Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Matt Gluck
Tuesday, August 4, 2020, 4:58 PM

A Department of Justice review of applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants found that almost all of the problems identified by an internal watchdog investigation in March were not materially significant, reports Politico. The review released Monday determined that all but two of the 203 false statements and omissions were immaterial.

China said Tuesday that it would retaliate if the U.S. refuses to grant visa extensions to Chinese journalists, according to Reuters. In March, the U.S. reduced from 160 to 100 the number of Chinese nationals permitted to work at the U.S. offices of Chinese government-owned media outlets.

President Trump’s Monday statement that the U.S. treasury should profit from the sale of Tik Tok’s U.S. operations has sparked harsh criticism, writes the Wall Street Journal. After initially considering banning the app from the U.S., the Trump administration decided instead to require TikTok to sell its U.S. operations. The founder of ByteDance, Zhang Yiming, told employees in a Tuesday letter that ByteDance has no choice but to comply with the U.S. order, reports Reuters.

A large explosion in Beirut on Tuesday caused extensive damage in the Lebanese capital, injuring many and reportedly killing at least ten individuals, according to Reuters. The cause of the blast is unclear, reports the BBC. This comes amid heightened political tension in the country as Lebanon struggles with a devastating economic crisis.

U.S. and Middle Eastern intelligence officials believe Hezbollah may be behind a recent spike in illegal drug shipments across the Middle East and Europe, writes the Washington Post.

Marrie Corrigan, the White House liaison for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) was removed from her position Monday hours after she made many anti-LGBTQ comments on social media, according to the Post. Corrigan claims she faced “rampant anti-Christian sentiment” while working at the agency.

In a departure from a prior statement, the Census Bureau said Monday that it will not delay its collection of data due to the coronavirus pandemic, reports Politico. The bureau also said that it would work to ensure its population counts meet President Trump’s recent order to exclude undocumented immigrants from congressional apportionment tallies.

President Trump announced Monday that he plans to bring a lawsuit against the state of Nevada to prevent it from sending ballots to all Nevada voters, according to Politico. On Sunday, the Nevada legislature passed a bill to mail ballots to all of the state’s voters.

A Federal District Court Judge, Analisa Torres, ruled on Monday that approximately 1,000 disputed ballots in a June 23 New York congressional primary election must be counted, according to the New York Times. President Trump has seized upon this election as evidence of the ineffectiveness of mail-in-voting.

Leading public health officials Drs. Deborah Birx and Anthony Fauci say that, in some states, the coronavirus is spreading uncontrollably by asymptomatic individuals, according to the New York Times. A category one hurricane, Isaias, hit the Carolinas on Monday evening, disrupting the COVID-19 testing efforts across the Southeast.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jordan Schneider argued that U.S. concerns about the Chinese video-sharing app TikTok are warranted.

Jacob Schulz shared the National Security Division’s review of 29 Justice Department and FBI applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants.

Stefan Soesanto discussed European countries’s silence in response to recent U.S. indictments of Chinese state-sponsored hackers.

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast featuring a discussion with Michel Paradis, a senior attorney for the Department of Defense, Office of the Chief of Defense Counsel and author of the new book “Last Mission to Tokyo: The Extraordinary Story of the Doolittle Raiders and Their Final Fight for Justice.” The conversation covered the history Paradis discovered while writing the book and how two military commissions that arose from the U.S. bombing of Japan during World War II impact current U.S. military commissions.

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