Thousands of inmates given the chance to serve their sentence at home because of COVID-19 might go back to prison cells

prison inmates
In this Aug. 16, 2016, file photo, general population inmates walk in a line at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, Calif.

  • Thousands of people imprisoned for low-level crimes have been serving their sentences at home because of the pandemic.
  • Because of a lingering legal opinion made under the outgoing Trump administration, these people might have to return to prison.
  • The Biden administration has yet to address the legal opinion.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A legal opinion made in the remaining days of the Trump administration might force incarcerated people who have been serving their sentences at home to return to prison.

Reuters reported that nearly 24,000 incarcerated individuals who’ve committed low-level crimes have been allowed to serve their sentence at home due to fears of the spread of the coronavirus. But the legal opinion has a clause that says these incarcerated individuals might be removed from their homes and put back into cells.

Congressional Democrats have called for the reversal of the legal opinion, written by the Justice Department under the Trump administration.

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, along with more than two dozen other congressional lawmakers, asked Biden in a letter last week to prioritize the memo’s reversal and rescind it.

“We urge you to use your executive clemency authority or direct the Justice Department to seek compassionate release for people who have demonstrated that they no longer need to be under federal supervision,” the letter said.

The Biden administration has so far left the legal memo untouched.

The memo says the at-home sentences only apply to the period of time during which the coronavirus forces social distancing and quarantining. Once it’s lifted, the federal Bureau of Prisons “must recall prisoners in home confinement to correctional facilities” if there is no other reason for them to stay at home, according to Reuters.

About 7,400 BOP incarcerated individuals have remaining time to serve – and these are the individuals who might most be impacted if this memo isn’t rescinded.

“Words can’t really express how I feel to be home 11 years earlier. To get a job, to get a bank account,” said Kendrick Fulton, a 47-year-old man who was sentenced for selling crack cocaine. “I served over 17 years already. What more do you want? I should go back for another 11 years to literally just do nothing?”

In the time that he’s been home, Fulton got a job at a wholesale auto glass distributor, Reuters reported.

A BOP union official told Reuters correctional facilities no longer have the staff to get these individuals back to prison, calling the task “impossible.”

“We don’t have the staff,” Joe Rojas, Southeast Regional Vice President at Council Of Prison Locals, said to Reuters. “We are already in chaos as it is as an agency.”

Neither the BOP nor the Justice Department immediately responded to a request for comment.

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Biden breaks with Trump and says he’ll stick up for Federal Reserve’s independence

Trump Biden
  • Biden said he wanted to break with Trump in sticking up for the Federal Reserve’s independence.
  • “I want to be real clear that I’m not going to do the kinds of things that have been done in the last administration,” Biden said.
  • While he was in office, Trump pressured Fed Chair Powell against raising interest rates.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

President Joe Biden said on Tuesday he would safeguard the independence of the Federal Reserve, breaking with his predecessor, Donald Trump, who often tried pressuring the central bank to lower the cost of borrowing.

“Starting off my presidency, I want to be real clear that I’m not going to do the kinds of things that have been done in the last administration – either talking to the attorney general about who he’s going to prosecute or not prosecute … or for the Fed, telling them what they should and shouldn’t do,” he said at a White House news conference.

“I think the Federal Reserve is an independent operation,” he said, adding he does speak with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. The Treasury did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The remarks reflect another way that the president is distancing himself from his predecessor by preserving the Fed’s traditional independence from the White House. Trump heaped criticism onto Powell throughout his term, assailing him as “an enemy of the state” and a “terrible communicator” from his now-suspended Twitter account.

Trump furiously tried pressuring Powell from raising interest rates while the economy was in the middle of its longest expansion in history in the years leading up to the pandemic. At one point, he suggested Powell may be a “bigger enemy” of the US than China.

Powell played a critical role designing the Fed’s stimulus programs as vast swaths of the economy shut down last year. He also encouraged Congress to continue approving more federal aid for struggling individuals, small businesses, and state and local governments.

“Given the low level of interest rates, there’s no issue about the United States being able to service its debt at this time or in the foreseeable future,” he told NPR recently. Powell, a Trump nominee, has also downplayed the inflation risks stemming from the $1.9 trillion stimulus package.

Powell’s term as Fed chair expires in 2022, and Biden must decide whether to keep him onboard.

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Former Trump staffers are facing a ‘job desert’ in Washington after the Capitol siege

President Donald Trump signs the first of three Executive Orders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on Monday, January 23, 2017.
President Donald Trump signs the first of three Executive Orders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on Monday, January 23, 2017.

