legal-affairs

Trump Vows to Sign Compromise Prisons Bill
President made similar promise on immigration, then helped sink bipartisan measure

President Donald Trump addresses the press before departing for Dallas, Texas, on May 4. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump on Friday did little to help resolve lawmakers’ standoff over differing House and Senate prison overhaul bills, opting against using his bully pulpit to pressure either side.

Instead, Trump gave both sides leverage when he said his administration “strongly supports these efforts,” referring to each chambers’ bill. The remark was something of a shift for the president. Previously, his administration has voiced support for a measure awaiting House floor action but been cooler to a Senate version that includes proposed sentencing changes.

Emails Show Farenthold’s Pursuit of Lobbying Job
Disgraced former Texas congressman landed position shortly after leaving Congress

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, appeared to have started angling for a new job within a few weeks of leaving the Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Emails between former Rep. Blake Farenthold and his new employer show the disgraced Texas Republican was angling for a lobbying job shortly after resigning from Congress.

The emails obtained by the Dallas Morning News through an open records request showed Farenthold was pushing for an answer on the lobbying job with the port authority in his former district.

Senate Confirms Gina Haspel to Lead CIA
Bipartisan vote does not follow partisan script

Senators confirmed Gina Haspel to become CIA director before finishing work for the week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After a number of Democratic senators announced they would support President Donald Trump’s choice of Deputy CIA Director Gina Haspel to run the agency, she was easily confirmed Thursday afternoon.

In what has become a bit of a regular routine, Senate leaders reached an agreement to expedite votes on a key national security nominee and prevent any threat of a weekend session.

FBI Director Raises Concerns about Chinese Tech Giant Trump Wants to Help
Wray defends agency, responding to political attacks from Congress and White House

FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies during a Senate Appropriations Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing in Dirksen Building on the bureau’s FY2019 budget Wednesday. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

FBI Director Christopher Wray on Wednesday reaffirmed concerns about Chinese telecommunications company ZTE that President Donald Trump wants to help — and defended the agency from political attacks coming from the White House and Congress. 

At a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing about the FBI’s fiscal 2019 budget request, Wray used a question about the agency’s responsiveness to congressional oversight to highlight the importance of protecting people who provide agents information.

Senate Democrats Claim Small Victory on Net Neutrality
Will be taking the debate to the ballot box

Sen. Edward J. Markey has led the charge on the resolution that would effectively bring back net neutrality rules. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Democrats won’t be scoring many legislative victories this year. So Wednesday’s win on a joint resolution that would upend the effort by the Federal Communications Commission to reverse Obama-era regulations on net neutrality was cause for mild celebration.

“A key question for anyone on the campaign trail in 2018 now will be: Do you support net neutrality?” Sen. Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts said at a news conference with House and Senate Democratic leaders on the effort to block the Trump administration from rolling back the regulations.

No Word From Kim on Canceling Nuke Summit, Trump Says
U.S. president: 'We haven't seen anything. We haven't heard anything.'

President Donald Trump greets Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev at the White House on Wednesday. The two leaders were scheduled to discuss a range of bilateral issues. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Updated 12:54 p.m. | President Donald Trump on Wednesday said his administration has received no official notification from the North Korean government about canceling a summit with Kim Jong Un over the dictator’s nuclear arms and long-range missile programs.

“We haven't been notified at all, we’ll have to see. We haven’t seen anything. We haven’t heard anything,” the president said. “We will see what happens.

Former Rep. Bentivolio Suing Opponent to Defend Military Record
Michigan Republican seeking $10 million from rival in race for Trott’s seat

Former Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich. is running for his old seat in Michigan's 11th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, running for his old seat in Michigan’s 11th District, is suing one of his fellow GOP primary challengers for $10 million for allegedly defaming his military record by questioning its authenticity.

Bentivolio and his lawyer are claiming that Rocky Raczkowski — another Republican in the crowded primary field for what could be one of the nation’s most hotly contested House races in November — has a history of waging a “malicious defamation campaign … telling multiple third parties that Bentivolio’s military record is fraudulent and fake,” the Detroit Free Press reported.

Smokey Robinson Tells Senate Committee to Update Music Copyright Laws
Motown musician said Music Modernization Act would help older musicians

Recording artist Smokey Robinson, left, gives Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., a kiss as Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, looks on before the start of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “Protecting and Promoting Music Creation for the 21st Century” on Tuesday, May 15, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Smokey Robinson asked the Senate Judiciary committee Tuesday to help older, struggling musicians by updating copyright laws.

“I know a lot of musicians and producers and writers who have fallen on hard times and we could really use that money,” the singer said. “It’s not just about music, it’s about lives.”

Votes Roll in for Haspel After Expressing Regret Over Enhanced Interrogation
Latest comments seem to be enough to get support from Mark Warner

Gina Haspel, nominee to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency, has written a new letter about interrogation programs. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump’s choice to lead the CIA is making it even more clear that the program sanctioning harsh interrogations during the George W. Bush administration should not have taken place.

Gina Haspel, the current acting director of the agency, expanded upon her testimony in a letter dated Monday to Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee.

Trump Renews Call for Cop Killers to Get Death Penalty
Using campaign-trail rhetoric, Pence vows to ‘make America safe again’

President Donald Trump, right, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., arrive for a fallen police officers’ memorial followed by the weekly Senate Republican Policy luncheon in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday renewed his call for individuals convicted of killing police officers to receive the death penalty, but his White House has yet to produce a proposal to turn his campaign pledge into policy.

During the 2016 presidential election, candidate Trump often vowed, if elected, to sign an executive order that he contended would force convicted cop killers to be put to death. He renewed that call in December. But he has yet to sign such an executive action and his administration has yet to send Congress legislative language on the matter.