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Trump signs order making classical architecture the preferred style for federal buildings



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President Donald Trump signed an executive order declaring the classical style of architecture as the preferred style for federal buildings in the nation’s capital, a White House official said on Monday, Bloomberg reports.

Instead of outright mandating that all newly constructed federal buildings are built in the classical style, the order states rather simply that they must be “beautiful.”

The other specific architectural styles allowed, as mentioned in an emailed statement from the office of the White House press secretary, are the Neoclassical, Georgian, Federal, Greek Revival, Beaux-Arts, and Art Deco styles. On the other hand, styles akin to brutalism and modernism, which became popular during the mid-20th Century, will not be preferred.

In accordance with the order, a “Council for Improving Federal Civic Architecture” will be created to recommend updates to the General Services Administration’s (GSA) architectural guidelines.

For months, the administration has been drafting this executive order, according to Bloomberg. On top of that, an early version that would have prohibited modernist design triggered a strong rebuke from the American Institute of Architects and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

“Architecture should be designed for the specific communities that it serves, reflecting our rich nation’s diverse places, thought, culture and climates,” the AIA said in a statement. “Architects are committed to honoring our past as well as reflecting our future progress, protecting the freedom of thought and expression that are essential to democracy.”

In spite of this rebuke, the White House official said that polling revealed a vast majority of Americans prefer traditional designs and said some modern structures weren’t easily identifiable as public buildings, according to Bloomberg. New construction should command respect by the general public and not just architectural elites, the official said.

The GSA, before selecting a design, will also be required by the executive order to seek design input from the general public and future staff of federal buildings.

There are some Democrats, though, who have bashed the White House’s measure to enforce a unified and classic architectural design across federal buildings, with Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.) introducing legislation that would prohibit the GSA from blocking modernist designs.

“Imposing a preferred architectural style for federal facilities runs counter to our nation’s democratic traditions,” Titus wrote in a letter to GSA Administrator Emily Murphy. “Attempting to implement this misguided mandate from Washington, D.C., by circumventing Congress and gutting decades of GSA policy and practice without any public notice or hearing is even worse.”

With 30 days until Trump leaves the White House, he and his team have been trying to solidify a legacy that will outlive him. This rather small but consequential executive order will likely impact the way Washington, DC and other places are adorned with grand federal buildings in the coming years.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Hunter Biden Indicted on Federal Gun Charges Amidst Special Counsel Investigation



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In a significant development, Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, was indicted on Thursday on federal gun charges as part of Special Counsel David Weiss’ ongoing investigation. The indictment alleges that Hunter Biden made false statements during the purchase of a firearm, among other charges.

The charges against Hunter Biden include:

• Making a false statement in the purchase of a firearm

• Making a false statement related to information required to be kept by a federal firearms licensed dealer

•Possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance

According to the indictment, the alleged incident occurred on or about October 12, 2018, in the District of Delaware. Hunter Biden is accused of knowingly making a false and fictitious written statement during the acquisition of a Colt Cobra 38SPL Revolver. According to reports from Fox News, the statement, submitted on Form 4473, falsely certified that he was not an unlawful user of, and addicted to, any stimulant, narcotic drug, or controlled substance.

Furthermore, the indictment further states that between October 12, 2018, and October 23, 2018, in the District of Delaware, Hunter Biden knowingly possessed the same firearm despite being an unlawful user of and addicted to controlled substances. This marks the first set of charges brought by Special Counsel David Weiss against Hunter Biden since being granted special counsel status.

The investigation came to public attention when it was reported by Fox News in 2021 that police had responded to an incident in 2018 involving a gun owned by Hunter Biden.

Reports state that, Hallie Biden, the widow of President Biden’s late son, Beau, who was in a relationship with Hunter at the time, discarded the gun. Hunter’s gun was thrown away in a dumpster near a market, located close to a school. It was subsequently revealed that Hunter Biden had purchased a gun earlier that same month.

Hunter Biden’s legal troubles do not end with the gun charges. Earlier in July, an original plea agreement collapsed, which would have seen him plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax counts for willful failure to pay federal income tax, thus avoiding jail time on a felony gun charge. Instead, he pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges and one felony gun charge.

Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed David Weiss as special counsel to oversee the Hunter Biden investigation and related matters. The White House has declined to comment on these developments, which continue to draw significant public and media attention.

Follow Alexander Carter on Twitter @AlexCarterDC for more!

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