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The Lawfare Podcast

The Lawfare Podcast

The Lawfare Podcast features discussions with experts, policymakers, and opinion leaders at the nexus of national security, law, and policy. On issues from foreign policy, homeland security, intelligence, and cybersecurity to governance and law, we have doubled down on seriousness at a time when others are running away from it. Visit us at www.lawfareblog.com.

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Rational Security: The ?Licking the Cow? Edition

This week, Alan, Quinta, and Scott were once again joined by co-host emeritus Benjamin Wittes to talk through the week's big national security news, including:

?Constitutional Annoyance.? Last week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Trump v. Anderson, the case weighing whether former President Trump?s involvement in Jan. 6 should disqualify him from being able to stand as a candidate in 2024 under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. And the justices, for once, seemed almost unified in their skepticism of the idea that he should be?though there was far less agreement as to why. Where is this case headed? And what will its ultimate impact be on the 2024 election and beyond??Putting the Hur(t) On.? Special Counsel Robert Hur completed his investigation into President Biden?s alleged mishandling of classified documents last week and, while he opted not to bring any charges, his lengthy final report has caused a stir: not just for laying out Biden?s apparent mishandling of classified documents over an extended period of time but also for citing Biden?s advanced age and apparent memory issues as grounds for not prosecuting?observations that have reignited anxieties regarding Biden?s capacity to stand for reelection. Was Hur out of line or just doing his job in making these observations? And how will his conclusions impact events moving forward, including the prosecution of former President Trump for his own mishandling of classified documents???I Can?t Pay the Rent,? ?But You Must Pay the Rent!?? Former President Trump has resumed his role as enforcer over the defense spending level of NATO members, suggesting most recently that he would encourage Russia to do whatever it wants with any members who fail to meet their commitments?comments that have triggered new anxiety over how NATO may fare in a second Trump presidency. How serious are these comments? What should folks be doing in response?

For object lessons, Alan recommended the weirdness of Donald Glover's new spy remake, "Mr. & Mrs. Smith." Quinta urged listeners to check out a recent New York Times piece on "How Mark Meadows Became the Least Trusted Man in Washington." Scott mourned the end of football season by endorsing the sportsfan comedy of Annie Agar. And Ben announced that he had completed his quest to identify the worst rhetorical question headline ever.

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2024-02-18
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Trump?s Trials and Tribulations: A Wild and Woolly Week

It?s another episode of ?Trump?s Trials and Tribulations,? this one recorded before a live audience on Zoom on Friday afternoon. It?s been a wild week in Trump coverage. We?ve got a judgment from New York, we?ve got the best evidentiary hearing ever held in Fulton County, we?ve got Tyler McBrien at the scheduling conference for the New York criminal trial, and we?ve got updates from Florida and Washington.

Joining Lawfare Editor-in-Chief Benjamin Wittes were Lawfare Senior Editor Roger Parloff, Lawfare Managing Editor Tyler McBrien, and Lawfare Legal Fellow and Courts Correspondent Anna Bower, and they covered it all. They also took audience questions from Lawfare Material Supporters and, this week, guests.

To be able to submit questions to the panelists, you should become a Material Supporter at lawfaremedia.org/support.

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2024-02-17
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Lawfare Archive: Jim Baker on FISA Errors

From April 10, 2020: Jim Baker served as general counsel for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He was also the counsel for the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review at the Justice Department, where he supervised FISA applications. He joined Benjamin Wittes in the virtual Jungle Studio to discuss Inspector General Michael Horowitz's shocking report on inaccuracy in FISA applications, and the problems at the FBI that led to these errors.

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2024-02-17
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Itsiq Benizri on the EU AI Act

The EU has finally agreed to its AI Act. Despite the political agreement reached in December 2023, some nations maintained some reservations about the text, making it uncertain whether there was a final agreement or not. They recently reached an agreement on the technical text, moving the process closer to a successful conclusion. The challenge now will be effective implementation. 

To discuss the act and its implications, Lawfare Fellow in Technology Policy and Law Eugenia Lostri sat down with Itsiq Benizri, counsel at the law firm WilmerHale Brussels. They discussed how domestic politics shaped the final text, how governments and businesses can best prepare for new requirements, and whether the European act will set the international roadmap for AI regulation.

You can listen to Eugenia?s October conversation about approaches to AI regulation with Itsiq and Arianna Evers here

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2024-02-16
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Chatter: Life and Death in Ukraine with Journalist Christopher Miller

In February 2022, Russia launched a full scale invasion into Ukraine in the largest attack on a European country since World War II. This invasion did not start a new war, but escalated the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War that started in 2014 when Russian forces captured Crimea and invaded the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.


In his book, ?The War Came to Us: Life and Death in Ukraine,? author and journalist Christopher Miller tells the story of the past fourteen years in Ukraine through his personal experiences living and reporting in Ukraine since 2010. For this week?s Chatter episode, Anna Hickey spoke with Chris Miller about his book, what led to the full scale invasion in 2022, the 2014 capture of Crimea, and his journey from being a Peace Corps volunteer in Bakhmut in 2010 to a war correspondent.


Among the works mentioned in this episode:

The book, ?The War Came to Us: Life and Death in Ukraine,? by Christopher MillerThe article, ?Documents show Russian separatist commander signed off on executions of three men in Sloviansk? by Christopher MillerThe book, "Voroshilovgrad" by Serhiy Zhadan

Chatter is a production of Lawfare and Goat Rodeo. This episode was produced and edited by Cara Shillenn of Goat Rodeo. Podcast theme by David Priess, featuring music created using Groovepad.

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2024-02-15
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Jonathan Cedarbaum and Matt Gluck on the NDAA?s Cyber Provisions

The National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, is considered must-pass legislation and is increasingly becoming the only reliable vehicle for national cyber policymaking. Lawfare Senior Editor Stephanie Pell sat down with Jonathan Cedarbaum, Professor of Practice at George Washington University Law School and Book Review Editor at Lawfare, and Matt Gluck, Research Fellow at Lawfare, to talk about the key cyber provisions of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2024. They talked about new cyber provisions that address threats from Mexican criminal organizations and China, along with how some of the new cyber provisions expand the military?s role in protecting against threats to critical infrastructure. They also discussed what Jonathan and Matt would like to see in future versions of the NDAA.

