Katherine Tully-McManus

GOP ‘storm the SCIF’ stunt could jeopardize classified briefings
Bipartisan memo warns lawmakers of consequences for them and the House

The House Ethics Committee responded this week to efforts by House Republicans to access the secure facility in the basement of the Capitol during a closed-door impeachment deposition on Oct. 23, issuing a memo about breaches of security and warning lawmakers of potential consequences.

The memo, dated Thursday, reminds lawmakers that all members and staff who have access to classified information take an oath to not disclose any such information and that access to classified information and secure areas are on a “need to know” basis.

Ousted ambassador gives deeply personal account of firing by Trump
Yovanovitch describes feeling 'shocked and devastated' reading transcript of Trump call with Ukrainian president

Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who was removed from her post by President Donald Trump, spent much of her Friday before the House Intelligence Committee disputing allegations that she worked against Trump while in Kyiv and describing in vivid detail the shock of being targeted by the president.

The career diplomat is a key witness in the impeachment inquiry into Trump's dealings with Ukraine, and the drama surrounding the hearing was only fueled by tweets Friday from Trump blasting Yovanovitch, who said she already felt threatened by the president.

Justice Department requests Ethics Committee deferral on Rep. Spano case
Tlaib and Huizenga cases still under consideration; details emerge in newly released documents

The House Ethics Committee released on Thursday the Office of Congressional Ethics referral documents for cases regarding Reps. Bill Huizenga, Ross Spano and Rashida Tlaib, deferring consideration of the Spano case at the request of the Justice Department.

The Office of Congressional Ethics first referred the three cases to the House Ethics panel on Aug. 16. The OCE is a nonpartisan entity that reviews allegations of misconduct involving House staff and lawmakers and refers cases to the House Ethics Committee with recommendations for further review or dismissal.

GOP relies on familiar defenses as impeachment hearings open
Jordan presses witnesses on Ukraine aid being released without investigation sought

Republicans reached for oft-cited complaints about the impeachment process Wednesday to counter arguments from Democrats and detailed statements from two career diplomats at the start of what will likely be several weeks of contentious hearings into President Donald Trump's dealings with Ukraine.

It wasn’t until early afternoon, when a temporary member added to the House Intelligence Committee roster to bolster questioning during the televised proceedings, provided the most forceful defense of Trump in a hearing that otherwise shed little new light — for the viewing public, at least — on the weeks-long inquiry.

Who’s holding the impeachment hearings? Meet the House Intelligence Committee
Backgrounds vary on Intelligence Committee looking at impeachment of Trump

Most members of the House Intelligence Committee aren’t household names, but they’re about to be thrust into the national spotlight.

The committee this week begins public hearings in the House’s impeachment inquiry, which is investigating whether President Donald Trump abused his office by withholding military aid to Ukraine in exchange for investigations into his political opponents.

Road ahead: Public impeachment hearings begin
Senate set to confirm new Homeland Security secretary

The public phase of the House impeachment inquiry begins this week, with three witnesses set to air concerns Wednesday and Friday that President Donald Trump attempted to tie Ukrainian military aid to an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden, a potential Democratic rival in 2020.

Much of the attention on Capitol Hill will be focused on the House Intelligence Committee as it opens up to televised questioning and testimony an investigation that so far had been conducted in a secure closed-door facility in the basement of the Capitol.

Campus notebook: China Daily stresses a senator and a drug arrest at the Capitol
Library of Congress’ Veterans History Projects gets senatorial endorsement

This week’s campus notebook reminds us that the U.S. Botanic Garden is technically a legislative branch entity and that methamphetamine is still not welcome in the Capitol Visitor Center. 

A visitor to the Capitol Visitor Center was stopped Tuesday after being found with a glass pipe and a bag containing a “white, rock-like substance.” A field test confirmed the substance was methamphetamine. The suspect was arrested and charged with misdemeanors of possessing meth and drug paraphernalia.

Senate talks on crafting bipartisan Violence Against Women Act break down
Iowa's Ernst to push her own bill, calls House version ‘nonstarter’

Bipartisan Senate talks over a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act fell apart this week, Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst said in a floor speech Thursday.

Ernst said she’ll introduce her own version of the bill that can pass the Republican-controlled Senate and gain the support of President Donald Trump. The House, controlled by Democrats, passed a version of the bill in April.

Taylor testimony: 5 key points expected to make a comeback at public hearings
Transcript release provides roadmap for next phase of the impeachment inquiry

The newly released transcripts of October testimony from William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine, give a window into the next phase of the impeachment inquiry. Taylor will be the first witness to return to Capitol Hill and testify in an open hearing Nov. 13.

What Taylor has already said behind closed doors and what questions lawmakers are asking offer clues about what evidence Democrats and Republicans will bring forward to the public hearings.

Open impeachment hearings to begin next week, Schiff says
Bill Taylor, George Kent and Marie Yovanovitch scheduled to be the first witnesses

The House will move into the public hearing phase of the impeachment inquiry next week, Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff announced Wednesday.

Bill Taylor, acting Ambassador to Ukraine, and George Kent, the State Department’s deputy assistant secretary in the European and Eurasian Bureau, are scheduled to be the first two witnesses to give public testimony on Nov. 13. The European and Eurasian Bureau is responsible for six countries, including Ukraine.

