The Lawfare Podcast

The Lawfare Podcast

By The Lawfare Institute

The Lawfare Podcast features discussions with experts, policymakers, and opinion leaders at the nexus of national security, law, and policy. On issues from foreign policy, homeland security, intelligence, and cybersecurity to governance and law, we have doubled down on seriousness at a time when others are running away from it. Visit us at www.lawfareblog.com.

Episodes

Jim Sciutto on Trump and 'The Madman Theory'

During the Vietnam War, Richard Nixon employed an unusual scare tactic in his efforts to reach a withdrawal—he led Vietnam to believe he was crazy enough to start a nuclear war, an approach he described as the madman theory. From his first days in office, President Trump has employed his own madman theory, from menacing North Korea with fire and fury to threatening withdrawal from NATO, leaving not just adversaries, but also U.S. allies and even his own advisors unsure of what he will do next. David Priess spoke with CNN's chief national security correspondent and anchor of CNN Newsroom, Jim Sciutto, who has analyzed Trump's foreign policy through this lens and written "The Madman Theory: Trump Takes On the World."
10/08/2046m 0s

Chad Wolf vs. the Committee with No Bull

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Thursday. He was asked about the recent DHS personnel deployments in the wake of mass protests, particularly in Portland, Oregon. The hearing included some grandstanding and repetition, but we cut out all of the theatrics to leave you with just the questions and answers that you need to hear.
07/08/2059m 49s

Ben Collins and Brandy Zadrozny Explain QAnon

This week on Lawfare's Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Ben Collins and Brandy Zadrozny, reporters at NBC News. Writing at NBCNews.com, they report on disinformation and misinformation in health and politics. Their work covers a lot of ground, but for this episode, they discussed one increasingly prominent issue on that beat: QAnon, a conspiracy theory built around anonymous posts on an internet forum claiming that Donald Trump is waging war against a deep state and a vast network of child sex traffickers. The conspiracy theory has inspired acts of violence and is becoming increasingly mainstream, with several candidates for U.S. Congress being QAnon believers. They talked about how QAnon started, why we need to take it seriously and how the internet—and big technology platforms—have allowed the theory to spread.
06/08/2053m 7s

DHS Compiles Intelligence on Journalists … Including our Editor-In-Chief

“What if J. Edgar Hoover Had Been a Moron?” That’s the question Lawfare’s editor-in-chief Benjamin Wittes asks in a new article about his experience learning that his tweets had been written up in an intelligence report by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis. After reporting on an internal DHS document and publishing other documents to Twitter, Wittes learned that I&A had distributed intelligence reports about those tweets along with the tweets of New York Times reporter Mike Baker. After Shane Harris reported on I&A’s activities at the Washington Post, DHS announced that it was halting the practice of collecting information on journalists and the head of the office was reassigned. Quinta Jurecic discussed the bizarre story with Wittes and former Assistant Attorney General for National Security David Kris.
05/08/2053m 47s

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Democratic Staff Report on Diplomacy in Crisis

Last Friday the Lawfare Podcast brought you Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's full statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and his question and answer session with the senators, all with "no bull." A few days before that hearing, the Democratic staff of the Committee released its most recent oversight report titled "Diplomacy in Crisis: The Trump Administration's Decimation of the State Department." Following remarks by Ranking Member Bob Menendez, Margaret Taylor moderated a panel discussion about the report featuring three distinguished former ambassadors with close to 75 years of diplomatic experience between them—Tom Shannon, Barbara Stephenson and Bonnie Jenkins—as well as Elizabeth Shackelford, who in 2017 resigned her career post in protest of the Trump administration. They talked about the contents of the minority staff report, the recommendations it contains and the long-term consequences of what the report documents for America's foreign policy and national security interests.
04/08/201h 4m

Michel Paradis on 'Last Mission to Tokyo'

Michel Paradis is a scholar of international law and human rights who has worked for more than a decade for the U.S. Department of Defense Military Commissions Defense Organization, where he has worked on a number of the landmark court cases to arise out of Guantanamo Bay. Most recently, he is the author of the book "Last Mission to Tokyo: The Extraordinary Story of the Doolittle Raiders and Their Final Fight for Justice." It's the story of two military commissions that arose out of the first U.S. bombing raid over Japan during World War II: One, the trial by the Japanese of a number of Americans who participated in the raid, and the other after the war, of the Japanese who conducted the first trial for their conduct of that trial. Benjamin Wittes spoke with Michel about the extraordinary history he uncovered, how he came to be interested in these cases and how they relate to the ongoing U.S. experiments with military commissions.
03/08/2053m 6s

Pompeo vs. the Committee with No Bull

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday. Pompeo was asked about the threats posed by China and Russia, the decision to withdraw 12,000 U.S. troops from Germany, the upcoming presidential election and much more. The hearing did include some grandstanding and repetition, but we cut out all of the theatrics to leave you with just the questions and answers that you need to hear.
31/07/201h 26m

Jillian C. York on Free Expression on a Broken Internet

This week on Lawfare's Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Kate Klonick and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Jillian C. York, the director for International Freedom of Expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. She’s been an activist working on issues of internet freedom and free expression for many years, which gives her a unique perspective on debates over disinformation and platform governance. Jillian and Kate discussed Facebook’s Oversight Board—the entity designed to provide accountability for the platform’s content moderation decisions—whose development they have watched closely, and about which Kate has written a recent article. They also discussed why Jillian thinks content moderation is broken, what technology companies could do better and how discussions of platform governance tend to focus on the United States to the exclusion of much of the rest of the world.
30/07/2046m 5s

Barr vs. the Committee with No Bull

Attorney General William Barr testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. Barr was asked about the federal government's response to protests, the upcoming presidential election, the dismissal of former U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman and much more. The hearing did include a lot of bickering and grandstanding, but we cut out all of the unnecessary repetition and theatrics to leave you with just the questions and answers that you need to hear.
29/07/201h 23m

What to Do With Detained Islamic State Fighters in Iraq and Syria

For a while, there have been large numbers of alleged former Islamic State state fighters and affiliates detained by the Iraqi government and by autonomous authorities in Syria. The fate of these detainees—and the more than 60,000 people affiliated with the men who live in refugee camps in the region—remains a pressing national security issue for countries in the region, as well as the United States and its Western allies. To talk about the situation, Jacob Schulz spoke with Bobby Chesney, Lawfare co-founder and professor of law at the University of Texas; Vera Mironova, a research fellow at Harvard and, among other things, author of a recent Lawfare post on trials of Islamic State fighters in Iraq; and Leah West, a lecturer at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University and a fellow at the McCain Institute. They talked about how the trials have gone in Iraq and Syria; how the U.S., Canada and European countries have responded to the situation; and what lessons can be drawn from U.S. experiences with post-9/11 detention and trials of suspected terrorists.
28/07/2049m 31s

Anne Applebaum on the Twilight of Democracy

Anne Applebaum is a columnist, writer, historian and most recently, the author of "Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lore of Authoritarianism," a book that explores why authoritarian ideologies are on the ascendance in countries as diverse as Poland, Hungary, Spain, the United States and Great Britain. Benjamin Wittes spoke with Anne about the themes of the book: Why are all of these authoritarian ideologies on the rise now? What is the role of social media in their rise? What are the major themes that they have in common, and how different are they location by location? How did conservative ideology come to fracture the way it has over so brief a period of time? And how is the modern wave of authoritarianism different from earlier iterations of it?
27/07/2038m 43s

How Corruption Works in China

Why has modern China prospered in spite of vast corruption? On this episode of ChinaTalk, Jordan Schneider talks with Yuen Yuen Ang, associate professor of political science at the University of Michigan, about her new book, "China's Gilded Age: The Paradox of Economic Boom and Vast Corruption." She draws comparisons between U.S. history and the China of today, arguing that access money in China functions like campaign finance in the States. They also discuss the implications of corruption for regime stability.
24/07/201h 2m

Hany Farid on Deep Fakes, Doctored Photos and Disinformation

This week on Lawfare's Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Hany Farid, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, whose work focuses on analyzing and identifying altered photo and video—what’s known as digital image forensics. Recently, he has done work on deep fakes—realistic synthetic media in which a person’s likeness is altered to show them doing or saying something they never did or said. He’s also helped develop technology used by platforms to identify and remove material related to child sexual abuse. They talked about how dangerous deep fakes really are, how much of that danger is the technology itself and how much of it has to do with how big platforms amplify incendiary content, and whether platforms should moderate disinformation and misinformation in the same aggressive way they take down sexually abusive material.
23/07/2053m 1s

Schrems II and the Future of Transatlantic Data

Last week, the European Court of Justice released its much awaited decision in Data Protection Commissioner v Maximilian Schrems, commonly known as Schrems II, which addressed which privacy requirements governments and corporations within the European Union will be required to secure before participating in international data transfers. The court's decision casts serious doubt on many of the measures currently in place, most notably in relation to the United States's own national security and surveillance activities, and thus raises new questions about how the European Union would continue to interact with the global digital economy. To discuss these developments, Scott R. Anderson sat down with Peter Swire, professor of law and ethics at the Scheller College of Business at the Georgia Institute of Technology and himself a former privacy official in the Clinton and Obama administrations, and Stewart Baker, currently of counsel at Steptoe & Johnson and previously the assistant secretary for policy at the Department of Homeland Security during the George W. Bush administration.
22/07/2037m 1s

The Expanded Intelligence Activities of the Department of Homeland Security

Yesterday, Lawfare published an article revealing and analyzing a document from the Department of Homeland Security that offers legal guidance to analysts in its Office of Intelligence and Analysis regarding the appropriate intelligence activities to mitigate the threat to monuments, memorials and statues, among other things. To discuss this new information and its implications, David Priess spoke with not only the two authors of the article —Lawfare's editor-in-chief Benjamin Wittes and University of Texas law professor Steve Vladeck—but also Carrie Cordero, senior fellow and general counsel at the Center for a New American Security, who has researched and written extensively on DHS authorities and policies, and Paul Rosenzweig, senior fellow for National Security & Cybersecurity at the R Street Institute and a former deputy assistant secretary for policy at DHS.
21/07/2056m 49s

The Forgotten War Remembered

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War. Though often called the "Forgotten War," the Korean War has highly conditioned much of our contemporary international politics in East Asia, and the people of Korea continue to live with its aftermath, both in the north and in the south. And the shadow of the Korean War looms large over something we often debate on Lawfare—war powers. To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the U.S. entry into the Korean War, Benjamin Wittes spoke with Katharine Moon, a professor of political science at Wellesley College and a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution Center for East Asia Policy; Matt Waxman, a professor at Columbia University Law School and long-time Lawfare contributor; and Scott R. Anderson, senior editor of Lawfare and a specialist on war powers, among other things. They talked about what happened on the Korean peninsula during the war, how it affected the way we talk about war powers, and the international law status of the conflict in Korea.
20/07/2050m 49s

John Allen and Darrell West on Artificial Intelligence

Darrell West is vice president of the Brookings Institution and director of Governance Studies at Brookings. John Allen is the president of the Brookings Institution and a retired U.S. Marine Corps four-star general. Together, they are the authors of the book, "Turning Point: Policymaking in the Era of Artificial Intelligence," a broad look at the impact that artificial intelligence systems are likely to have on everything from the military, to health care, to vehicles and transportation, and to international great power competition. They joined Benjamin Wittes to discuss the book and the question of how we should govern AI systems. What makes for ethical uses of AI? What makes it scary? What are the anxieties that people have about artificial intelligence and to what extent are the fears legitimate?
17/07/2048m 28s

Jane Lytvynenko on Debunking the Disinformation Garbage Fire

This week on our Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Jane Lytvynenko, a senior reporter at BuzzFeed News who focuses on disinformation. If you use Twitter regularly and have looked at the platform during any major media events—disasters, protests, you name it—you’ve likely seen her enormous tweet threads where she debunks hoaxes and misinformation. Recently, she’s turned her debunking skills toward misinformation and disinformation around the coronavirus pandemic, reporting on the various “fake experts” peddling misleading stories about the virus and the long half-life of the conspiratorial “Plandemic” video. She’s also written on the rise of “disinformation for hire”—PR firms that turn to disinformation as a marketing tool. So what is it like to report on disinformation and misinformation in real time? How can journalists help readers understand and spot that bad information? And, is there any cause to be optimistic?
16/07/2049m 46s

A Deep Dive on China and the Uighurs

We talk a lot about Chinese policy in Hong Kong, but there's another human rights crisis going on in China in the province of Xinjiang. It concerns the Turkic minority known as the Uighurs whom the Chinese government has been rounding up and putting in reeducation camps. It is an ugly story—one that the Chinese government has gone to great lengths to keep from international attention, with some degree of success. To walk us through the situation in Xinjiang, Benjamin Wittes spoke with Jessica Batke, a senior editor at ChinaFile; Darren Byler, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Colorado at Boulder whose research focuses on Uighur dispossession; and Maya Wang, a senior China researcher for Human Rights Watch, who has written extensively on the use of biometrics, artificial intelligence and big data in mass surveillance in China.
15/07/2058m 35s

David Rohde on the Supposed "Deep State"

In a 2018 poll, 74 percent of Americans said they believed that some group of unelected government and military officials was definitely or probably secretly manipulating or directing national policy. What is the actual history of presidents and Congress clashing with national security and law enforcement institutions? And how has that led to Trump's notion of a deep state out to get him? David Priess spoke with two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David Rohde of The New Yorker, who has turned his attention to this tricky topic in the new book, "In Deep: The FBI, the CIA, and the Truth about America's 'Deep State.'" They talked about intelligence, law enforcement, inspectors general, public trust in government and of course, Bill Barr.
14/07/2051m 23s

COVID-19 and its National Security Implications in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa

You've heard a lot about COVID-19 and its effects in the United States, China and East Asia, Europe and Brazil. But what about the Middle East, South Asia and Africa? The virus is hitting these regions hard with profound political and national security consequences. To discuss it all, David Priess sat down with Mona Yacoubian, a senior advisor on Syria, the Middle East and North Africa at the United States Institute of Peace; Nilanthi Samaranayake, the director of the Strategy and Policy Analysis Program at CNA with expertise on Indian Ocean and South Asia security; and Judd Devermont, the director of the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a former national intelligence officer for Africa.
13/07/2047m 30s

The Subpoena Cases Come Down

Yesterday, the Supreme Court, on the final day of its term, handed down the two big subpoena cases: Trump v. Vance, in which the president tried to beat back a subpoena from a New York grand jury, and Trump v. Mazars USA, LLP, in which the president tried to beat back a congressional subpoena for his financial records. He didn't entirely succeed in either case, but he made some headway in the Mazars case. To discuss it all, Benjamin Wittes spoke with Lawfare's Margaret Taylor, Scott Anderson, Quinta Jurecic and Molly Reynolds. They talked about whether the president has a path forward before the New York grand jury, and what the cryptic decision in Mazars portends, both for Trump and for the executive-legislative oversight relationship.
10/07/2052m 39s

Brandi Collins-Dexter on COVID-19 Misinformation and Black Communities

In this episode of our Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Brandi Collins-Dexter, the senior campaign director at the advocacy organization Color of Change and a visiting fellow at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She recently published a report with the Shorenstein Center on “Canaries in the Coal Mine: COVID-19 Misinformation and Black Communities,” tracing how different false narratives about the pandemic surfaced among Black social media users in the United States. So what makes this misinformation unique and especially dangerous? And how should the responses of technology companies account for the ways the Black community is particularly vulnerable to this kind of misinformation? They also discussed Color of Change’s role in the #StopHateForProfit campaign, an ad boycott of Facebook in protest of the company’s handling of potentially harmful speech on its platform.
09/07/2055m 40s

Xinjiang, Hong Kong and China

The protests in Hong Kong have grabbed international headlines, but Hong Kong is hardly the only region of China that is experiencing brutal repression from the Chinese Communist Party. The latest unrest in the city and the imposition of the new national security law in Hong Kong mirrors actions taken in Xinjiang, the province of China that is inhabited principally by Uighur Muslims. To talk about it all, Benjamin Wittes spoke with Alvin Cheung, a non-resident affiliated scholar of NYU's U.S. Asia Law Institute and an expert on Hong Kong law; Jeremy Daum of the Paul Tsai China Center at the Yale Law School and an expert on Chinese criminal procedure and the detention of Uighurs outside of it; and Sophia Yan, the Beijing-based China correspondent for The Telegraph in London. They talked about what's going on in Hong Kong, what's going on in Xinjiang, what's going on in Tibet, and what's going on in the mainland of China itself.
08/07/2041m 57s

David Priess on the History of the President's Daily Brief

David Priess is the chief operating officer of the Lawfare Institute. He is also a former CIA briefer for the Attorney General and the FBI director, and he's the author of "The President's Book of Secrets: The Untold Story of Intelligence Briefings to America's Presidents." The president's daily brief has been in the news of late because of the Russia bounties story and the question of whether President Trump is actually internalizing the intelligence he is given in his daily briefing. Benjamin Wittes spoke with David about the history of the president's daily brief, how different presidents have gotten intelligence information and whether President Trump's behavior in this regard is exceptional or not.
07/07/2044m 32s

Chris Brose on 'The Kill Chain'

Christian Brose was the staff director of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and he was also John McCain's senior policy adviser. He now works as the chief strategy officer of Anduril Industries, and he is the author of "The Kill Chain: Defending America and the Future of High-Tech Warfare," a look at how far behind the United States is growing in possible conflict against its principal national security adversary: China. Benjamin Wittes sat down with Chris to talk through what would happen if China and the United States actually fought a war. How has China modernized its military so quickly without the kind of military spending the United States has engaged in? And what does the United States need to do to stay current?
06/07/2041m 50s

David Shimer on "Rigged"

Jack Goldsmith spoke with David Shimer, the author of "Rigged: America, Russia and 100 Years of Covert Electoral Interference." They discussed United States and Soviet interference in elections during the Cold War, how and why the U.S. attitude toward foreign electoral interference changed after the Cold War, and whether and to what degree the Central Intelligence Agency still covertly intervenes in foreign elections today. They also discussed how the rise of the Internet asymmetrically empowers Russia and its long term efforts to disrupt domestic U.S. politics.
03/07/201h 1m

Darius Kazemi on The Great Bot Panic

On this episode of our Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Darius Kazemi, an internet artist and bot-maker extraordinaire. Recently, there have been a lot of ominous headlines about bots—including an NPR article stating that nearly 50 percent of all Twitter commentary about the pandemic has been driven by bots rather than human users. That sounds bad—but Darius thinks that we shouldn’t be so worried about bots. In fact, he argues, a great deal of reporting and research on bots is often wrong and actually causes harm by drumming up needless worry and limiting online conversations. So, what is a bot, anyway? Do they unfairly take the blame for the state of things online? And if weeding out bot activity isn’t a simple way to cultivate healthier online spaces, what other options are there for building a less unpleasant internet?
02/07/2050m 43s

Taking China to Court Over the Coronavirus

As the United States continues to suffer from the effects of the coronavirus, the controversy surrounding China's alleged role in the pandemic has continued to grow. In recent weeks, it has even entered the U.S. courts, as private plaintiffs have brought claims against the Chinese government and related institutions for allegedly contributing to the spread of the virus. Meanwhile, members of Congress have introduced legislation aimed at making such litigation even easier to pursue, specifically by stripping away the sovereign immunity protections that normally protect foreign states from such claims. But can these efforts really provide Americans with needed relief, or are they just a dangerous distraction from the real issues with the United States's own coronavirus response? To discuss these issues, Scott R. Anderson spoke with Chimène Keitner, the Alfred and Hanna Fromm Professor of International Law at the University of California Hastings School of Law, and Robert Williams, executive director of the Paul Tsai China Center at the Yale Law School.
01/07/2055m 20s

About Those Russian Bounties

The New York Times and Washington Post both report that a Russian intelligence unit is paying bounties to Taliban-affiliated militants for killing coalition, including U.S., soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan. The White House denies that the president has been briefed on the subject, although the newspapers report that the White House was alerted to it and didn't do anything about it. Congress is asking questions, and Trump's critics are certain that this is the latest example of the president bowing before Vladimir Putin. Benjamin Wittes spoke with Scott Anderson, Susan Hennessey and David Priess of Lawfare, and Alina Polyakova, president and CEO of the Center for European Policy Analysis, about how solid the intelligence is, what we can say about the president's knowledge—or lack thereof—of the situation, and why Russia would want to do this in the first place.
30/06/2054m 36s

Eric Posner on ‘The Demagogue's Playbook'

Jack Goldsmith sat down with Eric Posner, the Kirkland & Ellis Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago, and the author of the new book, "The Demagogue's Playbook: The Battle for American Democracy from the Founders to Trump." They discussed why demagogues are a characteristic threat in democracies, how the founders of the U.S. Constitution tried to ensure elite control and prevent a demagogue from becoming president, how these safeguards weakened over time and how Donald Trump's demagoguery helped him win election as president. They also explored how Posner's perception of Trump as a threat to American democracy fits with his writings in support of a powerful president.
29/06/2058m 55s

Hong Kong’s Protests One Year On

Jordan Schneider, the host of ChinaTalk, sat down with Antony Dapiran, Hong Kong-based lawyer and author of two books on protests in Hong Kong. They discussed the history and legacy of the 2019 protests on the anniversary of one of the largest protests in human history, when two million Hongkongers marched against the extradition bill. They talked about the lead-up and aftermath of that day, how protests grew increasingly violent, the new national security law, and how these protests compare and contrast to Black Lives Matter.
26/06/201h 16m

Whitney Phillips and Ryan Milner on Our Polluted Information Environment

In this episode of our Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Whitney Phillips and Ryan Milner, authors of the new book, “You Are Here: A Field Guide for Navigating Polarized Speech, Conspiracy Theories, and Our Polluted Media Landscape.” Phillips is an assistant professor in Communications and Rhetorical Studies at Syracuse University, and Milner is an associate professor of Communication at the College of Charleston. In “You Are Here,” they look at the uniquely disorienting aspects of the current online information environment and how that is exacerbated by aspects of “internet culture” that don’t make sense from the outside. They discussed the challenges for journalists in understanding and reporting on that culture and how that can fuel information pollution, how the internet got to this point where everything is so polluted, and, of course, what QAnon has to do with it.
25/06/2056m 7s

Election Meltdown Update

COVID-19 is still rampaging around the country, primaries in several states did not go as planned, and, of course, there are Russians lurking in the background. With all of this happening around us, what is going to happen with the election we are about to hold in November? Benjamin Wittes checked in with Nate Persily, the James B. McClatchy Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, a guru on conducting a safe and efficacious election in the era of COVID, and Lawfare senior editor Margaret Taylor, who has been tracking what, if anything, Congress is going to do about any of this. They talked about where we are, where we need to be and how long a road we can expect over the next few months.
24/06/2042m 31s

Glenn Kessler on Donald Trump's Assault on Truth

Glenn Kessler is the head of the Fact Checker staff of the Washington Post. Along with Salvador Rizzo and Meg Kelly, he is the author of the new book, "Donald Trump and His Assault on Truth: The President's Falsehoods, Misleading Claims and Flat-Out Lies." It is a compilation and distillation of the 19,000 false or misleading statements Donald Trump has made and the Washington Post has documented in its mammoth database of presidential untruths since the president took office. Kessler spoke with Benjamin Wittes about what makes Trump different from other presidents, the task of documenting the president's lack of candor on a daily basis and what it all means to have a president who lies this much.
23/06/2040m 15s

John Bolton’s Book is Out of the Barn

Former National Security Advisor John Bolton's White House memoir, titled “The Room Where it Happened,” has made a lot of waves recently. Not only has Bolton faced criticism for publishing his account of his time in the Trump administration in a book rather than testifying in the president’s impeachment trial, but the Justice Department is now suing Bolton for publishing what it claims is classified information. So what is the government arguing? And, is Bolton’s book any good? On Friday, June 19, Quinta Jurecic discussed it all with Benjamin Wittes, Jack Goldsmith and Marty Lederman.
22/06/2052m 45s

Mira Rapp-Hooper on 'Shields of the Republic'

Dr. Mira Rapp-Hooper is the Stephen A. Schwarzman senior fellow for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and author of the new book, "Shields of the Republic: The Triumph and Peril of America's Alliances." Matthew Waxman spoke with Mira about the history and strategic importance of American alliances, some of the constitutional issues alliances raise and what the United States should do to revitalize its alliances going forward.
19/06/2035m 34s

Laura Rosenberger on Chinese Information Operations

On this episode of Lawfare's Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Alina Polyakova and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Laura Rosenberger, the director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy and a senior fellow at The German Marshall Fund of the United States. When it comes to information operations, most Americans probably think of Russia as the primary culprit. After all, the memory of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election is still fresh. But over the past year, Chinese information operations have gained prominence with the Chinese Communist Party involved in aggressive online campaigns regarding unrest in Hong Kong and the ongoing pandemic. They talked about how the Chinese government wields information online, how Chinese tactics are different from Russian tactics in the information space and how democracies should respond.
18/06/2047m 29s

Norm Ornstein and John Fortier on the Continuity of Government

Molly Reynolds spoke with Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute and John Fortier of the Bipartisan Policy Center about the Continuity of Government Commission, an effort they helped to lead beginning in 2002 to ensure that our three branches of government would be able to function after a catastrophic attack that killed or incapacitated large numbers of our legislators, executive branch officials or judges. They discussed the findings of the Commission, how they relate to the challenges facing the federal government today and how the various branches of government have or have not acted to ensure smooth operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
17/06/2053m 12s

Lawrence Douglas on Presidential Election Concessions

The 2020 presidential election is less than five months away. As the election inches closer and closer, concerns have grown about the possibility that President Trump, should he lose the election, would refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the result. How can we think about that risk? Do we have adequate statutory and constitutional guardrails that protect us from electoral catastrophe? Jacob Schulz sat down with Lawrence Douglas, James J. Grosfeld Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought at Amherst College, and author of the new book “Will He Go? Trump and the Looming Election Meltdown in 2020.” They talked about the vulnerabilities in our electoral system, historical examples of mishaps in presidential elections and how to think about the president’s continued hostility toward elections and, in particular, mail-in voting.
16/06/2041m 8s

Patrick Skinner on Warrior Cops and Neighborhood Policing

Patrick Skinner is a police officer in Savannah, Georgia, who brings diverse experience to that job. He served as a case officer at the Central Intelligence Agency, handling foreign intelligence sources in places like Afghanistan, Iraq and Jordan. He also has previous law enforcement experience with the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Capitol Police and the U.S. Federal Air Marshal Service. David Priess spoke with Skinner about today's policing crisis, Pat's experiences with counterterrorism operations and what they taught him about effective law enforcement, and the hazards of the warrior mentality that is common across many police departments today. Thanks to Mitchell Hamline School of Law.
15/06/2057m 2s

Evan Osnos on Tiananmen and Lafayette

ChinaTalk is the newest member of the Lawfare Podcast family, and its impresario, Jordan Schneider, does a wide range of interviews related to China's economy and security. In this episode, Jordan interviews Evan Osnos of The New Yorker about the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre and the relationship between that date and the clearing of Lafayette Square. They talk about everything from the psychological similarities and differences between Donald Trump, Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, to Chinese hip hop and why it is not catching on internationally.
12/06/2037m 41s

Eileen Donahoe on Protecting Free Expression Online

On this episode of our Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Alina Polyakova and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Eileen Donahoe, the Executive Director of the Global Digital Policy Incubator at Stanford University. There’s no shortage of controversies roiling right now about free expression and the future of the internet—from platforms aggressively removing misinformation about the ongoing pandemic, to President Trump’s executive order targeting Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Eileen, Quinta and Alina take a step back and review the landscape of online speech as a whole, to get a more holistic sense of what things look like right now and where platforms and governments might be headed when it comes to regulating speech. They talked about the various debates over content moderation taking place within the United States and around the world, and Eileen made the case for why international human rights law should be used as the framework for both protecting and moderating online speech.
11/06/2040m 14s

David Frum on Trumpocalypse

David Frum is one of the most prominent and eloquent conservative critics of the president. The former George W. Bush speechwriter and current writer for The Atlantic has written "Trumpocalypse: Restoring American Democracy," a book about the Trump presidency, and in this case, what comes after it. David joined Benjamin Wittes for a wide-ranging conversation of the ground he covers in the book: how you rebuild after Trump, how you satisfy elements of Trumpism without letting them descend back into authoritarian populism, what policies and approaches a new administration should take and how we should treat the "Trumpists" and their most diehard supporters.
10/06/2044m 55s

Congressional Overspeech with Josh Chafetz

High profile congressional hearings, like the 2015 Benghazi hearings, the 2019 Mueller Report hearings and most recently, the Ukraine impeachment proceedings are often described in derogatory terms like "political theater," "spectacle" or "circus." But do these exaggerated performances on Capitol Hill actually serve a constitutional purpose? Margaret Taylor sat down with Josh Chafetz, a law professor and author of the book "Congress's Constitution: Legislative Authority and the Separation of Powers." They talked about his most recent article, in which he argues that congressional overspeech, like congressional oversight, is actually an important tool of constitutional politics, even if it doesn't automatically produce good outcomes.
09/06/2035m 19s

The Trump Administration’s Latest Moves to Dismantle the Iran Nuclear Agreement with Peter Harrell and Richard Nephew

On May 27, the Trump administration announced that it was withdrawing sanctions waivers that had allowed Russian, Chinese and European companies to work with Iran on sensitive Iranian nuclear sites in support of the goals of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement. Margaret Taylor talked about what it really means with two experts: Peter Harrell, an attorney and adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, and Richard Nephew, senior research scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. They talked about what has happened since the Trump Administration decided to withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement in 2018 and what difficulties a new presidential administration may encounter in re-joining the agreement.  
08/06/2036m 22s