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2024-02-15
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Constitutional Law, International Law, and the State

Many international law scholars are skeptical about the efficacy of international law to shape state behavior?and even international law's reality as law?because it lacks a centralized hierarchical legislature, executive branch, or judiciary. In his new book, ?Law for Leviathan: Constitutional Law, International Law, and the State,? Daryl Levinson of NYU Law School challenges this conception of international law by arguing that it is structurally similar to domestic constitutional law in its ability to constrain states and in its strategies for doing so. 

Jack Goldsmith sat down with Levinson to discuss the challenge of regulating the state through both international law and constitutional law and what constitutional law theory can learn from international relations theory about how this happens. They also discussed how IR balance of power theory is like Madison's conception of constitutionalism, the implications for his theory for understanding how to hold states accountable for illegal action, and how to think about these ideas in light of the ostensible waning of state power in the modern era.

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2024-02-14
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?God, Guns, and Sedition? with Bruce Hoffman and Jacob Ware

Unfortunately, Americans are certainly not strangers to far-right terrorism. From the 2015 mass murder at a historic Black church in Charleston, to the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, these horrific incidents are only the latest in a decades-long process, in which harmful conspiracy theories, radical ideologies, and hostility toward government come together to form a grave and increasing threat to democracy. In their book, ?God, Guns, and Sedition: Far-Right Terrorism in America,? Bruce Hoffman and Jacob Ware tell the story of the rise of far-right terrorism?and explain how to counter it. 

Lawfare Associate Editor Katherine Pompilio sat down with Hoffman and Ware to unpack their book. They discussed the historical trajectory of violent right-wing extremism, Donald Trump?s effect on these groups and the threat of far-right terrorism heading into the 2024 election, how to address the issue, and more.

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2024-02-13
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A Victory for Guatemalan Democracy

On January 15, Bernardo Arévalo took office as the new president of Guatemala. The transfer of power had been far from assured: after Arévalo triumphed in August elections as an anti-corruption reformer, Guatemala?s political elite did their best to throw legal obstacles in his way and prevent him from taking power. His presidency represents a stunning victory for Guatemalan democracy, which has long been under threat. But there are plenty of difficulties still ahead.

To catch up on what?s been happening in Guatemala, Lawfare Senior Editor Quinta Jurecic spoke with Vaclav Masek, a Guatemalan sociologist and columnist. They discussed how Arévalo triumphed, the significance of his victory for Guatemala and the region, and what all this might tell us about the ability of democracies to resist authoritarian backsliding around the world.

If you?re interested in more on Arévalo, you can also listen to Quinta?s conversation from August with Manuel Meléndez-Sánchez about the election and Arévalo?s victory.

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2024-02-12
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Rational Security: The ?Fecund Season? Edition

This week on Rational Security, Alan made his long-awaited return to the podcast for a (brief, so savor it) reunion with Quinta and Scott to talk over the week?s big national security news, including:

?Losing the Immunity Challenge.? Earlier this week, the D.C. Circuit rejected former President Trump?s attempt to appeal the denial of his claims of presidential immunity to criminal charges arising from Jan. 6. That issue is now primed for the Supreme Court. Will it take it up? And what will it decide??Ordeal or No Deal.? As Israel?s military offensive in Gaza continues, the United States is trying to facilitate a short-term hostage deal?and a longer term bargain that would incorporate Israel and Saudi Arabia into a security pact. How realistic are these proposals? And how might they impact the dynamics of the Gaza conflict??The Shakedown Breakdown.? Congressional Republicans who once insisted on tying Ukraine assistance to a border deal have now turned against any effort to hash out a border deal?even as House Republicans have also failed to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas or to pass their own stand-alone assistance bill for Israel. Where does this all leave aid for Ukraine? And what ramifications will this congressional dysfunction have moving forward?

For object lessons, Alan shared the thing he spent most of his time off on: his new substack, ?The Rozy Outlook.? In light of this week?s oral arguments in Trump v. Anderson, Quinta recommended Mark Graber?s book on the 14th Amendment, "Punish Treason, Reward Loyalty." And Scott urged listeners to check out one of his favorite Twitter threads in recent memory, asking ?who got that one Jeopardy clip??


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2024-02-11
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Lawfare Archive: Julian Mortenson on 'The Executive Power'

From April 13, 2019: Julian Mortenson, Professor of Law at the University of Michigan, is the author of a remarkable new article entitled "Article II Vests Executive Power, Not the Royal Prerogative," in the Columbia Law Review and available on SSRN.

Recently, Benjamin Wittes spoke with the professor about the article, which Mortenson has been working on for years?as long as the two have known each other. The article explores the history of exactly three words of the U.S. Constitution?the first three words of Article II, to be precise: "the executive power."

Huge claims about presidential power have rested on a conventional understanding of these three words. Julian argues that this conventional understanding is not just partially wrong, or mostly wrong, but completely wrong, as a matter of history. And, he tries to supplant it with a new understanding that he argues is actually a very old understanding of what those words mean.

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2024-02-10
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Trump's Trials and Tribulations: Supreme Court Oral Arguments in the Trump Disqualification Case

On February 8, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Trump v. Anderson, on the Colorado Supreme Court's ruling that former President Donald Trump is disqualified from the office of the presidency under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment and cannot appear on the 2024 presidential ballot.

On this week's ?Trump's Trials and Tribulations,? recorded on February 8 in front of a live audience on YouTube and Zoom, Lawfare Editor-in-Chief Benjamin Wittes sat down with Lawfare Senior Editors Roger Parloff and Quinta Jurecic, Lawfare Legal Fellow and Courts Correspondent Anna Bower, and law professor at Indiana University Gerard Magliocca to talk about the oral arguments, how the justices may rule, and the implications of the ruling. They also checked in with the other Trump Trials in Fulton County, the Southern District of Florida, and D.C., to see what is new. And of course they took audience questions from Lawfare Material Supporters on Zoom.

To be able to submit questions to the panelists, you should become a Material Supporter at lawfaremedia.org/support.

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2024-02-09
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Chatter: The Global Citizenship Industry with Kristin Surak

Some people call it "investor citizenship" while others label it a "passport for sale" scheme. Either way, the last few decades have seen the global citizenship industry grow and evolve in ways that both reflect and impact issues around national sovereignty, tax regimes, international business, and global inequities.


