Two law enforcement sources have said that President Trump directed his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, to lie to congressional intelligence committees about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow and supported a plan for Cohen to travel to Russia during the presidential campaign in order to meet with Vladimir Putin and begin negotiations, according to Buzzfeed News.
Trump sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi notifying her that he had canceled her military transportation to a planned visit to U.S. troops in Afghanistan, citing concerns over the government shutdown, reports Reuters. The letter was sent one day after Pelosi asked Trump to delay his State of the Union address.
The inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services released a report on Thursday stating that the Trump administration likely separated thousands more families at the U.S.-Mexico border than previously known, the New York Times reports.
No one has claimed responsibility for a car bombing at a police academy in Bogotá, Colombia on Thursday that killed 21 people, though the suspect was a member of the National Liberation Army (known as the ELN, its Spanish acronym)—the country’s largest remaining guerilla group—according to the Times.
Speaking at the Pentagon, Trump vowed to boost the U.S. missile-defense systems to protect against all types of missiles regardless of type or origin, greatly exceeding the modest plans the Pentagon had released the same day, says the Washington Post.
ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare
Hilary Hurd discussed whether Iran’s new space-launch vehicles violate a U.N. Security Council resolution.
Charlie Dunlap analyzed the issue of civilian oversight of the military justice system as it relates to the case of Major Matthew Golsteyn.
Bruce Schneier evaluated the GCHQ’s proposal on government lawful access to civilian encryption and the challenges posed by government eavesdropping.
Mieke Eoyang, Ben Freeman, Ryan Pougiales and Benjamin Wittes provided a December 2018 update to their polling project on public confidence in government institutions on national security matters.
Mikhaila Fogel shared a document announcing the Skadden settlement agreement with the Department of Justice regarding violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
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