Today’s Headlines and Commentary

Sage Rudolf
Friday, September 16, 2022, 5:32 PM

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

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

Subscribe to receive this newsletter directly to your inbox.

U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon rejected the Justice Department’s motion for partial stay and appointed a special master to oversee privilege claims in seized Mar-a-Lago documents on Thursday. Cannon appointed Raymond J. Dearie, former chief justice at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, as the special master to review the files seized from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in August while rejecting the Justice Department’s argument that it should be allowed to continue reviewing and using 100 discrete documents labeled as “classified” in its ongoing investigation of Trump. The Justice Department is expected to appeal both orders. 

The Justice Department issued 40 subpoenas earlier last week, expanding its investigation of the Jan. 6 effort to stop the certification of Joe Biden as the next president, reports the Washington Post. The subpoenas requested of over 100 recipients sought records of extensive communications regarding Trump’s efforts to replace Biden’s officials with officials of his own choosing, a pro-Trump rally held the day before the Jan. 6 riot and over $100 million of fundraising towards pro-Trump election appeals from the Save America political action committee.

Following six months of Russian occupation, investigators exhumed hundreds of bodies buried in a mass grave site in the Ukrainian city of Izium on Friday. Reports indicate that causes of death included injuries from Russian airstrikes as well as possible signs of strangulation. Prosecutors throughout Kharkiv and Bucha are working to document evidence of possible war crimes committed by Russian soldiers. Officials began the process of identifying the deceased today as they try to gain a clear understanding of life in Izium since its invasion in March. 

Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) and Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas) transported approximately 150 immigrants north to protest an unprecedented influx of undocumented immigrants at the border. The state of Florida chartered two planes with migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, while Texas sent two busloads of people to Vice President Kamala Harris’s house in Washington, D.C. in the demonstration. President Joe Biden condemned DeSantis and Abbott for “playing politics with human beings.” The American Civil Liberties Union and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Right are reportedly working to advise the migrants with obtaining visas and probe the legality of the governors’ displays, including a consideration of whether the migrants were tricked into participating..  

District of Columbia District Judge Beryl Howell ruled Thursday that the Senate’s 6,700 page report on the CIA’s post-9/11 interrogation and detention facilities will remain classified. Journalist Shawn Musgrave had put in a “common law right of access” request—distinct but similar to a Freedom of Information Act request—for the document in efforts to disclose the contents of the report to the public. Howell wrote in her order that releasing the report would “compromise national security if released,” and that the disclosure would therefore outweigh public interest.

In support of Ukraine, the State Department and U.S. Commerce and Treasury expanded sanctions to include Russian technology firms in order to stifle Vladimir Putin’s potential efforts at military modernization. The sanctions target a total of 31 Russian companies, including those involved in space-defense and quantum computing. The State Department and Treasury indicated that these efforts are, in part, to cut Russia off from the global technology market by prohibiting the exportation of high-technology to the country. 


ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Hyemin Han shared two orders from U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon: one appointing U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of New York Raymond J. Dearie to the position of special master to oversee privilege claims in the materials seized at Mar-a-Lago on Aug. 8, and another rejecting the Justice Department’smotion for partial stay of Cannon’s order enjoining the government from using materials seized at Mar-a-Lago in its ongoing investigation.

David Priess shared an episode of the Chatter Podcast in which Priess and Ric Prado discussed Prado’s extensive experience in the CIA and misconceptions about intelligence agencies as portrayed in Hollywood.  

Brady Worthington analyzed a report released on Aug. 31 by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the “crimes against humanity” committed by the Chinese government against Uyghur populations in Xinjiang.

Gabriel Band explored the roles and unintended consequences of sanctions employed by the U.S. in influencing opposing foreign political agendas, using U.S. sanctions against Russia and Iran as examples.

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast in which Benjamin Wittes and Dmitri Alperovitch sat down to discuss Ukraine’s offensive strategy in Kharkiv Oblast, Russia’s ability to sustain the war, and the likelihood of Ukrainian economic collapse.  

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

Sage Rudolf is an intern at Lawfare. She is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering and English at Pace University.

Subscribe to Lawfare