The Lawfare Podcast: The Justice Department, Congress and the Press

Jen Patja, Benjamin Wittes, Gabe Rottman, Peter Strzok, Quinta Jurecic, Orin Kerr
Tuesday, June 15, 2021, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With
Brookings

A spree of stories has emerged over the last week or so that the Justice Department under the prior administration obtained phone and email records of several journalists, several members of Congress and staffers, and even family members. It has provoked a mini scandal, calls for investigation, howls of rage and serious questions. To discuss it all, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Gabe Rottman of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, former FBI agent Pete Strzok, Lawfare senior editor Quinta Jurecic and Berkeley law professor and Lawfare contributing editor Orin Kerr. They talked about what we really know about these stories and what happened in these investigations. Was it all legal? Was it legitimate? How should it be investigated and by whom? And what does it mean that none of the prior attorneys general or deputy attorneys general seem to remember it?




Jen Patja 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.
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.
Gabe Rottman directs the Reporters Committee’s Technology and Press Freedom Project at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.
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.
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.
Orin Kerr is a Professor at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. He is a nationally recognized scholar of criminal procedure and computer crime law. Before becoming a law professor, Kerr was a trial attorney in the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section at the Department of Justice and a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia. He is a former law clerk for Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Leonard I. Garth of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

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