Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Gordon Ahl
Tuesday, October 22, 2019, 1:36 PM

In conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, President Trump was repeatedly told that Ukraine was a hopelessly corrupt country, according to the Washington Post. George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state, testified before Congress last week that these leaders negatively influenced Trump prior to his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

William B. Taylor Jr., the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, is testifying on Tuesday in a closed-door session before the three House committees handling the impeachment inquiry, reports the Post. In previous text message exchanges with other diplomats, Taylor said it was “crazy” to withhold aid for “help with a political campaign.”

President Trump received condemnation from Democrats and several Republicans for a Tuesday morning tweet in which he compared the House impeachment inquiry to a “lynching,” reports Politico.

Democratic congressional leaders have slowed the impeachment timeline as they prepare to host a series of public hearings to make the strongest case in favor of removing President Trump, reports the New York Times. Democrats had hoped to hold a vote by Thanksgiving, but impeachment proceedings will likely extend into the Christmas season.

Following elections in Canada on Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appears to have enough seats to form a coalition government despite his Liberal Party most likely losing its majority in Canada’s House of Commons, reports the Times.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi to discuss cooperation in Syria as the five-day ceasefire comes to an end, reports the Wall Street Journal. Erdoğan said he would ask Putin for support in the creation of a safe zone free of Kurdish fighters in northern Syria.

The Times reports that the Chinese government has rapidly increased its hacking capabilities in order to target ethnic minorities in China and their diaspora communities globally.

Forty-seven attorneys general from various U.S. states and territories have joined a New York-led investigation into potential violations of antitrust laws by Facebook, reports Politico.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Amanda Sloat commented on the latest Brexit developments.

Benjamin Schwartz discussed how the Recommendations Clause of the U.S. Constitution has been used by the president as a means to prevent Congress from obtaining executive branch policy information.

Philip Zelikow considered how the actions of President Trump and his associates could be in violation of federal bribery statutes.

Gabriel Schoenfeld countered arguments put forward by Andrew McCarthy at National Review and suggested that he holds a double standard between President Obama and President Trump on impeachment.

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