FBI Director James Comey kicked off this week by dropping the bombshell during the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence’s open hearing on Russian active measures during the campaign that there is, in fact, an ongoing investigation into possible collusion between associates of President Donald Trump and Russian intelligence operatives during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Before the hearing, Benjamin Wittes explained how we should listen to Comey’s testimony on Monday. As the hearing was taking place, Quinta Jurecic, Ben, and Susan Hennessey posted video and a live-blog of the hearing, and after it Ben explained how we should read Comey’s testimony. Adam Klein provided some takeaways from the hearing.
Meanwhile, Quinta posted a special emergency edition of the Lawfare Podcast, providing only the relevant parts of the hearing:
Representative Adam Schiff, ranking member of the HPSCI, posted an adaptation of his remarks at the Brookings Institution this past Tuesday.
Jack Goldsmith presented some of the many challenges of working for Donald Trump.
The Rational Security gang discussed Comey’s bombshell and Schiff’s talk in this week’s podcast, the “What’s the Russian Word for ‘Edition’?” Edition, which Ben posted:
Then came the next bombshell: HPSCI Chairman Devin Nunes announcing that based on documents that he (and no other member of the HPSCI) had read, he concluded that Trump and members of his transition had their communications incidentally collected, among other things. Ben, Susan, and Quinta offered a guide for those perplexed about Nunes’s statements, and Susan and Ben reiterated that it’s time for a select committee to investigate the Russia connection. Jane Chong took a closer look at Nunes’s behavior since the beginning of March.
Helen Klein Murillo provided a primer examining the three major criminal laws of lying that have pervaded public discourse on the Russia connection.
In other news, Sarah Tate Chambers examined Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch’s positions on cyber-related issues in Part I of a three-part essay.
Quinta Jurecic posted the regularly scheduled edition of the Lawfare Podcast on “Cybersecurity in the Trump Administration.”
Edward Jay Epstein detailed the damage that Edward Snowden did in compromising sensitive compartmentalized information.
David Kris discussed the CIA’s new guidelines governing publicly available information.
Daniel Severson released a Aegis Paper Series paper on the encryption debate in Europe.
Paul Rosenzweig flagged a report about a Maryland man weaponizing Twitter.
Stewart Baker posted the Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast: "Debating Hackbacks."
Herb Lin amplified some of Bobby’s Chesney’s concerns about the Active Defense Certainty Defense Act.
Matthew Waxman examined the question of international law and deterring cyberattacks.
Robert Silvers asked whether the Trump administration will protect hard-won progress with China on cybersecurity.
In the Foreign Policy Essay, Raphael S. Cohen examined why strategies don’t work, and how to fix them. Quinta Jurecic posted the livestream of the “Intelligence in Defense of the Homeland” symposium at UT Austin, featuring FBI Director James Comey and Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert.
Taisu Zhang explained what the Trump presidency means for China.
Timothy R. Heath argued that China will not unify with Taiwan by 2020 because Beijing lacks compelling military options.
And Stephen Haggard commented on six components of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s trip to Asia. Jimmy Chalk and Sarah Grant examined how Tillerson told the Chinese what they wanted to hear while U.S. seek the capability to defend themselves in these week's “Water Wars.”
Luca Marzorati discussed the ruling by the D.C. Circuit’s ruling in Doe v. Ethiopia.
Tod Lindberg provided a brief overview of the report he co-wrote with Lee Feinstein entitled “Allies Against Atrocities: The Imperative for Transatlantic Cooperation to Prevent and Stop Mass Killings.”
Pnina Sharvit Baruch provided a critical analysis of the report of the UN Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry into the 2014 Gaza conflict.
April Doss examined the Trump administration’s proposals to examine the social media accounts of visitors to the United States.
Jane Chong presented three vexing questions connected to Trump’s new refugee ban executive order and the court rulings against it.
J. Dana Stuster argued that the Trump administration’s new electronics ban applying to eight Muslim-majority countries is a case study in credibility, and posted the “Middle East Ticker,” while Paul explained how the reaction to the ban points to how Trump is destroying the presumption of regularity.
Sheikh Jamal Al-Dhari argued that Trump must learn from the U.S. mistakes in Iraq by helping shape a political solution in the country.
Turning to terrorism, Bobby Chesney flagged the Justice Department’s suit to revoke the citizenship of convicted al Qaeda operative Iyman Faris, a naturalized U.S. citizen, and Nora Ellingsen chronicled the ISIS-free week we had when it came to international terrorism prosecutions. Helen Klein Murillo commented on the two-pronged order issued by the Court of Military Commissions in the long-simmering appeal of Ibrahim Ahmed Mahmoud al Qosi’s conviction.
Jack Goldsmith and Benjamin Wittes posted a reminder about the upcoming Hoover Book Soiree on Graeme Wood’s The Way of the Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State.
As the Guantanamo military commissions continued for the USS Cole case and the 9/11 case, Quinta flagged military commissions chief prosecutor Mark Martins’s statement on pretrial hearings conducted in the U.S.S. Cole bombing case, and flagged the filing of a petition for certiorari in the Al Nashiri habeas case.
Cody Poplin chronicled the pre-trial questioning of FBI agents about identification of evidence in the 3/15 session of the week’s military commissions, while Isaac Park recounted the testimony of two witnesses over the admissibility of evidence in the 3/16 session of the commissions. Helen Klein Murillo chronicled medical records, high value detainee designations, and classification guidance at the 3/20 session of the commissions, and continued the chronicling of classification guidance and moved on to compelling discovery in the 3/21 session.
And finally, Ben invited everyone to the annual Third Triple Entente Beer Summit. If you haven't already signed up, space is limited so get on it now.
And that was the week that was.