Griffin Connolly

New Court Documents Reveal Details of Yard Dispute That Hospitalized Rand Paul
Kentucky senator repeatedly stacked branches by property line, angering neighbor

Updated 2:55 p.m. | New court documents in Kentucky shed more light on details from the yard dispute that landed Sen. Rand Paul in the hospital with six broken ribs, among other thoracic complications, and could land his neighbor in prison.

Rene Boucher, 60, didn’t like where his neighbor of 17 years, Paul, was putting his yard debris.

How the Hill Reacted to the Trump-Kim Summit
Reaction ranges from a ‘huge deal’ to a ‘bi-lateral con job’

President Donald Trump made history Tuesday in Singapore as the first American president to meet face-to-face with a leader of North Korea since the Kim dynasty sprouted on the peninsula roughly seven decades ago.

At the heart of negotiations was the “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula in exchange for “security guarantees” for the North’s mercurial leader, Kim Jong Un.

Democrats’ Senate Majority PAC Sinks $80 Million Into 9 Key States
Ads will hit airwaves on Labor Day and continue to election night

The Democratic Senate Majority PAC announced Monday it will sink $80 million for TV ads into nine states with battleground Senate races this fall in an initial wave of spending for the 2018 midterms.

SMP will air ads beginning on Labor Day and continuing to election night on Nov. 7 in races for three Republican-held seats in Nevada, Arizona and Tennessee, and six Democratically controlled seats in Indiana, Florida, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia.

Lawmakers Want to Curb Those Pesky Robocalls to Your Phone
Democrats in both the House and Senate introduced legislation to restrict calls

You probably receive a few of these types of calls per week.

“Hello,” an automated voice will say, often ostensibly from a number with the same area code as you. “This message is to inform you that ...”

Kuster Wants Investigation Into Sexual Harassment in VA
More than a quarter of women employees in agency were harassed, government watchdog agency reports

Rep. Ann McLane Kuster wants Congress to confront what she sees as a pervasive sexual harassment problem in the Veterans Affairs Department.

The New Hampshire Democrat called for Chairman Jack Bergman of Michigan to schedule an immediate hearing on the matter in the Veterans Affairs subcommittee on oversight and investigations, on which she is ranking member.

Romney, Once the Face of ‘Never Trump,’ Embraces the President
Now running for Utah open Senate seat, former presidential nominee predicts Trump will win in 2020

By all indications, former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is now fully aboard the Trump train as he prepares for the GOP primary for an open Senate seat in Utah.

In 2016, Romney called President Donald Trump a “con man” and “a fake.” But at the opening remarks of his annual mountainside retreat for business leaders and politicos on Thursday, the former Massachusetts governor predicted Trump would “solidly” win a second term in 2020 after securing the GOP nomination, The Associated Press reported.

Man Cleared of Sexual Abuse Charges in Capitol After Prosecutors Drop Case
Two women who made charges declined to testify in court

A man accused of sexual abuse at the Capitol Visitor Center in November has been cleared of all charges after prosecutors motioned to dismiss the case last week.

The two 18-year-old female witnesses who told U.S Capitol Police that 30-year-old Adam Fairbert of Florida touched one of their buttocks and took “a photo of a girl” at the CVC later declined to testify under oath.

New Poll: Utah Rep. Mia Love in Tight Race With Democratic Challenger
Survey finds Salt Lake County mayor leads among independents, trails among Mormons

A new poll in Utah shows Rep. Mia Love essentially tied with the Democrat she is likely to face in the general election this November.

Love, a second-term Republican, led Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams 47 percent to 43 percent in the 4th District race, the Utahpolicy.com survey found. Ten percent were undecided.

Paul Ryan Siding With the ‘Deep State,’ GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz Says
Murmurs of revolt around speaker, conservative Florida congressman said

GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz fired a shot across Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s bow Wednesday, claiming Ryan was siding with the “deep state,” the FBI and  the Justice Department over congressional Republicans trying to conduct oversight on those agencies.

At issue was the speaker’s defense of the FBI earlier in the day for pursuing information from an informant in President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign about Russian interference and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

Obama Administration Sidestepped Sanctions to Give Iran Access to Dollars, Report Finds
Senate Republicans reveal Obama Treasury Department issued a license for Iran to use dollars

The Obama administration sidestepped economic sanctions to allow Iran to more easily access some of its foreign assets in accordance with the 2015 nuclear agreement, a new report from Senate Republicans published on Wednesday found.

In February 2016, Obama’s Treasury Department issued a license to Bank Muscat in Oman that would have allowed Iran to convert $5.7 billion in Omani rials into euros by first converting them into U.S. dollars.