Covert Action, Regime Change and International Law with Michael Poznansky

We normally think of international law as constraining leaders' actions, especially aggression toward other countries. But what if one effect of an established international principle actually spurs more covert action against other countries? Michael Poznansky is an assistant professor of International Affairs and Intelligence Studies in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, with a secondary appointment in the Political Science department, at the University of Pittsburgh. In his new book, "In the Shadow of International Law: Secrecy and Regime Change in the Postwar World," Mike argues just this—that the principle of non-intervention that has come up in the past century has actually created powerful motives for leaders to engage in covert action more frequently to spur regime change. David Priess sat down with Mike to talk through his thesis and its implications.
05/06/2043m 55s

Ryan Merkley on Why Wikipedia Works

In this episode of our Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Ryan Merkley, the chief of staff to the executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation. We’ve spent a lot of time on this podcast discussing how social media platforms have handled issues of disinformation and misinformation. But what about Wikipedia? It’s a massive online encyclopedia written and edited entirely by volunteers—so, not a platform, but still an online service grappling with a wave of untruths in an uncertain time. Ryan, Evelyn and Quinta talked about Wikipedia’s unique structure, how the site has managed to become a reliable resource on an often untrustworthy internet, and how readers, writers and editors of Wikipedia are navigating the need for information amidst both the pandemic and ongoing protests over police abuse of Black Americans.
04/06/2051m 19s

Rashawn Ray on Police Violence

Dr. Rashawn Ray is a David M. Rubenstein fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. He's also an associate professor of sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he directs the Lab for Applied Social Science Research (LASSR). He is a scholar of, among other things, police-civilian relations and has done a lot of work on police-involved killings. He joined Benjamin Wittes to discuss the mechanisms of police violence, what causes it, what can be done to address it and reduce it, and the role of race in this problem. They talked about police unions, implicit bias, the difference between legality and morality in police shootings and what policy levers are available to bring an end to the rash of police killings.
03/06/2053m 14s

On the Brink with the Insurrection Act

The president is threatening to designate Antifa as a terrorist organization. This evening, he appears to have ordered a tear gas attack on peaceful protesters near the White House in order to stage a photo op in front of a local church. And he has called out troops in Washington, DC, and threatened to invoke the Insurrection Act. To talk through the legal ins and outs of what the president has done (and not done), what he has the power to do and what he does not have the power to do, and what the federal response to the protests should be, Bobby Chesney, Steve Vladeck and Benjamin Wittes got together for this special joint episode of the National Security Law Podcast and the Lawfare Podcast.
02/06/2053m 23s

Bart Gellman on 'Dark Mirror'

Journalist Bart Gellman is the author of the new book, "Dark Mirror: Edward Snowden and the American Surveillance State." Jack Goldsmith sat down with Gellman to discuss the book. They spoke about Gellman's reporting on the Snowden affair, the scope of the National Security Agency's surveillance capabilities and press freedom as it relates to national security reporting.
01/06/201h 1m

Eli Lake Makes the Case for Flynn

Eli Lake is a columnist for Bloomberg and the author of a recent article in Commentary magazine on the case of Michael Flynn. In that article, he argues a number of things that many at Lawfare have argued against—that Michael Flynn was railroaded, that he was set up, that the FBI behaved inappropriately, and that the Justice Department pursued Michael Flynn unfairly and was thus correct under Attorney General Bill Barr to seek dismissal of the case. To argue it out, Benjamin Wittes spoke with Lake about the conduct of the FBI investigation, whether it was reasonable to interview Mike Flynn, whether the case should have been dropped and whether Mike Flynn really lied in his interview with the FBI.
29/05/2056m 54s

Gabrielle Lim on the Life and Death of Malaysia's Anti-Fake News Act

In this episode of Lawfare's Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Gabrielle Lim, a researcher with the Technology and Social Change Research Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center and a fellow with Citizen Lab. Lim just released a new report with Data and Society on the fascinating story of a Malaysian law ostensibly aimed at stamping out disinformation. The Anti-Fake News Act, passed in 2018, criminalized the creation and dissemination of what the Malaysian government referred to as “fake news.” After a new government came into power following the country’s 2018 elections, the law was quickly repealed. But the story of how Malaysia’s ruling party passed the act, and how Malaysian civil society pushed back against it, is a useful case study on how illiberal governments can use the language of countering disinformation to clamp down on free expression, and how the way democratic governments talk about disinformation has global effects.
28/05/2045m 22s

Hong Kong Erupts

Hong Kong protesters are out in the streets once again, as the Beijing legislature contemplates a new national security law for the city, and the Hong Kong legislature considers a bill to make it a crime to disrespect the Chinese national anthem. It's all going relatively unnoticed amidst the international focus on the coronavirus, but Hong Kong is increasingly under the thumb of the Chinese Communist Party. To discuss the latest developments, Benjamin Wittes spoke with Sophia Yan of The Daily Telegraph, and Alvin Cheung, originally from Hong Kong and currently a non-resident affiliated scholar at NYU's U.S.-Asia Law Institute. They talked about the details of what these laws would do, the way Beijing might use them to crack down on dissent and what the protesters hope to achieve in this latest round of street violence.
27/05/2040m 36s

The SpaceX Launch and the Future of Space Law

On Wednesday, NASA and the SpaceX Corporation are scheduled to send astronauts back into outer space from U.S. soil for the first time since the U.S. space shuttle program ended in 2011. The launch promises to kick off a new era in space exploration, one that will see the increased use of outer space for both public and private purposes, as well as greater involvement by private corporations and other unconventional actors in space exploration. To discuss the legal and policy challenges of this new era, Scott R. Anderson spoke with three lawyers working at the bleeding edge of space law and policy: Professor Timiebi Aganaba-Jeanty of Arizona State University and its Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law; Brian Israel, a former public and private sector space lawyer who teaches space law at Berkeley Law; and Daniel Porras, currently a space security fellow at the UN Institute for Disarmament Research.
26/05/2047m 43s

Steve Teles on 'Never Trump'

Steven Teles is the author of a new book with Robert P. Saldin, "Never Trump: The Revolt of the Conservative Elites." Benjamin Wittes spoke with Teles about the book, how the national security and legal communities approach Donald Trump and how these two schools of thought have informed the Never Trump movement.
23/05/2056m 57s

Deen Freelon on Why Black Trolls Matter

This week on Lawfare's Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Deen Freelon, an associate professor at the University of North Carolina Hussman School of Journalism and Media. Deen’s work focuses on data science and political expression on social media, and they discussed research he conducted on tweets from the Internet Research Agency troll farm and their attempts to influence U.S. politics, including around the 2016 election. In a recent article, Deen and his coauthors found that IRA tweets from accounts presenting themselves as Black Americans received particularly high engagement from other users on Twitter—which raises interesting questions about the interaction of race and disinformation. They also talked about what the data show on whether the IRA actually succeeded in changing political beliefs and just how many reporters quoted IRA trolls in their news reports without realizing it.
21/05/2051m 38s

Trump and his Predecessors with Kate Andersen Brower

There may not be many laws governing how former presidents should interact with the current commander-in-chief, or with each other, or how the sitting president should treat his or her predecessors. But over time, we have developed a body of norms about how to do so appropriately. Donald Trump has, to put it mildly, changed expectations about the relationships that presidents past and present have with each other. David Priess recently sat down in the virtual jungle studio to chat with Kate Andersen Brower, author of "Team of Five: The Presidents Club in the Age of Trump," in which she describes these dynamics among the few people to know what it is actually like to be president. They talked about her interview with Donald Trump to get at his feelings toward his predecessors, the unwritten rules of the Presidents Club and about what his post-presidency might look like.
20/05/2044m 50s

Firing Inspectors General

President Trump on Friday fired the inspector general of the State Department. It was the fourth time he had fired or removed an inspector general in just the last six weeks. As he explained in a letter to Capitol Hill leadership, he had lost confidence in the inspector general, though Democrats were quick to point out that he appeared to be investigating Mike Pompeo on a number of matters, and Mike Pompeo, in turn, had requested his removal. To discuss the Trump administration's removals of inspectors general, Benjamin Wittes spoke with Mike Bromwich, who was the inspector general of the Justice Department during the Clinton administration; Jack Goldsmith, professor at Harvard, who wrote a piece on Lawfare about the legality of removals of inspectors general; and congressional guru Margaret Taylor, who examines the congressional reaction to the moves. They talked about many aspects of the controversy: Is this unprecedented? When have prior presidents removed inspectors general? And what, if anything is Congress going to do about it? Thanks to our sponsor, the book "Slanted," at www.slantedbook.com.
19/05/2047m 18s

David Kaye on Free Speech During a Pandemic

The global pandemic has raised searching questions about the relationship between a public health emergency and free speech. Jack Goldsmith sat down with David Kaye, the outgoing U.N. Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, to talk about Kaye’s new U.N. report on “Disease pandemics and the freedom of opinion and expression.” The pair discussed the impact the pandemic has had on hostility to speech in different parts of world, the importance of information during a pandemic and much more.
16/05/2056m 54s

Global Trade and Investment in the Coronavirus Era

The global coronavirus pandemic has changed the way different corners of the world interact with each other, perhaps forever. Nowhere is this more true than the global economy, where a decade's long trend toward the easier exchange of trade and investment was already under increasing political pressure when the pandemic broke. It may now be facing a truly unprecedented set of challenges. To discuss how the global trade and investment systems are being impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, Scott R. Anderson spoke to three legal experts who have a wealth of private and public sector experience between them: Julian Arato of Brooklyn Law School, Kathleen Claussen of the University of Miami School of Law and Ben Heath, currently at NYU School of Law, and soon to be of the Temple University Beasley School of Law.
15/05/2053m 20s

Craig Silverman on Real Reporting on Fake News

On this week's episode of Lawfare's Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Evelyn Douek spoke with Craig Silverman, the media editor for Buzzfeed News and one of the leading journalists covering the disinformation beat. Craig is credited with coining the phrase “Fake News.” Evelyn spoke with him about how he feels about that, especially now that the phrase has taken on a life of its own. They also talked about a book Craig edited, the second edition of the "Verification Handbook,” available online now, that equips journalists with the tools they need to verify the things they see online. Journalism and reporting on disinformation has never been so important—but the internet has never been so chaotic and journalists are not only observers of disinformation, but also targets of it.
14/05/2047m 36s

Elizabeth Shackelford on 'The Dissent Channel'

Scott R. Anderson sat down with Elizabeth Shackelford, a former foreign service officer whose late 2017 resignation became a sign of growing discontent with the Trump administration within the diplomatic corps. They talked about her new book, "The Dissent Channel," out this week, which discusses her experience as a young diplomat living through a period of crisis in South Sudan, and the lessons it taught her about diplomacy, human rights and the role of the United States in the world.
13/05/2051m 28s

The President's Tax Returns and the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court today held arguments in a blockbuster case. Do the Trump tax returns and associated financial documents at firms like Mazars and Deutsche Bank need to be turned over in response to congressional subpoenas and a subpoena by a New York State grand jury? Joining Benjamin Wittes to discuss it are Steve Vladeck, Quinta Jurecic and Margaret Taylor. They talked about how this confrontation developed between Congress and the executive, what the background law is and whether this should be in fact a very easy case, and where the justices seemed to be going and how they don't seem to be going in the direction of their prior precedents.
12/05/2053m 49s

'Unmaking the Presidency'

From the moment of his inauguration, Trump has challenged our deepest expectations of the presidency. But what are those expectations? Where did they come from, and how great is the damage? "Unmaking the Presidency: Donald Trump's War on the World's Most Powerful Office," by Benjamin Wittes and Susan Hennessey, which is excerpted in this episode, situates Trump era scandals and outrages in the deeper context of the presidency itself. Now, the coronavirus pandemic presents one of the greatest challenges the modern American executive has ever faced. How did we get here? And in Donald Trump's hands, where does the world's most powerful office go from here?
10/05/2036m 33s

Dropping the Flynn Case

The Justice Department moved this week to dismiss the charges against Michael Flynn, a man who had pled guilty to lying to the FBI. It was an extraordinary move, one that provoked glee among the president's supporters and outrage among Justice Department traditionalists and critics of the president. On Friday, Benjamin Wittes spoke with Lawfare's Quinta Jurecic and Susan Hennessey, as well as with Chuck Rosenberg, a former U.S. Attorney and senior FBI official who has held a number of other significant positions in the Justice Department. They talked about the Justice Department's move and the rationale for it that is spelled out in a brief to the court. What will happen now as Judge Sullivan considers the motion to dismiss? Can it be justified? And how unusual was it?
09/05/2057m 42s

Tony Mills on Congress's Institutional Limitations in Responding to the Coronavirus

Margaret Taylor sat down with Tony Mills, director of science policy at the R Street Institute, to talk about an article he recently wrote with Robert Cook-Deegan titled, "Where's Congress? Don't Just Blame Trump for the Coronavirus Catastrophe." They talked about the limited role of Congress in responding to the current crisis, and more broadly, its diminished institutional capacity to absorb and respond to developments in science, technology and medicine.
08/05/2037m 30s

Aric Toler on How Not to Report on Disinformation

For this week's episode of our Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Evelyn Douek and Alina Polyakova talked to Aric Toler of Bellingcat, a collective that has quickly become the gold-standard for open source and social media investigations. Aric recently published a blog post in response to a New York Times article on Russian influence campaigns—one retweeted by former President Barak Obama no less—that Aric called “How Not to Report on Disinformation.” Evelyn and Alina asked him about the article and what exactly Aric thought was wrong with it as a case study for reporters writing about disinformation operations. When are reporters helping to uncover threats to democracy, and when are they giving oxygen to fringe actors?
07/05/2047m 27s

The Lawfare Podcast Bonus Edition: John Ratcliffe vs. The Committee With No Bull

Representative John Ratcliffe testified before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee as a part of his nomination for the position of Director of National Intelligence. Ratcliffe was asked about his views on Russian interference, about the threat posed by North Korea, about how he would handle a variety of issues posed by the coronavirus pandemic and much more. The hearing was fairly substantive but did include some meanderings and grandstanding. But we cut out all the unnecessary repetition and theatrics to leave you with just the questions and answers that you need to hear.
07/05/201h 22m

Jung Pak on 'Becoming Kim Jong Un'

Jung Pak is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a former CIA analyst and a North Korea specialist. She is the author of "Becoming Kim Jong Un: A Former CIA Analyst’s Insights into North Korea’s Enigmatic Young Dictator.” She joined Benjamin Wittes to discuss Kim Jong Un, the recent questions about whether he had died or become seriously ill, his rise to power and his confrontations with Donald Trump over nuclear weapons.
05/05/2053m 12s

Law, Policy and Empire with Daniel Immerwahr

Most of us don’t think of United States history as an imperial history, but the facts are there. The law and policy surrounding westward expansion, off-continent acquisitions, and a worldwide network of hundreds of bases reveal much about how and why the United States grew as it did. Last month, David Priess spoke with Daniel Immerwahr, associate professor of history at Northwestern University and author of “How to Hide an Empire.” They talked about everything from what the Constitution says about lands west of the thirteen colonies, to the critical role of the Guano Islands in U.S. history, to the famous Insular Cases, to how military access agreements and long-term leases help the United States avoid a truly territorial empire.
02/05/2043m 33s

Tom Wheeler and Nicol Turner Lee on 5G Deployment and Digital Competition with China

Margaret Taylor spoke with Brookings scholars Tom Wheeler and Nicol Turner Lee to discuss their new papers published as part of a two-year-long Brookings project called Global China: Assessing China’s Growing Role in the World. They talked about where the United States and China stand in the so-called “race” to deploy 5G networks, and the need for a coherent U.S. national strategy going forward. They talked about spurring American competition by liberating the crucial asset of the next wave of the digital economy—consumer-generated data—and they talked about the prospects for effective regulation and protection of individual privacy. 
01/05/2047m 13s

Thomas Rid on 'Active Measures,' Part 2

In this episode of Lawfare's Arbiters of Truth miniseries on disinformation, Quinta Jurecic and Alina Polyakova spoke with Thomas Rid about his new book, "Active Measures: The Secret History of Disinformation and Political Warfare." Yesterday’s episode of the Lawfare Podcast featured a conversation between Thomas and Jack Goldsmith about the book, focusing on the early history of disinformation through the 1980s. Today, Alina and Quinta follow up with a discussion with Thomas on disinformation in the digital age, along with some questions about what it’s like to interview former KGB and Stasi officials about their influence campaigns.
30/04/2051m 30s

Thomas Rid on 'Active Measures,' Part 1

Jack Goldsmith spoke with Thomas Rid about Rid’s new book, "Active Measures: The Secret History of Disinformation and Political Warfare." The book is about the history of information operations and influence campaigns, and we’re bringing you a two-part Lawfare Podcast to discuss it in detail. On this episode, Jack and Thomas discuss the history of disinformation from the beginning of the 20th century through the 1980s. Tomorrow on the Lawfare Podcast’s “Arbiters of Truth” miniseries on disinformation, Alina Polyakova and Quinta Jurecic will be sharing their discussion with Thomas about his research starting at the beginning of the internet age.
29/04/2042m 50s

Sophia Yan Reports from Quarantine in Beijing

Sophia Yan, a correspondent in Beijing for the London Telegraph, joined Benjamin Wittes from Beijing where she is in coronavirus lockdown after traveling to Wuhan, China, to see how it was recovering from being the coronavirus epidemic center earlier in the year. They talked about what Wuhan looks like these days, what quarantine means in China, and how close the surveillance is. And they talked about the Chinese government, how it is responding to the crisis, and about how the Chinese economy is recovering and suffering.
28/04/2033m 37s

Coronavirus, Federalism and Supply Chains: A Case Study

We've covered this novel coronavirus from many angles, focusing on the disaster response issues that make up part of national security. For this episode of the Lawfare Podcast, we have something a bit different: a case study of how pandemic control measures intersect with federalism issues and supply chain continuity and security. With a focus on what's happening in Illinois, David Priess spoke with Rob Karr, the president and CEO of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, representing the industry employing one out of every five people in Illinois, and with Mark Denzler, the co-chair of the state's Essential Equipment Task Force and the president and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers' Association, representing companies that employ almost 600,000 Illinoisans.
25/04/2041m 28s

Charlie Warzel on the Pandemic Internet

On this episode of Lawfare's Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Kate Klonick and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Charlie Warzel, an opinion writer at large at the New York Times. He’s written about the internet, disinformation, privacy and platform governance—and recently he’s been focusing on how these collide with COVID-19 and the uncertainty and anxiety of living through a pandemic. They talked about what the pandemic shows us about the role of big tech companies and how the spread of a deadly disease in the midst of a polarized information environment may be a worst-case scenario for disinformation.
23/04/2048m 28s

Mom and Dad Talk Clinical Trials in a Pandemic

There has been a lot of confusion during the COVID-19 crisis about what counts as legitimate clinical evidence that a treatment really works. The president is endorsing unproven drug therapies based on anecdotal accounts. And while Lawfare is not a clinical trials or medical site, the subject of treating coronavirus cases certainly has become a national security issue. Benjamin Wittes and Quinta Jurecic just happen to know the perfect people to offer a basic explainer of the clinical research process. Mom and Dad. To be precise, Ben's mom and Quinta's dad, both of whom are biostatisticians. Janet Wittes is the president of Statistics Collaborative, a company that designs and analyzes data from clinical trials. She used to be the chief of statistics at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Steve Buyske is a professor of statistics at Rutgers University, who works on biostatistics, statistical genetics and experimental design. The four gathered in the virtual Jungle Studio to talk about the history of clinical trials, the standards for good clinical research and to what extent those standards can slip when you're dealing with an ongoing pandemic that is killing people worldwide.
21/04/2046m 49s

Former Congressman Brian Baird and Daniel Schuman on How Congress Can Continue to Function Remotely

On April 16, former members of Congress participated in a "Mock Remote Hearing" via Zoom to test the viability of online congressional proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Former General David Petraeus testified, along with representatives from Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and other experts; a Member of the UK Parliament testified about how the UK Parliament is innovating to meet the demands of social distancing. Margaret Taylor talked with former Congressman Brian Baird—who chaired the mock hearing—and Daniel Schuman, a lawyer, technologist and government transparency advocate who testified. They talked about Congress’s rather timid efforts so far to innovate in the age of social distancing, and ways Congress could continue to do hearings, markups and floor votes in a live, digital, remote format. They talked about the constitutional underpinnings of remote work by Congress and the importance of robust legislative and oversight work in a representative democracy—especially in the midst of a national crisis.
20/04/2043m 56s

Is Contact Tracing a Privacy Threat?

Many people are holding out contact tracing as the way we are going to control the COVID-19 epidemic. Once we start opening up the economy again, it involves identifying people who have tested positive for the virus and notifying those with whom they have been in close contact that they are at risk and need to quarantine. It also involves surveillance—electronic surveillance of a type that we are not comfortable with as a society. Can we do it legally? Should we do it? Will it be effective? To work through the do's and don'ts and cans and can'ts of contact tracing, Benjamin Wittes spoke with Josh Sharfstein, Susan Landau, Alan Rozenshtein, Stewart Baker, and Bobby Chesney.
18/04/201h 6m

The Lawfare Podcast Special Edition: The National Security Law Guys Talk Adjourning Congress, “Total Authority” and Guantanamo

Lawfare founder Bobby Chesney and Lawfare contributing editor Steve Vladeck host the weekly National Security Law Podcast from the University of Texas Law School, where they discuss current developments in national security law. This week’s episode had lots of content that we thought Lawfare Podcast listeners may be interested in hearing, so we are bringing it to you in a distilled form. In this episode, the fourth edition of a Lawfare edited National Security Law Podcast, Bobby and Steve discuss the legality of President Trump’s claim that he might adjourn Congress, whether or not he has “total authority”—as he claims—over when the economy should reopen and the latest in the 9/11 case at Guantanamo.
17/04/201h 3m

Camille François on Covid-19 and the ABCs of Disinformation

On this episode of our Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Camille François, the Chief Innovation Officer at Graphika, where she works to identify and mitigate disinformation and misinformation online. On April 15, Graphika released a report on an Iranian influence operation focused on COVID-19, an operation blaming the United States for supposedly creating the virus and praising China’s response to the pandemic. Camille discussed what Graphika found and how this campaign compares to similar operations in the past—like another campaign from Ghana that Graphika helped uncover, which was linked to Russia and posted content aimed at black Americans. And they discussed the “ABC framework” that Camille has developed to understand disinformation campaigns.
16/04/2049m 41s

Viktor Orbán Switches Democracy Off

Nobody has been more aggressive about using the coronavirus crisis to seize power than Hungarian strong man Viktor Orbán. Orbán declared a state of emergency and has been ruling by decree. He has also instigated criminal penalties for spreading false information about the coronavirus, and his Fidesz party has effectively dissolved Parliament. Joining Benjamin Wittes to discuss the decline of Hungarian democracy is András Pap, a Hungarian scholar of constitutional law and a professor at Central European University's nationalist studies program in Budapest, and Anne Applebaum, essayist, author, and scholar of Eastern Europe, nationalism and the former Soviet Union. They talked about whether Orbán's seizure of power is as big a deal as it initially appears, about where Orbán stands in the pantheon of right wing populists worldwide, and about what, if anything, the European Union is likely to do about it.
14/04/2046m 28s

ICE, CBP and Coronavirus Response

Whether it has been travel bans, family separation, or changes to asylum rules, the Trump administration has long been embroiled in controversies over its immigration and detention policy. Those controversies have come amidst surges in migrants and asylum seekers, particularly at the U.S. southern border. The Trump administration's new policies have been legally and technically complex, and that was all before COVID-19. Mikhaila Fogel sat down with immigration reporters Hamed Aleaziz of Buzzfeed News, Dara Lind of ProPublica, and Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, a lawyer at the American Immigration Council. They discussed how Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as Customs and Border Protection, are responding to COVID-19; the changing legal landscape for those agencies before the pandemic; and the challenges faced by migrants, asylum seekers and the U.S. immigration system during coronavirus and beyond.
13/04/2052m 48s

Stan Brand on the State of Congressional Oversight and Subpoena Power

Margaret Taylor sat down with Stan Brand, who served as the general counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives from 1976 to 1983. They talked about key issues working their way through the courts that could redefine congressional subpoena power and congressional oversight for a generation. How will these cases move forward in light of the COVID-19 pandemic? How might they be decided, and what might that mean for the future of congressional power? And what impact are these cases having on congressional oversight right now?
11/04/2051m 50s

Jim Baker on FISA Errors

Jim Baker served as general counsel for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He was also the counsel for the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review at the Justice Department, where he supervised FISA applications. He joined Benjamin Wittes in the virtual Jungle Studio to discuss Inspector General Michael Horowitz's shocking report on inaccuracy in FISA applications, and the problems at the FBI that led to these errors.
10/04/2045m 44s

Kate Klonick and Alina Polyakova on Pandemics, Platform Governance and Geopolitics

On this episode of Lawfare's Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Quinta Jurecic speaks with Alina Polyakova and Kate Klonick, who both have expertise that can clarify our confusing current moment. Alina has been running a great series of virtual events at the Center for European Policy Analysis on disinformation and geopolitics during COVID-19. And Kate’s research on platform governance helps shed light on the aggressive role some tech platforms have been playing in moderating content online during the pandemic.
09/04/2046m 28s

China, Technology and Global Supply Chains with the Cyberspace Solarium Commission

March 11 marked the launch of the official report of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission. The commission is a bicameral, bipartisan intergovernmental body created by the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, and charged with developing and articulating a comprehensive strategic approach to defending the United States in cyberspace. For the last month, Lawfare has published a series of commentaries on various highlights from the report, some by analysts involved with the commission. In this episode of the Lawfare Podcast, we hear a lively discussion from some of the Commission's members, including the co-chair, Representative Mike Gallagher, on a part of that project focusing on China, technology and global supply chains.
08/04/201h 25m

The United Nations and the Coronavirus Crisis

The devastating effects of the coronavirus COVID-19 are being felt in nearly every corner of the world, with little regard for national borders or boundaries. In many ways, this makes it the exact sort of transnational threat that the United Nations is supposed to help address, yet the response across various U.N. institutions has been inconsistent at best. To understand how the United Nations is responding to the coronavirus crisis and why, Scott R. Anderson spoke with two people who know it like few others: U.N. Resident Correspondent and CBS News Analyst Pamela Falk, and U.N. Director for the International Crisis Group Richard Gowan.
07/04/2046m 16s

Stephen Holmes on Liberalism in the 21st Century

Stephen Holmes is the Walter E. Mayer Professor of Law at New York University. With Ivan Krastev he is the author of "The Light that Failed: a Reckoning." Jack Goldsmith sat down with Holmes to talk about his new book and much more. The pair discussed the fate of liberalism in the decades following the fall of the Berlin wall, Holmes’ experience studying Eastern European politics, the problems with trying to export liberalism across the globe and the factors that have led to the global rise of illiberal leaders.
04/04/2058m 57s

Nate Persily Asks Whether Democracy Can Survive the Internet

On this episode of the Lawfare Podcast's Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Nate Persily, the James B. McClatchy Professor of Law at Stanford Law School. Persily is also a member of the Kofi Annan Commission on Democracy and Elections in the Digital Age, which recently released a report on election integrity and the internet for which Nate provided a framing paper. Alongside his work on internet governance, Nate is also an expert on election law and administration. They spoke about the commission report and the challenges the internet may pose for democracy, to what extent the pandemic has flipped that on its head, and, of course, the 2020 presidential election.
02/04/2053m 16s

Dan Drezner on Zombies, Viruses, and Toddlers

Joining Benjamin Wittes in the virtual jungle studio is Daniel Drezner, professor at the Fletcher School at Tufts University, and the author of two political science books: one on zombie apocalypses and international relations theory, and a new book on the president as a toddler. These books are serious pieces of political science, are very funny, and in different ways, are highly relevant to the situations we face today as a society. Dan and Ben talked about how zombies are similar to and different from coronavirus, whether international relations theory correctly anticipates how governments will respond to crises, and about Dan's epic Twitter thread on the toddler in chief.
01/04/2039m 6s

Ben Hubbard on MBS

Saudi Arabia continues to be a mainstay of newspaper headlines, whether it be for its oil price war with Russia or for news about Turkish indictments in connection with the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. But making sense of Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader, Mohammed Bin Salman, known widely as MBS, can be a difficult proposition. He has made social reforms—lifting the ban on women driving and taking power away from Saudi Arabia’s infamous religious police—but he has no interest in political reform and has a propensity to take impulsive and remarkably violent action, both in the foreign policy space and toward perceived enemies within Saudi Arabia and beyond. Ben Hubbard, Beirut bureau chief for the New York Times, provides an account of the young prince’s rise and his early years in power in Saudi Arabia. Jacob Schulz talked with Hubbard about MBS's rise to power, his influence on domestic life in Saudi Arabia, his relationship to Jared Kushner and the Trump administration, and about the White House response to Khashoggi’s murder. 
31/03/2045m 1s

Coronavirus Around the World

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the globe, it can be difficult to keep track of how the virus has spread and how different countries have responded. So, this week we are doing something a little bit different. We are bringing you dispatches about how nine different countries are handling the COVID-19 outbreak. Jacob Schulz spoke with experts about the situations in Poland, Spain, South Korea, Italy, Russia, South Africa, Iran, China, and Great Britain. You will hear from journalists, Brookings experts, a former CIA officer, and a Member of European Parliament, among others. What are the restrictions different governments have put in place? What legal authorities have they relied on? How has COVID-19 and the corresponding government response affected life in each of the countries? Guests this week were Amanda Sloat, Robert Bosch Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution; Radek Sikorski, Member of European Parliament and former Polish Minister of Defense and Minister of Foreign Affairs; Alex Finley, satirist and former CIA officer; Brian Kim, Lawfare contributor and law student at Yale Law School; Giovanna De Maio, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution; Joshua Yaffa, the Moscow correspondent for The New Yorker; Erin Bates, law student and freelance broadcast journalist in South Africa; Suzanne Maloney, Interim Vice President of Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution; and Sophia Yan, China correspondent for the Telegraph.
28/03/201h 27m

How the State Department and the Defense Department are Responding to the Covid-19 Pandemic

On this bonus edition of the Lawfare Podcast, we have combined two conversations about about how the Department of State and the Department of Defense are responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, including the impact on the workforce of these agencies, their efforts to assist and protect Americans abroad and domestically, and the broader national security and foreign policy consequences for the United States. Margaret Taylor sat down virtually with Robbie Gramer, the diplomacy and national security reporter at Foreign Policy magazine covering the State Department. And Scott Anderson sat down remotely with Katie Bo Williams, the senior national security correspondent for the Defense One news outlet.
27/03/2051m 21s

Baybars Örsek on Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Fact-Checking

On this episode of Lawfare's Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Baybars Örsek, the Director of the International Fact-Checking Network at the Poynter Institute. Fact-checking has become newly prominent in recent years, as fact-checkers work to counter surges of online disinformation and misinformation. And it’s more important than ever right now in the middle of a pandemic, when incorrect information circulating online has immediate consequences for people’s health. Baybars has been on the front lines of fact-checking in recent years. Quinta and Evelyn spoke with him about the IFCN’s “Fact-Checkers’ Code of Principles,” Facebook’s partnership with fact-checkers for content shared on their platforms, and why fact-checking is important right now.
26/03/2044m 13s

Shorts: How Do You Spy When the World is Shut Down?

