February 28, 2023 - PBS NewsHour full episode
02/28/2023 | 57m 46s | Video has closed captioning.
February 28, 2023 - PBS NewsHour full episode
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02/28/2023 | 57m 46s | Video has closed captioning.
February 28, 2023 - PBS NewsHour full episode
Problems Playing Video? | Closed Captioning
AMNA NAWAZ: Good evening, and welcome.
I'm Amna Nawaz.
GEOFF BENNETT: And I'm Geoff Bennett.
On the "NewsHour" tonight: The Supreme Court hears a challenge to President Biden's student loan relief plan, with major implications for borrowers nationwide.
AMNA NAWAZ: Food banks prepare for a spike in demand, as SNAP benefits implemented during the pandemic come to an end for many Americans.
GEOFF BENNETT: And nearly a year after their town was liberated, residents of Bucha, Ukraine, reflect on the horrors and potential war crimes their families suffered at the hands of Russian forces.
NATALIA MATVIYCHUK, Bucha Resident (through translator): No one has the right to kill unarmed people in an independent country.
It's hard to accept the martyr's death that they were subjected to.
(BREAK) GEOFF BENNETT: Welcome to the "NewsHour."
The fate of some 40 million Americans promised student debt relief is in the hands of the Supreme Court.
AMNA NAWAZ: The justices heard arguments today in high-stakes cases over the legality of President Biden's student loan forgiveness plan.
Students, teachers, and activists gathered outside the court highlighting their struggles and demanding debt relief.
JASMINE JONES-HOWARD, College Student: In order to become those next generation of health care workers, the next generation of working in corporate America, basically being in your law enforcement, in order to do that, we must go to school.
So, how can we give back to our community if we don't have the resources?
DANIELA MRABTI, Digital Director, Alliance For Youth Action: I have upwards of $80,000 of student debt.
Some of that is public.
Some of that is private.
And I think that student debt cancellation would be a benefit for many, many people, millions.
AMNA NAWAZ: The issue has been embroiled in the courts since the president announced his debt relief plan in August of last year.
GEOFF BENNETT: John Yang has more on the days argument.
JOHN YANG: The court heard two challenges to the president's plan, one from six Republican-led states and another from two student loan borrowers, one who doesn't qualify for the relief because her loans are held by private lenders, and one who doesn't qualify for the program's maximum benefit.
To discuss the arguments, "NewsHour" Supreme Court analyst Marcia Coyle.
And to talk about what's at stake, Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, a Washington Post national education reporter.
Marcia, there seemed to be a lot of skepticism today about this Biden plan.
MARCIA COYLE: Right, John.
The skepticism seemed to be among primarily the court's conservative wing.
And it is always hard to predict, but my sense after the questioning was that there may be five conservative justices who, looking at the merits of the case, would not uphold the student loan forgiveness program.
But standing in their way of getting to the merits of that program is a big hurdle.
And that is called standing.
Justice Barrett, along with the court's liberal wing, was very focused on standing, which we have talked about before.
It is the legal right to actually sue and hear.
The challengers have to show that they have a specialized injury, a concrete injury that is traceable to the conduct of the Education Department policy, and that the court can remedy it.
It is a huge hurdle, and my sense after the arguments was also that the lawyers for the challengers were not making really as strong an argument as the government made to oppose standing.
If the court doesn't find standing, the case goes away, and the program stands.
But, if they do, they can go on to the merits.
And I also know that, if you have five justices who really want to get to the merits, they may likely find standing some way.
JOHN YANG: One reason the conservative justices were so skeptical about the constitutionality of the Biden plan is that they say there is no specific legislation authorizing it.
Here is Chief Justice John Roberts questioning the Biden administration's attorney.
JOHN ROBERTS, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court: The case reminds me of the one we had a few years ago under a different administration where the administration tried, acting on its own, to cancel the dreamers program, and we blocked that effort.
And I just wonder, given the posture of the case and given our historic concern about the separation of powers, that you would recognize at least that this is a case that presents extraordinarily serious, important issues about the role of Congress and about the role that we should exercise in scrutinizing that?
JOHN YANG: Marcia, this idea that Congress should be the one to decide big issues, that is sort of a theme for this conservative majority, isn't it?
MARCIA COYLE: It is, and a recent one.
It has to do with something called the major questions doctrine.
The court said in June in a case involving the Clean Air Act and EPA that if an agency issues a policy that has serious major political and economic consequences, then the express authorization of Congress is required.
And that's the primary argument of the challengers in this case, that this is a major questions doctrine case, and the court should apply that to require Congress to expressly authorize what the Department of Education did here.
JOHN YANG: The liberal justices take a different view of the question of who should decide.
MARCIA COYLE: Yes.
JOHN YANG: This is Justice Sonia Sotomayor questioning the Nebraska solicitor general.
SONIA SOTOMAYOR, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice: There's 50 million students who are - - will benefit from this who today will struggle.
Many of them don't have assets sufficient to bail them out after the pandemic.
And what you're saying is, now we're going to give judges the right to decide how much aid to give them, instead of the person with the expertise and the experience, the secretary of education, who has been dealing with educational issues and the problems surrounding student loans.
JOHN YANG: The three liberal justices, Sotomayor, Kagan and Jackson, seemed very sympathetic to the Biden administrator argument that this was authorized by Congress.
MARCIA COYLE: Absolutely.
Justice Kagan said that the act that the department used to promulgate this program is very clear.
In fact, she said it couldn't be any clearer that Congress gave the secretary the authority to waive or modify student loan requirements.
And she said the court often gets statutes that aren't very clear.
But, this one, she said is -- Congress has made clear its intent here.
