The Week That Was

The Week That Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

By Hadley Baker, Vishnu Kannan
Saturday, June 8, 2019, 7:47 AM

As part of an ongoing debate about the attorney general’s declassification authority, Jack Goldsmith responded to a post by Benjamin Wittes and David Kris, arguing that there are good reasons to investigate the Trump campaign investigators and to give the attorney general limited declassification authority with respect to that investigation. 

Goldsmith also analyzed the attorney general’s interview with CBS’s Jan Crawford.

Bob Bauer reflected on Bob Mueller's handling of the Russia investigation and the dissemination of the Mueller report. David Priess announced the publication of a new Lawfare e-book containing the site's coverage of the report. Wittes flagged the publication of an Audible audiobook of his diary on the report.

In light of renewed calls for impeachment, Keith E. Whittington argued that Alan Dershowitz’s suggestion President Trump could appeal to the courts to overturn an impeachment conviction is dangerous. 

Paul Rosenzweig told Jared Kushner to call the FBI next time. 

Mieke Eoyang, Ben Freeman, Ryan Pougiales, and Wittes posted data from their May 2019 survey of public confidence in government and national security instutitions.

Shibley Telhami described how Trump’s approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ignores history and the human dimension of the conflict.

Bennett Clifford and Helen Christy Powell evaluated the effectiveness of removing extremist content from online platforms.

Jen Patja Howell shared the most recent episode of Rational Security, in which Tamara Cofman Wittes, Shane Harris, Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes discussed the special counsel’s statement, the attorney general’s new declassification authorities, and Kushner’s Middle East peace plan: 

Hilary Hurd and Nathaniel Sobel reviewed the administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran and Ranj Alaadin described how a clash between the U.S. and Iran involving Iranian proxies could disrupt Iraq’s fragile peace. Heather Hurlburt analyzed how grand strategists are rethinking how the U.S. should engage the world in the age of Donald Trump.

Goldsmith highlighted the publication of the spring 2019 Harvard National Security Journal.

Last week, President Trump announced new tariffs on Mexico, set to take effect on June 10—a step he called off Friday evening after announcing an agreement with Mexico on migration. Scott Anderson and Kathleen Claussen emphasized that while the tariff action isn’t necessarily unprecedented, it remains exceptional. 

Jeremy Gordon and Hadley Baker compiled a tracker of border wall litigation. Matthew Kahn shared a ruling by Judge Trevor McFadden of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that the House of Representatives lacked standing to sue executive branch departments to prevent them from spending money to build a border wall. 

In cybersecurity coverage, Nicholas Weaver explained that the GCHQ’s disclosure of the “BlueKeep” vulnerability offers an opportunity for the U.S. to learn from how the British handle the question of vulnerabilities equities.

Stewart Baker offered a modest proposal for preventing election interference in 2020. He also shared the latest episode of the Cyberlaw Podcast, featuring his conversation with Kris and Rosenzweig on privacy and exceptional access, the “silicon curtain” between the U.S. and China, and more: 

Tom Kellogg assessed Hong Kong's new and controversial extradition law.

Rachel Sweet argued that the aggressive mandate given to U.N. peacekeeping forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo is the wrong approach for such a complex conflict.

Rachel Brown and Preston Lim published the latest SinoTech column, and Lim released the first installation of his new column on Canadian national security. 

Last Saturday, Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast featuring a Brookings event featuring the CIA’s privacy and civil liberties officer: 

On Tuesday, she shared another episode of the Lawfare Podcast, a conversation with Nada Bakos on her new book, “The Targeter”: 

And that was the week that was.