The Russia Connection

Introducing “The Report”: A Podcast Series from Lawfare

By Susan Hennessey, Benjamin Wittes
Friday, July 19, 2019, 9:25 AM

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:

Over the coming dozen or so episodes, we will walk through the entire report, we hope in an engaging fashion that is at once thorough, true to the document, and genuinely engaging to listen to. The hope is that “The Report” will provide a way for folks who aren’t going to read the document itself to absorb its story.

We hope to release these episodes weekly, but as listeners to this one will gather, they are extremely labor intensive to put together, so we’re not going to be bound to any particularly tight time frame. We are going to go through the whole report, however long it takes to do so.