Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Vishnu Kannan
Friday, August 9, 2019, 11:42 AM

On Thursday, President Trump announced that Joseph McGuire, a retired navy admiral and current director of the National Counterterrorism Center, will become acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) when DNI Dan Coates steps down on August 15, the Washington Post reports. The president also said that Deputy DNI Sue Gordon would resign on the same day.

The House Judiciary Committee is undertaking a fully-fledged investigation into whether to recommend articles of impeachment against President Trump by the end of the year, an effort that Democratic officials say essentially constitutes an impeachment inquiry, CNN reports. "This is formal impeachment proceedings," House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nader said on Thursday.

In advance of elections in Afghanistan, the Taliban declared the process a “sham” and warned that campaign rallies and polling locations could be the targets of attacks, casting doubt over whether the elections would be held at all, the Associated Press writes. The threat follows an attack on the office of President Ashraf Ghani’s running mate on the campaign’s opening day, which killed 20 people. The attacks and unrest follow announcements by U.S. and Taliban officials that the two sides are close to reaching a deal. The agreement would withdraw U.S. and allied forces from Afghanistan in exchange for certain guarantees from the Taliban and would include a ceasefire and negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

On Friday, the Turkish Defense Ministry stated that units of the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) attacked a Turkish military base in northeastern Syria, wounding two Turkish soldiers, the Associated Press writes. The incident follows a recent announcement that the U.S. and Turkey would establish a joint center to patrol the proposed “safe zone” in northeastern Syria, which would provide a buffer between the Turkish border and Syrian Kurdish forces allied with the U.S. but with whom Turkey is hostile.

The White House will host a summit today with tech companies in order to address the rise of violent online extremism, according to the Post. It is unclear whether the president will attend the meeting, as he is scheduled to be in New York for a series of fundraisers.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Peter deLacy provided a guide to teaching covert action legal analysis to law students.

Bobby Chesney asked whether Congress should create a federal crime of “domestic terrorism”.

Vishnu Kannan shared former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s suit against the attorney general and FBI director over McCabe’s demotion and dismissal from the bureau.

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