Griffin Connolly

Second Woman Says Franken Inappropriately Touched Her
Alleged incident took place in 2010, Franken’s second year in office

A second woman has accused Sen. Al Franken of inappropriate contact with her. The alleged incident took place in 2010, when the Minnesota Democrat was in his second year as a senator.

It is the first such accusation of inappropriate touching against Franken as a sitting senator.

Give Trump a Chance, Alexander Says
Tennessee Republican strikes tone of harmony as Senate GOP tries to pass tax code overhaul

President Donald Trump was elected by the American people to navigate the U.S. through uncertain times, Sen. Lamar Alexander said Monday, and lawmakers should “give the president a chance.”

The Tennessee Republican told CNBC that while Trump “does things and says things that I don’t do, and that I don’t approve of,” he is the person that Americans “entrusted with the presidency, and I’m going to try to help him succeed.”

Klobuchar Assumes Sponsorship of Franken Sexual Assault Bill
Franken’s office had worked on bill with rape victim

Sen. Amy Klobuchar has assumed the sponsorship of a bill set to be introduced by fellow Minnesota Democrat Sen. Al Franken that would provide training grants for law enforcement personnel that questions victims of sexual assault and other abuse.

Franken’s office worked with 22-year-old Abby Honold to craft the bill. In 2014, Honold was raped by another student at the University of Minnesota, Daniel Drill-Mellum, a one-time intern for Franken.

Communications Aide Trolls Brat Critics on Facebook
In-your-face style draws criticism from some constituents

Sara James has performed communications consulting for Rep. Dave Brat’s campaign team since the summer of 2014. She now makes $4,000 per month after steady raises over the last three years, according to  FEC documents.

But James has been much more than a campaign manager and social media director: She has also served as Brat’s chief troll-slayer on Facebook, firing back at the Virginia Republican’s haters with the kind of snark and sneer you might expect from anonymous “eggs” on Twitter.

Former Hillary Clinton Aide Blasts Gillibrand Over Bill Clinton Comments
Former president should have resigned over Lewinsky episode, NY senator said

A former Hillary Clinton State Department aide had harsh words for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who said Thursday that President Bill Clinton should have resigned after an inappropriate sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Philippe Reines, Hillary Clinton’s deputy assistant secretary of state for strategic communications, called Gillibrand a “hypocrite” for the comments.

Proposal Restricting National Mall Access a ‘Game Changer’ for Hill Athletes
Senate and House softball league commissioners say they’re already squeezed for space

The National Park Service has pitched a curveball to congressional aides who use the National Mall for recreational sports.

The park service held meetings last week with leagues from across the city — including the House softball league — informing them that it planned to permanently close access on the Mall, from Third Street to 17th Street, to “organized sports.”

Alabama's Largest Media Outlets Condemn Moore
Former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice ‘simply cannot be a U.S. Senator,’ papers say

Alabama’s preeminent print and digital news outlets issued a scathing condemnation of U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore Tuesday, saying it it “unthinkable” that the former state Supreme Court chief justice could ever be elected to the Senate.

The AL.com editorial board called Moore’s “taste for dating high school girls” when he was single and in his 30s “unseemly.”

Texas Democrats on Pelosi’s Help: Meh
Senate and House hopefuls unite in calls for new party leadership

When it comes to support from their party’s House leader, Texas Democratic hopefuls can take it or leave it.

In Texas’ 23rd District, all four Democrats running against Republican Rep. Will Hurd were at best lukewarm in their enthusiasm for a potential endorsement from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — with some suggesting they would not welcome the California Democrat’s help.

Congress’ Gun Massacre Caucus
Dealing with mass shootings is becoming all too familiar for many members

On Dec. 14, 2012, Elizabeth Esty was attending a social media workshop for new members of Congress at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She had been elected to represent Connecticut’s 5th District a month earlier.

“I raised my hand and I said, ‘Here’s an example right now — I’m getting texts and alerts that there’s been a shooting and we don’t know what happened,’” she said.

Breitbart Mocked for Trying to Discredit Washington Post’s Roy Moore Exposé
Story on conservative site appears to confirm original report

The popular alt-right website Breitbart News Network was the object of ridicule Sunday after it published a story ostensibly to discredit the Washington Post’s exposé on U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama.

The Breitbart story’s critics said it actually appeared to bolster the meticulous journalism the Post reporters used to secure on-the-record interviews with four women who say they were teenagers when Moore tried to date or had sexual contact with them when he was in his mid-30s.

