The Week That Was

The Week That Was

By William Appleton
Friday, October 14, 2022, 5:48 PM

Quinta Jurecic discussed former President Trump’s consistent pattern of attempting to stymie the Mueller investigation, the work of the House select committee to investigate Jan. 6 and the Justice Department’s Mar-a-Lago investigation, and the legal implications for the ongoing investigations now that Trump is no longer president. 

Hyemin Han shared the Justice Department's opening brief in the Eleventh Circuit for an appeal of U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon's Sept. 5 order appointing a special master to oversee privilege claims of documents seized during the Aug. 8 search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence. It asked the Eleventh Circuit to vacate Cannon’s order in its entirety with instructions to dismiss the case.

Han also shared the Justice Department’s Oct. 11 response in opposition to former President Trump’s Oct. 4 application to the Supreme Court for a partial vacatur of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit’s Sept. 21 order allowing the Justice Department to resume use of materials it has been previously enjoined from using in a Sept. 5 order by U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon.

William Appleton shared a livestream of the Jan. 6 Select Committee’s Oct. 13 hearing, announced as the final one. The Lawfare team also hosted a Twitter Spaces on the hearing at 5 p.m. ET.

Hadley Baker shared an episode of Lawfare No Bull which featured audio from the Jan. 6 committee’s ninth public hearing:

Benjamin Wittes sat down for a conversation with Jurecic, Alan Rozenshtein, and Molly Reynolds on Twitter Spaces to discuss the ninth Jan. 6 select committee hearing, the subpoena of Donald Trump, how this all could impact the upcoming midterm elections, and the performance of the committee given the constraints it faced: 


Katherine Pompilio shared former President Donald Trump’s letter in response to the House select committee’s decision to issue him a subpoena seeking information about his involvement in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.   

Han also shared the Biden-Harris administration’s first National Security Strategy which details the administration’s “enduring vision” for the U.S. in the coming decade, its views on investment priorities, the administration’s global priorities, and a breakdown of the administration's national security strategy by region.

Stewart Baker, Nick Weaver, Matthew Heiman, and Brian Fleming sat down to discuss the White House Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights, the criminal conviction of Uber’s CSO Joe Sullivan, new export restrictions on U.S. technology and its implications for U.S.-China trade relations, a Russian hack and leak operation, and more:

Henry Farrell and Bruce Schneier discussed the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control’s sanctions of Tornado Cash, a cryptocurrency and money-laundering platform, and the implications for cryptocurrency regulation if decentralized autonomous organizations like Tornado Cash are afforded First Amendment protections.
Jordan Schneider sat down for a conversation with Kevin Wolf, partner at Akin Gump, to discuss the U.S. Commerce Department's new export control regulations, what the regulations mean for the global semiconductor industry, and if the regulations are even enforceable:

Chenny Zhang discussed the possibility of the American drug industry experiencing a similar manufacturing crisis as the semiconductor industry due to the increasing likelihood of industry consolidation, the difficulties of the regulatory approval process and its impacts on innovation, and the importance of the U.S. bioeconomy for national security. 

Russell Buchan and Joe Devanny responded to a recent Lawfare article on the U.K.’s cyber strategy and emphasized the need for a nuanced and incremental development of that strategy to achieve the responsible and democratic use of cyber power. 

Han sat down for a conversation with Alexander Downes, professor of political science and international affairs at The George Washington University, to discuss the history of foreign-imposed regime change, what lessons can be learned from past foreign-imposed regime changes, and why, when it actually works, its success doesn’t last very long:

Tyler McBrien sat down with Belén Carrasco Rodríguez and Tom Southern of the Center for Information Resilience to discuss their research into how Russia establishes and strengthens occupational rule, the Russian playbook for control, and the ways that forced assimilation may or may not be working:

Benjamin Wittes sat down for a conversation with Svitlana Khytrenko, a Ukrainian student who escaped Kyiv in March, to talk about her experiences as a refugee, her life in Poland, and her feelings about the Russian invasion:

Jordan Schneider sat down for a conversation with Kamil Galeev to discuss the prospects of nuclear war, the stability of the Russian state, Moscow’s grip on annexed regions, Putin’s future viability, and more:

Katherine Yon Ebright discussed an obscure counterterrorism authority used to create and control proxy forces across Africa and Asia, its intersection with the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), and argued that the executive branch’s current interpretation may have gone beyond its previous representations to Congress and the public. 

Caleb Johnson and Yang Liu provided a summary of President Joe Biden’s Oct. 7 executive order which laid out a framework in which the government can conduct signals intelligence activities; establishes a three-layer redress mechanism to address potential violations of privacy, civil liberties, or law; and also fulfills prior commitments to provide higher privacy protections and a more durable basis for future trans-Atlantic data flows. 

Renee DiResta and John Perrino discussed the new history of U.S. military information campaigns, how it illustrates the challenges of reaching and influencing online audiences, and argued for a U.S. policy of “radical transparency” in the information ecosystem in contrast to the opaque policies and disinformation campaigns of authoritarian adversaries such as Russia. 

David Priess sat down for a chat with Jordan Taylor, historian and author of Misinformation Nation: Foreign News and the Politics of Truth in Revolutionary America. They discussed the persistence of misinformation, the origins and limits of newspapers in colonial America, the Illuminati scare of 1798-99, and more:

McBrien also reviewed Sierra Pettengill’s documentary “Riotsville, U.S.A.” (2022) which illustrates the history of police militarization in the United States, the legacies of the Kerner Commission, and the importance of investigating the origins of repressive social forces.

Wittes also sat down with Jurecic, Rozenshtein, and Scott R. Anderson to discuss the current state of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the two cases recently taken up by the Supreme Court relating to Section 230, and what the correct interpretation of 230—if there is one—might look like:

Rozenshtein, Jurecic, and Anderson also sat down with Ashley Deeks, professor of law at the University of Virginia Law School, to discuss some of the week’s big national security news including: developments in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Saudi Arabia’s decision to cut oil production, and the Supreme Court's decision to take up two cases related to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act:

And that was the week that was.