David Priess chatted about these and related issues with political sociologist and author Kristin Surak, whose recent book The Golden Passport takes a multidisciplinary look at global mobility for the wealthy and the complex system that has developed around it. They discussed the new "most powerful passport" rankings, the types of people who seek different citizenship through investment, Turkey's rise as a major Citizenship By Investment (CBI) player, the rise and fall of the program in Cyprus, how intermediary companies power the CBI system, the trailblazing CBI role of St. Kitts and Nevis, the challenges of European countries attempting to start and keep CBI programs, differing perceptions of CBI around the world, issues of equity and ethics, and the recent phenomena of digital nomads.


Among the works mentioned in this episode:


"The Henley Passport Index", Henley & Partners


The book The Golden Passport: Global Mobility for Millionaires by Kristin Surak


The book Moneyland by Oliver Bullough


The book Making Tea, Making Japan by Kristin Surak


The book The Despot's Guide to Wealth Management by J. C. Sharman


Chatter is a production of Lawfare and Goat Rodeo. This episode was produced and edited by Cara Shillenn of Goat Rodeo. Podcast theme by David Priess, featuring music created using Groovepad.

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2024-02-08
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Molly Reynolds and Eric Ciaramella on the Ukraine Supplemental

It's been a wild and woolly week on Capitol Hill with respect to the border, Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and a lot of other stuff. On Wednesday, the Senate was preparing to vote both on the apparently doomed supplemental deal that included border security provisions, and on a deal without them. 

Lawfare Editor-in-Chief Benjamin Wittes sat down with Lawfare Senior Editor Molly Reynolds and Eric Ciaramella of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace to discuss the congressional politics and also the situation in Ukraine that drives the need for congressional action. They talked about how the border and the Ukraine supplemental got wrapped up together, how they're being disaggregated, whether there is a path forward for Ukraine aid now that the Senate has killed the compromise, what's happening on the ground in Ukraine, and what would happen if the United States doesn't act.

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2024-02-08
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The D.C. Circuit Rejects Trump's Presidential Immunity Claim

On February 6, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected former President Donald Trump's appeal of his presidential immunity defense in the federal government's Jan. 6 case against him. Lawfare Editor-in-Chief Benjamin Wittes sat down with Lawfare Senior Editors Quinta Jurecic, Scott R. Anderson, and Roger Parloff, and Lawfare Executive Editor Natalie Orpett, in front of a live audience on YouTube and Riverside for a deep dive into the ruling, its meaning, and the court?s unanimity. They also discussed what comes next and what the Supreme Court might do in response.

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2024-02-07
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Prosecuting Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Armed Conflict

Among the many horrific stories emerging out of the conflicts in Ukraine and Israel/Gaza are instances of sexual and gender-based violence. It?s an issue that is pervasive in many armed conflicts, and yet, even now, it?s often treated as an afterthought. There are a lot of reasons for that, but one of the lesser-appreciated ones is the limitation of existing law. Lawfare Executive Editor Natalie Orpett spoke with Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, a professor at University of Minnesota Law School and a former UN Special Rapporteur. They talked about the legal framework around sexual and gender-based violence, the challenges of prosecuting these acts of violence as international crimes, and where the law fails.

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2024-02-06
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Riana Pfefferkorn and David Thiel on How to Fight Computer-Generated Child Sexual Abuse Material

One of the dark sides of the rapid development of artificial intelligence and machine learning is the increase in computer-generated child pornography and other child sexual abuse material, or CG-CSAM for short. This material threatens to overwhelm the attempts of online platforms to filter for harmful content?and of prosecutors to bring those who create and disseminate CG-CSAM to justice. But it also raises complex statutory and constitutional legal issues as to what types of CG-CSAM are, and are not, legal.

To explore these issues, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota and Lawfare Senior Editor Alan Rozenshtein spoke with Riana Pfefferkorn, a Research Scholar at the Stanford Internet Observatory, who has just published a new white paper in Lawfare's ongoing Digital Social Contract paper series exploring the legal and policy implications of CG-CSAM. Joining in the discussion was her colleague David Thiel, Stanford Internet Observatory's Chief Technologist, and a co-author of an important technical analysis of the recent increase in CG-CSAM.

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2024-02-05
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Rational Security: The ?Meatlovers? Edition

This week on Rational Security, Quinta and Scott were joined by Lawfare Editor-in-Chief Benjamin Wittes to talk over the meaty week of national security news, including: 

?The Neighborhood is Getting Worse.? Three American service members were killed in a drone attack committed by Iran-backed militias in Jordan this past weekend. The Biden administration has promised a military response, but one of the groups believed to be responsible has just declared a unilateral ceasefire, seemingly at Iran?s urging. How should the United States respond? And what will the regional ramifications be??Don?t Seek Redress in Texas.? Texas governor Greg Abbott has opted to ignore a federal court ruling demanding that he take down barriers on the Rio Grande, on the basis of a novel (and highly dubious) legal theory asserting that the state has the exclusive constitutional authority to defend itself from invasion by migrants. How should the Biden administration respond??Provisional Victory?? The International Court of Justice has issued provisional measures in the genocide case against Israel over its Gaza operations, directing it to punish genocidal rhetoric and allow in humanitarian assistance but stopping short of requiring a ceasefire. Is this a vindication of Israel?s actions or a condemnation? And what will it mean for the trajectory of the conflict?

For object lessons, Quinta celebrated the chaos of the New Jersey Democratic Senate primary. Scott highlighted the latest new feature at Lawfare: transcripts of its podcasts. And Ben gave Scott a very special gift, with which he is certain to put an eye out.

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2024-02-04
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Trump's Trials and Tribulations: Waiting for the D.C. Circuit

It's another episode of ?Trump's Trials and Tribulations,? recorded on February 1 in front of a live audience on YouTube and Zoom. Lawfare Editor-in-Chief Benjamin Wittes spoke with Lawfare Legal Fellow Anna Bower and Lawfare Senior Editors Roger Parloff and Quinta Jurecic about amicus briefs filed at the Supreme Court in the Trump disqualification case and Trump's financial situation given the fines and damages levied against him in multiple civil cases. They also checked in on Fulton County and talked about everything we are waiting on from Judge Engoron's decision in New York to a decision from the D.C. Circuit on Trump's presidential immunity claim. And of course they took audience questions from Lawfare Material Supporters on Zoom. To be able to submit questions to the panelists, you should become a Material Supporter at lawfaremedia.org/support.

