Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Gordon Ahl
Thursday, October 31, 2019, 3:37 PM

With a 232-to-196 vote that almost perfectly tracked party lines, the House approved a resolution on Thursday that articulates guidelines for the impeachment inquiry, including procedures for public hearings, reports the Washington Post.

Tim Morrison, a senior Russia and Europe adviser on President Trump’s National Security Council, testified behind closed doors on Thursday as part of the House impeachment inquiry, reports the Post. Morrison reportedly corroborated Amb. William B. Taylor Jr.’s account of Trump seeking a quid pro quo with Ukraine.

House impeachment investigators have requested testimony next week from John Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser, and two top White House lawyers, according to the New York Times. Bolton’s lawyer said his client was “not willing to appear voluntarily,” so Bolton may ultimately not follow the request, which does not include a subpoena.

Turkish officials condemned a resolution passed in the U.S. House of Representatives that recognized the mass killings of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire as a genocide, reports Reuters. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s communications director said, “those who voted for this resolution will be responsible for the deterioration of a critical strategic relationship in a turbulent region.”

According to the Post, the Islamic State’s media arm announced Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qorashi as the successor to former leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who died as a result of a U.S. raid last week in northern Syria.

150 delegates representing Syria’s government, opposition and civil society groups are meeting in Geneva in hopes of drafting a new Syrian constitution, reports the BBC.

President Sebastián Piñera of Chile said that, in the wake of recent protests, his country will no longer host two international meetings later this year, a UN climate change meeting and an Asia-Pacific trade summit, reports the Times.

Twitter is banning all political advertisements from its platform, reports the Wall Street Journal. The decision takes an opposite approach to Facebook, which has staunchly defended hosting political ads in recent weeks.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared this week’s episode of Rational Security, in which Benjamin Wittes, Tamara Cofman Wittes, Shane Harris and Susan Hennessey discuss Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s impeachment inquiry testimony, the death of the leader of the Islamic State and a shift in the Justice Department’s investigation into the origins of the Russia probe.

Molly E. Reynolds and Margaret Taylor analyzed the contents of the House resolution outlining the procedures going forward for the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

Bob Bauer discussed the Republican strategy of attacking the impeachment process and how this might be a way to buy time for a future substantive defense.

Hilary Hurd explored how Facebook can use the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to guide company policies on content moderation.

Amanda Sloat commented on the latest Brexit developments including the agreement for general elections in the U.K. on December 12.

Gordon Ahl posted the opening statements from two foreign service officers with experience in Ukraine who testified as part of the impeachment inquiry on Wednesday.

David Priess announced a new Lawfare e-book, "Huawei, 5G and National Security: A Lawfare Compilation" available here.

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