Griffin Connolly

Reps. Crenshaw, Gallagher, Waltz urge more GOP veterans to run for Congress
Republicans cite Democratic successes in 2018 midterms, and seek to recruit more veteran GOP candidates

Three Republican congressmen who served in the military are relaunching a PAC to help recruit more GOP veterans like themselves to run for Congress.

Reps. Dan Crenshaw of Texas, Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin and Michael Waltz of Florida announced Wednesday they are forming the War Veterans Fund PAC this cycle, which aims to recruit Republican veterans of U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to run in their home districts and assist them with funding.

DOJ, House Intel return to norms, compromise on redacted Mueller report materials
DOJ will furnish 12 categories of counterintelligence materials ‘by the end of next week,’ Chairman Schiff says

The House Intelligence Committee chairman has accepted a Justice Department offer to provide the panel with 12 categories of counterintelligence and foreign intelligence materials underlying the Mueller report.

As a result of the eleventh hour agreement, Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff canceled a Wednesday committee meeting where members were expected to vote on an “enforcement action” to compel Attorney General William Barr to comply with a sweeping subpoena. The committee was seeking the full report by special counsel Robert S. Mueller’s on his investigation into Russian election interference in 2016 and its underlying materials.

Hope Hicks, Ann Donaldson the latest ex-Trump officials to get subpoenas

Former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks and Ann Donaldson, the former chief of staff for ex-White House Counsel Don McGahn, were issued subpoenas Tuesday to provide documents and testimony to the House Judiciary Committee for its probe into corruption and obstruction by President Donald Trump and his associates.

Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., sent Hicks and Donaldson document requests on March 4, but the requested materials were never furnished.

Nadler prepares contempt vote for McGahn — but what are the consequences?
The White House argued McGahn has ‘absolute immunity’ and isn’t legally required to comply with a congressional subpoena

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler is preparing a committee vote to hold former White House counsel Don McGahn in contempt of Congress, the second Trump official to get such treatment for defying one of Nadler’s subpoenas to testify about the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“Let me be clear: this Committee will hear Mr. McGahn’s testimony, even if we have to go to court to secure it. We will not allow the President to prevent the American people from hearing from this witness,” Nadler said at a hearing Tuesday for McGahn that the former White House lawyer skipped per the administration’s orders.

After backing impeachment, Rep. Amash gets pro-Trump primary challenger
State lawmaker says five-term Amash is ‘out of touch’ with voters

A Michigan state lawmaker has announced plans to challenge Rep. Justin Amash in the Republican primary for the state’s 3rd District after the congressman broke with his party on impeaching President Donald Trump.

State Rep. Jim Lower, who describes himself on his campaign website as a “Pro-Trump” Republican, said in a statement that Amash “must be replaced, and I am going to do it.”

Complaint says Rep. TJ Cox’s disclosures misled voters. He says it’s a GOP attack
Constituents say NRCC helped draft their complaint, but GOP group denies writing it

A group of constituents from California’s 21st District are asking the Office of Congressional Ethics to review allegations that Rep. TJ Cox intentionally misled voters about his personal finances by failing to list certain business interests on his personal financial disclosure.

Cox, a Democrat, has dismissed the complaint as a partisan smear orchestrated by the National Republican Congressional Committee and a former staffer of David Valadao, the Republican he unseated last fall.

Geraldo Rivera — of all people — defends Rep. Tlaib over Holocaust comments
Democratic congresswoman’s original comments have been taken out of context ‘in a grotesque way,’ Republican Fox News commentator says

Fox News correspondent and liberal  commentator Geraldo Rivera on Tuesday flew to the defense of Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who said on a podcast aired last week that the notion of Palestinians providing a haven for Holocaust victims after World War II has a “calming effect” for her.

Rivera, the prominent talk show host, echoed the Michigan Democratic freshman’s assertions that she has been taken out of context by people eager to unfairly smear her as an anti-Semite.

Democrats threaten Trump officials’ salaries over White House nondisclosure agreements

House Democrats are probing whether the nondisclosure agreements that the Trump White House has made outgoing employees sign comply with whistleblower protection laws.

If they don’t, House Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings warned, the salaries of administration officials who have enforced those NDAs could be withheld in accordance with federal law.

Anthony Weiner is a free man
Former New York Democrat walks out of Bronx halfway house free, but registered a Level 1 sex offender

Anthony Weiner is free.

The former New York Democratic congressman and New York City mayoral candidate emerged from a Bronx halfway house on Tuesday after spending more than a year-and-a-half behind bars, first in Massachusetts and later in the Bronx.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib defends Holocaust, Israel comments against critics
Michigan Democrat accuses Rep. Liz Cheney, others of misconstruing her comments to incite a backlash

Rep. Rashida Tlaib defended herself from another series of criticisms that she is anti-Semitic after comments she made about the Holocaust and a one-state solution in Palestine and Israel.

“Once again, Republican leaders and right-wing extremists are spreading outright lies to incite hate,” Denzel McCampbell, a spokesman for the Michigan Democrat, said in a statement Monday, highlighting comments from Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, a member of Republican leadership, who urged Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the weekend to “take action” to censure Tlaib for what she claimed was “anti-Semitism.”

Rep. Brindisi fires aide charged with paying 17-year-old prostitute
John A. Stemen, a longtime aide to Rep. Anthony Brindisi, fired over prostitution charge

Rep. Anthony Brindisi has fired a longtime aide who was charged with patronizing a prostitute.

