Today’s Headlines and Commentary

Matt Gluck
Thursday, June 25, 2020, 5:47 PM

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

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The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the expedited removal of undocumented immigrants without review from a federal judge does not violate the Suspension Clause of Article I of the Constitution, according to the Washington Post. The decision fortifies the Trump administration’s authority to deport non-citizens seeking asylum.

A New York City police officer, David Afanador, was arrested and charged Thursday after allegedly using a banned chokehold on Ricky Bellevue, a Black man, in Queens, New York on Sunday, reports the New York Times. Afanador was suspended after a video of the incident surfaced on social media. The New York City Council and New York State Legislature recently passed statutes criminalizing chokeholds, although Afanador was charged under an already-existing law.

In a House Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday, Aaron Zelinsky, a former lead prosecutor in the Roger Stone case, testified that political pressure influenced the Justice Department’s sentencing memos for Stone, writes Politico. John Elias, a Justice Department anti-trust attorney, and Donald Ayer, former deputy attorney general, also testified to corruption in the Department of Justice. Facing pressure from Democratic leadership, Attorney General William Barr agreed yesterday to testify before the House Judiciary Committee in July.

Three police officers in North Carolina were fired Wednesday after allegedly making racist comments, reports the Washington Post. One officer, Michael Piner, expressed anger about the recent protests against racial injustice.

The Senate passed a bill Thursday by unanimous consent that would place sanctions on Chinese officials and businesses that seek to suppress Hong Kong’s sovereignty, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Senate also passed a resolution Thursday denouncing a new Chinese national security law that curtails Hong Kong’s autonomy from the mainland.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Thursday that Britain will likely side with the U.S. regarding the role of Chinese technology company Huawei in its 5G network, reports Reuters. Despite U.S. efforts to exclude Huawei from the European communications industry, the British government granted the Chinese tech giant a small role in its network in January. Huawei said Thursday it has received preliminary approval to build a $1.2 billion research center in England.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately only ten percent of total coronavirus cases have actually been detected in the U.S., reports the Journal. Several states across the South and the West have experienced recent spikes in COVID-19 infections, and Texas paused its reopening plans on Thursday.

Despite recent appeals from Republican legislators urging people to wear masks, President Trump remains ambivalent about mask-wearing, writes the Post. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal last week, the President called masks “a double-edged sword.”

An independent watchdog report found that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sent stimulus checks to over 1 million deceased individuals because the agency believed it was not authorized to withhold the checks, according to Politico. Treasury officials have since determined that “a person is not entitled to receive a payment if he or she is deceased as of the date the payment is to be paid.”

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Cameron Kerry and John Morris discussed private rights of action in privacy legislation.

Elliot Setzer shared a livestream of the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing on Political Interference at the Department of Justice.

Paul Stern argued for increasing law enforcement accountability by modifying public tort law.

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast featuring a conversation with Nate Persily, the James B. McClatchy Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, and Lawfare’s Margaret Taylor about election security in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hillary Hurd analyzed the legitimacy of a claim made by Senate Republicans that Twitter is violating U.S. sanctions law by allowing certain Iranian leaders to tweet.

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Rational Security Podcast featuring a conversation with former Justice Department official Chuck Rosenberg covering accusations against Attorney General William Barr, the D.C. Circuit Court’s dismissal of the Flynn case and Israel’s potential annexation of the West Bank.

Elliot Setzer shared a livestream of the House Homeland Security Committee’s hearing on the Islamic State and Al Qaeda.

Sean Quirk discussed U.S.-China naval competition in the Indo-Pacific region in the context of the coronavirus.

Elliot Setzer shared the D.C. Circuit Court’s decision to order a lower court judge to drop the Michael Flynn case.

Sean Mirski and Shira Anderson analyzed coronavirus-related lawsuits brought against China.

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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