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Hillary Clinton Responds to Email Controversy

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Hillary Clinton addressed concerns Wednesday about her use of a personal email account during her term as secretary of state, expressing a desire to release her emails. But a State Department spokesperson told ABC News it will be "several months" before the emails are released, because the department will need time to review the emails and remove sensitive and personal information.

“I want the public to see my email. I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible,” Clinton wrote on Twitter.

I want the public to see my email. I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible.

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 5, 2015

State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf, in a statement that followed Clinton's tweet, said the department is focused on reviewing Clinton's emails.

"The State Department will review for public release the emails provided by Secretary Clinton to the Department, using a normal process that guides such releases. We will undertake this review as quickly as possible; given the sheer volume of the document set, this review will take some time to complete," the statement reads.

Clinton’s team submitted 55,000 pages of emails to the State Department -- but an unknown number of emails that do not pertain to work will not be turned over, a Clinton aide told ABC News.

The storage of Clinton’s emails has come under scrutiny after a New York Times report revealed that she used a personal, non-governmental email address to conduct official business as secretary of state.

Clinton used only one email address during her tenure, her attorney David Kendall wrote in an email to the House Select Committee, which is tasked with investigating the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi. The committee sent subpoenas to the State Department Wednesday requesting all of Clinton's communications related to Libya.

“The Select Committee on Benghazi today issued subpoenas for all communications of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton related to Libya and to the State Department for other individuals who have information pertinent to the investigation,” Jamal Ware, communications director for the committee, wrote in a statement. “The Committee also has issued preservation letters to internet firms informing them of their legal obligation to protect all relevant documents.”

The email account that Clinton used while working at the State Department was and was traced to a server based out of Chappaqua, where she and former President Bill Clinton have a home, ABC News confirmed.

ABC News also learned that another email domain,, which used the former president's initials as their descriptor, was also based out of Chappaqua. That domain was registered by an individual called Eric Hoteham, the same name used to register the domain.

Clinton has yet to explain why she used her own server and personal email, instead of a State Department email address to comply with federal record-keeping requirements.

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Senate Fails to Override Keystone Veto

Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. Senate could not muster up enough votes Wednesday to put the Keystone XL pipeline back in play.

The bill on reconsideration failed to pass with a vote of 62 to 57, with eight Senate Democrats voting in favor of overriding the presidential veto.

The vote required support of two-thirds of the Senate to pass.

The legislation would have authorized construction of an $8 billion pipeline to transport oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast.  

President Obama said the State Department is still conducting its review of whether the pipeline is in the national interest.

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Defense Sec. Carter, Gen. Dempsey Update Congress on ISIS, Sequestration Cuts

DoD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Sean Hurt (WASHINGTON) -- During a second day of Department of Defense budget hearings, Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Gen. Martin Dempsey took questions on the situation in Iraq and Iran’s role in the Tikrit offensive.

Both said on Wednesday they want to ensure that Iraq’s government gets the message that there can’t be a return to the sectarianism that led to ISIS’s resurgence.   

“Sectarianism is one of the things that concerns me very much,” said Carter.  “And of course, it's the root of the Iranian presence in Iraq.” Carter said the hope is that an inclusive Iraqi government will promote stability and “the fastest route to the defeat of ISIL.”  

House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-NJ, sounded skeptical, cautioning, “Hope is not a plan.”

With regards to the AUMF, Carter explained that its three-year duration is due to the political cycle and was not a military requirement.

“I think it has to do with the political calendar in our country,” said Carter.  “I wouldn't assure anyone that this will be over in three years or that the campaign will be completed in three years. The three years comes from the fact that there'll be a presidential election in two years and so forth, and I respect that. That's not a military or a defense consideration, but I respect it as a constitutional consideration.”

Both Carter and Dempsey repeated the line that they’ll recommend potential changes to the ISIS strategy if it’s needed down the road, which could include the addition of U.S. ground troops.   

“If the commander on the ground approaches either me or the secretary of defense and believes that the introduction of special operations forces to accompany Iraqis or the new Syrian forces, or JTACS, these skilled folks who can call in close air support, if we believe that's necessary to achieve our objectives, we will make that recommendation,” Dempsey said.  

