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Suspicious substance investigated outside of Schiff’s office
Capitol Police cleared the incident just before noon

Capitol Police officers block off a hallway as they investigate a reported suspicious substance in the Rayburn office of Rep. Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif., on Thursday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

A suspicious substance was found outside lead House impeachment manager Adam B. Schiff’s congressional office Thursday morning but was ultimately deemed not hazardous and cleared by the Capitol Police, casting a cloud of grim reality over Schiff’s earlier comments expressing grave concern for his staffers.

The incident comes just a day after President Donald Trump was acquitted by the Senate in his impeachment trial on both charges: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Schiff, a California Democrat, spent days presenting the case for Trump’s removal from office.

Survey reveals wide split among aides on impeachment
Dems overwhelmingly favor Trump’s removal from office; Republican staffers confident of election boost

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The impeachment that has so divided lawmakers and the public has also split congressional aides.

The latest Capitol Insiders Survey, conducted by CQ Roll Call as President Donald Trump’s lawyers made their case to the Senate, found Democratic staffers in favor of removing Trump from office by a margin of 86 percent to 1 percent, with 13 percent unsure.

TV looks to fill the void where ‘Veep’ and ‘Scandal’ used to be
Political Washington is in the market for another reflection of itself

Actor Spencer Trinwith on set in Los Angeles for the filming of “King of K Street.” (Mike Adan / Courtesy of Mattie Moore)

It’s been a rough couple of years for fans of overstated political TV. First we said goodbye to “Scandal” and all its backroom sleaze. Then it was “House of Cards” and “Designated Survivor.”

We still can’t talk about the final season of “Veep,” which took the absurdities of Washington and reduced them to a single, never-ending cringe.

‘Patrick Dempsey and Ways and Means’ is the Google search we never knew we needed
If anyone can heat up a hearing on Social Security, it's McDreamy

Is this the future face of the storied Ways and Means Committee? (Arnold Jerocki/Getty Images file photo)

The words “Ways and Means” and “glamorous” have likely never been uttered together in the history of either, but CBS is hoping to change that with a new political drama.

The oldest standing committee in Congress, which oversees things like taxes and Social Security, is getting a facelift — at least on TV. Former “Grey’s Anatomy” star Patrick Dempsey — aka McDreamy — is going to help.

Shelby leaves door open for earmarks' return
House Democrats have floated the idea in recent weeks

Sen. Richard C. Shelby, an Alabama Republican, may be warming to the idea of earmarks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby appeared to soften a little Tuesday on a potential return of earmarks in spending bills this year, after saying last week his Republican colleagues probably wouldn’t allow it.

The Alabama Republican said that despite the Senate GOP Conference vote last year in favor of a permanent ban on the practice, he thinks there’s an argument to be made for a reversal.

Congress looks at taxes, oversight, crime in fintech bills
Lawmakers focus on fostering innovation while ensuring technology isn’t abused

Companies that facilitate bitcoin payments, called merchant services providers, received $158 billion in bitcoin last year, which was just about 1 percent of the economic activity on bitcoin’s blockchain, according to Chainalysis, which analyses such transactions. (Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images photo illustration)

Corrected 4:25 p.m. | Cryptocurrencies involve cutting-edge technology, but Congress is aiming at age-old problems when it comes to financial technology legislation: taxation, crime and jurisdiction to set the rules.

A review of the latest fintech-related bills by CQ Roll Call shows lawmakers’ latest efforts are focused on fostering innovation by some and making sure the technology isn’t abused by others.

Michigan’s moderate Democratic governor gets party’s spotlight
Gretchen Whitmer won Trump-voting Michigan in 2018, promising to ‘fix the damn roads’

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who won an open race in 2018 by almost 10 percentage points, represents the type of successful candidate Democrats ran in congressional and statewide races that year: a relatively moderate woman who won in an evenly divided state by focusing on issues like health care, education and infrastructure. (Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images file photo)

Democratic congressional leaders’ choice of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to deliver their response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address signals the party is likely to continue the message it rode to victory in 2018 elections across the country.

Whitmer, who won an open race in 2018 by almost 10 percentage points, represents the type of successful candidate Democrats ran in congressional and statewide races that year: a relatively moderate woman who won in an evenly divided state by focusing on issues like health care, education and infrastructure.

To write a State of the Union for Clinton, you had to do math
Josh Gottheimer was on the speechwriting team back when impeachment collided with the annual address the first time

Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., walks down the House steps at the Capitol in 2017. As a White House speechwriter under President Bill Clinton, Gottheimer worked on several State of the Union addresses. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Bill Clinton was good at keeping track of how many words were in his State of the Union.

It was 1999, the House had impeached him, a Senate trial was underway, and the president was up late doing math.

View from the gallery: Senators pack up desks as impeachment trial nears its end
Chamber takes on a last-day-of-school vibe

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., leaves the Capitol after the conclusion of the Senate impeachment trial proceedings on Feb. 3. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer tightly hugged Rep. Adam B. Schiff just after the closing argument in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, and spoke directly into the House lead manager’s ear for about 10 seconds.

Before the New York senator let go, he gave Schiff three loud pats on the back, as a line of other Senate Democrats waited to hug the California Democrat or shake his hand.

Dogs and gavels is a thing now
To say Congress loves dogs is an understatement

Deco, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s French bulldog, poses in the Rules Committee room. (Courtesy Lori Ismail)

Deco tried to take over the chairman’s seat, but he kept sliding off.

That didn’t stop him from owning the room — lounging on the dais, pawing the wooden gavel and basking in the “ooos” and “ahhs” of everyone there.