Capitol Alert

Dianne Feinstein isn’t letting up on probe into Trump-Russia investigation

As revelations over alleged sexual misconduct by powerful men dominate legislative discussions in Sacramento and Washington, Sen. Dianne Feinstein isn’t letting up on another investigative bombshell – the congressional probe into Russian meddling in last year’s presidential election.

Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent letters Wednesday to four former advisers of President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, seeking documents detailing possible contacts with Russia and discussions about Russian interference.

“The Intelligence Community has concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, with the goal of undermining faith in our Democratic process and harming Secretary Clinton’s candidacy,” Feinstein wrote.

She added, “The Intelligence Community assessment: ‘We further assess Putin and the Russian government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.’”

Among the records she’s seeking are:

▪ Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page’s communications with Russian officials and documents related to his trips to Russia in 2016;

▪ Information about efforts to revise the Republican party’s national platform “with regard to Russia and Ukraine;”

▪ All documents “concerning efforts to obtain or share” emails and other electronic data that were hacked from servers belonging to the Democratic National Committee, John Podesta, Hillary Clinton and her campaign.

The letters are addressed to Jeffrey Gordon and Walid Phares, whom she identifies as former members of the Trump campaign’s foreign policy team, as well as Samuel Clovis, a chief policy adviser to the campaign and Carter Page himself.

“We believe that you have information that would assist the Committee in its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and are writing to request documents related to these topics,” Feinstein wrote to Page.

Welcome to the AM Alert, your morning rundown on California policy and politics. To receive it regularly, please sign up here.

TWIN TUNNELS: Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, and Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Oakley, host a town hall in Walnut Grove to discuss the costs and feasibility of building two Delta tunnels, a project championed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The town hall features a presentation by California’s auditor, Elaine Howle, who is expected to discuss the project’s “unexpected complexity,” which has led to “significant cost increases and delays.”

BY THE NUMBERS: California’s uninsured rate dropped this year to its lowest point since Obamacare was enacted, according to a report out this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Statewide, 93.2 percent of California residents are currently insured, according to the report, with 6.8 remaining uninsured – down from 17 percent in 2013, before the Affordable Care Act was implemented.

Today’s uninsured rate is down from 7.2 percent in the first six months of 2016.

Of the remaining uninsured, half are not eligible for coverage because they are not legal residents, according to Covered California.

Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee attributed the drop to the state’s push to encourage people to sign up, while the federal government has cut funding for advertising and outreach.

“With over 93 percent of Californians covered by health insurance and with more than half the remaining 6.8% uninsured eligible for coverage, California is now closer than ever to achieving universal health coverage. This is largely due to the great progress California has made through Covered California and the Medi-Cal expansion,” said California Association of Health Plans spokeswoman Mary Ellen Grant.


“You can only train so much, you know: ‘Don’t cheat on your wife.’”

Assemblywoman Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, on why sexual harassment training doesn’t always work

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’: DREAMers and their advocates are planning a phone blitz throughout the day to put pressure on California Republicans in Congress to pass the DREAM Act, legislation that would provide a path to permanent residency for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. when they were young.

Trump announced in September that he is ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which provided temporary relief from deportation. The DREAM Act would provide those DACA recipients a path to permanent citizenship.

Volunteers, led by the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, are expected to call California’s House Republicans, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and urge them to pass legislation by the end of the year. Call centers are set up at several community locations across the state, as well as universities, including Sacramento State University and the University of California at Davis.

MUST READ: Feinstein’s bump stocks ban move back into the spotlight.