House of Representatives

GOP Lawmaker Wants Credit for Calling for Impeachment

“As a rule, Republicans don’t usually discuss impeaching their own president. But these are not usual times,” NBC News reports.

“One of the most vulnerable Republicans in Congress, Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo, is so intent on getting credit for being the first GOP lawmaker to discuss impeaching President Donald Trump that his office called up Mother Jones magazine and got them add a correction to a recent story.”

GOP Leaders Afraid of More Secret Recordings

House GOP leadership is agitated after the Washington Post published a transcript from a secret recording of one of the inner-sanctum conversations in the office of Speaker Paul Ryan, reports Jonathan Swan.

“The most widespread theory in House leadership is that the secret recorder and the leaker was Evan McMullin, who as a former leadership aide participated in the June 15 conversation and confirmed the private conversation to the Washington Post. (I am told that the Post, in their back-and-forth with leadership over the story, privately said that the source wasn’t McMullin. There’s no evidence that he was the leaker and I’ve reached out to him for comment.)”

“Evidence or not, leadership sources are privately worried that McMullin had a tape on while he sat silently through all of their confidential meetings. They’re concerned about what leaks could come next.”

FBI Said Russia Was Recruiting GOP Lawmaker

“The F.B.I. warned a Republican congressman in 2012 that Russian spies were trying to recruit him, officials said, an example of how aggressively Russian agents have tried to influence Washington politics,” the New York Times reports.

“The congressman, Dana Rohrabacher of California, has been known for years as one of Moscow’s biggest defenders in Washington and as a vocal opponent of American economic sanctions against Russia.”

McCarthy Suggested Putin Pays Trump

“A month before Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination, one of his closest allies in Congress — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) — made a politically explosive assertion in a private conversation on Capitol Hill with his fellow GOP leaders: that Trump could be the beneficiary of payments from Russian President Vladimir Putin,” the Washington Post reports.

“House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-WI) immediately interjected, stopping the conversation from further exploring McCarthy’s assertion, and swore the Republicans present to secrecy… Ryan instructed his Republican lieutenants to keep the conversation private.”

Said Ryan: “No leaks…This is how we know we’re a real family here.”

House GOP Caucus Is ‘Shellshocked’

“In the House Republicans’ conference meeting on Capitol Hill this morning, the mood among members was subdued and somewhat anxious,” according to Jonathan Swan.

One source described members as “shellshocked.”

“Republican leaders are distressed by what’s going on, but don’t want to join the pile on… The posture (for now): let’s get the facts out there and try to be ‘sober’ about them. The last thing GOP leaders want is for pertinent facts to remain undisclosed, because all that means is the news media will ferret them out, blast them out and further shake the system.”

Impeachment Talk Begins Quietly

Playbook: “It’s hushed right now, and almost all off the record — but it’s there, and it’s Republicans who are beginning to grapple with the real — but far off — possibility that the president might’ve gone too far this time. That’s not to say President Donald Trump will be impeached, but the prospect is beginning to creep into Republicans’ minds, and it’s noteworthy that they are not ruling it out. There’s a sense Mike Schmidt’s story that Trump aked Jim Comey to drop an investigation into Mike Flynn is going to have drastic consequences for everyone in the White House.”

“Other lawmakers — especially the more cautious ones — say there should be a special prosecutor appointed or commission impaneled. We were up in the Capitol last night, chatting with members of Congress about the political dynamics now, and it would be tough to overstate how angry, confused and fed up Republicans are with President Donald Trump.”

GOP Lawmaker Under Ethics Investigation

“Congressional ethics investigators are probing Rep. Chris Collins’ (R-NY) role in attracting investors to an Australian biotech company,” the Buffalo News reports.

“They are looking into any potential role played by Collins, the firm’s largest shareholder, in persuading investors to buy stock in the company.”

Earlier this year reporters overheard Collins in a cellphone conversation just off the House floor, bragging about “how many millionaires I’ve made in Buffalo the past few months.”

Democratic Lawmaker Says Trump Must Be Impeached

Rep. Al Green (D-TX) called for the impeachment of President Trump, “marking the most explicit call yet by a member of Congress to start the process of ousting the president,” BuzzFeed reports.

“Green, in a statement, cited Trump’s ‘obstruction’ in the investigation into whether his campaign coordinated with Russia during the 2016 election. Green pointed specifically to Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey last week, as well as Trump’s tweet stating that Comey ‘better hope that there are no tapes of our conversations’ and that Trump ‘acknowledged he considered the investigation when he fired’ Comey.”

Lawmaker Targeted Activist in Letter to Her Employer

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) “wrote a fundraising letter in March to the board member of a local bank, warning him that a member of an activist group opposing the Republican worked at his bank,” WNYC reports.

“The employee was questioned and criticized for her involvement in NJ 11th for Change, a group that formed after the election of Donald Trump and has been pressuring Frelinghuysen to meet with constituents in his district and oppose the Trump agenda… She says the pressure she received for her political involvement was one of several reasons she decided to leave.”