Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said that he plans to finish his committee’s investigation into the origins of the FBI’s Russia probe by October and release a public report before the election, CNN reports.
President Trump is attending a Senate Republican buffet lunch today in the Capitol.
Apparently no one saw this segment on Fox News.
“The Senate Intelligence Committee has approved Rep. John Ratcliffe’s (R-TX) nomination to be director of national intelligence, paving the way for a full Senate vote in the coming weeks,” the Washington Post reports.
“The Republican congressman from Texas and staunch defender of President Trump has faced difficult questions about his credentials and whether he is capable of acting independently.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) has asked the Trump administration to fully declassify an unusual email former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice sent herself regarding Michael Flynn on the eve of her departure, Politico reports.
Through a spokesperson, Rice said she welcomes the release of the email.
“Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham is preparing to ask his colleagues on the panel for blanket permission to subpoena dozens of Obama and Trump administration officials connected to the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election — and contacts between President Trump’s team and Russians,” Politico reports.
“His proposal would permit the South Carolina Republican to demand testimony and documents from figures involved in the intelligence associated with the launch of the Russia investigation.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced Monday that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) will serve as the acting chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee while a federal investigation into Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) is ongoing, Axios reports.
Gallup: “For a second consecutive month, Congress’ job approval rating remains elevated, at 31%. Congress last had an approval rating of 31% or better in early September 2009, during President Barack Obama’s first year in office, when he worked with Democratic majorities in Congress.”
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), in an online high school commencement address, “delivered a talk that was part attempted stand-up comedy, including shots at psychologists and students’ fitness, and part a scalding indictment of China over the coronavirus pandemic,” the Omaha World Herald reports.
“An unshaven Sasse, wearing a loosened red tie and white shirt, told students they would be rare among high school graduates in that they would remember their commencement ceremony because of this year’s odd circumstances.”
A school board member called on Sasse to apologize.
Elizabeth Spiers: “If you’ve ever been to an open mic standup comedy show where there’s one guy who’s so bad the whole room goes completely silent and starts scanning for exits because the vicarious embarrassment is too much — and you want to re-live that — here’s Ben Sasse to oblige.”
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), co-chair of the Whistleblower Protection Caucus, told NBC News that Congress is entitled to a more thorough explanation of President Trump’s firing of the State Department’s inspector general.
Said Grassley: “As I’ve said before, Congress requires written reasons justifying an IG’s removal. A general lack of confidence simply is not sufficient detail to satisfy Congress.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said the Senate would work to confirm a Supreme Court nominee this year if a vacancy arises, saying the circumstances are different from 2016, when Republicans blocked then-President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland, The Hill reports.
“Graham, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, noted that both the Senate and the White House are held by Republicans, versus in 2016, when the GOP-held Senate denied Garland a hearing.”
Said Graham: “Well, Merrick Garland was a different situation. You had the president of one party nominating, and you had the Senate in the hands of the other party. A situation where you’ve got them both would be different. I don’t want to speculate, but I think appointing judges is a high priority for me in 2020.”
Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) has supplied records about stock trading on her behalf to the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Senate Ethics Committee, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) told the San Francisco Chronicle that she was questioned by federal law enforcement agents about stock trades her husband made after the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States.
Feinstein also provided documents to federal agents to show she was not involved in the transactions by her husband, investment banker Richard Blum.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) brushed back President Trump’s pleas for the Judiciary Committee chairman to haul in former President Barack Obama for testimony about the origins of the Russia investigation and the FBI’s handling of the investigation into Michael Flynn, Politico reports.
Said Graham: “I don’t think now’s the time for me to do that. I don’t know if that’s even possible. I have grave concerns about the role of executive privilege and all kinds of issues. I understand President Trump’s frustration, but be careful what you wish for. Just be careful what you wish for.”
Sen. Kelly Loefller (R-GA) was asked by Politico if she’s had any contact with the FBI, like Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC).
She didn’t answer the question.
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) is stepping aside as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee during the investigation into stock trades he made shortly before the coronavirus market turmoil, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “We agreed that this decision would be in the best interests of the committee and will be effective at the end of the day tomorrow.”
Earlier for members: Why Barr Allowed a Warrant Served on a GOP Senator
President Trump called on Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to subpoena former President Barack Obama to testify “about the biggest political crime and scandal in the history of the USA.”
“Senate Republicans are ramping up investigations of former Vice President Joe Biden, announcing two developments Wednesday in probes that could cast a shadow over the apparent Democratic presidential nominee,” NBC News reports.
“The escalation comes as President Trump and his allies have ratcheted up their attacks on the Obama administration in recent days.”
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