Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Elliot Setzer
Thursday, April 30, 2020, 12:53 PM

New documents in the criminal case of Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn were turned over by the Justice Department yesterday, writes the Washington Post. Flynn claims that the notes and emails released demonstrate he was framed when he lied to the F.B.I. in January 2017 about his conversations with a Russian diplomat, though he has twice pleaded guilty to this felony. President Trump today tweeted his support for Flynn, raising speculation that a presidential pardon may be forthcoming, according to the Associated Press.

The federal guidelines that encourage social distancing in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 are set to expire today, reports the New York Times. President Trump said he has no intention of extending the measures.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday appointed seven Democratic members to a newly created House select coronavirus committee meant to monitor the Trump administration’s handling of the multitrillion-dollar pandemic relief response, writes Politico.

The acting secretary of the Navy yesterday ordered a broader investigation into the events aboard the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, just days after the Navy’s top admiral recommended restoring Capt. Brett Crozier to command of the warship, according to the New York Times. This decision delays any action reinstating Captain Crozier, who was fired for writing a letter sounding the alarm about a COVID-19 outbreak on the ship, be reinstated.

A federal judge in Oregon upheld President Trump’s recent executive order that put a 60-day halt on the issuance of most green cards in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, reports Politico.

Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Yucheng said calls from President Trump and GOP lawmakers for China pay reparations to the world for the coronavirus pandemic are “preposterous,” writes the Hill.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Benjamin Wittes shared an invitation to a Lawfare Live discussion with Jack Goldsmith and Andrew Keane Woods on their recent essay on internet speech and surveillance today, April 30, at 11:00a.m. ET.

Jack Goldsmith and Andrew Keane Woods responded to criticism of their recent article in The Atlantic about COVID-19, speech and surveillance.

Jacob Schulz discussed the abandonment of a proposal to try foreign fighters in Syrian Democratic Forces courts.

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of Rational Security discussing lawmakers’ efforts to scrutinize China for how it has handled the COVID-19 pandemic.

Patja Howell also shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast featuring Jack Goldsmith interviewing Thomas Rid about Rid’s new book, “Active Measures: The Secret History of Disinformation and Political Warfare.”

Charlotte Butash and Margaret Taylor summarized oral arguments in the D.C. Circuit en banc considerations of Committee on the Judiciary v. McGahn and U.S. House of Representatives v. Mnuchin.

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