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A curated weekday guide to major national security news and developments over the past 24 hours. Here’s today’s news.


The Supreme Court has denied Sen. Lindsey Graham’s emergency plea to avoid cooperation with a Georgia grand jury investigating alleged interference by Trump in the state’s 2020 election results. Graham has fought the grand jury from the outset, claiming he is shielded from cooperation by the Constitution’s Speech or Debate Clause, which conveys a privilege to lawmakers against arrest or questioning on matters regarding their legislative acts, except in cases of “Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace.” In an unsigned order, the court found no justification for Graham’s request for blanket immunity and said the senator could return to district court “should disputes arise regarding the application of the Speech or Debate Clause immunity to specific questions.” The court did, however, reiterate lower court rulings that Graham could assert a privilege to decline to answer specific questions which he argues involve legislative activity. Jess Bravin reports for the Wall Street Journal

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack interviewed Secret Service spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi on Monday, according to people familiar with the interview. The interview focused in part on his role in issuing statements that undercut former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony, the people said. During her live testimony in June, Hutchinson testified that Tony Ornato, the deputy chief of staff who served as a liaison for the Secret Service, told her that Trump tried to wrestle the steering wheel away from the head of his Secret Service detail Robert Engel after his appearance at the “Stop the Steal” rally on the Ellipse. On Monday, the committee repeatedly asked Guglielmi to walk through how he chose to describe Ornato and Engel’s accounts of events on Jan. 6, 2021, and the agency’s rebuttal of Hutchinson’s account of the story provided by Ornato about Trump’s behavior in the heavily fortified SUV. During the interview, Guglielmi explained who he questioned and said then-Secret Service Director James Murray, who announced his retirement this summer, and Deputy Director Faron Paramore approved the statements, according to people familiar with the testimony. Jacqueline Alemany and Carol D. Leonnig report for the Washington Post

The Justice Department is examining ties among the far-right Proud Boys, longtime Trump advisor Roger Stone, and others over their roles in 2018 “Stop the Steal” demonstrations. These demonstrations followed the election for Florida governor – a hotly contested race that would help determine who controlled the U.S. Senate. Members of the far-right group the Proud Boys and people close to Stone, including Representative Matt Gaetz, took part in the 2018 action. Now, four years later, the Justice Department is looking into whether the tactics used then served as a model for the Jan. 6 attack in 2021. Alan Feuer and Michael S. Schmidt report for the New York Times

Two leaders of True the Vote, a prominent right-wing group that promotes voter fraud conspiracies, were jailed this week after a federal judge in Texas found them in contempt of court. The group’s president Catherine Engelbrecht and onetime board member Gregg Phillips were taken into custody after defying a court order to reveal more details in a civil case about one of their controversial attempts to uncover supposed fraud in the 2020 presidential election. The two activists will remain in custody until they abide by the court’s order, according to court filings. Paul P. Murphy reports for CNN.


The man accused of breaking into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home and assaulting her husband with a hammer allegedly told police he had a target list of state and federal politicians. This is according to court documents filed yesterday during the suspect, David DePape’s, arraignment hearing. During the hearing, prosecutors pressed for DePape to be held without bond, citing the “extreme public safety risk he poses.” The judge ordered DePape to be held until a bail hearing can be scheduled. DePape was also served an order of protection requiring him to stay at least 150 feet away from the Pelosis and their home. Holly Bailey reports for the Washington Post

Treasury officials are considering whether they have the legal authority to start an investigation into Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter because of his ties to foreign governments and investors, people familiar with those discussions have said. A Saudi prince’s holding company and a subsidiary of the Qatari sovereign wealth fund are among the investors backing Musk’s Twitter purchase, as is Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange that was founded in China but has since moved its operations elsewhere. Sources familiar with the matter also revealed that large foreign investors will have access to confidential information about Twitter’s finances and potentially its users, although, it is not clear whether Treasury officials were aware of the terms granting information rights to large investors when they began their considerations. White House officials and officials at the FBI have also previously considered conducting national security reviews of the acquisition, people familiar with the inquiries have said. Faiz Siddiqui, Jeff Stein and Joseph Menn report for the Washington Post. 

