Patrick Kelley

Candidate’s ex-senator dad lobbies for Chinese tech firm. That could be a problem
Former Sen. Joe Lieberman advising son Matt, and China’s ZTE

U.S. national security experts of all political stripes agree: Chinese tech behemoth ZTE is a threat.

The company is a leading candidate to provide new markets with 5G networks, a lightning-fast wireless service that will support advanced technological applications.

Freedom Caucus steps into the GOP messaging gap
Conservative hard-liners fill vacuum to counterpunch for Trump

Mark Meadows’ gaze was scrupulously trained on Adam B. Schiff.

On Oct. 3, after deposing a former Trump official for hours, Schiff, the House Intelligence chairman, emerged from a secure room in the Capitol’s basement and addressed a waiting television camera.

Democrats, Trump lock in on impeachment standoff

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff on Tuesday bemoaned the State Department’s decision to block U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland from testifying before the committee during its impeachment inquiry, calling the decision “obstruction”.

Sondland’s testimony, the California Democrat said, would have been “deeply relevant” to the inquiry into whether President Donald Trump used his office to coerce the Ukrainian government into investigating a chief political rival ahead of his 2020 re-election bid.

GOP laments Schiff’s handling of Ukraine probe, Volker testimony
Schiff: Trump actions ‘ought to be condemned by every member’

House Republicans on Thursday said that testimony from the State Department’s former envoy to Ukraine, sought by House Democrats with regards to their impeachment inquiry, won’t advance the drive to impeach President Donald Trump.

Emerging from the day-long deposition, New York Republican Lee Zeldin said that former U.S. Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker’s private Thursday testimony, “blows a hole in the argument” presented by Democrats that  Trump asked the president of Ukraine for a quid pro quo.

Mysterious dossier delivered to Congress by State Department watchdog
Documents said to contain conspiracy theories related to Ukraine

The State Department’s inspector general on Wednesday shared with Congress a dossier of unknown origins that one lawmaker said contained conspiracy theories and was hand-delivered to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo months ago.

With members away from the Capitol for a two-week recess, Steve Linick, the State Department’s top watchdog, briefed congressional staffers Maryland Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin, on the documents that Raskin said arrived at the department in May.

Intel chief calls whistleblower complaint ‘unprecedented’
Acting director of national intelligence Maguire explains to House Intelligence Committee why he didn’t release complaint to Congress

The acting director of national intelligence on Thursday told the House Intelligence Committee that he did not forward to the panel a whistleblower complaint regarding President Donald Trump pressuring Ukraine to investigate the Biden family, as he first needed clarification if the complaint was one that could be superseded by executive privilege.

Joseph Maguire detailed the process he undertook after receiving the complaint, saying his staff spent the last several weeks working with the White House legal counsel to determine whether the president’s executive privilege would prevent him from sending the complaint to Congress.

Pentagon to begin diverting construction funds for border wall
Democrats quick to slam move as an executive power grab

The Pentagon announced Tuesday it would begin diverting $3.6 billion in military construction funding for a wall along the U.S. southern border, even as court challenges continue.

The release of defense money makes good on President Donald Trump’s plan to fund a wall with money never approved by lawmakers for that purpose. Trump declared a national emergency earlier this year to tap military construction accounts and funnel the money to the border instead.

Senate Armed Services sends Hyten nomination to floor despite sexual assault allegations
The committee’s endorsement comes one day after his confirmation hearing, when he defended himself against accusations

The Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday advanced Gen. John Hyten’s nomination to be vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Senate floor amid some opposition from senators concerned about sexual assault allegations launched against the four-star.

The committee’s endorsement of Hyten on a 20-7 vote in a closed-door session comes one day after his confirmation hearing, during which he defended himself against accusations made made by a former subordinate, Army Col. Kathryn A. Spletstoser.

Senate confirms Norquist for No. 2 Pentagon job
Norquist shepherded the DOD through its first audit, and received plaudits from members of both parties during his confirmation

The Senate late Tuesday night confirmed by voice vote David Norquist to be deputy Defense secretary as the chamber rushes to vote on numerous nominees before senators leave town for August recess.

Norquist’s easy, late-night passage underscores his popularity on Capitol Hill. As Pentagon comptroller, he shepherded the Defense Department through its first-ever audit, and received plaudits from members of both parties during his confirmation before the Senate Armed Services Committee last week.

For Joint Chiefs nominee, a subdued hearing addressing contentious charges
John Hyten defends himself against sexual assault charges before Armed Services panel

President Donald Trump’s pick to be the next vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Tuesday publicly defended himself against sexual assault allegations that have clouded his nomination, picking up support from key lawmakers as his accuser, an Army colonel, sat just feet away.