John A. Stemen, 57, had worked for Brindisi for eight years in a previous position before the freshman New York Democrat hired him in January as a caseworker in the 22nd District.

Republican congressman rails against NFL’s Buffalo Bills for charging tailgaters
New York NFL team ‘nickeling and diming the fans’ with new tailgating policy, Rep. Reed says

Rep. Tom Reed is not happy with the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and their new policy of charging large groups of tailgaters hundreds of dollars to suck down beer and hot dogs in the parking lot of New Era Field before and after each home game.

The Upstate New York Republican began a weekly press conference with local reporters, according to BuffaloNews.com, by calling on the Bills to “reconsider” their new policy, ostensibly intended to cut down on popular pre- and post-game, alcohol-lubricated hijinks such as the sacred “Bills Mafia” tradition of body-slamming plastic folding tables.

Valerie Plame, famed ex-CIA operative, running for House seat in New Mexico
In run-up to Iraq war, a Bush administration official exposed her undercover agent status

Former undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame, who was famously outed by a State Department official in the George W. Bush administration, is running for the open seat in New Mexico’s 3rd District, she announced  Thursday.

Plame is one of many Democrats who have announced an interest in the seat being vacated by Rep. Ben Ray Luján, a member of House Democratic leadership, who is running to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Udall.

Ex-Rep. Scott Taylor threatens Virginia Democrats over election fraud allegations
Former congressman who lost re-election bid claims ‘complete vindication’ after staffer indicted

Former Rep. Scott Taylor is considering a defamation lawsuit against the Democratic Party of Virginia for “slandering, smearing, and lying” about his role in an alleged election fraud scheme during his failed 2018 re-election bid.

The one-term Virginia Republican claimed “complete vindication” after Virginia special prosecutor Don Caldwell, who is investigating election fraud claims against members of Taylor’s former campaign staff, released an update Monday saying he indicted one former Taylor staffer for election fraud but found no evidence — so far — that Taylor directed any illegal activity. Other indictments could still be forthcoming, Caldwell indicated.

Trump would have been charged with obstruction if he wasn’t president, nearly 400 former federal prosecutors say
To look at Mueller report and say an obstruction conviction couldn’t be sustained ‘runs counter to logic and our experience’

Nearly 400 former federal prosecutors, many of whom worked at the Department of Justice under both Republican and Democratic administrations, believe President Donald Trump would have been charged with obstruction of justice if he was not in the Oval Office.

“Each of us believes that the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting President, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice,” the former prosecutors wrote in a joint statement posted on Medium on Monday.

House Democrats give Barr final warning before contempt proceedings
Nadler gives attorney general a Monday deadline to affirm it will turn over full Mueller report and underlying documents

The top House Judiciary Committee Democrat has delivered a final warning to Attorney General William Barr to comply with a subpoena for the full Mueller report and its underlying evidence or else face contempt of Congress proceedings.

In a letter to Barr on Friday, Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler gave the Justice Department a 9 a.m. Monday deadline to respond to his letter affirming that it will comply with the subpoena — which called for Barr to supply the full Mueller report and underlying evidence to Congress by May 1 — or negotiate in good faith with the committee to reach a “reasonable accommodation.”

Diamond and Silk dig Rep. Cohen for ‘racially insensitive’ chicken stunt
Fox Nation personalities chastise Democratic congressman for bringing KFC to hearing to mock Barr

Conservative YouTube pundits and Fox Nation personalities Diamond and Silk  used airtime Friday to label Rep. Steve Cohen “racially insensitive” for bringing an assortment of chicken-themed props to a House Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday to tease Attorney General William Barr for not showing up.

Cohen, a Tennessee Democrat, chowed down on a Kentucky Fried Chicken original recipe chicken thigh at his spot on the committee-room members’ dais before giving a news conference where he ridiculed the attorney general as “Chicken Barr” for skipping the hearing over a format dispute.

DOJ won’t retry ex-Rep. Fattah on overturned convictions, but that won’t reduce his prison time
Philadelphia Democrat was convicted on multiple counts of fraud and racketeering

Federal prosecutors will not retry former Rep. Chaka Fattah on four public corruption charges including bribery and money laundering after an appeals court last year tossed out previous jury convictions.

The appeals court judge ruled that the district court judge in the trial in which Fattah was convicted did not give the jury adequate instructions on what constitutes “official acts.” The appeals court judge ordered a retrial.

Democrats learning their subpoenas are only as powerful as Trump allows
Congress has never faced the all-encompassing opposition to administrative oversight that president is putting up

As Donald Trump vows to fight every congressional subpoena issued by House committees investigating his presidency and personal affairs, Democratic lawmakers and strategists are coming to grips with a new reality in which the subpoena might be obsolete.

“At this point, it’s just a piece of paper,” a former senior congressional investigative aide said. “It’s useless.”

House GOP resolution referring Michael Cohen to DOJ for perjury rejected
Democrats shoot down privileged resolution by 226-183 vote

House Democrats shot down a measure from one of their GOP counterparts to refer the congressional testimony of former Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen to the Justice Department for a perjury investigation.

By a 226-183 vote along party lines, the House voted to table the privileged resolution that freshman GOP Rep. Mark Green of Tennessee filed yesterday, forcing a floor vote within the next 48 hours.