Like a marriage, a healthy relationship between an intelligence officer and an asset usually features ample attention and extensive energy. And of course, a lot of time spent with one another. But how do intelligence officers have the necessary face-to face-meetings when going outside is all but forbidden? What about conducting surveillance detection or servicing dead drops on empty streets in the coronavirus era? Three former CIA officers—Alex Finley, Jonna Mendez, and David Priess—explored this tricky topic in a recent article on Lawfare, which David reads in full for this edition of the Lawfare Podcast Shorts.
25/03/2016m 32s

Freedom House on 'Freedom in the World'

Since 1974, Freedom House has compiled the “Freedom in the World” report, a comparative assessment of global rights and civil liberties that ranks each country’s level of freedom and identifies regional and global trends. And the results for 2019 do not look good. David Priess spoke with Michael Abramowitz and Sarah Repucci of Freedom House about the threat to civil rights in India and Kashmir; the ethnic cleansing of muslims in China; the decline of democracy even in traditional strongholds like the United States; the era of peaceful, non-violent protests across the globe; and recommendations for supporting burgeoning democracies overseas.
24/03/2039m 56s

Alina Polyakova and Torrey Taussig on 'The Democracy Playbook'

Democracies around the world are under assault, with their norms and institutions undermined by authoritarian actors. From Hungary to India and beyond, illiberal or populist governments are weakening the rule of law, the separation of powers, and the integrity of elections. As part of a two-episode Lawfare podcast series on the state of global democracy, Benjamin Wittes spoke with Alina Polyakova and Torrey Taussig about democracy promotion. They discussed “The Democracy Playbook,” a report by Alina and Torrey—along with Brookings experts Norman Eisen, Andrew Kenealy, and Susan Corke—outlining strategies that supporters of liberal democracy can implement to prevent and reverse democratic backsliding. They talked about Central and Eastern Europe, the drivers of democratic discontent, and how all of this compares to the situation in the United States.
21/03/2043m 59s

Steve Vladeck on Emergency Powers and Coronavirus

What can the president do in a national emergency? What limits what the president can do? What authorizes the president to do all those things he can do in a national emergency? Is the president abusing, misusing, using appropriately, or under-using emergency powers during the coronavirus crisis? And what are the logical end points for how far this could go? For this bonus edition of the Lawfare Podcast, Benjamin Wittes got on the phone with Steve Vladeck to work through these questions and talk about all things presidential emergency powers.
19/03/2053m 57s

Rebecca Katz on Global Health Security and the Coronavirus Response

Dr. Rebecca Katz is the director of the Center for Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University Medical Center. She also teaches courses on global health diplomacy, global health security, and emerging infectious disease in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown. From 2004 to 2019, she was a consultant to the Department of State, working on issues related to the biological weapons convention, pandemic influenza, and disease surveillance. On Sunday, Margaret Taylor spoke with Rebecca about the international legal architecture and institutions for pandemic preparedness response, how some Asian and European countries have approached the problem, and the United States's response.
17/03/2048m 56s

Kate Starbird on Pandemics and Infodemics

On this episode of Lawfare's Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Kate Starbird, an Associate Professor of Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington. She’s long done fascinating research about online disinformation and misinformation—and she's an expert in what’s called crisis informatics, or the study of how information flows during crisis events. For this conversation, they focused on one crisis in particular: Covid-19. They talked about the possibilities and dangers of social media and the internet in times of crisis, how communities make sense of disaster, and the anxiety of living in the world right now.
16/03/2041m 51s

Josh Sharfstein on Coronavirus

Josh Sharfstein is the vice dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He also served as the secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. He was the principal deputy commissioner and at some point, the acting commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and he was the Commissioner of Health for the city of Baltimore. He is remarkably well qualified to talk about coronavirus crisis response at the federal, state, and local levels. He's even written a book about managing public health crises, and he's hosting a daily podcast of his own on the coronavirus crisis. He joined Benjamin Wittes in the virtual Jungle Studio to talk about the role of coercion in managing these crises, how the U.S. government has performed (and not performed), and what we should be doing differently to get the corona crisis under control.
14/03/2047m 12s

Joshua R. Fattal on Fighting Disinformation with the Foreign Agents Registration Act

This week on Lawfare’s Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Joshua R. Fattal about a fascinating law review article he’s written: “FARA on Facebook: Modernizing the Foreign Agents Registration Act to Address Propagandists on Social Media.” The Foreign Agents Registration Act, known as FARA, is an American law that requires lobbyists for foreign entities to register with the Justice Department. It made the headlines when Special Counsel Robert Mueller claimed that Russians spreading social media disinformation around the 2016 election failed to register under the law. Josh argues that Mueller’s indictments represent an innovative new use of FARA—and he suggests that the law could offer a mechanism for the U.S. government to address disinformation campaigns.
12/03/2046m 56s

Congress and Corona

Since we are recording remotely due to coronavirus concerns, it is a good day to discuss the congressional response to coronavirus. Benjamin Wittes spoke with Margaret Taylor, Lawfare's congressional guru, about what legislation Congress has passed, what legislation Congress and the Trump administration are considering in relation to the virus, and how Congress has responded institutionally.
11/03/2036m 14s

Joseph Nye on "Do Morals Matter?: Presidents and Foreign Policy from FDR to Trump"

We ask a lot of questions about foreign policy on this podcast. Why do certain countries make certain decisions? What are the interests of the players in question? What are the consequences and, of course, the legality of foreign policy choices. In a new book, Joseph Nye, professor emeritus and former dean of the Harvard Kennedy School, asks another question about foreign policy. Do morals matter? Jack Goldsmith sat down with Nye to discuss his new book "Do Morals Matter?: Presidents and Foreign Policy from FDR to Trump." They discussed the ethical and theoretical factors by which Nye judged each president before going through many of the cases he focuses on in the book.
07/03/2043m 38s

Lisa Kaplan and Sophie Lawton on Clickbait Craft Videos and Influence Campaigns

This week on Lawfare’s Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Alina Polyakova and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Lisa Kaplan and Sophie Lawton of Alethea Group, an organization that works to detect and mitigate disinformation on social media. Lisa recently published a piece on Lawfare about a massive network of companies run by TheSoul Publishing—founded in Russia by a company called AdMe. The companies publish bizarre craft videos on Youtube and Facebook, along with a handful of videos about history and politics with an overtly pro-Russian slant. So what is actually going on here? They talked about what red flags Lisa and Sophie look for in hunting down disinformation, their experiences tackling disinformation while working for Senator Angus King’s reelection campaign in 2018, and how political campaigns need to tackle online influence efforts in 2020.
05/03/2041m 12s

The Lawfare Podcast Bonus Edition: The Don McGahn Decision

On Friday afternoon, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a decision concerning the House of Representatives' efforts to compel Don McGahn, Donald Trump's former White House counsel, to testify about his conduct with respect to the president, the Mueller investigation, presidential obstruction of justice, and other matters. At the president's direction, McGahn has refused show up, citing absolute immunity from congressional subpoenas. In a surprise ruling for a lot of people, the DC Circuit determined that it had no jurisdiction to hear the case because the House lacks standing to bring it. To discuss it all, Benjamin Wittes spoke with Jonathan David Shaub, Lawfare contributor and incoming faculty at the University of Kentucky Law School, and Lawfare senior editors Margaret Taylor and Scott R. Anderson.
05/03/2055m 0s

A Trip Around Africa with Judd Devermont and Emilia Columbo

The population of Africa is projected to double by 2050, giving the continent one quarter of the world's people by then. Nigeria alone will have a larger population than the United States. To the extent they aren't so already, the world's problems and opportunities will be Africa's, too, and African problems and opportunities will also be the world's. David Priess spoke about developments in African politics and international engagement with two experts from the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies—its director Judd Devermont, and one of its senior associates, Emilia Columbo.
03/03/2043m 57s

Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig on 'A Very Stable Genius'

Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig are reporters at The Washington Post and the authors of the new book, 'A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump's Testing of America.' This week, Susan Hennessey sat down with Rucker and Leonnig to talk about the new book, the president's interactions with his cabinet, his attitude toward the law, and the efficacy of his public attacks.
29/02/2045m 3s

Bridget Barrett and Daniel Kreiss on the Chaos of Social Media Advertising

This week on Lawfare’s Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Bridget Barrett and Daniel Kreiss of the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media and UNC’s Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life. In all the controversy around social media platforms at the moment, perhaps nothing is taking up as much oxygen as their policies around political ads. But it’s difficult to discuss this topic without a detailed understanding of what the platforms are actually doing. That’s where Bridget and Daniel come in. They’ve worked to provide a comprehensive account of the different policies in this space, how those policies interact, and how they’re changing—or not—the way we interact with politics.
27/02/2054m 32s

The Lawfare Podcast Bonus Edition: Ben Buchanan on 'The Hacker and the State'

Ben Buchanan is a professor at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and a scholar on cybersecurity and statecraft. He has a new book out this week: “The Hacker and the State: Cyber Attacks and the New Normal of Geopolitics." Jack Goldsmith sat down with Buchanan to talk about Ben’s new book, about the so-called name-and-shame of Justice Department indictments, and about the various reasons why states engage in offensive cyber operations.
26/02/2043m 38s

Clapper, Hayden, and McCabe on the Worldwide Threat Briefing

Every year for a quarter of a century, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, or both, have hosted the worldwide threat briefing featuring open unclassified testimony from leaders of the intelligence community about the biggest threats facing the United States. That is, at least until this year, when it is still unclear when the worldwide threat testimony will take place, if at all. To shed some light on the history, the norms, and the value of this open intelligence testimony, we gathered an extraordinary group of intelligence leaders who have done it, in some cases many times. David Priess spoke with Jim Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and former director of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency; Michael Hayden, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, former principal deputy DNI, and former director of the National Security Agency; and Andrew McCabe, the former Acting Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
25/02/2043m 33s

Monaco and Yan on Coronavirus

Lisa Monaco was Barack Obama's counterterrorism and Homeland Security advisor in the White House, and headed the Justice Department's national security division. Sophia Yan is a Beijing-based correspondent for the British newspaper The Telegraph. Lisa and Sophia may not seem to have a lot in common, but these days, they are both spending a lot of time thinking about coronavirus. Monaco managed epidemic and pandemic disease events for the Obama administration, and Yan is in the middle of covering the ongoing epidemic in China. Benjamin Wittes joined Lisa (in the Jungle Studio) and Sophia (remotely from Beijing) on Thursday to talk about how the Chinese government has responded, how the Trump administration has responded, and how much worse this is likely to get before it ebbs.
22/02/2050m 58s

Brendan Nyhan on the Empirical Effects of Disinformation

This week on Lawfare’s Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Brendan Nyhan, a professor of political science at Dartmouth University. We talk a lot about the crisis of falsehoods circulating online, but Nyhan’s work focuses on empirical research on what the effects of disinformation and misinformation actually are. And he’s found that those effects might play less of a role in political discourse than you’d think—or at least not quite in the way you might think. They talked about the fake news about fake news and the echo chamber about echo chambers.
20/02/2048m 25s

The Lawfare Podcast Bonus Edition: Jessica Stern on Radovan Karadzic

Jessica Stern, who served on the National Security Council during the Clinton administration, has a remarkable skill: she interviews really bad people, and she writes about them in really interesting ways. She spent quite a bit of time interviewing Bosnian-Serb war criminal Radovan Karadzic, who is serving a life sentence at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal in The Hague for genocide in connection with the Bosnian conflict in the 1990s. Their conversations led to the publication of the book, "My War Criminal: Personal Encounters with an Architect of Genocide," which triggered a remarkable outpouring of rage at Jessica Stern. Benjamin Wittes spoke with Jessica recently about the book, the controversy, and her general approach to talking to evil men.
20/02/2058m 22s

Andrew Bacevich on 'The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory'

In what ways did American foreign policy fail to capitalize on victory in the Cold War? Andrew Bacevich, professor emeritus at Boston University and co-founder and president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, tackles that question and more in "The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory." Jack Goldsmith sat down with Professor Bacevich to talk about his new book. The pair discussed the establishment consensus on American foreign policy, the state of civil-military relations, and the mission of the newly founded Quincy Institute.
18/02/2039m 20s

Patrick Radden Keefe on 'Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland'

In 2013, Patrick Radden Keefe, a staff writer for the New Yorker, came across the obituary of a woman named Dolours Price, a former member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Keefe's interest in Price led to sprawling research about an appalling crime that took place over the course of the three-decade Troubles in Northern Ireland: The disappearance of Jean McConville, a widowed young mother of ten children. His research led to his 2019 book, “Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland.” Mikhaila Fogel sat down with Keefe to discuss his book, the shocking history of McConville’s disappearance, the broader context of the terrorism and counterterrorism campaigns in Northern Ireland over the course of the Troubles, and what happened to the perpetrators and the victims of this crime.
15/02/2046m 30s

Special Edition: The National Security Law Guys Talk Lt. Col. Vindman, Roger Stone and War Powers

Lawfare founder Bobby Chesney and Lawfare contributing editor Steve Vladeck host the weekly National Security Law Podcast from the University of Texas Law School, a discussion of current national security law developments. In this episode, the third edition of a Lawfare edited National Security Law Podcast, Bobby and Steve discuss a range of topics that we thought would be of interest to listeners. So we are bringing you a distilled version of their conversation. Bobby and Steve talk about the legal side of accusations that President Trump pressured the Justice Department to amend a sentencing recommendation in the case of Roger Stone and his retaliation against Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. They give context about the federal quarantine law, as the coronavirus continues to spread globally. And, they go over recent war powers developments and a special listener request about the case of Omar Ameen.  A quick logistical note: Bobby and Steve recorded this conversation on Wednesday, so news about the Flynn case and about the Senate passing War Powers legislation are not mentioned in their discussion.
14/02/2052m 24s

Alex Stamos on the Hard Tradeoffs of the Internet

In this episode of Lawfare's Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Evelyn Douek and Kate Klonick spoke with Alex Stamos, the director of the Stanford Internet Observatory. Prior to joining Stanford, Alex served as the chief security officer at Facebook, and before that, as the chief information security officer at Yahoo. They talked about Alex's experience at Facebook handling 2016 election interference, as well as his work on cybersecurity, disinformation, and end-to-end encryption.
13/02/2058m 53s

Afshon Ostovar on Iran's Revolutionary Guard

Afshon Ostovar is the associate chair for research and an assistant professor of national security affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School. He is also the author of "Vanguard of the Imam: Religion, Politics, and Iran's Revolutionary Guards." The IRGC has been in the news of late because of the killing of the head of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, Qassem Soleimani. Benjamin Wittes spoke with Ostovar about the fallout from the Soleimani killing, how it is all playing in Iran, and why things are so quiet. They talked about whether people made a mountain out of a molehill at the time the killing happened, or whether the blowback just hasn't happened yet.
12/02/2047m 41s

Joshua Yaffa on Putin’s Russia

Russia continues to sporadically poke its head into American media headlines, whether it be for its role in Syria or for anxieties about fresh election interference in 2020. But these news stories seldom provide a window into life in Putin’s Russia. Jacob Schulz sat down with Joshua Yaffa, the Moscow correspondent for the New Yorker, to talk about his new book, "Between Two Fires: Truth, Ambition, and Compromise in Putin’s Russia." The book gives a series of portraits of prominent figures within Putin’s Russia and details the compromises they make to maintain their status and goodwill with the Kremlin. They talked about this framework as a way to understand Russia, what Putin’s rule looks like on the peripheries of the country, and about a couple of the fascinating characters that animate the book.
08/02/2055m 15s

The Lawfare Podcast Special Edition: An "Election Meltdown" in Iowa

The 2020 election cycle opened up with a dramatic failure, as the Iowa caucus was marred by a delayed announcement of the caucus results and an abundance of misinformation about its cause. It was a painful demonstration of the importance of election security and election infrastructure. We put together a special edition podcast to discuss what went wrong in Iowa and the factors that have increased mistrust in American elections. Benjamin Wittes interviewed Richard Hasen, an election-law expert and the author of “Election Meltdown: Dirty Tricks, Distrust, and the Threat to American Democracy.” The two talked about Hasen’s new book, about the flaws that can plague elections and about how to think about electoral legitimacy. 
07/02/2050m 11s

Special Edition: The Senate Votes to Acquit President Donald Trump

On Wednesday, the Senate voted to acquit President Donald J. Trump of abuse of power, by a vote of 48-52, and obstruction of Congress, by a vote of 47-53. Over the course of the trial, Lawfare and Goat Rodeo have been compiling the most essential parts of each day’s proceeding into manageable podcast episodes. Here is the final episode of that series. It includes some remarks made by senators including Mitt Romney of Utah, who became the first person in history to vote to remove a president of his own party, followed by the vote. The episode ends with a conversation with Lawfare’s Quinta Jurecic, David Priess and Margaret Taylor, hosted by Benjamin Wittes.
06/02/2058m 11s

Leon Neyfakh on Iran–Contra and Other Scandals

Leon Neyfakh is the co-creator and former host of Slow Burn, which won the iHeartRadio podcast award for Podcast of the Year last year. Now, he's the co-creator and host of Fiasco, entering its second season on Luminary. This second season deals with the Iran–Contra scandal, including some of the stories and people that you know—like Iran and Nicaragua, Bud McFarlane, John Poindexter, and Oliver North—but also some things you might not remember that make the story a very rich scandal indeed. David Priess spoke with Leon about Slow Burn, Fiasco, and especially about the Iran–Contra scandal.
04/02/2043m 4s

The National Security Law Podcast Guys Talk Bolton

Lawfare founder Bobby Chesney and Lawfare contributing editor Steve Vladeck, both of the University of Texas Law School, host the National Security Law Podcast, a weekly deep dive on national security law topics. In this second edition of a Lawfare-edited National Security Law Podcast, Bobby and Steve had a particularly useful conversation about the legal issues surrounding John Bolton’s role in the impeachment trial and about important developments in the military commissions that have been overshadowed by events in Washington. Two logistical points: We have edited this podcast down to the most substantive exchanges between Bobby and Steve. Also, this podcast was recorded on Wednesday, January 29, and thus the conversation occurred before the Senate's vote on Friday to block witnesses in the impeachment trial. 
01/02/2052m 10s

Elise Thomas on Disinformation and the Australia Fires

For the past several months, Australia has been struck by massive bushfires like nothing seen before in recent memory. As the country has grappled with the spread of these unprecedented blazes, it’s also grappled with the spread of falsehoods about what caused them. This week on our Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Elise Thomas, a journalist and researcher at the Australia Strategic Policy Institute’s International Cyber Policy Center. Elise has been tracking misinformation and disinformation around the blazes—from the suggestion by the right-wing Australian press that arson, not climate change, is to blame for the fires, to online conspiracy theories imported in from the United States. They talked not only about the fires, but also about the global nature of the fight against mis- and disinformation online and why we need to be cautious about focusing too much on bots in waging that fight. Elise was calling in from Canberra, and unfortunately we had some audio glitches, but it's too great a conversation to miss.
30/01/2038m 55s

An Impeachment Trial Update

We have an impeachment trial going on. We've had hours and hours of presentation by the House managers, and hours of presentation by the president's defense team, and there are likely hours to go. To bring us up to speed with where we are, where we are after the big John Bolton bombshell over the weekend, and the coming fight over witnesses, Benjamin Wittes spoke with Margaret Taylor, Quinta Jurecic, and Jonathan David Shaub.
28/01/2051m 22s

Michael Schwirtz on Russia's Lethal Actions in Europe

The past few years have seen an uptick in Russian covert actions across Europe, including assassinations and attempted killings of people in Ukraine, Bulgaria, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Just this week, Bulgaria charged three Russian agents with the poisoning of a prominent Bulgarian arms manufacturer. Michael Schwirtz has been an investigative reporter with the New York Times for almost 15 years, and he's been tracking this Russian skulduggery carefully in many of those countries for much of that time. Recently, he's reported on how quite a bit of that activity is linked to one particular unit within the Russian GRU. David Priess sat down with Michael to work through this increasingly aggressive Russian action and what it all means going forward.
25/01/2051m 1s

Renee DiResta on Disinformation and Misinformation From Vaccines to the GRU

For this episode of Lawfare’s Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Alina Polyakova and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Renee DiResta, the technical research manager at the Stanford Internet Observatory. Renee has done fascinating work on how technology platforms and algorithms interact with false and misleading narratives, ranging from misleading information on health issues to propaganda pushed by the Islamic State and the Russian government.
23/01/2042m 24s

'Unmaking the Presidency'

"Unmaking the Presidency: Donald Trump's War on the World's Most Powerful Office," by Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes, was published today. The Brookings Institution hosted a launch event, moderated by Fred Hiatt, in which Susan and Ben discussed the book. "Unmaking the Presidency" is an attempt to explore the Trump presidency through the lens of the norms of the traditional presidency that he has violated. It's a look at his vision of the presidency, a look at the range of presidential powers that vision affects, and a look at the history of how those norms developed.
22/01/201h 28m

The Lawfare Podcast Special Edition: Senate Trial Preview

The Senate impeachment trial of President Trump starts Tuesday. The President now has a legal team. And over the weekend, both the House impeachment managers and the President's lawyers filed initial briefs. In this special edition of the podcast, Benjamin Wittes, Margaret Taylor, Susan Hennessey, David Priess, Scott Anderson, and Paul Rosenzweig talk it all through. What should we make of the president's legal team? What do the briefs say? And what should we expect from the trial to come?
21/01/201h 0m

Shorts: The Sordid History of Impeachment

The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump is set to begin on Jan. 21, and the question of what constitutes an impeachable offense is sure to feature in the trial itself and in the broader discussion of the president’s conduct. To answer that question, many commentators, lawmakers and experts may rely on what the Founders said at the time the Impeachment Clause was written into the Constitution. But there’s another way to think about an impeachable offense: by looking at the offenses for which Congress has actually impeached people. Hilary Hurd explored that sordid and unexpected history of impeachment in a recent article for Lawfare. In the latest edition of the Lawfare Podcast Shorts, you can listen to that article in-full, read by the author.
19/01/2018m 27s

Batya Ungar-Sargon on the Anti-Semitic Violence in New York

Batya Ungar-Sargon is the opinion editor of The Forward, the Jewish newspaper published out of New York City. She has been among the chroniclers, both in print and on Twitter, of the recent spate of attacks against Orthodox communities in New York and New Jersey. She joined Benjamin Wittes by Skype to talk about the origins of these attacks, why it is so hard to respond to them, and why they don't fit in with any of our political preconceptions.
18/01/2039m 32s

Bobby Chesney and Danielle Citron on Deep Fakes

On this episode of the Arbiters of Truth series, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with law professors Bobby Chesney and Danielle Citron about deep fakes—that is, artificial audio and video that can be used to depict a person doing or saying something that they never did or said. They talked about the paper that Bobby and Danielle wrote in 2018 about how deep fakes pose a looming challenge for privacy, democracy, and national security. And with recently circulated, doctored video of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and presidential candidate Joe Biden, they talked about how the issue hasn't gone away, as well as the distinction between deep fakes and other less sophisticated forms of editing.
16/01/2051m 11s

Imagining an Impeachment Trial

There's going to be a House vote tomorrow to send the impeachment articles over to the Senate. Then there's going to be a little parade where the appointed managers from the House take them over. And then, we're going to have a Senate trial. Benjamin Wittes gathered in the Jungle Studio with Margaret Taylor, Molly Reynolds, David Priess, and Jonathan Shaub (by phone) to imagine what that trial will look like. They talked about the ceremonial aspects of the impeachment trial; witnesses, who they can force to show up, and whether they can force them to answer questions; and how the president's defense might defend Donald Trump against these charges.
15/01/201h 0m

The National Security Law Podcast Guys Talk Soleimani

As part of Lawfare's continuing coverage of the killing of Iranian Quds Force leader Qassem Soleimani, we are bringing you an edited version of the latest episode of the National Security Law Podcast, in which Bobby Chesney and Steve Vladeck discuss the legality of the strike and what this means for the future of U.S.-Iranian relations. We edited the podcast down solely to focus solely on the discussion of Soleimani.
11/01/201h 13m

What Fresh Disinformation Hell Awaits in 2020?

