Good morning, Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds—we’re all only human, after all.
But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.)
Democrats to Investigate Ivanka Trump’s Private Email Use
A Congressional committee will investigate Ivanka Trump’s use of a private email, following reports that the president’s eldest daughter and White House adviser repeatedly used a personal email account for government work, according to a House Democrat.
U.S. Representative Elijah Cumming, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee who is expected to be chairman in January, said the committee plans to get to the bottom of the Trump’s use of a personal email account, which would likely be a violation of the Presidential and Federal Records Act, which ensures that all official White House communications are preserved in the record, The Huffington Post reports.
“We plan to continue our investigation of the presidential records act and federal records act, and we want to know if Ivanka complied with the law,” Cumming’s office said in a statement.
Cummings said the committee had attempted a bipartisan investigation into several White House officials’ use of private emails for official government work. The White House, according to Cummings, never handed over information that the committee requested.
“We need those documents to ensure that Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, and other officials are complying with federal records laws and there is a complete record of the activities of this Administration,” Cummings said.
According to Reuters, current House Oversight Committee Chairman, Republican Trey Gowdy, asked the White House in a letter Tuesday for information related to Trump’s use of a personal email. Republican Senator Ron Johnson, chairman of the Senate’s Homeland Security Committee, asked for a briefing on the matter.
Cummings said he wants to “prevent this from happening again ― not to turn this into a spectacle the way Republicans went after Hillary Clinton.”
“My main priority as Chairman will be to focus on the issues that impact Americans in their everyday lives,” he added.
President Donald Trump has said his daughter’s use of her personal email account was different from Clinton’s.
“For a little period of time, Ivanka did some emails. They weren’t classified like Hillary Clinton. They weren’t deleted like Hillary Clinton ... She wasn’t doing anything to hide her emails,” Trump told reporters.
Democrats Want to Lift Ban on Religious Headwear in Congress
As Democrats prepare to take control of the House of Representatives in January, and welcome the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, Democrats have proposed a clarification to an old House rule to allow representatives to wear religious headwear while in Congress.
Congress, according to Time, banned hats on the House floor back in 1837, when only white men were serving in Congress. The rule states that “every member shall remain uncovered during the sessions of the House,” and could possibly be interpreted to prohibit members of Congress from wearing religious headwear, like hijabs and kippahs.
Representative-elect Ilhan Omar (D-MN), one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, wears a headscarf for religious reasons. She was born in Somalia and came to the United States as a refugee.
But now House Democrats are working to clarify the hat ban to allow for religious headwear to be worn on the floor. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, ranking Democrat on the Rules Committee Rep. Jim McGovern and Omar have co-authored a rule to lift the ban, Hello Giggles reports. The proposed rule promises to “ensure religious expression” by “clarify[ing] in the rules that religious headwear is permitted to be worn in the House chamber.”
The rule would take effect in January if passed.
On November 19th, Omar shared a picture of the Time article about the proposed rule, adding a powerful message about religious freedom in the caption.
“No one puts a scarf on my head but me,” Omar wrote. “It’s my choice—one protected by the first amendment. And this is not the last ban I'm going to work to lift.”
The rule change is a part of Democrat’s broader promise to “restore inclusion and diversity” in the House. According to Time, Democrats have also proposed changes to House rules to explicitly ban LGBTQ+ discrimination and to create an independent office to promote diversity among staff hired in the House.
Women’s March Founder Calls for Co-Chairs to Resign
The founder of the Women’s March, Teresa Shook, is calling for the movement’s four co-chairs ― Linda Sarsour, Carmen Perez, Tamika Mallory and Bob Bland ― to resign for allowing “anti-Semitism, anti-LBGTQIA sentiment and hateful, racist rhetoric” to become a part of the platform.
“I have waited, hoping they would right the ship. But they have not,” Shook wrote. “In opposition to our Unity Principles, they have allowed anti-Semitism, anti-LBGTQIA sentiment and hateful, racist rhetoric to become a part of the platform by their refusal to separate themselves from groups that espouse these racist, hateful beliefs.”
“I call for the current Co-Chairs to step down and to let others lead who can restore faith in the Movement and its original intent,” Shook added. “I stand in Solidarity with all the Sister March Organizations, to bring the Movement back to its authentic purpose.”
According to The Huffington Post, the organization came under fire this year when Mallory attended an event hosted by Louis Farrakhan, who is the leader of the religious group the Nation of Islam and has been known for making anti-Semitic and anti-gay comments. Farrakhan reportedly said in his speech at that event that “the powerful Jews” are his “enemy.” Mallory had posted a photo and video of herself at the event to Instagram, and praised Farrakhan.
News outlets had also reported that Sarsour and Perez had ties to Farrakhan.
In a response to Shook, the Women’s March leaders wrote in a post on the organization’s Facebook page, “Today, Teresa Shook weighed in, irresponsibly, as have other organizations attempting in this moment to take advantage of our growing pains to try and fracture our network. Groups that have benefited from our work but refuse to organize in accordance with our Unity Principles clearly have no interest in building the world our principles envision. They have not done the work to mobilize women from diverse backgrounds across the nation.”
“We are imperfect. We don’t know everything and we have caused harm. At times we have responded with hurt. But we are committed to learning,” the post continued. “... We are grateful for people who HAVE been with us for the past two years, wrestling with the challenges and opportunities of what we are trying to build. Our ongoing work speaks for itself. That’s our focus, not armchair critiques from those who want to take credit for our labor.”
According to CNN, the Women’s March released a statement emphasizing that Farrakhan’s comments are “not aligned with the Women's March Unity Principles” and that “our external silence has been because we are holding these conversations and are trying to intentionally break the cycles that pit our communities against each other.”
In a separate essay published Monday, Sarsour wrote that Shook called for the Women’s March to denounce Farrakhan because of the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh last month, HuffPost reports.
“The horrific tree of life shooting happened that took the life of 11 innocent Jewish Americans and all of a sudden Women’s March was being asked to condemn the Minister Farrakhan,” Sarsour wrote in her essay. “There was nothing new that happened between Women’s March and the Minister. Folks decided to rehash 8 months ago.”
Sarsour reiterated that the Women’s March rejects anti-Semitism and racism, writing, “We have been CLEAR that Minister Farrakhan has said hateful and hurtful things and that he does not align with our Unity Principles of the Women’s March that were created by Women of Color.”