Dempsey added those possibilities are allowed by the AUMF request.

When contacted for comment on if the U.S. might someday consider sending some U.S. troops to Syria, his spokesman said Dempsey was speaking about a hypothetical and that “there is no consideration of sending U.S. troops into Syria beyond personnel recovery/combat rescue forces if necessary as the air campaign continues. ”

Dempsey noted the presence of Iranians in the Tikrit offensive and that it’s being watched carefully. He said Sunni politicians in Baghdad and Tikrit support the offensive because it’s targeting ISIS, but “if this becomes an excuse to ethnic cleanse then our campaign has a problem and we’re going to have to adjust our campaign.”

Since it was a budget hearing, Carter urged Congress to prevent another round of mandated sequestration cuts that would kick in later this year.   If the cuts continue over the next few years he warned they would change the size and shape of the military but would also significantly affect the ability to carry out the national defense strategy.

“We cannot meet sequester with further half-measures,” said Carter.

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Congressional Black Caucus Works to Find Positive Aspects of AG's Ferguson Report

RedTackArts/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Members of the Congressional Black Caucus decried the Department of Justice’s decision not to charge Darren Wilson with a crime related to the death of Michael Brown last summer in Ferguson, Missouri, but praised the overall assessment of the Attorney General’s report, which found a pattern and practice of discriminatory policing.

“The far-reaching report announced today represents an important path forward towards achieving equal justice under the law in Ferguson, Missouri and repairing some of the deep divisions and very real disparity in local law enforcement, which that community has endured for far too long,” Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., the chairman of the CBC, said during a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

Rep. William Lacy Clay, the Democratic congressman who represents Ferguson, also tried to highlight the positive aspects of the report, but added his disappointment over the DOJ’s decision not to charge Wilson.

“While I’m extremely disappointed that Mike Brown’s killer will not face criminal charges, his death has forced our nation to begin a long-overdue conversation on race and the disparities it continues to perpetuate for too many Americans,” Clay, D-Missouri, said.

“We know that there was a miscarriage of justice at the local level on the part of the St. Louis County prosecutor,” Clay added. “The way the case was presented to the grand jury, the fault of the grand jury system. All of that came into play in this case, and it’s unfortunate.”

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Privacy Trumps Security in Clinton’s Choice to Use Personal Email Server, Expert Says

Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The storage of Hillary Clinton's emails while she was in office has come under scrutiny since it was revealed that she used a personal, non-governmental email address to conduct official business as secretary of state, but a tech expert says the biggest benefit of using a personal server to store an individual email domain is "complete control" over what can be stored and deleted.

"Basically you can decide what gets preserved and what doesn’t," information technology consultant Bruce Webster told ABC News. "You have direct immediate monitoring what’s going on and part of it is just you don’t want anyone else looking at what’s been deleted and where and what’s coming in."

Clinton is not the only likely 2016 presidential candidate who purposefully used a private server to host their government emails.

ABC News can confirm that Jeb Bush used a personal server while he was governor of Florida. According to an aide, it was housed in the governor’s office.

"Governor Bush’s office complied with public records laws throughout his administration and beyond," spokesperson Kristy Campbell told ABC News. "His emails have been available via public records requests to the state following his time as Governor and a set resides with the Florida Department of State for historic and archival value."

In theory, there is no way of knowing whether every email that was originally on a personal server has been transferred over to a different server because personal servers can be wiped clean without any secondary trace of a message. But, in the case of Bush he released those emails not only to the Florida Department of State, but also to the public earlier this year. Florida has expansive open records laws and this release is required. ABC News was able to obtain copies of his emails at the end of last year due to the state’s open records law.

With a private server, "Nothing is ever stored one else has any other copy of it," Webster told ABC News.

Webster said that having a personal server is an extreme and rare step that does not inherently make it more secure and people who take this step often hire someone to manage it.

"It’s the sort of thing hardcore computer geeks tend to do," Webster said.

On Wednesday Clinton’s attorney David Kendall sent an email to the House Select Committee tasked with investigating the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, confirming that in spite of claims made by a Republican congressman, Clinton used only one email address during her tenure and the reason she changed it was because it was publicly released on a news site in 2013.

