The Week That Was

The Week That Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

By Elliot Setzer
Saturday, February 8, 2020, 12:44 PM

As the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump drew to a close 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 trial into an accessible podcast. On day ten, senators heard arguments for and against calling new witnesses and subpoenaing new evidence. Day eleven covered the trial’s closing arguments. On day twelve, we sampled senators' arguments for and against removing President Trump. And on the thirteenth day, Lawfare brought you the speeches of Sens. Doug Jones and Mitt Romney and the final vote to acquit the president.

If you prefer video of the full proceedings, Elliot Setzer shared a livestream of days eleven, twelve, and thirteen of the Senate proceedings.

Benjamin Wittes criticized the Senate’s decision to move to a verdict in the trial of the president without calling witnesses. Keith Whittington offered a post-mortem of the House impeachment process, arguing that it failed to move beyond politics as usual.

Following the Senate’s vote to acquit President Donald Trump, Benjamin Wittes hosted a discussion on The Lawfare Podcast with Quinta Jurecic, David Priess and Margaret Taylor:

In light of the U.S. response to coronavirus, Lisa Monaco critiqued how the government has handled the virus and offered a road map for how to treat pandemic disease as the national security priority it is. Robert Chesney offered a review of the legal architectures that authorize and constrain the government’s quarantine authority. And Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of Rational Security discussing governments’ responses to the threat of coronavirus—and, of course, impeachment:

In Middle East commentary, Vanda Felbab-Brown argued that the killing of Qassem Soleimani has significantly destabilized U.S.-Iraqi relations and undermined long-term U.S. interests. Ranj Alaaldin analyzed the resilience of Iraq’s protestors, and Mara Karlin drew three key insights for U.S. policy in light of recent escalation with Iran.

Simon Handler analyzed the election security implications of the Iowa caucus debacle. In a special edition of the Lawfare Podcast, Benjamin Wittes interviewed Richard Hasen, an election-law expert, about what went wrong in Iowa, the flaws that can plague elections and how to think about election legitimacy:

Jeh Johnson argued during a speech at the American Constitution Society Symposium that the War Powers Resolution should be repealed and replaced. Examining the history of war powers, Matthew Waxman analyzed the implications of the Mexican-American War for constitutional war powers.

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast, featuring an interview with Leon Neyfakh on Iran-Contra and other scandals:

Philip Chertoff discussed how the debate over facial recognition in the U.K. can help to inform U.S. discussion, particularly in terms of how law enforcement may use, and can abuse, the technology.

Michael Fischerkeller and Richard Harknett analyzed the U.S. cyber strategy of persistent engagement and argued that cost imposition should be reconceptualized to align with the realities of cyber strategic competition.

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Colin Clarke and Matt Shear proposed a new way to think about terrorists’ use of new technology.

Elliot Setzer shared the third volume of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on Russian election interference, examining the government response to Russian activities.

Steven Pifer analyzed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent visit to Ukraine.

Elliot Setzer shared a livestream of the House Judiciary Committee’s oversight hearing on the FBI, featuring testimony from FBI director Christopher Wray.

Rachel Westrate examined how bushfires will affect Australia’s security.

Hadley Baker shared an amicus brief in which the Justice Department claims that subpoenas for Trump’s tax returns are unconstitutional.

William Ford analyzed a House Armed Services Committee hearing on U.S. defense policy in the Korean peninsula.

Gordon Ahl compiled the national security highlights from President Trump's 2020 State of the Union address.

And Stewart Baker shared the most recent episode of The Cyberlaw Podcast, discussing a recent proposal to amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and Facebook’s decision to settle a facial recognition class action:

And that was the week that was.