Day 265: "Failures."
1/ A Capitol Police whistleblower accused the agency’s two senior leaders of significant “failures” surrounding the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. The whistleblower accused Sean Gallagher, the USCP’s acting chief of uniformed operations, and Yogananda Pittman, assistant chief of police for protective and intelligence operations, of failing to take appropriate action “which directly contributed to the deaths and wounding of officers and civilians.” The whistleblower also accused Pittman of lying to Congress about an intelligence report Capitol Police received a day before the riot. Pittman told congressional investigators in April that senior officials were also aware of the intelligence before the attack. The whistleblower, however, claimed that Pittman never sent “the single most important piece of intelligence information […] with any members of USCP leadership.” (Politico / NBC News)
2/ A federal appeals court temporarily reinstated the nation’s most restrictive abortion law. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals late Friday struck down a lower federal court ruling that temporarily blocked Texas from enforcing its ban on abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy with no exceptions for rape or incest. Texas appealed the order just two days after it was issued. The Department of Justice has until Oct. 12 to respond to the ruling. The ban will remain in effect until then. (NPR / Texas Tribune / Washington Post / Bloomberg)
3/ Merck asked the FDA for emergency authorization for its antiviral pill for treating Covid-19 after it halved hospitalizations and deaths in a clinical trial. If authorized, the drug, molnupiravir, would be the first antiviral pill to treat Covid-19. (Associated Press / New York Times)
4/ The Biden administration canceled the remaining Trump-era border wall contracts in the Laredo and Rio Grande Valley. After taking office, Biden suspended wall construction and called for a review of projects and funds. In late July, Customs and Border Protection terminated two border wall contracts in the Laredo area, covering approximately 31 miles. The latest cancelations cover some 44 miles. (CNN / Yahoo News)
5/ The Biden administration has reunited 52 families separated by the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” border policy. At least 1,000 migrant children remain without their parents. Michelle Brane, the head of the Family Reunification Task Force, said progress has been slow because “there was no system in place for documenting separations,” and people have moved since being separated. (Business Insider / Axios)
6/ Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel lost more than $70 million while he was in office despite taking in an estimated $3.7 million from foreign governments. The House Committee on Oversight and Reform said the Trump Organization had to inject $27 million into the hotel from other parts of its business, and got “preferential treatment” from Deutsche Bank, which had previously loaned Trump $170 million to renovate the hotel. The committee, which recently obtained documents from the General Services Administration, said the information raises “concerns about possible violations of the Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause.” (Washington Post / NBC News / Associated Press / CNN / CNBC / Reuters)
7/ The Saudi royal family gifted Trump and administration officials with three robes made out of white tiger and cheetah fur, as well as a dagger that appeared to be made out of ivory. When a White House lawyer concluded that the gifts most likely violated the Endangered Species Act, the Trump administration instead held onto them and failed to disclose them on the State Department’s legally required annual filings for foreign gifts. The State Department’s inspector general is also investigating whether Trump’s political appointees took gift bags worth thousands of dollars, which were meant for foreign leaders at the 2020 Group of 7 summit. The summit was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The inspector general is also trying to locate a $5,800 bottle of Japanese whiskey given to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a 22-karat gold coin given to another State Department official. The Trump administration also reportedly never disclosed that Jared Kushner received two swords and a dagger from the Saudis, which he later paid for after he left office. (New York Times)
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