It’s 2020, and The Lawfare Podcast's Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation is back for the new year. Quinta Jurecic sat down with cohosts Evelyn Douek, Kate Klonick, and Alina Polyakova to discuss what they’ve learned over the last few months of putting together this podcast—and what they should expect for the year to come. What new regulation or oversight mechanisms will we see for social media companies? Should Twitter remove or hide the president’s tweets? How should we think about the unique challenges of addressing disinformation and misinformation in an election year in the United States? And just how bad are things going to get?
09/01/2039m 39s

Lawfare AMA 2020

To kick off this year of The Lawfare Podcast, we wanted to hear from you. You tweeted your questions and you left us voicemails, and we did our best to answer you. Benjamin Wittes, Susan Hennessey, Bobby Chesney, David Priess, Quinta Jurecic, David Kris, Scott R. Anderson, Molly Reynolds, and Margaret Taylor came together to tackle your impeachment questions, your foreign policy questions, your FISA questions, your recommendation requests, and everything in-between. Thank you for your questions. And as always, thank you for listening.
08/01/201h 25m

Special Edition: Law and the Soleimani Strike

On Friday, the Lawfare Podcast hosted a conversation on the wide-ranging policy implications of the U.S. strike that killed Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps leader Qassem Soleimani and militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, deputy commander of Iraq’s quasi-official Popular Mobilization Forces and leader of the Iraqi militia and PMF Keta’ib Hezbollah.  Today’s special edition episode leaves the policy debate behind to zero-in on the law behind the strike. Law of war and international law experts Scott R. Anderson, Bobby Chesney, Jack Goldsmith, Ashley Deeks and Samuel Moyn join Benjamin Wittes to discuss the domestic and international law surrounding the strike, how the administration might legally justify it, what the president might do next and how Congress might respond. 
06/01/201h 2m

Special Edition: The Soleimani Strike and Its Fallout

The American drone strike last night that killed Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Iranian Quds Force, is a seismic event in U.S.-Iranian relations—and for the broader Middle East. We put together an emergency podcast, drawing on the resources of both Lawfare and the Brookings Institution and reflecting the depth of the remarkable collaboration between the two. Iran scholar Suzanne Maloney, terrorism and Middle East scholar Daniel Byman, Middle East scholar and former State Department official Tamara Cofman Wittes and former State Department lawyer and Baghdad embassy official Scott Anderson—who is also a Lawfare senior editor—came together the morning after the strike for a diverse discussion of the reasons for the operation, the vast repercussions of it, the legality of the strike and the role Soleimani played in the Iranian regime.
03/01/2055m 50s

Upheaval and Repression in Iran

Iran is in turmoil. Protests erupted across the country last month, sparked by the government's decision to triple the price of gasoline. The Iranian government has responded with brute force, imposing a blackout of the internet and deploying security forces to crack down in the streets. The crackdown has left hundreds dead and thousands injured or detained. On December 18, the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution hosted a discussion on the unrest in Iran, what it means for the future of the country and the region, and how the United States and the international community should respond. Washington Post columnist David Ignatius led the conversation, which featured Brookings senior fellow Suzanne Maloney and film maker and journalist Maziar Bahari, who leads IranWire, a news site that conveys original information from Iran via citizen journalists.
01/01/201h 16m

Danielle Citron on Feminism and National Security

Live from the #NatSecGirlSquad Conference in Washington, DC, on December 12, 2019, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Danielle Citron, professor of law at Boston University, VP of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, and MacArthur Genius Grant Fellow. Ben and Danielle talked about technology, sexual privacy, sextortion, and the previously unexplored intersections of feminism and cybersecurity.
28/12/1943m 30s

What's Next for Impeachment

On Thursday, December 19, the House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Before that vote, the Brookings Institution's Governance Studies program assembled an all-star panel—Sarah Binder, William Galston, John Hudak, Molly Reynolds, and Lawfare's own Benjamin Wittes—to talk through how we got here and just what might happen next.
24/12/191h 19m

Amanda Sloat on Boris Johnson and Brexit

This week, following a resounding victory by Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party in British elections, Members of Parliament have backed Johnson’s plan to withdraw from the EU by January 31. But before they did that, Benjamin Wittes got on the phone from an undisclosed location with Brookings senior fellow and Brexit expert Amanda Sloat—who was here in the Jungle Studio—to discuss Britain’s recent election, what it means for Brexit, and what it might portend for the future of the United Kingdom.
21/12/1936m 11s

Peter Pomerantsev on the War Against Reality

In this episode of our Arbiters of Truth series, Alina Polyakova and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Peter Pomerantsev, a research fellow at the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University and the author of "This is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality." The book explores how the nature of propaganda has shifted as authoritarian governments move from silencing dissent to drowning dissent out with squalls of disinformation. Pomerantsev argues that this transformation traces back to the cynicism and chaos in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union, but now it's become all too familiar around the world.
19/12/1941m 12s

Peter Bergen on 'Trump and His Generals'

You probably know Peter Bergen from his work at CNN, his books on terrorism and national security, or perhaps his role as vice president at New America. Now, he's turned his reporting and analysis to President Trump, to President Trump's advisors, and to the impact of those relationships on U.S. national security. David Priess sat down with Peter to talk about his new book: "Trump and His Generals," the president's confusing mix of attraction to senior military leaders and disdain for their advice, and what it all means for foreign policy in Washington.
17/12/1949m 43s

Countering Chinese Espionage

Recently, former CIA officer Jerry Lee was arrested and sentenced for his role in misusing classified information. At the same time, reporting indicates that CIA officers in China have been arrested or turned by Chinese authorities. What's the connection between these two? And what does it mean for Chinese counterintelligence work overall? David Priess sat down with John McLaughlin, practitioner-in-residence at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and former acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and Shane Harris, intelligence and national security reporter for The Washington Post whose reporting covered much of the Jerry Lee case. They talked about, of course, the Jerry Lee case, counterintelligence in China, and the impact on the U.S.-China relationship.
14/12/1949m 37s

Tiffany Li on Privacy and Disinformation

In this episode from Lawfare's Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation in the run-up to the 2020 election, Quinta Jurecic, Evelyn Douek, and Alina Polyakova spoke with Tiffany Li, a visiting professor at Boston University and a fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. Tiffany writes on all the issues discussed on this podcast—disinformation, misinformation, and platform governance—but with an additional twist. She’s also a privacy scholar. They talked about how privacy law can inform platform governance, and how prioritizing privacy might help tackle disinformation—as well as what tensions there might be between those two goals.
12/12/1938m 44s

Bonus Edition: Michael Horowitz vs. the Committee with No Bull

Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss his recently released report on the Russia investigation. The hearing was contentious and occasionally devolved into speechify-ing. But we cut out all the unnecessary repetition and theatrics to leave you with just the questions and answers that you need to hear.
12/12/192h 0m

Investigations All the Way Down

We have articles of impeachment. We have a very long inspector general report on the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane investigation. And we have a Lawfare Podcast that you won't want to miss. Benjamin Wittes spoke with Margaret Taylor, Quinta Jurecic, Jack Goldsmith, and David Kris about the new articles of impeachment unveiled today and the inspector general's investigation. They talk about where the report vindicates the FBI, where it severely criticizes the FBI, and those very peculiar statements from the attorney general and John Durham, the U.S. attorney from Connecticut. Thanks to Grammarly for supporting The Lawfare Podcast. For 20% off a Grammarly premium account, go to Grammarly.com/lawfare.
11/12/191h 7m

Bonus Edition: The House Intelligence Committee vs. the House Judiciary Committee with No Bull

In a marathon day, the House Judiciary Committee heard testimony from Judiciary and Intelligence Committee staffers Barry Berke, Daniel Goldman and Steven Castor. The hearing was contentious and filled with interruptions, but we cut out all the grandstanding and theatrics to leave you with just the questions and answers that you need to hear. 00:00:30: Berke 00:30:30: Castor I 00:56:00: Goldman 1:41:00: Castor II 2:27:30: Rep. Nadler/Majority Counsel 3:14:00: Rep. Collins/Minority Counsel 3:52:00: Member questions
10/12/195h 40m

Cybersecurity Futures

Wargaming has long been a staple of military strategizing, but how do we plan for the future in cyberspace, a realm where governments do not hold a monopoly on capabilities? A new report from the Atlantic Council argues that "visualizing and describing the evolution of cyber capabilities and strategic competition require envisioning multiple futures," and the report sets out to do exactly that. This week, Lawfare's Susan Hennessey sat down with John Watts, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's Skowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, and JD Work, the Bren Chair for Cyber Conflict and Security at the Marine Corps University, who are authors of "Alternate Cybersecurity Futures," along with Nina Kollars, Ben Jensen, and Chris Whyte. They talked about the behind-the-scenes of strategic policy planning, the value of creativity, and what scenarios emerge when you ask cybersecurity experts to predict the future.
07/12/1942m 31s

Another Week of Impeachment

It's another week of impeachment, and we thought it warranted gathering everyone around the table to talk about it. Margaret Taylor, David Priess, Susan Hennessey, and Scott R. Anderson joined Benjamin Wittes in the Jungle Studio to talk about the Schiff report, the Nunes/Jordan pre-rebuttal report, the House Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday with a bunch of law professors, and Nancy Pelosi's message on Thursday afternoon that impeachment was going forward.
06/12/191h 2m

David Kaye on Policing Speech Online

For this episode of our Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation in the run-up to the 2020 election, Quinta Jurecic and Evelyn Douek spoke with David Kaye, the United Nations special rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression. David has argued that social media companies should adopt international human rights law as the standard for content moderation, an idea that's becoming increasingly popular in recent years. And, he has a new book: "Speech Police: The Global Struggle to Govern the Internet." They talked about international law, fake news, and the pitfalls and promises of internet governance.
05/12/191h 3m

Senator Kaine on War Powers and the Coming Impeachment Trial

Senator Tim Kaine is perhaps best known as Hillary Clinton's 2016 vice presidential running mate. For purposes of Lawfare, however, he is better understood as the Senate's leading exponent of congressional authority in the war powers domain. Benjamin Wittes sat down with Senator Kaine in the Senate Russell Office Building to talk about all things war powers. They talked about the United States' new military deployment to Saudi Arabia, congressional anxieties about it, the administration's unwillingness to go to Congress for authorization, and the larger drift of congressional war powers to the executive branch. They also talked, of course, about impeachment—just a little bit. Thanks to Grammarly for supporting The Lawfare Podcast. For 20% off a Grammarly premium account, go to Grammarly.com/lawfare.
03/12/1935m 55s

Tamara Cofman Wittes and Brian Egan on Law, Policy, and the U.S. Role in the Middle East

Last month, Tamara Cofman Wittes, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and former deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, and Brian Egan, former legal advisor to the State Department and National Security Council, participated in the Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens Memorial Lecture at the UC Hastings Law School. Ambassador Stevens, who died tragically in the attack against the U.S. special mission in Benghazi in 2012, was a proud alumnus of UC Hastings. In his memory, his family generously endowed an annual lecture on a current topic in foreign relations. This year's event featured a panel discussion with Cofman Wittes and Egan, moderated by Professor Chimène Keitner, on U.S. law and policy in the Middle East. The conversation takes a step back from current events to look at the broader strategic landscape following the U.S. withdrawal from Syria.
30/11/191h 18m

Brian Kalt on Presidential Inability

Brian Kalt is a professor of law at Michigan State University. In 2012, he wrote "Constitutional Cliffhangers, " a book about all of the gaps in and the potentially disruptive interpretations of the text of the U.S. Constitution. His new book, "Unable: The Law, Politics, and Limits of Section 4 of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment," is about the mere 270 words that comprise that section. David Priess spoke with Brian about the need for something better than what the original Constitution said about presidential incapacity; the drafting of the 25th Amendment and the discussions around its various provisions; how the media, TV shows, movies, and books often get important parts of the 25th Amendment wrong; and how an invocation of the 25th Amendment's 4th section would actually work.
26/11/191h 3m

The Week that Was on Impeachment

It's the week it all went public. What had been dry pages of deposition transcript turned into live witnesses, sometimes many of them a day, in front of the House impeachment investigation. It was a lot of material, and we assembled quite the group to break it all down for you. Benjamin Wittes sat down with Scott R. Anderson, Susan Hennessey, Margaret Taylor, and Alina Polyakova to talk about what's happened this week, the new information we got and what it means that we have it all live in person, the foreign policy implications, disinformation, and what comes next as impeachment rolls on.
23/11/1953m 52s

Bonus Edition: Fiona Hill and David Holmes vs. the Committee with No Bull

On Thursday, Fiona Hill, the former National Security Council Russia adviser, and David Holmes, counselor for political affairs at the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, testified before the House Intelligence Committee. Here is the testimony of Hill and Holmes with no member-infighting, no speechifying, and no unnecessary fluff. 
22/11/192h 41m

Ben Nimmo on the Whack-a-Mole Game of Disinformation

In a new episode of Lawfare's Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation in the run-up to the 2020 election, Quinta Jurecic, Evelyn Douek, and Alina Polyakova, spoke with Ben Nimmo, the director of investigations at Graphika. They talked about how disinformation works; how a researcher knows where to look to find disinformation; how to tell when a strange pattern of tweets or Facebook posts is actually a disinformation campaign; and whether it's possible to counter these campaigns effectively, or if this work is just a never-ending game of whack-a-mole.
21/11/1945m 14s

Bonus Edition: Laura Cooper and David Hale vs. the Committee with No Bull

The evening testimony on Nov. 20 extended into the night, so we are bringing the podcast version to you this morning. The House Intelligence Committee heard from Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper and Under Secretary of State David Hale. We’ve taken out all the grandstanding and all the repetition, so you can just listen to the portions of the testimony that you need to hear.
21/11/191h 7m

The Lawfare Podcast Bonus Edition: Gordon Sondland vs the Committee with No Bull

It was another exciting day at the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland testified in the impeachment inquiry. While two more officials testified in a second hearing after Sondland, we thought his testimony was important enough to bring you ASAP. Here is the testimony of Amb. Sondland in the impeachment inquiry with no member-infighting, no speechifying, and no unnecessary fluff.  Here are some time-stamps to guide your listening: Sondland opening: 00:00:59 Democratic Counsel (and Chairman Schiff) 00:37:15 Republican Counsel (and Ranking Member Nunes) 1:23:30 Democratic Counsel (and Chairman Schiff) 2:07:15 Republican Counsel (and Ranking Member Nunes) 2:40:30 Member Questions: 3:00:00
21/11/193h 39m

The Lawfare Podcast Bonus Edition: Volker and Morrison vs The Committee with No Bull

In the afternoon of Nov. 20, the committee heard from Tim Morrison, the former senior director for Europe and Russia at the National Security Council, and Kurt Volker, the former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine.  At Lawfare, we have taken out all the unnecessary speeches, partisan bickering, and repetition to bring you just the portions of the testimony you need to hear. 
20/11/192h 51m

The Lawfare Podcast Bonus Edition: Vindman and Williams vs The Committee with No Bull

On the morning of Nov. 20, the committee heard testimony from Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, U.S. Army officer and the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, and Jennifer Williams, a foreign service officer detailed to the Vice President's staff. We have taken out all the unnecessary speeches, partisan bickering, and repetition to bring you just the portions of the testimony you need to hear.
20/11/192h 43m

Sen. Mark Warner and Rep. Jim Himes on Catching the Cybercriminal

On Monday, Benjamin Wittes moderated a discussion with Senator Mark Warner and Representative Jim Himes at NYU Law School as part of the "Catching the Cybercriminal: Reforming Global Law Enforcement" conference sponsored by the Center for Cybersecurity at NYU, the Journal of National Security Law and Policy, and Third Way. Sen. Warner is the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and the co-founder of the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus, and Rep. Himes is a member of the House Intelligence Committee. They talked about the state of cybercrime, whether cybercriminals could be caught, and what more law enforcement in the United States should be doing to curb malicious cyberattacks. Thanks to Grammarly for supporting The Lawfare Podcast. For 20% off a Grammarly premium account, go to Grammarly.com/lawfare.
20/11/191h 13m

Quite a Week

This week, Roger Stone was convicted on seven counts by a jury in the District of Columbia, and three State Department officials testified before the House Impeachment Committee. There's been a lot going on, and Benjamin Wittes assembled an all-star, all-Lawfare crew to talk through it all. Quinta Jurecic, Margaret Taylor, Susan Hennessey, Scott R. Anderson, and David Priess make appearances to talk about different aspects of the week's events. They talked about the Stone verdict, the impact of the testimony on the Hill, the impact on the State Department as it watched its senior officials testify against the president, what to expect next, and how this impeachment fits in with historic impeachments.
16/11/1956m 44s

The Lawfare Podcast Bonus Edition: Marie Yovanovitch vs The Committee with No Bull

Former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testified before the House Intelligence Committee as a part of the impeachment investigation. Yovanovitch answered questions about her career, her experience in Ukraine and her abrupt dismissal. The hearing saw some of the same grandstanding and distractions as the first public hearing, But we cut out all the unnecessary repetition and theatrics to leave you with just the questions and answers that you need to hear.
16/11/192h 36m

Zoe Darmé on the Facebook Oversight Board

Facebook has long been plagued by complaints about unreliable and arbitrary decisions about what does and doesn't appear on the site. In an experiment in incorporating greater transparency and accountability, Facebook has created a new Oversight Board, a body that will have the power to review policy and content moderation decisions made by the platform. But the development of the Board raises a lot of questions. What should this kind of oversight body look like? How will it remain independent? And will Facebook users trust the Board's decisions? In this episode of the new Arbiters of Truth series, Evelyn Douek worked through these questions with Zoe Darmé, manager of Facebook's Global Affairs and Governance team, who is leading the global outreach efforts in support of the Oversight Board.
14/11/1940m 3s

Bonus Edition: George Kent and Bill Taylor vs The Committee with No Bull

On Wednesday, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence held its first in a series of public hearings pursuant to its impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to interfere with the 2020 election. Today the committee heard testimony from George Kent, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the European and Eurasian Bureau, and William Taylor, the top U.S. Diplomat in Ukraine. While the witnesses had a compelling story to tell, there was some disagreement among the members about both facts and process, so we cut out all the bickering, all the speechifying, and all the procedural maneuvering to bring you just the testimony that you need to hear.
14/11/192h 25m

2020 Candidates and Executive Power

As the 2020 race heats up, candidates spar over healthcare, immigration reform, affordable housing, and criminal justice issues. Unfortunately, substantive discussions about the candidates' views on executive power are seldom on the agenda. Since the 2008 election, the New York Time’s Charlie Savage has helped rescue the significance of questions of executive power. Savage surveys presidential candidates on a range of executive power questions and publishes their responses. This year, he presented candidates with questions about presidential war powers, military force against American citizens, presidential obstruction of justice, and more. Jack Goldsmith talked with Savage and Justin Florence of Protect Democracy about the history of the executive power survey, the value of the questionnaire, and the takeaways from responses to this year’s questions.
13/11/1942m 32s

The Report, Episode 15: Mueller's Report

It Friday, March 22, 2019. It’s been nearly two years since Robert Mueller was first appointed Special Counsel. Now, he’s ready to submit a final report to the Attorney General. He has uncovered a sprawling and systematic effort by Russia to interfere in the 2016 election. And he’s developed a mountain of evidence about the president’s efforts to obstruct his investigation, things like witness tampering, ordering the creation of false records, and trying to fire Mueller himself. But Mueller’s got a problem: a Department of Justice memo says he can’t indict a sitting president. So what is he supposed to do with all this evidence? Mueller decides to just lay it all in the report, all 448 pages of it. It’ll be someone else’s problem to decide what to do about it: maybe a future prosecutor, maybe Congress, maybe the America electorate. That isn’t really Mueller’s concern. He’s done what he was asked to do. Now his report can speak for itself.  
10/11/1952m 23s

A New Arab Spring in Iraq and Lebanon?

Over the past several weeks, popular protest movements have emerged in both Iraq and Lebanon, expressing widespread discontent with the status quo in both countries. The unrest has led to both the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and a public statement by Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi of his intent to resign as soon as a successor is selected. But protestors also have been the subject of increasingly violent repression, especially in Iraq, where Iranian forces are believed to be actively combatting the demonstrators. To discuss these developments, Scott R. Anderson sat down with Randa Slim of the Middle East Institute; Rasha Al Aqeedi, managing editor of Irfaa Sawtak; and Tamara Cofman Wittes of the Brookings Institution.
09/11/191h 4m

Daphne Keller on Legal Liability for Tech Platforms

In this episode of the Arbiters of Truth series—Lawfare's new podcast series on disinformation in the run-up to the 2020 election—Quinta Jurecic and Evelyn Douek spoke with Daphne Keller, the director of intermediary liability at Stanford's Center for Internet and Society, about the nuts and bolts of content moderation. People often have big ideas for how tech platforms should decide what content to take down and what to keep up, but what kind of moderation is actually possible at scale? And what happens when those decisions come into conflict with different norms of free speech—for example, between the U.S. and Europe? They talked about intermediary liability law in the United States, recent rulings by the Court of Justice of the European Union, and everything in-between.
07/11/1957m 5s

Impeachment and Election Security

Impeachment has dominated the news for more than a month, but the flurry of headlines often leads to more confusion than clarity. Where exactly are we in the process? How does public opinion influence the shape and the ultimate outcome of that process? What will the role of the courts be in the coming months? On Monday, November 4, Darrell West, vice president and director of Governance Studies at Brookings, moderated a panel of Brookings experts discussing impeachment developments and giving helpful context. Joining West were Lawfare's editor-in-chief Benjamin Wittes and three additional Brookings senior fellows: Molly Reynolds, Bill Galston, and Elaine Kamarck. Thanks to Grammarly for supporting The Lawfare Podcast. For 20% off a Grammarly premium account, go to Grammarly.com/lawfare.
06/11/191h 26m

The Report, Episode 14: The Fixer Flips

We’re almost at the end of our story. This episode will cover the final set of activity that the Special Counsel examines for possible obstruction of justice: the president’s behavior towards his long time attorney Michael Cohen. Unlike the other possible acts of obstruction in Volume II, which mostly occur after Trump takes office, the relevant conduct towards Cohen spans the entire time period at issue in the Mueller investigation. It starts all the way back before the campaign. To Trump Tower Moscow.
04/11/191h 1m

In the Brush in Brooks County

Last month at the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin, Stephanie Leutert, director of the Mexico Security Initiative at the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas, joined Bobby Chesney and Sheriff Benny Martinez on stage to discuss an incredible new research project on Lawfare. She and Sheriff Martinez have teamed up to study the large number of migrants who have died hiking in the brush, trying to evade a border patrol checkpoint in Brooks County, TX. They talked about how Sheriff Martinez came to share a large quantity of data with Stephanie on the many people who have died in his county, the challenges of search and rescue and body recovery operations in a rural county, and how Washington policy is making it all worse.
02/11/1955m 55s

Introducing the Arbiters of Truth

This is the first episode in a new special series—"Arbiters of Truth"—about disinformation and online speech in the lead up to the 2020 election. From Russian election interference, to scandals over privacy and invasive ad targeting, to presidential tweets: it’s all happening in online spaces governed by private social media companies. And as the 2020 presidential election draws nearer, these conflicts are only going to grow in importance. In this series, Evelyn Douek, Kate Klonick, Alina Polyakova, and Quinta Jurecic will be talking to experts and practitioners about the major challenges our new information ecosystem poses for elections and democracy in general, and the dangers of finding cures that are worse than the disease. “Arbiters of Truth” is a reference to something Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said right after the 2016 election, when Facebook was still reeling from accusations that it hadn’t done enough to clamp down on disinformation during the presidential campaign. Zuckerberg wrote that social media platforms “must be extremely cautious about becoming arbiters of truth ourselves.” Well, if Facebook doesn’t want to be the arbiter of truth, we’re here to do it for them. In this episode, the group sat down to talk about their work on disinformation and the main questions that they hope to answer in this podcast over the coming months.
31/10/1938m 5s

Phil Mudd on CIA and Enhanced Interrogations

Philip Mudd is currently a counterterrorism and national security analyst with CNN, but before that, Mudd spent 25 years working at the Central Intelligence Agency, on the NSC staff, and eventually at the FBI. His third book is "Black Site: The CIA in the Post-9/11 World." David Priess sat down with Phil to talk about his career at CIA, the book, his research into the advanced interrogations and the interrogation program at CIA after 9/11, and the ethics of it all. Thanks to Grammarly for supporting The Lawfare Podcast. For 20% off a Grammarly premium account, go to Grammarly.com/lawfare.
30/10/1956m 27s

Special Edition: Syria and The Al-Baghdadi Raid

President Donald Trump announced on Sunday that Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, died in a raid conducted by U.S. Special Operation Forces. The president used highly unusual language to describe the raid, including that al-Baghdadi “died like a dog.” He also stated that the U.S. would be “leaving soldiers to secure the oil.” Scott R. Anderson and Dan Byman join Benjamin Wittes to discuss the raid, what it means for the future of the Islamic State, Trump’s speech and what it all means for the broader region.
29/10/1943m 10s

The Report, Episode 13: Pardons on the Table

It’s January 2018. Paul Manafort and Rick Gates are in a whole lot of trouble. The past is catching up to them. Three months earlier, they’d both been indicted on multiple felony counts and now it looks like there might be even more charges coming. Gates is getting nervous--they’re facing many years in prison. Manafort tells Gates to relax. He’s talked to the president’s personal counsel. He says they’re going to “take care of us.” Manafort tells Gates he’d be stupid to plead guilty now, “just sit tight, we’ll be taken care of.” Gates wants to be crystal clear on what exactly Manafort’s getting at. So he asks: Is the president going to pardon them?
27/10/1955m 42s

Sloat and Thompson on the Shenanigans in the UK

It's been a wild few weeks in British politics: possible new elections scheduled; Brexit impending and then delayed (we think); a possible Brexit deal signed, but not yet ratified; and the personality of Boris Johnson hovering over it all like a brooding omnipresence. A couple of weeks ago, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Helen Thompson, a professor of political economy at Cambridge and one of the two principal voices of the Talking Politics podcast. They had a conversation about the state of British constitutional government, but before we had a chance to run it, a whole lot happened. So, we decided to run the whole conversation despite it being a bit upended by events, and Ben sat down with Amanda Sloat to come in and give an update on what you need to know for this conversation.
26/10/1955m 3s

Shorts: What William Taylor’s Testimony Adds to the Ukraine Story

Amb. William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, testified on Tuesday in a close-door meeting with Congressional committees involved in the impeachment inquiry of President Trump. Tuesday afternoon, the Washington Post published a copy of Taylor’s opening statement. Scott R. Anderson analyzed that statement in an article for Lawfare, explaining what it adds to what we know of L’Affaire Ukrainienne. In the latest edition of the Lawfare Podcast Shorts, you can listen to that article in-full, read by the author, Lawfare’s own Scott R. Anderson.
23/10/1918m 1s

James Verini and Dan Gabriel on the Battle for Mosul

In 2014, the precipitous fall of the ancient city of Mosul signaled the sudden rise to power of the Islamic State, a group that would soon declare a new caliphate from Mosul's Great Mosque. Two years later, Mosul served as one of the group's last major enclaves in Iraq and became the site of grinding, brutal urban warfare as Iraqi forces sought to reclaim control, block by block. Last week, Lawfare senior editor Scott R. Anderson sat down with two journalists who have produced new works documenting the battle for Mosul: veteran war correspondent James Verini, who is the author of the new book "They Will Have to Die Now," and former CIA official Dan Gabriel, who recently directed the documentary film entitled Mosul. They discussed the pivotal role the city has played in recent Iraqi history—and what the struggle over it may be able to tell us about the future of the country and region.
23/10/1945m 12s

The Report, Episode 12: It Will Never Get Out

It’s February 6, 2018. Don McGahn is back in the Oval Office with President Trump and the new White House chief of staff John Kelly. The New York Times has just published a story reporting that, back in June of 2017, Trump had directed McGahn to have Mueller fired and that McGahn had threatened to resign rather than carry out the order. The story doesn’t look good. Trump says: “You need to correct this. You’re the White House counsel.” Trump wants McGahn to say it never happened. But McGahn knows that it did happen. The White House Counsel is sticking to his guns. He’s not going to lie. The president asks again. Is McGahn going to do a correction? McGahn feels Trump is testing his mettle, seeing how far he can be pushed. And so he answers: No. He’s not.  
20/10/191h 0m

What's Going on in Syria

It's been a horrible week in northeastern Syria. The U.S. abandoned its Kurdish allies after the president had a conversation by phone with Turkish President Erdogan and pulled the plug on the stabilizing U.S. presence in the region. The Turkish government began a major incursion over the border, which has produced significant casualties and major questions about ISIS detainees in Kurdish custody. To talk through it all, we pulled together quite a group. In the first half of the podcast, Benjamin Wittes spoke with Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Scott R. Anderson and Dan Byman, both of Brookings and Lawfare. In the second half, Ben sat down with Oula A. Alrifai, a fellow with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and Leah West, a Lecturer of International Affairs at Carleton University in Canada.
19/10/1957m 39s

Chesney, Monaco, McCord, and Rasmussen on Domestic Terrorism

A couple of weeks ago, Lawfare and the Strauss Center for International Security and Law sponsored a series of panels at the Texas Tribune Festival. For this episode, we bring you the audio of our Tribfest event on domestic terrorism—what it is, how we define it, how we outlaw it, and what more we can do about it. David Priess sat down with Bobby Chesney, Lawfare co-founder and professor at the University of Texas School of Law, and former U.S. government officials Lisa Monaco, Mary McCord, and Nick Rasmussen. Thanks to Grammarly for supporting The Lawfare Podcast. For 20% off a Grammarly premium account, go to Grammarly.com/lawfare.
16/10/1958m 17s

The Report, Episode 11: A Special Counsel

It’s May 17, 2017. White House Counsel Don McGahn is in the Oval Office with the president. McGahn’s job is to represent the office of the presidency, which isn’t quite the same as representing the president personally. It’s a delicate line to walk, and Trump hasn’t made the job any easier. McGahn is supposed to act as the point of contact between the White House and the Department of Justice, to ensure all the rules are being followed. But the president has made clear, he’s not interested in following the rules. Trump has already fired his FBI director. That’s why McGahn is in the Oval that morning, they need to interview a new nominee for the position. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is there too. Sessions interrupts the meeting. He has an urgent phone call from the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, so he steps outside to take it. Sessions returns a moment later and relays the message: Rosenstein has appointed a Special Counsel to oversee the Russia investigation. It’s the former FBI director, Robert Mueller.   Trump slumps back in his chair. He says, “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I’m fucked.”
13/10/1958m 21s

Leah Sottile on Bundyville and American Radicalism

At his rally in Minneapolis earlier this week, President Trump received voluntary security from an unexpected source: the Oathkeepers, a far-right militia associated with the white supremacy movement. This isn’t the first time that the Trump administration has crossed paths with such groups, which have become more active in recent years.  To learn more about these groups, Lawfare senior editor Scott R. Anderson recently spoke with journalist Leah Sottile, who is the host of the podcast Bundyville, which does a deep dive on America’s far-right militia movement. Together, they discussed these groups’ origins and ideologies—and what they can tell us about homegrown radicalization in modern-day America. Leah Sottile’s podcast Bundyville is produced in cooperation with Oregon Public Broadcasting and Longreads.
12/10/191h 9m

Jim Baker and Susan Landau on 'Moving the Encryption Policy Conversation Forward'

Encryption and going dark splashed across the headlines in the wake of the 2015 San Bernardino attack, when the FBI and Apple went to court over access to an encrypted iPhone recovered from one of the perpetrators. Since then, little progress has actually been made on the encryption issue. Privacy advocates and technology companies are locked in a stalemate with law enforcement, with the former arguing that encryption is vital for cybersecurity, while latter has argued that law enforcement agencies need some way to lawfully access encrypted data in certain criminal or national security cases. A working group set up by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Princeton University is endeavoring to break this impasse—or at least crack it—with a new paper entitled “Moving the Encryption Policy Conversation Forward.” Benjamin sat down with two members of the working group—Susan Landau of Tufts University and Jim Baker of the R Street Institute—to discuss the paper, the goals of the group, and how to reconcile seemingly incompatible views.
09/10/1949m 38s

The Report, Episode 10: You're Fired

It’s March 7, 2017. The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on the nomination of Rod Rosenstein to be the Deputy Attorney General. Rosenstein’s whole career has been leading up to this moment. He’s a non-partisan sort of guy. He’s served under both President Bush and Obama. Now he’s being elevated to the role of running the day to day at DOJ. But this hearing is about more than just confirming a new deputy attorney general. On March 2, five days earlier, Attorney General Jeff Sessions had announced his recusal from all investigations involving the 2016 election, a recusal which included the Russia investigation. And so, the moment he becomes deputy, Rosenstein will also become the acting attorney general for the purposes of the Russia investigation.
06/10/191h 3m

Jack Goldsmith on 'In Hoffa’s Shadow'

In 1975, labor union leader and American icon Jimmy Hoffa went missing. Forty-four years after Hoffa’s disappearance, the crime remains one of America's greatest unsolved mysteries. One of those frequently considered a suspect in Hoffa’s murder is Chuckie O’Brien, Hoffa’s longtime right-hand man. O’Brien also happens to be the step-father of Lawfare co-founder and Harvard Law Professor Jack Goldsmith. In a new book, "In Hoffa’s Shadow," Goldsmith details his own rigorous investigation of Hoffa’s disappearance and explains why the long-held assumption of Chuckie’s role in Hoffa's death is misguided. Yet, the book is more than a murder mystery. Goldsmith also reflects on the evolution of his own relationship with his step-father. At the Texas Tribune Festival, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Goldsmith to discuss his new book, how he came to write it, and his relationship with Chuckie.
05/10/1959m 46s

WTF, Ukraine!

