Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Elliot Setzer
Wednesday, February 5, 2020, 11:50 AM

Republican Sen. Susan Collins announced on Tuesday that she would vote to acquit President Donald Trump in the Senate impeachment trial, according to Politico. The Senate will vote on whether to convict the President around 4 p.m. EST.

President Trump on Tuesday delivered his third State of the Union address, highlighting the killing of Qassem Suleimani, his peace plan for Israel-Palestine and peace talks with the Taliban that he claimed may result in U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, reports The Washington Post.

The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak has continued to climb in China, rising to nearly 500, reports The New York Times.

The head of U.S. Central Command met with Iraqi officials in Baghdad yesterday and visited the al-Asad military base, the highest-profile visit by a U.S. military leader since the American strike killing Soleimani on Jan. 3, according to The Washington Post.

A draft United Nations Security Council resolution on Tuesday condemned an Israeli plan to annex settlements in the West Bank, reports Reuters.

The Defense Department said Tuesday that it has deployed a new submarine-launched low-yield nuclear warhead, intended to deter low-yield Russian nuclear weapons. Critics, including congressional Democrats, argued that the new warheads will lower the United States’ threshold for the use of nuclear weapons, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that his government would not allow Syria’s military to advance farther across rebel-held Idlib province, following escalation on Monday between the two countries that led to deadly clashes, reports The Washington Post. In response to Turkey’s Oct. 2019 cross-border military incursion into Syria, the United States has halted a secretive drone program that had helped Ankara target Kurdish PKK militants, according to Reuters.

The Department of Defense released an inspector general report Tuesday claiming that a U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq would “likely” lead to an ISIS resurgence, reports The Hill.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared the most recent episode of The Lawfare Podcast, featuring an interview with Leon Neyfakh on Iran-Contra and other scandals.

Margaret Taylor shared episode eleven of The Report: Impeachment podcast, distilling the eleventh day of the Senate impeachment trial to one hour and 32 minutes.

Vanda Felbab-Brown argued that the killing of Qassem Soleimani has significantly destabilized U.S.-Iraq relations and undermined long-term U.S. interests.

Hadley Baker shared a Justice Department amicus brief arguing that congressional subpoenas for Trump’s tax returns are unconstitutional.

Stewart Baker shared the most recent episode of The Cyberlaw Podcast, discussing a recent proposal to amend CDA Section 230 and Facebook’s decision to settle a facial recognition class action.

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