The Lawfare Podcast (general)

It's a new year with a new Congress, and the Democrats now control the House of Representatives. But how will that change affect the state of play for national security legal issues? To find out, Benjamin Wittes spoke last Friday with Brookings senior fellow and expert on all things Congress, Molly Reynolds, and Brookings fellow, Lawfare senior editor, and former Chief Democratic Counsel for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Margaret Taylor.

They talked about the dynamics of a divided legislature, what committees Lawfare Podcast listeners should keep an eye on, and how the new chairs of certain committees will affect key issues in national security law.

Direct download: Episode_385.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:51pm EST

Ian Bassin served in the White House Counsel's office under President Obama. At the dawn of the Trump administration, he became the impresario behind the litigating organization Protect Democracy, which has become an increasingly cross-ideological mechanism for using litigation to protect democratic values. Benjamin Wittes sat down with Ian to talk about the differences between Protect Democracy and more traditional litigating organizations, what sort of projects they do take on, and what sort of projects they don't take on. And they talked about the role litigation can and cannot play in preserving the norms that make democracy vibrant.

Direct download: Episode_384.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:11pm EST

Bill Barr spent Tuesday testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on his nomination to take over the reins of the Justice Department as attorney general, a role he previously held during the George H.W. Bush administration. Barr spent more than eight hours before the senators. But on this episode of the Lawfare Podcast, we cut out all the BS: No repeated questions, no repeated answers, no ums, no uhs. And we took out everything except the national security questions, leaving you just the questions and responses about Lawfare topics that you want to hear.

Direct download: barr_mixdownTHISONE.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:10am EST

Benjamin Wittes talks to Carrie Cordero, Chuck Rosenberg, David Kris, Jack Goldsmith and Susan Hennessey about the New York Times's report that the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation of Donald Trump after the president fired Director James Comey in May 2017.

Direct download: NYT_CI_investigation_emergency_podcast_mixdown_levelsfixed.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:02pm EST

Last week, Jack Goldsmith got on the phone with Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post journalist Greg Miller to discuss Miller’s new book, “The Apprentice: Trump, Russia and the Subversion of American Democracy.” Miller’s book chronicles Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the interactions among members of the Trump campaign, transition, and administration, and officials and representatives of the Russian government. Goldsmith and Miller discussed how Miller approached writing the book, the extraordinary series of apparent connections and contacts between Trump associates and the Russian government, and what Russian President Vladimir Putin might have gained from his brazen interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Direct download: Episode_381.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:06am EST

Benjamin Wittes talks to Jaimie Nawaday, a former federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, to discuss the indictment of Natalia Veselnitskaya over alleged obstruction of justice in a case Nawaday handled. Nawaday talks about Russian abuse of the American justice system and how Veselnitskaya colluded with the Russian chief prosecutor's office to frustrate American prosecutors.

Direct download: Nawaday_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm EST

The Russian government's recent arrest of American Paul Whelan and its charges against him have many politicians and pundits speculating about the possibility of an intended spy swap for Maria Butina. There's a lot going on here, but there's also a lot of misunderstanding about the history of spy swaps, what they are, and what they aren't.

Earlier this week, David Priess sat down with his former CIA colleague John Sipher to talk about it all. They discussed the history of spy swaps, the current case involving Paul Whelan, and prospects for some kind of a release.

Direct download: Episode_379.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:06am EST

The murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville in 2017 and other recent events have drawn into the public discourse the fact that domestic terrorism is not a crime in and of itself. Earlier this week, Benjamin Wittes sat down with two experts on domestic terrorism to talk about ways that it might be incorporated into our criminal statutes.

Mary McCord, a professor of practice at Georgetown Law School, a senior litigator at the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown Law School, and the former acting assistant attorney general for national security at the U.S. Department of Justice; and Jason Blazakis, a former State Department official in charge of the office that designates foreign terrorist organizations, and a professor of practice at the Monterey Institute at Middlebury College, joined Ben to talk about their proposals for how domestic terrorism might become a crime.

They talked about why domestic terrorism is currently left out of the criminal code, their two proposals for how it might be incorporated and how those proposals differ, and the 1st Amendment consequences of their competing proposals.

Direct download: Episode_378.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:03pm EST

For this end-of-the-year episode of the Lawfare Podcast, we wanted to hear from you and get your voice on the podcast. You called us with questions, you tweeted your questions using #LawfareAMA, and Benjamin Wittes, Scott Anderson, Bob Bauer, Bobby Chesney, Susan Hennessey, Matthew Kahn, Alina Polyakova, David Priess, and Tamara Cofman Wittes all came together to answer them. We talked about everything from the 25th Amendment, to cyberwarfare, to what's happening in the Middle East.

Thank you for your questions. And as always, thank you for listening.

Direct download: Episode_377.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:40am EST

This week, President Trump made the unexpected announcement that he was immediately withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria, ending their involvement in the counter-ISIS campaign that the United States has led there for the last four years. As the week went on, it became clear that the decision on Syria was just the tip of the iceberg.

To help us make sense of all that has happened over the last 72 hours, Lawfare's Scott R. Anderson sat down on Friday with a panel of Middle East experts at the Brookings Institution: Dan Byman, a senior fellow; Tamara Cofman Wittes, a senior fellow and former State Department official; and Mara Karlin, a nonresident senior fellow, professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and former Pentagon official. They talked about the Syria withdrawal, what it means for U.S. policy in the Middle East moving forward, and about Defense Secretary James Mattis's resignation.

Direct download: Episode_376.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:12pm EST

David Priess is man of many national security hats. Long before becoming Lawfare's head of operations, Priess was an intelligence officer, manager, and briefer with the CIA, including some time spent as a primary PDB briefer to then-FBI director Robert Mueller and Attorney General John Ashcroft. Since leaving government, Priess has become a historian of national security, intelligence, and the presidency, most recently writing on the history of presidential removal in the book "How to Get Rid of a President: History's Guide to Removing Unpopular, Unable, or Unfit Chief Executives." Lawfare's Mikhaila Fogel sat down with David to discuss his recent book, his research process, and the national security implications for these historic episodes.

