Today’s Headlines and Commentary

Benjamin Pollard
Thursday, July 7, 2022, 4:11 PM

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Boris Johnson announced that he would resign his position as British prime minister, following a string of scandals that prompted a number of cabinet resignations. Johnson said he would remain at 10 Downing Street until the Conservative Party chooses a new leader. The news came after 48 hours of mass resignations by senior officials, which started with the surprise resignations of Rishi Sunak, chancellor of the Exchequer, and Sajid Javid, the health secretary.

Former FBI Director James Comey and his deputy at the FBI, Andrew McCabe, both of whom former President Donald Trump accused of treason, were chosen for a rare and intensive tax audit, which the IRS said is random, reports the New York Times. Comey said that there may have been political motivations behind the audit. “I don’t know whether anything improper happened, but after learning how unusual this audit was and how badly Trump wanted to hurt me during that time, it made sense to try to figure it out,” Comey said. “Maybe it’s a coincidence, or maybe somebody misused the IRS to get at a political enemy.”

Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone has agreed to be interviewed by the House select committee after facing weekslong pressure from the committee to testify. The panel issued a subpoena to him last week after hearing testimony from former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, who recounted conversations she had with Cipollone in which he had indicated great concern over former President Trump’s actions on Jan. 6. Reporting by the New York Times.

WNBA star Brittney Griner pleaded guilty to drug charges on the second day of her trial in Moscow. In her plea, she said she had not intended to break the law, reports Reuters. “I’d like to plead guilty, your honor. But there was no intent. I didn't want to break the law,” Griner said. She requested additional time to prepare for giving testimony. The court adjourned with a next trial date set for July 14.

A video investigation by the Wall Street Journal revealed a Russian smuggling network which has redirected stolen Ukrainian grain to Russia’s Middle Eastern allies. The revelation comes as Russian officials have rejected accusations that the country is involved in grain theft operations amid a shortage of grain stemming from its invasion of Ukraine. Watch the video here.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an address to parliamentary leaders today that Moscow’s military campaign against Ukraine has yet to get started “in earnest,” adding that the likelihood of negotiations decreases as the war continues. “We don't reject peace talks. But those who reject them should know that the further it goes, the harder it will be for them to negotiate with us," Putin said during his speech. Reuters reports.

ICYMI: This Weekend on Lawfare

Mark Grzegorzewski, Barnett Koven, and Maggie Smith argued for the creation of a U.S. civilian cyber defense and outlined how it should be implemented.

Quinta Jurecic explained the importance of Justice Department independence in light of the Jan. 6 committee’s recent hearings.

Stewart Baker shared an episode of The Cyberlaw Podcast in which he sat down with Nate Jones, Sultan Meghj, and Maury Shenk to discuss recent cybersecurity law news.

Alvaro Marañon shared a joint cybersecurity advisory warning of ransomware attacks by North Korean-sponsored cyber actors on U.S. healthcare infrastructure.

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.

Benjamin Pollard is a student at Brown University studying history and political science. He is a former intern at Lawfare.

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