President Trump got us started this week by tweeting that former President Barack Obama had ordered a “tapp” of his phones during the presidential election. Benjamin Wittes asked ten questions that were on everyone’s minds after President Trump’s Twitter outburst, and then added another ten questions after the first round of reporting emerged over the weekend.
Stewart Baker threw eight buckets of cold water on Trump’s claims about wiretapping to calm both parties, while Paul Rosenzweig described why he would not include the Obama wiretap allegation in an investigation of connections between Russia and Trump and offered suggestions for how he would begin investigating the purported links between Moscow and Trump Tower.
Jane Chong asked whether the acting attorney general can block White House requests to access national security information that might be part of an attempt to interfere politically with DoJ’s investigative power. Michael Linhorst commented on a decision by the US District Court in D.C. saying that documents the FBI creates when processing FOIA requests can be withheld.
The Rational Security gang provided a discussion, which Ben posted, of the wiretaps, along with the other huge development this week: Wikileaks’s release of a trove of CIA documents purportedly detailing the CIA's cyber capabilities.
Bobby Chesney and Steve Vladeck posted Episode 7 of the National Security Law podcast, which also discussed the wiretaps and the Wikileaks trove.
Stewart posted the Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast: "Fancy Bear, Cozy Bear, and . . . Sneaky Bear?"
Bobby Chesney commented on the Active Cyber Defense Certainty Act discussion draft.
Matthew Waxman asked three questions about cyber operations and the North Korean missile system.
Jimmy Chalk and Sarah Grant detailed China’s progress on the Code of Conduct as its tourism plans move forward in “Water Wars.” Julian Ku and Chris Mirasola explained how China’s 2017 summer fishing moratorium may rekindle conflict with the Philippines.
Arun Mohan Sukumar analyzed whether the suspension by DHS of the expedited processing of H-1B visas will hold U.S.-India conversations on “high technology” hostage.
Elena Chachko provided legal context to Israel’s anti-BDS travel ban.
Alex Simon examined how to keep the peace in Lebanon.
In the Foreign Policy Essay, Douglas Ollivant pointed out that, for all its faults, Iraq has been a commendable ally in the fight against the Islamic State.
Lisa Daniels chronicled discovery woes, unauthorized browsing, and Captain “X” at the 3/6 session of this week’s military commissions, while Quinta Jurecic provided a programming note on this week’s military commissions coverage.
David Kimball-Stanley reviewed the NYPD’s new oversight deal regarding its surveillance practices. Susan Hennessey and Quinta provided a quick review of the two distinct legal definitions for a “foreign agent” under FISA and FARA as it applies to Michael Flynn.
Jeh Johnson posted the text of his speech at the Oxford Union on safeguarding our homeland and protecting our values within the context of Trump’s travel ban.
Quinta posted the text of the revised version of Trump’s travel ban executive order. Helen Klein Murillo summarized the new order, while Benjamin Wittes provided a quick and dirty analysis of the new order and Peter Margulies presented legal and empirical arguments for judicial deference to the new order.
James W. Davis, meanwhile, argued that ongoing developments in Europe provide ample grounds for rethinking the role of human rights in the international refugee regime.
John Bellinger lauded the choice of nominees for CIA General Counsel and Department of Defense General Counsel, while Quinta posted video of the confirmation hearing for Rod Rosenstein and Rachel Brand as Deputy and Associate Attorney General.
Quinta also posted the latest episode of The Lawfare Podcast, on what happens when we can’t believe the president’s oath of office:
Helen Klein Murillo discussed President Trump’s draft executive order proposing a revamping of the “public charge” law.
Matthew Waxman reviewed Deborah A. Rosen’s Border Law: The First Seminole War and American Nationhood and Benjamin Allen Coates’s Legalist Empire: International Law and American Foreign Relations in the Early Twentieth Century.
Benjamin Wittes called for applicants to the new National Security and Law Associate at the Hoover Institution, a position with a substantial role in Lawfare.
And that was the week that was.