3:49 PM 2/22/2021 - Opinion—How will we look back on the Capitol breach?

3:49 PM 2/22/2021

Michael Novakhov's favorite articles on Inoreader
In twenty years, thirty years, how will we look back at the beginning of 2021? I think the breach of the U.S. Capitol will be one of the most significant ... police or other law enforcement officers who attended the demonstration on Jan. ... Each of the rioters will continue to be under investigation until they are ...
From: ReutersVideo
Duration: 01:59

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin said that Merrick Garland, the nominee for attorney general, if confirmed, would oversee a Justice Department at an 'existential moment’ after it became the ‘Trump Department of Justice’ in the last four years.

#Garland #USPolitics #News

Subscribe: http://smarturl.it/reuterssubscribe

Reuters brings you the latest business, finance and breaking news video from around the globe. Our reputation for accuracy and impartiality is unparalleled.

Get the latest news on: http://reuters.com/
Follow Reuters on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Reuters
Follow Reuters on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Reuters
Follow Reuters on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/reuters/?hl=en


1020001 ReutersVideo's YouTube Videos
Judge Merrick Garland, President Joe Biden's pick to be attorney general, arrives on Capitol Hill for his confirmation hearing, in Washington, Monday, ...
At his confirmation hearing on Monday, Judge Merrick B. Garland promised to focus on prosecuting the Jan. 6 Capitol riot attack with the same ...
What’s the Justice Department Actually For?

This time around, Judge Merrick Garland is getting his hearing.

Not only is President Joe Biden’s nominee for attorney general receiving a Senate audience, but his confirmation seems very likely, a second difference from his 2016 nomination to the Supreme Court, which was stymied by then–Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

But there’s still an important question at stake in Garland’s nomination, and if confirmed, in his work as attorney general. The Trump presidency has both underscored and made more urgent a running debate over what exactly the U.S. Department of Justice is for.

“I think being attorney general has got to be the toughest job in the United States government, because you serve at pleasure of president, but you also have an obligation … to equal justice and impartial enforcement of the law,” Senator John Cornyn, the Republican from Texas, told Garland during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this morning.

[Jane Chong: Donald Trump’s strange and dangerous “absolute rights” idea]

That neatly frames the dilemma. For years, the department has veered, sometimes aggressively, between being more or less in thrall to the White House. Under President Donald Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr, the department was arguably less independent than at any time since John F. Kennedy’s brother led it. Trump asserted an “absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department.” Barr, a long-time proponent of presidential power, generally endorsed and enabled Trump’s moves. Biden has promised to restore a greater degree of independence, and Garland’s prepared opening statement reads as an extended subtweet of the Trump-Barr Justice Department.

Trump complained that he didn’t “have an attorney general” when Jeff Sessions, his first pick for that role, recused himself from the Russia investigation. Trump also told The New York Times, “I don’t want to get into loyalty, but … I will say this: [Attorney General Eric] Holder protected President Obama. Totally protected him.” (Holder disputed this, saying, “I had a president I did not have to protect.”) But Garland, for his part, said that “the president nominates the attorney general to be the lawyer—not for any individual, but for the people of the United States.”

Garland’s statement also praised “policies that protect the independence of the Department from partisan influence in law-enforcement investigations; that strictly regulate communications with the White House; … that respect the professionalism of DOJ’s career employees; and that set out principles of federal prosecution to guide the exercise of prosecutorial discretion.” These are all areas where Trump far overstepped norms—if not necessarily the law—in meddling with the department.

Garland told senators that he believes (and says Biden has pledged) that prosecutions and investigations should be handled independently of the White House, but policy questions are dictated by the president (as long as they are constitutional, he was quick to point out). As to whether a president could order an investigation to be opened or closed, Garland said: “This is a hard question of constitutional law, but I do not expect it to be a question for me.”

