MoveOn.org members in two open congressional districts endorsed candidates ahead of the March primaries, backing Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D) in IL-04 and former El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar (D) in TX-16. (release)
IL-03: EMILY’s List endorsed marketing consultant Marie Newman’s (D) primary bid against Rep. Dan Lipinski (D). President Stephanie Schriock: Lipinski “has put women’s reproductive health care in jeopardy and sought to end protections against discrimination. This is not an acceptable way to govern.” (release)
The SEIU is set to back Newman, as well. The endorsement is “a huge one in the quest by the left to oust Lipinski, among the most conservative Democrats remaining in Congress. SEIU not only has financial firepower but its members are engaged and politically active.” (Politico)
IN-06: Businessman Greg Pence “is getting a lot of high-powered help in his bid for the congressional seat formerly held by his brother, Vice President Mike Pence.” He “raised $565,115 since starting his campaign in October, according to his year-end disclosure report filed Wednesday. His totals were boosted by contributions from House GOP leaders, big backers of President Trump and top Indiana Republicans. The only other candidate … who has a significant war chest is businessman Jonathan Lamb (R).” He’s “raised $582,638, most of it in personal loans to his campaign.” (Indianapolis Star)
PA-01: Chester Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland (D) is exploring a run for retiring Rep. Bob Brady’s (D) seat. “He also served as state representative for the 159th district for 24 years and, prior to that, was a community service coordinator for Crozer-Chester Medical Center. While in Harrisburg, he was a member of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus and was Democratic chairman of the House Tourism and Recreational Committee.” (Delaware County Times)
SC-04: The GOP field is already taking shape in the race to replace retiring Rep. Trey Gowdy (R). Spartanburg County Clerk of Court Hope Blackley (R) “said she would make an announcement next week about whether she will run.” Strategist Luke Byars (R) said state Sen. William Timmons (R) “will run for Gowdy’s seat. State Rep. Dan Hamilton (R) is considering. (GoUpstate.com) Not interested: former Rep. Bob Inglis (R)” who tweeted Thursday that he won’t seek the seat.
TX-29: State Sen. Sylvia Garcia (D) “is running for Congress again and, until recently, some in Houston were predicting she would effectively swamp the other six Democrats in the race, winning the party’s nomination in a clear shot on the March 6 primary and avoiding a runoff. The wildcard appears to be” health care CEO Tahir Javed (D), who said “he will ‘spend whatever it takes’ to win” retiring Rep. Gene Green’s (D) seat. (Texas Tribune)
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The indictment, filed in the District of Columbia, alleges that the interference began "in or around 2014," when the defendants began tracking and studying U.S. social media sites. They "created and controlled numerous Twitter accounts" and "purchased computer servers located inside the United States" to mask their identities, some of which were stolen. The interference was coordinated by election interference "specialists," and focused on the Black Lives Matter movement, immigration, and other divisive issues. "By early to mid-2016" the groups began supporting the campaign of "then-candidate Donald Trump," including by communicating with "unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign..."
"Former Trump campaign adviser Rick Gates is finalizing a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller's office, indicating he's poised to cooperate in the investigation, according to sources familiar with the case. Gates has already spoken to Mueller's team about his case and has been in plea negotiations for about a month. He's had what criminal lawyers call a 'Queen for a Day' interview, in which a defendant answers any questions from the prosecutors' team, including about his own case and other potential criminal activity he witnessed."
"The Senate on Thursday rejected immigration legislation crafted by centrists in both parties after President Trump threatened to veto the bill if it made it to his desk. In a 54-45 vote, the Senate failed to advance the legislation from eight Republican, seven Democratic and one Independent senators. It needed 60 votes to overcome a procedural hurdle. "
"The House Intelligence Committee has scheduled a Thursday meeting to hear testimony from Steve Bannon—but it's an open question whether President Donald Trump's former chief strategist will even show up. The White House sent a letter to Capitol Hill late Wednesday laying out its explanation for why Trump's transition period falls under its authority to assert executive privilege, a move intended to shield Bannon from answering questions about that time period." Both Republicans and Democrats on the committee dispute the White House's theory, and have floated charging Bannon with contempt should he refuse to appear.