Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Mikhaila Fogel
Monday, January 14, 2019, 2:06 PM

The current partial federal government shutdown is now the longest in modern U.S. history, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Over the weekend, President Trump threatened to “devastate” Turkey economically should it attack U.S. Kurdish partners in Syria following U.S. withdrawal and urged Turkey to create a 20-mile safe zone. He also urged the Kurds not to “provoke” Turkey, Russia, Syria or Iran. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu responded that nothing could be achieved by threatening Turkey and that strategic partners should refrain from communicating with each other over social media, says Reuters.

The Daily Beast reports that a U.S. intelligence report states that the Kremlin sanctioned Maria Butina’s campaign to infiltrate the National Rifle Association.

The U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia has said that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Both leaders agreed, according to the statement, on the need for sustain de-escalation in Yemen and adherence to the Sweden agreements regarding the cease-fire.

Attorney general nominee Bill Barr has said in written testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee that Special Counsel Robert Mueller should be allowed to complete his investigation. The statement noted that it is “very important” to communicate the investigations findings to Congress and the public, reports the Washington Post. Barr’s confirmation hearings will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday.

ICYMI: Last Weekend on Lawfare

Matthew Kahn shared a special edition of the Lawfare Podcast in which Benjamin Wittes spoke with Carrie Cordero, Chuck Rosenberg, David Kris, Jack Goldsmith and Susan Hennessey about the New York Times's report that the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation of Donald Trump after the president fired FBI Director James Comey in May 2017.

Quinta Jurecic shared a primer by former FBI General Counsel Jim Baker providing an overview of counterintelligence.

David Kris discussed why the details of the Times revelation may have been shocking, but the FBI’s actions described in the report were likely unavoidable.

Jack Goldsmith questioned the legal basis for, and prudence of, treating the president as a national security threat.

Seth Jones explored the history of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

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