[David A. Graham: Bill Barr’s departure reveals the hollowness of Trumpism]

If the new job might allow Garland to sidestep tough constitutional-law questions, it will present plenty of challenges of its own. Justice Department independence has always been more of a political continuum than a clear binary. Janet Reno, who served as Bill Clinton’s attorney general, got drawn into highly political fights, such as the one over Elián González, the boy whose mother died while attempting to escape Cuba with him, and who was ultimately returned to his father on the island. Under George W. Bush, the Justice Department fired seven U.S. attorneys for insufficient political fealty, and stocked the Civil Rights Division with political hacks. Investigations concluded that while inappropriate, neither of these moves was illegal. Moreover, the interference in both cases was not directly in the realm of investigations or prosecutions, where Garland drew his line.

Garland is looking further back for a predecessor who can be a role model: Edward Levi, whom Gerald Ford appointed attorney general after the Watergate scandal. Levi was viewed as a paragon of integrity and independence who did not bow to political pressure and who restored the department’s standing. He also instituted many of the norms for insulating the department that Trump shredded. Garland cited Levi when Biden nominated him, and he is touting endorsements from Levi’s sons, both accomplished lawyers in their own right.

A different way to think about Garland’s vision for the role is that he’d be somewhat akin to the head of an independent federal agency. There are a number of commissions and other bodies where the president appoints a leader and the Senate confirms her, but once she’s in office, she serves a set term rather than at the pleasure of the president, and is not subject to presidential direction.

“I do not regard myself as anything other than the lawyer for the people of the United States,” Garland said. Noting that some senators had asked why he’d leave a lifetime appointment on the federal bench to become attorney general, he explained the decision as one designed to serve the long-term interests of the department’s work: “This is an important time for me to step forward because of my deep respect for the Department of Justice and its critical role in ensuring the rule of law.”

This idea of the role is naturally similar to being a federal judge. After nearly 25 years on the bench, Garland isn’t accustomed to working for anyone or having to worry about political considerations. (Garland worked at the Justice Department under Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton and was an assistant U.S. attorney in D.C.)

But politics will intrude, and soon. The second questioner at today’s hearing was the ranking member Chuck Grassley, who asked Garland for assurances that he wouldn’t meddle with John Durham, a U.S. attorney appointed to investigate the origins of the FBI’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. (Garland said he had no plans to meddle, but wouldn’t commit.) Garland also faced questioning about how he would handle White House pressure about an investigation into Hunter Biden, the president’s son. (Garland said Joe Biden had assured him it would be up to the Justice Department.)

Senator Ted Cruz complained during today’s hearing that under President Barack Obama, “the Department of Justice was politicized and weaponized in a way that was directly contrary to over a century of tradition of the Department of Justice being apolitical, and not a partisan tool to target your opponents.” It is rich to hear such complaints from Cruz and other Republicans who tacitly or explicitly endorsed Trump’s handling of the department, especially Trump’s efforts to get friends such as Roger Stone and Paul Manafort off the hook from prosecution. (Is there any doubt that Trump would have tried to intervene if his children had been the target of a Justice Department investigation? And does anyone think most Republican senators would have publicly objected?)

But Cruz’s remarks hint at where Garland’s vision of the department might run into friendly fire. While Garland has pledged to aggressively prosecute those involved in the January 6 insurrection in Washington, the anti-Trump “Resistance” wants to see the Justice Department forcefully pursue Trump, his family, and his cronies. Biden has already renounced any role in making such decisions, leaving the matter to his attorney general—which means that it will be Garland who has to grapple with demands for these politically incendiary moves.

Meanwhile, the more progressive wing of the Democratic Party has raised questions about Garland’s bench record on civil liberties, deeming him too friendly to law enforcement, and about whether he is sufficiently committed to an expansive approach to voting issues. (The picks of Vanita Gupta and Kristen Clarke, who have strong progressive records on these issues, for top DOJ jobs may ease those worries.) More broadly, there’s been a movement in progressive circles toward a new vision of prosecutors who are more politically engaged and working for social justice. While that effort has been focused mostly at the local level, Garland’s old-school approach to prosecution is not in step with it.

[David A. Graham: Joe Biden’s restoration campaign]

More broadly still, questions about the role of the Justice Department serve as a proxy for questions among Democrats about how government should work. On one side are those who believe that Biden’s administration should strive to return to the pre-Trump status quo. On the other are those who despise Trump’s policies but believe that going back to the supposedly good old ways will just enable the next Trump. Instead, they contend, Democrats should seek to wield the same tools Trump did, only for good. Anything less amounts to unilateral disarmament.