“Secretary Clinton used one email account when corresponding with anyone, from Department officials to friends to family,” Kendall said in his email.

The email account that Clinton used while working at the State Department, according to The AP, was, and was traced to a server based out of Chappaqua, where she and former President Bill Clinton have a home.

ABC News can confirm that another email domain,, which used the former president's initials as their descriptor, was also based out of Chappaqua.

Internet records obtained by ABC News show that second domain,, was registered by an individual called Eric Hoteham. The AP reports that the same name was used to register the domain.

Efforts to locate public records related to anyone named Eric Hoteham, however, were unsuccessful, in a search that included donor records, birth records, or property records.

There is, however, an Eric Hothem who is named as a Clinton aide in a Washington Post article from 2001. At the time, he reportedly dismissed concerns from the White House chief usher who believed that, when leaving the White House at the end of Clinton's second term, the couple took pieces of furniture that should have remained in the White House. Hothem is also thanked in Clinton’s 2003 memoir Living History. An Eric Hothem who works at JPMorgan did not answer requests for comment Wednesday and JPMorgan had “no comment” when asked about the story.

On Wednesday evening, Clinton, along with her husband and their daughter Chelsea, will be celebrating at the Clinton Foundation’s annual gala in New York City. The musical guest is Carole King, and Neil Patrick Harris will also appear. Tickets range from $2,500 all the way up to $100,000 for “event chairs,” but it is closed to the press.

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House Select Committee on Benghazi Seeks All of Hillary Clinton’s Private Emails

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- After news spread that Hillary Clinton relied exclusively on a personal email account while she served as secretary of state, the House Select Committee on Benghazi has sent subpoenas to the State Department Wednesday explicitly requesting all of her communications related to Libya.

“The Select Committee on Benghazi today (Wednesday) issued subpoenas for all communications of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton related to Libya and to the State Department for other individuals who have information pertinent to the investigation,” Jamal Ware, communications director for the committee, wrote in a statement. “The Committee also has issued preservation letters to internet firms informing them of their legal obligation to protect all relevant documents.”

The documents are the latest request from Rep. Trey Gowdy, the chairman of the committee, as his investigation into the deadly attack continues.

“You do not need a law degree to have an understanding of how troubling this is,” Gowdy told reporters. “There are chain of custody issues, there are preservation of materials and documents issues...there are best evidence issues, in addition to asking about archives and what safeguards may have been in place to protect this information."

While Gowdy stressed that Clinton had “more than one” private email account that she used during her tenure at the State Department, her lawyer wrote the committee today hoping to clear up any misconception.

“Secretary Clinton used one email account when corresponding with anyone, from Department officials to friends to family,” Clinton’s attorney David E. Kendall wrote in an email to the committee. "A month after she left the Department, Gawker published her email address and so she changed the address on her account. At the time, the emails were provided to the Department last year this new address appeared on the copies as the ‘sender,’ and not the address she used as Secretary. This address on the account did not exist until March 2103 [sic], after her tenure as Secretary.”

Nevertheless, Ware maintained that “the Select Committee on Benghazi is in possession of records with two separate and distinct email addresses used by former Secretary Clinton and dated during the time she was Secretary of State.”

"Without access to the relevant electronic information and stored data on the server -- which was reportedly registered to her home -- there is no way the Committee, or anyone else, can fully explain why the Committee uncovered two email addresses,” Ware said in a statement. “As Chairman Gowdy has noted, this is why former Secretary Clinton’s exclusive use of personal emails to conduct official U.S. government business is so problematic and raises significant issues for transparency. The American people have a right to a full accounting of all the former Secretary’s emails, and the Committee is committed to working to uncover all the facts.”

Gowdy said the committee discovered the existence of Clinton’s personal email accounts after obtaining documents late last summer that had not been previously produced to any committee investigating the deadly terrorist attack.

"The fact is the State Department cannot certify they have produced all of former Secretary Clinton’s emails because they do not have all of former Secretary Clinton’s emails, nor do they control access to them,” Gowdy said. “The State Department is relying on Secretary Clinton herself and her attorneys and advisors to tell us and to tell you what emails they think are to be preserved.”

