Rational Security: The 'Catch More Flies with Shugerman' Edition

By Jen Patja Howell
Thursday, April 20, 2023, 12:01 PM

This week, Alan, Quinta, and Scott were joined by law professor extraordinaire Jed Shugerman to talk over his controversial take on the New York district attorney's case against former President Trump, among other items in the week's national security news, including:

  • “If You Come at the King, You Best Not Whiff.” Former President Trump’s indictment on 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree under New York state law earlier this month has triggered a firestorm of controversy, with several commentators accusing New York district attorney Alvin Bragg of advancing a weak or flawed case. What should we make of Bragg’s case based on what we know so far? And what more information should we be looking for?
  • “Factual Malice.” Fox News has settled the defamation lawsuit being pursued against it by Dominion Voting Systems for a record $787.5 million—but without having to make an on-air acknowledgement of its false statements. Does this settlement deal do justice? Should Dominion have proceeded differently?
  • “Secret Chinese Agents, Huh?” Federal prosecutors have arrested two individuals in Brooklyn for operating a “secret police station” on behalf of the People’s Republic of China’s internal security forces, aimed at investigating and intimidating dissidents and other disfavored individuals. How should the United States and other governments approach these China-backed presences? Is criminal prosecution the right tool?

For object lessons, Jed recommended "The Only Woman in the Room," a new biography of Israeli prime minister Golda Meir by his colleague Pnina Lahav. Quinta rolled logs for her latest piece on the Dominion settlement with Fox News in Lawfare. Alan highlighted the fact that Stormy Daniels has received a lifetime achievement award from PornHub—a publication Alan insists he reads for the articles—as well as the fantastic new Apple movie "Sharper." And Scott gave his strongest recommendation for season 2 of the phenomenal BBC podcast "The Lazarus Heist," which digs even deeper into the crimes of (and context surrounding) the North Korea-backed hacker ring, The Lazarus Group.