JOHN YANG: Well, there was a lot of discussion about those two words, waive and modify.
MARCIA COYLE: That's right.
That's another issue in the case.
Justice Thomas was saying, well, waive and modify, how does that amount to cancellation, as can happen in some of the student loans that have -- that are being looked at here?
And the government argues that it's waived and modified the requirements around student loans, and the secretary did both here.
And then once he waived and modified them, he created -- he imposed new ones, the ones that are being challenged today.
JOHN YANG: And the conservative justices also talked about fairness.
MARCIA COYLE: Yes, that's -- that was a very interesting exchange.
Some of the justices, the chief justice, Justice Alito, Justice Kavanaugh, they spoke about, how, well, you know -- I think it was the chief justice gave the best sort of hypothetical.
He talked about two students who graduate from high school.
One takes out a loan to go to college.
Another takes out a loan to create a lawn service.
Why should the student who goes to college and will probably make more than the lawn service student in a lifetime, why should that student have a debt forgiven, but not the lawn service?
And the government said very clearly that this act involves student loans.
It doesn't involve other types of loans.
And there are other types of aid available to the lawn service student who has that loan.
So, there is that concern.
And they were asking whether they should factor into their analysis the idea of fairness here.
JOHN YANG: Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, if this program were to go away, what kind of student would -- or student loan borrower would be most heavily affected?
DANIELLE DOUGLAS-GABRIEL, The Washington Post: Well, because student loan debt is disproportionately shouldered by Black borrowers and borrowers of color, they would be the ones who would most likely be impacted.
I think it's really telling that the administration's chose to add, essentially, a Pell Grant bonus allowing for borrowers who had federal Pell Grants for low-income students to receive an additional $10,000.
And many people would qualify for that, because many of those who are -- have gone to college in the last few decades have fewer resources than in generations pass.
JOHN YANG: Without this program, when will the crunch come for these borrowers?
DANIELLE DOUGLAS-GABRIEL: Well, the Department of Education has said that payments will start to resume 60 days after a decision is made, and it's certainly no later than June of this year.
Now, keep in mind that borrowers have not made payments, most borrowers, federal student loan borrowers, have not made payments on their loans for nearly three years at this stage.
And there is a lot of concern, in part -- and this is the reason why the administration says this policy is needed -- that many of those borrowers will struggle to make payments on their loans, they will become delinquent, or potentially default on their loans.
JOHN YANG: In January, the administration unveiled a new income-based student repayment plan.
How does that work?
DANIELLE DOUGLAS-GABRIEL: Well, this plan pretty much updates an existing student loan repayment plan by assuring that borrowers pay less of their discretionary income for a shorter amount of time before getting their student loans forgiven.
So, for example, an undergraduate borrow who's taken out $12,000 or less in undergraduate debt could pay 5 percent of their discretionary income for 10 years before the balance of their loans are forgiven.
JOHN YANG: What are the options for the administration if this plan gets struck down?
DANIELLE DOUGLAS-GABRIEL: So, the administration could try to make this happen through an authority under the Higher Education Act.
Now, that would require a negotiated rulemaking, which is a pretty lengthy process.
And I think that came up today during the arguments.
And one of the reasons why it really wasn't the most salient route for the administration is because it really undermines the idea that this is for an emergency, for a national emergency, and this is to prevent any kind of fallout from that national emergency.
The HEA doesn't exactly lend itself to that argument, whereas, at least in the administration's views, the HEROES Act does.
JOHN YANG: Is the Education Department, is the administration already thinking about these things?
DANIELLE DOUGLAS-GABRIEL: Well, they're not telling me.
I have been asking a whole lot the last few days.
And they keep saying that they're very confident that the HEROES Act gives them the authority that is needed to make sure that this program will go forward.
And they are confident that the Supreme Court will agree.
Certainly, after today's arguments, lots of folks who are watching this don't necessarily take that optimistic a view.
But, at this moment, there isn't a concrete plan that's being publicly discussed about what will happen next if the plan is struck down by the court.
JOHN YANG: Danielle Douglas-Gabriel of The Washington Post, Marcia Coyle, "NewsHour" Supreme Court analyst, thank you both very much.
MARCIA COYLE: Pleasure, John.
DANIELLE DOUGLAS-GABRIEL: Thank you.
GEOFF BENNETT: In the day's other news: Nonstop winter storms dumped snow and ice from coast to coast.
A new blizzard struck parts of Nevada overnight, with snow piling up around Lake Tahoe.
The storm also brought more snow to parts of Southern California.
In the Northeast, snowfall quickly melted into slush around New York, but schools closed in parts of New England.
Elsewhere, thousands of people in Michigan spent a sixth day with no power after last week's ice storm.
In Ukraine, a top government commander now says the situation around a key eastern town is extremely tense after months of brutal combat.
Russian forces are trying to encircle Bakhmut and cut off its supply routes, but at a heavy cost.
New footage today showed smoke billowing from buildings inside the battered city.
The last of its residents navigated barren streets.
Meantime, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered beefed-up border security after a Ukrainian made drone got within 60 miles of Moscow today.
Ukraine has received well over $100 billion in U.S. aid since the war started, and senior Pentagon officials say it's being well-spent.
Colin Kahl, an undersecretary of defense, made that case at a congressional hearing today, as Republican Congressman Joe Wilson and others pushed for stronger oversight.
REP. JOE WILSON (R-SC): There have been billions and us weaponry and financial aid flowing to Ukraine and more coming to stop a war criminal, Putin.
We're all concerned about accountability, and the American people need to know, because somehow this hadn't been recognized.
COLIN KAHL, U.S.
Undersecretary of Defense for Policy: We don't see any evidence of diversion in our reporting.
