Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Gordon Ahl
Friday, October 25, 2019, 1:53 PM

Lawyers representing former national security adviser John Bolton have discussed the potential for a closed-door deposition with the three House committees leading the impeachment inquiry, according to CNN.

The Washington Post reports that Robert E. Lighthizer, the current U.S. trade representative, withdrew a recommendation in August to reinstate certain trade privileges to Ukraine following a warning from Bolton that President Trump would probably oppose the action. It is unclear whether Trump directed Bolton to intervene or even had knowledge of the conversation.

Senate Republicans put forward a resolution condemning the House impeachment process and demanding a formal vote to authorize the inquiry, reports the New York Times.

Justice Department officials have shifted a review—started by Attorney General William Barr—of the origins of the Russia investigation to a criminal inquiry, according to the Times. The shift grants prosecutors the power to subpoena witnesses, convene a grand jury and file charges.

The Trump administration is reportedly considering new options in northeast Syria, including leaving about 500 troops and sending dozens of battle tanks to the area, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The nuclear arsenal of the United States quietly underwent modernization updates in June, which included the elimination of reliance on floppy disks, reports the Times.

Russian gun rights enthusiast Maria Butina was released from federal prison and will likely be deported to Moscow immediately, reports CNN. Butina served 15 months for conspiring to act as an agent of a foreign government as she tried to infiltrate conservative political groups to promote the interests of Russia.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Quinta Jurecic commented on the decision of a right-wing publication to release an explicit photograph of a congresswoman without her consent.

Daniel Gabriel, Jens Dakin and Ali Sada discussed the complex and fragile state of affairs in northern Syria and Iraq from their conversations with local sources.

Rebecca Crootof considered the need to develop norms for thoughtful transparency in the AI research community.

David Benger, Philip Chertoff, Erik Manukyan, Jacob Schulz and Chinmayi Sharma summarized the recently released FISC and FISCR rulings.

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