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2024-02-03
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Lawfare Archive: Law and the Soleimani Strike

From January 6, 2020: On Friday, the Lawfare Podcast hosted a conversation on the wide-ranging policy implications of the U.S. strike that killed Iran?s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps? leader Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, deputy commander of Iraq?s quasi-official Popular Mobilization Forces and leader of the Iraqi militia and PMF Keta?ib Hezbollah.

Today?s special edition episode leaves the policy debate behind to zero-in on the law behind the strike. Law of war and international law experts Scott R. AndersonBobby ChesneyJack GoldsmithAshley Deeks and Samuel Moyn join Benjamin Wittes to discuss the domestic and international law surrounding the strike, how the administration might legally justify it, what the president might do next and how Congress might respond.

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2024-02-03
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Sam Moyn and Ilya Somin on Disqualifying Trump Under Section 3

Next week, the Supreme Court will hear argument in Trump v. Anderson, former President Donald Trump?s appeal of the Colorado Supreme Court?s historic decision taking him off the state?s presidential primary ballot. In determining whether the Colorado Supreme Court erred in ordering Trump excluded from the state?s ballot, the Supreme Court faces one of the most fraught questions facing our democracy today.

Lawfare Associate Editor Hyemin Han asked two legal scholars who could not disagree more with one another whether they think the Supreme Court should disqualify Trump under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. Sam Moyn is Chancellor Kent Professor of Law and History at Yale University. He thinks the Supreme Court has to unanimously reverse the Colorado Supreme Court?s decision and keep the current Republican frontrunner on the ballot. Ilya Somin is Professor of Law at George Mason University and B. Kenneth Simon Chair in Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute. He thinks the Supreme Court should take Trump off the ballot despite its facially anti-democratic optics. They went through the legal questions in front of the Court, the political and philosophical implications of disqualifying Trump under Section 3, and the interplay of law and politics that overlays it all.

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2024-02-02
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Chatter: The Long History of US Foreign Disaster Aid, with Julia Irwin

American aid to global victims of natural disasters might seem like a relatively new phenomenon, perhaps linked to the Marshall Plan and other major programs in the past several decades. But US efforts to assist those suffering from earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, major flooding, and other such catastrophes actually goes back to the James Madison administration, followed by a burst of intense activity and the birth of the modern US approach at the very start of the 1900s.


David Priess chatted with Julia Irwin, history professor at Louisiana State University and author of the book Catastrophic Diplomacy, about the academic study of disaster assistance, why some natural disasters stick in collective memory more than others, how US aid for catastrophes started in 1812 in Venezuela, why US disaster aid expanded in the late 1800s, case studies from Martinique (1902) and Jamaica (1907) to Italy (1908) and Japan (1923), the effects of the two world wars on US disaster aid, the genesis of USAID and other governmental entities, the modern role of former presidents in raising money for disaster relief, the concept of disaster risk reduction, what contemporary US catastrophic assistance efforts have learned from the past, and the disaster movie genre.


Among the works mentioned in this episode:


The book Catastrophic Diplomacy by Julia Irwin


The book Making the World Safe: The American Red Cross and a Nation's Humanitarian Awakening by Julia Irwin


The book The Great Kant? Earthquake and the Chimera of National Reconstruction in Japan by J. Charles Schencking


The movie Waterworld


The book Disaster Citizenship: Survivors, Solidarity, and Power in the Progressive Era by Jacob A.C. Remes


Chatter is a production of Lawfare and Goat Rodeo. This episode was produced and edited by Cara Shillenn of Goat Rodeo. Podcast theme by David Priess, featuring music created using Groovepad.

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2024-02-01
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James A. Heilpern on Why Section 3 Reaches Presidents

We're approaching the historic oral argument of the U.S. Supreme Court in Trump v. Anderson. That's the case over whether Donald Trump is disqualified from holding the presidency under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which bars certain insurrectionists from holding certain federal and state posts. 

Lawfare Senior Editor Roger Parloff sat down with James A. Heilpern, a Senior Fellow at Brigham Young University Law School. Heilpern co-authored with Michael T. Worley a new article on Section 3 that was just posted online January 1 and yet has already been cited in several Supreme Court briefs, including the merits brief of the voter challengers in Trump v. Anderson. It addresses the disputed issue of whether Section 3 even applies to presidents, and it concludes that it does. The article uses corpus linguistics and other forms of legal research to look at how crucial phrases were used in 1788, when the original Constitution was ratified, and also in 1868, when Section 3 was ratified.

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2024-02-01
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?Find Me the Votes? with Dan Klaidman and Michael Isikoff

During a late night press conference in August, an Atlanta-area prosecutor announced a sprawling criminal case against Donald Trump and his allies for their alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election in Georgia. In a new book, investigative reporters Dan Klaidman and Michael Isikoff tell the story of the events that led to that moment?and the local prosecutor behind at all.

Lawfare Editor-in-Chief Benjamin Wittes and Lawfare Legal Fellow Anna Bower spoke with Klaidman and Isikoff about the new details and insights revealed in their book, ?Find Me the Votes: A Hard-Charging Georgia Prosecutor, a Rogue President, and the Plot to Steal an American Election.? In a wide-ranging conversation, they discussed the Jan. 6 committee's role in the Fulton County investigation, Sidney Powell's request for preemptive pardons in the aftermath of the 2020 election, Rudy Giuliani's plan to access to voting systems in Georgia, and recent allegations that District Attorney Fani Willis engaged in an improper relationship with one of her special prosecutors.

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2024-01-31
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War Powers and the Latest U.S. Intervention in Yemen with Brian Finucane, Jack Goldsmith, and Matt Gluck

U.S. military operations against Houthi rebels in Yemen have escalated rapidly in recent weeks, culminating in a number of major strikes aimed at degrading their ability to threaten Red Sea shipping traffic. But the war powers reports the Biden administration has provided to Congress are raising questions about how it is legally justifying this latest military campaign. 

