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The Week That Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

Caleb Benjamin
Friday, December 8, 2023, 4:49 PM
Your weekly summary of everything on the site.

Published by The Lawfare Institute
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Quinta Jurecic and Benjamin Wittes compared and contrasted the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s narrow interpretation of former President Donald Trump’s presidential immunity argument in the civil context and Judge Tanya Chutkan’s total rejection of Trump’s claims of presidential immunity from criminal prosecution in the Jan. 6 case. 

On the Lawfare Podcast, Natalie Orpett sat down with Jurecic, Roger Parloff, and Wittes to discuss the D.C. District Court and D.C. Circuit Court rulings on Trump’s presidential immunity:

Matt Gluck shared Judge Chutkan’s order denying Trump’s motions to dismiss the Jan. 6 case on presidential immunity grounds and other constitutional bases. 

Parloff laid out the key arguments that led Judge Sarah B. Wallace to rule Trump could not be disqualified in Colorado under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, and the main counterarguments that will determine the decision’s upcoming appeal. 

Caleb Benjamin shared a lawsuit filed by Oregon voters seeking to disqualify Trump from primary and general election ballots in the state under Section 3.

Anna Bower discussed new details that raise more questions about the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s investigation into unauthorized access to voting equipment in Coffee County, particularly the failure to interview attorney Robert Cheeley.

On this week’s episode of “Lawfare Live: Trump’s Trials and Tribulations,” Scott R. Anderson sat down with Bower, Parloff, and Wittes to discuss Judge Chutkan's rejection of Trump's motions to dismiss the Jan. 6 criminal case, the status of lawsuits seeking to disqualify Trump under Section 3, updates from Fulton County, and more:

Hyemin Han shared the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s decision partially affirming and partially vacating Judge Chutkan’s limited gag order on Trump.

Katherine Pompilio shared a Nevada indictment charging six ‘fake electors’ with felonies for their alleged roles in attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the state.

On the Lawfare Podcast, Wittes sat down with Bower, Kyle Cheney, and Parloff to discuss Rep. Scott Perry's (R-Pa.) text messages that were revealed in a filing in D.C. district court, happenings with gag orders on Trump, developments in Colorado Section 3 litigation, and more:

On the Lawfare Podcast, Pompilio sat down with Bradley Onishi to discuss his book entitled, “Preparing for War: The Extremist History of White Christian Nationalism and What Comes Next,” his personal experience as a former White Christian nationalist, Jan. 6 rioters and religious symbols at the riot, how Trump fits into all of this, and more:

Alex Joel discussed how the potential expiration of FISA Section 702 could make it easier for the U.S. government to conduct surveillance of U.S. citizens abroad. 

Alistair Simmons discussed data brokers collection of American students’ data, its harms to students’ privacy, and ways for policymakers to address the problem.

On the Lawfare Podcast, Stephanie Pell sat down with Matthew Tokson to discuss how federal and state agencies have begun to purchase location information and other consumer data, the main arguments for why the purchases do not violate the Fourth Amendment, his responses, and his recommendations to courts, legislators, and government agencies on the issue:

Ivan Krstić discussed the ease with which data centralized in service providers’ cloud infrastructure can be stolen and argued for widespread adoption of end-to-end encryption to combat this threat. 

Ashley Deeks discussed why the U.S. and China have failed to make progress toward an agreement to keep autonomy out of nuclear command-and-control systems.

On the Lawfare Podcast, Gluck sat down with Bill Wright to discuss what President Joe Biden’s executive order on artificial intelligence (AI) means for tech companies that rely on AI, the relationship between tech companies and the U.S. government, whether collaboration among companies in the AI space is possible, and more:

Alyza Sebenius discussed China’s increasingly threatening cyber capabilities, including advancements in its ability to target U.S. critical infrastructure, conduct economic espionage, and execute digital information operations.   

Pompilio shared a grand jury’s indictment of two Russians for crimes related to an alleged Russian government hacking campaign aimed at influencing the U.K.’s 2019 elections. 

Anderson and Orpett discussed the Justice Department’s indictment of four Russians for war crimes they allegedly committed against a U.S. citizen in Ukraine—the first ever war crimes prosecution by the department under the War Crimes Act of 1996.

Gluck shared the Justice Department indictment against four Russians for alleged war crimes.

Chile Eboe-Osuji, former President of the International Criminal Court, discussed the legal concepts of “proportionality” and “self-defense” and how to think about them with respect to the Israel-Hamas war.

Han shared a letter to the United Nations Security Council from Secretary-General António Guterres regarding the Israel-Hamas war that invoked Article 99 of the UN Charter.

Zoe Kreitenberg discussed the critical role missile defense systems have played in the Israel-Hamas war, particularly in protecting civilian life and deterring larger-scale conflict.

In an installment of Lawfare’s Foreign Policy Essay series, Jessica Davis discussed Hamas’s financial network, why it is so difficult to disrupt, and how to counter it going forward.

Thomas Renard and Joana Cook discussed the security repercussions of the Israel-Hamas conflict for European nations, including a rise in antisemitic and anti-Muslim incidents and an increased threat of violent extremism and jihadi terrorism. 

On Rational Security, Anderson and Jurecic sat down with Wittes to discuss Ukraine’s counteroffensive and waning U.S. and European support for Ukraine, the Houthis targeting commercial shipping in the Red Sea, Trump’s two big legal losses in cases relating to Jan. 6, and more:

On the Lawfare Podcast, Jack Goldsmith sat down with Graham Allison to discuss former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger’s accomplishments as a statesman, his cast of mind and long intellectual productivity, his engagement with history as a guide to international diplomacy, his particular brand of realism, and more:

Benjamin shared a criminal complaint charging a former U.S. ambassador and National Security Council official with committing multiple crimes related to his alleged actions as a spy for the Republic of Cuba.

On Chatter, David Priess sat down with Mark Stout to discuss his new book entitled, “World War I and the Foundations of American Intelligence,” how the war in Europe spurred intelligence advances in the mid-1910s, why World War I generally fails to resonate with Americans today, and more.

In an installment of the Seriously Risky Business cybersecurity newsletter, Tom Uren discussed the likelihood of cyber-enabled election interference in the 2024 elections in Taiwan and the U.S., cyberattacks on U.S. water infrastructure by Iranian hackers, and more. 

And it is time for our annual “Ask Us Anything” podcast, an opportunity for you to ask Lawfare editors and contributors this year’s most burning questions. If you would like to submit a question, please do so by Dec. 18.

And that was the week that was.

Caleb Benjamin was Lawfare's fall 2023 editorial intern. He holds a B.A. with high honors in government from Dartmouth College.

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