Bennie Thompson

Lee, Thompson and Fudge on Former Rep. Brown’s Witness List
Former congresswoman’s trial scheduled to begin April 24

Former Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., is charged with using funds from a non-profit on herself. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Reps. Bennie Thompson, Marcia Fudge and Sheila Jackson Lee are potential witnesses in the corruption case of former Florida Rep. Corrine Brown. 

An attorney for Brown listed Thompson, D-Miss., Fudge, D-Ohio, and Lee, D-Texas, are on the witness list for Brown’s corruption trial, which begins with jury selection on April 24, the Florida Times-Union reported.

Nevada’s Hill Sway Sinks While Other Small States Surge
New Roll Call Clout Index reveals big disconnects between population and Capitol influence

With the retirement of former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, the Nevada congressional delegation has lost much of its legislative leverage, Hawkings writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Harry Reid may have masterminded one of 2016’s biggest statewide Democratic sweeps as he headed toward retirement, but the Nevada congressional delegation he left behind has lost much of its legislative leverage as a result. 

In fact, only two delegations have less collective influence at the Capitol this year than the six lawmakers from the Silver State, the newest Roll Call Clout Index reveals.

Black History Month: Cedric Richmond on the ‘Work to Do’ Ahead
CBC chairman says promises of King, Chisholm haven’t yet been fulfilled

Louisiana Rep. Cedric L. Richmond speaks with New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker after the two, along with Georgia Rep. John Lewis, testified last month against the nomination of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions to be attorney general on the grounds of his civil rights history. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric L. Richmond, this month is about teaching. First celebrated in 1926 as a weeklong tribute to black history and culture and expanded to a monthlong honor in 1976, Black History Month is a time of reflection and festivity for many African-Americans. Roll Call interviewed Richmond and several other lawmakers and Capitol Hill figures, such as Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black, to find out what the intersection of black history and life in Congress and the Capitol building itself means to them.

Watch interviews and the video, “Black History and America's Capitol,” which combines all these talks, at rollcall.com/black-history-month. Richmond’s full discussion with Roll Call is below.

Word on the Hill: Liberty and Justice for Hurt
Speaker of the House has a birthday

Former Virginia Rep. Robert Hurt, center, is shown with Shawn Akers, left, dean of Liberty University’s Helms School of Government, and B. Keith Faulkner, dean of the Liberty University School of Law. (Courtesy Liberty University)

Former Rep. Robert Hurt, R-Va., will head Liberty University’s new Center for Law & Government, which the school says aims to influence public policy and spread conservative ideals.

“I could not be more thrilled to be a part of this project,” said Hunt, who represented Virginia’s 5th District from 2011 to 2017. “I think this is an excellent opportunity for Liberty University to be a part of the policy-making process in a way that other places cannot.”

The House Version of ‘Law and Order’
A sentencing, some commutations and other House news

Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson speaks with New York Rep. Louise M. Slaughter during a press conference by House Democrats in November 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Bennie Thompson’s chief of staff was sentenced Tuesday to four months in prison for failing to file income tax returns.

Issac Lanier Avant was also ordered to pay $149,962 to the IRS for failing to file tax returns from 2009 to 2013 after he had assumed the role of Democratic director for the House Homeland Security Committee, earning more than $165,000, the Justice Department said in a statement.

Thompson Staffer Pleads Guilty
Isaac Lanier Avant claimed he was exempt from income tax

Isaac Lanier Avant (Courtesy Congressional Black Caucus Foundation)

Rep. Bennie Thompson’s chief of staff Isaac Lanier Avant has pleaded guilty for failing to file tax returns for five years.

Avant claimed in 2005 that he was exempt from paying income tax. Avant earned $165,000 between 2008 and 2013, the five years that he did not file timely tax returns

Decades-Old House Democratic Leadership Likely to Remain Intact
Some complain ambitious young lawmakers have nowhere to go

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is expected to remain in her post for the next Congress, possibly with a fortified caucus. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats expect their ranks to swell in the next Congress if Donald Trump's problems on the presidential campaign trail have a trickle-down effect come November. One thing that won't change, however, is the composition of the Democrats' veteran leadership team.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, 76, shows no signs of stepping down from the top post she has occupied since 2003. Neither does Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, 77, nor Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, 76.

Bennie Thompson Chief of Staff Charged
Isaac Lanier Avant accused of not filing tax returns for five years

Rep. Bennie Thompson said he would not fire chief of staff until he has had his day in court. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Bennie Thompson's chief of staff has been charged with failing to file federal tax returns for five years.

The Mississippi Democrat's staffer Isaac Lanier Avant was named in five misdemeanor counts for not filing his returns for 2009 through 2013 when he earned $170,000 per year. 

Cruz Joins Other Adventures in Parking
It's a bipartisan list

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was ridiculed for his crooked parking job. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Ted Cruz's return to the Senate was spoiled by a photo showing his ride to work parked at an angle that took up two spots.  

Some took to Twitter to show how that scene reinforces the idea of the Texas Republican not being a likable person.

Confederate Flag Aftermath: Replacing State Flags with Quarters
Depictions of state quarters will now line the Rayburn tunnel

Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina makes remarks against the Confederate Flag during a House debate in July (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Eager to remove all traces of Confederate symbols from the Capitol complex, House Administration Chairwoman Candice S. Miller announced Thursday that a display of state flags in the Rayburn House Office Building would be replaced with depictions of state quarters.  

“Given the controversy surrounding Confederate imagery, I decided to install a new display,” the Michigan Republican said in a press release . “I am well aware of how many Americans negatively view the Confederate flag, and, personally, I am very sympathetic to these views.”