Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 3, 2015

Posts by Hannah Hess

538 Posts

September 2, 2015

White House Aide Facing Indictment Has Resigned

The Obama administration aide indicted Tuesday for allegedly shooting her Capitol Police boyfriend on Aug. 7 has resigned, according to a White House spokesperson.

Barvetta Singletary submitted her resignation, effective Aug. 28, three weeks after she was placed on unpaid leave from her job as a special assistant to the president and House legislative affairs liaison, following a domestic dispute at her Maryland home. The White House accepted Singletary’s resignation. Full story

Mike Honda Lawyers Up

Honda has also hired a public relations firm, specializing in crisis communications. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Honda has also hired a public relations firm, specializing in crisis communications. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Michael M. Honda hired attorneys from two prominent Washington law firms and a California public relations firm to respond to a controversy surrounding a potential House Ethics Committee probe into improper coordination between his campaign and official staff.

The move by the California Democrat, disclosed in quarterly filings with the Federal Election Commission, comes after Honda acknowledged he has been cooperating with Office of Congressional Ethics investigators who are looking into allegations raised by a former staffer. Full story

September 1, 2015

White House Staffer Indicted for Shooting at Capitol Police Boyfriend

The White House staffer and longtime Capitol Hill aide arrested Aug. 7 for allegedly shooting at her Capitol Police boyfriend has been indicted for first degree assault, Maryland authorities said Tuesday.

Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks also announced charges against Barvetta Singletary of second degree assault, reckless endangerment and use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence. Singletary was placed on unpaid leave from her job as special assistant to the president and House legislative affairs liaison after the arrest. She is free on a $15,000 bond, with her access to the White House revoked. Full story

Capitol Police Arrest Secret Service Impersonator in Scalise’s Office (Video)

Capitol Police arrested a man last month for reportedly impersonating a law enforcement officer in House Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s Rayburn office.

Darryl Sharp, 54, allegedly entered the Louisiana Republican’s office around 2 p.m. on Aug. 19. He yelled at staff, demanded paperwork and claimed to be with the Secret Service, according to a person familiar with the incident. Scalise’s staff called Capitol Police. Full story

August 28, 2015

Ike Memorial Gets Another Critic

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sensenbrenner slammed the panel planning a memorial to Ike. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As appropriators get down to business on fiscal 2016 spending, one House Republican is asking key players in the deal-making process not to compromise on their proposal to strip funding for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission.

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., criticized the commission’s approach to planning a memorial park on a four-acre site in Southwest Washington, D.C., as “deeply flawed and highly contentious,” in a letter to House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., and ranking member Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y. Full story

August 27, 2015

Doug Hughes Legal Team Takes Aim at D.C. Airspace Security

UNITED STATES - MAY 21: Doug Hughes leaves the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse, May 21, 2015, after pleading not guilty to six counts regarding his landing of a gyrocopter on the West Lawn of the Capitol in April. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Hughes leaves the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse, May 21 after pleading not guilty to six counts regarding his landing of a gyrocopter on the West Lawn of the Capitol in April. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The legal team representing Douglas Hughes plans to poke holes in congressional testimony from federal officials who were called before Congress in the wake of Hughes’ April 15 landing of his gyrocopter on the Capitol’s West Front Lawn.

If the gyrocopter case goes to trial, defense attorney Mark Goldstone intends to “expose the lack of security” in the heavily restricted airspace over Washington, he told reporters Thursday after a brief status hearing at the federal courthouse. Full story

Ethics Battle Still Brewing Over Azerbaijan Travel

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The ethics watchdogs want Dent to release full findings from the Azerbaijan travel probe. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After it provoked a dispute between key players in Capitol Hill’s ethics enforcement process, Congress handed a probe of Azerbaijan travel to the executive branch and headed out for recess. But the battle is still brewing in Washington.

On Wednesday, watchdogs who have long lobbied Congress to get more serious about self-policing blasted the House Ethics Committee’s decision to close the case involving nine lawmakers without releasing a 70-page report from Office of Congressional Ethics investigators as “unprecedented.” Full story

August 26, 2015

Court Orders in Chaka Fattah Case Could Complicate Life in Congress

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The congressman is barred from communicating with two congressional colleagues without an attorney. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Pre-trial orders from the federal judge overseeing Rep. Chaka Fattah’s corruption case have made it hard and expensive for the Pennsylvania Democrat to do his job in Congress.

Fattah is barred from communicating or have contact with fellow Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch, of Florida, or Sen. Bob Casey, the senior Democratic senator from his state’s congressional delegation, without an attorney present under the Aug. 18 order. Both Capitol Hill colleagues could be called by prosecutors to testify in the case, according to court documents. Full story

August 25, 2015

Prosecutors: Menendez Argument ‘Blueprint’ for Criminal Immunity on Capitol Hill

Menendez

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Measuring the scope of Congress’ ability to shield its work from prosecutors, Department of Justice lawyers and attorneys representing Sen. Robert Menendez seem to agree on only one point: The New Jersey Democrat’s assistance securing tourist and student visas for Dr. Salomon Melgen’s young, foreign girlfriends falls into the unprotected category.

But the two sides are feuding over protections granted under the Constitution’s Speech or Debate Clause as they relate to nearly every other allegation of bribery in the 14-count indictment. Full story

August 24, 2015

Justice Department Ready to Rumble With Menendez

DOJ lawyers (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

DOJ lawyers (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The team prosecuting Sen. Robert Menendez is firing back against accusations of misconduct in the government’s corruption case, calling the New Jersey Democrat’s legal arguments “meritless” and sensational.

On Monday, Department of Justice lawyers filed five briefs, spanning nearly 230 pages, in response to 14 motions from Menendez’s legal team alleging perjury, grand jury abuse and violations of the senator’s constitutional rights. The DOJ characterizes the July 20 filings from Menendez, which could push back the start of the case, as redundant and inaccurate. Full story

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