And although the accusations against him are part of a wider cultural issue that has filtered into the presidential campaign, two members of the committee running for president skipped the hearing — and a chance to question the nominee. 

Esper content with defense budget, calls for 'stable leadership'
Top jobs in the Pentagon remain unfilled or are being carried out by 'acting' officials

Newly minted Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper enters the top job at a moment of both relief and urgency for the Pentagon.

The relief came from an agreement this week between Congress and the White House to fund the military for the next two years at $738 billion in fiscal 2020 and $740.5 billion in 2021, numbers that defense hawks have said they can live with.

Senate Armed Services hears from Hyten's accuser
Nominee to be the next vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff accused of sexual misconduct

The Senate Armed Services Committee heard testimony Tuesday from the military officer who has accused Air Force Gen. John Hyten, the nominee to be the next vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, of sexual misconduct, two Democratic senators said.

Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth, who sits on the committee, told reporters that Hyten’s accuser testified in a closed-door meeting.

Senate confirms Esper to be Defense secretary
The vote ends an eight-month period during which the massive bureaucracy was led by a series of acting leaders

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Mark Esper to be the next Defense secretary, 90-8, bringing to an end an eight-month period during which the massive bureaucracy was led by a series of acting leaders.

Esper, who has served as Army secretary since 2017, follows James Mattis as President Donald Trump’s second Senate-confirmed Defense secretary.

Esper, Milley nominations head to floor; Hyten‘s fate unclear
McConnell lined up Monday cloture vote, which Esper is expected to clear easily, and a final confirmation vote by Wednesday

The Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday advanced to the floor the nominations for Mark Esper to be Defense secretary and Army Gen. Mark A. Milley to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promptly filed cloture on the nomination, lining up a Monday cloture vote, which Esper is expected to clear easily, and a final confirmation vote by Wednesday.

Armed Services panel to huddle on three top Pentagon nominees
Joint Chiefs vice chairman nominee faces stiff headwinds

The Senate Armed Services Committee, in a closed-door meeting Thursday, is expected to approve the president’s choice for Defense secretary and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman and to discuss the embattled nomination of the Air Force general tapped to be the military’s No. 2 general, committee members and staff said Wednesday.

The committee will probably vote overwhelmingly to give its consent to Army Secretary Mark Esper becoming the next Pentagon chief, clearing the way for a Senate vote in the coming days to confirm him. The panel is also expected to send to the floor the nomination of Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley to be the next Joint Chiefs chairman.

Esper approval likely, but sexual assault allegations slow Joint Chiefs vice chair pick
Kirsten Gillibrand told CQ Roll Call that she would not support even giving Hyten a vote

Updated 7:05 p.m. | The Senate Armed Services Committee, in a closed-door meeting Thursday, is expected to approve the president’s choice for Defense secretary and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman and to discuss the embattled nomination of the Air Force general tapped to be the military’s No. 2 general, committee members and staff said Wednesday.

The committee will probably vote overwhelmingly to give its consent to Army Secretary Mark Esper becoming the next Pentagon chief, clearing the way for a Senate vote in the coming days to confirm him. The panel is also expected to send to the floor the nomination of Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley to be the next Joint Chiefs chairman.

House approves NDAA with no Republican votes
Progressive amendments helped Dems earn votes from the party’s more dovish members in the face of Republican opposition

The House on Friday approved its defense authorization bill after adopting a slew of progressive amendments that helped Democrats earn votes from the party’s more dovish members in the face of Republican opposition.

The final vote on the fiscal 2020 bill was 220-197. No Republicans supported the typically bipartisan measure that traditionally has earned more than 300 of the 435 available House votes.

Confirmation hearing planned Tuesday for Trump’s Defense secretary pick
The hearing has been scheduled, even though the panel is still waiting to receive his official nomination from the White House

The Senate Armed Services Committee intends to hold a confirmation hearing for Mark Esper, the president’s pick to be the next Defense secretary, on Tuesday even though the panel is still waiting to receive his official nomination from the White House. 

The committee cannot hold Esper’s hearing until the White House delivers his formal nomination paperwork, but have tentatively planned the hearing anyway believing they will soon receive the nomination.

Republicans signal opposition to defense bill as floor debate kicks off
Amendments approved Wednesday included one to prohibit Pentagon from naming new DoD assets after confederate leaders or Civil War victories

The House will continue its debate Thursday on the more than 300 remaining amendments offered to a wide-ranging defense policy bill, after adopting more than 100 noncontroversial amendments Wednesday.

Powerful Republicans signaled their displeasure with the typically bipartisan defense authorization bill, and with the amendments Democrats allowed for floor debate.