Griffin Connolly

Menendez Says ‘Bring It On’ to Potential Corruption Retrial
New Jersey Democratic senator has issued mid-January deadline to DOJ to continue prosecution

Embattled Sen. Robert Menendez is telling the Department of Justice either to try to prosecute him again on corruption charges or drop the case.

The New Jersey Democrat, whose bribery trial was declared a mistrial in November, told reporters Thursday he wants investigators to decide by mid-January whether they will try him in court again.

Waters Asks Justice to Investigate Forged Letter Opponent Tweeted
Fake letter alleged that Waters wants ‘more terrorists’ in district

Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters is asking the Justice Department to investigate the source of the letter posted to Twitter by her top GOP competitor that falsely alleges she wants to resettle “up to 41k” refugees in her California district.

Omar Navarro, the Republican candidate being backed by many far-right donors, tweeted out the document, a forgery, on Monday with an attached caption.

Keith Ellison Will Not Challenge Smith for Franken’s Seat in 2018
Says he supports appointed replacement Tina Smith

Rep. Keith Ellison will not run in Minnesota’s special election for Senate to replace Sen. Al Franken in 2018, the six-term Democratic lawmaker signaled Wednesday.

Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith has been pegged to replace Franken through January 2019. Smith, a Democrat, said she plans to run in the November 2018 special election.

Gowdy Will Not Initiate Oversight Investigation Into Trump Allegations
Chairman kicks Dems’ letter requesting investigation to Justice Department

Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, will not initiate an investigation into allegations of sexual assault against President Donald Trump, he signaled in a letter Tuesday.

Responding to a Monday letter signed by more than 100 House Democrats asking him to launch an investigation, the South Carolina Republican said he would forward the letter to the Department of Justice.

Forged Schumer Sexual Harassment Complaint Plagiarized Conyers Documents
U.S. Capitol Police investigating source of forgery

Updated 3:48 p.m. | The forged court complaint outlining sexual harassment claims against Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer directly copied a portion of the authentic court records of similar accusations against Rep. John Conyers, the Daily Beast reported.

Both the completely fabricated Schumer complaint and the authentic Conyers complaint reference “House Rule 23,” which of course would not have applied to Schumer, who was a senator in 2012, the year on the fake complaint document.

Dogged By Sexual Misconduct Claims, Farenthold Slogs Ahead in Texas
Texas GOP delegation remains tight-lipped about support of congressman’s fifth-term bid

Rep. Blake Farenthold signaled Monday he intends to slog ahead with his re-election campaign against the storm of sexual misconduct claims against him, the Texas Tribune reported.

The fourth-term Lone Star State Republican, 56, will face a crowded GOP primary to keep his 27th District seat, with five challengers declaring they’ll take him on.

Democrats Making Push for Millennial Voters Ahead of 2018
Recent elections in Virginia give party a blueprint, operatives say

Some people in Washington might scoff at millennials’ overpriced artisanal toasts or fancy-schmancy watches-that-are-actually-phones, but there’s at least one thing they want from them: their votes.

A year out from the 2018 midterms, young adults aged 18 to 29 who are likely to vote prefer Democratic control of Congress by a nearly 2-to-1 margin, 65 percent to 33 percent, a recent survey by Harvard’s Institute of Politics found.

Fifty-Plus Female Democratic Lawmakers Urge Investigation Into Trump Allegations
Group sends letter to oversight committee over sexual misconduct claims

More than 50 female Democratic lawmakers on Monday asked leaders in the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to open an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against President Donald Trump.

In a letter to Chairman Trey Gowdy of South Carolina and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings of Maryland, 59 lawmakers from the Democratic Women’s Working Group (DWWG) said the president’s own comments “appear to back up the allegations.”

Meet the Leaders of #FutureForum, Democrats Focused on Millennial Issues
 

The millennial generation is now the biggest demographic group in America, bigger even than Baby Boomers. And a coalition of nearly 30 House Democrats, many of them new to Congress, are looking to steer their party in new directions to address millennial concerns....
Obama Tells Alabama Voters to Reject Roy Moore in Robocall
‘You can’t sit it out,’ Obama says in backing Democratic candidate Doug Jones

Former President Barack Obama threw his weight behind Alabama Senate candidate Doug Jones in a robocall recorded in recent days, CNN reported Monday.

Obama recorded his message at the same time President Donald Trump stepped up his campaigning for GOP candidate Roy Moore.

