Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Stephanie Zable
Friday, April 26, 2019, 2:06 PM

President Trump will meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday to discuss a U.S.-Japanese trade deal, reported the New York Times. Key areas of discussion are expected to include the threatened U.S. tariffs on automobiles, a critical export for Japan, as well as U.S. access to the Japanese beef market. American farmers fear that U.S. withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal has left them at a competitive disadvantage.

Mariia Butina was sentenced on Friday to 18 months, with credit for time served, for working as an unregistered foreign agent in violation of U.S. law, said Politico. Butina pled guilty in December to conspiracy for promoting Kremlin interests while working with the NRA—her lawyers noted that she was not mentioned in the Mueller report.

Acting Secretary of Defense Shanahan is expected to approve a request from the Department of Homeland Security to waive restrictions on military personnel interaction with migrants, according to the Washington Post. The waiver would provide military lawyers, cooks and drivers to assist on the southern border, although some restrictions on their activities would remain in place.

The Treasury Department has announced sanctions on the Venezuelan foreign minister, reported Politico. The new sanctions are a part of an effort to punish the regime of President Nicolas Maduro, who the U.S. considers illegitimate.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein defended his handling of the Russia investigation in a speech to the Armenian Bar Association, according to CNN. Rosenstein noted that the Mueller report revealed “overwhelming evidence” of Russian efforts to “undermine America.” He also revealed that he will leave the Justice Department next month.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Suzanne Maloney explained why the Trump administration’s renewed efforts to completely eliminate Iran’s oil exports illustrate the administration’s unclear and contradictory objectives.

Elizabeth Allan detailed the history of the U.S.-Saudi security relationship and how it affects the current war in Yemen.

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