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Archive for July 28th, 2021

DOJ Authorizes Former Trump Officials to Testify in Jan. 6 Congressional Probe

Alex Gakos/Shutterstock.com

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department has given permission to former Trump administration officials to participate in Congress’ investigation into the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. 

The DOJ notified the former officials this week and said they could give “unrestricted testimony” to the House Oversight and Reform Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee, The New York Times reports.

The committee are investigating Trump’s role in the riot and the former administration’s efforts to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory. 

The notification alleviates fears that the Justice Department would assert executive privilege, a common tactic used by Trump’s White House to avoid administration officials from testifying before Congress. 

According to the department’s notice, former officials may provide unrestricted testimony “so long as the testimony is confined to the scope of the interviews set forth by the committees” and does not disclose classified information or pending criminal cases. 

DHS Secretary Mayorkas Works Remotely After Potential COVID-19 Exposure

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas

By Steve Neavling

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is working from home this week because he came in close contact with an employee who later tested positive for COVID-19. 

“Secretary Mayorkas has a virtual schedule this week after coming into close contact with a DHS official who later tested positive for COVID-19,” DHS spokeswoman Marsha Espinosa said in a statement. “The Secretary is fully vaccinated, has no symptoms, and has tested negative twice. Official DHS contact tracing is underway. These recommendations have been informed by the Office of the DHS Chief Medical Officer and are taken in an overabundance of caution.”

It wasn’t immediately clear if other employees were exposed and are quarantining. 

COVID-19 cases are surging again with the spread of the Delta variant.   

Mayorkas testified remotely before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on Tuesday.