Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Gordon Ahl
Tuesday, October 29, 2019, 1:30 PM

Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, is testifying Tuesday before the three House committees handling the impeachment inquiry, reports the New York Times. A released copy of his opening statement indicates that Vindman plans to detail how a “sense of duty” twice compelled him to raise internal objections about the Trump administration's conduct regarding Ukraine.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced that the House intends to vote Thursday on a resolution to formalize procedures in the impeachment inquiry, according to Politico. This comes as the House prepares to take the probe public.

U.S. forces conducted an airstrike in northeast Syria that targeted and killed Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir, an Islamic State spokesman, reports the Wall Street Journal. According to a U.S. official, al-Muhajir “would have been one of the potential successors” to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party in the U.K., said he now supports a December general election after the EU granted a Brexit extension until January 31, 2020, according to the BBC. This makes it more likely that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s new call for a December 12 election could pass in Parliament with a simple majority.

Following days of violent protests that have led to the deaths of at least 20 people, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera replaced eight key members of his Cabinet, reports CNN. Protesters continued demonstrations and called for Pinera’s resignation even after the announcement.

Masked gunmen killed at least 18 protestors and wounded hundreds in the Iraqi city of Karbala during ongoing demonstrations against government corruption, according to the Associated Press.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri of Lebanon announced his resignation on Tuesday, yielding to the demands of antigovernment protestors who have held massive demonstrations for nearly two weeks, reports the Times.

President Trump extended the temporary protected status of 200,000 Salvadorans living in the United States for another year, reports the Washington Post. The president had previously vowed to end the program and deport the Salvadorans.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Mikhaila Fogel shared a special edition of The Lawfare Podcast, in which Scott R. Anderson, Dan Byman and Benjamin Wittes discuss the al-Baghdadi raid and what it means for the future of the Islamic State and region more broadly.

Robert S. Litt argued that the Department of Justice should make clear what aspect of the internal inquiry into the origins of the Russia investigation is being investigated criminally.

Nathan Swire discussed the requirements of the CLOUD Act in the context of the recent U.S.-U.K. executive agreement on data sharing for law enforcement.

Emma Broches and Julia Solomon-Strauss provided terrorism prosecution updates on individuals allegedly associated with the Islamic State and other groups.

Mikhaila Fogel posted Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman’s opening statement that was released prior to his appearance before the House impeachment inquiry.

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