Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Victoria Gallegos
Tuesday, February 2, 2021, 3:14 PM

House impeachment managers filed an 80-page pretrial brief with the Senate, reports the New York Times. The nine House Democrats who set to argue the case said that former President Trump is “singularly responsible” for the Jan. 6 attack and stated “there is no ‘January exception’ to impeachment or any other provision of the Constitution.” In response, Trump’s lawyers filed a 14-page answer to the charge of incitement of insurrection. They argue that Trump’s speech on Jan. 6 is protected under the First Amendment.  

Justice Department investigators made a preliminary determination that the police officer who shot and killed a Capitol Hill rioter on Jan. 6 should not be charged with any crimes writes the Wall Street Journal. Bringing federal charges against the officer would require that federal prosecutors establish that the officer both used excessive force and willfully violated Ashli Babbitt’s constitutional rights. 

President Biden will sign three executive orders aimed at rolling back the Trump administration’s immigration policies, reports the Hill. One order creates a task force dedicated to identifying and reuniting migrant children who were separated from their families because of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy. The other two orders will review policies that limit asylum and green cards, restrict funding and slow down legal immigration processes. 

Two FBI agents were killed and three wounded in a shooting in South Florida, according to the Times. FBI Director Christopher Wray identified Special Agents Daniel Alfin and Laura Schwartzenberger as the two agents killed in the shooting. They were serving a warrant in a case involving violent crimes against children. Tuesday morning’s incident is one of deadliest shootings in the history of the FBI.

The Senate voted to confirm Pete Buttigieg as the secretary of the Department of Transportation, reports CNN. The Senate is set to vote on Alejandro Mayorkas’s nomination for secretary of the Department of Homeland Security at some point Tuesday afternoon.

The U.S. State Department classified Myanmar’s military detention of civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint as a coup, reports the Wall Street Journal. The designation will force the U.S. to curtail aid to Myanmar, and the Biden administration is reportedly weighing broader sanctions. 

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was sentenced to 32 months in prison on Tuesday for violating the terms of his probation, writes the Washington Post. During the hearing, Navalny once again accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of ordering the nerve agent poisoning that almost killed him in August, 2020, and decried the case against him as political retribution. After the verdict was read, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a statement saying the United States “is deeply concerned by Russia’s actions,” and that “we reiterate our call for his immediate and unconditional release as well as those wrongfully detained for exercising their rights.” 

Wikipedia launched its first global code of conduct, reports Reuters. The new standards ban harassment on and off the site and bans deliberately adding false or biased information into content pages. Next, the company will work to enforce the new rules. 

Pakistan’s Supreme Court ordered the release of the man convicted of the murder of American journalist David Pearl, writes Reuters. The case was reviewed following a petition from the government after the court upheld the decision to acquit Ahmad Omar Saeed Sheikh last week. Sheikh will be kept in a secure location with “supervision and some surveillance.” 

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast, featuring a conversation about the Jan. 26 National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin with Lawfare’s David Priess; Carrie Cordero, former counsel to the National Security Division at the Department of Justice; Andrew McCabe, former deputy director of the FBI; Elizabeth Neumann, former deputy chief of staff to the Secretary of Homeland Security and Nick Rasmussen, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center. 

Lester Munson shared an episode of Fault Lines, featuring an interview with former Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator Bob Corker. 

Grayson Clary argued Parler was scraped, not hacked, which is not a crime.  

Victoria Gallegos shared a selection of Biden administration actions on policing and criminal justice. Gallegos also shared a selection of executive orders pertaining to the department of defense and federal civil service reforms. 

Fred B. Schneider and Justin Sherman analyzed various trust-building proposals as part of Lawfare’s Trustworthy Hardware and Software Working Group. 

Jordan Schneider shared an episode of ChinaTalk in which Maggie Lewis, professor at Seton Hall and Lev Nachman, professor at UC Irvine discuss Biden’s Taiwan policy among other topics. 

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