scandal

Saudis Face Reprimand From Trump and Potentially Congress Over Khashoggi Killing
Senior adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman among those targeted

People hold posters of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a protest organized by members of the Turkish-Arabic Media Association at the entrance to Saudi Arabia’s consulate on October 8, 2018, in Istanbul, Turkey. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

The Trump administration has slapped sanctions on a senior aide to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and 16 others in connection to the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The Treasury Department announced the penalties Thursday morning, just a few hours after the Saudi government announced it would seek the death penalty for five of 11 individuals indicted there over the luring of Khashoggi to a diplomatic facility in Turkey that ended with him being killed in a violent confrontation.

Despite Evidence of Chaos, Trump Says White House ‘Running Very Smoothly’
But president ignores advice by lashing out at Special Counsel Mueller

President DonaldTrump heads for Marine One on the White House's South Lawn. On Thursday, he denied chaos has returned to the West Wing - then lashed out at Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III. (Photo by John T. Bennett/CQ Roll Call)

Despite evidence to the contrary, President Donald Trump on Thursday denied chaos has returned to the West Wing — then immediately fired off a broadside against Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

Trump was visibly agitated during a weekend diplomatic trip to Paris, including frustration with aides who advised that him canceling a Saturday trip to a cemetery where nearly 2,000 U.S. soldiers who died in World War I are buried would not become a major news story. It did and Trump reportedly let his staff know about his frustration.

Flake Interested in Own Future, Not Protecting Mueller Probe, Trump Says
Arizona Republican has not ruled out challenging Trump in 2020

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., was the target of more harsh words from President Trump on Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Donald Trump lashed out Friday at retiring GOP Sen. Jeff Flake, accusing the Arizona Republican of putting his own possible presidential ambitions ahead of actually protecting special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

Flake said Thursday that he and Democratic Sen. Chris Coons would try to call up legislation designed to protect Mueller when the Senate returns for the lame-duck session next week. In a tweet about the bipartisan bill, Flake said, “After the firing of The AG, it is more important than ever to protect the Special Counsel.”

Rep. Chris Collins Is Combative in Post-Election Interviews
New York congressman says he will finish next term, but he faces insider trading trial before his next election

Republican Rep. Chris Collins of New York blamed the negative perception of him among Republican voters on Democratic opponent Nathan McMurray and the media. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New York Rep. Chris Collins was the first member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump for president. These days, Collins sounds a lot like him.

Collins diminished the serious legal charges he faces, vilified the media and accused a critical constituent of being a “left-wing, radical liberal” in a series of defiant post-Election Day interviews with local media in in his Buffalo-area district.

Trump Claims No Mueller Probe Chats With Acting AG Whitaker
Sessions replacement has blasted Russia probe in the past

President Donald Trump says he has never discussed the Russia investigation with Acting Attorny General Matthew Whitaker. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Friday claimed he has never discussed special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russia’s 2016 election meddling and possible coordination with his campaign with acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.

“I didn’t speak to Matt Whitaker” about the ongoing Justice Department probe before naming him to the post, Trump said. 

Scott Taylor Served ‘Poetic Justice’ in Election Loss, Prosecutor Says
Virginia Republican lost House race, but petition signature scam investigation goes on

Rep. Scott Taylor, R-Va., acknowledged “there's no question” that his re-election campaign was hurt by allegations that his campaign staff forged signatures on a petition to get an independent candidate on the ballot. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A special prosecutor will press on with his investigation into allegations of fraud by Virginia Rep. Scott Taylor’s re-election campaign, but for now, he’s gratified.

“There’s no hurry,” attorney Don Caldwell told the Virginian-Pilot. “It looks to me like there already was some poetic justice served down there in Virginia Beach to Mr. Taylor.”

Rep. Linda Sánchez’s Husband Indicted for Theft of Federal Funds
California Democrat dropped leadership bid citing “unexpected family matter”

House Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., says she’s dropping out of the race for caucus chair because her husband is facing federal charges. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The “unexpected family matter” cited by California Rep. Linda T. Sánchez in withdrawing from the race for House Democratic Caucus chair relates to her husband, who was indicted on theft and conspiracy charges related to spending corporate money on personal trips, including some allegedly spent on Sánchez. 

“Earlier today I learned that my husband is facing charges in Connecticut,” Sánchez said in a statement Thursday. “After careful consideration of the time and energy being in leadership demands, I have decided that my focus now needs to be on my son, my family, and my constituents in California.”

Here’s How a House Democratic Majority Might Protect Mueller If Trump Fires Him
With power to investigate and subpoena, Democrats have options to protect special counsel

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., will be one of the Democratic leaders in charge of protecting special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats, with their new majority, will have an expansive new toolkit once they take control of the chamber on Jan. 3 to protect special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation — even if acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker decides to shut it down.

If President Donald Trump, through Whitaker or his full-time replacement, does indeed order Mueller to shutter his investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election, that would trigger a quick response from Democrats. In two months, they will wield the all-important power of subpoenaing officials.

The Replacements: Trump Has No Shortage of Candidates to Follow Sessions
A Mueller probe skeptic and several GOP senators all make the list

Then-Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., endorses Donald Trump to be the Republican nominee for president during a campaign rally at Madison City Schools Stadium in Madison, Ala., on Feb. 28. 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

There is no shortage of candidates to replace Jeff Sessions as attorney general, and President Donald Trump could even again turn to the Senate.

Sessions and Trump clashed almost from the start, with the president even admitting he gave the former Alabama lawmaker the job out of a sense of loyalty. Sessions was the first GOP senator to endorse Trump’s 2016 White House candidacy. As Democrats warn of a constitutional crisis, the president will get to pick a nominee this time for other reasons.

Ex-Rep. Steve Stockman Sentenced to 120 Months in Prison
Texas Republican was found guilty of 23 fraud charges

Former Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, was sentenced Wednesday following conviction on multiple charges including mail fraud and money laundering. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Texas Republican Rep. Steve Stockman was sentenced Wednesday to 120 months in prison after a federal jury convicted him of 23 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and making false statements to the Federal Election Commission.

The Texas Republican was first elected in the 1994 GOP revolution, only to be unseated two years later. He returned to the House in 2013, but left after a term following an unsuccessful bid to knock off Sen. John Cornyn in the following year’s Republican primary.