TimesVideoWatch Live: Day 2 of Jerome Powell’s testimony on Capitol Hill Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will testify on the semi-annual monetary policy report to Congress ahead of a virtual House Financial Services Committee hearing.
TimesVideoWatch Live: Senate Hearing on Capitol Riot The Homeland Security Committee and Rules Committee are holding a joint hearing to examine the security failures that led to a violation of the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
TimesVideoWatch Live: Jerome Powell testifies on economy On Tuesday Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will testify on the Monetary Policy Report, a biannual report, before a virtual Senate Banking Committee hearing.
WASHINGTON – Justice Merrick B. Garland, President Biden’s candidate for attorney general, said on Monday the threat from domestic extremism was greater today than at the time of the Oklahoma bombing City in 1995, and he vowed that if confirmed, he would make federal power investigating the Capitol Riot his top priority.
Judge Garland, who led the Justice Department’s prosecution of the Oklahoma City bombing, told the Senate Judiciary Committee on the first day of his confirmation hearings that the early stages of the investigation in course on the “white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol” seemed to be aggressive and “perfectly appropriate.”
He received a largely positive reception from members of both parties on the panel, five years after Senate Republicans blocked his Supreme Court nomination by President Barack Obama to fill the vacancy created by the death of Judge Antonin. Scalia.
Justice Garland, 68, who was confirmed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1997, pledged Monday to restore the independence of a Justice Department that had underwent deep politicization under the Trump administration.
“I don’t intend to be embarrassed by anyone,” Justice Garland said. If confirmed, he said, he would maintain the principle that “the attorney general represents the public interest”.
Justice Garland has also said he will reinvigorate the department’s civil rights division as America suffers a painful and destabilizing toll with systemic racism.
“Communities of color and other minorities continue to face discrimination in housing, education, employment and the criminal justice system,” Justice Garland said in his opening remarks. But he said he did not support the call by some on the left, emerging from this summer’s civil rights protests, to dispel the police.
The Trump administration has worked to reduce civil rights protections for transgender people and minorities. It also prohibits policies aimed at addressing systemic racism, sexism, homophobia and other implicit prejudices.
“I consider my responsibilities for the civil rights division high on my list of top priorities,” Justice Garland said.
Judge Garland answered questions on a wide range of additional topics, including criminal justice reform, antitrust cases, the power of big tech companies, congressional oversight and departmental morale.
Discussing the threat of domestic terrorism, Justice Garland said, “We are going through a more dangerous time than we have faced in Oklahoma City.”
He called the attack on Capitol Hill “the most heinous attack on democratic processes I have ever seen, and the one I never expected to see in my lifetime.”
In addition to an immediate briefing on the investigation, he said he would “give career prosecutors who work in this way 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, any resources they may need.”
Tackling extremism is “at the heart” of the Justice Department’s mission and has often overlapped with its anti-systemic racism mission, as with its fight against the Ku Klux Klan, Judge Garland said.
But the hearing also recalled how politics loom over so many high-profile issues that Judge Garland will face if the full Senate confirms, especially as the Capitol Riots investigation is affecting members. Mr. Trump’s inner circle and more defendants. say they acted on former President Donald J. Trump’s order to prevent Mr. Biden from taking office.
Asked by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, whether the Capitol Riot investigation should prosecute people “upstream” from those who violated the building, including “the backers, the organizers, the leaders or helpers and accomplices who were not present in the Capitol on January 6, replied Judge Garland, we will pursue these leads wherever they take us.
Republicans have mainly focused on two politically charged investigations from the Trump era: a federal tax investigation into Mr. Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, and the work of special advocate John H. Durham, to determine whether the Obama-era officials made a mistake in 2016 when they investigated those responsible for the Trump campaign and their ties to Russia.
Justice Garland said he did not discuss the Hunter Biden case with the President and reiterated that the Justice Department will make the final decisions regarding investigations and prosecutions.
“This investigation was carried out quietly, and not publicly, as all investigations should be,” he said. He noted that the US lawyer appointed by Trump in Delaware had been asked to stay and oversee the Hunter Biden investigation.
“I have absolutely no reason to doubt that this is the right decision,” he said.
Responding to a question about Mr. Durham’s investigation, Justice Garland hinted that he would let the investigation unfold, but avoided making explicit promises about how he would handle it.
“I have no reason – from what I know now, which is really very little – to make a decision,” Justice Garland said. “I have no reason to believe he shouldn’t stay put,” he said of Mr Durham.