Roy Moore Accuser Says She Added Date and Location to Yearbook Note
Moore campaign appears to feel vindicated by admission

Beverly Young Nelson, one of the women to have levied sexual misconduct allegations against Roy Moore, said she added the date and location below a now-infamous yearbook inscription she has attributed to the Alabama Senate candidate.

Nelson and her attorney, Gloria Allred, have offered the yearbook note as proof Moore sought an inappropriate relationship with her when Nelson was 16 and Moore was in his mid-30s.

NRA, Pro-Gun Lawmaker Exchange Fire Over New Bill
Kentucky GOP Rep. Massie says bill, which NRA supports, advances Obama’s agenda

Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie butted heads with the National Rifle Association Thursday over a new bill in Congress that addresses deficiencies in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), the database of people who are not allowed to buy firearms in America.

The NRA, which has given more than $4,500 to Massie’s campaigns, said on its website the congressman was spreading misinformation about the bipartisan bill.

LePage Calls ‘Fake News’ on Report Trump Wants Him to Challenge King
Report didn’t adequately list his accomplishments as Maine’s governor, LePage political adviser says

Maine Gov. Paul LePage did not take kindly to a report that President Donald Trump wants him to challenge Maine Sen. Angus King, branding the story as “fake news.”

LePage, a businessman-turned-Republican politician, called the report “vile,” according to a tweet by a WCSH-TV reporter. 

Bump Stocks Get First Hearing in Senate, Dealt Another Blow in House
ATF has begun process to re-evaluate bump stock classification, lawmakers told

More than two months after the Las Vegas shooting, the deadliest in U.S. history, the Senate Judiciary committee held a long-awaited hearing addressing the bump stock devices the shooter used to kill more than 50 people and injure hundreds more.

“ATF’s authority to regulate firearms is of course limited by the terms of [the 1934 and 1968 firearms laws], and they do not empower ATF to regulate parts or accessories designed to be used with firearms,” Thomas E. Brandon, the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), told lawmakers.

Poll: Two-Thirds Say GOP Tax Plan Favors Rich
Double number of Americans disapprove of plan than approve it

Nearly two-thirds of American voters believe the GOP tax plan favors the rich, a new poll found.

Sixty-four percent of American voters said the Republican tax plan would help the rich the most, while 24 percent said it would benefit the middle class, and 5 percent said it would benefit low-income people, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released Tuesday.

GOP Senator: ‘Somebody’s Going to File an Ethics Complaint’ Against Moore
Leading in polls, Moore faces uncertain future even if he wins Tuesday’s election

If Republican candidate Roy Moore wins the Alabama Senate special election on Tuesday, one of his new colleagues will file an ethics complaint against him when he is seated, a GOP senator predicted.

“Somebody’s going to file an ethics complaint against him, that’s just a fact,” Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy told CNN on Wednesday. “Then there’s going to be a full-fledged investigation. People are going to be talked to under oath, we’ll get the facts, and then the Senate will get to vote.”

Man Charged for Groping Teenager at Capitol Visitor Center
Charge comes amid swirl of sexual misconduct allegations against lawmakers and staff

U.S. Capitol Police officers arrested a Florida man and charged him with misdemeanor sexual abuse for allegedly groping two 18-year-old women and taking a picture of another woman at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center on Nov. 22, according to police reports and court documents.

Adam Scott Fairbert, 30, of Plant City, Florida, will be arraigned Dec. 13 in the D.C. Superior Court.

Rohrabacher to Testify About Assange Meeting Before House Select Intelligence
California Republican maintains Russians were not responsible for 2016 DNC email hack

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher will testify before the House Select Intelligence Committee later this month about his August meeting with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in which the two discussed who stole Democratic National Committee emails leading up to the 2016 elections.

The Russian government directed the email heist, U.S. intelligence officials have alleged. Rohrabacher has urged since his meeting with Assange that these allegations are not true. The California Republican has been criticized sharply for his perceived defense of the Russian government, and he sees his impending testimony as a chance to prove his intentions are pure.

Barton Wants to Keep Managing GOP Baseball Team
Texas congressman announced last week he would retire from Congress after string of sexual controversies

After everything that’s happened over the last two weeks, Texas Rep. Joe L. Barton hopes to remain the manager of the Republican team in the annual Congressional Baseball Game.

“That is my intention,” Barton said. “Obviously, it’s my last year.”

Legal Group Questions Hunter’s Embrace of Vaping Industry
Calls for an ethics investigation into the congressman’s relationship

A legal advocacy group has called for the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate Rep. Duncan Hunter’s embrace of the vaping industry.

The California Republican is the same congressman who famously puffed billows from his vaporizer during a committee hearing last February.