The Daily Muck

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Embattled Rep. Charlie Rangel will not step down as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Rangel’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, said Tuesday that Speaker Nancy Pelosi supports Rangel’s decision to keep the position. Rangel has been taking increasing fire over items not reported on his financial disclosure forms. (New York Times)

FBI Director Robert Mueller testified to the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday that the new proposed rules for FBI national security investigations would help protect Americans from terrorists. Many of the Democrats on the committee were dubious of the new guidelines, saying that they do not trust the FBI or the Department of Justice to protect civil liberties and privacy rights. Mueller returns to Congress today, this time to the Senate Judiciary Committee. (AP)

A scientist who had assisted in the government’s investigation of the 2001 anthrax mailings, told the Los Angeles Times yesterday, that he made an “honest mistake” in classifying the anthrax he examined as weaponized. Peter Jahrling’s statement came shortly after FBI Director Robert Mueller said in a hearing yesterday (see above) that the National Academy of Sciences would be overseeing the review of the FBI’s findings that another scientist, Bruce Ivins was behind the anthrax attacks. (Los Angeles Times)A Canadian detainee at Guantanamo Bay will not be tried for war crimes until November 10, after both the U.S. and Canadian elections. The detainee, Omar Khadr, is accused of killing a U.S. commando with a hand grenade in Afghanistan when he was 15. Khadr, who is now 21, has been at Guantanamo since he was 16. (Miami Herald)

A group of lawyers have come together to request that the Virginia State Bar conduct an ethics investigation of Monica Goodling. Goodling, a former Justice Department official, was recently implicated in an Office of the Inspector General report of breaking the law by politicizing the Justice Department. The lawyer who wrote the request claimed he was concerned about Goodling’s conduct. (ABA Journal)

A group of Democratic congressmen led by House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) came out today criticizing Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour’s voting rights conduct. The congressmen allege that Barbour is violating state law in addition to the Voting Rights Act by placing the state’s close senate election at the bottom of the ballot. In a statement, the congressmen said that these “dirty tricks . . .simply cannot be tolerated.” (House Judiciary Committee)

Despite increased efforts to move detainees from Guatanamo to their home countries, U.S. officials do not think they will be able to close the facility this year, leaving the decision to the next administration. Even with a growing desire to close the facility, officials say there are too many practical and legal issues in the mix. There are currently 225 detainees at Guantanamo, and many of them cannot be easily charged or returned to their turmoil ridden home countries. (Reuters)