Today's Headlines and Commentary

Chas Kissick, Elliot Setzer
Monday, June 1, 2020, 5:32 PM

Lawfare’s daily roundup of national security news and opinion.

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Sunday’s protests in Washington, D.C. over the police killing of George Floyd began peacefully but later saw flare-ups of violence and looting. The Washington Post reports that police fired tear gas and pepper bullets into crowds of protestors attempting to get past barricades surrounding the White House.

The New York Times details the president’s tweets in response to protests Saturday. President Trump on Twitter stated that he felt safe in the White House and threatened that attempts to breach the barricades would be "greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen."

Department of Defense officials announced that hundreds of troops stationed in Fort Bragg, North Carolina and Fort Drum, New York have been instructed to prepare for deployment to Minnesota in case Northern Command issues orders that would require a gubernatorial request and Pentagon approval. The Wall Street Journal notes that the last time active-duty troops were deployed within the U.S. in such large numbers was to the southern border in 2018.

Police arrested 150 protesters for violating Minneapolis's 8 p.m. curfew, Minneapolis' Star Tribune reports. Law enforcement also arrested a trucker who drove his vehicle through a peaceful demonstration earlier in the evening. State officials say that it’s not clear whether the man knew that the road was closed for the protests.

Just after Minnesota prosecutors announced on Friday the third-degree murder and manslaughter charges against ex-police officer Derek Chauvin for Floyd's killing, Attorney General Bill Barr issued a statement that a federal civil rights investigation was also underway, Politico writes.

President Trump tweeted Sunday that the U.S. will designate Antifa, a domestic anti-fascist movement, a terrorist organization. The New York Times calls into question the executive's authority to make this designation in the absence of a domestic terrorism law. The Times also noted that Antifa is a diffuse movement without a formal structure or leaders.

President Trump also announced on Twitter Friday that the U.S. is terminating its relationship with the World Health Organization due the administration’s concerns about China’s outsized influence over the international body, the New York Times writes. The President declared "we will be today terminating our relationship." Experts note, however, that a joint resolution by Congress reserves to the U.S. the "right to withdraw from the organization on a one-year notice."

NBC News reports that detainee transfers by Immigration and Customs Enforcement are creating new hotspots for COVID-19, leading to outbreaks in five states.

The United Nations Security Council voted Friday to extend an arms embargo on South Sudan along with individual travel bans and financial sanctions. Russia, China and South Africa abstained from the vote, according to the Washington Post.

Congressional Democrats have expanded the investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's role in the firing of Steve A. Linick, inspector general of the State Department. The New York Times reports that three congressional committees have summoned State Department officials for interviews on the subject.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jason Blazakis argued the State Department's decision to add Cuba to the Not Fully Cooperating Country list could signal a more aggressive policy.

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Chas Kissick works with Lawfare’s Trustworthy Hardware and Software Working Group. He is a Master's student at Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy and UNC Chapel Hill's Kenan-Flagler Business School.
Elliot Setzer is a Knight-Hennessy Scholar at Stanford Law School and a Ph.D student at Yale University. He previously worked at Lawfare and the Brookings Institution.

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