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The Week That Was: All of Lawfare In One Post

Maya Nicholson
Friday, February 23, 2024, 4:12 PM
Your weekly summary of everything on the site.

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Anna Bower and Benjamin Wittes analyzed the two-day evidentiary hearing on the alleged romantic relationship between District Attorney Fani Willis and special prosecutor Nathan Wade in the Fulton County case against Donald Trump. 

On the Lawfare Podcast, Matt Gluck sat down with Wittes, Bower, and Andrew Fleischman to discuss the two-day evidentiary hearing to determine whether Willis and Wade’s relationship presented a conflict of interest in the district attorney’s case against Trump and others for efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential results in Georgia, Willis’s potential removal from the case, and more:

On Feb. 22 at 4 p.m. ET, Quinta Jurecic sat down with Bower and Roger Parloff for this week’s episode of “Lawfare Live: Trump’s Trials and Tribulations.” Find the livestream here. If you couldn’t attend the live event, the recording is available on Lawfare’s YouTube channel or over the weekend on the Lawfare Podcast feed:

Also on the Lawfare Podcast, Wittes sat down with Parloff, Tyler McBrien, and Bower to discuss last week’s Trump coverage including a judgment from New York, an evidentiary hearing in Fulton County, McBrien’s experience at the scheduling conference for the New York criminal trial, and more: 

Genevieve Nadeau and Kristy Parker explained why former President Trump’s motion to stay the D.C. Circuit court’s mandate in his Jan. 6 case is an effort to avoid trial before the 2024 presidential election. They addressed criticism of their amicus brief on the issue before the Supreme Court, asserting that the public does indeed have a strong interest in a speedy resolution of the case. 

On the Lawfare Podcast, Wittes spoke with Nadeau and Erica Newland, two authors of Protect Democracy’s new report on Donald Trump’s promises and the consequences of his potential second term, entitled “The Authoritarian Playbook for 2025: How an authoritarian president will dismantle our democracy and what we can do to protect it.” They talked about new information in the report, opportunities to mitigate the most dire consequences of which the report warns, and more:

On Feb. 7, Lawfare released the third episode of season 2 of The Aftermath, a narrative podcast series on the government’s response to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Episode 3, “#StormtheCapitol” takes a deep dive into how social media played a pivotal role in orchestrating the Jan. 6 insurrection, how Trump and his team used it to their advantage, and what mechanisms of accountability have, or have not, taken place. Find the new episode (and previous episodes) on your preferred podcast platform:

Daphne Keller dissected Texas and Florida’s arguments for limiting platforms’ content moderation abilities in Netchoice v. Paxton and Moody v. Netchoice. Keller explained why the states’ claim that their laws will help to stop the censorship of “important” speech is a weak one that minimizes and oversimplifies some of the most pressing issues in internet law.

Moshe Klein and Lindsay Maher previewed the upcoming Supreme Court oral arguments for NetChoice v. Paxton and Moody v. NetChoice, which will determine the constitutionality of laws in Florida and Texas that limit social media companies’ content moderation capabilities.

Joshua Tucker and Jake Karr discussed the implications of Moody v. Netchoice and Netchoice v. Paxton for government regulation of social media platform transparency and data access in light of the cases’ upcoming oral arguments before the Supreme Court. 

On the Lawfare Podcast, Jurecic and McBrien sat down with Maya Kornberg to discuss a new report on the intimidation of state and local officeholders from the Brennan Center for Justice. They talked about Maya and her team’s efforts to survey local officials across a number of jurisdictions, the pervasive risks and threats those officeholders face, and more:

Bob Bauer responded to Wittes and Gluck’s prior Lawfare piece on Special Counsel Robert Hur’s report on President Biden’s mishandling of classified documents. Bauer argued that Wittes and Gluck’s analysis lacked factual accuracy and failed to address certain aspects of the law that otherwise might have addressed their concerns.  

On Chatter, Shane Harris sat down with Alexander Ward to discuss his new book, “The Internationalists: The Fight to Restore American Foreign Policy After Trump,” which covers President Biden’s first two years in office. They discussed the Biden team's early efforts to sketch out a new agenda, Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the early days of war in Ukraine, and more:

Eric Ciaramella examined Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s decision to replace the country’s top military leadership, including Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Valeriy Zaluzhny and other senior officers. He discussed tensions between Zelensky and Zaluzhny, how the change in leadership might impact Ukraine’s ongoing war with Russia, and more. 

On Rational Security, Alan Rozenshtein, Scott R. Anderson, and Jurecic discussed this week’s big national security news stories, including Russian forces’ capture of a strategic Ukrainian town, Alexei Navalny’s suspicious death, the increasing tensions between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Biden as Israel’s anticipated military operation against Rafah looms closer, and whether the renewed Kids Online Safety Act will do more harm than good:

On the Lawfare Podcast, Anderson sat down with Joel Braunold to discuss the current state of Israel’s military operations in Gaza and how it is impacting (and being impacted by) domestic politics in Israel and elsewhere. They discussed the significance of recent events, ranging from the International Court of Justice’s grant of provisional measures to the Biden administration’s efforts to sanction the perpetrators of West Bank settler violence:

Harry Reis explained how the creation of an international trusteeship to administer Gaza for a  transitional period following the end of the Israel-Hamas War, could help to create an independent Palestinian state in the future.

In this week’s installment of Lawfare’s Foreign Policy Essay series, Peter Smith and Lucas Webber explained that the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas has sparked a wave of jihadist threats across Western countries, and how different groups are reacting to the violence.  

Shreyas Shende, informed by two books from different perspectives on the topic, discussed the past, present, and future of bilateral relations between India and Pakistan.

Camille François and Thomas Rid discussed the encrypted messaging app Signal and its new feature, introduced today: making phone numbers private and connecting users only through usernames.

In the latest edition of the Seriously Risky Business cybersecurity newsletter, Tom Uren and Catalin Cimpanu discussed a data leak from Chinese cybersecurity company I-Soon that suggests malware and espionage on behalf of the Chinese government, the increase in government-sanctioned and operational cyber disruption, and more. 

And Lawfare is now accepting applications for our Summer 2024 internship program. Apply here.

And that was the week that was.

Maya Nicholson is Lawfare's Spring 2024 editorial intern. She graduated cum laude with a B.A. in International Relations from New York University in 2023. Maya has interned in several law firms including Farris LLP, McLaughlin and Stern, and was previously a UN Advocacy Intern at the International Crisis Group.

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