We think the Ukrainians are using properly what they have been given.
GEOFF BENNETT: U.S. officials have pressed Ukraine's government to police corruption in its ranks, and some top officials in Kyiv have been forced out.
China today denounced a U.S. government ban on the popular video-sharing app TikTok.
The White House has now given federal agencies 30 days to remove the Chinese-owned app from all government-issued devices, citing security concerns.
But, in Beijing, a spokeswoman for the Foreign Ministry blasted the move away.
MAO NING, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman (through translator): As the world's top superpower, how unsure of itself can the U.S. be to fear a young people's favorite app to such a degree?
The U.S. has been overstretching the concept of national security and abusing state power to suppress other countries' companies.
We firmly oppose those wrong actions.
GEOFF BENNETT: More than two-thirds of American teens use TikTok.
China has also rejected an assessment by the U.S. Energy Department that COVID-19 likely came from a lab leak in Wuhan.
Beijing insisted today that it's been -- quote - - "open and transparent" and believes the virus was spread from animals to humans.
Meantime, California formally ended its COVID emergency today.
Just five states still have emergency declarations, Delaware, Illinois, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Texas.
President Biden today announced he will nominate Julie Su for labor secretary.
She currently serves as deputy secretary.
If confirmed by the Senate, she'd be the administration's first Asian American Cabinet member.
Su would replace Marty Walsh, who's leaving to run the National Hockey League's Player Association.
And, on Wall Street, stocks finished out of February marked by concerns that inflation is untamed and interest rates are headed higher.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 232 points today to close at 32656.
The Nasdaq fell 11 points.
The S&P 500 slipped 12.
For the month, the Dow lost 4 percent, the Nasdaq fell 1 percent, and the S&P was down 2.6 percent.
JOHN YANG: Still to come on the "NewsHour": Ukrainians whose town was occupied by Russian forces reflect on what they lost; a former January 6 investigator discusses how releasing footage to FOX could pose a new threat; and slices of life immortalized in historic Charlottesville portraits.
AMNA NAWAZ: In the last three years, households eligible for food assistance received at least $95 more per month as part of a pandemic era increase that was designed to combat hunger.
But, tomorrow, those benefits will expire nationwide, meaning a smaller monthly food budget for nearly 30 million Americans.
William Brangham spent yesterday at a food bank in rural Virginia that's gearing up to meet the increased need this cut will likely trigger.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: It's another busy week at the Fauquier Community Food Bank in Warrenton, Virginia.
About 25 families a day come here to stock up on free groceries.
WOMAN: You're all set here.
Tony is going to take you.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Thirty-old-year-old Tiffany Robinson visits the food bank to help stretch the money she receives through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP, the very benefits that will soon be cut back.
TIFFANY ROBINSON, SNAP Recipient: That's really going to affect my budget because I'm going to have to come out of pocket even more what than I do now to get groceries.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: SNAP, which used to be called food stamps, is the Department of Agriculture program that provides monthly stipends for lower-income Americans to spend on groceries.
In March 2020, Congress passed temporary SNAP increases to help people weather the pandemic-economy, but last December passed another law ending those increases.
So, tomorrow, Americans in 32 states and other jurisdictions will see those extra SNAP benefits expire; 18 states have already rolled them back.
A 2022 Urban Institute study found these emergency allotments kept more than four million people above the poverty line in the last quarter of 2021, reducing poverty by nearly 10 percent.
The coming reduction in SNAP benefits will be different for different households, depending on their circumstances.
But, on average, a family of three will lose nearly $200 per month from their benefits.
The cuts will reduce payments to about $6 per person per day.
Robinson says that's not enough to feed her children, and she will need to depend on this food bank even more.
TIFFANY ROBINSON: You know, like, I am panicking a little bit.
Like, I really was when I got that message.
I was like, so, what am I going to do next month?
It really sent me into a stressful state, because I'm worried about my children.
My children eat more than I do.
I will probably have to come here more often or try to find other outlets, so I can get food for my children.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Food pantries like this are pressed on two sides, rising demand for their help, but rising costs constraining how much they can provide.
Staples like eggs are up over 70 percent compared to last year.
WOMAN: We have got tomato soup this month.
We have got applesauce, mac and cheese.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Most of these goods come via donations from local grocery stores or bought with local donations, or proceeds from their thrift store next door.
Sharon Ames is the executive director of the Fauquier Community Food Bank.
And we talked yesterday about her community and what these cuts might meet for them.
Who is it that you serve?
Who are the people that come through your door?
SHARON AMES, Executive Director, Fauquier Community Food Bank: It is all walks of life.
And I will go back to the thrift store side.
I have people now who used to shop over there who know their money went to buy food here, but now they have had to come to me and say: Times have changed.
Gas is high.
Food is high.
I need your help.
We help the homeless.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: We're here talking to you because the pandemic SNAP benefit extension is about to expire.
SHARON AMES: Yes.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Do you have a sense of what that's going to mean for the people of this county?
SHARON AMES: We are going to feel it.
They're going to feel it.
They are starting to call now and ask us questions about if we can expand and they can get more food if need be.
And we always answer, yes, we will do the very, very best we can.
From what I am hearing and what I'm understanding, it can be around $95 to 100-and-some dollars a month.
But, again, that depends on their family, how big their family is, how much they get, to what their cut will be.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: And for people who may not appreciate the circumstances of the families that you help, $95 to $100 a month, how significant is that?
SHARON AMES: That's huge.
That's $25 a week.
That's peanut butter.
That's big to them.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Is it your sense that most of the families that are going to see a cut in their benefits are going to be OK?
SHARON AMES: They will be OK.
