The Russia Inquiry

Tuesday, March 21, 2017Screen Shot 2017-03-21 at 08.25.21

Good Tuesday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, announced that the agency is investigating whether members of President Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election. Mr. Comey also dismissed Mr. Trump’s claim that he was wiretapped.
  • As Mr. Comey acknowledged the investigation, Republicans instead focused on leaks to news organizations.
  • At the opening of his confirmation hearings, Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, Mr. Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, appeared prepared for criticism that his rulings have tilted toward corporate interests.
  • To rally wavering votes, House Republicans inserted a last-minute provision in their health care bill that would shift Medicaid costs from New York’s counties to the state.
The First Draft Team
Sidebar

Will Gorsuch Join Justices in Time to Matter This Term?

By ADAM LIPTAK
People lined up outside the Supreme Court building on Monday before the confirmation hearing of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch.

People lined up outside the Supreme Court building on Monday before the confirmation hearing of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch. Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Senate Republicans are in a race against the clock. They want to put Judge Neil M. Gorsuch on the Supreme Court in time to participate in at least some of this term’s cases, notably one on the separation of church and state.
If they are to succeed, they will have to move with exceptional speed.
The calendar is an obstacle course. The confirmation hearings started on Monday and will last several days. The last scheduled arguments of the Supreme Court term are set for the last two weeks of April, and the Senate leaves for a two-week break on April 7.
Senator Charles E. Grassley, the Iowa Republican who heads the Judiciary Committee, has said that getting Judge Gorsuch onto the Supreme Court was important enough to cancel the recess. Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, has said that will not be necessary. “We’re going to confirm him,” he said, “before the April recess.”
But in the last three decades, it has taken a median of 15 days from the start of the hearings for the Senate Judiciary Committee to vote, and another nine days for the full Senate to act, according to the Congressional Research Service. That works out to April 13, after the Senate is scheduled to leave town.
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F.B.I. Is Investigating Trump’s Russia Ties, Comey Confirms

By MATT APUZZO, MATTHEW ROSENBERG AND EMMARIE HUETTEMAN

The F.B.I. chief’s remarks created a treacherous political moment for the president and placed a criminal investigation at the doorstep of the White House.

Highlights From Hearing on Russian Role in the U.S. Election

By SCOTT SHANE

The F.B.I. director confirmed an investigation into possible collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia. Here are the other key takeaways.

What Investigation? G.O.P. Responds by Changing Subject

By MICHAEL D. SHEAR

As the F.B.I. director acknowledged an investigation into ties between presidential associates and Russia, Republicans instead focused on leaks to news organizations.

Trump Visits Kentucky to Reprise His Greatest Hits of 2016

By MARK LANDLER

The president promised to renegotiate trade deals, clamp down on illegal immigration and keep terrorists out of the country, while vowing to pass the health care overhaul.

NEWS ANALYSIS

President’s Beleaguered Defenders Face Fresh Worries

By GLENN THRUSH

The obsessiveness and ferocity of the president’s pushback against the Russia allegations, often untethered from fact, are making an uncertain situation worse.

Gorsuch Tries to Put Himself Above Politics

By MATT FLEGENHEIMER

Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, the president’s Supreme Court nominee, appeared prepared for criticism that his rulings have tilted toward corporate interests.

Iraqi Leader, in Washington, Gets Trump’s Assurance of U.S. Support

By MARK LANDLER AND MICHAEL R. GORDON

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said that he was happy with the meeting with the president and asserted that the new administration had assured him that American support would be expanded.

Former Trump Campaign Chief Faces New Allegations in Ukraine

By ANDREW E. KRAMER

An invoice seems to show a payment to Paul Manafort of $750,000, disguised as a sale of computers. A spokesman for Mr. Manafort dismissed it all as baseless.

Despite a Trust, Ivanka Trump Still Wields Power Over Her Brand

By RACHEL ABRAMS

Ms. Trump may address potential conflicts by recusing herself from related White House business or by vetoing a deal for her company, said an ethics lawyer who advises her.

House Leaders Seek Health Care Votes From New York Republicans

By THOMAS KAPLAN AND ROBERT PEAR

A provision that would shift Medicaid costs from New York’s counties to the state was added to the health care bill, a move sought by upstate Republicans.

David Rockefeller, Philanthropist and Banker, Dies at 101

By JONATHAN KANDELL

Mr. Rockefeller was influential in foreign affairs, helped resolve New York’s fiscal crisis in the 1970s and was chairman of the Museum of Modern Art for many years.

Adam Schiff Leverages Democrats’ Limited Power in Trump Inquiry

By JENNIFER STEINHAUER

The congressman gently probed the F.B.I. chief for information and laid out the history of the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russian officials.

Law Enforcement Agencies Bristle at Immigration Detention Report

By RON NIXON AND LIZ ROBBINS

The report, which lists jurisdictions that do not cooperate with requests to hold noncitizens that ICE believes could be deported, has prompted confusion and defiance.

MEDIATOR

Opposition and a Shave: Former Obama Aides Counter Trump

By JIM RUTENBERG

Former members of the Obama White House are using their podcast, “Pod Save America,’’ to counter the president on his terrain. (And they have advertisers.)

What We’re Reading
From The Atlantic:
“It’s a better time than ever to be a media mogul with a direct line to the president.”
You might see the name Chris Ruddy appear with greater frequency in your political news diet. That’s because in recent weeks, Mr. Ruddy — chief executive of the conservative media organization Newsmax and a longtime personal friend of Mr. Trump — has become the president’s unofficial spokesman across cable and online news channels. If you’re unfamiliar with this White House outsider, read this quick profile to catch up.
From Newsmax:
“Trump has been acting in good faith, but he shouldn’t trust House Republicans.”
In light of Mr. Ruddy’s proximity to the president, you might be interested in the media mogul’s views on the House Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. Here’s a hint: Like many others on the right, he’s not a fan.
See more great reads from around the web »