  • Many of Donald Trump’s ex-aides, including some Cabinet secretaries, are struggling to find new Washington jobs, The Washington Post reported.
  • Some, including former HUD Secretary Ben Carson and former adviser Stephen Miller, have opted to start their own organizations.
  • One Trump world insider told The Post he’s seen “many, many people” lose job offers following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Many of former President Donald Trump’s ex-aides who’ve decided to stick around in the swamp are having a hard time finding new gigs.

Ever since the January 6 siege of the Capitol by Trump loyalists, former administration of all levels, including Cabinet secretaries, are struggling to score the lucrative or prestigious Washington jobs they’d hoped would be waiting for them post-Trump, The Washington Post reported.

Matt Schlapp, the chairman of the American Conservative Union who’s raked in millions lobbying the Trump White House, told The Post that former Trump staffers are radioactive in DC, at least for now. Schlapp said former President George W. Bush’s staffers faced a “jobs desert” after Bush left office as a deeply unpopular president, “but even that was nothing compared to what Trump/Pence people are finding themselves in today.”

He added, “If I had a dollar for every time someone in Washington said to me, hey, I’m really looking to hire someone for X job, but they can’t have worked for the Trump administration, I’d have a great sum of money.”

Armstrong Williams, a Trump world insider, told The Post that he’s seen “many, many people” lose job offers following the Capitol riot.

“I helped a very high-ranking Trump official secure a position, but after January 6th it was rescinded,” he said.

Higher-profile former Trump aides, including former HUD Secretary Ben Carson and former adviser Stephen Miller, have opted to start their own organizations since January. Carson has founded a conservative think tank called the American Cornerstone Institute and Miller is starting a group to work with Republican Attorneys General on suing President Joe Biden’s administration.

But other high-ranking former officials have fled Washington. Former White House Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders quickly relocated her family to her home state of Arkansas in preparation for her bid for governor. Former Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen sold her DC home and moved out of town, The Post reported.

Still others, including former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, former chief of staff John Kelly, and former National Security Adviser John Bolton, have publicly criticized the former president, particularly following the Capitol siege.

But it’s unclear how long the corporate and establishment distaste for Trump world will continue.

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Trump adviser Peter Navarro pressured officials to reward untested companies connected to the White House with lucrative COVID-19 contracts, House inquiry says

Peter Navarro
White House Trade and Manufacturing Policy Director Peter Navarro speaks during a briefing on the coronavirus pandemic in the press briefing room of the White House on March 27, 2020.

  • Peter Navarro, Trump’s former trade adviser, is accused of rewarding companies with White House links.
  • Trump officials steered contracts to companies without “adequate diligence,” a House inquiry says.
  • On one occasion, Navarro pushed for a brand-new start-up to secure a $354 million contract.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A senior adviser to former President Donald Trump pushed agency officials to secure huge COVID-19 contracts for politically connected and untested firms, according to documents from an inquiry by the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis.

Peter Navarro, who served as a trade adviser to Trump, is one of the officials accused of pursuing a “haphazard and ineffective approach to procurement” and steering contracts “to particular companies without adequate diligence or competitions.”

There are numerous examples outlined in the inquiry of how the Trump aide played a significant role in rewarding multimillion-dollar deals to companies with connections to the White House, ProPublica reported.

Read more: Washington moves of the week: A top Trump White House staffer lands a TV gig and a former Kamala Harris aide heads to a lobbying firm

On one occasion, Navarro awarded a $96 million deal for respirators to a company with links to the administration – Airboss Defense Group (ADG).

Retired Army general Jack Keane, a Trump ally and paid consultant for ADG, sent a catalog of the company’s items to Navarro on March 22, 2020. Keane had just been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Trump days earlier.

Navarro and members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force had a phone call with representatives from ADG later that day, according to the House inquiry.

Then, a day after the call, ADG submitted a $96.4 million proposal to Navarro’s team. He responded by telling the firm in an email that they could “consider it done,” the documents show.

Federal Emergency Management Agency officials were quickly sent an invoice and pressured into signing the contract, ProPublica said.

On another occasion, the Trump aide pushed for an untested pharmaceutical company to sign a major deal to produce pharmaceutical ingredients and generic drugs.

The $354 million contract went to a newly-formed start-up, Phlow. “It was the largest contract ever awarded by BARDA (Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority), even though Phlow was a first-time government contractor that had incorporated just months earlier in January 2020,” documents from the Select Subcommittee show.

Navarro had been introduced to Phlow’s chief executive months earlier, the documents say. He had also developed a friendship with a Phlow board member over their shared China skepticism, Insider’s Tom Porter reported.

