Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Gordon Ahl
Friday, September 27, 2019, 3:03 PM

The New York Times reports that the White House learned of the existence of the C.I.A officer’s allegations against President Trump at the same time as the complaint was moving through a process designed to protect the whistleblower’s identity. The Times also revealed that the whistleblower is likely a C.I.A. analyst by training who was at one point assigned to work at the White House and possesses comprehensive knowledge of American foreign policy toward Europe. The inclusion of details about the whistleblower’s home agency received criticism from national security professionals and others.

Members of the House Intelligence Committee intend to continue working next week through the scheduled congressional recess, according to the Washington Post. The decision comes as Democrats look to strengthen a case for impeachment of President Trump in light of revelation of his dealings with the government of Ukraine.

Egypt is preparing for a second weekend of protests against President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, reports Al Jazeera. Human Rights Watch claims upwards of 2,000 protestors were arrested since last weekend’s protests as authorities have tightened security and warned of “decisive” action before anticipated demonstrations this weekend.

Afghanistan still intends to hold elections on Saturday despite widely-held concerns that many Afghans will refrain from voting amid threats of disruptive Taliban violence and election fraud, reports the New York Times.

New details emerged about the U.S. military deployment to Saudi Arabia in the wake of attacks on a Saudi oil refinery that Saudi officials and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attributed to Iran, reports the New York Times. The Pentagon said in a statement that roughly 200 troops are being sent to Saudi Arabia in addition to a surface-to-air missile battery and several advanced radars.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Scott Anderson, Quinta Jurecic, Jacob Schulz and Margaret Taylor discussed how the release of the whistleblower complaint and testimony of Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire impact the scandal gripping the Trump presidency.

Mikhaila Fogel shared video coverage of the entire Maguire hearing before the House Intelligence Committee as well as a transcript of Maguire’s opening statement.

Elena Kagan shared a bonus edition of The Lawfare Podcast containing all the essential moments of Maguire’s testimony without all the repetition and unnecessary segments.

Quinta Jurecic posted the declassified copy of the whistleblower complaint along with the intelligence community inspector general’s letter to the congressional intelligence committees.

Amanda Sloat analyzed what the latest news surrounding the decision of Britain’s Supreme Court on the illegality of suspending Parliament holds for the future of Brexit.

Gordon Ahl posted a judge’s decision to dismiss a drones-related lawsuit on the basis of the government’s invocation of the “state secrets privilege.”

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