Asked whether he still intends to call on Clinton to testify at the committee, Gowdy suggested the emails will lead to an invitation for the former secretary of state to sit down behind closed doors with committee investigators.

“This revelation, which we’ve known about which has now been made public, may well lay the groundwork for additional conversations with the secretary in some setting or another,” he said.

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Lawmakers Push Capitol Police to Grant Freedom to Capitol Hill Sledders

hroe/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Powdery snow after a big snowfall begs for a good sledding outing -- but on Capitol Hill, sledding is a giant no-no.

However, a few lawmakers are pushing the Capitol Police Board to lift its ban on sledding for the next four days as a major snowstorm moves into the Washington, D.C. area.

“This could be the last snowstorm the D.C. area gets this winter, and may be one of the best for sledding in years,” Washington, D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton wrote in a letter to U.S. Capitol Police Board Chair Frank Larkin. “Children and their parents should able to enjoy sledding on one of the best hills in the city. This is a one-time waiver that will allow D.C. kids to sled while we await a more formal review of the ban, which will likely come after the last snow has fallen in our region.”

“Have a heart, Mr. Larkin, a kid’s heart that is,” she added.

Norton has asked the board to grant a temporary waiver to allow sledding on the Capitol Grounds from Thursday through Sunday, and wants a review of the entire policy to follow.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who worked as a Capitol Police Officer while attending law school at Georgetown, echoed the sentiment.


Co-sign RT @EleanorNorton: I just wrote to U.S. Capitol Police requesting a waiver of the sledding ban for Thur-Sun:

— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) March 4, 2015


The Capitol Police Board Code of Traffic Regulations for the United States Capitol Grounds outlines the rules for traffic activities on Capitol Hill -- including snow-related activities. It specifically says all forms of sledding are off-limits.

“No person shall coast or slide a sled within Capitol Grounds,” the regulations read.

What about snowmobiling?  That’s only allowed if on a “street closed by the Capitol Police Board to motor vehicular traffic due to conditions of ice or snow.”

And skiing?

That’s banned too unless you’re using “cross-country skis or snowshoes as a means for transportation.”

The Capitol Police is responsible for enforcing the regulations, which they expect to do on Thursday.

“The USCP will continue to work with the Capitol Police Board to ensure the safety and security of the Capitol Campus,” Capitol Police Lieutenant Kimberly Schneider said.

Earlier this year, a few snow enthusiasts were able to sneak in a quick sled down the hill of the Capitol Grounds, so stay tuned for potential sledding mischief in the next few days -- ban or no ban.

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Ben Carson Has Found Himself in Hot Water These Five Times

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Just two days after launching his exploratory committee, potential Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson found himself in hot water for arguing on CNN that prison proves homosexuality is “absolutely” a choice.

"Because a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight -- and when they come out, they're gay. So, did something happen while they were in there?” the retired neurosurgeon said Wednesday morning. “Ask yourself that question.”

Carson’s comments sparked outrage from the Human Rights Campaign.

"Ben Carson is putting his own personal ambition ahead of medical science by suggesting that a person can change their sexual orientation,” HRC’s Vice President of Communications Fred Sainz said in a statement on Wednesday. “As a doctor, Carson surely knows that countless mental health and medical organizations have condemned the idea that you can change a person’s sexual orientation.

“The only thing that’s really been proven here is that when Ben Carson says what he really thinks, he reveals himself as utterly unfit for office.”

This is not the first time Carson has found his name in a headline next to the word “controversial.”

Scrutiny of his past comments has led Carson to clarify his statements more than once.


Carson’s views on homosexuality have sparked outrage before.

“Marriage is between a man and a woman, it’s a well-established fundamental pillar of society,” Carson said in an interview with FOX News’ Sean Hannity in 2013. “No group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA [North American Man-Boy Love Association], be they people who believe in bestiality, it doesn’t matter what they are. They don’t get to change the definition.”

“It’s not something that’s against gays, it’s against anybody who wants to come along and change the fundamental definitions of pillars of society,” he added.

Enraged by Carson’s comparison of homosexuality with bestiality and pedophilia, students at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine petitioned the school to jettison him as their commencement speaker.