They will manage.
They will survive.
They will probably make an extra phone call to us and say, look, I have got three or four more days in a month to go.
I'm out of food.
Can you give me food?
And we will.
I believe in my community, and I believe, if we reach out and say we need help, that it will be there.
I think the other thing we have to look at is, down the road, think about summer, when the children are out of school, no free lunches, no free breakfast.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: There are some people in Congress who argue that the SNAP program, the food stamp program, is too expensive, and this pandemic extension, bump-up was too much, and that we have to dial those costs down.
I mean, as someone who sees the beneficiaries of this program, what do you think of that argument?
SHARON AMES: We are going to see children who are not going to function in school because they are not fed properly, they go to bed hungry.
We are going to see elderly that give up their medicine, diabetic medicine, whatever it may be.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: The choice between food and medicine is too great.
SHARON AMES: Absolutely.
We're going to -- it is.
It is going to affect everybody.
And I'm not really sure how Congress is coming up with the fact that it's too much money, when you're going to feed people and keep them healthy and make them part of our society.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: You think that's not the right place to cut?
SHARON AMES: No.
And I know the argument is -- that's why when I say that we qualify people, a lot of people view a food pantry as you just go in and say: Hey, I want food.
It's not like that.
We do qualify you.
SNAP does too.
So, it is a program that is -- has rules.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: You are meeting people with demonstrated needs.
SHARON AMES: You see somebody come to you, and you give them a can of tuna, and they hold it to them and say: "Oh, my God, Sharon, this is four meals."
No, it's not.
That will make you stop and think.
And, at our level, we see that, we hear that.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: All right, Sharon Ames, thank you so much for talking with us.
SHARON AMES: Thank you very much.
GEOFF BENNETT: Some of the first and starkest images of Russian brutality in Ukraine emerged from the Kyiv suburb of Bucha last year; 1,700 Ukrainians were killed there, according to Ukrainian officials, who also say 9,000 war crimes were committed in that city.
Now, one year later and with the support of the Pulitzer Center, special correspondent Simon Ostrovsky and videographer Yegor Troyanovsky return to Bucha to reveal the story of the final hours of one group of Ukrainians executed in cold blood.
A warning: Many of the images in this story are disturbing.
SIMON OSTROVSKY: They call it the first draft of history.
Reporters arrive on the scene to witness events while they are still fresh.
A year ago, our "NewsHour" crew found this kill site located behind an office building that had been used by Russian forces as a headquarters during their month-long occupation of Bucha.
What we have seen here is eight bodies, some of them with their hands tied behind their backs.
This could be evidence of war crimes.
Our images were among some of the early footage that poured out of Bucha and opened the world's eyes to the brutality of Russia's faltering war machine.
The Russian leadership claimed the pictures were staged as part of a crude attempt to tarnish Russia's reputation.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, Russian President (through translator): As for Bucha, listen, I speak with my colleagues.
They have relevant intercepts about the transport that was used to get to this town and create the conditions for the organization of this provocation, this fake.
SIMON OSTROVSKY: On the ground, evidence pointed to executions.
Many of the victims had their hands tied behind their backs, a good indication that a war crime had been perpetrated.
The victims appeared to have been killed with gunshots to the head and chest.
But who were they, and who killed them?
We could only speculate that retreating Russian forces were to blame because of the litter they left behind, clearly marked as being from Russia.
Several subsequent investigations conducted by PBS "Frontline," The New York Times and the BBC, piecing together CCTV footage of the last moments of these men's lives, have since established the facts and paint a grim picture of Bucha under Russian occupation.
When Russian forces first arrived in Bucha in late February, they didn't expect to stay long.
This was supposed to be just another town on the way to the capital, Kyiv.
Instead, their armored columns were incinerated from the sky.
MAN (through translator): Come to us with a sword, die by the sword.
SIMON OSTROVSKY: The surviving Russians pulled back and regrouped, reentering Bucha on March 3 and 4, as confirmed by surveillance footage captured from Yuri Naumenko's auto shop.
YURI NAUMENKO, Bucha Resident (through translator): There is a bullet hole there.
They took it down.
And that's what's left of one of the cameras.
One pointed this way, and the other one was set in the opposite direction.
SIMON OSTROVSKY: Ukraine's top prosecutor, Andriy Kostin, told "NewsHour" what the Russians did next.
ANDRIY KOSTIN, Prosecutor General of Ukraine: On 4th of March, 2022, members of the armed forces and other military formations of Russian Federation searched the residential buildings on Yablunska Street.
So they wanted to identify the servicemen of Ukrainian army and territorial defense.
SIMON OSTROVSKY: As Russian troops poured into Yablunska Street to take over the neighborhood, they went door to door, rounding up civilians and men they suspected to be fighters.
The Chmut family had front-row seats.
So you saw everything happening right out of this window here?
TETIANA CHMUT, Bucha Resident (through translator): Yes.
SIMON OSTROVSKY: They watched as the ill-fated group of men were lined up in the courtyard.
MAN (through translator): The bastards.
The hostages are all there.
There they are, sitting under the fence, one, two, three, four, five, six.
SIMON OSTROVSKY: The auto shop cameras had an even better view of the group of nine men being led single file, barefoot, and with their T-shirts pulled over their heads.
Eventually, the Russians came for the Chmut family.
Tetiana and her sons were made to join a group of women, children and men who were not under suspicion.
Her husband, Serhiy, was put in line with the group of men who had been forced to their knees.
SERHIY CHMUT, Bucha Resident (through translator): Somewhere here.
Somewhere here, they lined us up, right about here.
SIMON OSTROVSKY: One man already lay on the ground dead when Serhiy arrived.
