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DOJ pledges independence after Biden calls for prosecutions of those who defy Jan. 6 committee subpoenas

Robert Cicchetti/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- The Justice Department on Friday evening issued a statement reiterating its commitment to remain independent soon after President Joe Biden told reporters he hoped that witnesses who defy subpoenas from Congress' select committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot would face federal prosecution. "The Department of Justice will make its own independent decisions in all prosecutions based solely on the facts and the law. Period. Full stop," DOJ spokesperson Anthony Coley said. The statement came after comments from Biden following his arrival back at the White House Friday when he was asked what his message is for those who defy subpoenas from the Jan. 6 select committee. "I hope that the committee goes after them and holds them   ... Read More

DOJ to ask Supreme Court to block Texas abortion law

Robert Cicchetti/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- The Department of Justice plans to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to temporarily block the most restrictive abortion law in the country, after a federal appeals court ruled Thursday that the Texas statute can remain in effect amid an ongoing legal challenge. The law, known as SB8, bans physicians from providing abortions once they detect a so-called fetal heartbeat, which can be seen on an ultrasound as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. The law, which went into effect on Sept. 1 after the Supreme Court refused to block it, was briefly paused after a federal judge issued a temporary injunction last week barring its enforcement. Days later, the law was reinstated after a panel of   ... Read More

Former President Bill Clinton admitted to hospital with blood infection known as sepsis, doctor says

Noam Galai/Getty Images(ORANGE, Calif.) -- Former President Bill Clinton was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday for an infection, according to a spokesperson, but is recovering and is expected to be released from the hospital soon. "On Tuesday, President Clinton was admitted to UCI Medical Center to receive treatment for a non-COVID-related infection," Angel Ureña, spokesperson for Clinton, said in a statement Thursday. "He is on the mend, in good spirits and is incredibly thankful to the doctors, nurses, and staff providing him with excellent care." Dr. Imran Ali, a physician fellow at Mt. Sinai Health, told ABC's World News Now his sources said Clinton "was feeling rather fatigued at a private event in California, and he went to the   ... Read More

McAuliffe calls on Youngkin to condemn pledge to flag ‘carried’ at Jan. 6 rally

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate for Virginia governor, has called on Republican opponent Glenn Youngkin to publicly condemn attendees of a GOP rally who pledged allegiance to an American flag said to have been flown at the Jan. 6 rally near the Capitol prior to the insurrection. "They really brought a flag up there and they did pledge of allegiance to a flag that was used to bring down the democracy that that American flag symbolizes," McAuliffe told reporters Thursday morning. "I'm just asking Glenn Youngkin to issue a statement or go before the cameras today... and say, it was not appropriate to pledge allegiance to a flag... that tried to destroy the democracy." The Youngkin   ... Read More

White House pushes for release of Jan. 6 documents as Trump, Bannon rebuff committee

OlegAlbinksy/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- The battle over White House records of former President Donald Trump's activities related to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack intensified Wednesday as President Joe Biden formally rejected Trump's claims that the documents should be shielded from release to the House select committee investigating the insurrection. In a letter to the National Archives, the White House counsel's office said President Biden is "instructing" the agency to comply with the House select committee's request for the records. "President [Biden] maintains his conclusion that an assertion of executive privilege is not in the best interests of the United States," the letter states, after Trump last week made a broad effort to keep confidants from cooperating with the probe. "President Biden does   ... Read More

Mayorkas calling for end to ICE raids shows diversity of Biden’s cabinet, experts say

iStock/OlegAlbinsky(WASHINGTON) -- Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, one of four Latino cabinet members in President Joe Biden's administration, said on Tuesday he wanted to end raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement at workplaces. "The deployment of mass worksite operations, sometimes resulting in the simultaneous arrest of hundreds of workers, was not focused on the most pernicious aspect of our country's unauthorized employment challenge: exploitative employers," Mayorkas wrote in a memo obtained by ABC News. "These highly visible operations misallocated enforcement resources while chilling, and even serving as a tool of retaliation for, worker cooperation in workplace standards investigations." Such a change from what was seen under the previous administration is something that policy experts, including Sylvia Puente, president and   ... Read More

Supreme Court considers Boston Marathon bomber death sentence as Biden halts executions

YinYang/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- The Justice Department on Wednesday will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate the death sentence for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, even as the agency has suspended all federal executions and President Biden has vowed to eliminate capital punishment. A federal appeals court last year upheld Tsarnaev's conviction for the 2013 attack that killed three and injured more than 200, but it tossed out the jury-recommended execution on the grounds that procedural errors during the sentencing phase compromised his right to a fair and impartial hearing. The Biden administration calls the case "one of the most important terrorism prosecutions in our nation's history" and plans to argue before the justices that any discrepancies during the process would   ... Read More

