Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Benjamin Pollard
Friday, June 17, 2022, 4:04 PM

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The Jan. 6 committee’s third public hearing detailed the efforts by former President Trump to pressure former Vice President Pence to overturn the 2020 presidential election, writes the Washington Post. Pence’s former counsel, Greg Jacob, and retired federal judge Michael Luttig testified. Jacob said that Trump lawyer John Eastman acknowledged that his plan to have Pence overturn the election violated the Electoral Count Act. The select committee also revealed that Eastman sought a pardon.

The European Commission, the executive body of the EU, said that Ukraine and Moldova should be considered candidates for EU membership, according to the Wall Street Journal. The announcement brings Ukraine a step closer to membership, a process that could take decades. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says that belonging to the EU would help Ukraine counter the Russian invasion. EU leaders will meet in Brussels next week to determine whether they will accept the recommendations of the commission.

Chinese President Xi Jinping voiced his support for Russia while on a call with Russian President Vladamir Putin, drawing criticism from U.S. officials, reports the Washington Post. A State Department spokesperson said that nations that side with Russia are on “the wrong side of history,” in response to the news. The Chinese government has tried to avoid sanctions from the West while balancing its close ties with Russia since the invasion of Ukraine.

According to the Danish military, a Russian warship violated Danish territorial waters twice on Friday, according to Reuters. The incident occurred near a democracy festival where senior officials and business people were gathered on the Baltic Sea island of Bornholm. The Russian embassy in Denmark said that the Danish government lacks evidence to support the accusation. The tensions in the Baltic Sea come after Denmark started sending Harpoon missiles to Ukraine to help the country defend against the Russian invasion.

U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel announced that the British government has approved the extradition of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to the United States, writes the BBC. Assange has 14 days to appeal the decision, according to the Home Office. Assange’s brother, Gabriel Shipton, said Assange’s family will take his appeal to the European Court of Human Rights if it fails in the U.K. courts.

North Korean state media reported the presence of an unidentified intestinal epidemic that has affected 800 families, who will be receiving aid from the government, reports Reuters. The news comes as North Korea faces its first coronavirus outbreak. An official from South Korea’s Unification Ministry said the newly-reported disease may be cholera or typhoid.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast in which Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic sat down with RonNell Anderson Jones to discuss the usefulness of defamation laws in countering lies in the wake of the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial.

Vida B. Johnson argued that the Jan. 6 Capitol attack was enabled by a law enforcement culture that has ignored white supremacy and far-right extremism.

Benjamin Pollard shared a livestream of the third day of a series of hearings held by the Jan. 6 committee.

Claudia Swain shared a guide to the third day of the Jan. 6 committee hearings.

David Priess shared an episode of Chatter in which he sat down with John Dickie to discuss the secret rituals of Freemasonry, its origins and development in Europe and America, the importance of George Washington and other early American Masons, and more.

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