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.
Latest in The Lawfare Podcast
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?
The Lawfare Podcast Bonus Edition: Vindman, Williams, Volker and Morrison vs the Committee with No Bull
It was an impeachment double-header today in the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. In the morning, 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. In the afternoon, 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.
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.
On May 10, the Brookings Institution hosted a public conversation between former FBI General Counsel Jim Baker, who is now the Director for 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This week, in Israel, Ben had two conversations about the television show Fauda. On Tuesday, Ben spoke with Avi Issacharoff, the show's co-creator and a journalist at the Times of Israel and Walla!. Then, on Thursday, Ben talked to Brig. Gen. Dov "Fufi" Sedaka, a former Israeli special operator and former head of the Civil Administration in the West Bank. With each, Ben discussed Fauda's portrayal of the complicated lives of Israeli special operators, as well as perceptions of the show in Israel and the Palestinian territories.