Signup to receive the Early Edition in your inbox here.
A curated weekday guide to major national and international security news and developments. Here’s today’s news:
FALLOUT FROM EXECUTION OF SEARCH WARRANT ON TRUMP’S MAR-A-LAGO
Former Vice President Mike Pence has called on Republicans to cease their attacks on law enforcement in the wake of the search of Mar-a-Lago. Congressional Republicans, including members of leadership, have reacted with rage to the search, with some lawmakers calling to “defund” or “destroy” the F.B.I. Speaking at an event in New Hampshire yesterday, though, Pence said that Republicans could hold the Justice Department and the F.B.I. accountable for their decisions “without attacking the rank-and-file law enforcement personnel.” Alan Feuer and Luke Broadwater report for the New York Times.
JANUARY 6TH ATTACK ON THE U.S. CAPITOL
Federal prosecutors investigating former President Donald Trump’s role in the Capitol Riot issued a subpoena in May to the National Archives, demanding “all materials, in whatever form” that the archives had given to the Select Committee. Files of Trump’s top aides, Trump’s daily schedule and phone logs, and a draft text of the president’s speech that preceded the riot are part of the requested records. The subpoena was not related to a separate investigation into Trump’s documents at Mar-a-Lago. Alan Feuer, Maggie Haberman, and Luke Broadwater report for the New York Times.
Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani appeared for six hours before a Georgia grand jury investigating efforts to overturn the 2020 election; he is the highest-profile member of Trump’s inner circle to appear before grand jurors as of yet. Details of his closed-door appearance remain undisclosed. On Monday, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis informed Guiliani that his status had changed from “a material witness” to a “target” of the ongoing inquiry. Matthew Brown and Tom Hamburger report for the Washington Post.
Former Vice President Mike Pence “would consider” testifying before the Select Committee if there was an invitation to participate. “I would have to reflect on the unique role that I was serving as vice president,” Pence said in the New England Council and Saint Anselm College’s “Politics & Eggs” event on Wednesday morning. “It would be unprecedented in history for the vice president to be summoned to testify on Capitol Hill. But, as I said, I don’t want to prejudge ever any formal invitation rendered to us.” Lisa Kashinsky and Kyle Cheney report for POLITICO.
CVS, Walmart and Walgreens must pay over $650 million in damages as part of a major opioid case in Ohio. The three major companies must pay two counties in Ohio after a federal judge ruled that the companies must be held accountable for their part in fueling the opioid epidemic. The decision is coupled with a November jury verdict that found the companies had continued to dispense mass quantities of prescription painkillers over the years while ignoring flagrant signs that the pills were being abused. Jan Hoffman reports for the New York Times.
The Federal Reserve believes that increased interest rates have led to decreased inflation, which nevertheless remains too high, according to July meeting minutes. In June, the central bank raised its benchmark interest rate three-quarters of a percentage point, the largest increase since 1994. They followed that up with another, equally large rate increase last month and are expected to raise rates again when officials meet in late September. Ben Casselman reports for the New York Times.
Long-time Trump financial officer pleads guilty to 15 felonies and agrees to testify at the Trump Organization trial. As part of the plea, Allen H. Weisselberg admitted to participating in a long-running tax scheme at the former president’s family business. If called as a witness at the company’s trial in October, he will have to testify about his role in the scheme to avoid paying taxes on lavish corporate perks. However, Weisselberg will not implicate the former president or his family if he takes the stand at trial. He has also refused to cooperate with prosecutors in their broader investigation into Trump, who has not been accused of wrongdoing. Ben Protess, William K. Rashbaum and Jonah E. Bromwich report for the New York Times.
Ousted Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren on Wednesday sued Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for “blatant abuse of power” when DeSantis suspended Warren from office over a pledge to prosecute women who violate Florida’s new 15-week abortion ban, among other things. DeSantis characterized his decision as maintaining “law and order” and removing a progressive prosecutor who refused to enforce the law. Matt Dixon reports for POLITICO.
The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched an overhaul of its structures in an attempt to modernize the agency. The announcement comes as the agency seeks to rehabilitate its reputation following intense criticism of its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and, more recently, the growing monkeypox outbreak. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky also acknowledged the need to overhaul the department after it failed to adequately respond to COVID-19. Krista Mahr reports for CNN
RUSSIA, UKRAINE – FIGHTING
Six civilians were killed in a Russian missile strike on Kharkiv. The strike comes as the Russian advance around Kharkiv has stalled. Ukrainian officials said at least six civilians were killed and another sixteen were wounded, warning that the number was likely to rise. Russia has not made any major territorial advances since early July when it captured the city of Lysychansk, securing the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine. Marc Santora reports for the New York Times.
Ukraine’s attacks into Crimea reveal its latest defense strategy. Ukraine’s defense minister stated that Ukrainian forces plan to attack key military targets deep inside Russian-occupied territory in order to undermine Russia’s ability to hold the front lines ahead of an eventual Ukrainian counteroffensive to reclaim territory. Recent Ukrainian attacks on an airfield and arms depot is the most recent demonstration of the new strategy. For the first time since the attacks, the Ukrainian government publicly claimed responsibility for the string of attacks. Liz Sly, John Hudson and David L. Stern report for the Washington Post.
RUSSIA, UKRAINE – GLOBAL RESPONSE
U.N. Secretary General António Guterres arrived in Ukraine on Wednesday to review progress on the grain deal that ended a blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports. Guterres is scheduled to meet Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Turkey President Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday in the western city of Lviv. Then the secretary general will head towards the Black Sea port of Odessa on Friday to assess grain movement. Cassandra Vinograd reports for the New York Times.
The Biden administration wants Israel to review its “rules of engagement” during military operations in Gaza after the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. These rules delineate Israeli soldiers’ use of live fire in Gaza. Abu Akleh was killed by Israeli forces in May while covering an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank town of Jenin. Barak Ravid reports for Axios.
China joins Russia’s military exercises from Aug. 30 to Sept. 5 in Russia’s Far East region near the border with China and North Korea. The exercises represent Beijing’s and Moscow’s second joint show of force in the region after the 13-hour aviation drill in May when Biden was visiting Tokyo. Several sources, including China’s Defense Ministry, reported that India, Belarus, Tajikistan, Mongolia and other nations would join, although Russia has not confirmed this. James T. Areddy and Ann M. Simmons report for the Wall Street Journal.
The United States announced on Wednesday that it will enter into negotiations with Taiwan this fall on a bilateral trade and investment initiative. In a reference to China’s policies, the initiative will find ways to respond to “distortive practices of state-owned enterprises and nonmarket policies and practices,” according to the U.S. Trade Representative’s office. The initiative will “deepen our trade and investment relationship, advance mutual trade priorities based on shared values, and promote innovation and inclusive economic growth for our workers and businesses,” said Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi. Yuka Hayashi reports for the Wall Street Journal.
COVID-19 has infected almost 93.27 million people and has killed almost 1.04 million people in the United States, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Globally, there have been more than 593.3 million confirmed coronavirus cases and over 6.4 million deaths. Sergio Hernandez, Byron Manley, Sean O’Key, and Henrik Pettersson report for CNN.
A map and analysis of the vaccine rollout across the U.S. is available at the New York Times.
A map and analysis of all confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S. is available at the New York Times.
U.S. and worldwide maps tracking the spread of the pandemic are available at the Washington Post.