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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.


Department of Justice special counsel Jack Smith has a 2021 audio recording of former President Trump acknowledging he kept a classified Pentagon document about a possible attack on Iran after leaving the White House. This latest tape could end up as part of a criminal case. However, the tape seems unlikely to dent his political position as the frontrunner for the Republican nomination in 2024. Zachary B. Wolf reports for CNN

Department of Justice special counsel Jack Smith subpoenaed employees from the Trump White House who may have been involved in firing Christopher Krebs, the government cybersecurity official whose agency stated the 2020 election was “the most secure in American history.” Krebs’s assessment contrasted with then-President Trump’s baseless assertions that it was a “fraud.” Five days after Krebs’ agency stated, “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes or was in any way compromised,” Trump tweeted that Krebs was “terminated” after releasing a “highly inaccurate” statement about the 2020 election. Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Swan report for the New York Times

Former President Trump’s lawyers are expected to seek the recusal of New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan overseeing Trump’s hush money criminal case, alleging political and personal conflicts, according to a statement released yesterday by Trump’s lawyers. The statement said that Merchan “apparently made” contributions to President Biden and a Democratic organization. Merchan previously handled the Trump Organization’s criminal tax fraud trial. Shayna Jacobs reports for the Washington Post


Leading Republican lawmakers yesterday threatened to hold FBI Director Christopher Wray in contempt over his alleged stonewalling of their congressional investigation into the business dealings of President Biden and his family. Rep. James Comer (R-KY) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) attacked Wray for not submitting a document that the House Oversight Committee subpoenaed. Republicans have said the document contains allegations that President Biden engaged in a bribery scheme with a foreign national during his vice presidency. C. Ryan Barber and Sadie Gurman report for the Wall Street Journal

A future prosection of Hunter Biden concerning his possible lying on a federal firearms application in 2018 may be moot in light of the Supreme Court decision last June that expanded Second Amendment rights, Biden’s lawyers told Justice Department prosecutors. The landmark ruling that gave people a broad right to carry guns outside the home is regarded by President Biden as a travesty for gun control. However, the same ruling might offer an opportunity to Hunter Biden, who may have lied on a firearms application when asked if he was addicted to drugs. Glenn Thrush and Michael S. Schmidt report for the New York Times


The case against Brian Jeffrey Raymond, a former CIA officer accused of sexually abusing more than 20 women, is at risk of collapsing because the Justice and State departments may have mismanaged the warrant to seize Raymond’s phones. Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly will hear arguments today about whether nearly 600 photos of Raymond allegedly abusing incapacitated women should be thrown out. Kollar-Kotelly previously ruled that law enforcement agents may have violated Raymond’s rights under the Fourth Amendment, which guards against unreasonable search and seizure, and under the Fifth, which says a person cannot be forced to testify against himself. Ken Dilanian reports for NBC News

Morgan Murphy, the national security adviser to Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), resigned on Tuesday after it was revealed that he presented Tuberville with the controversial strategy of stalling senior military nominations in a bid to stop a new Defense Department policy that helps ensure access to abortions. John Wagner reports for the Washington Post


Secretary of State Antony Blinken yesterday denounced China’s refusal to meet with Pentagon leaders after an “unnecessarily aggressive” military aircraft incident over the South China Sea last week. Blinken said the incident “only underscores why it is so important that we have regular, open lines of communication.” China responded to the incident with accusations that the United States had endangered its sovereignty by conducting regular close-up reconnaissance using ships and planes. Dan Lamothe and Missy Ryan report for the Washington Post.

The U.A.E. announced yesterday that it stopped participating in a U.S.-led maritime security force amid rising tensions between Washington and Persian Gulf allies who say the United States is not adequately protecting them from Iranian threats. The announcement came after Iran seized two commercial tankers in waterways near the U.A.E. over the past two months. Vivian Nereim reports for the New York Times

Senate lawmakers yesterday introduced the bipartisan Abraham Accords Cybersecurity Cooperation Act aimed at strengthening cybersecurity collaboration between the United States and countries in the Abraham Accords. The Abraham Accords is a 2020 agreement to normalize diplomatic relations between Israel and some Arab nations, including the U.A.E., Bahrain, and Morocco. The Act would authorize the Department of Homeland Security to share information, provide technical assistance, and conduct cyber training and exercises with Abraham Accords countries. Ines Kagubare reports for The Hill


President Biden approved a new military aid package worth $300 million for Ukraine. The package includes additional munitions for drones and an array of other weapons. Aamer Madhani and Lolita C. Baldor report for AP News

The Biden administration does not have “specific information that tells us who is responsible” for a drone attack in Moscow this week, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said yesterday. Reuters reports. 