Republicans fight for Latino voters in Democratic strongholds

tovfla/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- Voting rights activists from Mi Familia Vota said after years of being ignored, they are seeing significant investments from politicians trying to reach out to the Latino community. As the largest non-white ethnic group in the United States continues to grow, Latinos have become a focal point for Republicans and Democrats alike. But Héctor Sánchez Barba, the executive director and CEO of the Latino-focused civic engagement organization Mi Familia Vota, said that Latino voters must be prepared to identify which efforts are performative and what political promises will be kept. "Nobody has a free ride with the Latino vote," Sánchez Barba told ABC News. "The important part is this is not a transactional element, just for the Latino   ... Read More

Senate committee questions TikTok in Jan. 6 Capitol attack investigation

5./15 WEST/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- The Senate Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday added TikTok to a list of social media companies being scrutinized for their potential involvement in the spread of misinformation related to the Jan. 6 attack on the United States Capitol. In a letter obtained by ABC News, chairman Gary Peters, D-Mich., wrote to the company seeking additional information on how the app monitors "extremist and conspiracy" content. "In the lead up to the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol, domestic extremists reportedly used TikTok to recruit, organize, and communicate," Peters writes to TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew. "Since January 6th, domestic extremist groups have used TikTok to continue to spread their messages through content supporting white supremacists, extremists,   ... Read More

Biden immigration authorities to end workplace raids

danielfela/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- Immigration and Customs Enforcement is ending the practice of deportation raids on worksites, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said in a memo on Tuesday. "The deployment of mass worksite operations, sometimes resulting in the simultaneous arrest of hundreds of workers, was not focused on the most pernicious aspect of our country's unauthorized employment challenge: exploitative employers," Mayorkas wrote in the memo. "These highly visible operations misallocated enforcement resources while chilling, and even serving as a tool of retaliation for, worker cooperation in workplace standards investigations." He added the worksite operations go against the department’s civil rights code. Mass worksite raids became more common after the first year of the Trump administration. One of the largest coordinated raid   ... Read More

House votes to temporarily raise debt limit

uschools/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- The House voted Tuesday to temporarily raise the debt ceiling by $480 billion after the Senate approved the stopgap measure late last week, putting off the risk of default until early December. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the lower chamber back to Washington from a two-week recess to pass the measure. The bill passed along party lines Tuesday evening in a 219-206 vote. It now heads to President Joe Biden's desk for signature. "A default would send shockwaves to global financial markets, and would likely cause credit markets worldwide to freeze up and stock markets to plunge. Employers around the world would likely have to begin laying off workers," Pelosi told reporters during a press conference on Capitol   ... Read More

White House tells governors: Get ready to start vaccinating kids

Oleg Albinsky/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- In a private phone call Tuesday with the nation's governors, the White House said states should prepare to begin vaccinating elementary-aged kids against COVID-19 in early November and that it would work with local health officials in the coming days to identify which sites will receive the first doses. In audio obtained by ABC News, White House officials told the governors it had enough pediatric doses on hand for the 28 million children ages 5 through 11 expected to become eligible once federal regulators give the green light. Once that happens, the pediatric Pfizer vaccine will be distributed in 100-dose packs. The doses, which are about a third of what is given to adults, will be sent   ... Read More

Trial starting for Giuliani associate, Lev Parnas, in campaign finances case

iStock/CatEyePerspective(NEW YORK) -- Former President Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani face no criminal charges but their names will figure into the trial that starts Tuesday in Manhattan of Soviet-born and Florida-based businessman Lev Parnas, who has been associated with Giuliani and now stands accused of making unlawful campaign donations. Before they hear any evidence, prospective jurors are being asked about the former president and his personal attorney since federal prosecutors have said Parnas allegedly shared photos of himself with Trump and Giuliani to raise his profile. When asked about the extent to which their names were going to come up by Judge Paul Oetken during a recent court hearing, assistant U.S. attorney Hagan Scotten replied, "They will come up really   ... Read More

Biden signs orders restoring boundaries of Bears Ears, other monuments shrunk by Trump

Thomas Roche/GettyImages(WASHINGTON) -- President Joe Biden has restored the original boundaries of three U.S. national monuments that had their size drastically reduced by former President Donald Trump, saying Friday that Americans must protect the country together. "These protections provide a bridge to our past, but they also build a bridge to a safer, more sustainable future," he said. The White House said Biden's move "is fulfilling a key promise and upholding the longstanding principle that America's national parks, monuments, and other protected areas are to be protected for all time and for all people." The orders Biden signed on Friday, alongside Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, restore Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante national monuments in Utah to their original boundaries   ... Read More

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