Today’s Headlines and Commentary

Hyemin Han
Tuesday, September 6, 2022, 5:13 PM

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U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon ruled to appoint a special master to adjudicate privilege claims for documents seized from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence on Aug. 8. In addition to granting the appointment of a special master, Cannon enjoined the government from reviewing and using the seized materials for “investigative purposes” until the special master’s review is complete or a separate order is given, though she did not pause the Office of the Director of National Intelligence's review at this time. A joint filing from both parties with proposed special master candidates is due on or before Sept. 9. Lawfare hosted a Twitter Spaces earlier today analyzing the opinion. 

Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin has been removed by a federal judge from his position under §3 of the 14th Amendment because of his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. In March, three New Mexico residents brought a quo warranto action in state court arguing that Griffin should be removed from office given the constitutional ban on insurrectionists holding public office. Earlier this year, Griffin was convicted for one of two misdemeanors he was charged with for his involvement in the Capitol attack. Griffin’s ousting marks the first time a public official has been removed on the basis of section 3 of the 14th Amendment since 1869. 

Newly declassified U.S. military intelligence shows that Russia is purchasing significant amounts of artillery shells and rockets from North Korea to support its military operations in Ukraine. This move suggests that the coordinated global sanctions effort against Russia is succeeding, especially given China’s relative adherence to the prohibitions as well, according to American officials. 

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), after completing its visit to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear facility in southern Ukraine, declared that while there is not a “nuclear emergency” at present, a “safety and security protection zone” should be established to secure the area. Continued shelling near the facility has continued to create instability near the plant, which IAEA inspectors said could “lead to radiological consequences with great safety significance” if not secured soon.

Russian President Vladimir Putin approved a new foreign policy doctrine to “protect, safeguard and advance the traditions and ideals of the Russian World” on Monday, according to Reuters. Enshrined in a 31-page “humanitarian policy,” the doctrine centers on the concept of a “Russian World,” stating that the Russian Federation will provide support to “compatriots,” wherever they may live, in order to preserve the Russian cultural identity and protect their interests. 

On Monday, African heads of state called on richer, higher-polluter countries to contribute more to Africa’s ability to respond to climate change at the Africa Adaptation Summit in Rotterdam. Chair of the African Union and Sengali President Macky Sall said he was disappointed that more leaders from the west did not attend. “I cannot help but note with some bitterness the absence of leaders from the industrial world,” Sall said. The meeting comes as extreme seasonal rainfall in Chad, the heaviest in the country in over 30 years, has resulted in the displacement of thousands and submerged the capital city of N'Djamena. According to Idriss Abdallah Hassan, a senior official at Chad’s state weather agency, the “catastrophic” situation marks a first for the country since 1990. The U.N. humanitarian office recorded that more than 400,000 people have been affected by the floods since the end of August. 

Israel’s military has stated that one of its soldiers likely “mistakenly” killed Al Jazeera reporter and Palestinian-American Shireen Abu Akleh in May. Akleh’s reporting on the Israel-Palestine conflict had led to criticism against the Israeli military. In spite of the admission, Israeli military advocate general Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi decided against opening a criminal investigation into the matter, stating that the rules of engagement and doctrines on noncombatant targeting had not been violated. A probe by the Palestinian Authority earlier this year had found that the shooting was intentional. 

ICYMI: This Weekend on Lawfare

Joseph Padron, Rafael Prieto Curiel, Jason Scheuer, and Olivier Walther analyzed the movement patterns of terrorists who assisted in the 9/11 attack, concluding that while group members did not necessarily live near one another, their itineraries closely matched their organizational structure. 

Hyemin Han shared U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon’s Monday order granting the appointment of a special master to oversee privilege claims in materials seized during the FBI’s Aug. 8 search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.

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Hyemin Han is an associate editor of Lawfare and is based in Washington, D.C. Previously, she worked in eviction defense and has interned on Capitol Hill and with the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. She holds a BA in government from Dartmouth College, where she was editor-in-chief of The Dartmouth independent daily.

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