A Senate Committee Questioned Christine Abizaid Bidens Nominee For A Top Counterterrorism Post
Lawmakers quizzed the Biden administrations nominee to lead the National Counterterrorism Center on Wednesday about the role of intelligence agencies in investigating domestic terrorism.
Christine S. Abizaid, the nominee to lead the center, said that the kind of terrorist groups that the United States faced was changing. Though she repeatedly emphasized that the F.B.I. would continue to take the lead in domestic terrorism investigations, she also said there was a role for the broader intelligence community to look for connections between domestic extremists and foreign groups.
The counterterrorism center, she said, was established to connect the dots, integrating intelligence from across an array of sources, whether theyre foreign or domestic.
Still, Republican lawmakers suggested growing public unease with the intelligence communitys work on domestic terrorism could complicate Ms. Abizaids efforts. Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, said there was a lack of trust by the American people in what the intelligence community is actually doing, and stressed that intelligence work should not curtail any U.S. citizens right of free speech.
Any use of intelligence authorities needs to be consistent with the Constitution, and follow the laws of land that is a very bright line, Ms. Abizaid said. And its one that has to govern all of our activities across the intelligence community.
The Trump Administrations Questionable Email Practices
Government Transparency, National Security & Foreign PolicyTrump AccountabilityActive
After the amount of attention paid during the 2016 presidential election to former Secretary of State Hillary Clintons emails, it should be clear to government officials that classified information should be handled carefully, and that the use of private email and messaging apps for government business is not allowed.
The Bureau Of Justice Statistics Has Suffered From Years Of Poor Funding And Political Interference By The Trump Administration Fixing It Could Be One Of The Most Important Tasks On Bidens Criminal Justice Reform Agenda
Ethan CoreyFeb 02, 2021
As the Biden administration begins to implement its criminal justice reform goals, experts say that access to timely and accurate data will be essential for the success or failure of the administrations agenda. Key to that effort is reforming the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the nations main source of data on the criminal legal system.
Your policies have to rest on something, and the outcome of your policies, the goals that you want to achieve have to be measurable, said Peter Wood, chairperson of the Crime & Justice Research Alliance. And if you have no data, how are you going to know whether what youre doing is having an impact?
But decades of poor funding have left the agency struggling to fulfill its mission as the nations official provider of data and statistics on police, prisons, jails, courts, and other components of the criminal legal system. And politically biased leadership during Donald Trumps presidency contributed to delays in report releases and an atmosphere of censorship, former BJS officials told The Appeal.
During its more than 40 years as the Justice Departments statistical agency, the BJS has become the primary source for national data on the United Statess highly fragmented criminal legal system, which comprises roughly 18,000 law enforcement agencies, 3,000 jails, 55 state and territorial prison systems, and hundreds of state and municipal criminal court systems.
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Cnn Reveals The Government Obtained A Gag Order On Its Lawyers In A Fight Over Reporter Email Data
CNN disclosed on Wednesday that the Justice Department had fought a secret legal battle to obtain the email logs of one of its reporters and that as part of the fight the government imposed a gag order on the networks lawyers and its president, Jeff Zucker.
The news networks disclosure came less than a week after a lawyer for The New York Times revealed that he and a handful of lawyers and executives for the newspaper had been gagged as part of a similar fight stemming from a leak investigation.
The fight for the CNN reporters email data began in July 2020 under the Trump administration and was resolved on Jan. 26, just after the Biden administration took office, in a deal with prosecutors under which the network turned over a limited set of email logs, it said. A judge recently lifted the gag order over the matter.
The disclosure was the latest involving aggressive steps the Justice Department took in leak inquiries late in the Trump administration, and the second inquiry now known to have spilled over into the early Biden administration.
The Justice Department had revealed in recent weeks that it had, during the Trump administration, successfully seized phone records for the four Times reporters, the CNN reporter and several reporters at The Washington Post as part of leak investigations. Each involved records from 2017.
House Committee Releases New Evidence From Investigation Into Trump Administration Interference With Cdc During Covid
The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis released to CNN on Friday new evidence showing how US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials were pressured by Trump administration officials to alter scientific guidance and prevented from communicating directly with the public.
In new excerpts of transcribed interviews, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the former director of the CDCs National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said she was made aware that then-President Donald Trump was angered by a February 25, 2020, briefing during which she warned the public about the dangers of the coronavirus. Messonnier says in the transcript she had calls with former CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield and former US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar after the briefing, and that she was upset after her conversation with Azar.
In the transcripts, other CDC officials described how requests to hold briefings about mask guidance and pediatric Covid-19 cases and deaths were denied. When asked about a CNN report that CDC officials felt muzzled, Dr. Anne Schuchat, CDCs former principal deputy director, said, That is the feeling that we had, many of us had.
Several interviews also described efforts by the administration to alter or influence the agencys guidance and weekly scientific reports, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, which typically are not shared outside the agency before theyre published.
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But Their Emails: Seven Members Of Trumps Team Have Used Unofficial Communication Tools
President Trumps objections to Hillary Clintons use of a private email server when she was secretary of state were never terribly convincing. He didnt always seem to understand what she had done, and made claims about how she had deleted emails or wiped her server that suggested, at least, a lack of familiarity with technical details. At times, he claimed that Clinton, his Democratic presidential challenger in 2016, had tried to shield unethical activity by using a personal account. At others, he specifically criticized her for having shared classified material through her personal account.
Generally, though, Trump seemed to understand that nearly any sentence that included Hillarys emails or Hillarys illegal server had the same positive effect on his supporters as any other. It became a shorthand for all of the corruption he and his base saw in his rivals candidacy.
If Trumps broad criticism was true, that the use of a private account to conduct official business is suspect if not illegal and represents an effort to mask illicit activity, then we have bad news for him: An awful lot of that same suspect activity is taking place in his administration.
