Biden calls for Putin to face war crimes trial
As horrifying details of atrocities committed by Russian forces in Ukraine continue to emerge, Joe Biden has reiterated his view that Vladimir Putin is a criminal war – and has suggested he should face legal consequences for what his military is doing.
Speaking to reporters in Washington as he disembarked Marine One, Mr Biden said: “You remember I got criticized for calling Putin a war criminal. Well, the truth of the matter – you saw what happened in Bucha – he is a war criminal… We have to get all the details so that this can be, so we can actually have a war crimes trial. This guy is brutal, and what’s happening in Bucha is outrageous.”
On Capitol Hill, the Senate Judiciary Committee ended its vote for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court in a deadlock after Republicans responded to criticism they were too harsh in their questioning. Nevertheless, Ms Jackson looks set to become the first Black woman to sit on the court.
The tied vote by the committee does not stop the nomination from proceeding to the Senate floor, where Ms Jackson appears to already have the support of 51 senators.
ICYMI: Biden on Putin’s war crimes
Joe Biden upped the ante yesterday with impromptu remarks to a reporter reflecting on the Russian military’s atrocities in Bucha, a town near Kyiv.
“You may remember I got criticized for calling Putin a war criminal,” the president said. “Well, the truth of the matter – we saw it happen in Bucha – this warrants him – he is a war criminal.
“But we have to gather the information. We have to continue to provide Ukraine with the weapons they need to continue to fight and we have to get all the detail so this could be – actual have a war crimes trial. This guy is brutal and what’s happening in Bucha is outrageous and everyone’s seen it.”
Below, you can read a dispatch from Bucha by The Independent‘s correspondent Kim Sengupta.
Andrew Naughtie5 April 2022 12:05
Jen Psaki on Barack Obama and Joe Biden’s friendship
Ahead of Barack Obama’s visit to the White House for an event celebrating the impact of the Affordable Care Act, Jen Psaki described the two presidents’ relationship as a genuine friendship, not just the kind of superficial friendship that’s a feature of life in US politics.
More on today’s public meeting below:
Andrew Naughtie5 April 2022 11:29
Pentagon spokesman shares horror at Bucha atrocities
John Kirby, the press secretary for the Pentagon, appeared on MSNBC last night to discuss the events that have come to light in the Ukrainian town of Bucha, where Russian soldiers have brutalized, raped and murdered scores of civilians.
Andrew Naughtie5 April 2022 10:46
Watch: Lindsey Graham threatens Democrats over future Supreme Court nominations
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham spent Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination hearings in a foul mood, and he showed the same irascibility at the committee vote on her nomination yesterday.
Among his various recriminations, most of which had little if anything to do with the judge herself, was an implicit threat to block almost by default any nominee put forward by the Democratic president if and when Republicans control the Senate.
This is what Lisa Murkowski worried about in her endorsement of the judge before her full Senate vote. “We are to that point where it’s almost automatic: If it is a president who is not of my party puts forth a nominee, I am somehow obligated to just barely even give consideration, not just before the name is named,” she said.
“This is an awful process, it’s just awful.”
Watch the clip of Mr Graham’s remarks below.
Andrew Naughtie5 April 2022 09:43
White House says Russian atrocities part of Putin’s ‘plan
‘White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan on Monday said the atrocities committed by Russian forces in Bucha and other cities of Ukraine are part of a deliberate plan to inflict terror on civilians.
Speaking at Monday’s daily White House press briefing, Mr Sullivan said the brutality of Russian forces was what “Russia was intending” for Ukraine “as a matter of policy”. of a particular individual — we believe that this was part of the plan,” he said.
Andrew Naughtie5 April 2022 09:03
Zelenskyy to address United Nations amid outrage over civilian deaths
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky is likely to address UN Security Council diplomats, outraged by growing evidence that Russian forces deliberately killed civilians, after US president Joe Biden said Vladimir Putin should be tried for war crimes.
The withdrawal of Russian troops from towns around Ukraine’s capital revealed corpses on streets, which had led to calls for tougher sanctions against the Kremlin, especially a cutoff of fuel imports from Russia.
Germany and France reacted by expelling dozens of Russian diplomats, suggesting they were spies.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar5 April 2022 08:17
Cory Booker on why he felt the need to speak up for Ketanji Brown Jackson
Senator Cory Booker defended judge Ketanji Brown Jackson after multiple Republican Senators, including Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri, assailed her record on sentencing people charged with possessing child sex abuse images.
“Why didn’t you vote against every one of those Republican judges who was not following the guidelines, as most don’t?” he asked in response to Mr Hawley, who had questioned Ms Jackson before him.
After the hearing, Mr Booker told The Independent why he spoke up for her record. “She didn’t need me to defend her record,” he said.
“She could have had a committee of 22 Josh Hawleys and she would have still persevered. She she’s extraordinary. I felt a need to speak to her dela record which, was a lot of folks felt was being disrespected or overlooked at a time that it should be and really given the honor and due that it deserves.”
Eric Garcia reports from Capitol Hill.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar5 April 2022 07:43
ICYMI | White House condemns ‘hateful’ anti-LGBT+ bills
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Friday said the “Don’t Say Gay” law reflects “misinformed, hateful policies that do absolutely nothing to address the real issues”.
Ms Psaki responded to a series of questions from Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy, who asked whether Joe Biden’s administration believes it is “fair” that “biological males are competing against women” in university sports, and “at what age does the White House think that students should be taught about sexual orientation or gender identity”.
“Parents across the country are looking to national, state and district leaders to support our nation’s students, to ensure that kids are treated in schools, and this is not a reflection of that,” she said.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar5 April 2022 06:44
Bidens to host granddaughter’s reception at White HousePresident Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will host their granddaughter’s wedding reception at the White House in November.
Naomi Biden, 28, got engaged to Peter Neal, 24, in September 2021 near his family home in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
She is the eldest of the Biden grandchildren and is the daughter of Hunter Biden and Kathleen Buhle.
Oliver O’Connell has more.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar5 April 2022 05:58
White House says Russian atrocities part of Putin’s ‘plan’ for Ukraine
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan on Monday said the atrocities committed by Russian forces in Bucha, Ukraine and other parts of the country part of a deliberate plan to inflict terror on civilians.
Earlier on Monday, President Joe Biden said revelations of Russian attacks on civilians, including execution-style killings of bound captives, justifies his earlier decision to refer to Russian president Vladimir Putin as a “criminal war”.
“The truth of the matter – we saw it happen in Bucha – this warrants him – he is a war criminal,” said Mr Biden, who added that the Russian dictator “should be held accountable”.
Andrew Feinberg reports from Washington, DC.
Oliver O’Connell5 April 2022 05:30