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Ben Sasse presses prison bureau director on Jeffrey Epstein death, guards sleeping on the job
‘It’s about the fact that that bastard wasn’t able to testify against his other co-conspirators’

Kathleen Hawk Sawyer, director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the bureau on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

On the day that two federal correctional officers were charged in connection with failing to properly monitor sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, who committed suicide in a New York jail cell, Sen. Ben Sasse had particularly strong words for the director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

“As alleged, the defendants had a duty to ensure the safety and security of federal inmates in their care at the Metropolitan Correctional Center. Instead, they repeatedly failed to conduct mandated checks on inmates, and lied on official forms to hide their dereliction,” Geoffrey S. Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement announcing the indictments.

Trump ally grills key witnesses in impeachment inquiry on whistleblower
National security officials testifying Tuesday among those who listened to the now-infamous July 25 call

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, director of European affairs at the National Security Council, and Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, arrive for the House Intelligence Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry of President Trump on Tuesday. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The third day of public impeachment testimony grew heated Tuesday when Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, pressed Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman on conversations he had with an intelligence official about the now infamous July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Chairman Adam B. Schiff shut down the line of questioning, asserting that it was an attempt to disclose the identity of the whistleblower whose anonymous report sparked Democrats' impeachment inquiry.

If you’re not counted you’re not represented: Census 101
Roll Call Decoder

Protesters hold signs at a rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court after their ruling on the census was handed down on June 27. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

How many people will be living in the United States on April 1, 2020?

Elizabeth Warren has a plan: Here's what it would cost
Massive income redistribution from wealthiest and corporations at heart of Democrat’s plan

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., at a news conference in the Capitol in March. Warren is betting that a massive redistribution of wealth would win her the Democratic nomination and the presidency. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two years ago, the House rejected a budget blueprint drafted by the Congressional Progressive Caucus that envisioned raising taxes by $9 trillion over a decade, plowing $5 trillion of that into new spending and leaving the rest for deficit reduction. Considered radical at the time, the plan was defeated 108-314, with 79 Democrats opposing it.

Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is running for president on a platform that makes House progressives’ 2017 budget look milquetoast. Still, by some metrics Warren’s got a plausible shot at the Oval Office: She’s polling well in Iowa and New Hampshire, and handily beats President Donald Trump in head-to-head nationwide polls.

Man who threatened to shoot Ilhan Omar pleads guilty
Patrick Carlineo Jr., of Addison, N.Y., faces 10 years in prison and $250,000 fine

The man who threatened to shoot Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., pleaded guilty on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A New York man who threatened in March to shoot Rep. Ilhan Omar in the head pleaded guilty in federal court for threatening to assault and murder a U.S. official and being a felon in possession of firearms.

Patrick Carlineo Jr., of Addison, New York, faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both. Carlineo entered his plea Monday in U.S. District Court in the Western District of New York in Rochester.

Live: House Intelligence impeachment hearing with Alexander Vindman and Jennifer Williams

The House Intelligence Committee hears from Jennifer Williams, the State Department official who has served as a foreign policy adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, and Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, director for European affairs at the National Security Council, in its impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. Vindman notably went to White House lawyers with concerns after listening to Trump’s July 25 phone call with Zelenskiy.

Impeachment news roundup: Nov. 19
Congressional investigators hearing from two aides who listened in on Trump’s July call with Zelenskiy

Jennifer Williams, left, special adviser for Europe and Russia to Vice President Mike Pence, and Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, director for European Affairs at the National Security Council, are sworn in before testifying in the House Select Intelligence Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Two officials who listened in on President Donald Trump’s July 25 phone call in which he appeared to ask his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden testified Tuesday morning about the unusual nature of the call.

Jennifer Williams, the State Department official who has served as a foreign policy adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, said she thought the call was unusual “because, in contrast to other presidential calls I had observed, it involved discussion of what appeared to be a domestic political matter,” she said.

Christians turn to artificial intelligence to stop porn use
Evangelical groups increasingly relying on technology in budding ‘purity-industrial complex’

Michigan-based tech firm Covenant Eyes has developed an app that uses artificial intelligence to detect pornography on a user’s screen and alert "allies" about it.

Evangelical groups are turning to artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to help their members fight addiction to online pornography in a budding industry that one scholar calls an emerging “purity-industrial complex.” 

As pornography has exploded beyond just websites to apps and social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr and others, tech companies closely affiliated with church groups are capitalizing on the fears of devout Christians that “porn is the greatest threat to Christian purity and even the moral standard of the nation,” said Samuel Perry, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Oklahoma and author of “Addicted to Lust.”

Banks see Fed payments proposal opening door to fintech rivals
Banking industry pushes for tight rules on companies moving into banking-like services

Prompted by the Federal Reserve’s plan to build an instant payment system, banks are pushing for tight rules on tech firms moving into banking-like services. (iStock)

A plan by the Federal Reserve to build its own network to transfer funds quickly has pitted technology firms seeking a foothold in the financial sector against banks that have traditionally dominated the payments business. 

Tech firms see the new payment system as an opportunity to get into the payments business, and banks, facing a new rival, are pushing for tight rules on companies moving into banking-like services, according to advocates on both sides of the issue.

House Democrats weigh seniority and gender politics in replacing Cummings
Maloney in line to chair Oversight panel, but two men are also on secret ballot

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., has seniority on the Oversight and Reform Committee but must defeat two challengers in a secret vote this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats will confront longtime divisions over gender politics and how much weight to give seniority when they hold a secret vote Wednesday to select a permanent leader for a committee investigating possible ethical violations in President Donald Trump’s administration. 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi elevated the most senior member of the Oversight and Reform Committee, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney of New York, to acting chairwoman after Chairman Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland died last month.