The Week That Was

The Week That Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

By Lev Sugarman
Saturday, February 16, 2019, 9:43 AM

On Friday, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency on the U.S.-Mexico border to secure funds previously denied by Congress to build a border wall. Matthew Kahn shared the official proclamation, and Scott Anderson and Margaret Taylor examined the legal authorities cited in the declaration.

Josh Blackman argued that a law passed by Congress and signed by President Obama after Trump's election contributed to Trump’s ability to unilaterally reprogram money for border wall construction. 

Scott Anderson and Benjamin Wittes questioned the data cited by Trump as proof of a border crisis, sharing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request they filed in search of the data described in Trump’s rambling.

Jack Goldsmith examined what was extraordinary about the declaration—and what was not extraordinary about it.

And Bobby Chesney reflected on judicial deference on national security fact matters and what the proclamation may mean for Big Bend National Park.

In Mueller world, Goldsmith and Maddie McMahon examined newly-confirmed Attorney General William Barr’s legal commitments, or lack thereof, to publicly release Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report. Matthew Kahn shared an order from proceedings in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia declaring that Paul Manafort violated his plea agreement with Mueller’s prosecutors by intentionally making false statements. Mikhaila Fogel shared comment she received from the special counsel’s office spokesman, Peter Carr. And Lev Sugarman posted a gag order Judge Amy Berman Jackson placed on participants of the Roger Stone case.

Scott Anderson and Benjamin Wittes filed FOIA requests seeking the Justice Department’s responses to former Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker’s public comments on the Mueller investigation, along with its correspondence with Mueller’s team on the BuzzFeed News reporting about Michael Cohen. Following Whitaker’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee last Friday, Elena Kagan shared a Lawfare Podcast Bonus Edition featuring only the testimony relevant for Lawfare listeners:

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of Rational Security featuring discussion with Tamara Cofman Wittes, Shane Harris, Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes on reports that Mueller is close to the end of his inquiry, White House action against Huawei and more:

In cybersecurity new, Paul Rosenzweig commented on proposals to establish a centralized government cybersecurity agency. Christopher Porter and Klara Jordan discussed debates on cyber attribution that could split the NATO alliance. Lev Sugarman shared a livestream of a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on election security. And Stewart Baker shared an episode of The Cyberlaw Podcast featuring Jeff Bezos’s extortion accusations against the National Enquirer, EU regulation of social media and more:

Remco Zwetsloot and Allan Dafoe proposed a structural perspective for thinking about artificial intelligence risk. And Matthew Kahn shared Trump’s executive order establishing a national AI initiative.

In this week’s Foreign Policy Essay, Maira Seeley explored how countering violent extremism (CVE) programs must adapt to the particular needs of refugee communities.

Robert Chesney discussed the legal issues that could arise from recent reporting on former NSA employees working for a UAE intelligence agency.

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast featuring a panel discussion from Arnold & Porter’s Veterans and Affiliates Leadership Organization on the future of warfare and its effects on veterans:

Mollie Saltskog and Colin P. Clarke examined how the U.S. withdrawal from Syria could present strategic opportunities for China.

Suzanne Maloney analyzed the current state of the Iranian government 40 years after the revolution.

Jen Patja Howell sharedLawfare Podcast episode featuring a discussion between Benjamin Wittes and Amanda Sloat on Brexit:

Steve Vladeck unpacked the details of a case involving the authority to court-martial retired service members for crimes committed after leaving active duty.

Elena Chachko discussed a recent International Court of Justice decision in a case brought by Iran against the U.S. on asset seizure.

Lev Sugarman shared an indictment alleging that a former Air Force counterintelligence specialist shared classified intelligence with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

And Robert Chesney and Steve Vladeck shared an episode of The National Security Law Podcast featuring more discussion on the court-martial case mentioned above, the prospects of transferring Islamic State detainees to Guantanamo, and more:

And that was the week that was.