“Paul Behrends, a top aide to” Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R), “has been ousted from his role as staff director for the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee that Rohrabacher chairs, after stories appeared in the press highlighting his relationships with pro-Russia lobbyists.” (The Atlantic)
“Behrends has been the chief Capitol Hill contact for the lawyer Natalia Vetlitskaya and the lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, a former Soviet intelligence officer, whose contacts with [Donald] Trump Jr. … are now at the center of questions about whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.” (Politico)
THE STORY THAT STARTED IT. “An email reviewed by The Daily Beast shows that before that June 14 hearing, Rohrabacher’s staff received pro-Kremlin briefings against Browder, once Russia’s biggest foreign investor, and his tax attorney Sergei Magnitsky from a lawyer who was working with Veselnitskaya. Although” House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce (R) “had prohibited Rohrabacher from showing the Russian propaganda film in Congress, Rohrabacher’s Capitol Hill office still actively promoted a screening of the movie that was held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., on June 13, 2016. Veselnitskaya was one of those handling the movie’s worldwide promotion.” (Daily Beast)
HELPING HAND. “Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who was once caught remarking that … Rohrabacher might be the one member of Congress paid by Russian President Vladimir Putin, is now headlining a fundraiser for him.” The event “is slated for Sunday, July 23, and tickets cost $2,700 a person, according to the invitation.” (McClatchy)
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Deputy press secretary Raj Shah "has told multiple people he plans to leave the West Wing following the confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Shah has been leading the communications efforts in support of the confirmation process since Kavanaugh’s nomination in July. Two sources familiar with Shah’s thinking said he thought that helping to shepherd the successful confirmation would allow him to end his White House tenure on a high note."
Bill Cosby has been sentenced to no less than three and no more than 10 years in Pennsylvania prison. "Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Judge Steven T. O’Neill announced the sentence Tuesday. He also said Cosby must pay a $25,000 fine and the costs of prosecution. O’Neill also ruled Tuesday morning that Cosby should be designated as a sexually violent predator."