To discuss the burgeoning conflict in Yemen and what it might mean for war powers, Lawfare Senior Editor Scott R. Anderson sat down with Brian Finucane, Senior Adviser at the Crisis Group; Lawfare Co-founder and Harvard Law School Professor Jack Goldsmith; and Lawfare Research Fellow Matt Gluck. They talked about their recent pieces on the topic, what we know and don?t know about the administration?s legal theory, and what the law might mean for how the conflict evolves moving forward.

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2024-01-30
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Discussing FinCEN with Director Andrea Gacki

Everyone recognizes sanctions as one of the United States? most powerful tools of economic statecraft. But few realize that much of the information behind sanctions designations comes from another office within the Treasury Department: specifically, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (or FinCEN). And over the past few years, as sanctions and other economic tools have become more and more important, FinCEN has been evolving its operations and activities as well.

To discuss the current state of FinCEN and what its future holds, Lawfare Contributing Editor Brandon Van Grack and Lawfare Senior Editor Scott R. Anderson had a conversation with its current Director, Andrea Gacki, for the latest installment of their ?The Regulators? series, focusing on the policymakers at the frontlines of national security and economic statecraft. They discussed FinCEN?s involvement in the historic Binance settlement, what new policies FinCEN is rolling out to tackle everything from beneficial ownership to residential real estate, and how it is working with similar organizations around the globe.

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2024-01-29
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Rational Security: The ?CesTar? Edition

This week on Rational Security, just Scott was joined for a Bizarro-world episode with guests Lawfare Senior Editor and Brookings Senior Fellow Molly Reynolds (back for a second episode in a row!) and Lawfare Legal Fellow Anna Bower! They talked over some of the week?s big stories, including:

?Two Houses, Divided Against Themselves...? The fate of key national security legislation?including the Ukraine supplemental and border legislation?is increasingly coming down to the increasingly dysfunctional dynamics within and between the two chambers of Congress. What does this tell us about how our most democratic institution is operating??Fani, Be Tender With My Love.? In recent weeks, Fulton Co. Prosecutor Fani Willis?s case against former President Trump and his associates has been endangered by rumors that she is engaged in a longstanding affair with subordinate prosecutor Nathan Wade?and that she extended the investigation to secure more salary for him. But is the story more smoke than fire??Carpe Seize ?Em.? The Biden administration has officially come out in qualified support of seizing Russia?s frozen assets to compensate Ukraine, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to consider authorizing legislation this week. Is this finally a route to accountability? Or do the associated risks outweigh the benefits?

For object lessons, Molly endorsed David Grann?s latest book, ?The Wager.? Scott shouted out listener Paul whose birthday party he inadvertently crashed this past weekend, and urged other listeners to come say hi if they see him in the wild! And Anna urged anyone seeking a divorce in the state of Georgia to seek out the fine people at the Cobb County courthouse (who also make a lovely salad).


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2024-01-28
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Trump's Trials and Tribulations: What Is Going On in Fulton County?

It's another episode of ?Trump's Trials and Tribulations,? recorded on January 25 in front of a live audience on YouTube and Zoom. Lawfare Editor-in-Chief Benjamin Wittes, Lawfare Senior Editor Roger Parloff, and Lawfare Legal Fellow Anna Bower discussed all of the Section 3 litigation occuring across the country and Roger Parloff's recent article about whether the president is an officer of the United States. They talked about why we are still waiting on the D.C. Circuit to rule on Trump's presidential immunity claim and when the D.C. trial may actually start. They also talked about what is going on in Fulton County and Michael Roman's motion to disqualify District Attorney Fani Willis. And of course, they took audience questions from Lawfare Material Supporters on Zoom. 

To be able to submit questions to the panelists, you should become a Material Supporter at lawfaremedia.org/support.

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2024-01-27
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Lawfare Archive: War Powers and the Biden Administration

From March 12, 2021: President Joe Biden has conducted military strikes in Syria, has articulated legal theories under which the series of strikes were proper and has temporarily reined in the use of drone strikes. To talk about Biden and war powers, Benjamin Wittes sat down with John Bellinger, who served as the legal adviser at the State Department and the legal adviser for the National Security Council in the Bush administration; Lawfare senior editor Scott Anderson, who worked in the State Department's Office of the Legal Adviser, as well as in the Iraqi embassy; and Rebecca Ingber, who also worked in the State Department's Office of the Legal Adviser and is currently a professor at Cardozo Law School. They talked about how the Biden administration justified the strikes in Syria, the reports it has not yet given on its legal and policy framework for counterterrorism, whether this is the year that AUMF reform might finally happen and which authorizations to use military force might finally see reform.

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2024-01-27
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Government Use of Open-Source Information

In front of a live audience at the Knight Foundation's INFORMED conference in Miami, Florida, Lawfare Editor-in-Chief Benjamin Wittes spoke with Hon. Kenneth L. Wainstein, Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security; Jameel Jaffer, Executive Director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University; and Lawfare Senior Editor Quinta Jurecic about government surveillance of open source social media.

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2024-01-26
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Chatter: "A City on Mars," with Dr. Kelly and Zach Weinersmith

Outer space is back in style. For the first time in decades, NASA is sending astronauts back to the moon. Millionaires are exiting the atmosphere on a regular basis. And Elon Musk says humans may land on Mars to set up settlements by 2030. But would mastering space be worth it?


In their new book, ?A City on Mars,? co-authors (and spouses) Dr. Kelly and Zach Weinersmith argue that it?s probably not. From biology to engineering to international law, they charmingly survey the many charms and dangers that space inevitably entails, with pictures to boot. For this week?s Chatter episode, Scott R. Anderson spoke with Kelly and Zach about their book, what role they think space exploration and settlement should play in humanity?s future, and why space may not be all it?s cracked up to be anytime soon.


Among the works mentioned in this episode:

The book ?Soonish,? also by Kelly and Zach.The book ?Dark Skies: Space Expansionism, Planetary Geopolitics, and the Ends of Humanity? by Daniel Deudney.The book ?The Creation of States in International Law? by James Crawford.The television series ?The Expanse.?The 1970s film ?Libra.?The television series ?For All Mankind.?

Chatter is a production of Lawfare and Goat Rodeo. This episode was produced and edited by Cara Shillenn of Goat Rodeo. Podcast theme by David Priess, featuring music created using Groovepad.