The Trump aide also put pressure on agency officials to get the deal done quickly, the inquiry finds. “My head is going to explode if this contract does not get immediately approved,” Navarro wrote to BARDA officials.

The former trade adviser is accused of coordinating with executives at the Eastman Kodak Company. The photography business has a “complete lack of experience in the field,” the subcommittee’s letter says. Nevertheless, the firm entered into a letter of intent in June 2020 to manufacture pharmaceutical agents.

Navarro has made headlines in recent days for spreading baseless claims about COVID-19 and for railing against Dr. Anthony Fauci.

During a Fox News interview with Rachel Campos-Duffy, Navarro referred to Fauci as “the father of the actual virus.” He also called Fauci a “sociopath and a liar” who had “nothing to do with the vaccine,” Insider’s Sinéad Baker reported.

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Jared Kushner is a 21-year-old college student. Jared Kushner also works in Canadian real estate. And they’re ready to reclaim their name from Donald Trump’s son-in-law.

jared kushner
Jared Kushner stands for a televised interview in 2020.

  • Jared Kushner, former senior advisor to former President Trump, is finally out of the spotlight.
  • For two men also named Jared Kushner, this has mostly come as a relief.
  • “As a person, [Kushner] seems kind of like a scumbag,” one Kushner living in Florida told Insider.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Jared Kushner remembers the first time he saw his name in a magazine.

It was 2009, and Kushner, an elementary school student in Florida, had most certainly not just married Ivanka Trump. But someone with his name had.

“Some relative sent a People magazine to my house, and they were on the cover,” Kushner said, referring to a November cover of the magazine that featured a small photo of Ivanka and Jared as newlyweds.

“I thought it was one of the funniest things in the world. I used to joke with all my friends about it: ‘If you Google me, it says I’m married to Ivanka Trump.'” Back then, he was blissfully ignorant. The only thing he knew about Ivanka was that she was Donald’s daughter.

ivanka jared
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner wait for the beginning of a cabinet meeting in 2020.

More than a decade later, Kushner – who is now 21, and has no relation to the former senior White House advisor – doesn’t find the situation so funny. Nor is he pleased with the political performance of the man who shares his name.

After five years of being mistaken for former president Donald Trump’s senior advisor, he’s relieved at the thought of finally getting his name back, with Trump out of office and the other Kushner fading from prominence.

“My mindset at this point is eventually he’ll go away,” Kushner, who grew up in Palm Beach County, not far from Mar-a-Lago, said. “I don’t know if people will necessarily forget about him, but he won’t be brought up. And he won’t be brought up with my name, or with me.”

It really is a great sort of icebreaker’

Sharing a name with a widely loathed political figure is one of those things that seems amusing at first, but can quickly descend into chaos and aggravation.

Just ask Bill de Blasio, the Long Island man who has spent the last seven years being bombarded with hate mail intended for the mayor, or Donald R. Trump, the North Carolina guy who’s had to employ several fraud protection services because people keep trying to hack his bank accounts. Other name doppelgängers, like Gerry Sandusky – one letter removed from the convicted sex offender – share similar tales of woe; still others find it mostly funny.

Bill de Blasio Iowa
Bill de Blasio in 2019.

For the 21-year-old Kushner, a college senior, things really ramped up during the 2016 presidential campaign. He enjoyed it at first. Kushner and his family watched NBC News every night, and they’d get a kick every time his name was mentioned. But when people wouldn’t stop bringing up the other Kushner to him, it started to get old.

The coincidence was intensified by the fact that Kushner’s grandfather is named Charles Kushner – just like Jared Kushner’s father, who spent two years in prison for illegal campaign contributions and tax evasion.

“He gets stuff all the time, like people calling their house. He deals with it, too,” Kushner said of his grandfather. When Trump pardoned the other Charles Kushner in December 2020, “I called my grandpa – I was like, ‘Congrats on the pardon.'”

charles jared kushner
Charles Kushner and Jared Kushner in 2012.

Meanwhile, in Canada, another man named Jared Kushner has found that his name can be both a blessing and a curse. (A third Jared Kushner, a New York cardiologist, declined to be interviewed.)

Around 2015, he remembered being informed of his name twin by a friend. “She was like, ‘Oh my god, you’re famous, right?’ It just slowly increased from there.”

The Canadian Kushner, 28, works in commercial real estate, where colleagues and clients are sometimes impressed by his name (never mind the other Kushner’s reputation for slumlord practices in the real estate world).

“People are typically pretty excited to get my business card if they’re familiar with the name,” he said. “They’ll send it to their friends, they’ll take a picture of it: ‘Oh, I met Jared Kushner today.'”