Direct download: Episode_375.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:19pm EST

Last week, Senator Mark Warner of Virginia addressed a crowd at the Center for New American Security (CNAS), offering what he called a “New Doctrine for Cyberwarfare & Information Operations.” Sen. Warner currently serves as the Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. In that role, he helps to oversee that committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. To combat the sort of information warfare and cyberattacks used in that election, as well as the more general and staggering cybersecurity threats posed to U.S. persons and entities, the senator lays out a detailed series of recommendations for this doctrine, emphasizing: establishing international cyber norms and rules; combatting disinformation and misinformation; hardening networks, weapons systems, and Internet of Things devices; realigning defense spending; and strong federal leadership.

Direct download: Episode_374.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:02pm EST

Last week, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Gregory Johnsen, a former member of the U.N. Security Council Panel of Experts on Yemen and the author of the book "The Last Refuge: Yemen, Al-Qaeda, and America’s War in Arabia," to do a deep dive on the conflict in Yemen: its origins; its current state; and the role Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United States have played and are likely to play moving forward. Joining Ben and Greg was Daniel Byman, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Center for Middle East Policy and Lawfare’s own Foreign Policy Editor.

After Ben and Dan’s conversation with Greg, Brookings Fellow Molly Reynolds and Lawfare's Scott R. Anderson sat down for a conversation about Yemen-related legislation that is currently churning on Capitol Hill, and what it may mean for the future of U.S. involvement in the conflict there.

Direct download: Episode_373.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:24pm EST

On January 3, Democrats will take control of the House of Representatives and all of its committees. Congressman Adam Schiff of California, the current ranking member on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, also known as HPSCI, is expected to take control of the committee. This week, Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes sat down with Congressman Schiff at his office to discuss the agenda for HPSCI and the upcoming Congress, the challenges facing the Democratic majority as they attempt to rebuild bipartisanship on a deeply divided committee, and, of course, the Russia investigation.

Direct download: Episode_372.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:20pm EST

Today Benjamin Wittes got on the phone with former U.S. attorney and podcast empresario Preet Bharara to discuss a recent report Preet has published along with the National Task Force on Rule of Law & Democracy, a group which Preet co-chairs along with former New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman.

The conversation took a turn towards the news: They talked about a hot-of-the-presses Washington Post story naming former attorney general William Barr as President Trump’s leading candidate to be the next attorney general. And, of course, they discussed the Mueller investigation. After that, they turned back to their original purpose, the Task Force report.

Direct download: PreetCast_Complete_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:39pm EST

In August, legal and technical experts gathered in Santa Barbara for the Crypto 2018 Workshop on Encryption and Surveillance to further the ongoing debate over the impact of strong encryption and law enforcement surveillance capabilities. Over the past several days, Lawfare has published a series of reflections that capture some of the views presented at the conference. On this episode of the Lawfare Podcast, we’ve brought you one of the conversations from the event itself, in which Jim Baker of Brookings and Lawfare, Cindy Cohn of the EFF, Sven Herpig of the New Responsibilities Foundation, Adam Ingle of Australia’s Department of Home Affairs, and Ian Levy of the U.K.’s GCHQ discussed recent developments in the laws and policy governing encryption and surveillance around the world.

Direct download: Episode_370.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:11pm EST

Thursday saw another plea deal from Michael Cohen: this time with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Cohen pleaded guilty to one count of lying to Congress regarding how long into the 2016 campaign the Trump Organization sought to build Trump Tower in Moscow and who exactly knew about the efforts. The criminal information validates to a remarkable degree a May 2018 report from Anthony Cormier and Jason Leopold of Buzzfeed news, chronicling the details of Michael Cohen and associate Felix Sater’s efforts to cement the real estate deal (you can also listen to a special edition of the Lawfare Podcast on the story here).  

Immediately after new of the plea broke, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Cormier, Susan Hennessey and Paul Rosenzweig to discuss the story, the implications of the plea for the Mueller investigation, and who just might have legal exposure and for what.

Direct download: Special_Edition_-_Michael_Cohen_Trump_Tower_Moscow.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:24pm EST

This week, Russia and Ukraine went at it in the Kerch Strait, which separates the Black Sea from the Sea of Azov. It's the latest salvo in Russia's (not-so-secret) war against Ukraine and its eastern provinces, and it's the latest thing that has the world talking about Vladimir Putin's lawlessness in his back yard.

To understand it all, Benjamin Wittes spoke today with Alina Polyakova of the Foreign Policy program at Brookings, and Scott Anderson of Lawfare and the Governance Studies program at Brookings. They talked about what happened this week, the international law implications, and the domestic politics in both Ukraine and Russia.

Direct download: Episode_368.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:29pm EST

John Carlin served as assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s National Security Division from April 2014 to October 2016. In his new book with Garrett Graff, called “Dawn of the Code War: America's Battle Against Russia, China, and the Rising Global Cyber Threat," Carlin explains the cyber conflicts the U.S. faces and how the government fights back. Benjamin Wittes sat down with Carlin last week to talk about the book. They talked about about the FBI and Justice Department’s fight against cyber espionage, about how the Justice Department attributes cyberattacks to the responsible actors, and about Carlin’s experience as FBI director Robert Mueller’s chief of staff. 

Direct download: Episode_367.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:10am EST

Earlier this year, just as the United States was preparing to kick-off its national elections, the country of Iraq was finalizing the results of its own and finally installing a new government after months of debate. It was the fourth parliamentary election under the Iraqi Constitution that the United States helped to put in place, and the first since the Iraqi government declared victory in the conflict with ISIS that has dominated the country’s attention since 2014.

To understand what this new government may mean for Iraq and its relationship to the United States, Scott R. Anderson spoke with Jared Levy, the Director of Research Services for the Iraq Oil Report, a premier resource for Iraq-watchers everywhere; and Rasha al-Aqeedi, a native of Mosul, Iraq, and the Robert A. Fox Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and the Managing Editor of Raise Your Voice, a digital platform that focuses on Iraqi society post-ISIS.

They discussed the politics behind Iraq’s recent elections, what to expect of the main figures in the new Iraqi government, and how they might try and navigate the growing tensions between the United States and Iran that are increasingly evident in the region.

Direct download: Episode_366.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:07pm EST

Following the #NatSecGirlSquad’s first conference, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Jung Pak before a live audience at the Bier Baron in Washington, DC. Jung is a senior fellow in the Brookings Institution’s Foreign Policy program and a long-time North Korea CIA analyst. They talked about North Korean missile development, what reasonable expectations the United States might have when it comes to relations with North Korea, and why we tolerate and sometimes embrace comical representations of the North Korean regime.

