Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Stephanie Zable
Thursday, May 24, 2018, 12:17 PM

President Trump has cancelled his planned June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the New York Times reports. The announcement comes after a week of worsening relations and threatening statements.

North Korea claims that it has destroyed its Punggye-ri nuclear test site, according to the Washington Post. The alleged destruction came after a massive explosion, followed by a series of explosions over several hours. Destroying the test site is consistent with a promise the North made when Kim-Trump talks were initially proposed; however, the North’s explanation that it destroyed the site because it has completed testing on its nuclear fleet may not reduce tensions.

Trump has instructed the Commerce Department to look into whether automobile imports harm national security, Politico reports. The investigation, under the same law used to impose tariffs on aluminum and steel imports, could result in tariffs of up to 25 percent. The tariffs would be a step towards making good on campaign commitments to American auto workers, but businesses and others note that American carmakers are profitable as it is, and that the tariffs would significantly increase prices for American consumers.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo conceded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election with the goal of electing Trump, Bloomberg says. Pompeo reluctantly accepted U.S. intelligence agencies’ conclusion in testimony Wednesday before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Meanwhile, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said while she did not recall intelligence saying that Russia’s intent was to help President Trump, she had “no reason to doubt any intelligence assessment.”

Companies of all sizes are struggling to comply with the GDPR regulations that go into effect on Friday, the Wall Street Journal report. The regulations require massive changes in how companies collect data about European subjects, and many say they do not expect to be in compliance by Friday.

Trump’s interference with the Justice Department will do lasting damage to our democracy, David Kris argues in the Atlantic. Trump’s involvement in subverting the intelligence agencies subverts protections established after Watergate and contributes to chipping away at the rule of law.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Steve Vladeck noted a flaw in the Trump administration's compliance with the Federal Vacancies Reform Act as it applies to the succession at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Bob Bauer placed the responsibility for President Trump's troubling and norm-shattering involvement in a Justice Department investigation not with Rod Rosenstein, but squarely with the president and his staff.

Jen Patja Howell posted this week's edition of Rational Security.

Robert Chesney and Steve Vladeck posted the National Security Law Podcast.

Stewart Baker posted the Cyberlaw Podcast.

Matthew Waxman analyzed the British attorney general’s remarks on cyber and international law.

Quinta Jurecic provided Sen. Merkley's new draft AUMF.

Jurecic uploaded the Southern District of New York’s decision that President Trump’s blocking of Twitter users is unconstitutional.

Matthew Kahn posted Khalid Ahmed Qassim’s motion for en banc review of the denial of his habeas petition.

Scott R. Anderson and Megan Reiss continued their series on U.S. public opinion regarding the use of force, this time focusing specifically on nuclear threats.

Aurel Sari discussed the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly's resolution on hybrid warfare. 

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