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Analysis: Giuliani Escalates Effort to Erode Legitimacy of Mueller Probe
Trump lawyer attacks Sessions, Comey and casts president as victim of ‘crimes’

Former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani prepares to speak at the Conference on Iran earlier this month shortly after being added to President Donald Trump’s legal team. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Former FBI Director James Comey is a “proven liar” and Attorney General Jeff Sessions “didn’t step up” to shut down an “unjustifiable investigation.” Those were just two of the claims made Friday by Rudy Giuliani, one of President Donald Trump’s lawyers, as he continued an escalating effort to erode the legitimacy of the Justice Department’s Russia probe.

As Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III and his team continue their probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, possible coordination with the Trump-Pence campaign, and whether the president obstructed justice, Giuliani — joined by Trump and others — are executing a strategy intended to raise doubts about the necessity of the investigation, whether Mueller and the FBI are out to get Trump, and the special counsel’s tactics.

A Clash of Experiences in Kentucky’s 6th District Democratic Primary
McGrath and Gray tout their backgrounds ahead of Tuesday primary

Tim Armstrong, the chief executive officer of Oath and former U.S. Marine and congressional candidate in Kentucky Amy McGrath speak onstage during The 2018 MAKERS Conference at NeueHouse Hollywood on February 6, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for MAKERS)

Even a casual observer of politics has probably heard of Amy McGrath. 

The retired Marine fighter pilot made a splash last year with an introductory video about the letters she wrote to members of Congress asking them to change the law so that women could fly in combat.

FBI Director Raises Concerns about Chinese Tech Giant Trump Wants to Help
Wray defends agency, responding to political attacks from Congress and White House

FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies during a Senate Appropriations Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing in Dirksen Building on the bureau’s FY2019 budget Wednesday. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

FBI Director Christopher Wray on Wednesday reaffirmed concerns about Chinese telecommunications company ZTE that President Donald Trump wants to help — and defended the agency from political attacks coming from the White House and Congress. 

At a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing about the FBI’s fiscal 2019 budget request, Wray used a question about the agency’s responsiveness to congressional oversight to highlight the importance of protecting people who provide agents information.

Senate Democrats Claim Small Victory on Net Neutrality
Will be taking the debate to the ballot box

Sen. Edward J. Markey has led the charge on the resolution that would effectively bring back net neutrality rules. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Democrats won’t be scoring many legislative victories this year. So Wednesday’s win on a joint resolution that would upend the effort by the Federal Communications Commission to reverse Obama-era regulations on net neutrality was cause for mild celebration.

“A key question for anyone on the campaign trail in 2018 now will be: Do you support net neutrality?” Sen. Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts said at a news conference with House and Senate Democratic leaders on the effort to block the Trump administration from rolling back the regulations.

Political Foes Turned Podcasting Friends
Democrat Ali Lapp and Republican Liesl Hickey bring House race expertise to podcast

Democratic strategist Ali Lapp and and Republican strategist Liesl Hickey chat before recording an episode of their podcast “House Talk with Ali and Liesl” at the EMILY’s List office in Washington, D.C. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ali Lapp spent several hundred thousand dollars trying to defeat Rep. Mark S. Kirk in 2006. The Illinois Republican, whose office was led by Chief of Staff Liesl Hickey, held on.

Fast forward 10 years, and the two women met for the first time at Tonic, a bar in Washington’s Foggy Bottom neighborhood, for what they jokingly call their “blind date.”

Opinion: It’s Too Soon to Bet the Ranch on the Midterms
With enthusiasm gap closing, blue wave is no longer a sure thing

Betting on how the vote will go in November is becoming less and less clear, Winston writes. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

So, the Supreme Court this week OK’d sports betting by the states, giving plaintiffs Chris Christie and New Jersey a big win. Not being a gambler, I hesitate to give advice, but maybe the bookmakers can kick off their newly won legal status with the 2018 congressional elections. After all, these days, politics is somewhat akin to a professional sport, but knowing where to place a bet this fall — on the Dems or the GOP — is becoming less and less clear.

A few months ago, most political prognosticators would have characterized the Democrats’ chances of winning back the House as just shy of a sure thing. They predicted, with a modicum of certainty, an impending blue wave, destined to wipe the Republican House majority off the map. Many are still putting their chips on the Democrats to win, place and show.

Kara Eastman Denies Ex-Rep. Brad Ashford’s Comeback Bid in Nebraska
First-time candidate will face GOP Rep. Don Bacon in November

Kara Eastman won the Democratic primary in Nebraska’s 2nd District. (Courtesy Kara Eastman for Congress)

Nonprofit executive Kara Eastman scored a surprise victory over former Rep. Brad Ashford in the Democratic primary for Nebraska’s 2nd District.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Eastman led Ashford, 51 percent to 49 percent, when The Associated Press called the race early Wednesday morning.  

Raybould Wins Nebraska Democratic Senate Primary to Take on Fischer
Raybould is a Lincoln City councilwoman who previously ran for Lieutenant Governor

Jane Raybould will challenge GOP Sen. Deb Fischer in Nebraska. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Lincoln City councilwoman Jane Raybould won the Democratic Senate primary in Nebraska Tuesday night. She will face GOP Sen. Deb Fischer in the fall. 

With 75 percent of precincts reporting, Raybould had 64.8 percent of the vote to 18.5 percent for Chris Janicek,  11.8 percent for Frank Svoboda and 4.9 percent for Larry Marvin, The Associated Press reported.

4 Things to Watch During Tuesday’s Primary Elections
Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Idaho and Oregon will be hosting primaries

Voters head to the polls for primary elections in four states. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Four states will host primary elections Tuesday, setting up matchups for several key races this fall. 

Pennsylvania, Idaho and Nebraska all have House primaries to watch. And the Keystone State’s new congressional lines will be tested for the first time. The state’s Supreme Court tossed out the old map earlier this year, deeming it an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. 

Former Rep. Brad Ashford Faces Primary in Comeback Bid
Democratic primary pits Ashford against a political newcomer

Nebraska Democratic Rep. Brad Ashford, who lost re-election in 2016 after serving one term, is seeking a comeback this year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

On the surface, the Democratic primary in Nebraska’s 2nd District had the makings of a bitter intraparty battle, with a moderate onetime congressman facing off against a liberal, female political newcomer. 

But the contest between former Rep. Brad Ashford and nonprofit CEO Kara Eastman hasn’t gotten the same attention as some other primaries that have morphed into proxy fights for the soul of the Democratic Party.