Today’s Headlines and Commentary

Katherine Pompilio
Wednesday, May 11, 2022, 3:52 PM

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Ukraine’s prosecutor general announced that a Russian soldier held in custody will stand trial for an alleged war crime committed during Russia’s invasion, writes the Washington Post. According to Ukrainian forces, Vadim Shishimarin allegedly killed an unarmed 62-year-old civilian on the side of a road in a village in northeastern Ukraine. Shishimarin will be the first Russian soldier to stand trial for an alleged war crime committed during Russia’s war in Ukraine. 

The U.S., EU and other allies accused Russia of committing cybercrimes against Ukraine, according to a statement released by the State Department. In the statement, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken alleged that Russia launched cyberattacks against commercial satellite communications networks to disrupt Ukrainian military operations throughout Russia’s invasion. The cyberattacks also reportedly disabled multiple aperture terminals across Ukraine and throughout Europe, which temporarily disabled wind turbines and internet service to private citizens. 

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a $39.8 billion aid package for Ukraine, reports the Hill. The legislation allocates $6 billion for security assistance, $900 million for refugee support services, $8.7 billion to the Economic Support Fund for “emergent needs in Ukraine,” $4.365 billion to the U.S. Agency for International Development for emergency food assistance, $8.7 billion to restock the U.S. supply of equipment sent to Ukraine and $11 billion to fund the presidential drawdown authority to quickly send aid to Ukraine. The aid package was passed in a vote of 368-57. All lawmakers who voted against the legislation were Republicans, and two Democrats and three Republicans did not vote.

Young voters in the Philippines are protesting the election of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to the presidency of the Philippines, reports the New York Times. Marcos Jr.—son of former Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos—won the election in a landslide victory, garnering almost double the votes earned by his opponent Leni Robredo. According to election watchdogs, multiple election observers reported issues such as malfunctioning voting machines and claims of voter fraud at the polls that “severely impaired this electoral process.” After the election on Monday, protestors gathered across the street from the Philippines' election commissions building and called Marcos Jr. a “thief,” referring to his family’s looting of billions of dollars from the country’s treasury during Marcos Sr.’s dictatorship. 

After his acquisition of Twitter is finalized, Elon Musk plans to reverse the ban on former President Trump’s Twitter account, writes the Financial Times. Musk described Twitter’s decision to ban Trump from the platform following the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol as a “morally bad decision, and foolish in the extreme.” In an interview, Musk also criticized Twitter’s “strong left bias” and said that discourse on the platform needs to become “much more even-handed.” 

Newly released emails sent and received by Trump attorney John Eastman reveal new details about his involvement in the attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election, according to Politico. Eastman’s emails—obtained from the University of Colorado—reveal that Eastman encouraged Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania to retabulate the state’s popular vote and discard tens of thousands of absentee ballots to falsely display Trump in the lead. Eastman wrote to one Republican legislator that the “recalculation” of the votes would help to “provide some cover” for an attempt to replace Joe Biden’s state electors with pro-Trump electors to overturn the results of the election. 

Inflation increased by 8.3 percent in April and is nearing its highest level in more than 40 years, reports CNBC. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the consumer price index rose 0.2 percent higher than the Dow Jones estimate. The core consumer price index—which excludes food and energy prices—rose 6.2 percent, counter to estimates that inflation had reached its peak in March. Additionally, over the past year, inflation-adjusted earnings dropped for workers by 2.6 percent despite average hourly earnings increasing by 5.5 percent. 

The Senate is voting on legislation to codify abortion rights nationwide, reports CNN. The bill—introduced in the wake of a leaked Supreme Court draft decision overturning Roe v. Wade—will likely fail as widespread Republican opposition to the measure indicates it will not receive the 60 votes necessary for it to pass. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin also expressed his opposition to the bill, arguing that it is “too broad.”

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast which features a discussion between Alan Rozenshtein, Benjamin Wittes, Paul Rosenzweig and Justin Sherman about Lawfare’s research on trusting technology. 

Jeremy Neufeld argued that including talent provisions in the final version of the America Competes Act should be central to the U.S. strategy to reshore the defense industrial base and stay competitive with China.

Jeff Kosseff reviewed Richard L. Hasen’s “Cheap Speech: How Disinformation Poisons Our Politics—and How to Cure It.”

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. Check out relevant job openings on our Job Board.

Katherine Pompilio is an associate editor of Lawfare. She holds a B.A. with honors in political science from Skidmore College.

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