leadership

Road ahead: Impeachment suspense drowns out government funding debate
There’s a full schedule of open hearings at the House Intelligence Committee

The House Ways and Means Committee hearing room that the Intelligence panel is using for impeachment hearings will again be center stage this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Seldom does an imminent deadline to avoid a government shutdown fly under the radar, but that might happen this week with most eyes on impeachment hearings in the House.

Congress will need to pass another continuing resolution to keep the government funded past Thursday, as leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations panels look to finalize subcommittee allocations for the delayed fiscal 2020 bills, in conjunction with top leadership and representatives from the administration.

Trump’s defenders try to narrow impeachment case to one call
Defense attorneys use similar strategy in bribery or corruption cases

Intelligence ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., left, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, listen as former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testifies Friday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump and his congressional allies spent the first week of impeachment inquiry hearings trying to refocus the public’s attention to what they cast as the most important piece of evidence: the summary of Trump’s call to the president of Ukraine on July 25.

In the House Intelligence Committee, at press conferences and on Twitter, their message has sought to narrow the Democrats’ case to the facts of that one major event — and then attack it as insufficient to impeach the president.

Legality of Wolf, Cuccinelli appointments to DHS questioned
Key House Democrats cite new documents in request for review

Chad Wolf, seen here during an Oct. 29 White House task force meeting, was sworn in Wednesday as acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The leaders of the House Oversight and Homeland Security panels on Friday challenged the legality of recent top appointments at the Department of Homeland Security, including newly installed acting secretary, Chad Wolf.

Reps. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, and Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y., the acting Oversight and Reform Committee chairwoman, have asked the U.S. Comptroller General to conduct an “expedited review” to determine whether the Trump administration acted legally when it appointed both Wolf and his predecessor, Kevin McAleenan, as acting DHS secretary. They also question Wolf naming Ken Cuccinelli to serve as deputy director.

California ice cream shop milks D.C. impeachment hearings
I scream, you scream for “Im-peach-mint Pie” ice cream?

California-based Smitten Ice Cream debuts "Im-Peach-Mint Pie" flavor in light of Washington's impeachment hearings (Courtesy Smitten Ice Cream)

You can run, but you can’t hide from the buzz that continuously surrounds congressional testimonies — even if you mute your Twitter notifications.

The House impeachment hearings continue to inspire clever cocktails around D.C. such as the “Quit Bro, Go” at Capitol Lounge and “Impeachment Please” at Union Pub.

New witnesses emerge after first week of public impeachment hearings
CQ on Congress, Ep. 175

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch takes her seat for the House Select Intelligence Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump begins on Friday, Nov. 15, 2019. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Former ambassador to Ukraine says Foreign Service being ‘degraded’ under Trump
Yovanovitch said her ouster caused real harm, morale decline at State Department

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testifies during the House Intelligence Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry Friday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Top State Department leadership came under searing attack Friday by one of their own senior ambassadors in remarkably stark language during the second day of public hearings in the House’s impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. 

Former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testified before the House Intelligence Committee that nearly three years into the Trump administration, the State Department has been badly harmed by attacks on its diplomats from the president and his allies.

Photos of the Week
The week of Nov. 15 as captured by Roll Call’s photojournalists

Retired Marine Paul Masi of Bethpage, N.Y., pauses by the name of high school classmate Robert Zwerlein at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Veterans Day. Masi served in the 7th Engineers in Vietnam. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Trump’s fight against subpoenas reaches Supreme Court
Dual cases put justices at center of legal battle over limits for investigations into a sitting president

President Donald Trump’s attorneys on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to reverse an order from a federal appeals court in New York that requires accounting firm Mazars USA to comply with a state subpoena for Trump’s financial and tax records. Another Trump lawsuit related to Mazars, one centered on congressional power to enforce subpoenas during impeachment or other oversight probes, will land at the high court on Friday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump’s fight-all-the-subpoenas strategy finally reached the Supreme Court late Thursday, putting the justices in the middle of a heated legal fight over the limits for investigations into a sitting president.

Trump’s attorneys asked the Supreme Court to reverse an order from a federal appeals court in New York that requires accounting firm Mazars USA to comply with a state subpoena for Trump's financial and tax records.

States in the Midwest with outsize roles in the 2020 elections
Rust Belt states helped decide the presidency, and have numerous competitive races for House, Senate

Republican Sen. Joni Ernst’s reelection is one of several that make Iowa at battleground state in 2020. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If there’s an abiding lesson from 2016, it’s that national public opinion in the presidential race is not as important as the votes of individual states. Republican Donald Trump won by taking 304 electoral votes to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s 227, even as Clinton beat him by 2.9 million votes and 2.1 percentage points nationally.

In 2020, Democrats will be looking to recapture states Trump won that went for Democrat Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. And many of those states will also be prime battlegrounds in the fight for control of the Senate, where Democrats need a net gain of four seats to take a majority (three if they win the White House and the vice president can break 50-50 ties), while Republicans need a net gain of 19 seats to retake the House.

Suddenly, Ken Cuccinelli is No. 2 at DHS
The immigration hardliner became acting deputy secretary after Chad Wolf sworn in as acting DHS chief

Ken Cuccinelli is moving into the role of acting deputy secretary at the Homeland Security Department. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Shortly after being sworn in as acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf — who the Senate confirmed as the agency's policy undersecretary just hours earlier — conducted his first order of business. 

He moved Ken Cuccinelli, a favorite of immigration hardliners, into the No. 2 position.