Texas

Can Presidents Obstruct Justice? Republicans and Democrats Say Yes
Durbin: ‘Desperate statement’ suggests ‘they expect to lose on the merits’

Vermont Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, left, and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham confer before a hearing in 2015. Both senior Judiciary Committee members say there is ample precedent showing a president can obstruct justice, despite a claim to the contrary by President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican and Democratic lawmakers say an assertion by Donald Trump’s personal lawyer that a sitting president cannot obstruct justice is dubious, warning the White House there is ample precedent to the contrary.

The members were reacting to Trump lawyer John Dowd’s legal argument in a recent interview with Axios that “the president cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under [Article II of the Constitution] and has every right to express his view of any case.”

Moore Absent on the Alabama Senate Campaign Trail
Days before election, opponent has held events throughout the state

Democratic candidate for Senate Doug Jones, center, accompanied by Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., shakes hands with supporters as he arrives for a canvas kickoff rally at his campaign field office in Birmingham, Alabama. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Roy Moore is nowhere to be found.

The embattled GOP nominee in the Alabama Senate race has not made a public appearance since Tuesday, though Moore did sit down for an interview on a local Alabama political program. Meanwhile, his opponent, Democrat Doug Jones, has traveled to multiple parts of the state in the weekend leading up to the Dec. 12 special election.

Jones Brings in Cavalry to Boost Black Turnout in Alabama Senate Race
Alabama Senate candidate is holding events over the weekend

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., right, takes selfie photos with Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., and Democratic candidate for Senate Doug Jones at the end of a campaign rally for Jones in Montgomery, Ala. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. —  Doug Jones has largely distanced himself from national Democrats in his campaign for Senate in deep-red Alabama. But three days out from Election Day, he’s brought in some national figures to boost turnout from a key voting bloc — African-American voters. 

“I’m here to try and help some folk get woke!” New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker told a crowd of roughly 200 at a rally in Montgomery at Alabama State University.

Exclusive: Taxpayers Paid $220K to Settle Case Involving Rep. Alcee Hastings
Former commission staffer alleged sexual harassment by Florida Democrat

Florida Rep. Alcee L. Hastings was accused of sexual misconduct by a former staff member of the Helsinki Commission. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Treasury Department paid $220,000 in a previously undisclosed agreement to settle a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment that involved Florida Democrat Alcee L. Hastings, according to documents obtained by Roll Call.

Winsome Packer, a former staff member of a congressional commission that promotes international human rights, said in documents that the congressman touched her, made unwanted sexual advances, and threatened her job. At the time, Hastings was the chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, where Packer worked.

At Odds with NRSC, Montana’s Rosendale Stands by Roy Moore
Rosendale is running for GOP nod to take on Tester

Montana State Auditor Matt Rosendale is running for the GOP nomination to take on Democratic Sen. Jon Tester. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Montana State Auditor Matt Rosendale said he supports Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore "until he’s found guilty of a crime" and praised his public service in a Thursday radio interview. 

Rosendale’s comments put him at odds with the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which cut off ties to Moore, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has called on Moore to step aside

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

Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., is at odds with the NRA over his criticism of a bill that seeks to address deficiencies in the national gun background check database. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

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.

Senate GOP’s Immigration Bill Without Path to Citizenship Panned
Democratic lawmakers and even some Republicans have concerns

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley supports offering immigrants enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program three years of protected status in return for enhanced border security, a crackdown on “sanctuary” cities and other GOP immigration priorities. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Democrats and even some Republicans are panning a GOP bill designed to protect undocumented young people and toughen immigration laws because it would not offer the so-called Dreamers a path to citizenship.

The bill, introduced this week by Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley and Majority Whip John Cornyn, would offer Dreamers enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, three years of protected status in return for enhanced border security, a crackdown on “sanctuary” cities and other GOP immigration priorities.

Ethics Committee Closes Book on Devin Nunes
Panel clears Intelligence Committee chairman of claims of unauthorized disclosures

The House Ethics Committee has cleared House Intelligence Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., of charges of unauthorized disclosures of classified information. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Ethics Committee on Thursday announced it has closed an investigation into Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, clearing him of claims that he made unauthorized disclosures of classified information.

“The committee does not determine whether information is or is not classified ... [so it] sought the analysis of Representative Nunes’s statements by classification experts in the intelligence community,” Ethics Chairwoman Susan W. Brooks and ranking member Ted Deutch said in a statement. “Based solely on the conclusion of these classification experts that the information that Rep. Nunes disclosed was not classified, the committee will take no further action and consider this matter closed.”

Ethics Committee Expands Investigation Into Farenthold
Texas Republican accused of sexual harassment, retaliation

Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold is facing an inquiry by the House Ethics Investigative Subcommittee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Ethics committee announced Thursday it unanimously voted to establish a subcommittee to build on its investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Texas Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold.

So far, the panel has reviewed more than 200,000 pages and interviewed multiple witnesses, according to a statement released by Ethics Chairwoman Susan W. Brooks of Indiana and ranking member Ted Deutch of Florida. 

Want to Know Who Else Has Been Accused of Sexual Harassment in Congress? Good Luck
Congressional offices can’t release basic details of complaints — even to lawmakers

Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock says Congress must “fundamentally change” how sexual harassment complaints are handled. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The details of sexual harassment complaints against members of Congress and their staffs are secret and cannot be released to lawmakers seeking to determine the extent of the problem on Capitol Hill, a congressional official testified Thursday. 

“The law doesn’t allow us to release anything,” said Susan Tsui Grundmann, the executive director of the Office of Compliance, which oversees the response to sexual harassment complaints in Congress. She told a hearing of the House Administrative Committee that if lawmakers want to know more — including the number of complaints filed and the names of the accused — they will have to change the law.