Biden has staked his place in the first camp. He managed to defeat a more forward-looking Democratic field on that promise, then won the presidency on it. It stands to reason that he’d pick an attorney general who agrees. But Biden is already facing pressure from restive parts of his coalition, and if he’s confirmed, Garland will also face demands to be more political and to get his hands dirtier.

“I do not plan to be interfered with by anyone,” Garland told the Judiciary Committee today. No attorney general does, though. The question is how he reacts when the plan falls apart.

Supreme Court won't halt Trump tax record turnover  kwwl.com
Voting machine company sues pro-Trump pillow man over false election claims  ABC News
US supreme court paves way for release of Donald Trump's tax returns  TimesLIVE
A Small Group of Militants’ Outsize Role in the Capitol Attack - The New York Times nytimes.com/interactive/20…
What role did the retired FBI agents play in Capitol riot?

What role did the retired FBI agents play in Capitol riot? - GS

Oath Keepers - GS

Retired FBI agents and Oath Keepers - GS

Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI and Oath Keepers - GS


Russia says it's open to better ties with EU despite chill  Martinsville Bulletin
From: skynews
Duration: 17:13

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson claims "there is light ahead, leading us to a spring and a summer full of hope," in his latest government briefing.

He re-iterated the roadmap out of lockdown that he set out in the House Of Commons earlier.

Sky News videos are now available in Spanish here/Los video de Sky News están disponibles en español aquí https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzG5BnqHO8oNlrPDW9CYJog

SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel for more videos: http://www.youtube.com/skynews

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/skynews and https://twitter.com/skynewsbreak

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/skynews

Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/skynews

For more content go to http://news.sky.com and download our apps:

Apple https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/sky-news/id316391924?mt=8

Android https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bskyb.skynews.android&hl=en_GB


1020003 skynews's YouTube Videos
  1. Democrats lost Texas because of Covid and Republican voter drive, report finds  The Guardian
  2. Why Texas Democrats lost the 2020 voter turnout battle, even among Latinos  NBC News
  3. Texas Democrats issue report on 2020 elections  The Washington Post
  4. Why America doesn't have the third party it wants | TheHill  The Hill
  5. Texas Democrats blame pandemic for 2020 electoral disappointment | TheHill  The Hill
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News
  1. Treasury's Yellen criticizes bitcoin again as 'inefficient' and highly speculative  MarketWatch
  2. Yellen sounds warning about 'extremely inefficient' bitcoin  CNBC
  3. Yellen says to judge Biden stimulus on speed of return to pre-pandemic unemployment  Reuters
  4. Treasury May Be Able to Facilitate Climate Stress Tests on Financial Firms  The Wall Street Journal
  5. Yellen Says Market for a 100-Year Treasury Bond Would Be ‘Tiny’  Bloomberg
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News
The family of US Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick is still awaiting ... to the riots on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at the US Capitol and was injured ... Investigators consider whether an adverse reaction to bear spray may have ...
From: skynews
Duration: 03:01

Boris Johnson is asked whether he would resign if he has to impose a fourth coronavirus lockdown.

The prime minister says his 'intention' is for the easing of lockdown to be 'irreversible' - but he 'can't guarantee' it.

He says the five-week interval between each stage of the lockdown lifting plan will allow the government to 'look at the data' and 'proceed cautiously'.

SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel for more videos: http://www.youtube.com/skynews

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/skynews and https://twitter.com/skynewsbreak

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/skynews

Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/skynews

For more content go to http://news.sky.com and download our apps:

Apple https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/sky-news/id316391924?mt=8

Android https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bskyb.skynews.android&hl=en_GB


1020003 skynews's YouTube Videos
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) has signed into law legislation legalizing and regulating the use and possession of marijuana for...

A new minister in Scotland is on a mission to cut drug deaths. But a fresh approach to a complex problem is needed across the UK

There is no single measure of the harms caused by illegal drugs, but reformers focus on two main areas. The first is the damage caused by addiction, especially when this leads to serious illness or death. The second is the way that the trade and consumption of illegal drugs are dealt with by the criminal justice system. With deaths from illegal drugs at record levels, particularly in Scotland, where the SNP is facing strong criticism, it could not be clearer that support and treatment services are in a shockingly bad state. Investment is needed urgently, and not just money but ideas.

