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Senate confirms Kristen Clarke to DOJ despite controversy, One Republican votes in her favor

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The Senate confirmed Biden nominee Kristen Clarke Tuesday, making her the Department of Justice’s first Black woman to serve as assistant attorney general for civil rights. This comes after she walked back some of her online attacks of Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh two weeks ago.

Sen. Susan Collins was the only republican to vote in favor of her confirmation.

Before then-Judge Kavanaugh was nominated, Clarke railed against his nomination, saying he would be “dangerous” on the court. Then, called Murkowski “disgraceful” and claimed Manchin’s references to Martin Luther King Jr. were “hollow words” online. Immediately after a news article pointed out her tweets, she set her Twitter account to private.

But now, she’s taken it all back and pledged to do better. “I have used my platform as the leader of a national civil rights organization to bring attention to legal and policy issues that I deem important to achieving equal justice for all,” Clarke said during her hearing. “In retrospect, I regret the tone I occasionally took. I welcome the opportunity, as President Biden and Judge Garland have emphasized, to turn down the volume and lower the temperature.”

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism

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DOJ says FBI informant on Biden had ‘high-level’ contacts with Russian intelligence

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In a memorandum filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada to support Alexander Smirnov’s continued pre-trial detention, the Department of Justice(DOJ) wrote that he claimed to have had “contacts with multiple foreign intelligence agencies…[who] could resettle Smirnov outside the United States if he were released.”

Smirnov, a dual citizen of the United States and Israel, was arrested and charged on Feb. 14 with making false statements to the FBI about Biden’s connections to the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings Limited, which employed his son Hunter Biden as a member of the board with a monthly salary of $50,000 during his term as vice president.

“During his custodial interview on February 14, Smirnov admitted that officials associated with Russian intelligence were involved in passing a story about [Hunter Biden],” wrote special counsel David Weiss in the filing. “Smirnov apparently attended a separate meeting with Russian Official 1, [an] individual who controls groups that are engaged in overseas assassination efforts.”

The Daily Caller News Foundation reports that Smirnov was a confidential human source who provided information that was used to prepare a report, known as an FD-1023, about Joe Biden’s alleged connections to the Burisma business partners of Hunter Biden. That report has previously served as evidence contradictingJoe Biden’s claim that he knew nothing of his son’s business dealings; a notion at the center of an impeachment inquiry against him.

The FD-1023 detailing Smirnov’s claims was released by Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa on July 20, 2023, after it was provided to him by government whistleblowers. “[The] indictment confirms several points Senator Grassley has made repeatedly. The informant behind the FD-1023 was, indeed, a long-serving, trusted FBI source used by the agency for criminal investigations since the Obama administration. In fact, he was so trusted that the FBI provided him authorization ‘to engage in illegal activity for investigative purposes’,” a spokesperson for Grassley told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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