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2024-01-25
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?Democracy Awakening? with Heather Cox Richardson

Heather Cox Richardson is the author of the book ?Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America,? which looks at the evolution of American democracy and traces the roots of Donald Trump?s ?authoritarian experiment? to the earliest days of the republic. Lawfare?s Associate Editor for Communications Anna Hickey sat down with Richardson to discuss the state of American democracy today, the historical context we should use to understand the current threats to democracy, and what we can learn from previous periods of American history.

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2024-01-25
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Jim Dempsey on Standards for Software Liability

Software liability has been dubbed the ?third rail of cybersecurity policy.? But the Biden administration?s National Cybersecurity Strategy directly takes it on, seeking to shift liability onto those who should be taking reasonable precautions to secure their software. 

What should a software liability regime look like? Jim Dempsey, a Senior Policy Adviser at the Stanford Cyber Policy Center, recently published a paper as part of Lawfare?s Security by Design project entitled ?Standards for Software Liability: Focus on the Product for Liability, Focus on the Process for Safe Harbor,? where he offers a proposal for a software liability regime. 

Lawfare Senior Editor Stephanie Pell sat down with Jim to discuss his proposal. They talked about the problem his paper is seeking to solve, what existing legal theories of liability can offer a software liability regime and where they fall short, and his three-part definition for software liability that involves a rules-based floor and a process-based safe harbor.

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2024-01-24
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Shoba Pillay and Jennifer Lee on the SEC SolarWinds Enforcement Action

The fallout from the SolarWinds intrusion took a new turn with the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission?s (SEC) decision to file a cybersecurity-related enforcement action against the SolarWinds corporation and its Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Timothy G. Brown, on October 30 of last year. To talk about the details and significance of this enforcement action, Lawfare Senior Editor Stephanie Pell sat down with Shoba Pillay, a partner at Jenner & Block and a former federal prosecutor, and Jennifer Lee, also a partner at Jenner & Block and a former Assistant Director in the SEC?s Division of Enforcement. They discussed the cybersecurity and national security implications of the SolarWinds hack, what the SolarWinds enforcement action suggests about the SEC?s expectations for disclosure obligations of companies, and whether the SEC or another agency is best suited to determine whether and how SolarWinds should be held accountable. They also discussed larger takeaways and messages sent by the SEC?s decision to charge a CISO in this case. 

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2024-01-23
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Waxman and Ramsey on Delegating War Power

There is much debate among academics and policy experts over the power the Constitution affords to the president and Congress to initiate military conflicts. But as Michael Ramsey and Matthew Waxman, law professors at the University of San Diego and Columbia, respectively, point out in a recent law review article, this focus misses the mark. In fact, the most salient constitutional war powers question?in our current era dominated by authorizations for the use of military force?is not whether the president has the unilateral authority to start large-scale conflicts. Rather, it is the scope of Congress?s authority to delegate its war-initiation power to the president. This question is particularly timely as the Supreme Court appears growingly skeptical of significant delegations of congressional power to the executive branch.

Matt Gluck, Research Fellow at Lawfare, spoke with Waxman and Ramsey about their article. They discussed the authors' findings about the history of war power delegations from the Founding era to the present, what these findings might mean if Congress takes a more assertive role in the war powers context, and why these constitutional questions matter if courts are likely to be hesitant to rule on war powers delegation questions.

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2024-01-22
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Rational Security: The ?Three-Ring Circus? Edition

This week on Rational Security, Quinta and Scott were joined by Lawfare Senior Editor and Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Molly Reynolds to talk through some big stories at the intersection of politics and national security, including:

?Over the Hill.? Congress is back in town and up to its old tricks, kicking the can of government funding down the road and still debating a funding package for Ukraine and other Biden administration priorities. As President Biden prepares to meet with congressional leaders at the White House, what are the odds of any sort of functioning legislature in this heated election year??Rewarmed Deterrence?? After weeks of threats, the United States and its allies finally took military action against the Houthi movement that has been threatening maritime traffic through the Red Sea in purported response to the Israeli military operation in Gaza. But will this solve the problem or only invite another cycle of escalation??The Frozen Corn Primary.? The first step of the 2024 election is officially over and the race is down to three candidates, with former President Trump having won the Iowa caucuses handily over rivals Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley. What does this first race tell us about the trajectory of the 2024 race?and how it intersects with Trump?s legal travails?

For object lessons, Quinta recommended Paul Murray's book ?The Beesting? as a pleasantly sad-funny read. Scott gave his annual PSA about why it's worth watching the divisional round of the NFL playoffs and endorsed the amazing "Art But Make it Sports" account on Twitter and Substack. And Molly told the story of Bob, the man who found the Alaska Airlines door plug in his backyard

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2024-01-21
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Trump?s Trials and Tribulations: Still Waiting on the D.C. Circuit

It's another episode of ?Trump's Trials and Tribulations,? recorded on January 18 in front of a live audience on YouTube and Zoom. Lawfare Editor-in-Chief Benjamin Wittes and Lawfare Senior Editors Quinta Jurecic and Roger Parloff discussed where the Section 3 disqualification litigation stands across the country and at the Supreme Court, about some amicus briefs, about the lack of action from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Trump's presidential immunity defense, and about a puzzling statement from a few D.C. Circuit judges on a different D.C. Circuit matter involving Twitter and executive privilege. They also talked about what Judge Cannon is up to in Florida, and of course, they took audience questions from Lawfare Material Supporters on Zoom. 

To be able to submit questions to the panelists, you should become a Material Supporter at lawfaremedia.org/support.

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2024-01-20
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Lawfare Archive: About That Border Wall

From January 28, 2017: President Trump kicked off the first foreign policy crisis of his new administration by signing an executive order mandating the construction of the much-promised border wall with Mexico, resulting in as-yet-unresolved confusion as to how the wall will be paid for and an ongoing diplomatic scuffle with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. Benjamin Wittes spoke with Stephanie Leutert, the Mexico Security Initiative Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin and writer of Lawfare's "Beyond the Border" series, to chat about what the wall might look like, how effective it will or won't be, and what this means for U.S.-Mexico relations.

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2024-01-20
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Justin Sherman on the FTC Settlement with Location Data Broker X-Mode

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reached a settlement with location data broker X-Mode Social. X-Mode collects over 10 billion location data points from all over the world every day, and sells it to clients in a range of industries, like advertisers, consulting firms, and private government contractors. The FTC argued that the data broker was conducting unfair business practices, including selling people?s sensitive location data.

