The Lawfare Podcast (general)

The evidence of foreign interference in the 2016 U.S. elections emphasizes the significant national security threat to our democracy. Last week, Susan Hennessey joined a panel at the Brookings Institution to address the national strategy for protecting U.S. elections with retired four-star general John Allen, Alex Halderman of the University of Michigan, and Dean Logan, the president for the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials. Michael O’Hanlon, senior fellow in Foreign Policy, moderated the conversation. Panelists explored the nuances of impacted voter confidence in the broader context in which elections occur, as well as addressed the current cybersecurity risks in election infrastructure.

Direct download: 20170908_Saul_Election_Security_Rough_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:04pm EDT

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russian government has been a focal point in political discourse since Mueller’s appointment in May. To contribute to that discussion, Barbara Slavin, director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council, interviewed Benjamin Wittes at the International Student House last week. Strategies a special counsel might use when investigating, the different mechanisms for removing a president, and the misconceptions surrounding impeachment were all discussed, followed by audience questions on a range of topics. 

Please note that the audio quality is poor because of feedback in the room's audio system. 

Direct download: IHS_Final_Draft.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:09pm EDT

In the past 24 hours, the Financial Times reported that Russian lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin testified before Robert Mueller's grand jury; Politico carried that the Mueller team is cooperating with the New York Attorney General to investigate Paul Manafort; and the Wall Street Journal broke that the President's lawyers have provided memos to the Special Counsel arguing that the president cannot commit obstruction of justice and questioning Jim Comey's credibility. Shane Harris and Paul Rosenzweig joined Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes to discuss the recent developments.

Direct download: Shane_and_Paul_on_WSJ1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:30pm EDT

Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes answer listener questions about Lawfare, the podcast, and current events in law and national security.

Direct download: 244LawfareQuestions.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:56pm EDT

Friday morning, the White House announced it will elevate Cyber Command to a full unified combatant command. Within 60 days, the Secretary of Defense will recommend whether Cyber Command should also split from the National Security Agency. On Thursday, as rumors of the announcement surfaced, Susan Hennessey spoke to Bobby Chesney, a law professor at the University of Texas at Austin and co-founder of Lawfare, and Michael Sulmeyer, Director of the Cyber Security Project at the Belfer Center, about the organizational and operational consequences of elevating and splitting Cyber Command.

Direct download: Sulmeyer-Chesney.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:19pm EDT

Filmmaker and cyclist Bryan Fogel talks about his new movie, Icarus, about Russian subversion of international doping rules in sports—and how it relates to the current investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Direct download: Episode_242.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:39am EDT

The growing threat from North Korea has intensified during the past few weeks after a series of missile tests demonstrated that the Kim regime may soon be able to strike the continental United States. This week, Benjamin Wittes spoke with Mira Rapp-Hooper, an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security, and Stephan Haggard, a Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego, to discuss recent events on the Korean peninsula and the path forward for the United States and the international community. They addressed the diplomatic and military options for addressing the North Korean threat, the likelihood that the Kim regime will respond to traditional deterrence strategies, and how a new administration in the U.S. changes the dynamics in the region. 

Direct download: Episode_241.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:55pm EDT

On December 31, 2017, Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act will sunset. Officials insist that the provision authorizes critical intelligence gathering, but as of yet, Congress has not signaled whether it will give a clean reauthorization of the bill, pass it with amendments, or allow it to lapse altogether. In this week's podcast, Susan Hennessey sits down with FBI General Counsel Jim Baker and the Bureau's Executive Assistant Director of the National Security Branch Carl Ghattas to discuss the legal and operational elements of Section 702. 

Direct download: BakerGhattas2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:50pm EDT

This week on the Lawfare Podcast, Jack Goldsmith interviews Graham Allison at the Hoover Book Soiree about Allison's new book, Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?.  The conversation covers the history of rising and declining powers, how the North Korean regime affects the security dynamic between U.S. and China, and how to preserve peace where Thucydides would predict war.

Direct download: Hoover_Institution_7-12-17_Destined_for_War.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

At this point, it’s widely accepted that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election; the question now is what the United States should do about it. At Third Way, Mieke Eoyang, Evelyn Farkas, Ben Freeman, and Gary Ashcroft have a new paper on the subject, titled “The Last Straw: Responding to Russia’s Anti-Western Aggression.” Mieke and Evelyn came to the studio to talk with Benjamin Wittes about their proposals, which range from sanctions to FARA reforms.

Direct download: Episode_238.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30pm EDT