President Biden’s choice to lead the Justice Department faces two days of questioning, and topics may include investigations into the president’s son, the Jan 6 Attack on the Capitol and the origins of investigation into Russia Judge Garland has broad support to gain confirmation

Supreme Court rejects Trump’s latest attempt to block release of his financial records to US prosecutors

Two other senators announce their opposition to Neera Tanden as head of the Bureau of Management and Budget

Judge Merrick B Garland appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday to begin his confirmation process to become Attorney General

While Judge Garland is expected to garner broad bipartisan support to lead the Justice Department, he faces questions from Democrats and Republicans about how he will deal with a myriad of politically charged issues that the Department now faces. : a federal tax evasion investigation of President Biden Jr., an investigation by a special advocate into the origins of the Russia investigation, and the investigation into the Jan 6 attack on the Capitol which has started to draw closer of former President Donald J Trump’s inner circle

He will also need to reinvigorate the department’s civil rights division as America suffers a painful and destabilizing toll with systemic racism, such as the country has not seen in over half a century. The Trump administration has worked to reduce the protection of civil rights for transgender people and minorities It also prohibits policies aimed at addressing systemic racism, sexism, homophobia and other implicit prejudices, which Mr. Trump said he didn’t exist

In his opening statement to the committee, Justice Garland, 68, vowed to address systemic inequalities and address the resurgence of the national terrorist threat that was surprisingly evident on January 6 during the siege of Capitol Hill

He also told the commission that he would not let politics influence the department, which launched a criminal investigation into Mr. Biden’s son Hunter and investigates whether Obama-era officials erred in their decision to investigate Mr. Trump campaign in 2016

“The Attorney General represents the public interest,” he said “I don’t intend to be embarrassed by anyone”

But Judge Garland will also likely be asked if his Justice Department will open further investigations into Mr. Trump, his former administration officials and his entourage Some of these officials have been accused by government watchdogs of inappropriate behavior and lying to investigators It is not known whether Mr. Trump or his associates will be under scrutiny for any connection to the attack on Capitol Hill Mr Trump was acquitted of inciting insurgency by the Senate during his impeachment trial

Republicans may try to push Judge Garland to embark on politically charged inquiries into Democrats, including New York’s Andrew M Cuomo government, which has misrepresented the number of coronavirus-related deaths in homes in nursing, or appoint a special advocate to investigate M Biden’s son The Justice Department has asked David C Weiss, the TrumpS-appointed lawyer from Delaware, to continue overseeing the Hunter Biden investigation

Last month Judge Garland said he would make sure “there isn’t one rule for Democrats and another for Republicans, one rule for friends, another for enemies”

After serving as a clerk for Judge William J Brennan Jr, Judge Garland took a job with the Department of Justice in 1989, as a federal prosecutor for the US Attorney’s Office in Washington under President George HW Bush , where he prosecuted cases of public corruption, drug trafficking and fraud

He was chosen by Jamie Gorelick, who was Deputy Attorney General under President Bill Clinton, to serve as his first deputy; in this capacity, he oversaw the investigation into the Oklahoma City bombing case and other major domestic terrorism cases It was confirmed at the US District Circuit Court of Appeals Columbia in 1997 with overwhelming bipartisan support

Justice Garland is best known for being collateral damage in a political power game of Kentucky Republican Senator Mitch McConnell and then Majority Leader, who delayed his Supreme Court confirmation hearing by eight months so that a Republican president can occupy the seat left empty by the death of Judge Antonin Scalia in 2016

Civil rights activists, police unions, Democrats and Republicans have expressed support for the appointment of Justice Garland A bipartisan group of more than 150 former Justice Department officials, including Democrats like Eric H Holder Jr and Loretta Lynch, and Republicans like Alberto Gonzales, Michael B Mukasey and Ken Starr, the independent lawyer in charge of the Whitewater investigation, also signed a letter supporting him

Judge Garland’s confirmation team methodically released bundles of letters of support in the days leading up to the hearing The first set of letters was intended to demonstrate that he had broad support from both sides and former Justice Department alumni The second aimed to show that progressives and law enforcement groups believe it will equitably consider their interests as it tackles domestic terrorism and burning civil rights issues that could negatively impact. on them

Five years ago, when President Barack Obama appointed Justice Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, then-chairman of the Judicial Committee, Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, effectively killed Justice Garland’s chances by denying even schedule a confirmation hearing to review the appointment

On Monday, Judge Garland appeared before this commission for a hearing on whether to confirm him as attorney general to President Biden m Grassley – now the panel’s ranking Republican – gave him a much more welcoming reception , stating that “no one doubts that Judge Garland is qualified for the post”

“I love you, I respect you and I think you are a good choice for this position,” M Grassley said

The warm greetings highlighted why Judge Garland should be confirmed as Attorney General, unlike the Republican blockade he faced in 2016 Republicans have lost control of the Senate and the dynamics of a temporary confirmation for an executive position are very different from that of a life seat on the Supreme Court

