The Week That Was

The Week That Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

By Vishnu Kannan
Saturday, June 15, 2019, 9:01 AM

As part of an ongoing debate about U.S. cyber strategy, Dan Efrony argued that U.S. and its allies’ highly ambiguous approach to law and policy in cyberspace undermines attempts to develop clear binding norms for state conduct.

On Tuesday, Jen Patja Howel shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast, a conversation with Nate Persily and Alex Stamos about their new report on election security:

Bobby Chesney summarized Congress's latest attempt to legislate cyber self-defense.

Hadley Baker shared audio from the Hewlett Foundation’s 2019 Verify Conference.

Evelyn Douek wrote about YouTube’s recent fiasco over whether a right-wing commentator violated its harassment and hate speech policies.

Irving Lachnow cautioned that smart home devices pose a risk—they can be used by one person to monitor and harass another person.

Stewart Baker shared the most recent episode of the Cyberlaw Podcast, a conversation covering the prospects for antitrust action against technology companies, a censorship suit in Austria, and Russian disinformation:

Amy Zeng released the most recent installation of Water Wars, covering exchanges between the U.S. and China at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue, the U.S.'s sale of surveillance drones to four allies and Japan’s planned purchase of F-35s.

On Wednesday, Jen Patja Howell shared the latest episode of Rational Security, a conversation with Tamara Cofman Wittes, Susan Hennessey, Benjamin Wittes and Sophia Yan on protests in Hong Kong, Kamala Harris’s comments on indicting Trump, and Pete Buttigieg’s foreign policy speech:

Benjamin Wittes urged Democrats to stop urging the prosecution of Trump for obstruction of justice and offered an alternative answer for when candidates face questions on the subject.

Molly Reynolds and Scott Anderson analyzed a new measure that increases the power of House committees to pursue enforcement of additional subpoenas.

Jonathan Shaub delved into the Trump administration's new interpretation of executive privilege.

Kia Rahnama explored whether Congress’s use of its contempt power to fine federal officials might allow it to better conduct high-profile investigations.

Vishnu Kannan shared livestreams of two House Intelligence Committee hearings, the first entitled "Lessons from the Mueller Report: Counterintelligence Implications of Volume 1,” the second on the “National Security Challenges of Artificial Intelligence, Manipulated Media and Deepfakes.”

Mikhaila Fogel and Hadley Baker shared the livestream of a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Part 1 of the Mueller report.

Fogel also shared the Justice Department’s response to the House Judiciary Committee’s request for further information regarding U.S. Attorney John Durham’s review of the Russia investigation.

She also posted a letter from the Justice Department informing the House Oversight and Reform Committee that President Trump has asserted executive privilege over certain documents subpoenaed by the committee regarding the administration's decision to include a question about U.S. citizenship in the 2020 census.

She also shared the Office of Legal Counsel's latest memo, in which it argues that the Treasury Department and IRS do not have an obligation to comply with Congress's requests for the president's tax returns.

Scott Anderson and Hadley Baker shared the House Armed Services Committee’s draft 2020 National Defense Authorization Act and Defense Authorization Bill.

Baker also shared an Office of Legal Counsel opinion which states that it is unconstitutional for Congress to prohibit executive branch lawyers from accompanying witnesses who are current and former executive branch employees when they are called to testify before Congress.

Steve Vladeck wrote that while the manner in which the Trump administration has installed a new acting director of the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services may not violate the plain letter of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, it can’t be reconciled with the law’s spirit.

Bobby Chesney discussed Justice Stephen Breyer’s analysis of the denial of cert in Al-Alwi v. Trump. Mikhaila Fogel shared both Justice Breyer’s analysis and Supreme Court’s denial of cert.

Chesney and Vladeck also shared the most recent episode of the National Security Law Podcast, in which they discuss the Supreme Court’s cert denial in al-Alwi, the FY’20 NDAA draft provisions, the Due Process Guarantee Act and more:

Fogel shared the Trump legal team’s brief in the case of Trump v. Mazars USA.

Sharan Grewal argued that the cancellation of Algeria’s elections is an opportunity for democratization.

Laura Donohue announced Georgetown Law Center’s comprehensive foreign intelligence law collection.

Charlie Dunlap reviewed the facts on Trump’s proposed pardons in military justice cases.

Peter Spiro reviewed Yael Tamir’s book, “Why Nationalism.”

Steven Pifer analyzed the challenges facing Ukraine’s bid for membership in NATO.

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast, the latest of the Culper Partners Rule of Law Series, in which David Kris and Nate Jones spoke with John Bellinger about recent assaults on the rules-based international order:

Jason M. Blazakis called for greater U.S. involvement in Sudan to facilitate a smooth transition from military to civilian rule following the military coup and recent protests over elections.

On Friday, Scott Anderson untangled the Yemen arms sale debate.

And that was the week that was.