Todd Ruger

House Judiciary approves procedures for impeachment query
Nadler says hearings will start next week with former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski

The House Judiciary Committee on Thursday agreed to a resolution for procedures related to an investigation into the possible impeachment of President Donald Trump, as Democrats and Republicans deeply were split over whether it meant anything at all.

Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-New York, allowed that “there has been a good amount of confusion” about how the committee should talk about the ever-broadening investigation into allegations that Trump committed crimes and abused the power of his office.

House Judiciary Committee sends gun control bills to the floor
Lengthy, contentious markup highlights how Republican opposition could stall effort in Senate

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee advanced three more gun control bills Tuesday during a lengthy, often contentious and sometimes emotional markup that highlighted how Republican opposition could stall the efforts in the Senate.

The committee considered the legislation in the wake of an August in which 53 people were killed in mass shootings in the U.S., according to Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York. The shootings prompted a national address from President Donald Trump and intensified calls for Congress to act.

Democrats still not working off same playbook on impeachment
Mixed messages abound about whether Judiciary is in an impeachment inquiry and where it’s headed

House Democrats are struggling to speak with one voice about impeachment, as members returned to Washington this week with mixed messages about whether the Judiciary Committee is already engaged in an impeachment inquiry and where that investigation is headed. 

Judiciary Democrats almost uniformly agree that their panel’s expanding investigation into President Donald Trump’s alleged crimes and abuse of power is an impeachment inquiry. Any disagreement about that definition that may exist among those two dozen members will likely be brought to light Thursday as the committee marks up a resolution defining procedures for its investigation.

Democrats line up three gun bills in early House Judiciary return
The bills could lob political pressure onto Senate Republicans to respond to recent mass shootings

The House Judiciary Committee will consider three gun control bills when it convenes September 4, an early return from a summer break that could lob political pressure onto Senate Republicans to respond to recent mass shootings.

The committee announced Friday it will mark up a bill to outlaw large capacity magazines and other ammunition feeding devices, along with a bill that would prevent people who have been convicted of a misdemeanor hate crime from owning a weapon.

Trump names new nominee to oldest federal judicial vacancy
Richard E. Myers II, a Jamaica native and UNC professor will be the next pick for the Eastern District of North Carolina

President Donald Trump named a new nominee Wednesday for a spot on the federal bench in North Carolina that has remained vacant for more than 13 years and has been one of the most contentious in Senate judicial confirmation fights.

Richard E. Myers II, a Jamaica native and a professor at the University of North Carolina law school who focuses on criminal law, will be the next pick for the Eastern District of North Carolina, the White House announced. The seat is the only vacancy in that district, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

House Judiciary asks courts to order McGahn to testify
Lawsuit comes almost two months after chamber authorized the legal action

The House Judiciary Committee filed a lawsuit Wednesday to enforce its subpoena for former White House counsel Don McGahn, launching a separation-of-powers battle in the courts that might not be quickly resolved.

The lawsuit focuses on McGahn’s key role in the Robert S. Mueller III-led special counsel probe when it comes to potential misconduct by President Donald Trump. It points out that the Mueller report section that focuses on whether Trump tried to obstruct the investigation mentions his statements more than 160 times.

Justice Department sides with Trump in subpoena fight
Lawmakers have not done enough to say why they need president's financial records, administration argues

The Justice Department sided with President Donald Trump on Tuesday in his fight to stop a congressional subpoena for eight years of his financial records, telling a federal appeals court that lawmakers had not done enough to say why they need the information.

“The House’s lack of responsibility is sufficient reason for this Court to declare this subpoena invalid,” the DOJ wrote in a brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Gun control legislation again faces political headwinds following three deadly shootings
Trump addressed nation Monday calling for 'real bipartisan solutions' to stop the attacks

Once again, Congress faces the question of whether it will pass any substantive gun control measures to curb mass shootings, this time in the wake of three events in less than a week where gunmen opened fire on crowds in public settings, killing at least 34 people.

And once again, any effort to change the nation’s gun laws must shake free from years of stalled legislation, lately caused by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican lawmakers, and potentially a conservative Supreme Court that could be poised to stop such measures.

A new flood of Democrats call for impeachment proceedings, but does it matter?
21 Democrats have joined push for formal proceedings since Mueller’s testimony

Updated 11:11 a.m. | The trickle of Democrats calling for an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump has turned into a flood, with 21 new members joining the push since former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III testified before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees on July 24. 

The total number of House Democrats now supporting an impeachment inquiry is 118, half of their 235-member caucus. 

Supreme Court allows Trump to spend $2.5 billion, build 100 miles of border barriers
The government asked for an answer by Friday to prevent Congress from stopping the plan

A divided Supreme Court late Friday backed the Trump administration’s push to reshuffle up to $2.5 billion to build 100 miles of border barriers, a decision that allows the government to act ahead of a congressional spending fight that it said might have foiled those plans.