After the death of judge Antonin Scalia in early 2016, Mr. Obama picked Judge Garland, who had a centrist reputation, in the hope that Republicans would give him a chance Judge Garland is a former Justice Department prosecutor who oversaw the bombing investigation of ‘Oklahoma City in 1995, and whose decisions from the bench were more likely to side with law enforcement than others named Democrats

Mr Grassley admitted that “my fellow Republicans and I decided not to hold a hearing on his nomination” to the Supreme Court, noting that the vacancy had arisen during an election year and that the Republicans were in control. The Senate But Mr Grassley also noted that he did not attack Judge Garland, referring to Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s brutal confirmation hearings in 2018

“Yes, it is true that I did not hear Judge Garland,” M Grassley said “I didn’t misinterpret his record either I didn’t attack his character I didn’t go through his high school yearbook I didn’t make his wife leave the audience in tears I took a stand on the hearings and stayed there and that’s it I admire Judge Garland’s public service Just because I disagree with whoever is nominated doesn’t mean I had to be rude to this candidate “

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a final attempt by former President Donald J Trump to protect his financial records, issuing a brief unsigned order demanding that Mr. Trump’s accountants turn over taxes and other files to New York prosecutors

The court order was a decisive defeat for Mr. Trump, who has gone to extraordinary lengths to keep his tax returns and related documents secret

The case concerned a summons to Mr. Trump’s Accountants Mazars USA by Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Cyrus R Vance Jr, a Democrat Cabinet said it will comply with the courts’ final ruling, meaning the grand jury should receive documents as soon as possible

Under grand jury secrecy rules, it would generally be difficult to know when, if any, the public would see the information But The New York Times obtained more than two decades of tax return data from Mr. Trump and his companies, and he recently published a series of articles about them

Mr. Trump, according to the reports, has suffered significant losses, owes huge debts that he is personally obligated to repay, has avoided paying federal income taxes in 11 of the 18 years examined by the Times and only paid $ 750 in 2016 and 2017

The scope of Mr Vance’s investigation remains unclear This stems in part from an investigation by his office into quiet payments to two women who said they had relationships with Mr Trump, connections the president has denied But prosecutors’ court filings suggest they are also investigating potential crimes such as tax and insurance fraud

The assignment had been asking for tax records and financial statements since 2011, engagement agreements with the accountants who prepared them, the underlying raw financial data, and information on how the data was analyzed

In an effort to direct federal aid more towards smaller and more vulnerable businesses, the Biden administration changes the rules of the Paycheck Protection Program, increasing the amount that sole proprietors can receive and imposing a 14-day freeze on loans to businesses with 20 or more employees

Freeze will take effect Wednesday, Small Business Administration scheduled to announce on Monday In addition, President Biden is expected to speak Monday afternoon to make a small business announcement

As part of December’s economic aid package, Congress allocated $ 284 billion to revive the aid program Banks and other financiers, which provide government-guaranteed loans, have disbursed $ 134 billion $ 18million businesses since lending resumed last month The money is meant to be forgiven if beneficiaries comply with program rules

Companies with up to 500 workers are generally eligible for loans, although second-draw loans – available to those whose sales have fallen 25% or more at least a quarter since the start of the coronavirus pandemic – are limited to companies with 300 or more Fewer employees The 14-day moratorium aims to draw the attention of lenders to smaller companies, according to administration officials, who spoke to reporters at a press briefing on Sunday on the condition that ‘they are not named

Most small businesses are sole proprietorships, employing only the owner For these businesses, including sole proprietorships and independent contractors, one of the biggest obstacles to obtaining relief funds was a rule the program which based their loan amount on the annual profit declared on their taxes This has made unprofitable businesses ineligible for aid and left thousands of applicants with tiny loans – some as small as $ 1

The new formula, which Small Business Administration officials say will be released soon, will instead focus on gross income.This calculation, done before many expenses are deducted, will allow unprofitable businesses to qualify for ready

The agency is also amending several other program rules to expand eligibility Those who have recently been convicted of non-fraud crimes will now be able to apply, as will those who are past due or in default on federal student loan debt The agency also updated its guidelines to clarify that business owners who are not U.S. citizens but legal residents are eligible for loans.

Two moderate Republicans announced on Monday that they would not back the nomination of Neera Tanden as head of the Bureau of Management and Budget, jeopardizing prospects for confirmation in an equally divided Senate

In statements released early Monday morning and first obtained by Politico, Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah said they would oppose Ms. Tanden’s opposition, citing hundreds of inflammatory and critical messages she had posted on social networks

The confirmation margins now seem almost insurmountable for Ms Tanden, given that three senators in four days have announced their opposition Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, having already announced his intention to vote against the former Advisor to Hillary Clinton, President Biden needs the rest of the Democratic caucus to back his nomination and at least two Republicans to back him

One of the many Republicans frequently targeted by Ms Tanden on social media, Ms Collins noted that “her past actions have demonstrated exactly the kind of animosity President Biden is committed to transcending.”And Ms. Tanden’s decision to suppress more than a thousand tweets before her confirmation hearings, she said,” raises concerns about her commitment to transparency”

