The United States House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation on Tuesday to impose tough new sanctions and codify existing sanctions against Russia into law, placing limits on any possible efforts by the president to try to lift sanctions against Moscow. The vote was 419-3. The sanctions package also targets Iran ...

The House may take up legislation as early as today to require the Trump Administration to produce a public report on foreign threats to federal elections, as well as two other reports related to Russian meddling in U.S. and Western elections. The language is contained in intelligence authorization legislation for ...

WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 06: The early morning sun strikes the U.S. Capitol November 6, 2006 in Washington, DC. Midterm elections take place November 7, potentially changing the balance of power in the nation's capital. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) The House Monday failed to pass under expedited procedures legislation to ...

CIA veteran Isabel Marie Keenan Patelunas, the Trump Administration pick to be assistant treasury secretary for intelligence and analysis, told Senate Intelligence Committee members Wednesday she would follow financial intelligence relating to Russia even if it leads to President Donald Trump’s circle. Patelunas was responding to a question from Sen. ...

The Congress is heading for another budget crisis as the beginning of fiscal 2018 approaches on October 1. At issue is when and how Congress will act to repeal, replace, or amend – not Obamacare in this case – but the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA) and the looming, black ...

Twenty-one state election systems were targeted by Russian hackers during last year’s presidential election, a Department of Homeland Security official told the Senate Intelligence Committee Wednesday. While Russian attempts to infiltrate state voting systems have been widely reported, this appears to be the first acknowledgment of the scope of the ...

The FBI is investigating why a gunman opened fire Wednesday on Republican lawmakers at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, wounding four people including a senior lawmaker. The shooter — identified by the FBI as James Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old Illinois man — was fatally shot by police who were ...

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday denied any improper contacts with Russian officials as he also testified to senators that he has not received any briefing on Russian active measures during the 2016 election. During a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Sen. Angus King (I-ME) asked Sessions if he believed ...

Former FBI Director James Comey says President Donald Trump fired him last month because he did not like the way Comey was handling the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible coordination by the Trump campaign. “It’s my judgment that I was fired because of the Russia ...

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), as Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is his party’s top figure investigating what he considers a critical Russian threat to the United States that has cost Moscow “peanuts.” “We are here,” he said in a statement prepared for Thursday’s hearing with former FBI Director ...

Former FBI Director James Comey is set to testify before Congress on Thursday about his discussions with President Donald Trump related to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. In his opening statement, released by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Comey details his contacts with Trump — ...

In 1990, as a young assistant U.S. attorney, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) slipped into the national security world when he nailed the first FBI agent ever to be accused of espionage – for Moscow. Now he is the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee – a subject he calls ...

Former CIA Director John Brennan for the first time publicly said he is concerned about possible ties between Russia and members of the Trump campaign. “I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign ...

When it comes to Russia, is President Trump following his own guideline, America First, and if not, why? The infamous May 10 Oval Office meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador Sergei Kislyak provided another example of the odd way Trump avoids being critical of Moscow. I am ...

The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee has slammed the Treasury Department for its weak response to that committee’s request for information related to the Trump team’s financial dealings with Russia. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) made the comments at a Banking Committee confirmation hearing on Tuesday for Sigal Mandelker, ...

President Donald Trump on Friday warned James Comey, the former FBI director he fired this week, against leaking to the media as he once again sought to put the problem of leaks to the forefront instead of the counterintelligence investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and Russia. “James Comey ...

Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates said in late January she warned the White House that then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was compromised by Russia and susceptible to blackmail. “To state the obvious, you don't want your National Security Advisor compromised with the Russians,” Yates on Monday told the Senate ...

FBI Director James Comey said he expects his agency will not "say another peep" about the investigation into possible coordination between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia until it is completed. But during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, the director did warn that Russia is still actively involved ...

President Donald Trump and his White House team are using some of the same “active measures” to manipulate the American people today that Russian President Vladimir Putin employed trying to influence last year’s presidential election.   “Active measures” was a Soviet Cold War term that referred to Russian security services’ tactics ...

Two White House officials provided House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes with the information concerning intelligence reports that showed President Donald Trump and campaign associates were picked up incidentally in foreign surveillance, according to a news report. The New York Times reported Thursday that two White House officials — Ezra Cohen-Watnick, ...

The Trump administration is building up American ground forces available in Kuwait to fight against Islamic terrorists in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. At the same time, the White House is stepping up its activities here at home to deal with President Donald Trump’s hyped-up concern with undocumented immigrants coming to ...

As the House Intelligence Committee gathers on Monday to hold its first public hearing into Russian interference in the 2016 election, experts say this marks an important opportunity to begin explaining the complexities of the Kremlin’s actions to the American people — as long as it doesn’t devolve into partisan ...

Russian tactics to undermine democracies around the world were in the spotlight at a Congressional hearing on Wednesday. “What I’m trying to explain to the American people is the Russian government, in Putin’s hands, has been up to no good in a lot of places for a long time when ...

The bombastic, bleak tone from his Inaugural Address was gone. In his address to Congress Tuesday night, President Donald Trump was more optimistic, talking about “a new chapter of American greatness.” He spoke about issues he’s discussed before – jobs, healthcare, tax cuts, immigration, a renewed military, America first – ...

Compared to the rest of his proposed cabinet, President Donald Trump's pick of retired Marine Corps General James Mattis for Secretary of Defense has been one of his least controversial. However, due to his recent retirement from the military, Mattis needed - and received - a waiver from Congress to ...

“What did the President know and when did he know it?” For those of us who went through Watergate, that question, first posed by Sen. Howard Baker (R-TN), is the one most relevant today as the current White House drama unfolds with President Donald Trump’s role hardly mentioned. At 6:28 ...