The high court ruling lifts a lower court injunction that prevented the government from spending the money —which was transferred into a Defense Department account earlier this year — to contract and build the barriers before fiscal 2019 spending law lapses on Sept. 30.

Trump administration works to revive federal death penalty
Congress hasn't tried to prevent it, but it will face legal challenges from civil rights groups

The Trump administration moved Thursday to revive the federal death penalty, a policy move Congress has not tried to prevent but one that will face a legal challenge from civil rights groups.

Attorney General William Barr directed the Bureau of Prisons to adopt a new execution protocol — which would kill inmates with an injection of a single lethal drug called pentobarbital — and schedule the execution of five men in December and January.

Mueller shuns spotlight, but says probe didn’t ‘exonerate’ Trump
President has claimed investigation cleared him of obstruction of justice

On a day House Democrats hoped Robert S. Mueller III’s televised testimony Wednesday would animate the special counsel’s 448-page report for the nation, the star witness eschewed the leading role with a muted performance with few soundbites during the first of two back-to-back hearings.

Mueller’s answers were concise. He often said simply, “True,” or “I rely on the language of the report.” The 74-year-old gray-haired Marine veteran and former FBI director frequently didn’t speak into the mic.

4 things to watch when Mueller testifies
Former special counsel is unlikely to disclose any new information Wednesday

Rarely does a congressional hearing have a longer, more dramatic buildup than former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s appearances Wednesday before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees — and the American public via television cameras.

The main question: Will his testimony change anything?

Census question may be dead, but Trump’s backup plan could still reshape political map

President Donald Trump surrendered his legal fight earlier this month to ask about citizenship on the upcoming census, but his administration is marching forward on a Republican strategy that could upend the way legislative districts are drawn nationwide to the benefit of the party.

Trump nodded to policy issues such as health care and education as reasons he issued a July 11 executive order for the government to compile citizenship information in a different way. And he accused “far-left Democrats” of being determined to “conceal the number of illegal aliens in our midst.”

Trump seeks Supreme Court help on building border wall quickly
Trump administration officials want Supreme Court help to build border barrier before Congress thwarts them Oct. 1

Trump administration officials want the Supreme Court to help them hurry up and spend up to $2.5 billion to construct a barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border before Congress thwarts them with new spending legislation on Oct. 1.

The administration argues it needs a ruling from the Supreme Court by July 26 so it can spend money on border wall construction before the fiscal 2019 spending law lapses on Sept. 30.

Mueller hearing format gets complaints from junior Judiciary members
GOP members aired complaints that testimony from Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III would be limited to 2 hours

Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee aired complaints Thursday that testimony from Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III would be limited to two hours next week — meaning some members from both parties won’t get an opportunity to ask questions.

Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the committee’s top Republican, was among the members who described a format that would have Mueller leave to appear before the House Intelligence Committee, a smaller panel where all members are expected to have time to ask questions.

House Judiciary authorizes subpoenas for Kushner, Sessions, 10 others
The committee authorized 12 more subpoenas Thursday related to its probe of the Trump administration

The House Judiciary Committee authorized 12 more subpoenas Thursday related to its probe of the Trump administration, including subpoenas for former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the president’s son-in-law and White House adviser, Jared Kushner.

Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler said the witnesses are government officials who worked in close proximity to President Donald Trump or those outside the government who have “critical information” related to allegations of obstruction of justice and public corruption detailed in former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report released in April.

Trump lawyers try again to block financial records subpoena
The oral argument before a three-judge panel is one of the first lawsuits Trump filed to stymie House investigations

President Donald Trump’s push to stonewall congressional subpoenas lands at a federal appeals court Friday, where House Democrats will once again defend their power to get years of his financial records from accounting firm Mazars USA.

The oral argument before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is one of the first lawsuits Trump filed to stymie House investigations. And it could be the first to reach the Supreme Court no matter what the panel decides, since neither the president nor Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California appear likely to back down.

Justice Department seeks to halt Democrats’ lawsuit against Trump
DOJ lawyers asked a federal appeals court to throw out or freeze the lawsuit led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Rep. Jerrold Nadler

The Justice Department sought Monday to stop what they say would be “intrusive discovery” into President Donald Trump’s personal financial affairs, in a lawsuit brought by more than 200 Democratic members of Congress that raises separation-of-powers questions.

The government’s lawyers asked a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., to throw out or freeze the lawsuit led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., which alleges Trump violated the Foreign Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

House Ways and Means sues to get Trump tax returns
The committee called the government’s refusal to turn over the records ‘an extraordinary attack’ on congressional oversight

The House Ways and Means Committee filed a lawsuit Tuesday to quickly enforce its subpoena for President Donald Trump’s tax returns, calling the government’s refusal to turn over the records “an extraordinary attack” on congressional oversight.

The lawsuit in federal district court in Washington is the first legal action from House Democrats to enforce a subpoena among the numerous investigations into the Trump administration launched since taking control of the chamber in January.