Carson, who was director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, voluntarily stepped down as commencement speaker and apologized for his comments, saying in a letter to the dean, “My poorly chosen words caused pain for some members of our community and for that I offer a most sincere and heartfelt apology...Although I do believe marriage is between a man and a woman, there are much less offensive ways to make that point.”


At the RNC winter meeting earlier this year, Carson made what some saw as an inappropriate comparison between ISIS and America’s Revolutionary War heroes.

"A bunch of rag-tag militiamen defeated the most powerful and professional military force on the planet. Why? Because they believed in what they were doing. They were willing to die for what they believed in," Carson, 63, said, according to NBC News. "Fast forward to today. What do we have? You've got ISIS. They've got the wrong philosophy, but they're willing to die for it while we are busily giving away every belief and every value for the sake of political correctness. We have to change that."

In an interview with FOX News' Bill O’Reilly, Carson reiterated that he was “not saying that as a comparison between our patriots and ISIS.”


A fierce opponent of the Affordable Care Act, Carson made headlines back in 2013 for equating Obamacare to slavery.

“I have to tell you, you know Obamacare is really, I think, the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery,” Carson, who’s African-American, said at the conservative Values Voters Summit in 2013. “And it is slavery in a way because it is making all of us subservient to the government.”

Carson addressed his remarks on Fox and Friends, saying, “The issue that I was bringing up is not slavery. The issue is that we have taken the most important thing we have as free Americans and turned it over to the government.”


“We are very much like Nazi Germany,” Carson said in an interview with Breitbart News last March. “And I know you’re not supposed to say ‘Nazi Germany,’ but I don’t care about political correctness. You know, you had a government using its tools to intimidate the population. We now live in a society where people are afraid to say what they actually believe.”

Carson doubled down on his statements more than once, most recently telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, “What you were doing is allowing words to affect you more than listening to what was actually being said. And that's part of the problem. You are just focusing on the words 'Nazi Germany' and completely missing the point of what is being said."

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Obamacare and How to Read the Supreme Court Tea Leaves

trekandshoot/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Supreme Court Wednesday morning weighed which states’ residents the Obama administration is legally entitled to provide insurance subsidies to under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.

The case came about when some Virginians who receive subsidies to buy health insurance on sued the government, saying they shouldn’t be getting the subsidies.

They say they’re hurt by the money because without it, they wouldn’t have to buy insurance at all: The ACA requires people to buy insurance, but exempts anyone who would have to spend more than 8 percent of their annual income on health insurance.

When the law talks about how subsidies are calculated, it refers to customers of Exchanges “established by the State,” and doesn’t mention Exchanges established by the federal government. But when Obama’s IRS passed regulations to implement the law, they gave subsidies to customers of both state and federal exchanges. The plaintiffs are trying to prevent the issuance of subsidies to customers of federal exchanges.

ABC News’ legal consultant, Kate Shaw, was in the courtroom as the justices took turns grilling the lawyers for the plaintiffs and the government. Shaw knows the room well. She is an assistant professor of Law at the Benjamin R. Cardozo School of Law in New York, but a few years ago she was a law clerk for former Justice John Paul Stevens.

Q: What was it like in the room?

The stakes are high, so the room was charged. A number of members of Congress were there. The pace of the questioning was very quick. There were moments of humor: Associate Justice Elena Kagan made reference to the “never-ending saga” that is challenging the Affordable Care Act, Chief Justice John Roberts ribbed the lawyer for the plaintiffs, the Solicitor General Donald Verrilli took a dig at Congress, and laughter punctuated the argument several times.

Q: Who were the lawyers making the case for the plaintiffs and for the government?

Verrilli represents the government before the Supreme Court. Despite the fact that the justices gave him a hard time at oral argument in the first lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act, he was successful then in his defense of the statute.

Michael Carvin is a partner at the D.C. law firm Jones Day. He was one of the lawyers challenging the constitutionality of the ACA last year and the justices were clearly very familiar with him, sometimes referring back to arguments he’d made in last year’s case.

Q: What’s this case about?

