Armed Conflict Congress Democracy & Elections

Rational Security: It’s the “CesTar” Edition!

Scott R. Anderson, Anna Bower, Molly E. Reynolds
Thursday, January 25, 2024, 12:30 PM
This week, just Scott was joined for a Bizarro-world episode with guests Lawfare Senior Editor and Brookings Senior Fellow Molly Reynolds and Lawfare Legal Fellow Anna Bower.

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This week, just Scott was joined for a Bizarro-world episode with guests Lawfare Senior Editor and Brookings Senior Fellow Molly Reynolds (back for a second episode in a row!) and Lawfare Legal Fellow Anna Bower! They talked over some of the week’s big stories, including:

  • “Two Houses, Divided Against Themselves...” The fate of key national security legislation—including the Ukraine supplemental and border legislation—is increasingly coming down to the increasingly dysfunctional dynamics within and between the two chambers of Congress. What does this tell us about how our most democratic institution is operating?
  • “Fani, Be Tender With My Love.” In recent weeks, Fulton Co. Prosecutor Fani Willis’s case against former President Trump and his associates has been endangered by rumors that she is engaged in a longstanding affair with subordinate prosecutor Nathan Wade—and that she extended the investigation to secure more salary for him. But is the story more smoke than fire?
  • “Carpe Seize ‘Em.” The Biden administration has officially come out in qualified support of seizing Russia’s frozen assets to compensate Ukraine, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to consider authorizing legislation this week. Is this finally a route to accountability? Or do the associated risks outweigh the benefits?


For object lessons, Molly endorsed David Grann’s latest book, “The Wager.” Scott shouted out listener Paul whose birthday party he inadvertently crashed this past weekend, and urged other listeners to come say hi if they see him in the wild! And Anna urged anyone seeking a divorce in the state of Georgia to seek out the fine people at the Cobb County courthouse (who also make a lovely salad).

Scott R. Anderson is a fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and a Senior Fellow in the National Security Law Program at Columbia Law School. He previously served as an Attorney-Adviser in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State and as the legal advisor for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq.
Anna Bower is Lawfare’s Legal Fellow and Courts Correspondent. Anna holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Cambridge and a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School. She joined Lawfare as a recipient of Harvard’s Sumner M. Redstone Fellowship in Public Service. Prior to law school, Anna worked as a judicial assistant for a Superior Court judge in the Northeastern Judicial Circuit of Georgia. She also previously worked as a Fulbright Fellow at Anadolu University in Eskişehir, Turkey. A native of Georgia, Anna is based in Atlanta and Washington, D.C.
Molly Reynolds is a senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. She studies Congress, with an emphasis on how congressional rules and procedure affect domestic policy outcomes.

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