Jeff Sessions

When Things Get Heated in the Hearing Room
Strzok shouting match is hardly the first time emotions have erupted in the paneled recesses of the Capitol

Posters depicting the men who have pleaded guilty in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe are displayed alongside Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., as he gives his opening statement Thursday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

FBI agent Peter Strzok felt the heat at Thursday’s House Oversight and Judiciary hearing, as tempers flared and points of order flew.  

Chairman Trey Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, brought the interrogative theatrics. “I don’t give a damn what you appreciate, Agent Strzok,” the South Carolina Republican told the witness, who was removed from the bureau’s Russia probe last year over politically charged texts.

Why Former Sen. Jon Kyl Got Tapped to Guide Brett Kavanaugh
Supreme Court nominees need an experienced ‘sherpa’ to navigate the Senate’s unique ways

White House Counsel Don McGahn, right, and former Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., arrive at the Capitol on Tuesday as they escort Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Vice President Mike Pence to meetings with senators. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

He spent 18 years as a senator on the Judiciary Committee, the last six as the Republican whip and No. 2 in leadership. Now his lobbying clients include a group already spending millions to push the federal courts hard right. His big gig on the side is rooting out perceived liberal bias on social media.

If Jon Kyl does not have the ideal background for successfully shepherding a Supreme Court nominee through this Senate, perhaps no one does.

Trump Defends Pruitt Until the Very End
A look at the times when the president — and others — rallied behind the former EPA chief

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, here at a Senate hearing in May, is resigning after 16 months on the job. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Embattled EPA administrator Scott Pruitt turned in his resignation Thursday, but right until the very end, he could do no wrong in the eyes — or tweets — of President Donald Trump.

“Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this,” the president tweeted in his announcement that Pruitt was stepping down.

GOP Celebrates Supreme Court’s Most Conservative Term in Years
Kennedy retirement capped a season of 5-4 highlights

In his first term on the court, Justice Neil Gorsuch, shown here during his 2017 confirmation hearings, was a reliably conservative vote. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court ended its term with a number of decisions that split the court along ideological lines, a finish that underscored just how much President Donald Trump’s appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch influenced the nation’s legal landscape.

Now, with a second Supreme Court nominee to select, Trump has the power to move the court solidly to the right.

Supreme Court Sides With Pregnancy Centers in Free Speech Case
California law had required centers to provide information about abortion

Abortion opponents demonstrate outside the Supreme Court on Monday, a day before it overturned a California law that required pregnancy centers to provide information about free or low-cost abortions offered under state programs. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled against a California law that required medical centers that primarily serve pregnant women to inform patients about free or low-cost abortions under state health care programs — a decision that some lawmakers warned could cause problems for similar health and safety laws.

In a 5-4 opinion, the court’s five conservative justices sided with the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates and other centers with religious affiliations in the case that pitted free speech against regulations that require disclosure of health laws.

House GOP Immigration Drama and Intrigue Mushrooms
Confusion over bill leads to delayed vote as blame casting begins

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., leaves his office on Thursday, June 21, as House Republicans struggle to find support for an immigration bill. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

The House Republican Conference was in disarray Thursday over immigration as GOP leaders delayed a key vote on a compromise bill and members began to cast blame for the measure’s predicted defeat.

The events escalated a drama that had begun Wednesday as GOP leaders struggled, yet again, to unite their fractured conference.

House Rejects Conservative Immigration Bill, Delays Consideration of Compromise
Goodlatte-sponsored bill goes down as leaders look to round up support on second measure

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., followed by Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., leaves Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s offices on Thursday, June 21, 2018, as House GOP leadership tries to find a path to pass immigration legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House on Thursday rejected, 193-231, an immigration bill conservatives favor, as GOP leaders delayed a vote on a compromise immigration bill moderate Republicans prefer. 

The vote on final passage of the compromise measure, originally scheduled for Thursday evening, is being moved to Friday to provide more time to answer members' questions about the bill, GOP aides confirmed.

Opinion: Trump May Have American Carnage, but Biden Has American Corny
As the president flexes muscles as the border, ‘Uncle Joe’ offers a different vision of strength

Former Vice President Joe Biden is drawing eager crowds on his book tour. His optimism may be corny, Curtis writes, but it may yet counter scenes at the border. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

You know the lights may be dimming on the American experiment when Attorney General Jeff Sessions resurrects an abbreviated Bible passage that slaveholders once used to justify selling children away from parents to justify separating children from parents on America’s Southern border and then parses the difference between his “zero tolerance” plans and Nazi tactics — as a defense. Leaving aside that using any interpretation of the Bible (or the Koran or any holy book) in setting government policy slides awfully close to a theocracy, this is strong stuff.

And don’t forget the 2018 version of the Pips — Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller and Kirstjen Nielsen — singing backup to their official and unofficial leader on immigration, with special guest Corey Lewandowski adding his signature mocking “womp, womp” refrain.

Justice Department Puts Judge in Hot Seat on Migrant Families
‘Are we going to be able to detain alien families together, or are we not?’

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., called current practices at the border not acceptable and prohibited. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A federal judge will determine the fate of a key part of President Donald Trump’s executive order on keeping together migrant families who are detained at the U.S.-Mexico border, a Justice Department official said Wednesday.

Gene Hamilton, counselor to the attorney general, said Judge Dolly Gee of the Central District of California has a “simple decision” when it comes to the Trump administration asking to modify her previous ruling about how the government can detain children.

GOP Chaos, Confusion Ahead of Thursday Immigration Votes
Prospects for passage appeared poor amid haphazard whip effort

Attorney General Jeff Sessions went to the House to ask Republicans to support the immigration bills the chamber will consider Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Confusion and chaos ensued Wednesday as House Republican leaders conducted a haphazard whip effort on a compromise immigration bill they planned to bring to the floor the next day. The prospects for the bill passing were clearly poor.

The frenetic feel of the day was similar to March 23, 2017. House GOP leaders spent that day engulfed in conversations with members as they tried to whip support for their bill to partially repeal and replace the 2010 health care law in an effort to vote on the law’s anniversary.