SERHIY CHMUT (through translator): There was one.
He was to my right.
The only thing I could think about was that my family weren't harmed.
SIMON OSTROVSKY: Serhiy was a hair's breadth away from being lumped in with the suspected Ukrainian fighters.
But his wife and children stepped in.
TETIANA CHMUT (through translator): We begged and pleaded, said: "He's a fisherman, not even a hunter.
He had never served, doesn't know how to hold a pistol or a rifle."
They said: "OK, move him over with the other men."
SIMON OSTROVSKY: The rest were not so lucky.
According to witness accounts, the remaining men were led away, tortured and interrogated and then shot, including this man, Ivan Skyba, who lived to tell the tale.
IVAN SKYBA, Bucha Resident (through translator): I felt the bullet hit me.
My arms were tied behind my back, and I just fell.
SIMON OSTROVSKY: Skyba left Ukraine for Western Europe after he survived his own execution.
IVAN SKYBA (through translator): So I just relaxed my body and froze.
I didn't even breathe, because it was cold outside, and you could see my breath, so that they didn't see that I was still alive.
SIMON OSTROVSKY: Despite a gunshot wound, Skyba managed to crawl to safety.
The rest of the men's bodies would lay by the side of the building for another month, until April 3, when we filmed them being recovered.
Do you think the killings there were an isolated incident and a military unit gone bad, or this is responsibility that goes up the chain of command?
ANDRIY KOSTIN: When we liberated Kharkiv region, they committed the same types of war crimes.
In Kherson region, they committed the same war crimes.
And this shows that this is a -- not only pattern of conduct of Russian military's, but, from our point of view, it is evidence of the persecutorial policy of Russians against Ukrainians.
SIMON OSTROVSKY: The eight bodies that the Russians left behind here are just a small fraction of the overall 458 fatalities in Bucha.
But the story they tell is becoming all too familiar in a year of war in which a pattern of alleged war crimes has emerged across the country.
Today, the site has been turned into an informal memorial created by the families of the victims.
Oleksandr Turovsky has come here with his granddaughter to commemorate his son, Svyatoslav.
OLEKSANDR TUROVSKY, Bucha Resident (through translator): He was a worker, like everyone.
This is his daughter.
On her way to kindergarten, she passes the cemetery.
She always says, "My daddy's there."
SIMON OSTROVSKY: At the graveyard where the bulk of the people killed in Bucha during the Russian occupation are buried, Natalia Matviychuk lays flowers at her brother Andriy's grave.
NATALIA MATVIYCHUK, Bucha Resident (through translator): He used to bike around this whole area, so he knew it very well.
So he passed the intelligence to his commanders.
His hands and legs were tied, and there were markings from a rope here.
I looked at photographs of his body.
His socks were worn through.
They were barefoot.
No one has the right to kill unarmed people in an independent country.
It's hard to accept the martyr's death that they were subjected to.
ANDRIY KOSTIN: Even if they're captured by the other side, they cannot be intentionally tortured and killed.
It's a definite war crime.
SIMON OSTROVSKY: But the path from the crimes committed in Bucha to any eventual prosecutions is a long and uncertain one.
And the pain, it never goes away.
For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Simon Ostrovsky in Bucha.
AMNA NAWAZ: A Monday-night court filing in the defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems against FOX News revealed a new admission by Rupert Murdoch, the network's owner.
Murdoch acknowledged that several FOX hosts knowingly repeated false claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.
Laura Barron-Lopez has more.
LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ: The latest revelation from Murdoch's deposition follows another filing in the case that showed us some of the -- some of FOX's biggest stars privately dismissed former President Trump's election fraud lies.
Publicly, however, they gave airtime and support to those known falsehoods and brewing conspiracy theories.
The findings come as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has given FOX host Tucker Carlson first access to more than 40,000 hours of the security footage from January 6.
Here to discuss is Timothy Heaphy, who served as chief investigative counsel to the Select House Committee on the January 6 Attack.
Tim, thanks so much for joining us.
TIMOTHY HEAPHY, Former January 6 Committee Lead Investigator: Thanks for having me, Laura.
LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ: In Dominion's court filing, they included exchanges from Murdoch's deposition.
And I just want to run through a little bit of that with you right now.
In it, Dominion attorney asked Murdoch: "You are now aware that FOX endorsed at times these false notions of a stolen election?"
Murdoch: "Not FOX.
No, not FOX, but maybe Lou Dobbs, maybe Maria Bartiromo as commentators."
The attorney then asked him about hosts.
"FOX host Jeanine Pirro?"
Murdoch: "I think so."
"FOX host Lou Dobbs?"
"Oh, a lot."
"FOX host Sean Hannity?"
Finally, the attorney asks about -- this is specifically about their endorsement of a stolen election.
Murdoch: "Yes, they endorsed."
You investigated the January 6 attack for months.
How did FOX News' coverage and the lies about election fraud in the weeks and months contribute to January 6?
TIMOTHY HEAPHY: Look, what the FOX News hosts were repeating, without foundation, was part of a chorus of repeated bogus theories of election fraud.
They came from the former president himself.
They came in the form of social media posts repeated.
They came in the form of fund-raising material sent out by the Trump campaign, which became essentially a Stop the Steal money machine.
So there were lots of different places, Laura, where this false narrative, no foundation in fact, was repeated.
And it absolutely had a lot to do with people getting really angry and going to the Capitol believing genuinely, albeit misguidedly, that the election had been stolen.
LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ: And now Speaker McCarthy is handing over footage, tens of thousands of hours of footage, to FOX host Tucker Carlson.
What's the impact of that footage being shared?
TIMOTHY HEAPHY: Look, it's dangerous.
