Congressional Climate May 26th, 2017
Video of the Day
President Trump has a Bilateral Meeting with Prime Minister Abe of Japan
Today’s Hill Action
Senate Floor Schedule
The Senate meets in a pro forma session
House Floor Schedule
The House meets in a pro forma session
Republicans wins Montana House seat despite assault charge
Republican Greg Gianforte is projected to win the Thursday special election for Montana’s lone House seat despite a shocking altercation with a reporter on Wednesday that led to an assault charge against the future congressman.
News outlets crowned Gianforte the apparent winner at about 12:30 a.m. EDT with about 50 percent of the vote. Democrat Rob Quist had 44 percent at the time of the call, according to the Montana secretary of State’s website.
Gianforte’s victory comes hours after a physical altercation with The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs led to the local sheriff filing a misdemeanor assault charge against him. His campaign initially claimed that the reporter “aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg’s face,” grabbing the candidate’s wrist and pushing him to the ground.
But a Fox News reporter who witnessed the altercation said that Gianforte “grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him to the ground,” adding that Jacobs did not “show any form of physical aggression toward Gianforte” before he grabbed the reporter’s neck.
Gianforte is scheduled to appear in county court sometime before June 7. The charge carries a maximum fine of $500, a prison term of no more than six months, or both.
FBI won’t provide Comey memos to Congress yet
The FBI on Thursday declined a congressional request for explosive memos by former Director James Comey detailing his interactions with President Donald Trump.
The House Oversight Committee and other congressional panels requested the memos earlier this month after The New York Times reported that Comey wrote in one that Trump had asked him to shut down the FBI’s investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Trump denied the allegation.
In a letter to Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the FBI’s assistant director for congressional affairs, Gregory Brower, said the bureau can’t provide the memo until it consults with Robert Mueller, the new special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia’s election meddling.
In light of Mueller’s appointment “and other considerations,” Brower wrote, “we are undertaking appropriate consultation to ensure all relevant interests implicated by your request are properly evaluated.” Brower pledged to update the Oversight panel “as soon as possible.”
Trump’s Travel Ban Remains Frozen After Appeals Court Ruling
President Donald Trump suffered his most significant setback yet in a bitter fight over his revised travel ban as a federal appeals court slammed it as being “steeped in animus.”
The court in Richmond, Virginia, refused on Thursday to lift a nationwide block on Trump’s attempt to ban travel from six mostly Muslim countries on national security grounds. The judges used especially harsh language in a 79-page decision that is certain to plague the president in other courtroom battles over the directive.
The court warned that government missteps in dealing with religion can foster hostility and division and encourage persecution of minorities.
“The risk of these harms is particularly acute here, where from the highest elected office in the nation has come an executive order steeped in animus and directed at a single religious group,” the panel said.
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