Chief Justice John Roberts has agreed to temporarily put on hold a lower court order requiring the release of former President Trump’s tax returns by the Internal Revenue Service to a Democratic-led House committee. The tax returns had been set to be turned over to the House Ways and Means Committee later this week. In response to the order, a committee spokesperson said: “The Ways and Means Committee maintains the law is on our side, and will file a timely response as requested.” “Chairman Neal looks forward to the Supreme Court’s expeditious consideration,” they added. Ariane de Vogue and Tierney Sneed report for CNN

Pennsylvania’s highest court has ordered state election officials to not count mail ballots with dates omitted or that were incorrectly dated by voters. Issuing a brief order yesterday, the state Supreme Court, which was deadlocked on whether not counting the ballots violated federal law, said that election officials should not count the ballots and should keep them segregated from other ballots. The case — which was brought by the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, the state Republican Party and individual voters — will likely result in more Democratic-leaning voters being tossed out, since Democrats disproportionately vote via the mail. The court order did not explain any of the justices’ reasoning, saying only that opinions would follow at a later date. Zach Montellaro reports for POLITICO

A federal judge in Phoenix issued a restraining order yesterday night against a group that has been photographing and recording voters casting ballots at drop boxes in Arizona. The order, issued by U.S. District Judge Michael Liburdi, prohibits Clean Elections USA from “openly” carrying weapons or “visibly wear body armor” within 250 feet of drop boxes. Liburdi’s order also bars the group’s members from taking photos, recording, following or yelling at voters within 75 feet of drop box locations. The group was accused of “intimidation and harassment” of voters as they dropped off their ballots in Maricopa County. The lawsuit was filed by the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans and Voto Latino. Zoë Richards reports for NBC News


Saudi Arabia has shared intelligence with the U.S. warning of an imminent attack from Iran on targets in the kingdom, Saudi and U.S. officials have said. In response to the warning, Saudi Arabia, the U.S. and several other neighboring states have raised the level of alert for their military forces, the officials said. According to Saudi officials, Iran is poised to carry out attacks on both the kingdom and Erbil, Iraq. The White House National Security Council said it was concerned about the warnings and was ready to respond if Iran carried out an attack. Dion Nissenbaum reports for the Wall Street Journal

The Treasury Department has announced sanctions against a network of weapons traffickers with ties to the Islamic State in Somalia and al-Shabaab, a Somali militant group with ties to al Qaeda. The department said in a release that the Office of Foreign Assets Control issued the designation following a bombing in the Somalian capital of Mogadishu that killed more than 100 people on Saturday, which al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for. “Today, we take direct aim at the networks funding and supplying both ISIS-Somalia and al-Shabaab that support their violent acts,” said Brian Nelson, the undersecretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement that the network primarily operates between Yemen and Somalia and has ties to other terrorist groups. He said many of the individuals in the network are also involved in other illegal activities such as piracy and environmental crimes. Jared Gans reports for The Hill

North Korea will consider “powerful follow-up measures” if the U.S. does not stop conducting joint military drills with South Korea, North Korea’s foreign ministry has said in a statement. “If [Washington] does not want any serious developments not suited to its security interests, it should stop the useless and ineffective war exercises at once. If not, it will have to totally take the blame for all the consequences,” the statement adds. The statement comes after Washington and Seoul began one of their largest combined military air drills on Monday. The drills are expected to last until Friday. Yvette Tan reports for BBC News