Direct download: Episode_365.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30pm EST

On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that U.K. and EU officials have reached a provisional Brexit agreement. Though as of this recording, the text of that agreement has not been released, we at Lawfare thought it a good time for a refresher on how senior Europe experts and British officials are thinking about the U.K.’s split from the European Union. On October 23, the Brookings Center on the United States and Europe hosted a panel discussion on the endgame of the Brexit negotiations with Sir Kim Darroch, Britain’s ambassador to the United States; Amanda Sloat, senior fellow at Brookings; Douglas Alexander, former U.K. shadow foreign secretary; and Lucinda Creighton, a former Irish minister for European affairs. Edward Luce of the Financial Times moderated the discussion.


They talked about some of the thorniest issues at stake in Britain’s departure, including the unresolved trade issues between the U.K. and the EU, how Scotland—whose residents overwhelmingly opposed leaving the EU in the 2016 referendum—may react to Brexit, and the risks Brexit poses to a peaceful future in Northern Ireland.

Direct download: Episode_364.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:45pm EST

With the firing of Jeff Sessions and his replacement with former U.S. attorney Matt Whitaker, all eyes this week are focused on whether Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians will get to run its full course. But even before the Sessions firing, Benjamin Wittes and Paul Rosenzweig had inquiries into the presidency on their minds. On Tuesday morning, they sat down to discuss Paul’s recent 12-part lecture series on presidential investigations released through the online educational platform The Great Courses.

They talked about how Paul structured the lecture series, Paul’s own experience on Independent Counsel Ken Starr’s team investigating the Clinton White House, and the course’s relevance to the Mueller investigation. 

Direct download: Episode_363.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:25pm EST

President Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday and replaced him on an interim basis with the attorney general’s own chief of staff, a man named Matt Whitaker. Whitaker has made repeated public statements expressing skepticism about the Mueller investigation, which he will now be supervising. Benjamin Wittes got on a recorded conference line with Susan Hennessey, Paul Rosenzweig, Steve Vladeck, Chuck Rosenberg and Bob Bauer to discuss the day’s events: the president’s action, how we should understand Whitaker, and what congressional pushback we can expect, both now and when the new congress comes in.

Direct download: sessions_firing_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:53pm EST

The rate and intensity of cyber attacks on financial institutions has increased in recent years, but the risk that these attacks pose to our financial stability remains understudied in the financial industry and among regulators and policymakers. What would it look like if malicious actors took direct aim at the systemic stability of U.S. financial institutions? On October 11, Susan Hennessey spoke to three senior research scholars from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs who are taking early steps to find the answer: Katheryn Rosen, former deputy assistant treasury secretary for financial institution policy; Jason Healey, former White House cyber adviser on the Bush administration; and financial-stability expert and former Federal Reserve official Patricia Mosser. They talked about how to understand financial stability, the unique risks that cyber threats pose to it, and what gaps remain in how to mitigate those risks.

Direct download: Episode_361.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:38pm EST

Since 2011, Yemen has transitioned from the scene of a political crisis to one of the worst humanitarian disasters in the world, but how U.S. policy affects the situation is the subject of little discussion. The United States provides intelligence and logistical support to the Saudi- and Emirati-led coalition fighting against Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen, and the conflict implicates the future stability of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the U.S.’s longest standing ally in the region.

To shed light on the complicated dynamic of the conflict, on October 25, the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution hosted a panel discussion on U.S. policy in Yemen, featuring Brookings senior fellows Daniel Byman and Bruce Riedel, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Dafna Rand, and Arabia Foundation senior analyst Fatima Abo Alasrar. They talked about the U.S.’s role in the conflict, the extent of the humanitarian crisis, and how the dire conditions on the ground can be alleviated.

Direct download: Episode_360.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:50pm EST

There is a caravan—you've probably heard something about it. Stephanie Leutert, director of the Mexico Security Initiative at the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law, has heard something about it. On Friday, Benjamin Wittes caught up with Stephanie to talk about her time on the Mexico-Guatemala border traveling with migrants who are following a trail not unlike that of the caravan. They talked about why people are joining this caravan, what the alternatives to it are, why certain migrants are shunning it, the pushes out of countries like Honduras and Guatemala, and what it's like to be a child on the long trek to the United States.

Direct download: Episode_359.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:36am EST

Last week while traveling in the United Kingdom, Benjamin Wittes met up with András Pap, a Hungarian scholar of constitutional law. Pap is a professor with Central European University’s Nationalist Studies Program in Budapest, and the two spoke over breakfast about the decline of Hungarian democracy. They talked about the Fidesz party, Hungary's strongman ruler Viktor Orbán, to what extent Hungary is similar to and different from other European countries, and why Pap was cheerfully having breakfast with Ben talking about all these things and not fearing what would happen to him when he returns to Budapest.

Direct download: Episode_358.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:30pm EST

In recent decades, both democratic and republican administrations have tried to guide other countries toward liberal democracy. But international relations theorist John Mearsheimer’s latest book, “The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realties,” says that strategy has made the U.S. a “highly militarized state fighting wars that undermine peace, harm human rights, and threaten liberal values at home.” Last week at the Hoover Institution’s Washington office, Jack Goldsmith sat down with Mearsheimer to talk about the book. They talked about why administrations try to promote democracy, how that strategy has bolstered non-democratic governments, and whether a more restrained foreign policy could better serve U.S. interests.

Direct download: Episode_357.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:54pm EST

On October 3, Benjamin Wittes co-hosted an event with his Brookings colleague, Norm Eisen, on The State of Rule of Law in the U.S. Ben moderated a panel on national security and law enforcement with Lawfare contributor and long-time Department of Justice official Mary McCord; former head of the DEA Chuck Rosenberg; and Representative Adam Schiff, ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.


They spoke about the impact of today’s political environment on national security investigations in the Executive Branch; Congress’s conduct in this recent spate of such investigations; and how—under normal circumstances—these two branches are supposed to interact.

Direct download: Episode_356.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:38pm EST

Back in January, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Mike Doran—a foreign policy and Middle East specialist who served in the George W. Bush White House, State Department, and Pentagon, and is a former Brookings colleague—to discuss his support of President Trump and dismissal of the Trump-Russia allegations and the investigation of L’Affaire Russe. At the end of that conversation, Ben and Mike said they would check in again in a few months to see who was right.

