Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Lev Sugarman
Tuesday, March 12, 2019, 12:11 PM

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the U.S. will withdraw all remaining diplomatic personnel from its embassy in Caracas, citing the presence of American diplomatic staff as “a constraint on U.S. policy,” the New York Times reports.

The Treasury Department imposed new sanctions on a bank jointly owned by Venezuelan and Russian state enterprises, according to the Wall Street Journal. The U.S. accused the bank of supporting Venezuela’s state oil company in violation of existing sanctions against the Maduro regime.

The New York attorney general’s office subpoenaed records from Deutsche Bank and Investors Bank in a new civil investigation into Trump Organization projects sparked by the congressional testimony of President Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, the Times details.

Former Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker will meet privately with the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday after the panel’s Democrats requested Whitaker elaborate on his public testimony before the committee in February, the Washington Post reports.

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced he will not seek a fifth term as president following mass protests and widespread government pressure against his candidacy, marking an end to his 20 years in office, according to the BBC.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Sahand Moarefy wrote on potential U.S. responses to the European financial mechanism designed to sidestep American sanctions on Iran.

Susan Landau assessed the intelligence value of Section 215 surveillance programs.

Peter Margulies reflected on judicial deference in light of litigation involving the transgender service ban, DACA and the census.

Joshua White discussed the need to increase staff within the Office of Foreign Assets Control.

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