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Photos of the Week: Not really recess week
The week of Oct. 11 as captured by Roll Call’s photojournalists

Alison Malone, right, and Marco Ruiz dance while waiting in line to enter the Supreme Court on first day of the new session of the court on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sondland’s hotel business getting backlash over his role in Trump-Ukraine affair
US ambassador to the EU did not show up for testimony this week, prompting Oregon Rep. Blumenauer to call for boycott of his Portland-based chain

Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, addresses the media at the US embassy in Romania in September. (Daniel Mihailescu/AFP via Getty Images)

The attorney for Gordon Sondland, a top Trump administration diplomat at the heart of the House's impeachment investigation into the president, criticized Oregon Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer for urging people to boycott the diplomat’s Portland-based hotel chain.

“Congressman Blumenauer’s irresponsible attempt to hurt a homegrown business that supports hundreds of jobs in our local economy is just shameful and ought to outrage all Oregonians,” Jim  McDermott, Sondland’s lawyer, said in a statement to multiple local news outlets this week.

Profanity and personal attacks: 3 takeaways from Trump’s raucous Minneapolis rally
President signals he sees Joe Biden as his biggest — perhaps only — 2020 threat as he tries to flip state

President Donald Trump on stage Thursday night during a campaign rally at the Target Center in Minneapolis. He said Rep. Ilhan Omar and Somali refugees will help him flip Minnesota in 2020. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

ANALYSIS — Donald Trump was in a mood Thursday night when he stepped on stage in Minneapolis, the first time he had campaigned since facing his own possible impeachment. What played out was a plethora of presidential profanities and personal attacks.

As Trump veered from topic to topic at the Target Center, he hit the usual themes of a thriving economy and his get-tough trade talks with China. He vowed to win Minnesota, a state he lost to Hillary Clinton by only 1.5 percentage points in 2016. And he accused House Democrats of engaging in an impeachment “crusade” to block what he often describes in so many words as a second term to which he’s somehow entitled because they know — deep down — they can’t defeat him at the ballot box.

Former Rep. Pete Sessions met with indicted Giuliani associates, accepted donations
Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman were arrested on campaign finance violations

Former Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, met with and accepted campaign donations from two men indicted this week on campaign finance charges. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Texas Rep. Pete Sessions, who just last week announced a new bid for the House, appears to play a role in the indictment Thursday of two Soviet-born businessmen who are also subjects of the House impeachment inquiry.

While the indictment does not mention Sessions by name or charge him of any crime, he told a Texas radio show on Sunday that he met with them and Federal Election Commission documents show he accepted campaign donations from them last cycle. 

Senate Intelligence Committee in focus on C-SPAN and the big screen this fall
Don’t mess with the intel panel

Annette Bening plays former Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein in the upcoming political thriller “The Report.” (Courtesy MovieStillsDB)

It’s going to be a big couple of months for the Senate Intelligence Committee, both on Capitol Hill and at the box office.

Chairman Richard M. Burr and ranking Democrat Mark Warner find themselves once again at the epicenter of the biggest political story in Washington, tasked with leading the Senate’s review of President Donald Trump’s interactions with Ukraine that seem all but certain to result in impeachment by the House.

Virginia GOP representatives' town hall heavy on policy, light on impeachment
Cline, Riggleman said they oppose impeachment, were more at home fielding policy questions

Reps. Ben Cline, left, and Denver Riggleman, both Virginia Republicans, hold a joint town hall meeting at Central Virginia Community College in Bedford, Va., on Wednesday, Oct. 9. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

BEDFORD, Va. — The House’s impeachment inquiry, which has engulfed Washington politics and dominated national news coverage, barely got a mention at a town hall here Wednesday night hosted by Republican Reps. Ben Cline and Denver Riggleman

The topics on constituents’ minds included an array of policy topics, such as President Donald Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria, the trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada, climate change, infrastructure and immigration.

Democrats face consequences of skipping floor impeachment vote
House Democrats gave themselves political wiggle room, but the strategy also leaves open questions about the inquiry’s legitimacy

Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., announced last month the House has begun an impeachment inquiry. Her opponents argue that is not enough to start one. The resolution of that dispute has implications for how and when Congress might get access to related documents and testimony. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats gave themselves political wiggle room when they launched their impeachment inquiry without holding a floor vote, but that procedural strategy also left room for the White House and a federal judge to question the legitimacy of the push.

The White House, in a letter Tuesday criticized as advancing a legally flimsy argument, told the House it would not participate in an impeachment inquiry that hasn’t been authorized by the full House — which they argue means it isn’t “a valid impeachment proceeding.”

Former ethics czar warns impeachment letter ‘mistakes Trump for a king’
Georgetown prof: ‘Politically, the letter is strong;’ former GOP staffer calls it ‘bananas’

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Williamsport Regional Airport in Montoursville, Pa., on May 20. He is refusing to cooperate with House Democrats' impeachment inquiry. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS | Experts agree a letter the White House sent to House Democrats stating a refusal to cooperate with their impeachment inquiry is legally flimsy and is mostly about politics.

“Put simply, you seek to overturn the results of the 2016 election and deprive the American people of the President they have freely chosen,” White House Counsel Pat Cipollone wrote in a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff and two other senior Democrats.

Washington is trapped in a bad spy novel
Impeachment messaging battle is important for GOP, but so is keeping focus on its economic wins

A national conversation between Republicans and voters about how it has cut taxes and regulations, reduced unemployment and increased wages would put in proper context Democrats’ focus on investigation, impeachment and raw politics, Winston writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — It’s been a bad week in Washington and it’s not likely to get any better soon. In fact, it’s beginning to feel like the whole town and everyone in it is trapped in a really bad spy novel.

People are confused by what’s become a three-year plot that gets harder and harder to follow. They’re not sure who’s a good guy or a bad guy, and they’re worried that the whole thing won’t end well.

African Americans top targets of 2016 Russian info warfare, Senate panel finds
Panel says campaigns, media outlets need to verify source of viral social media posts before sharing

Sens. Mark Warner, left, and Richard M. Burr have led the Intelligence Committee investigation into Russian election interference. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Intelligence Committee has confirmed the extent of the Russian government’s expertise at exploiting racial divisions in America.

Among the key takeaways of the second volume of the committee’s study of Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election is the extent to which minorities were targeted.