Earlier this week, the two sat down over Scotch to talk through Doran’s views on—among other things—the Mueller investigation, the Steele dossier, Carter Page’s FISA warrant, and the congressional investigations into L’Affaire Russe. It’s safe to say that their views have not converged, and Doran’s view of the world differs from the standard fare on Lawfare. Hang onto your hats, folks, this one’s a wild ride.

Direct download: Episode_355.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:02am EST

It's easy to spend all our time focusing on American domestic politics these days, but the rest of the world is not going away. Take the European Union, for example—our neighbors from across the pond, and one of the US's most valuable economic and security relationships. There's a lot going on over there, and some of it even involves us. How is that relationship faring in the age of tariffs, presidential blusters, Brexit, and tensions over Iran sanctions?

To figure that out, Shannon Togawa Mercer and Benjamin Wittes spoke to David O'Sullivan, the EU Ambassador to the United States. They talked about the US-EU trade relationship, Iran and Russia sanctions, Privacy Shield, the rule of law in deconsolidating democracies in the EU, and more.

Direct download: Episode_354.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:49pm EST

Stories of grievous hacks, data breaches and their fallouts have become an almost daily addition to the news cycle. On Wednesday, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Mark Risher, Director of Product Management for Security and Privacy for Google, to talk about how his team is thinking about the current and future threats posed by malicious cyber actors.

They discussed Google Advanced Protection, how Google works with “targeted” individuals to set up secure systems, the growing sophistication of phishing emails, and how you might be able to protect yourself. By way of full disclosure, Google is a financial supporter of the Brookings institution, with whose cooperation, Lawfare is published.

Direct download: Episode_353.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:51am EST

Anna Salvatore is the impresario behind the High School SCOTUS blog. She got in touch with Benjamin Wittes a number of months ago asking for an interview, and produced a fascinating character study of him. On Tuesday, Ben returned the favor. Anna joined Ben in the Jungle Studio for a wide-ranging discussion of the Supreme Court, high school, blogging, and building an army to produce legal journalism. They talked about how the Supreme Court is different from baseball, weird interests in high school, following a docket, and the Kavanaugh nomination hearings.

Direct download: Episode_352.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:37am EST

On Wednesday, Brookings Senior Fellow Robert Kagan sat down with Susan Glasser of The New Yorker to discuss Kagan's new book The Jungle Grows Back: America and Our Imperiled World. In the book, Kagan argues that, like the jungle that keeps growing back, dangerous global actors, when left unchecked, will create chaos. Kagan and Glasser discussed whether the American public tends to support foreign policy that focuses on international withdrawal or unilateral intervention, whether the Trump foreign policy will enable faster growth of dangerous actors, and whether the America of 2018 has parallels to the U.S. in the 1920s or 1930s.

Direct download: Episode_351.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:27am EST

The United States has become the global leader in both defense and private-sector AI. Inevitably, this has led to an environment in which adversary and ally governments alike may seek to identify and steal AI information—in other words, AI has become intelligence, and those who work in AI have become potential sources and assets. And with intelligence, comes counterintelligence.


Jim Baker, a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution and former FBI General Counsel, is part-way through a series of essays for Lawfare on the links between counterintelligence and AI, two parts of which have already been published. On Monday, Jim sat down with Benjamin Wittes to discuss his work on the subject. They talked about how to understand AI as an intelligence asset, how we might protect this valuable asset against a range of threats from hostile foreign actors, and how we can protect ourselves against the threat from AI in the hands of adversaries.

Direct download: Episode_350.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:25pm EST

If you ask scientists what is most likely to kick off the next great wave of technological change, a good number will answer “quantum mechanics”—a field whose physics Albert Einstein once described as “spooky,” but whose potential, once tapped, could unleash exponentially faster computer processes, unbreakable cryptography, and new frontiers in surveillance technology.

No one understands this better than the People’s Republic of China, who over the last several years has built up an aggressive state-driven campaign to accelerate the development of quantum technology—a set of policies intended to put it at the very front of the pack of the next technological revolution, and all the competitive advantages it is likely to bring.

To discuss this development, what it may mean for the future, and how the United States should respond, Scott R. Anderson sat down with Elsa Kania, an adjunct fellow with the Center for a New American Security and the co-author of a new report on China’s efforts to achieve “Quantum Hegemony.”

Direct download: Episode_349.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:08am EST

Security technologist Bruce Schneier's latest book, Click Here to Kill Everybody: Security and Survival in a Hyper-connected World, argues that it won't be long before everything modern society relies on will be computerized and on the internet. This drastic expansion of the so-called "internet of things," Schneier contends, vastly increases the risk of cyberattack. To help figure out just how concerned you should be, last Thursday, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Schneier. They talked about what it would mean to live in a world where everything, including Ben's shirt, was a computer, and how Schneier's latest work adds to his decades of advocacy for principled government regulation and oversight of "smart devices."

Direct download: Episode_348.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:20pm EST

On Friday, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort entered a plea agreement with the special counsel. To figure out what it means for Manafort, the Mueller investigation, and President Trump, Benjamin Wittes spoke to former Obama White House counsel Bob Bauer, independent counsel prosector Paul Rosenzweig, and Lawfare managing editor Quinta Jurecic. 

Direct download: Manafort_Plea_mixdown_fixed.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:34pm EST

The challenges that President Donald Trump has posed to the rule of law are well documented, from his delegitimization of the law enforcement investigation into his campaign and conduct in office, to his attacks on federal judges who rule against the legality of his policy prerogatives. Coupled with what many call his adversarial relationship with his own intelligence community, the Trump presidency has created a role of the executive with no analogue in recent memory.

On September 4, at the Center on National Security at Fordham Law, Representative Jerrold Nadler, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, and former CIA Director John Brennan, both outspoken critics of the president, sat down for a conversation about what they've seen in the past 20 months under the Trump administration, including their takes on threats to the rule of law, the investigations of the president, and ongoing vulnerability of American democracy to cyber threats.

Direct download: Episode_346.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:28pm EST

Brett Kavanaugh spent Thursday in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee for his second day of marathon questioning about his qualifications to join the Supreme Court. But on this podcast, we cut down more than 8 hours of testimony to bring you only the national-security content Lawfare readers and Lawfare Podcast listeners need. Every question and every answer on national security, presidential power and the Mueller investigation.

Direct download: kav_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:23am EST

Judge Brett Kavanaugh faced the Senate Judiciary Committee in Day 1 of a two-day marathon Q&A session for his nomination as an associate justice of the Supreme Court. We sat through it all so you don't have to. We've cut out all the garbage and are bringing you just the questions and answers on legal matters related to national security, presidential power, and presidential investigation.