Regarding the disclosure of any report from Mr. Durham, he added: “I should however speak with Mr. Durham and understand the nature of what he did and the nature of the report.”
Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the leading Republican on the committee, said he would not “object” to responses to the Durham inquiry which were “not as straightforward” as he claimed. wished “because I think you are an honorable person.” “
Justice Garland has strong legal credentials, a reputation as a moderate, and a long history of service to the Department of Justice. After serving as a clerk for Judge William J. Brennan Jr., he worked as a federal prosecutor for the US Attorney’s Office in Washington under President George HW Bush and was chosen by Jamie Gorelick, Deputy Attorney General to President Bill Clinton, to serve as his senior deputy.
In addition to Oklahoma City, Justice Garland has overseen high-profile cases such as Theodore J. When Mr. Obama appointed him to the Supreme Court in 2016, he was widely described as a moderate.
Key Republicans, including committee member Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and minority leader Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, have said they will support Judge Garland to become Mr Biden’s attorney general.
Democrats presented him on Monday as the necessary antidote to four years in which Mr. Trump treated Justice Department investigators as enemies to be crushed or players to be used to attack political enemies and protect allies, all the more so since he sought to thwart and defeat the investigation into Russia.
Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said in his opening remarks that “the misdeeds of Trump’s Justice Department have brought this nation to the brink” and that Judge Garland is said to have need to “restore the faith of the American people in the rule of law and deliver equal justice.” “
Asked about Mr. Trump’s statement, “I have the absolute right to do whatever I want to do with the Department of Justice,” Justice Garland said the President “is constrained by the Constitution” and that anyway Mr. Biden had pledged not to interfere with the work of the department.
Justice Garland’s response drew an implicit contrast to William P. Barr, who served under Mr. Trump as attorney general for almost two years and appeared to see his role as serving the president’s interests much more than other prosecutors. post-Watergate generals.
“Decisions will be made by the ministry itself and directed by the attorney general,” he said, “without regard to partisanship, without regard to the power of the perpetrator or the lack of power, to the influence of the author or lack of influence. “
Judge Garland was for the most part measured and even-tempered, but he became moved when he described his family’s flight from anti-Semitism and persecution in Eastern Europe and asylum in America.
“The country welcomed us – and protected us,” he said, his voice still. “I feel an obligation to the country to repay. It’s the best and the best use of my own skill set to pay off. And so I really want to be the kind of attorney general that you say I could become.
Justice Garland has pledged to cooperate with a Congressional inquiry into Trump’s Justice Department’s “zero tolerance” policy on illegal immigration that has led to the separation of many parents from their families. children.
“I think the policy was shameful,” Justice Garland said. “I can’t imagine anything worse than tearing parents apart from their children. And we will provide all the cooperation we possibly can. “
TimesVideoWatch Live: Merrick Garland Confirmation Hearing Monday, the two-day confirmation hearing for Judge Merrick Garland, President Biden’s choice to be attorney general, per Reuters.
TimesVideoWatch Live: House Lawmakers Hold Hearing on GameStop On Thursday, the House Financial Services Committee holds a virtual hearing on GameStop and Reddit. Witnesses will include the chief executive and co-founder of Reddit, per The Associated Press.
Faced with a union disciplinary hearing over his role in the attack on Capitol Hill, former President Donald J. Trump resigned from the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists on Thursday, attacking the group in a letter full of grievances .
“I am writing to you today about the so-called Discipline Committee hearing to revoke my union membership,” Trump wrote in the letter to the union. “We do not care!” He went on to say he was quitting immediately.
Mr. Trump’s resignation was first reported by Fox News.
Mr Trump – a businessman who, before entering politics, had made several appearances in films and television shows, notably in “The Apprentice” – had been accused by the union of having “incited to the attack on the United States Capitol ”on January 6. and “to support a reckless campaign of disinformation aimed at discrediting and ultimately threatening the safety of journalists, many of whom are members of SAG-AFTRA,” according to a statement released by the union last month.
As a result, the union’s board of directors voted on Jan. 19 to find the probable cause that Mr. Trump violated the SAG-AFTRA constitution, and ordered the case to be heard by the disciplinary committee of the union. Had Mr. Trump been convicted of the charges by the committee, he would have faced penalties ranging from censorship to expulsion.
It was not immediately clear when the disciplinary hearing was to take place.
“Donald Trump has attacked the values this union holds most sacred – democracy, truth, respect for our fellow Americans of all races and faiths, and the sanctity of the free press,” said Gabrielle Carteris, President union in its press release last month. “There is a straight line between his blind disregard for the truth and the attacks on journalists by his supporters.”
