The Week That Was

The Week that Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

By Gordon Ahl
Saturday, October 19, 2019, 7:48 AM

Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes posted part twelve of The Report, Lawfare’s podcast recounting the story of the Mueller Report. This episode covered several events considered as possible cases of obstruction of justice, including Trump’s reaction to the public's becoming aware of the infamous Trump Tower meeting and the president’s later attempts to have the Special Counsel fired:

Shibley Telhami and Stella M. Rouse released the results of their new public opinion poll on the possible impeachment of President Trump, which indicates that there is potential for further shift in public support for impeachment as more information becomes available to the public.

Several developments in the impeachment took place this week, with new testimony on the Ukraine scandal from Amb. Gordon Sondland, whose opening statement was made available Lawfare, and testimony from Fiona Hill, which the White House sought to limit as described in a letter to her counsel.

Robert Litt argued that the whistleblower should not have to testify before Congress. Also, Jacques Singer-Emery and Jack Goldsmith discussed the potential role played by the OMB in withholding the aid to Ukraine.

This week’s episode of Rational Security also covered the congressional testimony, the role played by Rudy Giuliani in L'Affaire Ukrainienne and the White House's vow of non-cooperation with the impeachment inquiry—as well as the crisis of Turkish forces in Syria:

Related to the developments in Syria, Thomas Renard and Rik Coolsaet explained that European governments would be better off considering repatriation for many of their Islamic State foreign fighters currently detained in Iraq and Syria. In terms of Turkey, Galip Dalay considered how Turkish opposition parties can manage domestic policies on Kurdish issues as an opportunity to attack President Erdogan. Additionally, Gordon Ahl posted video coverage of a House hearing on the final report of the Syria Study Group.

Robert Chesney and Steve Vladeck shared an episode of The National Security Law Podcast, in which they opened on the topic of legal hurdles to the U.S. military detention of two formerly-British Islamic State members:

On Fault Lines, a podcast from the National Security Institute at George Mason University, there was more discussion on Syria from the U.S. perspective; the episode also featured a second topic dealing with the NBA in China:

Andrew Keane Woods criticized the idea that American moral norms, particularly free speech, should be adopted globally in the wake of the NBA scandal in China. Matt Perault explained that the NBA can take lessons from the policy adjustments made by tech firms on matters related to human rights when seeking to do business in China.

At the international level, Ben Saul analyzed how recent United Nations resolutions show a trend away from emphasizing the importance of human rights in counterterrorism efforts. Ahl also posted the newly released UN human rights guidance on “less-lethal weapons” used by law enforcement.

Jen Patja Howell shared two episodes of The Lawfare Podcast this week. First, Scott Anderson spoke with journalist Leah Sottile on the far-right militia movement in the U.S.:

The second episode featured audio from a live panel with a variety of former government officials at the Texas Tribune Festival on domestic terrorism:

Jonathan Greenblatt and George Selim considered the various entities that can play a role in mitigating the threat of white supremacist terrorism.

Max Smeets discussed his proposal for memoranda of understanding between NATO states concerning offensive cyber effects operations. Herb Lin commented on the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s new proposal to contact businesses vulnerable to external threats and explained why businesses fear this new proposal could be abused.

Stewart Baker shared the latest episode of the Cyberlaw Podcast, featuring coverage of the latest cyber news and an interview with Sultan Meghji, CEO of Neocova:

Eric Manpearl and Steve Slick argued that an Obama-era directive on signals intelligence collection of foreign nationals needs to be re-evaluated. Across the border in Canada, Preston Lim provided updates on security issues facing the country, including the arrest of a top police official on charges of violating the Security of Information Act.

Judd Devermont explored the ways the United States should respond to Russia's efforts to reassert a presence in Africa.

Patrick Hulme discussed the trade-offs in public support that presidents face when seeking authorization for military force solely from an international organization instead of consulting Congress.

Charlie Dunlap suggested that a lawyer’s ethical confidentiality responsibilities to a client can extend beyond attorney-client privilege.

Ahl shared the livestream of a House Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing entitled, “Fostering a Healthier Internet to Protect Consumers.”

Following the fourth Democratic primary debate, Vishnu Kannan provided all the national security-related exchanges from the candidates.

Mikhaila Fogel shared an announcement of an event from the Hoover Institution on Jack Goldsmith’s new book, “In Hoffa’s Shadow.”

Finally, Jacob Schulz announced that Lawfare is now accepting spring internship applications.

And that was the week that was.