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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.
DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS – JAN. 6 ATTACK
Daniel Rodriguez, 40, was sentenced yesterday to over 12 years in prison after admitting that he assaulted Michael Fanone, a police officer, with a stun gun during the Jan. 6 attack. In addition to the prison term, Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered Rodriguez to pay nearly $100,000 in restitution to the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington. Jackson described Rodriguez as a “one-man army of hate.” C. Ryan Barber reports for the Wall Street Journal.
DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS – DISCORD LEAKS
Jack Teixeira, the alleged Discord leaker, yesterday pleaded not guilty to a six-count indictment that charges him with illegal retention and transmission of national defense information. The next hearing is scheduled for Aug. 9. Mariya Manzhos and Devlin Barrett report for the Washington Post.
DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS – TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION
The House yesterday voted 213-209 to pass a Republican measure censuring Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA). Schiff’s censure relates to the former House Intelligence Committee chair’s allegations of ties between then-president Trump and Russia. Andrew Solender reports for Axios.
Democrats and Republicans yesterday clashed over special counsel John Durham’s report on the FBI investigation of collusion between Russian officials and Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Accusations of partisanship characterized the hearing before the House Judiciary Committee. Durham testified for over five hours over the report, which concluded that the FBI should have launched a preliminary, not a full, investigation into ties between former President Trump and Russia. Lucy Hodgman reports for POLITICO.
OTHER DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS
Prosecutors uncovered videos of Guantánamo Bay guards forcibly removing the accused mastermind of the USS Cole bombing from his cell around the time federal agents claim he voluntarily confessed, the prosecution told the judge yesterday. The footage may bolster the defense lawyers’ argument that Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri confessed to federal agents because he had been tortured. The videos, which are so sensitive they can only be shown in classified settings, may cause further delay to the death penalty trial that has been in the pre-trial phase since 2011. Carol Rosenberg reports for the New York Times.
The House will vote today to send Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (R-CO) resolution to impeach President Biden to the Homeland Security and Judiciary committees, forgoing an immediate impeachment vote. The ability to further evaluate the impeachment marks a de-escalation in Republican internal tensions, as some members thought immediate impeachment was premature. Rebecca Kaplan, Scott Wong, and Zoë Richards report for NBC News.
Kendra Kingsbury, 50, a former FBI intelligence analyst from Kansas, received nearly four years in prison yesterday after she pleaded guilty to two counts of violating the Espionage Act. Kingsbury improperly removed and unlawfully took home about 386 classified documents to her residence in Dodge City. Prosecutors said in a sentencing memo that several documents would have revealed the “government’s most important and secretive methods of collecting essential national security intelligence.” U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri reports.
U.S. RELATIONS – INDIA
While China is not the stated focus of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Washington visit this week, one of the enhancing partnership’s objectives is stopping Beijing’s aggressive expansion. Pulling down hurdles to tech and defense collaboration to ensure India can compete with China’s military modernization is a central theme of Modi’s visit. The United States is also keen to rebalance semiconductor supply chains away from China. Biden administration officials stress the strategic role India can play as a critical economic and military partner in the Indo-Pacific and bulwark against China. Ellen Nakashima reports for the Washington Post.
India’s purchase of state-of-the-art U.S. drones and the joint production of jet-fighter engines is expected to be unveiled today in a bid to wean New Delhi off arms purchases from Russia. Gordon Lubold, Michael R. Gordon, and Nancy A. Youssef report for the Wall Street Journal.
U.S. RELATIONS – CHINA
China yesterday called President Biden’s suggestion that Xi Jinping is a dictator “extremely absurd and irresponsible.” Biden’s comments came just after Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Xi in Beijing to forge a tentative way past the tensions that have troubled relations since the Chinese spy balloon incident. Bryan Pietsch, Meaghan Tobin, and John Hudson report for the Washington Post.
New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins today said he disagreed with President Biden’s remark that Chinese leader Xi Jinping was a dictator. Hipkins is scheduled to visit China from Jun. 25 to 30. Reuters reports.
RUSSIA-UKRAINE DEVELOPMENTS – UKRAINE RECOVERY CONFERENCE
The United States is set to give an additional $1.3 billion to help rebuild Ukraine, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced yesterday at the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London. Britain promised a financial package to unlock $3 billion worth of World Bank loans. The E.U. plans to provide $54.5 billion in aid between 2024 and 2027. John Hudson, Ellen Francis, Andrew Jeong, Robyn Dixon, and Eve Sampson report for the Washington Post.
The U.K. would be “very supportive” if Ukraine were given a simplified and sped-up path to joining NATO, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said at the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London. Andriy Yermak, the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff, has previously said that Ukraine expects to receive an invitation to NATO with an “open date” during the July NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania. Lyric Li reports for the Washington Post.
OTHER RUSSIA-UKRAINE DEVELOPMENTS
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has admitted battlefield progress has been “slower than desired” weeks into Ukraine’s counter-offensive. Ukraine says its counter-offensive has reclaimed eight villages so far in the southern regions of Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk. Yalda Hakim reports for BBC News.
A Western coalition is considering Romania as a possible location to train Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 fighter jets, according to three people with knowledge of the planning. This suggests the NATO bid to have F-16s flying for Ukraine is progressing. However, the discussion of which country will donate jets has yet to be settled. Lara Seligman and Lili Bayer report for POLITICO.
Manipur, a violence-wracked state in northeast India, is teetering on what many believe is the brink of a civil war. Clashes between the majority Meitei and Kuki communities have left over 100 dead and 400 wounded. Nearly 60,000 people have been displaced and taken shelter in 350 camps. 40,000 security forces have been deployed to quell the violence. Only a quarter of the more than 4,000 weapons looted from police armories have been voluntarily returned. Soutik Biswas reports for BBC News.
A Palestinian man has been killed and several wounded after Israeli settlers went on a violent rampage in the occupied West Bank. Fears are mounting of escalating violence in the West Bank after an Israeli military raid in Jenin on Monday killed seven Palestinians and led to reprisals. Tom Bateman reports for BBC News.
Australia’s online safety regulator sent a legal notice to Twitter threatening fines if the social network fails to explain its steps to combat online hate. In the letter, eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said her office had received more complaints about hate speech on Twitter than any other social network over the last year. The letter gives Twitter 28 days to respond or face fines of U.S. $475,000. Ina Fried reports for Axios.