In fact, Kushner suspects his name has been a benefit to his career, since it gets real estate people’s attention.

“Some people like the idea of having that conversation and saying, ‘We got Jared Kushner!'” he said. “They’ll choose to call me instead of other people solely based on my name… To some degree, it really is a great sort of icebreaker to have that conversation with clients.”

Both Jared Kushners said their name wreaked havoc on their social media profiles

jared kushner nba
Jared Kushner

Now that the Trump presidency is over, both men are excited to get their names back.

In October 2018, when a Kentucky-based man named Brett Kavanagh tweeted, “This is a terrible time to be named Brett Kavanagh,” the Florida Jared Kushner quoted-tweeted his viral post with a knowing comment: “Welcome to the club…”

Indeed, this is a club where people with unfortunate names receive a whole lot of misdirected online hate. On Twitter, “I get tagged with Ivanka and Don Jr.,” said the 21-year-old Kushner. “It’s all these official verified accounts with millions of followers. And then they tag me. I have a profile picture. I look nothing like him. And they still think my account is the other Jared Kushner’s.”

The situation has been exacerbated by the fact that Trump’s son-in-law simply doesn’t tweet, which leaves people wondering which Kushner is that Kushner.

“I get private messages on Facebook,” the 21-year-old Kushner said. “Maybe Instagram sometimes. Usually it’s people who are very upset with him. I feel like it’s usually just yelling about stuff in the Middle East that I don’t even understand. Or just cursing me out.”

An Instagram message sent to the Floridian Jared Kushner.

In August 2017, for example, he received a rambling Facebook message from a woman in California. “Your father in law is off the rails,” she wrote. “Help us all!! Do not be complicit. This is horrific!”

He usually ignores these messages, but he admitted he once replied to someone on Instagram as though he were the other Kushner, just to mess with him. (The man didn’t reply back.)

A Facebook message sent to the Floridian Jared Kushner.

Meanwhile, the Canadian Kushner had a Twitter account he used solely to keep up with sports headlines. But he was so bombarded with angry tweets from confused #resisters that the site became nearly unusable for him.

“I was getting tagged in retweets. I was getting direct messages: ‘I need to contact so-and-so, or do this, or take a stand,'” he said. “I had to shut that down. It was kind of getting out of hand. I’ve had people add me on Facebook. I’ve had people add my Snapchat.”

During the early pandemic – when Trump’s son-in-law headed a “shadow task force” and fumbled the administration’s attempts to provide states with desperately needed protective equipment – these messages intensified. In May, someone tagged him in a tweet and wrote, “Wow, 70,000 dead, this is what you call a good job?”

“I guess you could say being threatened on Twitter is probably pretty weird,” he said. “But I’ve kind of been acclimatized to it. People say some pretty egregious things on Twitter.”

The Kushners are somewhat torn on their opinions of Kushner and the former administration

“As a person, [Kushner] seems kind of like a scumbag,” the Floridian Kushner said. Moreover, he felt he hadn’t been the best representative for the Jewish community.

Referencing the white supremacist symbols and Nazi-era flags on display at the January 6 Capitol riot, Kushner, who is also Jewish, said, “I don’t understand how people can see this and still think his administration has been good for the Jewish people in America, in Israel.”

He also described the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic as “a horrible job.”

trump kushner
Jared Kushner and former president Donald Trump speak in the press briefing room with members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force on April 2, 2020.

The Canadian Kushner is more conflicted about Trump and his son-in-law.

“I see a lot of things that [Trump] has done that he’s done well,” he says. “And I see a lot of things he’s done that he’s done poorly. I think it’s fair to say at this time that Trump’s a very interesting character. Am I a fan? Probably not.”

Being named Jared Kushner can also ferment confusion in real life, though such encounters tend to be less vitriolic

For the Canada-based Jared Kushner, such encounters regularly happen when he’s traveling to the US.

“I’ve had people make comments to me in airports before,” he said. “Kind of a smirk, a laugh, and ‘Really? This is your name?’ Nothing insulting or harmful. I’ve had a lot of people say, ‘Oh, I guess you’ve had a pretty tough four years, huh.'”

A few months ago, the Florida Kushner went to get tested for COVID-19.

jared kushner
Jared Kushner returns to the White House after an interview in 2020.

“I handed the person collecting the test my driver’s license. He came back a couple minutes later and he was shocked,” Kushner says. “He was like, ‘Are you really Jared Kushner?’ Like, ‘Is this your real name?’ I get a lot of those kinds of things.”

