The Week That Was

The Week That Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

By Hadley Baker
Saturday, June 1, 2019, 11:52 PM

On Wednesday, Special Counsel Robert Mueller made an unexpected statement on the Russia investigation. He reiterated his findings and analysis, resigned from the Justice Department and formally closed the special counsel’s office. Benjamin Wittes analyzed Mueller’s statement and examined what it means for Congress going forward and what a reasonable congressional response might look like. Matthew Kahn shared a special edition of the Lawfare Podcast in which Quinta Jurecic, David Kris, Paul Rosenzweig and Wittes discussed Mueller’s press conference and what next steps might be: 

David Priess offered his response to Mueller’s statement and explored how his actions throughout the investigation led to this statement.

Kris and Wittes discussed the president’s unusual delegation of declassification authority to the attorney general and the possible impacts of this decision. Jack Goldsmith responded with a less alarmed view of the action.

Jim Baker and Susan Landau discussed the future of encryption as it relates to the ability of law enforcement to obtain access. The article focuses on the trends of “user-controlled” encryption and the development of quantum computing.

Sharon Bradford Franklin and Andi Wilson Thompson shared their coalition letter to GCHQ about the “ghost” proposal set forth in Lawfare last fall. Franklin and Thompson’s letter highlights their concerns that the proposal poses serious cybersecurity and human rights concerns.

Max Smeets analyzed the changes in United States cyber strategy and how these might affect not only adversaries, but allies as well.

Jen Patja Howell shared this week’s episode of the Lawfare Podcast, featuring a panel from last month’s Verify conference, where Avril Haines, Eric Rosenbach and David Sanger discussed the U.S.’s approach to offensive cyber operations:

Stewart Baker released an episode of the Cyberlaw Podcast discussing China tech fear and what Baker calls “cheap fakes”:

Robert Chesney, Danielle Citron and Jurecic discussed the recent video of Nancy Pelosi and other deceptively edited videos in the run-up to the 2020 election and addressed how political campaigns need to mitigate the harm of such videos, whether they are sophisticated or less convincing forms of fraud. 

Andrew Patterson examined Attorney General William Barr’s recent decision in the immigration case, Matter of M-S-, involving the detention status of an asylum seeker and the future of bond hearings in detention cases.

Chesney and Steve Vladeck shared the latest episode of the National Security Law Podcast, in which they discussed a range of developments in national security law. Some of these included the charges against Julian Assange, border wall funding, the cross-border shooting case, Russia’s firing and seizing of Ukranian vessels, and commentary on terrorism-related case developments:

Eric Rosand assessed the need for prevention programs to combat domestic terrorism, analyzing multidisciplinary frameworks of approaching extremism to create more effective programs than those currently in existence.

Amanda Sloat analyzed the future of Brexit following Prime Minister Theresa May’s resignation.

Israel faced political turmoil too this week, and Amichai Cohen offered insight into the background behind the failure of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to form a coalition before the deadline on Wednesday, forcing the country to engage in a second round of parliamentary elections in September—and how this amounts to a genuine Israeli constitutional crisis.

Mikhaila Fogel compared President Trump’s contemplation of pardons for war criminals to President Nixon’s intervention in Lt. William Calley’s 1971 case in connection with the My Lai massacre.

Jurecic shared the General Counsel of U.S. Department of Defense’s keynote address at the Israel Defense Forces 3rd International Conference on the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC). Paul C. Ney Jr. discussed issues of emerging technology in order to minimize civilian casualties, as they relate to the LOAC.

Ashley Deeks analyzed the way tech companies have recently made decisions in order to enforce international law against states to restrict the availability of their products in states that might use them in illegal ways.

And Howell posted an episode of The Lawfare Podcast featuring a conversation on China policy by former Senate Foreign Relations Committee staffers Lester Munson, Jodi Herman, Jamil Jaffer, and Dana Stroul:

And that was the week that was.