The ACA did a number of different things, and this case is about only two of them. First, it’s about the creation of federal subsidies for people who can’t afford to buy health insurance. And second, it’s about the “exchanges” where people can shop for health insurance. It directed states to set up these exchanges, but it also provided that if states failed to act, the federal government would set up exchanges instead.

Some states set up their own exchanges; the majority, 34, did not. You’ve described why the people who are suing the administration say subsidies shouldn’t go to anyone on a federal exchange: two places where the statute refers only to an exchange established “by the state.” The Obama administration says this is nonsensical, based on both the language of the statute and its overall purpose. “Established by the state,” they claim, means either the state or the federal government acting in the state’s stead. The plaintiffs’ argument would mean that the law created federal exchanges that were doomed immediately: without federal subsidies, you’d only have the sickest people buying insurance on the Exchange.

Q: What happens next?

Well, if the Court sides with the government, nothing changes. If the Court decides the subsidies aren’t available in the states with federal exchanges, then the question becomes when and how the decision takes effect. The government has said, including in oral arguments, that if the Court sides with the challengers, “The tax credits will be cut off immediately.” I think that has been the assumption until today. But Associate Justice Samuel Alito raised another possibility this morning: that the Court might stay its decision until the end of the tax year, in order to allow people, and maybe Congress and the states, to prepare for the consequences of the decision.

Q: What could we tell from the Justices’ questions?

It seemed pretty clear coming out of the argument that Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Kagan had little sympathy for the challengers’ position. Justices Antonin Scalia and Alito, by contrast, seemed persuaded by the challengers’ textual argument; that the text was so clear that there was only one possible result (and that if dire consequences followed, it was Congress’ job to step in). Justice Clarence Thomas asked no questions but he, like Justices Scalia and Alito, seems likely to side with the plaintiffs. So the key votes are Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy. Chief Justice Roberts asked very few questions, so it was hard to get much of a sense from him. Justice Kennedy seemed sympathetic to the challengers’ textual argument, but he also asked a number of questions that suggested that the challengers’ reading of the law raised states-rights concern.

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Ferguson Report: Rampant Racism and Other Findings from Probe

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Department of Justice on Wednesday released its investigation of the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department, finding a pattern and practice of discriminatory policing.

The report includes seven racist emails sent by Ferguson officers. In its review, the Justice Department also found 161 use of force complaints against Ferguson police from 2010 to 2014. Only one case was founded and no officer was disciplined.

“As detailed in our report, this investigation found a community that was deeply polarized, and where deep distrust and hostility often characterized interactions between police and area residents,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “Our investigation showed that Ferguson police officers routinely violate the Fourth Amendment in stopping people without reasonable suspicion, arresting them without probable cause, and using unreasonable force against them. Now that our investigation has reached its conclusion, it is time for Ferguson’s leaders to take immediate, wholesale and structural corrective action."

Holder added that the report is "only the beginning of a necessarily resource-intensive and inclusive process to promote reconciliation, to reduce and eliminate bias, and to bridge gaps and build understanding.”

The conclusions come nearly seven months after a confrontation with officer Darren Wilson left 18-year-old Michael Brown dead.

Separately on Wednesday, the DOJ announced that Wilson will not be charged in Brown's death.

Here is a sampling of some of the 100-page report's most scathing findings:


  • A May 2011 email stated -- “An African-American woman in New Orleans was admitted into the hospital for a pregnancy termination. Two weeks later she received a check for $5,000. She phoned the hospital to ask who it was from. The hospital said, ‘Crimestoppers.’”
  • A November 2008 email read -- “President Barack Obama would not be President for very long" because “what black man holds a steady job for four years.”
  • An email described a man seeking to obtain “welfare" for his dogs because they are “mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can’t speak English and have no frigging clue who their Daddies are.” (June 2011)
  • An April 2011 email depicted President Obama as a chimpanzee.
  • A December 2011 email included jokes based on offensive stereotypes about Muslims.
  • An October 2011 email included a photo of a bare-chested group of dancing women, apparently in Africa, with the caption, “Michelle Obama’s High School Reunion.”


  • "Conducting stops without reasonable suspicion and arrests without probable cause" -- both violations of the Fourth Amendment, according to the DOJ.
  • Focused on revenue over public safety, leading to court practices that violate the 14th Amendment’s due process.


