independents

How GOP Outside Spending Turned a Loser Into a Winner in Montana
Congressional Leadership Fund spent $2.7 million to boost Greg Gianforte

Greg Gianforte won the special election for Montana’s at-large House seat Thursday despite attacking a reporter the night before. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Six months ago, Republican Greg Gianforte lost Montana’s gubernatorial election by nearly 4 points. Thursday night, he won statewide by about 6 points.

Congressional special elections are, well, special. The electorate is different, and so is the spending. Last fall, Gianforte was running against an incumbent.

Gianforte Endorsements Rescinded After Assault Charge
Montana House candidate charged on eve of election after altercation with reporter

Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte looks on during a campaign meet and greet in Missoula, Mont., on Wednesday. Gianforte was later charged with assault after he allegedly attacked a reporter. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Montana Candidate Gianforte Cited for Misdemeanor Assault
Witnesses say Republican body-slammed and punched journalist

Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte speaks to supporters during a campaign meet and greet at Lions Park on May 23, 2017 in Great Falls, Montana. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Updated Thursday 1:08 a.m. | Greg Gianforte, the Republican nominee in Thursday’s special election in Montana, was cited for a misdemeanor assault Wednesday evening after allegedly assaulting Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs at a campaign event at Gianforte’s headquarters in Bozeman earlier that day.

On the eve of a special election in which many early votes have already been cast, it’s unclear what effect the incident could have on what has been expected to be a close race. Gianforte has been ahead by single digits in most public and private polling. But Montana’s largest newspapers pulled their endorsements of the two-time GOP candidate Wednesday night, and Democratic outside groups lost no time producing digital ads using Jacobs’ audio of the altercation. 

2018 Senate Recruitment: Too Early to Talk About It?
Challengers in tight races typically take their time to announce

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the 2018 midterm elections about 18 months away, attention is shifting to the battle for the Senate — and who could emerge as potential challengers.

But history shows that prospective contenders have a few more months before they typically announce their candidacies.

Hill and Mueller Don’t Have to Clash, but It Will Not Be Easy
Congressional inquiries and prosecutors have different purposes, but the same witnesses

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller’s appointment as special counsel for the Russia investigation was greeted positively by lawmakers, but they disagreed on the effect his probe will have on their own investigations. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congressional inquiries and special counsels can productively coexist, serving complementary purposes because of their reciprocal approaches, unless they’re unable to settle inevitable fights over the same documents and star witnesses.

That may be the best response to a question many on Capitol Hill started asking as soon as Robert S. Mueller III was appointed to run the government’s probe of Russian interference in last year’s election and whether Moscow collaborated with President Donald Trump’s campaign:

How the Koch Network Could Sink Tax Overhaul
Lobbying network poised for policy win

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 04: Americans for Prosperity Foundation chairman and Koch Industries Executive Vice President David H. Koch (C) listens to speakers during the Defending the American Dream Summit at the Washington Convention Center November 4, 2011 in Washington, DC. The conservative political summit is organized by Americans for Prosperity, which was founded with the support of Koch and his brother David H. Koch. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The lobbying and political network of Charles and David Koch, bogeymen to Democrats for years, is poised for a significant policy win — but it will come at the expense of fellow conservatives on Capitol Hill.

Their victory also could derail a policy goal they share with those same Republican lawmakers: a permanent comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s tax code.

White House Turmoil Ramps Pressure on Vulnerable Republicans
Some are speaking out, others still waiting for more facts

Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock, seen here with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan last year, said she cannot defend the firing of FBI Director James B. Comey. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

By BRIDGET BOWMAN and SIMONE PATHÉ

No matter what he did or how much he tweeted during his first four months in office, President Donald Trump has mostly held on to the loyalty of congressional Republicans — even those who might have the most to lose at the ballot box next year. 

Cloud of Scandals Follow Trump Overseas
Lawmakers warn of stalled domestic agenda

President Donald Trump exits Air Force One on Feb. 6 at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. On Friday, he leaves on a five-country swing amid several domestic scandals. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ned T. Johnston via Wikimedia Commons)

A cloud of scandal and uncertainty will follow Donald Trump to five countries on his first overseas trip as president beginning this weekend. And it could only grow more ominous by the time he returns.

When Trump boards Air Force One on Friday, he will leave behind a growing pile of smoldering scandals, mostly of his own creation.

FCC Eyes Repeal of Net Neutrality, Dividing Internet Industry
Proposed changes have drawn more than 1.6 million public comments

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says net neutrality has adversely affected broadband investment after it took effect two years ago. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ahead of a Federal Communications Commission vote Thursday to begin the process of rolling back Obama-era net neutrality regulations that treat internet traffic equally, battle lines are being drawn between internet service providers and giants like Google and Amazon.

The agency is expected to also decide Thursday on returning online privacy oversight to the Federal Trade Commission, whose rules are less onerous than the FCC’s that require internet service providers to obtain permission in advance before selling customers’ personal data to advertisers.

Lawmakers Greet Mueller Appointment With Relief
Rank and file smile, although GOP leaders remain reticent

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel by the Justice Department on Wednesday to investigate alleged Russian interference in last year’s election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By JOE WILLIAMS, LINDSEY McPHERSON and REMA RAHMAN

Even as House and Senate Republicans turned up the heat on the Trump White House for answers about the firing of FBI Director James B. Comey, Democrats got a big win when the Justice Department appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including any connections to the Trump presidential campaign.