Menendez Trial Jury to Resume Deliberations After Juror Replaced
Judge might question jurors if they heard former juror’s comments that they were leaning toward acquittal

Sen. Bob Menendez’s day of reckoning is back on track after a snafu with a juror in his trial halted deliberations last week. The juror has been replaced and deliberations are scheduled to resume today.

Evelyn Arroyo-Maultsby has been relieved of jury duty  because of a previously scheduled vacation U.S. District Judge William H. Walls knew about during jury selections in August. Walls assured Arroyo-Maultsby she could take the vacation under the premise that the trial would not last more than eight weeks. The trial is entering its 11th week.

King Slams Senators Critical of Moore as Unhelpful to Trump
Moore allegedly had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl when he was 32

Rep. Steve King signaled support for Roy Moore in a tweet late Thursday, saying the senators who were distancing themselves from the Alabama GOP Senate candidate’s campaign were the ones “who won’t or can’t help move [President Donald Trump’s] agenda.”

The Washington Post published a story Thursday citing four women who said Moore pursued them when they were between the ages of 14 and 18, between 1979 and 1981, when Moore worked as a district attorney. One woman said she was 14 years old when Moore removed her clothes and attempted to have her touch his genitals.

Rick Scott Faces Lawsuit Over Financial Disclosures
Florida governor and potential Senate candidate’s spokesman calls it a ‘publicity stunt’

As Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott weighs a potential challenge to Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in 2018, he will have to stamp out a new lawsuit accusing him of breaking state laws that require him to release his financial holdings.

Don Hinkle, a Tallahassee lawyer and top fundraiser for Barack Obama, alleged in court that Scott has hidden his personal finances in a blind trust and family trust. Scott last reported his net worth to be $149 million in the summer.

Coons: Why Was Prosecutor Close to Russia Investigations Muscled Out?
Former acting attorney general was asked to resign from DOJ days before Manafort indictments

Sen. Chris Coons has questions for the Justice Department after the pending forced resignation of a top U.S. attorney who played a pivotal role early in the Trump administration and initial probes into the ties between the president's campaign and Russia.

Dana Boente, the U.S. Attorney for the important Eastern District of Virginia, was asked to quit in late October by attorney general Jeff Sessions.

O’Rourke Hosts 110 Barbecues in One Day for Senate Campaign
Cruz challenger attends virtually via YouTube Live

Rep. Beto O'Rourke is blending time-tested strategies with new ones in his campaign to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018.

The Texas Democrat deployed a classic grassroots initiative by hosting a slate of more than 100 barbecues all over Texas last Saturday. But he brought that good ol’ Texas hospitality to constituents from behind his computer, via YouTube Live.

Wasserman Schultz Ducks Questions On Brazile Accusations
Brazile accused former DNC chair of handing 2016 ops to Clinton campaign

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has put on a clinic for the Five Ds of Dodgeball since Donna Brazile publicly accused her of prematurely turning over the Democratic National Committee to the Clinton campaign in 2016.

Back home in Florida Monday, the Florida Democrat and former DNC co-chair repeatedly declined to comment on the allegations her successor, Brazile, levied against her.

Assault on Rand Paul Had ‘Absolutely Nothing’ to Do With Politics, Attacker’s Lawyer Says
Kentucky Republican was tackled at his home Friday, breaking five ribs

The attack on Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul by his neighbor of nearly 17 years had “absolutely nothing to do with either’s politics or political agenda,” the attacker’s lawyer told Fox News in a statement Monday.

The Republican senator broke five ribs after Rene Boucher, 59, “blindsided” him and tackled him to the ground as Paul was mowing his lawn Friday in Bowling Green, Kentucky, according to reports.

House Republicans Call for Mueller to Resign From Special Counsel
Three GOP lawmakers submit resolution

Three House Republicans submitted a resolution Friday calling for Robert S. Mueller III to step down as special counsel of the investigation into ties between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Arizona’s Andy Biggs, and Texas’ Louie Gohmert introduced the resolution four days after investigators indicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and two other former aides to the president.

Gohmert Claims Mueller Compromised National Security as FBI Director
Texas Republican says Mueller scrapped training materials about 'radical Islamists'

Rep. Louie Gohmert accused special counsel Robert Mueller of undermining national security while Mueller was head of the FBI.

The Texas Republican alleged Mueller “purged the training materials for the FBI of anything that offended the radical Islamists.”

Eisenhower Memorial Commission Gets Digging
Dedication slotted for 75th anniversary of WWII VE-Day

Sen. Pat Roberts marched to the podium to deliver final remarks at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial’s groundbreaking Thursday.

The Kansas Republican reached into his right pocket and pulled out a folded slip of white paper. Across the back, scribbled in bold black Sharpie, was one word: “PERMIT.”