Virginia

Meet Noel Francisco, the Conservative Supreme Court Litigator Who Could Take Over Oversight of Mueller Investigation
Solicitor general is the next in line if Rod Rosenstein is ousted

From left to right, Justice Department nominees Noel Francisco to be solicitor general, Makan Delrahim to be an assistant attorney general in the Antitrust Division, and Steven Engel to be an assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel, raise their right hands as they are sworn in during their Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill, on May 10, 2017. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

If Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is ousted Monday, oversight of the special counsel investigation of Russian activity will most likely fall to Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco.

Francisco, a former partner at the Jones Day law firm in Washington, is the next Senate-confirmed Justice Department official in line to oversee the probe led by Special Counsel Robert S. Muller. However, there is an open question about Francisco’s role in such a situation, because of a possible conflict dating from his time at Jones Day. 

Mom Gets in Between Paul Gosar’s Fight With Siblings
Says she is ‘shocked’ six of her children would repudiate Arizona GOP congressman in ads

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., defended himself against his brothers and sisters' political attack ads for his opponent. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Paul Gosar’s mother defended him against a political attack ad in which six of her other children repudiated the Arizona GOP congressman for his hardline conservative views and conspiracy theories.

Bernadette Gosar, 85, the mother of 10 Gosar children, told The New York Times she was “shocked” and “crushed” that six of her children would agree to appear in, so far, a series of four advertisements condemning their oldest brother for his political beliefs and rhetoric as he seeks a fifth term in Arizona’s 4th District.

Kavanaugh Will Face 4 Female Senators. Why Not More?
Supreme Court hearings shed light on Senate’s gender gap — and other panels skew even more male

The Senate Judiciary Committee has no female Republican senators on it. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

BY ALEX GANGITANO AND JEREMY DILLON

As the Senate Judiciary Committee weighs its next move on Brett Kavanaugh, only four women will have a voice. All of them are Democrats.

Despite New Tariffs, China Still Not Budging on Trade Tactics, White House Says
Senior official indicates Canada no closer to joining Mexico trade deal than it was when talks started

U.S. and Chinese flags on a table where military leaders from the two countries met in 2014. Four year later, the economic giants are in the midst of a bitter trade dispute. Depsite President Trump’s tariff's little progress has been made, an official said Friday. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Mikki L. Sprenkle)

The Trump administration is not aiming to “cleve off” the U.S. economy from China’s, but it intends to continue pressuring the Asian giant even though tough moves like repeated rounds of tariffs have yet to bring the fundamental changes President Donald Trump is demanding.

“Our goal is not to totally divorce our economies from each other,” said a senior official who briefed reporters Friday at the White House about trade matters. “Our goal is for China to stop behaving unfairly.”

How to Read Midterm Polls
CQ on Congress Podcast, Episode 121

A voter arrives at the Philomont, Va fire station in Virginia's 10th Congressional district, Rep. Barbara Comstock's district, on primary election day in Virginia on Tuesday, June 12, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

While Washington is obsessed with the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, voters — Republicans and Democrats— are more concerned about the economy, says Democratic pollster Brad Bannon, who adds that the positive top-line numbers cloak Americans' continuing economic fears.

Show Notes:

Giffords PAC Airs New TV Ad Against Comstock in Virginia
Second spot is part of $1 million ad campaign against two-term Republican in 10th District

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' PAC is investing $1 million in Virginia’s 10th District against GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock. Giffords is shown here with Jennifer Wexton, Comstock's Democratic challenger. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The gun violence prevention group founded by former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is launching its second TV ad against Rep. Barbara Comstock, specifically going after the Virginia Republican’s ‘A’ rating from the National Rifle Association. 

The spot, debuting Wednesday and obtained first by Roll Call, opens with footage of a parent playing with a small child.

Rep. Scott Taylor Falling Behind Challenger After Ballot Forgery Scandal, Democratic Poll Shows
Democrat Elaine Luria is challenging freshman lawmaker in Virginia’s 2nd District

An internal poll for Democrat Elaine Luria showed her leading Rep. Scott Taylor in Virginia’s 2nd District amid lingering questions about Taylor’s role in a fraudulent ballot petition scandal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrat Elaine Luria led Rep. Scott Taylor by 8 points in Virginia’s 2nd District amid lingering questions about the Republican lawmaker’s role in a ballot signature scandal, according to an internal poll released by Luria’s campaign Tuesday.

The survey, conducted by Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, gave the Navy veteran a 51 percent to 43 percent lead over Taylor. A June survey by the same firm showed her trailing by 4 points, the campaign said.

Trump Orders Declassification of Carter Page FBI Documents
Action follows request from House Republicans

President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort in Oxon Hill, Md., on February 23, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Monday ordered the immediate declassification of redacted materials in the FBI’s 2017 application to spy on Carter Page, as well as various FBI reports of interviews related to that matter including ones conducted with DOJ official Bruce Ohr.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced the decision in a statement Monday noting Trump’s decision comes “at the request of a number of committees of Congress, and for reasons of transparency.”

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.

Senate Scrambles for Next Move With Kavanaugh Nomination in the Balance
Growing number of senators say accuser, judge should be able to have say

The Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh hung in the balance on Monday as senators sorted out the chamber's next move in light of sexual assault allegations against the judge. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The most important of those voices was Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, who said Christine Blasey Ford, a California college professor, deserves to be heard after coming forward publicly with the allegation over the weekend.

“So I will continue working on a way to hear her out in an appropriate, precedented and respectful manner,” Grassley said in a news release.