The first two years of the Trump presidency were tied up with the Russia scandal. Now, there’s another scandal involving Russia’s next-door neighbor: Ukraine. The revelation that President Trump and his envoys pressured the Ukrainian government for information about debunked claims of Biden family corruption in Ukraine have brought Ukrainian domestic politics onto the American stage. The Ukrainian side of this very American scandal is complicated yet vital to understanding the whistleblower complaint and the reality of what happened with the Ukrainian prosecutor and Joe Biden’s son. Quinta Jurecic sat down with Alina Polyakova, the Director of the Project on Global Democracy and Emerging Technology at the Brookings Institution to break it all down. They talked about recent Ukrainian political developments, what exactly Joe Biden did or didn’t do in Ukraine, and what this might mean for the U.S.-Ukraine relationship going forward.
01/10/1953m 4s

The Report, Episode 9: Honest Loyalty

It’s January 26, 2017. Sally Yates is the acting Attorney General; she’s leading the Justice Department until Jeff Sessions is confirmed by the Senate. Yates has just learned some alarming news. The new National Security Advisor Michael Flynn has lied to FBI agents. He’s told them that he hadn’t discussed sanctions in a call with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. But he had. And it looks like Flynn has lied to the vice president about it as well. Yates calls White House Counsel Don McGahn. She says they have to meet right away. Yates knows that the FBI has the tape to prove Flynn lied, which is a crime, but right now there’s an even bigger problem: the Russians probably have the tape too.
29/09/1952m 53s

Judge John Bates on FISA in the News

At the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin, Texas, Benjamin Wittes sat down in front of a live audience with Judge John Bates, a senior district judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Bates has served on the court since 2001, and from 2009 to 2013, he served as the presiding judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court. Wittes and Judge Bates talked about the role of the FISA Court, its procedures and caseload, its recent prominene in the news, and how the court might respond to cases that have an overtly political context.
28/09/1959m 48s

The Lawfare Podcast: Bonus Edition: Acting DNI Joseph Maguire vs. the Committee with No Bull

Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire appeared before the House Intelligence Committee to discuss his handling of the whistleblower complaint that alleges inappropriate conduct by the President related to his interactions with the Ukrainian government. In the hours preceding Maguire’s testimony, an unclassified copy of the complaint was released to the public. The hearing saw Democrats scrutinize Maguire’s handling of the complaint and the administration’s role in withholding it. The hearing occasionally devolved into discussions of conspiracy theories about Democrat’s motivations to investigate Trump’s conduct and the party’s ties to Ukraine. But we cut out all the unnecessary repetition and theatrics to leave you with just the questions and answers that you need to hear.
27/09/191h 42m

Special Edition: A Perfect Phone Call

The White House has released a memorandum of a July 25 call between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and President Donald Trump. The call is at the center of the new impeachment inquiry into the president, and is reportedly also the subject of a whistleblower complaint that the Department of Justice has prevented the Acting Director of National Intelligence from sharing with congressional intelligence committees. For the second time this week, Lawfare put together a special edition podcast. Scott Anderson, Susan Hennessey, Quinta Jurecic and Margaret Taylor joined Benjamin Wittes in the Jungle Studio, while Bob Bauer, David Kris and Bob Litt called in from afar to discuss the new revelations and what this all means for the president, Congress and the impeachment inquiry.
25/09/1954m 11s

Jack Goldsmith and John Fabian Witt on 'To Save the Country'

Jack Goldsmith sat down with John Fabian Witt, professor of law at Yale Law School to talk about Witt’s new book, "To Save the Country: A Lost Treatise on Martial Law," which features a previously undiscovered manuscript written by Francis Lieber, a legal adviser to Lincoln’s White House and key thinker in the development of American laws of war. Witt explained Lieber’s impact on the development of American war-time law and talked about what the manuscript has to say about Lieber’s views of martial law and his unorthodox understanding of military necessity. The two also discussed the famous Reconstruction-era military commissions precedent Ex parte Milligan, Lieber’s anxieties about congressional power, and more.
25/09/1934m 44s

Special Edition: Whistleblower, Ukraine and Trump

There is an evolving a standoff between the House Intelligence Committee and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence over a whistleblower complaint reportedly involving President Trump. Meanwhile, reports have emerged that Trump urged the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden’s son during a July telephone call between the two leaders—have captured national attention in the past week. In a series of public comments, both President Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, have confirmed certain aspects of Ukraine reporting. Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire is scheduled to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday and will likely face questions about the whistleblower, the president’s phone call and the potential links between the two. Benjamin Wittes talked with Susan Hennessey, David Kris, Bob Litt and Margaret Taylor to try to make sense of it all.
23/09/1958m 57s

The Report, Episode 8: End Of The Beginning

It’s May 12, 2017. The FBI is still reeling from the sudden firing of Director James Comey. Andrew McCabe has only been the acting Director for 3 days. He’s trying to talk to Rod Rosenstein about the issue weighing on his mind: how are they going to protect the Russia investigation? The FBI is already investigating whether the president has tried to interfere with that inquiry. But the Deputy Attorney General is distracted and upset; he can’t believe the White House is making it look as if firing Comey were his idea. He says “There’s no one I can talk to. There’s no one here I can trust.”   McCabe urges Rosenstein to appoint a special counsel. The credibility of the FBI and DOJ are on the line; without a special counsel a firestorm threatens to destroy the nation’s storied law enforcement institutions.   It’s five days later—Wednesday, May 17—when McCabe sits beside Rosenstein in the basement of the United States Capitol where they’ve assembled the Gang of Eight. Then Rosenstein announces that he’s made a decision. He’s appointed a special counsel to oversee the Russia investigation and the new inquiry into the president: Robert S. Mueller III.
23/09/1935m 30s

Josh Campbell on 'Crossfire Hurricane'

Josh Campbell spent twelve years in the FBI, including work as a supervisory special agent and as special assistant to FBI Director James Comey. He is now a CNN law enforcement analyst and the author of “Crossfire Hurricane: Inside Donald Trump’s War on the FBI.” David Priess sat down with Josh to discuss the mission of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, his career there, what he calls President Trump's war on the FBI, and a unique perspective on the day of Director Comey's firing.
21/09/191h 2m

The Attack in Saudi Arabia

Tensions in the Middle East are at a high point. Over the weekend, large Saudi oil facilities were attacked. The Yemeni Houthis jumped in to claim responsibility. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran. President Trump tweets that the U.S. is 'locked and loaded' and ready for potential response. But what has actually happened in the Arabian Peninsula? What does the future hold for conflict between the Saudis and the Iranians? And what role will the United States have? To talk it all through, Benjamin Wittes spoke with Gregory Johnsen, a researcher on Yemen and Middle East conflict; Suzanne Maloney, a Brookings senior fellow whose research centers on Iran; Samantha Gross, a fellow in the Cross-Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate; and Scott R. Anderson, a fellow at the Brookings Institution and senior editor at Lawfare. They talked about what we know about what happened over the weekend, the geopolitical context for the attack, potential American responses, and the legal authorities that could justify American military action.
18/09/1947m 12s

What Should Privacy Legislation Do?

Amid all of the legislative disfunction from Congress, a consensus of sorts is emerging on the need for privacy legislation. Between European pressure, data breaches, and scandals associated with social media manipulation by foreign actors, the idea of some kind of comprehensive privacy legislation has gone mainstream over the last couple of years. But while people agree over the idea of privacy legislation in theory, the substance of that legislation (that is, what a privacy bill would actually do) is fiercely contested. To explore these competing visions of what we're trying to do when we talk about comprehensive privacy legislation, Benjamin Wittes moderated a live panel discussion in the Falk Auditorium at the Brookings Institution, with David Hoffman, associate general counsel and global privacy officer at Intel Corporation; Sally Greenberg, executive director of the National Consumers League; Cam Kerry, distinguished visiting fellow at Brookings and former general counsel and acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce during the Obama administration; and Lydia Parnes, partner at Wilson Sonsini, where she chairs the privacy and cybersecurity practice, and former director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the FTC.
14/09/1955m 49s

Congress, Congress, and More Congress

The lengthy August recess has come to a close, and Congress is back. We have an impeachment investigation, we have an expanded scope of that investigation, we have confrontations between the executive branch and the legislature, and we have all of the other work Congress is supposed to do—like budget issues and a National Defense Authorization Act. Molly Reynolds and Margaret Taylor sat down with Benjamin Wittes to talk about it all. They talked about what we should call the impeachment "whatever-it-is" that the House Judiciary Committee is doing, who will be forced to testify, what courts are going to rule and when, and whether any normal congressional business will get done.
11/09/1949m 18s

Turnover and Turmoil Inside the State Department

This summer has been a tumultuous one inside the U.S. State Department. In August, the department’s Office of the Inspector General handed down a scathing report alleging political manipulation and abusive practices inside the department’s International Organization bureau—only one of a series of similar allegations. At the same time, a number of career State Department officials ranging from assistant secretaries to the rank-and-file have resigned due to alleged complaints and disagreements with Trump administration officials and policies. To dig into these developments and consider what they might mean for the State Department’s present and future, Scott R. Anderson spoke with reporters Colum Lynch and Robbie Gramer of Foreign Policy magazine, and Lawfare’s Margaret Taylor, who is a fellow alumnus of the State Department’s Office of the Legal Advisor and former Democratic Counsel for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
07/09/191h 4m

Tom Wheeler on the Need for Real Cybersecurity for 5G

5G telecommunications networks are beginning to be rolled out in the United States and around the world. We've heard a lot about the national security concerns posed by Chinese companies like Huawei getting a foothold in 5G networks. We're told it is important to win the race to 5G, that China is aggressively deploying 5G technology, and that the United States and the West are lagging behind. But is this the right way to think about the security challenges posed by 5G? What would it really take to deploy 5G in ways that adequately address the cybersecurity concerns posed by this new technology? Margaret Taylor sat down with former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and Brookings scholar Tom Wheeler, to discuss these issues and his new article on why 5G requires new approaches to cybersecurity.
03/09/1932m 28s

The Report, Episode 7: Charging Decisions

It’s April 18, 2019, Attorney General Bill Barr summons reporters to the Department of Justice in Washington DC. Robert Mueller’s report is about to be released. Before the press and the public finally see the document for themselves, Barr wants a chance to tell his own version of the story it contains. But is the bottom line according to Barr the same as the bottom line according to Robert Mueller? We’ll let you decide. Previous episodes have told the story of the factual findings of the Mueller report—what did investigators figure out about what happened? And what were the questions they couldn’t fully answer? Conducting the investigation is one part of the Special Counsel’s job: collecting evidence and assembling a record. But the investigation actually supports Mueller’s larger responsibility: he must reach a set of legal conclusions about the evidence his team has found. The Special Counsel needs to decide which parts of the story laid out in Volume One of the Report amount to prosecutable crimes. This episode covers those decisions. Where does Mueller decide to bring charges? And when he doesn’t, is that because he thinks nothing improper or possibly criminal occurred? Or is it because he finds that the evidence just isn’t sufficient to prove things beyond a reasonable doubt? Here’s what the Mueller Report says about how the Special Counsel’s office made these decisions.
01/09/1958m 1s

Janet Napolitano on the State of Homeland Security

Janet Napolitano served as the secretary of homeland security from 2009–2013. Before that, she was attorney general of the State of Arizona and the governor of that state. Since 2013, she has served as the president of the University of California system. More recently, she is the author of "How Safe Are We? Homeland Security Since 9/11." David Priess spoke with Secretary Napolitano by phone to talk about the whole range of issues that Homeland Security encompasses. They talked about some of the things that she tried to do that didn't work, some of the things she did that she thinks worked pretty well, and some of the things she thinks that this administration could be doing better.
31/08/1942m 23s

Christine Fair on Developments in Kashmir

On August 5, the Indian government announced that it was revoking “special status” for the states of Jammu and Kashmir, enshrined in Article 370 of its constitution. Since then, the government has instituted a lockdown in the Kashmir valley, hundreds of people have been detained, there have been mass protests, and tens of thousands of Indian troops have been deployed to the region. Professor Christine Fair of Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program sat down with Benjamin Wittes to discuss Article 370, its history, and the current state-of-play in the region.
28/08/1946m 13s

The Report, Part VI: Back Channels

It’s December 29, 2016. The Obama administration announces that it’s imposing sanctions on Russia, as punishment for election interference. Michael Flynn has been tapped to become Trump’s national security advisor when the new administration takes office in January, but it’s still the transition period. Flynn is taking a few days vacation at the beach, when he sees the news. He grabs his phone and texts the transition team at Mar a Lago. He writes “Tit for tat with Russia not good” and says that the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak is reaching out to him today. Flynn calls Kislyak and asks that Russia not escalate in response to the sanctions. Apparently, it works. The next day, in a surprise move, Putin says that Russia won’t retaliate. Trump tweets, “Great move on delay (by V. Putin). I always knew he was very smart.” In the sixth episode, we tell the stories of Russian policy outreach to the Trump campaign, a story that begins during the campaign and accelerates after Trump unexpectedly wins the presidency in November 2016. The story of the Russian efforts to reset relations with the incoming administration begins with a policy speech Trump delivers at a hotel in Washington D.C.; it runs through a resort at a remote island in the Indian Ocean; it runs through the U.N. Security Council, Mar a Lago and the Dominican Republic, and it ends with the president’s national security adviser resigning in disgrace.
26/08/191h 1m

Jessica Marsden on New Proposals for Protecting Democracy

In a recent white paper, the organization Protect Democracy makes the case that President Trump has used the powers of the presidency, federal resources, and intimidating rhetoric to manipulate election outcomes in the United States. The paper argues that the answer to this behavior is congressional action and offers recommendations for legislation on six issues ranging from preventing voter intimidation to requiring campaigns to disclose offers of financial assistance. Jessica Marsden, counsel for Protect Democracy, sat down to discuss it all with Benjamin Wittes.
24/08/1946m 35s

Michael Desch on Social Science and National Security

David Priess sat down with Michael Desch, Professor of International Relations at the University of Notre Dame and the director of the Notre Dame International Security Center, to discuss Michael's new book, "Cult of the Irrelevant: The Waning Influence of Social Science on National Security." They discussed the different roles of social science in the policymaking process and the value of academic scholarship for policymakers. They also talked about the history of the relationship between the national security community and academia and about how to bridge the gap between these two worlds.
21/08/1950m 1s

The Report, Part V: Russian Overtures

It’s the morning of April 25, 2016. At a hotel in London, a Maltese professor meets with a young foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign. The two have been in touch over the past few weeks; the professor has been helping the young man connect with Russian officials. Now, over breakfast, the professor lets him in on a secret. On a recent trip to Moscow, high-level government officials told him that the Russians have “dirt” on Trump’s opponent. What was the “dirt” in question? “Emails,” he says. They have “have thousands of emails.” This is the fifth episode of our narrative audio documentary, The Report, which tells the story Robert S. Mueller lays out in his famous 448-page document. This is the story of three men associated with the Trump campaign: George Papadopoulos, Carter Page and Paul Manafort.
19/08/191h 7m

Chip Brantley and Andrew Beck Grace on White Lies

Andrew Beck Grace and Chip Brantley are the creators of the NPR podcast audio documentary White Lies, which deals with the murder of Rev. James Reeb in Selma, Alabama, during the Civil Rights Era. The podcast is an incredible historical investigation of an episode that many people had forgotten, and resonates remarkably in contemporary discussions of domestic terrorism, white supremacist violence, and many other things we're still talking about today. Benjamin Wittes talked with Andrew and Chip about how to tell the story of a murder that happened a long time ago, the FBI's role in investigating the crime at the time (what they did badly, and what they did right), and what it all says about terrorism today.
17/08/1945m 30s

Sasha O'Connell on Turning a Ship Like the FBI

Sasha O'Connell is Executive in Residence in the School of Public Affairs at American University, as well as AU's director of the Terrorism and Homeland Security Policy Masters program. She also had a long career at the FBI where she served in a variety of strategic management positions. She was basically the FBI's Chief Strategy Officer. She joined Ben Wittes in the Jungle Studio to talk about what it takes to turn a ship like the FBI when it comes to issues like IT, technology, and investigative focus—like changing an organization to focus on terrorism and then noticing that you also have to focus on cybersecurity. And they talked about how to make an organization like the FBI think about recruiting diversity.
13/08/1951m 4s

The Report, Episode 4: A Tale of Two Trump Towers

The fourth episode of Lawfare’s narrative audio documentary, The Report, which tells the story Robert S. Mueller lays out in his famous 448-page document.  This is the story of two Trump Towers, one in Moscow and one in New York. While Donald Trump was assuring Americans that he had no business in Russia, Mueller describes how he was simultaneously endeavoring to build a skyscraper with his name on it in Russia’s capital. And he describes as well the now infamous Trump Tower meeting in Manhattan, where Russians offered to give the candidate “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. Episode 1 covers the Russian social media campaign and the activities of the Internet Research Agency. Episode 2 focuses on the Russian hacking operation; the stealing of documents and emails from the Democratic National Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and figures associated with the Clinton campaign; and the leaks of the stolen materials timed to affect the U.S. election. The second episode tells the story of the GRU operations, the Russian attempts to cover their tracks, and the involvement of Wikileaks and Julian Assange. Episode 3 covers the Trump campaign’s involvement in the distribution of hacked materials.  In the fourth episode, we take on two aspects of Volume I of the Mueller report that both involve Trump Towers. The first is the ill-starred effort to build a Trump Tower Moscow, which began long before the campaign and continued—notwithstanding repeated statements to the contrary by the candidate, his family, and hist campaign—through the spring of 2016. The second is the so-called Trump Tower meeting in July 2016, when a group of Russians met with Trump campaign officials offering “dirt” on Hillary Clinton—and the campaign welcomed them. This episode features Anthony Cormier, Jason Leopold, Julia Ioffe and Quinta Jurecic. We continue to be delighted by the reception to this podcast series. We hope people continue to engage at such a high level with the material we putting together. Please continue to subscribe, rate, and share it widely. We are grateful to the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Democracy Fund for their support for this project. If you want to support work of this type at Lawfare, please consider becoming a monthly donor by clicking here: Support Lawfare
11/08/1957m 38s

Amanda Sloat on Boris Johnson and Brexit

The United Kingdom has a new Prime Minister. It also has a looming cliff it is careening toward and about to leap off of on Halloween of this year. This week, Benjamin Wittes sat down with his Brookings colleague Amanda Sloat to talk about all things Brexit. They talked about the new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (and his hair), and his views on Brexit. They compared him to his American counterpart (and his hair). They talked about the deadlock between Britain and the European Union. And they talked about the way the Brexit debate plays out in American politics.
10/08/1951m 48s

Mark Rozell on 'Presidential Power, Secrecy and Accountability'

Over the years, presidents have used different language to describe the withholding of information from Congress. To discuss the concept of "executive privilege," Margaret Taylor sat down with Mark Rozell, the Dean of the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University, and the author of "Executive Privilege: Presidential Power, Secrecy and Accountability," which chronicles the history of the executive privilege in its many forms since the founding of the United States. They talked about what executive privilege is, what is new in the Trump administration's handling of congressional demands for information, and what it all means for the separation of powers in our constitutional democracy.
07/08/1936m 33s

The Report, Episode III: The Campaign and the Leaks

While Trump campaign officials engaged with the Russian social media manipulation operation as unwitting dupes, the story of the Trump campaign’s involvement with the GRU email hacking operation is more complicated. Episode three is entitled "The Campaign and the Leaks." It covers the Trump campaign involvement in the distribution of hacked materials. No American took part in the actual Russian hacking of Democratic emails, but when it came to actually releasing the stolen emails, the story is more complicated. First, the Trump campaign and associates had a number of direct and indirect interactions with Wikileaks about releases of stolen materials. And second, in what may be the most bizarre escapade of the entire Mueller report, the Trump campaign, including Trump himself, set out on a wild goose chase to get probably-fake Clinton emails from probably fake Russian hackers—even as real Russian hackers were busily releasing real Clinton campaign emails. In this episode we also tackle a section of Mueller’s report that is largely redacted in order o prevent harm to the ongoing prosecution of Roger Stone. As listeners will see, a great deal of what is behind those redactions can be gleaned from court filings in the Stone case, as well as from the special counsel’s draft plea agreement which Jerome Corsi declined to agree to and instead publicly leaked.  This episode features Shane Harris, Julia Ioffe, Quinta Jurecic, Mark Mazetti and Matt Tait. We are grateful to the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Democracy Fund for their support for this project. If you want to support work of this type at Lawfare, please consider becoming a monthly donor by clicking here: Support Lawfare
04/08/1944m 44s

Mary Ann Glendon on Unalienable Rights

Mary Ann Glendon is the chair of the Commission on Unalienable Rights, announced by Secretary Pompeo on July 8, 2019, to great controversy. The commission was charged with examining the bases of human rights claims and the extent to which they are or are not rooted in the American rights tradition. The response of the human rights community was swift and fierce, with a lot of skepticism, a lot of anger, and a lot of criticism. Mary Ann Glendon, the Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, sat down with Jack Goldsmith to discuss the commission, what it is and isn't looking at, and why examining the root bases of human rights claims is a worthwhile endeavor for a State Department commission.
03/08/1933m 51s

Ambassador Doug Silliman on the State of the U.S.-Iraq Relationship

Few nations have a history with the United States that is as complicated as that of the Republic of Iraq. Today, several factors, including the Trump administration's campaign of maximum pressure against Iraq's neighbor Iran, are putting entirely new pressures on this relationship, one that many believe remains essential to maintaining regional security. To help examine these dynamics and what they might mean, Scott R. Anderson spoke with Ambassador Douglas A. Silliman, the new president of The Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, who from 2016 to early 2019 served as the United States ambassador in Baghdad.
30/07/1950m 10s

Jonna Mendez on 'The Moscow Rules'

In the 1950s and 1960s, the Central Intelligence Agency had a major problem. The streets of Moscow were a virtually impossible operating environment due to heavy KGB surveillance and other operational difficulties. Through a series of trial and error, and a whole lot of ingenuity, along came the "Moscow rules," a series of technical advancements in the area of disguise and communications technology, and some different operating tradecraft that allowed CIA case officers to get the information they needed from Soviet sources to help the Cold War stay cold. Jonna Mendez is a former CIA Chief of Disguise, who is also a specialist in clandestine photography. Her 27-year career, for which she earned the CIA's Intelligence Commendation Medal, included operational disguise responsibilities in the most hostile theaters of the Cold War, including Moscow, and also took her into the Oval Office. She is the co-author, with her late husband Tony Mendez, of "The Moscow Rules: The Secret CIA Tactics that Helped America Win the Cold War." David Priess spoke with Jonna about the experiences that she and her husband had at CIA, evolving the Moscow Rules, and applying these new disguises and technologies in the service of national security.
28/07/1951m 5s

The Report, Episode II: "Hack, Dump, Divide"

Last week, we released the first episode of this narrative audio documentary, which tells the story Robert S. Mueller lays out in his famous 448 page document. This week, Mueller testified before the House of Representatives in what many people hoped would be hearings that brought the document to life. Whatever role Mueller’s testimony may or may not have played in that regard, we are pleased to bring you the second episode of our effort to bring the Mueller Report into narrative form. Episode 2 focuses on the Russian hacking operation, the stealing of documents and emails from the DNC, DCCC and figures associated with the Clinton campaign, and the leaks of the stolen materials timed to impact the US election. The episode tells the story of the GRU operations, the Russian attempts to cover their tracks, and the involvement of Wikileaks and Julian Assange. It features Thomas Rid, Ben Buchanan, and Laura Rosenberger. We are grateful to the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Democracy Fund for their support for this project. 
26/07/1950m 51s

Bonus Edition: Robert Mueller vs. the Committees with No Bull—Just the Democrats

On Wednesday, former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III testified before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees. There was plenty of repetition and plenty of pontification. So we cut all that out to just bring you the testimony that you need to hear. Not only that, but—in both committees—the Democratic and Republican members advanced very different narratives about the Mueller report and investigation. Listening to the questions alternate between the two sides almost gave the audience a sense of whiplash. So we’ve done something a little different for this “No Bull” Podcast, we’ve combined all of the Democratic no-bull questions into one segment and the Republican no-bull questions into another.  So here are the Democratic members of the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees questioning Robert Mueller. 
25/07/191h 21m

Bonus Edition: Robert Mueller vs. the Committees with No Bull—Just the Republicans

On Wednesday, former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III testified before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees. There was plenty of repetition and plenty of pontification. So we cut all that out to just bring you the testimony that you need to hear. Not only that, but—in both committees—the Democratic and Republican members advanced very different narratives about the Mueller report and investigation. Listening to the questions alternate between the two sides almost gave the audience a sense of whiplash. So we’ve done something a little different for this “No Bull” Podcast, we’ve combined all of the Democratic no-bull questions into one segment and the Republican no-bull questions into another.  So here are the Republican members of the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees questioning Robert Mueller.  Editor’s Note: During Rep. Martha Roby’s questioning, there are four seconds of audio missing due to a technical error in the House of Representatives recording. 
25/07/1950m 6s

Special Edition: Robert Mueller Testifies Before Congress

Former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III testified on Wednesday before the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees. Following the hearing, Lawfare brought together Jim Baker, Bob Bauer, Susan Hennessey and Margaret Taylor for a conversation hosted by Benjamin Wittes. They talked about the testimony, what it means for Congress, and President Trump, and they talked about Mueller’s legacy as he leaves the scene.
25/07/191h 4m

Mueller's Testimony: A Preview

Finally, this week, former FBI director Robert Swan Mueller III will testify in front of the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees about the findings from his work as Special Counsel investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 election as well as any coordination or links between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign. To preview this testimony, David Priess spoke with Molly Reynolds, Margaret Taylor, and Benjamin Wittes.
23/07/1947m 3s

Jack Goldsmith Talks to Former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter

Jack Goldsmith sat down in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to have a conversation with former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. They talked about Carter's time as head of the Pentagon, the challenges of conveying national security threats to the American public, the Obama administration's response to the rise of the Islamic State, offensive cyber operations, and the role of lawyers in defense policy. They also discussed Carter's new book, "Inside the Five-Sided Box: Lessons from a Lifetime of Leadership in the Pentagon."
20/07/1955m 53s

Introducing “The Report”: A Podcast Series from Lawfare

For the past several weeks, a group of us has been working on a project to tell the story of the Mueller Report in an accessible form. The Mueller Report tells a heck of a story, a bunch of incredible stories, actually. But it does so in a form that’s hard for a lot of people to take in. It’s very long. It’s legally dense in spots. It’s marred with redactions. It’s also, shall we say, not optimized for your reading pleasure. Various folks have made efforts to make the document easier to consume: the report is now an audiobook; it’s been staged as a play; there have been live readings. We took a different approach: a serialized narrative podcast. The extended network of writers, experts, lawyers, and journalists around Lawfare represents a unique body of expertise in the public conversation of the issues discussed in the report. So we teamed up with Goat Rodeo, a podcast production group in Washington, to use that group of people as a lens through which to tell the story contained in the report. The first episode, entitled “Active Measures,” is now out and covers the Russian social media campaign and the activities of the Internet Research Agency. It features Alina Polyakova, Clint Watts, John Sipher, and Thomas Rid.
19/07/1939m 1s

Larry Diamond on 'Ill Winds'

Larry Diamond, a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, has spent the last forty years studying democracy. Over the last few years, he’s observed democratic values begin to crumble to political pressure, while authoritarianism is on the rise. Diamond sat down with Benjamin Wittes to discuss his latest book “Ill Winds: Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency,” in which he charts the rise of illiberal leaders across six continents, including our own; the growing influence of China and Russia; and how the election of Donald Trump has affected all of this. Diamond argues that, to curb rising despotism, the United States must reclaim its role as an ardent defender of global democracy. To lighten the conversation a bit, they also discussed places where democratic values have seen a resurgence.
16/07/1959m 39s

The National Security Institute on Hot Topics in U.S. Foreign Policy

Our friends from the National Security Institute at George Mason University stopped by earlier this week for their 3rd edition of Faultlines, to discuss a slew of U.S. foreign policy challenges. Lester Munson, Jodi Herman, and Dana Stroul, all former Senate Foreign Relations Committee staffers, as well as Matthew Heiman, an NSI senior fellow and experienced international and national security attorney, talked about Iran, the G20, North Korea, and what other U.S. foreign policy issues they are watching.
13/07/1947m 40s

Austin Evers and Mike Stern on Congressional Oversight

President Trump has declared that he will fight “all the subpoenas” coming from Congress and has claimed “absolute immunity” for White House advisors. In doing so, he has brought the issue of congressional oversight of the executive branch to the front pages. To talk about that very issue, Margaret Taylor sat down with Austin Evers, the executive director of American Oversight, a non-profit government accountability watchdog; and Michael Stern, who served for many years as the Senior Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives. Stern is the founder of the Point of Order blog, which covers legal issues affecting Congress. They talked about pending oversight litigation, the House of Representatives’ strategy, how the Trump administration is responding, and if any of this is normal.
10/07/1951m 56s

Dan Byman on 'Road Warriors: Foreign Fighters in the Armies of Jihad'

Benjamin Wittes sat down with Dan Byman, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution's Center for Middle East Studies and Lawfare's foreign policy editor, to discuss his new book, "Road Warriors: Foreign Fighters in the Armies of Jihad." Recent terrorist attacks perpetrated by foreign fighters of the Islamic State have highlighted the urgent need to address this phenomenon. In his book, Byman traces the history of the jihadist foreign fighter movement, beginning with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, through the wars in Chechnya and Bosnia, its role in terrorism throughout the 1990s, 9/11, and the wars since. The book also discusses how the United States and European nations have worked to counter the effects of this movement, and how states might combat the problem of foreign fighters moving forward.
06/07/1946m 11s

WTF, Hong Kong?