Mr. Trump’s letter, obtained by The New York Times and then mailed by the union, was dated February 4 and addressed to Ms. Carteris. In it, he lambasted the organization, saying that it had “done little for its members, and nothing for me”.
“I no longer wish to be associated with your union,” Mr. Trump wrote. “As such, this letter is to inform you of my immediate resignation from SAG-AFTRA.”
Mr Trump also used the letter to list his own acting accomplishments and claim he had helped the cable news industry thrive. He wrote that he was “very proud of my work on films such as” Home Alone 2 “,” Zoolander “and” Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps “; and TV shows such as “ The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, ” “ Saturday Night Live, ” and, of course, one of the most successful shows in TV history, “ The Apprentice ” – to name a few. ”
In response to Mr Trump’s resignation, SAG-AFTRA offered a simple two-word statement Thursday afternoon attributed to Ms Carteris and David White, the union’s national executive director: “Thank you.”
Mr. Trump’s departure from the union won’t necessarily prevent him from working in film or television, but could give employers reason to think twice before choosing him.
SAG-AFTRA represents around 160,000 actors, singers, journalists and other film and television media professionals. In its January statement announcing the disciplinary hearing for Mr. Trump, the union noted that reports of intimidation and physical assaults on journalists escalated during the Trump presidency.
TimesVideoWatch Live: Gina Raimondo Confirmation Hearing On Tuesday, Governor Gina Raimondo, chosen by President Biden for the post of Secretary of Commerce, will appear before the Senate Trade Committee for a confirmation hearing by Reuters.
The Commerce Department has broad authority over issues as broad as technology exports and climate change. President Biden’s candidate for head of the agency, Gina M. Raimondo, will appear before the Senate Commerce Committee for a confirmation hearing on Tuesday. Ms. Raimondo, the current governor of Rhode Island, is a moderate Democrat and former venture capitalist.
Here are some things to watch out for as the hearing begins at 10 a.m.
Countering China’s growing technological reach
Senators from both sides are likely to question Ms Raimondo on how she plans to use Commerce Department powers to counter China’s growing mastery of cutting-edge and sensitive technologies, like advanced telecommunications and artificial intelligence.
The Trump administration has made extensive use of departmental officials to crack down on Chinese tech companies, often turning to the so-called entity list, which allows the United States to block companies from selling American products and technologies. to certain foreign companies without first obtaining a License. Dozens of companies have been added to the Commerce Department’s list, including telecom giants like Huawei and ZTE.
The Commerce Department was also tasked with describing President Donald J. Trump’s U.S. ban on Chinese-owned social media apps TikTok and WeChat – actions that were later halted by a court ruling. Mr Biden said he viewed TikTok’s access to US data a “matter of real concern,” but it is unclear how the new administration will handle these issues.
But the Commerce Department has other capabilities that some tech experts say were underutilized in the Trump administration, such as the role it plays in setting global technology standards that private companies must operate on.
Revive the economic recovery
As Commerce Secretary, Ms. Raimondo would wield powers that could help struggling businesses and advance the Biden administration’s goals of developing a domestic industry and revitalizing U.S. research and development. This includes the economic development programs and manufacturing partnerships that the Commerce Department offers to small and medium-sized businesses, as well as its primary mission of promoting U.S. exports.
Dive into Ms. Raimondo’s past
Like some of Mr Biden’s other candidates, Ms Raimondo has faced a bit of backlash from progressive Democrats, who have criticized her close ties to venture capital and big tech companies. Prior to running for political office, Ms Raimondo was a founding employee of investment firm Village Ventures, which was backed by Bain Capital, and co-founded her own venture capital firm, Point Judith Capital.
Some progressives have also condemned some actions she has taken as governor of Rhode Island, including clashes with unions over an overhaul of state pension plans and the extension of some liability protections. nursing homes and health care facilities during the pandemic. But Democrats, who will back Ms Raimondo’s prompt confirmation, are unlikely to put too much emphasis on these issues, if at all.
Ms Raimondo’s financial disclosure forms, released this month, also appear uncontroversial, showing an annual salary of Rhode Island state $ 150,245 and $ 2.9 million to $ 7.5 million in cash, investment accounts and other assets, mainly mutual funds.
TimesVideoWatch Live: Senate Committee Holds Hearing on Lloyd Austin The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing to consider the appointment of Lloyd J. Austin III, a retired three-star general, as Secretary of Defense.