GOP presses ex-federal judge on Hunter Biden, Cuomo, and Durham probes; David Spunt has more on 'Special Report'
- CBS News Videos
Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland, whose 2016 Supreme Court nomination was blocked in the Senate, testified before lawmakers Monday. Victoria Nourse, a professor at Georgetow Lawn, spoke to "Red and Blue" host Elaine Quijano about Garland's nomination and her own experience with the Senate confirmation process.
- National Review
The role of a satirist is similar to that of a caricaturist, which is why Saturday Night Live’s recent skit of New York governor Andrew Cuomo in the aftermath of the nursing-home deaths scandal wasn’t particularly funny. “We are not the same,” says Cuomo (played by Pete Davidson) to Ted Cruz (Aidy Bryant), who is sipping a cocktail and wearing a Hawaiian shirt, just back from Cancun: “I am a man. You are a clown. If you mess with me, I will send you to a clown hospital. And if you die, I will not count your body.” If anything, this portrayal is more flattering than how Cuomo appears in real life. After the New York attorney general reported that the state had undercounted nursing-home deaths by as much as 50 percent, the New York Post revealed that Cuomo’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, admitted during a video conference with Democratic lawmakers that the Cuomo administration had covered up the true death toll for fear that it would be “used against us.” It’s not only conservatives who are furious with him. Last week, a news conference and rally were held outside the Department of Justice offices at which family members of elderly patients demanded a federal investigation. They will get their wish. The FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office have subsequently opened an investigation. State assembly Republicans are moving to form an impeachment commission “to gather facts and evidence” surrounding Cuomo’s “handling and the subsequent cover-up of the COVID-19 crisis in nursing homes.” Even state Democrats are moving to strip Cuomo of his unilateral emergency pandemic powers. Writing in Sunday’s Wall Street Journal, John Daukas, former acting attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, argued that Cuomo’s cover-up could merit federal criminal charges. And National Review’s Andy McCarthy has explained that “besides potential civil-rights liability, the Cuomo administration could face problems because the nursing homes that the state oversees receive lots of federal money through Medicare and Medicaid.” Though his deadly mistakes aren’t amusing, the contrast between how he has acted and how he sees himself is certainly laugh-worthy. What comedy skit of Cuomo could be more ridiculous than the sight of his own book on the window display at my local bookstore, American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic, with a picture of him on the front, hands clasped and looking regal? What could be more embarrassing for him than his appearance on Ellen last year in which he grinned at the term, “Cuomosexual,” as his host called him “charming and adorable” and said, straight-faced, that “people are in love with you.” He believed it. SNL presented Cuomo as “a man,” with at least a semblance of self-awareness. But Cuomo presents Cuomo as a god. Let’s not forget that his fall from universal grace was preceded by stunning arrogance. Last year, he described the watchdog Empire Center for Public Policy’s lawsuit to force Cuomo to release the true death toll as “yet another publicity stunt from an arm of the far-right advocacy industrial complex.” Then, last November, there was that shambolic press conference about school reopenings at which the Wall Street Journal’s Jimmy Vielkind asked whether schools in New York City would be opening the next day. “Let’s try not to be obnoxious and offensive in your tone,” the governor said, adding that the reporter was “100 percent wrong,” since, when it came to school closures, “we did it already. That’s the law. An orange zone and a red zone. Follow the facts.” Vielkind replied: “I’m confused . . . and I think parents are still confused as well.” But Cuomo said, “No, they’re not confused. You’re confused. Read the law, and you won’t be confused.” At which point, a New York Times reporter said she also was confused, and Cuomo said: “Well, I don’t really care what you think. Of course you’ll agree with him because you’re in the same business with him.” It turns out that, despite being 100 percent certain, Cuomo was 100 percent wrong. Now that’s funny.
- Business Insider
Republican voters and older Americans were much more likely to say they aren't satisfied with Biden's mental fitness, the new Insider poll found.
