The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has launched an investigation into whether the Trump administration is failing to protect civil rights, amid steep cuts to budgets and staffing levels across the federal government. In a statement, commissioners said, “These proposed cuts would result in a dangerous reduction of civil rights enforcement across the country, leaving communities of color, LGBT people, older people, people with disabilities, and other marginalized groups exposed to greater risk of discrimination.” The probe came as the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights said it has ended an investigation into the case of a transgender Ohio student who says she was harassed at school and barred from using from the girls’ bathroom. Meanwhile, BuzzFeed is reporting the Commerce Department has removed any mention of gender identity and sexual orientation from its equal opportunity employment statement on the department’s website.
In the United States, one of Donald Trump’s personal attorneys insisted Sunday that the president is not under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller as part of an investigation into alleged Russian meddling in November’s election. The comments by the lawyer, Jay Sekulow, directly contradict President Trump’s tweet Friday, which read, “I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt.” Sekulow made the rounds on Sunday morning’s talk shows to deny that Trump is under investigation, but during a heated exchange with Fox News host Chris Wallace, Sekulow contradicted his own denials.
Jay Sekulow: “So he’s being investigated for taking the action that the attorney general and deputy attorney general recommended him to take by the agency who recommended the termination. So that’s the constitutional threshold question here. That’s why, as I said, no investigation”—
Chris Wallace: “Well, I—what—what—what’s the question? I mean, you stated—you stated some facts. First of all, you have now said that he is being investigated, after saying that you didn’t.”
Jay Sekulow: “No.”
Chris Wallace: “You—you just said, sir, that he’s being”—
Jay Sekulow: “No, he’s not being investigated!”
Chris Wallace: “You just said that he’s being investigated.”