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Analysis: 2017 Has Been Nutty for K Street, but 2018 Could Be Insane
Campaign season is soon to kick into high gear

As 2017 draws to a close, the unpredictable nature of the first year of the Trump administration could very well bleed into next year as the midterm elections heat up. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lobbyists have — almost — survived a genuinely bonkers year.

The Trump era ushered in a maelstrom of unpredictable policy fights along with scandals that have ripped into K Street. Think it can’t get any stranger? Just wait until campaign season kicks into high gear in 2018.

Capitol Ink | Cribbing Claus

Trump Says Gillibrand ‘Would Do Anything’ for Campaign Donations
Gillibrand fires back: ‘You cannot silence me’

President Donald Trump speaks to the media before departing the White House last week. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Updated at 9:45 a.m. | President Donald Trump on Tuesday alleged that Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand “would do anything” for his campaign contributions before he ran for president. 

In a morning tweet, the president dubbed the New York Democrat a “lightweight” and dubbed her “disloyal” to the Clintons, whom he tweeted “USED!” her.

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.”

Rohrabacher to Testify About Assange Meeting Before House Select Intelligence
California Republican maintains Russians were not responsible for 2016 DNC email hack

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., arrives for the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on "An Insider’s Look at the North Korean Regime" on Nov. 1. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher will testify before the House Select Intelligence Committee later this month about his August meeting with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in which the two discussed who stole Democratic National Committee emails leading up to the 2016 elections.

The Russian government directed the email heist, U.S. intelligence officials have alleged. Rohrabacher has urged since his meeting with Assange that these allegations are not true. The California Republican has been criticized sharply for his perceived defense of the Russian government, and he sees his impending testimony as a chance to prove his intentions are pure.

Capitol Ink | The New Orange?

Trump: FBI ‘Destroyed’ Flynn’s Life, But Let Hillary Walk
Clinton ‘lied many times to the FBI. Nothing happened to her,’ president says

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump appear at an event at Trump's Washington, D.C., hotel in September 2016. Trump is defending Flynn, who pleaded guilty Friday to misleading federal officials. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump on Monday slammed his own Justice Department again over its Russia investigation, saying it “destroyed” Michael Flynn’s life while doing “nothing” to Hillary Clinton.

Three days after Flynn — Trump’s first White House national security adviser and former campaign aide — pleaded guilty to misleading federal officials, the president suggested Clinton also should face charges.

White House Lawyer Tries to Distance Trump From Flynn
Cobb notes twice-fired general was national security adviser for just ‘25 days’

President Donald Trump speaks on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Oval Office of the White House, January 28, 2017 in Washington, DC. Also pictured, from left, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Vice President Mike Pence, White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, Press Secretary Sean Spicer and National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The White House tried to put distance between President Donald Trump and Michael Flynn, a former member of his inner circle who pleaded guilty Friday to a charge in the Justice Department’s Russia probe.

In a statement released after Trump’s first national security adviser entered his plea in an Alexandria, Virginia, courtroom, White House legal counsel Ty Cobb tried to paint Flynn has a short-timer in the president’s roster of aides and confidants — both on the campaign trail and after he joined Trump in the West Wing.

Flynn Pleads Guilty to Making False Statements
To appear in federal court today

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, at podium, and then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump attend a campaign event with veterans at the Trump International Hotel in Washington in  September 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty Friday morning after being charged with making false statements to federal officials.

A U.S. government document released by the office of special counsel Robert Mueller said Flynn has been indicted for making “materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to federal officials. He is due in a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, for a plea agreement hearing at 10:30 a.m. Friday.

Capitol Ink | Turkey Day

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