Direct download: Kavanaugh_vs_Committee.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:44am EST

The New York Times reports that CIA human sources in Moscow are drying up. The newspaper speculates that this may be because of the political environment in the United States, an environment in which the president tweets about the intelligence community and the Steele dossier, and the House Intelligence Committee goes after human sources and outs them.

John Sipher knows something about human sources in Moscow. He was stationed there for the CIA in the 1990s and had to deal with sources. He joined Benjamin Wittes in the Jungle Studio to talk about the fragility of those operations, the plausibility of the New York Times story, and what we could do tamp down negative impacts on intelligence collection.

Direct download: Episode_343.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:22am EST

This edition of The Lawfare Podcast grows out of an email exchange between David Kris and Jack Goldsmith over a draft article Jack had written about John Brennan and other intelligence community former leaders who were criticizing the president in public and from whom the president was threatening to pull their security clearances in response.

What is appropriate for intelligence community leaders to say about the president? What is going too far? What is outside their lane? And what is required by the current moment when intelligence community leaders face a rogue elephant of a president who is violating every norm we know?

Direct download: Episode_342.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:25am EST

Bob Mueller and the president's legal team are engaged in an extended negotiation over whether the president will sit for an interview with the Mueller team. As it turns out, there are three people in the world who have interviewed a sitting president as part of a grand jury investigation. This week Benjamin Wittes sat down with one of them—Solomon Wisenberg.

Wisenberg served as deputy independent counsel under Ken Starr during the Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky investigation. On Thursday, Wisenberg discussed his experience interviewing Bill Clinton, how that can inform thinking on the next possible presidential interview, and how both prosecutors and the president's lawyers can think strategically about next steps.

Direct download: Episode_341.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:29am EST

What a weird weekend it has been. The Manafort jury is deliberating, the White House lawyer is cooperating with the special prosecutor and giving 30 hours of interview about presidential conduct, and Michael Cohen seems poised to either be indicted or form a cooperation deal with the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York.

Benjamin Wittes jumped on the phone to discuss all of this with former White House counsel Bob Bauer, former Justice Department official Carrie Cordero, and Lawfare contributor Paul Rosenzweig.

Direct download: Episode_340.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:34pm EST

The President of the United States this week stripped the former CIA Director John Brennan of his security clearance in a dramatic White House statement by Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. The White House is threatening more adverse security clearance actions against presidential critics, and former senior security officials are outraged. Benjamin Wittes sat down Friday afternoon with Bradley Moss, who represents people in security clearance revocation processes, to discuss the president's move, how different it is, and what we can expect if a lawsuit develops.

Direct download: Episode_339.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:21pm EST

Canada and Saudi Arabia have been at loggerheads over the past week ever since the Canadian Foreign Minister condemned Saudi Arabia’s arrest of Samar Badawi, a human rights activist. Saudi Arabia's reactions were extreme, including expelling the Canadian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, halting trade negotiations and the pulling of the Saudi Arabian ambassador for diplomatic consultation.

To sort this all out, Lawfare senior editor Shannon Togawa Mercer  spoke to Scott Anderson, former diplomat and international lawyer, and Canadian professors Stephanie Carvin of The Intrepid Podcast and Carleton University, Bessma Momani of the Stimpson Center, and Thomas Juneau of the University of Ottowa.

They spoke about Saudi Arabian and Canadian strategy, international legal considerations and what comes next.

Direct download: Lawfare_Podcast_Episode_338_FULL_EPISODE.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:34pm EST

There’s a new twist in one of the stranger subplots of L’Affaire Russe: Buzzfeed News reports that Peter Smith, a Republican operative who reportedly sought to obtain missing Hillary Clinton emails during the 2016 presidential campaign, made several suspicious withdrawals from bank accounts during the timeframe of his quest for Clinton’s emails—suggesting that he may have paid people he believed were Russian hackers.

Benjamin Wittes is joined by Buzzfeed reporter Anthony Cormier and former Assistant Attorney General for National Security David Kris to make sense of it all. 

 

Direct download: Cormier.Kris.SmithMoney_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:44pm EST

Encryption usually takes center stage in debates over digital evidence, and the sensitivities around the issue often halt discussions before reaching practical solutions. But on July 25, the Center for Strategic and International Studies unveiled a new report detailing solutions to other, less-fraught challenges that digital evidence presents to federal law enforcement. The launch event featured a panel discussion moderated by Jen Daskal, with an ensemble cast of law enforcement experts, including Lawfare contributing editor David Kris, David Bitkower, Ethan Arenson, Jane Horvath, and Michael Sachs. They talked about the challenges faced by law enforcement in accessing and utilizing digital evidence, the civil liberties and privacy concerns digital evidence provokes, and the role of Internet Service Providers in any new legal or policy framework.

Direct download: Episode_336.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:51pm EST

Technologies that distort representations of reality, like audio, photo, and video editing software, are nothing new, but what happens when these technologies are paired with artificial intelligence to produce hyper-realistic media of things that never happened? This new phenomenon, called "deep fakes," poses significant problems for lawyers, policymakers, and technologists. On July 19, Klon Kitchen, senior fellow for technology and national security at the Heritage Foundation, moderated a panel with Bobby Chesney of the University of Texas at Austin Law School, Danielle Citron of the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, and Chris Bregler, a senior computer scientist and AI manager at Google. They talked about how deep fakes work, why they don't fit into the current legal and policy thinking, and about how policy, technology, and the law can begin to combat them.

Direct download: Episode_335.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:25pm EST

For years, Shane Harris of The Washington Post has been fascinated with the search for extraterrestrial life in the universe. But that search raises a profound question: Should we try to communicate with aliens? Is there a risk to alerting a potentially hostile species to our presence? On July 12, Shane moderated a conversation hosted by Future Tense with Lucianne Walkowicz, the Chair of Astrobiology at the Library of Congress, and NASA astrophysicist Elisa Quintana, to talk about the ethics of the search for ETs and the associated risks with trying to make contact.

Direct download: Episode_334.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30pm EST

The British government is falling apart, Brexit talks are on the rocks, and into the maelstrom walks Donald Trump to walk in front of the Queen after having tea with her. It's been a bad period in the Brexit negotiations. To talk it through, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Tom Wright, the director of the Center on the United States and Europe; Amanda Sloat, the Robert Bosch senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe; and Shannon Togawa Mercer from the Hoover Institution and Lawfare. They talked about Northern Ireland, trade, U.S. policy, what the United States' dog in the Brexit fight is, and what happens if there is no deal by the time the whole thing turns into a pumpkin.

