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Kushner to Tell Senators ‘I Did Not Collude’ With Russians
Statement downplays contacts, but shows Trump team’s desire for a thaw with Putin

President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is expected to tell the Senate Intelligence Committee that his meetings with Russians were normal and innocent. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated at 9:06 a.m. | Jared Kushner is set to tell the Senate Intelligence Committee he was unaware that Donald Trump Jr. took a meeting with a Russian lawyer expecting to be given Kremlin-provided dirt on Hillary Clinton.

In prepared remarks the president’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser will deliver to the panel behind closed doors later Monday, Kushner will reject the notion that he or other Trump campaign staffers had nefarious ties with Moscow during the 2016 campaign.

Liberal Group Offers Trump White House Staff Free Legal Advice
‘Lifeline’ comes as president boasts of ‘complete’ pardon powers

President Donald Trump, shown here with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, in March at the White House, with son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump, tweeted this weekend he can pardon anyone. (Courtesy Shealah Craighead/White House)

A liberal group will offer Donald Trump’s White House staffers free legal advice amid his ongoing Russia scandal — but if the president’s legal analysis is correct, they might choose to decline it.

Tax March is poised to announce an initiative the organization described as a “lifeline” to those who chose to take positions in Trump’s embattled White House. Under the program, lawyers working on a pro bono basis will provide any White House staffer a “free gateway” to legal advice.

Health Care, Tax Overhauls Drive Lobbying in Trump Era
“We’re feeling really confident going into the second half of the year”

During the turbulent first six months of the Trump administration, some of the biggest lobbying groups scaled back their spending as his signature initiatives collapsed. But major agenda items, including a tax overhaul, will continue to fuel K Street work.

Other wish-list items in the coming months will include a measure to raise the nation’s debt limit, funding the government for fiscal 2018, and continued negotiations about shoring up the nation’s health care system, even as Republican efforts to dismantle the 2010 health care law have cratered.

Podcast: On Russia, Congress Looks at the Collusion Question
The Week Ahead, Episode 63

Capitol Hill will likely hear from three key figures in the Russia investigation this week, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, his son, Donald Trump Jr., and his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort. CQ Legal Affairs Reporter Todd Ruger previews what figure to be blockbuster hearings.

Senate GOP: Knowing Health Care Plan Is ‘Luxury We Don’t Have’
Uncertainty surrounds floor strategy for Republicans’ health care effort

Many members in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s conference do not know what they would be considering days before a key vote . (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By JOE WILLIAMS and LAUREN CLASON

Republican senators left Washington no closer to a deal on their health care effort, with no idea what measure might be brought up for a vote early next week or whether the chamber could even clear a key procedural hurdle needed to begin consideration of any legislation.

Democrats Want Probe of Interior Scientists' Reassignments

Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., and other Democrats are concerned the administration is reassigning scientists to try to get rid of them. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats at a hearing for Interior and Energy Department nominees seized on the published comments of an Interior scientist who claims that Secretary Ryan Zinke was using forced reassignments to coax experienced scientists to resign.

The top Democrat on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Maria Cantwell of Washington, said at the Thursday hearing that she will ask Interior’s Inspector General to investigate the allegations raised by the scientist, Joel Clement, in an op-ed published by The Washington Post.

Opinion: The Freewheeling John McCain — An Appreciation
Flawed, but still the embodiment of honor, civility, patriotism and bipartisanship

Arizona Sen. John McCain deserves to be ranked among the two or three leading Senate figures of the last quarter-century, Shapiro writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For all their outward cynicism, campaign reporters tend to be closet idealists who dream of covering a candidate who will summon forth the better angels of the American people. Such a mythic candidate is not aloof like Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama, but rather is a flawed figure who transforms himself in the act of running for president.

The doomed Bobby Kennedy of 1968 was that kind of uplifting candidate for an earlier generation of reporters. For a few short months during the primaries, Kennedy rose above his life of privilege and his reputation for ruthlessness to become the tribune of the poor and the dispossessed of all races.

Ralph Regula, Avuncular Appropriator from Ohio, Dies at 92
Canton-area congressman unapologetic for pushing bipartisanship

Former Rep. Ralph Regula, a long-time congressman from Northeast Ohio, has died at age 92. (CQ Roll Call File Photo.)

Former Rep. Ralph Regula, a moderate Republican from Ohio known for his deal-cutting acumen, avuncular manner and skills as an appropriator, died July 19. He was 92.

Born in Beach City, Ohio on Dec. 3, 1924, Regula was first elected to Congress in 1972 after stints in the Ohio state House and Senate. Between then and his retirement after the 2008 elections, he embodied a middle-of-the-road Midwestern approach to politics that valued working across the aisle and taking care of the folks back home.

New FBI Director Expected to Be Confirmed Before August Recess
Approved by Judiciary Committee on Thursday

Christopher Wray, nominee for FBI Director, is expected to win confirmation before August recess. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senators want the new FBI director on the job as soon as possible, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell intends to see Christopher Wray confirmed before August recess. That looks increasingly likely, as the Judiciary Committee unanimously approved his nomination, teeing it up for floor consideration as soon as McConnell moves ahead.

But the year’s nomination process has been so fraught that McConnell’s staff sent a statement out announcing the Kentucky Republican’s intentions complete with a warning shot to Democrats. 

Four Members Sued Over Rainbow Flags
Plaintiff says flag is religious symbol for the ‘homosexual denomination’

California Rep. Susan Davis posted a photo of the gay pride flag hanging outside her office alongside U.S. and California flags. (Courtesy Davis’ office)

Four Democratic lawmakers are being sued by an opponent of LGBTQ rights for displaying a gay pride flag in front of their offices.

The lawsuit is being brought by Chris Sevier, a lawyer opposed to same-sex marriage, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.