outside-groups

Russian Spy Indictment an Aftershock to Trump’s Helsinki Statements
Justice Department unveils charges hours after Finland summit

Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Justice Department further roiled an already tense Capitol Hill with an indictment Monday accusing an alleged Russian agent of efforts to influence Republican politicians during the 2016 election.

The indictment came on the heels of President Donald Trump’s joint press conference in Finland where, standing next to Russian President Vladimir Putin, he rebuffed the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

Republican Main Street Partnership Backs Four More Candidates
Three of the four endorsees are women

Republican Main Street Partnership is endorsing West Virginia state Del. Carol Miller in the 3rd District after originally backing one of her opponents in the primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Republican PAC that supports lawmakers from the “governing wing of the GOP” is endorsing four more candidates Monday.

The Republican Main Street Partnership’s endorsement comes with a $5,000 PAC check. The group made its first 10 nonincumbent endorsements in April. Three of those endorsees have since lost their primaries. 

At the Races: The Unlikely Team Behind a 2018 Star
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter by subscribing here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. —Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman

Does a Clinton Campaign Staffer Stand a Chance in Trump Country?
Talley Sergent banks on her West Virginia roots in bid to unseat Rep. Alex Mooney

Democrat Talley Sergent, who is running against GOP Rep. Alex X. Mooney in West Virginia’s 2nd District, marches in a July Fourth parade in Ripley, W.Va., last week. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

RIPLEY, W.Va. — There are few places where Hillary Clinton is more toxic than West Virginia. 

So why does a former Clinton campaign staffer think she stands any chance of flipping a House district here?

Why Former Sen. Jon Kyl Got Tapped to Guide Brett Kavanaugh
Supreme Court nominees need an experienced ‘sherpa’ to navigate the Senate’s unique ways

White House Counsel Don McGahn, right, and former Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., arrive at the Capitol on Tuesday as they escort Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Vice President Mike Pence to meetings with senators. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

He spent 18 years as a senator on the Judiciary Committee, the last six as the Republican whip and No. 2 in leadership. Now his lobbying clients include a group already spending millions to push the federal courts hard right. His big gig on the side is rooting out perceived liberal bias on social media.

If Jon Kyl does not have the ideal background for successfully shepherding a Supreme Court nominee through this Senate, perhaps no one does.

Kavanaugh Confirmation Fight Promises to Be Intense — and Expensive
Outside advocacy groups on both sides are already coming out swinging

President Donald Trump nominates Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy at an announcement ceremony in the White House on Monday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Outside advocacy groups began making hefty down payments overnight in the multimillion-dollar fight over President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, but the cash is unlikely to determine the fate of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

The fierce fundraising appeals and grass-roots mobilization from both sides, including advertising buys in pivotal states, show the high stakes as senators prepare to weigh the potential successor to retiring Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.

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.”

Former Rep. Heck, Who Lobbied for PETA, Kills Zebra on Safari
Heck left Congress after losing to Nevada Sen. Cortez-Masto in 2016

Former Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., posted a picture to Instagram of himself on safari in South Africa next to a dead zebra. (Photo from Instagram)

Former Rep. Joe Heck received criticism this week after he posted a picture on Instagram of himself posing next to a slain zebra with the caption, “Great start to safari — two off my list: Zebra and Black Wildebeast.”

But Heck’s apparent affinity for big-game hunting in South Africa didn’t just upset some in the public.

Ethics Committee to Investigate Schweikert and Chief Over Finances
Arizona Republicans says there was a “clerical screw-up”

Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., is facing a House investigation into possible violations of campaign finance and congressional funds laws. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Ethics Committee has established an investigative subcommittee to discover whether Arizona Republican Rep. David Schweikert and his chief of staff, Oliver Schwab, violated multiple campaign finance and official congressional funds laws.

Committee members unanimously voted to continue the investigation, which Texas GOP Rep. John Ratcliffe will lead.

GOP Runoff Victors Are Likely New Members of Congress
Mississippi’s Michael Guest and South Carolina’s William Timmons win comfortably

District Attorney Michael Guest won the GOP nomination in the runoff for Mississippi's 3rd District on Tuesday. (Courtesy of Friends of Michael Guest)

With victories in primary runoffs in Mississippi and South Carolina on Tuesday night, a pair of Republicans are likely heading to Congress next year. 

Michael Guest has won the Republican primary runoff in Mississippi’s open 3rd District, which GOP incumbent Gregg Harper is retiring after five terms.