Feb 15, 2018

DOJ doesn't have a Violence Against Women director

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

There's no director leading the Office on Violence Against Women in the Department of Justice, a position that "is supposed to be the administration’s leading voice on domestic and sexual violence, both nationally and internationally," WashPost reports.

Why it matters: Rob Porter is one of two administration members to resign in one week over allegations of domestic abuse and the White House has been criticized over how it handled this news. This DOJ position would have the power to enhance and support programs to help women who are victims of assault.

This looks especially bad considering my colleague Jonathan Swan's reporting last week: “Trump tells friends that he deplores the #MeToo movement and believes it unfairly exposes CEOs to lawsuits from their female employees. The fact that women frequently face sexual predation in the workplace doesn’t impact his view on this.”

  • But there hasn’t been a Senate-confirmed director for this office since 2012.
  • Cindy Dyer, who was the Violence Against Women director during George W. Bush's second term, told the Post that it would be "a powerful statement" for Trump to nominate someone right now: “It’s perfect timing, and it’s an opportunity to make a statement that violence affects us all and we’re not going to stand for it.”

A White House spokesperson told WashPost that the person considered for this position “is currently in the clearance process and will be announced when the process is completed.” Until then, Katie Sullivan, a former deputy district attorney in Colorado, will be the acting director.

Go deeper with the Washington Post's database of Trump's missing positions.

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Stocks fall 4% as sell-off worsens

A trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

Stocks fell more than 4% on Thursday, extending the market’s worst week since the financial crisis in 2008 following a spike in coronavirus cases around the world.

The big picture: All three indices closed in correction territory on Thursday, down over 10% from their recent record-highs amid a global market rout.

Coronavirus updates: California monitors 8,400 potential cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

33 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus, and health officials are monitoring 8,400 people who have recently returned from "points of concern," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,800 people and infected over 82,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 58 mins ago - Health

Watchdog opens probe into VA secretary over handling of sexual assault claim

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie on Fox Business Network’s "The Evening Edit" on Jan. 7. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

The Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General Michael Missal said Thursday he had opened an investigation into VA Secretary Robert Wilkie after lawmakers demanded an inquiry into his handling of a sexual misconduct report, the Washington Post reports.

Context: Wilkie allegedly "worked to discredit" the credibility of Democratic aide and veteran Andrea Goldstein after she reported last fall "that a man groped and propositioned her in the main lobby of the agency's D.C. Medical Center," a senior VA official told the Post.