Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Gordon Ahl
Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 2:33 PM

On Monday, the House Intelligence Committee released three more impeachment inquiry deposition transcripts—State Department Ukraine specialists Catherine Croft and Christopher Anderson as well as Laura Cooper, a senior defense official—reports the Washington Post.

The Post reports that acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney no longer plans to seek a judge’s ruling on whether he should testify in the impeachment inquiry as he intends to follow Trump’s wishes of non-cooperation.

The Republican staff on the three committees who have led the impeachment inquiry circulated a detailed memo that outlines their defenses of President Trump, reports CNN.

In the trial of former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone, former deputy campaign manager Rick Gates testified that he had overheard a conversation in which Stone seemed to make the president aware of a planned WikiLeaks release, reports the Post.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced the release of three senior Taliban prisoners in an effort to seek the release of two American and Australian professors held hostage by the Taliban since 2016 and possibly to facilitate broader peace talks, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Evo Morales, the former president of Bolivia, flew to Mexico where he was granted refuge after his resignation on Sunday, reports the New York Times. Morales also recorded an audio message promising that he would “return soon with strength.”

The Israel Defense Forces targeted and killed Baha Abu al-Ata, a militant commander of a Palestinian group Islamic Jihad in the Gaza strip, reports the Post.

At the International Court of Justice, Gambia filed a lawsuit on behalf of Rohingya Muslims accusing Myanmar of genocide, reports the Times.

The Turkish Interior Ministry said that it has deported an American citizen and Danish national suspected of belonging to the Islamic State as part of the Turkish government’s pledge to repatriate foreign fighters detained in Turkey, according to the Post.

The Journal reports that U.S. military officials watched live feeds from drones that showed Turkish troops targeting civilians during their operations against the Kurds in northern Syria. The attacks were reported to commanders as possible war crimes.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case testing the legality of President Trump's effort to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Solicitor General Noel Francisco claimed the action by the Trump administration should not be the subject of judicial review at all, according to the Journal.

In Hong Kong, violence between police and protesters escalated on Monday with video showing a police officer shooting an activist in the torso, reports the BBC. The protests continued on Tuesday with police warning that rule of law had been pushed to the “brink of total collapse.”

ICYMI: Last Weekend on Lawfare

Margaret Taylor introduced a series of summaries written by Lawfare contributors of the 2,677 pages of sworn testimony transcripts that have been released as part of the House impeachment inquiry:

Masha Simonova summarized the deposition of Amb. Marie Yovanovitch.

Simonova also summarized the deposition of Michael McKinley.

Charlotte Butash and Patrick McDonnell summarized the deposition of Kurt Volker.

Kelsey Clinton and Chinmayi Sharma summarized the deposition of Am. Gordon Sondland.

Sharma also summarized the deposition of George Kent.

Vishnu Kannan summarized the deposition of Amb. William Taylor.

Jacob Schulz summarized the deposition of Fiona Hill.

Mikhaila Fogel summarized the deposition of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman.

Fogel also commented on the developments in the ongoing trial of Roger Stone.

Jen Patja Howell shared the latest episode of The Lawfare Podcast, in which Scott Anderson and several guests discuss the popular protest movements in Iraq and Lebanon.

Peter Margulies discussed the temporary restraining order filed by the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon against President Trump’s ban to bar uninsured migrants from obtaining visas.

Seamus Hughes and Devorah Margolin explored new and old threats from jihadist terrorism faced by the United States in the wake of a fractured Islamic State.

Quinta Jurecic also posted the full transcript from the deposition of Laura Cooper, a Department of Defense official, who appeared before impeachment investigators.

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