Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Mikhaila Fogel
Tuesday, August 14, 2018, 2:53 PM

A Special Forces soldier died Sunday following an IED attack in southern Afghanistan, reports the New York Times. 36-year-old Sgt. First Class Reymund Rarogal Transfiguracion of Waikoloa, Hawaii, was working alongside members of Afghanistan’s security forces in Helmand province when the bomb exploded, injuring several others. Sgt. Transfiguracion is the fifth U.S. service member to die in combat Afghanistan this year, according to the Times.

Paul Manafort’s legal team rested its case on Tuesday morning without calling any witnesses, said the Wall Street Journal. Closing arguments are scheduled for Wednesday morning.

President Trump signed the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (NDAA) on Monday at Fort Drum, reports the Washington Post. The legislation contains a $16 billion increase in funding over the current fiscal year. Trump is facing criticism for failing to mention Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the bill’s namesake, Vietnam War veteran and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

A vehicle crash outside the British Houses of Parliament is being treated as a terrorist incident, writes the BCC. Two people were treated at a local hospital for injuries, but have been discharged. A 29 year-old suspect, who was reportedly previously known to British counter-terrorism police, is in custody.

A Trump-appointed district judge upheld the constitutionality of Mueller’s appointment on Monday, according to the Journal. t Judge Dabney Friedrich in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia, ruled that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has the authority to prosecute Concord Management, a Russian company accused of participating in the conspiracy to hack Democratic Party organizations and release the stolen information to the public. Friedrich is the fourth federal judge to uphold the Mueller appointment.

The Israeli government has announced it will end the commercial goods blockade of the Gaza Strip if the border remains quiet, says Reuters. The blockade was imposed last month in response to incendiary balloons launched from Gaza into Israel. Such cross-border incidents have reportedly ceased in recent days.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Mila Versteeg kicked off a week-long Lawfare feature on federalism in the Middle East.

Jeffrey Kahn explored the issue of passport denials as it relates to Doe v. Mattis.

Benjamin Wittes examined a recently-released Watergate era Office of Legal Counsel opinion entitled “Presidential Amenability to Judicial Subpoenas,” and its implications for the Mueller investigation.

Victoria Clark and William Ford gave a summary of events in Washington this week, which may be of interest to Lawfare readers in this week’s “The Week That Will Be.”

Mikhaila Fogel posted this week’s edition of the Lawfare Podcast, in which senior editor Shannon Togawa Mercer speaks with experts about escalating diplomatic spat between Saudi Arabia and Canada.

Matthew Kahn posted Judge Dabney Friedrich’s opinion affirming the constitutionality of the special counsel.

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