Today’s Headlines and Commentary

Matt Gluck, Tia Sewell
Friday, September 2, 2022, 4:40 PM

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

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President Biden on Thursday delivered a prime-time speech in which he decried President Trump and his supporters for undermining democracy and discussed his administration’s economic, healthcare, and climate initiatives. Speaking in Philadelphia ahead of the November midterm elections, Biden called the former president and “MAGA Republicans ... a threat to this country.” Biden specifically cited the violent threats made against federal agents following the F.B.I’s search at Mar-a-Lago, asserting that such actions can lead to erosion of public faith in U.S. law enforcement. 

A man attempted to kill Argentine vice president Cristina Fernández on Thursday outside of her home, but the man’s gun misfired, and Fernández appeared unharmed. Security officers responded to the situation immediately and overpowered the attacker. The incident comes as the vice president remains on trial for alleged corrupt conduct during her tenure as Argentina’s president in 2007-2015. 

Ukraine accused Russia of giving a “staged show” to a team of five United Nations monitors sent to inspect the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant near Enerhodar, Ukraine, which is currently under the Kremlin’s control. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy alleged that Ukraine has “clear evidence that Russia did a lot of cynical things to deceive the mission,” though the New York Times notes that his claims could not be independently verified, and the International Atomic Energy Agency has yet to comment on them.

The chairman of Russia’s second-largest oil company, Ravil Maganov, died on Thursday after allegedly falling out of the window of a hospital in Moscow where he was receiving medical treatment for a heart attack. Maganov’s company, Lukoil, is the only Russian oil producer to have publicly called for the termination of the war in Ukraine. Maganov is at least the sixth Russian oil or gas executive to have died this year under seemingly mysterious circumstances. 

The Biden administration announced that Tehran’s latest proposal in negotiations to restore the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal with Iran were “not constructive.” Discussions between the U.S. and Iran have been ongoing for several weeks since Iran requested some “adjustments” to a “final” text presented by the European Union back in July. 

Approximately one dozen unaccompanied migrant children have been reported as missing from the homes of their U.S. sponsors in Houston, Texas. Earlier this summer, the Houston Police notified the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services of what seemed to be a pattern in missing unaccompanied migrant children. Since late last year, 57 migrant children have been reported missing, including nine who ran away from shelter homes. 

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jason Pielemeier and Chris Riley argued that shifting U.S. internet foreign policy priorities away from protecting global human rights online and toward a security-centric posture would be a strategic mistake, and risks harm to freedom and security.

Katie Kedian discussed the renewed relevance of classification status of the materials seized by the FBI at former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in light of the Justice Department’s 40-page opposition brief filed on Aug. 30

Tia Sewell shared a new U.N. report that details “credible” reports of torture, forced sterilization, and internment of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in China’s Xinjiang region.

David Priess shared an episode from the Chatter archive that features a discussion with intelligence officer Sue Gordon, who shared stories about her experiences in team sports, lessons on leadership, her role in creating the CIA’s non-profit venture capital firm, and more.

Matt Gluck shared U.S. District Court Judge Leigh Martin May’s order to deny Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-S.C.) attempt to fully quash a grand jury subpoena issued as part of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s probe into efforts to interfere with Georgia’s 2020 elections.

Anna Bower detailed an account of the “first big courtroom showdown” between Trump’s counsel and federal prosecutors over the appointment of a special master to oversee documents collected during the FBI’s recent search of Mar-a-Lago.

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.

Matt Gluck is a research fellow at Lawfare. He holds a BA in government from Dartmouth College.
Tia Sewell is a former associate editor of Lawfare. She studies international relations and economics at Stanford University.

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