Reps. Gowdy, Goodlatte Call for Special Counsel on DOJ Bias, FISA Abuse
Request stems from allegations in Nunes FISA memo

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., above, sent a letter with Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions to appoint a special counsel to investigate potential FISA abuses. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two Republican chairmen of powerful House committees have asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint a special counsel to investigate “potential bias” within the FBI in 2016 and 2017 as the bureau obtained surveillance warrants related to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

“The public interest requires the appointment of a Special Counsel” to investigate “certain decisions made and not made by the Department of Justice and FBI in 2016 and 2017” due to potential political conflicts of interest, Reps. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina and Bob Goodlatte of Virginia wrote in a letter to Sessions and Rosenstein on Tuesday.

Campaign Legal Center Files Complaint Against Pro-Doug Jones Super PAC
Group says ‘secrecy scheme’ cooked up by Highway 31 threatens to create a new disclosure loophole

The Campaign Legal Center filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against a super PAC backing Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., during the December special election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The watchdog group accused Highway 31 of engaging in a “secrecy scheme to spend $4.2 million in the race” to support the Democratic candidate, AL.com reported.

Part of the complaint is that Highway 31, which is headquartered in Birmingham, said it spent $1.15 million in Alabama’s special election.

The Slow Breakup Between Democrats and the NRA
Group’s all-or-nothing approach to gun rights is forcing some to abandon ties

New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich, left, and former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid both received donations from the National Rifle Association in 2010, two of 66 incumbent Democrats to receive money from the group that cycle. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Just eight years ago, the National Rifle Association dished out $372,000 in campaign contributions to a record 66 Democratic incumbents.

By the 2016 cycle, that number had dwindled to four.

Trump Divided, Conquered in First Year in Office
An analysis of votes cast in 2017 shows GOP senators voted with the president 96 percent of the time

President Donald Trump speaks in January. An analysis of congressional votes suggests that Trump’s first year in office was a time of deepening partisanship. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

Donald Trump campaigned as a successful business mogul whose negotiating skills made him uniquely qualified to be a president capable of ending Washington’s decades of bitter partisanship to get things done.

Trump, in fact, got his way on almost every vote last year where he publicly stated a position, setting a record for success. The results of votes by both House and Senate combined show he won 98.7 percent of the time on issues he supported. That set a new bicameral record, besting Obama’s 96.7 percent success level in 2009 (the last time a president’s party controlled both chambers.)

State of the Union Latest Marching Order for Marc Short
Legislative affairs director is ultimate utility player for Team Trump

Marc Short, White House legislative affairs director, talks with reporters in the Capitol on Nov. 13. He has become an unlikely messenger for President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For Marc Short, the work began in earnest the moment President Donald Trump wrapped up his first official State of the Union address on Tuesday night.

Short, the White House legislative affairs director, played a role in crafting the president’s speech. But he told Roll Call in an interview on Monday that the work of crafting, editing and re-crafting the address fell to a team led by Stephen Miller, Trump’s top domestic policy adviser.

Democrats Have Some Work to Do With Black Women
African-American female turnout could be key in midterms, as it was in Alabama

Supporters of Alabama Democrat Doug Jones celebrate his victory over Republican Roy Moore at his election night victory rally in December. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After African-American women played a key role in Doug Jones’ victory in the Alabama Senate race last month, Democrats are working on more effective messaging for them in hopes they will do the same thing in midterm races.

To have a chance to win, the Jones campaign had hoped for a turnout among African-Americans comparable to their percentage of the Alabama population — around 27 percent. But black voters made up 29 percent of the election electorate, exit polls showed, a slightly higher percentage than the black turnout in the state for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election.

Group Backed by Liberal George Soros Posts Uptick in Lobbying
Open Society Policy Center spent record $16.1 million in 2017

Billionaire George Soros, left, attends a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing in November 2008. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Open Society Policy Center, the lobbying arm of liberal billionaire George Soros’ philanthropic network, reported spending a record sum to influence federal issues during the first year of the Trump administration.

The group disclosed spending a total of $16.1 million on federal lobbying in 2017, with the majority of that coming in the last three months of the year, according to a report filed with Congress. The Soros group disclosed spending $10.3 million in the fourth quarter.

Warren’s PAC Spreading Cash Around in Swing Senate States
Doled out money to state parties in Alabama, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Montana, and Nevada

The leadership PAC for  Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., disbursed campaign cash in swing Senate seats including Missouri, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Montana. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A number of state Democratic parties and committees got a helping hand from a PAC affiliated with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren in the last fundraising quarter.

PAC for a Level Playing field, Warren’s leadership PAC, donated to state Democratic parties where Democrats are trying to be competitive, according to the PAC’s quarterly FEC report that was filed on Friday.

Trump Again Waives Iran Sanctions — But With a Threat
President has vowed to kill what he calls 'the worst deal ever'

Donald Trump, then president-elect, talks after a meeting with then-President Barack Obama in the Oval Office on Nov. 10, 2016. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Despite Donald Trump’s vows to kill it, Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal lives. The 45th U.S. president on Friday again gave a reprieve to the 44th's pact despite his longheld stance that it is “the worst deal ever.”

Trump is again waiving sanctions on Iran that would jeopardize the nuclear pact between Tehran and world powers, according to senior administration officials. But it is the final time he plans to do so, they warned, adding Trump wants to negotiate a new pact with European allies that would re-impose sanctions on Iran if its government violates terms produced by those desired talks.

Trump Returns to a Fave With Vow to Review Libel Law
Campaign talking point resurfaces in ‘Fire and Fury’ aftermath

Copies of the book “Fire and Fury” by author Michael Wolff are displayed on a shelf at Book Passage on Friday. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump returned to a favorite talking point Wednesday, vowing to take a “a strong look at our national libel laws” in the aftermath of the release of author Michael Wolff’s new book, which paints a negative portrait of him and his presidency.

Trump and his personal legal team tried to halt publication of “Fire and Fury,” threatening to sue. That prompted the publisher to release the book early. The threat of legal action reflects a trend that spans Trump’s life. And the promise to try to alter libel laws was a fixture of his presidential campaign as he railed against the media industry.