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Tuesday, Feb 21st

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Dems 'outraged' with Comey after House briefing

ComeyA number of House Democrats left Friday's confidential briefing on Russian hacking fuming over the actions of FBI Director James Comey and convinced he's unfit to lead the agency.

"I was nonjudgmental until the last 15 minutes. I no longer have that confidence in him," Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.), ranking member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, said as he left the meeting in the Capitol.

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Florida Rep. John Rutherford collapses in Capitol

John RutherfordRep. John Rutherford, R-Jacksonville, collapsed during voting Wednesday night and was removed from the Capitol on a stretcher, according to reports.

"He appeared to be receiving oxygen through a mask," according to The Hill. "GOP lawmakers emerged from the vote a short time later, saying Rutherford had been 'stabilized.' "

An email to Rutherford's office has not yet been returned, though a spokesman told the Florida Times-Union he is recovering.

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Sessions defends his record on civil rights at U.S. Senate hearing

SessionsRepublican Senator Jeff Sessions faced interruptions from protesters and questions from Senate colleagues over his record on race and civil rights as the first confirmation hearing for the president-elect's Cabinet nominees got under way on Tuesday.

Sessions, nominated to be attorney general, said allegations that he harbored sympathies towards the Ku Klux Klan, a violent white supremacist organization, are false.

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House GOP reverses course on gutting ethics panel

Megyn Kelly goes to NBCFollowing a public outcry, and tweeted criticism from President-elect Donald Trump, House Republicans reversed course Tuesday on a proposal to gut their own ethics watchdog.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) called an emergency House GOP conference Tuesday around noon to scrap a proposed House rule that would have effectively declawed the Office of Congressional Ethics. The proposal, which House Republicans approved behind closed doors Monday night, would have defied Trump’s “drain the swamp” mantra aimed at making Washington more transparent and less cozy.

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Trump slams House move on ethics watchdog

TrumpPresident-elect Donald Trump criticized House Republicans on Tuesday for moving to gut an independent House ethics agency on Congress' opening day, saying lawmakers should focus on other priorities.

"With all that Congress has to work on, do they really have to make the weakening of the Independent Ethics Watchdog, as unfair as it may be, their number one act and priority," the incoming president tweeted Tuesday morning.

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House Republicans gut their own oversight

Bob GoodlatteIn one of their first moves of the new Congress, House Republicans have voted to gut their own independent ethics watchdog — a huge blow to cheerleaders of congressional oversight and one that dismantles major reforms adopted after the Jack Abramoff scandal.

Monday's effort was led, in part, by lawmakers who have come under investigation in recent years.

Despite a warning from Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), House Republicans adopted a proposal by Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) to put the Office of Congressional Ethics under the jurisdiction of the House Ethics Committee.

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Jeff Sessions Omits Decades Of Records For His AG Confirmation Hearing

Jeff SessionsPresident-elect Donald Trump’s pick for attorney general, Jeff Sessions, is withholding decades’ worth of records from his career ahead of his Senate confirmation hearings early next month, according to an exhaustive report issued Friday by progressive advocacy groups.

The groups, which include Alliance for Justice and People for the American Way, reviewed the questionnaire that Sessions filled out for the Senate Judiciary Committee ― it requires complete documentation of employment history, published writings, interviews and speeches, among other things ― and found “astonishingly deficient” responses.

He left out major details from his years as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, from 1981 to 1993; as attorney general of Alabama, from 1995 to 1997; and as a first-term U.S. senator, from 1997 to 2002.

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