Today’s Headlines and Commentary

Benjamin Pollard
Tuesday, August 16, 2022, 1:30 PM

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and U.S. allies were initially skeptical of U.S. warnings that Russian forces were preparing for an invasion of Ukraine, reports the Washington Post. The Post exclusive provides an in-depth look into the months leading up to the war in Ukraine based on interviews with numerous U.S., European, Ukrainian, and NATO officials.

Explosions rocked a Russian military base in Crimea on Tuesday. The blasts were executed by a Ukrainian military unit operating behind Russian lines, according to a Ukrainian official. Russian officials said that the explosions at the base resulted in the evacuation of 2,000 people from the surrounding area. The operation followed explosions at a Russian base in Crimea last week, which severely damaged multiple aircraft.

The Justice Department said that the release of the affidavit used to justify the search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence would “compromise” its investigation. The department cited concerns about protecting the identities of witnesses that may be exposed through the release of the affidavit as well as the risk that the release would “chill” witness cooperation.

Prosecutors in Georgia told Rudolph Guiliani that he is a target in their investigation into election interference in the state. The news about former President Trump’s personal lawyer broke the same day that a federal judge ordered Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) to testify before the Fulton County Special Grand Jury.

Kenyan presidential candidate Raila Odinga said he will challenge the results of the election after his opponent Deputy President William Ruto was declared the winner on Monday. Odinga called the election results “null and void,” following a night of conflict in which his supporters clashed with police in Nairobi and Kisumu.

China announced that it has imposed sanctions on Taiwanese politicians and will conduct additional military drills near Taiwan. The announcement came the same day a U.S. congressional delegation met with the Taiwanese president, and follows House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan earlier this month. 

Followers of the Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr—the man who controls the largest bloc in the Iraqi Parliament—have blocked access to the Parliament building with tents for over two weeks. The encampment has stopped Iraqi politicians from forming a government following the dissolution of negotiations in June.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast in which David Priess sat down with Jonathan House to discuss intelligence as a profession, the responsibility of senior intelligence leaders, and more.

Bryce Klehm rereleased Allies, a podcast series that traces the United States’s efforts to protect Afghan interpreters, translators, and other partners through the Special Immigrant Visa program, on the one-year anniversary of the fall of Kabul.

Jordan Schneider shared an episode of ChinaTalk in which he sat down with Eric Breckenfeld and Hassan Khan to discuss the National Semiconductor Technology Center created by the Chips and Science Act.

Jeh Johnson argued that the classification authority argument advanced by Trump’s team in response to his possession of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago does not hold water.

Benjamin Pollard and Claudia Swain shared an announcement of a roundtable Lawfare Live discussion on Thursday, August 18 at 2:30 pm ET.

Tyler McBrien shared an order denying a motion to quash a subpoena requiring Sen. Lindsay Graham to testify before the special grand jury.

Anna Bower explained the oral argument pertaining to Sen. Graham’s motion.

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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