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Eric Lander. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Biden's nomination for Eric Lander to serve as director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, a Cabinet-level position for the first time, has been delayed in part over a senator's questions about Lander's past meetings with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Lander is Biden's only unconfirmed Cabinet nominee. While serving as a professor at Harvard in 2012, Lander met Epstein in what he told BuzzFeed News was "an informal sandwich lunch" to "talk science with various people."

  • Senate Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) wants clarification on Lander's ties to Epstein, who died in an apparent suicide in 2019.
  • Lander told BuzzFeed in 2019 that he "had no relationship with Epstein" and that he learned about the financier's "more sordid history" after the meeting.

What they're saying: A White House spokesperson told Politico, "Dr. Lander briefly met Epstein in spring 2012, at two events with multiple Harvard donors, faculty and others, and he correctly decided to have nothing to do with Epstein."

  • Epstein claimed that his foundation had sponsored Lander's scientific work on one of his websites. A spokesperson for Lander denied the sponsorship, telling the New York Times: "Mr. Epstein appears to have made up lots of things, and this seems to be among them."

What to watch: Lander's confirmation hearing is slated for April 29.

Go deeper

Biden rejects Trump's latest executive privilege claims

Photo: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The White House on Monday rejected two more of former President Trump's claims of executive privilege over documents that the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot requested, CNN first reported.

Why it matters: Trump's legal team is seeking to block some of the panel's requests for records by invoking executive privilege, which can allow presidents and their aides to sidestep congressional scrutiny. The Biden administration has maintained that it will evaluate on a case-by-case basis.

Amazon warehouse workers in New York file petition to hold unionization vote

Amazon workers and their supporters rally outside the National Labor Relations Board's regional office in Brooklyn, New York City, after filing a petition requesting an election to form a union. Photo: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Amazon warehouse workers in New York City filed a petition on Monday with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to hold a vote on unionization.

Why it matters: The move comes six months after an organizing effort was defeated at Amazon's distribution center in Alabama.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

U.S. freezes aid to Sudan over military coup

Protesting the coup in Khartoum. Photo: AFP via Getty

The Biden administration froze a $700 million aid package to Sudan after a military coup on Monday threatened to end the country's transition toward democracy.

Driving the news: At least three protesters have been killed and dozens wounded in the chaotic scenes that followed the announcements from Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan's ruling council, dissolving the government and declaring a state of emergency.