Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Gordon Ahl
Wednesday, November 20, 2019, 10:14 AM

The U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland is testifying in the impeachment inquiry on Wednesday morning, which Lawfare is streaming here. According to his opening statement, Sondland says that there was a quid pro quo involving Ukraine.

The U.S. Senate passed a bill in support of Hong Kong after the House passed its version last month, reports the New York Times. If enacted into law by President Trump, the bill would require the U.S. government to impose sanctions against officials responsible for human rights abuses in Hong Kong.

The Times also reports that a former employee at Britain’s consulate in Hong Kong claimed to have been tortured by the Chinese secret police as they sought information about alleged foreign interference in the ongoing protests in Hong Kong.

As many as 106 protesters in 21 cities across Iran have been killed as a result of unrest, according to the Times. The protests started on Friday in response to an increase in gasoline prices.

After a helicopter crash in Afghanistan, two U.S. service members have died, according to CNN. The cause is still under investigation, but initial reports do not suggest it was caused by enemy fire.

The Israeli Defense Forces said it struck dozens of targets in Syria belonging to Iranian forces and the Syrian army in response to attempted strikes against Israel, reports the Washington Post.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of The Lawfare Podcast, in which Benjamin Wittes joined Sen. Mark Warner (D.-Va.) and Rep. Jim Himes (D.-Conn.) for a conversation on cybercrime.

Elena Kagan posted a “No Bull” episode of The Lawfare Podcast, featuring all the substantive exchanges from yesterday’s impeachment hearings.

Jacob Schulz shared video of the two impeachment hearings.

Mikhaila Fogel shared the opening statements from Chairman Schiff, Rep. Devin Nunes, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and Jennifer Williams from in yesterday’s morning hearing.

Gordon Ahl posted the opening statements from the afternoon hearing with Tim Morrison and Kurt Volker.

Keith E. Whittington suggested that the president can be impeached without violating modern federal criminal statutes.

Chinmayi Sharma summarized the closed-door deposition of Tim Morrison.

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