House impeachment managers began the first day of formal arguments in the impeachment trial of former President Trump at noon today, writes Politico. On Tuesday, the Senate voted 56-44 on the constitutionality of the impeachment trial, with 6 Republican senators joining 50 Democratic senators in favor of moving forward. The House managers will have up to 16 hours over the next two days to make their case, while Trump’s legal team will have equal time for rebuttal.
Prosecutors in Fulton County, GA, opened a criminal investigation into former President Trump’s attempts to overturn the Georgia election results, reports the Hill. Democratic prosecutor Fani Willis requested state officials retain documents pertaining to Trump’s Jan. 2 phone call to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in which he encouraged the secretary to “find” the votes needed to give him victory over President Biden.
President Biden announced a new executive order to sanction the military leaders of Myanmar who were responsible for the coup, as well as their business interests and family members, reports CBS News. He stated the U.S. will “identify a first round of targets this week, and we’re also going to impose strong export controls. We’re freezing U.S. assets that benefit the Burmese government, while maintaining our support for health care, civil society groups, and other areas that benefit the people of Burma directly.”
In a blog post on Wednesday, Facebook announced it will temporarily reduce political content for users, so as to “do a better job of helping to bring people together and helping to promote healthier communities” according to the Wall Street Journal. The company stated it is not removing content, but will immediately start experiments on the percentage of political content seen by users in Canada, Brazil and Indonesia and will soon begin experiments in the United States.
Twitter blocked over 500 accounts in India after the government threatened to jail the company’s local employees, writes the New York Times. The company initially resisted demands to remove accounts which criticized the government’s actions during the protests led by farmers. Twitter did not take action against accounts used by the press, activists or politicians, and stated it believed those removal requests were not in compliance with Indian law.
Twenty United Nations peacekeepers were injured after an attack on a UN base in central Mali, reports the Associated Press. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Islamic extremist groups regularly stage similar attacks against UN peacekeepers and soldiers.
Palestine opened election registration offices in Gaza and the West Bank, following an agreement by rival factions, Fatah and Hamas, writes Reuters. The May parliamentary vote and July presidential election will be the first elections in 15 years. Fatah and Hamas, along with 12 other factions, will continue talks in Egypt to prepare for the elections.
After the most violent day of protests in Myanmar following last week’s military coup, protests continued into their fifth day in support of the deposed civilian government, reports Reuters. Protestors are reportedly sitting in inflatable tubs outside of the Japanese embassy and holding signs that say: “We asked for democracy, not armed robbery,” and “We are peacefully protesting.” Japan is one of the largest foreign investors in Myanmar.
ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare
Bob Bauer examined former President Trump’s response to the House’s charge in the Senate impeachment trial.
Leah West analyzed Canada’s decision to list the Proud Boys as a terrorist group.
Tia Sewell shared a livestream of the first day of the impeachment trial.
Stewart Baker shared an episode of the Cyberlaw Podcast, focused on the National Security Agency’s approach to overseas signals intelligence.
Jordan Schneider and David Talbot argued the current U.S.-China strategy toolbox must be updated.
Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast, in which Amb. Nicholas Burns and Kori Schake, director of foreign and defense policies at the American Enterprise Institute, discuss the legacy of George Shultz.
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