Direct download: Episode_333.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:43am EST

Justice Kennedy's resignation and the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his replacement promises to usher in a new era of the U.S. Supreme Court, not least in the areas of foreign relations and national security law. To hash out what these changes might mean, Lawfare senior editor Scott R. Anderson spoke with Jen Mascott of the Antonin Scalia School of Law at George Mason University, Steve Vladeck of the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, and former Department of Justice official Bob Loeb, currently a partner at the law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.

Direct download: Episode_332.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:46pm EST

The Trump administration has taken an aggressive stance on U.S. trade relations, opting for bilateral negotiations, and in many cases, eschewing the multilateral trade order. The administration is collapsing the distinction between economic security and national security, and this has been painfully apparent in our trade war with China. Tensions with China are escalating. On Tuesday, Lawfare senior editor Shannon Togawa Mercer sat down with Jennifer Hillman, former World Trade Organization Appellate Body member, commissioner on the United States international Trade Commission, and general counsel at the Office of the United States Trade Representative; and Clark Packard, trade policy counsel at the R Street Institute, to hash it all out. They talked about China, the WTO, and this administration’s incoherent trade strategy.

Direct download: Episode_331.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:38am EST

On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Helsinki for their first one-on-one summit, where the U.S. president said that he trusted the Russian president's denial of election interference over his own intelligence community. In the United States, furor followed on both sides of the aisle. To break down what happened and what it means, Alina Polyakova sat down with Julia Ioffe, correspondent at GQ and long-time Russia observer, and Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group, to talk about why nobody else was in the room with Trump and Putin during their over-two-hour, one-on-one meeting; what Russia's kompromat on Trump really might be; and whether this summit actually moved the needle in U.S.-Russia policy. What was gained and what was lost? Was this a win for Putin? An embarrassment for Trump?

Direct download: Episode_330.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:28pm EST

On Friday, Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for their role in the theft and dissemination of documents from the DNC, the DCCC and the Clinton campaign during the 2016 election. Susan Hennessey, David Kris, Paul Rosenzweig, Matt Tait and Benjamin Wittes got together to make sense of the news.

Direct download: DNC_Hack_Indictment_Emergency_Podcast_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:40pm EST

#AbolishICE is the hashtag that has proliferated all over Twitter. Anger over the family separation policy of the Trump administration has many people doubting whether the agency that does interior immigration enforcement is up to a humane performance of its task. Paul Rosenzweig, former policy guru at DHS where he supervised immigration matters, and Carrie Cordero, who has been actively engaged on the subject recently, joined Benjamin Wittes to discuss the substance of our immigration laws. Would abolishing ICE actually make a difference, or would it just be renaming the problem with three other letters?

Direct download: Episode_328.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:23pm EST

It's been a bad week for Polish democracy, with the government removing a bunch of judges from the country's Supreme Court in order to replace them with party loyalists. In response, protestors took to the streets to push back against the deconsolidation of Polish democracy. Radek Sikorski joined Benjamin Wittes to discuss the week's events and the larger degradation of Polish governance of which they are a part. Radek served as foreign minister and defense minister of Poland, as well as speaker of the Polish parliament. He has also been a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and he's currently a senior fellow at the Center of European Studies at Harvard University and distinguished statesman at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Direct download: Episode_327.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:23am EST

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan won the Turkish election the other day, and becomes the first president under Turkey's new empowered presidential system. His party, in coalition with ultra-nationalists, will control the Parliament as well, so it's a big win for the Turkish president. It may be a loss for democratic values. On Tuesday, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Amanda Sloat, Robert Bosch Senior Fellow at Brookings, to discuss the election results, the crackdown in Turkey and the justifications for it, friction points in U.S.-Turkish relations, and what comes next for Turkey, the United States, and the EU.

Direct download: Episode_326.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:31pm EST

On June 22, the Supreme Court released its long-awaited ruling in Carpenter v. United States, a case challenging whether law enforcement agencies need a search warrant to acquire the history of a cell phone's location from a wireless provider. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the five-justice majority that doing so amounts to a 4th Amendment search, a decision that will have far-reaching implications for law enforcement activities moving forward. On Thursday, Benjamin Wittes spoke on the phone with Jim Baker, the former general counsel of the FBI, and Orin Kerr, the 4th Amendment expert whose writing was cited in every dissent, to understand the decision. They talked about what the decision said, what a warrant for cell site data might look like, and the ruling's implications for other areas of 4th Amendment law.

Direct download: Episode_325_Carpenter.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:38pm EST

With the media and political commentators focused on family separation at the U.S.-Mexico border, few are paying attention to how developments along Mexico's southern border affect the United States. On Monday, Benjamin Wittes spoke with Stephanie Leutert, director of the Mexico Security Initiative at The University of Texas at Austin, who has spent the past several weeks in the field studying the flow of migrants from Central America into Mexico. They discussed who's entering Mexico, why they're doing it, why most continue on to the United States, and where the dangers lie along their journeys.

Direct download: Episode_324.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:25pm EST

Gen. Michael Hayden has served as the head of both the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency—and he says that intelligence is under attack. In his latest book, “The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age of Lies,” Gen. Hayden argues that in what he calls a post-truth world, the United States needs its intelligence community now as much as ever. All the more reason to be concerned about the president’s repeated attacks on it.

On June 15, Gen. Hayden sat down with Jamil Jaffer of George Mason University’s National Security Institute to talk about the book, and how the intelligence community can navigate the challenges it faces.

Direct download: Episode_323.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:18am EST

From manufacturing to healthcare, and from criminal justice to national security, artificial intelligence is changing nearly every sector of the global economy and many aspects of our public and private lives. And as artificial intelligence technology races ahead, its political, legal, and ethical considerations cannot be left undiscussed. Last Tuesday, as part of the A. Alfred Taubman Forum on Public Policy, James Baker, Susan Hennessey, and Scott Tousley joined John Allen at the Brookings Institution to discuss the opportunities AI offers and the challenges it presents to security.

