Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Gordon Ahl
Wednesday, October 2, 2019, 12:22 PM

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed during a news conference in Rome that he had listened in on the July 25th call between President Trump and President Zelensky of Ukraine, reports the New York Times. He did not answer subsequent questions regarding the call including whether the conversation had raised a red flag for him.

The State Department’s inspector general, Steve Linick, requested an urgent bipartisan closed-door briefing with senior congressional staff members which is anticipated for Wednesday afternoon, according to CNN. Linick plans to "provide staff with copies of documents related to the State Department and Ukraine."

House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings said in a letter to the White House that he wants all documents “memorializing communications between President Trump and the leader of any other foreign country” that relate to Trump’s pressuring of Zelensky, reports the Associated Press. Cummings further said he would issue the subpoena Friday.

North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile on Wednesday, which possibly was launched from a submarine and landed in the Sea of Japan, reports NPR. The test comes before the U.S. and North Korea are set to resume nuclear negotiations this weekend.

Hundreds of protesters in Baghdad were wounded when Iraqi security forces fired bullets and tear gas at the demonstrators, reports the Washington Post. The protests against Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi were the largest yet against the one-year-old government and were in response to issues including corruption, unemployment and a lack of services.

Iran's state-run judicial news agency said the country sentenced to death one person who was accused of spying extensively for the CIA as well as sentencing three other individuals to 10 years in prison for allegedly spying on behalf of the United States and Britain, according to the Post.

Ecuador announced their intention to leave the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Jan. 1, reports Reuters. The country seeks to increase crude production output in response to fiscal problems.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared the latest episode of The Lawfare Podcast in which Quinta Jurecic and Alina Polyakova discuss the Ukrainian domestic perspective of the recent scandal involving the Trump administration pressuring officials to investigate the Biden family.

Margaret Taylor discussed what the House Committees on Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight and Reform have planned this week related to the impeachment inquiry.

Ryan Scoville argued that Rudy Giuliani’s work in Ukraine on behalf of Trump does not violate the Appointments Clause despite raising other legal questions.

Scott Anderson and Aaron Klein considered whether the federal government should play a role in stabilizing the insurance industry’s approach to cyberattacks.

Andrew Keane Woods offered three major lessons from recent E.U. privacy rulings involving Google and “right to be forgotten” laws.

Stewart Baker shared the latest episode of The Cyberlaw Podcast, which focused on many developments related to blockchain.

Jacob Schulz posted two letters from the lawyers representing the intelligence community whistleblower.

Schulz also posted a criminal complaint against an American citizen who allegedly acted as an illegal agent of China.

Gordon Ahl posted a brief from the House Judiciary Committee seeking to view grand jury materials related to the Mueller Investigation.

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