- National Review
Representative Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.) said Monday that Merrick Garland’s response to a question about a potential conflict of interest in any investigation of New York governor Andrew Cuomo was “not good enough.” During Garland’s confirmation hearing to be attorney general on Monday, Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas) asked the Biden nominee if he would “commit to not having the investigation done by a person with a conflict of interest.” Cruz noted acting Manhattan U.S. attorney Audrey Strauss’s relationship to Melissa DeRosa, a top Cuomo aide, as a potential concern. Strauss is the mother-in-law of DeRosa, who reportedly admitted recently that the administration covered up data on nursing-home deaths to hide the severity of the situation from federal authorities. “With all of these investigations, the Justice Department is open to evidence of fraud, false statements, violations of the law,” Garland responded. “They normally begin in the appropriate way in the relevant U.S. Attorney’s office.” “I don’t know any of the facts, but I can guarantee you somebody with a conflict of interest won’t be running an investigation of any kind,” he added. Appearing on Fox News on Monday, Stefanik said the answer shows “he’s not reading the basic news.” “As the American people are aware, this is a serious corruption scandal at the highest levels of New York State government,” she said. “We need a much clearer response from the nominee to be AG [committing to] making sure there is an independent apolitical, fair investigation. And when it comes to obstruction of justice, these are not just accusations Katie, this was caught on tape.” She added: “It was caught on tape on a Zoom call with the members of the New York State Assembly, which is why it is Democrats as well who are speaking out about the need to have an independent federal investigation and also, some are proposing impeachment of the governor and the governor, I have said, should resign.” Stefanik said the families of those who died in nursing homes “deserve a commitment from the AG nominee that this would be an independent investigation.” “He’d better get up to speed quickly because that answer is not good enough for the American people,” she said. Lawmakers of both parties have called for Cuomo to be stripped of the emergency powers granted to him last year at the beginning of the pandemic following DeRosa’s comments and a report issued by the New York attorney general Letitia James, which found that the state had undercounted nursing-home deaths by as much as 50 percent. Cuomo last week blasted state lawmakers who have threatened to rescind his emergency powers and open investigations into his administration’s coverup of its mishandling of nursing-home coronavirus deaths. “You can’t use a subpoena or the threat of investigation to leverage a person,” Cuomo said in a briefing. “That’s a crime, it’s called abuse of process, it’s called extortion.”
- KFSN – Fresno
A woman and her two children were hospitalized after being injured in a multi-vehicle crash in central Fresno on Sunday.
Andrea Mitchell is joined by NBC’s Garrett Haake with the latest reporting on Capitol Hill and NAACP Legal Defense Fund President and Director-Counsel Sherillyn Ifill with her analysis as Merrick Garland faces questions from senators in his confirmation hearing to lead the Justice Department as Attorney General. Ifill says that she wants the DOJ under Garland to “engage the issue of criminal justice reform” as Garland addresses questions on civil rights and combatting extremism.
- National Review
Senator Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) questioned President Biden’s nominee for attorney general Merrick Garland regarding Biden’s executive orders on “racial equity” on Monday. Policies built around the relatively new concept of”equity” attempt to adjust for differences in background and economic status of the people affected by those policies. The term is used by the Biden administration in a different manner from “equality.” “Equality suggests, ‘Oh, everyone should get the same amount.’ The problem with that, not everybody’s starting out from the same place,” Vice President Kamala Harris said on Twitter two days before the election. During Garland’s nomination hearing at the Senate on Monday, the prospective attorney general told Cotton that he thinks “discrimination is morally wrong. Absolutely.” Merrick Garland: Yes, I think discrimination is morally wrong. Absolutely. Sen. Tom Cotton: Are you aware President Biden has signed an executive order stating his administration will affirmatively advance racial equity, not racial equality but racial equity? pic.twitter.com/bXlqDiV4Zx — USA TODAY Politics (@usatodayDC) February 22, 2021 “Are you aware President Biden has signed an executive order stating his administration will affirmatively advance racial equity,” Cotton asked. “Not racial equality but racial equity?” “Yes,” Garland responded. “And I read the opening of that executive order, which defines equity as the fair and impartial treatment of every person, without regard to their status, and including individuals who are in underserved communities where they were not accorded that before.” Cotton previously brought up the issue of equity versus equality, in a hearing for Biden’s nominee for Housing and Urban Development secretary Marcia Fudge. “Just to be clear then, it sounds like racial equity means treating people differently based on their race. Is that correct?” Cotton asked during the January hearing. “Not based on race, but it could be based on economics, it could be based on the history of discrimination that has existed for a long time,” Fudge answered.
- KFSN – Fresno
Fresno police are investigating a homicide after a man was found dead inside a northwest Fresno home on Monday night.
- FOX News Videos
Sen. John Kennedy slams the Biden administration over continuing school closures.
- FOX News Videos
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, asked Health and Human Services Secretary nominee Xavier Becerra about why he voted against a ban on partial birth abortion.
