Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Lev Sugarman
Friday, February 8, 2019, 1:24 PM

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker testified before the House Judiciary Committee, remarking that there have not been changes to the Justice Department’s supervision of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, while refusing to comment on deliberations with President Trump that are covered by executive privilege, the Washington Post details.

Following Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s sextortion accusations against American Media Inc., prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York are investigating whether AMI violated its non-prosecution agreement in the Michael Cohen case involving AMI’s role in hush payments to women who claimed to have relationships with President Trump, Bloomberg reports.

In a partially redacted transcript of a hearing on Paul Manafort’s alleged violation of his plea deal with Mueller, prosecutors revealed that Manafort continued political work for Ukraine months after his indictment, and may have lied to boost his chances for a pardon, the Post reports.

U.S. intelligence intercepted a 2017 conversation in which Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman remarked that he would use a “bullet” on the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed by Saudi operatives in Turkey, if he did not cease his criticism of the Saudi government and return to the Kingdom, current and former American and foreign officials have reportedly told the New York Times.

Embattled President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro blocked U.S. food and medical aid at the Venezuelan border, further heightening tensions between the U.S.-backed President Juan Guaido and the sitting Maduro government, according to CNN.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Patrick McDonnell summarized oral argument heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in the Qassim v. Trump Guantanamo detention case.

Ariel E. Levite and Wyatt Hoffman assessed the viability of insurance in protecting against cyber risk.

Robert Chesney and Steve Vladeck shared a new episode of The National Security Law Podcast featuring discussion of airstrikes in Somalia, an Islamic State material support case and more.

Mikhaila Fogel shared correspondence between House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and the Justice Department regarding Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker’s testimony before the committee and Nadler’s subpoena threats.

Quinta Jurecic discussed Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s sextortion accusations against the National Enquirer.

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