By now, it’s pretty clear that Attorney General Bill Barr thinks there was nothing unusual — let alone potentially criminal — about President Trump’s intervention in the federal Russia investigation. Not the repeated pushes to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, not the public fuming about being the innocent victim of a federal “witch hunt,” not the tweeted threats to the family of his former personal attorney.
This week brought an unwelcome turn in the spotlight for a notoriously under-the-radar fixture in President Trump’s inner circle: Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg. Weisselberg’s name first cropped up in a now-public audio recording of Trump and his former fixer Michael Cohen discussing a payment related to Trump’s alleged affair with a former Playboy playmate.
With anti-gerrymandering efforts heading to the ballot box, Republicans in some states are mobilizing to protect their ability to continue rigging election maps.In late April, a Republican group backed by the Michigan Chamber of Commerce sued to keep a popular redistricting reform measure off the state’s November ballot.
Wisconsin Republicans are going to remarkable lengths to avoid holding a pair of special elections for two vacant seats in the state legislature. After a district court ruled last week that Gov. Scott Walker (R) needed to schedule these races as soon as possible, state leadership called lawmakers back to the Capitol for an extraordinary session April 4 to change the law on how and when Wisconsin’s special elections are held. And Walker said he’d sign the legislation.
Republicans may now hold the House, the Senate and the White House, but their failure to mobilize early and follow through on long-held campaign pledges has political observers wondering: can a unified GOP government actually govern?
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) is staying mum. On Tuesday, he said he would “never” comply with requests to disclose the source of his allegations that communications involving the Trump transition team were “incidentally” collected by U.S. intelligence agencies. “Will you share your sources?” an ABC reporter who confronted Nunes in a Capitol Hill hallway asked. “We will never reveal sources,” he replied. “Even to the other members of the committee?” “Nope,” he said. “Never.”
The federal Office of Government Ethics has accused Senate Republicans of speeding confirmation hearings for Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees. OGE director Walter Shaub Jr. told top Senate Democrats in a Saturday letter that the stacked hearing schedule has left his office unable to complete ethics reviews on several nominees, which he called a matter of “great concern.”
The jewelry company run by Ivanka Trump apparently saw the new first family’s inaugural television interview on CBS' “60 Minutes” as an opportunity to reach new customers. In an email sent to New York Times reporters, Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry’s vice president of sales, Monica Marder, shared a photograph of the President-elect’s eldest daughter wearing a gold bracelet from the brand’s “Metropolis Collection" priced at more than $10,000.