  • Harmful municipal court and police practices are due, at least in part, to intentional discrimination as "demonstrated by direct evidence of racial bias and stereotyping about African Americans by certain Ferguson police and municipal court officials," according to the DOJ.

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Gabby Giffords to Congress: 'The Nation's Counting on You'

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- A little over four years since surviving an assassination attempt, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords once again returned to Capitol Hill to help reintroduce legislation that aims to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill by expanding background checks to anyone making a commercial purchase of a firearm.

“Stopping gun violence takes courage,” Giffords, a former Democrat from Arizona, said during her brief remarks. “Now is the time to come together. Be responsible. Democrats, Republicans, everyone.”

The bill, formally called the “Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act,” stalled in the last Congress, but Republican co-sponsor Rep. Robert Dold predicted it would pass if House Speaker John Boehner allows a vote.

“Are we going to get 100 percent? No way. But I think there is an opportunity to be able to put it on the floor and if it does go to the floor, I’m confident it would pass the House,” Dold, R-Ill., said.

“We need to get a vote on the bill, and when we do, we’ll get it passed,” Rep. Mike Thompson, chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, agreed. “It’s about using the background check system to make sure that folks who buy guns through a commercial sale have their background check to make sure that we aren’t selling guns to someone who’s dangerously mentally ill, someone who is a domestic abuser, or someone who is a criminal.”

Giffords, who delivered her remarks without the use of a script, urged lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to act.

“We must never stop fighting. Fight fight fight,” she said. “Be bold, be courageous. The nation’s counting on you.”

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POLL: Voters Believe President’s Love for America Is Real

Pete Souza / The White House(NEW YORK) — President Obama loves America -- at least according to a poll of American voters.

A new Quinnipiac University poll out Wednesday morning proves most Americans disagree completely with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani comments about the president in which he said he doesn’t believe President Obama “loves America.”

According to the survey, American voters believe 63 to 28 percent that President Obama loves America. As for the president’s approval ratings, voters give him a negative 41 to 52 percent job approval rating, which is his best score since a negative 42 to 50 percent job approval in an April 2014 poll.

As for Congress, Republicans get a negative 22 to 69 percent approval rating while Democrats get a negative 28 to 62 percent score. And some slight good news for the GOP by a 47 to 42 percent margin American voters trust Republicans in Congress more than the president to make decisions good for the country.

And this may come as no surprise, but 21 percent of voters say it’s the economy that is the most important problem facing the country.

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What You Need to Know About the Challenge to Obamacare in Supreme Court

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — The Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, dodged a bullet in 2012 when the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate. Wednesday, it faces a second major legal challenge; this one to the taxpayer-funded premium subsidies that underpin the entire law.

The nine justices will hear arguments over whether it’s legal to give out the subsidies in 34 states where the federal government established and runs the insurance exchanges,

The debate centers on interpretation of a four-word phrase buried in the 2000-page law that says financial aid is available through “exchanges established by the state.”

The stakes are high: About 7.5 million Americans have received subsidies to purchase health insurance coverage in those 34 states.

If the court strikes them down, the “vast majority” will be forced out of coverage almost immediately because their premiums will become prohibitively expensive, experts say.

"There could be chaos," said Abbe Gluck, a Yale Law School professor who specializes in health law.

An average American receiving Obamacare subsidies pays just $105 a month out of pocket for insurance, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Take away the aid and the cost spikes to $373 a month – for many, a price out of reach.

“The horror stories will be real,” Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska warned in the Wall Street Journal. “Chemotherapy turned off for perhaps 12,000 people, dialysis going dark for 10,000.”

Experts are also sounding alarm bells about a broader impact: the upending of individual insurance markets and a likely “death spiral.” Premiums would skyrocket for everyone in those 34 states, not just those who purchased Obamacare, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine found.

And if you think the states, Congress or the Department of Health and Human Services could enact a quick, even temporary, fix, then think again. There has been little-to-no preparation for a court decision striking the subsidies down.

There will be just 25 days to look at those options after the court releases its opinion, which is expected in June, leaving precious little time for lawmakers and those relying on subsidized Obamacare insurance to act to come up with an alternative plan.

