Senate

Senate may be perilously close to passing liberal amnesty legislation

Featured image Until today, there were two main immigration reform proposals in the Senate. The first: a proposal by Sen. Grassley, and supported by the White House, to grant amnesty to nearly two million “Dreamers” while (a) allocating $25 billion for a wall and other security measures, (b) cutting way back on chain migration, and (c) ending the diversity lottery. The second: a proposal by Sens. Coons and McCain that would grant »

Up in smoke

Featured image I wrote here about the void in the Trump/Sessions, where four nominees for Assistant Attorney General positions are being held up due to Senate inaction. The four positions are crucial ones: Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division; Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division; Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division; and Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division. Why can’t these nominees get a vote? Apparently, it’s because of marijuana. Sen. Cory Gardner is »

Leniency legislation is back

Featured image Two years ago at this time, a bipartisan coalition of Senators was pushing legislation that would have slashed mandatory minimum sentences for many federal drug crimes. Such a bill had cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee. However, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wisely declined to bring it up for a vote in the Senate because his caucus was divided on the merits. Now, Team Leniency is trying again. The same bill that »

Less redacted

Featured image Earlier this week I posted the heavily redacted memo released by Senators Grassley and Graham referring Christopher Steele for possible prosecution. Senator Grassley “call[ed] on the FBI to update the classification of the referral to allow complete disclosure of important context from the documents on which it is based.” After further review by the FBI at Senator Grassley’s request, a less redacted version of the memo was released on Tuesday »

Enter the Grassley memo 2.0

Featured image Earlier this week I posted the heavily redacted memo released by Senators Grassley and Graham referring Christopher Steele for possible prosecution. As I noted at the time, Senator Grassley “call[ed] on the FBI to update the classification of the referral to allow complete disclosure of important context from the documents on which it is based.” A less redacted version of the memo was released yesterday evening together with the text »

Inside the FBI circle of love: Sources

Featured image Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson has just released The Clinton Email Scandal and the FBI Investigation of It: An Interim Report. Jake Gibson highlights the most newsworthy items on a quick first review here.The committee has posted the report and related documents here. I have embedded the report below via Scribd. 2018-02-07 Interim Report_The Clinton Email Scandal and the FBI's Investigation of It by Scott Johnson on Scribd »

Inside the FBI circle of love

Featured image Jake Gibson flags the newly released text messages of the amorous FBI agents: Newly revealed text messages between FBI paramours Peter Strzok and Lisa Page include an exchange about preparing talking points for then-FBI Director James Comey to give to President Obama, who wanted “to know everything we’re doing.” The message, from Page to Strzok, was among thousands of texts between the lovers reviewed by Fox News. The pair both »

David Stras confirmed to Eighth Circuit

Featured image Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras had essentially the entire Minnesota professional community supporting his nomination by President Trump to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Thanks to Al Franken, however, the nomination sat in limbo for six months. Mistah Franken–he dead. He revealed his true jerkhood in the matter of Justice Stras. The single blue slip veto applicable to federal appellate court nominees was interred with his bones. Today »

The Senate politics of Trump’s immigration proposal

Featured image Tom Cotton is right, the support of Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin isn’t necessary to pass an immigration bill. However, some Democratic support is. The proposal President Trump has put forward likely will need more than nine Democratic votes, since not all Senate Republicans can be expected to vote for it. For example, Ted Cruz says he’s opposed. Indeed, he believes there should be no path to citizenship for the »

The Deal, Take Three

Featured image My first take on the deal that ended the brief partial government shutdown was that Chuck Schumer caved and the deal was a big win for Republicans. My second take was that my first take might be wrong — that the Democrats may have received more than they are getting credit for, and may be able to parlay what they got into a win, or at least a draw, down »

Shutdown to end as Dems cave [UPDATED TWICE]

Featured image The Senate has reached a deal that will reopen the government by tonight. Only 18 Senators voted against the deal in the context of a motion to end debate. The House is expected to agree to the deal by uniting Republican and Democratic leaders in an agreement on immigration and spending. The bill agreed to would fund the government through Feb. 8 and reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) »

In search of lost texts

Featured image Last night the Washington Examiner’s Byron York posted his column “Congress seeks answers after FBI claims texts missing in Trump-Russia probe.” Byron quotes from the letter sent on Saturday by Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson to FBI Director Christopher Wray. I thought some readers might be interested in seeing the full text of Senator Johnson’s letter. This is the text of Senator Johnson’s January 20 letter to Wray »

Democrats vote to shut government down

Featured image Tonight, the Senate failed to approve a funding bill that would have kept the government fully open and operating for the time being. Nearly every Republican Senator voted for the bill. The only exceptions were two pro-amnesty Senators — Lindsey Graham and Jeff Flake — and two anti-spending hardliners — Rand Paul and Mike Lee. Nearly every Democratic Senator voted against the bill. The only exceptions were five Red State »

Reading Glenn Simpson

Featured image It was only last week that Senator Feinstein released the transcript of Glenn Simpson’s interview with the Senate Judiciary Committee staff. There is so much we don’t yet know about the Trump/Russia collusion illusion, this was a notable moment. John took a timeout to read the transcript and post his notes on it here. I also took a timeout with the transcript and posted my notes on it here and »

Notes on the Simpson transcript, cont’d

Featured image Yesterday I posted 15 notes plus an afterthought on the transcript of the Senate Judiciary Committee staff interview of Fusion GPS principal Glenn Simpson. I want briefly to round up my number of notes to 20. 16. The express terms under which Simpson testified do not appear in the transcript. One must infer them from the comments interjected by Simpson’s lawyer at the interview. Certain subjects were off limits. One »

Feinstein posts Simpson transcript

Featured image Senate Judiciary Committee member Dianne Feinstein has released the transcript of Fusion GPS principal Glenn Simpson’s interview this past August 17 and posted it online here. Feinstein released the transcript with the support of committee Democrats acting unilaterally. In doing so, Feinstein and her Democratic colleagues are acting at Simpson’s behest. In his recent New York Times op-ed column (written with his colleague Peter Fritsch), Simpson complained about Republicans’ leak »

Schumer succeeds in obstructing key DOJ nominees

Featured image The Washington Post reports that “nearly a year into President Trump’s administration, the Justice Department lacks Senate-confirmed appointees in leadership posts running the national security, criminal, civil rights and other key divisions.” “The problem shows no sign of abating anytime soon,” the Post adds. The Post is correct. Not only are key leadership posts vacant, but it now appears they will remain vacant until at least the Spring. Moreover, this »