Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Gordon Ahl
Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 12:23 PM

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday evening that the House will not have a full vote authorizing an impeachment inquiry into President Trump at this point, reports Politico. Pelosi added that no vote was necessary to continue interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence.

George Kent, a senior State Department official in charge of Ukraine policy, provided closed-door testimony on Tuesday before the House committees handling the impeachment inquiry. The New York Times reports that Kent told the committees he was effectively cut out of decisions regarding Ukraine after a meeting in May organized by White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.

Michael McKinley, former senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who resigned last week, is testifying on Wednesday as part of the impeachment inquiry before three House committees. The Washington Post reports that McKinley intends to discuss how career diplomats were mistreated during his tenure.

David Correia, now the fourth defendant in a campaign finance case involving business associates of Rudy Giuliani, was arrested at JFK airport in New York on Wednesday morning, reports the Post. All four defendants are due to appear in federal court Thursday morning now.

The Justice Department filed fraud and money laundering charges against Halkbank, Turkey’s second-largest state-owned bank, reports the New York Times. The charges, alleging the bank helped Iran evade U.S. sanctions, come as the Trump administration seeks ways to take a combative stance toward Turkey for their operations against the Kurds in northern Syria. Meanwhile, CNN reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, “we will never declare a ceasefire” and indicated that he was not worried about Russian forces in northern Syria nor U.S. sanctions against Turkey.

Mauricio Claver-Carone, a special assistant to President Trump and senior director at the State Department, said that Guatemala must reach a safe third-country agreement with the United States to accept asylum-seekers if they want to benefit from new economic development aid, reports Reuters.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un delivered a speech from the top of a symbolic mountain in his country. The remarks included a condemnation of U.S. sanctions as the cause of his country’s hardships and added that his people’s pain has “turned into their anger,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam suspended her annual address before parliament as opposition lawmakers disrupted the session with shouting, reports the BBC. Ms. Lam delivered the address by video instead, in which she said the continued violence from protests damages the city’s values, according to the Times.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared the latest episode of The Lawfare Podcast, in which David Priess spoke with Bobby Chesney, Lisa Monaco, Mary McCord and Nick Rasmussen about domestic terrorism.

Matt Perault commented on how the NBA’s China controversy resembles challenges faced by tech companies seeking expansion into Chinese markets.

Patrick Hulme discussed the difference between Congressional approval and international approval for the use of force by the United States.

Stewart Baker shared the latest episode of the Cyberlaw Podcast, featuring coverage of the latest cyber news and an interview with Sultan Meghji, CEO of Neocova.

Gordon Ahl posted a letter from the deputy counsel to President Trump warning Fiona Hill to not discuss classified information or details subject to executive privilege in her deposition before three House committees.

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