To discuss the FTC settlement and its implications, Lawfare's Fellow in Technology Policy and Law Eugenia Lostri sat down with Justin Sherman, Founder and CEO of Global Cyber Strategies and a Senior Fellow at Duke University?s Sanford School of Public Policy. They talked about the FTC?s groundbreaking decision to list sensitive locations about which X-Mode cannot sell data, the likelihood that we will see further FTC action against data brokers, and the persistent need for comprehensive privacy legislation to better address harms.

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2024-01-19
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Chatter: Nuclear Launch Authority in Myth and Reality, with Hans Kristensen

Lloyd Austin's hospitalization and delayed communication about it have spurred much commentary and questions about the role of the secretary of defense in the US nuclear-strike chain of command.


David Priess spoke with Hans Kristensen, Director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, about his path to expertise on nuclear issues, the chain of command for nuclear strike authorization (and recent comments from elected representatives that misunderstand it), alternatives to the current system, fictional scenarios of nuclear launches, what is known about different nuclear states' authorization processes, the "letters of last resort" for UK nuclear submarines, deterrence and human psychology, and more.


Among the works mentioned in this episode:


The TV movie The Day After


The movie WarGames


The movie The Bedford Incident


The music video for "Land of Confusion" by Genesis


The movie Dr. Strangelove


The movie Fail Safe


The movie The Man Who Saved the World


The movie A Few Good Men


"Finger on the Button," paper by Jeffrey G. Lewis and Bruno Tertais, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey


The book The Dead Hand by David Hoffman


The movie Crimson Tide


Chatter is a production of Lawfare and Goat Rodeo. This episode was produced and edited by Cara Shillenn of Goat Rodeo. Podcast theme by David Priess, featuring music created using Groovepad.

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2024-01-18
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Protecting Civilians in Gaza and Beyond with Marc Garlasco and Emily Tripp

Last month, the Department of Defense released its first-ever policy on civilian harm reduction. But as Marc Garlasco recently wrote in Lawfare, ?[T]he policy comes at an awkward time ? The U.S. military has issued guidance on how to protect civilians during operations just as its close ally Israel has reportedly killed thousands of Palestinians with American bombs.? 

And yet, many aspects of the new policy are nothing short of groundbreaking.  

Lawfare Managing Editor Tyler McBrien sat down with Marc, a former targeting professional and war crimes investigator and current military advisor at PAX, as well as Emily Tripp, the Director of Airwars, a transparency watchdog NGO which tracks, assesses, archives, and investigates civilian harm claims in conflict-affected nations. They discussed the state of civilian harm worldwide; the good, the bad, and the ugly of the Pentagon?s new policy; and recent efforts to get U.S. allies and partners to buy in. 

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2024-01-18
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Chimène Keitner on South Africa, Israel, and the Genocide Convention

Chimène Keitner is the Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of Law at the University of California at Davis. She is a leading international law authority and served for a number of years at the State Department?s Office of the Legal Adviser. She is the author of a lengthy piece in Lawfare about South Africa's petition under the Genocide Convention against Israel in the International Court of Justice.

Chimène joined Lawfare Editor-in-Chief Benjamin Wittes to talk about the litigation. What is South Africa's claim under the Genocide Convention? What is Israel's defense? Where are both sides vulnerable? And how will the court likely consider the matter at this preliminary stage?

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2024-01-17
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Greg Johnsen and Scott Anderson on the Fight Against the Houthis

Over the last two months, Houthi militants have waged more than 27 attacks against merchant shipping and U.S. and partner forces in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the Bab al-Mandeb Strait, purportedly in response to the war in Gaza. These attacks have significantly disrupted global shipping and surged the Middle East into an even more precarious security situation. Following a large-scale Houthi attack on U.S. and British ships, the U.S. and U.K. on Jan. 11 launched over 150 munitions targeting almost 30 Houthi sites in Yemen. The U.S. on Jan. 12 carried out another strike on a Houthi radar facility. The Houthis have since retaliated with multiple strikes targeting U.S. forces. Yesterday, the Houthis for the first time successfully struck a cargo ship owned and operated by the United States.

Lawfare Research Fellow Matt Gluck sat down with Gregory Johnsen, the Associate Director of the Institute for Future Conflict at the U.S. Air Force Academy and Lawfare Senior Editor Scott R. Anderson to discuss the spate of Houthi attacks, the U.S. response and the associated domestic and international law questions, and where the fighting is likely to go from here. What can history tell us about the possible paths forward? Why did the U.S. act when it did? What?s in it for the Houthis? They chewed over these questions and more. 

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2024-01-16
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Lawfare Archive: What Happens When We Don?t Believe the President?s Oath?

From March 4, 2017: Yesterday, Just Security and the Center on Law and Security at New York University School of Law hosted Benjamin Wittes for a conversation on a question about the path of the Trump presidency so far: what happens when we can?t take the president?s oath of office seriously?

Ben?s talk focused on an essay he and Quinta Jurecic posted to Lawfare simultaneously with the speech, in which they argued that the presidential oath?little discussed though it may be in constitutional jurisprudence and academic literature?is actually the glue that holds together many of our assumptions about how government functions. And when large enough numbers of people come to doubt the sincerity of the president?s oath, those assumptions begin to crumble.

Big thanks to Ryan Goodman of Just Security and Zachary Goldman of the Center on Law and Security for putting together this event. Make sure to also read Ryan?s Just Security followup post on his discussion with Ben and the questions raised by our essay.

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2024-01-15
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Rational Security: The ?Courtroom Drama? Edition

This week on Rational Security, Quinta and Scott were joined by Lawfare Executive Editor Natalie Orpett to discuss the week?s big national security and courtroom news, including:

?Ergo Omnes.? South Africa has brought Israel to the International Court of Justice for actions relating to its military campaign in Gaza, based on a novel legal theory that alleges Israeli violations of the Genocide Convention and asserts standing by virtue of the universal obligation to prevent genocide. What practical impact is this litigation likely to have? And what does it mean as a precedent for the international community??Cert(ain Doom) Petition.? The Supreme Court has officially taken up former President Trump?s appeal of a Colorado Supreme Court decision disqualifying him from the 2024 ballot there on the grounds that he is ineligible to hold office. While some have welcomed the chance to nationalize Colorado?s holding, others have warned that doing so would be a grave blow to popular democracy. How might the matter play out? And what will it mean for the 2024 election and after??Void Austin.? Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spent several days in the hospital earlier this month?without notifying the White House, leaving what some believe was a gaping hole at the highest level of the U.S. military chain of command. How big a problem was this? What steps should be taken in response?

