legal-affairs

House Ethics Clears Rep. Raul Grijalva of Wrongdoing
Arizona congressman was investigated related to a settlement with a former staffer

Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., has been cleared of ethics violations related to a settlement he paid to a former staffer. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Ethics Committee has reportedly cleared Rep. Raul Grijalva of wrongdoing related to a $48,000 settlement paid to a female staffer in 2015.

The Arizona Democrat settled with the former staffer in 2015 after she accused him of creating a hostile work environment and being intoxicated and left Grijalva’s office after working there just three months.

Trump Signals Defeat on Wall Demand as Christmas Crisis Deadline Nears
Democrats ‘fight to the death’ to block barrier project, president gripes

President Donald Trump argues about border security with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer , right, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as Vice President Mike Pence listens in the Oval Office last week. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump signaled defeat Wednesday on his threat to shut down nearly half the federal government over his border wall funding demand, possibly pulling the country back from the brink of a Christmas crisis.

His morning tweet and spokeswoman’s comments Tuesday marked another abrupt reversal for the 45th president, who last week roared at the top two congressional Democrats that he would “take the mantle” and shut down parts of the government unless they gave him $5 billion for his border barrier.

Judge Lights Into Michael Flynn: ‘You Sold Your Country Out’
‘I’m not hiding my disgust... for your criminal offense,’ judge tells Flynn in dramatic courtroom tirade

Former White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is greeted by protesters and supporters as he and his wife Lori Andrade arrive at the Prettyman Federal Courthouse in Washington on Tuesday before his sentencing for lying to the FBI about his communication with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Federal Judge Emmet Sullivan suggested that former Trump administration national security adviser Michael Flynn could have been charged with treason during a fiery tirade at the three-star general’s sentencing hearing Tuesday.

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and his team of prosecutors did not charge Flynn with treason, and multiple legal experts have said it would be extraordinarily difficult for them to prove such a charge.

To Trump, Flynn Merely Under ‘Tremendous Pressure,’ But Cohen Is a ‘Rat’
‘Good luck today in court to General Michael Flynn,’ POTUS tweets

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, speaks during a rally for then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Sept. 16, 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday morning issued a prebuttal to anything Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser and campaign aide, might reveal when he is sentenced by a federal judge later in the day.

The retired Army three-star general last year pleaded guilty to lying about his contacts with Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign cycle. Flynn once egged on Trump rally crowds in chants of “lock her up,” referring to Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of State.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
Bob Corker on ‘Widdle Bob,’ Jim Hagedorn gets hitched, and Dan Crenshaw on the media

Former FBI Director James Comey arrives on Capitol Hill for a meeting with Republican members of the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating, and this is the place for it. We look, but we don’t find everything. We want to know what you see too.

GOP Could Ditch Mark Harris in Potential North Carolina Primary Re-Do
Republican state lawmakers have passed bill to hold new primary if elections board tosses initial results due to illegal tampering

Republican lawmakers in North Carolina have raised the possibility of allowing their party to ditch 9th District candidate Mark Harris in a new primary election if the Nov. 7 results for his race are tossed out. (John D. Simmons /The Charlotte Observer via AP)

Republican state lawmakers in North Carolina have passed legislation that would allow the party to ditch Mark Harris in a new primary election for the 9th District seat if the state board of elections there decides to toss out the results of the Nov. 7 midterms.

Now the bill sits on Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk.

Chuck Schumer Seeks Senate Vote on Defending Obamacare
New push by Senate Democrats to respond to Texas judge’s ruling that law is unconstitutional

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Sunday that Democrats will make another push to get the Senate to defend the health care law in court. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Calling the ruling of a Texas federal judge, “awful, awful,” New York Democratic Sen. Charles E. Schumer wants a congressional intervention on behalf of Obamacare.

The Friday night ruling from Judge Reed O’Connor struck down the individual mandate of the 2010 health care overhaul as unconstitutional, and he went a step further in saying that it couldn’t be severed from the rest of the law, meaning it would fall as well. But as a practical matter, the law appears to be remaining in place pending appeals.

Amid Corruption Charges, Zinke Is Leaving as Interior Secretary
Trump had expressed concern about allegations against former House member

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will be leaving his post at the end of the year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 12:35 p.m. | Embattled Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will be the latest senior official to leave the Trump administration after months of being dogged by corruption charges.

President Donald Trump made the announcement on Twitter, saying the former Montana congressman would be leaving his post at the end of the year.

Senators Think Former U.S. Olympics CEO Lied to Congress
Moran and Blumenthal make referral for possible prosecution

Sens. Jerry Moran and Richard Blumenthal have referred a former USOC chief for possible prosecution. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The leaders of a Senate subcommittee investigating the Olympic sexual abuse scandal has now referred a former head of the U.S. Olympic Committee for possible prosecution.

Kansas GOP Sen. Jerry Moran and Connecticut Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal think USOC CEO Scott Blackmun may have lied to Congress as part of his testimony before their Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance and Data Security.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
Marking Sandy Hook anniversary, staffer shuffle, and a passing of the coffeemaker

Rick Hohensee greets members after the last votes of the week in the House on Thursday announcing he wants to challenge Nancy Pelosi as speaker in the next Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)