In a statement released shortly after Ms Collins, spokeswoman for Mr Romney said the senator “ thinks it’s hard to get back to courtesy and respect with a candidate who posted a thousand nasty tweets ”

After M Manchin announced his intention to vote against his confirmation on Friday, Mr. Biden said he plans to move forward with the nomination Following Ms Collins’ statement, the White House has indicated that it plans to move forward with the confirmation process

Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said Monday that Mr. Biden continued to support Ms. Tanden’s Nomination

“Neera Tanden is an accomplished political expert who would be an excellent budget manager and we look forward to the committee’s votes this week and to continuing to work for its confirmation through engagement with both parties,” Ms. Psaki said declared in a press release

But it was not clear once M Romney’s office issued its reprimand for Ms Tanden if the administration would continue to press for her confirmation

At 1:09 p.m. on Jan 6, minutes after protesters broke through the barricades around the US Capitol and began using the steel debris to attack the officers standing guard, the Capitol Police Chief launched a desperate call for safeguard It took nearly two hours for officials to approve the deployment of the National Guard

New details about what happened in those 115 minutes on this dark, violent day – revealed in interviews and documents – tell how chaotic decision-making by political and military leaders burned precious time as riots on Capitol Hill escalated control

Communication breakdowns, inaction and confusion over who had the power to call the National Guard delayed the deployment of hundreds of troops who could have helped quell the violence that raged for hours

This period is expected to be the focus of a Congressional hearing on Tuesday, when lawmakers publicly question Steven A Sund, the then Capitol Police chief, and other current and former officials for the first time on the security failures that contributed to the violence that day

“Capitol security leaders must address the decision not to approve the National Guard’s request, the failures in interagency coordination and information sharing, and how the threat intelligence they had before January 6 informed their security decisions before that day, ”said Senator Maggie Hassan, Democrat of New Hampshire

Some US officials have said that by the time the urgent request arrived at the Pentagon on the afternoon of January 6, it was far past time that National Guard troops deployed quickly enough to prevent storming the Capitol But law enforcement officials stressed that in a melee that lasted for hours, every minute lost was critical

Chief Sund did not receive a response for 61 minutes after calling for help from the National Guard And even then there was a problem: although Capitol Security officials approved his request , the Pentagon had the last word In a tense phone call that began 18 minutes later, a senior general said he didn’t like the “visual” of the military guarding the Capitol and that he would recommend it to the secretary of the army deny request

Pentagon approval finally arrived at 3:04 pm The first deployment of National Guard troops arrived at Capitol Hill two and a half hours later

There were exactly eight tweets, each rooted in what can best be described as reality There was a visit to spend time with a sick friend, Bob Dole, the former Republican Senator And there is had a stop at church with the grandchildren

Since Mr Biden took office, the weekends have been portraits of domestic life rather than the 48 hours of tension from which his predecessor (when not on the Greens) would launch attacks , firefighters or a lord on the basic weekend cable

Mister So far, Biden’s weekend agenda has included MarioKart with the kids at Camp David, bagels in Georgetown, and football in Delaware Peloton enthusiast, he didn’t even play golf m Biden’s overt disinterest in generating bold headlines only underscores how Trump’s waist-hole in Washington has created a sense of free time in all areas of the capital Psychically, if not literally

While the workload remains (it’s still Washington, after all), people still get a few hours of sleep during the period formerly known as weekends

“It went from working 24/7 to sort of going down in the blink of an eye,” said Representative Ted Lieu, Democrat of California. took a while for my body and mind to calm down “

But first, watch frantically: On the Sunday following the end of the trial, Mr. Lieu spent his first few hours without Trump watching episodes of “Snowpiercer”

Mister Biden, who is focusing on his $ 1 The 9 trillion coronavirus relief package, said he too wanted to move on to discussing M Trump “I don’t want to talk about him anymore,” the president said at a CNN town hall in Wisconsin last week The reality is a little different Mr. Biden has repeatedly referred to what he called the Trump administration’s failures as he sought to gain public patience with the coronavirus vaccine rollout

There is a parallel in the news industry, where reporters covering this old new version of Washington say they are ready to return to the type of journalism that does not involve deciphering a human mood ring CNN and MSNBC, whose journalists and personalities have spent years challenging Mr. Trump’s policies have quietly reduced the number of Trump-focused journalists working under contract in recent months

Mr. Trump of course predicted that the political news complex would collapse without him Members of this complex say they have room to breathe and, above all, to plan

“As the host of a weekly show, the glaring lack of presidential scandals on Twitter means I can plan ahead hoping our plan actually gets implemented,” said Brian Stelter, who hosts “Reliable Sources” on CNN “Informally we used to leave a five minute gap in my Sunday show, we expected some kind of big news to break out on Saturday night Now we no longer assume that will happen “

Merrick Garland

News from the world – US – Live updates: Senators question Attorney General candidate Merrick Garland

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/02/22/us/joe-biden-news