The Week That Was

The Week That Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

By Tia Sewell, Anna Salvatore
Saturday, September 19, 2020, 11:30 AM

Bob Bauer and Jack Goldsmith announced the publication of their new book, “After Trump: Reconstructing the Presidency,” and described the reasoning behind their work. David Priess and Benjamin Wittes explained why Lawfare decided to publish “After Trump.” And Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of The Lawfare Podcast in which Bauer and Goldsmith joined Wittes to discuss their proposals for reforming the presidency:

Susan Hennessey and Jacob Schulz analyzed the recent whistleblower complaint from the Department of Homeland Security and argued that the document might reveal another election interference scandal.

Anne Joseph O’Connell discussed what’s currently going on with the top positions in the Department of Homeland Security.

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast featuring New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt on his new book, “Donald Trump v. The United States: Inside the Struggle to Stop a President,” which includes exhaustive reporting on the President Trump’s most extreme behaviors:

Susan Hennessey and Wittes explained the significance of Attorney General Bill Barr’s speech at Hillsdale College on Thursday. Anna Salvatore shared the transcript of the remarks as delivered, including Barr’s responses during a politically charged question-and-answer session.

Rachael Hanna summarized the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s Sept. 2 decision on United States v. Moalin, which ruled that the NSA’s bulk data collection programs violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. David Kris clarified that just because the NSA’s evidence was admissible in court does not mean that the evidence contributed to the investigation of Moalin.

Tia Sewell shared a newly declassified Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court decision detailing limited circumstances under which the government may sequester information that was collected unlawfully.

Nate Sobel discussed recent developments in U.S. Attorney John Durham’s ongoing probe of government investigators who examined Trump-Russia connections in 2016.

Christie Mayberry summarized the D.C. Circuit’s Aug. 31 denial of an emergency petition for a writ of mandamus submitted by former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Jordan Schneider shared an episode of ChinaTalk on the controversy surrounding Disney’s new remake of Mulan:

Ali Wyne and Colin P. Clarke assessed China and Russia’s recent moves in the Middle East and discussed how the U.S. should respond.

Lester Munson shared an episode of Fault Lines with David Dollar, senior fellow in the John L. Thornton China Center at Brookings, on China and trade:

Daniel Byman and Seamus Hughes analyzed the House Homeland Security Committee’s hearing on worldwide threats to the homeland and discussed the severity of current U.S. national security concerns. Tia Sewell shared a livestream of the hearing on worldwide threats, featuring the testimony of FBI Director Christopher Wray and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf.

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast featuring an interview with Alina Polyakova, president and CEO of the Center for European Policy Analysis, on the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny:

Camille François chronicled the story of A., an activist who had been targeted by the Russian “troll farm,” and argued that the “Russian playbook” is no longer a helpful, nor accurate trope to combat disinformation.

Howell shared an episode of Rational Security, “The ‘Trump Trolls’ Edition,” featuring discussion on a Trump-aligned political organization accused of hiring teenagers to conduct a domestic disinformation campaign:

Mihoko Matsubara argued that Japan’s approach to 5G mobile networks creates a model for other countries to adopt communications infrastructure in a transparent and financially sustainable way.

Bree Baccaglini, Annika Khouri, Sawyer Lucas-Griffin, Inesha Premaratne, Megan Selbach-Allen, Alex Stout and Amanda Zerbe discussed August primary elections in 17 states and derived lessons for the nation as it prepares to pandemic-proof its 2020 presidential election. In another Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections installment, Chelsey Davidson, Michael Jacobs, Carlos Martinez, Spencer McManus and Yegina Whang analyzed Minnesota’s primary elections amid the pandemic and forecasted challenges to come. And Zainab Ali, Michael Jacobs, Spencer Mcmanus, Susana Herrera and Melody Wong described New Mexico’s ongoing obstacles and preparations for the November general election.

Howell also shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast featuring an interview with documentary filmmaker, journalist and author Chris Whipple about how CIA directors have impacted U.S. history and national security over the past few decades:

Sewell shared newly released Justice Department indictments charging five Chinese nationals for their alleged involvement in hacking operations targeting over 100 victim companies worldwide.

Brandon Kirk Williams presented an opportunity for strengthening U.S.-Australian cyber cooperation amid Chinese aggression.

Nicol Turner Lee and Darrell West shared the latest episode of TechTank featuring a discussion on whether Trump should ban TikTok and WeChat:

Bobby Chesney explained what the Commerce Department’s Friday statement prohibiting WeChat and TikTok transactions in the U.S. market means for the two app’s futures.

Stewart Baker shared an episode of the Cyberlaw Podcast covering the latest developments in the TikTok saga, surveillance and an antitrust lawsuit against Google, among other things: Sam Rebo dissected a recent lawsuit against Facebook by Maffick LLC, which runs a media outlet with ties to Russian state media, and argued that the case presents a unique opportunity to amend traditional U.S. definitions of foreign agents.

Bobby Chesney and Steve Vladeck shared an episode of the National Security Law Podcast featuring commentary on AFRICOM’s request to expand targeting authorities involving al Shabaab in Kenya, the Justice Department’s new criminal investigation into John Bolton and the TikTok acquisition, among other things:

Matthew Waxman discussed how the Eisenhower administration offers lessons about modern war powers questions.

Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast covering the legal limits of Congress’s authority over the military and what the president’s commander-in-chief authority actually means:

And that was the week that was.