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Peter Overby

As NPR's correspondent covering campaign finance and lobbying, Peter Overby totes around a business card that reads Power, Money & Influence Correspondent. Some of his lobbyist sources call it the best job title in Washington.

Overby was awarded an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia silver baton for his coverage of the 2000 campaign and the 2001 Senate vote to tighten the rules on campaign finance. The citation said his reporting "set the bar" for the beat.

In 2008, he teamed up with the Center for Investigative Reporting on the Secret Money Project, an extended multimedia investigation of outside-money groups in federal elections.

Joining with NPR congressional correspondent Andrea Seabrook in 2009, Overby helped to produce Dollar Politics, a multimedia examination of the ties between lawmakers and lobbyists, as Congress considered the health-care overhaul bill. The series went on to win the annual award for excellence in Washington-based reporting given by the Radio and Television Correspondents Association.

Because life is about more than politics, even in Washington, Overby has veered off his beat long enough to do a few other stories, including an appreciation of R&B star Jackie Wilson and a look back at an 1887 shooting in the Capitol, when an angry journalist fatally wounded a congressman-turned-lobbyist.

Before coming to NPR in 1994, Overby was senior editor at Common Cause Magazine, where he shared a 1992 Investigative Reporters and Editors Award for magazine writing. His work has appeared in publications ranging from the Congressional Quarterly Guide to Congress and Los Angeles Times to the Utne Reader and Reader's Digest (including the large-print edition).

Overby is a Washington-area native and lives in Northern Virginia with his family.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Federal records indicate that a key adviser to President Trump held substantial investments in 18 companies when he joined Trump in meetings with their CEOs.

The investments of Christopher Liddell, the president's director of strategic initiatives, totaled between $3 million and $4 million. Among the companies in Liddell's portfolio, and whose CEOs were in the meetings: Dell Technologies, Dow Chemical, Johnson & Johnson, JPMorgan Chase, Lockheed Martin and Wal-Mart.

The owners of a wine bar in Washington, D.C., say they face unfair competition from an unusual source: the president of the United States.

Diane Gross and Khalid Pitts own the Cork Wine Bar, located about 20 blocks north of both the White House and the nearby Trump International Hotel.

Gross and Pitts say that their restaurant is losing business to the hotel restaurant run by the Trump Organization, which is owned by President Trump. So they're suing him and his hotel.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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House Democrats are pursuing a strategy to force Republicans to take repeated votes on whether to investigate President Trump's ethics and alleged ties to Russia.

The Democrats failed Tuesday evening as the Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee rejected such an investigation. A party-line vote ended a long day of wrangling, barely two hours before the president took the rostrum in the House chamber for his address to Congress.

On Monday, the Senate will vote on Wilbur Ross' nomination as the U.S. commerce secretary. As required by the Ethics in Government Act, the billionaire businessman has reached an agreement with the Office of Government Ethics to sell off most of his holdings.

President Trump and his companies have been trying to navigate potential conflicts and the emoluments clause of the Constitution since before he was sworn in. The list of questions about those conflicts continues to grow, including how Trump is adhering to constitutional rules around compensation from foreign leaders and states.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president in November, questions have been raised about the lease he signed to operate a luxury hotel in the Old Post Office Building in Washington, D.C.

The lease specifically says the lease holder cannot be a federal elected official. So critics repeatedly have called upon the federal General Services Administration to enforce its agreement, and make President Trump walk away from his deal to run the Trump International Hotel.

Updated 8:45 p.m. ET

South Dakota's citizen-led experiment to "drain the swamp" of political corruption appears to have lasted less than three months.

Lawmakers in the state Senate voted 27-8 Wednesday to repeal the voter-approved initiative and send the measure to the governor. The legislation was given emergency status so it would take effect immediately when the governor applies his signature — which he said he expects to do.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Even as President Trump takes steps to restrict visitors from some majority-Muslim countries, he and his family continue to do business in some of the others.

Ethics experts question whether that might indicate conflicts between Trump's business interests and his role as U.S. president.

The executive action, "Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States," targets seven nations: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Trump has no business interests in those countries.

Nobody in Washington ever went wrong by hiring more lawyers, and now President Trump and the Trump Organization are beefing up their legal teams against an expected surge of conflict-of-interest allegations.

President-elect Donald Trump's type of wealth — based largely on the value of his brand name and on global real estate holdings — doesn't fit well with existing ethics laws, which were written for an earlier time when rich politicos mainly invested in stocks and bonds.

To be clear, some ethics laws do apply to the incoming president.

If you have a lot of money to spare, and want to spend time with the Trump family right after the inauguration, earlier Tuesday it seemed you might have been able to make that dream come true.

