Nov 7, 2019

Trump judicial nominee aided in illegal debt relief effort under DeVos

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Steven Menashi, an appeals court nominee up for a confirmation vote on Thursday, aided in an illegal loan forgiveness effort by the Department of Education, according to a memo obtained by the New York Times.

What we know: Menashi helped craft the plan while serving as acting general counsel under Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. The effort sought to use private Social Security earnings data to deny debt relief to individuals that had been scammed by for-profit colleges. The strategy was axed by a federal judge who ruled that it violated privacy laws.

  • The plan targeted 30,000 students who had attended the for-profit chain Corinthian Colleges, which misled students and ultimately collapsed. Attendees were left with mounting debt and worthless degrees.
  • After the judge's ruling, DeVos herself was held in contempt of court and hit with a $100,000 fine over the plan's implementation.

What they're saying: Menashi has said throughout his confirmation process that he was involved in "all aspects" of the department's operations, but he has declined to comment on the specifics of individual efforts.

  • Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), has already said she would oppose Menashi's confirmation, while Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) has expressed reservations as well.

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Updated 15 mins ago - Politics & Policy

George Floyd protests: What you need to know

Police block protesters at a rally on May 30 outside the state house on the fourth straight day of demonstrations against the death of George Floyd. Photo: Megan Jelinger/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black men spread across the U.S. Saturday, amid tense standoffs with police in several cities.

The big picture: Floyd's fatal run-in with police is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.

U.S. cities crack down on protests against police brutality

Photo: Megan Jelinger/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Major U.S. cities have implemented curfews and called on National Guard to mobilize as thousands of demonstrators gather across the nation to continue protesting the death of George Floyd.

The state of play: Hundreds have already been arrested as tensions continue to rise between protesters and local governments. Protesters are setting police cars on fire as freeways remain blocked and windows are shattered, per the Washington Post. Law enforcement officials are using tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse crowds and send protesters home.

Trump to invite Russia and other non-member G7 countries to summit

President Trump at Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Saturday. Photo: Saul Martinez/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters on Saturday evening he would postpone the G7 summit to September and expand the meeting to more nations that are not members of the Group of 7.

Details: Trump said he would invite Russia, South Korea, Australia and India to the summit, according to a pool report. "I don’t feel that as a G7 it properly represents what’s going on in the world. It’s a very outdated group of countries," he said.