• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

10 Things in Politics: Trump haunts Biden's DOJ

·6 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Sign up here to receive this newsletter. Send tips to bgriffiths@insider.com or tweet me at @BrentGriffiths.

Here's what we're talking about:

One thing to watch for: Colonial Pipeline CEO Joseph Blount Jr. testifies before senators about the ransomware hack at 10 a.m. ET.

With Jordan Erb

Biden Garland Trump collage
President Joe Biden, Attorney General Merrick Garland, and former President Donald Trump. Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images; Andrew Harnik/AFP; Joe Raedle/Getty Images

1. TRUMP'S SHADOW: Former President Donald Trump hasn't made the Biden Department of Justice's work easy. Several cases and investigations leftover from the Trump era have tested the new Democratic administration as it seeks to restore the Justice Department's independence and keep it out of the political crucible.

Here's a peek at Insider's look inside the DOJ:

Efforts to obtain reporter's records sparked a firestorm: The Trump DOJ obtained phone records from New York Times, Washington Post, and CNN reporters as part of leak investigations. The Times revealed that the DOJ during the Biden administration even secured a gag order on the publication's top executives to keep the court fight over its reporters' emails secret.

Shielding the Trump administration didn't win any friends either: The Biden DOJ was blasted for appealing a judge's order to publish a secret memo that then-Attorney General Bill Barr cited in justifying his decision not to charge Trump with obstructing justice after the special counsel's Russia investigation. Legal observers widely saw the move as meant to protect the institutional interests of the federal government, rather than Barr, but tensions remain.

  • Key quote: "There's no reason for this Department of Justice to be carrying water for the last one, especially when it comes to the concealment from the public of a document we deserve to see," Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told Insider.

And the political headaches keep coming: No shortage of tests lay ahead for Attorney General Merrick Garland as his department oversees a litany of politically sensitive investigations. Top Trump allies like Rep. Matt Gaetz and Rudy Giuliani are under the microscope as well as President Joe Biden's son Hunter. That's on top of the more than 500 people charged in connection to the deadly Capitol riot.

More on the battle between Trump-era "questionable decisions" and the DOJ's "institutional prerogative."

2. Kamala Harris tells Guatemalan migrants "do not come" to the US: Vice President Kamala Harris doubled down on the administration's stance that migrants would need to find a legal pathway to the US and would be turned away if they approached the border. She also delivered a frank assessment of President Alejandro Giammattei's tenure, telling reporters in front of Giammattei that his government needed to do more to combat corruption. More on the vice president's first foreign trip here. | History shows just how difficult turning the migration tide will be.

  • Not everyone loved Harris' message:

Screen Shot 2021 06 08 at 3.19.31 AM
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez/Twitter
Judge Amy Berman Jackson, US Capitol,  Judge Amit P. Mehta
Judge Amy Berman Jackson, the US Capitol, and Judge Amit P. Mehta. US District Court and Brent Stirton/Getty Images

3. These are the 7 federal judges helping to decide the fate of the Capitol rioters: These judges will oversee any criminal trials and could decide rioters' prison sentences. They include Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who oversaw cases related to the special counsel's Russia investigation; Judge Beryl A. Howell, who is presiding over the case of a man who posed for pictures with his feet propped up on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's desk during the riot; and Judge Royce C. Lamberth, who denied bail for the "QAnon Shaman."

Some of the judges have already delivered sharp criticism toward the Trump administration.

4. Democrats try to find a way forward after Manchin's moves: Senate Democrats reacted with surprise and disappointment to their colleague Sen. Joe Manchin's decision to oppose the party's sweeping voting-rights proposal and to reaffirm his commitment to the filibuster, The Post reports. Some like Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia held out hope that Manchin would support some type of voting legislation. But Democrats remain wary that Manchin's push for bipartisanship might doom Biden's infrastructure plan.

5. The Justice Department is arguing it should take Trump's place in a defamation lawsuit: The magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll accused Trump of sexual assault. The lawsuit stems from his response following her accusations. The department is arguing that because Trump was working in a government role his statements were made within the "scope of" his employment and so he shouldn't personally be the defendant in the case.

6. Authorities say they have recovered a "majority" of the ransom Colonial Pipeline paid: Law-enforcement officials said they had recovered most of the $4.4 million ransom payment to the hacker group DarkSide that was made to get the critical fuel route back online. This is the first digital-asset seizure conducted by the DOJ's recently launched Ransomware and Digital Extortion Task Force.

7. FDA approves new Alzheimer's drug for the first time in nearly two decades: The drug, which will be sold under the name Aduhelm, is designed to erode the sticky plaque that builds up in the brains of people with Alzheimer's. But some experts question the approval of the treatment, pointing to a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee's finding that tests failed to show that the drug effectively treated the disease. One analyst had estimated a 15% chance the FDA would approve it.

8. Canada could soon relax some of its COVID-19 border restrictions: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is preparing to ease border restrictions for travelers who have been fully vaccinated for the coronavirus, Bloomberg reports. Travelers entering Canada would still be tested for the virus and may be required to quarantine for a shorter period. It's not clear when those changes would be implemented or whether restrictions for non-US travelers will be lessened too.

News you can use: A travel-safety guide for vaccinated people

Cursor hovering over a "RAGE QUIT" option in a dropdown menu representing mass job quitting during the COVID-19 pandemic
Samantha Lee/Insider

9. Workers are 'rage quitting' their jobs in a tightening labor market: The phenomenon of rage quitting is as old as work itself. But the American workforce seems to be primed for it at the moment - especially hourly workers in low-wage occupations such as retail, which makes up a giant portion of the workforce. But experts caution against walking off the job without a backup plan.

10. Jeff Bezos says he's going to space: The Amazon CEO announced that he and his brother, Mark, would be heading to space on July 20 on the first human flight of Blue Origin's New Shepard spacecraft. In a video posted to Instagram, Bezos said he'd wanted to go to space since he was 5 years old.

Today's trivia question: The position of solicitor general is one of the Justice Department's most illustrious. Who is the only person to have held both that post and the presidency? Email your guess and a suggested question to me at bgriffiths@insider.com.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting