YouTube removed a video clip of part of the US congressional hearings over the Jan. 6 riots because it contained comments from former president Donald Trump that the company considered to be misinformation that violated its policy on election integrity.
The House select committee has been investigating the Capitol riots in a series of televised hearings that have also been uploaded through YouTube to the committee’s official website.
The excerpt contained testimony of former US attorney general William Barr, but also a clip of Trump promoting lies about the election on the Fox Business news channel, the New York Times reported. The clip didn’t include Barr’s perspective that Trump’s claims that the election was stolen from him were wrong, even though Barr made the assertion several times throughout the hearing.
“Our election integrity policy prohibits content advancing false claims that widespread fraud, errors or glitches changed the outcome of the 2020 US presidential election, if it does not provide sufficient context,” YouTube spokesperson Ivy Choi said in a statement. “We enforce our policies equally for everyone, and have removed the video uploaded by the January 6th Committee channel.”
Biden attempts to keep focus on climate
WASHINGTON — Last year, President Biden held two hopeful meetings with leaders of the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases — but on Friday he returned to a virtual summit with little to show in the way of new US incentives for renewable energy.
Battered politically by high gasoline prices and pressed to increase oil and gas production, Biden nonetheless attempted to convince countries to keep pursuing policies aimed at combating climate change.
“We cannot, we cannot afford to let the critical goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius to slip out of our reach,” the president said to leaders at the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate. “The science tells us the window for action is rapidly narrowing.”
Senior Biden administration officials said the president was “laser focused on driving forward an agenda and actions” that would strengthen US energy security and “bring together a broad coalition about taking action that meets the urgency of this moment.”
But the $550 billion package of tax incentives and other measures in the president’s Build Back Better proposal has stalled in Congress. And the Russian invasion of Ukraine has added pressure to increase US output of natural gas for export and boost global crude oil supplies.
Biden highlighted several areas for action, such as the construction of hydrogen hubs in the United States; a “green” shipping contest sponsored by Norway and the United States to decarbonize fuels by 2050; and a renewed call for world leaders to match the US goal of zero emissions for 50 percent of new autos.
He said that if ocean shipping were a country, it would be the world’s eighth largest emitter of methane.
The president noted that the United States in its infrastructure bill would provide $21.5 billion of the $90 billion that the International Energy Agency said would be needed for hydrogen demonstration projects this decade. Hydrogen can be used as an energy storage device.
Biden also called on countries to clamp down on the flaring of methane, a particularly potent greenhouse gas. “We flare enough gas to offset nearly all of the EU’s gas imports from Russia,” he said.
But the Environmental Defense Fund said in a new report that “oil company commitments to reduce flaring have not translated into a decrease in total flared gas. Instead, natural gas flaring was up slightly in 2021 over the previous year.”
Navarro pleads not guilty to contempt charges
Former Trump White House trade adviser Peter Navarro pleaded not guilty Friday to two counts of criminal contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.
The plea came at a brief hearing in federal district court in Washington, where Navarro appeared with his new lawyers, John P. Rowley III and John S. Irving IV, and took a less combative posture than he had immediately after his arrest. US District Judge Amit Mehta scheduled his trial for Nov. 17.
Navarro, 72, faces up to one year in prison if convicted of the two contempt counts, one involving his refusal to appear for a deposition and another involving his refusal to produce documents to the committee in response to a subpoena.
Outside the court, Navarro’s defense attorney questioned the appropriateness of Navarro’s arrest, but said the legal team would take that matter up “at the appropriate time.” Navarro alleges he was in contact with the FBI and could have turned himself in, but that agents improperly pulled him off a jetway at Reagan National Airport and put him in handcuffs and leg chains.
“I’m telling you as a former federal prosecutor, for a misdemeanor charge in a white collar case involving what is essentially a process crime, handcuffs and leg irons are not the order of the day,” Rowley said, adding that the arrest and rapid announcement of charges were “obviously done for the purpose of humiliating Mr. Navarro.”
“We need to find out in this case, who made that decision, and why that decision was made,” Rowley said.
After an initial court appearance on June 3, Navarro had attacked prosecutors and the FBI, likening the government’s conduct to that of “Stalinist Russia, the Chinese Communist Party” and “terrorism.” The FBI said at the time it could not confirm the manner of Navarro’s arrest; a spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a message Friday.
Navarro is one of two former Trump aides to face criminal charges after ignoring committee subpoenas for testimony and documents from the Jan. 6 committee. The other, former chief White House strategist Stephen Bannon, is set to face trial July 18 after a judge on Wednesday refused to dismiss his indictment.
After announcing Navarro’s indictment, the Justice Department said it would not pursue charges against two other Trump aides, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and communications chief Daniel Scavino Jr., who the House had similarly referred for prosecution for rebuffing the committee.
Controversies could be costly for Herschel Walker
Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker has faced a string of controversies this week — including that he has two sons and a daughter with different women whom he had not spoken about publicly — that threaten to puncture his image as a larger-than-life football star among the state’s voters.
Walker, a Republican endorsed by former president Donald Trump, is running to unseat incumbent Democrat the Rev. Raphael Warnock in one of the country’s most consequential races that could determine the balance of power in the Senate. Georgia, which President Biden won by less than half a percentage point, still leans Republican and could be an easy pickup for the party in a difficult year for Democrats.
But Walker, an unpolished politician with an unvetted background, could struggle in vote-rich areas like the Atlanta suburbs if enough swing voters are turned off by the inconsistencies in his professional and personal past, some experts say. Others say his massive celebrity in the state — he was an all-American running back and a Heisman Trophy winner at the University of Georgia — gives him greater latitude to make mistakes.
Walker won the Republican nomination last month with more than 68 percent of the vote.
“The people who voted for him because he was famous are not going to be swayed or deterred by this. I think people will rationalize their tribalism,” said Andra Gillespie, a professor at Emory University. “It does raise a question of whether more moderate, suburban voters are going to withstand these types of revelations.”
This week, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution debunked previous claims by Walker that he had worked in law enforcement and had been an FBI agent. Two days later, the Daily Beast reported that Walker had a 10-year-old son out of wedlock whom he hadn’t discussed publicly. Then, on Thursday, the left-leaning news site reported Walker had another 13-year-old son with a different woman as well as an adult daughter he fathered as a college student. Walker has spoken on the campaign trail about his close relationship with another son, 22-year-old Christian.
Walker, who in the past has chided absentee Black fathers, confirmed the Daily Beast’s reporting and said he never hid his other children.
“I have four children. Three sons and a daughter. They’re not ‘undisclosed’ — they’re my kids,” Walker said in a statement sent to The Washington Post. “Saying I hide my children because I don’t discuss them with reporters to win a campaign? That’s outrageous. I can take the heat, that’s politics — but leave my kids alone.”