A new nonprofit organization, the Opening Day Foundation, had advertised access to the Trumps at a big charity event to be held Jan. 21.

The online invitation raised questions about exchanging huge charitable donations for face time with Trump's oldest sons.

Now, the site just says "Coming Soon."

In five weeks, President Donald Trump's inauguration parade will roll past his new luxury hotel near the White House. But just over two weeks from now, Trump has to sit down with several lawyers and give a sworn deposition in a lawsuit involving the hotel.

What's the lawsuit about?

President-elect Donald Trump's phone call with the president of Taiwan last week, initially characterized by Trump transition staffers and Taipei officials as just a small courtesy, has emerged as part of a lobbying strategy by a quintessential Washington insider.

Former Sen. Bob Dole, a war hero, lion of the Senate and 1996 Republican nominee for president, was an early supporter of Donald Trump, even when other Republican leaders were still wary.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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The Clinton Foundation is working now to "spin off" or "find partners" for many of its programs, including all international activities and programs funded by foreign and corporate donors, the head of the Clinton Foundation told NPR's Peter Overby. The "unraveling," which would be an attempt to prevent conflicts, would go into effect if Hillary Clinton is elected president.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both had a second month of strong fundraising in July, the month that they claimed their parties' nominations.

In monthly reports filed Saturday night with the Federal Election Commission, Trump reported raising $36.7 million, his best month of the campaign. The total includes $2 million he contributed in a matching contributions drive.

Four years after Charles and David Koch's political network opened its bank accounts to promote Republican nominee Mitt Romney, it's now spending millions to save the Republicans' Senate majority from their presidential candidate.

This year's Senate ads will focus on issues involving the candidates, not national issues, said James Davis, spokesman for Freedom Partners Action Fund, a superPAC that is doing most of the network's TV ads.

Bill and Hillary Clinton moved into the White House in 1993 as a first couple of modest means. If they return in January, it will be as millionaires.

Forbes estimates of their wealth range at $50 million; the Clintons got there through hard work, while also benefiting from their fame and their friendships.

What they seem not to have done, contrary to Internet theories, is break any laws.

This post was updated at 5:10 PM

Hillary and Bill Clinton paid $3.2 million in federal income tax last year, a rate of 34.2 percent. Their 2015 return was released today by the Clinton campaign, almost five months after they signed it for filing.

The Clintons overpaid the Treasury and got a refund of more than $1 million.

As President Obama settles in for his summer vacation on Martha's Vineyard, Donald Trump will be just 14 miles across the water at a Cape Cod mansion, raising money for his campaign.

Even before Hillary Clinton chose him as her vice presidential running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine was on TV, explaining how he had been completely open about gifts and free travel he had accepted between 2006 and 2010 as the state's governor.

"The key was disclosure," he said on MSNBC, "and nobody's ever raised a concern that anybody who contributed, whether a campaign contributor or a gift giver, ever got anything for it."

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Donald Trump's presidential fundraising produced its first strong numbers for a big-budget fall campaign last month, but the financial powerhouse backing Hillary Clinton continued to hold a strong lead.

Team Clinton outraised Team Trump $146.3 million to $81.1 million. Cash-on-hand totals were also lopsided: $139.2 million to $61.4 million. These totals include activity by the candidate committees, national party committees, joint fundraising committees and supporting superPACs.

The mandatory monthly reports were filed last night at the Federal Election Commission.

Donald Trump predicted his June fundraising would look good – especially compared to an anemic May, which he finished with just $1.3 million on hand. And June is looking better, bolstered by the first disclosure filings Friday night from two new joint fundraising committees.

Trump Victory reported raising $25.7 million between late May and June 30, but it transferred just $2.2 million to Trump's campaign committee and about $10 million to the RNC.

Foreign money in American politics. The phrase suggests secret payments, maybe briefcases stuffed with cash, or dinners of fine food and oblique conversation.

Or spam.

"Mr. Speaker, members of Parliament are being bombarded with electronic communications from Team Trump, on behalf of somebody called Donald Trump."

Sir Roger Gale, MP, was among the hundreds of legislators, from the United Kingdom to Iceland to Australia, whose inboxes had received unwanted fundraising emails from the Trump campaign.

Presidential nominees choose vice presidential running mates for what they add to the ticket, whether it be experience or the capacity to draw votes. Here's what Mike Pence might subtract from this fall's Republican ticket with Donald Trump: an unknowable amount of campaign cash from the financial services industry.

Mike Pence, newly chosen as Donald Trump's running mate, has a strong following among social conservatives for his stands on Planned Parenthood, gay marriage and other hot-button issues.

Less noticed are his ties to low-taxes, small-government conservatives. Pence has well-established connections to the politically powerful armada of tax-exempt groups led by the billionaires David and Charles Koch.

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