The Lawfare Podcast (general)

President Trump's conduct in office draws a sharp contrast between laws that formally restrict the presidency and the institutional norms that presidents have historically followed. For the October 2017 issue of The Atlantic, Jack Goldsmith addressed that distinction in his article Will Donald Trump Destroy the Presidency? To help answer that question, Benjamin Wittes interviewed Goldsmith last week on his latest article, discussing President Trump's errant behavior in office and its impact on future presidencies, the difference between violations of norms and violations of law, and the changing landscape of journalism under the Trump presidency. 

Direct download: Draft_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:51pm EST

The Kellogg-Briand Pact is often remembered as a failure; signed in 1928 to outlaw war, it was followed in just over a decade by one of the deadliest conflicts in history. But Oona Hathaway and Scott Shapiro see the Pact differently. In their new book, "The Internationalists: How a Radical Plan to Outlaw War Remade the World," they argue that though it did not successfully end all war, the Pact changed the way states resolve disputes, reduced the likelihood of conquest, and set of a chain of events that led to the modern world order. On September 11, they sat down with Jack Goldsmith at the Hoover Book Soiree to discuss their book and its implications.

Direct download: oona_and_scott.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:05pm EST

The escalating tension between North Korea and the United States has risen to an unprecedented level. Earlier this month, Stephan Haggard, Lawrence and Sallye Krause Professor of Korea-Pacific Studies at UC San Diego, gave a lecture at a private function on the complicated strategic and political risks that North Korea’s missile and nuclear capabilities present. He talked about the complex relationship among North Korea’s allies and adversaries, the impact of sanctions against Pyongyang, and the past and future role of the United States in addressing North Korean aggression.

Direct download: Steph_Haggard_Edit_Two_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:38pm EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST