Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Gordon Ahl
Monday, December 9, 2019, 3:13 PM

On Monday, the Department of Justice released the long-awaited inspector general report that examines the FBI’s investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia. The report is available here on Lawfare. According to the Washington Post, the report concludes that the FBI had an “authorized purpose” to initiate the investigation.

Attorney General William Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham each released their own critical remarks related to the report on Monday, reports the New York Times. Durham's statement said, “Last month we advised the inspector general that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the F.B.I. case was opened.”

Attorney General William Barr approved the release of new details about Christopher Steele, a former FBI informant, that had originally been blacked out in the inspector general’s report, according to the New York Times.

On Monday morning, the House Judiciary Committee began an impeachment inquiry hearing with testimony from the majority and minority counsel for the House Intelligence Committee, which Lawfare is livestreaming. The Post reports that Daniel Goldman, the majority counsel, called President Trump “a clear and present danger.”

The Washington Post also reports that U.S. officials misled the public about the war in Afghanistan for years. According to hundreds of confidential documents obtained by the Post, U.S. officials publicly stated progress was being made when they knew it was not.

North Korea announced it conducted an “important test” at a missile-engine site, according to the Times. North Korea has set a Dec. 31 deadline for the United States to offer a new proposal on denuclearization but has not explicitly stated what might happen after that date.

At a gathering of international leaders in Paris on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky are meeting for the first time. The pair will discuss an end to the many years of war in eastern Ukraine, reports the Times.

ICYMI: Last Weekend on Lawfare

Mikhaila Fogel compared the contents of the so-called Schiff impeachment report and the minority House Intelligence Committee report and argued that the two documents reflect little disagreement on the factual record.

Quinta Jurecic and Jacob Schulz discussed the ways in which the House Intelligence Committee’s majority report dealt with conspiracy theories related to the Ukraine scandal.

Jurecic also posted the House Judiciary Committee’s report on “Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment.”

Barbara McQuade suggested the House Judiciary Committee should take on the perspective of a prosecutor to draft articles of impeachment

Victor Cha argued that the National Basketball Association and the world should take a firmer stance against China’s practice of “predatory liberalism.”

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of The Lawfare Podcast, in which Susan Hennessey sat down with John Watts of the Atlantic Council and JD Work of Marine Corps University to discuss cybersecurity futures.

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