Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Lev Sugarman
Tuesday, January 22, 2019, 1:20 PM

A Taliban attack on an Afghanistan military intelligence base outside of Kabul killed more than 40 people on Monday, resulting in another major defeat for the Afghan army, the BBC details.

The Trump administration’s decision to relieve sanctions on companies owned by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, which the administration touted as requiring major concessions from Russia, actually included debt-relief provisions and other major benefits for Deripaska, the New York Times reports.

Rudy Giuliani claimed Monday that President Trump could not recall whether the Trump Tower Moscow project continued into the election, walking back comments he made on Sunday that negotiations lasted through October or November, according to CNN.

An Iraqi scientist, now in Kurdish custody, admitted to assisting the Islamic State in chemical weapons production, reports the Washington Post.

The Russian lawyer for Paul Whelan, the former Marine held in Moscow on espionage charges since December, says his client was handed a flash drive containing Russian state secrets before his arrest, the Post details.

The U.S. will seek formal extradition of Meng Wanzhou, an executive of the Chinese telecom giant Huawei, following her December arrest in Canada for her alleged involvement with violations of U.S. sanctions on Iran, according to Reuters. 

In two 5-4 decisions, the Supreme Court stayed district court injunctions in two cases challenging the Trump administration’s ban on transgender people serving in the military. Lawfare shared the orders.

A panel of judges for the D.C. Circuit heard oral arguments on Tuesday morning in the al-Nashiri case. For background, see this McClatchy report from November 2018.

ICYMI: Over the Long Weekend on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell posted Saturday’s Lawfare Podcast, in which Benjamin Wittes spoke with Ian Bassin of Protect Democracy on the proper role of litigation in protecting democratic norms.

Morgan Kaplan unpacked some of the policy challenges of the “by, with, and through” approach of U.S. and partner-force operations for this week’s Foreign Policy Essay.

In response to Laurence Tribe, Bob Bauer analyzed the Senate’s obligations to try an impeachment case in the instance the House votes to impeach.

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