Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Lev Sugarman
Thursday, February 21, 2019, 5:30 PM

Attorney General Bill Barr is expected to announce the completion of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation as early as next week, CNN reports. As the Justice Department prepares to transmit a version of Mueller’s confidential report to Congress, President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that the timing of the release is “totally up to” Barr. The New York Times and the Washington Post corroborated that a final report is expected in the coming weeks.

A Coast Guard lieutenant, described by prosecutors as a domestic terrorist, was arrested in Maryland on Friday on firearms and controlled substances charges for plotting to kill Democratic politicians, journalists, judges and other public figures, the Times details. Lawfare shared the criminal complaint filed in the U.S District Court for the District of Maryland, a supporting affidavit and a motion for pre-trial detention detailing the defendant’s self-described white nationalist ideology and lengthy target list.

A federal criminal complaint was unsealed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Northern California alleging an IRS employee unlawfully disclosed Suspicious Activity Reports linked to Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen’s financial activity to Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Stormy Daniels, NBC News reports. Lawfare provided the full complaint.

In a Thursday hearing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Judge Amy Berman Jackson placed a full gag order on former Trump associate Roger Stone after he posted a photo on Instagram of Jackson’s face beside what appeared to be crosshairs, the AP reports.

America’s European allies have rejected a Trump administration request to fill in for U.S. forces fighting the Islamic State in Syria after U.S. troops are withdrawn, according to the Post.

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen is scheduled to publicly testify next week before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, as well as give closed testimony to the House and Senate intelligence committees, following the postponement of his scheduled testimony earlier in February, the Times details.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Ryan Scoville highlighted concerning trends in ambassadorial appointments during recent decades.

Caleb Watney analyzed Trump’s recent executive order establishing a national artificial intelligence strategy.

Robert Chesney and Steve Vladeck shared a new episode of The National Security Law Podcast featuring discussion of emergency declaration litigation, the 2001 AUMF’s “harboring” provision and more.

Rachel Brown and Preston Lim unpacked recent developments in U.S.-China trade talks, the new U.S. artificial intelligence strategy, and more for Lawfare’s biweekly SinoTech series.

Robert Chesney announced a call for applications for a cybersecurity teaching and research fellowship at UT-Austin’s Robert Strauss Center.

Tom Wheeler and Robert D. Williams assessed the Trump administration’s efforts to secure 5G wireless networks by limiting the deployment of Chinese technology.

Jack Goldsmith commented on Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker’s role in upholding Justice Department norms of independence.

Mikhaila Fogel shared a criminal complaint and related documents in connection with the arrest of a Coast Guard officer for allegedly planning a terrorist attack.

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of Rational Security in which Tamara Cofman Wittes, Shane Harris, Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes discussed reporting on Trump administration officials’ efforts to sell nuclear power equipment to Saudi Arabia, cyberattacks targeting Australian political parties and more.

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