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Could Self-Proclaimed Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders Become President?

ABC News/Yahoo! News(WASHINGTON) -- As the longest-serving Independent in Congress and a self-identified “democratic socialist,” Sen. Bernie Sanders has built his political career outside of traditional party politics.

It's an approach that has served him well in independent-minded Vermont, a state he has called home for decades. Now, Sanders is considering whether that approach would win on the national stage -- the 2016 presidential campaign.

His message: that big money interests have perverted America's political process and that it's time for the voters to stand up to the millionaires and billionaires. Sanders hammers it home in an accent that owes more to Brooklyn than Burlington. He’s a gruff, unflinching advocate for working men and women.

“Are my views different than Republicans? Absolutely they are. Do I disagree with President Obama on some very important issues? Yes, I do,” Sanders told ABC News/Yahoo! News during a recent trip to Iowa. “And I think among Independents in this country, there would be a lot of support for me.”

Though Sanders acknowledges that he would enter the race as a “significant underdog,” he cautioned against underestimating him.

“If I ran, I would run to win,” Sanders said of a possible presidential campaign.

“People who know my history, as the longest-serving Independent in the United States, as someone who has defeated Democrats, defeated Republicans, who has won elections that nobody thought he could win, maybe don't underestimate me completely,” he added.

As he works to reach a decision, Sanders is spending a lot of time traveling to key battleground states so that he can, in his words, “develop a sense in my own gut as to whether or not there is the grassroots support.”

“My gut is telling me very clearly that there is a lot of responsiveness to the fact that there is something wrong in this country when the middle class is disappearing and the rich are becoming phenomenally richer,” Sanders said. “Whether or not people are prepared to jump into a campaign, make small campaign contributions and work hard, I don't know.”

One issue that Sanders said he is “wrestling with” is whether he would run within one of the two major political parties or forego party politics altogether to run as an Independent.

“If you go out there and you ask people what they think about the Democratic or the Republican Party, you know what they'll say? ‘We don't have a lot of faith in either party,’” Sanders said, pointing his thumbs down. “And that speaks to running as an Independent.”

But he also acknowledges that there are significant hurdles to operating outside the walls of the Democratic and Republican parties.

“The nature of election laws and rules all over the country makes it very difficult and hard to get on the ballot as an Independent,” Sanders said. “In fact, there may be some states you just can't do it. It's rigged to the two-party system. Second of all, if you run as an Independent, the media will pay less attention to you. Thirdly, you will not be able to get into the kind of debates that you can in the Democratic caucus.”

But whatever he chooses, Sanders said, he is resolved not to be a “spoiler” candidate. He keeps in his pocket a small brass keychain, a vintage campaign pin touting Eugene V. Debs for president. Debs ran for the White House five times on the Socialist ticket a century ago. Sanders suggested he may well run as a Democrat but hasn't yet made up his mind.

“I haven't made up my final decision and I've got to say a lot of my strongest supporters say, ‘Bernie, you've gotta stay out of the damn Democratic Party, run as an Independent,’” Sanders said. “Others say, ‘You know, in the real world you've gotta run in the Democratic caucus, get into the debates rally the American people in that way.’”

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Rep. Jason Chaffetz's Business Card Lists His Gmail Address

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Hillary Clinton isn’t the only official who uses a non-government email address.

A business card obtained by ABC News shows that Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, lists his Gmail address on his official House card.

After it was revealed on Tuesday that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton conducted all of her government business from personal email accounts, personal email has been the topic du jour, and Chaffetz is at the forefront.

Chaffetz, who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, announced Tuesday that his panel would join in an investigation of Clinton’s email use.

“Violations of the Federal Records Act within federal agencies is something we take very seriously,” Chaffetz said Tuesday in a statement. “The House Oversight Committee will work with [Rep. Trey] Gowdy and the Select Committee on Benghazi to further explore Hillary Clinton’s use of personal emails while at the State Department.”

Chaffetz told ABC News that his business card was not paid for with government funds and that Congress is not subject to the Federal Records Act. He said that he uses both a Gmail account and a government email account.

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