Questions about how illegal drug use is policed have also returned to the fore, as anti-racism campaigners in England highlight the disproportionate use of stop-and-search powers on people of colour (mostly young men), and the over-representation of black and minority ethnic males in young offender institutions. With police, prosecutors, courts and prisons all under intense pressure, and an enormous backlog of cases, now is a good moment to ask whether the state’s resources are being used well.

Continue reading...

6453570 Editorials | The Guardian

6597547 1. Opinions from Michael_Novakhov (43 sites)

The more we allow infections to rise and the virus to replicate, the greater the chance that new variants will arrive that have the ability to evade our defences

Boris Johnson stood at the dispatch box on Monday with a plan to come out of a national lockdown. One might be forgiven for experiencing a sense of deja vu. Mr Johnson has been here twice before. This time was different. There were no jokes about ordering a pint to celebrate. It pays to be humble in the face of nature, a chastened prime minister acknowledged. With more than 120,000 Covid-19 deaths in the UK, it is about time that Mr Johnson was serious about coronavirus.

His decision to ease restrictions is a reflection of the belief in the apparent early success of the vaccines in reducing hospitalisations and deaths, and their rapid deployment. This has given him the confidence to rebuff calls from Tory MPs to lift the lockdown more quickly. Mr Johnson’s approach is to roll back restrictions in stages, starting with outdoor meetings, with a five-week wait between phases. If things go awry then, Mr Johnson says, further liberalisation can be put off.

Continue reading...

6453570 Editorials | The Guardian

6597547 1. Opinions from Michael_Novakhov (43 sites)
NPR News: 02-22-2021 3PM ET

Download audio: https://play.podtrac.com/npr-500005/edge1.pod.npr.org/anon.npr-mp3/npr/newscasts/2021/02/22/newscast150836.mp3?awCollectionId=500005&awEpisodeId=970254201&orgId=1&d=300&p=500005&story=970254201&t=podcast&e=970254201&size=4500000&ft=pod&f=500005

6597490 NPR News Now


Popular posts from this blog

11:09 AM 10/19/2021 - In Ukraine, Defense Secretary Austin calls on Russia to stop 'persistent cyberattacks' | US intel chief meets S. Korea's top security advisor to discuss N. Korea | Germany under Olaf Scholz: What the world can expect from Merkel's likely successor. Interview with Nils Schmid, SPD | Putin outsmarted after offering to 'rescue' UK from gas crisis: 'We don't need it!'

1:38 PM 10/6/2020 - Major hurricane brews in Gulf of Mexico, threatens Louisiana, Florida | Hopes of a ceasefire fading in Nagorno-Karabakh amid flare-up of violence

Current News In Brief - 4:59 AM 9/7/2021 - 06/09/21 21:51: FBI paid over $100,000 to neo-Nazi for insider info - report - The Jerusalem Post

IS AMERICA ANY SAFER? | FBI spied on Muslims broadly in the wake of 9/11, and tried to force many of them to become INFORMANTS - the malignant and inefficient practice, in many respects! - Google Search

CIA Director Gina Haspel: Trump's Behavior After Election Loss Was 'Insanity' | #TNT #News #Times #US #ODNI #CIA #DOJ #FBI #Psychology of #Politics, #Intelligence, & #SecurityServices The News And Times | The FBI News Review https://shar.es/aW6eFD

9:39 AM 2/28/2021 - Experts concerned about Pope Francis' trip to Iraq

Among Those Who Marched Into the Capitol on Jan. 6: An F.B.I. Informant - The New York Times

Intelligence Operations | Abwehr and Psychoanalysis - Tweets Review | US "Psychoanalysts", many of them German Jewish charlatans, SPIED ON THEIR PATIENTS to find out the roots of TOTALITARIANISM!

@SecondGentleman Are you behind the attempts to unseat Chris Wray of the FBI? Do you plot to rule America behind the scenes? What are your relations with the Intelligence Services, including the Mossad, KGB, BND, and the New Abwehr?#FBI #NEWS #KamalaHarris THE FBI NEWS REVIEW