Early this week, about 200 protestors broke into and occupied the seat of Hong Kong's legislative assembly. The protests began with a controversial law about extradition to mainland China. That law was withdrawn but the protestors remain. There are hundreds of thousands of them—a small number of them violent. Today we ask: WTF, Hong Kong? To answer that question, Benjamin Wittes spoke with Alvin Cheung, an expert on Hong Kong's legal system based at New York University, and Sophia Yan, the China correspondent for The Telegraph in London who has been covering the Hong Kong protests (Lawfare Podcast listeners also know her for her musical prowess). They talked about where Hong Kong is now, what's really behind the demonstrations, where the anger is coming from, and where it's all going.
02/07/1932m 53s

@CrimeADay Teaches You How to Become a Federal Criminal

We don't usually do humor on The Lawfare Podcast, but this week, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Mike Chase, whom you probably know better on Twitter as @CrimeADay, the long-time anonymous Twitter feed that tweets out one fact pattern a day that violates some combination of the criminal law and the code of federal regulations. Mike has now outed himself, and he has a new book: "How to Become a Federal Criminal: An Illustrated Handbook for the Aspiring Offender." Ben and Mike chatted about the super wacky laws and wacky fact patterns in the book, the Twitter feed, and all those national security crimes you never knew you were violating.
29/06/1954m 25s

Mike O'Hanlon on 'The Senkaku Paradox'

Benjamin Wittes sat down with Mike O'Hanlon who writes on military affairs and foreign policy, and has been a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution for a long time. His latest book is "The Senkaku Paradox: Risking Great Power War Over Small Stakes." The title says it all. It's about the places in the world that are the potentially most explosive flashpoints over the least important U.S. interests. It's about the places in the world where we are treaty-bound to go to war to protect trivia. And, it's about thinking creatively about how to handle low-stakes questions in a high-stakes world.
26/06/1956m 14s

Errol Morris on Documenting Bannon

Errol Morris is a celebrated documentarian whose films have covered an array of topics in law and national security. They include "The Fog of War," which won an Oscar for its account of Robert McNamara's role in and lessons from the Vietnam War, and "The Unknown Known," which told the story of the political career of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Morris most recently directed "American Dharma," a documentary profile of former Trump strategist Steve Bannon. Earlier this year, Morris sat down with Jack Goldsmith for a conversation about those three films. They talked about what interested Morris about McNamara, Rumsfeld, and Bannon; why Morris believed each of them agreed to be interviewed by him; and much more.
22/06/1954m 10s

Scott Anderson and Suzanne Maloney on Iran, WTF?

It's getting ugly in the Persian Gulf: Iran allegedly attacks two oil tankers. It announces that it's going to violate the JCPOA, the so-called Iran nuclear agreement. There's talk of military strikes. Europe is edgy, and the Secretary of State is on Sunday talk shows being edgier still. Benjamin Wittes sat down with Suzanne Maloney and Scott R. Anderson to talk it all through. They talked about whether the AUMF covers Iran, why Iran is doing this stuff, whether the Trump administration brought this all on itself, and where it's all going from here.
18/06/1951m 52s

Jim Sciutto on ‘The Shadow War’

Russian and Chinese leaders understand that they’re unlikely to win a shooting war with the United States, but they have other ways to challenge Western interests, turning our greatest strengths—open societies, dominance of technology on Earth and in space, and military innovation—into weaknesses. CNN anchor and chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto calls it “the shadow war,” and it’s the subject of his new book of the same name. David Priess sat down with Jim to talk about these asymmetric threats to national security, and what the United States and its allies can do to fight back.
15/06/1946m 36s

Nate Persily and Alex Stamos on Securing American Elections

More than two years after the 2016 presidential election, new information continues to seep into the public about the extent of Russia's sweeping and systematic efforts to interfere in the U.S. democratic process. With the 2020 presidential election on the horizon, last week, Stanford's Cyber Policy Center published a report on securing American elections, including recommendations on how the U.S. can protect elections and election infrastructure from foreign actors. On Monday, Susan Hennessey spoke with two of the report's authors: Alex Stamos, director of the Stanford Cyber Policy Center's Internet Observatory and former Chief Security Officer of Facebook, and Nate Persily, Stanford law professor and expert on election administration. They talked about what happened in 2016, and the enormously complex landscape of defending not just election infrastructure but also preserving the integrity of the information ecosystems in which Americans make their decisions about how to vote, including the possible consequences of regulating foreign media.
12/06/1946m 53s

Culper Partners Rule of Law Series: John Bellinger

In this episode of the special Culper Partners Rule of Law Series, David Kris and Nate Jones speak with John Bellinger. John is one of the country's foremost experts in international law. His career has included the private practice of law and more than a decade in the federal government, as both a career official and a political appointee. From 2001–2005, John served in the White House under George W. Bush as legal advisor to the National Security Council and as senior associate counsel to the president. From 2005–2009, he served as a legal advisor to the Department of State, and in 2009, he returned to private practice at Arnold & Porter, where he heads the firm's public international law practice. In his remarks, John expresses a profound anguish over assaults on the rules-based international order. We in the United States largely built this system, and we have benefitted enormously from it—some critics would say we've benefitted too much. And now we are tearing it down, to the delight of Russian President Putin and authoritarian leaders worldwide. It's a sobering conversation with one of America's foremost international lawyers.
08/06/1950m 30s

Nada Bakos on 'The Targeter'

In movies and TV shows like Zero Dark Thirty and Homeland, Hollywood has fictionalized the roles of intelligence officers in tracking down terrorists. But the truth is often filled with personal and political challenges beyond those that screenwriters imagine. Nada Bakos worked in several jobs at the CIA, including as a targeting officer focusing on the founder of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. In her new book, 'The Targeter,' she describes the experiences and challenges she faced along the way. Last week, David Priess got on the phone with Nada to talk about what a CIA targeting officer does, what it was like interrogating detainees in Iraq, and the difficulties she encountered in getting her book to print.
04/06/1940m 19s

Ben Huebner on Privacy and Civil Liberties at the CIA

The U.S. intelligence community is, by design, shrouded in secret, but it is ultimately responsible to the public. So how do intelligence agencies balance competing interests in protecting privacy and civil liberties, ensuring transparency and accountability, and safeguarding the country’s most sensitive secrets? To shed light on the subject, on Friday, Brookings hosted a conversation between Ben Huebner, Privacy and Civil Liberties Officer at the CIA, and Brookings Federal Executive Fellow Ryan Trapani, who previously served as a spokesman for the agency, who discussed how the CIA handles that dynamic. They talked about the job of the CIA’s privacy and civil liberties officers; the legal and regulatory regime that governs how the agency collects, handles, and uses data; and the privacy and security considerations that agency employees manage every day.
01/06/1959m 35s

Special Edition: Mueller's Last Word?

Susan Hennessey hosts Quinta Jurecic, David Kris, Paul Rosenzweig and Benjamin Wittes to discuss (now former) Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Wednesday press conference and what comes next.
29/05/191h 0m

Avril Haines, Eric Rosenbach, and David Sanger on U.S. Offensive Cyber Operations

From the Washington Post’s February report that U.S. Cyber Command took a Russian disinformation operation offline on the day of the 2018 midterms to fight election interference, to the Pentagon’s announcement last year that it would take more active measures to challenge adversaries in cyberspace, recent news about cyber operations suggests they are playing an increasingly important role in geopolitics. So how should the public understand how the United States deploys its cyber tools to achieve its goals? To help answer that question, last month at the 2019 Verify Conference, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation hosted a panel discussion featuring former CIA Deputy Director Avril Haines, former Pentagon chief of staff Eric Rosenbach, and New York Times national security correspondent David Sanger. They talked about how the U.S. projects power in cyberspace, the difficulties of developing norms to govern state behavior in that domain, and more.
29/05/1953m 41s

An NSI Conversation on U.S.-China Policy

Our friends from the National Security Institute at George Mason University stopped by earlier this week to discuss U.S.-China relations. Lester Munson, Jodi Herman, Jameel Jaffer, and Dana Stroul, former Senate Foreign Relations Committee staffers who collaborated and sometimes competed with one another on the Committee, had a lively discussion about Huawei, cyber and tech security, the South China sea, and Uighur internment.
25/05/1950m 56s

Chuck Rosenberg on The Oath

Chuck Rosenberg is a former U.S. Attorney, former senior FBI official, and the former acting head of the Drug Enforcement Administration. He is now an analyst with NBC News and MSNBC. He also has a podcast with MSNBC called The Oath with Chuck Rosenberg. The podcast draws its name from the Oath of Office, which many public servants take upon their entry into government service. In the podcast, Chuck speaks with other former government officials about their careers, pivotal moments they witnessed in history, and what drew them to public service. He sat down with Benjamin Wittes this week to discuss his podcast, his career in government service, and his thoughts on the Oath of Office.
21/05/1929m 31s

Christine Fair on the Sri Lanka Attacks

Christine Fair is an expert on South Asian politics and extremist groups, and it's been a bad few weeks in Sri Lanka. A major terrorist attack, the largest since 9/11, hit multiple locations targeting Christians on Easter morning. The violence was different from the usual terrorism that rocks Sri Lanka from time to time, and Benjamin Wittes asked Christine to come in and talk us through it. What's going on in the island nation? How does it map onto the history of ethnic tensions between Tamils and Sinhalese? And what does it mean for the future of Muslim extremism in South Asia?
18/05/1942m 5s

Jared Cohen on 'Accidental Presidents'

Jared Cohen is the founder and CEO of Jigsaw and Alphabet Inc., who previously ran Google Ideas and served as a member of the Secretary of State's policy planning staff and as an advisor to Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton. He is also the author of a new book on the presidency called, "Accidental Presidents: Eight Men Who Changed America." It describes the times in American history when a president has died in office, forcing eight other men, who are neither the voters' nor their party's choice, to confront unparalleled challenges. David Priess spoke with Jared recently about their stories and the lessons we can learn from their experiences.
15/05/1947m 49s

John Sipher on Mueller's Report on Russian Intelligence Operations

The Mueller report is out, all 448 pages of it, and its first volume tells a detailed story of Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The report recounts the Internet Research Agency’s trolling and disinformation campaign. It explains the GRU’s hacking and email dissemination operation. And it details 100 pages of interactions between Trump campaign affiliates and Russian nationals. To better understand whether and to what extent the public should understand those interactions as part of a deliberate Russian operation to make contact with the Trump campaign, earlier this week, Benjamin Wittes spoke to John Sipher, who ran Russia operations for the CIA in Moscow. They talked about how Sipher read the Mueller report, the respective roles of the CIA and the FBI in counterintelligence investigations and operations, and whether an investigation like Mueller’s really had a chance of understanding the full scope of Russia’s intentions and activities in the 2016 election.
11/05/1949m 58s

Bonus Edition: Jim Baker on the Russia Investigation

On May 10, the Brookings Institution hosted a public conversation between former FBI General Counsel Jim Baker, who is now the Director of National Security and Cybersecurity at the R Street Institute, and Brookings Senior Fellow Benjamin Wittes. The conversation was recorded live as a Bonus Edition of the Lawfare Podcast. The conversation covered how the FBI thought about the Russia investigation in those fateful months both before and after the president fired FBI Director James Comey. How did the president’s conduct toward the bureau impact the institution? How does it affect career public servants like Baker? And how does Baker feel now about the president and his conduct after reading the Mueller report?
10/05/191h 26m

Culper Partners Rule of Law Series: Jamie Gorelick

In this sixth episode of the special Culper Partners Rule of Law Series, David Kris and Nate Jones speak with former Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick. Jamie has had a career spanning the legal, policy, and corporate worlds, in and out of government. Currently a partner at WilmerHale, she has represented corporations and individuals in a wide array of matters, particularly in the regulatory and enforcement arenas. In government, she was one of the longest serving Deputy Attorneys General of the United States. Prior to that, she was the General Counsel at the Department of Defense. She serves and has served on numerous government boards and commissions, including the Defense Policy Board, and she was a member of the 9/11 Commission. Jamie speaks with David and Nate about her years of experience as a lawyer in government and the private sector. She talks about the shame of current attacks on the rule of law and prosecutorial independence, her self-described "hawkish" views on when it's appropriate for the news media to publish classified information, and she describes a time when she was involved in a major dispute involving whether and to what extent the FBI should brief the White House on efforts by a foreign government to influence U.S. elections.
08/05/1950m 29s

Bonus Edition: Henry Farrell and Abraham Newman on 'Of Privacy and Power'

On April 23, the Hoover Institution hosted the latest iteration of the Security by the Book series, where Jack Goldsmith interviewed Henry Farrell and Abraham Newman about their new book, “Of Privacy and Power, The Transatlantic Struggle Over Freedom and Security.” They talked about how the relationship between Europe and U.S. has changed in response to regulations and other government action in the security and privacy spheres on both sides of the Atlantic.
06/05/1941m 48s

Bill Galston on Populism and Impeachment

Bill Galston, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and domestic policy advisor in the Clinton White House, wrote his column this week in the Wall Street Journal arguing against impeachment in a fashion that sharply diverges from arguments made by others on Lawfare. He argues that polling data shows that an impeachment inquiry would be an irresponsible direction for anyone hoping to remove Trump from office. Benjamin Wittes sat down with Bill to discuss his column, as well as his recent book, "Anti-Pluralism: The Populist Threat to Liberal Democracy."  They talked about populism as an international and domestic phenomenon, the role of economics and identity in driving populism internationally, and whether populisms of the left and right are symmetric issues or whether they present different ones.
04/05/1946m 32s

Bonus Edition: Attorney General Barr vs. the Committee with No Bull

Attorney General Bill Barr appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday to discuss the Mueller report and the Justice Department’s wider efforts to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election. The evening before the testimony, multiple outlets reported that Mueller had sent Barr a letter expressing concerns that the attorney general’s summary of the report’s conclusions “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of the special counsel’s work. The hearing became contentious, and covered a wide array of topics ranging from Barr’s conduct to the Hillary Clinton email investigation. But we cut out all the unnecessary repetition and theatrics to leave you with just the questions and answers that you need to hear.   It's the Lawfare Podcast, Bonus Edition: Barr vs. the Committee with No Bull.
02/05/191h 8m

A BuzzFeed After-Action Report with Leopold and Cormier

On January 17, 2019, BuzzFeed News reported a blockbuster. The headline reads, President Trump Directed His Attorney Michael Cohen To Lie To Congress About The Moscow Tower Project. It was a remarkable story, and within 24 hours of its publication, the Special Counsel's office had issued an unprecedented statement taking issue with it and describing unspecified components of it as "inaccurate." It wasn't clear at the time what parts of the story were inaccurate and how much of it was true, but in light of the actual Mueller report, we can now identify the parts of the story that had problems and the parts that did not. The two reporters who wrote the story, Anthony Cormier and Jason Leopold, joined Benjamin Wittes by phone to do a kind of after-action report on the story. They discussed how they came to report what they reported, what parts of the story they stand by, what parts they think they messed up on, how the story was sourced, and what the discrepancy between the story and the Mueller report tells us about the conduct of Donald Trump.
01/05/1953m 58s

Congress, Congress, and More Congress with Margaret Taylor and Molly Reynolds

The action has shifted to Congress, the Mueller report is filed, and a blizzard of subpoena fights between the White House and various congressional committees is already underway. The president has sued a committee chairman, there's a question about whether Don McGahn will testify or whether the White House will exert executive privilege over it, and looming over it all is the question of how congressional Democrats and Republicans are thinking about impeachment. Molly Reynolds and Margaret Taylor joined Benjamin Wittes in the jungle studio to focus on all things Congress. They talked about subpoenas, lawsuits, impeachment, and even the much-forgotten 'inherent contempt' power of Congress.
27/04/1944m 58s

Bonus Edition: A Brookings Discussion on What We Learned From the Mueller Report

On April 23, Benjamin Wittes hosted a panel discussion at the Brookings Institution unpacking what we learned from the redacted version of the Mueller report. The panel featured Susan Hennessey, Chuck Rosenberg and Margaret Taylor. They discussed the factual record Mueller established on Russian interference and collusion, whether the president's conduct constitutes obstruction of justice and how Congress and the American people might react to the report. The full audio of the event is available here. 
24/04/191h 33m

Michael Anton Defends Trump's Foreign Policy

Michael Anton, former Trump administration national security official and a research fellow at Hillsdale College, has published an essay in Foreign Policy explaining what he calls the 'Trump Doctrine' on foreign policy. Recently Anton sat down with Jack Goldsmith to discuss the new article and the philosophy behind Trump's foreign policy, particularly with respect to liberal internationalism and international institutions. They discussed the administration's foreign policy successes and failures, how it's similar to and different from prior administrations in substance and in rhetoric, and whether the president's style and aversion to diplomatic norms inhibits the substance of his foreign policy.
23/04/191h 7m

Culper Partners Rule of Law Series: Ron Klain

In this fifth episode of the special Culper Partners Rule of Law Series, David Kris and Nate Jones speak with former senior White House and DOJ official Ron Klain. Ron has served his country repeatedly, including in senior positions at the highest levels of all three branches of government. He has served as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Byron White, Chief Counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chief of Staff to Vice Presidents Joe Biden and Al Gore, and in that role, also served as a senior advisor to Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. He has worked on seven presidential campaigns, including the 2000 election between George W. Bush and then-Vice President Al Gore. Today, among other things, he is an adjunct professor at both Georgetown University and Harvard Law School. Ron takes us on a trip down memory lane to discuss the hotly contested 2000 election, and in doing so, he shares his perspective on why he thinks the Supreme Court's decision departed from the rule of law. Ron also worries that our democracy is caught in a symbiotic downward spiral together with the rule of law. From active measures being deployed by foreign adversaries, to partisan political efforts to rig the system, Ron is concerned about the future.
21/04/1955m 16s

Special Edition: What to Make of the Mueller Report

A redacted version of the 448-page Mueller report dropped yesterday, and there’s a lot to say about it. In this Special Edition of the Lawfare Podcast, Bob Bauer, Susan Hennessey, Mary McCord, Paul Rosenzweig, Charlie Savage and Benjamin Wittes discuss what the report says about obstruction and collusion, Mueller’s legal theories and what this all means for the president and the presidency.
19/04/191h 7m

Special Edition: The Mueller Report in Under an Hour

The Justice Department released on Thursday morning a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. The Mueller team divided the report into two volumes: one on Russian interference and potential coordination with the Trump campaign, and the other exploring the president’s conduct in relation to the investigation. Each volume features its own executive summary, chronicling the investigation’s central findings and conclusions. On this special edition episode of the Lawfare Podcast Benjamin Wittes reads those executive summaries in full. It’s a Mueller Report instant audio-book.
18/04/1952m 50s

Michelle Melton on Climate Change as a National Security Threat

Since November, Lawfare Contributor Michelle Melton has run a series on our website about Climate Change and National Security, examining the implication of the threat as well as U.S. and international responses to climate change. Melton is a student a Harvard Law school. Prior to that she was an associate fellow in the Energy and National Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where she focused on climate policy. She and Benjamin Wittes sat down last week to discuss the series. They talked about why we should think about climate change as a national security threat, the challenges of viewing climate change through this paradigm, the long-standing relationship between climate change and the U.S. national security apparatus, and how climate change may affect global migration.
17/04/1945m 12s

Julian Mortenson on 'The Executive Power'

Julian Mortenson, Professor of Law at the University of Michigan, is the author of a remarkable new article entitled "Article II Vests Executive Power, Not the Royal Prerogative," forthcoming in the Columbia Law Review, and available on SSRN.  Recently, Benjamin Wittes spoke with the professor about the article, which Mortenson has been working on for years—as long as the two have known each other. The article explores the history of exactly three words of the U.S. Constitution—the first three words of Article II, to be precise: "the executive power." Huge claims about presidential power have rested on a conventional understanding of these three words. Julian argues that this conventional understanding is not just partially wrong, or mostly wrong, but completely wrong, as a matter of history. And, he tries to supplant it with a new understanding that he argues is actually a very old understanding of what those words mean. Thanks to our sponsor Blinkist. Get your 7-day free trial at blinkist.com/lawfare.
13/04/1952m 33s

Bonus Edition: James Comey at Verify 2019

On Thursday morning, Susan Hennessey spoke to former FBI director James Comey about encryption, China, Attorney General Bill Barr's comments to the Senate about the opening of the Russia investigation, and more.
11/04/191h 20m

Shorts: Memo to the Press: How Not to Screw Up on the Mueller Report

Attorney General Bill Barr announced on Wednesday, April 10, that the Mueller report will be released next week. While we wait for the release, Quinta Jurecic and Benjamin Wittes have written a "Memo to the Press: How Not to Screw Up on the Mueller Report." Jurecic and Wittes argue that the press got lost in the confusion of Barr's letter to Congress announcing the special counsel's top-line conclusions, and they offer nine principles for how to "[do] better the second time." You can listen to Quinta Jurecic read that article in the latest edition of the Lawfare Podcast Shorts. 
10/04/1913m 7s

An NSI Conversation on Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and U.S. Policy

Our friends at the National Security Institute at George Mason University came over last week to have a discussion in our podcast studio about Yemen and the U.S.-Saudi alliance. Four former Senate Foreign Relations Committee staffers who worked with and sometimes at odds with each other participated. The conversation was moderated by Lester Munson, former Staff Director of the Committee under Chairman Bob Corker, and it included Jodi Herman, former Staff Director of the Committee under Ranking Member Ben Cardin; Jamil Jaffer, Founder and Executive Director of the National Security Institute and former Chief Counsel and Senior Advisor with the Committee under Chairman Bob Corker; and Dana Stroul, former Democratic senior staffer on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for the Middle East.
09/04/1938m 15s

Culper Partners Rule of Law Series: Kathy Ruemmler

In this fourth episode of the special Culper Partners Rule of Law series, David Kris and Nate Jones speak with former White House Counsel Kathy Ruemmler. Prior to her White House service, Kathy served as the Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice, as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Washington, DC, and on the Enron task force. Earlier in her career, Kathy was an Associate Counsel to President Bill Clinton, where she defended the White House and the Office of the President in independent counsel and congressional investigations. Kathy spoke with David and Nate about her service as President Obama's White House Counsel and how her experience at the Department of Justice instilled in her a deep respect for the rule of law, including limits on interactions between the White House and DOJ concerning particular investigations and other matters. She has grave concerns about the inherent conflict facing President Trump's subordinates, who must remain faithful to the rule of law while trying to carry out the legitimate policy goals of the elected president. She is not optimistic that this can be done, and she raises the question of whether those who remain have compromised to the point of enabling the president's misconduct.
06/04/1955m 9s

Mary Louise Kelly and Shane Harris on Covering the CIA

Back in February, we hosted Bill Harlow and Marie Harf, two former public affairs officers at the Central Intelligence Agency, to discuss how the CIA interacts with reporters on sensitive national security topics. For this episode, we thought it only fair to turn that around and also talk about how it's seen on the other side. Mary Louise Kelly is a voice familiar to many as an anchor of All Things Considered on NPR. She previously spent a decade as national security and intelligence correspondent for NPR News after working for CNN and the BBC. Shane Harris, in addition to co-hosting the Rational Security podcast, now covers intelligence and national security for The Washington Post, after writing about the same for outlets like The Wall Street Journal, Daily Beast, and National Journal. David Priess recently sat down with Mary Louise and Shane to discuss the challenges of covering national security, to address myths about the intelligence beat, and, unsuccessfully, to uncover their sources.
02/04/1950m 20s

Ambassador Kim Darroch on the State of the Special Relationship

There's a special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom, but with Brexit and the erratic presidency of Donald Trump, it hasn't exactly been business as usual between the two countries. Or has it? British Ambassador to the United States, Sir Kim Darroch, sat down with Benjamin Wittes last week to talk about the alliance, particularly in moments of uncertainty for both countries. They talked briefly about Brexit, but they mostly discussed other key areas of mutual cooperation, like counterterrorism in the Middle East, countering Russian aggression, and what to do about a rising China. Thanks to our sponsor Blinkist. Get your 7-day free trial at blinkist.com/lawfare. 
30/03/1954m 53s

Sue Biniaz on the Trump Administration and International Climate Policy

From 1989 to early 2017, Sue Biniaz was the lead climate lawyer and a climate negotiator at the State Department. She was also a key architect of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, a UN-negotiated agreement designed to mitigate global warming, which went into effect in November 2016. In June 2017, President Trump announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the agreement. Sue sat down with Lawfare's Jack Goldsmith to talk about the early days of U.S. and international climate action, how the Paris Agreement came into force and the predecessor agreements that gave rise to it, how it was supposed to operate, and what impacts Trump's actions have had on international climate policy.
27/03/191h 27m

Special Edition: The Mueller Report and the Barr Letter

Special Counsel Robert Mueller sent his report to Bill Barr on Friday, and the attorney general sent a letter to Congress on Sunday detailing the principal conclusions of the Mueller report. Benjamin Wittes talks about it all with Lawfare Executive Editor Susan Hennessey, former senior Justice Department official Carrie Cordero and former assistant attorney general for national security David Kris. 
25/03/1956m 25s

Culper Partners Rule of Law Series: Sen. Saxby Chambliss

In this third episode of the special Culper Partners Rule of Law series, David Kris and Nate Jones speak with former Senator Saxby Chambliss, who served as a senator from Georgia from 2003–2015, and in the House of Representatives from 1995–2003. During his tenure in the Senate, he was a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, as well as the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, where he served as Vice Chairman from 2011–2014. His previous role as Chairman of the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security made him one of the leading congressional experts on those issues. They talked about the history of the congressional intelligence committees, the significance of election interference, and the proper penalties for lying to Congress. Chambliss also described what it was like to serve on the Senate Intelligence Committee, even describing a particular situation that is apparently still classified and undisclosed, as well as revealing whom he considers to be the best legislator he ever knew.
23/03/1949m 30s

African Elections and U.S. Interests

Demographic, technological, and geostrategic developments are disrupting the electoral landscape in sub-Saharan Africa. How do these shifts affect the political climate for democracy and participation across Africa? What have recent elections in Nigeria illustrated about these? And what about the clash between China and the United States in Africa? To explore these questions, David Priess spoke with Judd Devermont, director of the Africa program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, host of the Into Africa podcast, and former national intelligence officer for Africa from 2015 to 2018.
19/03/1937m 32s

Shorts: ‘Speaking Indictments’ by Robert S. Mueller III

It’s Robert Mueller as you’ve never heard him before. We have something special for you on the podcast today. Something very different. The Mueller report is coming. We all know that. We don’t know what’s going to be in it. We don't know when it's showing up.  But Bob Mueller has already told a remarkable story. He’s told it scattered through different court filings in a variety of cases, indictments, plea agreements, stipulations of fact. We decided to distill it, to organize it, to put it all in one place, to tell the story of the Russia investigation orally, to let a remarkable group of speakers read the speaking indictments that Mueller has issued. So here’s the story of the Russia conspiracy, distilled to a brief audiobook in seven chapters. What you’re about to hear is all taken nearly verbatim from actual Bob Mueller filings. We’ve cut a lot, moved stuff around, and changed a few words here and there to make it sound more like a narrative. We have changed the meaning not at all. 
18/03/1920m 36s

Bill Browder and Jago Russell Debate Interpol and Authoritarian Governments

Bill Browder, human rights campaigner and foe of Vladimir Putin, seems to get arrested whenever he travels abroad as a result of red notices and diffusion orders issued by Putin through the Interpol police organization. These incidents have highlighted the abuse of Interpol by authoritarian governments, and they raise a really important question: Should we be participating in an international police organization with governments that use that organization to harass and arrest their enemies? On this episode of The Lawfare Podcast, Benjamin Wittes speaks with two people with somewhat different points of view, although a lot of common ground: Bill Browder himself, along with Jago Russell, the head of Fair Trials, which has worked to reform Interpol and make it less susceptible to abuse. Bill argues for kicking the bums out and having police cooperation only between countries that observe civilized norms of law enforcement. Jago makes the case for mending, not ending, an inclusive international police organization.
16/03/1949m 33s

Andrew Coan on 'Prosecuting the President'

As the nation braces for the forthcoming end of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into President Trump and his associates, The Lawfare Podcast decided to take a look back at the complete history of special prosecutors. Benjamin Wittes sat down with Andrew Coan, a professor of law at the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona. Coan recently published "Prosecuting the President," which traces the history of how special prosecutors and counsels work to keep the executive branch accountable for its actions. Ben and Andrew discussed the book, the Teapot Dome Scandal, the Whiskey Ring, and what all of that might mean for the future of special counsels.
12/03/1943m 22s

War Powers History You Never Knew with Matt Waxman

For the past year, Matt Waxman has been writing Lawfare vignettes about interesting—and usually overlooked—historical episodes of American constitutional war powers in action, and relating them to modern debates. These include the stories of St. Claire’s Defeat and the Whiskey Rebellion during the Washington administration, congressional war powers and the surprisingly late termination of World War I, the proposed Ludlow Amendment during the interwar years, and Eisenhower’s Taiwan force authorization. Ben Wittes invited Matt on the podcast to talk about them and how they fit together into a book broader project he's embarking on. If you’re tired of hearing the usual war powers debates, listen in. And even if you think you know a lot about constitutional war powers, you’ll learn a lot.
09/03/191h 1m

