Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Hadley Baker, Elliot Setzer
Wednesday, February 12, 2020, 10:46 AM

After Justice Department officials overruled their original sentencing recommendation for Roger stone in order to opt for more lenient treatment, four federal prosecutors withdrew from the case, with one resigning as an assistant U.S. attorney, reports the New York Times.

President Trump said on Tuesday that the military will likely look into disciplinary action against Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, writes Politico. Trump’s announcement comes days after Lt. Col. Vindman was fired after giving testimony damaging to the president during the House impeachment inquiry hearings.

The World Health Organization (WHO) proposed an official name for what is popularly referred to as the coronavirus, COVID-19, according to the Times. The director-general of the WHO said the goal was to find a new name “that did not refer to a geographical location, an animal, an individual or group of people, and which is also pronounceable and related to the disease,” in order to avoid stigma.

American and Taliban negotiators are meeting in Doha today following a conditional decision from President Trump to sign a peace deal with the militants if they can demonstrate their commitment to reducing violence in Afghanistan, reports the Washington Post.

Speaking at the United Nations, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the Trump administration’s Middle East, according to the Wall Street Journal.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Mikhaila Fogel, Susan Hennessey, Quinta Jurecic and Benjamin Wittes argued that the Justice Department’s handling of the sentencing of Roger Stone and Michael Flynn gives reason to worry about how Attorney General Barr will handle allegations against the Biden family.

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of The Lawfare Podcast, featuring an interview with Afshon Ostovar on Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Stewart Baker argued that the EARN IT Act, which would affect the deployment of end-to-end encryption, makes sense as social policy.

Hadley Baker shared federal prosecutors’ amended sentencing memorandum in the case of Roger Stone, which argued that the previous memo which recommended a sentence of seven to nine years “would not be appropriate or serve the interests of justice in the case.”

Graham Webster questioned what the indictment of four Chinese military hackers in connection with the 2017 Equifax breach will actually accomplish.

Stewart Baker shared an episode of The Cyberlaw Podcast, in which Baker and his guests discussed whether an upcoming European Court of Justice ruling could spark a US-EU trade war.

Scott Anderson discussed the legal limits on Trump’s reprisals against career civil servants who served as impeachment witnesses.

Charlotte Butash and Hilary Hurd analyzed how the Trump impeachment defense team deployed OLC memos to defend the president.

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