Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
June 2, 2015

June 1, 2015

Rand Paul Campaign Video Taken Down (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

One of Sen. Rand Paul’s presidential campaign videos that appeared to violate Senate rules has been taken down. But a new campaign video seems to be taking advantage of a gray area in the rule.

A video titled, “Rand Paul: Filibuster for the Fourth Amendment,” posted online last week used video footage and audio from the Kentucky Republican’s marathon Senate speech about government surveillance, seemingly violating the Senate rule that prohibits the use of footage of Senate proceedings for campaign purposes. The video is no longer online, after the Senate Rules Committee took action Monday. Full story

Lawmakers Lament Deteriorating Arlington Memorial Bridge

From left, Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis, and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, called for more federal transportation funding.  (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

From left, Beyer, Jarvis and Jewell called for more federal transportation funding. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Regional lawmakers are sounding the alarm about the condition of the Arlington Memorial Bridge and are pushing for Congress to provide funds to repair the structure.

“Two lanes closed on one of the most important entrances to our nation’s capital. We already have the worst traffic congestion in the country, and now this,” Rep. Don Beyer Jr., D-Va., said at a Monday press conference on the Virginia side of the bridge. “This is not just the symbol, but the reality of failed leadership.” Full story

Police Stop Intern From Bringing Gun Into House Office Building (Updated) (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 6:37 p.m. | Capitol Police arrested a 25-year-old intern Monday who carried an unloaded handgun into the Longworth House Office Building. Full story

By Hannah Hess Posted at 11:10 a.m.
Capitol Police

May 31, 2015

Rand Paul Campaign Video Appears to Violate Senate Rules (Video)

Paul's campaign video appears to violate Senate rules. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Paul’s campaign video appears to violate Senate rules. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Rand Paul has lauded his fight against a Patriot Act extension in his presidential campaign, but one campaign video appears to violate Senate rules.

Senate rules state, “The use of any tape duplication of radio or television coverage of the proceedings of the Senate for political campaign purposes is strictly prohibited.” But a video posted by the Kentucky Republican’s campaign Friday appears to violate that rule.

Full story

May 29, 2015

‘Catfish’ Subject Indicted for Metro, SOTU Threats

A 20-year-old D.C. man allegedly called Metro Transit Police on the night of State of the Union, claiming people “from France” told him they planned to ambush President Barack Obama’s motorcade and assassinate the president that night.

The caller went on to say the same people had placed bombs around the Potomac Avenue Metro station, and also planned to kill a police officer. As a result of these threats, the entire station was shut down and sweeps were conducted to check for the reported bombs or other destructive devices, the Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority stated in a release announcing the arrest of Jerez Nehemiah Stone-Coleman.

Full story

Sexual Allegations Follow ‘Sparse’ Indictment of Hastert

Hastert Indictment

Hastert has been silent in the face of the accusations. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

At least one man allegedly told the FBI a decades-old story of being inappropriately touched by former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, The New York Times reported Friday afternoon, one of a flurry of leaks from anonymous sources familiar with the investigation of the Illinois Republican.

The allegations stem from before his political career, when Hastert was a wrestling coach and teacher at Yorkville High School, and BuzzFeed News has suggested there may be multiple victims. Since the 73-year-old was indicted Thursday on federal charges allegedly related to a $3.5 million hush-money scheme to conceal “prior misconduct,” multiple reports have suggested “Individual A” may have been sexually abused by Hastert. Full story

By Hannah Hess Posted at 5:34 p.m.
Ethics

Investigators Raid Home of Chris Collins’ Chief of Staff

Collins, right, says his top aide will stay in place. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Collins, right, says there is no sign of wrongdoing on the part of his top aide. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Investigators probing the campaign and fundraising activities of Western New York political operatives on Thursday raided the home of the chief of staff for Republican Rep. Chris Collins, local new outlets reported.

State and federal law enforcement officials executed a search of the Akron, N.Y., home of Christopher M. Grant, 34, on the same day they gathered evidence from the homes of two other men allegedly connected to an independent political committee that may be the focus of investigation, according to The Buffalo News. Full story

Internet Squatter Trolls Capitol Police (Updated)

(Screenshot, courtesy Hannah Hess/CQ Roll Call)

(Screenshot Hannah Hess/CQ Roll Call)

Updated: 8:20 a.m. | Typing CapitolPolice.us into a Web browser reveals a toxic takedown of Congress’ own law enforcement agency that appears to have been created by someone who wears — or recently wore — a Capitol Police badge.

A cybersquatter who is full of vitriol for Capitol Police Chief Kim C. Dine, his inner circle and the senior House and Senate officials in charge of security established an “Independent News, Opinion and Commentary” site to troll the department. A former employee of the Capitol Police brought the site to Roll Call’s attention Thursday morning. Full story

May 28, 2015

Hastert Indictment Details Hush-Money Scheme (Updated)

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated: 9:28 p.m. | The Justice Department’s indictment of former Speaker J. Dennis Hastert details a sordid tale of the Illinois Republican paying $3.5 million of hush money in small increments to cover up “his past misconduct” and seeking to conceal the acts, including lying to federal agents.

In an indictment handed down in the U.S. District Court of Northern Illinois in February, Hastert, 73, is charged with structuring the withdrawal of $952,000 in cash in increments designed to avoid cash-reporting requirements, and lying to the FBI about his withdrawals. He allegedly told FBI agents in a December interview that he was keeping the cash because he did not feel safe with the banking system. Full story

Former Senate Commerce Staffer Indicted for Defrauding Vulnerable Women

Known as a fixture on Capitol Hill until his January 2010 retirement, longtime Senate staffer Robert Lee Foster is now making headlines for his alleged involvement in a scheme to defraud vulnerable women for approximately $500,000.

A Virginia grand jury on Thursday indicted the 65-year-old man, who worked as a staffer on the Senate Commerce Committee for more than three decades, on nine counts of wire fraud, allegedly connected to his Senate Federal Credit Union account. Full story

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