Things to Watch at William Barr’s AG Confirmation Hearing

Posted: January 15, 2019, 8:55 am

Things to Watch at William Barr's AG Confirmation Hearing President Donald Trump's attorney general nominee, William Barr, meets with Senate Judiciary Committee member and Trump confidant Sen. Lindsey Graham, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 9, 2019. WASHINGTON — As he did almost 30 years ago, William Barr is appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee to make the case he's qualified to serve as attorney general.
Barr served as attorney general from 1991 to 1993 and has been nominated by President Donald Trump to do the job again. His confirmation hearing Tuesday has multiple story lines worth watching.
The 68-year-old nominee aims to show Republicans he's sufficiently supportive of Trump's tough-on-crime and hardline immigration agenda while assuring skeptical Democrats that special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation will finish without interference or interruption.
The panel he'll face is led by a new Republican chairman, Sen. Lin..

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Desperate Parents and Discount Marijuana: DC in a Shutdown

Posted: January 15, 2019, 8:42 am

Desperate Parents and Discount Marijuana: DC in a Shutdown District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser, seated, holds the LOVE Act she signed, Jan. 11, 2019. WASHINGTON — No city experiences a shutdown quite like Washington.
Besides the economic impact, a shutdown warps the nation’s capital on a cultural, recreational and logistical level — touching everybody from garbage collectors to young parents, prospective newlyweds to aspiring Eagle Scouts.
The current partial shutdown , now in a record fourth week, has also provided a quiet boon for Mayor Muriel Bowser’s government, which rushed into the void to claim unprecedented new powers while making a public show of literally cleaning up the federal government’s mess.
The economic situation is, of course, brutal. Recent surveys estimate that the federal government directly employs more than 364,000 people in the greater Washington area including northern Virginia and southern Maryland. The District of Columbia alone — population 700,000..

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At Trump’s Side, Border Patrol Union Leader in Spotlight

Posted: January 15, 2019, 8:17 am

At Trump's Side, Border Patrol Union Leader in Spotlight President Donald Trump, left, listens as Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, talks about border security after making a surprise visit to the press briefing room of the White House in Washington, Jan. 3, 2019. WASHINGTON — Brandon Judd, president of the union that represents thousands of border patrol agents, has flipped the axiom that there are no winners in a government shutdown.
His proximity to President Donald Trump has elevated the union leader’s profile while burnishing the image of the U.S. Border Patrol, a backwater in prior administrations when compared to other federal law enforcement agencies like the FBI and Secret Service.
At the same time, Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, has helped to validate Trump’s fiery immigration rhetoric and affirm his conviction that a wall at the southern border is urgently needed to stop what they’ve described as a humanitarian cris..

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 A Look at the History and Importance of Congress’ Power to Investigate

Posted: January 14, 2019, 9:03 pm

A Look at the History and Importance of Congress' Power to Investigate Chairman Peter Rodino, D-N.J., of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee,center, chief counsel John Doar, left, and minority counsel Albert Jenner, right, gather in Washington, March 5, 1974. Doar presented a status report on the panel's investigation to impeach President Nixon. When Democratic lawmakers won the majority in the House of Representatives in recent elections, they not only won the ability to better shape legislation in the House, they also gained the enormous power of investigation. Investigations have always been an important way for Congress members to hold government officials accountable, to inform public policy and to spur national debate.
SEE ALSO: A Look at Upcoming Investigations by House Committees ​
SEE ALSO: Investigation Topics Planned by House Democrats ​
House Democrats have promised to hold investigations on a range of topics, including the activities of President Donald Trump ..

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A Look at Upcoming Investigations by House Committees

Posted: January 14, 2019, 8:46 pm

A Look at Upcoming Investigations by House Committees FILE – The Capitol Rotunda is seen with the statue of George Washington on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 30, 2018. When Democratic lawmakers took control of the U.S. House of Representatives in early January, they promised to launch multiple investigations into President Donald Trump's administration, his 2016 campaign, and his family's businesses.
SEE ALSO: A Look at the History and Importance of Congress' Power to Investigate SEE ALSO: Investigation Topics Planned by House Democrats Here is a summary of what the committees are planning to begin investigating.
Committee: House Intelligence
Chairman: Adam Schiff
Russia inquiry — Wants the phone records of the president's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., to find out whom he called while arranging a June 2016 meeting between a Russian lawyer and members of the Trump campaign.
Russia inquiry — Wants financial records relating to Trump's sale of a Florida m..