North Korea fired at least 17 missiles into the sea including one that landed less than 60 km (40 miles) off South Korea’s coast. It was the first time a ballistic missile had landed near the South’s waters since the peninsula was divided in 1945, and the most missiles fired by the North in a single day. The missile landed outside South Korea’s territorial waters, but south of the Northern Limit Line, a disputed inter-Korean maritime border.  South Korea issued rare air raid warnings and launched its own missiles in response. Josh Smith and Soo-Hyang Choi report for Reuters.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is on course for victory in the country’s general election, exit polls say. The projections give his right-wing bloc a slim majority of seats over his center-left opponents led by current Prime Minister Yair Lapid. Such a result would mark a dramatic comeback for Netanyahu, who was toppled last year after 12 straight years in power. “We are close to a big victory,” he told jubilant supporters in Jerusalem. The exit polls suggest his bloc will command 61 or 62 seats in the 120-seat Knesset (parliament). In order to secure a parliamentary majority, Netanyahu and his Likud party will therefore be dependent on the support of the far-right, ultra-nationalist Religious Zionism party. Raffi Berg reports for BBC News

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has vowed to respect the constitution after he lost the presidential election to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. His comments broke a tense 45-hour silence in which he had refused to acknowledge the results even as his allies urged him to do so.  During a press conference in Brasilia, Bolsonaro thanked the more than 58 million people who voted for him, saying that protests by truckers across the country Tuesday in support of his government were the result of “indignation and feelings of injustice over the electoral process.” Whilst Bolsonaro did not directly concede to da Silva, his chief of staff, Ciro Nogueira, told reporters that the president had authorized him to begin the transition process that would end with da Silva’s inauguration on Jan. 1. Samantha Pearson and Luciana Magalhaes report for the Wall Street Journal

A state of emergency and curfews have been declared in two Ecuador provinces after a series of attacks that killed five police officers. Officials said nine separate attacks were launched in the coastal provinces of Guayas and Esmeraldas yesterday, apparently in response to transfers of prisoners from overcrowded and violent jails. Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso introduced emergency measures in the two states for 45 days, restricting freedom of assembly and movement. Lasso called the attacks by increasingly powerful drug gangs a declaration of war. BBC News reports. 

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s “red bloc” of parties has secured the required 90 seats to form a government, in an election widely seen as a confidence vote in her leadership. Her Social Democrats party unexpectedly gained two seats and secured its best result in two decades. Frederiksen was forced to call an early election in October, following outrage after a highly critical report of her government’s handling of a country-wide mink cull at fur farms at the height of the pandemic was released over the summer. Adrienne Murray & Alys Davies report for BBC News.

Russian mercenaries in Mali have been accused of a new massacre of civilians following a major military operation in the center of the country. At least 13 civilians were killed in the region of Mopti by Malian troops supported by “white soldiers”, local elected officials and an official of a community association told Agence France-Presse. Fighters from the Kremlin-linked Wagner Group arrived in Mali late last year after a lucrative deal was struck with its new military rulers. They have been deployed on a series of offensives against Islamist extremists who control swaths of the country and have been repeatedly linked to atrocities. Jason Burke reports for the Guardian


Ukrainian military intelligence said yesterday that Iran is planning to send sophisticated Arash-2 drones to Russia. The Arash-2 has been touted by the Iranian military as one of the longest-range attack drones in the world. Defense Intelligence of Ukraine, part of the Defense Ministry, said “a batch of more than 200 combat drones Shahed-136, Mohajer-6 and Arash-2 is planned to be sent from Iran to the Russian Federation at the beginning of November.” The intelligence agency said in a post on Telegram that the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles “will be delivered via the Caspian Sea to the port of Astrakhan.” Jonny Hallam reports for CNN

Ukraine is “actively conducting a dialogue” to get more anti-aircraft missile systems from the West, a top Ukrainian official has said. This comes as Tehran prepares to send approximately 1,000 additional weapons, including surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missiles and more attack drones, to Moscow. Ukraine’s Air Force said yesterday that it currently has no effective defense against the types of ballistic missile that Iran is preparing to ship to Russia to use in its war against Ukraine. Xiaofei Xu and Olga Voitovych report for CNN


COVID-19 has infected over 97.450 million people and has now killed over 1.07 million people in the United States, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Globally, there have been over 630.283 million confirmed coronavirus cases and over 6.59 million deaths. Sergio Hernandez, Sean O’Key, Amanda Watts, Byron Manley and Henrik Pettersson report for CNN.

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.