The Week That Was

The Week That Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

By Mikhaila Fogel
Saturday, March 2, 2019, 9:57 AM

On Wednesday, President Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen testified publicly before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform regarding the president’s conduct before, during and after the campaign. As Molly Reynolds correctly predicted, the hearing was a procedural nightmare, but Elena Kagan cut out the nightmare-ish elements of the hearing to bring listeners of the Lawfare Podcast a no-bull audio version of the hearing:

Mikhaila Fogel, Quinta Jurecic, Matthew Kahn, Margaret Taylor and Benjamin Wittes contextualized Cohen’s testimony in terms of L’Affaire Russe and other investigations of the president. Carrie Cordero explained the salience of one of the most explosive allegations to which Cohen testified: that Roger Stone told then-candidate Trump of his contacts with Wikileaks and the organization’s plan to release Hillary Clinton’s emails.

On this week’s Rational Security—shared by Jen Patja Howell—Shane Harris, Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes also discussed the testimony, as well as some other happenings in U.S.-Russia relations:

Ben Buchanan analyzed a Washington Post report that U.S. Cyber Command carried out an offensive cyber campaign against the Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll farm, on the day of the 2018 midterm elections. Paul Rosenzweig delved into the implications this alleged cyberattack on Russian soil could have on cyber conflict.

Arthur P.B. Laudrain outlined France’s new offensive cyber doctrine.

And on this week’s Cyberlaw Podcast, Stewart Baker and crew talk through Crowdstrike’s 2019 Global Threat Report: 

On the artificial intelligence front, Jim Baker dove into the good, the bad and the undefined of President Trump’s recent AI executive order.

In this week’s installment of the Lawfare Podcast: Culper Partners Rule of Law Series, Nate Jones and David Kris interviewed former Attorney General Eric Holder about his views on the proper relationship between a president and the Justice Department, the Office of Legal Counsel memos that prohibit indicting a sitting president, congressional oversight of the executive branch and more:

Former White House Counsel Bob Bauer examined Ken Starr’s recently published book, “Contempt: A Memoir of the Clinton Investigation” in light of the impending Mueller report. And Quinta Jurecic provided a read-out of the special counsel’s victory in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s ruling in the Andrew Miller case.

On this week’s National Security Law Podcast, Bobby Chesney and Steve Vladeck held a lively discussion covering whether Hoda Muthana, a U.S. woman who joined the Islamic State, could return to the U.S.; whether the State Department should designate drug cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations; and recent appellate court rulings regarding the Fifth Amendment and national security issues:

Jonathan Shaub also analyzed the Muthana case, along with the case of Shamima Begum, a young woman who left the U.K. to join the Islamic State, and the citizenship issues at stake. 

Turning to Congress, Hady Amr and Scott Anderson pointed out that Trump will need Congress to execute key aspects of his plan for Middle East peace. And Mary McCord and Jason Blazakis provided Congress with a road map to address domestic terrorism.

Blazakis also explained how U.S. diplomatic interventions might ease tensions between Pakistan and India.

Michelle Melton addressed both non-Paris Accord international efforts to combat climate change and the Trump administration's recently announced Presidential Committee on Climate Security.

Amanda Sloat pointed out that, one month away from Brexit, there is still no plan in place.

Dipali Mukhopadhyay asked what game theory can tell us about the conflict in Afghanistan.

Eliot Kim summarized the Supreme Court’s ruling in Jam v. International Finance Corporation.

Haim Abraham warned of possible consequences following a U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruling that the government of Syria is liable for the death of war correspondent Marie Colvin.

Sarah Grant explained a federal district court ruling declaring the male-only selective service system unconstitutional.

And that was the week that was.