Two Senate committees are expected to open an investigative hearing on Tuesday to examine security failures that have failed to prevent the murderous rampage of Trump supporters.
The joint hearing will begin at 10 a.m. and will include questioning of officials tasked with securing the Capitol during the attack, when Capitol Hill police officers and District of Columbia police called in as reinforcements. were overrun as vice president and members of Congress were gathered inside.
The meeting of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee and the Rules and Administration Committee will be the first time the public hears from the two senior security officials on Capitol Hill on the day of the assault, both of whom have resigned following the attack.
Paul D. Irving, the former House Sergeant-at-Arms, and Michael C. Stenger, the former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms, have come under scrutiny amid reports that they do not did not act quickly enough to call the National Guard. The committees will also hear from Steven A. Sund, the former Capitol Police chief, who also resigned, and Robert J. Contee, the chief of the Metropolitan Police Department.
Tuesday’s hearing will be the first in a series of watchdog hearings hosted by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat from Minnesota and chair of the Rules Commission, and Senator Gary Peters, Democrat of Michigan and chair of the Homeland Security Committee, along with top Republicans from both groups, Senators Roy Blunt of Missouri and Rob Portman of Ohio.
But already, the Congressional investigation into the Capitol Riot – the deadliest attack on the building in 200 years – has turned political. Republicans are resisting a proposal by California Democrat President Nancy Pelosi to form an independent bipartisan commission modeled on the one that investigated the 9/11 terrorist attacks, arguing her plan would orient the panel towards Democrats.
The United States Supreme Court on Monday cleared the way for the Manhattan District Attorney to obtain eight years of federal tax returns from former President Donald J. Trump and other documents from his accountants. The ruling ended a long legal battle over prosecutors’ access to information.
However, whether prosecutors find evidence of crimes will also depend on other information that is not in actual statements.
Last year, The New York Times provided a snapshot of what to expect for District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. when he obtained and analyzed decades of tax data for Mr. Trump and his businesses. The tax records offer an unprecedented and highly detailed look into the Byzantine world of Mr. Trump’s finances, which he simultaneously brags about and has sought to keep a secret for years.
The Times’ review showed the former president reported hundreds of millions of dollars in business losses, spent years without paying federal income tax, and was facing an Internal Revenue Service audit. ‘a $ 72.9 million tax refund he claimed ten years ago.
Among other things, records revealed that Mr. Trump had paid only $ 750 in federal taxes in his first year as president and no income tax in 10 of the previous 15 years. They also showed that he wrote off $ 26 million in “consulting fees” as a business expense between 2010 and 2018, some of which appears to have been paid to his eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, while she was employee of the Trump organization.
The legitimacy of the fees, which reduced Mr. Trump’s taxable income, has since become a subject of Mr. Vance’s investigation, as well as a separate civil investigation by Letitia James, the New York attorney general. Ms James and Mr Vance are Democrats, and Mr Trump has sought to portray the multiple investigations as politically motivated, while denying any wrongdoing.
The Biden administration announced on Monday that it would not allow the blanket cancellation of standardized testing this year, but would offer flexibility over some high-stakes federal mandates.
In a letter sent to state education heads on Monday, Ian Rosenblum, acting assistant secretary for education, wrote that the education ministry “is not inviting blanket waivers from assessments,” that the Trump administration had issued at the start of the pandemic. However, the ministry said in a statement that it was encouraging states to make far-reaching changes, such as extending the testing window to summer and fall, giving remote assessments and by shortening their duration.
The ministry also said it would consider requests from states seeking to waive certain federal requirements, such as an accountability provision in federal law K-12, the Every Student Succeeds Act, which requires a turnout. 95% tests. The department will also allow exemptions from the rules that would require states to identify and revise their worst performing schools based on data from the current school year.
“The intention of these flexibilities, and waivers of accountability, is to focus on assessments to provide information to parents, educators, and the public about student achievement and to help target resources and supports,” Mr Rosenblum wrote.
The eagerly awaited decision elicited mixed reactions from key stakeholders.
The issue of standardized testing has divided the educational community. Some education groups, including teachers’ unions, believed that testing students would be tedious and impractical in a year that turned the education system upside down. Other groups, such as organizations that promote equity in education, believed that the assessments would provide crucial data points for understanding the impact of the pandemic on student achievement.
Mr Rosenblum also wrote in his letter that “there is an urgent need to understand the impact of Covid-19 on learning” and that “state assessment and accountability systems play an important role in the promoting equity in education ”.
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, a strong ally of the Biden administration, said that while the administration had done an “admirable job” in dealing with the pandemic, “it is a frustrating turning point to see The administration is asking states to continue to require assessments during this tumultuous school year.
Ms Weingarten said the union supported the use of “authentic locally developed assessments that could be used by educators and parents as a basis for work this summer and next year.”
A national survey released Monday by the National PTA found that 60% of parents feared their child was late and wanted more information about their academic progress, and 52% of parents favored end-of-year tests this spring. . A majority of parents were also keen to see changes and felt that the results should not be used against students or their schools.
“Statewide assessments are one of several measures that, when combined, help to provide a clearer picture of children’s educational status and help parents to effectively advocate for learning. their child, ”the organization’s president, Leslie Boggs, said in a statement.