Then, in January, he was playing golf and was paired with a random partner. “And he came up to me and he said, ‘I think we’ve played together before.’ And then he goes, ‘Trump’s son-in-law, right?'”

Zach Schonfeld is a freelance writer and journalist based in New York. Previously, he was a senior writer for Newsweek. His first book was published in November 2020.

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Photos show the crowded conditions where migrant kids are being held at the US-Mexico border

Inside the Texas Border Patrol facility

  • Photos, which Rep. Henry Cuellar shared, show crowded conditions in a Texas Border Patrol facility.
  • An estimated 13,500 migrant children were in government custody as of Thursday.
  • The Biden administration hasn’t let journalists independently visit the facilities.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
The number of unaccompanied migrant children detained at the US-Mexico border has continued to rise throughout the first three months of 2021.

migrant children border patrol facility us mexico border biden administration
A Border Patrol facility in Donna, Texas, housing migrant children on the weekend of March 20, 2021.

According to senior administration officials, US Customs and Border Protection had approximately 4,500 unaccompanied minors in holding as of Thursday, while the Department of Health and Human Services has more than 9,000 children currently in its care.

The Biden administration has opened up various Border Patrol facilities to house these incoming migrants.

At one facility in Donna, Texas, pictured above, adults and children sit in what appears to be makeshift rooms separating out groups of people.

Each room is cordoned off by what looks like a plastic enclosure, drawing comparisons to jail cells. Journalists have so far been prohibited from viewing and entering the facilities. These photos, shared with Insider by Rep. Henry Cuellar, provide insight into the conditions.

Dozens of masked children can be seen lying down on gray mats. Some are crowded into corners, despite the threat of the coronavirus spreading. Others appear to sit on the floor.

Nearly 3,000 children detained by Border Patrol have been held beyond the 72-hour limit permitted by federal law before a child must be moved to an HHS facility, CBS News reported.

The situation at the border is quickly turning into a political firestorm, and is poised to generate more concern as people see the conditions inside the facilities.

migrant children border patrol facility us mexico border biden administration
A Border Patrol facility in Donna, Texas, housing migrant children on the weekend of March 20, 2021.

Key changes — such as measures to reverse controversial Trump-era policies — have led to thousands of migrants, and many unaccompanied children, to come to the US-Mexico border from Central America.

Republicans, including the former president, have taken the surge as an opportunity to bash the Biden administration.

Former President Donald Trump in a statement derided Biden’s newly instated immigration agenda.

He said the reversal of his own policies led to a rise in migration at the southern border.

Lawmakers fear that the surge will become a humanitarian crisis, as Border Patrol agents, for example, struggle to care or provide resources for incoming groups. The potential spread of the coronavirus among these groups of people only exacerbates that concern.

The Biden administration has implemented changes that aim to treat migrants fairly and humanely, in an attempt to overhaul Trump’s immigration policies.

migrant children border patrol facility us mexico border biden administration
A Border Patrol facility in Donna, Texas, housing migrant children on the weekend of March 20, 2021.

In a Monday press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki refrained from calling the surge a “crisis” at the border, saying the White House is working with different government agencies including HHS to “ensure we’re following COVID protocols.”

“Children presenting at our border who are fleeing violence, who are fleeing prosecution, who are fleeing terrible situations, is not a crisis,” she said. “We feel that it is our responsibility to humanely approach this circumstance and make sure they are treated and put into conditions that are safe.”

Psaki also insisted that the Biden administration wants to “make sure the media has access to these sites,” but did not give a concrete timeline on when that would happen.

“These photos show what we’ve long been saying, which is that these Border Patrol facilities are not places made for children,” she added. “They are not places that we want children to be staying for an extended period of time. Our alternative is to send children back on this treacherous journey — that is not, in our view, the right choice to make.”

The State Department is broadcasting to people in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Brazil, and Mexico that now is not a good time to come to the US, but the administration still has to deal with all the migrant children who are currently here.

migrant children border patrol facility us mexico border biden administration
A Border Patrol facility in Donna, Texas, housing migrant children on the weekend of March 20, 2021.

Psaki also played up the strategies the Biden administration is doling out to cap the number of people traveling to the US, particularly from the Northern Triangle countries.

The State Department, for example, has created more than 17,100 ads since January 21 to discourage people from migrating. These ads have reached about 15 million people, Psaki said on Monday.

It’s not clear whether this approach to limit immigration to the United States is working.

“This is just part of our effort to send a clear message,” Psaki said. “But there is no question that funding is needed to address the root causes in these countries.”

In anticipation of a surge in migrant traffic, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has been ordered to facilitate a “government-wide effort” that would “safely receive, shelter, and transfer unaccompanied children who make the dangerous journey to the US southwest border.”

