Dan Coats

Pence’s History as Media Shield Advocate May Be at Odds With Justice Department
Vice president spoke of importance of free press and the First Amendment

Vice President Mike Pence authored multiple versions of media shield legislation while serving in Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“The Constitution of the United States reads in part that Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of the press. This freedom represents a bedrock of our democracy by ensuring the free flow of information to the public. But, sadly, this freedom is under attack.”

Those were the words of a Republican congressman from Indiana, spoken on the House floor on March 14, 2006, proposing federal legislation to protect journalists, or a media shield.

Senate Looks Ahead to Tax, Debt Limit Debates After Recess
McConnell predicts reconciliation process for tax overhaul

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell met Tuesday with Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on raising the debt limit. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By NIELS LESNIEWSKI and JOE WILLIAMS

Tuesday might not be the last time the Senate leaders address reporters before departing for August recess, but their messages were already setting the stage for September.

Photos of the Week: Just Another 5 Days in D.C. — Not
The week of June 5 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

A crowd gathered at The Partisan bar watches as former FBI Director James B. Comey arrives to testify during the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The week was dominated by the anticipated appearance, actual appearance and analysis after the appearance of former FBI Director James B. Comey in front of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee on Thursday. One day before that, Washington also watched current intelligence officials testify before the same congressional panel — the probe into Russian meddling in the U.S. election and what the president might have asked of his officials dominating the news cycle. 

Since the next steps of the investigation are in the hands of the special counsel and could take years to resolve, this week could go down as one of the most prominent in 2017.

Top Intelligence Officials Mum on Interactions With President
Coats, Rogers say they have never felt pressured on investigations

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The director of national intelligence and the director of the National Security Agency refused Wednesday to say whether President Donald Trump had asked them to get former FBI Director James B. Comey to curtail the bureau’s Russia investigation.

A series of recent news reports have fueled questions about whether the White House attempted to enlist senior U.S. intelligence officials to downplay the FBI’s probe into possible Trump campaign ties with Russia.

Lawmakers React to Latest Trump-Russia Bombshell: ‘What Now?!’
Report: President asked two top intel officials to deny collusion with Moscow

President Donald Trump speaks during a joint statment with Israel's President Reuven Rivlin at the President's House on May 22, 2017 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

BY JOHN T. BENNETT, LINDSEY McPHERSON AND REMA RAHMAN

Lawmakers on Monday evening seemed resigned to yet another bombshell report suggesting President Donald Trump attempted to interfere with a federal investigation aimed at, in part, determining whether there was collusion between his campaign and the Russia government.

Spy Agencies Gear Up for Fight Over Surveillance Authority
Battle could echo debate over 2015 Patriot Act renewal

From left, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers, Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Director Robert Cardillo, appear during a Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee hearing in Hart Building titled "World Wide Threats" on May 11. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act will pit civil liberties advocates who oppose the warrantless eavesdropping authority it provides, against law enforcement agencies that say it’s crucial to their efforts to combat terrorism.

The provision allows law enforcement to snoop on the communications of foreigners believed to be overseas, although American officials acknowledge that the communications of Americans are sometimes swept up as well — something known as “incidental collection.”

Acting FBI Chief Promises to Keep Congress in Loop
Andrew McCabe: I’ll Tell You if White House Meddles on Russia

Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe prepares to testify during the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on "World Wide Threats" on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The acting director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, promised lawmakers Thursday that he would inform them if the bureau’s investigation into possible ties between Trump campaign associates and Russia faces any political interference from the White House.

McCabe, a veteran FBI officer who took over at the bureau in an acting capacity after President Donald Trump’s stunning decision Tuesday to fire James B. Comey, also said the FBI’s work continues “despite any changes in circumstance.” He added that there has been “no effort to impede our investigation to date.”

Comey Invited to Testify on Tuesday
Senate Intelligence Committee wants to hear from former FBI director

Fromer FBI Director James Comey had been scheduled to testify before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee on Thursday. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Defeated Lawmakers Trek From the Hill to Middle Earth — And Beyond
Life after Congress has included ambassadorships for dozens

Former Sen. Scott Brown was nominated by President Donald Trump to be U.S. ambassador to New Zealand. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If three makes a trend and four creates a pattern, then dispatching favored congressional losers to New Zealand has become not just a sliver but a pillar of the American diplomatic order. 

When Scott Brown takes over the embassy in Wellington by this summer — his confirmation virtually assured thanks to the endorsements of both Democratic senators who have defeated him — the onetime matinee idol for Republican centrists will become the fourth former member of Congress who’s assumed that particular ambassadorship after being rejected by the voters.

Senior WH Official: ‘Military Preparations’ Are Underway for N. Korea
U.S. soon will attempt to influence Kim via ‘economic dimension of national power’

A North Korean ballistic missile during a “Victory Day” parade in 2013. A senior Trump administration official on Wednesday alluded to “military preparations” underway to possibly confront the North. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

The Trump administration is preparing a range of options — including plans for military operations — to deal with North Korea and its nuclear arms and missile programs.

National security officials are crafting possible diplomatic, economic and military responses to deal with the Hermit Kingdom, a senior administration official told reporters Wednesday at the White House.