The Lawfare Podcast

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

As we wrap up 2017, we wanted to listen to you, our listeners. In this year-end episode of the Lawfare Podcast, Lawfare contributors took your questions by voicemail and answered them on the show. Susan Hennessey, Tamara Cofman Wittes and Scott Anderson joined Benjamin Wittes in the Jungle Studio, with Josh Blackman joining from afar, to answer questions on subjects ranging from the Islamic State to presidential pardons. Thanks to our listeners, new and old, for listening to the Lawfare Podcast this week and every week. See you in 2018.

Direct download: Lawfare_Questions_Final_mixdown1_Libsyn.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30pm EST

As the year is coming to a close, Congress has now missed the deadline for reauthorizing FISA Section 702. Molly Reynolds, a Brookings fellow in Governance Studies and expert on Congress, joined Benjamin Wittes and Susan Hennessey for a conversation on the failure to reauthorize and what happens next. They discussed the politics of Section 702, the influence of this year's overall legislative agenda, and what to expect in 2018 for the crucial intelligence apparatus. 

Direct download: Section_702_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30pm EST

Last week, a Bangladeshi man set off a pipe bomb in the New York subway in an attempted terrorist attack inspired by the Islamic State. C. Christine Fair, a professor in Georgetown University’s Peace and Security Studies Program, joined Benjamin Wittes to contextualize the incident. They discussed modern Bangladeshi terrorism, the country’s history and governance, and the significance (or lack thereof) of the attack.

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