- CBS News Videos
Several Biden Cabinet nominees are facing confirmation hearings today as the president holds a virtual bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. CBS News senior White House correspondent Weijia Jiang joined CBSN with the latest.
- FOX News Videos
Students call on all statues that symbolize 'racist figures' to be removed from campus.
- FOX News Videos
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem argues the bill is 'incredibly detrimental to our state.'
- The State
Some people gave up on dating, others found love on a dating app for the first time ever and one person found a long-lost love she hadn’t seen in 10 years. This is how some South Carolinians spent quarantine finding love.
- The Telegraph
The family of an 11-year-old boy who died during a cold weather snap in Texas have filed a $100m lawsuit against power companies who were “wholly unprepared to deal with the crisis at hand.” Cristian Pineda went to sleep in the mobile home where he lived with his mother, stepfather and two young brothers on February 15, but did not wake up the next day. The thin-walled, poorly insulated home in Conroe, just north of Houston, lost power in the freezing temperatures and the lawsuit accuses utility firms of putting "profits over the welfare of people" by failing to prepare properly. It was -12 degrees on the night that Christian died, the family says. "Despite having knowledge of the dire weather forecast for at least a week in advance, and the knowledge that the system was not prepared for more than a decade, Ercot and Entergy failed to take any peremptory action that could have averted the crisis and were wholly unprepared to deal with the crisis at hand," the lawsuit alleges.
- USA TODAY Opinion
Of the film’s villains, the paparazzi are unique in being among the most precarious groups in the Hollywood media system.
The mother of an 11-year-old boy who died after they lost electricity and heat in their Texas mobile home during last week's freeze has filed a $100 million lawsuit against two power companies for gross negligence. Maria Pineda said the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and Entergy Corp are responsible for the death of her son Cristian, who was found unresponsive on the morning of Feb. 16 at home, where he shared a bed with his 3-year-old brother. More than 4 million people in Texas lost power and at least two dozen people died after a snowstorm blanketed the state last week and sent temperatures plunging well below freezing.
Since the couple recently announced they wouldn't be returning to royal duties, they will have more freedom this time around.
- WBAL - Baltimore Videos
Some Baltimore County teachers began preparing their classrooms Monday as in-person learning is set to start again next on March 1.
- The Telegraph
A high-profile figure in a Polish institute involved in researching World War Two crimes has resigned less than two weeks after being appointed following controversy over his links to a far-Right anti-Semitic group and pictures of him performing a Nazi-style salute. Historian Tomasz Greniuch was appointed head of the branch of the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) in the southern city of Wroclaw earlier this month. He quit on Monday after outrage grew over images showing he once belonged to the National Radical Camp, an extreme-right organisation that has roots in pre-war anti-Semitic movements, and him performing a Nazi-style salute at party rallies back in 2005-07. Earlier Monday, Michal Dworczyk, the head of the Prime Minister's Office, said that for "for the sake of the institution and image of Poland”, he should resign. His appointment to a senior position that would have involved investigating Nazi crimes has caused a scandal in Poland due to acute sensitivities around anti-Semitism in the Central-European state, as well as concerns over the direction of the country under the governing Law and Justice party. Since it came into office in 2015, the party has faced frequent accusations that it is fostering an environment that encourages far-Right sentiments - something it denies - and promoting a more nationalistic account of Polish history. Agnieszka Pomaska, a member of the opposition MP from the Civic Coalition, said Mr Greniuch’s appointment was unsurprising given that the “current government regularly fraternizes with nationalist circles”. Another opposition MP, Kamila Gasiuk-Pihowicz, said: “The scandal surrounding Mr Greniuch lasted only a few days but will have devastating consequences for Poland’s image abroad that will take years to repair. Law and Justice’s history policy has once again led to our country being discredited in the world.” Some politicians have also called for the resignation of Jaroslaw Szarek, the head of the IPN, for going ahead with the appointment despite concerns being voiced by both the government and Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, over the last few weeks. Mr Greniuch issued a public apology on Friday for his making the salute. “I have never been a Nazi and I apologise for the irresponsible gesture I made a dozen years ago, which was a mistake,” he said. “The gesture was the result of youthful bravado and impervious to common sense and its consequences. It was not glorifying totalitarianism.” In a 2019 interview, he said he had not cut himself off from his earlier views but had changed his behaviour. "When you have your dream job, you try to be a professional," he said.