Jeff Flake

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.

Donnelly Becomes Second Democrat to Support Gina Haspel to Lead the CIA
Indiana senator provides an insurance vote for the Trump nominee

Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., announced his support for CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel on Saturday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate appears to be moving full speed ahead on confirming Gina Haspel as director of the CIA.

The Intelligence Committee is expected to vote to advance her nomination to the floor during a closed business meeting scheduled for Wednesday morning, and a Saturday morning announcement by Indiana Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly further reduced the suspense.

McCain Argues Americans Should 'Give a Damn' About the CIA Torturing Terrorists
Opposition to Gina Haspel's confirmation no surprise when you read his book

The push by Sen. John McCain, left, to block Gina Haspel's confirmation might weigh on his fellow Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, right. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

That Sen. John McCainwants his colleagues to reject President Donald Trump’s choice to lead the CIA should be no surprise — just consider the extent to which his new memoir lays out his deeply held beliefs arguing  against the agency’s use of torture.

The debate over torture techniques in interrogations conducted under the auspices of the Central Intelligence Agency during the George W. Bush administration features prominently in the forthcoming book by the Republican from Arizona.

Sinema’s Donations From Cárdenas Scrutinized
Arizona Senate candidate’s opponents seize on another contribution from someone touched by scandal

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., is running to replace retiring Republican Sen. Jeff Flake in Arizona. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema is back under the microscope for her handling of campaign contributions from donors with checkered legal and ethical pasts.

This time, it’s the $11,000 the Arizona Democrat has accepted since 2012 from another House colleague, California Rep. Tony Cárdenas.

McCain, in His Own Words, Is Prepared for What’s Ahead
Audio excerpt of memoir makes one final argument about America’s role in the world

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., seen here at the United States Naval Academy in 2017, is making what may be his final argument about America’s role in the world. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. John McCain says he doesn’t know how much longer he has on this Earth, but he is making what feels like a final appeal in his own voice to the better nature of America — just in case.

The Arizona Republican is again rejecting isolationist tendencies in his upcoming memoir “The Restless Wave,” citing the traditional role of the United States as the leader of the free world. 

Paul Ryan Backing Rosenstein, Despite Conservatives’ Impeachment Threat
House hard-liners threaten deputy AG while some GOP senators move to protect Russia inquiry

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testifies before a House Judiciary hearing on the Russia investigation on Dec. 13. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan split from more conservative elements of his conference by continuing to back Rod Rosenstein, even though some of President Donald Trump’s allies in the House have begun drafting articles of impeachment for the deputy attorney general.

The speaker’s position has not changed since January, a spokeswoman said responding to further murmurs of impeachment. Earlier this year, Ryan said Rosenstein is “doing a fine job” and there is “no reason” for Trump to fire him.

Opinion: A Few Cracks in Trump’s GOP Wall on Capitol Hill
Senate Judiciary Committee saw a rare display of bipartisanship over Russia probe

Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., left, and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., were among four Republicans on the Judiciary Committee who joined the Democrats in approving legislation designed to safeguard the special counsel from being arbitrarily fired. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Washington, as we know, is riven by vicious partisanship, with those on the right and left at each other’s throats over the most pressing issue that this nation has faced in decades. We are, of course, talking about the violently differing opinions and never-ending hot takes about Michelle Wolf’s comedy act at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.

Amid the nonstop invective, it was easy to have missed Capitol Hill’s equivalent of Halley’s Comet — a rare celestial display of welcome bipartisanship in a matter relating to Donald Trump and Robert Mueller. The Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday, by a 14-7 vote (with four Republicans joining the panel’s Democrats in the majority), approved legislation designed to safeguard the special counsel from being arbitrarily fired by Trump. The bill was designed to protect Mueller from the wrath of a cornered president.

Brooks Suggests Republicans Are Retiring Because of Assassination Fears
Pointed at the large number of GOP members on baseball team who are leaving Congress

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., speaks to reporters at the Republican baseball team's first practice of the year at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Virginia, on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks suggested in a radio interview that Republicans are retiring en masse because of assassination fears.

Brooks was speaking on “The Dale Jackson Show” about the first Republican practice the Congressional Baseball Game after last year’s shooting that left Majority Whip Steve Scalise severely injured.

Senate Panel Sends Message By Advancing Mueller Bill
A warning to Trump even if special counsel protections don’t become law

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill to provide job protection for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, but it faces major obstacles. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill Thursday to give protections to Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III, which senators said sent a message to President Donald Trump even if it has major hurdles to ever becoming law.

Although the 14-7 vote on the measure split Republicans, the message from the committee to Trump was clear.

GOP Baseball Team Returns to Scene of Last Year’s Shooting
Huge media and security presence around field where gunman opened fire last year

Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., in red hat, hugs Matt Mika, who was critically injured in the shooting at last year’s Republican baseball practice. The GOP team held a news conference after their first practice at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republican congressional baseball coach Roger Williams hit infield practice Wednesday morning as Rodney Davis played catcher and Williams staffer Zack Barth backed them up around a flooded batter’s box.

In the outfield, lobbyist and former Hill aide Matt Mika fielded balls with teammates.