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The Lawfare Podcast, Emergency Edition: Another Special Counsel Investigation of Donald Trump

Jen Patja Howell, Alan Z. Rozenshtein, Benjamin Wittes, Quinta Jurecic, Peter Strzok
Friday, November 18, 2022, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

Earlier today, in a surprise announcement, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel to lead two ongoing federal investigations of former president and now official 2024 presidential candidate Donald Trump. The special counsel, Jack Smith, is a longtime DOJ prosecutor and currently the chief Kosovo war crimes prosecutor in The Hague. He will take over the investigation into the retention of classified and government documents at Mar-a-lago, as well as the investigation into attempts to interfere with the lawful transfer of power after the 2020 election.

To make sense of the special counsel appointment and what it means for the federal investigations into Donald Trump, Lawfare senior editor Alan Rozenshtein spoke with Lawfare editor-in-chief Ben Wittes, Lawfare senior editor Quinta Jurecic, and former FBI agent Peter Strzok, who worked on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into foreign election interference in the 2016 election.

Jen Patja Howell is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.
Alan Z. Rozenshtein is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School, a senior editor at Lawfare, and a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Previously, he served as an Attorney Advisor with the Office of Law and Policy in the National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland.
Benjamin Wittes is editor in chief of Lawfare and a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of several books.
Quinta Jurecic is a fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and a senior editor at Lawfare. She previously served as Lawfare's managing editor and as an editorial writer for the Washington Post.
Peter Strzok served in the FBI from 1996 to 2018, rising to the deputy of its Counterintelligence Division. During his career, Mr. Strzok worked around the world against national security threats from China, Russia, Iran, Cuba and others, including countering state-sponsored disinformation, prosecuting acts of economic espionage and theft of intellectual property, and combatting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Mr. Strzok is the recipient of the FBI’s highest investigative honor, the Director’s Award. Prior to the FBI, Mr. Strzok spent four years on active duty in the US Army’s 101 st Airborne Division. Mr. Strzok is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, from which he holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in international affairs. He is the New York Times bestselling author of "Compromised: Counterintelligence and the Threat of Donald J Trump." He lives in northern Virginia with his family.

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