Biden has a number of solutions he could try to implement to deal with the thousands of migrant children coming to the US-Mexico border. Experts recommend against holding kids in jail-like settings.

migrant children border patrol facility us mexico border biden administration
A Border Patrol facility in Donna, Texas, housing migrant children on the weekend of March 20, 2021.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas also said the surge is not equivalent to a crisis at the border and that the administration is strategizing potential ways to contain it.

That could take the form of opening more facilities near the southern border, for example.

Experts generally agree that this surge is not a crisis yet, but can turn into one.

To prevent a real crisis, experts told Insider’s Erin Snodgrass there are numerous steps the Biden administration could follow:

  1. Revoke Title 42, the Trump-era order that effectively halted all crossings at the border in the name of COVID-19 prevention.
  2. Increase federal funding and resources to both address the growing numbers of migrants and avoid the horrific conditions that often come with influxes.
  3. Avoid placing children in carceral settings or unlicensed facilities. They should instead be kept in child-appropriate settings with small group settings and a high staff-to-child ratio.

Insider’s Erin Snodgrass contributed to this report.

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Rudy Giuliani will keep his honorary degree after the board of a New York college didn’t count enough votes to rescind

Rudy Giuliani
Former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for President Donald Trump, speaks during a news conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters, Thursday Nov. 19, 2020, in Washington.

  • Ex-Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani will be able to keep his honorary degree from St. John Fisher College.
  • The school’s board of trustees voted to rescind the degree but did not meet a majority requirement.
  • College alums urged the school to revoke the degree after Giuliani peddled baseless claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A New York college’s board of trustees did not have enough votes to rescind an honorary degree given to Rudy Giuliani, former President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer.

Giuliani, as a result, gets to keep his honorary degree from St. John Fisher College, bestowed upon him in 2015 for his service as mayor in New York during 9/11.

According to 13 WHAM, an ABC News affiliate, the school’s board of trustees voted on the decision Friday but did not have the two-thirds majority required to revoke the degree.

After the Capitol riot on January 6, St. John Fisher College was inundated with requests from former school government and class officers to rescind Giuliani’s degree, according to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.

Giuliani pushed disinformation and conspiracy theories about the results of the 2020 election, including repeated unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud.

His language and actions “were antithetical to everything St. John Fisher College espouses, such that we believe his continued relationship with the College risks permanent damage to the College’s reputation, campus culture, and the prestige of future honorary degrees,” a letter from 15 alums read, according to the Democrat & Chronicle.

After the Capitol riot, at least one college revoked an honorary degree from Giuliani.

Middlebury College in Vermont rescinded his degree, given to him in 2005, because of his unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election.

St. John Fisher College, however, said “no further actions will be taken” on the topic of Giuliani’s honorary degree.

Two institutions – Lehigh University and Wagner College – in January announced the revocation of honorary degrees given to Trump in light of the riots at the Capitol.

The board of trustees “voted to rescind and revoke the honorary degree granted to Donald J. Trump in 1988,” a statement from the Lehigh University account on Twitter reads.

Lehigh faculty members have for years urged the university to rescind Trump’s degree, which he received upon speaking at its 1988 commencement ceremony. In 2018, nearly 300 Lehigh faculty members urged the board of trustees to rescind the degree. They argued that Trump’s statements and actions as president did not fall in line with the values of the school, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. The trustees did not budge.

The Wagner board of trustees also voted to rescind an honorary degree he had received from the institution in 2004, according to a statement posted online.

The riot, which began after Trump encouraged his supporters to protest the results of the election, has been characterized as an attempted coup. Rioters stormed the Capitol building as lawmakers were meeting inside to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Five people, including one police officer, died. Members of the Proud Boys, which is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, were reportedly present.

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Biden fired a Trump-appointed lawyer who refused to leave office

President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with labor leaders in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, in Washington, DC.

  • The president on Friday dismissed a Trump appointee, Sharon Gustafson, after she refused to resign.
  • Gustafson served as general counsel for the EEOC, a federal agency charged with investigating workplace issues.
  • Her dismissal prompted fury from other Trump appointees and Republican lawmakers.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

President Joe Biden on Friday fired a Trump-appointed lawyer serving on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency that investigates workplace sex discrimination and retaliation. 

Sharon Gustafson, who had under the Trump administration been the EEOC’s general counsel, refused to resign, according to an email published online by the Ethics and Policy Center, a conservative think tank. 

Gustafson in a letter dated March 5 said she “respectfully” declines Biden’s request that she resign from her role. She wanted to serve until 2023, which would have marked the end of her four-year term.  

