The Week That Was

The Week That Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

By Vanessa Sauter
Saturday, January 13, 2018, 6:51 AM

The week started with President Donald Trump embroiled in another controversy, as the publication of Fire and Fury sparked new conversations about the president's competence. Bob Bauer suggested that Trump’s threat to sue the author and publisher of the book harms democratic norms. Jonathan Rauch argued that Steve Bannon’s use of the word “treasonous” as described in the book actually benefited the country.

Benjamin Wittes shared the second part of his interview with Mike Doran, which takes a deep-dive into how Doran views Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and the Russia matter.

Bauer addressed Trump's hesistancy in committing to an interview with Mueller. Matthew Kahn posted the transcript from the Senate Judiciary Committee testimony of Glenn Simpson, the Fusion GPS founder. Evelyn Douek analyzed recent congressional committee hearings with tech companies to predict how the public and private sectors will continue the debates on Russian meddling in 2018.

Julia Ioffe came on the Lawfare Podcast to discuss Putin’s real agenda with Alina Polyakova as guest host. 

Paul Rosenzweig challenged Herb Lin’s conclusion that preventing election interference isn’t a cybersecurity issue. Susan Landau picked up on the discussion, contending that the problem rests in how we define cybersecurity; she recommended that psychological warfare be included in the definition.

Kahn shared a speech from Christopher Wray on the FBI’s cybersecurity strategy.

Dan Geer questioned the focus on optimization and efficiency in light of Meltdown and Spectre.

The House voted to renew Section 702 on Thursday, but not before Trump tweeted against the legislation. Benjamin Wittes and Susan Hennessey expressed serious concern about Trump’s statement and its damage to his own party. Sarah Tate Chambers, Kahn and Chinmayi Sharma compiled documents related to Section 702 reauthorization.

Stewart Baker posted this week’s Cyberlaw Podcast featuring an interview with Mara Hvistendahl on China’s social credit scoring.

Bobby Chesney and Steve Vladeck summarized the merits issues in ACLU v. Mattis. I flagged the U.S. government response in the case following last week’s habeas petition. Chesney called attention to a Justice Department policy document on the duty to look for discoverable information in the hands of the intelligence community or Department of Defense.

Chesney and Vladeck also shared this week’s National Security Law Podcast, covering ACLU v. Mattis, Dalmazzi v. United States and FISA.

With another looming deadline in the Iran nuclear deal, Elena Chachko reviewed the status of recertification and what to expect next. Samuel Estreicher highlighted his recent article in the Fordham Law Review on the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s implementation of Iran sanction waivers. John Bellinger and Richard Fontaine noted the absence of emphasis on promotion of international human rights in the Trump administration’s new National Security Strategy and stated their hope that President Trump’s newfound concerns about human rights in Iran would result in greater efforts by his administration to support human rights more generally.

In this week’s Middle East Ticker, Dana Stuster reviewed Iran’s subsiding protests, Saudi economic reforms and possible U.S. cuts to Palestinians. Following the State Department placing Pakistan on a “Special Watch List,” Harry Graver provided a primer on the International Religious Freedom Act. Meanwhile in Libya, a monetary crisis threatens peace. Jalel Harchaoui outlined the crisis.

In this week’s Foreign Policy Essay, Charlie Winter and Jade Parker discussed how the Islamic State is adapting its online presence amid losing territory in Syria and Iraq.  

Rosenzweig evaluated the Temporary Protected Status following Trump’s decision to end the status for El Salvadorans affected by the 2001 earthquake.

Josh Blackman argued against the reasoning behind a federal court's decision to halt DACA’s reversal.

Mieke Eoyang, Wittes and Benjamin Freeman reviewed the latest data from Lawfare’s survey project.

Wittes also posted this week's Rational Security—on North Korea, Pakistan, the Steele dossier and a new dating service. 

And that was the week that was.