The Week That Was

The Week that Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

By Gordon Ahl
Saturday, December 7, 2019, 9:00 AM

This week, the House Intelligence Committee released its impeachment report detailing President Trump's conduct in the Ukraine scandal and his obstruction of the impeachment inquiry. House Republicans released a separate report on the impeachment evidence. The House Judiciary Committee, now taking the lead in the inquiry, held a hearing with four legal scholars for which Lawfare provided video coverage and the opening statements from each witness.

To sum up all the latest on impeachment, Lawfare convened a roundtable podcast discussion with Benjamin Wittes, Margaret Taylor, David Priess, Susan Hennessey and Scott R. Anderson:

Molly Reynolds and Margaret Taylor discussed what they expect to happen next in this new stage of the impeachment inquiry in the House Judiciary Committee. With a focus deeper into the future, Hilary Hurd and Benjamin Wittes imagined how the rules would function in a Senate trial of the president.

Jen Patja Howell shared this week’s episode of Rational Security, which features commentary on the impeachment reports and Judiciary Committee hearing, as well as an update from special guest Sophia Yan on her reporting inside China:

On the latest edition of the National Security Law Podcast, Robert Chesney and Steve Vladeck discussed how Congress might have obtained phone records found in the House Intelligence Committee’s report, the Second Circuit's ruling that Deutsche Bank must comply with a congressional subpoena for Trump-related record and other topics:

Masha Simonova considered whether the Trump administration’s obstructive conduct laid out in section II of the Intelligence Committee's impeachment report violates criminal obstruction of justice statutes.

Josh Blackman and Seth Barrett Tillman proposed a framework for understanding bribery as an impeachable offense that would not apply to Trump's actions involving Ukraine.

Bob Bauer commented on the limited immediate consequences of the Don McGahn ruling that said he must obey a congressional subpoena to testify. Jacob Schulz posted Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s latest opinion in the case, a ruling which denied a stay request from the Justice Department.

Gordon Ahl posted two additional documents: a letter from the White House counsel on the president's non-participation in the Judiciary Committee hearing on Dec. 4 and a petition for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court in the case involving the House Oversight Committee’s subpoena for Trump’s financial records.

To wrap up impeachment content for the week, Lawfare added two new summaries to our project on the 4,333 pages of impeachment inquiry depositions, all of which are available here. Samantha Fry summarized the deposition testimony of Philip Reeker, and Eric Halliday summarized the deposition testimony of Mark Sandy.

Two episodes of the Lawfare Podcast covered U.S. policy in the Middle East. First, Tamara Cofman Wittes and Brian Egan joined Professor Chimène Keitner for a panel discussion on the broad strategic landscape in the region:

Then Benjamin Wittes sat down for a conversation with Senator Tim Kaine on military deployments to Saudi Arabia, the drift of congressional war powers to the executive branch and the senator's thoughts on impeachment:

Shashi Jayakumar explored the motivations of U.S. citizens who traveled to Iraq and Syria to join the Kurdish YPG and other militias in the fight against the Islamic State.

Dan Maurer argued that presidents should restrict their use of the pardon power for war crimes.

Eric Halliday and Rachael Hanna examined the Trump administration’s proposed changes to the small-arms export control regime.

Amanda Sloat discussed the upcoming general elections in the United Kingdom and the implications for Brexit. In the latest edition of Sinotech, Richard Altieri and Benjamin Della Roca summarized the latest developments in U.S.-China relations, including Hong Kong elections and tighter regulations on Huawei.

Stewart Baker shared two episodes of the Cyberlaw Podcast this week. The first covered new proposed rules from the Commerce Department on telecommunications security:

The second featured an interview with Michael Kearns and Aaron Roth, professors at the University of Pennsylvania, on many of the major issues surrounding algorithmic decision-making:

Sam Bieler and Randy Milch proposed linking the FTC’s cybersecurity enforcement regime to tools from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to help solve problems faced by both programs.

Robert Chesney, Max Smeet and Monica Kaminska posted a report from a workshop they hosted in Amsterdam on military operations in the cyber domain.

Gordon Ahl also posted a recent indictment of two Russian nationals who orchestrated hacking schemes to steal millions of dollars.

In the latest episode of the "Arbiters of Truth" series on the Lawfare Podcast, Quinta Jurecic and Evelyn Douek spoke with David Kaye, the UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, about international law and internet governance:

Peter Margulies analyzed a district court injunction against Trump’s ban on uninsured migrants.

And Bob Bauer announced an event on Dec. 12 in Washington hosted by the NYU School of Law on the role of Congress in national security.

And that was the week that was.