Here are some of the legal news stories making headlines this week:
The debate over gun control took center stage this week in Washington.
- Following the recent massacres in Uvalde, Buffalo, and elsewhere, Democrats in Congress have renewed calls for gun safety legislation. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) has been leading discussions with a group of bipartisan senators, but no deal has been reached yet.
- On Wednesday, the House passed a bill that would, among other things, raise the minimum age to purchase semiautomatic rifles to 21, require safe storage of guns, and ban “ghost guns.” Only five Republicans voted in favor of the initiative, along with all but two Democrats. The measure is likely to fail due to Republican opposition in the Senate.
- Meanwhile, the House Oversight Committee held a hearing on gun violence. In a pre-taped video, Miah Cerillo, an 11-year-old who survived the Uvalde shooting by smearing a dead classmate’s blood on herself, said she no longer feels safe at school, and that she doesn’t “want it to happen again.”
- Also this week, actor Matthew McConaughey delivered an emotional speech at a White House press briefing, in which he called on Congress to enact gun reform legislation. “Responsible gun owners are fed up with the Second Amendment being abused and hijacked by some deranged individuals. These regulations are not a step back – they’re a step forward for a civil society and, and the Second Amendment,” McConaughey, a Uvalde native, said.
There are new developments relating to the January 6th attack at the Capitol.
- Last night, the January 6th Committee held its first public hearing of the year. All major broadcast networks carried the hearing live, except for Fox News, which aired its usual lineup, featuring hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham. The hosts have often downplayed the insurrection — for example, Carlson recently said that January 6th “barely rates as a footnote” in historical events.
- A grand jury recently indicted former Trump White House trade advisor Peter Navarro on two counts of contempt of Congress for failing to comply with a subpoena issued to him by the Committee. Meanwhile, the Department of Justice reportedly decided not to charge Mark Meadows and Dan Scavino, two other former Trump administration officials who also refused to cooperate with the Committee’s investigation. Preet Bharara and Joyce Vance discussed these developments on this week’s episode of CAFE Insider.
- A group of five members of the far-right, extremist group Proud Boys were indicted on seditious conspiracy charges for their role in the attack at the Capitol. Among those indicted was Enrique Tarrio, the group’s former leader.
- Michigan gubernatorial candidate Ryan Kelley was arrested and charged for his conduct on January 6th. Prosecutors charged Kelley with, among other things, violence and disorderly conduct on restricted grounds.
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