Presidential race

Sewell Staffer Says Ways and Means Void Has Been Filled
Sashrina Thomas also worked for Stephanie Tubbs Jones, last African-American woman on panel

Shashrina Thomas has worked for Rep. Terri A. Sewell since 2014. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Shashrina Thomas is the bridge between the first and second African-American women to serve on the House Ways and Means Committee.

It had been nine years since an African-American woman served on the panel until Alabama Democrat Terri A. Sewell joined this year with the help of Thomas, her chief of staff.

‘Compassionate Republican’ Announces Run for Ros-Lehtinen’s Seat
Former Miami-Dade school board member Raquel Regaldo declares herself a moderate

Republican Raquel Regalado said she is the kind of moderate who can win in a district that Hillary Clinton carried in the presidential election last year. (Raquel Regalado via Facebook)

Former Miami Dade School Board member Raquel Regalado announced her candidacy for outgoing Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s seat in Florida's 27th Congressional District in 2018.

Ros-Lehtinen announced she would not seek re-election last month, creating an opening for Democrats to pick up a seat in a district that voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Special Counsel in Russia Probe Gets Separate Funding Path
Cost of Mueller’s work not a part of the regular appropriations process

The funds for special counsel Robert S. Mueller’s Russia investigation come from the Treasury Department. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller started as special counsel to oversee the bureau’s investigation of alleged Russian efforts to impact the 2016 presidential election, but the cost of his work won’t be part of the regular appropriations process.

The funds for Mueller and his team come from a Treasury Department account for permanent, indefinite appropriations, said Lee Lofthus, the assistant attorney general for administration and a budget expert at the Justice Department.

‘Law and Order’ President Meets Ultimate Lawman
Should Trump be concerned? ‘Absolutely,’ GOP strategist says

Sources and lawmakers describe former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a “superstar” and highly qualified to head the Russia investigation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Donald Trump is fond of describing himself as a “law-and-order” president. Suddenly, however, the fate of his presidency could be decided by a man who embodies that characterization: Robert Mueller, a true lawman’s lawman.

The irony is thicker than a column on the White House’s North Portico. And for Trump, his party and the republic, the stakes could not be higher.

Republican National Committee Raises $9.6 Million in April
$51 million raised overall

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel cited enthusiasm for President Donald Trump for the committee raising $9.6 million in April. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Republican National Committee announced it raised $9.6 million in April, bringing the committee’s haul to $51 million for 2017.

The committee also announced it had $41.4 million in cash on hand and has spent $9.5 million this year in disbursements.

Weiner Pleads Guilty to Transferring Obscene Material to Minor
Former congressman faces up to 10 years in prison

Former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner leaves federal court in Manhattan after pleading guilty in sexting case on Friday to charges of transmitting sexual material to a minor. (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)

Former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner pleaded guilty Friday to a single charge of transferring obscene material to a minor in a plea deal with the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan. 

Weiner faces a sentence of up to 10 years, which a judge will decide at a sentencing hearing in September. He will also have to register as a sex offender.

Democratic AGs Move to Protect Obamacare Subsidies
Filed motion in case filed by Republican-controlled House

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., was among state attorneys general who filed a motion to protect subsidies in the 2010 health care law. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sixteen Democratic state attorneys general filed a motion to protect the subsidies to insurance companies for low-income people in the 2010 health care law.

“The stakes are very high. In Maryland we have more than 400,000 people who depend on the Affordable Care Act to get normal health care. It sounds alarming, but it’s true: lives are at stake,” said Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, according Reuters reported.

Vulnerable Republicans Call on Comey to Testify Before Congress
Most are House Democratic targets in 2018

Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo said that, if true, the Comey memo allegations open up “a new chapter that all of us have to consider very carefully.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Vulnerable House Republicans are calling for former FBI Director James B. Comey to testify before Congress following a report from The New York Times that President Donald Trump told him to drop an investigation into his former national security adviser’s ties to Russia.

Comey, the Times reported, wrote a memo documenting a conversation he had with Trump in February the day after national security adviser Michael Flynn was forced to resign amid revelations about his correspondence with the Russian ambassador during Trump’s presidential campaign.

Cornyn Withdraws From Consideration as FBI Director
Majority Whip says the best way he can serve is by remaining in the Senate

Cornyn was interviewed for the FBI director job. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. John Cornyn has taken himself out of consideration to be the next F.B.I. director, he informed President Donald Trump’s administration Tuesday.

The Texas Republican said in a statement that the best place for him to serve is in the Senate.

Lessons for Trump Detractors From a Loyalty Expert
Attacking president’s supporters best way to fracture his base

Behavioral scientist James Kane, left, says attacking President Donald Trump isn’t as effective as dividing his loyal following from the inside, in an interview with CQ Roll Call elections analyst Nathan L. Gonzales. (Screenshot)

You’ve probably never heard of James Kane, but elected officials, party strategists, and even some reporters could learn from his perspective as a behavioral scientist (instead of a partisan hack) about how to fracture President Donald Trump’s base and the future of the two parties. 

I rarely have time to sit in on other sessions at conferences where I’m speaking, but when I saw Kane’s session on loyalty on the agenda last year at an event in Phoenix during the tumultuous presidential race, I decided to attend. I’m glad I did.