Trey Gowdy

House Oversight Probes Scott Pruitt’s Travel Expenses
EPA administrator has been under fire for first-class travel and luxury hotel stays

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is among several Trump administration officials under scrutiny for possible travel violations . (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As questions about the official travel habits of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt mount, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is demanding documents and other information on his first-class flights, as it looks into whether federal laws were broken.

Pruitt has for several months been under fire for incurring high travel costs at taxpayer expense. After recent news reports of Pruitt’s use of expensive first-class flights and stays at luxury hotels, an EPA spokesman said the administrator had been given a “blanket waiver” to fly first class for security reasons.

Kelly Admits Missteps With White House Aides’ Clearances
Embattled chief of staff to phase out interim security clearances

White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, seen here with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, has altered how the West Wing handles aides’ security clearances after the Rob Porter domestic assault scandal. (AP/Andrew Harnik file photo)

White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, under fire after a former staffer’s domestic abuse scandal, has admitted the Trump team mishandled aides’ background investigations, and ordered new steps in how the West Wing handles security clearances.

In a five-page memo to staffers released Friday afternoon by the White House, Kelly alluded to the Rob Porter scandal but also attempted to spread the blame for a process he said was flawed but was one he inherited.

Anger Management in the 2018 Midterms
Who will turn out to vote? Depends on who is angry

Midterms getting you down? Let Stu Rothenberg and Bridget Bowman provide some context. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Howdy from Political Theater, Roll Call’s newsletter and podcast on the spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

“Voters who are angry tend to vote in midterms,” Roll Call political analyst Stu Rothenberg says in the latest “Political Theater” podcast. “In bad times, everybody’s angry and everybody wants to send a message,” he continues.

Gowdy Launches Oversight Investigation Into Rob Porter Scandal
‘How in the hell was he still employed?’ House Oversight Committee chairman asks

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, launched an investigation into the Rob Porter scandal Tuesday evening. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has launched an investigation into the White House’s handling of senior aide Rob Porter, who was not issued a permanent security clearance due to allegations of domestic abuse by his two ex-wives.

“Who knew what, when, and to what extent? Those are the questions that I think ought to be asked,” the committee’s chairman, Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, said Wednesday on CNN.

Some Answers, More Questions for Mysterious Club for Conservatives PAC
Background, finances a tangled web

Club for Conservatives PAC has given to the Senate campaigns of Pennsylvania Rep. Lou Barletta and Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photos)

Inflammatory, hyperpartisan fundraising emails are a standard part of the election process, but who’s behind them can sometimes be a mystery. Take the case of a political action committee set up last fall that raised over $160,000 by sending out roughly a dozen emails.

Since its inception in October, the Club for Conservatives PAC has been a confusing web of details. The group’s year-end report with the Federal Election Commission provided more information about its fundraising and spending, but also raised new questions about its operations.

FISA Memo Not What Trump Says It Is, Some Republicans Say
Memo does not ‘vindicate’ Trump, Gowdy and others say

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., called the FISA memo and the special counsel investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia separate issues. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Key Republican House members rejected the notion that the memo released by the House Intelligence Committee last week “totally vindicates” President Donald Trump, as the president tweeted on Saturday.

GOP Reps. Trey Gowdy, Chris Stewart, Will Hurd and Brad Wenstrup made the Sunday political talk show circuit and agreed the memo is a separate issue from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Nunes Memo Could Weaken FISA, Congressional Panels
Officials worry about compromising sources, chilling intelligence officials

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., has pushed releasing a committee-drafted memo despite reservations from the FBI and Justice Department. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Releasing a four-page memo authored by aides to House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., alleging abuse of surveillance power by the FBI could ultimately weaken the process by which U.S. intelligence agencies seek secret court orders to conduct surveillance on foreigners, lawmakers and former intelligence professionals say.

Moreover, releasing the memo could erode the trust between the intelligence community and the congressional intelligence panels, these officials say.

Trump Faces the Audience That Matters More: Hill Republicans
State of the Union may be forgotten, but GOP lawmakers will remember his bid for party loyalty in crucial coming months

President Donald Trump speaks during the joint session of Congress to deliver his State of the Union Address in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Fresh off one speech designed to conjure an implausible degree of unity in the country, President Donald Trump will deliver another address designed to sustain his implausible degree of unity with Republicans on the Hill.

Tuesday’s State of the Union was all about persuading his national television audience, only two-fifths of which approves of his first year in office, to come around to the view of a “new American moment” in which a burst of economic vigor and the promise of tax cuts should be enough to sustain satisfaction past the next election.

A Trump, a Very Palpable Trump
The State of the Union as audience builder

President Donald Trump takes a selfie with Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., in the House chamber after Trump’s first State of the Union address. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Welcome back to Political Theater, Roll Call’s newsletter and podcast on the spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

Heading into year two of his presidency, can Donald Trump expand his reach and influence with skeptical Democrats in Congress, much less a skeptical public? At a minimum, he will need the minority party to advance any meaningful legislation, particularly in an election year.

South Carolina’s Trey Gowdy Won’t Seek Re-Election
Oversight chairman plans to leave politics for justice system

South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy is not running for re-election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy announced Wednesday he will not be running for re-election and intends to leave politics after this term is over.

The Republican lawmaker, first elected to the 4th District in 2010, chairs the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.