Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Hadley Baker, Elliot Setzer
Monday, February 10, 2020, 12:14 PM

President Trump recalled impeachment witness Gordon Sondland from his post as ambassador to the European Union on Friday, following the president’s acquittal. Trump also ousted witness Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman from the National Security Council staff as well as his brother, Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, according to the New York Times.

The Justice Department has begun examining information from Ukraine regarding Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden that was obtained by President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, reports CNN.

The Trump administration has purchased access to a commercial database that maps the movements of millions of cellphones in America and is using it for immigration and border enforcement, according to the Wall Street Journal.

An Iranian Simorgh rocket failed to put a communications satellite into orbit on Sunday, a setback for a program the U.S. claims helps Tehran develop its ballistic missile program, according to the Washington Post.

Two U.S. service members were killed and six wounded on Saturday during an attack on a joint U.S.-Afghan operation in eastern Afghanistan, reports NPR.

The U.S. ambassador to Israel warned Israel against unilaterally annexing territory in the West Bank, stating that such action could endanger Trump’s peace plan and American recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the occupied areas, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Federal prosecutors are seeking a delay in the case of former national security advisor Michael Flynn, reports Politico. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington argued in a Sunday court filing that Flynn’s request to withdraw his guilty plea may require testimony from his former lawyers.

President Trump is expected to release a $4.8 trillion budget Monday that proposes reductions in social safety net programs and foreign aid and increases in military spending, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Justice Department charged four Chinese military hackers—all members of the People’s Liberation Army—with breaking into the Equifax credit reporting agency’s networks in 2017 and stealing the names, Social Security numbers and other personal information of tens of millions of Americans, details the Times. The indictment is available on Lawfare here.

ICYMI: Last Weekend on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared the latest edition of the Lawfare Podcast in which Jacob Schulz spoke with Moscow correspondent for the New Yorker Joshua Yaffa about his new book “Between Two Fires: Truth, Ambition, and Compromise in Putin’s Russia.”

Julianne Smith and Torrey Taussig analyzed Europe’s relationship with China following the European Commission’s white paper naming China as a systematic rival in March 2019.

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