“At the time I was nominated, I was asked if I would commit to do my best to fulfill my four-year term, and I answered yes,” she wrote in the letter, addressed to Biden. “Unless prevented from doing so, I intend to honor that commitment.” 

In response to her letter declining to resign, Gautum Raghavan, the deputy director of the Office of Presidential Personnel, said in an email to Gustafson that she would be terminated effective end of day on Friday. 

Her termination unleashed fury from Andrea Lucas, another Trump appointee to the EEOC.

“I find the action taken today by the White House against our independent agency to be deeply troubling, a break from long-established norms respected by presidents of both parties, an injection of partisanship where it had been absent, and telling evidence of what ‘unity’ actually means to this President and his Administration,” Lucas tweeted

When a new president is inaugurated into office, it’s common for them to appoint their own people to all White House staff positions. Typically, staff members appointed by the preceding administration voluntarily depart from their posts. The chief of staff of the new administration asks about 4,000 appointees to hand over resignation letters.

Gustafson, however, pointed out in her letter to the president that she isn’t aware of any similar requests made of others with respect to the EEOC.

“So far as I know, no previous General Counsel has been fired for being appointed by the wrong political party,” Gustafson wrote in her letter. 

A Republican lawmaker also condemned the move by Biden, calling her dismissal an “unprecedented firing of an honorable public official.” 

“This is a pattern. President Biden calls for the end to ‘partisan warfare,’ only to turn around and demand that Senate-confirmed officials resign so he can make room for his left-wing friends,” said Rep. Virginia Foxx in a statement.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Trump appointee arrested over Capitol riot took a police riot shield and fought with officers, affidavit says

capitol riot  federico klein
Police bodycamera footage from the Capitol riot shows a man prosecutors say they have identified as Federico Klein.

  • Trump State Department appointee Federico Klein fought with police at the Capitol riot, investigators say.
  • They say Klein used a riot shield to attempt to wedge a door to the Capitol open.
  • Footage from the day appears to show Klein brawling with police and trying to push into the building.
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A Trump appointee who has been arrested in connection with the Capitol riot fought police and used a riot shield to wedge the door to the building open, an affidavit said. 

Federico Klein, then an employee of the State Department, is believed to be the first Trump appointee facing charges in relation to the events of January 6.

The document was published late Thursday by The New York Times, which also reported Klein’s arrest.

An FBI agent identified Klein, in a MAGA hat, among the mob that crammed into a tunnel leading to the Lower West Terrace entrance to the Capitol building from surveillance and police body camera footage from the day.

capitol riot federico klein
A man who the FBI identified as Federico Klein is circled in surveillance footage in the tunnel leading to the Lower West Terrace entrance to the Capitol building on January 6, 2021.

In the tunnel, Klein pushed to the front of the crowd and “physically and verbally engaged” with police, preventing them from doing their work, the affidavit says. 

capitol riot federico klein
A man who the FBI identified as Federico Klein is caught on police bodycam footage.

capitol riot federico klein
A man who the FBI identified as Federico Klein seen here appearing to reach for an object.

Around half an hour later, he was caught on camera among a crowd trying to push through doors to the building, according to the document.

An officer shouted “back up” six times, a command that Klein ignored, the affidavit says.

capitol riot federico klein
A man who the FBI identified as Federico Klein continues attempts to breach the Capitol.

capitol riot federico klein
A man who the FBI identified as Federico Klein continues attempts to breach the Capitol.

Instead, it says, Klein violently shoved a riot shield at officers, wedging it between the doors and preventing police from shutting them out. He also rammed it into officers in an attempt to breach their line, it said. 

Describing the video footage, the affidavit says Klein was seen “resisting officers, attempting to take items from officers, and assaulting officers with a riot shield.”

The document describes it as “either an MPD or an U.S. Capitol Police riot shield.” It said the shield “apparently had been taken from an officer,” but did not offer details.

He was eventually moved away with the use of chemical irritant spray, it says.

capitol riot federico klein
A man who the FBI identified as Federico Klein in his MAGA hat, which he later removed.

Other footage appears to show Klein brawling with police and encouraging the crowd. “We need more people, we need more people,” he yelled on more than one occasion, according to the footage described. 

capitol riot federico klein
A man who the FBI identified as Federico Klein resists police attempts to disperse the mob.

Eventually, the mob was pushed out of the tunnel.

capitol riot federico klein
Federico Klein (circled) being pushed out of the way by police, according to prosecutors.