We got access, the committee got access to that footage under really tight controls.
We had a dedicated terminal.
Only a couple of staff had access to it.
It was password-protected.
And then, even after we reviewed footage, if we were going to use any of it in a public hearing, we had to negotiate with the Capitol Police to try to trim how much of it might compromise a camera location or a route of evacuation or any security issue.
So, we took very seriously the law enforcement sensitivity of that information and took steps to minimize the potential damage of disclosure.
I don't know if the -- Mr. Carlson or others who might get access to it will abide by those same rules.
That's why it's dangerous.
If it's just posted, that will make it easier for people to evade those security protections in the future.
LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ: There's been a lot of footage already out there, whether through your investigation or other people's personal body cameras.
Some Capitol Police officers told my colleague Lisa Desjardins that they're not necessarily worried about the security risks or about people finding out camera locations.
But what they are worried about is the potential for FOX to cherry-pick a narrative out of that footage like this.
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX News Anchor: The DOJ has been allowed to prosecute and jail hundreds of nonviolent political protesters whose crime was having the wrong opinions.
LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ: He said nonviolent there, but what do you say to that from the Capitol Police officers?
TIMOTHY HEAPHY: Look, they're -- there's no question that you can look at all of that footage and find some people that were there and not engaging in violence.
Not everybody was assaulting police officers.
Not everyone was breaking windows.
That doesn't take away from the fact that this was a riot, that this was a violent attack on the United States Capitol.
So it's a bit misleading to take a piece of footage from over here, where there are people walking with signs, when, 50 feet away, there were people hitting police officers and breaking windows.
Again, it is important to look at the entirety of what happened.
Not everyone there was bent on violence.
There's no question that there were some people there who were not violent.
The crimes extend beyond violence.
The crimes involve breaching a barrier and trespassing on the Capitol grounds.
And there are a lot of people that have been charged with nonviolent offenses who have been pleading guilty to those crimes, misdemeanors, and not getting jail time.
There are degrees of culpability, as there are in any mass demonstration event.
LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ: Looking at the bigger picture, your ultimate report, your committee recommended that Donald Trump, the former president, be charged.
In court, you have to, as you know, show specific actions and convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.
So, what specifically did the former president do that you think he should be charged for?
TIMOTHY HEAPHY: Yes, so degrees of culpability.
He is the main proximate cause of the riot.
The committee found evidence of his specific intent to obstruct, interfere or impede the joint session.
That's the main statute, is obstruction of an official proceeding.
And there's lots of evidence of specific intent that President Trump and his co-conspirators took to ensure that the joint session did not go forward, that the transfer of power did not occur.
That started well before January 6 with efforts to use the Justice Department, misuse the Justice Department, pressure state officials, put pressure on the vice president, and then, ultimately, on January 6 itself, a really incendiary speech to a crowd that he knew was armed and was angry, and then inaction once the riot occurred.
Despite repeated encouragement to quell violence, to say something publicly, he did not act.
All of that informed the committee's recommendation that there's evidence of the violation of federal crimes by the former president and by others in his immediate circle.
LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ: And the special counsel investigation could potentially get more evidence than what your committee was able to get.
Namely, you in your investigation, you spoke to senior staff, to former Vice President Mike Pence.
And there's a fight going on right now about whether or not the former vice president will testify before a federal grand jury.
Privileges aside, on the substance, given what you learned in your investigation, do you think that a Vice President Mike Pence testimony would have vital information about what Trump did in his actions, his statements around in the lead-up to January 6?
TIMOTHY HEAPHY: Yes, absolutely.
And it's predictable that the special counsel would want to speak to him.
We did speak to his chief of staff.
We talked to his chief counsel.
We talked to his national security adviser.
We talked to everyone around him.
But the firsthand account of the vice president himself, conversations that he had with the president before January 6, his lived experience during that day would be directly relevant.
Again, they would bear potentially upon the president's state of mind.
That's the crucial issue for the special counsel.
And the vice president, who had a lot of direct communication with the president might provide really direct information about that.
Separate from him, the Justice Department could actually push through privileged assertions that limited us, there are a lot of witnesses, like some of those vice presidential staffers, who asserted an executive privilege and said, I will tell you about what happened, but for I can't really talk about direct communications that I witnessed between the president and the vice president.
That's protected by privilege.
A grand jury investigation arguably overcomes that assertion.
That may be litigated quickly.
That's another procedural benefit that the Department of Justice had that we didn't have.
So, those issues could be resolved, and they could get new firsthand accounts that we weren't able to get because of just the difference between a congressional process and a criminal justice process.
LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ: Timothy Heaphy, thank you so much for your time.
TIMOTHY HEAPHY: Thank you.
GEOFF BENNETT: And we will be back shortly with a look at a museum exhibit featuring uplifting historical portraits of African Americans.
AMNA NAWAZ: But, first, take a moment to hear from your local PBS station.
It's a chance to offer your support, which helps keep programs like ours on the air.
GEOFF BENNETT: For those stations staying with us: One key factor for the rise in housing costs in recent years is that building has not kept up with demand.
So, after decades of fights over affordable housing, suburban counties of Long Island, east of New York City, are pushing for more development.
Paul Solman has this encore report.
PAUL SOLMAN: A 14-acre eyesore in Huntington, Long Island, obtained by a local nonprofit to build housing.
PILAR MOYA-MANCERA, Executive Director, Housing Help: Matinecock Court, 146 units of affordable housing.
(LAUGHTER) PAUL SOLMAN: Right now, it looks like scrubland, no?
PILAR MOYA-MANCERA: Yes, right now, that's what it is.
And it's been this for 43 years.
PAUL SOLMAN: You heard right, 43 years.
