The Week That Was

The Week That Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

By John A. Emmons, Avery Schmitz
Friday, February 17, 2023, 4:52 PM

Anna Bower and Benjamin Wittes analyzed the partial release of the Fulton County special grand jury’s report on election interference in the 2020 election in Georgia, “reading the tea leaves” for what the report’s included and excluded sections reveal about the possibility of future indictments.

Bower and Hyemin Han shared the partial release by Judge Robert C.I. McBurney of the Fulton County special grand jury’s report. The partial release includes the report’s introduction, conclusion, and Section VIII, in which the grand jury expresses its concerns that some unnamed witnesses may have lied under oath during their testimony.

Katherine Pompilio shared Judge Robert McBurney’s order directing the partial release of the Fulton County Special Purpose Grand Jury’s Final Report on 2020 election interference in Georgia.

Jacob Glick discussed how factors of conspiracy theories surrounding coronavirus restrictions and Black Lives Matter protests compounded to incite violence on Jan. 6, 2021. Glick contextualized the insurrection by demonstrating a pattern of rhetoric, amplified by former President Trump, which sparked action among “Stop the Steal” organizers and militia principals.

Quinta Jurecic sat down with Glick on the Lawfare Podcast to discuss his findings as an investigator for the Jan. 6 select committee, his concerns about the continued extremist threat to the United States, and the process of gathering evidence in the wake of the insurrection.

Carrie Cordero, Katherine Kuzminski, and Arona Baigal discussed the prevalence of extremism in military communities and past attempts by policymakers to mitigate this threat. The authors highlighted cultural challenges and information deficits that complicate the development of sustainable policies to counter violent extremism in the armed services.

In the first installment of a six-part series, Amichai Cohen and Yuval Shany contextualized the new Israeli government’s controversial proposals for constitutional law reform within the legacy of the 1992 “Constitutional Revolution” and provided an overview of the proposals’ potential impacts on the rule of law in Israel.

In their second installment, Cohen and Shany elaborated on the Israeli Supreme Court’s body of jurisprudence since 1992, criticisms incurred by the court, and current proposals to amend its power for the second installment of their series on Israeli judicial reform.

In their third installment, Cohen and Shany analyzed two proposals put forward for reform of the Israeli Judicial Selection Committee and provided a history of the judicial selection process and an assessment of the current system and its controversies. The series’ remaining installments are to come on Lawfare.

Michael P. Fischerkeller argued that the distinct security logic of the cyber domain— characterized by persistent and continuous operations—demands the reinterpretation of relevant international law in order to develop a coherent view on cyber warfare and law.

On the Lawfare Podcast, Jurecic moderated a panel at the Brookings Institution featuring Hany Farid, Daphne Keller, Alan Rozenshtein, and Wittes to discuss oral arguments in upcoming Supreme Court cases Gonzalez v. Google and Twitter v. Taamneh and the future of Communications Decency Act Section 230.

Eugenia Lostri sat down with Alexander Leslie on the Lawfare Podcast to discuss which threat actors have sought to misuse ChatGPT, possible solutions to counter them, and more.

On the Lawfare Podcast, Jack Goldsmith sat down with Joanna Schwartz to discuss her new book, “Shielded: How the Police Became Untouchable,” which argues that police abuse results from pervasive pathologies in the legal system that shield officers, supervisors, and local governments from accountability.

Jack Hoover argued that the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) has become unworkable for courts and represents a major legislative misstep. He also outlined a new piece of legislation for policymakers as a remedy.

On an episode of the Lawfare Podcast, Tyler McBrien sat down with Karen J. Greenberg to discuss Greenberg’s recent Lawfare article on Saifullah and Uzair Paracha, a father and son both detained on terrorism charges in connection to 9/11, the separate but intertwined justice systems that the two encountered, and the past and future of Guantanamo Bay.

In Lawfare’s foreign policy essay series, Hilary Matfess and Robert Nagel compared atrocities perpetrated by Boko Haram and the Nigerian government to other instances of large-scale sexual violence. The authors sought to identify other examples of state-sponsored sexual violence, underscoring the unprecedented nature of Nigeria’s forced abortion program.

Colin Clarke and Mollie Saltskog discussed the geopolitical consequences of U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, including the Taliban’s failure to maintain control and China’s competitive interests in supporting the security and economic development in the country.

Stephen Heifetz evaluated the burden of enhancing export controls and screening foreign investments in the United States on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), the entity that would be responsible for enforcing such directives. Heifetz also considered strategies to mitigate these potential challenges.

Avery Schmitz shared the Canadian government’s report investigating a public order emergency that was declared in February 2022, during which time Prime Minister Trudeau’s administration was granted enhanced executive powers.

On this week’s episode of Chatter, David Priess sat down with Steve Hadley, former National Security Advisor and co-editor of the new book “Hand-Off: The Foreign Policy George W. Bush Passed to Barack Obama.” Priess asked Hadley about his presidential transition experiences dating back to the 1970s, the role of a national security advisor, public perceptions of that role, and more.

Herb Lin identified issues with overclassification and proposed a new strategy to ensure that government officials considering classification of documents are more selective of the content they choose to censor. Lin considered the steps necessary to implement his “budget-based” approach.

And in the ‘All Blow’d Up’ Edition of Rational Security, Scott R. Anderson, Jurecic, and Rozenshtein sat down to discuss the multiple shoot-downs of still-unidentified flying objects over North America by U.S. military aircraft, Special Counsel Jack Smith’s push to overcome claims of attorney-client privilege by associates of former President Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence’s efforts to resist testifying, Nikki Haley’s recently announced presidential campaign, and more.

And that was the week that was.