Bob Bernick’s notebook: News and notes


Several items of note this week:

Rep.-elect Ben McAdams kept his word to voters this week and voted against Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Ca., to be the next U.S. House speaker.

But Pelosi is almost certainly going to win the speakership when the new Congress convenes in early January.

And Pelosi is not a person to trifle with.

In short, it could be tough sledding for McAdams when it comes to the committee assignments he wants as a freshman from Utah with an unclear political future.

The speaker, with her leadership team, make committee and subcommittee assignments.

And the 40-plus Democratic freshmen of the class of 2019 will be battling it out for the choicest assignments.

Coming from the West, it’s tradition that congresspersons want something like public lands, water or energy.

McAdams might be lucky to get the dog-walking committee, with a seat on its feeding subcommittee.

Rep. Mia Love, who lost to McAdams by 694 votes out of 270,000 cast, held an odd press conference Monday.

Basically, Love criticized GOP President Donald Trump for criticizing her (even before she officially lost), criticized Republicans in general for not bring minorities into their “hearts” and “homes,” criticized McAdams (after congratulating him) by calling him a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” and saying 4th District voters were now going to have to live with that choice, and generally complained about the whole campaigning process.

One may remember that it was Love who first ran negative ads in the campaign, which was always going to be a negative one, anyway.

And she and her out-of-state supporters spent way more money bashing McAdams than he and his out-of-state supporters did on her.

It may take months or years to see the final results, but it appears that special counsel Robert Mueller outfoxed Trump’s one-time campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Manafort promised to cooperate with the Mueller investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections – after being convicted of several felonies.

But, says Mueller, he didn’t and lied a bunch along the way.

Manafort may have been colluding with Trump’s attorneys, with Manafort telling them the kind of questions Mueller want him (Manafort) to answer.

Then Trump – whom we may wonder if he knows the difference from a doughnut and a hammer – gave written answers to Mueller questions – questions that may have been tailored to what Mueller was asking Manafort in the first place.


Not as much as Trump is, apparently – as the president may have set himself up as lying to federal prosecutors and colluding in an obstruction of justice felony.

No doubt the new Democratic House majority will investigate all of this – with McAdams throwing in his two bits from his seat on the dog-feeding subcommittee.