The Week That Was

The Week That Was: All of Lawfare In One Post

By John A. Emmons
Friday, February 3, 2023, 3:42 PM

Bob Bauer and Jack Goldsmith argued that the passage of the Electoral Count Reform Act offers a path forward for meaningful democratic reforms in the post-Trump era, and charted out possibilities for the reform movement going forward in emergency powers, vacancies reform, and war powers.

Kristy Parker, Justin Florence, Genevieve Nadeau, Soren Dayton, and Scott Welder argued that two cases to be heard soon by the Supreme Court, Biden v. Nebraska and Arizona v. Mayorkas, present the opportunity for real emergency power reform.

Quinta Jurecic analyzed the California State Bar’s recent disciplinary action against attorney and Trump ally John Eastman. Jurecic argued that the charges against Eastman, as well as cases against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and former Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark, demonstrate the promise and limitations of bar discipline in holding attorneys involved in election denial accountable for their actions.

Benjamin Wittes sat down with Roger Parloff to discuss the ongoing Proud Boys trial, and why the government’s presentation of evidence has become so arduous. They discussed strategies employed by government and defense attorneys, what to expect during the remainder of the trial, and more:

Parloff also discussed whether Jan. 6 defendants are receiving fair trials in the overwhelmingly liberal District of Columbia. 

Parloff continued live-blogging the seditious conspiracy trial of five top members of the Proud Boys in his Proud Boys Trial Diary. The live-blog will run each day that the trial is in session.

Tyler McBrien sat down with Linda Kinstler and Samuel Moyn to discuss Kinstler’s book, “Come to This Court and Cry: How The Holocaust Ends.” They discussed Kinstler’s discovery in Latvia that led her to tell this story, the limits of the law in holding perpetrators of mass murder accountable, and whether the antonym of forgetting is not remembering, but justice:

Marc Garlasco and Andrew Hyde argued that the United States and NATO have the opportunity—via proactive thinking and closer cooperation—to rewrite their strategies to mitigate and respond to civilian harm in conflict zones.

Loren Voss urged the Biden administration to implement categorical parole to better protect over 74,000 Afghan Special Immigrant Visa applicants.

Ingrid (Wuerth) Brunk discussed whether providing $3.5 billion in Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB) assets as relief for U.S. victims of terrorist attacks would violate international law and negatively affect American foreign policy objectives.

Matthew Levitt argued that the European Parliament should formally designate the IRGC as a terrorist entity. Levitt reviewed the EU’s designation process and presented evidence to suggest that the IRGC’s activities fall within the parameters of terrorism under EU Common Position 931.

Carol Saivetz explained how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine came at the expense of its influence in the Caucasus and Central Asia. To support this argument, Saivetz highlighted deteriorating conditions in Armenia, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan.

Karine Bannelier discussed negotiations on the U.N. cybercrime convention and warned of the risks of the convention being co-opted by authoritarian states, who hope to broaden definitions of cybercrimes in order to justify greater restrictions on online speech.

Scott R. Anderson, Jurecic, and Alan Rozenshtein sat down with Anna Bower for an episode of Rational Security to discuss the week’s big national security news stories, including the conclusion of the Fulton County special grand jury’s investigation into 2020 election interference, the brutal murder of Tyre Nichols by five police officers in Memphis, Tennessee, former President Donald Trump’s return to Meta’s platforms, and more:

Justin Sherman argued that policymakers have left important questions unanswered as they rush to ban non-U.S. tech companies’ products and services in response to national security concerns.

Rozenshtein and Matt Perault sat down with Greg Nojeim and Aaron Cooper to discuss the CLOUD Act, a foundational piece of legislation on cross-border data transfer and criminal investigations:

In an edition of Arbiters of Truth, Wittes interviewed ChatGPT to discuss ethical dilemmas raised by generative AI platforms. After the interview, Wittes sat down with Eve Gaumond to review ChatGPT’s claims and discuss the deficits of generative AI platforms:

Wittes and Gaumond evaluated ChatGPT’s propensity for generating offensive content and identified deficits in the safeguards integrated into the platform.

On an episode of Chatter, Shane Harris sat down with M. Todd Bennett to discuss his new book, “Neither Confirm nor Deny: How the Glomar Mission Shielded the CIA from Transparency.” They discussed the story behind the secret operation, the public backlash to its eventual disclosure, and how the incident contributed to the culture of secrecy surrounding the agency today:

And Jurecic sat down with Anderson, David Priess, and Wittes to discuss the discovery of classified documents at former Vice President Mike Pence’s home, the latest development in a string of such discoveries. The four discussed the significant differences between President Joe Biden, former President Donald Trump, and Pence’s document troubles, Merrick Garland’s difficult situation, and more:

And that was the week that was.