Direct download: Episode_322.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:38pm EST

This week, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a gigantic report on the FBI's handling of the Clinton emails matter/investigation during the 2016 election cycle. On Friday, Benjamin Wittes got together with Quinta Jurecic, Lawfare's managing editor; Carrie Cordero, former Justice Department official and Lawfare contributor; and Marty Lederman of Just Security and the Georgetown Law School, to talk about the whole report.

Direct download: OIG_Mixdown_June2018.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:10pm EST

On Tuesday, in Singapore, after doubts about whether the Summit would happen, President Trump met for several hours with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un, culminating in a joint declaration between the two heads of state. Just after the declaration dropped, North Korea experts Mira Rapp-Hooper, a senior fellow at Yale's Paul Tsai China Center, and Steph Haggard, a professor at UC San Diego, joined Benjamin Wittes to help make sense of the news. They talked about the substance of the Summit, how it impacts the U.S.'s security alliances in the Asia Pacific, and what might come next for the U.S.-North Korea relationship.

Direct download: MiraHooper_June2018_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:40pm EST

Economic welfare and national security have never been mutually exclusive, but trade has factored into the national security discourse prominently in recent days, with the administration announcing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports in the name of national security, the backlash from American allies, and the current standoff with China. On Thursday, June 7, Shannon Mercer sat down with Megan Reiss, senior national security fellow with the R Street Institute, and Soumaya Keynes, economics and trade correspondent at The Economist, to discuss the ins and outs of trade law and how Trump is using it.

Direct download: ShannonMercer_Mixdown_June2018.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:56pm EST

Former FBI agent and Army officer Clint Watts has spent years hunting down terrorists and Russian disinformation on the Internet in his spare time. In his new book, Messing with the Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians, and Fake News, Watts documents what he learned from his experience. On Monday, he sat down with Benjamin Wittes in the Jungle Studio for a conversation about how terrorists, cybercriminals, and nation-states use online media platforms to influence people’s social and political perceptions. They talked about how Watts began tracking disinformation, what he saw, and what free societies can do to protect against it.

Direct download: ClintWatts_June2018_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:06pm EST

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) plays an essential role in advising the president on how to exercise his or her authority to block foreign investments that might let the U.S.'s adversaries acquire sensitive American technology or intellectual property. A bipartisan proposal in Congress aims to expand CFIUS's powers. On Thursday, the Center for Strategic and International Studies convened a panel of Dov Zakheim, a former Pentagon official; Ivan Schlager, Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates; Nova Daly, Senior Public Policy Adviser, Wiley Rein LLP; and CSIS Vice President James Andrew Lewis, to talk about CFIUS and how it might change under the new law.

Direct download: CSIS_June2018_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:51pm EST

In January 2017, Donald Trump inherited a complex, multifaceted counterterrorism campaign, and since taking office, he has escalated it rhetorically and operationally. On Tuesday, New America convened a panel with Joshua Geltzer and Luke Hartig, both former senior fellows for counterterrorism on the Obama National Security Council; Stephen Tankel, a professor at American University; and Shamila Chaudry, former director for Pakistan and Afghanistan on the National Security Council. They discussed how Trump has changed how the United States uses force in its counterterrorism efforts, and where he has stayed the course of the Obama administration.

Direct download: ShamilaChaudhary_May2018_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:28pm EST

Vladimir Milov is the current economic advisor to Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and the former deputy minister of energy in the Russian government. This week, Milov spoke to Alina Polyakova about the Russian economy, the recent Cabinet reshuffles in the Kremlin, and how local politics are back in Russia.

Direct download: VladimirMilov_May2018_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:20pm EST

Bob Bauer, Jack Goldsmith and David Kris join Benjamin Wittes to discuss the sequence of events between the Justice Department, the FBI, the House intelligence committee and the White House over the last few days and the resolution arranged at the White House on Monday afternoon.

Direct download: OutingAConfidentialInformant.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:51pm EST

The past week saw the culmination of a major shift in US policy as the United States formally opened its embassy in Jerusalem. Yet ongoing protests along the border with the Gaza Strip and the Israeli government’s harsh response have provided a sharp contrast to the hopeful rhetoric surrounding the embassy’s opening ceremony. On Friday, Lawfare senior editor Scott Anderson spoke with Khaled Elgindy, fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings and a founding board member of the Egyptian American Rule of Law Association; Natan Sachs, fellow in and director of the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings; and Sarah Yerkes, fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, to sort through the headlines.

Direct download: ScottAnderson_May2018_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:43pm EST

Benjamin Wittes speaks to Buzzfeed reporter Anthony Cormier about his latest story, co-authored with Jason Leopold, about the negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

Direct download: Cormier_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30pm EST

In her new book, "Habeas Corpus in Wartime: From the Tower of London to Guantanamo Bay," Amanda Tyler presents a comprehensive account of the legal and political history of habeas corpus in wartime in the Anglo-American legal tradition. On Monday, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Tyler at the Hoover Book Soiree for a wide-ranging discussion of the history of habeas, where its origins really lie in English law, and how it has changed over the years in the United States, from the Founding to modern counterterrorism cases.

Direct download: AmandaTyler_May2018_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:02pm EST

Benjamin Wittes speaks to former FBI director James Comey before a live audience at the Brookings Institution.

Direct download: COMEY_multitrack_mixdownCORRECTED_LEVELS.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:16pm EST

On Wednesday, Gina Haspel, President Trump's nominee to lead the CIA, testified for two-and-a-half hours on her nomination before the Senate intelligence committee. We cut out all the opening statements, all of the repeated questions, and in this episode, we're bringing you the distilled version of everything that's important from the hearing.

Direct download: Gina_Haspel_with_No_Bull_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:41pm EST

Gina Haspel, the CIA's current deputy director, goes before the Senate Intelligence Committee tomorrow, May 9, 2018, for confirmation as the CIA's director. Shane Harris of The Washington Post recently produced a lengthy and detailed profile of Haspel, who was deeply involved in the CIA's coercive interrogation program in the years that followed 9/11. He joins Benjamin Wittes to discuss the nomination, the cases for and against Haspel, and what we can expect when she faces the Committee tomorrow.

Direct download: ShaneHarrisMay2018_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:23pm EST

Only a few months ago, President Donald Trump threatened to rain fire and fury on North Korea and Kim Jong Un’s missiles were crashing into the ocean. Now, President Donald Trump is preparing for a summit with the North Korean leader. To understand what to expect from that meeting, Benjamin Wittes spoke on Friday to North Korea experts Mira Rapp-Hooper, senior research scholar at Yale Law School’s Paul Tsai China Center, and Steph Haggard, distinguished professor at the University of California-San Diego. They talked about how we got here, about what would make the Trump-Kim summit successful, and about predictions for the future of northeast-Asian security.