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Investigation Topics Planned by House Democrats

Posted: January 14, 2019, 8:28 pm

Investigation Topics Planned by House Democrats FILE – Flags fly in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 1, 2019. When the Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month, the new committee chairs said they would use their role of oversight to begin investigating the controversies and scandals regarding President Donald Trump's businesses, campaign and administration.
Russia inquiry
*At least four House committees plan to look into aspects of the Russian election interference investigation — Intelligence, Financial Services, Foreign Affairs, and Judiciary. However, none plan to reopen a full-scale investigation, since Democratic officials say special counsel Robert Mueller's probe is already doing that. House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler says he will wait for Mueller to conclude his investigation before considering any possible impeachment inquiry.
The lines of questioning by the committees reflect their particular purview. For ..

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Democrats Eye Censure of Steve King Over Racist Comments  

Posted: January 14, 2019, 8:17 pm

Democrats Eye Censure of Steve King Over Racist Comments FILE – Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, talks with a reporter on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 27, 2018. The highest-ranking Republican in the U.S. Congress sharply denounced Congressman Steve King of Iowa for racially charged comments.
“There is no place in the Republican Party, the Congress or the country for an ideology of racial supremacy of any kind,'' Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday.
McConnell joined fellow Republicans in condemning King, as House Democrats announced plans to censure him.
The fallout against King stems from an interview published in The New York Times last week in which King lamented, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?”
But his offensive remarks date back to 2006 when he compared immigrants to livestock.
U.S. Rep Bobby Rush (D-IL) attends a Joint Session of Congress with President Donald Trump in Washington, Fe..

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Attorney General Nominee to Face Tough Questioning

Posted: January 14, 2019, 8:05 pm

Attorney General Nominee to Face Tough Questioning FILE – President Donald Trump's attorney general nominee, William Barr, meets with Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 9, 2019. President Donald Trump's pick for attorney general, William Barr, on Tuesday begins two days of confirmation hearings that are expected to delve into Barr's criticism of the special counsel investigation and his expansive views of executive power.
Barr, who served as attorney general under former President George H.W. Bush, has drawn scrutiny in recent weeks for a memo he wrote last year criticizing special counsel Robert Mueller for examining whether Trump tried to obstruct the investigation.
In the 19-page memo to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the investigation, Barr opined that Mueller's probe of Trump for asking then-FBI director James Comey to “let … go” of a separate investigation and then firing ..

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2nd Judge Blocks Trump Rules for Birth Control Insurance Coverage

Posted: January 14, 2019, 6:29 pm

2nd Judge Blocks Trump Rules for Birth Control Insurance Coverage FILE – A one-month dosage of hormonal birth control pills is displayed in Sacramento, Calif., Aug. 26, 2016. A second federal judge has blocked the Trump administration from letting businesses and others opt out of birth control coverage required by the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.
Judge Wendy Beetlestone handed down her ruling Monday in Philadelphia, blocking the Trump rules nationwide — a day after a federal judge in California issued an injunction affecting 13 states and Washington, D.C.
Both judges ruled that allowing employers to opt out of birth control coverage would force women to turn to the states for help, leading to such consequences as unwanted pregnancies.
There has been no reaction from the White House or Justice Department.
The Trump administration rules were to have taken effect this week. They would have let businesses and nonprofit groups opt out of the birth control requirement ..

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Trump Vows to ‘Never Back Down’ on Border Wall Demand

Posted: January 14, 2019, 5:07 pm

Trump Vows to 'Never Back Down' on Border Wall Demand President Donald Trump speaks at the American Farm Bureau Federation convention in New Orleans, Jan. 14, 2019. WHITE HOUSE — Although a majority of Americans blame the U.S. president for the prolonged partial government shutdown, Donald Trump on Monday told farmers that the opposition Democrats in Congress are squarely responsible.
“They will not approve the measures we need to keep American safe,” Trump told a national convention of farmers in New Orleans where he defended his demand for billions of dollars for a border wall with Mexico.
A migrant from Honduras, part of a caravan of thousands from Central America trying to reach the US, runs with his son after crossing illegally from Mexico by jumping a border fence, as they are photographed through the border wall in Tijuana, Mexico, Jan 13, 2019. Drones and sensors are not adequate for border security, Trump added, contending only a “strong steel or concrete barrier” ..

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