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Politics & National Security

National Security Highlights from the Seventh Democratic Primary Debate

On Tuesday, CNN and the Des Moines Register hosted the seventh debate of the 2020 Democratic Primary campaign.  Wolf Blitzer, Abby Phillipand Brianne Pfannenstiel moderated the discussion. We’ve selected parts of the transcript relevant to national security. These excerpts are organized both thematically and chronologically.

A complete transcript is available through the Des Moines Register here.

Podcasts

The Cyberlaw Podcast: The Line Between Deepfake Legislation and Deeply Fake Legislation

There’s a fine line between legislation addressing deepfakes and legislation that is itself a deep fake. Nate Jones reports on the only federal legislation addressing the problem so far. I claim that it is well short of a serious regulatory effort—and pretty close to a fake law.

FISA

David Kris Submits Amicus Letter Brief to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court

David Kris, whom the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court appointed as amicus curiae to review the FBI's filing before the court regarding FBI and Justice Department practices in filing FISA warrants, has filed a letter brief with the court in response to the FBI's submission. The brief is available here and below.

Immigration

Judge Blocks Trump Executive Order Allowing State and Local Govenrments to Block Refugees

A judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland granted a preliminary injunction against a Sept. 2019 executive order that, as the judge described, effectively "gives individual States and Local Governments veto power over resettlement." The judge argued that the plaintiffs are "clearly likely to succeed" on the merits of their suit and that "they have also shown that they will be irreparably harmed" if the order and a corresponding funding notice get implemented.

American Foreign Policy

Livestream: House Armed Services Committee Assesses the Pentagon's Role in U.S.-China Competition

On Jan. 15 at 10:00 a.m., the House Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing titled “DOD’s Role in Competing with China.” The Committee will hear testimony from Michèle Flournoy, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of WestExec Advisors and Former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy; Andrew Philip Hunter, Director of the Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; and Rear Adm. (ret.) Michael McDevitt, Senior Fellow at CNA.

Facial recognition software

Livestream: House Committee on Oversight and Reform Hears Testimony on Facial Recognition Technology

On Jan. 15 at 10:00 a.m., the House Committee on Oversight and Reform will hold a hearing titled “Facial Recognition Technology (Part III): Ensuring Commercial Transparency & Accuracy.” The Committee will hear testimony from Brenda Leong, Senior Counsel and Director of AI and Ethics at the Future of Privacy Forum; Dr.

Documents

Flynn Moves to Withdraw Guilty Plea

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn filed a motion in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Tuesday to withdraw his guilty plea of making false statements to the FBI regarding his contacts with Russia. The motion cites the government’s “bad faith, vindictiveness, and breach of the plea agreement” as reasons for withdrawing the plea and requests a delay of Flynn’s sentencing by 30 days, from Jan. 28 to Feb. 27. The motion is available here and below.

Afghanistan

Livestream: House Committee on Foreign Affairs Hears Testimony from SIGAR on U.S. Lessons Learned in Afghanistan

On Jan. 15, 2019, at 10:00 a.m., the House Committee on Foreign Affairs will hold a hearing titled “U.S. Lessons Learned in Afghanistan.” The Committee will hear testimony from Mr. John F. Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). The livestream is available here and below.

Podcasts

The Lawfare Podcast: Imagining an Impeachment Trial

There's going to be a House vote tomorrow to send the impeachment articles over to the Senate. Then there's going to be a little parade where the appointed managers from the House take them over. And then, we're going to have a Senate trial. Benjamin Wittes gathered in the Jungle Studio with Margaret Taylor, Molly Reynolds, David Priess, and Jonathan Shaub (by phone) to imagine what that trial will look like.

Documents

House Releases New Material Related to Impeachment

The three committees managing the House Impeachment inquiry transmitted new evidence to the House Judiciary Committee to be included in the record sent to the Senate. The new material was provided by Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani. The evidence, along with the House letter that accompanied the transmission, can be found below.

immigration

Livestream: House Committee on Homeland Security Assesses the Adequacy of DHS Efforts to Prevent Child Deaths in Custody

On Jan. 14, the House Committee on Homeland Security will hold a hearing titled “Assessing the Adequacy of DHS Efforts to Prevent Child Deaths in Custody.” The Committee will hear testimony from Mr. Brian Hastings, Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol’s Law Enforcement Operations, and Dr. Alex Eastman MD, MPH, FACS, FAEMS, Senior Medical Officer -- Operations of the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office.

Iran

Livestream: House Foreign Affairs Hearing on the Trump Administration's Iran Policy

On Jan. 14, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs will hold a hearing titled “From Sanctions to the Soleimani Strike to Escalation: Evaluating the Administration’s Iran Policy.” The committee will hear testimony from Richard Haass Ph.D, the President of the Council on Foreign Relations and Former State Department Director of Policy Planning; Ms. Avril Haines, a Senior Research Scholar at Columbia University, Deputy Director at Columbia World Projects, Former Deputy National Security Advisor and Former Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency; and Mr. Stephen J.

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