Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Lev Sugarman
Thursday, January 31, 2019, 4:51 PM

Hackers penetrated a Russian database containing private discovery material from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s case against the Russian consulting firm Concord Management, and then manipulated and disseminated the documents to discredit Mueller’s investigation, the BBC reports. Lawfare shared Mueller’s filing related to the hacking.

President Trump suggested he would allow the Department of Justice to independently decide whether Mueller’s final report will be publicly released, Reuters details.

The Senate voted to advance an amendment, written by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, opposing President Donald Trump’s planned troop withdrawal from Syria and Afghanistan, ensuring its attachment to a broader policy measure expected to pass the Senate in coming days, according to the New York times.

Also expressing opposition to Trump’s plan to withdraw U.S. forces, President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani wrote Trump a letter in which he offered to explore ways to decrease the costs of keeping American troops in Afghanistan, CNN reports.

In an effort to salvage the Iran nuclear deal after President Trump’s withdrawal of U.S. support, France, Germany and the U.K. established a company to allow European business entry into the Iranian market without violating American sanctions, the Times details.

The U.S. Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act, which allows American victims of terrorism to file civil suits against entities accused of supporting terrorism, enters into force on Friday. The law will force the Palestinian Authority to reject U.S. security aid due to the PA’s costly exposure to newly-available civil-liability claims unless the White House finds a work-around, the Washington Post reports.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Margaret Taylor explored how congressional subpoena power could fare against White House assertions of executive privilege.

In a new short-form edition of the Lawfare Podcast, Matthew Kahn shared a condensed, substance-only version of the three hour briefing intelligence leaders gave on global threats before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Mikhaila Fogel posted a memorandum filed by the special counsel’s office in the Concord Management and Consulting case in which prosecutors alleged that discovery materials were doctored and leaked in an effort to undermine Mueller’s investigation.

Steve Stransky unpacked intelligence chiefs’ Tuesday testimony before the Select Intelligence Committee on the international security environment.

Jen Patja Howell shared a new edition of the Rational Security Podcast featuring a discussion with Tamara Cofman Wittes, Shane Harris, Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes on the Roger Stone indictment, Venezuela, reports of a UAE hacking operation and more.

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