Imagine Clintons attorney having offered that excuse in July 2016.
At times, in fact, it seems as though hes practicing specifically what he preached against.
Tracking Regulatory Changes In The Biden Era
Every day, the federal government enacts impactful policy changes through the executive branch and its agencies. The Brookings Center on Regulation and Markets Regulatory Tracker provides background information and status updates on a curated selection of particularly important regulatory changes. Using our tracker, you can learn more about the background of different rules, discover the impact of potential regulations, and monitor a regulations progress through rulemaking. We include standard rules as well as guidance documents, executive orders, and other actions across ten key policy areas. While the relaunched Reg Tracker focuses on regulatory changes enacted under Biden, our previous entries tracking regulatory changes during the Trump administration can be accessed through the Trump archives checkbox.
For a more thorough explanation of the Reg Tracker, including an overview of the rulemaking process, guidance on how to use the Reg Trackers interactive features, and an explanation of how entries are selected, . Subscribe to the newsletter here, which will include select updates from the Reg Tracker as well as new research from the Center on Regulation and Markets.
Note: The rules in this regulatory tracker are up-to-date as of November 19, 2021.Rescinded:Delayed:In Rulemaking:In Effect:Unchanged:Partially Effective:
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Ivanka Trump Jared Kushner And Every Trump Administration Official Accused Of Using Personal Email For Work
House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings on Monday expanded an investigation into personal email use by Trump administration members to include Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, bringing the number of officials under scrutiny to eight.
President Donald Trump has brushed aside accusations of his officials using their personal emails, while never retracting his blistering criticism of his 2016 election opponent Hillary Clinton who used a private email server while she was secretary of state. Trump criticized Clinton’s private email use as an effort to hide illicit activity, but has not called out any wrongdoing by his own team.
Here are the Trump administration members who are being probed for private email use:
DeVos was added to House Democrats’ personal email probe after “disturbing new revelations” about her personal email use from the Education Department’s inspector general in May, Cummings wrote in a letter to her.
According to the new records, DeVos “withheld from the Committee information it has been seeking on a bipartisan basis over the past two years,” Cummings wrote, and requested the documents by July 29.
However, Education Department spokeswoman Liz Hill told Politico that Cummings’ letter was “political grandstanding” and that “the has already done a thorough report on this issue. There is nothing to see here.”
Ivanka Trump Used A Personal Email Account To Send Hundreds Of Emails About Government Business Last Year
Ivanka Trump sent hundreds of emails last year to White House aides, Cabinet officials and her assistants using a personal account, many of them in violation of federal records rules, according to people familiar with a White House examination of her correspondence.
White House ethics officials learned of Trumps repeated use of personal email when reviewing emails gathered last fall by five Cabinet agencies to respond to a public records lawsuit. That review revealed that throughout much of 2017, she often discussed or relayed official White House business using a private email account with a domain that she shares with her husband, Jared Kushner.
The discovery alarmed some advisers to President Trump, who feared that his daughters practices bore similarities to the personal email use of Hillary Clinton, an issue he made a focus of his 2016 campaign. He attacked his Democratic challenger as untrustworthy and dubbed her Crooked Hillary for using a personal email account as secretary of state.
Some aides were startled by the volume of Ivanka Trumps personal emails and taken aback by her response when questioned about the practice. She said she was not familiar with some details of the rules, according to people with knowledge of her reaction.
The White House referred requests for comment to Ivanka Trumps attorney and ethics counsel, Abbe Lowell.
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Gm Agrees To Tighter Federal Restrictions Aimed At Combating Climate Change
General Motors on Wednesday told the Biden administration that it would agree to tighter federal fuel economy and tailpipe pollution rules, along the lines of what California has already agreed to with five other auto companies.
The move is a step by the nations largest automaker away from its position during the Trump administration, when G.M.s chief executive, Mary Barra, asked President Donald J. Trump to relax Obama-era auto pollution rules.
President Biden is seeking to reinstate those restrictions as part of his efforts to cut climate-warming pollution, and he hopes to propose new draft auto pollution rules as soon as next month.
Ms. Barra stopped short of endorsing Mr. Bidens desire to fully reimpose or strengthen the Obama-era auto pollution standards, which to date stand as the strongest policies ever imposed by the federal government to fight climate change. And she also asked the administration to augment the federal rules with provisions that would give incentives to auto companies that are investing in electric vehicles, although she did not specify what those incentives should be.
This week, in a letter to Michael S. Regan, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Ms. Barra wrote, G.M. supports the emissions reduction goals of California through model year 26, adding, the auto industry is embarking upon a profound transition as we do our part to achieve the countrys climate commitments.
Letter Confirms Wuhan Labs Covid
Former President Donald Trump pointed to the trove of emails belonging to Dr. Anthony Fauci to demand the scientist answer questions, including what he knew about gain of function research at the Chinese lab and insisted that China pay $10 trillion to the United States for the possible virus leak.
There are a lot of questions that must be answered by Dr. Fauci. The funding of Wuhan by the U.S. was foolishly started by the Obama Administration in 2014 but ended under the Trump Administration. When I heard about it, I said no way. What did Dr. Fauci know about gain of function research, and when did he know it?, Trump said in a statement that was sent out via email Thursday.
In a second email moments later, he added, Now everyone, even the so-called enemy, are beginning to say that President Trump was right about the China Virus coming from the Wuhan Lab. The correspondence between Dr. Fauci and China speaks too loudly for anyone to ignore. China should pay Ten Trillion Dollars to America, and the World, for the death and destruction they have caused!
He also said hes glad he didnt always take the advice of Fauci, who was a member of his administrations coronavirus task force.
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