Today’s Headlines and Commentary

Matt Gluck
Friday, June 19, 2020, 6:01 PM

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

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Former National Security Adviser John Bolton moved Thursday night to dismiss the Justice Department’s lawsuit aimed at halting the publication of Bolton’s new memoir, reports Politico. Bolton’s lawyers argued in the filing that the government’s effort to restrict publication and distribution of the book violates the First Amendment, among other concerns. U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth is holding a hearing Friday that will likely concentrate on whether a Justice Department temporary restraining order can prevent publication and circulation of the book.

Bolton’s memoir, which is reportedly extremely critical of the Trump administration, faced harsh criticism Thursday from President Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, writes Politico. The high-ranking officials claim that Bolton’s book misrepresents what happened inside the White House.

President Trump Friday morning made an implied threat to individuals planning on protesting his Saturday campaign rally in Tulsa, according to the New York Times. On Friday, the Supreme Court of Oklahoma rejected an appeal of a lawsuit seeking a temporary injunction that would have prevented the President from holding his Tulsa rally. The plaintiffs cited the danger imposed by the coronavirus in their complaint, writes the Washington Post.

Large crowds are gathering across the country on Friday to commemorate Juneteenth, a day that marks the liberation of those held as slaves in the United States, reports the Post. The Movement for Black Lives reports that there are rallies and marches planned in at least 45 states.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fisher announced Friday that Officer Brett Hankinson will be fired, writes the Associated Press. Hankinson is one of three officers allegedly involved in the March 13 shooting death of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman shot in her own home. Taylor’s death played a role in sparking protests against racism and law enforcement violence across the country.

After initially pronouncing the hanging deaths of Robert Fuller and Malcolm Harsch, two Black men, as suicides, California authorities are investigating further, reports the Times. In recent days, two more Black individuals were found hanging in public places, and the F.B.I opened a hate crimes investigation after it discovered nooses attached to trees in an Oakland park.

Mary Elizabeth Taylor, the assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs in the Trump administration, resigned Thursday over the President’s response to nationwide protests following the death of George Floyd, according to the Post. Taylor is the first high-profile government official to resign in response to President Trump’s behavior after Floyd’s killing.

The President announced Friday morning that his administration will craft and submit a new filing on the program that shields from deportation certain immigrants who entered the United States illegally as children, reports Reuters. This statement comes after the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the Trump administration violated the Administrative Procedure Act when it ordered the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2017. The ruling does not preclude future executive branch attempts to end DACA.

President Trump said in an interview Thursday that mail-in voting is the most significant obstacle to his re-election, writes Politico. Trump also warned Senate Republicans that abandoning him will cost the legislators critical support from the President’s base.

In a virtual briefing from its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that there were 150,000 new Covid-19 cases detected worldwide on Thursday, marking the highest number of new infections discovered in a single day since the beginning of the pandemic, according to Reuters. During the briefing, the Director General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the creation of a coronavirus vaccine will “be a very difficult journey.”

California’s Department of Public Health issued guidance Thursday that requires individuals to wear face-coverings on public transportation, in indoor public spaces and outside when social distancing is impossible, according to the Wall Street Journal. On Thursday, California recorded its highest number of new coronavirus cases in a single day.

After meeting with China’s lead diplomat on Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday that as long as China treats Honk Kong as a Chinese city, the United States will do the same, reports Reuters. This declaration comes after China imposed new security laws on Hong Kong that restrict the autonomy of the territory. The passage of the new laws prompted President Trump to begin the process of rolling back distinct and beneficial economic treatment of the territory.

After ruling two months ago that Navy Captain Brett Crozier, who raised concerns about a novel coronavirus outbreak aboard his ship, should lose his command, the Navy reversed its decision Friday, according to the Journal.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) purchased a subscription to a commercial database that gave the IRS access to the locations of millions of cellphones in the United States, writes the Journal. The subscription comes from Venntel, a government contractor that acquires anonymous location information from marketing firms and sells it to governments. This marketing data is different from that collected by cell phone carriers and is governed by a slightly different legal regime.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast featuring a conversation with Laura Rosenberger, the director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy and a senior fellow at The German Marshall Fund of the United States, about Chinese online information operations.

Sam duPont discussed the use of facial recognition technology in the United States and the sparse set of laws governing its deployment.

Elliot Setzer shared a livestream of the House Intelligence Committee hearing on online foreign influence operations.

Cameron Kerry and John B. Morris Jr. proposed a balanced approach to preemption in the context of federal privacy legislation.

Peter Margulies explained the Supreme Court’s Thursday ruling rejecting the Trump administrations attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Jack Goldsmith and Marty Lederman offered questions for Judge Royce Lamberth to ask the government during a hearing considering a government motion in the case regarding John Bolton’s new memoir.

Email the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for additional commentary on these issues. Sign up to receive Lawfare in your inbox. Visit our Events Calendar to learn about upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings on our Job Board.

Matt Gluck is a research fellow at Lawfare. He holds a BA in government from Dartmouth College.

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