The Week That Was

The Week That Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

By Gordon Ahl
Saturday, November 16, 2019, 9:14 AM

Margaret Taylor and Benjamin Wittes synthesized the collective narrative of the Ukraine scandal as told throughout the closed-door depositions that have been released publicly.

For a closer look at the individual witness depositions without reading 3,065 pages, Margaret Taylor introduced a series of Lawfare contributors summarizing the transcripts. Masha Simonova wrote the summaries for Marie Yovanovitch and Michael McKinley. Charlotte Butash and Patrick McDonnell collaborated on the summary for Kurt Volker. Kelsey Clinton and Chinmayi Sharma wrote the summary for Amb. Gordon Sondland. Sharma also summarized the transcript for George Kent. Vishnu Kannan covered the deposition of Bill Taylor. Jacob Schulz summarized the deposition of Fiona Hill, and Mikhaila Fogel summarized the deposition of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman.

Additionally, Lawfare posted the full transcripts from depositions of Catherine Croft, Christopher Anderson and Laura Cooper. Summaries of each should be out soon on the site.

For Wednesday’s public hearing with George Kent and Bill Taylor, Elena Kagan shared a “No Bull” episode of the Lawfare Podcast that includes all the substantive exchanges from the two witnesses:

Gordon Ahl posted video coverage of the entirety of Wednesday’s hearing and posted the opening statements from Chairman Adam Schiff, Rep. Devin Nunes and the two witnesses. Mikhaila Fogel also shared the House Intelligence Committee procedures for impeachment inquiry hearings.

Scott R. Anderson and Quinta Jurecic discussed the major takeaways from Wednesday’s hearing, including the new revelation of a July 26 phone call between President Trump and Amb. Gordon Sondland.

Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, publicly testified on Friday, for which Ahl again posted video coverage and posted as well the opening statements. Ahl also shared the rough transcript of an April call between Trump and President Zelensky of Ukraine that the White House released during the hearing.

On Friday, Roger Stone was found guilty on all seven charges related to his work for the Trump campaign. Mikhaila Fogel commented on last week's developments from the trial. Jen Patja Howell shared this week’s episode of Rational Security, in which Benjamin Wittes, Tamara Cofman Wittes, Susan Hennessey and Shane Harris discuss the Stone trial, as well as Wednesday’s impeachment hearing and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Washington:

This week, Trump also asked the Supreme Court to block subpoenas for his tax returns, after the D.C. Circuit denied his petition for rehearing en banc, which was posted by Fogel.

Preston Lim provided Canadian national security updates including the extradition to the United States of an Islamic State suspect. Jeffrey Feltman considered how pulling U.S. assistance to Lebanon could empower Syria and Iran. Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast, which explores the latest protests in Lebanon and Iraq:

Lester Munson shared the latest episode of Fault Lines, which covers U.S.-Iran relations:

Peter Margulies analyzed the decision of an Oregon judge to issue a temporary restraining order against the implementation of President Trump’s proclamation to bar uninsured immigrants. Ahl posted a Massachusetts District Court ruling on searches of electronic devices at the border, which Robert Chesney and Steve Vladeck explore in this week’s episode of the National Security Law Podcast, among other topics:

Seamus Hughes and Devorah Margolin discussed how terrorism in the United States is splintering, with the need to address new and old threats. Jacob Schulz shared a report released by the FBI on lone wolf terrorism. Gordon Ahl posted the plea agreement and criminal complaint of a member of the white supremacist Atomwaffen Division on firearms charges.

Jeb Rubenfeld continued his argument that Facebook and Google are state actors by exploring what kind of First Amendment forums these companies operate. Meanwhile, Alan Z. Rozenshtein countered Rubenfeld's premise with arguments for why these companies are not, in fact, state actors at all.

Howell shared the latest episode in the "Arbiters of Truth" series on the Lawfare Podcast, in which Evelyn Douek discusses Facebook’s Oversight Board with Zoe Darmé, the manager of Facebook’s Global Affairs and Governance team:

In other cyber-related news, Gordon Ahl posted the indictment of two Massachusetts men who allegedly led a nationwide scheme to steal social media accounts and cryptocurrency. Ahl also shared the arrest warrant and indictment of a Russian national who was recently extradited from Israel to face charges related to online credit card fraud. Stewart Baker provided the latest episode of the Cyberlaw Podcast, which features an interview with author Andy Greenberg on major cyberattacks in recent years:

Robert D. Williams reflected on the CFIUS investigation into the Chinese company that owns TikTok.

Lawfare also shared video coverage of a House Armed Services Committee hearing on the F-35 program and posted a letter from two House committees requesting a review of the legality of the succession process at the Department of Homeland Security.

Scott R. Anderson and Matthew Waxman flagged a series of essays they contributed to on the question of war powers reform. Additionally, Wolfgang Schulz shared his new essay on European regulatory regimes for online platforms.

Finally, Howell blessed us with another episode this week of the Lawfare Podcast, with Jack Goldsmith speaking to Charlie Savage of the New York Times and Justin Florence of Protect Democracy about Savage’s executive power survey and the responses received from the 2020 candidates for president:

And that was the week that was.