The Lawfare Podcast

Last week, CIA Director Mike Pompeo visited the American Enterprise Institute to join AEI Resident Fellow Marc Thiessen for a conversation to reflect on his first year running the agency and his vision for 2018 and beyond. They discussed the challenges posed by North Korea’s missile program, the war on terror, the Trump administration’s national security agenda, and the quotidian of being CIA director. Sorry to disappoint the curious Lawfare listener out there, but no—there was no discussion of the Pompeo family fudge recipe sent to the CIA workforce—and Lawfare’s Benjamin Wittes—with the director’s holiday card.

Direct download: Mike_Pompeo_AEI_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm EST

Lawfare contributor and University of Texas law professor Stephen Vladeck argued before the Supreme Court last week in United States v. Dalmazzi, a case concerning the appointment of military judges to the Court of Military Commission Review and the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. Vladeck joined Scott Anderson on the Lawfare Podcast to discuss the complexities of the case, why it matters and what it’s like arguing before the nine justices.

Direct download: Steve_Vladeck_on_Dalmazzi_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30pm EST

The New York Times Thursday evening is reporting that back in June, President Trump tried to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller—but couldn't quite pull it off. We, however, pulled off a special edition of the podcast to go over the story. Joining Benjamin Wittes on the recorded conference call (pardon the audio quality) were Lawfare contributors Jack Goldsmith, Steve Vladeck, Carrie Cordero, and Bob Bauer.

Direct download: Episode_279.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:17pm EST

It may seem like ages ago, but the false alarm about a missile heading towards Hawaii hasn't left our minds. Last week, Shannon Togawa Mercer interviewed a group of experts on the event: Stephan Haggard, political science professor at the University of California, San Diego; Garrett Graff, author and journalist; Juliette Kayyem, former assistant secretary for intergovernmental affairs in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); and Paul Rosenzweig, Lawfare masthead contributing editor and former deputy assistant secretary for policy at DHS all joined in. They discussed what actually occurred and how it happened, the relationship between the federal and state governments in handling emergency responses like this, the political situation surrounding the alarm, and what would have happened if there actually had been a missile. 

Direct download: Hawaii_Emergency_Podcast_Final_Audio_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm EST

This week on the Lawfare Podcast, the Guardian's Moscow correspondent Shaun Walker joined special guest host Alina Polyakova to discuss his new book "The Long Hangover: Putin's New Russia and the Ghosts of the Past." They discussed Putin's use of Russian history as political strategy, the pulse of Russian politics as its elections approach in March, the changing landscape of Russia's outer cities, and much more.  

Direct download: Alina_-_Shaun_Walker__mixdown_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30pm EST

Buzzfeed News has published a lengthy story by reporters Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier entitled, "Investigators Are Scrutinizing Newly Uncovered Payments By The Russian Embassy." The story reports on an unusual set of wire transfers and movements of money by Russian diplomatic sources, including by former ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak in the period immediately surrounding Donald Trump's election and inauguration. The transactions, the story reports, are under scrutiny both from Special Counsel Robert Mueller and from the Senate Intelligence Committee. Cormier joined Benjamin Wittes on the podcast to discuss the story, the larger reporting stream of which it is a part, and what it may mean. 

Direct download: Buzzfeed_Emergency_Podcast_mixdown_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:38pm EST

This week, Shannon Togawa Mercer and Benjamin Wittes interviewed David Anderson QC, who served as the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation in the U.K. from 2011 to 2017. Anderson has appeared 150 times in the E.U.'s Court of Justice and the General Court in Luxembourg and is one of the country's leading experts in the national security law field. He joined Wittes and Mercer for a conversation on his career, his role in reviewing terrorism legislation, the changing nature of intelligence in the U.K., and much more. 

Direct download: David_Anderson_mixdown_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30pm EST

Behind the legend of Vladimir Putin, which America’s obsession with Russia’s meddling in the 2016 elections has only bolstered, hides a complex political landscape, history and—of course—president. To dispel the myth behind Russia’s president and explore the man underneath the facade, Russia expert and staff writer for The Atlantic Julia Ioffe recently published an essay titled “What Putin Really Wants.” Last week, Ioffe joined guest host Alina Polyakova to discuss her piece, and what young Russians actually think about America’s fixation on their country.

Direct download: Julia_Ioffe_mixdown_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm EST

Part II of the conversation between Michael Doran and Benjamin Wittes. Doran, a former Brookings scholar now at the Hudson Institute, served in the George W. Bush White House, at the State Department, and at the Pentagon. The first part of the conversation dealt with how Doran broke with the Never Trumpers, how he sees the President, and how he sees the Russia investigation in broad strokes. This part deals with the Mueller investigation, the FBI, the Justice Department leadership, and the prosecution of Michael Flynn.

Direct download: Doran_Interview_2_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30pm EST

This evening, the New York Times published a  with new details of significance to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation regarding the President and obstruction of justice. Michael Schmidt reports, among other news, that President Trump instructed White House Counsel Don McGahn to attempt to prevent Attorney General Jeff Sessions from recusing himself in the Justice Department’s Russia investigation. We put together a special edition podcast with Schmidt, and Lawfare’s Benjamin Wittes, Susan Hennessey, Jack Goldsmith, and Bob Bauer to discuss what the story might mean for the future of the investigation. Warning: the audio is a recorded conference line and therefore somewhat rougher than usual.

Direct download: Special_Edition_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:24pm EST

Michael Doran and Benjamin Wittes have an extended conversation about Trump, Russia, and how Doran parted ways with his many colleagues who became #NeverTrump conservatives. Doran is a former Brookings scholar now at the Hudson Institute who served in the George W. Bush White House, at the State Department, and at the Pentagon. Doran is unusual among Washington foreign policy and national security experts in being vocally supportive of President Trump and dismissive of the Trump-Russia allegations. This part of the discussion deals with how Doran broke with the Never Trumpers, how he sees the President, and how he sees the Russia investigation in broad strokes.

Direct download: Doran_Interview_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:57pm EST

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