The Week That Was

The Week that Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

By Lev Sugarman
Saturday, March 23, 2019, 9:18 AM

On Friday evening, Attorney General William Barr notified the House and Senate judiciary committees that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had completed his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Quinta Jurecic posted Barr's letter to Congress, and Benjamin Wittes shared some "very quick thoughts" on the end of the investigation and what could come next. 

In other L’Affaire Russe news, Mikhaila Fogel shared search warrants and supporting materials from the prosecution of Michael Cohen by the U.S. Attorney’s office in the southern district of New York. Fogel also posted a letter from three House committee chairmen seeking White House records related to reports that President Donald Trump concealed details of his conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as the White House Counsel’s refusal to produce the documents.

Lev Sugarman shared interview transcripts from former Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI Counterintelligence Division Peter Strzok's interview with the House Judiciary Committee. And Benjamin Wittes posted an episode of the Lawfare Podcast Shorts series in which Toomas Ilves, David Kris, John Legend, Rachel Maddow, Alina Polyakova and Charlie Sykes provided a narrative reading of excerpts of documents filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller:

Scott Anderson discussed President Trump's decision to recognize Israel's claim to the disputed Golan Heights.

Lev Sugarman shared a list prepared by the Department of Defense of all possible military construction projects from which funding could be redirected to build President Trump’s border wall.

Peter Margulies analyzed the Supreme Court’s Tuesday decision on mandatory detention of certain non-citizens.

And Sugarman also posted a filing issued by a federal judge clarifying that the preliminary injunction of President Trump’s transgender service ban issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia is still in effect.

This week in counterterrorism, Jacob Olidort wrote in the Foreign Policy Essay on what the Islamic State’s territorial defeat means for the future of the group overall.

Following last week’s terror attack in New Zealand, Carrie Cordero suggested methods for adapting to threats emanating from far-right extremism. Joshua A. Geltzer, Mary B. McCord and Nicholas Rasmussen discussed the decreasing salience of the domestic-international distinction when thinking about terrorism. And Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of Rational Security featuring conversation between Scott Anderson, Tamara Cofman Wittes, Shane Harris and Benjamin Wittes on the domestic versus international terrorism question, the Trump administration’s revocation of International Criminal Court investigators’ visas and more:

In terrorism prosecutions, Sugarman shared a D.C. federal court ruling denying a habeas petition filed by a Guantanamo detainee.

Emma Broches and Julia Solomon-Strauss summarized U.S. terrorism prosecutions from the past winter.

And Sugarman shared a 65-count superseding criminal information filed by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office charging Cesar Sayoc for mailing pipe bombs to prominent government officials, politicians and CNN.

Rachel Brown and Preston Lim brought us up to speed on recent developments in U.S.-China trade negotiations, tensions over Huawei and more.

Diego A. Zambrano analyzed the Venezuelan constitution’s role in facilitating its authoritarian presidents.

Amanda Sloat discussed the EU’s decision to extend the Brexit deadline.

And Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast featuring a discussion on African elections between David Priess and CSIS expert Judd Devermont:

Geoffrey S. Corn and Peter Margulies offered an analysis on the U.N. report on Israeli conduct during the 2018 Gaza border protests.

Ingrid Wuerth revisited her previous writing on the increasingly strained relationship between human rights and international law.

And Jen Patja Howell shared a Lawfare Podcast episode on authoritarian governments’ manipulation of Interpol, featuring Bill Browder and Jago Russell:

In cybersecurity and technology news, Max Smeets argued for replacing redlines in cyberspace with positive determinations of how adversaries are allowed to act.

Katherine Kelley took a deep dive into new data on public sextortion cases.

Herb Lin distilled a lesson from the college admissions scandal for debates on the subject of encryption.

And Stewart Baker shared an episode of the Cyberlaw Podcast featuring a DHS facial scanning program, a lawsuit against Google on conservative speech and more:

Mieke Eoyang, Ben Freeman, Ryan Pougiales and Wittes shared February’s data from their polling project on public confidence in government on national security matters.

Molly Reynolds introduced the House Oversight Tracker, a new Brookings resource aggregating all House oversight activity throughout the 116th Congress.

Nathaniel Sobel unpacked an anti-BDS bill passed by the Senate and ongoing litigation surrounding similar state laws.

And Quinta Jurecic shared documents unsealed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia related to Chelsea Manning’s refusal to comply with a grand jury subpoena.

And that was the week that was.