Pilar Moya-Mancera runs Housing Help, the nonprofit which set out to build here when Jimmy Carter was president.
Legal opposition and approval delays have blocked it through Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump and Biden.
Meanwhile: PILAR MOYA-MANCERA: The cost of housing on Long Island has significantly increased year after year after year, even for a young professional, because there's hardly any supply of rental housing.
Right over there, you can see the sign that bus drivers are needed.
And this is all throughout Long Island, not just here.
PAUL SOLMAN: Though battles over affordable housing are a national commonplace, the counties that make up Long Island have a higher percentage of detached single family homes than almost any large county in the country.
Where did you live?
HUNTER GROSS, President, Huntington Township Housing Coalition: So, I lived on the second floor.
PAUL SOLMAN: How much did it cost?
HUNTER GROSS: It was around $3,000 a month.
PAUL SOLMAN: For how big an apartment?
HUNTER GROSS: For a one-bedroom apartment.
PAUL SOLMAN: For young folks who grew up here and wanted to stay, like 27-year-old Hunter Gross, buying was a pipe dream, renting, a nightmare.
You couldn't afford it anymore?
HUNTER GROSS: No.
Unfortunately, I couldn't.
You go -- it has a good public high school.
You go to a good university.
You got a good-paying job.
Yet the market rate apartments in the town of Huntington are pricing out young professionals who are making upwards of $100,000.
PAUL SOLMAN: Where has the opposition come from?
HUNTER GROSS: So I would say a large part of the opposition are the NIMBYs in the town of Huntington and across Long Island.
And these are people who don't want affordable housing in their backyard.
PAUL SOLMAN: The NIMBYs, the not-in-my-backyard-ers, determined to preserve the quiet suburb they moved to and make their resistance heard.
WOMAN: It is not just an issue of affordable housing, even if it was exclusive housing.
There are issues of density, traffic and schools.
MAN: We have to talk about making it affordable for everybody.
When this gets built, and there's 146 units, that's great for the 146 people that are going to live there, but what about everybody?
PAUL SOLMAN: Hector Gavilla, lifelong local resident and real estate broker.
HECTOR GAVILLA, Long island Resident: Developers like to build.
And if they could put more people in the same space, they're going to -- they're going to want to do that.
And that definitely creates more high density and more people, and it definitely creates more congestion and more traffic.
PAUL SOLMAN: But mainly, insists Gavilla, it's government subsidies to developers and lower-income residents that taxpayers will ultimately pay for that drive his opposition to projects like Matinecock Court.
HECTOR GAVILLA: We don't have an affordability problem.
What we really have is a tax problem.
And we have some of the highest property taxes on Long Island.
So all this is doing is just contributing to that.
I'm OK with building any building, as long as it doesn't cause taxpayers to suffer more in having to subsidize, because we're already suffering enough here by continuing to pay all these taxes.
PAUL SOLMAN: Moya-Mancera, though, thinks Long Islanders have long had a problem that precedes taxes.
PILAR MOYA-MANCERA: Let's tell it for what it is.
We do have a history of housing segregation, and there was a lot of fear, not only here, but all throughout Long Island.
NARRATOR: Levittown, a community designed for modern living.
PAUL SOLMAN: It's fear with a history.
In the 1940s, farms across the island were being turned into neighborhoods.
The iconic community of Levittown was the model, single family homes built as a community that G.I.s returning from World War II could afford, people of color explicitly kept out.
More recently, after a Newsday hidden camera investigation, New York state cited three real estate brokerages for discriminating against homebuyers of color.
No surprise to Pilar Moya-Mancera, who immigrated from Peru and eventually settled on Long Island in 1996.
PILAR MOYA-MANCERA: I moved to a white upscale community.
Within days that I moved into my house, I got a message on my door saying that I don't belong here, that I need to move out.
I refused to move out.
They left a second note saying that they were going to burn down my house.
PAUL SOLMAN: No.
PILAR MOYA-MANCERA: But I got a third note that they were going to kill me.
When I received the third note, I was so pregnant, and I said, I'm not going to put the life of my baby at risk.
So I told my neighbors, I'm moving out.
PAUL SOLMAN: But enough convinced her to stay, even volunteered to keep an eye on her house, and she became an affordable housing activist who finally sees more Long Island neighbors coming around, now that they are aging, as she is.
PILAR MOYA-MANCERA: Now I don't have to go from being a helicopter mom to being an airplane grandmother.
There is a place for my grandchildren.
There is a place for my adult children to move in, so they can leave my basement, right, a place for me to live for when I'm a senior citizen.
PAUL SOLMAN: But just as important may be the cost to Long Island's economy.
Anne Shybunko-Moore employs 82 people making parts for the military on Long Island, says she could hire 10 more, has even lured employees from other states.
ANNE SHYBUNKO-MOORE, CEO and Owner, GSE Dynamics, Inc.: I paid their rent for a year.
And then it was on them to find their own place.
And... PAUL SOLMAN: Year here on you, you're paying the rent, and then?
ANNE SHYBUNKO-MOORE: Went back.
There was a sticker shock of the cost of living to buy a house, because, understand, renting, even renting a place here is upwards of $3,500 a month.
PAUL SOLMAN: So, the CEO has a message for neighbors bemoaning density and taxes.
ANNE SHYBUNKO-MOORE: You all taxpayers are benefiting from my employees working hard, right?
The number of employees I hire, the number of employees that are getting paychecks, buying food at all these stores, right?
I'm your economic impact that's making this region successful.
And I'm telling you, as a business owner, my people can't afford to buy a house, right?
They're going to leave.
It's hard enough to compete for talent.
