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The Week That Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

Caleb Benjamin
Friday, October 6, 2023, 4:35 PM
Your weekly summary of everything on the site.

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Anna Bower discussed two major updates concerning the alleged unauthorized copying of voting equipment in Coffee County, Georgia: the surprise plea agreement of bail bondsman Scott Hall in the Fulton County election interference case and the publication of the letter that allegedly invited a Trump campaign attorney to access and copy the voting systems.

On the Lawfare Podcast, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Bower to talk about Hall’s plea agreement, whether the Fulton County case will actually go to trial on Oct. 23, why former President Donald Trump is not seeking removal, and why all the people who want removal can't seem to get it:


On this week’s episode of “Lawfare Live: Trump’s Trials and Tribulations,” Wittes sat down with Bower, Quinta Jurecic, Natalie K. Orpett, and Roger Parloff to discuss Hall’s guilty plea, an upcoming hearing on the proposed gag order on Trump in the special counsel’s D.C. case, and more:


On Lawfare No Bull, Caleb Benjamin shared edited audio of the Sept. 29 hearing in which Hall pleaded guilty:


On the Lawfare Podcast, Wittes sat down with Scott R. Anderson, Bower, and Parloff to discuss Judge Tanya Chutkan’s order denying Trump's motion for recusal, Judge Scott McAfee’s order regarding revealing jurors’ identities in the Fulton County case, a New York judge finding Trump liable for fraud, and more:


On the Lawfare Podcast, Jurecic and Molly Reynolds sat down with Mike Stern and Eric Columbus to discuss the D.C. Circuit Court’s opinion limiting the ability of the special counsel’s office access to phone records from Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), Peter Navarro being convicted of contempt of Congress for defying the Jan. 6 committee, the recent indictment of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), and more:


On Rational Security, Anderson, Jurecic, and Alan Rozenshtein sat down with Reynolds to discuss this week’s big national security news stories, including former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) narrowly avoiding a government shutdown and then losing his speakership as a result, proposed legislation to impose 18-year term limits on Supreme Court justices, and more:


Pete Simi and Seamus Hughes discussed empirical findings that threats of violence against public officials have risen dramatically since 2016 and continue to increase every year. They examined the motivations of “threateners,” how federal prosecutors and courts are responding, and what actions might be taken to reverse the trend.

Stewart Baker analyzed the recently published Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) report on Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Baker highlighted PCLOB’s unanimous support for the renewal of Section 702, though he argued that the board’s disagreements when it comes to 702 reform limits the report’s impact.

Preston Marquis further discussed the findings of the PCLOB report on FISA Section 702 and analyzed board members’ differing opinions on how to reform Section 702.

On the Lawfare Podcast, Rozenshtein sat down with Jeff Kosseff to talk about his new book, "Liar in a Crowded Theater: Freedom of Speech in a World of Misinformation," in which he describes, and defends, the First Amendment's robust protections for false and misleading speech. They also discussed how new technology both supercharges misinformation and provides new tools to fight it:


In the newest installment of Water Wars, Teresa Chen and Alana Nance discussed the recent shakeup in China's military leadership, China’s influence in the Solomon Islands, the recent summit at Camp David between the U.S., Japan, and South Korea, and more.

Robert D. Atkinson and Liza Tobin argued that the U.S. should pool market demand with other democratic partners to counter China’s market-distorting tactics aimed at gaining a competitive advantage in critical industries like semiconductors. 

In Lawfare’s foreign policy essay series, C. Christine Fair discussed the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar—a Sikh opposition leader—in the context of the long-standing tension between India and Canada. She analyzed the origins of the India-Canada rift and explained why both countries would benefit from acknowledging the legitimacy of each other’s concerns.

Nicholas Lokker explained how the European Union can bolster its democratic accountability, arguing that the EU’s efforts to transfer responsibility from national governments to the supranational level must be paired with anti-corruption and democratic legitimacy reforms.

Matei Alexianu and Ali Hakim examined whether the“Afghan Fund”—the U.S. created, Swiss-based organization holding $3.5 billion of assets belonging to Afghanistan’s central bank—violates international sovereign immunity and state recognition law.

On the Lawfare Podcast, Eric Ciaramella shared audio from a recent event at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in which Tino Cuéllar sat down with Andriy Kostin to discuss why Ukrainians believe that peace without justice and accountability would be a false peace, how Kostin’s office is dealing with the overwhelming number of mass atrocity and war crimes cases, and the help it needs from international partners:


Gitanjali Reddy discussed armed groups’ use of African national parks for refuge and as sources of funding. She argued that to combat them, international aid should be put toward paying, arming and training park rangers. 

Aleesha Fowler, Marilyn Batonga, Maurice A. Bellan, Graham Cronogue, James Gilmore, Maria Grenader, Alexandre Lamy, and Elizabeth Roper discussed how the Biden administration will likely use the False Claims Act (FCA) to enforce cybersecurity compliance among government contractors.

On the Lawfare Podcast, in an edition of Arbiters of Truth, Lawfare’s series on the information ecosystem, Jurecic and Matt Perault sat down with Janet Haven to discuss how she evaluates the dangers and promises of artificial intelligence, how to weigh immediate potential downsides of AI versus concerns about possible future risks to society, and what kind of AI regulation Haven would like to see:


On Chatter, Wittes sat down with Jonathan Rauch to discuss Rauch’s numerous books, his start in journalism, and his focus on liberalism, Madisonian pluralism, and religion within democratic institutions:


And Orpett shared that applications for the Lawfare Student Contributor Program for the 2023-2024 academic year are now open. The program allows law students in their second and third years, LLMs, and SJDs (or foreign equivalent) to submit articles and provide research support on issues at the nexus of national security, law, and policy. Applications are due by Oct. 16, 2023. Please apply here.

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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