Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Elliot Setzer
Monday, May 11, 2020, 1:06 PM

The Office of Special Counsel found there are “reasonable grounds” to believe the ouster of Health and Human Services official Rick Bright was in retaliation for his voicing concerns about the safety of hydroxychloroquine, reports the Wall Street Journal. The office recommended Bright remain in his job until an investigation is complete.

The U.S. is preparing to issue a warning that Chinese hackers and spies are working to steal American research from efforts to develop vaccines and treatments for the novel coronavirus, writes the New York Times. A draft of the forthcoming public warnings says China is seeking “valuable intellectual property and public health data through illicit means related to vaccines, treatment and testing.” Meanwhile, hackers linked to Iran have targeted U.S. drugmaker Gilead Sciences, as the company develops treatments for the new coronavirus, according to Reuters.

On Friday the United States objected to a proposed U.N. resolution on the COVID-19 pandemic drafted by France and Tunisia, reports the Associated Press. Diplomats said the U.S. has previously agreed to compromise language with China that didn’t mention the World Health Organization.

At least six people were killed during clashes in Afghanistan between police and protestors angry over what they say is unfair food aid distribution during the COVID-19 pandemic, writes Reuters. Four civilians and two police officers died in the country’ western Ghor province on Saturday.

The Supreme Court has temporarily put on hold the release of redacted grand jury material from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to NPR. An appeals court previously ruled the Justice Department had to turn over the materials to a House panel.

An Iranian naval vessel was hit by a missile in an apparent friendly-fire incident during a military exercise on Sunday reports the Times. The episode left at least 19 people dead and 15 other people injured.

In an Op-Ed published in the Washington Post, former federal prosecutor Jonathan Kravis argues the Justice Department has made disastrous mistakes in the cases of Roger Stone and Michael Flynn.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast, featuring an excerpt of Benjamin Wittes’ and Susan Hennessey’s book, “Unmaking the Presidency: Donald Trump’s War on the World’s Most Powerful Office.”

Sandy Alkoutami and Frederic Wehrey analyzed China’s cautious approach in Libya.

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast discussing the Justice Department’s decision last week to dismiss the charges against Michael Flynn, who had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

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