Republican Concern Reaches Down-Ballot to State Legislative Races

House Intelligence Republicans pushed back on Trump claim that the memo undermines the investigation.

Feb. 5, 2018, 11:08 a.m.

“As national Republicans dig in to defend their majorities in Congress in the midterm elections, party leaders across the country have grown anxious about losses on a different front: state legislatures.” Republican “dominance appears to be fraying, strained by the same forces taxing Republicans in Congress. National strategists in both parties see the landscape of legislative races expanding, especially in areas around major cities where President Trump has stirred an insurrection among liberals, and college-educated voters and white women have recoiled from Republicans.”

Pennsylvania state Rep. Gene DiGirolamo (R), on the competitive races in his state: “It looks like it’s going to be a war zone.” (New York Times)

MEMO. Urging President Trump “not to interfere in” White House Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s “investigation, four Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee dismissed on Sunday the idea that the memo’s criticism of how the FBI handled certain surveillance applications undermines the special counsel’s work. Reps. Trey Gowdy (S.C.), Chris Stewart (Utah), Will Hurd (Tex.) and Brad Wenstrup (Ohio) represented the committee on the morning political talk shows.

“Gowdy, who helped draft the memo, said Trump should not fire Rosenstein, and he rejected the idea that the document has a bearing on the investigation.”

“The four Republicans walked a careful line on the GOP document, which alleges that the Justice Department abused its powers by obtaining a warrant for surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page using information from a source who was biased against Trump. Their comments echoed those of” Speaker Paul Ryan, “who supported the memo’s release but insists that its findings do not impugn Mueller or Rosenstein. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), whose actions have been at the center of the debate over the memo, did not give interviews Sunday.” (Washington Post)

DREAMERS. “As lawmakers grasp for a solution for young undocumented immigrants, one option is a temporary extension—perhaps one year—of their legal protections paired with a little bit of cash for border security.

“‘That may be where we’re headed because, you know, Congress is pretty dysfunctional,’ said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of the few to publicly acknowledge the possibility of a temporary fix. ‘That’d be a real loss. But that’s probably where we’re headed, OK?’

“Some senators are already deriding a yearlong patch as ‘misguided,’ a ‘Plan Z’ and a proposal that would keep immigrants ‘in fear.’ But lawmakers have only until March 5 to save the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program under … Trump’s deadline.

“And in a Congress that has routinely struggled to keep the lights on, at least some lawmakers say a temporary fix for Dreamers might be all but inevitable. Lawmakers return to Washington this week with another government shutdown looming after Feb. 8 and a deal on Dreamers still far out of reach—a reality that could make a DACA stopgap increasingly appealing.” (Politico)

SUPER SKIP. “Several Philadelphia Eagles players will skip out on any White House celebration this year following their first-ever Super Bowl win Sunday.” (Politico)

What We're Following See More »
Judge Orders Stone Gag Order
2 hours ago
New Election Ordered in NC-09
2 hours ago
Pence Traveling to Colombia
8 hours ago

"Vice President Mike Pence will go to Colombia on Monday to speak with the Colombian president and regional leaders about the ongoing turmoil in Venezuela and rally the international community behind opposition leader Juan Guaidó." Pence "will deliver remarks to the 14 nations that are part of the 'Lima Group' in Bogota," and will meet with Colombian President Ivan Duque.

Rep. Bradley Byrne Announces Bid Against Sen. Doug Jones
8 hours ago

"U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne became the first official Republican entrant into the 2020 U.S. Senate race announcing his intention to run in a race that could become one of the most expensive political contests in Alabama history. Byrne, a three-term congressman from Fairhope, said he anticipates the fundraising during the lengthy 2020 campaign to eclipse the 2017 special Senate election, in which an estimated $50 million was spent during the contest. Democratic U.S. Senator Doug Jones, who narrowly defeated Republican Roy Moore in that election, raised more than $24 million."

Coast Guard Lt. Planned Large-scale Terrorist Attack
8 hours ago

"A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant and self-identified white nationalist was arrested after federal investigators uncovered a cache of weapons and ammunition in his Maryland home that authorities say he stockpiled to launch a widespread domestic terrorist attack targeting politicians and journalists...Though court documents do not detail a specific planned date for an attack, the government said he had been amassing supplies and weapons since at least 2017, developed a spreadsheet of targets that included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and searched the Internet using phrases such as “best place in dc to see congress people” and “are supreme court justices protected.”


Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.