani threat

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives at the Capitol for a briefing on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The specter of military escalation with Iran will take center stage for lawmakers this week as they return to Capitol Hill for briefings on the Trump administration’s justification for last week’s targeted killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and the House holds a vote on a resolution that would restrict the president’s ability to go to war with Tehran.

Aftereffects from the drone strike on Soleimani, who as the leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force was seen as Iran’s second-most powerful official, continued to build over the weekend. Those repercussions include a vote by the Iraqi parliament to order the expulsion of U.S. military forces, although no deadline was specified; warnings from senior Iranian figures and proxies like Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah that retaliation could take the form of attacks on U.S. military sites; and Tehran’s announcement that it would cease abiding by the 2015 multinational nuclear deal not to enrich uranium.