Berlin is ordering four of the five Russian consulates in Germany to close in a tit-for-tat response after Moscow limited the German diplomatic staff allowed in Russia. The Russian Foreign Ministry has been ordered to immediately begin closing the consular offices, which must be shut by the end of the year. Christopher F. Schuetze reports for the New York Times

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has pushed for Ukraine to join NATO, as he spoke at a summit of the E.U.’s member states and 20 other European countries in Moldova today. At a separate meeting of NATO ministers in Oslo, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Russia could not veto Ukraine’s membership. However, Germany said it would not be possible while Ukraine was at war. John Irish and Andrew Gray report for Reuters


Evidence of potential human rights abuses may be lost after being deleted by social media companies. Platforms remove graphic videos, often using artificial intelligence, including footage that may help prosecutions. Human rights groups say there is an urgent need for social media companies to prevent this information from vanishing. Jack Goodman and Maria Korenyuk report for BBC News

The Russian Volunteer Corps, a group of anti-Putin Russian nationals aligned with the Ukrainian army, has said its “second phase” inside Russia began today. A fighter from the Russian Volunteer Corps said they were “once again fighting on Russian territory.” Olga Voitovych and Sarah Dean report for CNN

Russia resumed its overnight bombardment of Kyiv earlier today, launching missile strikes that killed at least three people, including two children. Meanwhile, the governor of Russia’s Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine, said at least five people were injured by Ukrainian shelling today. CNN reports. 

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri Peskov said the refusal of Ukrainian allies to denounce the attack on Moscow this week proves that Russia’s real war is with the West. Peskov said Russia “would have preferred to hear at least some words of condemnation” from Western capitals. While none of Ukraine’s allies went so far as to endorse the drone attack, Britain’s foreign secretary said on Tuesday that Kyiv had “the right to project force beyond its borders.” Anatoly Kurmanaev reports for the New York Times


Ben Roberts-Smith, Australia’s most-decorated living soldier, has lost a historic defamation case against three newspapers that accused him of war crimes in Afghanistan. Justice Anthony Besanko said four of the six murder allegations – all denied by Roberts-Smith – were substantially true, as were additional allegations of bullying. Roberts-Smith has not been charged over any of the claims. No findings have been made against him in a criminal court. Tiffanie Turnbull reports for BBC News

The confusion and panic that swept across South Korea’s capital after a “false alarm” was triggered by North Korea’s failed satellite launch expose how unprepared South Korea is to respond to a real emergency. Critics say that the response to yesterday’s incident was symptomatic of an administration that has championed a tough stance against North Korea yet failed to assure the public of its safety. Choe Sang-Hun, Victoria Kim, and Jin Yu Young report for the New York Times

Iran’s stockpile of highly enriched uranium grew by over a quarter in the three months to May, the International Atomic Energy Agency (I.A.E.A.) reported. The accumulation heightens concerns that Iran can quickly convert this uranium into weapons-grade material for nuclear weapons. However, Iran’s decision to provide the I.A.E.A. with more oversight of certain aspects of its nuclear work suggests the space for a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear work remains open. Laurence Norman reports for the Wall Street Journal

Five members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command have been killed and several more wounded by an explosion in Lebanon, close to the border with Syria. The Palestinian militant group has blamed the Israeli military for the attack. An Israeli source has denied any involvement. Lebanese security sources said it was caused by munitions being moved around. David Gritten reports for BBC News

A German court yesterday convicted a 28-year-old woman and sentenced her to five years and three months in prison after she carried out brutal attacks against people she perceived to be neo-Nazis. Three other group members received prison sentences ranging from two years and five months to three years and two months for charges including membership or support of a criminal gang, assault, and abetting assault. Nancy Faeser, Germany’s interior minister, said that “in a democratic constitutional state, there must be no room for vigilante justice.” She added, “No objective justifies political violence.” Christopher F. Schuetze reports for the New York Times

The U.N. has expressed concern over the absence of women among China’s top leadership. The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women recommended that China adopt statutory quotas and a gender parity system to quicken equal representation of women in government. Farah Master reports for Reuters