The Week That Was

The Week That Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

By Elliot Setzer
Saturday, February 1, 2020, 11:14 AM

As the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump unfolded this week, Margaret Taylor shared daily episodes of The Report: Impeachment, a podcast from Lawfare and Goat Rodeo that distills the audio from each day of the impeachment trial into an accessible podcast. The House managers wrapped up their case against the president on day four. On day five, day six, and day seven, the president’s defense team made their arguments against his conviction and removal. Day eight and day nine of the trial comprised the question-and-answer session.

If you prefer video, Jacob Shulz posted a livestream of the fifth day of the impeachment trial, Hadley Baker posted a livestream for the sixth day and Hannah Kris shared livestreams for the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth days of the trial.

Quinta Jurecic and Alan Rozenshtein criticized the president’s defense team’s expansive arguments for acquittal. Jonathan Shaub argued that the Senate could not justify ignoring John Bolton on the grounds that it needs to protect executive privilege. Michaela Fogel shared a document in which the House of Representatives highlighted what it argued was a contradiction between the Justice Department’s position on impeachment and that expressed by President Trump’s lawyers in his Senate impeachment trial.

Jen Patja Howell posted an episode of the Lawfare Podcast providing an update on the impeachment trial following the leaks about Bolton’s book manuscript:

She also shared the latest episode of Rational Security, in which the crew discusses John Bolton, the Israeli-Palestinian peace plan and Joe Biden’s foreign policy.

In addition, Bobby Chesney and Steve Vladeck shared the latest episode of the National Security Law Podcast.

You might have missed it amid all the sound and fury of impeachment, but it was also a busy week for disinformation. Evelyn Douek, Quinta Jurecic and Jacob Shulz analyzed the House Ethics Committee’s announcement that members of the House who share deepfakes on social media might face sanctions from the House itself. Howell shared the most recent episode of the Lawfare Podcast's "Arbiters of Truth" series, in which Douek and Jurecic spoke with journalist Elise Thomas about misinformation surrounding the Australian bushfires:

In Middle East commentary, Joshua Rovner argued that the Trump administration’s strategy in Iran fundamentally, and dangerously, misunderstands key deterrence concepts. Jeffrey Feltman analyzed what to expect from a new Lebanese government that plans to tackle the country’s endemic corruption. Elliot Setzer shared President Trump’s plan for a Middle East peace agreement, and Elena Chachko examined whether Israel’s caretaker government can move to annex new territory before an upcoming election under that plan.

Frank A. Rose made the case for extending the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia.

Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast in which Michael Schwirtz discusses an uptick in Russian covert actions across Europe, including assassinations and attempted killings:

For Lawfare’s biweekly round-up of U.S.-China technology policy news, Richard Altieri and Benjamin Della Rocca discussed a spike in coronavirus deaths and Britain’s approval of Huawei for use in the U.K.’s 5G network. Schulz shared charges by the Justice Department against a Harvard University professor and two Chinese nationals, in three different cases related to China.

Douek examined the new bylaws of Facebook’s Oversight Board, arguing that the coard’s original ambit of operations will be fairly limited.

Randy Milch and Sam Bieler analyzed a quiet revolution in the Federal Trade Commission’s recent data security orders.

Leading up to the United Kingdom’s formally leaving the European Union last night, Amanda Sloat considered the implications of the U.K.’s exit.

Kathryn Dunn Tenpas argued that the Trump administration’s high turnover in National Security Council leadership is unprecedented and severely limits the role of the NSC.

Setzer shared a U.S. Special Operations Command review, ordered by Congress after a series of scandals involving Special Operations troops, that ultimately found an overemphasis on combat.

Setzer also posted a Jan. 29 court filing in which government prosecutors backed away from an earlier recommendation that former national security adviser Michael Flynn serve up to six months in prison and stated that probation remained a “reasonable sentence.”

And Stewart Baker shared the most recent episode of the Cyberlaw Podcast, which features an interview about the Bezos phone hacking with David Kaye and Alex Stamos:

And that was the week that was.