Shorts: FBI Director Wray on Combating Cyberthreats

On Tuesday, Susan Hennessey interviewed FBI Director Chris Wray at the 2019 RSA Conference. They discussed about how the Director views the cyber threat landscape 18 months into his term, his concerns about the threats posed by Russia and China, what the FBI is doing to protect the 2020 elections, and more.
06/03/1920m 9s

John Judis on The Nationalist Revival

Political trends in recent years have seen a rise of right-leaning nationalism and populism around the globe, including in the United States. What are the sources of nationalism, and what are its effects on modern politics? On this episode, Lawfare founding editor and Harvard law professor Jack Goldsmith sits down with John Judis, editor-at-large at Talking Points Memo and author of "The Nationalist Revival." They discussed Judis’s book, including the necessity of nationalism in developed democracies, why right-wing nationalist and populist movements seem to be winning out over those on the left, and how Donald Trump successfully raised the profile of nationalist politics in the United States.
06/03/1944m 31s

Luke Murry and Daniel Silverberg on National Security in Congress

It's hard to open a newspaper or turn on the television without hearing about the dysfunction and partisan polarization affecting members of Congress. But what about their staffs, and what does that mean for national security? This week, Margaret Taylor sat down with seemingly unlikely partners: Luke Murry, National Security Advisor to Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Daniel Silverberg, National Security Advisor to Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. They spoke about security issues facing this Congress, what staffers do on a day-to-day basis, and how the two of them actually work together.
02/03/1943m 54s

Bonus Edition: Michael Cohen vs. the Committee with No Bull

On Wednesday, Michael Cohen—the former executive vice president of the Trump Organization, former deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee, and former personal lawyer to Donald Trump—paid a visit to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. Cohen accused the president of campaign finance violations after taking office. He alleged that he was present when Roger Stone gave Trump advance notice of the WikiLeaks dump of the hacked DNC emails. And he claimed that the president's statements in a meeting with Jay Sekulow led Cohen to conclude that the president wanted Cohen to make false statements to Congress. So we cut out all of the bickering, all of the procedural obstructions, and all the rest of the frivolity, to bring you just the one hour of testimony you need to hear. 
28/02/191h 2m

Culper Partners Rule of Law Series: Eric Holder

In this second episode of the special Culper Partners Rule of Law Series, David Kris and Nates Jones, the founders of the Culper Partners consulting firm, speak with Eric Holder, who served as the 82nd Attorney General of the United States from 2009 to 2015. Holder shares his perspective on the proper functioning of the Department of Justice, the balance between independence and political accountability, and a distinction between the role of the Attorney General as the chief prosecutor on the one hand and as legal advisor to the president, and sometimes to the National Security Council, on the other. He also remembers his own experience with congressional oversight and gives a frank assessment of how oversight is functioning today. He also critiques the two OLC opinions against indicting a sitting president, and he offers predictions about the Mueller report and his own upcoming decision on whether he will run for president.
27/02/1954m 33s

Bastian Giegerich on IISS's 2019 Military Balance

Each year, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London publishes The Military Balance, an annual assessment of the military capabilities and defense economics of 171 countries around the world. Last week, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Bastian Giegerich, director of defense and military analysis for IISS, who leads the research and publication of The Military Balance, which has just come out for 2019. They discussed Chinese military modernization, global defense spending and how it's changing around the world, Russia's violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Agreement, NATO, and cyber.
23/02/1942m 54s

Shorts: Four Principles for Reading the Mueller Report

It’s looking more and more like Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation is finally reaching an end. The regulations under which he is operating require Mueller to write and submit a final, confidential report to the attorney general. Who, in turn, must then decide when and how much of the report to release to Congress and the public. No one outside of the Justice Department knows what will be in the report, which  makes this the perfect to set ground rules regarding how people should engage this material, regardless of their political affiliations or view of the L’Affaire Russe scandal. Today, Susan Hennessey, Quinta Jurecic, Benjamin Wittes and I detailed what, we believe, those ground rules should be. In the latest edition of the Lawfare Podcast Shorts, you can listen to that article in-full, read by one of the authors, Susan Hennessey.
22/02/1913m 30s

Marie Harf and Bill Harlow on CIA Public Relations

The Central Intelligence Agency, by its very nature, is a secretive organization, yet it has a robust public affairs and media relations operation. How does the agency resolve this tension? How do its employees, from the director of the CIA to the officers needed to assist in this effort, deal with the difficult questions of how open to be? To find out, David Priess sat down with Bill Harlow and Marie Harf, two former CIA officers who were in the middle of it all.
19/02/1950m 16s

Culper Rule of Law Series: Judge John Bates

Something a little different on the podcast today: the launch of a special series—the Culper Partners Rule of Law Series. David Kris and Nates Jones, the founders of the Culper Partners consulting firm, have recorded a limited-edition podcast series exploring various aspects of the rule of law, particularly as it relates to U.S. national security and criminal law enforcement. Over the course of several episodes, which we will be dropping into the Lawfare Podcast feed over the coming weeks and months, David and Nate examine topics including legislative and judicial oversight of the executive branch, the rule of law in counterterrorism, the relationship between law, economic security, and national security, foreign relations and the rule of law, and law and politics. Each episode features an interview with a current or former senior government official, or a leader in the private sector. In this first episode, Nate and David talk with Judge John Bates, Senior Judge on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Judge Bates has had a long and distinguished career in government and private practice, including work at two private law firms, as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in DC, and as Deputy Independent Counsel in the Whitewater investigation. Most recently, from 2013 to 2015, he was Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Judge Bates became a federal judge in 2001, and from 2006 to 2013 he served on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, where he was the court’s Presiding Judge beginning in 2009.
16/02/191h 11m

Amanda Sloat on All Things Brexit

On March 29, in approximately six weeks, the United Kingdom is scheduled to crash out of the European Union. As of the date of this podcast, there is no deal governing how that exit will work. To understand the stakes, Benjamin Wittes sat down last week in the new Jungle Studio with Amanda Sloat, a senior fellow at the Brookings Center for the United States and Europe, to talk about all things Brexit. They talked about the thorny issue of the Northern Ireland border, Theresa May's delicate political position, and what might happen if March 29 arrives without a Brexit deal.
13/02/1952m 23s

Bonus Edition: Whitaker vs. the Committee with No Bull

After the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee assured that he would be allowed to appear voluntarily, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker gave testimony on Friday before the panel on oversight of the department he has led since Jeff Sessions left office in November 2018. He answered questions for over six hours about everything from his decision not to recuse from the Mueller investigation to the department's pretrial release program. But we cut out all the unnecessary repetition and theatrics to leave you with just the questions and answers about national security law that you need to hear.
10/02/191h 5m

The Future of Warfare

From the increasing development of autonomous weapons systems to the expansion of the traditional battlefield to cyber and outer space, the evolution of warfare invites ethical and legal questions about what the future holds. In November 2018, Arnold & Porter's Veterans and Affiliates Leadership Organization hosted a panel discussion to explain what warfare will be like for the military veterans of the future. Former Air Force and Army general counsel and current Arnold & Porter partner Chuck Blanchard moderated a conversation with American University law professor Ken Anderson, Emory law professor Laurie Blank, and Jamie Morin, vice president of Defense System Operations at The Aerospace Corporation and a director of the Center for Space Policy and Strategy.
09/02/191h 23m

Progressive Critiques of Liberal Internationalism

Many critics of Donald Trump’s foreign policy say the president has undermined the liberal international order, but some progressives question whether liberal internationalism was worthwhile to begin with. On Sunday, Jack Goldsmith had a conversation with Samuel Moyn, a professor of law and history at Yale University, who studies that subject. They talked through how to understand the successes and failures of liberal internationalism, the significance of Donald Trump’s effect on it, and what the future holds for the liberal international order.
06/02/1952m 35s

Shorts: Why the FBI Sent So Many Agents to Roger Stone’s Home

In the wake of Roger Stone’s arrest on Jan. 25, 2019, Chuck Rosenberg, a longtime U.S. federal law enforcement official, explained on Lawfare why the tactics used during the arrest were wholly appropriate. Nonetheless, some politicians, including the president and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, have raised questions about the FBI’s operational decisions—in particular regarding the allegedly excessive number of FBI officials who were present for the arrest and search of Stone’s home. In a second article for Lawfare, Rosenberg detailed why it was entirely appropriate for the FBI to send roughly 29 agents to Stone’s house. In the latest edition of the Lawfare Podcast Shorts, you can listen to that article in-full, read by the author.
04/02/196m 26s

Herb Lin and Amy Zegart on “Bytes, Bombs, and Spies”

Last week, as part of the Hoover Institution’s “Security by the Book” series, Jack Goldsmith spoke with Herb Lin and Amy Zegart, co-directors of the Stanford Cyber Policy Program. Lin and Zegart edited a recently-published volume on offensive cyber operations entitled: “Bytes, Bombs, and Spies: The Strategic Dimensions of Offensive Cyber Operations.” In the book, leading cybersecurity scholars and practitioners dissect the technical, political, psychological, and legal ramifications of offensive cyber operations. Goldsmith, Lin, and Zegart discussed the book’s inception, its contents, and what role offensive cyber operations have played and continue to play in U.S. strategy. As you've heard recently, we're exploring new formats to expand how we deliver audio content to you. These things cost money; and relevant advertising may help us expand audio content. To do that well, however, we need your input. Please take a few minutes to complete our listener survey.
02/02/1954m 26s

Shorts: What a Watergate Document Can Teach the House Judiciary Committee

While researching the Watergate Road Map, Benjamin Wittes discovered a letter written by the then-Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary Peter Rodino to the chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In the letter, Rodino requested that any material relevant to the House’s impeachment inquiry be transferred to his committee. This morning, Wittes analyzed in a Lawfare article how the letter could instruct current Chairman of the Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler on what steps he can take to ensure his committee properly executes its constitutional obligation. In the latest edition of the Lawfare Podcast Shorts, you can listen to that article in-full, read by the author.
31/01/1915m 23s

Shorts: The Intelligence Chiefs vs. the Committee with No Bull

On Tuesday, the Senate Intelligence Committee heard testimony on global threats to U.S. national security from six heads of intelligence agencies: Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, CIA Director Gina Haspel, FBI Director Christopher Wray, NSA Director Paul Nakasone, NGIA Director Robert Cardillo, and DIA Director Robert Ashley. In a three-hour open session, they gave testimony about North Korea, they gave testimony about Iran, and they gave some testimony that clashed with statements made by the president of the United States. But we cut out all of the bull, and left you with just the 15 minutes of the hearing that you need.
30/01/1912m 25s

Stan Brand on Congressional Subpoenas and Contempt

With the Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives, the 116th Congress is expected to be one of vigorous oversight of the executive branch, complete with requests for documents and for testimony from executive branch officials. But how does this actually work, and what happens when the executive branch refuses to comply? To hash it all out, Brookings Senior Fellow Molly Reynolds spoke with Stan Brand, who served as the general counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives from 1976 to 1983. They talked about the institutional role of the House general counsel, the ins and outs of congressional contempt and subpoena enforcement, and the various challenges that the House will have to confront over the next two years.
29/01/1937m 32s

Jeffrey Tulis on 'The Rhetorical Presidency' on Steroids

On a flight recently, Benjamin Wittes read a book that knocked his socks off: "The Rhetorical Presidency" by political scientist Jeffrey Tulis. While written in 1987, the book seems to anticipate our current president. Ben got on the phone with Jeffrey Tulis to talk about the book, how the speaking style of presidents changed from the Founding era through the 19th century and into the 20th century, and how the hyper-rhetorical style of Donald Trump, where he's talking all the time, is really an extension of developments that had been going on all through the 20th century.
26/01/1951m 4s

Molly Reynolds and Margaret Taylor on National Security and the 116th Congress

It's a new year with a new Congress, and the Democrats now control the House of Representatives. But how will that change affect the state of play for national security legal issues? To find out, Benjamin Wittes spoke last Friday with Brookings senior fellow and expert on all things Congress, Molly Reynolds, and Brookings fellow, Lawfare senior editor, and former Chief Democratic Counsel for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Margaret Taylor. They talked about the dynamics of a divided legislature, what committees Lawfare Podcast listeners should keep an eye on, and how the new chairs of certain committees will affect key issues in national security law.
23/01/1951m 4s

Ian Bassin on Protecting Democracy

Ian Bassin served in the White House Counsel's office under President Obama. At the dawn of the Trump administration, he became the impresario behind the litigating organization Protect Democracy, which has become an increasingly cross-ideological mechanism for using litigation to protect democratic values. Benjamin Wittes sat down with Ian to talk about the differences between Protect Democracy and more traditional litigating organizations, what sort of projects they do take on, and what sort of projects they don't take on. And they talked about the role litigation can and cannot play in preserving the norms that make democracy vibrant.
19/01/1940m 25s

Special Edition: Bill Barr vs. the Committee with No Bull

Bill Barr spent Tuesday testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on his nomination to take over the reins of the Justice Department as attorney general, a role he previously held during the George H.W. Bush administration. Barr spent more than eight hours before the senators. But on this episode of the Lawfare Podcast, we cut out all the BS: No repeated questions, no repeated answers, no ums, no uhs. And we took out everything except the national security questions, leaving you just the questions and responses about Lawfare topics that you want to hear.
16/01/192h 1m

Special Edition: The FBI’s Counterintelligence Investigation of Donald Trump

Benjamin Wittes talks to Carrie Cordero, Chuck Rosenberg, David Kris, Jack Goldsmith and Susan Hennessey about the New York Times's report that the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation of Donald Trump after the president fired Director James Comey in May 2017.
12/01/191h 3m

Greg Miller on “The Apprentice: Trump, Russia and the Subversion of American Democracy”

Last week, Jack Goldsmith got on the phone with Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post journalist Greg Miller to discuss Miller’s new book, “The Apprentice: Trump, Russia and the Subversion of American Democracy.” Miller’s book chronicles Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the interactions among members of the Trump campaign, transition, and administration, and officials and representatives of the Russian government. Goldsmith and Miller discussed how Miller approached writing the book, the extraordinary series of apparent connections and contacts between Trump associates and the Russian government, and what Russian President Vladimir Putin might have gained from his brazen interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
12/01/1943m 36s

Special Edition: Jaimie Nawaday on the Veselnitskaya Indictment

Benjamin Wittes talks to Jaimie Nawaday, a former federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, to discuss the indictment of Natalia Veselnitskaya over alleged obstruction of justice in a case Nawaday handled. Nawaday talks about Russian abuse of the American justice system and how Veselnitskaya colluded with the Russian chief prosecutor's office to frustrate American prosecutors.
09/01/1929m 24s

John Sipher on Spy Swaps: Past, Present, and Future

The Russian government's recent arrest of American Paul Whelan and its charges against him have many politicians and pundits speculating about the possibility of an intended spy swap for Maria Butina. There's a lot going on here, but there's also a lot of misunderstanding about the history of spy swaps, what they are, and what they aren't. Earlier this week, David Priess sat down with his former CIA colleague John Sipher to talk about it all. They discussed the history of spy swaps, the current case involving Paul Whelan, and prospects for some kind of a release.
08/01/1935m 36s

Mary McCord and Jason Blazakis on Criminalizing Domestic Terrorism

The murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville in 2017 and other recent events have drawn into the public discourse the fact that domestic terrorism is not a crime in and of itself. Earlier this week, Benjamin Wittes sat down with two experts on domestic terrorism to talk about ways that it might be incorporated into our criminal statutes. Mary McCord, a professor of practice at Georgetown Law School, a senior litigator at the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown Law School, and the former acting assistant attorney general for national security at the U.S. Department of Justice; and Jason Blazakis, a former State Department official in charge of the office that designates foreign terrorist organizations, and a professor of practice at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, joined Ben to talk about their proposals for how domestic terrorism might become a crime. They talked about why domestic terrorism is currently left out of the criminal code, their two proposals for how it might be incorporated and how those proposals differ, and the 1st Amendment consequences of their competing proposals.
05/01/1951m 15s

Lawfare AMA 2018

For this end-of-the-year episode of the Lawfare Podcast, we wanted to hear from you and get your voice on the podcast. You called us with questions, you tweeted your questions using #LawfareAMA, and Benjamin Wittes, Scott Anderson, Bob Bauer, Bobby Chesney, Susan Hennessey, Matthew Kahn, Alina Polyakova, David Priess, and Tamara Cofman Wittes all came together to answer them. We talked about everything from the 25th Amendment, to cyberwarfare, to what's happening in the Middle East. Thank you for your questions. And as always, thank you for listening.
29/12/181h 28m

Exiting Syria and the Rest of the Iceberg

This week, President Trump made the unexpected announcement that he was immediately withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria, ending their involvement in the counter-ISIS campaign that the United States has led there for the last four years. As the week went on, it became clear that the decision on Syria was just the tip of the iceberg. To help us make sense of all that has happened over the last 72 hours, Lawfare's Scott R. Anderson sat down on Friday with a panel of Middle East experts at the Brookings Institution: Dan Byman, a senior fellow; Tamara Cofman Wittes, a senior fellow and former State Department official; and Mara Karlin, a nonresident senior fellow, professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and former Pentagon official. They talked about the Syria withdrawal, what it means for U.S. policy in the Middle East moving forward, and about Defense Secretary James Mattis's resignation.
22/12/181h 5m

David Priess on 'How to Get Rid of a President'

David Priess is man of many national security hats. Long before becoming Lawfare's head of operations, Priess was an intelligence officer, manager, and briefer with the CIA, including some time spent as a primary PDB briefer to then-FBI director Robert Mueller and Attorney General John Ashcroft. Since leaving government, Priess has become a historian of national security, intelligence, and the presidency, most recently writing on the history of presidential removal in the book "How to Get Rid of a President: History's Guide to Removing Unpopular, Unable, or Unfit Chief Executives." Lawfare's Mikhaila Fogel sat down with David to discuss his recent book, his research process, and the national security implications for these historic episodes.
19/12/1834m 14s

Senator Mark Warner on a New Cyber Doctrine

Last week, Senator Mark Warner of Virginia addressed a crowd at the Center for New American Security (CNAS), offering what he called a “New Doctrine for Cyberwarfare & Information Operations.” Sen. Warner currently serves as the Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. In that role, he helps to oversee that committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. To combat the sort of information warfare and cyberattacks used in that election, as well as the more general and staggering cybersecurity threats posed to U.S. persons and entities, the senator lays out a detailed series of recommendations for this doctrine, emphasizing: establishing international cyber norms and rules; combatting disinformation and misinformation; hardening networks, weapons systems, and Internet of Things devices; realigning defense spending; and strong federal leadership.
15/12/1841m 0s

The War in Yemen (and Congress’s Response)

Last week, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Gregory Johnsen, a former member of the U.N. Security Council Panel of Experts on Yemen and the author of the book "The Last Refuge: Yemen, Al-Qaeda, and America’s War in Arabia," to do a deep dive on the conflict in Yemen: its origins; its current state; and the role Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United States have played and are likely to play moving forward. Joining Ben and Greg was Daniel Byman, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Center for Middle East Policy and Lawfare’s own Foreign Policy Editor. After Ben and Dan’s conversation with Greg, Brookings Fellow Molly Reynolds and Lawfare's Scott R. Anderson sat down for a conversation about Yemen-related legislation that is currently churning on Capitol Hill, and what it may mean for the future of U.S. involvement in the conflict there.
12/12/181h 0m

Congressman Adam Schiff on the Future of the House Intelligence Committee

On January 3, Democrats will take control of the House of Representatives and all of its committees. Congressman Adam Schiff of California, the current ranking member on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, also known as HPSCI, is expected to take control of the committee. This week, Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes sat down with Congressman Schiff at his office to discuss the agenda for HPSCI and the upcoming Congress, the challenges facing the Democratic majority as they attempt to rebuild bipartisanship on a deeply divided committee, and, of course, the Russia investigation.
08/12/1842m 30s

Special Edition: Preet Bharara Discusses…Everything

Today Benjamin Wittes got on the phone with former U.S. attorney and podcast empresario Preet Bharara to discuss a recent report Preet has published along with the National Task Force on Rule of Law & Democracy, a group which Preet co-chairs along with former New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman. The conversation took a turn towards the news: They talked about a hot-of-the-presses Washington Post story naming former attorney general William Barr as President Trump’s leading candidate to be the next attorney general. And, of course, they discussed the Mueller investigation. After that, they turned back to their original purpose, the Task Force report.
06/12/1858m 44s

Global Developments in Encryption and Surveillance Law

In August, legal and technical experts gathered in Santa Barbara for the Crypto 2018 Workshop on Encryption and Surveillance to further the ongoing debate over the impact of strong encryption and law enforcement surveillance capabilities. Over the past several days, Lawfare has published a series of reflections that capture some of the views presented at the conference. On this episode of the Lawfare Podcast, we’ve brought you one of the conversations from the event itself, in which Jim Baker of Brookings and Lawfare, Cindy Cohn of the EFF, Sven Herpig of the New Responsibilities Foundation, Adam Ingle of Australia’s Department of Home Affairs, and Ian Levy of the U.K.’s GCHQ discussed recent developments in the laws and policy governing encryption and surveillance around the world.
05/12/181h 16m

Special Edition: Michael Cohen’s Trump Tower Moscow Plea

Thursday saw another plea deal from Michael Cohen: this time with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Cohen pleaded guilty to one count of lying to Congress regarding how long into the 2016 campaign the Trump Organization sought to build Trump Tower in Moscow and who exactly knew about the efforts. The criminal information validates to a remarkable degree a May 2018 report from Anthony Cormier and Jason Leopold of Buzzfeed news, chronicling the details of Michael Cohen and associate Felix Sater’s efforts to cement the real estate deal (you can also listen to a special edition of the Lawfare Podcast on the story here).   Immediately after new of the plea broke, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Cormier, Susan Hennessey and Paul Rosenzweig to discuss the story, the implications of the plea for the Mueller investigation, and who just might have legal exposure and for what.
29/11/181h 8m

Alina and Scott Talk Ukraine and Russia

This week, Russia and Ukraine went at it in the Kerch Strait, which separates the Black Sea from the Sea of Azov. It's the latest salvo in Russia's (not-so-secret) war against Ukraine and its eastern provinces, and it's the latest thing that has the world talking about Vladimir Putin's lawlessness in his back yard. To understand it all, Benjamin Wittes spoke today with Alina Polyakova of the Foreign Policy program at Brookings, and Scott Anderson of Lawfare and the Governance Studies program at Brookings. They talked about what happened this week, the international law implications, and the domestic politics in both Ukraine and Russia.
27/11/1853m 44s

John Carlin on "Dawn of the Code War"

John Carlin served as assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s National Security Division from April 2014 to October 2016. In his new book with Garrett Graff, called “Dawn of the Code War: America's Battle Against Russia, China, and the Rising Global Cyber Threat," Carlin explains the cyber conflicts the U.S. faces and how the government fights back. Benjamin Wittes sat down with Carlin last week to talk about the book. They talked about about the FBI and Justice Department’s fight against cyber espionage, about how the Justice Department attributes cyberattacks to the responsible actors, and about Carlin’s experience as FBI director Robert Mueller’s chief of staff. 
24/11/1855m 59s

What to Expect from the New Iraqi Government

Earlier this year, just as the United States was preparing to kick-off its national elections, the country of Iraq was finalizing the results of its own and finally installing a new government after months of debate. It was the fourth parliamentary election under the Iraqi Constitution that the United States helped to put in place, and the first since the Iraqi government declared victory in the conflict with ISIS that has dominated the country’s attention since 2014. To understand what this new government may mean for Iraq and its relationship to the United States, Scott R. Anderson spoke with Jared Levy, the Director of Research Services for the Iraq Oil Report, a premier resource for Iraq-watchers everywhere; and Rasha al-Aqeedi, a native of Mosul, Iraq, and the Robert A. Fox Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and the Managing Editor of Raise Your Voice, a digital platform that focuses on Iraqi society post-ISIS. They discussed the politics behind Iraq’s recent elections, what to expect of the main figures in the new Iraqi government, and how they might try and navigate the growing tensions between the United States and Iran that are increasingly evident in the region.
21/11/1849m 55s

Jung Pak at #NatSecGirlSquad

Following the #NatSecGirlSquad’s first conference, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Jung Pak before a live audience at the Bier Baron in Washington, DC. Jung is a senior fellow in the Brookings Institution’s Foreign Policy program and a long-time North Korea CIA analyst. They talked about North Korean missile development, what reasonable expectations the United States might have when it comes to relations with North Korea, and why we tolerate and sometimes embrace comical representations of the North Korean regime.
17/11/1843m 33s

The U.K. and Europe on the Brink of Brexit

On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that U.K. and EU officials have reached a provisional Brexit agreement. Though as of this recording, the text of that agreement has not been released, we at Lawfare thought it a good time for a refresher on how senior Europe experts and British officials are thinking about the U.K.’s split from the European Union. On October 23, the Brookings Center on the United States and Europe hosted a panel discussion on the endgame of the Brexit negotiations with Sir Kim Darroch, Britain’s ambassador to the United States; Amanda Sloat, senior fellow at Brookings; Douglas Alexander, former U.K. shadow foreign secretary; and Lucinda Creighton, a former Irish minister for European affairs. Edward Luce of the Financial Times moderated the discussion. They talked about some of the thorniest issues at stake in Britain’s departure, including the unresolved trade issues between the U.K. and the EU, how Scotland—whose residents overwhelmingly opposed leaving the EU in the 2016 referendum—may react to Brexit, and the risks Brexit poses to a peaceful future in Northern Ireland.
14/11/1857m 55s

Paul Rosenzweig on Investigating American Presidents

With the firing of Jeff Sessions and his replacement with former U.S. attorney Matt Whitaker, all eyes this week are focused on whether Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians will get to run its full course. But even before the Sessions firing, Benjamin Wittes and Paul Rosenzweig had inquiries into the presidency on their minds. On Tuesday morning, they sat down to discuss Paul’s recent 12-part lecture series on presidential investigations released through the online educational platform The Great Courses. They talked about how Paul structured the lecture series, Paul’s own experience on Independent Counsel Ken Starr’s team investigating the Clinton White House, and the course’s relevance to the Mueller investigation. 
10/11/1831m 46s

Special Edition: Sessions is Out!

President Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday and replaced him on an interim basis with the attorney general’s own chief of staff, a man named Matt Whitaker. Whitaker has made repeated public statements expressing skepticism about the Mueller investigation, which he will now be supervising. Benjamin Wittes got on a recorded conference line with Susan Hennessey, Paul Rosenzweig, Steve Vladeck, Chuck Rosenberg and Bob Bauer to discuss the day’s events: the president’s action, how we should understand Whitaker, and what congressional pushback we can expect, both now and when the new congress comes in.
08/11/1857m 16s

Cybersecurity and Financial Stability

The rate and intensity of cyber attacks on financial institutions has increased in recent years, but the risk that these attacks pose to our financial stability remains understudied in the financial industry and among regulators and policymakers. What would it look like if malicious actors took direct aim at the systemic stability of U.S. financial institutions? On October 11, Susan Hennessey spoke to three senior research scholars from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs who are taking early steps to find the answer: Katheryn Rosen, former deputy assistant treasury secretary for financial institution policy; Jason Healey, former White House cyber adviser on the Bush administration; and financial-stability expert and former Federal Reserve official Patricia Mosser. They talked about how to understand financial stability, the unique risks that cyber threats pose to it, and what gaps remain in how to mitigate those risks.
02/11/1839m 49s

U.S. Policy and the Crisis in Yemen

Since 2011, Yemen has transitioned from the scene of a political crisis to one of the worst humanitarian disasters in the world, but how U.S. policy affects the situation is the subject of little discussion. The United States provides intelligence and logistical support to the Saudi- and Emirati-led coalition fighting against Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen, and the conflict implicates the future stability of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the U.S.’s longest standing ally in the region. To shed light on the complicated dynamic of the conflict, on October 25, the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution hosted a panel discussion on U.S. policy in Yemen, featuring Brookings senior fellows Daniel Byman and Bruce Riedel, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Dafna Rand, and Arabia Foundation senior analyst Fatima Abo Alasrar. They talked about the U.S.’s role in the conflict, the extent of the humanitarian crisis, and how the dire conditions on the ground can be alleviated.
31/10/1858m 51s

The Migrant Caravan and its Dissenters

There is a caravan—you've probably heard something about it. Stephanie Leutert, director of the Mexico Security Initiative at the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law, has heard something about it. On Friday, Benjamin Wittes caught up with Stephanie to talk about her time on the Mexico-Guatemala border traveling with migrants who are following a trail not unlike that of the caravan. They talked about why people are joining this caravan, what the alternatives to it are, why certain migrants are shunning it, the pushes out of countries like Honduras and Guatemala, and what it's like to be a child on the long trek to the United States.
27/10/1844m 41s

András Pap on Viktor Orbán and the Decline of Hungarian Democracy

Last week while traveling in the United Kingdom, Benjamin Wittes met up with András Pap, a Hungarian scholar of constitutional law. Pap is a professor with Central European University’s Nationalist Studies Program in Budapest, and the two spoke over breakfast about the decline of Hungarian democracy. They talked about the Fidesz party, Hungary's strongman ruler Viktor Orbán, to what extent Hungary is similar to and different from other European countries, and why Pap was cheerfully having breakfast with Ben talking about all these things and not fearing what would happen to him when he returns to Budapest.
24/10/1847m 5s

John Mearsheimer on 'The Great Delusion'

In recent decades, both democratic and republican administrations have tried to guide other countries toward liberal democracy. But international relations theorist John Mearsheimer’s latest book, “The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realties,” says that strategy has made the U.S. a “highly militarized state fighting wars that undermine peace, harm human rights, and threaten liberal values at home.” Last week at the Hoover Institution’s Washington office, Jack Goldsmith sat down with Mearsheimer to talk about the book. They talked about why administrations try to promote democracy, how that strategy has bolstered non-democratic governments, and whether a more restrained foreign policy could better serve U.S. interests.
19/10/1839m 1s

The State of Rule of Law in the U.S.: National Security and Law Enforcement

On October 3, Benjamin Wittes co-hosted an event with his Brookings colleague, Norm Eisen, on The State of Rule of Law in the U.S. Ben moderated a panel on national security and law enforcement with Lawfare contributor and long-time Department of Justice official Mary McCord; former head of the DEA Chuck Rosenberg; and Representative Adam Schiff, ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. They spoke about the impact of today’s political environment on national security investigations in the Executive Branch; Congress’s conduct in this recent spate of such investigations; and how—under normal circumstances—these two branches are supposed to interact.
17/10/1842m 17s

Through the Looking Glass with Mike Doran, An Update

Back in January, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Mike Doran—a foreign policy and Middle East specialist who served in the George W. Bush White House, State Department, and Pentagon, and is a former Brookings colleague—to discuss his support of President Trump and dismissal of the Trump-Russia allegations and the investigation of L’Affaire Russe. At the end of that conversation, Ben and Mike said they would check in again in a few months to see who was right. Earlier this week, the two sat down over Scotch to talk through Doran’s views on—among other things—the Mueller investigation, the Steele dossier, Carter Page’s FISA warrant, and the congressional investigations into L’Affaire Russe. It’s safe to say that their views have not converged, and Doran’s view of the world differs from the standard fare on Lawfare. Hang onto your hats, folks, this one’s a wild ride.
13/10/1858m 26s

Ambassador David O'Sullivan on the US-EU Relationship

It's easy to spend all our time focusing on American domestic politics these days, but the rest of the world is not going away. Take the European Union, for example—our neighbors from across the pond, and one of the US's most valuable economic and security relationships. There's a lot going on over there, and some of it even involves us. How is that relationship faring in the age of tariffs, presidential blusters, Brexit, and tensions over Iran sanctions? To figure that out, Shannon Togawa Mercer and Benjamin Wittes spoke to David O'Sullivan, the EU Ambassador to the United States. They talked about the US-EU trade relationship, Iran and Russia sanctions, Privacy Shield, the rule of law in deconsolidating democracies in the EU, and more.
10/10/1859m 11s

Mark Risher on Google Advanced Protection

Stories of grievous hacks, data breaches and their fallouts have become an almost daily addition to the news cycle. On Wednesday, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Mark Risher, Director of Product Management for Security and Privacy for Google, to talk about how his team is thinking about the current and future threats posed by malicious cyber actors. They discussed Google Advanced Protection, how Google works with “targeted” individuals to set up secure systems, the growing sophistication of phishing emails, and how you might be able to protect yourself. By way of full disclosure, Google is a financial supporter of the Brookings institution, with whose cooperation, Lawfare is published.
06/10/1833m 57s

High School SCOTUS Visits Lawfare

Anna Salvatore is the impresario behind the High School SCOTUS blog. She got in touch with Benjamin Wittes a number of months ago asking for an interview, and produced a fascinating character study of him. On Tuesday, Ben returned the favor. Anna joined Ben in the Jungle Studio for a wide-ranging discussion of the Supreme Court, high school, blogging, and building an army to produce legal journalism. They talked about how the Supreme Court is different from baseball, weird interests in high school, following a docket, and the Kavanaugh nomination hearings.
03/10/1826m 59s

Robert Kagan on 'The Jungle Grows Back: America and Our Imperiled World'

On Wednesday, Brookings Senior Fellow Robert Kagan sat down with Susan Glasser of The New Yorker to discuss Kagan's new book The Jungle Grows Back: America and Our Imperiled World. In the book, Kagan argues that, like the jungle that keeps growing back, dangerous global actors, when left unchecked, will create chaos. Kagan and Glasser discussed whether the American public tends to support foreign policy that focuses on international withdrawal or unilateral intervention, whether the Trump foreign policy will enable faster growth of dangerous actors, and whether the America of 2018 has parallels to the U.S. in the 1920s or 1930s.
29/09/181h 0m

Jim Baker on AI and Counterintelligence

The United States has become the global leader in both defense and private-sector AI. Inevitably, this has led to an environment in which adversary and ally governments alike may seek to identify and steal AI information—in other words, AI has become intelligence, and those who work in AI have become potential sources and assets. And with intelligence, comes counterintelligence. Jim Baker, a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution and former FBI General Counsel, is part-way through a series of essays for Lawfare on the links between counterintelligence and AI, two parts of which have already been published. On Monday, Jim sat down with Benjamin Wittes to discuss his work on the subject. They talked about how to understand AI as an intelligence asset, how we might protect this valuable asset against a range of threats from hostile foreign actors, and how we can protect ourselves against the threat from AI in the hands of adversaries.
25/09/1846m 44s

Elsa Kania on China’s Quantum Quest

If you ask scientists what is most likely to kick off the next great wave of technological change, a good number will answer “quantum mechanics”—a field whose physics Albert Einstein once described as “spooky,” but whose potential, once tapped, could unleash exponentially faster computer processes, unbreakable cryptography, and new frontiers in surveillance technology. No one understands this better than the People’s Republic of China, who over the last several years has built up an aggressive state-driven campaign to accelerate the development of quantum technology—a set of policies intended to put it at the very front of the pack of the next technological revolution, and all the competitive advantages it is likely to bring. To discuss this development, what it may mean for the future, and how the United States should respond, Scott R. Anderson sat down with Elsa Kania, an adjunct fellow with the Center for a New American Security and the co-author of a new report on China’s efforts to achieve “Quantum Hegemony.”
22/09/1845m 20s

Bruce Schneier on 'Click Here to Kill Everybody'

Security technologist Bruce Schneier's latest book, Click Here to Kill Everybody: Security and Survival in a Hyper-connected World, argues that it won't be long before everything modern society relies on will be computerized and on the internet. This drastic expansion of the so-called "internet of things," Schneier contends, vastly increases the risk of cyberattack. To help figure out just how concerned you should be, last Thursday, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Schneier. They talked about what it would mean to live in a world where everything, including Ben's shirt, was a computer, and how Schneier's latest work adds to his decades of advocacy for principled government regulation and oversight of "smart devices."
18/09/1842m 54s

Special Edition: Paul Manafort “Breaks”

On Friday, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort entered a plea agreement with the special counsel. To figure out what it means for Manafort, the Mueller investigation, and President Trump, Benjamin Wittes spoke to former Obama White House counsel Bob Bauer, independent counsel prosector Paul Rosenzweig, and Lawfare managing editor Quinta Jurecic. 
14/09/1849m 22s

John Brennan and Jerrold Nadler on 20 Months Under Trump

The challenges that President Donald Trump has posed to the rule of law are well documented, from his delegitimization of the law enforcement investigation into his campaign and conduct in office, to his attacks on federal judges who rule against the legality of his policy prerogatives. Coupled with what many call his adversarial relationship with his own intelligence community, the Trump presidency has created a role of the executive with no analogue in recent memory. On September 4, at the Center on National Security at Fordham Law, Representative Jerrold Nadler, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, and former CIA Director John Brennan, both outspoken critics of the president, sat down for a conversation about what they've seen in the past 20 months under the Trump administration, including their takes on threats to the rule of law, the investigations of the president, and ongoing vulnerability of American democracy to cyber threats.
12/09/1847m 59s

Special Edition: Kavanaugh vs. the Committee with No Bull, Part II

Brett Kavanaugh spent Thursday in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee for his second day of marathon questioning about his qualifications to join the Supreme Court. But on this podcast, we cut down more than 8 hours of testimony to bring you only the national-security content Lawfare readers and Lawfare Podcast listeners need. Every question and every answer on national security, presidential power and the Mueller investigation.
07/09/182h 43m

Special Edition: Kavanaugh vs. the Committee with No Bull, Part I

Judge Brett Kavanaugh faced the Senate Judiciary Committee in Day 1 of a two-day marathon Q&A session for his nomination as an associate justice of the Supreme Court. We sat through it all so you don't have to. We've cut out all the garbage and are bringing you just the questions and answers on legal matters related to national security, presidential power, and presidential investigation.
06/09/182h 12m

John Sipher on Human Sources in Moscow

The New York Times reports that CIA human sources in Moscow are drying up. The newspaper speculates that this may be because of the political environment in the United States, an environment in which the president tweets about the intelligence community and the Steele dossier, and the House Intelligence Committee goes after human sources and outs them. John Sipher knows something about human sources in Moscow. He was stationed there for the CIA in the 1990s and had to deal with sources. He joined Benjamin Wittes in the Jungle Studio to talk about the fragility of those operations, the plausibility of the New York Times story, and what we could do tamp down negative impacts on intelligence collection.
01/09/1836m 57s

What is Too Far When Former Intelligence Community Leadership Criticizes the President?

This edition of The Lawfare Podcast grows out of an email exchange between David Kris and Jack Goldsmith over a draft article Jack had written about John Brennan and other intelligence community former leaders who were criticizing the president in public and from whom the president was threatening to pull their security clearances in response. What is appropriate for intelligence community leaders to say about the president? What is going too far? What is outside their lane? And what is required by the current moment when intelligence community leaders face a rogue elephant of a president who is violating every norm we know?
29/08/1856m 38s

Solomon Wisenberg on Interviewing the President

Bob Mueller and the president's legal team are engaged in an extended negotiation over whether the president will sit for an interview with the Mueller team. As it turns out, there are three people in the world who have interviewed a sitting president as part of a grand jury investigation. This week Benjamin Wittes sat down with one of them—Solomon Wisenberg. Wisenberg served as deputy independent counsel under Ken Starr during the Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky investigation. On Thursday, Wisenberg discussed his experience interviewing Bill Clinton, how that can inform thinking on the next possible presidential interview, and how both prosecutors and the president's lawyers can think strategically about next steps.
25/08/1834m 31s

Special Edition: The Mueller Investigation's Weird Weekend

What a weird weekend it has been. The Manafort jury is deliberating, the White House lawyer is cooperating with the special prosecutor and giving 30 hours of interview about presidential conduct, and Michael Cohen seems poised to either be indicted or form a cooperation deal with the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York. Benjamin Wittes jumped on the phone to discuss all of this with former White House counsel Bob Bauer, former Justice Department official Carrie Cordero, and Lawfare contributor Paul Rosenzweig.
21/08/1847m 57s

Brad Moss on Presidential Power and Security Clearances

The President of the United States this week stripped the former CIA Director John Brennan of his security clearance in a dramatic White House statement by Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. The White House is threatening more adverse security clearance actions against presidential critics, and former senior security officials are outraged. Benjamin Wittes sat down Friday afternoon with Bradley Moss, who represents people in security clearance revocation processes, to discuss the president's move, how different it is, and what we can expect if a lawsuit develops.
17/08/1830m 10s

A Worthwhile Canadian Dust-Up

Canada and Saudi Arabia have been at loggerheads over the past week ever since the Canadian Foreign Minister condemned Saudi Arabia’s arrest of Samar Badawi, a human rights activist. Saudi Arabia's reactions were extreme, including expelling the Canadian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, halting trade negotiations and the pulling of the Saudi Arabian ambassador for diplomatic consultation. To sort this all out, Lawfare senior editor Shannon Togawa Mercer  spoke to Scott Anderson, former diplomat and international lawyer, and Canadian professors Stephanie Carvin of The Intrepid Podcast and Carleton University, Bessma Momani of the Stimpson Center, and Thomas Juneau of the University of Ottowa. They spoke about Saudi Arabian and Canadian strategy, international legal considerations and what comes next.
13/08/1835m 3s

Special Edition: Buzzfeed Follows Peter Smith’s Money

There’s a new twist in one of the stranger subplots of L’Affaire Russe: Buzzfeed News reports that Peter Smith, a Republican operative who reportedly sought to obtain missing Hillary Clinton emails during the 2016 presidential campaign, made several suspicious withdrawals from bank accounts during the timeframe of his quest for Clinton’s emails—suggesting that he may have paid people he believed were Russian hackers. Benjamin Wittes is joined by Buzzfeed reporter Anthony Cormier and former Assistant Attorney General for National Security David Kris to make sense of it all.   
11/08/1841m 3s

The Challenges of Digital Evidence

Encryption usually takes center stage in debates over digital evidence, and the sensitivities around the issue often halt discussions before reaching practical solutions. But on July 25, the Center for Strategic and International Studies unveiled a new report detailing solutions to other, less-fraught challenges that digital evidence presents to federal law enforcement. The launch event featured a panel discussion moderated by Jen Daskal, with an ensemble cast of law enforcement experts, including Lawfare contributing editor David Kris, David Bitkower, Ethan Arenson, Jane Horvath, and Michael Sachs. They talked about the challenges faced by law enforcement in accessing and utilizing digital evidence, the civil liberties and privacy concerns digital evidence provokes, and the role of Internet Service Providers in any new legal or policy framework.
08/08/1843m 25s

Fighting Deep Fakes

Technologies that distort representations of reality, like audio, photo, and video editing software, are nothing new, but what happens when these technologies are paired with artificial intelligence to produce hyper-realistic media of things that never happened? This new phenomenon, called "deep fakes," poses significant problems for lawyers, policymakers, and technologists. On July 19, Klon Kitchen, senior fellow for technology and national security at the Heritage Foundation, moderated a panel with Bobby Chesney of the University of Texas at Austin Law School, Danielle Citron of the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, and Chris Bregler, a senior computer scientist and AI manager at Google. They talked about how deep fakes work, why they don't fit into the current legal and policy thinking, and about how policy, technology, and the law can begin to combat them.
04/08/1844m 41s

Should Humans Communicate with Aliens?

For years, Shane Harris of The Washington Post has been fascinated with the search for extraterrestrial life in the universe. But that search raises a profound question: Should we try to communicate with aliens? Is there a risk to alerting a potentially hostile species to our presence? On July 12, Shane moderated a conversation hosted by Future Tense with Lucianne Walkowicz, the Chair of Astrobiology at the Library of Congress, and NASA astrophysicist Elisa Quintana, to talk about the ethics of the search for ETs and the associated risks with trying to make contact.
01/08/1854m 37s

Talking Brexit

The British government is falling apart, Brexit talks are on the rocks, and into the maelstrom walks Donald Trump to walk in front of the Queen after having tea with her. It's been a bad period in the Brexit negotiations. To talk it through, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Tom Wright, the director of the Center on the United States and Europe; Amanda Sloat, the Robert Bosch senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe; and Shannon Togawa Mercer from the Hoover Institution and Lawfare. They talked about Northern Ireland, trade, U.S. policy, what the United States' dog in the Brexit fight is, and what happens if there is no deal by the time the whole thing turns into a pumpkin.
28/07/1841m 38s

Kennedy, Kavanaugh, and the Future of National Security Before the Supreme Court

Justice Kennedy's resignation and the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his replacement promises to usher in a new era of the U.S. Supreme Court, not least in the areas of foreign relations and national security law. To hash out what these changes might mean, Lawfare senior editor Scott R. Anderson spoke with Jen Mascott of the Antonin Scalia School of Law at George Mason University, Steve Vladeck of the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, and former Department of Justice official Bob Loeb, currently a partner at the law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.
25/07/1856m 21s

Jennifer Hillman and Clark Packard on Trade and National Security, Part Deux

The Trump administration has taken an aggressive stance on U.S. trade relations, opting for bilateral negotiations, and in many cases, eschewing the multilateral trade order. The administration is collapsing the distinction between economic security and national security, and this has been painfully apparent in our trade war with China. Tensions with China are escalating. On Tuesday, Lawfare senior editor Shannon Togawa Mercer sat down with Jennifer Hillman, former World Trade Organization Appellate Body member, commissioner on the United States international Trade Commission, and general counsel at the Office of the United States Trade Representative; and Clark Packard, trade policy counsel at the R Street Institute, to hash it all out. They talked about China, the WTO, and this administration’s incoherent trade strategy.
21/07/1857m 55s

Julia Ioffe and Ian Bremmer on the Trump-Putin Summit

On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Helsinki for their first one-on-one summit, where the U.S. president said that he trusted the Russian president's denial of election interference over his own intelligence community. In the United States, furor followed on both sides of the aisle. To break down what happened and what it means, Alina Polyakova sat down with Julia Ioffe, correspondent at GQ and long-time Russia observer, and Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group, to talk about why nobody else was in the room with Trump and Putin during their over-two-hour, one-on-one meeting; what Russia's kompromat on Trump really might be; and whether this summit actually moved the needle in U.S.-Russia policy. What was gained and what was lost? Was this a win for Putin? An embarrassment for Trump?
18/07/1840m 23s

Emergency Edition: GRUccifer 2.0 Indictment!

On Friday, Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for their role in the theft and dissemination of documents from the DNC, the DCCC and the Clinton campaign during the 2016 election. Susan Hennessey, David Kris, Paul Rosenzweig, Matt Tait and Benjamin Wittes got together to make sense of the news.
14/07/1859m 32s

#AbolishICE?

#AbolishICE is the hashtag that has proliferated all over Twitter. Anger over the family separation policy of the Trump administration has many people doubting whether the agency that does interior immigration enforcement is up to a humane performance of its task. Paul Rosenzweig, former policy guru at DHS where he supervised immigration matters, and Carrie Cordero, who has been actively engaged on the subject recently, joined Benjamin Wittes to discuss the substance of our immigration laws. Would abolishing ICE actually make a difference, or would it just be renaming the problem with three other letters?
11/07/1840m 12s

Radek Sikorski on the Week's Events in Poland

It's been a bad week for Polish democracy, with the government removing a bunch of judges from the country's Supreme Court in order to replace them with party loyalists. In response, protestors took to the streets to push back against the deconsolidation of Polish democracy. Radek Sikorski joined Benjamin Wittes to discuss the week's events and the larger degradation of Polish governance of which they are a part. Radek served as foreign minister and defense minister of Poland, as well as speaker of the Polish parliament. He has also been a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and he's currently a senior fellow at the Center of European Studies at Harvard University and distinguished statesman at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
07/07/1821m 37s

Amanda Sloat Talks Turkey

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan won the Turkish election the other day, and becomes the first president under Turkey's new empowered presidential system. His party, in coalition with ultra-nationalists, will control the Parliament as well, so it's a big win for the Turkish president. It may be a loss for democratic values. On Tuesday, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Amanda Sloat, Robert Bosch Senior Fellow at Brookings, to discuss the election results, the crackdown in Turkey and the justifications for it, friction points in U.S.-Turkish relations, and what comes next for Turkey, the United States, and the EU.
03/07/1836m 28s

Jim Baker and Orin Kerr on the Carpenter Ruling

On June 22, the Supreme Court released its long-awaited ruling in Carpenter v. United States, a case challenging whether law enforcement agencies need a search warrant to acquire the history of a cell phone's location from a wireless provider. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the five-justice majority that doing so amounts to a 4th Amendment search, a decision that will have far-reaching implications for law enforcement activities moving forward. On Thursday, Benjamin Wittes spoke on the phone with Jim Baker, the former general counsel of the FBI, and Orin Kerr, the 4th Amendment expert whose writing was cited in every dissent, to understand the decision. They talked about what the decision said, what a warrant for cell site data might look like, and the ruling's implications for other areas of 4th Amendment law.
30/06/1847m 36s

Stephanie Leutert on the Other Southern Border

With the media and political commentators focused on family separation at the U.S.-Mexico border, few are paying attention to how developments along Mexico's southern border affect the United States. On Monday, Benjamin Wittes spoke with Stephanie Leutert, director of the Mexico Security Initiative at The University of Texas at Austin, who has spent the past several weeks in the field studying the flow of migrants from Central America into Mexico. They discussed who's entering Mexico, why they're doing it, why most continue on to the United States, and where the dangers lie along their journeys.
27/06/1846m 15s

Michael Hayden on 'The Assault on Intelligence'

Gen. Michael Hayden has served as the head of both the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency—and he says that intelligence is under attack. In his latest book, “The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age of Lies,” Gen. Hayden argues that in what he calls a post-truth world, the United States needs its intelligence community now as much as ever. All the more reason to be concerned about the president’s repeated attacks on it. On June 15, Gen. Hayden sat down with Jamil Jaffer of George Mason University’s National Security Institute to talk about the book, and how the intelligence community can navigate the challenges it faces.
22/06/1852m 8s

Artificial Intelligence and Security

From manufacturing to healthcare, and from criminal justice to national security, artificial intelligence is changing nearly every sector of the global economy and many aspects of our public and private lives. And as artificial intelligence technology races ahead, its political, legal, and ethical considerations cannot be left undiscussed. Last Tuesday, as part of the A. Alfred Taubman Forum on Public Policy, James Baker, Susan Hennessey, and Scott Tousley joined John Allen at the Brookings Institution to discuss the opportunities AI offers and the challenges it presents to security.
20/06/1832m 40s

All Things Inspector General...and Emails!

This week, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a gigantic report on the FBI's handling of the Clinton emails matter/investigation during the 2016 election cycle. On Friday, Benjamin Wittes got together with Quinta Jurecic, Lawfare's managing editor; Carrie Cordero, former Justice Department official and Lawfare contributor; and Marty Lederman of Just Security and the Georgetown Law School, to talk about the whole report.
16/06/1856m 50s

Mira Rapp-Hooper and Steph Haggard on the Singapore Summit

On Tuesday, in Singapore, after doubts about whether the Summit would happen, President Trump met for several hours with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un, culminating in a joint declaration between the two heads of state. Just after the declaration dropped, North Korea experts Mira Rapp-Hooper, a senior fellow at Yale's Paul Tsai China Center, and Steph Haggard, a professor at UC San Diego, joined Benjamin Wittes to help make sense of the news. They talked about the substance of the Summit, how it impacts the U.S.'s security alliances in the Asia Pacific, and what might come next for the U.S.-North Korea relationship.
12/06/1841m 56s

Soumaya Keynes and Megan Reiss on Trade and National Security Under the Trump Administration

Economic welfare and national security have never been mutually exclusive, but trade has factored into the national security discourse prominently in recent days, with the administration announcing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports in the name of national security, the backlash from American allies, and the current standoff with China. On Thursday, June 7, Shannon Mercer sat down with Megan Reiss, senior national security fellow with the R Street Institute, and Soumaya Keynes, economics and trade correspondent at The Economist, to discuss the ins and outs of trade law and how Trump is using it.
08/06/1844m 38s

Clint Watts on 'Messing with the Enemy'

Former FBI agent and Army officer Clint Watts has spent years hunting down terrorists and Russian disinformation on the Internet in his spare time. In his new book, Messing with the Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians, and Fake News, Watts documents what he learned from his experience. On Monday, he sat down with Benjamin Wittes in the Jungle Studio for a conversation about how terrorists, cybercriminals, and nation-states use online media platforms to influence people’s social and political perceptions. They talked about how Watts began tracking disinformation, what he saw, and what free societies can do to protect against it.
05/06/1850m 59s

The Future of CFIUS

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) plays an essential role in advising the president on how to exercise his or her authority to block foreign investments that might let the U.S.'s adversaries acquire sensitive American technology or intellectual property. A bipartisan proposal in Congress aims to expand CFIUS's powers. On Thursday, the Center for Strategic and International Studies convened a panel of Dov Zakheim, a former Pentagon official; Ivan Schlager, Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates; Nova Daly, Senior Public Policy Adviser, Wiley Rein LLP; and CSIS Vice President James Andrew Lewis, to talk about CFIUS and how it might change under the new law.
02/06/181h 15m

Counterterrorism Under the Early Trump Administration

In January 2017, Donald Trump inherited a complex, multifaceted counterterrorism campaign, and since taking office, he has escalated it rhetorically and operationally. On Tuesday, New America convened a panel with Joshua Geltzer and Luke Hartig, both former senior fellows for counterterrorism on the Obama National Security Council; Stephen Tankel, a professor at American University; and Shamila Chaudry, former director for Pakistan and Afghanistan on the National Security Council. They discussed how Trump has changed how the United States uses force in its counterterrorism efforts, and where he has stayed the course of the Obama administration.
30/05/181h 18m

Vladimir Milov on Russia Beyond the Headlines

Vladimir Milov is the current economic advisor to Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and the former deputy minister of energy in the Russian government. This week, Milov spoke to Alina Polyakova about the Russian economy, the recent Cabinet reshuffles in the Kremlin, and how local politics are back in Russia.
26/05/1846m 53s

Special Edition: Outing a Confidential Informant

Bob Bauer, Jack Goldsmith and David Kris join Benjamin Wittes to discuss the sequence of events between the Justice Department, the FBI, the House intelligence committee and the White House over the last few days and the resolution arranged at the White House on Monday afternoon.
22/05/1841m 11s

The Jerusalem Embassy Opening and Protests in Gaza

The past week saw the culmination of a major shift in US policy as the United States formally opened its embassy in Jerusalem. Yet ongoing protests along the border with the Gaza Strip and the Israeli government’s harsh response have provided a sharp contrast to the hopeful rhetoric surrounding the embassy’s opening ceremony. On Friday, Lawfare senior editor Scott Anderson spoke with Khaled Elgindy, fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings and a founding board member of the Egyptian American Rule of Law Association; Natan Sachs, fellow in and director of the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings; and Sarah Yerkes, fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, to sort through the headlines.
18/05/1852m 16s

Special Edition: Anthony Cormier on Trump Tower Moscow

Benjamin Wittes speaks to Buzzfeed reporter Anthony Cormier about his latest story, co-authored with Jason Leopold, about the negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.
17/05/1827m 20s

Amanda Tyler on Habeas Corpus in Wartime

In her new book, "Habeas Corpus in Wartime: From the Tower of London to Guantanamo Bay," Amanda Tyler presents a comprehensive account of the legal and political history of habeas corpus in wartime in the Anglo-American legal tradition. On Monday, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Tyler at the Hoover Book Soiree for a wide-ranging discussion of the history of habeas, where its origins really lie in English law, and how it has changed over the years in the United States, from the Founding to modern counterterrorism cases.
15/05/181h 2m

The Lawfare Podcast: James Comey on 'A Higher Loyalty'

Benjamin Wittes speaks to former FBI director James Comey before a live audience at the Brookings Institution.
11/05/181h 20m

The Lawfare Podcast: Special Edition: Gina Haspel vs. the Senate Intelligence Committee With No Bull

On Wednesday, Gina Haspel, President Trump's nominee to lead the CIA, testified for two-and-a-half hours on her nomination before the Senate intelligence committee. We cut out all the opening statements, all of the repeated questions, and in this episode, we're bringing you the distilled version of everything that's important from the hearing.
10/05/181h 15m

Shane Harris on the Gina Haspel Nomination

Gina Haspel, the CIA's current deputy director, goes before the Senate Intelligence Committee tomorrow, May 9, 2018, for confirmation as the CIA's director. Shane Harris of The Washington Post recently produced a lengthy and detailed profile of Haspel, who was deeply involved in the CIA's coercive interrogation program in the years that followed 9/11. He joins Benjamin Wittes to discuss the nomination, the cases for and against Haspel, and what we can expect when she faces the Committee tomorrow.
08/05/1842m 43s

Mira Rapp-Hooper and Steph Haggard Preview the North Korea Summit

Only a few months ago, President Donald Trump threatened to rain fire and fury on North Korea and Kim Jong Un’s missiles were crashing into the ocean. Now, President Donald Trump is preparing for a summit with the North Korean leader. To understand what to expect from that meeting, Benjamin Wittes spoke on Friday to North Korea experts Mira Rapp-Hooper, senior research scholar at Yale Law School’s Paul Tsai China Center, and Steph Haggard, distinguished professor at the University of California-San Diego. They talked about how we got here, about what would make the Trump-Kim summit successful, and about predictions for the future of northeast-Asian security.
04/05/1842m 19s

Democracy's Morticians: Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt on 'How Democracies Die'

Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt talk to Benjamin Wittes about their new book, "How Democracies Die."
02/05/1853m 57s

Preserving Justice Department Independence

At Georgetown Law, Matt Axelrod, Bob Bauer, John Bellinger, Jack Goldsmith, and Don Verrilli reflect on the norms that govern contact between the White House and the Justice Department, how the Trump administration has broken them, and what can be done to protect them in this administration and future ones.
28/04/1846m 13s

Lisa Monaco and Wayne Williams on Protecting the 2018 Election

Eric Rosenbach moderates a conversation between former homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco and current Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams on election security.
24/04/1841m 27s

Bobby Chesney and Scott Anderson on the Corker-Kaine AUMF

Last week, Sens. Bob Corker and Tim Kaine introduced a proposal to reshape the legal authorization for U.S. counterterrorism operations abroad. On Thursday, Susan Hennessey sat down with Bobby Chesney, co-founder of Lawfare and professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, and Scott Anderson, Lawfare senior editor and former State Department lawyer, to talk about the proposal. They discussed the current status of the authorization for use of force, what the new proposal says, and it’s prospects in this Congress.
20/04/1846m 59s

Toomas Ilves on the Situation

Former Estonian President Toomas Ilves sits down with Benjamin Wittes and Megan Reiss to talk about the use of social media by the presidents of the United States and Estonia, election interference, cybersecurity cooperation, and the digitization of Estonia.
18/04/1851m 51s
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