Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Gordon Ahl
Friday, October 18, 2019, 11:07 AM

President Trump confirmed that Energy Secretary Rick Perry would resign by the end of the year, reports Politico. Trump told reporters “We already have his replacement” and added, “Rick has done a fantastic job. But it was time.” The replacement has not yet been publicly identified.

George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state, testified on Tuesday as part of the House impeachment inquiry that he had raised concerns in 2015 about then-Vice President Joe Biden’s son being on the board of a Ukrainian energy company but was turned away by a Biden staffer, according to the Washington Post.

Judge Beryl Howell in the D.C. District Court wrote in an opinion that the Department of Justice had improperly redacted a portion of a document under grand secrecy protections related to the Mueller probe, according to The Hill.

The Post reports that the Islamic State has increased attacks on the Kurdish militia and facilities holding Islamic State detainees and supporters in northern Syria in the wake of Turkish operations in the region. Meanwhile, CNN reports that Turkish forces have continued to clash with the Kurds in spite of yesterday’s ceasefire agreement announced by Vice President Mike Pence.

The United Nations General Assembly voted to add Venezuela to its 47-member Human Rights Council as well as Sudan, Libya and Mauritania despite criticism on their past human rights records, reports the New York Times.

An explosion at a mosque in eastern Afghanistan has killed at least 60 people during Friday prayer, reports the Times. It is unclear who is responsible at this time.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Eric Manpearl and Steve Slick commented on the need to re-evaluate Obama’s Presidential Policy Directive—Signals Intelligence Activities (PPD-28) that limited the handling of data of foreign nationals.

Mikhaila Fogel posted the opening statement from Amb. Gordon Sondland’s testimony before House impeachment investigators.

Charlie Dunlap discussed how a lawyer could refuse to answer certain questions about their client as part of congressional testimony under considerations of legal ethics of confidentiality.

Fogel also announced an event on Oct. 24 at the Hoover Institution on Jack Goldsmith’s new book, “In Hoffa's Shadow: A Stepfather, a Disappearance in Detroit, and My Search for the Truth.”

Email the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for additional commentary on these issues. Sign up to receive Lawfare in your inbox. Visit our Events Calendar to learn about upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job opening on our Job Board.