Impeachment testimony details Republicans’ process fight, in public and behind closed doors
State Department lawyers passed on chance to set boundaries, says Yovanovitch's counsel

The first release of transcripts of closed-door testimony in the impeachment probe of President Donald Trump on Monday brought into stark relief the procedures governing the depositions — a significant turning point in the inquiry because House Republicans have made questioning the process a cornerstone of their defense of the president.

The arguments Republicans have aired outside of the secure facility in the Capitol basement — that Trump administration lawyers should be present, that the impeachment inquiry is not valid and lacks due process for the president — were clearly represented as a boiling over of frustrations from behind closed doors in the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility.

House Ethics needs more time on Rep. Lori Trahan case
Office of Congressional Ethics referred Massachusetts freshman's case in September

The House Ethics Committee is extending its inquiry into Rep. Lori Trahan, the panel said Monday. The committee first received the referral of the Massachusetts freshman's case, which is focused on campaign finance issues, from the Office of Congressional Ethics on Sept. 18.

The ethics panel, lead by Democratic Chairman Ted Deutch of California and ranking member Kenny Marchant, a Texas Republican, has to publicly acknowledge the receipt of an OCE referral to further review a case after 45 days. The OCE can recommend dismissal of a case instead of further review.

Road ahead: Impeachment to lead headlines, even with House away
Senate returns Tuesday to continue confirming judges

The House is not in session this week, and yet there might still be more attention on that side of the Capitol, with House committees led by the Intelligence panel continuing work on the impeachment inquiry.

The committees are seeking testimony from three officials Monday, but it is not yet clear who, if any, will appear for their scheduled closed-door depositions.

Looking to 2020, Republican Study Committee eyes alternatives on climate and health care
Chairman Mike Johnson says proposals lay markers in election cycle

Rep. Mike Johnson knows that a Republican health care proposal and conservative policy responses to the Green New Deal won’t come to the floor under Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but the head of the largest conservative caucus in the House says GOP alternatives to Democratic blockbusters are necessary heading into 2020. 

“We’re ready to legislate if we have that moment, and if we don’t have it now since Pelosi and the Democrats are in charge, we’re going to put our ideas on the table of what we’ll do when we [regain] the majority and I think we’ll do that in the next election cycle,” Johnson said in an interview for C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” program

Catherine Croft impeachment testimony revives Bob Livingston’s spotlight
Former speaker-designate resigned over sexual impropriety during Clinton impeachment saga

Catherine Croft’s testimony in the impeachment inquiry Wednesday brought up a name famous for drama that played out during a previous impeachment: former Republican Rep. Robert L. Livingston.

While the twists and turns of the Trump presidency and turmoil on Capitol Hill sometimes seem unprecedented, Livingston’s legacy is a reminder that as much as political Washington changes, it also remains the same.

House Democrats clarify impeachment procedures but probe remains partisan
Republicans get some process answers they've asked for but said it's too late to fix 'broken' inquiry

A House vote on a resolution outlining procedures for the next phase of Democrats’ impeachment inquiry may nullify some specific GOP complaints about the process, but it is not going to change the partisan divide over whether President Donald Trump should be removed from office.

The resolution specifies that the Intelligence Committee shall conduct the public hearing portion of the impeachment inquiry. It allows for the chairman and ranking member of the committee or a designated staff member to conduct multiple rounds of 90-minute questioning, alternating sides every 45 minutes, before moving into a traditional hearing format allowing all committee members five minutes of questioning each, alternating between the parties.

Saga is not over for Katie Hill’s office, staff and constituents
California Democrat announced resignation plans over the weekend

Timing, even in resignations, is everything.

Rep. Katie Hill has announced she will resign from the House, but the timing of her exit will determine a range of next steps — including her staffers’ future plans, how her constituents will be served in her absence and even her final paycheck.

Road ahead: More impeachment depositions, plus Turkey legislation and a Boeing hearing
House will also consider a Grand Canyon protection bill

The impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump will again take center stage at the Capitol this week, though there will also be legislative push-back in the House against Turkey and its incursion into Syria against the Kurds.

The House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees have another full docket of depositions scheduled this week as part of their impeachment inquiry.

Pain and politics acknowledged at Cummings’ funeral
‘They were trying to tear him down,’ widow says of the president

The funeral of Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, simultaneously deeply personal and star-studded, was a celebration of his life, public service, moral vision and his beloved city of Baltimore.

Cummings’ home church in Charm City, the New Psalmist Baptist Church, was packed Friday for the nearly four-hour service for which he planned all the details. He selected a range of people to speak about him, including two former presidents, two daughters, one presidential candidate, mentors, mentees and his own pastor, among others.

Guam delegate under investigation for alleged sexual relationship with staffer, other offenses
Allegations also include converting campaign funds for personal use, accepting improper contributions

The House Ethics Committee has opened an investigation into Guam Democratic Del. Michael F.Q. San Nicolas over allegations that he may have had a sexual relationship with a member of his staff, converted campaign funds for personal use and accepted improper campaign contributions.

Ethics Chairman Ted Deutch of Florida and ranking member Kenny Marchant of Texas said in a statement Wednesday that the committee will gather additional information on the allegations and that the probe “does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred.”