Direct download: HaggardRappHooperMay2018_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00pm EST

Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt talk to Benjamin Wittes about their new book, "How Democracies Die."

Direct download: How_Democracies_die_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:01pm EST

At Georgetown Law, Matt Axelrod, Bob Bauer, John Bellinger, Jack Goldsmith, and Don Verrilli reflect on the norms that govern contact between the White House and the Justice Department, how the Trump administration has broken them, and what can be done to protect them in this administration and future ones.

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

Eric Rosenbach moderates a conversation between former homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco and current Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams on election security.

Direct download: MonacoWilliams_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:38pm EST

Last week, Sens. Bob Corker and Tim Kaine introduced a proposal to reshape the legal authorization for U.S. counterterrorism operations abroad. On Thursday, Susan Hennessey sat down with Bobby Chesney, co-founder of Lawfare and professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, and Scott Anderson, Lawfare senior editor and former State Department lawyer, to talk about the proposal. They discussed the current status of the authorization for use of force, what the new proposal says, and it’s prospects in this Congress.

Direct download: AUMF_Final_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:49pm EST

Former Estonian President Toomas Ilves sits down with Benjamin Wittes and Megan Reiss to talk about the use of social media by the presidents of the United States and Estonia, election interference, cybersecurity cooperation, and the digitization of Estonia.

Direct download: CyberNato_Final_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:01am EST

All week, President Trump has promised airstrikes in response to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons, but so far nothing has come. Does this mean he’s having second thoughts? Or is this simply the calm before the storm? On Friday afternoon, Scott Anderson spoke with Dan Byman, Lawfare's foreign policy editor and a senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, and Tess Bridgeman, a former deputy legal adviser to the National Security Council and current affiliate of Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation, for a late-breaking discussion on that question and more.

Direct download: Syria_Final_Mix_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:51pm EST

The idea of proxy conflict dates to the Cold War and earlier, but Tim Maurer’s new book “Cyber Mercenaries: The State, Hackers, and Power” makes one of the first forays into proxy conflict in cyberspace. Last week, Maurer sat down with Lawfare Editor-in-Chief Benjamin Wittes at the Hoover Book Soiree to talk about the book. They discussed Maurer’s typology of how states like the United States, Syria, Russia and China differ in their use of cyber proxies and the challenges they pose to attribution and accountability.

Direct download: Hoover_Maurer_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:34pm EST

Vladimir Kara-Murza is the vice chairman of Open Russia, founder of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation and a contributing opinion writer for the Washington Post. On Wednesday, Kara-Murza spoke to Alina Polyakova about last month's presidential elections in Russia, the poisoning of Sergei Skirpal, and the future of Russia under and after Putin.

Direct download: Kara_Murza_mixdown_FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:18pm EST

The Washington Post reports this evening that: "Mueller told Trump’s attorneys the president remains under investigation but is not currently a criminal target." The report comes the same day as Alex van der Zwaan was sentenced to 30 days in jail for lying to Mueller's probe. On this emergency podcast, Benjamin Wittes is joined by Quinta Jurecic, Lawfare's deputy managing editor, who was in the courtroom for the van der Zwaan sentencing; Orin Kerr, a former federal prosecutor and the Duggan Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Southern California; and Paul Rosenzweig, who served under Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr.

Direct download: Special_Mueller_Subject_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EST

Bobby Chesney, Matt Tait and Steve Vladeck speak at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law on "War, Law and Cyberspace."

Direct download: UT_Cyber_FedSoc_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:54pm EST

Chimène Keitner speaks to Scott Anderson about her experience as international law counselor at the State Department and the future of the department after Secretary Rex Tillerson's departure.

Direct download: Keitner_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:32pm EST

Jack Goldsmith interviews Niall Ferguson about Ferguson's latest book, "The Square and the Tower: Networks, Hierarchies, and the Struggle for Power."

Direct download: Niall_Ferguson_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:59pm EST

Jack Goldsmith talks to Yale Law School professor Amy Chua about her new book, "Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations," at the Hoover Book Soiree.

Direct download: Amy_Chua_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:43pm EST

Shortly before last Sunday's election in Russia, Alina Polyakova spoke to Liza Osetinskaya, editor of The Bell and former editor of Forbes Russia and independent Russian news agency RBC. They discussed the Kremlin’s approach to censorship and how the Putin regime reacted when RBC, under Osetinskaya’s leadership, began covering the Panama Papers.

Direct download: Osetinskaya_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:35pm EST

Matthew Kahn speaks to John Feerick, dean emeritus of Fordham Law School and an adviser to the congressional committees that drafted the 25th Amendment.

Direct download: FEERICK_FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:07pm EST

Last week, former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson addressed the Boston Conference on Cybersecurity in a speech titled "Cyberspace is the New Battlespace." The next day, Secretary Johnson sat down with Harvard Law professor and Lawfare co-founder Jack Goldsmith to discuss the themes his speech reflected on. They discussed the hacking and exfiltration of data, the vulnerabilities of the U.S. electoral infrastructure to cyberattacks, and the problem of fake news and disinformation—and what we might do to stem it.

Direct download: Johnson-Goldsmith_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:06pm EST

Benjamin Wittes speaks to Yascha Mounk about his new book: 'The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It."

 
 
Direct download: Yascha_Mounk_Book_Pod_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:28pm EST

Benjamin Wittes interviews Max Boot on Boot's new book, "The Road Not Taken," for the Hoover Book Soiree.

Direct download: HooverBoot_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:27am EST

Alina Polyakova speaks to Zhanna Nemtsova about the life and political legacy of her father, Boris Nemtsov. Learn more about Nemtsova's work at nemtsovfund.org.

Direct download: Zhanna_Nemtsova_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:28pm EST

Benjamin Wittes speaks to "Daily Show" writer Dan Radosh about his latest sitcom, "Liberty Crossing," a workplace comedy about intelligence analysts at the National Counterterrorism Center.

Direct download: RadoshLiberty_Crossing_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:29pm EST

Benjamin Wittes speaks to Judge Stephen Williams about his new book "The Reformer: How One Liberal Fought to Preempt the Russian Revolution," the story of Vasily Maklakov and the virtues of political moderation.

Direct download: Williams_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:36pm EST