Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Vishnu Kannan
Tuesday, June 4, 2019, 3:29 PM

George Nader, a key witness in the Special Counsel’s investigation, was arrested on Monday, having been charged in January 2018 with transporting child pornography, the Washington Post reports.

The House will vote next Tuesday on whether to hold Attorney General WIlliam Barr and former White House counsel Donald McGahn in contempt for defying subopenas related to the Mueller report, the New York Times said. Separately, the House Oversight Committee is scheduled to vote on holding Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and the attorney general in contempt for failing to comply with a subpoena for documents relating to the administration’s plan to add a question about U.S. citizens to the 2020 census, the Post reports.

The White House instructed former White House officials Hope Hicks and Annie Donaldson not to comply with House Judiciary Committee subpoenas for documents and testimony relating to their tenures at the White House, according to CNN.

Paul Manafort will likely be transferred to Rikers Island jail complex in New York City until his arraignment in State Supreme Court in Manhattan on state fraud charges later this month, the Times reports.

Judge Trevor McFadden of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia rejected House Democrats’ suit aimed at blocking the president from transferring appropriated funds for his border wall, per CNN.

The Senate passed the DETER Act, which bars individuals who “interfere” in U.S. elections from entering the country. It defines interference to include “violating voting or campaign finance laws or trying to interfere in elections or a campaign while under the direction of a foreign government,” the Hill said.

A Navy judge has removed the prosecutor in the case of Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher after defense lawyers accused the prosecution of using an email tracker without prior approval in correspondence with the defense team, the Associated Press reports.

Australian Federal Police searched the home of a journalist who reported last year on a classified proposal to grant the Australian Signals Directorate authority to access emails, bank records and text messages of Australians, the BBC reports. According to a police statement, the warrant was related “to the alleged publishing of information classified as an official secret.” This is the first such action against an Australian journalist in more than a decade, the Times reports.

Three Chinese government ministries have advised its citizens against travelling to the US, citing delays and rejections by the U.S. in issuing visas, interrogations by U.S. law enforcement of Chinese citizens, and frequent “shootings, robberies and thefts,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Trump administration is proceeding with the sale of 34 surveillance drones to allied governments in the South China Sea. The deal coincides with Acting Defense Secretary Shanahan’s comments that the US will no longer “tiptoe” around Chinese behavior in Asia, Reuters reports.

U.S. and Philippine officials discussed initiating a three-year program to help local officials identify and address issues that encourage extremism in an effort to thwart extremists allied with the Islamic State from recruiting and mobilizing in the country’s south, per the Associated Press.

Facebook may be required to remove all posts worldwide that duplicate content which an EU court has found to be defamatory, according to Reuters.

Russia blocked the UN Security Council from issuing a statement on increased violence in and around the Syrian province of Idlib, the Associated Press reports.

This morning the Senate Armed Services Committee held a confirmation hearing for Gen. Jay Raymond, presently head of the Air Force Space Command, to lead the new U.S. Space Command. The committee also questioned Christopher J. Scolese, nominated to lead the National Reconnaissance Office.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Keith E. Whittington argued Alan Dershowitz’s suggestion that President Trump could appeal to the courts to overturn an impeachment conviction is dangerous.

Nicholas Weaver explained that the GCHQ’s disclosure of the “BlueKeep” vulnerability offers an opportunity for the U.S. to learn from how the British handle the question of vulnerabilities equities.

Scott Anderson and Kathleen Claussen emphasized that while the administration’s latest tariff action isn’t necessarily unprecedented, it remains exceptional.

Paul Rosenzweig tells Jared Kushner to call the FBI.

Stewart Baker shared the latest episode of the Cyberlaw Podcast, featuring his conversation with David Kris and Paul Rosenzweig on privacy and exceptional access, the “silicon curtain” between the U.S. and China, and more.

Matthew Kahn shared Judge McFadden of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia’s ruling that the House of Representatives lacked standing to sue executive branch departments to prevent them from spending money to build a border wall.

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