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2024-01-14
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Trump's Trials and Tribulations: The 14th Amendment Goes to the Supreme Court

It's another episode of ?Trump's Trials and Tribulations,? recorded on January 11 in front of a live audience on YouTube and Zoom. Lawfare Editor-in-Chief Benjamin Wittes spoke with Lawfare Senior Editors Quinta Jurecic and Roger Parloff, and Lawfare Legal Fellow Anna Bower, about the closing arguments in the New York civil case, about the Supreme Court's decision to grant Trump's petition for it to review the Colorado Supreme Court's decision barring him from the ballot under the 14th Amendment, and about the flurry of motions filed in Fulton County by the January 8 deadline. They also checked in on the Southern District of Florida to see what was, or wasn't, going on, and took audience questions from Lawfare?s Material Supporters on Zoom. 

To be able to submit questions to the panelists, become a Material Supporter at lawfaremedia.org/support.

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2024-01-13
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Lawfare Archive: Gregory Johnsen Answers "What is a Houthi?"

From September 26, 2015: On this week?s Lawfare Podcast, Gregory Johnsen outlines the current state-of-play in Yemen. Johnsen, who is a writer-at-large for Buzzfeed News, a doctoral candidate at Princeton University, and an all-things-Yemen-expert, walks Ben through the byzantine power politics in Sanaa that led to the conflict now engulfing Yemen and he explains why the war shouldn?t be viewed as just another Sunni-Shia fight. Yet while he clarifies that the issues that sparked the war are much more local, he warns that the longer the conflict goes on, the more likely it is to expand. Johnsen also outlines the events that led to the Saudi intervention and whether or not Yemen?which he says is really twelve separate factions now?can ever be put back together again.

Johnsen is the author of The Last Refuge: Yemen, al Qaeda, and America?s War in Arabia. Follow him on Twitter for the latest updates on Yemen.

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2024-01-13
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Trump?s Civil Fraud Trial

On January 11, 2024, Donald J. Trump arrived in a New York courtroom for closing arguments in the civil fraud case against the former president, his company, and his adult sons. The suit, brought by the state?s attorney general Letitia James, alleges that Trump and his company misled lenders about the former president?s net worth in order to secure better business deals. The case is not Trump?s only legal trouble, but it?s one that could have a consequential impact for his family business and the image he has crafted for himself as a richer-than-rich, deal-making business man.

What are the legal issues at stake? What might Trump argue on appeal? And how could the outcome affect Trump?s finances?

To talk it all through, Lawfare Legal Fellow and Courts Correspondent Anna Bower spoke with Tristan Snell, former New York Assistant Attorney General and lead prosecutor in the Trump University fraud case. Tristan is also the author of a forthcoming book called, ?Taking Down Trump.?

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2024-01-12
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Chatter: ?The Day After? and Dad with A. B. Stoddard

Brandon Stoddard was one of the most accomplished executives in broadcast television history. In his career at ABC, he helped bring to the small screen such legendary mini-series as ?Roots? and ?The Winds of War,? as well as the acclaimed television series ?Moonlighting? and ?Roseanne.? But arguably his most consequential and controversial decision was to air the made-for-TV movie ?The Day After,? which graphically depicted the effects of a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union. 


Stoddard faced opposition from his colleagues, pundits, and even the Reagan White House, which pressured ABC to pull the film. But having conceived of the project as an impetus for people around the world to grapple with the potential of a devastating war, Stoddard forged ahead and broadcast the film in November 1983. 


It was an epochal event in U.S. history. One hundred million people tuned in to watch, and the movie became the most-watched in television history. It was a national moment of the kind Americans rarely share today. 


Journalist A. B. Stoddard, Brandon?s daughter, spoke with Shane Harris about her dad?s determination to air the film and what he hoped to achieve. Stoddard is well known for her political commentary and work at The Bulwark. But today, she shares personal memories of her father, his illustrious career, and the legacy of his work. In November of last year, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of ?The Day After,? she wrote a column, ?The Day My Father Scared America.? 


Among the works mentioned in this episode:


A.B. Stoddard?s column on her dad

https://plus.thebulwark.com/p/brandon-stoddard-the-day-after 


Shane?s previous conversation with Nicholas Meyer, who directed ?The Day After? 

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-day-after-with-nicholas-meyer/id1593674288?i=1000558946928 


A.B. Stoddard?s columns for The Bulwark

https://substack.com/@abstoddard 


The catalog of Brandon Stoddard?s work 

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0830992/ 


Brandon Stoddard?s induction in the Television Academy Hall of Fame 

https://www.emmys.com/bios/brandon-stoddard 


?The Day After? (on YouTube) 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utGRP9Zy1lg 


Chatter is a production of Lawfare and Goat Rodeo. This episode was produced and edited by Jay Venables of Goat Rodeo. Podcast theme by David Priess, featuring music created using Groovepad.

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2024-01-11
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Yuval Shany and Amichai Cohen on the Israeli Supreme Court's Bombshell

The Israeli Supreme Court?in the middle of the war in Gaza?handed down a decision that amounts to a kind of death blow to Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu's judicial reform project. 

Before October 7, judicial overhaul was all that anybody was talking about in Israeli politics?you know, a five-part legislative plan to assert parliamentary control over the judiciary and reduce Israel's checks and balances into a more majoritarian system. Only one part of it passed, and the Supreme Court has now struck it down in a decision that sharply divided the court on some questions and reflected significant unity on others.

To discuss the 700-page ruling, we brought back our Israeli judicial overhaul team: Yuval Shany of Hebrew University and Amichai Cohen of Ono Academic College. Lawfare Editor-in-Chief Benjamin Wittes spoke with them about what the court did and what the court didn't do, about their doing it in the middle of a war and whether that was truly necessary, and about where the judicial politics of Israel go from here. 

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2024-01-11
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