Ryan Backs Gowdy in Blow to President Trump’s ‘Spygate’ Claims
FBI agents should ‘run every lead down’

Speaker Paul D. Ryan backed GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy’s statements last week that the FBI acted properly when it pursued information from an informant in President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign about potential Russian interference in the election, further undercutting Trump’s so-called Spygate theory.

“Chairman Gowdy’s initial assessment is accurate,” Ryan said at the House GOP’s weekly leadership press conference Wednesday. “I want to make sure that we run every lead down and make sure we get final answers to these questions.”

Rep. French Hill Follows Trend, Tying Democratic Opponent to Pelosi, Clinton in New Ad
State Rep. Clarke Tucker on DCCC's Red to Blue list

Rep. French Hill is following the lead of other vulnerable Republicans in 2018 in a new ad targeting his Democratic opponent for supposedly aligning with Hillary Clinton and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Hill, who represents Arkansas’ 2nd District, began airing ads on television this week in which a narrator declares that his opponent in the general election, state Rep. Clarke Tucker, is a “Hillary Clinton-supporting Democrat for higher taxes and bigger government.”

Democrats Offer Eagles Alternatives After Trump Uninvites Them
President falsely claims some players knelt during national anthem

Democratic lawmakers from Pennsylvania were quick to extend invitations to the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles to visit the Capitol after President Donald Trump pulled their invitation to the White House over the false notion some members of the team did not stand for the national anthem before games last season.

Contrary to the president’s statement Monday, no members of the Eagles stayed in the locker room or knelt during the national anthem before games last year, CNN anchor and Philadelphia native Jake Tapper reported.

Democrat Plays a Little Gamesmanship in the Ron Estes vs. Ron Estes Primary

A Democrat is sowing more chaos into the GOP primary battle between Kansas Rep. Ron Estes and his opponent, Ron M. Estes.

Laura Lombard, one of the two top Democrats running to unseat the incumbent Estes in Kansas’ 4th District, filed a request with the State Objections Board to remove the “Rep.” prefix from the congressman’s name on the primary ballot, saying the title violates state law.

Grimm Has Some Advice for Trump After Not Getting Endorsement
Former congressman suggests president should stay quiet in primaries

Former New York Rep. Michael Grimm had some advice for President Donald Trump on Sunday about not playing favorites during GOP primary elections, saying it’s a a “no-win” situation for the president to choose sides.

Trump has endorsed Grimm’s opponent for the Staten Island seat in New York’s 11th District, Rep. Dan Donovan.

Former McCain Aide, Gosar Trade Ugly Barbs Over Replacement Speculation
Arizona senator’s former chief of staff calls congressman a ‘dumbass,’ Gosar tells him to ‘piss off’

Mark Salter, Sen. John McCain’s co-author and former chief of staff, sparred on Twitter with GOP Rep. Paul Gosar over the weekend after Gosar called on Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey not to appoint McCain’s wife Cindy to his Senate seat in the event it is vacated.

McCain, who is battling glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, has been home in Arizona for months but has not resigned.

Top Comstock Challenger Criticized for Fake Cops in Ad
Jennifer Wexton’s field director dressed in a ‘Party City’ police uniform

A new ad for Jennifer Wexton, a top Democratic challenger to Virginia GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock, briefly features three police officers signing a poster promising “Change is Coming.”

But none of them are actual law enforcement. In fact, one of them is Matt Leslie, Wexton’s field director, who, according to his LinkedIn profile, has never been and is not currently police.

Trey Gowdy, Once Championed by the Right, Now a Pariah for FBI Defense
Conservative media turns on House Benghazi investigation chairman

From former White House officials to longtime radio hosts, conservative media figureheads turned on a Republican lawmaker who won them over for his scathing interrogation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the House’s Benghazi investigation in 2015.

Less than three years later, Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina has become the latest target for many of today’s pre-eminent conservative spokespeople after he defended the FBI on television shows this week for accepting information from someone within President Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016 about possible ties to Russia.

2016 Presidential Campaigns Owe Secret Service $3.9M, GAO Says
Agency must collect its own debt, and most campaign funds are gone

Four 2016 presidential campaign committees owe a combined $3.9 million to the Secret Service after the agency overpaid the campaigns in reimbursements for travel costs for agents who accompanied candidates and their families.

The Government Accountability Office issued a report Thursday analyzing the debts owed by the campaign committees of President Donald Trump, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Hillary Clinton, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Ethics Panel Announces Investigation Into Rep. Schweikert and Chief of Staff
Oliver Schwab allegedly exceeded outside earned income for senior staff

The House Ethics Committee is reviewing an Office of Congressional Ethics referral to investigate Rep. David Schweikert and Oliver Schwab, his chief of staff.

Schwab has allegedly been paid by the Arizona Republican’s campaign beyond the limit for outside earned income for senior congressional staffers.