Now I have to find someone talented and able to afford housing.
PAUL SOLMAN: In fact, she's so desperate, she's looking for help from above.
ANNE SHYBUNKO-MOORE: And I'm looking at my roof right, a 57,000-square foot building, wondering -- like, obviously there's structural engineering issues and sewer issues.
But I'm thinking, the footprint of this building, how many apartments can I put up there?
PAUL SOLMAN: Come on.
ANNE SHYBUNKO-MOORE: Come on.
I'm thinking... PAUL SOLMAN: Apartments right up there?
ANNE SHYBUNKO-MOORE: I could.
Can I put a second floor on here, where I can put 20 of my employees right on top?
PAUL SOLMAN: Wow.
ANNE SHYBUNKO-MOORE: We got to do something.
We got to find square footage somewhere.
PAUL SOLMAN: For the moment, the weeds still rule.
But, by early next year, shovels will uproot them, and 146 units of affordable housing will rise here.
For the "PBS NewsHour," Paul Solman on Long Island.
AMNA NAWAZ: On this last day of Black History Month, we feature the stories of Black Southerners during Jim Crow as told in a single frame.
The "NewsHour"'s digital anchor, Nicole Ellis visited the University of Virginia to see how historical portrait's are helping redefine a generation in its own voice and through its own lens.
It is for our arts and culture series, Canvas.
NICOLE ELLIS: Henry Martin was a deacon and well-known member of the Charlottesville Black community.
JOHN EDWIN MASON, University of Virginia: Henry Martin, born enslaved, working all of his life either as an enslaved person or working as a menial laborer, never learned to read or write.
But he was able to speak for himself through photography.
NICOLE ELLIS: John Edwin Mason is the curator of an exhibition of portraits like Martin's now on display at the University of Virginia's Special Collections Library.
Martin's larger-than-life portrait is featured along with historical items that contextualize it.
He was a man so iconic, a poem was written about him a century later.
RITA DOVE, Poet: Someone will pause to whisper, Henry, and for a moment, my name flies free.
(APPLAUSE) NICOLE ELLIS: Martin's self-portrait contradicts and undermines how white students and alumni would portray him.
JOHN EDWIN MASON: It is a way of saying: This is who I am, this, no trace of his job as a janitor and bell ringer.
NICOLE ELLIS: All of the portraits featured in the exhibit were taken at the Holsinger Studio several decades after the South lost the Civil War.
The people photographed were soldiers, seamstresses and stable managers.
JOHN EDWIN MASON: They are really stunning, in the way that they show dignity, respectability, style, panache among African Americans who lived in Central Virginia in the late 19th century and early 20th century.
That is a time of Jim Crow segregation.
That is a time when there were lynchings in this area, and yet you could see none of that.
NICOLE ELLIS: The University of Virginia used at least 4,000 enslaved Black people to build and maintain the school in the 19th century.
In 2020, the University of Virginia erected this memorial to enslaved laborers to honor the Black people enslaved by the school.
The Holsinger Studio Portrait Project aims to show a different side of the people enslaved and their descendants.
For Henry Martin, those portraits told the story of his life through his eyes, a story still being told by those who were connected to him, like Edwina St. Rose.
EDWINA ST. ROSE, Holsinger Studio Portrait Project: His first wife was -- would have been a great-great-aunt of mine.
So, he is special to me.
JOHN EDWIN MASON: St. Rose's other family members, a great-uncle and grandfather, owned a business in Charlottesville.
Their photos are also featured in the exhibit.
EDWINA ST. ROSE: And they were operating a barbershop that their father, who would have been my great-grandfather, established in 1865.
People now understand that there is a segment of the Charlottesville society that needs to have their story told and that -- and celebrated.
JOHN EDWIN MASON: Nobody in these portraits looks oppressed.
Nobody looks bedraggled.
Nobody looks beaten down.
And that is by design.
NICOLE ELLIS: For Charlottesville, like much of the country, its reckoning with racism is ongoing.
There were attempted lynchings in the city as late as 1917.
In the 1960s, historic Black communities were razed to the ground by the city.
In 2017, a white supremacist mob held a violent, deadly rally in response to a decision to remove a Robert E. Lee statute.
JOHN EDWIN MASON: The university has not always been a good neighbor to the African American community.
We have learned the hard side of history.
We have learned about oppression.
We have not learned about Black life, Black joy, Black family, Black churches, Black schools, Black politics, Black style.
All of those things have been in the background.
And, through these portraits, we are bringing them into the foreground.
NICOLE ELLIS: The exhibit also features other examples of Black self-expression, like the only known surviving copy of Charlottesville's Black newspaper from that time, The Charlottesville Messenger, and juxtaposes them with yearbooks and white media portraying racist stereotypes.
JOHN EDWIN MASON: I want to tell stories about history through this exhibition.
And the portraits said to me, we can explore a side of history through these portraits that has been not completely ignored, but has not been given its due.
NICOLE ELLIS: Portraits like that of Henry Martin, a bell ringer, but also a man of dignity and a story to tell, a story that would long survive him.
For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Nicole Ellis in Charlottesville, Virginia.
GEOFF BENNETT: And you can see more of the University of Virginia exhibit online and find more of our stories on Black History Month, including one about how students digitizing historically Black newspapers are rediscovering forgotten histories about their hometowns.
That is at PBS.org/NewsHour.
AMNA NAWAZ: And join us again here tomorrow night, when we will explore the laws state legislatures are passing this year aimed at limiting LGBTQ rights.
That's the "NewsHour" for tonight.
I'm Amna Nawaz.
GEOFF BENNETT: And I'm Geoff Bennett.
Thanks for spending part of your evening with us.