Last Tuesday, days before the current Trump ordered roundup of illegal aliens began, Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly went out of his way to urge members of the House Committee on Homeland Security to change the immigration law “if it is a bad law,” otherwise he will have to ...

Donald Trump today enters the most powerful office in the United States, and probably the world. Just how powerful, however, is an area of much dispute. Despite early promises to curtail executive authority in areas of national security, foreign policy, and warmaking, some argue that President Obama has actually expanded ...

After his inauguration today, Donald Trump will hold  the most powerful office in the country. Just how powerful, however, is much debated. Over the past 15 years, presidential authority to pursue unilateral action in areas of foreign policy, national security, and warmaking has increased precipitously, and some argue that President ...

“The great thing about being around Donald Trump is, you never have any confusion about who is driving the bus,” Vice President-elect Mike Pence said Sunday on CBS’ Face the Nation. I question whether President-elect Trump can drive a bus as big as the U.S. Government and wonder if he ...

Retired Gen. James Mattis called Russia the “principal threat” to the United States’ security and said he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin is “trying to break” the NATO alliance, starkly contrasting his views with that of President-elect Donald Trump during his Senate confirmation hearing for Secretary of Defense on Thursday. ...

President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for CIA Director, Representative Mike Pompeo (R-KS), made clear in his Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday that he believes Russia was involved in hacks leading up to the U.S. presidential election in an attempt to undermine America’s democratic credibility. “It’s a long-standing effort of the Russians,” ...

Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson on Wednesday sharply differed from President-elect Donald Trump on a number of key foreign policy issues, suggesting he’d take a much tougher line on Russia while at the same time declining to make any pledges regarding sanctions in response to Russian interference in the ...

As a bipartisan group of senators on Tuesday unveiled a bill to impose more sanctions on Russia, leaders of the U.S. Intelligence Community gathered again on Capitol Hill to testify on the Kremlin’s interference in the election. The flurry of activity related to Russia also comes amidst a week of ...

When President-elect Donald Trump nominated retired Marine Corps General John Kelly to be the next Secretary of Homeland Security, the selection was met with approval by Senators on both sides of the aisle. That support was evident during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday, a ...

President-elect Donald Trump Saturday named former Senator Dan Coats (R-IN) as his choice to be Director of National Intelligence. Coats recently retired from Congress, where he served as the third-ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee. “I’m very confident that Senator Dan Coats is the right choice to serve as ...

Top United States intelligence officials on Thursday defended the intelligence agencies’ findings on Russian hacking and interference in the election, pushing back at the public criticism leveled by President-elect Donald Trump against the Intelligence Community (IC) and noting the rhetoric has raised concerns among allies. At Thursday’s Senate Armed Services ...

The separation of powers is one of the instrumental components of American democracy.  The President of the United States, as the saying goes, isn’t a king who can do whatever he wants regardless of the concerns of the other branches of the government.  The separation of powers under the U.S. ...

Leaders of three top Senate national security committees are to meet Wednesday to discuss alleged Russian hacking of last month’s elections, and the Senate Foreign Relations committee has set a closed-door briefing on the Obama administration’s response for Thursday, a committee aide told The Cipher Brief late Tuesday. According to ...

Will Congress reassert itself by passing new economic sanctions against Russia for using hacked emails to disrupt the U.S. presidential election if President-elect Donald Trump objects? Last Friday, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said on Ukraine television that the hacking was equivalent to an attack on a country and thus “an ...

The U.S. Department of Justice has made new changes to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, changing venue provisions for obtaining a search warrant. The Cipher Brief sat down with David O’Neil, a Partner at the firm Debevoise & Plimpton and former acting Assistant Attorney General of ...

Sometime in the next 30 days, President Barack Obama should add to the economic sanctions now applied to Russia as a response to Moscow’s hacking and other cyber operations that attempted to disrupt and perhaps influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. In the process, he should bring in ...

A Congressional inquiry next year into Russian involvement in the U.S. presidential election will be only one of several Legislative Branch initiatives that may interrupt President-elect Donald Trump’s stated goal of easing relations with Moscow. The current, Republican-controlled Congress, with Democratic support, has quietly added a package of anti-Russian items to ...

Weeks after declining an offer to serve in president-elect Donald Trump’s administration, retired Army Gen. Jack Keane on Tuesday testified before Congress that the United States is “ill-prepared” to meet the threats against the nation. Keane, former Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army and member of The ...

President-elect Donald Trump has called his chosen Defense Secretary, retired Marine General James Mattis “the real deal,” but after January 20, will President Trump, an amateur when it comes to national security issues, follow the advice of the 66-year-old, experienced, warrior-diplomat? Before that point is reached, the Armed Services Committees ...

“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny,” James Madison wrote 228 years ago in Federalist Paper 51. Those words are worth recalling ...

As cyber attacks against U.S. government and private networks have increased in severity in recent years, the Congress and President have actively sought to identify, with the assistance of the U.S. private sector, conditions in U.S. law that could be hampering America’s development of an effective defense against such attacks, ...

The Congress is the main cause of our broken government, not the Presidency. Yet public anger with Washington’s failure to act on key federal government problems has seen angry new voters turning out in both the Republican and Democratic presidential primaries to support Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, both of ...

“Superficial and emotional” was the way retired Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey described the current presidential campaign discussion of military affairs in an interview published in the current, September-October issue of Foreign Affairs. He’s right. But perhaps even that minimal amount of attention should be paid to the campaigning ...

The Islamic State (ISIS) is the “preeminent global” threat and remains determined to execute direct attacks against the U.S. homeland, the top U.S. intelligence official told Senators at the annual Worldwide Threats hearings on Tuesday. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said ISIS “leaders are determined to strike the U.S. ...