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Capitol Hill. The White House. National Politics. Created by Cable in 1979.

Attorney General Merrick Garland stressed to lawmakers Wednesday that the Justice Department makes independent decisions about who and what to criminally investigate.

“I am not the president’s lawyer,” he testified before the House Judiciary Committee. “I will add I am not Congress’s prosecutor. The Justice Department works for the American people. Our job is to follow the facts and the law, and that is what we do.”

The attorney general said his department welcomes oversight and public scrutiny but cautioned that singling out individual career public servants is “dangerous,” an apparent reference to Special Counsel Jack Smith, who has two ongoing criminal cases against former President Trump.

“We will not be intimidated,” Attorney General Garland said. “We will do our jobs free from outside influence. And we will not back down from defending our democracy.”

The AG’s testimony comes as Republicans accuse the DOJ of protecting the Biden family, a core argument for the House’s impeachment inquiry into the president.

David Weiss, a Trump appointee who was elevated by AG Garland to special counsel in August, indicted the president’s son, Hunter Biden, last week on three criminal counts related to his possession of a firearm.

The charges came after the dramatic collapse of a plea deal reached in June that likely would have allowed the president’s son to avoid prison time.

#attorneygeneral #merrickgarland #justicedepartment #doj #houseofrepresentatives #congress #cspan
President Biden called on world leaders to remain united in defending Ukraine against Russian aggression as he addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday.

The president warned that Moscow is counting on countries to grow weary of the war, now in its 19th month, and pull back on support for Kyiv.

“I ask you this: If we abandon the core principles of the United States to appease an aggressor, can any member state in this body feel confident that they are protected? If we allow Ukraine to be carved up, is the independence of any nation secure?” the president asked the assembly.

“I respectfully suggest the answer is no. We have to stand up to this naked aggression today and deter other would-be aggressors tomorrow.”

President Biden said the blame for the war rests solely with Russia, and that only Moscow can bring about an immediate end to the fighting.

“It’s Russia alone that stands in the way of peace, because Russia’s price for peace is Ukraine’s capitulation, Ukraine’s territory and Ukraine’s children,” he said.

The president’s address comes as he urges Congress to approve $13.1 billion in military aid for Ukraine as well as $8.5 billion for humanitarian support.

Hardline Republicans are pushing for deep spending cuts, and some in the GOP conference are explicitly calling for the U.S. to cut off all funding for Ukraine.

It was President Biden’s third time addressing the General Assembly since taking office in January 2021.

Several notable leaders skipped this year’s gathering, including the four other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, French President Emmanuel Macron, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

#potus #joebiden #biden #warinukraine #ukrainewar #russia #unga #unitednations #cspan
Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) vented his frustration during a closed-door Republican Conference meeting on Thursday as hardline members of his party prevent a spending bill from reaching the floor and threaten to oust him as speaker.

“If you think you scare me because you want to file a motion to vacate, move the f***ing motion,” the speaker reportedly said.

Republican leaders were forced to punt consideration of the chamber’s first spending bill, one that funds the Pentagon, after members of the Freedom Caucus held up a procedural vote on Wednesday.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) also explicitly threatened to try to oust Speaker McCarthy in a speech Tuesday afternoon on the House floor if the speaker didn’t bow to hardliners’ demands.

“I showed frustration in here because I am frustrated with the committee, frustrated with some people in the conference,” Speaker McCarthy told reporters after the party meeting. “We had the DOD appropriations bill yesterday, couldn’t put it on the floor. I don’t have one complaint by any member of what’s wrong with this bill.”

When asked about members threatening to remove him from his post, the speaker said, “Threats don’t matter.”

“I don’t walk away from a battle. I knew changing Washington would not be easy,” he said. “I knew people would fight or try to hold leverage for other things. I’m going to continue to just focus on what’s the right thing to do for the American people. And you know what? If it takes a fight, I’ll have a fight.”

#speakerofthehouse #kevinmccarthy #houseofrepresentatives #congress #cspan
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