Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Chas Kissick
Tuesday, June 2, 2020, 3:27 PM

In a short statement in the Rose Garden, President Trump said yesterday he would mobilize “all available federal resources, civilian and military,” to clamp down on protests across the country, and urged governors to “dominate” their streets with National Guard deployments, reports the Hill. If governors refused to deploy the National Guard, Trump said he would “deploy the U.S. military and quickly solve the problem for them.” To do that, the president would need to invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807, writes NPR.

Defense officials said there was deep discomfort among some in the Pentagon about Trump’s threats to deploy the military against protestors, according to CNN.

Customs and Border Patrol deployed troops to Washington, D.C. “to assist law enforcement partners,” The Hill reports.

Police fired tear gas, flash-bang grenades, and rubber bullets at peaceful protesters outside the White House Monday to clear a path for President Trump's photo opportunity at St. John’s Episcopal Church, according to the Washington Post.

The Louisville police chief, Steve Conrad, was fired after police shot and killed a black man who was violating the city's 9 p.m. curfew. Conrad said that the police officers were returning fire after shots were fired at the police and National Guard. The officers had not activated their body cameras, NPR reports.

Dozens of journalists across the U.S. report having been subject to violence by both police and protesters, even after identifying themselves as members of the press, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Lawmakers from both parties have begun efforts to limit the Pentagon's 1033 program which gives police access to surplus military equipment. The New York Times reports that Democrat Senator Brian Schatz plans to include an amendment to next year’s National Defense Authorization Act to shut down the program.

New York state legislators discussed plans to make changes to statute 50-a, a law that keeps police disciplinary records closed to the public, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Pennsylvania election officials are struggling to manage the battleground state's primary after a late surge of poll workers who chose to stay home due to the ongoing unrest, the Washington Post reports. The recent wave of reluctance among poll workers to supervise elections has further disrupted an election already made more complicated by the coronavirus pandemic.

An Afghan official reports that nearly all of the Taliban's leadership is infected with COVID-19, including supreme leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhunzada. Foreign Policy confirmed the news with a senior Taliban military official.

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Emmet Sullivan submitted a brief to the D.C. Circuit Court in response to Michael Flynn’s emergency relief filing with the appellate court, according to the New York Times. Judge Sullivan is the judge who declined to immediately dismiss the case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn after the Justice Department moved to drop their charges against the former national security adviser.

Despite pushback from Palestinian leaders, Israel's new unity government is preparing to proceed with annexation of more of the occupied West Bank in July in accordance with the Trump peace plan, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Russia on July 1st will vote on whether to extend President Vladimir Putin’s rule, Reuters writes. The Kremlin postponed the initial polling date amid concerns about the novel coronavirus.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif announced that the U.S. deported an Iranian scientist acquitted by a federal court last year for charges of visa fraud and theft of trade secrets. Iranian officials had hinted that the scientist's deportation could open the door to a prisoner exchange, according to the Washington Post.

Citing concerns about inciting violence, Twitter suspended an account purporting to belong to a national Antifa organization. Twitter said the account was fake and a part of a misinformation campaign by white nationalist group Identity Evropa, reports NBC News.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast in which Jack Goldsmith spoke with Bart Gellman, author of the new book, “Dark Mirror: Edward Snowden and the American Surveillance State.”

Daniel Byman argued that as protests sweep across the U.S., policymakers and law enforcement should keep a careful eye on whether white supremacists work to accelerate civil disorder.

Elliot Setzer shared Judge Emmet Sullivan’s brief submitted to the D.C. circuit outlining his rationale for declining to immediately dismiss the case against Michael Flynn.

Jason Healey argued the cyber budget shows what the U.S. values—and it isn’t cyber defense.

Setzer also shared a livestream of a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on election security and integrity during the pandemic.

Charlie Martel argued Congress should investigate the Trump administration’s coronavirus response.

Charles Duan and Jeffrey Westling argued that Trump’s executive order has already harmed online speech.

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