breaking-news

Lawmakers React as Trump, Putin Give Joint Press Conference in Helsinki
Trump’s tweet blaming U.S. for strained relations with Russia sparks scorn

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive at Helsinki International Airport on Sunday ahead of Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

As President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin emerged for a press conference in Monday in Helsinki, Finland, lawmakers back home in Washington watched closely and offered their thoughts on the two leaders’ high-stakes summit.

Trump and Putin talked alone behind closed doors for more than two hours, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters. The one-on-one with Putin was “a very good start for everybody,” Trump told reporters at a working lunch after the initial meeting.

Trump, Putin Address Election Meddling Charges in Helsinki
Russian president denies what U.S. agencies have concluded he ordered

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive on Air Force One at Helsinki International Airport on Sunday for his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Updated 11:26 a.m. | Russian President Vladimir Putin declared the Helsinki summit “a success” and a “very fruitful round of negotiations,” but he said he denied any involvement in meddling in the last U.S. election when pressed by President Donald Trump.

Putin also said he hopes stabilizing Syria could be an example of increased “joint work” between his country and the Trump administration.

Top Democrats Warn Intelligence Director About Sharing Secrets With Other Members of Congress
Letter to Dan Coats does not discuss specifics of intelligence in question

Rep. Adam B. Schiff was among the signatories on a Thursday letter critical of DNI Dan Coats. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic members of the group of lawmakers with access to particularly sensitive intelligence information expressed concern Thursday about broader dissemination — to other members of Congress.

The July 12 letter directed to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats was publicly released on Friday.

Indictment: Congressional Candidate Sought Info From Russians
Request for info from Russian operatives came in August 2016

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III announced Friday that a congressional candidate contacted Russian operatives for information in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The indictment of 12 Russian military officers for attempting to interfere with the 2016 U.S. election revealed that a candidate for Congress sought information from Russia.

The indictment stated that on Aug. 15, 2016, the conspirators posing as the “Guccifer 2.0” online persona received a request for stolen documents from a congressional candidate.

What to Expect in Peter Strzok’s House GOP Grilling
FBI agent will tell lawmakers his personal opinions never affected his official actions

Peter Strzok arrives at a closed door interview before the House Judiciary Committee in June. Strzok, a former member of the Mueller Russia investigation team, is being scrutinized for text messages exchanged with former FBI lawyer Lisa Page during the Clinton e-mail server investigation. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok will tell lawmakers today that despite a trove of text messages from 2016 that seem to indicate he had an intense personal distaste for President Donald Trump, he has never allowed personal opinions to affect any of his official work at the agency.

“Let me be clear, unequivocally and under oath: Not once in my 26 years of defending my nation did my personal opinions impact any official action I took,” Strzok will testify before a joint panel of the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform Committees, The Associated Press reported.

Senate Delivers Mild Rebuke to Trump on Trade
Sen. Corker secured the vote as a non-binding motion

Sen. Bob Corker offered the motion regarding trade policy. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Bob Corker has finally got his colleagues on the record in support of Congress playing a role in national security-related trade decisions like those made recently under President Donald Trump.

The Tennessee Republican and chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee secured the vote on a motion to instruct conferees on the pending package of three spending bills, which does not have a binding effect on the members of the Appropriations Committee who will be serving on the conference committee to resolve differences with the House.

Democrats Have Few Tactical Options to Fight Supreme Court Pick
Senate rules provide some delay tactics, but not many now that filibuster is unavailable

When he was Senate majority leader, Robert C. Byrd once ordered the arrest of senators to make sure there was a quorum present to conduct chamber business. If enough senators skip a session to, say, delay a confirmation vote on a Supreme Court nominee, such an option is available to the majority. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats can make as much noise as they want about President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, but they have few procedural weapons at their disposal to stop Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation on their own — although they can make life difficult along the way.

One strategy for the Senate Democrats may be to create as much time as possible between Monday night’s announcement and the Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearings.

Collins Says It’s Fair to Ask Supreme Court Nominees About Roe v. Wade Precedent
Their personal views on abortion won’t be part of her decision, Maine Republican says

Sen. Susan Collins is facing pressure back home in Maine over the upcoming Supreme Court debate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Susan Collins said Wednesday it would be entirely within bounds to ask President Donald Trump’s upcoming Supreme Court nominee whether the landmark Roe v. Wade decision on abortion is “settled law.”

“Absolutely,” Collins said during an interview with News Center Maine. “And I’m glad you asked that question because it’s been a lot of misunderstanding.”

FBI’s Peter Strzok to Testify Before House Judiciary and Oversight Committees
Joint panel hearing will be Strzok’s first public testimony about involvement in Clinton email, Trump campaign and Russia probes

Peter Strzok will testify before a joint hearing of the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees on July 10. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Update 7/6/18 1:28 p.m. | Embattled FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok will testify before the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees on Thursday, July 12, the first time he will speak in a public forum about his involvement in the 2016 investigations into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia and Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

Republicans in Congress have railed against Strzok for months after an extensive series of texts from 2016 between Strzok and his mistress, DOJ lawyer Lisa Page, emerged in which the FBI agent said “we’ll stop” a Trump presidency.

Rosenstein, Wray in Hot Seat Over Clinton Investigation IG Report
Goodlatte rails against bias while Nadler says there’s no evidence of that

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein arrives in the Capitol for a meeting with a bipartisan group of lawmakers on the FBI Russia’s Russia investigation in May. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday renewed their grilling of Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray on the Department of Justice inspector general’s report on the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

The report released earlier this month found officials at the DOJ committed numerous mistakes and failures over the course of the 2016 investigation.