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‘The Rundown’: Lee continues to compare Capitol rioters to BLM protesters

Your Tuesday morning Utah political cheat sheet

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Lee continues to push equivalency between Capitol rioters and BLM protesters

On Monday night, Sen. Mike Lee continued the effort to draw an equivalence between the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and last summer’s racial justice protests following the murder of George Floyd.

Earlier this month, Lee joined with a handful of other Republicans in a letter to the Justice Department asking whether the Capitol rioters were being treated more harshly than those arrested for participating in the protests.

During an appearance on Fox News, Lee complained that the FBI was using cell phone geolocation data to question people who may have been around the Capitol in January.

“I’ve heard lots and lots of stories of people who have been interviewed and approached by federal law enforcement officials, apparently based solely on the fact that they were here in Washington on the Capitol Hill area, and they’re using their geolocation data. I’d like to know to what extent they’re doing the same thing with regard to the folks who rioted last summer,” Lee said.

The Capitol rioters, some of whom erected gallows while chanting “hang Mike Pence,” were attempting to stop Congress from counting the Electoral College votes to keep Donald Trump from leaving office following his loss to Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

The unrest in some cities after some of the Black lives matter protests last year included vandalism and looting. Axios reported those riots resulted in at least $1 billion in property damage.

The attempt to downplay the attempted insurrection at the Capitol was picked up by Russian President Vladimir Putin last week during a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

“People came to the U.S. Congress with political demands. 400 people, over 400 people had criminal charges placed on them...they’re being called domestic terrorists. They’re being accused of other crimes,” Putin said.


Here’s what you need to know for Tuesday morning

Local news

  • Salt Lake County officials ask residents to urge caution with fireworks this year or forego them completely due to extreme fire danger. [Tribune]

  • Federal oversight of the Utah Transit Authority has ended after the agency made “significant strides” following a series of scandals involving the agency. The monitorship was part of a deal to avoid federal prosecution. [Tribune]

  • Utah is unveiling a new driver’s license design that makes them harder to duplicate. [Tribune]

National news

  • The New York City mayoral primary election is today. There are 13 Democrats in the race. The winner of the primary election is the odds-on favorite to win the post in November. [NYT]

  • The sweeping voting rights bill pushed by Democrats will be filibustered by Republicans when it comes up for a vote later today. [WaPo]

  • The bipartisan group of senators working on an infrastructure funding plan are almost ready to unveil the proposal. [Politico]

  • A senior Justice Department official says the pressure from former President Donald Trump to pursue baseless election fraud claims nearly caused him to resign. [WSJ]

  • President Joe Biden is considering a one-month extension of the federal freeze on evictions instituted during the pandemic. [NYT]

  • The stock market rallied Monday to post its best day in three months. [AP]

  • The Supreme Court ruled Monday student-athletes could receive education-related payments. [CNN]

  • The Delta COVID-19 variant is being blamed for a six-fold increase in hospitalizations in Missouri. [CNN]

  • Steven Spielberg signed a multi-year deal with Netflix. Spielberg’s company is expected to produce at least two films per year for the streaming service. Spielberg may direct some of those films. [Variety]

  • NFL player Carl Nassib of the Las Vegas Raiders came out as gay. The defensive lineman is the first openly gay player in the league. [SB Nation]


Tuesday morning’s Utah news roundup

Utah

  • Crowd solutions needed for Utah’s packed national parks. [FOX13]

  • Report finds no negative long term impacts from Sandy fluoride water contamination. [KUTV]

  • Utah lands outside US’s top 10 most patriotic states. [KUTV]

  • Where people in Salt Lake City are moving to most. [ABC4]

  • Utah County chiefs of police join in reciting unified code of ethics. [Daily Herald]

  • Orem allocates CARE Tax funds to non-profit arts and recreation groups. [Daily Herald]

  • Defense budget pushes more money to Hill AFB missile replacement program. [Standard Examiner]

  • Four months of rocket motor detonations begin at the Utah Test and Training Range. [Standard Examiner]

COVID-19

  • Some vaccinated Utahns still contract COVID-19. Here’s what you need to know about these ‘breakthrough cases.’ [Tribune]

  • Percentage of positive COVID-19 cases falls a bit below 7-day average. [Tribune]

  • As COVID variants circulate in Utah, experts say contact tracing is critical. [ABC4]

Environment

  • Nine wildfires continue to burn across Utah. [Tribune]

  • Utah House Speaker says no to special session on fireworks. [FOX13]

  • All of Utah may be moved to the most extreme fire restrictions. [FOX13]

Education

  • Hybrid learning here to stay, but it’s teachers who make the difference, survey shows. [DNews]

  • Charter schools to create $3 million ‘fail’ fund. [KUTV]

  • Could trustees modify Dixie State rename as petition against it grows? [KSL]

On the Opinion Pages

  • Robert Gehrke: This ruling guts Utah’s open records law and leaves citizens in the dark. [Tribune]

  • Arthur Diaz: Allowing returned missionaries extra language credits discriminates against native speakers. [Tribune]

  • Astrid Tuminez : Here’s how Utah is bridging the gap from college to employment. [DNews]

  • Jay Evensen: Should we pay people to get vaccinated for COVID-19? [DNews]

— Tribune reporter Connor Sanders contributed to this newsletter.

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