Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Victoria Clark
Tuesday, June 5, 2018, 4:32 PM

Special Counsel Robert Mueller accused Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign manager, of witness tampering on Monday, reports the New York Times. Manafort faces tax fraud and money laundering charges. Prosecutors allege in a filing that Manafort attempted to contact several witnesses involved in his case by phone and using an encrypted messaging system, as well as through an intermediary, in violation of his terms of pretrial release. According to court records, two witnesses gave copies of the text messages to the FBI.

South Korean officials are downplaying President Trump’s suggestion that next week’s summit will call an end to the Korean War, according to the Wall Street Journal. Trump has tweeted that he believes that the summit will end the 70-year-long conflict, however, the Journal says some South Korean officials counseled caution and warned against excessive optimism ahead of the Singapore meeting.

The U.S. military will increase spending on a classified artificial intelligence program to anticipate nuclear missile strikes, reports Reuters. According to several U.S. officials familiar with the program, the Trump administration has proposed increasing the budget for one AI-missile program to $83 million in efforts to boost U.S. preparedness.

Russian and Chinese hackers are targeting South Korean entities ahead of U.S.-North Korea summit, according to the Journal. The attacks, which occurred as recently as early May, demonstrate that South Korea remains a high-profile target due to its “status as a U.S. ally” as well as its “efforts to engage with the North Korean regime.” Both Russian and Chinese government officials denied any involvement in the hacking campaigns.

The U.S. military conducted an airstrike in Somalia targeting al-Shabab militants last Saturday, reports CNN. This airstrike follows several weeks of drone strikes in the area targeting the al-Qaeda affiliate. In a press release, U.S. Africa Command reported that 27 terrorists were killed in the strike and no civilians were harmed.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine is in talks with several private companies to take over operations of the International Space Station, according to the Washington Post. Currently, the station is run by a partnership including the U.S., Russia, Japan, Canada, and the European Space Agency. The White House announced its plan earlier this year to end direct funding to the station by 2025. At present, the station costs NASA between $3 and $4 billion per year.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Duncan B. Hollis and Matthew Waxman examined how John Bolton’s approach to weapons of mass destruction can inform cybersecurity cooperation.

Paul Rosenzweig questioned how President Trump’s use of pardon power disrupts established norms.

Rick Ledgett discussed the five-year anniversary of Edward Snowden’s disclosure of classified U.S. government documents, and its implications for dedicated NSA employees.

Quinta Jurecic and Benjamin Wittes argued that the January letter from Trump’s lawyers to Mueller’s office reveals much about the president’s lawyers thoughts on the special counsel investigation.

Bob Bauer reviewed the implications of Giuliani’s “murder in the oval office” hypothetical.

Jurecic posted the Special Counsel’s motion accusing Paul Manafort of witness tampering.

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