Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Lev Sugarman
Thursday, January 24, 2019, 5:04 PM

After Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó declared himself president, the U.S. recognized him as the country’s legitimate leader while Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro severed diplomatic ties with Washington, the New York Times reports. Following the U.S. recognition of Guaidó’s presidency, other countries followed suit, including Canada, Argentina, Brazil, and other Central and South American states.

President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen delayed his scheduled February 7th testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, referencing threats against his family from President Trump and Rudy Giuliani, according to the Wall Street Journal. Following the postponement of his House testimony, Cohen was subpoenaed to privately testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on February 12th, details the Journal.

After a tit-for-tat exchange on Wednesday in which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rescinded the invitation for Trump to deliver the State of the Union on January 29th, Trump announced he will wait until the government shutdown ends to give the address, the BBC reports.

With the shutdown entering its 34th day, the Senate voted on two competing bills—one Republican, which included border wall funding, and one Democratic, which did not—to reopen the government, according to the Washington Post. Both bills failed to garner enough support to pass the Senate.

Following Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s accusations that Paul Manafort lied after entering a cooperation agreement with prosecutors, Manafort’s defense team argued their client merely provided inconsistent recollection of facts, NBC News details

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a joint Russian-Turkish plan to stabilize Idlib province in Syria following recent territorial gains made there by the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, Reuters reports.

Four Republican senators proposed sending captured Islamic State fighters to Guantánamo Bay, citing less-secure detention centers in Syria, according to the Miami Herald.

An American soldier, Staff Sgt. Joshua Z. Beale, died as a result of injuries sustained in combat operations on Tuesday in the Uruzgan province of Afghanistan, the Defense Department announced.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Andrew Miller analyzed the Trump administration’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

On the Cyberlaw Podcast, Stewart Baker spoke with data scientist Jeff Jonas; the episode also included discussions on biometric phone security and the sunset of FISA provisions.

Nate Cardozo and Seth Schoen unpacked the recent GCHQ proposal regarding surveillance of encrypted platforms.

Rachel Brown and Preston Lim explored U.S. scrutiny of Chinese telecoms in their most recent roundup of U.S.-China technology policy news.

Lev Sugarman shared a report by the FBI Agents Association describing the effects of the partial government shutdown on FBI operations and personnel.

Brenna Gautam and Sarah Grant examined last week’s developments in the military commission trying al-Qaeda commander Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi.

Jen Patja Howell shared the most recent edition of the Rational Security podcast in which Susan Hennessey, Benjamin Wittes, Tamara Cofman Wittes and Shane Harris discuss the BuzzFeed reporting on President Trump’s alleged direction to Michael Cohen to lie to Congress, among other topics.

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