legal-affairs

Chuck Schumer Seeks Senate Vote on Defending Obamacare
New push by Senate Democrats to respond to Texas judge’s ruling that law is unconstitutional

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Sunday that Democrats will make another push to get the Senate to defend the health care law in court. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Calling the ruling of a Texas federal judge, “awful, awful,” New York Democratic Sen. Charles E. Schumer wants a congressional intervention on behalf of Obamacare.

The Friday night ruling from Judge Reed O’Connor struck down the individual mandate of the 2010 health care overhaul as unconstitutional, and he went a step further in saying that it couldn’t be severed from the rest of the law, meaning it would fall as well. But as a practical matter, the law appears to be remaining in place pending appeals.

Amid Corruption Charges, Zinke Is Leaving as Interior Secretary
Trump had expressed concern about allegations against former House member

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will be leaving his post at the end of the year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 12:35 p.m. | Embattled Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will be the latest senior official to leave the Trump administration after months of being dogged by corruption charges.

President Donald Trump made the announcement on Twitter, saying the former Montana congressman would be leaving his post at the end of the year.

Senators Think Former U.S. Olympics CEO Lied to Congress
Moran and Blumenthal make referral for possible prosecution

Sens. Jerry Moran and Richard Blumenthal have referred a former USOC chief for possible prosecution. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The leaders of a Senate subcommittee investigating the Olympic sexual abuse scandal has now referred a former head of the U.S. Olympic Committee for possible prosecution.

Kansas GOP Sen. Jerry Moran and Connecticut Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal think USOC CEO Scott Blackmun may have lied to Congress as part of his testimony before their Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance and Data Security.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
Marking Sandy Hook anniversary, staffer shuffle, and a passing of the coffeemaker

Rick Hohensee greets members after the last votes of the week in the House on Thursday announcing he wants to challenge Nancy Pelosi as speaker in the next Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Lame-Duck GOP Rep: Trump ‘Doesn’t Know What’s About to Hit Him’
With Democrats taking over the House, Joe Barton says Trump and GOP will be buried under oversight

Texas Republican Rep. Joe Barton said President Donald Trump is in for a “rude awakening” come Jan. 3. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Joe Barton has a warning for President Donald Trump and the GOP: Brace yourselves.

The Texas Republican, who is retiring in January at the end of his 17th term, said the president is in for a “rude awakening” on Jan. 3, when the 116th Congress is sworn in and Democrats take back the House majority.

Trump’s Action-Packed Week Previews a Wild Year Ahead
‘They would be impeachable offenses,’ Nadler says of campaign finance violations

President Donald Trump argues about border security with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as Vice President Mike Pence sits nearby in the Oval Office on Dec. 11. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

ANALYSIS | Democratic hands in Washington spent the 2017 holiday season musing at cocktail parties about how little they would miss Donald Trump's first year in office, only to be shocked by an even more chaotic 2018.

Just wait until they see 2019.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
Meeks on Pence ‘laying low,’ the millennial caucus, and Reichert says leave investigations to the pros

Democratic Rep. Gwen Moore of Wisconsin gets a hug from Washington Democrat Dan Kildee at a House Financial Services Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade hearing on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating, and this is the place for it. We look, but we don’t find everything. We want to know what you see too.

Trump Breaks Silence on Cohen Sentencing, Returns to Mexico Wall Claim
‘I never directed Michael Cohen to break the law,’ president claims

President Donald Trump talks to reporters before leaving the White House on a rainy day in October. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

As federal investigators appear to be moving closer and closer to his doorstep, President Donald Trump broke his silence on several new legal developments but he returned Thursday to his familiar contention that Mexico will pay for his southern border wall.

First on Wednesday, Trump’s former personal attorney and “fixer,” Michael Cohen, was sentenced to three years in prison for campaign finance violations that he said his former client ordered. Later in the day, prosecutors signaled that the National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media Inc., had flipped, meaning the company and its executives are cooperating with federal officials.

No Chief Out of ‘Central Casting’ This Time for ‘Unmanageable’ Trump
President needs a Hill-savvy ‘trench warfare specialist,’ GOP strategist says

President Donald Trump arrives for meeting with the House Republican Conference at the Capitol on Nov. 16, 2017. Outgoing White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly trails behind his boss and House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Donald Trump had been in office just a few minutes when he boasted that John F. Kelly looked like a military general straight out of a Hollywood movie, but now the president is holding a likely extended casting call for a more loyal chief of staff — one who will immediately have to navigate a thicket of congressional and federal investigations. 

As Trump searches for what will be his third top aide in two years, Republican insiders see no frontrunner or even a clear list of candidates. But what they really cannot determine is who could coexist with a chief executive who rejects his staff’s attempts to manage him and his bombastic, norms-busting approach to the job.

Cohen Sentencing Casts Cloud Over Trump’s Chief of Staff Search
Former ‘fixer’ says he was just following his client’s orders with payments to women

Michael Cohen (center), former personal attorney for President Donald Trump, leaves the Hart Senate Office Building after a meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee to discuss Russian interference in the 2016 election on September 19, 2017. He since admitted to lying to lawmakers and was sentenced to three years in prison on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The sentencing of Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former “fixer” and personal attorney, could hang over the president’s search for a new White House chief of staff.

After all, on one of the counts that put Cohen in prison for three years, Cohen contends he was merely following his former client’s direction. And in an emotional statement in a New York courtroom Wednesday, Cohen blamed his actions on a “blind loyalty” to the president that he said “led me to choose a path of darkness over light.”