The Week That Was

The Week that Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

By Gordon Ahl
Saturday, November 2, 2019, 9:21 AM

President Trump announced the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a televised address. Dan Byman commented on Trump’s speech and on how the president's remarks on the subject missed an opportunity to unite the country.

Mikhaila Fogel shared a special edition of The Lawfare Podcast, in which Scott R. Anderson, Benjamin Wittes and Byman discussed the raid that led to the death of al-Baghdadi and what it means in a broader sense for the Middle East:

Bobby Chesney explored the legal aspects of Trump’s decision to notify the Russian government but not Democratic leaders in Congress prior to the al-Baghdadi raid. On the National Security Law Podcast, Chesney continued this conversation with Steve Vladeck before delving into other topics:

Staying on the topic of Syria, Gordon Ahl posted the livestream of a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the Trump administration’s policy objectives in the region. William Ford described the takeaways from four previous hearings that Congress has held on U.S. policy toward Syria and Turkey in recent weeks. Emma Broches and Julia Solomon-Strauss provided prosecution updates regarding international terrorists associated with the Islamic State and other groups.

On this week’s episode of Rational Security, Benjamin Wittes, Tamara Wittes, Susan Hennessey and Shane Harris also commented on the al-Baghdadi raid, as well as discussing the testimony from a National Security Council official as in the impeachment inquiry and the latest twist in Attorney General Bill Barr's investigation into the origins of the Russia probe:

On this last point, Robert S. Litt argued that the Justice Department should provide more information to the public regarding what is now being investigated criminally in the review of the origins of the Russia probe. David Kris discussed the aspects of the third edition of his treatise, “National Security Investigations and Prosecutions” that are relevant to the Mueller probe.

Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes shared episode fourteen of The Report, which covers the president’s changing relationship with Michael Cohen, particularly after Cohen started to cooperate with investigators:

Mikhaila Fogel posted the opening statement from closed-door testimony of Lt. Col Alexander S. Vindman of the National Security Council, and Gordon Ahl posted statements from two State Department foreign service officers with experience in Ukraine. Quinta Jurecic shared former deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman’s request to the D.C. District Court to resolve whether he must testify in the ongoing impeachment inquiry.

The House also passed a resolution on Thursday that lays out procedures for the impeachment inquiry moving forward. Molly E. Reynolds and Margaret Taylor analyzed the contents of this resolution and how it sets up a unique structure for anticipated public hearings.

Bob Bauer considered how the Republican strategy of attacking the impeachment process could be a means to buy time for a future substantive defense.

Jonathan Shaub proposed an understanding of executive privilege that, he argues, aligns more with historical precedent and constitutional principles than does much contemporary discussion of the subject. Patrick McDonnell, Jacques Singer-Emery and Nathaniel Sobel discussed the viewpoints of various legal scholars on the impeachment power. Charlotte Butash explored the historical relationship between impeachment and judicial review.

Amanda Sloat provided the latest commentary in her “Brexit Endgame” series, which this week touched on the U.K. Parliament’s decision to hold elections on Dececember 12. Sloat was also a guest on an episode of the Lawfare Podcast that included a Brexit update along with a conversation with Cambridge University professor Helen Thompson about British constitutional governance:

Israa Saber discussed the transition in Sudan and the country’s challenges with implementing new constitutional goals.

Lester Munson posted episode three of Fault Lines that started with a discussion on the wave of popular protests occurring around the world in places like Lebanon, Chile and Iraq:

David Fishman explored how China is shifting to a more aggressive strategy regarding Antarctica and how the United States should respond. On the other pole, Simon Gregory Jerome commented on the increased prevalence of provisions related to the Arctic in the draft 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.

Jacob Schulz posted a federal judge’s dismissal of a military commission defendant’s eighth amendment claim about unsatisfactory medical care at Guantanamo Bay.

Jen Patja Howell shared another episode of the Lawfare Podcast, in which David Priess sat down with Philip Mudd to discuss his career at the CIA and the agency's interrogation program after 9/11:

Quinta Jurecic announced a special series on the Lawfare Podcast dealing with disinformation in the run-up to the 2020 election:

Nathan Swire discussed the requirements of the CLOUD Act in the context of the recent U.S.-U.K. executive agreement on data sharing for law enforcement.

Stewart Baker shared the latest episode of the Cyberlaw Podcast, which touches on many topics including the debate about revenge porn laws:

Hilary Hurd suggested that Facebook should use the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as a guide for policies related to content moderation.

Dan Byman and Chris Meserole presented a series of student papers on the challenges social media companies face from hate groups.  The first paper in the series, by Henry Mihm, Ines Oulamine and Fiona Singer, looked at how Facebook is being misused by President Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines. The second paper, from Kareeda Kabir and Ilari Papa, critiqued Facebook’s policy proposals related to privacy.

Aditi Shah explored the impact of a recent Supreme Court ruling on whether detained immigrants can use a Rule 23(b)(2) class action to assert due process rights in court.

Paul Rosenzweig shared a new annotated bibliography of resources dealing with cybersecurity measurement methodologies from his colleague, Kathryn Waldron.

And David Priess announced a new Lawfare e-book, "Huawei, 5G and National Security: A Lawfare Compilation" available here.

And that was the week that was.