The Lawfare Podcast

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

President James Madison shaped the course of American history in not one, not two, but three different and foundational roles in the formation of the young republic. He was a drafter of the constitution, a leader of the Democratic-Republican party, and America’s first wartime president. In a sweeping biography, Noah Feldman traces Madison’s distinct roles and their resonance in current politics in his new book “The Three Lives of James Madison: Genius, Partisan, President.” Jack Goldsmith recently interviewed Noah Feldman on the book. Together, they discussed Madison’s dynamic role in shaping America’s Constitution, his influence on national security, including the use of economic sanctions, and much more.

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

Saria Samakie has a story unlike those of most of his peers at Georgetown. After being kidnapped three times in Syria, Samakie managed to flee the war-ravaged country and eventually arrived in the United States. Arne Duncan, a Brookings nonresident senior fellow and former secretary of education, recently interviewed Samakie to describe growing up in Syria, the harrowing experience of being a teenager under Assad’s regime, and what he envisions for his future—and his country’s. 

Direct download: Arne_Duncan_mixdown_final_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:24pm EDT

When the Department of Justice required RT, the Russian-funded news outlet, to register as a foreign agent last month, the Russian government responded in kind. Yet the Kremlin's recent crackdown on Western media is part of a longer history of stifling independent media in Russia. For this episode of the Lawfare Podcast's special Russia series, Alina Polyakova talked to Mikhail Zygar, a Russian independent journalist, filmmaker, and author of two books on the Kremlin’s elite circle. They discussed Zygar's latest book "All the Kremlin's Men," what it’s like to be an independent journalist in Russia today, why Vladimir Putin may be far from a strategic mastermind, and much more. 

Direct download: Alina_Mikhail_Final_mixdown_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am EDT

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, America’s longtime ally in the Middle East, faces a tumultuous future. Plummeting oil prices, an ongoing royal purge, and Yemen’s civil war across the border have thrust the kingdom into a domestic and international maelstrom. But what role does the United States play in Saudi Arabia’s changing position? To address that question, Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, recently discussed his new book “Kings and Presidents: Saudi Arabia and America Since FDR” at a Brookings event. Barbara Slavin, director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council, moderated the conversation in which they discussed the state of U.S.-Saudi relations, the historical events that have precipitated Saudi Arabia’s current situation, and the future of the kingdom. 

Direct download: Bruce_Riedel__mixdown_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:46pm EDT

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty today and agreed to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. We put together an all-star panel to talk it through. Lawfare contributors Orin Kerr, Stewart Baker, Steve Vladeck, and Paul Rosenzweig joined Benjamin Wittes and Susan Hennessey to go over all the angles. 

Direct download: Lawfare_Emergency_Podcast_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:42pm EDT

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in Carpenter v. United States, a major Fourth Amendment case asking whether a warrant is necessary before law enforcement can obtain cell site data identifying a suspect phone's location from a service provider. Lawfare contributor and Fourth Amendment expert Orin Kerr discussed the case with Benjamin Wittes shortly after the argument.

Direct download: Orin_Kerr_mixdown_final_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:11pm EDT