Washington has been rocked after another trove of classified documents was discovered at the home of another high-profile politician — this time former Vice President Mike Pence.
Pence’s lawyer described the documents as “a small number of classified documents that were inadvertently transported to the former vice president’s private home at the end of the previous administration.” They were discovered on Jan. 16, he said. and are being placed in a secure safe until they can be returned to the appropriate authorities.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden has a rare endorsement from an unlikely source: Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who told reporters on Capitol Hill that if Biden’s mishandling of classified documents He was “shocked” by anything inappropriate.
Here’s what else is going on in politics:
Ex-FBI officer accused of accepting secret payments appears in federal court
A former FBI official, once named the bureau’s top counterintelligence agent in New York, will make his first appearance in federal court in the District of Columbia on Wednesday accused of receiving $225,000 in secret payments from a former Albanian intelligence operative, The intelligence officer also served as an FBI informant.
Charles McGonigal was indicted separately this week in New York on charges of concealing his business ties to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who first began accepting cash payments from the Albanian operative a year before he retired in 2018 , and concealed the transactions from the FBI, prosecutors allege.
Prosecutors said McGonigal solicited and received cash from agents who traveled extensively with McGonigal, including a trip to Albania, where then-FBI officials met with the prime minister to discuss potentially exposing his Albanian colleagues to Economically beneficial oil drilling policies.
The first of three payments was delivered to McGonigal on Oct. 5, 2017, in a car parked outside a restaurant in New York City, where agents handed over about $80,000, federal authorities said.
– Kevin Johnson
McCarthy picks former rivals and new allies for investigative committee
Speaker Kevin McCarthy has chosen a mix of Republican allies and rivals to serve on two new investigative subcommittees, including members who previously blocked him from leading the House and his new supporter, Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green.
Green, who was previously fired from Twitter for spreading COVID misinformation, will serve on the coronavirus pandemic task force subcommittee that will investigate the origins of the deadly outbreak. The group also includes Rep. Michael Crowder of Texas, who previously blocked McCarthy’s bid for speaker in more than a dozen rounds of voting.
For the subcommittee on the weaponization of the federal government, McCarthy singled out two members who had previously voted against him as speaker: Rep. Chip Roy of Texas and Rep. Dan Bishop of North Carolina. The committee’s only newcomer is Rep. Harriet Hageman of Wyoming, who beat out former Rep. Liz Cheney, the leading member of the committee who retired Jan. 6.
– Candy Woodall
Nothing ‘sinister’: Graham vouches for Biden in classified documents discovery
There was a rare outcry from Capitol Hill Republicans as President Joe Biden came under fire from Republican lawmakers for mishandling classified documents.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., vouched for Biden’s character on Tuesday as the president faces intense scrutiny over his handling of classified information.
“I’ve known President Biden for a long time,” Graham told reporters on Capitol Hill. “I would be appalled if there was anything sinister here.”
McCarthy says how to oust Santos
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has laid out what it takes to remove embattled freshman Rep. George Santos, who admitted lying to New York voters about his personal and professional background.
“If at some point, when we passed the code of ethics, he broke the law, then we’re going to remove him,” he told reporters Tuesday. “The American public in his district voted for him. He has a responsibility to uphold the What they vote for, work here and have their say, but at any point, if it rises to the legal level, we’ll deal with it.”
Representatives Daniel Goldman and Rich Torres, Democrats from New York, filed a complaint with the ethics committee earlier this month, urging the committee to investigate Santos and his campaign finance reports. He also faces scrutiny at the local and state levels, with members of his party calling for his resignation.
– Candy Woodall
Speaker McCarthy blocks Schiff, Swalwell from House intelligence panel
Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday he would not let California Reps. Eric Swalwell and Adam Schiff sit on the House Intelligence Committee.
“I will put national security above partisan politics,” he told a news conference.
McCarthy has said that Swalwell would not be able to obtain a private sector security clearance, while Schiff lied to the public by claiming they were unfit to serve on committees dealing with classified information.
Democrats say it’s political revenge. Both California Democrats from the previous Congress and Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) have called for their reappointment. Unlike most standing committees, the speaker has wide latitude in deciding who serves on the special intelligence committee.
– Candy Woodall
Intelligence interception:McCarthy plans to block Democrats Swalwell and Schiff from House intelligence committee
Leopard 2 tank cost
German Chancellor Olaf Schulz announced on Wednesday that his country would supply 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks to the Ukrainian army, a move that followed months of diplomatic pressure in Kyiv. Earlier, the White House was expected to announce the deployment of M1 Abrams tanks to the Ukrainian battlefield.
President Joe Biden is scheduled to discuss Ukraine at a White House event at noon today.
Modern, capable tanks are considered critical to Ukraine’s ability to withstand an expected spring offensive by Russian forces and to help Ukrainians retake parts of the country they captured during an invasion ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Ukrainians operate Russian and Soviet era tanks. Western tanks will provide them with greater firepower, mobility and armor.
— Holly Rosencrantz
Here’s what’s in the penny file
- When were these documents discovered? The classified documents were discovered on Jan. 16 and are being stored in a secure safe until they can be returned to the proper authorities, according to Pence’s attorney, Greg Jacobs.
- How many documents were found? Pence’s lawyers described the documents as “a small number of classified documents that were inadvertently transported to the former vice president’s private home at the end of the previous administration.”
- What Pence said: Last year, Pence repeatedly denied having access to classified documents at home. In August, when asked explicitly by The Associated Press whether he had such documents, he replied: “No, not as far as I know.”
- What Security Analysts Say: The country’s classified documents problem is far from over. Security analysts told USA TODAY that the U.S. system for protecting classified presidential documents — especially during the transition of power — is in dire need of improvement.
Vice President Harris to visit California after mass shooting
Vice President Kamala Harris will visit California after two mass shootings in her hometown that killed 18 people and renewed the president’s push for gun control.
“Our hearts are with the people of California,” President Joe Biden said Tuesday. “The vice president is leaving.”
Seven people were killed in two shootings near the Half Moon Bay neighborhood in Northern California on Tuesday, just days after a rampage in Southern California left 11 dead. Harris plans to visit Monterey Park, where one of the shootings took place.
– Joey Garrison
Biden’s schedule for today
President Joe Biden will make a statement on Ukraine at the White House at noon.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will hold a news conference at 1:30 p.m.
Vice President Kamala Harris will address the Democratic caucus this morning at the Capitol. She left Washington at 1:45 p.m. for California.
Harris will visit Monterey Park at 8:20 p.m., where she will meet with families of victims of the mass shooting.
— Holly Rosencrantz
California shootings:‘Only in America’: Gov. Newsom condemns gun violence as he visits Half Moon Bay after 7 dead: Live updates
Taylor Swift ticket failure takes center stage in Senate
The Senate Judiciary Committee knows all too well how poorly Ticketmaster is selling tickets for Taylor Swift’s highly anticipated tour, as senators examine a lack of competition within the ticketing industry and grill a Ticketmaster executive about its handling of tickets. executives.
The committee has relentlessly held the company accountable and questioned its practices, its influence over the ticketing market and the monopoly of the company that merged with Live National Entertainment in 2010.
There was no shortage of references to Swift as senators and witnesses who engaged in genuine fan behavior, singing the lyrics endlessly during the three-hour hearing, including Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. Al, he advised Live Nation’s president and chief financial officer, Joe Berchtodd, that the company “look in the mirror and say, ‘I’m the problem. It’s me.'”
– Sarah Elbeschbig
Sour note:“Ticket scalping on an industrial scale.” Senator grills conductors over Taylor Swift concert fiasco