Outside, it looked like Klein lost his MAGA hat and found another one. 

capitol riot federico klein
A man who the FBI identified as Federico Klein likely looking for his lost MAGA hat.

capitol riot federico klein
A man who the FBI identified as Federico Klein puts on another hat.

But the investigators said they were able to identify him by a rip in his jacket that also appeared in footage when he was wearing the MAGA hat, marked with a green arrow in the pictures below. 

capitol riot federico klein
The FBI identified as Federico Klein in the new hat by a tear in his jacket, marked by an arrow.

capitol riot federico klein
The tear in the jacket as seen when he was wearing a MAGA hat.

When an officer, named “Officer 4” in the affidavit, was dragged into the crowd, Klein said “no way” as police asked him to move so they could rescue the officer, the affidavit says. 

capitol riot federico klein
A man who the FBI identified as Federico Klein attempts to stop police from rescuing an officer pulled into the crowd.

“Let me get my friend,” one of the officers is recorded as saying. 

When Officer 4 made it out of the crowd, Klein is then pictured appearing to help him make his way back to the tunnel, investigators said. 

capitol riot federico klein
A man who the FBI identified as Federico Klein on police bodycam footage.

capitol riot federico klein
A man who the FBI identified as Federico Klein then appears to help the officer.

Tipsters got in touch with the FBI after a “wanted” poster was circulated on January 20. From that, one tipster led officials to the Facebook page of “Freddie Klein,” whose picture appeared to be man from the footage, while a witness led them to a LinkedIn profile for the same name. 

capitol riot fbi wanted poster federico klein
An FBI “wanted” posted with the man prosecutors say they have identified as Federico Klein circled.

federico klein capitol riot
Feds matched this Facebook picture to an individual seen on footage of rioters at the Capitol.

Klein is one of hundreds of people arrested in connection with the events of January 6 in an aggressive police investigation.

Klein resigned his position on January 19, according to the affidavit.

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Justin Trudeau looks forward to working with President Biden: ‘It’s great to see America re-engage’

FILE PHOTO: Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attends a news conference at Rideau Cottage, as efforts continue to help slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada June 22, 2020. REUTERS/Blair Gable
Canada’s PM Trudeau attends a news conference in Ottawa.

  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggested he’s looking forward to working with President Joe Biden.
  • Speaking on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” in an episode that will air Sunday, Trudeau said, “It’s great to see America re-engage.”
  • “That need to work closely as neighbors continues,” Trudeau said. “But now it continues with an administration with whom we have a little more in common.”
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau indicated he’s looking forward to fortifying the country’s relationship with the United States now that President Joe Biden is in office. 

“It’s great to see America re-engage” on the global sphere again, Trudeau said in early remarks from a forthcoming interview with NBC News’ “Meet the Press.”

When asked by “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd about global policy initiatives Trudeau expects the Biden administration to push forward, Trudeau said Canada and the United States will have to “work together” on several issues, including climate change and solidifying the middle class. 

“And of course as a Canadian, I believe that we all need to work together in a more active way, and I’m glad to see the new administration – this is something I spoke with President Biden about directly – it’s great to see America re-engage,” Trudeau said.

“I think certainly there were things that were more challenging under the previous administration in terms of moving the dial in the right direction on the international stage,” he continued. “But at the same time, you know, we all have democracies that go in different directions from time to time.” 

Additionally, the coronavirus pandemic continues to be a major concern and a point of unity between Canada and the United States, Trudeau said. 

“The approach that the president is taking on COVID right now much more aligns with where Canada has been for quite a while, grounded in science, grounded in protection of people as the best way to protect the economy, and understanding that, that being there to support people is absolutely essential so that we can get through this as quickly as possible,” he said.

The relationship between the United States and Canada frayed during the years of former President Donald Trump’s tenure. 

Trump mocked Trudeau in private and in public, calling him “weak” and “very dishonest.” Trudeau was once caught on a hot mic laughing at the former president

In an attempt to pressure Trudeau into revising the North American Free Trade Agreement, Trump threatened to hit Canadian cars and auto parts with tariffs

And former trade advisor Peter Navarro said in 2018 that there’s a “special place in hell” for Trudeau. 

Trudeau spoke positively of some aspects of the NAFTA agreement between Canada and the United States, saying the renegotiation “helped.”

“We were able to get them to remove some of the steel and aluminum tariffs that they brought in. And we were able to work together on a number of things” with the Trump administration, Trudeau said on “Meet the Press.” “So obviously that need to work closely as neighbors continues, but now it continues with an administration with whom we have a little more in common, perhaps.”

Trudeau’s interview on “Meet the Press” is expected to air Sunday. 

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