Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Benjamin Pollard
Wednesday, August 10, 2022, 4:51 PM

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The Justice Department charged a member of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) with an attempted plot to murder former National Security Adviser John Bolton. Accoring to court documents, the attempted murder plot was retaliation for the U.S. killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani. Shahram Poursafi, the charged individual, allegedly tried to pay several people in the United States $300,000 each to kill Bolton in Washington, D.C. or Maryland.

Former President Donald Trump declined to answer questions during an interview with the New York state attorney general’s office, invoking his Fifth Amendment right to not incriminate himself. The investigation concerns whether Trump and his company inflated assets for financial gain. “I have absolutely no choice because the current Administration and many prosecutors in this Country have lost all moral and ethical bounds of decency,” Trump said.

Ukrainian forces were behind the explosions at the Russian air base in Crimea, according to a Ukrainian official. The anonymous source who spoke to the Washington Post about the attack did not provide specifics of the operation. The attack reveals that Kyiv has greater military capabilities to reach targets behind Russian lines than had been exhibited prior.

President Joe Biden signed protocols approving Sweden and Finland’s membership in NATO. The measure received bipartisan support in the Senate and House. “Today, we see all too clearly how NATO remains an indispensable alliance for the world of today and the world of tomorrow,” Mr. Biden said from the White House. 

Taiwan’s military began drills on the south of the island, following a week of military exercises from China. The exercise will engage 700 troops and 38 howitzers, according to Taiwanese forces. China also took back its commitment to not send troops to the island if it takes control of Taiwan in a policy paper. China had previously assured that it would not send forces in white papers in 1993 and 2000. A Tawiaese government council objected to the paper, asserting that Taiwan is a sovereign country.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

A team of Lawfare staff addressed what we currently know and don’t know about the FBI’s search of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.

Natalie Orpett shared an episode of The Aftermath in which Lawfare editors recalled the brief period of bipartisan cooperation in the initial investigations into the failure to prevent the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

Tia Sewell shared a report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction regarding the alleged theft of funds from Afghanistan during the Taliban’s takeover of the country in August 2021.

Matt Gluck shared a unanimous ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that allows the House Committee on Ways and Means to review Trump’s tax returns from 2015 to 2020.

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast in which Tyler McBrien sat down with Nick Turse to discuss an investigation published in The Intercept that Turse wrote with Alice Speri on the 127-echo Pentagon funding authority.

Tim Wilson reviewed David C. Rapoport’s new book “Waves of Global Terrorism: From 1879 to the Present.”

Teresa Chen and Alana Nance discussed recent geopolitical developments related to the South China Sea, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, the Solomon Islands-China Pact, and U.S. Freedom of Navigation operations.

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