Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Sarah Grant
Wednesday, May 22, 2019, 11:14 AM

The Justice Department offered to “expedite” the House Intelligence Committee’s access to foreign intelligence and counterintelligence information related to Mueller’s investigation, as long as the panel dropped its threat to pursue enforcement action against Attorney General William Barr for his refusal to comply with a subpoena for Mueller’s full unredacted report, according to The Hill. Committee chairman Adam Schiff postponed the enforcement vote Wednesday morning, in response to the Justice Department’s offer, reports Politico.

The House Judiciary Committee issued subpoenas to Hope Hicks, former White House communications director, and Annie Donaldson, former deputy White House counsel, for documents and testimony related to possible obstruction of justice documented in special counsel Robert Mueller's report, reports CNN. Former White House counsel Don McGahn defied a subpoena to appear before the committee on Tuesday, a move which committee chairman Jerry Nadler said would result in McGahn being held in contempt of Congress.

Attorneys for President Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump and the Trump Organization will argue in federal court in Manhattan today for an injunction blocking Deutsche Bank from complying with subpoenas from the House Financial Services Committee and the House Intelligence Committee, and Capital One from complying with a subpoena from the Financial Services Committee, notes Reuters. The committees seek financial records related to Trump’s businesses.

The White House is considering restricting Chinese video surveillance giant Hikvision’s ability to buy American technology, says the New York Times. The Commerce Department may require that American companies obtain government approval to supply components to Hikvision, which plays a key role in the Chinese surveillance state.

John Walker Lindh, an American Taliban member who was captured during the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and convicted in civilian federal court for providing support to the Taliban, will be released from prison on Thursday after serving 17 years of a 20-year sentence, according to the Times. While on probationary release, Lindh will be barred from going online or owning a web-capable device without prior permission of his probation officer, traveling internationally and getting a passport or any other kind of travel document, and communicating “with any known extremist” or owning, watching or reading “material that reflects extremist or terroristic views.”

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Anthea Roberts, Henrique Choer Moraes and Victor Ferguson shared their new paper on how the U.S.-China trade war reflects increasing technological competition and has the potential to radically reshape global tech supply chains and international economic governance.

Molly Reynolds and Margaret Taylor explained the investigative powers that the House of Representatives would gain by initiating impeachment proceedings.

Taylor summarized U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta’s ruling that President Trump cannot block the committee’s subpoena to Trump’s accountant, Mazars, and highlighted the speed with which the court was able to resolve the sensitive issue.

Quinta Jurecic argued that the need for an impeachment inquiry is “overwhelming” and that the House weakens its own case by delaying the inquiry any longer.

Doug Stephens IV provided an update on tensions and naval activity in Southeast Asia, in the Water Wars column.

Jen Patja Howell posted the Lawfare Podcast conversation between Benjamin Wittes and Chuck Rosenberg, discussing Chuck’s new podcast, his career in government service, and his thoughts on the Oath of Office.

And Stewart Baker shared two episodes of The Cyberlaw Podcast. The first discusses the arrest of an intelligence analyst who leaked classified information to The Intercept, Israel’s bombing of the headquarters of Hamas’s hacking operation, and China’s use of intrusion tools pioneered by NSA. The second covers the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Pepper v. Apple, the trade war with China, and other news.

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